Sunday, May 31, 2009

part one - the booth

The Annual is over. The car is unpacked. I'm feeling too tired to move, but not yet tired enough to go to I decided to start posting about the weekend -- and hopefully begin retraining myself back into the habit of posting more regularly. This the first of several posts about the Annual.

Not only did I remember to bring my camera - I also remembered to take some pictures of my booth on Friday afternoon, before the fun began. Though not the greatest, they do show the basics (there were open double-doors right next to my booth on set-up day, so my camera had a difficult time coping with the sunlight streaming in...)

I was a little concerned that my booth (which ended up being slightly different dimensions than expected) looked a little sparse....but in the end, I was happy with how it all came together. As the weekend went along, we ended up moving things around quite a bit, to help out with the flow of traffic and bring some things out of hiding.

The little bags hanging right below each of the prototypes held patterns for that purse. This system seemed to work really well - and made sewing all of the bags worthwhile! ;-)

Overall, the response was overwhelming....and I could not have asked for a better first Annual as a vendor. It was a great time to visit with old friends, meet new rug hookers, and renew acquaintances -- talking about rug hooking is never boring with this crowd! I almost wish that I had a whole day to just sit and chat, and not worry about the next event or activity....especially since I only get to see some of these folks a couple of times a year - if I'm lucky!

In the car on the way home, my mum and Sandra and I brainstormed ideas of all of the things that we could and would do differently next time - and we even remembered to take notes! No doubt they will come in handy...

I'll be back soon with photos of some of the beautiful rugs that caught my eye...

Thursday, May 28, 2009

another use for rug tape

The car is packed, my clothes are packed, and all that's left to be done are my toenails! Earlier this week I realized that in all of my preparations for this weekend, I'd forgotten something as important as a sign.

It's always been my idea to hook my logo (what could be more fitting?)....and I hope that I do get it done someday, but it always seems to get shoved aside for other projects. I also thought that I might be able to paint a sign (in a fraction of the time), but I just never felt like doing it. A quicker idea I had was to just get one made at my local print shop, but I didn't get around to doing this either. So what's a girl to do when your event is less than a week away -- and you've got plenty of other things that you need to be doing at the same time? Make a banner!

I knew that printing off the individual letters on card stock and making a banner of sorts would be an easy solution....but I needed something to string them all together. It didn't take too long for me to think of the rolls of rug tape I've got squirreled away...and once I actually got started, I'm sure that the whole thing (printing, trimming, sewing) took less than an hour!

I simply folded the tape in half and tucked the edge of the paper into the fold, before zig-zagging over top. Presto!

I'll try to remember to take lots of pictures this weekend, and I'll tell you all about it next week (when I'm really looking forward to getting back to me regular blogging ;-) ) ...

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

sparkly bits

Sunday night and much of Monday were spent preparing more things for the Annual. Do you ever find the longer you delay doing a task, the bigger and more complicated it becomes in your mind? This happens quite a bit to me when I procrastinate (which means it's been happening a lot lately! ;-) )

For the last few months, I've had this idea of putting together bags of sparkly bits for hooking. I don't know about you, but when I've needed a little bit of glitz to add to a rug I have trouble finding just the right stuff. As a result, I've slowly been assembling a little stash of metallics. This little stash has grown to be more than I will realistically use....and it was time to share.

But before I could share, I needed to prepare. Many different fabrics needed to be tested, cut and packaged...

Once again, I grossly underestimated the time it would take to assemble my baggies - and when cut into strips, the materials seemed to condense quite a bit. I'll only be bringing a dozen of these guys to the Annual....but I'll have some other uncut sparkly pieces, as well.

• • • • • • • • • •

I've also been working away on my wristlet pin cushions. The idea came from a craft book - but it was for making a cute quilted flower bobble bracelet pin cushion. When I'm sewing, I don't really like to use a traditional pin cushion - it takes too much time to poke the pins in, one at a time. Instead I use a magnetic pin cushion, which grabs all of the pins at a lightening-fast pace.

I've had a bag of chocolate moulds hanging around for a few years now, and it didn't take me too long to put two and two together. It did take me a while to figure out the perfect combination of magnets, though. My final prototype had a great test run this weekend, and production is in full swing now...

I'm hoping to get the last few of these finished up tonight. It's a lot easier with the new glue gun I bought on Sunday. [I must admit that I'm feeling a little late to the party, though - so if you also have a 10 year old glue gun and you're tired of always burning yourself, you should know that they now sell dual-temperature ones. The low setting is great for fabric - and fingers!]

• • • • • • • • • •

Life is still quite hectic, and I'm looking forward to a time when I can get back to regular posting. I think it's still a couple of weeks away, but I'll be back whenever I can until then....

Sunday, May 17, 2009

zoom zoom!

The last week has sped by at the speed of light. I had all of the best intentions to post, but just lacked the time. Since I was short on time, I also had very little of interest to blog about. When I wasn't working (at my real job), I was recovering from the busy-ness of this time of year at work and from the five days I spent in the city with my Dad. [Thank you all for your emailed notes and inquiries....all is now well and the bad news we were expecting never came ;-)]

I'm really hoping for things to get back to normal around here, but I fear it might be another couple of weeks before it happens.

I have been doing a couple of simple hooking-related things in the last couple of days. I was out at Dollarama the other day, and found some more black storage bins. All of the cream coloured ones from my original installation have started disintegrating for some unknown reason. [It figures - the only reason I bought the cream-coloured ones in the first place was because they didn't have enough black ones....]

My stack of bins was imitating Pisa, and it was only a matter or time before disaster struck. I'd also quietly assembled quite a pile of clutter and other baskets in that area, so with a couple of extra bins and the help of a silver's a lot more pleasant to look in that direction.

I think one of the tricks with this storage method is to have full bins -- and over-flowing bins is even better (which is great news is you have lots of leftover cut strips).

For the rest of the weekend, I'll be busy putting the finishing touches on my preparation for the Annual....and keeping my fingers crossed that my surprise shipment arrives in time. If a few more days pass without a delivery notice, I might have to start crossing my toes, too!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

still here

I've been in Toronto for the last few days, while my dad had surgery and is recovering afterwards. Everything went very well and we're expecting to bring him home tomorrow. While we have been spending a lot of time at the hospital, we've also had some extra time on our hands....and my sisters and mum and I have been having fun in the city. There have been many yummy meals out and a little shopping, too.

Yesterday we visited Anthropologie (which just opened a couple of weeks ago, in the new Shops at Don Mills). I've been admiring this store from afar for what seems like forever, but I'd never actually set foot inside a real store and had to content myself with catalouges, numerous blog mentions and their online shop. Needless to say, expectations were very high -- but I was not disappointed. [I also bought the most expensive t-shirt I've ever bought! ;-) ]

I hope to be back at rug hooking things this week, but in the meantime, here a couple of places you can visit to get inspired. I discovered these blogs a couple of weeks ago, and I've spent hours on them already, reading though the archives - and I'm not done yet.

Mimi Kirchner's blog, Doll

Geninne's Art Blog


Monday, May 04, 2009

another done...

At the end of last week, I had my (Wendie is a) Jeanius bag at the stage where all of the remaining finishing could be done by hand. My plan was to bring it with me to R.U.G., where I could sit quietly and stitch. This plan was all well and good - until I realized that I'd forgotten (or lost) my spool of upholstery thread!

It's been said that "necessity is the mother of invention"....and it rang true again this weekend. After putting out my first call for thread of any kind, and receiving no response....I sat stewing for a few minutes. It wasn't long before my eyes fell upon my Mum's cone of whipping yarn - it was the perfect black-brown for my purse. Rather than whipping the whole outside edge, I kept with my original plan of rolling both the wool and linen seam allowance forward. Without thread to secure the jelly roll, I opted to secure it with blanket stitches (with yarn). Not only did this allow progress to continue, it also broke up the purple frame - without which I think the purple would have been too dominant.

I didn't get the whole thing finished at R.U.G., but it was all done before I headed to bed on Saturday night. I love it.

I'm still getting used to the size -- it's much smaller than the purse I've been toting around since last Fall -- and I don't have room for everything I've gotten in the habit of carrying. This isn't necessary a bad thing, though....just a sign that it's time to down-size to just the essentials. Like so many things in my life and society in general, there's just too much "stuff", and my purse is no exception.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

A couple of my favourites....

Another busy day at RUG. I was foolishly thinking that not having to do all of the running around associated with doing the newsletter would make for a more relaxing day....but all of the attention and busy-ness was just transferred into being a vendor. By mid-afternoon, I'd maxed out and was feeling a little we snuck out a little early. In all of the craziness I took very few pictures -- which was better than the almost none, since I'd forgotten my camera and had to turn back early in the trip to go and fetch it.

• • • • • • • • •

It's always fun to see other people's versions of my patterns and designs. There were a couple in attendance yesterday...

Here are Beulah Hamilton's Christmas stockings....

And Gail LaBerge has her Cornflowers purse panel all hooked and she's ready to start assembly....

Erika Johnston got her Crows and Pumpkins pattern from The Wool Street Journal.....and I just love the splashes of purple and gold in the border - yum! I'm pretty sure she used mostly recycled wool to hook this piece.

This final rug was my favourite of the day...

Walk in Medonte Woods was designed and hooked by Margaret Kennedy from Orillia. It's just bee-oo-tiful...and I love it.

Friday, May 01, 2009

R.U.G. tomorrow!

I always love going to RUG, and in the almost 10 years that I've been hooking....I think I've only missed one. [It was held on the same the day that I was the (old) Maid of Honour at my friend's wedding.] Not only is it a great chance to catch up with friends, there are always lots of beautiful rugs to admire. Seeing other people's work - especially when there is so much in one place - always inspires me to pick up my hook and start creating.

Tomorrow's program is going to be provided by the area teachers, and the format of the afternoon will be like an 'open class'. If you're coming to RUG, please bring something to hook on in the afternoon - and if you have something that you want some help with, that's even better! As always, don't forget to bring something for show and share, a mug, and a nut-free lunch.

Since I'm going to be a vendor this time around, I'm not sure how much time I'll have to spare, but I wanted to bring something to keep my hands busy. I've been hooking away on my (Wendie is a) Jeanius bag, and it's sure a speedy project -- you could easily hook one of these panels in an evening.

It's all prepped up and ready to be sewn together....all of the remaining finishing will be done by hand, so it's a pretty portable. I'll be back soon with pictures of the finished bag -- and some of the pretty things that catch my eye at R.U.G.

Hope to see you there!