Monday, 23 September 2013

Apps Ridge - Rug Hooking Weekend

But first a moment of silence for the loss of my favourite camera. George and I have had a number of "point and shoot", little digital cameras but the one we bought last spring was the best. It only cost abut $140, had a 15X zoom, large screen but best of all it fit the way I take pictures. For some reason I found the way it was set up, particularly easy to use. Well last week I was playing with it (trying to take a picture of a marshmallow in front of the fire) and dropped it in the sand. After that it wouldn't work. The lens made a grating sound as it tried to open and then gave a "lens error" message. We tried the blow drier (hoping to blow out the sand) and WD40 (just to lubricate) but nothing worked. Goodbye little Nikon.
One of the Nikons last pictures.
The last picture
So, enough of that. We bought a new camera and although I don't like it as much, its the best we could find for our use and I will adapt to it.
I spent the weekend at the annual J.J. Ruggers hooking retreat at Apps Ridge near Paris. Apps Ridge is like being at camp; bunk beds, shared rooms and baths, all eating together at catered meals, lots of laughs and sharing of stories (a limit was put on the medical stories - "its beginning to sound like we're already in "the home"), walking in the woods. But the difference, aside from the adult beverages, is the rug hooking.
One of the classrooms. We're a messy lot.
We had 2 teachers. One class on an Autumn scene and another on geometrics which challenged us to use bright colours and different materials. I did FIFI (Find It and Finish It), which just means I didn't take a class and worked on my own project. There were 4 FIFIers.
Pat and I could see this tree out the window and felt as if we could see the colour changing, as we watched.

The rug Pat is currently working on, complete with her "artists impression" and a, very small, part of her stash.
Rug hooking is quite a social activity in this environment. At home its a solitary, almost meditative activity. There was quite a lot of discussion regarding "the stash". As the projects required that we bring wool from home, most of us had arrived with part of our "stash". Bags, tubs, suitcases all came in full of wool that we might have a use for and some left with more. For the "stash". One hooker believes that there is male wool and female wool and it multiplies, like rabbits, overnight, as an explanation for her ever growing "stash". Beginner hookers need to develop a "stash" to draw from so that they don't always have to buy exactly what they need for a rug. Rugs often evolve as they are being hooked and we need (notice the word need here) a "stash" to accommodate the changes. For experienced hookers, we don't really need wool anymore but sometimes we just fall in love with a piece or see something that would be perfect for a rug that is still just in our head, not yet on backing. We have a complicated relationship with our "stash", one that can involve pride, responsibility, guilt, comfort, joy.........
The piece I am working on, a fantasy, moonlit scene.

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