Monday, 28 July 2014

Traditional Rug Hooking - "Shades of Georgia"

Now that Teri and Greg are married and I have given them their wedding gift rug, I can post it's story.
This begins in December of 2012 when George and I were in San Diego and saw Georgia O'Keefe's White Trumpet Flower in an art gallery there. I loved it and knew that someday I would like to hook it.
Taken from an internet image
Then in October 2013 I was enrolled in the Shades of Grey course taught by Majorie Diezer at the Ancaster OHCG school. The trumpet flower seemed like a perfect  image for this exercise. I did some preliminary research on how to get permission to do this and could find nothing about how to contact whoever now has the rights to Georgia O'Keefe's paintings. As it was intended for my own use I decided to go ahead with the project.
Rasta was of course helpful at every step.
This is the swatch I used to create the shading in the flower. There are 2 different plaid pieces, 2 other
pieces of textured wool, a scarf, a yarn, one piece of commercially dyed wool and 2 of hand dyed wool.
It is a 10 value swatch with 2 values from one of the plaids.

Still providing his valuable assistance
The flower itself completed.
At this point I had to decide whether to stay with the all grey tones or add in some colour. I had already decided that it would be a wedding gift for Teri and Greg and I intended to make it into a cushion as that would make it more versatile for them and most people I have given rugs to are reluctant to put them on the floor.
I decided to bring some colour in and this is the green swatch I created. An 8 value swatch , Blue Spruce,
dyed by Ingrid (Ragg Tyme), 2 plaids (one gave me two values) and a yarn. This gave me a 12 value swatch.
The finished piece, whipped with a combination of the grey and the green yarns used in the hooking.
I ran out of time in terms of making it into a cushion so indicated on the card to Greg and Teri that I will do that for them, or a hanging, if they prefer. Now I have to find out how to get permission to show it at the OHCG Annual next spring. My first step will be contacting the gallery where I first saw the picture.
If Rasta is not on the hooking or under the hoop playing with a dangling piece of wool,
he's in the bag with the rest of the hooking supplies.

For a totally different update: the vegetable garden is producing at an amazing rate. I have been eating lettuce and kale since early June but now I also have snap peas (none of them make it into the house however), 2 kinds of beans (I've frozen some already), zucchini, basil, mint, stavia, swiss chard and cherry tomatoes (red and yellow).
A rather large zucchini and green and purple beans.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Honey Harbour - annual visit

Every year, for the past few, I have visited Aimee and Greg at their cottage on an island. This year, we were joined by their granddaughters for 5 of the days. Last year it was their grandsons. Whereas last year it was a beautiful warm week, this year it was cool, windy and often stormy. However there was still a chance to do those things we do at "Heaven" (Greg's name for the cottage).
Watch the Osprey parents tend their young
Kayak through the marshes and between the little rock islands, follow a loon
and make the turtles dive quickly into the water from sunning themselves on the rocks.
Eat and drink and play cards. This salmon, ready for the BBQ, was covered in sour cream, dill,
onion and lemon slices. It was delicious and we turned the leftovers into a salmon
spread that we ate on crackers or dipped veggies into.
Pick tiny, sweet wild raspberries.
Enjoy the sunset from the dock.
Walk the island paths, laid down in stone, by a previous cottager, decades ago
and enjoy all the wildflowers.
Even the rock vegetation is beautiful
Admire the colours, stripes and swirls of the rocks along the shore and jutting out of
the water.
Every year I enjoy the differences between this cottage and mine on Lake Erie: the clear water of Georgian Bay, the rocks and pines, the loons and water snakes, the long dock walk to the little motor boat. But mostly it's about reconnecting and enjoying the company of a couple who we lived next door to for about 18 years. A time when we were all working and raising families but found the time to party together, help each other out and share a pool and a hot tub (one in each yard). Good friends for a long time where I can be totally comfortable and relaxed.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Lake Erie Interclub Race and Rally - Summary

As usual, the Interclub was exhilarating, fun, boring, exciting, social, frustrating, hot, cool, windy, still ..... and we only did three races.
Overall it was very well organized and provides a good racing experience and lots of opportunities to engage with other racers on a variety of different boats. The host clubs were hospitable and the events great fun. The weather always plays a major part as does damage to the boats and their sails.
The rally or cruising division is a relatively recent add on and as such has some pros and cons. It is nice to race on a comfortable, stable boat and to be able to motor if not able to complete the race on time. However at times it feels like the fleet is a second class citizen. The results are not routinely announced when flags are given out. (The results were given of the 2 first races during the PDYC ceremony however according to the website those results were not correct). Flags are not awarded. In previous years there have been more participants in the rally fleet but I wonder if cruisers did not feel they were getting the same value as racers.
Our personal experience was marred by the fact that we did not read the race rules completely and were therefor disqualified from 2 of the 3 races we competed in. We were rather angry with ourselves!
We were pleased by Zatarra's performance even in heavy conditions and that we became much more adept at raising, flying and dowsing the Asymetrical.
Sailing with Paul and Sharon (and 2 races with Bob too) was fun and the days on the water always pleasurable.
One of the high points for me was recognizing a photograph I took, in graphic form, on the back of this years Interclub shirts.

This is shot of Graffitti on last years Port Dover to Port Colborne race that I posted on the blog.
I submitted a similar one to the Interclub photo contest and it became ....
... the back of the T shirt this year.
The sail home was uneventful, straight into a 10knot plus wind that picked up considerably for the last half hour. We passed the Wednesday night race fleet going out as we entered the marina but I declined Caliedascope's crew's offer to join them.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Port Colborne - trapped by the wind

We had planned on sailing home on Canada Day but woke to howling winds. The rest of the fleet set off to race and we stayed in our slip, watched the wind indicator, watched the weather forecast and planned how to spend our day. We caught the marina shuttle and went out to breakfast (Sambos) and then I walked back down to the marina.
Entrance to the last lock on the Welland Canal
Port Colborne is a great place to boat watch as there is a lot of commercial and leisure boat traffic on the way between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
2 wooden tall ships came through the locks and were picking up more young trainees
before heading up Lake Erie, Detroit River and on to Goderich on Lake Huron.
This huge motor yacht was waiting to get into the locks.
Two huge kites being flown over the park by the marina.
It was Canada Day after all and the park next to the marina had kites, rides, bouncy castles and later that night fireworks. We tried to wait up for them but didn't make it to the required 10pm. We heard them from our berths. Getting old!!

Lake Erie Interclub Race and Rally - Port Dover to Port Colborne

It was another early race start (though not as early as the first!) and we scrambled to get going in time.
I don't have many close up sailboat shots for this race as we took a tack, hoping for speed, that took us
out into the lake and away from the rest of the fleet.
I did get some nice shots of Unbridled sailing by with their unusual Tree
Frog spinnaker.
If the wind is consistent there's not a lot to do on a long distance race.
Bob and Paul took a nap while I was at the helm. Sharon was napping in the cabin
We did some laundry. Washed a jib sheet that had diesel on it from an overfill.
We sailed most of the way to Port Colborne with the jib and then the Asymetrical. But the wind was dropping and the fleet sailed to the horizon ahead of us and then one by one disappeared leaving only our own, Rally/Cruising fleet in view (one behind and two ahead)
Like Spinnakers, most Asymetrical  sails are brightly coloured.
Coming into Port Colborne can be quite exciting with the Welland canal discharging huge commercial vessels into Lake Erie right at the entrance to the Sugarloaf Marina.
Mad Maxx in front of a laker going into the Welland canal.
We then followed it in as Sugarloaf Marina is just to the left as you go into the canal
This was our last race, we didn't plan on doing the last 2 and, just like last year, it was a good thing as the winds were 30 knots plus the next day. So we settled into our slip, relaxed and were again disqualified. This time we found out why. How embarrassing, we had not read the race rules completely and found out that you had to be under sail at the start and the finish line. Seems obvious when I think about it but after a day on the water all we wanted to do was finish. If we had realized we would have turned off the engine and unfurled the head sail and sailed across the finish line. Oh well, fun anyway.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Lake Erie Interclub Race and Rally - Long Point Bay Race

After sleeping in our own beds and with a civilized start time on Sunday, we were raring to go again on Zatarra 1. There was a good wind and the boat responded very well on the up wind leg to the Bluffs Bar buoy. Sharon's son Bob had now joined us, thank goodness, as there was a lot of grinding to be done as we tacked up wind. Because Zatarra likes 12plus knots we were even passing some boats and managed to stay with the pack for much of that leg.
Dreamer sailing by during the start sequence. What a beautiful wooden boat.
News, overtaking us. It was the kind of day that you needed plenty of "rail meat"
to keep the boat at optimum heal.

Once we rounded the mark we slowed right down and everyone passed us. Zatarra doesn't like the downwind leg.
Sometimes it takes a while to get the spinnaker ...
...just right,
and it doesn't always stay that way.
We picked up on the third leg again but were last across the line.
Party with free booze again.
Most participants ended up at the Port Dover Yacht Club for liquid refreshments and a catered Perch Dinner. This was followed by the announcement of 1st, 2nd and 3rd in each fleet in each of the first 2 races. Zatarra (actually she was called Zantarra and Zatarrus - its a tough name to pronounce) was declared first in the rally fleet for the Erie to Dover race (later we were disqualified - more on that in a later post) and second in the Long Point Bay Race. We were thrilled.
I slept on the boat Sunday night as Monday was another early start.
Sunset behind the dingy - that's the give away that we are in the "rally" fleet.