Annual 2016 Post 4

The vast number of amazing rugs on display at this year’s annual was truly a feast for the eyes. Here’s the last instalment of those I managed to photograph. DSCN0573DSCN0562DSCN0582DSCN0541I’m sorry this is out of focus. It is hooked entirely from ‘as is’ blankets cut by hand.DSCN0528DSCN0572DSCN0555DSCN0554DSCN0587DSCN0575DSCN0543DSCN0566I can almost feel the hot sun! The use of light is soooo effective.

DSCN0571DSCN0558DSCN0556DSCN0599DSCN0578DSCN0560DSCN0557DSCN0592DSCN0520DSCN0527DSCN0509DSCN0550DSCN0552DSCN0565….another reversed hooking background…DSCN0553… proddy flowers creating a 3D effectDSCN0539The skill and diversity  of the hooking artists of Ontario was certainly evident at this wonderful exhibition.

While I was off feasting my eyes and enjoying my weekend, Ray was home by himself, and having to sleep alone…….well not quite… spot in the bed was immediately taken over.DSCN0604Thanks for stopping by.



Annual 2016 Post 3

As it’s name implies, traditional rug hooking was primarily for creating rugs. While that is still a large part of what we rug hookers create, more and more we see both works of art to be hung on walls or utilitarian objects for other uses being created.

Here are some of the non-floor items on display last weekend. I’ll begin with a few of the utilitarian items I saw.DSCN0591

DSCN0590These bags were made at a workshop given by Bea Grant. The hooking is done right into the wool fabric (as opposed to the more usual backing)DSCN0602.jpgThis one uses both pennies and appliqué.

There were many lovely pillows to be found, but these three stunning examples really caught my eye.DSCN0523DSCN0526 (1)DSCN0498…decorative items…..DSCN0586The pumpkin stems are real…DSCN0529a vase….created by hooking into a crocheted base…..DSCN0544…sculptured hooking….

DSCN0600….and even hooked slippers.

Many are created as works of art to be given place of pride on a wall.DSCN0518The polar bears are stuffed appliqué.DSCN0532DSCN0536.jpgDSCN0549DSCN0588DSCN0577.jpgDSCN0563.jpg

DSCN0547DSCN0574DSCN0534 (1)DSCN0548DSCN0545I must apologize to Kathy. I shouldn’t have used the flash, because this beautiful abstract actually shows only as deep purple/blues.DSCN0559DSCN0589The background of this piece is done in reverse hooking (literally hooked from the back) which allows the foreground to stand out with a 3D effect.

I’ll finish with two pieces that really had a personal impact on me.DSCN0593‘The simplicity and elegance of the design and the very restricted colour palette made this beautiful piece one I’ll long remember.

DSCN0576….and this  literally brought tears to my eyes. The title is “I Want To Go Back”.

I’ll finish up tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by.

Annual 2016 Post 2

Every year, the annual has a theme. 2016 is the 50th anniversary of the founding of OHCG, and the theme this year was “Going for Gold”.DSCN0504

Members are always invited to hook a piece reflecting the theme, and these are then displayed in a group and a winner is chosen. This year the hooking reflected a wide interpretation of the theme idea, making for a fascinating variety in the display. DSCN0514DSCN0511DSCN0507DSCN0505DSCN0515DSCN0506….and the winner was….13124607_10154120938930762_3407957103574331152_n….this delightful footstool, hooked entirely with reminiscences from 50 years ago.

Rugs can be on display only, or entered for competition in a variety of categories. Once again, somehow I failed to get photos of all the winners. I’m missing the ‘oriental’  and the ‘fine cut’ winners, and I apologize for being unable to show them……but, here are the others….

DSCN0597The winner of the wide cut classification…DSCN0595The pictorial winner….DSCN0570This fascinating piece was affixed to a round shape, and the woodpecker was sculpted to stand out from the tree. Unfortunately that doesn’t really show up in the photo.DSCN0601

This amazing rug won two awards. The award for original design, and the R0wan ‘People’s Choice Award.’ The detail, and the stories in it require a very long look, and I’m sure it will be a family treasure for generations to come.

I still have many more rugs to share, so tune in tomorrow for the next instalment.



OHCG Annual 2016 Featured Artists

I’ve just spent a wonderful weekend at the OHCG Annual. (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild). This year it was held at Deerhurst Lodge near Huntsville Ontario in the heart of beautiful Muskoka, about an hour north of where I live. The stimulation of seeing soooo many beautiful rugs was sometimes overwhelming. Every time I walked through the exhibition hall I saw rugs I’d missed before. I’ll do several posts on the events, and the first is about this year’s two featured artists, Diane Ayles and Shirley Lyons.

This stunning pictorial by Diane was one of my favourites in the whole show.  The way she captured the light on the leaves would catch your eye from across the room.

DSCN0501This water lily also demonstrates how she can capture the light  in nature and the serenity of a woodland pond.DSCN0502When I got home, I was dismayed to realize that these were the only two photos I had of her work, but they certainly demonstrate her amazing skill.

The other featured artist was Shirley Lyons, a long time, well known teacher in Ontario. Many of her  students are now teachers themselves and her skills with a hook are legendary in our area.

Few can match her realistic shaded flowers.DSCN0494…..her orientals….DSCN0492DSCN0491…pictorials…..DSCN0496DSCN0487DSCN0488DSCN0486DSCN0497…and other myriad styles….DSCN0490DSCN0495DSCN0485DSCN0500….and my personal favourite…these wonderful tessellated geese.DSCN0516 (1)It was wonderful to see and appreciate her body of work.

Each individual group had a display, as well as many vendors. I’ve much more to share in further posts.

Of course seeing the rugs and shopping for supplies is only one facet of such a gathering. What makes it so much fun are friends to talk and laugh with…..DSCN0481DSCN0474DSCN0480Business to attend to…..DSCN0482And of course the surroundings weren’t too shabby either….activity on the golf course….DSCN0466.jpg….sunset from the window in our room….DSCN0469

Is it any wonder I was smiling?DSCN0477Much more to follow.

Thanks for stopping by.



Share and Share Alike

At this year’s annual (which I wasn’t able to attend), an exciting new venture was launched which will involve all the OHCG groups.

The Friendship Rug is designed by Debbie Ballard, measures 60”x72” and is being hooked throughout The Year of the Craft (2015) and commemorates The Fiftieth Anniversary of OHCG  2016. 
Rug hookers are invited to hook their hands on the rug as it travels throughout Ontario, with its final destination being the 50th Annual conference at Deerhurst Inn in 2016. It has embarked on its journey beginning in Fort Frances and was at the conference in London. It has spent this week in Orillia, and at R.U.G. on Saturday it will be passed on to another group.DSCF7508 (1)
What a wonderful way for the rug hookers in Ontario to celebrate the Year of Craft….by combining efforts to create one large work of art…and how appropriate to have the topic be the 50th anniversary of OHCG (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild)….to be celebrated officially at next year’s annual.

During the past week, several of us completed hooking our hand, and at our meeting on Tuesday, a table was set up for others to do the same.

DSCF7520Mary and Rachael are working side by side.. DSCF7512

Many in our group tend to the wild and imaginative. I don’t know who hooked them all, but Gail  M. hooked hers in her signature vibrant reds and scarlets, while Cheri has used her favourite acid greens. Karen hooked hers last week when it was so unseasonably cold, so her hand has striped mittens, while mine is in the foreground in orange and rust with sparkly gold nail polish.
Fort Francis, the only other group to complete theirs so far , have created beautiful, lifelike hands in true flesh tones.
DSCF7509 (1)
Some folks at the annual drew and outlined their hand.DSCF7513 (4)
Some hands are complete…..DSCF7522….like Rachael’s. ….and some…..DSCF7527 (1)
….are grasping the edge.DSCF7526 (1)
It’s a large undertaking in more ways than one. … Look for it coming to an Ontario Guild near you.
I can’t wait to see the completed version next year in Huntsville.
Thanks for stopping by.

Dream Big

I’m demonstrating for a day at the upcoming International Ploughing Match, and obviously have to have some hooking to do. Having just completed my last project, that meant I had to get something underway quickly. Hmmmm  what to do???  Cheri and Gail came to the rescue.  They’re both investigating “graffiti” which  is the theme for next year’s annual….and were amazed and excited about the scope and intricacy  of this “street art”. Sounded like a great idea to me.

…..something simple and not too big that I can get working on quickly…..this caught my eye. Not the colours, or the text but the style.


…… then out with the pencils to sketch ideas. When I was satisfied with the lettering, I traced it with a sharpie,

DSCF6759then used my printer to enlarge it to 8.5 x 11,


added some “extras”DSCF6761

….then headed to the Copy Shop and had them double the size to 17″ x  22″


I don’t have a light table, but this is a small project, and I was anxious to get it underway, so I used the window method to transfer the pattern to my backing.DSCF6770

All this involves is taping the pattern to the window, then (having drawn the dimensions on the backing), taping the backing over top, and drawing the pattern directly. It’s not as accurate as my usual method, but great for a simple project. (just don’t save money by buying your green paint tape at a dollar store as I did….it didn’t stick well and kept slipping).

So now it’s started.DSCF6773

Now my only problem is to go slowly enough that I still have some to finish while hooking at the ploughing match…..or I could begin planning my next project….


More Annual Photos

It will be time for next year’s annual by the time I finish posting photos from this year!

These are a few of the rugs from the various guild displays, starting with Sunshine Rug Hookers.




The rest are from various guilds, unfortunately I don’t know which ones. DSCF6451DSCF6452DSCF6453DSCF6455DSCF6456DSCF6457DSCF6460DSCF6464DSCF6463DSCF6466DSCF6467DSCF6468DSCF6469DSCF6471DSCF6472DSCF6473DSCF6474DSCF6475……..and still more to come in one more post.


Theme Rugs from the Annual and a Tribute to Judith Auger

I’m sorry to take so long to complete showing all the photos I took last week at the annual…..the weather has been so perfect here, and the wee veggie garden needed to be planted,  the car needed to go to the garage…….etc….but finally here is the next installment of fantastic rugs from Oshawa.

The theme for this year’s annual was “texture” and the display of rugs in the theme category showed a wonderful variety of ways in which using texture can either enhance or define a piece. (texture meaning use of textured hooking materials plaids, sparkly yarns, laces …or anything else you can hook through or attach to  the backing) I don’t have photos of all the entries, but here are the ones I have.DSCF6442


These pieces were fascinating. I’m only guessing, but it seems like a “triptych” hooked perhaps by three different people, each with a different interpretation, and style. (the three different numbers showing that it is to be judged as three entries, not one) . I’d love to hear the actual story , if anyone knows.  PS…. Thanks to Susan Sutherland….here’s more info on these rugs…..they were hooked by three women from the Ottawa area, ( one being Barbara Lukas) and they were featured in an article in Rug Hooking Magazine.





…..and the winner was….DSCF6441

….hooked by Barbara Lukas…. depicting her porch in winter. I’m really bad at remembering numbers….but I think she said she used 70 different colours to capture the snow and ice.DSCF6547It was so great to meet her and have time chatting over both dinner and at breakfast. I’ve still got pictures I took of the various guild group displays for another post.

Meanwhile…..back on the homefront…..Sunshine Rug Hookers were treated on Tuesday to the work of Judith Auger. Judith is a relatively new rug hooker, whose artistic talents are evident as she explores her new passion.

We share her with a group in Florida where she started hooking in 2012.


Her first rug was for her husband, a scene from the maritimes recalling his youth.


….such beautiful work for a new hooker!….her second piece…


her first geometric….Judith isn’t a seamstress, and doesn’t own a sewing machine and she isn’t happy with the finishing on this rug. She plans to redo the binding over the summer. She is assiduous in searching for finishing techniques which will work well for her.

….to that end she has started this rug using Doris Eaton’s finishing method….(well she admits it is not exactly Doris’ technique, but her own interpretation of it)DSCF6557

Judith is so creative that she sometimes likes to just start hooking with an idea, and nothing drawn, and see where it takes her….


….how beautiful is that!!!

….or this….done the same way….DSCF6553

…she calls this one “Lagoon”.

She is still making decisions about her poppies….DSCF6550DSCF6549

….We’re lucky to have her as a member at Sunshine Rug Hookers….even if it is only for half of the year.

Barb D’Arcy, Featured Artist at OHCG

Each year OHCG honours the work and skill of one rug hooker. This year’s featured artist was Barb D’Arcy.


(please excuse the fuzzy photo)

Barb had loved rug hooking from the age of 13, when she first saw hooked rugs on the floors during a visit to P.E.I. , but it wasn’t until she retired from Bell Canada in 1988, that she actually took up hooking herself. She soon became an OHCG and McGown certified teacher, and she quickly became  a popular and renowned teacher.

Her rugs have been shown at many venues, including The Textile Museum, Etobicoke City Hall. The Creative Needlework Festival, and Home Makers Magazine.

She is popular as a judge for rug hooking shows, has served on the board of OHCG (Ontario Hooking Craft Guild), and is a past VP of TIGHR (International Guild of Hand Hooking Rug Makers)

Her home studio, was called a magical place by her students, and her greatest joy was to launch beginners and guide them to become skilled artizans. She retired from teaching after fire destroyed her studio.

Barb regards both rug hooking and life as a journey, and lives by the motto….”Learning is Forever”. She believes that rug hooking is a form of artisitic self expression and is forever grateful to her friends and all those who have enabled her to continue on her own journey .


I somehow missed a full picture of this beautiful red oriental.DSCF6420

…but this one shows the intricacy and detail.DSCF6421

Many of her rugs have a Canadian theme or inspiration.DSCF6422

Barb hooked the bunny “Mason” …the original is  at the North American Rug Hooking Museum with the fabulous Noah’s Ark. This is a much larger version, and what a charming fellow he is.DSCF6424

Barb is adept with all styles and cuts.DSCF6425





….with striking colour…..DSCF6428

…..or more subtle tones….




This is the top of a beautiful footstool. The hooking so compliments the graceful lines of the legs (which as you can see I didn’t photograph).

With Barb’s guidance, many of her students have  become master hookers themselves, and some of their work was also in the display.



….and the top of this incredible runner…..full of Canadian wildlifeDSCF6433









This last one is hooked by Barb’s student Elaine Copeman and won the wide cut award two years ago at the annual in North Bay.DSCF6438



Barb is both a skilled artist herself and a master teacher. Her influence and love of hooking will be passed along to posterity as she and those she has guided continue to to create their expressions of “Life’s Journey”



OHCG 2014 The Teachers’ Challenge

What a wonderful weekend at Durham College in Oshawa. I didn’t even begin to get photos of all the pieces on display, but I certainly have enough to provide a feel for the wonderful work I saw (and several blog posts). As well as the various guild displays, there were several specialty displays and I’m going to start with one that I just loved. “The Teachers Challenge”.

Members of the teachers group were given a challenge.

They were given this line drawing…


….and challenged to hook it …any way they liked.

DSCF6509….What fantastic results, and such a learning experience to see the wide variety of interpretations, styles and techniques they used.

The wide variety of treatments of the rocks, shows an intimate knowledge of the Canadian Shield and the infinite possible colours in granite


DSCF6522 DSCF6513DSCF6514




….some chose the special effects of a sunset…with a silhouette style

DSCF6517……or a different season….with a monochromatic treatment



….or tiling…DSCF6521

…..or mosaic…..DSCF6516

or a more modern treatment….(I’m sure there’s a proper name for this style, but I can’t think of it)DSCF6510


….or a monochromatic straight line treatmentDSCF6518


….or a wonderful night time interpretation. I can just hear  and the waves lapping gently on the shore.DSCF6523

What a powerful sky in this rendition. I can feel the wind blowing. even the trees have a wind blown aspect, and the highlights in the rocks balance the sky so well.DSCF6511


….and another amazing sky….the wool for the sky was painted, then reverse hooked…and the spaces evenly staggered to create the regular “swiss dot ” effect.DSCF6533

Wow! What talent…..and what a lesson on the endless possibilities of a black line drawing!

….and that was just one small display….I’ll show another one next blog.

In the meantime…I’m recouperating from all the fun and food and laughter of a marvelous weekend away with hookers.

Thanks for dropping by.