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What a shock to come back to ice and snow – well not really! We ended up leaving home a day early so that we might avoid the ice and freezing rain – didn’t happen. Stayed in Ottawa overnight and had to hack an inch of ice off the car before we could leave for the airport in the morning. However, had we stayed home and left in the morning I am not sure we would have gotten out as we ended up with 2 inches of ice on our back woods roads! Then yesterday coming back all the flights from Chicago to Ottawa (as well as from other airports) were being cancelled because of 1. plane malfunctions, 2. deicers not working properly (oh that left me feeling REALLLLY secure) and 3. weather in Ottawa! However, they finally gave us a different plane and an hour late we got out – and when we arrived in Ottawa the weather wasn’t all that bad. You have to look at weather from a Canadian perspective – to us snow and slush are normal – to someone from down south it is terrifying!

The trip down was a tad nervewracking – did some heavy praying for the last hour of our flight into Phoenix. The turbulence was hmmm gutwrenching! I think a few bags made it out of the back seat pockets! It was rather funny when the flight attendants had to explain how to use them! But we landed in one piece in lovely weather (low to mid 70’s with cold nights – lovely!!!). The hotel where the classes were held was great! Airlines don’t feed you anymore – they charge you for peanuts! So being the cheapy I am (and figuring hmmmm 8.00 spent on a meal is one less piece of wool I can buy!) I was starving when we arrived at 10 p.m. and so happy to see bowls of fruit and granola bars and carafe’s of tea and coffe in the lobby! Yeah! more wool!!!!

The class was FABULOUS. Karen is an amazing designer and hooker and colourist and teacher! She is very quiet and not a rambunctious person but a very patient teacher and really thinks through her answers to your questions. I learned SOOOOO much! She talked about how value and temperature of wool affect contrast and how they along with the actual textures of the wool can be used to either emphasize contrast or act as a more blending tool depending on the effect you are trying to achieve. Karen’s rugs all look old, soft, worn, faded which is exactly the effect she is trying to achieve. Her dyed wools were fabulous as they all looked like they had been around for 50 years gathering dust! It was wonderful learning from her and I would highly recommend her classes to anyone – it has taken me years to actually find a class I could attend!.

The organizer of the class was Diane Eaton – she is such a funny and generous lady with amazing organizational skills. This class went off sooooo smoothly and was just fabulous. We arrived to goody bags on all the tables for each of us! full of chocolates, hooker hand cream, cups, news about events and WOOOOOL. To top that off, a friend of hers donated a yard of wool to each of the students in the class! Holy Cow! Wool before I even started buying!!! Diane organizes a number of classes – TRY TO TAKE ONE! They are wonderful – great teachers, great location, great food and just a wonderful group of committed rughookers from all over the place. There were 2 Canadians in the group and then the rest of the class came from all over the states! Many were from the Phoenix area so you need to book a class quickly as they fill up fast with all the local ladies who seem to take a ton of workshops!

After the class ended we spent a few more days in Arizona – in the Tucson area – doing touristy things like climbing down caves, mines and walking the desert. It was wonderful and I am already planning on going back next year and staying a few days longer because I MISSED OUT ON THE BIG HOOKIN IN TUCSON! Darn! It’s today! and where am I – cloistered in my basement with the heat on and surrounded by a skating rink outside!

So here are some of the pictures from the class – some of them I will post today and some tomorrow and maybe the next day as I did take a few!!!! Enjoy:

Karen discussing neutrals using paint chips! How brilliant is that!

Karen showing one of her rugs

Karen and Diane Eaton (our wonderful organizer, gofer, enabler!)  More to come tomorrow! Pix of the class rugs!!

13 responses »

  1. Wow, sounds like you had a great time Loretta. Looking forward to hearing more when I see you in April at the guild. Sandi

  2. Karen Massingham

    I loved those photos and really enjoy your messages. You cetainly have me interested in getting back into rug hooking. I have been away from it for a while but love what I see.


  3. Hi Loretta, So glad you’re back safe and sound! Your trip sounds amazing and I’m sure you’ll be passing on all that “inspiration” to us at camp next month. Looking forward to more pics. Sure missed your daily blog.

    • Hi there Karen… it was a wonderful trip and I am already looking forward to next years trip! I have the handouts that Karen gave us which were super – very visual which is good – and will share these at camp and tell you ALLLLLL about the class. So start saving for next year 🙂

  4. I’m sure you enjoyed your time in AZ even more since you knew what kind of weather would be waiting for you when you got home! LOL A couple of our Utah hookers were in attendance at this event too – I can’t wait to see them next so I can look at all the pictures they took!

    • Hi Gayle I loveeee winter (primarily because it gives me time to work inside instead of outside in heat, bugs, humidity gardening and restaining the house every year). But I must admit i REALLY enjoyed the AZ weather! And was not tooooo interested in coming back to our wierd winter! More freezing rain than anything… Loved the group of hookers I was with – and yes I met the Utah hookers!

  5. oh I am so jealous. Glad you are back in one piece to yes WINTER! I nearly brained myself walking my dog just now. One broken leg in the family is enough. What camp are you referring to?

    take care, trish

    • Hi Trish yes NOOOOOO more broken legs in the family!!!! I am afraid to go out – funny how as you get older you think about breaking things when you fall!!!! The camp is camp Iawah – we do a retreat every spring for a weekend. We hook (don’t cook), sleep on rubber mattresses!!!! (no worries about accidents in the middle of the night), do little workshops and have fun!

  6. HOOOOooooooOOOOooo,
    I would also love to hear all your new found secrets but I will not be at tha camp this March…
    How about you tell me all about it the next time we meet. I don’t want to miss any details. Karen seems to be a very calm person. You can see this calmness in her hooking. Of course, I would love to take a course with her. May be one day.

  7. I LOVE to spread the love of Rug hooking, I Love to eat and I loved meeting you. Your hooking was just beautiful.


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