One fish, two fish…

Photo by Vicki Cameron: Fishbowl creations by the Fabulous Five

“We had a blast!”

“They are addictive.”

“We laughed and played like kids in a sandbox, each doing their own thing but marvelling in others’ creations.”

That’s apparently what happened when the ‘Fabulous Five’ spent much of a cold November day creating vibrant fishbowl prototypes for the 2018 Annual.

I sure wish I had been there! I try not to waste much time or energy envying anyone – or their possessions, accomplishments, creations – but this one definitely had me feeling jealous. It sounded like such big fun! And the camaraderie and inspired sharing that the participants described perfectly captures what I think rug hooking is all about.

Laura Boszormeny was delighted with the outcome of her end-of-course challenge to students taking the ‘Textured Techniques in Rug Hooking’ course, part of the Fibre Arts certificate program at St. Lawrence College (Brockville campus). “The results far exceeded our expectations … The fact [that] the students were using what they had learned in class [about 3D creative stitches and alternate fibres] and moving beyond that was special for me, personally.”

The longtime rug hooking teacher says the students who agreed to add an extra day to their course to participate were happy to help with pre-Annual preparations. They pooled their materials, vision, excitement and “treasures” to produce samples that various ambassadors will now use in travels around Area 1 to encourage more contributions, and to stir up interest in the event.

Contributor Vicki Cameron summed it up nicely: “That one word, fishbowl, opened up a whole flood of ideas … [and] when an idea this brief conjures up so many creative responses, you know it’s a great idea, and a project bound for success.”

Let’s hope she’s right; some 50-55 fishbowls are needed by next May!

The marine-themed creations offer a refreshingly lighthearted take on centrepieces. You’ll see some remarkable wonders relating to the theme ‘Hooked on Waterways’. Think crazy fish, sunken ships, turtles, lighthouses, sparkly things, mermaids, shells, starfish, frogs on lily pads. They’re sure to make a splash.

And then there’s the dinner

Some 400 Annual attendees and guests are expected for the Saturday night gala. That’s when winners of the Theme and Rowan awards are announced and rug hookers gather to catch their breath, take stock of all they’ve learned and enjoy the company of friends old and new.

No problem, right? Even our indomitable planning lead, Lesley Larsen, admits that the details, logistics and expectations have kept her hopping. Ottawa is an expensive place to host a big do, she notes, and it’s tricky to figure out timing, menu and entertainment that will suit such a large, diverse crowd while sticking to a tight budget.

“It’s like when you entertain at home,” she explains. “You want it to be fun and entertaining … [but] you know you can’t please everybody, and that’s hard.”

There’ll be live music, and Lesley has alerted those who are so inclined that they should bring their dancing shoes. The Back Beat is an Ottawa-based band with considerable experience playing pubs, community events, private parties, bonspiels and more. You’ll no doubt hear a favourite tune — whether you favour music from the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s or something more current.

Let’s party, everyone!

I can’t close without expressing my deep thanks to the Fabulous Five for so openly – and quickly – telling me about me their impressions and experiences relating to Project Fishbowl: Laura Boszormeny, Vicki Cameron, Lesley Larsen, Sue Perry, Maureen Robertson.

See you in the loop,
Marla, Content creator

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About ottawarughooking

Olde Forge Rug Hooking Branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada will, together with other branches in Area 1, co-host the 2018 Annual of the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild.
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