Sunday, August 16, 2009

Stair Risers & Friends!

Well, as I have mentioned before, I will never win any prizes for being a regular blogger, but when the spirit strikes, it strikes, and here I am!

" Once upon a time, there was a rug hooking group in Sudbury,Ontario( still is, actually!), and some of us were invited to one of the gals summer place on Manitoulin Island. Now, this is a gorgeous old farmhouse on Lake Mindemoya and is about as bucolic and beautiful a setting as you can get. Lovely old covered verandah, gals sitting out in jammies in the morning having cofee, hooking with friends, doing a dye workshop...lots of good food, good wine and good company in the summer of '07.

And being properly brought up 'young ladies' we never arrived empty handed, but with all the usual hostess-y type gifts, fancy soaps, bottles of wine, pretty napkins, you know the drill...well, do not ask me where this idea came from, but it just flew into my head, and here is what happened!

We had all had a wonderful week-end at Camilla's, it was awesome, the weather was glorious and we had lots of laughs and good times, but now it was time to pack up our gear and head back to our respective homes. I was just putting a few things in a bag when I heard someone coming down the staircase( Camilla as TWO in her home, remember "old farmhouse"?), well, somehow, some way, the words "STAIR RISERS" rushed into my brain!! I was so excited! I quickly ran around the the other gals who were also gathering up their gear and whispered into their ears ..."Hey, instead of hostess gifts, let's all make Camilla a riser for her stairs, and we can bring it next time!"...well,everyone seems quite smitten with the idea and we are quickly grabbed our cameras and zipped around Camilla's property to snap photos for ideas for our risers! It was great fun also trying to quickly measure the steps without Camilla wondering what the heck was going on!

So, fast forward, we are all now back in our respective towns, Sudbury, Skead, Lively,Corbeil,and North Bay and all contacting each other via email and telephone with "what are you going to hook?"..."do you like this idea?"..."hey, do you have any of that nice background, I think I am running out?"..."Yikes, what were the measurements again, I lost the paper!"...and little by little, someone would check in and say' Hey, I finished mine!", which spurred on those of us who hadn't finished.
But the next summer came and went and with weather and family committements, and new babies and illness and various other things, our ' 08 summer fling to Camilla's didn't come off.

So, here we are again, fast forward to July of 2009, and Marion calls me to say that she was thinking of getting together for a nice summer luncheon for the 'summer babies', those gals in our group who had a summer birthday, which included me as mine was the day after the luncheon!! Somehow, it came to me again, ( I am beginning to wonder about the stuff that 'comes to me'!), that maybe we should invite the North Bay gals as this was probably going to be the last time we would all be together as I was moving 'south' to Coldwater, Ontario. So a couple of calls were made, risers collected and wrapped up prettily and off we went to meet for lunch.
We had all promised 'no gifts', just cards and good wishes, so needless to say, as soon as we were settled, Camilla was surprised when I brought out a pretty gift bag with tissue and all the usual wrappings/trappings! As she started to protest, I began the above saga, explaining to her what we had done and how much fun we had all had getting this project underway and then completed!

So Camilla reached down into the bag and brought out my runner, which depicted our dyeing workshop outside in her garden, with strips of wool hanging from the clotheline and various rugs hanging on her fence...she was thrilled and thanked us all for 'our' work on this riser!! What she didn't realize was that each and every one of us had a similar prettily wrapped bag and each one contained a stair riser( and one of them contained TWO as our dear friend Bonnie couldn't be there, so Wanda brought hers as well!)...well, you can imagine the scene in the restaurant!! Everyone was smiling as we marched Camilla to the wall and took photos of her with each friend who had hooked the riser..what a treat! I think poor Camilla was a little overwhelmed, but we were all having an awesome time, admiring each riser, joking about the whole process, and reading the provenance on each piece. I was the 'winner' in the verbosity contest, yikes! My provenance reads more like "War & Peace", but what the heck, everyone says I write like I talk, so it's a good thing that I write small and could fit this whole story on the back of the riser!!

Anyway, that is our story and I hope you enjoy the photos! I am not certain if I can name each one under the respective photo, so I will give you some hints along the way...

Camilla is in the red and white stiped top and is obviously, the only one in all the photos, lol! as she is the recepient.

Nancy is the gal in the bright turquoise top with the FABULOUS grasshopper riser!

Karen is the North Bay gal with the great glasses and the riser with the amazing primitive flowers on it...based on the wonderful Hollyhocks Camilla has growing everywhere.

Wanda is also from North Bay, and is the gal with the large round necklace, and is holding the riser which is almost an exact replica of Camilla's farmhouse! Complete with the neighbours puppy at the door, and the outbuildings on her property and the lake in the background.

Marion is the lady in the back sleeveless top holding her riser which has a row of apple trees on it...Camilla's lane to her farmhouse is dotted with apple trees and Marion and Camilla had picked many,many apples there and this was Marion's memory..I can almost smell the pies now!

Bonnie was absent in person, but there in spirit ( she was at her daughter's ultrasound appointment, now I ask you, would you have given up that honour? Not me!!)
But Bonnie's is the one Camilla is holding by herself, also with gorgeous flowers( I guess I should mention that in addition to hooking, Camilla is a champion gardener, flower arranger and holticulturist, hence our focus on her gardens, they are lovely)

I ( Debbe) am the one in the black and white outfit holding the riser with the wool hanging from the clotheline...

So there we are, a grand group of friends, who are thrilled to know each other, to be a part of a terrific rug hooking group in Sudbury, and who had a fabulous time making these treats for our friend Camilla!

Thanks for reading this, hope you enjoy the photos!

Hugs, Debbe


Wendie Scott Davis said...

This is a wonderful story - and it typifies what it's all about. The risers are gorgeous, but it's the sentiment and the friendship that are truly beautiful.

It's a RHM story for sure - or at least the OHCG.

Send it along, you!!!

slk said...

Oooh, you’re such an inspiration. I love this blog!
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