Yesterday, my dear friend Pat Eaton (www.birdnestontheground.blogspot.com), came to visit. I love company and Pat always makes me smile, plus - she is a fabulous ego boost. I am her #1 Fan and, happily; she seems to enjoy my work as well.
My house is where I live - I don't live for my house, if you catch my meaning. I use my house and it is evident - everywhere. My dinning room, for example, has my Elna set up at one end of the table. Also, there is a storage box with three drawers (now this is not a permanent fixture, I just brought it in because I have been making some Christmas ornaments and the supplies were in the bottom drawer). Actually, the Elna isn't a permanent fixture either - I just don't have the room in my Studio to set up another machine. Also, I've been dying some woolen fabric and yarns and they are spread out all over one end of my table, too; along with a Quilt top on which I am currently working.
In my living room, where I nest each evening after dinner, I have my drawing tablet out and my tray of pencils. I've been working on a tree. I enjoy drawing sometimes and trees are one of my favorite subjects.
I said all that just to make the point that if you come to my house, it is evident that I'm doing stuff and sometimes it brings comment.
Pat came down to North Little Rock from Searcy, AR., to bring me presents. Oh, YES! Wonderful, fabulous presents.
Last Thursday at our monthly 'Beader Bunch' gathering at my friend Jim's house, (of which Pat and I are members) my 'Show and Tell' was my dyed fibers, my canvas on which I have begun a rug hooking project, and several of my new 'Baskets' that I made from men's neck ties. (And that's another thing - every flat surface in my home is covered with my 'Baskets')
Well, Pat said that she had a lot of ties that she wanted me to have. That got me really excited but then she added that she also had a cutter that rug hookers use to cut large pieces of wool into tiny strips. I hadn't had any idea that Pat was ever involved in rug hooking and it seems that she really never was. She had inherited it from our dear friend Sharon Heidingsfelder. She said that the cutter was in a box on a top shelf out in the 'Birdnest' and it was not being, nor had it ever been; used. She wanted me to have it. Now, I am an excitable Chic, but this put me 'over the moon'! I had asked EC to look on e-bay to find me a cutter, but so far he hadn't found one - so this was just fabulous!
At this point I feel that I need to mention - last April, while in Paducah, KY. for the annual AQS Quilt Show, I met a vendor selling rug hooking supplies and because it was all so beautiful and; she convienced me - so easy; naturally I bought some things to get started. A hook, a canvas and a stack of beautiful wool. When I got home I mentioned to a friend about my purchase and she told me I needed to talk to a mutual friend who was deeply involved in rug hooking. Well, time passed and during Christmas I ran into the friend, Ann, at Joann's. We got together on the first Saturday of this month for the first time. It seems there is a rug hooking group that meets in Jacksonville at the Library on first Saturdays - who knew? - so Ann invited me. I took my little box of 'beginnings' (I had never hooked the first strand of wool) and a whole new world of 'Hookers' was opened to me! It seems that 'Hooking' has it's own little sub-culture - sort of like Quilters! Again - Who Knew!? Now, on top of all my other 'addictions' - rug hooking has my attention. But to be a real 'Hooker' you really need a cutter and my friend Pat was offering me one as a 'Present'!
So..............., that is why Pat came to my house. She brought me a very large suitcase and a large pink box, both loaded to the top with men's ties and she brought me the 'cutter'! We spent time going over the cutter and the different blades that came with it and we also looked at all the other treasures that she wanted me to have. She brought books and magazines on rug hooking, some additional canvases and yarns. What a deal! It was better that anything!!
But, as the morning passed, and we finished the tour, (tour - that part of the visit when you trapse around the house looking at all the stuff and since my work is all out for anyone to see, it is easily picked up, inspected and commented on) Pat and I were talking about the stuff we do. You know, the Quilting, the beading, the embroidery (Pat's embroidery is fabulous - Billions upon Billions of the tiniest French Knots - oh My!). Anyway, Pat mentioned that she would be a great factory worker. Doing something on a line over and over again! I agreed. In my youth (when I was 18 - 19) I worked at the RCA plant in Memphis, TN. on an assembly line. I was a wire wrapper. I had my little gun and I would 'zip' those little wires on that post 'quick like a bunny'. As a matter of fact - I was so fast I would work back up the line to the beginning and then take off to visit my friends elsewhere in the plant. Then run back and wrap some more.
We agreed that tedium did not bother us. That is why we love to sit and make the small things that we do. I like to make 3 1/2 inch log cabin squares with 100 pieces, or fussy cut ferns, or draw trees with all the tiny branches, or wrap thousands of feet of cording with fabric to make a few baskets and never get bored. Pat loves to make the billions of tiny French Knots that make her beautiful framed art and her wonderful pin cushions so fabulous.
And the reason - Purely for the love of it. The Quilts, baskets, pin cushions, rug hooking, painting, drawing - we do it for the love of it. Because it adds some beauty in the world and puts a smile on faces of friends.
In conclusion - Pat and I spent a wonderful time - we are a mutual admiration society -she is a fabulous artist and a generous friend. Thank you Pat.
We'll talk later - Carol Ann