Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Becoming A Happy Hooker

Mind out of the gutter people! A RUG hooker, not Main Street at midnight. I love doing crafty things, but frankly my crocheting had gotten out of hand. I can basically only do squares, which results in a LOT of afghans. The neighbors and relatives pretend they aren't home if they see me coming with something that could be yet another afghan, I'm like the crazy neighbor who grew too much zucchini and resorts to leaving bags of the stuff on strangers doorsteps in the dark of night. Clearly I needed a new gig.

I have long thought that hooked rugs were just beautiful, and it seemed to be a fairly easy craft to learn. I started googling for classes and/or supplies in my town and kept coming up empty until I finally found a lady who was the contact person for the Hookers Guild in this area. Bless her heart, she not only teaches classes and sells supplies, but she was teaching a class in two days! Was I interested? Yes I was! Sign me up. So on Monday night I headed for my first rug hooking class.

It was quite small, just me, the instructor and another woman who was OH so not new at this. She showed me some pictures of her creations and I was really amazed at the intricacy of her work. Intimidated, but amazed. I resolved to not even look in her direction as the class began.

Kate, the instructor had me pick out the packet of fabric that I liked, and handed me a hook. Then she demonstrated the technique for making the loops. It looked really easy when she did it, but I soon discovered that some practice is definitely required. For two hours I beavered away at my rug and finally finished the outline of one square, and part of the row inside. The other woman in the class had made significantly more progress, but I tried not to be discouraged. I was sure that my speed was going to pick up.

The next day I got all my chores done and settled down to work on my rug. Here are some things that I learned on my First Day As A Hooker:

When your husband calls and asks what you are doing, do not tell him you are hooking. This will only upset him.
Whoever invented the Loop Lifter should be elected president and given a sparkly tiara.
Remember to stop long enough to eat lunch and let the dog out. Otherwise the consequences tend to become obvious.
There is a reason serious hookers use those lap frames instead of an embroidery hoop. I must find one.
This is your first project. It is NOT going to look like the amazing things your instructor has hanging in her studio. Do not expect it to.

So, there's Day One. Stay tuned to see what subsequent days reveal!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

How Romance Novels Have Ruined Our Lives

I've been in the mood to read the literary equivalent of junk food recently - romance novels. You can just sort of veg out as you read them, and you know that they will live happily ever after after some kind of misunderstanding is cleared up. In novels the couples are always amazing looking, in great shape, with killer wardrobes. They have heart-meltingly romantic dates. They have mind blowing sex multiple times a day, they both have dozens of simultaneous orgasms, and nobody ever has morning breath or has to sleep in the wet spot. Oh come ON. How can you not look askance at your husband when you compare YOUR life to the book woman's life? I mean I GET it that nobody wants to read a book about a couple who are exhausted at the end of the day and just want to get some sleep, but still..... would a LITTLE reality be that bad?

Do you ever wish that an author would go back and re-visit one of their romance novel couples about 15 years down the road, and write about what really happens? No? Maybe that would spoil the dream......

Friday, January 28, 2011

The Subject Is Weddings

I was one of those little girls who grew up planning her wedding. My mom and I would spend hours planning bridesmaids dresses and flowers - both of which were ever changing. The only constant was the Princess in the midst of it ... me. Sadly, none of those little-girls dreams ever came true. My mom died when I was 15, and although I've been married twice, neither one was the amazing, over the top princess extravaganza that I dreamed of so many years before.

As luck would have it, I gained a daughter when I married husband number two (We shan't even discuss husband number one. I have drawn a veil over husband number one. Shhh.) and she grew up and got engaged during her final year of nursing school. She wanted black bridesmaids dresses, a full on religious ceremony, and a kick ass party for a reception. I was SO on that. DD and her biological mom (I shall resist the cruel and childish urge to refer to DDs biological mom as BM. That would be unkind. What? I did say it and now all you can think of is calling her BM? Oh damn. I feel awful) went shopping for dresses, but The Dress never appeared. Then one day she and I had some time to kill before our appointment with the photographer, and we dropped into a bridal shop we saw on the way. Just to look of course, DD really wanted her mom with her when she found The Dress. So of course we found it. Our eyes met in the dressing room mirror and filled with tears, she was suddenly A Bride. I think maybe that was the moment when it all seemed real to us.

For whatever reason, DD's biological mom opted not to be much a part of the planning. This was fine with me, although I don't know how DD felt about it. She and I found a fabulous florist who showed us THE most gorgeous roses I've ever seen. The flowers at DDs wedding were the most remarked upon part of the entire wedding, and to this day I've not seen their equal. We booked the place that DD had her heart set on for the reception. I learned to do calligraphy in order to address the invitations. I became a hot glue gunning machine! I poured over wedding magazines and how-to books. In a way I was finally getting to plan the wedding I'd waited for all my life.

The wedding day finally arrived. We had planned everything with military precision, and were fully aware that something could, and no doubt WOULD go wrong. But still, the day was here. The ceremony was absolutely beautiful despite the fact that 1) I had to go to the communion rail barefoot since my left (very uncomfortable) shoe went missing, and 2) one of the scripture readers wasn't there (caught in traffic apparently). The reception is still being talked about 14 years later as the most fun reception ever despite the fact that 1) the cake was decorated with hideous gold foil instead of the amazing silk ribbon we gave them to use, and 2) BM (damn, did I do that again?) left 20 minutes into the reception taking all the centerpieces with her. No matter. The food was awesome, the bride and groom danced atop the speakers, the party went on for so long that they finally turned on all the lights and started to sweep around us. It was over. Everything that we spent a full year planning and obsessing about had come and gone.

It was beautiful. It was as close to perfect as you can really hope for, and best of all both DH and her new husband said that the day was everything, and maybe a little bit more, than they had dreamed of. That makes everything worthwhile.