A Valentine Letter to Rug Hooking
Dear Rug Hooking,
We've been friends a little while now, coming up on five years, although people tell me it seems like we've always been together. I think it's safe to say our friendship is permanent. I know that I'm looking forward to spending the rest of my life having you as my pal. I never gave a second thought to hanging out with you even though you were probably at least 150 years old when we met. You seem eternally youthful, able to express yourself in the most traditional of ways while still being up for contemporary coolness too. I suspect you will long outlive me, and I'm ok with that. In fact, I'm working every day in the hope of that. I think our many mutual friends and the guru who introduced us would feel the same way.
So, this Valentine's Day I just want to express my gratitude for everything you've brought to my life. Here are a few things of many.
The Rug Hooking Community
It would take pages and pages to mention each and every mentor, friend, and colleague you have brought in to my life. From our Tuesday group, to my guru and mentors, to the generous and possibly crazy venues who have made room for me on their teaching schedules, to the whole team at Beekman 1802 and the Sharon Springs community that they're part of, to my students, our advertisers, suppliers, customers from 49 states and 3 countries........wow! I have to say, Rug Hooking, you are the life of the party to be able to make these many introductions.
What this means, of course, is that you are a great community organizer. Your friends all over the world are just that - a community. I'd go as far as to say we are family. We are a family in the craft, supporting one another in art and in life.
This family gathers at homes, classrooms, churches, studios, organized hook-ins, informal hook-ins, over coffee, tea, wine, and just about everything else. We know how to have a good time!
Thank you, Rug Hooking. You came along just when I was looking for a passion project and became instead a passion career. I'm still a little green, but here's the amazing thing about you: your friends are among the most welcoming, kind, and helpful that exist anywhere in the world. How many people can step in to a niche like rug hooking and five years later have had the professional opportunities I have? It's not about me. It's about you, Rug Hooking. I'm still figuring things out every day and your community just keeps on being supportive and open to almost every hair brained idea I have. Lucky me! Lucky all of us! Rug hooking is an incredibly safe and nurturing craft in which to test one's creativity, grow, and change.
A Creative Outlet, New Eyes
I see nothing the same way since I met you. Nothing. Every wooded trail, every mountain sunset, every ripple on a Maine lake now has the potential to be rendered in wool. And it's not just me you inspire. Every week I see and hear your many friends chatting about what has inspired them, what they saw with new eyes, what they want to create next.
A New Source of a Thousand Jokes
Because of you, I'm a hooker. Yep. Enough said.
Lifelong Learning GuaranteedWe are all students of your magic, Rug Hooking. Even when I'm the teacher, I'm still a student, because my students are great teachers every.single.time. I have a long way to go. So much to learn. How fun is that? To know we'll never know all there is to know?
Oh yes, Rug Hooking, I do love you. You're a fine companion, even on the rare occasion we butt heads, and we do - sometimes a project just isn't working out, sometimes the zzzziiiiiiiiiiip!!! of pulling worms out of linen is inevitable - but it's never bad enough to break off our friendship. You're responsible for an out of control stash closet, a house with more and more square footage devoted to you, an inability to look at a wool scarf or skirt without at least a momentary thought of stripping it, and a pile of UFOs. Wool dust covers every surface; the dusting and vacuuming to cope with it is never ending. I occasionally find wool snips stuck to my clothing. I once dropped some in to my coffee instead of my snip jar. In some ways you're akin to having a naughty pet.
I wouldn't have it any other way.
Happy Valentine's Day, Rug Hooking. Here's to many more.
Love, Beth xoxo
- Parris House Wool Works