My dear mom began hooking in her late 40's with her best friend in Darien, Connecticut. Her friend never completed the first piece, Mom never stopped. She is an avid sports fan and hooks while watching her favorite Met's baseball team. It is a joy to sit and hook with her. She lives in Florida and when I visit I bring my rug and my wool. She has Alzheimer's now and I sometimes have to push her to work on her project but she is always happy when she picks up her frame and gets to work. Mary Schlech
The rug being held by a smiling Anna May is Blue Rocks. (Can be viewed at http://www.encompassingdesigns.com/signature-designs.html ) This is one of the most popular designs with tourists who come through the door and fall in love with the scenic beauty of this small fishing village just a short hop down the coast of Lunenburg. The scene depicts a summer's day and a boat waiting to be launched on the skid. Maybe it will be pushed into the water for a day of fishing or just motoring along the coast to enjoy the salt air. If you go to Blue Rocks you can stand and look at this view, maybe the boat won't be there but the building is and the houses across the water dot the hillside. When you look at this rug, you can almost hear the waves lapping on the shore and feel the ocean breeze brush by your face.
I've drawn this pattern and made a kit many times over the years and a finished version of the rug graces the wall of the shop. It was originally hooked by Blaine Allaby and when he expressed an interest in selling the finished piece I jumped on it to represent the pattern. Mary's mom did a fantastic job hooking her version and I'm sure it is a treasured gift of a mother's artistic talent, an heirloom to be treasured for decades to come. If I did the math correctly, Anna May has been hooking for over 63 years, longer than some of us have been alive. Sorry to hear that she is now struggling with the terrible disease of Alzheimer's but knowing, she is surrounded by love and encouragement is heartfelt.
Mary has been coming into the shop for many years. The acorn didn't fall far from this family tree in that she is very talented designer and rug hooker. Some of her pieces are regional to places she's visited or lived and she enjoys a challenge, taking on projects that evoke much thought and careful colour decisions. I wish I had some picture to post of some of the projects it has been a pleasure to see but alas there are none. She just called me with an emergency for a piece of wool she though maybe her husband used as a rag and when I delivered the bad news that it was no longer available she pleasantly said she would make it work with a bit of altering to the design, a clever solution to what could be a challenging block. Personally I'd pull my hair out and on go on a chocolate bender! I always look forward to a visit from Mary to see what she has been laying her hand to....I'm always filled with wonderment and awe at the creativity of her vision.