Thursday, 24 May 2018

May Internet Round Up

Here are links to several articles of interest....many of them come from the OHCG Facebook Page:

- How to value and price hooked rugs - a great read!

- Craftiness is good for you, but we already knew that! A recent article outlines more of the benefits of crafty-type activities, likening crafting to a "natural antidepressant".Here's a link to the article, for your reading enjoyment!  See the photo collage above of examples from our Multi-Craftual members.

- Did you see Antiques RoadShow from a few weeks back?  Someone brought in a hooked rug from the 1920's, and it was appraised at $8000!  Not bad for a $100 investment.  Here's a link to a photo of the rug.

- Did you see Loretta Moore's recent post.  She features the work of the Centre for Art in Southern Alberta, teaming up with adults with special needs.

- There's a technical term for higgledy-piggledy:  Antigodlin.....who knew???  Check out this article from Rug Hooking Magazine.

The Dutch Influence

We're fortunate to hold our Thursday meetings in Grace Christian Reformed Church, and it has a significant number of folks of Dutch ancestry in the congregation.  Several of them join us on Thursdays.  As well, there are folks in our rug hooking group with Dutch family members.  

One day Lydia brought us in a treat:  Boterkoek, or Butter Cake.  To the uninitiated, it's a cross between cake and cookie, and typically served with coffee.  It looks like shortbread, but has a chewier texture.  It's wonderful!

That started me on a search for recipes, and i found that there are many variations of it, many with almond flavouring, but some with lemon or ginger.  There is a LOT of butter in it - a very similar quantity to that used in shortbread.

For comparison i brought in some Scottish Shortbread (recipe below)....popular, but nothing like Boterkoek.

A week or 2 later, Margaret Eindhoven brought in another dutch treat: Ontbijtkoek, or Breakfast Cake.  This was a dense rich spice bread, typically served at breakfast time, and with coffee.

Christine went home to search her cookbooks and came up with a couple of recipes and here they are, along with links to a few other variations:

Boterkoek (Buttercake)
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup chilled unsalted butter
1 tbsp almond extract
1 egg
Place all ingredients, except the egg, into a large bowl.  Cut the butter into pieces using a knife.  Knead all ingredients together into a dough ball.  Press into a greased 8" round cake pan.  Beat the egg.  Brush the top of the cake with the beaten egg and allow the surplus egg to run off.
Temperature:  350F
Baking time:  30 minutes or until golden brown
Serves:  8
Tip:  Always keep your buttercake dough chilled.

Here's a link to a variation on this one most of the egg goes into the cake and only a little is brushed on top.

Ontbijtkoek (Breakfast Cake)
7 eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup whole milk
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup melted honey
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup candied ginger
3 tbsp ginger syrup
1 tsp salt
1 cup candied ginger
Beat egg yolks with the flour.  Add butter, milk, brown sugar, honey, and mix on medium speed.  Add spices, ginger, syrup and salt.  Beat egg whites until they are stiff.  Fold into the flour mixture.  Grease 2 loaf pans and divide the batter between them.  Top each loaf with 1/2 cup of candied ginger.
Temperature:  350F
Baking time:  45-50 min
Yield: 2 large loaves

Not to be outdone, Christine also sent along another yummy recipe from the same cookbook:

Appeltaart (Apple Tart)
3 cups flour
1 1/3 cups white sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cold
2 eggs
   6-8 tart apples, peeled and chopped into small pieces
   3/4 cup currants
   3/4 cup raisins
   grated peel of 1 lemon
   1 cup of white sugar (or less if apples are not that tart)
   1 tsp cinnamon
Combine flour and sugar.  Cut butter into small pieces and add to flour.  Add 1 beaten egg and mix until uniform.  Refrigerate while filling is prepared.
Combine all filling ingredients.
Line a greased springform pan with a portion of the refrigerated dough to a thickness of 1/8".  Add the filling.  Take the remaining dough and roll it into thin pieces to make a lattice on the top of the filling.  Brush with beaten egg.
Temperature:  350F
Baking time:  1 1/4 hours
Serves: 8
This makes a very deep pie.  To ensure the bottom is cooked, bake it close to the bottom of the oven.

....and for good measure, here's a recipe for Scottish Shortbread.  The ratio of butter to flour is similar to Boterkoek, but a very different texture and taste.

Scottish Shortbread
The key to this recipe is to mix it with your hands, never with a spoon.  The heat of your hands helps to melt the butter into the flour and give it that melt in your mouth texture.
1/2 pound unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
2 to 2 1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp cornstarch (i often forget to add this and it doesn't seem to matter)
more white sugar
Preheat oven to 325F. Mix butter and sugar together with your hands.  Mix in flour with your hands.  Roll the dough out to desired thickness (add flour to keep the dough from sticking) and cut into shapes.
Place on an ungreased baking sheet, prick with a fork and bake.  Baking time depends on the size of the cookies.  Tiny ones take 12-15 minutes.  Medium sized cookies take 20-25 minutes.  They're done when the bottoms are just beginning to colour.  As soon as you take them out of the oven, sprinkle the hot cookies (still on the baking sheet) with white sugar.  (the heat of the cookies will make the sugar cling to the cookies).

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Mad Hatters? looks like the folks attending the Ragg Tyme School of Rug Hooking event in Niagara on the Lake this week are having a fine time.  Look what just came in, with the caption:  "The Mad Hatters Tea Party at Ragg Tyme".

Claire, Dianne and Iris
We'll look forward to hearing more about their adventures (and seeing what they hooked!) when they get back.

Update May 24:  here are photos of some of their efforts during the week at Niagara:

Dolores Skelly

Dianne's Mummer

Claire Reed

Iris' High Bush Cranberries

Friday, 11 May 2018

More Annual Photos

Here are the photos that Iris took at the OHCG Annual last weekend.  Some really lovely work!  Thank you, Iris!

Ingrid Hieronymus

Ingrid Hieronimus

Ingrid Hieronimus

Trish Johnson

If you're interested in seeing even more....Martina Lesar posted some great photos.  Also, if you go to the OHCG's Facebook page you'll see another set of photos from Old Forge.  Here's a link.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Canada Steamship Lines Crafts

New member Lynda Johnston brought in an interesting mat.  It features a simple yet effective image of a Quebec-style cabin & winter scene, all hooked (or punched?) in yarn.

The label on the reverse shows:

(ok,'s not exactly "woven", but it is hand done!)

Here's the info she provided:  
I bought this piece in an antique store in Arcadia, Florida yesterday because I liked it, it was $10, and because of the label on the back.I did some internet surfing and came across this interesting piece of history in an excerpt from “In Good Hands: The Women of the Canadian Handicrafts Guild”, By Ellen Easton. It covers the role of the Guild and the promotion of handcrafts in Canada from about 1880-1940 and gives a history of the Guild, which was started in 1905 by two wealthy Montreal women, Alice Peck and May Phillips who appreciated and wanted to promote the rural handcrafts of the Quebec region.The artistic rugs, spinning, weaving and dyeing they admired in rural Quebec became the inspiration for the two women in Montreal to found the Guild. By providing sales opportunities at small outlets, they hoped to revive rural homecrafts, and provide an income for needy farm women. They valued the decorative arts, particularly of French-Canadian rural home arts. The good design, natural colors, fine workmanship and originality were too significant to ignore.It shows how the Guild consciously fostered an inclusive national feeling by exhibiting and selling crafts of all Canadians on an equal footing. It also draws a much broader perspective of women’s roles in shaping our culture than has been the norm in Canadian art history.About the tag:In September 1929, Quebec’s Department of Agriculture and the Canadian Steamship Lines organized a large handcrafts festival, at the Manoir Richelieu Hotel, which was expected to become an annual late-season feature of the Murray Bay season and gave the area a reputation for fine homegoods as tourism in the area prospered.The Steamship Line and the Manoir Richelieu also promoted the crafts on their menus. The Rug Hooking one is attached and to see more go to this link on eBay:…/7-Vintage-Canada-Steams…/162835112417Hope you found this as interesting as I did!
(As an aside, our very own Joyce Jones recalls visiting the Saguenay/Murray Bay area with her mother, and said they bought some pottery pieces on that trip!)

Here's another photo of a similar mat Lynda found online:

Menus on board the ships apparently featured different crafts, and here's the one for rug hooking (sorry it's a bit blurry!):

Friday, 4 May 2018

Teensy Weensy Oriental

Feast your eyes on this rug, completed by Dolores Skelly.  It is NOT is hooked.

You thought a 3 or even 2 cut was small???  This one was done with individual threads pulled from wool strips!  Dolores husband very carefully separated wool strips into individual strands for her.

Apparently she cursed quite a bit in hooking this rug (for her dollhouse), but the end result is lovely!

Our Display at the Annual

Dianne and Iris are some of the representatives of our group at the OHCG Annual in Ottawa this weekend.  They had a busy day to drive to the show and set up our display.  Here are the photos we received from them.  Looks good!