Make something lovely to celebrate the season

Posted April 19, 2010, at 7:17 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 11:25 a.m.

It’s spring — anyone can see that just by watching birds weave their nests. The primal urge to use materials at hand to make something utilitarian, beautiful, or both, is not limited to the species with feathers at this time of year. Take, for example, the ladies of the Hammond Street Senior Center in Bangor. For months they have been fashioning hundreds of May baskets from pretty paper. Most of the women are in their 80s and have volunteered many hours to the task. Some even took paper home to cut and fold in the evening hours.

In addition to the May basket volunteers, others have come forward to stir up batches of fudge with which to fill the baskets.

The fruits of the volunteers’ labor became available for purchase yesterday. The sweetly filled May baskets will continue to be offered for sale through May.

Stop by the Hammond Street Senior Center, 2 Hammond St., 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to purchase May baskets.

For information, call the center at 262-5532 or e-mail info@hammondstreet.org.

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And speaking of using the materials at hand to make something delightful, there’s an exhibit people with crafty hands and artistic eyes won’t want to miss. The Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland will open a new exhibition, “Rug Hooking in Maine and Beyond,” on Saturday, May 1, in the museum’s Crosman Gallery. The ex-hibit will be on display through December.

Mildred Peladeau, author of “Rug Hooking in Maine 1838-1940,” is organizing the exhibit. And if you haven’t read this book, do.

Approximately 40 examples of hooked rugs, including Waldoboro, Arts and Crafts, cottage industry and other types will be featured in the exhibit

Peladeau will give gallery talks at 1 p.m. Wednesday, June 9, and Wednesday, July 28.

Paula Laverty will give a lecture about the Grenfell Mission rugs at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 21, in the museum auditorium.

The art of rug hooking, which may have originated in Maine and the Canadian Maritimes, continues to be a craft practiced by both men and women.

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Barbara Nason, owner of Alewives Fabrics, will conduct the workshop From Digital Photograph to Place Mat at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 27, at Spectrum Generations Coastal Community Center, 521 Main St., in Damariscotta. Participants will learn how to print a picture on a piece of fabric and turn it into an oilcloth place mat.

Kits containing fabric, glues, paints, brushes, instructions and a piece of oilcloth large enough to make four place mats will be available for purchase at the class. The cost is $50 per kit. Bring a CD, memory card or UBS stick containing the photographs you want to print onto the fabric for a place mat, table runner, wall hanging or other item. No craft or other skills are required to take part in the workshop.

All ages are invited to attend the workshop, including home-schooled children accompanied by a parent or teacher. Participation fee is $5. Advance registration is required by calling 563-1363 by Monday, April 26. The workshop is limited to 10 participants.

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Just because summer is on the horizon is no excuse to put away the knitting needles, though maybe it’s time to switch from wool to cotton and other lightweight yarns. Here a few Web sites to visit for inspiration and free patterns:

www.tahkistacycharles.com, www.classiceliteyarns.com and www.chicknits.com feature elegant designs for sweaters, accessories, hats, socks and other things.

crafternews.crownpublishing.com/ offers free patterns in a variety of crafts, including knitting.

www.knittinghelp.com offers free learn-to-knit videos, and enjoys status as a Top 10 recommended by knitters site.

www.freepatterns.com offers patterns in crochet, knitting, beading, cross-stitch, paper crafts and others.

Snippets

The Pine Kneedlers Knitting Guild will meet 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, April 20, at the Bangor Parks and Recreation Facility, 647 Main St. Guest speaker will be Michele Goldman, owner of Fiberphilia Yarn Shop in Orono. For information, call Cheryl Zeh at 943-6909.

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