Thursday, January 7, 2021

Sophisticated

 Nothing about me is sophisticated.


                                       My upbringing, my day to day living, my sense of "style".

My rugs, most would say, aren't fancy either.

 

Many things that others would consider sophisticated or fancy,  I have to study to see if it is the real deal, before I find the worth in it....


                      Is the sophisticate really so much better than the 'not so sophisticated"?

I'm not one that follows the crowd, fashions, the latest thing that changes with the wind.


What really matters?  

What things look like, or sound like, or put on an act like?

I guess what I'm trying to say is even tho something may not be sophisticated by the culture at large, it doesn't mean that there isn't value and worth there. 

Look for the worth - don't be fooled by fancy words, actions, promises, manipulations- If you find worth somewhere, recognize it, support it, protect it. 


All for now,

JULIE



Monday, January 4, 2021

Computer work

 

This is Jack.

Jack came with my daughter - along with another cat, Jane.  Jane unfortunately passed due to a stomach abscess after moving here.  She was my daughters favorite.  Jack wasn't...

I'm told that Jack belongs to me now.  LOL

He sleeps with me and I'm in charge of his daily care.  I've trained him - yeah right - to open the closet door and self feed from the cat food bag.  He has become quite portly!

He likes to sleep in odd spots.  This is how I found him the other day. 

It's kind of a cute picture, because he is actually a very good mouser and has done quite a lot of hunting that I've seen the results of.

So the start of the new year brings much in the way of paperwork.  Sales tax filing for 3 states (even tho one of those states I had no sales this year), Federal taxes to prepare for, and maybe even a rough plan for the year.

Last evening I made a spreadsheet of shows I know dates for, as well as other shows that I'd like to go to in the general time frame they normally are.

I also did some inventory work.  I haven't done an actual physical count, but my spreadsheet tells me that I made 114 rugs in 2020 and sold 91.... do I'm really not that much farther ahead than normal?!?

Table runners I made 59 and sold 48.... again, not that much farther ahead.   

I am starting the year with 126 rugs and 74 runners that are already in stock.  I do have a small group that are finished, just not tagged and measured and added in yet. 

Looking back, 2020 was about 27% down in sales.  Keep in mind that in 2019 I didn't get completely ramped up until mid year for events.  It would be interesting to be able to know what a "normal" sales year would have been if there had been events to attend...

All for now,
JULIE


Sunday, December 27, 2020

What day is it?

 I am so confused.  Days off from work make it even harder for me to keep track of the day.  Earlier this week we had a proper blizzard and was told by work to just stay home - no pay that day-  that's the bummer.  

Then Christmas Day, store closed, - no pay that day - that's the bummer :)

Not that I don't like a day at home  - wish I could swing it financially every day!

I did kind of force myself to do some relaxing.  I was in charge of chores for 2 1/2 days, so I didn't feel totally slothful, but I really didn't feel the drive to start anything in the way of projects.  There are so many around here.  Mostly involving paper/files/ephemera that my mother has collected her entire life.

Last week we were able to send 11 file boxes to the State College Ag Museum.  Pretty close to a complete collection of  a cattle breed magazine.  Glad to get those out of the utility room.  Behind those boxes I found some more files and I spent a couple hours going thru those today.  I'm boxing up accounting files that must be kept and they will be stashed in the garage in the hopes that they can go directly to the burn pile/dumpster after the 7 year rule.

Questionable stuff is put in a box for my mother to go thru at her leisure.  And some - a very small portion it seems - goes to the dumpster.

Yesterday Buzz and Flutter were up close while I was doing chores so I took a picture -


They aren't due until almost end of May at the earliest, so they are barely half way thru...

I struggle with seasonal blues.  Plus I do best when I have a big exciting project to work toward.  Otherwise I seem to just float between things and don't get much accomplished toward anything. 

My goals and projects are mostly vague and maybe eventually type things - so I'm floating.

I can force myself to weave so I have been doing that.  Just not very excited about it at the moment!  :)

So here are some pictures of a batch of table runners I just finished.






Reading back over this post, I sure sound like I'm on the struggle bus doesn't it?

Well, I guess I better get over it - :)

All for now,

JULIE

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Snow Day

 It finally feels like what the calendar says it is.  

Winter :)

Proper blizzard - very windy, like 50+ mph gusts they say.  No travel advised.

So I'm staying home from work in town. 

I took the somewhat better light situation to take pics of the latest rugs.  Still not the best, but it just isn't in my budget to set up some kind of photo studio at this time.


This rug is made from an old chenille bedspread.  It's kind of a bone/gray color.  Very knobby and "texturey". Kinda cute.



A friend gave me some curtains that were too faded for her to use anymore - they were a bit bland for me, so I added a pop of color. This rug has a dark pink pattern - it was a chunk of upholstery fabric that wasn't big enough for it's own rug.



A matching pair of rugs - some more of that curtain fabric and a chunk of upholstery fabric for some added color.



And the last to show you is still more of those curtains and some teal fabric.  

I like using up some of these bright colors!

I'm pretty sure I will use up the last of the warp before I have to remove rugs-  There are two on there already with the balance of that curtain fabric.  That stuff went a long way!

The end of the year is almost here, and it's time to start planning for next.

I will soon sit down and try to make a master plan of vendor events that I want to apply to - it may help me get motivated to just keep weaving....

All for now,

JULIE


Sunday, December 6, 2020

Frugal

 I've always been quite frugal. 

I'm not one to spend my hard earned $ frivolously.  Everything I bring home is needed and or justified to the nth degree in my mind.

It's a hard way to live.  I've been told my money style is based in fear.  Maybe so.

I'm not afraid to spend money on quality tho.  I prefer in purses quality over quantity.  I have one purse.  It's leather, and I think I've had it 6-7 years.  It took me awhile to find the one I wanted, but once I found the right one, it was easy to let the cash go :)

This rug thing of mine fits well into my personality -  I don't like to spend alot on materials - pretty much everything I make is from salvaged stuff.  Or at least the main part of it.

I just finished up another batch of rugs.

The weft for these rugs are from mens dress pants.  Khaki / twill types.  Had a good pile of those - there are still more coming from this batch.

This is any interesting rug.  Somewhere along the way I had collected 3 alike tableclothes.  But they were odd material.  Very fluffy and soft - not your normal tablecloth fabric.  This will be a decor type rug - not the kind for the back door on a farm.  LOL


This was a plaid flannel bed sheet.  Love flannel sheets for rugs....

And this was from a set of lined drapes - The kind with the rubbery type of lining.  These drapes can be iffy.  I always wash the drapes before I work with them.  Sometimes they don't survive the wash - but these washed great.  This will be a very sturdy durable rug for someone.

Another thing I'm not afraid to spend money on is shoes.  Shoes must fit - I'm all about comfort.  I like certain styles - but won't sacrifice the comfort part.  Its few and far apart when I find footwear that fits correctly.   I got lucky the other day and found a pair of boots at the thrift store for 5.99.  Love them!  LOL.  I get excited over the smallest things.

And yesterday I brought home a large find.

A long time friend of mine called asking me if I was interested in a quilting machine.  Turns out the type is different than what I'd like, but when I found out the price...  and thought about how I might use it other than quilting..... I went and got it.   How much?    FREE   We are thinking it will work to hem my rugs, or fix horse blankets, or sew lightweight leather projects.  It's a heavy duty 'furniture' machine that came out of quilt factory.  It's in the back of my pickup at the moment.  We need to figure out where to put it!

Oh, and we just got a Christmas tree for the living room.  I have a smaller one, and Leah didn't have one.  We were going to make do with the small one because of the $.  But I found one for free on fb marketplace!  Winning!  LOL

My lord, we sound trashy!   

All for now,

JULIE




Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Neutrals - or brown?

 This warp has been languishing...

These colors aren't very 'exciting'....
I do really like the finished rugs, tho...
In reality, I don't think it's the colors....
I think it's just my lack of drive that is slowing me down....
This rug is exciting tho.  I actually have two of these.  Stripes in fabric makes for fun results.


This is the warp these are on.  Kinda ho hum.  I did sley the heddles and reed differently than my norm.  Makes for a different texture to the rugs.


I believe I am done with vendor events for the year.

Historically, the closer I get to Christmas, the less I sell.  

So I'm not going to search out unknown/untested events.

Rugs are mostly a buy for yourself item.

I suppose it's time to focus on production and move on from this frustrating year.


All for now,

JULIE

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Good timing for a change

 

I had made the decision to bypass a vendor event (new to me and over 2 hours away) on the 4 weekend in October. 

Good thing I made that decision.  This photo was taken just 2 days before that show, and the snow just kept coming.

After that, it got very cold....  like in the single digits cold!

And then it changed. 

Fortunately we are now having the opposite swing - this week we've had close to 80 degrees.  There was enough snow that it hasn't disappeared from sheltered or shadowed spaces.

Halloween weekend, I also stayed home.  I had originally had a large show scheduled, but that one was cancelled.  I'm finding it very hard to even find the drive to keep looking for events...

But this weekend I do have a show to go to.  Unknown event to me - never been there before as this is the weekend for another show that has been cancelled.


You know, I used to visit blogger pages every day.  I enjoyed reading about weaving, horses, sheep, quilting, etc. etc.  Many blogs were fun and informative to visit and read.

But this past few years, and especially this year, I find myself feeling discouraged and sometimes downright disgusted from a good portion of the blogs that I've followed.


First, THANK YOU, to the blogs that don't preach your brand of politics. 

 

 The BIGGEST turnoff of mine is the name calling...   from both sides!   Demoncrats, Trumpsters, Lefties, Right Wingers etc etc etc ad nauseum.

I come for the horses, the rugs, the quilts, the adventures. 

I don't come to your page to be told that I am stupid, or uncaring, or crazy, or to do this, or don't do that, or whatever soup du jour that you are pushing today. I'm there to learn from you and what you share of your skills and talents.  

So the change?   I don't know what that will look like.

All I know is that this my way or the highway thinking in this world has got to stop. 

Take care of yourself and your immediate world. 

Respect others.

Encourage and build others up instead of tearing them down.

 

All for now,

JULIE