Thursday, April 29, 2010


All right, I admit.  I've changed my mind again!

For a little while I thought I'd do some more tablerunners, but instead I've moved on to the black warping that started this whole "what to do next" saga.

The warp is all on the beam waiting to be threaded.

All the black denim is ripped into strips ready to be sewn.

While I was ripping last night, I had a brain fart.  Wondered if I should come up with a name for these black denim rugs....

The name that came to me was ~  Thundercloud Rugs.... and I could call their blue counterparts ~ Blue Sky rugs.

Whatya think?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I believe I've discovered the key to increased production! 
I just needed to change things up a bit...

I had planned on more rugs... I needed more rugs... 

But I didn't feel like rugs.

So allowed myself to do something I wanted to do, and see what happens? 

I started prepping for these runners on Sunday afternoon, and look!  

All finished.

~I do believe I'm going to do some more of these~

Monday, April 26, 2010

It's my prerogative

Plans are made to be broken...  I had thought as soon as I got the blue warp done, I would go to my black warp projects.

'But then I changed my mind!  Lightbulb moment!  I have some purple things that would be nice with a warp including the purple warp I have in my inventory....

So I started gathering up those purple things, and in the process did some sorting and organizing.

Bad idea (not really *grin*)

So now I've changed my mind again and I am going to do a quick run of table runners.  I found about 6 different tablecloths to be recycled that will all work with the same warping.

Here are the tablecloths all cut and in balls, ready to be woven!

When I get an urge, I don't want to wait!

I really need another loom....  or two, or three.....

Sunday, April 25, 2010

23 finished projects

In the last two weeks I finished 23 projects from the loom.

I think the most unique project was this bag...

There were blue jean rugs,
flannel sheet rugs,

and blanket rugs.
Plus more.

I've also worked on a t-shirt quilt for my son's graduation gift, messed with the structo a little bit, sent out resume's, took care of my janitor duties, traveled to my daughters college, and tried to put some order to my home because of the company that showed up a couple of times.

You know, just living my life...

I think I've decided to sign up for a craft fair the first weekend in June.  Before I do, I need to resolve a few questions....  This fair is outside ~ South Dakota weather can be fickle.  Sunny and mild or snowy and wet.  Add some wind in there, too.  If I can find a canopy, I'm pretty much in -  then the next issue is whether I can handle it all myself.  It is a 2 1/2 day show, and I'm not sure I can set up (each morning and night), man the booth, and tear down all by myself.  Sounds tiring.

I could always use more items to sell, too! 

Reminder to self -- don't stop, keep moving ahead, and don't quit.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Busy, busy

It's been incredibly busy lately in my world.  Just returned from a road trip to daughters college where I attended a banquet where she was initiated into an honor society.

On the way home, I stopped at a friends where she literally loaded up my car with textiles for me to use in my rug making... Thanks Michelle!

When I got home, I found another bag of stuff that had been dropped off in my absence and also a delivery of new warp! I'm set now for a little while :^)

Already have the washer going with blankets that need to be freshened, have a roll of rugs to tie, a project on the structo and a plan for the Union.

Tonite is clean the house night.  Tomorrow is prom and the son and his girlfriend plan to come here after the dance to hang out and watch movies and eat junk food.  Plus, one of the girls is bringing college friends for the day, just cuz...  oooo yeah, I have to go do my janitor job at the church, too.  Dang, I'm tired before I even get started.

I am so busy now, I wonder how I will fit a full time job in when I manage to find one ~

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Before and After

Not sure who Erin and Carl are, but I guess they didn't want their blanket anymore....

I wanted it, and now it's been re'New'ed!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Something new

I think I like how this turned out!  
Maybe, just maybe I'll be able to do my runners on my little loom.

It's fun when new things turn out better than you think it will...

Let's play!

I guess you can call this play, because I have no illusions that I will end up putting a price on this and trying to sell it!  This is my second warp on Mimi - I didn't like the result with the way it was set up the first time, so tried another version.  I like this a little better.  I'm still not sure if I will be satisfied with the Structo for table runners and placemats.  Not enough tension for my taste...

I'm really thinking I need to try to do some finer weaving on this loom.  For sure I want to do some scarves, but maybe I'll try my hand at some towels.  I will need to do some research first, tho, to see what I need and how to go about it!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

You call this helping?


I have been frustrated  today...  Not having the right tools, or a dead battery, or lack of materials.

I want to learn how to let it go and do something fun, even tho there are jobs left to do.  It is a struggle of mine.  I was taught to finish your work first, and then have fun.

Too bad the work is never done.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Look at this ratty old blanket....  Full of holes!  
Not sure what happened to it, but it sure isn't much good as a blanket anymore!

Check it out now!
What a difference a little bit of re'New will do!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Blue jeans... gotta love 'em.  They can be dressed up.  They can be dressed down.  They're tough so you can work in them. They can be used and abused, but still have some life left in them.  And when they are broke in, they can be the softest and most comforting piece of clothing you own.

But the day comes when they can't be used anymore for what they started out as.  That doesn't mean they have nothing left to give!  Given a chance to be redesigned, they can be created into a beautiful addition to a different place and time. 

Sounds a little like life maybe?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The big recycle...

In my profile, I say that I am renewing every part of my life.  One of the biggest, and most challenging is my home. 

I've recycled a house.

Here is the house when I bought it.

This is what I did with it.

And here is a picture from last fall.

This house was unliveable at its old location due to rising ground water and a failing basement. 

Since this picture a window has been removed (the one over the new front door) and a new metal roof has been put on.  Soon I will start on the siding.  After that there is a whole lot of list of other things to do, including back fill and landscaping.

I'm going to be a little bit busy for a long time to come...

Monday, April 12, 2010

My helper

This is Cooper.  He's my buddy.  At times he gets a little insistent about getting my attention.  Good thing he's cute, 'cause he can sure get irritating when you are trying to get things done!

Cooper sometimes comes to the shop with me and hangs out while I am weaving or watching the retail section.  For the most part he's a pretty good greeter, but at times he decides he's not so sure about the person coming in.  He behaves, but he lets me know to be careful!  Not sure how he decides who is the grim reaper and who's not, lol.

Right now I have on my loom a blue warp.  I had something particular in mind, but when I went to put it on, I found that I had forgotten that I had used blues since my last order.  Plan B was put into place as I didn't have on hand enough of the blues to do what I was going to do.  I like what I came up with anyway.  Here it is.

The warp is in stripes of dark blue, light blue, gray and natural (white).  Of course I got over ambitious and ended up running out of the light blue, so the outside two sections had to be different.  On the right side I ended up with a wider section of dark blues together, and that isn't what I would have planned, but at the point I was at, I didn't have much choice anymore.  It's not offensive and most people won't notice, unless I point it out, so it will be what it will be....

Here is what it looks like on a light denim rug.   On a dark rug, the dark strips are very noticeable.
So does that wide dark strip jump out at ya?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A beginning

Yesterday I spent the day with my son registering for college.  This will be the 3rd child in college, and I will have those three all in college for the next two years at least.  His sisters are in their second year now. 

Three kids, three different colleges.  At least they are in the same state - and in the same part of the state!  The closest one is about 2 1/2 hours away and the farthest almost 4.  Close enough to come home for holidays, but far enough so they don't think they should come home every weekend, thank goodness!

There are days that I wish I could be where they are now.  At the beginning.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Some more re'newing

There was this one day... I thought I would make myself a table runner with this little piece of fabric I had that was hanging out at my place.  Just the right size, I said to myself,  it should be just about the right amount.

Of course - NOT!  I ended up with a placemat...

Well, I was pretty disgusted with myself. What the heck was I going to do with ONE placemat, with no matching material available to at least make it into a pair?

I literally threw it on the table and left it lay.

So later, my friend goes, 'what is that?' and I told her my story.  As she turned away she said "looks like a purse to me"...

So that is how it came to be that sometimes I make these funky little purses out of random small rugs.  As you've probably figured out by now, I'm pretty much cheap.  Won't buy anything I can get for free - or for very little!

So I started looking around and found "handles".  Sometimes they are belts. At times wire with old bead carseat cover beads.  And sometimes even, purse handles that were scavenged from old purses.

Every one is unique, one of a kind, a little ragged and rustic, and starting over.  Kinda like me.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Here's the next step in getting the blue jeans into strips to weave into rugs.

I've sewn a bunch of strips together in a long chain of strips, letting them fall in to a box that I've got behind my sewing machine.   When I've filled it up or run out of ripped strips (say that three times fast) I go on to the next step.

Here is a chain of strips ready to have the "ears" trimmed off and cut apart.

Each seam gets the extra material snipped off to reduce the bulk at that seam, 
eliminating alot of bumps in the rugs.

And as they are cut apart, they fall into a big box.  Key to the success of this method, is KEEPING TRACK OF THE END!  If I were to lose the end of the strip of strips, I would have one big old ball of knot!   I have a little slit cut into the corner of the box that I hang that end out of, and that is where I begin winding onto my rag shuttles when I'm ready to weave.

It takes an unbelieveable amount of strips to make each rug, 
so I fill up several boxes before I even start to weave.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I've got the blues....

Blue jeans are on the menu this week.  Lots and Lots of Blue Jeans.  The jean rugs are pretty much the most labor intensive rug I make.  Here's a look at the beginning steps I take to get a rug from holey jeans.

I get my jeans from all over.  Family, friends, strangers.... I've come home from somewhere to find a bag hanging on my doorknob. I've lately taken to going to rummage sales and leaving my card telling them I'll take all jeans off their hands at the end of the day.  When I do this, I usually end up with a bunch of other textiles, too!

First step is to get rid of all the material I can't use... the seams, zippers, waistband, etc.  I rip all my jeans, cause it's faster (and I like how I can get out some frustrations doing it, lol).  What I'm left with are the legs - sometimes I get 4 pieces from a pair of jeans, but sometimes only two, depending on the condition.

Then I get to take each leg, and with a scissors snip every inch, and then ~ rip some more!  It makes alot of blue dust - you really don't want to know what ends up in my kleenex when I'm done.  Sorry, TMI!

I really need to figure out a spot outside to do this - it sure makes a mess!   All for now, next steps tomorrow!

Monday, April 5, 2010

If I can endure for this moment,
whatever is happening to me.
No matter how heavy my heart,
or how dark the moment may be.
If I can but keep on believing,
what I know in my heart to be true.
Then darkness will fade into morning,
and with this dawn a new day, too. 

There is something about these rugs that attract cats...

I'm forever chasing one (or more) off of the work I'm trying to do.

Friends who have rugs of mine, say that their cats love 'em, too!

I swear I don't sprinkle catnip on them~

Friday, April 2, 2010

Mimi has arrived

My little loom has developed a name... I don't know how it happened, but it did.  Where the name came from is a mystery - it was just there all of a sudden!

Since she came home with me, she has gotten a bath with Murphy's Oil Soap, an oil rubdown and a once over to check her metal parts.

Tonite I put on her first warp.  I used some loom waste from a previous project, so I won't be getting alot done on this color.   Good for a first time!

Here she is!
I've got her warped up to try a table runner.  I have the old tablecloth already picked out, so I need to get that cut into strips and we will give it a go!

And now for a rear view....

Since this loom doesn't have a sectional beam, I had to figure out the process.  I used brown paper to roll up between the layers of warp as it wound onto the beam.   Worked pretty slick!

That is all for now - I am excited to get started on this new endeavor for Mimi!
 Here's to new beginnings!

I wanna hit something.

I guess the best thing to do is to go grab this and find me some flies...

I had a big roll of upholstery vinyl that I scavenged from somewhere (?) and was looking for something to do with it. 

Came across a swatter somewhat like this and got busy and made a bunch of these.

  I had the lumber center cut the oak for me and I sanded and finished the handles, sewed the double thick vinyl, added the leather header and nailed on the swat!

Watch out bugs ~ or the people that bug me!