Wednesday, June 30, 2010


My daughter has this word that she has invented.  Something that is more than pretty, but less than beautiful.

For example...   These purple flowers.  They would be beautiful, but alas, they are a weed.... thusly (another unique word by Leah) it is "prettyful"...

Cooper and I were fencing today.  Nothing like making fence alone that makes you feel like you have no friends!  :)  Fencing is MUCH easier when there are two people.  To bad Cooper doesn't have hands - I could sure put him to use!    He would come back from his busyness to find some shade and bum some water from me on occasion.

While we were out there, I found this cute little thing.  I would call it a wild prairie rose.  Pretty sure that's not it's correct name, but hey!   That name would be cute for a boutique/ shop wouldn't it?

There was lots of yellow clover out there, too.  It surpises me that my horses haven't been eating this stuff.  My first pony would hit the skidders whenever there was even a single plant within reach.  Many times I was caught unawares and ended up amongst the clover when she did this!

Also found alot of this evil looking stuff.  Reminds me I need to get somewhere to get the weed spray and get crackin' on that little job...

Windy windy day here today.  I'm windblown and sunburned.  Time for a project inside!

shades of blue

I get bored with the same thing over and over and over.

So I did something a little different.

I used 5 different pairs of jeans. 

Picked for their shade of blue.

Now I can answer when someone asks how many jeans it takes to make a rug.

This rug has 5 jeans in it, that I used fronts and backs of legs. 

It measured approximately 50 inches long. 

So an average pair of jeans is going to make about 10 inches of rug - of course it all depends on the size of jeans, too!

I saved another set of jeans for a second rug if I like it... I think I'm gonna do it again!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm carazy....

Crazy for feelin' so blue....

Weird, I know... Patsy Cline if you hadn't figured it out yet!

I could go crazy doing these blue jean rugs!

I'm bound and determined to get as many of these made as possible.  
And I've got the denim to do it, too!

I'm so in love with blue... 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday randomness

Totally random today, so will post a totally random picture or two!

Woke up at like, 5 AM this morning and couldn't fall back asleep.  Got up at 6 and continued sewing denim strips together.  I've been working blue jeans forever, it feels like...

Went to church, then out to lunch with my son and his girlfriend.

Came home and while they watched a movie - I napped - I don't usually nap!  Can't fall asleep in the daylight, so must have been tired.

Then mowed the lawn and went back to the denim again.

Took a break to take a picture of a lap quilt I finished up the other day.  I used a different type of batting and it turned out a little too stiff for my taste.  Maybe it will soften up with use and washing... Here it is ~
This was a mystery quilt that was organized by a quilt club I belong to.  We got the directions a little bit at a time.  I think it was called summer breeze, so I quilted it free hand with a breezy random allover stipple like thing.  I like free hand quilting!  Not sure what I'll do with it, so I'll stick it away for now.

Then I took this picture of Cooper in the late day sun. 

What a cutie!

All for now- more jean strips to sew....

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Just for fun

Thought I would show you some pics I took this morning out my front door.

Here, I'm standing on my front step (if you can call it that, it's still just dirt...)

Quite the view, huh?

Moving in a little closer....
Miss Blondy is chewing her cud... Mousy up in the left hand corner is serving up a snack, and there's a bunch of napping going on all over.

But, wait!

What's going on over here???

Someone is VERY popular this morning!  Big guy on the left has found her quite attractive...

I pondered about including a pic of what comes next, but decided against it for you squeamish and shy ones...

For us country kids....  it's just a fact of life.

Custom work?

I rarely do custom work... why?

1.  My creations are based on "found" materials.  So it is totally random what I will find as far as colors and textures to use.  I can't count on having available what the customer wants.

2.  When people ask for a certain color, it is inevitably the color that just came off my loom and it will be months before I get back to that color. 

3.  I'm not the best at working within limits  :)

So this is one of the rare times I did something specific for a customer.
This customer had seen a rug made from the same material I had in my inventory and did not purchase it then.  He waited and by then I had sold it.

On this rare occasion, I actually had more of the upholstery material left from that rug.   He then ordered 2 rugs -  and insisted I put it on the blue warp I had on my loom.

I would not have put this material on this warp.

I would have used it on a green or brown toned warp.

But he's the customer....

So I start weaving....  remember how I'm not good at the limits thing?  He had ordered specific sizes - I forgot to measure from the start on one rug, so I measured part way thru and hoped for the best.  Second rug I was on the ball and kept track.

Rugs came off the loom, tied them up, and measured them.  Sigh... One of them was 5 inches too short...  Fortunately, I still had more of this material  (an unusual situation ), so I got to weave another one on this warp. 

I'm hoping this guy will come in and love his rugs so much, he'll decide to take the short one that I screwed up on.  If not, I will have a rug in my inventory that is not my usual style.  I'm sure it will sell, I sell rugs that don't appeal to me all the time. 

My solution to the custom work?  I've got myself a "wish book" that I note requested rugs in.  Sizes, colors, etc and who would like a rug like that are noted in this book.  As I'm weaving, if I have one that fits the description, I notify the 'wisher' and they get first dibs on that rug.

It also helps me to keep an eye open for the colors I need.  Keeps me collecting colors I wouldn't normally bring home!

I've been told I need to learn to work within limits. 

I don't think so... I will not limit myself!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I'm mending this evening... Shop owner where I keep my rugs and loom is WAY behind, so I offered to help do a few of her jobs.   I'm comfortable doing jean mending ~as long as it doesn't include the zippers~ , so I brought home about 7 pair I think?

While I'm at it, I'll do one of the son's that has been hanging around waiting for it's own fix.

Today I wove 2 denim rugs and a bag with a picture woven in.  Not sure it turned out as well as I would have liked it to.  Guess that is what experimenting is all about.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

I stopped to feed the son and my own face, so I better get back to mending.... 

catch ya later,   Julie

Saturday, June 19, 2010

International Vinegar Festival

I attended the vinegar festival for the first time today...

This town of approximately 200 peeps put on a day of music, camaraderie and a parade all revolving around the unique museum they have in their town.

We had a beautiful day!!!!

Here's a condensed version of the parade.

People had started to gather all morning, but the official start was the beginning of the parade.  The honor guard set up right on main street by the park and the national anthem was sung a cappella by a man, with a woman from the crowd joining in.  Very nicely done!

And the parade started.  First entry was the official International Vinegar Festival banner, accompanied by the mascot.  It was a pickle! 
Vinegar Queen! (outgoing)

The parade was basically cars and tractors...
 And at the end of the parade route, the entries turned around and came back, so we could see the other side of the parade. :)
See the beautiful blue skies????

I had a good day - especially considering the size of the festival and town.
  Sold 6 rugs, a tablerunner and 3 fly swatters.
I'm more than happy with the results!

Here's a pic of my booth.
It looks naked.
I forgot my signs...

This is a sample of the other booths.  Lots of embroidered flour sack towels.
3 of the six booths were this type of stuff!

The other was hand made wood things with wood burning.

And a booth of metal type decorations that I didn't get a picture of because it was across the park.

And then my little old booth!

All in all, a good day.

It's time for a nap.

Friday, June 18, 2010


I'm going to try to stop focusing on the not so nice things going on with me, and look more at what is better.  Good plan, right?

So today, I'm bouncing all over the place.  I've been to church to take care of my janitor duties.  I've woven a couple of rugs.  I'm waiting for pasta to cook for a salad that I am providing for a bridal shower.  And I'm looking at all the other things I should be doing :^)
It's really windy here today, as it was yesterday.

Thank you wind, for helping remove the old tarpaper on my house! 
Needs to be done before the crew comes to put up new siding anyway. 

Cooper in the wind.  Love how the wind gets his ears up and at attention!

Here, he's checking out one of the gopher holes that are in my front yard. 
Just last fall this was cow pasture, so I haven't got them to move on yet.  
Cooper is doing his part.  
Hasn't caught anything yet, but he is hopeful and vigilant.

Here is my pile of denim in progress.  I set up a work station in the garage to try and keep some of the mess outdoors.  I've got another couple of bags left to rough out before I start stripping them.

This is what I found leaning against the work station this morning.  I had wondered what the dear son was doing out there after I had gone to bed!

He was "cleaning up the yard" .... sigh... hate to discourage a helpful nature, but why does it have to end up in my way?

So I walked away from it and now I'm looking at this.

I should open it up and start tying, but I'm just not feeling it ~

I've decided I should take a short rest.

Still on the agenda today is decorating and setting up for a bridal shower at 6:30, and preparing for the craft show I have tomorrow.

I'm setting up in the park at the International Vinegar Festival in Roslyn, SD.   Should be fun. 

I'll tell you all about it next time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Got the tractor quilt finished up today.  The customer
has been called and it's ready to be picked up!

Wove 3 more rugs today and filled up the take up beam, so took them off and brought them home to tie the fringe and add handles to a couple totes that are on this batch.

Glad  I wasn't holding my breath from the interview last week.  Got the reject letter today. 

Time to print out another run of resumes and send them off.  I'm down to the cleaning, cooking, and menial job list.   Not what I had hoped for.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I just can't get rid of this headache...

Had it all day yesterday.

Migraine version got me up in the night to take a super pill.... Of course my last one.

The irritation from having to go fill a prescription that my insurance doesn't cover has made its contribution to a rebound headache.

I still managed today to weave one rug and long arm quilt the tractor quilt.  Going to try and work on binding the thing tonight. 


Wanna trade heads anyone?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A day of rest...???

Sunday ~ the day most people think of as a relaxing day. 

The thing about not having a "regular" job is that I don't really have a schedule.  No real "deadlines".  I don't know when something HAS to be done, so I never feel like " I have time yet" to get things done. 

I've come to the conclusion that because of this, I have this panicked feeling that everything needs to get done ASAP.  I feel rushed all the time.  I think I need to be productive as much as possible. 

Weird, huh?

I don't know how long I can keep this up.  I'm tired.

I didn't let myself work on rugs today.  Instead I primed the new sheetrock in my entryway and tore off sheetrock where a new patio door is going to be installed.

Then I dug out my Structo Loom that has had a tablerunner languishing on it for awhile, and finished that up.  Wove it off and tied the fringes...I didn't make rugs, but I did weave.  Was that cheating?

The finished runner.  I still am not totally happy with rag tablerunners on the structo, so I'm going to do some other experimenting, instead. 

Try to find the true use for this little loom...

After that, I took out a quilt project.  I belong to a quilt group that recently had a "mystery" quilt challenge.  I decided to do it, just to DO something. 

I have trouble starting quilts, because I can't make up my mind which one to do.  This way, I didn't have to make that decision!

We got the last instructions this month, so the big stuff happened this time.

It's a lap or baby quilt.  Two colors, a light and a dark.  Got it all together and went to dig out some material for the back, and couldn't find any. 

Coulda swore I had some plain fabric just for quilt backs in my stash ~ but it's been awhile since I've sewn, so I'm guessing I used the last of it up and just don't remember. 

And, no, it's not like I have a huge stash and can't find it.  Only 2 totes, one for large pieces and one for scraps.  I looked in both, but no go.   Guess I'm going shopping.

I had also meant to go unpack my rugs and get them displayed in the store again, but didn't get there yet today.  I may go for a little bit - even tho I really don't feel like it.  If I don't, that means I have to go first thing in the morning...  So I think I'm gonna go.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Last minute production

I have everything packed for the craft fair tomorrow and it was too early to go to bed, so I went into my crap (craft) room and dug out the stuff to put together this purse.

The woven part has been hanging around for awhile, waiting for the "right" handles to show up.

Found them the other day when I visited the Salvation Army store.  Their purses that day were 59 cents each, and I got one free with any purchase.  I found 4 that I thought I would be able to salvage parts from. So, 4 purses for 1.77 plus tax.  About broke me :)

That's where these handles came from!  Tricky part is figuring out how to attach them easily, securely and attractively.

Then I added a belt buckle, also a thrift store find, and

Ta Da!   Finished purse.....
Pack, unpack. Pack, unpack.

I think this is what the summer is going to end up being! 

I've got my truck pretty much packed to head off to Trail Days Art in the Park craft show.

Leaving at the butt crack of dawn to get there in time....

Gonna go sell me some rugs!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Today started early... not by choice for sure.

Even tho I had worked late last night on rug strips and a quilt that I have been hired to finish, I woke up while it was o'dark thirty.  Couldn't go back to sleep so got up and started in again.

By six I had cut another blanket into strips, another sheet set followed after that, and then I started on the quilt top.

I'm set for a little while on rug materials... at least 2 rugs in flannel sheets, and 2 in that blue blanket.  I'm gonna guess there are 3 or 4 rugs of denim in that box, too.

Here's a quick shot of the quilt top I'm working on.  The blocks were embroidered  by a woman who got that part done and ran out of steam.  Hired me to finish it.  I need to go get some black material to work into the border and then that will finish the top.  Probably won't get it on the quilt frame and quilted until next week, but it went together pretty quick.

If  I remember, I'll put up a picture when I've got it done.

It's a rainy, dreary day here today.  Sure makes a difference in a persons attitude, doesn't it?

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I am dragging butt.

Think it might have something to do with not taking a day off in so long...

I could so go out and join the girls in their morning snooze!

Instead I have soooo much to do. 
Laundry (no towels).
Dishes (no glasses, bowls or forks)
Clean the floors (just too gross to imagine)
And then I will go and weave for awhile.

I've scheduled another craft fair for this Saturday.
Must plan for that.

Oh, and I should probably pay some bills today :(

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Feelin' blue again...

I'm working on the blues again.

More blue jean prep.  This process sure makes a mess.

I'm covered in blue fuzz ~

Monday, June 7, 2010

Finally working!

Tried and tried earlier today to post a quick update, but blogger wasn't cooperating...

Now I"m just too dang tired to even think straight, so I think I'll leave it at this.   Goodnight.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Fun at the Fort

The day starts with a cavalry drill, cannon fire, infantry and flag raising with a bugle and everything.  We had a little bit of liquid sunshine first thing this morning so the crowd was a little light first thing.  When it decided to quit spitting, the crowds picked up fast.

Infantry - they did some drills that included bayonets...  Had the drummer and everything.

This little guy was enthralled.

After the ceremony, the crowd picked up and I was busy in my booth.  Sold a buncha purses, not so many rugs.  Nobody wanted to carry them around, I suppose.

These cutie patooties came by my booth and I just had to take a photo! 

And here is. the. barn.

This is the back door.  I couldn't take the time to walk to the front for a picture.  I was alone all day in my booth, so when I had to visit the little girls room (which there was one in this barn) I had to make it quick.

Here's the view inside looking towards the front door.  Photo is taken from the point where the modern bathrooms end.  These are the facilities that are used by the campers in the state park.  They are large, but don't take up much space in this huge barn!

I could live in, 
my horses could live in, 
I could have a business in it,
and still have room left for a boarder or two!  

Can't wait to go back tomorrow!
But I sure want to sell some rugs...

Friday, June 4, 2010

Honey! I'm home!

Got my booth set up.  It was hot. I got sweaty.  

I remembered my camera, so I'll show you some pics from the grounds.  
Not alot of spectators around yet today, kind of the "calm before the storm". 
Regular numbers are in the 10,000 people range.

Here is the American flag that is in the center of the parade grounds, 
along with the requisite cannon.  

My booth is behind this building.  It's an officers building or something like that.  Someone important lived there with their wives, if they had one, that is.  The front of it faces the parade ground.

I think this is the hospital?  
I've been thru the tour, but can't remember for sure and didn't walk up and check.
Had to keep an eye on my booth!

I believe this is the adjutants office.
All of the buildings are of stone or brick.
This was the prairie - no timber!

There are fur traders.....
A teepee or two....
and my own little, amature-ish booth!

All for now~  I will try to get a picture of the barn.... it is,
to. die. for.