Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Not a slacker - not really :)

You all probably think I've been slacking - being as I haven't been showing any finished projects lately...

Not so!  Just haven't had anything finished ~ I've been working on stuff, just nothing to show until today.

Finished up a tote bag tonite.   Green body and a tan and green woven belt for handles.  I added some other metal belt parts to fancy it up a bit and cover the sew points.

I've been weaving a bit here and there between sewing denim strips.

When I don't feel like weaving, I make myself sew - lol.

The other day I noticed my loom has an ouchie...

One of the outside pegs on this warp has broken off.  Must have been cracked or something, I guess.  It gave way while I wasn't there.  At this point the tension is ok, but it could become a problem.  I tried to think of a way to prop up the warp so the edges don't keep slipping off, but nothing is coming to mind. 

Any of you weavers out there have an idea as a temp fix until this warp is woven off?

There are a couple other pegs on the outside edges that haven't impacted my weaving yet, but I've got in the plans to do a max width series of rugs, so I'll need to fix these pegs before then anyway.  So a little downtime is in order I suppose so I can get this remedied.

All for now -


Thursday, March 24, 2011


Tired tonite. 

Well, we did get snow - and wind.
It was a trial to get to work yesterday morning at 4:30 am.  But I did it!  Also interesting to get home 11 hours later. Not sure how much snow we got, but it was alot.  And it was heavy.  And it is still a mess out there.

I had to run the snowblower... Through mud.  That was fun!  (sarcasm intended)

So the job seems to be going well.  The 10 hour day seems to pass way faster than my 8 hour at the call center.
Learned to drive a forklift!  Actually driving isn't that bad.  It's the putting cages full of heavy metal parts up on shelves 4 high that is kinda scary and nerve wracking, but if I take my time I can get it done.

Getting comfortable with the new coworkers.  I have to watch that I don't get to talking too much.  Work is pretty much my social life - being alone so much can make a person hungry for conversation.  Supervisors don't think a person can work and talk at the same time :)

Anyhoo...  tonite I put in a move (Twister) and sewed denim strips.  And then I ripped some more strips. 

And now it is past my bedtime. 

Goodnight everybody.  Time to hit the hay so I can get up at the buttcrack of dawn...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011


As I sit here listening to the thunder, it's hard to not think that it is spring...

But then I go outside.

It's not rain.
It's not snow.

Hail?   It's been coming down mixed in with rain for dang near 2 hours. 

These two aren't impressed.  I guess they aren't welcome in the shed?

From the weather report, we could get anywhere from 8 to 18 inches of snow tonite and tomorrow.

I hope they are wrong :)

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday rambling

My poor neglected loom....

New job kicked my butt this week.  55 hours.  The paycheck will be nice.

Imagine what my feet feel like.  I went from sitting on my behind all day everyday, to on my feet for 10+ hours a day at work.  Hope the feet get used to it!

Trying to take it easy today.  I was thinking it was later than it was, but I guess when you wake up at 4 (apparently my inner alarm clock has already adjusted itself...) the day is gonna be long!

Today I went thru a laundry basket of clothing that I had purged from my closet and drawers and sent them off to a womens shelter.  I found a wool sweater and that made me think of my stash I picked up to harvest yarn from for scarves.  I went and dug those out and found a couple that were knitted with finer yarns and decided to do some felting!

These felted nicely.  Now I've got some felted wool.  Not sure what I'll do with it yet.  Just playing at this point, I guess :)

I also worked at finishing up a judging kit I'm making for the 4-H judging schools.  
I'm behind.  It was supposed to be done on the 15th.  
Do you know how hard it is to make mistakes on purpose?  It's hard! 
I picked up these banks at a dollar store for a quarter a piece - glad I found something to do with them.  

It's starting to feel like spring.  It's been melting like crazy, but there is still alot of snow around.

It always looks so dirty this time of year.  It's amazing what shows up under the snow -- I'll give it a couple of dry days before I start picking up the accumulated dog poo. 

Sounds fun, doesn't it?

All for now.... Julie

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Playing and Experimenting

I've been playing/experimenting with these bags lately.

Using dog, cat and horse food bags to make these totes.

These two are nice big ones!

After fighting with the  machine tension while sewing on these things, I've started to add denim as a stabilizer in my seams.  There are strips of denim sewn into the seams on the bottom of the bags and also a kind of binding around the top.  I don't try to be too fussy on this, as these are meant to be working bags.

Last touch is handles - and I've used old web belts on these two.  Sometimes I use some more denim.  I think they are gonna make nice sturdy bags to carry some future rugs around...

My shoulder is sore tonite from all the jean ripping I did last night.  Tonight I limited myself to getting the strip sewing started and the set up all ready for tomorrow night.

Unless I don't have the energy to go down there...
 tomorrow is the first full day at work.  Start time 5 AM.  We are working overtime hours, so long days.  10.5 hours  each day. I may be a little tired and sore for the foreseeable future :)

Sooo... Early to bed, early to rise ~  Julie

Monday, March 14, 2011

It wasn't very long ago... maybe a month - that I had gotten all the denim jeans and other assorted pants all rough ripped out and into piles to start stripping out.

I think they reproduce or something downstairs while I'm not looking :)

Bags and piles of blue jeans, colored jeans and corduroys...

.... and these boxes hiding under the table, too!

I hadn't even finished the stripping out of the last batch of jeans I did!

Gonna need them, tho!   After this past weekend at the craft fair, I now only have on hand 4 denim rugs.  Sometime I should go back and see how many blue jean rugs I made last year.  Hmmm....

My entire stock of merchandise.  Noticeably smaller when I packed up from the show! 

Good thing I don't have another show entered for the near future.  I'm pretty sure I'll sign up for the Fort Sisseton weekend again, but doubt any before then.  Unless something interesting shows up that I want to try :)   I can change my mind if I want to!

I will now have a bit more latitude in choosing how often I go selling rugs.  Started the new job today - and the pay scale being significantly increased helps with the cash flow ~ hallelujah~ 

I'll be working some overtime - but it's a good thing.  Overtime pay, ya know.  I had a shorter day today and tomorrow.  Eight am this morning and 7 tomorrow - and then it'll be 5 am.  Good thing I'm a morning person.

When I got home this afternoon, I took care of the outside stuff, and then went down to try and tackle the piles of jeans that need to be stripped out.  I ripped on those dang things for over 3 hours and didn't even get 1/2 done.  I am quite full of blue dust - Need them tho - 

I've got denim rugs to make....

Friday, March 11, 2011

Typical day in South Dakota

It's been a looooonnnnnggg winter in South Dakota. 

Record snowfall --  record low temps --- like I said.  Long winter.

Today was making up for a beautiful day.  I think I saw the thermometer setting at 42 degrees!  It was sunny and pleasant.

It was a little breezy, but hey!  This IS South Dakota - ya gotta expect that!

So after my last day at the call center -- insert little happy dance --  I did some errands uptown and went to the local winter show. 

You know how it is... you get to talking, you see someone you hadn't seen in a while, and before you know it, it's 4:30 and you've got a heck of alot less time left in the day to do the packing for tomorrow's craft fair.

So I leave the gymnasium and find this.
Actually not this right out of the gym, but you get the picture :)  Poor little Buzz's behind is sticking out in the wind and wet.

We now have a full blown blizzard going on.  42 and sunny, to rain, then freezing rain, and now snow coming down violently within 2 hours...


We may be a little late for the craft show tomorrow....



Wednesday, March 9, 2011


my name is Polly!

I am a polydactyl, cat... Thus, my name!

A polydactyl cat is a cat with a congenital physical anomaly called polydactyly (or polydactylism, also known as hyperdactyly), a type of cat body type genetic mutation,  that caused the cat to be born with more than the usual number of toes on one or more of its paws. Cats with this genetically inherited trait are most commonly found along the East coast of the United States and in South West England.
Nicknames for polydactyl cats include "boxing cats", "mitten cats", "mitten foot cats", "Vermont snowshoe cats","thumb cats", "six-finger cats", "Boston Thumb Cats", "Cardi-cats", "Hemingway cats", and "double-pawed cats".

Well, this little girl was born in my the barn at my old house in the middle of the continent... not the east coast.  Polly has, if I remember correctly, 23 toes.  Her feet are huge!

You can somewhat see her front feet, here.
I wish I could get a good picture of her back feet.  Six toes on each where the normal cat would have 4.  Her front feet have the "thumbs" plus extra partial toes with claws. 
She is a fun cat to have around, but she is the typical "scaredy cat" -- she goes into hiding when there is someone other than the family in the house.
I have been getting ready - in a fashion- for a craft fair this weekend.  It's a two dayer, so I have to figure out some extra issues.... like who's going to take care of animals.

We have had another round of snow - yesterday I had to drive to the big town 60 miles away to have a pre-employment physical and orientation.  It was not nice going, and even worse coming home in the dark.  While I was there I got my drivers license renewed because my birthday is coming up and it was going to expire.  It was a long day and late when we got home.  The usual 1 hour drive was close to two hours - slippery and snowy roads with poor visibility because of everything being white!

If nothing crazy comes up from the pee test I took (and there shouldn't be), I will be starting a new job on Monday.   I'm having a hard time believing something bad isn't going to happen and this new deal will fall thru.  I've become somewhat pessimistic these last few years with all the negative stuff that has happened to me.  I am trying to think positively!

The last few days at my current job will be bittersweet -  I've made some great friends there, but I am excited about this new job opportunity and looking forward to the financial part of my life being just a bit easier.

So if my posts are a little spotty in the next week or two, don't give up on me!   I'll just be getting used to some new routines!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

The greatest joy...

Today I went over to my friends house.  I was there to help her go thru her late husbands clothing to decide what could become rugs. 

There was conversation, and gossip, and tears and laughter.  I came home with bags of memory rug material...

And also this -  Kay gave this to me (I can't believe it... this is SO my style!)

translated by google...
The greatest joy one may have

it is that made for other fond.

to Inger
from Mother and Father
Christmas 1974

How cool is that?

And if you speak Norwegian, please, correct me if I messed up!  :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Slow night

Finally a slow night for me this week.

Or, now that I say that, I realize after work I shoveled snow away from gates so hay could be put into the horses and I ran the snowblower and cleaned up some drifts that were built earlier this week.

I made supper - pork chops buried in mustardy scalloped corn - Yummy.

And then I made some cheerios munch - cheerios, peanuts and raisins all covered like caramal popcorn. 

Another yummy!

I've been browsing online and on facebook.  I came across this picture --- and it made me smile!

It was my girl's last year in 4-H.  We were waiting for the driving classes to start and we met this fun little girl.

It was her first year in 4-H!

I remember her pony's name was Button and Deedee was fascinated with her.

Button's girl was quite the talker - I remember having a great time visiting with her about her pony and how she liked 4-H.

Doesn't Leah look like she's having fun and relaxed?  I think this may have been the reason she did so well when it was her turn to show.  She was relaxed, she was smiling, and she was having fun.

She finished the day with the Grand Champion Pleasure Driving buckle.

But the best part of the day?

Making a new friend and encouraging the excitement she had found with her pony....

All for now,  Julie

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

So what does stylish mean?  On the surface, it seems to be linked alot to clothing and outward appearances.  Obviously, that meaning doesn't apply to me!  I yearn for nice things, but don't think the $ costs make it worth the effort - and I don't always think to check the mirror when I'm busy with something that has grabbed my attention.

As I think of it, I pretty much think the 'style' that really draws me, is the one of a kind, the unique, the genuine.  Maybe that is what people might see in me... someone who has decided after all this time, that that is where I may find happy.  By being me - which is one of a kind and unique, and my pursuit of the genuine me.
So here is what comes with the award:

There were 4 things I need to do - ack!  Homework!!! 
1. Thank and link back to the person who sent you this award.  

So I was nominated from two different directions.
In Stitches  Sharon!

Two Guys and a Loom  Kent and Chris!

2. Share 7 things about yourself 
 In no particular order...

 In 1984, I was a queen.  SD State Limousin Queen, that is!  (that is a kind of cow)
I've been a 4-H leader for 23 years.  Half my life.  Literally

I've had 2 major surgeries - and because of this dear phobia of mine, I refused to be put under.  I stayed awake with a spinal and even asked my doctor if I could watch the monitor when I had my ACL replaced.  I hope I don't squeamish anyone out with this one.  I was able to say goodbye (again, literally) to my uterus during my hysterectomy.... Sorry, probably TMI!

Luv my ponies!  I even went so far as to go to college for them.  I have a Riding Master certificate in training with a minor in leatherwork from Meredith Manor School of Horsemanship.

I managed to have 3 children in 26 months.  There were twins involved.

I used to show calves. Here are some mementos from when my brother and I won Grand and Reserve at the "largest steer show in North America"  Ak-sar-ben (that's Nebraska backwards)... And if you look closely, that IS the tanned hide from my steer "Flash".

and last, but not least....

I know how to tell if a baby goose is a boy or a girl. 
It is a very messy job.
  I used to work for the largest goose producer in North America. 

3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers 

This is a toughy!  I lurk at a few, am a regular at some, but I really have to limit my time on the 'puter...  But here goes.  I'm going to not re-nominate Sharon or the guys, even tho they deserve it - and try to spread the love a little bit :)
Kathleen Taylor's Dakota Dreams  She's an author, and yarn smith extraordinare.  Her mystery novels are a scream - Loved them when I found them.  I'm not a knitter, tho, so I can't truly appreciate her knitting how to books...

Quiltville I love her use of every little bit of scrap in her quilts!

Heart of a Cowgirl

No Negatives  This one is kind of a given... my daughter's blog. She just started it and between a busy college load, an athletic team and work, she's kinda busy.   But I can be a proud mom and show her off, can't I???

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award -- ok,  I did that!

My last thought to leave with you...

Find. Your. Own. Style.

It'll be beautiful!

Just me,  JULIE