9/28/15

Autumn Joy 'Sedum' Time

I always look forward to this time of year when the Autumn Joy blooms.  I planted it years ago in a flower bed that gave it optimal sun exposure and optimal photo access so I could sneak up on the Monarch Butterflies.  Autum Joy is a source of food for them as the migrate to Mexico for the winter, and my Bed of Joy is directly in their migration path.  Alas, this year it seems the Monarch has morphed into a Moth.  Oh well, Monarch or Moth...still amazing to capture either one.
The bees love it, too. 

9/24/15

Libby LuLa 409...We Can Twine

 
As ready as I said I was in my last post...Let The Big Time Twining Begin...I had to wait until today to begin my first Big Time Twining Rug.  The delay was due to...#1 my work schedule, #2 reorganizing studio space and #3...a good nights rest!  I seldom if ever begin a new project with my studio in a mess and/or late in the afternoon or evening.  I am a morning person!
 
Even after practicing on my homemade loom, there was a bit of a learning curve this morning on Libby.  To begin with, I increased the size of the warping strips from a scant one inch to a generous one and a half inch.  This I knew would accommodate the heavier weight of the denims I planned to use for this first project.  Then, I had to reacquaint myself with making the turn at each of the rods that keep the rug sides straight.  It is the trickiest part...so back to the U-Tube video. 
 
Considerations and Issues on First Project:
~Start with small project...Table Runner.
~Set Loom at a height that doesn't strain neck and shoulders.
~STOP when neck and shoulders start aching.
~Beware of low thread count fabrics for weft...they ravel, ravel, ravel...that means they shed, shed shed little threads!
~Work with 45 inch or shorter length strips.  Reduces raveling and easier to pull through warp.
~Weave (twine) with a light and dark strip...makes the pattern stand out.
~Slit Loop connect a lighter weight fabric to the heavier weight denim and visa versa.  This makes a less bulky connection than denim to denim...keep the light and dark color combo going.
~Make the Slit Loop connections at least three inches from each side.  Having a connecting change on the side is hard to work in and hide.
~Work four or five inches at the top of the loom then flip it over and work four or five inches on the bottom.  These rows will be the ends of your Table Runner/Rug.  If you want balance repeat the rows as close to the same color strips as possible.
~Clip and pull ravel threads as you go.  Gives your neck and shoulder a chance to rest.
~Take a break often to hydrate...this might drive some to drinking...how does a Margarita sound?
~Take a break after five or so inches and take a picture...then go brag blog about it!

9/22/15

Let The Big Time Twining Begin

Yep, it's a Big Time Twining Loom...compared to the 12x16 Hecho En Mexico Frame Loom I made to see if I really wanted to be a 'Rag Rug Rat'.  I do...so I did...order the BigTimeTwiner'...and it came today.  Yay!  I've been getting ready by ripping and stripping a bunch of OLD sheets for the warp.  I have a basket full of  'Warp RagBalls' ready to go.
A pile of  raggedy denim shirts, skirts, jeans and sheets are rip stripped and ready to go for the Twining weft.  Sound like I know what I'm doing huh?
 I'm really glad I did a practice piece on the 'Lil Bitty Loom'. 
I learned a lot between the actual weaving and watching U-tube videos. 
 So, now I am all set to
Let the Big Time Twining Begin!

9/19/15

Home Sweet Home and Rag Rug Quotes

There are lots of quotes about 'HOME'...here are few of my favorites:

Where thou art, that is home.  Emily Dickenson
 
Once you get a spice in your home, you have it forever.  Women never throw out spices. 
The Egyptians were buried with their spices. 
I know which one I'm taking with me when I go.  Erma Bombeck
 
Believe it or not there are quotes about 'RUGS' too....
 
When someone beats a rug, the blows are not against the rug, but against the dust in it. Rumi
 
I feel like I could be likened to an old hound circling on a rug for the last five years. Neil Young
 
I like my house to be unique to me. 
Sure, I've bought plenty of things and put them together in my home,
but the rug you found at the flea market is so unique, it takes your room
from carbon copy to simply yours.  Nate Berkus
 
 
Where thou home...there is Art.
 
Once you've made a rug from rags...it will never be thrown out or wear out.
I will take it with me where ever I go.
 
I like my house to be unique to me.  This rag rug I made, is simply me.
 
Linking to

9/17/15

Loom Dream Come True

Conservative is how I am going to describe my immersion into the art of weaving.   It isn't that I haven't any experience with weaving...I did a few classes in college and I taught basic weaving to my students while teaching art at the junior high level. 

Over the years I have incorporated weaving in other mediums done as a student, teacher and professional artist. 

During my Southwest Period, fiber found it's way into pottery pieces. The influence of Navaho weavers, their history and craftsmanship for developing wool from sheep to fiber became an integral part of several mixed media art pieces. 

Still today, the colors and designs continue to influence choices I make.  In many ways, the Southwest influence will always be a favorite for making jewelry, clothing, and art. 

I always thought I wanted a large 'Floor Loom', but space and commitments to other 'Art Forms', and jobs took precedence.  Now, I am over the large loom and all that it entails...which is a lot.

I am now more interested in the weaving of my pioneer ancestors.  They were weavers of cloth for home and hearth. 

So, it is safe to say that repurposing fabric scraps, old clothes, sheets and more into rag rugs and other home and hearth items is built in to my DNA.  However, much to my surprise, I have taken a rather conservative approach in starting another 'Fabric Art Form' even though it is of great interest to me.  With this basically new interest, I am starting small with a home made loom.
Yep, it is a repurposed picture frame with the warp being held in place by nails and the weave secured around curtain rods.  The rods are an important part of the loom when  weaving in the ancient art of 'Twining'. 
I am drawn to this weave because it covers the warp completely and creates a more interesting texture than the typical over and under style.  I also like the way it changes the patterned fabric strips as they are woven.   So, are you wondering when I will make the jump from a 12x16 repurposed loom to a honest to goodness real 'Twining Loom'? 
This Adjustable Twining Loom' for Rugs, Place Mats or Table Runners
 in Solid Maple and Hand Made in Pennsylvania
 is on it's way to Texas.
It's a 'Loom Dream' come true. 

9/13/15

Looming Line Up of Fall Projects

I have no explanation why one project at a time is not enough for me...even after posting the
 "Let Whatever You Do Today Be ENOUGH".
I had thoughts of making that my daily motto.  Ha!
I blew that thought right outta the ball park today!
Actually, I do have a wee explanation...
"One Scrap Fabric Stripping" project leads to another and another all in one day!
Truth be told,  I have been Pinning looms and weaving projects for quite some time on Pinterest along with Rugs and Baskets.  You can view my pins on my board RAG/FABRIC Baskets Rugs.  With a number of baskets done and lots of 1 inch strips cut, it seemed like a good time to get on with setting up a loom for a rug or two or three.  Thing is, the scrap cotton strips used for baskets was not what I wanted to use on the loom. 
What do you think about knit?  Not Tshirt knit...that is what many are using these days, but I have had a tub full of jersey knit and double knit from the days of double knit pant suits and 1970-80's polyester knit.  Yikes...that's a long time to hang on to fabric.  You would think it would all be rotten...right?  Not so!  Double knit never dies.  It will outlast ever fiber known to man.  So, out of the tub onto the cutting table, warped on a metal picture frame and the weaving began. Fun!  The weave I am doing is called 'Twining'.  You can see the process on Simply Resourceful Blog in three short videos. 
Next in the Line Up is a crocheted rag rug using the left over strips from baskets and adding two strands of Homespun yarn.  There is LOTS of homespun in the Yarn-A-Rama Stash.  I like the texture and color it adds to the rug.  You can check out how to make a crochet rag rug and how to add strips on the RAG/FABRIC Basket Rug board.
This is the next cut glass divided dish in waiting.  It will be my first oval jewelry basket and will be made from a group of Fall Fabric Strips featured on the Tag of the FALL GALLERY.  You can take a look at the previous 'Jewelry Baskets' there.  Just click HERE or on the Sidebar FALL GALLERY tag.
Last on the Line Up is my last Needlepoint Christmas Stocking.  Twelve years ago, I started THREE LARGE stockings.  Grandgal #1 got hers for Christmas four years ago.  Grandson #2 got his for his first Christmas six years ago...it was a smaller stocking.  Grandson #1 got his for Christmas last year.
This Christmas, Grandgal #2 will get her stocking.  I promise! 
Guess I'd better get to stitching....December is just around the corner!
Have you started your Looming Christmas Line Up?

9/12/15

Avon Diamond Dish Destiny

Finding this dish at the Thrift Store for $1 is what I'd call a pretty lucky find.  Especially since I was on the search for clear cut glass plates or relish dishes no larger than 9 inches and they had to be shallow.   As is often the case with thrift dishes this one was coated with so much dishwasher gunk that AVON was not readily noticeable.  After a good scrubbing...there it was....nice, huh?
The scalloped rim made a nice edge for the rag basket sides of double crochet to snuggle up to.  I love how the facets of the cut glass reflect the colors.  It isn't something you can plan to happen...it's a happy accident of sorts.  I looked this 6.5" flower petal plate up on Ebay...it was listed for $3.60 plus shipping.  There were probably a kabillion of them made back when, but it looks like I have one of only two left on the whole wide world web. 
You know it's value will likely go through the roof since it has been paired with jewels and jewel toned out of print fabrics as well as gorgeous ribbon yarns in a 'One of a Kind' piece.  It doesn't matter that it all came from my 'Junk Jewelry Stash' and 'Scrap Fabric and Yarn Bins'.  
Does it?

9/10/15

Relish Dishes and Fabric Stash Stripping...

...what they have in common! Can you guess?   

Before I reveal their commonality, let me tell you how I am relishing cutting some of my 'Fall Fabrics' into ONE Inch Strips. 

Wow, it is so liberating!  Usually I am very frugal with fabric yardage...doling it out in small increments as needed.  Lately though, I'm getting kind of crazy with the rotary cutter and slicing up a half yard of fabric at one time which gives me 18 one inch strips.  Believe it or not I have doubled that with several pieces in my stash!

Like I said....sooooo liberating and fun putting together the pieces that I think will work in my latest and most unlikely pairing of 'Pickle Dishes and Fabric Strips".
Then there is the addition of buttons, beads and baubles!  Have you figured it out yet?
It's a Jewelry Basket!

9/5/15

I'm Sew Stitchy....

You have heard the idom...'One thing leads to another'...right?  That is how much of what I do seems to stitch out.

However, in the case of making 'Sewing Baskets'...One thing leads to the same thing...another basket.  This one inspired by my Mother's Sewing Box.

For almost two years now, her collection of buttons, thread, fabrics and sewing-stitching stuff has been part of my Sewing Studio.  It has been a comfort to me.  Now it is time to share!
The basket is made from the same fabrics as "The Cotton Shirts Off Her Back" quilt.   What fun I had going through her 'Button Box' which was a catch all for everything from buttons, beads, washers, bolts and screws.  I stitched a variety of buttons around the basket top with a dangle ending in her thimble.   Then I filled it thusly.....
I'm Sew Stitchy I Stitch Stitching Stuff!!!

9/4/15

A Reminder...Mostly To Myself

 Your mind will always believe everything you tell it.
Feed it faith.
Feed it truth.
Feed it Love.

9/2/15

September Is National Sewing Month

I can't think of a better way to begin September than to join in the celebration of National Sewing Month.  It was first celebrated in 1982 after President Ronald Reagan declared Spetember as National Sewing Month "In recognition of the importance of home sewing to our Nation."

Included in the realm of 'Sewing' are needlepoint, embroidery, cross stich, garment sewing, and my personal favorite quilting, to name a few.  Each of these categories have made important contributions to the home sewing industry, the industrial and manufacturing industries, and are significant in history world wide.

Here's an interesting and prophetic statement made by Thomas Jefferson to his daughter. 
"In the country life of America there are moments when a woman can have recourse to nothing but her needle for employment.  When one is in dull company and it is poor taste to read, or simply leave, the needle is a valuable resource".
 
Good advice and still viable today whether one is a country girl or a city girl. 
I'll add to that and say, "With needle, thread, fabric, or yarn in hand, one need never be bored".
 
A Sewing Basket or two or three are a must!  Don't you agree?
Happy National Sewing Month!

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