10/31/15

Harvest Moon Mandala

In many cultures, a full moon in the months of September and October is referred to as a Harvest Moon.  In Native American culture, the Harvest Moon of September represents the most advantageous time to pick or harvest crops.  This time frame gave them almost a half hour more to harvest their crops beneath the light of the moon.
Coincidentally, I finished this crocheted mandala on October's 'Full Moon'...the 27th...under the light of  an Ott Light.  If I were staying true to Native American Lore, I should have named this mandala Hunters Moon which is the full moon of October.  It represents the onset of hunting season when deer can be clearly seen by the light of the moon.  Let me see how I can make this work with the light of an Ott Light Bulb....Otter season?

10/29/15

Feather Power Mandala...A Force Within

In Native American culture, feathers represent the power of the thunder gods, and symbolically deal with ascension and spiritual evolution to a higher plane.  Another symbol meaning of feathers revolves around prayer and the use of feather sticks in ritual rain dances.

I have always had a fascination for feathers.  I might go so far as to call it a Feather Fetish.  For many years, I was under the impression that somewhere in my Family Tree there was a Native American branch...or at least a twig.  My imagination ran wild when I learned that my 2X Great Grandmother's maiden name was Leatherwood.   The Feather Fascination flourished in many aspects of my life....in my Art, in my closet, jewelry, home décor and more.   So, it came as somewhat of a surprise and a disappointment when my Genealogy Research led to the post...Leatherwood-Pittman Myths Debunked.  Nevertheless, feathers and their symbolism still fascinate and resonate with me. 

I didn't purposefully create feather images or think about their symbolism as I crocheted this Mandala.  As I added the finishing touches and thought about what to use to highlight the center, I instinctively reached for the feather pot.  I have come to realize that the relationship between Spirituality and Artistic Expression is a powerful shaping force in life.  Here are a couple of feather thoughts...
Let me be as a feather.
Strong with purpose yet light at heart.
Able to bend.
And, though I might become frayed,
Able to pull myself
Together again.
 
One day, you're a Peacock.
The next day you're a
Feather Duster.

10/28/15

YarnARama Circle Crochet Chaos to Contemplation

It is organized chaos around my Nesting TV Chair.  It's been that way for several days...or maybe weeks...I lost track...it's a result of getting an overdose of FiberPsychosis.  It's what happens when I Fiber Multi-Task.  It's how I roll in order to get in a JOB work schedule, to get ready for a SHOW, and watch my favorite evening TV shows. 

Lately, I have been pretty wrapped up in Twining on my LibbyLuLa Loom.  I still am...but, then I saw something 'Shinny'...that's what HiHoney says when I loose focus and flit from one project to the next or start another one.

The 'Shiny' something started with browsing on Pinterest.  Mandalas! 
Mandala (Sanskrit Mandala, 'circle') is a spiritual and ritual symbol in a number of religions around the world including Native American.  The Native American Mandala is created in honor of a people that truly understand the deeper meanings of thought, nature, and life. 
 
I have more to tell you about Native American Mandala's and how they relate to my YarnARama Circle Crochet Chaos, but I have to cut this short and go to my JOB.  I'll leave you with this thought to Contemplate ....
What goes around comes around.
Keep the Circle
Positive
Peaceful
and
Loving.

10/24/15

ETSY Shop...Shameless Selfie Ad

You know...in todays market place of 'It's Hand Done, Honey'
...if YOU don't promote your stuff...
it's not going to get out there for all the 'www dot coms' or 'live shoppers' to see. 
So here is my 'Shameless Selfie Ad'.
(click on pic Ad to enlarge)
or better yet
Visit CollectInTexas ETSY Shop
CITexas on ETSY
click on Texas!

10/22/15

Christmas Rug Sneak Peek

Have I mentioned my HUGE TUB of Christmas Fabrics? No!! Really???  Imagine that!  After all the confessions I have made about my Fabric Addictions, you would at least think I would have fessed up about the HoHoHoarded Christmas Stash. Okay, here goes..."My name is OverDoSue and I am a Christmas FabricAholic", and I can seriously justify having a HUGE TUB of Santa, Holly, Snowman, Poinsettia, Nutcracker, Gingerbread and just about any Christmas Print ever made.  I LOVE CHRISTMAS...nuff said!!!!
Here are a few Holly and Poinsettia prints that are available for 'Rag Stripping'....only because they are not among the quilt shop, brand name, vintage, etc. etc. Christmas fabrics.  Alexander Henry would most likely strike my name from his Preferred Customer list if I even dared to think of ripping up this RARE out of PRINT HoHoHoarded fabric....
...not to mention how Santa would never allow Rudolph to land on my rooftop again. 

10/21/15

Wordless Wed...Texas State Cemetery

Thank-you Great Grandfather for Your Service.
 
George Washington Pittman
July 26, 1843 ~ June 12, 1938
 
Your Great Granddaughters
Sue and Connie
Visited Texas State Cemetery
October 15, 2015
(click on pic to enlarge for reading of plaques)

10/20/15

Rag Rug Stripping 101 for LibbyLuLa 409

I really wanted to title this post 'Stripping 101 for LibbyLuLa 409'. 

Can you just imagine the disappointment of those who took the title literally as LibbyLuLa giving a tutorial on Stripping 101?  Plus the confusion of scrolling through the photos featuring a Christmas Theme rather than 'Let Me Entertain You' with Gypsy Rose Lee.  Now I am really dating myself!

Anyway, since becoming a 'Twiner', I have learned a few things about how I go about designing and planning a piece for my LibbyLuLa Loom.  My traditional 'InnerQuilterSelf' takes over!  What can I say?  I am a color, pattern, texture, measuring, etc.etc. balanced person. Here's an example....
...exact measuring for strips.  Who does that for Rags?  Then there is the 'Tearing vs Cutting' thingy!  For my first experimental rug...here...I carefully rotary cut every strip at 1 inch...exactly...really, Sue!   After some study, research and UTubing I discovered that tearing was quicker and a more efficient use of time.   Still, measuring and clipping is important to me for uniform strips.  Then there is tearing with the fabric grain or against it.  I know, it's an 'OverThinking' thingy, but, some fabrics RAVEL more when torn from selvage to selvage which is against the grain.

Which brings me to the next issue on tearing vs cutting....raveled edges versus clean edges.  As you twine strips around the warp, torn strips ravel more as they are pulled through the warp which creates a tangle of thread to be clipped or pulled off.

The next consideration is the right and wrong side of the fabric.  OMG, again, really, Sue?  I blame my Mother for this...."Sue, the inside or backside of whatever you make should look as neat and well crafted as the Front."   So, I listen to my 'MomInnerVoice' and FOLD the 2 inch strips in half so the front and back are the same.  This takes a bit more time as you Twine, but if that is the look you want...then it is worth the time it takes. 
Here is the 'LineUp' of stripped Christmas Fabrics for a Table Runner.   If this were going to be a Quilt, these would be the colors, prints and scale of prints that I would use.  The one thing that is less planned is the pattern.  That will be a bit more intuitive in Twining' and will also depend on number of strips it takes to repeat the pattern for a balanced table runner....ie...repeat same strips on top and bottom.  Remember, on the Twining Loom you work equally from the Top and Bottom to the Center.  At least that is my Balanced Method.  One of these days I am going to call on my Asymmetrical PsychoSelf  and do a CrazyTwined Rug....maybe.
So, until then here's a close-up view of the 'Stripping 101 for LibbyLuLa'
and what I hope to be a well balanced, well crafted front and back
 Christmas Table Runner.
For those of you who were hoping for something more risqué and entertaining...

10/19/15

Thrifting for Twining Fabrics & Tools

This is kinda embarrassing!!!  Here I am a QUILTER with a STASH of FABRIC...as they say..."To Die For".  So, why am I spending good money for more Fabric?  Because I can't see 'Cutting/Stripping" quilt shop quality, high dollar, brand name, out of print, vintage, hoarded fabrics into RAG RUGS.  I just can't do it! 

The solution for Rag Rug Twining fabrics....Thrift Store Shopping!  As you know if you are a long time reader of this blog, thrifting is a part of my DNA, and as a Goodwill Huntress, I am a Fabric Bin Bomber.  For instance, the tag 'Lrg Piece Floral Cloth' with the $10 price might not seem like a good deal to most, but it was for me...especially when I pulled it out of the pile and 'chin to elbow' measured it at a good 6 yards.  Yup, it is a 'Lrg Piece' alright!  Thank-you vendor #29...you just made my day and a Twining Rag Rug maker very happy.
Just about finished with this Table Runner.
Here's what is next to be Stripped for Twining.
And
Here's what I am waiting for to make Rag Rug Making more efficient and easier
on an Old Quilter's Neck and Shoulder!
Libby LuLa 409 companion piece....The Easel.
Not dollar Thrifted...but a Big Saver & Ease on Old Quilters N&S.
Hmmm...guess that's why it's called and Easel.
Works for me!

10/17/15

Walk About at Fisher Park

If you want a taste of Texas Fall in October, you often have go on a Walk About.   I had to take a five hour drive in order to see the changing of the leaves.  Then I did the Walk About at Fisher park in New Braunfels.  Fisher Park is a newly developed area of land that was once the Fisher Family Ranch.  The park provides a natural habitat for animals, birds and people to enjoy the trails, lake, modern buildings, and educational habitats like the 'Butterfly Garden'.
Lucky me....it's Monarch Migration time.
Happy Trails for All.

10/10/15

Fall Tablescaping with Rag Runner and Amber Moon & Stars


A bit of 'Fall Tablescaping going on here.  It is always a nice change in our dining room when it is time to put on the fall table decorations which include a 'For Our Blessings We Give Thanks' quilt I made many years ago.  It is also a perfect time to get a few shots of the just finished table runner I mentioned in the Color and Pattern Consideration Make A Difference post.  All of the considerations made in the planning and actual weaving turned out just as I had hoped.

The one thing that worked exceptionally well in keeping it low key was the continuous use of the dark green strip.   In Twining, two strips are used for the weaving around the warp.  By always having one of the strips dark green it made the accent colors of rust, gold and blue-green dulled down and blended.

On this rug/table runner I found a perfect woven border with a twisted rope fringe.  I think this will be more pleasing and certainly will not ravel  like a fabric fringe would.

Now on to the next project on Libby LuLa 409 which is another table runner.  It's already on the loom.

As I mentioned earlier, the dining room table is covered with the quilt I use every year.  This year I have a new piece of glassware as the centerpiece.  Isn't it perfect for a Fall Table?  It is a Moon and Stars amber scallop edged and footed bowl.  It is quite large with a 10 inch circumference and sits 5 inches high.  It goes perfectly with several other pieces of amber Moon and Stars in my collection. 

Now, mind you, I have sworn off of buying any more glassware, but.....how could I resist this Goodwill find for $1.99.  REALLY!!!  It is in mint condition and from what I have seen is valued in the $40 range.   As a collectible, amber pieces are not the most popular or valued at the high end, but still very collectible and perfect for a fall table setting.  I'll keep it for awhile!

10/8/15

Howling Coyote Jonette Jewelry Pin

As you know, from earlier posts and photos, not only am I a gal from Texas, but I have a great love and appreciation for almost all things Southwest.  I'll clarify...I don't love rattlesnakes or much of anything that represents them...no snakeskin boots, no rattler collection, no snakes in a globe, no snake anything.   Let's talk about something else...like...this amazing Jonette Jewelry Coyote Pin.

Long a Southwest symbol, the coyote has been depicted in Southwest Art for centuries.  In 1986 the company that holds the JJ Trademark began marketing a line of pewter pins depicting animals of  the American West.
The JJ trademark represents Jonette Jewelry. a company founded in 1935 as Providence Jewelry Co. by Abraham Lisker. After WWII when metal shortages were brought on by the war, the company reemerged as Jonette Jewelry in honor of owners Abraham and Nathan Lisker's parents...John and Etta.

The JJ Trademark became an instant collectible on September 1, 2006 when the company announced it's closing due to foreign competition and market conditions. 

This pin has been in my collection probably since it first came out on the market.  I don't remember exactly what I paid for it, but it's value has more than tripled as an out of production collectible.

You can view the Howling Coyote pin on my recently re-opened Etsy shop.
Here is the link:

10/7/15

Color and Pattern Consideration Makes A Difference

Of the three 'Twined Rugs' I have made, 'Color Consideration' on this third one has taken the most planning.  Why is that you are wondering when a basket full of left over scrap strips are being used?  Why not randomly select a strip and go with whatever develops? 
Here are my considerable considerations that will make a difference when all is said and done....
~limited numbers of scrap strips for repeating throughout the table runner which is being made for a specific table.
~the recipient has an eye for detail and will be more visually pleased and comfortable with a planned, repeated pattern.
~the recipient is more comfortable with darker colors especially browns, rust, and forest green. 
When creating for someone who has specific needs,
and you want them to feel comfortable with the end result,
Color Consideration and Pattern Makes A Difference. 

10/5/15

SanteFe Rag Rug and Junk Jewelry

Twenty-five years ago this coming December, this SanteFe Junk Necklace was a 25th Anniversary gift from my husband.  Even though it is called a 'Junk Necklace', it is not made of junk but precious gemstones, shell, turquoise nuggets, silver and brass beads.
 It is the perfect piece to compliment my second 'Twined Rug' along with a 'Pine Needle Basket' I made about the same time as the SanteFe trip. The basket was made from needles from a Pine Tree that was in our front yard...more about that in a later post.  These items, the basket and necklace, are included in these photos as a way to document them as well as enhance the 'SanteFe Rag Rug' with it's beautiful southwest colors.
This rug is 18 inches by 24 inches...a perfect table top mat.  As the second piece made on my new Loom, I tried out the third warp peg bar that makes the loom so much more versatile in creating different sizes of rugs.  I really liked working on this size...it worked up in a couple of days.  Again, it was another learning experience with several things to note...#1 pull tighter on turn strips that wrap around the rod.  And #2 warp with darker color when majority of strips are darker prints.  This will eliminate the warp peg ends from showing.  This is how I solved the problem on this rug....
.....crocheted an edging through the warp loops and space between each one.
Definitely something to 'Tweet' about.

10/1/15

Indian Summer the West Texas Way

The Fall Season is slowly making it's way to West Texas.   Many refer to this time as 'Indian Summer'.  These last few weeks and days to come do fit the criteria of days that are warm, the atmosphere is hazy, little to no wind, high barometer readings and the nights are clear and chilly.

Why Indian Summer?  Some say it comes from the early Algonquian Native Americans, who believed that the condition was caused by a warm wind sent from the court of their southwest god, Cautantowwit.  There are other theories of the origin of Indian Summer, but I like the Native American one...it speaks to my love of the Southwest.

What could be more Southwest than handcrafted Southwest pottery and a woven rug!   This 'Twined Table Runner' made of denim was the first project made on my Libby LuLa 409 Loom.  It is 12 inches wide and 48 inches long.  I am very pleased with the way it turned out and quite satisfied with being able to weave again.  A second rug is already on the loom.
 

Indian Summer
by Wilfred Campbell
Along the line of smoky hills
The crimson forest stands,
And all the day the blue-jay calls
Throughout the autumn lands.
 
Now by the brook the maple leans
With all his glory spread,
And all the sumachs on the hills
Have turned their green to red.
 
Now by great marshes wrapt in mist,
Or past some river's mouth,
Throughout the long, still autumn day
Wild birds are flying south.

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