Friday, June 10, 2016

Nature and Rugs

I'm hoping for rug inspiration.

 I've been working on some penny rugs, 
nothing exciting to show and tell currently. 

So, the garden beckons, it's that time of year.

I'm a bit of a junker.
 I've been yearning to make a succulent planter from an old lamp.

I saved a pin on my Pinterest board ages ago.

Is this not gorgeous!?
(I've been searching and can't find the true source of this photo.)

Succulents in vintage floor lamp-love this repurposed item:  

I finally got my hands on a rusty old lamp.

It's a work in progress, succulents in the photo above don't grow well in our cooler climate. 
 My version will have less colour.

Cut and remove the cord and unscrew the bulb base from a rusty old lamp.
Break off the chandelier bulb sockets.

Strap a lined planter basket to the chandelier arms, trim.


Mound dirt up, I used an overturned plastic pot. I cut a big opening in the bottom of it first.

Fill with beautiful succulents.

Find a great place to display, wait for compliments.
It will fill in and reward you.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dear Diary

I started a diary when I was young. 
Never did write much in it.  My brother always thought it was fun to pick the lock.  I have three brothers and a sister.  The youngest of my bros, the one that couldn't leave the diary lock alone, was the "geek". My brothers were all good at fixing things and building things, especially anything to do with cars.  My geekie brother liked to invent.  His best friend lived across the street.  My best friend was his best friend's sister.  I remember one day my little sister and I were sure there were martians on our street.  Bro had tagged into our string tin can communication and was feeding the line static and space like transmissions! We were so frightened, and gullible.  

It's stuff like that I think of when I think about keeping a diary.

This is my diary.  
I have written on this blog about a few life moments, but mostly it's a journey I've been taking through my creative life.  I always like to make and fix things like my brothers.  My creations are with fabric or refinishing furniture.  I  like to re-imagine, help rebuild, and renovate the spaces my family and I live in.  We haven't tackled a renovation for a long time....I might be getting an itch.

I have written about my projects. To share but mostly to remember how I made them!  I can't tell you how many times I've referred to my own blog for instructions.  Same is true about my YouTube videos.  Both this blog and my YouTube channel have helped me understand the internet. 
 And wow, the friendships I've made because of the internet!  Fabulous fringe benefit.

Blogs have really changed, so many advertisements on them. I'm glad to see folks working for a living where they can make it.  That's what you have to do.  It just seems to spoil the atmosphere, that's what I think.  This is my blog, my diary, so I can say that.

All this practice at writing has made me wish I kept that diary.

Memories fade, photos are great but not the same as reading a story. I wish I'd written my mom's stories, my dad's stories, and my grandparents stories.  So many stories I remember, but so many that are lost. I remember them accurately?

Keep a diary or a blog, remember the stories. 

Okay, back to the wool stash, I think that's why I'm itchie.


Saturday, December 26, 2015


The centerpiece

The table before the feast. Yes I used a drop cloth.  It's great!

Today in my studio, filling orders.

Do you know what these will be? Only four in the works, 
won't be ready until mid February for purchase.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Table Settings

Every year it's the same thing that I leave until the last minute.  
The table. 
I'm always looking for just the right place mats. 
 I was thinking of a cabin woodland theme this year, seems to be the trend, and ordered some burls. 
Turns out I don't enjoy having the plate raised up on a platform. 

Place mats can be really pricey, especially for a big crowd.

One year I bought two table runners from Pier One that were made up of 8 round ruffles, 
larger than dinner plate size, all stitched into a row.  
I snipped those apart and voila, 16 ruffly, round, deep red place mats.

Still thinking and searching. Not wanting ruffles again....
was ready to cut burlap into chunks and make my own.
Time running out....

One last stop today into the gift shop and voila!
5 table runners, half price.
Snip, snip, and 20 minutes later at the sewing machine
10 place mats! 
(small crowd this year)

What do you think, I might use a hardware store cotton drop cloth for the table linen. 
Really.....I've washed the heck out of it.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Plaid Tongue Rug Tutorial

I'm so pleased to be able to share
my tutorial for the Plaid Tongue Rug.
Affectionately known between Cee and me as the Tom Rug.
It was Tom Pryor's snippet of a penny rug photo that inspired me.
The lesson can make any rug.
See it, be inspired, imagine it, and make your own version.

Cut a piece of lightweight wool or flannel to about 26 inches square.
Remember to use up and make do,
that's what penny rugs are about.
 Fold in half twice to find the center lines.
Make a long running stitch both ways to mark your center.

Lay out 2 inch mixed plaid pennies into 10 rows of 10.
Yes, that's 100 2 inch pennies.
I use scotch tape to hold my rows
and I mark each row with a number. 
It really helps if this becomes a UFO
and you don't get back to it for months.
  Remember to remove some of the stick of the tape. 
Press it to your jeans or other fabric before laying it on the pennies. 

Blanket stitch each penny, start from the center row and work outwards.
Create a star at each center. 
 Hide your back stitches inside,
between the penny and the backing.
I never make knots.

Check your rows often to be sure they are even.

Enjoy the work, take your time.
This was my summer project.
(explains why some photos are so bright)

Almost done

Check your inventory and lay out forty 4 inch x 2 inch rectangles

Start to work on the bias trim
Trim each 4 x 2 rectangle, using a 2" circle temple, at one end only.

Cut lots and lots of 1 1/2" bias strips. Did I say lots?
 Use a variety of plaids.  I used approximately 15 yards.
You need about 9 inches per tongue and about 3.5 yards for the backside trim.

Joining a bias strip

This is a 3/4" bias fold tip. Iron your strips into folds.

If you're lucky enough, use the Simplicity bias maker to do the ironing.
Pin right side of bias to tongue and machine stitch.
Stitching in the fold, ease around the corner. 

Hand stitch the back side of the bias trim.
Lay out all your finished tongues. 

Stack them up and set aside.

Masking tape the edges of your rug with 1" masking tape.
I learned this great trick from my friend
 Cee at Early Style Penny Rugs!
Carefully trim away the excess
Now pin those tongues back in place. Right sides together.

Carefully machine stitch, following the corner tongue,
pivot at each edge to turn the corner.
That was easy.
Trim away the excess base (red) fabric at each corner.

Now you've pinned the right side of your bias tape to the tongues,
 run around the edge with your sewing machine. 
Stitching the bias tape, following the fold line.
Do a happy dance, you are almost done!

Can you see the folded beginning end, underneath the presser foot,
as I finish and meet up with the beginning of the bias tape.
Overlapping for a neat ending. 

Turn out to show the beautiful right side

Fold and pin the bias tape over at the back.

Blind stitch the bias tape in place to finish.

The back of the Plaid Tongue Rug

Ta da!
Now challenge yourself, make your own version.
It doesn't have to have bound tongues, blanket stitch them instead.
The pennies don't have to be in straight rows,
alternate them.
Dream it, stitch it!
Check my YouTube Channel for the video version.