Wednesday, April 30, 2008

When rug making is not only recycling, its a humanitarian act to save us from horrible fashion

I found this poodle skirt last week, which was timely, as one of our dear friends who works at Diamond is retiring this week, and she has a thing for black and white patterns, so I offered to make her a pair of trivets with that scheme.

It was especially fortuitous for the people of Chicago that I needed to do such a quick turn around (I'm taking the trivets in Friday) as Tess' mother, our dear Barb, would surely have prevented me from taking the scissors to it and claimed it as our own. Barb is beautiful, a wonderful mother in law, a quality human being... but such things are best left as fond memories of ones' halcyon youth... rather like the peg legs and jean vests I wore to high school in the 80s.

Now... if I could only get my hands on a pair of candy apple red or lime green 3x hot pants...

poodle skirt and trivet 001

poodle skirt and trivet 002

poodle skirt and trivet 003

poodle skirt and trivet 004

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Video- stalking the wild umbrella in Chicago

Online Videos by

(In Elmer Fudd voice) Ssssshhhh, be wery wery quieeet, I'm hunting 'brellas! Its the little things like this to which I look forwards. Each time I walk the dogs, its an opportunity to meet new people, or find new things for my rugs.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Toothbrush rugs: Matching hot pads, yellow umbrella

I made these for Tess' migraine doctor. We see him today, so as soon as I finish this post I'll add the hanging loop to one on the right.

I like making hot pads for people as gifts. Its easy and quick, useful to the recipient, and you don't have to think so hard about matching the person's decor, etc. I did ask him his kitchen theme etc. last time we saw him.
nissans hot pads

yellow umbrella for rugOf course, I always love it when I find umbrellas to work into rugs. Here's my latest find.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Please take my survey- is this rug as ugly as I think it is?

The horror... the horror...

Maybe not all materials can be recycled into a beautiful rug?

These are curtains I "rescued." I had hopes they would look better in a rug than they do laying flat, but from the little start I've done... I'm dubious.

Now, Tess and I have particular and rarefied tastes. I'd be glad to hear if someone else sees beauty where I see a mixture of baby foot and dog vomit, but I'm not going to continue working on this unless I have pretty good reason to believe someone out there somewhere might want it when I'm done (either as a gift or sold.)


PS- No improvement on Tess. We take her for her weekly pain shot tomorrow, but if things aren't looking much better, we're going to ask that she be admitted.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The 50s rug- soon to be completed and made available for sale / Update on my wife's health issues

Click for larger image50s rug with future final row

I found a lusciously beautiful sheet set last night (outside my friend's Snark's)- it will make a beautiful stand alone rug, but I'm going to use a bit of it to make a final row on this rug. I'll be available for sale afterwards.

I've so many rug projects in progress, it'll be nice to finally finish one. And since this one- as previously discussed, needs more light to work on than my wife is usually able to bear, this will be a very elegant way to finish it, and the sheets will make a GREAT future rug!

So if anyone's interested in this one, drop me a word.

Tess Update
As for Tess, my wife... we saw her doctor yesterday. I give him lots of credit- he takes us and our situation very seriously, trusts us, and is willing to several extra miles to help Tess lead as "normal" a life as possible. So, we're trying a few new things medication wise to see if we can keep her out of the hospital.

Friday, April 11, 2008

The good news is, I found another umbrella for my rugs - The bad news is, Tess is so sick she will probably go into the hospital Monday.

The bad news- Tess is in status migraine

tess so sick she has a blanket over her eyes as killian tends to herWere  a picture ever worth 1,000 words it would be this one.  Tess is so bad that even with our blackout curtains drawn and the only light coming from fairy lights, it was too bright for her. Killian as always was aware of this and was taking care of her.

The good news- I found another blown apart umbrella for my rug!

umbrella for a rugI'll just finish removing it from its skeleton and cut it into strips.  Works great! ... Wonder how many rugs I'll finish this time she's in the hospital? 

So yeh, prayers appreciated.  I have a MAJOR exam Sunday also, over three chapters, so...

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My 50s rug and other pictures

In my other blog world, there is a weekly picture post, and the topic this week was your hobby. So I created this post for that, but, thought ya'll'd enjoy it too. Since it seems like Multiply images don't work well here, I uploaded all of these to photobucket.

50s pastel rug - maybe finished, may sell?

This rug I call my "50s rug" because the colors are reminiscent of that era. I'm not sure if I'm done with it or not. It doesn't work with our decor AT ALL, but it is one of the most beautiful I've made.

I may wind up selling it, I do have the materials to continue it... the problem when a rug reaches this size is, you need to have a lot of space to work on it. A second problem unique to this sort of "abstract art" freestyle rug is... you need to have good and fairly natural light to work on it, as I chose each strip individually by how it "works" with the ones around it. The only "plan" for this sort of rug is to go with the "artistic dao." Well, with my wife disabled with migraines and often needing a low light situation, I don't often have enough light to really make the choices properly.

So here it sits... for now. I'm always game for ideas about it. In the mean time, I work on plastic bag/umbrella rugs when I'm on the "L" or at Tess' doctor (because they're lighter to lug around) and monochrome rugs made from jeans or old blankets at home, since neither needs the attention to color congruity that a rug like the one above does.

These images are all of clothing rugs, but the technique works equally well as a way to recycle old shopping bags, umbrellas, hosiery, etc. I couldn't put my hands on images of those more exotic materials so easily, but if you look through my blog here or the blog I have which is just about this craft- you'll see them.

Its a great way to recycle time and mat'ls which would otherwise go to waste, and anyone can do it. I can't draw or cut a straight line, I'm a menace with tools, but... I can do this, and have for over 30 years!


Still images

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

On the poll, and on the new link

One of my faithful readers told me about another site which has a tutorial. I've not had time to watch her videos (I should really be studying for my Anatomy exam right now) but I wanted to tie up some loose ends (if you'll forgive the pun).

About the poll- my wife is still too sick to assist me with either doing the sewing or holding the camera. So the improved tutorial showing the needle work more explicitly will have to wait for her health to improve.

Someone suggest diagrams... which would be a GREAT idea if I could draw, but I can't. This is the ONLY handcraft I do... all my other artistic endeavors involve the mediation of machines (photography, video, writing.)

So the options are...
  • A video showing the process from a better angle with better lighting and more explicit commentary.
  • A slide show with annotated pictures and my narration.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

FINALLY- I got to finish a project, even though it was "just" a hot pad.

I always make my professors a hot pad of the colors of their choice. I made this for my Spanish teacher. Even though the "perfect storm" of ill health which beset me and my wife at the same time means I've given up that class, I still wanted to make the trivet for the teacher.

The hanging hook is the best I've made yet... I used a series of half hitch knots (which are also the ones I discovered work great for making an easy rug start) and then used a "basket weave" stitch to tuck the end under.

The other thing which went very well was how I "signed" it on the back. I do this with most of my rugs, but like the hanging hook, I never quite do it the same way twice.

With both, though, I think I'm on to something which works pretty well. Its in my nature to always experiment and look for ways to make a system better, but... once you've perfected one system, you get to move along and perfect another one!

If you look closely (or click for the full sized view) at the bottom picture, you'll notice I also showed the size in METRIC for my international readers.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

My mother's rug stories, another installment

I shot a LOT of video the last time we were home with my mother, but I've been so busy and sick that I've not been able to weed through the 6 gigs of files to find what is worth posting and where, what should just be kept for family history, etc.

My health has largely returned, so I started in on the project again last night.

When my wife's health stabilizes, we'll shoot the improved tutorial videos for which several of you have asked.

Grandma's unfinished rug which my mother finished, the rug Mama made from her children's flannel jammies, etc.

This is one of the longer and more poignant rug story videos I've uploaded.
My mother telling the stories behind her rugs, including the rug my grandmother (her mother) was working on when shedied and which my mother finished, the rug my mother made of all of us kids' flannel jammies, etc. As always, my papillon dogs Hilde and Killian make cameos. I shot in lower frame rate mode to conserve drive space while visiting my mothers', so when people or the camera are moving the video is a bit herky-jerky. My wife Tess also is heard off camera.

Online Videos by

Some rugs my mother made "just because" and the papillon' appreciation of them

Online Videos by

Questions, comments?

Blog Directory