Friday, July 31, 2009

Oh my

What have I gotten myself into?

My other two antique rugs arrived in the mail on Wednesday as well and when I got home to open the package last night I was a bit aghast.

I really like both of the rugs I purchased, but the old mothball/mildew smell is really quite awful!

So, last night I hung both of them outside for some airing out and I’m leaving them outside today while I’m at work….hoping to get rid of some of that “old” smell that they have.

I’ve also been perusing the net trying to find out the best way to clean these rugs…..I feel that they are too fragile to be put in the washer.

I think my plan is to take the one in the worst shape and try to vacuum it as best I can and then put it in the tub to soak. It has really muted colors, so I don’t think I will have to worry about colors bleeding on this one…, it’s in such bad shape that I feel that it really can’t get any worse than it already is.

However, I’m getting ready to go on vacation, so in the meantime I need to find somewhere to store these rugs. I wouldn’t dare put them in my rug room as they are sooooo dirty. The attic might be too hot…will have to think this one over for a bit.

If there is anyone out there reading this blog who knows much about rug restoration I would love to bend your ear.

Kenny thinks I may as well just have thrown my money in the trash on these rugs… one point I thought maybe he was right, but this is really something I would like to explore….restoring antique rugs.

I like to think of the challenge of cleaning them, dyeing wool to match, patching, hooking, etc.  Giving them a second live. I know these rugs will never be destined for the floor again, so perhaps I will also explore mounting…..if only I can get them clean and smelling nice (okay….just NOT smelling of old).

Cleopatra seemed to enjoy the rug that was in the worst shape of all.

Here is a picture of the center of the rose rug….pretty bad, huh? I know that it looks like there is burlap behind it, but it has been backed with another piece of burlap…..we’ll see and I’ll try to document in pictures what I do on my journey to bring these rugs back to life.

Click on the picture below to see it super-sized…no calories!

Go forth and be creative,


Thursday, July 30, 2009

A most perfect day

Sleeping in, but not too late.

Pouring myself a cup of coffee, having waffles and putting wool to soak for a day of dyeing.

Dyeing yards upon yards of wool.

Relaxing by the pool and taking a little nap under the slightly overcast sky (okay, this is MY perfect day…fair complected girl that I am).

Receiving two boxes in the post with antique rugs inside.

Taking freshly dyed wool to the store and displaying two of the antique rugs.

Dinner out with Angie


(in from Florida) and the girls at Mexican Villa.


Having a Corona so cold that it has ice crystals in it.

Lots of sharing and laughter and trying to talk Stephanie and Connie into getting on


My idea of a perfect day.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I can’t buy everything I want….

….if I did, where would I put it all?

Here are some “finds” on eBay this morning.

I have no affiliation with any of these sellers….just admiring their wares.

This wonderful braided ottoman footstool! Now that is cool! The top lifts off!

Click on the picture to go to the auction.

Here is an interesting rug….I might actually have a place for it….weird enough to be cute! Click on the picture to go to the auction

This is the backside of it…..does anyone know the technique used to make this? I’m curious.


Here is a cool braided pillow….I think the shipping is a bit high, but it’s great! Again, click on the pic to go to the auction.

I’m allergic to cats, but this is adorable….a cat thread holder!

Click on the top picture to go to the auction.

Here is an old sterilizer cabinet….cool shape! Great to house a collection….would have been perfect for my salt and pepper shakers!

Click on the pic to go to the auction.

A knife/utensil rack? Sheri, this would look great in your kitchen!

Okay, that’s it for today. Happy shopping!


Friday, July 24, 2009

Update on the Garden Rug

Just so you know, I’ve also been hooking on the garden rug. I haven’t decided what to do with the background yet…..maybe I have, but not committed yet.

I have two looks that I like for the background.

I love the work of Kim Parker and how she has different swashes of colors in her backgrounds. I especially like this because then I can make the flowers the colors that I want and transition what colors work the best behind them.

I’m also a big fan of Gustav Klimt….he on the other hand, has a LOT going on in his backgrounds….very lively! I’m thinking that might be a wee bit tedious in the long haul.

Here is an update on the Garden Rug

Click on the picture to see it mega-sized.

Go forth and be creative,


If you have any ideas for the background I’d love to hear them.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Have I lost my mind?

Yesterday, after buying the two rugs I posted about, I got on a roll and purchased two more!

However, these are in really bad shape!  This first one I acquired for $25. It is 2’5” x 3’8”.

I’m considering this as my next step in my rug hooking education……Restoration 202.

I’ve dyed wool and repaired some of my own rugs (Restoration 101) that have had loops pulled out, but nothing like this!

Pretty sad huh?  I just couldn’t help myself…..I’m hoping there is some old rug hooker up in the sky who will give me the will and determination to go through with this.

This next rug is in great shape compared to the previous one. The braided border put me over the edge! I’ve learned to braid, but it’s not easy… least not for me!

I acquired this one for $40. It is 2’7” x 3’3”.  Really in pretty good shape, but the middle of it is kind of chewed up.

I think it will be a great challenge to try and match the wools and decide what was in the middle of the rug above…..plain….another flower?

Today I’ve been perusing the net looking for information on rug restoration. Here are some links that I’ve found helpful.

J. Conner Hooked Rugs

Burlap & Wool Hooked Rug Repair

I’ll post more on these rugs as they arrive at my house!

If you have restored a rug, I’d love to hear from you with any tips or pointers you might have.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Antique Rugs

So this morning, rather than just looking at antique rugs, I actually purchased two of them!

I have one older rug that I bought on eBay a few years back, but this morning, I was thinking it would be great to have a display of antique rugs in the shop where I sell my wool.

So far, I have purchased this rug here

as well as it’s companion piece

I love the cottage colors and roses…..never thought of myself as a “rose” girl, but my sheets on my white iron bed in the hooking room have red roses on them, so I think after displaying them at the shop, they will look great in the hooking room.

The larger rug is in need of some repair, so perhaps I’ll learn a little bit along the way.


Small $35, Large $45

I think I did well!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Antiques for inspiration and learning

I’m up early this morning and perusing the net looking at antique rugs.  I feel that my style is changing to brighter colors these days, but I’m still drawn to the shapes and simplicity of many of the earlier rugs.

This is the first rug I came across this morning.

It is on Baker and Co. Antiques website and is listed at $5,500.

“Late 19th century. New Hampshire origin. Great muted and vibrant country colors. Wool and cotton fabrics hooked on burlap with unusual braided saw tooth border. Measures 31" wide by 26" high, professionally mounted. In very good condition.”

The braided saw tooth border is intriguing to me….I don’t think I have ever seen a rug with this treatment either in pictures or in the flesh.


Here is another old rug featuring someone’s prized cow

Again, simple and naive. I love the bright  colors in the border of this one.  It is featured on JCS Antiques for $675.

I think you will start to see a trend that I am pulled towards animals when I’m looking at older rugs.


This one, below, just pulls at my heart strings. You can click on it to see it larger.  It looks like the cats have wings. Did the hooker think her cats were angels or were they already departed. Just makes me wonder.  I also love the really muted colors of this one.  It is from Nancy Fishelson Designs and is SOLD. Sorry

A note thought on the muted colors in the rugs we are hooking today.  I know that many of us are drawn to the muted colors in vintage hooked rugs and many try to emulate this.  However, if our rugs fade over time, will there be anything left to see? Just a thought.

Her website is especially clean and beautiful.


Next up is something I aspire to do….not so much a runner like this is, but a “big ass” rug that makes a statement.  My only trouble with working on something like this is I’m always afraid I’d get bored out of my freaking mind….soooooo repetitive, but I’m sure in the end it would be sooooo worth it.  I don’t have ANY halls in my house, but this is definitely AWESOME!

This is from Nazmiyal Collection and is 2’ x 17’.

“Antique American Hooked Rug, circa 1900 - Antique American hooked rugs tend to evoke the image of traditional folk arts, but this exciting example is strikingly modern. Consisting of irregular multi-colored concentric circles on a light cocoa ground, this long rug or runner evokes the effect of Venetian millefiori glass or the mosaic architectural decoration of Antonio Gaudi. Versatility is highly desirable in a rug. This one would nicely complement a Windsor chair or streamlined modern furniture.”

Perhaps something to work on over a lifetime of hooking? Something to pick up and put down during your hooking career, using up your left over strips?


Yes, it’s more animal love!

Who can resist this guy? Plus, add the flower chain around the border….it steals my heart! I found this one at AAAWT. 40” x 44” for $4,200.

I really love the stripey effect on the dog and where you can see that they ran out of one color and tried to find something close in color to match it. I’ve tried to emulate this in some of my rugs and those are always some of my favorites when they are completed.


Here is yet another dog rug that I found on, believe it or not, “The Martha Blog”.  She said:

“ This very large hooked rug was the centerpiece in the gallery of Stephen Score, Inc. He always has show stoppers/heart stoppers.”

Okay, thanks for visiting my blog today. I know I never say this, but any comments you leave are so much appreciated….otherwise I feel like I’m just talking to myself :)

Go forth and be creative,


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Riding the Wave

Gosh, I don’t know where to start. Do you ever feel like your mind is like this? Please say yes, so I don’t feel like a TOTAL FREAK!

Just like a big powerful rush of waves. Beautiful to look at if you are on the beach, awe inspiring if you are in the middle of the curl on a surfboard, but totally knocks you over if you are standing in the ocean looking for shells and it takes you from behind.

That’s how I’ve felt lately. I’ve had a lot going on. Painting the den, getting the new pool liner installed, trying to figure out what to do with the fireplace….STILL…then to decide on the flooring for the den as well…oh yeah, still need a new overhead ceiling fan. I can feel the power of my thoughts and this excites me, but sometimes putting those thoughts into action can really knock me over…..just the sheer force of what is possible is a little like getting hit from behind with a wave you weren’t expecting.

So I know you’re wondering…..”what the heck is she talking about”?

I’ve acquired a bit more space at Simply Fibers where I guide rug hookers in their journey. I’ve wanted this for quite some time now. However, with the new space WOO HOO! I’ve also decided to re-set my area and make it look “new”, a little more “hip”…..this is taking waaaay more time than I anticipated, but it’s shaping up and I’ll share some pictures as it progresses.

If you are local to the Springfield, Missouri area, here are a few new items at the store.

Sushi rolls….(I don’t like Sushi….just thought it sounded cute)….coordinated wools….(3) 1/8 yard pieces….it’s just a kick start to give you color combo inspirations. I just have a few, but plan on adding many more combinations.

I also have a few “sale pails” with items ranging from 20% – 40% off. This will help me move inventory and be able to bring in new items more often.

(Can I hear another WOO HOO!)

What’s in the sale pails? Wools, patterns, books, videos and more! Stop by and check it out! The quicker it empties out, the quicker I can refill it!

Now, I can’t share all the new pictures all at once, plus, a few more areas in the new space are still “in progress”….I’ll share more as it comes together.

Speaking of “coming together”, I’ve worked on the garden rug just a teensy bit. I need to make more time for hooking, where do I find more time? because I get so lost in it when I set down I need to sit down and hook and stay off of Facebook and Farm Town! and start pulling those loops…..a type of therapy you might say.

As for now, I’m not sure about the background colors….I think they will wander from one panel to the next, so, unlike I normally do, I will most likely be hooking in the backgrounds dead last this time around.

Go forth and be creative,


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Any faster?

I’m still using “Live Writer”…i feel like I have to give it a chance. 

However, I’m trying to upload my pictures a little differently to see if that makes things any faster to download on here.  Please bear with me.

Behind our house we have a huge hydrangea bush or snowball bush.

You can see it underneath the weeping pine tree.

However, what you can’t see in the picture above is this.

Still can’t figure it out?

It’s Lonnie.  He has the option of being indoors or out, but sometimes when I notice he’s not in the house and then go outside to look for him I still can’t find him.

Kenny discovered his “hidey-hole” a week or so ago and got these pictures….I’m guessing it’s a nice place to escape the summer heat, but still enjoy being outdoors.

May you find a cool and peaceful place to rest and reflect today.

Friday, July 10, 2009


I've changed over to using "live writer" to do my posts......however, to me, the pages on my blog seem to be loading really slow.

Are they loading slower for you too?

Please take my poll in the upper left hand corner.



Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blurry like Paula Abdul on a bad night

I/we tried to take pictures of us after dinner last night….needless to say perhaps we’d had a bit too much wine.

It was a great night.


Even through the blurriness, I think it comes across that we enjoyed ourselves last night.

We called it a “Friendship Thanksgiving” meal. We went around the table and told each other what we were thankful for that day….what a great way to start a meal.

Here is a picture of the grilled red pepper stuffed with cheese before it went on the grill.  It was suppposed to be tied with cotton twine, but I didn’t even think about that until it was too late, so I used some long grass out of the garden instead. Hey, it worked in a pinch :)  I had so much fun roasting the peppers over an open flame earlier in the day to make my own roasted peppers for the very first time…..not too hard….I think I might do this more often… some red peppers and roast them and stick them in a jar of olive oil to have whenever I want them. They are so red and yummy to look at and work with.

Here it is after it came off the grill


This recipe is definitely a keeper! We all like spicy, so we are thinking when we make it again we will put some pickled jalapenos (chopped up) in between the cheese and the red pepper. 

Do you like to do that? Make a recipe and then sit around and talk about how you would change it the next time around?

The recipe calls for scamorza cheese (smoked mozarella) but I used provolone instead.  I think this would be great at a party, because it’s gooey and messy and makes people just relax. If you are dealing with messy food you can’t take yourself nearly as seriously….eating should be fun!

We also had, steak, shrimp and grilled asparagus….yum!

I grilled the shrimp with the shells on…not so sure if that was a good idea or not.  They tasted good, but didn’t look all the great coming off of the grill.  It really ended up being a finger food night for me….eating food with your hands just makes it feel more like summertime.

After dinner, we just hung out around the pool talking….I love nights like that….hanging out at home with friends.

Here are a few pictures of me loving on Lonnie…he is such a snuggle bug and will just let you do absolutely anything to him. He’ll even wear a hat if you want him to.

What a big baby! I swear he’s the size of a small calf!

So where was Cleopatra? Are you kidding….she says it’s way too hot to be outside….she prefers the air conditioning inside the house.