Friday, December 30, 2011

New Pulleys! I am easy to please.

Finally replaced the old wooden pulleys with new metal ones,  Works smooth!
Working a rug with recycled sweater, and some bands of cream cotton selvage.  Ended up with a nice size rug. 44 inches long. You know how we always like to find our own faults with our work?  I have to point out something.  this rug was done right after another rug, I think you can see that in the prev picture.  Where you finish off a rug but leave it on the loom and go forward and start another rug without cutting the warp.  When I put on the filler, then the binding warp, I didn't notice till later that it seemed to pull in some, so when I started weaving the rug material which was a smidgen wider than the binding, I got a little puckering.  I think when the rug is used it will flatten out ok, but was disappointed in that little hiccup.  So will watch it when I do this again.  When weaving several rugs with the same warp that is beamed it saves alot to keep them on the loom if you can.  I am still learning. Any advice in this area would be appreciated. 

I hope the New Year finds all my friends with all they desire, good health, and friendship being on the top of the list.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

For the birds

This is my winter flag in front of my little book store.  It is funny, I have had several people come in and want to know where I got the flag.  I have to tell them that I have had it for several years, but bought it at a floral nursery in Joplin.  Wonder how many will go in there wanting this flag. 
We are having a very mild winter here in SW Missouri so far. 

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

He actually came back

I have to report that the young man (that I was pretty sure had taken my money and would never come back,) showed up on Fri. the 23rd of Dec.  The story if you didn't catch it a couple weeks ago is that this guy came in with some pretty crappy books that he wanted to sell because he needed money for cigarettes.  I really didn't want the books but felt sorry for him so I offered him $5 for them but he said he had to have $10 and if I could give it to him he would come back that next Sat. and pay me the $5 back.  Well I was a softy and gave him the $10 and figured I would never see him again.  Sat. came and went.  Then last Fri he popped in and told me he was sorry for being late but he wanted me to know he was a man of his word and he had the $5 in his hand.  I told him I wanted him to keep it and wished him a Merry Christmas.  He still didn't have a job, but had the possibility of one to start after Christmas.  I wish him the best.  Its got to be tough to be alone in the world, no home, no car, no job. 
We all need to count our blessings and be thankful for what we have. 
I have a blog site to share that I found his last post to be very eye opening  Hope you might check it out.
Happy New Year and be sure to count your blessings,  you have more than you realize!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Thinking of spring

Awhile back I bought all I needed to make this springy looking wall hanging with pansies.  So yesterday I got it all cut out.  Here are my labeled strips on the first cutting.  Alot of the strips are sewed together in a certain order, then recut to be turned this way and that to create the desired blocks.
Here is the 3 finished squares.  Sorry the color sucks.  That really is a pretty dark purple and the center blocks are a lighter purple print.  The green has a glitter look and is real bright.  I will take a pic of the finished product out in the sunlight.  I still have the 4 squares to make the applique pansies.  That is the topic for our quilt club in Jan.  So I will wait and get some expert advice on how to do that part.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Sold my first wool rug already.  A local merchant came in and bought it plus another rug, and 3 of my bowls to give as Christmas gifts.  That was so nice of her!  Another guy was in last week and bought 3 rugs and 1 bowl.  Looks like I better get busy. My rug basket here in the store is almost empty!  I almost hated to see that first wool one go.  Maybe I will get another one just like it started on the loom tonight!  For sure this weekend.  Got my order placed for some black and gray warp.  But I have a feeling I will be ordering more wool one of these days. 
If books don't start selling I may have to switch to rug making.  LOL
Merry Christmas to all out there lurking around!
This is one of those pre printed wall hangings that i quilted, (my first attempt at machine quilting). Then I put the batting and backing on it.  I kinda like it.  Hung it right behind my loom.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Beautiful balls

Got the first wool rug done.  Love the texture and heaviness of it.  I have to get some black warp before I weave any more as I think it would do better.  I was amazed how much it took to make the rug.  I ended up with a 33 inch rug for this first one.  I figure out of the 23 pounds of wool I will get 10 to 12 rugs.  Maybe more or less depending on how long I make them.

Friday, December 9, 2011

pictures don't quit do justice

My 2 bags of Pendleton wool selvage I ordered 20# but they came already bagged up, so got one 9#, and one 14#  Will be fun and messy to pull it out and roll up in balls.
This is the black and tan.  Notice the fine texture and tight weave.

Dark navy and gray with some rust every so often.  Should weave up beautiful.  Not sure what color warp I need to use.  Hate to buy more so will look at my colors and maybe mix some cream, and navy and not sure what other colors I have till I start looking.  But think I really need to order black as it is so versital and I don't have any.  Got silly when I first started weaving and bought up to many colors that I "liked". 

Just warped quit a bit of off white on the loom so may try a rug with the black and tan with it and see how it looks.  Actually when you weave selvage often the warp only shows on the ends, but still you want it to look good.

So Mike, I will be interested to see what colors you got!  And what will you weave?  Rugs I am sure but the gal in Branson had some hand bags made by folding the small rug and stitching the sides, (putting the ends to the side) Then she used a 1 inch wide heavy webbing for straps.  Made a nice tote.  Tell me if you have other ideas and have you ever done weaving with selvage??  If so I have the website of where I order my cotton selvage, & have gotten quite an assortment.  Last time I ordered you didn't have a choice on amount or color,  just a huge 80# box.  I am still weaving on it!  Check out Leesburg Looms and Supply.
Again the pictures aren't quite bright enough to do justice,  Hope you like your investment.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A good day!

Yea, had a local guy (not loco) come in this morning and buy 3 rugs (made on my table top loom) and a bowl from my craft dept. of the book store.  WooHoo,  he said he refused to spend money at Walmart for gifts.  Wish more folks would feel that way.  We have WAY to much junk in the stores that we spend good money for, just so we can say that we bought a Christmas gift.
Don't think I mentioned that I finally got the big loom working and did my first 25 inch wide rug on it this last weekend.  I have started another one with selvage that I think will turn out nice. I still don't get a clean shed, but it is workable, so I am ok for now.
And...... I got my order from Pendleton Or.  The pre-story is that while I was in Branson right after Thanksgiving I was in a Crafters Mall and met up with a weaver.  She also makes baskets and brooms.  Very crafty lady!  Anyway I digress. She gave me the phone no. for the Pendleton store in Or. to order this beautiful wool selvage!  I got to feel her rugs and the selvage she had on the shelf.  I was so excited I came home and called and ordered 20 pounds.  $1.88 per pound, plus you don't want to know the UPS fee.  But I got this wonderful batch of gray and black, and another bag of navy and tan. So if any weaver out there is reading this I will share the phone number, and Mad Mike you can share it with your weaver friends if they weave with this type product.  541-276-6911 
Also you can go on line to click on home and blanket, then click on native American bed blankets. And you can see some of the colors available.  The gal said they don't do internet orders. Its all very personal.  You can order colors, sort of general, like earth tones, greens, blues, ect.  She said you just can't order something from a specific blanket.   I would have liked some rust, and browns, but I am OK with what I got.
So there you go, hope someone else will find this useful.
Got my monthly column in this weeks paper, so will post it here tomorrow.  As my daughter might say: "I am ate up with myself"  lol. 
Don't we love to see ourselves in the paper?  Well maybe it depends on which section.  Ewee just had a bad thought with that one, so best stop for today!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Surprise! No show

Of course that guy didn't show up Sat to return the $5.  What is funny is that if he had, I was going to tell him to keep it.  I just let him tell me he would return with it to see if he would.  But I am not surprised, just disappointed.
Well if business gets any slower for me, I may have to start borrowing money too.  Would hate to do that.  This little used book store has at least paid its own expenses, and other that a start up fund for the renovations back in 2005 I have not had to put my "own" money into it.  I only take out a little each week to pay for my gas.  But that's OK.  I love my little store and am so happy to show up here on Wed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Did I just get hoodwinked?

Well that young guy came back with a bag of books.  Of course they were old books that someone left in the house he is staying in.  Story is that he came up here from Texas for a job and it fell thru.  He has no car.  Been going door to door to ask to rake leaves.  Says he can do construction.  I gave him names of 2 local construction guys that are working their butts off in Joplin what with all the reconstruction going on.  He just wants money for cigarettes!  Says has some money coming in Sat.  I gave him 10$ for a few books with the understanding that he would return $5 of it on Sat. (that was his idea since he said he really needed $10 and would repay it Sat.  The books aren't even worth the $5.  I felt sorry for him, but he admits to a history of rehab and no job.  So I really doubt that I will see him again.  I also suggested that he find a ride to Joplin and see if he can't get hooked up with one of the outfits there and maybe stay at the homeless shelter so he can work there. 
Guess this is the stuff that happens when you make bad choices.  What a waste of potential that was God given.  Makes me very sad indeed.

Times are hard

Had a guy in the store this morning wanting to know if I would buy some of his books, he is out of cigarettes!  Told him what I might be interested in and he said he would be back.  Please don't let him bring in a sack of crappy books.
Wonder what he will do when the next pack of cigarettes are gone.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Book review for BookSneeze

I signed up with BookSneeze to get free books to review.  This book is the first one that I chose. 
Heaven is for Real for Kids
as told by Colton Burpo
This book earned the recognition of a best seller this last year. It is a true story told in Coltons voice. This book is the children's version. The illustrations are beautiful and scripture on the each page supports what Colton claims to have seen. He was 4 years old and very ill in a hospital when he said he closed his eyes and went to heaven. When he woke up he told his family of the things that he saw. This children's book does not go into the detail that the main book does. It keeps it very simple, making it ideal to read to a child. This would be the perfect book to share with a child who has lost a loved one or who is facing a terminal condition themselves. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Love to recycle old things

This is a runner I am working on to finish off this warp so I can wrap a width to do a nice rug.  This fabric is from an old worn spread.  It is peach colored with some tan.  Very worn but as you can see it packs down nicely and I love the new color.

Went shopping yesterday with my sister to buy my first new quilting fabric for a wall hanging I have picked out for my first quilting project.  So will add a pic. here of the design and fabric.  It is a little hard to tell, but the back fabric is dark purple and the one on top is a bright yellow print.  So maybe my pansies will be done by spring.  More on this later.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

OK its not perfection but sometimes thats OK too

After much advice from about 5 or 6 sources I think I have been able to use my own instinct and figure out what works on this old loom.  It is home made and doesn't seem to fit anything that "weavers" seem to recognize. So some of the help has not really been all that helpful, but I was able to take a little from each one to get to where I am.  I can live with the shed that I get now.  At least the lower 2 strands of warp are lined up nicely at the bottom and I can slide the waft thru with out much trouble.  I was excited to use the release trigger and crank the warp forward.  That is a big deal for me and to still have a tight warp after weaving 5 feet of runner and 2 table mats one right after the other before cutting it off the loom.  See I have used a little table top loom for 4 years!
So now I will finish weaving off this narrow runner set up and will warp on a nice width for a "real" rug.   Also I noticed that my runner was real solid, then figured it out.  My beater bar is so good on this loom that I get a really tight weave.   This is just some mixed gray and pink fabric that I made a rag ball from and I spaced in some selvage that is gray and black.  Will take a pic as soon as I have the ends tied off and trimmed.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Nov. newspaper column

This is looking to be one of the most beautiful fall's I have seen in Missouri. Especially in our area.
I just returned from my get away to Iowa to visit old friends and breath in that familiar air of Iowa. Thats where my roots are so it is always a pleasure to go back and find out what has changed and what is still exactly like you remember. My special treat was the pork tenderloin that is still prepared like it used to be. About 12 inches across, hiding the bun under it. Deep fried till it is crisp and tender. The double treat was to have lunch with my old high school friend who has kept true to her roots and is well known for her beautiful pottery and hand woven rugs. I got some lessons to improve me weaving and hope to get my floor loom going soon. I will have rugs to sell in the book store if anyone wants hand crafted gifts.

The Granby First Wednesday Quilt Club has been allowed to meet at the Baptist Church in Granby. We met there for the Oct. meeting and it looks like a great place with lots of room. So if you are interested in quilting with a group, please join us at 9 AM on the first Wed. of each month. Skill level is not important as I am a novice myself when it comes to quilting. I have come kicking all the way for this as my sister Mary Funk has tried for years to get me to quilt.

My books for this month are a little mixture. The first is a children's book that I love. When I found it, I knew it would be perfect to give my 3 year old great granddaughter.

Guess How Much I Love You

by: Sam McBratney
Illustrated by : Anita Jeram

This sweet book is about a daddy rabbit (hare) and his baby rabbit. As daddy rabbit gets the baby settled for bed they start this competition to tell how much they love each other. The baby starts out by saying “ this much” as he stretches his arms out, and of course daddy rabbit can stretch his wider. So it goes on till the end when the baby thinks he as out done his daddy by saying “he loves his daddy right up to the moon” and as he falls asleep, daddy rabbit says softly, he loves baby rabbit right up to the moon and “back”. The illustrations are very cute. What makes it special is that when I was leaving my daughters house recently my little great granddaughter spread her arms to tell me how much she loved me and so I did the same. She said in a cute 3 year old way, “Wow, thats a lot!” This would be one of those books to go on-line to buy for that special little one. By the way, this one is taken.

by Stephen King

I have gotten away from reading much of Stephen King the past years. But this one caught my eye. This book will tap into any fear you have about the possibility of technological warfare and terrorism. It starts out with a wave of craziness as people get this signal from their cell phone and they either go crazy and kill themselves or who ever is close to them. Then they wonder away to form these zombie packs that hunt for food during the day time and sleep at night. Those few people left without cell phones ban together to try to survive. I have to warn you this one is pretty graphic and violent. Guess thats why I don't read his books very much. If you like Stephen King with all his crazy twists and turns that play with your mind, you might like this. As for me, I am sort of done with him for now till I find something a little less gory.

Sundays at Tiffany's

by James Patterson

Patterson has been writing books that are very sweet and romantic, instead of his usual mysteries . This one was recommended by my 14 year old granddaughter and I really enjoyed it. On the cover it says “What if your imaginary friend from childhood was your one true love?” So that sets up the story perfectly. The “angels” who serve as imaginary friends to children can only be with them till age nine then the go away and the children forget them. Except for this one little lonely girl who's mother is very busy and important in her career and has little time for Jane. Jane does grow up to be successful in her mothers shadow but has never forgotten “Michael”. In her 30's she meets “Michael” again even though it was seem as impossible from “Michael's” point of view as this had never happened before. You will have to read the book to see the transforming power of true love. This is an excellent book for those romantic teen age girls and girls of all ages who still believe in true love.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

We better be ready!

Ole is the Pastor of the local Norwegian Lutheran Church and Pastor Sven is
the minister of the Swedish Covenant Church across the road. One day they
are seen pounding a sign into the ground, which said


As a car speeds past them, the driver leans out his window and yells, "Leave
people alone, you Skandihoovian religious nuts!"

From the curve they heard screeching tires and a big splash.

Shakin' his head, Rev. Ole says "Dat's da terd one dis mornin'."

"Yaa," Pastor Sven agrees, then asks, "Do ya tink maybe da sign should yust
say, 'Bridge Out?'"

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Foot stool finds new life for a 3 year old

This is the foot stool I mentioned yesterday.  It is done in a crazy stitch design with a honeycomb sewing machine stitching at each seam.  Very easy to do.  I made this from a bunch of drapery samplers that I bought at a garage sale too.  Did I mention that the stool only cost $1 at another garage sale. 
Love them garage sales!  Just never know what you will find!  I am sure she will get mac and cheese on this so maybe I should spray it with some scotch guard.  hmmmm  good idea!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Gotta fix this problem soon!

Have had advice from a couple folks on solving my problems with my loom.  I think I will order some more Texolv so I can rehang the shafts.  It just looks wrong to me.  Will be meeting with my weaver friend soon and play on her looms and really study them.  Also will go back to the college this next Wed and find that "nice" man.  Couldn't go this week as we had our First Wed. Quilt Club meeting.  Not sure what I am doing in there, as I am not a quilter.  I don't need another hobby!!  But if I can keep it small I will give it a go.  Here is a picture of my "quilting".  It is a little foot stool I found and refurbished for my great grand daughter.  She is 3 and loves little furniture.  I did a crazy quilt topping and put some padding under it.  Was easy to do.  Seeeee I love these small projects!
Well for some reason it won't let me post it today.  Will try later.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Loom troubles

OK these pictures are for MadCity Mike;  here is what I set up.  I know I didn't warp the correct no. of strands of warp but I don't feel it has anything to do with my problem.  Was just trying to get some warp on to see how the treddles would work.

The third picture shows how the warp does not lay to the bottom of the reed. And this is with it at resting position.    I am thinking I want to get rid of the metal headles and the steel cable for the counter balance part in the castle.  I think it is still doable.  Still plan to get that nice guy from the college to come make a home visit. 

Friday, September 30, 2011

One man's trash, another's treasure (maybe)

Funny, I set this blog up to be about my book store and I sort of got way laid with all my crafts.  Of course my crafts are part of what I am all about and the reason for the store. I love to recycle, thus the used books, rugs from used fabric, and my totes, and bowls.  All used materials as much as is possible. We are way to much of a throw away society!    Stopped at a couple garage sales this morning and got a stack of Dean Koontz books for 5$.  A good deal for me.  I usually try to do a little dickering.  LOL Got them for about half of what they were asking.  I am shameless!
So this kitty is just a "drop in the bucket"  Thats how much each of us contributes to the over all trash of the world. Hit 2 garage sales that were nothing but trash.  Why do folks bother? And dirty stuff thats been stored in an old garage for years. Now some things just can't be recycled.  Oh Well!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

About to throw a super fit or just cry!

I did everything that the guy from the college told me.  After about an hour laying under that loom, with my neck all crooked and sweating like the dickens, I finally had to give it up and admit failure!!  Where is my knight in shining armor who knows all about looms??  Maybe I can get this guy to make a home visit and fix this thing or I will have to make kindling of it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I want to go back to school!

Back at my store today.  I enjoy my Wed. as that is the day I load all my stuff from home that I have piled by the door to bring into the store.  Then I get to log on, check out my blogger friends, get things organized and I am ready for business.  This morning I left a little early so I could go out to the college to catch this guy who teaches weaving classes on Wednesdays 9 to 12.  I hope he gave me some good advice on getting my treadles to working better.  I did weave just a tiny bit with the warp I set up last week,  but the "shed" was not even.  I played with it some and got it ok with one treadle, then when I stepped on the other that shed was full of lines.  Grrrrrr.  So this Gary said to concentrate on getting the lames even and don't worry about what the shafts on top.  OK that made sense, I think.  He also said he preferred to use the middle treadles to tie up for the Tabby weave that I do.  I have been using the 2 on the right.  So tonight I will crawl under this monster and try again. 
I got tickled when I told him that I was the gal that ran the little book store in Granby, he said, "Oh, yes, so and so mentioned you the other day."  He said her name, but I had no idea who she was.  Guess folks are getting to know who I am even if they don't know me personally.  I think  that is a good thing?

This is a really old rigid headle loom that my sister in law brought back from their vacation for me.  It appears to be quite old and I think she said the guy that had it said it was from some Eastern country. The attached tools seem quite old. I will take this to the fiber club next month and see what they think of it.  It looks like the weft was thick and fuzzy and the scissors were used to trim it flat.  Interesting huh?
I think when the next semester starts I will change my store hours on Wednesdays so I can take the weaving class at the college.   Hey I AM the boss.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Finally a start on the floor loom

Using the new Texsolv cord that I ordered I was able to get rid of the heavy nylon rope and fasteners that came with the loom.  This seems to run smoother, I know I will have to do some adjustments once I get the warping done.

I did get 9 sections of warp on.  It is so cool to be able to put so much on with just 20 complete turns of the roller. If I figured my number of ends I will be doing a 14 inch wide runner.  I figured that was enough to just see how things work after I get all the warp beamed and see how the treadles work.  So plan to have some fun this weekend.  Hopefully next Wed. when I am back at the store I will have a picture of something.  Thanks to my one fan for his support and suggestions. 
I have several big tubs of cut recycled fabric that I want to get woven this winter so I can start on something fresh.  Maybe try those Jazzy Strings! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Another passion

I want to show some of my bowls that I make.  Right off I want to give credit where credit is due.  I bought a book called It's a Wrap by Susan Braier that teaches you step by step how to do this.  All you need is piping cord, fabric, and a sewing machine that will do ziz-zag.
I don't have any pictures of the wrapping process but you can see the cord under the foot here.  I won't go into detail on the wrapping here, there are easy instructions on line if you go to this site:

The rest of the pictures are of some of the bowls I have made the last few months.  It is addictive for sure! My next project is a handbag that is made sort of like the last bowl only much taller and then handles and a clasp added.  They are very sturdy and I guarantee you that you can't set one down with out putting "stuff" in it!   Of course every time I show my husband one he has to try it on his head.  MEN! 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Some of my weaving

Since I have been discussing my weaving, I thought I would share a few pictures of some rugs I have made in the last couple years.  I like to use different types of fabric as you will see.
This is my little table top loom that I learned on.  I had it set up in my book store for a year or so.

This rug was made from some favorite old cotton sweaters that I wore for years, I had 3 just alike, but different colors, peach, cream, and pale green.  I love the texture of the sweaters.  Easy to do by cutting them in strips vertically, I sew strips together randomly to make a ball then weave from that.  So there is no pattern to it. I added a couple of 3 inch strips of cream selvage material to add a different texture.

This one became a favorite that I can't part with either.  It is made from sweaters also in bright green and black with some lighter colors thrown in.  My method of choosing colors is to look at all the "stuff" I have cut in strips and look for colors that I think go well together then sit at the sewing machine with strips laid across my legs and pick up strips randomly and sew together.  (very scientific huh?)

The runners in front are made from old denim strips.  They are messy to work up but I love the denim.  My FAVS.  You start at the bottom of the pant leg and make cuts about 1/2 in from each other or a smidgen less for this little loom. Then start ripping to the waist band.  When there is a pile I start pulling off the excess strings.  It is best to do this outside!  I have a favorite denim rug that I made from a pair of my Dad's old bib overhauls that I had stored in a trunk for many years. So now it is used as a rug to drape over my old trunk.
In the basket you can see some fatter rugs that are made from selvage that I purchased in a 65# box.  It will come in assorted colors and does weave thicker rugs and as a friend mentioned that they might look like the old shag rugs, well sorta, kinda.  Actually not quite that stringy.  Some of the selvage is softer and finer.  It is fun to try to match up some of the colors.  These were a mossy green and cream.   The shorter ones in front were just made from curtains with a blue warp.
So the imagination makes options unlimited.
So my next stage is to work with this older floor loom that I acquired recently.  I will add some pictures and document my progress with it as I go.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Yay, I found the weaver bird!

There he is! Isn't that nest awesome?? So did humans learn to weave by watching the birds. Sort of sheds a new light on the birds and bees.

I know this has nothing to do with my store, but you will find that at times I sort of lose my mind and have to express it somewhere.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The weaver in me

About 3 years ago I went to Iowa to finally take my friend up on her offer to teach me to weave rugs. I bought this little table top loom from her and stayed a whole week with her to learn how to set it up and weave. I really love the process. I set the loom up in the store and have sold quite a few rugs. The table top limits me to only 20 inch wide rugs, and my friend told me I would want a floor loom one day. Well that day has come and I now have a floor loom at home. Waiting to get a little help on setting it up, so I will have more to tell about that later. I hope to get alot of rugs made up and with my other crafting things do a craft festival one of these days and sell a bunch, or a better idea was to help with a benefit for a very good friend who has a devastating disease. So in the mean time I just keep weaving. Isn't there a bird called a weaver bird. Will have to look that one up.