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.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Early days of the business

I remember being very pleased when I opened that first day. Actually made several sales that day. When I left my job in Nevada I remember a doctor that I worked with making the comment about my little "hobby" store. At the time it sort of hurt my feelings and at times I have felt like some folks don't take me serious as a business owner. But I have come to realize that it is a hobby store. It makes enough to pay for its expenses that it generates. Actually from the very first month. So I was pleased with that.
The other reason it is a hobby store is that this is where I do MY hobbies. I have a table top loom and I weave rugs. (I will put pictures of that on next time) I now have my sewing machine here at the store and I make tote bags and bowls from cloth on the sewing machine. More about all that later.

So my little "hobby" is my little retirement get away place where I make new friends and keep my sanity!