Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Another Great Giveaway!!

Hi, everyone!!  Would you like a chance to win this beautiful primitive sampler designed and hand-stitched by Jennifer Taylor Gass of  Taylors*Farmhouse*Attic?  If you do, click on the picture to take you to A Primitive Place's blog and become a follower, plus learn additional ways to be entered into the drawing which will take place Saturday, April 30th.  GOOD LUCK!!!

Until Next Time. . . .Kris

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Rug Hooking Project is DONE!!!

Hello, everyone!!

First of all, I would like to thank all of you for the wonderful comments made about my 5 arm table lamp.  Many of you have asked whether or not I would be doing a tutorial on it, but I'm sorry to say that I won't be.  This is a one of a kind lamp made by Carriage House Lighting and Tinware and I haven't seen any reproductions or variations of it anywhere, so I'm not sure if there would be any legal issues with copyright laws or not and I don't want to take a chance.  I made this for my own personal use with no intentions of selling them.  However, I AM working on another lamp that I have seen many replicas of, so I will be doing a tutorial on that sometime in the future.  I CAN give you a list of the supplies I used and if you look at the picture I posted last time, you can probably figure out how to make it, especially if you saw my tutorial in the Spring issue of A Primtive Place magazine on how to make a tin candle lamp.  I used the same method for the arms as I did for the candle lamp.


large tin funnel - found at antique/second-hand shops
electrical conduit pipe - Home Depot/$6.97 for 8 ft.
10 ft. lamp wire -  Home Depot/$0.64 a ft.
3 1/2" candle pans - I made my own, but can be found at craft supply stores or FactoryDirectCraft.com
steel threaded nipples and hex nuts - Home Depot's lamp repair section
candelabra light sockets and sleeves -

So, there you have it!  All of the supplies you need to make your own!  It really isn't as hard to make as it seems.  If any of you do make one, please share a picture because I would love to see it!


Well, I finally finished my rug hooking project!  Woo Hoo!!  I finished it last Wednesday, but I just haven't had a chance to make a post until now. I have been busy working on other projects and enjoying the warmer weather, so I will share my other projects with you later since this post is longer than I thought it would be!

This isn't my first rug hooking project.....just the first one completed.    About 3 or 4 years ago, I started making a pillow with a pumpkin on it.  I had purchased a booklet from Hobby Lobby on how to hook rugs and it recommended using burlap for the background fabric, which I used.  What a mess!!  Every time I worked on it, I got covered with little fuzzies!!  Since my project was small, I just used a small quilting hoop.  It was a little tough trying to hold on to the hoop and hook at the same time, so between that and dealing with the fuzzy mess, I decided to set it aside with hopes of finishing it some day.

Then about a month or two ago, when I decided I was going to try hooking again and I started this picture.  I was originally going to hang this on the wall beside my fireplace, but after working on it for a couple of weeks, I decided it wasn't quite what I wanted.


 I wanted something that looked a little simpler, so I came up this design.


BUT......after I finished it, I decided I liked it hanging here instead!  So, now, I need to figure out what I want to do for my LR wall.  But, that will have to wait until after I finish 2 other hooking projects.



First of all, I strongly recommend buying a rug hooking frame if you are going to work on larger projects.  I had started out with one that I had made.  I had bought a lap scroll frame for cross stitching a few years ago, but didn't like using it and it was too late to return    I took off the scroll frame and made a plain rectangular one using 1 x 2's and attached that to the stand base using the hardware that came with it.  I bought a metal carpet tack strip and cut it into pieces and screwed them on to the outside edges of the frame.  It worked great holding my fabric nice and taut.....then I decided to start a new project..... and when I went to take off the unfinished one, I had one heck of a time getting it off without causing too much damage.  When I started the new project, I removed the carpet strips and held my fabric in place with thumb tacks.  This worked good, as well, but just make sure those babies are in all the way.....if not, you'll be sitting there working and all of a sudden - PING!! - one will pop out and going flying across the room and then you are spending precious time looking for a darn tack before someone steps on it instead of rug hooking!  It wasn't too long after using that method that I decided to break down and buy a frame.  They do sell the hooking strips that I could have bought and attached to my frame, but this frame also rotates 360° and I hooked long enough to realize that that made a BIG difference!!  I had my homemade frame turning every which way and that, trying to get a comfortable position in which to hook and having it rotate freely, really does make a big difference.   Another BIG plus was the strips of hooking tape that hold your project in place!  OH MY....what a difference!!  It is SO much easier to position and reposition your fabric whenever you want to, instead of working one area at a time before removing all of the thumbtacks. repositioning your fabric, and then pushing the thumbtacks back in!  (My thumbs are a lot happier now! LOL)

Here's the link to the ebay store from where I bought my frame from.  http://shop.ebay.com/beecreekltd/m.html.  Keep a watch on these items.  Every now and then, she offers these frames up for bid at great prices or you can purchase them at outright at a higher price.  I was the only one to bid on the octagonal frame with the lap and floor stand for $149.00.  Otherwise, the combo sold for $199.00.   You can also google "rug hookng frames" and find a list of sites that sell them.

This next thing (and one many of you have been waiting to hear about)  is VERY useful in cutting your wool.  A few years ago, when I started the pumpkin pillow project, I cut the wool strips by hand using a rotary wheel.  And let me tell you, it was a pain in the *behind*!  I think that is probably why I stopped working on that project...I needed to cut more strips! lol  So when I decided to try rug hooking again, the only obstacle I had was cutting the wool.  After pricing wool cutting machines online, I decided that they were way much more than I wanted to spend.  Especially, for something that I wasn't sure how much I would even use.  While I was in Joann Fabrics, I happened to notice a Rotary Cutting Machine on a shelf behind the cutting counter.  On the box it said "Perfect for Scrapbooking, Quilting, Rug Hooking and More" PLUS it was on sale for $49.50 (reg. $89.99)!  DOUBLE PLUS....I had a gift card!! Woo Hoo!! So I thought "what the heck"  I can always return it if it didn't work out.  When I got it home, I tried cutting a piece of paper with it and....nothing!....not even indentations where it ran through the rotary cutter!  And forget about cutting wool!!  I was SO disappointed!  I thought, for sure, that I had found a solution to my wool cutting dilemma!.....Then I read the instruction pamphlet.  (always a good idea!  lol)  All I had to do was adjust the tension wheel underneath (although I thought it was already pretty tight) and PRESTO, it worked like a charm!!  It has a foot pedal, whereas, all of the other wool cutters that I've seen have crank handles.  And I'm thinking that after all of the wool that I cut for the unfinished project and then for the finished one, my little arm would have been extremely tired if I had to do all of that cranking!!  lol  It can cut as small as 3/8" (which is the size recommended for hooking) up to 2 1/2".  I absolutely love it!  I've never tried an actual wool cutting machine, but for me, this thing works wonderfully!

If you click on the picture, it will take you to
Amazon.com where you can purchase the book
 I also recommend this book.  I was able to borrow it from my local library and found it to be very helpful.  Besides learning how to do the basics, like choosing your wool and how to wash and cut it, it shows how to dye your wool (which I have done and it is pretty easy!), how to finish your rug with either rug binding tape or whip-stitching , plus patterns and directions to make some cute designs.  The entire background of my rug is hooked with different light colored wool that I had dyed with coffee.  The book explains how to do that process. Although, it says to use 2 T. (I think) of instant coffee, I used a heaping 1/2 cup! lol  That made me brave enough to dye some of the wool that I am using in my next project.  It's a pretty simple process and I think it turned out great!

When your rug is all finished and ready to be hung, a great product to use are the Command  Picture Hanging Strips.  If you're like me, I tend to rearrange things constantly and don't want to put too many holes in my walls from nails.  These work great!  Peel the paper off the adhesive strip and attach as many strips on the back of your rug as you would like (I used 4).  Tack them in place by adding a basting stitch on each side of the strips.  Place another strip on top of the one placed on the rug. (They fit like velcro.)  Peel off the adhesive strips and position your rug where ever you want on the wall.  They are very durable.  I have a hooked rug from Ragon House hanging in my bedroom that I run the vacuum over and it holds up beautifully.  If you decide to move your rug, all you need to replace are the strips that attach to the wall.

And one last thing.  A great source for wool is your second-hand stores, like Goodwill.  You can find lots of suit jackets, women's blazers and skirts made from 100% wool at great prices.  It's a little time-consuming cutting them apart, but it's so much more economical than buying wool from a specialty shop.  I have purchased little pieces called one-eighth quarters for $7.99 each. You get so much more wool from a jacket for less than that! 

Well.....Goodnight, friends!  I'll be back with pictures of a couple of the projects that I have finished!

    Until Next Time . . . . Kris

Monday, April 4, 2011

Look What I Made!!!!

I just wanted to pop on here and share with you one of the many projects I've been working on.  I'm really excited with how this turned out!  I have always loved this lamp that is made by Carriage House Lighting and Tinware, based in Troy, Ohio. (They don't have it featured on their website)  They sell it for $400.00, which is way more than what I wanted to spend!  lol  So, as usual, this little mind got to working on how I can make my own!  It was a little labor intensive and took a few days to make because I had to assemble and glue things in stages.  But do you know what the exciting part is?!! It only cost me about $45.00 in material!!  (Make that $49.00.....the light bulbs cost me $4.00!  lol)  Woo Hoo!!!  I think it turned out pretty darn good, if you ask me!!

So......do you want to see it?

Here it is half way done:

And here it is all done!

Like I said, I'm really excited with how this turned out!  I have another light in the works and will share it with you when I get it done.   I have some other projects that I've been working on.  Some are done, but go with other projects that aren't done yet, so I'm waiting until everything is complete before I post pictures. 

I've started rug hooking and will, hopefully, finish up a project in a couple of days. I'll share that with you along with a very helpful tool that I purchased that is wonderful to cut wool with!

Until Next Time. . . . Kris


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