Woot! Web site Re-design Finally Done!

More news people!! I finally have my pretty, new re-designed web site online! Yay!! It was a long and grueling process, but I finally finished it today. Still tweaking here and there, but it’s mostly done. The great news for all of you is that I have lowered many of my prices (we all feel the pinch, right?)

I am closing out the cotton punch needle threads, so you can get great deals by the bagful while they last.

And there are tons of downloadable tutorials for both rug hooking and punch needle. Lots of helpful information for beginners, too.

Also, don’t miss the free punch needle pattern of mine from Weeks Dye Works!

That’s just the beginning . . . stay tuned for the Grand Re-Design Celebratory Opening! More good deals and fun things in store! Whew!

I’d love to know what you think about the new design – is it easier to find things?

I’ll be back soon with details about the Grand Opening . . .  I just announced the winner of the free red dot pattern and 1/4 yard of overdyed wool on my Facebook Page. If you haven’t visited there (or LIKED me there) come on over. I have been giving away a free pattern every month to my Facebook Fans. Get in on that!

Have a safe and fun Labor Day weekend everyone! As always, pray for our troops and never forget 9/11!



More Time Saving – Label Your Rugs

Create a Custom Rug Label

I have been making these labels on binding tape for my rugs for years. You can bind your rug and add your label all at the same time. Save some time and they look great.

Here’s what you need:

  • Computer and graphics program or online graphics application
  • Fabric transfer paper (there are several available – I like June Tailor products.)
  • Rug binding tape, 1.75 inches wide
  • Iron, no steam
  • Hard, flat work surface

Here’s how I do it:

1.      Create your label on your computer in a graphics program like Paintshop, or with an online graphics application like SumoPaint.com, or whatever program you normally use. I use Photoshop, so the photo of my screen below shows that program open with my label graphic file open. Create a document that is no taller than the width of you binding tape – you’ll want to space above and below the text. Add your name, date, and location and any other information you want to have on your label. You can even add a graphic if you like. When you have it exactly as you want it, Save it, and then flip it horizontally so the text is backwards.

2.      Copy the image so you have several on the page if you want to label more than one rug – otherwise, don’t print more than you will use right away. The fabric transfer material does not work well if it has been sitting open to the air for very long.

3.      You might want to print out a test page on plain printer paper first to be sure it will fit well on your binding tape. Make any adjustments needed.

4.      Read the instructions that came with your transfer material then print the label. It should be backwards on the paper.

5.      Cut the label carefully from the sheet and trim so it fits on the binding tape.

6.      Again, refer to your transfer paper instructions, but generally, you want a hard surface that is low enough onto which you can lean all your weight forward. I use my worktable and I put a piece of scrap wood down to protect it. You can use a wooden cutting board or something else that is smooth, hard, and cab withstand the heat of your iron.

7.     Put your binding tape on the wood, lay your label face down onto the binding tape, allowing enough space on either side of the label to turn under the cut edges of the binding tape (if you are making a separate label.) If you are ironing the label onto the long piece of tape you will use to bind your rug, make sure you know where to place the label so it will be positioned in the correct place when you bind it to the rug. Sit the iron (no steam setting) in one spot on the label, lean on it with all your weight for about 10-15 seconds, and then move the iron to the next spot. Repeat until you have ironed the entire label – pay close attention to the edges.

7.      I find the paper peels of easier if I don’t allow it to cool completely. I wait until it is cool enough to handle, start at one end, and slowly peel the paper backing away from the transfer just a bit. Be sure that the lines are all transferred. If not, replace the paper and iron some more. All is transferred, slowly peel all the paper backing off. Allow the transfer to cool completely.

8.      Now you can either hand sew the label to the back of your rug, or attach the binding tape to the back of the rug as you whip stitch the edges – all at once.

And that’s it! Give it a try – I think you will love the way these look and you can make the label as long as you want – just keep transferring  to the length of your binding tape!

til next time . . .

Hook On!

Simple Fibers – resource market for fiber art lovers

Why have I been so absent of late, you ask? I have just created a new place for all you fiber art lovers to find everything you crave, all it takes to fill your stash, what you want to work on next, new inspirations and beginnings, the end all-be all in fiber. It’s a new web site designed to promote fiber artists and fiber web sites.

Simple Fibers is just a baby now – not much content there yet, but lots of places for you to fill with your fiber art and fiber offerings. I will give you lots of ad space, lots of exposure in many ways, and help you build a larger following for your fiber art. The site is very focused on specific fibers and techniques: rug hooking (of course,) knitting, punch needle embroidery, needle felting, weaving and spinning. Most of these fiber arts use wool as their fiber medium and that brings us together in a common way.

If you are a fiber artist, if you sell supplies, tools, patterns, kits, and other things related to these fiber arts, I would love to add you to Simple Fibers as an ad member. If you are a fiber-holic and are tired of searching the web for the stuff you need to create more fiber art, this site will focus your search, provide lots of free resources and places to shop, drool, and fill your need for fiber.

Visit Simple Fibers

Simple Fibers is out there on the worldwide web just waiting for its pages to be filled with wonderful fiber places to visit — join us, won’t you?

PS – I am running a contest to create a great tag line for Simple Fibers. The winner will receive a free one-year advertising membership in our top-level ad tier. The contest starts today and ends on May 15. Go here to enter!

Crochet-Finishing for your Rugs

I was poking around the blogs this morning – something I never allow myself much time to do – and I came across Karen Kahle’s (Primitive Spirit) instructions for finishing a rug using a crocheted edge. I had seen this quite some time ago, but thought that I would share that link with you. So many of you are knitting and crocheting these days (something I never mastered.) Karen is so talented and has a great color palette that is both primitive and contemporary at the same time. I hope you enjoy seeing how she finishes rugs with crochet.

Here is another fabulous idea for incorporating unique, wooly texture into your hooked pieces – Ali Strebel uses rolled wool strips for circles and other shapes (see the heart mat.) Ali (Alice of the Kindred Spirits duo) is now on her own at Ali Strebel Designs for Kindred Spirits – while she might be without Sally, she certainly is not at a loss for talent and new techniques. I can’t wait to try this!

Not leaving the gentlemen hookers out, Gene Shepherd’s Video Blog and instructional posts are just overwhelming! If you can’t find something there to inspire you and make you want to try something new, well then, I can’t help you! Check it out – be sure to bookmark this one because you will not be able to see it all at cone time. I love his passion for rug hooking, but seriously – Gene, you have way too much time on your hands! Not! I love this man!!

There are still a few kits available for the new Spring Hook-a-Month Project. New sign ups are coming in every day, so if you want to participate, reserve your kit now!

My new Easter cone was featured in the AHA blog today! Thanks Suzanne!

I better get some work done – even though I really want to keep poking around all the great rug hooking blogs!

Hook On, my friends!


A New Place to Share

I moved the older posts that contain rug hooking basics and instructional materials into their own pages here. You can click on them in the right column (at the top.) Feel free to post comments to those pages and ask questions – see the page Rug Hooking Q&A for that. If you have an element of rug hooking for which you would like to see a tutorial, just post and let me know what it is. Happy Wednesday!

Nothing Better than Old Friends!

I recently helped plan our 40th high school reunion. The planning with old classmates was such fun, and the reunion itself was simply wonderful. I went to a high school in a small township in Ohio where 7th-12th grades were in the same school building. It was a very tight-knit community (and still is.) Going through school, you got to know everyone as well as their siblings, cousins, etc. The reunion was celebrating our 40th, but we also invited the class ahead of ours and two classes after ours to ensure we had enough attendees to make a nice party.

also the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, so the hippies were on hand to help in the picture taking

also the 40th anniversary of Woodstock, so the hippies were on hand to help in the picture taking

Our classes each graduated no more than 100 students, so when we had over 170 attendees from the four classes, we were very pleased. We even had several faculty members attend – that was a wonderful and surprising addition. The stories told that evening could fill a book (old people love to reminisce.)

The evening was one that everyone will remember. The very best aspect of the reunion was the chance to see many old friends and catch up with where their lives had taken them – I had not seen many of these classmates since 1969. It’s a goods thing our name tags held our graduation photos! Eliminated that awkward moment when you cannot for the life of you recognize who is standing in right in front of you! As the night was ending, we were asking folks if they would like us to plan another reunion in 10 years. The answer? “NO! Make it 5 years. ” I guess we did something right in getting everyone together in one place, but ultimately, it is the friendships that brought them together and created the desire to do it again soon. That and the fact that as we get older, our lives, our health, and our economic means are less secure — who knows if we will all be here in 10 years or be able to attend. Several classmates traveled from Texas, California, Georgia and Florida to join in the fun!

So, 5 years from now, I’ll let you know how the ‘older’ folks did it again! Keep your friends as close as you can as the years go by — there is nothing like dear, old friends to help keep you ‘young.’

they all kept telling me to stop talking while taking photos – I guess I should have! It’s hard!