Monday, October 3, 2016


A customer on Etsy lost her pincushion ring and asked if I was making more.

I couldn't make just one.

I developed these a while back.  
The cushion is 1 inch across. 
This is a very comfortable pin cushion
 you can wear on any finger.  
It is adjustable to your size and totally hypo-allergenic, unless you are allergic to wool. Heaven forbid!

There is no metal, 
I devised a clever comfortable way to use Velcro.

You'll never lose your stitching needle again...or like away in your car with your needle in the knee of your jeans.
And don't worry, you won't prick yourself,
 I've lined the base for protection.

Oh yes, the best part... the cushion is stuffed with raw wool.
And oh look, a chenille needle is included.

Very nice woolie bling! 

Check my Etsy shop for individual listings.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Natural Surroundings

There is nothing better than real wool.  

It's like real wood, real flowers, anything natural and non toxic. That's what I want to surround myself with.  Natural fibres; linen, wool, cotton.  
Furniture made from wood that's not been processed or pressed and has been protected 
(if it's vintage and painted from the middle of the last century).
 Leather is good too but some folks prefer not.  

It's all personal.
Your dishes, your bedding, your clothing,
 your home. 
 Layer it up with real things. 
Edit out the items that don't please you, 
and don't make you healthy.  
Start planning now for next year's garden today.
Eat healthy, live healthy. 

What pleases you? 

Jug and Rug - by
Jug and Rug

Monday, July 25, 2016

Another one done! The Oval Tongue Rug

It always feels good to complete another rug.
This is a new style for me.

   I used Cee Rafuse of Early Style Penny Rugs Marriage Rug Kit 
(Thanks Cee!)
(FYI, Cee is sold out of her kits)
I used lightweight wool from two matching pleated skirts.
I cut my bias strips 1.5 inches wide,
 I joined shorter strips as needed.
You can see the joining method here on my last tutorial.
I sewed the bias strip directly to each tongue, 
with a 1/4" seam, easing in the curves.

My new method for bias trim is 
NOT to iron and fold.
I skipped the whole step.
This is the newest trick I learned from Cee,
for the ironing after sewing...
soak the tongue in water and then fold the trim. 

Try it, you will be amazed. The bias trim folded into place.
No iron burned finger tips.
Although, lots of wet pieces of wool resting
 overnight to dry.
Once dry, finish with a blind stitch 
and press.

 Layout out tissue template on a piece of fabric 
that is larger than the length of the first row all the way around. 
(I used Cee's template that came with her sold out kit)
Being sure to have extra backing to trim away.
I widened my rug by one tongue width.
 You'll notice my two tissue pieces do not butt together.
Lay your pieces out several times before doing this running stitch, through the tissue, onto your backing fabric. 
 Make sure you have enough fabric.

Now the fun part, carefully peel off the tissue. 
 I saved mine for a future rug. 
Then pin each row of tongues well.  
I overlapped only on the curves.
This uses less tongues and is best for 
this fabric trimmed version,
 as the tongues can be bulky.

Lay all the overlaps in the same direction.
I alternated the tongues
 so that no two of the same colour were side by side.

Row one, pin raw edges to outer running stitch:
 Row two:
 Row three:
Stand back and admire your placements.
Don't expect the tongues at the curves to curve.
They will be on an angle to your placement stitches.  
Carefully make a running stitch,
 holding each tongue in place. 
Starting with the bigger outside row.
Okay, this is where I cheated on the hand stitching again.
I went straight to my Bernina.
The downside of machine stitching...
it was a lot of rug and bulk at my machine.
Rounding the curves I lost it a bit.
Don't look too closely, you'll see the curve wobble.  
You can hide your stitches if you 
choose to line your backing fabric. 
 This for me is a learning and teaching rug.
All my triumphs and mistakes are here to see.

If I am going to completely confess my goof ups....
I suppose, it's when you get excited to get things done and you forget to flip the right side of the tongues up.
I was contemplating colour and forgot 
to look back at the upside or downside of each tongue.
 I knew I was going to check, 
it was in my thought process,
 but completely forgot! 
 Oh well, only you and me know.
If it's important to you, check the upside 
and downside of the tongue.
Trim the backing so that you have enough to stitch a seam and complete the backing with the edge finish
 just at the curve on the tongues.
I've allowed 1/4" seam.
 I machine sewed the bias trim directly to the rug backing.
(right sides together)
Hold the first row of tongues out of your way 
as you stitch the bias trim around the backing.
No need to fold or press until it is sewn in place.
No I didn't soak this trim, I turned and ironed it over. 

 Carefully blind stitch to the underside of the rug backing.

Bias trim complete, marking stitches removed. Rug finished!
Oh yes, almost forgot a final step!
The middle row was stitched in place by hand 
and covers all the third row tongue raw edges.
Pin three tongues to the left of centre and three to the right.
(my rug needed three each way, you may only need two)
I whip stitched the raw edge of each tongue in place.
Place the long double ended tongue along the centre of the rug.
This piece will finish the rug and hide the ends of the last two middle tongues, blind stitch it to the centre of the rug. 
I also tacked several tongues down with a blind stitch,
 especially the centre ones and 
a few others that were showing a peek of the backing. 
I didn't tack down all the tongues, 
the binding gives them a good weight to lay nicely.
 Do you prefer to call these tongues
lamb ears,
pen wipers,
shoe heels?

Friday, June 10, 2016

Nature and Rugs

I'm hoping for rug inspiration.

 I've been working on some penny rugs, 
nothing exciting to show and tell currently. 

So, the garden beckons, it's that time of year.

I'm a bit of a junker.
 I've been yearning to make a succulent planter from an old lamp.

I saved a pin on my Pinterest board ages ago.

Is this not gorgeous!?
(I've been searching and can't find the true source of this photo.)

Succulents in vintage floor lamp-love this repurposed item:  

I finally got my hands on a rusty old lamp.

It's a work in progress, succulents in the photo above don't grow well in our cooler climate. 
 My version will have less colour.

Cut and remove the cord and unscrew the bulb base from a rusty old lamp.
Break off the chandelier bulb sockets.

Strap a lined planter basket to the chandelier arms, trim.


Mound dirt up, I used an overturned plastic pot. I cut a big opening in the bottom of it first.

Fill with beautiful succulents.

Find a great place to display, wait for compliments.
It will fill in and reward you.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Dear Diary

I started a diary when I was young. 
Never did write much in it.  My brother always thought it was fun to pick the lock.  I have three brothers and a sister.  The youngest of my bros, the one that couldn't leave the diary lock alone, was the "geek". My brothers were all good at fixing things and building things, especially anything to do with cars.  My geekie brother liked to invent.  His best friend lived across the street.  My best friend was his best friend's sister.  I remember one day my little sister and I were sure there were martians on our street.  Bro had tagged into our string tin can communication and was feeding the line static and space like transmissions! We were so frightened, and gullible.  

It's stuff like that I think of when I think about keeping a diary.

This is my diary.  
I have written on this blog about a few life moments, but mostly it's a journey I've been taking through my creative life.  I always like to make and fix things like my brothers.  My creations are with fabric or refinishing furniture.  I  like to re-imagine, help rebuild, and renovate the spaces my family and I live in.  We haven't tackled a renovation for a long time....I might be getting an itch.

I have written about my projects. To share but mostly to remember how I made them!  I can't tell you how many times I've referred to my own blog for instructions.  Same is true about my YouTube videos.  Both this blog and my YouTube channel have helped me understand the internet. 
 And wow, the friendships I've made because of the internet!  Fabulous fringe benefit.

Blogs have really changed, so many advertisements on them. I'm glad to see folks working for a living where they can make it.  That's what you have to do.  It just seems to spoil the atmosphere, that's what I think.  This is my blog, my diary, so I can say that.

All this practice at writing has made me wish I kept that diary.

Memories fade, photos are great but not the same as reading a story. I wish I'd written my mom's stories, my dad's stories, and my grandparents stories.  So many stories I remember, but so many that are lost. I remember them accurately?

Keep a diary or a blog, remember the stories. 

Okay, back to the wool stash, I think that's why I'm itchie.