Taos Wool Festival 2013

The ATTL Booth with people!

The ATTL Booth with people!

I know I am behind with my posts. Doing a complete career change is a little time consuming, but things are settling down and I find I have some time for sharing my silly pictures with folks.

So many baskets of skeins!

So many baskets of skeins!

Back in October 2013, I participated in the Taos Wool Festival with the Art Through The Loom guild. I have enjoyed the festival for years, but this was my first time participating as an artist. It was nice sharing a booth with a group of ladies, as that meant we could share booth time. The ATTL participators were Glenna Dean, Kathy Konecki (Necessary Little Luxuries), Nancy Woodworth, Suzanne Correira (Fire Ant Ranch), Sandy Voss (Cabin Textiles), Diane de Souza, and myself. This was great for everyone as it can be a kind of long weekend with set up Friday afternoon, and then all day Saturday and Sunday, with take down at 4 or 5 PM Sunday. I also had a cold, so I was all snivelly. And our booth was in the shade, so it was quite chilly for the entire weekend for us.

Woven and knitted clothing.

Woven and knitted clothing.

Yet, despite the sniffles and the cold, I still had a blast. Friday set up was probably the hardest part. We had to figure out how to put up two tents. Haha! I like to sit back and simply take direction, but we had a limited number of people who were familiar with the tents, and lots of people trying to help. Still, there was plenty of laughter throughout the process.

Skeins by various ATTL members.

Skeins by various ATTL members.

I was told that many people will come walk through on Saturday and buy larger items on Sunday. As I was selling rugs, I didn’t expect any sales Saturday, but one happened Saturday morning, and then again, and again. Sunday was good too. And Sunday I brought my man to help with take down. We showed up early to have time to walk around. Also, there is this amazing food booth that sells kibbeh in Greek yogurt and tortilla. So good! Us ladies at the booth also got him to model a button neck scarf thingy. Yeah, that’s a technical term.

Wool shag rugs by Cabin Textiles & Woven Hearth.

Wool shag rugs by Cabin Textiles & Woven Hearth.

And then there is the livestock. Yes, fuzzy-wuzzies are allowed at this event. People bring their bunnies, their sheep, their llamas, their alpacas. And sometimes they even put on demonstrations, showing how to shear the wee beasties. My man especially likes the llamas because they hum. And he hums back at them and they nearly always respond, some of them walking up to him. Though I don’t know if they see him as a kindred spirit or are contemplating spitting in his eye. Never can tell with a llama.

Here's a handsome llama.

Here’s a handsome llama.

This year, I purchased just one thing of goat milk soap. As I was changing careers from a stable office job to a weaver, I felt the need to conserve money. It was hard. Very hard. So many gorgeous things, left, right, and center. And people definitely encourage you to touch items, enjoy them. They know how to tempt! My mom purchased a new wooden shuttle from the folks she has been buying from for years, KCL Woods. It’s a gorgeous little piece.

This is my Farm Ninja outfit. Nifty face scarf thingy, huh?

This is my Farm Ninja outfit. Nifty face scarf thingy, huh?

And then we participated in the swap bin. Each year, the Taos Wool Festival organizers go around with a wagon full of items donated by the participants. You can swap for something of equal or lesser value. The wagon hit us late Sunday after I was all packed up and simply helping other ATTL members. My mom insisted I play so she donated a little rug and I got this nifty knitted thingy (a cowl?) made by Kathy Hartmeister. Well, you can see in my Farm Ninja photo that it fits over my head and is wide enough to cover my ears, nose, mouth, and neck. I really, really like it because, unlike a scarf, there are no ends to get tangled in the hay or inadvertently dunked in the water trough as I see to farm chores.

Here are some knitting kits for those who forgot their own knitting.

Here are some knitting kits for those who forgot their own knitting.

As I live near Ojo Caliente, I took the back road to Taos each day, which took me over the Taos Gorge. On Sunday, my man and I stopped to walk the bridge and take photos like tourists. Sunday I also wore my one and only knitted-by-me sweater. I got lots of compliments on it at the festival, which was nice. It is not something I would have worn to the office as I think many people would find it odd. I think I am going to really enjoy hanging out with artists.

This is my man modeling a neck collar for us ladies.

This is my man modeling a neck collar for us ladies.

This is me at the Taos Gorge in my knitted sweater.

This is me at the Taos Gorge in my knitted sweater.

My mom's new shuttle.

My mom’s new shuttle.

Little sheep!

Little sheep!

Taos Gorge, October 2013.

Taos Gorge, October 2013.

More skeins.

More skeins.

Alpacas!

Alpacas!

More skeins and roving at the ATTL booth.

More skeins and roving at the ATTL booth.

Some wool throws and a wool rug.

Some wool throws and a wool rug.

Skeins by various ATTL members.

Skeins by various ATTL members.

Shaggy llama.

Shaggy llama.

The ATTL Booth!

The ATTL Booth!

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Recycle Santa Fe Show: Our Booth

Another picture of wool shag rugs by Cabin Textiles & Woven Hearth.

Another picture of wool shag rugs by Cabin Textiles & Woven Hearth.

For the 2013 Recycle Santa Fe Show, my mom (Cabin Textiles) and I (Woven Hearth) shared a booth. The booth fee for a single participant is $350 and then a single artist may be added to the booth for an additional $50. As you can see, it’s great to be able to find someone to split the booth fee with. Even though I have only done a handful of shows so far, this was easily the highest booth fee, for a 3-day weekend. However, we both did great at the show, so no complaints from us!

This is a rug made from sweaters (by Woven Hearth).

This is a rug made from sweaters (by Woven Hearth).

This post will be mostly photos to show what we brought. Since this is a show that focuses on making art from trash (recycling), the show regulations has a minimum amount of recycled materials the art must contain to be allowed in the show (I believe it is 75%). All our rugs shown here easily met that rule. In fact, I find myself hard pressed to think of any recent rugs either of us has made that didn’t meet this rule…

This is a striking wool shag rug from Cabin Textiles.

This is a striking wool shag rug from Cabin Textiles.

Each show I learn something new. At this one, it was the term, ‘upcycle‘ which is used to describe making high art from recycled materials. Since all the participants in this show were doing recycled art, I could see the full range of items, and the different take on recycling trash materials into art.

This is a rug made from socks (by woven Hearth).

This is a rug made from socks (by woven Hearth).

This was also my first time to use my Paypal card swiper gizmo, and it was a success. In fact, all my sales were done with the card swiper. My mom was using her old-school metal & carbon copy swiper for her sales. So we had a direct comparison. I think my mom now wishes to switch to the gizmo, as means less work for her – you don’t have to call in the card charges individually. Hooray for the electronic age!

Another wool shag rug by Cabin Textiles.

Another wool shag rug by Cabin Textiles.

My friends J & J and Bailey dog also gave us a hand in both setting up and taking down. It was very much appreciated! Lugging bags of rugs around is heavy work, and then the metal frame we used for the booth wasn’t a total joy in setting up or taking down. So it was great to have the extra muscle.

A cotton shag (Woven Hearth) rug.

A cotton shag (Woven Hearth) rug.

My mom brought a few of her larger rugs, include one off the big loom – 7 feet by 9 feet – and they drew a lot of inquiries. It is rare for one of these larger ones to sell at a show, but letting people know such sizes are available, and handing them our cards, leads to special orders.

 

A variety of our wool shag rugs.

A variety of our wool shag rugs.

 

 

 

This large rug (by Cabin Textiles) measures 9 ft. x 7 ft.

This large rug (by Cabin Textiles) measures 9 ft. x 7 ft.

 

Affordable Art

This is made from bedsheet fabric. I playfully call it 'Moonlit Water'. And that's Phil the cat.

This is made from bedsheet fabric. I playfully call it ‘Moonlit Water’. And that’s Phil the cat.

This will be my first year in participating in the Fuller Lodge Affordable Arts Show that runs from November 22 – January 4. Fuller Lodge is located in downtown Los Alamos, NM and is free admission to the public. I am very happy to say that I will be joining many other talented artists. Many of these artists have been featured on the Fuller Lodge facebook page, if you want to check them out.

Made from upholstery fabric, this rug turned out pretty handsome.

Made from upholstery fabric, this rug turned out pretty handsome.

So, what rugs of mine will be there? Well, a little bit of everything. I have 2 sock rugs, several wool shags, 3 cotton shags, 2 flat cottons, one upholstery rug, and a wool sweater rug.

All my rugs are recycled from waste fabrics. For the most part, these are the selvedge edges of blankets or bedsheets that would normally end up in a landfill. Instead, I turn them into rugs. All the socks and sweaters used in my rugs had holes, tears, or stains (or were lonely socks that had lost their mates). Now they are hardy, usable rugs. All the rugs are washable in a cold water cycle with air drying (no heat).

Here are a variety of wool shags for the 2013 Fuller Lodge Affordable Arts Show.

Here are a variety of wool shags for the 2013 Fuller Lodge Affordable Arts Show.

This is a cotton shag, which is cotton and rayon.

This is a cotton shag, which is cotton and rayon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are both cotton shags, which I nicknamed the Adobe Sisters.

These are both cotton shags, which I nicknamed the Adobe Sisters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

These 2 rugs are made from socks. Yep, lots and lots of socks.

These 2 rugs are made from socks. Yep, lots and lots of socks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a blue & brown wool sweater rug (with sock rugs behind it).

Here is a blue & brown wool sweater rug (with sock rugs behind it).

 

Rag Rug Festival 2013

Here is Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles at her loom at the Festival.

Here is Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles at her loom at the Festival.

This was my first year assisting my mom, Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles, with Rag Rug Festival held by the New Mexico Women’s Foundation in Santa Fe, NM August 9th, 10th, & 11th. This year the Rag Rug Festival was held at the International Folk Art Museum on Museum Hill, instead of the Udall Building as in years past. The artists, somewhere between 30-40 (my guess), had most of Friday to set up prior to a special ticket preview night that went to 8PM. There was light food and a small bar and a full array of fashions on display by artists and patrons alike. I live an hour and a half north of this shin dig and I was beat by the time I got home. I was quite surprised by the variety of arts on display as I had assumed the bulk of the wares would be some sort of woven art. While there were perhaps 6 rag rug weavers on display, there was also felting, gourd art, silk painted clothing, jewelry, hats, bags, scarves, quilting, and a number of other things.

Some Enchanted Weavings brought her stripper and sewing machine to demo.

Some Enchanted Weavings brought her stripper and sewing machine to demo.

Both Saturday and Sunday the Rag Rug Festival, sprawled over three rooms, was open to the public 10-4 and the museum from 10-5 for free. My mom brought one of her looms to demonstrate making a rug. All artists were asked to bring something to demo, so I saw a spinning wheel, some henna art, sewing, and a stripper (not as exciting as some of you are thinking – it’s actually a wheeled blade for cutting fabric into strips). I brought some sock loops to show customers the basics of creating long strands of sock loops for weaving. I also had some left over warp that I made into braided plant hangers. But, really, folks were way more interested in watching me untangle Pendleton shag (the selvedge edge of the blanket that usually goes to the landfill if not put to use by artists) for my mom to weave. By far, the loom was a draw. I let little kids climb on it as I know how tough rag rug looms are. Several adults wanted to give weaving a try too.

Here is an UpCycled Fashion felt owl.

Here is an UpCycled Fashion felt owl.

Saturday had more sales for Cabin Textiles, but less traffic. There were lulls where either one of us could go walking for an hour or so and see the other artists. This is where I walked around taking pictures for this blog. Most folks were quite happy to let me take pictures. Some wanted to know why and I told them because my grandma reads this blog and most found that quite amusing, even sweet. If anyone still had doubts as to my innocent silliness, I told them who I was and that I was helping my mom for the weekend and once folks heard my mom’s name, everyone was cool with me taking pictures. Someone was kind enough to explain to me afterwards that sometimes nefarious types take pictures of folk art with the intent of reproducing that type or style and selling their items as original ideas. If I find such nefarious folks, I will personally tweak their noses. Anyway, this points to just how much I have to learn about shows.

The ladies of the NaNeelzhiin Women's' Craft Circle put on a beautiful display.

The ladies of the NaNeelzhiin Women’s’ Craft Circle put on a beautiful display.

Sunday had more traffic, and plenty of it chatty, but less sales. We heard the same from more than one vendor. In some ways, we were busier because we had more folks wanting to try the loom or talk about local weaving classes (like at the Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center). I had another bag of shag to untangle. I also brought some chocolate candies to share with artists and patrons alike, though I think we and our neighboring vendors ate more chocolate than the wandering customers. I got to do plenty of people watching over the weekend, a favorite past time. It was very interesting to see the huge variety of people who came through the doors. Some were just visiting the museum and happened upon the Rag Rug Festival, while others are repeat customers year after year. Some folks spend much of their year in other countries and make a point of visiting Rag Rug Festival when they are in NM. I did manage to break away for about an hour Sunday to see the rest of the museum. They have a very eclectic doll and figurine collection in a very, very large room. Also there was a Japanese kite show on display that was quite something.

Quilt work by The Common Thread.

Quilt work by The Common Thread.

The museum provided large dollys for bringing items in and hauling them out. However, the museum guys were not allowed to load, unload, or handle the items in anyway. They did make an exception for my mom’s loom. After all, it is unlikely the museum staff would be blamed if the loom went missing later, which I think was the concern for all of the smaller items. They did have a nice big freight elevator we got to ride in with our items. As you can imagine, the artists had to dress not only to impress but to also be able to haul their own wares about. Many vendors said that attendance was way down from years past, though the museum said their average weekend attendance was up (remember, this is the first year having the Festival in the museum). Also, there was very little advertising. I don’t know the reason for this, but even an internet search turned up very little information. I also overheard a few patrons expressing their frustration at the limited number of rag rug vendors (6?) on display compared to the rather eclectic variety of arts on display.

Gourd antler mask by Eye of the Beholder. Stunning!

Gourd antler mask by Eye of the Beholder. Stunning!

This being my first time helping out with this Festival, I had a great time. I had intended to simply give my mom support during the core hours of the day (like from 11 or 12 to 2) so that she could take a break if she wanted. But all 3 days I found myself staying until closing because I was enjoying the camaraderie of the show, chatting with the customers, letting kids use the loom as a jungle gym, and exploring the museum. One of my knitting friends was able to make it by and it was so great to catch up with her (thanks P.H.!). Taking pictures was also fun as it gave me a great excuse to talk with the other artists and ask them about their work.

Colorful bags by Subedi Enterprises.

Colorful bags by Subedi Enterprises.

So, who all did I harass for pictures? Let me say two things first: I am a bit shy in social situations, so if the artist was busy with customers, I didn’t approach to snap away pictures; second, I always made sure to ask if I could take pictures and a few folks were a little suspicious at first, which only increased my shyness. So, this is only a few of the many wonderful artists that were present at this show.

I thank each of these artists for indulging my latent reporter skills and letting me take pictures.

Necklace & earrings by Shamana Jewelry.

Necklace & earrings by Shamana Jewelry.

Eye of the Beholder, Fine Art Gourds, Joanna Bradley (lovely lady, my mom and I gave her some shag and left over warp for decorations, so much fun to joke around with). Contact info: swdirect@comcast.net, 575-522-3479

Shamana Jewelry, Rebecca Swallows (she shared an innocent thong, as in flipflop, joke with me, haha!). Contact info: rebzoe@hotmail.com, 575-921-5502, 575-585-9420, 204 St. Francis Dr., Tularosa, NM 88352

The Common Thread, Southwest Women’s Fiber Arts Collective (Granma D. – the picture of the mice is just for you). Contact info: http://www.fiberartscollective.org, 575-538-5733, 107 W. Broadway, PO Box 636, Silver City, NM 88062

These little Badgersong 'donuts' were quite the eyecatcher.

These little Badgersong ‘donuts’ were quite the eyecatcher.

Badgersong Art, Andy Hunter (I think the two of us laughed so loud the other room could hear us!). Contact info: hunteralh@yahoo.com

NaNeelzhiin Women’s Craft Circle (these ladies were right across the aisle from us and were often entertained by the kids playing on the loom). Unfortunately, they were out of business cards and I could not find any contact info on the internet for them.

Rag rugs by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Rag rugs by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Some Enchanted Weavings, Ann Lumaghi (her booth was right next to us & she let me take plenty of pics – thank you!). Contact info: annlumaghi@newmexico.com, 505-685-4503,

Subedi Enterprises, Duka Subedi (her son, husband, and mother were there with her and it was great to see the family effort). Contact info: duka_aarpan@yahoo.com, 505-948-6638, 8409 Gutierrez Rd, NE, Albuquerque, NM 87111

UpCycled Fashion, Anita Marie Moss & Jean Nichols (they let me chatter away about the farm & goats, because they are cool like that). Contact info: UpCycledFashion.com, jean@upcycledfashion.com, anitamarie@upcycledfashion.com, 575-587-0202, 575-587-2200, PO Box 237, Penasco, NM 87553

TDLT Fiber Artisans, Lise Poulsen (the felted vases were quite the eye catcher!). Contact info: lise.poulsen@mindspring.com, Tejedoras de Las Trampas, 575-758-1730, http://www.gauchoblue.com/TDLT.html, TDLT@GauchoBlue.com, PO Box 114, Penasco, NM 87553

Artist Renee Brainard Gentz showed off some fabulous pieces made from silk.

Artist Renee Brainard Gentz showed off some fabulous pieces made from silk.

Fiber artist Renee Brainard Gentz (such lovely silk pieces). Contact info: http://www.rbgentz.com, rbgentz@gmail.com, 505-242-5703

These felt 'vases' by UpCycled Fashion are great.

These felt ‘vases’ by TDLT Fiber Artisans are great.

The Common Thread mice were well behaved and too cute.

The Common Thread mice were well behaved and too cute.

Felt goats (I do so love goats) and felt baby boots by UpCycled Fashion.

Felt goats (I do so love goats) and felt baby boots by UpCycled Fashion.

Another cool bag from Subedi Enterprises.

Another cool bag from Subedi Enterprises.

Shawls & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Shawls & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Another beautiful piece from Shamana Jewelry.

Another beautiful piece from Shamana Jewelry.

Potholders & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

Potholders & scarves by Some Enchanted Weavings.

This gourd was cut open and decorated inside & outside by Eye of the Beholder.

This gourd was cut open and decorated inside & outside by Eye of the Beholder.

Here is the backside of that same hollowed out gourd, by Eye of the Beholder.

Here is the backside of that same hollowed out gourd, by Eye of the Beholder.

Art Through The Loom Show: Setting Up at Ghost Ranch

Wall hanging by Caroline Rackley.

Wall hanging by Caroline Rackley.

As some of you know, the Art Through the Loom guild show at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, NM is the first show that I have my rugs in. This show runs from mid-July through mid-September. On July 16th, several of us made the trek to Ghost Ranch to set up the show. The reception for the show was held the following Saturday, July 20th. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the reception because we had a lovely summer flash flood the day before and I was still tending to the after math – both in cleaning and in recovering physically from my Friday exertions of shoveling and bailing water.

However, I did take lots of pictures the day we did set up, so I can share with you all some of the great art work that was displayed in this show. I am new to the guild, so I am still learning who all the other artists are; any mistakes in labeling the pictures or spelling folks’ names are my own.

Necktie rug by Elaine Anaya.

Necktie rug by Elaine Anaya.

In a previous post, I expressed concern that I would forget to bring something important to the set up of the show, like business cards, water bottle, or even my rugs. So, I packed the truck the night before with everything but the water bottle. I even brought extra hanging tags just in case I needed to correct something or replace one on one of my rugs. I managed to have 15 rugs ready for the show. I hadn’t been out to Ghost Ranch in perhaps 7-10 years and I wasn’t sure which building we would be in. So, I planned to be 15 minutes late so that I would (hopefully) see several other vehicles, including my mom’s, in front of the correct building. It worked, though the sign on the building said it was closed. That was easily fixed by turning the sign around and lugging my rugs in.

Practical weather forecasters by Gloria Padilla.

Practical weather forecasters by Gloria Padilla.

The ladies at ghost ranch who allow us to invade the space and help set up are awesome: Lorraine, Cheryl, and Judy – Thank you!

I also wish to thank John Curran for doing so much ladder work. Much of the wall pieces must be hung from the ceiling instead of attached to the walls. If John had not volunteered, I am sure I would have been sent up and down the ladder repeatedly as I was the youngest there. It’s a wee secret of mine that I have a ladder phobia, which I didn’t particularly want to share with the other guild members in full on color vision. I don’t know what the clinical term for this fear is, though climacophobia is close. If the ladder is anchored into a wall, etc., I have no problem. But a free standing ladder is extremely difficult for me to use. So, a big, big thanks to John and later, Cheryl for doing the ladder work.

A mix of things: hotpads by Nancy Woodworth, towels by Michelle Rudy, more hotpads by Caroline Rackley.

A mix of things: hotpads by Nancy Woodworth, towels by Michelle Rudy, more hotpads by Caroline Rackley.

I learned the check in process for items. Several folks brought not only their own work, but the work of others. So we had plenty to check in, make sure all the items match the paperwork, and stick on the scannable barcodes. I do like sticky barcodes – makes things simple for whoever is doing checkout and makes me as an artist feel like we are in the 21st century.

I spent most of my time harassing three ladies: Michelle Rudy, Caroline Rackley, and Nora Curran. Michelle got me started on checking in my mom’s (Sandy Voss’s) hats. This was a good thing to learn on because it was hard to mess up. Next, I artistically mussed up the kitchen weavings table, which included items by Michelle, Caroline, and Nancy Woodworth, so that someone with a more critical eye could come along later and make it look nice. Then I had fun placing little baskets holding Hues by Heather skeins of yarn. Hues by Heather is created by Erika Schwender. These baskets were later consolidated and placed in other strategically located places.

The Hues by Heather skiens are by Erika Schwender. The pillows are Judy Lucero.

The Hues by Heather skiens are by Erika Schwender. The pillows are Judy Lucero.

Caroline and I spent some quality time comparing pocket knives, checking in Debra Dubois’s items, hanging Pamela Colton’s dolls, and joking around. She makes the mullet look cool and I look forward to seeing her at future functions. So as not to pester Caroline the entire time, I then spent time with Nora tying knots, arguing with dowel rods, discussing pickles, untying knots, and fussing with clamps. We eventually got one, yes a single, item ready for hanging.

Eventually, we had a little lunch break in the partially covered center patio area. John & Nora’s sheep dog was out there in the shade. I shared an apple with her and gave her a back massage. She was very sweet. We watched the mud swallow chicks being fed by their parents. After lunch, we had a few more things to see to, cleaning up, making sure the Ghost Ranch staff had all the paperwork they needed from us, etc. After that, we peeled off here and there. I had planned to take pictures of us all dressed at the reception and capture a few pictures of the scenic landscape of the area when I came back for the reception. Alas, who expected flash flooding encroaching on my livingroom?

Wall hanging by John Curran.

Wall hanging by John Curran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Linda Bentley.

Wall hanging by Linda Bentley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolls by Pamela Colton.

Dolls by Pamela Colton.

 

 

 

 

 

Shawl by Sally Rupert.

Shawl by Sally Rupert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thumb rings by Caroline Rackley.

Thumb rings by Caroline Rackley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Alex Sullivan.

Wall hanging by Alex Sullivan.

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Bettye Sullivan.

Wall hanging by Bettye Sullivan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Gloria Padilla.

Wall hanging by Gloria Padilla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our lunch break watching swallow chicks.

On our lunch break watching swallow chicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nora & John's dog on a water break.

Nora & John’s dog on a water break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rugs mixed with other artists's rugs.

My rugs mixed with other artists’s rugs.

 

 

 

 

Crazy hats by Sandy Voss.

Crazy hats by Sandy Voss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shag rug (reds) and a sock rug made by me.

A shag rug (reds) and a sock rug made by me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prepping for My First Show

My first business cards.

My first business cards.

This month, I will be entering my first show, the Art Through the Loom Ghost Ranch Show. Now I grew up going to shows and art fairs, fiestas, and festivals, gallery openings, etc. with my mom for her weavings (Cabin Textiles). These things are usually pretty tame affairs; it’s a bunch of fiber artists being polite in public, dressed nicely, and usually worn out from trying to get their craft done earlier in the day and silently wondering how early they can duck out without being rude.

So, I have no real anxiety about the 2 hours at the reception standing around in a skirt making small talk about the weather. No, my anxiety is about the details of pulling my pieces together. Business cards, sewing the tabbies, using my new vacuum, selecting the rugs to go, and how to display them.

These rolled rugs are waiting to have their tabbies sewn.

These rolled rugs are waiting to have their tabbies sewn.

I finally have business cards and hanging tags. These were two important things. The business cards can have all my contact info, whereas the hanging tags simply have my name and business name on it, along with cleaning instructions. Each rug will get a hanging tag in which I will write the dimensions and price, leaving space for the Ghost Ranch bar code sticker. Of course, on set up day (a few days before the reception), I will forget my business cards and have to bring them at the reception. I think the Ghost Ranch staff keep a few business cards from each artist at the front desk? I will learn. Details.

Next is learning the sewing machine. I know. Some of you just had your eyes bug out. I grew up in a weaver’s house and never learned the sewing machine. I will probably do a separate post on this for comedy’s sake. Anyway, each of my rugs has tabbies at each end that need to be folded over and sewn. Straight lines, people. That’s all I need to master. Wish me luck.

These rugs are awaiting the sewing of the tabbies, a vacuuming, and tags.

These rugs are awaiting the sewing of the tabbies, a vacuuming, and tags.

I purchased a little hand vacuum specifically for my rugs. I have cats and dogs. I live on a little farm. Each rug WILL be vacuumed before leaving this house. So, the guest bedroom is pet free and the guest bed makes the perfect flat surface for vacuuming, measuring, and tagging.

What to take? Well……I have sock rugs and shag rugs right now. I am planning tentatively to take 10-15 rugs. I am also entering a show in August and I want to make sure I will have enough for both. The sock rugs are limited in number right now simply because they take so much prep. I have cut up and looped all the colored socks I had. I have a huge bag of light grey and white socks that need to be dyed before they can be turned into rugs – but that is unlikely to happen before either show. So, the Ghost Ranch show may get more shag rugs in the mix as I hold back more sock rugs for the August Rag Rug Festival.

Shag versus Socks

Here we have a black & white sock rug and a shag rug.

Here we have a black & white sock rug and a shag rug.

Shag rugs are as they sound: shaggy. They are soft and fuzzy, easily hiding the warp you use. They can also be dust traps – which may or may not be what you want. The variety of colors in a single shag rug can also hide any stains that may befall upon the rug. Do you have kids? Dogs? farm boots stomping around the house? Then shags my be a good match.

Sometimes, a rug comes real close to having a pattern.

Sometimes, a rug comes real close to having a pattern.

Additionally, they can be thick, giving padding and some relief to tired feet. Personally, I have several in my kitchen, which has a hard wood floor. I put them in strategic places where I will be standing while cooking, baking, or prepping the harvest for canning or freezing. I find it makes a difference.

Shag rugs are made out of the selvage edges of Pendelton blankets. This selvage is landfilled if it is not sold to folks who can use it for art projects. The shag arrives in large boxes which contain several large plastic bags filled with loose, and sometimes tangled, shag. We’re never sure what we will get, but it is usually a fun mix. the loose shag has to be rolled into balls in preparation for weaving.

Simply blues and blacks.

Simply blues and blacks.

Sock rugs are a personal favorite, as my sister and I helped to make several when we were kids. They are as they sound: a rug made from socks. The socks are cut straight across, making loops. The toe and heel, and any areas that have significant wear or holes, are discarded. The loops are then looped together making a long chain of sock loops, ready for weaving. A brand new sock rug will have little bumps where each loop is connected to another. For some, these little bumps are not desirable. But with time, sock rugs do loose their texture, the little bumps flattening out. I have one in my bathroom that is somewhere between 15-20 years old.

Currently, most of my sock rugs were made up out of a 55-gallon drum of socks my mom from Cabin Textiles gave me. Yes, I do come from a line of crazy. There were some additional bags of socks, both here and from my mom.