Friday, October 31, 2014

Punch rug frame, $10 solution, Tone bather

I woke up with a cold this morning and I feel like crap.  I'm pretty sure  Jimmy gave it to me and  he caught it at a MS show.  I've had to much coffee to go back to bed but bed is my ultimate destination today.  For once I'm ok with it.  I have a free  week with no class ,no work, and no  urgent  projects to be completed.  I'm completely free, for the next 6 days, to wallow in  common cold misery.   Its been a while since I've had the luxury of laying around in my pajamas sneezing and croaking out  'woe is me'.  Normally I would already be  pumped up on E-mergen-c and Dayquil and my thermos would  be filled with hot, honeyed, breathe easy tea.   But , not today. Today I'm sitting here with a box of tissue on my lap  waiting for the caffeine to wear off so I can take some Nyquil and sleep the day away.  I don't think I'm going to miss anything.  Its dark and rainy and chilly outside so I probably wouldn't be going out anyway if I felt  fine. 
Since we don't have tv , every fall I try to come up with a new  creative way to spend my time. I've spent  winters painting miniatures, cranking out hand pressed prints, , sculpting, crocheting,  cold ceramics (with grannys  vintage molds from the 60's), sewing, fabric painting and a few others I cant recall right this minute because my head is clogged with viral residue.  This year I was going to  learn  the craft of tiling and then I got sidetracked.  A friend of mine in California called me almost in tears .  She came home one day ,a few weeks ago, to find that her beloved  (enormous) puppy had chewed up her equally beloved vintage  embroidered rug..  Being a lover of vintage goods I had a great deal of sympathy.  Truly  beloved vintage items are one of a kind and cannot be replaced but, a token gesture was in order.  I went over to etsy intending to buy her a  vintage rug.  After perusing items like this  (which are lovely)... 

I became inspired and decided that I would MAKE her a rug.  I have no patience for  latch hooking so I opted for  a punch rug. Some monks cloth, yarn,  a punch needle and several youtube videos later and I am on my way.  This is so fun and easy that it has become my defacto winter project(ing).  I did a couple of small  practice runs (embroidery hoop size) and then started on  a real rug.  The giant peacock on a black background is almost done.  I will be starting  the distraught friend's  rug by next week.  The only issue that I ran into was that unlike latch hooking, punching requires  taught, stretched fabric.     I looked at commercial  punch rug frames which  started around $200 and quickly decided that  the price range was unacceptable.  I  wandered into my art/sound studio and  dug through  my  box of canvas stretcher frames.  I chose the length and width that I wanted, tapped the bars together and then stretched the fabric over it and stapled it in place.   A $10 solution to a $200 problem.  I will probably continue using this method of framing as  the stretcher bars come in all lengths and easily assemble and disassemble for reconfiguration.
It is a fine way to spend  the winter in front of the fire listening to Jimmy practice his ukulele.  Yes, the ukulele that I bought him back in 07 is finally   being used.  Thank you to Dad for inspiring him and giving him music lessons.    Jimmy was so inspired  after he and dad played a simple version of 'she'll be coming around the mountain" that  he is no  longer complaining about his lack of musical ability.  The last time he was practicing he was worried that I would be annoyed  at the sound of him playing 3 chords over and over.  I explained to him that it was a much loved sound  from my childhood and  it was comforting  sitting in the same room,   quietly working on a project, while musical notes meandered  through the air.  One of my college professors once called me a tone-bather.  I don't remember why but, he was right.  I love the repetition of soothing sounds and I'm looking forward to tone-bathing  with Jimmy in front of the fire this winter.