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Pets  
Parker's Story
By Jennifer Whipple
8/12/2014 5:28:00 AM  



Parker thinks he’s a normal cat, says his “mom,” Jessica. Granted, he can’t carry his tail proudly in the air like most kitties, and it can’t be denied that his walk is a bit crooked. But he runs about and plays like most young cats, pounces on his favorite toys (catnip mice), teases his big “brother,” Captain (another ginger cat), loves to cuddle with his humans, and has a healthy appetite (too healthy, sometimes, Jessica admits).

 

A Photogenic Kitty

 

Parker is also a Plow & Hearth pet model.

 

You may have seen Parker in our catalog and on our web site over the past year, lounging around in our latest pet beds like the Kitten Caboodle Cat Bed Pouf (#53359), the Rattan Cat House (#53266) and the Waterproof Heated Outdoor Cat House (#52626), or snuggling into our Cozy Comfort Micro Velour Blankets (#93130). But he had a lot of healing to do before he was able to join the Plow & Hearth team as an employee.

 

Rescued

 

A year ago this month, Parker was found hiding behind a woodpile in the parking lot outside our photo studio. Starving, dehydrated, riddled with worms and badly injured, the tiny kitten probably would not have lived through another day had the studio team not immediately rushed him to a nearby veterinary. Though not more than six weeks old by the veterinarian’s estimate, there was no sign of his family, nor any indication of how he might have managed to escape from the animal that apparently (going by the teeth marks in his little body) had picked him up and shaken him, leaving him with a hernia, broken rib, punctured liver and damaged spine.

 

“He was miserable, but desperate for help,” recalls Assistant Photographer Jessica. “When [Plow & Hearth Producer] Matt pulled him out of the wood pile and handed him off to me, Parker just clung to my shirt, crying. I knew right away that I wanted to adopt him.”


Parker relaxing between takes.


A New Home

 

It was the best thing that could have happened to Parker (whose name was inspired by the parking lot in which he was found). Jessica’s fiancé, Hayes, works from a home office, so he was able to give Parker the frequent attention, feeding and treatment the kitten required after the surgery for his hernia and liver. Before long, Parker became strongly bonded to Hayes.

 

“It was like Parker imprinted on Hayes,” Jessica recalls with a smile.

 

Hayes also took Parker to most of his therapy sessions.

 

“The worst injury was the nerve damage to his spine,” Jessica explains “Every single disc had scar tissue, and he had to go through six months of acupuncture and laser therapy treatments.”

 
Parker patiently sits through an accupuncture treatment.


Improved Health and a New Career

 

As Parker underwent treatment, Jessica noticed that, while a little shy with strangers at first, he warmed up to them very quickly. Additionally, he was good-natured, patient and cooperative – qualities that make pets successful models. As his health improved, she decided to try bringing him along on photo shoots where a cat was required.

 

Good cat models are hard to find: being cute and photogenic (Parker is both!) is not enough. Many cats become uneasy in a strange environment and won’t stay in the beds or cat houses they’re meant to be trying out; others are happy to investigate the products, but get curious when they see the camera pointed at them and break the pose so they can investigate before the shot is taken. Perhaps it’s because he’s received so much care and handling from the humans in his life, but Parker willingly takes direction and stays put (mostly) for photos, making him an ideal pet model.

 

“He travels so well in the car,” Jessica says. “He doesn’t even need to stay in the carrier during short trips. And he’s very relaxed on-set. Also, he’s very small, which helps.”


Career Kitty: Parker shows off one of Plow & Hearth's pet beds.

 

Star Quality

 

Small he is – at only five pounds, Parker is undersized for his age. His veterinarian thinks his growth was stunted from all he's been through. But what he lacks in size, he more than makes up for in personality. And unlike many models, he hasn’t let all the attention from his new career go to his head!

 

“He’s really sweet and cuddly, always sleeps on the bed with us,” Jessica shares. “Very chatty and talkative, and he looks you right in your eyes when he’s talking to you!

 

“He even ‘talks’ to the birds through the window,” Jessica adds with a laugh. “He’s an indoor-only cat, and sitting and watching the birds is one of his favorite activities.”

 

And though his body may be small, his appetite certainly isn’t.

 

“We have to watch his food intake carefully because his system is so sensitive, and he hates it,” Jessica says. “He gets one treat daily, and I think that’s the highlight of his day!”

 

Follow Parker!

 

Want to keep up with Parker? “Like” us on Facebook to see more photos, keep checking our blog for updates, and follow him on Twitter. Parker also appears (along with some other four-footed friends) on the Plow Pets board on our Pinterest page. For a closer look at Parker’s 5-purr products, follow the links above.


Parker (left) with big brother Captain.

Thinking of adopting a pet? Consider one with “special needs” – they need a home, too, and have a lot of love to give. Jessica says that Parker makes all the effort of taking care of him well worth it!


Currently rated 4.5 by 12 people

Tags: Parker's Picks, Parker the Plow Cat, Plow Pets, Parker the Cat, Pet Model
Categories: Pets
Outdoor Living  
How to Keep Bugs Away, Naturally!
By Jennifer Whipple
7/16/2014 9:00:00 AM  

Pesky insects can put a damper on summer fun, but you can keep them under control without exposing your family, pets and the environment to harmful chemicals. Here are some tips for quelling three of the most common pests with effective, all-natural remedies.

 

Wipe Out Wasps For Good

 

Wasps are very territorial about their nests, but your mom was right – if you leave them alone, they’ll usually leave you alone. Unless they’re nesting near or on your home or in other high-traffic areas, it’s a good idea to do just that because they’re a beneficial bug that preys on other insects. Take a few tips on how to co-exist peacefully with wasps:

 

• Keep wasps out of your home. Prevent wasps from building a nest in or on your home by sealing off the places they can get in. Repair torn screens, seal cracks around windows and doors and cover unsealed vents to keep the critters out. If you suspect they’ve already invaded but aren’t sure where, follow their flight path to discover their point of entry.

 

• Keep food under wraps outdoors. This applies to anything a wasp would consider food. Wasps remember where they’ve found food and will keep checking back, so don’t provide any temptation for them if you can avoid it.  When dining out on the patio, keep your food covered and put it away as soon as you’re done. If you have fruit trees, don’t leave the fallen fruit on the ground. Use lids or covers on your trash cans and compost heaps, and don’t leave food out for your pet. Take extra care when drinking canned beverages outdoors or you may find a nasty surprise has gotten into it!

 

• Walk away from a hovering wasp. It might be tempting to swat a hovering wasp, but crushing them releases a pheromone scent that attracts and agitates other wasps, encouraging them to swarm. If a wasp is hovering nearby, a tactical retreat is usually the best option.

 

• Don’t use perfume or wear brightly colored clothing when spending a lot of time outdoors. Hawaiian shirts look great at a luau, but looking and smelling like a big flower has its drawbacks! Like bees, wasps feed on nectar, so avoid hues and scents that they’ll find appetizing.

 

Eliminate Mosquitoes



Early mornings and evenings are popular times for relaxing on the porch or patio – unfortunately, these are also the times when mosquitoes are out for blood. In addition to the many effective, all-natural traps and repellents now available, here are some quick, cost-effective and all-natural fixes you can do yourself:

 

Set up mosquito traps. There are mosquito traps that lure insects with heat and light (instead of chemicals) and cover a wide area. Some run on propane, some are electric, some are gas-powered. Make sure they’re up and running and doing their job before you head outdoors.

 

• Change the water in your birdbath, pet’s dish or child’s wading pool regularly. Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water sources, so be sure to change the water in your birdbath or child’s wading pool at least twice a week to keep the population down. Make sure your pet has fresh water at least twice a day, and keep your rain gutters clear so they drain properly. Keep an eye out for – and remove – items in your yard or garden that collect water.

 

“Fan” yourself. Use an electric fan outdoors? Believe it or not, it actually works – mosquitoes are hampered by a breeze, which is why they tend to seek pockets of still air in which to congregate. When dining on the porch or patio, aim a pedestal fan at the picnic table, or a small fan at your deck chair. You’ll not only blow the pests away – you’ll enjoy a nice breeze, too!

 

• Ward them off. We’re not sure about vampires, but it’s a proven fact that garlic makes an effective mosquito repellent. Cool! Mix one part garlic juice with five parts water, dip some cloth strips in the mixture and hang them around your outdoor sitting area for a localized deterrent. You can also tie the cloths around your wrists or ankles to prevent bites.

 

• Wear bug-repellent clothing. When hiking or camping, be sure to cover all exposed areas with long-sleeved shirts and long pants with snug cuffs. Hats and jackets with fine-mesh screens are a good idea, too.

 

• Spice things up. Using a charcoal grill? Toss a tablespoon or so of sage or rosemary on the coals to keep mosquitoes away (it smells great, too).

 

• Plant marigolds. The cheerful red, gold and orange flowers are not only pretty, hardy, easy to grow and tasty (try them in your salad!), they’re natural pest repellants, too!  Plant them in pots or borders along your porch or patio to deter flying insects. They’ll even keep aphids away from your vegetable garden!

 

Shoo Away Flies

 


These common household pests are more than a nuisance – they’re a health hazard. A single housefly can carry over one million bacteria. Take a few measures to control flies in your backyard and your home, and you'll be healthier for it.

 

• Outdoor dining. When setting a picnic or umbrella table for a meal, use a small bowl filled with sweet basil and clover as a centerpiece. Keep an open container of the mixture near your pet’s food dish, too.

 

• Make use of scented herbs and essential oils. Mint deters flies, is easy to grow and comes in many varieties. Harvest some of the fresh leaves, crush them, and tie them up in small squares of cheesecloth. Place these sachets around your outdoor sitting areas (as well as inside the house) to discourage flies from hanging around. Bay leaves and cloves work well, too. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a scrap of cloth and leave it in an area where flies are a problem.

 

• Stick ‘em up. Flypaper may not be pretty, but it works…to make your own, dip strips of brown paper in a mixture made from ¼ cup corn syrup, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Let the strips dry overnight, then hang them with thread around your porch or deck.

 

Tired of being bugged? Come see Plow & Hearth’s entire selection of Outdoor Problem Solvers!

Currently rated 0 by 0 people

Tags: Bug Control, Pest Control
Categories: Outdoor Living, Sustainability
Sustainability  
How to Keep Bugs Away, Naturally!
By Jennifer Whipple
7/16/2014 9:00:00 AM  

Pesky insects can put a damper on summer fun, but you can keep them under control without exposing your family, pets and the environment to harmful chemicals. Here are some tips for quelling three of the most common pests with effective, all-natural remedies.

 

Wipe Out Wasps For Good

 

Wasps are very territorial about their nests, but your mom was right – if you leave them alone, they’ll usually leave you alone. Unless they’re nesting near or on your home or in other high-traffic areas, it’s a good idea to do just that because they’re a beneficial bug that preys on other insects. Take a few tips on how to co-exist peacefully with wasps:

 

• Keep wasps out of your home. Prevent wasps from building a nest in or on your home by sealing off the places they can get in. Repair torn screens, seal cracks around windows and doors and cover unsealed vents to keep the critters out. If you suspect they’ve already invaded but aren’t sure where, follow their flight path to discover their point of entry.

 

• Keep food under wraps outdoors. This applies to anything a wasp would consider food. Wasps remember where they’ve found food and will keep checking back, so don’t provide any temptation for them if you can avoid it.  When dining out on the patio, keep your food covered and put it away as soon as you’re done. If you have fruit trees, don’t leave the fallen fruit on the ground. Use lids or covers on your trash cans and compost heaps, and don’t leave food out for your pet. Take extra care when drinking canned beverages outdoors or you may find a nasty surprise has gotten into it!

 

• Walk away from a hovering wasp. It might be tempting to swat a hovering wasp, but crushing them releases a pheromone scent that attracts and agitates other wasps, encouraging them to swarm. If a wasp is hovering nearby, a tactical retreat is usually the best option.

 

• Don’t use perfume or wear brightly colored clothing when spending a lot of time outdoors. Hawaiian shirts look great at a luau, but looking and smelling like a big flower has its drawbacks! Like bees, wasps feed on nectar, so avoid hues and scents that they’ll find appetizing.

 

Eliminate Mosquitoes



Early mornings and evenings are popular times for relaxing on the porch or patio – unfortunately, these are also the times when mosquitoes are out for blood. In addition to the many effective, all-natural traps and repellents now available, here are some quick, cost-effective and all-natural fixes you can do yourself:

 

Set up mosquito traps. There are mosquito traps that lure insects with heat and light (instead of chemicals) and cover a wide area. Some run on propane, some are electric, some are gas-powered. Make sure they’re up and running and doing their job before you head outdoors.

 

• Change the water in your birdbath, pet’s dish or child’s wading pool regularly. Mosquitoes are attracted to standing water sources, so be sure to change the water in your birdbath or child’s wading pool at least twice a week to keep the population down. Make sure your pet has fresh water at least twice a day, and keep your rain gutters clear so they drain properly. Keep an eye out for – and remove – items in your yard or garden that collect water.

 

“Fan” yourself. Use an electric fan outdoors? Believe it or not, it actually works – mosquitoes are hampered by a breeze, which is why they tend to seek pockets of still air in which to congregate. When dining on the porch or patio, aim a pedestal fan at the picnic table, or a small fan at your deck chair. You’ll not only blow the pests away – you’ll enjoy a nice breeze, too!

 

• Ward them off. We’re not sure about vampires, but it’s a proven fact that garlic makes an effective mosquito repellent. Cool! Mix one part garlic juice with five parts water, dip some cloth strips in the mixture and hang them around your outdoor sitting area for a localized deterrent. You can also tie the cloths around your wrists or ankles to prevent bites.

 

• Wear bug-repellent clothing. When hiking or camping, be sure to cover all exposed areas with long-sleeved shirts and long pants with snug cuffs. Hats and jackets with fine-mesh screens are a good idea, too.

 

• Spice things up. Using a charcoal grill? Toss a tablespoon or so of sage or rosemary on the coals to keep mosquitoes away (it smells great, too).

 

• Plant marigolds. The cheerful red, gold and orange flowers are not only pretty, hardy, easy to grow and tasty (try them in your salad!), they’re natural pest repellants, too!  Plant them in pots or borders along your porch or patio to deter flying insects. They’ll even keep aphids away from your vegetable garden!

 

Shoo Away Flies

 


These common household pests are more than a nuisance – they’re a health hazard. A single housefly can carry over one million bacteria. Take a few measures to control flies in your backyard and your home, and you'll be healthier for it.

 

• Outdoor dining. When setting a picnic or umbrella table for a meal, use a small bowl filled with sweet basil and clover as a centerpiece. Keep an open container of the mixture near your pet’s food dish, too.

 

• Make use of scented herbs and essential oils. Mint deters flies, is easy to grow and comes in many varieties. Harvest some of the fresh leaves, crush them, and tie them up in small squares of cheesecloth. Place these sachets around your outdoor sitting areas (as well as inside the house) to discourage flies from hanging around. Bay leaves and cloves work well, too. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to a scrap of cloth and leave it in an area where flies are a problem.

 

• Stick ‘em up. Flypaper may not be pretty, but it works…to make your own, dip strips of brown paper in a mixture made from ¼ cup corn syrup, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Let the strips dry overnight, then hang them with thread around your porch or deck.

 

Tired of being bugged? Come see Plow & Hearth’s entire selection of Outdoor Problem Solvers!

Currently rated 0 by 0 people

Tags: Bug Control, Pest Control
Categories: Outdoor Living, Sustainability
Sustainability  
Better World Betty 2014 Awards
By Jennifer Whipple
6/25/2014 10:27:00 AM  
Plow & Hearth took home the Grand Prize in the Large Business Category at the Charlottesville Area Better Business Challenge Awards last night! We were nominated in the categories: Kilowatt Crackdown, Biggest Loser, Green Leader and Top Innovator.

The Better Business Challenge is a friendly competition among businesses to incorporate sustainable practices in their day-to-day operations. Plow & Hearth wishes to thank the members of our Sustainability Committee for their hard work in making our company more eco-friendly and helping us to adopt more sustainability practices.


Currently rated 0 by 0 people

Tags: awards, sustainability, about Plow & Hearth, company news, Plow & Hearth family
Categories: Sustainability
Outdoor Living  
Plan Your Perfect Deck or Patio
By Jennifer Whipple
6/1/2014 10:00:00 AM  

Jeff Wilson, host of DIY Network's "Build-a-Deck"Looking to revitalize your deck or patio? HGTV/DIY Networks host and spokesperson for the Thompson's® Water Seal® brand Jeff Wilson has good news: with a just a little thought and planning, you can turn a tired old deck into the deck of your dreams…and you don’t need a lot of space to do it.

With over 25 years of home building and remodeling experience, Jeff shares the ideas and tips that he and his wife used to redesign and build their own deck and patio.

 

Know what you want.

 

When Jeff and his wife, Sherri, bought their Ohio home in 2001, they knew the deck would have to change.

 

“The deck was built around 1980, back when the deck trend really got started,” Jeff explained. “At that time, people didn’t treat their decks. This one had been painted a glaring white that was peeling at the time we moved in…and with the sun shining on it, it was way too bright.”

 

Additionally, the existing deck was very narrow.

 

“There was no room for a table or anything,” Jeff recalled. “You could line people up in chairs side-by-side, facing out into the yard, but they couldn’t sit across from each other and converse.”

 

Put thought into the project.

 

Jeff and his wife put a lot of thought into what they wanted from their deck – something he feels should be a part of every renovation.

 

“Ask yourself, ‘how will we use the space?” Jeff says. “Knowing what you want – a place to entertain or an outdoor sanctuary – is paramount.”

 

Like many homes built in the 1940s, Jeff and Sherri’s house is quite small. With two children and a fondness for entertaining, they decided their deck should provide the extra space they needed and wanted both for relaxing and entertaining. They carefully planned an outdoor space that combined both functions by separating the outdoor space like they did their indoor spaces, with different areas reserved for specific activities: conversation, dining, cooking, gardening, etc.

 

“Size it to the function.”

When planning the size of their new deck, Jeff and his wife laid garden hoses along the ground and arranged their outdoor furniture within the lines they made before committing to a plan.

 

“We knew we wanted to be able to do a lot with our deck, but we also knew we didn’t want it eating up the entire yard, so planning how we’d use the space was essential,” he says.

 

Jeff observed that some homeowners feel that “bigger is better” when it comes to planning a deck. He disagrees.

 

“Whatever material you use – be it flagstone or wood – needs to be maintained, so the larger the surface area, the greater the expense. Our new deck wound up being about 400 square feet all told, and only ten feet wide off the back of the house. That’s okay – the size isn’t nearly as important as the functionality.”

 

And with a smaller deck surface area, Jeff and Sherri were able to spend more on better materials.

 

“We went with cedar boards instead of treated lumber. Cedar is not only prettier and tougher than pine, it’s better when you have kids because it’s not been treated with chemicals.”

 

He also points out that, because he saved so much on deck materials, he was able to afford a higher end grill with a side burner. And with the materials left over, he was able to install a potting table with a roof that could double as a buffet.

 
Jeff's deck before the renovation.Jeff's deck before the renovation.

The finished product.

 

The end result of Jeff and Sherri’s project is an outdoor space that combines a screened-in porch at one end, a dining area and an outdoor kitchen with a brick oven that doubles as an outdoor fireplace in the middle, and a potting bench/buffet at the far end. The space is also made up of different levels with a flagstone floor that ties it all together.

 

“Every little part of the deck has a function,” Jeff explains, “and we can change it around if we need to.”

 

Get creative!

 

Jeff encourages homeowners to get creative with their decks.

 

“Over the years, outdoor living has evolved. We now seek to bring our indoors outside, seeing features formerly reserved for the interior of a home – such as televisions and gas fireplaces – as ways to enhance our outdoor spaces. You may want things that are different than what we wanted, but that’s all right – the sky’s the limit. Don’t be afraid to get creative and use your imagination. And you can do it without breaking the bank.”


Jeff's deck after the renovation.

Jeff's deck after the renovation.


Currently rated 4.7 by 3 people

Tags: N/A
Categories: Outdoor Living
Inside The Home  
Braided Rugs: An American Tradition In Your Home
By Jennifer Whipple
2/21/2013 2:47:00 PM  
Indoor/Outdoor Polypro Braided Rugs 

Want to add a traditional touch to your home? Nothing says "classic Americana" like a braided rug. Don’t be fooled into thinking that they are old fashioned – they may have been around awhile, but they’ve always been practical, economical and environmentally friendly. And nowadays, they’re easy-care, too.


A Handmade Twist On American History

There was a time in this country when housewives not only made their family's clothing, they spun the yarn and wove the cloth, too! Every scrap of fabric was precious and nothing was thrown away. When clothing was torn, faded or no longer fit, the fabric was recycled into quilts and rugs.


Woven and hooked rugs are found worldwide, but braided rugs are uniquely American. The tradition, dependent on the availability of fabric, started in New England, which was also the birthplace of the American textile industry. Braiding was a craft that all women learned as girls, caring for their hair. It required almost no equipment and could be done with minimal lighting so it became a pleasant evening pastime in the days before electric lighting and evening television. The rugs provided early New Englanders with color, softness and warmth in their austere homes.


Bear Creek Wool Braids


In the mid 1900’s there was a huge resurgence of interest in rug making, and mills throughout the northeast sold fabric remnants by the pound for that purpose. Because both braiding and hooking use the same fabric scraps, there was often an overlap of techniques; hooked rugs were often finished with sturdy braided borders.


Practically Speaking

New Englanders are practical people, and “waste not, want not” and durability are well illustrated in their rugs. Braided rugs are extremely sturdy, longwearing, comfortable to walk on and easy to care for. Tightly braided and laced together, these rugs only required sweeping with a stiff straw broom and regular turning over to reverse the wear. Braided rugs are also very economical: most are reversible, which is like having two rugs in one! Removing gritty dirt is easy and prolongs the life of any rug. Rough shaking or beating on a line puts too much strain on the lacing that binds the braids together but they can be vacuumed - and should periodically be vacuumed on both sides. Depending on what fabric is used to make the rug, stains can be sponged away with soapy water, hosed off or professionally dry-cleaned. If your rugs are subject to heavy traffic, you can further equalize the wear by rotating them end-to-end. Braided rugs are tough.


Thanks to Polypropylene fiber, traditional-style braided rugs are now going outside on the porch, patio and deck. A country-style porch looks great with a long-lasting, low-maintenance braided rug. Woven from weatherproof polypropylene, these modern braids are soft, comfortable and durable. They dry fast so they won’t mildew and are UV-treated to resist sun-damage and fading. And best of all, they’re easy to clean – just hose them off!


Outdoor Braided Rugs


What To Look For In A Braided Rug

When deciding on a braided rug, fabric is the first thing to consider. Wool is a great choice because it’s durable, resists staining, molding and mildewing, and prevents spills from soaking through to the floor. Wool fibers can also withstand high temperatures, which make them ideal for fireside or hearthrugs. Wool rugs tend to keep their shapes very well, too.


Another popular choice for braided rugs is cotton. Soft and lightweight, cotton braided rugs soak up moisture and dry quickly. The non-elastic fibers can be woven very tightly, too, so cotton braided rugs hold their shape very well.


Braided rugs made from synthetic fibers are an excellent choice as well. Polypropylene fibers resist fading and can be hosed clean, which make them ideal for the deck or patio. Polyester rugs share some of the indoor/outdoor qualities of polypropylene rugs and are economical, too. Both materials resist mold and mildew.


How tightly a rug is assembled is a prime indicator of the rug’s quality. After all, it doesn’t matter how good the fabric or tight the braid if the lacing is weak. When you purchase a braided rug, look for tight braiding and tight stitching. Tightly braided rugs are heavier and firmer. They are thicker and softer to walk on and repel dirt better.


Finding The Fit

The size rug you buy depends on how much surrounding floor you want showing or covered. Furniture is usually placed entirely on or off an area rug, but traffic patterns and your furniture might dictate differently. Allow rugs to extend 30-36" beyond the chairs at a dining or kitchen table so that the chairs don’t catch as they pull in and out. Braided rugs do not need thick padding, but they do benefit from a simple non-skid pad to keep them in place.



Every Day Rug Pad

Patio Pads

Outdoor Rug Pad

Try Making Your Own!

If you enjoy crafts, you might want to consider braiding a rug. The equipment is minimal: sharp scissors, clothespins, needles, threads, strips of good quality fabric and a C-clamp to hook the braid onto as you work. Fabric doesn't have to be new, but it should be free of moth holes, tears and stains and still have enough life left in it to be worthy of your efforts. You'll need to cut strips about 1-3/4" wide, join them with bias seams and roll the strips into three balls to braid from.


You'll braid the strips the same way you braid hair - but much tighter and you need to fold the torn or cut edges of the fabric to the inside as you work. If a rug seems like a huge project, think about doing chair pads, stair treads or a tote bag. Braiding isn’t difficult and like many crafts, can be learned from a book. If you prefer to take classes, check your local craft center or adult education program.


Whether your old winter coat ends up underfoot or you purchase a ready-made rug, you’ll find that braided rugs offer the perfect foundation for a country or antique decorating scheme. With our tendency to throw things away and buy new, there is something reassuring (and contemporary) about a folk art that recycles. Nostalgia and charm are important to country decorating and braided rugs rank high in both!



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Categories: Inside The Home
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