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My Braided Rug
Making Something Beautiful Out Of Something No Longer Useful
As an American I am just as caught up in consumerism as most other women. Buying new stuff is almost an addiction. You see something all shiny and unused and packaged in the prettiest of ways and suddenly this excitement takes you over. This need that you can't understand or explain because there really isn't any way to understand or explain. No words to define the feeling of how exactly that pretty gadget, or sweater, or trinket is going to change your life forever and be the thing that finally sets you apart and raises your social standing to Supreme Overlord!!!
Well, okay, I may be exaggerating a little here, but, you get the idea. And this is why it's so important to re-purpose as much as possible. To create out of that with which we would otherwise discard. To help out our earth at the same time as helping out ourselves. Because any time we create with our hands and minds and hearts, we heal a little bit of what may be broken inside of ourselves. We brighten a part of our soul that could really use it. And we are left with a sense of pride and something to show for our hard work. A re-purposed item not only saves the landfill a little bit, but it saves a little piece of us as well. And it's just so cool! To be able to have something that you did yourself that came from something that was done, used up, over, that's the best part.
A Quilt Of Memories!
I was going through my children's clothes with the worthwhile goal of weeding out the too small, the too stained and the too used up. I had a pretty decent pile of things that were still good that I could hand down to someone else, which made me happy. But was also confronted with a pretty sizable pile of tees that were stained or outgrown. It made me sad because we love our screen tees in this family. The statements they make. The jokes they tell. The memories they hold in my heart. Each tee brought me back to a place and time and event that was special to me. Each tee was a time machine to a memory that I held greedily close to my heart. The thought of all of those ties to happiness rotting away in a landfill was actually hurting my heart.
And then a light bulb came on and I realized that I could cut off the fronts and make a quilt. A blanket that I could grasp onto and cuddle with and cry into after my children left the nest for bright exciting lives of their own. Something to forever hold those memories in a physical way that I could keep forever. And inside I rejoiced.
I carefully cut out all of the pictures on each of the tees and started sewing them together. My excitement growing with each piece of the puzzle I made. But what to do with all the scraps? The backs of the shirts? The sides? The sleeves? Aha! It hit me! A braided rug!!!
A Needle. A Chair. A Braided Rug.
Braided rugs are actually super simple to make. And therapeutic as well. You just tear the fabric into strips. Find the three colors you want to pair together, and then braid. Then, you sew the strips onto themselves as you wind it around itself. It's great because while your hands are working you can use the time to get caught up on whatever your dvr has been saving up for you.
Or, even better, take the time to sort out your thoughts. While you're braiding and winding and sewing you can be remembering all of the fun times your children had with that material on their backs. All of the places it has been. All of the smiles it may have brought. You can plan your next meal, or your next outing or your budget. You can think about how awesome it is that you're actually making a rug that will be a very nice conversation starter for any guests you have over and you can be creating something that you can pass down to future generations. Because it's special. When you create with your hands, with your mind, with your heart. It's always special.