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joe’s favorite things: Not Just A Rug

December 23, 2010

She made quilts until the art form started to wane. She painted until her eyes couldn’t get the intricate details on the canvas. She crotched until the arthritis wouldn’t let her make another doilley. Now, she makes rugs. The work is less bothersome to her hands and she can see what she’s doing. It’s akin to making quilts in that each scrap of material has a story. An old housecoat, a dress that she outgrew, one of her husband’s shirts; it may seem odd to use these pieces in a rug, but… they create everyday reminders of the life she has lived. She is my grandma. Her name, Bobbie, is what we called her as children and now, in my mind, Bobbie is synonymous with grandma/grandmother.

When I was at home in November, I realized that she has piles of these rugs, all over her room, in the living room, in the closets. She makes them to keep her mind and her hands active. She sits in the rocker in the back of her room, working silently, day in and day out. I asked her if she wanted me to try to sell some of them and her reaction was as expected: Nobody wants to buy these. They’re just rag rugs. I then showed them to a few friends, who immediately fell in love and asked to buy them. Bobbie underestimates the power of her work. I recognize that at 83 she is living on an extremely fixed income. With a stockpile of product and limited income, logic comes into play. With that, I formed a company for her. And so begins Not Just A Rug, a company comprised of Bobbie Harrison, my grandma, eighty-three years old and still pushing. She’s lived a hard life, yet forces herself every day to get up and keep going. She is an inspiration.

Being hand-made and of scraps, clearly there are no two alike. Sizes range from about 18-22 inches in diameter. Colors come in every conceivable option. Email me with questions and I can help you choose one that fits your home. Exactly 100% of the profits goes to paying her bills.

A couple of samples:

Want more of joe’s favorite things?

#10. Tasha Hussey Designs
#9. Scrumptious Jellies by Laura Jo™
#8. Sprezzatura, a Kitchen Consultancy
#7. Williams-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark
#6. Caymus Conundrum
#5. The Best American Short Stories, 2010
#4. Julia Sherry Clutches
#3. Confirmations, by MiKA
#2. B. Oyama Homme
#1. Myoshi: The EP

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