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Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The "Do It Yourself Carpets For A Struggling Family" Story

It was an ordinary day.  Just replaced the throw rug inside our rear door which was soiled from years of foot travel dragging the dirt from our rear deck into the house.  We had meant to replace it for the past few years, but could never find just the right rug to use to replace it.  The old rug had a tropical theme to it and it's tough to find something that would duplicate it.  We recently found another carpet that isn't tropical, but does have the same colors as the carpet that it now protects.  At one point I said to Carol that maybe we should make our own carpet like we used to do when we were first married.  Well, one thing led to another and we dug out the photo box and started a search for photos of some of the old carpets that we had made for our home on Janet Ave.  In the early 70's, with a growing family and trying to survive on just my teaching salary, we did all we could to save on purchases.  
So, we made our own carpets!  The carpet we had in our dining room, which covered part of the hardwood floor, was made by buying a canvas tarp about 8 feet by 10 feet.  I had a friend whose father owned a carpet store and he told me to stop any evening after closing and I could go through their dumpster to find remnants from jobs they installed that day.  Only took a few weeks before we had some of the neatest colors and patterns to make our rug.  After pre-cutting the remnants, we glued them to the canvas with adhesive.  Not only was it a functional carpet, it was the talk of everyone who visited our home. The photo I posted shows our son Derek sitting along the edge of the carpet.  In our living room we got a bit more creative.  
I made a wooden frame the size we wanted the carpet to be and we covered it with burlap so that we could hook a rug on the frame.  I drew the male and female symbols on the carpet and we worked a few months to hook the rug in green and cream colors.  Might have been a bit risqué for the neighborhood, but it still got lots of comments.  And, it served it's purpose to make the floor easier for our children to play on without injuring themselves.  The second photo shows Derek opening one of his Christmas gifts in front of our TV console while sitting on the hooked rug.  Times fly and memories come and go, but it's still neat to reminisce about "how it used to be."  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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