Rugs: North American Rugs - Navajo rugs, American Indian rugs and native American rugs
North American is the name given to flat weave rugs and blankets woven by Native Americans in the Central Western areas of the US, mainly in Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and Colorado. These rugs are better known as Navajo rugs.
The weaving of Navajo rugs is the continuation of a long tradition of excellent craftsmanship that dates back nearly three centuries.
It is believed the Navajos learned the craft from the Pueblo Indians around 1700, as early examples of Navajo weaving show the close parallels between the two groups. The principal difference between Navajo and Pueblo weaving is that the Navajos used wool, while the Pueblos used cotton.
In the mid 1800s, the Navajos started using dye sources and yarns from the Europeans, especially the Germans and Spanish. Along with dyes and commercial yarn, the Europeans brought designs that could be incorporated into the flat weaves of the Navajos. These were usually Oriental patterns, which the Europeans apparently couldn't get enough of.
From the Navajo's own designs, the most famous examples were the 'Chief Blankets', which were worn on the shoulders of the tribe's chief. These items were extremely popular with the other Plain's Indians.
Navajo weaving changed radically in the last twenty years of the 19th century. Commercial ready-to-use yarns were available in a variety of colors, and by 1890 the Navajo Indians were weaving mainly for the trading posts and white tourists.
The traders were a great influence on the weavers, and the requests for pillow covers and bed covers to decorate white homes resulted in a proliferation of quickly woven, inferior pieces.
By 1890, after many years of blankets and bed coverings, white settlers were demanding covering for the floor. The Navajo rugs were born as the Indians were quick to oblige.
The Indians were now weaving less of their traditional simple and abstract geometric designs and more American pictorials designs including patriotic patterns and railroad scenes and houses. The traditional rugs are virtually lost and very rare today and designers seem todesire their 'Aztec' look for modern settings.
There are a few settlements that might still be weaving Navajo rugs, but much like all the other aspects of the Indians' culture, the Navajo rug is but a faint memory to them.
Some basic ideas on how to make homemade lamps and lampshades. Ways to decorate the shades by using stencils, buttons, ribbons, beads or rubber-stamps.
Many ordinary or unusual objects can be made into homemade lamps. Hobby and craft stores sell the basic kits, which include the cord, stem, and socket. Visit flea markets, garages sales and thrift stores to find objects you can use to create these unique lamps. Glass and brass vases work very well, but you could also use ceramic figurines, toys, or teapots.
First, choose your object, in this case use a doll or toy. Take a flat, thin block of stained wood with smooth, rounded edges and drill a hole through the middle (or the side) that is large enough to run the electric cord through, and thread the stem with the cord so that it will be on the top. Then glue felt on the bottom of the wood. (which will keep the lamp from scratching your furniture.) Place your object on the top part of the wood and secure with appropriate type of glue. Then place a copper tube over the lamp stem and affix it to the bottom of the base with a nut or metal washer ring. Use manufacturer's instructions to thread the wire of the cord into the socket. Place a bulb in the socket, place the lamp shade to the bulb, plug in and voila! you have a unique homemade lamp.
Another alternative would be to create your own ceramic lamps using molds. Begin by taking a ceramics class and make a pretty hurricane lamp, then wire according to the instructions. Paint or place decals on the lamp for decorations.
If you choose to use vases you do not need to make a wooden base. Just drill a hole in through the bottom of the vase so that you can thread the cord through. Glass vases need extra care to avoid breaking the ceramic or glass.
There are kits for lamp shades you can find in the hobby stores that have a sticky adhesive on the surface so that you can place whatever kind of material on it that you choose. Another great idea is saving the frames from old, torn or worn shades and covering them with what ever kind of fabric you would like.
To make a ribbon shade, wrap and wind strands of ribbon (directly from the roll) from the top to the bottom of the shade, overlapping until you have covered the whole frame, then tuck the end in the inside of the shade and hot glue it into place.
Another interesting idea is to take a light metal type of material such as screening and cut, the top more narrow and the bottom more wide then place the sides together with staples or glue and paper fasteners. Place a pretty satin ribbon or bric brac over the top and bottom to hide the jagged edges. Then sew unusual buttons or beads to the screen. in clusters. You can dress up any shade with beads or buttons.
Using plain white shades, paint swirls, polka-dots, squares, or other geometric shapes onto the surface. Or use stencils to create interesting patterns onto the shade. Do you know how to cross-stitch or embroider?
Consider texturizing your shade with a rag or a sponge and paint. Use two complementary colors for added interest. Then choose one or two rubber-stamps and stamp the pattern you want onto the shade.
So keep your eyes open for objects that you think might make an interesting lamp. Give them as gifts or sell them on e-bay or in craft fairs, or flea markets. But most of all, enjoy yourself.
Curio Buying Guide: Helpful Hints for Purchasing Your Curio
Curio cabinets are an elegant and functional way to display your precious items, while adding a touch of class to your home. With the many styles of curio cabinets that there are finding the right one can be a bit overwhelming. With standard curios, wall-mounted curios, or corner curios, we carry all sizes and styles for you to choose from for whatever needs you may have. If you need help or have questions about finding the one that most suits your needs, then take a quick look at this buying guide to help you in your search.
Find the Right Type of Curio
Wall Mounted Curios ? This is when the curio has the unique ability of hanging from the wall, so that it doesn't take up floor space. These offer supreme flexibility since they can be mounted in any room of the house, from the bathroom to the dining room.
Standard Curios ? This is the most common type of curio cabinet found. They are free standing and can support tremendous weights. They come with many features from locks to lights to mirrored backs.
Corner Curios ? This type of curio cabinet fits snug into the corner of the room. The corner design takes up only a little space in the room and allows for a smooth design.
Choose Your Favorite Curio Style
Traditional ? With their rich look and curved designs these cabinets are timeless accents that have universal appeal and will dress up the interior of any home. Their solid wood frames and multiple finishes date back to the origin of the piece in the Renaissance where the same minds who challenged the thought of the common man unintentionally created these elegant presentation chambers.
Contemporary ? With newer looks and designs than the traditional curio cabinets; these accents have bolder lines with more modern appeal. While still holding true to their Renaissance roots, these curios combine the rich and hearty design of antiques with modern flair and technology. Combination curios with fireplaces and curios with lights in them adorn this group of presentation cabinets.
Casual ? These curio cabinets are universally appealing with their elegant design and unpretentious look. This is the perfect choice for the person who is looking for a piece of accent furniture to display their valuables, without getting overly flashy. Their durable frames and bold glass still make a statement, but they do not take away from the true treasures that they enclose.
Select Curio Features
Lighted Curios ? This is when there is the capability to shine light inside the curio cabinet on your collectibles. With this feature you can illuminate your precious items all night long.
Fireplace ? This feature places a fireplace underneath a curio cabinet. The curio top allows you to display your collectibles over the warm electric fireplace.
Clock Curios ? This features both a functional clock and a curio cabinet to suit two needs at the same time.
Curio Cabinet Diagram
Curio Cabinets make a wonderful addition to any home and are sure to provide a home for all of your treasured collectibles. Their intricate designs and solid structure compliment whatever you chose to put in there, and allow for worry-free storage. The diagram below illustrates some of the many features curio cabinets have to offer.
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