Up first is a rug made by hand by my mama. Not only does she create beautiful handmade rugs, but they are made from upcycled wool clothing! She scours thrift stores in search of 100% wool garments, rips the seams apart, sometimes dyes them new colors, cuts the fabric into thin strips, and hooks the strips through canvas to create beautiful rugs. It is pretty cool that she is able to turn 80's shoulder-pad suits into these beautiful and functional works of art! She started rug hooking a few years back and has made dozens of rugs already. Her house is adorned with some, she has given many as gifts, and has even donated some to be sold at auctions for charities.
She made this one for Penny before she was born, and it now sits proudly in Penny's room. She loves to point out the animals that she knows and say their sounds. My mom also made a Noah's ark rug for Penny's cousin and is working on a huge four-season tree one for our kitchen. Here are a few detail shots:
In the close-ups, you can really see the individual wool strips that make up the larger images. And here is what the back looks like in case you are curious:
She also made this one for us a few years back. It is super, super thick and feels like walking on pillows. It is a more primitive technique called "proddy" in which thick strips are used instead of the thinner ones.
If you're interested in learning more about rug hooking, here are a few links:
Rug Hooking on Wikipedia
Hungry Hook Primitives Tutorial
Rug Hookers Network Tutorials
Jeanne Sullivan Design Tutorial
Rug Hooking 101