As I saw more and more of them from favorite magazines that I collected (Country Living, Early American Life, A Primitive Place), the ones that inspired me to create them were the actual antique rugs or the truly authentic reproductions. While I thought the "cutsie" penny rugs were pretty or cute, they didn't move me like the rugs that were created to look like they had been made 150 years ago!
As I looked around, I stumbled upon THE GREATEST penny rug artisan there is (in my mind) -- Cee Rafuse!!
First, I found her old website...... http://www.earlystylepennyrugs.com/index.html
She hadn't posted anything new on it in years, but I scoured it to find any news of where she was online - did she blog? Was she still creating rugs? On Etsy?? I kept going back over and over to her gorgeous rugs that she had designed and sewn and sold -- I thought (and still think!) they were so perfect, each one in a different way!!!
Then to my amazement, I found her on Pinterest!! ~http://pinterest.com/ceepennyrugs/penny-rugs-i-have-designed-and-stitched/~ I saw even MORE rugs, and some recent captions and pins.....so she WAS still around -- YAY!! :-D
And while looking at her pinned rugs, what do you think I saw.....???
That's right, my first penny rug -- the very penny rug that I had seen in a google image and just had to make, with no idea that it was HER design! That was it for me, I decided I simply MUST email her to find out where she was and if she was still creating penny rugs!! And to my delighted surprise, she actually emailed me back! :-D I felt like I was talking to a celebrity!!! LOL She said she had been busy, but WAS thinking of starting to blog again, and to get back into designing and creating again, maybe even putting kits together or offering tips and techniques! YAY, again!! :-D
So now, she has her first posts on her brand new blog, and I am SO EXCITED about it!!!
First, I love the design of her blog, the colors, her links, the pennies in the background - even the font is perfect! But her way of writing and expressing herself is so refined and classy (which I noticed from reading her older website, as well), I love reading her thoughts! She also finds the most amazing antique rugs to share with us, and to get her design ideas from!! And as for her rugs, I really think they could be in a museum, they are so lovely and accurate. She has even used real antique feed sacks for backings -- you don't get more true than that! She has a wonderful eye for putting colors together, too..... I love going back to her Pinterest page and just looking at all those beautiful rugs! I can't wait to see what new designs she comes up with!! And the fact that she will be providing tips and ideas is just the icing on the cake!! So now I have another "Favorite Places" entry for my sidebar! :-D (once I remember how to get it over there....!)
Don't wait for me to check her blog out..... http://thediaryofarugmaker.blogspot.ca/
For anyone searching for flawless reproduction penny rugs, Cee is the artisan to go to first! I told her she should publish a book -- wouldn't that be perfect?! She is a PURIST, with a flawless attention to detail!! I am delighted she is back, for myself, but also for the Early American community! She is such a valuable contributor to the look and style that we are all single-mindedly searching for!!
HOORAY, Cee!!! ^-^