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When someone gives you a bushel of lemons… you make lemonade!

Every guy should have a hooker in the family… (just kidding dear.)

The first prototype I built was one that stood on the floor. She just pulled it up to her chair and worked like that.

It worked OK, in that it freed both hands. But it was clumsy. And she couldn’t toss it into the back seat when she went to one of them danged ole “hook-ins”.  With the other hookers!!

So I came up with the “sit-on” concept…


At first, she whip-stitched her backing onto the frame… but that was slow and clumsy. So I got online and found “carding-cloth”… which is used in cotton gins to strip cotton fibers apart… prior to spinning then into thread.

The close up below shows thee carding-cloth strips attached to a frame.


The “Combo”


When given the option, half the customers wanted a free standing frame… the other half wanted the sit-on. So we made the thing modular. The frame could be unclamped from the sit-on and mounted on the floor stand. That worked great.

Some variations just plain flopped…


Cross Stitch wasn’t as big as rug hooking… but at the time, it looked like it was about to explode.

For several months, I tinkered with a way to attach cross stitch backing to a frame. But could never find a method that was simple enough to be able to build them efficiently… so I scrapped the idea.

I built these frames for over 10 years. Here’s what I learned…

  1. To make any real money, you need to be in a niche that’s large enough to support your product. Pursuing a hobby is one thing. Making a living from your hobby is something entirely different!
  2. To make a living… you need to keep “simple & easy to build” as one of your fundamental bottom lines. Unless you’re so creative and skilled (and have the specialty tools) that you can break into the high-end one-off market… stick with the simple, easy stuff.
  3. Be creative in sourcing your building supplies. People are favoring “green” products more and more.
  4. If at first you don’t succeed… etc… A few folks get lucky and hit a home run their first time at bat. The rest of us have to keep on swinging…

The Deer Whisperer??

5 years ago we bought 10 acres and an old 2-story farm house… that we’re in the process of remodeling. (It’s actually in the Ozark National Forest.)

One morning the  neighbors’ dogs had something bayed in the shed out back. When we went to see what was going on… “Rocky” (probably 2 weeks old) all but jumped in my sons’ lap.

We put him in with the chickens for the first few days… then we just let him live in the yard… He stayed with us 2 years… then went feral.

Quite an experience!


Times 2!!

The next year after Rocky moved in, the neighbors brought Daisy to us. They found her abandoned in their pasture.

She also lived in the yard for two years and then moved in with the herd.

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