wishing you, and yours, a safe and warm holiday!
whilst i’ve been feverishly punching winter-themed designs….
…lilly’s been keeping her eyes on me. she’s the head elf, making sure all the subordinate elves (me) stay on task.
ellis has been….
…wrapping gifts in crinkly brown paper, and otis has been….
…practicing his christmas-tree-garland impersonation.
what about you? how are you preparing for this season of JOY?
peace, my friends!
If you’d care to scoot on over to my Primitive Handmades Mercantile shop you can see the ornaments I’ve been working on this month ~ I’ve had so much fun! Click here to visit. But, if you’d prefer to spend your time napping…..
…Oatbran will sure to join you.
Some of us have been busy this week….
…trying to find the perfect resting spot…
Lilly works a little harder than the boys to find just the place….
…to get comfortable?
I’ve been finishing more projects, some for Thanksgiving, like….
…this chamomile stuffed pillow. It’s a design I adapted from the Notforgotten Farm pattern called, “Turkey Shoot”. You can find more of Lori’s designs by clicking here.
I also worked on a Thanksgiving Day Parade of my own….
I punched a turkey, four pilgrims and a pumpkin on weavers cloth using Valdani #12 perle cotton…
…attached them to salvaged book fronts, painted black, and clipped them to a piece of twine using clothes pins. A rusty bell between each silhouette adds a bit of rustic charm.
And, FINALLY!, I finished the Antique Dog and Cat punch needle that I started in July. If you’d like to see where this piece started, you can click here. This embroidery was inspired by an antique hooked rug…
…and, here’s my finished version.
If you’d like to see more pictures of my Antique Dog and Cat or of the Thanksgiving Day Parade pillow, you can visit my etsy shop by clicking here.
What have you been up to? Are you decorating for Thanksgiving or moving directly from Halloween to Christmas?
Whatever you may do, may you enjoy it to the fullest!
I’ve been punching and punching, and not finishing, for several weeks. Finally, the last few days have been devoted to completing and updating my etsy shop.
If you stop by etsy, you’ll find a little woolly sheep and a chamomile stuffed pillow. And, you’ll find…
‘scuse me, Otis. You’ll find…..
Toot, toot Oatbran, I’m trying to show the folks my Patriotic Gentleman….
Looks like Oatsy needs a kitty catnip toy to distract him. If you stop by my etsy shop, you’ll find…
a Patriotic Gentleman and…
a murder of crows. Though Otis was ready to lend a paw all week, Lilly and Ellis had other events scheduled.
Lilly, in particular, was busy because I introduced her to a new spot…
which consists of a futon mattress, a kitty heating pad and a wool quilt. What do you think, Lilly?
Wishing you all a Lilly of a day!
Today is the Primitive Handmades Mercantile October update. You should see all the fabulous things I have listed this month ~ woohoo! I’ve got some beauties! Trouble is, I thought the update was next Friday ~ oh dear oh dear ~ and I haven’t even started all those wonderful things I spoke of, in fact, all those wonderful things exist only in my imagination at this point. However, you can see all the beautiful, primitive, Autumn/Thanksgiving/Christmas offerings all the other timely PHM artists have this month by clicking here. Once you get to PHM just click on “Artists” in the upper right corner and you will find a list of all the shops.
Because I thought I had all this time on my hands, I’ve been doing other things….
I gave blood….
…from both arms.
I took pictures of cats…
….who are acrobats, and….
…I took pictures of cats being cute, and cats who….
….sleep a lot.
I also decorated a few areas of the house to reflect the autumnal loveliness.
Here’s to (me) being more responsible next month!
What have you been doing with all your “free” time?
may your calendar always reflect your obligations on the correct dates!
This morning I was stocking up on some punch needle supplies. I’d recently broken one of my Morgan hoops while pulling my weavers cloth taut and needed to replace it. I’m something of a homebody (huge understatement) so I do most of my shopping online, plus the Joann’s/Hobby Lobby closest to me is a half hour away… half hour there, half hour in the store, half hour home again, that’s an hour and a half of punch or nap time. If you’re like me and prefer to do your shopping from the comfort of home here’s a reference guide to where I buy ~ fyi, I’m not affiliated in any way (except that I spend a lot of $ there!) with any of these shops…
I like the Morgan hoop. It’s sturdy and allows for virtually no cloth slippage. Today, I ordered a hoop from punchneedlemarketplace.com ~ click here. You can also find Morgan hoops at joann.com ~ click here, and amazon.com ~ click here.
Weavers cloth is available in many colors. I almost always use neutral because I can see the pattern I’m tracing through the cloth. I buy mine by the bolt from Joann’s online ~ click here. I also buy from Lori Brechlin (Notforgotten Farm) who sells beautiful weavers cloth by the yard on her etsy shop ~ click here.
I love Valdani perle cotton size 12 floss and there are lots of reasons I use it instead of DMC or other 6 strand flosses. The main reason is because it glides through the weavers cloth much more easily for me than other floss, limiting hand, wrist and forearm fatigue. This means I can punch for long periods of time, which means I can accomplish more, which means I can sell more finished pieces, which means I can buy more Valdani. Yes, it’s pricier than other flosses… much pricier, but in the end it saves me time and pain and it is also gentler on the earth than other floss, which is a big deal for me. Snowflake memories is my go to for Valdani. You can visit snowflakememories.com by clicking here.
I use Cameo punch needles (lots of them). I like a medium needle tip and I set my length at the lowest (#1) setting for most projects. I buy Cameos whenever I see them on sale. You can find them by clicking on any of the following links: Notforgotten Farm on etsy, Amazon, punch needle marketplace. Also a “cameo punch needle” search on ebay and etsy will often yield results.
I typically purchase my patterns from Notforgotten Farm ~ click here and Bird in the Hand Primitives ~ click here. I also like Chestnut Junction ~ click here, Need’l Love ~ click here, and Patternmart ~ click here. In addition, I find lots of patterns on fellow bloggers blogs. Every couple of years or so I check in with my favorite designers to see if their policies have changed. For example, I’ll ask if I can use a cross stitch pattern to make a punch needle piece.
I like to stuff my punch needle pillows with things organic and fragrant. I find most of my herbs on etsy ~ click here ~ by simply searching for “organic lavender” or “organic chamomile” or whatever the case may be. Balsam is a wonderful stuffing material, too, and Lori Brechlin offers organic sawdust at her etsy shop (which I am going to be ordering soon!) ~ click here.
As far as kits go, I don’t usually purchase any, but if I were to I’d head straight to Brenda Gervais countrystitchesonline.com ~ click here. Mrs. Gervais sells her gorgeous patterns and Valdani thread kits separately on her website. Even if you don’t purchase anything from her, it’s so worth visiting her website for some eye candy or her blog, With Thy Needle and Thread ~ click here. Other kits can also be found at Joann’s ~ click here.
No punch needle project would be complete without a friend or three. Where does one find a lapful of kittens?
Sadly, cats and kittens (and dogs and puppies and a multitude of other creatures) are often abandoned by their people. In the case of Lilly, Ellis and Otis, my husband and I found them left on a road to fend for themselves. At less than one pound each, they didn’t stand a chance on their own. The person who dropped them will never know what jewels s/he threw away, for three better, kinder companions could not be found!
Is there anything lovelier than the brilliant Fall sun cascading over a patch of pumpkins?
One of my favorite Fall patterns is the above, Crow and Jack, by Lori Brechlin. This particular design is from her Wytches Stytches booklet, which I don’t think Lori sells anymore. However, she has many other wonderful Autumnal offerings that you can see if you visit her blog by clicking here.
The colors I’m planning to use are, from left to right: 8112, 8111, H212, PT2, O505, H205 and P5. These are all Valdani perle cotton size 12 which I use in my Cameo punch needle on the lowest setting. I purchase almost all my Valdani from Snowflake Memories, which you can visit by clicking here.
As I punch merrily along, I decide to replace the brown H212 with the ecru 5. Isn’t that O505 a lovely pumpkin color? Valdani makes things so easy by creating such gorgeous variegated flosses!
Time to add a little age…
and a bit of wool for backing and edging, and we’re ready for the reveal…
What do you think, Lilly, any chance of getting Ellis to understand that this post is about punch needle embroidery and not about him?
One more try…
Ta Da! You can see more photos of Crow and Jack (sans Ellis) by visiting my etsy shop, if you’d like. Click here.
Wishing you a hearty guffaw, today!
This is Lilly’s little corner of the world. There’s a heating pad under the chenille cover atop a cushion… what more could a wee cat ask?
Otis thinks it’s quite the spot and, occasionally, usurps Lilly’s domain, though not without a bit of a tussle….
“life is good”
When Randy and I were in Ireland, we met a gentleman named Richard. He was more the gentleman than Otis ever shall be… he would never turn a lady out of her favorite nook. Richard was at the wedding we attended and was a good friend of the bride. As it turned out, Richard had been a butler at one time, a vocation that intrigued us. We don’t meet many butlers, especially in West Michigan…. if the truth were told, the closest I’ve ever been to a butler is reading about them in P.G. Wodehouse, E.F. Benson and the like. So, I was inspired. Inspiration can be a double edged sword. I mean, on the one hand, it pushes the edges of one’s creativity, which is a good thing, but it can also push the edges of one’s skills….
Above, you see the photo of my first attempt at a butler ~ just look at that pathetic creature. His hand is still stuck inside his arm, his head is misshapen, and his back edges will never meet behind… While the butler himself isn’t so different from other projects I’ve done, (see this post, and the last part of this post.) he is the first piece I’ve ever done where the man is standing on his own. In the past, I’ve always had men atop horses, riding to hounds or whatever. A wide bodied horse is very easy to turn (turn right side out after stitching the embroidery to the backing, that is), a narrow legged man is….well… impossible.
I. simply. could. not. turn. him. nope, no way, no how. There’s a possibility that I can salvage this poor guy, but whether I can or not, I learned a very valuable lesson from him. That is, “leave yourself some wiggle room”. Instead of sewing the backing stretched taut against the embroidery, I needed to leave some excess backing ~ a little gusset, if you will ~ so that there was more backing than fronting. Does that make sense?
It might be difficult to see in the above photo, but there are seams on the back of the bell pull and arm, there’s also one on the body of the butler. If you were to open those seams you would find a fold in the backing fabric which allowed me to pull the thick embroidery through the seemingly narrow opening of the backing. All you seamstresses out there know what I mean, I’m sure, but seamstress I am not, so I had to work this out as I went, punching two butlers to make one…
Now, Richard’s butler is right-side-out and ready to serve.
The real Richard was every bit worth the extra effort it took me to make the embroidered version… He used words like, “reverie” of his own volition ~ be still my heart! As a lover of language, (that’s me!) Richard was immediately endeared to me and Randy… plus, Richard loves to laugh ~ what could be better? I’ll never employ a butler, but my life, and Randy’s, is richer for meeting the best butler… Richard.
may you meet new friends….