phm update….

Tomorrow marks the April Primitive Handmades Mercantile update, so I thought I’d give you a little preview of my offerings….

phm update

phm update

If you’d like to stop by my shop after midnight, eastern time, tonight, you’ll find two little buckets, perfect for holding your snips or stray floss, and two Polly Minick designs.  Click here to visit the simple quiet on PHM.  We’re always adding new artists with exciting primitive offerings and you can visit all of the shops by clicking here.

 

wishing you joy in everything today!

 

rebecca

look what i got!….

The other day, I received a package from Notforgotten Farm….

notforgotten farm goodies

notforgotten farm goodies

Here’s a peek inside…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been looking and looking for the perfect lap~size punch needle gripper frame.  At last, I saw Lori Brechlin using her little wonder on her blog, and I knew I’d found what I was seeking.

angles...

angles…

This perfect gem angles, like in the photo above… or,

square

square

…sits squarely, which Ellis prefers.

perfectly proportioned

perfectly proportioned

See how perfectly proportioned it is?  Just right for a cat to fit under and help with ones work.

"notice the grippers" ~ ellis

“notice the grippers” ~ ellis

Ellis demonstrates the advantageously placed gripper strips.

perfect!

perfect!

I love how the gripper strips go all the way around the frame.  No loose bits of weavers cloth or rug foundation will sag on this frame!

"do you think Lori would let me be her gripper-frame spokesmodel?" ~ellis

“do you think Lori would let me be her gripper-frame spokesmodel?” ~ellis

Not only is this frame adaptable to different positions, it is, perhaps best of all, made from Notforgotten Farm trees by Lori’s husband and master craftsman, Peter.  Just knowing that I’m purchasing something made in a sustainable way by someone who cares about his work and his land makes me feel that much better about my latest acquisition!

Now, to test it out…

first project

first project

I think I’ll punch up this Old Glory flag design from Polly Minick using some of my favorite Valdani perle cotton #12:  p3, 4, and 6.  If I get it done in time, I’ll be able to add it to my Primitive Handmades Mercantile update this Friday ~ wish me luck!

If you’d like to visit Lori’s blog you can click here, where you’ll find links to her awesome frame and other fab items.

happy punching!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

a donkey’s dream…

Are you familiar with Apifera Farm?  Yes?  No?  It’s a delightful place… a place for dreaming, a place to rest, a place of kindness… gentleness….. and generosity….

visit apifera farm by clicking here

visit apifera farm by clicking here

Apifera farm is a place of sanctuary…. sanctuary ~ what a lovely, lovely word ~ The farm was created by Katherine Dunn and her husband Martyn.  It’s become a place of refuge for animals who have been used and/or abused, a place for misfits and a place where Katherine bakes pie…

side_pig

“A grumpy pig can be herself” ~katherine dunn

As something of a misfit myself, I felt completely at home the very first time I visited Apifera Farm (via the internet), and I was hooked.  “what,” i asked myself, “could be sweeter than to be part of such a place?, a place overflowing with hope, a place filled to the brim with all things endearing.”, and so, I’ve been following and supporting Katherine Dunn and her “misfits” ever since.

3.15g Katherine Dunn is more than a good Samaritan, more than a farmer, more than a baker of pie.  She’s a writer and an artist (and a grower of lavender… i love lavender), she has a book in the works right now, in fact.  It will be the second Apifera Farm book to be published.  Here’s the cover of the farm’s first book…

apifera farm's first book

apifera farm’s first book.  don’t you just love katherine’s artwork?

When you visit her farm/blog you will meet the finest of creatures, and you’ll find ample opportunity for helping these misfits, should you choose.  You may even find your way to helping Katherine publish her new book,  Donkey Dream {A Love Story of Pie & Farm}.  You can read a bit about the book by visiting Katherine’s blog, here, or by visiting kickstarter.com, here. Ellis can tell you all about being a misfit ~ about being neglected and abandoned ~ about the difference a tiny bit of kindness, a small lump of generosity, can make….

"there aren't any cushions to share when you're abandoned" ~ ellis

“there aren’t any cushions to share when you’re abandoned” ~ ellis

"there aren't any catnip sockies to attack when you're abused." ~ ellis

“there aren’t any catnip sockies to attack when you’re abused.” ~ ellis

"there's no place to rest your head when you're thrown." ~ ellis

“there isn’t any place to rest your head when you’re thrown away like a worn out glove.” ~ ellis

And so, Ellis and I hope that you’ll visit Apifera Farm and fall in love with Katherine’s creatures and creations, just like we did.

may life always treat you with kindness….

rebecca

thank you to Katherine Dunn and Apifera Farm for allowing me to use their beautiful photographs, and for giving me the opportunity to be part of something i believe in!

polly minick designs….

The other day, fellow puncher Nancy contacted me about a Polly Minick design she wanted to punch using Valdani floss.  I googled “Polly Minick” and was instantly smitten with her hooked rug patterns.  Have you seen them?

polly minick's "american summer"

polly minick’s “american summer”

(You can click here to visit one of her sites where her pattern books are available.)  I found a contact email for her and immediately sent her a message asking if she would allow me to punch her designs and sell the finishes.  She was so nice and wrote back giving me permission ~ what a thrill!  The only sad part is that she has retired completely from designing and hooking professionally, but ~ hurrah! ~ she has lots of books to be explored!  I can’t wait!

polly minick's, "moby dick" with my valdani color choices

polly minick’s, “moby dick” with my valdani color choices

I ordered Mrs. Minick’s, “American Summer” and decided to start with the pattern that Nancy had asked me about, “Moby Dick”.  One of the things I love about this particular book is that all the patterns are the perfect size for tracing on weavers cloth ~ simple!

progress

progress

It didn’t take me long to punch this fun piece ~ the shapes are so straight-forward, and the colors Mrs. Minick used for her rugs were just right, I didn’t have to think at all, just threaded my needles and went to work.

finished but not steamed

finished but not steamed

I used the ticking I’ve become addicted to for the back and edge.  I wanted to show you the above pic so you could see how tight I pull my thread when edging.  I’ve been asked how I get the scallop edge, and the answer is, I pull my thread so tight that the punched piece curls.  Then I give it a good steaming with my Rowenta pressure steamer and….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…voila!  This finished piece measures somewhere in the neighborhood of 10″x4″ or 5″.  I haven’t listed Moby on etsy yet, but I will.  Next up, one of Polly Minick’s bathing beauties….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love her bathing suit!  I have one that’s very similar, but a little longer ~ gotta love those modesty suits.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am so very ready for summer!

Since I’ve been busy playing with my Valdani threads and needles, my friends have had to entertain themselves for the most part….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemember the rug I’ve been weekend-hooking?  Well, “somebody”…

"who, me?" ~ ellis, aka "the claw"

“who, me?” ~ ellis, aka “the claw”

…has been “helping” me regress Monday~Friday….

thanks, ellis

thanks, ellis, i never knew you were such an accomplished reverse hooker

As for Lilly, she’s been busy organizing her q~tips.

"i'll put them all in the sink ~ perfect!"  ~lilly

“i’ll put them all in the sink ~ perfect!” ~lilly

Otis spends some of his time observing Lilly’s technique…

"way to go miss lou!" ~otis

“way to go miss lou!” ~otis

….part of his time assisting Ellis….

"did you get all rebecca's wool un-hooked, yet, ellis? ~otis

“did you get all rebecca’s wool un-hooked, yet, ellis? ~otis

…and part of his time helping me with my Valdani.IMG_2606The sun is shining here today ~ I hope it’s shining for you, too!

 

~rebecca

 

 

elvis has left the building….

“Elvis has left the building”… that about sums it up for me.  I’m not an Elvis fan, but substitute the words “my muse” for “Elvis” in the preceding sentence and you may get a sense of how I’m feeling…. No?  Still not making sense?  Perhaps a visual will help.  This is how I feel:

moi

moi

That is actually a picture of me, on an airplane, but it demonstrates my level of productivity.  I’m totally uninspired, creatively bereft, stagnant, cocooned.  Could it be this relentless winter?

winter? what winter?

winter? what winter?

Yep, that’s a building in the above photo.  It’s one of the local high schools.  We have a tiny bit of snow.  Just a wee bit.

Here’s my mother-in-law…char

…she’s nearly 6 feet tall.  

Depending on which source I reference, we’ve had somewhere in the neighborhood of 130″ ~ 150″ of snow, so far…. SO FAR!  and it’s STILL snowing!

Don’t misunderstand me, I LIKE  winter, it’s Lovely! but I think it’s affecting my brain.  I have all sorts of fun projects I could be working on….

ewe

s is for sheep

This little sheep is waiting patiently for her future to be Now.  Can I muster up the energy to fill her with fluff and mount her on a pull toy? no.

giraffe

g is for giraffe

How much fun could I be having putting the above giraffe together with one, almost twice as big, that I have punched, stained, stitched and ready to stuff?  Sooo much fun!  Am I having fun?? no.

e is for elephant

e is for elephant

I could be choosing colors for “E is for Elephant”, but am I?

I’m sure I’m not alone.  Not only are some of you in the same predicament, ~ in fact, you may have even More Snow ~  but my companions are also “taking advantage” of the UNbelievable amount of outside fluff and catching up on their nap time.

zzzzzz

zzzzzz

zzzzzzz

zzzzzzz

As I sit quietly in my chair, awaiting the return of inspiration, all I can hear (aside from the howling wind) is a soft snoring.  It’s all most soporific and I feel myself nodding off.  Ah well, tomorrow is another day, perhaps THE day when a hint of Spring will waft its way into our lives….  Not according to the weatherman, however.

Until the time when I’m feeling up to doing more than pecking out a sentence or two with one finger, I leave you with a fabulous antique rug ~ look at those colors!  Wouldn’t it make a fun and relatively simple punch needle?

a horse and a horse, of course

a horse and a horse, of course, of course

Feel free to grab the above picture, trace it and punch or hook it!  Oh, and be sure to send me a photo of your finish….. maybe I’ll be able to ride on the coattails of your creativity!

may you be warm and merry!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

g is for giraffe, rise and shine, early posy crossroads, phm….

Whew! that’s a long title for a post, but I’m playing catch-up.

Let’s start with, “g is for giraffe”.

"this one?" ~ellis

“this one?” ~ellis

Yep, that’s the one, Ellis.  Flip it over, please…

g is for giraffe

g is for giraffe

G is for Giraffe turned out to be a biggie.  It measures in the neighborhood of 10″ long x 8″ wide ~ much larger than I had intended, but I really wanted to have a mama and a baby giraffe, so the pattern grew.  Speaking of patterns, you can find both the pattern and the original of G is for… on my etsy shop ~ click here, if you’d like.

Next up, Rise and Shine!

"do what and what?" ~the oatbran

“do what and what?” ~the oatbran

I guess that’s asking too much of Otis….

rise and shine

rise and shine

Rise and Shine, too, is there, in my etsy shop.  Both pattern and original are available.  Want to check them out?  Click here.

I finally finished Robin Leuschen’s ~ Bird in the Hand Primitives ~ Early Posy Crossroads…

early posy crossroads

early posy crossroads

Robin has the pattern available and you can find it by visiting her blog ~ click here.

Dying to see more pics of my finish?  Just click here to step into my etsy shop!

Finally, this Friday, tomorrow in fact, is the February update at Primitive Handmades Mercantile.  Here’s what I’m offering this month.

three little sheep

three little sheep

You can stop by my PHM shop to see this flock starting tomorrow, Friday February 21.  Click here to get there.

And now, after all this work, I think I’ll join Lilly, who knows exactly what to do after a long week…..

"shhhhh..." ~lilly

“shhhhh…” ~lilly

Pull up the covers and take a snooze.

Wishing you a restful and happy weekend!

 

rebecca

 

one rug down, another in progress….

 

finished rug!

finished rug!

Well, YaHoo!  I finally finished the rug for our entryway.  The above is the only photo I took sans cats.  The rug quickly became a favorite spot….

"ah... life is all peace and tranquility..." ~ ellis

“ah… life is all peace and tranquility…” ~ ellis

Ellis was the first to discover the new flooring, but he was soon joined by Otis….

"i just want a tiny corner, ellis..." ~ otis

“i just want a tiny corner, ellis…” ~ otis

Ellis is not yet ready to relinquish his territory and a mighty battle ensues….

"this rug is not big enough for the two of us, partner!" ~ ellis

“this rug is not big enough for the two of us, partner!” ~ ellis

After the fur settles, Oatbran enjoys his corner and then some.

"ta da!" ~ oatsy

“this rug is mine, all MINE!” ~ oatsy

Lilly came along shortly after Otis’ victory….

"this is my rug, lilly." ~ otis

“yo lilly! SCAT!” ~ otis

…and the fur continued to fly.

While I was upstairs taking photos of the rug, I took this photo of the “art gallery”…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been thinking about taking all the paintings and globes down and just having simple white walls, but, now I don’t know… I think I kind of like this view.

Anyway, on to the next weekend-hooking-project.

what a wrinkly mess

what a wrinkly mess

Between the grid I drew on the linen and the wrinkles from over two years of storage, it’s nearly impossible to see the design.  Here’s the original rug from which I took my inspiration.

2 horses 6 birds original antique rug

2 horses 6 birds original antique rug

For some reason, which escapes me, I decided to make my rug shorter and wider than the original.  However, I did draw the pattern just like the original so I’ll share that here.  I think you can just grab the photo below and drag it to your desktop.

2 horses 6 birds

2 horses 6 birds

Here’s the pattern reversed, if you’d like to punch it.

2 horses 6 birds, reversed

2 horses 6 birds, reversed

When I drew up the design on linen two years ago, I made a small start on the rug.

a beginning

a beginning

I think I must have been feeling extremely ambitious, because all my strips are about 1/3 the width of my usual cuts….

strip on the left ~ usual cut (about .5 inch to .75 inch) strip on the right ~ oh my gosh, what was i thinking?

strip on the left ~ usual cut (about .75 inch to 1 inch)
strip on the right ~ oh my gosh, what was i thinking?

…um….. yeah…. This is going to take me a loooonnnngggg time.  Because I hand tear all my strips, now, I’ll be tearing wool for this rug and then hand cutting each strip into three narrow strips.  That won’t be time-consuming, at all.  Maybe I can recruit a helper… “Lilly?  How about it?  Will you lend me a paw?”

"ha ha ha ha ha ha HA!" ~ lilly

“ha ha ha ha ha ha HA!” ~ lilly

*sigh*… guess I’m on my own.

May you always be happy and healthy!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

new pattern: s is for sheep….

s is for sheep

s is for sheep

Hello!  Here is the second in my ABC pull toy series ~ S is for Sheep.  Though the original has sold, the pattern is available in my etsy shop ~ if you’d like to take a look, click here.

When I first drew S is for Sheep it looked like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I envisioned a fluffy white sheep body with a shorn white face, so I punched the “wooly” part of the sheep at a #6 loop height on my Cameo needle.  But, when I got to the face and punched it at my usual #1 setting, my sheep suddenly looked like a potato with a growth… hmmm… what to do, what to do.  I tried adding a bell around her neck, but that just looked like a potato with a growth with a sprout.  So, I “reverse” punched (tore out) the face and a bit of the body to accommodate a larger head and ear, and re-punched it in a dark color at a #6 setting.

Here is my color palette and how I used it:

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

These are all Valdani size 12 perle cotton.  I used two strands of each and, except for the sheep, punched at the lowest (#1) setting.

4 ~ background

5 ~ background and “lambs tongue” edging

p3 ~ lambs tongue edging and a tiny patch of background

p4 ~ sheep’s body and eye

p5 ~ lambs tongue edging, letters,  and pull toy

jp6 ~ lambs tongue edging

h212 ~ sheep’s face

It’s downright COLD today.  A below-zero morning, and snow… lots and lots of snow.  I’m thinking of all you on the east coast who have it so much harder, just now.  It’s a good day to….

one cat in a bag is a warm cat...

one cat in a bag is a warm cat…

… get under cover and ….

"can i come in?" ~ otis

“can i come in?” ~ otis

… possibly invite someone to join you!

 

stay warm and safe, my friends.

 

rebecca

 

ah ha!…..

This may be one of those posts you read and go, “duh!  I’m so sure!  I can’t believe Rebecca just posted that….”, but, for me, the following was a total “ah HA!” moment….

So, I’m sitting here, punching away, and I’m freezing… I mean, goose bumps and everything, and I’m thinking, “what the?  here am i, under an electric blanket with a heating pad behind me and a cat on my lap ~ how can i possibly be cold?”  The answer is simple.  It’s winter and I’m wearing a 3/4 sleeve sweater.

see? it's winter

see? it’s winter

I can think of two solutions  for my 3/4 sleeve problem.  I could simply get up and put on another sweater, (in fact there is a warm wooly sweater right over there, just out of my reach), or I could get up, go downstairs where my hooking is and get my arm warmers….

see that grey thing on my wrist?  that's one of a pair of arm warmers/protectors i wear while hooking, which i spent way too much $ on, but which i love and adore....

see that grey thing on my wrist? that’s one of a pair of arm warmers/protectors i wear while hooking, which i spent way too much $ on, but which i love and adore….

You, of course, have spotted the difficulty inherent in both these solutions.  Both require the removal of said electric blanket and the abandoning, though temporarily, of the heating pad.  One runs a risk, too, whenever getting up from any chair in this house, namely….

"what? you thought your seat was saved?  you were right, it was saved for ME!" ~oatbran

“what? you thought your seat was saved? you were right, it was saved for ME!” ~oatbran

So, as I sit here, freezing, as I mentioned before, I look around my immediate vicinity for a safer, warmer, more palatable solution than getting up, and I spy….

old pair o' socks

old pair o’ socks

Eureka! or, if you prefer, Ah hA!  I’ve had this pair of socks for 11 years.  I remember where I got them (a shop in Lowell, MI), I remember when (July ~ a broiling hot day, unsuitable for purchasing long wool socks), and I remember how much they were ($7 ~ originally $35, because, as I said, it was July and nobody, almost, buys long wooly socks on a July day in Michigan).  I’ve worn these socks many a time and oft, not because they were comfortable (they weren’t.  to begin with, they’re knee socks and, let’s just be generous here, i have “curvy” calves.  if you have “curvy” calves than you know all about knee socks and comfort, if you don’t have “curvy” calves than hooray for you, you are the perfect knee-sock-wearing-kinda-gal).  I’ve worn them, because I paid $7 for a $35 pair of socks and that’s something of which I’m pretty proud.

plus, i like argyle

plus, i like argyle

These socks had been slated for catnip cat toy usage, but not anymore!

First…

a thoughtful incision

a thoughtful incision

…I cut a little bit off the heels where my thumbs would be….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen…

snip, snip

snip, snip

I cut the end of the toes so my fingers could manipulate my punch needle (and turn up the temperature on my heating pad).

And…

warm and toasty

warm and toasty

Voila!

Now, I know many of you have done the same with your husbands’ (or your own) gym socks, but have any of you ever gone to such lengths to avoid getting up to get something that would take all of 3 seconds to get?  I hope so, for in laziness and personal comfort lies the inspiration for creativity!

 

wishing you warmth and simplicity today and every day!

 

rebecca