april phm update…

The April Primitive Handmades Mercantile update starts tonight at 9 o’clock.  I’ll be offering a few more sheep biscuit cutters…..

ewe and ewe

ewe and ewe

I’ve received many requests for these and have kept a list of all of you who asked about them.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, I’ve misplaced my list!  So, I’m hopeful that those of you who’re interested will see this post!

If you’d like to see my new offerings, click here after 9pm.  :~>

rebecca

2 cats 2 birds finish, and cats….

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“don’t take a picture now, we’re sleeping.” ~lilly and ellis

Lilly’s been feeling that the live feline element has been lacking in my recent posts…..

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“don’t take my picture now, i’m sleeping.” ~otis

I’ve mentioned to her that pictures of cats sleeping leaves some excitement to be desired….

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“go away. i’m trying to sleep.” ~ellis

She told me she’d try to galvanize her cohorts into action…

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“my eyes are open. any minute now, ellis and i will do something photo worthy…. though, we may need a little snooze before that happens.” ~lilly

Thus far, the results have been poor at best…

So, we’ll move on to our 2 Cats 2 Birds project.

first staining

stained

I soaked the finished embroidery in coffee for a while, squeezed it, and let it dry.  But, I feel like this is too much staining, so….

rinsed

rinsed

I rinsed out some of the coffee and let the piece dry again.  I’m much happier with this level of aging.

trimmed

trimmed

Next, I trim the weavers cloth.  I’m planning to use the remaining weavers cloth as the backing.

pressing

pressing

I prefer to have the backing completely hidden from the front view, so I fold and press it back as much as possible.

three sides done

three sides done

For the fourth side, I fold the weavers….

first fold

first fold

…so that when I press the final edge I’ll have a nice, clean finish…

ready to stitch

ready to stitch

I like using this method for my antique-hooked-rug-inspired embroideries.  The back is reminiscent of an envelope which brings to mind days gone by when writing, mailing and delivering letters was something of an art.

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Sometimes, I like to hide my stitches, but this time I think I’ll let them shine.

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all stitched

I give the back a good pressing, then…

a little identity

a little identity

…sign and date the back.

finished

finished

And, we’re done!

antique original

antique original

Above is the original, though a very poor quality picture.  Below is my version…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What a fun project this was!  I’d love to see your finishes and share them here if you allow me to!

 

enjoy the day!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

2 cats 2 birds punching progress…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo far, so good….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I like the dark backgrounds, and the p4 border, but the little bit of 146 that I tried on the far right seems too dark.  So….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…enter o549.   O549 is a combination of pink and white/ivory.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think this is going to work!

How is your 2 cats 2 birds coming along?

 

rebecca

2 cats 2 birds pattern and colors….

original 2 cats 2 birds

original 2 cats 2 birds

2 cats 2 birds pattern

2 cats 2 birds pattern

 

Here’s the pattern I drew, it measures about 8″x4″, but you can make any size you want.  Feel free to grab it and use it for your own personal project!  (of course, as usual, please no mass production of pattern or finishes.)  Now to transfer the pattern to the weavers cloth….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and I’m ready to begin punching.  Oh, I did alter the birds a little bit so that they more closely resemble the original.

Onto colors!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ll be using Valdani #12 perle cotton, two strands each, in my medium Cameo needle set at #1:

5 ~ cat outline and features

146 ~ border

p4 ~ birds and border

196 ~ lighter background

0505 ~ cats

h212 ~ darker background

I purchase my Valdani from Snowflake Memories.  You can visit their shop by clicking here.  Note:  Snowflake Memories is on vacation until April 16, 2015.

I’ll start punching with my two favorite colors….

5, p4

5, p4

Will you join me in 2 Cats 2 Birds?

 

rebecca

waiting for inspiration….

Whenever I have that empty, uninspired feeling, I turn to the amazing google and execute a search for antique hooked rugs…..732_20007 I love, no, LOVE antique hooked rugs….aac9eff8badb80dfa85b7b3c8fbbf2fb

There is so much scope for the imagination!H0043-L69138459

And, all these designs are in the public domain…23199596_1_l

…we can play to our hearts content.-House+and+Home-+Hooked+Rug

So, which one am I going to work on?  This one, I think…

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Look how tiny that picture is.  I can’t find it anywhere on the web any bigger than this.  When I try to enlarge it, it becomes a pixellated puzzle of shapes and colors.  This is going to be a real challenge…

 

what are you working on?

 

rebecca

rabbit and sheep, at last….

Rabbit and Sheep Greetings has taken a really long time to find its way to the finish.  Last time we got together we were about to attach the punched and stuffed piece to the rocker….

drill, dowels, drywall screws

drill, dowels, drywall screws

I like to use drywall screws because they’re really sharp and have flat heads.

predrill

pre-drill

The dowels are much more forgiving if a hole is drilled before using the screw.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I also pre-drill a hole into the rocker.  Then, it’s simply a matter of putting the dowels inside the legs and adding the screw from the back of the rocker.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s something new for me.  I’ve made many of these types of rocking pieces and the exposed screw head has never bothered me before.  Now, for some reason, I feel the need to cover it up, somehow.

giant tacks

giant tacks

I couldn’t find any vintage upholstery tacks with heads like these, but I did find new ones.  The head is rounded and hollow, and measures about .75″ across, so it will cover my screw perfectly.  I snipped off the shaft of the tack and adhered the head to the rocker.

ta da

ta da

This feels much more finished to me and doesn’t impede the rocking motion of the rocker.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, I just need to finish the “greetings” banner and we’ll be all set.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I forgot to take pictures of how the banner went together, but basically I just stitched the backing fabric to the right side of the punched bit, turned it, and left a little opening in the seam for the stick (which I covered in backing fabric).OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I didn’t stuff the banner, and simply tucked the stick between the rabbits arm and body.  It stays tightly in place, but can be removed if desired.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

An identification tag on the back finishes it off and…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…we’re done!

whew!

thank you for spending some time with me today ~ be safe, warm and happy!

 

rebecca

rabbit and sheep continues….

Hello!

I’ve been having some quiet adventures since we last spoke…  I visited the most wonderful antique shop in Kalamazoo….IMG_4892

there were so many treasures, like sinks galore…IMG_4902

…and stacks of shutters,…IMG_4904

…and my personal favorite, buckets and buckets of vintage doorknobs.

I played giant jenga with Jenn at the winter beach party…

jenn and giant jenga

jenn and giant jenga

…and learned to curl…IMG_4951

I wasn’t very good, but it was so much fun!

Now I’m home and back to work on Rabbit and Sheep Greetings. If you remember, I’d left the rocker in a papered, but untrimmed condition.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s what it looks like from the other side…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once the Mod Podge was thoroughly dry, I trimmed the extra paper from the rocker.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then, I used a bit of Miss Mustard Seed’s Antiquing Wax.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe wax comes in a brown tint, and when rubbed on top of the dry Mod Podge, fills any crevices giving the appearance of age.  You can find Miss Mustard Seed’s products by clicking here.

My rocker is pretty much done, except for the addition of the decorative ends, so I turn my attention to stuffing and finishing the rabbit/sheep.  Remember the extra backing fabric I left when I stitched the backing to the punched front?  Here’s the rabbit’s arm, below…

roll unrolled

extra backing

I need to do something with that….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Once I turned the arm, I started hiding the extra fabric in the middle so that you could see how the fold is being stitched under the edge of the punching.  And, the rabbit’s head…

crinkled, wrinkled, extra backing made turning easier but doesn't look very good now

…crinkled, wrinkled, extra backing made turning easier but doesn’t look very good now.

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I used white thread so you could see the stitches and I hid some of the seam and left some visible.  I’ll go back in with a tiny bit of antiquing wax and age those white threads.

The next thing to do is insert wood dowels inside the legs and attach the rabbit/sheep to the rocker using dry wall screws.  So, until then…

…find a bit of joy in everything!

 

rebecca

 

february phm update and cathy…..

It’s time for the February Primitive Handmades Mercantile update.  I have four galvanized flower pots available this month.  Here’s a peek…

ewes

ewes

I should have these on the site, ready for sale, by midnight tonight.  If you are interested in taking a closer look, you can visit my PHM shop by clicking here.  I won’t be able to ship anything until next Thursday.

For those of you who asked about Cathy’s fabulous creations I shared with you last time, both her pieces are from her own design.  I’m not sure if she has her patterns for sale, but I will find out!  Here’s one more piece she shared with me….

cathy's design and work

cathy’s design and work

how FABULOUS is that?!

stay warm!

 

rebecca

rabbit and sheep rocker, and cathy’s finishes….

I’ve been debating between making Rabbit and Sheep Greetings into a pull toy and a rocker.  I finally decided on a rocker and thought I’d share the process with you.

choices

choices

I can either use a slice of bowl, which you can see in the upper left quadrant of this photo or I can use my very last antique trunk strap, shown in the middle of the picture.  The bowl will need to be cut down, and were I to use it, I would cover the bowl with the ticking fabric shown using Mod Podge.  However, I think I’d like to use the trunk strap and Mod Podge the top of it with vintage ephemera.  So, I go to my favorite online source for vintage images and find some fabulous spring art….

looks like spring!

looks like spring!

I love these vintage postcards from The Graphics Fairy (click here to visit her site ~ she has so many wonderful images, most of which are free and in the public domain, so no copyright confusion!).  I wonder what Otis thinks of my spring picks…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

He checks things over thoroughly and decides that….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…what he really likes is my paint brush.  I, however, am reconsidering the Spring look and decide that Rabbit and Sheep Greetings should have correspondent-inspired clip art, instead.  The Graphics Fairy comes to the rescue once again and provides me with these awesome options….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I cut out bits and strips of the above and start Mod Podging the inner curve of the trunk strap….

first layer

first layer

I let the first layer dry completely before adding more ephemera.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then, I add a few more layers and a lot of Mod Podge.  While I’m waiting for everything to dry I’ll show you two incredibly awesome finishes from Cathy….unnamed-1

I just love the carrot-mobile!unnamed

And, of course I can’t resist anything mounted on a porcelain doorknob!  Isn’t Cathy’s work beautiful?  Perfect!  Thank you, Cathy, for sharing your wonderful work!

Until the glue dries and we can continue on with this project, be warm and safe!

 

rebecca