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.



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!


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



rabbit and sheep continues….


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.


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!




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…



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!



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.



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!



rabbit and sheep colors and coffee….

rabbit and sheep greetings...

rabbit and sheep greetings…

I’ve had some requests for the colors I used for Rabbit and Sheep Greetings.  Here they are….



These are all Valdani size 12 perle cotton.  I used two strands of each in my Cameo medium sized needle on the lowest (#1) setting.

jp11 ~ rabbit suit

p3 ~ sheep body

o196 ~ rabbit foot, hand, and head

h212 ~ sheep face and ear

pt2 ~ letters on “greetings” banner

5 ~ rabbit shirt, cuff, banner background

I purchase my Valdani from Snowflake Memories.  You can find their website by clicking here.

I’ve also had some requests for how I use coffee as an aging agent.  It’s really simple!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Take a bowl and add coffee.  It’s nice if the coffee is room temp rather than piping hot as you’ll be putting your hands in it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Get your punched piece wet.  (“Humble” is a fabulous design from Lori Brechlin! You can visit her site and find her awesome patterns by clicking here.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Squeeze out the excess water.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Place the piece in the coffee and push it down so that the coffee covers most of it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Let it sit until you remember to do something about it. The longer you leave it in the coffee the darker it will be and the color will tend toward a greyish/brown. I prefer to have a brown-er and more water damaged look, so I try to remember to take my piece out after just a minute or two.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Put the bowl in the sink and squeeze/wring the piece firmly, removing most of the coffee.  I use two hands for the squeezing, but needed one hand here to take the photo.  :~>OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you want that water stained look ~ that is, patches of brown and patches of not so brown ~ keep the piece wadded up, like in the picture above and let it dry most or all of the way.  If the piece looks too variegated for your taste, rinse it, wring it and let it dry again.  If you want to start over, use a little gentle dish soap or laundry detergent to, almost, free the piece of coffee and then begin the staining process again.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

See how the above has stripes and blotches of stain?  That’s from the wadding/drying part of the process.

ewe and ewe two...

ewe and ewe two…

The above ewes show that strong mottling achieved by wadding/drying.

If you don’t like that heavily aged look and want a more uniform “glaze” of coffee stain, try swishing the piece around in the coffee.  Then, after squeezing out the coffee, un-wad and hang the piece up to dry, rather than leaving it in it’s wadded condition.

I hope this helps!  If you have your own favorite aging process, I’d love to hear about it!

Next time I’ll try to show you how I put the bowl slice together with the rabbit/sheep to make a rocker.

Until then, think warm and happy thoughts!


rabbit and sheep greetings pattern…

Marion emailed me the other day, telling me that she had already tried the turning technique I attempted to show you last time.  Wow, Marion!  You are fast!

She said that, while the technique worked, she ended up with so much extra backing fabric that her piece ended up looking like balloon after she stuffed it.  There’s a good reason why this happened…. yep, I forgot to mention something.

just a little extra

just a little extra

You may be able to see in the above that once the pieces are turned there’s just a little, like a very tiny bit, extra backing showing on each side of the punching.  I measured this excess and there’s about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch extra on each edge.  So, that means that the initial fold of backing fabric I talked about last time is only about a half-inch to start with.  Here’s the photo from last post showing the first fold:

first fold

first fold

So, if you were to make that fold and measure just one side of it, it would measure about 1/4″.  Not very big at all.

The other thing I didn’t tell you was that I stitch down the extra fabric after turning but before stuffing.  Usually I “hide” the extra fabric in the seam between the punching and the backing.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of that, and I’m pretty sure by this time your head is spinning ~ I know mine is!  (my golly, this process is hard to explain!)  Just remember, something has to be done with that extra backing fabric or the piece might look a bit swollen.  Also, just because I hide my extra fabric doesn’t mean anyone else has to!  I like the look of exposed seams, too, and think they add to the primitive feel of things like Rabbit and Sheep Greetings.

On to the pattern at last!

rabbit and sheep greetings

rabbit and sheep greetings

rabbit and sheep greetings reversed

rabbit and sheep greetings reversed

You can use this pattern in whatever medium you would like.  Please give me credit for the design.  This pattern, and all my patterns, are for your personal use and are not to be sold or mass marketed either in pattern form or finished pieces.  You are welcome to sell up to 10 finished pieces from this pattern.  I’d love to see pictures of what you come up with!

I haven’t stuffed my pieces yet, but right now the rabbit/sheep measures approximately 10″ tall x 7.5″ long.

Now, I have lots to do today, namely….

otis, ellis

otis, ellis

…snoozin’ with my peeps!

embrace the joy that is today!




starting to finish…..

I’m starting the finishing process on my Rabbit and Sheep Greetings make do, so I thought I’d share some of the details because “turning” a punched piece can be quite a challenge.  Here goes:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Above is the finished punched piece.  I’ll be sharing the pattern with you as soon as I find a blank piece of paper and a sharpie.  (how is it possible that there is not ONE unused piece of printer paper in this house?)

After I finish the punching and aging, it’s time to find a backing fabric and pins.

a bit of ticking and some long pins

a bit of ticking and some long pins

Now, place right sides of the punched piece and the backing fabric together….

two rights will make a right!

two rights will make a right!

Here’s the part that makes the world of difference for me.  I make a fold in the backing fabric over the narrowest part of the punched piece.  In this case, the fold goes vertically along the rabbit’s ear….

see the fold?

see the fold?

Then, I take that fold and fold it over itself, again, so it’s a very narrow little roll….

a roll of backing

a roll of backing

(the above picture is not of the rabbits ear, but the roll concept is the same.) This little roll of backing fabric won’t, hopefully, get caught in my sewing machine needle.  Now, I pin that roll to the punched piece…

pinned and ready to stitch

pinned and ready to stitch

Having this little roll of extra backing fabric, after everything is stitched together, makes turning so much easier.

Now to stitch ~ be careful NOT to stitch the roll itself….



In the above, you can see that I stitched around the piece twice. (I don’t usually use white thread, but I wanted it to be visible to the camera so you could see the stitches.)  That’s because I put a LOT of stress on the piece as I turn it right side out and I don’t want any seams bursting.   You can also see that I’ve snipped the edges all the way around the perimeter, except by the sheep’s belly, where I haven’t stitched at all.  The belly is where I’ll turn the whole thing right side out.

Now unpin the roll…

roll unrolled

roll unrolled

See how much room there is, now, for turning?


That’s actually the rabbit’s arm I’m turning in the above photo.  Even with the extra backing fabric, turning is still challenging….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA


…but much easier!

ta da!

ta da!

Now everything’s turned and ready for stuffing.  You may notice in the above that the ends of the sheep’s legs are not stitched closed.  That’s because I want to put wood dowels inside the legs to anchor the stuffed piece to the rocker or whatever I decide to use as a base.

I’ll share the pattern with you, if you’re interested, as soon as I get some paper…. maybe next week?


In the meantime, have a blissful weekend!




’twas the night before christmas….

Well, not exactly.  I mean, here it is, the middle of January…. not exactly the night before Christmas or anything like it.  In fact, I completely missed Christmas and New Year’s, here, in the blog-o-sphere… ah me.  However, it’s never too late to send warm wishes, so, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!

Naomi wrote and asked me if I’d ever published the Valdani colors I used for Robin Leuschen’s, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” punch needle.  Do you remember that project?  Here it is:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I never did share my palette with you, so just to set the record straight, this is the complete list:

jp6 (muddy pots) ~ Santa’s outfit
5 (ecru) ~ Santa’s beard and trim, stars, reindeer’s antlers
6 (natural) ~ berries on the vine
p4 (aged white) ~ vine, moon, 1822, Santa’s face
h205 (ancient gold) ~ reindeer, sleigh runners
p5 (tarnished gold) ~ words, reindeer collars and reins, sleigh
h212 (faded brown) ~ eyes
m1001 (vanilla sky) ~ background
The lamb’s tongues around the edges are the colors used in the design.

You can find Robin’s patterns by visiting her blog, Bird in the Hand Prims ~ click here.  She has some fabulous new freebie patterns on her site right now!


My camera isn’t working…..  well, it’s working, it’s just not WORKING.  I mean, I can take pictures with it, but they come out very unsatisfactorily (which reminds me of the grades I used to get in High School :~>), so I don’t have any new photos to share.  Time to shop!


Several of you have asked about how I age my pieces (thank you for your interest!).  As soon as I get a new camera, I’ll try to put something together to show you!

Until then, wring every bit of enjoyment out of each possible moment!