cupcakes for breakfast


Have you ever had cupcakes for breakfast? By cupcakes, I don’t mean glorified bran muffins. I’m talking old-school-sugar-shock-new-age-cakes-that-are-bigger-than-a-breadbox cupcakes. Or, to put it another way, Heaven in a paper liner.

Randy and I had cupcakes for breakfast today…. life suddenly became a little simpler, a little sweeter, a little more sublime….. We have to thank our new friend Stacy for introducing us to the quiet joy of biting into a warm, moist, frosting-on-the-tip-of-your-nose confection. I’ve never met anyone with a passion for cupcakes until Stacy came along. She takes the art of tiny indulgence to a heretofore unheard of level of enjoyment.

Cupckes every day? Maybe not, but for today? Life feels good!

Hoping you find a little sweetness today…



Are you an overpacker? Do you take things with you “just in case”? Are you like me? If Randy and I are going somewhere for even a few hours, I take along all my “just-in-cases” ~ like walking shoes, just in case we suddenly decide to go for a tramp across difficult country. To the best of my knowledge we have never decided spontaneously to walk any where requiring special footwear. So, if you are like me, you probably like to take all your handwork with you every where you go.


Randy and I are planning a trip to San Diego later this summer…. How am I going to carry my basket of punch needling onto a 727, and how much overcharge am I going to have to pay for my usual over-stuffed, over-weight suitcase? The short answer is, I’m not. I’m going to challenge myself, and by sharing my challenge with you, I will be much more inclined to win through! So, instead of taking my traditional gear, which is a very large, very loud, rolling duffle, I’m planning to pare down…

I love my duffle! It holds a lot ~ yes, a lot of stuff I don’t need and won’t use, but, you know, “just-in-case”….

Since I am determined not to us my beloved duffle, Ellis has decided it will do nicely for a kingly cat bed and spa.

In my quest for quiet simplicity, I will limit myself to one medium size back pack as a carry-on bag, which will hold all my clothing, shoes, and handwork, for a week… I hope…


Wish me luck, and let me know if you are a “just-in-caser” or if you are one of those whom the over-packers of the world envy, a person who never pays fees for over-weight luggage!

until next time, may your load be light…


Home again…

Do you ever struggle with the internet or with your tech equipment? Whew ~ talk about an exercise in frustration. We’ve been experiencing technical difficulties here at home for several weeks, and while there is nothing simple nor quiet about the process, I must admit, these glitches are stretching my brain. I am figuring out ways to work around our main computer and its issues. What’s more, I’m figuring these things out almost entirely on my own. This is HUGE, because I’ve always romanticised anything electronic. In my mind, tv, radio, computers… they all have one thing in common ~ MAGIC. That’s it. End of story. I believe implicitly in the tiny people that actually inhabit all electronic things, and that these things work, or not, depending on the whims of those wee people. So, you may notice that some of the photos I’m posting today are actually pictures of pictures I’ve taken of pictures on my computer screen….hmmmm… does that make any sense, at all?

Having said all that, I hope you’ll forgive any errors or omissions from my posts for awhile. I’m blogging from my ipad, which is a new world for me.
This past week, I’ve been working on another wonderful Lori Brechlin pattern called, “horse on the hill”

Like many of Lori’s patterns, this is a large design ~ time consuming, yes, but so much scope for the imagination! I love the way Lori organizes her designs and I love how big they are! So, I rarely reduce them in size.

Here it is, all the punching completed. Now to decide how it should be finished ~ any suggestions?

Wishing you a simple, glitch-free day…


meet the Duke…

The Duke

Duke is my nephew and one of my very best friends.  I have the good fortune to spend a week or so with him almost every summer.

He’s three years old, and I think he looks like a tiny black sheep…


Duke and I are relaxing at my sister’s house this week, where Duke spends his time “hunting” chipmunks in Jenny’s glorious gardens.

jenny’s daisys

(Jenny’s gardens are beyond-belief-beautiful, but that’s no surprise – she works hard at everything she does and the results are always stunning, from her children to her dog, to her house, to her gardens!  I wish I had half her work ethic!)

Duke looking judicial

Duke often looks serious, but is, in fact, a bundle of fun and I think he’s smarter than I am…

Until next time – Enjoy every simple moment!





Here is the completed make-do I was putting together, yesterday.   There is a cabin centered on the bird, topped by an American flag and flanked by two prim trees. Under the cabin “freedom” is punched and a punched U.S.A tag hangs from a vintage hook.


This is “independence”, freedom’s companion.

Both birds are firmly anchored to pieces of chippy, painted wood, which I think look rather like old fence posts.  They will be for sale, together or separately, on Primitive Handmades Mercantile, this Friday the 15th of June.  I will have other listings available on PHM and there are so many fabulous fiber artists featured there.  If you’d like to take a look at the site you can click here.


What are you working on today?


Think simple thoughts!



in progress…

i’ve been working on some things, getting them ready for the Primitive Handmades Mercantile update this Friday, June 15.

halfway there….

i’m to the point where i’m ready to put together a bird make-do with an americana theme.  care to join me?


i will need:  a punched bird and an empty spool

…with the edges snipped off

…and wrapped in wool.

a piece of old wood

…and a nail to hammer into the wood.

after stuffing the bird with wool and linen fiber, i’ll add the wool-covered, edge-snipped spool to the interior of the bird

the spool will go over the nail and create a stable bird.

time to stitch….

i’ll be finishing this up tonight, if all goes according to plan and if i don’t get side~tracked….


i hope you’ll join me tomorrow to see the completed piece!





a little work, a little quiet…

i love laundry!

Do you have any unfinished projects?  Yesterday, I decided to finish a project I had started, ahem, a YEAR ago.

HOw do you feel about laundry?  I love doing laundry ~ it’s one of my favorite jobs, which is fortunate since I am the only laundress available here.  Laundry is like a story:  it has a beginning, a middle, and an end.  It starts with mess and chaos, and that’s the drama of the story.  The conflict comes during the wash and dry cycles ~ all that spinning and agitating, softening and drying.  And, then, my favorite part of every story, the resolution.  One ends with stacks of neatly folded textiles, tucked away in drawers and cupboards… Randy’s stacks are colorful, whereas mine are muted and neutral.  Having a space that reflects my love for laundry makes wash day an even happier time.

My very talented and creative brother-in-law made the floating wall cubes for me several years ago.  They make the perfect perch for apothecary jars filled with old clothes pins.

The clothes pins were my mother’s that she used during her basket-making years.  The vintage hangers were, in part, found objects and in part, etsy purchases.  The skirt hangers double as rug hangers from time to time ~ a simple way to temporarily display a small hooked rug.

I’ve had this wood yard stick for many years.  It helps anchor the cubes to the wall.

After the work was all done, Randy and I met friends at one of our favorite haunts.  

The Lake House has spectacular views of the marina, and we always (as long as the weather’s fine) dine on the boardwalk and watch the boats sway gently to and fro.

The fact that Michigan weather is so varied and unpredictable (and often uncomfortable) highlights these simple, quiet moments.


Wishing you a joyful, safe, sunset-filled weekend!



Hex and Frex and a sheep…

Here is Hex and Frex all finished and ready to go.  I used the Valdani pearl cotton tweed, which I showed in my last post, for the cats bodies.  I love the way Valdani achieves such striking, yet subtle, visual texture.

Here is the same piece ~ unfinished ~ after soaking in a coffee bath, resting and drying in the beautifully warm West Michigan sunshine.

I’ve started making some smaller, more cost-friendly pieces to sell on etsy and Primitive Handmades Mercantile.  Sheep, cats, houses… there are so many simple, primitive shapes to explore!


What are you creating today?


wishing you a quiet adventure!




otis “helps” me blog

A catless writer is almost inconceivable.  It’s a perverse taste, really, since it would be easier to write with a herd of buffalo in the room than even one cat; they make nests in the notes and bite the end of the pen and walk on the typewriter keys.  ~Barbara Holland


a word to the wise….

always read the fine print


Recently, I decided I need new glasses ~ this is a continual phenomenon with me, possibly because I don’t like wearing glasses and am always hoping a different style will suit me.  So, I ordered a pair online, because, let’s face it, buying optical supplies online is radically less expensive than going through the optometrist.  Eyeglasses through the optometrist:  $400+.  Eyeglasses online:  $60

I am all for shopping local, and I try to patronize as many local businesses as possible, but when the difference amounts to over $300….. enough said.

So, what this boils down to is:  I ordered new glasses online, from an online merchant I have frequented before.  However…

oh my!

…I did not read the fine print.  I was expecting a very quiet pair of silver hum-drum spectacles, and instead received a glaring white pair, with little pink flowers on the side and bling curlicues as really “attractive” accents.

I don’t typically sit around snapping pics of myself, but this was an opportunity I just could not pass up ~ hilarious!  When one has the chance to make the teeming masses laugh (or the handful of my faithful and appreciated readers laugh), one simply has to do it, regardless of the cost to ones vanity.  Besides, I’m stuck with these specs, there are no returns or exchanges allowed!

It’s ok, you can laugh at me!

After I recovered from my shock, I went back to the website and looked up my purchase ~ low and behold, these are the frames I ordered.  I simply did not take the time to read the description ~ let this be a lesson to me…

well…. at least I can see!

I have moved on now, and quite like my glasses ~ when I’m looking out of them, and there’s no requirement in life that one has to look in a mirror, though I probably will from time to time, just to remind myself of the importance of details, fine print, instructions and directions.  I don’t suppose these occasional reminders will do much good, and I will continue to pass through life as a full-time flibbertigibbit.

Now, I’m working on a Lori Brechlin design using a wonderful “tweed” pearl cotton from Valdani.

Valdani tweed pearl cotton and Lori Brechlin’s “Hex and Frex”

I’m hoping to finish it today, so will be able to share it with you next time.  Until then…

Keep Laughing!

I’d love to hear about any silly things you may have done, too!


something old…

When I was a little girl I loved dumpster diving…  I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone that.   My sister may not even know, and she knows almost everything about me.  Not that it’s a big secret or anything, the subject just never came up… until now.

I don’t have access to dumpsters anymore, and I think it may possibly be illegal to dive into them, though I’m not sure about that.  However, I live very near a transfer station, now, which is a polite term for a dump.  Imagine the manna ~ I have access to all kinds of trash!  Perhaps you’re thinking, “rebecca, that’s not my idea of a dream come true…. ick!”, and I agree, it’s not for everyone.

But, sometimes, every once in a while, I find treasure ~ the pirates chest opens and, oh boy!

I wonder where these twins spent their lives before entering mine.  They are sturdy and solid and sport no-nonsense hardware.  They are seemingly straightforward, until one looks closely ~ the graining of the wood and the sparest bit of decorative edging around the panes ~ they speak to me of quality and functional beauty ~ a kinship with the Arts and Crafts movement.

ellis makes a determination… …yes, these windows can stay.

At the present time, old windows, doors, screens, etc. are all en vogue.  That will surely change and these time-softened things will no longer find favor with high-end decorators and designers.  For myself, I think I will always prefer things that speak of the daily wear and tear of life, for within the quiet, commonplace challenges lies the secret of simple, joyful living….

Thank you for being with me today!