making a start…

Yesterday, I told you I was preparing to start a new punch needle design ~ I had drawn my pattern on weavers cloth and was in the process of color selection. The only stumbling block was that I had forgotten to reverse my design when I sketched it, initially. So after a bit of erasing and re-sketching I’m ready to make a start on Magdalena’s Horses. I find the simplest way to begin a new project, is to start with color. In the case of Magdalena’s Horses, I’m planning to stay as true to the original as I can.

You may notice in the above photo that I have labeled my design with which-color-goes-where notes. Even after 4+ years of punching, I am still trying to train my brain to mirror the image that I see in a photo or on the computer screen. Is that something you struggle with, too? How many times have I punched a section, especially a section with letters or numbers, flipped my frame over to take a gander and *groan*, found that I’ve done all the characters backwards!

My computer monitor is showing one of Magdalena’s horses as a faded red raspberry color, and that’s where I shall begin. I like to start a project with a color that I’m drawn to, and in this case, not only am I drawn to the faded red, but I also happen to have that color floss on hand ~ hurray! I’ll be ordering some of the browns and grays for the background from my favorite Valdani seller,

Are you ready to begin?

Until next time ūüôā


join me and two magdalena horses…

a Magdalena Briner hooked rug

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I finished the “2 Horses 6 Birds” punch needle, yesterday. ¬†I’ve yet to decide how to complete the piece, however, you can see the punching in the picture below.

punching is done, now what shall it become?

In the meantime, while I’m making a decision about “2 Horses 6 Birds”, I think I’ll get started on the Magdalena Horses design pictured in the top photo. ¬†I’ve drawn it on my weavers cloth, (forgetting to reverse the design as I often do) and I’m considering the colors in my floss collection.

Perhaps you’d like to join me in a little punching? ¬†Below, you will find two sketches of M. Briner’s design. ¬†The first is the original version, and the second is reversed.

(I’d like to say a word, here, about copyrights. ¬†If (this is a big if) I understand copyright laws correctly, regarding antique rugs and designs, the designs themselves are in the public domain unless otherwise noted. ¬†However, the images of the rugs are protected. ¬†Therefore, to be inspired by an antique rug and create a rug similar to the original design is ok, but to make photo copies of, say, pages from an antique rug book or to print copies of images from a computer screen, would be a violation of said laws. ¬†I hope my understanding is all Ship Shape and Bristol fashion! ¬†I do know, that many wonderful primitive rug and punch needle designers today, find inspiration in antique hooked rugs and use that inspiration to create very similar designs of their own which they are then able to sell legally. ¬†So, having said all that, I have not and do not make copies of copyrighted images ~ whew! that was a mouthful! ¬†As always, please give credit to the original artist of any design you use ~ in this case, Magdalena Briner.)

Magdalena Horses

Tomorrow, I’ll be sharing my color choices with you. ¬†I’d love it if you were able to punch (or hook!) along with me!

Magdalena Horses reversed


Feel free to reduce or enlarge my drawings as needed for the size of your project. ¬†I’m happy to have you share copies of my sketches with others. ¬†ūüôā


Until tomorrow!






We’ve been so fortunate the past two days!¬† It’s been raining, what a blessing for all the creatures, great and small.¬† The sun is shining after our morning’s soaking, and a few friends come to visit…

I love the inquisitive Blue Jays, and can you see the Grosbeak waiting in the wings?


On our drive homeward, I was able to get a good start on the “two horses…” background.

Backgrounds, like this, always take me a good amount of time.¬† I seem to do as much looking as punching:¬† looking at the photo of the original rug, looking at my color choices, looking at the bits I’ve punched ~ looking where I’m going, where I’ve been, if I’m traveling the right road.¬† Looking is a big part of the process, at least it is for me.¬† How about you?

Now that I’m half way there, I can see, a bit more clearly, where I’m headed.¬† What I like about where I’ve been, is with the weavers cloth as the background, I could see a crisp, wintry scene, and I’m inspired to possibly try this design again with a soft white background.¬† Do I like where I’m going?¬† That’s a bit more difficult.¬† I’m never really sure, until I actually arrive at my destination, if the journey was worth it!

until next time, friends…


Choosing color…


I’ve decided to begin my quiet adventure into the equine with this antique rug design ~ the palette is so simple and neutral, which translates into peaceful punching. I will be following the original as closely as I can, based on the colors of floss that I have in my collection.

The above photo shows my chosen perle cottons ~ oh, those lovely neutrals! These are all Valdani flosses, which is the type of floss I like to use. I think any brand of floss is great ~ there are so many ways to combine DMC, or any other brand of floss, to create lovely finishes. I use Valdani perle cottons for a number of reasons, but the most important is because it is the fiber easiest for
my wrist. I know for some punchers that DMC, and other 6 strand flosses are best for wrist fatigue, but for me, the Valdani perle cotton allowed me to continue punching when I thought I would have to give it up due to wrist and elbow pain.

I use two strands of #12 perle cotton in a medium Cameo needle, on the lowest (#1) setting. Some of you have asked how I get my pieces to look so dense. I’m a tight puncher, for sure, but more than that I think it’s due to the low setting on the needle.

Are you wondering how to get two strands of perle cotton out of one ball? Here’s how I do it…

There is an end inside the ball, like in the pic above. Sometimes, it’s really, really easy to find this end. Sometimes, it’s really, really difficult!

There’s an outer strand, too ~ so simple from here! I rarely have problems with my strands tangling. The exception is the perle tweed which has a tendency to twist a bit. I’ve tried using two and three balls of DMC perle cotton, (DMC perle doesn’t allow for two strands from one ball) but I am not talented enough nor patient enough to keep the balls from winding ’round and ’round one another. You are probably much more patient than I am, so you may find using DMC perle is easy for you. You can get some really pretty combinations if you use two or three different colors of DMC. DMC perle #12 is finer than Valdani #12, so when I’ve tried the DMC I’ve found that three strands of DMC is about as thick as two strands of Valdani.

While I’m deciding where to begin on my pattern, I’m visited by a little friend…


I’m able to make a start on my piece, but I’ll be travelling in the car with my husband while working on part of it. I’d like to keep my needles together, but seperated…. what could I use? I look around and find a humble egg carton I’ve kept, “just in case” (one never knows when one may need an egg carton, after all).


It works perfectly!


I’ll also be able to fit a few extra flosses, a pair of scissors, and a threader or two.

Today, Randy and I are half way through our road trip and I’ve completed all the main elements of the design, except the tree.


I’m hoping to get a good start on the background as we head homeward.

Until next time, friends, may your heart be light and your purse heavy!


primitive handmades mercantile update…

The third Friday of each month means that it’s time for a Primitive Handmades Mercantile update. ¬†If you’ve never visited the site you can take a look by clicking here. ¬†I am so honored to be among the many great fiber artists you can find at PHM. ¬†Here are a few of the things I’m planning to list this month:

Sunflower Sampler hooked rug

This Sunflower Sampler is a design from Robin of Bird in the Hand Primitives.  I simply love Robins patterns ~ they are so charming and so much fun to hook and punch!

Lately, I’ve been using thin hand-cut strips of wool for my rugs, but this design seemed to call for my wider pieces. ¬†Perhaps it’s the cheerful quality of this design that made me decide on some soft primary colors and wider strips?

Farmhouse Sampler make do

The above Farmhouse Sampler make do is one of my designs. ¬†It’s a punch needle sheep shape with a rural scene. ¬†The sheep sits atop an interesting treen spool with a vintage hook from which hangs a punched and heavily stained abc 123 tag. ¬†The sheep is wearing a tiny skeleton key around her neck ~ perhaps the key to the barn door?

Strawberry Ornaments

This month’s PHM theme is strawberries, among other things, so I punched these tiny strawberry ornaments. ¬†Each is one of a kind and each is backed with weavers cloth.

I’m hoping to finish one or two more projects tonight! ¬†What will you be working on?


Wishing you a happy Friday!



peacock farm…

I fell in love with this Peacock Farm design from Lori Brechlin ~ Not Forgotten Farm. It’s a large pattern, measuring 5.75″x10″, so allows lots of scope for imagining while punching.

I was smitten with the colors Lori chose for her original, and love the way the piece changed dramatically from an almost sepia palette, above, to the vibrant but still primitive finish, below.

Now, it will be added to my, “what shall I do with you?” pile.

Next up: I’m hoping to start a series of horse themed pieces, based on antique rugs. I’m toying with either this Magdelena Briner one…

or this one that I saw on Pinterest recently. I haven’t been able to find out anything about the origins or artist of this rug, but I love its quiet tones and birds…

Which shall I choose?

Wishing you all the right decisions, today!


horse on the hill…

Not so very long ago, I finished punching this design from Lori Brechlin of Not Forgotten Farm.¬† It was such a fabulously fun pattern to punch and I wanted to finish it in a way that would highlight Lori’s design.¬† I asked you for ideas and you sent me so many great ones ~ thank you!¬† Lori, herself, suggested tacking the raw weavers cloth to a worn piece of wood using rusty nails.¬† So, I dismantled an old packing crate, which at one time held fireworks (I know, because that’s what the crate says :~>), and put one of the end pieces to work.¬† The nails, themselves, are some I salvaged from the crate… perfectly rusty and aged!¬† This finish is available at my etsy shop.¬† If you’d like to take a look, simply click on the picture’s caption.


Also on etsy….

This is the same design that I offered as a freebie the other day.  Here it is drawn on linen and ready to hook!  Is anyone ready for Autumn temps?


may you find some creativity today!




These strawberries were among those pieces that I stained the other day.  Both of the pearl cottons I used to punch these tiny berries are from the Valdani pearl tweed collection.  I love the way the flecks in the red floss are reminiscent of strawberry seeds!

It doesn’t take much stuffing to fill out these fruits!¬† When I’m drawing the strawberries onto my weavers cloth, I sketch them freehand rather than using a pattern or template.¬† I like my strawberries to be original, wonky and imperfect, just like the real thing.Sometimes, one strawberry is all one needs… On the other hand, it’s awfully nice to have a whole bunch!

These berries will be for sale beginning July 20 on the Primitive Handmades Mercantile site.


Enjoy a strawberry today!



folk horse….

Though I have many pieces stained and ready to finish, I can’t resist starting a new project.¬† This Folk Horse, from Lori Brechlin of Not Forgotten Farm, simply speaks to me.

I’ve decided to keep the horse dark, as Lori did in her original, but I’ll change the background a bit.

I love this pearl tweed from Valdani!¬† I can’t wait to see how it punches up next to the soft greyish browns and blues I’ve used around the horse.There’s something about the way the delicate flecks of gold in the tweed echo the tones in the other colors of this piece, that really appeals to me.¬† The gold adds some soft richness to, what in my mind would be, an overwhelming teal.

Now, I’ll stain this Folk Horse and add it to my queue of pieces awaiting completion….


Wishing you happiness from start to finish, today!



1820 Saltbox…

After coffee staining a few things the other day, I chose to finish the 1820 Saltbox (design by Bird in the Hand Primitives) first. I sent my client a picture of the punched piece and got her okay on the colors and staining. My next step is to add some backing and edging. I used a piece of my hand dyed wool in a soft blue color, for this part.

I like to use a floss that I used in the piece itself to whip stitch the edging. Here, I’ve chosen the very pale blue from the background.

Next, I stitch a tag to the back, using the same floss. The tag includes the title of the piece, the name of the designer, my name and the date.

While I’m working, I’m visited by friends at the feeder…

The finished piece is now ready to wend it’s way to it’s new owner…


Enjoy some simple peace today!