a simple flock…

simple snow

simple snow

Outside my window, all is lovely shades of grey ~ from the palest white-grey to the deepest charcoal. It may be nearly March, but winter is still calling the shots.  Frosty cold with whipping winds is the forecast.

Inside, the color scheme is similar, but the weather is quite different…

simple needs

simple needs

In here, the forecast calls for warm beds, good friends and flights of fancy.

One of the things I love about an elderly February fading into a youthful March, is the almost palpable Hope that fills the air.

Outdoors, the birds are silent no longer.  They’ve heard that Spring is arriving on the next train and they are bursting with joyful song!  The euphoria is quite contagious and I’m celebrating the possibilities of a new season by gathering together the makings of my own simple flock of bird make dos.

"the squeaky wheel gets the grease"

“the squeaky wheel gets the grease”

I have this small collection of little oilers that has been waiting in the wings.  I think a little bird, perched on each tip will just about fill the bill.   I love the Singer can, and what could be more fitting for a little song bird to rest upon?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Using scraps of weavers cloth, I draw up several freehand birds, punching them with bits of Valdani perle cotton.

5 birds

5 little birds

Now my flock is ready for backing and stuffing.  I think I’ll use dried organic lavender to fill these little peeps.  Lavender is my favorite material for stuffing.  It’s heady fragrance always lifts my spirits and the aroma lingers in my studio for days.

Perhaps, I could ask for some assistance with my flock of make dos?

go'way

go’way

*sigh*… It may never hurt to ask, but I’m pretty sure the answer will be in the negative.

May you travel your road today with a song of hope in your heart!

thank you for being with me….

 

rebecca

 

making bread…

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Is there anything quite like the aroma of freshly baked bread?

I love making bread…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love that one can’t rush bread.  It takes time, but not too much time, and patience.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

One doesn’t need much to make bread.  Some water, flour, salt, yeast, sugar, a big ol’ bowl, a nice wood spoon and a baking dish.  Oh yes, and some time.

I have my mother’s bread making bowl, and I love it.  The interior of her bowl shows it’s age…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think each one of those crackles represents a loaf of bread made by my mother and relished by my sister and me.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

My favorite bread recipe is the simplest to make, no kneading needed, and it makes three loaves, so it’s perfect for sharing with someone special…..

otis likes bread crumbs

otis likes bread crumbs

This recipe was given to me by Lucille Morgan, a neighbor of mine in Mackinaw City, Michigan when Randy and I were first married.  Lucille was a marvel.  She was elderly and nearly blind, but she insisted on spending her summer time alone in her cottage, listening to her books-on-tape and baking her bread which she called Spoon Bread.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lucille was so kind to me.  She not only gave me a loaf every now and then, she also gave me the recipe for her humble, crusty, chewy bread and I’ve been making, and eating it for nearly twenty years.  Though Lucille is long gone, I think of her every time I set the oven to 350* and gather together the ingredients for Spoon Bread along with my mom’s big bread making bowl.

Would you like to try a piece?   Here’s the recipe:

 

Lucille’s Spoon Bread

(oven temp, 350* ~ baking time 65 minutes)

5 cups warm water

1 pkg yeast (2.25 teaspoons)

1 tablespoon salt

5-6 cups white flour

1 cup brown sugar

4 cups whole wheat flour

Combine warm water, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl, stirring until yeast and salt are dissolved.

Add enough white flour to make a sponge (about the consistency of pancake batter)

Let rise until doubled (maybe an hour or until you remember that you’re making bread)

Stir in the brown sugar

Add enough whole wheat flour to make a thick batter ~ not so thick as a typical bread dough ~ batter should be thick but still pour-able

Pour batter into three greased loaf pans

Bake at 350* 65 minutes or until bread pulls away from the sides of the pan and is golden brown.

Best eaten warm and with a grateful heart!

rebecca

phm update…

ellis and lilly lou who

ellis and lilly lou who

Whilst some of us have been spending our time biting each other, others of us (me) have been getting ready for the Primitive Handmades Mercantile update.

lori brechlin, notforgotten farm

lori brechlin, notforgotten farm

This month, I finished Lori’s fabulous silhouette designs, The Reverend and Mrs. Potter.  I also finished my Peter Rabbit and Peep push toys…

peter rabbit and peep

peter rabbit and peep

If you’d like to take a closer look at my PHM offerings, click here.  From my shop you can visit all the other talented artisans that participate in PHM.

If you’d like to get your hands on Lori’s, The Reverend and Mrs. Potter design, click here.

Whatever you decide to do today, do it with joy in your heart ~ and remember, No Biting!

 

rebecca

 

notforgotten farm…

lilly rests

lilly loves to sleep under this fabulous little rug given to me by the very talented and generous Betty DeKat.

Just a quickie today, to let you know about an invaluable post for hookers…

After catching up on Lori Brechlin’s Notforgotten Farm blog today, I simply had to share this with you!  I’m so inspired!  It’s about hooking a foot rest topper, which is simply awesome by itself, but Lori also has sooo many wonderful, exciting tips for hookers wanting to use fabrics other than wool and wanting to age a finished rug, I just know you’ll find it as valuable as I!  Click here to go to Lori’s post.

where ever you find yourself today, may you find happiness, too!

 

rebecca

updates…

Thank you to all of you who commented on my ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas project!  I loved hearing your opinions and ideas ~ whether they jived with my own or not!

french butter pear

french butter pear

I’ve received a few emails asking if I am planning to sell any wool pears like the one from my giveaway.  Yes!  I’ve just updated my etsy shop with three different varieties of pear.  You can click here if you’d like to take a look.

Primitive Handmades Mercantile (PHM) is having its update this Friday ~ yippee!  Here’s a peek at a couple of the things I’m working on to list…

notforgotten farm

notforgotten farm

rabbits, rabbits…

my design ~ future push toy?

my design ~ future push toy?

…and more rabbits!

You can visit my PHM shop, and anyone else’s, any time by clicking here.

Hopefully, I’ll have my projects done by Thursday so that I can share them with you before the update.

 

In the meantime…

otis

otis

…snuggle up and keep warm!

 

rebecca

 

a winner and a finish…

congratulations, Cyndi!

congratulations, Cyndi!

The winner of The Simple Quiet pear giveaway is Cyndi Lott ~ Congratulations to you, Cyndi!  (watch for an email from me, Cyndi :~>)

 

I completed the framing of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and I think I like it!

'twas the night

’twas the night

Though I waffled for a time, wondering if the frame would be too grand for the primitive Bird in the Hand Prims design, I’m glad I followed through and tried coupling the two.

Some folks prefer a more cohesive style, like a primitive frame with a primitive embroidery.  I admire those people!  I love going to their homes and seeing one era or one style represented.  I think Lori Brechlin’s home is a perfect example of primitive and it is sooo beautifully done!  (haven’t seen Lori’s home?  Click here to visit Notforgotten Farm)  There’s another Lori who has done Primitive flawlessly.  Lori Rippey of Home Spun Prims has a home I’d love to see in person!  (Click here for Lori’s home)  I, myself, just can’t seem to stick to one style, I have very eclectic taste ~ I like the old juxtaposed with the new (mostly because then I get to use the word “juxtapose”), the splashy combined with the humble, the intricate with the plain…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and so, I am drawn to this coupling ~ the elegant antique frame surrounding the primitive and humble embroidery.

My favorite part is, of course, the way the embroidery floats inside the frame.  Because I want to be able to sell this piece, I want it to be ONE piece, but look like two.  I also want it to function as two pieces if the future owner so desires.  In case you ever want to try a similar scheme, here’s how I achieved that end.

back view

back view

Hopefully, you can see in the above photo that the embroidery is suspended from the frame.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I used two little rings, a length of monofilament and a safety-pin for each end of the embroidery.  The upper ring slips over a small nail in the frame, allowing for easy removal.

dowels and pockets

dowels and pockets

The embroidery is large enough that it “buckled” when I tried hanging it without the dowels.  So, I added a long pocket to the top and to the bottom edges in the same wool I used for the backing.  These dowels can be removed, so….

mat

mat

that the embroidery will lay flat.  It’s the Transformer of the needle punch world!

Now, one last picture and I’ll let you get back to whatever you were doing…

nice

nice

I just love this detail!  You may have noticed, and wondered what the bundle of wire was in the first picture in this post of ‘Twas the Night.  Whoever had this frame before me was a person after my own heart.  When she found that the wire was too long for the wall on which the frame was hung, she simply wrapped the wire around the nail until it was the proper length ~ what a great touch of primitive whimsy to an otherwise serious and elegant frame!

 

I’d be so interested to hear what you think of this finish ~ good or bad!  Let me know!

 

be warm and happy,

 

rebecca

 

 

an idea and a giveaway…

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” has been on my mind.  Pestering me and keeping me awake nights ~ how was I going to finish it?  Some of you gave me really good ideas!  Myra’s suggestion of a tray-type finish started the wheels turning.  Finally, today inspiration struck!

a frame? pretty commonplace isn't it?

a frame? pretty commonplace isn’t it?

You may be thinking that framing ‘Twas the Night… is not only an obvious idea, but it’s a stale one to boot.  But, this is an exciting frame…

old is lovely!

old is lovely!

This is an antique frame, gold leafed and with a rich, time-worn patina.

ellis gives it the sniff test

ellis gives it the sniff test

This frame has just been waiting in the wings for its turn at stardom.  Ellis, the producer and director, has the final say…

"ok by me!"

“ok by me!”

…and gives two thumbs up.  I love all the crackling and other signs of age, not to mention all the beautiful detailing!

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i wish i could replicate all that gorgeous distressing!

Beautiful!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the things that attracted me to this frame for ‘Twas the Night, is that it’s opening is much larger than the embroidery.  What a host of possibilities this creates!  I could use a piece of foam core covered in fabric on which to mount the embroidery, or a painted and distressed board as backing, but what I really want to use is nothing at all except a wire or piece of twine.  I want to figure out a way to suspend ‘Twas the Night… in the middle of the opening, in a way in which the embroidery could be removed and used as a mat, if desired.  This will involve some sort of clips or a sleeve or something, in addition to all my brain cells firing at once!

Now, on to the giveaway!

a simple quiet pear

a simple quiet pear made of wool and stuffed with walnut shells

If you’d like to win this giveaway pear, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me if you like my idea for finishing ‘Twas the Night…, or if you don’t like my idea!  My random generator will choose a winner this coming Saturday, February 9, in the afternoon sometime and I’ll post the winner Saturday evening!

 

In the meantime, think happy thoughts and thank you for being with me!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

a pat on the back…

I just wanted to share this rare event with you…

It happened….

I can hardly believe it…

I finished a rug!

ta da!

“home” design by notforgotten farm

It only took me a year to complete, but that’s because I had so much help.  Even right up to stitching on the binding, my friends were beside me, pitching in.

ellis lends his moral support

ellis lends his moral support

I’ve listed Home on etsy (click here if you’d like to take a gander), but until Home finds a new home, I will enjoy having Home at home!

Hoping you had a pleasant weekend and wishing you a delightful week!

 

rebecca