miss mustard seed mirror….

feeling a bit empty

feeling a bit empty

This little corner of our narrow front porch is a lovely place to sit and sip in Spring before the mosquitoes pay their annual visit.  My brother-in-law, Scott, made the chair.  The footstool was once a director’s chair of my grandmothers.  I removed the back and arms and added salvaged wood strips for a top.  The fuchsia, which our hummingbird looks for yearly, is from our local nursery, Barry’s Greenhouse ~ they carry the most beautiful hanging baskets.

This year, I’d like to add a little something to the blank wall.

grandma's mirror

grandma’s mirror

I have this mirror, that was my grandmother’s, which has been behind a cabinet collecting dust for six years.  I think it’s time to give it a second life.

crackles

crackles

The frame is a lovely, graceful shape, but it’s those crackles in the mirror, itself, that I love.

Have you tried Miss Mustard Seed Milk Paint?  It is so much fun, so very easy, utterly forgiving, and, perhaps most importantly, reminds one that beauty is found in flaws as well as in perfection.

first coat

first coat

At first, I mixed my MMS Ironstone paint too thin for my liking.  It was about the consistency of skim milk and I found that when it comes to paint, as is true in my life, I prefer cream.  So, I added more paint powder until I was using what looked and felt like heavy whipping cream.  Another coat of paint later and I had some drying time on my hands.  Perhaps I could sit in my chair and work on my embroidery….

"you want to do what?"

“you want to do what?”

I ask Mr. O, very nicely, very politely, if I may please share “his” chair.

"i can't hear you...."

“i can’t hear you….”

So, I guess I won’t work on my punch needle.

Once the paint is dry I get to work with my scraper.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI scrape and scrape and scrape and scrape.  Because it’s such a nice day I took the mirror outside for the scraping, but indoors would be ok, too.  Miss Mustard Seed Paints are very gentle on the environment and on those who use it.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve scraped as much as can be scraped.  Now, it’s time for a protective finish and I’m going to use Miss Mustard Seed’s lovely furniture wax ~ simply wax on, wax off.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Is there anything better than sitting outdoors on a beautiful day doing simple, quiet work?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABecause we have vinyl siding I’m going to use these no-hole hooks.  They are easy-peasy to install and can be found at hardware stores or online.

yes, you are the fairest of them all!

yes, you are the fairest of them all!

 

Now, when friends step up to our front door they see beautiful things reflecting back at them:  trees and other green, growing things, bird houses and wind-chimes, and, of course, themselves!

May you always recognize your own elegance and bloom!

 

rebecca

angel sampler…

oatbran

angel #1 ~ oatbran

You may think, from the tone of the title of this post, that I’ll be presenting a sampling of kitty photos…

angel #2 ~ ellis

angel #2 ~ ellis

Not so.  This post is all….

angel #3 ~ lilly

angel #3 ~ lilly

about a punch needle….

ellis, again

ellis, again

…named, “Angel Sampler”.  I just finished and listed it on etsy.  Good or bad, let me know what you think.

angel sampler push toy

angel sampler push toy

The angel design is by one of my favorites, Robin of Bird in the Hand Primitives.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been wanting to punch this little sweetie for some time, and now, at last, she’s done.  I made her into a little pillow and mounted her on a wood strap I salvaged from an antique steamer trunk.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The two birdies are also stuffed, like tiny pillows, and perched atop antique porcelain drawer pulls.  I added the rusty vintage caster because….. well, because I like rusty vintage casters, and, also because Robin’s designs have such a simple joyousness…. I always want them to be toys!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think Angel is quite enjoying her time on my Miss Mustard Seed-ed cabinet.

You can visit Angel Sampler on etsy if you’d like to see other pictures of her.  Just click here, and remember to let me know whether you like the way she turned out or not!

 

Happiness to you and yours!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

phm update and cats…

 

bees and herbs ornaments

bees and herbs ornaments

It’s the third Friday of the month, so it’s time for our Primitive Handmades Mercantile update!  I’m offering the ornaments, shown above, along with several other punched items.  Would you like to take a look?  Click here to visit my shop.

Whilst I’ve been finishing my last-minute finishing for the update, Lilly, Ellis, and Otis have been busy “helping” me, so now……
noname

 

Wishing you a happy, healthy and restful weekend!

 

rebecca

another way to finish…

It’s been astonishingly lovely here for the past two weeks, and I’ve spent every waking moment outdoors getting things ready for a lazy summer.  My friends, too, have been enjoying the new season, observing all that happens from the safety of their home.

oh boy!

oh boy!

Nothing escapes their notice, especially the bold chippers who stop by for a snack.

eek!

eek!

Of course, all this intense concentration is exhausting for Lilly, Ellis, and Otis, so they finish their days the way cats do:

"i am not asleepzzzzzz..."

“i am not asleepzzzzzz…”

Otis is a professional!

"i am asleepzzzzzzz..."

“i am asleepzzzzzzz…”

"i'm just resting my eyes...."

“i’m just resting my eyes….”

"scooch over otis"

“scootch over otis”

Today, it’s cold and rainy so we’re indoors working or snoozing.  I’m finishing my Angel Sampler, design by Robin of Bird in the Hand Primitives.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’ve done all the punching and staining, and I’ve chosen some wool to back and edge the Angel.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI left an inch or two of weavers cloth around the edge, snipped and pressed it back.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, I’ll apply some glue making sure to get under the weavers as well as on top.  I’ll flip the embroidery over centering it onto the wool and let the glue dry.  When the adhesive is dry, I’ll trim the wool close to the edge.

wool trimmed

wool trimmed

I like to have a scalloped edge when I finish a punch needle with wool.  If I want a large scallop I cut a wide strip of wool to sew around the edge, a small scallop gets a narrow strip.  I’m hoping for a larger scallop so I cut a strip of wool long enough to make it around the piece and about 1/3″ wide.  Actually, I tear a strip of wool so that the edges of the strip are soft and fuzzy.  Now, I’m ready to stitch.

starting

starting

I thread my needle with some Valdani perle cotton and stitch from the front of the embroidery.  I leave a little tail of wool to overlap when I get all the way around.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI bring my thread across the wool strip on a diagonal and hold it under my thumb while I pull the thread tight.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPulling the thread tight on a diagonal allows the wool to bunch a bit.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI keep my needle close to the edge of the embroidery, making sure I catch the wool backing.  Sometimes, I catch the wool strip as I stitch, sometimes I don’t ~ if it happens it happens, if it doesn’t it doesn’t.  I don’t try to catch the strip, and I don’t try not to catch the strip.

all the way around

all the way around

When I get back to the beginning, I overlap the wool strip over the tail I left in the beginning.  Then, anchor my thread and cut the strip close to my last stitch.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAll done!  I think I’ll leave this piece as a simple mat, but it could be tacked or adhered to a hornbook or other piece of wood or backing.

Wishing you a warm and creative day!

rebecca