new pattern: s is for sheep….

s is for sheep

s is for sheep

Hello!  Here is the second in my ABC pull toy series ~ S is for Sheep.  Though the original has sold, the pattern is available in my etsy shop ~ if you’d like to take a look, click here.

When I first drew S is for Sheep it looked like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I envisioned a fluffy white sheep body with a shorn white face, so I punched the “wooly” part of the sheep at a #6 loop height on my Cameo needle.  But, when I got to the face and punched it at my usual #1 setting, my sheep suddenly looked like a potato with a growth… hmmm… what to do, what to do.  I tried adding a bell around her neck, but that just looked like a potato with a growth with a sprout.  So, I “reverse” punched (tore out) the face and a bit of the body to accommodate a larger head and ear, and re-punched it in a dark color at a #6 setting.

Here is my color palette and how I used it:

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

These are all Valdani size 12 perle cotton.  I used two strands of each and, except for the sheep, punched at the lowest (#1) setting.

4 ~ background

5 ~ background and “lambs tongue” edging

p3 ~ lambs tongue edging and a tiny patch of background

p4 ~ sheep’s body and eye

p5 ~ lambs tongue edging, letters,  and pull toy

jp6 ~ lambs tongue edging

h212 ~ sheep’s face

It’s downright COLD today.  A below-zero morning, and snow… lots and lots of snow.  I’m thinking of all you on the east coast who have it so much harder, just now.  It’s a good day to….

one cat in a bag is a warm cat...

one cat in a bag is a warm cat…

… get under cover and ….

"can i come in?" ~ otis

“can i come in?” ~ otis

… possibly invite someone to join you!

 

stay warm and safe, my friends.

 

rebecca

 

ah ha!…..

This may be one of those posts you read and go, “duh!  I’m so sure!  I can’t believe Rebecca just posted that….”, but, for me, the following was a total “ah HA!” moment….

So, I’m sitting here, punching away, and I’m freezing… I mean, goose bumps and everything, and I’m thinking, “what the?  here am i, under an electric blanket with a heating pad behind me and a cat on my lap ~ how can i possibly be cold?”  The answer is simple.  It’s winter and I’m wearing a 3/4 sleeve sweater.

see? it's winter

see? it’s winter

I can think of two solutions  for my 3/4 sleeve problem.  I could simply get up and put on another sweater, (in fact there is a warm wooly sweater right over there, just out of my reach), or I could get up, go downstairs where my hooking is and get my arm warmers….

see that grey thing on my wrist?  that's one of a pair of arm warmers/protectors i wear while hooking, which i spent way too much $ on, but which i love and adore....

see that grey thing on my wrist? that’s one of a pair of arm warmers/protectors i wear while hooking, which i spent way too much $ on, but which i love and adore….

You, of course, have spotted the difficulty inherent in both these solutions.  Both require the removal of said electric blanket and the abandoning, though temporarily, of the heating pad.  One runs a risk, too, whenever getting up from any chair in this house, namely….

"what? you thought your seat was saved?  you were right, it was saved for ME!" ~oatbran

“what? you thought your seat was saved? you were right, it was saved for ME!” ~oatbran

So, as I sit here, freezing, as I mentioned before, I look around my immediate vicinity for a safer, warmer, more palatable solution than getting up, and I spy….

old pair o' socks

old pair o’ socks

Eureka! or, if you prefer, Ah hA!  I’ve had this pair of socks for 11 years.  I remember where I got them (a shop in Lowell, MI), I remember when (July ~ a broiling hot day, unsuitable for purchasing long wool socks), and I remember how much they were ($7 ~ originally $35, because, as I said, it was July and nobody, almost, buys long wooly socks on a July day in Michigan).  I’ve worn these socks many a time and oft, not because they were comfortable (they weren’t.  to begin with, they’re knee socks and, let’s just be generous here, i have “curvy” calves.  if you have “curvy” calves than you know all about knee socks and comfort, if you don’t have “curvy” calves than hooray for you, you are the perfect knee-sock-wearing-kinda-gal).  I’ve worn them, because I paid $7 for a $35 pair of socks and that’s something of which I’m pretty proud.

plus, i like argyle

plus, i like argyle

These socks had been slated for catnip cat toy usage, but not anymore!

First…

a thoughtful incision

a thoughtful incision

…I cut a little bit off the heels where my thumbs would be….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThen…

snip, snip

snip, snip

I cut the end of the toes so my fingers could manipulate my punch needle (and turn up the temperature on my heating pad).

And…

warm and toasty

warm and toasty

Voila!

Now, I know many of you have done the same with your husbands’ (or your own) gym socks, but have any of you ever gone to such lengths to avoid getting up to get something that would take all of 3 seconds to get?  I hope so, for in laziness and personal comfort lies the inspiration for creativity!

 

wishing you warmth and simplicity today and every day!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

h is for horse and polka dot horse finished….

Today, we are enjoying wind chills in excess of -20*F and snow ~ lots and lots of snow.  So, I’m not out cross-country skiing or building a snowman.  No, I am indoors where it’s warm and cozy, though I have ventured out twice to fill the bird feeders…. brrrrrr.  Those poor little birds and squirrels need all the help they can get right now, and those of us who stay inside enjoy watching the action at the window feeder.

endless entertainment

endless entertainment

A while ago, I told you about H is for Horse….

h is for horse

h is for horse

…and Polka Dot Horse Pull Toy.

polka dot horse

polka dot horse

I managed to finish both these pieces and they were so much fun!  Here’s H is for Horse…

h is for horse completed

h is for horse completed

I backed and edged it with ticking which I aged.  I think this is the first time I’ve edged a mat with ticking and I was quite pleased with the way it turned out, but I’d like someone else’s opinion…

There’s Lilly…. Oh Lilly!

"what, me?" ~ lilly

“what, me?” ~ lilly

What do you think of the ticking?IMG_1684

I see.  Well let’s find someone else to ask…. Oh! there’s the Oatbran….

"you rang?" ~ otis

“you rang?” ~ otis

What are your thoughts about ticking, Otis?IMG_1670No sense in pressing my luck, so I won’t be asking Ellis what he thinks.  Anyway, I liked the ticking so much, that I used it to finish Polka Dot Horse.

backing polka dot horse

backing polka dot horse

Here you can see the reverse side of the ticking which I aged with a coffee bath.  The long folds I have pinned are the legs of the horse.  The only way I can possibly turn those skinny legs is by giving myself twice as much backing fabric as embroidery.

leg finished

leg finished

Sometimes, when I finish a piece where I’ve left myself more backing than fronting, I’ll hide the extra fabric by stitching it under the embroidery.  With this horse, however, I wanted a worn, tattered, loved, and patched look, so I made the extra fabric on the legs into obvious seams to look like repairs done by some long ago hand.

body

body

It may seem like anathema to use sandpaper on an embroidery, but not in this case.   I sanded the whole horse vigorously to give him a well-used look.

"hello"

“hello”

Though difficult to see in the above photo, there are a few, just a very few, stitches missing on horses’ face.  I pulled out a couple, here and there ~ after all, any toy that has been played with and loved by a child is bound to be missing a few bits.

salvaged wood and wheels

salvaged wood and wheels

For the base of the pull toy I used a length of painted board, chipped, scratched, cracked and dinged by time, and 4 rusty vintage wheels.  The “pull” is an antique glass knob with a bit of twine.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And, there you have it… one Polka Dot Horse Pull Toy.

You can visit the pull toy on etsy by clicking here, if you’d like.  H is for Horse has sold, but the pattern is available in my etsy shop.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

TTFN! (ta ta for now!)

Put on a sweater, snuggle under a blanket and stay warm, my friends!

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

valdani must-haves….

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

Sonja wrote and asked me if I could provide a list of my favorite floss for someone just starting out with Valdani. A tough assignment, to be sure!  I love all the Valdani I’ve ever tried, but….

ellis

ellis

with Ellis’ help, I whittled down my answer to Sonja’s question from, “all Valdani is absolutely essential”, to the following, abbreviated, list.

Beginning with the neutrals I love and cannot do without…

4, 5, p4, p3

4, 5, p4, p3

4 ~ ivory

5 ~ light ecru

p4 ~ aged white light

p3 ~ aged white medium

yellow….

h205, p5, o154

h205, p5, o154

h205 ~ ancient gold

p5 ~ tarnished gold

o154 ~ dark antique gold

Green…..

h202 or o579

h202 , o579

h202 ~ withered green

o579 ~ faded olives

my favorite green is…

pt2

pt2

pt2 ~ green twisted tweed

blue…

o578 jp11

o578, jp11

o578 ~ primitive blue

jp11 ~ heavenly hue

red….

o510

o510

o510 ~ terracotta twist

pink….

jp5, jp6

jp5, jp6

jp5 ~ nantucket rose

jp6 ~ muddy pots

orange….

o505

o505

o505 ~ toffee pearl

brown….

h212, p9

h212, p9

h212 ~ faded brown

p9 ~ bronze

black…..

3 or 8112

1, 8112

1 ~ black

8112 ~ black medium

I get almost all my size 12 perle cotton Valdani from Snowflakememories.com ~ click here, and I use a Cameo needle set to the lowest loop height (#1).

 

I hope this helps ~ thank you for your question, Sonja!

may you all enjoy a warm and wonderful weekend!

rebecca

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

happy new year…..

Happy New Year to you and yours!  I hope your eve was warm, happy and safe…

Did you keep any resolutions in 2013 that made you content and joyful?

I met one of my goals for 2013.  I, at last, listed several of my “patterns” on etsy ~ whew!  If you’d like to take a look, click here.  This, for some reason, has been a huge ordeal for me….  possibly because my patterns are just very rough line drawings ~ no instructions, no suggestions, no floss or wool lists.  Apparently, I believe most people want more than just a sketch to work from…. Anyway, there they are, on etsy, finally.WhiteRoseVintageGraphicsFairy0091

may all your happy dreams for 2014 come true!

 

rebecca

p.s. thank you graphics fairy for the clip art!