a donkey’s dream…

Are you familiar with Apifera Farm?  Yes?  No?  It’s a delightful place… a place for dreaming, a place to rest, a place of kindness… gentleness….. and generosity….

visit apifera farm by clicking here

visit apifera farm by clicking here

Apifera farm is a place of sanctuary…. sanctuary ~ what a lovely, lovely word ~ The farm was created by Katherine Dunn and her husband Martyn.  It’s become a place of refuge for animals who have been used and/or abused, a place for misfits and a place where Katherine bakes pie…


“A grumpy pig can be herself” ~katherine dunn

As something of a misfit myself, I felt completely at home the very first time I visited Apifera Farm (via the internet), and I was hooked.  “what,” i asked myself, “could be sweeter than to be part of such a place?, a place overflowing with hope, a place filled to the brim with all things endearing.”, and so, I’ve been following and supporting Katherine Dunn and her “misfits” ever since.

3.15g Katherine Dunn is more than a good Samaritan, more than a farmer, more than a baker of pie.  She’s a writer and an artist (and a grower of lavender… i love lavender), she has a book in the works right now, in fact.  It will be the second Apifera Farm book to be published.  Here’s the cover of the farm’s first book…

apifera farm's first book

apifera farm’s first book.  don’t you just love katherine’s artwork?

When you visit her farm/blog you will meet the finest of creatures, and you’ll find ample opportunity for helping these misfits, should you choose.  You may even find your way to helping Katherine publish her new book,  Donkey Dream {A Love Story of Pie & Farm}.  You can read a bit about the book by visiting Katherine’s blog, here, or by visiting kickstarter.com, here. Ellis can tell you all about being a misfit ~ about being neglected and abandoned ~ about the difference a tiny bit of kindness, a small lump of generosity, can make….

"there aren't any cushions to share when you're abandoned" ~ ellis

“there aren’t any cushions to share when you’re abandoned” ~ ellis

"there aren't any catnip sockies to attack when you're abused." ~ ellis

“there aren’t any catnip sockies to attack when you’re abused.” ~ ellis

"there's no place to rest your head when you're thrown." ~ ellis

“there isn’t any place to rest your head when you’re thrown away like a worn out glove.” ~ ellis

And so, Ellis and I hope that you’ll visit Apifera Farm and fall in love with Katherine’s creatures and creations, just like we did.

may life always treat you with kindness….


thank you to Katherine Dunn and Apifera Farm for allowing me to use their beautiful photographs, and for giving me the opportunity to be part of something i believe in!

polly minick designs….

The other day, fellow puncher Nancy contacted me about a Polly Minick design she wanted to punch using Valdani floss.  I googled “Polly Minick” and was instantly smitten with her hooked rug patterns.  Have you seen them?

polly minick's "american summer"

polly minick’s “american summer”

(You can click here to visit one of her sites where her pattern books are available.)  I found a contact email for her and immediately sent her a message asking if she would allow me to punch her designs and sell the finishes.  She was so nice and wrote back giving me permission ~ what a thrill!  The only sad part is that she has retired completely from designing and hooking professionally, but ~ hurrah! ~ she has lots of books to be explored!  I can’t wait!

polly minick's, "moby dick" with my valdani color choices

polly minick’s, “moby dick” with my valdani color choices

I ordered Mrs. Minick’s, “American Summer” and decided to start with the pattern that Nancy had asked me about, “Moby Dick”.  One of the things I love about this particular book is that all the patterns are the perfect size for tracing on weavers cloth ~ simple!



It didn’t take me long to punch this fun piece ~ the shapes are so straight-forward, and the colors Mrs. Minick used for her rugs were just right, I didn’t have to think at all, just threaded my needles and went to work.

finished but not steamed

finished but not steamed

I used the ticking I’ve become addicted to for the back and edge.  I wanted to show you the above pic so you could see how tight I pull my thread when edging.  I’ve been asked how I get the scallop edge, and the answer is, I pull my thread so tight that the punched piece curls.  Then I give it a good steaming with my Rowenta pressure steamer and….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…voila!  This finished piece measures somewhere in the neighborhood of 10″x4″ or 5″.  I haven’t listed Moby on etsy yet, but I will.  Next up, one of Polly Minick’s bathing beauties….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love her bathing suit!  I have one that’s very similar, but a little longer ~ gotta love those modesty suits.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am so very ready for summer!

Since I’ve been busy playing with my Valdani threads and needles, my friends have had to entertain themselves for the most part….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemember the rug I’ve been weekend-hooking?  Well, “somebody”…

"who, me?" ~ ellis, aka "the claw"

“who, me?” ~ ellis, aka “the claw”

…has been “helping” me regress Monday~Friday….

thanks, ellis

thanks, ellis, i never knew you were such an accomplished reverse hooker

As for Lilly, she’s been busy organizing her q~tips.

"i'll put them all in the sink ~ perfect!"  ~lilly

“i’ll put them all in the sink ~ perfect!” ~lilly

Otis spends some of his time observing Lilly’s technique…

"way to go miss lou!" ~otis

“way to go miss lou!” ~otis

….part of his time assisting Ellis….

"did you get all rebecca's wool un-hooked, yet, ellis? ~otis

“did you get all rebecca’s wool un-hooked, yet, ellis? ~otis

…and part of his time helping me with my Valdani.IMG_2606The sun is shining here today ~ I hope it’s shining for you, too!





elvis has left the building….

“Elvis has left the building”… that about sums it up for me.  I’m not an Elvis fan, but substitute the words “my muse” for “Elvis” in the preceding sentence and you may get a sense of how I’m feeling…. No?  Still not making sense?  Perhaps a visual will help.  This is how I feel:



That is actually a picture of me, on an airplane, but it demonstrates my level of productivity.  I’m totally uninspired, creatively bereft, stagnant, cocooned.  Could it be this relentless winter?

winter? what winter?

winter? what winter?

Yep, that’s a building in the above photo.  It’s one of the local high schools.  We have a tiny bit of snow.  Just a wee bit.

Here’s my mother-in-law…char

…she’s nearly 6 feet tall.  

Depending on which source I reference, we’ve had somewhere in the neighborhood of 130″ ~ 150″ of snow, so far…. SO FAR!  and it’s STILL snowing!

Don’t misunderstand me, I LIKE  winter, it’s Lovely! but I think it’s affecting my brain.  I have all sorts of fun projects I could be working on….


s is for sheep

This little sheep is waiting patiently for her future to be Now.  Can I muster up the energy to fill her with fluff and mount her on a pull toy? no.


g is for giraffe

How much fun could I be having putting the above giraffe together with one, almost twice as big, that I have punched, stained, stitched and ready to stuff?  Sooo much fun!  Am I having fun?? no.

e is for elephant

e is for elephant

I could be choosing colors for “E is for Elephant”, but am I?

I’m sure I’m not alone.  Not only are some of you in the same predicament, ~ in fact, you may have even More Snow ~  but my companions are also “taking advantage” of the UNbelievable amount of outside fluff and catching up on their nap time.





As I sit quietly in my chair, awaiting the return of inspiration, all I can hear (aside from the howling wind) is a soft snoring.  It’s all most soporific and I feel myself nodding off.  Ah well, tomorrow is another day, perhaps THE day when a hint of Spring will waft its way into our lives….  Not according to the weatherman, however.

Until the time when I’m feeling up to doing more than pecking out a sentence or two with one finger, I leave you with a fabulous antique rug ~ look at those colors!  Wouldn’t it make a fun and relatively simple punch needle?

a horse and a horse, of course

a horse and a horse, of course, of course

Feel free to grab the above picture, trace it and punch or hook it!  Oh, and be sure to send me a photo of your finish….. maybe I’ll be able to ride on the coattails of your creativity!

may you be warm and merry!