red is the new neutral…

The color red has been catching my eye, lately, so when I saw this design from Lori Brechlin I knew it was my next project.

lori's tulip

lori’s tulip

The neutral colors Lori chose for the border and central motif made the red seem like an extension of said neutrals, at least to my mind.

Ellis helped me throughout this project, didn’t you Ellis?

"yep" ~ellis

“yep” ~ellis

Here are the colors I chose for my Tulip:

"i chose these colors myself!" ~ellis

i chose these colors myself!” ~ellis

These are all Valdani #12 perle cotton which I punched using the lowest setting (#1) on my Cameo needle.  From left to right they are:

5 ~ ecru

h205 ~ ancient gold

p5 ~ tarnished gold

pt2 ~ green twisted tweed

160 ~ light maroon

o510 ~ terracotta twist

What do you think of the colors “I” chose, Ellie?

"wow! fabulous!" ~ellis

“wow! fabulous!” ~ellis

Here’s the tulip mid-project.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s the finished piece.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made it into a pillow stuffed with crushed walnut shells.  Here’s the back.

i love little pockets

i love little pockets

So, you see, with a lot of help from Ellis I’m able to start and finish a project!

You can find this and other Lori Brechlin patterns by visiting her blog here.

You can see more pics of my tulip on etsy, if you’d like by clicking here.

What are you working on?

May you have all the assistance you require!




making cards…..

A couple of years ago, Lori Brechlin invited me to be part of her “Ghoultide” celebration/sale at Notforgotten Farm.   After it was over, I sent her a thank you note, and I had so much fun making it that I thought I’d share the process with you…. better late than never!



Above are the supplies I gathered together to make the thank you card.  Distress Ink, stamps, plain notecards, and a piece of plastic (Saran wrap works well).



I used Distress Ink in Walnut Stain to stamp, lightly, a pattern around the perimeter of the plain notecard.  Then, using the same ink, I took my piece of plastic, wadded it up into a ball, applied some Distress Ink to the plastic and rubbed it lightly all over the notecard, emphasizing the edges.

done aging

done aging

Now, the whole notecard is lightly aged.

stitch, stitch

stitch, stitch

Using the zig zag stitch on my sewing machine, I sewed all the way around the edge of the notecard.

mod podge and tea bag paper

mod podge and tea bag paper

Then, with Mod Podge at the ready, and a used tea bag, which I emptied of tea, dried, and unfolded, I made a patch on the inside of the card.

stamp, stamp

stamp, stamp

Before adhering the tea bag, I stamped “Thank You” where the patch will lay (or is it lie?  I can never remember the lay, lie, laid rule).

all glued...

all glued...

That tea bag surely makes the “Thank You” pop!

a few embellishments

a few embellishments

Now, I need to decorate the front of the card.  I’m thinking aged tags and antique buttons.PA260055-1

A few stamped letters and the card is all done!PA260053

I love making cards, but they do take TONS of time ~ I mean HOURS!  How about you?  Do you make your own thank you’s?


I’d love to see some!




little witch……

I’ve finished a few (a very few) things this week.  Up first is a White Witch…..

white witch

white witch

This is a design from Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm ~ click here for Lori’s blog.    This piece was right up my alley….. neutral colors, simple subject ~ what two more forgiving  characteristics could I ask for?



I mounted White Witch on a salvaged piece of wood from a steamer trunk.  I love the original plaid paper!



On the right side of the wood backing, just about level with the pumpkin, you can see an original steamer-trunk-tack.  I love little touches like that!

I know Lilly is all about authentic details like steamer trunk tacks… aren’t you Lilly?

"what?" ~ the lilly-kins

“what?” ~ the lilly-kins

Well…. Ellis is detail oriented, aren’t you Ellis?

"oh my gosh.  you aren't going to bother me about every little thing, are you?" ~ the elle-belle

“oh my gosh. you aren’t going to bother me about every little thing, are you?” ~ the elle-belle

Oh well.  You can find White Witch in my etsy shop by clicking here if you’d like.


Until the next finish, be happy!



phm update…..

It’s time for October’s Primitive Handmades Mercantile update!  Here’s what I’m offering this month….

a tiny bit of merry

a tiny bit of merry

The three punched pieces are from a design by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm (click here for Lori’s blog).  I found the wee, bitty wreath on Amazon (click here).  It’s billed as a 10″ wreath, but that is a real stretch.  The opening in the center is just 2″ across, and when I fanned the wreath out as much as I could without damaging it, I was able to get it to measure 7″ across.  Perfect for this particular application, I think.


If you’d like to visit me on PHM click here.  To get to PHM’s homepage, click here.

Enjoy the weekend!



thoughtful thursday…..

It’s a rainy day here, but the world is awash in Autumn’s palette.  I wish I could photograph the nearly neon glow I see outside my window to share with you… somehow my point-and-shot isn’t up to the challenge.  So, here’s a snippit I like almost as much as I love Fall’s brilliance…..

you were expecting a more serious thought from me, weren't you?  some days i just gotta laugh!

you were expecting a more serious thought from me, weren’t you? some days i just gotta laugh!

Laugh out loud whenever you can!



apple cider……

apples, apples, apples....

apples, apples, apples ~ macs, galas, honey crisp, pink ladies, red delicious….

Have you ever made apple cider?  I haven’t until now, and I’m not sure I can even claim to have made it at this point, though I did wash a few fruit….

christy and me washing, washing, washing apples....

christy and me washing, washing, washing apples….

Randy and I were invited to the annual Pentwater Cider pressing extravaganza by our Irish/American friends, Deirdre and Adam…

deirdre ~ irish, adam ~ michigander

whoopee!, aren’t they cute?  deirdre ~ irish, adam ~ michigander …. aren’t they the best?!  i just love them!

By golly, I’ve never experienced anything like it….

20 bushels of apples, all different varieties, all needing to be sorted/combined…

my randy and ireland's best -loved-citizen deirdre

my randy and ireland’s best -loved-citizen deirdre, sorting/combing apples

After sorting, or combining, or whatever we did, the apples then had to be washed (or “warshed”, as my grandpa would say). Once the happy apples have been sorted/combined and washed they have to be crushed, smushed, chopped and grated…..



That’s what the above machine does.  Like a wood chipper, it pares the apples down to a manageable, smush-able, crushable, press-able size…..

nobody does it better...

nobody does it better…

apple chips...

apple chips…

Adam’s in charge of the pressing….


adam…….. wow!…….

He does a great job!  Look!….

ohhhhhh, yummmmmm

ohhhhhh, yummmmmm… golden goodness….

Does that cylinder look familiar?  It’s a washing machine drum/ cum cider press.  Stainless steel…. what could be more sanitary?



It takes but a few moments from apple to cider…..

filter, filter, filter.....

filter, filter, filter…..

The cider has to be filtered before consumption…..  See that guy holding the  funnel?  He’s the one that created every single bit of cider-pressing machinery, from wood chipper/ cum apple chipper to washing machine drum/ cum apple press, all these discarded/found objects (sterilized thoroughly first, of course…. right?!) are the vision of one really creative mind.   I don’t think I could ever look at a washing machine or a wood chipper as anything but a washing machine and a wood chipper, but he has the apple cider vision!!  So, with all this genius, what do we get???



Ooodles.  I mean, oodles of Cider!  Bring On The Doughnuts!

chris and christy.... absolutely essential to the process...  no cider without C and C!

christy and chris…. absolutely essential to the process… no cider without C and C!

Chirsty and Chris are old hats when it comes to pressing…..

but what about the cats?

Okay, so there weren’t any cats involved…..

"what? no cats?" ~ ellis

“what? no cats?” ~ ellis

"no cats??? look at me! i'm sitting in a sink ~ who else could do this?" ~ otis

“no cats??? look at me! i’m sitting in a sink ~ who else could do this?” ~ otis

"no cats? not a single cat? what is UP  with that?????" ~ lilly

“no cats? not a single cat? what is UP with that?????” ~ lilly

I know, I know, I’m sorry… but there were DOGS assisting… and while DOGS aren’t CATS, they do have something to offer… right?

"u betcha!" ~rosco and molly

“u betcha!” ~rosco and molly

"are you kidding me.... cats??? what's a cat??? a cat could never press ANYTHING!"  ~suki

“are you kidding me…. cats??? what’s a cat??? a cat could never press ANYTHING!” ~suki

Regardless of cats or dogs, Randy and I had the time of our lives, and can’t wait until next year!!

Cider and doughnuts??? Yummmmm!  Bring.  It.  On!! …..