a horse and a snowman….

if you’ve been following me, you know that i’ve been struggling with thumb pain for about a year.  that seems to have subsided (hooray!) so i punched a few things which resulted in an incredible burning pain from my elbow to my wrist.  ah, these things are sent to test us, aren’t they ellis?

“sh! quit complaining! at least your thumb doesn’t hurt anymore.” ~ellis

however, i was able to finish a couple of pieces.  one is an antique rug inspiration.  here’s the original rug….

antique rug

i love the muted background and the unexpected red and black highlights, don’t you ellis?

“what?” ~ellis

regardless of ellis’s opinion, i did actually finish my adaptation…

antique rug inspired

usually, when i finish an antique inspired piece i simply turn back the weavers cloth and use it for the backing.  this time i backed this piece with ticking and edged it with the same fabric….

back of “horse”

and added a pocket, because i love pockets (shouldn’t all clothing have pockets?), and a button to hold an id tag.

the other piece i finished was a little snowman…

“snow” snowman

these pieces are so fun to make, and they’re so happy!  This snowman is also backed with ticking….

ticking, ticking, give me ticking!

and a tiny pocket.

 

You can see these pieces, and more, at my etsy shop by clicking here.

 

wishing you some peace in this time of uncertainty.

 

~rebecca

horse on a hill colors….

Diana asked me, a while…. quite a while ago, for the colors I used on Lori Brechlin’s Horse On A Hill design.  Here’s my finished piece…

horse on a hill, design by lori brechlin

horse on a hill, design by lori brechlin

What a FUN project this was, way back in 2012.  Here’s Lori’s blog link where you just may be able to find this awesome design… click here.  The above photo shows Horse on a Hill stained and aged.  Below shows it in it’s “virgin”, just punched, state….

no stains here

no stains here

It’s amazing what a little coffee will do!   And, here are the colors I used….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bottom row, left to right:  5, p3, H205, P9, P6

Top row, left to right:  JP11, 100, JP9, O579

Here’s what I used each for:

5 ~ for the lightest bits ~ scallops along edge, barn and fence

P3 ~ barn roof, spots on horse

H205 ~ large sunflower

P9 ~ horse, sunflower centers and a bit of the scalloped edge

P6 ~ small sunflower

JP11 ~ lighter background

100 ~ bluer background

JP9 ~ light green part of the hill

O579 ~ dark green part of the hill

These are all Valdani perle cotton #12 flosses which I used on my Cameo punch needle set at the lowest setting (#1), using two strands of each floss.

I hope this helps you, Diana, and anyone else interested in reenacting this version of Horse on a Hill!

 

Take care y’all!

 

rebecca

p.s. are you ready for Santa???

ticking horse pattern….

front

ticking horse

Bonnie wrote me earlier this summer and asked if I had a pattern for Ticking Horse.  The answer was, of course, no.  (I don’t know why it is, but I never do draw patterns on paper, at least not until someone writes and asks me to.)  However, I told Bonnie I would get to work on the design and let her know when it was ready……. MONTHS later, here it is, the simplest of simple sketches which you are welcome to use as you’d like, except of course for copying and selling the pattern itself or for mass production.

ticking horse pattern

ticking horse pattern

I think you should be able to grab the above image and drag it to your desktop where you can fiddle with the size and dimensions, if you’d like, before printing.

You may be wondering about the riders head.  “Why”, you may be asking yourself, “does his head look like the Tin Man’s in the Wizard Of Oz?”  Well, I’ve discovered over time that it’s helpful to have something to attach the hat to ~ something more substantial than just the very top of a head.  So, that pointy-funnel-type thing gets punched just like the rest of the head, and when it is stitched to the backing fabric, turned and stuffed it will fit nicely inside the hat giving one something to stitch hat to head.

For the original Ticking Horse I used the following Valdani colors:

left to right:  Valdani 5, blue, and H212

left to right: Valdani 5 ecru, o 575 blue, and brown H212

Here’s a better photo of that blue:

valdani o 575

valdani o 575

I used Valdani 5 for the head, hand and lighter portions of the horse, Valdani O 575 for the blue part of the horse and Valdani H 212 for the rider’s suit and hat.  I also used white for the rider’s collar, shirt front and cuff.

As with most of my punching I used my Cameo needle on the lowest (#1) setting and two strands of #12 Valdani perle cotton.

The fabric I used for the backing looks like this:

vintage-inspired ticking

vintage-inspired ticking

See how it has a thick blue line, a skinny white line, a thick blue line, a thicker white line, a skinny blue line and a thicker white line.  I punched that pattern like this:

Two rows of blue (O 575)

One row of ecru (5)

Two rows of blue (O 575)

Three rows of ecru (5)

One row of blue (O 575)

Three rows of ecru (5)

You can visit this post to see a little bit more about the original Ticking Horse (and some fun kitty pics).

You can visit this post  to see how I make a make-do.

There’s thunder in the air, today.  Some of us hide in bags during storms….

ellis

ellis

lilly

lilly

… and some of us need our paws held.

"it's ok rebecca, the storm will soon pass" ~ the oatbran

“it’s ok rebecca, the storm will soon pass” ~ the oatbran

Until next time, enjoy those sunny skies!

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

h is for horse….

horse

horse

“I” started working on this horse the other day.   I’m planning to make a pull toy from the finished embroidery.  I decided to use Valdani H205 for the spots and 4 for the background.  When I say “I” started working, I really mean….

me and oatsy

me and oatsy

…Otis has been doing the work and I’ve been napping.

polka dots galore

polka dots galore

I love polka dots, though I have to admit I’m not a fan of punching them, which is why The Oatbran has been doing the embroidering.

"my thumb is the perfect floss holder." ~ otis

“my thumb is the perfect floss holder.” ~ otis

Once Otis finished the dots I got to work on the background.

two more colors...

two more colors…

And, I added two more neutrals to the mix:  Valdani 3 and 5.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext, this horse will take a coffee bath.  While he dries, I’m going to start another horse project.

h is for horse

h is for horse

Otis isn’t around to help me with the dots so…

lilly

lilly

…maybe I can persuade Lilly to lend a paw?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADoesn’t she do lovely work?  Now all I have to do is background!

 

wishing you all the help you’ll ever need!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

ticking horse….

lilly says hello

lilly waves hello

I have this fabric that I love…

vintage-inspired ticking

vintage-inspired ticking

…of course, I love almost all ticking, but there’s something about this dark blue and cream stripe… it brings to mind old Americana and things that are soft and warm.

As I was looking through my Valdani perle cottons the other day, I realized that I have a blue that matches this fabric perfectly.

left to right:  Valdani 5, blue, and H212

left to right: Valdani 5, blue, and H212

Just look at all those beautiful variations in that blue ~ isn’t it lovely?  I’ll bet you’d like to know what Valdani it is, wouldn’t you?  Yes?  Well, so would I.  However, I always give the little paper discs with the perle cotton identification to Lilly, who loves playing with them as much as I love playing with the Valdani.  I always think to myself, “I’ll remember the color code because I like this color so much.”  MmmHmmm.  Not a chance.  So, what’s a girl to do?  I don’t know about you, but this girl goes to snowflakememories.com and orders every ball of blue perle cotton available. Surely, when my box of blues arrives in the post, one of those balls will be the right blue!

In the meantime, I have enough of the mystery blue to work on a project I have in mind.  Keeping things as simple as possible, I decide to use just the three colors in the above photo to create a horse and rider make-do.

beginning the ticking

beginning the ticking

As I finish punching the rider, I consider the ticking possibilities.  I could tick along in parallel lines, just like the fabric and have a horizontal striped horse when I’m finished.  I think that would look nice.  Instead, I decide to punch the ticking in blocks of opposing lines for a more whimsical look.

punched and stained

punched and stained

This pattern of blocks reminds me of old quilts.

stitched, turned and pressed

stitched, turned and pressed

I want to stuff this horse and rider, so I sew the vintage-inspired ticking to the back of the horse, rider and the riders hat.  Now, I’ll be able to make a pillow.

stuffed and rocker

stuffed and rocker

I’m going to make this a rocking make-do, so using the same ticking I cover a slice of an antique wood bowl.

ready to ride

ready to ride

A mane, tail and button eye complete the horse.

back

back

I capped the ends of the rocker with coordinating fabric, added a few antique metal tacks and nails and …

front

front

…voila!  My rocking horse is (not) quite done!

The question becomes, what shall I do now?  Shall I decide that Ticking Horse is finished?  Or, does it need a set of perle cotton reins?  Does the rider need a monocle button and string over his “eye” (which doesn’t actually exist)?  I address my questions to Lilly….

hello?

hello?

…no response.  Ellis and Otis?

"go 'way"

“go ‘way”

 

What do you think?  Should I leave it as is, or do a bit more primping?  Comments/suggestions welcome!

May there be sunshine in your heart today and every day!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

rocking horse…

I thought to myself, a long time ago, that it would be fun to make a punch needle rocking horse.  So, I drew a simple horse on weavers cloth and adorned it with one of my favorite Bird in the Hand Primitives designs.  This was the easy, dreamy part, whence everything seemed possible!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I started punching with my favorite hues and added a tiny bit of orange and blue for a bit of something-or-other.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I punched horizontally for the head, tail and around the central motif…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and vertically on the legs and back.  The mane was great fun!  I punched it long and fluffy….

and then I stuck…. and stuck and stuck.  For several weeks I looked at my horse and my horse looked at me.

Suddenly, and I’ve really no clear idea how it happened, all at once, in one fell creative swoop, my horse was finished.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I used a wood strap, salvaged from an antique trunk and some of its decorative hardware to make the rocker.  Inside the legs are wood dowels through which screws anchor the horse to the rocker.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I visited my favorite site for free vintage clip art.  Graphics Fairy is unparalleled for unique and wonderful ephemera.  I used bits and pieces for both the rocker and a paper tag.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe tag on the right is the same type of tag I covered.  The tag on the left has clip art Mod Podged  on both sides and is waiting to be antiqued.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Now, the tag on the left has been rubbed with a Distress Ink ink pad in Walnut Stain.  Once the ink dried, I applied One Step Crackle and rubbed it again with the Distress Ink.  Though you can’t see the crackles in this photo, they are there and add some nice age and softness.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I backed my horse with stained weavers cloth and added a homespun patch.

ta da

ta da

So, there you have it!

On to the next project…. perhaps a rocking sheep, or cat, or….??

Now that winter’s nearly at its end, May all your spring bulbs of creativity bloom beautifully!

rebecca

p.s.

You can see Rocking Horse on etsy if you’d like.

magdalena horses finished…

Here, at last, is Magdalena Horses.  What a fun, educational project this has been!  I finished this one just as I would a pillow without the stuffing.  First, I stitched the right side of the punch needle to the right side of the wool I chose.

stitching right sides together

Then, I cut along both short edges of the wool, close to the stitches.

cutting short sides

Next, I cut through the middle of the wool, length-wise.

cutting long through middle of wool

I’m left with two flaps, one on the top edge of the punch needle and one on the bottom edge.

two flaps

These flaps will become my lamb’s tongue edging, eventually.  Before I steam the flaps open with my iron, I add another piece of wool over the wool that I just stitched in place.  I place my stitches just inside those of the flap-wool stitches.

second piece of wool stitched in place

This second piece of wool will become the backing of the finished punch needle.  Now, I cut a slit in the middle  of the back of the wool and turn the whole piece, so that the flaps are sticking out and the right side of Magdalena Horses is facing front.

front

Front with the flaps open.

back

Back with the slit I cut for turning purposes.

Now I snip the flaps using pinking shears, fairly close to the edge of the stitching.  Then, using a sharp pair of little scissors, I snip between each pinking, cutting a bit of wool away from each pinking so that they are separate lamb’s tongues.

tiny lamb’s tongues

The back gets a weavers cloth label stitched over the slit in the wool.

back view with label

The entire piece gets a good, hard steam/press with my steam iron, and my Magdalena Horses is complete!

ta da!

I think I will be including Magdalena Horses in my Primitive Handmades Mercantile update this coming Friday.  🙂

Thank you to all of you for your kind comments and encouragement! If you have done or are planning to do Magdalena Horses, I would love to share your pictures!

Enjoy your week!

rebecca

magdalena horses punched…

Hurrah!  I’ve finished (nearly) the punched version of Magdalena’s Horses.  After the brown threads were punched I started on the grey.

Valdani P3

Then, completed the little corner of dark blue.   Here is Magdalena’s hooked rug.

original rug

 

The above picture is the original from which I took my inspiration.  The photo below is my attempt.

my punched magdalena horses

Although there are always things I would change about a punched piece once I’ve finished, I’m going to leave this one alone, with one exception.  The white horse, in the original, has a pink eye, and though I’m more comfortable with a horse that has a grey eye, I think I’ll change that little detail.  🙂   After I’ve fixed that, I will do the coffee staining which, I’m hoping, will soften the hard edges a bit.

One thing I’m thinking about as I’m completing magdalena’s horses, is the lamb’s tongue edging.  If you look closely at the original, you will see that the top and bottom edges of the rug have, what looks to me like, grey wool lamb’s tongues.  hmmm….  I’m not sure how I’ll be approaching that, yet, but I’ll let you know!  In the meantime, I think I’ll take a page out of Otis’s book…

cat nap, anyone?

…and perhaps I’ll dream of rug hooking!

lovely linen ~ the beginning of the imagined rug

 

until next time, be warm and happy!

 

rebecca

white horse…

I’m making some progress on my Magdalena Horses, the finished dimensions of which will be approximately 10.5″x4″.  I punched the white horse using a simple ecru pearl cotton from Valdani ~ this is Valdani 5, which is the color code.  I also started on the center star using Valdani P4.  So far so good!  However…

…when I filled in the outer part of the star using Valdani 6 my inner bit disappeared!  So…

…out came the P4.  One thing I really like about the pearl cotton is that, if I’m careful, I can pull it out without breaking the strands and then I’m able to reuse my floss ~ that’s a happy thought at $4.50/ball!  Now, I’ll punch in using a darker shade:  P3.

So much better!  Now, with the flowers, star and horses done I can get to work on the background.  🙂

 

Wishing you quiet progress on whatever project you have planned for today!

 

See you next time!

 

rebecca