santas, santas….

here comes santa claus!

“where?” ~lilly
“where?” ~ellis

well, actually, you have to look indoors…

“where?” ~lilly
“where?” ~ellis
“where?” ~otis

i’ve been working on two santas this fall.  the first one is a traditional red and white…

st. nick

the tiny stocking he carries is fully lined and functional and was a total pain to make. 

what do you think ellis?

“zzzzzzz…..” ~ellis

apparently, ellis isn’t thrilled.  maybe the next santa will be met with more enthusiasm….

santa

personally, i love the muted colors of this santa.  and, again, the stocking he carries is fully lined and functional, and was a total pain to make.

santa doesn’t have to carry his stocking everywhere.

what do you think, lilly?

“i think i’d rather play with a tiny roll of wool than put together a tiny stocking.” ~lilly

i must say, i agree with lilly.

you can see the red st. nick on my etsy shop by clicking here.  the other santa has sold.

now, we just need some snow!

be well, friends!

 

~rebecca

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

taking a risk…..

notforgotten farm “home” click here for her blog

 

i miss hooking.  really, really miss it.  so, today i stepped way outside my comfort zone and spent money i don’t have to invest in a future i really want to pursue.

bee line townsend 14″ rug hooking frame

i purchased this rug hooking frame….

bee line townsend #10 long cutter kit

… and this cutter from The Merry Hooker ~ click here for her shop.

 

this is an investment, a big one, and i’m somewhat terrified.  why?  well, for three reasons:

ellis, otis and lilly on the track of “something” (i don’t even want to know what).

 

my 3 best friends are also my worst enemies when it comes to hooking.  they want to lounge, languish and lie on my rugs… not just the finished ones, which they love to pull apart, but more importantly the ones that i’m working on… while i’m working on them.  i’m hoping, hoping, hoping, that now that they’re a little older they’ll allow me to hook without playing with my wool strips, napping on my lap, biting my hook, and generally making themselves PRESENT….

 

wish me luck!

 

rebecca

2 cats 2 birds finish, and cats….

IMG_4988

“don’t take a picture now, we’re sleeping.” ~lilly and ellis

Lilly’s been feeling that the live feline element has been lacking in my recent posts…..

IMG_4879

“don’t take my picture now, i’m sleeping.” ~otis

I’ve mentioned to her that pictures of cats sleeping leaves some excitement to be desired….

IMG_4886

“go away. i’m trying to sleep.” ~ellis

She told me she’d try to galvanize her cohorts into action…

IMG_4872

“my eyes are open. any minute now, ellis and i will do something photo worthy…. though, we may need a little snooze before that happens.” ~lilly

Thus far, the results have been poor at best…

So, we’ll move on to our 2 Cats 2 Birds project.

first staining

stained

I soaked the finished embroidery in coffee for a while, squeezed it, and let it dry.  But, I feel like this is too much staining, so….

rinsed

rinsed

I rinsed out some of the coffee and let the piece dry again.  I’m much happier with this level of aging.

trimmed

trimmed

Next, I trim the weavers cloth.  I’m planning to use the remaining weavers cloth as the backing.

pressing

pressing

I prefer to have the backing completely hidden from the front view, so I fold and press it back as much as possible.

three sides done

three sides done

For the fourth side, I fold the weavers….

first fold

first fold

…so that when I press the final edge I’ll have a nice, clean finish…

ready to stitch

ready to stitch

I like using this method for my antique-hooked-rug-inspired embroideries.  The back is reminiscent of an envelope which brings to mind days gone by when writing, mailing and delivering letters was something of an art.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sometimes, I like to hide my stitches, but this time I think I’ll let them shine.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

all stitched

I give the back a good pressing, then…

a little identity

a little identity

…sign and date the back.

finished

finished

And, we’re done!

antique original

antique original

Above is the original, though a very poor quality picture.  Below is my version…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What a fun project this was!  I’d love to see your finishes and share them here if you allow me to!

 

enjoy the day!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

2 cats 2 birds pattern and colors….

original 2 cats 2 birds

original 2 cats 2 birds

2 cats 2 birds pattern

2 cats 2 birds pattern

 

Here’s the pattern I drew, it measures about 8″x4″, but you can make any size you want.  Feel free to grab it and use it for your own personal project!  (of course, as usual, please no mass production of pattern or finishes.)  Now to transfer the pattern to the weavers cloth….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and I’m ready to begin punching.  Oh, I did alter the birds a little bit so that they more closely resemble the original.

Onto colors!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ll be using Valdani #12 perle cotton, two strands each, in my medium Cameo needle set at #1:

5 ~ cat outline and features

146 ~ border

p4 ~ birds and border

196 ~ lighter background

0505 ~ cats

h212 ~ darker background

I purchase my Valdani from Snowflake Memories.  You can visit their shop by clicking here.  Note:  Snowflake Memories is on vacation until April 16, 2015.

I’ll start punching with my two favorite colors….

5, p4

5, p4

Will you join me in 2 Cats 2 Birds?

 

rebecca

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…..

chipper

chipper

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........

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?

cider!

cider!

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???

ciderrrrrrrr.........

ciderrrrrrrr………

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!! …..

 

rebecca

 

 

meet george and gracie….

My sister recently rescued two adorable kittens ~ I thought you’d like to meet them.

george on the left, gracie on the right

george on the left, gracie on the right

They are busy, busy, busy and they have a lot to do, so getting a clear photo of either of them is nearly impossible!

gracie...

gracie…

Gracie is a gorgeous, tiny, bit-of-a-thing.

george...

george…

George is a big, beautiful kitten who is  going to be a big, beautiful cat.

….and, those are the only clear (ish) pics I have of the hundreds my sister and I have taken of George and Gracie.  3 out of 300 isn’t too bad, is it?

 

enjoy the day!

 

rebecca