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

spring seeds…..

My dear friend, Diane, sent me some sunflower seeds from her garden in Minnesota…

diane's seeds

diane’s seeds

Aren’t they sweet?

Now, I am not much of a “start from scratch” kind of person, but these seeds are special.

So, I decided to make some little bitty newspaper pots and plant them right away.  I gathered my supplies….

all set

all set

Newspaper, water, soil, seeds, scissors (which are around someplace), a scoop and a bottle.  I have to show you the little jar that I put the seeds in….

just a wee little jar

just a wee little jar

I love this vessel!  I’ve had it for a few years and haven’t figured out what to do with it, so it’s been sitting in a drawer, waiting.  Thanks to Diane it finally serves a purpose.

My foreman checks my supplies…

"looks like you've got things under control."  ~ lilly

“looks like you’ve got things under control.” ~ lilly

I get started by cutting the newspaper into quarters…

all cut up

all cut up

Fold a long edge twice…

two times is the charm

twice is the charm

Find the bottle that I’m using….

rhubarb hops

rhubarb hops

This little bottle was filled with Rhubarb Hops ~ oh yum!  If you ever make it to Grand Rapids, Michigan, stop in at the Downtown Market.  It’s full of food shops and restaurants.  There is a distillery that carries all kinds of Michigan liquors and also a variety of hops syrups!

On to the newspaper pots…

all wrapped up

all wrapped up

I wrapped the newspaper around the bottle with the folded edge toward the bottom of the bottle.

ready to fold

ready to fold

You can see that the newspaper hangs off the bottom of the bottle a good ways.  That’s so the paper can be folded to make the bottom of the pot….

ready

ready

Now I’m ready to remove the bottle upon which, the paper pot immediately unfurls and is useless.  That’s okay!

I just fold it back up and hold it together with one hand while scooping in some soil with the other….

soil scooped safely

soil scooped safely

Now, I can add a wee seed….

black on black ~ not easy to photograph

black on black ~ not easy to photograph

…cover the seed with a bit of soil and just add water!

just a splash, please

just a splash, please

I go through the process a few more times and….

planted perfectly in paper

planted perfectly in paper

I soon have 4 little seeds planted somewhat neatly.

I need to keep the seeds warm and moist (and also out of paws reach), so I cover them with a cloche….

voila

voila

…and I’m done!  Now, I wait patiently for a few days, whiling away the time picking daffodils….

daffys

daffys

…which, Otis believes, mistakenly, are for him….

"the only thing prettier than a flower is me" ~ the oatbran

“the only thing prettier than a flower is me” ~ the oatbran

These daffodils immediately relocate to the mantel, out of nibbling reach.

It’s a thrilling morning when I come into the kitchen to find….

hello

hello

…a sprout!

 

wishing all the things you plant grow into beautiful possibilities!

 

rebecca

polly minick designs….

You probably know by now that I love Polly Minick’s patterns…. especially her American Summer designs (click here).  I’ve punched her Moby Dick pattern before…

big whale

big whale

This is one of my favorites.  I just love the simplicity of it… don’t you, Lilly?…

lilly?  is that you under there?

lilly? is that you under there?

Lilly is usually a lover of Polly Minick designs…..

"did you say polly minick?" ~lilly

“did you say polly minick?” ~lilly

Ah ha!  I knew Lilly’d come out for Polly!  Of course, sometimes Lilly needs a wakeup call…

"lilly???" ~ellis

“lilly???” ~ellis

Ellis is the busy-lizzie here-abouts.

In addition to Polly’s Moby Dick, I also put together a few others…

"up north"

“up north”

This, “Up North” pillow is stuffed with lavender.  I don’t know about anywhere else in the USA, but in Michigan, if you’re going on vacation May~October, you’re goin’, “up north”!

to the beach

to the beach

Randy and I used to have a place, “up north” and we had a sign just like this, pointing friends in the direction of, “the beach”.  This piece was inspired by Polly’s designs and by my own….what do you guys think?  should we go to the beach?….

"are you kidding?" lilly, ellis, otis

“are you kidding?” lilly, ellis, otis

After all, it is only March and this is what March on the beach looks like ’round here….

my sister, her children and randy

my sister, her children and randy

lighthouse

lighthouse

I altered this Polly Minick pattern a bit, but love it just the same….  here’s the back…

lighthouse back

lighthouse back

I mounted the finished embroidery on a piece of found wood and added a tiny pocket to the back.  Here’s what the lighthouse down the road from our house actually looks like in March…

lake michigan at her gentlest in march.  she can be MUCH fiercer!

lake michigan at her gentlest in march. she can be MUCH fiercer!

 

You can see these pieces on my etsy shop by clicking here, if you’d like.

It may be only March, but I am ready for summer!  How about you?

 

rebecca

wynter….

lilly and ellis "help"

lilly and ellis “help”

Despite the fact that I had two cats in my lap while I punched Wynter, I was able to finish it without too much trouble.

"are you sure you're doing that right?" ~lilly

“are you sure you’re doing that right?” ~lilly

Lilly never completely trusts me with the sewing machine.

"let me get a closer look."  ~lilly

“let me get a closer look.” ~lilly

Once I have Lilly’s approval I’m able to move on with the finishing and details like a paper tag.
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I wanted Wynter to look a little like a snow globe, so I mounted it on an antique porcelain doorknob. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I love little pockets, bone buttons and ticking!

snowflakes!

snowflakes!

When I punched the snowflakes I used a higher setting on my Cameo needle.  I think I set it on #4.

Do you like snowflakes, Ellis?

IMG_6767

“snowflakes? are they edible? i’ll try anything once.” ~ellis

I stuffed Wynter with fluff and crushed walnut shells, and finished the whole piece off with a bit of ribbon.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

What do you think of Wynter, Otis?

"winter? i prefer to sleep through it, thank you." ~otis

“winter? i prefer to sleep through it, thank you.” ~otis

I also finished In The Meadow, a Lori Brechlin designs (click here for her etsy shop).

in the meadow

in the meadow

This is my second In The Meadow pillow this season.  I don’t typically punch a design more than once, but every so often a pattern pulls at my heartstrings…  Sort of like my little friend Josie does…

josie

josie

You can visit Wynter and In The Meadow in my etsy shop by clicking here, if you’d like.

wishing you a warm and happy day!

 

rebecca

 

in the meadow….

Thank you one and all for your Merry Christmas wishes!  I hope you, too, had the type of day you look forward to all year!

Thank you, also, for all your kind comments about the piece I posted!  It’s a fabulous design from Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm entitled, “In the Meadow”.  It’s available in her etsy shop (click here), or you can visit her blog which is wonderful! (click here)

I punched, “In the Meadow” while I was house sitting for my sister in November….

"i think these are good!" ~miss mudge

“i think these are good!” ~miss mudge

Little Miss Mudge helped me choose my palette.

lovely valdani

lovely valdani

I used all of the above colors, except for the two blues pictured to the right of the red floss.  Here’s how I used them from left to right:

h212 ~ date, snowman hat, eye, arms and buttons, children’s boots

o510 ~ date outline, children’s coats and hats

h205 ~ snowman nose

p3 ~ trees, children’s mittens

jp4 ~ children’s faces

5 ~ background, except around date

3 ~ snow, snowman, date background, children’s hat trim, and a little squiggle of background

punched

punched

This is how it looked before I aged the embroidery with coffee.  I get almost all my Valdani from Snowflake Memories (click here), which is a wonderful online resource for floss!

As is usual for me, I used two strands of size #12 perle cotton in my Cameo Punch Needle, set at the lowest loop height #1.

backing

backing

I backed the finished embroidery with ticking and stuffed it with sawdust from Notforgotten Farm.  Then, I added a little pocket with an antique bone button, and a paper tag.

done!

done!

Though this pillow has sold, I am working on another version which should be finished soon….

in the meadow 2

in the meadow 2

I used exactly the same Valdani colors for this one, except that instead of using the jp4 for the children’s faces I used the p3, and instead of the red o510 I used the light blue jp11, which is shown in the photo of flosses near the top of this post.

We’re still waiting for snow, here in West Michigan.  In fact, we’re still waiting for cold temps.  It was 60 degrees last Wednesday!

Wishing you a little bit of bliss today, and every day!

 

rebecca

cathy shares….

I have some incredible finishes to share with you!  Cathy is a very talented needle woman, as you saw in this post.  Recently, she sent me some photos of her latest pieces and I am simply in awe!000_1209000_1375 000_1109 000_1440 000_1276

Wow!  Aren’t they wonderful?  Cathy does not, currently, offer her patterns for sale, but the second she does I will let you know!  Thank you, Cathy, for allowing me to share your beautiful projects!

I’ve been working on some Halloween themed pieces, too.  It’s going very slowly, however, because my arms hurt.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s related to my sciatica which I’ve been spending time with lately?  Lilly’s been trying to make me feel better….

"i can fit into the smallest places on earth" ~ lilly

“i can fit into the smallest places on earth” ~ lilly

One piece that I’d really like to finish is Wytch and Cat pull toy….

wytch

wytch

The little wytch sits in her pumpkin.  She’ll have two arms and I think she’ll hold a jack-o-lantern.

cat

cat

Cat is a little bigger than Wytch.  I’m planning to use autumnal colors…

valdani

valdani

Until next time, enjoy the last slice of August!

 

rebecca

etsy update….

In addition to the phm update tonight a 9, I’ve finally updated my Etsy shop, a bit.  Here’s what you’ll find if you decide to visit….

santa and cat

santa and cat

summer swimmer 1

summer swimmer 1

summer swimmer 2

summer swimmer 2

three chickens ~ polly minick design

three chickens ~ polly minick design

2 chickens ~ antique inspired

2 chickens ~ antique inspired

1887 kitties ~ antique inspired

1887 kitties ~ antique inspired

cat sampler ~ antique inspired

cat sampler ~ antique inspired

angel and birds ~ relisted at a new price

angel and birds ~ re-listed at a new price

polka dot horse pull toy ~  relisted at a new price

polka dot horse pull toy ~ re-listed at a new price

giraffes pull toy ~  relisted at a new price

giraffes pull toy ~ re-listed at a new price

If you’d like to visit my shop you can click here.

 

enjoy the sunshine in your heart!

 

rebecca

sharing….

I’m always so thrilled when anyone sends me a photo of what they’ve been punching, and I love it when they allow me to share the images with you!  So inspiring!

Today, I have shares from Myra and Marion….

myra's posies

myra’s posies

First, I have to tell you how much I ADORE Myra’s Posies.  I love everything about the above image, from the actual punched piece, which is brilliant, to the fabric it’s resting on, to the wee little scissors sitting quietly in the offing.  Myra’s Posies is actually from one of my doodles, but I like Myra’s version so much better than mine… I may have to make one for myself!  Thank you, Myra, for inspiring me!

Marion has generously shared several of her fabulous finishes….WP_my rabbit finish wp_rabbit and sheep greeting_2015 0 WP_10 footIsn’t she a talented lady?  She will be taking part in the Lighthouse Festival Show June 12 and 13 in St. Ignace, Michigan and I just know that she is going to be very popular!  I love every one of her pieces… and the glimpses of her primitive home ~ lovely!

Thank you Myra and Marion for sharing with me and allowing me to share with the simple quiet world….

 

be well and happy, my friends…

 

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.

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

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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 punching progress…..

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo far, so good….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I like the dark backgrounds, and the p4 border, but the little bit of 146 that I tried on the far right seems too dark.  So….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…enter o549.   O549 is a combination of pink and white/ivory.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think this is going to work!

How is your 2 cats 2 birds coming along?

 

rebecca