snowman and santa claus….

tomorrow is thanksgiving day, but my mind is on christmas…

santa drawing

i like to draw my patterns directly onto weavers cloth rather than creating a paper pattern.  it’s less work and it ensures that almost every piece i make from my own designs is one-of-a-kind.  ellis likes to help me with this process….

“i’m a tremendous assistant” ~ellis

i kept santa claus simple, using mostly red and white valdani floss.

santa claus

lilly is awaiting santa’s advent….

“santa? i’m watching the birds!” ~lilly

i like adding tags to my pieces, for some reasons.  maybe because they’re fun to make?

christmas greetings

the other piece i’ve been working on is a snowman.  snowmen are so cheerful!


of course, with snowmen comes cold weather, but otis knows how to stay toasty…

“purrrr…” ~the oatsy

and, lilly has a few how-to-stay-warm-on-a-cold-day pointers…

“first, find a comfy cushion, add a kitty heating pad, top with a blanket and crawl under.” ~lilly-kins

sounds good to me!


the santa claus has sold but you can visit snowman on my etsy shop by clicking here.

wishing you warmth and happiness!



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….


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!




i think antique whirligigs are wonderful!

antique whirligig

so, when i saw this one i thought it would be fun to play around with the design.  not everyone is thrilled by whirligigs, though.  take otis for instance….

“whirligigs make me very, very sleepy.” ~ the oatsy

and lilly, who is usually interested in anything that may move, shimmy or shake, seems, well, less than riveted….

“whirlizzzzzzz…” ~lillykins

when i asked my friends what, exactly, would thrill them, the answer was unanimous…

“crinkly paper!” otis, ellis and lilly

but, i’m sticking to my guns.  i love whirligigs and continue to be inspired by them!

so, i drew up this design….

whirligig design

…which you are welcome to capture and use.

then, i picked out my valdani colors….

gorgeous valdani perle cotton

they are, from left to right:

4 ~ sailors top and hat

5 ~ face, arms and feet

h205 ~ stars

p3 ~ whirligig stand

jp11 ~ background

o578 ~ oars, pants and tie

as it turned out, however, i decided to make one change…

a different blue

i decided to use:

1072 ~ for the oars, pants and tie.

1072 is very, very navy and seemed just right for a sailor.

once i got the whole thing punched it looked like this….

whirli almost finished

i then coffee stained it, backed it with ticking, and stuffed it lightly with sawdust….

whirligig finished!

you can see more of, “whirligig” by visiting my etsy shop here.


sail on!



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



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?




I’ve been thinking about punching a design using just one color.  One very neutral color, of course.  With Valentine’s Day approaching, I decided that a love-themed piece was just the ticket….

love stocking design

love stocking design ~ feel free to grab this photo and use the design for you personal pieces, just no mass marketing, please.

I drew a very simple pattern directly onto my weavers cloth and chose my favorite color….

valdani 5

valdani 5

Valdani’s light ecru (#5) is by far my most used floss.  It’s been a workhorse for me, coloring everything from backgrounds to the tiniest details in almost every piece I’ve punched.  You can find Valdani 5 at Snowflake Memories by clicking here.

The thing about using a single color for an entire piece, especially a very vanilla color, is that it can quickly pall, which is why I thought Valentine’s Day would be the perfect foil for this concept.  Valentine’s can be frilly and lacy, and ever so feminine…. and, therefore, so much fun to punch!

texture, texture, texture

texture, texture, texture

Polka dots and scallops are two of my favorite visual textures.  I set my Cameo punch needle at level 4 for the polka dots and level 3 for the scallops and heart.

ah love *sigh*

ah love *sigh*

For the letters L, O, V, E, I again used level 4.

done with raised bits

done with raised bits

Once I finished all the dots, scallops, letters and the heart, it was just a matter of filling in, which I did using level 1 on my needle.



I then aged the entire piece with coffee, using a bit more java on the letters so they would “pop”.

stocking stuffers

stocking stuffers

No stocking is complete without a few stuffers.  The heart in the middle reads, “Love”, just like the stocking.

backed and buttoned

backed and buttoned

I backed everything with some ticking and added antique bone buttons and my signature pocket.



And, there you have it!  A little love!  You can visit my Love stocking in my etsy shop by clicking here, if you’d like.


Love is in the air!



stockings complete….



I’ve finished my Halloween stockings!  So fun!  The White Witch, in the middle, has sold but the other two are available in my etsy shop.

bird in the hand primitives

bird in the hand primitives

Really, my favorite bits are the stocking stuffers!

notforgotten farm

notforgotten farm

Trick or Treat!



stockings… they’re not just for christmas anymore…. and a pattern from cathy

I love making Christmas stockings, but Christmas only comes once a year ~ so what’s a girl to do?  There’s only one solution… make stockings for every holiday and season.  I have three Halloween/Autumn stockings in the works currently, and I’m having a ball!

trick or treat stocking

trick or treat stocking

The above is a design from Robin of Bird in the Hand Primitives.

nice and neutral

nice and neutral

You can find links to Robin’s designs by visiting one of her blogs here.

white witch

white witch

One of my favorite designs is from Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm.  This White Witch is right up my alley, and it’s the perfect size for a little stocking.

punched and ready for aging

punched and ready for aging

You can find links to Lori’s patterns by visiting her blog here.

autumn stocking

autumn stocking

This is another design from the talented Robin of Bird in the Hand Primitives.  I adapted it a bit for a stocking.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then I added some stocking stuffers….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think stocking stuffers are the reason I love stockings so much!  I backed and lined this stocking with ticking…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…which is the same ticking I used to back the stocking stuffers.  Antique bone buttons and a little pocket finish the fun.

I’m excited to try my hand at Thanksgiving stockings next.  Here’s a design from Cathy Sowers of Four Ewe Farm.  She’s the one that does all those fabulous three-dimensional pieces I’ve been showing you, and she generously sent this pattern to me with her permission to share it with you!

cathy's turkey

cathy’s turkey

I think this will make a great stocking!  Thank you Cathy!  If you use Cathy’s design, please giver her credit.


Enjoy these autumn days!




cathy continued…

I just had to come back and share this one from Cathy which didn’t get into my last post….

cathy's "oliveah"

cathy’s “oliveah”

Is she not the sweetest thing?  Swoon!

I forgot, yesterday, to let you know that Cathy sells her finishes on ebay under the name, “fourewe”.  Click here to visit her shop.

embrace the day!



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….



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



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



Until next time, enjoy the last slice of August!



summer swimmers colors…..

summer swimmers

summer swimmers

I’m so glad y’all (or some of y’all) like the summer swimmers ~ thank you for all the kind feedback.

Here are the colors I used:

original color choices

original color choices

Originally, I planned to use the above colors, but I amended my selection and instead of using the Valdani pt 3 for the blue of the flag and the sky I decided to just use it for the flag and add jp 11 for the sky….

sky and

jp 11 sky

The other colors are:

5 ~ light ecru ~ flag, lady swimmer, border

h205 ~ ancient gold ~ flag pole

pt3 ~ blue twisted tweed ~ flag

jp11 ~ heavenly hue ~ sky

o578 ~ primitive blue ~ water, border

0510 ~ terracotta twist ~ bathing suit, flag

h212 ~ faded 3

brown ~ hair

I used Valdani #12 perle cotton in my Cameo punch needle on the lowest, #1, setting.

I hope this helps!


happy punching!