new favorite….

I have a new color combination ~ I can’t get enough….

valdani 6, p4, h206

valdani 6, p4, h206

cream, grey, and quiet coral.  I can’t take credit for this tripling, I was inspired by this antique rug:

antique hooked rug

antique hooked rug

Valdani h206, the pretty coral, has been in my stash for several years, but I never really noticed it.  It came in a collection I bought and has sat neglected ever since.  Not any more.  I see myself using this palette often in the future.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It’s practically perfect as the background for this piece, and I have visions of using it, and the rest of the colors, for an aged, weather-beaten Santa.

2 chickens

2 chickens

I’m calling the piece I’m working on, “2 Chickens”, because, well, it features two chickens.  I am so clever.  Perhaps you’d like to try one of your own?

2 chickens pattern

2 chickens pattern

Above is the pattern.  I didn’t draw it on paper, but hopefully you’ll be able to use this sketch.  As always, please, no mass production of pattern or finishes, and please do not sell the pattern.  Feel free to share it among your friends, though!

Perhaps you’d like to find the Valdani h206?  Here’s the link at Snowflake Memories (or you can find it at, just click here.

I’m listening to the gentle patter of rain today.  It’s so soft and soothing and makes me laugh at the same time ~ the weather report says 0% chance of rain today.  Sometimes life is fabulous!

embrace someone you love ~ human or otherwise!




antique inspired patterns and finishes….

I’ve been having a ball working on antique inspired pieces.  Maybe you’d like to try your hand at these, too?

You can visit my etsy shop to see more photos of these antique inspired mats by clicking here.

I’ve included simple, and not super good quality, patterns in this post.  They are for your personal use, and should not be mass-produced either as patterns or finished pieces.  As these are antique rugs, the designs are in the public domain… I love that!  Unfortunately, as with so many antique rugs, there’s no information about the hooker, so credit cannot be given to any one individual.  However, I like to let others know that the design is not mine by referring to my finishes as “antique inspired”.

"we win" original hooked rug

“we win” original hooked rug

My favorite is the above, “We Win”.  OH!  Just look at all those missing/faded stitches ~ gorgeous!  How, oh how! am I to reproduce those perfect imperfections?  It was a challenge, but so much fun!

"we win" pattern

“we win” pattern

Above, you’ll find the pattern for, “We Win” ~ my apologies for the wrinkles.

"we win" colors

“we win” colors

Above, are the colors I decided upon.

The finish…

my punched "we win"

my punched “we win”

If you’d like to see more pictures of “We Win” you can click here to visit my etsy shop.

Next is “Two Horses”…

"two horses" original antique hooked rug

“two horses” original antique hooked rug

…and, here’s the pattern….

"two horses" pattern

“two horses” pattern

…again, apologies for the wrinkles.  Evidently, I forgot to photograph the colors I used, but here’s the list:  p3, p4, 146, 5, h212, and o510.

Here’s the finish…

my punched "two horses"

my punched “two horses”

You can see more pics of “Two Horses” by clicking here.

The last piece I finished is “Two Chickens One Horse” (aren’t I creative with my titles?).

"two chickens one horse" original hooked rug

“two chickens one horse” original hooked rug

The pattern….

"two chickens one horse" pattern

“two chickens one horse” pattern

The colors….

"two chickens one horse" colors

“two chickens one horse” colors

Unfortunately, the floss without labels are mystery colors.

The finish….

my punched "two chickens one horse"

my punched “two chickens one horse”

You can, of course, see more photos of “Two Chickens One Horse” by clicking here.


There you have it!

enjoy the coming of spring!



2 cats 2 birds punching progress…..


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?



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.


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?



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!



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

family tree ~ won’t you join me?….

getting started

getting started

Yesterday, I doodled a little design and thought somebody might like to stitch along with me.  So, I asked Lilly to join in….

"no thank you" ~ lilly

“no thank you” ~ lilly

…but, she’s a busy little girl and has no time to play with needle and thread.  Otis?  Any interest in stitching?

"ha!" ~the oatbran

“zzzzzzzzz” ~the oatbran

Perhaps you would join me?  I’m going to be punching this pattern, but you could hook or cross stitch or whatever your heart desires!

lovely valdani

lovely valdani

If you would like to give it a try, just grab the pattern below, drag it to your desktop and print it to whatever size suits your needs.

family tree freebie pattern

family tree freebie pattern

I’m going to use the pattern at full size, which is about 8″ x 10″ or thereabouts.  Here are the colors I’ve picked out….

floss, floss, floss

floss, floss, floss

…and here’s what I’ll be using each for, possibly, (colors are subject to change, of course, depending on the whim of the moment)

p3 ~ background

pt4 ~ background

pt5 ~ background


o575 ~ tree


I’ll be using the rest of the colors for the leaves, animals, and people:  o549, jp4, jp6, 6, h205, o154 and 146.

All the above Valdani flosses are size 12 perle cotton and I’ll be using two strands of each color with my Cameo punch needle set at the lowest, #1, setting.

If you decide to stitch along with me, I’d love to hear how you’re doing and see pictures of your progress, should you care to share!


may your heart be light!




new pattern: s is for sheep….

s is for sheep

s is for sheep

Hello!  Here is the second in my ABC pull toy series ~ S is for Sheep.  Though the original has sold, the pattern is available in my etsy shop ~ if you’d like to take a look, click here.

When I first drew S is for Sheep it looked like this:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I envisioned a fluffy white sheep body with a shorn white face, so I punched the “wooly” part of the sheep at a #6 loop height on my Cameo needle.  But, when I got to the face and punched it at my usual #1 setting, my sheep suddenly looked like a potato with a growth… hmmm… what to do, what to do.  I tried adding a bell around her neck, but that just looked like a potato with a growth with a sprout.  So, I “reverse” punched (tore out) the face and a bit of the body to accommodate a larger head and ear, and re-punched it in a dark color at a #6 setting.

Here is my color palette and how I used it:

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

valdani 4, 5 p3, p4, p5, jp6, h212

These are all Valdani size 12 perle cotton.  I used two strands of each and, except for the sheep, punched at the lowest (#1) setting.

4 ~ background

5 ~ background and “lambs tongue” edging

p3 ~ lambs tongue edging and a tiny patch of background

p4 ~ sheep’s body and eye

p5 ~ lambs tongue edging, letters,  and pull toy

jp6 ~ lambs tongue edging

h212 ~ sheep’s face

It’s downright COLD today.  A below-zero morning, and snow… lots and lots of snow.  I’m thinking of all you on the east coast who have it so much harder, just now.  It’s a good day to….

one cat in a bag is a warm cat...

one cat in a bag is a warm cat…

… get under cover and ….

"can i come in?" ~ otis

“can i come in?” ~ otis

… possibly invite someone to join you!


stay warm and safe, my friends.




valdani must-haves….



Sonja wrote and asked me if I could provide a list of my favorite floss for someone just starting out with Valdani. A tough assignment, to be sure!  I love all the Valdani I’ve ever tried, but….



with Ellis’ help, I whittled down my answer to Sonja’s question from, “all Valdani is absolutely essential”, to the following, abbreviated, list.

Beginning with the neutrals I love and cannot do without…

4, 5, p4, p3

4, 5, p4, p3

4 ~ ivory

5 ~ light ecru

p4 ~ aged white light

p3 ~ aged white medium


h205, p5, o154

h205, p5, o154

h205 ~ ancient gold

p5 ~ tarnished gold

o154 ~ dark antique gold


h202 or o579

h202 , o579

h202 ~ withered green

o579 ~ faded olives

my favorite green is…



pt2 ~ green twisted tweed


o578 jp11

o578, jp11

o578 ~ primitive blue

jp11 ~ heavenly hue




o510 ~ terracotta twist


jp5, jp6

jp5, jp6

jp5 ~ nantucket rose

jp6 ~ muddy pots




o505 ~ toffee pearl


h212, p9

h212, p9

h212 ~ faded brown

p9 ~ bronze


3 or 8112

1, 8112

1 ~ black

8112 ~ black medium

I get almost all my size 12 perle cotton Valdani from ~ click here, and I use a Cameo needle set to the lowest loop height (#1).


I hope this helps ~ thank you for your question, Sonja!

may you all enjoy a warm and wonderful weekend!











supplies: hoops, floss, needles, kits…

This morning I was stocking up on some punch needle supplies.  I’d recently broken one of my Morgan hoops while pulling my weavers cloth taut and needed to replace it.  I’m something of a homebody (huge understatement) so I do most of my shopping online, plus the Joann’s/Hobby Lobby closest to me is a half hour away… half hour there, half hour in the store, half hour home again, that’s an hour and a half of punch or nap time.  If you’re like me and prefer to do your shopping from the comfort of home here’s a reference guide to where I buy ~ fyi, I’m not affiliated in any way (except that I spend a lot of $ there!) with any of these shops…

morgan hoops

morgan hoops

I like the Morgan hoop.  It’s sturdy and allows for virtually no cloth slippage.  Today, I ordered a hoop from ~ click here.  You can also find Morgan hoops at ~ click here, and ~ click here.

weavers cloth

weavers cloth

Weavers cloth is available in many colors.   I almost always use neutral because I can see the pattern I’m tracing through the cloth.  I buy mine by the bolt from Joann’s online ~ click here.  I also buy from Lori Brechlin (Notforgotten Farm) who sells beautiful weavers cloth by the yard on her etsy shop ~ click here.



I love Valdani perle cotton size 12 floss and there are lots of reasons I use it instead of DMC or other 6 strand flosses.  The main reason is because it glides through the weavers cloth much more easily for me than other floss, limiting hand, wrist and forearm fatigue.  This means I can punch for long periods of time, which means I can accomplish more, which means I can sell more finished pieces, which means I can buy more Valdani.  Yes, it’s pricier than other flosses… much pricier, but in the end it saves me time and pain and it is also gentler on the earth than other floss, which is a big deal for me.  Snowflake memories is my go to for Valdani.  You can visit by clicking here.

cameo needles

cameo needles

I use Cameo punch needles (lots of them).  I like a medium needle tip and I set my length at the lowest (#1) setting for most projects.  I buy Cameos whenever I see them on sale.  You can find them by clicking on any of the following links:  Notforgotten Farm on etsy, Amazon, punch needle marketplace.  Also a “cameo punch needle” search on ebay and etsy will often yield results.



I typically purchase my patterns from Notforgotten Farm ~ click here and Bird in the Hand Primitives ~ click here.  I also like Chestnut Junction ~ click here, Need’l Love ~ click here, and Patternmart ~ click here.  In addition, I find lots of patterns on fellow bloggers blogs.  Every couple of years or so I check in with my favorite designers to see if their policies have changed.  For example, I’ll ask if I can use a cross stitch pattern to make a punch needle piece.

lavender and chamomile

lavender and chamomile

I like to stuff my punch needle pillows with things organic and fragrant.  I find most of my herbs on etsy ~ click here ~ by simply searching for “organic lavender” or “organic chamomile” or whatever the case may be.  Balsam is a wonderful stuffing material, too, and Lori Brechlin offers organic sawdust at her etsy shop (which I am going to be ordering soon!) ~ click here.

with thy needle and thread ~ brenda gervais

with thy needle and thread ~ brenda gervais

As far as kits go, I don’t usually purchase any, but if I were to I’d head straight to Brenda Gervais ~ click here.  Mrs. Gervais sells her gorgeous patterns and Valdani thread kits separately on her website.  Even if you don’t purchase anything from her, it’s so worth visiting her website for some eye candy or her blog, With Thy Needle and Thread ~ click here.  Other kits can also be found at Joann’s ~ click here.

from top to bottom:  lilly, otis, ellis

from top to bottom: lilly, otis, ellis

No punch needle project would be complete without a friend or three.  Where does one find a lapful of kittens?

from left to right:  otis, ellis, lilly

from left to right: otis, ellis, lilly

Sadly, cats and kittens (and dogs and puppies and a multitude of other creatures) are often abandoned by their people.  In the case of Lilly, Ellis and Otis, my husband and I found them left on a road to fend for themselves.  At less than one pound each, they didn’t stand a chance on their own.  The person who dropped them will never know what jewels s/he threw away, for three better, kinder companions could not be found!


happy punching!