a new book…..

polly minick and her sister have a new book out!…….

“blue and white” – minick and simpson


this is a gorgeous book that explores how polly and her sister use their rugs and quilts to enrich their homes.  i highly recommend this one!


you can find, “blue and white” on etsy by clicking here, or on amazon by clicking here.



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 valdani.com), 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!



waiting for inspiration….

Whenever I have that empty, uninspired feeling, I turn to the amazing google and execute a search for antique hooked rugs…..732_20007 I love, no, LOVE antique hooked rugs….aac9eff8badb80dfa85b7b3c8fbbf2fb

There is so much scope for the imagination!H0043-L69138459

And, all these designs are in the public domain…23199596_1_l

…we can play to our hearts content.-House+and+Home-+Hooked+Rug

So, which one am I going to work on?  This one, I think…


Look how tiny that picture is.  I can’t find it anywhere on the web any bigger than this.  When I try to enlarge it, it becomes a pixellated puzzle of shapes and colors.  This is going to be a real challenge…


what are you working on?




Hello, hello, hello!  It’s so nice to see you again!   If you’ve tried to contact me in the past 3 or 4 months and I haven’t responded, please try again!  I’ve been computer-less.

Just after my last post my laptop expired.  I’d been nursing it along for several months, trying in vain to somehow save my photos, contacts, messages, etc.   After my computer drew its last breath I found that I’d lost everything… EVERYTHING!  Oh Woe!  However, there are worse things in life than losing three years of photographs (*sob!*), etc., and I have put my despair behind me and moved on…. sort of….  *sigh*

So, here I am with a healthy (I hope) laptop and an external backup (it’s about time), ready to begin life anew.

Would you like to see some of the things I’ve finished this summer?  Yes?  So would I.  Unfortunately, I haven’t finished one single thing as far as punch needle or rug hooking goes.  What have I been doing?  I’ve been frittering away my time in the garden:  planting, watering, dividing, transplanting, watering and planting some more.  It’s been an absolutely perfect summer to work outdoors!

Though I can’t show you anything I’ve accomplished lately, I do have three FABULOUS finishes to show you from some incredibly talented needle women….



Betsy created this stunningly beautiful “Family Tree” for some friends of hers.  She incorporated all the family members, human and otherwise, and mounted her work on a hornbook using little tacks.  How much do I love this finish?  I love it so much that I want to come inside from the garden and finish my own family tree!



Sharon shared this, almost, finished hooked rug ~ isn’t it gorgeous ~ I just love her colors!  It’s from the Magdelana Horses design I shared with you a while back.  Did you miss that design?  Click here to view that post.



Marion punched this antique-rug-inspired mat from a design she said I’d shared.  (I can’t find it in my archives to link to, but that doesn’t mean a thing… it’s probably there somewhere…. I’m not known for my organization skills or for my adeptness at this whole blog thing.)  This is a pattern I’ve been wanting to punch and I love Marion’s finish!

As far as  Lilly, Ellis and Otis go, it’s been a successful summer…..

"not you, again!" ~lilly, ellis, otis

“not you, again! and with your camera, too.  there’s no peace in this house!” ~lilly, ellis, otis

Next up, I’ll be sharing a very, very, very simple pattern for “Ticking Horse”, which I promised a follower many moons ago.  Until then…

be well and happy!




to be continued…..

The other day, I got out all my un-finishes to see just how far behind I am.  Today, my Sciatica is biting fiercely and I’m sitting quietly on an ice pack ~ a good day to share said un-finishes with you. So, here we go….

boy on the beach.  polly minick design

boy on the beach ~ polly minick design

chicken make do

chicken make do

elephant pull toy with blue wheels

elephant pull toy with blue wheels

family tree

family tree

giraffe pull toy ~ just needs a pull and a label (good heavens! just finish it, already!)

giraffe pull toy ~ just needs a pull and a label (good heavens! just finish it, already!)

sheep pull toy

sheep pull toy

cookie cutter horse hooked rug pillow.  betty dekat design

cookie cutter horse hooked rug pillow ~ betty dekat design

patriotic chicks ~ polly minick design

patriotic chicks ~ polly minick design

polly's sampler ~ polly minick design

polly’s sampler ~ polly minick design

antique flowers and cats

antique flowers and cats

I made a pact with myself to finish at least one thing before starting something new.  In an effort to get started right away on my finishing, this morning I started this…..

sheep cookie cutter

sheep cookie cutter

…a totally new project for my Primitive Handmades Mercantile shop update which happens a week from Friday…. hmmmm….



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!




polly minick designs….

The other day, fellow puncher Nancy contacted me about a Polly Minick design she wanted to punch using Valdani floss.  I googled “Polly Minick” and was instantly smitten with her hooked rug patterns.  Have you seen them?

polly minick's "american summer"

polly minick’s “american summer”

(You can click here to visit one of her sites where her pattern books are available.)  I found a contact email for her and immediately sent her a message asking if she would allow me to punch her designs and sell the finishes.  She was so nice and wrote back giving me permission ~ what a thrill!  The only sad part is that she has retired completely from designing and hooking professionally, but ~ hurrah! ~ she has lots of books to be explored!  I can’t wait!

polly minick's, "moby dick" with my valdani color choices

polly minick’s, “moby dick” with my valdani color choices

I ordered Mrs. Minick’s, “American Summer” and decided to start with the pattern that Nancy had asked me about, “Moby Dick”.  One of the things I love about this particular book is that all the patterns are the perfect size for tracing on weavers cloth ~ simple!



It didn’t take me long to punch this fun piece ~ the shapes are so straight-forward, and the colors Mrs. Minick used for her rugs were just right, I didn’t have to think at all, just threaded my needles and went to work.

finished but not steamed

finished but not steamed

I used the ticking I’ve become addicted to for the back and edge.  I wanted to show you the above pic so you could see how tight I pull my thread when edging.  I’ve been asked how I get the scallop edge, and the answer is, I pull my thread so tight that the punched piece curls.  Then I give it a good steaming with my Rowenta pressure steamer and….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…voila!  This finished piece measures somewhere in the neighborhood of 10″x4″ or 5″.  I haven’t listed Moby on etsy yet, but I will.  Next up, one of Polly Minick’s bathing beauties….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Love her bathing suit!  I have one that’s very similar, but a little longer ~ gotta love those modesty suits.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am so very ready for summer!

Since I’ve been busy playing with my Valdani threads and needles, my friends have had to entertain themselves for the most part….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARemember the rug I’ve been weekend-hooking?  Well, “somebody”…

"who, me?" ~ ellis, aka "the claw"

“who, me?” ~ ellis, aka “the claw”

…has been “helping” me regress Monday~Friday….

thanks, ellis

thanks, ellis, i never knew you were such an accomplished reverse hooker

As for Lilly, she’s been busy organizing her q~tips.

"i'll put them all in the sink ~ perfect!"  ~lilly

“i’ll put them all in the sink ~ perfect!” ~lilly

Otis spends some of his time observing Lilly’s technique…

"way to go miss lou!" ~otis

“way to go miss lou!” ~otis

….part of his time assisting Ellis….

"did you get all rebecca's wool un-hooked, yet, ellis? ~otis

“did you get all rebecca’s wool un-hooked, yet, ellis? ~otis

…and part of his time helping me with my Valdani.IMG_2606The sun is shining here today ~ I hope it’s shining for you, too!





one rug down, another in progress….


finished rug!

finished rug!

Well, YaHoo!  I finally finished the rug for our entryway.  The above is the only photo I took sans cats.  The rug quickly became a favorite spot….

"ah... life is all peace and tranquility..." ~ ellis

“ah… life is all peace and tranquility…” ~ ellis

Ellis was the first to discover the new flooring, but he was soon joined by Otis….

"i just want a tiny corner, ellis..." ~ otis

“i just want a tiny corner, ellis…” ~ otis

Ellis is not yet ready to relinquish his territory and a mighty battle ensues….

"this rug is not big enough for the two of us, partner!" ~ ellis

“this rug is not big enough for the two of us, partner!” ~ ellis

After the fur settles, Oatbran enjoys his corner and then some.

"ta da!" ~ oatsy

“this rug is mine, all MINE!” ~ oatsy

Lilly came along shortly after Otis’ victory….

"this is my rug, lilly." ~ otis

“yo lilly! SCAT!” ~ otis

…and the fur continued to fly.

While I was upstairs taking photos of the rug, I took this photo of the “art gallery”…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’ve been thinking about taking all the paintings and globes down and just having simple white walls, but, now I don’t know… I think I kind of like this view.

Anyway, on to the next weekend-hooking-project.

what a wrinkly mess

what a wrinkly mess

Between the grid I drew on the linen and the wrinkles from over two years of storage, it’s nearly impossible to see the design.  Here’s the original rug from which I took my inspiration.

2 horses 6 birds original antique rug

2 horses 6 birds original antique rug

For some reason, which escapes me, I decided to make my rug shorter and wider than the original.  However, I did draw the pattern just like the original so I’ll share that here.  I think you can just grab the photo below and drag it to your desktop.

2 horses 6 birds

2 horses 6 birds

Here’s the pattern reversed, if you’d like to punch it.

2 horses 6 birds, reversed

2 horses 6 birds, reversed

When I drew up the design on linen two years ago, I made a small start on the rug.

a beginning

a beginning

I think I must have been feeling extremely ambitious, because all my strips are about 1/3 the width of my usual cuts….

strip on the left ~ usual cut (about .5 inch to .75 inch) strip on the right ~ oh my gosh, what was i thinking?

strip on the left ~ usual cut (about .75 inch to 1 inch)
strip on the right ~ oh my gosh, what was i thinking?

…um….. yeah…. This is going to take me a loooonnnngggg time.  Because I hand tear all my strips, now, I’ll be tearing wool for this rug and then hand cutting each strip into three narrow strips.  That won’t be time-consuming, at all.  Maybe I can recruit a helper… “Lilly?  How about it?  Will you lend me a paw?”

"ha ha ha ha ha ha HA!" ~ lilly

“ha ha ha ha ha ha HA!” ~ lilly

*sigh*… guess I’m on my own.

May you always be happy and healthy!









rug specs…

Thank you, each of you, who commented here or emailed me yesterday ~ I was humbled by your kindness and generosity!

A few of your emails asked for specifics about the rug I’m working on….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The projected dimensions of the finished rug are:  45″ wide x 65″ long…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…each square measures approximately 12″ x 12″.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m using, mostly, torn strips up to 3/4 wide, so somewhere between a #8 cut and a #11 or #12 cut (do cutters go up to that width?  I don’t have a clue! :~>)  There are one or two “as-is” wools in the mix, otherwise they are my hand-dyed pieces.

What am I going to do with this rug once it’s finally finished?  It’s going to live by our front door, probably with at least one cat on top of it and one burrowed underneath ~ fun, fun, fun!  Or, maybe I’ll put it on our bed.  On a day like today, with temps in the single digits that extra weight and warmth would be mighty welcome!


cuddle up, my friends…