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….

 

rebecca

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!

 

rebecca

 

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!

progress

progress

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!

 

~rebecca

 

 

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!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…

 

rebecca

 

 

weekend hooking….

I’ve been remiss….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI started this rug two whole years ago, when the cats were kittens and hooking was a solitary activity.

the oatsy-toatsy

the oatsy-toatsy

My, how things change.

the elly~belly

the elly~belly

Hooking has become a group activity.

lilly-lou-who

lilly-lou-who

Before the advent of the kittens, I was a hooker through and through.  I did some punch needle, but my true love was wool.

wool, oh so soft... almost as soft as ellis's coat

wool, oh so soft… almost as soft as ellis’ coat

This rug hasn’t seen the light of day in those two years.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hooking a rug is like planting a garden ~ one seed, one stitch, and time… lots and lots of time.  Just as a garden grows, so do my rugs….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…one quiet row after another….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…the whisper of wool against linen, it seems that those single stitches, those tiny seeds, will never amount to anything.

three best friends forever

three best friends forever

But, like gardens and hooked rugs, like friendships, the more time one gives to a thing, the more that thing will grow.

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So, this is where you’ll find me, nearly every weekend.  Cultivating my long neglected rugs…

ellis and lilly

ellis and lilly

…and keeping good friends near and dear.

 

May you always find the time to give the time to the things you love!

rebecca

 

thanksgiving day parade and antique dog and cat…

otis finds a good spot

otis finds a good spot

Some of us have been busy this week….

ellis finds a good spot

ellis finds a good spot

…trying to find the perfect resting spot…

"i can't sleep in there, it's full of water!" ~lilly

“i can’t sleep in there, it’s full of water!” ~lilly

Lilly works a little harder than the boys to find just the place….

comfy lilly?

comfy lilly?

…to get comfortable?

I’ve been finishing more projects, some for Thanksgiving, like….

thanksgiving day parade

thanksgiving day parade

…this chamomile stuffed pillow.  It’s a design I adapted from the Notforgotten Farm pattern called, “Turkey Shoot”.  You can find more of Lori’s designs by clicking here.

I also worked on a Thanksgiving Day Parade of my own….

silhouettes

silhouettes

I punched a turkey, four pilgrims and a pumpkin on weavers cloth using Valdani #12 perle cotton…

"i love a parade"

“i love a parade”

…attached them to salvaged book fronts, painted black, and clipped them to a piece of twine using clothes pins.  A rusty bell between each silhouette adds a bit of rustic charm.

And, FINALLY!, I finished the Antique Dog and Cat punch needle that I started in July.  If you’d like to see where this piece started, you can click here.  This embroidery was inspired by an antique hooked rug…

original antique rug

original antique rug

…and, here’s my finished version.

punch needle version

punch needle version

If you’d like to see more pictures of my Antique Dog and Cat or of the Thanksgiving Day Parade pillow, you can visit my etsy shop by clicking here.

What have you been up to?  Are you decorating for Thanksgiving or moving directly from Halloween to Christmas?

Whatever you may do, may you enjoy it to the fullest!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

antique cat and dog….

ticking horse done at last...

ticking horse done at last…

the above photo is not a picture of an antique cat and dog, but is a picture of the  finally finished Ticking Horse ~ thank you to everyone for your suggestions to keep things simple!  i ended up using an antique tack, like the ones i used on the rocker ends, for the riders eye.  the reins are floss.  you can visit Ticking Horse on etsy by clicking here, if you’d like.

after Ticking Horse was done, i felt at loose ends… do you ever feel like that?  it’s almost a feeling of anxiety when i don’t have the next project ready to go before i finish the first project.  so, i sought out my creative friends for fresh ideas…

lilly?..... hellooo...

lilly?….. hellooo…

since lilly is indisposed i turn to my stash of antique rug photos and am inspired by this one…

antique cat and dog hooked rug original

antique cat and dog hooked rug original

i love everything about this rug… the way the original artist used lots of rippling around the hissing cat ~ it conveys such energy, and how she made the dog appear so alert.  such a simple design, but there is so much emotion expressed in its simplicity.

time to draw up my pattern.  to do this i used a paper napkin placed over my computer screen and traced the outlines of the design onto the napkin.  then, i taped the napkin to the back of my weavers cloth so that i could see the design from the napkin through the cloth (no easy task as i didn’t use a light box or window) and drew over the lines i could see.  here’s the result…

pattern on cloth

pattern on cloth

although the above photo looks blue, the weavers cloth i used was my usual white.

now, what colors to punch with?  where are ellis and otis, my color coordinators, when i need them?

"we're busy ~ what do you want now?!"

“we’re busy ~ what do you want now?!”

how about a little color suggestion, ellis? otis?

"nope, we're busy, busy, busy and we have a lot to do!"

“nope, we’re busy, busy, busy and we have a lot to do!”

fortunately, i have a rainbow of Valdani floss to choose from and i’m able to come up with the following:

oh! the glory of valdani perle!

oh! the glory of valdani perle!

from left to right, i’m using: 5, jp6, h206, jp5, p8 and p9.  i like using Valdani’s 12 perle cotton in a medium Cameo needle on a #1 setting.  i usually get my Valdani from Snowflake Memories, click here, or from the Valdani website, click here.

i get started on the cat and dog…

a beginning...

a beginning…

and then work the flowers and background…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthese antique rug inspired pieces take me a loooong time.  i like my finished embroideries to look as close to the original rugs as possible, so there’s a lot of studying of the original and then color placing on the embroidery.  i can see that this may be tedious for some people (like quilting is for me), but i find it engrossing and rewarding (like quilting is for people who love quilting!).

whilst i’m punching i think about things.  things like my upcoming visit to Ireland with my husband, and things like my family and friends (lilly, ellis and otis)… simple things, quiet things.  things to look forward to and things that have been….

 

until next time, may all your thoughts be pleasant ones!

 

rebecca

 

 

 

 

 

notforgotten farm…

lilly rests

lilly loves to sleep under this fabulous little rug given to me by the very talented and generous Betty DeKat.

Just a quickie today, to let you know about an invaluable post for hookers…

After catching up on Lori Brechlin’s Notforgotten Farm blog today, I simply had to share this with you!  I’m so inspired!  It’s about hooking a foot rest topper, which is simply awesome by itself, but Lori also has sooo many wonderful, exciting tips for hookers wanting to use fabrics other than wool and wanting to age a finished rug, I just know you’ll find it as valuable as I!  Click here to go to Lori’s post.

where ever you find yourself today, may you find happiness, too!

 

rebecca

finish, start, work in progress…

friends and neighbors ~ lyn hosford design

friends and neighbors ~ lyn hosford design

I managed to put together a pillow over the weekend using my finished Friends and Neighbors punch needle.  For the front of the pillow I left the weavers cloth, nicely stained, in its as-is condition.  For the back, I used a piece of my favorite plaid wool.

pillow back

pillow back

I stuffed the pillow with lumpy snips and scraps and used a fraktur inspired punch needle as a patch on the back.

Then, I tried to get some work done on my rug…

lilly, "i'm so glad you got out your hooking ~ i've been looking for a spot to lie down..."

“i’m so glad you got out your hooking ~ i’ve been looking for a spot to lie down…”

Lilly had other plans, however.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“wouldn’t you rather play?”

She felt that my time would be better spent throwing wool puffs for her to catch than hooking wooly worms.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

ah, me

She’s very persuasive and difficult to resist!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

“let me see that”

However, she did allow me to hook around her, so I got a few rows done…

Despairing of finishing my rug with Lilly’s assistance, I moved on to an ambitious project which I’m hoping will resemble a weathervane, of sorts, when I’m through.

table leg and twirly bit

table leg and twirly bit

I took apart an antique dining table and will use some of the bits.

future rooster

future rooster

Then, drew this rooster on a large piece of weavers cloth.  I wonder if I’ll be able to pull this one off….  Perhaps, if I can find a quiet space ~ sans cats ~ it can be done!

Wishing you the time, ability and personal space to meet all your goals!

rebecca