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!




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!



welcome snow colors…..

Nancy asked if I could share the colors I used for the Welcome Snow stocking….

welcome snow

welcome snow

The photo above is of the finished and aged stocking.  The photo below is of the embroidery before I aged it with coffee….OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and, here are the colors I used…

valdani 5, h205, jp11, o578, h212

valdani 5, h205, jp11, o578, h212

I used these colors thusly:

5 ~ snowman, snowflakes, “welcome snow”

h205 ~ snowman nose

jp11 ~ background

o578 ~ banner background

h212 ~ hat, eyes, mouth, arms and buttons

I ordered my floss from Snowflake Memories (click here), and the Welcome Snow design is from Kelley Belfast (click here).

I used two strands of each floss in my Cameo medium punch needle, set at the lowest (#1) setting except for the snowflakes which I punched at a hight (#4) setting.

I hope this helps!





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



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.



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.



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!



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!






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!



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???

red is the new neutral…

The color red has been catching my eye, lately, so when I saw this design from Lori Brechlin I knew it was my next project.

lori's tulip

lori’s tulip

The neutral colors Lori chose for the border and central motif made the red seem like an extension of said neutrals, at least to my mind.

Ellis helped me throughout this project, didn’t you Ellis?

"yep" ~ellis

“yep” ~ellis

Here are the colors I chose for my Tulip:

"i chose these colors myself!" ~ellis

i chose these colors myself!” ~ellis

These are all Valdani #12 perle cotton which I punched using the lowest setting (#1) on my Cameo needle.  From left to right they are:

5 ~ ecru

h205 ~ ancient gold

p5 ~ tarnished gold

pt2 ~ green twisted tweed

160 ~ light maroon

o510 ~ terracotta twist

What do you think of the colors “I” chose, Ellie?

"wow! fabulous!" ~ellis

“wow! fabulous!” ~ellis

Here’s the tulip mid-project.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Here’s the finished piece.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made it into a pillow stuffed with crushed walnut shells.  Here’s the back.

i love little pockets

i love little pockets

So, you see, with a lot of help from Ellis I’m able to start and finish a project!

You can find this and other Lori Brechlin patterns by visiting her blog here.

You can see more pics of my tulip on etsy, if you’d like by clicking here.

What are you working on?

May you have all the assistance you require!




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!