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!




basket of goodies….

I was looking around today for someone to share secrets with…

otis is busy

otis is busy

Otis had hung out the “do not disturb” sign….

ellis is busy

ellis is busy

Ellis evidently had plans to spend the day in my work chair…. alone.


lilly is busy…

Lilly’s mind was clearly elsewhere…

whatever she sees, it might just deserve investigation...

whatever she sees, it might just warrant investigation…

engaged in critical contemplation of something…

and, she's gone!

and, she’s gone!

apparently worthy of closer scrutiny.

I’ll have to entertain myself, today, so I turn my attention to a diminutive basket I brought home from my mother’s house this weekend where my sister and I paid a visit.

antique basket

antique basket

This little work basket was made in Germany and has been collecting dust for 20 years on a shelf.  I don’t suppose it’s been opened for a decade or more.

pandora's box

pandora’s box

I love how it looks a bit like a tufted armchair when it’s open.

treasures await

treasures await

Inside, I find a jumble of possibilities ~ things look very promising, indeed.

needles and more needles

needles and more needles

I find needles, lots of needles,

old and worn

old and worn

a darner and wood spools of thread,

mother's handwork

mother’s handwork

my mom’s scissor and thimble keeper,

embroidery punches

embroidery punches

some very interesting tools,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa fabulous old hoop,OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAa tape measure I remember playing with as a child, and…

oh my! can it be?

oh my! can it be?

be still my heart, this antique bird pin cushion.

lovely patina

lovely patina

I was looking for one of these, just the other day on  It’s one of those things I really don’t need, but really, really want.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI don’t know why I want one, except that I love birds and these little creations are so intriguing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wonder in what quiet rooms this enchanting bird has served.  How many times has it sat in front of the fire whilst its mistress stitched with the family cat curled at her feet or, more likely, on her lap.  What secrets could this little bird tell?OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy mother also gave me this fabulous old paper box, filled to the brim with…



silk floss ~ oh, lovely, lovely!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAJust look at those neutrals ~ yum!

The last thing I came home with is my favorite thing.

c is for...

c is for…

I just love this pillow my mother made years, and years, and years ago.  The neutrals simply sing to me and the quiet design speaks to my heart, reminding me of days gone by when my mother was my mother and the most creative person in the whole world.

May your day be filled with joyful memories and thoughts of blessings to come!


little thief finish…


little thief

Little Thief is punched and aged and ready to be stuffed.  I stitched the wool I chose for the backing all the way around the punch needle, then cut a slit in the back for turning.

ready for stuffing

I like the way the colors in this piece of wool echo the colors of perle cotton in the punch needle.  I’ve had this wool for several years.  It had started out as a camel color plaid before I dyed it this soft orange.  I haven’t known what to do with it until now ~ Serendipity, for sure!

crushed balsam smells heavenly!

I decided to use crushed balsam and snips for stuffing.

stuffed and stitched

After stuffing and stitching the opening closed, I’m ready to add the “pocket” that will slide over the tin pin cushion holder.

i love this part!

Adding the beaded edging takes time, yes, but I absolutely love the process.  There’s something very soothing about beading, and the addition of these little loops makes a big impact.  They really finish this piece!

I used vintage glass beads which I found online.  New beads, or plastic beads, would have been less expensive, just as using only snips or only fiberfill would have been less costly for the stuffing.  But, for me, using quality vintage things, like these glass beads, or using balsam for stuffing as well as snips adds to my enjoyment and I always do a better job when I enjoy the process!

all done!

Here’s Little Thief in his final glory.I just love the tin pin cushion holder!  I added a vintage wood spool with black thread as a finishing touch.I’m so glad Lori Brechlin came up with this fabulously prim design, and that Ali Strebel offers these wonderful tin holders!If you would like to visit Little Thief on Lori’s blog ~ Not forgotten farm ~ click here

If you would like ordering information for the tin pincushion base available through Ali Strebel ~ click here


Until next time, live Simple!