snowman and santa claus….

tomorrow is thanksgiving day, but my mind is on christmas…

santa drawing

i like to draw my patterns directly onto weavers cloth rather than creating a paper pattern.  it’s less work and it ensures that almost every piece i make from my own designs is one-of-a-kind.  ellis likes to help me with this process….

“i’m a tremendous assistant” ~ellis

i kept santa claus simple, using mostly red and white valdani floss.

santa claus

lilly is awaiting santa’s advent….

“santa? i’m watching the birds!” ~lilly

i like adding tags to my pieces, for some reasons.  maybe because they’re fun to make?

christmas greetings

the other piece i’ve been working on is a snowman.  snowmen are so cheerful!


of course, with snowmen comes cold weather, but otis knows how to stay toasty…

“purrrr…” ~the oatsy

and, lilly has a few how-to-stay-warm-on-a-cold-day pointers…

“first, find a comfy cushion, add a kitty heating pad, top with a blanket and crawl under.” ~lilly-kins

sounds good to me!


the santa claus has sold but you can visit snowman on my etsy shop by clicking here.

wishing you warmth and happiness!



finally finishes….

woolly sheep

woolly sheep

I’ve been punching and punching, and not finishing, for several weeks.  Finally, the last few days have been devoted to completing and updating my etsy shop.

all things autumn ~ bird in the hand primitives

all things autumn ~ bird in the hand primitives

If you stop by etsy, you’ll find a little woolly sheep and a chamomile stuffed pillow.  And, you’ll find…

patriotic gentleman?

patriotic gentleman?

‘scuse me, Otis.  You’ll find…..

"what, me?"

“what, me?”

Toot, toot Oatbran, I’m trying to show the folks my Patriotic Gentleman….



Looks like Oatsy needs a kitty catnip toy to distract him.  If you stop by my etsy shop, you’ll find…

patriotic gentleman

patriotic gentleman

a Patriotic Gentleman and…

crow 1 and 2

crow 1 and 2

a murder of crows.  Though Otis was ready to lend a paw all week, Lilly and Ellis had other events scheduled.



Lilly, in particular, was busy because I introduced her to a new spot…

lilly's spot

lilly’s spot

which consists of a futon mattress, a kitty heating pad and a wool quilt.  What do you think, Lilly?




Wishing you all a Lilly of a day!









phm update and other simple things….

It’s time for the June update of Primitive Handmades Mercantile!  I had fun, this month, working on two Lori Brechlin designs and coming up with a few of my own.  If you’d like to visit my shop you can click here.

vintage ticking horse

vintage ticking horse

Now, I’m working on a little horse and rider make do.  I’m planning to back the horse with ticking and so I think I’ll punch the horse itself in a ticking pattern to match.



It’s been devastatingly lovely here!  Perfect temperatures for sitting outside enjoying all the wonder.  This tiny male hummingbird is fiercely protective of his favorite feeder.

What are the cats doing all this time?

ellis and otis

ellis and otis


otis and lilly

otis and lilly

and more zzzzzz……

Wishing you a sunshiny day!


united inspiration…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe last time I mentioned United ~ this fabulous design from Notforgotten Farm ~ I’d completed the punching, pressing, and covering the back with a protective layer of fabric.  Now, I’m ready to complete it somehow.

piece of salvaged wood

piece of salvaged wood

I decided to use a piece of salvaged wood, complete with its original paint, for finishing United.  I love all the evidence of use this wood shows.



I spread my Elmer’s craft glue all over the back of my punched piece, using the side of the tip to smear the adhesive around.  I used to use a paint brush for spreading the glue, but, the paint brush absorbed much of the glue, it also had to be cleaned when I was done, and it always had to be found in the first place.  So, using the tip to smear saves me time, glue, water and frustration!

let it dry

let it dry

The next part is easy ~ just smooth the punch needle onto the surface of the wood and walk away.  I let my pieces dry overnight.



You can visit United on etsy if you’d like.

Now that I’ve finished United, I’d like to display it somewhere, like on the mantelpiece.  But, United, sitting up on the mantel all by itself probably won’t be very exciting so I decided to do the whole mantel in a patriotic theme.


do you love this “america” banner? i got it from Ivonne of the crackling crows

However, now the mantel sort of sticks out like a sore thumb in my quiet, sparse living room, so I decorate the whole fireplace area…



Of course, you can see where this is going, can’t you?  Now the living room needs a makeover, so I get to work.  I make pillows for the chaises and add lots of my punched and stitched pieces here and there.  I cut out paper bunting and string them together, strewing them hither and thither, I even find a pair of fabulous, chippy shutters at our local antique store, and of course I must have them! Well, anyway, I’ll just show you the pictures and you’ll get the idea….



usa pillow and little birdie

usa pillow and little birdie

usa oil cans

usa oil cans



peep on a wheel

peep on a wheel

bunting and had-to-have shutters

bunting and had-to-have shutters

love birds

love birds

oatbran thinking about those love birds

oatbran thinking about those love birds

love those chippy shutters

love those chippy shutters

punched bird and rabbit on wheels

punched bird and rabbit on wheels


Trouble is, now that the living room is decorated, the dining and kitchen areas are looking a little slack ~ there’s definitely a disadvantage to having an open floor plan!  So…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I made these slip covers for the dining chairs…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These are just lengths of left over linen hopsack from the slip covers I made for the living room a year or so ago.

there's ellis in the background!

there’s ellis in the background!

The dining table has a sort-of-English-Country-Garden thing going on, with a vintage paper-cutter as a base (perhaps the “lawn”), a cake plate and glass dome as the center (kind of like the fountain or statue in the garden, maybe?), and my moss/spoon filled antique custard cups ~ which I made last year.  Can you believe the moss still looks green?! ~ They can be the shrubbery in my tabletop garden.

pretty moss

pretty moss

pretty kitty

pretty kitty

I’m growing rather weary, but I do want to add a little something to the kitchen so that it looks a little fresh, too.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I found this fabulous vintage dish drainer on etsy and thought it would be just the thing.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

It has this awesome little round utensil holder.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I think a crisp, white orchid adds a touch of whimsy to such a humble piece.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, my decorating is complete and I can return to what I really love ~ my punch needle.


Wishing you joy and happiness!


















fancey blackett day 2…

I’ve made a start on Fancey’s flowers, as you can see.

Orange is a color I use often, especially this time of year. This particular selection is my favorite Valdani orange, O 505. It’s a soft color with streaks of subtle almost-brown which makes for beautiful (in my opinion) pumpkins and other delights.

Having come this far, however, I’m having second thoughts. Though I love this neutral orange, wouldn’t Fancey look nice flanked by creamy ecru flowers? Perhaps Valdani M 49, which is a lovely, and very quiet combination of just that hue. I think and I ponder and I hum and I haw and, at last, ask my friend Ellis what he thinks I should do. His response?

“Sleep on it”. And so, I do.


May all your decisions be simple ones, today!


fancey blackett…

Fancey ~ I love that name, don’t you?

This Pineberry Lane design, Fancey Blackett ~ The Gathering Basket, simply called to me, and so I made a start on it this morning. I’m not doing any color planning, just picking as I go.

So far, I’ve used Valdani perle cotton size 12 in colors H 212 for Fancey’s hat, dress, and boots, and 6 for her face, hand and legs. The way the H 212 punches up in vertical or horizontal stripes, (depending on the direction one punches) means I can use just the one floss for both the body of the dress and the sleeve. I won’t need to outline the sleeve or use a different color for the sleeve, unless I want to!

P 9, my new favorite brown, is Fancey’s choice for her hair, and green perle tweed works nicely for her gathering basket.

The very last of my green tweed ~ time to order more! ~ I used for the four large flower centers.

Now, it’s time to ponder a while, look through my Valdani and decide which color to thread my needle with next!

Would you like to visit Pineberry Lane? Click here to find patterns, supplies, and other fun stuff!

Simply enjoy, today!


making do 3…

wrestle fest

Lilly and Ellis decide to help me make do today, and so choose to wrestle in my lap as I settle down to work. (Is it any wonder that I work outdoors, on the deck, whenever possible?)

little witch

A witch, named Wycked, is on the agenda. I don’t want my witches to take themselves too seriously, so whimsy will play a role here today. Evidently, I changed my mind, more than once, while drawing up this little face and hat.

easy peasy

Since this is a witch from my imagination, the color scheme is simple. Valdani perle tweed in green and Valdani perle cotton in variegated black are all I need. Oh, and a touch of Valdani P 9 for the features, too.

all punched?

I thought I was done punching, but on reflection decided that I’d like to hang something (what?) from her hat… what to do, what to do?

adding on

So, I add on to her hat, which, at this point, looks ridiculous.


I persevere, and am happy I did.

buttons and backing

The addition of some eyes and a backing selection helps considerably.

creating the post

Because I want my Wycked to look like she’s atop a fence post, I have to construct said post, some how. This I do with a piece of window sashing, a long nail, a wood dowel, and a pipe cleaner. The nail is tapped into the sashing and the wood dowel is adhered to the nail using glue and the pipe cleaner. The dowel will now fit inside the witch head and add stability.


The hat has a sharp angle, which will be very difficult (for the likes of me) to stuff, so I opt for crushed walnut shells for filling. The walnut shells are very small and will make stuffing around that angle much easier. I got this large bag of walnut shells (aka: bird litter) at a pet supply store.


Introducing the shells into the head is a bit of a challenge, particularly because I want the dowel in the head at the same time.

Whew! I’m stuffed!

I stuff the head tightly because I don’t want her to sag, although some sagging would be interesting and possibly more true to life!

all done and stands about 12″ tall

I add some rusty picture wire and a tiny skeleton key to her hat. A punched tag that reads, “Wycked” adorns the “fence” post as a finishing touch. You can visit Wycked at Primitive Handmades Mercantile by clicking here.

Time for a cup of hot tea. Won’t you join me?


making dos 2…

Otis gives me the Thumbs Up

Here we are, again.  Otis is on his concave cat condo…


…while Lilly and Ellis settle in for a nap.  So, inspired by my feline friends, I get to work on another make do.


I know from the get go that this make do will be perched on an antique porcelain door knob, probably black, but possibly white depending on the floss I use.


Initially, I had thought I would make this a stripe-y cat, but decide, instead, that patches are what I feel like. I’m using two different Valdani perles for the body ~ H 212 which is the darker color and a gorgeous new one, to me, P 9.  P 9 is a sort of carmel-y brown ~ very rich and deep!

patches Cat and Wytch Way?

Now that the punching is done, I decide on wool for the backing.  Stuff it with snips, mount it on the door knob, add a tag or two and voila!

finish is about 8″ tall x 8″ wide

Next on my list is, I think, a little witch.

keep it simple, today!


making dos 1…

otis waves

Before beginning any project I have to find someplace to sit.  This is a game that never grows old, apparently, and I am required, daily, to remove several bodies from my chair.  I call this my chair because it offers the best lighting, but there is much dissention amongst the ranks as to whom the chair really belongs.  I typically admit defeat and move to a less comfortable and dimmer seat.

the life of a beloved cat

Otis has adopted the top of the cat condo (cardboard box) as his favorite perch.  He has his own little hooked rug and, due to his somewhat vast weight, the condo is taking on a nice bowl shape.

wytch way?

Now that we are all comfortable, more or less, I can make a beginning.  I’ll be working on make dos (because they’re fun to make and hold much scope for the imagination, I find) and will start with Wytch Way?, which is one of my designs.   I’ve free-handed onto the weavers cloth, with much erasing, as is typical.

finished rug and punch needle in progress

I’ve made this pattern into both a rug and a punch needle piece before, but this will be the first time as a make do.  I’m not sure how I’m planning to make do, but surely some idea will come to me…?

Wytch Way? and Cat

After I complete the punching, I decide to add some embellishments in the form of these vintage glass beads.  I hope they’ll add a bit of night-time glimmer to an otherwise plain piece.

stuff, stuff, stuff

It takes an extraordinary amount of snips to stuff this relatively small piece ~ That’s okay by me!  I have bags and bags of snips.

closing in

At this point I have to make a decision.  Am I going to mount Wytch Way? on a base of some kind, which means leaving a small opening here, or close her up completely so she can be a bowl filler?


I opt for stitching the opening closed, but instead of displaying her in a bowl, I add a length of fishing line and let her hang from a nail.

A vintage crochet covered (I think) metal band makes an admirable hanger.    Wytch Way? measures about 7″ across and 2″ thick.  She’ll either be in the Primitive Handmades Mercantile update this Friday or in my etsy shop (more decisions ~ oh no!).


Are you making do, today?








little thief…

ellis has a flair for color

With Ellis’s invaluable assistance, I’ve been able to make my color selections for Lori Brechlin’s, “Little Thief”. I’ll be using Valdani perle cotton throughout in colors: 135 for the squirrel, PT 2 for the acorn body, P 6 for the orange accents, and 6 for the ecru background. I have yet to decide the color for the acorn cap, so I’ll be giving that some thought.

Punching the tail was a new experience for me. Lori’s directions call for a #9 setting on a Cameo punch needle to achieve a fluffy tail. This was the first time I had used such a long needle, and at first I felt a little awkward. After accidentally jabbing my leg a few times, I finally got the hang of it, and the results were worth the minor loss of blood!

love that fluffy tail!

The added dimension makes this piece unique, and the texture is wonderful! Just a little bit more punching to do……and the punching is done! In the end, I chose a pretty brown perle for the acorn cap.

I think I’ve decided on this quiet plaid for the backing.

Wishing you a simple, joyful day!