’twas the night before christmas….

Well, not exactly.  I mean, here it is, the middle of January…. not exactly the night before Christmas or anything like it.  In fact, I completely missed Christmas and New Year’s, here, in the blog-o-sphere… ah me.  However, it’s never too late to send warm wishes, so, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!

Naomi wrote and asked me if I’d ever published the Valdani colors I used for Robin Leuschen’s, “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” punch needle.  Do you remember that project?  Here it is:OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I never did share my palette with you, so just to set the record straight, this is the complete list:

jp6 (muddy pots) ~ Santa’s outfit
5 (ecru) ~ Santa’s beard and trim, stars, reindeer’s antlers
6 (natural) ~ berries on the vine
p4 (aged white) ~ vine, moon, 1822, Santa’s face
h205 (ancient gold) ~ reindeer, sleigh runners
p5 (tarnished gold) ~ words, reindeer collars and reins, sleigh
h212 (faded brown) ~ eyes
m1001 (vanilla sky) ~ background
The lamb’s tongues around the edges are the colors used in the design.

You can find Robin’s patterns by visiting her blog, Bird in the Hand Prims ~ click here.  She has some fabulous new freebie patterns on her site right now!


My camera isn’t working…..  well, it’s working, it’s just not WORKING.  I mean, I can take pictures with it, but they come out very unsatisfactorily (which reminds me of the grades I used to get in High School :~>), so I don’t have any new photos to share.  Time to shop!


Several of you have asked about how I age my pieces (thank you for your interest!).  As soon as I get a new camera, I’ll try to put something together to show you!

Until then, wring every bit of enjoyment out of each possible moment!



winter decorating…

“it’s the most wonderful time of the year!”

boxwood wreath

boxwood wreath

I spent some time earlier this month putting up some wintry decorations, like the above boxwood wreath…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAand Randy’s stocking which was made for him by a babysitter, long ago.

1 fish, 2 fish

1 fish, 2 fish

The fish tank, too, is looking festive with three glass ornaments.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA1 Fish, 2 Fish also have a little nativity scene to get them in the spirit.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOver here, by the fireplace I hung two white wool stockings along with a garland of handmade paper ornaments and antique tin cutters.





Above the mantle….

t'was the night before christmas

’twas the night before christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (design by Robin of Bird in the Hand Primitives) floats serenely.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Stockings hang on each of the dining chairs.  Of course, I had help getting them just right….

"here, let me do that!" ~lilly

“here, let me do that.” ~lilly

Lilly was a marvelous assistant…

"see?  all you need are some needle-sharp claws." ~ lilly

“see? all you need are some needle-sharp claws.” ~ lilly

Because of all the claws and curiosity that reside in our abode, we don’t have a large Christmas tree.  However, we do have two small feather trees that perch high above the floor, out of reach of paws and claws.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

These trees hold my grandmothers antique ornaments.  Ellis is in charge of tree trimming…

"ta da!" ~ ellis

“ta da!” ~ ellis

And, where is Otis all this time?

"i have no shame." ~ the oatbran

“i have no shame.” ~ the oatbran

I can’t say I blame him.  Given the choice between a muscle relaxing massage or hours of cleaning and decorating, there’s no question which I’d choose.


whatever you decide to do today, enjoy it to the utmost!





a winner and a finish…

congratulations, Cyndi!

congratulations, Cyndi!

The winner of The Simple Quiet pear giveaway is Cyndi Lott ~ Congratulations to you, Cyndi!  (watch for an email from me, Cyndi :~>)


I completed the framing of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, and I think I like it!

'twas the night

’twas the night

Though I waffled for a time, wondering if the frame would be too grand for the primitive Bird in the Hand Prims design, I’m glad I followed through and tried coupling the two.

Some folks prefer a more cohesive style, like a primitive frame with a primitive embroidery.  I admire those people!  I love going to their homes and seeing one era or one style represented.  I think Lori Brechlin’s home is a perfect example of primitive and it is sooo beautifully done!  (haven’t seen Lori’s home?  Click here to visit Notforgotten Farm)  There’s another Lori who has done Primitive flawlessly.  Lori Rippey of Home Spun Prims has a home I’d love to see in person!  (Click here for Lori’s home)  I, myself, just can’t seem to stick to one style, I have very eclectic taste ~ I like the old juxtaposed with the new (mostly because then I get to use the word “juxtapose”), the splashy combined with the humble, the intricate with the plain…OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

…and so, I am drawn to this coupling ~ the elegant antique frame surrounding the primitive and humble embroidery.

My favorite part is, of course, the way the embroidery floats inside the frame.  Because I want to be able to sell this piece, I want it to be ONE piece, but look like two.  I also want it to function as two pieces if the future owner so desires.  In case you ever want to try a similar scheme, here’s how I achieved that end.

back view

back view

Hopefully, you can see in the above photo that the embroidery is suspended from the frame.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I used two little rings, a length of monofilament and a safety-pin for each end of the embroidery.  The upper ring slips over a small nail in the frame, allowing for easy removal.

dowels and pockets

dowels and pockets

The embroidery is large enough that it “buckled” when I tried hanging it without the dowels.  So, I added a long pocket to the top and to the bottom edges in the same wool I used for the backing.  These dowels can be removed, so….



that the embroidery will lay flat.  It’s the Transformer of the needle punch world!

Now, one last picture and I’ll let you get back to whatever you were doing…



I just love this detail!  You may have noticed, and wondered what the bundle of wire was in the first picture in this post of ‘Twas the Night.  Whoever had this frame before me was a person after my own heart.  When she found that the wire was too long for the wall on which the frame was hung, she simply wrapped the wire around the nail until it was the proper length ~ what a great touch of primitive whimsy to an otherwise serious and elegant frame!


I’d be so interested to hear what you think of this finish ~ good or bad!  Let me know!


be warm and happy,





an idea and a giveaway…

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” has been on my mind.  Pestering me and keeping me awake nights ~ how was I going to finish it?  Some of you gave me really good ideas!  Myra’s suggestion of a tray-type finish started the wheels turning.  Finally, today inspiration struck!

a frame? pretty commonplace isn't it?

a frame? pretty commonplace isn’t it?

You may be thinking that framing ‘Twas the Night… is not only an obvious idea, but it’s a stale one to boot.  But, this is an exciting frame…

old is lovely!

old is lovely!

This is an antique frame, gold leafed and with a rich, time-worn patina.

ellis gives it the sniff test

ellis gives it the sniff test

This frame has just been waiting in the wings for its turn at stardom.  Ellis, the producer and director, has the final say…

"ok by me!"

“ok by me!”

…and gives two thumbs up.  I love all the crackling and other signs of age, not to mention all the beautiful detailing!


i wish i could replicate all that gorgeous distressing!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the things that attracted me to this frame for ‘Twas the Night, is that it’s opening is much larger than the embroidery.  What a host of possibilities this creates!  I could use a piece of foam core covered in fabric on which to mount the embroidery, or a painted and distressed board as backing, but what I really want to use is nothing at all except a wire or piece of twine.  I want to figure out a way to suspend ‘Twas the Night… in the middle of the opening, in a way in which the embroidery could be removed and used as a mat, if desired.  This will involve some sort of clips or a sleeve or something, in addition to all my brain cells firing at once!

Now, on to the giveaway!

a simple quiet pear

a simple quiet pear made of wool and stuffed with walnut shells

If you’d like to win this giveaway pear, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me if you like my idea for finishing ‘Twas the Night…, or if you don’t like my idea!  My random generator will choose a winner this coming Saturday, February 9, in the afternoon sometime and I’ll post the winner Saturday evening!


In the meantime, think happy thoughts and thank you for being with me!