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!



merrie wynter….

Just in time for Spring!


Lori wrote and asked me if I would share the colors I used for the Kelley Belfast design, “Merrie Wynter”.  Of course!  I’d love to share!  Then, I started looking for my photos of my “Merrie Wynter” so I could see what colors I had used… ha!  I thought for sure I’d posted my finish here at one time or another, so I did a search on my blog.

What an exercise in frustration my blog search is!  I don’t know if the problem is how I label and tag things, but I do know I can never find what I’m looking for, and it’s my OWN blog!

Anyway, I asked Lori if she had a photo of the piece she was interested in, and, thankfully, she did…..

merrie wynter

merrie wynter


Lori also shared the link to Kelley’s blog where she found “Merrie Wynter”.  Click here.  Kelley graciously shares the pattern and gives her permission to use her design in that post, so definitely check it out!
Here are the colors I used:
background ~ 5
“merrie wynter” background ~ p3
“merrie wynter” ~ o510
snowman ~ p4
snowman hat/features ~ h212
snowman nose/scarf, moon and star ~ o154
trees ~ o41
I used two strands of Valdani perle cotton size 12 in my medium Cameo needle on the lowest (#1) setting.
The snow has melted here, and the sun is shining ~
Spring is in the air ~ tra la!


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!



cathy shares….

I have some incredible finishes to share with you!  Cathy is a very talented needle woman, as you saw in this post.  Recently, she sent me some photos of her latest pieces and I am simply in awe!000_1209000_1375 000_1109 000_1440 000_1276

Wow!  Aren’t they wonderful?  Cathy does not, currently, offer her patterns for sale, but the second she does I will let you know!  Thank you, Cathy, for allowing me to share your beautiful projects!

I’ve been working on some Halloween themed pieces, too.  It’s going very slowly, however, because my arms hurt.  I have no idea why.  Maybe it’s related to my sciatica which I’ve been spending time with lately?  Lilly’s been trying to make me feel better….

"i can fit into the smallest places on earth" ~ lilly

“i can fit into the smallest places on earth” ~ lilly

One piece that I’d really like to finish is Wytch and Cat pull toy….



The little wytch sits in her pumpkin.  She’ll have two arms and I think she’ll hold a jack-o-lantern.



Cat is a little bigger than Wytch.  I’m planning to use autumnal colors…



Until next time, enjoy the last slice of August!



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!






hearts in hands….

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a heart in hand, but I came across this antique example and fell in love…..

Group 03a 96 px

“nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands” ~ e.e. cummings

Those gloves, worn and used, yet someone loved them, or the wearer, enough to encompass them… to create a work of art.  My version will never compare, of course, but, perhaps you’d like to join me in your own personal opus of these hearts in hands?


hearts in hands

You should be able to grab the above and adjust it to whatever dimensions you’d like.  I’ve decided to stay very neutral, (whoa…. no way rebecca).  Here are the colors I’m planning to use:


hearts in hands colors

Reading from left to right, they are:  Valdani 5, 6, o549 and jp4.  I use, as always, two strands of #12 perle cotton in my medium Cameo punch needle, set at the lowest, #1, setting.


I would LOVE to see your version!


be well, and if you can’t be well, be HAPPY!



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!