Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Decorating and Wool Punchneedle

I have been experimenting with wool yarn and punch needle and love the look.
I used lopi lite and some vintage yarn I had to make this piece. I used a 7 height on the design and a 6 for the background.
This is a design by Kelly Belfast that she made for our group to use and it was fun to punch up.

I used a cameo large needle on jo anns weavers. Their weavers has more stretch to it, so great for the thicker yarns.
You do have to be careful with the lopi yarns, they can tear as you pull the strands apart, so it is more time consuming, but well worth the look.

I have been doing a little decorating as I go and this is how I fixed up my bench this week. The feather tree was made by my friend Joanne. She even hooked the tree skirt to go with it. The candy canes I made by using pipe cleaners and spraying them with walnut spray, then sprinkling cinnamon on them. I dried them in my front loader, but you can dry them in the oven on low too. I found the wire basket at the home store for 4 dollars and then I made new rag balls with christmas colors. I just took my pumpkin balls and left the orange fabric on and put the new color over it. It saved on having to use more fabric and made the balls a bit bigger. Then I added my new/old firkin and kitty.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Christmas Decorating: Zero Dollars

I am one of those, that starts pulling the Christmas decorations out, the day after Thanksgiving.
Sadly, I cannot put up my big tree with all my collectible cat ornaments, because of two very obnoxious kitties.
Yesterday I washed my big penny mats and put them back in place along with a few new decorations and this morning they were all over the place. I could hear Dora and izzy all night, racing through the house, flying across the tables and knocking down everything in their path.

So, for this year, I am doing more decorating on higher areas and walls, but I am sure the girls will find a way to get to them too;)
I seriously need to start making things for me, in January. At this time in the season, I am busy making presents so no time for me or sales. I hate to make things too early, things and tastes change, so who knows what new patterns and ideas, I might have next year.

I decided to take out things I had and redo them a bit, for now. I had an old wreath with the ugly bright velvet bows, so I took those off and added homespun and a couple of kitties. I like to keep them simple, then next year I can put something new on, no glue, I just stick them on. Scrap fabric and handmade kitties on an old wreath; Zero dollars.

The second spot I did up was the top of my tv unit. I used the wood planter I got and added fresh greens from my neighbors pines, shhhhh;) Then I cut some red berries from my other neighbors wire fence. They are all over grown and i am just trimming them for them;) A candle holder and my red glass angels and a new look for zero dollars.

I have some other things I am doing and will share my cheap and free decorating with you, through the coming month.
I will also share ideas where I can. As for the kitties, I used a basic shape and heavy cotton ticking. One I sewed inside out and turned, the other I sewed from the outside to give it a rough edge. I like the rough edge best. Then I used floss to make a face and stained with walnut ink. You can make simple cutouts like these from cookie cutter shapes and sew wrong sides together. Leave about a half inch to the edge and after stuffing, use your scissors and rub the edge. This will pull the loose threads out and leave the remaining threads raggedy.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone had a wonderful day today. We enjoyed the day with our kids and DIL, so it was nice without being too crazy.
This is not a great shot of course, but this is what my family looks like, minus dad who is sitting at the end of the table.
My daughter Danielle, DIL Ivy and son, Billy. Remind me to go out and buy some new silverware and dishes before Christmas;)

And this is what my son thought would be a good dessert, a birthday cake for me. I got to blow out the candles, they got to eat the cake, haha. I am cannot eat cake because of my allergies, so I got to imagine how good it taste;) The cake was from a local Dairy, and called Holy cow chocolate cake, very fitting.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Punch Needle Finishes

I finished a few punch needles this week, so I thought you might like to see them.
The first is a punch that I did using my friend Kelley's designs from her new book. I used the fall cat and changed the pumpkin into a snowball head. I added the tree too, not sure if it looks right.
I used strands of wool for designs in a higher height and the background is done with dmc floss.

The next piece is a design by Brenda of Country Stitches. A friend has given me several of her patterns and I love doing them. Of course it was a present and I love this design, so this one is for me;) It looks so much better in person than a picture can show. It looks great on my new rack. I did this one with 3 strands using DMC floss, but for the background, I used valdani antique black.

This last piece I did from an old rug design. I had planned on doing the entire design in wool, but it was really hard to do, so I got lazy and made it into just a deer pillow. This is all wool yarn, real yarn that I pulled strands off into smaller pieces. I love how it looks though, really nice texture. I will be spending the day tomorrow cleaning and cooking, so I may not be back for a few days. I hope everyone who visits has a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with family and love.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Contest Winners!

Well it is my Birthday, or was and I think one present isn't enough, so I decided to pick two winners.
Winner Number One is.......I Play Outside the Box
Winner Number Two is......Quilt Hollow

You can go to my ecrater site, link on the left and pick out any pattern or booklet that you would like.
Congratulations to the winners.

I didn't take any pictures of my new items today so I decided to put up a rug I made and not liking, as is.
The angel is pulling a cat on the sled, so I think I need to change the cat, so you can see it and also a bird on the tree which is too hard to see. Also, maybe too many snowflakes? What do you think? It is finished and bound, but I can still unhook and rehook without the frame, so it is doable and I really liked the idea, just wish I had changed it earlier.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gifts, goodies and a contest!

I belong to a wonderful ebay group with fellow primitive crafters called USAPRIM. You can find hand crafted items make in the USA by using our intials in the search. One of the things we do is Rak each other, which means random acts of kindness. This week I received some wonderful goodies for my birthday, which is tomorrow and no I don't want any hooplah or reminders that I am one year older;)

This set of items was made by Chris Moore, she does wonderful work with punch needles and rugs and she even made me a beautiful theorem painting. I think the new painting will be perfect for my guest room, over the cherry desk. I collect red glass and I think the dish she sent me would look nice with prim fabric candies.

Another gift was sent by Ginger. She made me wonderful penny ornies and a beautiful stocking. I really need soft ornies for my small trees and these will be perfect. I love the small grubby candles, I plan on tying a piece of homespun to make ornies with them. The sheep will go perfect with my new wood house. All wonderful and thoughtful presents.

I also found some goodies this week, some smalls to decorate with. Still looking for larger pieces or we might build some.
I love wall baskets, they fit anywhere and I can fill them with pine and dried items for Christmas. This was a rare find, an older wood basket, even the lady at the counter remarked on how nice this one was. I don't think they know what they have half of the time;)

I found this unique chalk board too. I think a prim punch or maybe a stitched piece, would look nice over the cork section.

And I promised to have a give away for my birthday, so starting tonight, any comments will be entered into a drawing on Sunday night. The winner will receive their choice of an ebooklet or pattern from my store. If you already have all of my books and happen to win, you can request any future pattern.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Primitive Peg Rack

My husband had a few days off, so he repainted the hallway, where I had painted a mural, years ago.
Then he made me my peg rack, just like I wanted, I love how it came out. I did the painting and antiquing.
I think we make a good team;) I threw a few things on it for now. With Christmas decorating around the corner, I am just doing a bit for now with the new items, then I can start getting my holiday things out to hang on the walls and shelves. I did get head start with some pine boughs and berries that I got in the back yard.

I didn't put any spray on the rack, I wanted a dull, old look. But, the flash glossed everything up, so the items look shiny instead of prim. I am still thinking on my bday giveaway, so stay tuned for that, later in the week. The wonderful black basket is the one, I won, from Pam at BasketnPrims. Be sure to check out Pam's blog, her baskets are beautiful.

And for your amusement, this is drinking time at our house. When one wants water, I turn the faucet on and the other comes running. As usual Dora barged in and took first place, while Izzi had to wait her turn.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sunday Shopping

Today we headed down to Mystic Seaport to check out another of my favorite prim stores.
No pictures, but I can tell you, it was a prim lovers dream. Unfortunately, most of the items were real antiques and items that were above my budget, so I left with two black grubby candles.

It is a village set up, so you can walk to different types of stores and they have a mill pond where you can see the ducks who have made their home there.

We made a few more stops, but nothing great today. We went for a nice walk at one of the sanctuaries to enjoy the beautiful day.
We could hear the surf pound at the ocean, but of course the photos I got at the beach were too dark, by the time I took those.

So, we ended up at the home store and I found a wooden house in the sale rack, so that made me happy. I want to make a display with it for the holidays and then I can change it out with the seasons. It was dark and I was tired when I got home, so tomorrow I will stain my new peg rack and when I get it on the wall, you can see how it looks.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Primitive Shopping Day

Today I got to go to my favorite store; Things Made Wonderful Country Store. The first thing I saw on the porch was a halloween sale. Now for those who know me, I am a cat nut and halloween means cats. So, I found two fun cats to add to my collection and at half price!

This guy is so fun and he will go into my hooking room. That is where I display my halloween items, rugs and some fun cats, all year round. That is the room I will be moving my office into and using as a creative space this winter.

Then I found a black kitty, that I can redo to fit the seasons since he is simple. Also, more ornaments to add to my collection. I will be doing smaller table top trees this year, so adding to my light and small cat ornaments. I also got some small goods that will go into gift boxes, so you can't see those;)

I had to get permission to take these next shots, so I hope you enjoy seeing how they decorate some of the rooms for the holidays. I wish I could have gotten better shots, each room is filled with prim furniture and goodies and it is just so warm and inviting. I want to make all my rooms look like these.

I love the deacons bench and coffee table in this room, on my wish list.

The living room is so warm and inviting, it is filled with wonderful goodies and a great way to envision how things look in a home.

For those of you who love farm tables, this is a dream room. Behind that is a bedroom with a four poster bed and then there are rooms with linens, candles, smalls, and the list goes on. At the end of the tour, there is a large room with a fireplace and more furniture and smalls. Mixed in with the newer wares are antique items that are also for sale. They also carry a nice selection of prim trees, for those of you who are looking for them. And if that is not enough, upstairs is filled with booths from different vendors, carrying antiques and handmade primitive items. If you are in the Rhode Island area, it is a must see store and if you visit their Online Site, you can check out their events, which has an upcoming holiday weekend.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Primitive Shelf

I saw a shelf I liked, so I asked my husband to make me one and being the sweetheart that he is, he made me one.
Today I finally aged it and got it up on the wall. The problem is, he put hang hooks on the back, so it is tilted, will have to fix that problem and he will put the antique nails in tomorrow. Those will go on the bottom piece, so I can hang things on that too.

I grunged up my old candle holders too, but not sure if I like the shape of them, maybe some cast iron long candle holders instead? It is a pain with that wall, as you can see they made a hole in it to get light into the kitchen, I hate the hole, so we will either fill it in or redo the whole kitchen when I win the lottery, haha. I think a nice sign would be a good backdrop in that area, guess I need to make one of those too. I even cleaned off the dining table for the picture;)

Here is a closer look, he used some of our wainscoting to make the backing. Once it sits straight, I can put some of my red glass bottles on it.

And for the cute of the day, here is Dora. I was vacuuming and she likes to watch. She has such pretty eyes, but she must see the blink on my flash and gets those eyes closed before I hit the button, lol.

I took this shot looking up, so it cast a shadow on the ceiling with the flash.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thrifting Goodies

After being stuck in the house so long with the flu, it was so nice to get out again. Yesterday I went wild and hit four stores in our area, of course, today I am resting;) I thought you might like to see some of the goodies I got.

I found the wire basket at the home store, love using them around the house and filling them with prims. Then I hit a consignment store and found a fun sewing firkin with my favorite subject, a kitty. And they also had a cast iron cat door stop to add to my collection.

This was my lucky store of the day, I also found the prim candle keep with 4 grubby candles.

At the salvation army I found a candle board, needs sanding and stain, but a nice find.

And I had to get this, because it was cute and only 50 cents.

In another consignment, I found a nice wall basket, this is a larger one and it has a painted frame on the front, I took that off.
It will be perfect with a nice punched piece on it. So, I had a good day thrifting and now I need to paint my hallway and start redecorating that area with some of my new goodies.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

New Goodies and Contest prize

I finally got around to getting some pictures of the wonderful prize I won from Basketsnprims. I was expecting a basket and not only did I get a beautifully made prim basket but other goodies, as well. It was like Christmas, opening up her package.

The basket is absolutely wonderful and the picture is horrid, flask and baskets do not mix. I put it on the wall and added a bit of dried twigs and a wonderful pin keep bird, a friend made me. It will do for now, but I have a wall that needs to be painted and filled with prim goodies. My husband decided to put the wainscoting up first, then paint, ugh. So, the upper half has half of my mural still on it. Once I paint over it, I plan on putting the basket there with other items I need to sand and paint.

Here are the rest of the goodies, Pam was so generous. I put the grubby flicker candle on a shelf I found in an antique consignment store and the jar on a higher shelf, away from my kitties. I just love all of the items she sent me, things I will use and treasure. I do love grubby tapers, like the one laying on the table, but they are hard to find around here and always cost so much for one. If you know of someone who sells them at a good price in volume, I would love to know. I love candles and need more to fill the holders I have.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Cat baths and contest

First of all, I want to tell you about a wonderful contest hosted by Amanda Atkins. She is the daughter of Donna Atkins who had a great contest of her wonderful folk art prints and I won! I will show you the pictures as soon as I decide how to frame them and some are going to be gifted, but you can visit her site and see all the wonderful art she has and epatterns if you like to paint your own.

Amanda has her own style, but is a very gifted artist herself. I love her fun and unique style. She is giving one lucky winner, a painting of the winner. I would love to have one done in character style, what a neat prize.

Now onto Dora. Dora has two modes, non stop action or out like a light. She spends her waking hours patrolling the house looking for trouble and always checking to see if I am watching. I assume she does it just to annoy me and then I get that big grin of hers. Taking a bath is no different. The minute she hears the water running, she is there to help. Making sure the bubbles are just right.

And making sure the water temperature is not too hot or cold. I keep waiting for the day when she jumps in with me;)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another rug and new books

After finishing my locker hooked rug, I thought about what to do next and could not get motivated to do anything and I still had the pile of scraps I used. So, I thought, what if I use burlap and hook strips. You know the saying, me and my brilliant idea;)
I figured if I made the strips wide enough, they would stay, but I ended up making them a bit under an inch, since they were hard to pull through. The nice thing about hooking instead of locker hooking, is I didn't need the string and I could make a shape.

It was a practice and shows you that you can hook with jo anns cheap burlap and fabric. I think if I had made the strips wider and folded them, I would have gotten a better puffed loop on top, but rag is good too. It was quick and fairly easy and will make a great mat for dirty shoes. I also think that if you use a nice soft homespun, it would make a great table mat.

We have a thrift store called savers, and one of my favorite place to look for goodies. This week I lucked out and found some quilt magazines and two quilting books. I got the purse one for templates to make items as gifts. I was thrilled to find the quilt book, that was a great bargain at 3 dollars. So, for 10 dollars, I got a few good books and some magazines to look at, can't beat that for cheap entertainment.