Sunday, August 24, 2014

~*Oxford Punching*~

Hello Dear Friends!

I hope you are having a great weekend!

I've been crafting as much as possible between family time and chores.  This weekend I've been keeping my Oxford Punch popping!  This is one of the mediums I will be demonstrating at two events in just a few months... I posted about them in the previous post.

With Oxford Punching, I typically don't just make 'rugs'.  This art form is a method of rug making, but I personally like it more for adding to other pieces.  Here are a few thrift store pieces as they were before...
 I added some paint to them... and then began playing with the needle and yarn...
 Here are the finished pieces...
 The JOL is made from acrylic, bulky weight yarns.  I love the variegated orange~ish color!
 Close up...
 The snowman is mounted in a very shallow bowl.  I used 100%, rug weight wool yarn for him.  Someone could use him to set out a few peppermint candies around Christmas.  He will share with anyone.  Look at that grin!
 With those two pieces finished... and my muse wanting to keep working with my Oxford Punch... I picked out a few more boxes and thrift store goodies to bring new life too...
 And have kept punching...
 The Oxford Punch I am using is my Amy Oxford #10 punch.  My SIL Robin and I went to Ginger's house in June for a rug camp to learn how to use it.  We had an amazing teacher!  Frank Beilec!  If you ever get a chance to take a class with him... DO IT!

Today we had a small birthday party for my sweet kiddo.  I can hardly believe he will be 12 in just a few days!  Many family members came for lunch and goodies.  Happy Birthday Trinity!  Mom loves you!  (Yes, I do think he could use a haircut... but he doesn't.)  *grin*
Wishing you all warm smiles...


Friday, August 22, 2014

~*Some of My Finished Wares*~

Hello Dear Friends!

I told you before that I have kept busy crafting at my summer job.  The pile of things needing 'finished' has grown greatly over the summer.

Here are a few things I have been able to actually complete... I'll show a few more over the next few days...

boxes... lots of needlepunched~topped boxes...

I have used DMC cotton floss on some and lovely wool floss on others.  The boxes have been trimmed with fabrics and slightly aged... because that I how I do things.
You can't see in these photos, but the underside of all the boxes have been finished with wool... just to make them softer.  I also hand sew wool yarn... using linen thread around the edge of each needlepunch.  I feel it is necessary to cover the white edge left when tucking the Weaver's Cloth under.
Most of the designs are my own doodles... but the chicken on the box below was fashioned from a lovely design by Tonya Robey.  She has an awesome rug pattern in the latest Primitive Quilts and Projects magazine.  I hope to be able to hook her pattern soon.  I love it!  My chicken looks different than hers, but I do need to give credit where credit is do.

I've been working on many things.  I'm not sure if any of these items will be listed for sale online or not... at least not at this time.  I am however preparing for a few great events...

On Sunday, October 12th... I have been invited by Pam of Cabin Antiques to display my wares and demonstrate needlepunch at her Customer Appreciation Day.  Cabin Antiques is a lovely cabin on Lake Wabaunsee full of beautiful antiques.  I feel so honored to be a part of this event... and I am delighted to have Pam as a new friend!  (I met her while working at my summer bait shop job!)

On Friday, November 7th... I will be demonstrating again at the First Friday event in Topeka at Fairlawn Plaza Mall.

I'll be back soon to share more!  Looking back at my photographs... it appears I need to work on them better.  Well... I have been out of the loop for awhile.  I'll be better in the next post.

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Saturday, August 2, 2014

~*I'll Be Back Soon...*~

 ©primitivebettys 2014

Hello Dear Friends!  I do hope you have been enjoying your summer.  My summer has been very memorable... and I do honestly feel it has been quite wonderful!  Yes, it has been busy... but then, aren't they all?

As you may recall, I took a summer job at a bait shop ~ here at our local lake... Lake Wabaunsee.  We moved in our new home last October.  While I have always been familiar with the area... I didn't know anyone here and I had not spent a lot of time around Eskridge or Lake Wabaunsee.  When I was offered this job, I was a little excited.  It doesn't pay beans (not even minimum wage!)... but I was looking forward to it.  Now as the job is nearing an end... I can honestly say it has been worth it and so much more!

I have made memories and new friends!  WARNING... This is a wordy, windy blog post.  It just shares my joys of summer.  <3>

My job has had its not~so~great moments like cleaning the public restrooms, picking up gobs of trash left by campers and fishermen, cleaning up what dozens of geese can leave behind (if you know what I mean... ewwww!), getting up before dawn so I can be there by 6am, and sitting alone in a quiet, stinky (very stinky!) bait shop when times are slow.

But really... the good outweighs the bad!  Here is my list of good...

* Beautiful Flinthills sunrises... In my normal life, I am not a morning person.  I can usually crawl out of bed early, but not so early to see the sun rise and brighten the sky.  The sunrises this summer have been truly amazing!  They are so full of color and so stunningly spectacular!!!

* Lake Wabaunsee itself has been truly amazing!  When the summer started, the water was low from the last few years of drought.  We have had rain this year and the water has now risen to where it should be.  I love to watch the water sparkle with the winds.  I love to see the morning fog when the temperatures are cool.  When I've been there during the rainfall... that is beautiful too.  The smell, sounds, and sight of rain on the lake is something else.

* The wildlife at the lake is special too.  While the geese can be quite messy, they are great to watch.  I have been able to walk within feet of them.  They do honk and hoot loudly, but it is great to hear.  When they begin to fly away, their large wings flap and splash the water.  It is fun to watch.  There have been deer, ducks, and cranes nearby too.  It is quite peaceful to see them all.

* I pass many cattle fields on my drive to the lake.  I thought it interesting when I had to call the sheriff's office on a bunch of cows.  Well, when they can, they will get out of the fields and walk along the ditches and the roads.  Someone needs to be notified to round them up again before they cause an accident.

* Seeing grumpy, grouchy ol' men smile when they tell their fish stories made me realize these grumpy, grouchy ol' men can smile!

* Seeing cheerful, sun-kissed faces when kids are enjoying summer fun ... fishing or building sandcastles on the swimming beach is priceless.

* When my son tagged along with me a few times... and even brought a few friends with him... was priceless too.  He decided early in the summer that 6am was not really 'his thing'... but I loved to watch him fish, I loved to see his face light up when he caught one, and I loved to just sit and visit with him.  At the bait shop, I was able to get him away (me too!) from the cell phone, computer, and TV.  It was just us and some good quality time together!

* All that time alone at the quiet, stinky, bait shop... meant I could craft and craft!  Each day I took along a project or two.  My stack of pieces waiting to be finished in~to something is huge now.  Soon, you will see what I have created.  I must say it was funny to hear ol' men comment on my work.  I would be sitting there cross stitching, rug hooking, or needle punching when they would walk in.  Several asked me what I was knitting.  Hmmmm.... guess they should stick to fishing huh?

* One of my favorite summer memories inspired the doodle above.  A little boy, maybe 5 years old, came into the bait shop alone one day.  He was camping with is family.  He came in with a dollar wadded up in his small hand and was looking around.  When I asked what he was looking for, he replied, "Worms."  I told him, "We sell them by the dozen and they are $2.25... $2.43 with tax."  I asked, "Do you have enough?"  With a frown on his face, he said, "No."  Well, I am a sucker for little boy frowns!  I'm sure he could have gone back and asked his parents, but they might have said he couldn't have more money.  I grabbed my wallet and made up the difference so he could go fishing.  He was happy and the smile on his face proved it!

Later, I saw him fishing (alone still) off the end of the wood dock.  The doodle shows how he put the worm on his hook.  That, of course, is not the right way to do it... but he was having fun and I didn't correct him.  I asked if he had caught any fish yet.  He told me he had a bunch of bites, but no fish yet.  He was happy and excited.  He may have been happier if he caught one... but he was having a good time.  That is all that mattered.

Feel free to play with the doodle.  It is simple, but maybe it will inspire you to create something.  Soon I will be back with lots of finished goodies to share.  My time at the bait shop will end in a few weeks... and so will summer vacation for my son.  School starts here on August 21st.  

Wishing you all warm smiles...


Monday, June 30, 2014

~*How I Did It*~

Hello Dear Friends!  Happy Monday!

Switching gears a little... and finishing some hooked projects.  I still worked on some cross stitch at the bait shop (my silly summer job) this morning, but last evening and tonight I'm finishing some hooked goodies that were started a few months back... some candle mats and mug rugs.

In the hooking world... I'm sure I have broken a ton of rules.  However, these little things are NOT floor rugs.  They are just for sitting here and there to add a little prim charm around the home.  I will be marking the price on them ~ not too high ~ and putting them in our booth at ReRun Consignments... and maybe offering a few online.  

My first rug hooking NO~NO... I hooked on burlap.  Yes, the cheap stuff you can get in the fabric departments.  It is itchy to work on and won't last a 100 years.  It will be just fine for these projects though.

I did hook with wool strips... cut to anywhere between 8-9... 1/4 to 1/2 inch or so.

I hooked several on a large piece of burlap at one time... using scraps from my big ol' scrap tin.

Circles and squares are drawn on the burlap with a black marker... about 7 inch circles and about 5 inch squares.

After the hooking was complete... a quick roll with the lint brush and a hot steam from the iron... and then some glue.  Yes, another hooking NO~NO!  (At least when making a floor rug... but I am not with this project.)

 Yes, glue... plain Elmer's school glue.  I drizzled a fat bead as close to the last row of hooking as possible.  Then let it dry.  When it is dry, carefully cut close to the dried bead of glue.  The glue will keep the burlap from unraveling.  You can use craft glue... but Elmer's is fine and less expensive.  (I learned this from Frank Bielec at the Happy Trails Rug camp hosted by my dear friend Ginger.)

Next, I grabbed a wool blanket from my stash.  This wool is thicker than I prefer for hooking.  However, it is great for this part of my projects.  I cut pieces for the backs of the candle mats and mug rugs to fit.  Simply lay the hooked pieces on the wool and cut around.  A little larger or a teeny bit smaller won't hurt anything... just try to get them about the same size.  This is a backing method that would never pass for a floor rug!  Again... it is great for this kind of project though!

 I then grabbed my Elmer's again... and drizzled a small amount along the last row of hooking.  It doesnt need to be as thick as the first glued row.  This is just to help hold that last row comfortably while you stitch the trimming on.  You will see in a minute.  Set the backing pieces in place... and put a few heavy books on top while the glue dries.
 Using the same blanket wool... I cut some 9 strips... long enough to go around the mats and rugs.  I then used my linen thread to stitch the wool strip to the outer edge... covering the outside edge of the burlap, last row of hooking, and wool backing.  I used a blanket stitch.
 This wool strip is standing 'upright' sort of... when the mat is set on the table, the hooking strip is on the very edge.  And this... is yet another rug hooking NO~No.  This would never be a strong finish with foot steps.
 I also stitched my initials and the year very primly to the underside.
 Perfectly prim...
I expect to have my mug rugs done this evening... then onto another project!

Thank you for letting me share!

Wishing you warm smiles...


Sunday, June 29, 2014

~*Crushed Walnuts & Wool Filler*~

Hello Dear Friends!

I've spent the weekend finishing some projects.  You may be interested in the filler.  My friend, Ginger, shared this with me and I thought it was worth sharing with you.  Crushed walnut shells (Lizard Litter found in the pet stores or pet departments) is a wonderful filler.  It is about the consistency of sand, but cleaner.  It is crushed english walnuts.  It adds a nice weight to your works and will help keep your pins and needles sharp.  Sometimes though, it can almost feel too heavy.  Ginger suggested a mix of wool snippets and crushed walnut shells.  Awesome suggestion!

My latest works have been filled with this combination.  However, I must admit... getting the right mix was a little tricky at first.  Some of my pillows are heavier on one end than the other.  I added too much wool or too many walnuts in big 'clumps'.  Oh well... they are primitive and I'm not going to stress over it.  By the fifth pillow full... it was about even from end to end and side to side.

Wool snippets are the small trimmings left from hooking rugs.  I have bags full as I prefer to NOT throw anything away.  Waste not want not!

 My crushed walnut shells in a plastic tub with a lid.  Inside I store my small funnel (pictured above) and this old creamer.  If you have them, dried lavender buds add a great scent.  I have some in storage somewhere... but haven't run across that box in the store room yet.  (Yes, it is frustrating that we still have so many boxes cluttering up that room!)

My finished pillows without the camera flash...

One is a pattern by Lori Brechlin of Notforgotten Farm.  One is a pattern by Beth Seal of Summer House Stitche Workes.  One is a pattern from With Needle & Thread book by Blackbird Designs.  The other two are my own freebie patterns.

And with the camera flash...

I still have these ditties to finish...  two will be needle books and one a small pouch when done.

One is a pattern from Isabella Abbiati of The Primitive Hare and the other two are patterns by Stacy Nash.


And I have these hooked candle mats and coasters to complete too.  The glue should be dry around the edges.  No, this isn't a great way to finish a RUG, but it will be just fine for these little things... and quick too!  I'll show you more when they are done.

Wishing you warm smiles...


Friday, June 27, 2014

~*Feathers & Fur*~

Hello Dear Friends!

Please over look the messes... feathers, fur, and chicken poo... but here are some of our loving critters and spots around our country home...

OC (short for Oreo Cookie) chillin' on the bbq.  He is either yawning or smiling.  Believe me, this isn't his scary face.  ha ha ha  He is a very kind kitty boy.
Tommy is fast asleep on the deck.  (It is past time for a good power-washing here!  Good grief... too much cat hair & junk stuck in the cracks.  How embarrassing.  Maybe I shouldn't have shared this picture.)
 My old chair that sits in the corner of Brownie's pen... where I can sit and watch my chickens.
 We still have seven of these girls.  We brought them home in March and they just keep growing and growing.  I'm thinking we may start getting eggs in October.
 This is Brownie!  He is my friendly, lovable walking buddy.
The chickens are fenced in near Brownie's pen.  You can see his dog house and blankets in the background.  (He has about 4 that he pulls around the yard.)   He is a good guard dog for them.  He may look a bit intimidating, but he is all baby!

 Brownie is out in the yard during the day.  He loves to run here!
 Our pond...

 And in the house... Sarah runs things.
 And Lucy keeps it entertaining...
We have a few more outdoor kitties.  They weren't around when I was looking with the camera.  They were surely lounging in the shade somewhere.

I was going to give my finger a rest and change mediums, but this morning at the bait shop... I did pull more stitches after all...
Thank you for letting me share.  Thanks for putting a blind eye to all our messes!

Wishing you warm smiles...