Tuesday, September 28, 2010


I just finished a set of 4 wool applique ornies! They are so much cuter in person. The stitching went quickly ~ it's nice to have a quicker project than punch needle. I used Valdani to stitch the edges, which gives it an overdyed/variegated look to the tan blanket stitch. I did decide to finish them with a dusting of mica flakes ~ it really gives it a finished look.

I just put them on my selling blog. I have 2 Santas and 2 snowmen completed right now. You can chose any combination of them. I'm planning on making more, so if you need more, just drop me a note.

~*~ Laura ~*~


I started the wool applique ornies! It's an easy pattern, and I'm using my pile of wool scraps to complete them. The black background pieces are perfect for those thrift shop finds (ie: wool pants, wool skirts). I've never been able to find some cheap off white wool, so that's a quilt shop piece of wool. The snowman jacket is a herringbone blazer that I found and overdyed with a cranberry ~ perfect for this piece! I'm using Valdani thread to blanket stitch around the edges. I thought the slightly overdyed/variegated look would add more of a primitive touch. It would be easy to make the pattern into something more traditional, just by altering the colors.

The snowman are also stitched, and waiting to be blanket stitched together. Now to decide on a hanger. The pattern calls for a brown string loop. Don't know if I"ll go with that, or look in my stash of supplies and see if anything else might look good.

Yesterday afternoon I went for a short walk at a local conservation area. Seems like some of the birch trees there had already dropped their leaves. But the reflection in the water still looked pretty.

Just playing around with the portrait and macro settings on the camera. The above photo is unaltered ~ look at the blue sky!

It's another nice day outside today~ I'll have to get outside to and enjoy this nice fall weather!

~*~ Laura ~*~

Sunday, September 26, 2010


I just finished the set of Halloween punch needle bowl fillers! They are even cuter in person. The walnut ink is drying as I type, but I'm going to list them to Ebay later this evening. The pattern was a wool applique pattern from Wooden Spool Designs. I took the outline of the pattern, and adapted it to punch needle. I added a cinnamon stick for the stem, as I thought it would be a bit sturdier than a twig. I've already started tracing some Christmas ornies onto freezer paper ~ I"m on a roll!

The boys got back from Boy Scout Aircamp this afternoon. All are tired, but they had fun. James did the wall climbing with his friend.

They checked out some Navy jets.

James did some kayaking in a "pool".

I'm sure they will all head to bed early tonight, while I see how much laundry there is to do.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pumpkin punch needle bowl fillers

I'm finally getting around to finishing these pumpkin punch needle bowl fillers. I came down with a cold last weekend, so I didn't get much accomplished (other than sleep!) during the week. I picked up the punch project that I was working on, and just about finished two of the three bowl fillers. But, now that I'm almost finished, I can't wait to complete the set! The pumpkin stem is a cinnamon stick. It's a little bit sturdier than using a twig.

I just need to finish the black cat to go with the pumpkins. I usually don't make bowl fillers, so I've forgotten how much work it is to bind the edges with floss. I once tried to machine sew and edge (with right sides together), but that didn't work too well. I think it give a nicer edge when it's hand bound (to a piece of felted wool). Then to age them with some walnut ink. I'm hoping to get them done to list on Ebay tomorrow ~we'll see.

One of my next projects will be some wool Christmas ornaments. My mom's friend always buys ornies, so I need to make something different each year. I found this really cute pattern, and think I have most of the supplies already at home. I really like the Santa and snowman ones. I'm thinking I could use a black background for each, since I have some black wool. (thrift store finds) The directions even had a dusting of glitter. I'm thinking of some mica flakes for an old fashioned look. But, I'll wait to see how they look before I add anything extra.

The leaves have started changing around here in Illinois. So, this afternoon was a good time to play around with the camera. (ok, Matt's camera today, since my husband has my camera at Scout Air Camp this weekend)

Some of my neighbor's orange mums that are just beginning to bloom.

The last of the Stella D Oro day lillies ~ one of my favorite perennials.

One last bloom on the hydrangea plant.

This afternoon, I also manged to take Rachel shopping to get some jeans. We found 3 pairs ~ for a grand total of $12.00 at the Goodwill store! She likes them, as they are already broken in and softer. (I like the price!). Going to Goodwill is always interesting. You see MANY different types of people there. The guy getting out of his truck while we were leaving was down right scary (at least I *think* it was a guy!). But, we always manage to find something that she likes, so it's worth the trip.

I'm off to put some binding on the black cat.

~*~ Laura ~*~

Monday, September 13, 2010

He made the paper!


I was just browsing at the local newspaper online, and found a photo of Matt. He'll be excited to find out once he gets home!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Halloween and Homecoming

Now that the hot, humid weather has gone, I can think about fall. I started a punch project for Halloween. It's a black cat and 2 pumpkins. I took a wool applique pattern, and traced it on weaver's cloth for punch needle. It will be some primitive bowl fillers for Halloween. I've only done one set of punch needle bowl fillers, and this will be my second set. I usually make them into cupboard hangers, or mount them on hornbooks.

High school homecoming was today. Rachel and Matt went to the dance tonight. (Rachel is second from the left, and Matt should be pretty obvious!) I drove the silly group to the dance, and still have to wait another couple hours to pick them up.

The football game was this afternoon. At least the rain from this morning stopped. I had to go see the half time show this week.

We got the early this time. Early enough to get seats in the bleachers. :-)

I was even able to pick Matt out this time. He's the guy on the right with the trumpet. He does well. Especially considering that he only took one year of trumpet in 5th grade, and then dropped out of band. (he didn't like getting up before school, as band met before school). Now that he's a freshman, he's joined band since it's a class "during" school. (and lots of practices at night)

Tomorrow night is a family birthday party for Andrew, Matt and Rachel. I'm doing the easy way out, and ordering pizza! :-) That might leave me a little time in the afternoon to get some crafting done.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back to work!

I'm really trying to get back into a routing for crafting, now that school has started. Yesterday, I worked to finish punching this Santa piece. I aged it lightly with walnut ink, but it still shows the over dyed floss.
I had previously cut out some hornbooks, but got around to painting them. I sanded them, painted them, sanded again, then aged them with gel stain. The two boards aren't the same. I try to cut unevenly ~ on purpose. Can't have a primitive board looking too perfect! :-) I think it gives each one a uniqueness and character of it's own.

Tonight, I put the finishing touches on the Santa. I aged a hang tag with walnut ink, and tied a string of buttons around the top. On this one, I took a brass tag, and stamped NOEL. I then oxidized it to age it, and left some of the aging around the edges of the metal.
While I was in a finishing mode, I put the final touches on the snowman punch needle. I liked the Santa pattern so much, that I took the idea and put a snowman in the center instead. I put mittens instead of Christmas trees around the border. This one also has a brass tag that reads SNOW. I just put both of these on Ebay tonight. If the same person wins both auctions, I will offer FREE shipping to the winner!

While I had my metal stamps out, I stamped out GERANIUMS on the spoon I had previously flattened. I realized how hard it is to stamp on spoons! This one is a silver plate, and not sterling. So, it's a bit harder to get the impressions than stamping on a thinner, softer metal. But, it's fun to experiment with different ideas. This garden marker will go into a pot of geraniums on my front step.

I next have some bowl fillers that are half sewn, and need finishing. Now that I'm motivated, they might get done! :-)

~*~ Laura ~*~

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Ok, so I'm playing around with some features on blogger. I found a section with comments, and saw lots of spam. Me, not being too bright, goes ahead and deletes ALL comments. I thought it was just a section, and that it wouldn't delete all comments from posting. I was wrong! Oops! So, if you posted a comment ~ it disappeared! Sorry! I guess it needs to have a warning that will tell you it will delete the comments from the blog, not just the comment section on the dashboard.

Santa and silver

I just finished over dying some floss for the Santa punch needle. I've made this pattern a few time last year, but each time I used a different combination of floss for the background. This time I want to try over dyed floss for a subtle blending of tan. I started with 4 skeins of DMC 422, an put them in tan Rit dye. It only took a few minutes before I pulled them out. I untied them, and let them dry.

Some parts will remain color 422, but the remaining parts will be dyed tan. I'll have to start punching to see how this one turns out. I've put down the punch for a few weeks, so it's time to get back to work. :-) The cooler weather might help me get back into the craft mood.

I started playing around with more metal punching this week. I ordered some sterling silver discs, and made myself a silver hand stamped necklace. I stamped my initial on one, and a music note on another. A pearl adds some color to the necklace. I like how it lightly jingles when I wear it! I still have some brass discs that I can add to some punch needle projects as a finishing touch. (silver isn't quite as primitive as brass or copper, so the silver will be for jewelry) It's always fun learning new crafts and techniques!


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Friday Night Lights

Last night, I went to my first high school football game ~ the first one since I was in high school. The weather changed, so it was crisp and cool. The first time I had to wear a jacket since springtime.

My son, Matt, is in marching band and plays the trumpet. The band all sits together in the bleachers. It was SO crowded, that we didn't get a seat in those bleachers. For a while, we stood at the end zone, but later found seats on a small section of bleachers. Funny thing, we had to stand to see, as all the others in front were standing. Next time I now know to get there really early to stake out a seat on top of the bleachers to get a good view of the half time show.

Here's the band getting ready to take the field. No, I couldn't pick out which one was Matt!

We had a family photo taken in August for the church directory. It's impossible to get all 6 looking perfect, but this one wasn't too bad.

They also took a photo of just the kids. From left to right: Andrew, Rachel, Matt and James.

I really need to get crafting again. I'm just not motivated. Maybe it was all the hot weather. But, a cool front has hit today ~ it almost feels like fall. The first fall cold hit, too. Rachel came down with a runny nose and sore throat. Sure hope it doesn't hit the rest of us.

Enjoy the long holiday weekend!

Friday, September 3, 2010

More weekend photos

I'm famous! Ok, not really, but one of my photos is famous. The photo on the top of my last post was shown on a local Chicago nightly news. The weather segment always has some photos that viewers send in. I sent it in, because it was a great photo, and it appeared on the news, and in the newspaper. How cool is that?

Last weekend, we took a boat ride out on Lake Michigan. It's a double decker boat like one of these. We sat on the top and got some sun. (too much sun ~ ouch!)

We saw the tall ships from a great viewpoint. This one is the Bounty, which was from Pirates of the Caribbean. I think next time, it would be cool to get tickets to ride on this one!

We took a ride of the ferris wheel. What a gorgeous day ~ not a cloud in the sky!

A look down at Navy Pier.

A better view of the skyline. The lake was filled with boats.

We then headed toward Millenium Park to see "the bean". I am not a fan of modern sculpture, but this one is interesting. No seams, and shiny all over.

It's almost like a mirror. This is the view when you walk under it and look up~ a tunnel view. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, see if you can see me. I'm in a black t-shirt looking up with a camera.

We also walked past a fenced off lot. What a mess! No, it's not a junkyard, but the set of Transformers 3. We didn't see anyone filming, as the filming was mainly done at night.

I just finished the first full week of school/work. I'm a lunch room supervisor, and assigned to a different school this year. It's just SO different. Let's just say I've needed a LOT of chocolate this week. I'm looking forward to a long weekend. :-)

~*~ Laura ~*~