I'd like you to meet my friends here...they really ARE the voices in my head!







Sunday, January 5, 2014

Punch Love



I've had a love-hate relationship with Punch Needle for quite a few years now. I first saw it, up close and in person in 2000 when I was in Sturbridge for the Golden Glow of Christmas Convention.  I visited the Colonial Crafts shop and fell in love with it. The ladies were so friendly and informative... I walked out of the shop on a sunny afternoon with a Cameo punch, hoop and floss for punch needle.  Forward a few days later and.....



Not a pretty sight. Trust me, it is all knotted and yucky. And this was after pulling it out and trying it a couple times, and even over a couple weeks. No matter how hard that I tried, I couldn't get the hang of it.....and I despised the hoop. Mind you, I had been a cross stitcher for many years, but for this, the hoop was not my friend. Fast forward to 2007 and Valley Forge. I had the opportunity to meet Mary Jo Wylie of Wylie Primitive designs. She was needle punching at the show we were doing and took the time for a hands on lesson. Her work was beautiful and so detailed...like tiny rugs, hooked for a dollhouse. I was smitten again and with her help, I purchased the frame stretcher and a Igolochkoy Russian Punch Needle for 3 strand punching....



All righty!  See how tiny the Punch Needle is compared to the Cameo? Now, you need to remember that you use 3 strands of floss, verses 6 strands with the Cameo....and that it truly makes for a beautiful project.  I drew out my own design and well...it still looked wonky after several attempts. I packed it all away as life kept me busy as a caregiver more frequently.

The following year at Valley Forge, I was pleased to meet Lori Brechlin. I had been a long time fan of Notforgotten Farm since my Primitive Journey began. (One check off my Bucket List of people that I would like to meet). Lori and I talked about many things that day and I felt empowered and inspired. I carried her advice and hints with me. I couldn't pick up the Punch Needle just yet, but when the time was right, I would be ready.






Last Spring, I had blogged about coming across this Tintype treasure in my Punch Needle box. I thought she had been lost, but I couldn't figure out why she would be where she was... except perhaps to nudge me and let me know that it was time. I chatted with friends about adding Punch Needle patterns and Chalk Ware to my offerings....and I started the Chalkware and played with designs until the many blessings of last year took me on their own journey.




Finally, my work settled a bit as it often does right after the Holidays. I ordered a couple patterns and gathered everything..... determined now to learn this.



It was wonky still, as all of our beginnings are in anything that we do. I practiced a bit, took  the advice of other Punch friends and decided to just stick with it...wonky or not. It worked! As I worked on it and filled in areas, it wasn't quite so wonky. It seems that I just needed to relax and trust the process....oh, and be comfortable in my beginnings.




None of us make such a journey alone. There is someone along the way that will give you advice, point a direction or just encourage you. You will make it your own, simply by putting your heart into it. I am thankful for everyone that has taken the time and encouraged me every step of the way with this....from the afternoon in a little Sturbridge shop to the encouragement of friends to keep it up. I will continue to learn this medium and I know that I will enjoy the designs of others as well as challenge myself with my own. It's who I am in all that I do.


I hope that this serves to encourage those who teach, design or create to inspire and empower others with what they do. There is plenty of room for everyone. I have not started this medium with my work looking perfect and pretty. I'm not afraid to share that. If I inspire others to do Punch Needle (as well as other mediums that I love), I am thrilled. If it brings a new designer, a way to make money or a way to relax, wonderful! That is truly what being a creative woman is all about. Empower and inspire each other.

*If you would like to see more of Lori's work and life, pleas stop by her beautiful blog. You can find links to all of her designs and supplies.


6 comments:

Linda said...

Thanks Stacey for the great pep talk! I have many wonderful patterns that I have purchased for Punch Needle but get frustrated with my work. I will give it another try.
Thanks again.

linda56 said...

I have done one punch needle in my life time.....I have another pattern that has traveled with me to Florida for two years...and every time I get it out...I look at it and instantly grow chicken to start it up....this year I think might be the year...thanks for your pep talk....I needed that....your house looks wonderful.....keep on!!!!!

Lori from Notforgotten Farm said...

it fills my heart to know that you have accomplished something that you have wanted to master, and if I have played a part in that...
... then I have accomplished my goal as well ~

blessed be,
Lori

corinne said...

I have had a similar experience with Punchneedle. Your post has inspired me to unearth the equipment and try again. So many projects.....so little time!

Myra said...

I do hope you consider designing patterns for punch needle. Your style ... so unique ... it stands alone. I've cross stitched and quilted also, but nothing compares to punch needle ... I adore it!

Rita said...

finding your Amazing blog while doing some healthy blog hopping was such a pleasant surprise. so happy to have found you.
you are such an artist and your creatures are fabulous.
will be back again for more inspiration
rita