A Unique Primitive Art with a whisper to the past~

These truly ARE the voices in my head.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Cold Wind Doth Blow

It's certainly a Winter for the books. Yesterday, we awoke to a snowy, blowy morning.

Out in the front yard, there was not a Sparrow or Chickadee to be seen in the Pine Shrub... the Hedge Row is only a stop for the nicer days...
of which we have had so few this year.

A few hours after this picture, the skies cleared to a chilly blue and the temperatures dropped, even farther.

In the midst of fighting colds, celebrating Birthdays, and being on standby as a loved one needed to go to the hospital, we were able to make a quick trip to our favorite Village; Sharon Springs.  I had to pick up a few things at the shop, take a few notes and make plans for an April re-opening.  The evening before had left a light covering of snow...

it's so beautiful there and reminds me of home.

Our Wee shop shares the same building as McGillycutty's Naturals
Our favorite place for goat milk soaps!

Above is one that Deb, personally picked for us, because it looked like Tim. The spots you see are bits of chopped mint.


Do click on the link, and try some!

It has been frosty...
and down right cold.

I have been busy with family and paperwork...with a bit of creating. My pencil has been at work, taking notes and sketching as always.
We are cozy, here in the Wee Cottage and I make sure that my day includes some time for stitching.

Soon....very soon, I will hold a webshow.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Snowflakes, Surprises and The Wee Shoppe

It's a snowy afternoon in Northern New York. It has been softly falling since morning. Our days at the Wee Cottage are switched around a bit as the Mister is working second shift. It has taken a bit of getting used to, as we were better at being early risers. 

This weekend, the inside of the Wee Cottage was filled with giggles and laughter as my two daughters and a boyfriend made the journey down from farther North. They are older now, balancing work and school; so to get them all together for a couple of days is magical.....

The reason for this? The Mister turned 60! His daughter Kelly and husband Kenny, orchestrated a surprise party for him. He was led to believe that the party was actually for his daughter instead. 

As families blend, they have the ability to grow in a special way. The Walsh family welcomed us with opened arms nearly 9 years ago. As a Mom, the choice to separate and end a marriage is difficult...I made a promise to my daughters before then, that life would get better and our family would get bigger. This weekend, my heart smiled at how beautifully it has  come to pass. The goode memories continue to be made and it is nice to see how much this family has grown in size, just in the 9 years that we have been a part of them.

The weekend was also one for big decisions on the Wee Shoppe that I share in Sharon Springs.......

It is with a thankful heart that I share with you that the Shoppe will continue. We will close at the end of the month and reopen in April, when the weather is nicer and the tourists visit the Springs. I feel so very blessed at the many goode things that this year holds for me. I am taking a leap in Faith and I know that no matter the journey this year, it is not made alone, but with many friends and family to cheer and lift me. Our success comes from many beside us. 2014 has only just begun.....

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Winter's Voice

We've gone from bitter cold to warm Spring teases these past two weeks in Northern New York. Most of the snow has melted and a rain shower is due this evening. Even my heart does flip flops on what Wee Folk to start. I settled in with two offerings on Early Work Mercantile. If you haven't stopped by this selling site, it is a feast for those who love Early American inspired work. 

For me, it is the perfect site to let my heart play with my sculpts and extreme Prims.......and that I did.

For those of you that stopped by earlier in the day, Annella looks a bit different. Ever the Artist I am, and as I put her finishing touches on last night ... I realized that she didn't reflect who she truly was. When the sun rose, I ran upstairs  knowing that I just couldn't let her stay like that. A little time and tiny stitches and she is now where she should be. Who says you can't go back?

Gabby was the result of some gesture drawings. Those classroom drills keep me in sketches and characters. I love her folky look and true extreme form. 

It has been nice to enjoy a little slower pace...tea in the afternoons and Sunday evenings devoted to Downton Abby, without balancing work along with it. As January discovers it's Winter voice, I am discovering mine. 

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.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Ready for 2014

This past year has been full of blessings for me. That's not to say, that it didn't have it's rough patches. I truly believe it was a change in a more inviting lifestyle: embracing the goode and positive energy. We had times that weren't so goode, like everyone else, but we kept faith and did the best we could for a positive outcome. I started naming my Simple Joys at the end of my day on Face Book. I was amazed and touched at just how many of my friends messaged me or commented, even doing their own. Who would have thought? Oh, there was one "Negative Nellie" but as my Dad would say, not everyone is a gem. Hopefully, kindness will prevail and they will learn the power of positive.

The year before had been more of a rough patch. I truly had to let go of toxic people and walk away. I did so very quietly, without drawing attention to anyone or attracting drama. You see, I forgave all of them and especially one....again. The behaviors had not changed, but I was wiser. I learned that sometimes it is just best to let them go ~ show everyone exactly who they were. This person was a lesson for me both times I allowed her into my life.  A goode friend pointed out that you never have to tell the world all that you want the world to think that you are, you just have to live your life the best that you know how...and in the end what matters is those lives that you have touched and made better. 

Even when someone tries to tear you down, have faith that you know exactly who you are. People see. In today's world, emails intended to be private go forward and reaffirm exactly who they are. They are a reflection of their own negativity and unhappiness. They give me too much of their energy instead of living their lives. Not everyone is going to like you, it's their business not yours, but when they try to tear you down because of their own shortcomings...forgive them and trust that the right people know the truth.

I walked away and instead I am learning to become aware and to be grateful to all Universe gives me. I took on the lifestyle and learned that you surround yourself with those that live their life in the same gratitude and positive energy.....you let the toxic go. If they haven't learned by your example, they are probably comfortable in the world that they have made for themselves. I found that it was much easier to forgive the second time around. Lessons learned. I am confident in who I am and what I do. I'm busy living  and being thankful for all that has come my way. Yes, I forgive and hope that they receive kindness. They need it the most.

The blessings received, just keep coming. I am having a great time exploring different designs and techniques. Confident that my style will only grow clearer and clearer. I am trying and exploring techniques that are newer to my sewing skills. I am certainly blessed to have the ability to do what I love from my home. I am grateful for this blessing, especially on those snowy days such as this, to not have to travel.

Sometimes when you go through your archive of designs, you see the little something that wasn't there before. I fully believe after years of doing the mice, that if you keep the vision in your head of what you want, you will get there when the time is right. As self taught in sewing and patterning, I had to put my time in and be patient in my growth. 2013 blossomed for me in grasping just how to execute the Mousels among other things...

Oh how well it worked....I am where I had envisioned a rat should be all those  years ago when I first did Nat the Rat.

....the confidence and growth within seemed to explode and as an Artist, I can't tell you how goode that feels. 

I even started the chalkware line! I've wanted to do chalkware since the early 90's. There wasn't much information out there then. I did sculpt for someone that did, and they took time to show me the process and encourage me to continue.....but life was busy with family matters then.

Now, my children are grown and trying out their wings. We spent some time together for the holidays........

Meeting Jessie's rescue, Sammy for the first time (he looks so much like our Molly!). Jess is on break from college, but busy as ever with her critters, work and her special guy.

Bailey seems to be coming along and I am proud of her as she tries to make her own way, She has come so far since her Asperger's diagnosis. Last month she was able to do something that we were told may never happen....getting her driver's license. 

In this picture, I had asked the girls to make a goofy face for the camera. "I don't know how" was Bailey's reply. Things that you and I take for granted, she is still learning. With Jessie's help, she got in to it!

They've got it now.....

There are changes ahead for The Goode Wife in 2014. I'm not sure if we will keep our little shop that we have been given the opportunity to try out. If it is meant to be, it will be....

While we work on that decision, I am mapping and planning some of the things ahead. There are opportunities that continue to come in.  I am working on some of the things that I didn't get to last year. We are truly blessed here at the Wee Cottage and ready to take on this brand-spanking New Year .