Monday, February 12

Rug Hooking 1889

I began gathering old paper in 1991. I was studying graphic design & advertising at
Rochester Institute of Technology and had a severe case of cabin fever.
There was an antique show near the college so I ventured off!
I walked into this one booth~ it was filled to the rafters with old paper & advertising.
That was the day I met Virginia~
Her paper collection was amazing (and she was only displaying a snippet!)
Most of the paper I have gathered is from the 1800's.

Virginia and I grew to be close friends.
We have known each other nearly 30 years!
When our daughter was in high school she came along to visit and talk paper.
We always went home with a box or two of treasures.
The time came when Virginia was ready to move into a retirement community.
She wanted to share more of her paper & mounds of knowledge with us.
The market had gone flat for paper... and we were willing to work & buy.

We spent many weekends through the better part of two years traveling
to help Virginia sort her inventory... listen, learn, gather seconds.
Always lunch at neat old nearby diners... maybe take a break & get a cone!
We would order enough  at lunch to have left-overs for dinner
as our visits would often go into the early morning hours with
a long drive home~
Our visits and stories are priceless...
Worth every penny & mounds of hours because one day,
Alaina was looking through a velvet covered family album & asked,
"Virginia, how much would you like for these old photo albums?
My dad has relatives by several names written here!"
She wanted to show her grandfather some of the pictures & names to compare!
Virginia couldn't sell them...
They were HER family albums!!!
Amazing how we're brought into peoples lives & then to discover seventeen years later 
that this amazing woman and my husband are somehow related!
Our daughter made the connection!
Dean and I were dating when I first met Virginia.
We married a year after I graduated from college.
I missed our visits while I was expecting & then the newborn and early years
when money was extra-tight so visits were by phone.
Once they were both toddling around Virginia & I reconnected and
it was if no time had passed~
Hubby would plan a special day with our little ones so I could go visit 'Ginny!'

Virginia is a retired professor of Women's Studies, Literature, Writing...
Antique dealer, collector of all things Shaker~
as she spent all of her teaching summers in Maine with their community.
Almost 30 years of friendship and so much historic knowledge.
Alaina & Ginny would talk endlessly on women in history...
She would inspire Alaina, praise her for being unique and independent. 
I was blessed to listen while sorting through floor to ceiling boxes of paper.
Virginia would notice something rare in my hand & explain the origin, purpose...

It will take me another 30 years to sort the paper I have acquired.
How I hope to remember the history lessons behind each piece!

While sorting for some pieces to share~
I recently came across this old E. Ross & Co. Rug Patterns catalog.
I LOVE wool hooking & it is so wonderful to see the gorgeous
works made through the years & today.. keeping this art alive.
I have shared some pictures from my booklet & I'm sharing a link.
If you click on the link it will bring you to a similar catalog~
Digitized files made possible by funding from LYRASIS members and
the Sloan Foundation.

Thank you for visiting, Friends!
I hope you have a wonderfully creative week~

Friday, February 9

Punch needle~ Chicks in the Tulip Patch

"Chicks in the Tulip Patch" copyright 2018 Michelle L. Palmer

Around the farm~
It is known when Momma Hen is spring cleaning!
Hen carefully tucks her baby chicks in tulip blossoms for safe keeping.
They enjoy the sway of the breeze and visit with passing bees!
Momma Hen will have new feathers tacked to the coop walls
when they return from their time in the garden~
Feathered friends stop by the coop throughout the winter to warm up.
They often lose feathers as they wriggle through the coop mesh...
It is always fun for them to identify bird friends & remember their visits.
Copyright Michelle L. Palmer 1998

A snippet from one of my stories inspired a sketch~
Sketch inspired a watercolor~ (Chicks in the Tulips have been painted several times)
I painted this watercolor in January & it inspired my punch needle piece.

Hope you're all staying strong and healthy & I hope some of your
winter days are sunny with blue skies~

Wishing you a creative weekend, Friends!

Friday, February 2

Valentine Punch Needle~

"Bluebird of Happiness" copyright 2018 Michelle L. Palmer

I have written two new punch needle patterns!
One is a free gift~ to thank you for sharing this wonderful
art journey with me! We have reached another milestone with our
Etsy shop and couldn't do it without all of you~

"Woolen Valentine" copyright 2018 Michelle L. Palmer

Our little woolen friend is the free pattern!
All of the pages & directions are here for your private use.

I have my finished heart hanging from a cupboard door handle.

Backed with a coordinating wool.
I used narrow strip of wool, twisted & stitched into place with floss.

The paper pattern with my color choices~
I can't wait to see what colors you design with!
This can be enlarged for a hooked wool piece or applique!

I trimmed my weavers cloth and then snipped the edges as seen above.
Careful to not cut too close to your loops.
With my finished work face down on a plush hand towel~
I steam pressed the weavers cloth to the back.
Loops are protected by the plush towel.

I use tracing paper to make a pattern for the backing.
Trace the heart from the paper pattern to cut your pattern.

You could add a little pocket to hold a note~
You could stitch a sweet message~

Thank you again~
Hope your February is filled with happiness & love!