This past Saturday was a wonderful Saturday! Do you know why? Jen ... The Country Mouse ... came to visit!
Jen & I have been following each other's blogs for at least 2 years & we have enjoyed exchanging emails as well. Over time we became close blogging friends. We never met in person even though Jen just lives about an hour & a half south of The Devil's Playground. However, Saturday was the day!
Jen is a beautiful person both inside & out. She is one of the kindest people I have ever been blessed to know. She radiates God's love.
Jen literally brought me a bag full of gifts & let me tell you, I was overwhelmed! She made this wonderful robin standing on a strawberry!
Do you see that beautiful punch needle ditty bag up above the robin? She made that too!
This is another one of her wonderful creations that now resides in my home ... a little prim box covered with a punch needle flower pot design! She not only attached the design to the box, but she painted the box with that perfect prim look & even lined the inside of the box & lid with craft paper!
Here is yet another beautiful punch needle gift! Can you see that there's a pocket on the right side of this little pillow? Her workmanship is amazing, & she's so clever! Look at the little wooden tiles spelling out CAT, & the rusty bell, & the bits of wool hanging down from the punch needle cat design! This is, of course, Sophie's favorite : )
Isn't this a pretty wool pennies pillow? I have always admired these : )
She also brought me a package of these pretty braided coasters! I have several braided mats in my home as well as a few braided rugs, but I've never seen braided coasters : )
With the exception of the punch needle cat & the coasters of course, these were all Jen's own designs! I keep telling her that she needs to start selling her patterns ... maybe even her creations. I think people would be standing in line to buy them : )
Here is Jen standing by my dry sink above which I displayed her punch needle ditty bag on a picture frame.
Jen knows how much I love punch needle things & that in the past I have tried to master this craft & failed miserably at it. I still had my needles & hoops, & she told me to get them out & she would show me how it's done. I didn't have much confidence that I could learn but I agreed to accept her offer. I searched online & purchased what I determined to be a simple punch needle kit. She sat here at my dining table showing me how to punch & telling me how simple it is. What turned out to be the best advice she gave me was to not worry about how the design looks while you are punching it ... that as you go along & the design gets filled in, it all comes together & it all looks great. Well, you know me. I have been awarded the title of Perfectionist of the Year since I was 6 years old when I was sitting at my desk in my first grade class at St. Edward school & realized that the J's I had carefully printed on my sheet of tablet paper did not look exactly like Sister Anita's J's on the blackboard. I cried & cried & Sister Anita had quite a time trying to console me. Jen showed me how to punch the border of my design & I was feeling pretty proud of myself! After Jen left, I proceeded to punch a small design area, turned it over & saw how it looked on the right side & responded with an emphatic "yuck," pulled out the stitches & punched again, then pulled out the stitches again, then punched again ... well, you get the idea. I almost destroyed the fabric with all the punching & un-punching. I was about to give up, but then I decided to continue by absolutely not looking at the right side until I had finished all the punching. It was a bit nerve wracking for me, but when I finished & turned the design over to see what it looked like, I was pleasantly surprised! Of course I see every little imperfection because that's the way I am when I do anything, but I guess it doesn't look too bad with it being my first piece & all : )
I already have plans for how I'm going to finish it & I will show it to you again when I do. I also have ordered some weaver's cloth & another punch needle kit : )
Jen brought me gifts ... & she brought me the courage to try punching again ... but most of all she brought me her friendship, & that's what I treasure the most. Thank you dear friend! I look forward to us getting together again one of these days : )