God grant you the light in Christmas, which is faith;
the warmth of Christmas, which is love;
the radiance of Christmas, which is purity;
the righteousness of Christmas, which is justice;
the belief in Christmas, which is truth;
& all of Christmas, which is Christ.
--Wilda English

Monday, April 28, 2014

A Wonderful Saturday!

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   : )

28 comments:

Farmhouse prims said...

How wonderful that you and Jen got to finally meet, you will be friends for life. I love all the wonderful creations that Jen made you. I love punched needle and can't do it myself. Love your sheep, he is awesome. Sounds like you had a wonderful visit. hugs, Lecia

Sarah in Stitches said...

Amazing job for your first try! I've always admired needle punch but never had the guts to try it. And I love that it's a sheep! I have this thing for sheep. :D

Vickie said...

Super! I bought a punch needle and the supplies and a pattern. It is still sitting and waiting two years later. :( I plan to give it a try, I do. I just have so many other things to do!! Between yesterday's post and today's, Kentucky is sounding better and better!

cucki said...

Aww....so sweet..I am so happy for you..
Very pretty gifts..I so much love them all...so cute..
And the sheep is looking so pretty..we didn't get the punching stuff here and seeing your first try...I so much wanted to do it too...
Big hugs x

Mrs. GraceWorks said...

Oh, it's adorable!! I'm so glad you tried it. And how sweet of her to shower you with gifts. I'm so glad you had a good day together!!! :)

Jodi S said...

Shirlee - I love your punch needle sheep! Great job and can't wait to see your finish!

gracie said...

How wonderful your time was with Jen...love the sheep.

Vicki said...

How special to meet a blogging friend in person! She brought you some terrific gifts. I'm so glad you enjoyed your visit with each other.

LoriU said...

I think it looks great!

I tried punching and I must have been doing something wrong because if you pulled even a bit on the thread on the front, it all unraveled!

Julie said...

What a wonderful day you must have had together, its always nice to meet up with online friends.
Jen is very talented, such lovely gifts she brought for you.
Well done on your punching, the little sheep is adorable.

marly said...

Wow. What a generous pal you have! But you are as well, so I can understand the kinship.

jennifer768 said...

Thank you so much sweet friend for a wonderful day! It was so much fun to get together finally in person.I love how your sheep turned out!Told you that you'd be punching in no time.May we be blessed with many years of friendship.Hugs,Jen

Michelle said...

How wonderful to meet a blogging friend - I think it would be wonderful if we all met up one weekend! xx

Kevin said...

How great that you and Jen were able to spend the day together! And what wonderful gifts she brought along, too. I think your punch needle piece looks just great, Shirlee! Don't give up on that craft - I say forge ahead and start punching away! (Just don't examine the finished side until you're finished.) :-)

Jackie said...

You are far too hard on yourself! Your punch needle looks wonderful. I'm glad you had a friend that got you to keep going!

Frances N said...

How wonderful to meet your very talented friend!!!
Your little sheep is precious and I'm anxious to see how your finish it!

Earlene L. said...

You lucky gals!!!!!
it is fun to hear when blog buddies meet each other.

P.J. said...

Friendship is the best gift!! How sweet of Jen; her work is beautiful. Congrats on your lovely punch needle piece. Your sheep is adorable. Love that green!

Chris said...

Oh Shirlee! What a wonderful visit with Jen! She does amazing work. What beautiful gifts and also her giving you the gift of trying punchneedle again. Your little sheep is so sweet!

La Petite Gallery said...

Lovely, needle work. What fun to meet a fellow blogger.
yvonne

The Inspired Stitcher said...

What fun to get to visit with Jen! Love all her thoughtful gifts she brought to you. How sweet! I think you did an awesome job on your sheep. You go girl!

Carol said...

Wow! Jen's work is lovely, Shirlee--and how nice to get to meet in person and spend the afternoon. I'll bet there are more "angels" in Devil's Playground country than you realize :)

Oh, and I was tickled to see my little bird stitching on display that I gave you last year for your birthday--think he looks right at home there!

Judy said...

What a wonderful day for you and Jen. She is very talented and all of her things are lovely. And you learned punch needle. It looks very nicely done! Enjoy!

Judy Heartland stitcher

Pam in IL said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful visit! Jen has some beautiful creations. I'm glad you're trying the punchneedle again. I really enjoy it, especially when I need a break from a complicated project. Can't wait to see more of your punching work!

Kaisievic said...

Wow, Shirlee, what a great post! I am so happy that you and Jen finally got to meet and look at all the wonderful gifts she gave you and I love your sheep - she looks perfect to me!

Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

What a great time spent with a "new" friend! Now I must pop over to Jen's blog to see what she says about you LOL.

I love all the gifts she brought you and the lovely punchneedle sheep too. We do not have punchneedle here as far as I know, I've certainly never heard of it before blogging.

Catherine said...

Isn't it so much fun to meet a fellow blogger! Sounds like you had a fabulous time. Such amazing treasures she gifted you with! I have to say I don't see any imperfections in your sheep ~ and being that I love sheep, I love, love, love it!!

Maggee said...

Sounds like a perfect day, meeting a fellow blogger. So many pretty gifts! LOVE the punchneedle sheep!! You did a great job! Hugs!