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Ahhhhh, fall!!! Love it, but don’t love all the leaves and when you live in the woods there are A LOT OF LEAVES. Thankfully, Gord has a man toy – a huge back pack gas powered leaf blower. This is a MUST when you live surrounded by hundreds of trees which shed leaves and pine needles for months – we have a thick carpet of both and that honking big blower makes short work of them. I don’t think either of us would be up to raking anymore especially since we only have a tiny plot of grass and a huge area of river and flagstones – raking river stones is not doable! Plus, I use my new excuse – trigger wrist! Used to just be trigger finger which then turned into 2 trigger fingers but now I have trigger wrist. I think lifting a few tons of flagstones and flipping them and regrouting them did in my wrist! But it becomes my new excuse for not lifting or pushing things. So far I can still punch and hook IF I pace myself and wear my copper infused glove. Well, drugs also help!!!

I just finished two punch needle pieces (now to actually do something with them 🙂 . The first, Poppy for Dad, was inspired when I bought a World War 1 (or 2) canteen at one of the flea markets recently. It is beautiful cobalt blue enamel and begged for a punch needle piece – and what would be more appropriate than a poppy. November 11, besides being Remembrance Day, is also my dad’s birthday and so my Poppy punch needle is in memory of my dad and all the soldiers who served and continue to serve.

The second was inspired by the artwork of good friends Jacques Lepage and Isabelle Rollin. Jacques and Isa are amazing artists, woodworkers, rughookers and two of the most lovely people you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. They make the best rughooking frames, beautiful rughooking patterns and the most adorable Christmas ornaments. They cut the wood, sand it till it is as smooth as glass and then Isabelle paints one of her lovely little scenes on it and then it is sealed. I have bought many which I have given as gifts. This one I kept for me as it is so evocative of bygone times. As children we lived in the woods (hmmm seems to be a recurring theme in my life). Every Christmas we would bake cookies for weeks on end (never got to taste them before Christmas UNLESS I discovered my mothers hiding places in which case we would sneak a few and rearrange the remaining cookies so it was not evident we had been into the box!). But the biggest thrill was going out tree hunting a few days before Christmas. My dad would hitch up the sled that came all the way from Germany in one of my Aunt’s famous Christmas Parcels – but not to a horse! rather to our German Shepherd who would promptly sit down and refuse to pull the sled. In the end, dog won and dad pulled the sled. Tree would be cut down and loaded on the sled and schlepped home. Now I know this ornament has no tree or sled or dog and I don’t have a brother (but my sister Betty was a bit of a tom boy) but it just has that wonderful feeling about it that brings back childhood memories. Soooo, it has been hanging on my wall for years and finally I decided to ask Isa for permission to punch it. And yeahhhh, she said yes. IN FACT, she is in the process of turning some of her childrens’ artwork into a new line of rughooking patterns. This morning I finished punching and pressing – now to decide which piece of Junk is deserving of my piece.

If you are looking for amazing, one of a kind ornaments you can contact Isabelle and Jacques at the following email address And ask Isabelle if she has any of her pieces featuring children drawn up as rughooking patterns yet. Or, if you need a fabulous frame!!!! They are located in Valleyfield Quebec.

8 responses »

  1. Candace Fradette

    Beautiful pieces, Loretta.

  2. Leslie Richardson

    I am so glad I woke up to this this morning. What wonderful memories that we all should cherish. I have a “Jacques” frame but had no idea about the ornaments by Isa. thank you for that.

  3. Sent from my iPad Unable to comment so thought I would send a note. Your poppy is lovely and I love the enamel flask. >

    • it was a great find!!!!! strangely enough my friend Diane who was junking with me found another flask in another booth but this time it was green enamel but still had the wool case on it. I am happy mine did not have the wool case haha. one less decision as to whether to remove the case or not!!!!

  4. These 2 pieces are fantastic! I just love them both.

  5. Love both your piece and her painting.

  6. Loretta, I grew up in a woods too. Your writing so resonates with me.

  7. How did I miss this post??
    Love the Poppy – what a nice remembrance in honour of your dad.
    You captured a wonderful sense of movement in your piece of the two children. Also enjoyed your story that went with it. Sweet.
    Lovely work!
    Will have to check out Isabelle and Jacques.


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