Tucked in a valley, at the foot of Round Mountain, among the graceful Maples & Oaks you will find our Little Brown House. Smoke billows from the chimney seven or eight months out of the year, a river rambles nearby, sheep & cows graze in the meadows and turkey's forage along the olde stone walls. Here you will find me, tucked into my cozy studio surrounded by my work. This is Vermont Harvest Folk Art.

~ I am a Punch Needle Embroidery Folk Artist, Rug Hooker and teacher, who is inspired by my love of Early American art. I have a small open studio and shop in our Vermont home, where I hosts holiday events, workshops and individual lessons.~

Friday, January 18, 2019

~Slow Stitching ~ Yoga ~ Finding My Way~

Much like everyone else, I was tired after Christmas.   Being under the weather two weeks prior to Christmas, with a nasty cold, did not help matters of course but this year, it felt different;   I was exhausted!    Let's face it, no matter how you do it....Christmas is a LOT of work.  Do not get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE Christmas and all that surrounds it & even, all that goes into it.  It truly is magical and completely wonderful .  But it is still VERY tiring.  The week after Christmas found me absolutely drained and exhausted.  All the plans, thoughts, ideas & designs, I had been thinking about for months and couldn't wait to get to after my busy workshop season & the holidays, now seemed wrong & uninspired.  I tried starting a few different designs and didn't like anything I did!!!  I sketched something new and then tossed it aside.  All the while, in my head, I was in a panic!!  A little voice kept telling me, "hurry, hurry, you must release new designs!!!  Thankfully, this feeling only ended up lasting for a couple of weeks but I can tell you ,,,,it literally felt like years. 

 December 29th found me on my Yoga mat once again (as I mentioned in my last post, I skipped Yoga classes during most of Nov and December) and thankfully, day by day, my mind started to quiet down and the exhaustion lifted.  I have come to realize, for me, Yoga is a medication..and one I can not skip!!!   I feel embarrassed that I skipped classes for those weeks, but in the end, I guess I needed to, so I could truly realize how important and necessary my yoga practice is for my health and well being.   

As my body, once again, started to feel stronger my mind did as well.  My muse returned, things started to settle into place and my time in the studio felt good again.  This bit of exhaustion and worry has made me realize something that I need to change;  I need to slow myself down! When I am punching, I catch myself rushing to finish a design, punching as fast as I can, so that I can get the pattern written and released as soon as possible!! I was stripping all of the joy out of my punching. So much was my rush to finish, I barely paid attention to the wonderful design in front of me that, in many cases, took me a long time to put down on paper.. That design, when I originally sketched it out onto paper, brought me joy and a smile to my face! Yet, when I began stitching the design with my thread and needle, I rushed so very much I lost that joy and was no longer bringing that piece to life, I was simply trying to finish it to move on to the next. As an artist, I MUST NOT let that happen ...I can NOT do that to myself. It is a grave mistake to make because, quite soon, the well will be dry and there will be no slow, joyful thoughts & ideas to put down on paper!!
When I punched this, I was in awe of it's loveliness as I brought it to life...The vine & THOS FLOWERS....oh my!!!
I need to get that back!

Back in December I came across an article on Pinterest on Slow Stitching with Maggie Bonanomi. It looked intriguing so I pinned it but never took the time to read it. Last week it popped up in my feed again so this time, I took the time to read it and my goodness, did it hit home!!! Slow stitching is exactly what I was no longer doing!!! I sat back and starting thinking about how I use to punch. I took it all in, I went slow and enjoyed every second of it. I magically watched as my simple sketch came to life with the colorful threads and my needle. Somewhere along the way, I lost that (it's a constant battle to keep ahead of the seasons, keep your name and work out there..etc..) and it's time to get it back. Yesterday, I sat in my comfy chair by the fire and punched. I felt every punch, I paid attention to where every loop was placed and how each one was formed and I enjoyed the slow, relaxing time I spent with my hoop & needle.
Thought and ideas floated by. New ideas and designs but also, things I want to try. New things, that recently I've been beating myself up for even thinking about taking the time to work on because, CLEARLY I have other things I need to do first! I have no idea why but I have been trying my hardest to lock myself into one category when clearly I am not meant to be there!!! I am a maker OF MANY THINGS (I honestly do not think I have the ability to do just one thing) and you know what, I've finally realized, THAT'S OKAY!!. I am giving myself permission to be more than just a punch needle artist and pattern maker who MAYBE, once or twice a year if there's time, might make a bear or spun cotton snow folke. From now on...I am going to take my time, enjoy the process and slow "stitch" my way through whatever it is I am making, whether it be punch needle, wool applique, rug hooking, bear making, spun cotton OR whatever else might find it's way into my thought process so that I MAY REMAIN JOYFUL AND INSPIRED in all that I do. I give myself permission to work on whatever I feel like bringing to life and not hem myself into any one particular category because clearly, I do not enjoy being there!!

Are any of you feeling overwhelmed? Are you moving toward changes to rid yourself of that feeling and if so..what are they? Is anyone feeling great ~ well balanced and energetic?? If so, please share what you are doing and what is helping you along the way :) Here are a few more links for slow stitching should you care to look into it. 1. Slow Stitching Article with Maggie 2. Slow Stitching Movement website 3. Slow Stitch ~ Mindful & Contemplative Textile Art by Claire Wellesley-Smith 4. Slow Stitch Video ~ by Ellie Beck ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Forgive me if this post it a bit rambling and jumbled...:)  I'm using it as somewhat of a "journal writing" exercise this morning.  Goodness, I feel so much better having gotten this all down "on paper" Thank you for stopping by today and listening my lovely friends. I can't tell you how joyful it makes me to have you here. We've a fresh dusting of snow this morning and a very large snow storm on the way tomorrow afternoon. I am looking immensely forward to it! I am running errands in just a bit so that we may be supplied with the makings for my homemade Italian Chicken soup & rolls and I do believe I'll make an apple pie. I hope you enjoy the weekend ahead and if you are in the path of this very big storm ~ be safe and well. Until next time, wish you joy ~ Doreen

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

~Tools Of The Trade~

Good morning my lovely friends.  I hope this day finds you well. I've been keeping cozy by the woodstove (it has been bitter cold here in Vermont) stitching, filling orders, baking, cooking and SLOWLY getting back into my usual routine.  It seems like it took me SO MUCH LONGER this year to get back into the swing of things!!! When the holidays were over, I was completely exhausted! That will teach me to skip Yoga for the month of December!!! I was thinking I just didn't have time for classes but what I failed to realize was...YOGA was what I needed to keep me fueled and strong for powering through the holidays!!!  I won't do that again!!!    Alas,   January found me BACK TO MY THREE TIMES WEEKLY YOGA CLASSES (Locally at Studio G) and Yoga With Adriene, here at home on non-class days, and my body and brain feel normal again AND..my muse has returned!!   :)

As I mentioned above..... it has been COLD here in Vermont!  It feels as if the cold grabs ahold of you when you step outside!!  Mine & Olivers walks and taking care of our chores has been quick, I can tell you!  CHORES....it's really just filling the bird feeders and feeding our new Crow friends (more on that another day). :~) but it is quick nonetheless. The cold is expected to worsen next week (argh) and settle itself in for a good long visit!  Goodness, I am not sure I'm ready for it!  Thankfully, our first (insert disgusted face here at this being our first) BIG SNOW STORM  IS expected to occur this weekend so perhaps, the cold won't seem quite so.....COLD.   To me it feels extra cold when it's below zero and we've no snow cover!  Thankfully, it would seem, this storm headed our way is a BIG ONE and our snow cover may be over a foot, or more, when Monday rolls around!!! WOOHOO!!!  

  OKAY>>SO....I am popping in today to share my new favorite tool of the trade with all of you.
This wonderful frame from Folk Art Primitives!  

They are made by Alice Frazier and her husband Sonny and it is truly, in my humble opinion, THE BEST PUNCH NEEDLE FRAME I'VE EVER HAD/USED/TRIED. Truly!!!  It's the perfect height for placing on your lap...... it spins, it swivels IT tilts!!!

 The lap plate is removable...so you can punch with the frame raised up on your lap, with the plate in place or remove it and punch on a table, hold it in your hand or fold it flat for travel.  You can also tighten the "nuts" completely which is how I like to use it when I am hooking with it.  YES, this is for punch needle AND rug hooking!!!

My dear friend Connie Fletcher (Seven Gables Designs and Primitives) brought this frame to one of my workshops in November and I fell in love with it and have been using it exclusively ever since.  

My frame has a working area of 9 1/2" x 11" but they also carry a larger frame that has a working area of 11" x 16" (that's on my wish list)  You can also purchase a floor stand (also on my wish list when I'm farther along with my hooking)

I actually met Alice and her husband Sonny, several years ago when I taught at From Our Hands Spring Creative event ~ they are the sweetest people!!!  I have put a link in the sidebar to their website or you can click here; FOLK ART PRIMITIVES

I promise you, you won't be disappointed!!!

Okay..I am off now to tidy the house, walk Oliver, fill the bird feeders, feed my crow friends (I now have four that visit daily) and then it's back inside to settle myself in for a lovely day of punching.

Until next time ~ WISHING YOU JOY, Doreen

Tuesday, January 8, 2019


Goode morning my friends.  We wake, here in Vermont, to falling snow, the grind of the town plow clearing the roads and the snap and crackle of the wood stove ~ I LOVE IT!

I want to thank each and everyone ONE OF YOU for participating in my Favorite Things Giveaway.  I read EVERY SINGLE COMMENT and can not tell you how much your lovely words touched me.  You are all so very sweet and wonderful.  THANK YOU.

OKAY..on to our winner.  I used a google random number generator to pick our winner.....we had 113 entries and the generator PICKED...….


  Congratulations Debbie!!!!  Please email me at Doreen@vermontharvestfolkart.com with your mailing address so that I may send your goodies to you. :)

Again ~ thank you all so very much.  Wishing you a lovely day, Doreen

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Starting the New Year off right...FAVORITE THINGS GIVEAWAY

This year...
Hang on to your truth and respect the truth of others.
Choose to be happy.
Forgive those that you can forgive
and seek the forgiveness of someone who deserves it.
Do something outside of your comfort zone.
Be the voice for someone who has no voice.
Choose healthy food, activities and people.
Fall six times, get up seven… persevere.
Wish people a lovely day.
Live honestly, truly and with integrity.
Be the example for your children.
Remember that love is a verb.

Goode day dear friends & HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!  A fresh new year, 365 days of blank slate to do with what you wish (well, for the most part anyway)..what will you do with it?  Everyone's plan for the upcoming year is different but generally, everyone has something they wish to try, pursue, include, improve, change, etc. when a new year rolls around.  A few of my favorites on my "goals/plans/wishes for the New Year are to;
A bit of wool, a fat 1/4 piece of linen & weavers cloth, some wool & cotton threads, a wonderful pack of tarts (made by my daughter) and a gift certificate



**I'll pick a winner (via a random number generator) one week from now on Wednesday, January 9th**

Goode luck everyone ~ again...HAPPY NEW YEAR!!