Down a dirt road, past fields and deep woods ~
stands a humble little farmhouse wearing chippy white paint and a rusty tin roof...
it's here at our beloved Notforgotten Farm that you will find us...chasing our kittens, puttering in the herb gardens, or talking to the trees.

Our Needlework Shop & Studio
is located here at our farm:
3530 Tye River Road
Amherst, Virginia 24521
ph. 434-263-6508
email ~

Due to Covid-19 Health restrictions, the Shop & Studio at Notforgotten Farm is CLOSED until further notice...

Our ETSY Shop is Always Open!
visit our Etsy Shop by clicking on any one of the thumbnail photos below or going to

Monday, November 30, 2009

{ Folk Art }

As many of you know,
I tend to flit between mediums...

One day I'm stitching,
(well, I'm ALWAYS stitching)
the next day, I'm punching, hooking or drawing.

These past few days have been spent lost in my watercolors again...
I love the subtle shades and earthy tones I can achieve with them.
So old looking. so folky...

So, for your amusement,
I've listed one fraktur and one painting on my ebay auction page:
{ }
both are contained under glass in my beautiful, early-looking hand-painted frames and
both are listed with reasonable reserves deserving of the work involved in creating them.
( I can divulge the reserve if you're interested ~ email me at
{{I think it's my PA German roots that compel me over-and-over to create these frakturs and paintings..I can imagine my ancestors setting quietly on a cold night, under candle-light~ with quill and brush in hand~ creating colorful,
naive drawings on their bookplates and bible covers!}}
hope you enjoy them!
(p.s. these will not be offered as prints)
Peace & Plenty be yours!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

{ turkey hangover }

soup, fajitas, sandwiches, pot-pie, cassarole...
how many ways are there to use left-over turkey?

I had the pleasure of having my husband's side of the family here for Thanksgiving dinner....
along with them they brought thee biggest gobbler I have ever seen.,..25 + pounds.
(my father-in-law carted it into the house with a lie)

it was a boisterous dinner, with loud German/Italian conversation throughout.
If you've never experienced the dinner table, when all of the family members are present,
each one talking so loudly that your ears ring, chattering non-stop between bites of lasagna & green bean casserole, well then my Friends, you just haven't lived.
we are blessed with a large family, - both sides...
and we really do love it when they come for a might get crazy, there may even be arguing and tears...but hey ~ it's FAMILY...what can ya do?
at least we had the chance to be together again...
some of the family members will be leaving today, others on tuesday...
I'll be able to find some time to work on my things for the Open House here on the 12th of December....

I will be carrying alot more supplies for rug hooking and needlepunch in the shop, some more designer's patterns, and will post the Winter 2009/10 class schedule soon....
I'm hoping to list that fraktur tonight on ebay too.

Hoping your bellies aren't too full,
and that your time spent with your families was special~

Blessed be, my friends,

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

{ a heartfelt thanks }

...for Friends near & far,
cabbage soup,
daily laughter,
calloused hands,
tender words,
woodland walks,
muddy boots,
heavy sighs,
kitten love,
needle and thread,
fresh hay,
salty tears,
old books,
wrinkled sheets,
aching knees,
graying hair,
visiting neighbors,
fresh air,
a daughter's love,
25 thanksgivings together,
peanut butter fudge,
old calico,
a warm home,
dirty dishes,
a smile from a stranger...
...Be Always Thankful.
Wishing you a Beautiful Thanksgiving,
from our yours.
Blessed be, Sweet Friends~

Sunday, November 22, 2009

{ In the Meadow... }

Here it is as promised...
my new little punch needle pattern for the snow-y days ahead...
"In the Meadow..."

I can remember, when I was younger,
never wanting to come inside during the winter months...

If we had a snow day (& we had ALOT in Connecticut!!),
I would get out of bed, don my boots & woolies and out the door I went...
spending the entire day out in the cold.
(well,...maybe coming in occasionally to warm up
by sticking my frozen toes on the steam radiator~)
and my favorite time of day was dusk...
as the daylight faded, the snow would sparkle....
ah...Childhood Memories...
If you would like to purchase "In the Meadow..."
please email me at
(paper pattern, color/floss guide, staining technique, color photos)
$8.00 per pattern
(finished project measures approx. 8.75" x 6")
I chose to stitch mine onto a simple bag
that I made from prairie cloth...
and stuffed it with greens:

~or~ yours could be framed, or made into a pillow...
it will be available also on ebay, but not till tomorrow,
nor will the fraktur that I thought I would finish by this eve...
my carpal tunnel is acting up & I need to give my poor hands a break!

Thanks my Friends~
Blessed be!

{ soggy Sunday }

Hi folks~
well here it is raining again...
my stars, if this was all snow, we'd be living in an igloo I'm afraid!
instead, we're still bailing water from the basement from last weekend's downpour...
and this certainly isn't helping one little bit!!

So, what better way to spend the day, than preparing my Thanksgiving menu.
yes, traditional it will be...
my hubby's side of the family grew up with an Italian mother, so alongside the Turkey
there is always lasagna, rice or wheat pies, and a huge antipasta (salad)
am so looking forward to all the good food!
{ although I have been trying to lose the spare tire around my middle,...
I've been walking on the treadmill and "trying" to watch what I eat...
oh I watch it alright, ...i watch it go right into my mouth! }

and, when I'm done jotting down my grocery list,
then I'll finish the background of my new needlepunch pattern~
"In The Meadow"
so I can get it listed onto ebay for you today.
I'll post pics later this aft...

Also, i will be listing a Christmas/Winter Fraktur in one of my hand-painted frames...
this one will not be madeinto a print, it is a OOAK....
So off I go, to find my pencil, needle and watercolors...
What are your plans for your Thanksgiving?
keep my friend Sherry Kristoff in your thoughts and prayers
as she is having some major health issues....

Peace & Plenty be yours,

Thursday, November 19, 2009

{ cozy-time }

I haven't been feeling well...
almost 2 days now...
...sinus & just yucky.

So I've been mentally preparing the farmhouse
for it's Christmas/Winter decorating...
and where better to turn for inspiration,
than the "Bible of Primitive Decorating",
my Seasons of Seven Gates Farm book....
Perusing the Christmas pages of this beloved book fills my heart & mind
with long ago frosty mornings, snow-caked mittens & ice cold toes... radiators with pans of cinnamon scented water upon them...
...kittens curled up into miniscule little furballs sleeping in wooden bowls....

I want to really keep things simple & fresh this year,
...using greens and simple white twinkle-lights.

my color pallette will consist of red, blue, brown & white
...not just white, but all shades of white:
Ironstone, Bone, Cream, Snow, Birch...
and twigs, and woolen mittens...bird's nests and old silver ornaments~
a quilt will warm the base of a live tree for my kitchen, where I'll decorate it with my old tin cookie large tree will hold all of our family's memories on it's branches...along with treasures shared from my primitive friends...
and the mantle...
it will hold swags of greenery,
blue calico coverd boxes
and assorted candle holders in tin, pewter and tarnished silver....
a simple farmhouse christmas to be shared with family & friends.
How Very Cozy!!!

I'm off to the house to make some cocoa and unbox my memories...
Hoping your day is filled with inspiration!!!
May Peace & Plenty be Yours!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

{ good intentions }

Hi Folks & Friends~
i have a couple of things to tell you...
remember a couple of weeks back, when I told you I was going to retire all of my
older booklets to make room for some new ones?

...and that I said when they're gone, they're gone...?
I have been UNdecorating the Hallowe'en stuff in the shop,
trying to get some Christmas/Winter things out for
this weekend....
and in the midst of sorting through boxes, I came upon a BUNCH
of my already printed booklets!

I know how many of you have been asking for them,...and I will be selling them,
little-by-little...until they are truly gone...
with that said,
I have for sale, 10 of my extremely primitive,
Wynter Tyme
they are $10.00 each
and contain 8 of my folky little drawings for
rug hooking, needle punch, stitchery, applique or painting....
IF you're interested, just email me at ~
first come, first serve!
I've decided that on Saturday, December 12th ~ I will hold an intimate
Christmas OPEN HOUSE here at the shop...
from 10:00 ~ 3:00
no crazy bells & whistles, no flashing neon signs...
just an open-door, kind of day so that you can come visit with me, and perhaps
find a 'primitive something' that will make your heart sing....
{I will be serving cookies and cocoa, and I would LOVE to see what you've been working on,
so PLEASE bring in your show 'n tell!)
please don't forget, that I'll be closed on Nov. 28th & 29th,
{to spend some time with my in-laws)
and will re-open on December 12th.
of course, you can always contact me to see if I'm available during the week, too...just email me

So, in my last post I said I was going to start up hooking again...
well, I did...but I also designed a new punch needle pattern called
"In the Meadow",
{can you guess it's 'theme'?} LOL
and I want to work on that so I can get it finished & out for you... hook is in the basket, with the to my lap frame, that has linen on it...
that I drew on....with a big black sharpie....
{I'll share picsof it soon!}
ALL of the patterns, & picturetrail update orders are in the mail!!!
my thanks again....from my heart~
Wishing you quiet moments spent with needle in hand!
Blessed be,

Monday, November 16, 2009

{ a wonderful day }

Hi Folks!
well it is a beautiful, sunny day here in Virginia~
I've been out raking the leaves in the front yard, hanging laundry,
cleaning up the farmhouse and studio....

and now I have a little 'free time'...

{oh what to do...what to do....}

welll...i know what I want to do...there's no use in trying to hide it.
I want to make something for myself...
{for once !}

I think I'll hook a rug (what's that you say Queen Sherry?)
nope, ...I haven't hooked a rug in about 2 years!

I think I'll peruse my ever-growing book collection for inspiration...
it must be primitive, folky...and whimsical.
that sounds easy, no?
oh, and not toooo big, maybe 16" or so by 20" or so....

(she says tapping her fingers on the desktop,
grinning with that crooked little smile she gets
when she's up to no good whatsoever...)

that's that then....
I'll gather my hook and frame.
dive into my piles of wool, grab my big black sharpie and linen and start away at it...
of course, I'll post pictures of my progress in the meantime....

{So, what are you all working on?}

Hoping your day is filled with busy hands,
a creative mind and a gentle heart~
oh & plenty of wool!

May Peace & Plenty be Yours,


Sunday, November 15, 2009

I am humbled...

just want to thank you all for your support of my first ever Holiday Update on my picturetrail..
I can't believe the amount of emails and sales that i've received this evening...
I couldn't have imagined...and am happy to say, now that this one is under my belt,
be assured that I will be holding many more!!!
oh gosh...have to go...have to answer more emails!
Blessed beri

Saturday, November 14, 2009

{ Let the Countdown Begin }

For weeks now, I have been designing ~
stitching & sewing, painting, punching, felting
and literally wearing my poor hands out....
but all for a Good Cause ~
my Picturetrail Holiday Update tomorrow!

There's something different about the holidays this year...

My heart aches for something old fashioned...
something slower and simpler and happier and wholesome...
perhaps it's because of the loss of my sister,
or the knowing that her girls will spend
their first Christmas ever without her...

even with that on my mind,
I will fill my heart with thanks and joy and concern
for those that don't have and try to do something about it.
I will hold Christmas in my Heart....

So what if the studio is a mess?...
there's mohair scraps, floss snippets, cotton batting~
cinnamon, ribbon, thread and fabric everywhere....
that won't stop me from walking in the woods
with Hannah & Peter to collect pine & holly & mistletoe...

The radio already is ringing out Christmas songs,
and I've been captivated once again
by my favorite old Christmas movies...
"Holiday Inn", "White Christmas",
"A Christmas Story", "Christmas in Connecticut"
"It's a Wonderful Life"
Playing them on my DVD player over & over & over... kitchen has already been warmed by the baking of sweet potato pies
and cinnamon raisin cookies and even though it's not quite
Thanksgiving yet, I am ready for Christmas in my heart this year.
{ no, no snow in sight, on the contrary, it's been raining buckets}
this year,
I have a feeling of hominess...true comfort & joy.
jingle bells and gingerbread and brown paper packages...

Hoping you can all join me tomorrow eveing at 6:00
for my picturetrail
Holiday Update...
I'm so looking forward to sharing my Heart with you ~

Hoping that your weekend will be filled
with thoughts of Good Cheer & Thankfulness~

May Peace & Plenty be Yours,

Friday, November 13, 2009

{ a bit of a change in plans....}

{December Sheep (C) Notforgotten Farm}

Hi Folks...
I was talking with my Mom last night,
and we were discussing a memorial service for my sister Jo...

she wanted to be cremated, so we abided by her wishes...
she didn't want a funeral, so we again, went along with her wishes...

but, we feel that we should hold a memorial service for her, and invite friends and family.
not a sad event, mind you, but a time to remember Jo
when she was a healthy young woman, full of life and celebrate her life.

with her passing on October 30th,
and now the holidays rolling closer and closer,
time is of the essence....
as we don't feel we should wait any longer to have this memorial.

we tried to think of a good date,
and really couldn't come up with anything
other than December 5th,
as we surely didn't want to have it coincide
with people's plans for the holidays, and perhaps travels....

but there's one small detail...
December 5th was the date that I was going to hold our annual
Holiday Open House
here in the shop....

So I've chosen to sacrifice the date, close the shop,
cancel the open house and instead,
head up to Connecticut to
remember my sister with our family & friends.

I'm hoping that you will all understand,
and please know that the shop will be decorated & open for you
every friday and saturday in December, starting on December 12th ~
...and remember, this sunday, November 16th at 6:00pm (est)
I will have my picturetrail Holiday Update for finished goodes,
so you can still "virtually" visit with me!

Thanks, all~
for being so sweet & kind with your words and sympathy cards...
My Glory is I have such Friends.

Peace & Plenty be Yours...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

{ a perfect day }

old movie
twinkle lights

all add up to make a perfect day for me!

yesterday, we were blasted with the remnants of that hurricane...
(what's the name?)
and it soaked us terribly with pounding rain
& whipped us around with 50 mph winds.

our cellar is flooded, and peter & I have been taking turns
running the pump to banish the collected water
to the backyard where it belongs.

our creek in the back is so swollen,...
it sounds like rapids from behind the farmhouse.

even as the weather furied around me, I was content,
...cozy & warm in my little nest...
stitching the day away.

today it is raining still,
& I think it will be an encore performance of yesterday...

Above is a 'sneak peek' of the painting that will be available on my Christmas page on
launched this evening at midnight,
it was painted by me onto an early breadboard...
please visit the artists of STJ !!!!
Hoping your day is perfect, just the way you like it...
Peace & Plenty be Yours,

Sunday, November 8, 2009


(C) L. Brechlin 2009
In appreciation of your Friendship, Kindness & Thoughtfulness...
not to mention always being supportive of my folk art,
here is a little doodle that I drew up for you to hook, punch or stitch....
once you print it out, you can adjust it to the size you'd like...
{It does print out a bit light, but you can retrace over it with a black marker, to make it easier for you to trace onto your fabric....}

I would so LOVE to see your finished projects!, so please email your pictures to me at
& I'll post the pics here on the blog for all to see...
be creative, colorful or drab, you decide!
I hope he makes you smile, as much as you all have for me...
and yes, you do have my permission to make & sell projects from this design...
{ you all fill my heart so much, it's the least I could do! }
Peace & Plenty be Yours,

Saturday, November 7, 2009

{ WOW...Thanks!!!! }

I'm am THRILLED at how many of you like the little stocking/banner pattern!
Thanks so much for your purchases & emails!!!!!!!!
I'll get your purchases all printed and packaged out tomorrow,
and send them on their way monday morning for you to do!
I am selling a limited quantity, and have put some up in my etsy shop until they're gone...

Thanks again & Blessed be!!!

{Merry Stockings pattern released!! }

Merry Stockings...
Punch Needle Pattern~
$10.00 + 1.50 shipping
includes 3 patterns, color pictures, floss colors,
staining techniques...
Limited Quantities!!
email me at
to place your order...

I accept Paypal to or ck/mo
I love these little stockings...
make your own wreath, too form cuttings from your yard or woods....
such a primitive look!
Hope you like!
Blessed be,

{ New Rug Hooking Patterns and other stuff ! }

Hi Folks!
I received an email from Kris at,
she will be putting my two new Christmas prints,
onto linen for your primitive rug hooking pleasure!
you can go check out her sight (link above) to see when they will be released,
and her email address is on there too....

My Thanks to all of you who inquired about the designs
being adapted for rug hooking...
Kris does a SUPER job at adapting my designs for me,
and it is a pleasure to work with her...

my *NEW* punch needle pattern will be listed this afternoon...
it is called
"Merry Stockings"
and will include a banner for you to punch and decorate a twig wreath,
along with a couple other patterns for my super folk-y stockings, that you can turn into ornaments and decorate the very same wreath, OR make them into little 'pockets' to
hold fresh greenery, cinnamon sticks or even a special little present....
I will also post it here this aft, as soon as I have the pattern packets ready to be printed.

Other than that,
my day will be filled with UNdecorating this shop for Hallow's Eve,
and getting the tables & cupboards ready
to be laden with all kinds of primitive Yuletide Goodies....

I will not be decorating the shop until late November,
and we'll be closed on November 27th and 28th in preperation for our
Open House here in the shop on December 5th...

Don't forget too, that on Friday, November 13th,
will have their holiday update
and you can find a really cool folk art painting
that I'll be offering on my christmas page there...
...the artists on STJ are spectaular, & I'm humbled to be among them!!!

lastly, as we begin to ready the house & pantry for Thanksgiving,
remember that it is the little, simple things that count...
a kiss from a child, someone who offers to help with the dishes,
a rub from our favorite fur-friend....
and of course, the kindness of our Friends
~ these are the things to be Thankful for.

Blessed be,

Friday, November 6, 2009

{ a sign...}

when my father passed, about 20 or so years ago,
I began finding feathers everywhere i went...

not so strange, I guess, unless you lived in the city like I did,
and found feathers everywhere from inside my coat pockets
to under the dishes in my cabinets...
and this was waaayy before I lived on a farm,
where I now have a beautiful abundance of duck, chicken & guinea hen feathers...
I believe that these 'gifts' are sent from above...maybe shed from angel's wings...
and that my father placed them where I could find them
and enjoy their simple beauty and perhaps let me know he was ok....
Last week...a week ago this morning,
I bent down and kissed my sister Jo's forehead for the last time...
through my tears, I asked her to send me a sign that she was ok,
when she got to her destination....
I felt that she 'heard' me.
This morning, I came into the shop to start the day,
and usually when it's this cold, start the woodstove first thing....
as I knelt down to open the door,
I had the strangest feeling~
like I should open it verrrry slowly.
so I did.
and to my suprise and joy,
was the little bird that you see in my hand, above...

I haven't been here in the shop since wednesday,
so I don't know how long he was in the stove....
I do know that he wasn't frightened,
he just sort of looked at me like "well, finally...."
and let me take him into my hand.

I brought him outside, and after taking the pictures,
thanked him for visiting me
...and let him fly out above the pasture....
then realized that this was the sign from my sister.
...leave it to her to not just gift me with feathers, but a whole bird!
I hope you're all smiling at this post, yes it is sentimental, but a happy one, no?
i know I am...
and I'm positive Jo is smiling too...
Thank You....Sister.
Blessed be, all of you~
p.s. I will be listing my two santa paintings on ebay in just a little bit...
{{{ after I check the woodstove before I light it. }}}

Thursday, November 5, 2009

{ sorry }

I truly meant to list my santa paintings last night...

but, i will today!

I'll be in the studio all day....

I'll pop a movie
(Cold Mountain? Dances with Wolves?)

into this laptop and work away the day....

hung a whole line of white clothes out this morning...they were steaming in the cold air!
I love that....

Oh, & before i forget, I'll be offering a new Punch Needle Pattern this evening, too...

this one's a little different, primitive still ~ i think you'll like it!

it's a couple of Christmas/Winter patterns in one...

here's a hint...
it hangs on your door!

okeedokee...back to work,...
now....where's that movie?

hoping your day is a *sparkling* one!!

peace and plenty be yours....


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

{ new stuff }

I just finished doodling up two new prints for the Holidays...

Yuletide 1809 (above)
Midnight Clear (below)
both are available in my etsy shop
I am painting a little santa painting and I should have it ready & on ebay this evening...
although anything is possible,
heck...I may even have two!!!
it's cold here today, but I love it....
...nothing better for this old Yankee girl
than to have a crisp, cold day to get my creative juices flowing!!
while my Mom was here, she taught me (again) how to knit.
{{{{ oh no....not another needlecraft>? }}}}
and this time, Mommy, I think I may have finally conquered it!
yep! didn't even have to cut the yarn off the needles this time!
(yes, that really did happen when I was little...go ahead, ask her.)
ok, so what if...
there are holes and dropped stitches,
and I do it backwards and can't seem to hold the needles like everyone else????
...but I'm getting the hang of it!

How many of you out there are primitive Knitters?

ooooh boy...
I can see gobs of wonky looking socks
being gifted to family & friends this year...
I'll post pics of my progress later in the week...
off to the farmhouse...have to bank the woodstove & get supper cooking.
Hope you're all enjoying your cozy warm homes
with those you love best!
Wishing you Peace & Plenty,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

{ Needle & Thread }

my needle and thread have been soothing me these past few days...

I've dulled yet another punch needle and have lost (again) my needle threader!!!

{the picture above shows some of the needle punched tinies I've done today...waiting to be stufed full of spices & made into little pinkeeps for my picturetrail update on November 15th~}

...creating with thread keeps my mind focused,
yet helps me to wander my thoughts into another place & time
...the future!
ahhhh yes, I am in full-throttle Christmas mode! some of you are just beginning to undecorate for the All Hallow's Eve past,
I am already thinking of gathering fragrant greens from my woods, drawing up new holiday cards, designing a few new patterns
and making ornaments from wool scraps...

How soon do you all start to ready your homes for the Yuletide Season?
I will have family here over the Thanksgiving Holiday,
and I always want to have the farmhouse decorated in some way...
not toooo Christmas-y,
but nodding a hint towards the Holiday just the same....

so I'll hang just a couple of crazy quilt stockings on the mantle in the keeping room,
and perhaps bring in a small balled fir tree & place it in a pot near the dining table....
one single strand of twinkle-lights, a couple of wool mittens on it...

~ Simple Farmhouse Christmas ~

I don't ignore Thanksgiving, I just try not to commercialize it.
it is a day to gather family & friends...
reminisce, remember and keep alive the good cheer from past days
while creating new memories for the future.

Hoping that you're all doing well, getting your warm cozy homes ready
and enjoying a simple life ~

That's the best blessing of all.

Peace & Plenty be Yours,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

In Memory....

of my sister,

Jo-ene Lee Berke

who left us on
Friday, October 3oth 2009
between 3:00 & 4:00 am ~
...forever remembered, forever missed.
until the very end of her battle with cancer...
as we stood around her bedside remembering her life,
Jo continued to make us laugh...
Jo was a daughter, sister and mother.
she lived a very full life that seemed at times to be a struggle for her...
all the while raising twobeautiful daughters by herself, working and keeping a home....
She became a registered Nurse in her 40's, and went on to
do the hardest job anyone could do...
she decided to become a Hospice Nurse.
Being a hospice nurse battling cancer is hard enough, but when a person such as Jo, someone who had to be in total control of every situation and aspect of her own life, it was extremely hard for her to let go and let others care for her...
having hospice visit her everyday for the past months, was something that I know she was thankful for...i will tell you how very thankful we, as her family are, for the loving support and gentle strength of the dedicated nurses who have befriended our family.
Multitudes of emails have been sent to me, and i thank you all, again, for your faith, friendship and thoughts of healing for our family...
May we all continue to care for, and respect each other as we should...
we are sisters, mothers and daughters ourselves...
May you all be blessed.

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