November 30, 2009

Acorns From Down Under...

December already! I took a break yesterday when our mail arrived. I was expecting my shipment of Vintage Textile Soak (which arrived!), but there was a surprise, too! My Kiwi friend, Marrianne, sent a holiday package to me!

I stopped everything and immediately opened it (Of course, I did! Wouldn't you?) Inside were acorns! I'm sure she was right when she said that New Zealand Customs probably wouldn't have allowed real ones out of the country - or U.S. Customs wouldn't have allowed them in. Either way, I'm sure they wouldn't have arrived here. So, my sweet friend sent me hand knit ones! Pretty tan acorns wearing tweedy caps - created by her. They're absolutely beautiful!

She also made ornaments for me. Stunning, one-of-a-kind sparkling snowflakes that will decorate our home this year. And, oh, lordy! She also popped in a bag of the much-coveted Pineapple Lumps...a Kiwi treat for sure. Marrianne is making Pineapple Lumps an overseas sensation. She's sent them to other gals in our Ravelry - Grandma's Hand group and so, if you're catching up on your reading here, grandmas - nanner, nanner, boo boo! I've got another whole bag of Lumps!!! (That wasn't very nice, Donna. I know. I'm sorry. giggling) Thank you, Marrianne. A proper note is on its way to you!

Back to my studio. (Can't talk. Mouth, full of Lumps. giggling again) I finished the embroideries on the wedding hankies yesterday and will take them to Adele this evening so she can do her magic. I'm also working on something special for my Birthday Giveaway this week. Stay tuned! I think (hope) you'll like it!

November 29, 2009

Sunday In The Studio...

Keeping my word with updates...
I'll start with a photo of my finished knitted scarf...The pattern is "Nantucket Scallop", knit in Tilli Thomas' Flurries Hope yarn. It's 100% Australian merino wool with beads. It's really soft in a sweet shade of pink. I really love this pattern.

Yesterday, I finished two machine embroideries for one of my projects. I'm planning to have six different designs by the time I'm done with them. More on these later.

Then, I chose the fabrics for the tote I'm going to be making. Aren't they beautiful? I still have to pick up cords and chord keepers for the pockets, and because I like to have all my materials together before I start, I won't actually cut fabric for this until later in the week. When I do, I plan to finish the tote the same day.

While Miss Ellie was stitching my embroideries, I started another beaded fringe scarf. It's a beautiful steely blue silk yarn with gunmetal gray beads. Talk about "multi-tasking"! (How else am I going to meet my deadlines?)

I forgot to mention that in the middle of all my holiday work, I took on a commission for a young friend. She's getting married in January and asked me to make a few wedding hankies for her.

I've enlisted the services of one of my Linus friends (Adele, a crocheter extraordinaire) to help me with the hand-worked crochet edge, but I've chosen the look for the embroidery and will do that portion before handing off the vintage Irish linen handkerchiefs for her to finish. I'll show you my work on those after I do the first final embroidery on one of the hankies. So far, I only have prototypes on unbleached muslin for placement which I also did yesterday. More on those soon.

November 28, 2009

The Elves Will Be Busy...

Thanks to Karen at The Graphics Fairy for this beautiful image!
I've made my "official" (kinda/sorta) list of projects to be finished in time for Christmas shipping and gift giving. These are the projects that will ship to special places across the country, into the homes of loved ones...sons and daughters-in-love, grandchildren, parents, nieces and nephews and a few others. My goal is to have everything completed as close as possible to December 15th so that I can relax the rest of the Christmas season.

So, my friends, I'm sharing this list with you:
  1. Four beaded scarves in sumptuous and decadent yarns
  2. Three sets of Christmas Eve pajamas (an annual tradition for our grandchildren)
  3. One Ladies Tote with lots of pockets and compartments
  4. One Kitchen Ensemble (Sorry I can't give you more detail here. Can't give too much away.)
  5. A Set of Handcrafted Ornaments
  6. One Lap Quilt
  7. Custom Gift Bags in pretty fabrics
  8. One Embroidered Pillow
  9. Four Apple Photo Books (all the same - another annual tradition)
  10. Two Hat and Mitten Sets sewn in cozy warm polar fleece
So, now I'll be accountable to you. (Do you think I can do it?) I'll post photos of my projects as I finish them so you can keep me honest. Any good wishes you can send my way (you know, "You can do it, Dee!") will be greatly appreciated as I try to stay on schedule.

One scarf (the pretty pink beaded one I posted the day after Thanksgiving) was finished last night. One down...four to go! I'm telling you - this year, the elves will be busy!

November 27, 2009

And The Winner Is...

Thank you to every single soul who entered my 200th Post Giveaway! I enjoyed reading your comments, seeing you generously sharing my giveaway on your own blogs and watching my following grow because of it. I'll continue to visit your blogs in an effort to get to know you better. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I'm not going to prolong anyone's agony. After all, Black Friday was enough for most of you to bear yesterday, so, without further ado...

The Winner Is:
Suzann from The Olive Cottage
Thanks for picking the winner, Handsome. I couldn't have done it!

I didn't reach 200 followers during the giveaway period, so I'll be holding off on that giveaway until later. Be sure to check back though, because I'm going to have a surprise One Day Giveaway for my followers only! It's my birthday next week and I want to celebrate with another small giveaway!

Congratulations to Suzann. Please email me with your shipping information so I can get your giveaway package on its way to you.

November 26, 2009

My Edible Acorns...

The last time I went to Williams-Sonoma, I found something that would provide a perfect Brynwood touch to our Thanksgiving dinner. You know, a girl could get in trouble in that store, so I only make the occasional trip there when I'm in Sarasota. My last trip yielded this fabulous muffin pan. I knew right away that there would be acorn-shaped corn muffins on our Thanksgiving table this year.
A nice little surprise was that cooking the muffins in this tin made the outside of each little muffin slightly crispy. Oh! This would be a perfect pan for brownies, too!

I'm not going to show you photographs of our entire dinner - even though I took pictures of everything. I just had to share these muffins with you because they're!

On a completely different note - Don't be looking for me at any of the Black Friday sales. I don't get up at silly hours for anyone but Kes (when she wakes me to let her outside. Remember she is an old girl!). One of the joyful side benefits of a handcrafted Christmas is that we can produce gifts from the comfort of our homes. Of course, we have to spend a little time planning ahead - or working into the wee hours as our deadlines approach - but isn't that half the fun?

No crowds, no traffic jams, no "out of stock" signs or "rain checks", no frustrated shoppers and impatient sales clerks. Bliss in the studio. That's what I love. The day after Thanksgiving spent at home. It's what we crafters bring to the party! Gifts from loving hands. Huge doses of heart-to-heart that were hours, days, weeks or even months in the making. Special because we made them.

Hope your day is spent doing something you love...even if it involves rising early to get to the mall. I'll be back tomorrow with the winner of my 200th Post Giveaway. Now, that might be something to inspire you to get up early!

November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving...

Thank you, Karen from The Graphics Fairy
for the beautiful pilgrim woman for my greeting today.

Turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, steamed vegetables and that decadent Crustless Pumpkin Pie (recipe here) from Coming Home..not too much, but just enough. It's so good to remember how this great nation began that we might continue in it's most basic traditions. This tradition - shared tradition with our forefathers - carried on in the hearts and homes of Americans everywhere. Blessings repeated across the years and across the miles.

So many things for which I'm thankful...My husband and our family, good friends, good health and happiness. But this year, I also want to thank each and every one of you for making me feel so wanted and welcome. Thank you for caring enough to leave comments for me so that I knew you were even out there. Thank you for enriching my life and inspiring me to be a better person. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Today is the last day that you can comment on my blog to earn chances to win my 200th Post Giveaway. I'm so grateful to all of you for your enthusiastic response to my celebration! I'll announce the winner on Saturday morning. Good luck to everyone.

Wishing you love, family, good health and "just enough".

November 24, 2009

Holiday Sparkle, Music And A Smile...

Handsome accompanied a local musical group when they performed yesterday. I had to be in Sarasota and missed the fun...and I'm told it really was fun.

Of course, I knew he was going to be playing with them, but yesterday morning, I noticed a garment that I hadn't seen before. All bright and sparkly and new. I knew it was Handsome's attire for the performance, and I giggled as I told him, "It's you, Baby!" I knew right away that I was going to be sorry I wouldn't see this show.

Last year, the North Port Chorale asked him to stand in for their usual percussionist. The young man who usually backed the group didn't want to miss his high school prom. Handsome was glad to help out, and they were pretty enamored of his musical contributions. (After all, he has over forty five years experience on their usual drummer.)

He was soon after contacted to ask if he would be the regular percussionist for their group for the 2009-10 concert season. In addition, they requested that he accompany their select group of singers who perform separate from the Chorale called the Soundsations. Never being one to turn down an opportunity to play, Handsome agreed. (So you don't worry - their previous drummer went off to college.)

Yesterday, the Soundsations performed music from their repertoire as they entertained the residents of a local nursing home. I'm told that one gent, in particular, was completely taken with the music. He spent the afternoon "dancing" in his wheelchair, and there was occasional whooping and hollering from others in the gallery, too. You can imagine the group was a big hit!

Thank you to Sharon (the pianist) for taking a photograph of Handsome for me in his concert attire. Nothing like a little holiday sparkle, music and a smile to get you in the spirit of the season!
Only two more days until the end of my 200th Post Giveaway. If we get to 200 followers, there will be a second drawing, too. I just want to remind you to post your comment each day for additional entries.

Have fun as you prepare, primp and plan for time with family, and if you're planning to travel this Thanksgiving, please be safe. I'm looking forward to reading how each and every one of my blogging friends spent their holiday!

November 23, 2009

Holiday Light Bulb Pot Holders...

I went to Project Linus group yesterday morning. I was missing the girls, so I packed up one of my current knitting projects and headed over to the church where we meet.

It's always fun to see what what everyone is working on. My friend, Lenore (who is a prolific and talented crocheter) has been creating such fun items...Holiday Light Bulb Pot Holders. She's been making them in red with a yellow "base", or green with a yellow "base". They're so darn cute!

The pattern was free in 2008 from Annie's Attic, but when I went to their website, it didn't show up in any of my searches. Of course, I googled the pattern by name and came up with this link...which is the original pattern, now available for $2.29 from e-Patterns Central.

Further research yielded no other free patterns. It would seem to me that I could share a pattern that was originally offered free, but gosh, I'm not sure if it's legal. I'll do a little research - and welcome your input. It I find out it's legal, I'll upload a pdf file to my Free Pattern widget in my sidebar.

I'll give you the basics here. Gauge 5 sts. = 1 inch, using size G crochet hook and Caron Simply Soft Seasons worsted weight yarn. Piece is worked in continuous rounds in single chain for a total of 43 rounds. Begin with 2 chains and then 6 single chains in the 2nd chain from the hook. Experienced crocheters (of which I am not one) will see that you slowly increase the number of stitches in each round until you get to Row 34, then start your decreasesuntil you have 15 chains left. Make a hanging loop. When you're finished you'll have two-sided potholder and a really cute holiday potholder. I know these instructions are sketchy, but promise that I'll see about sharing the pdf file of the original free pattern.

Thanks, Lenore for letting me photograph you and your cool potholders! I really appreciate it. Of course, I'm a busy beaver these days with Christmas projects myself. I'll show you my work(s) in progress tomorrow.

I also want to share with you a link to Artist Class Shop, where you can enroll in tutorials from some of your favorite bloggers. You can go there to see which tutorials are being offered. Classes are available as individual tutorials or by purchasing all the classes at a discount. Once purchased, you have access to a members-only blog to download your tutorials. I enrolled yesterday morning, and I can tell you that there are some really great classes being offered. I personally can't wait to try my hand at Dawn's Paper Clay figure project!

If you link through The Feathered Nest and scroll down, you can find a $10 discount available courtesy of Dawn, who is one of the talented individuals sharing her tutorials. I'd love to know if you sign up!
Everyone has been so great about leaving posts and linking to my giveaway. Don't worry...I'm keeping track and everyone is getting all their credits for the drawing.

Looking forward to your comments today. Don't forget...Comments = Giveaway Chances!

November 22, 2009

It Was So Good...

Sunday was a relaxing day spent cooking, and knitting while watching NASCAR (yeah, I know...but I like it!). One of the delicious surprises was making the Cranberry Cake Mix that I won in Debra's 200th Follower Giveaway over at Common Ground last month. Remember? What a wonderful assortment of beautiful items. She's my inspiration for giveaway generosity.

Yesterday, I unwrapped the package and released the beautiful turkey flour sack kitchen towel that enveloped the cake mix. Then, following the directions (I'm really good at that!), I assembled the ingredients and mixed up the cake. It baked away while I prepared dinner.

After dinner each evening, Handsome and I do kitchen cleanup together. He's an excellent cook in his own right, and after twenty eight years of practice, we work together well. Cleanup is not usually too bad because I learned to "clean as I go" from Mum when I was a kid. Handsome must have learned the same from my mother-in-law because he doesn't like a messy workspace either. So, last night after tidying up the kitchen, we rewarded ourselves with a piece of Cranberry Cake, topped with whipped cream.

I wish you'd been here to sample this dessert, courtesy of sweet Debra. The mix is manufactured for Mary Lake-Thompson, Ltd. in California. I don't know where Debra found this lovely mix, wrapped in a tea towel I'll use and cherish, but I hope you'll be able to find some (and that I might be able to find more!). Debra, if you'll share your source, I'd be so grateful.
You have through Thanksgiving Day (midnight) to continue to enter my 200th Post Giveaway. Just leave a comment on my posts each day and you'll receive another entry. I'll announce my winner on Friday, Nov. 27th.

If you missed the original post, which lists all the ways you can enter, here's a quick link, which also shows you all the gifts I'm offering to one lucky winner.

My left sidebar has many more generous giveaways being offered at some of my other favorite blogs. Say "hi" from me!

November 21, 2009

Acorn Ornaments...

This is what I've been doing lately. I've been making Acorn Ornaments! Believe me, they're like one can have just one!

I spent the day making a tutorial for you, so now you can make your own acorns. You're really gonna love me, because I also spent some time figuring out how to make it possible for you to download pdf files directly from my blog. No more emailing to request pattern pieces or instructions! I know...I'm the bomb, right?

I'm also going to augment my Flickr album tutorials with pdf instruction sheets, but adding lots of photos (as I did to the Acorn Ornament) makes for large pdf files. I'll keep the Flickr albums up and available because they'll show more detail. (I'm talking about the Rabbit Pincushion and Scissors Bunnies.)

Those instructions sheets will show up in my sidebar, right along with my newest ones, when they're completed. (Expect to see them after the holidays, unless I get all my other projects completed early. A girl can dream, right?)

To find the patterns, just scroll down my left sidebar until you find the BoxNet widget with my patterns listed. Then, just select the one you want - or go ahead and download all of them! - right to your computer. Easy peasy and just for you!

You don't have to sign in or anything to download my patterns, but I'd love it if you'd leave a comment here to let me know that you liked my idea enough to want the instructions...and you'll get your name in the giveaway drawing at the same time!
I'm a little behind in my responses to the newest visitors to my blog. I'm so grateful that you're all so happy with the items I've chosen for the giveaway(s). I promise to get over to visit you just as soon as I can. I'm looking forward to getting to know all of you better.

Thanks again for all your kind words, thoughts and insights. Your visits mean the world to me!

Oh, I don't want to forget to remind you to scroll down my left sidebar for another reason...I have posted linky buttons to a number of other giveaways now in progress. You're going to want to check out all the wonderful things other bloggers are listing in their drawings, too!

November 20, 2009

We Now Return You To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming...

Things got back to normal yesterday. No worries. No more snakes. Sorry if I freaked anyone out. I've got a few things to take your minds off the mild trauma of it all today. First, I've got a photograph of the two finished ornaments for my swap partner at Ravelry. Think she'll like them? (I hope so!)And then, I wanted to show you the sweet bookmarks I made from the beautiful handmade egg beads from my dear friend, Marion. I'm going to send her one of the finished ones (along with some other surprises) as a thank you for her generosity. Each bookmark has a 14" length of birds' egg blue velvet ribbon, one of Marion's beautiful blue beads on one end (along with Swarovski crystals), and a bird charm with crystals on the other. I got the idea from a recent cover of Somerset Life. I knew I'd just have to try it!And finally...and I've been thinking about this for a few days...I've noticed that my following has climbed to over 150 members. I'm going to add another giveaway gift if we get to 200 by the time the 200th Post Giveaway ends. Here's what I'll offer if we can celebrate a 200th Follower Giveaway:I'm offering another color-themed gift package...First a vintage washboard. It's about 18 1/2" tall and I'd love to see what the winner does with it. Also included is a hardcover book called Heirlooms From Loving Hands, by Sandy Lynam Clough. It's chock-full of her wonderful, painted images and inspirational words and ideas. You'll also receive a cool wine bottle gift box. I have one in my studio that I use to store knitting needles. I'd love to know how you decide to use it. And, finally, a velvet "Joy" ornament (I didn't make this one, but I loved it).

So, if you haven't already told your pals about the 200th Post Giveaway, or you haven't posted up a button on your blog yet, here's another incentive. I'm thankful for each and every one of you this year, and if we get to 200 followers here by Thanksgiving, this is how I'll show my gratitude.

Tomorrow I'll be sharing the Brynwood Needleworks Acorn Ornament pincushion tutorial with you!

Here's a button you can add to your blog to crow about the 200th Follower Giveaway. If we get to 200, one lucky follower will win all of the items in this photo! I'm crossing my fingers for y'all!

In the event we don't make it to 200, I promise I'll keep this gift set together until we do! Someone is going to win this - either next week, or very soon.

November 19, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different...

Monty Python's Signature Ending
I usually sit down after dinner each evening to write my blog posts to you. That means the post you read each day was actually written the evening before and then scheduled to post at midnight. I usually write in the past tense, knowing that it will be the next day by the time you read it. (Cat out of the bag, now!)

I spent yesterday in the studio. (Of course, I did!) I finished my ornaments for the swap, and I even did a tutorial for a new one that I wanted to share with you today. One small glitch...

Handsome went to his usual Thursday evening band rehearsal and left me with Miss Kes here at home. Laptop on my lap, television tuned to the SyFy channel (yeah, yeah...) and I had just finished downloading the photos for my tutorial from my camera to the computer. Just at that moment, the telephone rang.

It was about 6:30 pm, and the caller was my brother-in-law, Bruce. He's such a silly guy. Whenever I answer the phone, I'm greeted with him singing a jingle from a recent commercial or the words to some silly tune where he's "fiddled" with the lyrics. I started to laugh and then caught my breath. I looked toward the tv and saw this:
Yeah, I know the photo is blurry. What did you expect?!!!!!
I told Bruce to call back in an hour because I had a rather "impressive" snake in our living room. Then I hung up, moved Kes to another room (for her own protection) and called 911 as I faced off the reptile. We both moved very slowly, it for the patio doors which lead to our pool, and me a respectable distance behind so I'd know where it was when the officer arrived. (What the heck was taking the lawman soooo long, anyway?)

After what seemed like about an hour (not really), an officer arrived and told me that he knew nothing about snakes, but was here to keep me company until their "Snake Charmer" officer arrived. By the time Officer #1 got here, Mr. Snakey Pants had already slithered into my huge spider plant. We stood there and talked a few minutes until the second officer walked in the front door.

The "Snake Charmer" tapped his extending wand until it was well - extended - and then started rooting around in my plant. Sure enough. There was Mr. Snakey Pants. (I had asked the officer if he wanted me to hold his flashlight or his "perp beater", which made him laugh. You've got to have a sense of humor in a situation like this, don't you?) He asked Officer #1 to shine his flashlight into the plant and he proceeded to "coax" the snake out of the plant. Thanks to leather gloves, he was able to slowly back the snake out.
My hero...
You can click on his photograph to go to a small Flickr album with more photos of my adventure. (Be sure to read my captions on the photographs, too.) I'll be back tomorrow with that tutorial and more finished projects. I think I'll make a cup of tea now.
Oh, by the way...In case you're interested: This snake was a corn snake. According to my field guide they get to be 3'6" long (this one was close). Yup, it says "CAUTION: Coils like rattler when cornered; will bite." Really? "Habitat: Woods, open areas, farms, old buildings and trash piles." I guess when you live surrounded by woods, open areas, and farms, you're just inviting a visitor like this guy! We live on three, mostly-wooded acres, and our home is near the back of the lot. The officer carried the snake down the driveway and released it out near the road. Mr. Snakey Pants won't be back, but I still slept with one eye open last night...just in case!

Thank you to all of you who are new to my blog. I do go and visit each of your blogs when you stop by, and try to leave a message for each of you at "your place". I'm having so much fun getting to know you! I hope you're enjoying your visits here, too. Don't forget to leave comments each day for another chance in my drawing.

Also, be sure to check out my left sidebar for other giveaways currently in progress. There are so many wonderful bloggers offering beautiful things right now. Of course, I hope I win as much as you do...but that's half the fun, isn't it?

November 18, 2009

An Award & New Goodies For The Boutique...

I received a "Love Ya" Friendship blog award yesterday from my friend, Dee Dee at Dee Dee's Craft Spot. What a nice surprise! You can read about it here. I'll be naming my choices for recipients in the next few days, but I just had to mention this kindness from Dee Dee before another day passed. Thank you, my friend!
Finished those mittens (sheesh!) and headed back to the studio to make a few new pincushions for my Boutique. You can click on the photo mosaic and it will take you over to the Boutique to find out about them. Woosh! See you tomorrow.
I'm really having fun visiting all of your websites. Thanks for all your kind comments. It's nice to know I'm not alone in my goof-ups! I really enjoyed reading your shared mishaps, too. Keep commenting, friends, for more chances in my Giveaway drawing! I'm loving getting to know all of you!

November 17, 2009

The Tale of The Monster Mitten...

I try to show my human side in my musings with you - especially when it comes to my crafting. Be it sewing, needlework, or as in this case, knitting, it's important to me to "keep it real" with you in what I do and how I do it.

A couple of days ago, I went into that voluminous stash to choose something lovely for a pair of mittens to make for my Christmas list. I found a beautiful, ivory- colored alpaca silk dk yarn by Debbie Bliss. Pretty, soft and perfect for my purposes....and I had the requisite four balls. Good to go!

I need to tell you that I've made these mittens more than a few times, so it's not a new pattern for me. I needed two sets of knitting needles. Size 7 would be used for casting on the mitten and knitting up the ribbed cuff. Then, I would switch to size 9 needles for the body of the mitts.

Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit thumb, knit, knit, knit, knit to end. Sew up. Slip on. What, the....? I just started to laugh. How could I have screwed up to this extent? I always knit a gauge swatch, but hadn't this time because I'd done them before. But, I guess I should go back and cover that step now! Grab the size 9s because they were the critical size. Again...What, the...?

Now I knew my error. Size 7 needles - two of 'em - check! Size 9 needles - two of 'em - awww crap! I had one size 9 needle and one size 10 1/2! Well, heck yeah, that would knock the size of my mitten into the next Sasquatch size! See? I'm figuring you should be able to hear the beaver slap to my forehead from where you're sitting reading this!

As it's already sewn together (perfectly matching seams, I might add) at this point...I placed it off to the side and knit up another mitten (in what should be the correct side with the correct needles). Ahhhhhhhh, that's better! See the Monster Mitten on the left and the normal mitten on the right. (FYI - I only embellish one mitten so the recipient can keep left and right straight once they start wearing them.)

So, at this point, you're curious, right? What did she do with the monster mitten? Rip it out? Toss it? Yeah, I know I could rip it out and use it to start a matching scarf, but inspiration hit me (much better than that beaver slap!). As I usually make a little bag of some sort to place my mittens (or socks) into, I already have the perfect pouch!

Well...what do you think? Genius? Yeah, I know. I think so, too! (insert an evil giggle here) Heck, I could even add a cute little felt head and a broomstick in the thumb to look like a little snowman, but then the recipient might think she'd received a one-armed, mutant, snow thingy. I think I'll just leave it like this with the cute, completed mittens inside - and maybe a little chocolate. Who doesn't like chocolate, anyway?
I can't tell you how much fun I'm having reading your comments and visiting all the blogs of my giveaway participants. I'm trying to get to everyone to leave a message for you. If you left an email for me in your message, I'm assuming you don't have a blog (yet). I don't want you to think you've got a stalker if I write to you, so I'll wait until the end of the contest to say thanks. If you want me to write to you at your edress, please let me know! I'm happy to oblige. I'd love to thank you for visiting, and get to know you better.

I hope you're enjoying exploring Brynwood Needleworks. There's a lot to see and hear while you're visiting. Feel free to comment on any little thing! Thanks again, my friends. I know you're all commenting on my generosity, but believe me - you all return it to me ten-fold and I'm grateful beyond measure for each and every one of you!

** If you're new around here, you can always click on my images to enlarge them.