May 31, 2009

Let The Painting Begin...

Today is the day. I decided to get started on that redecorating project for our master bedroom. After a mere seven years, I've grown soooo tired of the paint on the walls that came with the house. I've always called it a boring, mauve/blush color, but until I put the new color over it, I never realized that it's actually a very light lavender gray. (Yellow and purple are opposites on the color wheel, which made the old shade really obvious.) Did I tell you the purple colorways are my least favorite? Well, now you know!

I decided I would start painting the hallway from our bedroom to our closets and master bath area. I didn't have to move any furniture, and it only required removing one framed piece from the wall. Seemed a logical place to begin don't you agree?

I only spent half the day painting, but what I accomplished has given me a sense of what the new color is going to do to the whole feel of our room. I have to tell you, I really love it! It's going to be great to wake up in our bedroom with the sunrise coming in through our east-facing windows. The light will bounce around these walls for a cheery start to every day - including even the gloomy, rainy days! I don't think we could have settled on a better color for our Florida bedroom (not that we have a bedroom anywhere but here in Florida).

Don't worry...I'll post little, vignette photo updates to this project as we progress, but I'm saving The Big Picture for when we're completely finished. (I've also started a new Flickr album for all the redec photos.) Be sure to let me know what you think of the new color. I hope you love it as much as we do!

JoySignatureBROWNSM

PS. I'm hoping to be able to give you an update on the Hog "situation" tomorrow. I have added new photos to the Flickr album I dedicated to The Lone Ranger (our soon-to-be-transplanted hog). You can check there to see the hog trap installation. It really adds a lot to the ambiance of our front yard. (deep sigh)

May 29, 2009

A New Member Of My Collection...

You already know that I love pincushions and collect them. Well, so do most of my friends. Last Tuesday night my friend, Tammy, surprised me with a new one for my collection.

In all my years of collecting pincushions, I've always admired the colorful silk cushion held by a circle of little men with pigtails. I've seen many, but I've never purchased one. I'm not sure why not...I just haven't.

You can then imagine just how tickled I was when Tammy told me the story of an older lady who was being moved out of her family home and "downsizing" her possessions. All the family members had gone through the items that would not be moving with this woman, and then told Tammy that she could choose anything she'd like. She said that she didn't really want anything, but knew someone who would love this pincushion. My friend was thinking of me!

We met with other knitting friends at Books a Million for our usual Tuesday night knitting group. I had just settled into my chair and was taking out my current project (more tea towels!), when Tammy placed this beauty on the table in front of me. I picked it up and told her it was beautiful. It was at that moment that she announced that it was mine. I hugged and thanked her, and then safely tucked it into my knitting bag for the rest of the evening and our trip home.

My new cushion will have an honored spot in my studio. I'm so grateful to Tammy for thinking of me and gifting me with a piece of sewing history This little pincushion was obviously used for its intended purpose, which makes it even more special to me. I now have a connection to the woman who just moved into a nursing home. A shared bond - connected by pins, needles and thread.

To see my pincushion collection (not just the ones I've made)...I have started a new album which you can find with the other albums in my sidebar. As I take photos of the rest of my collection, I'll update my album.

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Hog Update: I've been adding photos to The Great Hog Invasion of 2009 album in the sidebar - and including captions for dates and activity. We finally had a trapper here last night. He was shocked by the close proximity of the damage to our home. He said, "Looks like this guy is practically living with you." (No kidding!)

Well, the hog wasn't captured last night. He wasn't even in the next door wood lot when they went through to track him. Apparently, he was having dinner at a friend's house instead. He waiting until the trappers and dog had left and returned here at about 2:30 this morning. I've posted photos from last night and this morning to tell the story.

Jason (the trapper) will be back this evening with a trap. We're going to try a new approach to move the Lone Ranger out of our yard. Once that's accomplished, we'll be looking into hiring a crew to come in to re-grade and repair our lawn. (Thanks, Pig!)
JoySignatureBROWNSM

May 28, 2009

A Wonderful Surprise Today...

After five days of waking up to the agony of even more hog damage in our front yard, I was surprised to turn on my computer first thing this morning to find that I have received my first blogging award! I've received a "Makes My Heart Smile" Blog Award! (Hats and horns, and doing the Happy Dance!)

Linda, of White Linen - Lavender Field and America The Beautiful-1776 blog sites, awarded me this honor through her America The Beautiful site. Linda is a truly gifted blogger, and I enjoy reading her words of inspiration, and viewing her beautiful images whenever I visit her blogs. I highly recommend that you visit both sites (linked through My Favorite Blogs in my left column) and tell her that you've stopped by to visit.

Now, if you know me, you know I'm a rule follower. Here are the rules for this ♥ Award~~~
1. The winner may put the logo on their blog (just right click on the image and copy, then paste to your blog post.)
2. Put a link to the person who sent you the award
3. Nominate 10 blogs
4. Put a link to their blogs
5. Leave a message for your nominees

Ten Blogs That Make Me Smile ~~~in no particular order:
2. Andrea @ Button Floozies
4. Alicia @ Posie Gets Cozy
5. Christine @ A Work In Progress
6. Loreen @ Loreen's Place
7. Amanda @ Soule Mama
8. Maryboys @ Vintage Patina
9. Laura @ 52 Flea
and last, but certainly not least
10. Dawn @ The Feathered Nest

To my readers - In this post, you can click on each blogger's blog title to visit their site. In the future, you can always link to them from My Favorite Blogs to visit them again.

To the seasoned bloggers to whom I am giving this award - You are, in my humble opinion, some of the best bloggers in Blogland, creating wonderful and inspirational sites to visit...and you all bring smiles to my face.

When you visit my blog, please take the blog award button, just copy and paste it to your blog. You deserve it! Pass it on to your friends and please link back to Brynwood Needleworks.

Thanks again, Linda! I'll try to live up to your opinion of me each and every time I add to my site.
JoySignatureBROWNSM

May 26, 2009

A Fun Stash Buster Project...

This past weekend, I decided to take a little stroll through my rather extensive collection of yarn. I came across a large quantity of Idena Cotton Sport yarn in a lovely cream color and decided to make some new dish towels (Mum would call them "tea towels") for our kitchen. The store-bought varieties just don't seem to last very long anymore, so I thought I'd much rather have some of my own making instead.

You can see the result in the photo. After knitting up my own pattern, I added a sweet little crocheted flower, which I then affixed to the towel with a daisy-shaped button.

So, if you'd like to make a few of your own...and use up a little of your stash...I'm going to share my design with you. I think it's a little addictive. Once you make one, you'll want to make more!

Brynwood's Lazy Daisy Tea Towels
(Click on the Brynwood Tea Towel Photo below to download a pdf file of the pattern)

Approx. 250 yards of yarn per towel (You want them nice and big)
A Little scrap yarn in a contrasting color (for your flower - more if adding a contrasting stripe)
Size 6 knitting needles
Size H crochet hook
1 fancy button

Seed Stitch Pattern: Knit 1, Purl 1 across row. Next row, Purl the knits and knit the purls.

Cast on 64 stitches. Work in Seed Stitch for 6 rows. On subsequent rows, work the first and last 6 stitches in Seed Stitch. Knit all other stitches. (You'll end up with Garter Stitch on the area inside the Seed Stitch borders.) Continue in this manner until the towel measures approximately 21 inches from the beginning. Work 6 more rows in Seed Stitch (all the way across the towel), and then bind off all your stitches. Tuck in all your loose tails.

Flower: Using a size H crochet hook, chain 5 stitches. Join chain. Into the circle single crochet 1, double crochet 3, single crochet 1. Repeat five times, ending with a single chain. Tie off and tuck in loose tails.

Now, using a button that is bigger than the center of the flower:
Place the flower in your desired location, place the button in the center of the flower and, using perle cotton thread, sew the button to the towel. (You don't even have to sew the flower to the towel if your button is larger than the center of the flower!)

For a different look:
You can add three to five rows of your contrasting yarn color all the way across your towel when you're knitting it up. Just join in the desired location and stay in pattern using the new color. When you're ready, just switch back to the main color and finish your towel. (I knit six rows of seed stitch, then five rows of garter stitch in main color and then three rows in contrast color before changing back to the main color for the balance of the design.)

Your first towel is complete! Now, you can have a ball knitting new ones in your favorite colors - and go through some of that stash at the same time!
JoySignatureBROWNSM

By the way...Feel free to email this link to your friends to share the pattern! Everyone should make at least one special tea towel for their kitchen! All you have to do is click on the little envelope with the arrow (below), to forward it to a friend. You can click on the tea towels photo or go to my "My Completed Knit/Crochet Projects" album to see a larger photograph of the tea towels.

My Next Big Project...

I managed to get in a little fabric shopping recently (yeah, like that doesn't happen often!), and I came across this beautiful collection of fabrics from Moda. With the exception of the yellow fabric on the bottom, it's all from a collection called "Love Letters". While there are more colorways and more floral patterns in this line, these are the fabrics that spoke to me. The yellow fabric is also Moda, but I've had that for a long time and pulled it to use with this project.

The yellow paper on the bottom of the pile is a color chip for the paint I'm going to put on the walls of our master bedroom. Who could turn down a color called "Melted Butter"?

I'm going to make the fabric into a king size quilt for our room and I can't wait to get started! I'm still trying to choose between a wedding ring, lover's knot or pinwheel pattern, but I'll be making up my mind very soon and then I'll commence with the cutting.

OK, so I have to paint first, but that won't take long. The color currently on the walls has been there since we purchased our home seven years ago, and it's a blah mauve-y type color that I've slowly come to really dislike. I'm looking forward to waking up with a sunshine yellow on the walls to start my day instead.

Then, just when I thought all my fabric decisions had been made, I found a brand new line from Moda called "Clementine". Most of the line is very 70's inspired and I love every single pattern, but I thought it might be fun to have a few accents (perhaps pillows) made out of these two fabrics in particular. What do you think? Yummy?

I think the new look will definitely fit in with our happy, bright Florida lifestyle. Bet you can't wait to see the room all finished, right? Me, either.

Trust me, I'll be back with photos as soon as I can.
JoySignatureBROWNSM

May 24, 2009

Memorial Day...

Thank you to the men and women of the armed services who put
their own lives on hold to protect our lives, our families and our country.

Thank you to the families who lost loved ones
and made the ultimate sacrifice.
You're in our thoughts and prayers today and every day.


Thank you to my father, who served in the Air Force,
my brother, who served on the Navy Carrier U.S.S. Nimitz,
and to friends and family
who also served to protect our rights and our freedom.


On this and every Memorial Day you are
appreciated and respected more than mere words can express.
God Bless You and God Bless America.

JoySignatureBROWNSM
photo courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel

The Covert Attack...

Last night, as we slept peacefully in our bed, our property was under attack. Windows were closed in favor of an air-conditioned room, so we heard nothing of the destruction that was being wrought nearly outside our bedroom window.

Today was the day Handsome decided to mow the lawn on our property, and as usual, he started by walking through the grass picking up and pitching pine cones. (You wouldn't believe the noise they make if the mower gets 'em!) He had walked the back yard and noted the little divots caused by our resident armadillos - who by themselves can be quite "impressive" on a yard - but he was speechless when he got around to the front.

Slowly and nonchalantly, he came back to the lanai and asked me to take a little walk with him. I never turn down an offer like that! I jumped out of my chair, slipped on my flip-flops and caught up to him. Together we walked to the front of the house and what I saw made my jaw drop!

Sprawled out in front of me was an excavation unlike anything I'd seen since we broke ground to build the pool. To give you a reference to the amount of yard that had been torn up here, think in terms of a mid-size guest room! And, man, they dig deep. If we'd wanted to till that area for a garden, it would have been a major task - but not for these marauders! They (and I'm thinking there was more than one - or a single descendant of the infamous "Hogzilla") had the dirt turned over and rooted up in no time flat. I might add at this point, that their excavation was on top of our mound system! Choose the most expensive (and important) place to dig in our yard, why don't you?!

Further inspection yielded proof of our suspicions...we'd been
attacked by HOGS! We didn't need forensic experts to match up foot..er, hoof...prints. We could tell all on our own.

It's not like their existence in our area was unknown to us. We've seen hogs on the back line of our property and along the roadways in our neighborhood before, but until last night they'd stayed out of our yard.

When we lived up North, we had annual Hog Roasts every Labor Day weekend. Seems that word got out, and now they're having their revenge in the South. We'd better figure out something quickly or there might be a Civil War reenactment on the horizon. Hogs...Can you even believe it?
JoySignatureBROWNSM
(Well today, maybe not so much!)

Edited on Wednesday, May 27, 2009: I have added a Flickr photo album (Titled: The Great Hog Invasion of 2009) with updated images of the activities of the one lone hog damaging our yard. Soon the trapper will be coming to take care of the pig. I'm all for "All Creatures Great and Small" and loving wildlife, but I don't care if you're my sister or one of God's creatures...You start wrecking my stuff and there are going to be consequences!

May 23, 2009

Well-Worn, Loved, Constant...

Does something have to be new to be exciting? If that were true, there would be no room for "shabby chic", "vintage" or even, "anniversaries".

I was given this teddy bear by my Uncle Johnny when I was born in England. It traveled across the ocean with me and has been with me ever since.

The comfort of an old teddy bear - worn from years of cuddles, whispered secrets, outdoor picnics, first-love tears. Marking years of growth, exploration, contentment, maturity and happiness, punctuated with tears - happy and sad.

Moving - to a new school, a new neighborhood, a new town, a new state - a life packed, transported, unpacked. Relationships long-gone and outgrown, and a marriage of twenty five years. The joys of a familiar hand to hold, a neck to snuggle, the knowing looks and simultaneous thoughts.

In this world of disposable, expendable, and short-lived, this constant old friend, silent witness to my life shared with my husband - our lives bound by common threads, shared vision and boundless love...unselfish, unfettered, unending.
JoySignatureBROWNSM

May 22, 2009

It's Been Raining All Week...

This time of year in Florida, the rains start and fears of wildfire start to subside. The retaining ponds which are usually full of water have been empty for months with beds of ugly, cracked clay. Any little spark might start a fire that can engulf acres in a matter of minutes, so residents live in fear until the rains return to rehydrate the landscape.

We've been fortunate to have rain every day this week, and those ponds have filled with water again. The plants and trees are green and blossoming. Even the birds and animals seem to be grateful for the moisture. On Monday, I saw a bobcat crossing our street...muddy paws and all.

In our little corner of the world, our magnolia tree is in full bloom. Large - I mean, really large - blossoms fill it's branches.. I wish my blog had a "scratch and sniff" feature, just so you could experience the heavenly fragrance that I get when I walk past the tree.

This is one of the trees that symbolizes the South for me. The magnificent magnolia. Magnolias and cypress trees...my two Southern favorites. And we have both on our property. They just make me smile whenever I'm around them.

I'll share photos of my beautiful cypress trees in a future post. Today, you can see my magnolia blossoms, close your eyes and just imagine the heady fragrance after a week of rain. Really, it's wonderful.
JoySignatureBROWNSM

May 21, 2009

Kes Is Home Again...

Kes came home with me this afternoon. I took an embroidery class at my favorite quilting and fabric shop in Sarasota today, and before the class was over my cell phone was ringing. It was the clinic.

Chris The Anesthesiologist told me that Kes was "anxious" to come home. I laughed out loud because I could hear her howling in the background. I asked, "She's finally worn out her welcome, hasn't she?" He just repeated, "She's really anxious to go home with you." I laughed again and assured him I was already in my vehicle and would be there soon.

I walked in the front door of the clinic and could hear her all the way to the reception area. I didn't have to wait long at all. Chris quickly explained all the post-op stuff and then brought her to me. I spoke with Dr. Kirsh for a few minutes while Kes quietly waited (eyeing the door), I said we'd be back for our follow up appointments as scheduled, and then we left. I didn't hear a peep out of her all the way home, brought her into the house and fed her, and this is all Handsome and I have seen since.

Dog feet, and now two shaved forelegs - one from the biopsy and one from the surgery. Sheesh! I thought they would have used the same leg!

And now, my mostly sleeping dog. I think she's down for the night.

An exciting couple of days for my little girl, but now she's back home and she knows we'll take care of her.

Tomorrow is another day, but tonight we'll concentrate on healing.




May 20, 2009

She's Resting Comfortably Now...

Kes and I went for a walk this morning to chat and get her psyched for her trip to the surgeon today. Well, actually she was getting me psyched for her trip to the surgeon today. Dogs are like that, you know.

Watching her trot along in the grass, sniffing each yard and looking for her familiar neighborhood buddies made me realize how healthy she really is - except for this nasty cluster of tumors - so I should stop fretting and trust that she'll be just fine.

Dr. Kirsh called about thirty minutes ago to say that everything went just as expected, with the exception that the tumors really weren't as big as his exam led him to believe (that's good), and that Kes was already awake and doing well (that's great!). She'll be able to come home tomorrow.

It's going to be a quiet night here without a doglet in the house, but I'm very grateful that the miracles of modern veterinary medicine have once again taken care of one of our beloved pets. I'm going to go and make a cup of tea now, sigh a sigh of relief...and thank God that my little girl will be alright.
JoySignatureBROWNSM
Update:
7 pm Wednesday Evening: I just spoke with the vet at the Emergency Clinic where Kes will spend the night. She's alert and whines a bit when she changes position, which I'm told is from surgical discomfort. Otherwise, she's doing great. She's been outside and took that well. They have her scheduled for a little bland dinner in a couple of hours and, in case you didn't know, Labradors never turn down a meal! I'm sure she's going to like that.

The vet promised that they would contact me if Kes' condition changes, but they don't expect any problems. I said that they could feel free to call me to go back to Sarasota if Kes told anyone on staff that she needs her "mom" to hold her paw. At least I know that I can sleep tonight, assured that she's safe and being monitored by the caring and watchful eyes of the staff at the clinic.

May 19, 2009

It's All About the Labrador...

Today I'm going to introduce you to the Lady of the Manor, my yellow Labrador retriever, Kes.

Kes is the last of a line of Labs from our own bloodline...and in spite of her "ear thingies", she is a purebred. Her grandma was my female, Bryn, and my Uncle Larry owned her mother from one of Bryn's litters. We owned Kes' daddy, Morgan, who was a handsome boy and a great hunting dog. Since his death two years ago, Kes has been an "only Lab", which is the first time we've had only one dog in over 28 years!

The reason I'm writing about Kessie today is because tomorrow she has to have a major surgery. You'd never be able to tell from the way she looks or acts around here, but observant owners that we are, we noticed little blood spots on the tile from time to time. Upon further inspection, we found that she had bloody stools, so off to the clinic she went. Our vet, Stephanie Lantry in Sarasota, found that she has a mass of growths inside her, well...rectum, attached to a significant portion of the rectal wall, and her regular body functions irritate the growths causing her to bleed.

Dr. Lantry ordered up a biopsy, and tests confirmed that they are benign (sigh of relief), however we needed to explore removal for her continued health. We met with a veterinary surgeon, Dr. Kirsh (also in Sarasota) and Kes is scheduled for surgery tomorrow morning.

She'll be at the clinic at least overnight to monitor her recovery and manage any discomfort, and we expect a full recovery...But today, is her day. She's Queen for a Day and will get lots of smooches, hugs and attention. (And, of course, no food after 6 pm and an early morning walk tomorrow to "clean out her system".)

I just thought I'd share a few photos of my little dog doing what she does best...sitting in the sun by the pool; visiting her "pet" gopher tortoise - who actually comes to see her every few weeks; and sleeping with her favorite toys after a little afternoon swim. She's nearly twelve years old, but still acts like a "puppersnapper".

Tomorrow will be a long day for Handsome and me, as we await news from Dr. Kirsh following her procedure. But we know she'll be ok in his capable hands, and look forward to the surgery and recovery being behind us. (No pun intended.)

Just yesterday, Kes and I were chatting and she said she wants a baby brother. I told her we'll have to discuss that with Handsome and see what he thinks. For now, I think we have enough on our hands. We can think about puppies after Kessie is back to her healthy self.

May 17, 2009

My Blanket Update...

I promised an update to my goal to sew up six baby blankets to present for Project Linus on Monday. Alas there are only three...but let me explain.

I was busy cutting and sewing and sewing and cutting on Friday, and, might I add, quite pleased with my progress. It was certainly a day well-spent. Handsome thought I should take a break and that I shouldn't need to cook dinner, so he suggested we go out for a Friday night date. I jumped at the offer!

We decided on Olive Garden, and had only a short wait before we were seated at a nice table in one of their side rooms. We got caught up on the events of the past few days and soon were sharing one of O.G.'s yummy house salads. Handsome ordered the chicken marsala and I ordered ravioli stuffed with portabello mushrooms. Everything was delicious and "just enough" food. We left sated and happy.

Friday evening was a bit uncomfortable for me, but Saturday morning I usually meet my friend, Netta for breakfast. This week, her daughter, Shaina was going to be able to join us, so I didn't want to pass. I ordered a light breakfast of egg and blueberry muffin (which I didn't finish), and visited with the girls.

When I got home, I went to bed, where I spent most of the day. I know it's not the flu, but I'm suspicious about dinner the night before. I have been taking it easy today - still a bit under the weather - and wish I'd finished all my blankets.

I'm happy that there are three new coverlets to take to Linus on Monday. You can see fronts and backs of each one in my photograph. Yellow background with airplanes and a plaid back; baby hands and feet in a soft pastel front and back; and finally, buttery yellow with teddies and a green check back. At least three little ones will have new blankies...and I'll take the rest a week from tomorrow.


I also want to tell you about a feature I've added to the bottom of my posts...You'll notice a little envelope with an arrow inside it (next to where you can add a comment). You can now click on this link to email my posts to a friend. They also appear next to previous posts, so if there's an earlier one you want to share, you'll be able to do that. Thanks again for visiting. Share at will...the more, the merrier!

May 14, 2009

Blankets For Babies...

May has been a busy month. There were multiple birthdays, Mother's Day and a fabulous pincushion swap that had me sewing and having great fun in my studio.

The only problem is that I've been lax in completing my baby blankets for one of our local causes - Project Linus. I get together with a great group of local women every Monday morning to work on knitted, crocheted or quilted blankets. But I've been working, re-working and dawdling over the same crocheted blanket for at least eight weeks. I'm embarrassed that I haven't turned in a completed project lately, especially when I see all the beautiful blankets turned in by the other ladies.

Guilt can be a great motivator, so I decided that after I met my last deadline for gifts (and I met every personal deadline to create something handcrafted for each of my special dates this month), I would set one more deadline to finish and turn in six flannel baby blankets next Monday.

So far, I've finished one blanket (in the first photo) with teddy bears in a creamy, dreamy yellow and green; and I'm now cutting and assembling a pretty pastel blanket with baby hands and feet on the front and a pretty plaid on the back. I'll finish that one tomorrow (Friday).

I have flannels in primary colors, so that will be the next one. Then only three more to meet my goal. I have a lot more flannel fabric to make those and will have fun choosing the color combinations. I'll be back on Sunday evening to post one photo of all the finished blankets.

I know that they'll all be appreciated and loved by some child in our area. I'd like to think that one of mine might even end up being a child's favorite "blankie".

Once I meet this goal, I'm going to make a commitment to complete at least one blanket a month for the rest of the year. The kids deserve it - and I feel so much better knowing that I'm not just talking the talk, but that I'm also walking the walk.

May 11, 2009

Everything Old Is New Again...

Who would have thought I'd be excited about an iron? So often, it brings to mind the image of a woman wearing a bandana on her head, toiling over white shirts, and leaves feministas to cringe at the thought of one of their own degrading themselves with such menial tasks. Well, I'm a seamstress and, gosh darnit, one thing we require is a really great iron!

When I was working with the beautiful cotton batiste for the recent christening gown project, I constantly fought the steam holes on my Rowenta. Even when I shut off the steam feature and drained out the water, it would manage to sputter unexpectedly on my perfect white fabric, inciting a barrage of expletives deleted, followed by a work stoppage to rinse away the offending tiny stain.

After joining a conversation about the best technique to attach a collar to a collar stand (don't ask) one of the gals suggested a book entitled Shirtmaking by David Page Coffin. I'm always willing to learn something new or improve my techniques - and I love books! - so I ordered this one, and man, am I glad I did. There were myriad things I didn't even know I didn't know!

The author suggests many tools and gadgets to help create those perfect shirts and the one tool he said everyone needs to own is a dry iron. No tiny steam holds on the sole plate, no sputtering, no fancy bells and whistles, no stains. Just dry heat for carefree pressing.

So, I googled "dry iron" and found that one of my favorite online sources, Vermont Country Store, carries them...and only $29.95! Less than half the price of a good steam iron! So, I ordered one right away, and it arrived today. I'm the proud owner of a brand-spanking, new Continental Platinum Dry Iron.

Life is good. This homemaker is tickled pink to have a new iron! I wonder whats next...perhaps I should get a new washboard?

May 5, 2009

My First Online Tutorial...

I just finished uploading my first video tutorial. It's for the Beaded Fringe Scarf design from Deanna's Vintage Styles.

A few of my "away" buddies asked how to transfer the beads from the hank to the yarn to begin knitting the scarf, and it was easier to do a video than to travel to where each of them live to show them, hence the birth of my video tutorial!

In just under ten minutes, it will take the viewer from the materials list through to the knitting process. You knitters will have to take it from there...but you all know how to knit, so this will be easy. The scarf is a quick and elegant project, perfect for gifts for friends and loved ones. I hope you enjoy the video. Be sure to let me know what you think!

I said to use size 9 needles in the tutorial...you should use size 3 if you're using the fingering weight yarns called for on the pattern.

Note: You can purchase the pattern for this scarf, along with the prestrung beads directly from Deanna's Vintage Styles at http://www.vintagestyles.com The items do not show on her site, because she doesn't want to compete with LYSs, but if you call or email them, they are very gracious about getting a list of the bead colors to you so you can make your selection and purchase. The pattern and beads are also available from DreamWeavers Yarn online shop at http://www.dreamweaveryarns.com, and they are also happy to special order beads from Deanna's for you if you know which color you want.

Also: I've made the title of this post a link to the video, but I've also added a link under "My Video Tutorials" on the left column (right under my Blog Archive) for this and future teaching videos.

May 3, 2009

Summer Vacation for Handsome...

Last night was a gas. Handsome had one more performance before the snowbirds head north - when the Concert Band, Orchestra and Chorale all go on summer break.

Locals assembled at the North Port Performing Arts Center, and this proud wife sat in the balcony so I could have the best view of his performance. I love watching him play, and usually have "cheek cramps" by the end of the evening from continuous grinning. Last night was especially fun because he was the only percussionist setting the tempo for the singers, all who perform for the sheer joy of making music.

Handsome is a seasoned performer, having begun in music classes in grade school and over the years he has amassed a long resume' of professional credentials. This is his first full year performing in North Port, so the people with whom he performs continue to be impressed - and I can't help but crow about him!

Well, I shot a few videos and have uploaded one from last night for you to see. Just click on the title of this post to view it...and notice that I've added a section under his photo on the right column. As I add more videos of his performances, you'll be able to enjoy his talent right along with me. I hope when you watch the video(s), you get cheek cramps right along with me!

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