May 31, 2010

Dressing For The Party...

I sure hope you had a nice and relaxing weekend.
Handsome and I rode out on the Harleys on Sunday for a
brunch ride (and my favorite breve cappuccino) at Panera's.

We ran into friends while we were there, and made
a date to meet them for dinner next Saturday night.
I love that sort of impromptu planning.

After we got back home, we changed out of our riding gear.
Handsome got back to his Memorial Weekend race schedule
(Formula One, Indianapolis 500, NASCAR, etc.)
I know y'all know where I headed...
into the studio!

I'm in the process of redecorating
as I prepare for the Where Bloggers Create II party...
so I got out the fabric, charms, vintage laces, linens and buttons,
some commissioned images from
Michelle Palmer
(I think I'm her new best customer!)
lit up Miss Ellie and Prissy.
A few hours later, I had a finished project...
but, of course, I can't show it all to you now because
I'm saving its debut for the party.
I makes me smile and it's useful, too.
I think you're going to like it, and it's totally and thoroughly
(Thanks again, Michelle!)

June 1st. Can you even believe the year is half over already?
Lots to do before the WBCII party on June 19th.
Hope you'll all plan to attend, or better yet, participate!
Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing all the studio photos.
They're always so full of inspiration.

Just click on the Challenge button to go check out the rules.
I'm joining this art challenge, too!
Lisa at Tarnished and Tattered is hosting this fun event.
All you have to do is purchase this soap (Target) and embellish the soap carton. Lisa has all the rules on her blog. Oh, and if you can't find the soap in your area, you can just contact Lisa. She went out and purchased a bunch to help out those of you who couldn't find them locally. She's only charging $6 a bar. Nothing to mail back...Just post photos on your own blog the day of the event (June 28th!). Hope you'll join in the fun.

May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Tribute

Version of Lee Greenwood's "Proud To Be An American"
robbeetlejuice 2007 on YouTube
We on this continent should never forget that men
first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs
but to secure liberty for their souls. ~Robert J. McCracken

Thank you to our brave men and women
who serve or have served in our Armed Forces.
This American is grateful for your sacrifices
and the sacrifices of your families on our behalf.

God Bless Our Troops
God Bless America


May 29, 2010

"D" For Donna...

The duppioni fabric for the bonnet didn't arrive in the mail yesterday,
so I decided to tackle another project that I've been contemplating.
I recently purchased this rolling office chair for the studio.
I decided it's much easier to roll from machine to machine,
rather than get up, scooch my bentwood chair into position, and
then sit down again (although I admit, it's probably
better exercise!). But, really...isn't this an u.g.l.y. chair?

You know I'm preparing for the Where Bloggers Create II Party?
I needed to do something to make it "Brynwood-worthy".
Miss Ellie and I started by embroidering the letter "D" in a soft green
thread on some of my favorite fabric, which I'm sure you'll recognize.
Then, after careful measurements, marking with pins, cutting and
re-pinning, then sewing, I assembled the new slipcover for the chair back
and a separate cover for the seat. My thinking was to finish off the chair
with a short ruffle, but those legs look out of place, don't you think?
Me, too.
So, I got out the ruffler attachment for Miss Ellie and made
a long skirt for the chair, pinned and sewed it to the seat cover, and...
A chair more suited to a studio/sewing room/creative space
Brynwood Needleworks.
A day well-spent.
How was your day today?

May 28, 2010

Please, Let Me Explain...

All photos used with the gracious permission of
Jan Moore, owner of Bessie Mary blog and shop

I feel the need to explain why you haven't seen the
baby bonnet for Liam's christening gown ensemble yet.
Really, I have a good reason.

I laid out all the fabric I had saved for this project before
I started cutting any of the garment pieces from it.
I was sure I'd be able to squeak a matching baby bonnet
from what I had. I was wwr...wwr...wrong.
There, I've said it.
I. Was. Wrong.

I contacted the Tampa shop (Couture Fabric and Designs)
where I purchased the original fabric in the champagne color,
and sweet Sandy asked me to send a sample to her to be sure
we matched it. I sent the sample off that day and she
called me back first thing Tuesday morning to tell me she'd
have the fabric in her shop by Wednesday
and would send it back out to me right away.
I'm still waiting for it.
I have enough fabric from the original project to make
most of the bonnet from what I had, but I need
just a tad more to be able to finish it. I hope it arrives tomorrow.
I'd really like to make the bonnet by the end of the weekend
and share my finished ensemble with you.
I know that you're loving the sweet bonnets I've
shared with you today. They're quite sweet, aren't they?
Click on Jan's header image above to visit her
beautiful and inspirational blog.
This is one talented lady, and if you have a new baby
in your family or your future, please visit her shop,
Bessie Mary
to see more of her lovely offerings.

Thank you, Jan, for allowing me to use your images,
and to crow about your breathtaking talent, too!

May 27, 2010

A Nightingale Sang...

Handsome, Sharon and Kim rehearsing
There was music in the air yesterday...
well, to be more accurate, there was music in the garage yesterday.

Handsome is performing with the Sarasota Concert Band
for the Memorial Day celebration at Phillippi Mansion in
Sarasota on Monday, and there will also be a special
performance by soloist (and my girlfriend!), Kim Campos.

You'll remember Phillippi Mansion (which is actually called
the Edson Keith Estate) from this post,
remember, Kim was the soloist for Mum and Burt's wedding.

Handsome, Kim and pianist, Sharon (along with Kim's
husband, Brent) came to our home to rehearse the music
that Kim will be singing on Monday.

I had a grand time listening to them practicing
• At Last
• Route 66
• Wave
• Boy From Sarasota
(adaptation of "Girl from Ipanema")
• A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square
• Proud To Be An American
and a few more!
(No, this isn't an ad for Time/Life Music, sillies!)

Their program is going to be so much fun!!
I promise I'll take my video camera so that I
can share some of the performances with you.
I hope you have something fun planned for this weekend.

May 26, 2010

Hands Across The Water...

I'm giving you a break from my christening gown project
to share my most recent ATC arrivals with you.
Remember when I posted about the ATC swap I joined?
(Here's the link to that post.)
Well, I've started receiving cards from my swap
partners and they're all pretty awesome!

The first to arrive was Andrea's card. It's called "Water".
It really looks like it to me, with the beautiful threads and beads!
Andrea's blog is Indigo Blue. If you haven't visited her yet, please do.
(Andrea's card came all the way from Cornwall, England.)
Next to arrive is Pril's card. It's called "Purple Hearts #1".
It's a quilted fabric card with fabulous machine embellishing.
Beautiful! I love the card, Pril, and your colors are fabulous!
I don't know if she has a blog...Andrea, if you're reading this
please let me know so I can edit this to post a link!
(Pril's card also arrived from Cornwall, England.)
Last week, when I went to the mailbox, Bridget's card was
waiting for me. It's called "Foil Series" 3/15, and uses
a great glue and metal thread technique. Wonderful texture.
Bridget's blog is Stitchety Grub...a new place for you to visit!
(Her card came from Australia!)
Last, but not least...My dear friend, Dee Dee from Dee Dee's Craftspot
sent me this wonderful card with the words "Heaven Sent" on the front.
It has sweet angels, hearts (including one that dangles from the ribbon),
and lacey, doily trim. Just like a huge hug sent through the mail!
Dee Dee is in Texas, and has a great blog to visit.
Tell her I sent you if you haven't checked out her blog before.
Although this isn't an ATC, I had to show you the front of the greeting
card that protected Bridget's ATC all the way from Australia. She cut out
the flower shapes and attached them to her card, and then she added tiny
crocheted flowers to embellish the cut-outs. Isn't it pretty?

Thank you to all the artists who have or are participating in this swap.
I really appreciate all the playtime you spent creating your stunning cards.
(Here's the link to my ATC album featuring the cards I've received to date.)

There's still time to join in the fun if you'd like.
Just send me an email and let me know you want to play.
I'll get names and addresses to you right away!

I'm helping Handsome prepare for a rehearsal at our house tonight,
so I may not get that bonnet sewn today, but I'll be back tomorrow
to let you know what I managed to work on.

Til then,
"May all your days be creative...
and all your nights filled with sweet dreams."

(I made that up. Do you like it?)
There's a giveaway going on at Dolls, Etc. blog
She's celebrating her 100th follower!!!
You have until June 20th to enter.

May 25, 2010

Liam's Ensemble, Part III...

Yesterday, I made the "real" heirloom part of Liam's ensemble...
his monogrammed slip to be worn under the christening gown.

Miss Ellie and I embroidered the same initial monogram on the
slip that I embroidered on Mama's wedding train. The only change
I made was on the top right of the monogram. In the original, I
put the bride and groom's initials. On this one, I placed a cross.

The embroidery at the top of the slip is Liam's entire name,
his birthdate, the date of his baptism and a Bible verse I
claimed for him...Psalm 91:11.
For God hath given his angels charge
over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.

This slip becomes the "real" heirloom, in that all future babies
to wear this ensemble will have their names, birthdates, and perhaps
a Bible verse embroidered on the slip for their celebrations, too.
I ran part of the design on a practice fabric first...
and then, I embroidered the design onto 100% Egyptian cotton.
This is what it looks like on the finished slip.

I'll be adding beads just as I did with Mama's monogram,
but I wanted to photograph it before it got too dark yesterday.

I'll be making the bonnet for the ensemble last, but I've got a
few other things I want to share with you tomorrow. You'll see
the bonnet before the weekend, and then I'll show you the entire
ensemble, all ready to head north for Liam's celebration.

May 24, 2010

Liam's Ensemble, Part II...

Yesterday yielded a nearly completed coat for
the christening gown ensemble.
I put it on the hanger over the gown to show you.
I began the morning by cutting the beaded silk duppioni
for the overlay on the sleeves. I wanted to mimic the mutton
sleeves from Mama's wedding gown on Liam's coat, but
didn't think they needed to be "poufy" like Mama's.
(You can see what I'm talking about in the previous post.
Just look at the wedding gown photo to see the sleeves.
Oh, and a million thanks again to Shell May for my beautiful
pincushion/scissors keep and rabbit scissors. I love them both!)

I then proceeded to hand stitch the overlays onto the sleeve.
You can't do this with a sewing machine without removing
beads that might get in the way, and then sewing the beads back on.
Either way there's going to be hand stitching, so I prefer this way.
After I sewed the rest of the coat, I attached the finished sleeves.
I even put sweet pleats on the top of the sleeves for extra room.
I pleated the front and back of the coat to match the gown.
I tea-dyed the buttons that will go on the back of the gown
and on the front of the coat. My satin buttons are white-white,
but I need them to be champagne-colored,
so into my cuppa tea they went!
This is what they look like "before" and "after" the process.
They're sitting on a piece of the fabric they need to match.
I did this when I made the wedding gown, too!
I'll be hemming sleeves and hemlines while the buttons dry.
Today, I'll be making the monogrammed slip which
little Liam will be wearing under the ensemble.
I've chosen a soft, breathable, Egyptian cotton for the slip.
Baby needs to be comfortable when he's all dressed up!

Finally, thank you so much for your kind comments.
I really appreciate reading what you think!
Don't forget to click on the images if you want to see them better!

May 23, 2010

Sweet Liam's Christening Gown...

Sweet Liam's christening gown is nearly finished.
I only have to hem the little sleeves, sew buttonholes
and sew the buttons onto the back opening.
Sewing the components together is a joyful process.
For instance, sewing in the pleats requires multiple steps...
mark, pin in two places for each pleat to secure them, then, baste.
Nothing difficult, but concentration is required.
But the result is well worth the effort.
I also love the process of lining up elements,
as in the bodice with its brocade insert (and stitching)
matching up with the skirt brocade insert and stitching.
Those parts are sewn separately, and then
the bodice and skirt are sewn together.
It's such fun when everything lines up as it should!
You can see from this photo
that I made the front of Liam's gown mimic the
front of Mama's wedding gown.

The wedding gown had a brocade skirt, with a
silk overskirt. I didn't have the fabric to make a separate
overskirt for Liam's piece, so I did brocade inserts instead.
I'm very happy with the resulting effect.

I'll finish the gown today and then begin
work on the next piece of the ensemble.
The plan is to make the coat, bonnet and slip for the set.
I have to see if I have enough fabric to be able
to make everything on my list.
I promise an update tomorrow.

May 22, 2010

Spiders In The Holidome...

I spent the day cutting, arranging and designing the christening gown,
but have not yet started sewing. I promise progress photos tomorrow.

Today, I share a photograph of some of the beautiful little buds
from my huge spider plant (which resides outside in the Holidome)
and the pink geranium bud from the plant that sits in front of it.

(Come on...You thought I meant
"creepy crawly spiders" in my title, didn't you?)

I hope your Sunday is spent doing something you love...

May 21, 2010

A Prayer In Every Stitch...

Today, I will begin making the christening gown
for my great nephew, Liam...
the newest baby of our family.

As I said in a previous post, I planned ahead for this
special project, by purchasing extra fabric when I created
his mother's wedding gown in 2008.
This way, mama's gown can stay intact to be worn by a future bride.

In addition to using this meaningful surplus fabric, my
plan is to recreate the design features from the wedding gown
as I stitch love and faith into their heirloom christening gown.

A prayer in every stitch.
And so it begins...
P.S. The Charlotte Stone Crabs won their game last night. (11-8) We had a ball! (no pun intended) The perfect end to a wonderful Date Day!

May 20, 2010

Peanuts And Popcorn And...

My floral hat...soon to be listed in The Boutique!

I'm taking the day off.
Handsome and I have planned a whole Date Day Friday.

We're starting the day at the local nursery in search of the
perfect shade tree to grace an empty space in front of our house,
and we'll finish with a baseball game for the local farm team
for the Tampa Bay Rays...
our favorite
Their fabulous stadium is across town,
but within miles of our home.
(I love saying that! giggle)

Have a great day, my dear friends.
I'll be back tomorrow.