January 31, 2011

Sun Dogs...

Yesterday was spent catching up on a little bookwork, helping Handsome move some raked-up piles of leaves out of the yard, and then getting back to a book trilogy that has me firmly in its grasp.

I'm reading a Suzanne Collins series called the Hunger Games Trilogy. This set was a gift from our younger son's family at Christmastime. I can't put them down! I started the first book on Saturday and finished it yesterday. The second book is nearly done now, too.

It was so nice outside that I decided the critters and I might enjoy sitting by the pool while I read. I was right. This is the sight that greeted me when I went back to settle in with a bottle of water and my book...a haughty Labrador and a corgi on my chaise!

But, then - just in time for the camera -

There it is...

Wait for it...

A corgi smile!

Hope your day is filled with smiles and sunshine.
Happy February!

PS. Today is the last day to sign up for the Mug Mat Swap. Please send me an email today if you'd like to participate.

January 30, 2011

Memory Lane Mondays - Five In The Family...

Do you have memories of your family gathering around the dinner table when you were a child? Before we ate, we always said grace. It was nothing long, organized or flowery - just a simple expression of thanks for the warm food before us. My mum told us that when our family was young with our sole provider (my father) in college, we were sustained many evenings by venison or pot pies. To this day, she prefers not to eat either, while I still I love both.

I'm the eldest of six kids in our family. Until the younger the kids were born (a sister in 1965 to lead the next three), we were only "Five in the Family". My mum, dad, me, my sister and my brother.

This photo was taken on Thanksgiving Day, 1959. (Don't you just love those glasses my dad was wearing?) I would have been five years old (I'm the one - head down - to the left of my mum.); my little sister was four, and my brother would have been seven months old, having been born in April of 1959. I love that, even as a baby, Mum helped my little brother hold his tiny hands together for grace so that he could learn the concept of gratitude at an early age.
I remember reading this book as a kid. "Five in the Family". I thinking about the fact that we, too, were a family of five. The book was part of the Dick and Jane learning series written by Doroth Baruch and Elizabeth Montgomery.

I read the books over and over when I was little. I still have a copy of the book (copyrighted in 1954 - my birth year), and I think I'm going to sit down and read it all over again this week. I know it's going to be a wonderful read down Memory Lane.
Does this book hold memories for you, too? I have an extra copy that I'd like to share with one lucky Memory Lane Mondays participant. Once you've written your story, be sure to come back here and link to the party.

On Friday, I'll go to the Random Number Generator and select the name of one lucky participant to win their own copy of "Five In The Family". (Sorry, but this drawing is only for those who write their own Memory Lane Monday post and link back to here to the party before Friday.)
I'll be hosting this party the last Monday of every month in 2011. You're welcome to join the party and share your special memories, old or new. Be sure to come back and link to this post to participate.

You're also free to use my button for your sidebar or your posts. And, if you don't care to write, I hope you'll still visit me, as well as the other contributors, to read this weeks' and future stories. I can't wait to tell you my next one about our "jeep"!

January 29, 2011

Sunday Scripture...

"She is not afraid of the snow for her household;
For all of her household are clothed with scarlet."
-Proverbs 31:21 (NKJV)

All of the placemats are bound and completed, and the napkins have all been hemmed. I didn't want to set a complete table so that you could see the different designs on each. (I found four more pair of triangle blocks, so I'll make eight more mats another time.)

The heart, featured in the apple centerpiece, was a gift from my friend, Claudia of Mockingbird Hill Cottage. She also chose French General fabrics for her creation, so I have it sitting out in my kitchen all the time. Thank you again, Claudia! I love it.

May your day be blessed
and your new week be filled
with joyful and creative pursuits.

January 28, 2011

Memory Lane Monday Reminder...

Monday, January 31st is our first
Memory Lane Monday
and you're invited to participate.

You have all weekend to decide which story you'd
like to share and then write it for our first party on Monday!

I'm so anxious to read all of your stories. Whether they're from your childhood, watching your own family grow, or a cute story about a pet, you're invited to share one of those times that made you smile. I'm sure you all have more than one story, but don't worry, we'll be doing this the last Monday of every month in 2011. (Heck, we may have so much fun that we'll continue to carry on after that!)

You can go back to my original post here, if you'd like to read more about Memory Lane Mondays.

I'll have my post up - with a Mr. Linky - at midnight (Eastern time) on Sunday, so you can link in any time after that.

I don't want to forget to tell you that I'm going to have a special drawing for everyone who participates. I can't tell you what it is right now. I'm saving that for Monday.

January 27, 2011

Fezzik Friday - 32 Weeks...

Hi, everybody!
Welcome to another Fezzik Friday!
I thought you might like to see how I spend a part of every day.
I'm thinking about a career as a guard dog.

Kes and I start every morning with our
regular visit to the front yard.
We do this together multiple times a day...Rain or shine.
We have resident bunnies and cardinals, so I take a little stroll every morning to make sure that they're not taking over my yard - especially the bunnies. (You know how bunnies can be!)
It's very important to start out at a full trot.
How else can I sneak up on them?
(You're liking my Corgi Pants, aren't you?)
"What, Mom?
No, I'm not running away from home.
I'm just making sure that the bunnies
and birds aren't being naughty."
I think the coast is clear today.
I can hear the cardinals, but the bunnies
probably won't be back until sunset.
That's usually when I get to run after them.
"Yup. I think my work here is done. At least for now."
Whew! Being a guard dog is tiring work. Imagine how it would have been if I'd had to do a little chasing, too! (I love that part and I'm really fast!)

The mornings are a little crisp these days, but when the sun is shining on the front entryway, it's just perfect for a little corgi tanning. It's one of my favorite places to take a snooze...and just in case those bunnies come back, I'm ready to roll!
Well, that's a wrap, boys and girls. Ignore the pine needle in my mouth. It's just a little something I found while lying around. Mom took it away right after this picture. She doesn't like me chewing on things that she doesn't give me. She says, "Fezzie. Remember Kesie and the yard rocks?" (She's kidding, right? How can I forget?)

See you again next week! 'til then, take care...
Fezzik Inconceivable

January 26, 2011

Moving Right Along...

I've completed four placemats and napkins so far. I'll sew the rest today. I've bound the ones that are finished, and even though there are three different styles and fabric combinations from the French General line being used, I'm binding all of them in the same fabric shown on this one. It's also the final border on the table quilt below it.

We bought new hard floors for our dining room and master bedroom today. It's going to be installed on Friday, so I'm going to share before and after photographs on Saturday. It's pretty exciting to have the crummy builder's carpeting finally ripped out of here. I can't wait to share the transformation with you.

Fezzik is working on his post for tomorrow, so I'd better go and see if he wants me to take photographs for him. Thanks for stopping by, dear friends. I hope you have a happy and creative day. If you're getting pounded with more snow today, please stay warm and safe, too!

January 25, 2011

Sewing In The Rain...

This is the assortment I chose for my table accessories project last week. Of course, the weekend was full and fun (more about that later this week), but I didn't get as far as I'd planned to create my pieces.

Monday was spent catching up on housework (groceries and tidying up), and then I had chorale rehearsal in the evening. No sewing.

Tuesday morning was spent going over some of my music for the Soundsations, and before I knew it, I had to run out to their Tuesday afternoon rehearsal. I can't tell you how much fun I'm having learning new songs and dance moves needed for a few of the numbers.

The weather turned nasty late day, so I decided to stay home from Books a Million knit night and spend time in the studio instead. Back for some much-needed sewing therapy.
I also pulled out the yardage I'd purchased of French General toweling fabric. I decided to make napkins from the toweling to coordinate with the placemats I'm making from the General line.

I've taking our family away from paper napkins, and to tell the truth, I'm really enjoying the civility of using fabric napkins instead. I know my friend, Krisann likes the fact that it's also a green decision - and she's right - but it's the luxe factor that I really enjoy. Simple pleasures, right?
This is just one of the placemats I created last night. I haven't sewn the binding on the placemat yet. I'm going to make all the mats first and then I'll bind them all at the same time. The finished placemats measure 12" x 18" and the napkins are 18" square.

All of the fabrics were used in my French General "Rouenneries" quilt, which I use on our kitchen table. I'm making six placemats and six napkins. All the napkins are the same, but the placemats will be made in pairs, so there will be three different sets.

I bet you can guess what I'll be doing today. I'll show you tomorrow, when I should have everything finished! I really do love playing in the studio.

January 24, 2011

Surprises From The Queen of Generosity...

Francie from The Scented Cottage swapped ATCs with me for the December swap. Seems my assigned partner and I never connected and Francie was generous enough to share with me, as well as a few other swappers.
The Blissfull ATC group's December theme was "angels". I was the fortunate recipient of one of Francie's creations. She even painted the delightful roses so that they would stand off the card! Then, she added just the right amount of sparkle to make a girl smile.

Her work is always so incredible and I'm honored to have this angel artist trading card to remind me of my friend in Georgia.
You might remember when I shared this photo of my angel card. This was sent to Francie, along with a few little goodies of my own.

Francie always reminds me that I'm a rank amateur in the generosity department! Look at all the scrumptious gifts she included with the ATC!!!
My atc arrived in a card with a frame front, so that I have a way to display it. But then, look what else she sent! There were lavender buds and spray; beautiful blank notecards, and a set of Bucilla playing cards featuring gorgeous cross stitch designs. But then, OH MY GOODNESS, look at this!!!
Isn't this a beautiful spatula? Uh, huh...more acorns for this lucky girl! Francie, my dear friend. You've done it again! The Queen of Generosity strikes again, and I'm so grateful for the thoughtful gifts you sent to me. I love everything!!!

January 23, 2011

Dream A Little Dream...

I spent a little time in the studio with the French General again yesterday. I'm not even going to try to apologize. You know how much I love this fabric line, and the colors just make me happy.

You'll remember that I made a table quilt in the "Rouenneries" line, so I decided that I needed to add some accessories to go with it. I'm not finished yet, but probably will be today or tomorrow.

I just wanted you to know what I'm working on right now. Never one to just sit around, you know. I'll be back with more photographs just as soon as I've finished everything. Trust me. It's all cool!
I just got my Restoration Hardware catalog and I have to have these! Belgian linen sheet sets in natural colors. I think they're gorgeous, and I've learned through reading Kari Meng's book, The French General: Home Sewn, that the linen sheets only get softer with multiple washings.
Here's another photograph of the sheets (and coordinating bedding) installed on one of Restoration Hardware's linen-trimmed beds. (You'll have to excuse me. I'm having a serious day-dream moment here.)

I hope this week holds something dreamy for you, too. We all need to have something to dream about, don't you think?

NOTE: I want to remind you (early) that my first Memory Lane Monday party will be on January 31st. I'll give you one more reminder on Saturday, January 29th, so you have plenty of time to write about your own special memories. I'm really looking forward to reading your stories!

Sunday Scripture...

"She seeketh wool and flax, and
worketh willingly with her hands."
- Proverbs 31:13

I hope you all have a restful and creative Sunday.
Happy Birthday, Mom (Grace).

***I was told that there was a problem with my previous installment of this post, so I've deleted the original and am reposting. Hopefully, this will correct any problems. Thank you to those who contacted me about it. xoxo

January 21, 2011

Mug Mat Tutorial...

I took all the photographs while I made the mug mat yesterday and put a photo tutorial together for you. (There are lots of pictures for this tutorial!)

The finished size of this mat is 6.5" wide by 12.5" long, but if you want to make a mat that will fit flat in a USPS Priority Flat Rate mailer, you should make it 6.5" x 10.5".
This is the finished mug mat and you can link here to see the entire "tute". Once you check it out and see how simple it really is, perhaps you'll join in the swap.

Just send me an email with your color preference and if you have one, your blog url. You don't need to have a blog to participate, either. I have a second list started for those of you who don't need to link to a blog. You have until February 1st to sign up. Hope you'll join us. The more, the merrier!

January 20, 2011

Fezzik Friday - 31 Weeks...

Hi, everybody!
Welcome to another Fezzik Friday!

Sorry. Mom said that's a helicopter.
It's pretty noisy, and it distracted me for a little while.
Ahem. Where was I?
Oh, yes. I remember.
You may have noticed my fancy tie today.

I'm wearing it because I want to tell you Mom'a exciting news this week. She was invited to sing with The Chorale's smaller performing group called The Soundsations. They wear fancy clothes that sparkle, and Mom has a scarf that matches this tie (Dad wears this tie when he plays drums for their performances), as well as a pink one and a red one, too!

She went to her first rehearsal on Tuesday and said it was a lot of fun. I wasn't invited, so I'll have to take her word for it. All I know is that she was glad to see Kessie and me when she got home, and we both got biscuits when she came in the house. If she does that after she gets back from every practice, it's alright with me!
So, come on. Admit it. This tie is me, right?
It makes me even more adorable, right?

'til next week...

Fezzik Inconceivable

*** The sign-up for the Mug Mat Swap is open until February 1st. Mom is going to do a tutorial over the weekend. You can link here to read more about it. A list of the participants who've signed up so far is in the left sidebar. You don't have to have a blog to participate, either. If you want to play and your name isn't there yet, please send Mom an email (Please put MUG MAT SWAP in the subject line).

January 19, 2011

Join The Mug Mat Swap...

Thanks for all your comments about the Mug Mat Swap. I've decided that I'm going to host the swap to begin February 1st, with all mats to be received by February 14th...Valentine's Day.

I will do a tutorial on how I create my mug mats over the weekend. They're really simple to make, and I love adding trim and embellishments (that won't tip over mugs, of course!). They only take me about an hour and a half to make now, so this really isn't a huge project. Of course, you can use a different design (perhaps a mini four-patch on one end?), to make your mat unique. Don't feel like you have to style them just like mine.

With all that in mind, please send me an email (dliljegren@brynwoodneedleworks.com) and put "Mug Mat Swap" in the subject line if you're interested in participating. Also, tell me your favorite color, please. I'll pass that along to your swap partner. I'll play, too, so one participant will have me as a partner. Please respond as soon as possible and I'll place a list of participants in my sidebar. (If you already responded in an email, I've added your name. If I've missed your name, please send me another message so I don't miss you.)
I've made a button that you can use on your blog to show your participation in the swap, too. Feel free to grab it and post it in your sidebar, linking back here. So, girlfriends...Let's get the party started! Email your name and blog name to me and I'll add your name (which will link back to your blog) into my sidebar.
I finished the Pure Table Quilt piecing today, put the backing together, and then immediately got in the Explorer to take it to Kathy at Sandy's Quilt Shop. Of course, Kes and Fezzik rode along. Dogs love trucks, you know. (Well, in this case, SUVs.) I promise to show you the finished quilt as soon as it's back and bound.

Fezzik has been working on his post for tomorrow, too, so you'll want to stop back to see the adorable photos he's uploaded to share.