June 30, 2011

At The Hop - Miss July...

I'm participating in a special blog hop today,
so there won't be a Silent Friday this week.
You're invited for some patriotic fun today as I join Twyla and Lindsey at Two Crazy Crafters for their Artist Trading Card Blog Hop! The girls chose the ever-so-appropriate-for-July theme, don't you think?

So I hung my flag in the front entry, poured a cool lemonade and got about creating my card with a patriotic flair.
Meet "Miss July". She's dressed in her finest navy blue dress with crocheted white collar and shiny red buttons. To complete her look, she's donned a sash with "America" as it's theme...flags, stars and all things red, white and blue. She even has a little rosette centered with a blue button.

Remember, she's a petite one. Artist trading cards measure a mere 2 1/2" x 3 1/2"! She'd love to visit and share a slice of apple pie, but she really must go. There are so many other artist trading cards to visit! Perhaps you'd like to come along? (Just click on the Blog Hop button at the top of this post to go and visit the rest of the participants!)

Happy July 1st, everyone!

June 29, 2011

She Really Knows Me...

I just have to share my newest acorn addition here at Brynwood. You really want to see it, right?

My BFF sent me a box of goodies from Wisconsin recently and it was just like Christmas! (She really knows what I love!)

Among all of the wonderful things tucked inside my box was a package wrapped in tissue and bubble wrap. When I opened it, I found this beautiful dish with a tiny acorn and a pair of oak leaves embellishing one side. Isn't it beautiful?
The artisan who created this chose just the right glazes for it. The colors couldn't be more appropriate. I adore the little acorn. It's rustic and rough and just right.

Thank you, Lee. I love all of my goodies...but especially this little acorn dish, chosen just for me. It sits where I see it first thing every day and it's the last thing I see at night. It's perfect - but you already knew that. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to seeing you soon, girlfriend!

June 28, 2011

This Is Not A Dog Quilt...

I sure had a chuckle when I read the comments you gals left for me when you read my last post. Carol left a note that finished with, "I ALMOST expect a finished project!!" Well, Carol. You really motivated me to keep after it yesterday. It's not finished, but this is what I accomplished.
When I went online last night, I saw a post Amy Smart had written on her blog, Diary of a Quilter. She actually did a great tutorial for a "Simple Stripes Quilt", and that became my starting point. Of course, I changed the measurements and chose a different arrangement for my fabric assortment, but you can see the resemblance to her quilt.
I also put together twenty blocks, instead of the sixteen called for in Amy's pattern. Each of my blocks was 10" square (smaller than hers) when I began my assembly, so my quilt measures approximately 38" wide by 48 1/2" long.

Handsome said it will be just the right size for Kessie to curl up on when I finish putting it all together. Yea. Right. Gotta love his sense of humor.

June 27, 2011

Time To Start Another Quilt...

I think it's about time I started another sewing project, don't you? I've pulled out an assortment of cool aqua fabrics, with one from Michael Miller called "Lava Flowers" as my focal fabric. (Of course, it's the one on top.)

I'm thinking a sweet little quilt is in order. Nothing too large. Just a little something for pulling onto my lap during these cooler evenings. I'm still contemplating the design, but I'll start cutting tomorrow and see where my muse takes me.

Hope you'll be back to see how this one turns out!
My friend, Wawanna, over at Silver Threads & Golden Needles featured me on her blog yesterday. If you'd like to read her completely flattering post about me, you can click here to go visit her. You can tell her for me that I'm still blushing! Thank you, Wawanna.

Memory Lane Monday - Wet Noses

l-r: Duncan, Handsome, MacDuff, Bryn and Old Morgan
When I first met Handsome in 1981, he already had "Old Morgan". I loved him from the moment I first laid eyes on him. (Handsome, too!) Morgan was our only dog until Bryn came along in early 1985. She was my first "very own dog".

Morgan completely ignored her for about three days, but on the fourth day, he dropped down into the grass and they played for what seemed forever. From then on, he took on the roll of her big brother, her guardian, her buddy.

Six months later, we brought home our first Golden retriever, MacDuff (who we nicknamed "Duff"), and a little black Labrador for our older son, who he prompty named Duncan. From then on, there was no turning back.
l-r: Friday, me and Kyra
Bryn had two litters of puppies during her lifetime. I kept Bannor from her first litter and Kyra from her second.

In this picture, I'm holding two pups that stayed with us from her second litter in 1988. The lighter-colored pup on the left, was given to our younger son. He called him King Friday the 13th (just like on Mr. Rogers), but his call name was Friday, and Kyra is the darker yellow Lab in my other arm.
l-r: Bee (Duff's sister), Samantha Rose, Kyra, young Morgan, Bryn, Bannor & Duff.
In 1997, our own dogs numbered seven. We had a six-run kennel and worked our dogs in the field nearly every day. Our building kept them cool in summer and warm in winter and they could go inside and out as they pleased. All of them were housebroken as pups, so we always rotated them in and out of the house. However, when Wisconsin winter held our days firmly in its grasp, we brought all of them in so we could keep each other warm.

As time passed, so did some of our beloved dogs. New pups came along and over the years, we were fortunate that our kennels were still populated with beautiful, affectionate and skilled working dogs.
Young Kirby with me
Kirby came along in 1999 (a gift from my BFF and her husband), and along with my yellow Lab, Bannor, young Morgan and his daughter, Kes moved with us to Florida in 2001. After Friday died, Kirby moved from our home in Florida back to our younger son's home in Wisconsin.
Kirby with me in 2007 (Wisconsin)
She still lives with them to this day. She is no longer a youngster, but a grand ol' lady who spends her days watching over our granddaughters.
Older son's dog, Conor
Conor was Kes' littermate, born in November, 1997. We gave him to our older son and our daughter-in-law that Christmas. When our grandson came along, Conor watched over him and they became fast pals.

They all lived happily together until sweet Conor passed about three weeks ago. He and his sister would be fourteen in November. He was just too tired to go on and it was his time. He will be sorely missed by those of us who knew and loved him. I think Kes may be the only dog left now from her litter.
Of course, Fezzik
Of course, you remember the little light that lived with us for a very short six months. I can't mention all the pups we've known and loved without mentioning him. Fezzik was our first little dog breed, and I know he'll forgive me for calling him small when he didn't know that he was.

While Handsome had never had a small dog his whole life, we both quickly learned that Corgis are far from being little dogs. I'd been told they are big dogs in petite bodies. I soon found that to be an accurate assessment of their personalities.

If you'd like to see more photos of our dogs, you can click here to go to my Flickr Dog album.

There is something special about having a puppy - that small version of the magnificent dogs they will become. They make us laugh. They try our patience. They stretch our imaginations. When they grow up, we remember their youth almost as well as we remember our own.

Something about us loves the feeling of renewal that comes with bringing home a new puppy. It's a joy that is unknown to those who've never had one. Not only do they seem to make an old dog feel young again, but they bring that same gift to their people. And once you've been given that gift, it's seared in your memory forever.
Thank you for joining me for another Memory Lane Monday. I didn't reach back as far as my childhood, but wanted to let you know that you needn't reach back that far to find memories that make your heart sing.

I hope you'll put a memory into words and come back and link your post to this Memory Lane Monday. I'd love to have you join us each month with a remembrance that inspires you to share it with us.

June 25, 2011

Sunday Scripture...

And He said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become
like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of Heaven.
-Matthew 18:3

This painting was created by Akiane Kramarik. It's called "Prince of Peace". To learn more about Akiane and her incredible gift click here. You will be amazed.

June 24, 2011

Good Golly, Miss Mollie...

I found a new magazine today! Issue 1, printed in the UK. I thought you might like a little peek inside Mollie Makes magazine. (and you thought I misspelled "Molly" in the title, didn't you?)
The front cover invites you to look further when you see the pretty little crocheted apple cozies. I promise you'll love what you find inside, too!
I thought of my friend, Claudia from Mockingbird Hill Cottage when I saw the crocheted dress guard for the vintage bicycle. It just reminded me of something she'd love.Then, there are the lovely embroidered linen eggs. Wouldn't you just love a whole jar filled with them?
Look, Twyla! Aprons in the yummiest, sweetest, vintage fabrics. You and Lindsey would be quite the fetching hostesses wearing these!

There is so much more packed between the covers of this magazine. You'll find recipes, patterns, inspiration and even a free project with your purchase. (Of course, you know I'm not being compensated by the company for all this gushing, right?) I found my copy at Joann's Fabrics. You might want to get yours before they run out. If you'd like to see more, you can click here to go to Mollie Makes Sneak Peak of the magazine.
Don't forget that Monday is the next Memory Lane Monday post. I'll put it up on Sunday night for anyone who would like to share their own memory and link to mine. Hope you'll take a walk down Memory Lane with me on Monday.

June 23, 2011

June 22, 2011

Heaven Is For Real...

When Fezzik died, my dear friend, Twyla from Two Crazy Crafters sent a gorgeous prayer shawl and this book to me. When I received them, I unwrapped the shawl, placed it over my shoulders and cried. To think that she had crocheted a beautiful shawl to bring comfort to me was so overwhelming.

I sent her a thank you card and told her how much her gifts meant to me, and then later, after I'd put some of my grief into action, she and I talked. I was able to tell her about some decisions I'd made and then she told me about the prayer she prayed over my shawl. She told me that her prayers had been answered. I'll save more of that story and a photo of my shawl for another day. What I want to tell you about today is this book.

I hadn't been able to pick it up to read it until yesterday. I placed it where I would see it every day, and every day I touched it and then walked past it. Yesterday, I picked it up, sat down and read it. I'm so very glad that I did. This is one jaw-dropping, incredible read.
In case you haven't heard about this book before, it's about a four year old boy named Colton Burpo, his miraculous recovery from life-threatening illness, and how it affected those around him.

Don't worry. I'm not going to tell you any more about the book, or reveal how the story progresses, or ruin the ending for you. I just want to tell you (and Twyla) that this book reaffirmed my belief in God, Jesus Christ and Heaven.

It isn't a long read. I finished the book in less than a day, but if you'd like to pick up a thought-provoking book, please don't pass this one by. I know you'll be glad you read it.

Thank you again, Twyla. I'm going to purchase more copies to share with family and friends...especially those who've lost someone they love.
Before I close, I just want to wish my beautiful Mum a very Happy Birthday today!

I could tell you how old young she is today, but I don't want to get in trouble. Suffice it to say that she's old enough to have gained the wisdom commensurate with her years, but is still young enough to enjoy all she's learned.

Dear Mum, I hope you have a day filled with all the people and things you love, and all your heart's desires. I'll see you soon to celebrate. xoxo #1

June 21, 2011

Feelin' Squirrely...

I'm feeling pretty "squirrely", but also darn proud of myself for finishing this teeny, tiny cross stitch piece. It's my friend, Maureen Appleton's design (The Heart's Content) and will become a scissors fob when I'm finished assembling it.

I wanted to photograph it next to a pair of earrings gifted me by one of my followers last fall. She asked that she remain anonymous, so I'll honor her wishes. Just know, my dear, that I wear them often and simply adore the sparkle of these pretty acorn earrings. Thank you again!
To give you a better idea of the size of this embroidery, I've photographed the squirrel next to a Canadian quarter. (It's the only shiny quarter I had in my wallet!) I never realized the Queen looks like she's scowling on the face of it. Sidetracked again. So, two quarters would pretty much hide all my hard work! You're impressed, aren't you? And it did it without a magnifier.

Well, I'm impressed with myself, and am happy to say that I don't think I'll tackle a one-over-one cross stitch piece on 26 ct. linen again any time soon. I'll make this one into my scissors fob and then just plop down and rest on my laurels for a while.

PS. While I was visiting Maureen's site, I found that she is offering the squirrel cross stitch design as a freebie. If you'd like to stitch this piece for yourself, just click here to download your own chart.

June 20, 2011

A Kind-Hearted Woman...

Many years ago, when I owned Stitches (my needlework shop in Wisconsin) I had this sign on the wall. When I closed my shop, my dear friend Laura asked for it and I was pleased to be able to give it to her. She is, indeed, a kind-hearted woman.

The story is that when hobos traveled along the railroad, they would leave simple drawings for each other as a form of communication. Sometimes these messages could be found on fences, buildings or even on sidewalks.

Today, I happened to see this sign on a wall, featuring many hobo drawings of yesteryear and their meanings and it reminded me of that plaque from years ago. In case you have trouble reading what it says under each image, I'll help you out. (Of course, you can click on it to make it larger, too!)

From left to right:
Top row: Free Telephone, There's no use going this way, Ill-tempered man lives here, Go this way, Keep quiet, A judge lives here, Doctor here won't charge, This is not a safe place, and Barking dog here.
Second Row: An officer of the law lives here, Owners will give to get rid of you, Crime committed here. Not safe, Good place to catch a train, Kind woman lives here. Tell a pitiful story, Trolley stop, There is nothing to be gained here, Bad water and These people are rich.
Third Row: The sky's the limit, Good place for a handout, There are thieves about, Road spoiled. Fill of other hobos, The owner is in, This is a well-guarded house, Man with a gun lives here, Hit the road and You can camp here.
Fourth Row: This owner is out, Doubtful, Authorities here are alert, Good road to follow, A kind lady lives here, Alcohol in this town, Halt, Fresh water/safe campsite and Police here frown on hobos.
Bottom Row: Jail or prison, Dangerous neighborhood, Ok/alright, Hold your tongue, Religious talk will get you a meal here, Be ready to defend yourself, Vicious dog here, Courthouse and A kind gentlemen lives here.

I love the simplicity of the drawings, and I'm thinking I might have an idea for what to do with them. I'll show you more as I begin working on my idea. What do you think you could do with them? Any ideas?

June 19, 2011

A Quick Crochet Project...

I still have leftover cotton yarn from my Granny Square Cardigan project, so I decided a quickie project was in order. (I got the idea from Wawanna at Silver Threads/Golden Needle blog, so please go and visit her wonderful site. This is the post with her containers. They're much more colorful than mine, and I just love them!)

I settled on a small scrap catcher for my side table. I started with a chain of five for the bottom and then double crocheted twice into each chain to make it into a circle for the base. I continued crocheting rows around the bottom until I got to the size I wanted for the base of the container. (I also would stop from time to time to make sure that it would lie flat as I was working on it.)

In order to prepare to go up the sides, I crocheted into the back of each stitch all the way around, and then did a half double crochet all around. It makes a nice little edge to begin working up the side. A little "double crochet, chain one, double crochet, repeat" all around for the open work and then finish to desired height with the half double crochet.
I finished off my scrap catcher with a little flower to add a little embellishment, and voila! All done.

Today, I'll be back to working on my Maureen Appleton squirrel. I'm almost finished with the one over one cross stitch, and then I'll be able to start assembly on the scissors fob. Hope to be able to show it to you very soon.
Also, an early reminder that next week is Memory Lane Monday. I'd love to have you share a special memory from your life...you pick the subject. Then come back and link to the party on my Memory Lane Monday post. I'll have my post up on Sunday so that you can join in, and you can link anytime until Wednesday of next week.

So put on your thinking caps and we'll look forward to reading your favorite memory next Monday, too!

June 18, 2011

Sunday Scripture...

I will praise you as long as I live,
and in your name I will lift up my hands.

- Psalms 63:4

June 17, 2011

Little Ducky Duddle...

...went swimming in a puddle.
Went swimming in a puddle quite small.

Said he, "It doesn't matter how much I
splash and splatter,
I'm only a ducky after all!"

These two adorable little girls caught my attention on a recent rainy day and I just had to share them with you. (Their dad told me it was alright to take their pictures.)

Their rain ponchos were obviously way too big on them, but they reminded me of our own granddaughters who are about the same age. Do you know how hard it is to take a good photograph in the rain when you're smiling from ear to ear? It's not easy, I tell ya!
The weather wasn't going to dampen their spirits...something I'll try to remember as I go about my days in less than sunny weather.