July 31, 2012

Simply The Best...

Lalate News Photo
I had plans for a different post today, but I've been enveloped with the spirit of the Olympics. I watched the performances of so many talented athletes last night, but found myself cheering for the performance of the all-time greatest Olympian.
AP Photo
Michael Phelps, along with his three teammates, he swam into Olympic history as they swam into the recordbooks. In an uncharacteristic anchor position, he took the team home to victory. Along with teammates Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens, he captured his 19th medal (this one gold) in the 4x200 meter relay.

As if that event alone weren't enough excitement for one evening, there was also the competition for #1 in group gymnastics. (This event actually took place before the relay, but I decided that Michael's achievement should get top billing. Writer's prerogative. No apologies.)
Getty Images Photo
The collective effort of five young women, dubbed the Fab Five, defeated the Russian women in gymnastics. Jordyn Weiber set aside her personal disappointment at missing the competition for individual performances to help carry her team to Olympic gold.  Team members (left to right) are Jordyn Weiber, Gabriel (Gabby) Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Alexandra Raisman and Kyla Ross.

Alexandra only needed a score slightly above 10 for the team to defeat the Russian women, and she nailed her routine to bring in over 14. The crowd erupted in the North Greenwich Arena when the rankings were announced.

None of these gymnasts are old enough to remember Michael Phelps first medal ceremony, yet, in the words of Bob Costas, they will all remember that they competed for the same Team America the day that they joined him in the record books.

It's reaffirming to know that we still unashamedly celebrate achievement and excellence in America. Go Team USA!

July 30, 2012

Tuesdays With Tag - My Favorite Doctor...

Hi, Guys! Tag here.
Can you even believe that this is my last post for July?
Where has the summer gone?
I know I've been a busy corgi, but golly...

 Today I'd like to introduce you to 
my very own, personal veterinarian.
Her name is Dr. Stephanie Lantry and she
owns a practice (Animal Medical Clinic of Gulf Gate)
 in Sarasota, Florida.

Mom told me that I needed to see her last Friday.
Something about booster shots. Huh?
Anyway,  when we got to the doctor's office Mom put me up on the 
exam table, which was nice and cool on my feet!

Dr. Stephanie said (in the sweetest voice)
"Ok, Tag. Time to check you out."
I think she sounds like Snow White when she talks to me.
(In fact, I actually think she looks like Snow White, too!)

 She leaned over to check out my muscular legs and
I leaned in for my usual, killer Prince Charming move...
I smooched her on her cheek!
She smelled great, and before I knew it I got a little carried away.
 I went into full "Wet Willy" mode!
It's my secret "Make-the-girls-giggle" move and it works every time.
They love it when I kiss their ears!

Dr. Stephanie couldn't help but laugh out loud,
and then she told Mom that I'm a real Lover Boy.
(heh, heh, heh!)

She was so smitten that she asked Mom to bring me back in three weeks.
When I got my shots Dr. Stephanie said I was a real Big Boy now. 
(I didn't even yelp!) but I guess I need to have another one that
I never got when I was little. I think it's just an excuse for her to see me again.
Either way, it's cool with me. 
I'll get a chance to see my sweet Snow White again!

Maybe Mom will take more photos for my album!
I've got a busy week ahead and I'll see you again next week.
'til then,
"More SWIMMIN', and Less Barkin'!"
(I think Fezzie would like my new signature, don't you?)

July 29, 2012

Memory Lane Monday - Cookbook Love...

Is there anyone who doesn't treasure their old cookbooks? 
I have quite a few special books, but these are my 
most favorite (old) cookbooks.

 One of the reasons they're so treasured is because all of them
belonged to someone I love before they came to me, with two exceptions.
There's something special about making a dish that you know was made
by one of your ancestors. It joins generations together through food.

My old copy of the Betty Crocker's Picture Cook Book was printed in 1950 
and belonged to Mum before she gave it to me a number of years ago.
It's still my #1, Go-To cookbook if I'm looking for a traditional recipe.
Have you ever made your own tartar sauce? It's so much better than store-bought!

 These are probably my oldest books.
Everyday Desserts and Farmhouse Fare were gifts from 
my British Aunt Annette (Uncle Johnny's wife).
Everyday Desserts is copyrighted 1911.
There are pages and pages of tasty desserts.

"Nantucket Pudding: Heat a quart of canned fruit and 
add two tablespoonfuls each of flour and sugar. 
Simmer until smooth and thick, turn into a serving dish,
and cover with whipped cream."

Farmhouse Fare has the subtitle 
"Recipes from country housewives collected by Farmer's Weekly."
It was first published in 1935, but my copy is dated 1973.
Within its covers you'll find recipes for Rhubarb Chutney
Macaroni and Onion Fritters, Blackberry and Sloe Jelly,
Afternoon Tea Cakes, and many other interesting dishes.

There is even a chapter titled, "For Your Corner Cupboard"
featuring farmer's remedies for myriad ailments.
I don't think I'll make An Ancient Barley Drink or Nettle Syrup, but 
I might be tempted to try Farmhouse Herb Salve or the Three-in-One Cleaner.

The Boston Cooking School Cook Book used to belong to Handsome's paternal
grandmother and was passed to his aunt before it came to us when she died.
Aunt Eula wrote on the first page:
"Mama's ol' cookbook-
(Look at the ads!)
- Eula
 The copyright in this cookbook is 1906.

 Two of these cookbooks belonged to my mother-in-law, Evelyn.
Choice Family Recipes was compiled for her good friend, Ellen Stolz
in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. It was printed in 1956.

The Settlement Cook Book was published in 1956, and Evelyn kept
recipe clippings from the newspaper between its covers, too.

I found this cookbook when I traveled to Hayward, Wisconsin for one of my
Wisconsin Conservation Congresss obligations. I managed to find time to slip
into an antique shop while there and came away with the 
Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, dated 1948.

The last two cookbooks really make me smile.
One is the Signature Recipes presented by The Elm Grove Woman's Club.
Copyright 1962.

 Evelyn contributed four recipes to this one, including a family favorite...
Chocolate Applesauce Cake. Both our daughters-in-law now make it for
family holidays so I can create other family favorites when we're together.

 And then there is my own Stitches Needleworker's Cookbook
which I copyrighted in 1992.

 The dedication includes a photograph of me with the beautiful women
who worked with me in the shop at the time the cookbook was printed...
l-r back row: Beverly Risser and Marie Hausinger
l-r front: Lori Pain, me and my dear, long-time friend, Laura (Puddy) Ignera.
Some of my fondest memories were created with these beautiful women.

The cookbook includs recipes submitted by customers and
fellow designers (I was designing as Brynwood Needleworks then, too).
There are also cross stitch tips and designs shared by those same talented women.

Although I don't have more copies of this cookbook, I have been
considering reprinting it under my Brynwood label. 
What do you think? Should I do it?

Well, I think this is officially my longest Memory Lane Monday post!
I hope you enjoyed it.
If you have a memory you'd like to share, please write about it
on your blog and then link back here so everyone can read it.
(The link will remain open until Sunday, August 5, 2012.)
Thank you for strolling down Memory Lane with me again.

July 28, 2012

Sunday Scripture...

 Image from Rickieb.wordpress

July 27, 2012

Let The Games Begin...

AP Image
Like many people all around the world, Handsome and I spent the evening watching the opening ceremonies for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. I thought it was the most incredible ceremony I have ever witnessed for any Olympics.

I started weeping when the children's choir sang "Jerusalem" and pride in my British birthplace continued to swell with each passing moment. (I admit I didn't much care for the "kids-jumping-on-hospital-beds segment. I guess I didn't get it.)

I was entranced through the pastoral segments and sat open-mouthed trying to take in as much as I could through the "Industrial Revolution" section. I gasped out loud when the rings began moving into position and whooped when they formed the Olympic emblem.
BBC Image
Then, watching all of the different countries entering Olympic Stadium and seeing the pride on the faces of all of the athletes moved me as it does every four years. I thought it was neat that a young person walked with each delegation, carrying a copper bowl that was a gift to their country from the British people. Little did I know the stunning use to which each bowl would be employed.

AP Image
I love Queen Elizabeth II, but I found myself worrying about how exhausted she must be with all this celebrating...to say nothing of her jumping out of a helicopter to start the games! (I'm kidding. I know it wasn't really her!) Nevertheless, I did think she was a good sport with a wicked sense of humor to agree to such a stunt.

My only disappointment was that Sir Paul McCartney didn't stop his performance when he finished singing "And In The End...". My own humble opinion, but I thought singing "Hey, Jude" after all the colossal fireworks display was a let down. It was really my only complaint. (Sorry.)

At a time when politics and conflict are set aside, I found myself caught up in the excitement of the Games. And last night, I found myself more British than American. The Olympics are going to be fun to watch - and the British people are making for perfect hosts. Let the games begin!!
Just a quick reminder that Memory Lane Monday is coming in a couple of days! July 30th will be my next segment. Remember, that you're always welcome to join in the fun by posting your own favorite recollection on your blog and then linking back to mine. I'm working on my episode now, so I hope you'll come back to read all about it.

Have a great weekend!

July 26, 2012

Studio Goodness...

Well, girlfriends. It's Friday already and nearly the end of July, to boot. I don't know where the time is going, but I do believe that the older I get the faster it passes.

I've been diligently working on my projects, but I don't have a "finish" to share with you yet. Instead, I'm going to share some "studio goodness" with you.

You've seen my Strawberry Roses before, but one can never have enough roses or strawberries, right?

Then there's my serious stash of fabulous, vintage laces. Look at those crocheted roses. How am I ever going to use those on a project? I love looking at them!

I think you already know what a fan I am of those twill tapes from Lillalotta. She even did custom tapes for me with my single acorn and just the word "Brynwood" - both from my logo. I also save the tapes used to tie the different jelly rolls I purchase. I'm saving them to use in a special project that I hope to share soon.

Finally, I'll close out today with a parting shot of some of the wonderful gifts I've received from other bloggers. These beautiful treasures reside on the wall organizer I made a couple of years ago. They remind me every day of the friendships I've forged over the three years that I've been blogging...and their incredible generosity.

I hope you enjoyed the mini tour, and that my studio goodness brought a little smile to your face today. Happy Friday!

July 25, 2012

Such A Busy Day...

Yesterday was a really great day. Handsome and I spent the morning doing outside "housework". We cleaned the gutters yesterday but stopped short of cleaning up the stuff we pulled out of them. That meant the first order of the day involved picking it all up.

While he was doing that, I was making another mess trimming the palm trees and hibiscus bushes. He came around with the yard tractor, pulling a little trailer which he quickly refilled - multiple times. Then, the last order of business was the most difficult job.

The areca palm that has flourished next to our waterfall in the Holidome got really out of control. It was absolutely stunning to see it next to the pool, but unfortunately, it was outgrowing it's in-ground planter and we feared it would start pushing the pavers and damaging the pool. We had to take it out.

We were really sad about removing it, but we worked our way right down to the base. All that's left is to split the root ball and take that out, too.  Taking it out has sure opened up the light in that corner of the pool! (We're trying to tell each other that it's a vast improvement, but we're only halfhearted in our enthusiasm.)

We finished our work by noon which left the rest of the day for me to spend in the studio. Trouble is that I have so many projects I'd like to work on right now that I didn't know where to start. You know what happens then, right? Yup. I cleaned the studio! (Don't laugh!)

By late afternoon, everything was cleaned and I chose the fabrics in this picture to make another iPad cover. (Thank you to the sweet person who purchased my "girly" iPad cover the day after I listed it on Etsy!) I'm going to make more girly-themed covers, but I came across this fabric (which I love) while I was organizing some of my stash, so I'm going to make one with this, too.

I'm going to spend my whole day in the studio, so I'll show you what I accomplish tomorrow. I hope you have a creative day, too!

July 24, 2012

Wildflower House...

 I have to crow about a friend of mine (not that she really needs it!).
Have you ever visited Wildflower House on Etsy?
This is Sharon Chapman's shop, full of her artistic creations.

 I recently received these bookmarks and notecards from her
and I can't tell you how much I love them. Sharon's watercolors
are beautiful, and her creations make me smile. She chooses high
quality stock for each item and then sprays them with a preservative
so that each little piece of art will last a long, long time.

You can also visit Sharon (and her sweet little dog, Teddy) at her blog
by the same name. Just click HERE to stop in and say "hello".
I'm sure you'll enjoy her blog and her creations as much as I do.
Sharon is a really great person, too!

July 23, 2012

Tuesdays With Tag - My Fabulous Weekend...

Hi again. Tag here!
I know that Mom told you all about our weekend, 
but I have to tell you how much fun I had, too!

While Mom and Dad were inside visiting with my trainer/buddy Mike 
and his wife, Joann, I was outside in the kennel reacquainting myself 
with all my furry friends. Man! I forgot how much fun it is hanging out
with Labradors, Cocker Spaniels and even a big, ol' Doberman!
They were happy to see me, too. It was like the best of all sleepovers!

Mike had this magazine in the house and Mom and Dad 
said they have to get their own copy. It's filled with 
all kinds of interesting stuff about Queen Elizabeth II,
all her dogs and what they do together.

 Did you know that she raises corgis?
Yup! She's crazy about 'em, but she has Labrador retrievers
and a couple other breeds, too.
I had so much fun while I was there that I was 
exhausted by the end of the weekend.

 Mom had to take this picture of me in the backseat of our truck
on the way home. I pretty much slept the whole trip. 
Those dogs just ran me ragged!

I don't know about where you live, but it's been raining a LOT around here.
I bet we've had at least 100 inches of rain since Friday!
(I'm not exaggerating either!)
I think I should be careful that I don't get moldy hanging around outside.
If the weather gets nice outside during the rest of this week, 
Mom said she'll take a video of me being cute to share with you.
Either way, I'm sure I'll have something fun for your next week.
'til then...
"More Waggin' and Less Barkin'!"

July 22, 2012

A Beautiful Time...

 Last weekend was spent on the east coast of Florida.
We were helping our friends, Mike and Joann
celebrate the end of a very busy dog training season.

 Yesterday morning took us to the seashore. 
We had breakfast by the water as we watched the 
weather out over the water making its way toward land.

 Tag was so happy to visit all his furry peeps in the
kennel, and our time there was much too short.

The storm arrived before we left, so we drove 
all the way home in a serious storm.
We settled in at home, happy that we'd made the trip.
A beautiful time spent with dear friends.

I'll start this week renewed and ready to create.
Did you have a great weekend?