August 31, 2014

Relaxing On Labor Day...

"Gwendolyn" by pinkgloves2 on Etsy
First, I'm sharing this image because I love it. It makes me happy and reminds me
of the holsteins that used to graze in the fields next to our marsh (and sometimes
hide in our woods or visit our front stoop when they broke through their fences).
I may have to order it to hang somewhere in our home. I'm that enamored of it.

It also reminds me of our Labor Day Weekend parties. Before we moved south,
we hosted up to 250 friends and family members at our parties. Everyone brought
a small dish to pass, some brought rolls and/or soft drinks, and we supplied the
grilled meat (pork roasts and brats from our farmer friend up the road). Our sons
and their friends camped in our high ground woods...and there was always music!

One year there was karaoke, another time a jazz ensemble (Handsome on drums),
our younger son and his band played, and one year we even had a barbershop quartet!
There were volleyball games in one part of the yard, horseshoes in another area and
bocce ball or jarts on the hillside. Each year, the celebration got bigger and bigger.

I took photos each year and put them all into their own photo album. We have 
fifteen of those albums, beginning with the smallest gathering of about 15 people.

So many fond memories of summers past. We continue to make memories, but 
these will always remind of of special times with great people in Wisconsin.
 This year, there are no big gatherings, but the days are lovely just the same. I'm
blessed to have these days with my Handsome husband, local friends and Tag.
 I've been in the studio a bit this weekend, but have yet to complete any project, 
with the exception of replacing a broken zipper in a skirt. I have also done a little
work on the guild raffle quilt for 2016. (Didn't I say I would take a rest from guild
 quilts for a while? I'm not quite sure how this happened. More on that another day.)
The rest of my time has been spent with Handsome and Tag, and I'm going to 
continue that program for the rest of the day today. Nothing better I'd like to do.

I'm sure many of you will be back to work tomorrow, so enjoy your extra 
day off today. Have good fun and, if you're traveling, please stay safe.
Tag will be back with his post tomorrow...September 1st (already)!
Wishing you a Happy and Restful Labor Day!

August 30, 2014

August 29, 2014

Perhaps A Little Project...

 I'm enjoying just relaxing and spending time with Handsome and Tag. Just in
case I decide I'd like to work on something new, I've pulled two projects out of
my "To Do" Basket. (Yes. I do have a small basket I keep priority projects in.)
  One of the projects is a wool flag pincushion kit I purchased while in Wisconsin.
I could do all the handwork while sitting in my favorite chair. When that part is
finished, I'd just sashay into the studio to finish seaming it up on my new sewing
machine. It's not like I'd be working on a whole quilt.,,just a small pincushion.
Of course, a sweet, little autumn acorn pincushion would be appropriate.
Fall is right around the corner, and this would be just the perfect wee welcome.
I've been eyeing this wool tweed fabric project up for some time, too.
Tag went swimming yesterday afternoon. Then he spent the rest of the day
on his towel-covered bed, watching his pool. I caught his handsome profile 
when he wasn't looking. Right after I took this, I got the "disapproving Corgi"
look. Oh, well. You'd think the boy would be used to the camera by now.

Enjoy your Saturday. I have serious "nothing" on my list for today.

August 28, 2014

Planning A Restful Weekend...

My "Grace" necklace.
Remember that "creative imperative" I'm always telling you about?
Well, I think it's gone on a little break...and taken my sewing mojo along with it.

I'm sure it hasn't gone far - or for too long - but my attention span in the studio is 
like that of a four year old. I'm more content right now to dust and rearrange than 
actually sit down and make something. That doesn't happen to me very often.
"Grace" and sand dollar charms, with my "lucky" sixpence.
I'm looking forward to enjoying the holiday and taking a little time off.
I'll be posting over the weekend, but I'm going to concentrate on Handsome, 
Tag and homekeeping rather than playing in the studio. Maybe we'll head to
the beach or take a little day trip. I'm sure a cookout will be in order for Monday.
I have a knitting project to work on, and perhaps a little handwork, but I won't
be sitting at the sewing machine until next week. I'll grab my camera, like a
good blogger, and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures to share with you.
Labor Day is the last official holiday of summer. If you're anywhere north of
Jacksonville, soon the leaves will turn and there will be a little nip in the air. 
We always had a big party this weekend, followed by Labor Day Monday, when
 we cleaned up the yard, put away our lawn furniture and prepared for fall and the 
inevitable winter that followed. This weekend was always our farewell to summer.
So, have a great weekend, enjoy your time off...and please be safe. 
Happy Labor Day Weekend!

August 27, 2014

A Pinch Of Joy...

We spent much of yesterday with our friends, Mike and Joann, again. It's wonderful
 being able to reconnect with old friends and share stories as we catch up on our lives. 
There's just something so comforting and joyful to be able to come from shared 
experiences. We can laugh about an old quote without needing to repeat the story 
behind it. It's nice to catch up on mutual friends as we make new memories.
The heart lace and card are from my beautiful friend, Sherry. Happy Birthday, hon!
I found this sweet measuring spoon while in Wisconsin. Now it hangs in the 
studio reminding me to add a pinch of joy to every single day. Handsome and I did 
that with our friends yesterday. We've already planned to see them again soon. 

Today I wish the same for you. I wish you a simple "Pinch of Joy" each day.

August 26, 2014

My Civic Duty...

This is where I spent my day yesterday. In through those doors and
down the hall to...
this room. It was where the local precinct was located, and I was
employed at a poll inspector. I arrived at 5:45 am and didn't leave 
until nearly 8 pm. It was a long day spent talking to folks and helping
them process through so that they could vote in the Florida primaries.
At the end of the day, all the results from our machines are posted on
the outside window so that anyone who wants to know can see them.

I've done my civic duty until the regular election this fall. I'm on break now.
Also, thanks for all your comments on my (and Tag's) latest posts. I 
promise I'll respond to all of them now that I'm home for a while. I
do read every single one of them - and many have made me really
giggle! I can finally sit down and put some thought into my replies.
Thanks again for letting me know what you think when you read them.
Tag and I really appreciate it!

August 25, 2014

Tuesdays With Tag - Surf and Selfies...

 Hi, Everybody!
It's been a busy week for me, but there are not a lot of pictures to
 prove it. Mom's been real busy, too, so that's probably the reason.

Don't worry. That's not gonna keep me from writin' my post today.
 Yesterday, Mom and Dad went to meet our old friends, Mike and Joann Sommers.
 You remember, Mike is my trainer! He and Mrs. Mike were stayin' on Lido
Beach in Sarasota, so Mom and Dad went to hang out with them...without me! 

This was their view of the Gulf of Mexico from their hotel room. So beautiful!
I woulda had a grand time visitin' with them, too. I woulda shown Mike how
I swim in the ocean, and everyone woulda said how cute I was. I just know it!
Web Image - Art by M. Prince
 Corgis love the least I DO! But, nooooooooo...
I stayed home.
 Mom and Dad and Mike and Joann all went out to dinner.
Not me, though.
 Mom took a picture of the guys...but I wasn't in the picture.
Nope. Not a Corgi to be seen. How could they even have fun 
without me? Well...I had a few plans of my own. I wasn't bored.
 I found a cell phone, and decided I was gonna take a few selfies while
I hung around at home. I don't know what the big deal about selfies is.
 Anybody can do this! One thing, though...I DON'T do "duck faces"!
You know, when you put your lips together all smoochy-like?

Don't misunderstand. I love smoochin' all my friends, but I don't do
smoochy, duck-face selfies. A guy's gotta draw the line somewhere.
 So, Mom came home and saw the selfies I took. She laughed and told
 me that if I wanted to use them for my post, she'd get 'em off the phone.
 I told her to go for it. I mean, they show all of you that I wasn't just mopin'
 around while everybody was havin' fun without me. I can deal, for sure!
Mom and Dad had surf, and I did selfies. Get it?

I had a great week, but (if you're not countin' all the time I got to spend
in the pool) this was the most fun I've had since my last blog post! Who
knows what the heck I'll think of for next week. I might get a little crazy!

I'm pretty sure it won't be bungy jumpin', mountain climbin' or Nascar crazy,
but I'll do my best to make it fun for you. We'll just have to play it by...
EARS! BOL! (That means, Barkin' Out Loud!) Gotta run. 'til next week...

"Bark Like Ya Mean It!"

August 24, 2014

With Love From Vermont...

 My beautiful and generous friend, Denise sent a wonderful package to me!
I opened the mailbox on Saturday to find a complete surprise from Vermont.
I couldn't wait to get back to the house to open it. I love surprises!
Denise, I can't tell you how much fun I had opening all the little packages 
inside. Wrapped around all those smaller packages was this lovely tea towel. 
You don't even know how special this was to me.
Handsome and I were married in 1984, and that first two weeks in January,
1985, we were on our honeymoon in Grand Cayman in the British West Indies. 
There are so many fond memories for us. Our honeymoon, our first year of 
marriage, and the beginning of our life together as husband and wife. I know Denise
chose it because of the acorns and oak leaves, but  I love it for many more reasons!
Then, I opened another package to find these beautiful spoons and acorns.
She packed actual real acorns along with all my other gifts. I felt like a giddy kid.
They really are spoons with acorns! Just look at the beautiful pattern on the handles!
Complete acorns and oak leaves adorn the fronts of each one. They're so perfect.
Then, I turned them over to find more details on the back. There are
 more oak leaves, but on the back, you'll only see acorn acorns.
  They really are wonderful and I'll treasure them forever.
Denise also tucked in another fabulous find. Goodness, this girl knows me so
well! It's a Guide to American Needlework from the Winterthur Museum. It's
stuffed with great reading and photographs of beautiful, historic needleworks.
I'm going to savor every, single page! I'll brew up a pot of tea and put up my 
feet to spend an afternoon engrossed in the pages of these books. Heavenly!
 Denise always adds some tasty Vermont maple candies, which I then share
with Handsome. (He said, "Thanks, Denise!") Her message was on the back of
this restful, peaceful image. This is a picture she took of her and her husband's
favorite place to get away. I can completely understand that. That's a stunning
sunset. I can almost feel the warmth of the setting sun on my face. aaaahhhhh.

Thank you, my friend for thinking of me, yet again. Whenever I think of you and
Neil, I thank God for the friendship we've forged over all these years. I'm so very
grateful that we were brought together, and hope someday to be able to hug you
in person. Until then, know that you're always in my daily prayers. xoxo

August 23, 2014

August 22, 2014

Not To Be Left Out...

Handsome accepted my ALS Ice Bucket Challenge yesterday!

I'll let the video speak for itself, except to say, I really loaded that bucket with 
fresh ice while he was talking to the camera. You'll laugh at my failed attempt 
to sneak behind the waterfall after I started the camera. I wanted to crop myself 
out, but he's convinced it's one of the funniest parts of the video. It stays.
Direct link:

I was asked yesterday if there is also a link for donating to DM research. After 
asking some of my Corgi friends who they thought the best research facility is, and
doing a little research of my own, I can share the information with all of you.
Funds can be donated directly to research conducted at the University of Missouri,
 College of Veterinary Medicine, specifying that the funds go to Dr. Joan Coates 
for the work she's doing. You can click here to read more about her and her work. 
She is also collaborating closely with Dr. Timothy Miller at Washington University in
St. Louis on a drug therapy project to benefit ALS patients. It's my sincere prayer that
 the work being done in both facilities will ultimately find a cure for both diseases.

Have fun with Handsome's video. He sure made me laugh when I watched it...
and I'm even good for a little giggle, too. Can you tell I was having fun?
By the way, The Ice Bucket Challenge has raised a whopping
$53.3 MILLION in only 25 days! 
That's pretty incredible, don't you think?

Thanks again for reading all the way to the end of this post.

August 21, 2014

Brynwood Accepted "The ALS Ice Box Challenge"...

I'm sure you're heard all about the ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" by now. I
knew someone would nominate me, and it finally happened on Wednesday
  night. (Sending a big, snarky "thank you" to my cousin, Nathaniel!)
Of course, you know I'm not one to just grab a bucket and stand in the yard.
Handsome and I put our heads together and came up with this little video.
  I thanked him for helping me by nominating HIM! It's cheesy, I know, but
we had fun, and hope you do, too, when you watch it. Tag even got in the act!
Here's the video:
This is the direct link:
Man! That water was chilly! I thought being in the pool would help, but it didn't.
My head was cold even after I went back under water and swam to the steps...
and it was 100º in steamy south Florida by the time we filmed this.

Enough silliness, though. ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) is serious business.
In addition to having ice water dumped on me by my dear husband, I also made a
donation to the ALS Association. I admit that I have selfish reasons for finding a
cure for ALS. ALS and DM (Degenerative Myelopathy in dogs) are closely related.
As of today, both diseases are incurable, and DM has the same symptoms.
From the ALS Association website:
"Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease 
that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from 
the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the 
body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads 
to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and 
control muscle movement is lost." In dogs the degeneration also leads to death.
The ALS Association and the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals share their
research results. It is my deepest desire that a cure be found for ALS - and
DM. Taggart carries both genes for DM. That means he could live a long,
healthy life with no effects whatsoever. It also means that he could develop
DM after he turns ten, but I pray every day that he never exhibits symptoms.

So, I made my donation in addition to being soaked with water and ice. When
 I nominated Handsome to take up the challenge, and I knew he'd also donate.

Perhaps you think the Ice Bucket Challenge is silly. That's ok. You're not
required to do it. What I would like to ask is that you consider making a
small donation to the ALS Association. Wouldn't it be wonderful if a cure
were found in our lifetime? If you're so motivated, this is the link to make
a gift toward continued research. Thanks for watching the video and
making it all the way to the end of today's post. Tag and I really appreciate it.

August 20, 2014

Life Happens...

Just when I've planned to get so much accomplished, Life happens.
(I'm not complaining. It's important to be flexible. Spontaneous, even!)
The client who I thought would require three hours for a graphic piece
ended up taking closer to twelve hours over two days. It's finished now.

The laundry that would usually be shuttled from our master bath to our
laundry room, wasn't. The washing machine is on the fritz and won't be
repaired until next Monday. Instead, I drove our laundry to be cleaned. 
Even using the double load washers,  I was away from the studio for 
another four hours (from the time I drove out 'til I got back home again).

So, if you're wondering what I accomplished yesterday...I've got a photo for
you. I started cutting the fabrics (and choosing zippers) for the organizers.
 That's it.

What's on the agenda for today? 
I am definitely going to get into the studio again... but I have a couple
of things I have to do first. If you want to know what they are, you'll
have to come back again tomorrow. I'm not even giving hints today.

Seeeee yoouu tomoooorroooww!

August 19, 2014

Staging Fabrics For The Week...

NOTE: This post originally appeared yesterday (Tuesday). I was reminded 
by The Corgi, that I had neglected to put up his "Tuesdays With Tag" post. 
Sooo, I took this one down, put up his TWT post and moved this one to today.
Apologies for any confusion. Corgi is happy again. All is right with the world. 
I've pulled three different fabric assortments together for my next project(s).
Time to make more Classmate organizers!

My favorite personal Classmate went to live with my pal, Carol of Serendipity, 
so I need to make a new one just like it. She was so smitten with mine, that
 I had to relent and let her have it. I know just how much she appreciates it, too.

So, I've chosen the exact same fabrics, and when I'm finished we'll have matching
pieces! I'm going to have to make another sewing machine cover to match, too.
This is the assortment I've chosen for two other organizers I'll be making.
One will use the lilac print, sewing tools print and the green fabric for binding.
The other will use the lilac print, text print and purple fabric for binding.
I'm thinking that I'll make little zippered bags out of the plaid fabric.

These are a few of those fabrics that I've been "saving". If you sew or quilt,
you know what I'm talking about, girlfriends. If you're not careful, they migrate
to Permanent Stash status...those fabrics you never want to cut into or use.
I have too many fabrics to be stingy with them, so I'm just going to take a deep
breath, roll my rotary cutter and snip, snip scissors into these. Use 'em up, I will!
Last winter, I made an organizer in this fabric for my friend, Fay. She and I 
both love French General fabrics, so I made hers with this assortment.  In fact,
I liked that organizer so much, I'm going to make it again...maybe for myself.

I'll be opening up my assembly line again...fusing stabilizer and batting, 
cutting and assembling. It will be a repeat of my process for Christmas 2013. 
It takes just as much physical effort, but doing the same thing over and over 
makes for less brain work. I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be fun, in fact!