February 28, 2015

Meet "Kenny"...

I'd like to introduce you to the newest member of the Brynwood team. 
 I proudly present "Kenny". 

Kenny is the oldest member of my hardworking sewing support team. 
He was born in 1962 in Matsuyama, Japan. He's small, but extremely strong.

He's all steel and doesn't do a lot of fancy stuff, but he's willing to do what my
 "girls" won't. You see, they've been complaining about sewing through all those
 layers of fabric and stabilizers in my wallets. Frankly, I was tired of the whining. 

Miss Ellie and Cressie would stomp their feet and just skip across the fabric 
without linking threads. They told me they were meant for more complicated 
and genteel work - like embroideries and needle dancing. They're such divas!
I conducted a series of interviews, checked references and decided that Kenny
would fit in quite nicely. He's in excellent shape for his age, has had a full physical
and received a clean bill of health. He even came with examples of his work!

Kenny is a Sears Kenmore Model #148.295 (29) heavy duty, straight stitch (with
 reverse) sewing machine. He was used by one owner and was serviced every year,
 so he's been lovingly cared for all his life. I'm going to be looking for a special
table for him, too, but I'll wait until I can find just the right vintage-style one.
As you can see, he's ready to get right after the tough jobs. Yes. I think he'll do
quite nicely around here. I'm going to send each of the girls, Miss Ellie first,
to the spa for a little tune-up while I get to know Kenny a little better. They have
earned a rest, after all. They did give me their best effort, and I want to make sure
there are no hard feelings. I have some things planned for each of them in the
very near future and I want them ready, willing and able for their respective tasks.
 All I have to do is get better. Kenny is all shined up and waiting...along with ten
 new wallets that are cut and waiting for his special talents. Just waiting on me.
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February 27, 2015

Wayne Cochran and C.C. Rider...

Even when you're not feeling well, there's room for smiling...and music!
Last night, Handsome came into my "sick room" and asked me if I'd ever heard
Wayne Cochran and C.C.Rider. "Why, no", was my reply, so we went to YouTube.
  This video lifted my spirits right up!
 
Wayne Cochran had some killer moves. 
He was referred to as "The White Knight of Soul".
Direct video link: http://youtu.be/w5_GstlPL64
 
Sit back and enjoy a real showman...and I hope it brings a smile to your face, too.
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Note: Sadly, Wayne Cochran died of complications from stomach cancer in 1979.

February 26, 2015

Diagnosis...

"PNEUMONIA".

I firmly believe in the power of prayer. If you're so moved, I sure would appreciate if you could lift a few healing prayers for me. This is no fun.

Tag's not usually a cuddly boy, but he's all over me while I'm ill. He's taking really good care of me and won't leave my side. If his attentiveness is any indicator, I should be over this quickly.
On a lighter note, I want to show you an image that Aurifil threads posted on their FaceBook page. These are Moda's new "Homespun Silky Wovens". Aren't they swoony? (I know it's probably not a real word, but hey. It's my blog and I can exercise a little poetic license.)
I'm seriously wanting to add these to my inventory. I have to find some when I feel better (which I hope is very soon, now that the doctor has prescribed meds for me.)

Now that I've written this post, I'm going back to bed...perhaps to dream of something "fabric" and fun!
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February 25, 2015

AAAaaa-CHOOOOOOooo...

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I'm still under the weather. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day. I sure hope so!
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February 24, 2015

Tuesdays With Tag - Standin' Guard...

Hi, Everybody!

I bet you're wonderin' what the heck I've been doin' lately. I wish I could tell you I've been sailin' the high seas or herdin' sheep in the Andes, but no such luck. My days have been less than interestin' since Mom caught Dad's cold. She's no fun at all when she's sick.
We just sit in the sun while she tries to feel better, but there's nothin' strenuous (spelled "P.L.A.Y.") goin' on until this blight leaves our home. I'll just stay close to make sure no one sneaks up on us. (Yes. That is Mom's foot next to me!) Could someone get a lily to stick in her paws?

I'll be back next week. Hopefully, Mom and Dad will both be feelin' better soon! 

I'll see you in seven. 'til then...
"Keep Your Nose To The Wind 
and The Sunshine On Your Tail."
 

February 23, 2015

I Fought The Good Fight...

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It was an epic battle. The battle between "cold" and "no cold". I drank lots of orange juice. I sprayed Lysol spray on everything. I put Mentholatum in my nose (I'm not sure why). I even did the "Tupelo Cure" (Tupelo honey and ground cinnamon by the teaspoonful).  I tried everything I could think of and I thought I was winning...I really did.
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But, when Handsome started coughing, I knew it was all over. Short of running around the house in a white, surgical mask, I knew I was doomed.
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It hit me hard on Saturday, and now I'm the one coughing, sneezing and speaking in a bass voice. I just couldn't sit around doing nothing. I took my time and hung out in the studio for most of the day. No "heavy machinery", mind you. I stayed away from my sewing machines.
I managed to cut out the parts and pieces for ten new wallets. Everything is ready to go when I am. That won't be today. Today, I'll continue with the orange juice, and perhaps get a little solar therapy in the Holidome. Sunshine helps cure colds, right?
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February 22, 2015

February 21, 2015

Peace River Quilt Show Weekend...

#608 "Bailey's Batik" by Jann Humble
The 13th Biennial Peace River Quilters' Guild quilt show is this weekend.
Their theme is "Every Quilt Has A Story".
Friday was the first day and I saw one incredible quilt after another.
#1702 "Beneath The Sea" by Linda Bauman (quilted by Susan Slaton)
Color, texture and imagination filled the hall...and the talent was awe inspiring!
I had a difficult time deciding which quilts to share with you. I had so many choices. 
#403 "Colors of Egypt - Egypt of Colors" by Sharon Topping
Some of the quilts were done in traditional paterns and colors, and then there
were the quilts that stood out for their unique fabrics and design choices.
#2003 "Fishing The Pass" by Karen Stockwell
I'm so glad that I wasn't a judge for this show. I don't know how one could possibly
choose a favorite overall. There were eight different top awards for this show...
1) Best of Show (Karen Renninger)
2) Best Hand Quilting (Beth Polidan)
3) Best Stationary Machine Quilting (Pamela Peck)
4) Best Track-Mounted Machine Quilting (Susan Slaton)
5) Best Use of a Classic Pattern (Vicky Fleming)
6) Best Use of Color and Design (Kim Paar)
7) Judge's Recognition (2) (Pat Haas and Karen Stockwell)
8) National Quilting Association Award of Merit (Vicky Fleming)
#512 "Poipu Beach" by Madeline Schminke
There were quilts that were appliqued', pieced, traditional, modern, abstract, and
more. Every corner I turned revealed yet another masterpiece, each worthy of a ribbon.
# 703 "Journey With Jane Stickle" by Karen Renninger
This is the quilt that earned "Best of Show". It's a reproduction of a traditional
sampler quilt from 1863 and utilizes 225 unique blocks, triangle and kite designs.
It was completely hand quilted, with the exception of the sashing.
I can see why it received the "Best of Show" distinction. It was truly worthy.
 
I had fun visiting my friends who belong to this guild, and I enjoyed finding
their completed pieces in the exhibit hall. I realized I still have much to learn.

I didn't stay as long as I wanted to because I was under the weather (trying to
stave off a cold). If I'm up to it, I'll head back to Punta Gorda for the final day
of the show today to see what I might have missed. There was so much
inspiration that I want to be sure to absorb as much of it as possible.
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February 20, 2015

As You Wish...

I never walked into the studio yesterday. I read a book instead. Not just any book, mind you. I received this book for Christmas, and decided that I would sit down to read rather than sew.

I made a cup of tea after lunch and settled in with Cary Elwes' "As You Wish" about the making of the movie, "The Princess Bride".

Now, I need to tell you that "The Princess Bride" is my all-time, top of the list, favorite movie. Handsome and I have enjoyed the moving since it first came out in the late 1980s. It's charming, funny, clever and sometimes not at all subtle (hmmm. Not unlike Handsome). It's a movie that appeals to people of all ages, and is suitable for children. (Bonus!)

We have watched this movie with our sons and shared it with friends and other family members either in movie or book form for years. So, it was a logical step to read a book written by the leading man, who played Westley, the farm boy-turned-pirate.

The movie features an allstar cast, including Cary Elwes, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon, Mandy Patinkin, Andre' the Giant, Wallace Shawn, Christopher Guest, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Peter Falk and a young Fred Savage. The book and screenplay were written by William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner. After all these years, it has stood the test of time, reaching near cult status. Can you tell I'm a huge fan?

I don't want to give away anything that appears between the covers of this book, but I enjoyed seeing the making of the movie through Elwes' eyes. I was able to revisit scenes from the movie (which I've watched countless times), laughing and even crying once or twice. I highly recommend the book, whether or not you've seen the movie. 

But, if you haven't seen the movie, I'll recommend it to you, just as I have to all my family and friends. Download it, rent it - or just go out and buy the DVD. I know you'll want to watch it more than once. 

In case I've piqued your interest, here's the original trailer for the movie.
 Direct link: http://youtu.be/BnkfVvZ9q_0
 
I'm heading to Punta Gorda to the Peace River Guild's quilt show today. I'll be taking photos to share with you, and looking to see the latest goodies in the vendor booths. Have a great day and I'll be back to chat with you tomorrow.
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February 19, 2015

It Was Just One Of Those Days...

 
This will be the exterior of my next finished wallet. I've called this one "Flea Market". I decided to work on it while waiting for the hardware to arrive for one of the other "mostly finished" ones. I was really happy with the way it's looking until...
I realized that I had installed the credit card pockets without sewing in the divider line. I'll either take out one side of stitching and add the dividing stitching, or I'll keep it intact and hand stitch it. I haven't decided yet.

Rather than sit down and "unstitch", I decided to go on to the next wallet. I have all the fabric prepared, so it's just a matter of sewing and assembling.
I pulled one of the Kaffe colorways and started sewing. I got this far when I had to set everything aside to help deal with another issue...
When I went to feed Tag yesterday morning, I stepped into the garage (where I keep his food storage container) and stepped onto a soaking wet rug. I immediately knew what that meant. There was a leak.

I looked at the water heater and found water under it. I went in the house and told Handsome. He called the plumber and they arrived within the hour. Our water heater was under warranty, so it was replaced quickly and the water was turned back on.

There was only one problem. As soon as the water was turned back on, there was water under the water heater again. Uh, oh.
Our plumber determined that there was a leak in the supply line (by cutting out a section of garage wall)...and fearing that the problem was underground (it's where they put pipes in Florida homes), recommended we proceed by calling in a company that can use technology to locate the source of the problem. Our plumber set up the appointment for us and the company quickly sent someone over.

We were fortunate. The leak is in the wall between the water heater and our kitchen pantry. I had to empty part of the pantry so the wall could be opened, and our kitchen is a mess until I can put everything away again. The good thing is that they were able to pinpoint the source of the leak through a small opening in the pantry wall - even though they'll have to open the wall directly behind it in the garage to actually effect the repair.
The water was turned off overnight and now the plumber has to come back to do the work. Once he's finished, we'll get someone in to fix the walls...and then I can clean everything up again.

We're so glad it wasn't worse. If the leak hadn't been in the wall, there would have been jackhammers and cement dust and excavating. Why Florida requires/allows under slab/foundation plumbing installation is beyond me, but that's where everything is. For now, there is an easier fix, and I'll be fixing that wallet while I wait.
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February 18, 2015

Nearly Tossed Away...

Our monthly guild meeting was last night. I'm the guild recording secretary (for the next eleven months), so I could be found sitting up front with my laptop, taking minutes.

One of the ladies came up with a bundle in her hands and said that a friend of hers (who is in a nursing home) had this "cutter" quilt she wanted to sell for $30.
I didn't even need to inspect it. I figured if it was really in terrible shape, I could use it for pincushions or stuffed animals, or other smaller projects. I immediately said I'd buy it and it was tossed onto the table in front of me. Mine. All mine.
When I got home, I inspected it to see what I'd actually purchased. I was really surprised. I wouldn't call this quilt a "cutter" (meant to be cut up, rather than restored) by any stretch of the imagination. When I looked a little closer at the quilt,  that row of squares above the green line of squares was missing!
See? Apparently, someone really needed those darker brown pieces for another project, because they cannibalized most of them from that entire row of the quilt. I'll be on the hunt for a fat quarter of a brown, patterned fabric to applique' into those voids.

I'm going to be watching for something appropriate to the era in which it was created. To my eye, it appears to be another quilt from the 1930s that has come my way. I can't believe my good fortune!
The zig zag border is more than a bit rough. It will need to be repaired and rebound. Most of it looks like this (or a bit worse). It will require quite a bit more work. I'm in no hurry, but I do want to repair it rather than cut it up. 
 
I want to restore this quilt to its original beauty. It quilt really deserves it, and I'm really looking forward to it.
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February 17, 2015

Tuesday With Tag - Patrollin' Is Fun...

Hi, Everybody!
I've got another video for you today...

Remember how I help with garbage every week? Mom thought this time we should do a recordin' for you. I know. It's mostly me walkin'. Big deal. Try not to get too excited, okay?
Mom and Dad always let me carry somethin' out for recyclin'. I usually choose a water bottle. It's easy to hold, and looks real impressive. Don't you agree?
It's a long walk out to the curb, and I can do it really fast if I'm not bein' slowed down by "the humans". I don't mind too much, though. I kinda dawdle along while Mom and Dad try to catch up. I snuffle and sniff the air, makin' sure the coast is clear. A Corgi's job is never done.

My jobs:
  1. Be a good boy
  2. Eat breakfast and dinner
  3. Do my business in the yard, which helps give Mom and Dad an excuse to stop what they're doin' to let me out
  4. Be cute
  5. Make 'em laugh
  6. Get my beauty rest
  7. Protect our yard from invaders (doesn't matter if it's animal, mineral or vegetable)
  8. Be kind to children
  9. Help Mom (and Dad) not miss the "old" dogs too much
  10. Recycle plastic bottles and stuff
  11. Roll around on dead stuff in the yard
  12. Roll around on the carpet in the house
  13. Be cute (I know I said that already, but I'm double cute!)
  14. Write my blog post every week to visit with you
 Direct link: http://youtu.be/pOEzLddlCfg

Well, it's not much, but you get to see me in action. That's somethin', right? Mom wasn't sure about the song for this one, but I thought it was funny, so I said, "Hey, Run with it, Mom!" She likes to follow my lead once in a while. We hope it makes you smile. 

Time for me to go for this week. 
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Keep Your Nose To The Wind 
and The Sunshine On Your Tail."

PS. Mom asked me to leave a message for Miss Patty C. of Yumm Yumz by Patticakes...
Mom tried three times to answer your email, but it kept kickin' back. If you have a different email address (or your spam is kicking back Mom's emails), could you change your settings or let Mom know how to reach you? Thanks!

February 16, 2015

See The Buzz...

My latest wallet was finished on Sunday. I spent the day doing other things on Saturday, but got back into the studio to play before the weekend was over.

This is "Buzz". It's already spoken for...and like many you'll see in the future, will be one-of-a-kind. Rather than feeling bad about that, I'm embracing the uniqueness of each piece I'm creating. This one won't be listed in the shop, but there will be a few from the same line that will be.
I've added a new feature to my wallets, too. You'll be seeing security tabs in some of my future pieces, and if you choose a custom design, you can request a tab if you'd like one. No additional charge, either.
This is the main design feature for the Strawberry Thief (Rust colorway) wallet. I'm showing this photo again because the interior fabric, with the musical theme, is also shown in the photo and it's an accurate color representation.
Here's the exterior (again) of the wallet I created with that fabric. It has a gold accent on the fabric design.
...and here's the completed interior. This will be listed for sale in the Brynwood Boutique this week. It will not be for sale through my Etsy shop...only in my Boutique. Both of these wallets will come with a shoulder strap, wrist strap and bonus keychain in coordinating fabric.
 
If you see something you'd like, please let me know before it gets listed. I'll be sharing more during the week.
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