February 29, 2016

Tuesdays With Tag - Let's Talk Lizards...

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart

Hi, Everybody!
I think winter is comin' to an end here in Florida, so it's time to think about one of my favorite pastimes...chasin' lizards!

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart

This is my front yard. It's vast - and there's a lot of room for me to run around with the Black Dog. We find little lizards runnin' around all summer, but when it gets chilly, they all hide out. They started movin' around again yesterday. 

Brynwood Needleworks - Our Backyard

This is our back yard. There's a lot to sniff and explore back here, too, but we're not allowed. Well, we're mostly not allowed.

You see, back here is our pond. We had a lot of rain this winter, so the pond is nice and high. Mom and Dad like it when there's a lot of water back there because it looks nice. That doesn't matter, though. We're still not allowed anywhere near it...ever.

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart and The Pond

This is about as close to the pond as we can get before Mom or Dad calls us to come away. I can snuffle around by the oak tree (to the left of where I'm sittin'), but I'm not allowed to check out the cypress trees.

Mom's favorite tree in our yard is that big one to the left of the oak tree. It's not dead. Cypress trees drop their soft needles for a few months every winter.

Brynwood Needleworks - Brynwood's Pond

The reason we can't go near the water is because every once in a while there's a bigger lizard that swims in there. Mom calls 'em "allygators". She says they'll hurt Bella and me if we give 'em half a chance.

Brynwood Needleworks - Brynwood's Pond

She says, when it starts to warm up, those allygators start movin' around again in Florida. If they happen to stop at our pond, they like to lie around in the sun on this "beach".

They'll also float around in the pond, and they look for stuff to eat. Who can blame 'em. I'd be hungry, too, after a season of hibernation. We don't like that they eat all our fish before they move on, either.

They're not in there all the time, but we just don't take chances with our safety. Mom and Dad want to make sure Bella and I aren't on the menu.

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart

We'll run around the front yard and stay away from the pond. We'd much rather chase the little lizards than be chased by the big ones. Better safe, than sorry. We can tell, summer is just around the corner.

I'll see you again in seven! 'til then...
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".

February 28, 2016

A French Connection...

Brynwood Needleworks - French Connection Clutch

Last Friday, my girlfriend, Stacey and I went out for lunch to Pop's in Nokomis. We have  regular lunch dates to catch up and just have a nice meal together.

On our way over, we passed an antique/resale shop called Valentina's on Laurel Road. Stacey suggested that we stop in on our way back home. (She's our next door neighbor.) I love exploring shops like this, so I jumped at the suggestion.

Brynwood Needleworks - French Connection Clutch

We both took our time, as this shop is filled to the gills with jewelry, garments, handbags and all sorts of great small items. There were furniture pieces there, too, but that's not what caught my attention.

Brynwood Needleworks - French Connection Clutch

I saw many older beaded and needlepointed handbags, but tucked in a corner, this one caught my eye.

You know I make wallets, and I'm always looking to "up my game", so seeing new (to me) techniques or ideas is a good thing.

Brynwood Needleworks - French Connection Clutch

I tried to walk away (multiple times) from this bag, (made by "French Connection") but it kept calling out to me. It had never been used, evidenced by the tags that were still attached to it.

It has a zippered pocket inside, and is large enough to hold my iPhone 6 and then some. You can see that it also has a chain strap as an option to using it as a clutch. Did you notice the rows of shiny embellishments on the outside? HA! Of course, you did! How could you miss them? Believe me, they sparkle in the sun like you can't even imagine.

I did a little haggling and got the price down quite a bit (I was quite proud of myself!), so I brought it home with me. It's already inspired some new ideas for upcoming projects. I'll look at embellishments a lot differently from now on.

Brynwood Needleworks - Birds In The Pineapples

I want to tell you another happy story today. I'm going to list up the Birds In The Pineapples quilt in my Etsy shop, but I needed to launder it first to be sure that the dyes in the batiks wouldn't run and ruin the quilt. I've been a little nervous about that ever since the steam iron made one of them bleed, causing me to replace two pieces of the quilt.

Following the instructions on my bottle of Retayne, I put the quilt into the washer, added the Retayne and a little laundry soap to the dispenser, and then set the washer to the "hot" setting. For good measure, I added two Tide Color Catchers ™, too. To say I was a little nervous about the introduction of hot water would be a true understatement.

When the timer sounded, I opened the lid and took the quilt out of the washer. It was beautiful! Perfect! Thoroughly clean with no bleeding! Now that I know the dye colors are set,  I'll get it listed this afternoon.

Today, I'll be in training. I'm now a Clerk for a local precinct election board. I've already done much of the tasks I'll need to do, but every member of the election board is required to take ongoing training prior to every election. I'm in for about five hours today to prepare for the first phase of this year's Presidential election on March 15th. Doing my civic duty again. (wink)

Tag will be here tomorrow, so I'll be back on Wednesday to show you what I'm working on now. Enjoy your last day of February.

Art by Mark Johnson


February 27, 2016

February 26, 2016

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

Brynwood Needleworks - K.Schmitz "Peter Cottontail"
I've chosen this kit as my next piece in the "Sweet Stitches" line-up.
Brynwood Needleworks - K.Schmitz "Be Mine"

I completed "Be Mine" day before yesterday, and just took it off the scroll rods.

Brynwood Needleworks - K.Schmitz "Be Mine"

First, it needs a good steam press (using a pressing cloth on the back side, of course). 
After that I'll put it on my hanger with the rest of my finished pieces for now.

Brynwood Needleworks - K.Schmitz "Peter Cottontail"
I'll prep the fabric for the needlework and mount it onto my scroll rods.
It will be ready for the next chance I have to sit and stitch. 
Hippity Hoppity!

February 25, 2016

Tea Mats Shipping Today...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tea Mats
A friend of mine uses the term "under the needle", which I really like. I hope she won't mind that I use the term, too.

Under the needle yesterday, was a pair of tea mats. That's what I'm calling these larger-than-mug rug-sized pieces. Most of my mug mats measure approximately 11" x 7". My tea mats measure 14" x 10". 

I'm making these for a dear friend and her special, little girl. They love pinks and having tea parties, so my friend requested something just a bit larger than my mug mats. I've even incorporated a fabric that she shared with me months ago!

Brynwood Needleworks - Tea Mats

I'll finish binding them this morning, and they'll be in the mail before the end of the day. I'm tickled that I was asked to do this special pair of tea mats for them! I'm hopeful, when they arrive at their destination, there will be two happy, special ladies, too.

February 24, 2016

Kitchen Boss...

Brynwood Needleworks - Kitchen Boss

I have a new addition in our kitchen. "Bossy" is now on the wall in our above our cabinets, along with some of my blue & white transferware pieces.

I've had a lifelong affinity for barns and cows, so I really couldn't resist this when I saw her online. I bought her at DecorSteals.

Brynwood Needleworks - Kitchen Boss

She's enjoying a high place front and center in my special dish arrangement. I'm thinking she needs a little "something more". I considered a bay leaf wreath (which I still could do later) or a cow bell, but I want to make a blue & white toile scarf to go around her neck for now.

Brynwood Needleworks - Blue & White Transferware

Here's a closer look so you can see my Pembroke Welsh Corgi plate; black Labrador Retriever plate; Cypress Gardens (FL) plate (bottom center); Stephen Foster Memorial plate and my mother-in-law's bowl and pitcher set.

Brynwood Needleworks - Kitchen Boss and Blue & White Transferware
On the other side of Bossy is a Colonial Williamsburg souvenir plate (bottom center) from our travels; a Royal Copenhagen plate of a hunter and his dog (1977); a yellow Labrador Retriever plate; and (right next to Bossy's nose) Thomas Edison's (FL) Home souvenir plate. In the very bottom right corner, there is a blue transferware covered serving piece shaped like a duck sitting in a basket.

These are just a few of my favorite things, framing my latest addition. I will be dressing her in blue and white toile in the near future, and will share a photo once she's fitted out.

I played with the ladies at Nifty 50s yesterday. It started raining just before I left home, so rather than schlep my sewing machine and project outside, I grabbed my needlework ("Be Mine", most recently  seen HERE) instead. I'm almost finished with it, so I'll share that soon, too.

I'm into the studio today (of course, I am!). Time to get back to work. Catch you later!


February 23, 2016

Selvage Time...

Brynwood Needleworks - Selvages

Quilt week is behind me and I have commissions that need my attention. I'm doing one thing differently this year. I'm going to set aside one day a week to work on "my" projects. I don't intend to be caught short on time for my own projects again, and I think this will help avoid that.

I've chosen Monday as my personal play day each week. Of course, I already have those UFOs that I'll be able to tackle right away.

Brynwood Needleworks - Selvages

I have an overfull basket of selvages, thanks to my own projects and the generosity and kind hearts of my sewing friends. My plan is to make a queen size quilt using these colorful pieces. 

I already have 41 - 8 1/2" blocks done, and after a little calculating, I need 79 more before I can begin my quilt assembly.

Brynwood Needleworks - Selvages
It's so much fun to make these blocks. As I sort, iron and sew,  I remember projects I've made using my own selvages, but I also get to learn more about my friends' tastes as I come across selvages that they shared with me.
This quilt will be a cherished addition to my body of work because of all the friendships that helped create it. This is one of the ongoing projects I'll be joyfully building on upcoming Mondays.

February 22, 2016

Tuesdays With Tag - The Birthday Girl...

Brynwood Needleworks - Birthday Bella

Hi, Everybody!
I can hardly wait to share yesterday with you.
I was forced to have my picture taken with...

Brynwood Needleworks - Birthday Bella

The Birthday Girl. 
(She's back there. See?)

Brynwood Needleworks - Birthday Bella

I loved this picture...where I'm out in front, but let's face it...
today's post isn't about me. cough

Brynwood Needleworks - Birthday Bella

Dad thought it would be nicer if we sat next to each other.
I suppose I can do that, but I don't have to get cozy with her.
Bella smells funny, and she's a girl!

Brynwood Needleworks - Birthday Bella

What? You want me to "smile", Mom? Sure!

Brynwood Needleworks - Birthday Bella

This is as close as I'm gettin''. Are we almost done?

Brynwood Needleworks - Birthday Bella

Here she is...Birthday Bella. 
One whole year old.

Isn't she pretty? I'm so glad she lives with us. We really do have fun together. Let's just keep this between us, though, okay? I don't want it goin' to her head.

She had a good Birthday. We played with her tug toy; hung out at my pool; had some homemade snacks; and played fetch in the yard. Mom even groomed me and Dad groomed Bella. We were havin' fun and lookin' good. 

Happy Birthday, Black Dog.
We love you. (Did I just write that? gaaaahhhhh) 

I'll see you again in seven! 'til then...
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".

February 21, 2016

Getting Back To Normal...

Brynwood Needleworks - Art by Linda Ravenscroft
Sunday was a completely relaxing day for me. While Handsome readied his equipment to play a concert in Sarasota - and then played said concert - I only had to be an avid and engaged listener.

I took my knitting to work on while he and the other early arriving-musicians set up at the concert venue. Their patrons are so eager to hear them play that they always arrive well before the concert begins to get the "good" seats. We dined with friends afterward, and then came home to Tag and Bella.

Today is Bella's First Birthday! I wanted to make a big deal about it here today, but Tag insisted on writing all about it tomorrow. He doesn't always get his way around here, but I thought you might like to see the Birthday celebration through his eyes, instead of mine.

In the meantime, I'll be catching my breath and enjoying getting back to "normal" around here.

February 20, 2016

Sunday Scripture...

KarlaDornacher On Etsy
Link HERE to Karla's Etsy Shop.

February 19, 2016

Pineapples On Display...

Brynwood Needleworks - Birds In The Pineapples Quilt
For those of you who don't already know...I usually write my blog posts in the evening and the posts go live at midnight. It was a really looooong day, so this shall be a really short post.

This picture was taken on set-up day, after my pineapple quilt had been hung. Having been folded since Monday...and likely in the back of someone's car with a pile of other quilts waiting for Thursday - it's fairly wrinkled. I really wish we had a way to drag a steamer around the show floor to straighten out all the quilts prior to the show opening, but we don't.

This quilt received an Honorable Mention, and I was thrilled. I was very precise with the piecing and the quilting motifs turned out really nice. I'm going to list it to sell in my Etsy shop on Monday. I'll post on my Brynwood Needleworks FaceBook group page when it's up.

Day One of the show was a rousing success. The vendors were thrilled with their sales totals, and many said they'll definitely return in two years. Our attendees had gorgeous quilts to view, and quite a variety of vendors from which to choose.

As the Official Guild Photographer (OGP), I'll take two pictures of each quilt today...one of the whole quilt, and a second of the name tag (and any ribbons) to identify it. I'll be sure to take pictures of the vendor booths, too, if the shopkeeper will allow me. I'll share mosaics of all the quilts and vendors with you on Monday.

I hope you have a quiet, restful weekend, my friends. Handsome has a concert on Sunday, and I'm looking forward to sitting back and letting the music carry me away.