May 31, 2016

Busy Hands, Happy Heart...Always...

Brynwood Needleworks - Brynwood Acorn Pincushion

I know Tag told you I was dealing with a bum back over the weekend. Not one to feel sorry for myself, I drew some new designs. Then I grabbed wools, threads and needle so I could keep my hands busy.

I made this pincushion, fully expecting to list it in my online shop when it was completed. Instead (big surprise), I fell in love with my acorn pincushion and decided to keep this first one.

I created a listing for a limited edition of this design pincushion, available in my shop. I haven't decided how many will be available yet, but each one will be created by me and will be slightly different from the others. I don't draw the flourishes. Rather, I stitch them as I go, so no two will be exactly alike.

I've already started creating them for clients, and I finished another one last night while I visited with my friends at Paneras.

Brynwood Needleworks - Flowers Go 'Round Pincushion
 
I received the most beautiful Mother's Day card from one of our sons. The design on the front of the card was the inspiration for this pincushion. I wanted to do at least one design on light-colored wool, and this was perfect for it. "Flowers Go 'Round" is already listed in my shop and is available to go to a new home. 

My back is all mostly better now, and thanks to my needle tools, I was happy even when I wasn't feeling 100%. 

I'm working on wallet commissions now. #45, 46 and 47 will be created this week. I'll show you a few photos of those tomorrow.

DonnaAcornSignature

May 30, 2016

Tuesdays With Tag - Holiday Exhaustion...

Brynwood Needleworks - Sleepy Tag

Hi, Everybody!

I'm goin' to keep this short this week. Bella and I had a great, long weekend. On Friday, Dad and Bella Butt went to Uncle Mike's for the day. Mom and I stayed close to home and spent time in the studio.

On Saturday, Mom was stretching and put out her back (again), so I was her nurse until she felt better. She's okay now, thanks to me!

Otherwise, we spent a lot of time with Mom and Dad, doing what we love best. There was runnin', swimmin', ridin' in the truck, and more swimmin'. It was a perfect weekend for it, but I don't want to bore you with more pool pictures or videos this time.

I'm gonna just rest up for now. Mom has more commissions this week, so I think I'll just hang out in the studio with her for a couple of days.

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

May 29, 2016

Memorial Day...

Punch Needle Art by Michelle Palmer
 
Michelle's patterns and art available HERE.
 
DonnaAcornSignature

May 28, 2016

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks - Web Image
DonnaAcornSignature

May 27, 2016

Daisies and Hollyhocks...

Brynwood Needleworks - Bradley English Daisy Detail

When I owned Stitches (in Wisconsin), I traveled to trade shows and met Elizabeth Bradley. I was then exposed to her lovely Victorian woolwork cross stitch kits. I fell in love with them, and purchased them to carry in my shop.

Of course, I would need to own a few of the kits myself. I chose four or five of the floral kits, and I still haven't worked the majority of them.

Brynwood Needleworks - Bradley English Daisy Canvas

From what I can see, I last told my blog readers about these in 2013, so on the off chance you're not familiar with them, here are two of her designs. You can read that post HERE.

I worked the English Daisy (16" square) canvas in 2001. It took me six weeks to stitch. We were committed to moving to Florida, Handsome was already here and I was in Wisconsin, packing our belongings. In the evenings, I stitched.

The result was maintaining my sanity and this gorgeous completed canvas. I decided then, that I wouldn't frame it or make it into a cushion (or anything else) until I completed the rest of the kits I own.

Brynwood Needleworks - Bradley Hollyhocks Kit
 
I have the Lily, Magnolia, Sunflower and this one...Hollyhocks. (I may still need to get the Geranium kit, too.) 
 
All were chosen for their special meaning to me. I've decided that when I'm ready, Hollyhocks will be next. Perhaps on our next trip in the Flying Cloud would be a good time. I think I'll put it on the scroll rods soon, so I'm prepared. You never know when I'll get the "itch to stitch".
 
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May 26, 2016

Woolen Strawberry Pincushions...

Brynwood Needleworks - Wool Strawberry Pincushions Detail
 
Rather than work on my hexies at Nifty 50s on Wednesday, I chose instead to do a little woolwork. I completed them Wednesday evening and assembled them into pincushions yesterday.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Wool Strawberry Pincushions
Each pincushion measures approximately 7.5" long x 4" wide, and is filled with crushed walnut shells. They can be used as pincushions (without doing any harm to the applique' or stitching at all!), or to display a collection of favorite brooches. Both are available and listed in my Etsy shop HERE.

UPDATE: "Right Leaf Up" already SOLD - Thank you!
I hope you're all looking forward to the first real weekend of summer. I sure am!

DonnaAcornSignature

May 25, 2016

There's A Fairy In My Garden...

Brynwood Needleworks - Guardian of My Container Garden

While I'm confident in my needle skills, I've never considered myself to be a gardener. It's not that I don't want to be a gardener. It's more like...well...stuff dies on my watch.

My forte' is the whole category of "succulents". They thrive on my neglect. In fact, I have a jade plant that came from a hedgerow in my brother's yard in LA about thirty years ago. Florida's rainy season tried to kill it, but I managed to save a piece of it, which still lives in a sheltered, protected pot.

Brynwood Needleworks - Container Garden Lettuce and Celery

Nevertheless, I don't give up. Isn't life like that? "If at first, you don't succeed..." Yup. That's me.

You've read before about a little trick I learned. Tag wrote about rooting the "cut offs" from store-bought vegetables HERE. It really works!

Brynwood Needleworks - My Little Container Garden

In addition to my newly-rooted celery and romaine lettuce, I also have chives (a childhood fave of our elder son), basil and one "Heartbreaker" (heart shaped) cherry tomato plant. I want to add mint and cilantro next.
I must be doing something right these days. We've had multiple harvests from the Heartbreaker to add to our salads, and there's nothing quite like the flavor of fresh basil on our pizza and sandwiches. All in all, I'm getting the feeling I might be able to do this. At the very least, I'm going to need a bigger table for my pots!

DonnaAcornSignature

May 24, 2016

A Little Monkey Business...

Brynwood Needleworks - Monkey Business Quilt In Process

I'm working on a new child-size quilt for a special kidlet I know. I've chosen a fabric that's really appropriate for the little one, and I'm having fun putting it together.

I cut my yardage into 10" squares and then into half square triangles. Once I'd sewn them together, I played around with placement to decide the pattern I wanted for the finished blocks.

Brynwood Needleworks - Monkey Business Quilt In Process
 
I settled on pinwheels. It's one of my favorite designs, and because of the size of my finished blocks, they'll create big pinwheels, which will finish quickly. 
 
I'll work on it over the rest of this week and send it off as soon as it's done. I'll be calling this one "Monkey Business".


Today is Nifty 50s with the girls in Harbour Heights, so I'm taking a portable project. (Mainly because I'm too lazy to schlep my sewing machine and supplies with me.) I'll be working on my Plum Sweet hexies project again. Good times!
DonnaAcornSignature

May 23, 2016

Tuesdays With Tag - Same Stuff, Different Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag and Bella Are At It Yet Again

Hi, Everybody!
If you're sick of pool pictures, and swimmin' dogs, I'd almost like to apologize.

Bella's a really quick learner. She's done some pretty impressive things in her short life, mainly because you only have to tell her somethin' once or twice.

Let's take her biological clock, for instance. At exactly 5 o'clock, she watched me run back to Mom's studio to remind her that it's dinnertime...Time To Feed The Corgi! (and now the Labrador, too). Didn't take her long at all to catch onto that program!

Well, now she's decided that at 4 o'clock, everybody should drop everything so she can go swimmin'...and she's really pushy about it, too. There's absolutely NO denyin' her. She bugs Dad until he goes and bugs Mom. She won't go out with just me and swim either. Mom and/or Dad have to be in the pool or she whines to come back in!

Brynwood Needleworks - Swimmin' Tag Left

Before you know it...I'm swimmin' to the deep end, and...

Brynwood Needleworks -Swimmin' Tag Right

then, I'm swimmin' back to the shallow end.
(It's all deep to a Corgi!)

Brynwood Needleworks - Two Swimmin' Dogs

Remember that video we put up a little while ago? Well, Bella puts in more time on the waterfall than our grandkids do when they're here to visit! 

Brynwood Needleworks - Waterfall

And yesterday, she climbed onto the highest part (that rock juttin' out on the left) and jumped right into the deep end. I'm gonna have to start callin' her Circus Dog!

Brynwood Needleworks - Yet Again

So, yup. We're mostly wet and "moldy", or we're sheddin' like crazy.  I can't let her swim around alone, after all. It's gonna be a long summer, folks. The struggle is real.

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


May 22, 2016

Monday Is Mailing Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - Corgi Tote Detail; "Made For Me" Medallion

Today is mailing day. 
This is one of the custom orders I completed on Saturday.
As the medallion says, "Made for me", for my client.

Brynwood Needleworks - Corgi Tote and Wallets Custom Order

She ordered the Corgi tote and two Corgi wallets with matching straps and key fobs. 
These two wallets are #43 and #44.

Brynwood Needleworks - Corgi Custom Wallet Monogrammed Interior Flap
 
 I even added her monogram to the interior flap.

I have this order, along with two others that are ready to new homes. Everything will ship today, and a portion of the proceeds from this sale are donated to CorgiAid. If you're interested in a tote/wallet combination of your pet's breed (including cats, horses, or your favorite pet), you can find the custom listing HERE in my shop. I've also started adding fabric to my shop, so take a look around while you're there.
 
Then, there's a little matter of homekeeping on my agenda. The dogs have been in the pool every day, which means they've been blowing coat like crazy. If I don't vacuum and sweep, our floors will look like shag carpeting
 
I have two new custom orders to do later this week, so I'll be sure to get my homework finished today. I'm also doing a kidlet quilt for a special little guy, too. I'll share that on Wednesday. Tag's back tomorrow.

Wishing you a great week! Make it a fun one.

DonnaAcornSignature

May 21, 2016

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via FaceBook
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May 20, 2016

She'll Be Missed...

Brynwood Needleworks - Diva Helen
 
Handsome and I moved to Florida in 2001. After spending too long just hanging out at home, I decided to relearn knitting and get out to meet some new people. 
I met Helen in 2008 through a mutual friend (Netta) when I joined Project Linus to knit children's blankets. Helen was also a member of our Tuesday evening Panera's group. 
Helen was a dear, sweet friend and I loved her infectious smile. She had a wicked sense of humor, and made the best desserts to share with all of us when we got together. I have a tiny doll in a locket that she made and gave to me. She was a talented dollmaker years ago. She loved to travel, too.

Yesterday morning, I received a call to tell me that Helen passed into the everlasting on Thursday evening. She was preceded in death by her husband, and is survived by four children (and her grandchildren). She will be missed by her family...and remembered fondly by those of us who called her "friend". 

Rest well, Helen.
xo

DonnaAcornSignature

May 19, 2016

Why Handmade Matters...

Brynwood Needleworks - Brynwood Image
 
I came across THIS article yesterday and thought it was worth sharing. If you're a creative soul, and you sell your creations to others as I do, you might also find this interesting. (Click the word "THIS" in the first sentence to link to the article.)

I've told you before about my "creative imperative"...my unceasing desire to make things for our home, family, and for others. The article spoke to me on the subject of sharing - either through gifting or sales - and gives a perspective on the value of what we do.

I believe you already value handcrafted. This article helps you to place the highest value (not necessarily in dollars) on the creations of your hands and heart. I think the article is appropriate and informative, whether or not you sell your creations. Enjoy!

DonnaAcornSignature

May 18, 2016

I Meant To Do It...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tote In Progress

Ever have one of those days? Well, I have...and Handsome (my very own Jiminy Cricket) said I should tell you about it. "You always post your successful completions. Maybe it would be good to share a mistake once in a while."

Yeah...um...okay, honey. So, here I am telling you about a mistake I made.

You can see how far I got on the tote (ready to assemble the lining), when I realized I'd made a mistake. (And it was looking so good, too!)

Brynwood Needleworks - Tote Pocket Fronts

I had stitched out the Corgi embroidery for the front pocket (below the zipper), but assembled my whole (perfect) pocket using plain fabric. I put it on my sewing table to admire my work, and saw the embroidered piece on the table...instead of installed into the pocket assembly. (I might have said a bad word, which is why Handsome came back to the studio to see what was wrong.)

The tote I've started will be set aside for now. I'll complete it later (without an embroidery), and then listed in my shop after I finish this order. I started over to make the new tote that includes the Corgi embroidery.

Brynwood Needleworks - Tote Pocket Detail
 
I'm nearly finished making it now, but decided to show you the entire correct tote when the wallets are finished, too. 
I could say, "I meant to do that", but the truth is I didn't. Now that my mistake new design option is out of the way, let's hope there are no more for the balance of this project. 
 
DonnaAcornSignature

May 17, 2016

She's Back To Work...

Brynwood Needleworks - #43 and #44, Plus A Matching Tote

Destiny and I have been busy. We're in the process of creating Brynwood clutch numbers 43 and 44, and a matching tote. These were all ordered by a FaceBook friend I met through our Corgi connection. She has two adorable lowriders (a nickname for our favorite short-legged breed).

I'll be working on these the rest of this week to complete them by the weekend. You know how much I love making these, so it's all fun for me.
 
DonnaAcornSignature

May 16, 2016

Tuesdays With Tag - A Rascally Visitor...

Brynwood Needleworks - Afternoon Visitor

Hi, Everybody!

No pictures of me or The Black Dog today. I'm too excited to tell you about our visitor this week. It's one of the things we love about livin' where we do.

Mom was workin' in the studio and saw somethin' movin' right outside her window. She has a triple date palm there, and she was surprised to see a raccoon chasin' a lizard up the tree! The lizard got away, but there was another one in the grass, so the raccoon darted off to get it.

Brynwood Needleworks - The Visiting Raccoon

She watched the raccoon as it moved around so close to her, and she didn't tell me about it because she was worried I might bark my fool head off. (I think she might have been right!)

Brynwood Needleworks - Interested In The Pool

After toolin' around in the yard, he (I don't know if it was a boy or girl, so I'm sayin' "he") strolled right into our courtyard and actually checked all Mom's empty flower pots for lizards before noticing the pool.

He made his way to the screens and stood up 'cuz there was a lizard on the inside of the screen. He actually put his paws up and banged on the screen like he was tryin' to knock it down! (It didn't work.)

Brynwood Needleworks - Raccoon Changing Focus

What happened next really tickled Mom. He turned around and headed right toward the window where she was watchin' him!

She very lightly tapped on the window and the raccoon looked right at her! He didn't snarl or act stoopid. He just looked at her with healthy, bright eyes, and then...

Brynwood Needleworks - Well, Hello!

stood right up and looked at her. "Pardon me, ma'am. Would you happen to have any fresh shrimp?" He just stayed there for the longest time before turnin' around and walkin' away.

When Mom told Dad, Bella and me about it, she said she didn't want to give it any treats because it might get too friendly and hang around. I've heard that raccoons can be fierce if they encounter dogs. I think Mom has a good plan to leave it alone. Better safe than sorry, we say.

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

6

NOTE: Hi, it's Donna here. I just want to answer a concern that you might have reading Tag's post this week...

I've seen the raccoon around the neighborhood over the past couple of weeks. It's not ill, and after asking a few questions of a friend in wildlife rescue, it's not uncommon for females to be out foraging for food to feed themselves and/or their young. So many animals become acclimated to getting food from humans, and this raccoon may have been fed by some of our neighbors in the past. After all, it's pretty darn cute. 

I won't be leaving any food around for it, though. As Tag mentioned, dogs and wild raccoons don't play well together, and I don't want to facilitate any ruckuses around here. No worries. This is not a rabid raccoon either. It's healthy and will do well if we just leave it alone.  

Oh, and apologies for the through-the-screens-crappy photos. It couldn't be avoided.

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