December 31, 2016

Balance...

Brynwood Needleworks via tinybuddha.com
 
I think this shall be my word for 2017.
"Balance" 
 
I spent yesterday putting away the contents of my luggage, unpacking my sewing machine and studio supplies that had traveled with me to Wisconsin, and taking time to rest. 

Today, I'll be going to Sarasota with Handsome to watch him play for an "early bird" New Year's Eve party, and then we'll go to a friend's home for a New Year celebration of our own. I'd say I'm off to a good start. 
 
If you have a pet, please keep them in a safe and quiet spot during the fireworks. So many furry loved ones are frightened by the sound of them. Safe is better than stressed. I hope all of you have a great night. 

Happy New Year's Eve

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December 30, 2016

Here Chick, Chick, Chick...

Brynwood Needleworks - Chicken Decor
 
When Handsome and I travel, we frequently stop at Cracker Barrel restaurants. (Of course, once we park the Airstream though, I love to provide home cooked meals for us.) Anyway, CB provides consistent, tasty meals...and I always have fun browsing the market that greets hungry travelers when they enter.

Brynwood Needleworks - Chicken Baskets
 
When we stopped to eat on this latest trip, I got the chance to check out their latest stock - in this case "livestock"! One whole display was dedicated to chickens!

Now, Handsome has nixed any ideas I might have about adding chickens (or anything else live) at the farm, aside from Tag and Bella. I agree that we couldn't possibly while we're only there part time. After all, Andy and Shelly take great care, watching over our place in our absence, but I think even they would say "no" to taking care of chickens in my absence. (Don't worry, Shelly. I wouldn't dream of it.)

But, I can't see a good reason that I couldn't have a chicken-shaped basket; or a hanging piece; or
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Chicken Shelf
 
this awesome-sauce chicken shaped shelf unit to hang in the kitchen! It's at least two feet tall and had all those shelves to hold my creamware pitchers or some of the gifts Shelly has given me since we bought our northern home!

I didn't buy anything this time, but I'm not making any promises if I happen to stroll into one of the local restaurants. (No chickens dressed in polka dots, but the rest...) What do you think? Yes or no?

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December 29, 2016

Always...

Brynwood Needleworks - Donna and Handsome
 
I met him in 1981 and it was love at first sight. Three years later, we were married. That was thirty two years ago. We're grandparents now. Such a wonderful life together, and many years ahead of us.
 
"I promise to join with you and share with you all that is to come, and with 
God's blessing, I will be faithful to you as he gives us life together." 
 
I remember the words we recited as though it were just yesterday.

Happy Anniversary, my beloved husband.
(Engraved in our wedding bands...)
"As before and always,
All My Love,"
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December 28, 2016

Season Of Joy...

Brynwood Needleworks - Season of Joy
 
My BFF, Lee and I managed to get together before Handsome, the pups and I left Wisconsin. It was so nice to see her again. You know how it is with dear friends. You don't see each other for long stretches of time, but the instant you're together again, it's like you never missed a beat. That's how it is with us.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Season of Joy

I gave her the 25¢ tour (Remember, it's not 50¢ until the remodeling is done), and explained what our plans are for the farm. Then we settled in to talk and catch up. 
 
We exchanged gifts, too. I gave her one of the Grab and Go Clutches I made, and she showed me it will fit perfectly in her handbag. Now I know which style handbag I want to make for her, too. I also gave her a little of my private stash of hickory nuts. I know she'll mix them into a batch of cookies.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Season of Joy

Then she gave me this tea set! It consists of a tea cup and saucer, a lid with a sweet bird perched on top, and a tea strainer for brewing loose tea. She added two English teas and a box of my favorite PG Tips English tea bags. 

She knows me well. I'm looking forward to Spring when we'll be able to share time, talk and a lovely cuppa tea together. It will be like we never missed a beat.

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December 27, 2016

Tuesdays With Tag - Boxing Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - Boxing Day At The Farm

Hi, Everybody!
 Tuesday sure came fast this week, didn't it?
It's hard to believe that it's almost time to start writin' "2017"!

Yesterday was out last day at Hickory Hill Farm for this year. While you're readin' this, Mom, Dad, Boo and I will be on the road, headin' back to Florida.

Although it was a windy one, Monday was sunny and warmer, and lots of snow was meltin'. Bella and I ran around the yard like maniacs and then we packed up our collars and food for our long drive to our southern home.

Brynwood Needleworks - Boxing Day Morning At The Farm
 
Mom took this picture of the sun risin' over the farm on Boxin' Day. She promised we'll be back real soon. We can't wait, but it's time to get back to warm weather and our swimmin' pool. 

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

December 26, 2016

Surprises At The Farm...

Brynwood Needleworks - Christmas Gifts from Andy and Shelly

I hope all of you had a restful and happy Christmas celebration. Our festivities began last Wednesday with one of our sons and his family, and will conclude today with a visit from my best friend and later, our other son and his family.

We had dinner with Andy and Shelly on Thursday evening. The meal they prepared was delicious - and we always enjoy their company. We got a tour of their home, and we exchanged gifts. We were so tickled with the gifts they chose for us.

Brynwood Needleworks - Christmas Gifts from Andy and Shelly

They asked Shelly's mom (who used to live in our farmhouse), about the nutcracker she used to shell those hickory nuts. They knew that I got blisters using a conventional nutcracker to shell the nuts I'd taken back to Florida, and wanted to give me some relief.

Janet said the nutcracker she uses is still available at True Value Hardware, so off Andy went and got one for me! I literally jumped out of my chair to hug him when I opened the box! They also gave me a big bag of nuts in the shell so I could practice!

In addition, there were more gifts from the farm. They gave us two more bags of shelled hickory nuts, a painted saw blade (I love the bluebirds and barn scene), and a large jar of honey from the hives just above our farm.

We gave Shelly one of the cork Grab and Go Clutches that I made, and also gifts they can share - a fuel card for Andy to help defray the cost of plowing our yard out this winter, and a gift certificate for a local restaurant where they can share a nice meal on us. We were so humbled by their generosity - they are both so giving - and we look forward to reciprocating in the coming years.

Brynwood Needleworks - Christmas Gifts From Our Neighbor

Yesterday, there was a knock at the door and one of our neighbors here on Hickory Road came up to welcome us to the neighborhood. Mary Jane wrote the sweetest note in the card she gave us.

Brynwood Needleworks - Christmas Gifts From Our Neighbor, Mary Jane
 
It was tucked into a beautiful basket filled with her homemade treats for us - and a fragrant bottle of hand cream for me. She must have a fly on the wall here. I've been going through hand cream like crazy in this drier air! 
 
We're looking forward to getting to know Mary Jane and our other neighbors better when the weather gets warmer. Once the farmhouse is finished, we'll invite all of them to join us here for a party to celebrate. We think 2017 is going to be a great year. 
 
Happy Boxing Day, everyone!
 
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December 25, 2016

Sunday Scripture - Christmas Day...

 
Merry Christmas From Our Home to Yours,
 Donna, Handsome, Tag and Bella

December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve At The Farm...

Brynwood Needleworks - Corgi Christmas

Hi, Everybody!

I know you probably missed my Tuesdays With Tag post this past week, but I can explain. We've been here at the farm for almost three weeks, and Mom told us Monday afternoon that Dad would be comin' to Wisconsin to join us at the farm for Christmas this year. We were pretty excited and started watchin' for him right away.

Brynwood Needleworks - Waitin' For Dad

Heck! After we told Bella, she just ran around the house whinin' and lookin' out the window for a glimpse of Dad's truck. What she forgot was that we have been usin' it, so we'd be goin' to pick him up at the airport, rather than havin' him drive down the driveway.

We all went to Milwaukee and got him, and then, after we both gave him smooches and cuddles, we all came back home together!

Brynwood Needleworks - Snow Falling At The Farm

It started to snow again yesterday afternoon, so we'll definitely have a white Christmas. Bella and I think that's absolutely, perfectly fine! We love runnin' around in the white stuff!

Brynwood Needleworks - Dad's Home

Once Dad was back here, Boo and I really showered him with affection. You know, snuggles, whiney noises and lots of leanin' on him. Speakin' for myself, his leg is a great pillow when I need to take a little nap.

Brynwood Needleworks - Contented Corgi

Ahhhhh, yes. Just perfect!

Brynwood Needleworks - Corgi Christmas Greetings

So, Boo and I want to wish all of you a wonderful holiday season, filled with all the treats and family  your heart can hold. We'll be celebratin' with the grandkids and the rest of our people, and we'll look forward to a new year with even more of the same.

I'll be back next Tuesday, reportin' again from the road as we head back to Florida, but for now, we're gonna enjoy this winter wonderland.

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

December 23, 2016

My Serendipitous Slippers...

Brynwood Needleworks - Slippers

In Florida, I rarely need slippers. I simply slide into a pair of flip flops and I'm good to go. Not so in Wisconsin. Winter nights and bare floors require something more than socks to keep your feet warm.

Handsome and I had a few things we wanted to pick up at Cabela's, so I added slippers to the list. I got a pair for each of us. Mine were a little "fluffier" than his, but they were both comfortable slip ons.

Yesterday, I was sitting in my chair with my feet up and he asked me to remove and pass one of my slippers to him, which I did. He was looking at the sole, so I asked him what on the bottoms of my slipper had caught his attention. His reply?

Brynwood Needleworks - Slipper Sole

"Did you realize that when you walk in these, you leave imprints of oak leaves behind?" He handed my slipper back to me and I looked at the bottom. Sure enough!

Imagine that! Without ever realizing it, I chose a pair of slippers with soles that must have been made with me in mind. How fun is that?

We had dinner last night with Shelly and Andy, but by the time we got home, it was too late to get good pictures. I'll take pictures today, and tomorrow, I'll show you what came home with us.

Today is our grandson's Birthday, so before I close, I want to wish him a wonderful day, a year filled with grand adventures...and lots of visits with Grandma and Grandpa at the farm!

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December 22, 2016

All Hearts Come Home For Christmas...

Brynwood Needleworks via Internet - Christmas Kiss
 
We celebrated Christmas with our younger son and his family yesterday. It was a wonderful day, spent with our beautiful granddaughters and their parents. We laughed, opened gifts, played games and shared stories. (The girls loved their Grammie's Jammies, by the way.)

I took lots of photographs, but haven't had time to edit them yet. Perhaps I'll share them later. For now, the images and memories in Grandpa's and my mind will warm our hearts. 
 
To see their faces was worth every mile, every snowflake, every driving north wind. We'll have more time with friends and family between now and Boxing Day, and we will savor every second. It's true. All hearts come home for Christmas.

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December 21, 2016

Christmas Joy...

Brynwood Needleworks-Joy Stocking

I found the perfect decoration for our side porch entrance to the farm. (This is not to be confused with the "Friends and Family" entrance closer to the driveway.)

Brynwood Needleworks-Joy Stocking

It's a sweet, felt and wool Santa stocking with my favorite word and sentiment. One of the reasons I love the word "Joy" is because of the silent "J" in our last name. For over thirty years that this has been my last name, I chose to associate that silent letter with this word. Now you know. (wink)

Handsome and I start our Christmas celebration festivities today with family. Tomorrow with new friends, and then we'll slide into the weekend. Now that Handsome is here, it will be a joyful Christmas, indeed.

For those of you who missed seeing a post from Tag yesterday...He's been having fun running in the snow, chasing Bella Butt and sharing our visits. He's going to post this week on Christmas Eve. He asked me to send smooches to all his fans, and he'll see you Saturday.

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December 20, 2016

A Birthday Surprise...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farm Bread Board

On Sunday, our younger son and his family came to visit me. I hadn't seen them to celebrate my Birthday because of weather, so they brought my gift with them.

Brynwood Needleworks - Farm Bread Board
 
They gifted me a new bread board with our farm name and date laser engraved into the wood. I told them I'll be hard-pressed to actually cut anything on it - front or back - but it will make a perfect surface for using as a cheese or snack tray.

Let's see...Sunday was December 18th. So far, I've extended this Birthday over two weeks! Not bad, eh? Actually, I drove to Milwaukee yesterday afternoon to pick Handsome up at the airport...the best gift of all.

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December 19, 2016

I'm Finished Holiday Sewing...

Brynwood Needleworks - Cross Body Bag Front

I won't say a lot today. I completed my projects for Christmas this year. The rest of our gifts will be baked or ordered to be delivered. I found a few great gifts for family members that will be arriving in time for Christmas and I decided to make a few treats rather than do more sewing.

I'm picking Handsome up at the airport this afternoon. He played his last holiday concert yesterday, so we'll be together with family for Christmas before we return to Florida.

Brynwood Needleworks - Cross Body Bag Interior

I like this cross body bag. It's my own design, and I'll likely make a few for my shop after I get back to my southern studio.

Brynwood Needleworks - Cross Body Bag

I made it with a nice, long strap; an exterior contrast pocket (the back of the bag is natural cork); and an interior zip pocket.

Brynwood Needleworks - Sloth Grab and Go Clutch

I also made two more Grab and Go Clutches as gifts. This one is sloths, and if you read my blog last year, you'll know who this will go to. (Sloth Crazy Granddaughter #2)

Brynwood Needleworks - Sloth Grab and Go Clutch Back

The reverse is natural cork,

Brynwood Needleworks - Sloth Grab and Go Clutch Interior

and the interior picks up the color of the geckos on the sloth fabric.

Brynwood Needleworks - Wizards Grab and Go Clutch

My last project was a wizard-themed clutch for Granddaughter #1.

Brynwood Needleworks - Wizards Grab and Go Clutch Back

These are perfect for their cell phones and a few extras...or school supplies!

Brynwood Needleworks - Wizards Grab and Go Clutch Interior

A few spells listed inside, just in case she can't remember them. You never know when they might come in handy.

I hope all of you are planning a nice week. I know we'll have a warm week, even if it is cold outside.
 
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