April 30, 2017

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via FaceBook

April 29, 2017

A Waterin' Hole...

Stock Tank Pool - FaceBook Group Image
Yesterday, I saw this image in a FaceBook (Airstream) group. Friends have been wondering if Tag and Bella might have a pool here at the farm. I've said that I thought a stock tank might be a fitting option. Digging a pool to use for three months (tops) in Wisconsin just seems silly. This tank would be a perfect solution - with the addition of a filtration system and a spigot (to empty it in the fall). 

Don't look for anything like this to happen this year (if at all). We have many other things planned for this summer...a new porch, and lots of family time. This is something that we'll contemplate for a future project. I wonder how big they make these tanks?


April 28, 2017

Warm And Sunny Inside...

Sendik's Daisies

I can't believe it actually snowed yesterday. It was warm enough that the snow melted, but it was a "chili and sweater" kind of day.

I shopped at Sendek's in West Bend last weekend. I saw potted, colored daisies, and of course, I needed to have one at the farm...for mom. The beautiful flowers now sit on our kitchen table - bringing sunshine into the house on a glum day.

A Cozy Corner
We're having lovely radiator covers made for all our cast iron heating elements here at the farm. When the weather warms up, we'll start by painting them all with a heat-tolerant, white paint. Then, they'll be covered with custom-made pieces that will look a bit like furniture.

Even so, our radiators are a warm part of the farmhouse, and they make for a cozy corner on a snowy day. I added a songbird embroidery - actually the last piece I finished before marrying Handsome - in the window, and then placed a lamp on the table in front of it. A warm, cozy spot, indeed.

I'm about finished organizing the kitchen area now, and have moved back upstairs to the studio rooms. One step forward, two steps back. I get everything cleaned up, open another box or three, and dang. There I go again. 

I'm making up new boxes to donate, as I work my way through what's left. I'll see if I can get the fabric room completed today so I can share photos with you tomorrow. Wish me luck!


April 27, 2017


Mary Engelbreit Image
I've been asked more than once why I'm in such a hurry to unpack and get the household settled. My answer? Simple. I can't relax with Handsome this summer, and I can't play in the studio if I have all these boxes to unpack.
I'm nearly halfway through emptying boxes and arranging the farmhouse, but a number of the boxes will remain packed for the time being. All the book boxes that were in our library in Florida are "shelfless" here. Until we decide where and what we want for them in this home, they'll stay safely tucked in their boxes.

I know I'm creating a home for us these days, but I'll be happy when we're more settled and I can again spend time creating in the studio. I was busy again yesterday, but didn't take any photographs. You don't really want to see packing materials, cardboard and short term chaos, do you? I didn't think so.

I'll be back tomorrow to share a little more progress. Until then, please enjoy the Mary Engelbreit image I found for you today. 


April 26, 2017

Farmhouse Renovation - Another Peek...

Buffet Area - After

I've been completing areas of the house now as I anticipate Handsome's arrival. I wanted to complete the dining room yesterday, and I think I have most of it done. I'm still waiting for radiator covers, and deciding what might be placed on any of the walls (if anything).

I showed you the finished paint on the buffet before, but I wanted to show you the areas adjacent to it now that I've placed all (except my favorite Spode, which is still with Handsome) on the shelves. My mother-in-law's banjo clock hangs to the left of the buffet, and Handsome's sailboat sits on an antique typewriter table to the right.

Yes. I think I can pronounce this makeover a success...at least to us! I've shared photos of the entire room with Handsome, and it has his seal of approval, too. I'm going to wait until the radiator covers are installed before I show you the entire room, but I'm lovin' how this turned out.

Buffet Before
I knew when I saw it the first day, that it would be a beautiful update. It remains true to this old farmhouse, with a new coat of paint to shine her up.

Today I'll be tackling the kitchen. I won't share that room until after we install new cabinetry and appliances. That isn't going to happen until this fall, so I'll ask you to be patient. Until then, we will have places to store our things in the pantry, or makeshift storage in the actual kitchen room. There will be appliances, but not our final choices. I think you'll like what we're planning, but I have more to do to make it livable for now. Boxes to empty and things to stow. Then, I'll be heading back to the studio. I can't wait to show you those rooms, so I'd better get busy!


April 25, 2017

Tuesdays With Tag - Dandelion Dogs...

Brynwood's Taggart
 Hi, Everybody!

I'm hopin' the weather is beautiful in your part of the country. It sure is perfect around here, and it's been great all week! Mom stops her work every once in a while to make sure we get some fun time outside.

We have dandelions in the yard now, and we're not gonna mow them down either. Mom said we need to keep them so that the bees (just wakin' up from their winter nap) have food. We've noticed them flyin' around, too. Our neighbors have hives just over the hill from us, so they'll be makin' honey, for sure!

Brynwood's Taggart

I've seen some other things flyin' around, too. Boo is lovin' this warmer weather, and she runs laps whenever she gets a chance. I chase her sometimes, but this day I was happy just to enjoy the green grass and sunshine.

Tag and Bella

She's behind me now, isn't she? She's not happy just lyin' around. She's gotta eat grass and snuffle the dandelions. What a goof!

Mom told us that Dad's gonna be here in less than two weeks. She wants to get more boxes emptied, and make the farm look really homey for him. That means our outside time is limited, so we'll enjoy it while we can. We'd really love to help her, but there's that age-old problem for us...no thumbs. Bad luck, Mom. hee hee

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

April 24, 2017

A Colorful Spring...


Every time I go outside, I find more color coming to the farm. This past weekend I walked out to find beautiful tulips blooming next to the farmhouse. There are a few clusters of them, but these were the only ones completely open so far. I'm sure it won't be long before the others follow.

Grape Hyacinths
What a lovely surprise when I found that these sweet grape hyacinths were blooming in the same bed with the blue scillas I shared last week! Between these two small flowers, ttheir flower bed next to the farmhouse porch is filled with color. I'll make sure that these are protected when we rebuild our porch this summer. 
As I empty boxes, the different rooms in the farmhouse go from organized to chaotic...if only for a short time as I put the box contents away. I'll continue to work in my two studio rooms this week. My nephew, Dan (easily the strongest man I've ever met. Seriously!) came yesterday and helped moved my antique dresser upstairs (alone!); my pattern file into the studio (with very little help from me); and a queen size box  mattress up and over our second floor airing porch (that one I wish I'd recorded on video!!). 
Honestly, I don't know how he does it, but he's not even out of breath as he performs these feats of strength! I'm grateful beyond words for his help. Now, I'll be able to put away my fat quarters (and more!) into the pattern cabinet - and my clothes into the dresser! If you need me, you'll know where I'll be.

April 23, 2017

Sunday Scripture...


April 22, 2017

Wisconsin Pincushion...

"Home" Pincushion Detail

My friend, Kathy came to visit me at the farm yesterday. She and I unpacked fabric boxes together in the studio. We got so much accomplished, and it was so much more fun to do this task with my friend.

Kathy brought a gift for me, too. She created another beautiful pincushion. I was so surprised to see the design. (In case you're interested, this is one of Lisa Bongean's - Primitive Gatherings designs.)

"Home" Pincushion
Her timing was uncanny. If you didn't see my blog post yesterday, please take a look. She hadn't read my post either, so when I showed her the print I found, she understood why I was so excited. This gift is sitting on my cutting table now, and I'm looking forward to using it when I start creating again (soon).

Thanks again, Kathy. I really, truly love every gift you've made for me...and this one is a fitting welcome back to Wisconsin. This one is very special. xo


April 21, 2017

My Latest Find...

"Love Brings You Home"
I had an appointment on Wednesday to get my Explorer serviced. It needed an oil change, and was also making the ominous "ticking" sound. Bad news was the my intake manifold had a crack and a sheared bolt requiring a $1400 repair. Good news was that I still have about 9,000 miles left on my extended warranty, and a phone call confirmed that everything (including a rental car to drive while my vehicle is in the shop) would be covered. whew!
Going to the dealership was great on another level, as my BFF, Lee works there, and she was able to visit with me while I waited for my vehicle. We're already looking forward to a summer spent catching up. 
On my way home, I stopped at the local Sendek's Market (one of my favorites), and I found this print in their decor section. It's a nice 11" x 14" size, and suitable for framing (and once framed, it will hang in the farmhouse). It captured my heart from the moment I saw it, and it got me to thinking.
Two sons and their wives; three grandchildren; two sisters; my dear aunt and uncle, and other local family members; countless friends (old and new), including my Wisconsin BFF; and now, Hickory Hill Farm. Once Handsome arrives, it will be perfect.
"Love Brings You Home."


April 20, 2017

It's A Start...

My Work In Progress
I showed you a room, filled with boxes, yesterday. Today, I can show you how far I got toward arranging my fabric studio. I knew I'd be able to add to my "empty box" count fairly quickly, but even I was surprised when I emptied twenty boxes (large and small) by the end of the day.

I decided to set up my cutting table, even though I have many more boxes to empty for this room, because I need the base cabinets for my flat fold fabrics. My table top measures 36" x 60", so I have plenty of room to roll out my projects.

Once this is set up (still a little adjusting to do), I'll put the flat folds into the openings and be even further along on my process. I'll hang my quilting rulers on the ends of the cabinets so I don't have wasted spaces. I also don't want them to be lined up on flat surfaces that I'll need for other things.

Where you see "ornaments" on the shelves there will be only fabric bolts. I only put them on the shelf as I cleared a box for the stack. In addition to a fabric room, I'll also have my small television/dvd player on the wall, and a chair so I can sit and stitch in this room if I want to.

It's supposed to rain overnight and tomorrow, so I think it'll be perfect weather for more of the same. I'll have to bring in the "big guns" again soon. There are boxes that ended up in this room that should have been taken downstairs, and I have to move a few pieces of furniture which are just too heavy for me to handle alone.

I'm being very careful not to strain my back. I have too much to do to just lie around nursing an injury. I'll get lots done, but take care of myself in the process. I'll share my progress again tomorrow.

April 19, 2017

Setting Up My Studio...

Fabric Studio - Shelving
My main shelf configuration was installed yesterday in my fabric studio. I'm blessed to have two rooms for my creative pursuits at the farmhouse, so one will be where I sew, and the other will be my fabric room.

Our son came up late yesterday afternoon to attach my shelves to the wall so they'll be nice and stable when I start to unload those boxes of fabric onto them. I wanted to start filling them up right away, but I have a ceiling fan with lights as my main only source of lighting in the room (for now) - and the bulbs are all burned out. (I have lots of light bulbs, but this fixture has the small base bulbs, which I don't have.) I had to wait until today for daylight to work.

I have a service appointment for my Explorer first thing this morning, but as soon as I get home, the cardboard is going to fly. Box by box, I'll work my way to a clear floor, and I'm really looking forward to it! (I'll pick up replacement bulbs while I'm out, too!)

More photos tomorrow, so you can see how far along I can get. I'm going to be so happy, just to be able to play with my fabrics for a little while. It's going to be fun setting up my new creative spaces here at the farm. What a great way to spend a day (or ten)!


April 18, 2017

Tuesdays With Tag - Watchin' The Black Dog Run...

Brynwood's Taggart

 Hi, Everybody!

I bet you've been wonderin' how I'm spendin' my time these days.
I'm sure you know that Mom is unpackin' boxes and makin' the farm cozy for when Dad gets here.

Tag, Standing Guard

That doesn't leave much time in the day for takin' Boo and me to do fun stuff. We're definitely makin' our own fun, and Mom isn't thrilled with some of it.

She had to give Boo a bath last week, 'cuz she rolled in some really awesome poop stuff! Mom was really (really) peeved. At first, Mom thought she could get away with cleaning Bella's neck scruff, 'cuz that's usually where we really rub in the good goop. But, when Bella had to go back outside (and Mom took her out on a leash), Mom saw that she was well and truly coated from head to toe. There was no option except a full immersion and soapin'.

Brynwood's Taggart

As soon as Bella was toweled off, Mom let her outside to dry off a bit (wearin' her trainin' collar to make sure she didn't go right back to the same nasty spot). That means, I just stood on the wall and watched that fool Labrador run around the yard like a crazy person. It did help her dry off, though. She ran back and forth, and back and forth some more.

Tag, 6 Years Old

I would have chased her, but I decided to save my energy. I didn't want Mom to get mad at me, too. I decided to just play it safe. Mom took a bucket of water and Jungle Jake and tossed it on the poo spot. Believe me, it's not nearly as appealing when it smells like soap.

We've got deer, turkeys, sandhill cranes, raccoons and squirrels around this place. I'm sure we'll soon find another "target of opportunity". hee hee We just have to be patient!

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

April 17, 2017

April Showers...

I relaxed all weekend. The weather was beautiful, even when it rained at night. I spent time with Sis, went shopping with Shelly, and hung around with Tag and Bella. 
Today begins another week, and I'll be back to emptying boxes. That doesn't mean I won't be thinking about the irises and other plants that are leafing out in our yard. Can the flowers be far behind?


April 16, 2017

Sunday Scripture - Easter...

Easter Blessings from our family to yours.


April 15, 2017

Waiting For Lilacs...

Lilac Buds At Hickory Hill Farm

We woke up to a sunny day here at the farm yesterday. It was chilly, but that wasn't stopping the trees and bushes from working on their spring attire.

Lilac Buds

From the looks of things, it shouldn't take long for the leaves to pop, and the flowers won't be far behind. This is just one of the lilac bushes here at the farm.

Tiny Flowers In The Grass

Of course, some of the flowers are already showing up in surprising places. These tiny blossoms are growing right up through the grass!

My Corgi On Patrol

Tag made sure I wasn't getting into trouble, and he wasn't either (for a change). Bella was off racing around the house when I took this shot. I love this little dog, and he looked so darn cute, standing there and watching me, that I had to capture the moment.

I've emptied over seventy boxes (and put away the contents) since Monday. I'm taking part of today off to go and play with our neighbor, Shelly, for a little while. We won't go far, but I need a breather. I'm a little tired of boxes, bubble wrap and paper. My hands are a dry mess, and I'm in need of some "retail therapy". Just what the doctor ordered, I think.


April 14, 2017

Unpacking Treasures...

Dresser Baby With Puppy

One fun aspect of opening boxes (some of which have been long-packed), is that I often unearth treasures I'd nearly forgotten. Today, I unpacked a box of items that held many pieces of my childhood. This dresser baby was one of them. 

When I was a child, I remember dusting this one, as well as another mirror image baby with a rabbit. Sadly, I broke that one one day, and only this one survived. I was told that it had been at least fifty years old when it was gifted into my family, and I remember seeing it all my life. It was eventually given to me. This piece would then be over one hundred years old.

Dresser Baby And Baby Skunk

Now that it's unpacked, I've got this baby resting on my vanity (yet to be repainted) until I bring in a new-to-me dresser. Once the dresser is in my room, I'll likely move it over there so that Valentina can stand on one side of my vanity. I'll decide once they're all in the room.

Tiny Skunk
When my friend, Stacey and I were at Valentina's (Antique store in Venice), I saw this tiny skunk. I told Stacey that, when I was a kid, I used to spend my allowance on knick knacks from time to time. I had actually purchased a mama and two baby skunks, and this piece was exactly one of the babies! After I told her the story, I put it back down, smiling at the memory. 
Stacey apparently picked it up when I wasn't looking and purchased it. A few days before I left Florida, she came over and gave it to me. She said, "To remind you of when you've been, and a friend here in Florida." 
Such a touching gesture. Stacey needn't worry. I'll see her again as soon as we get back to Florida in the fall. Until then, this tiny orphan will sit next to my dresser baby here at Hickory Hill Farm. 
NOTE: Yesterday, I shared a post about Mom's bowl and pitcher set. I admitted that I knew nothing of the age or hallmark to identify it. Thanks to one of my readers, my friend Danice, I can now give you a little more information about the set.
Danice wrote "Semi-vitreous procelain is mid-rated for absorbing water. It will absorb only a small amount of water. For indoor use only. As far as the maker's hallmark, KT & K is Knowles, Taylor & Knowles Company. Mid 19th century through early 1930's. Made in Ohio, USA. Very nice family heirlooms, and good antiques."
That information makes it even more fitting that it should now reside in our 1918 farmhouse. It would have been right at home when it was new. Thank you, dear Danice, for sharing this information with me. xoxo

April 13, 2017

A Gift...

Dried Flowers From The Farm

As I cut these dried hydrangeas from the bushes growing next to the farmhouse, I noticed new buds getting ready to open. Spring has definitely arrived at Hickory Hill Farm.

The reason I was cutting these was because I needed a bouquet for the bowl and pitcher set that Sis brought up last week. I knew this set was coming, as she told me she wanted me to have it for the house. She just wanted to wait until we were moved in to bring it.

Grandma's Bowl, Pitcher and Vase Set

This set originally belonged to Deb's grandmother, Lucille. I remember meeting her many years ago, before she passed. Deb remembers visiting Grandma at their cottage in Suamico (which I also visited), and actually using this set. The vase used to hold all the family's toothbrushes (14 of them), and she said that you had to remember from visit to visit which toothbrush was yours. lol

Flower Detail On Pitcher

After Grandma died, Mom (Grace) inherited it. From then on, it sat on its stand in Mom's home. Sis can't remember where the stand is these days, but these three pieces have weathered well. 

The floral detail is really lovely, and looks like a watercolor to me. The colors are soft and sweet, and they'll fit right in with the colors I have planned for the front bedroom.

This is the hallmark on the bottom of each piece. I don't know what it means, and haven't researched it yet, but it doesn't really matter.
Mom's bowl and pitcher set will sit on my dresser reminding me of her. I'll take good care of it now that it's come to live with me. It's another perfect touch for our farmhouse, and I'm so grateful that Sis entrusted it to me.