January 31, 2017

Tuesdays With Tag - I'm Published...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag's Book

Hi, Everybody!
I'm so excited to talk to you this week. I'm a "published author"!

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag's Book

Mom used an online service called "Cutest Blog On The Block" to print out all my weekly blog posts.

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag's Book

She's made blog books of her stuff before, but this is the first time she's done a book for me. This one has every post I wrote in 2016 between the covers. All of my thoughts, adventures (and dry wit) are preserved for posterity!

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag's Book

It begins the first week in January and ends with my last post in December. Mom even put a fun picture of Bella and me runnin' in the snow at the farm, on the back cover. What a great end to a great year...and a great book!

Hey! I just realized that next year's book will have an entry about this year's book. How cool is that? Just let me know if you want my autograph. hee hee

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

January 30, 2017

Prepping Labels...

Brynwood Needleworks - Labels In My Vintage Tin

We had our Open House yesterday, so I was away from home most of the afternoon. When I got home (to a sparkling clean abode!), I decided to do some prep work for my bag projects. In addition to setting up my d-ring tabs for my next batch of Grab & Go Clutches, I had some label prepping to do, too.

This is how I store them (until I have too many to put fit). I use a vintage English Huntley & Palmer children's biscuit tin that I've had for decades. The froggy on the lid is from "The Wind In The Willows", one of my favorite childhood stories. I even have a vintage copy of the book, which I would have shown you, but it's already packed to go to the farm.

Brynwood Needleworks - Prepping Labels

Even my label setup is production style now. I start with my woven labels from CustomCoutureLabelCo on Etsy. (In fact, I just placed another order with them.) Then I take long 1.25" strips of natural cork. I make the strips from scraps leftover from making bags, wallets and my other cork pieces.

I use a glue stick to secure the labels - centered on the width of the strip(s) - and about .75" apart, lengthwise. Once they're glued down to the strips, I set my machine to make tiny stitches and sew each one to the cork. I cut them apart when I'm finished and into the tin they go!

Today, I'll cut the pieces and assemble the parts to make new Grab & Go Clutches. Once they're finished, I'll list them up in my shop.

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mats

Just a reminder that there's still time to sign up for our March Mug Mat Swap. You can read about it HERE. I've put together a list of those who have already signed up, and we've have a nice group so far. There's always room for more, so if you'd like to join in, just email me using the link in my right side bar. Be sure to put "Mug Mat Swap" in the subject line so I don't miss it.
 
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January 29, 2017

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks - FaceBook image
 
Thanks to my friend, Lucy G. of The Farmer's Attic
for sharing this on her FaceBook page.

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January 28, 2017

Number 62...

Brynwood Needleworks - 61 - Cairn Terrier Crossbody WalletSet

Number 62 is a commission piece. My client wanted a Cairn Terrier embroidered on cork with a plaid lining. The terrier designs are from a collage of sketches, which were separated to highlight single poses.

Brynwood Needleworks - Cairn Terrier "Stacking" Pose Embroidery

The standing pose was chosen for the outside flap. I chose colors that resembled her pup's coloring. (I was provided a photograph of her sweet dog, but I didn't ask for permission to share it with you, so I can't do that.)

Brynwood Needleworks - 61 - Cairn Terrier Crossbody Wallet Interior

The interior is green plaid, and the credit card slots are cork. I chose a paw print fabric for the lining of the coin compartment. (And, although you can't see it in this picture, even the snap on the security tab has a paw print!) My client chose a sitting pose for the embroidery on the interior side of the flap, along with her pup's name.

Brynwood Needleworks - 61 - Cairn Terrier Crossbody Wallet Back
 
Every piece I create bears the "Brynwood" signature. I choose only the finest materials. My cork fabric comes from Portugal and has a fabric backing, rather than rubber used on some corks. I also choose high quality hardware, and cotton or canvas fabrics for linings and trim.

Brynwood Needleworks - My Cork Fabric Selections

I have a nice selection of colors and patterns for the pieces I create, and look forward to adding to my assortment. I'll be using these colors to create new items for my shop in the near future. In case you're not familiar with cork, let me tell you about it.

Cork is anti-microbial and hypoallergenic. It's also washable! My wallets can be wiped clean with a damp cloth, and come treated with Scotchgard© from the manufacturer, but it it's really soiled, you can hand wash it in cold water with a mild detergent. (I'd remove the zipper pull first.)

Cork also feels wonderful, and isn't brittle at all. It's soft to the touch, and really unlike any other material. In humid climates, like here in Florida, it's actually better than leather. It won't get moldy either (that's the "antimicrobial" feature)!

As you can tell, I'm really sold on this fabric. I know that pieces made from it quickly become favorites. I only have one cork crossbody piece available in my shop right now. They sell almost as quickly as I can make them! (I only have the one Vintage Hibiscus Crossbody left from the first five I made!)


I'm busy with homekeeping today. We have an Open House tomorrow, so I have things to do to get ready for it. But afterward, I'll be preparing more cork for crossbody wallets, and I'm going to make a few handbags. I need a new one for myself, too!

Time to go. The sooner my work is done, the sooner I can play!

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January 27, 2017

I'm In The Studio...

Brynwood Needleworks - Sewing Station

I've stepped out of my studio (and my new, comfy chair), so take a second to let you know what I'm doing today.  I'm completing orders, and setting up new projects to stock into my shop.

We have an Open House on Sunday, so tomorrow we'll be getting prepared for showings again. Today, I need to finish my work so I won't feel guilty about doing something else over the weekend.

Tomorrow's post will be sharing some of my finishes. But, today, I'd better get to work. Lots to do. I wish you could join me to keep me company. It's always more fun with friends.

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January 26, 2017

Meet Miss Sadie...

Brynwood Needleworks - Singer 600e Sewing Machine

In 2016, our quilt guild had their most recent quilt show. (Our next one is in 2018.) One of the fabulous features of our show is our Boutique. Guild members make and donate everything from pincushions to thread catchers to aprons and placemat & napkin sets. Members also donate fabric scraps (4" square and larger), magazines and books related to sewing and quilting, and even used tools.

I was heading out of the Boutique after making a few purchases and passed this machine on my way out. I asked one of the ladies working behind the checkout table if it had been sold yet. She told me it was still available. I got out my checkbook and immediately paid for it.

Brynwood Needleworks - Singer 600e Sewing Machine

This machine is a vintage Singer Touch & Sew Model 600E. I've cleaned her up and named her "Sadie".  She and Kenny are going to get on famously. Hazel moved to a new home last fall, so Sadie will take up the slack.

Brynwood Needleworks - Singer 600e Sewing Machine Attachments

She came with a full array of accessories. All of her presser feet, ruffler, sole plates...everything was included.

Brynwood Needleworks - Singer 600e Sewing Machine Stitch Cams
 
In addition to the cams that came in the original attachments box, there was another box of cams (they each represent a specialty, decorative stitch that adds to the machine's stitch assortment), and finally, a full box of additional bobbins.
 
The table that Kenny has been sitting on wasn't made for Kenmore machines, so he was never "bolted in". However, Miss Sadie is a perfect fit, so she'll be installed into that table, and Kenny will get a new-to-him table after we move him to the farmhouse. 

Both machines will be helpful when it comes to my bagmaking endeavors, so I want to make sure they're completely comfortable. Sadie will get a spa date in the near future, but for now, she'll just hang out with Destiny, Kenny, my little Janome, and me in the studio.
 
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January 25, 2017

Number 61 Finished...

Brynwood Needleworks - 61 - Batik Crossbody Wallet and Straps

Black cork is one of my favorite colors. 
It always looks so classy when it's assembled.

I finished this one on Monday, but Tag told me I couldn't share it with you yesterday. He's pretty defensive when it comes to his Tuesday's posts.

Brynwood Needleworks - 61 - Batik Crossbody Wallet
 
The interior is red batik, and there's a beautiful starfish fabric inside the coin comparment. The credit card compartments are created with cork, rather than fabric. 

I'm meeting with my client to deliver it today. I'm pretty sure she's going to love it. I'll definitely use this combination, too!
 
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January 24, 2017

Tuesdays With Tag - Baby, You Can Drive My Car...

Brynwood Needleworks - Bella Truckin'

Hi, Everybody!

It's me, Tag. I'm writin' about Bella this week.
She's been beggin' me again, so I thought this today would be a good time.

Brynwood Needleworks - Bella

Dad likes to leave the windows open on the truck when he works outside (or loads up his drums and stuff). Usually, Bella will snuffle around the yard lookin' for pinecones, but if he opens a door, or she's manages to catch him goin' in or out, she'll hop right up there! She kinda looks stylish when she sits in the driver's side. (You better not tell her I said so!)

Now, if you look real close, you'll see a black spot toward the back of her tongue. Uncle Mike told me that, somewhere in her bloodline is a dog named, Twig. All his descendants have that tell-tale black spot. So if you've got a black spot on your tongue, you don't even need Ancestry.com. (Just so ya know.)

Brynwood Needleworks - Bella "Wanna Ride?"

Look at that face. Really. Even I have to grudgin'ly admit she's easy on the eyes. You should see her reaction when she realizes that she's simply a seat warmer, 'cuz Dad isn't going anywhere or taking her along. She can pout and whine like a pro! hee hee

Brynwood Needleworks - Bella, Checkin' out

All that moochin' to go for a ride takes a lot out of a girl. She really needs her beauty rest, and I don't want to get in the way of that! (Cheeky dame even gets up on my leather sofa!)

I'll be back next time. I know you come here to read all about me, so I don't want to disappoint. 

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

January 23, 2017

Finishing Number 61...

Brynwood Needleworks - 61 - Batik Crossbody Wallet Parts

I started working on Number 61 for a client, and will finish it today. This one is black cork with red floral batik. Of course, I'm using my newest favorite antique brass hardware, too.

Brynwood Needleworks - 61 - Batik Crossbody Wallet Parts
 
The credit card section, exterior, wristlet and crossbody strap are already finished. I'll make the zipper section and then assemble everything together. I'll be starting something new by noon!

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January 22, 2017

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks - Web Image
 
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January 21, 2017

Number 60...

Brynwood Needleworks - #60 The Wanderer Traveler's Wallet

This is my 60th wallet! This is The Wanderer Traveler's Wallet...and it's one of my favorites to make. I love the map fabric paired with the cork, and then I add a machine embroidered compass to the flap. I think it's a classy crossbody, for sure!

Brynwood Needleworks - #60 The Wanderer Traveler's Wallet Interior
 
Number 60 is already on its way to a new home, and I'm moving to number 61. It's good to always be looking forward, and I certainly am. 

Of course, there'll be some Balance this weekend. The Packers are playing on Sunday, so we'll be going to a Packer party, hosted by friends, to cheer them on. Go, Pack!
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January 20, 2017

Good Morning, Handsome...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Handsome" Spoon

One day, while "exploring" Etsy, I came across a shop called "Sweet Mint Handmade". The first image that came up was a handstamped spoon that screamed "Buy Me!". Honestly, if I get screamed at, I listen. I immediately made my purchase, and anxiously awaited the arrival of this piece. It was here in no time at all.

Brynwood Needleworks - "Handsome" Spoon

I gave it to Handsome on Tuesday afternoon. My guy loves cereal for breakfast, so aside from the sentiment stamped in the bowl of the spoon, it was appropriate from a utilitarian perspective. He loved it (and actually used it yesterday morning)!
 
Chloe (the creative face behind Sweet Mint Handmade) has no idea I'm writing a blog post about her shop. I'm in no way compensated for my endorsement (for the 10¢ it's worth. lol), but when I love something, I like to share it with you. 
 
Take a little virtual excursion over to her shop HERE, and enjoy checking her out. I know I'll be going back for gifts in the future! (pssst. She does custom wording, too! squeeeee)
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January 19, 2017

Mug Mat Swap Information...

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mat Ideas

Thanks for your response to the Mug Mat Swap I proposed yesterday. We will definitely do the swap, and based on your responses, it will be in March. March 17th (St. Patrick's Day) will be the mailing deadline.

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mat Ideas

I thought I'd share more images of some of my mug mats to inspire you to think about how you'd like to make yours. I love making mine with scrappy, coordinating fabrics, and then I add vintage laces, printed tapes, or other trims. I avoid buttons in the main section of the mat so that the recipient won't have to worry about cups tipping over because of the uneven surface.

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mat Ideas

I also like to incorporate portions of stitching or quilt blocks. I also do surface sewing to hold the layers together (I always have three layers...top, batting and back). I've been asked if I intend to share a tutorial on my technique. The answer is yes!

In fact, if you go to the top of my blog page, you'll find a "Free BW Patterns & Tutorials" button up there. Click on that, and then you can scroll down for two different tutorials. (Click on the name of the item, not the photo.)

One is for a photo tute I posted to my Flickr page showing my favorite technique for creating my mats. If you click on the first photograph, you'll not only see the photo, you'll also be able to read my instructions under the photo's captions.

The second tutorial is also a Flickr photo tutorial for my "White Wing Dove Mug Mat", and it includes the template to make the dove shape. (Both are free tutorials, so you're welcome to them, whether or not you join our Mug Mat Swap - but I hope you will!).

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mat Ideas
 
You can even choose one of your favorite fabrics and showcase the fabric on part or all of the front of your mat.
Now that it's certain that we're going to do a swap, here are a few housekeeping items as we move toward our exchange date. These are things I'd like you to think about:
  • I will need your name, address and email information to correspond with you outside the blog, and to transmit your partner's information to you. I may post partner lists on the blog, but not your private information. It will not be shared with anyone except your swap partner.
  • What's your favorite color or theme? Your swap partner will need an idea of what you like to make your custom mat. When I assign you to your partner, I will share that information with them, and their information with you.
  • Yes, you may add a few goodies to your package when you ship the mat. If you want to share a local candy, or something that represents where you live, that would be nice. Nothing expensive, please. These are just little things...a tea bag of your favorite tea, a postcard from your state, or a treat. You'll need to make sure that whatever you include doesn't "leak" onto your mat, so separate ziploc bags are a safe precaution. You could choose to include a notion or two that you especially love...vintage buttons, ribbon... You get the idea.
  • Remember, you're committing to send a mug mat to your assigned partner. It would be sad (and not nice) if your partner sent a mug mat to you, but they didn't get one in return.
  • I'll ask that you each take a photograph of your swap packages before you send them out, and then email them to me. Once everyone has their package in the mail, I'll do a wrap up post here on my blog. I think it will be fun for everyone to see all the beautiful creations I know are going to be made.
Sign Up Deadline will be February 1st. You have plenty of time yet to decide to participate, and I'll assign swap partners the first week in February.
I'm going to make a few mats of my own, and once our Swap is complete, I'm going to take the names of all the participants and draw one or two names to receive mats and gifts from me. So, please email me or comment on this or yesterday's post if you'd like to get in on the Swap. I'm catching everyone's notes, and replying to all of them to acknowledge your addition to the roster. 
This will be so much fun! Of course, the more, the merrier! I look forward to seeing all the cool mats that are created for our event.
 
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January 18, 2017

Time For A Swap...

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mats

I've been thinking about this for some time. I realized we haven't done anything fun together in a while.

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mat

You've seen these mug mats before on my blog. Some were made as gifts. Some were made for clients. Some I may still be using here at Brynwood.

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mat

We haven't had a swap in a while, and I love making mug mats. How about you? Would you like to participate in a Brynwood-hosted Mug Mat Swap? You don't have to live in the US to be included. I'll match you to someone who lives near you to help avoid costly shipping fees.

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Mat

If you'd like to participate, you can send an email to me dliljegren(at)brynwoodneedleworks(dot)com - or you can leave a comment on this post., and I'll add you to my informal list.

I haven't chosen a date, yet, but I'm thinking that a Valentine's Day or St. Patrick's day deadline could be fun. I would match you to a partner; all of whom will agree to follow through on their word to make and mail a mug mat to their partner by the deadline date.

In the event we end up with an odd number of participants, I'll join in the swap. If we have an even number of participants, I'll draw a name from all the participants and give one lucky person a mug mat I'll make especially for them.

Let's start by commenting to this post (make sure I have a way to reach you through your comment!!), or send me an email, just so I can gauge interest. Also share your thoughts about a deadline date. I'll see if I notice a common thread.

I'll write another post to you with the deadline date, and a little questionnaire that every participant will complete, so I can choose your perfect match. (Sounds a bit like FarmersOnly.com. LOL) If you want a specific object; have a favorite color; theme, stuff like that, I'd like to be able to accommodate you. It will just help you to receive or create that best possible mug mat for your swap partner.

So...Are you in? Please leave a comment below, including a way to reach you. I think this could be great fun! I hope you do, too!

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