December 31, 2018

Amost There...

Brynwood Needleworks - We're Road Warriors
We took this selfie before leaving the driveway at the farm. We're on our last leg of the trip now, and will be at our Florida destination this afternoon. 

Tag and Bella are such good dogs when we travel, although I'm sure sure he'll have a different perspective when Tag posts tomorrow! Bella is in heat, so stopping at rest areas and our hotels makes for an interesting experience, too. (She's wearing diapers, and Handsome said if we posted any pictures of her in "dipes", he'd come looking for me - and not in a good way. lol So, we resist, although she's cute as a bug in her red pants!)

The weather gets warmer the further south we go, and leaving 19º in Wisconsin, we're looking forward to the 80º days forecast for the next week! No more sweatshirts, and we'll be glad to be off the road, too. We're loving the idea of another Florida New Year's celebration spent with friends.

Happy New Year's Eve!


December 30, 2018

Sunday Scripture...

Image © FearfullyMade on Etsy
 This piece can be purchased HERE.
(I have been in no way compensated for sharing this link.)

December 29, 2018

The Long and Winding Road...

Image ©
Anniversary number thirty four (34!!!) finds us on the road, heading south. We'll be in Florida by New Year's Eve, so we beat the "silly" traffic, and we'll spend the holiday with dear friends. It seems appropriate.

Husband, you and I have traveled many miles over the past thirty four years (37, if you count before we were married), and I know we'll travel many more together before we're through. I can't think of a single, living being on this earth who is more suited to me, who makes me a better person, and who loves me, ever and always. Know that my home is wherever you are. 
A. B. & A., AML,


December 28, 2018

UPDATE: Grandma's Cup Shelf...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Cup Shelf
 Well, this certainly didn't take long, did it?

I showed this cup shelf to you yesterday, with my post about how I wasn't sure whether to leave it the way it is, or update it with sanding and paint. I've made my decision already.
Yesterday, I also posted this image to my Facebook page, where my aunt (Grandma's daughter) saw it. She told me that it used to belong to her grandmother (my great-grandma), and she remembers seeing it in Great-Grandma's house, filled with lots of cups and saucers. She also said that she thinks it older than our farmhouse. Grandma was 97 when she died, and it was her mother's before it came to her.

You know how much provenance and history means to me. That's all it took for me to decide that it's going to continue its life looking just as it has for the past 100 plus years. I know those of you who commented also agreed that it should not be painted. We're all of like minds. 
I'll cherish it just as it is, with all the history it holds on those rusty cup hooks, and time-worn boards. I'm pretty sure my great-grandmother, my late grandma (and I know my aunt!) are happy knowing that. Who knew my decision would be that easy?


December 27, 2018

Grandma's Cup Shelf...

Brynwood Needleworks - Grandma's Cup Shelf

Not too long ago, I was given the cup rack/shelf that belonged to my paternal grandmother. I remember it hanging in her kitchen when I was just a girl. I'm not sure, but I suspect it once belonged to her mother.

Brynwood Needleworks - Grandma's Cup Shelf

I've been spending too much timing trying to decide whether or not I wanted to sand it and then paint it, so I finally got out my tools and hardware, and hung it on the wall yesterday. I'm still not sure if I want to leave it this dark color, but I do know that I wanted it up while I was thinking about it. Having it on the wall might help me decide.

I hung my Memory Lane cups, saucers and platter up, along with one white, stoneware platter I bought at Pottery Barn years ago. I like seeing my acorn embellished cups hanging from the same, old hooks Grandma used.

(***Thanks again to my girlfriend, Denise G. for starting my collection of red and white Memory Lane acorn transferware a few years ago. I love them!)

Brynwood Needleworks - A Corner of Our Farm Kitchen
So, while I'm thinking about it, here's my view of the shelf, newly mounted in our farmhouse kitchen. I'll enjoy thinking about all the fun times at Grandma's house whenever I look at it. 

What do you think? To paint or not to paint?

December 26, 2018

Holiday Needle Dancing...

Brynwood Needleworks - Snow Days Bowl Fillers Project

We're leaving for Florida over the weekend, so I didn't want to start anything that will require a sewing machine. While we're away from home, I'll be working on needlework projects. This one is perfect for the season!

These are pre-printed panels to which you fuse felted wool. You can do as much or as little (including none) needlework to the fabric. Of course, you know me. I'll be stitching over much of the printed areas of each small panel. I've even chosen one of my Kreinik metallic threads for the snowflakes.

Once the panels are complete, I'll be sewing backings on each, and then filling them with poly stuffing or crushed walnut shells. They'll be all set for the rest of this winter, and then again next year.

Brynwood Needleworks - Cover Photo "Snow Days Bowl Fillers" by All Through The Night
One of my friends in the Primitive Gatherings Sit & Sew group already stitched hers, and then made them into a quilted wall hanging. It was lovely, but I've chosen to make mine for the bowl instead.
In case you're interested in creating your own, this is the kit information for you. You supply your own wools. It's really a fun, little project.


December 25, 2018

Tuesdays With Tag - Merry Christmas...

Brynwood's Taggart
Merry Christmas From Our Family To Yours!
Romans 15:13 Web Image

December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve...

Our Family Christmas
As we celebrate this Christmas Eve, we stop to remember friends and family, near and far.
We pray for those who can't be with us, those who are ill or sad, and ask for His Grace to cover them all. 
We thank you for allowing me to share our lives with you, and wish you all the best...always.
Remembering the reason for the season...
 "For unto us is born this day, in the city of David, 
A saviour, which is Christ the Lord." 
                                                        - Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas, Friends,

December 23, 2018

Sunday Scripture...

Web Image - Bible Verse

December 22, 2018

Another Peek...

They'll receive them today, and then I'll share photos, along with other Christmas gifts. It's going to be a busy day. Younger son and family coming in the morning before they leave town for the holidays. Elder son and family for the afternoon before other family members come from out of town to spend the holidays with them.

Handsome and I will have a quiet Christmas together, before we pack up to head to Florida for a while. Music, Florida friends, and warm weather in our future...just like when we lived there. We're really looking forward to our own trip.

My sewing is done for this year, so I'll only be in the studio to play...or not. For now, it's time to relax with our kids. Happy Saturday, to all.


December 21, 2018

One Little Peek...

Brynwood Needleworks - Jammies Detail
I haven't been on the computer much the past two days. The elves and I are busy! I'm sharing just a peek at one of the projects I finished yesterday. 
We're celebrating Christmas with our sons and their families on Saturday, so you know where I'll be today...finishing the unfinished. My deadline got moved up by a few days! Handsome and I will rest on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day instead. rest for the weary. I'm heading back into the studio to finish the last two gifts. Then, Handsome and I will work on the menu for Saturday, and finish up our last-minute decorating. 
Are you finished and ready to celebrate the holidays? Or, are you like me this year...running right up against a deadline? I'm going to caffeinate (is that a word?) first, and then I'll be in the studio.


December 20, 2018

Rugs and Mugs...

Brynwood Needleworks - Mug Rug Gifts 2018
I purchased these gorgeous "handwarmer mugs" last fall on a trip to Cedar Creek Pottery in Cedarburg, WI. I saw them and knew just who I'd get them for this Christmas.

While jammie fabric was prewashing today, I made the mug rugs (mug mats) to go with them. I really love how they turned out, and think they'll be perfect for the recipients. I may add camomile tea or hot chocolate to go with them.

If you're interested in placing an order for your own handwarmer mug (they're available in left hand - #19, or right hand - #20 use, in a variety of colors), you can contact Cedar Creek Pottery (owned by Andee Warren) at That delightful watercolor in the background was painted by our own talented daughter-in-law, Jessica. It hangs above my computer in my sewing studio. I love, love, love it!


December 19, 2018

A Perfect Day For A Party...

Brynwood Needleworks - Chickadee Ornament For Exchange
Today was the annual Christmas Gathering for our Primitive Gatherings Sit & Sew Group. Again, we met at Lisa Bongean's beautiful home, and we had a great time. 

I made this ornament on Monday to take along for the ornament exchange. I put a silver cord on it right after I took this photo. The little chickadee has legs a little longer than I originally planned, so I'll shorted them up before I make a pattern to share with you later this week.

I don't have a group photo yet, but as soon as I get one, I'll share that, too. Perhaps I can have it by the time I post the ornament pattern.

Jeeter Bongean

Lisa's dog, Jeeter, always greets the ladies when we arrive. After, he hopped onto the window seat, and sunned himself to sleep. Jeeter is a sweet guy, and you know I couldn't resist patting him and saying hello before I went to join the ladies. 
Oh, and I wouldn't be much of a needleworker/quilter if I didn't mention the gorgeous quilting on the cushion pad. It's about eight feet long, covering a long bench in front of big windows that look out onto the lake. It really is a perfect place for a dog to act like a cat, soaking up the sun. If it hadn't been for a party in progress, I would have joined him! Of course, when I got home, Tag gave me the fifth degree. (That boy doesn't miss much.)

I'm feeling much better, so I'll be making jammies in the studio today. I'll share fabric selections with you tomorrow, so even though I won't share full images until after Christmas, you'll see what I've chosen to sew. 

I'm off to grab a cup of Handsome's delicious morning coffee, and then you can find me in the studio. If you're on Facebook, I won't be around much today. Lots to do! I'll see you here tomorrow.


December 18, 2018

Tuesdays With Tag - You Don't Have To Be Lonely...

Brynwood's Taggart • Dec. 2018

Hi, Everybody!

Can you believe we're already halfway through December? 

Mom's feelin' much better, but there's a little downside to her bein' up and about again. See, when she's sick, I usually hang out on the bed with her to keep her company. It's kinda nice, even though she's not feelin' good. She's all cuddly and stuff, and I can take care of her.

Brynwood's Taggart • Dec. 2018

But, when she's all better, she gets busy and doesn't lie around all day. Now, don't misunderstand. She stops to cuddle from time to time, but not like she does when she's sick. Take yesterday, for instance.

She baked bread; made a nice, tasty dessert (with peanut butter!); washed some laundry; and then she made some thingy that will hang on a Christmas tree for the lady who's hostin' a party today. Yeah. She went off to a party today, and here I am sittin' on my chair. Lonely for Mom.

Brynwood's Taggart • Dec. 2018

I was watchin' tv, and I came up with a great idea! There's this commercial for farmer's who are so busy workin' that they don't have time to find girlfriends. 

So, I was thinkin'. I don't have to be lonely either. I could join a datin' service. You know...where a lady comes and picks me up and takes me for long walks along the lake; out to lunch for my favorite snacks; or introduces me to other corgis my own age that I can frap around with. Wouldn't that be fun?

Brynwood's Taggart • 2018 • Pembroke Welsh Corgi

I could even sing a little song about it. "You don't have to be lonely, at Corgis Only dot come." Catchy, don't you think?

I'll have to think about this, though. I sure do prefer hangin' out with Mom, Dad, and the Black Dog, so I'll probably give her another chance first. She should be home early this afternoon, and I know what she'll do. She'll come in the house, scoop me up and snuggle me...and everythin' will be perfect again. That's how it is with us. We all love and take care of each other in our family.

So, about this idea of mine...Never mind.

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

December 17, 2018

A Lost Weekend...

stock web image
I woke up Saturday with sore ears and throat. It just got worse from there. I spent most of my weekend in bed - doing absolutely nothing. You know me well enough to understand just how much I dislike doing nothing.

Doing "nothing" means that projects weren't started, let alone completed. I didn't pull fabric, get it prewashed, or cut out. Nothing was sewn, stitched, or wrapped. But...I'm feeling better, because I laid low. That's a good thing, because it's going to be a busy week.

This week, bread and cookies will be baked; jammies will be sewn (along with a few other projects); the house will be decorated; and our Christmas menu planned. No worries. I've got this.

Tag will be back tomorrow. He's working on a few projects of his own, and he's always got something to chat about. A hot cuppa tea, and I'll be off about my work. I'll be back with you on Wednesday. Cheerio!


December 16, 2018

December 15, 2018

Oh, What A Night...

Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra "Harry Potter Night"
We had a great night with our granddaughters last night. Handsome joined us for dinner, and then drove us down to the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee, where our granddaughters and I had a "ladies' night out". (Handsome went back to our elder son's house and spent the evening with him, our grandson and daughter-in-law.)
The MSO (and a chorus) performed the entire soundtrack to "Harry Potter and the Prison of Azkaban" movie, while the audience viewed the movie (with dialogue). It was riveting, and the performance lasted over three hours, including a 20 minute intermission.
At the start, the conductor invited the audience to laugh, cry, clap, sneer and cheer as the spirit moved us, and we delivered. We were all totally engrossed in the experience, and there were people of all ages. We saw older couples (with and without kids), younger couples (likewise), and plenty of young people cheering for their favorite characters. 
Butter beers (described to me as tasting like butterscotch soda - perhaps cream soda?) were served in plastic mugs, as well as HP jelly beans, and other refreshments. Adults and kids, alike, were seen wearing scarves representing their favorite Hogwarts house. Our younger granddaughter chose a Griffendor scarf (naturally!).
Brynwood Needleworks - Post Concert - Three Happy Ladies
When the performance was over, the audience stood for an ovation for the orchestra and chorus. We clapped until our hands were sore.

Grandpa (Handsome) was waiting for us when we left the concert. He'd scored a parking spot right across the street from The Riverside, so we crossed the street, got into our waiting coach, and headed home. We dropped the girls off to their parents around 11:30, and these two, happy-tired grandparents rolled in our garage after 1 am. 
I think a little Christmas decorating is on our agenda, but we'll be otherwise taking it easy today. It was quite the (perfect) night.

December 14, 2018

Done and Done...

Brynwood Kirby Crossbody Bags and "Abby" Custom Clutch

It was a busy day, but I finished two "Doxie" and one feather-print Kirby crossbody bags, as well as  the custom "Abby" Clutch. One Doxie and the clutch are packaged and will go out in today's post.

The other "Doxie" and the feather-print Kirby will be listed up in my shop today. While I made the bag with the feather print, I thought about how I'd like to start a special line of nature-themed fabrics. 
This feather bag will be the first in my "Nature Girl" Series. They'll be limited edition and all have an outdoor/animal/bird/nature theme. Of course, they'll all have cork as their primary fabric, too. 

I've got a few homekeeping things to do today, and then I'm taking our granddaughter to a special girls' night out concert this evening. We'll have dinner out with Grandpa (Handsome), but then just the three of us will go to a Milwaukee Symphony performance of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. They actually screen the movie while playing the sound track. We're all very excited about going!

The weekend will be dedicated to making Grammie's Jammies for our grandchildren. I won't be able to show pictures until after Christmas, though. Don't want to spoil any surprises, just in case nosey people check out my blog ahead of time!

I'm still fighting off this attempt at a cold, so I'll be medicated the rest of the day. I don't want to spread any bugs while I'm with our girls! I can't wait to tell you about the concert, and I will share what else I accomplish (except the jammies) with you on Monday. Happy Weekend, dears!


December 13, 2018

A Corgi Clutch...

Custom Machine Embroidery
In order to create this clutch, my client chose one of my myriad Corgi machine embroideries...with one catch. She didn't want the tail, and her tri-color pup had very little brown in her coat. 

Changing colors is easy. It took a little longer to remove the tail, but I did it. A little hocus here, and pocus there, and this embroidery became tailless. I pulled the fabric, stitched out the embroidery, and then it was time to assemble the clutch.
Custom Machine Embroidered Clutch
I'm going to add a cork wristlet, and then it will be finished. Getting to this point took longer than I expected, so I'll make the Doxie bag(s) today. 
I'm also getting the sniffles. It was another reason to shut down earlier than I usually would have yesterday. I'm too busy to be getting sick right now. If any bug would just hold off until after Christmas, that would be wonderful. I'm drinking lots of water, orange and pineapple juice, and I'm going to make sure I take care of myself. One day at a time. Now...where's my list?

December 12, 2018

Holly Berry Strawberry...

Brynwood Needleworks - Holly Berry Strawberry Design by Erica Michaels
I completed this commission on Sunday, and sent it on its way yesterday. My client requested that I fill it with lavender buds, so it smells heavenly. It was truly a pleasure to stitch this small design on 32 ct. linen, although I admit, I'm much more dependent on my lighted magnifier now than I used to be.

Today, I'm making two pieces for a is a Corgi Clutch bag, and the other is a Kirby with dachshund fabric accents. I'm going to make two of those, so I have a second one to put in the shop. It's a cute design. 

I'll show you the completed pieces tomorrow. Then, I'll only have one more commission to complete before I get to this year's Grammie's Jammies. Off to the studio! The elves are calling!