January 20, 2018

Important Studio Features...

Repurposed Kitchen Cutlery Divider Drawer
 
I saw this on the internet recently.
I will, obviously, have to rethink how I utilize space in my studio!
Guess I'm just in a silly mood today.
I'll see you again tomorrow.
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January 19, 2018

I'm Going To Summer School...

Royal School Of Needlework Image

 I can finally tell you about my HUGE news!
I'm going to be attending a five-day needlework course with the Royal School of Needlework!

These courses are usually taught at their school, located in Hampton Court Palace in England, but they also teach them at satellite schools in other locations, including the United States. I managed to get my name in before the class I wanted was filled, so I'll be attending their first-ever summer school in Lexington, Kentucky in July at the prestigious Sayre School.

Class Description

I'm registered to take this advanced embroidery class over the entire five days, and I can't wait. The raised work (including Stumpwork) is a technique I've longed to learn, so it really is a dream come true on so many levels.

My Tutor

This is the biography of my tutor (from the RSN website). I'm so looking forward to learning from one of the masters of needlework from the school. Our class sizes are limited as well. There will only be eleven other students in my group, so there will be plenty of time for individual instruction.

It's going to be an incredible experience, and although this particular course will not earn a diploma or certificate, I'll still walk away with a new learned technique. And, who knows...maybe somewhere down the line, I'll be able to take one of the certification courses. A girl can dream, right?

For now, I'm completely over the moon that I've managed to get into the course, and be part of this first-ever RSN Summer School Program. I haven't gone to summer school since taking elective courses as a kid. Now, almost 50 years later, I'm heading back to school...and it's going to be grand. Not only that, but I promise to take you with me! I'll be posting as much as I'm able while I'm in Lexington.

Until then, I'm going to make my plans (and perhaps a new project carrier to go with me), and when I can sleep (because I'm so darned excited!), I'll dream about this new adventure. I just couldn't wait one more day to tell you!
 
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January 18, 2018

Dreaming About A Farm Kitchen...

Web Kitchen Inspiration
 
You've seen how much I can accomplish in our current kitchen since I started canning last fall. Imagine what I could do with all my tools in place, a proper work island and everything set up for optimum prep and organization!

I've been collecting kitchen images since we purchased the farmhouse, and this spring we'll start work on the space. I'm showing Handsome photos of layouts, cabinet choices and appliances, as well as colors and selections for cabinetry, flooring, sinks and accents. 
 
He's very enthusiastic about the whole process, and over the past 37 years, we've worked really well as a team. We remodeled our first home, built one from the ground up, and painted and "puffed" the one in Florida, so the farmhouse will be a breeze for us. I know we'll have fun with the process. We always have.

We'll need a sink (not necessarily a "farmhouse" sink, as whichever sink we use will be our farmhouse sink); a dishwasher; wall oven; our current refrigerator; and our current range - or just a cooktop. 
 
We'll need new flooring, as Shelly and Andy have told us the original floor (under the current floor) is not salvageable; updated and additional electric fixtures; and perhaps a bay window in place of the two existing kitchen windows. I'm so looking forward to it.

Have any ideas you'd like to share? See things you like in the photos above? I'm all ears. Just email them to me through my link in the sidebar over there ----->  Pictures are helpful, too. Thanks!

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January 17, 2018

Another Finish...

Burgundy Cork Brynwood "Bryn" Wallet

I finished this Bryn wallet and key fob Monday. My client chose burgundy cork with a canvas interior as a gift for his mom.

Burgundy Cork Brynwood "Bryn" Wallet Interior - Canvas and Cork
 
This is actually a cute story. My customer came to the farm to fix our internet service. The service connections are all in my sewing studio. I was working on the "Corgi On" Tote while he was working on our service. 

He asked about what I was doing and when I explained, he wanted to see more. I showed him wallets, kit bags, and he immediately wanted a wallet. I then showed him the cork fabric choices, and this is what he settled on. He paid for it and finished up his work before leaving.

This one shipped yesterday, and he should have it within the next day or so. I think it was a great end to a service call. If only they were all like this!

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January 16, 2018

Tuesdays With Tag - This Is Gonna Be Quick...

Lounge Corgi

 Hi, Everybody!
Like my title says today..."this is gonna be quick".

Dad's feeling so much better, so he told me we're hittin' the road.
We're gonna go get Bella and bring her back to the farm!

She's gonna be so surprised to see the snow. Mom better get her a coat,
'cuz she's really gonna need it. She'll freeze her keester off without one. lol

Sleepin' Corgi
 
Only one more sleep and we'll be on the road to Florida.
I'm gonna dream about sleepin' on the beach and havin' all the cute girls
sayin', "Look! He's so cute!", and me, runnin' around with the Black Dog again.
 
I'll tell you all about it next week, 'cuz we'll be on our way back to the farm by then.
 
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...  
"Chase A Dream - Or A Squirrel".



January 15, 2018

This Is What It's All About...

Our Granddaughters

It's all about family. They're why we moved back to Wisconsin. Sons, daughters-in-love, our grandchildren...and other family members and friends. Our time with them is precious to us. To see their smiles, share in their lives and celebrate them.

Son #2

Yesterday, we spent wonderful time with our younger son and his family to celebrate his Birthday. (He's modeling a new work vest, received as a gift.) We shared a meal, played a board new board game, traded stories, and ate the most delicious birthday cupcakes! (Peanut butter frosting on chocolate cake, with a peanut butter cup on top - and inside!) YUM!

Handsome and Daughter-In-Love #2

Handsome is at his happiest when spending time with his sons. It's rewarding to see how our kids are raising theirs...and we enjoy the heck out of it. It was a perfect way to spend a Sunday, and something we'll look forward to doing a lot more now that we're back in our home state.

Weather is coming. If you're in the snow belt, stay warm and safe. I'm in the studio, and Tag will be back tomorrow.
 
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January 14, 2018

Sunday Scripture...

Thanks to my friend, Abby at Little Birdie Blessings
 
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January 13, 2018

"Corgi On" Winging To Germany...

Corgi Tote Detail

Have I told you that this tote is my own design? Yup. You should see my notes. There aren't templates...just a few handwritten notes with measurements. The rest I do on the fly. I must have it down now because I always get consistent results. (I know. I sound surprised, don't I? lol)

Brynwood Needleworks' Corgi On Tote
 
This one is shipping to Germany today! One of my corgi friends on Facebook contacted me because she wanted one, and I was happy to oblige. I've added her monogram inside, too.
 
My next commission is for a Bryn Wallet in burgundy cork. It'll be under my needle today. Jane's going to be a busy girl! Don't you think it's a great way to spend a sub-zero day?
 
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January 12, 2018

Planning For Spring...

rareseeds.com

My second seed catalog arrived today. (The first one came from Jung Seeds here in Wisconsin.) Isn't this a beautiful cover image? I can't wait to make a cup of tea, put my feet up and mark all the pages for things I want to order.

Seed Packets
 
I went online to place my order for the catalog, and figured as long as I was there, I'd order a few packets of seeds, too. I received hollyhock seeds from my friend, Jody, in Tennessee, but I'm planning lots of them for the farm, so I ordered two more packets of pink colored ones. 

I'm also going to plant cucumbers for pickling this year. The pickles I made last fall have been so popular, I'm definitely going to plant my own stock this year. This variety is supposed to be well-suited to container gardening, should I choose that route. (I like options.)

So, as temperatures drop this weekend, I'm going to be looking forward to warmer days here at the farm. They'll make for perfect growing weather for our crops this year.

PS - Destiny is back in business. I fixed my embroidery issues and am back to working on my commissions. squeeee! 

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January 11, 2018

Dang!...

Stitching Out Corgi Embroidery

I was stitching out the embroidery for my next commission - a corgi tote -  and decided that I'd make another right away for one of my crossbody wallets (for stock). This one stitched out like a dream, but I think I waste time switching the threads between colors, so I thought I'd try something different (after the first one was done).

Destiny With Off-Machine Thread Holder

I have a wooden thread stand that holds a total of fourteen threads, so I instead of setting up one thread at a time, I only have to pull the thread from there to the machine. It would go faster that way. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Oops! Bobbin Thread Showing In Front

I'm glad you asked. Something happened to the tension in my stitches. This is the only thing that changed, so I guess I'll have to go back to the "old" way. sigh Yes. I threw this one out. I was twenty three minutes into a thirty five minute design...and all that thread...now in the trash. Back to the drawing board (so to speak).
 
I Got One Done
 
As least one is finished. I'll give it another go today. I have to make this work because I have another commission where the design has to be stitched directly onto a finished item. I can't have this glitch happening on that! 
 
I'll be troubleshooting this morning until Destiny can do her thing without errors. Wish me luck, please. I have projects that need finishing. 
 
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January 10, 2018

Strawberry Fields...

Charland Designs - Strawberry Fields
 
Long time blog friends know that I used to own a needlework shop in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin in the late 1980s-mid 1990s. My first love has always been needlework. 

I stitched this sampler by Charland Designs in the 1990s. I love the counted thread stitches in this one, and Charland was at the forefront of the trend to add charms and embellishments to her pieces. It now hangs in my sewing studio, along with a few other favorite pieces. This design is called "Strawberry Fields".

I really love that my current quilt making projects incorporate needlework, but I'm also committing to creating some new needlework projects this year. I may even make a design or two available for you to stitch, too! (If that's something you enjoy doing as much as I do.)

Today, though, I'll be working on commissions. I'll share them with you as I finish them so you can see what I've been doing. What are you working on?

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January 9, 2018

Tuesdays With Tag - My Winter Attire...

Tag's New Sweater

Hi, Everybody!

First - That's not Batman's shadow behind me. Those are my awesome ears!

You may notice that I'm wearin' clothes this week. Yeah. Mom was shoppin' again. We're gettin' used to our first cold winter in Wisconsin, and last week was pretty flippin' cold. Mom got my new bed, which I showed you last week, and then she decided I could use a sweater. I wasn't sure about it at first, but I love my new bed, so what the heck. I could give this a go.

Tag's Sweater With Duck Detail

What do you think? Do I still look handsome, or is my ducky sweater too much? I do admit that it keeps me a little warmer runnin' errands than without it. I'm not sure I like the giggles I get when I put it on, though. (Unless it's a cute girl or a little kiddo.)

Taggart, Modelin' My Sweater

Mom said she's gonna need one for Bella when she gets here, too. The temperature change will be more of a shock for her since she's been slackin' off in warm Florida! She better get her own, 'cuz I'm definitely not sharin' mine!

I'm glad it's warmer this week. The snow is meltin' and the sun is shinin'. Mom says it might be the January Thaw...whatever that is! Either way, I'll take it! I can wear my sweater later, when it gets cold again. Because, you know...it's gonna get cold again!

I've gotta run. I just saw that rascally rabbit. Last night, I chased it all the way up into the woods. I had to come runnin' back when Mom barked at called me. I was pretty close to gettin' it, too! Oh, well...there's always tomorrow. wink

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


January 8, 2018

Finally...

Kathy Schmitz - Snow Day

I know it seems like forever, but I finally finished Kathy Schmitz' Snow Day.

Snow Day Detail

Little birds in the snow share the block with snowflakes falling on a cozy, snow-covered house...

Snow Day Detail
 
and a sweet snowman, bundled up in a fancy, snuggly coat, mittens and hat.
It's appropriate that I finished it before the end of winter, too!
 
I have one more design, Bluebell Nest to stitch out, and then I'll be ready to start working
 toward finishing out the individual blocks. Each one came with different fabrics for
their own quilt block designs, and I just have to decide if I want to use those various
  fabrics that came with each kit, or whether I want the fabrics for all of them to be the same.
 
This project is on my list of UFOs to finish by the end of 2018. 
It's going to be a fun year!

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January 7, 2018

Sunday Scripture...

Thanks to Little Birdie Blessings
 
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January 6, 2018

Happy Birthday, Handsome...

Brynwood Needleworks -Handsome
 
Happy Birthday, dear husband.
 
The angels danced the day you were born,
and my life began the day I met you.
 Thank you for everything we are together (and apart).
May your Birthday be all you hoped for,
and may the next year bring you your heart's desires.
 
I love you...Always.

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January 5, 2018

Something "Old" - Something New...

Meyer Lemons

I made something new yesterday. I made Meyer Lemon Curd from beautiful, flavorful, slightly sweet Meyer lemons. Goodness! It was time consuming, but definitely worth the effort. The taste is incredible, and it immediately transported me to sw Florida!

The sugar used in the recipe was infused with the zest I grated from the lemon skins. That's where my work began.

Juicing Meyer Lemons

After zesting the lemons, I juiced them by hand. Have I told you before how much I enjoy the fragrance of citrus? I do! It's one of my favorite smells...right next to freshly mown grass, puppy breath, and chocolate chip cookies. But I digress...

Making Curd

Everything, including lots of eggs, was combined and tended for what seemed like forever, until the curd finally set. Once it was poured into sterilized jars, I placed the containers in the canner for the proscribed time and pulled three beautiful jars out of the water when it was ready.

Hickory Syrup and Meyer Lemon Curd
 
I also put up nine more bottles of hickory syrup, which is already listed in my shop. I posted this photo on my Facebook page late in the day, and the jars of curd sold almost immediately! (I haven't even planned to sell it, so I was surprised.) I guess I'll need to make more.
 
It was nice to be making delicious things in the kitchen yesterday, but I'm looking forward to working on something in the studio. I have a few ideas, but I think I need to make a list of priorities. I have handwork projects, a Wooly Critter quilt to complete, a block or two left in the Kathy Schmitz set, more selvage blocks to make, and the Farmer's Wife quilt to complete! Whew! I think 2018 should could be the year I finish all those UFO's.  

I don't want to overwhelm myself thinking about that right now. I think for now, I'll bask in the glow of my lemony yellow curd for now.

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