April 30, 2019

Tuesdays With Tag - This Is AWESOME...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag At DayCare

Hi, Everybody!
Today I'm comin' to you from Peebles (pronounced "pebbles") Play & Stay.
It's where Mom parked me, while she flew down to drive home with Dad and the Black Dog.

Well, let me tell ya...I'm havin' a freakin' BALL!!! My kennel floor is heated, so it's almost as nice as sleepin' on the bed with Mom, and the perks here are par excellence (that's French for out of this world)!

Brynwood Needleworks - DayCare Swimmin' Pals
I've made a bunch of new pals. There's a golden doodle who likes to stand on his hind legs in the pool; a Staffordshire terrier who thinks I'm the bee's knees; Golden retrievers; a black Lab; a German Shepherd; and in other pictures on their Facebook page, you can see me swimmin' with a springer spaniel and a couple other dogs. I'm the short guy in the bunch, but nobody seems to notice. I fit right in!

We go swimmin' every day, and then we have playtime outside, too. Our yard is all fenced in, and there are always a couple of people supervisors to keep the crew in line. I'm eatin' my own food that Mom dropped off, but I'm probably gonna look like I've lost a couple of pounds when they come to pick me up...which I hope is in about a month, instead of Wednesday!

I'd really love to stay and chew the fat with ya, but my pals are lettin' me know it's time to play again. You know what that means? Yep. This lowrider's gotta run!
I'll see you again in seven, 'til then...
"Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open".

April 29, 2019

Season's Final Concert...

Brynwood Needleworks - Suncoast Concert Band Final Spring Concert
I'm sure I grinned through the entire concert. The band was in fine form, and the music was wonderful. I'm so glad I could watch Handsome playing in this year's final spring concert. I know he was glad I could be there, too.

We had dinner with a number of our musical friends, and then headed back to our Florida home to pack. Nearly everything is now in the truck, and our plan is to say our final goodbyes and be on the road by 9 am. It's time to head back to the farmhouse until next season.

Tag has so much to tell you, so he'll be writing to you tomorrow. I'll be back with updates on Wednesday, as we hope to be home by then. I'd better close for now. It's time to leave sunny Florida until next winter. This farm girl is taking her musical snowbird husband home. 


April 28, 2019

Sunday Scripture...

Psalm 91:4 - Artwork by Jennifer Lambein

April 27, 2019

Safe Arrival...

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart
As I write this post, Bella is lying at my feet. She practically went berserk when I walked into the house in Florida with Handsome. She was so happy to see me, that it took me about ten minutes to calm her down! Talk about a welcome!

Handsome met me at the Tampa airport. With a strong tailwind, our plane landed thirty minutes ahead of schedule, and our trip back to Bradenton was an easy drive. We stopped for dinner on the way back, and had a chance to catch up a bit. 

Today, we'll be packing up Handsome and Bella's belongings, and then preparing for the Sunday concert. We'll have dinner with friends, and then leave for home on Monday. For now, I'm going to enjoy a morning cup of coffee and wonderful company, but I have to admit...

I know Tag's not missing me, but I miss him. He's swimming with the other resident dogs, and has playtime with them every day while I'm away. He's having the time of his life, but I'll be glad to get back home, pick him up, and then take him to the farmhouse. He'll be so surprised to see Bella is back!

Well, I'm off to enjoy some Florida weather, get a few things accomplished for our trip, and then just relax a bit. It's time to celebrate another wonderful weekend, and being back with my dear husband. I'm complete again.


April 26, 2019

Time For Me To Fly...

Brynwood Needleworks - Florida Postcard
Today finally arrived, and I'll be flying to Florida by mid-afternoon. I land at 7:00 pm at the Tampa Airport, where Handsome will be waiting for me.

I'm on my way out the door to take Tag to the kennel for his own little vacation, and then my ride will be here late morning to take me to the airport in Milwaukee. You'll forgive me for keeping this short. I still have a few things to do (filling bird feeders, in case it snows tomorrow, for one), so I can't stay and visit with you.

I can't wait to see my husband (and Bella) again. It's been far too long, and I'll be back to visit tomorrow. Wish me safe travels to Florida, please.


April 25, 2019

Another Class...

Brynwood Needleworks - Sheboygan Hard Rolls and Brat Buns
It was a busy day yesterday. Much of the day was spent with our heating serviceman, Dave, at the farmhouse. We're trying to pin down why two of our upstairs steam radiators aren't working, and so far, we're they're baffled. Dave had to check back to the office twice, and he may be back again today to take another shot at the issue.

While that was going on, I was making more bread. A loaf went up to Andy and Shelly's house, while the other will be a gift for another special someone. My plan is to deliver it today.

Then, I met up with my sister, Diana, for another bread making class at the Fond du Lac tech college in the evening. We signed up to learn how to make Sheboygan hard rolls and brat buns. We had a great time! Not only did we learn how to make them, but our instructor, Sue Horvath, also had us give them the ultimate taste test.

Brynwood Needleworks - An "Oostburger" and Herb Roast Potatoes

We also made herb-crusted roast red potatoes, hamburgers and brats on the grill, and a homemade roast tomato ketchup. After our rolls were all baked and cooled, we all sat down for a Q & A over our meals.
Sue and our other instructor, Tom Endejan, are really fabulous teachers. Not only do they share their knowledge for bread making (and more treats), they are also most generous with their knowledge of streamlining, cost savings, and other helpful hints. Then, to top it all off with a big, juicy cherry, they feed us! Diana and I are already planning our next class!
I'm getting down to the wire now to get ready to travel tomorrow. It's going to be a busy, busy day here at the farmhouse. Diana will be heading back to Minnesota (and her husband, Tom) while I prepare to see my own dear husband tomorrow. 
I'll be back to give you one more pre-trip post. My Saturday post will be from sunny, sw Florida. I think, just in time, too. I saw a weather report forecasting snow (SNOW?) for Saturday. I just added filling all the bird and 'possum feeders to my list of things to accomplish today. I'd better get after it.
See you Friday!

April 24, 2019

Baking Bread...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Baked Bread
I'm doing a few things this week in preparation for Handsome's return to the farmhouse. I'm flying out on Friday so I can see his last Florida performance for this season. That's on Sunday. We'll have him all packed, and then he, Bella and I will leave Monday morning to drive back together.

When we get home, I don't want to have to run out to the store for anything, so I'm making a meal that we can thaw once we get back, along with baked bread for sandwiches or a side for us to enjoy. The bread will go in the freezer, too. (It tastes just the same as fresh baked when it's only been in the freezer a short time.)

At my last bread class, I learned about making a preferment "poolish", that starts the process 12-15 hours before the bread is actually mixed, proofed and baked. Poolish is a mix of flour, water and yeast that is like a starter for the bread. It makes the dough wetter overall in the mixing process, resulting in a truly artisan bread. It adds a greater depth to the flavor, and the finished crust in truly amazing! Honestly, this is why I wanted to learn to make proper bread.

The outside crust is crispy and flaky, while the inside is chewy and spongy. There aren't all the big holes that you find in so many store-bought breads these days. There's nothing worse than a peanut butter and jelly sandwich that oozes out big, gaping holes while you're trying to eat it. Not with this bread, for sure!

I'm also doing laundry, a little spring cleaning, and getting out orders. When I'm not doing those things, I take a tea break and knit a bit. It's easier to pick up and put down than my needlework. The weather is beautiful, even with forecast rain in the near future, so I'm spending a little more time outdoors, too. 
I can't believe how many plants are already up in my kitchen garden! Chives, mint, phlox, Mom's daisies, tulips, grape hiacynths, lilies, and hollyhocks are already making their way skyward. It won't be long before I head to the nursery for basil, rosemary and a few other herbs.

I'll begin packing tomorrow, and make sure I don't forget everything Tag will need to head to the boarding kennel. They have a pool, but he has to prove he can swim before they'll put him into that playtime rotation. We're not worried. I seriously think he was the swimming-est Corgi in southwest Florida! 
He's getting his swim test Friday morning after I drop him off. Good thing he's got a buoyant butt. At least I won't ever have to pack a life vest for him. Makes me giggle just to think about it. They'll be amused by my boy, too! I'm just glad I can travel without fretting about his care.

So, I'm heading back to my tasks. Not a bunch to do, but a steady stream of small finishes before I leave. I'll see you again tomorrow. Have a great Wednesday!


April 23, 2019

Tuesdays With Tag - Watchin' & Waitin'...

Brynwood's Taggart

 Hi, Everybody!

I spent most of the day outside yesterday. This is me, comin' to you from the retainin' wall in our front yard.

Mom and I were talkin' over the weekend. Guess what? Dad's comin' home! Well, actually, Mom's goin' to get Dad and they're comin' home together! 

She told me that I'm gonna be stayin' at the place she took me to a couple months ago to check out. It's gonna be great fun. They've got luxury suites to sleep in, and they've even got a swimmin' pool so I can get myself in shape for when the Black Dog gets home! I go there on Friday, and I can't wait.

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag's Watchin' The Weather

Hmmm. Looks like there's some weather on the horizon. Where's that squirrel? I chased him (and another one) off this mornin'. I'd better not see them hangin' around the rock wall while I'm tryin' to catch some rays.

Brynwood Needleworks - Watch Dog

So, anyway...this is a perfect place to hang out when we have fair weather. Otherwise, as long as it's not too hot or cold, you can find me on the front porch. 
Mom's thinkin' we should have a nice picket fence at the top of this wall, and maybe a gate on each end so we can snuffle in the grass when it's nice out. We'll see what Dad thinks about that idea when he gets home. We probably wouldn't do that until the porch gets rebuilt anyway. We'll see. For now, this suits me just fine! 

Gotta run. I have to pack my travel case so I'm ready to go when Friday rolls around. I'll tell you all about it next week!

One more thing...I thought you might like to hear a good dog joke this week. I've got a doozy for ya. Here goes:

A Jack Russel went to the employment agency to look for work.
"I need a job," he said to the man behind the desk. 
The man's jaw dropped. "A talking dog!" he said. "
I'll fix you up with something in no time."
After several minutes on the phone, the man announced, 
"You're all set! You start at the circus on Monday."
"That's no good," protested the Jack Russel. 
"I'm a plumber."
hee hee
I'll see you again in seven, 'til then...
"Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open".

April 22, 2019

Another Finish...

Brynwood Needleworks - Handknit Striped Socks

Happy Monday! I hope you had a great weekend. I spent time with my sister, Di and her family over the holiday. This week is going to go lightning-fast, and on Friday, I'll be heading to Florida to hear Handsome's final concert for this season. Then, we'll pack up the truck, and he, Bella and I will drive home together. Tag will be at a fine local kennel to await our return.

On Sunday morning, I completed this pair of socks I began a couple of weeks ago. I would have finished them sooner, but I was working on my "Song of Spring" quilt for the May 4-5 local quilt show. (The quilt is now in Kathy D.'s capable hands to deliver to check-in for judging while I'm in Florida.)

Back to my socks, though. I love the yarn (called self-striping) that creates the pattern without the need for color changes. I think I mistakenly told you this yarn is from Opal Yarn Company. It's actually from KnitPicks (.com), although I've used Opal many times in the past, and will likely make more pairs of socks with it this year. Can you even believe that I'm starting up a "sock stock" for Christmas gifts already? Yup!
Brynwood Needleworks - Lorna's Laces Yarn Socks In Progress
I started another pair with this beautiful sock yarn from Lorna's Laces. The color is called "Watercolor". I always figure 400 yards/100 grams of yarn for each pair of socks. This yarn came in 215 yard hanks, so I'll use two hanks to make this pair.
My plan is to work on other projects during the day (I'm going to finish my stumpwork butterfly next), and then knit in the evening. My feet will be up, and I'll have a hot cuppa tea on the side table as I leisurely knit away. Sounds divine, don't you think?

April 21, 2019

Sunday Scripture - Happy Easter...

Brynwood Needleworks via housewifeglamour.com

April 20, 2019

"Song of Spring" Is Finished...

Brynwood Needleworks - Song of Spring Quilt

I completed my "Song of Spring" quilt around 9:30 last night. All the quilting was completed during the day; and the binding was attached and hand sewn. Then I added a sleeve and label to the back. It's officially finished!

Brynwood Needleworks - Song of Spring Quilt - Finished

This is the entire finished piece, measuring approximately 20" x 19". When it comes back from the quilt show, it will hang up in the farmhouse.
Brynwood Needleworks - Quilt Label
I created the label in Adobe Photoshop Elements™, and then printed it out onto fabric. I added a fabric border and hand sewed it to the back of the quilt.

Today, I'm taking it to Kathy D.'s house. I'll be in Florida on the days we have to turn our quilts in for the show, which will be held on May 4-5, so Kathy graciously offered to turn mine in for me. We have to turn them in next weekend, ahead of the show. As she's leaving for a trip on Monday, and I leave before she gets back home, we agreed that I would drop mine off with her before she leaves.

I'm going to relax the rest of the weekend, spending time with family. I'll be getting ready for my trip next week, but I'll tell you more about that later.

Happy Easter Weekend, friend! Thanks for stopping by today.


April 19, 2019

It Was A Good Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Song of Spring" Detail
It was a good day. I gave Destiny a little TLC, and switched out the wool batting in favor of cotton. She seemed to prefer the cotton, and I managed to get the entire piece quilted. 

Today, I'll bind it and add the hanging sleeve (required by the quilt show organizers), and it will be ready to go. Then, I'm going to pack up Destiny so I can take her for a spa treatment. I'll probably do that tomorrow, with this being Good Friday. I'm leaving soon to go to Florida to drive drive home with Handsome and Bella, so my machine will stay at the repair shop until I get back.

All in all, I'm moving into this holiest of weekend with my deadline met, and my ambitious project complete. Yes. It was a good day, indeed.

PS. Thanks to those of you who left comments yesterday. It wasn't until Kathy D. told me that wool can make machines finicky, that it even occurred to me that the batting could be the issue! I'm so fortunate to have her expertise available when I need it (and boy, I needed it!). Thanks, Kathy. I couldn't have worked this out without you.


April 18, 2019

Let's Not Do That Again...

Image ©Disney
 Some days, it just doesn't go by the book. 

My plan was to use wool batting between my quilt layers, merrily stitch out my quilt design, and have my piece ready to bind by nightfall yesterday.

Destiny hates wool (who knew?), to the extent that she blew her automatic cutter, and possibly chewed up her bobbin case. Dang! 

So, I thought I'd let Jane give it a go. Apparently, my semi-industrial machine can pitch a fit, too. She decided to just hang out in one place on my quilt and weave her own thread nest on the back of my quilt. Well, as that wasn't in my original design, I told Jane to go on break before she injured herself (or I did something I'd regret later).

I unpacked my Janome 3160 QDC ("Q", standing for QUILTING!), and she did the same darn thing! I guess they all had a plan to boycott wool batting. Word spread quickly. I was miffed, to say the least. 
Last night, I spent about a half hour unstitching what I had managed to accomplish before my machines decided to contract Sewing Machine Flu. Why? Because I give in. I'm switching out the wool to replace it with an organic cotton batting. We'll see if anyone will deign to produce a beautiful stitch for the front and back of my "Song of Spring" quilt today. Wouldn't that be nice?


April 17, 2019

Quilt Top Finished...

Brynwood Needleworks - Completed Quilt Top
I finished piecing and embellishing my "Song of Spring" quilt top yesterday. I added leaves to the corners of the center block, as well as on corner blocks at the intersections of the half-square triangle block rows. I also added one more border than originally planned to put a frame around them.

Brynwood Needleworks - Loni Rossi Feather Fabric Backing
I chose this feather fabric from Loni Rossi for the backing. I've bordered it with the check that you see at the bottom of the image. So, what do you think? So far, so good? I'm entering it in the same quilt show where my "Posy, the Patchwork Pachyderm" took a second. (It's a tough audience.)
Today, I'm having lunch with Mom Grace's daughter, Deb. After lunch, I'm going to sit down to do the final quilting. I originally had this brilliant idea to make this my first hand quilted piece. After stitching (and unstitching) multiple times, I've decided not to torture myself further. I'm going to machine quilt it this afternoon, and then bind it. Once that's done, I'll add the display sleeve, and it will be ready for the quilt show. I'll share the finished piece as soon as it's all done. 

I'll be back tomorrow - hopefully with a completed entry for the It's A Stitch Guild Quilt Show. Gotta run! Later,


April 16, 2019

Tuesdays With Tag - Come On, Man...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag In The Studio

Hi, Everybody!

Here I am in the studio yesterday. I've been buggin' Mom all day to go outside, but she's up to her ears with her bird quilt project. I wish she'd take me out to run around in the yard - or better yet, let me go outside alone, so I can find some nasty squirrel poop to roll in! 

It's been pretty odiferous lately in our neighborhood, 'cuz all the farmers are spreadin' the good stuff. They're all busy gettin' the ground ready to plant once the weather stays warm enough.

I know I'm soundin' like a one-trick pony these days, but seriously...I don't know whether to shed or hold my fur! It's been so nice lately that Mom takes me out to stand on the wall in front of our house so she can brush me (and trim my nails! grrrrr).

Brynwood Needleworks - Farm Vista April 14, 2019

 Then, I wake up to THIS!

Thankfully, after a day and night of snowin' (3", but who's countin'?), the temperature got back above freezin' so this could melt off. Mom loves that it stays so muddy. That way she can wipe my feet (and sometimes my belly) off every time I go outside and come back in. I mean, who wouldn't enjoy havin' to go through that every time I have to take a whiz?

Brynwood Needleworks - Farm April 15, 2019
Then, after a mere 24 hours of warmer weather, all we have left of the snow is what collects on the northern side of our buildings, and in the ditches and stuff. I can see the squirrels well enough to chase 'em (like at 7 o'clock in the morning). Off we go toward the woods, and Mom runs right up that trail toward Miss Shelly's beggin' me to stop. (Did I mention she was still in her pajamas? hee hee)
Miss Shelly came outside to say "hi", and she was gigglin', too. I finally stopped to mark the bottom of the tree where that squirrel was hidin', and then trotted back to Mom (who muttered somethin' about stringin' me up). She seemed a little peeved with me.  We both wagged bye to Miss Shelly and walked back down the hill to the farmhouse.

While we were walkin', I reminded Mom that gettin' out and exercisin' from time to time is a good thing. Between you and me, I don't think she was buyin' it. She didn't say much, but she was puffin' good by the time we got to the back door. I decided not to tell her she could use more exercise...discretion bein' the better part of valor, and all. I wanted to make sure I got my breakfast, you know?

Anyway, I'm startin' to think that this snow stuff might be over for this year. A guy can cross his paws, right?
I'll see you again in seven, 'til then...
"Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open".

April 15, 2019


Brynwood Needleworks - Completed Embroidery and Fabric Choices
I completed the robin's nest embroidery on Saturday, which led to my starting on the next phase of my project. I can tell you now that I'm creating a quilted wall hanging to enter in an upcoming quilt show.

Handsome has been watching my progress, and he's named it for me..."Song of Spring". As I want the embroidery to be the most prominent feature, I chose fabrics that were more muted.

I've already created the half-square triangles that will be my block border. I'm using the grey plaid and rust-colored print fabric for straight sashing to frame the embroidery. I won't cut my embroidered panel until I do all the math, but I know that, as I'm entering it in the "Miniature Quilt" category, it needs to be under 26" square. That won't be a problem at all.

I'll probably have the top completed when I post again on Wednesday. Tag's up tomorrow. He's such a hoot. He makes me laugh every day. I'm as interested to see what he has to say as you are. Time to sew! See you later.


April 14, 2019

April 13, 2019


Brynwood Needleworks - Robin Babies Detail
When I sat down at 9:30 yesterday morning, I was confident that I'd finish my embroidery by the end of the day. I was wrong. 

I stopped stitching around 5:30 pm, and I'd managed to complete one baby bird, and the legs/feet on the adult. I have Number #2 baby about three-quarters finished, and a start on Baby #3. 

When I post about this on Monday, I'll show you my completed piece, and what's happening next on this project. Of course, I'll be sitting at the hoop today until I'm done with the babies, and then I'll work on the rest over the weekend. I can't wait to show you what this will become!

I'm glad it's going to warm back up again. Yesterday was nasty cold. I bundled up whenever Tag needed to go out - as well as doing my "feeder-filling" tasks. The birds are sticking close to the feeders, and actually fly right in to the apple tree when they see me coming! I haven't seen the 'possums or cat in a couple of days (and I have food for them in the compass barn, just in case), so I hope they're safe and warm, too. 

Well, I'm going to get back to it. Yards of floss to go before I sleep. lol Have a great weekend, my friend. 

April 12, 2019

Hello, Lady...

Brynwood Needleworks - Ladybug Addition
When I sat down to start working on my embroidery yesterday, I was thinking about what that third, little bird should be looking at. I knew I wanted it to be something other than the leaf. Should it be flying - like a bee, dragonfly, or fly? Then, it hit me!
A little ladybug, looking right back, would be perfect! That tiny pop of red and black was just what my piece needed. Well, that and a little touch of whimsy. So, that's where I began the day's stitching. I made a ladybug!
My eight and a half hours yesterday were spent finishing all the the leg and foot of my adult robin; then, I created the nest; and the ladybug, of course. I also started work on the babies. 
As an aside...The weather was crummy, too. It snowed about 3" the night before, and I woke up to a howling wind at about 6 am. I got up, went through my morning rituals, got dressed and let the Corgi out. Then we headed straight to town to pick up more birdseed (which I should have done in the nicer weather the day before). I wanted to be sure the birds had food.
I filled all the bird feeders, and set out the dehydrated grubs for the robins before I went back inside. I made a cuppa tea, and then I got back to stitching. While I stitched, occasionally sipping my tea, I looked up to see a bluebird looking back at me from his perch on one of my shepherd's crooks in the garden! I'm glad I put the grubs out. They eat them, too!! (I also cleaned out the bluebird houses a few weeks ago, so their accommodations are ready and waiting for them!) I smiled as I went back to my needlework.
I'll finish embroidering the babies (and the foot on the adult) today, and tomorrow I'll show you my completed needlework piece. I'll also tell you what I'm going to do with it! Be sure to come back tomorrow, when all will be revealed. 

April 11, 2019

Sharing The Big Picture...

Brynwood Needleworks - Robin Embroidery Progress 4.10.19
I thought you might like to see my full embroidery image today. I worked on it for more than eight hours yesterday, and made quite a bit of progress. From the looks of things, I'm guessing I have another full two days before it's finished and ready for the next step(s).
Of course, my next post will let you see how much I manage to complete. I'm going to make a pot of coffee and get right back to it. I'll see you again tomorrow.
PS. We got the snow that was predicted. ugh I left out plenty of food for the birds, opossums, and a feral black cat I've nicknamed "Will". lol Enough of winter already. I'm more than ready for spring!