June 30, 2019

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via HopeReflected.com

June 29, 2019

New In The Studio...

Brynwood Needleworks - Marketplace Work Table

When we moved to the farm, I said I was going to avoid buying brand new furniture at all cost. I no longer want, nor do I need brand new furniture. We use what we have, or I find great deals to repurpose. This is one such deal.

Yes. I was foraging around on Facebook Marketplace again. Don't judge. There are so many cool things there, and never at "brand new" prices. Anyway, I found this heavy duty commercial work table for a sweet price, so I contacted the seller. I asked a few questions, and made arrangements to go to see it.

It measures 48" long by 24" wide by 26 1/2" high, with the shelf below. I was told it came out of a hospital during a remodel. It's heavy and strong, with a solid wood top and metal undercarriage. I bought it on the spot.

While I was standing in her garage, I noticed there was also a pristine pattern file cabinet next to the table. I asked if it was for sale and if so, how much? She said it was, and I could make an offer. I did, we agreed, and it also came home with me. The coolest part was that my Explorer was about 2" too short to fit everything inside, so the seller offered to deliver part of it for me.

She and I loaded everything into our two vehicles, she followed me home and everything was here the same day. On top of that, she's also a seamstress, so I now have a new friend with a shared interest!

Brynwood Needleworks - Destiny Sewing Table
Handsome and I managed to carry the table up to the studio yesterday, and I have it all installed in my sewing room now. I have my bobbins, adhesives (for making handbags and wallets), and order binder on the shelf, and Destiny is perfectly installed on top. The table is long enough for me to use the embroidery attachment, too.

The pattern file is too heavy for Handsome and me to get upstairs, so we'll wait for my nephew's strong muscles to help one of us get it up there. I've made a spot for it in my fabric studio, and it's going to hold all my woolens for applique' work. I'll show that to you once it's upstairs and in place.

I've got the itch to stitch (sew) now, but today is a bread baking day. I'm planning to play in the studio on Sunday as I move into a productive July. Can you believe it's right around the corner? Enjoy your weekend. I'll tell you all about mine on Monday!


June 28, 2019

Stormy Weather...

Brynwood Needleworks - Storm Coming - Liljegren's Hickory Hill Farm
Yesterday afternoon, the windows were all open; the breezes were flowing through the farmhouse; and the sun was shining. I have a door to our airing porch located in my sewing studio, and the door was open wide to let the air move through my workroom. 

I noticed that the wind turned around and it was starting to get dark, so I went out on the airing porch to take a look around. This was my view to the north of our farmhouse. Sunshine was giving way to clouds, and I could see the rain moving from the west toward the farm.

Within five minutes of me taking this photograph, the rain was pounding against our buildings. Handsome and I had already closed windows, doors and the outbuildings were closed and secure. We were inside with the dogs, and we were all safe and dry.

The rains left as quickly as they came, and by late afternoon, the sun was again shining down on Hickory Hill Farm. The temperatures were in the mid to high 80s today, but after the storm, it was about 20º cooler. The sunset was magnificent, and the stars were out by the time we went to bed. It was a lovely end to a changing weather day.
I was in town for my haircut, too, yesterday, and then I went to see a table for the studio. The sewing cabinet I use for my Destiny wasn't really built for it, and the weight of my machine was causing the table top to warp. It's really inconvenient when I attach the embroidery arm because I have to lift the machine to make the connection, so I decided to check out a new-to-me table. (I bought it, and brought it home, along with another great find I'll tell you about tomorrow.)
I'm a little low on sewing mojo right now. I have work to do, but no gumption to do it. When that happens, I clean. I had the studios torn up, rearranged, and mostly put back together by dinner time. I'm going to bring the new table in first, and then perhaps today will be a sewing day. We're supposed to get more storms, and I'm usually careful about turning on my machines during bad weather. We'll see how it goes. I can always do more prep work for upcoming projects, so even if I don't sew, I can get caught up in other ways.

Today is Friday, of course, so I may just decide to shut down early and hang out with Handsome and the pups. I can always work tomorrow. wink


June 27, 2019

A Parade On The Farm...

Brynwood Needleworks - "Big Daddy" Raccoon In The Field

Let me apologize, right off the bat, for these crummy photos. I should be ashamed of myself. I have an honest-to-goodness Nikon D200, but I was already on the porch when this all transpired. So sorry.

I watched Big Daddy raccoon forage all the way across the field late yesterday afternoon, as he munched on what leftover corn was still out there. It's planted in soy beans now, but the only critters interested in the shoots would be the deer, sandhill cranes, and turkeys.

Big Daddy started all the way north near the second rise in this picture, and worked his way across the field nearly to our lawn. He's a big boy, as I'd seen him with a little girlfriend on our porch last winter. They came around for the kitten food that I'd been putting out for the opossums, but I knew that they couldn't be hanging around on the porch, so I took up the food and put it into the compass barn, where the 'possums were sleeping anyway. The raccoons went back to the woods.

So, as I watched "Big Daddy", I noticed that he was paying more and more attention to the woods along our east property line. He was moving more quickly than he had been. I figured that the deer we've been watching all week were on their way out to graze.

I was hearing quite a ruckus, which is unlike deer who seems to move with a stealth equal to the most talented ninja. I leaned back in my chair on the porch, and waited (with my stupid cell camera in hand).

Brynwood Needleworks - "Little Mama" and Babies

Wouldn't you just know it? Little Raccoon (Now named "Little Mama") came out of the woods with five (FIVE) babies in tow! They paraded right across our front lawn to our huge, old maple tree.

Brynwood Needleworks - "Little Mama" and Babies

Little Mama was teaching lessons. All of them were snuffling around the base of the maple, and then she took them out into the lawn and rooted around in the grass. I'm sure she sensed I was there, as she kept standing on her hind legs with her nose in the air. I sat, stock-still, so although she could smell "human", she wasn't alarmed.

Brynwood Needleworks - "Little Mama" and Babies

After a little while, she and the kits headed toward the north field, too. They all ran to keep up with their mama, and other than their noisy entrance to the yard, they were remarkably quiet. I've held babies this small before, but they were orphans that I saved off the roadway. Never with a protective mother to scold me. Those babies were chittering and squeaking the whole time. Theses guys were quiet, and there was no way I was going to interfere with their evening lessons - or alarm their mama!

Brynwood Needleworks - "Little Mama" and Babies
Just before they left our (newly-mowed) lawn, Little Mama stood on her hinds legs just one more time. I rewarded her by letting her see me slowly stand and leave the porch through our front screen door. She watched me the whole time, but didn't bolt. 
After I was inside, I watched her collect her little ones, turn for the corner of the field, and slowly amble back into the woods. I imagine she met up with Big Daddy and told him all about seeing me, and now I now I think I know who's been raiding the oriole feeders at night. 
Every morning I go out to check the feeders, and find all the grape jelly gone - with the bowls strewn across the lawn. In fact, one is missing right now. I looked everywhere, with no luck finding it. I guess they really are little rascals.

Again, I'm not purposely doing anything to invite them into the yard, but they're safe when they're here. I don't know why, but Snow White's music rings in my ears when I see the opossums, squirrels, chipmunks or raccoons on our property. lol Can't you just see me twirling around in a dress and pinafore? I know. Me either. Stop laughing!

Time for coffee, and then a trip to town for my monthly haircut. I have no idea what else today will bring, but I know that when I think about Little Mama and her babies on our lawn, I'll stop and smile. Have a great day! I'll be back tomorrow.

June 26, 2019

My Latest Finish...

Brynwood Needleworks - Explore - Shop Hop Crossbody - Front
I completed this for a client yesterday. I have two more bags to complete for her (larger than this one), which I'll do yet this week.

This is my Brynwood Shop Hop Crossbody Bag (also available as a pattern), and I'll be making more completed bags available in my shop, too.
Brynwood Needleworks - Explore - Shop Hop Crossbody - Front Detail

Don't you love this machine embroidery? It's a new favorite for me. I think it looks great on the black cork fabric, but I'll also offer it on natural or navy cork.

Brynwood Needleworks - Explore - Shop Hop Crossbody - Back

One thing different from the pattern is that I've added a convenient, lined slip pocket on the back side of the bag. I think it's a nice, handy feature.
Brynwood Needleworks - Explore - Shop Hop Crossbody -Interior
The lining is a cotton map fabric to complete the theme. This one is already spoken for, but I'll be making more for my shop. I'll have them listed very soon.

More bag-making today...but a nice cup of coffee and a visit with Handsome first. Then, I'll be back in my studio today.


June 25, 2019

Tuesdays With Tag - Deer Here...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Corgi - Tag
 Hi, Everybody!

One of the great things about livin' here at the farm is the number of animals that stop by to visit from time to time. For one thing, they usually leave somethin' quite odiferous for Boo and me to roll around in. Another, is that most of 'em are entertainin', which means we get to carry on when we see 'em.

We've had these regular visitors for the past week or so. Mom and Dad have been watchin' 'em, but Boo and I didn't actually know about 'em until a couple of days ago.
Brynwood Needleworks - Deer

They've been gettin' closer and closer to the farmhouse, and a couple of nights ago, Mom and Dad were watchin' them out the windows. As Dad leaned forward in his chair, The Black Dog looked to see what he found so interestin'. When she saw the deer, she started with a low growl. Dad told her to be quiet, but that was all I needed to jump up and bark my fool head off.

The deer stopped and looked at the house. Mom told me to knock it off, and after a few more barks at who-knows-what, I stopped...and the deer went back to rompin' around in the field. Mom could tell - even through the window screens - that three of them were spike bucks, and one was a small girl. She was havin' fun, runnin' circles around the other three.

One of the boys has a limp, too. We think he got hurt somehow, but he still gets around pretty well. We don't think it's life-threatenin'.
Brynwood Needleworks - Four Deer

Please excuse the blurry picture, because it was taken through a screen. It's such a trade-off...take off the screens to get good pictures, or keep the screens on to keep the mosquitos outside. We opt to keep the bugs out. You get it, right?

Next week is Independence Day (week), so please come back for my Public Service Announcement. I've got some important stuff for you to read about. I'm gonna go back and see if I can find those deer...or at least somethin' interestin' to roll in!
 I'll see you again in seven, 'til then...
"Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open".

June 24, 2019

Oh, Look! A Squirrel...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie Filling

I know you're wondering about the title for today's post. Well, I had completely different plans for the weekend, but my mind wandered and I ended up doing this yesterday!

It all began with a gorgeous Saturday, that was comfortably cool for working in the garden. I weeded out a huge bed, and then tackled the area adjacent to the rhubarb patch. Before you know it, I was pulling the flower stems on the rhubarb, and then pulling rhubarb to take inside. (Did you know that you're not supposed to cut the stems of rhubarb from the plant? Rather, by twisting the rhubarb near the base, it comes clean from the plant, and also signals the plant that it's missing a stem. That way, the plant knows to replace it with a new one. Cutting short-circuits the message, and the plant doesn't know to regenerate. Mine are already sprouting new shoots, so I'll get at least one more harvest this summer!)

Anyway, we bought twelve pounds of strawberries, and I picked a basket of rhubarb so full that I almost couldn't lift it to carry to the house! (Don't worry. I persevered, and I made it to the kitchen with my haul.)

When I got up on Sunday morning, canning beckoned. I began at ten o'clock in the morning, and finished with the water bath for the last batch at five thirty in the afternoon. A long day, but much to show for it. I finished with eighteen quarts, plus one pint of beautiful strawberry-rhubarb pie filling. Handsome was outside, and when he came back in, he said the whole house smelled like a candy factory!

I made some of this last year, but not nearly as much. There's something wonderful about inviting summer back into your home in the depths of winter. It really is possible with this pie filling.

I'd like you to see something else in this picture, too. Do you notice the little drawers to the left of all those beautiful jars? It's a recent gift from a blog friend.

Brynwood Needleworks - Gifts From Marcy

If you followed my blog in 2015, you may remember the "Dress A Girl Around The World" effort that I sponsored here on my blog. I love this program to make dresses for girls and young women around the world, as a way to raise their self esteem and clothe them at the same time. You can Google "Dress A Girl Around The World" to learn more about their worthwhile effort and how you can participate in your state.

When I began the dress drive in 2015, I simply asked if there were people who read my blog who would like to help me reach a goal to donate 100 dresses. That number was quickly surpassed, and my one-time drive lasted through 2016.

By the end of my involvement (we were preparing to move back to Wisconsin), my blog friends and I had donated a total of 725 dresses and 429 dolls. We really made a difference.

Well, one of my friends continues to make and donate dresses to this day. Marcy lives in California, and hopes to sew her 1,000th dress before the end of this year!

Brynwood Needleworks - Butter Press

Marcy saw one of my posts about needing to downsize my fabrics, and asked if there might be anything I could pass on to her toward her goal. Of course, I immediately said "yes"!

She offered to trade with me, because she also knew that I have been searching for a set of antique spice drawers for our kitchen that wouldn't cost an arm and a leg. She had two, and said she'd like to give one to me. Can you even imagine how excited I was!!! Not only would I be able to help her reach her dress goal, but I would have a set of spice drawers, and they would come from someone I deeply admire. She said she'd package it up and send it on to me.

Brynwood Needleworks - Enamelware From Marcy

Not only did my dear blog friend send the spice drawers, but she also included some lovely enamelware pieces to go on my kitchen shelves! A sweet funnel, and a little covered pitcher were also in the box.

Brynwood Needleworks - Enamelware and Tooled Box

She didn't stop there, either. She also included a large enamelware tray, a wooden butter press and a sweet tooled box that I'll be using to carry threads! I was really speechless.

Brynwood Needleworks - My "New" Old Spice Drawers

I'm so grateful for the gifts Marcy sent to me, but I'm more grateful for being able to say that I'm friends with this kind and generous woman. I'm going to choose some of the most beautiful fabrics to send her way, and I know she'll put them to the best use by making more dresses for little girls.

Thank you, Marcy, from the bottom of my heart. I love everything, and will cherish these gifts always.


June 23, 2019

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via Facebook

June 22, 2019

I Was A Bad Blogger...

Brynwood Needleworks via Internet
Yesterday was a flurry of activity, and I barely paid attention to my phone. No photographs were taken to record the day's events, and there is nothing to show for all that was accomplished.

First thing in the morning, our dear neighbor showed up with tractor and trailer to meet his nephew at our house. His nephew brought sons to help, and in no time, a basement window was removed and there were busy hands tossing firewood up and out of our basement.

When one trailer was full, it pulled away from the house, and another took its place. Handsome ferried wood in the front loader of our tractor from the house to the trailers, and at the end of the day, we estimated that a whopping three cords of wood had been emptied out of our cistern and wood room. (Chastising myself here for not taking a single photo of the work in progress...or the cistern, full of wood...or the cistern empty, for that matter!)

I needed to run errands, and when I got home, Handsome was vacuuming the last of the cobwebs out of the floor joists. I thought the cistern was going to be a perfect storage room, and man, I had no idea! It's HUGE now that it's empty! 

Our immediate thank you to Andy for his help in the process was to invite him, Shelly and their grandson down for dinner by the fire (pit). It got a little chilly as darkness fell on the farmhouse, but we enjoyed our visit none the less.  (We're working on a few other tokens of gratitude for them, too, but don't tell, okay?)

This was a perfect day - well, you know, except for the lack of photos. I'll be taking pictures of the cistern today, so you can see what I'll have to work with. I think paint is in order before shelves, but that won't happen right away. (Remember my list from yesterday? First things first.)

Enjoy your Saturday, and I'll be back to share photos with you on Monday. (Of course, I'll post a Sunday Scripture for you, too.) 
Oh, and this photo isn't mine. I saw it on Facebook last night. I can't wait for our hollyhocks to open up. They're going to be magnificent this year! 

Happy Summer!!


June 21, 2019

I've Got Lots To Do...

Brynwood Needleworks - Batik and Black Cork Fabrics
I have a custom order on deck next. I'll be making two different bags using this batik/cork fabric combination. I'm also making one of my new Shop Hop Crossbody Bags, for the same client, in cork with a lighthouse design on it.

Brynwood Needleworks - A Sampling of New Wallets
When that order is complete, I'll be adding new Bryn Crossbody Wallets to my shop. I'm also going to make them in a slightly different style with a chain crossbody strap option. I'll show you all those when they're finished, but I have that custom order up first.

I'm also going to be making a number of Shop Hop Crossbody Bags for my shop, too. All of these will be listed and available next week, but I'll show them to you here first.

If you're interested in making your own Farmhouse Chickens Pincushions, Convertible Market Tote, or the Shop Hop Crossbody Bag, the patterns are all listed in my online shop now. (Click HERE to go window shopping.)

GREAT NEWS!! My email server is finally back up and running properly, and I'm receiving my emails again. Apologies if I haven't responded to a recent message. I ask that you resend if you need to reach me.

We've got people coming today to help move all the rest of the firewood out of our basement. (Seems unnecessary that it be there since we removed the wood burner last fall.) We have plenty in the wood shed already for our backyard firepit, so this wood is going with the people who are helping us get it out. 

I'm pretty excited about this, because our old cistern is currently filled to the brim with wood, and I have another idea in mind for that space. Once it's all cleared of the wood, I'll be giving it a good cleaning and paint; we'll add shelves, and it will become my canning storage area. All my canning supplies will go on one side, and all the canned goods will go on another. We'll only keep some of what I can in the pantry, and the rest will be downstairs.

First things first. Wood will be on its way today, while I'll be in the studio working on my commission projects. Then I can think about what's next...like the weekend!! Make it a great one!


June 20, 2019

An Evening of MSO in FdL...

Brynwood Needleworks - Milwaukee Symphony

Last night, Handsome and I were able to sit together in the audience as Yaniv Dinur conducted the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra at Buttermilk Creek Park in Fond du Lac, WI. Usually, Handsome is on the stage when he's at the park, but we weren't going to pass up another chance to see the Symphony perform in town.

Brynwood Needleworks - Sunset Over Fond du Lac (WI)
The program began at 7:15 pm, and the sunset was appropriately wonderful as the orchestra played "Hymn To The Fallen" near the end of their concert. If you have a chance, go to YouTube and do a search on this piece of music. It's so hauntingly beautiful, made even more so, as the sun set over my hometown. It was a lovely evening for a concert.

I had a busy, tiring day, so I apologize for not getting my patterns listed yesterday. It's first thing on my agenda for today (after my cup of coffee)! See you tomorrow.


June 19, 2019

A Day Of All Work And No Play...

Brynwood Needleworks - Convertible Market Tote - Closed

I finally finished writing the pattern for my Convertible Market Tote. Whew! First I had to make it, while I wrote out the steps and photographed it through all the construction. Then, I edited the images.

Once the images were edited, I could write the pattern...fabric requirements, cutting instructions, and finally assembly instructions with photographs.

Brynwood Needleworks - Convertible Market Tote - Open

It's a lot of work, but I finally finished it yesterday. That was the good great news. While I was busy at the computer, though, I got a text from my buddy, Kathy D., asking me if I was going to the Sit & Sew...yesterday.

Wait. What? Because I'm still having email issues, I didn't get the reminder email to my inbox. I had it in my calendar as a "maybe" date, to be decided later. I missed the email confirming that the meet up was on. Dang it!

Brynwood Needleworks - Convertible Market Tote - Interior
While I was completing my work, all my pals were visiting and having a stitching good day at Lisa's house. I finished my pattern, but was kinda grumping because I wasn't there with them. 

My email is supposed to be fixed today...and you can bet I'll be making a follow up call to make sure it's back up and running the way it's supposed to be.

In the meantime, I'll be listing my new patterns up in my Etsy shop sometime today, too. There will be a new printable PDF pattern to make your own flock of Chicken Pincushions; another for the Shop Hop Crossbody Bag; and finally this one, the Brynwood Convertible Market Tote. 

None of the patterns are longer than ten pages, and are really simple to sew together. You could have the pattern, and a new project completed by the weekend! I'll have the patterns listed up by dinnertime today. And, I'm going to make sure my notification alarms are set for the next Sit & Sew, so I don't miss our play date in July!

June 18, 2019

Tuesdays With Tag - She Threw Us A Curveball...

Brynwood Needleworks - Travelin' Hounds

 Hi, Everybody!

Well, it appears that The Black Dog is takin' her good, sweet-natured time gettin' in heat. Mom and Dad spent that first weekend keepin' track of her, but didn't see any more than that first little splotch. 

So twice last week, Dad took her to the vet to get checked. After the second set of tests, the vet say, "No way, Jose'. She's not in heat." Boo got all that attention for nothin'. Now we just wait.
Brynwood Needleworks - Jerry and Kathy

In the meantime, Dad, Mom, Boo and I took a little road trip. We went to see Mom's Facebook friend, Kathy B. and her husband, in Illinois. Miss Kathy sold Mom and Dad a primo whelpin' box for when Bella actually has a litter. Arrange-ments had been made, so even though Bella threw us a curveball by not bein' in heat, we went and got the box anyway.

Brynwood Needleworks - Selkie's Puppies

The bonus was that Miss Kathy's Corgi girl, Selkie had a litter of puppies almost four weeks ago, and Mom and Dad got to see them. Of course, Bella and I weren't allowed to get close to them because they haven't had their shots yet. They're too little. We just cooled our heels in the truck. That was okay, though. Better that the puppies be protected than we get out and snuffle all over 'em too soon.
Brynwood Needleworks - Selkie's Puppies

Selkie had eleven puppies, but one didn't make it when it was born, so there are ten healthy puppies in this litter. (Mom and Dad are hopin' that Bella has ten puppies when her time finally comes!) Aren't they adorable? 

Brynwood Needleworks - Rory, Selkie and Shooter

Mom also got to meet Miss Kathy's other two Corgis, Rory and Shooter. Shooter is the fluffy guy on the right, and Rory is the dude with the smile on the left. Sweet Mama Selkie is in the middle.

It was really nice that Mom and Miss Kathy got to meet in person after all this time bein' online friends. They had a nice visit, Dad and Mr. Jerry loaded up the whelpin' box, and we headed back to the farm.

The whelpin' box has been unloaded, and Mom and Dad put it into the kennel setup, so we'll be ready when the time comes. Mom sure hopes Miss Black Dog Furball gets in gear soon. She and Dad really wants to get this party started! We'll see what The Black Dog has in mind.
 I'll see you again in seven, 'til then...
"Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open".