October 31, 2019

Sorry To Disappoint...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Halloween Pumpkin

Tag and Bella were really excited about dressing up one more time to show you their second costumes today, but I had a little health scare yesterday, so I decided to take it really easy. I have no costume photos to share. Better safe than sorry. I know you'll understand.

I was able to light up their plastic "treats" pumpkin to share, but that's about all I was able to do . ugh

Brynwood Needleworks - Embroideries For BW Shop Hop Bags
I've been busy with Destiny lately. I managed to do four new machine embroidery designs to make into new BW Shop Hop Crossbody Bags. I'd also intended to sew these (and a few others) up yesterday, but they're sitting for now, too.

I'm going to take the day off again today. I'm going to make sure I don't have a recurrence of yesterday. It wasn't fun at all, and I really don't want a repeat. I'll see how I feel as the day progresses, and perhaps I'll be able to play in the studio for a bit. I'll let you know. 
Brynwood Needleworks - Vintage Halloween Postcard via Internet
 (Prayers are always appreciated. God knows what's going on. Thank you. xo)

October 30, 2019

Farmhouse Renovation - Unplanned...

Brynwood Needleworks - Compass Barn Door (Before)

After working in the yard last Wednesday, we were unable to pull the old garage door down to cover the opening on the Compass Barn. Rats. We'd hoped to limp one more season with the old door, having just completed the porch project, but the door had other ideas.

I went online, did a search for "Garage Doors" in our area and picked one that was nearby. I made a call, and within an hour the owner was in our driveway, taking measurements and giving us a quote. We gave him the go-ahead, and the replacement installation was scheduled for Tuesday.

On Friday, he called to tell us that they cleared the current job earlier than planned, so they'd be here on Monday. He said they'd be here at 8:00 am, and the workmen drove in at 7:59.

Brynwood Needleworks - Compass Barn Door (Removal In Progress)

The guys got right to work removing the old door, which was ready to come down. The fiberglass model had long outlived its usefulness, but it did a good job keeping rain and snow out of the barn. 

Brynwood Needleworks - Compass Barn Door (Old Door Down)

The old door was down within minutes, and the guys set about framing up for the new door. They had taken down all the old tracks and hardware, so they made the new frame to close up the gaps in the original frame, and put up the new tracks.

Side note: If you look through to the opposite side wall of the barn, you can see daylight. When the owner made his initial visit, he asked us if we wanted an insulated door. This picture explains why we giggled, and declined, opting instead for a sturdy, uninsulated, metal door.

Brynwood Needleworks - Compass Barn Door (Bye Bye, Old Door)

They loaded up all the old door parts, and even hauled them away so we wouldn't have to worry about how to do that ourselves.
Brynwood Needleworks - Compass Barn Door (After)

In a very short time, we had a brand new door installed in the opening for the Compass Barn, and it really looks great. Even better, it will keep the elements out of the barn, so our machines will be protected, and any visiting opossums will be toasty warm this winter.

I have to say that this company (Mid-West Overhead Doors in Fond du Lac, WI) is a true customer service oriented business. 1) Fast response on initial call, 2) Great pricing, 3) Great employees, 4) Great product. We'll highly recommend them to any and all who ask.

Brynwood Needleworks - Front Yard - Saturday
Brynwood Needleworks - Front Yard - Tuesday

You'll remember the photo I shared of our front yard on Saturday. When we woke up yesterday morning, this was the view outside our windows. Reports said we got about three inches of the white stuff. I admit, I laughed out loud.

I remember snowy Halloweens as a kid, but forgot how snow looked in October. By the end of the day, even with warmer temps, we still had snow on the ground.

Brynwood Needleworks - Honeysuckle (Saturday)
Brynwood Needleworks - Honeysuckle (Tuesday)
The honeysuckle blossom is under a snowy mantle, too. I think it's pretty either way, but I think I prefer it without the snow. 
Bella sees the specialist again today. She's getting around pretty well (even if we had to keep her on a leash because she badly wanted to run in the snow), but we want to make sure everything is healing right, and see how much longer we have to keep her from running. I'll keep you updated on her condition, but from our point of view, she's doing remarkably well.
If you've got snow, stay safe and warm. If you're in a warmer climate, please don't rub it in to those who aren't. (wink)

October 29, 2019

Tuesdays With Tag - Practicin' For Halloween...

Brynwood Needleworks - Halloween Pups
Hi, Everybody!!
Well, apparently Mom doesn't have enough to do these days. In a flash of inspiration, she hauled out some of her and Dad's gear and poof! She turned Boo and me into costumed fools.

I'm wearin' a huntin' vest, whistle and Wisconsin DNR Warden's cap, so I'm supposed to be a Game Warden. The Black Dog is wearin' a doggie camo vest, a duck call and a hunter safety, blaze orange cap. She's supposed to be the hunter. (yawn) At least we're not cats or 'possums!

Really, it's all like a bad dream for us. We'd much rather be runnin' around our yard au naturel. Mom did tell us that there would be treats involved, so we played along. I mean, it's not even really Halloween yet! We can't even Trick or Treat until Thursday!

So, here's the deal...These are our costumes as of today, but I fear think there may be another set of costumes for the actual day. I hope next time, Mom might work a little harder on the setting, too. A real duck blind would have been nice, ya know?

So, you won't have to wait a whole week to see us again. We'll be back on Thursday, and hope you will be, too!
 I'll see you again in seven on Thursday. 'til then...
"Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open".

October 28, 2019

A Perfect Autumn Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - Autumn Colors At The Farmhouse

Our Sunday couldn't have been more perfect. The sun was shining, the temperatures reached into the high 50s, and the trees were dressed in their Autumn best.

Handsome and I decided the weather was perfect for working in the yard. We moved most of the mulch that was still waiting to be placed, and then raked it into the beds. I even put some around the house side of our new rock wall, so it will be waiting for the flowers or bushes we want to put there in the spring. Then, we mowed the lawn, perhaps for the last time this season. I'm hoping so, because the yard tractor I drive really needs to have the mower blades checked, sharpened or replaced.

Brynwood Needleworks - A Late Season Surprise
When we finally limped (old age creeping up on us, you know) back to the house, I passed the honeysuckle vine that I'd transplanted before the porch demo and rebuild. I watered it, religiously, after it was planted, and hoped it would be happy in its new location.
Imagine my surprise - in light of some very chilly nights - to find a new blossom on the vine! It appears that my little honeysuckle is happy after all. I snapped a few photographs, and then we proceeded into the house. 
We let Bella and Tag out and fed them, first. I caught a nice, hot shower, and then we made a tasty vegetable beef soup (using some of our own canned tomatoes) and warm, homemade bread. With everyone's tummies full, I sat down in my favorite chair, turned a heating pad on my back, put my feet up, and promptly took a "power nap". I woke up just in time to watch the Packers/Chiefs football game. It was a great day and evening.

Today will be busy. We've got workmen here this morning. (I'll tell you all about that on Wednesday.) One of our sons will be here for a while, and I'm going to be working in the studio. Better get the coffee going. I think I'll be needing it today! Tag will be back tomorrow. We're working on his and Bella's Halloween costumes, so he'll be telling you all about it! Have a great day, friends.

October 27, 2019

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via LittleBirdieBlessings.

October 26, 2019

They Love Dressing Up...

Brynwood Needleworks - Twins
These are my beautiful, three year old great-nieces. Their daddy is my sister's son, Dan. I've written about him before, because we spend a lot of time together, and he comes running whenever we need a set of strong arms at the farm. I adore him for many more reasons.
His girls are fraternal twins, and they love dressing up. I haven't asked their mama just how many princess dresses they have in their closet, but I know it's a lot. Rather than put their names out here, I'm just going to refer to them by their initials..."O" on the left, and "M" on the right. 
They're both blondes, but "M" is wearing this fun, braided wig. Their mama is a talented, hobby photographer, and the girls are her favorite subjects (of course). When she posted this image of them, I couldn't help but smile. I thought I'd share their sweet photo with you today, too.
I'm not sure (because the girls haven't decided yet), whether or not they'll wear these outfits for Halloween. I'm sure they'll be adorable, whatever they decide to be, but I think it's a safe bet, they'll be girly and princess-y. I'll let you know.

I baked bread, as planned, yesterday, with so many more projects in mind, but my neck had other plans. I spent most of late day with an ice pack on my neck and taking Tylenol. I managed to stave off a bad headache (thankfully), but I wasn't 100% either. My body said, "Rest.", so I obeyed.
I'm planning yard work today, so we'll see how it goes. The sun's shining, and I'm looking forward to being outdoors. Wish me luck!


October 25, 2019


Brynwood Needleworks - Hermes, The Beloved Cat

Meet Hermes. He's the pampered cat who lives with Arwen. When she asked me to make Arwen's bag, she also asked for a smaller version for Hermes. His Mom is a dear friend, and I was happy to oblige.

Having completed Arwen's bag on Wednesday, creating Hermes' bag yesterday was easy. I had fun fussy cutting the fabric patterns to highlight Laurel Burch's colorful cats front-and-center on his bag.

Brynwood Needleworks - BW Hermes Sling Bag

This is the result of my day of sewing. I had coffee and conversation with Handsome, and then I headed to the studio. I cut all the fabric, grabbed the hardware, and then started sewing. I stopped for lunch, and again for dinner, and completed the bag about twenty minutes later. I love the result and hope Samantha does, too.

Brynwood Needleworks - BW Arwen and Hermes Sling Bags

I'm including one more photo to show you the difference in the size of the two bags. Arwen's bag measures 16.25" tall x 11.25" wide x 3" deep. Hermes' bag is 10" x 7" x 2", just the right size for his essentials.

They're both on their way to their new home today, and I'm going to spend part of my day baking bread. I do have to vacuum the studio and tidy up a bit, but otherwise I'm going to be in the kitchen.

What do you have planned for today and the weekend? We're supposed to have warmer weather, so Handsome and I are going to finish up our yard work.


October 24, 2019


Brynwood Needleworks - Arwen G.

This sweet face is my girlfriend, Samantha's pup, Arwen. Not too long ago, Sam contacted me to create two custom pieces for her. Bags with her pet's names on them for when they're traveling or for daycare.

She asked for a larger size for her dog, Arwen, and a smaller size for her cat, Hermes. I gave her a few style choices and she picked the one she liked. She requested replaceable name tags for the bags, so that the bags could be repurposed in the future.

I gave her fabric choices, and set about creating the bags for her. This is a style I haven't made before, so I prepped the fabrics, read and reread the pattern, created the patch with Arwen's name on it, and then set about the bag construction yesterday.

Brynwood Needleworks - BW Sling Bag
The result was this crossbody backpack/sling style bag. I used black cordura (like a treated, breathable canvas), and a colorful Laurel Burch dog print quilting cotton. It has two large compartments and two zipper pockets (one on the back and one on the interior of the large, front compartment), and adjustable strap. There are two d-rings so that the strap can be attached either side, depending on the preference of the carrier. The name patch is attached with patch velcro, so it can be changed out later.  
I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. The second bag (for Hermes) will be 15% smaller than this one. He'll have his own name patch on the front, too, and will also use another Laurel Burch (cat print) fabric from my inventory. I'm going to make that one today. In fact, I'd better head to the studio. If you're looking for me, that's where I'll be.


October 23, 2019

Needle Dancing With My Friend...

Brynwood Needleworks - Working On A Primitive Gatherings Project
My girlfriend, Kathy D. came out to the farmhouse to visit yesterday. We decided to have a stitching day (lunch included), so I had to decide what to work on before she got here. (I made homemade vegetable beef soup with corn bread and honey butter for our meal, in case you're interested.)
I have the current Wool Box projects I could have pulled, but I didn't feel like cutting, fusing and prepping, so I decided to take out one of the blocks I've already prepped from last summer's Primitive Gatherings "Twilight Garden" Summer Block of the Week from last year. 

If you've been following me for a while, you may remember that I was keeping up with the prep work at the beginning of the summer, but fell behind when I went to the Royal School of Needlework classes in July. It really derailed me, and I never got back to the project. It's time I get back to it.

This is the first block in the series, and it was all fused and ready to embroider. By the end of the day, I got quite a bit finished. I have to stitch the oak leaves, birds and two of the calyxes for the center buds, and then most of it will be done. Then, I only have to add twenty one white wool berries on the ends of the little stems in the center motif. When the berries are all stitched down, I'll set this one aside and work on Block 2 (of 12) next time I want to work on it. 

I played yesterday, so today will be a full work day. I'll share photos of that project when I come back to visit with you again tomorrow. Coffee first, and then off to the studio. I need caffeine first. wink


October 22, 2019

Tuesdays With Tag - Do, Do, Do...Lookin' Out My Back Door...

Brynwood Needleworks - My New Favorite Spot

 Hi, Everybody!

With everythin' that's been goin' on here at the farmhouse, there sure is a lot for a Corgi to love. But, I have to admit, I love some things more than others. I think our new storm door is at the top of the list for now.

I really like that I can have a good look-see without standin' on my hind legs. I can park myself here  - rain or shine - and survey my entire domain. I mean, what's not to love?

Brynwood Needleworks - I Stand And Wait

I can see the birds on the feeders in the apple tree. I can see cars goin' up and down our neighbor's driveway, and I can spot the UPS truck, garbage truck, or tractors comin' down the road. Does it get any better than this? (Well, aside from the part where I can bark like a fool when I see somethin'!)

Brynwood Needleworks - Sitting Is Good

Sometimes I'll see a squirrel or chipmunk, and I don't want them to see me. I just quietly sit down and watch. I have to admit, it's pretty entertainin'.

Brynwood Needleworks - When All Else Fails...

But, on sunny days, my eyelids aren't the only things that flag. Soon, I've slid down into "sleepin' Corgi" mode. It's so warm and quiet. Before you know it, I'll be snorin' away. I can't help myself...and I'm not apologizin'.

Brynwood Needleworks - Barley Awake

Dad took this picture of me when he was outside. He said I'm the gate keeper. Yes. I think he's right. I'll bark, "You! Who goes there? What tasty morsel might you have for me that I might allow you to pass? Um...okay. Sorry, Dad. I'll move out of the way so you can come in."

Sheesh. What does a Corgi have to do to get a little respect around this joint? Don't worry. I'm not givin' up my post. As soon as the coast is clear, I'll be back on duty. You can always count on me!

 I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Live Like Someone Left The Gate Open".

October 21, 2019

Farmhouse Renovation - Weekend Project...

Brynwood Needleworks - Rear Entry Update
We've been watching the weather for temperatures that would be warm enough to accommodate a little project for the "friends and family" entrance to the farmhouse. This past weekend, it got into the low 60s, so it met our requirements for painting.
We decided that the supports for the rear entry could look more cohesive with the porch work we did this fall if they were white, rather than the same as the siding on the rest of the house. We purchased the paint a couple of weeks ago, so I just had to wait for the right day.
Saturday, I set up my painting supplies, and Handsome set up the ladder for me. It was warm and sunny on the south side of the house when I started, so the project went relatively quickly. As I put the finishing touches on the job, the sun moved behind clouds, and the wind got a little more brisk. At least the job was done. We're both really happy with the way it turned out!
Brynwood Needleworks - Full View of South Elevation
I put away my painting supplies, cleaned my brush and Handsome put the ladder away for me (it was heavy!) and then I helped him finish the job he was working on. He gave me his sweatshirt and asked me to drive the tractor so we could move more mulch around.

We mulched the bed in front of the Compass Barn, and also along the south side of our big pole barn. We also put more in the beds in front of the porch, and on the north side of the house. We still have a bit more to move, but we decided we'd done enough for the day.

Although the weather was equally nice on Sunday, our elder son, his wife and our grandson came to visit for the Packer game and halftime meal. We really had fun, and when they left late day, it never entered our thinking to go back out and work. We can do that later this week. We just rested and reflected on our visit the rest of the day.

I'm back in the studio this week. Orders to mail, and more to fulfill. One of my projects is a bit more involved, so I've been procrastinating on it. No more. It has to get done. I'll show it to you when I finish. 
You'd think I'd know better than to put off the hard projects. Once they're finished, I'm always wondering why I waited. We'll see. At any rate, I'll be hoppin' today to make some headway. Busy me. Just the way I like it!

October 20, 2019

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via LittleBirdieBlessings. Thanks, Abby!

October 19, 2019

Yesterday's Finishes...

Brynwood Needleworks - DnD Shop Hop Crossbody Bag
I completed two custom Shop Hop Crossbody Bags yesterday. This one is a Dungeons & Dragons themed bag, and is already on its way to a new home. (Of course, I'll do more by special order.) The DnD insignia was machine embroidered.
Brynwood Needleworks - Mouse Shop Hop Crossbody Bag
My second Shop Hop Crossbody Bag uses a Mickey Mouse licensed fabric. I don't advertise licensed fabric items, however, I'm happy to create special orders for those who want them. Understand that these items, made with licensed fabrics, are legally created as long as you understand that the end product is not officially licensed by the company owning the original copyright. 
The rights to the license exist between the fabric manufacturer and the licensing company. According to US Copyright law, that does not extend to the end user of the fabric, and selling of the products are allowed by the maker as long as they do not represent the item as sanctioned by the original company. (Thought I'd clarify for those with inquiring minds.)

This sweetie is also already spoken for, and will go to its new home along with a second item I'm working on now. It's so much fun!!
Of course, I have the pattern for this bag available in my Etsy Shop if you'd like to make your own. Just click HERE and select "Brynwood Patterns" section to learn more.

Thanks to all who sent kind messages about our beautiful Bella. She's already getting around easier, and we see a full recovery in her future. We're sure resting easier in that knowledge. 
Have a great weekend, friends. 


October 18, 2019

Great News - Bella Update...

Brynwood Needleworks - Resting Bella
We spent more of the afternoon at the specialty clinic than we planned yesterday, but it was so worth it. Bella went to an orthopedic vet (Dr. Ryan Demianiuk) yesterday, who gave her a thorough checkup, including x-rays. We learned quite a bit about the status of her leg, and came away very optimistic.
First, the splint came off, and it's staying off! (YAY!!!) She had a fractured toe at the top of her left foot, and it's healing very well. She also doesn't appear to have any ligament damage, which is the very best news. So, she can continue to heal without the splint confining her movement.
She'll be on limited, but increasing, mobility for the next 2-4 weeks, but she definitely won't be allowed to run until after the Dr. Ryan sees her again. 

Bella was sedated for the x-rays and leg manipulation, so she was groggy for the next few hours. She ate a light dinner, and then we bedded down in the living room for the evening. We think she's happier without the hardware, too. We're elated.

Thanks to everyone who cared enough to lift Bella in their thoughts yesterday. We now know that, although she's got some careful recuperation ahead of her, we can be confident she'll heal back to the silly, athletic jock she was before this all happened. We're looking forward to keeping you updated, in the coming weeks and months. Thanks again.

October 17, 2019

In The Near Future...

Brynwood Needleworks - Shop Hop Custom Insignia
If you're a fan, you know what this is. This one is a special request, and this badge will be machine embroidered onto a black cork Shop Hop Crossbody bag. I'm making a second custom in another fabric at the same time. First up though, I've got two crossbody packs. 
My day will be divided in half today, because we're taking Bella to a specialist. They're going to do x-rays so they can have a good look at her leg and foot to see if she's ready to shed her splint. We're praying that she can ditch the hardware, and also not need surgery of any kind. That's best case scenario.

If she needs a further procedure, they can get her in as early as tomorrow. I'll update her condition tomorrow. If you're so inclined, your best wishes would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.