February 29, 2020

Little By Little...

Brynwood Needleworks - RSN Butterfly Wing
I began adding the bright colors to my last wing part yesterday. I'd say I'm about half done with this piece, now. Little by little. Stitch by stitch. I'm getting there. I'm sure I'll be finished (with this part) by the end of the weekend. Of course, you can expect to see pictures!
Happy Weekend! Happy March.


February 28, 2020

Yesterdays Wing Progress...

Brynwood Needleworks - Detail of Long and Short Stitches
This is what I accomplished yesterday on my last wing for the Royal School of Needlework butterfly. I'm stitching with a single strand of silk thread to create each stitch. 
As I start a new strand, I park a waste knot on the top of the fabric, and then move to where I'll begin stitching. (It's called a "waste" knot because I till trim that knot away after I embroider over the tail on the back to anchor it.) When I get to the end of a strand, that thread is held in place by creating a small "stab" stitch (down, up in a tiny stitch, repeat, trim) to keep it from coming apart. I'll also stitch over that as I progress. When I'm finished, it will resemble the other completed wings.
Brynwood Needleworks - RSN Butterfly Wing Comparison
I'll be stitching again today, as I wait for Handsome to get through his PT today, and then further after we get back home. More pictures tomorrow.
Also, please come back to learn about a March sale I'll be having in my Etsy shop. You won't want to miss it!

February 27, 2020

Shall We Dance?...

Brynwood Needeworks - My Needlework Corner

Before I could sit down to work on completing my Royal School of Needlework butterfly, I needed a spot with lots of daylight to work. I brought my favorite stitching chair into a bright corner of the dining room - right next to a warm radiator...aaahhhh - along with my needlework boxes and stands.

My lighted magnifier sits in a handy spot close by, and I set up a small table to hold my barrel clamp and working threads. I'm ready to get back to work.

Brynwood Needleworks - Final Wing Part, Ready To Stitch

This is how far I got before I took a break last fall. I've kept my hooped project under plastic to keep it clean, but I'm anxious to get back to it. The first thing I had to do was pull all the silks I'd chosen from the assortment in my "butterfly" thread box. Daylight is the best lighting for seeing the subtle color differences. That task, alone, took more than a little while.

Then, I pulled my needles and other "necessaries" (scissors, melor, and thimble) to proceed. Once all that was done, I settled myself in my own little corner and began.

Brynwood Needleworks - Stitching Has Begun

If you slide back and forth between the two butterfly wing photos, you can see that I've begun my work on the lower edges of the last wing. Not a bad afternoon's work before the guys returned from Handsome's PT (pain and torture) appointment.

My plans for today center around being right back here. Unless Handsome needs some assistance, or Tag needs to get outside, I'm concentrating on my butterfly. When I post tomorrow, I'll show you exactly how far I progress. My needles and I are ready to dance!


February 26, 2020

It's What We Do...

Brynwood Needleworks via DivineWalls Etsy Shop
Nothing new from my studio for today. I got a haircut, and spent time with Handsome and my brother-in-law. I took a nap, too. I need to remember that, as I take care of my beloved, I also need to take care of myself. To tell the truth, I'm a little tired. When my head hits the pillow at night, I sleep like a log.

Please don't interpret this as complaining. I love being able to care for my husband whenever he needs me. He does the same for me. We've joked about having t-shirts made that say, "It's what we do." That's exactly who we are. 

I'm going to be in the studio today. Handsome's brother is taking him to physical therapy, so I've got the morning "off". He leaves to go home tomorrow, so I'm welcoming the offered extra hands. I'm going to be setting up my butterfly to get back to working on it, so we'll see if I actually get some stitching time in, too. I'm looking forward to completing my project. I've taken way to long to get this one finished, and I'm anxious to show you my progress. See you tomorrow.


February 25, 2020

Tuesdays With Tag - Hangin' With Uncle B...

Brynwood Needleworks - Tag's Favorite Spot

 Hi, Everybody!

I'm so excited this week. Dad's brother, Uncle B, is visitin' with us! I really like him, so when he's around our house, I'm always hangin' out around him.

My comfy downstairs bed is right next to Mom's favorite chair, but she always shares when we have visitors. It works for me, because I can snooze right next to Uncle B when he sits there.

Brynwood Needleworks - I'm Stickin' Close

Mom says I'm fickle, but I think I'm just bein' a good host. In fact, I decided that the best place to be overnight was right on Uncle B's bed with him instead of upstairs with Mom. She's been takin' care of Dad and sometimes gets up in the middle of the night, which distrupts by beauty sleep, so this is a winnin' option for me.

I'm gonna be hangin' with Uncle B. just as much as I can while he's here this week. He's a cool guy and a real dog-lover. (He has a border collie named Cassie, and she's a real sweet girl.)

Mom's a little tired this week, so I'm not gonna keep her at the keyboard too long. She's takin' pretty good care of herself, but I wanna do my part, and keep this short.

 I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

February 24, 2020

All Done - Really!...

Brynwood Needleworks - Completed "Hello Spring" Table Runner
The backing is fused and blanket stitched...
Brynwood Needleworks - Watering Can Detail

...and yes. I added Handsome's request for a little snail...right where he positioned it.
Brynwood Needleworks - Snail Detail
I have to admit it. I think it's pretty darn cute.
(Embroidery stitches used for the snail were the bullion stitch for the snail's body, and stem stitch in a circular pattern for the shell.)

I'm baking bread today - after we get home from Handsome's PT (pain and torture) appointment - but my next project will be to finish my butterfly! I'm excited to get back to it, and you know you'll get to see the rest of my work on it.

It's hard to believe it's the beginning of a new week. Goodness, where does the time go? Have a great Monday.

February 23, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks - Jude 1:20-21 via Facebook
Happy 5th Birthday, Bella.


February 22, 2020

So, What Do You Think?...

Brynwood Needleworks - Detail of My Hello Spring Table Runner Modifications
Bee added (there are legs in black thread, but kind of hard to see)...check
Butterfly further embellished...check
Longer Antennae on butterfly...check 
I don't think I missed any suggestions. What do you think? Enough? Not enough? I'm liking it.

Now, Handsome thinks I should add a snail in front of the watering can on the other end.
Oy vey!

He's feeling pain, now that the spinal block has worn off, but we've got an electric icing machine which helps immensely. We also attended his first physical therapy session yesterday, and he did his home exercises, too. That's likely responsible for his elevated pain last night. 

We're going to keep after the program, and he'll be feeling much better with his new knee before long. Fingers crossed. Thanks to everyone who left good wishes for him. We're both very grateful.


February 21, 2020

Riding An Emotional Rollercoaster...

Brynwood Needleworks - My Sister, Di and Ceri - Ceri's "Gotcha Day"
I was at home, waiting to hear from Handsome that he'd accomplished his "benchmarks" so he could come home. The telephone rang, and the ringtone identified it as my sister, Diana. I could tell from her voice that she was upset, so I asked if she was alright. She wasn't.
You may remember one of Tag's 2013 posts HERE, when we told you about our trip from Sarasota, FL to Wisconsin with this sweet, little, rescued Corgi. When we were asked if we knew someone who might be interested in this pup (who'd lived on the street for who-knows-how-long), I immediately thought of my sister. She said she absolutely wanted this dog, and set the wheels in motion for us to deliver her to Wisconsin.

We picked her up and took her home to live with us (still living in Florida then) until our annual summer trip north in the Airstream,. Di called to tell me she'd chosen the name, "Ceri", asking us to use it for the few weeks the pup be with us, so she could get used to hearing it. Read the post in the link to see their first meeting, while I fast forward to yesterday.
Wracked with tears and a broken voice, Diana told me that Ceri died in her arms yesterday. No symptoms. No warning. No indication that there was anything wrong. Ceri chose National Pet Day to cross over The Rainbow Bridge, and this little dog who, aside from when Diana had to go to work, was always with, and devoted to my sister. Their love knew no bounds.
I know Ceri will let Diana know she'll always be near - even though Di won't be able to reach out and touch her. She'll come to Di in her dreams (as my Bannor has done with me), but that won't ease the pain of this loss. I know nothing I could say would ease her deep grief, but the depth of her grief is a reflection of the deep, deep love she had for this little dog. (I'll never forget how you all reached out to me when I unexpectedly lost Fezzik ten years ago. That loss will still bring me to tears when I think about him, and today I felt it all over again.) I cried with her, and when I disconnected our call, I cried some more.

Handsome called, and told me when we could expect he'd be released from the hospital. I pulled myself together and told him I'd be there for all his discharge instructions. I went from crying my heart out for my sister's loss, to ecstatic that my dear husband could come home. I actually felt a tinge of guilt.

I cuddled Tag (which he reacts to in typical "boy" fashion), and took him along to get Handsome. We were back home by late afternoon and we got Handsome settled in. Once he was comfy, I sat down to check the comments on yesterday's post. Thanks to everyone who weighed in on my table runner project. 
Here's what I'm going to do. Yes, I'm going to add a bumblebee. I'm going to add more stitching to my butterfly, and (thanks, Marcy) I'm going to lengthen the antennae on the butterfly, too! When I look again with new eyes, I agree those additions will really complete my piece. I'm going to add all your suggestions today. I think after the past couple of days, I need more than a little needle dancing.

February 20, 2020

Finishing Touches...

Brynwood Needleworks - My "Nearly Finished" Hello Spring Table Runner - Detail

It was a great day yesterday. First, and most importantly, Handsome came through the surgery with flying colors. The procedure began later than expected, but everything went really well, and he'll be home some time today. Thanks so much for your prayers and good wishes. We really appreciate them!

I had plenty of time, while I waited, to stitch all of the Hello Spring table runner design. I'm sharing photos before I've attached the fabric backing and trimmed all the fuzzy bits.

Brynwood Needleworks - Hello Spring Table Runner = Detail

I'm not sure whether or not my butterfly is completely finished, and I'm contemplating adding a little bumblebee on the left side, above the white blossom. I'll decide that today, but I'm open to ideas.
Brynwood Needleworks - Complete View Hello Spring Table Runner
I'll make my final design decisions this morning, and then finish it later today, after Handsome is settled back here at the farmhouse. 
What do you think? More stitching on the butterfly, or not? Should I add a little bee? I'll check comments throughout the day for opinions.


February 19, 2020

Today's Project...

Brynwood Needleworks - Hello Spring Table Runner

I'm going to be sitting and waiting at the hospital today, so I thought it would be a good idea to take something to work. This will be my "sit and wait" project.

It's one of the projects that was part of the Spring Wool Box from Primitive Gatherings, that I set aside amidst the other pieces I was working on at the time. I'm looking forward to working on it now, of course, adding my own twists.

Brynwood Needleworks - Half of Table Runner

One end of the table runner is set up as designed, with a sweet blossom-filled watering can. Very farmhouse, don't you think?

Brynwood Needleworks - My Revised Version Second Half
By now, you know I don't always add wording to my pieces, so although the flowers are laid out (flipped from the original pattern, also shown), I didn't add the words, "Hello Spring". Instead, I drew my own butterfly, and will applique' that above these blossoms, instead.

We're starting the day at 8:30 this morning at the hospital in Sheboygan. I'll be there through Handsome's surgery and wait until I can see him post-op. Then, I'll head home to tend to Tag. Handsome is staying overnight, so I'll go back to get him in the morning to bring him home. 

I'll see you again tomorrow to let you see how far I progressed during my day. Oh, and, if you have a prayer for my beloved, you know I'd be ever grateful. Time to leave, so I'll close for now. Stay tuned.

February 18, 2020

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

Brynwood Needleworks - Watchin' For Mom
Hi, Everybody!

Mom left in the wee hours this mornin' so she could serve as a pollworker today. Dad said she won't be home until way after dark, but I'm watchin' for her, just in case she comes home early.

Sheesh. First Bella leaves, and now Mom. I'm not really a fan of havin' my favorite girls away from home. Don't get me wrong. I like hangin' out with Dad for some quality guy time, and I know Bella and Mom are both workin', but still...
I wish I had somethin' witty or funny to share, but I guess as long as I'm out here, I'm gonna see if there are any tree rats to chase.

 I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Just Do It...but not on the rug."

February 17, 2020

Completed This Weekend...

Brynwood Needleworks - Completed Handknit Socks
This pair is finished! I've got that beautiful "Joey" sock yarn that I'll be knitting into the next two pairs - one pair for Handsome, and one pair for me - perhaps this week. (Click HERE if you don't remember my post about this limited edition yarn.)

Tomorrow, I'll be working at the polls all day for Wisconsin's first primary of this election cycle (only one item - selection of a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice - on the ballot). It probably won't be very busy, so I'll take my current book along. 
Today, I have a whole list of homekeeping tasks to accomplish, so I won't be thinking about any loose ends at home while I'm gone. A Wisconsin tradition is for poll workers to bring a dish for a sort of potluck to share with the other workers, so I'm also making a casserole (or chili) as my contribution. I'll make it today, and then reheat it in one of our slow cookers during the day on Tuesday.

I'm also going to set up some new wool pieces to work on this week. I'll be spending some time in a hospital waiting room on Wednesday, so I want to have a project in hand. That gets me through mid-week. We'll see how it goes from there.


February 16, 2020

Sunday Scripture...

Brynwood Needleworks via FaceBook

February 15, 2020

Kindred Spirits...

Brynwood Needleworks via Anna Speshilova Art - Swallows

I recently came across the artwork of talented artist Anna Speshilova. I immediately fell in love with her watercolor images of humans interacting with wildlife. If you've come to know me through my posts, you'll understand how I instantly felt that she, her subjects, and I are kindred spirits.

Anna Speshilova - Instagram image

This is her Instagram image, and (to me, at least) it's plain to see in her kind eyes, where her creative muse originates. This lovely, young woman, immediately captures your heart with her images of animals and human interactions.

Brynwood Needleworks - Anna Speshilova A Walk In The Woods

I haven't found her titles for these pieces, so I've named them myself. The kindness and compassion; the sense of sharing space with nature are evident in every piece I've seen. I'm not even addressing her skill as an artist, which is clearly exhibited. She's quite gifted.

Brynwood Needleworks - Anna Speshilova Bedtime Story
 I'm sharing the link, in case you'd like to see more of her artwork. Just click HERE to view additional pieces, or head right to her Instagram account HERE to see even more!

It's been bitterly cold here (before windchill temps at -11ยบ), so I've worried about our resident opossums with their naked ears, paws and tails. I pray they've been huddled together in a sheltered place to keep warm. The raccoons have their big, furry coats to keep them warm, so I don't fret for them as much.

Yesterday, I took cat and dog food, grapes and blueberries, along with the fruit and nut birdseed mix to keep all my wild friends nourished (and to share a little Valentine with them). Today, the temperatures will rise out of the deep freeze, into the 30s. I'll go out and check on the trail cam to make sure everyone is okay. See? I'm telling you. We're kindred spirits.

February 14, 2020

Happy Valentine's Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - My Vintage Doilies and My Embroidery
Happy Valentine's Day.
May you spend the day with someone you love, 
doing something you love.


February 13, 2020

This Was Fun!...

Brynwood Needleworks - Completed Handbag From Denim Jacket
Here are the photos I promised of my latest commission. I really had fun working out this custom bag. I didn't have or use a pattern. I sat down with the jacket that had been sent to me, decided which features of the bag I wanted to use (in addition to my client's request that I use one of the breast pockets), and then sat down and drew out the design to present to my client. (My presentation sheet is in these photos behind the bag.)

In my spec sheet, I listed my target bag size, and when I measured the finished bag...spot on! (I was a bit chuffed over that!) I utilized many of the design features of the jacket, adding zippered compartments, inside and out. I used all of the lining fabric from the jacket to create the bag and pocket linings. I used the Harley-Davidson patch supplied by my client. The chain between two of the jacket button/rivets was my finishing touch (and I really love it).

Yesterday, I sent photos of the finished bag to my client, and received a most enthusiastic reply. Knowing my client is already so happy with my work product is most satisfying. It was time well spent.

EDIT: 02/13/2020 - I only just found out that this jacket belonged to the father of my client's daughter. I thought it belonged to her daughter. It was very special to the daughter, so I was asked to preserve it in a new form that the daughter could use. I'm so glad that they're happy with the result, and that I honored her father with my creation of something new from something treasured.

I'm going to finish that second sock today, and Handsome asked for homemade cookies. So, cookies there shall be. Then, tonight is training night for our county poll workers. I'll be working for the election board in Wisconsin again this year, and that's guaranteed to be exciting. Right?

February 12, 2020

Jean Jacket To Bag Progress...

Brynwood Needleworks - Handbag Detail 1

 I made quite a bit of headway yesterday. In fact, I'm nearly finished upcycling the denim jacket!

Brynwood Needleworks - Handbag Detail 2

 I thought you might enjoy a few closeup images, just to pique your curiosity.

Brynwood Needleworks - Handbag Detail 3
 This project will be completed tomorrow, so come back to see it all done.