June 30, 2021

It's Finished!...

Brynwood Needleworks - A Penny Gathering - My Center Block Version
Don't be shocked. I didn't do anything except relax and stitch yesterday. I took my time, and had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon completing my center block for A Penny Gathering. 
This is my own version, having chosen different colors from the other blocks I assembled, and adding my own embroideries.
Brynwood Needleworks - A Penny Gathering - My Version Center Block - Full

Here's a "bird's eye view" of the entire block. I'll need to square up all the blocks, including this one, and then make all those half square triangle blocks. I'm not ready to sit at the sewing machine quite yet, but I'll cut the fabrics in the next few days to prepare for that day. I'm happy to have accomplished this much for now.

On another note: The subscription service that's sent my daily posts to you via email has been discontinued. If you're used to receiving my posts to your inbox every day, you'll want to sign up again either through the link below today's signature, or via the link in my sidebar. 
I'm not big on change, so I was a bit peeved when I realized that I'd have to figure out something different, but I think this new service will work as seamlessly as the previous one. At least, I hope it will. Apologies for the inconvenience, and thanks, always, for being one of my faithful readers.


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June 29, 2021

Tuesdays With Tag - She's Got A Lotta Nerve...

Brynwood Needleworks - Do These Flowers Make My Butt Look Big?

  Hi, Everybody!

After a weekend of rain, the sun finally came out yesterday. I asked Mom if I could go outside for a little while, and she was happy to take in a few rays herself. I think I look especially dapper surrounded by flowers, but I happened to spot somethin' while I was enjoyin' a little grass munchin'.

Brynwood Needleworks - Do You See What I See?

Whenever Mom's been outside for a while, she comes back with an interestin' aura about her. Carly is always extremely interested, but I've got a pretty good idea what it is. She's got a feline scent on her whenever she comes back from the barn.

That means, that whenever I go outside, I'm real curious to see if there's somethin' nefarious goin' on over there. Yesterday, I had that feelin' that I was bein' watched.

Brynwood Needleworks - Hello, Fren

I went to take a whiz, and happened to gaze toward the barn door, when what do I see? Well, I remember cats from when I was just a puppersnapper in Michigan. Not only were there lots of corgis runnin' around  where I came from, but there were also CATS! I learned about them from a tender age, and I kinda like 'em.

Brynwood Needleworks - Take That!

So, I ran over to say "hey", but this one ran back into the barn. I'm not able to open the barn door (I'm vertically challenged, and I can't grab the handle - no thumbs), so I figured I'd have to wait to see if she'd come back outside to check me out.

Mom told me to turn around and look again, but once I get somethin' else in my head, I'm hard to convince. If you click on this picture, you can enlarge it to see that, before I'd really turned away, she was back outside! I don't think she's really afraid of me! (I'm not even sure she should be. I mean. I'm friendly.)

Brynwood Needleworks - Seriously?

By the time Mom and I were ready to go back inside, Miss Kitty Pants was already sittin' outside the barn again. Maybe she likes me? Maybe she's waitin' to see if the two black dogs come blastin' out of the house? Maybe she's lettin' Mom know it's dinner time?
Who knows? But, I'm tellin' ya. I'll keep runnin' over there when I see her, and we'll just see if she really wants to be friends, or if she's just a tease. One thing's for sure. I'm not givin' up. No, siree. 
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Corgi On, Corgi Strong!"

June 28, 2021

(Really) Slow Stitching...

Brynwood Needleworks - The Center Block

Normally, I'd have this block easily completed over a weekend. Normally. I'm going to blame my recuperation and the meds for my slooooowww stitching. I even found myself removing something I'd already completed. sigh I'll continue to work on it as I'm able. 

I'm glad Tag will be visiting with you tomorrow. I'll be back on Wednesday.


June 27, 2021

Sunday Scripture...

Hebrews 13:5 (via Pinterest-Artist unknown)


June 26, 2021

My Guardians...

Brynwood Needleworks - My Guardians

How can I not heal fully when I have these two watching over me? They're never far away while I'm sleeping, reading or resting. Between these two and Handsome (Carly stays with him downstairs), I've got everything I need to get better. 

I'm doing quite well, actually. Minimal discomfort, great meds when needed, and I'm able to be up for longer than I expected.

Doctor's orders are no driving for a week, no lifting more than ten pounds for two weeks, regular meals, lots of rest and water, take meds as needed, and see her in two weeks for a follow-up appointment. Being the good patient I am, I'll follow all her directions so I can get a good report when I see her. Everything else can wait.

I am hoping to do a little needlework on that center block for A Penny Gathering over the weekend. I should be able to handle a needle and thread (and a little needle dancing) later today. It's certainly not heavy lifting. I'll certainly have guardians to keep me company, and that's a really good thing.


June 25, 2021

I'm Home Again...

Healing Image Courtesy of afcminternational.org

I'm thinking I won't get much done today - definitely not in the studio. When I need to heal, I sleep.
So, I may be awake for a bit of reading, but I don't think I'll attempt any of my create pursuits.
I'll be listening to my body, and giving it all the rest it needs to recuperate and heal.  
I'll check in again tomorrow.

June 24, 2021

Today's The Day...

Brynwood Needleworks - Glorious Farmhouse Hollyhocks

Today's the day. I thought you might like to see how magnificent the hollyhocks have become in just a few short days. They're truly the largest (height and width) I've ever seen in my life!
Brynwood Needleworks - The Colors Are So Lovely

It must be the soil, but I only remember purchasing three different colors when I planted the first five plants a few short years ago. I know I selected the dark and light pink ones. I didn't purchase the peach, white and yellow ones. They must be mutants. lol I'll take them either way! 

Mom's poor Shasta daisies are being pushed out by these big bullies, so I'll likely ask Handsome to replant the daisies into an open spot on the terrace in front of the porch to give them room to grow. He'll dig and I'll point. A perfect couple, don't you think?

I said "today's the day". It's time for another (hopefully last for this issue) surgery. I've been hopeful and prayerful, and I couldn't be more anxious for this to be over. Not just the surgery, but the issue. Perhaps I'll tell you about it someday, but it's one of those predominantly female issues that needed attention. Almost a year later, I'm (pre-op today) worse than I was at the beginning of this saga. 

We have help watching the dogs, so Handsome can be with me at the hospital, and then bring me home following the procedure. I'll be fine. I know God watches the sparrow, and I know He watches me. I'll see you tomorrow.


June 23, 2021

Contemplating Half Square Triangles...

Brynwood Needleworks - Here's What I'm Thinking
I'm probably overthinking these one inch half square triangles, but knowing I have to make about 240 of them has me weighing a few options. I'm thinking these are the colors I'm going to substitute for those called for in the pattern. 
One of the reasons is because I'm too cheap to purchase quarter yard cuts of each of the fabrics that were in the original line - if I can find them. The other reason is that you know I always like to personalize my work so it won't look exactly like all the other ones that were created from the same pattern.

Brynwood Needleworks - The Bigger Picture

If you look at the photo of the finished quilt, you can see that all the HSTs are bordering the larger center block, and again bordering the smaller blocks around the perimeter of the center. The only thing I have that includes all the fabrics in the line is the assortment of 2-1/2" little charms. No way they'd make up into the quantity I need. I have to decide whether or not I should bite the bullet and purchase yardage from the line, or change my game plan. I'm inclined to go with what I have.

With that in mind, I went into my fabric room and started "shopping" my own inventory. I pulled these fabrics. The top four fabrics on the stack (above) would be joined into the HSTs with the light fabric on the bottom of the pile. As you can see from the original pattern, each 1" block has one light half and one colored half. (Don't forget you can click on my post photos to enlarge them.) Mine would be half of that bottom fabric, with the other half being one of the other four. 

I think the effect is to end up with a more subtle, natural set of borders around the floral blocks. Can you imagine my vision? What do you think? Am I on the right track? I may choose one more fabric, as I need a total of ten strips of the darker fabrics to pair with ten strips of the solid, light fabric that's on the bottom. Maybe a brown, or even a gray? I'm actually getting excited about getting started on them. 


June 22, 2021

Tuesdays With Tag - Just Me...

Brynwood Needleworks - Oh, Farm Boy!

Hi, Everybody!
I'm gonna get right to the point today. 
I don't know what's in the dirt around this place, but whatever it is makes for monster plants! I'm havin' a hard time tryin' to find somethin' short to piddle on. It seems as soon as I walk into the yard, I disappear in a jungle of good smellin', colorful plants. 
The bees and hummin'birds are buzzin' around me when I'm even close to the flowers...and they're all over the place (critters and flowers)!

I was gonna write about the black dogs today, but I thought you'd be happy just to see my own self instead. You know you are. You can admit it to me. I won't tell anybody. hee hee 

Mom's got surgery this week, so I'm gonna keep this - ahem - short.
no gigglin'. I can hear you!
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Corgi On, Corgi Strong!"

June 21, 2021

A Penny Gathering Center Block...

Brynwood Needleworks - A Penny Gathering - Center Block

I haven't worked on this small quilt for a while, so I thought I'd set up the center block. That way, it's ready to stitch when I am (likely, later this week).
After I complete the center block, my next step will be to create a number of half square triangle (HST) blocks (each measuring 1" square finished!). Those blocks will be a border all the way around the large center block. Then, The small floral blocks are sewn into position around the center motifs.

The embroidery won't take me all that long, and I'm really looking forward to making those mini HSTs. Yep. I'm really looking forward to doing that. Uh, huh.

There'll be more once that much is done, but I'll tell you about it when I get to it.The finished quilt only measures 27" square, so there's a lot of detail packed into a small project. I'll work on this one for a while. until I need another break, and go back to working on one of the other unfinished projects. I'm not sure having these multiple projects in progress is a good thing or a bad thing. What do you think?


June 20, 2021

Sunday Scripture - Father's Day...

Joshua 1:9 via walkingonwater.com - Brynwood Needleworks

 Happy Father's Day!

I miss you, Dad.

June 19, 2021

Another Morris "Ensemble" Bag...

Brynwood Needleworks - Latest "Ensemble" Bag Finish

I completed this bag for a client yesterday. I'll mail it out today.
Brynwood Needleworks - "Ensemble" Bag Interior

You can't tell from this photo, but the light spots have shimmery gold accents.
It's a really pretty fabric to use as the lining for this bag. 
Now, I'm ready for the weekend!


June 18, 2021

Hollyhock Hill Farm...

Brynwood Needleworks - Pink Hollyhocks
Handsome and I were outside yesterday. He said to me, "Maybe we should have named our place Hollyhock Farm, instead of Hickory Hill Farm. They're really taking over!" He's right!

Brynwood Needleworks - Creamy Yellow Hollyhocks
They've transplanted themselves all over our yard! They're now growing next to our front stairs, and even in the gravel on the other side of our front walkway.

Brynwood Needleworks - White and Pink Hollyhocks

These are growing right next to the back door. I'm looking straight on at them, and I'm 5'8" tall! I'm not planting geraniums this year because the hollyhocks have sprouted up where I usually put my red beauties. 

I'm looking forward to the next few days. We got much-needed rain overnight, so I'm expecting all those blossoms to pop open any minute. If you don't already follow Brynwood Needleworks on Facebook, you might want to join the group. I'll post updated hollyhock pictures there.

Oh. One more thing. No, we are not changing the name of Hickory Hill Farm. I admit, though. It was an interesting idea.

June 17, 2021

Strike Up The Band...

Brynwood Needleworks - Ready For A Concert In The Park
After nineteen months without a single concert (either here or in Florida), Handsome was anxious to get back to playing. So many relieved and happy musicians joined in the sentiment.

Handsome's first concert since November of 2019 was with the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band. I grabbed my favorite straw hat, sunglasses, and my jean jacket in case it got chilly. (I should have grabbed a sweatshirt, too. It got cold!)

Brynwood Needleworks - The National Anthem Begins The Concert

In my hometown, we always stand for our National Anthem. People sing, and most hands are over hearts.
Mom Grace's daughter (Sis) met me on the hill overlooking the band shell, and we caught up when we weren't listening to music. 

Brynwood Needleworks - Enjoying The Concert

There were changes in format this year. The concerts will only be about an hour long. There are no intermissions, concession stand, and instead of passing the donation buckets, there are donation box stations around the venue. 
The weather was sunny and there was a light breeze. As it got later, the temperature dropped. Just about the time I began to shiver, the concert was over. The first of many more to come. The symbolic "Getting Back to Normal". It was more wonderful than you might imagine, and we're looking forward to the next one. Life is just better with music.

June 16, 2021

Kathy's Sheep Drum Pincushion...

Brynwood Needleworks - Kathy D's PG Sheep Drum Pincushion

Kathy D. did all the hard work to prepare for her YouTube debut on Lisa Bongean's (Stitch With Lisa Bongean) channel. Kathy worked all the parts and pieces so she could show the different stages to making the Sheep Drum Pincushion, which left all those parts unassembled by the end of her video with Lisa.

At our last Sit & Stitch, Kathy offered up her pieces, and I knew I had to have one. She had already completed the sewing and embroidery stitches on the main body, but it hadn't yet been attached to the top, stuffed, or had the bottom attached either.

In between a doctor's appointment, lab tests, grocery shopping, and cleaning house since the weekend, I managed to steal a little time to do the assembly of Kathy's lovely work. I hand stitched the top to the body section; stuffed it with sawdust (after I'd wrapped it in Press n Seal™ per her directions); and then attached the bottom section. It's all finished, unless I decide to do the Palestrina knot trim along the top join. Of course, the label I attach will give Kathy all the credit.

If you're interested in watching my girlfriend's tutorial video, HERE'S the link, and you can download the free pattern HERE. Be sure to click the "like" button for Kathy. We'd be ever so grateful!


June 15, 2021

Tuesdays With Tag - I Got Sunshine...

Brynwood Needleworks - Sittin' In My Light

Hi, Everybody! 

I know lots of people around here are wishin' it would rain, but I'm lovin' the sunshine.

(Are you singin' the song I referenced in my title yet?)

I've got a Carly video for you today. Seems The Kid invented her own trick, so Mom recorded it so you can see. Try not to get too excited. I don't want her gettin' all big-headed over this. It's hard enough to live with her as it is. (Kiddin'. Not kiddin'.)


Let me explain what's happenin' in the video. Carly invented this trick all on her own. Every meal, it goes the same way...Dad sets up all our dishes with food. Carly actually gets the most 'cuz she's still a growin' puppy. With that in mind, I get my food first. Bella's second. The Kid is last. 

After Carly finishes her food (always first), she picks up her dish and takes it to Dad to put on top of her kennel. Then, she runs back to where we're eatin', snags the next empty dish she sees and runs that one to Dad. One more trip to the kitchen to get the last dish, and again, she carries it to Dad.

Now, if Dad isn't waitin' for her, she just lines 'em up on the floor for him to pick up when he comes back in the room. It's really pretty clever, and yeeesss. I wish I'd thought of it. I can tell you, Mom and Dad laugh every single time. Especially since she always burps (very unlady-like, by the way) while she still has the first dish in her mouth. She gets an awesome echo off the metal dish!

The video is real short, so you don't have to worry about missin' a meal watchin' it. It is pretty cute, though. (Here's a direct link if it doesn't play for you here: YouTube Direct Link-Carly's After Meal Task: https://youtu.be/fYkZnZIKK2M)

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart On The Farmhouse Version of Pride Rock

I have my own "Pride Rock" (Lion King reference) here at the farm. I can even get up on it all on my own! I think I look pretty majestic in all my floof as the sun lowers in the western sky. Mom said she could have featured Carly on my rock today, but I told her I really wanted to be up there first. She agreed, so here I am!

If you're waitin' for rain, I hope we all get some soon. If you've had too much lately, please send some our way!

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Corgi On, Corgi Strong!"

June 14, 2021

A Blooming Great Weekend...

Brynwood Needleworks - Farmhouse Bleeding Hearts Sentiment
I actually spent more time outdoors this past weekend, than I did in the studio.
I'm sharing a few photographs to show you some of the beauty around our farmhouse.
If you're especially quiet, you might even see a surprise visitor from time to time.
Brynwood Needleworks - Phlox and Iris
 It's nearly impossible for me to kneel to weed the gardens as I should, but Handsome helped
me pull thistles and burdock that will overtake the flowers if they get the chance. I let some of
them grow for the finches, but they're not allowed in my kitchen, terrace or fenceline gardens.

Brynwood Needleworks - Purple Iris and White Crystal Star Columbines
The grass is completely out of control, but I'll have to set my sights on next summer to
clean all of them out of my flower beds. I refuse to use Roundup or other poisons. 
Good old-fashioned hand weeding and mulch will be the only way I'll tackle them.

Brynwood Needleworks - One of Our Daily Visitors

 When I'm outdoors near the feeders, the hummingbirds will fly all around me (or Handsome)
as they drop in for a sip at one of the three feeders we keep clean and filled for them. Of course,
they have lots of sweet and colorful options growing all around our and our neighbors' properties.

Brynwood Needleworks - Fragrant Lavender
The hollyhocks are really encroaching on my daisies (not blooming yet) and lavender right now. I think I'll be moving the daisies and lavender into the terrace gardens when I know rain is in the forecast, so Mother Nature can help water them in for me. 
I'll be giving the hollyhocks a serious culling late summer, too. They need to be tamed. They've already crowded out my chives, and the delphiniums are at risk, too. I had no idea they would fairly take over my kitchen garden, as I've never re-seeded or planted new since the first ones went into the ground. Now "volunteers" are growing on the terrace around the base of the porch, and even in the gravel next to the
sidewalk! I'll definitely be clipping them before the go to seed this year.

Don't get me wrong. I love their huge leaves and colorful blooms, but I love those other plants, too, and these hollyhocks are bullies!

Brynwood Needleworks - Sweet Clover

The story is that our farmhouse was "planted" here in a bed of clover in 1918. When it's dry and we really need the rain, the clover fills into the grass to feed the bees, and remind us of the farm's history. I have clover growing in our terrace garden now, but I won't be removing it. The bees love it, and so do I.

I also don't weed out the plantain, dandelions, and a few other "weeds". I love the old ways when these plants provided medicinal purposes for folks long-gone. They're welcome here, along with any of their friends...well, with the possible exception of stinging nettles. That's the one plant that makes me break out in a rash. I know the nettle tea is supposed to be good for you, but I can't get past those hairy leaves. 
Dear neighbor, Andy came down and pulled them out of the fence garden for me last year when I told Shelly just how allergic I am to them. He's really the best! Sorry, nettles. You're not welcome here.

I'll share more photographs once the hollyhocks and daisies open up. After my morning coffee, I'll be in the studio filling orders. Time to play indoors again.