September 30, 2021

Almost Finished...

Brynwood Needleworks - Purple Passion Floral Embroidered Strawberry
 
The weather was perfect yesterday. It was a perfect day for needle dancing, too.
I managed to finish all the stitching on the special Floral Embroidered Strawberry, too.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Purple Passion Floral Embroidered Strawberry
 
I only have the stem to create and attach, and then this special order will be done.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Purple Passion Floral Embroidered Strawberry
 
This gorgeous linen is a small sample piece of the linen I'll be using to create a lovely Possibles Bag for my friend. I'm so glad I had the extra piece to practice on. Now, I know which flowers I'll be stitching onto the second project.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Purple Passion Floral Embroidered Strawberry
 
I love how this turned out, and I'm looking forward to creating the second piece. It's going to be fun to embroider the flowers I've chosen here, for the matching Possibles Bag. You'll see that one as soon as I'm finished with it.
 
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September 29, 2021

One Down...

Brynwood Needleworks - Fabric Studio -North West Wall
 
I've completed cleaning my fabric room. I've removed 35-40 bolts that will be donated, sold or gifted. I'm going to start with a friend who is very active with a number of charitable sewing groups. Then, I'll list up the bolts I will sell. Finally, but certainly not getting inferior products, will be my donation pile. 
 
Those bolts are just the beginning. I'll be sorting and pulling more in the weeks ahead. Now that I have my cutting table cleaned off, I'll be able to photograph the bolts toward my goal of moving them to new homes.
 
This wall is the first thing I see when I walk into my fabric studio. my cutting table sits atop two cubby shelf units (that contain cuts that are one yard or less. The pattern file holds all my wools for applique', along with most of the wool kits I own. There are other wool kits in progress that I keep in plastic containers with the patterns. Those are stored in the closet in my sewing studio.

Brynwood Needleworks - Fabric Studio - North East Wall
 
Now that I've taken down and sorted through all the bolts of fabric that used to be on top of my shelves, I have space to display some of my knicknacks, freeing up horizontal work surfaces.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Fabric Studio - East Wall
 
This wall houses a pair of cubby unit shelves, stacked and screwed to the wall. Next to it (behind the door) is a book shelf for some of my needlework books. You'll see my pearl cotton cabinets to the left of the fabric shelves, too. As an aside, those dang radiators can get in the way of decor sometimes. I think I should paint them...or use open-sided, wooden covers, so they can still heat as they're meant to.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Fabric Studio -West Wall
 
Moving to the left around the room, the west wall of the studio has more bolt shelves, and I moved the large 20 gallon crock (that my paternal grandpa used to make pickles) to the window area. The crock holds my rolls of cork fabric. 
 
Next to that, in front of the window, is a small metal shelf unit that holds fabrics I pulled and packed as kits with patterns I really want to sew up. I'm probably going to put something behind that shelf so that those fabrics don't fade from the light.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Fabric Studio -South Wall

Finally, the south wall of my fabric studio holds two more stacked shelf units. The top section has some of my favorite quilting, knitting, crochet and needlework books. The lower section has decor fabric samples, and other supplies in the bins.
 
So at the end of the day, I stood and looked on the result of my hard work. I'm very happy with the finished room...and a little achy. I'm not working in the sewing studio today. I'm going to put my feet up and stitch. I think I've earned it.
 
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September 28, 2021

I Think She Likes Me...

Brynwood Needleworks -There She Is!
 
Hi, Everybody!
 
It seems that Kitty Puss has taken a shine to me. She makes herself scarce when the black dogs are out, but as soon as she sees my silky, ginger coat, out she comes. She can't resist me. I mean, who can blame her?
 
Brynwood Needleworks - She Can't Resist Me
 
She's not always sure when I'm tryin' to be friendly, but whenever I play hard to get, she's right on my heels. She comes trottin' to me from the barn, and you'd think she was fixin' to cuddle me right then and there!

Brynwood Needleworks - Hey, You Wanna Play?
 
I mean, she flopped down on the driveway right in front of me. So, bein' the friendly gent I am, I tried a little somethin' different. I commenced to runnin' zoomies around her, and know what?
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Thar She Blows. Run Away!!

She kinda freaked out. She arched her back and made hissin' noises at me. Her tail got all big and fluffy, and I just kept runnin'. I thought she was gonna run for the barn, but nope. She stayed right there. Mom was laughin' out loud.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - And, There She Is Again
 
I felt a little bad for makin' her nervous, so I thought I'd give her a minute to collect herself. I walked back over to Mom and then had a hankerin' for a little grass. I went over to my favorite chewin' spot, only to see herself right in my face again. See? She can.not.resist.me!
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Me and My Shadow
 
No matter where I go, she'll be shadowin' my every footstep. Heck, a couple days ago, Mom took me up into the high part of the yard, and yep. That silly tuss came bouncin' right along with us. Goofy cat.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Yup. She Likes Me

I guess we'll just make it official. Claudette really is my cat. I think she's drawn to my strong, but vertically-challenged countenance. It's okay with me. I kinda like her, too.
 
I'll see you again in seven. 'til then...
"Corgi On, Corgi Strong!"

September 27, 2021

My Piling System...

Brynwood Needleworks - Fabric Studio Chaos
 
I'm still sorting...and cleaning...and I'm tired. I took Sunday off and just rested. There's a whole lot more in this room than I'm sharing in this single image. You can see I still have organizing to do here, and the closet in this room is where I discovered the fabric that I thought was gone. I'm sure more treasures will surface as I continue working in here.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Sewing Studio Chaos
 
While I'm cleaning out this room, I'm still shipping orders and doing my computer work. I need to keep a little free space to be able to do that. I vacillate between keeping and tearing out those cupboards. This room was an upstairs kitchen at one time, and the cupboards are the remains of that function. 
 
I look at the storage they provide, or wonder whether or not the beautiful maple floors go all the way to the wall if I take them away, and decide I'd better keep them where they are (at least for now). Then, I decide I'd better focus on my tasks, or this is going to take a lot longer.
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Orderly Thread
 
I have sorted my threads by manufacturer and color into the DMC cabinets I used to have in my shop. Valdani™in the first four, then DMC™ 8 in the next four, DMC™ 12 and 5 in a single drawer, Sulky™ 12 spools, and the bottom two drawers hold more machine embroidery threads. Aren't they pretty?
 
Brynwood Needleworks - Floss Cabinet

I also cleaned up my antique spool cabinet, adding my Anchor™ pearl cotton balls to the DMC™ and Anchor™ floss, and a few other specialty threads. Small accomplishments, with more to do.

I have quite a few bolts of fabric pulled now to donate, or photograph and list. I need to clean my counters off first. In the meantime, I'm taking the chance to show you that I'm just like you. Sometimes my workspace looks like a bomb went off. It's not always "Better Homes and Gardens" or "Where Women Create". Sometimes, it's just an embarrassing, chaotic mess of creative supplies.

It's okay. I'll get this back under control again. It won't take much longer. Another day or so and we'll be good to go. I should be able to start listing up fabric by the end of the week. 

I'm glad I have Tag to take up a little slack for me tomorrow. I hope he has something polite planned for tomorrow (for a change). We'll have to see. In the meantime, I'm going to have a cuppa coffee and get back to my sorting. I'll see you again on Wednesday.

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September 26, 2021

Sunday Scripture...

Matthew 12:21 via HeatherCKing.org

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September 25, 2021

Booyah!!!...

Brynwood Needleworks - BW Exclusive Strawberry Sachet - Hydrangeas

One of the benefits of doing a deep dive into my studio supplies is that I'm finding things long-buried and forgotten (or lost). I was sure that I was on the last few scraps of a fabric I adore for making my strawberry sachets. Don't get me wrong. I like the linen a lot, but my first choice has always been this creamy white fabric.
 
I decided to empty a closet in my fabric studio. I knew that there were fabrics on rolls I want to donate, so I started pulling all the beautiful pieces into the light. One of the rolls that ended up with my bridal/formal fabrics was this fabric! I have at least a yard of 60" fabric...maybe even two yards! 

This discovery alone was worth the work I did yesterday. I think I have about a dozen bolts and three rolls of fabric pulled to list. I also have books, patterns and notions I'll be making available, too. I'm going back into my Square account to see about setting up a storefront. I promise I'll keep everyone updated about what I do, and make links that will be available to all. Thanks for your input yesterday, because it helped me see that this is probably my best option. 
 
Square also has a new feature that will allow me to share items right here on my blog, with an attached purchase button that you can click to buy. This could be really wonderful for some of my Exclusive Brynwood pieces in the future.

I still have a lot of work ahead of me, but I really made a huge dent yesterday. I think I'm going to need to buy just a few storage containers so that I can move the offerings into my freshly-cleaned attic space for holding (until sold) out of my studio rooms. I'm going to run out this morning to find some, and then I'll be able to get a little more sorting accomplished over the weekend. Lots to do, so I best get after it. Of course, coffee first. wink See you later!
 
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September 24, 2021

A Nice Day For A Chat...

Brynwood Needleworks - Liljegren's Hickory Hill Farm - Turning Leaves

 Even though we always expect it in Wisconsin, it's still a little bittersweet when Summer yields to Autumn. That's taking into account that Autumn is my favorite time of year, too! Our stately maple in the front yard has begun turning color. The sky was Handsome's and my favorite...dark sky backdrop with sunshine in the foreground. Can you see it?

While the weather was brisk and breezy outdoors, I spent most of the day cleaning our attic. For at least the short term, when we bring in the "acorn bed", the farmhouse bed will be set up in the clean, walk-up  attic space. It won't be the only thing I have in mind, but it's going to be a while before I share any of that with you.

By the end of the day, I was gassed. A cup of tea, an Ibuprofen, and putting my feet up for a spell. Then, Handsome said, let's just go out to grab a bite to eat. Exactly what I needed! I ended the day with quite the sense of accomplishment.

So, now, let me tell you what else I have in mind. Fabrics (and more) are taking over two rooms in the upstairs. They're my two studio spaces. Some Most of the fabrics I couldn't sew through if I lived to be one hundred fifty. Likewise with many of my quilting/sewing books. There are some things I really want to make, but the rest I've decided to let go. I want to spend more time with my needlework, and sometimes I'll incorporate it into my sewing projects, but I'll keep more of those items, and make space by letting the fabrics go.

I'm going to keep the fabric lines for those projects I know I'll make; the cork fabric and coordinates for my handbags, wallets and such; and other things like that. I'm going to sort through my books and the rest of the fabrics, with the plan that I'm going to donate some things and list up the rest to sell.

Because I want to part with these things at reasonable prices, I don't really want to list them up on Etsy. I'm contemplating opening a special group on Facebook with the express purpose of promoting my items to sell. If I don't go through Facebook, I'll bite the bullet and figure out how to open a shop space through my Square account. Either way, buyers could safely and securely use their credit cards, but I wouldn't have the piled on fees levied by Etsy. I'd love feedback on this. I'm open to other ideas if you have some.

I'm almost shocked that it's already Friday again. Is someone stealing other days of the week? Are we missing a few of the early months? Someone, please slow down time. I have too much yet to accomplish this year!! I guess I'd better get busy. 

Today, I'll be in the fabric studio, pulling bolts of fabric and setting them aside to photograph - and my donation pile, too. I know it won't be easy. Some of these bolts are like old friends, but I know it's time to bite the bullet and let a lot of these beautiful cottons go to new homes. I really hope you'll take the time to give me feedback on your ideas of the best way to accomplish this. (Thanks in advance!)

Oh, one more thing. In case you're wondering how I'm managing to get these projects done with this knee of mine, I need to share something I decided to try. In the past, Handsome has shared his ice pump machine. I sit in a chair with the cooling pad wrapped around my knee. Once the pump is turned on, ice water circulates up through the pad to offer up some serious relief. Twenty to thirty minutes on, and then twenty to thirty minutes off. Great help, but limited (like no) mobility. I have to sit in the chair the entire time.

Three days ago, on a whim, I tried a Turmeric capsule (only one a day). I actually took my first one at dinnertime. The next morning, I realized that my limp and attendant discomfort was greatly diminished. I told Handsome I was looking forward to seeing how I felt after a week of this therapy. I was on my feet all day yesterday, pushing a vacuum, lifting boxes, and moving things around. I was sore, but not in pain like I have been these past few months. Turmeric (at least for me) seems to be a minor miracle. 

I'm not promoting it for others. I'm not remotely qualified to do that, but I know that Turmeric is an anti-inflammatory. I can say that (with only three days of using it) it sure is working for me. I don't think I'll go back to wearing my high heels any time soon, but walking without a pronounced limp is a real blessing. I just thought I'd share that today.

Reading this back, I see that this post is a potpourri of words. This is what happens when I sit and chat with my BFF. I've always said that writing my blog posts is like sharing a cuppa tea with a good friend. I guess this is the best example of that. Hope you've got a coffee or tea handy while you're reading this. I could use a plate of cookies right about now. How about you?
 
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September 23, 2021

Home...

Brynwood Needleworks - September - Deer On Our Lawn

Yesterday was bread-making day. By dinnertime, the whole house smelled of fresh-out-of-the-oven bread. After dinner, Handsome sat in his new recliner, when something caught his eye out the north window. Not wanting to get the dogs into "go crazy! Sound the alarm! Bark fool heads off!" mode, I tried to take as discreet a photo of our visitors as possible. Thankfully, no dogs were alerted to their presence.

Unfortunately, I had only seen one of two deer. Handsome said there was more than one, but I never saw it from around the window. You know. Stick the camera around the corner, stealth mode. Oh, yes. Through the window screen, too. This won't make it between the covers of a National Geographic magazine, but I think the screen looks intentionally artsy fartsy in spite of the fact that I made no particular effort for it to be. By the time I tried to get a second image, the deer had taken the path to what I've called The Habitat for the past few years. As quietly as they appeared, they were gone. 

I think of Dad, and again silently thank him for instilling a love for nature deep in my soul. Just like that, he's with me again, and I smile.
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September 22, 2021

Ta-Daaaa!...

Brynwood Needleworks - Carved Acorn Headboard - Before

Well, the suspense is over. I can finally show you what I've been working on. This is the before photograph of the detail on the headboard of a queen size bed set I purchase a few months ago.

Brynwood Needleworks - Carved Acorn Headboard -After

I waited to start work on it until I was healed from my last surgery. I knew I wanted to get the paint on before the weather got too cold to do that in the garage. I finished this project over the weekend, so I can finally share it with you! Have you guessed yet what drew me to this set?

Brynwood Needleworks - Carved Acorn Bed Set - Before

I found it on - you guessed it - Facebook Marketplace. It was about an hour away, so I showed it to Handsome, and he agreed we should get it. Once it was here, I realized it was a little (basement) musty, so before I could paint, I took the time to clean it with water and Murphy's Oil Soap™. Then I used the Deglosser from Heirloom Traditions All-in-One Paint Company.

To say there was a little elbow grease involved would be an understatement. I cleaned both sides of each piece - taking extra care around the spindles - and let it dry between sessions. When my nose and I were satisfied that I'd accomplished my goal, I was finally able to use the Deglosser to take the sheen off the wood finish. (I also removed the metal decorations from the footboard to deal with later.)

Brynwood Needleworks - Carved Acorn Bed Set -After

Once everything was, again, thoroughly dry, I began painting. I used the Heirloom Traditions' All-In-One Paint in Cashmere (white), and London (gray-green). The Cashmere took three coats to completely cover the oak finish. The London paint only took two coats.

Brynwood Needleworks - Small Bed Side Table Showing Drawer Detail

I also painted a small, antique washstand table I had to coordinate with the bed. The exterior is London, and I painted Cashmere inside the drawer.

I'm wasn't sure how I felt about the modern-looking drawer pull, so I've since actually changed that for a more rustic-looking one. I took the gold-tone medallions from the bed, and used Rub 'n Buff™ in a silvertone on them. I like them much better in the silvertone, but...

I also have some carved acorns that I've had for years. I may try those on the footboard to see if I like them better than the metal trim. If I do, I may switch them. 

The plan for this bed is to bring it into the main bedroom. As much as I love (and I really do) my farmhouse bed, I want to use that in a future guest room, and have a queen bed in the main bedroom. I just didn't like the mattress as tall as the last one was. It was nearly impossible for me to toss myself into bed every night with this gimpy knee. (My little brother wanted that set, so it has a good home.) 

I  have an antique oak table that's on the other side of my bed now. I've had it for 30 years, and I just can't bring myself to paint it. I do, however, have a table cover that fits it perfectly. I'm going to embroider it along the borders with my new flower obsession design, in colors that go with the bed and washstand. I think it will fit right in without having a painted finish. Fingers crossed. Otherwise, I'll find another washstand on Marketplace for painting. I see them just like the one I have all the time.

We have a few things we need moved in the house, so in a few weeks we'll hire professionals to do another "in-house move" for us. I'm making a list of what we want moved and where it needs to go, so I don't forget once they're here, and we can make the best use of their time. Time is money, you know.

When that happens, I'll be sure to take photos of the new setup. It will be all moved and settled before the snow flies, and we can just enjoy the new (and final) arrangement.

Now, what was I working on before this? Oh, yes. I remember. Time to get my morning coffee and then I'll get back to it.

September 21, 2021

Tuesdays With Tag - It's Pretty Blurry Up In Here...

Brynwood Needleworks - Taggart 9/20/21
 

Hi, Everybody!

It's that time again...Did ya miss me? Well, have I got some pictures for you today. Hold onto your horses. It's not pretty.

Brynwood Needleworks - "Larry, Mo, and Carly"

The weather was so perfect last weekend that Mom and Dad decided it was time to bathe a couple of stinky dogs. (Not me, of course!) Even so, all three of us got buffed and puffed on Sunday. It was so awful that I'm only gonna share after pictures with you. No one was safe. We all got hosed and soaped. Soak, soap, rinse, and repeat. Three times.

Brynwood Needleworks - Do You See That?

Now, if you looked at the first picture, you saw that I'm on the left, Boo is in the middle, and that big lump of black fur on the right is Carlita Puppita. Can you see why Mom and Dad are havin' trouble tellin' them apart when they're not wearin' their collars?

If you're wonderin' why we all seem a bit distracted, I'm gonna tell you why. First, Dad is standin' off to the right of this picture, and the girls always look to mind him before they'll listen to Mom. I don't have to worry about that 'cuz I don't listen to anybody! (You think I'm kiddin', don't you?) 

Second, we could all hear that stoopid cat mewin' from the garden. Lucky for her Bella Butt wasn't allowed off the porch, so she couldn't locate the exact origin of the sounds. Claudette actually sat and watched Mom while she was takin' pics. So this photo shoot is a little discombobulated.

Brynwood Needleworks - Oh, My!

I'll just close with the poster child for how all our fur looked apre' baths. Bella's got fur stickin' up all over. Dad tried brushin' her, and I'm tellin' you...it didn't help much. Same for The Kid and me. The more they brushed, the more we shed, and the more our fur stuck up. 

Mom's vaccumin' the house every single day, and she's fillin' the canister every time. It's awesome!!! At this rate, she'll be able to knit up a whole litter of new dogs. The post-bath sheddin' fun factor is enough to make the three of us look forward to the next time. Gotta run. We've got more coat blowin' to do.

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

September 20, 2021

Just A Teeny Peek...

Brynwood Needleworks - Sneak Peek - Purple Commission
 

What a lovely and productive weekend we had here at the farmhouse. I've nearly finished my painting project; Handsome and I did a little barn cleaning; and some smelly pups got baths. I also had time to stitch.

It's nice that I have enough fabric to practice auditioning stitches and designs for the commission I'm currently working on. I can only share the teeniest of peeks so as not to give away any surprises. Every so often I hand my work over to Handsome to ask what he thinks. He tells me what he likes, and then cheers me on to the next phase. I really value his perspective...in more things than my needlework. I'll share more soon, in snippets, to keep the suspense going until the piece is complete.

If you visited on Sunday, you'll notice the beautiful cross vignette for my verse. The cross was gifted to me along with all the wonderful fabrics and fibers I told you about recently. It usually sits in a special place in my bedroom, but right now it's in a fall display in our living room. I can't tell you how much I love it. The surface is smooth, with hard edges, and the color reminds me of the Gulf of Mexico from our years in Sarasota County. I smile every time I look at it. Thanks again to the friend who sent it to me.

Tag can't wait to chat with you tomorrow. He's got all sorts of things to tell you. I'll be back on Wednesday!



September 19, 2021

Sunday Scripture...

Proverbs 27:9 - Brynwood Needleworks

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September 18, 2021

Sweet Distractions...

Brynwood Needleworks - Carly

I've been painting out in the garage the past couple days. Claudette likes to hang out with me, so the dogs usually stay inside with Handsome. Once I know they're coming outside, I shoo her back into the barn, or the dogs do when they come out. Such was the case yesterday.
 
Claudette was sprawled out under the lawn chair that was in the grass. She was quite comfortable there, so when I went on a short break, I sat down on the chaise and talked to her. Then the back door opened, and out blasted three dogs. Bella came straight for the chaise, having seen my wee cat under me.
 
I managed to grab the collars for the black dogs, and they had a short standoff with my cat. Of course, Tag was standing next to her, and she wasn't quite sure what to do. I moved the two girls away from my chair, and Claudette hi-tailed it for the barn while I held the dogs at bay. Carly is respectful, but I'm still not sure about her mother, so it's best to give the cat a head-start.
 
Once the excitement died down, I was talking with Handsome, and we both started laughing when we saw Carly. She's a fetching fool. She had jumped into the back of Handsome's truck and grabbed a retrieving dummy out of the box he keeps them in. She came out to the yard, proud as you please, that she'd purloined one of her "toys". Handsome tossed a few times for her, but not before I took this picture.

She looks like a puppy in this photo, but she's nearly as large as her mother, and Bella is 55 pounds! I think the last time she was weighed at the vets, Carly tipped the scales near 50 pounds. You'd never know it from this image. She looks so much smaller.

I'll be back in the barn over the weekend, and hope to finish my paint project to be able to show it to you on Monday. I'm sure Tag will have more photos of the weekend to share on Tuesday. Off to get my morning coffee...

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