March 31, 2022

Little By Little...

I'm making Progress On My Petit Point Bouquet

I got all my tax paperwork assembled and posted to our tax accountant yesterday! Once my work was done, I still had daylight to play! Of course, I sat down at my embroidery frame to work on the petit point canvas. I'm taking your great advice, and working on this in segments to avoid overload.

It was overcast and rainy. The weather change causes my arthritis to flare up a bit, so I could only stitch for an hour or so before my hands hurt. It's okay. It's something I've learned to live with. I take a Tylenol and stitch a while. Then I stop and do something else - like read (which I also love).

I'm not sure what I'm going to do today. I'll decide after coffee, but one thing's for sure. I won't have to do anything tax-related for a while. Yippee.

March 30, 2022

Coming Soon...

New Fabrics Heading To The Shop This Week
I'm sorting fabrics again, and this is just a sampling of some of the yardage that will be heading to my Etsy shop very soon.

My sister, Di came over on Monday, asking that I do my second least favorite task in the entire crafting world for her. Of course, I sucked it up and said "yes". She came out to the farmhouse with tracing fabric and a pattern that she wants to sew for her farmer's market booths. She's going to be making aprons for children and adults, so there were multiple parts and pieces to trace onto her stabilizer-type fabric.

I stood at my cutting table (and then moved down to the kitchen island), tracing all the lines, pattern marks and information onto each piece while we visited. It was great spending the time with her, and she really was grateful, but I was gassed by the time we were finished. 

(BTW-My least favorite task is cutting out pattern pieces prior to sewing garments - or anything really - together.)

I hugged her and said I'd see her later in the week, grabbed my cuppa, and put my feet up for a while. Once I'd rested a bit, Tag told you how we went on a short hike. It was a beautiful day for it, and I was glad to have done it - the favor for my sister and the walk.

I'm working on pulling together all our tax documents this week, but I'm going to list up fabric when I take breaks from the bookwork. I'll start with a few of these today, and add more as the week progresses. Who knows? You might find something you can't live without! 

Have a great day!

March 29, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - I'm Walkin' In Sunshine...

Tag, The Magnificent

 Hi, Everybody!

Today, you get to see pictures of my little romp out into the wilderness. It was a perfect day for walkabout.

Nothin' Better Than Field Snufflin'

Mom put on her warm jacket and we headed out to explore the north field. Even though the ground was a little soft, it sure didn't bother me. Mom walked on the corn leaves to she didn't get all muddy. There were lots of great smells for my discernin' olfactory to pick up.

Me And My Shadow

Even though no one was in sight when we left the house, it didn't take long for me to smell Claudette followin' me in the corn rows. I didn't care, 'cuz I was mostly way out in front of her, and she stuck close to Mom. 

I think she was tryin' to trip Mom, actually, as she was right underfoot, and practically blockin' her path. As long as she left me alone for a while (and she didn't make Mom fall down), it was okay with me.

Can You Spot The Little 

Even Crystal joined the party, but she stayed in the treeline. She didn't think I saw her, but nothin' gets past me. Can you see her in the picture? Look close. She's there!

Walkin' My Kitty Back Home

When it was time to turn for home, Claudette bounced out of the field so she could rub up against me and let me know she was there. I just kept doin' my thing and mostly ignorin' her. 

As our walk came to an end, Dad greeted us in the yard, and he watched all four of us walk back to the house. It was a nice, little jaunt, and I hope we can do it again soon. It's not likely to be today, 'cuz it's supposed to rain...buckets. (Come on. You didn't really think I was gonna say cats and dogs, did you?)

Now that my blog title and pictures have you hummin' one song or another, I'll leave you to it. Everybody ought to have a song in their heart, right? Right! Keep your powder dry. I'll be back soon.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 
"Been There, Chewed That!"

March 28, 2022

Girls’ Weekend...

Saturday Craft Group

I drove to Portage on Saturday for another play date with dear friends. This month was Marie’s (she’s to the right of me in the photo) turn to decide the project. We made wall pockets. 

To create the wall pockets we began with large embroidery hoops, selected the fabrics we wanted to use, and then added embellishments. 

We were all finished in three hours, and you can see the results. Each project turned out reflecting each creator’s personality perfectly...and we had fun visiting at the same time! We’re already looking forward to next month!

High School Friends

Sunday was an outing to a local goat farm/creamery with a group of friends from high school. Many of us work together on the class reunion committee. 

The creamery had a Wine/Cheese/Chocolate pairing event. While the taste testing was enjoyable, it was really catching up with the ladies that was most fun. 

I got home mid-afternoon and spent the rest of the day catching my breath. We have a lot scheduled for this week, so I just enjoyed the rest of the weekend with Handsome and the critters. 

I have orders to prepare and mail today, and then more office work to do. Yippee. (Snort)

March 27, 2022

March 26, 2022

Crafting Day...

My Heart-Framed, Embroidered Flowers

I'm heading back to Portage (WI) today for another craft day with my girlfriends. I'm have no idea what this month's project will be, but I'm anxious to find out. I'll just grab my travel mug and be on my way. See you Monday with the results!

March 25, 2022

Corgi Caboodle...

Corgi Caboodle From Plum Street Samplers
Look what I found! Of course, I ordered my own copy, and it arrived last week. This is a definite stitch on my list, but I have another project to complete first.

My Version of Primitive Gatherings "Everlasting Quilt"

I'm going to bring out my "Everlasting" quilt project and finish that next. If you remember, I chose to personalize my version with a bee skep, lavender and bees as the center theme. I'm going to add lavender and bees all around the border to finish it.

Once all the stitching is complete, I'll be on the search for a long-arm quilter to custom quilt it for me. I may send it back to Florida to one of my talented friends. We'll see. First things first.

March 24, 2022

Calgon, Take Me Awaaaay...

Brynwood Needleworks - The Habitat at the Farmhouse
 

I think the easiest way to tell you about my day yesterday is to share the Facebook post I put up late morning...

"Let’s see. How to describe my morning so far?

I woke up to rain and a husband who’s under the weather. I let each of the dogs out, in turn, and then put them back in their kennels to get dry.
While waiting for Tag to finish his business in the yard, the two barn cats came on the porch from The Habitat (an area in the woods where I leave birdseed for the opossums, chipmunks and birds all winter). Claudette had a live chipmunk in her mouth, which I promptly scooped up. It ran up onto my shoulder where I grabbed it and put in my sweatshirt pocket to protect it from the girls.
Two mad wet cats, wanting what I’d taken away from them, so I came in the house, found a box in the basement where I secured the chippy until I could take it back to The Habitat to set it free. ..but not before it showed its displeasure by nipping my thumb and drawing first blood.
I went out to the barn, followed by two mewing felines, and put out food for them and
Claudette’s prodigal son. Hopefully, that would keep them occupied until after the chipmunk was released.
I moved the yard tractor out of the garage so the driver could pick it up this morning for service. I turned around to see that two wet cats had followed me in and gone into hunt mode. When I started the tractor, Crystal hi-tailed it back to the safety of the Compass Barn. Claudette jumped into the boat that’s in storage in the garage, where she had a bird’s eye view of all activity. She remains there for a little “alone time”, away from her kids.
I filled a bucket with water and cleaner, grabbed a brush, paper towel, and garbage bag, and proceeded back to the porch to clean up the remains of last night’s carnage... “gifts” from the girls. I’m glad I didn’t have to add a chipmunk to the bag.
Once I came back into the house, I put on my slippers, thoroughly scrubbed my hands, disinfected my thumb with LOTS alcohol, and put on a clean bandage.
While I was feeding the dogs, I put the kettle on to boil a cuppa tea. Carly delivered each dish as they were emptied, I made my hot tea, took my morning meds (Quercitin, zinc, NAC, Vit D3, and Vit C, to keep C-19 and any other nasty bug at bay), and now that the tractor has been picked up, I’m sitting down to catch my breath.
(By the way- I also looked up chipmunks and rabies. It looks like they’re not carriers, but I’ll keep the wound clean. If I start growing hair on my palms, or foaming at the mouth, I’ll head to the ER.)
How’s your morning going?"

I ended up calling the doctor's office right before lunch, just to make sure I was up-to-date with my tetanus shot (I am), and see if I missed anything. I'm just supposed to keep track of the bite location, and if it starts to look infected, I should go to the doctor asap. In the meantime, I was told that washing it out with soap and alcohol as I did was good enough. I might want to also cover it with a little antibiotic ointment (which I also did), so I'm good. 

The nurse admitted to me that she was having a hard time not laughing out loud at my tale. She said she would have freaked out if the cat had brought the live chipmunk to her. No way she would have tried to pick it up. I told her to feel free to giggle. I could actually see the humor in the entire event, as long as I wouldn't die from the rodent bite.

Most of the rest of the day was uneventful, except that late day, Claudette showed up again with a larger chipmunk in her mouth. This time she made sure it was dead so I couldn't save the poor thing. I took it from her anyway and disposed of it before she could disembowel it. Ugh. Well played, cat. Well, played.

Claudette - 1
Me - 0

Tag and Carly On One End Of Our Sectional

By the end of the day, everyone was settled in. Tag and Carly commandeered one end of the sectional, while...

Bella Butt

Miss Bella prefers to snuggle her butt right up against me on the other end of the sectional. Seriously, I sit on this too small sliver of the new sofa, as the canines have invoked squatter's rights on the rest. I'm pitiful. 

The Barn Girls were actually snuggled up on a chaise lounge on the porch, while Leo slept wherever he wanted in the barn. As an aside: I actually got close enough to reach over the top of him to turn out the barn light last night. It won't be long before he'll be visiting the vet. (Yay!)

Let's hope today goes better. I'm nursing Handsome as we try to avoid another trip to the hospital, and today, I'm going to try to get all the tax information pulled together to send to our accountant. Yes. I'm one of those people who runs right up against deadlines. I'll be back tomorrow to let you know how it goes.

March 23, 2022

Good To Know...

Low Carb Snack List

Whether decluttering, creating in my studio, or working in the kitchen, I’m also trying to be more conscientious about what I put in my mouth throughout the day. I’m really trying to make healthier choices. (I’m not counting the occasional morning donut, or homemade treat.)

I came across this great list, and knew right away I’d be sharing it with my readers, just in case someone else might find it useful. 

What are your favorite healthy snacks? I’d love to know. Something I can have anytime - guilt-free - would be especially nice. 

I went to see Shelly yesterday afternoon. She’s doing really well. She has at least two - three weeks of hospital care ahead of her, but she’s working really hard to get her left side moving. It was so nice seeing her, and we’re all looking forward to her being able to come home soon. Continued prayers are appreciated. 

March 22, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - A Tale of Two Kitties...

It's All Her Fault

Hi, Everybody!

I hope you'll read all the way through my post today. It's not the usual kitty rant. This has an interestin' twist at the end. Really. I hope you'll be as surprised as we were.

It all began a couple of years ago when Miss Shelly told us about the local feral cats havin' kittens up at their house. Actually, I think Claudette had her kittens under their lp tank, but it doesn't really matter. There were three kittens in that litter, and another mama cat had kittens, too.

One of the kittens disappeared. Miss Shelly thinks the other mama adopted that one, and they all went off into the woods after they got bigger. Claudette (named Groucho at the time) stayed around the farm with her kittens.

Then, winter came that year. At Christmastime, the kittens showed up on our porch to play in the snow. We watched them through the window. Leo and Crystal were the cutest! Of course, Boo and I were very curious about them.

Lyin' On The Driveway

Fast forward to last spring. Leo lived in the barn with Claudette and Crystal, and he never got the message that he shouldn't do the nasty with relatives. Shortly after, we found out that Claudette was expectin' - and a little later, so was Crystal. It was about that time that Leo took off for the summer. Gone with the wind.

Late last fall, Leo showed up again in the barn, but he looked real sick. He was poopin' all over the place, and it was gross. Claudette and Crystal didn't want to have anythin' to do with him, and soon after, he disappeared. Truthfully, Mom was pretty sad thinkin' he'd gone away to die. As for the girls, life went on.

Whenever Mom walks down to get the mail, her entourage follows. She turns around to see what looks like roadkill on the driveway. The girls flop down hopin' she'll stop to pet their bellies before she goes back in the house. (She always does.) If I'm out there with her, they chase me!  Crazy cats!

They've Taken Over Dad's Tractor

Over the weekend, we all got a surprise. The girls love sleepin' on Dad's tractor. He's not particularly thrilled with this. That's not the surprise, though. Mom started puttin' an old sheet on the tractor so the seat didn't get dirty. They don't seem to mind one bit.

She Is NOT Pleased

But then, she saw somethin'. Look up in the loft. Big Grey (the 'possum) left the barn a few days ago when the weather was real nice, so Mom was wonderin' who was makin' a mess of the workbench where she feeds the girls. Now we know who the culprit is. 

He's back! That's LEO up in the loft. He survived the winter (who knows where), and came back to the barn. Just what we need. Another freakin' cat!

"Tag, What have I told you about using bad language?" - Mom

"I'll quit sayin' it about the cats when Dad does."

Dad was not happy. He's not a fan of the cats, and they haven't even swatted him on the face or butt like they do me! He only tolerates them because Mom loves them. If he had his way, they'd all be on their way with little suitcases.

He's Back!

So, here Leo is again...eatin' the girls' food, sleepin' in their beds, and gettin' hissed at when he gets too close to them. Don't say anythin' out loud, 'cuz we don't want him to get wind of this, but Mom's gonna befriend him again. He was the first one to rub up on her and be all sweet when he was a kitten. Then he went all wild. So she's gonna have to earn his trust again, but she's done this with Claudette and Crystal. She can do it again with Leo.

Once they're big buds again, she's gonna get him tutored, vetted and cleaned up. No more kittens from this Tom boy! Then, she'll release him again so he can follow his muse. 

We're all happy that he's not dead, and Mom is glad to see him again. Dad, Claudette and Crystal? Not so much. Seems Dad has somethin' in common with the Barn Girls. Imagine that!

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 
"Been There, Chewed That!"

March 21, 2022

Sunday At The Farmhouse...

Delicious Food At The Farmhouse
Yesterday couldn't have been more perfect. The sun was out, the weather was warm, and I joyfully spent the day in the kitchen. 

I began the day (after taking care of the Barn Girls) making a batch of hickory syrup. Once that was done, I mixed up the makings for focaccia. Focaccia starts with a wet mix called "poolish" that needs ten to fifteen hours to ferment. I made that on Saturday afternoon.

After the poolish is fermented, it's added to the rest of the ingredients and that begins a series of further fermentation until it's ready to form into pans. Fully formed and fermented, I added cooked Italian sausage, hand-grated Parmesan cheese, and caramelized onions. Top with a little basil and red pepper flakes, and it was ready for the oven. I also made a tomato/onion/green pepper mix that I roasted as a side dish for the focaccia.

As the focaccia was fermenting, I took another twenty minutes to hand churn some butter. I hadn't tried that before, but I'd purchased a Kilner churner when we first moved here, and I decided it was time to take it for a spin. Handsome helped me turn the churner crank when my hand got tired, but it really didn't take long for the butter to take shape. 300ml of whipping cream was turned into 3.5 ounces of salted butter, and 3/4 cup of buttermilk (which is the perfect amount for a batch of buttermilk biscuits later this week). 

All the photographs in the mosaic show 1) finished hickory syrup, and then clockwise 2) focaccia - before and after, and 3) butter - after and before. As always, you can click on the mosaic to enlarge it for a better view.

I'll be working in the studio today, but yesterday in the kitchen was really wonderful. I must make a point of doing that more often. I'm going to get the hickory syrup labeled, and an order of it packed and shipped first. I'd better get busy!

March 20, 2022

March 19, 2022

Ruffled Roses & Blossoms Strawberry Sachet...

Newest Completed Strawberry Sachet
I just finished another of my Strawberry Sachets. I've called this one "Ruffled Roses & Blossoms". This one is a commission, and mailed out yesterday. 

Even though this one isn't available, I'll happily create another in the same colors, or a new color palette by request. Due to the nature of handcrafted, no two will ever be exactly alike, so they're always one-of-a-kind.

I'll be working on my petit point canvas over the weekend, but will also add a new project to the mix so I don't go cross-eyed. I'm thinking it's time to finish my "Everlasting" quilt project. Then, to find a long-armer to quilt it for me. One step at a time.

Thank you to everyone who left a comment for me either here or on my Facebook page about Otis. Your comments truly touched my heart, and I'm so appreciative. Thank you again.

March 18, 2022

RIP, Otis...

Kitty and Opossum Prints


Otis' footprints first appeared on the driveway in early February of this year. Later in the month, I saw him snuffling around in the lawn in search of birdseed. Then, one day, I saw his footprints in the snow near the overhead door of the Compass Barn, along with the cat prints. I knew he'd been in the barn - at least overnight.

Soon, he was making himself at home in the barn. I shared photos with you once Otis moved into Crystal's bed. He loved her bed. I had a non-electric warming pad in it, and that seemed to suit him just fine. No one else has slept there since. 

Otis Moved Into The Drum


Next, he discovered the 55 gallon drum next to the workbench, likely when on the bench to eat Claudette and Crystal's evening leftovers. 

I'm Trying To Sleep

I laughed to see the bed I'd put into it for Claudette moving around while I was putting out their breakfast. I guess he smelled the food and it woke him up. He liked sleeping under the bed, rather than in it. I think he felt safer that way.

I went to the barn to feed my cats yesterday morning. As always lately, I check to make sure Otis and Big Grey are comfy, too. Claudette's bed didn't move as it usually did when I put the morning food out for the girls, so I lifted the pad to see if Otis was there. He was, but he didn't look at me this time. I finished feeding the girls and then went to grab a pair of my work gloves.

I went back to the barn and moved the board, then the bed, so I could get a better look. I felt him and he was still, but I wanted to make sure he wasn't just "playing 'possum". I lifted him, and realized he was stiff and lifeless.

Sadly, Otis passed away sometime between the prior evening's dinner time and breakfast. Opossums have a rough life and a short lifespan in Wisconsin, but I'm happy knowing that he live a pretty cushy life the last month or so.

Laid To Rest

Wearing my gloves, I gently lifted him out of his bed, along with some of the bedding he'd grown fond of. I carried him like a precious package up the hill and into the woods, where I found a lovely spot for him. I placed his bedding down on the leaves. Then, I gently placed his body onto the bedding.

Otis' Resting Place


I gathered branches and more leaves and made a shelter for his remains. I'm sad he's gone, but grateful that I got to watch and care for him. I'm glad I could make his life comfortable after he found our barn. I know he was "just a wild animal", but when you have a chance to interact with one, it changes you. I cared about this little opossum.

Yesterday, I cried over his passing, and treated his remains with respect as I gave him back to the land. Claudette had followed me partway up the hill. As I came out of the woods, she meowed her silly meow and bounced across the tall grass to walk back to the barn with me.

I checked the other shelter to see if Big Grey was still okay. He looked at me as I smiled and returned the shelter roof back in place. I put a little extra food out for him last night. The girls and dogs all got extra cuddles from me all day and into the evening.

RIP, Otis Redding.

March 17, 2022

Look What I Found...

Acorn & Oak Leaf Dresser

While perusing Marketplace last weekend, I came across this dresser. See the motif? It matches the motif on the bed I purchased and painted last fall! Handsome and I picked this piece up yesterday, and will add it to our bedroom set.

I haven't decided yet whether or not I'll paint it white. My thinking is that the top (which is scratched) will be painted, and I'm going to change out the hardware to update the look. I may end up painting it white, but I'm not inclined to completely cover the wood. I'm going to start with a good cleaning and make decisions from there. 

The weather was unseasonably warm yesterday for Wisconsin. It was 62ยบ! If the weather stays like this for a few more days, I'll be able to get some work done on this piece while it's still out in the garage. Fingers crossed.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

March 16, 2022

A Lovely Day...

Rose Blossom Embroidery For Strawberry Sachet

Sitting for hours on end, executing tiny, petit point stitches was starting to cross my eyes. I think I need to slip other projects in and take a break from the needlepoint project so I don't completely lose interest in completing it. Working on side projects is a good thing.

I turned to a commission project that shows results more quickly than working petit point. I'm embroidering a new strawberry sachet with ruffled roses and blossoms. I'll complete this one very soon.

New Wallets Listed In My Etsy Shop

I also listed these new Bryn wallets in my Etsy shop today. 

The link to the shop is in my sidebar over there ---> -->

It was a very good day. 

March 15, 2022

Tuesdays With Tag - Celebratin' The Green...

Tag, Corgi Leprechaun 

Hi, Everybody!

We're only a few days away from St. Patrick's Day, so I had to get in the spirit (if only digitally).

It's a day for eatin' corned beef and cabbage, green beer, dancin' a little Irish jig and wearin' o' the green. Of course, the only thing we dogs can do on that list is the "wearin' o' the green" part. So there you have it. Mom will make sure we get to eat green peas, though, and that's a good thing. Dogs love peas!

So, my post today is gonna be short. I hope you have a good day of celebratin' and bein' silly, as long as you're not as silly as The Kid...

Carly, For Real

I admit, she's cute, but it doesn't get any sillier than this dog! 
Lucky us.

I'll see you again in seven. 'til then... 
"Been There, Chewed That!"

March 14, 2022

Slow Going...

Progress On My Petit Point Project

I've spent at least six hours on this so far, and have approximately four square inches of stitched background to show for it. This is going to take a while.

My Needlework Spot

This is my stitching spot in the studio. I have a great view of our yard and beyond. I was tickled to watch the Barn Girls and the BIG GREY opossum snuffling around in the yard today. Otis was content to stay curled up in Crystal's bed in the barn. 

I'll continue stitching on this, but don't think I'll update you on every, little section. I'll share more when I have a lot more finished. Tag will be back tomorrow.