The Author

The Author
Brian Haggard

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My Dyslexia

Having the skill to write, spell, and punctuate has never been my strong suit. Growing up as a young child I was always nurtured to be creative and artistic which came naturally to me but I could never quite grasp written language. I now know that it's a learning disabilty with a name: DYSLEXIA.



I write from the heart and I make my best effort to get the words on the page properly but as you'll see I don't always succeed. I ask you to enjoy what I write and post but to be understanding and kind. Brian

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Friday, August 15, 2014

~How I Spent My Summer Vacation!~



~~~~~

Hello Everyone,

I hope you all are having a wonderful summer! Mine has been a busy but productive one and now here we are with Labor Day just around the corner. 

I wanted to slow down and take a little time to share some pictures and experiences that I had on my amazing Irish adventure back in June.




We were there for ten fascinating days, each one was filled to the brim with beautiful settings, interesting people and marvelous sites.  Me, being the visual person that I am, tried hard to capture every morsel of the beauty. That is why I ended up with more than two thousand pictures by the time I returned! I would like to share some of my favorites with you.


~~~

The flight was long and we arrived worn out but excited. The first night we wanted nothing more than a soft bed to fall into but after a restful night we were all raring to go.

Our group was organized through Sew Many Places, a travel group that caters to people with interests in all types of textile arts.

I acted as one of the two hosts for our group, the other was the spectacularly talented, Pam Holland.

If you are not familiar with her work please do yourself a favor and check out her website at:  pamhollanddesignsandproductions.com



Luckily for us the people in our delightful group made our jobs easy. It was truly a pleasure to share this holiday with each and every one of them.

Jane Haganman and sister Donna Baldwin
enjoying the beauty of Aran Island.

Our coach driver, a fact filled and fun guide that helped us along our way was D.B. He explained to us how he came by his unusual name. The initials stand for "Darling Boy" a name given to him by his mother.

He explained much of the Irish history and customs of the areas we visited and he regaled us with stories and information about this beautiful green country.


Our handsome driver D.B.
(Also known as
Darling Boy)

Our first day out we hopped on a ferry that delivered us to Inishmore, which is the largest of the Aran Islands off the coast of Galway Bay in south west Ireland.



One of the many, pony and traps used for touring
the island. Look at the size of this pony's feet!


The people living on Aran Island speak both Irish and English and are passionate about preserving the traditions of Ireland. They were all so welcoming and warm they made our day on Aran Island very special.



The shops on the island are thatched and whitewashed 
with cheerful colors use for trim.

Here is another thatched roof. On this one you can
see the rope used to secure a net over
the thatch. The net stops the birds
from borrowing the roof for nesting
material.


Each of the shops...

...had some of these...

...brightly colored chairs out front



This is one of many ruins on the island. This one was
once a beautiful church. 





Thinking that a passport cover would be something nice to have for future travel, I designed this for our workshop project:

These is the samples of what we made.




Part of the group working on their
passport covers.

White on brown


Pastel on white

Everyone made a beautiful memento of their time in Ireland.


...and what could be better at the end of a wonderful afternoon than relaxing with a bitey pint of hard cider. Wonderful!

I wish I could tell you how good this tasted!


On Friday and Saturday our days were filled with new sights, smells, tastes and sounds as we visited the Connemara marble shop, the Celtic Crystal factory and for me, one of the highlights of the trip Kylemore Abby and gardens.  We made and, YUM! ate scones and watched as a resisting sheep lost its wooly coat. I will share those memories in my next post.

I have so much more to share about our time in Ireland but will close this blog for now. I promise to post again soon with more pictures and thoughts about our trip.

Let me know what wonderful adventures you have had this summer and until next time be creative and have fun!

Brian

~~~


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Come Join Me in the Caribbean!



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Hello Everyone!

The Ireland trip was everything I had hoped it would be and more. I have lots to share with you about our adventures.

Right now I am busy playing catch-up! I will post shortly about our fabulous trip to Ireland.

I did want to get this information to you ASAP, though.  Next February I will be one of the hosts and teachers on  a seven day Caribbean cruise.  It is a wonderful opportunity to take classes from some of the best in the business and I would love for you to join us.

It's a win-win! Get out of winter's frosty grip and enjoy the sun, sand and blue waters of the Caribbean while immersing yourself in your favorite passion!

Gotta run!


Take care,
Brian


Here is all of the pertinent information about the cruise.





Friday, May 30, 2014

~~~Downton Abbey,Indy Style~~~

~~~~~~~~~~


Hello All,

Recently, the kind ladies at  Back Door Quilts gave us all an opportunity to experience a bit of the Downton Abbey magic. They hosted a lovely tea that  Lady Grantham would have been proud to attend. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

They also invited us to step back in time and come dressed in vintage styles popular at the turn of the century and worn by  the characters of the PBS hit series, Downton Abbey.  

My Assistant, Jody-my Mom,Debbie-
and good friend, Cathy


I was very honored to be asked to speak during the tea.  I have known Linda and Teri, the owners of the Back
Kevin and me with our lovely hostesses,
 Linda and Teri
Door, since I was eleven. We 
won't discuss how many years that has been. Let’s just say, a lot! They have always been so supportive and  they gave me one of my first teaching jobs at the tender age of sixteen. 


I presented a crazy quilt block that I made using the new
Downton Abbey fabrics. They have become so popular! 
The crazy quilt inspired by the Downton Abbey fabrics

I wanted to reflect a vintage feel while making this piece. My choices of stitches,trims and buttons 
emphasized that style. If you want to see more of the Downton Abbey inspired  fabrics ,the full line is available at the Back Door . 

I also shared some information about the customs and habits in vogue during this period. The gentlemen and
Kevin and me
Looking every bit the
English gentlemen
gentlewomen had such elegance and grace.  Their homes and lifestyle were on such a grand scale, I find it fascinating.  

   
Most of the attendees got into the spirit of the day and
dressed in vintage costumes from various Downton Abbey time periods. Everyone looked fabulous and some even pulled
true antique pieces out of grandma's cedar chest, to complete their looks. 

Doesn't everyone look fantastic?!


Robin Brown
Looking stylish in
her vintage hat.  

It was enjoyable wandering through times gone by for just a little while, and bringing a little of the Downton Abbey elegance to Indy.

Debbie, Jody, Me,
 Kevin and Cathy

Much thanks to Linda and Teri for providing such a charming backdrop!


Right now, I am hard at work preparing for my trip to Ireland. For those of you joining me on this journey, see you very soon. Not to worry if you aren't making the trip though, I will be posting tale of our adventures upon my return.


Tata for now!
Brian
~~~~~~~~~~~~



Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Labor of Love


~

Hello Everyone,

Today, I would like to share a project with you that has been a “labor of love” for me.

Since my main focus on the blog has been about quilting and fabric design, some of you may not know that I am also an interior decorator. Over the past eighteen years I have had the pleasure of working with many wonderful clients. It has been gratifying for me to help them realize their vision of what will make their homes beautiful and unique.   

Recently, I had the  happy opportunity to be able to do this for my parents, in their new home.  Their dream home has lots of room with high ceilings and  plenty of gathering space for the family. Oh, and a big garage for my dad.  

~
~H~

 My parents, Richard and Debbie Haggard are pictured below. They are an energetic pair that, are always going and doing. Mom likes to shop and Dad likes to take her and wait patiently while she looks. They are both very artistic, so I guess the apple didn't fall far from the trees.

Here they are in their new living room.


Aren't they cute!
I selected black for the walls in this room because I knew it would make the white wainscotting pop. The black also goes well with the colonial furnishings. The color worked even better than I had hoped. 



~~H~~

I wanted this part of the living space to
 resemble an old early american tavern. 

Over the years, my parents have collected many wonderful antiques and interesting pieces. One of my biggest challenges has been deciding which pieces from the treasure trove of goodies, I would use in my design.  This was difficult at times because I have fond memories of so many of them.






~

  My parents like the authentic colonial style and lean towards that when decorating. My mother also has a very soft spot in her heart for the white-on-cream shabby chic look, so I tried hard to combine the two.

~H~

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We found this wonderful old window and decided to hang it in what Mom calls her sun room. It is a small sitting room in the front of the house and does get very sunny.  I added some interest with the mural and urns. We designed this room in the Shabby Chic she loves so much. 

Below are some other design elements of the room.
~~H~~

This is a closer look
at one of the urns




A millinery mannequin that caught our eye
one day








Birds, books and vines

Sewing, bits and bobs!


~~H~~

The pretty lady on the right of this picture is my Mom and some of you probably recognize the sweet lady on her left. That is my able assistant, Jody Baker. Jody keeps me organized on the road and is a talented fabric artist herself. She is also a close family friend and loves spending time with my folks.  You never know what these two might be getting up to next! 
~



Here are Jody, mom and dad enjoying the new house




~~~H~~~

~

I added a few pops of color to this shabby chic parlor, but the furnishings still hold true to the colonial style that suits this gathering spot so well. I wanted to showcase the high ceilings and sunny openness of this room without losing any of the coziness.

~~H~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This little niche was the perfect place to put one of my mom's favorite paintings.

~~H~~


My dad picked one of the big rooms upstairs, as his lounging, TV watching, napping, work room. We carried the color, as well as the heavy pieces of furniture  up the stairs and down the hall to his more masculine but still colonial style room. 

~

Dad's desk. Yes, those legs are made of cast iron. 

Yes, these units were VERY heavy!




Some of my mom's oil paintings that dad wanted
in his room
~

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~~~~H~~~~

This wall was bit of a problem area because of it's width and placement in the room. I worked around this by using a small antique chest and added height by going up from there. Isn't the small Windsor chair adorable!

~
What colonial home would be
complete without
pewter dishes. 
~~~H~~~

Well, I guess that's all of the tour for now. Like most things, this is still a work in progress. We haven't even begun to work on the fireplace and we need to find  a great place to put all of mom's antique dolls!

I hope you have enjoyed seeing my folks new home as much as I have enjoyed helping create it and sharing it with you.  

Wishing them many years of health and happiness in their  beautiful new home.

Love you guys!

Have you performed any "labors of love" lately? Tell me all about it!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~H~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Till next time,
Brian