Saturday, December 20, 2014

Neil the Tortoise on the cover of the Wall Street Journal!

Neil the Tortoise was on the the FRONT PAGE OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL!!!! This has been such a great day - one I will never forget. 


When I was contacted by the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago, I had no idea when/if it would really run. I hoped it would, but I wasn't sure. When I saw it on-line yesterday, I was surprised it was on the webpage. Today, when I went to buy the newspaper, I didn't even look at the front page as I figured it would probably be a little blurb on the back of the back section. I looked through the paper four times and couldn't find it. I actually put the paper back on the newsstand as I thought it wasn't in there. I picked it up one more time, just in case, and looked at the front page and there is was. I never, ever, ever imagined my name or our tortoise being on the cover of the Wall Street Journal. 

I showed the checker the paper because I was so excited and had to share! I went to another store and bought the last four copies. I again showed the checker. The people in line behind me overheard me talking about it and asked to read it too. We stood in line reading the story - it was a cool moment! Then I went to Starbucks and yes, I bought another copy and showed everyone there too. I asked a random customer to take my picture holding the paper - and she did. I then posted it all over facebook. Sorry if I broke the internet with the constant barrage of the Neil the Tortoise story, but, I figured this was a once-in-a-lifetime thing and I was going to enjoy every minute! Plus, this happened on my birthday - what are the odds? I don't like to make a big fuss over my birthday, so this just made it awesome! Today was crazy in the best way possible. The cover of the Wall Street Journal. THE COVER OF THE WALL STREET JOURNAL! I have to let that sink in for a 

Here are five of the six copies I bought! :)

Cindy Breninger
‪#‎NeiltheTortoise ‬‪#‎TortoiseHats‬ ‪#‎DeerwoodCreekGifts‬ #TheWallStreetJournal #Starbucks

Friday, December 19, 2014

Neil the Tortoise is in the Wall Street Journal!

I have to share!!! My son has a Russian Tortoise named Neil. I was contacted by a reporter, Ellen Byron, from the Wall Street Journal a few weeks ago. I make "tortoise hats" that I sell in my Etsy on-line shop. The WSJ thought they were cute and wanted to add Neil to their story about people dressing up their pets for Christmas. So, with that said, here is the on-line story. It will be in the printed Wall Street Journal's newspaper edition tomorrow, but is it online right now. (Tomorrow happens to be my birthday, so this is perfect gift!) Here is the link:

Cindy Breninger

Write to Ellen Byron at

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Happy Holidays from Neil!

Hi all, 

Back again for a few more pictures. Had to show some of Neil's new hats.  Happy Holidays!

Cindy Breninger
Deerwood Creek Gifts

The end. ;)

A Quick Update

Hi all,

I didn't realize it had been so long since I last posted so I will give you a quick update. During the last eight months, I have had some changes. First of all, we moved. This was a good move as we are close to school, work, and I love the new place. But...we moved to an apartment and I can't do any of the woodwork that I love doing. It was a pretty hard adjustment at first, and I still really miss it, but I now know that I will one day move back to a house just so I can start up the log work again. In the meantime, I am learning new things that I enjoy making. 

Second, I got a new job! I work in a wonderful place that I really like and am very happy.

Third, and last, I am still making new things. Since I started sewing not too long ago, I have fallen in love with making hats. Big hats, little hats, velvet hats, felt hats, hats for our tortoise, mini top hats, all hats!   With that said, I am going to post a lot of pictures here and then hopefully I will be caught up. I will try to post more often and will be back as soon as I can. :)

Cindy Breninger
Deerwood Creek Gifts

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Hats - It is all about the hats.

Hats - it is all about the hats!  I have always loved watching the Kentucky Derby and seeing the wonderful hats. Same with watching the Royals - I love their hats. Now, I realize that I have a very slim chance of ever going to the Kentucky Derby, and an even slimmer chance of ever becoming a Royal, but that won't stop me from making hats as if I were going to the Derby or wanting to make hats for the Royals. 

I am relatively new to sewing, but it is addicting and I love it. When I first saw the package for a hat pattern, I thought, "How hard could this be? There must be two, maybe three pieces of fabric, sew them together, and wha-laa - hat! How hard could this be?" Boy was I ever mistaken.  It was very hard - about eight hours for one hat kind of hard. But, I loved the hat and it was very well worth it.

I have also been making mini top hats, or fascinators and I love the look of these little hats. They are so cute and fun - what's not to love?  These can be as simple or as crazy as you make them - I love that. 
Please have a great rest of your day and here are a few samples of what I have been working on.

Take care! 
Cindy Breninger

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Starting Over.

The last two years have been quite a journey.  I never thought I would use a power tool, let alone own several, and then become pretty skilled with them.  Never did I imagine I would be able to tell the difference between almond, oak, or olive logs. Never did I imagine I would be out in my garage working and sweating in the summer, or freezing in the winter - all to make something new from a log! Never did I imagine that I would enjoy sitting in a garage that was either too hot or too cold, music playing and working away on anything I wanted to make. Never did I imagine I would look at a log looking for the beauty of it and make something other people would want. Never. Funny how life does that to a person. 

With all that said,  I no longer have a workshop where I can keep the logs or use the loud power tools. Somehow I don't think an apartment manager would be too understanding of a 12" skilsaw revving up at 10:00 at night. 

This was a very tough decision for me to make, but instead of closing my shop, I have decided I want to start my shop over from scratch. I feel a bit lost, as the logs were such a huge part of my shop and life. I used to work with them about six days a week - now zero. It was a bit of a shock at first. But, I am not one to sit and dwell, but more of a "what can I do now" type of girl.  I have been teaching myself to sew, and looking into a variety of fun things to make. I hope you will bear with me as I go through a trial and error period.  I love a good challenge, and I am definitely up for it.

I will always be so grateful to have been a small part of so many weddings, proposals, gifts, and even funerals of people I have never met. People who trusted me to make something they would enjoy - I can't explain how amazing that feels - it just feels amazing. 

Maybe someday when I move again, I will make sure to have a workshop and just might get back into making log items as I really love doing that. :) This is a huge change, but I firmly believe in making the best of any situation and to always move forward. I am excited for the new things I will be making and hope you will be too.

Here are some of the things I have made that I loved making. Maybe someday I will make more. :)