Friday, February 1, 2019

Wow, so it has been over four years since I last posted. A lot has happened. Neil the Tortoise ended up on TV several times, had his own calendar, and has over 5000 Facebook friends. Not too shabby for a cute little Russian Tortoise! We have moved a few times and changed jobs - all for the better. I hope all is well with you! If you want to follow Neil the Tortoise, he is on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. :)

Monday, December 29, 2014

The Best Week Ever!!!

Let me tell you about the BEST WEEK EVER!  It started Saturday, December 20, 2014, which happened to be my birthday. That also happened to be the day that our Russian Tortoise, Neil the Tortoise, appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. Let me repeat that, the WALL STREET JOURNAL!  

I know I posted about this before, but it is the biggest thing to ever happen to me, and to Neil, so it must be mentioned again. Maybe again-again in the future, just a head's up. In case you were wondering, here are two of the three receipts where I purchased all those copies of the papers! 

Well, since last Saturday, Neil appeared on Fox 40 News in Sacramento with Paul Robins. I was terrified, but Paul was wonderful and made Neil look great! 

We then appeared on Good Day Sacramento yesterday morning with Cody Stark. We had so much fun. Since I was now an "old pro" at this tv thing (ok, not, but I like to think so!) I quit being as nervous and just had fun. 

Neil now has his own Facebook page at:

AND his own Twitter at:

He is a bit of a diva since all this has happened. Not sure his head will fit through the door with that big ego. But, it is fun while it is lasting. 

He is modeling for an upcoming calendar, so stay tuned for that. :)

This has been the BEST WEEK EVER! :)


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