Monday, September 4, 2017

Snow White cross stitch finish

Pattern: Dress Up Collection - The Fairy Tale Princess, #2 Snow White by Brooke's Books
Fabric: 28ct crystal mello Cashel opalescent linen
Threads: recommended
Start/Finish: 8/10-9/4/2017

Good afternoon. I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day holiday. Yesterday, I was able to finish backstitching and beading my Snow White pattern.

She is 'unofficially' finished. I have a blue ribbon to add to the top of her apron and a thread bow to add to her crown, but I will be adding those prior to getting her framed.

The only 'change' I made to her was the crown section. She is supposed to have five rosettes on her crown, but I'm not good at using DMC memory thread. I couldn't get a decent looking rose to save my life so I made them as well as I could and decided to stop after making three of them.....otherwise I was in danger of throwing my DMC memory thread across the room in frustration. LOL

Since it is the start of September already, I will switch gears to fall/autumn stitching as this is my favorite time of year. I'll be working on my Mill Hill kit and possibly some JBW designs.

Have a great day! And a good rest of the week!

Until next time ^____^

July and August Recaps

Read:

July:
1. The Cowboy and The Lady by Janet Lee Barton
2. Falling in Love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch
3. Japanese Letters by Lafcadio Hearn edited by Elizabeth Bisland
4. Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto by Leslie Buck
5. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

August:
1. The Chosen by J.R. Ward
2. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
3. Wedded for the Baby by Dorothy Clark

Crafts:

July:
1. White rabbit amigurumi
2. Egg kitty mini amigurumi

Stitching:

July:
1. Flying Fairy embroidery finish
2. Afternoon in London cross stitch finish
3. Blueberry ice cream girl cross stitch finish

August:
1. Patriotic Picnic Group 2 cross stitch finish

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Yummy stitches finish, the eclipse, and fairy tale stitching

Pattern: Yummy Stitches Patriotic Picnic Group 2 by Brooke's Books
Fabric: 14ct antique brown perforated paper
Threads: recommended
Start/Finish: 7/26-8/6/2017

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are enjoying the month of August. I've been busy stitching and reading for the most part. Anything to keep my mind off of work, which is crazy like usual and doesn't make any sense at the moment.

At the beginning of the month, I was able to finish up Patriotic Picnic Group 2 by Brooke's Books. I think my favorite part was the beading. Who would think that would be relaxing, but it was....who knows why. I love how to adds a bit of sparkle and texture to the designs. My favorite motifs were the soda bottle (which reminds me of Japanese ramune soda!) and the adorable little s'more. 

I had bought this kit on Etsy from Brooke's shop. I noticed that on the front cover, the design should have had an additional motif of a star shaped cookie. When I emailed Brooke about it, she said it was a mistake from when the chart was published.

I asked if she could send me a PDF of the cookie chart and guess what?!?!!? She sent me a PDF for the other two ornament charts, one of which had the cookie chart in it. She said she was happy that I liked stitching her kawaii designs and sent them to me for free because I liked them so much.

How amazing it that?! It made my day. I mean really, it did. I was planning on buying those kits from her shop so when she sent the charts to me for free, I was speechless.

I really, really hope she decides to make more kawaii designs! Since she sent me the PDFs, I went out to Hobby Lobby and bought more threads and perforated paper for them. I bought the specialty threads at 123stitch, but I won't embellish any of the designs with the threads until I have them all stitched and beaded.


As you guys know we had a solar eclipse on Monday. My sister and her librarian friends had made pin hole cameras from cereal boxes. I decided to use paper plates for a pin hole camera. About fifteen minutes before the eclipse was at its totality, I made a camera out of a small priority mailing box, but guess what? I forgot to put a hole in it and when I was outside and made a hole with my keys, the hole was too big so it didn't work.


LOL So my paper plates were useful as a backup camera. My coworker and I went out to the bridge beside our building to view the eclipse. At first we weren't sure we would be able to see the eclipse as there was a huge cloud overhead (see image). We had nine minutes until totality!! Luckily, the cloud moved just in time for us to view the eclipse with my paper plates. A lot of our other coworkers joined us on the bridge after our boss went back inside. (Side note: our boss lacks social skills and whenever she interacts with any of us outside of a work situation, awkwardness ensues.....so when she left, everyone scrambled over to us.)

I'm glad we were able to see the eclipse. There were some public works employees on the bridge and they let me borrow their eclipse glasses to view the eclipse before totality. Several of our coworkers were luckily enough to have eclipse glasses too.

There should be another solar eclipse in 2024 which should go from CA to FL so I hope I can get some eclipse glasses for it! I wish it wasn't on a week day because I think an eclipse viewing party would be fun. Maybe I should make a note to take that day off in 2024.....LOL.....only 7 years away....that's quite a 'reminder' note.

Pattern: Dress Up Collection - The Fairy Tale Princess, #2 Snow White by Brooke's Books
Fabric: 28ct crystal mello Cashel opalescent 
Threads: recommended
Start: 8/10/2017

My start after finishing the Patriotic Picnic design was Snow White from Brooke's Books' Dress Up Collection. I have been stitching on it everyday and am 90% done with it. I am working on filling in the colored areas of the black skirt. After that I have her apron to stitch and the small bird on the right side and lastly add the embellished brooch and stitch her crown.

I hope I can finish this design by the end of August as I have several autumn/Halloween designs I would like to start.

I want to get her framed, but haven't decided on how and when. I wonder if I should wait until I have more of the series stitched up and have them framed at one time.....that way the framing style matches......hmmm.....

There are several other designs in the series that I would like to stitch up, but that evolves money for fabric so I will probably wait to stitch another design later this year or early next year because I'll need to stop by a needlework shop to look at fabrics.

Anywho, I hope you are enjoying your weekend. If you guys are in the TX area, be safe and use common sense!

Until next time ^___^

Monday, July 31, 2017

Patriotic Picnic - Brooke's Books



With the last of my birthday Etsy card money from Kristina, I bought the Yummy Stitches Patriotic Picnic Group #2 set by Brooke's Books.

I started last Wednesday and was able to finish the watermelon. Since I took today off from work to get some rest after the convention, I was able to work on a few more motifs, the pinwheel and part of the basket.

I need to buy the specialty DMC memory threads. While my sister and I were at Accents, Inc. on Thursday, I bought one of the memory thread colors because it works for this project and the Snow White design. I plan on ordering the rest of the memory threads online because they are cheaper.

I can't wait to work more on this pattern. The motifs are adorable. I really, really hope that Brooke decides to design more 'kawaii' motifs for each season or holiday!!! They make great ornaments or even bunting banners :)

Until next time ^____^

New Orleans - Haul and Cross Stitch stash :)

My sister and I stopped by Accents Inc. in Metairie on Thursday before driving into New Orleans. I was looking for fabric and specialty threads.


I bought my first piece of opalescence overdyed evenweave for a project along with a Ghost chart by JBW Designs, a Mill Hill kit, four bobbins of Kreinik threads and ribbon, and a skein of DMC memory thread.


I bought the fabric and threads for Brooke's Books Snow White from her Fairy Tale Princess Dress Up Collection.


I had ordered her Dress Up Collection from her Etsy shop earlier in July. She had a deal where you could sign up for the twelve monthly princess designs at 50% off, which I figured was a great deal because I already liked five of the designs she had put out so far and at the discount rate, you were basically getting six charts for free.

I ordered those and accessory packs which were also 50% off. The packs came with the beads and/or perforated paper needed to make the crowns, etc. in the design.

I hope to start the Snow White design in August. Beside the Cinderella design, Snow White was my second favorite of the collection. I love how the skirt is decorated. Reminds me of children's illustrations of the fairy tale.

Until next time >___<

Mechacon 2017

Good afternoon everyone! My sister and I were at Mechacon in New Orleans from Thursday through Sunday. They had moved venues from the Hilton Riverside hotel to the Hyatt Regency this year, which wasn't the best decision they could have made.

While the Hilton hotel was too small after so many years of growing attendance, the Hyatt was too large. I'm not sure who designed the Hyatt, but it is a convoluted mess. While I like the hotel rooms being designed around an atrium (it gives you the peace of mind of not hearing people outside your room at midnight like it would in a normal hotel with hallways), the first through third floors were a maze built around sculptural columns and walls. 

My sister and I made the mistake of eating at Vitascope in the hotel on the first night and spent $50 on two burgers and an appetizer. All the other restaurants in the hotel were expensive and the same went for any food in the hotel shops. Even the Starbucks was charging an extra two dollars on Frappuccinos. 

The next morning we took a walk over to Willa Jean's bakery and restaurant for breakfast. 

O_o".........so delicious!!!! I had a sausage biscuit with an egg on top and pimento cheese. I wasn't a fan of the pimento cheese, but the sausage and egg were fantastic with the biscuit, which was soft and flaky in the middle and chewy on the outside.


Our first day at the convention was an odd experience compared to the previous years we had been there. The dynamic of the audience had changed completely. People we had been used to seeing every year weren't there. I saw one guy I remembered from last year (he had bought my bunny sundae amigurumi last year), but I didn't recognize anyone else.

The Mechacon staff decided this year that they would combine the artist's alley and the dealers' room to give the feeling of a 'bazaar,' which you think would have been a great idea, but it was a death knell for the artists. People were walking right past the artist tables to head towards the dealers' room.

The hall that they had the artists and dealers in had the WORST lighting I have ever seen! The artists side of the hall had a lower ceiling, which meant that anyone who had tall displays were cutting their lighting off on their booth. The overhead A/C pipes and ducts were blocking light in certain areas.

The staff ended up moving tables over to help the artists in the dark sections get a little light, but that put other booths in semi-darkness. The better idea would have been to move the artists in the dark to unoccupied tables because there were quite a few artists that didn't show.

Another problem with the room was the A/C. It was barely working on Thursday when we came by to set up our booth....by Friday morning it was COLD!!! Extremely cold......my sister never complains about the cold and she was freezing. We had several customers complain about the cold, but what could you do. The hotel was trying to compensate for the fact that there were hundreds of people milling around the room.

After an bizarre day, we packed up our merchandise and headed to our hotel room. Which took about 15 minutes. You wouldn't have thought it would take that long, but the Hyatt decided they wanted to have fancy elevators, which you operated with a dial pad. Which sounds fantastic, but it isn't practical for a convention crowd. 

When you put in the floor you were going to, the dial pad would say which elevator you needed to go to.....like car A or D or F, etc. Multiple floors could be using the same car.

Downside to that fancy technology, you can't randomly get on an elevator and go to the floor you wanted because guess what?!?!? there are no buttons on the inside of the car expect for opening and closing the door and the emergency call button.

There were so many people trying to use the elevators that the hotel staff had to lead groups of people to the service elevators........it's enough to drive you insane.

I felt sorry for the staff of the hotel and any guests in the hotel that weren't connected to the convention.


For dinner we found Company Burger, which was on the same block as Willa Jean's. It is ranked in the top 30 burger joints in the US. Definitely worth the visit!!!



Saturday morning we were back at Willa Jean's again :) I had a biscuit with blueberry jam and a bowl of cheese grits.........I could live at this restaurant!!!!

Downside of the day, I came down with allergies.....which I think might have been the down pillows in our hotel room. We made a stop by the CVS store to get Kleenex and some Nyquil, which seems to be the only medicine that seems to get my nose to stop itching and sneezing.

By Sunday we were ready to leave the convention. While our total sales weren't bad, they weren't the best we've ever had either.

I blame that on two things:

1) The choice of venue which is across from the superdome and isn't in a tourist part of town like the Hilton Riverside. While the convention sold out of Saturday passes, I still think they lost regular attendees because they weren't in a nice area or touristy part of town.

2) The staff's silly decision to combine the dealers' room and the artist's alley. That doesn't give a chance for the artists to make any sales if people pass your table to get to the other side of the room.

We packed up early at 2pm and left the hotel.....we had to pay $70 for parking, which is absolutely ridiculous, but the hotel doesn't have its own garage so we had to use the parking garage that connects to the hotel by elevator.

We headed to our home away from home when we visit New Orleans, Sucre on Magazine Street.


I had their doberge cake, which had an almond joconde cake with caramel and chocolate and topped with a macaron (I think the flavor was chocolate and peanut butter, but I wasn't sure). My sister had her usual C3 sundae and we shared their blackberry/lemon mousse.

Overall, we had a good time despite the oddness of the convention. We had fun talking to the vendors on either side of us. Two guys from Louisiana who drew traditional comic art and a couple from Tennessee who made shadow box artworks and clocks with hand drawn and colored backgrounds.


I came away with some goodies. You know my love of bags......I use them for my crochet or cross stitch projects. I bought several bags from Melissa H Francis (the Hogwarts, Final Fantasy, and sushi bags) and three bookmarks. I bought a bag from the couple beside us which has a lovely futuristic landscape on it with a building in a tree).

I bought the last two books in the Beast of Birmingham series by T.S. Barnett. I had bought the first one last year and quite enjoyed it. I was glad she was able to make it to the convention this year so I could get the last two books :)

My sister bought me two brooches to add to my collection. A purple cabochon with a Venetian carnival mask underneath and a 'Shade' umbrella enamel pin.

I won the Manga Man book from the New Orleans Public Library. They had a fan table in the artist's alley and every hour they had a contest where you could present your library card (regardless of where you were from) and you could spin their prize wheel. I had the choice of an audio book or a the Manga Man book. I chose the book because audio books can be iffy depending on who is narrating.

My sister and I won't participate any conventions next year unless I do something local with my friend Kristina in order to sell the last of my amigurumis.

I find that I like making things for myself or friends as gifts more so than continuously making amis to sell at conventions. It is more rewarding and satisfying :)

Thanks for sharing in our bizarre adventure.

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Blueberry Ice Cream Lady cross stitch

Design: Ice Cream Ladies by Soda Stitch
Fabric: 28ct Jobelan Lambswool linen by Wichelt Imports
Threads: recommended DMC
Start/Finish: 7/21-24/2017

Good morning! I started the blueberry ice cream lady last week and managed to put in the last bit of backstitching in on Monday morning.

The last one in the series will be the cookies ice cream lady, which I hope to work on next month.

Until next time >___<

July Amigurumi Roundup


My favorite is the white rabbit ami. I found the 'I'm Late' clock charm at Hobby Lobby. Just perfect for the worrying rabbit.

Second favorite is Sans from Undertale. The jacket was a work in progress. Lol I just crocheted until I got something that resembled a jacket.

I used sparkly yarn for the sushi ami as I had run out of white and didn't have enough black. It's a snazzy piece of sushi :)

Off to the convention tomorrow! Can't wait to have a break from real work.

Until next time >___<

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Afternoon in London and Flying Fairy Finishes ♡

Good evening once again! I have two finishes this weekend. I finished up Afternoon in London this afternoon. The only thing I didn't stitch was the grass border underneath the motifs on the top. I think the only change I would have made to the pattern would be to stitch the house in maybe a blue color of some sort because it seemed to be a lot of green in the pattern. I still like the pattern though :)

Pattern: Afternoon in London by Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: 32ct water lily linen by Wichelt
Threads: recommended DMC
Start/Finish: 5/14 & 21 & 31 and 7/7-8 & 16/2017

Pattern: Flying Fairy by Tamar Nahir-Yanai
Threads: recommended DMC
Stitches: backstitches, French knots, lazy daisies, and satin stitches
Start/Finish: 7/11-16/2017

For my birthday, my friend Kristina got me an Etsy gift card, which I really wanted in order to buy embroidery and/or cross stitch patterns with :)

One of the patterns I bought was Flying Fairy by Tamar Nahir-Yanai. The pattern only took two weeks to get to me from Israel. I had fun stitching on it; it's such an adorable motif.

My only complaint is how the fabric is cut. You can't completely stitch the motifs because you can't fit it in a bigger hoop. I would imagine you could stitch the motifs if you hand stitch them, but I'm not good with stitching without a hoop.

No worries though. I plan on pulling the rest of the fabric behind the hoop. As of now, it and Afternoon in London is in my box of 'unfinished' patterns. One day I plan on finishing them as framed pieces.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I plan on crocheting one more amigurumi this week before the convention.

Until next time ^____^

Saturday Antiquing ~ Books


On Saturday morning, I went by the library and then thought I'd stop by the Book Nook. I came away with two antique books and a copy of volume one of Arabian Nights, which amazingly I have never read before (I know, boggles your mind, right?!)

The two antique books I found are from the turn of the 20th century. The first book is The Girl I Loved by James Whitcomb Riley, an Indiana poet. The book is illustrated with lithograph illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy. The book was published in 1910. The illustrations are done in red with decorative borders in gold.

You may remember that earlier this year I had bought a Baedeker's travel guide to Great Britain. At that time, they had a volume for Belgium and Holland, but I didn't buy it. Well, that book was still on the shelves when I was browsing. I felt sorry for it and decided to bring it home with me. (My sister shook her head when I told her why I bought it, but what can I say....it looked lonely!) The guide was published in 1905.

Hope you liked seeing my book finds :)

Until next time ^___^