Saturday, April 30, 2016

Book Shopping ~ Vintage Finds!


I was able to make a trip to the Book Nook last Saturday. I came away with a few books.

1. The World of Dew by D.J. Enright - a book about the author's observations of Japan while living and working there in 1956 as an English professor at an university.

2. Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog by David Cory with illustrations by Hugh Spencer - a series of children's books published sometime prior to 1920. The edition I have is from 1920, but I think the books might have been published prior to that as it makes mention in one of the stories that a boy is leaving his family to join the war.....assuming they are actually talking about WW1....the books would have been published between 1914-1918.

3. The Magic Garden by Gene Stratton-Porter - a book published in 1927. I had picked it up because I loved the illustrations which are printed on the sides of each page.........but sadly, the book has mold on the back! I didn't notice it until I got home.....so I had to make a book cover for it out of a Target paper bag. I really wish I could keep this book, but with mold on it.....sigh.....I'll have to see if it possible to clean it.

Now on to the best part of my book finds......


The Billy Bunny book has some lovely illustrations by Hugh Spencer. One of my favorites is this one of Billy Bunny and his dapper looking uncle named Lucky Lefthindfoot.

After reading the book, I had to text my friend Amanda about it and send her the picture of Lucky. Wouldn't he make an adorable plush doll with his cute little top hat, coat, and striped pants?!!??!

This is one of those times in my life where I really wish I knew how to sew well. I can make straight lines on a sewing machine......when I'm lucky, but that's the extent of my sewing skills.

If I knew how to sew, I would definitely make a Lucky plush doll! He's so adorable!!!!

Yes, I know.....I'm a dingy bird......what can I say, I love bunnies.

Until next time ^____^


Country Cottage Needleworks Strawberry Cake ~ Happy Dance!




I was able to finish stitching my Country Cottage Needleworks strawberry cake design on Thursday night as my 'Friday' Frolic project.

I have the other three designs in the series, but I probably won't get to the next one until the beginning of the summer as I want to get back to my Sampler 4 Saisons.

Until next time ^____^

April Amigurumi Roundup


So many amigurumi..................I think my wrist might fall off by the time the summer gets here......

My favorite amigurumi is the little grey Totoro! You can never go wrong with a Totoro....he's so cute!

The amigurumi that gave me the most trouble was the Captain America doll (to the right of Totoro). I always have trouble with making doll hair. So my Captain America is no exception. He looks like a boy, but the hair looks like Bucky Barnes instead of Steve Rogers......lol.....

I was complaining to my friend Amanda about the horror that is making dolls hair. It is so nerve wreaking. If you cut too much, you have to pull out your stitching and start over!!! She suggested maybe I should see if I could find a hairdresser who crocheted and asked for lessons. Sounds like a good plan.......though my hair stylist doesn't crochet......darn!

Looking online you can find dozens of amigurumi hair tutorials, but they are almost always for girls hair.......does no one make boy dolls?!?!?! Ugh.....am I asking for the impossible? Knowing my luck, it's quite possible.

Until next time ^____^

April Recap

Read:

1. Nutcracker Nation by Jennifer Fisher
2. The Exploits of Brigandier Gerard by Arthur Conan Doyle
3. American Notes by Charles Dickens
4. The Talking Totem Pole by Lurline Bowles Mayol
5. Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog by David Cory
6. The World of Dew: Aspects of Living Japan by D.J. Enright
7. The Magic Garden by Gene Stratton-Porter

Crafts:
1. Deadpool amigurumi
2. Captain America amigurumi
3. 2 octopus amigurumi
4. Sailor Uranus amigurumi
5. Totoro amigurumi
6. Ness amigurumi
7. Goffing amigurumi
8. Eevee amigurumi

Finishes:
1. Country Cottage Needleworks Strawberry Cake

Hi, everyone! It seems a great night to blog as it is raining cats and dogs outside. It's been a crazy month of amigurumi making, but I did make time to finish the strawberry cake design from CCN this month for my Friday Frolic project.

In terms of books, I think my favorites were American Notes by Charles Dickens and an adorable children's book from 1920, Billy Bunny and Uncle Bull Frog by David Cory.

American Notes was a travelogue that Charles Dickens compiled after his travels to America in 1842. I have been wanting to read it for ages and finally find a copy of it at the Book Nook last year.

(Yes, it took me this long read it.......I get easily distracted by books and usually have a pile or two (or three O_o") of books that I need to read. One of my resolutions this year was to read more from my 'unread' stacks before buying new books.)

My goals for May will, of course, be more amigurumi making and I think for cross stitch I will switch gears and stitch on my Sampler 4 Saisons again for my Friday Frolic project :)

Until next time ^_____^

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Cherry Cake Progress ♡


Hi, everyone! I can't believe I haven't posted since the beginning of the month!!!! Where has the month gone?! Seems to have flown by.

I stitched all day today on my CCN Cherry Cake pattern. I should (fingers crossed) finish it this week as I only have the cake plate to stitch :)

I hope you guys and girls are enjoying your weekend :)

Untol next time >___<

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Baking - Custard Cake



So you remember when I said I was going to bake a custard cake last Sunday. Well, it was a mess......all my own fault of course. First I burnt the custard because I wasn't watching the pan so I had to remake it and then I had used too many eggs and had to throw out the batter. I thought I could just make a second batter, but we were running low on butter and I didn't want to use it up as my sister was planning to make scalloped potatoes for Easter dinner.

This morning I decided to retry this recipe for a custard cake using Bird's custard powder.

This is a strange recipe as the cake tastes like sweet cornbread, which isn't bad because I love sweet cornbread, I just wasn't expecting it to taste like cornbread. It's not every day you get a yellow cake that tastes like cornbread. LOL

I wonder if there is a culinary term for foods that taste like others?!?!

The comments on the recipe mentioned doubling or tripling the sugar in the recipe, but after tasting this cake, I really doubt it would make a difference....it would be sweeter cornbread. (^__^)


Sunday Stitching



More progress on my cherry cake today. I was able to finish stitching the leaves on the right and moving onto the cake design :)

I can't wait to stitch on the cake next Sunday!

Until next time >___<

Thursday, March 31, 2016

March Recap

Recap:

Read:
1. The Poison Belt by Arthur Conan Doyle
2. The Land of Mist by Arthur Conan Doyle
3. The Disintegration Machine by Arthur Conan Doyle
4. When the World Screamed by Arthur Conan Doyle
5. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
6. The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod
7. Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens by Robert Gottlieb
8. The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley
9. A Home of Her Own by Keli Gwyn
10. Young Sherlock Holmes: Stone Cold by Andrew Lane

Crafts:
1. Jibunyan amigurumi
2. Lala amigurumi
3. Kitsune amigurumi
4. Sailor Moon amigurumi
5. Onigiri amigurumis
6. BB8 amigurumi
7. Whisper amigurumi
8. Charmander amigurumi
9. Espeon amigurumi
10. Chuthlu amigurumi
11. Kiki amigurumi
12. Jellyfish amigurumi

Cross Stitch:
1. Blackberry Jam pattern by The Sweetheart Tree ~ finished

Another busy month, crocheting for a little while before work each morning has helped me to complete more projects :)

In terms of books, I finished reading the Professor Challenger series by Arthur Conan Doyle. While they were interesting, I felt that none of them held up to the first book in the series, The Lost World, which even now makes me laugh. (If you have read the book, you'll know why I laugh when I think of the ending of that book!)

I quite enjoyed The Hanged Man and The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. I hope Elrod gives us another book in the The Hanged Man universe and that Ms. Pulley continues writing because her first book was interesting. I loved the clockwork octopus stealing socks and other articles ;)

Next month I hope to crochet some more amigurumi and (fingers crossed) finish the strawberry cake pattern by CCN.

Can anyone else believe that tomorrow is April?! I can't.....it seems the year is flying by.

I wonder what April Fool's joke my coworker will try to pull tomorrow. Here's hoping he forgets about it :)

Until next time >___<


March Amigurumi Roundup



Good evening! Here's my amigurumis for the month. My favorites are the Star Wars themed ones, BB8 and Yoda.

The Yoda doll is from the crochet kit I received for Christmas. I didn't realize it was going to be so tiny until I had finished stitching the head, looked at the instructions and saw that he would be 2 1/2 inches tall.

My only complaint about the kit is that is comes with quite thin yarn. I think it might be sport weight yarn though I am not entirely sure.  I do know it wasn't the best yarn to work with as the thickness of the yarn varied as you stitched.

The kit came with an E size hook. I didn't use the hook provided, but used one of my Clover Amour hooks that Amanda had gotten me :)

I think I will make another Yoda in the future with my usual yarn and a H hook and see how big he becomes :)

Until next time >___<


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Cherry Cake stitching


I spent the day stitching on the CCN cherry cake pattern. I completed the border and lettering and started the cherry motifs on the right. I'll pick it up again next week for my Frolic stitching project :)

Tomorrow I plan on doing some baking. A few months ago I found a container of Bird's custard powder at Whole Foods and decided to pick it up. I found a recipe for a custard cake that I would like to try out. I hope it turns out alright as I don't have the required size pan for it.

Afterwards I hope to crochet another amigurumi before Easter dinner at my aunt's house.

I hope you are enjoying a great weekend so far :)

Until next time >___<