Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday Antiquing - Dragon Tea set and Cross Stitch/Embroidery

This morning I went by Cotton City Antiques to look around. I was hoping to find some bundt or cake pans, but didn't see anything that wasn't in horrible condition.

However, I did see some lovely pieces while browsing. I saw this beautiful tea set depicting dragons. I found the set online and the raised designs on the dragons are called moriage. They were made in Japan from the late 19th century and continue to be part of ceramics in the present day. This set was probably made in the 1970s.

In terms of cross stitch and embroidery, I saw lots of new items I hadn't seen the last time I went to the antique mall.

Antique cross stitch sampler from 1927

Embroidered pillow with strawberries and butterfly

Embroidered basket scarf depicting a basket with flowers

Vintage cross stitch pattern

Cross stitch tea towel with peacock. The colors were beautiful.

I didn't buy anything this go around though I was sorely tempted by that dragonware tea set and several of the cross stitch/embroidery designs.

Have a great weekend!

Until next time ^____^

Potions, Brews, and Spells progress

I started on my Halloween pattern yesterday morning. The previous Sunday I had gotten the fabric out, prepped it, and stitched two numbers to get started for my Friday Frolic.

At the end of the day yesterday I had finished an entire row and the first letter in the row above it. I tried to stitch the row of queen stitches that go between the 'T' and 'Z', but I'm totally confused by the diagram in the JCS magazine.

I need to get a scrap of larger count linen and practice the stitch. Being able to see what I am stitching would help immensely.

In addition to practicing, I need a magnifier to attach to my Ott light. I have a hard time seeing the stitches on this higher count of linen.

It makes me wonder how stitchers can work on higher counts like 40 and up. I can hardly see the 35ct stitches.........O-o".

Hopefully next weekend I will be able to go by Joann's and check out their Ott light selection. I think they have magnifiers in that section that can be attached to the lights...........though I could just be making this up in my mind. LOL

Going by the store depends entirely on my work during the week. Our boss thinks we should work next Saturday if we don't accomplish enough during the week. That means I plan on bugging one of coworkers relentlessly to pick up the pace. Let's just say when we have events coming up, he is always the one we are waiting on, every single time. It gets old real fast. If I was his boss, I would have fired him a long time ago for incompetence.

Enough of the work will just make me stressed and I plan on enjoying the weekend while I can :)

Until next time ^____^

New Brooches :)

Hi, everyone! I have some new brooches to add to my collection!


This Totoro brooch was something I had commissioned from an artist on Etsy. She had a version of the polymer clay Totoro, but it was a necklace. I asked if she could make me a brooch with the same design. It came in the mail on Monday.

I love it.....I really wanted something geeky to wear occasionally at work. I have to be sure that on the days that I wear this brooch, I am working at my desk and not moving things around where I might accidentally brush up against the roses and break them O-o"

The same coworker who gave me the Bob Mackie heart brooch gave me two more brooches from his mother's collection. They are both brooches made by the French jewelry maker, Marcel Boucher. He worked for Cartier in the 1920s and then for several other companies before forming his own in 1937.

The two pieces I have were made after 1955 sometime around 1959-1960. Interesting enough, the rose brooch is part of set. When a piece of jewelry was part of a set, the company put 'N', 'E', and 'P' after the inventory number to denote a set. My coworker said he would check and see if the necklace and earrings were still in his mother's collection.

It could be that they aren't there at all because I'm not sure whether the Boucher sets were bought as complete set or if you had to purchase each one individually.

I'll have to wear these sometime this week. Both are quite beautiful. The rose brooch is so LONG! I don't have any of those types in my collection.

I really need a jewelry armoire. I wish I had enough money to commission someone to build one for me as I don't need something with slots for rings or earrings.....LOL just lots and lots of compartments for brooches :) Maybe someday!

Until next time ^____^

Monday, February 13, 2017

Paisley Embroidery Finish, a New Brooch, and Antique Travel Book

Good morning everyone! I worked on my Bohemian Paisley pattern on Friday and I was able to get everything finished except for the backstitching around the larger green motifs and the lazy daisy stitches. Since I was so close to being finished, I decided to work on it on Saturday afternoon after coming back from shopping.

Here is the design all finished. I still don't care for the lazy daisy stitches. I think they would be fine if there wasn't the pre-marked design behind them......I did try to wash the pattern after I was finished, but none of the ink came out.

So here's my ramble......why do embroidery companies make patterns with ink that doesn't wash out? Does that make any sense? Your design is never going to look like the one on the cover unless you are meticulous about covering up every white area there is on the fabric.....and I can tell you, it's hard to do on those lazy daisy stitches.

Well, I can't complain too much because this kit only costs me $3.50. A nice way to practice my embroidery stitches if nothing else.

On Friday, my coworker gave me a lovely brooch for my collection. His mother recently passed away. She had lots of costume jewelry . My coworker asked if I would like something from her collection since I wear brooches to work and I said yes. He picked out this Bob Mackie heart brooch.

I only have one other heart brooch in my collection so this is a great addition! I'm going to wear it tomorrow for Valentine's Day :)

On Saturday, I stopped by The Book Nook and found a lovely copy of Baedeker's Great Britain from 1927. Baedekers were travel guides published by a German company founded in 1827 (it still exists today under a different name.)

For a book that is ninety years old, it is in wonderful condition. The maps are bright and look to be rarely used. It is interesting to see that the North Sea used to be called the German Ocean (upper right on the map).

The book is somewhat like a modern travel guide with maps, directions, attractions, and costs. There are small descriptions of various historical places from each city in the guide book.

The geek in me would love to see a guide book for London. The earliest book on London was published in 1878 and was re-released every couple of years until 1930. With the war, English editions of the books weren't published until the 1950s. The last edition of the London book was in 1955, its 21st edition of that title.

I would love to see the books before and after the war to see how the face of London changed.

Like I said........the geek in me. LOL

In stitching news, I started a new Friday Frolic project on Sunday morning. I chose Potions, Brews, & Spells by Cherished Stitches, which was featured in last year's JCS Halloween magazine. I had ordered the fabric and threads in the fall, but never started the project because I was busy with Saisons 4 Sampler.

Since it will be my Friday Frolic project, the only things I did on Saturday and Sunday was pull the fabric out, iron it, find the center point, and stitch two number motifs to get it started.

This fabric is definitely going to require my Ott light. I am stitching it on 35 ct dolphin linen by Weeks Dye Works. The pattern originally called for 36 count, but the store I bought it from didn't have 36 so I went with the closest alternative.

The highest count I've worked on so far is 32 as that it the only count you can find in the chain craft stores in town.

Taking that and the dark fabric color into account, the Ott light is going to be used quite a lot. Usually I bring my project with me when I meet up with my friends on Friday nights, but I think I will have to start an additional Friday Frolic project since I can't drag a standing Ott light around town. I plan on stitching on the Shy Fairy on those nights.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Have a great Valentine's Day tomorrow. Even if you're single! Go to the store, buy some chocolate, and enjoy an evening of self-indulgence! LOL

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tardis Birthday Cake, Friday Stitching, a Happy Kitty, and New Stash

Hi, everyone! Last night, we had our friend Nicole's birthday party. Candace decided to get a cake from a local bakery in town instead of making one or buying the usual fare at the grocery store. The bakery had a book of previous commissions and when she saw a Tardis cake, she knew it would be perfect as Nicole LOVES Dr. Who.

The cake was chocolate flavored with a cream filling. It was quite good despite the thick icing on the cake.

Afterwards, we watched Nicole open her presents (lots of geeky kpop stuff and some cross stitch goodies!) and then sat down to watch the rest of the Taiwanese drama we have been trying to finish for a while.

I pulled out my Friday Frolic's my progress from yesterday morning before work and during Nicole's birthday party.

I finished the satin stitching on the longer green areas and split stitched the blue paisley on the left. At the rate I'm going I should have this project finished by the end of the month.

In kitty news, we visited the vet on Wednesday evening and was told that Lily was doing great. She had to stay in the cage and continue to wear the cone of shame until Friday night.

This afternoon she has been enjoying the sunlight through our front door. She is a lot happier now that she has freedom to run about the house.

While out this morning looking for some red yarn, I found this adorable embroidery kit at Hobby Lobby. I love the subject of this kit, it's called 'Shy Fairy'.....perfect for a fairy tale loving bookworm! It is by the illustrator and embroiderer, Tamar Nahir-Yanai. She has a few kits released through DMC, but she a lot more on her own website.

I plan on it being one of my Friday Frolic projects in the future!!!

Enjoy your weekend! Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Sick Kitty, Cherry Blossoms, and Friday Stitching

Hi, everyone! It's been a crazy week at our house. Last Monday, I dropped off our kitty Lily at the vet. She had been vomiting all weekend and wasn't eating and hardly drinking anything.

At first the vet thought she might be constipated, but later in the day when the medication they gave her along with an enema (poor kitty!!!) didn't work, they realized she had a bunch of foreign objects in her intestines (i.e. string, bits of carpet, hair). How in the world can a cat eat that stuff?! Never underestimate a kitten!

So they took Lily off to surgery.....$1,500 later we had a cone of shame kitty to contend with and let me tell you, she is not a happy camper.

For the past several days, we have had to keep her in a cage so she wouldn't jump or run which might cause her stitches to rip. The poor thing doesn't understand why we have to keep putting her back in the cage. 

Do cats have long memories? If so, she is going to remember this experience and hate the dreaded cat cage for a lifetime! It should be interested to see if we can get her in it if we need to in the future.

Here's Lily in her cone of shame! CONE OF SHAME!!!!

In other non-crazy news, our cherry tree is still going strong despite windy and rainy weather. I gotta enjoy its beautiful blooms while I can!

In stitching news, I worked a bit more on my Bohemian Paisley design on Friday. I satin stitched a few more areas, finished the outline stitching around the French knots, and started to split stitch a few areas of orange.

Split stitching isn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, but I will say I don't like how it looks in the end. Not that it is a horrible looking stitch, I blame the amount of threads the stitch calls for in the pattern. The pattern calls for three strands when I think they should be more......but maybe the pattern is trying to highlight other areas with fuller stitches?!?! LOL

Maybe I get some more stitching done this Friday. My friends and I are celebrating our friend Nicole's birthday. It should be fun. And hopefully by then Lily can be released from captivity and free from the cone of shame! Which would make for an even better Friday!

Until next time ^____^

Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day package to CA!

Good morning, everyone! I didn't have a chance over the weekend to post about the Chinese New Year package that I sent to my friend Amanda to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.....with a few Valentine's Day items thrown in the mix.

Wandering the Internet for rooster amigurumi patterns, I found an adorable one.....but the website was in Spanish. At least Google translate is good for things occasionally so I was about to crochet the pattern.

So my little rooster was sent to CA along with a traditional Starbucks Year of the Rooster gift card, and some zodiac chocolate coins. For Valentine's Day items, I found some pretty sparkly (who doesn't like sparkles?!) washi tape, one of Hershey's new candy bars, and a set of flavored teas at Target.

Silly me, I had wrapped the teas up before taking a photo......I was wrapping everything at 10pm after getting home from hanging with my friends. My brain wasn't in photo mode, just wrap everything and go to sleep mode. LOL

I hope everyone has a wonderful Year of the Rooster!!!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday Stitching, Rain, and Cherry Blossoms

Good afternoon! We woke up this morning to some severe weather with our phones going off with tornado warning alerts. For a few moments we were standing inside our bathroom with our cat, Lily, waiting to see what would happen.

To our relief, no tornados touched down in our area or in town. I know people complain about cell phone usage today, but I love the fact that cell phones (at least smart phones) automatically have warning notifications set on your phone. If something is wrong, it goes off to alert you.

Living outside of town we don't have a warning system in place if there are tornados in the area unless we have our TV or radio on. From what I've heard some areas of Mobile have sirens that go off if there are tornados. It would be nice if they extended that system to the rest of the county.

In other news, my friends and I met up yesterday to watch Taiwanese dramas, eat pizza, and chat about anything and everything. I decided to bring along my Bohemian Paisley embroidery pattern to stitch on. The great thing about watching Asian dramas with friends is the fact that you don't have to actively 'watch' the TV. There will always be someone yelling at the TV over something crazy that happens. It makes for great stitching time.....well, unless you stab your finger with a needle when someone screams at the TV. LOL

I made progress by filling in the satin stitch areas, doing some outline stitches around the French knots, and attempting to stitch some lazy daisies. I don't know why, but I've never been a fan of the lazy daisy stitch. When I stitch one, it never seems as 'full' as what is pictured on my design.

If I try to leave them bigger, it seems like the stitch isn't secure so I pull the stitch tighter. I'm seriously considering pulling out those stitches and satin stitching those areas. Does anyone have any tips for lazy daisy stitches? Is it supposed to be a loose stitch?


In flowering news, we were lucky that the rain and wind this morning didn't damage anything outside. My cherry tree came through as if it was just getting a normal rain shower. Everyone else's blossoming trees are in full color lately.

It makes me wish our city had a park with flowering trees, but sadly our main park is full of pine and oak trees. I guess the city hadn't heard of landscaping back in the day!

I hope you are having a lovely weekend so far!

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bohemian Paisley Embroidery

Pattern: Bohemian Paisley Kit, Handmade Charlotte by Plaid Bucilla
Fabric: denim colored fabric
Threads: cotton floss
Start: 1/15/2017

Good morning. On Sunday, I stopped by Joann's Fabrics to look at their cross stitch and embroidery kits. I wanted to find something I could work on as a break from crocheting and as my Friday Frolic project.

I'm not a fan of cross stitch kits that have Aida fabric so I browsed through the embroidery section and found this colorful kit by Plaid Bucilla.

I thought I could work on my embroidery skills while stitching on something bright and cheerful. So far it is basic stitches like French knots, satin stitches, and outline stitches. I think the most complicated it will get is split stitches. We'll see how that can't be that bad, right? I just have to  remember that I'm stitching this piece for myself. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Though I will say when I embroider something, I always remember the line from the Sense and Sensibility movie when Mrs. Jennings talks about her daughter Charlotte while showing off a sample of her work in colored silks and she comments, 'Poor Charlotte'. LOL

Until next time ^____^

Cherry Blossom Season 2017

It's that time of year folks! That's right, it's cherry blossom season. Well, at least in my first yard anyway. I am glad to see our tree blossom as we had a mini drought during the fall and I thought maybe it hadn't gotten enough rain, but it proved me wrong by budding last week.

It isn't unusual to see my cherry tree blossoming in January, but it is odd to admire it in 70 degree weather.

Maybe one day I'll be able to travel to somewhere that has cherry trees in abundance! That would be beautiful.

I hope you are having a good week so far!

Until next time ^____^