Saturday, June 18, 2016

Saturday Antiques!


Hi, everyone! Today I decided to go antiquing, something that I haven't done in quite a while since I've been trying to be 'good' about expenses. But since it was a nice day today and I finished paying my bills off for the month, I decided to treat myself to window shopping in the antique world and came away with a few things.

My first stop was Antiques at the Loop on S. Florida Street. They used to be on Airport Blvd, but they moved locations a while ago and I hadn't been to the new location until today. I'm not a fan of the new location one: because Florida Street is a bit tricky....it has a wonky island median thing when you are trying to get back to Airport Blvd......who constructed that thing?!?!?! Ugh....thank goodness for Google Maps. I just needed to get down the street to Airport, LOL, you think it wouldn't be a challenge except for that random median thing.......totally threw me for a loop....thanks to the random British voice on Google Maps I was able to get back where I needed to be.

The other reason I'm not a fan of the new location is the lighting in the building. It's quite dim in some parts, which is a hindrance when you are trying to look at antiques. You can't really gauge the quality of something that way.

Besides all that, there were some GORGEOUS antiques in the store. First picture up top is an antique sampler. They wanted $650 for it. No, you read that correctly......it's beautiful, but my goodness, so very expensive!

Victorian period sailor's anchor made of shells.

A lovely display of vintage handkerchiefs.

An adorable oil painting of a girl with quite a plethora of bunnies!!!

A porcelain doll with a pincushion dress.

A 1960s dress. I showed the picture to my mom and she said 'Yep, that's the 60s alright.'

For my friend Angela on Thoughtful Ramblings, I took a picture of this fun display of hats :)


After browsing through Antiques at the Loop and I drove over to Cotton City Antiques. I think their store is more reasonable priced. They do have some expensive antiques, especially the furniture, but usually the rest of the store's selection is doable when you are on a budget.

They had this lovely crewel work picture of a windmill scene (pictured above).

A whole selection of sewing supplies with antique scissors, pincushions, needle books, and lots and lots of buttons!


I wanted this sampler so much!!!! But it was $175 so sadly it couldn't come home with me. It's a Victorian motto sampler from 1876. I want to say it is done on a perforated paper type material, but I couldn't get close enough to tell.


A gorgeous pie safe for $1200. Our local museum in town has one of these types of cabinets, but it is not nearly as large as the one I saw today. I am amazed to see one in the 'wild'.

Another beautiful Victorian motto sampler.

Yet another one! It's motto sampler day! LOL

A classic sampler, which wasn't finished by its owner.

Now on to my haul! Mwahahaha. Don't worry, it isn't too much.



Part of my antique expedition today was to search for a nice plate for my baked confections. I've been taking photos on random plates at home and I really wanted something nicer.

I saw this milk glass 'snack set' when I first walked in the door of the antique store. I decided to walk around the store before committing myself to buying it.

It was a steal for $7. Nothing fancy, just lovely in white with a lovely grape motif.


And you know me, part of my haul if at all possible will be books of some sort. I came away with some lovely fairy tale picture books from the 1960s and 70s along with an Asian tales book.

I also got a Christmas gift, but I can't show it to you until December because my sneaky friends look at my blog from time to time. Don't want to ruin the surprise!!!

All in all, it was a great day for antiquing. I wish I could do it more often, but I don't have that much room to buy whatever I want willy nilly which is a darn shame!

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Sunday Baking - Blonde Brownies and a Birthday


Good evening everyone! This morning I whipped up a batch of blonde brownies. And yes, they weren't normal brownies. I ended up adding a bag of crispy s'mores M&Ms to the batter.

My sister had me pick up a bag of the M&Ms when we saw them a couple of weeks ago. I wasn't sure what I was going to do with them and then I thought to add them to a brownie recipe.

I went with a blonde brownie recipe I found in our copy of Betty Crocker's Cookbook because I thought the taste of the candies wouldn't get lost in a blonde brownie compared to your normal chocolate brownie batter.

My aunt and uncle liked them. My mom wasn't a fan. She told me I had to stop adding strange things to my batters. Lol She's such a traditionalist. It's not like I was adding squid ink to the cookies or anything!!!

After making the brownies, I took a trip across the bay to the World Market. Bought some chai filled chocolate and some Kinder chocolate. Wandered over to Michael's in search of Issac Mizrahi yarn. They didn't have any of his sparkly yarn left, but I was able to buy a lovely new color of Caron Simply Soft yarn called neon coral.

No trip across the bay is complete without stopping at Barnes and Noble. I ended up buying an issue of Simply Crochet, which had some lovely Oriental themed patterns, and a sci-fi book that caught my eye.

Coming back across the bay and through downtown Government Street, I noticed someone had bought the house I have been eyeballing for a while. It is a dilapidated Victorian house with a tower. I think it was a foreclosure. I was worried that the city would tear it down, but much to my surprise someone bought it and started to renovate it!!! Seeing people giving older homes a new life always makes me happy. Especially with a city as old as ours :)

Later this afternoon my family got together to celebrate my birthday with presents and cupcakes.

I got a bunch of books (bookworm, remember?!), DVDs, Starbucks mug, gift cards for craft stores (woohoo for yarn and cross stitch addiction) and Starbucks ( yum!). My aunt got me a gift card for Down Sunshine Lane's website. I can't wait to buy new cross stitch patterns! Now I have to sit down and figure out which ones I really want.....there are so many!!

My mom got me two new brooches, a spring hat with flowers and an adorable fox.

She also got me a Kitchen-Aid handmixer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!! Not that I hate the Sunbeam handmixer I have been using, but it is slowly giving up the ghost. This morning I had to hold the plug to the outlet for a few seconds to keep it mixing.

So I am very happy to get a new mixer. I can put the Sunbeam handmixer in retirement. Who knows, I might actually see if someone can fix it as a backup for the Kitchen-Aid handmixer because the Sunbeam is a trooper from the 1980s. That's a lot of baking!!!

Hmm.....I can't decide what to make first with my new handmixer......to be traditional or non-traditional, that is the question.

Until next time >___<

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sunday Baking - Pecan Cookies


This morning I tried a British cookie recipe from another semi-finalist from The Great British Bake Off, Ruby Tandoh. She published a book last year called Crumb. My sister and I refer to Ruby as the Eeyore of her season. She was always doubting herself and apologizing for her recipes.

I tried her recipe for pecan cookies, which turned out great. The only change I made to the recipe was the toasting time for the pecans. It called for 8-10 minutes, but the pecans were just beginning to start to taste burnt at the 8 minute mark. I ended up toasting the pecans for 5 minutes.

The recipe yields 25 delicious cookies that remind me of Keebler's pecan sandies, but that taste 200% better because they are homemade.

I will be honest. These cookies did not last long. We have been eating them all day. We are down to five cookies, which I am determined not to eat because I want the guys in my department to try them.

If you see Ruby's book at the bookstore or library, it is worth picking up!!!

Until next time >___<

Saturday Fun - Geeky Cross Stitch Find


Yesterday I ran by Michael's to see if they had any more skeins of Issac Mizrahi's premier line of yarn. I was able to find one skein of black....the only other colors they had were a bunch of brown and grey and one lonely skein of purple. I might have to run to the Michael's store across the bay next weekend and see if they have the other colors in the line. Their website was no help at all...grrr....

Buyers remorse! I should have bought more of the Barrymore color when we were there last weekend, I just didn't think I would like it so much (°_°)

Afterwards I ran by Hobby Lobby to see what felt I could find in sparkly colors. Stopping by the cross stitch section, I saw this geeky cross stitch pattern for a sushi kitty. I almost didn't get it, but it was on sale which made it the same price it would be if I ordered it online so into my basket it went.

It's amazing that nothing else made it into my basket because they have quite a lot of new patterns in that section.......temptation!!!!

I told my friend Kristina about the sushi kitty and she wanted it too. Since I'm not going to use the kit's Aida or threads, I will be passing it along to her after I'm done with it in July.

I am using 32ct cream Belfast linen by Wichelt with normal DMC threads from my stash. The only thing I'll have to buy for Kristina is more seed beads if the kit doesn't come with extras.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks Compass - Framed!!


Hi, guys! My aunt took the Alessandra Adelaine Needleworks compass design to Hobby Lobby earlier this month to have it framed for my cousin's birthday today.

She lucked out as it was ready just in time yesterday. She brought it over to me yesterday so I could wrap it up.

What do you think? I wish the photo was better, but framed pieces are hard to photograph without getting reflections, etc. when using your cellphone as your camera.

I think they did a wonderful job on the frame and mat board. It's been a while since I've seen a circular cut mat board. We can't even do that at my work because we don't have the mat cutter to cut circular shapes. Though I think those sorts of mats have gone out of style, it really works with this pattern.

I hope my cousin likes my aunt's gift to him. It isn't my gift, just my stitching. My gift is a birthday card. LOL

Until next time ^____^

May Amigurumi Roundup


My little amigurumi for the month of May. I like all of them......though my favorite has to be the sparkly bat on the lower left. I love the yarn used for the bat and glittery purple felt I used for his ears and wings!!

I had gone to Michael's on Sunday with my sister. I was in search of craft glue (which I didn't find....I really like The Ultimate glue at Hobby Lobby.....it must be their brand because I can't find it elsewhere!!) But while I was looking at Caron Simply Soft yarn, my sister found a selection of clearance yarn by Isaac Mizrahi. It reminded me of Caron's party line of yarn.

My sister was adamant that I pick up the black color to make a bat amigurumi. The color is called Barrymore.

I'm in love with this yarn.......and that's hard for me to say because I am a Caron Simply Soft fangirl. Isaac Mizrahi's brand isn't as thick as Caron despite both of them being a size 4 weight, but it works up well. I was worried that the yarn was going to work up too loosely for me to stuff the doll with Polyfil, but it wasn't a problem at all.

I have a feeling I'll have to go to Michael's again and pick up more colors in this sparkly line of yarn........which is breaking my resolution to not buy yarn unless I really need a color of yarn for a project........but at a clearance price of $2.99 a skein, it is calling my name across town like a siren!

Evil siren.......bane of the checking account!

Until next time ^___^

May Recap

Recap:

Read:
1. Phiz: The Man Who Drew Dickens by Valerie Browne Lester
2. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
3. Never Cry Wolf by Amanda Carlson
4. Family of Her Dreams by Keli Gwyn
5. Sword and Blossom by Peter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams
6. Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward
7. Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

Crafts:
1. No Face amigurumi
2. Squirtle amigurumi
3. Black Mage amigurumi
4. Baymax amigurumi
5. Blooper amigurumi
6. Fox pilot amigurumi
7. Meowth amigurumi
8. Voodoo doll amigurumi
9. Bat amigurumi

My favorite book of the month was Sword and Blossom. It is a non fiction book detailing the relationship between a British soldier, Arthur Hart-Synnot, and a Japanese woman, Masa Suzuki. They wrote letters to each other for forty years....over 800 letters!

This book pulls at the heart strings and had me thinking about it days after I was finished reading it. You keep hoping the ending will change, but it seems Fate wasn't on the side of these lovers.

It is wonderful love story and an unique glimpse at Japan at the turn of the century and after both world wars.

In terms of crafting, yet again more and more amigurumi dolls. I love crocheting, but I'll be glad when July is here....I can focus on stitching. I have a million patterns I would love to stitch!!

Until next time ^___^

Sunday Baking - Cinnamon, Cloves, and Chocolate Cookies



Good morning everyone! While at the library, I found a book called The Cardamom Trail by Chetna Makan, one of the semi-finalists on The Great British Bake Off show in 2014. If you haven't watched any of the seasons of The Great British Bake Off, you should give them a try. I know that Amazon Prime has one of the seasons and Netflix has another. I think my sister was telling me that PBS had bought the rights to air them in the US so I am hoping they will start airing them soon. We had watched one season on PBS......they need all the seasons!!!

After making that flourless cardamom chocolate cake earlier this year, I knew I had to check out the book and make something.

Sadly, my mom and sister aren't fans of cardamom....especially my mom. I was joking with her that she is a Betty Crocker person. She likes the classics in baking and isn't much for trying different flavors.

So looking through The Cardamom Trail, I found a recipe for cinnamon, clove, chocolate, and pistachio cookies. I was thinking surely my mom will like these, they don't have cardamom and they have pistachios, she loves pistaschios.

Sigh........to no avail. I think they are fabulous. Everyone likes them except for my mom. She's a hard one to please when it comes to sweets.

Maybe I need to just flip through our Betty Crocker cookbook and find an old fashion brownie recipe or something?!?!?

I will definitely check out this book again if I don't add it to my Amazon wishlist for my birthday or Christmas. I would love to try more of Chetna's recipes.....especially the ones featuring cardamom. If I have to, I'll just eat the whole dessert by myself O_o" LOL

On a different subject, when I was coming back to our house from delivering my cookies to my aunt's family, I noticed we had a tiny guest on our sidewalk. A tiny little turtle. I barely had time to take a photo of him before he scampered off into the yard. I hope he wasn't headed to the backyard because our dog Sam doesn't leave turtles in peace. He will sadly play them to death.

It's that time of year when turtles are on the move in search of water. Hopefully Sam doesn't start a collection of turtles this year!!

Until next time ^___^

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Saying goodbye to our kitty Bella


So for the last couple of weeks we were noticing that our kitty Bella was losing weight quickly and occasionally vomiting. This week she wouldn't eat and would only drink if the water was running from a faucet.

I talked to one of coworkers on Friday about it and he said it sounded like kidney failure. We were going to take her to the vet on Saturday, but my sister found a vet in town who was open 24 hours so we took Bella on Friday.

They ran tests and found that Bella did have acute kidney failure. We opted to try treatments even though it was a 50/50 chance. This afternoon the vet called to tell us that Bella wasn't improving and that we needed to let her go.

We went to vet and spent a few minutes with her. I couldn't stay to watch her go and went out in the parking lot and cried while my mom and sister stayed with Bella until she was put to sleep.

It's amazing how pets can claim your heart. I don't think any of us have ever regretted adopting Bella 6 years ago. She has given us crazy moments, funny moments, and unconditional kitty love. You can't ask for more than that.

I found a cute picture of Bella that I had posted on my blog a while ago. She was always patiently putting up with our crazy nonsense, including posing with my amigurumi.

We will miss you little Bella!!!

Sunday Baking - Chocolate Cherry Cookies


While going through and cleaning the kitchen cabinets yesterday, I noticed I had several bags of flavored M&Ms. I decided that I needed to use them in my baking before they went bad.

This morning I pulled out the bag of chocolate cherry flavored M&Ms and used them to make cookies. They are delicious, especially if you love chocolate covered cherries like I do.

Next weekend if I'm not too busy, I'll make another batch of cookies using M&Ms again. Take them to work so I don't pig out on them :)

Until next time >___<