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 ^____^

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Candlewick Embroidery - Floral Silhouette

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are having a great New Year so far. It's extremely cold in 22° low, 39° high. Granted, it is winter, I realize that, but I'm telling you that climate change is real. Our winter so far has consisted of days with 70° highs with a few cold days thrown in. 

We made live in the south, but I can tell a normal winter here consists of 30-50ish days. So to have odd days of 70° is not normal. Needless to say, having a random day of 22° should be normal, but isn't.

In other news, our dog Sam passed away after Christmas. We think he had distemper. It was sad to watch him pass so quickly. We thought he had a cold, but he became disoriented and weak and eventually stopped eating.

We don't plan on getting another dog as we are kept busy trying to keep our kitten Lily under control. She is a terror. I need to take her by the vet to update her shots and get her claws trimmed. She has an issue about trying to climb up your leg to get your attention.

Any one have tips on how to train a kitten to stop biting and clawing?!?! Lol

In crafting news, I bought a kit a while back that was on sale at Hobby Lobby. It was a candlewick embroidery kit.

Pattern: Floral Silhouette by Design Works Crafts
Threads: creme colored candlewick thread and a brown DMC thread
Start/Finish: 12/31/2016 - 1/2/2017

I had always loved seeing the various kits at the store. With some birthday money, I bought a kit when it was on sale.

This is my first attempt at candlewick embroidery. It wasn't a complete disaster, but I will honestly admit that my embroidery skills are below average!

The kit is by Design Works Crafts. It came with fabric, thread, and two needles, one for the candlewick thread and the other for the normal embroidery floss. My only complaint about the kit is that the pre-inked design does not come off when you wash the fabric after completing your stitching.

I tried soaking it in warm water and soap with no change to the inked lines. Then I put it through the washer on delicate, secured in a mesh laundry bag. I did that twice with no difference.

My sister, bless her, said the design looked fine with the white inked lines still there. Lol I disagree. When I stitched that part of the design, it was easier to stitch on the edge of the lines with the embroidery floss. So that's what I did, erroneously thinking the lines would wash out.

If I knew that I wouldn't be able to wash out the ink, I would have stitched through the center of the lines using six strands of floss instead of the recommended two strands.

Stitching on a kit for three days, only to find out that it can't be washed is just plain evil!! 

Sigh......the grumbling complaints of a stitcher. Lol

If (it's a big IF) I try this again, I think I would transfer a design using transfer pens that wash out.

I'm off to crochet for a bit before heading over to my aunt's house to celebrate my mom's birthday......hello, Italian creme cake (sadly, not homemade, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made).

Until next time >___<

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Handmade Christmas 2016 - Crochet and Baking

Good morning! I hope you are enjoying the holiday today. I wanted to show what I made my friends and family for Christmas.

For my friends, Constance and Jim, I made a kitty doll for their baby girl, Arwen. I hope Arwen will like it when she gets old enough to play with it.

For Amanda, I made a short watermelon scarf. I found the pattern/video on YouTube and thought it would be a great way to brighten up a dreary winter day and light enough for weather in California. I love the added embellishment of black Pony beads to use as watermelon seeds.

For my uncle, I made orange brownies as part of his presents. They are his favorites.

In my mother's stash of containers, I found this cute reindeer plastic tub. Perfect for 'wrapping' his brownies.

For my friends, I made those kawaii cross stitch ornaments that I posted about last week :)

I hope you had fun crafting for friends and family too!

Until next time >___<

Saturday, December 24, 2016

A CA Christmas Package and a Crazy Kitten

Hi, everyone! As you know from my previous post, I received a package from Amanda on Thursday!! She sent me an assortment of goodies from her travels to Taiwan and Singapore along with some book memorabilia and candy. Not pictured is the fun Taiwanese keychain that she got me; it is currently on my craft bag :)

She was able to get a signed copy of Gail Carriger's novella, Poison or Protect along with a 'Be Polite' button from her Custard series which goes great with the cute Union Jack beanie.

She sent me a few Kit kats, a bag of yummy strawberry marshmallows, and Brazilian orange Pocky (she found it at her local Daiso!!!)

While in Singapore, she bought me the Starbucks 'You Are Here' ornament cup! I'll add it to the ones she has gotten me from Taiwan, England, and CA Disney. I'm convinced that my side of the country is devoid of these cups unless you are in New England or New York!

The Starbucks in Taiwan had these adorable bunny bowl/cup sets!!! I'm so glad she got them for me. Though I don't know whether I should actually use them or keep them as knick knacks. Decisions, decisions! (Don't judge me by my bookshelf full of Japanese themed books!)

While taking photos of my gifts, our kitten, Lily, decided to join me i.e. be nosy! Trying to take a photo of her is hard work. She was constantly trying to jump on me, claw me, or bite me. She isn't a mean cat, just a kitten who doesn't understand that she doesn't need to do all that to get my attention.


She finally settled down underneath the Christmas tree, but kept looking at me as if to say 'why do you get to play in the tree. You always yell at me if I get in the tree.' 

I'll be glad when Christmas is over. We have tree needles all over the place from Lily playing with them. We've had to take up all the ornaments, lights, and beads from the bottom branches because our adorable Lily can be an absolute kraken when she gets excited and rambunctious.

Ah, the joys of owning a kitten. Note to self: adopt an older cat with a peaceful disposition next time!!

Until next time >___<

Thursday, December 22, 2016

~ A Sweet Christmas Finish ~

Pattern: Sweet Christmas by Cuore e Batticuore
Fabric: 32ct lambswool by Wichelt-Permin
Threads: recommended DMC and B5200
Start/Finish: 9/18-12/22/2016

Hi, everyone! It's a happy dance day for three reasons.

1) I have tomorrow, the weekend, and Monday off for holidays!!!
2) I came home to see a package from Amanda waiting for me.
3) I finished my Sweet Christmas pattern!

Definitely worth a million happy dances if you ask me :)

I was hoping to get some more detail photos of my stitching, but our kitten, Lily, is too curious for her own good and she has claws. I'd rather be safe than sorry when it comes to my stitching. (O_o")

After stitching my first Cuore e Batticuore pattern, I am smitten with their designs. They are fun to stitch and I love their motifs! How can you go wrong with sweet desserts for Christmas?!

Until next time >___<

Friday, December 16, 2016

Kawaii Christmas Glass Ornaments 2016 - Friends Gifts

This year I was racking my brains trying to figure out what designs I wanted to stitch for my friends for our annual Christmas party. Looking through my stash of Christmas cross stitch magazines and patterns, I finally decided on Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Kawaii Winterland pattern, which is a collection of 25 small designs for Christmas.

I chose the yeti, Christmas pickle, snowman, and the hot chocolate cup to stitch up.

The great part about these designs are the fact that they are small enough to 'finish' on glass ornaments. I had bought some flat glass ornaments at Hobby Lobby.

After ironing the linen, I adhered fabric interfacing paper on the back of each stitched design, which helped to keep glue from ruining the stitching when I glued them to the glass ornaments. I used my Sizzix machine to cut a circle around each design.

I used cording around the edges of each design. For the inside of each ornament, I took Christmas wrapping ribbons, cut them into small pieces, and ran my scissors across them to make curls before putting them in the ornaments. I forgot to take a photo of the backs of the ornaments, but I used red, green, silver, and red/white striped ribbons.

To make sure that the ornament tops stayed on, I put a small bit of glue on the inside of the cap before putting them on the ornament.

I hope my friends like them! (I was tempted to keep them for myself!!!)

Until next time >___<

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sweet Christmas Progress ♡

Here is my progress on Sweet Christmas so far. I apologize for my less than stellar photograph; the lighting in our house is low.

I'm hoping I can work more on it this week and maybe get a better photograph of it :)

Until next time >____<

Monday, December 12, 2016

Literary Irony and a Kitten

Good morning, everyone! It's been a busy last couple of days with the usual buying and wrapping of gifts, 'finishing' of gifts, not to mention cross stitching and reading thrown into the mix.

While at the library on Saturday, I noticed a bit of librarian humor. Can you see the connection between those three books?

I immediately took a photo and sent it to my sister who brought up Roosevelt being in the same 'boat' as I only noticed Casanova and Bill Clinton since American history wasn't something I studied in depth in college.

Now, it is possible that the librarians weren't trying to be ironic with their book placement and were just trying to put as many new titles out on the table as possible. Personally, I'd like to think that a snarky librarian was giggling to themselves as he or she placed those books!

Onto to other news, I'm still working on Sweet Christmas. I'm at the top of the design stitching on the border. Hopefully by the end of the week, I'll be around the corner and on the right side of the design :)

As you know our kitty Bella passed away in the summer. For a while my sister and mom have been pestering me about getting another kitty. (As if I was the deciding factor! *snort*) So on Saturday afternoon, we went by Pet Smart and adopted a three month old kitten which we named Lily.

She is a short haired black kitten. On one hand she is cute, cuddly, and a purr-box, while on the other hand she is a terror of the high seas. We were so used to our kitty Bella who was 6 years old when we got her......we didn't take into account that a kitten would be completely different.

Since our household is almost always a calm environment, we are hoping it will influence Lily to be a calm kitty as she grows up.

If I ever get Lily to sit still for a minute, I'll be sure to take a photo of her for you!

This is the first day that Lily will be home alone..................please pray for our Christmas tree and other trinkets around the house!

Until next time ^___^