Thursday, July 21, 2016

Kitty Sushi Cross Stitch Finish ~Happy Dance~♡




Pattern: This is How I Roll by Design Works
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast linen by Wichelt
Threads: recommended DMC, except for B5200
Start/Finish: half day in June, 7/4, 7/10, and 7/16-17/2016

Hi, everyone! I finished stitching on the sushi kitty on Sunday, but have been too busy until now to post about it.

I finished the majority of the stitching on Saturday and spent Sunday stitching the last of it and completing all of the backstitching, French knots, and beading.

If you are wondering, the detail photos are closer to the fabric's actual color. It's funny what my phone's camera sees under different lighting.

I used all the recommended DMC threads except for one substitution. I switched out the recommended white thread for B5200. I find that white blends in to the background when I use cream linen while B5200 really pops against the cream.

The pattern came with more than enough beads so I will be able to give the kit to my friend Kristina to stitch. I didn't use the Aida or threads included in the kit because I have enough DMC to use already so she's getting a 'freebie' kit :)

I think perhaps my next project will be one of my WIPs. I would love to at least finish stitching the Sampler 4 Saisons pattern sometime this year.

Sounds like I need to make it my Frolicking Fridays project for the rest of the year. I'm definitely in need of Frolicking Friday motivation :)

Until next time >___<

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Happy Thursday - Birthday Package!!

Hi, everyone! My normal evening of crafting has been pleasantly interrupted by a birthday package in the mail from my friend Amanda.

A package full of awesome nerdness!!



She packaged a bunch of yummy goodies in a British themed box! I can't wait to eat the red bean pastry.......


An assortment of stationery, bunny stickers, a boba tea magnet, and pins. She got me a lovely little bunny brooch, which I plan on wearing to work on Monday.


A lollipop craft kit and an adorable egg shaper!


A HUGE tote bag from All About Ami's shop which says 'Keep Calm and Carry Yarn' and a smaller vinyl pencil case....which I plan on using to hold crochet supplies or cross stitch threads...depending on my next project :)


A promotional mini copy of Seeker, a coloring book featuring Kokeshi dolls, and a really cool book from Penguin Classics. It is a listing of all their classic titles in their publishing company. Possibly the best freebie gift ever for a bookworm.


She found some more Issac Mizrahi yarn at her local Michael's store. She got me the colors red, brown, and black! Sparkly crafting possibilities!!!

She found a cute British telephone booth birthday card! Lol


I think out of all of my gifts, these cards are my favorite. She made me a set of Asian themed greeting cards.

Ugh.....I keep telling her that she needs to open her own Etsy shop. Her cardmaking is gorgeous!!!!

Even if I wasn't her friend, I'd buy her cards!!!

Thanks Amanda for a wonderful belated birthday package! Unbirthday packages make the day special!!

Until next time >___<

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sunday Stitching - Kitty Sushi

Half day stitching in June

July 4th stitching

And here's today's stitching after baking and laundry. I think perhaps another full day or two should see this pattern finished.

I am not in love with the shading in this pattern. I decided to go with two reds for the kitty's outfit instead of the three suggested and now that I am looking at it, I hate the darker red thread. I should have stitched it completely in one color of red.......but there is nothing to be done without starting the pattern from the beginning, which is not going to happen. I'd like to keep my sanity, thanks.

I hope you guys are having a great weekend and are enjoying some crafting :)

Until next time >___<

Sunday baking with a side of rain



This morning I chose another recipe from The Southern Cookie Book to try out, molasses-spice crinkle cookies. With a lot of trial and error between the batches, I finally found the right temperature and time for these cookies. My mistake was trying to use a cookie scoop instead of using my hands to roll the dough into 1 inch balls. My cookie scoop was giving me slightly larger cookies, which meant a guessing game between the temperature and time.

Note to self, don't use the cookie scoop when it calls for you to roll the dough!

This afternoon I made some Ceylon tea that my friend Amanda had brought back with her from Canada. It was a perfect pairing for the cookies. I sipped my tea while watching a gully washer outside.

Until next time >___< 

Saturday Crafting



I spent Saturday finishing up details on various amigurumis. I had ordered some nice keyring clasps from Amazon and used those to make some of my smaller amigurumis into keychains.

The top image of amigurumis are my finishes so far this month. I am especially proud of the sushi roll. It is crocheted using joined rounds.

I know it doesn't seem like a big deal, but the majority of amigurumi patterns are stitched using continuous rounds and I could never seem to get the hang of crocheting with joined rounds, but YouTube is always your best friend when you need crochet tutorials. I found this great video by Hookabee. It explains how to crochet in joined rounds and the best part is the fact that you can clearly see what she is doing.

I have two more amigurumis to finish this month. The finish line is in sight!!!

Until next time >___<

Cross stitch stash!!!


The cross stitch patterns I ordered from Down Sunshine Lane came in earlier in this week.

I picked several patterns from JBW Designs: the French Country air balloon, owl, and pineapple patterns and her Rabbit Alphabet pattern.

Who is surprised that I bought the Country Cottage Needleworks Aftternoon in London pattern? Show of hands....none, good because no one should be surprised...if you are, shame on you!

Browsing their foreign designers section, I found a lovely pattern called Sweet Christmas by an Italian company called Cuore e Batticuore. It features, you guessed it, desserts and cookies. It looks beautiful :)

Now I just need some fabric....perhaps in August I'll have some time to search for some lovely linen colors for the Afternoon in London and Sweet Christmas patterns.

Decisions, decisions!!

Until next time >___<

Saltine Cracker Candy


I found a book called The Southern Cookie Book by Southern Living while at the library. I found an interesting recipe in the candy section for saltine cracker candy.

Now I LOVE saltine crackers. My sister and I would eat them by the packfuls when my grandmother brought them home from the store when we were kids. Plain, with peanut butter, or cheese. How can a plain salty cracker be so good? I have no idea, but I thank the gods for inspiring someone in the past to invent crackers.

I got myself sidetracked....I need to stop drooling....darn saltine crackers!

Anywho, I decided to try this recipe and while it came out okay, I think I'll change some things the next time I make them.

1. Don't line the entire pan with crackers. Leave some space between them otherwise when you add the toffee mixture, the crackers will float to the top.

2. Do not use the microwave to melt the butter and brown sugar. My microwave separated the butter and brown sugar, which surprisingly still made a toffee, but I think it might have been better if I melted them in a saucepan on the stove.

3. Leave the chocolate to melt a bit longer on the top before adding the walnuts because they didn't adhere to the chocolate very much.

Otherwise, this was delicious recipe that I will definitely try again in the future. The chocolate/toffee flavor is perfect for the fall or winter!!

If you see this book, please pick it up and try some recipes!!

Until next time >___<

Mug Cakes 101




Hi, everyone! While at the library recently, I found a book on mug cakes. I have always been skeptical of mug cakes because microwaves can be devilish.

I put the book in my bag and once I got home, I flicked through the pages until I found a recipe that I actually had all the ingredients for in the cabinets.

With brown sugar on hand, I decided to try the brown sugar cake. I was surprised that my mug cake came out baked on the lowest time setting in the instructions. I mean really, when does that ever happen? Never!!!

The recipe makes enough for two mug cakes. I took some granulated sugar and cinnamon and mixed them together for the topping on the cakes.

Giving one to my mom, she swears it is even better with milk. I've mentioned she's a dingy bird sometimes, right? I can't feed her anything without an addition. Lol

Thoughts: mug cakes actually work and will do when you need a sugar fix without breaking out your baking supplies and preheating the oven. But truth be told, nothing beats traditional baking.

Until next time >___<

Monday, July 4, 2016

June Recap

Recap:

Read:
1. I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest
2. Clementine by Cherie Priest
3. Cold Blooded by Amanda Carlson
4. Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson
5. Below Stairs by Margaret Powell
6. Hellbent by Cherie Priest
7. Servants' Hall by Margaret Powell
8. Dreadnought by Cherie Priest
9. Paris Letters by Janice MacLeod
10. Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger
11. Daughters of the Samurai by Janice Nimura

Crafts:
Amigurumis as per usual. Not as many as the months before. Mostly just finishing up details on earlier creations.

Stitching:
Started the 'This is How I Roll' cross stitch pattern - only half a day stitching.

Any favorites last month? Not particularly as everything I read was good. Same goes for crocheting and stitching.

I was hoping to put the crochet hook down this month, but I made the mistake of asking sister whether I should add anything else to the amigurumi lineup for the convention later this month. So back to the grindstone, not that I'm too disappointed. Any crafting is a good time.

In other news, Down Sunshine Lane was having a sale on their website. You may remember that I got a gift card from my aunt for my birthday last month. I was patiently waiting (ha!) for a sale on DSL before purchasing more cross stitch stash.

My goodies should be here tomorrow! Future stitching bliss!

I hope you have a great 4th!

Until next time >___<

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 ^____^