Thursday, November 16, 2017

Monarch Butterfly Mill Hill ~ For my aunt's birthday




Pattern: Winged Monarch by Mill Hill
Fabric/Threads: included in kit
Start/Finish: 9/4-18/2017

Hi, everyone! Today is my Aunt Joanne's birthday so I can finally share another finish that I had in September. When my sister and I were in New Orleans in July, I picked up some stash at Accents Inc. One of my purchases was a Mill Hill beaded cross stitch kit called Winged Monarch. My sister spotted it first in the store and we both agreed it would be a great birthday present for our aunt.

Oddly enough, according to Mill Hill kit reviews, Mill Hill's frames do not come with a backing or glass. Such a bizarre way to sell a frame, but I imagine a lot of stitchers probably want to show off the detail of their project when it's complete.

I wanted to get my project framed and went to Hobby Lobby to see if they had what I wanted. The lady who helped me was lovely. Instead of doing a custom frame job, she suggested I go and see if any frames would work for the design. Luckily I found a frame that already had a spacer inside so the stitching and beading do not touch the glass.

I think it turned out beautifully. I always forget that beading can be fun until I pick up a project that requires it ;)

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Celtic Music Festival and Scottish Highland Games 2017


Good evening. My family and I took a trip over to Gulfport, MS today to see the Celtic Music Festival and Scottish Highland Games.


We never stop at the first rest stop in MS, but we did this time. My sister accidentally hit the 'hood' button while getting gas before we started the trip so we had to stop to make sure the hood to the car was completely down!!

The restrooms at the rest stop are.....hmm.....bizarre. The water is brown in the toilets and the water in the sinks feels slimy. I'm not sure if that is the correct term for the water, but it feels like you haven't washed your hands.


The outside of the rest stop made up for the restrooms. An artist made sculptures out of trees that had fallen during Hurricane Katrina. Several of his 'tree' sculptures are at this rest stop and other places in MS.

Thirty plus minutes later and after going through some back roads of Gulfport, we arrived at the Harrison County Fairgrounds. We could hear the jousting competition starting as we were waiting in line to pay to get in. Luckily they hadn't started yet, they were introducing the horses and doing other tricks.



The jousting horses were beautiful. I always wonder if the horses with the shaggy hooves do well in southern weather. You would think they would get hot in the summer.


The bleachers were packed so we were standing on the opposite side with a few spectators, professional photographers, and volunteer police officers.


After watching the jousting, we walked over to the artisan's area. Of course, one of the first tables we came across was selling British/Welsh/Irish baked goods and desserts.

My sister persuaded me to get a bowl of bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Nothing says ruin your diet like bread pudding, but you know what? It was worth every single calorie and inch to my waistline!

I made my sister and my mom break their diets as well. No sense in me being the only bad person in the group. LOL


Periodically they had a mini parade of people playing Scottish bagpipes and drums accompanied by each clan walking in procession. It was interesting to see how few people were in the Campbell clan, but not surprising considering their history.



We saw a pen full of sheep, which was quite sad. They were terrified of everyone and were grouped together and standing completely still. Poor things! I'm sure they just wanted to go home to their nice, grassy farm.


Several vendors were demonstrating their crafts. This lovely lady had a company called The Fiber Chicken. She makes her own yarn, by spinning and dying fibers. She crochets, knits, and tats. Quite the crafty lady. She had some beautiful shawls that she had made, but they were expensive. One made of 100% alpaca was $650.

I have a feeling that she probably sells more of her yarn at $45 per skein than her handmade shawls. I don't fault her the price especially considering the process involved.


At the end of the artisan's area, there were several tents set up for 'living' history. I took a picture of older gentleman showing off the tapestry that he was working on. Talk about having a love of your craft and having the patience to complete it.


You remember the bread pudding? Well, we bought some things from two vendors who were selling sweets......traditional Welsh cakes (I love currants!!), a loaf of Irish soda bread, and an empire shortbread cookie (not pictured because....well, we ate it.....lol....but if you were wondering what it looked like, just think of a cherry bakewell tart from England. The icing reminds me of the empire shortbread topping and instead of cherry, it had strawberry jam, which was divine!)

I am hoping to persuade my friends to go with me next year to the Celtic festival or maybe one of the medieval fairs. It would be great to spend the day there. Take some food for a picnic and enjoy the performances.

I hope you all had a wonderful Saturday.

Until next time ^____^

Friday, November 10, 2017

Eiffel Tower - Jardin Prive stitching

Pattern: Eiffel Tower by Jardin Prive
Fabric: 32ct oyster linen by M.C.G. Textiles
Threads: DMC 152, 223, 3012, and 3781
Start: 11/5/2017

Good evening, everyone! Thank you for your lovely comments on my previous posts. I bit the bullet so to speak today and bought a new laptop. My old one still works, but I haven't used it in ages because it is still on XP......yes, really, I just typed XP. I'm hoping now that I have a new laptop, I'll be able to blog more. Trying to write blog posts on my phone or my Kindle Fire is a chore....and no one likes to have their blog be a chore instead of something fun, right?

Last Saturday, I started something new from my stash, Eiffel Tower by Jardin Prive. I wasn't able to find the crème colored linen I was looking for, but I did find an oyster color of linen, which works nicely. It isn't as bright as pure white linen.

I am using the same color palette for this design as I did for Jardin Prive Marquise design. I love the pinks and green with the dark brown.

I had the day off today from work. Slept in until 8:30, my brain wouldn't let me sleep longer. (sigh) Ate breakfast, stitched a bit, and then went out to do some shopping. I was hoping to get to try one of the new Starbucks frappuccino flavors, but the line inside and outside the store was crazy because it was the BOGO hours. I'll have to try another day when it isn't crazy ;)

Tomorrow my sister, mother, and I are going to Gulfport to the Celtic Music Festival and Scottish Highlands Games. No, you didn't read that incorrectly. I mentioned a Celtic festival in Mississippi. It should be an interesting experience. Apparently it has been held for 30+ years. Who knew that MS had such a group.

I hope everyone had a good Veteran's Day.

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween!

Pattern: Tea Time Pumpkin Coasters by Ira Rott
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft
Hook: Size H
Start/Finish: 9/23/2017

Good morning everyone! "Another glorious morning! It makes me sick!!" LOL Had to throw in some Hocus Pocus humor since it's Halloween today :)

I sent a small Halloween package to my friend Amanda this year. I found a cute DIY wood canvas kit at Target that I thought she'd have fun working on. I also sent her a Disney die cut that she was looking for and two books by Patricia Briggs that she hadn't read yet. I found the books while on one of my used bookstore jaunts. I knew I hadn't read them so I picked them up and as luck would have it I could pass them on to Amanda because she hadn't read them either ;)

In September I was looking on the Internet for a cute Halloween/Fall crochet pattern to make for Amanda's package. I found the pumpkin coasters pattern on Ravelry. Aren't they adorable? I love the ruffle edges.

I was hoping to get a better picture of the coasters, but my cell phone camera has trouble taking accurate photos of crocheted items. It will either make the picture darker than real life or wash out the colors completely. I just can't seem to win with it.

In other non-Halloween related news, I ordered fabric from MCG Textiles website. I got it in yesterday. I had sent a comment in with my order requesting a more creme colored fabric instead of their 'new' version of antique white evenweave. Well, they tried to help, but it still doesn't match what I had used previously. The color they sent was creme, but it was a dark creme instead of a light creme.

So on to Plan B.....well, I really don't have a Plan B.......but it will probably involve going to the store and buying some creme colored linen......assuming I can find it since Hobby Lobby has cut down on their selection of linens and evenweave in the needlework dept.

Anywho, I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween!!!

Until next time ^____^

Monday, October 23, 2017

Crochet Wave Scarf - Rainy Day Crocheting

Pattern: Crochet Waves Scarf by Michael's
Yarn: Caron Cakes Bumbleberry
Hook: size I
Start/Finish: 10/21-22/2017

I broke out my crochet hook this weekend and starting stitching on a freebie pattern that I found at Michael's last weekend. I have several Caron Cakes sitting in my yarn stash and I finally used one on this lovely wavy scarf pattern.

I chose the bumbleberry color because purple is one of my favorites. I sent a few hours on Saturday crocheting and all of Sunday as well. I find it amusing that the 'completion time' on this pattern is supposed to be 4 hours...........I'm convinced that maybe my aunt can finish it in that amount of time, but I'm slow when it comes to regular, non-amigurumi crocheting. LOL

All in all, a perfect way to spend a extremely rainy Sunday. Crocheting, drinking tea, and eating an absurd amount of Oreos!!

I hope you guys have a great week! My coworker and I will attending a workshop in FL later this week. Work away from work!!! Fantastic!

Until next time ^____^

Christmas stitching in October?!

Pattern: Nutcracker Ornament by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
Fabric: 28ct crystal mello Cashel opalescent linen
Threads: recommended, except for yellow threads
Start/Finish: 10/6-7-2017

Pattern: Snow Much Fun at the North Pole by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
Fabric: 28ct crystal mello Cashel opalescent linen
Threads: recommended
Start/Finish: 10/8-10/2017

Pattern: Frosty Friends by Blue Ribbon Designs
Fabric: 28ct lambswool Jobelan linen by Wichelt
Threads: recommended
Start/Finish: 10/11-19/2017

I know, I know....what happened to fall stitching in October? Or at least normal stitching in October? I have a completely valid excuse, I promise, I can produce a doctor's excuse if I need to.....I'm pretty sure I can, anyway ;)

I was hoping to start on Jardin Prive's Eiffel Tower design using the same color thread scheme that was called for in the Marquise design. I was even hoping to use the same color fabric for the design. And that's when the universe went frolicking off into a field of rainbows without me.

So checking my fabric (28ct antique white evenweave by MCG Textiles), I noticed that it didn't match my Marquise design. I thought okay, maybe it's just mislabeled. Went by Hobby Lobby and Joann's Fabrics....and no, it wasn't mislabeled. I think they have changed the dye lot of the fabric so instead of a creme colored fabric called antique white, it is now off white colored fabric called antique white.

I've been online to see if anyone is selling the old color and looking at MCG Textiles' website, it looks like they might.........so I am going to have to buy some. I really want the Eiffel Tower to match the Marquise design......I know, I'm a glutton for punishment by insisting on this fabric color, but what I can say......nothing except I'm a glutton. LOL

So while searching for fabrics, I have been stitching several Christmas designs to past the time. Two very cute designs by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and a lovely snowman design by Blue Ribbon Designs :)

I'll probably make the Blue Ribbon Designs piece into an ornament and save the Frosted Pumpkin designs for a future finish.

Until next time ^____^

Fall and Halloween stitching!



Good morning, everyone! Long time no blog, right?! I haven't been lazing around since the last time I posted. Just busy with crafting, reading, etc.

During the month of September and October, I was busy stitching a lot of mini designs by JBW Designs. There are from her Fall Collection and the Halloween Ornament series. I used 28ct antique white M.C.G. Textile evenweave for the Halloween designs and 28ct Jobelan lambswool linen by Wichelt for the fall designs.

Do you guys remember the Christmas ornaments I made last year for my friends? Well, I am hoping to turn the fall/Halloween designs into ornaments for myself.

I've been on the lookout for finishing trim, but the only thing I have found so far is a pack of trim at Hobby Lobby. I was hoping to find some fall colored trim for the other ornaments, but no luck. A lot of the trim was way too big and would look weird around the cross stitch piece.

I haven't had any luck on finding ribbon to go inside the ornaments either....sigh....

I'll keep my eyes open and see if I get lucky, but I doubt I will this year. A lot of the stores are already putting out Christmas crafts. I might have to put my ornaments away until next summer (cuz that's when the crazy stores put out fall merchandise) and see what I can find.

Until next time ^____^

Monday, September 4, 2017

Snow White cross stitch finish

Pattern: Dress Up Collection - The Fairy Tale Princess, #2 Snow White by Brooke's Books
Fabric: 28ct crystal mello Cashel opalescent linen
Threads: recommended
Start/Finish: 8/10-9/4/2017

Good afternoon. I hope everyone is enjoying their Labor Day holiday. Yesterday, I was able to finish backstitching and beading my Snow White pattern.

She is 'unofficially' finished. I have a blue ribbon to add to the top of her apron and a thread bow to add to her crown, but I will be adding those prior to getting her framed.

The only 'change' I made to her was the crown section. She is supposed to have five rosettes on her crown, but I'm not good at using DMC memory thread. I couldn't get a decent looking rose to save my life so I made them as well as I could and decided to stop after making three of them.....otherwise I was in danger of throwing my DMC memory thread across the room in frustration. LOL

Since it is the start of September already, I will switch gears to fall/autumn stitching as this is my favorite time of year. I'll be working on my Mill Hill kit and possibly some JBW designs.

Have a great day! And a good rest of the week!

Until next time ^____^

July and August Recaps

Read:

July:
1. The Cowboy and The Lady by Janet Lee Barton
2. Falling in Love with the English Countryside by Susan Branch
3. Japanese Letters by Lafcadio Hearn edited by Elizabeth Bisland
4. Cutting Back: My Apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto by Leslie Buck
5. The Ordinary Princess by M.M. Kaye

August:
1. The Chosen by J.R. Ward
2. Dombey and Son by Charles Dickens
3. Wedded for the Baby by Dorothy Clark

Crafts:

July:
1. White rabbit amigurumi
2. Egg kitty mini amigurumi

Stitching:

July:
1. Flying Fairy embroidery finish
2. Afternoon in London cross stitch finish
3. Blueberry ice cream girl cross stitch finish

August:
1. Patriotic Picnic Group 2 cross stitch finish

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Yummy stitches finish, the eclipse, and fairy tale stitching

Pattern: Yummy Stitches Patriotic Picnic Group 2 by Brooke's Books
Fabric: 14ct antique brown perforated paper
Threads: recommended
Start/Finish: 7/26-8/6/2017

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are enjoying the month of August. I've been busy stitching and reading for the most part. Anything to keep my mind off of work, which is crazy like usual and doesn't make any sense at the moment.

At the beginning of the month, I was able to finish up Patriotic Picnic Group 2 by Brooke's Books. I think my favorite part was the beading. Who would think that would be relaxing, but it was....who knows why. I love how to adds a bit of sparkle and texture to the designs. My favorite motifs were the soda bottle (which reminds me of Japanese ramune soda!) and the adorable little s'more. 

I had bought this kit on Etsy from Brooke's shop. I noticed that on the front cover, the design should have had an additional motif of a star shaped cookie. When I emailed Brooke about it, she said it was a mistake from when the chart was published.

I asked if she could send me a PDF of the cookie chart and guess what?!?!!? She sent me a PDF for the other two ornament charts, one of which had the cookie chart in it. She said she was happy that I liked stitching her kawaii designs and sent them to me for free because I liked them so much.

How amazing it that?! It made my day. I mean really, it did. I was planning on buying those kits from her shop so when she sent the charts to me for free, I was speechless.

I really, really hope she decides to make more kawaii designs! Since she sent me the PDFs, I went out to Hobby Lobby and bought more threads and perforated paper for them. I bought the specialty threads at 123stitch, but I won't embellish any of the designs with the threads until I have them all stitched and beaded.


As you guys know we had a solar eclipse on Monday. My sister and her librarian friends had made pin hole cameras from cereal boxes. I decided to use paper plates for a pin hole camera. About fifteen minutes before the eclipse was at its totality, I made a camera out of a small priority mailing box, but guess what? I forgot to put a hole in it and when I was outside and made a hole with my keys, the hole was too big so it didn't work.


LOL So my paper plates were useful as a backup camera. My coworker and I went out to the bridge beside our building to view the eclipse. At first we weren't sure we would be able to see the eclipse as there was a huge cloud overhead (see image). We had nine minutes until totality!! Luckily, the cloud moved just in time for us to view the eclipse with my paper plates. A lot of our other coworkers joined us on the bridge after our boss went back inside. (Side note: our boss lacks social skills and whenever she interacts with any of us outside of a work situation, awkwardness ensues.....so when she left, everyone scrambled over to us.)

I'm glad we were able to see the eclipse. There were some public works employees on the bridge and they let me borrow their eclipse glasses to view the eclipse before totality. Several of our coworkers were luckily enough to have eclipse glasses too.

There should be another solar eclipse in 2024 which should go from CA to FL so I hope I can get some eclipse glasses for it! I wish it wasn't on a week day because I think an eclipse viewing party would be fun. Maybe I should make a note to take that day off in 2024.....LOL.....only 7 years away....that's quite a 'reminder' note.

Pattern: Dress Up Collection - The Fairy Tale Princess, #2 Snow White by Brooke's Books
Fabric: 28ct crystal mello Cashel opalescent 
Threads: recommended
Start: 8/10/2017

My start after finishing the Patriotic Picnic design was Snow White from Brooke's Books' Dress Up Collection. I have been stitching on it everyday and am 90% done with it. I am working on filling in the colored areas of the black skirt. After that I have her apron to stitch and the small bird on the right side and lastly add the embellished brooch and stitch her crown.

I hope I can finish this design by the end of August as I have several autumn/Halloween designs I would like to start.

I want to get her framed, but haven't decided on how and when. I wonder if I should wait until I have more of the series stitched up and have them framed at one time.....that way the framing style matches......hmmm.....

There are several other designs in the series that I would like to stitch up, but that evolves money for fabric so I will probably wait to stitch another design later this year or early next year because I'll need to stop by a needlework shop to look at fabrics.

Anywho, I hope you are enjoying your weekend. If you guys are in the TX area, be safe and use common sense!

Until next time ^___^