Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

I hope you leap into the New Year, the Year of the Rabbit. Good luck to you!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Anime Christmas 2010

Hi, everyone. I spent the evening with friends exchanging gifts and watching The Sorcerer's Apprentice.

Every year I get the same three basic items that make up the start of a gift bag for each friend: a bento box, a manga volume, and a cell phone charm. I then add some small gifts to the overall Christmas bag.

This year I saw these lovely bento drawstring bags on eBay so I bought those instead of bento boxes. Each bag had a different fruit design: apples, bananas, or grapes. The small gifts added to each bag were a ceramic rice bowl decorated with flowers, a cherry blossom metal bookmark, a 'tiniest in the world' puzzle kit, various candy such as Pocky, lucky stars, gummies, rice candy, and Yan-Yans.

I put alot of the candy in a gingerbread box. Aren't they cute? I found those boxes at Target in their dollar section. I really should have bought more of them for next year!!

I added two special gifts to my friend Kristina's bag: the photo-ornament with the Christmas Bells that I had stitched earlier in the month and a daily planner from Taiwan featuring one of her favorite bands, Fahrenheit.

I received some nice gifts from my friends including The Twelve Dancing Princesses by Kinuko Y. Craft, one of my favorite children's illustrators. I loved that fairy tale as a child. I also received two brooches (to add to my growing stash!), purple ear buds (they match my iPod), stationery, a candle decorated with my favorite anime characters, scented hand sanitizer, and a bag of Dove chocolates (yummy!).

Thanks to my friends for such a fun evening!

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Where my cross stitch lives, part 2

My friend in New Zealand received her package last week, just in time for the holidays. Here are pictures of the cross stitch goodies that went to go live with her.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sunday stitching

Design: Rose in the Morning by Little House Needleworks
Threads: Recommended Crescent Colours
Fabric: 32ct waterlily Jobelan
Start: 10/02/2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a lovely Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve bread

Good afternoon! I hope you are enjoying the day with your family and friends. I decided to make some chocolate chip pumpkin bread this morning. The recipe actually makes two loaves so I shared a loaf with my aunt's family.

Have a great holiday tomorrow!

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Happy Winter Solstice!

Good morning! I hope you are enjoying your Winter Solstice, the first day of winter. Did you get a chance to view the lunar eclipse early this morning? I set my alarm last night so I could get up and view it for a while. It was a beautiful, clear night to view the eclipse. That is one good thing about living outside the city, you have a nice view of the stars if the weather permits.

In other news, I received a Christmas package from my dear friend in CA yesterday. Here is a picture of the contents of the box!

These lovely wrapped packages contained a lot of goodies. UK cross stitch magazines, a DMC travel kit, sweets from Taiwan, a 'Twilight Woods' lotion set from B&B Works, along with a lot of other fun stuff! I think the best part of the package were the letters and the Merry Christmas bunny card from Taiwan as I always love to hear from my friend ;)

I love how my friend wrapped everything and the 'love' box is adorable! Definitely a keeper as I have several boxes like this that hold my letters/cards from family and friends from over the years.

THANK YOU my dear friend! I loved everything.

Wishing you a Happy Winter Solstice! Until next time ^____^

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Design: Christmas tree and Christmas Bells by Heritage Series (JCS 1989)
Threads: DMC
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart and 28ct Quaker Rue Green
Finished as ornaments: 12-19-2010

Merry Christmas

Design: Merry Christmas by Glory Bee
Threads: DMC Alternatives 225, 347, 500, and 814
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Start/Finish: 12-19-2010

December 25

Design: Dec 25 by Lizzie Kate (JCS 2010)
Threads: DMC white, 699, 907, and 3688
Fabric: 28ct phoenix Cashel
Start/Finish: 12-19-2010

International goodies, anyone?

Hi! My family and I decided to take a trip across the bay yesterday afternoon to do some shopping at the Eastern Shore Centre. I had two stores that I wanted to go browse, the World Market and Barnes and Noble.

I couldn't resist the international food section at the World Market and came away with a load of British and German chocolate and other goodies! I also purchased some chocolate biscuits! Yummy! My only qualm was the price.....$5 for biscuits when they would have cost maybe 80 cents in the UK. (sigh) Despite my grumbling, I still purchased everything since they were my favorites in England O_o"

Don't you love the artist's palette tin?

Next I wandered the stacks of Barnes and Noble while waiting for my mother and aunt to finish shopping in Belks. I miss our Barnes and Noble store; it closed due to a landowner's dispute about higher rent. While my aunt was at the counter buying her knitting magazines, the cashier was telling her that the company was looking out for another place in Mobile to put a store!! I hope it comes to pass. The bookstore's selection is so much better than the other bookstore in town!!

Keeping my fingers crossed!

Until next time ^____^

Christmas Adventures in Historic Mobile

Good morning! Hopefully, you have all your Christmas shopping completed and you are enjoying a warm and cozy morning.

I thought I'd share some pictures of historic mansions in downtown Mobile that my friends and I visited on December 5. Every year several of the historic mansions host a Christmas 'open house' where you can visit the house, sample various foods and tea, and be entertained with events such as classical music, storytelling, and carriage rides.

Our first stop was the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion, a gorgeous example of Greek Revival architecture on Springhill Avenue in midtown Mobile. The mansion was built by Judge John Bragg in 1855 as a second residence for his family during the holidays while the rest of the year would have been spent at his other residence in Montgomery. Since Judge Bragg's death in 1878, the mansion has been owned by four families, the last being the Mitchell family. They renovated the mansion and it was open to the public in 1987.

As part of the Christmas experience at the Bragg-Mitchell, the inside of mansion was decorated with lovely Christmas trees and other decorations for the season. For entertainment, there was a harpist playing in the parlor and a chance to enjoy a carriage ride outside.

Bragg-Mitchell - Christmas tree

Bragg-Mitchell - carriage ride

It was a cold, windy day, but that didn't stop my friends and I from enjoying a carriage ride around the mansion. Anticipating the cold weather, the carriage had blankets for the ride. Isn't the horse lovely?

Our next stop was the Richards DAR (Daughters of the Revolution) House, a beautiful example of Italianate architecture and lace ironwork. The house is located on N. Joachim Street. It was built in 1860 by Charles Richards, a steamboat captain. The house was sold to the Ideal Cement Company in 1946 and later to the city of Mobile in 1973. The Daughters of the Revolution leased the house from the city eventually turning it into a period house museum.

The house was decorated for the holidays with several trees and decorations. Docents were scattered throughout the various rooms of the house, speaking about the history of the house and rooms.

DAR House - close-up of Christmas tree decorations

DAR House - DAR symbol stained glass window

Two of the Azalea trail maids were in attendance at the DAR House. The girls who are chosen from the local high schools serve as ambassadors to Mobile for a year. They attend events throughout Mobile and know quite a bit about the history of the city. Their dresses are gorgeous, but cost a small fortune to make!

DAR House - blue Azalea trail maid

DAR House - yellow Azalea trail maid

DAR House - 150 year old crape myrtle, which can be seen from the second story of the house!

The last mansion we toured that day was the Oakleigh Mansion and complex on Oakleigh Place in midtown Mobile. It is another example of Greek Revival architecture that was built around 1833 by James Roper, who made his fortune in cotton. The complex consists of three buildings, the Oakleigh mansion, the Cox-Deasy house, and the cook's quarters.

The Oakleigh complex houses a large collection of historical artifacts, paintings, and furniture that has been donated or loaned to the complex to education the public on life during the antebellum period. With the three residences that make up the Oakleigh complex, you are given a unique look into three aspects of daily life: upper class, middle class, and servants.

While the other two mansions were 'open houses' where you could wander throughout the residence, Oakleigh provided you with a historic tour of the complex by one of the Oakleigh Belles dressed in period costume. These girls are chosen every year from the local high schools. They are instructed in historical preservation and act as docents for Oakleigh.

On the way to Oakleigh, my friends and I spotted a coffee shop called Creme and Sugar on George St. After visiting our tour at Oakleigh, we decided to walk to the shop. While my friends enjoyed hot chocolate, I bought a frozen drink called the Peanut Butter Conspiracy. A heavenly mixture of mocha, peanut butter, and your choice of vanilla or chocolate ice cream. Talk about a cup of bliss! The only bad thing about the drink was the size, it was huge and could have easily been split between my friends and I. Unfornuately, I couldn't share the was too good O_o" (I'll have to share next time!)

Hope this post inspires you to visit some of Mobile's finest period house museums! Or at least partake in a lovely cup of coffee at the Creme and Sugar.

Until next time ^___^

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blackwork Flower

Design: Blackwork Flower by Mary Hickmott Designs
Threads: DMC 310
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Start/Finish: 12-17-2010

Hi! I hope you are enjoying the start of the weekend! After receiving the blackwork embroidery pattern from my friend in NZ, I knew I wanted to start one of the flowers this week. I started this flower this morning and finished it a short while ago.

I have to say with my first attempt at blackwork embroidery that I love it! Who would have thought that such a simple technique would be so charming?!

Until next time ^____^

P.S. A BIG thanks to my friend in NZ for this set of blackwork patterns! I love learning new techniques!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Tree #2

Design: Christmas tree by Heritage Series (JCS 1989)
Threads: DMC 666, 700, and 973
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Start/Finish: 12-16-2010

Hi! I hope you're having a great week so far! I stitched these ornaments earlier in November as Christmas gifts for friends. I stitched the Christmas Bells and Christmas tree again this week for my mother who thought the ornaments were lovely and wanted a set for herself. I plan on putting them in picture ornaments this weekend.

By the way, a BIG thank you to the people who have commented on my stitching!! It means a lot to me!

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Silver Bells

Design: Christmas Bells by Heritage Series (JCS 1989)
Thread: DMC 727 and 762
Fabric: 28ct Quaker Rue Green
Started/Finished: 12/15/2010

Let It Snow

Design: Let It Snow by Country Cottage Needleworks (JCS 2008)
Thread: DMC 469, 869, 926, 3031, and B5200
Fabric: 28ct Quaker Rue Green
Started/Finished: 12/12-15/2010

Monday, December 13, 2010

Where my cross stitch lives, part 1

My friend in CA received her package today. Here is a picture of the cross stitch goodies that went to go live with her ;)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Let It Snow

Design: Let It Snow by Country Cottage Needleworks (JCS 2008)
Thread: DMC 469, 869, 926, 3031, and B5200
Fabric: 28ct Quaker Rue Green
Started: 12/12/2010

Gifts from far away

Good afternoon! With a week of cold weather, it was nice to come home to a multitude of packages, most of them being gifts ordered online, but two packages came from friends in California and New Zealand.

My dear friend in California sent me a package of goodies from Taiwan. Her mother went on a trip to Taiwan in November to visit her family and friends and bought me some yummy dried fruit, rice balls, and pineapple pastries. My friend asked me if there was anything that I especially wanted from Taiwan and I asked for stationery with bunnies on it so her mother bought me two sets of note paper featuring bunnies, good luck bunny stickers, and two gorgeous Christmas cards!!

I received the package on Monday. Here is a picture of all the goodies from Taiwan. The pineapple pastries were sinful!! I brought alot of the goodies to work with me so a co-worker and I could taste test everything ;)

On Wednesday, I received a Christmas package from my friend in New Zealand, which was full of 'kiwi' gifts!! She sent me a very large bar of Whittaker's kiwi fruit chocolate, a wooden box with a New Zealand ram containing a small silver charm of a NZ fern, a miniature book of friendship sayings, a collection of stationery, a penguin ruler, a kiwi bird replica (very cute! I plan on putting it on one of my bookshelves with my other knick-knacks!), and two lovely cross-stitch penguin designs.

Here is a close-up picture of the two penguin designs that she stitched for me on Aida cloth. Aren't they cute?!

I forgot to take a picture of the cross stitch pattern that she sent me! It is by Mary Hickmott Designs and is called Blackwork Flowers. I've never tried blackwork embroidery before so I can't wait to start one of these flowers in the near future!

Yesterday, I stopped by the post office and sent out my two Christmas packages to California and New Zealand. I am keeping my fingers crossed that the package to New Zealand arrives in time for Christmas!

Until next time ^____^

Friday, December 10, 2010

Star Pinkeep

Design: French Country Star by JBW Designs, JCS 2010
Thread: DMC B5200
Fabric: 28ct Misty Blue
Finished as pinkeep: 12/9/2010