Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Recap

August Recap:

1. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
2. The Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clarke
3. The Rose Bride by Nancy Holder
4. The White Bride and the Black Bride, Tal #135 by the Brothers Grimm
5. Undead and Undermined by Maryjanice Davidson
6. The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind
7. The Hippopotamus Pool by Elizabeth Peters
8. Scarlett Moon by Debbie Viguie

1. Dans Mon Jardin by Jardin Prive
2. Pumpkins Everywhere by Prairie Schooler

1. Dans Mon Jardin 15-sided biscornu

I ♥ pumpkins

It's been one of those days where you're a grumbletonian, you don't want to be at work, and you just want to go back home and crash. And it's only Wednesday.....ugh. I guess it could be worse, it could be Monday!

Despite all that, I started a design from the JCS Halloween Collection book yesterday and finished it up this morning. I guess I would call it 'scrap cross stitching' since I used one of the linen scraps left over from my Dans Mon Jardin biscornu project.

As you guys know, my favorite season is the fall. I love the crisp mornings, the smell of fall in the air, and all the lovely things associated with the season like school supplies, leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows, Halloween, Thanksgiving....the list can go on and on. (Yes, I said school supplies...I'm a geek you know!) Somehow every year so far, my mother and I have been stuck with pumpkin carving duty before Halloween and this design seemed perfect as my first fall pattern to stitch.

Design: Pumpkins Everywhere by Prairie Schooler
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast
Threads: DMC 702 and 720
Start/Finish: 8/30-31/2011

I'm not sure how I plan on 'finishing' this design. I've seen some cute fall-themed photo frames at Hobby Lobby that might work if I don't think of another way to finish this design :)

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dans Mon Jardin biscornu

Design: Dans mon jardin by Jardin Prive
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast
Threads: DMC
Start/Finish: 8/14-19, 22-27/2011
Finished: as biscornu on 8/28/2011

I put the last whip stitches on this biscornu a little while ago. This was a fun design to stitch and try my hand at making a 15-sided biscornu. The only downside was the bumpiness of the design even though I trimmed the edges inside.

In other news, I had pre-ordered the JSC Halloween Collection book from Down Sunshine Lane last month and I received it in the mail on Friday. I was excited to get a book from JSC full of Halloween designs, but when I received it I was a little disappointed. The last section of the book is the 'best of the best' past Halloween ornaments from JSC magazine. I would have rather seen more new designs and left that whole section out. People who buy the Halloween magazine issues when they come out every year usually keep them for future use so I didn't see the point of the 'best of the best' section.

I was also disappointed in a lot of the larger designs. Maybe I'm just biased because I'm not a fan of designs on Aida or that involve a lot of backstitching as it makes the design look 'amateurish.' But that is just my opinion.

I will be stitching some of the designs from the book so no worries :)

Until next time ^____^

Small Batch Baking

Good evening! I slept in this morning and woke up to eat some breakfast, wash dishes, and try a recipe from a book I got from the library yesterday. I saw Small Batch Baking at the bookstore last week and I thought I'd see if my library had the book as the idea of making a small batch of cookies was a perfect solution to the usual three dozen cookies when you only want a few :)

The chocolate chip cookie recipe called for only the smallest amount of ingredients to make a batch of six cookies. I will say I love these chocolate chip cookies! I do recommend you going by your local library and looking for a copy of the book. Especially if you are the type of person who doesn't like a lot of fuss in the kitchen, who has a sweet tooth, or who has chocolate cravings every once in a while :)

The only thing I do not recommend about this book is the use of aluminum cans to make small cakes. Please do not use empty aluminum cans. No matter how clean you think they are or that it sounds like a great idea; they are not safe to use. You can buy some baking containers to make small cake that are quite inexpensive!

Otherwise, I give the book an 'A' so far!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, August 27, 2011

A finish!

Design: Dans mon jardin by Jardin Prive
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast
Threads: DMC
Start/Finish: 8/14-19, 22-27/2011

I had four squares to finish when I got home this morning from grocery shopping. I just finished up stitching the last squares while watching Persuasion and then Star Wars: A New Hope. The picture doesn't do the squares or fabric justice. Now I have to put it together, but I'm going to wait until tomorrow for that.

In other news, I stubbed my toe this morning.....OUCH! At least it didn't break, but it looks so sad with its purple bruise!

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

Exciting news, everyone! My friend Amanda, the young lady who makes me the wonderful beaded bracelets and other goodies, has started a blog. I'm so excited for her. I can't wait to see some of her creations on her website. She makes some gorgeous jewelry for her family and friends!

Here's the link to Crystal Panda's blog!

Good luck my friend!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Omen Machine

Good afternoon! I've neglected my stitching this weekend with the blame being entirely on the shoulder's of Terry Goodkind's newest novel The Omen Machine. I finished the last chapter a couple of minutes ago and let me tell you, I loved it. As you know I wasn't impressed with the author's other recent release, The Law of Nines, an alternative reality to the Sword of Truth series.

The Omen Machine, however, brings us back to lands of Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, after the war with the Imperial Order has ended. Now everyone is obsessed with prophecy and there are two new enemies striving to overthrow the House of Rahl, 'Bishop' Hannis Arc and Abbot Ludwig Dreier.

The only drawback for this book, there isn't one to follow for a while. It is definitely one of those books where you wish the author would rapidly put out the others for you to read. (sigh) All in all, I think Sword of Truth fans will love the new storyline.

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Oh, dear!

Hi, again! I woke up early this morning with the thought of stopping by the library. I had a book on hold and wanted to look out for some others to read. While standing at the computer, looking through the catalog, I overheard the saddest question imaginable.

A young girl, maybe high school or early college aged, asked the librarian at the reference desk the following question: 'What year did the 20th century start?'

I know some people probably would have burst out in a fit of laughter, but all I could do with bite my lip and frown. How can you go through school without knowing when a century starts? Anyone? Part of me was extremely sad that someone would ask that question, the other part extremely angry that the question was even asked at all since you would think it would be common knowledge.

I will give the librarian credit, she didn't laugh, she answered the question politely, but I wonder if she was asking herself the same thing, "How can you not know that?" and "Who didn't teach you this?"

I will say this, there are no 'stupid' questions out there. I'm glad someone answered her question. I really wish her teacher could have answered her question instead...

Until next time.


Hi, everyone! My friend Amanda sent me a package last week and it arrived on Monday. It contained some geeky freebies from her trip to Comic-con in San Diego and some lovely beaded bracelets and other goodies that she made me! Thank you, darling, you definitely know how to spoil me!

My friend scored a lot of loot at Comic-con. She knows how I love buttons and pins so she picked up some for me. My favorites are 'I Read Star Wars,' 'Clamp,' and Buffy the Vampire Slayer buttons. I first saw the Star Wars movies when they were re-released in theaters in the late 1990s (I saw clips of them as a kid, but never the whole films) and my obsession with all things Star Wars was born. I read the books throughout high school and undergrad. My favorites being the original trilogy, the Heir of the Empire trilogy, The Courtship of Princess Leia, and The Shadows of the Empire. So needless to say, the 'I Read Star Wars' button was PERFECT!!

You guys know that I am a Buffy geek so those buttons are awesome. One of my favorite manga series is Clamp's Cardcaptor Sakura so go me, I got a Clamp button ^___^ She also scored some stickers, postcards, a Steampunk Hatter catalog, and a Breaking Dawn film magnet.

She wrote of her 'travels' at Comic-con in a neat little newsletter of each days' events. I loved reading about what panels she went to and who she met. (She got to meet the Mythbusters! How fun!)

Also included in the package were some lovely handmade bracelets, a zipper brooch, and scissors fob. (She's so talented!)

Purple zipper rose brooch

I actually wore this brooch the next day to work. I got a lot of compliments on it as it is an unique idea for a brooch. Love it!

Blue and pink beaded bracelet

My friend thinks that these designs are 'simple'....I would be afraid to see what she thinks is complicated! I don't know how she can see straight after working with seed beads like this. Isn't it a lovely bracelet?

Blue seed bead and faux pearl 'double helix' bracelet

Another lovely creation from my friend. I love the shape of this bracelet :)

Butterfly scissors fob

I asked her if she could make me a beaded scissors fob after seeing some of her creations on facebook. I desperately needed something to help me stop losing my scissors to the 'couch monster' and look what she made me! A trio of butterflies and a tiny bell charm topped off by a star bead. AWESOME! As you can see, the fob is currently attached to my scissors ^__^

Purple flower extender

Do you remember the beaded bracelet that I received from Amanda a while ago? It was a perfect fit, but as it was snug against my wrist, I was afraid that it might get snagged on something so I asked her if she could extend it somehow and look what she did with it! That flower extender is beautiful. Could you imagine a ribbon bracelet with a few of these beauties along it?! It would be gorgeous.

A big THANK YOU and a virtual 'hug' to my friend Amanda for all the great goodies! You a beautiful, talented young lady :)

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dans mon jardin

Design: Dans mon jardin by Jardin Prive
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast
Threads: DMC
Start: 8/14/2011

A small start this afternoon while watching episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and waiting to put another load of laundry in the washer!

I won't be stitching on this one anymore today. My eyes need a rest from 32ct linen. I've been working on 28ct linen so long, I've forgotten how small the stitches are on 32ct. I really don't know how some of you ladies and gents work on higher count threads than that! Egads!

Until next time ^____^

A little jaunt

Hi, everyone :) My family and I took a trip to New Orleans yesterday to NOMA to see their Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection exhibition. It was beautiful. Two of my favorite pins from the exhibition were the zebra pin that she wore on her visits to Nelson Mandela. It is made to wear sitting on your shoulder. The other pin was an antique eagle pin from the mid-1800s that she wore to her inauguration.

New Orleans Museum of Art

Afterwards, we went down to Magazine Street to antique and have lunch. We ended up going to Joey K's Restaurant & Bar because it was in one of the city brochures that we had and it said it had been featured on the Food Network. I wasn't impressed; I would have hoped for more traditional Louisiana foodstuffs on the menu.


We made our usual trip to Sucré, New Orleans confectionery shop for macaroons and dessert.

All Things NOLA sundae!

C3 sundae with caramel cookies!

Tiffany dessert

I chose the Tiffany dessert, it is a dark chocolate mousse with a raspberry center and topped with a raspberry and miniature strawberry macaroon. I loved the beautiful deep purple color of the dessert and the edible glitter on top. It was delicious!

I ended up buying some caramel cookies and a small box of macaroons before leaving :)

On our way back to Mobile, we stopped in Biloxi to go to the Beau Rivage casino. I always bring $20 and that's it. I didn't win (no surprise!), but it was fun.

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Hi, everyone! I took the day off yesterday to run some errands like stopping by the post office (embroidery magazines from Australia) and getting an oil change. My sister got out of work early and we went to the theaters to see The Help. My sister had read the book when it had first come out, while I didn't read it until just recently when the movie release was being announced.

Our theater wasn't packed with people going to the movies since it was a one o'clock showing, but I was surprised by the people who did attend. We had maybe 30-40 people, majority adults in their 50s and up. My sister and I were amazed to see so many people in their 70s+ at the theater. We counted maybe 5 people in their 20s and one African-American couple. I shouldn't have been surprised at all really because those age groups would have gone through the Civil Rights time period. Having read the book or not, they would have been interested to see how it was portrayed on the screen.

Was the movie a faithful portrayal of the book? I would say yes. There were a few changes and definitely some scenes from the book that I would have liked to have seen in the film, but overall is was fantastic. Congratulations to the leading ladies for their stellar performances.

Until next time ^___^

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shooting star

This morning I was coming home from taking my sister to work. The moon was setting in the sky, which wasn't unusual, but for its color, a beautiful deep amber. While passing the campus, I catch a shooting star. My first actually aside from meteor showers. I gasped and giggled like a child.

What a lovely morning!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bread and jam

A picture of the cranberry-orange loaf that I made yesterday. I cut a slice off this morning. Sweet and tart at the same time. I used dried cranberries since fresh cranberries aren't in season. I'm not sure how I feel about this one, I'll have to test it on my family :P

8 ounce jars of mixed berry jelly. For my first time making jelly, it was a bit hectic and quite messy! The jelly came out very, very sweet. My sister and I both agreed that it almost needs something to cut the sweetness. Now that it is completely cooled and refrigerated, we will have to try it on some toast :) The recipe says that it makes six 8oz jars of jelly when in fact it makes 8-1/2 jars. I put the jelly in four small jars (like the ones pictured) and 2 large pint jars.

I think I will look out for a smaller batch recipe next time. Maybe strawberry! Yum ;)

Amanda, thank you for the comment on my previous post. To answer your question, I have the following brooches:

As of right now, I have 47 brooches total. Nine of those brooches are older C-clasp brooches, with three of the C-clasp brooches being Victorian in date. I have two real brooches in my collection, one is an Edwardian cameo in 12kt gold and an onyx and marcasite cameo brooch. Fourteen of those brooches are Kirks Folly. I also have three brooches that I have made from buttons or charms.

I also have just as many Christmas brooches, maybe 20 or so. I really didn't feel like digging them out to count them all. I don't consider them 'mine' because my mother and I swap them out during the holidays to wear to work.

Until next time ^___^

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Hi! My family and I went to Pensacola yesterday to the annual Looking Glass Show at the fairgrounds. I came away with several non-glass goodies and my mother bought a beautiful pale blue Fire King glass roaster.

A lovely green flower filigree brooch. I will have to wear some light colored sweaters or shirts to wear this brooch to work as I usually wear grays, blues, or blacks. I love the delicate look to this brooch and it isn't overpowering in the size either.

Your basic heart shaped brooch. I don't think I have any heart shaped brooches in my collection so I picked this one up at the show. It is perfect as an everyday brooch or something simple to wear on Valentine's Day. It has a fun shape to as well :)

A maple leaf brooch to add to my Fall themed brooches and it is also an older one with a C-clasp on the back, which I love to collect as well.

My last purchase of the day. One of the booths at the show had a majority of glassware, but also a small section devoted to kitchen gadgets. I picked up this tomato slicer made by Tomado in Holland, a company in the 1950s. I can't wait to use this little gadget as my family loves tomatoes!

This morning I have been baking. We stopped by Barnes and Noble yesterday and I purchased a BH&G magazine on fall baking! I am trying their cranberry-orange loaf recipe this morning.

I am also going to try my hand at making a mixed berry jelly recipe that I found in one my sister's old issues of Rachael Ray's magazine. Wish me luck!

Until next time ^____^

Monday, August 1, 2011

Off to see the wizard....

Design: The Wizard of Oz by Shiny Room Designs
Fabric: 28ct tea Monaco linen by Charles Craft
Threads: DMC
Start/Finish: 7/24 & 31/2011

Hi, everyone! I finished up this biscornu last night. I made some changes to the design. I didn't care much for the castles on the front of the biscornu or the cat characters on the back of the biscornu so I decided not to stitch them. I still like the design as it is with the characters by themselves and the Wizard of Oz title on the back. I added ruby-colored buttons to the center.

In other news, our computer has a crazy virus so I'm posting now using my laptop. Hopefully, we can get the computer up and running soon!

Also, I received some patterns in the mail today from Down Sunshine Lane. I ordered two of JBW's new designs and two patterns from Jardin Prive. I can't wait to start on some of them :)

Until next time ^____^

July Recap

July Recap:

1. The Last Camel Died at Noon by Elizabeth Peters
2. A Dog of Flanders by Louisa de la Rame
3. The Aeneid by Virgil
4. Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin
5. Spice and Wolf, novel 3 by Isuna Hasekura
6. Spice and Wolf, novel 4 by Isuna Hasekura
7. Randolph Caldecott's Picture Books edited by Huntington Library, CA
8. A Jane Austen Education by William Deresiewicz
9. The Magician's Ward by Patricia C. Wrede
10. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
11. A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn
12. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
13. The Snake, the Crocodile, and the Dog by Elizabeth Peters
14. The Night Dance by Suzanne Weyn

1. A Little Witch by Shiny Room Designs
2. The Wizard of Oz by Shiny Room Designs

1. A Little Witch biscornu
2. Wizard of Oz biscornu

1. Vampire-themed brooch
2. Lolita-themed brooch