Sunday, November 20, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope you are enjoying your holiday weekend with family and friends before Turkey Day later on this week :)

I've taken the week off from work so I'm enjoying the weekend before doing housework tomorrow. I've been surfing the web for gift ideas for family and friends and reading a pile of books from the library.

Have a great Thanksgiving! Be safe everyone!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Inside Out and Back Again

While at the library this morning, I ran across this book in the children's section. I never limit myself to literature written only for adults as I find that children's books are a great way to relax and enjoy yourself.

Inside Out & Back Again is a brilliant book written in narrative poetry by Thanhha Lai. It tells the story of ten year old Hà and her experiences in 1975 with leaving Vietnam with her family, moving to America, and being sponsored by a family in Alabama.

This book, while sad and poignant at times, was a joy to read. Hà's experiences with learning to adjust to life in America are memorable from her trouble with English grammar and speech, 'Whoever invented English must have loved snakes,' to her mishaps in American culture by wearing a dress to school only to find out that it is actually a nightgown.

I found Mrs. Lai's book to be a wonderful use of narrative prose. Flowing from page to page, from war torn Vietnam to peaceful Alabama, telling a story that will surely resonant with many generations.

I definitely recommend this book. It can easily be read in less than an hour and is well worth the time.

Until next time ^___^

Friday, November 18, 2011

Plum Pudding Anyone?

Design: English Plum Pudding by JBW Designs
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Threads: DMC 520, 898, and blanc
Start/Finish: 11/16 & 18/2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

C'est Noel

Design: C'est Noel freebie by The Sampler Girl
Fabric: 28ct glass blue Monaco by Charles Craft
Threads: DMC blanc
Start/Finish: 11/13/2011

I stitched up this design late this afternoon and into the evening. I watched several movies while stitching it, part of Little Women, The Young Victoria, and part of The Princess and the Frog on TV. I put the finishing stitches on it while watching Once Upon A Time. I love Robert Carlyle as Rumpelstiltskin/Mr. Gold, don't you?

Until next time ^____^

Woodland Snowman

Design: Frosty in the Firs by Blue Ribbon Designs, JCS 2011
Fabric: 32ct lambswool Wichelt
Threads: DMC 310, 433, 500, 505, 815, 3820, and blanc
Start/Finish: 11/12-13/2011

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Snail mail surprises!

Hi, everyone! This week I've had an allergy cold courtesy of our lab Sam. I've finally gotten over it with the aid of meds and some rest. I went this morning to the library and the bookstore.

I came home to do some more loads of laundry. I answered the door this afternoon to find a large package from my friend in CA on the porch. I knew she was sending me a tin of cookies, but I wasn't expecting such a large box!

Here are the surprises via snail mail:

Unwrapped packages!

Closeup of autumn ribbon :) I'm keeping it to use for finishes in the future >__<

Unwrapped packages! *squeal* A tinful of cookies, which I transferred to a bowl so you could see them all, an Overwrap (very, very soft and warm!), and baking cups!

OMG! A set of baking cups with a caroling/sleighing bunny and mouse :)

A bowlful of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies!

Closeup of cookie goodness!

The cookies are AMAZING! They have pumpkin pie spice in them, which smells and tastes heavenly!

We tried an experiment with mailing the cookies. I thought maybe if you put an apple slice or two in the tin with the cookies they wouldn't get hard. My friend put two slices on top of the wax paper in the tin before sealing it up. Yes, it kept the cookies from getting hard, but it also soaked into the first layer of cookies! LOL Which wasn't bad, but quite funny. I think maybe the apple slices needed to be in a shallow dish or container so they wouldn't get into the cookies.

Despite all that, they are FANTASTIC! I'll have to steal the recipe :)

Thank you, darling, for the Thanksgiving package of goodies! I'm off to snuggle in the Overwrap, eat some cookies, and look through patterns to cross stitch :)

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

'Tis Red

Design: 'Tis Red by La-D-Da, JCS 2010
Fabric: 28ct glass blue Monaco by Charles Craft
Threads: DMC blanc
Start/Finish: 11/7-8/2011

Or rather 'tis white. I had some left over glass blue linen in my stash and thought it would be lovely for this design if I changed the color to white!

A coworker of mine said that it reminded her of a snowflake. I quite agree :)

I couldn't get a good photograph of the blue color of the linen, but I think you get the idea.

Until next time ^_____^

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Packages all in a row

Design: Merry and Bright by Country Cottage Needleworks, JCS 2011
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Wichelt
Threads: DMC 523, 3363, 3716, 3829, and blanc
Start/Finish: 11/6/2011

A start and finish for the day while listening to Peters' Guardian of the Horizon on a Playaway from the library. Now I'm off to eat an early dinner and do some reading before watching Once Upon A Time!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pastel Christmas

Design: Merry Christmas by Country Cottage Needleworks, JCS 2011
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Threads: DMC 434, 469, 470, 604, 964, 3031, and blanc
Start/Finish: 11/5/2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fallen Snow

Design: Fresh Fallen Snow by Little House Needleworks, JCS 2011
Fabric: 32ct lambswool Wichelt
Threads: DMC 3052 and 3865
Start/Finish: 11/3-4/2011

Hi, everyone! A few quick stitches this morning and I finished this design. Instead of stitching the snowflake in the upper left corner, I am going to put a snowflake button there. Any excuse to go to the Hobby Lobby store!

Until next time ^____^

Thursday, November 3, 2011

You paid how much?!

I love Victorian fashion and usually browse through eBay to see what books are out there on the subject. I ran across an auction for Fancy Dresses Described by Ardern Holt, a costume book from 1887.

While this book has some lovely illustrations, I wasn't going to bid on it, but I decided to watch to see how high the bid would go before closing.

Click here.

Do you know what a chromolithograph is? Anyone? Would I pay that much for a later edition of a book with 16 chromolithographs? No, and you want to know why? First of all, if you read the entry for this auction, there is NO description of the book's condition at all, only a few photos.

Second, as any good book nerd knows, you MUST research the book you want. See what else is out there! I found several copies of the book from the same publication year that were selling for anywhere from $20 and up. You can get a 'print on demand' reproduction of the book if you were looking to use the book as reference material or buy the real thing ranging from earlier editions, the 1887 editions, or later editions.

Third, a chromolithograph is NOT a lithograph. Yes, there is a lot of work involved in making chromolithographs, but the quality is not the same as an original handcolored lithograph. If you had showed me the same book in the first edition that was published using lithographs instead of chromolithographs, I might have been more interested. As it is, I'll take a reproduction copy for research instead.

Until next time ^_____^

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Love and Joy

Design: Love and Joy by JBW Designs, JCS 2011
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Wichelt linen
Threads: DMC 817, 3053, and 3362
Start/Finish: 11/2/2011

As some of my readers know, I love patterns from JBW Designs. This little cutie was in the Just Cross Stitch 2011 Christmas issue. I couldn't resist stitching it!

It also reminds me of the 1994 version of Little Women and their caroling of The Wassail Song:

"Here we come a-wassailing
Among the leaves so green,
Here we come a wand'ring,
So fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you,
And to your wassail too,
And God bless you and send you a happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year."

Until next time ^___^

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Design: Peace by Lizzie Kate, JCS 2003
Fabric: 28ct tea Monaco linen by Charles Craft
Threads: DMC 304, 310, 500, 3781, and 3820
Start/Finish: 11/1/2011

A small start and finish tonight while I was watching Ever After on DVD. It's one of my favorite fairy tale adaptations.

I need to find a silver charm for the middle of the design!~

Until next time ^____^

October Recap


1. Oriental Fairy Tales published by Hurst & Co. (circa 1892)
2. The Narrative of John Smith by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
3. Twilight graphic novel 2 illustrated by Young Kim
4. The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge
5. The Stepsister Scheme by Jim C. Hines

1. Blue China 'Fishermen' ornament by JSC 1992 Christmas issue
2. Blue China 'Pagoda' ornament by JSC 1992 Christmas issue
3. Lamppost ornament by JCS 1992 Christmas issue
4. Witchy Kitty by Brittercup Designs
5. Happy Broom Broom freebie by Stitches N Stones
6. Halloween Cats freebie by Kreinik

Halloween Night

A ghoulish pumpkin

Igor pumpkin

My mother and I carved our pumpkins on Sunday afternoon. It seems every store in town was sold out so I had to stop by a local produce stand to get some pumpkins. I carved the ghoulish pumpkin while my mother carved the Igor pumpkin. Igor is actually suppose to be Dracula, but she accidentally carved too much out of the pumpkin so she tried to make something else out of it. I say wicked cool for a mistake!

I used this type of kit to make paper lanterns the first year we celebrated Halloween. This year I went by Hobby Lobby and they were still selling this kit. It comes with 10 paper bags, a plastic stencil, and a cutting board. I stenciled and cut the lanterns last week while watching Halloween movies on TV.

We used them to line our driveway as we have several areas where roots from our old oak tree have come up and we didn't want any of the kids to fall and hurt themselves.

Overall we enjoyed ourselves last night. We had quite a crowd of kids for a Halloween Monday. We were running out of candy by 8pm and I ended up literally dumping the last of the candy (quite a lot of it) into a lucky kid's bag and claimed that they were the last trick-or-treater of the night. Off went the lights and we quickly took down all the spiderweb, lanterns, and lights and threw out the pumpkins.

My favorite costumes of the night were:

1) A family of four dressed as characters from the Wizard of Oz. Their little boy was the tin man, complete with silver face paint, oil can hat, and nose.

2) A teenage boy dressed up as a cheerleader. I say ROCK ON my friend! He has donned this costume every year and it always surprises me because I'm looking down to grab candy when he comes up and says 'Happy Halloween'.

3) A little boy dressed up as Alvin the Chipmunk. Very cute and adorable!

Until next time ^_____^