Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Nutcracker Ballet

On Saturday, my friends and I went to see The Nutcracker ballet performed by the Mobile Ballet Company. It was beautiful performance with the added talents of two dancers from the New York City Ballet.

My friend Bonnie had bought a new camera and macro lenses on Black Friday and she got the chance to use it during the second half of the ballet. I asked her if I could share some of her photos on my blog! I'm so glad she said yes because she got some beautiful shots of the dancers.

This is a shot of Clara and the Nutcracker watching the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier dancing. During these scenes, Clara and the Nutcracker are given a 'tour' of the Kingdom of Sweets with each kingdom showing their native dances.

A beautiful shot of the two guest dancers as the lead characters of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.

A fun interpretation of the Chinese 'tea cup' dance! I love the chopsticks in the dancers' hair.

Always popular with the audience is the Russians dance scene. The height on this jump is amazing!

Clara dancing with the kingdom's flowers.

The last couple of minutes of the ballet with all the kingdoms doing a dance for the Nutcracker and Clara before Clara falls 'asleep' and awakens in her world.

Overall, it was a gorgeous ballet! I'm hoping to persuade my friends to come with me in March to see Corey's new original ballet, Snow White. You know me and my love of fairy tales!

Thank you Bonnie for allowing me to show off your photography skills!

Until next time ^______^

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Yumminess That Glitters!

Lovely, soft pastel colors in an assortment of yummy cakes, cookies, and ice creams!

I'm having fun with Japanese clays this month! The texture of the clays are silky and soft and a joy to work with for sure. I'm in love with the colors and the ability to accent the charms with clay hearts, whip cream dollops, and berries and glittery rhinestones.

I've got to put some varnish on these charms later on before adding them to my Etsy shop.

Until next time ^____^

Winter Wonderland

Design: It's a Kawaii Winter Wonderland by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
Fabric: 28ct tea Monaco by Charles Craft
Threads: DMC
Start: November 2012

This is my progress so far on the Winter Wonderland series from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. It's definitely a work in progress, but I'm hoping to finish it this month if nothing else in terms of cross stitch!

Until next time ^____^

Friday, November 30, 2012

November Recap


1. She by Henry Rider Haggard
2. Ayesha: The Return of She by Henry Rider Haggard
3. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
4. Book Girl and the Wayfarer's Lamentation by Mizuki Nomura

1-3. Kokeshi dolls
4. Happy Holidays by LHN

1. Kokeshi doll scissor fobs
2. Egg tart earrings
3. Sailor Moon origami stars ornament
4. Kawaii Christmas tree feltie ornament

It's been a busy month with a few crafting projects and a whole lot of the month taken up with reading Hugo's unabridged version of Les Miserables.

I've been working on the Kawaii Winterland pattern, but I'm far behind on it as all four weeks worth of patterns have been released and I've only finished the first row this week! I blame house renovations and many nights reading Hugo's tome!

Until next time ^_____^

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Happy Holidays

Pattern: Happy Holidays by Country Cottage Needleworks, JSC Christmas 2012
Fabric: 28ct Antique White linen by M.C.G. Textiles
Threads: recommended DMC
Start/Finish: 11/12-17/2012

I'm sure some of my readers were wondering where I had wandered off to. As I mentioned before, my family and I are renovating our house so I spent last week helping my mother paint our living room. Our house was built in the late 70s so we have wood paneling and a popcorn ceiling. Which means lots of work! We painted the ceiling and washed the paneling before priming it for paint. We will probably start painting next weekend.

After for carpeting!! Then on to other areas of house that need work. Definitely a work in progress, but one that is well worth the time :)

With all of that, my stitching time has been limited to after I come home from work during the week and after we are done working on the weekends.

I've got a few more designs to stitch for Christmas. I'm flipping through my back issues of JCS and other magazines to see what catches my eye.

Until next time ^____^

Fun with Felt

Please excuse the horrible photo!

While I was at Michael's this month, I saw a fun kit for making a felt cell phone case! I couldn't resist buying it as I had a great coupon, which made the kit only $3. Isn't it cute? One advantage to these felt kits is that they are perfect for kids who want to learn how to sew by hand or create something using felt. The kit comes with instructions on how to backstitch and blanket stitch.

Definitely check out Michael's selection of felt kits! Well worth the investment and it gives your child an hour or so of fun creating something!

Until next time ^___^

Kokeshi Dolls

Pattern: Japanese Kokeshi Dolls by Soda Stitch
Fabric: 32ct Cream Belfast Zweigart
Threads: DMC
Start/Finish: 11/5-9/2012

Friday, November 2, 2012

Halloween packages

I received a Halloween package from sunny CA courtesy of my friend Amanda! How fun that is arrived on Halloween?!

She sent me a lot of cute items for my Halloween display next year! A lovely woven basket full of amigurgumi plushies and candy, a very soft black cat pillow and a folder full of paper crafts and a sheet of stickers!

First up, an adorable white pumpkin amigurumi charm. Don't you just love the little purple spider on top!? Cute!

Secondly, a tiny ghost amigurumi. He's ready for the cool autumn weather with a little red scarf :)

Third, a black cat amigurumi. There is a name for this type of cat, but for the life of me, I can't remember. Usually Japanese women make them for their loved ones out of fabric scraps......if I remember the name, I will let you know :)

Candy, anyone? She included a bag full of macadamia nut Hershey kisses and green tea Kit Kats! (Can't wait to try them!) Also two small bottles of bubbles! As you can see I actually opened one of the bottles. Our cat Bella was not enthused by the bubbles, she promptly left the room!

Thank you for such a wonderful package of goodies for Halloween, especially since I know how busy you are at the moment!

In other news, I've put the Horn of Plenty aside for the moment as the month of November has officially started which means Christmas stitching!

Also, I sent two packages out to my friends Amanda and Constance. Please see Amanda's blog for all the contents of that package as I didn't have time to photograph it. Constance's package finally arrived in Canada on Halloween (fun times). Luckily, the cookies that I had baked for it were still good. I wish I had taken pictures, but yet again, I was terribly busy.

In her package, I included the JBW Black Cat pinkeep, the Halloween and Christmas JSC magazines, B&BW lotions and hand sanitizers, lots of candy and goodies, and a tin full of cookies! I'm probably forgetting something, but that's ok. I'll try to be better about taking photos of my Christmas packages to them :)

Until next time ^____^

Thursday, November 1, 2012

October Recap


1. The Candy Country by Louisa May Alcott
2. How They Ran Away by Louisa May Alcott
3. The Treasure of the Lake by Henry Rider Haggard
4. Allan and the Ice-Gods by Henry Rider Haggard
5. Learning to Bow: Inside the Heart of Japan by Bruce Feiler
6. God Save the Queen by Kate Locke
7. Cleopatra by Henry Rider Haggard
8. Undead and Unstable by Maryjanice Davidson

1. Black cat amigurumi

1. Started Horn of Plenty design


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Baking! Yum!

This morning I woke up to do some baking for my coworkers tomorrow. I realize that Halloween isn't until Wednesday, but I didn't want to stay up late on Tuesday night baking so I thought it would be nice to have some early Halloween goodies on a Monday morning :)

I baked caramel apple cupcakes and chocolate and peanut butter chip cookies. I decided to make two items as I knew that the cupcake recipe did not make a lot of cupcakes....and I have quite a handful of people in the offices to feed!

Yummy, right!?! I boxed up the cookies and put the rest in my bunny bento box while all the cupcakes are in my cupcake carrier.

Until next time ^____^

Fandom Con 2012

Yesterday, my friend Kristina and I drove over to Pensacola to the Univ. of West Florida for their annual Fandom Convention, which is a sci-fi/anime convention.

I've never been to the Univ. of West Florida's campus. I will say it is quite lovely and spacious!

As usual, Kristina and I always have some sort of adventure driving somewhere beyond our own city. It never fails. So we were going along great until we got to the merge on was only suppose to be 2.4 miles down the road we were driving on, but we never saw the sign. Luckily, we stopped at a gas station for directions and she said to take the road behind the gas station (somewhat like a service road) and we would run right into that street!

Thanks goodness for friendly directions! We got where we needed to go and both agreed that a hurricane must have blown away the sign post for US-90!

It took about 40 minutes or so to go through registration. They need to take a cue from Mechacon's registration process, very quick and effective.

We made it just in time to go to one panel that we both wanted to see, the Outer Senshi/Scouts appreciation panel. It was quite fun and a bit weird to be in a uni classroom having a panel on anime-related material!

Here's the picture I took of the panelists including two audience members who were also dressed as SM characters, Sailor Uranus and Tuxedo Mask.

After the panel, Kristina and I wandered the dealers' room and the artists' alley before leaving for some lunch and coming back for a little bit more.

When we came back after lunch I saw this cute couple dressed up as Alice and the Mad Hatter and couldn't resist asking for a picture. I love her super cute White Rabbit doll!!!! It reminds me of a larger one that I saw in a Gothic/Lolita magazine a while ago :)

I wasn't impressed with the artists' alley, I think Mechacon has spoiled me on artists' alley. There weren't a lot of vendors and they were sadly crammed into a tiny room by the dealers' room.

Here's my haul!

From dealers' room:
1) An insanely kawaii neko plushie!
2) Cherry blossom chopsticks and some Japanese candy

From artists' alley:
1) A chocolate pudding flan plushie!
2) A British heart button for my Kindle :)

Overall, we had quite a fun time. Afterwards, we drove back to Spanish Fort to check out the World Market since Kristina had never been there. She bought some nice goodies while I picked up a pair of beginners' chopsticks and a box of mincemeat pies for Christmas.

Then we drove over to Barnes and Noble to check out their selection of craft in an accident with a fellow car. I won't go in depth, but it was their fault not ours as I was opening my car door when they sped into the parking space beside us.

Otherwise, a good day! I think we might have to do this again next year! Hopefully with no accidents and warmer weather!!!

Until next time ^_____^

1st Modes4u Package!

Earlier this month I decided to order some items from Modes4u, a super cute website that sells all sorts of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese merchandise from stationery, fabrics, bento boxes, and DIY clay sets.

You know I was eyeing the DIY clay sets, right? LOL Here is what I ordered from them!

A fuwa fuwa clay set with two molds for cookies, cakes, and ice creams that also includes eye pins, keychains, glue, and four pastel colors of glittery clay. For the clay molds, I also ordered mold oil, charm varnish, white clay whipped cream, and an utilty box to keep my clays from drying out.

If you spent over a certain amount, you get free I added something not clay related, a cute Hansel and Gretel keychain for my car keys. My Fruits Basket Kyo one finally fell apart after years of use; LOL it was definitely time for a new one :)

As a freebie, they sent me a roll of deco tape featuring Monokuro Boo, a cute little piggie!

I can't wait to play with these clays! But it might not be until sometime next month as we are in the midst of renovating our house. During the first week of November, I will be helping my mother and aunt paint the living room...........a huge task, but it will be nice to have a painted living room instead of wood paneling from the 70s!

Until next time ^______^

Red hibiscus

The red hibiscus decided to finally bloom! It might be the only bloom on the plant, but it was worth the wait :)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Horn of Plenty

Design: Horn of Plenty by Sharon Pope, JCS Sept/Oct 2012
Fabric: 28ct doubloon Cashel
Threads: Recommended DMC
Start: 10/2/2012

My aunt wanted me to stitch up this design from one of the JCS magazines that caught her eye in September. It's slow stitching for sure! There are a lot of color changes throughout so I'll be working on this design for a while.

There are so many symbols in the chart that I'm doing something I've never done before, highlighting my chart after I stitch an area. Without that I would be completely lost!

In other news, I've joined Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's It's a Kawaii Winter Wonderland weekly stitching pattern. Until early November, the pattern is only $10 for 25 small designs! You get 5 patterns each week of November to make a cute sampler. Definitely worth the price. I loved the pattern that Carla at CC's Stitching Diary has been working on with monthly kawaii desserts/sweets that I knew I wanted to sign up for FPS' new design series.

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, October 20, 2012

White hibiscus

My mother has planted some hibiscus flowers on the front porch! They are huge when they bloom....about the size of a plate!

Until next time ^____^

Autumn/Halloween display

I finally got around to putting up my autumn display in our living room. It's been a busy past month at work and on the weekends trying to get finished with autumn gifts, etc.

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Halloween kitty

Pattern: Good Luck Neko by Nimoe - made to be a black cat
Hook: size G
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party Black Sparkle
Notions: 3/8" orange glitter ribbon
Start/Finish: 10/7/2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Black Cat Pinkeep

Design: Black Cat Alphabet by JBW Designs, JCS Halloween 2012
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Antique White Zweigart and moon/stars cotton backing fabric
Threads: DMC 310
Notions: 3/4" double frill velvet ribbon and white pearlized pins
Finished as pinkeep: 10/6/2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

September Recap


1. She and Allan by Henry Rider Haggard
2. Five Weeks in a Balloon by Jules Verne
3. Magepa the Buck by Henry Rider Haggard
4. The Ancient Allan by Henry Rider Haggard
5. He Shall Thunder in the Sky by Elizabeth Peters
6. Heu-Heu by Henry Rider Haggard
7. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
8. Lizzie Newton graphic novel #1 by Hey-Jin Jeon

1. Black Cat Alphabet by JBW Designs

1. Heart amigurumi
2. Green kitty amigurumi keychain
3. Beary Love amigurumi keychain
4. Pink octopus amigurumi
5. Green octopus amigurumi

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Black Cat

Design: Black Cat Alphabet by JBW Designs, JCS Halloween 2012
Fabric: 28ct Cashel Antique White Zweigart
Threads: DMC 310
Start/Finish: 9/29/2012

A cute little kitty finish this evening after eating dinner and while watching football. No, I'm not a football fan, but at least it gives me a chance to spend some time with my family instead of stitching alone.

I'm thinking of finishing this design as a pinkeep.

Until next time ^____^

Moon Festival

Late this week, I was surprised to receive an email from the post office informing me that I was expecting a package in the mail from my friend Amanda. At first, I thought maybe it was an early Halloween package, but it was something even better, a Mid-Autumn Festival or Moon Festival package.

It is traditional to eat mooncakes on this day so Amanda and her mother included one in the package for my family and I to try. Amanda made me a little cute felt pin/brooch of a rabbit on the moon. In Asian cultures, they see a rabbit in the moon unlike other cultures who see a man in the moon.

Isn't it adorable? I love it! Especially its cute little bunny tail!

Here is a closeup of the mooncake! Looks yummy, yes?

I cut the cake into quarters for us to try. Usually mooncakes are made of red bean paste or lotus seed paste, but this version was made with pineapple filling. It does have the traditional salted duck egg inside.

While we all agreed that the pineapple part of the cake was great, the salted duck egg is definitely an acquired taste :)

If you guys ever get a chance to try a mooncake, it is definitely not something to pass by.

Thanks for the Mid-Autumn festival package, darling!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Where My Cross Stitch Lives!

My friend Amanda is having fun reorganizing the bedrooms in her home and she sent me a picture of one of her bookshelves.

Look where one of my cross stitch designs lives!

That was one of my LHN finishes in 2010. LOL I love how it is surrounded by all the birthday amigurumi plushies I sent her this month!

Don't you just love that adorable chubby panda cookie jar on the left?! As you can tell, my friend is a notorious collector of pandas! But I can't say anything, I love bunnies as much as she loves pandas :)

Until next time ^_____^

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ye Olde Cross Stitchery

My aunt has requested another cross stitch design after seeing the cover of JCS Sept/Oct issue, an autumn cornucopia. So searching throughout the Internet, I finally found a shop that sold the recommended linen (my aunt wouldn't take no for an answer!) at a good price and in the right size.

I've never ordered from Ye Olde Cross Stitchery so I'm anxious to see how they do. I will say that I can't wait to get the linen and get started on this design. Its been a while since I've done any cross stitching......I've neglected it for cute amigurumi and polymer clay charms ;)

Until next time ^____^

Monday, September 17, 2012

Octopi Friends!

Yarn: Caron Simply Soft Party Sparkle Fuschia
Hook: Size H
Notions: 9mm safety eyes
Start/Finish: 9/15-16/2012

Sir Henry has a new friend! I finished this little girly octopus last night while watching a few episodes of Sherlock :)

Until next time ^____^

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beary Love!

Pattern: head by Ana Rimoli
Yarn: Caron Simply Party Sparkle Teal
Hook: Size F
Notions: 6mm safety eyes, white and teal felt, and DMC 310 and 3846
Start/Finish: 9/13/2012

Good evening! I found a small head pattern in one of the books I got for my birthday. I actually didn't finish the entire pattern because I ran out of yarn! I had to slip stitch at the end of one of the rows and then use a running stitch with the last of my yarn to close the circle. Talk about good timing.

Since I didn't have any thread to make ears (I was hoping to make bunny ears), I decided to use felt and make a tiny bear. I used teal felt for the ears and I decorated the edges of the ears with a blanket stitch. I used white felt for the mouth and black thread for the nose and smile.

I wanted to make this little guy into a keyring charm, but when I was going through my stash, I saw the heart shaped clips so I went with a bag clip finish for my little bear. He's off to join our other kawaii amigurumi plushies in our Etsy shop.

So adorable! I can't believe I'm out of that yarn. I love the sparkly color in Caron's Party brand. I can't find that yarn at HB so I'll have to stop by the dreaded Wal-mart and stock up on different colors!

Until next time ^____^