Saturday, February 28, 2015

How To Raise A Cactuar

While known for their speed and sometimes devastating 1,000 needle attacks, little is known about raising these creatures in garden settings. It is quite possible to raise cactuars on one's own, but it is a tricky endeavour. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when raising these creatures as a hobby.

1) If you are fortunate enough to come upon cactuar seeds amongst the markets and/or rare creature auctions, keep in mind that they will not come cheap. Seeds of this rare variety of cacti will set you back a few thousand gil, but the chance of raising cactuars it well worth it in terms of an engaging experience and a fabulous conversation starter for enthusiasts of rare creatures.

2) Unlike other flora seeds, cactuar seeds need to be planted in clay pots on top of the soil, not underneath. Keep the soil moist so your seeds do not dry out. Cactuar seeds love sunlight so the pot must stay in the sun for as long as possible during the day.

3) Once the cactuar has been established in his clay pot, you must keep all animals or small children away from his abode. Despite being only a small cactuar, he will strike out at any invasion to the area around his clay pot with a 100 needle attack.

4) Before your cactuar becomes full grown, you must transplant your cactuar to any local desert area nearby. Since your cactuar is still regulated to its pot, it does not have the ability to move around and it cannot see behind him. During the night you must take a heavy cloth bag and put it over your cactuar and its pot while it is asleep. You can transport the cactuar during the day by sneaking up behind him, but it is a risk as it can be damaging to yourself and your cactuar.

5) While in the desert transplanting your cactuar, beware of nocturnal enemies. It is advisable to bring along a bounty hunter to keep an eye out for any attacks while you are busy with your cactuar.

6) Dig a shallow hole in the sand and while wearing mythril gloves, carefully take your cactuar out of its clay pot and transfer it to the hole. Cover the cactuar with the sand. Do not be afraid of harming your cactuar as the sand is its natural environment. Nothing else remains to be done and you may return to your home.

I hope you have these tips on raising cactuars helpful. It is quite an enjoyable hobby and it is well worth persuading to impress your colleagues at your next rare creature emporium meeting.

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, February 22, 2015

CCN Blueberry Cake Start

My progress so far on Country Cottage Needleworks' blueberry cake design.

Until next time >___<

Saturday, February 21, 2015

CCN Strawberry Cake finish

Pattern: Cottage Cakes - Strawberry by Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: 32ct Belfast Cream linen by Zweigart
Threads: DMC blanc, 580, 666, 725, and 3828
Start/Finish: 1/31, 2/7-8, 14-15/2015

My finish on the CCN  strawberry cake. I am starting on the blueberry cake! I love these designs!

Until next time >___<

CA package - Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year

This is the package that I sent to my friend Amanda in CA for Valentine's Day and the Chinese New Year.

As always, there are panda goodies! Also included is a cute pack of sushi magnetic bookmarks I found at Barnes & Noble, two crocheted heart brooches, and some fun things for the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Sheep. I sent her the little sheep amigurumi I made, a Starbucks new year gift card (for lots of extra whip cream!), and an adorable sheep desk calendar.

I actually bought myself a sheep calendar too. I have it on my desk at work. Always nice to have something kawaii at work to make you smile when things go awry.

Hope you liked your package!

Until next time >___<

Mythical Strawberry Moonpie!

This year's exclusive moonpie flavor this Mardi Gras season! ~nom nom~

1940s baking - Pumpkin Spice Cookies

Last Sunday I decided to try my hand at another recipe from the 1940s cookbook. I had tried them the weekend previously, but made the mistake of adding way too much shortening because my brain is so used to adding one stick for the cornmeal cookies.

Luckily I made no mistakes in baking on Sunday. I love the taste of these drop cookies. I think the next time I make them, I will add mini chocolate chips.

Strawberry Shortcake Amigurumi

Pattern: Strawberry Shortcake - my own pattern
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft limelight, sunshine, watermelon, and white
Hook: size F 
Start/Finish: 1/24/2015

I love sweets. So what else would I stitch up? This little mini strawberry shortcake amigurumi is about the size of a k-cup.

Ugh.....makes me what a bowl of strawberry shortcake like my grandmother used to make....

Until next time >___<

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Strawberry Cake - Cottage Cake cross stitch

I started working on this design last Sunday and got around to stitching on it this weekend. There is something so relaxing about stitching on Country Cottage Needleworks designs.

Pattern: Cottage Cakes - Strawberry by Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: 32ct Belfast Cream linen by Zweigart
Threads: recommended DMC

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Dango Amigurumi ~ nom nom ~

Looking for adorable Japanese food snack amigurumis, I found Yard Yarn's dango freebie while searching through Ravelry. The designer makes really cute patterns and has great tutorials on youtube.

Pattern: Dango amigurumi by Yardyarn
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft black, bone, limelight, strawberry, watermelon, and white
Hook: size F
Start/Finish: 1/22-23/2015

I really like how my little dango turned out. So kawaii! I texted my friend Amanda to show her the completed amigurumi and joked that it made me thirsty for boba tea for some strange reason. She said it made her think of mochi ice cream. Sigh....the things we don't have in Alabama. I definitely envy Amanda....all the wonderful foods and drinks in California!

Until next time  >__<

Little Sheep Amigurumi - Chinese New Year

Since this year is the Chinese Year of the Sheep, I decided to make Amanda a sheep amigurumi. After looking online for a cute freebie, I settled for Momomints' sheep pattern because it was tiny, fluffy, and cute.

Pattern: Sheep freebie by Momomints
Yarn: Bernat Pipsqueak whitey white
Hook: size H 
Notions: 6mm safety eyes and light brown and pink felt
Start/Finish: 1/11/2015

This was the first time I had used Bernat pipsqueak yarn and while I will say it is very soft, it is a beast to crochet with. With this type of yarn, you have to 'feel' your stitches as you cannot see each stitch because of the fluffy fibers in the yarn. I would not recommend this yarn to a beginner at all.

I was surprised that I was able to stitch the body of the sheep as I was tempted to give up several times in frustration. I stitched up the feet and started on the face area. For some reason no matter how many times I stitched the face (even with different hook sizes), it didn't look right at all. So I improvised and made the face and the ears out of felt and left off the feet. I think my little sheep turned out fine with my changes though I wish I had been able to use Momomints' pattern completely as it was cute.

I don't think I will give up on using Bernat pipsqueak yarn as it gives a great texture to amigurumi, but I will choose my patterns wisely as I don't think I could crochet anything large with the yarn for fear of missing stitches, etc. 0_0

Until next time >___<

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Valentine Heart Sugar Cookie Brooches

Pattern: Crochet hearts by Amigurumi To Go
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft autumn maize, orchid, and white
Hook: size F
Notions: red and white seed beads and pink bugle beads
Start/Finish: 1/18/2015

I was looking for a crochet heart pattern because I wanted to make sugar cookie brooches for my friend Amanda's Valentine/Chinese New Year pkg. I found Amigurumi To Go's pattern and knew it would be perfect as it allowed for three different sizes.

I think I like the smaller hearts the best. I have a feeling I'll be stitching up a few more of these brooches to wear to work.

Until next time >___<

Ice cream amigurumi

Pattern: Mini ice cream amigurumi by Flying Eggplant
Yarn: Caron Simply Soft autumn maize, strawberry, and white
Hook: size F
Start/Finish: 1/16 & 18/2015

January Recap


1. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
2. Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz
3. Lafcadio Hearn's Japan ed. by Donald Richie
4. Fire Storm by Andrew Lane
5. Snake Bite by Andrew Lane
6. The Worst Witch to the Rescue by Jill Murphy
7. A Drunken Dream by Moto Hagio
8. Clover by Clamp
9. The Yellow Rose by Yoshiya Nobuko
10. Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
11. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

1. Sheep zodiac design
2. Crab zodiac design

1. Sushi roll amigurumi
2. Dango amigurumi
3. Strawberry cake amigurumi
4. Heart brooches
5. Mini ice cream amigurumi
6. Sheep amigurumi

Lots of books and crafting last month. I think the only book I was disappointed in was Clare's City of Bones, which I could not get my head around. The characters were not personable at all. I think perhaps it was because I had read her Victorian Clockwork series first and loved it and the coarseness of the characters in the modern day series ruined any thoughts of continuing to read the series.

I was surprised by Anthony Horowitz' Moriarty novel. I wasn't impressed by the first book, House of Silk, that he had wrote for the Doyle estate as I felt that the theme of the book was something that Doyle would never have wrote or even contemplated considering Victorian values, etc.

But I was impressed by this newest novel, which is a page turner until the end. Horowitz makes you forget who the book is focused on from the beginning despite yourself and by the time you get to climax of the book, you are screaming at the book....possibly threatening to disturb your neighbors with your book reading woes.

In terms of crafting, I stitched a lot of amigurumis and a few small cross stitch designs. I think this month I want to see if I can stitch up one of Country Cottage Needleworks cottage cake designs :)

Besides crafting and reading last month, we had sad news that our great-aunt Ruby had passed away earlier in the month. My family and I went up to Uriah for the funeral. Despite the sad news, it was also a joyous occasion as our great-aunt missed her husband greatly after his passing a few years ago. I am sure she is happy to be reunited with him once again.

Until next time.