Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Alessandra Adelaide Needleworks Compass - Framed!!

Hi, guys! My aunt took the Alessandra Adelaine Needleworks compass design to Hobby Lobby earlier this month to have it framed for my cousin's birthday today.

She lucked out as it was ready just in time yesterday. She brought it over to me yesterday so I could wrap it up.

What do you think? I wish the photo was better, but framed pieces are hard to photograph without getting reflections, etc. when using your cellphone as your camera.

I think they did a wonderful job on the frame and mat board. It's been a while since I've seen a circular cut mat board. We can't even do that at my work because we don't have the mat cutter to cut circular shapes. Though I think those sorts of mats have gone out of style, it really works with this pattern.

I hope my cousin likes my aunt's gift to him. It isn't my gift, just my stitching. My gift is a birthday card. LOL

Until next time ^____^

May Amigurumi Roundup

My little amigurumi for the month of May. I like all of them......though my favorite has to be the sparkly bat on the lower left. I love the yarn used for the bat and glittery purple felt I used for his ears and wings!!

I had gone to Michael's on Sunday with my sister. I was in search of craft glue (which I didn't find....I really like The Ultimate glue at Hobby Lobby.....it must be their brand because I can't find it elsewhere!!) But while I was looking at Caron Simply Soft yarn, my sister found a selection of clearance yarn by Isaac Mizrahi. It reminded me of Caron's party line of yarn.

My sister was adamant that I pick up the black color to make a bat amigurumi. The color is called Barrymore.

I'm in love with this yarn.......and that's hard for me to say because I am a Caron Simply Soft fangirl. Isaac Mizrahi's brand isn't as thick as Caron despite both of them being a size 4 weight, but it works up well. I was worried that the yarn was going to work up too loosely for me to stuff the doll with Polyfil, but it wasn't a problem at all.

I have a feeling I'll have to go to Michael's again and pick up more colors in this sparkly line of yarn........which is breaking my resolution to not buy yarn unless I really need a color of yarn for a project........but at a clearance price of $2.99 a skein, it is calling my name across town like a siren!

Evil siren.......bane of the checking account!

Until next time ^___^

May Recap


1. Phiz: The Man Who Drew Dickens by Valerie Browne Lester
2. Boneshaker by Cherie Priest
3. Never Cry Wolf by Amanda Carlson
4. Family of Her Dreams by Keli Gwyn
5. Sword and Blossom by Peter Pagnamenta and Momoko Williams
6. Blood Kiss by J.R. Ward
7. Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson

1. No Face amigurumi
2. Squirtle amigurumi
3. Black Mage amigurumi
4. Baymax amigurumi
5. Blooper amigurumi
6. Fox pilot amigurumi
7. Meowth amigurumi
8. Voodoo doll amigurumi
9. Bat amigurumi

My favorite book of the month was Sword and Blossom. It is a non fiction book detailing the relationship between a British soldier, Arthur Hart-Synnot, and a Japanese woman, Masa Suzuki. They wrote letters to each other for forty years....over 800 letters!

This book pulls at the heart strings and had me thinking about it days after I was finished reading it. You keep hoping the ending will change, but it seems Fate wasn't on the side of these lovers.

It is wonderful love story and an unique glimpse at Japan at the turn of the century and after both world wars.

In terms of crafting, yet again more and more amigurumi dolls. I love crocheting, but I'll be glad when July is here....I can focus on stitching. I have a million patterns I would love to stitch!!

Until next time ^___^

Sunday Baking - Cinnamon, Cloves, and Chocolate Cookies

Good morning everyone! While at the library, I found a book called The Cardamom Trail by Chetna Makan, one of the semi-finalists on The Great British Bake Off show in 2014. If you haven't watched any of the seasons of The Great British Bake Off, you should give them a try. I know that Amazon Prime has one of the seasons and Netflix has another. I think my sister was telling me that PBS had bought the rights to air them in the US so I am hoping they will start airing them soon. We had watched one season on PBS......they need all the seasons!!!

After making that flourless cardamom chocolate cake earlier this year, I knew I had to check out the book and make something.

Sadly, my mom and sister aren't fans of cardamom....especially my mom. I was joking with her that she is a Betty Crocker person. She likes the classics in baking and isn't much for trying different flavors.

So looking through The Cardamom Trail, I found a recipe for cinnamon, clove, chocolate, and pistachio cookies. I was thinking surely my mom will like these, they don't have cardamom and they have pistachios, she loves pistaschios.

Sigh........to no avail. I think they are fabulous. Everyone likes them except for my mom. She's a hard one to please when it comes to sweets.

Maybe I need to just flip through our Betty Crocker cookbook and find an old fashion brownie recipe or something?!?!?

I will definitely check out this book again if I don't add it to my Amazon wishlist for my birthday or Christmas. I would love to try more of Chetna's recipes.....especially the ones featuring cardamom. If I have to, I'll just eat the whole dessert by myself O_o" LOL

On a different subject, when I was coming back to our house from delivering my cookies to my aunt's family, I noticed we had a tiny guest on our sidewalk. A tiny little turtle. I barely had time to take a photo of him before he scampered off into the yard. I hope he wasn't headed to the backyard because our dog Sam doesn't leave turtles in peace. He will sadly play them to death.

It's that time of year when turtles are on the move in search of water. Hopefully Sam doesn't start a collection of turtles this year!!

Until next time ^___^

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Saying goodbye to our kitty Bella

So for the last couple of weeks we were noticing that our kitty Bella was losing weight quickly and occasionally vomiting. This week she wouldn't eat and would only drink if the water was running from a faucet.

I talked to one of coworkers on Friday about it and he said it sounded like kidney failure. We were going to take her to the vet on Saturday, but my sister found a vet in town who was open 24 hours so we took Bella on Friday.

They ran tests and found that Bella did have acute kidney failure. We opted to try treatments even though it was a 50/50 chance. This afternoon the vet called to tell us that Bella wasn't improving and that we needed to let her go.

We went to vet and spent a few minutes with her. I couldn't stay to watch her go and went out in the parking lot and cried while my mom and sister stayed with Bella until she was put to sleep.

It's amazing how pets can claim your heart. I don't think any of us have ever regretted adopting Bella 6 years ago. She has given us crazy moments, funny moments, and unconditional kitty love. You can't ask for more than that.

I found a cute picture of Bella that I had posted on my blog a while ago. She was always patiently putting up with our crazy nonsense, including posing with my amigurumi.

We will miss you little Bella!!!

Sunday Baking - Chocolate Cherry Cookies

While going through and cleaning the kitchen cabinets yesterday, I noticed I had several bags of flavored M&Ms. I decided that I needed to use them in my baking before they went bad.

This morning I pulled out the bag of chocolate cherry flavored M&Ms and used them to make cookies. They are delicious, especially if you love chocolate covered cherries like I do.

Next weekend if I'm not too busy, I'll make another batch of cookies using M&Ms again. Take them to work so I don't pig out on them :)

Until next time >___<

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Sunday Baking - Swedish Apple Pie! ♡

I had a bag of Granny Smith apples at home that I needed to bake with. I had made the mistake of picking them up at the grocery store....thinking I could eat them for snacks during the week......they were so sour that I knew I'd never eat them all.

Last weekend while I was at the library, I was browsing the baking book section to see if I could find any books with good apple dessert recipes. I ran across a book on Scandinavian baking and there was an delicious looking recipe for Swedish apple pie.

So this morning I made it..........this recipe is a keeper. Sweet, but not overly sweet. And the topping!!! Oh, my....the topping.....crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.

My sister said I had to make it again for Thanksgiving. Now you know you have a good recipe on your hands when someone recommends making it for the holidays.

I will say that this is a great pie recipe for beginners like myself because it doesn't have a crust, just the topping that bakes over the apples. So if you are afraid of pie crusts, this is recipe to look up and try until you master your fear of pies. O_o"

The book is called Scandinavian Baking by Pat Sinclair. If you can find at your local library, I definitely recommend picking it up.

There is another recipe for baked apples that looks scrumptious. I might have to try it in the future >___<

Until next time ^____^

Book Sale Finds

Yesterday I went by the Mobile Public Library's annual book sale. It was quite busy this year, which doesn't surprise me as the weather was great.

There was an interesting display of pulp fiction novels. I've never seen a pulp fiction book in the 'wild'. Usually I only come across them online so it was neat to see so many. It makes me wonder who donated them to the sale because they were in great condition.

In the vintage/antique book section, I bought two books with the hope of donating them to my local university. The first book is on Arctic exploration in the 1880s and the other is a book that was published in 1906 after the earthquake in San Francisco. It has eye witness accounts of the disaster.

I figure if the university doesn't take them then I'll keep them for myself.

In the travel section I found several books on Japan, including an odd comedic take on Japan by Dave Barry.

I can't wait to read The Heart of O Sono-San by Elizabeth Cooper published in 1917.

In the Kyoto travel guide, I found another bit of ephemera, a man's plane ticket from the 1985 flying Northwest Orient.

I bought one of the pulp fiction novels, A House in Peking. The cover art is interesting, I especially love the fact that the book pages are green colored on the edges.

Until next time ^___^

Sunday Stitching - Sampler 4 Saisons

My stitching this month for the Friday Frolics is the Sampler 4 Saisons. I am slowly working on the tree branches. This might take me a while, but at least it gives me a break from crocheting.

Until next time ^____^