Friday, November 25, 2016

Black Friday - Antique Brooch Finds!

Good evening everyone! My family and I went by the Mobile Rock and Gem show today. I came away with a few brooches to add to my collection.....okay, seven isn't a few, but you know what I mean, right?

I found several Edwardian filigree brooches. The trumpet flower brooch might be Czech made as it has a safety pin backing. (I need to research that a bit though.)

I wish the photo came out better, but my camera didn't pick up the details as the brooches are made in darker metals.

I found a lovely floral brooch with a trombone clasp. That sort of clasp dates anywhere between 1850s to the 1940s. I think perhaps the brooch is from the 1940s as the back looks new compared to the others.

The faux pearl brooch has a modern safety clasp. I thought it was an interesting piece. The main part is in a crescent moon shape from which the five 'arrows' of pearls hang.

Another modern brooch with a beautiful lady carrying fruit. Definitely a fun brooch to wear in the spring and summer, very cheery.

I lucked out on this one! It's a Kirks Folly brooch. You know my love of fairy tales. This brooch is from the Frog Prince. I am adding it to my Cinderella and Hansel and Gretel brooches! (^_^)

I was asked by Stephanie at Blue Star Stitcher about my thoughts on the Fantastic Beasts movie. I thought it was wonderful. They captured 1920s America well and did a great job in blending the wizarding world into it.

If you are a history buff, you'll like the darker elements of the film and how they tie into America's Puritan era. And if you love magical creatures, there is no shortage of them in the film.

I will say unlike the other HP films, Fantastic Beasts isn't necessarily for children. I'm not sure if children will relate to the characters as they are all adults or the themes which are also exclusively adult.

If you go and see it, let me know what you thought of who they chose to cast as Grindelwald. I thought it was a poor choice. England isn't lacking in actors and I'm not sure why they felt the role needed to go to a Hollywood actor. When I envision Grindelwald, it isn't who they cast especially after seeing who played the younger version of him in the HP films.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!!

Until next time >___<

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Sweet Christmas Progress

In stitching news, I worked on Sweet Christmas last week and by the end of Sunday I had finished the domed cake on the left and started the last cake.

Last night, I finished the last cake in the pattern. The decorative base took longer than anticipated because I kept stitching the wrong sections and had to frog and stitch again. I finally got it done! I blame tired eyes and a complicated section.

Today I plan on stitching the border around the cakes, lots of cookies, candy, and leaves. I would love to finish this design by the end of the year :)

Later today, my family and I are going to see the new Fantastic Beasts movie and have dinner! Can't wait to enter the world of HP again :)

Have a great Thanksgiving holiday!!! Until next time >___<

Baking - Pecan Pie Bundt Cake and Pecan Cookies Version 2!

On Sunday I tried a recipe from the Bake From Scratch magazine, a pecan pie bundt cake. I was at Williams-Sonoma the weekend before last and found the bundt pan that the recipe called for, the elegant party 10 cup pan by Nordicware.

The cake came out well, though I had to wrestle it out of the pan! I don't think it's the fault of the pan. The recipe called for greasing the pan with vegetable shortening. I think next time I bake this recipe, I will use Pam with flour spray and see if it makes a difference. It should work as I had no trouble with my fall Nordicware pan when using it :)

I bought a few slices of the cake for my aunt's family to try. She loved it so much she requested it for her birthday next year. Lol

My mom had a piece a few moments ago and said the cake was still moist. I think it might be due to the brown sugar drizzle on the cake.

This morning I baked some pecan cookies. Do you remember me trying this recipe earlier? Well, the recipe says that if you let the dough sit overnight in the fridge, the taste of the dough takes on a more toffee taste.

I'm not saying it doesn't taste different. I should have baked a few yesterday to compare with today's bake. Lol Either way, they are yummy!!

Luckily I don't have to bake for Thanksgiving. My sister always makes pumpkin pies for the holiday. I can't wait!!! I look forward to them every year. If I could skip dinner and just eat the pie, I would......though it wouldn't help family relations if I polished off the entire pie. Lol

Until next time >___<

Friendship Package from CA ♡

Good morning everyone :) I received a fun package from my friend Amanda last week.

She got to attend San Diego Comic-Con this year so she included a bunch of freebies like reading samples from different publishing companies, buttons, and postcards.

Her friends Tom and Angel were recently in Japan and they brought back different flavors of Kit kats. I am waiting until I go back to work next week so I can share them with my coworkers. She sent wasabi, red bean, Hokkaido melon, sakura matcha, and sake flavors!!! (I already opened a pack of the sakura matcha since there were more than one.....delicious!!)

She sent me a Caron Cakes macaron skein of yarn. I couldn't find the color here at our local Michael's store. She was kind enough to buy one for me :)

At her local Daiso store, she found a cute pair of bunny tabi socks and an adorable kitty book page holder. You can't have too many socks especially when you are always cold when sitting and cross stitching :)

I can't wait to try the page holder. It will be perfect for when I'm baking.

Thanks for the awesome package!

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Conde Charlotte House and Port City Craftsmen Show

Today my friends and I met up this morning to tour the Conde Charlotte House beside Fort Conde in downtown Mobile.

We were going to tour it earlier in the fall, but when we stopped by that time, it was closed for a wedding. Luckily we were able to tour it today.

Sadly, photography is not allowed, but it is a beautiful house built in 1850. Each room is decorated according to different styles of the countries that occupied Mobile during its history (except for the Spanish which is illustrated by the courtyard) and different time periods.

The lady who gave our tour was quite nice. We spoke more of the styles, furniture, antiques, etc. than anything else.

The back of house had a courtyard with fountains and a cistern. The family who lived in the house added on to the back of house with a kitchen and other rooms.

Overall, it was a great way to spend an hour especially if you like period houses. My only complaint would be the lack of history. Surely the owners of the house could be researched more in depth and added to the tour information.....but that's just my history degree coming out to grumble! LOL

Earlier this morning I stopped by the Port City Craftsmen Show at the Abba Temple. They hold it every year on the weekend prior to Thanksgiving. One of my favorite vendors was there, Mrs. Daphne Larsen. She is a wonderful lady in her 90s who has been hand painting porcelain for a number of years.

I usually buy something from her and this year I decided to buy one of her small Christmas brooches for my collection. I chose one of her candy cane designs as it is one of my favorite flavors during the holiday season.

There were a lot of great vendors there this year. Surprisingly, there was a knitting vendor there this time. I know that sounds weird, but most of the time it is always crochet vendors so it was a pleasant surprise to see a knitter.

I really wanted to take a photo of her booth and her creations, but I know sometimes vendors can be hesitant about it so I didn't take a photo.....though I regret it now.

She had some lovely sweaters and longer coats in various cable patterns along with scarfs, mittens, and hats. I wish I could have afforded one of the sweaters, but they were about $120, which really it a great deal considering you can spend that much on a catalog sweater that isn't handmade. Sadly, bills come things later. Isn't that always the way?

I hope you guys are enjoying your weekend! If I don't write later, I hope everyone in the US has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Until next time ^___^

Christmas Exchange from Dawn and Stephanie

I received my exchange from Dawn last Saturday. We weren't expecting any mail, but it came late so it had been sitting in the mailbox all day!

She stitched up a lovely ornament using a Prairie Schooler pattern called Snowy Night. I love that she used neutral colored twine for the edges. 

I can't wait until after Thanksgiving as I'll be definitely displaying it on our Christmas tree. Maybe it will bring us winter luck and we'll get snow (a Southern girl can hope, right?! lol).

Do you guys remember the beautiful autumn/Halloween exchange that I received last year from Stephanie? Well, she's the wonderful lady who organized this Christmas exchange for us since the HoE has been dormant all year.

I received a Christmas card in the mail this week from Stephanie with a fun surprise, a Lizzie Kate pattern and two skeins of Weeks Dye Works thread in Christmas colors!! I wasn't expecting anything so it was a great surprise.

Thank you, Stephanie, for organizing this exchange and fun 'extras'.

Thank you, Dawn, for the beautiful ornament :)

Until next time ^___^

HoE Christmas Exchange 2016

Pattern: Yuletide Memories by Blackwork Journey
Fabric: 28 ct Jobelan antique white linen by Wichelt
Threads: DMC 666 and 699 and Artiste yellow gold metallic
Notions: gold seed beads and sparkly cording
Start/Finish: 10/22-29/2016

I mailed out my Hooked on Exchanging Christmas ornament last Saturday and my partner, Dawn, received it on Monday.

I stitched up an ornament from the Just Cross Stitch 2016 Christmas issue. It is called Yuletide Memories by Blackwork Journey. I've always liked blackwork designs, but the last time I stitched one was a while ago from a booklet that a friend got me while she was in New Zealand.

When looking through the JCS magazine, this one and another (Mistletoe by Giulia Punti Antichi) caught my eye and I eventually chose Yuletide Memories.

I finished it as a hanging ornament using my trusty Sizzix machine and circle die cuts. It struggled a bit with cutting the chipboard (even though it was the thinnest chipboard I could find), but worked fine with cutting the backing fabric and even the quilt batting. 

Before sending off my exchange, I found some cute Christmas buttons and notepad at Michael's that I thought were perfect as 'extras' even though they weren't necessary......they were too cute to past up :)

I found the little drawstring bag at Target in their dollar section. It was the perfect size for my ornament.

Hopefully we will get to do some more exchanges next year. They are quite fun  and always a pleasure to make because you know the person on the other end will appreciate them as fellow cross stitchers/crafters.

Until next time ^____^

Friday, November 11, 2016

Sampler 4 Saisons finish ~ Happy Dance!

On Monday night, I finished stitching Sampler 4 Saisons. I ran out of thread in the winter quadrant and decided to not stitch the rest of the branches with the DMC 498 threads as they were too different in color compared to the rest of the threads.

As I told my friend Kristina, if it bugs me enough, I'll go back in and stitch the branches with the new color. Otherwise, it's a happy dance for now!

Have a good weekend!! Until next time >___<

Sweet Christmas Progress ♡

It's been a strange, strange week in America. What better way to avoid thinking about it than sitting down and doing some crafting.

Today after coming back from getting my car fixed (fingers crossed that it lasts), I put laundry in, packed up my Christmas exchange piece for the post office tomorrow, and settled down to finish the cherry house cake on Sweet Christmas.

Tonight I plan on going through my stash for some threads and fabric for Christmas stitching. Hopefully I have everything so I don't have to run everywhere tomorrow.

Until next time >___<