Monday, June 12, 2017

Sonia Roetter ~ illustrator for Peter Pauper Press

Hi, everyone! I had bought this book a while ago on eBay. I had bought it primarily because one of the authors of the fairy tales was Lafcadio Hearn. Added bonus it was fairy tales and Japanese fairy tales at that.

When I received the book, I fell in love with the illustrations. I even brought the book to work with me so I could share it with a coworker. The illustrations reminded me of origami and I knew my coworker would like that as well since he is always folding an origami creation in his spare time.

Initially when I tried to find out about the illustrator, Sonia Roetter, I hit a dead end. The most I could find out was that she had worked on several books for Peter Pauper Press, the company who published the book I had bought. The Metropolitan Museum of Art had an entry for her Chinese Fairy Tales book in their catalog, but all they had under her name was 'American, 20th century'.

You know me, history nerd, lover of research, I had to find something out on her. One of the greatest resources you can use in my opinion is Ancestry. I know that sounds odd when you aren't working on genealogy, but trust me, it is a lifesaver when you are in the academic world, even when you are in the offshoots of that world like I am.

So off I went to see what I could find and here's what I found:

Sonia was born in Winnica, Russia (now Ukraine) on October 12, 1904. She and her family moved to the United States; they arrived in Baltimore, Maryland on December 20, 1913. 

At some point she had married a photographer named Frederick Roetter and lived in Chicago. She became an American citizen on December 29, 1941. She died at the age of 87 on September 15, 1992.

She was an illustrator who worked for Peter Pauper Press, a company founded in 1928 and which still exists today. She even entered exhibitions, such as the Chicago Artists Exhibition in 1957 and 1958. I would love to know what her actual style of art was. Did she use the same style she used for her illustrations? The same medium, silkscreen? Or was she a painter?

From what I could find, she had illustrated the following books for Peter Pauper Press:
1) Hickory, Dickory, Dock: And Other Poems of Childhood, 1950.
2) Mother Goose Book, 1946.
3) Japanese Fairy Tales, 1948.
4) Chinese Fairy Tales, 1946.

I hope some day to at least find a decent copy of the Chinese Fairy Tales book. From the images I have seen online of it, she illustrated the book in a similar style to that of the Japanese Fairy Tales book.


The Japanese Fairy Tales book contains 78 pages featuring twelve stories that are illustrated with silkscreen images using a repeated color scheme of pink, blue, and white. On each page of text, the midsection is illustrated with a long motif, such as a monkey, fish, willow branches, or a woman in a kimono.

On my searches, I noticed that Peter Pauper Press also published other fairy tale books using different illustrators....I think there was a Russian and even a Turkish fairy tale book.

I wonder if I could contact the company and see if they had records on the various fairy tale books that they published in the 1940s? Hmm........my bookworm brain never shuts down!! LOL

I hope you enjoyed learning about a forgotten artist. Who says you can't learn new things?

Until next time ^____^

Friday, June 9, 2017

National Best Friend Day Package ♡

Good afternoon! Two posts in one day? Why yes, yes indeed. It's been a crazy work week. We had meetings everyday with the longest being yesterday, which clocked in at 4 hours. With so many meetings, which took up my regular work day, I was feeling cranky, antsy, and drained.....even to the point that I was crying in one of the bathrooms! I was joking with my friend Amanda that the introvert in me wanted to go hide in one of the stairwells to avoid any meetings.

Needless to say, today couldn't come any faster for me. On Monday, I decided that I wanted today off. I didn't know that I would be facing a week's worth of meetings beforehand. It just happened that way.

So this morning, I slept in as long as my brain would allow, which wasn't too late.....around 7:30am or so. I got up, ate some oatmeal.....pumpkin spice by Quaker.....wasn't impressed with the supposed pumpkin spice 'flavor', put some laundry in, walked outside to see if we had gas for the lawn mower, came back inside for some sunscreen lotion, and mowed the lawn for about 2 hours. 

The weather was beautiful today. Warm with a cool breeze. An added motivation for mowing the lawn was that every time I passed the blueberry bushes, I could snag some berries ;) After mowing the lawn, I went back for seconds, but don't worry, I remembered to leave some for the birds. I would have picked some to freeze, but we didn't use last year's berries so it wasn't worth the extra time.

After laundry and lunch, I wrote my first post on Lucile, went out to check the mail, and found a package from my friend Amanda. She had texted me earlier that I had a small package coming :)


She sent me an assortment of goodies: a beautiful Korean bookmark featuring a woman wearing traditional costume, a Starbucks card (YES!!! Feeding my addiction to their midnight mint mocha frappuccino), a roll of adorable bunny washi tape, some colored UV resin (can't wait to try them!), and two pairs of bunny socks (can't have too many cute socks....even if you are the only person who sees them!).


She sent me a long letter in reply to one I had sent earlier in addition to an absolutely beautiful handmade card. She knows I've been going through a rough 'patch' so this card is a reminder that nothing is as tough as it may seem and that there are people who care even though you may have forgotten it along that rough patch of life.

In December I had bought a journal, one of those question/answer types. One of the questions was what would you do if you won the lottery. I know I would definitely help out my friends for sure.

I always thought it would be lovely to have a bakery and next door Amanda could have a specialty stationery shop where she could sell her creations :) And next door to that my friend Kristina could have a cross stitch shop! LOL That would be amazing!

Thank you darling for this lovely 'Best Friend Day' package! It brighten my day :)

Until next time ^____^

Book Review ~ Lucile by Owen Meredith

Good morning, everyone! One of my goals this month was to pull books from my shelves that I hadn't read yet and actually read them. This week I pulled out Lucile by Owen Meredith. 

It was originally published in 1860 by Robert Bulwer-Lytton writing under the pseudonym, Owen Meredith. The book was published in England several times over the years while in the U.S. the book was published over 2,000 times from the date of its publication until 1938. The University of Iowa has an interesting website devoted to the publication of Lucile called the Lucile Project. It gives information on the book and is attempting to keep a record of various publications of the book since quite a few of the publications were not dated, like my own copy of the book.

The story of Lucile is a narrative poem written in anapest meter. It begins with a letter written by Comtesse Lucile de Nevers to Lord Alfred Vargrave. She congratulates Lord Alfred on his upcoming marriage to a young girl named Matilda and asks that he return any letters he might have of hers from their romantic affair years before.

Lord Alfred travels to France to return the letters, but after encountering Lucile again, he realizes that despite his supposed anger at Lucile for their breakup, he still cares for her. For her part, Lucile never forgot Alfred; over the years, she had been the belle of France and had many potential suitors, but she rejected everyone. 

Her current potential suitor is Eugene de Luvois, a young Frenchman, who is continuously gay and merry, flitting from one party to the next, spending money lasciviously with no care in the world for making something of himself. With Lucile at his side, he thinks he can make something of himself and achieve meaning in his life.

Alfred confesses his feelings to Lucile, but she asks that he wait for her reply. Eugene confesses as well, but is rejected. At that same time, Alfred receives her letter that says that they can never be together and he is heartbroken, but after reading it a second time again, he realizes that Lucile still loves him, but cannot be with him because he is 'not free'. 

On his way back to England to 'free' himself from Matilda, he meets Eugene on road, who despite being rejected, gives Alfred a triumphal grin as if he had won Lucile's heart. Alfred took that grin as triumph, not jealously; he returns to England and marries Matilda.

The second part of the story sees all four characters at the same town and inn in France. Eugene's life has continued to be one of dispensation. But seeing Alfred and Lucile speaking once again, he decides to cause havoc by revealing to Matilda that Lucile was Alfred's previous lover.

Matilda had always loved Alfred and assumed she was loved as well, but with Eugene's words, she doubts everything. Fortunately, Lucile comes to the rescue and tells Matilda that Alfred loves her and no other. She reprimands Eugene strongly and refuses him once again. She tells him that she will always be his guide if he needs her in the future. She tells him to make something of himself and forget the past.

Years later, we see Alfred and Matilda, now poor (due to a dubious uncle who squandered the family's money), but happy because of their only son. Their son is in the army fighting during the Crimean War. He has been injured, but is nursed back to health by a nun named Sister Seraphine. Despite her care of his injury, he is dying from a broken heart. He has fallen in love with a girl named Constance, but cannot be with her because of her uncle's refusal.

Sister Seraphine goes to the general of the army to ask for his help with the boy. It is revealed that the general is Eugene de Luvois. No longer a layabout, but an upstanding man who has devoted his life to helping others. When he realizes that Seraphine is Lucile, he is astonished, but all of his anger comes back when she mentions who the boy is, his rival's child. At first he refuses to give his consent for his niece Constance to marry, but in the end he relents. 

The story comes full circle with Alfred and Matilda together, their son and Constance together, and Eugene and Lucile still alone, but atoning for their 'supposed' sins by giving help to the world where they can.



I have a theory as to why the book resonated with American audiences. In any other story, Lucile would have been the catalyst that broke Alfred and Matilda's relationship apart, she would have been the villain. Instead, the author gives us a character who gives up her love for Alfred and becomes a nun. She transfers her love for Alfred to a love for everyone. She is a constant source of comfort and solace for those she encounters. With Eugene, she convinces him to become something, to do good in the world, when she could have left him to his own devices and let him destroy himself and others.

Considering America's ideals of women in the late 19th century and early 20th century, Lucile's character is one that women could see themselves in. Forgiving, noble, and loving throughout trials of life.

With the book's popularity, it was made into at least four plays in the early 20th century before 1910. It was also made into a film in 1912 by the Thanhouser Company, but sadly it did not survive. Perhaps it will come to light one day if a copy still exists in the world, but is buried in a storage somewhere. We can only hope.


While reading the book, I found some interesting ephemera that a previous owner had slipped in the book. The first was a receipt for Century Subscription Agency to extend a subscription for Biff Magazine. The receipt dates to 1913 and was signed by a woman who lived in Omro, Wisconsin.

The second item was a partial silver gelatin photograph. It shows a young boy wearing a black cap sitting beside a woman in a white blouse. I wonder who they were? Family of the owner of the book and receipt?

Don't you love finding notes and other items in used books? I know I do. Gives the book an addition life beyond the words on the page.

With the date of the receipt, I would hazard a guess that my copy of the book was published circa 1913. It was published by M.A. Donohue & Co. in Chicago. My version is one of their 'handy volume' editions of the book.

I hope you enjoyed my ramblings today. If you would like to read the book, Amazon has it for free on Kindle and you can also find it through Project Gutenberg, a great website for books in the public domain.

Until next time ^___^

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Saturday Book Hunting :)


Good afternoon. As you can see, Kristina and I didn't make it to Louisiana this weekend. The weather decided to conspire against us and the entire Gulf Coast for that matter. So she went on the hunt for yard sales this morning despite the rain and I went to the library (yes, I know I said I was going to read what I have at home....and I have...but I was looking for craft books.....I have excuses for everything!! LOL).

After spending some time at the library, I drove over to Springhill College to the Book Nook to browse. I wasn't expecting to find anything, but imagine my surprise when they had a small selection of books by Sidney McCall (real name Mary Fenollosa).

I ended up buying Truth Dexter, her first novel and The Breath of the Gods, her first book set in Japan. Both books are published by Little, Brown & Company. Truth Dexter was originally published in 1901; the book I bought was published in 1907. The Breath of the Gods was published in 1905 and I was lucky enough to buy a first edition of the book :) 110 and 112 year old books in decent condition!!

I absolutely LOVE the decorative covers on these books. I consider it a shame that you don't see that type of workmanship on modern books unless the company puts the effort into presentation of their books or a company is making a 'special' or anniversary editions of a book.

For those of you that don't know Mary McNeil Fenollosa was quite the character. She ended up getting married three times (first husband passed away, second husband divorced her, but kept their child, but the third and final time was true love). Her last husband was Ernest Fenollosa, who she worked with at Boston MFA. He was married at the time, but divorced and married Mary. It was quite the scandal....so much so that he was asked to leave Boston MFA!

They spent a few years in Japan and eventually came back to the United States. Fenollosa was quite influential in people's perceptions of Oriental art. He and his wife were friends with a circle of Western scholars in Japan, which included Lafcadio Hearn, Edward Morse, and others.

Mary began writing novels under the name Sidney McCall in 1901. Her first book Truth Dexter was about a southern woman whose marriage is threatened by a Boston socialite. (Interesting subject matter considering the origins of her marriage to Fenollosa). She would continue to write books until 1919. Several of her books were made into films or plays.

Not bad for a woman who grew up in Mobile, AL. Alabama Heritage magazine has a great article on Mary Fenollosa that they published recently.

Hope you liked learning a little literary history of Alabama.

Until next time >___<

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

London Stitching and Pesky Pests!


Good morning. I thought I'd share my progress on Afternoon in London. I've gotten through the two buildings and Big Ben in the design. When I pick up my stitching again in August, I'll be working on the other motifs and moving on to the letters and floral border at the bottom.

I love stitching on CCN designs. They are very relaxing and I like the soft colors that is uses :)

In crazy news, we have had an attack of fleas in our house! Having never had a problem with them before, I can say that I HATE them! We aren't sure how Lily got them...possibly from her mad dashes outside to flop down on the front porch or from us bringing them in on our shoes from the yard......who knows. So she has had a dose of flea medicine and we have cleaned the house top to bottom and have been vacuuming everyday so far. My sister read somewhere that you have to keep vacuuming everyday for at least a month because any fleas you haven't picked up will lay quite a few eggs in a day.

Ugh...............evil things! Well, at least this is a lesson learned that we have to be proactive and keep giving Lily her medicine every month because nothing is going to stop her determination to fly out an open door and flop down on the porch or pavement. She's a dingy bird for sure!

Until next time ^____^

May Recap

Recap:

Read:
1. River Marked by Patricia Briggs
2. Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
3. Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
4. Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
5. Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs
6. Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs
7. Madame Sadayakko by Lesley Downer
8. Skim by Mariko and Jillian Tamaki

Crafts
1. Yuri doll
2. Victor doll

Stitching:
1. Potions, Brews, and Spells finish
2. Spring Girl embroidery finish
3. Moon Bunny sashiko embroidery finish

The month of May was a nice break from amigurumi creations on the whole, which gave me time to stitch on a few cross stitch and embroidery projects :)

As you can see I read the rest of the Patricia Briggs series, which is good and bad because Silence Fallen was her most recent book so I have to wait until she comes out with something in the future. My bookworm mindset should have stopped while it was ahead and kept a few books unread. LOL

But with that said it does give me the opportunity to go to my bookshelves and make a pile of books that I haven't gotten around to because I've been at the library too much (is that even possible?!?) and have neglected what I have at home.

In other news that is really boring, I still haven't started working with our assistant yet. Our boss is focused on how we categorize things when I just want to get started and fret about categorizing once we have the data compiled for data entry, which is when you start getting into categories. Because in my mind that makes more sense at this point than fretting about the future data entry..............but I'm just a minion so my opinion is moot.

In exciting news, Kristina and I concocted a plan to spend some time out of the city once a month if possible. We are both stressed at our jobs and we don't have the time or money to take proper vacations so we have decided to take day trips to relax and de-stress.

Our first trip is on Saturday (weather permitting). We will be going to Oak Alley in Louisiana. You might recognize the name from Interview with a Vampire as it was where some of the scenes were filmed. While that is an interesting side note, Kristina and I are unabashed history nerds and love visiting museums and period houses when we get the chance :)

According to their website, they have something called the Plantation Parade because there are three other plantation houses some what near to Oak Alley. I'm not sure if we'll be able to see any others besides Oak Alley. It depends on how long we stay and wander through Oak Alley, but even if we don't get the chance to see the other plantations, it gives us future day trips :)

So what's up for the rest of the month of June, which is tomorrow (egads!). Hmm......no stitching because I'll be working on a few more amigurumis of some sort and hopefully getting through some books on my shelves :)

Until next time ^____^

April and May Amigurumi Roundup


Hi, everyone! I had completely forgotten to post my amigurumi for the month of April so I combined it with this month's amigurumi finishes. The only finishes I made this month were the Yuri and Victor dolls while everything else was made in April.

I think my favorite is the Ewok amigurumi. The photo is a bit dark on that side so you can't see him clearly, but I think he is adorable. If I wasn't going to put him up for sale at the convention in July, I'd keep him. He's that cute :)

Almost two more months until the convention.........gotta get back to my crochet hooks :)

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Strolling through London ~ relaxing weekend stitching ♡

Pattern: Afternoon in London
Fabric: 32ct water lily linen by Wichelt
Threads: recommended DMC
Start: 5/14/2017

Good evening, everyone! It's been a rainy couple of days, which is great for binge watching period dramas and cross stitching.

I'm currently stitching on the British Museum motif. I was joking with my friend Kristina that the amount of time I've spent stitching on that motif, I could have been at least half way through the actual museum's collection.

Makes me wish I could take a vacation to England right now. But sadly whatever vacation plans I had in my mind are gone now that I have a temporary assistant for a year.

I haven't even worked with her yet and I think I'm going to have issues. I was talking to her on Friday about a list that needed to be researched and she asked me how to research.............................

My mouth dropped open, you guys.....like literally. Luckily we were in the library and she had the lights down so she couldn't see my facial expression. I'm glad she didn't see it because it took a lot for me to shut my mouth and calmly answer her question in a decent tone of voice that wasn't panic stricken.

Apparently she had been in a legal office for 18 years since leaving our field, but correct me if I'm wrong, but don't legal offices have to research too?!

Needless to say at this point I am relishing any down time I have at work or at home to read, cross stitch, or crochet because it will do wonders for my sanity.

Any happy thoughts you can send me would be most appreciated!!!

Until next time >___<


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Potions Happy Dance ♡

Good morning, everyone! It's happy dance time ;) I can't dance to save my life. If there was a character that reminded me of my dancing, it would be Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. No rhythm whatsoever. LOL

I received the skein of thread I needed for my Potions design in the mail on Monday (no screaming from my side of the blogging world so you know the skein mostly matched the other skeins I had used previously) and was able to finish the last two rows last night.

And yes, I actually figured out the queen stitch, which now that I look at it, it reminds me of peppercorns or some other sort of dried spice. I really don't care for how it looks, but perhaps it looks better on non-linen fabrics and with more than one thread.

This design will go in my 'to frame' pile. I'm thinking maybe an ornate or old-fashion looking black frame since it is a Halloween design.

I have given up trying to get an accurate photograph of the linen color :)

Now on to stitching on CCN's London design!!!

Until next time ^___^






Monday, May 15, 2017

Spring Girl Embroidery and 1st Attempt at Sashiko Embroidery

Good morning, everyone! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. My weekend was full of stress-induced house cleaning and then relaxing with some embroidery.

Stress-induced cleaning, you ask? Well, my supervisor informed me on Friday, 10 minutes to five o'clock that we would be getting a new person in our office. Not someone we hired or approved, but that would be transferring departments to ours even though she hasn't been in our field since the 80s. So I am happy, no, not really. If anything it makes me stressed out because now in addition to everything else at work, I have to play babysitter until our new person can figure out what we need from her.

Who knows, maybe I'm stressing for no reason. I'll keep my fingers crossed that she'll work out. 

So with stress comes cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, laundry.....not that I wouldn't do those normally, but I hadn't planned on doing all that, but my brain needed to keep busy instead of worrying.....just leave the worry for my brain when I try to go to sleep at night! LOL

After all that cleaning, I sat down to continue working on Tamar Nahir-Yanai's Spring Girl kit.

Start/Finish: 5/11-13/2017
Threads: included DMC and an additional purple color

What I found amusing about this Spring Girl kit is that the illustration on the package didn't match the stamped fabric inside. The individual flowers weren't supposed to be part of the design so I had to go through my thread stash and find a color that would work with the others. I ended up choosing a purple color.

If I'm not mistaken, Hobby Lobby only has one more embroidery design of hers that I haven't stitched yet. I'll probably pick it up in the future. I was hoping they would carry the Winter Fairy design, but I haven't seen it......it could be that they only had it on the shelves during Christmas. I thought maybe I could just order it through her Etsy shop, but since that design is carried through DMC, she can't sell it in her shop to customers in the US. Sadness! I'll have to see if I can find it on DMC's website, etc.

Start/Finish: 5/14-15/2017

After finishing the Spring Girl, I pulled out a sashiko kit that I bought a few months ago. Having seen some lovely sashiko videos and stitching online, I really wanted to try it out. I ended up buying a kit, needles, and a needle pusher ring through Etsy.

No surprise that I chose a bunny design, right? Right! LOL I looked through a bunch of kits on Etsy and really liked this kit. You could get it in white or in what they called 'retro' colors. I went with the retro color version because why not. It is fun, funky, and the colors really pop against the indigo fabric.

So my initial thoughts on sashiko:

1. You wouldn't think the running stitches would be so relaxing, but oddly, they are relaxing. I stitched up this design while watching the first two seasons of When Calls the Heart.

2. I like the ease of stitching, but I didn't care for the dye used on the fabric. It is suppose to wash away when you wash the fabric, but that also means that if you mess up a stitch and pull it out, the stitch line is fainter than before so it hard to tell where to put your needle.

3. I hadn't realized how hard and awkward it is to stitch without a hoop. It took me a while to get used to stitching without a hoop. I'm still not entirely comfortable, but you can't stitch sashiko designs with a hoop as you are constantly moving the fabric back and forth through your needle.

4. I need lots of practice. My stitching wasn't the best. It was hard to keep a good tension in parts of the design and you can tell the stitches are loose in sections. I am hoping to tack the design to a bit of canvas so hopefully that will stretch out the stitches a bit.

5. I have no idea how to stitch without using knots on the back. The kit and the Etsy seller sent a beginner guide to sashiko, but I still haven't figured out how to do the reverse backstitch method of starting.......so my fabric has knots, which isn't a problem since I plan on stretching it, but if I was framing the design or making it into a flat finish, those knots would be noticeable from the front.

6. The fabric in the Olympus kit is thin and stretchy. I wonder if all Olympus fabrics are the same?!

All in all, I quite like it. Definitely a form of stitching that doesn't require much thought. I like that it is relaxing and that you can stitch and watch a TV program without worrying about stitch counts, etc.

I'll have to see if I can find some more kits on Etsy to try. And take time to practice that reverse backstitch start.

My next stitching project is CCN's London design. I started a little bit of the Big Ben portion last night. I should be getting my thread for the Potions design in the mail today so I can finish that design this week :)

Anywho, I hope you guys have a wonderful work week. Wish me luck with a new assistant.

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Potions ~ Almost complete, but out of thread?!?!


As you can tell from the title of this post, I ran out of thread for the Potions pattern and with only two more rows to go, the Queen stitch row and the cross stitched row at the bottom. Gosh, darn it.........so close to completion.

I was hoping I could pick up the DMC alternative color that was listed in the pattern and use that, but guess what color it called for? Gray.......yep, gray. Now I'm pretty sure that aubergine and gray aren't the same color unless I have an eye ailment that I am unaware of. How in world can a designer say that gray is the alternative color to variegated purple!??! Boggles my mind.

So I had to go online and buy another skein of thread, which is quite sad because 1) it is expensive and 2) I only needed a little bit of thread to complete my project. I guess I could use the rest of the thread on future Halloween projects......

I am hoping that the thread matches the previous dye lot, otherwise I might just scream and you'll probably hear me screaming from wherever you are in the world as I open that package and realize it doesn't match.

With Potions on hold for the moment, I plan on pulling out another project in my stash. I think maybe an embroidery project this time. I have another Tamar Nahir-Yanai kit that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I need to iron it tonight so I can start on it tomorrow.

I hope you guys are having a great week so far!

Until next time ^___^

April Recap

Good morning! Here's my recap for the month of April.

Read:
1. Facing Two Ways by Baroness Shidzue Ishimoto
2. Cry Wolf  by Patricia Briggs
3. Hunting Grounds by Patricia Briggs
4. Beauty and the Wolf by Bridget Essex
5. Family of Convenience by Victoria Austin
6. Her Motherhood Wish by Keli Gwyn
7. Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs
8. Bone Crossed by Patricia Briggs
9. The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz
10. Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs

Crafts:
1. Octopus amigurumi
2. 3 kitty sushi amigurumi
3. Ewok amigurumi

It seems like a lot more reading than crafting, but I was working on two dolls from Yuri on Ice!, but hadn't finished the details on them until this month.

One of my friend Amanda's favorite authors is Patricia Briggs so I thought I'd give the books a go. Luckily, my local library had all of the books in the series (except for one, which someone had lost!?!) so I have a mini pile of books at home that I have been steadily making my way through. I have three more books to go and I'll be caught up..........which isn't a good thing because then I have to wait until a new book comes out sometime in the future since she just put out a new book last month. Ugh.......

My plans for May are finishing up details on my remaining amigurumi. My sister has been telling me to make more, but I'm crocheted 'out' so I think I'll stop for the moment. I plan on picking up my cross stitch/embroidery projects more. I am almost finished with Potions. I haven't decided what I want to stitch on next....cross stitch or embroidery.....hmmm.....decisions, decisions.

Until next time ^____^

Monday, April 17, 2017

Friday Frolics - Potions slowly brewing away!

Here is Potions over two Friday Frolic periods :)





I was 'bad' and stitched on it yesterday as well since it was a holiday. I am slowly making my way down the pattern. I am currently working on the specialty stitches, I have one more row.....the Queen stitch!?!?!? NOOOOOO!!!! LOL

Just gotta keep calm and exhale....I can do this stitch! (fingers crossed)

Until next time ^____^

New Orleans Antiquing and Dessert at Sucre!

We didn't get out of NOMA until after 2pm so we made our way to Magazine Street for lunch/dinner and dessert. After having an okay meal at Jack's, we went by an antique store to browse. You know me, I had to take a few pictures of the various embroidery/cross stitch items on display.

Late 20th century cross stitch sampler

A Oriental themed vest made from needlepoint?!

Cross stitched tea towels

Stumpworked Boston fern with a creepy doll

Victorian motto sampler

Needlepoint and beaded box

Whoever made this..............? It boggles the mind. It must have taken forever!!! A needlepoint base and a beaded floral scene on top?!?!?! Egads.........

After drooling over the antiques, we stopped by Sucre. No trip to New Orleans if complete without a stop by Sucre.




I had their fraise dessert which had a strawberry gelee, vanilla sponge, and mousse! They decorated the plate with strawberry preserves. Delicious.

I got one of their newer flavors of macarons, jasmine tea. I wish I could have bought an entire box full of them, but I exhibited self control for once :)

Can't wait to see what Sucre will offer the next time we are in town!

Until next time ^___^

New Orleans Museum of Art - Seduction in Venice and Orientalism Exhibitions

It's been a while since I've stopped by NOMA for an exhibition. I think the last exhibition I saw there was several years ago. It was the Madeline Albright brooch/pin exhibition. Time has definitely flown by since then.


Kristina and I had planned to come by the museum in the fall of last year for the Orientalism exhibition, but never made it out to New Orleans. I'm glad we didn't because it gave us a chance to see another exhibition, A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s.

The exhibition featured paintings by Joseph Heintz the Younger and other Venetian artists that depicted Venice as a cityscape and as the location for Carnival, a celebration that lasted from October until the spring.

While I enjoyed the paintings of the city and celebrations, my favorites were the clothing.

A boy's dress

Mourning Gown

This gown in addition to the embroidered vests below was my favorite item in the exhibition. I can't imagine how long it would have taken a team of seamstresses to quilt this gown. The gown was modeled after the French style of dress during that time period as the entire world looked to France for fashion.

Women's high heeled clogs

These clogs were worn by women to protect their clothes from getting dirty or wet when traveling around the city. Apparently this style of shoe wasn't new in the 1700s. The Romans used something similar as well. I wouldn't want to be the woman who had to wear these shoes. They look uncomfortable.

Men's Suit

Close up of embroidery on the coat

Embroidered vests


The Orientalism exhibition while interesting was a small room of paintings, drawings, photographs, objects, and furniture. We were disappointed with the size of the exhibition so seeing the Venetian exhibition made up for it.

Our favorite piece in the exhibition was a beautiful cabinet holding various American ceramics decorated in Oriental themes. Can I have one? Looks like I'll need to win the lottery to buy one :)

Overall, we had a great time at the museum. They have changed their permanent galleries upstairs and have a lot of African, Oceanic, and Native American material on view. If you have time to stop by and see the museum before Venetian exhibition closes, please do!!

Until next time ^___^

Accents, Inc - Cross stitch shop in Metairie, LA

Good morning everyone! Kristina and I took a trip to New Orleans on Saturday to see several exhibitions at the New Orleans Museum of Art. As luck would have it, the museum didn't open until noon because of a race that was going on in the park surrounding the museum so we decided to stop by a cross stitch shop in Metairie, LA called Accents, Inc.

We had a lot of fun looking through the patterns and various fabrics in the shop. It has been a long time since either of us has been to a cross stitch shop because the one we had in town closed along with the ones in Pensacola and Foley......we are in a wasteland for cross stitch shops unless you drive up to Dothan or Montgomery.

Like all cross stitch shops, it was decorated in framed and finished cross stitch projects. I had to take a few pictures of the different finishes :)







I think my favorite finishes were the standing egg and acorn and the cute Halloween tree pictured above. I love how they finished the cross stitch in tiny muffin tins.


Surprisingly, I didn't buy much......partly because I knew I was buying fabric for two projects, which is always pricey. So I came away with two colors of 32ct linen in light mocha and water lily. The light mocha will be for Willow Hill Samplings' Cinderella and water lily will be for CCN London.

My camera doesn't capture the correct color on the fabrics. They are both paler than they appear. I was hoping to get a sand colored Belfast for the Cinderella design, but when the lady pulled it out for me, it was a lambswool..........and you know I hate working on that type of linen....too scratchy and coarse for my taste. So I chose the light mocha instead even though it wasn't as dark as the sand color.

While going through their many patterns, I found Jardin Prive's Eiffel Quaker. I have been eyeing it for a while now and decided to go ahead and get it instead of ordering it online.

Kristina came away with some Aida cloth, some beading needles, and a Mill Hill cross stitch and bead kit :)

We really enjoyed our time at the shop. The ladies that own it are friendly and are happy to help out if you have questions. That friendliness has definitely helped them to stay open for over 30 years. I hope they decide to keep it open as long as possible. You can't beat a brick and mortar store, especially when it comes to cross stitch........sometimes you need to see the real thing before buying :)

So if you are taking a trip to New Orleans, make a side trip to Metairie for some cross stitch goodies. For those of you who like plantation, historic house patterns, or state themes, they have a nice selection of them of Louisiana and New Orleans.

Until next time ^___^