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 ^___^

Monday, April 3, 2017

Friday Frolic - Potions ♡




Another Friday Frolic come and gone. I've finished the middle part of the design....now on to the top part of the pattern, all the specialty stitches, and the bottom part of the design :) I'm thinking I might have this finished by some time in May. Fingers crossed!

I hope you guys have a great week! (If you are in Mobile, be careful in this crazy weather!)

Until next time ^___^

March Amigurumi Roundup


I told you Link was adorable, right?! His shield makes all the difference....otherwise, you'd think he was a woodland elf!

Until next time ^___^

March Recap

Hi, everyone! Can you believe it's April already? It doesn't seem like it should be, though the weather does make you realize it is spring and that you better enjoy it while it lasts before the summer heat comes to play.

Another month gone and it's time for a monthly recap.

Read:
1. Sword of the Guardian by Merry Shannon
2. Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear
3. Moon Called by Patricia Briggs
4. Ganymede by Cherie Priest
5. Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs
6. The Edge of the Unknown by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
7. Mirror in the Shrine by Robert A. Rosenstone

Crafts:
Amigurumi!!!
1. Yoshi
2. King Boo
3. Rowlet
4. Totoro
5. Dango
6. Chulthu
7. Ultros
8. Link from Zelda

Stitching:
~ steadily working on Potions, Brews, and Spells

Lots of reading and crocheting this month. I've been working on the Potions pattern for my Friday Frolic project. I've got three more months of crocheting for the convention in July. Believe me when I say that I am counting the days. I really want the freedom to crochet and craft to my heart's content without worrying about looming deadlines.

That being said, my favorite amigurumi, hands down, has to be the Link doll. He's adorable. I love the hat and shield. The shield was a pattern from All About Ami. She did a great job designing it! Usually I have a hard time single crocheting in rows since I'm used to stitching in the round, but I didn't have any trouble with my gauge.....granted I didn't use my size H hook like usual, I used a size G, but I didn't want the shield to be ginormous and it came out to just the size I needed.

Books....and more books..... hmmm......the good thing about books is a visit to the dentist. You may wonder what a dentist and books have to do with one another. Well, my sister works in our local university's library. Since we carpool, if I have dentist appointment, I can browse her library afterwards.

This time around I found a few books on Japan (no surprise there) and one I hadn't heard of by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I'm not sure how many people know this, but Doyle was a strong advocate for Spiritualism. A great many people got involved in the movement prior to the war and even more so afterwards.

The Edge of the Unknown is a non-fiction book written by Doyle in 1930 detailing his thoughts and theories on Spiritualism and documenting accounts of his involvement in the movement along with other people's as well. Interestingly enough, the first chapter was devoted to Harry Houdini. For a time, Doyle and Houdini were friends, but separated due to their conflicting views of Spiritualism. In the chapter on Houdini, Doyle claims (he wasn't the only one to have the same opinion) that Houdini himself was a medium and that his stance against Spiritualism was partly to get rid of the fake mediums in the field and to hide his talent from others.

Doyle mentioned that when Houdini was questioned about his stunts and how they were achieved, he said that he had a voice that he listened to. He said that the times he tried the stunts without waiting for that voice, he failed, but whenever he listened for the voice first, he succeeded in his stunts. A psychic power perhaps or maybe really good intuition? Who knows.

The other chapters go on to talk about various events and mediums who Doyle hoped would persuade his readers that Spiritualism was indeed a real science and that contact with the spirit realm was possible.

Don't you love it when people leave marginalia in books? Well, someone left a comment about one of the chapters about Doyle and his friends being visited by a ghost. Just one word 'fraud'. And, of course, when I tried to look up the encounter on the Internet, all I could find was the chapter itself. How sad...it would have been interesting to see if his friends were exposed as frauds.

I've been rambling, haven't I?! I hope you enjoyed the ramble and that you learned something you didn't really need to learn today. (I can use Monday as an excuse, right?!) Well, on that note....until next time!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Potions, Brews, and Spells progress

Hi, again :) It's been a while since I posted on my Friday Frolicking on my Potions, Brews, and Spells pattern. I wanted to have a few Friday's worth of stitching before I posted about it again. So here is my progress since the last time :)




I ended up with my initials and date after last week's frolicking. There is a few more cross stitch bits below this section, but a majority of it is backstitching, specialty stitches, and cross stitching over one. After I get the regular cross stitching done in this section, I plan on moving back up and leaving the bottom section until last.


I was able to get a close up photograph of the thread color. Isn't it pretty? I love the variegated purples. It has been a while since I've worked with colored silks and I don't think I've ever worked with a variegated one before. I love how it stitches up.

I wish I could afford to do it more often, but the threads are pricey. I splurged on this project and bought the required fabric and threads because I am stitching this for myself and hope to frame it after it is done :)

Maybe some day I'll be able to get a photograph of the fabric that shows its true color. My cell phone camera does whatever it wants with this fabric depending on the time of day and lighting......ugh!

Until next time ^____^

Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival 2017

Hi, everyone! My family and I attended the Alabama Medieval Fantasy Festival the Saturday before last. It is located in Greenville, AL, which is a little bit of a drive, but at least it isn't as far away as New Orleans.

The festival has music, falconry, jousting, and drama plays. We were able to see the falconry show and the jousting event.

The falconry show was interesting. They had several types of birds that they showed off including a buzzard, Russian owl, and a falcon. I think everyone's favorite was the owl. She was beautiful!




The 'king and queen' of the festival along with the royal court made their way through the festival. According to a friend of my sister's, the king and queen are the couple who hold the event. They purchased the land and have been building on it ever since.

Since the festival is 'fantasy' themed, any type of costume could be worn. My sister and I saw ladies in steampunk attire and a teenager dressed up as the character from Assassin's Creed. It was a bizarre mix of costumes.

I think the best costumes were the king and queen who dressed in period costume. The king wore 'King Henry VIII' style dress complete with stockings! It was impressive especially since he was a burly red haired/bearded man.



After viewing the vendors for a bit, we went back to check out the jousting event. I missed a bit of that part of the event as I was stuck waiting for food. By the time I got back to the jousting, there were a lot of people in front......being short, I wasn't able to see much of the jousting. You couldn't help hearing it though. One of knights hit the other so hard, he fell off his horse. I'm sure there was a sizeable dent in his armor.



On our way out of the festival, we stopped by a tea vendor's table. My mother and I ended up both buying some tea. I got a orange cinnamon spice blend and my mother bought a bag of dragon's blood tea, which is full of fruit and spices. The vendor was called The Copper Kettle Tea Bar and they have a shop in Foley, AL.

I might have to make a trip out there to see the shop/cafe. It looks adorable and the food looks delicious :)

I would love to see the fair better organized with all the living history tables, etc. in one area, all the vendors in another (you could make an interesting medieval market with all the vendors in one area), and the jousting/falconry area separated from the rest of the fair with more seating. And the drama plays need to be throughout the day. We weren't able to attend because they were at 3:30 and we had to drive make to Mobile. 

All in all, I'm not sure if we will attend the medieval fair next year.....it just depends. For its second year of existence, it isn't too bad. It was worth seeing my mother's face. Total skepticism. I had to remind her that when she was younger she played Dungeons and Dragons so a live medieval reenactment fair wasn't that far of a stretch. LOL

Until next time ^_____^ 

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Saturday Antiquing - Milton, FL


My sister and I drove over to Milton, FL for an antique show. The first thing we saw were these adorable baby goats. Aren't they so cute? Makes you want to take one home, right? But then you remember that they grow up. Lol

The show wasn't large, but it did have a variety of vendors selling Civil War materials, Depression glass, ceramics, books, and jewelry.

We were hoping to find some Old Colony or Dogwood depression glass for our mother and aunt, but there were only a few examples and several of them were either pieces our mother and aunt already had or they were buy 'as is' which means something is wrong with the piece.

While walking around I took a few pictures of items that interested me.


I saw this beautiful turn of the 20th century vase by Royal Dux. This is first time I have seen an art nouveau style vase in the wild; usually I see them in museums.


This vendor had an amazing selection of several (5 sets) vanity sets from the 1920s. She was asking for about $200 for each piece in the set?!?! O_o"

She had a lovely perfume casket from the Victorian period. (The red velvet object in the picture.) It opens up to house two glass bottles of perfume. My sister and I thought it was amusing that the vendor stopped to tell us that she would lower the price to $200 if we were interested. Lol


Another vendor had a bunch of vintage knick knacks and kitchen gadgets. My favorites were these adorable chocolate molds for bunnies and lambs. Just one of the smallest ones was $45!!! Sigh.....


I took this picture for my mother as she is interested in spinning and weaving. A vintage yarn spinner. Not sure how old it is.....it still spins. My sister couldn't resist pushing the foot pedal. I'm just glad it didn't fall apart when she pushed it!!!


The woman I buy brooches from was there. I bought three brooches from her, two Spanish damascene brooches and a floral circular brooch.

I always assumed that the damascene brooches were 1920s or so because of the trombone backing, but after some research yesterday I found out that they are probably 1950s-60s and were made most likely in Toledo, Spain.

Damascene is the art of inlaying various metals onto oxidized steel. It is still practiced in Spain and Japan today. I have two other damascene brooches in my collection, but I hadn't realized what they were called until yesterday ;)

Maybe one day I'll come across some Japanese damascene brooches. You can't mistake them for the Spanish style as their designs are purely oriental themed.

The things you learn as you collect.

Until next time >___<

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

January and February Recap and Crochet Roundup

It seems that January went by so quickly that I forgot to do my usual monthly recap. It's just my way of keeping on track with books and projects, LOL.....sometimes you just need to organize your brain.

Read:

January:
1. Against a Brightening Sky by Jaime Lee Moyer
2. Knife Edge by Andrew Lane

February:
1. The White Company by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
2. Super Sushi Ramen Express by Michael Booth
3. Death's Mistress by Terry Goodkind
4. His Substitute Wife by Dorothy Clark
5. The Art of Beatrix Potter by Emily Zach et al

Stitching:
1. Bohemian Paisley embroidery
2. Shy Fairy embroidery

Crochet:
Lots and lots of amigurumi......see pictures below!

January Amigurumi Roundup

February Amigurumi Roundup

My favorites in books were Against a Brightening Sky by Jaime Lee Moyer and The Art of Beatrix Potter. I really hope Ms. Moyer continues with the series. I love the supernatural/mystery theme she has set in the turn of the century California.

The Beatrix Potter book was lovely. I hadn't realized that she had so many interests throughout her life in addition to her children's books. You learn something new everyday!

For the month of March, I plan on more crochet and hopefully stitching a bit on the Potions pattern with the aid of a magnifier if I can find a good one :)

Until next time ^____^