Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Christmas in CA

For Amanda's package this year, I went for a tea theme for the majority of the package. The theme was actually inspired by a lovely children's book that I picked up from my local library called The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill. I think if everyone had a tea dragon in their lives, the world would be a better place.

While at the World Market, I picked up an adorable little hedgehog tea strainer and a box of teas and sugar sticks made in Russia. From Michael's, I picked up one of Caron's tea cakes in the hibiscus color and a pack of movie trivia cards since Amanda loves playing games in her off time. From Target, I found a fun horoscope mug for Virgos and then from 123stitch, I found two clear stamp sets, one with hedgehogs and the other with Christmas gingerbread.

I hope she likes everything. I had fun picking out different items to fit the tea theme. I really should have taken a picture of the wrapping paper I used!!!! Last year at Target, I found a black wrapping paper with gold octopi wearing Christmas hats! Perfect for steampunk geeks. I didn't get to use it last year.....I was happy to able to use it this year as it fit the theme :)

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Cinderella Sampler

Pattern: Cinderella Samper by Willow Hill Samplings
Fabric: 32ct oyster linen by M.C.G. Textiles
Threads: recommended DMC
Start: 12/17/2017

The Cinderella sampler won out against the CCN cakes this time around. As you may remember (it's okay if you don't), I had bought fabric for this design from Accented Inc. when Kristina and I were in New Orleans earlier this year. After looking at it against the recommended DMC threads, it seemed too dark of a fabric. The LNS didn't have the recommended fabric color so I opted for a mocha color fabric, but it just doesn't work.

So while I was at Hobby Lobby, I bought some 32ct oyster colored linen by M.C.G. Textiles. I was hoping to buy the cream colored linen by Wichelt, but the cut of fabric was too small for the pattern (darn it!). LOL So I went with the oyster color instead.

I plan on working on this design tomorrow morning before heading over to the bowling alley for our work Christmas party. Our boss is being....well, a boss, by picking teams. My coworkers and I had already decided to form our own team; that was only reason I signed up to go. We asked one of our supervisors and he said he didn't care what we did when we got in the building. LOL 

I can't wait to play. I never get together with my coworkers outside of work.

Until next time ^___^

Bellingrath Gardens - Christmas Light Display

Good evening, everyone! Kristina and I took a trip to Bellingrath Gardens on Friday night after Kristina got out of work. Their Christmas light display started on November 24 and runs until the end of December.

It was a cold night. I was bundled up in a jacket, scarf, and some gloves. Luckily the walk through the lights kept you warm for the most part, unless the wind started to blow or you were near the pond.

We signed up for a tour of the Bellingrath house as well, which was beautiful. It was full of antiques and furnishings collected by the Bellingrath family. For those of you who don't know, Bellingrath made his money in Coca-Cola. He built the Bellingrath home and its gardens for his wife.

For the Christmas lights and the house tour, it was only $24. Definitely worth every penny. I told Kristina that we should come back in the spring when the gardens are in bloom.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and that you are doing something fun ;)

Until next time ^____^

Monday, December 11, 2017

Eiffel Tower Finish!!

Pattern: Eiffel Tower by Jardin Prive
Fabric: 32ct oyster linen by M.C.G. Textiles
Threads: DMC 152, 223, 3012, and 3781
Start/Finish: 11/5-12-10/2017

I finished my Eiffel Tower design last night before dinner. I was stitching like a madwoman as I really wanted to finish it up before today. Not bad for working on and off of it for a couple of hours each day....except for the days I was being a bum and playing video games or watching movies ;)

Compared to the original color scheme, I like my colors a lot better. Not that varying colors of brown are horrible, I just wanted something soft and calming.

Hmm.....now I just gotta see what I want to stitch next. I haven't made any Christmas gifts this year, my heart and mind just isn't in the mood right now to do so. You gotta be in a cheerful mood to make gifts for the holidays otherwise it's a thankless task.

I think I'll probably pull out my CCN cakes and stitch on one of those or I might start another design. I'll have to dive into my stash and see what calls to me.

Until next time ^___^

Snow in the South? - December 8, 2017

That's right! Snow in lower AL, which is usually unheard of until at least January or February and even then maybe every five+ years.

It was cold and rainy for the majority of the week and by Friday, they mentioned that we might get snow, but we figured it would be above us in the upper part of the state....where snow isn't unheard of.

Imagine our surprise when we looked out the front door at 8pm and it was snowing!

Luckily for us the ground wasn't cold enough for the snow to stick around beyond noon the next day.

There was enough snow on the cars to make a mini snowman. I couldn't make a three ball snowman, the snow wasn't cold enough to make nice balls from anyway.

I took this picture of the moon in the sky on Saturday morning.

If we got snow in December does that mean we can still get snow in January or February if it gets cold enough?! It would be nice to have some days off of work ;) LOL

Until next time ^____^

Mobile Rock and Gem Show 2017

Good morning, everyone! I've got an older post that I meant to put up in November after it happened, but with work driving me crazy in general and to get worse news about it after Thanksgiving, my blog hasn't been on my mind lately.

My family and I went to the annual Mobile Rock and Gem Show at the Abba Temple on Black Friday. While everyone else in town was rushing around for sales, we were at the show instead.

There were a lot of informational displays on one side of the show along with their 'panning' area.

Possibly my favorite in the entire show only because of the hilarious note beside it ;)

My sister persuaded me to try the 'sleuce' area. You pay $10 for a bag of dirt and you can pan it in a wire mesh box through running water.

After I did it, my sister paid for a bag as well. Later on we were able to get our mom to do it as well. LOL Needless to say we came away with a lot of minerals and gems.

My sister really wanted to pan for opals, but an opal bag was $100. Too rich for my taste.

I bought two tumbled stones, a citrine and an unakite and from another vendor I bought a beautiful clear quartz cluster. The amethyst and rose quartz were from our sleuce adventure :)

I have these beauties at work on my desk. I figure I could really use some good positive energy and what better way to promote positive energy then being able to see something beautiful beside you as you work :)

The lady who I usually buy brooches from was at the show, but I didn't see anything I really wanted in terms of brooches. She did have a gorgeous Czech glass necklace from the 1920s, but she wanted $85 and I really couldn't justify buying one item for that amount of money, especially when I usually come away with several brooches for that amount.

We had a great time. I'm sure next year's show will be fun too!

Until next time ^___^

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Monarch Butterfly Mill Hill ~ For my aunt's birthday

Pattern: Winged Monarch by Mill Hill
Fabric/Threads: included in kit
Start/Finish: 9/4-18/2017

Hi, everyone! Today is my Aunt Joanne's birthday so I can finally share another finish that I had in September. When my sister and I were in New Orleans in July, I picked up some stash at Accents Inc. One of my purchases was a Mill Hill beaded cross stitch kit called Winged Monarch. My sister spotted it first in the store and we both agreed it would be a great birthday present for our aunt.

Oddly enough, according to Mill Hill kit reviews, Mill Hill's frames do not come with a backing or glass. Such a bizarre way to sell a frame, but I imagine a lot of stitchers probably want to show off the detail of their project when it's complete.

I wanted to get my project framed and went to Hobby Lobby to see if they had what I wanted. The lady who helped me was lovely. Instead of doing a custom frame job, she suggested I go and see if any frames would work for the design. Luckily I found a frame that already had a spacer inside so the stitching and beading do not touch the glass.

I think it turned out beautifully. I always forget that beading can be fun until I pick up a project that requires it ;)

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Celtic Music Festival and Scottish Highland Games 2017

Good evening. My family and I took a trip over to Gulfport, MS today to see the Celtic Music Festival and Scottish Highland Games.

We never stop at the first rest stop in MS, but we did this time. My sister accidentally hit the 'hood' button while getting gas before we started the trip so we had to stop to make sure the hood to the car was completely down!!

The restrooms at the rest stop are.....hmm.....bizarre. The water is brown in the toilets and the water in the sinks feels slimy. I'm not sure if that is the correct term for the water, but it feels like you haven't washed your hands.

The outside of the rest stop made up for the restrooms. An artist made sculptures out of trees that had fallen during Hurricane Katrina. Several of his 'tree' sculptures are at this rest stop and other places in MS.

Thirty plus minutes later and after going through some back roads of Gulfport, we arrived at the Harrison County Fairgrounds. We could hear the jousting competition starting as we were waiting in line to pay to get in. Luckily they hadn't started yet, they were introducing the horses and doing other tricks.

The jousting horses were beautiful. I always wonder if the horses with the shaggy hooves do well in southern weather. You would think they would get hot in the summer.

The bleachers were packed so we were standing on the opposite side with a few spectators, professional photographers, and volunteer police officers.

After watching the jousting, we walked over to the artisan's area. Of course, one of the first tables we came across was selling British/Welsh/Irish baked goods and desserts.

My sister persuaded me to get a bowl of bread pudding with whiskey sauce. Nothing says ruin your diet like bread pudding, but you know what? It was worth every single calorie and inch to my waistline!

I made my sister and my mom break their diets as well. No sense in me being the only bad person in the group. LOL

Periodically they had a mini parade of people playing Scottish bagpipes and drums accompanied by each clan walking in procession. It was interesting to see how few people were in the Campbell clan, but not surprising considering their history.

We saw a pen full of sheep, which was quite sad. They were terrified of everyone and were grouped together and standing completely still. Poor things! I'm sure they just wanted to go home to their nice, grassy farm.

Several vendors were demonstrating their crafts. This lovely lady had a company called The Fiber Chicken. She makes her own yarn, by spinning and dying fibers. She crochets, knits, and tats. Quite the crafty lady. She had some beautiful shawls that she had made, but they were expensive. One made of 100% alpaca was $650.

I have a feeling that she probably sells more of her yarn at $45 per skein than her handmade shawls. I don't fault her the price especially considering the process involved.

At the end of the artisan's area, there were several tents set up for 'living' history. I took a picture of older gentleman showing off the tapestry that he was working on. Talk about having a love of your craft and having the patience to complete it.

You remember the bread pudding? Well, we bought some things from two vendors who were selling sweets......traditional Welsh cakes (I love currants!!), a loaf of Irish soda bread, and an empire shortbread cookie (not pictured because....well, we ate it.....lol....but if you were wondering what it looked like, just think of a cherry bakewell tart from England. The icing reminds me of the empire shortbread topping and instead of cherry, it had strawberry jam, which was divine!)

I am hoping to persuade my friends to go with me next year to the Celtic festival or maybe one of the medieval fairs. It would be great to spend the day there. Take some food for a picnic and enjoy the performances.

I hope you all had a wonderful Saturday.

Until next time ^____^