Tuesday, January 31, 2017

A Sick Kitty, Cherry Blossoms, and Friday Stitching

Hi, everyone! It's been a crazy week at our house. Last Monday, I dropped off our kitty Lily at the vet. She had been vomiting all weekend and wasn't eating and hardly drinking anything.

At first the vet thought she might be constipated, but later in the day when the medication they gave her along with an enema (poor kitty!!!) didn't work, they realized she had a bunch of foreign objects in her intestines (i.e. string, bits of carpet, hair). How in the world can a cat eat that stuff?! Never underestimate a kitten!

So they took Lily off to surgery.....$1,500 later we had a cone of shame kitty to contend with and let me tell you, she is not a happy camper.

For the past several days, we have had to keep her in a cage so she wouldn't jump or run which might cause her stitches to rip. The poor thing doesn't understand why we have to keep putting her back in the cage. 

Do cats have long memories? If so, she is going to remember this experience and hate the dreaded cat cage for a lifetime! It should be interested to see if we can get her in it if we need to in the future.

Here's Lily in her cone of shame! CONE OF SHAME!!!!

In other non-crazy news, our cherry tree is still going strong despite windy and rainy weather. I gotta enjoy its beautiful blooms while I can!

In stitching news, I worked a bit more on my Bohemian Paisley design on Friday. I satin stitched a few more areas, finished the outline stitching around the French knots, and started to split stitch a few areas of orange.

Split stitching isn't as hard as I thought it was going to be, but I will say I don't like how it looks in the end. Not that it is a horrible looking stitch, I blame the amount of threads the stitch calls for in the pattern. The pattern calls for three strands when I think they should be more......but maybe the pattern is trying to highlight other areas with fuller stitches?!?! LOL

Maybe I get some more stitching done this Friday. My friends and I are celebrating our friend Nicole's birthday. It should be fun. And hopefully by then Lily can be released from captivity and free from the cone of shame! Which would make for an even better Friday!

Until next time ^____^

Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day package to CA!

Good morning, everyone! I didn't have a chance over the weekend to post about the Chinese New Year package that I sent to my friend Amanda to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.....with a few Valentine's Day items thrown in the mix.

Wandering the Internet for rooster amigurumi patterns, I found an adorable one.....but the website was in Spanish. At least Google translate is good for things occasionally so I was about to crochet the pattern.

So my little rooster was sent to CA along with a traditional Starbucks Year of the Rooster gift card, and some zodiac chocolate coins. For Valentine's Day items, I found some pretty sparkly (who doesn't like sparkles?!) washi tape, one of Hershey's new candy bars, and a set of flavored teas at Target.

Silly me, I had wrapped the teas up before taking a photo......I was wrapping everything at 10pm after getting home from hanging with my friends. My brain wasn't in photo mode, just wrap everything and go to sleep mode. LOL

I hope everyone has a wonderful Year of the Rooster!!!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Friday Stitching, Rain, and Cherry Blossoms

Good afternoon! We woke up this morning to some severe weather with our phones going off with tornado warning alerts. For a few moments we were standing inside our bathroom with our cat, Lily, waiting to see what would happen.

To our relief, no tornados touched down in our area or in town. I know people complain about cell phone usage today, but I love the fact that cell phones (at least smart phones) automatically have warning notifications set on your phone. If something is wrong, it goes off to alert you.

Living outside of town we don't have a warning system in place if there are tornados in the area unless we have our TV or radio on. From what I've heard some areas of Mobile have sirens that go off if there are tornados. It would be nice if they extended that system to the rest of the county.

In other news, my friends and I met up yesterday to watch Taiwanese dramas, eat pizza, and chat about anything and everything. I decided to bring along my Bohemian Paisley embroidery pattern to stitch on. The great thing about watching Asian dramas with friends is the fact that you don't have to actively 'watch' the TV. There will always be someone yelling at the TV over something crazy that happens. It makes for great stitching time.....well, unless you stab your finger with a needle when someone screams at the TV. LOL

I made progress by filling in the satin stitch areas, doing some outline stitches around the French knots, and attempting to stitch some lazy daisies. I don't know why, but I've never been a fan of the lazy daisy stitch. When I stitch one, it never seems as 'full' as what is pictured on my design.

If I try to leave them bigger, it seems like the stitch isn't secure so I pull the stitch tighter. I'm seriously considering pulling out those stitches and satin stitching those areas. Does anyone have any tips for lazy daisy stitches? Is it supposed to be a loose stitch?


In flowering news, we were lucky that the rain and wind this morning didn't damage anything outside. My cherry tree came through as if it was just getting a normal rain shower. Everyone else's blossoming trees are in full color lately.

It makes me wish our city had a park with flowering trees, but sadly our main park is full of pine and oak trees. I guess the city hadn't heard of landscaping back in the day!

I hope you are having a lovely weekend so far!

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Bohemian Paisley Embroidery

Pattern: Bohemian Paisley Kit, Handmade Charlotte by Plaid Bucilla
Fabric: denim colored fabric
Threads: cotton floss
Start: 1/15/2017

Good morning. On Sunday, I stopped by Joann's Fabrics to look at their cross stitch and embroidery kits. I wanted to find something I could work on as a break from crocheting and as my Friday Frolic project.

I'm not a fan of cross stitch kits that have Aida fabric so I browsed through the embroidery section and found this colorful kit by Plaid Bucilla.

I thought I could work on my embroidery skills while stitching on something bright and cheerful. So far it is basic stitches like French knots, satin stitches, and outline stitches. I think the most complicated it will get is split stitches. We'll see how that goes.....it can't be that bad, right? I just have to  remember that I'm stitching this piece for myself. It doesn't have to be perfect.

Though I will say when I embroider something, I always remember the line from the Sense and Sensibility movie when Mrs. Jennings talks about her daughter Charlotte while showing off a sample of her work in colored silks and she comments, 'Poor Charlotte'. LOL

Until next time ^____^

Cherry Blossom Season 2017

It's that time of year folks! That's right, it's cherry blossom season. Well, at least in my first yard anyway. I am glad to see our tree blossom as we had a mini drought during the fall and I thought maybe it hadn't gotten enough rain, but it proved me wrong by budding last week.

It isn't unusual to see my cherry tree blossoming in January, but it is odd to admire it in 70 degree weather.

Maybe one day I'll be able to travel to somewhere that has cherry trees in abundance! That would be beautiful.

I hope you are having a good week so far!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Candlewick Embroidery - Floral Silhouette

Good afternoon everyone! I hope you are having a great New Year so far. It's extremely cold here....as in 22° low, 39° high. Granted, it is winter, I realize that, but I'm telling you that climate change is real. Our winter so far has consisted of days with 70° highs with a few cold days thrown in. 

We made live in the south, but I can tell a normal winter here consists of 30-50ish days. So to have odd days of 70° is not normal. Needless to say, having a random day of 22° should be normal, but isn't.

In other news, our dog Sam passed away after Christmas. We think he had distemper. It was sad to watch him pass so quickly. We thought he had a cold, but he became disoriented and weak and eventually stopped eating.

We don't plan on getting another dog as we are kept busy trying to keep our kitten Lily under control. She is a terror. I need to take her by the vet to update her shots and get her claws trimmed. She has an issue about trying to climb up your leg to get your attention.

Any one have tips on how to train a kitten to stop biting and clawing?!?! Lol

In crafting news, I bought a kit a while back that was on sale at Hobby Lobby. It was a candlewick embroidery kit.

Pattern: Floral Silhouette by Design Works Crafts
Threads: creme colored candlewick thread and a brown DMC thread
Start/Finish: 12/31/2016 - 1/2/2017

I had always loved seeing the various kits at the store. With some birthday money, I bought a kit when it was on sale.

This is my first attempt at candlewick embroidery. It wasn't a complete disaster, but I will honestly admit that my embroidery skills are below average!

The kit is by Design Works Crafts. It came with fabric, thread, and two needles, one for the candlewick thread and the other for the normal embroidery floss. My only complaint about the kit is that the pre-inked design does not come off when you wash the fabric after completing your stitching.

I tried soaking it in warm water and soap with no change to the inked lines. Then I put it through the washer on delicate, secured in a mesh laundry bag. I did that twice with no difference.

My sister, bless her, said the design looked fine with the white inked lines still there. Lol I disagree. When I stitched that part of the design, it was easier to stitch on the edge of the lines with the embroidery floss. So that's what I did, erroneously thinking the lines would wash out.

If I knew that I wouldn't be able to wash out the ink, I would have stitched through the center of the lines using six strands of floss instead of the recommended two strands.

Stitching on a kit for three days, only to find out that it can't be washed is just plain evil!! 

Sigh......the grumbling complaints of a stitcher. Lol

If (it's a big IF) I try this again, I think I would transfer a design using transfer pens that wash out.

I'm off to crochet for a bit before heading over to my aunt's house to celebrate my mom's birthday......hello, Italian creme cake (sadly, not homemade, but sometimes sacrifices have to be made).

Until next time >___<