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.


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

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

1. Bohemian Paisley embroidery
2. Shy Fairy embroidery

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 ^____^

Potions, Brews, and Spells progress

After finishing up my Shy Fairy embroidery project, I stitched a bit on Potions, Brews, and Spells. I had no luck in finding a magnifier in my craft store browsing so I took my standing Ott light and draped it over a chair so I could get it as close as I could to my project while stitching. I looked ridiculous, but at least it helped.

I pulled out a bit of linen and tried my hardest to learn how to stitch the queen stitch.

It was a mess, I tried it at least ten times and couldn't get it to look right. It doesn't help that the JCS pattern shows the stitch covering six stitches and the diagram in the back of the magazine has it over five.

I'm so confused by that stitch. I looked up the stitch online and all the diagrams are the same as the magazine, but no matter how many times I stitch it, it just looks wonky.

So on that note, I plan on continuing with my regular stitching and leave that area of queen stitches until the end. If I can't figure it out at the end, I'll think of some other stitch to put in its place.

Until next time ^____^

Flowers and Shy Fairy Embroidery

Hi, everyone! Spring is in the air even though it is still officially 'winter'. We have had a lot of pleasant days with temperatures in 60s-80s. It seems like every flower that can bloom is out in force.

Azaleas on the side of our house

Snowdrops in my mother's 'English' garden

We pushed ourselves last week by working as much as possible in order to have the four day weekend off from work for Mardi Gras.

These last four days have been a mental break we all needed. Looking at our city holiday calendar, our next four day holiday won't be until Thanksgiving.

I didn't spend the holiday downtown at the Mardi Gras parades, but opted to stay at home with a book and a few crafting projects.

I started my Shy Fairy embroidery project last Friday as my Frolicking Friday project. I love the DMC colors that came with the kit.

Yesterday was my 'Frolicking Friday' since I wanted a full day of stitching on my day off instead of my normal Friday of maybe two hours of stitching total.

I was able to finish up my Shy Fairy embroidery. I didn't stitch the small flowers and hearts around the main design since I wouldn't be able to display it in a hoop with those motifs embroidered. The fabric that came with the kit is cut too small to allow for the stitching of those motifs if you intend on displaying it in an embroidery hoop.

This morning while at Hobby Lobby, I was debating on whether to get another one of the Tamar Nahir-Yanai kits, but I persuaded myself not to since I know I have a bunch of small stitching projects I could stitch up instead.

I hope you are having a great day! Until next time ^____^

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Saturday Antiquing - Dragon Tea set and Cross Stitch/Embroidery

This morning I went by Cotton City Antiques to look around. I was hoping to find some bundt or cake pans, but didn't see anything that wasn't in horrible condition.

However, I did see some lovely pieces while browsing. I saw this beautiful tea set depicting dragons. I found the set online and the raised designs on the dragons are called moriage. They were made in Japan from the late 19th century and continue to be part of ceramics in the present day. This set was probably made in the 1970s.

In terms of cross stitch and embroidery, I saw lots of new items I hadn't seen the last time I went to the antique mall.

Antique cross stitch sampler from 1927

Embroidered pillow with strawberries and butterfly

Embroidered basket scarf depicting a basket with flowers

Vintage cross stitch pattern

Cross stitch tea towel with peacock. The colors were beautiful.

I didn't buy anything this go around though I was sorely tempted by that dragonware tea set and several of the cross stitch/embroidery designs.

Have a great weekend!

Until next time ^____^

Potions, Brews, and Spells progress

I started on my Halloween pattern yesterday morning. The previous Sunday I had gotten the fabric out, prepped it, and stitched two numbers to get started for my Friday Frolic.

At the end of the day yesterday I had finished an entire row and the first letter in the row above it. I tried to stitch the row of queen stitches that go between the 'T' and 'Z', but I'm totally confused by the diagram in the JCS magazine.

I need to get a scrap of larger count linen and practice the stitch. Being able to see what I am stitching would help immensely.

In addition to practicing, I need a magnifier to attach to my Ott light. I have a hard time seeing the stitches on this higher count of linen.

It makes me wonder how stitchers can work on higher counts like 40 and up. I can hardly see the 35ct stitches.........O-o".

Hopefully next weekend I will be able to go by Joann's and check out their Ott light selection. I think they have magnifiers in that section that can be attached to the lights...........though I could just be making this up in my mind. LOL

Going by the store depends entirely on my work during the week. Our boss thinks we should work next Saturday if we don't accomplish enough during the week. That means I plan on bugging one of coworkers relentlessly to pick up the pace. Let's just say when we have events coming up, he is always the one we are waiting on, every single time. It gets old real fast. If I was his boss, I would have fired him a long time ago for incompetence.

Enough of the work drama....it will just make me stressed and I plan on enjoying the weekend while I can :)

Until next time ^____^

New Brooches :)

Hi, everyone! I have some new brooches to add to my collection!


This Totoro brooch was something I had commissioned from an artist on Etsy. She had a version of the polymer clay Totoro, but it was a necklace. I asked if she could make me a brooch with the same design. It came in the mail on Monday.

I love it.....I really wanted something geeky to wear occasionally at work. I have to be sure that on the days that I wear this brooch, I am working at my desk and not moving things around where I might accidentally brush up against the roses and break them O-o"

The same coworker who gave me the Bob Mackie heart brooch gave me two more brooches from his mother's collection. They are both brooches made by the French jewelry maker, Marcel Boucher. He worked for Cartier in the 1920s and then for several other companies before forming his own in 1937.

The two pieces I have were made after 1955 sometime around 1959-1960. Interesting enough, the rose brooch is part of set. When a piece of jewelry was part of a set, the company put 'N', 'E', and 'P' after the inventory number to denote a set. My coworker said he would check and see if the necklace and earrings were still in his mother's collection.

It could be that they aren't there at all because I'm not sure whether the Boucher sets were bought as complete set or if you had to purchase each one individually.

I'll have to wear these sometime this week. Both are quite beautiful. The rose brooch is so LONG! I don't have any of those types in my collection.

I really need a jewelry armoire. I wish I had enough money to commission someone to build one for me as I don't need something with slots for rings or earrings.....LOL just lots and lots of compartments for brooches :) Maybe someday!

Until next time ^____^

Monday, February 13, 2017

Paisley Embroidery Finish, a New Brooch, and Antique Travel Book

Good morning everyone! I worked on my Bohemian Paisley pattern on Friday and I was able to get everything finished except for the backstitching around the larger green motifs and the lazy daisy stitches. Since I was so close to being finished, I decided to work on it on Saturday afternoon after coming back from shopping.

Here is the design all finished. I still don't care for the lazy daisy stitches. I think they would be fine if there wasn't the pre-marked design behind them......I did try to wash the pattern after I was finished, but none of the ink came out.

So here's my ramble......why do embroidery companies make patterns with ink that doesn't wash out? Does that make any sense? Your design is never going to look like the one on the cover unless you are meticulous about covering up every white area there is on the fabric.....and I can tell you, it's hard to do on those lazy daisy stitches.

Well, I can't complain too much because this kit only costs me $3.50. A nice way to practice my embroidery stitches if nothing else.

On Friday, my coworker gave me a lovely brooch for my collection. His mother recently passed away. She had lots of costume jewelry . My coworker asked if I would like something from her collection since I wear brooches to work and I said yes. He picked out this Bob Mackie heart brooch.

I only have one other heart brooch in my collection so this is a great addition! I'm going to wear it tomorrow for Valentine's Day :)

On Saturday, I stopped by The Book Nook and found a lovely copy of Baedeker's Great Britain from 1927. Baedekers were travel guides published by a German company founded in 1827 (it still exists today under a different name.)

For a book that is ninety years old, it is in wonderful condition. The maps are bright and look to be rarely used. It is interesting to see that the North Sea used to be called the German Ocean (upper right on the map).

The book is somewhat like a modern travel guide with maps, directions, attractions, and costs. There are small descriptions of various historical places from each city in the guide book.

The geek in me would love to see a guide book for London. The earliest book on London was published in 1878 and was re-released every couple of years until 1930. With the war, English editions of the books weren't published until the 1950s. The last edition of the London book was in 1955, its 21st edition of that title.

I would love to see the books before and after the war to see how the face of London changed.

Like I said........the geek in me. LOL

In stitching news, I started a new Friday Frolic project on Sunday morning. I chose Potions, Brews, & Spells by Cherished Stitches, which was featured in last year's JCS Halloween magazine. I had ordered the fabric and threads in the fall, but never started the project because I was busy with Saisons 4 Sampler.

Since it will be my Friday Frolic project, the only things I did on Saturday and Sunday was pull the fabric out, iron it, find the center point, and stitch two number motifs to get it started.

This fabric is definitely going to require my Ott light. I am stitching it on 35 ct dolphin linen by Weeks Dye Works. The pattern originally called for 36 count, but the store I bought it from didn't have 36 so I went with the closest alternative.

The highest count I've worked on so far is 32 as that it the only count you can find in the chain craft stores in town.

Taking that and the dark fabric color into account, the Ott light is going to be used quite a lot. Usually I bring my project with me when I meet up with my friends on Friday nights, but I think I will have to start an additional Friday Frolic project since I can't drag a standing Ott light around town. I plan on stitching on the Shy Fairy on those nights.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend! Have a great Valentine's Day tomorrow. Even if you're single! Go to the store, buy some chocolate, and enjoy an evening of self-indulgence! LOL

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tardis Birthday Cake, Friday Stitching, a Happy Kitty, and New Stash

Hi, everyone! Last night, we had our friend Nicole's birthday party. Candace decided to get a cake from a local bakery in town instead of making one or buying the usual fare at the grocery store. The bakery had a book of previous commissions and when she saw a Tardis cake, she knew it would be perfect as Nicole LOVES Dr. Who.

The cake was chocolate flavored with a cream filling. It was quite good despite the thick icing on the cake.

Afterwards, we watched Nicole open her presents (lots of geeky kpop stuff and some cross stitch goodies!) and then sat down to watch the rest of the Taiwanese drama we have been trying to finish for a while.

I pulled out my Friday Frolic project......here's my progress from yesterday morning before work and during Nicole's birthday party.

I finished the satin stitching on the longer green areas and split stitched the blue paisley on the left. At the rate I'm going I should have this project finished by the end of the month.

In kitty news, we visited the vet on Wednesday evening and was told that Lily was doing great. She had to stay in the cage and continue to wear the cone of shame until Friday night.

This afternoon she has been enjoying the sunlight through our front door. She is a lot happier now that she has freedom to run about the house.

While out this morning looking for some red yarn, I found this adorable embroidery kit at Hobby Lobby. I love the subject of this kit, it's called 'Shy Fairy'.....perfect for a fairy tale loving bookworm! It is by the illustrator and embroiderer, Tamar Nahir-Yanai. She has a few kits released through DMC, but she a lot more on her own website.

I plan on it being one of my Friday Frolic projects in the future!!!

Enjoy your weekend! Until next time ^____^