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


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

1. Yuri doll
2. Victor doll

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!). 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 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 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 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 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.

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

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 ^____^