Monday, July 31, 2017

Patriotic Picnic - Brooke's Books



With the last of my birthday Etsy card money from Kristina, I bought the Yummy Stitches Patriotic Picnic Group #2 set by Brooke's Books.

I started last Wednesday and was able to finish the watermelon. Since I took today off from work to get some rest after the convention, I was able to work on a few more motifs, the pinwheel and part of the basket.

I need to buy the specialty DMC memory threads. While my sister and I were at Accents, Inc. on Thursday, I bought one of the memory thread colors because it works for this project and the Snow White design. I plan on ordering the rest of the memory threads online because they are cheaper.

I can't wait to work more on this pattern. The motifs are adorable. I really, really hope that Brooke decides to design more 'kawaii' motifs for each season or holiday!!! They make great ornaments or even bunting banners :)

Until next time ^____^

New Orleans - Haul and Cross Stitch stash :)

My sister and I stopped by Accents Inc. in Metairie on Thursday before driving into New Orleans. I was looking for fabric and specialty threads.


I bought my first piece of opalescence overdyed evenweave for a project along with a Ghost chart by JBW Designs, a Mill Hill kit, four bobbins of Kreinik threads and ribbon, and a skein of DMC memory thread.


I bought the fabric and threads for Brooke's Books Snow White from her Fairy Tale Princess Dress Up Collection.


I had ordered her Dress Up Collection from her Etsy shop earlier in July. She had a deal where you could sign up for the twelve monthly princess designs at 50% off, which I figured was a great deal because I already liked five of the designs she had put out so far and at the discount rate, you were basically getting six charts for free.

I ordered those and accessory packs which were also 50% off. The packs came with the beads and/or perforated paper needed to make the crowns, etc. in the design.

I hope to start the Snow White design in August. Beside the Cinderella design, Snow White was my second favorite of the collection. I love how the skirt is decorated. Reminds me of children's illustrations of the fairy tale.

Until next time >___<

Mechacon 2017

Good afternoon everyone! My sister and I were at Mechacon in New Orleans from Thursday through Sunday. They had moved venues from the Hilton Riverside hotel to the Hyatt Regency this year, which wasn't the best decision they could have made.

While the Hilton hotel was too small after so many years of growing attendance, the Hyatt was too large. I'm not sure who designed the Hyatt, but it is a convoluted mess. While I like the hotel rooms being designed around an atrium (it gives you the peace of mind of not hearing people outside your room at midnight like it would in a normal hotel with hallways), the first through third floors were a maze built around sculptural columns and walls. 

My sister and I made the mistake of eating at Vitascope in the hotel on the first night and spent $50 on two burgers and an appetizer. All the other restaurants in the hotel were expensive and the same went for any food in the hotel shops. Even the Starbucks was charging an extra two dollars on Frappuccinos. 

The next morning we took a walk over to Willa Jean's bakery and restaurant for breakfast. 

O_o".........so delicious!!!! I had a sausage biscuit with an egg on top and pimento cheese. I wasn't a fan of the pimento cheese, but the sausage and egg were fantastic with the biscuit, which was soft and flaky in the middle and chewy on the outside.


Our first day at the convention was an odd experience compared to the previous years we had been there. The dynamic of the audience had changed completely. People we had been used to seeing every year weren't there. I saw one guy I remembered from last year (he had bought my bunny sundae amigurumi last year), but I didn't recognize anyone else.

The Mechacon staff decided this year that they would combine the artist's alley and the dealers' room to give the feeling of a 'bazaar,' which you think would have been a great idea, but it was a death knell for the artists. People were walking right past the artist tables to head towards the dealers' room.

The hall that they had the artists and dealers in had the WORST lighting I have ever seen! The artists side of the hall had a lower ceiling, which meant that anyone who had tall displays were cutting their lighting off on their booth. The overhead A/C pipes and ducts were blocking light in certain areas.

The staff ended up moving tables over to help the artists in the dark sections get a little light, but that put other booths in semi-darkness. The better idea would have been to move the artists in the dark to unoccupied tables because there were quite a few artists that didn't show.

Another problem with the room was the A/C. It was barely working on Thursday when we came by to set up our booth....by Friday morning it was COLD!!! Extremely cold......my sister never complains about the cold and she was freezing. We had several customers complain about the cold, but what could you do. The hotel was trying to compensate for the fact that there were hundreds of people milling around the room.

After an bizarre day, we packed up our merchandise and headed to our hotel room. Which took about 15 minutes. You wouldn't have thought it would take that long, but the Hyatt decided they wanted to have fancy elevators, which you operated with a dial pad. Which sounds fantastic, but it isn't practical for a convention crowd. 

When you put in the floor you were going to, the dial pad would say which elevator you needed to go to.....like car A or D or F, etc. Multiple floors could be using the same car.

Downside to that fancy technology, you can't randomly get on an elevator and go to the floor you wanted because guess what?!?!? there are no buttons on the inside of the car expect for opening and closing the door and the emergency call button.

There were so many people trying to use the elevators that the hotel staff had to lead groups of people to the service elevators........it's enough to drive you insane.

I felt sorry for the staff of the hotel and any guests in the hotel that weren't connected to the convention.


For dinner we found Company Burger, which was on the same block as Willa Jean's. It is ranked in the top 30 burger joints in the US. Definitely worth the visit!!!



Saturday morning we were back at Willa Jean's again :) I had a biscuit with blueberry jam and a bowl of cheese grits.........I could live at this restaurant!!!!

Downside of the day, I came down with allergies.....which I think might have been the down pillows in our hotel room. We made a stop by the CVS store to get Kleenex and some Nyquil, which seems to be the only medicine that seems to get my nose to stop itching and sneezing.

By Sunday we were ready to leave the convention. While our total sales weren't bad, they weren't the best we've ever had either.

I blame that on two things:

1) The choice of venue which is across from the superdome and isn't in a tourist part of town like the Hilton Riverside. While the convention sold out of Saturday passes, I still think they lost regular attendees because they weren't in a nice area or touristy part of town.

2) The staff's silly decision to combine the dealers' room and the artist's alley. That doesn't give a chance for the artists to make any sales if people pass your table to get to the other side of the room.

We packed up early at 2pm and left the hotel.....we had to pay $70 for parking, which is absolutely ridiculous, but the hotel doesn't have its own garage so we had to use the parking garage that connects to the hotel by elevator.

We headed to our home away from home when we visit New Orleans, Sucre on Magazine Street.


I had their doberge cake, which had an almond joconde cake with caramel and chocolate and topped with a macaron (I think the flavor was chocolate and peanut butter, but I wasn't sure). My sister had her usual C3 sundae and we shared their blackberry/lemon mousse.

Overall, we had a good time despite the oddness of the convention. We had fun talking to the vendors on either side of us. Two guys from Louisiana who drew traditional comic art and a couple from Tennessee who made shadow box artworks and clocks with hand drawn and colored backgrounds.


I came away with some goodies. You know my love of bags......I use them for my crochet or cross stitch projects. I bought several bags from Melissa H Francis (the Hogwarts, Final Fantasy, and sushi bags) and three bookmarks. I bought a bag from the couple beside us which has a lovely futuristic landscape on it with a building in a tree).

I bought the last two books in the Beast of Birmingham series by T.S. Barnett. I had bought the first one last year and quite enjoyed it. I was glad she was able to make it to the convention this year so I could get the last two books :)

My sister bought me two brooches to add to my collection. A purple cabochon with a Venetian carnival mask underneath and a 'Shade' umbrella enamel pin.

I won the Manga Man book from the New Orleans Public Library. They had a fan table in the artist's alley and every hour they had a contest where you could present your library card (regardless of where you were from) and you could spin their prize wheel. I had the choice of an audio book or a the Manga Man book. I chose the book because audio books can be iffy depending on who is narrating.

My sister and I won't participate any conventions next year unless I do something local with my friend Kristina in order to sell the last of my amigurumis.

I find that I like making things for myself or friends as gifts more so than continuously making amis to sell at conventions. It is more rewarding and satisfying :)

Thanks for sharing in our bizarre adventure.

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Blueberry Ice Cream Lady cross stitch

Design: Ice Cream Ladies by Soda Stitch
Fabric: 28ct Jobelan Lambswool linen by Wichelt Imports
Threads: recommended DMC
Start/Finish: 7/21-24/2017

Good morning! I started the blueberry ice cream lady last week and managed to put in the last bit of backstitching in on Monday morning.

The last one in the series will be the cookies ice cream lady, which I hope to work on next month.

Until next time >___<

July Amigurumi Roundup


My favorite is the white rabbit ami. I found the 'I'm Late' clock charm at Hobby Lobby. Just perfect for the worrying rabbit.

Second favorite is Sans from Undertale. The jacket was a work in progress. Lol I just crocheted until I got something that resembled a jacket.

I used sparkly yarn for the sushi ami as I had run out of white and didn't have enough black. It's a snazzy piece of sushi :)

Off to the convention tomorrow! Can't wait to have a break from real work.

Until next time >___<

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Afternoon in London and Flying Fairy Finishes ♡

Good evening once again! I have two finishes this weekend. I finished up Afternoon in London this afternoon. The only thing I didn't stitch was the grass border underneath the motifs on the top. I think the only change I would have made to the pattern would be to stitch the house in maybe a blue color of some sort because it seemed to be a lot of green in the pattern. I still like the pattern though :)

Pattern: Afternoon in London by Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: 32ct water lily linen by Wichelt
Threads: recommended DMC
Start/Finish: 5/14 & 21 & 31 and 7/7-8 & 16/2017

Pattern: Flying Fairy by Tamar Nahir-Yanai
Threads: recommended DMC
Stitches: backstitches, French knots, lazy daisies, and satin stitches
Start/Finish: 7/11-16/2017

For my birthday, my friend Kristina got me an Etsy gift card, which I really wanted in order to buy embroidery and/or cross stitch patterns with :)

One of the patterns I bought was Flying Fairy by Tamar Nahir-Yanai. The pattern only took two weeks to get to me from Israel. I had fun stitching on it; it's such an adorable motif.

My only complaint is how the fabric is cut. You can't completely stitch the motifs because you can't fit it in a bigger hoop. I would imagine you could stitch the motifs if you hand stitch them, but I'm not good with stitching without a hoop.

No worries though. I plan on pulling the rest of the fabric behind the hoop. As of now, it and Afternoon in London is in my box of 'unfinished' patterns. One day I plan on finishing them as framed pieces.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week! I plan on crocheting one more amigurumi this week before the convention.

Until next time ^____^

Saturday Antiquing ~ Books


On Saturday morning, I went by the library and then thought I'd stop by the Book Nook. I came away with two antique books and a copy of volume one of Arabian Nights, which amazingly I have never read before (I know, boggles your mind, right?!)

The two antique books I found are from the turn of the 20th century. The first book is The Girl I Loved by James Whitcomb Riley, an Indiana poet. The book is illustrated with lithograph illustrations by Howard Chandler Christy. The book was published in 1910. The illustrations are done in red with decorative borders in gold.

You may remember that earlier this year I had bought a Baedeker's travel guide to Great Britain. At that time, they had a volume for Belgium and Holland, but I didn't buy it. Well, that book was still on the shelves when I was browsing. I felt sorry for it and decided to bring it home with me. (My sister shook her head when I told her why I bought it, but what can I say....it looked lonely!) The guide was published in 1905.

Hope you liked seeing my book finds :)

Until next time ^___^

Birthday Package from CA

Good evening, everyone! On Friday I received a belated birthday package from my friend Amanda. I actually like belated gifts; they make an original day a special one.

The package that Amanda sent was HUGE and heavy. I couldn't think what was inside it to make it so heavy. Upon opening it, I found out why it was so heavy. She had sent me a lovely sewing box decorated with kokeshi dolls that was stuffed with lots and lots of goodies. 


She sent me lots of candy, which my sister and I plan on bringing with us to the convention this month to snack on while at our artist alley table. She gave me two more Gail Carriger pins and a new brooch to add to my collection, a lovely butterfly. She also sent me some lip gloss, a bunny tape measure, a nail kit, and a set of plates and a bowl.


Amanda always sends the most beautiful handmade cards! This birthday she made a gorgeous card decorated with a bunny and a starry sky. Inside the card was a three-dimensional scene with another bunny sitting in the grass with a row of houses. I love that the bunny is gazing at the sky which shows the Gemini constellation. 

I absolutely love her cards. She puts her heart into her creations!

Thank you for the amazing birthday package!!!

Until next time ^___^

Monday, July 10, 2017

Yarn stash and Afternoon in London Stitching ♡

Good morning everyone! I hope you had a good weekend. On Friday night, I went through my stash of linen to see if I had fabric for the ice cream ladies and the Eiffel Quaker design and guess what?! I actually had fabric for both. Don't you love it when you have things in your stash to use and don't have to buy them?! 

I know I do.....especially since Hobby Lobby seems to be getting rid of a lot of their cross stitch fabrics, at least a good majority of the evenweave and linen. I'm hoping they don't try to make their own brand. I've noticed their brands of other items aren't as good as the name brand.

On Saturday, I was getting things organized for the convention later this month. One thing I didn't have were treat/gift bags to put my amis in when people buy them. So I ended up going by Michael's to see what they had.


You know me, I wandered over to the yarn section to admire their Caron cakes and 'lo and behold they had a new range of colors! They have cotton cakes and baby cakes.

(You can tell I don't get to Michael's that often, can't you?! Maybe this line has been out for a while and I just didn't know it....it's completely possible.)

So the cakes were new to me. I love the colors!


I was tempted by this color, ballerina, and ended up buying one of the cakes. My aunt asked what I was going to do with it.......I have no idea. It was an impulse buy, I blame the soft, pale colors of that yarn. I couldn't resist it.

In the end I didn't get any bags. I had texted my friend Amanda a picture of the Caron cakes and was telling her I was on the hunt for bags and she offered to go by Daiso and get a bunch of bags for me. Gotta love the fact that I have a friend in CA with a Daiso store nearby. Part of me wishes we had one here, but then again, I would be broke all the time by the awesome kawaii-ness that is their selection of goodies. LOL

I took an ever so slight break from crocheting on Friday and Saturday. I had finished making my sushi amigurumi on Thursday night, but didn't want to drag a bunch of felt, etc. to work the next day in order to finish it up. So I brought my Afternoon in London cross stitch instead.


When I started on Friday, I was missing a lamp post, two clouds, and a double decker bus.


And by Saturday night at 9pm, I was finished with the top half of the pattern. I apologize for the bad photo, but I was trying to photograph it without getting shadows in it.

I am using the DMC colors that the pattern suggests so the colors aren't strong, more of a muted soft palette, which I find to be quite lovely. I like that the double decker and the telephone booth aren't a glaring red as they are in real life.

The motifs were quite fun, though it makes me giggle when I see the guards on either side of the British Museum. There are no guards at the museum.....at least not dressed like the guards at Buckingham Palace and elsewhere. Who knows, maybe there are guards like that now. I know there weren't any when I was in London in 2007.

With the top half finished, I'll be able to start on the second half in August! I haven't decided on whether to make it my Frolicking Friday project or maybe one of the other patterns like ice cream ladies or CCN cakes.....hmmm....

Anywho, I hope you guys have a lovely week! Hopefully a nice, cool week with less heat and humidity. A Southerner can dream, right?!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June Amigurumi Roundup


June Recap

Recap:

Read:
1. Blood Vow by J.R. Ward
2. Lucile by Owen Meredith
3. The Inexplicables by Cherie Priest
4. The Japanese House: Architecture and Interiors by Noboru Murato and Alexandra Black
5. Fiddlehead by Cherie Priest
6. The End of Magic by Amber Benson
7. Truth Dexter by Sidney McCall

Crafts:
1. Totoro steampunk amigurumi
2. Unicorn amigurumi
3. Mini potted amigurumi
4. Kappa amigurumi
5. Kokeshi amigurumi
6. Lucky kitty amigurumi
7. 2 onigiri amigurumi
8. 3 soot sprite amigurumi
9. 6 star amigurumi

Good afternoon everyone! I can't believe it's July already. Where has the month gone? In my case, it's gone to reading and a bunch of amigurumi crocheting.

As you may remember, I had bought two of Sidney McCall/Mary Fenollosa's books in May. I didn't want to take the chance that I would destroy the hard copy book I had bought and luckily I was able to find Truth Dexter on Amazon for the Kindle.

Surprisingly, it was a good book. It centers around a Southern girl named Truth Dexter and a Northern lawyer named Craighead Van der Weyde. The novel is what we would call a typical romance nowadays. I can see why the book was popular during the time period.

Hmmm....what else?....ah, yes, amigurumi crocheting. I think my favorite is the kappa amigurumi. I love fairy tales in general, but the Asian cultures have interesting tales that you don't find anywhere else. I decided I wanted to make a mythical creature amigurumi so I went with a kappa. Mine is a cute version of the creature :)

What else? ~ you already know my plans for after July, lots and lots of stitching. So what are my plans for July? I might finish a few more amigurumi, but I also need to get some boxes together to display my amigurumis at the con later this month. Last year I had gone to post office and got a bunch of those free priority boxes, cut them down, and wrapped them in paper. That way I could make 'shelving' for my amigurumis on my table.

I had gone by Hobby Lobby and Target this morning in the hopes that I would find some wrapping paper that wasn't smooth, but had a rougher texture so my amigurumis wouldn't slide off the paper like they did last year for the majority of the convention. No such luck.......I did however see that you could buy postal shipping paper which is a coarse paper. I wonder if I should get that and decorate the boxes with washi tape or something?!

Hmm....I'll have to consult my sister about it. She's the artsy creative type. I'm not good with art at all...that gene skipped me entirely. LOL

I hope everyone has a lovely 4th of July weekend. And to all my Canadian readers, I hope you have a fabulous Canada Day today :)

Until next time ^____^