Tuesday, December 23, 2014

College Football Ornaments

Just a quick update to make these ornament patterns available.  I stitched the samples as last-minute gifts for a friend and her son who are Florida Gators and Oregon State Beaver fans respectively.  Hope you like them.  Happy stitching and merry Christmas!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Recent Stitchings and TUSAL Update

Since my last post, I have been keeping myself busy and still managing to squeeze in some stitching time.  First off, here is my June Tusal update:

I had some orts to add from my father's day project.  I didn't want to get distracted from it, though, so I wasn't working on many other projects at the same time.  

Since I finished Vault Boy, I have made a couple more Christmas ornaments.  These are for my family members:

The leaves will be pretty much the same in the remaining ornaments but the monograms are all in a different color.  I still have to do a yellow C, a blue D, and a purple J.  I haven't decided on the best way to finish these yet, but they do have to be simple since my mom decorates their tree in mostly white and silver.

I also made Little Guy a small Sonic the Hedgehog as a "feel better soon" present.  He is very happy with the finished image.  We just put it in a black picture frame.

And, I finally made myself something!  I completed this Lizzie Kate chart sans heart charm with a few minor changes to color and some of the stitches.

I held a strand of light and dark thread together when stitching the trees and completed the hill with half stitches for a more grassy affect.  

Hope you are all enjoying your summer.  Happy stitching!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Father's Day

I actually finished the Vault Boy cross stitch by father's day as planned...yay!  I stitched the image on 14-count black Aida using two threads.  I don't know how many hours went into this but it feels like it took quite a while :)  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, though there are a few untidy stitches in there.

Our son made Mister a nice construction paper card with this inside:

Luckily it was a beautiful day and we took a long family walk down by the bay and through the surrounding neighborhoods.  

Hope you are having a happy Monday.  Keep on stitching!

Thursday, May 29, 2014

TUSAL Update

Well, technically this is not an update as this is the first time I am posting a photo of my ORT jar.  If you have no idea what the heck I'm talking about, visit Daffycat's page to find out, and maybe even join in the fun!

This is all I've managed to accumulate in the last 6 weeks or so since I first read about the Totally Useless Stitch Along.  Not too shabby.

I have been so busy that I've been on a bit of a stitching break for the last week or two.  Though I really need to get back to my Vault Boy project as I'd like to give it to Mister for father's day.  

Next up on the agenda, I need to make a shark hat like this one (but in pink) for my friend's daughter who will be turning five in the near future.  The pattern can be found here.

I can't wait to give it a try!  Though, I may end up making two since I have a four-year-old who will probably want one too.

Have a lovely day!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Stitching and Baking

Since I last posted, Little Guy and I have been enjoying our daily walks and the fine spring weather.  Most of the rain has been falling during the night, so we've spent a lot of time outdoors these last few weeks.  Even in the middle of town, there is still plenty of natural beauty to relish.  

On the cool or windy days we have been preoccupying ourselves with crafts of our choosing.  I've baked a bit and worked on my stitching a bit while Little Guy has been experimenting with oven-bake clay and practicing his writing.  As you can see, I was not able to finish the Golden Girls cross stitch in time for Mother's Day, so I'll just save it for my mom's birthday instead.  

Mister also put in a special request.  He has been playing the Fall Out games on the PlayStation, so he asked me if I could stitch him a Vault Boy.  This is my progress so far:

Last night Mister asked for some brownies, but I didn't have all my usual ingredients on hand, so I had to improvise.  They turned out great!  If you like almonds give them a try, if you don't you can substitute vanilla extract for the almond extract.

Chocolate Almond Brownies

6 T natural unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T vegetable oil
1/3 C butter, softened (salted is fine)
1 C sugar
2 eggs
~1/3 tsp almond extract (I used the half-teaspoon measure but didn't fill it all the way)
1/2 C + 2 T unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C sliced almonds, toasted (optional)
semisweet chocolate pieces (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Prepare an 8-inch square pan by lining it with foil them spraying the foil generously with cooking spray.  

Place the cocoa powder and oil in a medium mixing bowl and stir with a fork until smooth.  Stir in the softened butter.  Microwave the mixture 20-30 seconds until the butter is completely melted. Stir until smooth.  Beat in sugar, eggs, and almond extract.  Add flour, baking powder, and salt to the bowl then stir. Stir in nuts if using.  Batter will be kind of thick and stiff.

Use a rubber spatula to put all the batter into the prepared pan and smooth it out.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until brownies start to pull away from the edges of the pan.  Do Not Overbake.

If using, place chocolate pieces on top of warm brownies.  When melted, smooth out for even coverage. Allow brownies to set.  You can speed them along by placing them in the freezer.

And there you have it.  Scrumptious brownies to enjoy with a nice tall glass of cold milk or a mug of hot coffee.

Have a great day and happy stitching!

Monday, May 5, 2014

Newly Finished

I have managed to finish a few cross stitch ornaments since I posted last.  I have never stitched so frequently before, so I am kind of proud of myself  :)

Anyway let's get down to the photos...Here is the adorable Christmas cow ornament I made for a friend. The pattern is from this Leisure Arts book.  I substituted for colors I had on hand and used red seed beads instead of french knots for the holly berries.  This was also the very first ornament I have ever finished, so it could be better, but I think it turned out alright.

I made a couple of anniversary ornaments for Mister that will be backed with the photographed fabric.

My mom just got 6 Gold Sex Link hens and she's taken to calling them her golden girls, so I'm going to try to stitch the chibi Golden Girls chart below and give it to her for mother's day.

Hopefully you've had time to stitch to your heart's desire.  Have a great day.  Happy stitching!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Quick Share

Here are three new chibi charts I completed today.  The first is based on The World of David the Gnome

David and Lisa

The second is inspired by Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland

King Morpheus, Princess Camille, Nemo, Flip, and Professor Genius

and the third is based on Disney's Adventures of the Gummi Bears

Grammi, Zummi, Tummi, Cubbi, Sunni, and Gruffi

Hope you are having a great day and get to enjoy your weekend.

Happy stitching!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Loving Springtime

Hello there!  Hope you had a great Easter.  Luckily we had beautiful weather here and were able to spend just about all day outside. T was way excited since this was the first year we've had a yard that is perfect for egg hunting.  The neighbor boys spent a couple of hours with us hunting and re-hiding the plastic eggs and eating candy.  We even managed to keep track of all but one of the eggs.  It's probably still hidden somewhere in the ivy getting rained on now.

This is a thank you card T made for one of the neighbors who gave him a little surprise bundle.  He had painted that a few days before and it worked nicely.

Everything is in full bloom and I am lucky I have T to remind me to stop and smell the flowers, or, you know, just lay in the grass.

The only new stitchy things I have been working on lately are both still in progress, so I don't have any new finishes to show you yet.
don't mind my doodle
Christmas ornament for a dear friend
I also did some "spring cleaning"...in my thread stash anyway.  I finally bought another box, so I reorganized and put in the new threads too. The threads in the far right next to the needle tin are the ones I am currently using.

Have a great day and go enjoy your (probably) unpredictable spring weather.
Happy stitching!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The BEST Pancakes and Recent Finishes

Like most people, I think my grandmother's pancake recipe is the best!  They turn out perfect every time and they fill you up until dinner time.  So, I thought I would share her special recipe with you.

      yield: ~12 pancakes (this is a double batch)

  • 2 cups buttermilk (I didn't have so I made them with sour milk but I prefer buttermilk)
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups quick rolled oats
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 rounded tablespoons oat bran 
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Beat the buttermilk, eggs, and oil together until well mixed.

Add remaining ingredients to bowl in order listed.  Notice I spread the oats over the whole surface of the milk when I added them.  This gives them a chance to soften a little while you add the rest of the ingredients. 

This is what my grandmother meant by rounded tablespoonfuls.  I didn't have any oat bran on hand, so I used ground flax seed.

Mix batter with a fork until just combined.  I like using my electric griddle so I can make a few at a time.  I preheat to between 325 and 350 degrees and lightly spray with cooking spray before the first pancakes.  Use 1/3 to 1/2 cup of batter per pancake.

And there you have it!  These are great with syrup but my personal favorite is crushed fresh or frozen raspberries.  Yum!

Anyway, now that I have a plateful of comfort food, here are my finishes so far this month:

I sent my other grandmother a surprise package comprised of these ballet slippers and the cross stitch below.  She was telling me that she finally gave up her knitting and crochet work because her arthritis is so bad now she can't hold onto the needles and hooks. :(  And I was recalling all the ugly but well-loved slippers she always made us as kids and decided to make my first pair of slippers.

This was the other part of her surprise package.  I stitched this up for her on some of my hand-dyed fabric, from the last post, using this pattern but substituting for colors I had in my stash or like better.  I used three strands and worked over two threads, but that made it less neat looking.  She loves and collects frogs and it is a great addition for spring.

And I wanted a small, quick project, so I made a Space Invaders inspired name plate for Mister on light blue Aida with DMC 154.

That is all I have to show for now, but I have a few other patterns in progress including a crocheted Link hat for T.  So have a great day, and happy stitching!