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March 2015

Finally Friday | Cross Stitch

What a rainy, cold Friday.....but at least this week is over and we can celebrate the weekend!  Yes!

First things first.  You may have noticed the layout of my blog changed quite a bit.  I realized that my blog was not reader friendly on mobile devices, and since I'm sure many of you are reading this on an iPad, iPhone, or some other wonderful mobile device, I want you to be able to see everything properly.  

So, I had to switch things up a bit, and make sure the design was user friendly for everyone, whether you're reading this from your home computer or your phone, and hopefully my posts will be in a much easier to read format from here on out.  I need to figure out a few things to re-personalize it since most of the design elements that were here had to go, but for now, I think it's pretty ok.

Now.  Onto more important things - stitching.

I have a quick WIP update to share on Shores - not much, but it's something - 

Shores of Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings

Building houses on 40 ct. fabric is killer - it's so dense on such small count fabric.  But, I'm loving how it's coming along.  I need to pick up another project or 7 to stitch between this one, because I need to be able to finish something sometime.  It's gonna be a while before I'm taking this to the framer.....

I hope you have a wonderful Friday!!!  Any big plans for the weekend?  Will you be working on any crafty things this weekend??  Do tell!


Sweet Land of Liberty | Cross Stitch

Did you ever have one of those days where you felt just like Will Ferrell's character in "Zoolander"?



That was me yesterday.  All day.  

When I got home, I was totally wired to workout, but actually ended up feeling like I was too wired...if that even makes any sense.   I decided that what I needed instead was some quality time at my craft table.  

So, I made a pot of decaf, and headed in to the den to work on my project life album.  I just had some pictures printed from Persnickety Prints, and wanted to incorporate them as soon as possible.  As I worked, I realized that there are so many more pictures from last year that I have but never printed!  Looks like I'll be making another order of prints before those layouts are finished.  I'm determined, determined I tell ya, to keep up with my PL album this year and not get so far behind again.

After spending about an hour or so at my craft table, I moseyed on into the living room to pick up my  needle and thread.  I was able to finish the Heartstring Samplery piece I started last week, Sweet Land of Liberty.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Liberty #crossstitch #needle #hread #patriotic

So simple and pretty.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Libetry #crossstitch #needle #thread #patriotic

I stitched this on 32 ct. Heroic from Picture This Plus, which made a great compliment to the red, white, and blue used to stitch.  It's just enough dye to give it something different, yet not overpowering so it detracts from the stitching.

Heartstring Samplery Sweet Land of Liberty #crossstitch #needle #thread #patriotic

Love this flowerpot & the overflowing flowers!  It's the perfect balance of red, white, and blue.  Now I just have to figure out how I want to finish it.......

I hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday, and have some time to stitch or craft this week!


"Rear Window"

It's no secret that I love old movies.  Love them.  TCM is in my "favorites" on my channel lineup, and I had a ton on my DVR back in Philly....but lost them all when I had to give that box up for a VA approved box.  So sad.

Recently, TCM has been releasing certain classic movies in the theaters, but I've never been able to make it to the one random theater in Philly that would have it for the limited run.  I really wanted to see "Gone With The Wind" in all it's big screen glory, but couldn't make the show.  The most recent move they released in theaters is "Rear Window".  

When I saw that, I about died.  To see my favorite Hitchcock movie on the big screen would be incredible.  I knew I had to make it happen.  Down here, unlike in Philly, there were multiple theaters I could have chosen from.  I was stupid excited, and picked the theater about 5 min from my apartment for the showing yesterday afternoon.  

I snuck a quick pic when the beginning credits were rolling.....


Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart are phenomenal in this movie.  And Grace Kelly's clothes!!!!  I want them all.  Her dresses and jewelry are perfect.  (Fun fact: she's a Philly girl!)  If you haven't seen "High Society", I highly recommend it - it's the musical version of "The Philadelphia Story" with Bing and Frank.  So good.  And "Dial M for Murder", which is another great Hitchcock that's she's in.  I love Hitchcock movies, can you tell?  Oh! And "Strangers on a Train" - Grace Kelly isn't in it, but it's so damn good, so go rent that now if you've never seen it. 


Thelma Ritter is great as the nurse - she's a great character actress.  And, of course, Raymond Burr!!  

If you love this movie as much as I do and wish you could see it in the theater, you still have a chance!  TMC released this for more than one day - the next available times are this Wednesday, March 25th.  Go here to see if it's playing at a theater near you!!  If you go, let me know how you liked seeing it in the theater!!  I loved every minute, and definitely noticed things that I didn't see in the 847 other times I've watched this movie - nuances & such.  

Happy Monday!  I hope you all have a great start to the week!


It's Fridayyyyyy!!!

What a week, friends, amiright??

And what's with the snow today??  Isn't it supposed to be spring?!  So over it.

But onto more important things, like donuts.  Browned butter baked donuts from Joy the Baker, to be exact.  Because, delicious.

So, since it's Friday and it's snowing, and we needed something to make us feel better about life, I whipped up these bad boys, and glazed them with a light & luscious maple cream cheese glaze.

browned butter donuts from Joy the Baker

No, these are not on my candida detox diet, but I wanted to make them for my coworkers, since, you know, snow and all that crap, so I made them gluten free so I could taste one.  Good god are they delicious.  It's been so long since I've had sugar, so half of one was really plenty for me at this point since I'm not used to the sugar anymore, but I will definitely be making these again in the future.

That's how we're gonna be starting our Friday in the office - donuts.  And copious amounts of coffee.  

Happy Friday, friends!!


Monday. Monday. Monday. | Cross Stitch

Weekends go entirely too quickly.  Just sayin'.


The best part about this weekend, though??  I finally made it down to In Stitches, my new LNS!  I haven't been shopping for stitch stuff in so long because of my move, so I was like a kid in a candy store when I walked in.  There were so many patterns available for me to gawk at, including new ones from the Nashville Market, that I spent the better part of an hour just wandering around looking at everything.  I must've been asked at least 3 times if I needed help....I guess I looked a little ridiculous walking around just staring at everything.  HA.

Also, they have SO MUCH THREAD.  SO MUCH.  I was literally drooling at all the options.


I stealthily took this from behind a rack of patterns.  This isn't even nearly everything they have.  I literally gasped when I saw all the silks, which were down and around the corner from this wall of Classic Colorworks, Weeks Dye Works, and Shaker Threads.  I need to take inventory of the silks that I need for certain projects and head back asap!!  There was just so much to look at, and the models stitched around the store were gorgeous.  Also, the framing section is outrageous - they have more frame choices than I've seen anywhere, and they're absolutely beautiful.

Needless to say, I came back from my trip to In Stitches totally inspired to start stitching. 

I worked some on my Shores of Hawk Run - I'm working down and then across, so the next block I started is the one right underneath Block 1 - 

Block 2 start from Shores at Hawk Run Hollow

And then I decided I needed a break from the 40 ct, and started a patriotic piece from Heartstring Samplery -

 It's called Sweet Land of Liberty.  I'm stitching it on 32 ct. Heroic from Picture This Plus, and I'm literally flying through it.  I always forget how much quicker I can stitch on 32 ct. vice 40 ct.  I love the big red flower in the middle...and something about those blue flowers really catches my eye, too.

How was your weekend??  Were you able to stitch or create this weekend?? 



Book List.

So, I've been on a reading rampage.  I haven't had much time over the past couple years to read much, and I miss it.  This summer, I started making sure to carve out time to read, and flew through some pretty great books.  Erik Larson is officially one of my new favorite authors - I read both In the Garden With Beasts and The Devil in the White City over the summer, and they were incredible.  He has a new book coming out soon about the sinking of the Lusitania, and I'm really excited to get my hands on a copy.

I told you all recently that I had an incredible amount of time on my hands after work, now that I live so close to the office, and picked up reading again.  I finished All the Light We Cannot See, and loved every bit of it.  In between working out, unpacking, (yes, den is still somewhat of a disaster...) and carving out time during work at lunch, I've managed to keep up my rediscovered love of reading.

A few weeks ago, while trying to figure out what book to read next and how I was going to afford all these new books I had to read, it hit me: the library.

One of my first orders of business when I moved down here was to get myself a library card.  One of the local branches is literally two blocks away, so one morning, to get away from all the unpacking, I walked over and got a library card.  Fun fact: most local libraries now have an ebook catalog, and you can check out books for your e-reader online - you don't even have to leave your house! You may have to download software to allow the books to be transferred to your e-reader (I have an ancient nook from B&N, one of the first gen editions, and the books transfer perfectly, so you don't need one of the up-to-date new-fangled things to have it work), but it's really simple and totally worth it.

You should have seen me that night when I remembered I could do that.  OMG.  I was like a kid in a candy store....only I was a nerd at the library website instead.  (sigh)

Some of you had given me great book recommendations, so I went searching for the ebook versions of all of them.  They're not available - they're all checked out - but you better believe I got myself on the holds list!!  I went crazy - I currently have 6 ebooks on hold, and that's because I've read 2 that became available already.

First up was In the Woods.  A great suspense novel that I highly recommend if you like those kinds of books.

In the woods

Second, The Language of Flowers.  One of the ladies at my LNS back home told me about this book, and it was very good.  Definitely not what I expected based on the title and the story that transpired, but still very good.

The language of flowers

Currently, I'm on the hold list for the following books:  Orphan TrainBroken HarborThe Miniaturist, Girl on the Train, A Spool of Blue Thread, and Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker.  I'm sure that list will grow as I devour every single one!

What are you guys currently reading?  Do you have any suggestions for what I should add to my ever-growing holds list at the library?  Have any of you read the books I mentioned above?



Dreaming of Summer | Cross Stitch

This warm spell we're having has me totally dreaming of summer.  Long days on the beach.  Margaritas for happy hour.  Flip flops all day every day.  You know the drill.

Zac Brown says it best - "I got my toes in the water/Ass in the sand/Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand/Life is good today." They have a new album coming out soon, btdubs.  Preordered that bad boy in a moment of INEEDSUMMER...which was also probably around 0400 on Sunday when I couldn't freaking sleep....but I digress....

Since I can't sit on the beach just yet, I'll have to settle for a little summer stitching.  I finally finished block one yesterday of "Shores of Hawk Run Hollow."  I forgot how long it takes to stitch dense areas on 40 ct fabric.  

block 1 from Shores at Hawk Run Hollow #crossstitch #needle #thread #hawkrun

Oh, how I long to be laying on a beach listening to waves hit the beach.

Block 1 of Shores at Hawk Run Hollow #crossstitch #needle #thread #hawkrun

 That sun! 

Block 1 of Shores at Hawk Run Hollow #crossstitch #needle #thread #hawkrun

This little gull!  Just chillaxin on the rocks.

Onto the next block!!  Hope you're all having a great start to the week! 


Prettified notebooks. | Papercrafting.

And just like that, it's March.

Not only is it March, but we're a week in already, and we just lost an hour.  I will let you know when that is ever ok.  Especially this past week, when I seem to have gone from unable to stay awake to completely and totally incapable of falling asleep.  Thank you, Lyme disease and adrenal fatigue.  I see a nap in the very near future.  Hopefully.  Maybe. 


It's Sunday!  Let it be a lazy day, shall we?  The snow will be melting around here, thanks to predictions in the 50's for most of the week (with one day in the 60's!), and I'm just really hoping that spring is, in fact, right around the corner.  Winter is always rough for me; it wreaks havoc on my body, and I'm through with it.

Yesterday, I got my scrapping mojo back, and decided to stop hoarding paper and make something to make the day a little brighter, since it's still pretty damn cold out there.

For Christmas a year or so ago (probably more, because, you know...hoarder...), as part of my gift, my sister got me a few sheets of gorgeous fine paper from Paper Source.  It's seriously gorgeous.  So pretty, I would unroll them all, just to look at them, ponder about making something with one of them, and then roll them up again, not wanting to ruin the perfect rectangle by cutting them all up to use in projects.  Which is totally normal.

After having to pack up and move my entire craft room this winter, I decided it's high time I quit that nonsense and use the damn stuff already.  My sister didn't get me that paper for it to be just looked at, she wanted me to use it!  

This week, after having a few meetings to go to, and hating the wide-ruled (which, ugh - can't it at least be college-ruled?? seriously.) Gov't issue notepad the size of my entire arm that I had to use, I decided I needed something way cooler than that to have with me to take notes. Not wanting to spend any money on something like this, I went rooting through my stash to see what I had in order to make something.  I found two Moleskin kraft notebooks I'd totally forgotten I had (they come as a set of god only knows where the third one is...), which are perfectamundo for this project, and unrolled those fine papers my sister got me for Christmas all those years ago.

And because I want you to be able to make your own gorgeous notebooks everyone will be jealous of, I'm gonna show you what I did.  It's wicked easy.  Ready?  Here we go.

Take the notebook, open it up, and lay it face down on the wrong side of the paper.  Trace the outline of the notebook, and then cut about 1/2 inch - 1 inch outside the traced line.

covering kraft moleskin notebooks #DIY #papercraft #finepaper @Paper_Source

Using a paintbrush, quickly brush Mod Podge all over the cover of the notebook (I had to work quickly, so I couldn't take a snapshot of this stage.)  Carefully place the traced and cut paper on top of the Mod Podged notebook spine, and smooth out both sides from the center.  The edges of the paper will hang over the edges of the notebook.  Let it dry for a few minutes.  This shouldn't take long - Mod Podge dries relatively quickly.

covering kraft moleskin notebooks #DIY #papercraft #finepaper @Paper_Source

Once it dries, flip it over, so the front or back flap is showing.  This is the back flap.  Cut the overhanging paper at the spine and at the corners, so you can easily flip it up and over to glue it down.  Since this particular notebook has a pocket in the back for hiding super-secret-on-the-down-low stuff, I had to make sure I also made a cut at the top to allow me to tuck the overhanging piece under the pocket, so the pocket could remain open.  

covering kraft moleskin notebooks #DIY #finepaper #papercrafting @Paper_Source

Do the same thing on the front flap, until the entire book has the overhanging edges secured on the inside.  If you're making more than one notebook, like I did, just repeat the process.  Both books took me a total of 30 minutes.  For realz.  It'll take a few extra minutes if you choose to also cover the inside flaps of the notebook.  I wan't really concerned about having them covered, so I decided to just cover the outside for this project.

covering kraft moleskin notebooks #finepaper #papercrafting #DIY @Paper_Source

Below is a shot of the back of the finished book on the left - this paper was made from strips of various fine papers, so the front is different from the back.

covering kraft moleskin notebooks #DIY #papercraft #finepaper @Paper_Source

Now, this paper is pretty enough to have that be the end of the project.  But, we all know I can't let it end there.  I didn't want to do anything that would be overboard, but I wanted a little something extra on these books.  So, I got out my Versamark ink pad, my "j" stamp, and my favorite gold embossing powder.  I stamped the "j" on front, embossed, and viola! You can see the "j" on the above pic, in the lower right-hand corner.  I did this on both.  Took all of 1.5 minutes to stamp and heat emboss.

Then, on the inside, I decided to stamp only on the first page from a roller stamp from Kate Spade I got a while back (WAY more than I ever spend on stamps like this, but I loved the sentiments, so I splurged...):

covering kraft moleskin notebooks #DIY #papercrafting #finepaper @Paper_Source

Simple.  Awesome.  Total win.  People will be totally jealous when I show up with these beauts to boring meetings.  

covering kraft moleskin notebooks #DIY #papercrafting #finepaper @Paper_Source

That's it, friends! Two gorgeous notebooks that took a mere 30 minutes!  And they're totally personalized, and the best part - they're in my favorite color.  Purple.

I hope you have a fabulous Sunday, and that you're able to find time to create something today!