31 August 2019

Saturday Sampler: Good Week Edition

Y'all, I think this may have been the first normal, uneventful, quiet week we have had since we moved here 4 1/2 months ago. Nothing bad/weird/inconvenient/irritating happened! (So, so thankful.) On the contrary, it was a good stitchy week! I finished my most challenging Christmas Open House project, and I also got another pumpkin done.

I found this adorable fabric at Walmart. I have no idea what I'll do with it, but look at their tiny wiiiiings! 

I finally got my mitts on this new Drawn Thread design. Y'all knew it would be coming to live here when you saw it!

I got this very cute little holder for needlework stuffs. I haven't road tested it yet, though.

I was able to visit my local quilt shop--which has Cosmo threads!--and picked up some gorgeous pinks and greens for my sewing room Christmas ornaments projects. I'm slowly building my Cosmo stash.

They have hand-crafted caramels on the counter by the register. This is my Emergency Caramel. (I recommend everyone have an Emergency Caramel.)

And best of all, Tiger Lily had her first appointment with her new vet on Friday and our 13-year-old girl got a good report! 

I'm putting in some work on Autumn Sampler this weekend, and Monday I plan to set to work on my next Christmas Open House project. 

Hope everyone has a quiet and safe holiday weekend!

27 August 2019

Fancy Pumpkins Update: Orange Pumpkin

Orange pumpkin finished! Isn't it lovely and orangey and glowy? I am so enjoying this little stitch. A few of the things I'm working on for my Christmas Open House require some brainpower, and it's really nice to pick this up at the end of the day and just stitch, without thinking too much. I was cruising along so well after I snapped this that I went ahead and started on pumpkin #3! Stay tuned!

24 August 2019

Christmas Ornament SAL August finish

My eighth finish for the Christmas Ornament SAL I'm participating in! This is from the 2005 issue of Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornaments. The model is stitched all in red, but as y'all know, I'm doing pink and green color conversions for the Christmas tree in my pink & green sewing room. I was going for an ombre look for this one, so I stitched it in three shades of rosy pink, from light to dark:

"Feare Not" is stitched in GAST Antique Rose
The middle section is stitched in CC Wild Berries
The band and "Rejoice" are stitched in GAST Briar Rose

I'm pleased with how it turned out. It's a bit big for an ornament, but I may just tuck it in amongst the large lower branches of the tree. It's one of those spindly trees that has a lot of room between the tiers of branches--perfect for filling up with ornaments and goodies.

Only one of the eight ornaments I've stitched is fully finished (click on the label at the end of this post to see them all). I really, really need to have a finishing day--more like a week--pretty soon. But at least I'm on schedule with this SAL. 

Back to pumpkins...

22 August 2019

A Wee Rebellion

I didn't get my slow, relaxing, summer of stitching that I was hoping for, but I've been trying to make up for it in the last couple of weeks. Thought I'd share a few peeks of what I've been up to. I'm almost always a one-project-at-a-time gal, because I'm a slow stitcher and with multiple projects going, I don't see progress at the pace I would like. However, for whatever reason (probably rebellion at not getting to stitch 24 hours a day to recover from the move), I have been starting whatever I feel like starting, when I want to start it. This is novel for a stitcher like me, who usually practices a measure of self-restraint, but (*stamps foot*) I just got sick and tired of looking longingly at projects I loved and putting them off in order to do other, more "important" stuff. I'm tired of doing important stuff. I wanna stitch.

So. In addition to Christmas Open House projects, and the gorgeous Autumn Sampler I showed a couple of posts ago, I'm also working on this lovely little pumpkin design from this Etsy shop. I'm stitching it on 28 ct. Dirty linen (that's really the name of the color). 

Isn't it pretty? There are lots of these "line of fancy pumpkins" designs, but most are large. I like this one because it's so small. On to the orange pumpkin!

Speaking of orange... put your sunglasses on! This is Phoenix by Fiberlicious. I bought it years ago as a try-out from a then new-to-me dyer. When I bought it, I didn't have a design in mind...

...and then I thought of this one, Summer Sunset by Judith Kirby. I'm hoping it will be as pretty on this fabric in real life as it is in my head. You can see my color conversion of JK's Halloween House in the right sidebar. This one I'm stitching mostly as-is, just on wild fabric.

And here's a little peek at my August ornament for the Christmas Ornament SAL. It's almost done.

I don't see myself becoming a multiple-project-at-a-time stitcher, but right this red hot minute--as my mom would say--it's what I need. I still get the shivers when I see y'all's blog posts about multiple starts (10, 20, 30?!), but I'm finding my five--FIVE!--projects kinda comforting right now. 

Happy Stitching, y'all!

10 August 2019

Important: A Recipe and a Seasonal Update

I've been tinkering with this recipe for a while. This is the third time I've made it and I think I'm finally happy with it. If you've been visiting for a while, you know I love small-batch baking, or tiny baking, as I like to call it, and that I like to experiment with a low-carb baking mix called Carbquik. (If you need to catch up, just click on the labels at the bottom of this post.) This is a Bisquick recipe that I adapted to be much smaller and much lower in carbs. I don't remember now what it's actually called, but I'm calling it...

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

1 1/4 c. Carbquik (available on Amazon)
3/4 c. Splenda
1 egg
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. milk
1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste (I get this from King Arthur flour; you can use vanilla extract)
1/2 c. chocolate chips (I use regular; you can use sugar-free)

Stir everything together, spread in a greased and floured 5 x 7 baking dish, and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

This little Pyrex dish is the perfect size for just the two of us. We get six servings out of it, or one piece for each of us for three days. So whether what I've baked is low-carb or not, it's gone in one weekend. No leftover temptation!

A few notes about Carbquik, if you decide to try it. 
*You can use it in any recipe that calls for Bisquick. I've made all kinds of stuff with it, mostly successes, but a few duds, but that's to be expected.

*It browns faster than Bisquick, so just be aware (especially with something like oven-fried chicken).

*It's very dry. You'll almost always have to add extra liquid, but that's easy. Don't just splash in liquid, though. I stir up a recipe as written, then if it's too dry, add measured small amounts of liquid until it looks/feels right. That way, if the finished product is to my liking, I know exactly how much extra liquid it needs.

*It does have it's own flavor, and you can tell when you're eating it. If you keep to a low-carb diet, you'll know that you have to make sacrifices when it comes to baked goodies and you're probably willing to put up with that, but you can mask it pretty well by being generous with seasonings/flavorings. In my baking, I've found if I max out the vanilla I'm happier with the results. And really, it's hard to get too much vanilla. Don't be afraid to double it.

*It's expensive. Again, if you eat low-carb and miss baked goods, it's worth it. Two things: I halve almost every baking recipe I use, since it's just the two of us. So that makes the box last a lot longer than it would otherwise. Also, the price on Amazon fluctuates somewhat. If you're thinking of trying it, keep an eye on it for a while and catch it when it drops.

Seasonal Update:

Tiger Lily has a seasonal migration route of sleeping places that she faithfully follows every year. 
Winter: baskets, donut
Spring/summer: the bed, the floor, the couch
Fall: her beds, donut

I must report that this past Wednesday, she took to one of her beds for the first time since last winter. She does this, like clockwork, every year in late summer. It's always my first visual reminder that fall is coming, even if it will be warm for weeks yet. I love it. I love that animals know things that we are too busy or too removed from the natural world to know anymore. It always gives me a little surge of happiness to see this first sign that fall is coming, and I thought I'd share it with y'all.

07 August 2019

Anyone for pie?

I've already begun work on my 6th annual Christmas Open House projects and am close to my first finish, but I can't show you that because no peeking 'til Christmas. Instead, have a look at this delightful Autumn Sampler I found on Etsy. I've been up to my ears in Christmas stitching and I was in the mood for something fall-ish, and I stumbled across this little gem while browsing autumn patterns. Isn't it wonderful?

I'm stitching it on 28 count hand-dyed Cornflower Blue evenweave from Wichelt. Only a few of the blocks are fully stitched, and I wanted a fabric that looked like a gorgeous autumn sky peeking through the rest. 

It's been challenging since we got here, and my hoped-for summer of stitching and relaxing hasn't materialized, but I keep hoping!