About the blog

Welcome to my blog. The main focus of this blog is to share my explorations into handmade goods, mostly of the needlework kind. My interests are varied and include reading fantasy and urban paranormal romance, cross stitching and keeping hamsters. I must inform you that all of the pics and text on this blog are copyright protected unless otherwise stated and are not to be used in any other written or pictorial form without written permission from me. I give credit to the creator of the chart or the publication that published them in the caption. If you feel I have infringed on a copyright, please contact me ASAP. Whew..OK, now on to the fun...Thank you and Welcome.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring Musings (more like St.Patty's Day musings)

For me, Spring is heralded by St. Patrick's Day observations here in the States. I celebrate the day more from a sense of nostalgia than any religious  importance it may have.

My sister asked me the other day what my "fascination" with things Irish was? I had to correct her that I am not fascinated with things Irish, just with things related to St. Patrick's day celebrations! Aaaahhhh, said she. You see, my house right now, is covered in St. Patty's day decorations. We've got party hats, funky straws, table clothes that are covered in tre-foil clovers (shamrocks, heh, heh) and bouquets of white and bright green flowers sit on every table. I assure you that all that green and white against my mustard yellow walls is quite garish and I just love it!!!

As I plan my menu for this most auspicious of days, I am having difficulties deciding what type of beer to serve? You, my readers, shall decide for me. See the poll on the right...shall it be an ale or a lager?  I sure hope I can find something OTHER than Guinness around here! I will spend next week hunting for a proper beef brisket. Almost impossible to find here in Miami, as the ones available are cut to meet the tastes of my Jewish neighbors and do not have sufficient fat on them. So sad! I was unable to find a brisket last year but this year I am heading over to Penn Dutch Meats to try my Irish luck there (I shall bring a shamrock for luck shopping). I will also be picking up some green hair spray and few buttons that say "Kiss Me, I'm Irish". Too much stupid fun!!!

My girls have mixed feelings about the holiday. It can be fun but also an endless source of "corny-ness" and embarrassment for them.We usually go to the festival in Hollywood, Florida and listen to the bands playing their crazy, music that just gets faster and faster as they go along. I try to sing along and keep up with the tempo. And there is always a short little fellow dressed up as a Leprechaun that teaches any who are interested how to do a jig. I always join him and pull the girls into the fray, as well. During the festivities last year, a non-Irish person received the "Most Irish Amongst Us" award - it was given to a gentlemen of Puerto Rican descent because of his costume and general "spirit" of Irishness (whatever that might be, LOL). We all had a very good laugh at that! On the other hand, the girls also have a bit of trepidation as I start speaking in a fake Irish brogue during breakfast (it just comes on me and lasts ALL DAY LONG) and I put green food coloring in a lot of my shall go into the milk and eggs in the mornings, into the soda bread for lunch, and into the mashed potatoes and beer at dinner.Why??? Because I can!!!  In the evening, we'll build a fairy house for the little sprites to come and rest during their day of carousing. My poor family, attached to a mad woman!

All in all, it's an excuse for silly fun, but also to embrace the diversity that is America!

I shall take pictures of my efforts next week for all to see!

'Til next time - 

"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live."

"May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light, 
may good luck pursue you each morning and night."

"May those that love you, love you;
And those that don't love you - may God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn't turn their hearts, 
May he turn their ankles,
So you'll know them by their limping"


Hugs, Christina G

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Biscornu Finish

Hay y'all,

I have been away on business, traveling thru South Carolina. It's a lovely state filled with warm and friendly people. The saddest thing about my travels last week was learning that so many of the cross stitch shops have closed over the years. I remember the first time I went to South Carolina I visited 5 cross stitch shops in one week (I drove all over the state). During this most recent visit, I should have been able to visit 3 shops but found two closed and the other had very limited hours. I suspect that the on-line shops have put a dent into the LNSs.

Below are pics of my latest biscornu finish. There were several firsts for me with this one, namely the Rhodes hearts (very easy, by the way) and the pulled thread work around the edges (not so easy). I was stumped on how to end and begin a thread on the hem stitching and couldn't  figure out where to cut the piece out from the fabric after it was stitched. I had all these little bits of thread hanging around and snipped them all but how in the world with the stitches stay locked in place? 

I had much fun stitching this even though I've made some errors in the edging (some of the blocks have 4 threads and some had 5).

This design came out of the March Issue, 2012, of Cross Stitch and Needlework.  Nach bhfuil sé deas? (Isn't it pretty?)

That's it for now. Hope everyone has a wonderful new week! Hugs, Christina