August 22, 2007

worker bee

This past week I've been a pretty busy little bee. At my paying job and on my most recent project. Paying work involved coworkers going out of town and my workload doubled, not by choice. Not complaining, just sayin'! The stitching project has been a choice however, and I'm pretty proud of myself, considering how easily distracted I usually become with my stitching, that I haven't veered off course. This girl requires a lot of solid stitching.

And as you can see, I'm almost there:

Well, kinda sorta.

Lots of shading in there....

I think I have a few inches to go...

In case you're wondering, the design is by A Stitcher's Hands, her Becky Boo's design line and is appropriately titled Queen Bee. My plan is to have it made into the stand up as it's shown in that last link. They have it made up at my LNS, and it's really adorable!

Back to the hive!

(edited to add: I forgot to say thank you for the nice comments some of my visitors have left for me. I appreciate your kindness so much!
AND, omg, I clicked on these images after posting them and see several Astro hairs in there! Bless his little pea pickin' heart, such a dear to contribute, lol!)

August 17, 2007

birds, brownies and a bug

Here's my framed Their Song, by Blackbird Designs:

And here are the Mocha Brownies:

These are kinda "cheater" brownies because you start with a mix, but they were very tasty anyway, so who cares. Here we go:

Start with a box of Betty Crocker Triple Chunk Brownie Mix. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 stick of butter and use a little of it to butter up the bottom of a 13 x 9 baking dish, or if you want thicker brownies, use an 8 or 9 in. pan. In small bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules or instant espresso in 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, set aside. In medium bowl, combine with brownie mix, 2 large eggs, 1/4 cup buttermilk and the melted butter. Add in the dissolved coffee. Spread into buttered pan. Bake for about 20 minutes if using 13 x 9" pan or 40 minutes if using 8 or 9 inch pan. Test for doneness by inserting toothpick 2 inches from side of pan and if it comes out almost clean, it's done.
Do not over bake.
Cool completely.
Use a plastic knife for easy cutting.
Take the pan with you into nearest unoccupied room and lock the door.

I'm just sayin'.

OK, and how cool is this? I LOVE dragonflies. I mean, really love them. Whenever they cross my path I feel like it's God's little way of saying, "Hello, I love you". They are amazing creatures and so beautiful. I was walking Astro last night before a storm came in and this HUGE "something" buzzed me a couple of times. At first it freaked me out because I thought maybe it was a cicada and OMG, those truly freak me out and I didn't want it landing in my hair.
Swoop, fly-by......goosebumps!

Finally I see "it" land in a bush outside of our house. It was a BIG beautiful dragonfly! I ran in to get DH to show him, hoping it would still be there when we got back out, and it was! We figure it was taking shelter from the coming rain. Well later that night, DH is walking the pup again and he was still out there. So we grabbed the camera and got a couple of shots.

These shots truly don't do this baby justice. I am not a photographer at all, so these hardly capture his beauty.

And using the flash totally sucks, but it's the only way we could see him.

I've never seen one that looks like this. But I like it!

August 14, 2007

earth angel

Here's my Earth Angel by La D Da. She was at the LNS as a shop model right after I had it framed but was finally able to come home last week.

She was stitched on 40 count, can't remember what color though. Pretty sure it was whatever the chart called for, just in 40 ct. and not 28 ct. and I used the recommended threads as well, no color changes.

I'm pretty talked out for a while but will post my other finish and the recipe later in the week :)

August 12, 2007

for my friend

Here's what I stitched for my BFF, for her birthday this year. I posted it before on here, when I first finished stitching it, but here it is in it's finished form:

This design is from the Stitch Every Day series, by Just Another Button Company and is called "For the Cure". I stitched it on 30 ct. For the Cure Pink by R&R, and used WDW threads. The buttons are from JABC.

The finisher finished this into a cube-it for me, and here's the fabric she chose for the back:

I thought it was just perfect, and so did my friend. It made me so happy that she really liked it.

Stay tuned next week for pictures of a couple of framed finishes I picked up from the LNS and an awesome recipe for mocha brownies!

August 05, 2007

what's left

One of the blogs I read on an almost religous basis is Alicia's.
She's just like Martha Stewart, except more down to earth, more like a real person. Don't get me wrong, I love me some MS, especially her magazine, but Posey (as Alicia is also known as), is more like the girl next door,...someone you'd want to be best friends with because she knows how to treat her friends and family. She takes wonderful photographs of her crafty and culinary creations and 99.999% of the time, it's just about perfection. Then there was this post. I couldn't believe Posey made something that didn't turn out picture perfect. Aww, but that's what's so great about her, she let us all see her "bust up", which still managed to be cute.

Anyway, I knew if Posey liked the cake she made, even though it didn't come out of the pan just right, that it would be good. Thanks to her link to the buttermilk poundcake recipe, I baked one right up.

Oh my.

Six eggs. A cup of real butter. I could feel my booty growing as I was mixing it all up. It was terrific though and I really tried to not eat very much of it. Really.

Um, here's what's left....

I had help, people. Five mouths in total. So don't judge me ;)

Anyway, this recipe calls for buttermilk, obviously (the title of the recipe was my first clue). But I can't seem to keep buttermilk in this house because a certain cupcake's husband likes to drink it. A LOT. Whenever I get ready to make something with buttermilk, there never seems to be any left. So I got smart and bought some of that powdered buttermilk stuff. You mix the powder in with the dry ingredients and then add bow much ever water in with the wet parts, and tada! You cannot tell the difference. And you always have buttermilk when you need it, providing you have a supply of the powered stuff of course!

So try the cake. It's even better the next day, I thought it was very similar in texture to a Sara Lee poundcake, except better naturally, because it's homemade. Another something to make note of, I only baked mine about 70 minutes, instead of the 90 the recipe states, and I made a lemon glaze for the top by adding 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tablespoons melted butter to 2 cups of confectioners sugar.


This past week I finished Willow House by BBD. I loved stitching this so much. Gosh, do those ladies EVER make a bad design?

(click on image for a better, close up view).

It was stitched on 32 count Tobacco Belfast linen with recommended WDW and Sampler threads. I added the initals of my hubby and children along with mine :)

August 04, 2007

a beautiful exchange

Ann in New Jersey sent me the most wonderful package for a Summer Exchange we participated in.

A beautiful needle book and fob made from a Blackbird Designs chart, and wonderful cupcake tags and towel!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves:

It's one of the best packages I've received all year!

Thank you so much Ann! Your beautiful handwork is a treasure that I will always cherish!

August 02, 2007

exchange gift

Tricia received the exchange gift I sent her, so now I can show it here:

This is from the BBD book, With Needle and Thread.