I’m happy to announce that I’ve finished designing and stitching the second item in my Foraging New England line. I actually finished this a few weeks ago, but I gave the completed stitch away as a present, and I didn’t want to post it until I had given it away. Didn’t want to spoil the surprise!
The second plant featured in the Foraging New England line is: fiddleheads!
Fiddleheads are young ferns before their fronds have unfurled. They are foraged by New Englanders for use as a vegetable, generally boiled or steamed and served alongside a main course. The pattern is stitched on oatmeal aida with the common name (fiddleheads) above the plant, and the scientific name (matteuccia struthiopteris) below it. This is done to reflect older hand-drawn plant guidebooks.
Use the coupon code INSTAFID1ST through the end of the day Saturday, July 19th to get 25% off either item!
Hello my lovely readers!
After the busyness of May, I was incredibly grateful to have a whole week off in the month of June! My bf only had half the week off, so at the start of the week I spring cleaned (umm….in June), made my favorite pie (strawberry-rhubarb), and got ready for our camping trip at the races. My bf’s hobby is racing motorcycles, and when he goes to the track, he camps there. Since I had the time off, I was able to go with him. I’m not able to go every time, unfortunately. I was so excited to get to be there! I love getting to see him race! It’s so exciting, and I love that his hobby is so unique and requires such a complex skill set, from actually riding to maintaining the bike. I also love camping and camping at the track is a wonderful different kind of camping. The excitement of being at the track and hanging out with the racers and their families and pit crews around the campfire at night is so much fun. My dad bought us a grill, so I was finally able to cook most of our foods at the track. I took to pinterest and discovered lots of fun things you can grill. I made us grilled tofu tacos, grilled quesadillas, breakfast of course, and, our favorite, zucchini parmesan. I loved getting to spend so much time on one of my hobbies while supporting my boyfriend’s.
With my vacation in there, I’m pleased with how many book reviews I managed to write this month (eight). I had dubbed June the month of reading ARCs, and I managed to get through four of them this month, taking my total number of TBR ARCs down to 16. I finished designing a new cross-stitch pattern, but I have yet to post it since it is a present, and the recipient has yet to receive it! This month I’ll be working on my first commission. I’m excited to show it to you guys when I’m finished.
Hello my lovely readers!
April was such a busy month, I can actually hardly believe it’s over already! It’s always a busy month for me at work, as I help organize and run an annual event on-campus. In addition this month, we also welcomed a new program to our campus, so the library was very busy putting in the groundwork for supporting students studying that new subject area. I also submitted my first-ever poster abstract. So busy! On top of this, the weekend of my work event was the same weekend as the first motorcycle race weekend of the season for my partner. He was incredibly busy prepping for the races. Instead of just the normal getting everything running again after the long winter, he also was prepping a new (to him) race bike to be track ready. Since I couldn’t go with him for the first race weekend, I wanted to send along something nice, so I made him a pie and cookies for carb-loading at the track. I honestly found the baking to be stress-relieving and really enjoyed it. I’m happy to report both the work event and the first race weekend went well!
In spite of the busyness, we were able to squeeze in quite a few hangouts with friends and dates for ourselves. One of our dates was to hike a local trail on Easter Sunday. It was gorgeous weather in a month of a lot of iffy weather. I always find it so refreshing to get outside and in the woods, and even more so with my boyfriend. We saw lots of jack-in-the-pulpits and also got a great view of Boston.
My stitching slowed down a bit this month, although I did release the first design in a new line–rhubarb in foraging New England. The rest of the patterns for the line are designed but they still need to be trial-stitched! I hope to release at least one of them this month.
I read and reviewed four books this month, sticking to my overall goal of one book a week. I’ll be happy if I manage to stick to that during my upcoming even busier month of May! In my own writing, I’m still working away whenever I have the time on my new book idea, writing background short stories. The typewriter my bf got me for Christmas is coming in really handy, freeing me of distractions.
Since I finished the Miffy / Nijnjte line for my shop, it was time to think of a new one! I knew I wanted to do something to pay homage to New England, both where I grew up and my current home. It’s a truly beautiful place. The spring weather and planting my (incredibly tiny) container gardening got me to thinking about plants. Then it struck me. I could make a line about the plants you can forage for in New England! Foraging is the act of gathering plants that grow wild to eat, as opposed to gardening. My grandmother on my father’s side was incredibly knowledgeable about foraging. She passed her knowledge on to my dad, who passed it on down to me. Of course, my father knows more about it than I do! I consulted him some on the new line on everything from which plants to choose (there are so many edible wild plants in New England!) to getting the look of each plant just right. I decided that I would include with the plant itself the common name and the scientific name. The line is intended both to decorate and educate.
The plant I chose to stitch up first for the new line is: rhubarb!
Rhubarb features in my favorite pie, strawberry-rhubarb pie! It can also be used in everything from breads to jams to drinks. It has a savory, bitter flavor, so it generally is combined with something sweet to bring out its underlying sweetness. The pattern is stitched on oatmeal aida with the common name (rhubarb) above the plant, and the scientific name (Rheum rhabarbarum) below it. This is done to reflect older hand-drawn plant guidebooks.
Use the coupon code INSTARHU1ST today or tomorrow to get 10% off either item!
I am incredibly excited to announce the new line in my shop: Miffy / Nijntje!
Miffy is a beloved character from a series of children’s books by Dick Bruna. Her name is Nijntje in Dutch. I discovered Miffy on Netflix one night, and immediately fell in love. She’s such an adorable little bunny, and her stories are wonderful! Their availability in dual-language apps are also helping me on my side-quest to learn Dutch. When I discovered a shocking lack of Miffy cross stitch patterns, I made my own so we could hang a version of her in our living room. I decided to make BOTH the patterns and the completed products available for all Miffy fans to enjoy. The picture on this post is just of my personal favorite design, Miffy’s Garden / De Tuin Van Nijntje. Please click through to my shop to see all five designs!
PS I am now shipping completed items to The Netherlands and the UK in addition to the US! Patterns are available worldwide.
My final holiday cross-stitch was a present for my partner’s other sister. (He has two. The youngest one got pixel Thor). This sister is a journalist and a fan of emoticons. I thought it’d be fun to make her something small that she could hang in her office, maybe. Something that would both display her personality and be semi-related to work. I decided to stitch her the look of disapproval emoticon face and frame it in a classy hoop. Framing items this small is easiest with semi-flexible plastic hoops. I chose one that was made to resemble wood.
I enjoyed the final look so much that I was inspired to do an emoticon line in my shop. If you like the look of disapproval, you can buy a completed one from me. Although, the version I am selling is hooped in a red hoop.
I still have two cross-stitches I made for the holidays left to show you guys! I fully admit, I was waiting on showing you the last two since they’re related to my newly opened Etsy shop.
One of my good friends is a big fan of Sriracha rooster sauce. It’s a hot sauce made from chili and garlic, frequently used in Asian cuisine. Its bottle is rather iconic. It is red with a green cap and has a white rooster on it. I thought it’d be a cute piece for her to have in her kitchen. However, I couldn’t find a pre-existing pattern for cross-stitch, or even one I could adapt, anywhere. I wasn’t expecting that, since it has a big fan-base. But, oh well, I figured, I guess I’ll just design one myself. And design it I did! My friend was quite happy with her present. The pattern is now available for sale in my shop, Stitch-A-Stitch.
I am beyond excited to announce that my cross-stitching and patterns are now available on my new Etsy shop: Stitch-A-Stitch!!
For right now, the items available for sale are completed items, hooped into 3 inch hoops. They are either regular emoticons in black or bi pride emoticons in the bi pride colors. There is also one bi pride item that is simply the word “BI” in the bi pride colors. The pattern available for sale is one I designed to gift to a friend for Christmas. It is of the Sriracha rooster bottle. I couldn’t find one anywhere, so I designed one myself, and I thought it made sense to make it available for others! As time goes on, I plan to broaden the items I have available. The next category I am working on at the moment is the Avengers as pixel people.
The positive feedback I received here on this blog from you all encouraged me to pursue opening this shop. Thank you all so much for your support, and I do hope you will take a moment to check it out.
The largest cross-stitch I made to gift for the holidays was for my partner, naturally. I thought these dinosaurs in love were too cute to pass by! I also chose to use my bf’s favorite colors for the color scheme: red, orange, and yellow.
After making the Avengers logo and pixel Thor, I got to change things up a bit for my present for my partner’s mother. She teaches chemistry at a community college and loves chocolate (who doesn’t), and so I thought a stitch of the molecular structure of theobromine (chocolate) would be a fun present.
I found a variety of patterns of theobromine online and repurposed them to my own pattern. When I finished, I discovered that my completed design was too big for my hoop (I didn’t think my plan through), so instead, I attached it to the cover of a Christmas box. It’s now a nerdy box for Christmas chocolates.