Sunday, June 30, 2013

Eilonwy, Part 7

It's the end of the month and that means another cross stitch update!  This time I moved Eilonwy up to the second spot in the rotation and I plan to work on The Quarry third; I think I might keep that order up for the foreseeable future.  To refresh your memory, here is Eilonwy:

At least, Eilonwy is what I've dubbed this lovely lady, a pattern I got from the Scarlet Quince.  And without further ado, here's what she looks like now:

She has a face!  And she now stares at me every time I work on her!  Despite lots of trouble with my wrist (which the doc said may be due to arthritis), not to mention planning that baby shower, I added 7,373 stitches to the design for a total of 50,737 completed.  She's now just over 40% done (the entire design is 126,000 stitches).  Here's a closeup of the area I was working in, you can see it even larger if you click on the photo.

It looks like she's got a line on her face just to the right of her eye, but that's just because that's where my frame was last time I worked on her.  There won't be a line when she's done, cleaned, and ironed.  Next time I'll be doing more of her hair and maybe getting back into her wings a bit too.  I think Eilonwy is my favorite of the four Scarlet Quince projects I'm working on right now; I always hate when it's time to put her away for another three months.

At any rate, it'll be pretty quiet around the old blog for the next couple of weeks since my family will be invading Europe.  I've got posts set up over on Snapdragon Stamps if you want to see some stampy goodness :)  Otherwise, expect more tulip pictures in a couple weeks.  Or maybe I'll surprise you with those sooner if I manage to get a couple posts scheduled...

Friday, June 28, 2013

Holland, Part 4: In Which Tulips Take Over the World

Ready for more tulip pictures?  'Cause I've still got lots to share : )

Just love the colors on these ones and the next ones.

Ok, so to me this looks like some kind of hybrid tulip-lily.  It's a tulily!

More of the ones with the ruffled edges.

Such a pretty purple color!

Not a tulip, but still handsome : )

Not a tulip.  I may not know much about flowers (and I'm really, really good at killing plants) but I can at least recognize a hydrangea.  Speaking of which, Lee says the one in our backyard has some buds on it, which is proof that it thrives the more I ignore it.  Because if I tried to take care of it, it would be dead by now.

That's not some weird lighting trick on my part--it was just one sunbeam shining on that particular flower : )

This one kinda looks like a plumeria to me.

Artsy tulip pics ahead!

And can you believe I'm STILL not done with the tulip pics?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Karyn's Baby Shower

Soooo, I survived Karyn's baby shower on Saturday and I've been taking a couple days to recover before we start preparing for The Invasion.  Yep, my family is invading Europe, starting this weekend.

But first let's talk baby shower.  Karyn is having twin boys and I thought it would be fun to have a Peter Pan baby shower for her.

Most of the food was tied to the characters in some way...we had pirate ship cupcakes (ok so black pirate sails would have been more accurate, but a.) I didn't want to mess with embossing powder or craft ink and b.) it's a baby shower, I didn't want it all dark and stuff) and pixie dust cupcakes.  The pixie dust ones were homemade funfetti, which I didn't realize until someone said something that they don't have funfetti cake mix here (I was asked if I had someone send me a box from home).  Both the cupcake recipes were from Sally's Baking Addiction (link in sidebar at right); for the chocolate ones, look for the recipe with the creamy Nutella frosting.  I still have a little of that frosting in the fridge and....yum.

The lemon creme is great on fruit (Karyn had been craving strawberries, so we had those!) and it's also great on angel food cake, toast, and generally just eating with a spoon.  Want the recipe?  Mix together 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (fat free is fine), 1/2 cup lemon juice, and 4 drops yellow food coloring.  Takes a while for the lemon juice to incorporate into the condensed milk, so it takes a lot of stirring but it's worth it.

I had three baby shower "minions", one of whom couldn't come to the actual shower because she was honeymooning in the Canary Islands.  So she did framed art for us and it was AWESOME.  I think she did about 10 pieces and they were all quotes from Peter Pan except for one (which you'll see).   AND I made a playlist of the soundtracks from Peter Pan and Hook and had that playing throughout the shower as background music (I happened to already have both of those soundtracks, I found them both at the half-price book store in Texas some while ago).

While planning the shower, we thought it would be fun to have a crocodile toy in the bathroom (because, y'know, water) so I went looking for one online.  Turns out that they have plush toys of almost the entire cast of Peter Pan and they're on clearance for better than half price at the Disney Store.  My mom was kind enough to go to the outlet mall and grab them all for us...we ended up with FOURTEEN toys to decorate with!  They're pretty big for $8 apiece.

I actually had quite a lot of Tinker Bell stuff even before planning this shower.  I like her; she's sassy.

There's John, Michael, and Wendy...we also had I think five Lost Boys, Hook and Smee, Tiger Lily, Peter and Tink and with the crocodile that's fourteen.

Tiger Lily and another cute Hallmark find.

I made this sign for the front door and signs for the rooms of the house:  we had the Indian Encampment (kitchen, because in the movie that's where they have a feast after Tiger Lily's rescue), Crocodile Cove (the bathroom, technically it should be Cannibal Cove but eww cannibals?), the Jolly Roger (dining room, with all the prezzies for Karyn on the table), Lost Boys Hideout (living room, since that's where we were hanging out), and Mermaid Lagoon (the backyard because hello POOL).

I found a hook already in our dining room ceiling so I hung Tink's lantern in there since Captain Hook took her prisoner.

Some of our baby shower guests!

And here's the Mermaid Lagoon.  Lee did lots of great work cleaning up the pool and making the yard look presentable.  Have to give him a shout-out, he's awesome!

Here's Carrie and our momma-to-be Karyn!

Karen and Karyn...Karen was nice enough to take pics for me during the shower, so big thanks to her (she was one of the minions).

I had to put the chubby Lost Boy in the dish with the Hershey's Kisses.  I made some keepsake shower invitations for Karyn and her mom; they're made to look like the Evite that we did (everyone here does online invitations...well, saves me time making a zillion actual invitations, but I think it's nice to have at least one real invite).

Tink and Peter with a bouquet of tiger lilies.  The quote on that framed art piece is the one about the first baby's laugh creating fairies.

And here's the one non-quote piece--pirate booty!  See that little foam sword in front of it?  Karen actually found that in her yard a few weeks ago after her neighbors had some kind of party so she gave it to me.  Recycling! 

Since Karyn is having twins, she got a couple of Thing 1 and Thing 2 clothing options.

And monkeys and elephants and monsters.  She's gonna have a ton of clothes for these kidlets.

Her friend Leslie crocheted this baby blanket for her (she's working on the second one).  Turned out beautifully!  Turns out my mom is not the only person who does baby blankets : )

Since I was the one handing out the gifts for Karyn to open, I got to save mine for the last--the baby books.  As I wrote in the card, when I showed her a baby book I finished at the beginning of the year, little did I know she'd be getting the next two!  I've been slowly posting pictures of the layouts from these books over on Snapdragon Stamps.  I made sure Karyn saw the last page, which says "Made in England", I knew she'd think that was funny.

And I included a couple pairs of teeny baby booties my mom made.

Karen suggested we make a Happy Thoughts book for Karyn, so I did.  Mom sent me the album (it's small, 6x6) and some Peter Pan stickers, and then I picked four colors of cardstock and made pages for the inside.  There's a space on each page for a person to write her happy thoughts for Karyn, and a spot for a picture, so Karen went through and took everyone's photo at the shower.  Now all I have to do is print them out and figure out a few people's handwriting so I get the right pic with each note : )  The book is 40 pages long, so there's plenty of room for more people to sign.  Karyn is having a revolving door of guests from now until, like, September, so I'm sure lots of the pages will get filled in.

And there you have it!  I thought it turned out pretty well.  Huge thanks to my minions, Karen, Hazel and Laura, and also to Lee who helped a lot to make sure the house was presentable.  They all ROCK!