Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Green Camo Alphabet Cross Stitch Pattern

For Christmas 2014 I stitched a personalized piece for my granddaughter that I used as the model for my Pink Camo Alphabet pattern.  Once that was released, I received several requests for a 'boy' version.  It was my intention to do that right after the first of the year, but my cross country move delayed it.  I'm happy to say it is now available!

I covertly stitched this piece and got it finished several weeks ago.  I say covertly because I never said I was working on an alphabet piece.  Once it was done I immediately shipped it off for finishing.  As I decided to make it a surprise 'just because' gift for my son, I had to wait until he had it before I could release it.  Nothing like ruining a surprise by seeing pics of it online first.

The pattern contains all 26 letters of the English alphabet.  Each letter is 18 stitches wide x 28 stitches high.  Each letter will have a unique camo pattern to it.
This pattern along with all my other alphabets (which can be found here) is now available for purchase at your local needlework shop or various online retailers.  If you don't want to do a Google search, just click here for a current list of those places.  

If you're a retailer and would like to stock this design, or any of my others, you can purchase here

Stay tuned here, as I will have more fun & funky alphabet designs coming in the future.  Until then, happy stitching!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Two Blessings Lupus Awareness & Fundraiser Cross Stitch Pattern

My "Two Blessings" design has been out for about 1 year now.  I never did a blog post about it when I released it, but there is a special meaning behind it.

When I originally designed the piece, it was to help raise funds for the Greater Ohio Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America.  I was taking a portion of the profit from the sale of each pattern (and we all know profits are not large) and donating on my sister's behalf.  She's been battling Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) for a couple of years now.  If you're not familiar with it SLE it is an autoimmune disease in which the body's immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissue. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and other organs. 

Many people associate the "butterfly rash" with lupus, which is why I chose a butterfly for the piece.  Also, the colors for lupus awareness are purple and green.  As far as the quote, well, I figured since my sister is the one dealing with this disease on a daily basis, I'd let her pick it out.

In 2013 I did the Walk to End Lu?us Now with her.  Unfortunately last year it was the same weekend as my stitching retreat.  I was going to cancel the retreat so I could go with her again, but she wouldn't hear of it.  Instead I still did my fundraising and was a "virtual walker".  Well here it is 2015, and I'm now 2,200 miles away from my sister and the rest of my family.  There's no question of the fact I will continue to support her, even though I won't be there to walk with her in person.

I've registered again this year as a virtual walker.  On the morning of September 26th I will be up and walking (probably on the treadmill at my apartment complex) while my sister is walking in OH.  And I've even put it on my calendar so I can't double book it with a stitching retreat, or anything else, like I did in 2014.

If you're interested in helping, you can do it in one of two ways:
1.)  Purchase the pattern from any of these retailers between now and September 15th, and I'll donate $1.00 of my profit to the organization. Or,

2.)  Make a donation direct to the organization via their website.  You can go here to the Living La Vida Lupie Team and look for my name (Kelly) on the team members and make your donation.

If you want to make a donation on the website, please be sure to do it under my page, as the donors just might be entered into a giveaway I'll be having *wink, wink* after September 15th.

Thanks for all your support and Happy Stitching!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Irish Setter Silhouette Cross Stitch Pattern

Today's finish was another requested breed...the Irish Setter.  Oh heck, what am I talking about, they're ALL requested breeds, so thank you for your continued support and giving me new breeds to chart!  I stitched it using DMC #400 on a piece of 16 count Khaki colored Aida.  Some of the breeds I stitch just need to look as realistic as possible, and this was one of them.

This pattern along with all my other silhouettes (which can be found here) is now available for purchase at your local needlework shop or various online retailers.  If you don't want to do a Google search, just click here for a current list of those places.  

If you're a retailer and would like to stock this design, or any of my others, you can purchase here.  
And if there's a particular dog breed, or something else you're looking for in a silhouette, just let me know and I'll gladly add it to my list of designs to create & stitch.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tasting New Cultures with Try The World

When my son gets bored and has absolutely nothing else to do, he likes to surf the net and see what kinds of interesting things he can find.  Quiet often I'll log into my email and find links regarding cars, fabulous photography, obscure news from around the world, etc.  A few weeks ago I received an email that was link upon link of sites that you can buy subscription boxes from that contain a variety of food, household goods, crafts, etc.  Being the good mom I am *wink, wink* I checked out each link.  Some of them were things I would probably never buy, and some of them looked interesting, but were too expensive.  Then I clicked on one that looked pretty good.

As part of my new life I've decided I need to be more adventurous with food and going places instead of just working & stitching, so Try the World looked great to me.  I can try new food AND not leave my house, lol!  Actually, if I can try food from new cultures in my own house, I might be more willing to then try a new restaurant that serves that kind of food.  So I figured what would it hurt to use part of my "entertainment" budget to give this a shot.

Last week I received my first box from them.  It was the Marrakesh box.  Once I opened the outer packaging, I found another box inside that looked like Tiffany box of foods.

Who wouldn't want to open a box that looks like this to see what kind of yummy treats it holds inside?!

The first thing I found when I took the lid off was a card describing the products inside and a little booklet telling you about the culture and offering a couple of recipes.

Now that I knew what was in my box, my next step was to remove the packing materials and get down to the goodies.  I already knew there were 6 items in there, but I wanted to see what they were.

I received a package of biscuits/cookies, cous cous sauce, a tin of sardines, a jar of kefta rub, a bottle of argan oil and a box of cous cous.  Fantastic because I've never had ANY of these items.  I texted my son pics and told him I got my first box.  His response..."you need to do a blog post about it".  I agreed, but said I wanted to wait until I tried some of the items first.

Tonight I decided to use both the cous cous and sauce with my dinner.

I browned some ground turkey, added the sauce and put it on top of the cous cous.  It wasn't bad, but I was expecting it to be spicier.  The cous cous reminds me of REALLY dry Cream of Wheat.  I followed the directions on the box, which made 2 servings, and have enough left to make another 4-6 servings.  I think the next time I make it I'll be sure to add it to a vegetable dish that has some sort of dressing with a kick to it.

I'm already looking forward to my next box!  If this is something you'd like to try, just follow this link and save $15.00 on your first purchase.  And if you decide to do it, please share with me what box(es) you get and what you think of them.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Saturday at Springs Preserve

Once I knew I was going to be moving to Las Vegas, I started following various pages on Facebook and Twitter of places I could go and things I could do.  One of them was the Springs Preserve.  Their website describes the place as "the premier place in Las Vegas to explore the valley's vibrant history through interactive science and nature exhibits, botanical gardens, hiking, trails, and live animal shows."  Sounded like it was right up my alley.

I went out there last Saturday, but there was some kids event going on and the parking lot was full, and I couldn't get onto the property.  As I'm not familiar with that side of town, and have been told by several people that it's "not the best place to be walking around by yourself", I decided against parking at one of the shopping plazas and walking to the preserve.  The new plan...go back yesterday and be there first thing in the morning when they opened.  Why the rush you may ask?  Well, they had a chocolate exhibit going on that ends today and I wanted to see it. I sometimes think chocolate is my second love behind stitching, LOL!

So, yesterday morning I got up, met the group of stitching ladies I've recently had the pleasure of meeting for breakfast and then took off for the park.  I got there and paid my admission fee (I'm quickly learning that NV residents are usually 1/2 price, or at least receive a significant discount, compared to tourists, so always carry your ID if you're a resident!)

I found the layout of the park and their map rather confusing, so I just started wandering and figured I'd eventually find what I was looking for.  First stop...the chocolate exhibit!  I was the only one there and it was basically just an exhibit where you walked through and read about the history of chocolate and looked at some pretties.  Needless to say I was disappointed as the description of the event lead me to believe it would be more interactive.  We won't discuss the fact you don't even get a piece of chocolate at the end of the exhibit.  I mean seriously, why tease people with a chocolate exhibit and then not give them a little piece to nibble on?!?!  Anyway, here are some of the pics I took in the exhibit.

After the chocolate exhibit I wanted to go to the butterfly exhibit.  According to their map, it was at the far side of the property.  And a walking I went.  As you walk along the path you're winding your way through the botanical gardens.  They were nice, but not what I'm used to.  I mean, I am living in a desert now compared to N.E. Ohio where things are a lush green with lots of vibrant color in the spring and summer.  Tulips?  Where are my tulips?  Certainly not here!  And even if they were, they would have probably bloomed 1-2 months ago.  Also along the path, were several metal butterflies painted differently.  Here are some pics of just a few of them along with the sign that describes them.

Once I wandered the path, down stairs, up stairs, around buildings, etc. I made it to the butterfly exhibit.  It was the smallest one I've been too.  Certainly smaller than the Corbin Conservatory at Stan Hywet that I've been to many times.  They were allowing 45 people in the exhibit at a time, which made it very crowded and hard to move around, as the walkway was narrow and went in a u-shape.  It also made it hard to get photos of the beautiful creatures flying about.  I took a couple, but they're nothing to write home about.

Once I was able to get out of the exhibit, I wandered through the gardens back toward the exit.  The cacti were really neat, and there were a few other sites to see.  I'd love to have one of those huge tall cacti with the arms to decorate at Christmas with lights.  I know, I'm strange.

My entire time within the preserve was about 1 hour.  It wasn't a bad trip, but I think I had myself psyched up for something more exciting.  And unless there is some fantastic exhibit in the future, it's not really something I feel the need to spend money to get into again.  No worries, there are TONS more adventures I can have in my new town & state.  

Until we meet again...Happy Stitching!