Jan 28, 2013

Marvelous Monday Update 1/27/13

Woo Hoo!  Another marvelous Monday, isn't it? 

Not much happened last week, except... it was my birthday!!  My parents took me out to eat, the BF got me my favorite perfume, and I received lots of awesome birthday emails/ecards from friends around the world.

I participated in two birthday exchanges this year.  Look at all the flossy goodness!

From the i-love-cross-stitch group:

From the i-love-cross-stitching group:

I even received cards from Menards and the Literacy Council (where I teach ESL students), and my new employer.  Menards sent me a coupon for a 15-piece craft knife set.

My friend Faith sent me a huge hank of Victorian Sampler floss along with a card.  She is so sweet!

Once a month, my employer has a day where we celebrate the birthdays for the month.  On that day, everyone except for the birthday people brings in food and it ends up being a large potluck.  We celebrated the January birthdays last Friday.  There was soooo much food... and it was so good!

Did you hear it?  The cheers of accomplishment... The happy dancing?  I finished Part III of Sampler aux Bouquets!  The entire piece is now finished.  Yay!!

To see photos of this journey, click HERE.
Sampler aux Bouquets I, II, and III
Designer: Jardrin Prive
Fabric: 32ct White Evenweave
Fibers: DMC
It ended up being 29" long and about 10" tall.  Since it's finished, I'll set out on my journey to find the perfect frame.  Wish me luck!

Until next time,

Jan 21, 2013

Marvelous Monday Update 1/21/13

A few have asked about the new job. It is going well! Just the other day, I was thinking to myself, "It's nice to work for a company where morale is good and coworkers seem happy." Going home at the end of each day knowing I had a productive one is also a plus! (As opposed to sitting around twiddling my thumbs wondering when my job will be eliminated.) Recently, we received an email that my new employer was giving everyone a Happy New Year gift:

Since the dress code is very casual, I'll be able to wear it to work... almost anything goes as long as it's not offensive and body parts aren't hanging out.

Have you ever bought lipstick and it turned out being one of your favorite colors? Then the cosmetic company doesn't make it anymore?! Why?!! When you get to the bottom of your favorite tube, you can make it go a bit farther. One way is to use a lipstick brush and swipe it out. Another way is to make lip gloss with it. Yep, that's right! Take a small bit of petroleum jelly (and I mean small... like 1/2 tsp or less) and put it in a small plastic sandwich bag -- push it down into a corner. Then take your almost gone lipstick and scoop out the remainder from the tube. Put it into the plastic bag with the petroleum jelly and twist the bag so that it all stays in the corner. Smoosh it up until the color is distributed evenly in the jelly. Once mixed, snip the corner and squeeze it into a small container with a lid. I used a contact lens case. Petroleum jelly makes for soft lips and you still have your favorite lip color! Cool, huh?

I don't know about you, but it seems like my mascara thickens up way before it should. Is there a fix? Multi-purpose contact lens solution! A few drops in the tube will make the mascara less thick and extend tube usage a bit longer. (You should replace your mascara every 6 months, though, to reduce chances of eye infection.)

Last week, I think I spent just as must time frogging as I did stitching. Whoever sent the frogs... thanks. Could you please take them back now? Because I am sooooo close to finishing Sampler aux Bouquets! Here's the progress:

Other progress pics can be seen HERE.

I brought my lunch hour work project home so I could take a photo and show you its progress. Doesn't look like much progress after 2.5 hours of stitching, does it?

I received word that my first finish of 2012 arrived at its new home so now I can show it off:

For Sue in VA
Design: Christmas Cardinal
Designer: Stoney Creek
Fabric: 14ct Zweigert White with Silver Metallic Aida
Fibers: DMC, Kreinik
Embellishments: Handmade Cording, Snowflake buttons

Yep, just like the one I made Glenda at Christmas. Now, I just have to make one for myself. I really like this design!

Until next time,

Hot & Sour Soup

4 c. chicken stock or broth (or 4 c. water and 4 chicken bouillon cubes) = 2 (14.5oz) cans chicken broth
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 c. cooked shredded chicken or pork, or handful of large shrimp
1/2-1 tbsp. garlic chili sauce
1/4 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 c. white vinegar
1/2 c mushrooms, sliced or quartered
1/3 c. canned bamboo shoots, julienned
2 tsbp. cornstarch and 2 tbsp. cold water
1 egg, beaten
2 green onion stalks, sliced (including tops)
1/4 tsp. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. sugar
Carrots, thinly sliced (optional)
1/2 c. Fresh or Frozen Peas (optional)
Crush red pepper flakes (optional)

Bring chicken broth to simmer in 2qt saucepan. Add soy sauce, meat, and chili sauce. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add white pepper, vinegar, bamboo shoots, carrots, cabbage, and peas. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and sugar. Whisk together cornstarch with water in a cup until smooth. Add cornstarch mixture and red pepper flakes to soup and stir well. Simmer for 5 minutes until soup is thickened. Beat egg in cup until yolk and white are combined. Pour beaten egg slowly in a fine stream into soup. Stir several times. Wait 30 seconds. Add green onion and sesame oil to soup. Stir well.

* I used 1/4 c. white vinegar and 1/4 c. rice wine vinegar and it tasted fine. (I have also used just white vinegar and it's fine, too.)
* I like having "stuff" in my soup, which is why I add the optional items.

Jan 11, 2013

Happy New Year!!

It's over 10 days into 2013, but I still wanted to wish everyone happy and properous year!

Toward the end of last week, I finally started feeling better after being sick since before Christmas.  I still have a bit of a cough and sinus crud, but overall my energy has returned.  Yay for that!  There's nothing worse than missing holidays and starting a new job when you're sick -- especially at the same time.

Even though I had to skip Christmas with my family, all was not lost. I received beautiful gifts from other people in my life. For many years, I have tutored adult ESL (English as Second Language) students. My current student gave me a huge tin of cookies and a scarf/mitten set. The cookies were really good!

Akila from India (Mostly Cross Stitch and Some More) and her adorable daughter V sent me a beautiful ornament and sequined bookmark:

I received a very nice package from Sue in VA for Christmas. I opened it early because I just couldn't wait!


Thank you so much for the lovely gifts, Sue!

Have you ever had Hot & Sour Soup from a chinese restaurant? It is really yummo! It's also a good substitute for chicken soup when you're sick. I learned how to make it while I was sick, and had it on three different occassions!

Since I started the new job, I've had to alter a lot of schedules in my life. One of which is lunch meal planning. I used to be able to go home for lunch since it was only a 10 minute commute. Now, I can't go home so I have to take my lunch. I've been making meals and freezing them so that I have a variety to take for lunch. Behold....

Chicken Potpie!
So easy to make, too.


I took a couple different projects to do as my lunch time stitching. The lighting isn't optimal for stitching on linen/evenweave so I chose this small aida kit.

I've had a few people at work ask me what I was doing and one even told me that she LOVES to do cross stitch. Unfortunately, I don't know who she is because I didn't think to introduce myself. Duh!

At home, I'm still working on Sampler aux Bouquets. I'm about half done with Part III so I'm hoping to have my SECOND finish of 2013 soon. Yes, second. I had a finish earlier in the month, but I can't show it because it hasn't made it to its new home yet. Anywho, here's my progress on SaB:

Isn't that little snail cute?

Until next time,