Friday, June 28, 2013

Wrapping up the Week... Thrifting, Hallowe'en Branch and Chihuahua Friday Snap!!

Gentle Friends another Friday rolls around and I just can not wait for the weekend!!  The weather here in the City by the Bay has been really lovely the last few days... we had some rain and dampness Monday and Tuesday then it got warm and sunny and should stay that way through the weekend.  When I say warm, I'm talking mid 70's and breezy, perfect walking weather.

Last weekend we did some thrifting and here's a snap of the things I couldn't leave behind....

There have been some great DVD finds lately, and last weekend was no different. The four I picked up were all over the place theme wise, the "Santa Clause 2" is a Christmas film I didn't have, "Ball of Fire" I picked up as it replaces a DVD I loaned out but never got back, "The Wedding Banquet" is a great film directed by Ang Lee, and I picked up the Carol Burnett disc because it has the show that they did a version  of "Gone With the Wind" and Carol wore that great dress.....

... The "Went With the Wind " parody was iconic and the scene with the dress is a show stopper!!  The two books I picked up of course are Christmas related.  I also found the great Camel ornament, a little hard to see but he's there in the middle of the picture.

Here's an updated snap of Hallowe'en Branch...

.... it's coming along just fine without any more mis-stitches...  fingers crossed for the frogs to stay away!!

and.... I liked the idea of a Chi' Friday snap....  and here are some of the herd at the top of the stairs.....

I'm not sure were the Lollinator was but here are Smokie, The Peach and Whahumpi, or as they are more commonly known around the homestead as....  Mokie, Sweet P and Humpa.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!  Have a super weekend!!

Take care,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Little Stitchin'

Gentle Friends sorry to have not posted yesterday, but I was working on something for Nicola over at "Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year" SAL. 

Today I'll post a couple of things, first up will be the HOE Summer Exchange piece I made for Linda, and here's a snaperoo...

... it arrived safe and sound.  I made a little Pyn Keepe, called "Bird Tree" by The Goode Huswife.  I left off the little poem.  I stitched it on a piece of 36ct Vintage something, using the recommended DMC Floss.  It so reminds me of Summer, and you just can't beat the Goode Huswife for a super design.  I finished it off with some trim from Nancy over at Victorian Motto, and a little Mother of Pearl heart on top.  I loved the way it turned out and Linda liked it, so that's what counts!!

Now, a little update on my Hallowe'en Branch...

....   I am really enjoying this piece more that I thought I would, just a totally fun piece to work on!!  I made an order for some different sized and coloured buttons so that when I get the stitching done I can add those.  This is sold as a kit, but I borrowed these charts and so I needed to find other buttons for finishing - lets hope they will work out when they arrive......

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Friday, June 21, 2013

Chihuahua Friday Snaps

Gentle Friends, today is the first day of Summer, and the last day of the week, with only 131 days until Hallowe'en, 160 days until Thanksgiving and 186 days until Christmas - we or at least I can overlook the hot weather and look forward to cooler temps that come with the Fall.  Last night after straighting out my floss for Hallowe'en Branch, a who hound got a hold of all of it while we were at the pool, and i ended up with a giant rats nest of floss that took over and hour to get straight and back in order - I then stitched quite a bit on "the Branch, but ended up having to frog just about all that I did as Had used am incorrect shade of brown - that even I couldn't fudge - so no progress was made.

I did however want to have some snaps today so I took some of the Who Hounds, or as they were better known last night as "the Floss Tanglers."

Here's The Peach in one of the cat beds we have, she like to have it  propped up against one of the dinning room chairs and with one of the blankets kind of like a nest.....

... here's Lolly, another "nester" she really likes the beige blanket, you can just see the pale bed and the little blue bed that the blankets are on....

... here's the Whahumpa or Humpi as he is know around the crazy farm, he really enjoys being snuggled up against our baseboard heater, I made a little nest under a chair out of the purple fuzzy afghan.  It's a toss up as to either Humpi or Lolly in this spot, baking, but they love the heat.....

 and then we have Smokie, he has started to sit in the "Massage chair" so I put a little blanket there for him.  This is the chair that has the shiatsu rolling, heated messager with neck massage - a little bit of heaven IMHO.

I also went back and added Links to yesterdays recipes - I totally forgot to do that when I was posting - whoops!!

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again.

Take care,

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Some Tasty Things....

Gentle Friends I think today I'll post some baking stuff.....  Last week I made a Lemon Pound Cake - I'm a nut for lemon anything - so when i found the recipe on line I knew it would be the cake for the week...

Out of the oven and cooling it turned out beautifully....

I made a glaze from the lemon zest and icing sugar - it really made the cake pop!!

Sliced up and ready for a cup of coffee - this cake had a nice dense crumb, the main reason I really enjoy pound cakes!!

This past weekend I made a really tasty Graham Streusel Coffee Cake that used graham crackers and walnuts for a streusel filling....

Instead of a tube pan this cake was baked in a 9x13 and I decided to make a vanilla drizzly glaze - here it is cut up and after I applied the drizzle.

This was a super moist cake so i used some cling film between the layers on the platter.

Last week we picked up some Trader Joe's pizza dough and sauce and made this ...

... the dough was easy to use - and we ended up with three meals - 2 dinners and a lunch!!  We topped it with some onion, olives and pepperoni, and then used a mix of mozzarella/cheddar and pepper jack cheeses- 

That's about it for today sports fans - thanks for stopping by - do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Little Weekend Shopping

Gentle Friends over the weekend we did our usual running around and in and out of Consignment Shops, Thrift Shops and Goodwill's...  we also stopped of at Cliff's Variety Store...  and here are some of the fun things I found....

A little background - I grew up using ice in every cold drink - my motto could be.... if it ain't clinking with ice, then why bother.  I use ice from the dead of winter to the blazing hot summer and even keep a bag at work, If I'm gonna have a drink I am gonna have an iced drink - so when I saw this great ice tray I knew it was coming home with me....

.... these super cubes of ice are almost 2" square!!  The tray itself is silicone or some kind of rubber so they pop out easy enough, but wowsers - the cubes are just great!!  I put the quarter there so you can really tell just how big they are.  This ice tray is basically my favorite thing this week!

The running around to the other "shops" I found a few things......

.....  it was a good day for DVD's and some fun books.  "The Giving Tree" is such a sweet story, "Beasley's Christmas Party" is a great first edition copy from 1909, "God's Secretaries" should be a great read about the creation of the King James version of the Bible. 

 It was great to find a copy of "Twas the Night.." DVD, and I think the combination of Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins is top notch in "Mrs. Henderson Presents,"  The anniversary edition of "Apollo 13" was a no brainier as was picking up both "The Producers" and "The Long Long Trailer."  Even though I already have copies of both "The Producers" and "The Long Long Trailer" - they are such fun movies ( and in pristine condition) I couldn't pass them up - now I need to figure out something to do with them???  Maybe a DVD Gift-a-way???

There you go sports fans - that's about it for today, thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Little Spooky Start

Gentle Friends there were some major computer issues yesterday - hence no Post - since this Blog is a computer driven thing, no computer meant no Post - and today it will only be a shortish Post.  I finished up the stitching on my Exchange piece and will now get at the finishing over the next few days so I can have it in the mail by Friday.  

In the meantime I didn't want to pick up a WIP - so - I though it would be fun to start something new and stitch up a smallish piece....... and since Halloween is rushing upon us -
 only 134 more days!!  I knew what I wanted to work on........ here's a snap..

Bent Creek "Hallowe'en Branch" - 
32ct PTP "Dill" - using the recommended over dyed flosses

I am debating whether or not the include adding the buttons and snaps - I usually do not care for those bits, but this might be a piece that they will add a little pop to - .

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for dropping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A Great Mail Day!! and a Film

Gentle Friends nothing warms the heart so much as getting fun mail from Stitching Buddies!!  - and - my cup runneth over yesterday as I received two super packages....  I waited until I got home to open them and get some snaps...  

One of the packages was a super sweet RAK and the other was an HOE Exchange Piece...   

I had been forewarned that the RAK was on its way from Catherine and it arrived yesterday...

..... and the package contained the pattern by LHN "Robin Hood," a skein of some lovely green floss from Nancy over at Victorian Motto, a lovely piece of sparkly linen and in a a great WIP zipper bag, thank you so very much Catherine!!!

The Exchange piece was part of the Summer 2013 Exchange - and was from Marie, the Exchange was to stitch something of Summer.... and I received....

... a super Candle Mat, designed by Prairie Grove Peddlers called "Lighthouses."  Now, I need to go get a great Summer inspired candle to put on it!!  Thank you so much Marie for such a beautifully stitched a finished piece for the Season!!!

I also saw an most interesting film last night.  When I plopped it on my Netflix Queue after reading some of the reviews, I thought I would only have to give 30 to 45 minutes then pop out of the player.....  however  it turned out much differently.  The film is an independent film called "Cloud Atlas" - 2012 - starring Tom Hanks and Halle Berry...

... and consists of 6 interconnected stories, that take place spanning different time periods,  from the South Pacific of 1849 forward and across time to the year 2321, 106 winters after the Fall.  I was totally fascinated by this film and enjoyed it immensely.  You really have to pay attention to everything and everyone as it jumps back and forth in the narrative.  I will certainly see it again and will probably buy a copy at some point, I enjoyed it that much.  I can see it might not be for every one, and it is about 3 hours long, but I think it is well done and worth a look.  The story was taken from the 2004 novel of the same name written by, David Mitchell.

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chocolate Deliciousness in San Francisco

Gentle Friends recently I was searching for an artisan Chocolate maker here in SF - and there at quite a few, but they are scattered all over the city and the Bay area.  After doing some research on the Internet I found a small (like 10' x35') sized shop in my own neighborhood that specialized in artisan chocolates.  I had been by this place many times and not thought a thing about it - well after reading  the reviews and perusing their site - I was determined to walk down the hill and make a visit...  I also needed to pick up an avocado for last nights dinner, so I had another excuse to walk down the hill.

After picking up the avocado, and stopping off for a cup of coffee, I stopped into "Chocolate Covered San Francisco."

 I was just blown away with the selection - hundreds of different chocolate bars, drops, candies and dozens of fudges - all from small batch artisan chocolate makers from the US and around the world.  For such a small shop they pack a big punch......  here are a couple of snaps...

After explaining to the super sweet woman working there what I like an don't like  (my list of dislikes - hazelnuts, almonds, milk chocolate, most super sweet caramels, my list of likes salt, dark leaning towards bitter chocolate, burnt sugar and interesting inclusions) she steered me towards all kinds of things - and let me taste at least 15 or so different kinds of chocolate concoctions...  I really liked the Poco Dolce "Aztec Chile" tile, bittersweet chocolate with cinnamon, ground chili pepper, roasted pumpkin seeds and sea salt.  I think that the most interesting - and tasty - was a white chocolate with an inclusion of chopped up kalamata olives.  I also tried a dark almost black chocolate with an inclusion of truffles and salt....  and one other stand out was a French dark chocolate with lavender infused grey salt and toffee bits.  You can try any and all the chocolate you want - I ended up with a couple of bars......

...... both dark chocolate with different salts.. a Michal Mischer and a Vice bar.  Both made here in the Bay area over in Oakland.  I would HIGHLY recommend this store and if visiting SF make it a destination, they couldn't be nicer and where can you try so many different kinds of chocolates and then take some home with you!!   I was in no way compensated for my recommendation, but the great service and tasty treats are enough to bring me back for another visit.

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Weekend with FDR

Gentle Friends it will be slim pickins' about stitching on the Blog for a few more days as I am still working on an Exchange piece - so I will talk about a film I recently saw...  "Hyde Park on Hudson" - 2012 - starring Bill Murray and Laura Linney.

This film is set in June 1939 and the American visit of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.  During their stay they travelled to the Hudson valley and stayed at the country Estate of the Roosevelt's in Hyde Park, NY.  The films also explores the relationship of FDR and his sixth cousin Margaret "Daisy" Suckley.  Filmed in England, but looking very upstate NY -the film was a pleasant surprise.  I thought it was well acted and looked beautiful - the film is worth a look for the absolutely spectacular automobiles and the beautiful countryside.

That's about ti for today sports fans,  thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, June 10, 2013

A Very "Thin" Weekend

Gentle Friends thank you so much for all the kind comments and emails about the photo of my mom in the last Post - the really meant a great deal to me!!

Over the weekend in addition to my Netflix and other Film distractions I hauled out my "Thin Man" DVD's.  The series features Nick and Nora Charles solving mysterious crimes and murders - they are played most excellently by William Powell and Myrna Loy.  The series consists of 6 films based on characters created by Dashiell Hammett - The first in the series "The Thin Man"  -  actually refers to the victim that Nick Charles is hired to find, but eventually becomes the moniker for the entire series.

"The Thin Man" - 1934

These are really fun films and although some of the gags tend to wear a bit thin towards the end of the series I still enjoy them.  They are all available on DVD.

That's about it for today sports fans, thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Saturday, June 8, 2013

An Old Photograph

Gentle Friends, today would have been my mom's 87th Birthday -  so my thoughts are drawn back to her today.  Breaking up her house this winter and sorting everything out I came across a photo I had never seen - and I had thought I had seen every photograph there could be, and trust me there were thousands and thousands taken over the years....  here it is....

It was taken when she was 16 in 1940, and she was a Debutante - It is a great photo and is a black and white picture that has been hand coloured.  

I am reminded of a poem by a favorite poet of mine.....

The bustle in a house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth, --

The sweeping up the heart,
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) 

 There you go sports fans, Thanks for stopping by, do stop again,
Take care, 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Summer is Upon Us..... Sweet Smoke......

Gentle Friends - my post title is odd, but since I am stitching on an exchange piece I haven't a snaperoo of that, yet, so I will post other snaps...

The pool opened up a couple of weeks ago (here in SF to have a private pool is wonderful, and not very common) so when we all got notices that the heater was cranked up and we were able to swim again..... it was like a stampede of water buffalo to the river...

however in reality it was a little more like....

.... you can tell it's Summer by the fog bank pouring over Twin Peaks....

As you may remember I am a big fan of incense - I burn the stuff all the time.  So, I thought why don't I try an make some of my own???  My sister and her family had given me a Gift Card from Mountain Rose Herbs, and they have a beginners "making your own Incense" kit... so I got one of these kits recently and tried my hand at making some....

  Here's all the stuff that came in the kit....

basically you take a "recipe" and measure everything into a mortar...

 take the pestle and grind and mix everything together making a very fine powder...

add enough water to make a sticky play-dough ball of raw incense...  (I made two types)

pinch off enough to make a small cones, shape with fingers and let dry for a few days.   Then ignite...

The first batch was hard to burn, so I re-ground the cones, added more of the Makko (ground bark binder) and reformed  the cones and those work just fine.  I was really surprised at how easy these are to make - I usually buy solid stick or coil, but you need a machine to make these types.  I like the idea of making specific types of incense and will be making more in the future.

That's about it for today sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Some Stitchin'

Gentle Friends a quick post today with a catch up snap of AaHRH....

I finished up the header and started stitching on the first Square - I am really liking the great fall colours!!   I would have gotten further along, but I started to work on an Exchange I have coming up towards the end of the month.  I will be working on the Exchange piece and putting AaHRH aside for a while.  Sorry about the wrinkles and the wonkiness, but it was late when I took the snap.

Thanks for stopping by, do stop again!!

Take care,

Monday, June 3, 2013

Some Fun Stuff

Gentle Friends the weekend seemed to fly by!!! and we are back at Monday, again!  The last two days the weather by the Bay was almost perfect - Saturday I almost broke a sweat as it got into the mid 70's, and with all the heat I almost had to take off my sweat shirt....  but with a little brisk breeze, I kept the sucker on.  Sunday was perfect, bright, sunny and cold wind a blowin', my kind of day!!  After early Mass, we stopped off for bagels and then it was home and sweats - and some fun house work - but back to Saturday...

We stopped off for breakfast at the Red Cafe, down in the Mission....

....then it was off to the grocery store, the Safeway on Potrero Hill.    After that we did our usual thrifting and Estate Sales, mostly a bust but we found a couple of things....

I picked up the great Gullah sea-grass basket for a $1, I am sure they didn't know what it was or where it is from.  Being from the South and visiting Charleston many times I have seen these my whole life - and know that they can be really pricey.  Rico found the Virgin of Guadeloupe figure and the little old saying I was not going to pass up!!  It now hangs in the kitchen.

We also got some great mail from a friend of ours in north Dakota...

he sent us these really super coffee mugs - the Warholesque Chihuahua's are really fun!!  They are made by Kish Serrano of Paw Palettes you can click on over to see the other breeds she has transformed from the Masters, such as Picasso , Degas and others.

There you go sports fans.  Thanks for stopping by do stop again!!

Take care,