January 30, 2012

Chinese New Year Feast 2012

My cousin and I celebrated Chinese New Year on the 7th day this year. Over the last few years, we've always gotten together as close to CNY Eve as possible, but it just didn't work out in terms of timing this year for Jan. 21st. Although, by the time that day rolled along, it was just as well, since poor hubby was sick as a dog. :(

Jan. 28th was our day this year. As promised, here are food piccies. We thought of taking a picture of the people, but we were already too busy eating. LOL!!!

Steamed organic chicken

Cilantro sauce for the steam chicken.
It's a mixture of cilantro, garlic, soy sauce, and stock from the steamed chicken.

Kai lan (chinese broccoli) with a bay scallop, carrot, shiitake mushroom sauce topping

Organic tofu smothered with a black bean pork meat sauce

Dungeness crab cooked in chili sauce from Singapore

Crab shell with tamale

Soup with napa cabbage, shiitake mushroom, and goji berries

Pandan chiffon cake

January 28, 2012

A Phoenix and A Surprise Giveaway

Thanks to being done with work and teaching a little earlier than usual this past Tuesday, I finished the blue phoenix last night. I wish my pictures could capture how the Treasure Braids sparkle in real life.





On a side note, I added a watermark to my pictures. It's something I've been thinking about doing for months, and finally had some time to explore my options this morning. I quite like how it looks...

For Wednesday's Random Afternoon Question, I asked about Americana charts. I'm not familiar at all with the logistics of that category and have always thought of it as a term that depics all aspect of the American way of life... from the pilgrims; to the art, be it quilting or pop culture; to the flag; the bald eagle; etc. Nestled in this category is, of course, patriotic charts.

Your responses made for very interesting reading, and I'm happy to say, has helped me to get to know you better. Blu, it's great to have another friend in Canada, and nothing you said was offensive. We, all of us, stitch what we like and love. That's what hobbies are for. :D

Getting to the second part of my title, I've decided (sorry, Sara!! Hehehe) that these charts will lay in my meager stash for a long, long, time and never see the light of day. Like many of you, I enjoy seeing them stitched, just not by me...

So, in the spirit of Daffycat and Jo's secret giveaways, Cucki, Kate (of Needles and Haystacks), Linda, Kaye (Blueberry is yours ;) ), Sarah, Tama (Quiltmaker is yours. :D), Chris, and Vicki, would you guys email me your address as I'd love to send these charts out to you? Some of them are opened, I hope you won't mind.

No, I'm not going to tear up 3 charts to split between you, I have more. LOL!! Helping out a friend who was selling her charts, remember? ;)

January 27, 2012

Friday Randomness

I got the cutest email of animal pictures from my friend, Heather, the other day. Some of the pictures reminded me of how much I love and appreciate my friends, even though sometimes they can be a pain in my bum, but then I'm probably a bigger one in theirs. HAHAH!!!!

Thank you all for being my online friends! My life is so much richer with you guys in it. :D








January 25, 2012

Random Afternoon Question

A big welcome to my new followers!! I am surprised and honored that so many of you would come and spend time with me in my little spot, and I'm looking forward to spending time with you in yours. :D

Awhile ago, I bought some charts from a friend who was clearing out her stash. I thought these were cute but am not sure if I'd be into stitching Americana stuff. I do know I enjoy seeing your WIPs of them though. :D

Home of a Quilter, The Quiltmaker, Blackberry Jam

Of course, my friends would probably be cheering me on to give them a try. I can hear them chanting now... "START, START, START!! MORE WIPs, MORE WIPs!!" (Heidi would not be one of them. LOL!)

Which brings me to: Do you like stitching Americana pieces? Would the above charts make you go all a-shiver and a-quiver?

January 23, 2012

January IHSW and TUSAL

Hi everyone! How were your weekends? We had 166 Hermitters, our biggest yet!! Thank you ALL for participating. These weekends are such fun for me. :D I'm looking forward to checking out your blogs and looking are your gorgeous WIPs and finishes. CLICK HERE for the list of hermitters and get ready to drool!! :D

I spent my weekend on Chinese Garden Mandala, and here's a breakdown of what I did:

1. The ming vase (I think those are plum trees with fruit?), bamboo, and flower bush for Part 10. Since I had the opposite side available on the scroll frame, I also stitched (but didn't take a picture) of the bamboo and flower bush. I studied the charts for Parts 9 and 10 really carefully to make sure these were charted the same. They were indeed, and since I'm a lazy scroller, I decided it's in my best interest to work on them in tandem. ;)



2. I found out a while ago (while backstitching the goldfish) that the Edmar Rayon can be broken down into 4 individual plies. That soooo explained the thickness of the red rayon above the doorway and the black in the doorway. So, I frogged and redid both sections at half the previous thickness and I LOVE how it looks now. :D

Before:  The rayon around and in doorway was a protruding mess
and the algerian eyelet on the most right looked awful. YECH!!!

After: The doorway actually looks like it's leading inside!! :D
The algerian, while still not perfect, definitely looks better, don't you think?

3. What are those little blue dots, you ask? My pitiful start on the next phoenix at 11pm last night. LOL!!



As if going through IHSW pictures isn't exciting enough, it's also a new moon today, which means it's time for January's TUSAL post! I've decided to take my ORT jar amongst my plans and flowers this year. Here it is, nestled in my begonia plant. All the silks are nicely fluffed up too. I can't believe that's all from stitching Butterfly Lace and Chinese Garden this month.

January 22, 2012

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

Chinese New Year falls on Jan. 23 this year and heralds in the Year of the Dragon.


My cousin and I, who moved thousands of miles away from home for school, were fortunate enough to land within minutes of each other with our jobs. As a result, while far away from all our family, we are able to have each other with which to celebrate the Chinese New Year feast.

We usually have our dinner before the first day of the new year, but since I had some teaching obligations this weekend, we opted out for the 28th of January. As it turned out, hubby came down with a terrible cold, poor thing, so it was great foresight that we scheduled our pigging out session dinner for next weekend. Food pictures will, as always, follow. ;)

Off to stitch...

January 20, 2012

Friday Randomness

Holy schmoly, you guys!!! We're at 139 hermitters as I type this. Are we starting this year's IHSW with a bang or what??!!! WOOOOOHOOOOOOO!!!! I can't wait to spend time with your blogs next week and drool over all the beauties.

If you're still trying to decide, sign up!!! It'd be fun. :)

I'm very happy to report that I'm caught up with blog reading as of last night. I still owe a lot of you emails and I'll be working on those next.

I'm a little aggrieved with the blog roll. I haven't been able to add new blogs to the list for the few days now. No matter what browser I use, it just sits on the "Saving..." option. Sigh. I hope it'll get sorted out soon so that I can add all the new blogs I'm following on to the list. Until then, please know that I'll keep trying. :)

Hubby sent this to me a few days ago, and I thought... how appropriate!! What do you suppose Gollum's thinking?



HAPPY HERMITTING, Y'ALL! :D

January 18, 2012

Random Afternoon Question

What did you have for lunch today?

LOL!! Another food question.

We had stir fry chicken breast and vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrot, shiitake mushroom, and cloud ear) cooked in chinese wine and topped with dried pan fried anchovies on brown rice. Yummm!!! I'm typing and having more of the chicken and veggies now (I brought extra) and man, is it ever good. I actually stopped eating to take a pic for you guys. :D

Awww.... all gone.... :(

January 17, 2012

Butterfly Lace - Center's Done

I finished the center for Butterfly Lace over the weekend but didn't get a chance to post a picture till now. See the unstitched fabric square between the rhodes stitches and the darker blue x's? That's going to be fully beaded. Same goes for the 4 corners!! This thing is going to bliiiiiing!! :D


Close up of the inner center showing the back and long stitches.

Chinese Garden is back on the scroll frame. I was too tired to work on it last night, but with IHSW this weekend, I'm hoping to get a big chunk of Part 10 done. :D

January 15, 2012

January 2012 IHSW

Hello hermitters!!! It's time for our first IHSW of the year. :D Are you ready? Lots of you have been busy with the Crazy January Challenge, and I hope you're not all stitched out. :)

I heard through the grapevines that some stitchers thought IHSW was this past weekend since the 1st was a Sunday. I'm sorry about the confusion. We will always hermit on the 3rd full weekend of each month. :) If you happened to have hermitted last weekend, YAY for you!!! How about another weekend of it? ;)

Don't forget to sign up on this list as this is the list we'll be stalking after our January IHSW. :D

January 13, 2012

Friday Randomness

Work has been super busy. It seems like last year merged right into this year without any slowdown. Has it felt that way for you guys too? As a result, I haven't been able to stitch as much as I'd have liked to and I'm doing a p***poor job at keeping up with your blogs. I was making a dent and actually caught up enough to only be one day behind but sadly, that was two days ago...

So, to perk me up and in view of all the recent requests for a hunk post, here are some pics of Hawaii Five-O's resident hunk, Alex O'Loughlin. Don't look and stitch now, I don't want to read about frogging sessions. ;)

Happy weekend, everyone!! :D






January 11, 2012

Random Afternoon Question

I received an email from a friend today with a link to an article about laksa, a food we both love. Since reading it, I can't stop thinking about food!!! Thanks, EK! ;)

It's cloudy and cool here today, which always makes me crave soup. Being from Malaysia, we have all kinds–chicken soup with sweet clear broth; assam laksa that's spicy and sour; curry laksa with coconut milk; bak kut teh, where pork is stewed in an herbal concoction for hours; hot pot, where you... ok, ok!! I'm going to stop right there cos my stomach just growled! LOL!!!

Needless to say, I love soups. Clear broth, thick textured, spicy, chunky.... you name it, I'd probably love it. There's nothing as comforting to me as a nice BIG bowl of hot soup!

Do you like soup? What's your favorite kind? And if you have a recipe to share, PLEASE do so!! I'd love to try it out. :D

January 9, 2012

Butterfly Lace Mandala - A New Start

Before I jump into the matter at hand, I want to first thank you all for your comments. They so make my day. :D Also, I'd like to welcome my new followers. I'm looking forward to stalking your blogs (where available) back in turn. ;) Speaking of stalking blogs, I'm running 4 or 5 days behind, but I hope to put in some major reading time today.

I finally started Butterfly Lace on Friday night. Since it was still the first week of January, I hope it qualifies as a "New Year, New Start" for my start-hungry pals. ;)

It's a full moon tonight, and as such, heralds in our first WIPocalypse of the year. If you're still undecided about whether or not to join, do so!!! It'll be fun. :D Measi is taking sign-ups till Jan. 15th.

Alright, so here's Butterfly, stitched on 32ct belfast 'Ray of Light,' as of last night. I didn't get as far as I'd have liked since I was catching up on Fringe. See the bright blue in the center? That's the only DMC color so far. I love how electrifying it looks. :D

January 7, 2012

Chinese Garden Mandala - Pt. 9

I can't believe it's been a week since my last blog! The first week of work has been non-stop and I certainly hope that it is an anomaly and the rest of the year will settle down to a slower pace. :)

I mentioned awhile back that I was going to do a New Year start of Butterfly Lace Garden and a few of my friends jumped on the bandwagon. We were all excited planning for the start and when 1/1/12 came around, they were true to their word and... guess who wasn't? LOL!!!

I have a (reasonably) good excuse though. I had finished most of part 9 on the Chinese Dragon Mandala and since I was stitching the over 1 phoenix, there was no way I could stop with those glorious colors  And I do mean glorious. The blend of colors is mindblowing and with each new shade, I fell more and more in love. When the backstitching went in... forget it and just drool!! LOL!!! Let me show you what I'm talking about and you'll understand....





Speaking of backstitching, the dragon vase was a PITA to do, but man, oh man, oh man! All I can say is... Martina is a master at her craft!

Before backstitching

After backstitching

Part 9 also consisted of bamboo plants and flower bushes. I'm not quite sure what the flowers are. My cousin thinks they're wisteria but they don't look quite like it to me.

Bamboo and dragon vase

Flower bush

And last, but not least, here is Part 9 in all it's glory.



By the way, I started Butterfly Lace last night. ;) Will post pics of it for WIPocalypse on Monday. :D

January 1, 2012

2011 - A Stitching Review

I totally forgot to do this, Anne! That's what I get for procrasitinating. LOL!!

Before getting into it, I want to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support and encouragement about my stitching. I truly appreciate and look forward to each and every comment. Wishing us all an awesome stitching year in 2012. Smokin' needles, here we come!! :D

I'm so pleased with how much I've accomplished in 2011 on the stitching front. It was nice to revisit the finishes for this post and I can only hope that I'll be able to do as well in 2012.

Namaste by Designs by Lisa

Terrace Arch by Dimensions

Taj Mahal Mandala by Chatelaine

Petal Fairy by Mirabilia

Fern (Pixie Couture) by Mirabilia

Pizzazz by Ink Circles

Bunny Baby by Ellen Maurer-Stroh

Mermaids of the Deep Blue by Mirabilia

Ivy (Pixie Couture) by Mirabilia

Dalmation Baby by Ellen Maurer-Stroh

Olde Irish Blessing by Erica Michaels

Orchid (Pixie Couture) by Mirabilia