August 30, 2013

Work In Progress Updates

It's been awhile since I posted updates about the projects I'm working on. I have three long term projects going, all at once, but I forget to post blog updates because the changes happen so slowly (although, I have been posting progress pics on Instagram). Since it has been a while, there has been A LOT of change!

Summer Stitching Club

The Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club is coming to an end, but many participants are still working on the project - me included! I had a few weeks where I didn't work on this project because I was also trying to get caught up on another stitch-along, the Woodland Sampler. Once I got started on it again, I plowed right through the rest of the embroidery designs. I finished making hexies and piecing the top yesterday.

Now I just need to decide how I want to finish it. I changed the orientation of my hexies because I was thinking I might make it into a pillow cover instead of a mini quilt or wall hanging. But, now that I've gotten the top done, I might end up just finishing it as the original idea after all. I also need to decide if I am going to hand quilt or machine quilt it together.

Woodland Sampler

It took a lot of time, but I managed to get caught up on my Woodland Sampler. Each month's pattern comes out on the first of the month. I didn't sign up or start stitching until June, so I had a lot to do. It took me until August 7th, but all that stitching paid off. I think it looks great! I can't wait for the September pattern email!

My scroll frame isn't quite big enough to show you the whole thing, so the top of the January and February frames can't be seen, but this is what it looks like so far.

ABC Quilt

Sadly, this project has been on hold for a while. I originally wanted to have it completed in time for my son's 2nd birthday (May 23rd), but that didn't happen. I don't know why I thought I could pull it off in just slightly over a month, especially with my crazy over-planning tendencies.

I was on quite a roll with the project (even though it was late), but I got stuck on some of the embroider designs I was trying to draw up. I really wasn't expecting to have such a tough time drawing an octopus! Then, I started working on the two stitch-alongs I wrote about above, and I got wrapped up in them. There is something really special and fun about working on the same project at the same time as a ton of other people, but I would like to finish this quilt for my little guy in the near future!


New Projects Coming Up:

Autumn Stitching Club

I had so much fun with Wild Olive's Summer Stitching Club, that I signed up for the Autumn on too! The new Autumn Stitching Club stitch-along starts on Monday (Sept 2nd), and it only costs $5 for the whole thing right now. You should join in!

Pin Cushion Ring

I'll share this project when it's done. Hopefully it'll be up in the next few days because I really need one now.

August 23, 2013

My Husband's Birthday Present

Every year, my husband and I have a three-day celebration. Well, the last two years we haven't actually been able to celebrate the way we'd like to because of my husband's work, but theoretically, we have three awesome days in a row where celebration is in order.

My birthday is August 19th and his birthday is August 21st (of the same year - I'm older!). We got married the day between, August 20th. See, three days of awesome.

I usually have a really tough time thinking of good gifts to get for my husband, which sucks a lot because he is such a good gift giver. Somehow, I've actually been on a bit of a roll for the last year and have had some great gift ideas for him. I even had some extra ideas, but I was worried about having them written down somewhere, so I forgot them! I was starting to get worried when August rolled around and I didn't have a gift idea, but then inspiration struck!

I don't remember the details, but my husband heard about a drink called The Last Word and was really interested to try it. It had a liqueur in it that neither of us had tried before, green Chartreuse. He kept saying that we needed to go get some at BevMo, but that never happened. A bit later, he was on a business trip and ordered a Last Word at a bar, and he liked it.

So, my idea for his gift was to finally get him a bottle of green Chartreuse. I didn't want to just buy him booze, so I went hunting online for the recipe for The Last Word and other cocktails he could make with the Chartreuse. I was having a hard time finding anything other that The Last Word that looked trustworthy, but then, I found some good recipes on Saveur (shared below). As I was going through the recipes, I noticed that most of the drinks used yellow Chartreuse, not green. The yellow Chartreuse is a bit harder to get (sells out quickly) and is supposed to be good for drinking by itself, so I decided to get him a bottle of the yellow Chartreuse too! I typed up recipe cards for six different drinks (including a photo of the drink to whet the appetite), laminated them, punched holes in the corner, and use a binder ring to keep them together.

I was really excited to give him this gift, and he loved it!

Here are the cocktail recipes I included in the gift. I'll add photos as we make them!

The Last Word

3/4 oz. gin
3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
3/4 oz. maraschino liqueur
3/4 oz. fresh lime juice
Twist of lime for garnish

Vigorously shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist.


1 oz. brandy
1/2 oz. yellow Chartreuse
1/2 oz. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. simple syrup
1 dash Angostura bitters
Strip of lemon peel for garnish

Shake all ingredients together with ice. Strain into a well-chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with lemon peel.


2 oz. rye whiskey
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1 tsp. yellow Chartreuse
1 dash Angostura bitters

Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice; stir to chill. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Eureka Punch

2 oz. Caribbean-style amber rum
1 oz. fresh lemon juice
3/4 oz. yellow Chartreuse
1 Tbsp. honey mixed with 1 Tbsp. water
1 dash Angostura bitters
2 oz. ginger ale
1 lemon wedge for garnish
1 sprig of mint for garnish

Shake all ingredient together with ice until chilled. Strain into a Collins glass filled with ice cubes. Top with ginger ale. Garnish with lemon and mint.

The Beauty Spot

2 oz. gin
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1/2 oz. green Chartreuse
Orange twist for garnish

Combine all ingredient with ice in a shaker. Stir the mixture thoroughly and strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange twist.

The Lumiere

1 1/2 oz. gin
1 oz. elderflower liqueur
3/4 oz. green Chartreuse
Dash of orange bitters
Lime twist for garnish

Combine all ingredient in a shaker with ice; stir thoroughly. Strain the mixture into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lime twist

August 13, 2013

Craft It Forward

This photo popped up in my Instagram feed, and I got excited. These sorts of things sound like so much fun, but I have never participated before.

The idea is to spread crafting love around. The first five people to comment on the post and say they are willing to craft it forward for five other people, get a handmade item from the original poster. My item will be made by @kdarli.

I posted the Craft It Forward on my Instagram and have had two takers so far. Hopefully another three will come through. I'm really excited to make some special gifts for the people who participate.

Have you ever participated in something like this?
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