27 March 2011


I finally took pictures of the inside of my house so I have a "before and after" set.  This morning, I had to get up bright and early at 6a to head to Citizens Bank Park for the Phillies 5k walk/run.  Let me tell you something - it should be against every law to have to be up that early on the weekend.  Especially when it's the end of March and it was 21 degrees when I left my house.  I am so ready for warmer weather, it's not even funny.   I actually thought about not going, but went anyway.  It did feel good to get out and walk, even though it was at the expense of my hands going completely numb and I had gloves on.  At the end of the walk it was all worth it, since I got this poster (which I'm pretty sure all my Phils Phans will be jealous of)

and this t-shirt (which I got yesterday in time for the race).

Now for the part you've all been waiting for...the pictures of my house!  We'll start first in the kitchen, since it needs zero work done to it. It was recently remodeled, and is pretty awesome.  Tons of counter space and a great stovetop oven which will make my baking life a whole lot easier!  Don't mind all the stuff I have all over the countertops already.  I'm still in the process of bringing stuff from my apartment and finding homes for it in the house.  Cool, huh??  I think the black trimwork and the orangy color of the walls is pretty cool, so I'll stick with it for now.

20 March 2011

New week, new look, NEW HOUSE!!

I've been terribly busy over the past three days moving my stuff to my new house.  I brought my camera with me to take pictures so I have a "before and after", but I forgot to take it out.  My days were filled with unpacking my mug collection (I am not kidding when I tell you I can use a different mug each day for over a month and not use the same mug twice -- and no two mugs in my collection are the same.), cleaning the bathroom, and cleaning the hardwood floors in the living room and dining room.  My mom came and helped me with the kitchen and started washing the windows (which were apparently pretty gross).  Thanks, mom!!  I promise when I'm there at the end of this week I'll take pictures of all the rooms so you can see how I change them :-)

My crazy cat is a little out of sorts, since she can't quite figure out what all the boxes are for, or where I keep taking them, but that doesn't stop her from stalking the birds and squirrels outside our back door.  She's quite the huntress.  I doubt I'll have any problems with mice once I move, because if there are any, she'll find them, and they'll wish they never stepped foot into my house.  Ha!

It's a beautiful sunny day out today, albiet a smidge chilly, so I opened the sliding door so she could look out, and so we could get a bit of fresh air in the apartment.  There's a bird feeder out in the lawn behind my apartment, so there are always birds for her to watch.  I'm sure she'll miss this ground-level view of outside, but she'll have countless windows and more vantage points to choose from once we move! 

Since I'll have so many rooms to decorate, I've been searching through my stash to find patterns which will have a perfect home.  I, of course, have to find a perfect place for "Sabrina", my favorite Miribilia design.  She reminds me of Grace Kelly, who is one of my favorite icons of the golden age of Hollywood.  I'll post a picture of her once I find her a home in my new house.  I have several Christmas patterns that I haven't framed, along with my Cricket seasons and so many others that are patiently waiting to be framed and hung in all their glory.  I can't wait to find them all a home!

One of the other awesome things I'll have to find a home for is this rug hanging that my grandmother did about 10-15 years ago.  She was quite the artist, designing many rug hookings of her own, as well as completing patterns.  My aunt Carol told me that she would take patterns and change the colors around (so she must be where I got that talent from) to really make the pattern something she could call her own.  She also painted and did ceramics.  My parents have a beautiful set of goblets she made, painted, and fired back in the late 60's early 70's.

As you can see, she was quite the cat person!  How cool is this!  This used to hang in on the wall as you came up the steps of her house in Chambersburg.  This is currently hanging in the living room of my apartment, and is about 4 feet long. 

She used to show Siamese, so she was really able to capture the look of Siamese in this hooking.  I love the black cat sniffing the night air -- she looks so much like the crazy animal that lives in my house -- and the little grey one sleeping on the moon! :-) 

I also decided around midnight last night (when most of my fantastic ideas come to me, which is not always the best time since I work full-time and have to get up at 5:45a each day...but I digress...) to change the look of my blog.  I decided that even though it's named "a whole lotta latte", I didn't necessarily have to make my theme match the name.  Coffee keeps me going when I'm spending countless hours stitching, which is why I chose that name.  It's something about the hot, rich goodness of coffee that just makes doing needlework such a cozy thing to do :-)

Anyway, I went searching for some blog backgrounds and fun things to add, and came up with the final product you see today.  I'm sure I'll change it around again in the future, but for now, this fits who I am at the moment!

Enjoy the wonderful weather we're having as spring rapidly approaches, and do something creative today!

17 March 2011

Top o' the mornin' to ya!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!  Now, I'm in no way even one little sliver Irish, but it's still fun to decorate with green shamrocks and the pot o' gold!  The green is a pleasant reminder that spring is just around the corner!!  And who doesn't love gold?!  ;-)

Last night, I whipped up a little St. Patty's Day "small".  This is an adorable little shamrock pattern freebie from Paulette Stewart at Plum Street Samplers.  It's a-dorable.  Thanks, Paulette!

I didn't get the chance to do any finishing work on it, but it stitched up right quick -- I did it in under 2 hours.  Now, I know my stitching friends are out there going, "Well of course you did it in under 2 hours, Stitchy McSpindlefingers!!  It'll take me three times as long!"  Nay, I say to you, my good friends.  You, too, can have this stitched up in a short amount of time.  I promise!

Paulette leaves the color choices up to you for this lovely little small.  I chose WDW Scuppernong and Collards for the greens, and DMC ecru for the centers of the dark green (Collards) shamrocks.  The fabric is 32 count cream linen.  A-dorable.  I can't wait to finish it so I'll have it ready to go for next year's St. Patty's Day celebration!

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.
- Irish Blessing

14 March 2011


First of all, my biggest news -- I'm officially a homeowner!!  YAY!!!!  I made settlement on an awesome house and I can't WAIT to move in!  I especially can't wait to have a special area just for my stitching and crafts!!  I don't have any pictures yet, but I will very, very soon, and I'll post some just as soon as I take them! :-D

Second, I finally finished the "Sleep Tight" Sticks project I posted in my Sneak Peeks post.  Here is the finished product (I still have to do the finishing work, but all the stitching is done) -

Now, I'm not sure if you can tell or not (maybe if you click on the pic and enlarge it you can), but there is absolutely no square unstitched - the entire project is sheer stitching.  I honestly thought I'd never be done, and it's only 7.5" x 7.5"!  I've done Miribilia projects that are 3x this size (pics of them to come, so keep an eye out!)!!  I think this will be my last Sticks project for a good long time - the other one I did (Grow) was exactly the same way.  You'd think I'd've learned my lesson with the first one.

Below are some additional shots I took to give you a closer look -

This moon has the right idea -- nighty night!

If you can get a closer look, there are petite seed beads all throughout the moon's surface...

...and if you can get a closer look here, there are more beads in his hat, in the stars, and on (what looks like) Saturn in the upper right corner...

For as much of a pain in the neck this project was, it turned out pretty cool!!  I love the colors - they're so bright, and a far cry from the pastels which you normally see for baby gifts.  I plan on making this a pillow, so hopefully Katie can find a spot for it atop a shelf or bookshelf in her baby's nursery :-)

I do have one gripe about these Mill Hill Sticks projects....they don't give you the correct supplies.  In Grow, they left out one of the browns for the tree trunk.  In this project, they left out two colors, and didn't give me enough of a third.  Luckily, being the stitching freak that I am, I have almost every DMC color and was able to finish the project without a hitch.  However, for those cross stitchers who don't have an entire Michaels DMC display in their stash, this could prove difficult when trying to complete the project.  My advice -- before you even think about beginning to stitch, separate all the threads, and make sure you have everything.  Use master cards to help separate the threads for the project.  There were PLENTY of beads, so you don't have to worry about that for this kit...just the threads.  And fear not -- this crazy stitcher plans on sending a "heads up" letter to Mill Hill, so hopefully no one else will have this problem!

09 March 2011

Happy Hump Day!

Just a short post to let you know that one of my favorite food blogs, Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, has Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays every week (yes, I'm fully aware that it's Wednesday, but I didn't get to check out the blog posting until today).  Amy at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free encourages postings of slightly healthier versions of your favorite recipes.  Your recipe does not have to be sugar or gluten free, just healthier in some way.  This week, someone posted a recipe for gluten free Pop Tarts!!  Pop Tarts!!  I have to download that recipe because I can't even tell you the last time I had a Pop Tart!  I'll have to try it and let you all know if they're as good as the "real" Pop Tarts are in my memory :-)

Also,  I wanted to post the picture of my Double Flips by Lizzie Kate.  This is the first of the Double Flip series that she did - there are (I think) 6 more different sets of Double Flips.  I have one of her Christmas Double Flips (there are 2), and the Halloween set completed.  Since we're all begging for spring, I'll spare you the holiday themed ones until we approach their seasons.  I have all the supplies for the new Christmas Rules Double Flips, and I'll most likely be getting the Halloween Rules Double Flips as well.  I can't pass up on some of her designs...they're just too daggone cute!

I finished this Double Flip series on 27 count stitching band from Mill Hill.  I believe it's called neutral/neutral Pyramid stitching band, referring to the detailed finishing on the edges.  I thought it was a great alternative to framing, and it fits perfectly in a small wall space, such as between two doorframes, like where I have mine hanging. 

All of the words in this series are what we should all be doing each day, and in light of today being Ash Wednesday which marks the holy season of Lent, I thought it was appropriate to post something inspiring.

Do something creative every day. Believe in something bigger than yourself.  Have faith.

06 March 2011


Is that even a word?
I know it's been a while since my last post, but in all honesty, I've been very boring over the last week.  Ha!  I've come home from work, snuggled on the couch with my black kitty cat, and read or watched tv.  (I'm TOTALLY addicted to The Hunger Games, by the way.  Totally addicted.)

Yesterday was a lovely day here in Philly, so I decided to head downtown to walk around and get some fresh air.  I've added another store to my "favorite stores" list -- The Paper Source.  Holy moly do they have some cool papercrafting stuff in there!!  Yesterday was the grand opening celebration of their new store on Walnut Street, and they were having demonstrations, so I decided to pop in and see what was going on.  The people who work there are so nice, and they had coffee and treats all throughout the store. 

When I arrived, I was checking out these cool templates that they have for you to make your own envelope liners.  You trace the template on nifty paper, then insert it in the envelope so that you have something totally cool and all your own!  I haven't tried it yet, but I'll definitely post pictures once I've given it a whirl.  They also had tea towels in the front of the store with their gifty stuff you can buy, and one said, "Practically Perfect in Every Way" from Mary Poppins!!  My favorite movie from when I was little!!!  It even had the font from her measuring tape!!  I almost bought it...but decided against it.  Hopefully they won't sell out quickly, because I'm defintely second-guessing my decision to put it back...

After (regrettably) putting the Mary Poppins tea towel back, I meandered into the back of the store where they were having the demonstrations, and they had a lovely woman, Linda, doing demonstrations with stamps.  It was so much fun!  She had so many creative ideas for using stamps (some of which I'd never seen before!), and she showed us all some really great ideas for making cards, favor boxes, and more!  They had raffles all day, so I was there for one of them while attending the stamps demonstration, so I put my name in.  Now, I can count on one hand how many times I've won something in my life.  Well, add this time to the list!!  I won a clear stamp pad and a "Merci" stamp!!  I was so excited!! (It's the little things :-) )

I bought flat cards and envelopes to try out my new stamp set and envelope liner templates.  How GREAT is that purple!!!  It matched my coat that I had on yesterday :-)

So, that was my day yesterday.  I'm very excited to start working with stamps again, espeically now that I have all this cool stuff to work with!  Today was a day of shredding (I did not know you could overheat a shredder...until I actually overheated mine.), straightening up, and packing a few things.  Settlement is this Friday!!  I can't believe it!!  Time just flew on by.  I know we're all so freaking sick of winter, but below are a few stitched things that are almost complete.  I haven't decided just how I'm going to do the trim work around them, but I'll be sure to post a picture when they're complete!  Both designs are from Lizzie Kate, one of my favs :-)

That's it for now!!  I'm off to finish The Hunger Games (I'm telling you - addicitve) and get ready for the week!

Remember to do something creative every day! :-)