Belated WIP Wednesday: Mirabelle “If Only”

As some of you may know, I started cross stitching like a fiend back in August. I thought it was just a phase and that after I finished the few pieces I was working on I’d be done and back to my myriad of other hobbies. But it’s almost April and I’m still stitching almost every day with a back log of projects to start.

I’m about 3/4 done with my current project. It’s Santoro’s Mirabelle “If Only” by Bothy Threads. This is the largest project I’ve done to date and the swirly bodice was maddening. The pattern takes four separate pages, so lining everything up properly was challenging. I also screwed up the peach part of the skirt and it was off by one stitch and I had to rip the right side of it out and start all over.

Mirabelle state of completion as of Wednesday 3/25/2015

Mirabelle state of completion as of Wednesday 3/25/2015

I’m currently working on the bottom portion of the design and as you can tell by the higgledy piggledy state of the stitching I quickly get bored with one color and move on to the next. And the next and the next. It all gets done eventually, but you can only cross stitch so many long blocks of color before going a little crazy.

The bottom area I'm working on.

The bottom area I’m working on.

I hope to do regular weekly updates of my projects as I go forward because I have several more in the works. After this I’d like to do two more Mirabelle cross stitches starting with “Adrift”. I have a funky silver wall in the dining room I’d like to line up these Mirabelle pictures on with the last one being “Butterfly”.

The naked silver wall.

The naked silver wall.

These are going to be several months in the works, but I hope that they’ll turn out every bit as quirky and wonderful as I imagine them to be. Till next Wednesday.

P.S. This WIP was late because Wednesday was hubby’s birthday. No more birthdays or trips for a while, so I’m hoping to stay on track.

MH4U Dual Blade Upgrade Chart


R1 Matched Slicers 84 750z R1 Matched Slicers+ 98 R1 Dual Slicers 112 1650z R2 Dual Hatchets 140 4200z R2 Dual Hatchets+ 154 R3 Dual Cleavers+ 182 O R4Hurricane 196 220 氷 OO R5 Cyclone 210 260 氷 OOO R8 Tornado Hatchets 308 290 氷 OOO
R3 Rex Slicers 196 -20% O R5 Tigrex Claws 238 -15% O R6 Accursed Slicers 252 80 爆 -5% O  
R2 Freezing Daggers 126 150 氷 R3 Freezing Daggers+ 140 220 氷 R4 Icicle Daggers 154 300 氷 R4 Frozen Death 182 350 氷 R8 Gelid Mind 252 370 氷
R2 Insecticutters 140 5% R3 Insecticutters+ 168 5% R4 Insectiscythes 182 80 麻 10% O R6 Alated Insect 224 120 麻 20% OO    
R2 Sworn Rapiers 140 80 水 5% O 3900z R3 Holy Sabers 154 120 水 5% OO R4 Guild Knight Sabers 168 180 水 5% OO R5 Master Sabers 182 200 水 10% OOO  
R1 Jaggid Shotels 126 2100z R2 Leader’s Shotels 154 R3 Fledderklauen 168 100 龍 10% 12000z R4 Hungerklauen 182 140 龍 20% R5 Aasklauen 196 180 龍 20%    
R2 Cleaving Jaws 168 40 水 80 氷 R3 Cleaving Jaws+ 182 80 水 120 氷 R5 Cool Cleavers 196 140 水 180 氷 R6 Frozen Cleavers 210 260 水 220 氷  
R1 Bone Scythes 112 975z R1 Bone Scythes+ 126 R1 Chief’s Scythes 140 R2 Dual Battleaxe 140 100 毒 3225z R2 Dual Battleaxe+ 154 130 毒 R3 Double Tabarzin 168 180 毒 R4 Terminal Toxin 196 200 毒 R6 Mortal Miasma 224 280 毒 R7 Dual Chameleos 238 350 毒
R3 Twin Flames 182 120 火 13350z R4 High Twin Flames 196 140 火 R5 Wyvern Lovers 210 170 火 R7 Wyvern Strife 266 200 火
R2 Pink Maracas 182 -25% OO R3 Funky Maracas 196 -20% OO R4 Jungle Maracas 210 100 眠 -15% OOO R5 Evergreen 238 120 眠 -10% OOO R8 Evergreen+ 322 150 眠 -10% OOO
R1 Whirlitwists 126 80w -5% R2 Whirlitricks 154 120 水 -10% R3 Whirlitorture 168 150 水 Def+5 O 13350z R5 Spiral Edges 182 210 水 Def +10 OO R6 Gyro Wedges 210 260 水 Def +10 OO    
R2 Snow Slicers 154 100 氷 3900z R3 Snow Sisters 168 120 氷 OO R5 Maulagombs 196 220 氷 OO R6 Brawlagombs 210 240 氷 OOO    
R2 Twin Chainsaws 140 80 雷 3225z R3 Usurper’s Fulgur 196 140 雷 R5 Despot’s Blitz 210 180 雷      
R1 VpreyClaws 140 2100z R2 High Vprey Claws 154 OO R3 Raven Tessen 182 15% OO R4 Wolf Tessen 196 180 毒 25% OOO R6 Crow Tessen 224 220 毒 35% OOO R8 Pox Tessen 308 240 毒 35% OOO  
R2 Kut-Ku Pair 140 70 火 R3 Kut-Ku Pair+ 154 190 火 13350z R4 Dual Kut-Ku 182 240 火 max upgrade reached    
R4 Dios Slicers 210 120 爆 R5 Dios Slicers+ 224 140 爆 R6 Demolition Blades 238 200 爆 OO  
R3 Glutton’s Tools 126 OO 7350z R5 Gorger’s Tools 168 400 火 OOO R8 Savortooths 224 460 火 OOO            
R4 Felyne and Melynx 112 150 麻 OO 1650z R5 Felyne and Melynx+ 126 200 麻 OOO R8 Felyne and Melynx++ 280 280 麻 OOO            
R2 Plesioth Cutlasses 154 120 水 3900z R4 Plesioth Machetes 182 200 水 R5 Verdant Slashers 196 180 眠 250 水 O R6 Alluvion Slashers 210 220 眠 320 水 O          
R5 Melting Wail 266 150 毒 280 火 -20% Def +20 O 45000z R6 Melting Blazer 280 170 毒 320 火 -15% Def +20 O              
R6 Zakun Twins 238 10% O 40000z                
R4 Dual Dragon 182 220 龍 O 24000z R6 Dual Dragon Ultimus 224 280 龍 OO              
R4 Wrath & Rancor 224 100 龍 5% 66666z

Item Wish List

  • R4 Wrath & Rancor: 4 deviljho hide, 2 deviljho tallfang
  • R5 Aasklauen: 4 Gore Magala Ripclaw+, 1 Gore Magala Feeler+, 3 Gore Magala Carapace, 1 Gore Magala Plate
  • R5 Master Sabers:1 basarios Tears (high carve 5%, shiny 5%, capture 8%, break back 12%)
  • R5 Despot’s Blitz:2 Zinogre Horn+, 3 Zinogre Shocker+, 1 Zinogre Claw+, 1 Zinogre Jasper
  • R6 Accursed Slicers 5 B.Tigrex Claw+
  • R6 Demolition Blades: 3 Brach Carapace, 2 Brach Ebonshell+, 2 Brach Scalp+, 1 Brach Gem
  • R6 Alluvion Slashers 5 Garuga Scale+
  • R6 Brawlagombs: 1 lagombi ear+, 1 freezer sac, 2 S.Zinogre Dragonhair
  • R6 Gyro Wedges: Need 2 S.Queen Sharpclaw, 1 S.Queen Concentrate (high body carve 3%, capture 4%, break head 4% G slightly higher) ugh
  • R6 Dual Dragon Ultimus: 4 S.Zin Drakeshell, 2 dracophage bug (S.Zinogre), 1 S.Zinogre Umbrage
  • R6 Allated Insect: 8 Dracophage Bugs, 1 Rare Scarab
  • R6 Melting Blazer: 6 Fire Dragon Scale+ (teostra), 4 Teostra Carapace
  • R6 Frozen Cleavers: 4 B.Tigrex Fang+ 1 S.Queen Concentrate
  • R7 Wyvern Strife: 6 S.Rathalos Scale+, 6 G.Rathian Scale+, 3 Rath Gleam
  • R7 Dual Chameleos 6 Chameleos Hide+, 2 chameleos taile, 1 chameleos Gem
  • R8 Savortooths: 1 Gourmet voucher, 10 firecell stones, 4 B.TetsucabraHardclaw
  • R8 Evergreen+: 6 E.Congalala Fur, 2 E.Congalala Hardclaw, 4 Massive Bone (G carve Kecha, Lagombi, congalala, tetsucabra etc.)
  • R8 Felyne and Melynx+: 3 najarala piel (G: carve, capture, break tail, break back leg), 6 Omniplegia sac
  • R8 Tornado Hatchets: 8 eltalite ore, 4 yoldspar ore (Heaven’s Mount high, G)
  • R8 Gelid Mind: Need 6 eltalite ore (G mine), 4 avian stoutbone (G jaggi etc.)
  • R8 Pox Tessen: 1 Rejuvenated Beak, 3 Kut-Ku Fellwing, 1 Kut-Ku Luckear

Animal Crossing New Leaf QR Code: Pink Party Dress

I kind of missed Christmas and New Year’s and the last six months more or less. But believe it or not—I live! I got The Winter 2014 issue of ぴこぷり in the mail last week. It has a lot of cute dresses in it. Many of which are Christmas-themed. There are a couple I may have to make even though the holiday is past.

I chose to copy the party dress pattern submitted by Mikumiku of Chiba prefecture. It would have been great for New Year’s if I had completed it in time, but I think it will be pretty for Valentine’s day too.

Enjoy!

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Happy New Year! Here’s hoping no psychotic clown sheep land in your town this year!

And Now a Message from our Sponsors: A Keurig 2.0 review

Last month my friend excitedly told me that he had ditched his expensive coffee maker with attached burr grinder for a Keurig 2.0. I scoffed at him as befitting the coffee snob who encouraged him to get a burr grinder in the first place. I haven’t actually owned a commercial coffee maker (Breville dual boiler espresso machine notwithstanding) in at least five years. When I want a cup of coffee I generally make a french press with some locally roasted coffee.

The irony of this coffee snob story is that the very next day I got an email from Influenster saying “Surprise! We’re sending you a Keurig 2.0 to test and review!” And I was ashamedly looking forward to it. I haven’t ever tried a Keurig, and have only ever noticed the army of k-cups filling the aisles of Bed Bath & Beyond. I never really wanted one. But since I was getting one I decided to investigate what I was getting.

I read a few reviews and found that most of the people who loathe the Keurig 2.0 are those that owned a previous model. The short story is that the previous version would happily brew k-cups from any manufacturer, up to and including reusable cups that you could fill with your very own coffee (read this as: Keurig not making as much profit from you as they feel they should) and so the 2.0 has something akin to DRM. It reads the label off the top of the k-cup and stolidly refuses to brew off-brands. Much like the Sony CD DRM that could be thwarted with a sharpie, the Keurig DRM has a similarly easy workaround. To brew whatever k-cup you want, just cut off the top of a spent 2.0 k-cup and keep handy. If you have a rebel off-brand k-cup you want to brew, simply set the top of the 2.0 k-cup label on top of it and you’re good to go. Not that I would ever endorse that type of behavior…

When my Keurig 2.0 arrived I immediately set it up and decided to make a carafe since that’s one of the big selling points of the new model. Their version of a carafe is a little laughable—either that or my idea of a cup of coffee is inflated. It supposedly makes about 4 cups of coffee, but I think you’re very lucky to get 3 out of it. The included plastic carafe is a little lacking. You can buy a stainless steel carafe for about $30. Influenster sent me one of those too and there’s no going back to the plastic one. My main gripe about the carafe is that you have to choose between using the drip tray for a single cup of coffee, or using the carafe. There’s not a spot for both on the machine at once, so you’re left with one or the other hanging around your kitchen. I wish the carafe could just sit on top of the drip tray to save space.

While we’re talking about saving space, what do you do with all of the k-cups? If you buy more than one kind like I did because—research—then you have to figure out where to put the boxes or the individual cups themselves. They make solutions for this of course. In full disclosure, Influenster sent me a carousel that nicely holds my regular k-cups and my carafe cups, but this too takes up a ton of space and I just didn’t want it invading my limited counter space. I also don’t feel I need to wow visitors with my jaw dropping coffee selection, so it now revolves unloved in the pantry.

I would be remiss if while on the subject of space I didn’t mention the environmental impact of all the little cups too. The k-cups are apparently fully recyclable in Canada, but here in the U.S. it’s a bit of a grey area. They’re plastic #7 and some places recycle them. Some don’t. So there’s that.

With all of my nitpicky ranting you would think that I dislike the machine. I’m quite sad to say I don’t dislike it at all. I use it almost every day even if some of its use is to dispense hot water for my instant oatmeal. The hot water dispenser is my favorite feature even if I do often have to run it twice to avoid coffee-flavored oatmeal. And as I’m typing this I’m sipping a Café Escapes Café Mocha (even though I think that calling this beverage a mocha is laughable. It’s more like hot cocoa with a little caffeine kick. Mochas should have steamed milk. Sorry Keurig 2.0, but you don’t steam milk. Maybe next iteration).

The Keurig 2.0 does its job well. It makes single cups of coffee almost instantly with just the press of a button. And the variety of coffee available for it is astounding (not even counting the off-brands). After getting my machine I made it a point to visit the coffee aisle at the grocery store and see what they had. My biggest complaint about that experience was that I couldn’t tell if the boxes the stores carried were 2.0 or not. They’re not well-labeled in that regard, but none of the Keurig brand coffee I purchased was 1.0, so maybe I didn’t have to worry? I did have a hard time finding k-carafe cups. I saw them at Macy’s while Christmas shopping, and at Target, but none of my grocery stores had them. And when I did find K-carafe cups the selection was abysmal. There doesn’t seem to be nearly as much variety as with regular k-cups. Even on Keurig’s online shop there are only 10 different carafe packs (I think I saw maybe 3 different ones in stores).

My biggest deterrent from the Keurig 2.0 is the cost of the coffee itself. K-cups are anywhere from $10-18 for 16-24 cups. It almost makes my $17 bag of coffee seem reasonable. The carafes are even more expensive at around $15 for 8 cups. I feel like I’ve gotten a free printer and now I have to keep paying for outrageous amounts for ink all the time. My advice to you: save all those $5 off coupons from Bed Bath & Beyond. I know I’ve found a renewed use for them.

I didn’t really mention how the coffee was. Is it mind blowing, earth shattering, with notes of green popsicles and currants? No. It’s coffee. Some of it’s bitter. Some of it’s good. I personally hated all the flavored ones. The vanilla one? Vile. The hazelnut? Like scented water. But that’s personal preference and I’m pretty sure after shelling out some money to try a few different types you can find something you like. None of it is going to taste as good as a hand pour at your local shop. It’s not supposed to. At 4:30 in the morning as my husband heads out the door to work with a hot cup of coffee in hand I bet it’s pretty much ambrosia though.

P.S. I received a Keurig 2.0 450, carousel, and stainless steel carafe complimentary from Influenster for testing/reviewing purposes.
P.P.S. I never received those additional k-cups you said you’d send, Influenster. It’s OK. I just tell myself you would have sent me Folger’s Gourmet and I’m ok without them. </coffee snob>

5 New Japanese 3DS Themes

Animal Crossing New Leaf: Town Hall Isabelle

Top Screen

Bottom Screen

Isabelle daydreams about your selected game instead of doing all her desk work and sending the letters you have stacked up for her (your folders).

Animal Crossing New Leaf: Notice Board Isabelle

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This one is my favorite. Isabelle waves next to the town notice board. Flowers line the bottom of the screen.

I didn’t buy all the Animal crossing themes. There were five. There’s also a Mable, Sable, and the twins. I might pick them up when I need a change of eye candy.

Yo-kai Watch: Jibanyan

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If you’re not familiar with this kitty, I hope someday you will be. This is Jibanyan from the Level 5 game Yo-Kai watch. His eyes move as you scroll through your games.

Monster Hunter: Monster Hunter Carved Seal Icons

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This Monster Hunter Theme features the “puppets” on the bottom screen from MH4. They dance as you scroll through your games. The top screen shows carved/burnt in looking icons of the monsters you fight.

Monster Hunter: Airou is your friend

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This lighthearted theme showcases Airou, your cat friend from the game and Poogie! the pig. The folder has Airou’s cat paw on it.

Those are all of the themes I purchased on my first trip to the theme shop. I hope we see some of these in NA soon!