Mr A & I commenced our holiday to Japan by landing in Tokyo, where we have been staying for the last 4 days.
Our base was Shinjuku, which is the fourth busiest train station in the world moving over 2 million people in a day! We became accustomed to walking quickly, always knowing our destination, and making sure we were always concentrating to make sure we didn’t bump into people – we took to calling Shinjuku Station, ‘running the gauntlet.’
We travelled to different parts of Tokyo including Akihabara (electronics district), Harajuku, Ueno, Shibuya (the place of the world’s busiest intersection) and Yoyogi.
We took a day trip to Nikko to see the autumn colours, which is something I have always wanted to do. The journey took so long, including a traffic jam on the side of the mountain as its coming into peak season and we went on a weekend (silly!), but the views were so worth it.
Today we travelled to Hakone, close to Mt Fuji where hot springs are in abundance; we plan on making the most of these to relax and rest our feet, as we have walked over 10kms each day for the last 4 days. We are staying at a traditional ryokan with tanami mats and traditional Japanese wear.
I am in love with the Japan – the food is incredible, the atmosphere is amazing, and the friendliness and courtesy of the Japanese people is something we will probably never experience back home.
After some crazy mammoth stitching sessions, lots of knots in my shoulders and neck – this amazing Harry Potter sampler cushion is doneski!
Completed – Harry Potter Sampler Cross Stitch Cushion
I don’t usually like to toot my own horn, but how amazing does it look?!
Avid Harry Potter fans can find the pattern here. I absolutely adore the amount of detail in this pattern (I mean, check out that marauders map!) but by goly, this was a hard one to stitch, especially in the crazy time frame that I had.
Top Right Hand Corner – Harry Potter Sample Cross Stitch Cushion
Bottom Right Hand Corner – Harry Potter Sample Cross Stitch Cushion
Top Left Hand Corner – Harry Potter Sample Cross Stitch Cushion
Bottom Left Hand Corner – Harry Potter Sample Cross Stitch Cushion
I bordered the pattern in a 2.5″ teal fabric, and completed the cushion with eggplant binding. This is the first time I’ve made a cross stitch into a cushion and I found it really easy, just like stitching a normal cotton cushion. You can check out Tiny Modernist’s post if you need some help sewing a cross stitch cushion.
I have a whole heap of friends who are Harry Potter fans, and after adding this to Crosstitchery’s facebook page, I’ve received another 3 orders for the same pattern! I’ll also be stitching this adorable pattern for a new baby, due in November.
These commissions will all be started when Mr A & I get back from Japan – we leave in just 2 days! :)
A girlfriend put me onto this recipe a few weeks and I HAD to share with you guys because it’s so darn fine, I just wanna eat all these balls up, all the time!
One disclaimer is you probably need to like peanut butter to enjoy these, but if you don’t, not to worry – just replace the peanut butter with a different nut butter you like! I imagine almond butter would taste pretty good.
The recipe is from BakePlaySmile who has some seriously amazing recipes. This one is particularly great because it attacks any sweet cravings you might have, and they’re healthy as they’re full of fibre from the dates and almonds!
I swap the cacao for chocolate protein powder for an extra little boost – I usually only need one to keep the hunger gremlins at bay. I hope you love these as much as I do!
RAW & GUILT-FREE PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIE BLISS BALLS
Author: Bake Play Smile
Recipe type: Snacks
- ¾ cup raw almonds
- 1 tbs cacao powder (you could also use cocoa powder)
- 12 pitted dates
- 2 tbs peanut butter
- 1-2 tbs agave syrup (honey or rice malt syrup could also be used) *If using fresh medjool dates you will probably find that you will only need a tiny amount of agave syrup – or none at all!
- Place the dates, cacao powder and peanut butter into a food processor.
- Blend until the mixture resembles a paste.
- Add the almonds and pulse until desired chunkiness is achieved (don’t leave it too long or it will turn into a liquidy mess!!!).
- If your mixture is too dry, add 1tbs of agave syrup and pulse to mix through. If it is still too dry add another tablespoon and pulse again. (The mixture should be a little sticky and roll easily into balls).
- Use a spoon to roll the mixture into tablespoon sized balls.
- For best results store in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within a week (trust me.. they won’t last that long!!).
I posted about my awesome Harry Pottery sampler WIP earlier which has now turned into a commission – yay!
I have to share what not to do when it comes to cross stitching, or any kind of craft project really .. DO NOT DO ANYTHING WHILST TIRED!
I repeat: Do not do (cut, stitch, glue, sew) anything whilst tired. Learn from my mistakes. For the love of God, do not do what I did on this WIP, otherwise you’ll spend nights trying to catch up and get back to where you were.
Let me explain …
I stumbled across the Harry Potter sampler whilst I was between commissions, and decided I wanted to work on it simply because I loved it. I cut out my aida, got to sewing, and I got as far as my progress shot in my previous post.
The next night I was working away, and went to count out the pattern again and my heart dropped. The pattern wasn’t going to fit!! I’d cut my aida too small when I was originally starting, and to add to that, I hadn’t centred my fabric correctly in my Q Snap frame when I first started. Realising that it wasn’t going to was truly heartbreaking. I was already worried that I’m not going to complete this in time due to the detailed nature of this pattern, then I had to go and make such a stupid simple error like that .. Truly heartbreaking.
So, please learn from my mistake and don’t do anything whilst tired. It doesn’t work out well!
I pulled 7+ hour sessions of stitching on Friday, Saturday and Sunday night and this is my progress so far. Those flags are so detailed; 2 of them took me over 8 hours! :| :|
Please keep your fingers crossed that I’ll be able to stitch this on time, especially as we fly out to Japan on the 21st of October – it has to be done before then!
I’ve made a start on this adddddorable Harry Potter cross stitch that I mentioned earlier, and thought I’d share a progress photo of my work so far. How cute is the detail in Harry, Ron and Hermoine?! I love Harry’s glasses and scar the most I think.
I popped this on my Instagram and Facebook page, and have had 2 orders for it already! I’ll be completing one relatively quickly (if I’m honest, I’m slightly worried that I’m going to run out of time .. I see many nights spent watching Harry Potter, and stitching Harry Potter in my future), and will be turning it into an 18″ cushion – stay tuned!