Better Late Than Never

Hi ladies! This post was meant to be up much sooner, but it went to the backburner with vacations plans for Chicago and preparations for Hurricane Irma. (I know what you guys are thinking: excuses, excuses!) Might I say I loved how Chicago, particularly Logan Square, treated us? There was such a nice friendly vibe in the community and loved all the pretty flowers and delicious noms!


Credit to my boyfriend for capturing this lovely view of Chicago downtown


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Back to cross-stitching, this is a follow-up (and the last 😦 ) post for the Past, Present, Forever kit. I never showed you guys how grimy the aida cloth was from the years I spent stitching the pattern. Please refer to this post about grime guards to prevent what you’ll see in the following pictures from happening!

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But say your cross stitch got to the state as mine was in. What then? OxyClean worked for me. I read accounts of people mixing a 1:1 ratio of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda which is pretty much a homemade OxyClean which works just as well. I only let the grimy, stained areas soak. I had to soak them a handful of times to get the stains completely out probably because of the gunk, oils, and dirt that had accumulated over many years. After each time, the stains would become fainter, but would do this weird thing where it’d spread to a wider area. With a little bit of ironing to get the wrinkles and creases out, voilà!

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Something Beautiful

So this happened 😀

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Threading the beads and doing the backstitches took forever. I just can’t believe it’s finally all done!

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I just wanted to show close-ups of the beads and the shimmery blending filament :). IT’S SO PRETTY AND SHINY!!

It’s taken eleven years to finally say the Cinderella’s Castle kit is done. I don’t know if it’s just me being sentimental and giving more meaning to this kit than it should have, but I feel like since I’ve worked on this project for a good chunk of my life, it’s also become symbolic of that part of my life and metaphor that life can be a bumpy journey and that’s okay.

Before I get into the similarities of this kit and my life, here’s my life timeline when I first got the kit.

WARNING: long potential melodramatic story ahead. This may be one of the few times in this blog I get into detail about my life.

Eleven years ago when I got the kit, it felt like I was at a prime point in my teenage years despite dealing with my parents’ divorce and frequent fights. The main reason I got the kit was from the prize money I received from a piano competition (the kit was priceyy!), and I was accepted by the rigorous high school my parents had set their eyes on. I felt like I was mainly studying to fulfill my parents’ path for me and followed what they said because I truly didn’t know what I wanted for myself (and still don’t know now!). Fast forward to my college acceptance, naively I thought my life would continue upwards.

Boy was college a smack to my face. I was not prepared for the studying required for college. My university also had a huge student body and it brought out what I thought was mild shyness to something pretty full blown, and seeing all my classmates who had their lives together made me feel more and more like I couldn’t keep up with them (In hindsight, I shouldn’t have compared myself to others, but I didn’t know better XD). My grades dropped in my gen eds and I switched through many majors in my first two years and dodged a lot of my parents’ questions about my progress. I never straight up told my parents I struggled because I was afraid of their disapproval and them feeling like I wasted their time and money, but I figured they had a sense of what happened.

I began to feel helpless and hopeless, thinking that I’d take forever to graduate and I’d never find a job. College counselors suggested that I find tutors which for some odd reason I thought was looked down upon at the time. I took tests to find out which careers might be suited for me, but that didn’t really lead anywhere. I went from a pre-pharmacy to an accounting and to a history major. Eventually, I declared a psychology major, at this point still not telling my parents.

Classes in psych became much more manageable. I didn’t think much of how well I did because of the stigma of the difficulty of psychology courses compared to other hard sciences. In my junior year, I searched for pysch internships and got research assistant positions in the applied behavior analysis (ABA) department which sparked my interest. Between my psych classes and working as a research assistant, I felt more capable and things started to look up. I can’t remember exactly what prompted me to see a school psychologist (maybe because it was part of the psych department) but after talking things over with the psychologist about how I was overwhelmed by life and my social anxiety, I was able to take steps to talk to my parents about being a psych major now (it was still a difficult talk!), reach out to people, and not feel so anxious and alone anymore.

Sometime in my junior and senior year, I started wanting to go into the occupational therapy route and took classes and started applying to grad programs. Sad to say by the time I graduated from college, I hadn’t received any acceptance letters. The feeling of hopelessness started again.

In my six months after college, after the typical job search and leaving a few temp jobs not fit for me, I worked part-time as an ABA registered behavior technician and part-time as a reader/secretary for a journalist in a senior living community. My parents floated around the idea of me going to nursing school. After I got over the thought of not having many job prospects with my current qualifications, my dad paying my tuition again (making me feel more even more obligated to him), AND having to go through school again, I started nursing classes.

Working while taking nursing classes and clinicals were tough, not gonna lie. Two years went by quickly, and when I got to my exit exam before graduation, I hit another roadblock. The passing score was a 75% for the school to let us sit for the NCLEX, the nursing licensure test, and we had three attempts, and if we failed the last attempt, the school would require us to take remedial classes and pay tuition again. I scored somewhere in the 50s on my first attempt. I waited a few months, studied my ass off with a group this time, and scored in the 60s on my second attempt. Remember that hopeless feeling from my university years? It returned XD.

I was reluctant about taking a NCLEX prep/review class because of its cost. Since this was my last attempt at a shot to take the NCLEX or go through remedial classes, I dropped $900 from my paychecks, not through my father’s money this time (My guess is that I worked even harder to succeed because I paid with my own money). Between attending this review class and going to work, listening to the lectures on repeat, taking practice tests after practice tests, going to study groups, and cutting back on social outings, I felt like I studied nonstop and had no life. When it came time to attempt the exit again, I was sooo nervous, thinking about how I thought I did well during my previous attempts but ended up failing. It’s an understatement to say that I was relieved and shocked when I got a 76. It was barely passing, but a pass nonetheless. I was allowed to sit for the boards!

I was still a nervous wreck because of the NCLEX. My NCLEX prep coach/teacher said I should be ready to take the NCLEX in a few months. She said that I should take more tests because even though I was passing, she wanted to make sure I was scoring high enough to pass the NCLEX. I scheduled the NCLEX one month out because there were few testing dates (I don’t remember even telling anyone the exact date when I scheduled it). I had also agreed to go to a friend’s graduation trip a few months out prior to talking to my NCLEX coach. By choosing a later date, I’d risk taking the exam after the trip and when the information was no longer fresh in my mind. I continued my previous study regimen for the most part, in addition to purchasing a month subscription to Uworld, a question bank to help me even more for the NCLEX.

I probably should have been more worried and nervous, and probably did most of my preparation from the exit, but sitting the NCLEX was a less nerve wracking experience. The waiting game was the worst part. I could get into the details of the exam and what made me think I passed or failed afterwards, but that would just make this story go on much longer than it needs to be :D. After checking multiple sources for my score and refreshing sites like crazy, I got the official pass, a few days after I tested and just before my friend’s trip began :D.

I’ve been working as an RN full-time from October of last year up until now and can’t really complain. Things have been going relatively smoothly and looking up. Had a small scare from my dad’s pituitary tumor diagnosis a few months ago, but he’s recovered nicely. Life’s been pretty good as of yet :).

Thanks for reading all of this longwinded and seemingly directionless writing for those of you who did! Didn’t mean to make it this lengthy, but had to write it all out to make it a bit easier to understand. I guess my point was that the setbacks I thought I had, although I thought they were the end of the world then, are like the knots I made intentionally and unintentially in the back of the pattern. I felt bad and wanted to take all the “knots” out. Even though the “pattern” took a long time to complete and it didn’t look perfect in the back, I continued to work on it and it resulted in something beautiful.

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Past, Present, Forever Progress and Hiatus :(

Hi fellow stitchers!

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I’ve finally reached my Past, Present, Forever “checkpoint”. A good portion of the backstitching has been completed and I didn’t dread the backstitches as much as I expected to (though I did dread it for a different reason).

I don’t know if my kit’s just gotten old and the floss is deteriorating with age (oops!) or if the floss quality isn’t as good as it should be, but I’ve had many instances of my threads breaking with the backstitches! Or maybe, since I like to bring the thread to the front and to the back (or vice versa) with one major pull, or the friction caused by the Glissen Gloss blending filament thread, or a combination of everything, but overall it’s been so frustrating!

On a more positive note, I really do like the definition the backstiching has given the piece so far. I initially thought that the backstitching would make the castle look more cartoonish and give it a more “blocky” appearance, but I do like how it’s turned out. It looks more refined, haha. A lot of the backstitching was a bit hard to find in the beginning because of the subtle color changes in the castle, and post and wall. After finishing the backstitches, they have added a nice contrast to the colors :).

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This came in the mail today after me pining for several months and Amazon canceling the order because it was out of stock :). Some of you guys know the drill: I post a picture of the backside of the packaging and make the kit reveal after I start stitching haha. So…I probably won’t be buying any more kits soon because I’ve gotten all the ones I’ve eagerly wanted and my pooor wallet.

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I’ll be taking a small break from the Past, Present, Forever piece :(. Part of the reason is I’ve been fed up with the threads breaking, and more so because I’ve been neglecting a book I’d like to finish reading soon. For anyone who’s curious, it’s “The Blinding Knife” by Brent Weeks. I’m about halfway through and my goal is to finish it before I start back up with this project. I’ll still be working here and there on my other kits though :).

Until then, happy stitching and see you guys in the next post!



I turn 26 today, guys! This is what I got myself and I’m soo tempted to open and start stitching the new pattern, but I have to finish both the Cinderella’s Castle and the flowers patterns before I get to this one :/.

The new pattern’s (I won’t reveal what it is until I start stitching >:D) finished size is about that of the “Flowers and Lace” pattern. The major difference though is that the “Flowers and Lace” has a lot of empty areas without stitches and this new pattern will not, so it’ll probably end up taking a lot more time to complete.

Jan. 27, 2017

Speaking of Cinderella’s Castle, all the cross-stitches are done :D. I meant to post a picture of it now, but turns out the pictures I thought I had aren’t on my phone! :(. I’ll edit this post tomorrow morning with the picture.


Hi readers 🙂

Haha so, a year has passed since I last posted a picture update of my Past, Present, Forever WIP. Has it really been that long and has time passed that quickly? This piece has to stop being a WIP soon, but I have a big feeling two or three years might pass and this will still be a WIP, lol.

I finished the last of the DMC 501 dark blue green(?) stitches and most of the random stitches I missed (I’m getting soooo sick of these confetti stitches!). I hope next to update soon with all the cross-stitches done here, then on to the backstitches after that. 🙂 Can someone please explain why backstitches seem to be one of the most hated things for cross-stitching? And last, the embellishments and this piece will be all done :D.

Jan. 13, 2017

Flower Leaves and a Trip to Michaels

Hi readers!

I was hoping to have more stitching done since I’m done with classes and have more free time, but I’ve been very in-between having that time to go through my to-read list of novels and cross-stitching. That coupled with me liking to stay in most of time, well…let’s just say my boyfriend jokes about me being an old soul, haha.


As promised in my last entry, here’s some greenery added to my Flowers and Lace WIP.


I made an overdue trip to Michaels yesterday to get more floss and a bead storage box for my earrings. I figured I’d go to Michaels when I could get all those items in one trip. This past week, I finally used up all the black floss for the surprise gift (I’m almost done with it!) and the blue green floss for my Past, Present, Forever kit I’m working on. This is the first time I didn’t have enough DMC floss for a kit.

The DMC 501 blue green looks pretty much the same though! 🙂

Completed Projects and WIPs


burrito . ducks . elegant geisha . flowers and lace . good fortune . past, present, forever . surprise/mystery gift – batman! . teddy bear gathering

*linked webpage = completed project. no link = WIP

Getting to the Homestretch

Dec. 10, 2015

The tweeding phase is done! 🙂 I’m super excited with the progress and I’ve gotten a bit impatient, so I’ll be completing the stitches for Walt Disney and Mickey next.


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This arrived today, welp. I ordered ear buds off of Amazon, felt opportunistic and added one of the cross-stitch kits I wanted to the order to get free shipping. 🙂 I won’t be starting the kit any time soon, but it’s definitely something to look forward to.