( Open the box to see all the pretties!(Lots of pics) )
Thank you so much for a wonderful exchange, Lynn! I truly am touched by all the work and generosity you put into this. *hugs*
I finished my Chatelaine workshop last week while watching Lost. I'm happy with how it came out; it's going on top of the ever-increasing Needs to Be Framed Pile. Doing all those jessica stitches were kind of a pain at the beginning, as I kept losing track of the number of legs, but I finally managed to get the hang of them by the end. I almost kind of miss doing them now.
Now I have signed up for Workshop #2, which is focusing on rice stitches. It will be awhile before I can really work on that one though, I have a couple of exchanges coming up that I need to concentrate on first.
In the meantime, I've read two more books since my last post.
The Fire Kimono by Laura Joh Rowland. I'm sort of losing interest in the Sano Ichiro mysteries the further it goes along, although this one wasn't that bad.
Also, I reread Watchmen since I saw the movie a few weeks ago. It's been a long time since I'd read it and kind of surprised by how faithful the movie was to the book. Also, Watchmen the second time around? Still not a cheerful way to pass the time. Actually, the first (and last) time I read it was I think, right around 9/11, so the story kind of freaked me out at the time and still kinda reminds me of that period. Strangely, the movie, while awesome, did not freak me out nor depress me as much as the book. I just enjoyed it's sheer awesomeness.
I think I'm going to read something a bit more fun now though.
The last exchange I signed up for was Halloween themed and yesterday, I received a package from Marie in W. Virginia. She made a cute little bag. I'm so impressed by her sewing, it's so well made. Plus, she sent a bunch of extra goodies, like fabric, ribbons, floss, buttons, and stickers. There was also a JBW chart, one of my favorite designers. I was amazed by her generosity and I love all of it very much! :D
Here's the front of it.
There's even a cross stitch on the back of it. (Sorry for the blurriness, darn shaky hands.)
Thank you for such a wonderful exchange, Marie.
( the whole thing under the cut )
Eh, I must be pms'ing because I've been feeling kinda cranky lately. I had the past three days off of work which is a good thing or I'd probably be ready to rip somebody's head off right now.
But other than a general sense of blah, things have actually been okay.
Yesterday, I took my mom to see the Roman Art from the Louvre exhibit at the art museum. It was really fascinating and if you're in town, I highly recommend it. I realized though that my total knowledge of Roman history is derived from the HBO series Rome, I, Claudius and Gladiator (and um, Wikipedia) because in the first gallery, I was pointing out statues to my mom and explaining, "This is Livia. Remember, she was married to Augustus and poisoned off half his family? This statue is of Caligula. He slept with his sister and liked dancing. And killing people." Then I had pretty much nothing else to say in any of the other galleries because I hadn't seen the relevant subjects on tv. (I liked the collection of busts showing different women's hairstyles especially though. That was pretty neat.)
Then we had lunch at the museum cafe. Which you should do, because they have the best vanilla bean crème brûlée ever. OMG DROOL. We also had fried okra for an appetizer, which had a really good cornmeal batter and tasty dipping sauces, but was kind of gross because they didn't cut up the okra into pieces and just fried the whole thing. I love fried okra, but I've never had whole pieces of it before and that's for a very good reason in that it is pretty gross whole. It's
Books I've been reading:
The Nature of Monsters by Clare Clark - I really didn't like this, but finished it because for the most part, I was stuck with it on a plane. Basically, a crazy pharmacist tries to create birth defects by freaking out pregnant women. None of the characters are remotely likeable. It reminded me of The Dress Lodger, but even more miserable, if possible.
Man, I don't think I've read a happy Victorian historical novel in ages. I'm beginning to think the whole of the Victorian era was populated entirely by lunatics and whores. Miserably grim lunatics and whores, none of your happy-go lucky lunatics and whores, mind you.
Okay, where was I? Oh yes, I'm continuing with Joan Aiken's Wolves Chronicles and I read Dido and Pa and Midwinter Nightingale. In comparison to Clark, Aiken is someone who can do dark, yet still have sympathetic characters and maintain a sense of humor. It amazes me how violent these are for children's books. I mean, people seemed shocked by how dark Harry Potter took a turn for, but this series has been around for awhile and ( so far in just these two books... )
Also, I finished Strange Poison by Dorothy L Sayers and am currently reading the next in the series, Have His Carcase. Lord Peter Whimsy is kind of goofy and amusing and Harriet rocks so far.
Here's one of my recent cross-stitchy projects. I decided to try something new and made a mattress style pincushion. I used the Coté Passions' instructions, which despite being in French are still pretty easy to understand, what with all the pictures and Babelfish.
The pattern is called Blue Mountain Bunny by the Sweetheart Tree. I used Caron Waterlilies silk in Aquamarine.
I really like this style of finishing, except that it uses up a lot of fabric. Very easy to put together.
I needed something to take up space for the back, so I stitched a quote from Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry. No particular reason why, it's just one of my favorite children's books. It's a bit hard to read in the picture, so here is the quote: "It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
I bought Blue Bell Blackberry Cobbler ice cream at the grocery store today. Going to pig out, brb.
Karen sent me a pinkeep made from the "Blossoms & Blackbirds" pattern. Isn't it cute?
She also generously included some extra goodies: a notepad with peacocks (my favorite birds!), some embroidery floss, and some very elegant fabric (I love the color and design.)
Thank you, Karen! ^_^
In other cross-stitchy news, I've a few small finishes of my own that I will post soon when I get around to editing the pictures. Also, I found the UK magazine at the bookstore that had a Dalek pattern in it. I've seen a few people who stitched it on the cross_stitch comm and I've been hoping to get ahold of it. The rest of the patterns in the magazine are kinda crap, but at least I can finally combine all my girl geek hobbies into one glorious mess of nerdiness. So I got that going for me, which is nice.
The back of the pinkeep has a little pocket for scissors and some shell rings to hang thread onto. It was kind of hard to get a good picture of the fabric color; the linen is 28ct Antique Green and it's a very light, mottled green.
I really enjoyed stitching for Yuko. We both have a love of all things pink! :) I'm very happy that she seems pleased with it.
Yasmin in Malaysia received my gift for HoE's freebie exchange, so I can go ahead and post pictures of it. It was fun to stitch and I was happy that I finally managed to finish a Chatelaine pattern ;)
I made her a biscornu from Chatelaine's "Martina's Roses" pattern.
( I'll be nice and put the rest of my pictures under a cut )
Not much else is going on right now; life is being boring. I'm finding it difficult to work up interest in stuff. Except for (obviously) stitching, which still entertains me and keeps me from going all stabbity at work and such.
Oh! I did discover Veoh.com, so I can watch streaming tv shows. Meaning I can finally catch up on Season 4 Doctor Who. YAY. I really liked "Partners in Crime". Heh, Ten and Donna are awesome and funny together. Their characters have really good chemistry, without the messiness of unrequited attraction (which was the problem with Martha in season 3). So much fucking squee.
In a not yet related note, my insomnia is kicking my butt especially hard lately. I can sleep fine once I'm asleep, it's just the getting there that's difficult. I don't think I've managed to get to sleep before 7am in at least three weeks. I vaguely remember being able to sleep while it was still dark out. It was nice.
Going to watch more Doctor Who, brb.
Inside there are some thread/ribbon winders and a needle minder. Plus, she sent candy. You know you can't go wrong with candy.
Thank you, Nela!
Mirabilia's New Year's Eve Fairy pattern
any Mary Garry patterns
Textile Heritage patterns: Elizabeth I, Anne Boleyn, the Tower of London
silk threads (especially hand-dyed)
fabric in 28 or 32ct
colored pins for pinkeeps
designers I like:
Just Nan, JBW Designs, Little House Needleworks, the Drawn Thread, With My Needle.
cross stitch motifs I like:
bunnies, hedgehogs, Halloween, Oriental designs, alphabets, redwork, band samplers, tea, Alice in Wonderland
cross stitch things I'm not fond of:
religious subjects, country style (with the exception of LNH and Country Cottages), teddy bears.
red, pink, blue, pastels, autumnal colors, jewel tones.
A bit out of season, but I just finished putting this pinkeep together. It's a Little House Needleworks pattern that was in the Just Cross Stitch ornament issue last year. And since it was bunnies, I couldn't resist. I added another piece of fabric to the back so there would be a little pocket for scissors.
( stitching meme under the cut )
Went to see The Forbidden Kingdom at the Warren Theater today. Whoa, that was ... not good. Enjoyed seeing Jackie Chan and Jet Li fight each other, but that was about it. The rest was pretty cringe-worthy. (Like the stupid orphan girl who would only refer to herself in third person, WTF?)
I'm very happy that Marion likes it and it was a lot of fun to stitch. I had seen someone stitch the same saying on a piece on Flickr, but I used a motif and border from the 2001 Cross Stitch Designs book. And for the floss, I used Crescent Colors Belle Soie silk in Sweet Lavender. (I love stitching with silk thread. I've read people debating over whether it really makes a difference as to whether you use cotton or silk in the end result and I'm kind of torn myself. I think it's not really noticeable, but the various colors of dyed silk are really striking and vibrant. I would use it all the time if I could afford it.)
This was my first time participating in an HoE exchange and it was really fun. I already signed up for another one in May ^_^
I received this yesterday from a blogger named Marion. It came from the Netherlands, which is the farthest away I've received any exchange so far. Very exciting. Isn't it pretty?
Marion also sent some extra goodies, like different kinds of floss and a piece of shiny, iridescent fabric (my camera can't capture how shiny it is.) Thank you, Marion!
Had an awesome afternoon hanging out with brennye. It's been too long since we got to hang out. We went to see I am Legend in Bricktown. The first part of the movie was great. I think Will Smith is annoying when he's all hyper and hanging out with scientologists, but I have to admit I really like him when he's doing sad puppyface. *creaky voice* I remember back when he was Fresh Prince of Bel Aire..." *rocks in rocking chair* Anyway, I was really enjoying the movie and then I had to pee and when I came back, the movie just...went bad. Worst timed bathroom break ever. The beginning was quite haunting and thoughtful, but then later it was like it had the ending for some other movie just randomly tacked onto it. I found a spoiler on SF for the book's ending and it was like, ah, well, that makes so much more sense. Too bad they didn't stick with that. Must pick up the paperback now.
Anyway, then brennye and I had awesome noodles and chicken satay at the Thai Kitchen downtown. Sooo yummy! I can't wait to eat the leftovers tomorrow. ^_^
Since we hadn't seen each other since before X-mas, brennye gave me a travel Scrabble game (yays) and I gave her a cross stitched pinkeep. It was much fun playing Scrabble during dinner. And 'foment' is too a word! So nyah :P
And now for utter randomness, a crap that's in my bag meme. Click on the picture to see the notes on it. (Since there's not melted chocolate schmutzed over everything, that's not really a representative look, I have to say. )
Trying not to let work get me down too much, with varying degrees of
( Anyway, pics under the cut! One of my Taj Mahal progress and one of Gish )
I finished this little Just Nan pattern about a week ago. I'm not sure how to finish it yet though. I saw some blogs where it was finished as a scissor fob, so I think I might try that.
I can't believe tomorrow is Halloween already. No plans of fun stuff for me, I have to work :(
They handed out trick or treets for the employees' little ones at the call center on Friday, so I don't think there's anything they're going to do for tomorrow. All the empty cubicles are decorated with Halloween decor, fake body parts, etc.
A Halloween pinkeep. I can't remember when I stitched the actual designs, but it's been sitting in the stash bin for a long time until recently.
and lastly, a little kimono girl. I'm not too happy with the colors I chose for this pattern, but I need to find something else to use that backing fabric for. It's so cute!
x-posted to the cross_stitch comm.
I was going through my bottles of BPAL to sort out what to sell and I tried on some of my Dia de los Muertos '04. Holy fuck, I smell awesome. I don't know what happened to it in the past three years, but it must have aged or something in such a way that it smells so much better than I remember. Before, it was an okay average scent, kind of on the too smokey side, but now...I'm not very good at describing notes, so I can only describe it as that I now smell like kind of a spicy SweetTart. A SweetTart made of awesome.
I can't find my Edward Gorey bat necklace anywhere. Woe.
The Deep Fried Bacon Cheddar Mash Potatoes On A Stick? Fan-fucking-tastic. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined all my favorite things together as one and served to me on a fucking stick. With Ranch dressing!!! Give yourself 1,000,000 bonus pts for that, State Fair vendor.
Unfortunately, I didn't get an actual picture of it because by the time I thought of getting my camera back out, I had already inhaled half of it. But trust me, the batter was a golden brown that would make you weep with happiness.
Anyway, ( onward, pictures under the cut )
I had a wonderful time; I'm glad I got to hang out with my friends :)