Tuesday, August 30, 2011

more color fade action

Well, I'm sadly growing more and more annoyed with this piece. I didn't plan it all that carefully, so I didn't use a large enough piece of fabric to do a real rainbow fade piece.

For that you need to go red, red-orange, orange, yellow-orange, yellow, yellow green, green, green-blue, blue, blue-purple, etc.... My blues which look bluer on their own just look teal in this piece and the whole thing is making the OCD cringe. I'm almost done though and then I can give it to someone as a gift or try to sell it.

I'm working on a smaller even more gradual color fade piece that's just green going into blue in a four inch hoop. 

I suppose I'll have to start on the Celtic style G for my niece at some point. It would be nice to have it ready for my sister's birthday or Christmas, which won't be a problem even if I don't start for another month.

Today I saw my nephew Benjamin with a mandolin pretending to be Chuck Berry. Which I'm sure you'll agree is adorable. Though I'm slowly trying to ween him from Chuck Berry as there's only so many times I can listen to the same four songs. Plus there's lots of other good early rock and it enforces the idea of taking turns.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

tough few weeks

I expect to spend the next few weeks thoroughly embroiled in needlework, reading, and cleaning. Madre is off to Japan. Hopefully she will call when she gets there despite the time, because I tend to worry about these things. I mean, I know planes fly via black magic, but people do assemble them and people are terribly fallible. 

Anywhere, there's good progress on my color fade piece and I might be done with this "People: what a bunch of bastards" piece. I might add a skinny leaf detail to the top, but I'm undecided. I feel like I should do some cross stitch as I haven't done any for ages.

Otherwise I've been conquering the world playing Rise of Nations, though I wish you could be any nation. I really wanted to conquer the world as Wales, since they deserve it. Alas. Maybe next time I play Civilization I'll be the Celts and give all the towns Welsh place names.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

In Pursuit of Order

I can't wait to start chewing these cuticles
and driving everyone crazy with symmetry.

The older I get the more my slightly OCD habits become more obvious. I'm a bit odd in that I don't have a particular compulsion for cleanliness, I'm quite a messy crafter. I'd love for things to be perfect and each thing to have a place but I don't have the physical ability to make that happen. Plus I dislike other people organizing my things.

At boarding school after meals we have "stacking." You scrape and the stack the plates at your table, put all the silverware on one plate, stack the cups, etc... I had trouble with cups. There were two types of small plastic cup that were the same size but stacked differently so one stacks a bit shorter than the other. I would trade one type of cup for the other with a nearby table so I could have two symmetrical stacks. Obviously they could all go in one tower but that was too high and made me nervous because of the possibility of it falling over and clattering everywhere.

I also get obsessive about arranging things. I can spend days reorganizing my books into their various genres (and of course they MUST be alphabetized by author). I even spend too much time organizing the books on my Kindle. I don't have enough DVDs to warrant alphabetization so I organize them by spine color, and I like to re-do that every few months. I do the same thing with my embroidery floss, since I like the colors to be organized by shade from light to dark.

What I'm more worried about is that I'm starting to have compulsions about making sure the door is locked. I live in public housing, there are very odd people about and it is important to the keep the door locked. After a year here I now check it's locked every time I walk by and sometimes worry over whether I locked the door when I go out. I don't particularly want to be that person. I have enough to worry about already.

It's hard for me to look at my mom's computer desktop because of useless icons all over the place. I always have to stop and clean it up. I look over people's shoulders and know that I could do whatever-it-is on the computer faster and more efficiently than they can. This drives everyone crazy and makes them want to kill me.

What obsessions/compulsions do you have?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

People: What Are They?

This is a question I often struggle with. People. Do they suck or do they rock? I suppose it depends on the day and your relation to them, but I'm a curmudgeonly old lady who's gotten a bit too particular over tea cups, books, and baking supplies.

Of course this has led me to believe that Jon Richardson is my ideal partner. I'm somewhat compulsive, I always know where my keys and purse are, I'm a bit particular but not super intense about it. The perfect mixture of his "putter" and "leaver" personality types. Plus he's handsome. Plus I am super awesome and quite a catch. Who could resist.

This piece of embroidery, which is probably still a work-in-progress, is a quote from The IT Crowd. Now, I much Black Books as it's a bit less reliant on stereotypes than The IT Crowd, but this is still a very funny show. I highly recommend it.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

on the subject of cheese

Hung out with my nephew for three hours. Extremely tired.

This is a GK Chesterton quote, which I love. I also love cheese, obviously.

My dad is coming down this weekend which I'm super excited about. 

Now I must pass out.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

progress on the color fade

I've made some more progress on the color fade project. I need to go on another thread run to find the right colors in the right shade group. It doesn't help that the light in the embroidery thread aisle is the worst in the store. It's coming along well though and I like the effect.

The Quilt National show at the Dairy Barn was absolutely amazing. I've to a number of the Quilt National shows and this has been the best. There's a lot less hand quilting in it, which is a shame. A few shows back there were a couple huuuge amazing, completely hand quilted pieces but there were also a few quilts that just left me a bit blah. This show everything was amazing.

This is my favorite piece, Rook Road by Elizabeth Brimelow. The minute I saw I told my mom it looked like a map and it turns out that's exactly what Ms. Brimelow was quilting! My vision rarely lines up with the artist's vision, and it doesn't need to, but it is exciting when it does. The presentation of this quilt is also incredible and really allows some of the wrong side quilting to show through beautifully.

It's everything I love about quilting. Creativity in design, creativity in display, and a clear but uncommon vision.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

things in bad taste...

My dad often gives me recommendations for things with the added warning that said article is in bad or questionable taste. This is similar to how he enjoys many of the British shows I share with him (Still Game, Father Ted, and Black Books among others) but feels he needs to add the bad taste quotient, just to maintain "old guy" credibility perhaps. 

In any case, I know he'd say the same about this piece using the A.D. Wintle quote. Truthfully it's not the type of piece I would normally do either but I just so enjoyed the quote and the fact that I couldn't find any context for it. Who knows how Mr. Wintle meant this, perhaps he was speaking of horses. I shall never know, but I do love it in this context. 

Tomorrow should be a pretty inspiring day in terms of crafting. In Athens, Ohio an art museum called The Dairy Barn hosts a quilt show every other year (alternates with a bead show). I've gone with my mom before and we're going again tomorrow. There are a few things I did as a kid (not a tiny kid, but a kid) that just belonged to my mom and me, which isn't all the common for those of us with four older siblings. This is one of those and it's always an amazing show. 

Plus I love being in Athens. One place my dad lived we had to drive through Athens to get there. We stopped on the way there and back every other weekend, so even though I never lived in Athens I know it very well and I'm very attached to it. Ohio University is located there so it has great shops and restaurants, plus a lovely little park with a small stream where my dad and I would sale paper boats we'd made. It's a happy place for me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tougher than the toughies and sharper than the sharpies

There are few things I love more than Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics, particularly those by Carl Barks and Don Rosa. Obviously Carl Barks duck comics are amazing but Don Rosa is maybe even more special to me. Barks' comics that we had belonged to everyone, they were bought for my brothers and I got the ones still in readable conditions when I was old enough. Rosa's comics on the other hand were sometimes bought new just for me. For the youngest of five children that's a fairly rare occurrence.

So anyway, here's my first Uncle Scrooge embroidery piece. Scrooge's general motto was that he'd be "tougher than the toughies and sharper than the sharpies, and make his money square." In the design I had to include his number one dime and his money bin. 

We finally got a break in the ultra-hot, ultra-humid weather with a couple slightly cooler days. If it were completely overcast it would be perfect for me. I really can't be out in the sun at all, it hurts my skin almost immediately, so even if it's a fairly pleasant day it's hard for me to be outside. I'll be much happier come the end of September, which is hopefully when Madre and I will go camping. Love being out in the woods. I can't go hiking anymore but I can lie in a hammock and look at the leaves and feel a bit more peaceful.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

color fades for the win...

Oh how neglectful I've been! I had a house guest and then I left my camera at my sister's house. That's the pain of having an adorable nephew (and niece), you leave your camera a lot of places.

Anyway, here's my new piece. I had yellow on it but the fade from green to blue was so perfect that I wanted to redo the yellow to get a nicer fade into the green. This all means a trip to the needlework shop (there's a lovely little local place) and it's just so annoying having to leave the apartment.

On the plus side, how gorgeous is this?! Oh I'm so happy with how it's turning out. It is my first art piece. Well, I did that cross stitch of Obelix so we'll just say this is my first abstract art piece. Hopefully I can eventually frame it and give it to la madre. It just looks so quilty to me and quilts make me think of her.

Was there ever some tiny piece of information you would do anything to get? Any tiny bit of someone's thoughts you would die to know? I have something like that, and I dream about it and that person so often. Once a week, sometimes more. The dreams alternate between good and awful. Sometimes the truth is wonderful and perfect and sometimes it's so soul crushing and hurtful. I would rather know though, no matter how painful it might be. I'm not good with matters requiring that sort of courage, but I'm working on it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

finishing up

So here's the finished version of my Billy Bragg quote blackwork piece. I think it's finished anyway. I thought about doing from falling stars from the bottom, like raindrops dripping off the piece, but that sounded like it would be a pain in the ass so I gave it up.

I just can't get over the lovely way that the stars combined. Pretty pretty pretty! Wouldn't it be interesting to do a quilt full of blackwork and cross stitch made to look like common quilt motifs? That's way beyond my laziness level, but it's a neat idea.

Also, after saying I'd post my Liverpool FC pattern in my Etsy store forever ago I totally forgot! My brain doesn't work well most of the time, but this is ridiculous. Anyway, it is NOW for sale in my store. I think I'll have to start stitching one for my dad now.