Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sorry for the lapse!

Things got so ridiculously busy. Then I neglected to take pictures of a few presents for various blood relatives. Yup.

I have been fairly stressed out. Everyone except me got a stomach bug so I did the shopping for Christmas Eve dinner. Not to mention last minute stitching, baking, and being tired as fuck.

Honestly I'm glad it's over. This year and the next few are odd and different, as my sister and her husband are deciding what Christmas traditions they want to have. Plus Benjamin is old enough to really know what's going on, which means a quieter Christmas Eve and Christmas morning might be desirable.

I need to get some more of the oatmeal Aida for my second classic children's book cover - Understood Betsy. I've also got some other things I'm working up but the brain still hasn't recovered from the tiredness and the stress. I do a lot of staring blankly into the distance.

Anyway, hope to be back with a proper update soon.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

In-jokes and children's books...

Sometimes I procrastinate for ages on a project, finally start them, and find they go so quickly it's ridiculous. I don't expect anyone but me to enjoy this piece, but I will show you to it anyway. It's a quote from Don Rosa's The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck. I do quite like my canoe design.

My childhood was chock full of Uncle Scrooge and Donald Duck comics. Lots of Carl Barks and lots of Don Rosa. My dad and I bought each issue of the Life and Times series and read them aloud together. It's such a special memory for me and it's all thanks to Don Rosa.

My dad and I crack up every time we say/read this line. I think he'll enjoy it. Also, here's the actual finished picture of my Five Little Peppers piece. The border really completes the piece and makes it perfect. I've already finished the pattern for the original cover of Understood Betsy as well.

Christmas is looming but I'm generally prepared. There's lots of baking to do though, and maybe one more embroidery project. Tomorrow I have things to mail and then I may begin getting to grips with transcribing the pattern from the Royal Winton Queen Anne chintz tea cup pattern.

There's always something...

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Five Little Peppers... Finished!

I am finally done with the Five Little Peppers piece! It was an uphill battle. There was a flaw early on and, being lazy, I decided to just alter the pattern a bit instead of unpicking hours of stitching. 

Of course then later on I didn't think to allow for that and had to unpick a ton of shit. It could have been worse, but christ... I nearly abandoned the piece at one point. Glad I didn't though. All in all, I think it's a lovely piece. I definitely want to do a few more book covers.

Now I've got one more Christmas present piece to work on. The pattern was giving me trouble so I'd half decided to skip it. It would be a really fun piece to give though so I think I'll try to make it work.

my adorable nephew!
Let me tell you, there are some days when I despair of making my own patterns. I've only ever stitched one thing that's entirely someone else's pattern. I've taken some pieces of borders from the Repertoire des Motifs and various quite old patterns but they've always taken a lot of tinkering and extra work. I think the effort is worth it, but sometimes it does keep me from stitching since the thought of having to the make the pattern will put me off. C'est la vie, I suppose.

In contrast to all that frustration I had the most wonderful visit with my nephew, Benjamin. He came over to my apartment for an hour or so while his mama did some errands and he was the most well-behaved little thing imaginable. Did everything the first time I asked him, didn't mess with my stuff, and was generally adorable. He carried those mice around during the whole visit (they're my mice, not his). Now I'm in the dilemma of "should I give him and his sister the mice for Christmas..." but he doesn't really like soft toys at the moment and I think it's probably better to keep the few toys I have over here. 

Yes, I am justifying keeping my adorable stuffed mice all to myself. They're named Nourishing and Dark Tan after two of the rats in Terry Pratchett's marvelous book, The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents. I quite want to go back to Ikea and get a dozen more since they're so cute (and only 99 cents each).

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Pepper Progress

Here's a picture of the progress of Five Little Peppers. Hoping to get more of that thread on Tuesday or Wednesday.

I have been beyond lazy this weekend but also quite beyond tired and sore. There's so much to do and lots of time, but no energy at all.

Also posted my pattern for the Ambrose Bierce quote in my Etsy shop.

If anyone has a lovely old book cover that's a favorite, please link me to it! I'm look for other pretty covers to make patterns of.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Matching Papers

Bit more progress on the Five Little Peppers piece, but now I'm out of that color. I can't get more until Tuesday or Wednesday and it's driving me a bit crazy. I really want to work on it, but of course I can't. Evil.

I did knit another hat though, which is something. Otherwise I've been wrapping Christmas (I'm one of those annoying people who's done in early November). I'm immensely pleased with my wrapping paper this year. I got the shiny ones really cheap at Home Goods and I think they all look nice together. I suppose it would look nicer if instead of the brown paper one I had an all-black paper, but that would be boring.