Thursday, March 29, 2012

Celtic G

I knocked this out really quickly while I was listening to The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty by Caroline Alexander.

This is just the color work, of course, I still have to do all the black back stitching. Here's the B I did for Benjamin about a year ago (with a picture before the black outline and after).

Now though I'm taking a break before finishing it to work on a pattern for my shop. It uses the Terry Pratchett quote "Logic is a wonderful thing, but doesn't always beat actual thought." 

Hoping to finish it tomorrow. I've got another good non-fiction book going, so maybe that will help speed me along.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Je Suis une Fille Formidable - finished

This large project is finally finished, though I've now revised the pattern to be more visually pleasing (switching the order of the designs below the the main border).

In fact it's SO finished that the pattern is now for sale in my Etsy shop.

Now I think I'll finally have to start the large G from my book Celtic Cross-Stitch. I did a B for my nephew Benjamin (finished about a year ago), and the G is for my niece Geneva.

The book The Bounty: The True Story of the Mutiny on the Bounty by Caroline Alexander, has helped me focus on finishing this piece.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Onward and Upward

Well, I've completed the only full version of the largest design in the napkin. It is ALMOST perfectly centered, so now I'm quite annoyed with myself for not trying to plan that.

Granted, I don't think I could have, as there was a tiny stain in the corner and I had to make sure it would be covered up. 

Anyway, I'm pleased with the progress and can't wait to be done! There will be another break from this project though, while I finish the third border on my "une fille formidable" piece.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

second border

Here's Une Fille Formidable with the second border added. I've put it aside for a bit because of having a long book to read (no audio edition of it) and I've been working on the chintz napkin again (that will be my next post).

The weather has been freaking ridiculous lately. I've had to turn on the air conditioning every day for the last week. I've fought it as much as possible, but my pain is so much worse when I'm hot. I'm happy to sacrifice book and cross-stitch supply money in exchange for not being completely uncomfortable and extra-achey.

Saying that, I did spend more than usual on a book recently. It's the WPA guide to West Virginia and I can't wait to get it! I think the Works Progress Administration is one of the most amazing things our country has ever done. I wish they'd bring some of those programs back. Some of the state guides were written by people who became very famous authors, but mostly I just want to read about West Virginia circa 1940.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

First stage complete!

After starting this project I realized that I haven't stitched on 14 ct. Aida in forever. My stitches seem huge, clunky, and messy, and I groan over how much thread it's using. Thread is cheap, I know, but I am hardwired for thrift.

The three projects I completed just before this one were one 22 ct. Aida, and the still-in-progress chintz napkin is on an even smaller scale. 

Otherwise there are the usual annoyances of working with black Aida (which makes the stitching messier anyway). I adore the way it looks, but it's difficult to stitch on and very difficult to photograph well. It never takes long for me to regret starting a project on it, but c'est la vie.

I still have three designs to add to the top and the bottom. After the first of those is done I might go back to the chintz napkin for a while, since I've neglected it.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New project!

Here's the first look at my new project. It's on black Aida so of course it's really difficult to get a decent picture of it.

When it's finished it will be almost completely square, so that gives you an idea of how many more border designs will be above and below the main border. I'm pretty sure I'll be using successive lighter shades of purple for the borders. We'll see though.

It feels like there's SO much work to do, and never enough time or energy.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


Well the Arsenal piece is finally done and I finished creating two new patterns today. They're humorous patterns, which will be a nice change.

I have been doing very little. Stitching, book listening, paper book reading, occasionally watching amusing videos featuring British comedians.

Also working on setting up an online book discussion group on Livejournal. Rule number one: must love Steinbeck.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Malice stitching?

Well, not malice, but grumbling. I pour a fair bit of grumbling into my Arsenal crest since they're not one of the teams I cheer for (go Liverpool, go Spurs!). I suppose we'll see if it has any effect in the next season.

Lots of progress here, which is nice. I'm listening to Lies My Teacher Told Me right now, which makes a good, involving, stitching-listening. It's also given me an idea for my greatest doomsday plan ever!

Oh wait, no, it gave me an idea for a great sampler. It will be a super abridged version of Lies My Teacher Told Me, with gems such as "Helen Keller: Socialist Activist" and "Woodrow Wilson was a racist dick."
Fabulous, right?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Plugging away...

Well, my Arsenal crest is no longer rude. It's just SO much stitching, since every single square of the design is a stitched square. 

I am a distinctly lazy stitcher, which is silly since I've got all bloody day every day to stitch. Partly I just like finishing things, and partly if I'm spending this long on a project then I'm coming up with fewer new patterns for my store. 

I've sold the Arsenal and Liverpool patterns a couple times with no images of the finished project, but I think it's far better to have those pictures. Partly that's so there's nothing for anyone to complain about, and partly because that way I know for sure what colors are good to use for you. Usually there's always one color I pick at the beginning of a project that I then change for something a little lighter or darker once it's done on fabric and next to the other colors.

Really I've made immense progress on the Arsenal crest given that I only worked on it a bit at the beach. About half the work was done yesterday and today. I'm just feeling a bit more AUGH! because I've gotten to the really annoying cannon wheel section which will take more mental attention and I'm still really sore and tired from vacation.

Also I don't cheer for Arsenal at all (being a Liverpool girl primarily), so perhaps that's it too. Oh, no, it's definitely the laziness.

EDIT: This pattern is now available for free.

I've randomly decided to tell you what books I'm listening to while I stitch. Right now it's Outwitting History by Aaron Lansky and it's really fascinating, plus the reader is quite good (which makes a big difference). It's about the non-profit organization he started to save Yiddish books after only learning the language himself as an adult. I really like listening to Yiddish spoken and there are short sentences all throughout the book (with translations, of course), so it's also nice on that account.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Being juvenile...

I was never juvenile in terms of finding swearing or slightly risqué things funny. I still have difficulty with euphemisms and slang because I never paid attention to such things (or watched any shows with sex-humor).

Sometimes I get tickled though. Sometimes I think to myself "I can make this work-in-progress say arse!" Then I have a good chuckle, then I have a good chuckle every time I think about it for the next month. This is, how you say, coping.

For all the sadness and heartbreak I feel, even on a daily basis, I don't have regrets. Well, other than being a picky eater for a large part of my childhood. I regret not eating more tasty things, but I never want to lessen my heartache because that would lower my happy memories in turn.

So now I amuse myself with accidental swearing and try to learn to numb my mind on the worst days. 

This is all rather melancholy, given that I've been at the beach with La Madre all week, with great weather and good food. There are reasons, but they belong to me.