Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Another birthday!

My birthday was Tuesday (27 now!), and it turned out to be a ridiculously tiring, but fun, day. My niece even walked over to me! She's just starting to walk a bit and I hadn't seen her do it yet. 

These are my new, proper, embroidery scissors. I'd been using regular massive scissors which was sometimes a problem. I'd been wanting a pair of the pretty stork ones, so she found me this lovely colorful pair!

I'm being very careful to use it only for embroidery and not dull them on paper (you know how it goes with scissors, never a pair when you need them).

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Obelix was one of the first patterns I created, and it's certainly taken me a long time to finish Asterix, mostly because he has more small details. Now of course I need to make a new Obelix pattern that's to the same scale as Asterix so they can be stitched together. 

Asterix is also for sale in my Etsy shop.

That may take some time though. I really want to get my next Pratchett quote started and of course there's also the wisteria piece and the chintz napkin to finish. Sigh!

On the plus side, I should be able to get a lot done in the next few days. I'm listening to a really fabulous book, Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President. It's about President Garfield and is absolutely amazing so far. Also, Garfield was awesome! I'm not sure why there's no modern motion picture about him (him in general, not just the assassination). I'm sure a tiny bit of my new-found love is that he spoke Latin and Greek (well enough to teach them) and of course it makes me think of The West Wing and President Barlet. Can't recommend the book highly enough though!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Wisteria Progress Two

This piece looks less like a map of ocean depths now that the bee and all that green has been added. I had to change all the colors for the bee (otherwise it would have been bright red-brown and green!), and I'm curious to see how the flowers will look when it's finished. 

With most of it there are so many tiny bits of color, and SO many colors (50) that I just can't just whether those will be correct. With that yellow blob the shades seemed to be reversed from the colors under the pattern symbols and in the small picture of the pattern. It had the darker shade being stitched where it shows the lighter shade. That's the only color I changed, because those shades were so close that it wouldn't have been detectable when stitched.

I finally finished my Asterix pattern though, so I've gotten a good start on that. However, now I'll have to make another Obelix pattern so that his size will be in scale with Asterix's. 

Even with basically having all the time in the world it still feels like there's so little time. I suppose that's always the way though. When my sister and I managed a book store and had few weeks without overtime it felt the same way. Art and crafts are great, but to be honest I'd rather be rushing around in a bookstore, calling magazine distributors to yell at them, dealing with difficult customers, and trying to be tactful towards aspiring (and horrible) local authors. That, my friends, is heaven.

Friday, April 20, 2012

So close!

Well here is the next to last stage of the chintz napkin. I'm determined that my next spurt of working on it will finish it. After that I will probably frame it.

Today is the birthday of my adorable niece, Evie. I gave her the Celtic G and her parents were suitably happy, I think. A year ago I was woken up at 6 am and had to drive to my sister's to watch my nephew as Madre and Kyla went to the clinic, as Evie came so quickly there was no time to get to the birth center or the hospital. Evie was born in a small doctor's office, next door to a Big Lots, after only around an hour in labor. She is a very happy baby, and loves her Auntie Moo (that's me), which is of course the most important thing.

My own birthday is in four days. I am not really very excited. It means I've spent another year stagnating in the same stalled state while those around me move forward with their lives in the approved fashion. My teeth are also rather screwed up so I'm not eating cake or anything fun. I'm always happy to have a morning with my family though, so at least there's that.

The last two days have also seen substantial progress on the wisteria photo-stitch piece. The left side has a lot of large chunks of green so I've been steadily working on that. It still looks rather insane, but is coming a little more easily now. Well, I say that, but I'm about to run out of the large swaths of green and will be back in the more frustrating work tomorrow. Which actually sounds like a good reason to start my next Pratchett quote as a lovely break.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The world moves on...

I think I forget to say that my Unlikely Small Ads pattern is now for sale in my Etsy shop. Madre just got back from Paris and she giggled through each 'ad.' Sometimes I needlessly worry that she won't like the ruder things I stitch, and I'm always wrong (my mom is super awesome).

Another fairly large chunk of my chintz napkin has been filled in. The rest should be faster going, as it's mostly the smaller designs, which are less hassle. Did you know that the words chintz and calico are loan words from Hindi? Now you do!

After finishing a bit more of the napkin I'm going to try to buckle down on the wisteria piece for a while. When that makes me want to tear my eyes out I'll start the next Terry Pratchett quote. I'm thinking now that I should do a quote from each of the books. So far I've done Maskerade and The Last Continent (the upcoming one is from Jingo).

Thursday, April 12, 2012


This is a bit of a departure, but there is stitching involved...sort of...

I saw a link to BiConfidence, on a friends' tumblr, and knew this was something I needed to be involved in.

I have always known I was bisexual. Well, that's not quite right. Until age 11, I assumed that everyone was bisexual. I didn't really understand the concept of gender or gender norms until about that age, as I'm very oblivious towards that sort of subtle brainwashing.

My life has always had a lot of duality. I've had long periods of having shaved heads and mohawks, dressing in the scruffiest and baggiest clothes, and then growing my hair out and wearing nothing but dresses, plus everything in between. I've never had anyone say I'm pretending to like punk rock music to get attention from boys. In my mind my broad tastes in fashion, music, food, and everything else in life, are just like my complete indifference toward the sexual organs of whoever I happen to fall in love with.

It really wasn't until after graduating high school that I experienced biphobia. Suddenly people who didn't know me at all were telling me I was confused about my own mind and heart. I encountered this negative attitude from almost everyone – straight men and women, gay men and women, even other bisexual women. I don't understand why people care who their ex dates after a break up, or what that person's sex is, as though it somehow changes or negates the relationship that ended.

After I became disabled I could only meet new people and potential partners online. This means that orientation is one of the first things they judge you on, before even thinking about your personality. I know countless bisexual women who have listed themselves as gay on dating sites because it's the only way to get a date with another woman.

It hurts to feel like you have to choose between being honest and dating. It hurts to receive criticism and contempt from all sides, with no safe haven away from it. I don't know any cities with heavily bisexual neighborhoods or bisexual bars or bisexual soccer teams. To be in the middle of the gay and straight worlds is to be marginalized.
Here's the pattern, if you want to stitch this too.

I'm 26 years old, and realized recently that I don't honestly believe I'll ever have another relationship, and that is due in part to biphobia (though most of it is because of only being able to meet people online). I'm not bitter or angry about it, just disappointed in the world for being stupid.

I am biconfident though. I know my own mind,  and my sexuality is not something you get to question.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I am actually quite bad at crafts...

This is the progress thus far on my wisteria piece, but of course it's too early and scattered to be a clear image. It looks like a strange map at the moment.

I know what you're supposed to do is put basting stitching around a square and stitch everything within that square. I'm sure that helps cut down on fatal mistakes that require you to unpick hundreds of stitches.

Really I'm just no good at crafts. I never glanced at a cross-stitch book (or embroidery book really, except to look up how to do fancy stitches). There was some Aida around, so I started stitching without even drafting a pattern.

Right now I'm thinking that after I finish my chintz napkin I'll go back to my long-neglected Frida Kahlo piece. I do miss doing non-counted embroidery, but I have to spend so much time drafting and stitching patterns to sell in my Etsy store. Even now I'm working on a pattern using another Terry Pratchett quote: ("Give a man a fire and he's warm for a day, but set fire to him and he's warm for the rest of his life.")
Apartment inspections are next Monday, so I'll probably be doing less stitching than usual this week. C'est la vie!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Unlikely Small Ads - Maybe finished?

I've completed all of the text for my Mock the Week piece of Unlikely Small Ads. When I originally drafted the pattern I set the whole thing without a thick black outline, two stitches wide/high. Now I'm not sure whether to complete it with that border, or just put another line of black stitch along the bottom and have done with it.

Probably I'll leave it here, actually, because now it's just a tiny bit less than 10 inches wide. I'm thinking a dark grey/black mat and black frame, to really make it pop. 

The whole picture did turn out nicely though, and I think I balanced the fonts and the colors well, so that the words don't run together. The cursive is a bit hard to read at that angle, but it says "Lady seeks males for walks, laughs, and eye-watering anal sex." Again, here's the clip that this piece comes from.

Now I've been working on that damn wisteria piece, but I think it's time to go back to the old chintz napkin for a bit.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Unlikely Small Ads

So here's the first look at my Mock the Week cross-stitch project. I'm about halfway done with it now. It's a bit ruder than I usually stitch (though those parts aren't done yet), but it cracks me up.

This is a clip of that scene, though they spend almost the first minute of that video pissing around. I haven't used all the lines, but I did use quite a lot (there are 13 total). The "FOUND" one isn't in that clip but is in a BBC clip.

It's enjoyable stitching, much more so than that damned wisteria piece. Random swatches of color, few efficient ways to stitch, endless opportunities for mistakes you won't notice until hours later... I'm still missing a few colors for it, but hoping to get them today or tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Celtic G - finished!

Well the G is all done and now it's ironed and framed as well! I'm fairly pleased with it. I would have done the date differently, but needed to do it the same way it appears on my nephew's. Though really, I'm pretty sure they'll never be confused about when they were born, so it doesn't matter.

Since that finished I've been working on the pattern for my Mock the Week - Unlikely Small Ads piece. It. Is. Frustrating. I have a newly discovered sympathy for the newspaper layout people. Though to be fair, they're not dealing with trying to find numerous yet diverse backstitch fonts and whether enough room can be made to squeeze in some cross-stitch fonts. 

It is *almost* done though. I'm just waiting to hear back from an English friend about the way something would be written there.

When I got too frustrated with it/couldn't sit with the computer anymore, I started working on a photo cross-stitch piece, as My Photo Stitch is my new favorite website. I've converted a number of flower photos I've taken, and actually started working on this wisteria and bee one. Let me just say, I hate this kind of stitching and pattern, as it's so...random. I do love the site though, and I'm trying to find good pictures of my niece and nephew to use.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Humor for sale!

This is my second project using a quote from Terry Pratchett's Discworld books, and the pattern is now for sale in my Etsy shop. This line is one I find particularly true and funny, and it comes from the book The Last Continent.

I was about to say "one of my favorite Discworld books" but I love them all SO much that I can't even really choose a favorite from the various recurring character books. Anyway, I created that border pattern myself and it's not as annoying to stitch as it may look. You just have to do things in an efficient order.

Now I'm working on a pattern of a round of the TV show Mock the Week. The prompt was "Unlikely Classified Ads" and so I'm doing a newspaper sheet layout of my favorites. It is one of the most frustrating things I've EVER worked on though. Laying out newspaper pages in a pleasing and symmetrical manner is a bitch!

My OCD tendencies decided that I must own every single color of DMC thread, so yesterday I spent FOUR HOURS winding newly-purchased thread onto bobbins and organizing my thread. At first I started putting them in numerical order, but since I don't stitch many patterns made by other people I realized that would just make picking colors for my own patterns more difficult.

I can literally spend hours arranging the thread by color, trying to get it perfectly ordered within each shade and hue. This is an impossible task, but I fiddle with it every time I start a new project. I'm buying the thread a bit at a time (the cost does add up quite rapidly!), so this drama will stretch on for a while.