Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Long lost something or other

What do I do with all my time? For the last while it's been audiobooks plus simple, mindless games. I've been having more trouble with the world of abled people, who, sometimes despite being Very Good Liberals, decide they're entitled to decide what is or isn't ableism, what is or isn't *truly* offensive. It has been triggering. I have hesitated to use that phrase for a while, but that's just what it is. It's not specific words or phrases that ruin me, it's the response when someone tries to educate them and it's able-splaining that follows. Ableism is so incredibly ingrained, we know that, we don't blame you for not understanding, we blame you for not being willing to learn.

Oh, wait, I had a purpose for posting! It's a new pattern and it's up in my shop. It's inspired a series, albeit with a very different message. Today I'm hoping to start the one that says "Wonder Woman wonders if you have your keys." I've never had a key problem, but many people seem to. The other already designed is "wonders why you came in this room anyway." And the figures have different poses. It cracks me up.

I had some vet scares with my cat, where were distressing. She seems to maybe be okay now? I don't know. She's almost 11, so I've been keeping my eye on her. I did learn that her teeth are in excellent shape, which was a relief. I bought her a spider costume in revenge for making me worry.

I also cut my hair (undercut all the way around) and discovered I finally have a white streak forming if I part my hair on this side. I have been waiting ages for this! I've realized I don't feel entirely like myself if I don't have at least a little bit of my head shaved.

I have read a lot of books in my internet/stitching absence. Only 9 more before I'm at my goal for the year. The goal was picked for it's being divisible by 52, but we'll see if I want more after a couple weeks of re-reading to my heart's content. Next year I'm not going to keep a numerical count as I read, and I'm going to list re-reads just as I list new-to-me books. No more making reading a job. I always still enjoy it, but I need to get away from productivity = worth so badly. In happier things, I made a giant image showing all the book covers of the books I've read this year (well, not quite done yet, obviously). And I made an animated gif of the books I read from my "things I own but haven't read" list, which is super pretty. Yup, I purposefully read them so the spines would make a rainbow (mostly in that order too, barring a few things).

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I know objectively it's fine, but that girl isn't me.

Me? Again? So soon? Why yes.

I think maybe I need to be okay with posting even when I don't have an update on a piece of embroidery. I am working on something now, but it's a maybe-gift, so you know how it is. 

The wedding I was in went well, and I'm really glad I got to go and most glad I got to just hang out with the bride and get to know her a bit. The whole thing was beyond exhausting though, and I almost cried because my mom forgot that I can't eat American cheese and got a lunch where everything had it (can't as in it makes me gag severely and feel sick). I had a full face of makeup though, which kept me from losing it (though also made me feel like a clown since I almost never wear ANY make up).

On Thursday morning I leave again, which I was feeling better about pain-wise until a minute ago when I severely banged my foot on something and now it's bleeding and throbbing and sending shooting pains through my feet. I find it frustrating that I run into things so much, like zero personal spatial awareness, even though on tests spatial awareness in problem solving and such is my strongest point!
The wedding was in a rose garden.

Soon I'll be working on a cute wedding embroidery for the couple. Them as little chibi-figures in their wedding outfits, plus the date and all that. I'm excited about that, because it will be just too cute.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Ornate Bookshelf

Well, it's finally finished and up for sale in the shop now. It took a little over a month, though there were plenty of days when I couldn't work on it. I feel like the damn book outlines took the longest, probably because It's just so boring to stitch a long straight line.

I meant to post multiple times since the last update, but a big side effect of my depression is feeling like posting here or anyway is pointless, like my voice is at best annoying and at worst unwelcome. It's irrational, and I know that, but it doesn't make it easier.

Now I'm working on a non-counted piece now, and it may be a gift so I won't be able to post it. Not sure when will be next in terms of cross-stitch.

On Friday I leave for Charlotte and a friend's wedding. Right now I am freaking out a little, because of how awful my legs feel. After that I have a trip to meet my friend Christine though, and that's extra super exciting. If I'd never started doing embroidery we'd have never met. Plus she has an adorable baby and cat, so you know, bonus. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Book Shelf - WIP02

The first stage of this project is done! Frankly, the text is too, but I'm waiting to post until the background is filled. There's nothing more annoying to me than the WIP picture getting way more attention than the finished piece! 

I can wish it would only take two days to fill the background, they're just half-stitches after all, but I fear that's optimistic. Working on the larger Q-Snap frame is also a lot harder on my arms. Hopefully it stays sunny so I can get good light to work out the color choices. I have my picks already, but you just never know how they'll look until they're stitched. That being said, experience has really started to pay off in that regard. I have a much better grip on how much two colors will merge when stitched next to each other than I used to.

Books You Should Have Read in School: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston. Just finished that recently and wow! I'd like to time travel and give it to my 19 year old self. What a beautiful book. Also, The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker was amazing.

Lately I'm trying to get away from the obsession with being productive. This kind of internalized ableism, that we're only worthy if we can be productive, is so insidious (and practically ubiquitous to the chronically ill). There was a great Tumblr post about talking about what we find fulfilling or fun or just important to us rather than productive. I've been so guilty of that, I'm afraid, and it will be very difficult to shake. Change the language and you start to the change the world though.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I'm working on another book pattern! I do love book related cross-stitch so much. This one will include the quote "Books are both our luxuries and our daily bread," under it (quote from Henry Stevens, an early American book collector).

When I list the pattern in the shop I think I'll also include versions using this quote from Malcolm X:  "I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity."

It's shaping up to be a beautiful piece, and I'm really pleased with it. I'll be doing the background of each book in a lighter shade of the main color. I wish DMC made more dark reds.

I had a wonderful CouchSurfer over the weekend, which really brought home how much I hate living by myself. It's very hard to be alone with myself so much. 

September will be a busy month for me. I'll be going to a friend's wedding and then visiting my best online friend (ha, ridiculous qualification, my best in-person friend in my mom). I'm so excited to meet her and her adorable baby.

Saturday, July 26, 2014


Just bumming around stitching small geometric pieces. I like it, though there's a fair bit of wonkyness due the usual issues of brain fog and not really caring too much. It's a quick, easy project in any case. If I make another I'll probably choose one color but a lot of different shades.

I read an amazing memoir, Mean Little Deaf Queer by Terry Galloway. I really can't recommend it enough. Also the book Why Does He Do That by Lundy Bancroft is one of the most important books I've ever read. All the myths about abusers and abused people are slashed through. I think it's especially important for all young woman to read this book, just to know the traits they should be concerned about in partners. Everyone should read this though.

The postcards I had printed should get here today. I really should have taken advantage of the sale and had more designs printed. I got the Misandry one, my DMC color project (though it's cropped), and my "If books are not good company, where shall I find it?" piece. 

There will be a little run of cooler weather this week, which I'm quite excited for.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


Bec gave me permission to turn her pixel artwork into a proper cross-stitch pattern and distribute it. I'm pretty happy with the colors, though I've changed the notation to a different light pink in the pattern (one that's slightly pinker).

Here's the pattern with colored blocks and symbols. Here's the pattern with black and white symbols only. In case there's any confusion, misandry is basically a joke term. Individual people can discriminate against or dislike men, but it is not sexism, it is not a widespread, institutional system that discriminates against men in a vast, societal way.

The piece pleases me so much I'm having postcards printed of it. If you'd like one, feel free to e-mail me your address (mabithdarling at gmail).

Summer has been hard, in part due to being stuck inside so much, and a lot of extra pain lately. Some excellent reading though, and I got the best book holder ever, The Book Seat. I really recommend it if you have trouble holding books. Some reviews said it tipped with heavier books, but I didn't find that to be true at all (and I tested it with the largest, heaviest books I have). It even works well with mass market paperbacks.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

penguins! reading!

My swap partner received this, so now I can show you what I made for The Great Tumblr Needlework Swap! Hannah had reading and penguins on her list so I felt compelled to design this.

I might clean up the drawing a bit and put it in my free pattern section (just added The Cheat and my dalek pattern there), or I might try to design a slew of cartoony animals reading patterns and sell them as a group. Who knows!

The World Cup has been slightly breaking my heart. Not so much in terms of the US loss (I never expect us to do that well, and I don't think much of Klinsmann's coaching), but I'm still upset over Mexico's exit (due to cheating by The Netherlands) and Algeria's near thing with Germany. So pleased for Costa Rica and Colombia though, and I will be cheering for Belgium due to personal connections.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

well hello

I got over my embroidery swap fear and finally joined on, and got my piece done on time. Hopefully have it in the mail tomorrow. So excited. I'll post the piece once it gets to the person.

What I can show you is the sweetest knit plush I've ever made. I made it for my friend Christine's baby, Maisie, a first birthday present. I love it's face soo much. Cute, right? Free pattern here.

I changed my couch surfing setting from not hosting to maybe hosting and got five requests in about four days. Two were way too last minute for me, but I've got someone coming Monday.

The World Cup is on and that is literally all I'm thinking about. My brain is so drained from watching three games every day. It's shaping up to the best Cup since 2002. Great play, some surprising games, some gorgeous goals, and some annoyingly over-zealous refs (as per). Soo delighted with Mexico, especially after their dreadful qualifying play, and England is playing far better than I expected.

The US has been badly coached and were trying to play a German style of soccer, but we don't have the passing accuracy or confidence for that. For god's sake, just focus on speed, endurance, set pieces, and passing accuracy! Don't think about style AT ALL! Gawd. I could talk about the games all freaking day.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Oh, hello, I do still exist.

It's been a hard time, and I don't really know how to get out of it. I'm working on it. I stitched this, and I'm working on a project now for the Tumblr needlework swap, which I'm pretty excited to show you (probably in a week). 

My main interest now is that the World Cup starts tomorrow! Soccer is rather my thing, it was always the family sport and I love World Cup time. There are some interesting groups this year, with some of the best teams having no strong competition in the groups. There's certainly a possibility that the US won't advance to the round of 16, likewise England and certainly Mexico who played appallingly during qualification. My main away team this year is Uruguay who I usually cheer for anyway due to quite enjoying saying Uruguay in a Colombian accent.

Never read the book The Land of Mist by Arthur Conan Doyle. It is SO BORING and so depressing that he wrote it (it's about spiritualism).

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Haven't started any new stitching projects. I knit a couple fluffy scarves for my niece in hot pink and purple (those being her favorite colors currently). Her birthday was on Easter this year, and today is my birthday. She is now three and I am twenty-nine. As we left on Sunday she told me "I'm glad you could come and give me birthday presents." Too cute. She was very happy with the scarves.

This month has been hard. I think I'll feel better when we're past my birthday, but I've been saying things like that for a good year. This morning started with confronting a postal supervisor who was not super helpful. My last two Graze boxes were likely misdelivered and who knows if I'll ever get them.

I've been knitting a soctopus, and stuffed a wool octopus I'd knit ages ago and randomly found again. I even remembered to take them to my mom's house so she can felt it in her washer.

Monday, April 7, 2014


 My legs have been in more pain than usual for a while and not my upper body has joined them in this shameless mutiny. I am getting very close to the end of my tether.

I super messy stitched a quote from a Leonard Cohen poem onto a handkerchief. We'll call it pain-stitching, which you do just to be stitching something anything, just for that focus it provides. If I can focus worse pain into just my hands it's easier to cope for a bit, but there's a limit.

Right now I am knitting a Clanger. I will eventually make two, one for my niece and one for my nephew. They're extra big, since I just kind knit with size two needles. Size five is pushing it already. 

Hoping I can take a bath at Madre's tonight which will maybe help? Who knows. My body is an evil unto itself.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Dreams and Nightmares II

I got a local commission for a really involved pattern (just the pattern) and working on that sapped my desire to stitch. I finally finished the second installment of my Dreams and Nightmares series.

This one was a little easier to get through, and I think they'll continue getting easier which is maybe the point? I don't know.

Now I'm at a loss for what to do next. Mostly I've been reading up a storm while playing mindless time management games due to vastly increased leg pain. It's typical fibromyalgia changing-seasons bullshit. I haven't even been to snuggle with my cat, just her leaning against my leg is too much. 

Also making it hard to sleep is being stalked by a morning dove. Never in three and a half years has there been a bird on the window ledge (it's a slanted ledge, not flat), and suddenly twice in as many days there's a morning dove cooing at me.

Yes, that sounds nice to some people, but birds don't like me and I don't like them. Not your normal doves, robins, starlings, cardinals and such anyway. I'm happy with crows and larger birds.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Humanitarian Finished

I have finished my Mother Jones quote pattern and it is up for sale in my Etsy shop now. I'm pretty happy with it, though I wish I'd reversed the colors in the border so that the lighter purple comprised most of it.

Oh well. It was fun to design and fun to stitch, and that's important.

I've started on a slightly less fun piece now. An addition to my Dreams and Nightmares work.

What I need are small clips that I could use to clip the excess fabric to the embroidery hoop. This is an old idea, right? Or should I be contacting a manufacturer and making millions? Not sure anyone can make millions with anything related to embroidery...

Friday, March 14, 2014

Hell-Raiser WIP02

Of course I finished the text soon after I posted the first picture, but it's worth it to have a pic that just says "I'm a hell-raiser."

The border is coming along nicely as well, and shouldn't take too long. I feel a little more "back to normal" in terms of crafting. Rather, I want to work on it again. Less so in the evenings when I'm crawling into the hole of my head, but still.

My joy in the beach week has changed to dread of the rising temperatures and the day I have to turn on the air conditioning again, which will probably happen in March. Last autumn I had to turn it on one day in November. Blech.

I finished the greatest new book! The Martian by Andy Weir. It's funny, believable, interesting, hard science-fiction. It feeds every childhood astronaut desire you can summon. I can't recommend it highly enough. The audio edition is good in part, but they really needed a second reader for the third-person written sections.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Hell-raiser WIP01

Started on my new pattern, using a Mother Jones quote (the woman, not the magazine), "I'm not a humanitarian, I'm a hell-raiser."

Nothing wrong with being a humanitarian, but to me it's about one role making people think you have to be nice and polite and sweetly explain oppression over and over again, to people who benefit from oppression but want to think their hands are clean just because they aren't holding a whip. Mother Jones says, screw that, she doesn't have time to make you comfortable when talking about things that SHOULD make you uncomfortable. (These are perceptions and roles and baggage on words, not actual meanings of course, or things true for everyone, but I hope you all know what I mean.)

It has a full border and I'm quite happy with the pattern, which isn't always the case. It came together quickly with less constant dithering on my part than usual. The border has two colors, and I'm not sure what they'll be yet. I chose reds that have some purple in them for hell-raiser, and humanitarian (which will be a lighter shade). 

Still thinking of the beach and missing it. More than the ocean I miss the old houses, if I'm honest. The little tiny places built in the 1700s in Beaufort are my favorite. Despite having a lot of books (not to mention the teacup collection and dolls) I adore tiny houses. Speaking of, I'm out of space on pretty much every bookshelf. Trouble is there's not much room for more shelves. There's really no room in my bedroom for any. I have a row of three-shelf cases making a hallway and I don't want to go to full-height due to blocking light from the kitchen. Sigh.

Just because, here's my prettiest bookshelf. The top shelf is my collection of old middle and high school text books (mainly). The left side of the bottom is my West Mine Wars book collection, minus on, and to the right are my etiquette books.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Selfie Napkin - WIP 2

The beach was good, guys. I got no embroidery done, and very little reading, but that's okay. 

My goal for this year was to actually fill the serious gaps in my wardrobe at the trove of great thrift stores there (thanks military families!). It's been four years since I've had more than one pair of pants that fit well (and usually a second pair that fit enough to wear but not well). I also have a need to look more like an adult, both for doctors and gaining their respect and so maybe people will stop thinking I'm 18 (I'm almost 29).

So. I bought 7 pairs of pants, 5 skirts, and 13 shirts all for $60 which comes out to $2.40 per piece, which I think I can live with. I'm glad I saved up some money and really made myself do it. All of them are office-dressy things, so that's good. The only shirts I owned were Threadless t-shirts, barring three things two of which were too worn to look very nice.

I also brought books from home to a couple used bookstores and got more than I expected in credit (though gave them some very nice things, including a brand new audiobook from a very popular series). The best part - I got almost all the books for free initially, through the early reviewer program and stuff that was withdrawn from the last library my dad was at! So in the end I only spent $2 of actual money on books.

At least I got the third sketch on the napkin done at the beach, and stitched when we got home. I was always hurting so much at the beach that doing anything other than watching TV was hard. However, we discovered the show Rehab Addict, which is awesome. No massive pieces of linen in the thrift stores this time, but we can't have everything.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Selfie Napkin

A post? Already? From me? Gasp!

Started a new project already, a little free embroidery. I have this small linen napkin that's been sitting around, purchased in a small lot of old linen. It's 7 3/4 inches square, and lovely fabric.

So this will be the Selfie Napkin. Self portraits, probably all in cartoony style (but in a variety of those) and colors chosen via the color wheel, though of course it's a square. Maybe I'll do little bits and pieces in the blank spaces, flowers and such, or maybe words. Not sure yet!

It's a good project to take to the beach, since I'm just sketching the design onto the napkin with washable marker as I go. It is making me realize how long it's been since I've drawn regularly. I need to reinstall my tablet (drawing tablet) so I can use it more easily and draw every day again.

Beach in one week! Weather forecast isn't good, Madre will be unhappy. I'm hoping it will change a bit, but since our primary pursuit while there is thrift store shopping I'm not too worried. I'm more concerned that we won't be able to take the van, which is far easier for my cat to travel in, and allows us to take my wheelchair (though if the weather forecast holds there won't be much point to that).

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mine Your Manners

Finished the Minecraft pattern, and it's for sale in the shop. I went to my friend Chris for the idea, since I don't play the game. I felt like out of the Minecraft cross-stitch bandwagon, and I do know what the kids like...

Did you know that litterateur is a word? Like raconteur, only more accurate for me. I own a lot of books (over 800, which is a fair few for someone who's only turning 29 this year). My TV is between two bookcases and I usually keep it covered with a small embroidered tablecloth, as otherwise it quite clashes with the teacup collection above it. 

Soo my next project might be to embroider "Litterateur" on the tablecloth. Or I'll start one of the quotes for my feminist handkerchief project. I'm going to the beach in a week, the timeshare my mum has. It's my favorite time of every year (we've this is our fifth or sixth year there). We mostly do a lot of thrift store shopping and watching the sunset on the beach while drinking.

Definitely not doing a counted embroidery project next, in any case.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Women Who Don't Help Other Women

New pattern up in the store! The quote is from Madeleine Albright, the first women to become US Secretary of State. I had a really random crush on her in middle school, because she's awesome. Now I live in fear that she didn't actually say this. Sigh.

I finished it over the weekend, but have found you never want to post something new on the weekend. So many people do so much internetting at work now. I've never had a job where that was really an option, so it still seems weird to me.

Just so there’s no nonsense later, when I say women I mean anyone who identifies as a women. And also, those of us who are viewed as women but don’t consider it a part of our identity. I’ve never felt particularly connected to either gender, but I know what I’m seen as, and feminism is the most important issue in my life. 

My niece is very into saying "So and so is a woman, so and so is a man" right not. The last time I said I didn't think that was very important, and the main thing is that I'm just me. She gave me a very skeptical look, but I can't resist. Of course she's a toddler and toddlers tend to want to classify the world and give it lots of order, but I feel it's my job to throw some anarchy in there. I am the youngest aunt, after all.

Soon I'll be starting a Minecraft pattern. I don't play it, but I know what the kids like.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Dreams and Nightmares

I finished this piece last night. It got messier in the last couple of sentences because I was getting upset and had a hard time wording what I wanted to express.

This is a piece that will grow. I'll do other installments in different sizes of hoop, and different colors. I might add song lyrics sometimes. I don't know.

It was hard to get through at the end. I had to speed through my new favorite show, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. It's Australian, set in the 1920s, based on a recent book series. It is absolutely perfect. I love Miss Fisher in every way and the chief inspector is so handsome (though less so when not done up in 20s style).

Today it's back to the Women piece, and the floral details, which is pretty mindless. I definitely need a little of that.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Stitch away the pain

In my past there's a relationship that still haunts me. It's been years, but I dream about her so much still. Sometimes dream-her hates me, and sometimes they're happy dreams.

Having one upsets my life in so many ways (and makes me try to avoid sleep like the plague). Ignoring them hasn't helped, so this is what I'm trying now. This part isn't complete yet. I'll do each dream or thought in a different color, using different sizes of embroidery hoop. Fingers crossed. I can never remove her from my daytime thoughts, and I wouldn't want to, but the dreams are something else.

So yeah, that's what I'm working on now, as well as my shop pattern for "There is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women." I've completed the text on it, but things keep stealing my attention because I can start the little pieces of decor. Plus I've got some secret-knitting I need to finish up, and you know how that goes.

Friday, January 3, 2014

All Girls Together

Here’s a pattern for you all! I’m doing this quote for a pattern that will be in my shop as well, but the girls dancing image is from a 1900 publication and other than transcribing it to a clean, legible printable, copy, I didn’t do much work. I wish they’d had a few more perfectionist/obsessives doing those old patterns…

The font is from my backstitch font set in my shop. With Blogger I'm not sure the best way to get the pattern at original size (and thus best legibility), so you can just save it from here.

The dimensions are 93x92 stitches, no grid due to the backstitch. Some of the face stitches aren’t full stitches or from corner to corner, mostly the noses and mouths, so experiment and be a bit loose there.

I just loved this image so much (and the quote of course). So someone please stitch it so I can see how it looks finished! I have so many other things to work on…