Saturday, December 31, 2005
A Little Disappointed
Anyway, I finally finished with it last night and although it was late made a start on the cross stitch. You can see it at the top above the lamp. I'm stitching the holly surrounding the bow. I mentioned before that I wasn't really happy that the design was already printed on the fabric. I also didn't like the fact that some of the printed would remain in sight once complete. I am now disappointed because the stitching looks gappy. The crosses are a little too large (at least they seem that way) and the white of the fabric shines through far too much. Also you can see where the printed sky (which remains uncovered) ends around the stitching. It makes it look a little blocky. I also noticed that There are crosses on parts of the fabric which are not charted. So there is going to be an uncovered cross here and there over the finished piece. I will finish it though as I have paid for it and these stockings aren't cheap. However, who do I give it to? I don't want to make another two of these for my nieces. My initial thought was to buy another three and read carefully what I would be getting (in other words to make sure the fabric is aida or evenweave and that the design isn't printed on it). I would then make those for my nieces and give this one to my friend. But then it feels like I am giving her this just because it isn't good enough for my nieces. I'm sure she wouldn't see it that way but I would still feel guilty. Either way this isn't going to my niece. I really just want to give it away to my friend so that it doesn't feel like I made it for nothing.
Friday, December 30, 2005
Some Book Reviews
"Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging" by Louise Rennison.
This books is written in the form of a diary of 14 year old Georgia. It is full of teen sarcasm and 'the world should revolve around me' thoughts. Typical teen girl thoughts and mischief. But it is also funny. Georgias sarcasm can be quite sharp at times. Then you find yourself laughing at the things she gets up to. There was a scene where she tries to pluck her eyebrows and it all goes disastrously wrong which was really funny.
I have spotted this book a few times when going through the kids books. I've snatched glances at a few pages and found myself laughing which is why I eventually picked it up. It's an easy read. Something you could probably read in an hour. I can see why these books are so popular amongst teen girls. However, for those who aren't in their teens anymore I still recommend it. Especially if you want a reminder of your own teen years or to have a look at what might be going on in your daughters head. Or even just to laugh.
"The Virago Book Of Fairy Tales" by Angela Carter. I read this thanks to someone who recommended Angela Carters books (I'm really sorry but I can't remember who that was. Thank you anyway). This is part of my books on fairy tales. These tales are in the words of Angela Carter but they are actually found from all over the world. And at the start of each story she tells you which part of the world they came from. I recognised a few of them. I'm pretty sure there was a snow white and a Cinderella in there. One of them was the basis for Robin McKinley's "Deerskin" which I reviewed a while back. Some of these stories were a little strange but I did enjoy them and found them to be interesting. There was a great number I had never heard of before. It was fun though trying to recognise any of them from the modern versions we know now. I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in fairy tales. This isn't one for children though.
"The Fire Rose" by Mercedes Lackey. This is based on "Beauty and the Beast". A young woman is offered a job as governess. The job is too good to be true and comes along right when she really needs it. When she arrives she finds that she is actually employed to read to her employer and not to tutor two children. Finding this a little strange she decides to stay with the job anyway. Then she begins to notice something strange about the texts. They are all on the same subject, magic! Her mysterious employer eventually confides in her. He is hiding an accident involving magic which he has to keep from his enemies as they would use it against him.
I wasn't really impressed with this book. I think that I was expecting a similar pace to her other books. Like her other books she spends too long on the characters themselves and seems to almost ignore the storyline as she is doing this. It made for a good start, a good end but a very boring middle. I was almost tempted to give up on it. I do recommend it for Mercedes Lackey fans and those who want a bit of escapism. Not her best though.
No stitching over the last few days. With any luck I might get some done tonight. I wanted to do an overview of the year before the New year. But it doesn't look like I will get that chance. Will have to wait until next week.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
First of all I finished watching all my Doctor Who DVD's (the new series) in the space of two days. Which left me happy but at a loss of what to watch next. I knew I should have spread it out! So I treated myself and am now the proud owner of the Buck Rogers Season one boxset. I watched the first one last night called "The Awakening". This is the story of Buck arriving on Earth after being frozen in space. I have watched this episode several times when I was a kid. I remember it being repeated quite a lot on television. I don't remember it being that cheesy. The part that had me laughing was when he got the musician at the princess' reception to play rock music. He then started dancing and encouraged the princess to dance too. It amused me anyway! These episodes are a little longer than the Doctor Who ones and there is more of them. So I plan on taking more time with them and enjoying them. Once I have collected the Buck Rogers DVD's I think I will move on to Battlestar Galactica.
Oh, forgot to say. Expect some book reviews tomorrow. I have gone through the ones I have read recently. Not that many since a great number have been Chalet school books and I won't be reviewing them.
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Still Doing Christmas Stitching
I decided to keep going with my Christmas stitching so that I am more prepared for next year than I was this year. Every year I have promised that I will stitch some stockings for my nieces. I had a look at them and ordered one while I was ordering the Christmas Elf Fairy. Not surprisingly I fell in love with the Snowmen and have made a little start. I didn't realise it would involve different stitches. The first one it recommends you doing is the silk stitch. I had never done this one before but don't think I messed it up too much. Some of the design is already printed on the fabric. Had I known that I would have probably chosen a different one. I will stick with it though as it is going to prove to be a challenge with all these different stitches. Also I will have to use a sewing machine which I haven't done since school.
So I am back to working on a rota with my stitching. I am determined that this year it is going to work as I don't want any designs falling behind. As it is I have quite a few WIP. I will start with The Christmas Elf in the new year along with the SAL. Once CW is finished I plan to pick one of my WIP that I left behind, probably bugs.
Monday, December 26, 2005
Christmas Round Up
Timewarden, I have seen the TV version. I read all the books after seeing that. Have you seen the DVD box set with all of them on it? I'm very tempted to get it. I remember "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe" best as we had taped it and used to watch it over and over again. I did watch all the others but I don't really remember much about them. I knew that Tom baker was in one but I can't remember watching it.
Christmas day was pretty quiet for us. It always is but we like it that way. We do the family rounds today. But for Christmas day it is just us. We open the gifts in the morning and then have breakfast together (probably the only time in the year that we do). Then we all sit around watching TV until dinner. Dinner was lovely and of course we all stuffed ourselves. After that you can't move so it is back to the TV again where most of us usually fall asleep for an hour or so. Yesterday morning we watched Dr Who instead of television. I received the Dr Who box set for my Christmas and we watched a few episodes. My sister who isn't a fan was even found laughing at a few scenes. Later we got to watch more Doctor Who with the Christmas special,
"The Christmas Invasion". This is the first of the series with David Tennant as the Doctor. As I have said many times I wasn't sure about him. After watching it yesterday I am looking forward to seeing more with him. I think his character is going to be funny and quirky. Very different from Christopher Ecclestons Doctor. I always find that the first story with a new Doctor is slow but this one was quite good. The world is now aware of aliens which might lead to some great story lines. And they hinted that the Doctor and Rose will be visiting other planets which will be good.
I even managed to get some stitching in although I don't have a photo update for you. I'm very excited as the items I ordered from sew and so arrived. I am looking forward to making a start on the Christmas Elf fairy. I also got all my beads for CW and I ordered a stocking kit. Still all Christmas themes but this time I want to be good and ready for next year.
Zohrah, WCB is still sitting there. I will get back to her eventually but I haven't felt in the mood to stitch her for a while now. At some point in the new year I will pick her up again.
Lili, this is the Christmas Elf Fairy. I first saw it when Jenn began stitching her. I fell in love with the design straight away and the Miribilia SAL was the excuse I needed to go out and buy it.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Some Bonus Questions.
If you could have one Christmas wish what would it be (make it a selfish one, assume that we all want world peace and to be next to our loved ones)? I am going to go big here since it has to be a selfish wish. If I could have one thing it would be my own library. A room big enough for all my books and with plenty of space for more. A place that is cozy where I can curl up with one of those books.
After reading through all the questions that I have asked so far I was surprised to notice that I haven't asked any stitching questions. What has been your favourite Christmas project? I have enjoyed making the Christmas tree ornaments. I also really liked stitching Celtic Christmas but other than that I really don't have a favourite. I do plan to stitch some stocking next year which I am really looking forward to doing.
And lastly, what is your favourite Christmas food? I love the turkey but my real favourite is actually the chestnut stuffing. That and my mums Christmas cake.
Waiting until after Christmas to think about joining the Mirabilia SAL didn't last long. I ordered Mirabilias Christmas elf (which I fell in love with thanks to Jenn) and then joined the SAL group. Yes, I know! I'm weak willed!
Again, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and I can't wait until next week when I can hear all about it. All you Brits out there remember that there is a Doctor Who episode on television tomorrow. The first with David Tennant. My inner geek couldn't ask for a better Christmas present!
Friday, December 23, 2005
Christmas Question #12 and CW
Since it is Christmas Eve tomorrow I thought this would make a good question. What do you all do on Christmas Eve, anything special or fun? I actually usually work on Christmas Eve and tomorrow won't be an exception. I actually enjoy it. You end up so busy and the staff are usually on a Christmas high that you can't help but be in a good mood. Even the horrible customers can't get you down. You end up just laughing at them. I then spend the rest of the day with my boyfriend. We usually get Indian take out and open our presents for each other after midnight. This year though I am also going to see "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" which I'm really excited about. I feel like a big kid!
I surprised myself on how much I go done on CW. I was able to finish the lettering and most of the top half of the border (other than the beads). I really didn't expect to get the lettering done before Christmas. I am now more than certain that I will be able to finish this before the end of January. I am going to re order the beads today as I have finally resigned myself to the fact that I am never going to find them again.
Because this has been quick in stitching I am very tempted to join in the Yahoo group SAL for mirabelia. I all ready have the chart for Petal fairy so I could do that. Or I could go ahead and get Sleeping Beauty. I am inclining towards Sleeping Beauty because of my recent obsession with fairy tales. Sounds like I'm going to do it doesn't it? I will wait until after Christmas before I make any decisions.
Since I might not get the chance to post tomorrow I just want to take this opportunity to wish everyone; A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Thursday, December 22, 2005
Christmas Question #11
If you could spend one Christmas anywhere else in the world where would you chose? There are two places I would chose. The first is Iceland. I've heard that they celebrate Christmas in a big way there and would love to see it (at least I think it was Iceland). The second is Australia. It would feel strange but I would like to see Christmas celebrated somewhere hot.
I did some more work on CW. I haven't touched anything else in the last week or so. I am coming along with it pretty quickly and I think my end of January goal is now achievable. I'll have another update photo for you for tomorrow which will be the last one before Christmas probably. I am in two minds as to whether or not to join in Carols mirabelia SAL. It starts in January and there are a few mirabelia deigns I would like to stitch. But if I do I might find myself ignoring CW. I'll think about it over Christmas.
I am still reading away although I haven't posted any book reviews in a while. I'm still on the fairy tale theme. I have ordered a few books related to fairy tales which should arrive after Christmas (my Poirot books are arriving after Christmas too). My reading has been a little slow of late and have stayed up a few nights to try and catch up. Which is why I have been so tired of the last few days. I have some books on loan from friends which I want to get back to them. I'm also still reading the Chalet school books which I am still finding very addictive. If anyone knows of any school stories other than Chalet, Enid Blyton and Anne Digby I would love to hear of them.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Christmas Question #10 and CW
What is the strangest gift you received or gave? I have to admit that I haven't received that many strange ones. I did get a puppet from two different people two years in a row. I thought that was a little strange. They weren't made by the individuals and I don't collect puppets. They were just novelty things from the Gadget shop. Mind you I am a bit of a kid so I can sort of see where they got the idea from. I probably gave away a lot of strange gifts when I was little but nothing springs to mind.
I managed to do a little more work on CW. I finished the trim of her dress and have now made a start on the lettering. I am hoping that by the end of January I will have completely finished. That's my goal anyway. I think if I keep going with her I could probably manage it.
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Christmas Question #9
I am very tired today and I have next to no imagination left so I'm afraid it is going to be an easy question. What is your favourite Christmas song? I love "Walking in the Air". I have "The Snowman" on audio and love listening to it. "We All Stand Together" by Paul McCartney also reminds me of Christmas.
Lili, this is what CW is supposed to look like when finished. As you can see I still have quite a bit to go.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Christmas Question #8 & CW
Wow, just under a week of these left. Have you created any Christmas traditions with your own family and if so what is it? We have a few. I have tried to create a tradition of doing something on Christmas Eve but that always falls flat due to people working different hours. One tradition we have kept going is my mums birthday. Her birthday is on Christmas day. Before we exchange Christmas gifts my mum has her birthday. We all give her her birthday presents and wish her a happy birthday. I know a few people who has their birthdays that day too and it gets pushed aside because it is on Christmas day. So we try to make the day feel that little bit extra special. Plus we always get her a birthday cake despite all the mountains of food. Christmas would actually feel a little strange without it now.
I finished with the metallic gold on the swirls of CW dress. And I have made a start on the gold trim. If I keep this up I will definitely reach my goal of finishing the trim for Christmas. Finishing the metallic gold though really makes a difference. I like the way it looks (although it shines more brightly in real life than it does in the photo).
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Christmas Question #7
This question is slightly negative (don't worry Lili I won't ask the question you requested me not to). What is the one thing about Christmas you could live without? I can cope with most of the negative aspects of Christmas. The commercialism doesn't bother me too much as I tend not to notice it or ignore it. Also rushing around to buy Christmas presents at the last minute doesn't bother me too much as it's usually my own fault. The only thing that gets to me is others who take out their misery and frustration out on everyone else. I work in retail and you still get the exceptionally nice customers who are patient and wish you a merry Christmas as they leave the store. Then you get the ones at the other end of the spectrum who are having a bad day and feel that it is only fair to take it out on you or your staff. There seem to be more of them at this time of year than at any other and they are all ready to start shouting over the littlest things. I could live without that very easily. Still I don't let it get my Christmas down and the lovely customers do make up for it.
Speaking of Christmas shopping. I got most of mine done yesterday. This is very last minute for me but I left it late because I was away. I spent most of the rest of the day wrapping and then finishing writing out Christmas cards. I had a fun day and the two gifts I was worried about my family assured me that they people receiving them would love them. I just have a few bits and pieces to get and I can get them at work. Next year I will definitely start earlier just in case I have to be away again.
I had planned on doing some work on CW but I was exhausted after all the shopping and wrapping. I ended up just going for a hot bath and then to bed. Will do some over the next few days so hopefully there will be an update soon.
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Christmas Question #6
Friday, December 16, 2005
Christmas Question #5
What is your favourite Christmas memory? Feel free to give more than one answer to this one if you have one. I have a few but Zohrah mentioning caroling reminded me of this one. In the last few days of school before Christmas not much work really ever got done. There were always one or two teachers who pushed their classes to nearer the end of term than some of the others. Music class wasn't one of them. They were preparing for the school concert and exams so we were basically left to make our own entertainment. The only people left in the class at this point was myself and my group of friends. The rest of the class had started their Christmas holiday early. It's one of the reasons why we were left on our own, I don't think we would have been trusted if there were more of us. We were left in the school theatre where the concert was being held and it was all set up with a piano at the side. One of my friends played the piano and we were able to get her to play some popular songs that we began to sing along to. This room was right next to the gym and our PE teacher heard this and came through. We thought that we were going to be told to be quiet and behave. Instead she had our friend play Christmas Carols which we all sang along to. I remember how disappointed we all were when that hour was over and we had to move on to the next class. I have lots of favourite memories of family but this is my favourite involving my friends.
Thanks again to everyone for answering these questions. I have really been enjoying reading your answers. Also a big thanks to Lili who mentioned it on her blog. I would also like to thank you for your lovely comments on Noel. I hope that those of you who mentioned wanting to stitch it too do as it would be good to see what others come up with (again thanks Lili for the link to the chart).
Thursday, December 15, 2005
Christmas Question #4
Thanks again to everyone who has been answering my questions, I have really enjoyed reading your answers. Harry Potter definitely has a Christmas feel to it and I will have to read "A Box of Delights".
Everyone who has visited Lili's blog will recognise this. When I saw her stitching this freebie design I couldn't help but stitch it too. I stitched this in the same red as the little angels dresses. I also used metallic gold to brighten it up a bit and added a little stocking charm. I had wanted to use a Santa charm but all the ones I had were a little too big. I used sparkly white aida for the fabric. To be honest I prefer the colours Lili used but I decided to stitch this for my mum and her favourite Christmas colours are red and gold. I plan to attach this to a cushion as soon as I find one the right colour and size. I realise I could make one but I'm not that adventurous. Unfortunately the link to this free design doesn't seem to be working but I will post it anyway. http://silepointcompte.free.fr/.
I also did a little work on CW yesterday but not enough to give a progress pic.
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
Christmas Question #3
I'm sure everyone knows of Kim and her stitching husband. Well now her husband Greg has his own blog too.
Thanks Lili for answering my Christmas questions. :)
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Christmas Question #2
After asking a Christmas related question yesterday I thought that I would try and make this an on going thing until Christmas. So here is my next Christmas question. Which Christmas film do you watch without fail every year? Most people I know have a Christmas film that they have to watch and they don't feel that it is Christmas without it. For me it is "The Muppet Christmas Carol". It has become tradition for me to watch this several times in the few weeks leading up to Christmas. I can't imagine skipping it and I can't imagine becoming bored of it.
Ann, I got those angels from a cross stitch magazine a year or so ago. They are supposed to hold letters but I didn't leave enough space for it in the first one. The colours were also supposed to be pastel but I changed that too. Not sure what year or which magazine it was.
Monday, December 12, 2005
Back and still feeling festive
As you can see I did manage to do a little stitching while I was away. I was able to do some more of the gold in CW and have almost finished with the metallic gold in her dress. I had hoped to completely finish with it but sleep usually won over my stitching. With the run up to Christmas I hope to at least finish with her dress. Not sure how realistic that goal is since I have still to finish Christmas shopping and send out Christmas cards. I am looking forward to going round and seeing how everyone else has gotten on with her while I was away.
I also managed to finish the angel tree decorations for my gran. These are the last two. Unfortunately I didn't realise how little time I had left until Christmas when I came back so I haven't made enough for everyone. I certainly don't have enough time to make the ones I wanted for my nieces and be able to send them off. I've decided to hang on to them and use them next year. My mum will get hers but that's it. Same with Christmas cards. I haven't left enough time to finish them so everyone will get a bought one this year.
I was also able to finish the Christmas decoration that I got from Sew and so. I had intended on keeping this one for myself. However, I left behind the one I was making for my mum and I doubt I will get it finished on time. So I have given her this one. I will still give her the original decoration as it's a Santa and she collects santas. That's my stitching completely up to date.
Thanks to the festive season I am itching to stitch more decorations. I am thinking of buying some more in the new year. Those will be to make a start on my own collection. I am hoping to get my own place next year so I want some nice decorations to start with. My mum put up her tree yesterday and it was fun looking at all her decorations. She only has a small collection of non matching decorations. These are some handmade ones and then the ones we bring her back from other places. I have promised that I will add a few to them next year.
It actually got me thinking about Christmas characters and how everyone has a favourite. For my mum it is santas since she collects them. When I was little angels and fairies were my favourite. Now though it is snowmen. There are a lot of great cross stitch Christmas scenes out there but my favourites are always ones with snowmen. Also blues are my favourite Christmas colours whereas my mums are red. So here is a question; what is your favourite Christmas characters and colours? Which makes you feel the most festive?