Saturday, January 28, 2006

 

Won't be around a while

I'm going through a few things just now and so don't feel up to posting much. I will be back when I'm feeling better.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

 

UFO Happy Dance!

Sorry everyone. I'm still being good and sticking to my rota but thank you for all your encouragement. I really appreciated it.

Yesterday was UFO day which lead to another finish. Yep, the castle which has sat untouched for months is finally finished. I classed it as a UFO because I basically had to force myself to pick it up. It's amazing how much I have went off this chart. I'm sure I will grow to like it again but for the moment it will be stored away now that it is finished. Glad I did finish it though. It has been gnawing away at me at the back of my head. That is the last of my UFO's which are so close to finishing. I haven't decided what I am going to do next week. But whatever I chose it will take more than one UFO day to finish.

I can't remember where I saw mention of the bloggies but I know I have seen them mentioned a few times. Not sure how people get nominated. As for the craft ones. I remember Not Martha being advertised on a group. I think people liked it because she had instructions on how to make different things. It's not one I would go back to again and again. I prefer visiting everyone's cross stitch blogs. They feel friendlier. I remember reading that Wil Wheaton won a number of bloggies for his site. There seem to be a lot of blogs in the style of Heat Magazine. Lots of celebrity photo's and making fun of what they are wearing.

My inner geek is calling out for this. I was a huge fan of Seaquest. A talking dolphin and a teen idol what more could a girl ask for! I didn't care that even the sci fi fans in my family didn't like it. And now it is out on DVD. But only region one (sob!). I would have broken my promise to cut down on DVD spending for this one. I will just have to keep a look out and hope that it will eventually be released in the UK.

Plans for today. I am still going to work on Bugs. Tomorrow I will try to finish the Christmas Elf. I promise. Basically I am not working on Friday which means it won't matter if I stay up to finish her (which I no doubt will as I won't be able to put her down until I do).

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

 

Me In Fours

Jobs you’ve had

I have had a total of three jobs in my life and they have all been in retail

4 films you’d watch over and over

1. Lord of the Ring Trilogy
2. Star Wars
3. Miss Congeniality
4. Muppet Treasure Island

Four Places I Have Lived

I have lived in the same area all my life.

4 T.V. shows you love to watch

1. Doctor Who
2. Star Trek
3. Battlestar Galactica
4. Desperate Housewives

4 Places you’ve been on holiday

1. Spain
2. Belguim
3. Amsterdam
4. San Francisco


4 of your favourite foods

1. Pasta
2. mum's soup
3. chicken
4. fish

4 Places you’d rather be right now

1. Asleep in bed
2. San Francisco
3. Amsterdam
4. Somewhere warm

Four singers I Can’t Live Without

1. Guns n Roses
2. Aretha Franklin
3. David Bowie
4. Black Eyed Peas (this list constantly changes)

4 sites you visit daily

1. blogs
2. BBC
3. A few craft groups
4. Amazon

4 to tag
Anyone who wants to.

I got this from Angelsan

 

I Was Good!



Yep, I was a good girl and stuck to my rota (sorry Lili). Actually I had very good reason to. I start work early today (hence the early post) and new that if I worked on the charismatic elf fairy I wouldn't go to bed until she was finished. As it turns out I wasn't able to do that much as I was very tired. But you can see what I have done. My little snowman now looks like he really is part of a snowman. He has an eye and part of a nose. You can even see his smile thanks to the shades of blue. I am now working on his hat. I had hoped to get the blues in the hat finished but my tired brain wasn't cooperating. I thought it was better to give in before I started making mistakes.

Today is UFO day but I will surprise you with what I chose with a photo tomorrow. I can tell you that I am hoping for another happy dance although I'm not promising anything. And tomorrow I will be back to bugs.

Juul thanks for the link. I do visit Jenn's blog regularly and it was thanks to her that I decided to go ahead and buy the kit. Kathy, thanks for the help. I will give krenik a try. I'm just glad that I didn't try to split the thread.


If you are wanting to read blogs that are a little bit different try the bloggies. I only just found out yesterday that there was actually a blog awards. I found myself spending an hour look through the finalists yesterday. If you scroll down a bit you will see there is also a nomination for best craft blog. The only one of those I recognised was not martha.


Monday, January 23, 2006

 

Christmas Elf Fairy



Well, I didn't do any reading last night after all. Instead I plonked myself in front of the TV. It was only meant to be for five minute. But as soon as I picked up my stitching it was fatal. I managed to give the Christmas elf hair, hat, boots and the start of wings. I would have finished the tree too but I'm not sure about using the krennik. Anyone any suggestions? Basically the chart says to use one strand. The thread however, doesn't look as through it can be divided and it looks to be much too thick to fit on my needle as it is. I am half tempted to just use good old DMC metallic instead. I've really not got that much to go. And it is tempting to just continue on her and get her finished. At the same time I want to keep going with my rota as I am doing well with it. I have managed to keep it going for a few weeks now. Also I am considering finishing the book tonight that I had wanted to finish last night. I'll see what mood I am in when I get in from work.

San, I probably wouldn't mind stitching her again since I am doing it in different colours. I probably won't do it until the end of the year so that there is a big enough gap.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

 

Bugs


It doesn't look like I have done much but I am about half done with this shade of grey. The rounded part at the bottom will become bugs hand. I'm not sure if you can tell but he has his arm resting against something. To be honest it won't really look right until the filling in is done. A lot of that will be done on the next shade. As yet I'm not becoming bored with the colours. I am just enjoying watching the rest of him appear. That and I think that the other ones I am working on are colourful. I think that helps. Anyway, no more bugs until Wednesday. Today is Christmas Elf, tomorrow snowman and Tuesday a UFO.

Not sure just how much of Christmas Elf I will get stitched today as I really want to get some reading done. I am still contemplating the idea of stitching her again in blues. I can see what it would look like in my head and I am itching to give it a go. I found a UK website called Dreamcatcher which stocks the threads. They do a sample pack which I can use to work out what shades I want to use. I already have plans for the reds I have left. I might use it for a chart that will replace Christmas Elf. More on that when I get on to it.

Juul, thanks for your comment. I used one strand of whisper for the Christmas elf. You really don't need more than that thankfully as the one strand is difficult enough to thread.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

 

Two Updates & Battlestar Mini series

Not that much work done on her. I did manage to finish the skirt. And she now has hands and a face. A floating face but still a face. The floating part won't change until the very end when I make a start on the beads. I think they will be the first beads I attach though. If you want to see this finished take a look at Kathy's blog. She is planning on turning hers into a Christmas cushion which I think will look stunning. She is also correct about the threads left over. To me it looks like there will be plenty to stitch this over. I've never really came across this with a kit before. I normally run low in at least one thread. I am also tempted to try and stitch her in other colours. Can't help but think that she will look just as good in blues. A possible project for the future.






Yesterday I also did some work on the snowman stocking. I got the jumper done (well on the half of the chart I am working on). He now has the beginnings of a glove and the start of a face. There are lots of colour changes in this one but they are not at all annoying. I think because I have been working on designs where the colours in them are all very similar. So I am enjoying working on something with so many different colours. I've roughly got about half of this quarter of the chart finished. It's one of the smaller parts which is why it has been so quick.










While I was stitching away last night I watched the Battlestar Galactica mini series. I was wrong about a few things. It isn't set years after the original series. It involves a lot of the original characters but they have been changed quite a bit. The commander is more military like, there is resentment between Adama and his son Apollo, Starbuck and Boomer are female and Baltar is a computer genius. There are also a number of characters missing such as Athena, Cassiopeia and Serena. I really got into the storyline. It thought that the set up was well done. Occasionally the thought 'but it's not the same' would bubble up but it would quickly go away as I was sucked back in. I'm not surprised that it was a hit and that from this they have made a TV series. It has definitely been modernised to suit the times. More action and a lot more special affects. It is faster paced too. Definitely worth watching even if you are a diehard fan of the original.



Kim, sorry I forgot to answer your question. The Bugs design is a limited edition kit called Art Deco Bugs Bunny. I saw it not long after I first got into stitching that I saw it. But it proved impossible to get a hold of. It must have been released again because I saw it while browsing on Sew and So. That's when I decided to go ahead and get it.

Timewarden, your right. The episodes I haven't seen is "The Edge OF Destruction". I'm looking forward to seeing it. I probably won't try the other crime novels. I'm not really a crime fan to be honest. Poirot and Miss Marple are the only crime television series that I liked which is why I wanted to give them a go. My mum is a fan though and has read all of PD James and Ruth Rendell's novels.

Friday, January 20, 2006

 

Promised Book Reviews



"Haruki Murakami" by Jay Rubin

This isn't a biography but a book about Murakami's writing. It has some biographical details but they are all related to his books. It goes through just about all of the books that have been translated and published here. Describing possible influences and his ideas. It also explained why he describes a lot of Western culture in his books and how he was criticized for this by many Japanese authors and Japanese literary experts.

I saw a review for this book on Amazon. It wasn't great as the person who did the review was expecting a proper biography. From this I knew not to expect personal details of Murakami's life and so I wasn't disappointed. Far from it, I was fascinated! Every new chapter I wanted to read the book that was being described. Or if I had read that particular book I saw things that I didn't see when I initially read it. He mentions a lot of other authors which is lethal for anyone who loves books. My book list has now become considerably longer. Not only do I have a list of books by other Japanese authors I want to try. But I now have a list of American authors that I would like to try. I definitely recommend this to any Murakami fan. Even if you are like me and have only read a few of his books.

"Hercule Poirot's Christmas" by Agatha Christie

Poirot is staying with a friend for Christmas when a murder takes place in a large family house nearby. He agrees to help out but only as a help to the police, he doesn't want to offend them by taking over. At the family's urging though he finds himself staying at the large house and investigating the murder. The murder victim is the head of the family loved by only one son. An adventurous man in youth who is disappointed that none of his children have his zest for life. Everyone has a reason to kill him and time it seems but only one could have done it.

Yes, I finally got round to reading one! When I first picked up this book I was very disappointed by the way it was written. It seemed so simple and I couldn't see myself finishing it. That feeling didn't last long though and I was soon hooked trying to work out who the murderer could be. Of course I was completely wrong and didn't see it until Poirot himself explained it all. I can see why people get a kick out of these "Who did it" books. I have one more to read which turns out is short stories. I'm not sure if I would go out of my way to read more. Unless I want something really light. I might eventually try the Miss Marple stories though. Definitely for a crime fan who wants to read something a bit light.

I also read a book by Ryu Murakami, "Coin Locker Babies". I won't review it because I am not entirely sure what to thing of it. I did enjoy it but I think I would have difficulty explaining it.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

 

More Bugs



Well, Bugs may look sly but he will also look suave. I finished the shirt and bow tie. You can see the bow tie a little but I was right about it not really standing out. At least until I do the backstitch. The white at the side of his shirt looks a little like a hand but it's not. It is actually a flower and a handkerchief which will also stand out more with the backstitch. I have made a start on the jacket but it may take me a while to finish it. Lots of dark grays and blacks. It makes the rest of the design stand out so hopefully stitching it won't be too bad.

Thanks again everyone for your lovely comments on jewel of the orient. Zohrah, I promise I will go back to CBF this year. I'm not classing her as a UFO just yet. She will be replacing bugs when he is finished. As for my next UFO I really haven't decided yet. There are two that I am debating over. I've decided to wait until the day and see what I am in the mood to stitch.


I finished watching the original "Battlestar Galactica" and I felt the same sort of sadness I felt when I finished "Buck Rogers". I think that I enjoyed this even more though. I was hooked right from the start. I almost can't believe that it was cancelled. I would have liked to have seen how they would have continued with it. I know the made another series in the 80s and they actually arrived to Earth. However, it would have been good to see how they would have done it then. After the first few episodes I had no more memories of them. I did remember there being a female warrior named Sheba but that didn't surface until she actually made an appearance. I actually recognised the actress from an episode of Buck Rogers. Once done I was itching to make a start on the new series but it was a little too late to start it. I will probably begin to watch it tomorrow.

I've also since seen Firefly in a sale so I am very tempted to get that. More importantly however, is the release of the last series of Blake's 7 on DVD. It is due out on the 13th March. I'm really excited about that.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

 

Surprise Finish

I decided to copy Flosslady and set a day aside for UFOs. This design is called "Jewel of the Orient" and is from Dimensions Gold collection. I first bought this kit about five years ago with some birthday money I had received. I had not long taken up stitching so it was a bit of a challenge for me and my first large design. I did get it just about finished. There were a number of mistakes but they didn't make much of a difference so I just kept going with it. Near the end though I had made a mistake that threw me so it was put aside. I picked it up yesterday and within half an hour I had fixed the mistake and finished it off. As you can see it is now in badly need of an iron. I can't believe I left it so long to finish.

Thanks to everyone for all your comments on the snowman. The colours are very bright which is one of the things that got me to choose it. My nieces love their colours. I get to work on it again on Friday. Today I am going to work a little more on bugs and tomorrow it is the Christmas Elf.

For those of you who missed Lili she has made a post on her blog.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

 

Stocking Update

I managed to get quite a bit done on the stocking. You can now see more of the jumper and an earmuff. Or at least the start of one. It looks as though half has been cut off. The reason for this is that the chart comes in four sheets. And I have decided to work on one sheet at a time. So until I get onto the next sheet these poor snowmen are going to look like they have been cut in half.

I'm still working my way through the original Battlestar Galactica series while I am stitching. I am enjoying it more than I remembered enjoying it. I think it would still stand up if it was shown on television now. It will be interesting to see the difference between that and the new ones (which arrived a couple of days ago).

I'm still reading away. Expect some book reviews at the end of the week.

Bastet, I haven't stitched with those other threads I'm afraid. However, whisper wasnt really annoying to stitch with. More annoying to thread onto the needle. The needle size is small because the linen is 32 count. It the needle size was bigger I don't think that it would have been a problem.

Monday, January 16, 2006

 

Christmas Elf update

Well now that my CW marathon is over I brought out Christmas Elf Fairy again as promised. I managed to get quite a bit done. Although what I have been calling a dress I am now pretty sure is a coat. And the dress is the part at the bottom I am stitching just now. Anyway I finished the pinks in the 'coat' and also managed to do the white trim. For that I got to use a lovely white fluffy thread called whisper. Somehow I had it in my head that this was for her wings. So I had to double check the instructions when I read them yesterday. I am pretty sure I used this thread for CW. However, this time round I found the it difficult to thread onto the needle. Stitching with it was fine but threading was infuriating. If I was using a bigger needle it wouldn't be a problem (hence the lack of difficulty when used on CW). Instead I had to do my best and I now only need to use it for her hat when I get to it. I am now on to the bottom of her dress and will hopefully finish that the next time I pick her up. Tonight though I will be working on my snowman stocking (the second one). Not sure what I will be working on tomorrow but Wednesday will be back to bugs who is definitely up to something!

Sunday, January 15, 2006

 

Bugs Update

I did some work on Bugs as promised. I filled in his ears and eyes. Almost sorry I did the eyes. He looks kind of sly. I am sure that will change once I finish the design and do the backstitch. I have moved onto his body and I am working on his shirt and bow tie. I am not sure if they will show until the backstitch is done because they are all in the same colours. I am enjoying stitching him again. He isn't too difficult to stitch and the chart is easy to follow which makes all the difference. I want to work on him a little more but have put him aside for mid week so that other projects aren't being ignored.

Tonight I am working on Christmas elf. Feels a while since I have stitched her. I wanted to get CW done so everything else got ignored. Then tomorrow I will be working on the snowman stocking.

I just want to thank everyone for their lovely comments on Celtic Winter, I don't think that I have done that yet. I also want to thank everyone who has been commenting on her as I progressed. They were really encouraging.

Friday, January 13, 2006

 

Attempt At Cooking #2



And this one was a hit. I made Southern Fried Chicken. It was fairly easy to make. Also a lot quicker than the soup since there was no chopping involved. The only problem I had is that the breadcrumbs slid off in places once cooked. As you can see it is quite a large plate of chicken. I had a couple of pieces with my dinner. The rest of my family were all out for dinner. About an hour after they came back I went down stairs and the chicken was completely gone. They had scoffed the lot. So it must have been good. This will definitely be one to make again. Although not exactly the healthiest of choices. There was nothing in the recipe that surpised me so I didn't learn anything other than the recipe itself.

This is a little reminder of how much I had stitched on Bugs as he is replacing CW. I will be doing a little work on him tonight. Actually he has went AWOL. He is not with his threads and chart so I am not sure where he has went to. It means an all out hunt. I have a fair idea of where he might be. My first job will be to put in those eyes. He looks possessed without them. I actually didn't realise how much I had done. I knew I had done his cheeks but and possibly some of his face. I didn't realise that all I had to do was the eyes and inner ears before moving on to the body. I'm looking forward in going back to him.


I have been buying lots of DVD's lately which will slow down. One of which was the latest Doctor Who to be released, "City of Death". Here we find the Doctor and Romana in Paris enjoying a holiday when someone starts messing about with time. For once they decide to ignore it as they are on holiday. However, events seem to seek them out and they have no choice but to investigate.

This again is one my parents owned on Video but I never watched the whole way through. At the time I thought it was a little boring and would rather watch one of Tom Bakers other stories. Now though I enjoyed it as I watched it all the way through. Only then did I realise that I had seen all but the last ten minutes. I think that part of the reason I didn't enjoy it is that a lot of the techno babble went right over my head. The next Doctor Who stories to be released is a box set of the first three. I'm looking forward to that as there is one on it that I haven't seen before.

I also finished watching Buck Rogers. There was something really sad about watching that last episode. I could easily have picked up the next series and started playing them. I did find myself surprised about how much I did remember. I seem to remember most episodes. The ones that I couldn't remember the whole story line too were familiar. There were also a lot of actors in there that I found familiar but I couldn't place any of them. Except for Jerry Orbach that is. He played a villain who tried to take over the world using subliminal messages passed on through music. It was hard to see him as the bad guy when I know him from "Dirty Dancing" and "Law and Order". You would think that I would be feeling all sci fi'd out but no. I spent my bonus from work on more DVD's. I bought the original Battlestar Galactica in the sale and have made a start on it. I also ordered the second Buck Rogers and the new Battlestar Galactica. The bonus is all gone so the DVD's will definitely slow down. No more boxsets for quite a while.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

 

First Finish of 2006



All the beadwork is done and Celtic Winter is now finished. I am not sure exactly how long I have been working on her but my rough guess would be six months. I was only going to work on the beads a little last night. I thought I would do one side of the border then go onto something else. When that was done I thought okay I'll do the top of the border and then go to bed and read. By that point of course I decided to just keep going. I couldn't even leave the outline of her face until the morning. The result is that I am tired but happy. I have really enjoyed working on her despite being a little bored with the colours at the start. I feel almost sad that she is finished. Bugs Bunny is next as my boyfriend has been asking about it. He's actually taken an interest!

Earlier in the day I also made this birthday card for a friend. The stamp was free with a papercraft magazine. I had bought those little jewel flowers and diamontes and wanted to use them. I used a brad to attach the flower in the centre. To be honest I am not sure if I like it and so might not use it. What I had in mind originally was to use a photo and make a scrap book page using these things. However, I didn't have a good photo of my friend and no way to get one without her being suspicious. So I made this instead. I might leave the scrapbook page idea for my sister or my mum.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

 

Finished border


This is just a quick update. I got my speedy needle out and finished stitching the outline of the border. I was originally just going to go to bed after that. But of course I had to at least make a start on beads. Just to get me going! Next thing I knew I had finished the beads in her hair, neck, dress and muff. Now all I need to do is the beads in the border. There is more of that to do so it will take me a little longer.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

 

Some craft updates


I'm afraid I haven't done that much. I had a night out and I have been to tired when I get home from work so spend it reading. Then there was my day of cooking. However, I'll show you what I have done. This is the start of the snowman stocking, the new one. It's the shoulder and part of the sweater of one snowman. This shows you how tired I have been. I was stitching away and then I got onto the second shade of purple. As I was stitching I wondered why the snowman was purple. I understood it for some of the outline because purple has been known to be used for shading in snow. Then I realised that the snowman was wearing a jumper and the jumper is purple. I also almost unpicked half of my stitching for a mistake that wasn't there.

I am not going to get CW finished this week as I thought I would. The border itself is taking me a little longer than I thought I would. That and I have been too tired to do much. Thankfully, I can't make many mistakes with just stitching a straight line. I'm not too disappointed that the finish is delayed. There is something therapeutic about stitching the outline of the border. Also it is amazing the difference it is making. I was a little bored with the whites and grays in the skirt but haven't been since finishing with that. I look forward to seeing how much a difference adding the beads will make. My new goal is to have her finished by the end of next week. I plan on working on her tonight and am hoping that the outline will be completely finished.






I also haven't done much to the Christmas Elf fairy. I did finish with the blended threads. I am still loving those colours. And now that I have finished working with the blended threads it doesn't look so strange. I think I will work on her head before I got on to the trim of her skirt. She looks a little creepy headless. In fact I might do that before I do anything else. Mind you some of the neckline has beads. Since I always leave them until last she might look creepier with a floating head.




Thank you everyone for the lovely comments on my poor attempt at cooking. I promise I didn't have to force my sister to be my first cooking. She wanted to try it. And she didn't like it for the same reason that I didn't, she doesn't like cabbage. I didn't find the making of it that difficult just time consuming. It involved lots of chopping. The rest of the recipe was fairly simple. I am definitely not going to make this one again. But if I see another minestrone recipe without cabbage I might just give it a go.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

 

Attempt at Cooking #1

I realise that this looks like some sort of pasta dish. In reality it is supposed to be minestrone soup! The problem was my reading. I poured in 250g of pasta. The recipe asked for 25g. I really don't know where I got 250g from. So lesson number one, learn to read the instructions properly. I was so careful with everything else though! I double checked it all. I didn't even like the taste to be honest with you. It was the cabbage. It asked for a lot of cabbage and I'm not a fan of it (this I did check a number of times). Not sure if I will make it again. I do know that there are lots of different ways to make minestrone so I will just have to search for one that I like. I did learn a few things from this experience though.

First of all I learned to make stock (I made vegetable stock as my sister is vegetarian and she was my first victim). I knew that my mum had made stock in the past. I remember the remains of Christmas dinner being boiled away to make stock (this was during my sisters pre-vegetarian days). What I didn't realise is that you add stock to soup every time you make it. It gives soup its flavour. Thankfully I didn't learn this the hard way. I also learned that people aren't lying when they say that chopping onions make you cry. My eyes were streaming about half way through. Lastly I learned what tomato passata was. I hunted all over the supermarket for this as I had no idea what it was and I was to embarrassed to ask. In the end I thought it must be tomato puree. But when I walked a little further up that same isle I found it. It's sieved tomatoes. Why can't they just say that? I guess I am going to find that a lot in cooking.

So my first attempt was a bit of a disaster! It hasn't put me off though! I already have plans for the next one.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

 

Reading, Reading, Reading

That's all I have been doing the last few days. When I get in from work I have been too tired to do anything else. And it's nice snuggling up with a book. Because of this I have a number of books finished.

"Star Trek Titan: Red King" by Andy Mangels and Michael A Martin.

At the end of Titans last adventure the ship was transported through a spacial anomaly to another part of the universe. There they find that a missing Romulan fleet has been taken over by an intelligence called the Sleeper. The local inhabitants the neyel turn out to be human settlers who believe that the sleeper is a God who will wake up and devour their worlds. Riker promises to help bring back the Romulan fleet and then save the neyel from destruction.

I am enjoying these Titan adventures. It's interesting seeing one or two well known characters with a crew of unknowns. An easy read but I think they could be enjoyed by a lot of Star Trek fans. I know that a lot of fans hoped that a new series would begin involving Rikers new ship.

"The Serpent's Shadow" by Mercedes lackey

Maya fights all sorts of prejudices to be allowed to practice medicine in Victorian London. Not only is she a woman but she is half Indian. Non of these things stop her and eventually she builds up a trusted client base. It helps that she has magical talent which allows her to give cures to the incurable. It also helps to protect her from an evil she ran away from in India. However, that evil has followed her and she needs more than her seven pets to protect her.

This is one of the fairy tale based stories and this one is based on Snow white. I must be slow but I didn't see this until very late in the book. Not until an old woman sold her some apples. It was then I realised who her seven pets were meant to be. Again I found this to be a little slow in places in the middle. But it didn't last long and I soon raced through the end. A little better than "Fire Rose".

"The Gates of Sleep" by Mercedes Lackey.

Little Marina is in hiding but doesn't actually know it. All she knows is that her parents sent her away to live with her aunt and two uncles. She is well loved and is learning to use her water magic. Her aunt and uncles though are only two aware of the danger she is in and must protect her until her eighteenth birthday. Then she will be free of the evil curse and can go back to her parents. With the death of her parents Marina is forced away from her guardians and has to live with her aunt Arachne and cousin Reginald. She feels great unease in their presence and hides her magic abilities without knowing why. She acts the part of a proper niece while trying to discover what exactly her aunt is up to.

This one is based on Sleeping beauty and is the best of the three. I wasn't bored with it at any point. An easy read but a good one. And unlike the last one I could see straight away which fairy tale it was based on. It starts with the Christening of Marina which gives it away. Definitely one to read if you are a fan of stories involving magic.

"Does Anything Eat Wasps" by the New Scientist.

This is a compilation of questions and answers written by the readers of the "New Scientist". There are questions on just about every subject you can think of and each one has an answer (and a few have a number of answers). A fun read and you don't have to read it all, just the ones that interest you. Some of the answers might even turn out to surprise you. I never expected the answer to the title question to include badgers and bears! I think most people might get something out of this book.


 
You scored as Remus Lupin. You are a wise and caring wizard and a good, loyal friend to boot. However sometimes in an effort to be liked by others you can let things slide by, which ordinarily you would protest about.

Remus Lupin

75%

Ron Weasley

70%

Severus Snape

65%

Albus Dumbledore

65%

Hermione Granger

60%

Harry Potter

50%

Ginny Weasley

50%

Sirius Black

40%

Draco Malfoy

35%

Lord Voldemort

0%


Your Harry Potter Alter Ego Is...?

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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

 

CW, CE and a New Years Resolution.



I bet my goal for this week. The patterns within the borders are now finished (other than the beading). I have now made a start on enclosing the border. This is going to take a little longer than I thought. I have to enclose the whole border with backstitch (you can see I have made a start on it) and then do the same thing with a line of cross stitch. I think that I will have this finished by the end of the week. Then all I have to do next week is concentrate on the beading. I am now just itching to get her finished. I did have a panic there for a while. I was running very low in one of the shades of blue and didn't think that I would make it. I could replace it but it would mean going into town as I collect anchor and not DMC. Thankfully I just had enough. I have even more cause to celebrate as I have finished with the metallic gold. It has to be one of the most infuriating threads to stitch with. Still, I like the effect it has.


I also did a little work on The Christmas Elf Fairy. It looks a little darker to me than what it does in the picture. I am sure once it is finished though it will look fine. It felt strange stitching the third shade of the dress. This involved two different threads. I've done this quite a bit before. In this case though one shade was a dark pink and the other a bright pink. It almost felt wrong to stitch them both together. I like the effect though.

I didn't make any new years resolutions last year since I really never keep them. This year I have made one. I thought that since it is the new year that I would like to try out a new craft. I couldn't think of any though. I looked through some craft books and could find nothing that caught my eye. I then thought of cooking. I can't cook! The number of things I can make I can count on one hand. So this year I am going to learn to cook. I have bought my first cookbook and on my days off I am going to try it out. I am actually looking forward to it. Will let you all know how I get on!


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

 

2005 - 2006

It sounds like 2005 was a good year for most people and it wasn't any different for me. So many good things took place this year that I really can't think of anything bad. I just hope that 2006 turns out to be just as good.

* First of all this was a good year for work. The promotion I received at the end of the year before came into affect this year. It has proved to be challenging and I got to try out lots of different things. It has been all good!

* This was my third year of blogging and for the first time I started receiving comments from a great group of people. I now have a huge list of blogs to visit and people I keep in touch with through them. It has been lots of fun.

* Stitching wise it hasn't been my best year. My stitching took a bit of a slump as did most of my crafts. It wasn't until near the end of the year that it picked up again. I now have more WIP than I have ever had when I first took up stitching. I did make lots of stitching friends and signed up for SAL. Also got to stitch CW which is almost finished. I learned to do embroidery (well two different stitches from embroidery). My attempt at crochet though went horribly wrong).

* I have rediscovered my childhood through reading old school books. I'm still enjoying them!. This was also the year for the latest Harry Potter. Other authors I enjoyed for the first time this year were Amy Tan, Mercedes Lackey, Angela Carter, Gregory Maguire, Banana Yoshimoto and a great number of others. My favourite book of 2005 is probably "The Time traveler's Wife". I also developed an interest in fairy tales and books based on fairy tales.

* Sci Fi wise this past year was great. Saw the return of Doctor Who which was a huge hit with old fans and developed a new fan base. I really can't wait to see more! I also got to see series two and three of Blakes seven. Most of which I had never seen before! Mind you it did see the end of Enterprise but I only got to see the first two series.

I am sure there are so many more things that I could list but for the life of me I can't think of anything else.

In 2006 I hope that all these things continue. One thing I do hope is that my stitching slump of last year isn't repeated. I have quite a few projects set out for next year. I also want to pick up some of my other crafts again which seem to have slid.

Monday, January 02, 2006

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR

Happy New Year everyone! I wish everyone all the best for 2006 and hope that it proves to be a better year than 2005. I spent new year watching DVD's and stitching. It probably seems a little boring to a lot of people but I liked it. I hope everyone else had a good new year and I look forward to hearing how it was spent.

I decided to take Lili's advice in regards to the snowman stocking. I was already stitching with three threads so I have packed it away and I am going to send it out to someone who will want it. The cross stitch magazines are always advertising for unwanted kits needed for charity. I will just send it out to one of those. I am sure someone else will enjoy stitching it. Lili is right, there is no point in forcing myself to stitch something I'm really not enjoying. It has almost put me off stitching stockings. However, I will order another one. This time I will be more careful in what I chose. I've already had a look through. Most have the designs printed on but there are a lot of them using aida and the design area is completely covered. I'll just chose one of those.

I was able to do a little work on CW. I did a little bit more of the border and I don't have much more to go. I think that I will have finished with the squares by the end of the week and then I can make a start on closing off the border. After that I just have the beads to do. I am probably being to optimistic but I think she will be finished by the end of next week. It all depends on how long it takes me to do the beads. I don't remember it taking me too long when I was stitching Celtic Christmas. But then I think I did the beads as I was doing the border since that is where the majority of them go.
I am still enjoying stitching her but I really am looking forward to finishing. I have spent longer on this than I did Celtic Christmas.





I have made a start on Christmas Elf which is another stitch along. This is the design I am stitching for Carols mirabilia SAL. I am loving the colours already. Probably because they are so rich compared to that of CW. So far the stitching has been relatively easy. I did make one stupid mistake. I had to unpick a little at the end because when I stitching on a new thread I accidentally picked up a different colour. It was easily fixed and I am glad I noticed quickly enough. It was my own fault. I always insist on continuing stitching even when I am tired. And that's when I start making stupid mistakes. I start with another colour next which I am looking forward to.

For those of you who are interested you will find Carols SAL group here.

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