Saturday, February 25, 2006
I'm In Love!
But sadly he is married. I heard an interview with Jack Johnson a few days ago. From what I heard of him his personality actually fits his music. That's not something I usually notice but in this case it wasn't difficult. He comes across as very laid back and mellow. Happy with his achievements but doesn't seem to make a big deal out of them. I love this album and have it playing all the time just now. It's good if you just want to relax. I highly recommend it.
While listening to "In Between Dreams" I also managed to get quite a bit done on the snowman stocking. After I finished with gramps scarf I had to make a start on finishing grandson1's face. I guess I have a thing for oddly shaped faces just now. I think it will look a lot better once his jumper is finished. I then went onto the outline of gramps upper body. Beneath that is where we will find grandson2 but we won't see him for a while yet. Today I get to work on bugs. Not sure how much I will get done as I have a few other things that I want to do too.
Friday, February 24, 2006
|Your Eyes Should Be Brown|
Your eyes reflect: Depth and wisdom
What's hidden behind your eyes: A tender heart
No Need to Panic
I didn't bleach the fabric again. You can see here how faint the markings are. I am just hoping that it will stand out more once the stitching is finished. In my defense though I was using a weak bleach (which explains why the stain is so faint) and the instructions recommend that you keep going until it is as light as you want it. I have stitched one of the fairies arms. In the picture on the chart this is supposed to be pale pink but it looks more coral to me. The chart looks a little daunting, more so than the Celtic ladies. So I have decided to complete small sections at a time to make it easier. That's why I have finished her arm and have even used the krenik thread for that section (normally I would leave something like that to the end). There are beads in this design too which I am going to leave until last like I normally do. I am enjoying working on this already as it fits in with my fairy tale obsession.
I managed to completely finish this little wizards face. It looks like his face is at a horrible angle but it will make more sense once it is finished. I managed to get quite a bit of his hat done too. He has such a sweet little face that it is hard not to want to keep going with him. I have another teddy bear UFO which I think I will work on after the wizard is finished.
I also managed to do some work on Bugs. I got one hand done and a good start on the other. You can at least see the shape of it. I am working on him again tomorrow. I hope to get the rest of his hand done and then make a good start on his cain. I think either Bugs or the wizard will be my next finish. Although that is a while away yet.
Today I get to work on the snowman. I think you are right bastet. I think snowman two is grampy. I think that's what I will call him from now on.
I am glad everyone liked those book reviews. I am very much in a fantasy mood and have a few more reviews to do soon. I'm afraid I haven't read any books by Maggie O'Farrel, Ali, but I have seen them in the shops. I will make a point of trying them soon.
Lili, I have read the first two Artemis Fowl books too and think they are fantastic. Your right, they are quick reads but adults get something out of them too. I know a number of people who have enjoyed them and they are all in their late twenties, early thirties. Kids books are definitely not just for kids.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
I just want to thank everyone for their comments on the dragon bookmark. I really appreciated it. I think if it wasn't for all your support I probably wouldn't have though twice about not finishing it. I am now glad that I did. Also thanks for the luck on bleaching my fabric. It went okay. It's not as bright as I expected and I am tempted to go over it again. My sister on the other hand has recommended that I don't. She thinks that it looks good as it is, subtle was how she described it, and I might ruin it if I try to get it brighter. She could be right but I will see how I feel when I begin stitching tomorrow.
I didn't get much done on the snowman stocking. I managed to finish snowman 2's face and moved onto the rest of the scarf. Those eyes make him look older than the other one. I think he is looking out for the two little snowman. Today is UFO day and I will be back to working on Wizard potion.
"Labyrinth" by Kate Mosse
Alice is on a dig while taking a break from all the stress of her real job. On her last day she discovers a cave with two ancient bodies lying next to an altar and with a carving of a labyrinth on the wall. This one discovery brings great danger to Alice. Her very movements are being followed, her friend has went missing and her hotel room has been searched. Alice is determined to find out what is going on and so begins researching this labyrinth. Meanwhile she is being haunted by memories of a young woman from the 12th century, Alais. Alais is a newlywed who is devoted to her father. She is asked to help her father to a hide a secret that some people will do anything they can to get their hands on. Alice soon discovers these memories could be the key to everything that has been going on since she discovered that cave.
In the end it just felt like a crime book. A bunch of people after eternal youth who kill to get it. It was well described and a lot of research was put into it. The story itself though was a little dull and the ending very disappointing after such a build up. It was still an enjoyable read. But I felt it was a little to long for the type of book it turned out to be and it did have promise in the beginning. I haven't read the Da Vinci Code but I imagine that if you liked that you might like this.
"Legend" by David Gemmell.
The Drenai are about to be invaded once more by the Nadir. This time though the Nadir are likely to win. The Nadir tribes have been united by Ulrich, head of the wolfs clan and now he is determined to take over the rest of the world. Dros Delnoch, a hold on Drenai land is the first place they plan to hit. The Earl of the Bronze has been told to hold Dros Delnoch for as long as he can. He knows the task is impossible even with the return of Druss, the famous warrior who has fought armies single handedly.
A quick easy read and I enjoyed it. The entire novel is set towards one big battle at the end which everyone believes they cannot win. The characters are likeable and the plot is simple and easy to follow. Great for any fantasy fans who want something quick and untaxing to read.
This is Gemmell's second book again based in the land of the Drenai. This one is set 100 years after "Legend". This time the Drenai are already conquered and by one of their own people. Tenaka Khan, half Nadir half Drenai, is the peoples only hope against this tyrant. A descendant of both Ulric and The Earl of Bronze how can he fail? However, the odds are not on his side. He is hated by both Nadir and Drenai and his army are made up of the remains of a once elite force and some mountain people. They also have to face the joinings. Half man, half beast creations who have been used to hold the people through fear.
Another quick and easy read. This is the second book and I am already seeing a pattern. Battles that are next to impossible to win but must be fought. A little more interesting than the first as Tenaka has to fight over the ancestry of both sides. However, it doesn't have Druss who was a stronger character
"Priestess of the White" by Trudi Canavan
Auraya has just been appointed as the last of the White. The White are a group of five from the priesthood who have been chosen to be the voice of the Gods. The Gods have decided that their world should be united and so Auraya's first tasks as a member of the white is to help with negotiations. She takes on her old teacher Leiard of the Dreamweavers to help her through these talks. Meanwhile the land is being attacked by strange sorcerers who claim that their Gods are the true Gods. Now more than ever these negotiations are important as they prepare for battle against a force possibly stronger than their own.
I really enjoyed Canavan's last trilogy and so bought this book as soon as it came out. It is more detailed than the last one. And has a wider range of characters and plotlines. However, there is something missing which makes it not quite as good as the others. Still enjoyable though and if it is your first book by Canavan you won't be disappointed.
Monday, February 20, 2006
I FINISHED!!!!! You have no idea what a relief it is to have finished this one. I don't know how many times I almost gave up on it. I loved the colours and I loved the design. However those tiny stitches dotted all over the place were a nuisance. And they didn't make the back stitch any easier. I would love to say that I will carry out my plans of stitching this in blue. I severely doubt I will. Not any time soon anyway. I am pleased with the way he looks now he is finished. So maybe he was worth it. I just need to get some iron on fabric for the back and then he is ready to use.
Now off the bleach my fabric and then some stitching on the snowman.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
This might be good news for Firefly fans. The DVD is still to be released here in the UK (27th Feb) . I am hoping that it will do well here, enough to allow it to return anyway. Just now I am watching Babylon 5 again. I love that show. First season is so cheesy but good cheesy. I have also been reading up on some of the episodes of BSG coming up in the US. So jealous! It sounds as if the second series is surpassing the first! Next I am going to go through the Doctor Who box set in time for the new series starting.
These next few images are for Lili who wanted to see some more of my crafts journal.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Bugs and Dragon
I didn't get as much done on Bugs as I had hoped. I did finish his jacket and I really like the way it looks now it is finished. I had hoped to get a really good start on his gloves too. However, because of work I only managed to get a little start to one. I am now itching to see him finished although I know it will take some time. The border is quite large and then most of the background is shaded in using half stitches. He is fun to stitch but I can't wait to see the end result.
I was able to get more done on the dragon bookmark. I persevered with it and managed to get it all the stitching done. All I need to worry about now is the backstitch. You can't really see but I have made a start. I have done the outside of the border and I am now working my way roung the inside. Not long now until a happy dance. I would finish it off just now but the snowman is calling. Plus I need to prepare the fabric of the dragons replacement before I can make a start on it. I am going to be doing Firefly Fairies by lavender and Lace. The centre of the fabric is supposed to be a splash of light colour (to give the impression of magic once the fairies have finished). I didn't think that I would have to do this but I do. I am going to have to bleach the fabric. I'll be doing that tomorrow so wish me luck.
There was no UFO day this week. I was far too tired and then I had a friend over. We don't get to see that much of each other even though she doesn't live that far away. It's just the way our shifts work. It's always good to see her again though and always good to have a chat.
Lili, I am glad you liked the scrapbook images and the project that it showed. If you like I can post a picture of the first page of that project. Yes, the snowman is a Janlyn design.
I have been reading away too and there will be some book reviews soon.
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
I was able to finish the rest of snowman twos hat and did the outline of his face. His eyes make him look a little sad. That will change once the back stitch is done. He actually has laughter lines. And he has a little grin like snowman one. You just can't see it yet. Hopefully you will the next time I update. There is actually very little back stitch to this design. Another reason for me to love it. I will feel a little sad once it is done. Mind you that is a long way off yet.
I received my materials pack for the Firefly Fairies. It has been sitting there a while now and every time I see it I am dying to open it up and make a start. I'll be good though. I'll wait until one of these large projects are finished.
Bastet, please don't let my complaints put you off stitching the bookmark. Those little stitches are a nuisance but the design is lovely. It will definitely be worth finishing.
Well I finished watching "Firefly" and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am very tempted to go back to the beginning and start all over again. Those things that I wasn't sure of at the start became some of the very things that I liked about it. And my opinion on the characters soon changed. There was also a lot of funny moments in there. Usually involving tough guy Jayne. At the end I was left wanting more. I really can't believe that Fox didn't want to continue with the show. I just hope that someone else does. For a change I watched all the extras and Joss Whedon obviously has so many more ideas for the show. I think he knows exactly the direction he wanted it to take. There are lots of unanswered questions that I would have liked to have seen through. My imagination can probably take care of some of it but it would be nice to know what Whedon intended. I am really looking forward to seeing "Serenity" now.
Monday, February 13, 2006
I am nearing an end with my stitching nightmare. I would ignore the rest of my rota just to get this done but the rest of my rota keeps me sane. I don't think I would mind those tiny stitches so much if they were all together and weren't in so many different shades of red. He is getting there though and I am sure I will like him better when he is finished. It is a little disappointing as I had hoped to stitch this one again. I doubt I have the patience to do that though. I am hoping that I will finish with the cross stitch the next time I work on it. Then all I will have left to do is the backstitch. I didn't think that I would ever look forward to backstitch. I think that if I didn't like the finished result so much I would have given up long ago.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Craft Journal and Some Up Dates.
A few days ago I asked if anyone kept a craft journal like myself. Lili really took to the idea and has asked to see others if they have them. So here is a photo of two of my pages. This one is about a journal I made. It has an example of the paper I used as well as photo's and diagrams. This is quite a long one as it was a large project (for me anyway). Most take up only one page. The reason I started this craft journal is that I keep a normal journal. I do write about projects I am working on and finishes as well as other things. It was while doing that I came up with the idea of having a separate one for finishes so that I could be more detailed.
I have finished one quarter of the chart. I am now going to move onto the next sheet so that we can finally see the rest of these snowmen. There is a third snowman in this chart but I think it is another quarter again before we come across him. Thank you for all your lovely comments on this. I think the reason for the little snowman looking so sweet is that smile. It looks cheeky but cute at the same time. And you're right bastet, it does look like he is peeking out from behind something. I really am looking forward to stitching the next part. I am loving all these colours and I can't wait to see the snowmens characters begin to show.
I am also really pleased with the way bugs is looking. He is looking dapper. He is even holding a cane (which I am sure you will see soon). Just a pity there isn't a top hat somewhere in the design. Or maybe that would be taking it too far, lol. I think that will have the jacket finished on my next day for working on him and have a good start made on his gloves. There is still quite a bit to go as a huge part of the design is the border and then there is all the shading and backstitch to do. I am enjoying seeing him develop despite the lack of colours. Just stitch, the kit is called Art Deco Bugs and is a limited edition by Designer Stitches.
Today I get to work on my dragon bookmark and tomorrow it is back to the snowmen. Would so much rather be working on the snowmen now but never mind. If you go to Jenn's blog she has posted a link to the Easter fairy. Looking forward to getting hold of my own.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Bugs and Bookmark
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Another Complete UFO
I know I said that the rest of my UFO's would take time to finish but this one was just as much a surprise to me. Last week I was doing a little tidying. I went through a folder of some charts I had planned on working on soon. In one of the polly pockets I found this little guy just about finished. He has been left this way so long that I really have no memory of stitching him. I do know that it must have been at some point last year but I don't even remember why I left him unfinished. There wasn't much left to do except a little backstitch. I know the backstitch is annoying but there was so little left to do that I don't think that I would have left him for that reason. I do remember he is for a friend who is a huge Tatty Ted fan. At least that is one card finished on time for next Christmas. He doesn't quite follow my Christmas tree theme but I am sure that I can add some embellishments to the bottom of the card.
Since I finished Tatty so quickly I decided to fish out another UFO. Working on Tatty gave me the taste for working on bears so I looked out Wizard Potions by DMC. I bought this one and it's matching partner a few years ago. I had originally made a start on him the same day I bought it while over at a friends house. He was then put aside and I never picked him up again although I always meant to. The only part I had stitched until yesterday was the red and green of his cape and the stripe of green which is actually the potion from his cauldron. The face I did yesterday. As you can see I won't be so quick in finishing him as I have been with my other UFO's.
Thank you Kim for encouraging me to keep going with Firefly. You are right that it does get better. I thought what you said about mixing US and Chinese culture was interesting. Maybe the whole wild west theme is to make it obvious that the US is the other half of the culture. But you could also be right about things from the past becoming popular again. I think I like that idea more. It explains why it seems a little mixed. The dancing in one episode is from a different era although the dress reminded me of Gone With the Wind. I am also starting to like this mix of characters.
San, I miss the Sunday reruns because of work. I have to rely on others taping them for me and honestly they are worse than I am at remembering. When they do remember they usually tape the wrong channel. Desperate House Wives on a Wednesday is the first thing in a long time that I have remembered to watch. I didn't used to be this bad honest. When I was a teen I used to watch TV all the time like all normal teens. I think that because of working shifts in work I got out of the habit.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Until yesterday it had been over a week since I stitched on him. Looking at his little face I feel a little guilty about leaving him behind. I surprised myself with how much I managed to get done. I finished off the blue trim of his hat and then stitched the rest of it. I even managed to make a start on the next snowman. The red at the top belongs to the second snowman. I think that by the end of next week I will have finished with this part of the chart. Which is probably just as well as snowman number two won't look like a snowman until I move onto the next part. I am finding this so easy to stitch despite all the colour changes. I really want to just continue with him. However today is UFO day which I have promised myself that I will stick to. And then poor bugs will be wanting some attention.
Kim, another good thing about DVD's is that you don't have to wait a week to find out what happens next. If I love something I have a habit of watching them over and over again which makes DVD's worth while. The only problem is that they can be expensive. I try to wait until I see them on sale. Although when it comes to a few I can't always wait.
Speaking of DVD's I am currently watching "Firefly". The reason I took the chance on getting this one is that I had heard nothing but good things about it. Everywhere I went people raved over it. After watching a couple of episodes I am not sure if I like it. It's the whole wild west theme that is putting me off. And I am finding that the characters aren't really that likeable. I am hoping that I just need to give it a chance. Also once seeing the film Serenity (which is out on DVD at the end of the month) it might help. If anyone else has opinions on this series I would love to hear them.
Monday, February 06, 2006
I told you that it isn't that exciting. This is the beginnings of a dragon bookmark. As I mentioned before I fell in love with this design as soon as I saw it. I didn't expect it to be so difficult though. The chart is a little hard to follow and have already had to do unpicking to fix one or two mistakes. Also As well as the normal two over two stitching when it comes to linen. There is also smaller stitches amongst it (over one rather than the two). Because of this it is taking me a little longer than normal. I am sure it will look fine once it is finished but for the moment it just looks plain weird. Sorry Lili, I didn't mean to tease you, lol. Today I will be back to the snowman stocking.
Kim, I watched the first episode of Lost but that is about it. And we do have invasion but I missed that too. My problem is that I am bad at watching TV. I have a terrible memory for remembering when these things are on. I usually remember the next day. I don't watch much TV which is probably why. This is why I usually end up buying the DVD's.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Some Book Reviews.
Britain is at war with Napoleon and the British nave are doing their best in the fight. Including Lawrence, a young naval Captain who has made a great start to a bright career in service. That is until they attack a ship which turns out to be carrying a dragon egg. Good for Britain but not good for Lawrence who's career with Navy is at an end when the dragon insists on choosing him. So now Lawrence must join the British Airforce and learn to look after his dragon. A duty which he does not want but which he learns to enjoy and appreciate.
I have heard nothing but good things about this book in all the sci fi magazines. And the book has everything that I would normally like, a dragon and alternate history. I just didn't enjoy it though. I found it dull from the start and it didn't seem to improve as I continued. The characters were difficult to like and the only bright spot in the whole book was Temeraire, the dragon. The dragon relationship in this book has a lot in common with Anne McCaffrey's Pern books so I can see a lot of people enjoying it.
"The Adventure of the Christmas Pudding" Agatha Christie
Unexpectedly this is a book of short stories. Unexpected because I didn't read the blurb when I bought it. Poirot basically solves a number of murder mysteries. There is one where Miss Marple is the star of the show (I wonder if there is a book where Poirot and Miss Marple work together). The stories were shorter and so simpler again. I found them a lot of fun to read and I was actually able to guess correctly in a few of them. There was even one story where there was no murder. A good introduction into the world of Poirot or an easy read. Either of them are good reasons to pick this one up.
"The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas" John Boyne
Nine year old Bruno comes home from school one day to find that his things are being packed away. He has a momentary panic and tries to remember if he has done anything to deserve being sent away. Coming up with nothing he runs to his mum to ask why he is being sent away. He soon discovers, to his horror, that the whole family are moving away as his father has a new important job. Bruno is disgusted as he and his friends have lots of plans for chaos and why does his sister have to go with them? When they arrive at their new home his horror grows. There are no children to play with. And there are lot of funny people living nearby. He soon finds a friend which he has to keep secret from everyone else. He doesn't know why but he know people won't like it if they knew.
I can't recommend this book enough. Although written from the point of view of a nine year old this is not a children's book. You will find yourself laughing as you read the thoughts that run through Bruno's head. But it is also very moving and sad. A great book!
"Avalon High" Meg Cabot
Elaine is having to move as her parents have been offered a place to work on their studies. Elaine is used to moving about but it doesn't make it any less irritating. Even knowing that they would have a pool doesn't make her feel any better. Then she meets William and she is smitten despite him belonging to someone else. But why does she feel as though she knows him? Why is she coming across so many references to King Arthur?
This wasn't what I expected. I think I was expecting a school of magic or something like that. I should really learn to read the blurbs properly! Anyway, it was still a fun read although obviously orientated towards teen girls. Definitely worth a read if you want something quick and entertaining.
"The Princess Diaries" Meg Cabot
Mia is a young girl living in New York with her artist mum. She is far from popular and doesn't really mind it so much. She loves her best friend and would love to date the school hunk, Josh. She also wants to save the planet and the worst thing to happen to her is that her mum is now dating her teacher. That and she is flunking algebra. Then her dad pays her a visit and becomes the worst thing that can happen to her. Due to illness he can no longer have children so she must rule Genovia after his death. Not only is Mia a princess but she has to have princess lessons. This is now the worst thing to happen to her and she can't tell anyone.
Another teen girl book but this one is really funny. I think that if you like Louise Rennison you will enjoy this. Lots of teen sarcasm and a does of 'I know more than my parents do'. A fun read. Also if you are a fan Meg Cabot has her own blog which is worth checking out.
I go back on my rota today. Which means that you will finally see the project I have been keeping so secret. It's not really that exciting. As I said before I really don't know why I felt the need to keep it secret.
Lili, I am glad you liked the idea. I know a lot of people who keep a list of books they have read like I do. I just wondered if others kept a similar notebook for crafts. I quite like pasting in photo's and examples of the materials used. Earlier you asked about my music and I forgot to answer it. It's still the same problem of not having time to myself. Everyone seems to have their days off at the same time as me now which means I haven't been able to get any practice in. I haven't given up on it though. My cooking on the other hand has taken a dive. I was really doing it for when the ex and I moved in together this year. He used to make fun of my inability to cook and I wanted to surprise him. I think I will go back to it but just don't feel inspired to just now.
Friday, February 03, 2006
Okay, I keep a notebook which I use to journal all the craft projects I complete. I use photo's and sometimes I stick in paper or wool I have used. I wondered if anyone else does this or something similar?
Lastly I received the Doctor Who boxset, The beginning. I suppose a true fan would watch them all in order. I on the other hand went straight for the one I hadn't seen, "The Edge of Destruction". Turns out they used this as just a filler between stories as the one they were originally going to use fell through. All I will say is that you can tell. Timewarden, I think you warned me about this one. It is set inside the ship and both the ship and it's occupants begin to behave strangely. The story itself lasts only two episodes. I won't be adding it to my favourite list any time soon. Also the next Doctor Who DVD to be released is "Genesis Of The Daleks" in April. One that is on my favourite list.
More sci fi news. The second season of Battlestar Galactica is almost finished in the US and you can now get the first half on DVD region 1. I would probably wait until the full thing is released. It still doesn't stop me from feeling jealous. Also Andromeda is now coming out in boxset form rather than volumes. A little pricey for me just now. I am sure if I wait long enough they will go on sale eventually.
Sorry San, meant to say, I got the Pluto bookmark from Sew and So.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
Well for something more pleasant. I picked up my needle again! I needed something mind numbing and this bookmark of Pluto fit perfectly. I have a small collection of bookmarks (I think most avid readers end up with a collection whether they want one or not) and I thought he was cute. He didn't take me long to stitch. It was all block colours and there were no half stitches. I would actually recommend this for a beginner despite the fact that it is stitched on plastic canvas. The only problem was that the chart was pretty small but that can easily be fixed with a photocopier.
And once the bookmark was finished I felt the need to keep going. So I finished off The Christmas Elf Fairy. I am really pleased with the way she turned out. Tonight I am going to hunt out the chart I wanted to replace her with on my rota. I decided not to use the left over threads from the elf fairy. There were more colour changes within the chart than I though so I just ordered the materials I needed. I won't actually go back to my rota though until I am back at work next week.
As for my English lit degree I am pretty excited about it too. My first essay has already been sent away. I don't get graded for this one though. For this module it seems more like a social sciences course than lit. There is a bit of everything in there. I'm not sure why but I have no doubt that I will enjoy it just the same. It is next years course I am really looking forward to. Lots if Shakespeare and some Dickens, Austen and Mary Shelley. The Shakespeare plays were the ones I was really looking forward to and it turns out they are the only ones out of the list that I haven't read. Would have been nice to have a Dickens book I hadn't read but I suppose it will just make life a little easier for me. There is also a full Shakespeare course on offer later in the degree.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
I'm Back, Sort OF...
I have spent most of the last few years planning my life around the boyfriend and I am a little at a loss now that it has been taken away from me. I am finding it a little difficult to think of things that I can do now that we aren't together (other than dating other people that is and to be honest that doesn't appeal to me just now). So instead of doing that I plan to just get by the next few weeks and hopefully the rest will come. I have begun an English literature degree which I am hoping will help. I found languages too difficult to do whilst also working full time. So I changed it to something that I am more familiar with. Which doesn't mean that I have given up on languages. It is something that I will go back to.
Anyway, that is my news. With any luck I will get back into my stitching and reading soon (reading other than course work that is).