Thursday, June 29, 2006



Another week another freebie. This one took me a little longer than the others. I love the forever friends bears. I remember in high school my friends and I loved them and a few of us even collected them. Although an anchor design the backstitch isn't nearly quite as bad as the tatty teds. However, remind me never to stitch Roses on an anchor kit again. I had to force myself to finish it and running out of one of the colours didn't help. I'm glad I finished him though. Although I think on the pink background it looks more like a valentines card than a birthday card. I have another FF bear freebie to be stitched but I think I will leave it for now and stitch something else next week.

Lili, I am using design works thread. I think the silver thread is their own too. It is easier to work with than DMC and krenik but it still tends to break apart after a while.

I decided to take a little break from stitching for a few hours yesterday and made a start on a new scrapbook. This one is for my sister. I have decided to make a scrapbook using photo's from our days out together. This is only the first page. I need to wait until I get some photo's back before I make a start on the other. The photo in the corner I have coloured in black as my sister isn't too keen on the idea of her photo on the net. WH Smith have started to sell scrapbook supplies and I couldn't help but pick up some. It might encourage me to continue with my San Francisco scrapbook. My latest problem though is to find a cross stitch design that I can use for the front of my sisters scrapbook. I thought it would be nice to attach a sister or friendship design to the front. However, I haven't come across anything that stands out. The only thing I liked was an AOY design. The problem is that although I like it, it doesn't really fit my sister. The last resort will be a care bear design. I'll just have to keep my eyes open (if anyone has any ideas I would be happy to hear them).

Gill, I have to admit that I am running out of space for all my books. They seem to be taking over the house. I have a box filled with all my hardbacks and my bookcase is doubled up with books. I give the ones I'm not too fond of or know I won't read again to the local charity shop.

Timewarden, thanks for the info on the Ian Marter book. I looked it up on amazon and it looks as though he has written quite a few Dr Who books. This one looks interesting though and I will have to give it a try.

Friday, June 23, 2006



You can't really see it well but I have been working on bugs, honest! I have filled in the silver down the left hand side, the bottom left hand corner, the bottom strip and made a start on the right hand corner. I had meant to do more but last night I fell asleep while reading. Nothing to do with the book. I have just been doing this a lot lately. I feel refreshed in the morning so I must be needing this extra sleep. I won't get any more work done on Bugs tonight but I will work on him tomorrow. Thanks for all your comments on the AOY card. Still haven't chose my freebie for next week.

The latest Dr Who DVD release is from the early John Pertwee years called "Inferno". The Dr is still fighting his exile on Earth and Liz Shaw is working beside him. A group of scientists are drilling to the centre of the Earth to tap into a new power source. One that will give the world an unlimited source of power. The Doctor fears that things could go disastrously wrong. He is proved correct when he is accidentally transported to a parallel Earth and sees the effects of breaching the Earths crust. His only hope is to get back and stop the drilling.

This is one I hadn't seen before and I very much enjoyed it. I always enjoyed the mirror universe episodes in Star Trek and so I looked forward to this one. Plus I had only ever seen Liz Shaw in Pertwee first Doctor Who story line with the autons. I liked the fact that the Doctor is working with a companion who is also a fellow scientist.

San, I don't blame you for giving up on "The Constant Princess". I wanted to give up on "Wideacre" except that I wanted to see Beatrice get the ending she deserved. It was slow going too as too much time was spent on describing her clothes and how attractive she thought she looked in them. Hitchhikers gd is good though. I read the whole series and enjoyed them all apart from the last two. I thought they were hilarious and loved Marvin. I can't recommend Jpod enough though.

Kim, glad you liked my book reviews. I spend a great deal of time reading which is why I go through so many. I can't help it! I always plan to do other things but my books always call on me. That and the fact that I love nothing more than starting and finishing a book.

Timewarden, I have to confess the only treasure island movie I have seen is the muppets one. Which is also one of my favourite muppet movies. I have read the book though and enjoyed it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Book Reviews

"Misfortune" by Wesley Stace.

Rose Loveall started out life as an abandoned baby. Her life was saved by Lord Loveall who took her into his home and brought her up as his heir. His hope was that she would replace his beloved sister who had died years before. The problem is that Rose is actually a boy. In his grief for his sister the Loveall can't see this part and poor Rose is brought up believing she is a girl. Her relations would love nothing more than to get hold of this fact so that they can grab hold of Loveall Hall and their fortune.

Definitely a strange book. Or at least a strange premise. I wasn't sure what I was expecting but I didn't think I would be moved by it. I felt sorry for Rose as I read about her happy childhood which you know is going to come crashing down. Then to read about her struggle to find her own identity and then her fight against the rest of the family. A great book I highly recommend.

"The Resurrection Casket" by Justin Richards

The Tardis accidentally stumbles into a zone where nothing electronic works. Instead everything is powered by steam. The Doctor and Rose has to find a way to get the Tardis out of the area so that they can leave. In the meantime they find themselves in a murder mystery with the legend of ancient treasure at the centre of it. They decide to help find the treasure and a hunt is set up which could uncover the murderer and free the Tardis.

I think these books are aimed at children more than anything else. This one is fun and if you love "Treasure Island" then you will love or hate this. Each of the characters can be found in this book and it is fun and easy to work out whose who. It actually reminds me very much of Disney's "Treasure Planet".

"Wideacre" by Philippa Gregory.

Beatrice Lacey is brought up to love her home Wideacre. She loves the land more than anything else in the world and soon learns everything she needs to know to run it. Early on she discovers that her love of the land and her ability won't matter. Wideacre will go to her brother and she will be married off and sent away. At first she doesn't believe it. Then her brother returns from school and her beloved fathers attention moves forever away from herself to her brother. From that moment her life is spent ensuring that Wideacre becomes hers at any cost to everyone else.

This is the first time I have read a book where I have detested the narrator. There is nothing about Beatrice Lacey to like and I spent most of the book looking forward to her downfall. I think it was only because I wanted to see if her downfall did actually take place that I did actually finish the book. It is difficult to read a book when there is nothing at all likeable about the person telling her life story. On top of that too much time was spent on describing her clothes alone for my liking. I have since read reviews of this book and most Philippa Gregory fans agree that this is not her best and that it is probably the worst someone new to her books could choose. Too late, it has definitely put me off and I think it will take a lot for me to pick up another of her books. I chose this one because it was listed as her first. So my recommendation is that if you want to give her books a try AVOID this one.

"Jpod" by Douglas Coupland.

Ethan works for a games designing company. He is part of a team known as Jpod. A team that once your a part of you will find difficult to get out of as new employee Caitlin soon discovers to her horror. The team seem to spend more time amusing themselves than actually doing any work. Then there is Ethans family life. Seemingly normal parents and brother who manage to get him into the most bizarre situations. Feeding and clothing a bunch of illegal immigrants, befriending a member of the mafia and trying to free his father of a lover turned stalker is just a few. The last straw for Ethan is discovering that his co workers and family are buying into something and refusing to tell him about it.

I have been waiting for the release of this book for a long time. Having read all his other works I became impatient for this one. It was well worth the wait. This is definitely Couplands best. I found myself laughing out loud all the way through. It's one of those ones I found difficult to put down and so read it in a night. I also can see myself rereading it a number of times. If you have read "Microserfs" and enjoyed it then you will like this. It is on a similar line. If you are new to Coupland then this is a great introduction.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Another Freebie

I stitched another freebie. This one is from March's issue of Cross Stitch Crazy. I think that I will probably keep this for my mum's birthday as she is a fan of these designs. I attached it to a plain white card but used some purple paper to back the design. I wanted to brighten it up a bit and I quite like the way it turned out. I am sure my mum will like it. My best friend was someone else I thought of for the card. I have another AOY freebie and I can always stitch that one for her.

Lili, I am going to stick with your advice and keep with Bugs until he is finished. I made a start on the silver within the border. Not enough for a photo update though.

Stitch, I actually rarely use the aperture cards. One of the first cards I stitched called for the edging of the fabric to be frayed and then the design attached to the top of a plain white card. I liked it that way and I have stuck to doing it that way ever since.

I have been doing my best to avoid the World Cup. I apologise to all fans and to everyone who is supporting it but football bores me to tears. I'm not going to pretend it doesn't just because the World Cup is supposed to be special. I am not a bitter Scot and do hope England will do well. I even took part in the sweet stake in work but that is as far as my support will go. So instead I have been watching DVD's. Growing fond of David Tennent in Dr Who I came across "Blackpool", a musical TV series originally shown on the BBC a few years back. It stars David Morrisey as the owner of an arcade who wants nothing more than to turn Blackpool into Vegas. His plans fall apart when he becomes the prime suspect of a murder. David Tennent plays the police officer investigating the murder and falls for the prime suspects wife (played by Sarah Parish).

Thankfully the singing is done in an almost Karaoke style. They sing underneath the songs themselves so you can just barely hear them singing along. I found myself cringing at them but unable to look away. In the end I actually found myself looking forward to these sing alongs. I even found it funny. It is definitely different. One of those things which are good to watch with a friend as you can laugh at it together.

Lili, changing actors annoy me too. However, the companions of the Doctor have always changed. It became part of what Doctor Who was and they changed more often that the Doctor. So in this instance I really don't mind it and it always kept the show fresh. Or at least in my mind it did. If you talk to most Doctor Who fans as well as their favourite Doctor they will have a favourite companion too. I'm afraid I haven't heard of Chameleon. What is it about?

Sunday, June 18, 2006


No More Rose!

I still haven't been that much in the mood to stitch. So this week I haven't done much. I haven't even bothered with Hardanger that much. I've been doing a tiny bit of the black matt at a time. You would think it was large in size the time it is taking me. The truth is the black on black is putting me off. It's just so hard to see. I did pick up Bugs again for a while. I finished off the black of the border. I might just stick with him as there isn't really that much more to go. Just the silver in the border, the shading and then the dreaded back stitch. I was worried I would run out of black before I got to the back stitch but there is plenty left.

Thank you for the comments on the little ballerina. Lili, the good thing about Cross Stitch Card Shop is that all their freebies come with a card. But no, I don't usually make my own. I tend to buy packs of cards with envelopes. I know I will use them all so I don't mind paying out the money. Plus it doesn't cost much to buy a large pack of plain cream cards which I can then add colour to myself.

Time Warden mentioned that the BBC have announced that Billie Piper will be leaving at the end of series two. They have been denying this since about half way through series one and now they have finally admitted that it is true. I'm not sure how she will leave but I think it will be big. "Satans Pit" hinted that Rose will die and "Love & Monsters" mentioned that "Rose will pay the price". So maybe Rose will join the small list of companions who were killed off.

I did see on the front of one newspaper (I can't remember which one) that Jennifer Ellison might be the next companion. After Brookeside and a failed pop career she has fallen from the limelight. All I can say is I really hope it is just a rumour. She would be far down the bottom of my list of choices. I'm not sure who I would choose though. I always liked the fact that the Doctors companions were relatively unknown. I would quite like it to go back to that. Plus I don't think any fan would want to see the Doctor become known for picking up blondes. Someone a little different would be nice.

Kim, I have to admit I have been reading episode guide for BSG 2 as they have appeared in the British magazines. I don't normally do that as I like to be surprised but I couldn't help it. Each one sounds better and better. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


First Freebie Finished.

I still haven't sorted out which of the freebies I am sending to charity but I did pick out a small pile that I want to stitch to begin with. This little ballerina was from Cross Stitch Card Shop and was at the top of my pile. She was easy to stitch up. Mind you if I had read the instructions before I began stitching I wouldn't have panicked about running out of thread. She was supposed to be stitched with one thread. Her dress is stitched in two and I did the rest in one. I didn't run out in the end and I actually like the effect of her dress standing out more. She is now in my little box with other finished projects waiting for a home. I will try to stitch one of these a week.

Funny people should mention the film after my review of the book but I did buy the DVD. Halfway through the book I decided to get it even though I hadn't yet seen it. I did enjoy it but so much of it was different from the book (as is usual with things like this). I can understand the changes though. The basic storyline was the same but changes had to be made to some of the events in order for it to work on film. Also quite a lot of the book was cut out. While it flowed well in the book I don't think it would have worked well on film so again I can understand it. Kim I think you would really enjoy the book if you liked the film. Would be interested in hearing what you thought of it and the differences between the two. Zohrah, I have read "Angela's Ashes" and even the follow up "Tis". I enjoyed them both but never felt the urge to watch the film adaption or to read the third book (I think it was called "Teacher").

I am also very excited as I just discovered that Battlestar Galactica season 2 will be released here in the UK in August. I have actually pre ordered it. I just finished watching season1 a second time round and still enjoyed it. Looking forward to 2 as it is meant to be longer and better.

Bastet, I am glad you are finally getting to see the first series of new Dr Who. Are you enjoying it? We have just finished another double episode in season 2 and it was a good one. Please don't let my problems with Hardanger put you off. It was my own silly mistakes and I didn't have a problem until then. The black one is going well but slowly. I can only stitch it in daylight for a short length of time before I start going cross-eyed.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Book Reviews

"Memoirs of a Geisha" by Arthur Golden.

Not long after Chiyo discovers her mother is dying a local businessman sell her and her sister. They are separated and Chiyo soon begins training to become a Geisha. Chiyo fights this destiny as she plans to find her sister and return home. She soon accepts what she has to become but the head Geisha of the house stands in her way and does her best to destroy her chances. Only with the help of another Geisha does things begin to go her way.

I loved this book from start to finish. Each page had something new to reveal about the struggles a Geisha faces. More so for Chiyo as she has to learn a new life. The book had a flow to it and I found it difficult to break that flow by putting the book down. I would definitely recommend this book.

"Pandora's Star" by Peter F. Hamilton.

This is a universe where humans are still spreading out amongst the stars. And where humans can live forever. Rejuvination means becoming 20 again but retaining all your memories. There is no such thing as permanent death as memories are stored, regularly updated and placed in a clone if needed. Traveling to planets is nothing to these people as wormhole technology ensures that it takes seconds. An astronomer makes a discovery which unsettles these ancient humans. A distant star system disappears. A sphere is used to hold a whole solar system. The question is, is it a hiding place or is it a prison. The technology itself is far beyond human knowledge.

I love Peter F. Hamilton books. He likes to use lots of different characters and have lots of little plot lines within a book which eventually come together. Each character takes on a life of its own and have their own little stories. A great read and would recommend it for any sci fi fan.

Please spare a thought for Lili who's mum isn't very well just now.

Sunday, June 11, 2006


Matt Disaster!

Well I finished the matt and it was all going well until I began to cut. I really should have paid more attention while I was doing it. The first thing I did was cut some the thread. The second thing I did was begin cutting out a square that should not have been cut. My third mistake was to cut yet more threads. So it is looking very messy and is unusable. That and it is a little small. It think the next matt should have less squares cut out of it. Anyway, we learn from our mistakes.

I'm back at work and I really don't have much to show for my week off stitching wise. I will make a better effort this week. I have begun another matt. This time all in black. My sister is flat hunting and wants me to make them for her. I chose black as it is the only colour you ever see her in. That and I wanted to see the effect. It is taking me longer though as black on black is difficult to stitch with.

I finally went through some of my craft supplies yesterday. Actually I had a bit of a spring clean and I'm still not done. I put all my magazines together, ready to sort through and take out the patterns I want. It's amazing how fast they grow. It is going to take me a couple of sessions to go through them. The first thing I am going to do though is to go through all the freebies. I very rarely stitch them and they have mounted up. I am going to have to be ruthless as there is no way I will manage to stitch them all. So I will be making a pile that will go to charity. The rest I will begin stitching and make into cards. They can always be put away to be given as birthday cards. I also don't believe how much fabric I have. Most of it is just 14count Aida but there is quite a lot. Will take me a while to go through all that. And with all my tidying I did the unthinkable. I forgot to watch Doctor Who. Actually I really just forgot the time. Not to worry I will watch it tonight on BBC3.

Stitch, to be honest I have no idea what kind of salad dressing it is. My mum uses it. I am the boring one in the family. I don't add salt or dressing to my salads. It's just that our fridge doesn't have much in it just now and I was struggling to think of something to add.

Timewarden, that's a good question and I pass it out to everybody. Which X-Man would you be? When I watched the cartoons Rogue was always my favourite. In the films though her power is a little boring. I think maybe Kitty. I am always walking into things so her power might come in useful. I wouldn't have to worry about collecting bruises. Your right Patrick Stewart is always worth seeing. Hale Berry does have more of a role. I heard that it was the only way she would agree to come back and do another film. I think you would have to watch the second film to watch this one. If you know what happens then it isn't essential but I think it helps. SFX is my favourite sci fi mag and yet I have never visited their website. Will have to make a point of doing that.

Saturday, June 10, 2006


Have been tagged!

Kathy tagged me with five things I have;

Five things in my fridge; Milk, cheese, orange juice, diet coke and salad dressing

Five things in my closet; jeans, work t-shirts, cream skirt, DVDs and my back pack with work folders.

Five things in my purse; purse, digital camera, MP3 player, notepad, lip balm

Five things in my car; I don't own a car, still haven't got round to learning to drive.

Five peopl to tag; I tag everyone.


X Men 3

Which X-Men character are you most like?

You are Professor X!You are a very effective teacher, and you are very committed to those who learn from you. You put your all into everything you do, to some extent because you fear failure more than anything else. You are always seeking self-improvement, even in areas where there is nothing you can do to improve.
Take this quiz!


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Wouldn't have classed myself as Professor Xavier but never mind. Went to see Xmen3 and loved it. Before going to see it I had heard mostly criticism. That it wasn't as strong as the first two but it had great special effects. Also heard that you could tell that three different directors were involved at one time or another. I have to admit that I didn't notice that. I think that I probably enjoyed it more because my expectations weren't as high. It's true that the storyline isn't as strong as the first two movies but it is still enjoyable. Has it's sad moments and the extra characters just make it more fun (in my mind anyway). So if you have enjoyed the first two then I would recommend that you go and see this one. I have heard that this is definitely the last one, that it is going to remain a trilogy. However, the ending makes me think that there is a chance that there will be more. If you don't mind sitting through all the credits you should stay to the end as there is a little extra there.

Thursday, June 08, 2006


Bookmark Finished!

Hardanger proves to be very easy to cut out of the fabric without damaging it. My second go at this bookmark was more successful. I started with the outline first this time. I really like these button hole stitches, it really sets off the edging. After I did that I basically made up the rest as I went along. Originally I had planned to cross stitch a little motif in the centre. However, it just felt natural to continue with the Hardanger. I'm really pleased with the way it turned out. I am now working on a set of mats for my mum. Not cat ones as my mum is reluctant to use the challenge one. in case it gets dirty. So I'm just making plain hardanger ones. Again I am making it up as I go along. I bought some fabric and decided to use 22count aida as it is stronger than the linen. Hopefully I will have a photo for you tomorrow.

No other stitching done I'm afraid. I have been spending my days off in town with my sister. I still haven't cleared out my craft supplies. I will try to get round to that today as I have plans to spend tomorrow with a friend. Just a short post today I'm afraid. I am hoping to have some book reviews for you soon too.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Lazy Days

I have some time off work just now and I have been doing nothing. Well, I knitted a few block towards my sisters blanket but who wants to see photo's of that! Other than that I have been watching DVD's, Doctor Who, reading and sleeping. I can't remember the last time I slept late. I don't let myself do that on my days off because it feels like I have wasted the day. But I slept late yesterday and today and I loved it. There is nothing better than slowly waking up and realising that you really don't have to move.

My plans for today are to gut out all my craft supplies. They are in a bit of a muddle and I don't know exactly what I have since I have bits and pieces from lots of different crafts. Like San I am going to set up a folder for designing as it will come in handy for the monthly challenges. My Hardanger bookmark I will have to start again. I made a mistake in there which means I will have to start from scratch. I am going to try and cut out all the stitching and try to save the fabric.

I've also been listening to "Ring of Fire: the Legend of Johnny Cash" which I have been enjoying. I am one of the many who got into his music through the film. Unfortunately the rest of the family don't quite agree with me and tend to stay away from whatever room I am playing it in (means I get peace). There is a song in there he sings with Willie Nelson, someone else I never thought I would appreciate, and I am thinking of giving some of his music a go. I'll see how far this interest takes me. My problem is that there is not one kind of music that I really favour over the other. I tend to like a bit of everything.

Thanks for all your lovely comments.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


Sampler Finished!

I finished the sampler I was working on. The stitches are untidy but I am pleased with the end result. I think I am pleased with it more for that fact that I put it together myself than anything else. I am encouraged to keep going though which means poor snowmen have been neglected. It's not that I don't want to stitch them it's just that the hardanger is calling out to me more.

This is the latest I am working on. The image isn't very good and it looks like an odd shape at the moment. The plan is to make this into a bookmark. I have no idea what the design in the centre is going to be yet. It is the edge which I wanted to work on. I will probably just use some cross stitch motifs for the centre. The fabric is pale yellow, although it is hard to see that, which is why I decided on the yellow thread. Outside the Kloster blocks I am using a button hole stitch which is supposed to allow you to trim the fabric around it without fraying. It's a new stitch for me and I am liking the way it looks.

I would just like to give a huge thanks to everyone for their comments on my cat design. It has encouraged me to try more of my own. Although my sister is now insisting that I make some for her as she plans to move into a new flat soon. Stitch, I was afraid to try out Hardanger too as I thought there was no chance I could do it through just reading a book. And now I am hooked. Give it a try. If you are worried about ruining fabric have a go on some scrap pieces.

I have been reading a few easy reads. I just finished "I Am A Dalek" by Gareth Roberts which is one of those quick reads. For those of you have never heard of a quick read it is a new series of books which are supposed to encourage adults to read. They are very slim, light and have slightly larger than normal print. Not that I need encouragement to read but it was a hard to walk by it. I also read one of the new format Doctor Who books "Stone Rose" by Jacqueline Rayner. It reads like a well written fanfic which I suppose most of these books are. I still enjoyed it though. There are no well known enemies in this one and no unknown planets. Instead Mickey comes across a statue of Rose. The Doctor and Rose then travel back in time to when it was made to find that there is more behind this statue than there seems. Again a nice light read.

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