Thursday, May 29, 2008

Return of the Fairy

Hey, Margaret, she came out to visit! Lol Here’s my progress on wing two:
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So far so good. Although I did catch myself in a major snafu on the brown part last night. Luckily I caught it just in time!

Apparently in honor of the Fairy’s return to the hoop, I received this wonderful pack from Teresa as my F&S July 4th exchange.
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And look at these totally cool squares!!!!
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If only there were smellable blogs – you’d be all over that blueberry tea she included. It’s heavenly. My office stitching buddy has already sent many covetous glances at the flag box. She loves boxes she keeps telling me, but you know what? So do I. lol

The other day I finally finished reading through Andrle and Rudnicki’s Sampler Motifs and Symbolism.
It’s a nice volume, probably worth the purchase if you want to understand/build samplers. It’s organized as an alphabetical “dictionary” of sampler symbols which tell you what means what, where/when they were popular, what they refer to (Bible verse, particular monarch’s reign, etc). Many, but by no means most have graphed example patterns as illustrations (in color and well-produced). At the end there are a small number of charts of actual historic samplers with small bios of the sampler. I enjoyed it although I found it sometimes frustrating to not have images of everything. There are still lots of wonderful gems in here.

Oh, I have to share a bit of humor – the ramifications of going through that long weekend doing not so much besides going through videos. I was watching something on live TV Tuesday night and I tried to fast forward through the commercial. For a second I wondered if I needed new batteries in the remote. Then I cracked up. The night before I was talking on the phone (which is silver and long) and decided I needed to rewind the tape I was watching a little. I rooted around to find the remote and when I encounter a long plasticy thing with lots of buttons I told myself to be sure I wasn’t grabbing the phone…. Yeah, the phone I WAS ON at the time. Sigh. It’s obvious they were right – TV kills your brain.

Recently finished: the above-mentioned Patircia Andrle and Lesley Rudnicki’s Sampler Motifs and Symbolism
Also recently finished: an older children’s book – Shirley Visits the Zoo by Belle Benchley (Ms. Benchley’s a cousin so I feel it’s really family research). It’s quite cute in it’s telling an photos of a little girl’s repeated trips to the San Diego Zoo and her interactions with the animals.
Started, but stupidly left at the office: Charlaine Harris’ Dead Until Dark – I didn’t do my usual book choosing fest because my buddy Elaine has been after me to catch up with her in Sookie reading
Started because Charlaine was at the office when I wanted to read at home: a book on the British landscape artist, JMW Turner. Sorry, I can't remember the author! Shame on me!!!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I even did some more!

First things first, thank you all for your kind words. It's about time I actually got some stitching done, eh?

Happy Post-Memorial Day. I hope you all had a peaceful weekend. Maybe you domestic types spent Sunday evening like I did – watching PBS’ Memorial Day Concert.
Memorial Day Concert 2008
It made me cry like always, but nonetheless kudos to Gary Sinise for a nice showing as host.

In honor of the day I spent part of Monday on a little Memorial stitching
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As you can probably read in the picture, that’s JBW’s Red, White, and Blue limited edition kit from 2001. It worked quickly and without undue frogging vexation.

But if you want to discuss frogging vexation let’s talk about my Sunday stitching choice
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Trilogy’s Gathering of Hearts. It hadn’t been out of the bag in probably a year. How embarrassing is that? Sure, I got done what I aimed to, namely the top part of the heart and the box around the heart, but for crying out loud the bottom part of the box was out to get me. I ended up having to frog close to a dozen times. And half of those times were AFTER I’d tied off. Sigh. It was out to get me. But it does look cool, doesn’t it?

Aside from the above, I also managed to finish a bunny ornie
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for the Brides Tree SAL and make a start on another ornie--
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This one is by Cherished Stitches from one of the JCS ornie magazines. Sure, I shouldn’t have started new things, but I wanted to do ornies AND I wanted to feel accomplishful AND I wanted to stitch in silk (both of these two are in Vikki Clayton’s). Now, you say, Ruth, old friend, isn’t a lot of the wing that you need to stitch for the Halloween Fairy in silk? Why, yes! It is. Still, somehow, that wasn’t the silk that called to me at midnight. lol Yeah, I’m weird. So sue me.

I really like this being accomplishful. Hmmm possibly it should be a trend? Not only did I stitch a lot, but I also plowed through a pile of wonder-what’s-on-this videos. Over the course of the last 5 days I watched 5 of the 6 Star Wars movies (thanks for the loan, Luce), 3-4 Doctor Whos, 5-6 Sarah Jane Adventures, Sex and Mrs X (such a fun movie), probably 20 Perry Masons, a couple Numbers, a couple Bones, a couple Burn Notices, a couple Cook’s Tours, and 3-4 episodes of Carrier. Yeah, I was a lot behind. There’s still 4 videos in the “current” behind pile, but that’s darn good for me. I’m thinking tonight might be an “antique tape” night. I have quite the collection of languishing videos. The only problem was all this stitching and viewing gave me a bruised tail bone from sitting on my bed for hours on end. Note to self—more wandering around cleaning is required for long weekends!

Recently finished: Algis Budrys’ Unexpected Dimension – wonderful anthology of stories surrounding death. It’s not nearly as depressing as it sounds like it would be. The last story, “The Executioner,” is my personal favorite.
Also recently “finished:” Jeff Prucher’s Brave New Worlds: The Oxford Dictionary of Science Fiction—it’s ok. Not perfect, not wonderful, but usable and worthy I suppose. Lots of key scifi words and concepts are defined – first briefly in standard dictionary-form, then in a series of dated examples of the word in use in scifi-related texts. My issue is that the definitions relating to fandom terms frequently use other fandom terms that are not themselves included in the dictionary. Memo to dictionary writers, definer the words you use to define words.
Probably about to start: Charlaine Harris’ Dead Until Dark although maybe it’ll be Robinson’s Gilead which has been languishing for a year.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I finished STUFF !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Alert the media. It's a miracle!!!! I've been enjoying my 5-day weekend by stitching and watching videos (when not napping). And somehow I really go the completion bug -- but I had to struggle to get there.

You see I worked Wednesday night and part of Thursday on my Vierlanden. Please note the "massive" [wink wink, nudge nudge] progress:
Here's where I was when I last worked on it in.... gasp.... February
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And here's how far I got in a day and a half on and off:
Vierlanden overall 2008_5_21
A close up of what I was actually working on--
Vierlanden close up 2008_5_21

Well then I got this itchy feeling. I just "had" to start something NEW. Yeah, like I need another WIP. I told myself I'd do something really small that I could finish so I got out some candidates....
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And I fondled them warmly with that doofy little stash grin on my face.

Then a bit of guilt started speaking to my hind brain and I gathered up all the WIP/UFOs I could spot laying around and got this lovely family picture:
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Thoroughly shamed and humbled. I put all the new projects away and went on a finishing tear.

At loooong last I finished the final dozen stitches on M Designs class project from the Cross Stitch Pals Myrtle Beach Fall Fling of 2006:
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Sharon's Society RR sqaure 2 (August BC Snapper with color adjustments for the gulls and light house)
Sharon RR Aug 2008_5_22

And for Simone's Christmas in July exchange I did this
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It is on a white opalescent, but you can't really tell that. It does not get to be counted as part of the WIP Finishing Fest since it was a fresh start, but I kinda feel it gets a little credit since I've "wanted" to stitch it for a whiel and I needed to get an ornie ready for Simone's exchange.

I even made progress on somethings.....
Besides Vierlanden I did some work on my Quaker a la 6 Mains--
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Sorry Margaret no work yet on the Fairy. lol

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Some progress

First things first, Margaret, you bum! In something less than a week you're mostly done with Halloween Fairy????? Isn't there some rule against finishing a project before the person who "inspired" you to start it finsihes it??? lol I think mine needs to come back out and play.... maybe tonight even.

It's bordered on too hot to stitch, but I've been semi-focused for a change so I planet myself in front of my fan collection and stitch anyway. I started my second square for Sharon's RR. Tan flowers aside, I liked stitching the May square so I decided to try a new color pallate and started the August square.
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Now, I've posted a question to Sharon for advice before I continue. You see the fabric she's using is the same color as the floss for the gulls and the lighthouse. I switched the gulls to light grey, but I'm debating the lighthouse. At first I thoguht it should be brick, but now I'm wondering if white and outlined would be better. I've left it to Sharon. Hoepfully she's still online today so I can finish tonite and get it in the mail .... early for a change!!!!

I've managed a tiny bit of progress on my Quaker a la 6 Mains
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I was woring on it for a few minutes at lunch on Friday and discovered I'm a row too high with my swan or a row too low with my tree. Sigh. Oh well, I'll just wiggle that swan's fanny around to fit. I am not a frogger. I am an adjuster.

The recent string of memes regarding how you stitch and what you carry in your stitching bag got me thinking. So I did a little photo essay or my "essential" stitching stuff.
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That's me (well, behing the camera it is anyway) sitting on my bed with my "stitching table" on my lap with the essentials all around. The cookies are interchangable. I'd prefer something soft, but I take what I can get, and frankly the Girl Scout's lemon creams are quite respetable. The floss boxes of DMC aren't usuallly out, but I was puling threads for Sharon's August square so they were up top for a change. Usually they live under the far corner of the bed. Actually the real essentials are seen below--
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The stitching/dinner/writing/laptop tray is a giant, fold-out timeline of world history. My mom got it for me thinking it would be really useful. I find it interesting, but I only really used it once-- to fill in other points on interesting context on a medical history timeline for my students one quarter. As a lap tray the book is darn handy, and I use it daily. The tension hoop is my best friend. If you haven't tried one, give it a shot, just don't get the big one -- it's like 8 inches across and it just can't hold fabric tight enough. The scissors are one of a half-dozen small scissors in arm's reah of my spot on the bed, but they are the set without an sheath and with the really cool point protectors which not only do their designed protecting, but make the scissors easier to find when I drop them. The TV remote is absolutely essential. I cannot stitch to bad television and apparently I have a guy's patience for commercials. lol There are two other essentials, but the camera isn't wide-lensed enough -- my Ott Lites and glass of water. They're both off to the right of the photos on a small bookshelf. The bottle of water that refills the glass so I don't have to go "all the way" to the kitchen when I drain a glass is on the floor next to the bed in front of the shelf.

That, in short is my stitching regime. It works for me, but I'd still prefer Chris's reclining couch!

Just started: Rex Stout's Please Pass the Guilt
Bought Last Night Because I Couldn't Resist: Glen Cook's Cruel Zinc Melodies (Nero Wolfe in Sapce/Fantasy -- wht can I say, I like the Wolfe format)
Hoping to Pick Up Tonight with a Border's Coupon: Louise Erdrich's The Plague of Doves

Friday, May 16, 2008


Well folks I can show a little something--
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This is for Sharon's piece in my RR group. She's having us do the Bent Creek monthly Snappers as a long row. I learned something in the process of picking what to stitch on this and working on it the last couple of days-- I am a COLOR person. These muted, mustardy colors confuse me. Why would you want "light tan" and "tan" flowers? lol Of course I'm still trying to work out what's attractive enough about a half a snap to feature it in a design, so what do I know. Anyway, I think I'll do another square for Sharon tonite. They do stitch up real fast and I kinda want to do August for my dad's bday.

I saw the following on Kathryn and Anna's blogs and thought it seemed fun. If you like it, go for it --
Why did you start your blog? I started by blog for two reasons 1) to fill in a gap in my stitching circle when my office spam filter started blocking yuku and my favorite hangout (Cross Stitch Pals went to yuku); 2) to figure out how it worked so I could start an office blog without having to work out all the issues on it.

How did you come up with your blog name?
I have a thing for badgers and words

Do your friends and family know about your blog and if so, what do they think of it? Some of them do. Some aren’t online. Some I’ve never told (that way I can talk about `em). Some are off doing other online things. I don't really know what they thin kof it unless they post and mostly those seem to appreciate seeing that I actually DO stitch. lol

Have you ever had a troll or had someone leave unkind comments? I’ve had nonsequitors that are really ads, but nothing offensive or mean.

Do you check your stats? Nope. I might if I took the time to figure out how.

Do you care how many people read your blog? I guess. I like seeing comments and feeling like something I did/said made someone giggle.

What do you like and dislike about blogging?
Likes: Finding new friends and stash opportunities. Seeing what’s up everywhere else in the world. Finding out that people are just as nuts as me.
Dislikes: Being ignorant of coding keeps me from adding features. That I don’t have enough time.

Just finished: Rex Stout's Murder by the Book -- made me happy as usual
One story shy of finishing: Budrys' Unexpected Dimensions
Can't wait to: Pick out a new book tonite and start a new stitch tonite
Currently listening to: Powwow music courtesy of Powwow

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Help a fellow stitcher......

Hey everyone, Gaby has a request that's not so awful hard. Her son Simon is doing a school project on North America and she'd like volunteers to send Simon a postcard from their part of North Am. You can see the details on her blog entry "Special request" (at the moment it's the second entry from the top).

For the record, I'm stitching, just slowly and I still can't share any pics -- boo hoo.

Now go visit Gaby.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

It's finished! It's finished!!!!

My aim to complete at least 4 needlepoints this year has been met! Woo hoo for miracles! I completed needlepoint #4 last night --
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That second picture is my attempt to show off the plethora of beads making up the cherry blossoms. Yes, I know cherry blossoms aren't purple, but I made it for someone who is fond of purple so there you go. This one was enjoyable and went quickly-- Thankfully!! I don't think I could have stood another 3-year kimono! lol

It was all I could do last night not to start a whole new project last night in celebration for finishing the kimono. I contained myself, barely, and went to work on the Halloween Fairy. I'll have a new update pic for you later this week, Margaret. [Thanks so much for your kind words about it. I hope you're enjoying your version of her!]

I've heard from Melisa C. of Simone's 2007 ornie exchange that she received the make-up ornie I sent her (the bird in the pic below).
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Seems her partner's ornie never arrived at her place. I had volunteered to help Simone with make up ornies, and Simone asked me to send one to Melisa. The funny thing is that Melisa and I used to be email stitching buddies several years ago but had lost touch. Small world, eh?
Oh, I just saw a post saying that Niki that she received her make up ornie for Simone's exchange too. She got the little tree on the sparkly fabric.

By the way, if you like ornament exchanges, Simone might be running one later this year [she just closed one for Christmas in the summer]. I'd highly recommend it. Despite several lost people/ornies, it seemed to be a nice group.

They'll be more pics later this week of WIPS, but I missed my photo op last night. Of course the things I really want to show off I can't because they are either in process for an exchange or in the mail/about to go in the mail to folks. Hopefully the post office will be quick so I have more show offs soon.

I realize I am behind in showing off a wonderful surprise I got from Karen --
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Isn't that stunning fabric? And the LHN is wonderful -- eagle-eyed Karen spotted it on my Pals wish list. Thanks so much, Karen!!!!!!!

Almost finished: Jasper Fforde's The Fourth Bear -- rotflol -- smart humor and great fun. Oh go on, enjoy yourself! You know you want to. Even funnier if you know your fairy tales. but you really should read the series in order. The first book is The Big Over Easy
About half through: Algis Budrys' The Unexpected Dimension -- an anthology themed on deaths -- good ones, bad ones, different ones. So far I've finished "The End of Summer," "The Distant Sound of Engines," "Never Meet Again," and "The Burning World." All different, all wonderful, and all very much relics of their time, but that does nothing to diminish their niftiness.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Received around the world....

At last something to share. It seems like ages and ages.

Mairi received my Fair and Square round 6 offering –
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It’s a German online freebie that was charted for pinks, but since Mairi is a purple fan I switched out the colors. I’ll get back to you on the site for the pattern since I can’t find it right now.
The pattern can be found at Borduurblad.

And from Mairi I got these stunning squares and goodies:
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Can you believe how pretty her vase of flowers is? Check it out close up:
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See? Absolutely lovely!!! Aren’t I the lucky one?

Sonda received her PIF yesterday so I can safely show you now –
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The fabric is one of the Wichelt overdyed jobelan’s… Watercress, I think. The thread is a purple Carrie’s one of her limited editions. The beads are some gold powwow offerings.

Last weekend was another powwow weekend for me, and it was as wonderful as usual. Ok, so I got a bit sunburned because I forgot the rule about not wearing caps with light colored under brims (reflection is a pain!!!), but I think I might make it out without peeling. Sun idiocy aside, check out how visually cool everything was –

First the Tiny Tots division takes the field -- too cute, aren't they--
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Then there's my favorite shawl dance --
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In case you ever contemplate beading-- the neck piece on the woman in the red shawl, the one with the eagle on it, is all beads.... ALL beads. Little, tiny beads by the thousands.
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Yes, I now the night shots are “different” but I like them.

My other favorite, fancy dancers, in action --
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Also, powwow is my big bead shopping event of the year and I came away with a nice pile –
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There was even a new badger, but I’ll have to picture that another day since somehow I forgot to take that shot.