Thursday, October 15, 2015

Readathon--- want to join the fun?

Hi folks -- I'm just quickly buzzing in to wave the flag for Dewey's 24-hour Readathon, a twice a years reader's event which is taking place this Saturday, October 17th.  It's a no stress, no pressure adventure in reading with a whole bunch of book buddies across the globe.  You may never have met before, but you can all be best friends for the weekend.  You don't have to read all 24 hours -- it's about sharing the love of the written word and saying thank you to the awesome people who make their livelihoods creating books for us.

I am probably particularly sensitive to the lure of the Readathon right now since I'm freshly back from Bouchercon in Raleigh --- a wonderful event filled with amazingly friendly people and books.... lots and lots of books!   So I find myself with fresh stacks of fodder for a reading marathon.  For instance....  Here's what I had amassed at Boucher by the end of Day 2 of 5--

Still Day 2--

And more Day 2--
And heck -- here's part of what came home with me from LAST Year's Bouchercon in Long Beach (and most remain unread)!

 And most of these denizens of my shelves remain unread ......

So, see?  There is PLENTY for me to be inspired by.    This is why I will be taking part in as many hours of Dewey's Readathon as I can on Saturday (and you just know it will carry over to Sunday too in Maison d'Hovel).  Join me?   Come on... you know you want to.  Even if just for an hour--- think of it as thanking a writer for making you happy.

The link at the top of this post is to the general page with posts on what's happening and suggestions. If you want to hop straight in, here's the link to the Readathon sign up page

Oh, and while in Raleigh I was reunited with a forgotten friend.  This round robin had been making its way around the country some years (wow) ago, but he never came home.  He ended up recently making his way to my buddy, Chris, who returned it to me as a surprise while I was visiting her before the con.  It's so cool to rediscover an old friend.  Obviously Missy likes it too.   It didn't come home with me though because Chris took it off the the Cross Stitch Pals Beach Retreat (sign up for next year's--- it's a lot of fun) this week to work on a square and possibly collect some other people for it.  The surprise will continue to grow ,,,, yay!

Go forth and have a beautiful day --- see you in the Readathon I hope!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Progress and continuing adventures with Missy

Good Monday to you, gentle reader.   I hope you had a productively peaceful weekend.  I did somewhat respectably all things considered.  There was laundry (which even got mostly put away), and audio booking, and stitching!  Yay.  It's the little things.

Ethel came out to play for several rows of sky--- once I get some more sky in I feel like I'll be able to work on the various floral elements.  So far I have not gotten sick of blue.  If I feel that coming on I am going to switch to working on the flowers/balls in the grass to give myself some variety.  Do you get like that?  Just have to move to some other color or stitch because something is too boring for words?   [And, yes, i know Ethel is upside down.  That's how I was working on her, so it's how she got her picture taken so now if I flip it it looks totally wrong to me.]

Here's my new start from the weekend before last -- Amanda Lawford's "lovey dovey"--- I'm ignoring that title since I was raised by a pigeon fancier I know that this is not a dove.  this is a fantail.   The dark dots get crystals.  This guy is part of a series of 4 rhinstoned beauties -- a cardinal (also started), a blue jay, and a chickadee.

And to catch up on another episode of the Spokane life of my and Missy---

The WSFS banner was flying with pride over the past Hugo Award display.

Missy got a photo op with this year's Hugo award/

She also got to meet celebrity costumes --

Missy got to see preparations underway in Riverfront Park for the Chinese Lantern Festival.  She was vexed that she couldn't sit on the fence and have her picture taken with these beauties because there were giant signs saying the fence was electrified.  Little furry bear + electric fence = sizzling unhappiness.

She was mollified when I took her to the What's coming out from TOR panel.  You should see her new shopping list!

Bear hugs from Missy and kind thoughts for your day from me.  Thanks for stopping in.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Traveling Adventures in the Outer Universe (aka On the Road with Missy)

Yes, I know.  I'm bad.  We shall stipulate that and move on.  Much has been going on that has kept me from you convivial society, but maybe today I can start to make inroads back into the fold.

First I was sort of not stitching, and yet sometimes stitching.  Frankly we have been through some weeks of it being too hot to contemplate threads.  But on my most recent adventure to Worldcon in Spokane (yay, Spokane!) I was invigorated by air conditioning and accomplished quite a bit.

Apparently there was a PS deer theme in my life for a bit.  Here's PS' Two-by-Two Deer (nope, not in the threads called for)--

... and PS' Christmas Eve Deer (also not as called for)

And a little Danji ornament to commemorate all the Sea World/San Diego vacation weekends my mom and I took -- I still clearly remember the stuffed dolphin I got at Sea World... and my annoyance, since I was my mother's daughter, that they put the grey fur on one side going from tail to nose so the nap was backwards when you petted it. In honor of the fur faux pas, I did the grey in Very Velvet.

Now, as for that traveling, as I said I headed off to Worldcon in Spokane, the nicest city I have ever convened in!   If you want to feel welcomed some where you need to go to Spokane.   Missy and I had a blast.

Let me explain Missy the polar bear.  A few years ago my sister and I took her oldest grandson (then aged 7) on a trip through SoCal-- Legoland, Seaworld, and the San Diego Zoo.  At the Zoo he bought a pair of polar bears and gave me one (how cute is that!?!).  He named his bear Matthew and my bear Missy.  Ever since then, Missy goes adventuring with me.  One trip she took with me was to the first North American Discworld Convention in Tempe where she got to meet Sir Terry Pratchett and she collected that fetching set of gold beads she proudly wears at the Seamstresses Guild Ball.

So off we go -- breakfast at the airport.....

a befuddlingly loud and sparkly layover in Las Vegas (no, she was not a winner).  For the record, you get some odd looks taking pictures of a stuffed bear in beads on a slot machine.

Spokane was obviously my kind of town.....

Missy and I could have hosted a small floatilla of friends in our hotel room.....

She especially liked the mod chair, which was surprisingly comfy

We dropped our stuff and went exploring and found.......


Art in the river (the Spokane River runs right next to the convention center where we spent the week)

Many flowers and bridges and a nice bell tower.

The famous (apparently so according to all the local maps which just say "the red wagon") Red Wagon which just makes me smile.  I mean how cool is that?????

There was a pretty (smoke induced) sunset sparkling on a cool fountain.

And there was the traditional convention center welcome.  I knew I had made it to my "family" reunion.

Back again soon....   happy stitching to all, and happy New Year to those celebrating today.

Wednesday, July 08, 2015


Hello Gentle Readers.  Welcome to July.  I for one would like to know how *that* happened!  It seems like I only just finished opening Christmas presents.  Possibly we could start a petition drive for longer minutes...... especially those minutes between Friday at like 6:30pm (after the commute home) and Sunday at midnight.  Who's with me?

I have been focusing in as much as my fuzzy little brain can on my engineer nutcracker.  The goal is to be able to turn him in on Saturday for finishing.  I am making decent enough progress, but those little "x" filler stitches of Petite Sparkle Rays are slow.  Memo to self:  on the next nutcracker, please have fewer filler stitches and there's no need to cross them.

Last weekend the "country club" (aka needlepoint group) met to stitch a little and lo and behold, but my special order of the next nutcracker is in, and why, yes, I did instantly put it on bars and pull threads.

Also in the order was this little darling -- he pops up into an Easter egg.

He makes me think of growing up when my mom would decorate for Easter.  She always did this one table in the living room for Easter with fancy sugar and paper eggs, fluffy chicks in all sorts of colors, and candles shaped like bunnies.   The only other non-Christmas holiday we decorated for was Thanksgiving, and that was an elaborate cornucopia on the kitchen counter and a bunch of themed candles.  Halloween we ignored, and to this day I still don't really get the fascination with decorating for Halloween.  If it takes a village, mine was apparently not into Halloween.

Go forth and have a peaceful day!

Pratchett thought of the day:

What kind of man would put a known criminal in charge
of a major branch of government?—apart from, say, 
the average voter.
Going Postal – Terry Pratchett

Friday, June 26, 2015

Diddly Squat SFS June.

The SFS June Report of Extreme Laziness:
Month:  June
Spent:  $30.00  (I believe that last month I mentioned this was inevitable)
Allotted:  $25
Earned:  $0.00   (embarrassing -- not even a single flipping ornie!)
Holdover from last month:  
Ultimate June total: $23.40  

Yes dear friends, diddly squat.  That's what I've been up to.   Not much of anything.   I've been busy working (very busy actually and very annoyed too) or busy napping or busy changing channels in search of "something" on TV.   I have forgotten the joy of needles -- this could be due to the onset of summer which always makes Maison du Hovel too hot to feel like doing anything other than staying assiduously withing the fan's sweet spot.

I even had a couple weekends off from working at the shop so the perk-up factor of being surrounded by potential stash, inspiration, and air conditioning hasn't had a great impact on my month's output.  On my couple of shop days I did make progress on my nutcracker.  He now has a shirt and shoes (heee heee -- I guess now he can be served at most restaurants in the U.S. now).  And I just noticed that I didn't bother to take a picture AFTER the shirt was stitched.  Sigh.  I am such a loser!  Put you can see the background which is Impressions and Petite Sparkle Rays.  All he needs now is a completed background, a mouth, and hair and he's good to go for finishing.

While I was at the shop I made the fatal/fortuitous mistake of looking int he 80% off bin (remember the Badger's Playpen?) -- there was this piece that talked to me and then there were these threads that looked so pretty together.  Did I take a picture of anything?????  Noooooo.   Once again -- brain shut down for summer apparently.  The Playpen find may go back because while cute and possibly a "perfect" present, it's not like my life isn't full of cute, prefect presents just waiting for me to stitch them.

My bookshelves got new friends too courtesy of a signing party at Houston's Murder by the Book.  Yay!  I ***had*** to have the latest Kate Carlisle.  You understand, right?  It is essential.  And Hannah Dennison's Honeychuch Hall volume sounded intriguing.  Now I just have to find a place on the shelves.  Argh!  It's definitely too hot to make book space.

The newest bookish problem I have is that I'm going to WorldCon this year and I need to get reading on the nominations for the Hugos so I can vote as an educated citizen.  Do I own any of those books, novellas, short stories, etc.?  Nope.  Sigh.  I need more time in the day.... every day.

Have a peaceful weekend -- may you all be more productive than me!


Pratchett thought of the day (for my Supreme Court):

Words have always had the power to change the world.

Soul Music – Terry Pratchett

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Up to some good for a change

Hello dear friends,  I know it may me hard to believe, but I have been up to some stitching.  I almost feel like I have to ramp up the action before it hits the height of summer when it always feels too hot to stitch once I get home in the evenings.  That little ompf moved my needle in a few different directions over the last week.

Mrs. (the giant penguin) came back out to play for a couple nights during which I:

  1. finished the light pink band which had been languishing mostly done)
  2. figured out what to stitch in the purple band (and got the whole band put in)
  3. put in the bottom edge of the flipper (that was because I thought I knew what I was going to do with the gold bracelet and I needed the flipper part out of the way.  Turns out I didn't know.  Oh well.)
  4. figured out what to stitch in the black band and got it partially put in.  

Also I have allegedly worked out what to do in the medium and dark pink bands, but until those sections actually start I have learned that I am prone to vacillation.

I don't think I had a picture of this last time -- this way my last finish.  A LK Flip It which was easy as pie.  Why did it take me forever to get around to it?????

Last weekend (I think) I had a flag marathon.  I just settled my fanny in and basketwove my little fingers off.  I got from here:

to here:

And, why yes, I am very proud of myself.   Just to put int in perspective -- that's probably 6-8 hours of stitching.  See!  I told you my needles were slow!

Also, one night another star appeared in my sky --

While I know that is rather pathetic.  It was actually quite amazing given that I was too tired to really start stitching when I pulled it out, but I powered through..... and then collapsed into my pillow.

On a bookish front, I went with our friend So Many Books to The Last Bookstore -- an amazing space for books (mostly used) in L.A.  It really is a neat space --

 with cool book art -- (I think this is a security cam picture of what my bookshelves do when I'm not home)

Now, while I loved the book art, I am a bibliophile at heart.  Book art is all well and good, but I need to be able to get to books and I kept getting stymied in my progress by people trying to get the perfect pic for instagram or facebook.  I swear this one pair of 20-something women took a dozen pictures each of themselves posed in a book "window."  There was a certain undercurrent to their repeats of "people in the background"-- well, duh, Buffy -- it's a store. We're here to shop.  Take your blooming picture and get out of the way!

Another annoyance was that I found it hard to come away with a pile.  It seems that my authors are just too awesome in general for people to give them up.  So I came away with this small collection of goodies:

Happy Stitching and Reading to you all -- may your needles be faster and trendsetters not be in your book shopping way!

Pratchett thought of the day:

Nothing-to-see is what most of the universe consists of.

Going Postal – Terry Pratchett

Thursday, May 28, 2015

SFSing Successes (unless you count finding the &*@*#^&*@#%$ pictures)

Greetings, Gentle Reader, and a Happy day unto you.

First thing up --
The SFS May Report of Joy:
Month:  May
Spent:  $0.00   -- (Don't worry.  It will NOT last.)
Allotted:  $25
Earned:  $10.00 
Subtotal of May's accumulated earnings:  $35.00  
Holdover from last month:  -$2.40
Ultimate May total: $31.60  --- Woohoooo!   Extra hooooo!   

Yes, as a matter of fact I am as shocked as you are.  But never fear, I'm working at the shop this weekend so no doubt the joy of being in the black will overtake me.

Here are my earning finishes--- with big thank yous to my friend who needed dog/house sitting.  Her excellent light and comfy recliner helped immensely with my productivity.

LKs (nope, not the colors they were charted for).  They have their charms too.  Can I figure where I put that photo? Nope.  I guess it is high time I sorted out the flash drives.

A little bell ornie I've been wanting to do for years.  I just love him.  O believe another one of these will happen soon.

Another LK that happened post-house sitting.  Possibly under the influence of the house-sitting high.

There's another finish -- a little candy cane from the same series as the bell.  Apparently *someone* did not take a picture of that.  Sigh.   And there should be two more LKs, but *someone* can't find them to attach their charms.  *Someone* has a lot to answer for!

And then some little bits of progress --  Prairie Moon's Home of the Brave which hadn't seem the light of day in a while.  I do really like working on this piece.  It is a nice balance of blocks of color and yet enough color changes to make it interesting.   It just got sidelined because of commitments to other things, but I really want to see it under my needle more regularly.

One of those commitments... the baseball flag came back out to play a couple nights ago.  This one.... I tell you.  I stitch and stitch and stitch and get maybe an inch done.  Sometimes I think that even if you left me in good light, in a cozy spot, with perfect audio books, no TV, and only this piece for a long weekend, I'd still only get maybe a row of those dang balls done.

Another powwow offering for your enjoyment because:
        1.  I promised you
        2.  I can't figure out where I filed the other pics I was supposed to be adding here.
I just loved the rainbow dying on the middle guy's head piece.

Though I am most partial to the shawl dancers.

...and shopping.....

Now, sally forth and have a wonderful rest of your day.

Pratchett Thought of the Day: