Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Halloween Stitching Project


No matter what happens from this point on, I can proudly announce that this year, I am ready for Halloween. At least in the stitching sense.  My Halloween project - "The Spells' Store" - is finished! (Drum Roll, Happy Dance, etc., etc.... )

Design by The Primitive Hare
Published in Just Cross Stitch 2013 Halloween
Stitched on 28 ct Antique White Evenweave
DMC Floss


I have been looking at this pattern for the past two years. Finally, this year I had a spare moment (several of them) - and here's the result....
I think, the first thing in the project that grabbed my attention were the boots- their shape, the socks in them - or are they actually "booted" feet on the shelf? The question opens up so many topics - and suddenly you are visiting a store somewhere in Diagon Alley - or is it Knockturn? I guess that would depend on the answer about the boots.

I noticed that many Halloween and Witch patterns have the years 1692 and 1861 featured in them... I know the significance of the year 1692 - Salem Witch Trials - but what about year 1861? I know it's the time of  the Confederacy-  the secession of the Southern states, and the beginning of the American Civil war, - but what does it have to do with witchcraft?

I also made a short video on the "Spells' Store" progress and wanted to post it on Facebook, but, unfortunately, it was deleted. The Facebook administration sited the concern that "not all parts of the video belong to me." They were probably referring to the music. Then again, I would never try to claim the authorship of "Don't Fear the Reaper." I just want to use the song in my video.

So, here it is...

video


I hope you like it...

Happy Halloween - and happy stitching.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

A Bit of Stitching, High Anxiety, and Instruments of Medieval Torture

Hello, dear friends!
First of all, I want to share some stitching I have done over the past three weeks...

video

First, I thought of posting five or six progress pictures, but then, feeling brave(r) than usual, I decided to make it into a movie. This is still work in progress - desperately needing a broom and a header (where the huge brown circle is) - but, overall, I am happy with the result. Now to see if Blogger is able to play this... Keep your fingers crossed for me! 

Other than stitching, I am still dedicated to the gym, although in my mind I now refer to it as "medieval torture chamber." I am sure many of you can relate: when you are on the machine, everything hurts, and afterwords, everything hurts even more. The look of the machine, with all of its gadgets, screws and adjustment levers, strongly reminds me of the medieval torture device. In my case, the personal trainer (a.k.a. "the torture master") adjusts the devices and makes me go through the routine, assuring me the whole time that it's good for me. Finally, the screams, moans and groans of people around me (mostly males lifting weights) add the final touch and make the experience of the torture chamber complete.

A separate word about the moaning and groaning fellow sufferers... Mostly, they are men, and they lift weights, and they tend to drop and smash those weights all over the place. From a distance, it sounds something like this: "Arrrrgh! - Boom! - Clang... - Oooh... " The sound sequence is repeated over and over, with the "arrrgh"'s getting louder and more painful, and booms and clangs more loud. I don't know why these men do it this way - maybe, they think it sounds macho, attractive, like "look at me, I am so strong"? For me, at its loudest/dramatic it sounded like the guy was having a heart attack. Otherwise, it seemed like he was taking a painful dump. So, in conclusion: gentlemen, stop showing off! If you have to scream lifting the weight, that means you need to switch to a lighter weight. Making scary near-death-like noises only intensifies the "torture chamber" effect I talked about earlier.

To be fair, going to the gym does make me feel better overall, and I also lost a little weight - five pounds, to be exact, - thanks mostly to following the "torture master"'s routine. So, although I do call her that (in my mind), I am actually grateful to her.

Until next time - happy everything!




Monday, July 27, 2015

Time to Brag!

Hello again, dear friends!

Remember the stick that I posted a couple of weeks ago - part of BRD ornament? Well, it got stitched into this...

"Silent Night" by Blue Ribbon Designs
stitched on Linen with DMC Floss

I always recognize a BRD pattern by the "signature" trees and branches. It was a pleasure to stitch, with, perhaps, the caption being the most tricky part - one over one, with 2 strands.

Now I will have to mobilize my decor stash to turn it into an actual ornament. I will do it, just don't know when exactly - some time before Christmas.

That concludes the cross stitch bragging.... Now - on to the family!

My dear daughter Vera, who is now 12 and is going to the 8th grade this year, went to Tech Trek Science Camp at University of Santa Barbara last week!

She participated in a competition and was selected to attend the Science Camp on a scholarship: study math and physics, perform hands on experiments, and live like a college student - for a whole week.

About two days before we dropped her off, I asked her if she was excited. She answered, "I guess... I did not realize that I signed myself up for one extra week of school." I could see she was nervous and self-conscious, unsure of how she was going to be accepted. She does not feel "popular" at her regular school, and I could see the old fears creeping in.

Vera and her roommate on the first day
I kept telling Vera (and myself) that this was a new experience, that things were going to be great, that she was going to - finally - find people to connect with. My DH was apprehensive - with teachers and leaders - and students - being entirely girls, a few over eager matrons shot an eagle eye in his direction every time he hugged our daughter. One of them even tried to say he was not allowed to be there - until he said his daughter was there and he just wanted to say good bye before taking off. Generally, my being a woman helped ease the moving around process - no suspicious looks, no restrictions. Finally, we hugged our daughter good bye and drove away - to our own mini vacation.

Six days later, we were there 30 minutes early to pick her up....

Our daughter has transformed. From all the things described above and a couple more - she came to greet us - happy, confident and focused. She did find friends - the whole time we were there, Vera was hugging girls that were running to her, or hugged by girls that she ran to - and we took pictures. She introduced us to them and vise versa, laughed, talked, smiled.... She was in her element. She was among friends.

Vera with a new friend.
For the first time in years, I saw my daughter just as she was - no makeup, no cover up, no glitter - just herself, beautiful and confident. She found her team, her group, of like minded individuals - and they turned out to be - young scientists...just as herself.

Thank you, Tech Trek!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vacation: When Time Stood Still

Hello, dear friends,
Did I mention my DH and I were planning a vacation? Probably not - because we have been planning it year after year, on and on, and something always came up.
But this time, it did happen! Taking advantage of the kids being away and the vacation time, we packed the car and went...

We stayed at the Bed and Breakfast we "discovered" for ourselves about 6 months ago. Our room had a private patio with a hot tub, and I took full advantage of it, starting and ending my day with hot bubbles...

It felt like someone had turned back the clock, and we arrived... thirty years ago. Everybody's polite, the view is beautiful, the food is delicious, and - the time is all ours...

Water Mill at Apple Farm
One of the features of the garden at Apple Farm (the name of the place we stayed at) is the Water Mill. I know it is decorative, but it was so pleasant hearing the sound of running water every night falling asleep. There were sounds of frogs, too - I still don't know if the frogs are real... Joe really hoped they were.

Every day there was a complementary wine tasting - hosted at the patio. I have never seen so many flowers in one place - that was not a garden.








Grapevines....




The most  amazing thing about our vacation was that - for the first time, we did not have to do anything - unless we wanted to. Joe and I consciously gave up planning and cramming "experiences" into our schedule and just went along with what felt right. If we wanted to go to the beach - we did...



When we felt like sleeping in - we slept... We even ordered breakfast in bed one morning - and when it arrived, all the things in it could feed a small army... I did it just to see what would happen - for having the experience. My first room service ever. I can now check that off my "bucket list."

Now, after three days of soaking in the tub, smelling flowers and drinking wine, we are back. Thankfully, we have time to gradually get back into the rhythm of things, one or two adjustments at at a time...

It was nice to do things at our own pace, on our own time. No rush, no stress. This part, we'll have to do more often.




Tuesday, July 14, 2015

A Stick... And a Workout Update

Hello, dear friends!

With my projects on time, I've decided to give myself a couple of days off and - yes, stitch again. The difference is - this time I am stitching for myself and for my family. I have looked at several projects and decided on a new Christmas ornament by Blue Ribbon Designs from the most recent Just Cross Stitch magazine.

Here's the start of it....
"Silent Night" progress

It's a stick! At the time I am typing this, it has actually grown into the full blown tree, with one (of two) owls to boot. Hopefully, I will complete it by tomorrow, and then do the finishing. I still am not sure whether to use stuffing and make it into a soft ornament, or cut a mounting board and make it into a "firm" type. The other BRD ornament I had has turned out to be a soft one. 

In addition to some stitching, I have been working out. Those who have read my previous post know that I joined the gym about six weeks ago, and since then I have been going regularly, three times a week. After working out on my own for the first two weeks, I've joined a group workout two days a week, and then, on the third day, I go in for the swimming exercises. 

All this effort brought results - some good, some... not so good. The good news is - I lost 6 % body fat (hooray!), the not so good news is - I gained 3 pounds. Now, I remember the trainer telling me that for the first six weeks I will be gaining muscle mass, and that will result in some weight gain. In fact, he even suggested I did not weigh myself for the first 5 weeks at all. So, maybe, it's all good news? I will try to look at it so.

Right now, I am going back to stitching. Until next time...


Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy 4th of July!

My dear friends,
Happy Independence Day!

Design by Nancy Turner
I hope you have a wonderful time with your family and friends. Originally, I had big plans about cooking- and eating, but my DH has to work all day, so- instead I will just go to the gym, then stitch and cook dinner. Oh, and hide my cats away from the fireworks.

Still, even with my children away (girls are visiting family) and having to work, it's a special day. A day when the colonies decided to do "their own thing" and declared their independence from England. Ever since I came here - about 20 years ago - I felt that doing one's own thing is the main theme, the corner stone of this society. Becoming independent and making one's own decisions, becoming an adult is what the colonists have done as a country, and now perhaps it's their spirit that calls each one of us to do the same thing - on an individual level.

So, barbecues and fireworks aside, today I will be thinking about - what it means to be independent.

Have a wonderful holiday! 

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Little Self Love...

Hello, dear friends,

This will not be a stitching post... Not that I have not stitched - in fact, it's what I have been doing most of the time, - but... there is something else on my mind today: my own needs...

To begin: with all the non-stop stitching, my bum has taken over. It has been growing exponentially, and no matter how I tried to curb my eating habits, it did not seem to make any difference. It was growing, and growing, and nothing would stop it - while I at the same time was feeling more and more tired, getting dizzy spells every time I left the house.

The situation forced me to look at myself - and sign up for a gym membership. For the past three weeks, I have been going to the gym - three times a week: walking on the treadmill, exercising on the bike, swimming in the pool - among other things.

Now, exercising in the gym when you are thirty six is a different experience from when you are, say, eighteen or twenty five. When you are eighteen, exercising is more of a "pleasant distraction", it seems. You are naturally graceful - at least on the outside - and slender; working out is done "just for upkeep" or "just to gain some extra strength", - or, in my case, just because I liked swimming. Mirrors are your friends: every time you look at yourself, you think, "I look all right!"

Not the same when you are thirty six, after giving birth to three kids... All the marks life has imprinted on your body - stretch marks, saggy boobs, "love handles" (why the hell are they called that? there's not much to love there), extended stomach - all that is there for you to see in every mirror you pass by - so, you avoid mirrors.

Exercising is no longer "just for fun" - you came with a purpose: to lose weight, to lose the gut, to get healthy, - however you phrase it, the goal really is to both look and feel better.. So, you focus on the exercises, on strengthening proper muscles, on increasing resistance, - instead of "just doing stuff". This time, you know what you want. Consequently, this is no longer a social get together with friends - it's a place of sweating and pain. You do not expect to look "sexy" or "attractive" during these times - you just want, mostly, to be left alone, and occasionally for someone to let you know if you are doing something wrong- and correct you.

My personal goal is to lose 20 pounds (about 9 kilograms) in the next six months. It is a long road, and I even had a meeting with a personal trainer, who assured me that my goal was entirely reachable - provided I exercised regularly and ate right. He took my measurements, gave me an outline of cardio and workout exercises, showed me a couple of machines I could start on - and I went to work.

For the first two weeks, I worked out entirely by myself: walking on the treadmill and riding a bike for cardio, doing sets on the machines the trainer showed, and swimming in the pool. By the end of the second week, I noticed that walking no longer pushed the wind out of me, and I could increase the speed on the treadmill. The bike became more familiar, and as far as stomach crunches - I could now do three sets of 20 (up from 15) and not feel like I needed to lie down.

I have obviously been getting stronger. So, feeling brave and certain that I was ready for the "next step", I decided to go to one of the group lessons... Oh boy was I humbled! Every time I jumped, my boobs were flying everywhere... When the trainer said to the group, "Drop it, push-up!" - I could only think, "If I drop it, I won't be able to get up." Some exercises - designed to be "funny" or "sexy" in addition to working out the muscles, perhaps - made my inner voice state with dignity to me, "There are things I just will not do!" So - I was able to last about 40 minutes out of an hour workout.. I am not giving up, and will try again tomorrow. Maybe bring a longer shirt, hehe...

This is my third week at the gym. I know I am getting stronger: I can walk longer distances without getting dizzy, I don't have to catch my breath going up and down the stairs... I have been sleeping better and not feeling as tired. Also, I can better concentrate when stitching, so - it's an improvement. I have not bothered weighing myself - the trainer said that, most likely, I am not to lose weight during the first 4 to 5 weeks, and I may even gain a couple of pounds - because of gaining muscle mass.

Back to the gym tomorrow morning... wish me luck! 

Saturday, June 6, 2015

An Online Diary?

Hello, dear friends,

  This morning, I have been trying out new templates and fonts for my blog. The idea behind all the changes is to make it look like a diary, as handwritten looking as possible....

   After messing around with (both) my blogs I discovered that the Russian one does not "accept" certain font changes! No curly Q's for me in Russian. Meh...

  Meanwhile, my daughter's birthday celebrations are continuing... Tonight, we are having a sleepover for a few of her friends. I am still not used to the whole sleepover party concept, for I grew up believing that the only people you can sleep over at are family. But - times are changing, and we have to change with times. Cliche? Cliche...


  This is my daughter Rita, trying to pose for the camera and getting distracted by our cat who is, in turn, trying to get her attention...


This is our cat, Dusty, slightly disgruntled, because his efforts did not lead to success, - knocking over cans of food and mewing loudly did not lead to him being picked up or fed - at least not immediately...



  This is Rita with Dusty... Looks like he is not getting the type of attention he wanted.


... and this is Rita with her stitched present. I am happy to say that she did like it. It is now hanging on the wall in her room. I do hope she keeps it - forever and ever..

Thank you for reading my ramblings...

Until next time,

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A Happy Birthday And A New Finish

Hello, my dear friends!
Today is my daughter Rita's birthday. She has turned 14 years old. For  the past six years or so, every time it comes to one of the kids' birthdays, I always have to check and pinch myself: really? They are - how old?
For the past couple of days,  I have been busy - ordering the cake, organizing dinner plans, buying birthday gifts, and - stitching. Now the cake is in the refrigerator, the dinner plans are made, and all we need is for the birthday girl to come home from school. As for the stitching - this is what I have been stitching all the way until last night.

"Gemini" by Julie Hasler
Stitched on 14 ct Navy Blue Aida 
I own a whole book of patterns by Julie Hasler, called "Fantasy Cross Stitch. " I bought it, I looked through it, and I decided to stitch a Zodiac pattern for every one of my kids - five of them, - and also one for myself and my husband. That was...let's see.. about ten years ago. Every year I want to, and every year something comes up: work, life, other stuff... This year, finally, I stitched one! "Gemini" - for my daughter Rita.



After big projects, it did not look like much work - indeed, it only took about 2 weeks of very relaxed, "free time" stitching. Yet, the color changes and the details do require a lot of attention... it seems like, just as I set myself to stitch on one color, it was time to switch it to another and re-thread the needle....
Originally, I got one of these brass/gold looking hoops to mount it on, but then decided instead on a simple wooden hoop. Decorated it with rickrack ribbon from Nancy Turner's collection, and put a red flower bead on the top.

Gemini Close Up

Tonight, we are having a quiet family celebration - talking, eating cake (and sushi), and spending time together. All the noise - friends, guests, sleepovers - are still ahead, this weekend...

Several hours later - here's the cake...



The petit fours...


And the complete ensemble! 




Thank you for reading my ramblings, friends! 

Until next time,




Sunday, May 24, 2015

Happy Sunday!

Why happy? Because today I am taking a break from everything - from cleaning, from cooking, and - from stitching! It has been the decision of my family that, for the next twenty four hours, I am not to hold a needle in my hand for any purpose - and for once, I agree.
Instead, I drink tea and eat sandwiches, watch Netflix (actually watch, not listen), and even play video games on Xbox.. Hello second childhood!
Tomorrow it's back to projects, back to stitching... but today is a day of rest.

I hope all of my dear friends are having a chance to rebuild their strength by taking a well deserved day off..

Happy Sunday!

P.S. This image is not mine - it's "borrowed" from coffeeandtea.about.com. Something tasty about the phrase "tea and sandwiches" in itself, isn't there? :) 


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day!

While I am not the one to go all warm and fuzzy over the word "mother" - for there are all kinds of mothers out there - I do appreciate my relationship with my daughters... We are not always "pals" or "best friends", but I keep telling them (and more often myself) that I am not their friend, I am their mother. So, if they are upset with me from time to time, it can only mean that I am doing something right. Hopefully, I am, that is...

Which makes moments like this more memorable. Lunch together, talking, laughing, sharing hopes - and plans... Sometimes, just for a short time, it feels nice to be your child's friend.

Vera and Me
Especially knowing that in another five, maybe six years, they will be adults - and will make their own decisions, their choices - and I will not necessarily have the most prominent place in their lives. Now is the time to enjoy it - as much as possible (between battles over homework and chores)... Now is the time for me to recognize Rita's artistic temperament, her talent for drawing - and her sharp, sarcastic sense of humor. As well as - Vera's high intellect, with that deep well of emotions - and ability to understand and explain almost anything to anyone. Life is not easy for singular people. Finding friends, making connections, getting accepted - and, especially, feeling accepted - is difficult for everyone, but it is even more so for people who refuse to pretend. While they are brave enough "to be alone than with whomever", being alone is definitely not their choice - and it's not easy.

Rita and Vera
No matter what happens in the future, I am and always will be proud to be their mother.

Happy Mother's Day!


Friday, May 1, 2015

News From the Island

The good news is - I finished a project! 



The bad news - I can't show pictures of it.... So, instead - there is a Bitstrip cartoon I made in honor of this accomplishment. One project down - two more to go! 

In all other aspects - things have been (almost) the same. Every time I think - maybe I should go out? - I start thinking of where to go, what to do... and the thoughts alone make me feel tired, to the point that going outside would be out of the question. 

Until next time - I will be on my island, stitching. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

News From The Island: Reading, Finding Purpose and Pulling Myself Together...

After yesterday's post about depression, I felt like I had to do something... something to find reason and purpose. I mean, I am still alive. Therefore, there must be a reason for my being here.
Solutions came in the form of online reading - as they have often done recently. After reading some posts out there, I realized that, by comparison, I am not doing so bad...

1. I am not injured. 
Several of my online friends are going through some serious health trials right now, suffering from pain and lack of mobility. I can walk. I can move. I am not in physical pain. I am OK.

2. I am independent.
Yes, I may be stuck at home most days, looking for - and not finding - reasons to leave the house, but I get to make my own decisions. I realized today, that not all people my age have that right, and for many it is almost a luxury. They have to live with their parents. I am lucky not to have to live under others' rules.

3. I work doing what I love most. 
While I am not exactly able to support my family with my "business", I am able to help - and that's a start. Of course, the main ingredient in this process is  - work. Anyone who believes that "home business" equals a relaxed woman drinking coffee in her kitchen is being taken for a ride. (The picture I am describing was seen by me at Costco on some product ad - with words "Create your own business" or something like that... )

And now, having done with the "self-encouragement", I am going to take my daughters out to lunch. True, it's not The Ritz, it's Panera Bread, but - I prefer casual style anyway.

P.S. I am, of course, still struggling with the same issues as yesterday. It's just - I have to find something, some way, to deal with all this. No amount of "there, there, it'll get better" comments can change the things I don't like... I have to find will and strength to change them myself.

Once again, thank you for reading my ramblings... Especially if you've read them until the end.
Until next time - I will be stitching... on my island. :)


Saturday, April 25, 2015

Egyptian Zodiac - and More

Looks like it has been a month since my last post. Time for an update!

First of all, stitching news... I have been working on the Gemini pattern by Julie Hasler, from her Fantasy Cross Stitch book. My daughter is a Gemini, and I want to finish it in time for her birthday.


This is the most recent progress pic..Since it was taken, I have already stitched more. Some day I will stitch all twelve Zodiac patterns from that book. They are the best ones I have ever seen.

In addition to that, I have several work-related projects going... These mostly are exercises in patience and self-development... the first one I am running extremely low on.

Now on to the "more" part of the post. Even as I was typing this, I had to pause - where to start? It's like a great big concrete wrecking ball that keeps hitting me and knocking me down, all the problems and feelings about the problems tangled and solidified together and turned on me.

The short story is - I am depressed. (In my head, a voice immediately pipes up, "Who isn't?") Nothing special, right? In our day and age, every other adult and - seems like - every third child - has that. I am just one of many.

Of course, telling myself this does not help dealing with it. Not having any friends does not help, either. I feel invisible. Nobody comes, nobody calls, nobody cares. ( A voice hackles: "You are not alone - you have "Nobody.")

I do have a social life. People talk to me online. Several online friends with the shared stitching passion ("addiction," the inner voice quickly adds) send online messages. A wonderful "pen pal" lady friend from Denmark writes regularly - and I respond, also regularly. Individuals from other states talk to me about stitching projects. I even have a magazine subscription.  All the connections, all the projects, all the messages and letters say - you are not alone, you do have friends - and a full life.

Then I look around me - and no one is there. It is as if all this busy life I live has been imagined. Except the letters - and the magazine subscription - I have no tangible proof of it. I have never met most people I converse with face to face, and the ones I have - not in the past 20 years. In the back of my skull, a thought is knocking, waiting to get out, "Is it real, or is it all in my head?"

The answer to this question has been given to Harry Potter by Dumbledore (or by J.K. Rowling): "Of course it's all in your head. But why should that mean it isn't real?"

I have noticed that for several years now, when my depression gets bad, I want to re-read ( or re-listen) Harry Potter books. For a while I thought it was because of the "magical world" and witches and wizards... But the last two books of the series seem to have less to do with magic - and more with loss, depression, death... The "comforts" of the magical world become more of an accessory to the real problem of the heroes - dealing with death, and the reality of dying.
I have suspected this for a while (except I always substituted "death" and "dying" with "reality of life"), and when I saw a long interview with J.K Rowling about creation of Harry Potter books, I confirmed my ... suspicions. Perhaps this is the reason I choose the series when I feel the worst - I can relate to the characters's fears, panic, numbness... Plus, there is no patronizing in the voice of the narrator - so often present in many other works - and other people.

Other people - the ones that know what I am dealing with - have been coming up with suggestions.
"Get out more."
"Meet new people."
"Do things."

From the end: I already do things. There are no new people here, and they have nothing I am interested in.  Why????

Indeed, there are no people - let alone groups of people - near me that share my interests. See - it's not a matter of being "unfriendly" or mean - it's just after the first ten minutes we would have nothing to say to each other. So - why waste my time (and theirs) - just to say hello?

I am making my life and my friends. Unfortunately, they just happen to be thousands of miles away. I feel like I live on a deserted island - and, for all purposes, I do. I am isolated from people that may be close to me in spirit - by distance, and from people that are near me - by the non-sharing of interests. Complete and total isolation.

If you have read this to the very end - thank you. Until next time, I will be on my island, stitching.




Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Our Home

With a few days break, I had a chance to do some stitching for myself.
Here it is...
After the weekend.

I call it "The Little Crooked House." It was not meant to be crooked, but - it turned out that way. Since this project is all for me - and my family - I try not to fret over it too much. I like it... That's all that matters.

In other matters, my life has been - unchanged. We started to plan a short vacation - just to get away for a few days, nothing major - but financial circumstances changed (as they always do)- and with that our plans went up in smoke. I was looking forward to this break, so I can't pretend I am not disappointed.

I did go to the theater (a real theater) twice over the past few months. First time, back in January, a friend invited me to go see a surreal, bit "Twilight Zone", bit "detective" story. It was good and thought provoking. The second time, just last Friday, I invited a different friend to a play "The Penelopiad" - the events of Trojan War through the eyes of Penelope, Odysseus's abandoned wife. 
While he - the hero - goes around the world, saves women, gains fame and fortune, she is left to care for their son, rule the island, run the house - and, at the same time, be invisible. For twenty years, she has been waiting for a happy ending - for her husband's safe return, for love, for recognition. But, in the end there was no reward. The hero came back, slayed the suitors - and her favorite maids, for good measure. Not quite a happy ending we were hoping for...

Until next time - happy stitching! 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Stitching, Watching and Reading

Hello, my dear friends! Once again, it has been a while - three months since I posted last... Thank you for not giving up on me.
What has happened in those months? First of all - lots of stitching (of course)... Since January, I have been working on a Christmas Stocking - yes, another one - and yesterday night, late - very late - I put in the last stitch! To celebrate the completion, I had a glass of champagne  cup of sparkling cider...

"Toys and Games" Stocking
Here it is - all ready and made.... I enjoyed working on it - so many details, so many French Knots! 

Jack in the Box and Teddy
I have never in my life seen a real Jack in the Box. The closest thing to it might be the one in the episode of "Twilight Zone", when the monster boy turns his neighbor into a Jack in the Box toy and sends him into the corn field. Hmmm, I am getting a bit morbid here, aren't I? 

While working on this project, I have seen a couple of shows, and I also discovered for myself books on tape. Well, to be precise, I discovered them a while ago - on the shelves of a local Barnes and Noble store... Then I also discovered their prices - and realized I would have to take out a loan to have an audio library I would want. But where is a will, there is a way... Long story short, our local library happened to have quite a few audio books on CDs. I checked out "Kiss Me Like a Stranger" by Gene Wilder - best... listen I have ever had in a long time - while also stitching. Now my goal is to listen to "Notes on a Scandal" by Zoe Heller.... 

What was I talking about? Ah, yes, shows... One of the shows I watched this year was "American Horror Story". Amazing actors (Kathy Bates as a Southern slave owner, Jessica Lange - evil power hungry woman), good script... The only down side - for me - was that I often ended up staring at the screen with my mouth open - instead of stitching.
Another good show I discovered was "Once Upon a Time" - fairy tale characters "stuck" in our world by the enchantment of the evil queen... Only, with time we learn that the queen is not so evil - just miserable... Little Red Riding Hood - not so little any more, and required to wear the red cape to avoid turning into a blood thirsty monster.. And in the middle of all - Robert Carlyle as Rumplestiltskin. Could it get any better?

In conclusion, I want to share the results of my experiment. I have got the idea from Laura - my long distance friend and a talented stitcher - when she published a video/slide show of her stitching progress on a project, from beginning to end. So, that got me interested. I asked my DH to help with the Movie Maker program, he obliged - and... voila!

video


Now that this project is finished, I will have to find a new one... I think I will work on a family sampler, it has been calling my name for a while now...
Thank you for reading my ramblings!