Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Blushing Rose Progress

I'm back! It feels like I've been off Blogger for a thousand years, but it's only been a week. By the number of posts I have to catch up on reading, it could be much more than a week, haha. :) Oh, I am so glad to be feeling a bit better! I couldn't cross stitch or get on my computer or anything - including knitting lessons - for a week. It was agony. Three of those days were spent lying as still as possible in a dark room without any sleep happening. Enough unhappiness though - I started feeling much better last night and managed to stitch a bit! Here's my progress:

Haha, does it look like a rose yet? The random ladybug that was in my room and flew onto it while I was stitching seems to think so. :)

I have been reading so much of Northanger Abbey lately, by Jane Austen, and I am loving it!! I'd totally recommend it, to anyone who happens to be looking for a good book to read. It's fun and witty and engaging. I love it!

A couple weeks ago I got a super cheap thread organizer thing because it was driving me crazy to dig through a huge pile of threads to find the right one. Loving this organization!! The winding of thread around bobbins is also very enjoyable for my OCD self. :)

My birthday is on Friday!! :) Just had to announce that. I'm pretty excited. Haha, obviously. And I am totally dragging my boyfriend with me to see Warm Bodies, just because. :D

Time to catch up a bit on reading everyone's lovely blog posts and seeing all their lovely stitching! :)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Brisingr and Stitching

I just finished reading Brisingr today. I read while I eat breakfast, and I have a habit of just pushing my empty bowl to the side and continuing to read for hours when there's no rush. The only thing that stops me? Finishing the book, like today. Christopher Paolini has a tendency to have Eragon (main character) sit down with someone and be told lots and lots and pages and pages of information, all of which was a huge major secret for the hundreds of pages leading up to that moment. It's both hard to put down and a little... blah. Knowledge dumping is hard to make interesting. This series is pretty good though. It's reminiscent of The Lord of the Rings, which is always a good thing. Paolini creates an interesting world that I want to be in, and I consider the series worthwhile and the plot of interest. He is an amateur writer, but a reasonably talented one, and the Inheritance cycle is a fun, easy read so far.

On to cross stitchy goodness! Here's my progress on both Mario and Flowers in Purple Vase. Hoping to have them finished soon! :)

And now to get off the computer quickly, because my head is hurting rather a lot. Happy stitching!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Anna Karenina

I just finished this novel today, and it is quite possibly the most incredible book I have ever read and will ever read. Leo Tolstoy is absolutely brilliant. His characters are so complex and real; we see layer after layer of intricate feeling and thought that shifts easily and drastically. No characters in any other novel seem real compared with Levin and Anna and all the rest; in fact, sometimes this novel seemed more real than life. Tolstoy has an amazing ability to capture the human experience, even the parts of which we are hardly conscious and which we can hardly put in words. Furthermore, this is not the traditional cheerful novel - there are not happy endings, just real endings. People are unhappy and do not become happy. Marriages aren't happily ever afters; they're just beginnings of even greater adventures. People fight and suffer and wish they were not alive. Feelings are complex and love is not perfect and clear. Leo Tolstoy explores the piece about which we all are curious; okay, so these people think they're in love and are going to marry. Now what? How do they live their lives? Truly, a most amazing novel. Everyone ought to read Anna Karenina.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mario Progress

Here's some progress made on Mario, one of my Crazy January starts. It's soooo cute, I love it! And oh, the memories it brings back. :)

On a less happy note, the Patriots. :( Where were they? Because they certainly weren't on the field for that second half. At least the Superbowl won't be stressful?

Happy stitching!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Flowers in Purple Vase Progress

Here’s a little progress update on “Flowers in Purple Vase,” my Christmas Day start. It’s so fun to stitch a small, simple, pretty design.

I am so close to finishing reading Anna Karenina. I’m dying for a few hours to sit down and read the last seventy pages or so. I wanted to do so yesterday, but I was really feeling bad and tried to take a nap instead. It’s disappointing, I thought I was doing a bit better and then the past few days haven’t been so good. I’m hoping it is just temporary, since these were high risk days – drastic change in weather, lack of good sleep, and lots of cleaning. My grandparents stopped by, which was wonderful! They’re a nineteen hour drive away, so these things are rare. My grandmother pushed me to finally start arranging a time to learn how to knit at my local needlework shop. I’m so excited! So look forward to a picture of my first attempt sometime next week. :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

CJC 2013 Days 14-15

Here are my final two Crazy January Challenge 2013 starts!

#14: A Mario bookmark. Not sure where I got the free PDF, it was months ago. It's sooooo cute! :)

#15: "Sing," by Ezia Gladstone. This is going to be for my aunt, Rose. She has the best voice ever, and sings opera like a boss. Wish I had some of her genes, haha.

Happy stitching!

Monday, January 14, 2013

CJC 2013 Days 12-13

I finished the Shell Chrismon on January 12th - kind of.

Notice anything a bit off? Yep, a water droplet is one block off. Oopsies. I am not excited about fixing that, so I've thrown Shell aside for the time being.

On January 12th, I also started Everything is Possible, a little Dimensions kit. Not much of a start, but a start nonetheless.

Yesterday, I started Dream, another bookmark from the Stoney Creek book, X Marks the Spot. It's so pretty already. :) I'm making it for one of my best friends. Her birthday is February 2nd, so I'll try to give her this for her birthday. :)

Happy stitching!

Friday, January 11, 2013

CJC 2013 Days 8-11 and TUSAL

The craziness continues, with days 8 through 11 of the Crazy January Challenge.

Favorite Pony
January 8, 2013
I am loving stitching Favorite Pony! The effect of the black Aida is so different, I love it.

Shell Collection
January 9, 2013
 I know, a bit of a pitiful start on Shell Collection. I was feeling particularly poorly that day.

Celtic Cross
January 10, 2013
I think I'm enjoying these Chrismons too much, I just keep going back to them. They're so simply and pretty and quick and I'm still in the Christmas spirit, I guess. :)

Crown of Thorns and Nails
January 10, 2013 - January 11, 2013
And another one!

January 11, 2013
Last one, I promise. I'm out of 14 ct. Aida and have no money. I'll probably have this one finished by later this evening, but I wanted to go ahead and do an update. :) I finished Crown of Thorns and Nails and began this one while rewatching A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Wonderful movie, especially interesting after taking (most of) a course on Roman Comedy last fall. I see a lot of Andria and Casina in the movie, which is fun. :)

And now a TUSAL update, the first one of the year! Lots of stitching has been done already. Mostly Chrismons - all that gold thread. :) I put my little cut up Dasani water bottle beside my journal. I have written in this journal every day for seven weeks - my medical leave thus far. It's a wonderful habit by this point. The cover has a lovely reminder, too, especially when lots of things aren't going according to plan.

Monday, January 7, 2013

CJC 2013 Days 6-7

On the sixth day of January, I started and finished stitching two cross stitch pieces while watching the Seattle/Washington football game. These are two more little Chrismons, "Ark and Rainbow" and "Cross and Crown." Loving these. :)

Ark and Rainbow

Cross and Crown

And today I began Woodland Winter, a Dimensions Gold Collection kit from my grandparents. This piece is going to be huge! 18 inches by 10 inches on 18 ct. Aida. Bring it on. :)

Woodland Winter

Sunday, January 6, 2013

CJC 2013 Days 2-5

First, here's some more progress on my January 1st start, Sanctuary Shells. I've been having ill luck with cross stitch lately, including breaking this needle! Apparently I don't know my own strength, haha. :)

 Here's a bit more ill luck, on "Blast Off!" This is my January 2nd start, and I have not yet gathered the will to deal with the one green stitch that is out of place and must be fixed. The farthest green stitch down, next to the newly worked blue stitching, should shift right one block. Oops.

Here's my January 3rd start, "Fabulous Feather," from the January 2013 issue of the Cross Stitch and Needlework Magazine.

Here's my January 4th start, "Blushing Rose," from the October 2012 issue of Cross Stitch Collection. Alas, more ill fortune! Apparently this ought to be stitched three over two, not two over two. I need to do some frogging on this piece, too.

But my ill fortune lifted! On January 5th, I started this Chrismon, the "Lamp." (You know, Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path, and all.) I started and finished stitching this piece during the Cincinnati vs. Houston game yesterday. It was delightful! My mom had supplies and such for tons of Chrismons given to her by her mom, which she let me use. :)

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

CJC 2013 Day 1

Happy New Year, everyone! I love new years so much. And new months. And new weeks. And new days... There's just something so thrilling about a fresh start! New plans and outlooks are so invigorating! Let's make 2013 amazing! :)

I had a new start today, as part of the Crazy January Challenge 2013. This is Sanctuary Shells, a Christmas present that my mom picked out for me. :)

And I couldn't resist working a bit more on Flowers in Purple Vase:

Happy stitching!