Monday, November 30, 2009

November Achievements & December Goals

Goals for November:
1. Stitch Space Invader Sampler and finish as a bag Sort of...I finished the pattern, but messed up the fabric cut, so I have to pick up extra to work around the mistake
2. Finish "S" bag Yes! And I love it. (I can't believe I haven't posted pictures yet... Tomorrow!
3. Finish Shamrock Biscornu Finished all the stitching, but I had put all the beads in a "safe" place. And can't find them. .
4. Stitch at least 20 hours on Ganesha Nope. Why do I keep listing this as a goal? A sad pathetic hope...
5. Stitch and finish a few floss tags I got started on one but got nervous about the eyelets and went off to eat muffins. (Honestly, it's a two inch piece that took an hour to stitch! You'd think I'd realize that if I muck it up I can just try again!)

Other things I did that were unplanned:
1. Finished When Witches Go Riding
1. Started Minx
2. Started Christmas Angel

Goals for December:
1. Finish the floss tag
2. Finish Christmas Angel
3. Finish Bluebell
4. Stitch at least 20 hours on Ganesha (Hey, one of these months it's going to happen!)
5. No new starts

I'll be done finals by the second week, and then I'm free to stitch, stitch, stitch! I'm going to try to make December a wrapping-up month.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Jennifer's Giveaway

Why do I post giveaways? Because I love winning stuff and it's always nice to know about giveaways. Plus I enjoy reading the owners' blogs and think more people should read them~

Anyway, Jennifer is having a lovely giveaway for Christmas.

From the Realm of Glory

I haven't been stitching much this week because of too many assignments and I'll probably stitch even less the next 3 weeks because of finals. *Sigh*

I did get a bit more of Christmas Angel done.

This is at 18.5 hours. I didn't feel like stitching the white, and I can't find one of the blues, so there are some giant patches.

For the curious, and the gatherers of useless trivia:
So last time I mentioned that angels are asexual, only to be informed by Annie, that no, Jewish angels are usually males.

Today's angel fact: there are only 5 angels named in the Bible: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Apollyon or Abaddon (the keeper of the abyss) and Satan. Yes, Apollyon and Satan are devils, but technically they're fallen angels.

And if you're really obsessed about trivia: Apollyon is mentioned in Revelations 9:11.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Nike loves me!

No, no. Not the shoe people! The Greek goddess of victory!

Lindsay has just informed me that I've won one of her really cute beaded ornaments~ Yay! I love winning stuff!

A while ago, Annie (who appears to be reading every stitching blog under the sun!) finished off a beautiful Altoids tin. I commented that I've never seen one IRL, and she sent me one! Isn't that just wonderful of her? She sent me cinnamon flavoured ones. I ripped it open in a mad frenzy, popped one in my mouth, and almost died! They're very spicy! I was going to gobble them all up, but apparently I can't indulge my piggish self...

On a really random note: I was drooling over Autumn Winds (my new start for 2010) and it occurred to me why I like this so much! My subconscious tells me that it's Snape as a girl, or a very effeminate boy! Can you tell that I watch far too much anime with pretty boys who look like girls! Now I'm even more anxious to start!

Monday, November 23, 2009


What seems like ages ago, I won day 12 of Missy's giveaway. International post has seen fit to drop it on my doorstep today.

Isn't Bunnicula just awesome? Note the bat-pin that tops the pinkeep. He's on a lovely white-with-white-swils fabric, and the back is a lovely black velvet-like fabric. As of typing the candy corn is gone, but the gummyball eyeball is staring at me. I'm a little nervous to bite into it...

The black bit is the bag everything was in, and the purple mess is the really cute wrapping paper. I'm one of those people that rips apart wrapping, no reusing for me!

This was my first stitchy mail, and it was so much fun finding it inside my front door!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stage Two Failed...Try Again.

Today I dragged out my sewing machine and got everything together to assemble my Space Invaders bag. As I was cheerfully threading my needle I glanced at my cut fabric and came to a sad realization:

When you square the bottom of a bag, the width of the bag decreases as part of the width becomes the sides. I had not accounted for this decrease. Which means that my bag doesn't have sides. I thought about the logistics of using my strap as the side, and this seemed to be a good idea until I got my tape measure, did a bit of pretzel-like twisting and figured out that the resulting strap would be too short for my purposes.

Since I have no fabric left, it's off to Fabricland on Monday.

This is the second bag I've attempted and the second one with "issues". I think the universe is trying to tell me something...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hark Now!

First, thanks for
a) the spatula advice
b) letting me know that brownies from boxes are not punishable by death.

So when I said I wanted to stitch Joan Elliot's Christmas Angel I had a whole bunch of people encourage me (*tears of joy*). So I started her...on Tuesday and here's where I'm at.

She's on 32 count Pewter lugana. I was looking for a pale grey to stitch her on and I really like this one.

She's at 9 hours and I'm done the purple part of her skirt! Well, the photo makes it look blue, it's purple. And such a lovely deep purple!

Angel fact of the day: Traditionally angels are asexual. So all this female angel business is...questionable.

Erynne's Giveaway

Erynne over at Be-Stitched is having her giveaway. And it's a doozy. A GC worth $75.

Enter! (or don't, and increase my chances! *grin*)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Baking brownies

The only "domestic" art I'm master of is the needle.
Self-acknowledged failure in the kitchen, I can boil noodles, make a grilled cheese sandwich and microwave any number of things. In a fit of madness I decided to make brownies. Before folks get excited this is brownies from a box (which I'm sure is some kind of sacrilege).
Anyway, the brownies are currently in the oven. Having followed the instructions on the box, the batter was very thick and I could only get about 2/3 into the pan. I'm currently eating the rest (and it's good!).
So my question is: how was I supposed to get all the batter in the pan? Unlike a cake mix this was really really thick and didn't flow...

Out of the oven

Had a few bites, and I swear I could feel my teeth rotting from all the sugar, and my dentist rubbing her hands in glee!

Clarification: I couldn't get all the batter out of my mixing bowl. It just got stuck everywhere.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stage One complete

A total of 1 hour frogging, 7 for the border, 2 for the text and 1/3 for removing the waste canvas and I'm done!

You'll notice that some parts look puckered. They are. I'm trying to figure out how to flatten it. Possibly an iron and some interfacing?

Assembling the bag will either be tomorrow or Tuesday.

Thinking of using waste canvas? Learn from my experience:
1. Try finding an alternate way. Maybe stitch it on your linen/evenweave/Aida of choice and patchwork it?
2. Baste around the edges and then baste in a grid pattern. This will hold the waste canvas close to the fabric and reduce buckling/puckering.
3. Use a frame/hoop. Also to keep everything flat.
4. Use a very pointy needle.
5. Use tweezers to pull out the waste canvas. Might just have been the waste canvas I had, but when wet the canvas feels very gluey, utterly disgusting, and hurts your fingers when you pull it out. It has to be thread by thread because it's too tricky trying to pull multiples.
6. Try finding an alternate way.

Will I use waste canvas again? Probably. Do I like it? No.

Anybody have any waste canvas tips/experiences?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Cosmic Horror!!!!!

Moving on from the abuse of the exclamation mark!
(OK that's enough)

I started the "Space Invader Sampler" today. It's a
freebie from Sprite Stitch, a blog documenting video game based crafts.

The quote is from the epilogue of "The War of the Worlds" by H.G.Wells, and the little guys are from the old arcade game, which I have never actually played. But the geekiness and the quote were just irresistible.

The fabric is black twill, the waste canvas is 12 count, and the floss is B5200. The white on white makes taking a picture nigh(word of the day) impossible. The chart gives a better idea of what it is.

What follows is a skippable epic backstory:

I want an over-the-shoulder black bag with a flap, but no zips. I leave zips open, so why add one? Went to Fabricland last week to look for black canvas. Apparently canvas only comes in white and tan, and Fabricland carries only tan. So I asked the lady helping me if I could just buy a bottle of black dye and turn the tan into black. She very gently and firmly suggested that I change my idiotic idea and pushed me towards black twill. Stopped off at the LNS and picked up 12 count waste canvas.

Forward to last night when I spent about an hour figuring out the dimensions for my bag. I've already mentioned my inability to "get" the measurements right. On to today morning when I went to cut the fabric and realized that I had exactly enough to make the bag. And by exactly I mean the strap, the inside, the outside and possible a pocket. With nothing left!

So I happily cut my waste canvas, basted it, and started to stitch. Two aliens later I realized that twill has a right side and a wrong side. I was, of course, stitching on the wrong side... Frustrated sigh and then 15 minutes of frogging later I was ready to get started. Again.

Because I felt gung-ho, I decided that "sticking with masking tape" counted as basting and found the centre with the very scientific "that looks about the middle". I happily stitched until I reached the edge, and realized that I was running out of fact the leftmost rightmost stitch is actually out in space. Not only was "about the middle" not the middle, I'd brilliantly managed to cut the waste canvas too narrow (it's .25" wider than the stitch count). At this point I was incapable of shock and accepted it with a calm Zen-like manner. I'm now halfway done and am aiming to finish by tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It seems like a lot of folks hate large blocks of colour and like changing needles. And this is fine too.
But right now I'm in the mood for utterly brainless stitching. Which for me is giant blocks of colour with very little thread changes. The background of this piece works just fine!

Of course I'll probably get tired of large blocks soon, but while the muse is willing I'm going to get as much done as possible!

I've also been listening to Terry Pratchett's "Unseen Academicals" on audiobook. I have about 2 hours to finish. While entertaining it's a bit odd, because the blurb makes it sound like the entire book is about the UU's football endeavours, but that takes up about a 1/5 of the book. Usually I find Terry's twists unpredictable, but not so in this: I saw certain things coming miles away. I wonder how much of this is because I've read all his books (and therefore am familiar with this style) or how much has to do with his Alzheimer's affecting his writing...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Angela's Giveaway

Angela, from my old town Toronto!, is giving away a beautifully finished box for her End of the Year giveaway.

Go enter

Sunday, November 8, 2009

And to wrap it up

I have a baker's dozen of followers! (I apparently didn't notice when I hit a dozen. So we'll just celebrate my baker's dozen!)

Prepping for Christmas

I stunned myself almost senseless when I went through my stash and picked out my Christmas stitch. She probably won't be started until December, but I have chosen!
The settling point was the eyeshadow. No idea why.

She's Joan Elliot's Christmas Spirit. Oddly not at all red or green. But hey, an angel is pretty Christmassy in my book!

Why Such Strange Pieces?

I won this a few years ago in a really weird Christmas game. I think the organizer called it a Dutch Auction.

Basically you picked something in your house that you didn't like and wanted to gift away. Then you wrapped it in old newspaper, so that it looked generic. Everyone who had a present to donate could participate. Everything went under the tree. You drew a number from a bowl. In order of the number you picked a present and opened it. If someone else liked it they could "steal" it from you. You'd then have to pick a different present. Repeat until no one wanted what you had and the next person would go. I remember there was a really nice shelf that people kept "stealing". Someone put this up in order to get rid of it. I saw it and had to have it. Don't know why. It was funny because I saw it and stole it with great enthusiasm, and got a lot of baffled stares.

I have idea what it says, so she's been named "Minx".
Anyway, I put a few (~5) stitches in a few weeks ago and a lot more this weekend. So it's a new start now.

On 18 count Aida.

Why am I stitching her? I find her compelling. And I've given up trying to justify my very odd taste...

Bringing Order to Chaos!

I spent yesterday organizing my floss. Moved all my DMC from messy piles of skeins to plastic bobbins. It was a pain! I only buy floss for a project as I do it. Or right before I start it. And I thought I didn't have much. Apparently I have 2 boxes worth!

This is about halfway through. By the end I had those plastic binds all over the carpet making a horrible mess.

I also discovered a lot of doubles. White and black were understandable because they show up so much. But neon orange? Lint grey?

Friday, November 6, 2009

A late Halloween HD

Last week I whined about there being too much brown ground and how I didn't want to stitch it. Wah wah wah.
So Zeb and Deb (hey, they rhyme!) suggested that I just leave out the ground.
"Of course!" says I. Planning to also leave out the orange around the cats and the black frame.
Fast forward a few days and I realize that without the ground the base of the house looks odd. So I decide to stitch a bit of brown. It didn't look enough, so I added a bit more...
The end result was that I filled in all the brown.
This made it look bottom heavy. So I filled in the orange.
And since it didn't seem like that much more work, I added the frame.

Hands up anyone surprised by my ability to make a decision and then fail to stitch to it.

I see no hands.

When Witches Go Riding
Started on October 24
Finished November 6
Total time to stitch 40.5 hours
Fabric is 32 count Peach Whisper

Fabric hasn't been ironed, hence the wrinkles.It was pretty fun to stitch and I stitched on it exclusively. That laughing moon makes me smile. And I love that lone sad pumpkin. Actually, I just realized that I haven't done the backstitch on the cats and the pumpkin at the top. Grrrr. Just imagine whiskers on the cats and a grill/braces on the pumpkin.

I've been trying to find a Christmas design but so far haven't fallen in love with anything. Anyone want to bet that I'll find it a week before Christmas, stitch madly, whine about it around January and finish in February, just in time to repeat everything for the Valentine stitch?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What I said

about being done When Witches Go Riding? Not true. At all. I just haven't had time to stitch. Last night I realized that I hadn't done an assignment for school, tonight I picked up J.D. Robb's "Kindred in Death" and Nalini Singh's "Blaze of Memory" and I HAVE to read them. So let's just push that ETA over to Saturday shall we?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Yet another project.

Well, technically I just went out and bought waste canvas and fabric to make my "Space Invader Sampler" bag. While at my LNS to pick up the waste canvas I picked this up:

A kind of farewell to TW who's moving to bigger and better things. (Than cross stitch! What sacrilege!) Anyway, my best wishes to her and my thanks for all her awesome patterns. I haven't stitched very many, but they are on my list.

And for Pumpkin, who wanted to know. Bluebell is on 32 count Waterlily Jobelan. I picked it so that she'd match Poppy (who looks awesome IRL but not so much in that photo...)

And remember last time I mentioned that I was getting a bit bored of Witches? I looked at everything else and went right back finishing it. I'll probably be done tonight tomorrow.

I have no willpower...