Monday, August 29, 2011

Not What You Were Expecting

First off I have to apologize to everyone waiting for Namaste to be coloured in. I started to. I promise. I even filled in one of the purples and got halfway on the other (there are 3 colours per motif) but then I lost interest.

And then Sapphire just said “Hey, how about this kimono hmm?” And I thought “No, not just yet. But let’s get that obi done.” And so she went from this on Saturday morning:

to this tonight:

September's Sapphire Fairy
32 ct Waterlily Jobelan

Now since I still “feel” her I’m going to keep going and possibly get to the kimono, but keeping in mind that I “felt” the purple on Friday night, who wants to make a guess on which piece of stitching my next post will feature?

TUSAL August

Another new moon. Another picture.

The pretty blue is from Tree of Stitches. And I have no clue where the red perle is from!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Not Appearing In This Post

are any pictures of Alphabetissimo, Egyptian Sampler, Celtic Autumn, Sweeping Cobwebs or Cirque des Triangle. This is excellent since I've pulled all those out, almost threaded the needle and then put them back. I've got way too many WIPs that are nowhere near finished.

Instead I've successfully finished all the black stitching on Namaste.

32ct white Lugana

Now to start filling in the colours...

Sunday, August 21, 2011

If You Could See What I Have Done

This wraps up one of the UFORRs I'm participating in. The other has 2 pieces to go. This is Rahenna's Amaryllis in Bloom by Dimensions.

As it arrived:

As it goes out

I'm not sure how visible it is, but I've done a fair bit of the half crosses in the background.

In odd news my SD reader is acting up. It doesn't register my SD card when I insert it, but the computer will read the card when it's in a camera that's attached to the computer. Weird.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Benefits of Outsourcing

So I've been showcasing other people's UFORRs for the past year. Today I'll show you the other side while I celebrate the first finish since April! (Are you shocked? I'm appalled by my lack of finishing!)

This was Rose of Sharon when I sent her off: Dress done, arch and flowers not.

Rachel, Theialin, Tali and Kris worked their magic, and returned this:

Isn't she gorgeous? I'm so, so happy that she's done! And the fact that I got to stitch my favourite part and left the not-so-favourite bits to someone else? I'm smirking all the way to the finished drawer.

There are so many greens and pinks in the foliage it isn't funny.

Title(Red) Rose of Sharon
Start dateMarch 6, 2009
Finish dateShe returned on August 17, 2011 so I'm counting that as the finish date
Total timeI put in 121 hours and have no idea how many the ladies put in
Fabric32 ct Ivory lugana
Floss Conversion as given here

And now for a lot more pictures of that lovely dress!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Something A Bit Different

I saw this on a couple of blogs, and since there is a serious dearth of stitchy pictures (forgive me!) I figured I might as well play along. According to the US NPR this is the list of Top 100 Sci-Fi, Fantasy books.

Quite a few of the books that I've read was for high school. And I read a lot of the really old classics as a kid.

Bold – read or listened to the audiobook
Italics – partially read
Underline – want to read

1. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien – I like the books but I find that I have to work hard to read them. And I must commit sacrilege and admit that I love the movies more.

2. The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams

3. Ender's Game, by Orson Scott Card – I haven’t read any of the “Ender” sequels but I have read all but the last “Bean” books

4. The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert – Only the original

5. A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin – I’ve read the first 3, and since GRRM takes such a long time between books I haven’t felt like reading and then getting frustrated with the wait.

6. 1984, by George Orwell – Ah, high school…

7. Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury – Ah, high school…

8. The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov - I've also read the "4th" book, but none of the other sequels/prequels.

9. Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley – Ah, high school…

10. American Gods, by Neil Gaiman

11. The Princess Bride, by William Goldman – The book is fun and so is the movie. Cary Elwes is gorgeous!

12. The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan – Gave up after book 9(?) when an hour after finishing I couldn’t remember what had happened. I’m just going to look up spoilers once the last books comes out (has it already come out? The 3rd part of 3?) 

13. Animal Farm, by George Orwell – Ah, high school…

14. Neuromancer, by William Gibson

15. Watchmen, by Alan Moore – My brother’s been after me to read this forever. And since we actually have a copy I really have no excuse…

16. I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov

17. Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein

18. The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss – I’ve heard good things about this one

19. Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut

20. Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley  - This is such a classic!

21. Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick

22. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood – Tried reading this for high school English and then again for Dystopian Fiction at university. Couldn’t finish it. My papers tended to be deal with the other books and say “oh yes, we also see this in THT.

23. The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King

24. 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke – I remember reading this and being confused. And then I watched the movie and was still confused. Possibly 12 is not an age to appreciate ACC?

25. The Stand, by Stephen King

26. Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

27. The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury

28. Cat's Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut

29. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

30. A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess – For that Dystopian Fiction course. The movie is quite fun too.

31. Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein 

32. Watership Down, by Richard Adams

33. Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey – I’ve actually read most of the original stuff by AM.

34. The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein

35. A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller

36. The Time Machine, by H.G. Wells

37. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, by Jules Verne

38. Flowers For Algernon, by Daniel Keys

39. The War Of The Worlds, by H.G. Wells

40. The Chronicles Of Amber, by Roger Zelazny

41. The Belgariad, by David Eddings  - Some good old-fashioned generic fantasy. I finished the Belgariad, but couldn’t finish the Mallorean since it’s just a repeat of the first.

42. The Mists Of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley – I’ve checked this out from the library a dozen times and never gotten past the first 10 pages. 

43. The Mistborn Series, by Brandon Sanderson – I adore, adore, adore Warbreaker which is available for free on Sanderson’s website html or pdf (scroll half way down). Elantris is pretty good too. Sanderson writes amazing magical systems. I’m saving Mistborn for when I need a really good pick-me-up.

44. Ringworld, by Larry Niven

45. The Left Hand Of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin

46. The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. TolkienI found LotR a dense read. This was too much.

47. The Once And Future King, by T.H. White

48. Neverwhere, by Neil Gaiman

49. Childhood's End, by Arthur C. Clarke – I think I read this during my hardcore sci-fi phase.

50. Contact, by Carl Sagan

51. The Hyperion Cantos, by Dan Simmons

52. Stardust, by Neil Gaiman

53. Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson

54. World War Z, by Max Brooks – Love, love, love this! I got goosebumps reading it. It makes a very ridiculous premise utterly plausible. The audiobook is good (narrated by tons of excellent narrators including Mark Hamill) but abridged which is infuriating, and I’m still waiting for the fully unabridged version.

55. The Last Unicorn, by Peter S. Beagle

56. The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

57. Small Gods, by Terry Pratchett – I’ve read every DiscWorld novel, except the Tiffany Aching ones. Pterry is a god among men.

58. The Chronicles Of Thomas Covenant, The Unbeliever, by Stephen R. Donaldson

59. The Vorkosigan Saga, by Lois McMaster Bujold – I’ve devoured all of them except Cryoburn and Cetaganda . Cyroburn because I haven’t gotten to it yet and Cetaganda because I keep forgetting to check it out from the library.

60. Going Postal, by Terry Pratchett – See comment for #57

61. The Mote In God's Eye, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

62. The Sword Of Truth, by Terry Goodkind – The first book is utterly enjoyable. Towards the end I wasn’t enjoying the preachiness. But I finished it, unlike the other epic fantasy of that time #12 WoT.

63. The Road, by Cormac McCarthy

64. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke – Yet another book I’ve checked out of the library a dozen times and haven’t read.

65. I Am Legend, by Richard Matheson

66. The Riftwar Saga, by Raymond E. Feist – I hate the narrator for the audio version of this. I may look for a paper version.

67. The Shannara Trilogy, by Terry Brooks

68. The Conan The Barbarian Series, by R.E. Howard

69. The Farseer Trilogy, by Robin Hobb

70. The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger

71. The Way Of Kings, by Brandon SandersonLike Mistborn #43, I’m saving this.

72. A Journey To The Center Of The Earth, by Jules Verne

73. The Legend Of Drizzt Series, by R.A. Salvatore

74. Old Man's War, by John Scalzi

75. The Diamond Age, by Neil Stephenson

76. Rendezvous With Rama, by Arthur C. Clarke

77. The Kushiel's Legacy Series, by Jacqueline Carey – I tried reading this at the wrong time. 

78. The Dispossessed, by Ursula K. LeGuin

79. Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury

80. Wicked, by Gregory Maguire

81. The Malazan Book Of The Fallen Series, by Steven Erikson

82. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde – I’ve only read the first book, which I quite enjoyed, but I can’t seem to get into the sequels. 

83. The Culture Series, by Iain M. Banks – I recommended this to my brother without having read it myself (I never do this but I couldn’t think of anything else that fit his request that he hadn’t already read), and he’s been reccing it back.

84. The Crystal Cave, by Mary Stewart

85. Anathem, by Neal Stephenson

86. The Codex Alera Series, by Jim Butcher – OMG I want to build a shrine to Jim and I already worship at his feet. The Dresden Files is excellent stuff too. But if I ever feel like an incredibly long comfort read then I head to this. Plus Kate Reading is an amazing narrator.

87. The Book Of The New Sun, by Gene Wolfe

88. The Thrawn Trilogy, by Timothy Zahn – This, along with the Thrawn Duology, was responsible for my high school worship of the Star Wars Extended Universe. I’ve read most of the EU up to the New Jedi Order. Then I learnt that one of my favourite characters was offed in Legacy of the Force and that was the end reading new SW. The Rogue/Wraith Squadron is pretty fun too.

89. The Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldan

90. The Elric Saga, by Michael Moorcock

91. The Illustrated Man, by Ray Bradbury

92. Sunshine, by Robin McKinley

93. A Fire Upon The Deep, by Vernor Vinge

94. The Caves Of Steel, by Isaac Asimov

95. The Mars Trilogy, by Kim Stanley Robinson

96. Lucifer's Hammer, by Larry Niven & Jerry Pournelle

97. Doomsday Book, by Connie Willis

98. Perdido Street Station, by China Mieville

99. The Xanth Series, by Piers Anthony

100. The Space Trilogy, by C.S. Lewis

 Now I'm really tempted to go back and read some old favs...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Out of Season

My Tree of Stitches is growing rather slowly, so I thought I'd share a picture of my newest biscornu:

This is The Sweetheart Tree's Spring Blossoms Biscornu. Yes, I started a spring stitch in the middle of summer when everyone is gearing up for fall & Halloween.

I decided to stitch both the top and the bottom at the same time. However I'm finding the leaves annoying. See how I have two colours extruding? Counting just the green cross stitch is impossible and I have to backstitch as I go. I am not a fan of having two colours going at the same time. I suppose I could end and restart everytime but that seems excessive.

In fun news, I received an absolutely wonderful letter from my secret penpal (organized by the ever impressive Parsley).

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Tree of Fantasy

When I first saw pictures of Tree of Stitches I thought it was a pretty neat design. And then I had a vision of it in Caron Waterlilies Umbria (#204 here) on muddy green for a Halloween tree and I knew, just knew that it had to happen.

Unfortunately Umbria melts into only green fabric I have in stock completely. So I went in a completely different direction.

The trunk is in Weeks Dye Works Peony and the foliage in Caron Waterlilies Bermuda Reef which is a lovely green/blue. I haven't quite decided what colour the owl and rabbit are going to be, but I'm sure it'll be something unnatural and cartoonish.

Tree of Stitches
28ct white Jubilee, Caron Waterlilies Bermuda Reef, Weeks Dye Works Peony

Since I'm in the mood to do so I'm going to review each part.

After the cross stitch trunk and branch the first stitch was the Leviathan Stitch (aka Smyrna but I like the word leviathan more), which I've done a couple of times and is rather fun. The next was French Knots (Colonial Knots were an alternative, but I went with French). I found following the chart for the placement difficult so I just winged it to look like the diagram. (This would come back to bite me late). While I'm not going to rush out to stitch something entirely in French Knots, I've definitely gotten more comfortable and I don't think I'll be avoiding it anymore.

Next is eyelet stitches. I did this one with one strand and having done tons for hardanger this wasn't any issue. The next was Rice stitch and while I had no problems with the stitch I have to confess that I just don't like it. Not sure why. About five seconds after the last rice stitch I realized that I have extra space between the french knots and rice stitches. The model has no such space. I might go back and add in a few eyelets but I'm going to hold off until the whole tree is done. If it looks lopsided then I will add something, if not why bother?

Tree of Stitches is by Abi Gurden. It's still available over at the Yahoo Group Stitch Specialists. It'll be up until September which is when the next SAL (an owl) begins.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Wonderous Wings

Continuing the trend of UFORR stitching (it's been two months since I posted a picture of my own work. Are you shocked? I'm flabbergasted), this is Theialin's Butterfly at Night. What information I can find is conflicting, but it appears to have been designed by Maria van Scharrenburg for Lanarte. While it's not on their website anymore it does appear to be available as either a kit or as a leaflet along with its sister design.

As it arrived:

As it goes out

I love those wings. The translucent part where the moon shines is achieved by full crosses with one strand. While the darker outsides are two strands. You can hardly tell that some of those translucent colours are the same as the ones in the larger area!

This takes care of the postal strike backlog. Now I'm back on track with two still with me. However! I'm setting them aside for a bit so I can work on something of my own.