Friday 30 May 2014

The weekly Lady, #1

You probably realized that I like to keep my updates kinda...progress oriented, like 'I finished section x of project y' and such. But for some projects like my beloved Lady and the Tramp it doesn't work like this, because one part of the pattern just kind of flows into the next, and so it's probably better to post regular timed updates on these.

About a week ago, I started taking Lady and the Tramp downstairs for the time I sit with my grandparents each evening - and I'm amazed what wonders and hour or two of stitching a day can do! Even if I don't get more than 50 stitches a day in, that's already 3-4 10x10 blocks a week, and it does show a lot. My last update on her was more than a month ago, and here is where I am after one more week of constant stitching:

As you can see, I almost finished the upper floor of the house - in particular the windows. Those do have some glitter (aka pearl blending filament) which my grandma adores, and that is why a) I'm happy that her Angel of Frost will also get a lot of that and b) I included the second picture where you can see it at least a little. I also did quite a lot on the next branch of the tree, and started the lower floor of the house. What is especially exciting is that the lower edge of my stitching is also the lower edge of page one - now I have the complete heigth covered and only need to work my way sidewards. Only, haha.

On another note, I also started to update my Finishes and Project List pages, which I had neglected for quite a while...but there will be probably more additions some time soon. So until then, I wish you a great weekend, see you soon ^_^

Tuesday 27 May 2014


Phew, I almost missed that one again...time is flying by soooo fast, where did it go now? Anyways, I'm a little stressed out today because I had a meeting at university that was somewhat exhausting, and there will be even more meetings tomorrow so I need to get this post up today - pray excuse me if I can't write to my usual standards now, haha :D

So, Stitch from Stash...oh my, I'm quite awful at that, I just can't get a month without new starts and new stash, it seems. I do manage to stay quite under the budget yet, so maybe there is still hope for me, or maybe I'll be coming out of this as an awesome sales hunter, which wouldn't be too bad either. Anyways, my sins for this month are the pattern for Spring Bunnies, which I got off Etsy at $4.00, and a little order I placed at Jodyri Designs for some hand dyed fabric and more of her adorable floss - I really loved working with the colors I got last time, and she has so many more awesome things. My total comes to £7.72 (~$12.97) for 13x9" of sparkly fabric and three skeins of floss. I actually got a £3.50 discount because my last order was delayed so much, but she said that's supposed to be free shipping so I wont count that for SFS after all.
Appart from that I finally ordered some supplies (pattern, floss and waste canvas) for two of these secret projects I keep telling you about, but both are gifts so hopefully they won't count for SFS anyways; so my total for this month comes to $16.97.

So much for the fomalities, on to stitching! I have to admit that I have officially given up on working with a scroll frame. Just can't make it work, nope. I didn't even like what I had stitched so far as the stitches just didn't turn out as even as I'm used to, so I ripped the few hundred crosses I had already done out, got the fabric out of the frame and into my qsnap and started anew - I already finished the very outmost border (142x174 stitches), and it's just so much better. I'm loosely timing myself on this by the shows I watched, and up until now I have spend about four hours on it. I shall think now some crocheting, than on to the inner edge of the border!

And speaking of shows, there has been quite a bit of watching, even more so since I spent the last few entries babbling about other stuff. So, let's see...Felix and I watched some NCIS (S10, E12-19) and soon we will be done again with what is avaiable via amazon prime, which is a little sad, I really love that show. Also a few movies - The Whole Nine Yards with Bruce Willis and Race to Witch Mountain with Dwayne Johnson, both quite entertaining (plus I finally know where this meme is from!)
Alone I started watching Scandal, which is a real great show involving lots of drama and intrigues in Washington DC. I really liked it and watched the whole of S1 (which is only 7 episodes, but still) in one day, and am now on E7 of S2. I also saw the first two episodes of Haven, but since it will be taken off amazon Prime in a few days I didn't want to get to much into it. Still hoping they'll bring it back eventually though. I also watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua (better than I thought, reminded me somewhat of Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, which is to this day one of my favourite Disney movies), The last Song (one needs a little sob stuff from time to time, but this was suprisingly good) and Nichts zu verzollen/Rien à déclarer, a French/Belgian comedy about the opening of the european borders and some customs officers who did NOT like that at all, I really like that one.
And to close this post, some good news: amazon prime Germany just announced that starting June 15ths, the first two seasons of Vikings will be avaiable. Really looking forward to watching that ^_^

Wednesday 21 May 2014

May IHSW recap

Yeah yeah, I know, it's already Wednesday and IHSW is long over...I'm getting really lazy at the moment, but I'm going to blame that on the weather, it's about 85 degress out there when last week it was only like 60, and I don't take well to sudden changes like that.

Anyhow, I did have a great weekend stitching, even though I didn't manage to join my girls' hangout because Felix was here, and since I won't be here next weekend and we don't see that much of each other during the week at the moment, I wanted to spend Saturday evening with him. But I still got some stitching done on this Puppy Love contest entry I teased a few days ago - in fact, I managed to finish it (with a little work done yesterday and on monday).

The design is called 'Spring Bunnies' and I bought it from Etsy especially for this purpose, however I made a few changes to the pattern. First, I used Rainforest and Summer Sunset from Jodyr Designs instead of the solid colors, than picked the green and red on the flower accordingly from my stash so everything would look good together. I didn't want that horizontally-stripped look working with varingated floss usually has, so I stitched both bunnies in diagonals, which was a little confusing so for the first time in years, I went and marked my pattern off with a highlighter. I also replaced the stitched circle surrounding the heart with beads from my stash - it's my first time using beads in stitching, and I'm really proud of myself, haha. What did I learn though? I need to get a proper needle for that, because mine all don't fit through the tiny beads...

I'm going to order a frame for this, than submit it to the contest. I really like how it turned out; it's nice to work on simpler designs, than do a lot of experimenting without being afraid of seriously messing up.

Yesterday, I finally started working on Angel of Frost, a christmas present for my grandma. It's my first time working with a scroll frame, and I had to wrestly quite a bit to get the fabric in there. I'm not entirely convince of the frame, to be honest; it just doesn't keep the tension in the way I'm used from my q snap, and it's not easy to handle when not using a stand...but I'm willing to try a while longer, maybe I'll get the hang of it eventually.

As for non crafting, I'm quite busy gaming at the see, I'm quite obsesses with those platinum trophies you get for completely finishing games on the PlayStation 3, and I decided to get Final Fantasy XIV as my #50, as it is rather difficult and time intensive. And while I'm working towards completing that, I'm only at 44 platinums anyway, so I will need to get another five quickly, that's why appart from FF14 I'm only playing more or less quick games at the moment, although I usually really love long, long RPGs and such. During the last weeks, I finished both Sly Racoon, a remake from the PS2 stealth jum'n run, and Hotline Miami, a rather bloody game but with the graphics and feeling of something made in the 90s, which makes it suitable for me as well (I'm not usually into gory stuff) and the gameplay itself was quite addictive. Don't know if anyone here is interested in my gaming tales anyway, but I just feel like telling it anyways, feel free to skip those parts if they don't interest you ^_^

Saturday 17 May 2014

May WIPocalypse

I know, I know, I'm a little late for WIPocalypse this month, and if it wasn't for Carly I might have completely forgotten about it. But then, I didn't stitch all week since I finished my knotwork  bookmark...I did, however, do a fair amount of crocheting, I finally started on the owl tote I told you guys a while back and now I have all eight of the little owl panels done (minus weaving in loose ends and doing their faces). At first the different kind of techniques used were a little unfamiliar, but I quickly got the hang of it and it was really, really fun to work on. Next up are all the little square and triangle 'fillers' and than on to the details and assembly.

Stitching is about to resume, however; this weekend is IHSW and I just started on my entry for the stitching pirates puppy love contest. It's rather small, so maybe I'll even be able to finish it before my next post, and then I finally got my supplies for Angel of Frost and I still have some other projects planned. Lots to do!

But now for this month's WIPocalpyse-topic: What designs or themes do you really wish you could find? What do you think is missing among stitching designs? I personally think that some animals and even pets are badly under representated when it comes to cross stitch designs. There is an abundance of cats and dogs and rabbits in all varieties, but what I'm personally missing are guinea pigs (my favorite pets as I used to have some) and tortoises (my grandmas favorite animals). There are only designs that are either very small and cartoon-ish, or super detailed and photorealistic, but in between really. I guess the same goes for other pets, like budgies, hamsters, most aquarium fish, do I need to continue? It just doesn't seem fair, those are really cute and have a lots of admires as well.
Non-crafting-wise, I want to talk a little about books today; I'm still trying to do a little reading every night as long as I'm not to tired, and I finished some crime novel my mum gave me a while ago - not very special or good, but there were a few funny points which made it quite entertaining nevertheless. Then, looking for something else to read on my shelf, I picked up The cat who came in from the cold by British author Deric Longden - a friend had recommended it to me some years ago, and I had started and enjoyed it before putting it away for some reasons I can't remember. This time I read the whole thing, and I loved it - Longden describes how he and his wife adopted (or rather, were adopted by) there first kitten, and how that feline family then proceeded to grow. Very amusingly written, I'll have to keep an eye out for the following volumes.

Felix and I also had some more audio books for his last trip home; one by a German doctor/cabaret artist which was just genius, and a crime story set in lower Bavaria, featuring a rather dump police officer and brilliantly read by a Bavarian actor, it was really funny. I still have two more books to listen to before I'll need to make another trip to the library :)

Tuesday 13 May 2014

Knotwork Bookmark finish

Yeah I know, it's kind of pathetic how long some little bookmark has taken me, but now it is finished! I took some break after finishing the cross stitching because I couldn't decide on which colors to use for the backstitching, but finally I settled on some nice dark green, orange and brown, and I'm rather proud of how it turned out. I never used satin stich before, so I just straight forward followed the directions here, and that turned out okay as well. I gave it to my mum on sunday, together with her mother's day gift, and I guess she quite liked it ^_^ So I proudly present my very first Teresa Wentzler finish for this year and ever:

But to be fair, I was quite busy in the times I didn't work on the bookmark as well; stitching happyly away on Angel of Crossstitch, and I managed to finish the upper border. Even though this border is much simpler and easier than the one on PT, I don't want to risk getting the same kind of border boredom here, so I'll be alternating parts of the border with parts of the motif - next time I'll pick her up, I'll try and focus on ther wings.

So, as for other stuff...movies again, it is (reading and gaming as well but I'm trying to split that stuff up as to not overload my posts). We went to see The Amazing Spiderman: Rise of Electro yesterday. I was a little reluctant about going at first because I didn't enjoy part one too much and somewhat prefered the 'older' trilogy, but I really, really adored this movie, it has just the right 'Spidy' feeling for my taste. Also one of the few movies I've seen so far that made really good use of the 3D effect.

At home, there was some more amazon prime: Battleship, just about your usual aliens-invading-with-no-good-reason-oh-look-we-beat-them-against-all-odds-movie, but set on some Navy ships, which gave it a somewhat new and enjoyable feeling anyway, and two very German movies - one being Kokowääh, which is a really cute movie starring both Til Schweiger and his young daughter Emma, and a story about a guy who learns that he has a child only when the mother of that child basically dumps it on his doorsteps after her husband found out it's not his. I think there never was an english release for that one, but they are planing to do a holiwood remake (which can't be as good, frankly, because Til and his daughter are absolutely adorable together). The other one was Anleitung zum Unglücklichsein (Manual to being unhappy), which is really, really confusing and I still don't know what to think of it.

I also watched Le Concert - alone, because Felix doesn't like this kind of movie very much. It's suppose to be a comedy, but French comedies often tend to have some kind of drama around them as well, and in this movie both blend really well - it's a story about them russian jews coming to Paris, and also about music and its magic, and you need to watch it yourself really if you can find some subbed/dubbed version, I can't really describe it here with a few sentences ^_^

So, now back to doing stuff, probably some crocheting on those owl tote I mentioned earlier and then starting Angel of Frost and/or my entry for the Puppy Love contest, let's see...

Monday 5 May 2014

Knotwork WIP

So...I have to admit it: I did not finish my mum's present in time. In fact, I'm not even close. Partly because it was just a lot more work than I anticipated, but I still got quite a lot done on day 1 - than I had an ugly visit of the frog on day 2 and almost made no progress at all, and from then on it was just reeeeally slow.

Yesterday I finally finished the cross stitching part, and I have to admit that using that platinum linen was probably not the best idea - it's a little pale, I guess the colors would 'pop' more on a darker fabric. But maybe I can save some by using a dark color for backstitching.

Everything else stitching-wise later, for now just a little catch-up with movie-watching and stuff: Felix and I finally went to see Captain America: Return of the First Avenger (or Captain America: The Winter Soldier, as it's called in Germany for some reason I don't know) and quite liked it. Captain America was probably my least favorite of the Avengers-built-up movies (not counting the Hulk movies, I guess those were even pre-Disney?), and this one was much better in my opinion.

Then there was the usual show watching at home, some NCIS together, some Nanny and a few episodes of Dr Who (the new one) for me - it's amazing how I managed to miss that show so far. And then we watched a few movies on amazon prime that are about to be taken offline, so we better hurry, still a few more left we want to see - so far, there were Wrath of the Titans, which I liked quite a bit better than the first still makes me cringe to see what they did with Greek mythology, but at least it's a decent action movie, and American Reuinion, this cast-reunion of the original American Pie movie, which was quite funny and good, just as we expected :)