Thursday 28 August 2014

August SFS

Well, it's not a whole week since my last update, however, it is time for August's Stitch From Stash and I also have enough to show for another update, I think ^_^ But first, let me start with what I spent this month (both kits haven't arrived here yet so I just used the stock pictures of the ebay auctions for now):

I'm still trying to get the Disney Dreams kits missing in my collection at a reasonable price (I might eventually buy them full priced just to have them, but for now hunting for sales is just too much fun), and when I saw a few of them on ebay I just had to order at least one - I also was in an auction for an awesome 4-pack, but it went too high for my budget, sadly. So, what I got is  'Beauty and the Beast Falling in Love' for $15.90. Don't let me get started on shipping, but it's still a fairly good price.

But as there was an $25 bonus this month, to by applied BEFORE the actual monthly budget of $25, I couldn't resist spending some more.

I was a little torn between getting some patterns I like, some fabric for patterns I already have or some kit from my wishlist, and finally decided to treat myself to the latter. So I startet roaming ebay again, and after finding some nicely priced kits that would ship to Germany at a reasonable rate I had Felix pick one for me (it might hang on his wall as well, after all) and he picked 'Fall Fairy' by Dimensions for $19.99. I never tried a Dimensions kits, and I hear mixed things about them, but I hope this will be good. If so, I'd really like to do her 'sisters', 'Woodland Echantress' and 'Aurora' some day.

So in total, I spent $35.89 this month, or $10.89 after subtracting the bonus, and I'm quite happy with my purchases, I just hope they will arrive here quickly and safe.

Now to my progress this week: My one and only focus has again been Angel of Frost, and I've made some good progress as well: I finished my first page (which is actually page 3) and started page 2 (which is actually page 1). I stiched lots of wing this week, but I also got to work on her gown a little again, which I adore - I'm really looking forward to starting The Enchanter eventually, it uses a lot of those shades of purple, which are just gorgeous in my opinion.

I have to admit that my motivation is fading a little...I'm suspecting the reason behind this is that the remainder of this page is almost entirely greens (more trees on the left) and white/grey/silver shades (about as much wing again as I've already done, snow on said trees and the moon) and only a little more red on her gown as distraction. I hope that I'll be able to pull though this page swiftly, then the rest of the pattern should be a breezs (well, kind of) as the remaining two pages are much more varied and I'm really looking forward to stiching them.

Of course with that much stitching, some watching had to happen as well. Felix and I started Season 2 of Breaking Bad (E1-4) and still enjoyed it. We also decided to educate ourselves a little and watched 2001: A Space Odyssey, and I'm really not sure what to think about this one...the only thing I'm sure about is that it wasn't the perfect choice of movie to stitch to, but I managed.

I also did some watching alone, mostly Haven (Season 2, E2-13), which I still enjoy a lot - amazon is threatening to take it out of the program again, which leaves me 18 days to watch the last 13 episodes online, I guess I'll manage that. Also, one episode of the Nanny has been watched (S2, E18).

Slowly, planning and prepartions for out move are setting in, we're starting to order some stuff and deciding on other, but it's still rather quiet, which I really enjoy. Next week will see a little more action (and possibly less stitching) again, but I'll tell you about that once it's really upon me, for now I just want to enjoy another quiet weekend :)

Friday 22 August 2014

Another week of progress and awesome news!

Yet again a week has passed, and I'm really enjoying staying at home, doing my stuff, stiitching and being a bit lazy. I'll start traveling again soon enough, so I'm really glad about a bit peace and quiet :D

Well, not that much peace and quiet actually, because I also have some exciting news to share: yesterday, Felix and I signed the lease for our very first apartment, and we'll be moving by the 15th of October! I might share some pictures with you later, but for now just believe me that it's the most precious little apartment ever and we are super excited!

So now we'll have quite a few more things to take care of, but stitching is still on my list of top priorities - I want to finish Angel of Frost by christmas! So far, I'm making good headway there, I stitched a bit every evening since Monday, and is shows.

My friend Carla demanded I stitch more wing, so wing I stitched, until I reached the upper edge of the page, and than I moved on to finishing the tree (well, a bit of tree might stick out to the next page still). 

Now there is more wings so stitch on the other side of that tree, and than a little more tree in the background on the very left, and if everything goes as planned I might well have a page finish to show by next week, no wouldn't that be exciting as well? :D

I also made some progress on the gaming-side and finally finished Rayman Legends on my PS Vita. I've loved the Rayman series for many years, and especially enjoyed the recent reboot with Origins and Legends...good, classical plattformers, not to hard and not to easy, what more is there to ask :) Well, maybe NOT to include an incredibly time-consuming online modus which I have been playing every day since christmas. But now I'm done, and all-mighty proud of myself ^.~

Some watching happend as well, of course: Felix and I finally started Breaking Bad and watched all of Season 1 during the week. We had pretty high expectations, considering all the praise the show received, and so far, we are not disappointed. Yesterday, we took a little break before starting Season 2, and watched Letters to Juliet. I'm not a huge fan of the genre, but I liked the setting on this one, even though it was quite predictable most of the time. But even Felix enjoyed it, so it can't be that bad :D

So that's it for this week - tomorrow I'll drag Felix to some furniture stores and the rest of the weekend and next week will be busy with university stuff and more stitching, so mostly pleasant things :)

Monday 18 August 2014

August IHSW

As (sadly) usual, I didn't get much hermitting done this weekend, but some stitching did happen, therefor I will post and use sad post to brag about all of last week's progress :D

While I was still at home, I continued working on Angel of Frost. I way only at home on Friday, Saturday and Monday however, so progress has been a little slower. As you can see, I worked a bit more on the tree, finished what red was left to do on this page and started on her wings, both on the right and the left of the tree. Those wings have a most delicate shading, mostly greys, but some purples and pinks mixed in, I don't hink the picture really does some justice.

While working on this, some more watching happened as well, namely Bones S8 E15-24. We finished Season 8 now, and while it didn't have quite as bad a cliffhanger as Season 7, I'm still itching to see Season 9. Will have to wait a while longer though, it hasn't even aired in Germany yet.

We also watched The Pursuit of Happyness with Will Smith, which was quite enjoyable, but not realls as inspiring as people make it up to be. So hard work can make you successful if you get a bit lucky as well, who didn't know that yet?

On Tuesday, I boarded the train to Cologne, and really, I think sitting on a full train, headphones on and stitching away should count as some hermitting as well. I continued stitching an my GoT-bookmarks, and I stitched even more in the hotel, and then for movie night at Felix' home where I went on Saturday and on the drive back home yesterday. Made quite a bit of progress - a bit on the moon, all of the bird, and then some blue background as well.

The audio book I listend to was a German one again, read by the author himself - Lehrerkind - Lebenslänglich Klassenfahrt (Teacher's child: A life sentence in schoolyard) by Bastian Bielendorfer. It's a somewhat popular book I wanted to read for quite a while, but frankly, I didn't really like it. It's kind of an autobiography, but I'm quite sure there more than a little exaggeration in there, both when it comes to the parents and to the other teachers and students. I guess some of the people were really hurt when they read how he described them. True, he was just as unforgiving when it came to his own flaws, which made for a few laughs at least, but still.

Cologne and the GamesCom were really awesome - it was much to crowded to actually see a lot of thing, but I got to catch up with lots of friends I only see once a year, and that was great. didn't get much sleep either, but sleep is for the weak anyways, right?

On Saturday (after a particulary long - or short, depending on point of view - night) I took a train to Felix' home, we spent some time with his family, went to his grandma's birthday on Sunday and finally returned here, were we intend to stay put for atleast two weeks now. Let's hope that really will happen, I got some work and stitching to do!

Tuesday 12 August 2014

Knitting, Tarzan and further adventures

After a relativly quiet week, Felix, his family and I (eight persons in total) went to Stuttgart yesterday in order to see the musical version of Tarzan. It was a great day, and a greater show still - the music is not as epic or memorable as that of many other musicals I enjoy, but the visualy were stunning - gorilla people swinging and jumping on lianes, people dressed and dancing as tropical flowers, colored light and much, much more, it was amazing. It was only our second musical life performance after seeing Dance of the Vampires last year, but I can't wait to see more shows in years to come.

While I wasn't allowed to take pictures of the show, I do have something else I wanted to share, and that's my knitting progress of the last weeks. I worked some on the sweater - I'm through with the more 'complicated' section of the patterns and know I just have a few more rows of stockinette pattern before I have to start on the sleeves. I'm positive that I should be able to finish tha back half before sommer ends, and the whole sweater before next summer, if I stick to it. If it will fit me than, that's another story, right now I have the impression that it'll turn out way to small even though it's already a size bigger than I usually wear - oh well, we'll see.

I also couldn't resist starting the project I planned with that hand dyed yarn I showed a few posts ago. I plan to use it for a scarf and a pair of mathing wristwarmers, and while it might be sensitive to do the scarf first (as the pattern looks a little easier),  I started with the wristwarmers so I can just use whatever yarn I have left over in the scarf.

As you can see, I already finished the first of the pair - the pattern is called Mostly Warmness, designed by the wonderful Martina Behm from It's done almost completely in garter stitch, then sewn together diagonally, and I'm totally in love with the effect this has in combination with the hand dyed yarn ('Rose' by Opal). It's by no means perfect, especially were it's sewn together, but I didn't want to risk frogging this and possibly losing some stitches in the process, and it's not to bad. The second one will be better now that I know what to do ^_^

I also made some progress with my gaming last week and finally finished Hunted - Forge of Darkness. It's a co-op action adventure you can either play with a friend or with the KI (I did the latter as Felix wasn't impressed and the online servers are no longer active). The gameplay is not stellar and so is the story, but it has that great sense of (dark) humour where the two characters are constantly quarreling (in a loveling way!) and commenting on gaming clichés, and I probably would have loved it if I didn't run into a stupid bug on  my first play through, forcing me to play the whole thing again because I couldn't find the last of the crystals that I had to collect. Second time took my quite a while because I wasn't much motivated anymore, but no I made it and I'm pretty happy about that.

At the moment, I'm getting ready for my next adventure, which is going to the GamesCom in Cologne, the world's biggest gaming convention - I've got some presentations to see and interviews to do for the website I write news articles for, but also for general enjoyment, meeting people I haven't seen for over a year, and possibly scoring some goodies. I'll be gone for the four hour train ride after lunch, so possibly lot's of time to give love to my bookmarks. 

Friday 8 August 2014

August WIPocalypse

I'm actually two days early for this month's WIPocalypse post, but I was about to post my progress anyway and I can't garantee that I'll find the time over the weekend, so I'll just do it no anyways and won't have to worry any more ^_^

The topic to discuss for August is Tell us about your oldest and newest WIPs, which puts me in a very fortunate position - because I double checked, and Angel of Frost which I'm currently focusing on is actually my newest WIP. I started it in May and before you start patting my shoulds for not starting anything new for such a long time, I did start four more or less small projects in between, but all of them have been finished by now so technically they are no WIPs anymore. Now the patting may commence, if you please ^_^

Angel of Frost is a design by Teresa Wentzler featuring a female angel with a bright red cloak and marvelous wings stroling through a winter forest. I've startet it in May as a Christmas present for my grandma (who fell in love with the angel when she first saw her) but put it aside due to sever other projects (mostly presents) I had to finish. Now that I pulled her out again I was a little worried that I may not be able to finish her on time, as it's four pages of cross stitch with lots of confetti-like stitches, blended colors, back stitching, a 1 over 1-section, speciality stitches and beading. As I started focusing, however, I realized that there actually is much of a system to what looks pretty chaotic at first glance, and after I had threaded most of the colors I need for now and made copies of the chart to mark my progress off on, I've been making progress suprisingly fast. Here she is, one week after I started with little more than the border done:

That's more than half a page in one week only, and I have to say I'm rather proud of myself. I know I won't keep this speed up, but now that I know how quick I CAN be, I'm stressing out much lett about finishing in time.

Actually I had planned to concentrate on the tree only, and I guess I would have finished it now, but I just couldn't resist adding some color and starting on the Red coat. Pro is, I'm totally happy about it, because those reds are so very pretty and were so much fun to stitch, con is, I had to order more needles yet again because I threaded all the ones I had already, but that was SO worth it. Also, I needed those anyway because I'll be starting on the wings soon. Either way, I'm totally hyped about this and can't wait to get to stitching some more.

My oldest WIP well, that's another story and I guess technicalle it's more of an UFO, but I'll show you anyway. This is a tablecloth I started maybe 15 years ago - and I am only 25 today. Do the math, and you'll see the problem I'm having here...

Truth be told, it's not so bad. My stitching was already quite clean at the time, there's not so much done yet anyway, and not so much to do as well; it's basically just one house and two apple trees on eachs of the four sides. But I have lost the pattern somewhere, and while I could recreate the other houses from the one I already have and somehow invent some small tree of my own, I just didn't get around to doing that yet. But maybe I will eventually, this is taking up way to much space in my stash :D

In other news, this week was really productive - not busy as my usual meetings and business trips, but productive meaning I finally had time for things that actually need doing, inclusind progress on my master thesis, flat hunting with Felix (we applied for the most precious litte appartment and are now eagerly awaiting a response), and lots of stitching, of course. I also made some progress with my closet cleaning project, sorting out more stuff that I won't wear or that doesn't fit me anymore. I also watched a few more Episodes of Haven (S1, E13 and S2, E1) and Felix and I continued watching Bones (S8, E6-14). Next week will be more stressful again, but I'm going to get a few more quiet days before chaos starts and I hope that after that, things will return to more-or-less-normal for a little longer.

Tuesday 5 August 2014

Catching up

So as promised, I'll do some catching up on everything else I've done and not yet mentioned, which basicaly comes down to last month's reading, watching and gaming. If you're only here for the crafts, feel free to skip this entry :)

So...let's start with the reading. I only finished one physical book since the last time I posted about, and that was The Lifelist by Lori Nelson Spielman, another book my friend Steffi had lent me. I really enjoyed reading it - it's about a woman who's mother dies and leaves her a list of lifegoals she has as a teenager and now needs to accomplish in order to eventually get her heritage. The ending was a little sudden in my opinion, but it has that great message about how there are many things in life much more important than wealth or status, and I liked that.

I also finished two audio books - the first one beeing Tintenherz/Inkheart by German author Cornelia Funke. I had already read this once back when I was still in school, but despite the setting reeeally being my kind of thing (it's all revolving about a book and some of its characters who somehow managed to espcape their papery prison), I never really got into it, and as a result never read the two others in the series. Now I saw it as an audio verson at out library, and thought 'It's basically a story about reading to someone, maybe it's better if someone reads it to you', and I was right - the audio book version was really well read and I greatly enjoyed the story. So much that I now borrowed the second volume, Tintenblut/Inkblood, but haven't started it yet.

The other audio book I picked from my libraries online service to listen to on the journey to and/or from Prague - Muh! by the german author David Safier. It tells the story of Lolle, a black&white cow from northern Germany, who lives rather contend on her farm - or could, if she had not just discovered that her bull Champion cheated on her with Susi, the pretty cow with the firm udder. But those problems are almost forgotten when she meets the tomcat Jacomo who tells her what really happens to the cows that vanish from the farm. Not wanting to end as a BigMac, Lolle and her friends embarc on a journey to the country were all cows can live in peace - India! They are determined to get there, even if it means walking for three days.
I really enjoyed this one, it was hilarious, both the writing and the reading ^_^

So that was it for books, now let's get on to what I/we have watched...which is a *little* more, I'm afraid. I'll just make a list and try to keep it short:

  • Dr Who Season 2, E4 - I still enjoy this show, but for some reason I like the past episodes much more than the ones set in the future. Sadly, it has since been pulled from amazon prime, I really hope they will bringt it back or I'll be VERY angry.
  • L'Auberge Espagnole/The Spanish Apartment/Pot Luck (No idea what they've done with the titel here...) - I've held this French/Spanish movie in fond memories ever since we watched it in French class yeeears back, but I had forgotten how crazy it can be at times. Still really like it, it's about this French guy who goes to live and study in Spain for a year and moves into an apartment with other students from all over Europe, just to learn that there is much more to life than he had thought. Many different languages and subtitels, so sadly no good movie to stitch to.
  • Scandal Season 2, E4-15 - Another show I've really grown to like, and another one that's currently not avaiable on amazon prime. I'm still hoping it'll come back, but I would not miss it as much as Dr Who if it didn't...
  • Back to the Future 2 - After Nancy convinced me that this was a decent sequel, Felix and I finally watched it, and quite enjoyed it. Not as awesome as the first one, but still a good movie, and we'll get around to number three eventually.
  • Vikings Season 2, E1+2 - We still enjoy this show, only it's a little...heavy? Dark? and not what I usually want to watch in the evenings to relax, so it's a little slow. We'll get to it eventually.
  • Jack and the Giants - This one is not from amazon prime but a BlueRay of Felix' brother we watched when we last visited at his place. Like Snowhite and the Huntsman, this is a new adoption of an old fairytale, and lile the former, is somehow manages to bring Christian faith in there - not a good combination if you ask me, but still, not a bad movie.
  • Wer früher stirbt ist länger tot (literally: The sooner you die the longer you are dead)/Grave Decisions: Another one of Felix' brother...It looks like a comedy on first sight, but really is not. It's about an 11 year old boy whose mother did at his birth - and his older brothers brutally tells him that he killed her and that he'll go to hell for that. So the boy tries all kinds of stunts to either make up for what he's done or to become immortal so he'll never have to go to hell. Also, it's completely in Bavarian, but I think there is a version with English subtitels somewhere...
  • Madagascar 3 - We rewatched this with Felix family. We had only seen it recently, but it's a movie you can watch more than once so it was still good.
  • Men in Black - Felix wanted to watch part 3 with me, but after I declared that I had nerve even seen the original he decided we needed to do that first. Not much more to say, really funny and enjoyable.
  • RED - Another one Felix had decided I should watch, and I didn't regret it - I kind of like Bruce Willis and he did a good job here.
  • Men in Black II - I had actually seen this in the cinema with my dad, but couldn't remember much, so in preparation for MIB III we watched and enjoyed this one as well.
  • The Nanny Season 2, E8-16 - Not much to say here, something I enjoy to watch if I only got the twenty minutes to spare.
  • Bones Season 7, E1-13 + Season 8, E1-5 - Amazon prime recently added some Fox shows, including this, and as it is one of Felix and my favorites we of course had to drop everything and watch this - the rather short season 7 was devoured over the course of the last weekend and we began with season 8 now, loving every second of it ^___^
  • How to Train your Dragon 2 - We took a break from our Bones-marathon to go to the cinemax on Saturday evening. It was a great movie, almost as good as the first one, and it has an extraordinarily good soundtrack in my opinion. Some people say it's too brutal to be a children's movie, but I disagree, it's not really worse than, say, The Lion King or other Disney Classics. Only Downside, I didn't really notice the 3D effects here, but that might be my getting less sensitive to that...
  • Haven Season 1, E3-12 - With my other 'active' shows pulled from the service I needed to find something else to watch and decided to return to Haven which I had already tested shortly. I spent most of Sunday watching this and I'm almost finished with Season 1 - I really like it, it's about the small town of Haven which has a reoccuring history of 'strange' inccidents, and and FBI-agent who is sent there to investigate said incidents but suddenly discovers that she herself has a connection to the place.
So that's it for shows and movies...we spent quite some time with that since we returned from Prague which is awesome for my stitching as I will be able to show you soon :)

As far as my gaming is concerend, well...I did finish two of the Lego games on my Vita recently (The Hobbit and The Lego Movie Videogame) which were fun and also rather short (even when going for 100%/Platinum trophy, which I did), but still I'm not as successful with my one-at-a-time policy here as with crafting and reading. I'm working on it though, and I really hope to get the situation of half-finished games under controll before I start working fulltime, because then concentrating on one is going to be much more difficult I imagine. It would help if I wasn't traveling that much at the moment I guess, but that can't be helped so I'll do my best with what I can.

So that concludes my catching up and brings us pretty much up to date...until my next post! :D

Sunday 3 August 2014

Back from Prague, back to stitching

So I'm finally back from Prague (actually I am since Thursday evening, but I needed some time to relax and 'get down') and ready to tell you about it. I've actually taken quite a few more pictures than I'm going to use in this post, but I want to keep picture traffic to a minimum while still showing you what's been going on; also, my cute little cam is not quite as good as she'd like to be ^^"

So, our journey began early on Sunday morning, seven o' clock early, to be exact. University thought the distance was to small to justify paying for a flight, so we first took the train (one and a half hours) and then the bus (about six hours), waiting times in between not counted. So it was already half past six in the evening when we finally arrived at our hotel (a nice and clean family-run bed & breakfast, actually), and after recovering for a while we went out for dinner and a little exporing the surroundings. We were quite outside the city itself, so not that much to see, but we did discover an old water tower, we later learned that it has been in the process of restauration but then funds ran out and now noone knows what will happen to it:

I wasn't able to stitch at all on the ride to Prague because I had somehow managed to either lose or forget the one and only needle in my travel kit, so first thing on Monday morning I persuaded Felix to go to one of the needlecraft stores Carla had looked up for me. Haberdashery Filium is located at the Palladium shopping center and a lovely little crafts store were I could get my needles no problem, but other than that I was a little disappointed - most of the stuff they sold was just the same as at home, only more expensive (in fact, a lot of the things I saw actually were German products) with the exeption of a nice sortiment of DMC floss which I have never seen at a store at home (they even have scented floss - what could one use that for?), which is nice to know, but also that was quite expensive. Good for me I guess, or at list good for my SFS budget! :D

After that we had a little more time before lunch, so we did some sight seeing in the inner city. We didn't have much time to prepare our trip, so most of the time was spent admiring pretty and old buldings without actually knowing what we were looking at. Here's one of the few we knew, the old Powder Gate:

The remainder of the day was spent with out colleagues from universtiry - lunch, then presentations and discussions, then dinner - as was Tuesday up until the late afternoon, when all of us went on another sightseeing tour, guided by one of colleagues from Prague itself. He took us up to the Prague castle and cathedral - that hill was quite a climb, especially since I had the shortest legs by far! So this is the Cathedral, apprently the Czech crown juwels are kept there and only shown to the public every few years or so:

On our way down the hill we were suprised by quite a nasty rain, so we seeked shelter in a restaurant for a nice long dinner, then made our way home through nightly Prague, which was really impressive - sadly I couldn't take any pictures because capturing the spotlight-lit night is way beyond my poor little cam. I think the walk across the sparely-lit Charles Bridge might have been my favourite part of the walk - there were musicians everywhere, some of them quite good, it was really amazing.

After our university duties ended on Wednesday afternoon, Felix and I went exploring some more on our own. We wanted to visit some parks and Petřín Hill which is full of beautiful gardens, but it was raining again and we heard thunder in the close distance so we decided to stay safe and in the city and returned to our room not too late in the evening to dry and relax a little.

Thursday was spent almost completely with getting home, which took us almost twelve hours in total due to a few traffic jams and missed/late trains and such. But, after I hadn't beend able to stitch on the way to Prague at all (missing needle, you remember?) I tried to make up for that on the way home. GoT bookmars, Arryn, of course, as it is in my travel case at the moment:

Now that I'm back home, I can finally try and concentrate on Angel of Frost - and I need to if I want to have any chance to finish it by Christmas! I do enjoy working on it though, and it helps that I don't really feel like doing anything else than watching shows and stitching at the moment. Here's were I was before I began on Friday, I'll show you the progress next weekend or so I hope.

As I have a more or less quiet week to look forward to I hope I can also do some catching up with posts about my reading, watching and gaming, it's been quite a while and I still tend to hope that some people like to read that, I at least enjoy writing it...but for now, it's back in front of the TV and my Angel, see you later :)