Friday 30 January 2015

January HAP SAL

Here's my January sign in for the HAP SAL hosted by Stacey of Crossed Stitches. There's no official sign up page as of yet, but I don't want to be late so I'll just post now anyway :D

So after a late start on the 13th I gained some ground by focusing on my project and not stitching much else. My main goal for Dark Force was to stitch one block (of 10x10 stitches) a day, which I reached (including catching up the first 12 days of the year) on the 25th. But I wasn't content, because I have another goal which would be so very nice to achieve and that is one column a week. Doesn't sound like much of a difference, considering that wach column is only 8 blocks, but since we are currently in week 5 it does mean I have to catch up one more row. I *might* manage to do just that over the weekend, which is really exciting! So far, I'm at four columns -> 4*8 = 32 blocks -> 3200 stitches, and I really love what I see so far.

So my goal for the weekend is the fifth column, and hopefully also to finish the current page on CTC. Look for a proper update on Sunday or Monday :D

Tuesday 27 January 2015

January DESIGN

Since I can't be late to post for my own SAL, here's my DESIGN post for January.

What project are you talking about this month?

My project this month is Dark Force by Tilton Crafts/Shelley Lee. Since I plan to keep this as my main focus piece for 2015, it only seems fitting to start the year of with it! The artist behind this is Tsuneo Sanda, Sadly, Tilton Crafts no longer sells this pattern, but you can still see the full picture on his homepage. The finished measurements are 300x459 stitches spread over 30 pages of pattern, and I'm stitching it on 22ct hardanger fabric, so it will be about 14 x 21".

Have you stitched a project by this designer before?

No, this was my first pattern by Tilton Crafts - and I owe it mostly to my friend Carla, who let me pick one of their patterns as a price for winning a stitching contest last year; otherwise, I might have looked past this awesome designer!

Would you buy/stitch a design by this designer again? Why/Why not?

I totally would, and probably will! While Dark Force was still avaiable, it had a companion piece, Master. I also own the pattern for this one and plan to stitch both of them to hang them side by side.

What made you choose this particular design/designer?

As I already mentioned, the discovery of this designer was mostly thanks to Carla. Choosing a design was quite easy, because I *LOVE* Star Wars, and there aren't a lot of really good Star Wars designs avaiable for stitching.

Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others?

Since I have never worked on something of this size before, it's hard for me to compare Tilton Crafts so other designers of the scope, like HAED or Paine Free Crafts - so what I say now doesn't mean that they don't do the same things! But I was totally stunned at how well those color transitions turned out in the stitched piece, I would never have thought that to be possible. And there's suprisingly little confetti as well, I'm trying out parking but I almost never need more than ten colors per block (granted, I think I started in one of the easier pages, but still...)

So that's it for my update, please excuse me as I hurry back to stitching ^_^

Sunday 25 January 2015

January SFS

January - Spent: 0€ - Earned: 4€

It's time for the first SFS signin of the year - the line on top is for the people logging our entries, don't let that confuse you :) I signed up for an other year of controlled stashing, with a monthly limit of $25 and some changes compared to last year, so let me explain how it works and how I intend to do it this year.

While doing the SFS challenge last year, I observed my own spending patterns and realized that sometimes, I took it a bit to far - for example, I would order stuff in the US because it was cheaper there (took less away from my budget), but proceeded to pay so much in shipping and sometimes customs charges, that it became more expensive then just buying here in the end. Obviously, that can't be the goal for SFS, so in order to work against that for a bit, I decided to convert my budget 1:1 to euros (the actual quote would be about 22,30€, so I'm not giving myself too much of a bonus here). However, if I buy stuff in $, I'll substract the same amount from my budget 1:1 as well, to adjust for shipping a little. Purchases in £ will be converted to € using the current rate.

The first thing that changed about SFS itself is that subscriptions of any kind - magazines, monthly patterns, floss and/or fabric clubs - do not count towards the budget. I was a bit tempted to sign up for half a dozen clubs, but in the end I stayed strong and decided I'd only do one subscription at a time. This yeah, I signed up for the monthly DMC club at Cross Stitch Heaven - it's £18.50 + shipping a month, and after one year I will own a complete set of DMC thread, as well as boxes to store it in, some needles, and also twelve skeins of beautiful hand dyed floss. My first order for January arrived about two weeks ago, and I already wound it onto bobbins and stored it away (the box that came with it was smaller actually, but I just bought three of the bix storage boxes some time ago and decided that I'd would rather use those for the set, and the smaller one for single projects). This first order was 35 skeins of DMC as well as Fiberlicious' 'Christmas Wishes', which is really beautiful. I'm looking forward to having a full set soon, as stores around here don't sell DMC and it gets really frustrating if you have to order less than a dozen skeins online just to start a small project.

The other big change in the rules of SFS is that we now can earn new budget for finishing projects from our stash. There are a few limitations, like the projects need to have been purchased more than six months ago, and we can only count stitching that happened after the start of SFS, but that's okay, I can still make a few extra € of budget this way. The amount you earn depends on the size, coverage and stitches used of the project, and I will convert those amounts 1:1 as well. For January, I have one finish to count, and that's Magicals Ornament of the Month for January. it's a free pattern, so the six month rule doesn't apply here, and all of the supplies came from my stash. It's 35x35 stitches, so that gives me a bonus of 4€ to my monthly budget.

Apart from my monthly club, I only bought some stuff I need for my current projects that's reusable, and thus won't count for the budget: Another q snap so I don't have to move projects all the time, some easy guide line for gridding, and a magnetic needle organizer to use for smaller projects. I don't think I will continue to be this good, but it was important for me to start of with a zero :)
I had three starts from stash this month: the ornament you can see above, Dark Force, which I'll be talking more about in my next update, and the Mystery Band Sampler, of which I just finished week four:

All together, I have a 29€ carry over for next month. I want to try and organize my spending a bit differently this year - last year, I mostly got patterns I fell in love with, but now I want to try and actually kit stuff up to start. The thread club is a beginning, but I'm still quite low on fabric, so quite a bit of my budget will probably be spent at all those lovely fabric dyers I recently discovered.

Friday 23 January 2015

January TUSAL

This is my first signin for the TUSAL, the Totally Useless Stitch Along, where each month, you post a picture of a glass or jar holding your itty-bitty-thread ends and leftovers. Why? Because fun, that's why! I've seen this in the blogs of lots of my friends last year, and now I want to take part as well. How handy that I got to super neat jars for christmas that will totally fit the role of ORT jar! The smaller one is on my little crafting table near the couch, and was given to me by my friend Steffi - she saw it at a stor, thought of me, and bought it, so I found it in my christmas paket. The other one is a bit bigger, so it sits on my crafting desk where it is more likely to also hold bits of yarn and fabric. My friend Ashley made it herself, together with six others, that she sent to her friends all over the word in December. I love it, but since I haven't been working at my desk this month, I will only post the smaller one for now; and here it is:

It's a pretty colorful mix - there are some greens on the bottom that are still from Lady, then some reds from Magicals january ornaments, and then all the blue and grey colors from Dark Force, which will likely dominate it for a while longer. I'm going to empty it into some bag, then show you a new picture in a month's time!

Mentioning Dark Force, I continued stitching on him like mad and made quite some progress: I finished two blocks a day Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and so I already have another column done to show you, and only six more days to catch up on...let's see if I can do two today as well!

Since there wasn't too much time since the last update,  we didn't watch as much: NCIS S11, E20-23 (only one more to go until we have to wait again :( ), Castle S1, E7 and The Nanny, S6, E10-12.
However, I finally suceeded in establishing a set reading time for me again, which I didn't have for way to long - half an hour in bed every day, and the day before yesterday I finally finished Insurgent. I really liked it, although not as much as Divergent - mostly because I have a bit of a crush on Four, and he was severely underrepresented here. But I already started on Alligiant yesterday, and he seems to have a bigger role there again, so let's see how that works out! Also, the end of Insurgent wasn't as shocking as I thought it would be, but I still reall, really want to know what happens next, so that's a good thing I suppose!

I'll be back on the weekend with my SFS and possibly DESIGN checkins, so I hope to see you all again soon :)

Monday 19 January 2015

January IHSW recap

This past weekend was IHSW, and although I didn't make it to the video hangout with my girls (Felix was sick, which caused a bit of chaos with my plans), this was the first time since....I don't even know how long that I feel like I actually did acomplish the whole hermit-and-stitch-thing. But before I go into length about what I did and didn't do this weekend, I have to start of by posting this picture of my progress on Dark Force, since I've been teasing said girls with it all week:

Here's ten blocks in, so if I want to make my year-goal of one block a day, I still need to catch up eight blocks (already managed one more today). But here's the details: I spent most of last monday preparing my fabric and putting this grid in (I need to get this finishing line stuff...I used normal sewing thread for this page, and I think I will have to cut it out in the end because it keeps mingling with my stitching). I started stitching the next day, and did one block each on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. On Friday, I managed a whooping four blocks (either I had a massive run or those were somehow easier than the others, I'm not sure yet). On Saturday morning, I got up early and finished one block before poor sick Felix was even up. Then I took a break (as I had just finished the first column, there were no loose parking-threads anymore, and I could take DF out of the snap) to stitch the third week of Stacy's Mystery Band Sampler - one row of modified sheaf stitch in pale yellow. The color doesn't show too well in the photo, but it's lovely in real life!

We then went to have lunch at my grandparents, and when we came home a pleasant suprise was awaiting me: My missing floss had finally arrived! So I spent the rest of the afternoon bobbinating (with Felix' help) and preparing my brand new needle organizer. I think I will have to buy another one soon, and maybe a second 8" Q Snap, so I don't have to take DF out all the time. After that, I put in the missing stitches on DF...there were only a few I had to leave out due to missing colors, but it made a world of a difference! I think this was when I finally fell in love with this project.

On Sunday, I stitched another block on DF, and a second one after a break for an other project: My friend Magical has started an 'Ornament of the month' SAL with little ornaments she designed based on birthstone colors. The first one is just brilliant, and I just had to make them! Thanksfully, I had all the colors needed in my stash (three shares of garnet), and I also had a piece of white 18ct aida that Carla sent me last year that just happend to be big enough. So I measured it, and cut it into twelve pieces of an appropriate size - I'll be doing those in hand, since I would have to put my q snap too close to the border of the fabric to comfortably work on it, and using small bits the fabric keeps more stiff than when I use the whole thing in hand, which is also quite unhandy. I finished the innter part of the design - Magical offers different ideas for how to finish the ornaments, and also four variations of an additional border to make them a bit bigger. I thought I wanted to do one of those, but than I liked the inner part so much I decided to keep it this way. I don't know how to finish them anyway (I love her idea of making them into a garland, but then I just saw this awesome twelve sided biscornu...), and I can still add the border later should I need it. So, this is my first finish of the year - and isn't it gorgeous? I love the blackwork like backstitching!

As for watching, we actually sat down to watch Hangover 3 on friday evening, sooner than expected - I liked it, the story was actually quite different from the others, and I got the feeling this was really meant to be a trilogy. Poor giraffe, though! :(
Then we did something we meant to do for a long time, since neither of us really watched it before, and we wanted to give it a go: We started Star Trek: The Original Series. Only one episode so far - the show has aged quite a bit, and Felix can't handle great doses of old stuff very well, but I can see where the whole fandom is coming from I think, I liked it and hope we'll watch more soon.
Then there was more NCIS, of course - S11, E10-19. There's a new character now to replace the one that disappeared, and I think I might really like her.
I also watched a bit more Castle when I was left to myself (Felix had some work to do) - S1, E3-6. I like the dynamic that is developing between Castle and Beckett, I'm looking forward how that will keep going through the seasons!
We didn't watch it this weekend, but I realzed I forgot to mention last time that we also saw Groundhog Day - Felix is slowly making me catch up on all the classics I missed, but this one, I picked myself. It was hilarious, but I'm kind of missing an explanation for the whole thing... (The title of this one is much more funny in German, by the way - it's something along the line of 'And everyday, the groundhog salutes' :D)

So that's it for the weekend, I'll keep working on DF until I caught up with the date, than slowly try and add other stitching stuff to my diet again - I really need to get cracking on CTC I guess...

Friday 16 January 2015

January - ToT and Gifted Gorgeousness

The year has just started, and I already missed the sign in for two of my SALs...what a great start. I dod have a good excuse, though: Felix and I started working full time this week, and while it went pretty well, we will still need a while to adjust, and I'll try to move bloggin to the weekends as much as possible for now. Also, I didn't miss them by very much, so I suppose I'm still good.

The first sign in for ToT (Tons of Tiny) was on the 11th, and I had totally forgot about this - which is why I don't have a finish to report either. I promised to do at least one small a month, but I guess I can cheat a bit and make that by finishing one in January still, and then one more before the Fabruary check in. At least I hope I can.

The other sign in I missed was on the 15th and is for Gifted Gorgeousness, and at least I have something to show for this one. The task here is to stitch on projects that were either gifted to you (or some part, like the pattern or fabric, was), or that are meant to be gifts when done. I only worked on one piece that fits into this decription: Lady and the Tramp, which I got for my birthday last year from my grand parents. I started working on it again in December, and could finally finish the first page about a week ago. Three more to go - those pages are seriously big ones!

I also finally started Dark Force, even though I'm still missing half of my floss...after some careful preparing of my fabric (I want to try out pagewise  gridding and a bit of parking for the first time), I began stitching on Tuesday night. My plan is at least one block a day for the year, so I have a bit of catching up to do. Thankfully, so far I'm only missing one color, so I can still make good progress - I'll show how much I got down after the weekend.

Apart from work and stitching, not too much happend...only quite some watching stuff, which went great with the stitching of course. Mind that this is about everything we watched since Januars 2nd, and not just this week.

  • Star Wars Ep. 1-3: Felix' dad got the BluRay collection for christmas, so we (whole family) started in the beginning and this is how far we got before returning home. I'm a huge Star Wars fan, but while I enjoy the movies (yes, even the new one...bit sceptical about the upcoming new-new ones though), I'm more into the books and games. It was a great mind preparation for starting Dark Force, though!
  • The Hangover 2: Felix bought the trilogy on BluRay, so after seeing the first one a while ago, we continued with this one. I likes some parts better than the first (the setting, some characters), and some parts less (the first one was more fun and games and non-consequential), but basically, it was still the same thing. Wonder when we will get around to watching the last one.
  • NCIS S11, E1-9 - This is the first show I really got into, and Felix likes it a lot as well, so when Season 11 appeared on amazon prime, we had to watch it naturally. At the start of this season, one of the main characters left (not telling who it is to avaid spoilers), and I don't know yet if it will really be permanent. I do miss him/her a lot though :(
  • Castle S1, E1-3 - My new to-watch show when I'm alone (because Felix already saw not, not because he doesn't like it). The main guy is an author, and reminds me a lot of the lead of Californication, but his daughter is just lovely and sweet...I'm curious how this will play out, I do like it so far.
  • The Nanny S5, E15-23 and S6, E1-9 - Soon we will be done with this and have to decide on another fun thing to watch for short or tired times :D
This weekend is IHSW, and also my first 'real' weekend as in 'off o work' weekend, though I will need to do some preparing for a presentaton on monday...I still hope to get lots of stitching in, and maybe shoping for/bulding some more furniture as well. Stitchingwise, I plan to finally stitch of the SAL ornament for January, catch up with the band sampler, work a bit more on Dark Force and maybe even start the next page of CTC - we will see what happens!

Monday 12 January 2015

(Strange) German Holidays, #2 - Three Kings Day

There were quite a few people who liked my post first post in this series, so I feel confident to share another one, although it's quite a few days late again.

This one is a holiday in only three of the German states, and I'm lucky enough to live in one of them: It's January 6th, or 'Three Kings Day'. I did a bit of research again (wikipedia, my love), and learnt that actually, the day is called 'Epiphany' and celebrates the revelation of "God the Son as a human beeing in Jesus Christ". In our tradition, this is marked by the visit of the Magi, the three Wise Men or the Three Kings, as they are mostly called here. I also learned that the holiday goes back quite a while: Epiphanie and Christ's birth used to be celebrated together on this date, before the Roman Catholic church changed christmas to the 25th of December in the 5th centuary. Apparently, some parts of Christianity still celebrate Christmas on the 6th of January. But even before that, the 6th of January was an important holiday in Ptolemaic Egypt and Rome.

In Germany, or at least where I live, Three Kings Day isn't a holiday in the sense that people celebrate it themselves - it's a day off work though. Nativity scenes at home or in churches get an addition of the three wise men (when we had one when I was younger, they were already there on christmas eve, but at the far edge of the scene, not in the stable itself, and got moved a bit closer to the actual crib every day). There are also the Sternsinger (star singers) - groups of children dressed as the three wise men (though there are not necessaryly three, and girls are allowed as well). As they are known as the three kings Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar around here, and Caspar is usually depicted as dark-skinned, at least one of the children usually has it's face painted black or brown (I bet that's considered racist now as well...). Those star singers move through the streets, stoping at every door to sing. They collect money for charity (usually for other children) and if you give them something, you get a blessing on your doorframe: 20*C+M+B+15 (2015 for the year, the star for the star of Bethlehem, three crosses for the holy trinity, and the initals of the Three Kings).

The star singers are organized by the Catholic church, so I was never part of them when I was younger, though I always wanted to. Nowadays, less and less children are interested in joining them, so they are more open now. There still aren't enough to cover ever house anymore, especially in cities - they used to walk aorund all week instead of just January 6th, but now they will only come if you send them an email beforehand. I think that's pretty sad, it's a great tradition and they have been doing a lot of good with their collecting - in 2005 alone, they got about 47 millions!

Thursday 8 January 2015

January WIPocalypse

A bit later than planned, but still in time - the first WIPocalypse post of the year! For those of you who don't know it yet, WIPocalypse is a fun, low-pressure SAL hosted by Measi with monthly check ins on every full moon and just no starting it's fourth year - second for me.

As this is the first post of the year, the topic is Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year! 

Hi! I'm Leonore, 25 years old, and from Germany. I'm currently still a Master's student of Computer Science, but I handed in my thesis in December, so soon I will have my degree and start working towards my PhD! A few month ago, Felix, my boyfriend of almost five years, and I moved into our first apartment together, and since we were both working on our thesis at the time, this place is still pretty chaotic. We're working on it, though!
I love doing crafts ever since my grandma taught me to crochet when I was just about five years old. I taught myself how to cross stitch a few years later, and, with shorter and longer breaks, have been doing both of these crafts ever since. It was only about two years ago, however, that I started to discover the millions pf possibilities the internet holds for these crafts - be it like minded people, patterns, ideas, or just the possibility to order stuff online noone will sell here! I also finally picked up knitting last year, which I had meant to do for years.
Apart from crafting, my hobbies are mostly reading and gaming - that makes three past times I can't really live without, two of them being quite time consuming, so I'm constantly stuggling to juggle those together with family, friends and other life, stuff, like work and so.

Currently, I'm having quite a few cross stitch projects on the go, all of which have been started last year. Here they are in no particular order:


  • Cross Stitch Angel by Joan Eliott
  • Halloween Town Club by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  • Game of Thrones bookmarks by blacklupin
  • Lady and the Tramp by Candamar Designs/Thomas Kinkade
  • Cut Thru' Cottage by Bothy Thready
  • Peacock Tapestry by Teresa Wentzler
I also have a few new starts planned for this year, including (but by no means limited to)
  • Dark Force by Tilton Crafts
  • Mystery Band Sampler by Stacey/Crossed Stitches
  • Little Sheep Virtues by Little House Needleworks
  • Ornament a Month SAL by Magical
There are also a few knitting and crochet projects in each of those lists, but since cross stitch is my main focus at the moment, I won't mention them in this post.

Since I'll be startng my first real job on Monday (wow, so fast!) I don't really know how much time I will have for stitching this year, and my goals hardly ever work out, I decided to do three 'tiers' of goals this time. 

My 'Do your very best to achieve' goals are:
  • Finish Cut Thru' Cottage 
  • Keep up with the Mystery Band Sampler SAL
  • Keep up with the Ornament a Month SAL
  • Finish at least one small/tiny a month for the Tons of Tinies SAL
  • Work a bit on each of my WIPs at some point so they won't become UFOs
My 'I would really like to achieve' goals are:
  • Six pages (one row) of Dark Force
  • Finish border and get to actual Motif on Peacock Tapestry
  • Finish Halloween Town
  • Finish Lady & Tramp
  • Stitch another gift for my grandma
  • Stitch at least one ornament for easter and christmas to keep
And last, my 'Would be nice to achieve' goals:
  • End the year with no more WIPs than I started with
  • Start another Teresa Wentzler Design (most like 12 Days or The Enchanter)
  • Start another cloudsfactory or Frosted Pumpkin Design
  • Stitch up all 12 Little Ship Virtue Designs
I will also feel free to work on a few things not mentioned here; I'm just nor sure yet which and when. What I'm really amining for is to cross every goal off the first list, maybe half of the second, and however much I can manage from the last :) 

So far this year, I have been working on Lady & the Tramp, which is really closing in to a page finish now, and started the Mystery band sampler - I've done the first two bands now (it's one band a week), so I'm up to date at the moment. I'm working it with shades of yellow (though these first two bands are white) on 28ct Brittnes in Lime Green, and the first to bands are diamond eye stitches and herringbone stitch:

Tuesday 6 January 2015

(Strange) German Holidays, #1 - New Year's Day

One thing I wanted to do for this year was talking a bit about holidays in Germany, and how they are celebrated. I had a little talk with my girls (One Candian, three US, and one Dutch based), and we agreed that in the media in general and the internet in particular, you can find quite a bit of information on holidays in the US, so I know I bit how they celebrate, but vice versa, information is quite a bit more sparse. I'm actually a bit late to start this as the first holiday I'm talking about is January 1st, and today is already the second noteworthy one, but I hope to be more on time for coming ones. Depending on where you live, these posts might be closer to or further from the way you celebrate yourself. There won't be anything else in this posts, so if you're only interested in crafty stuff or books or movies or whatever else, feel free to just skip them.

As my 'research' (mostly wikipedia *cough*) has shown that not even the term 'holiday' means the same in all countries, let me start be explaining a few basics. In Germany, a holiday means basically the same as a Sunday: All stores and businesses are closed, exept for emergency staff like hospitals, firefighters, some pharmacies and gas stations. This is rule is starting to relax a bit, as especially in big cities there are sometimes 'sales open Sundays', where lots of stores are open anyway, but I'm not a big fan of that, and the rules about it are still quite strict. Some entertainment businesses, like cinemas and theaters and most restaurants, are starting to generally be open on Sundays and holidays.
Germany consists of sixteen states. While we have a 'Basic Law' that is valid for all states, every state has a certain level of souvereignity, and holidays are part of that, the only exemption being our national holiday on October 3rd. Apart from that, there are eight holidays that all states share, and a few extra one in each states depending on local culture and religion (some areas of Germany a predominantly Catholic, some Protestant). That's why there are some 'holidays' that, while celebrated, are not official holidays according to the 'no work' thing. I myself live in Baden W├╝rthemberg in the very south west of Germany, a predominantly Catholic region (but I'm not), so what I write here doesn't necessarly apply for all parts of Germany.

The first day of the year is also the first holiday for the whole of Germany. I think this is really nice, as everyone gets to sleep in on New Year's Day, after partying the night before :D A little historical excursion; the Romans where the first to set New Year's Day on the 1st of January in 156 B.C., before, it was the 1st of March. Pope Innozenz XII. made it uniform for all of Europe in 1691, although most of Western Europa has used the date since the middle ages. For some time, the church had used Christmas Day, the 25th of December, as New Year, and there was some confusion going on to which year the days between Dec 26 and Dec 31 belonged - that's why they are often still refered to as 'between the years'.

In Germany, as in probably most other countries, New Year's Day starts right at 0:00 with a big bang - fireworks. It's also common to clink glasses with sparkling wine, champagne if you can afford it. Once you return inside from the fireworks, at least we do that in my family, you sit together for a bit longer, drinking tea and eating a New Year's Pretzel (research tells me that the shape depens on the area you're in, for us it's a pretzel). It's made from yeast dough, and heavyly decorated with braids and flowers and sometimes letters as well. The size varies, depending on how many people you have over- there are small, plain ones you can eat alone, and big ones that will feed a family of ten :D It can be a little dry, so I usually eat it with a bit of butter.

On New Year's day itself, it's common to take a walk and visit relatives to wish them a happy new year or 'Prost Neujahr'. Children will sometimes get a bit of money from those visits as well; though I do believe that's mostly bribery to make them come at all ;) While my family didn't practice this, traditional food for New Year's Day is, depending on the region, either lentil soup or sauerkraut - both are said to bring good fortune to your finances for the year!

Friday 2 January 2015

New Year's SAL - Sign in

One of the Stitch alongs I joined for 2015 is Stacy's New Year's SAL that focuses on finishing or making progress on BAPs (Big Ass Projects - smaller side has to be at least 300 stitches). My proejct for this will be a new start as I have nothing of the size on the go; the same one I'm also using for A New Stitchy Start, so I will partly copy my post from over there.

My new start will be 'Dark Force' from Tilton Crafts. It's 300 stitches wide and 459 stitches high and I will stitch it on 22ct, 2 over 1 (because it would turn out to small for my tastes on 28ct and the black coverage of 1 over 1 on 25ct isn't good enough, also for my taste - also, this way I can ease into stitching on smaller counts better, I hope). I might also try griding, but probably on a per page basis.

I won this chart in a contest on deviantArt this summer (or rather, I won a free pattern and got to choose), and I really love it - I'm a big fan of Star Wars, and this design (as well as all artwork of Sanda) is stunning. There also is a partner piece, 'Master', starring Yoda and mostly whites/light greys, which I have as well. Sadly, both patterns are no longer sold on Tilton Craft's webpage, so I'm glad I got both of them before they were taken off.

I only ordered the supplies after christmas, but I do hope that enough of them will have arrived once I get home on Sunday so I can start this right away this month.

Christmas catch up

I know, it's really time to say 'Happy New Year!' and continue to blab aout my plans for 2015, but there are a few things I need to catch up on first. For once, I promised to talk a bit about christmas presents...the stitchy ones at least. There were some more of chocolate, money (might eventually translate to stitchy stuff), earrings, CDs, games and books, which I loved, but don't think are interesting enough to talk about here. Oh, I almost forgot, Felix' mum gave me a really neat book with amigurumi patterns - I will show that to you once I start working on one! And my best friend gave me a neat glass with a pin cushion on the lid that I might turn into my new ORT jar...I think I fogot to take quite a few pictures after all!

As for stitchy things, the first things I received was from our Secret Santa Ornament exchange at the Stitching Pirates dA group. I had sent Peter Polar Bear to a lady in the States, and received those two gorgeous stocking ornaments from a lady in Italy, along with some really good Italian chocolate. Since I didn't do any decorating for christmas this year (first because of thesis and no time, then because we weren't home anyway) I didn't get to hang these yet, but I promise to find a place of honor for them next year!

A few days later, I reveived an envelope from my friend Magical from the Netherlands, which has some great snacks, some tea (that I still need to try) and this beautifully stitched card. It was a total suprise and I absolutely loved it ^_^

I also received a parcel from my friend Ashley, but since she sent the same one to everyone in our group of stitchy-friends, I don't get to open it until everyone has it's now sitting at home and out of my reach, which is probably a good because I'm a seriously curious girl!

From my grandparents, I got a few really useful stitching tools on christmas eve: one is a portable daylight lamp, which can be adjusted in almost every direction. I'm really glad about that, as I will probably have quite a few more business trips next year and hotel rooms tend to have rather poor lighting. I also got a Pako needle organizer: It has blank cards to put the color symbols on, and about 50 slots to put threaded needles in. I wish I had had that for AoF, but my other projects can use it just as well ^_^

So much for christmas...since we were here, we visited with lots of people, which is generally fun, but also exhausting, even more so for an introvert like myself. I'm cherishing every quiet minute I have for myself,  I'm also trying to squeeze as much stitching in as possible, because I can't live without that and I also realized that it helps me cope with company much better than usually. And after some initial explaning, most people around me tend  to be fine with it. So I manage to make quite some progress on lady again - didn't quite reach the page finish for new year, but I will continue to work on her at least until Sunday, when we make out way home to where (hopefully) stash for my new starts is waiting. So far, I made a mad dash for the lower right corner, then continued filling in the sky.

With all that stitching, a bit of watching happened as well:

  • Edge of Tomorrow - I gave this one to Felix for Christmas, and from the trailers we had quite high hopes for it. While still being entertaining, it wasn't as good as we had imagined, pretty forseeable action with some forced homour. Still fun to watch, even though I don't really like Tom Cruise.
  • Transcendence - Another one I gave Felix for Christmas. This one was a positive suprise for me, didn't expect to much from the trailer, but the story was really well thought-through and rather deep. Johnny Depp did a great job too.
  • 47 Ronin - The last movie Felix got for christmas. I really liked the trailer for this one, and the movie itself wasn't bad either. I love Japanese stuff, and even if it's quite far from the actualy, historical story, it was still lots of fun.
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - We went to the cinema with a friend for this one, and I really enjoyed it, even the Tauriel/Kili-storyline everyone keeps rambling about. I decided long ago that I would stop comparing books with the movie adaptions, and like that it was really, really good.
  • Buddy - A German comedy we randomly caught on TV last night, that was quite crazy, but also fun to watch.
  • Scandal, S3, E13-16 - Only 2 more episodes to go, then I will have to decide on something new to watch for when I'm alone.
We also did a few rewatchs, How to Tame your Dragon 2 with Felix' family (still loving it!) and 'Die Feuerzangenbowle', a german holiday classic.

I think that's enough catching up for now, hope to see you again soon with new adventures!