Monday, March 30, 2015

Finish Framed and a Weekend Conference

I picked up the pins I needed this weekend so I was able to frame the Sunflower Sampler.  I just need some staples or nails to hold it into place in the frame and I will be able to hang it up.

This weekend, I went to the Rose Spicola Forum on Reading at Texas Woman's University.  They had some wonderful guest speakers and breakout sessions.  The featured author for the day was Kathleen Krull.  She cracked me up.  I picked up two of her books and I'll be getting a few more off Amazon.  She does all nonfiction.  Her major series are about famous people (and what the neighbors thought).  Here's a picture.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Reading Challenge - March

I read a bunch of books this month.  I've been plowing through the books on Scribd.  I'm also making the most of Audible.

A classic romance - Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austin

I love the movie with Emma Thompson so I used Whispersync for Voice to read it with an Audible audiobook and the matching Kindle edition.

A book published this year - The Mermaid's Sister by Carrie Anne Noble

I got this book off Kindle First (before it was even released!) so it's pretty hot off the presses.  I really liked it.  It was a fantasy about a girl whose sister is turning into a mermaid and they have to figure out how to get her to the ocean.

A book written by someone under 30 - Flawless by Sara Shepherd

This is the sequel to Pretty Little Liars but I was not impressed.  Shepherd was just shy of 30 when this was released.

A popular author's first book - Star Trek The Next Generation #5 Strike Zone by Peter David

This is Peter David's first Star Trek  novel.  You can tell that it's a bit rusty but it still has his signature wit.

A Pulitzer Prize Winning Book - Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Extermination, 1939-1945 by Saul FriedlĂ€nder

This is a rather long, thorough and sometimes rather dry but extremely sobering account about the Holocaust in Germany.  This is the middle book of a three book series on the subject.  I learned a lot that I did not know about the holocaust.

A book based on a true story - The Road From Home by David Kherdian

The author writes about his mother's childhood during the Armenian genocide in Turkey.

A memoir - I Am Spock by Leonard Nimoy

I technically already covered this category but I finally read the second autobiography by Leonard Nimoy which is just as good as the first.

A book from your childhood - Sarah Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan

I read this book in fifth grade and watched the movie.  I didn't like it then but I enjoy it now as an adult. 

A Book Set in High School - Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

I've seen this book in B&N several times so I read it on Scribd.  It's the dark tale of a middle class girl who gets sucked into the world of sex and drugs, even running away from home several times.  It peddles itself as a true story but I read that there is some controversy about that.

A book that takes place in your hometown (home state) - Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink

This is another book from my childhood and was read to me in fourth grade.  It is set in my home state of Wisconsin and even mentions the town I went to school in (New Ulm).

A banned book - The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler

I've seen this on the challenged list several times so I got it on Overdrive from my library.  It was an extremely interesting book about a teen who deals with her own self-identity, including her weight issues.  

A book based on or turned into a TV series - Pretty Little Liars by Sara Shepherd

I got this for free on Kindle awhile back and I was extremely drawn into the mystery of "A."  Sadly, the second book was a bit of a disappointment for me.

Other books - 
Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson - I got the audiobook on Scribd and chapter 4 from from a completely different book!  Otherwise, it was a good book and a Newbery winner. 
Auschwitz: A New History by Laurence Rees - I decided to read this to get more information about the infamous camp
Clapton:The Autobiography by Eric Clapton - A candid memoir about the famous guitarist. 
All the Blue Eyed Angels by Jen Blood - An Erin Solomon mystery about the death of a cult 
Commodore Perry in the Land of the Shogun by Rhoda Blumberg - A nonfiction book about Perry's trip to isolated Japan to secure trade.
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson - The story of a foster child who wants to run away to live with her mother
Dogsong by Gary Paulsen - Hopefully the last Paulsen book I'll ever read, this is about an Eskimo boy who goes out with a team of dogs 
Calico Bush by Rachel Field - The story of a bound-out French girl who travels with an English family to settle in the American colonies
The Bears on Hemlock Mountain by Alice Dalgliesh - A little boy discovers that there are really bears on Hemlock Mountain.
The Courage of Sarah Noble by Alice Dalgliesh - Sarah travels with her father to build their family's new house in a land full of Indians
Ramona and her Father by Beverly Cleary - Ramona's father loses his job.
Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary - Ramona's father goes back to school to be a teacher and things don't go right for Ramona
The Wish Giver by Bill Brittain - Three children and a shopkeeper buy wishes for 50 cents from a mysterious man.
The Planet of Junior Brown by Virginia Hamilton - A book about Junior Brown and his friend Buddy.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Start

I put a few stitches into Octopus's Garden by Blackberry Designs.  The colors definitely stand out more on than in the model picture.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Stitch from Stash Update - March 2015

Month: March

Carryover from February: $11.51
Amount Spent: $4.20
Amount Earned: $20
Carryover to April: $52.31

This month was a concentrated effort on three different pieces.  And I finished all three pieces.  Budget wise, I was fine.  Mostly because my husband bought me materials as an anniversary present.

The first piece was Yellow Submarine.  This did not earn me any "Stash cash" since I just bought the piece.  Oh, well.

The second piece was Lights of Advent.  This was an ornament I'd been wanting to do for awhile because for some reason, I don't see a lot of pieces with advent candles.  My husband gifted me the silk and I used some fabric from my stash.

The last piece is my Sunflower Sampler.  I have been working on this piece for over two years.  I finally finished it today!  This piece cost next to nothing as I got the linen for $1 at SCRAP and the fibers were all DMC.  I have a frame ready for it that I got for $3 at a thrift store.  All I need are some more stainless steel pins.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Stitching Pride

Today, there is a blogging party going on among cross stitchers.  I chose not to participate but I decided to steal their blog prompt for the day.  You were supposed to pick some pieces that you were most proud of stitching.

1. Amazing Grace

The first piece I am most proud of stitching is "Amazing Grace," a kit by Jan Lynn.  It was the second piece I ever stitched, the third ever finished and my first actual counted cross stitch (the first piece I did was stamped).  I was only 16 at the time and it was a very ambitious second piece.  The kit came with evenweave too, so I wasn't cutting my teeth on something simple to stitch on like Aida either.  I started it just after Thanksgiving with the intention of finishing it by Christmas--what an unrealistic expectation!  It ended up taking 7 months or so to complete.

The challenge with this piece (apart from me being new to cross stitch) was the extensive backstitching.

2. God is Love

The second piece I am most proud of is "God is Love," a piece I stitched out of Happy Holidays in Cross Stitch, a book I picked up a Dollar General for like 10 cents (yes, that was an insane price).  The piece is stitched on 28 count waterlily linen using Kreinik Silk Mori Milkpaint, DMC Perle Cotton and Kreink #4 metallic braid.  There are a variety of specialty stitches in this small piece as well as some beading.  The biggest challenge was the words, which are stitched in petite stitches, and since I was stitching on linen, I could not always get them to behave.  The shade of green is very close to the color of the fabric and thus, makes it hard on the eyes.  I also framed this piece myself when I was finished.

What makes me most proud of this piece is that I entered it into the North Texas Fair and received a blue ribbon.  I had never entered any of my work into a contest before.

3. Fairy Tale Sampler

The third piece I am most proud of is "Fairy Tale Sampler" by Jennifer Aiken-Smith of Dragon Dreams.  It sadly sat unframed for a long time before I finally found a frame that would work.  This piece looks rather simple but it was the first time that I had worked with any kind of specialty threads.  It has a few shades of variegated silk, both seed and bugle beads and a number of specialty stitches.

4. Winter's Twilight Stocking

For my last piece, allow me to showcase the first (and probably last) counted cross stitched stocking I ever did, "Winter's Twilight Stocking," a Gold Collection kit by Dimensions.  The piece is almost entirely solidly stitched with lots of backstitching and tweeding.  While stitching it, it became "the piece that would never end!"  Now that it is finished, it looks great but I think I'll stick to needlepoint stockings from now on.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

No pictures yet

I am earnestly working and hope to reveal a finish soon.

Octopus finally came in so I am hoping to start that soon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Submarine Launch!

I put in a bunch of work the last two days and was able to finish up "Yellow Submarine!"  This piece was really fun to stitch and I can't wait to do Octopus's Garden once my LNS gets the pattern in.  I didn't realize that Octopus was bigger and I hope the remaining fabric I have is big enough.  Crossing Fingers.

Since this was a piece I just bought and not from my "stash," I do not get any monetary credit for it in SFS.

This was my husband's birthday present.  He knows I've been stitching it but I didn't let him know I had finished.  I am going to try to frame it tomorrow so I can give it to him tomorrow night.

Yellow Submarine
Blackbird Designs (Magical Mystery Tour Series)
Stitched with Sampler Threads on 32 ct. Cedar Plank Linen by Lakeside Linens

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Advent Finish

I managed to finish my latest ornament.  It earns me $8 for Stitch from Stash.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Yellow Submarine Progress

I do believe I've crossed the 50% mark on Yellow Submarine.  Right now I'm in for a whole lot of yellow as I finish the submarine.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Weekend Stitchiness

This week has been a definitely winterish week.  We had ice on Monday and Tuesday and the Thursday night, the snow started and we got 5-7 inches which is very rare for north Texas. It is mostly melted today.  Now we're expecting thunderstorms on Tuesday and possibly more snow on Wednesday.  Crazy weather!

I achieved my goal of finishing the border on my Sunflower Sampler!

I got some more work done on my Lights of Advent.  The purple is darker than it looks in the model.  I used the silk.  I'm wondering if the model used the DMC alternatives???  You would think you'd model it with the silk if it's "preferred."  It almost looks black in the picture.