Monday, July 25, 2011

Alan Rickman, You're My Hero - An Update

Not only would I LOVE to hear Alan Rickman read, oh, the phone book, but wow, between Colonel Brandon and Severus Snape - not to mention the scads of other characters he's played, good guy or bad - and the reading of sonnets, could you want anything more?

Yes, I saw the final Harry Potter movie - and yes, I DID read the book, the week it came out. Wow. What a FABULOUS finish, and the whole things with Snape - very, very well done. Yes, I cried the WHOLE TIME, which was very amusing to the 18yo who went with me. I am pretty sure I am going to have to go see it again - waiting for the BlueRay just isn't going to cut it. What a great adventure it has been, watching these kids all grow up during the course of these movies. What great books - she's got to come up with something else, there can't just be nothing more, ever. BTW, I always knew Neville was going to be bad-ass :)

Okay, well then... The UPDATE part of this post is next. First up, picking up where I left off last week on my Mill Hill Halloween piece - Midnight Farm was completed on Thursday night. I got the last of the stitching done on Monday, then spent Wednesday & Thursday doing the beads (Tuesday was out - Band Parent meeting - zzzzz). Because, it would seem, I can bead faster than I stitch, which I don't get, but there you are. I wish my camera was good for night/low light things, because the GITD Kreinik in this is AWESOME - the Farm easily has twice as much as the Library did. Here is just the Farm:

And then the overall - Boo House will go to the right of the Library there:

I was slightly tempted to just go on over to the right and do the House - I could have this done in under 2 weeks, easy. But then I wouldn't have anything to look forward to, so I put it away. Must. Have. More. Bead. Projects....

One day last week, I actually TOOK LUNCH, and got Tanglewood out; okay, I only had it out for about 10 minutes, but I did make an effort (I've spent most of my lunch time the last couple of weeks writing instead - slogging through War & Peace seems to encourage me to write something that is READABLE and WITH A POINT). And then we had our July meeting of PINS, so I took it there and continued working on it. And worked on it through the rest of the weekend, and plan to work on it tonight. I got the Peacock done, again! (I did him on Natalie's RR, too - and yes, it did go pretty quick this time - see here and here).

And here is another one that I am pretty sure I could have done in under 2 weeks if I kept it on the floor stand. I seem to have a few of those that are 2 weeks to a month of concentrated effort to finish - while others are getting dustier and dustier (L&U anyone?).

So, Tanglewood will see some more this week, and I really need to get those damn chickens done - another one I could have done in under 2 weeks, if I could just work on it until it was done. We have a new spot for our Tuesday night stitch in - IHOP! So Tanglewood may go there tomorrow, too, or I may drag along Mary or the chickens - don't know yet. REALLY need to get past the hump on Knotgarden - but I'm just not feeling it. So who knows what'll actually grab me this week?

Speaking of Tolstoy, I had to take the 18yo to the book store - those paychecks are just burning holes in his pockets. While there, I picked up This Is Gonna Hurt, by Nikki Sixx - who's Heroin Diaries was a completely unexpected FABULOUS read. You know, I don't know what it is about him, but I would really like to pick his brain in person. We come from two completely different walks of life, but his writing just really clicks with me, for some reason. So I've given War & Peace a temporary hiatus while I rip through this new book, and need to download the accompanying music soon. I can't believe I have 2 books going at the same time (3, if you count the Tudor History book that I pick up from time to time, when I need a little fix). I used to only stitch on one project at a time, too, you know... But I KNOW Hurt will be done this week; War & Peace I don't think will EVER end :(

Happy stitching - and/or reading - this week to everyone! Enjoy that heat - it'll be freakin' winter soon enough :(

Thursday, July 21, 2011

And People Think I'M WORDY??

This paragraph, taken from War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy, Modern Library Paperback Edition, 2002:
"The Rostovs' son-in-law, Berg, was by now a colonel, with the orders of Vladimir and Anne on his neck, and was still filling the same comfortable and agreeable post of assistant to the head of the staff of the assistant of the chief officer of the staff of the commander of the left flank of the infantry of the first army."

Huh? Soooooo, he was a staff grunt, basically, despite his rank and commendations? And THAT, Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, coupled with the fact that every one has AT LEAST 4 different names, is why this stupid book is twice as long as it ought to be... Will I ever finish it, now that I am over the 1000-page mark? Will I ever care one iota about any single part of it? That remains to be seen. Check back in another month or so...

If Multiply decides to cooperate today, these pics OUGHT to be clickable to take you to the All-Knowing Wikipedia :) If they DON'T, well, then, I can't help you - I tried...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Band Camp - An Update

The Freshman starts his first Band Camp today; only half days this week, but then, next week, 12 hour days!!! Hope he can stand it. I have to miss tomorrow's stitch night because I have to go to a band meeting - I am NOT volunteering for ANYTHING, not for the foreseeable future, at any rate; I have way too much going on at work for the next few months to even think about reserving brain cells for adding a whole new set of responsibilities...

In other news, a slightly more productive stitch week than last week - I finished a branch of Tanglewood at Donna's house on Tuesday. If I switch over to the other side and get the Peacock branch going and/or done, there isn't that much left to do. IF I put this on the floor stand, I bet I could have it done in a couple of weeks...

I was actually rooting in the drawer for... some other project on Monday night, needing to put Knotgarden down until the frogs go away. I think I had intended to bring out Iris Fairy - but then that pesky Mill Hill Halloween project jumped right into my hand - do you believe that??? It did, I swear. And so Midnight Farm is about 100 stitches from putting beads on :)

Can I just say that the GITD #4 Kreinik is not very consistent? The regular #4 metallics lay much better than this GITD stuff - in order to pull it tight enough to get it where it's supposed to be to make a pretty X, it distorts the fabric. The GITD BF I have used behaves more like #4 metallics, actually. The third design I picked, Boo House, has NO GITD - so you know I will have to add some. Now - do I use the stuff left over from these two kits, for consistency's sake, or do I find my GITD BF and use it instead? I guess that depends on how much I have leftover from the 2 kits and how much I decide to add :) Midnight Farm has a LOT of the glow, compared to the Haunted Library.

I have another finish-finish, but I can't show it yet, as it is a gift - and I haven't even gotten it ready to mail yet, let alone actually mailed it - so look for that... sometime later. This week, I know I will be continuing on Midnight Farm - I have been DYING to get some beads onto something, so too close not not to. Then I really need to get back to Knotgarden - the frog in it really makes me mad, and I want to get past it and get that damn side DONE. And then I have that 4th corner to do - which might be a nice break after completing 2 gates back to back. Maybe. It's just so... green. Which ordinarily I don't mind, but wow, enough already! And can I just mention that the drawer of kits KNOWS I have been finishing things, and it also knows that I have several other things >this close< to being done? The drawer would like me to Hurry The Hell Up and get them done, it's getting crowded in there, and new things WANT to be started!!!! Ah, well, what else is new? LOL

(my lilies are now all gone - and now there's nothing out there :( )

Happy stitching this week to everyone!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Next Round - an Update

The next round, as in, the US Women's Soccer team made it through to the next round of the World Cup, after getting screwed REPEATEDLY by poor reffing against Brazil, and STILL managing to pull out the win!!! It took 120+ minutes, and all came down to PKs, and one great save by Hope Solo - though Abby Wambach's fabulous header at the last possible moment was pretty spectacular, too! Not to bore you with details, you can read & see video here if you want :)

Now we just need to pull out all the stops and beat France - that bogus send-off [Buehler? Buehler?] hopefully won't factor into it, and hopefully Wambach & Rapinoe can get 'em in the net!

And really, that's about the highlight of the week. For various and sundry reasons, there was not a lot of stitching, despite having Monday & Tuesday off. I was on the phone an inordinate amount of time this week - suffice it to say, since I am NOT a phone person, it made me a little bit cranky :(

(geddit - cranky, storm clouds? Because I'm stormy when I'm cranky? Not funny? Well, :b~~~~~~~~~~~)

On Tuesday, I went to a stitch in, and I worked on Tanglewood. I got a whole branch outlined, and then *gasp* got part of it filled in! Yes, at the SAME stitch in! Weird, huh? THAT'S how you can tell I'm getting down to the nitty gritty on Tanglewood, the branches are getting smaller :)

Gotta move over to the other side as soon as I get this branch done, though, if I am not mistaken, when I worked on Natalie's for our RR a couple years ago, I went over the top and down the right to get to the peacock - so we'll see which way I actually go when I get that far :)

The only other thing I touched was Knotgarden. Now, for anyone who's done a big mandala, I think we can all agree the repetition is the killer. I would just like to state for the record that I am NOT impressed that this thing is kicking and screaming the closer I get to the end. The inner yellow border with the green eyelets, it turns out, is harboring frogs. GGAAHHHHH!!!! I won't even mention that it's the wrong damn color, or it was before I played a little trick on it with one strand of the right color. Good thing I got some of the gate in so I can see the mistakes :( I don't want to put it down - but I really want to put it down for a bit, you know what I mean? Considering I didn't stitch Monday, Thursday, or Saturday nights at all, it's not like I slaved away over it - and maybe that's it, maybe it's mad at me for ignoring it. Well, too bad! Here is where I got on the gate (that middle topiary, not shown, IS also completed now):

So, for the week, not much to show for it - other than a huge deficit in my cell minutes. As for this week? Well, I just don't know yet. I am reallllyyyy tempted to get Rainforest Crunch out and at least try a few stitches in it, to see if the 18ct linen I got is going to work for me, or if I am going to be unhappy with it unless I do it on canvas. I really don't want any more WIPs, but yet - I want to start EVERYTHING I have kitted - which, when my Carrie's Thread's get here from Karen at Wasatch, will now also include FWD's Eclipse and also IC Mother Maya. Just for the record, that brings my Kitted up to easily DOUBLE my WIPs, maybe even TRIPLE - so you see, I could really just go off the deep end, if I so choose :) Good thing I am literally out of space to keep any more WIPs, and that's with two of the bigger ones still out traveling!

All of which means - check back next week to see what I actually worked on - because as of this minute, your guess is as good as mine :) Happy Stitching this week to everyone!

Monday, July 04, 2011

An Independence Day (Night) Update

(yes, that is a praying mantis and a flag. If you had a praying mantis hanging out by your front door all afternoon, wouldn't you take a couple of pics, too? :) )

We've had fireworks going night after night after night - and I've had a cowering dog living at the end of the hall like it's a bomb shelter. Dummy, of course, could care less - I'm sure if a bottle rocket or Roman candle came near him, he'd do his best to catch it. Dummy - he's such a bonehead...

(if you go HERE and flip through the pictures quickly using the Next button, you can see his ears move - and/or a thought forming)

In this week's stitching, I had a new start on Monday, which I finished on Friday, and actually also have the stuff to finish-finish it, too :) Out of that JE Southwest leaflet that Sue V. sent to me, I was compelled to kit up several of those on ice blue Monaco, and well, you know me, since I had them ready to go, well, I caved and started the Dream Catcher. BUT - it wasn't the only thing I worked on, so I didn't entirely throw out my plans for the week, just modified them slightly :)

I added the silver feather charms and added a few little nuggets of turquoise that I had in the old bead drawer :) I do wish that I had done the backstitch in 3371 instead of 310 - that black is too harsh, IMO. I'll take myself under consideration when I do the next one :)

Now, getting back to what I had PLANNED to do last week - I did finally finish Part 1 of the WTN&T Birds of a Feather Mystery SAL - and got a few stitches in on Part 2 (since, you know, Part 3 is due to be released the end of this week). I just have to say that the red used in the border flowers still just blows me away - it's so rich! And somewhere in Part 3 is a similar red, WDW Brick - can't wait to see what that gets used for...

And lastly, I DID get Knotgarden back out finally on Saturday. Sunday saw no stitching at all, but I did continue on it today, and turned that corner to begin Repeat # 3. All of Saturday, I worked on the yellow border (I really don't like that color, BTW), the eyelets inside it, and then the Rhodes in the inner border down to the halfway mark, and got the 3 topiary pots done. Today, when I was finally able to sit down to stitch, I got the 3 topiaries almost done. I'll keep this out this week and see if I can get a good chunk of the 3rd gate done, though I may have to stop and go do that bottom corner first - I don't think I used the inner stitching for placement of the outer bits much, so I might be able to get the gate in without stopping to do that 4th sea of green...?

(yes, it's wrinkly - if you were a WIP as long as this has been a WIP, you'd be wrinkly, too)

Other than that, I have no definite plans for stitching this week. Since tomorrow is my last day of vacation, I am planning to head to the Stitch Store sometime in the afternoon for the Tuesday stitch in, then back to the grind on Wednesday. We have a big project starting next week - replacing the interface between our two operating systems; but before we can do that, we have to fix a SHITLOAD of data errors that occurred because of the current interface - 7 years worth of errors :( Fortunately, we're getting a couple of warm bodies in to help - data entry is not really my forte, my brain has more repetitive motion injuries than any other part of me - and Oracle is one unforgiving PoS system. So, looking forward to the next couple of months, expect to be freaking SLAMMED, so I'll be wearing my IT hat AND my engineering hat AND my gov't deliverable hat all at the same time! Can you hear my hair going ALL grey??? Of course, I may be pulling it all out in a week or two, so the color may be irrelevant :) :(

(another great post-storm sunset. It's colors like these that remind me of New Mexico - if only there wasn't so much green...)

That's the news that may or may not be fit to print - happy stitching this week to everyone!