Showing posts from July, 2017

2017 Reading Challenge: July 31, 2017

I zipped through Just One Damn Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor this week.  I LOVED this book - entertaining, fun characters, all sorts of history geekery that I loved.  So as soon as I finished this one up (which was for week 20), I opened up the second in the series for week 21 (A continuation of a book you've already read.)  

A Symphony of Echoes continues the story with Max as our protagonist, as well as many of the supporting cast from book 1.  Book 2 has Max being chased by Jack the Ripper, visiting Canterbury Cathedral of Archbishop Thomas a' Becket and figuring out what dodos enjoyed eating for afternoon tea.  I'm about halfway through this second book and enjoying this series so much I'm wondering how I will make myself pick something else on my challenge list once it's over. 

For those keeping score, I've read 28 out of 52 books for this year's challenge, so I've got 24 more to go!

The 2017 List
1. A book from the Goodreads Choice Awards 2016: T…

Stitching Wednesday - July 26, 2017

A fun week of stitching things.  I worked on Village of Hawk Run Hollow, block 4, for my 6-day rotation on that.  I'd say I'm perhaps just under halfway through the block?

This will be the town's boarding house and while I haven't stitched the modifications on this one for personalized details, I will be changing up the sign to reflect my Gram's name.  This one is on hold then until August.

Yesterday I then started the final 6-day rotation for July, which also was a new start I've been saving to work on as a birthday treat for myself (technically tomorrow, the 27th, but I'll be working on this for 6 full days as well) - Chatelaine's Desert Mandala.

Not a great photo as it's a download off the Chatelaine site of the mockup, but this is what it will look like when it's finished.  I'm stitching mine on a 28-count hand-dyed Lugana fabric by Picture This Plus in the Calypso colorway.  I thought all the desert-y colors would really pop off this fa…

Reading Challenge 2017: July 24, 2017

I finished The Paris Wife by Paula McLain for week #27, a book by one of your favorite authors.  I really enjoyed this one.  I felt the author really brought Ernest Hemingway's first wife, Hadley Richardson, to life. She created a picture of a complex marriage to a complex person and all of the difficulties inherent in that.  The sights and sounds of post WWI Paris were also brought to life, with the glittering ex pat society as well. If you like historical fiction, you'll probably enjoy this one!

Next up, I started Just One Damned Thing After Another by Jodi Taylor for week #20 - a book you've owned for a while but haven't gotten around to reading.  One my Da sent me (and he's now sent me the next 4 in the series too!) and one he specifically thought I would really enjoy.  Note to self: Take this advice.  Any time my dad recommends a book to me as "something I think you'd really enjoy", I wind up absolutely loving it.  He obviously knows my taste!  :…

Stitching Wednesday - July 19, 2017

This week I've been working on my Under the Sea SAL from Lakeside Needlecraft, and I started and finished up the July clue.

I made some changes to the original design of the mermaid.  I wasn't thrilled with her face - her eyes looked a little odd to me - so I turned her in profile so she's chatting with the cute little green fish and altered her hair to make that work. This finished up my 6-day rotation on this piece, and I'll be waiting for the August clue to work on next month.

I also have been participating in the Dog Days of Summer SAL through Cross-Stitch Finish Line for the last week.  The SAL ran 07/14 through 07/19 (today), and I worked for 30-60 minutes on different projects for each day to correspond to the themes/prompts.

07/14 - S: Seashore.  Under the Sea SAL. (You can see that above).

07/15 - U: Umbrella.  A Stitching Shelf.  I added in a few hundred stitches of confetti on this piece and no, you can't see the umbrella in the area I worked on, but the…

Reading Challenge 2017 - July 17, 2017

I finished up David Roberts's The Lost World of the Old Ones.  I loved this book - interesting, not dry (because you know sometimes nonfiction is a slog, even if you are interested in the subject matter).  I zipped my way through this book, was thoroughly entranced by all the hidden gems in my neck of the woods and learned a lot from the book.  A recommended read.

This weekend, I started The Paris Wife by Paula McLain for week #27, a book by one of your favorite authors.  I read another book by this author last year (Circling the Sun) and really liked her writing style, so I had this on my to-read list since then.  It's a historical fiction written from the point of view of Ernest Hemingway's first wife (of 4), Hadley Richardson.  Set mostly in Paris in the 1920s, in the community of the creative "Lost Generation" of Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and George Sand, the book tells the story of their 7 years of marriage before Hemingway's infidelity breaks it …

Spinning Friday - July 15, 2017

A bit over halfway through the Tour already!

I finished up the first braid I was working on.  Originally dyed as a gradient, I broke this up and spun for 2-ply self-striping socks.

Roving:  Superwash merino, dyed by Two If By Hand. in the Pirate Jenny colorway. 
Weight:  Fingering/sock weight.
Yardage/Ounces: 320 yards/3.7 oz

Next on the wheel, I started a braid of Falkland wool from FatCatKnits in the Cassidy colorway.  I'll be working on this over the next week or so.

Stitching Wednesday - July 12, 2017

I had a page finish for the Shoot The Moon project - which nicely closed out my 6-day rotation on that project for this month.

I was very happy with my progress on this piece this month.  The project has 12 pages in total, so if I can try to get one done every month's rotation thru the end of this year, it'll be half finished.

I also snuck in a small finish.  I've been working up the set of Celtic festival inspired freebie patterns from The Primitive Hare, and Lammas is coming up on August 1st. These only take a couple of hours to stitch up, so this is already finished!

I stitched this using a scrap of hand-dyed 28-count linen from my shop (colorway Time Traveler), using a hand-dyed variegated cotton from Ship's Manor for the letters, and a limited edition Gentle Arts colorway for the stalks, and then Oxblood, Winter's Wheat and Dark Dune hand-dyed cotton threads from Colour and Cotton for the rest. I backed it with some neutral cotton fabric I had in stash. I love…

Reading Challenge 2017 - July 10, 2017

I finished listening to Pride and Prejudice via the audiobook this weekend.  I really loved this version, which I grabbed from my library's downloads via Overdrive. It wasn't super theatrically done, which I liked, but the reader gave enough personality to each character's voice that it wasn't confusing or difficult to follow.  A nicely done version, which I enjoyed immensely.

This week, I'm reading The Lost World of the Old Ones by David Roberts for week #28 - a nonfiction. I'm getting my history geek on with this one - it's a great read.  Interesting and fact-filled, but not too dry and since this book focuses on the history and archeology of the Four Corners region, I love being able to see the places the author describes in my mind.  I'm about 75% of the way through this book and enjoying every page.  Even without finishing it, I'll recommend it highly to anyone with an interest in the culture or time period of the Ancient Ones (Anasazi) and the…

Stitching Wednesday - July 5, 2017

I kicked off the current 6-day rotation (July 1-6) working on the Shoot The Moon (mini) piece.  Artwork is by Lee Ann Seed, and it was charted by Heaven and Earth Designs. I purchased this pattern without the background, so it's a silhouette project in essence. Here's what the original design looks like:

I'm stitching mine on a 28-count Lugana that I hand-dyed in a gradient from light to dark purples, using DMC Black (310).  I started in the upper left hand corner, and here's where I am as of July 4th.

I'm going to try to finish the first page of the pattern over the next 2 days, and then it'll be time to move on to the next 6-day rotation, when I'll be working on Star Weaver.

I also finished up the Mill Hill Pike's Peak Santa this weekend.  I'm waiting on felt to back it with, but the stitching and beading are both finished.

Super cute and I'm looking forward to having him on the tree this year!

Reading Challenge 2017

Finished up The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead this week (week 8's theme: a book written by a person of color).  I can see why this one was picked as an Oprah reading group choice, as well as a NY Times bestseller.  It explores a lot of the racial prejudice mid-19th century, and looks ahead to the difficulties in assimilating the population of freed slaves into the country's workforce - not just difficulties with a white/black tension, but the difficulties within the groups of African-Americans as well.  There was a section of the book (just past the halfway point) where I got bogged down in it.  It was a slow go for a bit but the last several chapters are thought-provoking and well-written.  Not an easy read by any description, but an interesting one.

I've started the audiobook of Pride and Prejudice  as my week #23 book - a book from the BBC's "The Big Read".  A nicely done version of it which I'm enjoying quite a bit.

I also zipped through 2 …