Still here! Still stitchin’.

It’s been  long road, but I’m becoming an experienced traveler. I’m working hard at focusing on one or two projects at a time and not doing too much all the time. When I started that, it was a couple years ago, and I had over 27 knitting WIPs alone! I broke those down within a year or so, then got going with crochet and tatting. Last year I got back into reading again! Like finding an old friend. I got back into the stories I enjoy, and back into my Read-At-Least-50-Pages-or-3-Chapters-Before-Moving-On method.

I left cross stitch for last, because that (other than reading) is my longest hobby. I go through my supplies every couple months, and I have started being honest with myself about what I really want to make vs what’s pretty cool. So I gave away a bunch of kits and patterns, and now I feel like a weight has been lifted (or a schedule cleared?) so I can get into what I want to do! I blew through a lot of my Doctor Who sampler. My simple, reachable, goal is to finish it this year. If I finish other stuff? Bonus! No pressure.

This is where I left off sometime in the last 2 years:

somuchblue

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And where I am now:

Past the half-way mark!

I’m finally close to the bottom half!!

I had to put both my samurai and the fan girls in hibernation. I hate the starchy Aida they came with, so I’ll order some nice hand-dyed fabric later. Plus….I messed up at some point in the last 15 years with the Samurai so I need to start over anyway.

We had a wonderful 4th! The BFFs came over with watermelon, steaks, and good company. The fireworks were great; only a few were loud (like whistles and pops). The ones I can remember best are Jade Fountain and Resolution. Both were fountains and pretty quiet. (none of us really like the loud ones, my youngest especially) Dinner was delicious and we watched Jurassic World until it was dark enough to set off the sparks.

It was really nice to sit and stitch and talk with P. Found out she had never seen The Witches, so I obliged! SO much fun; that movie always has a surprise. P knows more about sewing garments than me, so she noticed a lot of fun things about the dresses. She told me about the Mouse and the Motorcycle movie that came out around the same time, that I somehow missed in my childhood…I’ll have to find that!

I’ll be honest, I still start projects, but the difference is I usually frog them and get back to my WIPs. It’s not perfect, but it’s progress in the right direction.

Bah, off the computer now! I want/need to do some thing around the house, then I can stitch away. It’s been so nice outside I can’t wait to sit under the tree and relax with this WIP.

I finished all these books last year! Woohoo! I’m so happy to be back into the scary spooky stuff. Getting back into reading was like putting on a favorite sweater. I just had to wean myself off of the phone/tablet, and now I don’t want to go back…except for audiobooks.

I like to mark what platform I used to read a book too, just to see what I use the most. I was a little surprised at the results and it was a lot of fun to keep track!

I read (=finished) a total of 51 books in 2017. 20 were audio books (from Overdrive or Audible), 4 were hardbacks, only 2 were paperbacks, and 25 were kindle books. I bet there are a few I forgot to write down, especially the random short story here and there…anyway, it was fun and I’ll try to write it all down this year. 

k=kindle

@=audio book

p=paperback

H=hardback

L=library

?=forgot to write the author/editor and can’t find it now

January:

Beyond the Ice Limit-Preston&Child (H)

Made You Up-Franscesca Zappia (k)

Carsick-John Waters (@)

The Excorcist-William Peter Blatty (k)

February:

Cops’ True Stories of the Paranormal: Ghosts, Shivers, & Other Stories-Loren Christensen (a collection from reddit submitted stories) (k) this was before I discovered some excellent youtube channels that will read the stories to me in very nice narratives

Haunted Route 66-Richard Southall (L, p)

You Can’t Touch My Hair & Other Things I Still Have to Explain-Phoebe Robinson (L, @)

I briefly tried out kindleunlimited this month, hence the influx of spoopy stuff below!

True Ouija Board Ghost Stories from Real Ghost Hunters (True Ghost Stories Book 2)-Lauren Gilman (k)

True Ghost Stories: Frightening Accounts of Haunted Houses, Paranormal Mysteries, and Unexplained Phenomenon-Selinda Hart (k)

Ouija Board Nightmares: Terrifying True Tales-John Harker (k)

Demonic Dolls: True Tales of Terrible Toys-John Harker (k)

Haunted Places: Exploring The Creepiest Locations On Earth: Don’t Even Think About It… (True Hauntings Book 2)-Roger P. Mills

Evil Unleashed: True Tales of Spells Gone to Hell and Other Occult Disasters-John Harker (k)

Ouija Board Stories: Terrifying Eyewitness Accounts Of REAL Life Ouija Board Experiences: Would You Dare Play? (True Paranormal Book 2)-Roger P. Mills (k)

True Horror: Let’s Not Meet Again Reddit Collection-? (k)

March:

I, Zombie-Hugh Howey (k)

April:

Materialist- Eric Garcia (k)

The Devil in Silver-Victor LaValle (k)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Miserable Mill-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Austere Academy- Lemony Snicket (@, L)

May:

The Dispatcher-John Scalzi (@)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Ersatz Elevator-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Vile Village-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Hostile Hospital-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

June:

Lucretia and the Kroons-Victor LaValle (k)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Carnivorous Carnival-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

Full Tilt-Neal Shusterman (k)

Doll Parts-Amanda Lepore (k)

July:

Understanding Jim Crow: Using Racist Memorabilia to Teach Tolerance & Promote Social Justice-David Pilgrim (k)

The Watson’s Go to Burmingham, 1963-Christopher Paul Curtis (@, L)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Slippery Slope-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

August:

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Grim Grotto-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The Penultimate Peril-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

HEX-Thomas Olde Heuvelt (H, L)

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened-Jennifer Lawson (k)

Alien-Alan Dean Foster (@)

September:

The Graveyard Apartment-Mariko Koike (H, L)

Aliens: Out of the Shadows-Tim Lebbon (@)

Series of Unfortunate Events: The End-Lemony Snicket (@, L)

October:

Lovecraft Country-Matt Ruff (k)

Carter & Lovecraft-Jonathon L. Howard (@)

Haunted House-J.A. Konrath (k)

Alien: River of Pain-Christopher Golden (@)

November:

Lots of youtube scary stories **

Murder on the Orient Express-Agatha Christie (@)

December:

Burn Notice: The Bad Beat-Tod Goldberg (p, L)

Dead Trees Give No Shelter-Wil Wheaton (k)

The Hellbound Heart-Clive Barker (k)

Gone Fishing-Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child (k)

 

**I love these channels on youtube for scary stories read aloud. The stories are user-submitted, mostly through reddit or their email. Check them out!

Corpse Husband https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCFNTq9XKHDNy_1-2lL0kqCg

Insomniak https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1qzXjbsIiBmkaCbl0ezchg

Lazy Masquerade https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7dHBh9QmYF1L0TOeGIzZgw

Mr. Davis https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC23nJ5NfrsN4wX9fAynA1SA

Mr. X Dreams https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1dRxsZYGElwy9-4ohmYjeg

Let’s Read https://www.youtube.com/user/LetsReadOfficial

Mortis Media https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCCLGjb5b9_0MY9HLE65x9Q

Swamp Dweller https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyYjOfKMuuIv0oMjG68Reug

The Creepy Fox https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGYfa8SkVrI_f437hOZnHlg

King Spook https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaQgjklPY4JLF0_wF8bOWlA

The samurai is on hold for now. I got into a good rhythm and was having fun, but I noticed that sometime all those years ago I made a counting mistake and just noticed it. It’s big enough that it would take more time to fix it than to just start over. I didn’t want to start over on New Year’s Eve, so I grabbed another old kit I’ve had for years. Penny gave it to me years ago…and I’m having a blast! The colors are bright and perfect. I already got quite a bit done considering I don’t have a lot of craft time, even on our winter break. I’ll get to work on it during gymnastics practice tonight. Whee!

Jewels of the Orient 03898 by Dimensions Gold (kit)

SO I spent the first part of 2018 cross stitching, drinking tea, and watching Top Gear. I’d say that’s a fine start to the year!

The Frosted Pumpkin’s 2017 Happily Ever After SAL:

I changed a little on Sleeping Beauty: I didn’t stitch the “lamp”/whatever or the stars. I put in little fairies instead and made the cat black, after mine.

I know I babble a lot about new projects and I’m so excited blahblahpromisesblahblah. So, starting now and into 2018, I’m going to work on focusing. On everything. I don’t need to do everything all the time! It’s been tough, honestly, I’m so used to multi-tasking I get lost in things and forget to appreciate them.

I thought the best cross stitch to finish this year (2018) and focus on would be The Mighty Samurai by Dimensions Gold. I bought this kit…geez…15-20 years ago?? It was my biggest goal, my unicorn. I got this far in it on 2004 (see below) and picked it up today. It’s such a lovely pattern; the colors, blending, etc. Way back when we watched a bunch of Toshiro Mifune movies and I did the work in the pic. I named this guy Toshiro because naming things comes naturally. ;-)

Hopefully the first of many WIP pics…

I’m going to take this to the in-laws for Christmas eve/Christmas gatherings along with my kindle.

And nothing else. No knitting, crochet, two more books, my planner, etc etc etc. I need to slow my brain down and focusing should help that, plus I get to work on my most anticipated project! I’ve had this guy on my mind for so long…what a relief to concentrate on it. Speaking of, I’m trying to only read one book at a time too! Ugh so hard!! But I foudn some cool looking ones by Clive Barker, the (or “my”) master of the terrifying horror novel. I blew through Hellbound Heart this week and just started The Scarlet Gospels. Since most of his work was published in the UK, it’s hard to find copies here, especially on Kindle. So I may have to visit my friendly neighborhood bookstore for more once I finish Scarlet Gospels.

Anyway, babbles over. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday and if nothing else, a boring one or even better, a warm and relaxing one! Remember you are loved and it’s always ok to believe in a little magic.

I forgot to post this, but I finished it last Wednesday! One more left!!

Pride and Prejudice
I can’t believe it’s almost done!

This has been such a fun project, I already bought another pattern (from CloudsFactory) to do next year, a little at a time. CF released this as a SAL for 2017, but since it’s December the whole pattern is available. Score! I also bought Maya Angelou and plan to add her to the piece and replace a couple others with Sally Ride and Margaret Hamilton. I’ll have to design those myself but that’s totally part of the fun!

I’m actually almost done with December (Sleeping Beauty) for this SAL, I’m hoping to finish it tonight! Then I can sign it and iron it. I think I’ll splurge and wait for a coupon, then get it professionally framed. I want to hang it next to our wedding pictures.

To be honest, I cleared out some old patterns and a kit or two, hoping to clear up some mental space and get to projects I really want to do! I’m excited I finished some things this year and I’m hopeful/excited to finish MORE next year. I want cross stitches all over my walls. ;)