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Saturday, June 6, 2020

Oh, I'm Way Behind in Showing Off my Instastitches

(Good thing I'm only doing 42, not 90.)






More to come!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Book Round-Up

A Dying Fall by Elly Griffiths: This is the fifth in the Ruth Galloway series about a forensic archeologist, but my library did not have the the first four in e-book form. It's written in the present tense, which was sometimes distracting, and the personal lives of the characters were soap-operatic (soooo many affairs, love triangles, and extra-marital babies). But the mystery was great, and I had a hard time putting it down every night.

Damoren by Seth Skorkowsky: The first in a series about a secret group of hunters who kill demons and monsters with magic weapons. The fetishizing of the weapons had me rolling my eyes quite a bit, and the narrative was distressingly blasé about the large number of innocent casualties, but the world-building was fun and Skorkowsky sure can tell an exciting story.


 The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones: This fun novel, Jones's last and published posthumously, had the standard fantasy tropes only slightly off-kilter and satirical. The ending was a little rushed, though (probably because her sister had to finish it).

Excellent Women by Barbara Pym: one of my favorite novels,* and a comfort-read when I can't get to the library. Excellent women are those spinsters and widows who keep churches and communities functioning by taking on the tasks no one else wants. Mildred is such a woman, often underestimated and taken advantage of but intelligent and observant, with a good understanding of human nature.

Emma by Jane Austen: another re-read in preparation of the digital release of the latest movie version (which is supposed to be great). Emma is rather famously a snob and meddler who comes close to ruining a lot of lives before she finally learns to mind her own business. Austen's novel is, like her others, witty and frothy but also teeming with sharp social commentary.

*So much so I'm writing about it again!

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

"Lilacs are May in Essence"

I miss the lilacs at my old house. I miss the lilacs I walked by on my way to the subway. I miss the lilacs in a big bouquet at my job.

This necklace was inspired by my favorite flowers, and by the gorgeous pendants and pins Alicia Paulson embroidered.

Thursday, April 30, 2020

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow

Superficially, this novel remarkably similar to The Starless Sea -- a young woman begins finding doors to alternate worlds, and must stop the secret society determined to close those doors permanently. But the details, the themes, the writing style, even the overall feel of the book is completely different.

In Harrow's world, the doors are crucial to the health of our world, letting in ideas and sparking societal changes for the better. Hence the secret society of mostly old, white men who want to study the other worlds, make a quick buck off some artifacts, and then close them forever before they have too much of an influence on us. January (the young woman in question), however, has a connection to one of the doors, and is determined to track down her parents.

Harrow's political commentary is sometimes a little heavy-handed, but the narrative she created is rich in detail and exciting to read. Even the villain is far more interesting than one would expect. My only complaint is that I would have enjoyed exploring more of those alternate worlds; we really only got to see one of them.

The US hardcover edition is gorgeous:
The Ten Thousand Doors of January 

And I couldn't resist making another necklace, inspired by both the cover and the text:

Too bad I have no place to wear it right now.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Take a Stitch Tuesday Weeks 13 & 14

Buttonhole wheel cup makes a nice stylized daffodil:

Buttonholed cable chain stitch:
I like the scalloped edge this makes, although I need more practice.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Instastitch with Sue Spargo

Sue Spargo, whose handwork is absolutely gorgeous, is running a 90-day stitch along: 90 wool pennies sewn onto a background and embellished in lots of different ways.  I'm working from my stash and was only able to fit 42 circles onto my background, but that's ok, because it means I can pick and choose my favorite designs.

So far:








After a difficult day of homeschooling and managing my kids, working from home, and cleaning (sooooo many dishes!), stitching a circle is a real treat.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

TAST Weeks 8-12

Twisted lattice band:


Couching and chained bar stitch:


Inverted feather stitch:


French knots and pistil stitch:


Cretan and looped cretan stitches: