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Sunday, March 19, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 11

I spent St. Patrick's Day sewing with friends, so I stitched this that night:

Thursday, March 16, 2017

I'm so Behind!

The Inspired by Reading book club's selection for February was The Ladies of Grace Adieu, but only today did I finish a piece inspired by it (especially sad given I've already read the book twice).  The stories are mostly dark and elegant, so I made something to match:
The beads are vintage faceted glass in deep purple, and I added sections of black chain between each one (I still need a black clasp). I think it will go nicely with a black and purple cross I strung onto purple ribbon a while back:

Still no word on a sequel.  Sigh.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

My Biggest UFO

... Is the quilt for Beadboy1, started more than a decade ago (good thing I had the sense to make a twin-sized quilt, rather than a crib quilt!).  The problem is that I was overly ambitious, and planned a sampler quilt of star blocks in different styles, techniques, and sizes, which has greatly slowed down my progress.

I'm determined to finish it this year, so the last few months I pieced together the center using a (hand-pieced!) (don't look to closely at the center) lone star as the focus, surrounded by a bunch of 4.5- and 6-inch stars (see what I mean about ambitious?):
That's only about a third of the quilt (minus the borders), and the only other squares I have done are:
So there's still a lot of work to do.  But: progress!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 9

Another week that kicked my butt.  Not much stitching this time.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

1 Year of Stitches: Week 8

Because I am a big dork, I embroidered my name in Tolkien's Elvish script, and his Dwarven runes (Moria-style).  Then Linear B.  Then the dancing men from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock stories, and St. Thomas More's script from Utopia, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Book Round-Up

Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber: The movie is a guilty pleasure at Christmastime, so I thought I should finally read the book.  The storylines are fleshed out more, and there were some subplots that were dropped for the movie.  While she has some genuine insights into human behavior, the resolutions of the various storylines were too pat.

And Then You Dye by Monica Ferris: another enjoyable outing with an interesting mystery and, as a bonus, the return of one of my favorite characters.  I am interested to see where she goes in the next few novels, because things seem to be gearing up for a shake-up of the characters and setting.

Death's Old Sweet Song by Jonathan Stagge: An enjoyable, old-school mystery, of the style they really don't write anymore.  It caught my attention because the murders are based on an old, old song I sang as a child (and sing to my children) -- "Green Grow the Rushes-O." The novel had some frank discussions of sexual mores and a touching subplot involving what we now call PTSD, which serve as a reminder that past generations weren't always as naive and ignorant as we like to think.

Are You My Mother? by Alison Bechdel: Bechdel's previous comic left me wanting to know more about her mother, so when I saw this at the library I snatched it up.  Unfortunately, it is more about Bechdel's own issues with her mother, and the therapy she's had over the years, rather than her mother herself.  Still, Bechdel's writing and drawing are as compelling as ever.

In the Land of Invented Languages by Arika Okrent: a layperson's guide to invented languages, and their (few) successes and (many) failures.  Okrent's writing is delightfully witty and down-to-earth, and she does an excellent job showing the idealism and tragedy that underlie so many efforts to build a better language.

The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller: your standard young-woman-flees-personal-and-professional-disaster-in-the-city-and-finds-true-happiness-in-the-country novel.  Miller's heroine is more unconventional than most, which was a nice change of pace, and the book made me both hungry for the delicious meals the characters made and nostalgic for my childhood in a small New England town.