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Friday, December 23, 2016

Pre-Christmas Miscellany

A quilted bag from a kit:

Crocheted peppermints:

A travel oratory:

Door No. 9 has lovely ones which were my inspiration, allowing me to use my Our Lady of Guadalupe fabric:

A knotted rosary, awaiting a crucifix:

A Crocheted Christmas tree made from the last of the yarn my cousin gave me:
Good thing my cousin took a picture, because I forgot to
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Calendar Day 18

Merry Christmas! Jo over at Serendipitous Stitches is running her annual Online Advent Calendar, and she asked me to participate today.

First up is some stitching.  With no big project to occupy my time this season (except painting my living room; such a good idea to do that two weeks before Christmas), I decided to focus on finishing up various designs I stitched over the last couple of years.

A Partridge in a Pear Tree, to add to my collection:

The Victoria Sampler's Gingerbread Garden and matching ornament:
Taken on a gloomy day, unfortunately

And Shepherd Bush's 2000 Years Ago series:
This is actually the second time I've stitched them.  Years ago I stitched the first seven and had them in a nice stack, awaiting the arrival of the eighth pattern, when they somehow ended up in a donation pile my husband gave to a charity.  I haven't quite forgiven him yet, but I do hope someone out there is enjoying them.

Jo also asked us to write about a special decoration we take out every year.  I think for me it is the Advent Calendar I made for my children, particularly since this year I finally figured out how to work it so it is liturgically accurate each year.
The pockets are attached with pins to the background, allowing me to rearrange them as necessary.  It's a fun annual tradition to teach my kids about the different symbols and feasts of the season, while giving them a little treat each day (if they start to complain about the quality of treats -- i.e. not enough chocolate -- I threaten to replace them with Bible verses).

I hope everyone has a joyous and peaceful holiday(s)!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The newest Harry Potter book is really a play written by Jack Thorne based on a story by Rowling.  The change in format affects the storytelling -- a lot of the pleasures of Rowling's world-building and descriptions are gone, but the dialogue shifts the focus from plot to relationships.  It takes a little getting used to, but quickly becomes a compelling (and quick) read.  A bigger issue is the fact that unlike the original seven, this story is clearly meant to appeal to adults, and those skeptical of fantasy in particular.  Underlying the play was the sense that Thorne was telling us "yeah, it's got wands and spells, but it's really about fathers and sons!"  It's not that that's a bad thing, necessarily, but I missed the whimsy and fun of the originals.

There were enjoyable parts -- I got a kick out of how many people in different timelines were shocked by the idea of Ron and Hermione's marriage (that pairing always seemed forced), and I liked that the plot had a time-turner as a MacGuffin.  Rowling created them for Prisoner of Azkaban, but quickly realized their existence pretty much ruined the plot of the series, so she had them all destroyed in Order of the Phoenix.  With this story, Rowling and Thorne explain just how dangerous it is to mess with the timeline; a hoary subject, to be sure, but necessary to show how they should not have been used to try to defeat Voldemort.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Little Joys Quilt

Last year the Fat Quarter Shop had a Little Joys quilt-along.  And I was sooooo proud of myself -- I started it in September, had the top pieced by late October, and had it all set to quilt by mid-November.  Then I quilted it ... in April.  And bound it Friday night.  But it's done!