TARDIS

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I’m so stinkin proud of this. I stitched the details on freehand. :)

Busy Busy Busy

I don’t know why exactly, but I’ve just been insanely busy lately. I enjoy most of the things I do, but it seems like I haven’t had any downtime in forever. I haven’t even had spare time for reading! Today I’ve got a collection of pictures to share, of some of my recent projects in progress!

This is a quick shot I took of my to-do list just before I sat down to upload pictures and write this post. The right side is tasks for my home or family – stuff like “clean the fridge” and “mail Mother’s Day cards.” The left side is personal projects or desires, mostly for Etsy or for my blogs. Yes, it’s giant. And it’s mostly not very itemized. It just says “clean,” instead of “clean living room and bathroom and bedroom and kitchen,” for example. Told ya I’m busy.

I’ve been trying new recipes, but I haven’t been photographing them. I’ve got such a backlog of recipes to blog about. So it’s a great time to try new things, so I can improve on them before I blog about them. This is last night’s dinner – Spinach, Ricotta, and Parmesan Stuffed Shells. I based them off a recipe I shared with you a few weeks agoSpinach-Stuffed Canneloni by Happiness Stan. Delicious, although there are a few things I’m going to do differently next time. I’m really loving recipes that fold the vegetables into the main dish, because we have a tendency to forget to make the veggie until the food is done. Also, I officially love ricotta. It makes such lovely leftovers.

A new project! Care to guess? I shared the inspiration for this with you just a few days ago. It’s rock candy! I loved the jewelry idea from 1 Fine Cookie, but I decided I’d better try out just plain rock candy first. I stirred up some sugar syrup, added in a little of the flavor extracts I had on hand, and some coloring. It’s a pretty simple concept, so I don’t anticipate any problems.

Here’s a quick shot of some earrings I knocked together today. The ones on the left are for Kako. They’re a version of my Corkscrew earrings, with silver-colored copper wire and Sapphire blue freshwater pearls. They turned out a bit longer than I expected. The ones on the right are pearlescent black glass pearls, wrapped with 26-gauge wire. Quite delicate. I like them. Look for them in my shop on June 1st!

Here’s a sneak peek of another commissioned jewelry piece. My friend Ri likes cameos like my Secret Cameo earrings, but doesn’t wear earrings. So I went on the hunt for a necklace for her. I found this classic-looking pendant, and embellished it with 28 green Swarovski elements. It hangs at about the breastbone, from a double-loop of black cable chain. I’m really happy with it.

I’ve also been sewing! This is a prototype of an e-reader cover that I’m hoping to produce for my shop, but it’s giving me fits at the moment. I’m happy with the front side, but the back just isn’t cooperating. I’ve got an idea I’m going to try next time I sit down with it, so hopefully it’ll work out well.

My sewing has been successful on other fronts though. Here’s a shot of a “string backpack” I knocked together from 2 fat quarters. We have a similar one (that we found in a parking lot haha) to carry dog-related items when we take Charlie for a walk. This one is the new home for kid-related stuff when we walk to the park. I really like the two velcro’ed pockets on the front, to stash my keys and wallet.  I’m thinking about Etsying these as well. What do you think?

If you want to find out what this is, you’ll have to read about it on the Snark Art Blog!

In honor of Matt Smith’s debut as the Eleventh Doctor 2 years ago, April 3 was Fish Custard Day. (Go watch The Eleventh Hour; you’ll understand.) I got brave and tried it. It was actually pretty good!

Here’s a process shot of a set of items that should be appearing in my shop on Listing Day (the first of June). Care to take a guess?

Another process shot, of a very old and long-since-completed project. I had this lovely skirt, but it was longer than I liked, and, um, too small in the waist. So I shortened it by hacking off the top. I’m quite happy with it. I’ve got to get the courage to model it so I can put up a proper post about it.

When I joined Paperback Swap a few weeks ago, I went through my box of “get rid of” books and listed them all. Except a few. Four of the seven Chronicles of Narnia books, in pretty rough shape. I couldn’t list them, but I didn’t want to just throw them away. So I salvaged them. I cut (by hand) hundreds of circles from the pages, and glued them onto a paper lantern I already owned. It turned out AMAZING. I’ve got a ton of scraps, as well as a whole book and a half, left, so I’m thinking about other things to do with the papers. I kept a couple of the chapter illustrations, and am thinking of using my scanner to blow them up and use them as embroidery patterns. The scraps of paper might get blended up into pulp so I can make “fresh” paper – I’ve got a bookmaking project running around my head too.

PONY CUPCAKES. Our FRG had a “cupcake social” this past weekend. (I apologize to my Pinterest followers for the deluge of cupcakes that one day that I was looking for ideas.) I made these little picks from the box art (yes I saved it, why do you ask) from my daughter’s ponies. I am particularly proud of these lovelies. Definitely expect to see a post featuring these babies in better detail soon.

Last photo of the day! This is a shot from wayy back at the beginning of April, the day of the season two premiere of Game of Thrones. I prepared a fabulous Westerosi feast. Somehow, the blog never got written about it. I made a number of amazing recipes that day though, and I plan to share them – especially those lovely Dornish peppers you see on the right in the foreground. Deeeeeelicious. Fresh bread dipped in salt was also a revelation of flavor.

This isn’t even all of the amazingness that I’ve been up to! Here’s just a quick sample of the things I’ve got folders of pictures for: Homemade Butter, Cola Cake, Fried Chicken, Roasted Chicken, Lasagna, Onion Rings, Shield Weaving, and Wheat Bread. I’ve also got some great craft tutorials in the planning stages (it’s harder than you think it is to take process photos of delicate things). Oh, and I got my May Birchbox the other day – that blog will be coming soon.
Don’t forget – next week is Giveaway Week! Be sure to come back early and often for your chances to win free stuff!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this mishmash photoblog. Which project are you most excited to see more of?

Media Monday #3

This isn’t relevant to media, but I just wanted to share that I won another giveaway! This time from Button, Button. I chose the Rumpelstiltskin pattern and I’m excited to give it a go.
Also, speaking of giveaways, the Too Crewel one that I won a few weeks ago, an embroidery kit from Sublime Stitching, came in the mail today. It’s awesome and I’ll probably blog about it.

Books

I finished A Feast for Crows this week! There was a really interesting “revealing of information” toward the end, and I’m excited to see things start rolling in that direction. I took a few days off, haha, and started in on A Dance with Dragons. This book is already much more enjoyable, because it’s got Tyrion and Jon Snow! :)

I’m loving PaperBackSwap. I’ve got a huge wish list – seems like everyone else wants to read the books I want, lol. I’ve received several books, though, and they’re all in great shape. Is it bad that I want to hurry through DwD so I can get to these ones? Come join me! Send me a friend request and/or a message, if you like. And please take my old books!

Movies and TV

A great week, this! Just look at the pile of movies I found! :)

Repeaters:
Game of Thrones on HBO (Sunday evening) – This is my #1 priority show, even above Doctor Who. ;)
Grimm on NBC (Friday evening) – this show started out weak but it’s greatly improved. It’s really suspenseful and good.
Last Man Standing on ABC (Tuesday evening) – also improving as it goes.
Once Upon a Time on ABC (Sunday night) – if loving Mr Gold is wrong, I don’t want to be right. Also, loving Eion Bailey! (We’re still behind a little; don’t spoil me!)
Doctor Who plays frequently on BBC America, and if you’re not watching it there’s a deep void in your life. This week’s offerings include Midnight, Turn Left, and The Stolen Earth & Journey’s End.
Best Ink on Oxygen (Tuesday night) – a tattoo artist competition show. It’s pretty similar to the one Spike ran recently. Quite good.
The Big Bang Theory on CBS (Thursday night) – if you don’t know, nothing I say will help. Just watch it.

One-timers:

Fried Green Tomatoes (HBO Family, Thursday wee hours) – really awesome tale of life in the Great Depression, as well as an empowering bit of femininity.
The Shawshank Redemption (AMC, Sunday evening) – Morgan Freeman is all the reason you need to watch this.
Braveheart (AMC, Sunday wee hours) – classic.
McLintock! (AMC, Saturday) – one of John Wayne’s best.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (IFC, Tuesday evening) – do you know where your towel is?
I Am Legend (TNT,  Saturday evening & Sunday afternoon) – these are my favorite zombies. I hope TNT doesn’t butcher it.
Alice in Wonderland (Burton version) (ABCF, Saturday & Sunday evening) – visually stunning, of course, and a really interesting take on the tales of Alice.
The Face on the Milk Carton (ABCF, Sunday morning) – never seen this, but I loved the book series as a kid. If it stinks, it costs me nothing.
Finding Neverland (ABCF, Saturday evening) – Biopic of JM Barrie, creator of Neverland, starring Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet. It’s a beautiful thing.
Gone in 60 Seconds (ABCF, Thursday evening) – one of Nic Cage’s better movies. With the added bonus of the Ninth Doctor as the bad guy!
Dune (BBCA, Sunday wee hours) – I recorded this a long time back and it got deleted before I could finish it. I’ve been waiting for it to come on again. :)
The Tale of Despereaux (The Hub, Saturday evening & Sunday afternoon) – I liked the story, but not a huge fan of the writing style of the book. Giving the movie a try. Missy should like it, anyway.

Now that you know what I’m watching and reading, tell me what you’re turning your rabbit ears toward! What’s worth reading and watching in the world this week?

Media Monday #2

Books

I’m still lost in Westeros. Working my way through Feast for Crows (that’s book 4). It’s a bit tough to get through, but don’t let that scare you off. The first three books are one wonder after another, and this lull in the action I’m working on is just the calm before the storm.
In spare moments, I’ve also been reading Luminosity. It’s a “fan fiction,” I guess. It’s a re-write of Twilight, wherein the characters don’t suck! (Come at me, haters.) No really. It’s what Twilight should have been. I’ve always maintained that it was a great idea, badly handled, and this is its redemption. It is full book-length, but worth the time.

I recently joined PaperBackSwap, and I love it. I’ve had a huge box of books stored in my garage – books I didn’t want for one reason or another. I listed them all (over 90!) and I’ve already sent out 13 of them (and have 2 more requests since Saturday). You receive 2 “credits” when you join and list 10 books, and one credit for each book you send out. You pay the postage to mail out your books, but when you “buy” a book with your credits, it’s completely free! I’m really enjoying it. Come join me! Send me a friend request and/or a message, if you like. And please take my old books!

Movies and TV

Another crummy week. There was very little that caught my eye this week. I don’t check every channel, though – so please, if you know of something good, let me know! (Don’t let that pile of repeaters fool you – this week is barren.)

Repeaters:
Full Metal Jousting on History (Sunday evening) – JOUSTING. That is all.
Game of Thrones on HBO (Sunday evening) – of course! I haven’t watched this week’s episode yet, but I will soon!
Grimm on NBC (Friday evening) – this show started out weak but it’s greatly improved.
Last Man Standing on ABC (Tuesday evening) – also improving as it goes.
Once Upon a Time on ABC (Sunday night) – as a Fables junkie, this scratches my itch. We’re a few episodes behind, so no spoilers!
Doctor Who plays frequently on BBC America, and if you’re not watching it there’s a deep void in your life. This week’s offerings include The Silence in the Library pair (bring some Kleenex) and The Unicorn and the Wasp (Agatha Christie!).
Pawn Stars on History (Monday night) – I can’t help it. I love Chumlee. Corey can jump off a bridge though. Also check out American Restoration on Wednesday night.
Best Ink on Oxygen (Tuesday night) – a tattoo artist competition show. It’s pretty similar to the one Spike ran recently. Quite good.
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic on the Hub (Saturday afternoon) – YES. (I have a preschooler so I do have a legit excuse for this, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it.) This week is the Royal Wedding and season finale.

One-timers:
The Jetsons Movie on HBO Family (Tuesday afternoon) – my childhood! YAY!
LadyHawke on BBCA (Saturday wee hours) – Another YAY!

Contact is airing several times on AMC this week. SPACE. Carl Sagan. That is all. (I ordered this book off PBS, by the way, and it‘s on its way arrived on Tuesday!)
Bend It Like Beckham is a great movie about sports and girls and race and how hot Beckham is, and it’s on HBO a couple times this week.
If you’ve never seen The Boondock Saints, tune in to IFC this week.

Finally, in honor of Earth Day, BBC America is running a marathon of Planet Earth all day on Saturday, so don’t miss it.

Now that you know what I’m watching and reading, tell me what you’re turning your rabbit ears toward! What’s worth reading and watching in the world this week?

Media Monday

This may or may not become a regular feature. Let me know what you think! This post is more-or-less an introduction to me and my idea here, so the regular feature will be a little different. Let’s discuss this!

Books

I am a voracious reader. I read quickly and I read often. I’m a re-reader also – I prefer to own books so I can read them again and again. I do love libraries, and go to mine often, but I like to be able to pick up a comfortable tome and return to its world. I’ve definitely been known to purchase books after borrowing them from a library.
I’m also a “cover chooser” – if I’ve got money to burn and a bookstore to lurk in (which I don’t anymore since Borders closed), I’ll find something with a cover that appeals to me. This usually doesn’t fail me – that’s how I’ve found several authors that I really like!
I’ve got a Kindle Fire, which is super nice. :) E-books are cheaper. Also I follow a blog that searches out free books and posts them, so I regularly add freebies to my library.

Soon, I’m hoping to post book reviews. :) I’ve been neck-deep in the world of Westeros (that’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or the books that Game of Thrones is based on) for quite a long time now. I’m near the end of the fourth book. The first 3 each got better and better, but I’ve gotta admit that I’m kinda slogging though this one. It’s not a flaw of the book so much as a flaw of epics – there’s always that part in the middle. The calm before the final storm, as it were.
I’m not “reviewing” these books yet because I need to re-read them before I’ll be prepared to do that. There’s just SO MUCH in them. Also I want to be able to go back and find all the foreshadowing. :)

I’m also going to take a page out of my friend Kyra‘s book and try out “Reviews of Books I Wouldn’t Normally Buy.” All those free books I get on my Kindle – some of them are just “hey that sounds cool” but definitely nothing I would have bought. Unknown authors, genres I’m not familiar with, etc. She did this recently, and I really liked it. Usually when you read a book review, the reviewer is a fan of the genre or the author so there’s a bit of bias. Her glowing review had even more impact since she was unfamiliar with it! So I’m gonna try to bring that feature here. I’m thinking a group of mini-reviews (many seem to be shorter works), supplemented by an occasional longer review in its own post.

Movies and TV

I’m a DVR addict. Each week, I scour our favorite channels to see what’s on and what’s good in the coming week. This week is a rather crummy one, not much good coming up.

Just for fun though, here’s a small selection of what I’m recording this week:
Repeaters:
Full Metal Jousting on History (Sunday evening) – JOUSTING. That is all.
Game of Thrones on HBO (Sunday evening) – of course!
Grimm on NBC (Friday evening) – this show started out weak but it’s greatly improved.
Last Man Standing on ABC (Tuesday evening) – also improving as it goes. Interesting to compare to Home Improvement (both starring Tim Allen).
Honorable mention – Once Upon a Time usually is on ABC on Sunday nights, but it doesn’t seem to be playing this week. Also, Doctor Who plays frequently on BBC America.

One-timers:
Ice Princess on ABC Family (Saturday afternoon) – shut up I love this movie.
Legion on FX (Wednesday evening) – Paul Bettany? Yes.
(Usually there are SO MANY movies, but I warned you – this is a crummy week.)

In future editions of this blog, if there are any, I’d like to share mini-reviews of episodes and movies. I’d also love to hear from you guys out there – what you’re watching, what I should think about watching, etc. I want to have conversations here!

Okay so now you know what I’m thinking – share your thoughts with me!

Geekery In Progress

I always seem to be in the middle of a hundred different projects. I’ve got a Fourth Doctor scarf about 3/4 of the way complete, and just haven’t gotten around to finishing (it’s been like 6 months). LOL. Today I’m gonna share a couple recent projects. None of it is complete, but I’m already super proud of how they look.

First off, here’s a painting I made!

As you can plainly see, it’s a portion of a TARDIS. The details extend around the edges of the canvas, including the top parts of the words. I am super excited about how well the lettering turned out – I really enjoy doing lettering. I still need to complete the lower “panels” and add some kind of topcoat (probably semi-gloss or matte – what do you think?).
Before you ask, yes. I know that it’s slightly crooked. I’m trying to not be too fussed about that. I wasn’t intending it to be perfectly mathematically straight – after all that TARDIS has been knocking around the universe for over 900 years – but it isn’t quite as good as I wanted either. No matter. This was also painted over a previous work that I was no longer happy with (it gave it a nice bumpy texture, which you can’t see here), and on a cheap canvas to boot. So I am perfectly okay with considering this a trial run, just for fun.

Of course, there has also been needlework. I recently got into embroidery/needlepoint, and decided to hone my skills with a geeky project.

There’s actually one more piece to this project – a pair of crossed light sabers (one red and one green, of course) but I actually don’t know where they are at the moment, haha. I want to add at least one more to the group, with The One Ring and a Mockingjay being the top candidates – but both of those will be hella hard so I haven’t tried them yet.
The lower right panel is a Hogwarts wand shooting red sparks. I’ve not decided if this is an Expelliarmus Curse, a Reductor Curse, or perhaps the first moment Harry got his wand (in which case I’ll need to add gold sparks as well). I could *not* get a decent picture of the wand by itself, sorry.


I am SO in love with the stitching on this. I should point out that I designed all these designs myself. I’ve got a page in my sketchbook to prove it.


This seemingly-simple set of triangles gave me NO END of grief. Between arranging the stitches, to fighting with the thread (is there a trick to DMC metallic floss that I don’t know about?)… ugh. I finally devised this stitch pattern, and I like it – I think it gives them a three-dimensional feel. Originally the whole thing was going to be done with the shiny metallic, but that just was NOT going to happen. So I outlined them, and I think that turned out even better.


YES, the right edge isn’t even. All in all, though, this turned out pretty great, I think. That blasted gold metallic thread makes a comeback, and it doesn’t even look too bad…

As you can tell, along with displaying my as-yet-unused supplies as decor, I’ve also taken to displaying my works-in-progress. In the same hallway, even – lots of blank wall space. This gives me a chance to really mull over what I do or don’t like about them, as I walk past them a hundred times a day. I can’t forget about the project. And hey, who doesn’t need a bit more geeky art in their life, even if it’s incomplete?

Input is appreciated! What spell is Harry doing? What do you think of the blue binding I’m adding? Do you think that trying to render a Ring of Power (or a Mockingjay) in stitches is suicidal? Should the TARDIS have a matte finish?

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