Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014!

Here we go: obligatory "it's a new year" blog post!

2013 has been an interesting year. It was the year I studied my ass off to stay in my grad program. It's the year I decided to stop be a couch potato and sorta start taking care of my body. It's the year I finished my first paper piecing quilt. It's the year I got even more comfortable with myself. And it was the year I started designing my own SAL patterns.

But we still have places to go, so here's to 2014, which is going to be a lot of things. It will be the year I finish hosting my first SAL (I've got plans to get going again mid-January-PROMISE!!!). It's the year I will celebrate becoming a quarter of a century old. It's the year I will see the expansion of Wizarding World. It's the year I will continue to get in the best shape of my life. And it's the year I will be proactive in my life and in getting what I want. It's also the year I will watch my best friend marry the move of her life.

So here's to 2014, all. I wish you the best.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Finally...an update

Morning all,
I'm finally in a position to update...though it's probably not the update you all were hoping for. Let me start by thanking those of you who left your well-wishes on my last post. They really did mean the world to me.

A little update on where I've been:

  • For those of you who haven't read my bio, I am a graduate student working on her PhD in Analytical Chemistry. I craft for the sake of my sanity in the hectic life I've chosen, but this semester has been really rough. 
  • In September, I was collecting the final sample set I need for my dissertation, which kept me incredibly busy for the month. 
  • In October, as soon as that sampling campaign was over, I found myself needing to prepare for an exam that failing would mean being kicked out of my graduate program (slightly important).
  • Once that was done, I had midterms and in terms of crafting, I had to get Christmas presents finished. 
I'm still working on that last bullet point, so rather than leave you all hanging I'm making a decision.

The Run Disney Princess Stitch Along will continue it's impromptu hiatus until the New Year (2014).

Next week, I'm hoping to show you all what I've been up to instead of embroidering Disney princesses in the craft department, because it's my plan to finish my Christmas presents with the small break I get from school for Thanksgiving. 

To all of you stitchers in America, Happy Thanksgiving. Be safe. 

Know that this Thanksgiving, I'm thankful for all of you, especially the FiS community and Ms. Jennifer over there who has been so kind to me. 

Until next time, stitch on. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Radio Silence

Hello friends

I have been remiss and I owe each and everyone of you an apology, especially those of you following my SAL. 

I had some minor life crisis' but I'm hoping that they are behind me and things can get back to normal. I have the next pattern halfway tested and am thinking I'll try to get it up by the end of the week.

If you all are still with me, I thank you. 

I'm still here. And I'm trying. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

Can you sing with all the voices of the mountain? - RDP SAL Week 10

Morning stitchers,

In case you missed the very important announcement regarding the RDPSAL, until approximately October, we'll only be posting EVERY OTHER WEEK. After that, I'm gonna try to make up by posting double patterns.

Until then, here's this week's pattern!


Pocahontas was not a favorite of mine growing up, but now that I'm older I appreciate her independent spirit and her determination to stand up for what is right, even if it's not the popular opinion.

And I have some pretty awesome memories associated with her since she's my best friend's favorite princess.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

RDP SAL UPDATE - Please read stitchers

Good morning stitchers!

As you may have noticed, there was no pattern last week. And I have good and bad news about that.

The GOOD NEWS is that the pattern has been completed and has now been tested so it should be up tomorrow.

The BAD NEWS is that the remainder of August and the entire month of September is going to be very busy for me at school. So here's what's going to happen:

  1. This week will be Week 10
  2. For the month of August and September we will be on a bi-monthly schedule (or every other week). 
  3. Once everything calms down (October) I'll post two patterns a week until we get back to where we should be. 

Hope you all understand. Keep stitching! And send in pics of what you've done. I promise to do a flickr update soon!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

RDP SAL update!

Morning stitchers!

So the RDP SAL has hut a small snag (pun unintended). I've arrived to the patterns I haven't gotten a chance to stitch yet! And this week is so crazy I'm not sure ill be able to knock on out. 

I'm going to try my hardest to get another one done, but it's a crazy time in grad school before the fall semester starts. 

You've been warned!

Friday, August 2, 2013

If you had a chance to change your fate...would you? - RDP SAL Week 9

Evening Stitchers!

Been a busy week and life is only going to get busier, so there's nothing fancy to this week's post. 

Click the Pic!

Until next week (hopefully)!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

"I'm wishing..." - Run Disney Princess SAL Week 8: Snow White

Good afternoon stitchers!!!

Sorry I'm so late this week! I was sitting at my sewing machine and realized I'd forgotten to do the update yesterday like I promised! I'm going to blame the trip to Hobby Lobby that resulted in me making some new placemats for myself.

Anywho, without any further delay, here she is...the ORIGINAL Disney princess:

Click the pic!
Truth be told...I cannot stand this version of Snow White. I think it's the voice.
But she did give the rest of the girls a chance at being made. All the same, I prefer her like this:

Anyway, I will see you all next week. It will probably be another weekend update as I will be without my computer near the end of the week.

Keep on stitching!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Run Disney Princess Stitch Along - DELAY

Morning Stitchers,

Summer class has made life hectic. The new RDPSAL pattern won't be up until tomorrow.

Go get yourself some apples in anticipation (just don't buy them from an evil old hag).

Friday, July 19, 2013

"A Dream is a wish..." - RDP SAL Week 7

Morning stitchers!

It's Friday which means it's new pattern time!

This week's princess is often thought of as the original Disney Princess (even though Snow White came first). That's right, it's that vision in blue, Cinderella. Who, even though often marketed as the original princess, wasn't even born a princess...just saying.

Click the pic!
Hope you all enjoy stitching this one. I loved the satin stitching, personally.

I know there are new Flickr photos, and I am working on it, but school is getting a little crazy. And I start a new class on Monday, so if I get a little behind, I apologize in advance.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Why I hope the world will remember Cory Monteith.

I sleep with my iPhone in "Do Not Disturb", which I have set to turn off at 6 am everyday because during the week, that's what time I get up. So at 6:10 am this morning when my friend Catie texted me, the sound woke me up. Then when I read it, I was in shock.

Cory Monteith was dead at the age of 31.

Surely this was a joke. A prank. Like whenever a young celebrity is claimed to be dead. But as I read the news and Facebook and twitter, I was faced with a harsh reality. He really was gone. 

I've been an on and off Glee fan recently. But I've been there since the first episode aired after the American idol finale in may 2009. As I watched it, I knew something special was happening on my tv. 

Glee was important to my generation because it taught the world to accept people who are different than you. It took on big issues like bullying, teen pregnancy, teen suicide and being LGBT. And at the heart of most of those storylines was Monteith's Finn Hudson. 

Monteith helped us learn to love ourselves and each other. 

And for that, I'll be forever grateful.

Friday, July 12, 2013

I want adventure in the great wide somewhere. I want it more than I can tell. - Run Disney Princess SAL Week 6

Good morning stitchers!

It's Friday and you know what that means!

It's time for another pattern in the Run Disney Princess Stitch Along!

This week we have my all time favorite Disney princess...the star of the first movie I can remember seeing, the woman who taught me it was okay to walk around with my nose in a book and my head in the clouds dreaming of adventures bigger than myself. Who taught me it was okay to be the intelligent girl. The woman who still inspires me at almost 25.

Click the pic!
I think she came out perfect. I love Belle so much. I think she is an important inspiration for girls everywhere. I hope you all enjoy stitching her.

Fun fact: when I was about 2 or 3 and went to Disney World all I wanted to do was meet Belle. We had just missed her and I started crying. My dad went up to the cast member that had been with Belle and told him/her the situation and they told him where Belle would be next in the park. Not only did we make it there and wait for her and the Beast, but when she came out from behind the gate, she was asking for me by name. Never argue the magic of Disney with me. Because that castmember made a little girl's day and hooked her on Disney for a lifetime. 

Don't forget to send your pics if you're stitching along (there's a link to a Flickr group in the side bar).

Happy Weekend!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Reconstructing Amelia: a book review

When Kate gets a call at work that her daughter Amelia has been suspended for cheating on an English paper and that she must come pick her up right away, she's confused. But when she arrives at school and finds out Amelia has jumped from the roof of the school her confusion changes to dread. But that is too washed away when a month after Amelia's passing, Kate gets a disturbing text. 

Amelia didn't jump.

"Reconstructing Amelia" is a fantastic tale of a mother's quest to find out the truth about her daughter's death, and life. Interlacing the narrative of Kate's search for truth with Amelia's life in the weeks leading up to her death was a brilliant call of story telling on the author's part. 

It's a fantastic summer read, especially if you are a fan of murder mysteries like I am.

And the twists and turns just keep you guessing. 

Friday, July 5, 2013

"Watch and you'll see..." Run Disney Princess SAL Week 5: Ariel

Morning stitchers!
Hope my American readers had a pleasant 4th. I had a wonderful, relaxing day full of fun, babies and pool reading. The only downside is the sunburn I got...but so far it isn't terrible. Here's hoping it stays that way.

And speaking of sunshine and swimming, this week's Disney Princess is quite the fish! That's right! It's everyone's favorite mermaid, Miss Ariel!

Click the pic!
I did Ariel in a seafoam green using a backstitch and satin stitch, using 1-3 strands. Stitch as desired.

Confession: I was actually forbidden from watching The Little Mermaid for about 5 years because Ursula scared me so badly. You know, at the end when she gets humongous? Terrifying. But now it is one of my favorites...mostly because of the music and Ariel. I love her independence...how she's willing to sacrifice anything to get what she loves. Is it right to leave your family and heritage for a guy? Debatable. But the translatable lesson is the one I love.

And, you know, this:

This one is from the Broadway production...which was okay, but not as good as some other Disney Broadway. But Sierra Boggess (Ariel) is a gem and I love her voice...and her as a person - she has such a positive outlook on life and what have you, so it's hard not to love her.

Until next week stitchers, I hope you have a relaxing quiet weekend full of craft time!
Yep...met her under the sea...

And on land.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Project Updates

Hello stitchers!!!!!

Thought I'd share what you and I have been up to.

You first:

by ostera15
Looking good! Thanks for sharing your work!

Now me:

I also came up with ideas for all the Christmas presents I'm making this week. I haven't decided yet if I will be posting pics of them, since some of the people they are for read the blog. 

I also plan on using this blog a little more as a not-strictly-stitching blog...that is, when I have something to say that doesn't revolve around crafts (which since all I do is stitch and craft, may be a while).

But consider yourself warned :)

Friday, June 28, 2013

"I'm a terrible human being..." - RDP SAL: Rapunzel

Hello stitchers!!!!!! I really do feel like a terrible human being because I forgot it was Friday.

Yeah, I'll let that sink in. 

Thus is the life of a grad student.

Today we have Rapunzel.

Click the pic!
Miss Rapunzel is my second favorite Disney princess. She was fiesty. She was amusing and I just love her so much for taking charge of her life and going after what she wanted.

And Flynn Rider is a hottie for a cartoon.

Getting to meet Rapunzel was so much fun! I wanted to ask her how much her hair weighed.

Until next week stitchers. Don't forget to send those pics!!!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

"I know you..." - RDP SAL Week 3

Morning Stitchers!

It's Friday and you know what that means - it's time for the next pattern! Don't forget that if you're stitching along, I want to see the finished products so I can post them here. So head on over to the Flickr group and share them with me!!!!

This week's Princess is an oldie, but a goodie. It's Miss Aurora from the 1959 classic "Sleeping Beauty"!

Aurora is an interesting girl to me because being a '50s-'60s princess, she doesn't have quite the independent spirit that some of our more modern ladies have. But I still love her because she had fabulous hair and she didn't want to settle for someone else. She wanted the man she had fallen in love with once upon a dream...not some prince she'd never met. Lucky for her, they turned out to be the same person.

By the way, I always wanted her outfit in the above scene...forget the princess dress at the end...the peasant dress is where it's at!

Aurora and I have only met twice...

That's all for this week stitchers. Get stitching and send in those pics!!!! I'm anxiously waiting to see them!

The Run Disney Princess Stitch-A-Long is a non-profit, for the fun of it stitch-a-long. All patterns are copyright AEAC, all characters are copyright Disney. Stitching patterns based on Michelle Thompson's paper-pieced patterns, done with her permission. No infringement intended. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

What have I been up to this weekend? More importantly, what about you?!

This weekend I took a much needed break from school and work to do some crafting. It relaxes my brain and soothes my soul, so it's how I spend most my weekends.

This weekend, after an inspired trip to JoAnn Fabrics, I finally turned back to the paper-piece project that started it all...the Project of Doom, as it is so aptly named on Fandom in Stitches. Due to the limitations of my sewing machine, I've decided to lap quilt it instead. It's been slow going, but has allowed me to do a level of detail work I'd never have been able to accomplish on the machine.

But even more exciting, was logging onto the Flickr group this morning and seeing the first photo not by me from the RDP SAL!!!

Keep stitching stitchers! Have a great week!!!

Friday, June 14, 2013

"I don't have time for dancin'...that's just gonna have to wait a while" - RDP SAL Week 2: Tiana

Morning Stitchers!

It's Friday and you know what that means - it's time for the next pattern! Don't forget that if you're stitching along, I want to see the finished products to I can post them here. So head on over to the Flickr group and share them with me!!!!

Last week, I forgot to share what I like best about Mulan, which is something I want to do with each of the ladies as each week goes by, so...yeah. I didn't really appreciate Mulan as a character or a movie until just recently when I went back and finally watched it again after many many moons. And the thing I found myself liking best about her was two-fold.

The first, her famous ballad "Reflection". Mulan isn't what she should be. She doesn't want to be the pretty housewife. She longs for something "more than this provincial life" (a trait she shares with my girl Belle). And while in imperialist China, this wasn't something to be admired, nowadays, it's a great message to convey to young children...especially young girls. She longs for the day her reflection shows who she is inside. The day the things she loves most about herself will be the things others see about her and love as well.

The second pearl of wisdom I missed at 9 was the line her father says to her not long after this: "My, what beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look, this one's late. But I'll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all." I, like Mulan, was a late bloomer...something I never could have known I'd be at 9. In a lot of ways, I'm still blooming. Still finding my place on the medicine wheel, as the Lakota would say. Still finding my place in the circle of life, as a another Disney masterpiece would put it. People make it seem like you should have life figured out in your 20s...that upon graduation from college, you should know exactly what you plan to do with the next 40 years until you can retire. But the realization I've come to recently is that your 20s is exactly when we should be figuring this thing called life out for ourselves. And figuring out exactly who "ourselves" is.

But that's enough espousing...I promise they won't all be that long.

Onto this week's Disney girl: It's Miss Tiana!!!!

I think the thing I loved most about Tiana was her lack of need for a man. Kinda like Mulan last week. She had big things to do before she settled down and married her Prince and lived happily ever after (literally). That's something I really admire, because I too have a lot to do...or at least a lot that I plan to do, before I'm married and have a family.

Here's hoping that like Tiana, I get my chance.

That's all for this week stitchers. Get stitching and send in those pics!!!! I'm anxiously waiting to see them!

I met Tiana for the first time last Christmas.
The Run Disney Princess Stitch-A-Long is a non-profit, for the fun of it stitch-a-long. All patterns are copyright AEAC, all characters are copyright Disney. Stitching patterns based on Michelle Thompson's paper-pieced patterns, done with her permission. No infringement intended. 

Friday, June 7, 2013

"Let's Get Down to Business" - RDP SAL Week 1

Good morning!

So sorry for the delay in getting this pattern posted. But I think Friday's will be the chosen day for pattern revelation.

Without any further ado, I present the first pattern for the Run Disney Princess Stitch Along:

I think she came out looking really good. UPDATE: I've fixed the link...you should be able to view and download it now without a problem.

I've created a Flickr group for people to upload their finished squares. I look forward to seeing them. As I said last week, just worry about embroidery for now and I'll post the layout info (including what other fabric you'll need later...I'm quilting this on a budget so I'm only buying what I need at a time).

Until then,

Monday, June 3, 2013

If all of life was a vacation, it wouldn't seem as sweet.

As I wrote this, I'm standing in an airport waiting to get on a plane and go home after an awesome long weekend away. I got to see old friends, go to a Taylor Swift concert and rest and recharge before my summer work kicks in (though technically I've already started).

As it always is whenever I leave the town I go to grad school in, I don't want to go back. I work hard and a lot when I'm there and the moments I don't have to be there and don't have to be working a few and far between and I cherish them like no other. Their special and priceless and more than necessary to make it through the next 3 years...

But I wish I could manage more of them. I wish I could manage longer ones. Because they help manage. 

I wish I didn't have to go back, but if I only did what I wanted I wouldn't be able to live. And I wouldn't be able to have these trips to look forward to and cherish. 

Now to make it through summer. And to get the Disney SAL up and running. Should be before the end of the week. Hope you're excited. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Run Disney Princess Stitch-a-long: An Explanation

Now that Jen over at Fandom in Stitches has linked to this project, I guess I should offer an explanation as to what exactly this is...

The Run Disney Princess Stitch-a-long was born because I wanted to make a quilt for my friend Catie. She's a runner and she runs all the Disney Princess marathons. I thought a quilt commemorating this would be an excellent gift for her and I wanted to include the Disney Princesses (and then some) because the Disney women mean a lot to both of us.

Most of these patterns were based on paper-pieced patterns designed by Michelle Thompson and can be found here. I thank her for letting me post my version of them here.

So here's the deal:

  • Once a week I will post a new pattern. They have been planned out ahead of time and right now there are set to be 23. The first pattern will be posted next week. I'm thinking Fridays but I reserve the right to change it...
  • These patterns will have been tried by me first and will include a picture of my finished work. 
  • There is a final layout designed that I will happily share with you all near the end. 
  • Right now, you need enough fabric for 32 - 8.5 x 8.5" squares in whatever base color you want plus one larger center square at 18.5 x 18.5"
I hope you'll take this journey with me. 

The Pride and Satisfaction of a job well done

There's something oddly satisfying about wearing, using or sleeping under something you made yourself. And for the past few nights, I've been doing just that.

I've been sewing since I was a wee child of 5 and though I have made many things since then, and taken on many crazy projects (senior prom dress and Project-of-Doom -- I'm looking at you), I think my new bedding is the one I am most proud of. Because people pay good money for bedding that they like. They often search far and wide for the perfect pattern while staying within a certain budget and I got exactly what I wanted because I made it entirely myself.

I'm incredibly proud of myself and look forward to using this quality piece of crafting for years to come.

So glad I became a quilter.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Exciting Announcement!

'That's right, I'm hosting my very own stitch-a-long...and, well, since I'm pretty sure I'm the only person currently reading this blog, it should be very exciting *sarcasm*...but that won't last for long since Jen over at Fandom in Stitches (my new favorite crafting website) has agreed to cross-post my patterns. Hopefully I won't be alone for long.

I hope to post my first two patterns before the weekend, but I make no promises.


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Thanks for the big finish...you left me wanting more...

I just watched the series finale of Smash (I almost wrote season, without thinking...that's how "in denial" I am). What a great, though sometimes strange, journey it has been.

A year and a half ago when I first met Karen Cartwright and Ivy Lynn, I fell in love with a world I thought I knew all over again. As someone who can't make it to New York on a regular basis, doesn't get to see touring productions as often as she'd like and misses the repertory theatre I was lucky enough to live near for 7 years, a television show that brought me the world of broadway, the show-stopping musical numbers and real adult drama (as opposed to another show where childish drama is performed by adults), was bound to change my life. Though I didn't know how profoundly that effect would be. 

Smash gave me something I didn't know I needed and now, to have it unceremoniously ripped away from me by a giant peacock is something I cannot come to terms with. 

There's no more new Smash. I'll never turn on my tv to see what new drama is unfolding (Ivy and Derek raising their baby-will they get married? Jimmy is in jail for at least 6 months...will Karen wait? Will they be together again? Did Ana go on tour or did Daisy get fired? What movie musical is Julia and Tom writing?) or a new show-stopping musical number.

I don't know what to do about this. But I'm definitely not ready to face it. 

 At least Jeremy had a sense of humor about it.

Btw- Bonnie and Clyde shouldn't have closed so early, either. It seems like the curtain drops too soon on all the good things out there...yet American Idol, Survivor and The Apprentice are still on the air. 

Explain me that.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

What to do when your Christmas shopping is 2/3 finished on May

That's the painting I made for mom. I painted it today with Nicole and Brandon and his mom at Painting with a Twist and I'm hoping she'll love it and hang it in the half bath. 

And with that, my Christmas shopping is 2/3 of the way done (dads present was purchased in March and I'm very excited by it). I'd be completely finished if they sold 2014 calendars this early.

So what does that mean? It means that for the next 7 months, I don't need to worry about what to get mom and dad for Christmas. I don't have to spend anymore money. It also means that I have to store their presents for 7 months (and trick of tricks: remember where I stored them). But for the most part, I'm excited to be finished. Because holiday shopping is tricky with my parents but this year it just seemed so easy. I mean it must have been, right? To be done so early?

Well almost Happy Christmas...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Some days I want to apologize...

Only now, in my mid-20s, have I begun to be aware if how terribly annoying I must have been as a child. Being smarter than every one else...needing to prove it and constantly show it. Being a stickler for the rules and not letting it go for anything.

I want to go back and apologize for all those times I fixed spelling mistakes of others publicly. That time I got my whole class in trouble for lying to a substitute. 

I wish I could say I'd grown out of such antics...instead I've grown into recognizing them and spend a lot of time biting my tongue and sitting o. My hands (progress, right?)

But I know I still go back there and I can't really help it...but it's not until someone does it to me am I faced with just how annoying it can be. 

I'll do better. I'll try to make it less of a nervous tick. I'll try to be less so only awkward.

I'll try.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Weather Watching

Yesterday, weather ravaged the midwest and my heart goes out to all those affected. And as I looked at the images I'd avoided for hours, because I feel things too deeply and I didn't need to see that suffering, my own stream of warnings started coming in.

Without really noticing, it started raining.

And then it really started...

But soon enough I could see the end was near.

Now I'm waiting for the next line to pass, but it looks like it won't be so bad. Thank goodness.

I find it funny how at the mercy of this planet we are. We try so hard to be in control of everything but this is nature and there's nothing you can do about it. Sometimes I think Mother Nature is reminding us if our own mortality...chiding our hubris...our thought of invincibility. And then I hear the thunder and know God is laughing along with her.

Monday, May 20, 2013

What do you want from me?

Sometimes I can't handle when people are less organized than I am. I know that I am abnormally organized about most things: I write everything in my daily planner (this year is Downton Abbey); at work, everything has a file folder, or a notebook or a binder it goes in; at home there's boxes and plastic totes and drawers and shelves. My life is a chaotic mess most of the time. So if I can't keep the simple things organized, they'll never get done.

I know this isn't normal, but it's how I am. And it's how I function to make sure the things that need to get done get done when their supposed to. I keep up my end of the unspoken bargain. Which is why it infuriates me when someone doesn't hold up their end. Especially when the dropping of that proverbial ball leads to my own inconvenience. When it leads me to not be able to do the things I need to do. When it prevents my life from moving forward. 

I admit that people doing things for you is an inevitability of life. To some degree, we as humans are always dependent on someone else for SOMETHING. No man is an island after all. But sometimes I wish this woman could be. Because there are moments, like today, when I realize the only person you can truly count on is yourself.

*this has been a rather pessimistic first post. Promise they won't all be.
Here's a picture of a cat that isn't mine. Maybe she'll make this post a little brighter. As I cat-sit, I realize that she is dependent on me...if only humans were as easy as cats.