Stitching Saturday: MSAL Update and new project begun.

I didn’t post last week because I’ve been working on the Mystery Sampler Stitch-A-Long block for November when I had a chance. Between increased hours at work and having crochet orders to fill, I haven’t had much time to do any stitching.

Still, I finally finished the block, a very prettily designed one, and you’ll have to wait until next week to see it. I plan to post the final piece of the sampler as soon as it’s done in December rather than making you wait until the beginning of January.

I am hoping the next MSAL hosted by Linen and Threads will be interesting enough for me to work on in the coming new year. The other Stitch A Longs I’ve seen planned for the winter months and the coming new year haven’t been all that interesting to me so I won’t be doing them. I like things with variety in design not just color.

This was why this MSAL caught and has held my attention for this entire year. Based off Talavera pottery, each section has been different in design, and I was able to choose my own colors. Granted, I’ve used the same group of colors for each block, but that was to add some cohesion to the overall piece. The other non block elements are done in different colors, and the final section will also be done in different colors.

New Project

I’m doing a little kit I’ve had for a while and just never gotten around to making. This year, it’s getting done.

I don’t have a needle minder yet, but I will be getting one when I can. Suggestions on where to find interesting ones are greatly appreciated.

Next time, I’ll be discussing the project planned for 2022 which might just take me all year to do.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Free Pattern Friday: Baby Boy Blanket

I am still busy making octopi for a co-worker who has commissioned them. Of the 9 she asked me to make, I have one left. I’ve given her 5 so far, and I’ve got 4 left to give to her. When the last of the 4 are done, I’ll take a picture of them and post it so you can see how cute they all are. She chose the colors. Each one took less than one skein each to do. Most of the yarn used is cotton with 2 skeins being acrylic, and she bought all of them herself for me to use.

Currently, I am working on both blankets she’s also commissioned me to make : one for a 2 month old preemie girl and one for an 8 month old boy who is on the short side for his age though not a preemie.

Baby Boy Blanket

This blanket is going to be 32 inches by 36 when it’s complete. It’s being made using an F(3.25mm)hook and Lion Brand Mandala in the colorway called Nifflers which is a 3 weight yarn. The striping is natural to the yarn, and I’m wish the blue-green section could’ve been thinner. It’s looking like I may only need 2 cakes of this yarn with each cake being 590 yards, but we’ll see once it’s done.

The pattern is a very simple Corner to Corner aka C2C pattern, and you can find very good instructions from The Crochet Crowd.

I’m still working on the blanket for the little girl too, alternating between them as they use two different stitches and patterns.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, and I’ll see you on the flipside. Don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Free Pattern Friday: Completed and Ongoing Projects

So, I’ve been quite busy crocheting. The ongoing projects are ones I’ve been commissioned to make, and the completed ones are some things I just happened to make while figuring out what else to make.

Finished Projects

The Block Shawl aka Call the Midwife Blanket

This pattern is the property of Patons and was created by a company they took over back around the 1980s. It’s actual name is The Block Shawl and was originally intended to be a shawl. It was used in a show called Call the Midwife as a baby blanket, and a fan of the show then reverse engineered the pattern when they couldn’t find anything close to it – it was out of print at the time -calling it the Call the Midwife Baby Blanket. They have since done due diligence in finding out the original owner of the pattern and its copyright which is now Patons.

I am linking to a page hosting the pattern as supporters of Patons and not the fan who reverse engineered the pattern as I believe in giving credit where it’s due. The above is a stroller blanket size of the original pattern, and if you’d like to make the actual Block Shawl or tweak it a bit to be baby blanket size here’s the link : The Block Shawl

The above is a gift bag I free handed. I needed something to put a pretty present in, and I wanted it to be as bespoke as the gift is.

Ongoing Projects

The below are all items I have been commissioned to make. I have been commissioned to do 9 of the octopi, and the client picked out all the colors. I don’t normally do embroidery on crochet so it’s a learning process. ๐Ÿ™‚

For some reason the group picture didn’t fully show up, but the individuals look pretty good. I am by no means a professional photographer so pardon them not being perfect. They are all “asleep” as they are being given to babies for nap and bedtime.

Linen Stitch Baby Blanket

The colors and the pattern for this blanket were chosen by the same person who commissioned the octopi. This half finished blanket is for a 2 month old preemie girl. The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala Ombre in Serene. The color change is the result of working with the yarn as is. I didn’t try to stripe it or order it in any way. I showed this to my client, and she loves how it looks so I will continue with it. Here is the link to the pattern should you want to try this pattern yourself: Linen Stitch Blanket

I’ve been asked to make a blanket for an 8 month old preemie baby boy by the same client, but she’s only chosen the colors so far, not the pattern. I think she’s going for a star or starburst shape, but she hasn’t told me exactly what she wants. I’m hoping she’s going to let me know before I’m done with the above projects so I can get them done.

I have three shawl/scarves with pockets another person has commissioned me to do – they are deciding on the yarn as well as the yarn color right now so I have to wait to get started on them. The pattern for this project is not free – the client bought it for me. Even though it’s not free, I’ll still post pictures and the link – just in case.

So that’s it for this week. I should have all the octopi and the blanket done by next week. I should have another project almost finished by then as well – a little sachet I’m planning to make for my son’s girlfriend. ๐Ÿ™‚ Fun stuff to look forward to!!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Wednesday: My Inspirations

I started writing when I was quite young – poetry mostly. I was good in English class and Reading, but I didn’t know enough to be able to write anything more than poetry in the beginning. In the 7th grade, one of my poems was published in the school year book which was a big deal to me back then.

I am a voracious reader when I have the time and the means. When I was much younger, I read a wide variety of genres and styles including Romance. I don’t care for Romance any longer, and the Supernatural/Paranormal Romance is just as bad. If I want to read porn, I’ll read porn and not porn pretending to be something else. There’s nothing wrong with sex in a story as long as it helps move the story along and as long as it leaves something to the reader’s imagination. I don’t need/want an explicit sex scene. Where’s the romance in that??

I am, and always have been, a big fan of Fantasy and Horror in their purer forms. Gothic Horror is now classed as Supernatural/Paranormal, but I still enjoy it as long as it’s well written. Violence is okay as long as it moves the story along, as long as it’s necessary for the story to develop. Even then, less is more since I can imagine far worse with fewer details. I love Psychological Horror where the writer lets you scare yourself with a few choice words and with fantastic anticipation building.

My favorite Fantasy author is J.R.R. Tolkien. I discovered him when I was about 10. I read Lord of the Rings and didn’t read the Hobbit until after I’d read the entire series. I was hooked on his style of writing. His use of words to create fantastic imagery was stirring. I cried during the thrilling scene where the Elves arrive in Helmsdeep just in time to aid the Humans they’d pledged to help so many years before. The final movie rendition of that scene was just as stirring, and I cried for the first time – the previous movie attempts had never moved me. Still, I wasn’t moved enough to begin writing. I just devoured every Fantasy novel I could get my hands on. Weis/Hickman’s DragonLance series as well as McCaffrey’s Pern series stuck with me the most of all of them.

When I was 13, almost 14, I discovered Stephen King. I’d already seen movies by some of the great film makers including Hitchcock, but none of them scared me like reading It for the very first time! Only Jaws came close to scaring me that much. Despite this fear, I kept reading King. I loved he didn’t tell me what I was supposed to be scared of, he just described the monster or built up the scene enough for me to scare myself. His use of imagery, smells, sounds, feelings, is still so vivid and evocative I thrill every time I pick up a new book of his. This said, not all of his books have scared me. Cujo made me sad for the dog. Desperation and Regulators disturbed me because they both had kids as the main focus of the stories. Rose Madder was close to being like a bad acid trip. He was, in the end, the catalyst that moved me to try my hand at writing.

I wanted to blend the two writing styles to create my own. I wanted to describe things with a minimal of words, letting the reader fill in the blanks as they would. I wanted to create vivid action scenes, develop well liked/hated characters who were believable, and I wanted to craft a story people would want to read.

My first three stories were lost over the years – my first was a post Vietnam war story, and the other two were Fantasy stories involving characters in Crimson Knight, the first novel I ever published. Those two stories were the beginning of my world of Padua. I have also written Supernatural Thrillers though my first one was considered a Gothic Horror two decades ago.

Others have had added some flavoring to my writing as well, but none have had the impact those two aforementioned had, and still have, on me and my writing.

What inspires you to do the things you love to do? It doesn’t have to be writing. It can be painting, music, poetry, crafting, whatever brings a smile to your lips and happiness to your heart. I’d love to hear about it!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Twitch/YouTube Tuesdays: Bentley House Minis and the Addams Family Go to Arizona!

This is actually belated news as Ara and her Addams Family Mansion headed to Arizona shortly before Halloween this year. The mansion is on display in a museum featuring miniatures, and it will be there for just over a year! Check out the vlog post below to find out more about this fabulous honor for Ara!

Ara has worked on this mansion for a very long time! If you’re interested in watching her on her journey making this awesome iconic house, check out the Addams Family Mansion Playlist!

I am so happy for her!! I did the virtual tour of the museum as well, and it’s something I’d love to see in person when I get a chance to go out that way!

Be sure to comment on at least the vlog video to let Ara know what you think! I know, from personal experience, she pays attention to all the comments, even ones left on old videos so if you like any of the Addams Family Mansion videos, be sure to let her know there as well!!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Personal Update: 15 Nov., 2021

Mimi Queen of Fluff

I know it’s been a while since my last post, and I sincerely apologize. I have to say, in my defense, it was due to circumstances beyond my control including my computer crashing due to a serious hardware malfunction. I finally got it fixed, but I’ve lost a lot of data since my last backup from the beginning of October. Teach me to back up more often.

Still, I have had my phone so I was able to complete some projects with it – something I don’t recommend when working with any kind of cross stitch pattern unless you have a way to magnify your screen – I don’t.

Let me show you some of the things I’ve been doing since my last post.

Halloween SAL

I have to admit to not remembering what all the blocks represent, but you can check out Anna’s finished piece where she has them all listed. She’s also framed hers in a lovely and unique frame. I’ll be waiting to get mine framed due to unforeseen bills. Still, the project was an interesting one. I am looking forward to trying one that is weekly next.

MSAL

October 2021

The above is last month’s block, and it turned out very pretty! Anna has also posted hers, and I love the colors she’s used! I have to admit to being intimidated by this block. I wanted to do a good job on it, and I’m not sure the color choices were quite right. Originally, the middle flower shape was going to be purple but then, I changed my mind. I haven’t done the block for November yet, but I’ll have it done by the end of this week.

Frederick the Literate

I finally finished this piece, and I am so happy with how it turned out!! The titles of the books are so cute! I can see why Fred is asleep with a smile on his face – no doubt dreaming about some of the books he’s read. I am going to be doing a full coverage piece in 2022, and it’s based on a painting called The Land Baby by John Collier(1899). I’ll be doing it on 16 count white Aida.

I’ll be framing Fred just as soon as I have the money and figure out how I want to do it. I’m taking suggestions.

Other Projects

In addition to my cross stitching, I am also making 9 baby octopi for a co worker who has commissioned them. I’ll post pictures of them on Friday when they should all be done. I’m also making two baby blankets for her, but those will be a while in the making. I’ve made a few other things, and I’ll post pictures of everything in my Friday post.

Writing

I’m having to redo a lot of what I’d added to my story on the computer due to losing data not backed up so it’s setting me back on when the book will actually be done and published. Such is life, and I just have to move forward. Who knows, I may write something even better than I’d already done. ๐Ÿ™‚ The ending is still eluding me after all.

Health

I’m having a heck of a time losing weight! I’ve lost 4 inches across the hips but barely an inch in my waist! I’m developing a bit of muscle in legs and arms from work, but my core is still covered in fat. It’s a bit bewildering and depressing when I’m trying my best to get my middle flatter. Still, I’ll keep working at it. I know I feel a lot better eating healthier food that I have been in the past.

Work

Work is work. I am getting along with my coworkers, and I still enjoy my job so, what more can I ask for? Working part time suits me as it doesn’t put a huge strain on me physically, and it gives me time to do other things – like write.

That’s about it, in a nutshell. I am busier than ever trying to get my commissions done, write, work and relax – in turn. I will share more of my projects in the future, but I do have plans for the new year which include trying some new things. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope everyone will continue to travel along with me on my journey from here to there and back again in the coming year!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Writing Wednesday: Words are more than just a collection of letters

Words truly are more than just a collection of letters. Ancient humans used them to help them identify things especially when talking to another human – words for animals and plants for instance. They created words to express their feelings as well.

As communication became more advanced, such as the invention of writing, words evolved and became much more than simply names for things. They began to mean things and do things. They helped record history, record important things for business, to teach a great many important things, and to entertain.

With the advent of story telling, words developed more deeper meaning, and they took on yet another dimension especially when combinations began to form. Phrases, idioms, even descriptive passages began to shape people’s thoughts and feelings, drew them in or shut them out. Words began to paint pictures and create ephemeral experiences.

Words still do this even today in our sophisticated world. We know the difference between truth and fiction, most of us do at any rate, and the majority of us are willing to suspend this knowledge in order to fully enjoy the experiences words give us.

Words are still developing as people learn to use them, manipulate them, in order to create even more vivid ideas and thoughts. Words have become “delicious”, “sexy”, “scary” even “disgusting” depending on how they are used. Words have always been evocative, very little in the beginning, but more and more as humans reacted to them and learned from this reaction.

Phrases from Martha Grimes’ Rainbow’s End:

“…coruscating flash of lightning..”

“…varnished with light…”

“…fire…throwing shadowy beckoning fingers up…”

and from Tami Hoag’s Night Sins:

“A sense of anger and disapproval tainted the moment like a layer of soot on her skin.”

“…thick shroud of gray…dimmer than twilight…”

“…world turned into a hazy place of smoke and mirrors…”

“Their innocence marred like a clean white page streaked by dirty fingers.”

These call up imagery not spelled out in their words, they don’t need to be. They are invoked, created by their collaboration with the reader’s mind and life experiences.

It this interplay and interdependence that drew me into the world of reading when I was not even in school. My late grandfather used to tell the story of how, when I came home from my very first day of school, I was upset and a bit angry. When he asked me what was wrong, I told him I hadn’t been taught how to read. My grandmother, bless her, gave me a chapter book for my 5th birthday. This was a book with no pictures in it, hardly fit for a 5 year old only she knew, like my grandfather did, I was no ordinary 5 year old. Once I learned to read, my reading level shot up and by the time I was 7, I was reading that book by myself from cover to cover. It was Bomba the Jungle Boy, and it was written by Stratemeyer Syndicate under the name Roy Rockwood around 1926. This is the same group who wrote and published Nancy Drew, which I later read as well. It was 1975 when I got my copy of Bomba the Jungle Boy, and I wish I still had the book. It disappeared somewhere along my life’s road, but I plan to replace it now that I know where I can get a copy.

What do you think of the words you read? What words and phrases catch your attention and linger in your mind long after you’ve finished reading?

Do you agree words are more than just a collection of letters?

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

YouTube/Twitch Tuesdays: GrimCommando95

My son has finally become an affiliate!! He’s much more relaxed with all that stress off of him, and he’s even doing chat streams now! He plays different games and takes requests.

Here’s one of his recent videos:

https://www.twitch.tv/videos/1164883379

In this video, he’s playing Fallout with some friends. He will play with people he doesn’t know too so ask him. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll be sharing more Twitch streamers as I get to know them. I am on YouTube more than Twitch, but I’ll be doing more exploring on Twitch when I can.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

My Stuff Monday: More Projects

Yes, I said more projects. I finally got my crafting space sorted, and I’ve pulled out another long term project that has to be finished this year or, it never will be.

Diamond Painting

This is a project I tried for the first time, and it may be my last time. I have issues sitting for long periods of time, and this is the kind of project that needs that if you’re to progress at a decent rate. I’ve been working on this off and on for about two years, and I’m finally going to get it done!

Here is part of my crafting space:

Here is the project up close:

It’s a Diamond Painting of the Orion Nebula. It’s upside down because I’m working on that side, and I don’t want to put my hand on the part already done. I plan to put mod podge or some other clear sealer on this before I try to frame it. I may not ever do another, but I know I won’t do another in the foreseeable future.

I have started a Crochet project which I’ll tell you more about on Friday, but here’s the beginning:

This is from a free pattern so if you want to do this same project, you can! Check out my blog post on Friday to learn more!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Saturday Stitches: End of Week 3 of HSAL and MSAL Update

HSAL is what I’m calling this Halloween themed Stitch-A-Long from Stitchonomy I’m currently doing. The MSAL is the Mystery Stitch-A-Long from Linens and Threads I’m also doing. Anita from My (mis)adventures with yarn is doing these two projects with me, and I encourage you to check out what she’s done on them!

The HSAL is a daily pattern release project, and I’ve just completed Week 3. I believe there are 10 blocks left to fill in after yesterday’s block. Today’s block hasn’t been released yet. Below is the picture of my progress thus far:

End of Week 3 progress

This week, we had :

  1. The Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus, a movie and originally a story the producer told his children before bed.
  2. A ghost ship for The Flying Dutchman, a legend from the Netherlands.
  3. A man being bricked up in a wall for Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado.
  4. Cthulhu from The Call of Cthulhu written by H.P. Lovecraft.
  5. A clock for Poe’s A Telltale Heart.
  6. Slenderman from the urban myth created from a story from SomethingAwful.com
  7. A man looking at a painting for The Picture of Dorian Gray written by Oscar Wilde.

If I missed one, let me know, but I think I got all of them done. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll be adding eyes and details once the project is done. I’ll be changing the eyes in the painting to red because it’s supposed to be showing Dorian’s evil nature.

On to the MSAL, this fun project hosted by Linens and Things is a monthly block pattern, and I’m having lots of fun with it. I’ll be showing you the block for September. October just came out, and I haven’t worked on it yet. Anita’s version of this is absolutely gorgeous and inspiring so, once again, I encourage you to check out her posts about it!

September’s Block

This one came out very well, and I’m excited to get to work on the next block – it’s nearly done, and I’ve enjoyed every month so far! I’ll be framing this one with great pride and will definitely being doing next year’s as well!

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!