Memories and More

My friend, Sandra, passed several years ago. She was a wonderful person even when she got sick with cancer. She still did charity work, still gave of her time, and she always had a smile. She loved her sons and her husband, and she was one of those moms who kept mementos of her children as they grew.

When she passed, most of the mementos were taken by the boys, and her husband(boys’ stepdad) took some she’d kept of their time together. They still had a lot of leftover things including a lot of Christmas decorations. Her hubby, a good friend of mine as well, packed these things away when she passed, and he never opened the boxes again.

He recently asked me if I wanted any of the decorations and other things he’d packed away because he was planning to give the whole lot to charity. I asked him to bring over what he had, and I’d take care of it for him. It was sad to go through the things. Many things dated back to 1970 while others were from the year prior to her passing.

I chose what I wanted, and I’m giving the rest away for free. I know she’d like for me to do so because it’s a way for her to continue her life of giving.

I’ve also finally reset up my crafting area in the room vacated by my son. He moved into the room we were using for storage because it offers him more privacy. I like the new area as I have more natural light to work by. I’ve set up a desk, and it has my diamond painting I’ve been working on for a couple of years now. It’s halfway done, and I plan to do get it completely done this year. I’ll post pictures when I do my Update post for October. 🙂

I’ll see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!

Saturday Stitches: End of Week 2 of Halloween themed SAL 2021

This is what my current project: Halloween SAL(A Storybook Halloween) hosted by Stitchonomy looks like at the end of another week. I still need to add eyes to some of the characters as well as do some outlining so things stand out more. The designer didn’t add any back stitching to anything, but the participants are encouraged to make the piece there own so I’m going to add things where I feel they’re needed.

I want to add Glow in the Dark thread to the backgrounds of each block, but I’m beginning to wonder if I should. In most cases, it won’t enhance anything. Many of the blocks don’t lend themselves to having the thread added especially since it’s white in regular light. I am still going to do some experimenting and leave the entire decision to the very end.

I am still enjoying working on this piece every day. 🙂

Here are the blocks and their related stories for this week. If you’re new here, you can find the previous blocks here.

Block 9: A Mask for the short story The Mask written by Alyssa Westhoek in 2015.

Block 10 : Cousin Itt from the Addams Family which was based on cartoons created by Charles Addams in 1938.

Block 11: A Woman in Black for The Woman in Black novel written by Susan Hill in 1983.

Block 12: A Clown for the story It written by Stephen King.

Block 13: A Monster and a Mad Scientist for Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.

Block 14: Two Kids in a Pot for Hansel and Gretel a fairy tale recorded by the Brothers Grimm.

Block 15: A Poisoned Apple for Goblin Market a long poem written by Christina Rosetti.

The piece is slated to have its last pattern released on 20 October, just in time for Halloween on the 31st! This means it’s halfway done for those of us who joined the Pattern Club – it allows us early access to the patterns. For those enjoying the free version of the SAL, the patterns will come later but the entire thing still comes to an end on 30 Oct. 2021.

I am already thinking of framing the piece with either gold or orange matting. Maybe both if I can find it, and it’s not too expensive.

If you like how things are shaping up, let me know in the comments below! If you’re working on this SAL too, drop me a link so I can check out your work and share it too!!

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

A Not So Manic Monday

I woke up early before work so I decided to write and schedule my post for today instead of waiting for after work.

Mondays at work can be really manic for most people, but since I go in at such an early hour, it’s not for me. Not until it’s almost time for me to go home, and I happily leave all that for my co-workers to enjoy.

Other than work, the only other thing I have to do today is work on the Halloween SAL I’m currently involved in. I have to wait until I get paid to order the rest of the thread I need to complete Fred as well as order Glow in the Dark thread for the first time ever to use on the Halloween SAL. I won’t be showing anyone how it looks until the SAL is almost over. 🙂

Mimi is her sassy fluffy self. For a month or so, she was exclusively in my room and only left when she wanted to go outside. Now, she’s in the room I just finished sorting into our collective sitting room/storage room and my crafting space. There’s a bookcase in there, and she sleeps under it a lot. She does follow me around the house now, and she goes into my son’s room, but she only does this when I’m in there. If I’m not home, she’s under the bookcase. I guess she just wanted a change of scenery.

I’m still writing and sending things to my Beta readers. I have a good friend who got a big chunk of Golden Knave because I know she is still recovering from chemotherapy and is now undergoing radiation. I don’t want to overwhelm her sending chapters several times a week so I figured one big chunk she could work on when she was feeling up to it. Then, she’ll get another big chunk when she’s done with that. 🙂 I could also just share my Google Drive or set up a Drop Box for us all. Suggestions, comments?? I want to make things easier for all my Beta readers but especially for her.

That’s it for now, see you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

Stitching Saturday

Hey, I’m back to share with you my continuing journey with the Halloween SAL(A Storybook Halloween) hosted by Stitchonomy! For those of you not in the know, SAL means Stitch-A-Long. It’s where a designer, or group of designers, create a project which they release parts of on a timeline of their choosing. The Halloween SAL I am currently involved in releases a pattern every day. The Mystery Stitch-A-Long by Linen and Threads releases theirs once a month. These projects have a start and finish date, but the finish date is really when someone gets done – patterns are kept available for free for a time after the initial finish date so there’s really not a need to rush.

So, I started on 10 Sept which was a Friday, and my last pattern to date was done yesterday, 17 Sept. The patterns drop at 2pm Central Time, and I didn’t feel like waiting to share this with you!

This was how it looked when I first started:

As you can see, I changed the eyes on my cats because I didn’t like how they looked. I originally used a French Knot, but I didn’t like how big they were. I then changed over to the Colonial Knot which is smaller and for me, easier to make. All of the red dots you see are the Colonial Knot. I’m still not crazy about the look but with the size constraint, making a drop of blood that’s realistic isn’t possible. I’ve seen pictures of people using beads, and they aren’t much better.

I haven’t done the backgrounds on these little gems because I’m planning to use Glow in the Dark thread. It’s white in the light so I’m going to have to get creative to have everything still look pretty creepy in the dark. Any ideas on the cats? If I outline them, they will look more like bats, and I don’t think their eyes will show up.

Also, any ideas on the spine of the book? I think it’s a bit plain even with the sparkly letters. What about the pages?? It’s great the designer provided a floss list to use but is still allowing the use of other colors of the creator’s choice. Still, I could use any ideas or suggestions you have because I’m just not sure….

I am really enjoying this SAL, and I’ve found myself looking forward to the next pattern with a great deal of anticipation.

So, here are the blocks and the stories they’re related to:

Block One: Black Cats for Edgar Allen Poe’s Black Cat

Block Two: The Pumpkin King for The Nightmare Before Christmas

Block Three: A Moth for the Mothman Prophecies

Block Four: The Babuk(Sack Man) for (mainly) Czech folklore.

Block Five: Beetlejuice which is actually based on a book by the same name

Block Six: A Raven for Poe’s famous poem

Block Seven : A Fanged Mouth for Dracula

Block Eight: A House for The Haunting of Hill House

Note

If you decide to join the SAL, the free version started yesterday with the frame pattern and floss list having been released for both paid and free versions last week, or maybe sooner, I forget. The paid version – joining the Pattern Club – had its patterns started last week. I joined the club so I could get started sooner and finish sooner.

This project is a lovely break from Fred, but I still need to get Fred done by the end of the year so I don’t want to be away from it too long.

If you do decide to join the SAL, let me know in the comments below with a link to wherever you’ll be posting your own journey so I can follow along! I’d love to see what others make!

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

Writing Wednesday: Writing Prompt #?

I’ve honestly forgotten what prompt number this is since I haven’t done one in a while. I do apologize. In the new year, I’ll start over on the numbers and keep up with it better then.

On with the prompt:

Tuesday

Yellow

Mime

Your word count goal is 500 words total. Once I get my own written, I’ll post it here. I can’t wait to see what you write so please, share it with me either via a link or through the comments below.

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

YouTube Tuesday: PixieStyx

This woman has so much fun stuff on her channel, I can’t decide on just one video to show you. She does unboxing, art supplies demos, all kinds of tutorials, colabs and so much more!!

Check her out: PixieStyx

I think you’ll really like her work, but don’t take my word for it!!

If you do drop by her channel, be sure to leave some comments, a like or two and please, subscribe to see more of her work! Creatives love feedback!!

Speaking of feedback, once you visit her, let me know what video(s) you really liked! I could use some suggestions!

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

Change is Good for you

Change, is most cases, is good for you, and in this present case, it’s going to be very good for me. Almost a year ago, I moved in with my youngest son and his roommate because of Covid-19. This is a little house built in the 1960s, or so we think. It’s owned by the roommate’s family, and we pay the utilities while taking care of the house and yard.

The house has two bedrooms in it – one in the front part of the house and one in the back part of the house. It has a small bathroom with only a shower, a kitchen, a small living room and a large room at the back of the house that has doors opening onto the porch.

Roommate used the living room for his bedroom, and he used the first bedroom as his “office” – it’s where his computer was and not much else. My son used the big room in the back for his room, and the second bedroom was being used as a storeroom.

Fast forward to nearly a year later, and the boys have changed rooms while I am still in the second bedroom which they cleared out for my use.

Roommate is now using the first bedroom as a bedroom though he’s left his computer in the room as well – he doesn’t have to go far to go to bed after staying up late playing video games.

My son has taken over the living room to use for his bedroom and his computer as well.

The big room in the back is partially storeroom and partially a living area. I have all my things in one area and set up so I can actually use it for my crafts. The rest has boxes belonging to the boys. A futon separates the two areas so it’s not chaos.

This is the whole point to this rather boring post. The change is good for me because I can get out my diamond painting and get it finished this year as I finally have a place to put it. I can work on other projects that need space as well. It’s all good.

The boys seem happy with their new arrangement as well especially my son since he now has a great deal more privacy than he did before.

Change is good definitely good for us!

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

Saturday Stitches

I’ve decided to change Saturday’s subject matter to all things related to stitching: cross stitching, sewing, embroidery etc. This doesn’t include crochet or knitting since that’s for Friday.

My first project is the Halloween SAL: A Storybook Halloween 2021 hosted by Stitchonomy. I am doing this project with Anita from My (mis?)adventures with yarn, and I’m hoping we can both keep up because they will be releasing patterns every day from 10 Sept to 11 Oct. I have done the first block, which you’ll see here, but I have yet to get the pattern for today so you’ll have to wait until next Saturday to see it along with everything I stitch this week. I am waiting for more floss because I don’t have all the colors on the list, but I am going to do what I can.

This part of the frame and the first block. The blocks are all related to stories so this first one references Poe’s The Black Cat.

The eyes and the tails didn’t come out quite the way I wanted them to but overall, the cats came out well. I am still not sure about the spine and pages of the frame which is a book so if anyone has any suggestions I’d like to read them. I am not changing the lettering or the gold on the pages, but if you think it needs more, let me know please.

This is the first SAL(Stitch-A-Long) of this kind I’ve ever done so I’m excited to do this. I am making this first one for myself so the small mistakes aren’t going to bother me.

Thanks for stopping in, and I’ll see you on the flipside so don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!

Personal Update – September 2021

First off, let me apologize for not being consistent with my blog posts. I’ve become hyper focused on getting one project done, and I’d nearly gotten the main part completely done before I ran out of floss. Yes, it’s a cross stitch project. It’s one I’ve been working on and off on for several years now, and this year, I’m determined to get it done before the year is over.

Frederick the Literate

Frederick from now on called Fred, is a kit from Dimensions, and it’s done on dark navy blue. This makes it hard to see the holes where the needle goes as well as counting the squares. Yes, it’s counted cross stitch. It’s a full cover project also which means most of the background in covered up in stitches. Imagine my disappointment and irritation when, after nearly two weeks of constant work, I end up running out of floss on the very last portion of the project I have left to do before I began to work on the details. See for yourself

As you can see, I got a lot done. I just need to get the owl done and do all the detail stitching. I’ll do that after I’m done with the Halloween MSAL Anita and I are going to be starting. It’s the Halloween 2021 MSAL(A Storybook Halloween) hosted by Stitchonomy. I’ll be doing the frame later today to get me started.

MSAL

I’m still working on the MSAL by Linen and Things as well. I’m going to start work on the block for September later today too. My block for this month had some big spots full of color and while I don’t think mine came out as well as Anita’s did, I’m still happy with the result.

Work

Work is work. I’m in a routine now so things aren’t so overwhelming. I have clear cut duties that I can perform however I want as long as the end result is the same so that’s a plus. I work with a diverse group of guys – I work in Plumbing, and the women don’t seem to want to work in that department. I don’t mind it. I take all the training I can get, and I listen to the Licensed Plumbers to learn from them too. I don’t want full time, and I don’t want to work in other departments though I’ve been asked. I am content where I am.

Writing

Golden Knave is still being read by my Beta readers one chapter at a time. I don’t have time to copy and email huge chunks of it, or I haven’t. I may do more than one chapter at a time once the weekend comes, and I don’t have a huge project waiting for me. 🙂

I am considering going with XLibris for the publication of The Inbetween, but I haven’t decided yet. I will cost me money to do that, but they do offer me a bit more than Amazon does so I’ll have to consider it. I still don’t have the cover art for it since my niece flaked out on me.

Health and Well being

Found out I’m anemic now so I’m having to take vitamin supplements in shot form as well as up my intake of green leafy veggies and red meat. I don’t eat a lot of meat right now, and that’s part of the problem. I’m no longer having dizzy spells since I’ve begun rebuilding my red blood cells so I’m going to follow the doctor’s advice. I’m still slowly losing weight, and the doctor tells me more red meat won’t hurt my weight loss so there’s that.

I have finally gotten below 180 pounds!! Yay me! I just need to drop another 50, and I’ll be at my goal weight of 125!

Reading

I’ve mostly been listening to audio books on Audible of late. I can listen and stitch at the same time. I have mainly been listening to “scary” stories like Night of the Living Deed, Relic and Oracle. Of the three, I’m liking Oracle the best. I like Preston and Child a lot too, but this audiobook is fantastic. The narrator takes the wonderfully evocative words the writer uses and levels them up to a new art form with his voice and how he narrates the story. It’s absolutely marvelous!! I wish he’d do Stephen King’s books instead of the narrator Mr. King is using now.

When I can, I’ll get back to reading physical books. I prefer them to audio and ebooks.

Mimi

My furbaby is still her usual sassy chunky fluffy self. Since I’m working again, our daily routine has changed, and she was unhappy for a bit. Now, she’s used to the new routing we’ve worked out, and she’s stopped pouting and giving me dirty looks. Maine Coons have very expressive faces, I kid you not. She can get pretty vocal too.

That’s it for now, folks. I would love to hear what you all have going on! Projects, hobbies, books you’ve read, concerts you’ve been to, family stuff – whatever you’d like to share with me!

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

Words, Words, Words

It’s Writing Wednesday, and I thought I’d talk a bit about language. Language is made up of words that help us to communicate both verbally and by writing. It’s been around almost a long as Man has been. Early man is thought to have communicated with body movements and the occasional guttural sounds such as grunting.

Eventually, Man achieved oral language though it is unsure exactly when this happened. The overall agreement is that it was a long process of adaptation and evolution with early Man having very small vocabularies and limited ability to vocalize words.

Once oral language was achieved, Man began to spread out. Languages changed as regions and areas began to differ. people needing different words to relate to their surroundings. Philology is, according to the Oxford Dictionary, ..”the branch of knowledge that deals with the structure, historical development, and relationships of a language or languages”

A Polyglot, according to Oxford dictionary, “a person who knows and is able to use several languages.” This means being fluent in at least 4 different languages.

Oral language soon developed into written languages as societies grew and became more complex. It is postulated Writing came about at the same time as Trade and Accounting did because a way was needed to record transactions. The royal family especially appeared to have a need to know exactly what they owned and how much.

The written language developed and changed as the need for it changed. It has become so interwoven in all societies and cultures that one has to be fluent in it as well as the oral language for one to be considered an “expert” in that language. Polyglots not only speak a language fluently, they are also able to read and write fluently in that language.

Words, and their uses, have a big impact on people. You can see it on the faces of people who get good news and those who get bad. You can brighten someone’s day with a kind word, or you can destroy a person with a harsh one. It doesn’t matter is those words are spoken or written, they all have an impact on both of the people in the conversation.

My first, and main inspiration, is J.R.R. Tolkien, and he was both a Philologist and a Polyglot. He also had the job of Rawlinson and Bosworth Professorship of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford. He specialized in Old and Middle English, but he was also fluent in German and several other languages. Philology was his hobby as was writing, and he used one to enrich the other, creating no less than three languages for his books.

Words, words, words, – they are historical with some having roots in ancient times, and others are more modern, created to keep up with the changes in the world around us. Case in point, France’s Commission d’enrichissement de la langue francais(French Language Enrichment Commission) started by de Gaulle in 1966, has the sole task of coming up with new French words for things including words created in other languages – especially American English ones.

I, as a writer, strive to use words to the best of my abilities to achieve a desired effect/goal. My main goal for writing this blog is to establish a rapport with my fellow humans. I have achieved this, to a small degree, and I continue to work towards creating more while enriching and strengthening those I have already created. I am appreciative of all the feedback I get from everyone.

The next time you use a word, like “macho” consider how and when the word became a part of your language. Is it one that is indigenous to your language, or is it one brought in from another language? American English is full of Loanwords, words brought in from other languages, and most have been adopted into the language through constant and generalized usage. Macho originated in the Spanish language, but it’s been adopted into American English with the exact same meaning in both languages.

Just thought I’d give you something to think about. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.

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