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!!!

My Stuff Monday – Mimi, Queen of Fluff

I have shared pictures of my beloved Mimi in the past, but this post is about just her.

Until I got her, I hadn’t had a furry companion since my darling Lancelot had passed – almost four years prior. I had never felt ready for another one. I had raised Lance from barely weaned to five years, and he was a special needs cat. He’d also contracted FeLuke from a stray cat, and he passed away from complications from this disease. It’s basically AIDS for cats. I was heartbroken, but there was nothing that could be done for him. Even now, thinking about him makes me tear up.

I finally decided I’d been alone long enough shortly before my 50th birthday which was last year, and I decided I’d give myself a cat for a birthday present. I found a notice for a local cat shelter at the local PetSmart. Several cats from the shelter were on display there. I gave them a call, and the lady agreed to meet me when she was bringing more cats to the store.

I took my youngest son with me, and I met Mimi. She hadn’t been the first cat I’d seen, she’d come with the lady. She was friendly and enjoyed being petted. I took to her right away. Arrangements were made, money was paid, and she came home with me. I found out later the lady was a hoarder who was selling her cats whenever she needed the money, and the vet she had an arrangement with wasn’t a vet per se but a tech who did stuff on the side. Very shady.

Mimi is sterile, I hope. She doesn’t act like she’s ever been in heat, and I’ve had her for close to a year now. She was sick when I got her though I was told that was just allergies. Mimi does have breathing issues from time to time, but she loves to go outside; it seems to do her a world of good if she spends any time at all outside. She is supposed to have been 3 when I got her so she’s nearly 4 now. I wasn’t told her actual birth date so I’m saying she’s a February baby just because. ๐Ÿ™‚

I was told she’s part Maine Coon and part Domestic Longhair with Tortoiseshell coloring, She does resemble a Maine Coon though she’s a bit on the small side – I think. My Lancelot was also half Maine Coon, but he was a short hair. He was as big as she is now. I will post pictures at a later date and maybe, one of you can tell me for sure. It’s not worth a trip to the vet just to make sure.

That’s it about my darling Mimi. I hope you enjoyed reading about her.

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

Happy New Year!

I’m getting a late start with this first post of the week and the new year. I stayed up late ringing in the new year with family and friends. It was mostly virtually, but it was still a lot of fun. We’re all hoping the new year is far better than the old despite the pandemic still raging.

I thought I’d start fresh by telling you about myself. I know there’s an About section on this blog, but I thought I’d just say a few words anyway.

I’m 50 years young, and I’m happy to have lived this long. I did a lot of not so smart things when I was younger though I never even thought about eating Tide Pods…. Takes a special sort of person to think that’s a good idea imho.

I am a writer. I write something every day whether it’s an entry in my journal, a list of things I need to get done, or adding to a creative project I’m working on. I currently have two novels in different stages of completion. I have two more projects needing small changes done to them. I have written short stories and poems, examples can be found on Wattpad, and I’ll link to them in a later post.

I have two grown sons and a grade school-age granddaughter. They are my inspiration. I also have a special gentleman friend I see when time allows. He works full time and lives in another city so it’s not as simple as just popping over to each other’s home for a visit. Still, it works for us, and we’re enjoying every moment of the time we do get to spend together.

I have several hobbies but mostly, I’m a fiber artist. I crochet, embroider, cross stitch, hand sew and just recently, make lace. I have learned the basics of Battenburg lace making, and I’m watching videos on Armenian lace making.

I love animals, but my chosen love is the cat. I have had cats all my life. I like dogs, even owned a couple, but I prefer cats. I’ve also owned turtles, lizards and guinea pigs in the past. I helped raise two pigs when I was a kid living in a children’s home too. That was fun. Animals in general are wonderful, imho.

So there you have it, a little bit about me. I am a pretty private person so you won’t hear much about my private life, I will always leave out names from now on because I want to keep my family safe. I’ve heard too many horror stories to just blurt things out with no regard for the consequences. It does help my boys have different last names than I do, but I still won’t say anything revealing without their permission. I hope everyone understands.

See you on the flipside and don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!! Who knows, we might find some shinies!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 11

My word count dropped again today – it was 3,214 when I was done. While this does bring my overall total up to 41,588, I’m not competely satisfied with the count. I wanted to do more.

This said, I have noted many times in this project where I can split chapters and beef them both up so the count is higher overall. There are some scenes I do want to add to once the main project is done. Since I’m projected to hit the event goal of 50,000 words in 3 more days – if my daily word count stays above 3,000 – I’ll have time to do a rework of the overall project.

I plan to split up chapters, beef up scenes and add scenes where needed, and I plan to make sure formatting is the same throughout the entire project. I’m having issues with Crimson Knight right now, and I plan to fix it before Christmas.

As you can see, writing involves more than just stringing words together. ๐Ÿ™‚

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

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Days 9 & 10

Yes, I’m doing two days today instead of one. That’s because I was so busy yesterday I totally forgot to post about NaNoWriMo and my writing project. It had crossed my mind I could write two separate posts and try to pass one off as having been written, but I couldn’t. I am trying to build a rapport, one of trust and mutual respect with a flavoring of ideas and events we both enjoy. I can’t do that if I lie, and the time stamp would easily make a liar out of me. So, I’m merging the two posts into one…

Monday, 9 November

I wrote 3,550 words bringing my overall total on that day to 34,836. I’ve begun tweaking the formatting of the chaptters as I write too. I made the paragraph indentation too wide in the first 8 chapters using a one inch indent. I’m going to fix those chapters while continuing on with the standard half inch indent from now on.

There wasn’t a write-in scheduled for today by anyone so completed my writing for the day and began researching how to make a simple loom for when I start learning how to weave. I’ll also be able to use if for macrame I do believe. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tuesday, 10 November

I wrote 3,538 words today bring my total for my project to 38,374. I made notes on where I want to add a scene and where I want to split the chapter into two separate chapters. It will help things to flow smoothly and no slow down too much. I’m not happy I didn’t write more, but there’s still time for the additions I have planned once I get the initial goal reached.

I missed today’s write-in because I was busy doing research on industry in the 1930s in New York. I like to have some reality woven into my stories. It gives them more depth, I think. Anyway, I was reading and taking notes, forgetting all about the write-in until it was over. There’s a replay, but the live show is more entertaining and helpful.

I did fix the formatting on the first two chapters – it was niggling at me to do so. I didn’t want to forget to do it and end up with a mess like I’m dealing with in regards to Crimson Knight.

That’s all for today folks, I’ll see you on the flipside so don’t forget your towel and sonic screwdriver!!!

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 8

I didn’t do as well with today’s word count. Every word count is a chapter in my book by the way. At this point, I am developing the main part of the story. Today’s chapter isn’t one I’m completely happy with so, at the end of the event, I’ll be working on it until I am happy with it.

Today’s word count was 2,931. That brings my total word count to 31,286. This is the best year I’ve had since starting NaNoWriMo years ago! ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been seeing people in the chats for the write-ins as well as the discord channel I host for my writing buddies talking about not”feeling it” about working on their projects. Some are very far behind, some not so far behind and some, burning out early.

I’ve been counseling not to stop writing; stop writing on your project. Just for today or just for a few minutes – whatever you need – just don’t stop writing. Writing every day needs to be a habit. It also doesn’t have to be project related. It could be a poem, song lyrics, a list of things you need to do – things of that nature. As long as you scribble something down every day, it’s a win-win situation.

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

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 7 – End of Week One!!

I had such a great time with yesterday’s virtual write-in on YouTube hosted by staff of NaNoWriMo I had a great day writing today! ๐Ÿ˜€ I wrote 4, 366 words which has brought my grand total up to 28, 355 words!!! The total for the event, as I may have mentioned before, is 50,000 words. My own personal goal is 60,000 words. I’m a bit over halfway there with the first and almost halfway there with the second, Considering this is only the first week, I’m doing a magalicious job!!!

I may even have time to do the editing and cover art and publishing before the end of the year!! It would be beyond fabulous to have a book published in time for Christmas!

Wish me luck and lollipops I get to my goal soon! Good luck and lots of lollipops for those doing the event with me!

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

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 6

Today was a good day to write! I got 3,881 words written in a little over an hour. I only work on my novel for an hour a day to keep from stressing out. Stress is bad for a writer and can cause us to write nothing but junk that we’ll have to waste time deleting later. My total is now up to 23,989 ๐Ÿ™‚

At 3pm Central Time, NaNoWriMo is hosting a virtual write-in using YouTube and Facebook Watch. I’ll be on YouTube. I’ll post an update on my writer’s page on Facebook tomorrow. I’m only posting there on a weekly basis so I don’t get distracted. There will be virtual write-in events tomorrow and Sunday as well. ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to them to join in the conversations and to see if I can get a new idea or two. ๐Ÿ™‚

I hope those of you who are participating along with me are meeting your goals or, at the least, are still enjoying the event! Drop me a comment below and let me know!

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

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 5

Today was a really good day! I got 3,833 words done bring my total up to 20,108!! The general goal is 50,000 words, and my personal goal is 60,000. I see myself hitting both goals by the end of the month even with me being away from home for 12 hrs a day due to my new job starting on 16 Nov. It’s in a town 2 hours away from me, and I will commute until I can afford to move.

Ever since I began this event, I’ve been attending the virtual write-ins hosted by the staff of NaNoWriMo. As I have, I’ve noticed other videos about writing I hadn’t seen before. One video that reached out to me was done by two members of AutoCrit. AutoCrit is an online editing service with an app that has limited services for free. It’s like Grammarly in that regard but more geared towards novel writers than Grammarly is.

I watched the entire video and now, I want to watch more of the videos put out by them. Deciding to do NaNoWriMo this year has been beneficial to me thus far. I’ve found a couple of new writing resources that are greatly helping my writing now and will help on future projects.

Check out NaNoWriMo yourself! Also, check out AutoCrit to see how it can help your own writing.

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

30 Days of NaNoWriMo – Day 4

Today wasn’t as productive as the last couple of days have been. I did 3,668 words and brought my total up to about 16,200. This is far ahead of what the site has so I’m pretty pleased about it.

Thing is, I’m a bit worried I’m not filling the scenes out enough even though “telling” isn’t as good as “showing”. The way I set a scene right now is pretty minimal, and I’m not sure if I need to add more. I want to try to leave a lot to a reader’s imagination, but not leave them guessing. It’s a conundrum.

Good thing is, once the event is over, I can do more work and have a beta reader or two check things out before I move forward with my plans to publish.

I can say that despite my small issues with my own writing, I’m enjoying the event immensly. We have several virtual write-ins scheduled for Friday through Sunday coming up , and there are more for the rest of the weekends of this month. We kicked off with two webinars featuring staff of the NaNoWriMo organization as well as a couple of published authors. They were all fantastic, and I can’t wait for the next one!!

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