Saturday, March 27, 2010

March Recap

March Recap:

1. Bloody Jacky: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer
2. Alice in the Country of Hearts Volume #2 by Soumei Hoshino and Quinrose
3. Journey to the Centre of the Earth by Jules Verne
4. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: Volume 1 by Alan Moore
5. The Hound of the Baskervilles: A Sherlock Holmes Graphic Novel by Culbard, Doyle, and Edginton
6. Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn
7. Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Beetleburg Clank by Phil and Kaja Foglio
8. Girl Genius: Agatha Heterodyne and the Airship City by Phil and Kaja Foglio
9. Soulless, An Alexia Tarabotti Novel by Gail Carriger
10. To Sir Philip, With Love by Julia Quinn
11. When He Was Wicked by Julia Quinn

1. Good Luck Block by Helga Mandl
2. March - the Lion and the Lamb freebie by Erica Michaels
3. Petit Lapin freebie by Windy Willows

As you can tell, I haven't done much stitching or finishing this month. I was hoping to finish my two stitched items as pillows, but I haven't had time and right now, I'm sick. Constant sinus pressure....could be the change in weather, an allergy to something in the air, or maybe just a bad cold. I don't feel bad, just tired and hoping that this cold goes away soon. Lots to do at work in the month of April and a continuing cold will not help matters. I also was hoping to do some crafts for an upcoming anime convention.

I am still reading A Child of Mystery, only at night though since I don't want to jeopardize such an old book by bringing it to work.

My goals for next month:

1. Finish A Child of Mystery
2. Lots of crafts - beaded cell charms and polymer charms
3. Hopefully some cross-stitch eventually

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Beautiful wedgwood cake

My sister's latest creation in her cake decorating class! She also received her first certificate in decorating ;) She is hoping to take the next course soon!

Until next time ^_____^

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mail goodies!

What a lucky day! I got two packages in the mail today ;)

One package with a tiny presentation box inside...

....containing a beautiful brooch by CJ Grand! I couldn't resist this brooch when I saw it in her Etsy shop. She was kind enough to let me use her photo of the brooch for this post ^___^

This is the first steampunk-themed brooch in my collection :) I can't wait to wear this brooch to work tomorrow!

I also received a package from Amazon. I had completely forgotten that I had preordered this book...

I will momentarily leave The Child of Mystery on the shelf and start to read this graphic novel.

I hope everyone is having a lucky St. Patrick's Day! Until next time ^____^

Sunday, March 14, 2010

New Orleans trip

Hi! I hope everyone had a great Sunday! I took a trip to New Orleans with my mother and sister to see a glass show hosted by the Crescent City Depression Glass Society. I didn't buy any glass, but came away with several brooches and two old photograph postcards. Some of the vendors had a few antiques in their booths.

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Little Rabbit

Design: Petit Lapin by Windy Willows
Fabric: 28ct flax linen
Threads: DMC White and 815
Start/Finish: 3/13/2010

Spring stash

Hi! It's an absolutely gorgeous day outside! I woke up early this morning to go by my local library and needlework shop.

I hope to start on a cross stitch freebie I found yesterday. I had bought a piece of 28ct flax linen today along with the patterns in the pic above.

Hope you're enjoying the sunshine on the Gulf Coast!

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I spy a penny dreadful!

Hi! I mentioned earlier that I might not be stitching as much this month if I was able to borrow a book. Well, said book has come in so you might not see me for a while....just depends ;) I borrowed The Child of Mystery; or The Cottager's Daughter by Hannah Maria Jones. Published 1837. Unfortunately it doesn't have its original binding, but at least it's readable! How I would have loved to see it though. There's nothing like feeling an antique book in your hands and seeing the gilded lettering on the spine.

Besides my book geekiness, I just finished watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It was interesting. Who would have thought that Professor Moriarty could have escaped the Reichenbach Falls? It's amazing how Sherlock Holmes continues to live on in literary fiction after 83 years since his last adventure!

Until next time ^____^

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A yummy rainbow!

My sister is taking a cake decorating class. This is a project she made for her first session today. Lemon cake with raspberry filling! Don't you just love the cute rainbow on top. She said she made it using a star-tip.

Her class last for two more weeks, which means two more cakes! I can't wait to see what she makes next ;)

Until next time ^____^

Sherlock Holmes

After hearing that Sherlock Holmes was due out in theaters in late December, I made a run by my local bookstore and purchased The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes with the hopes of reading it before the movie came out. Little did I know, that I wouldn’t see the film until late February because I couldn’t possibly stop at The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

I proceeded to check out the other works of Arthur Conan Doyle in his Holmes series, totaling 1,122 pages and spanning seventeen years. The story of Sherlock Holmes and his friend and biographer Dr. Watson starts in 1878 with their fateful meeting through a colleague, Stamford. Recently discharged from the Army for an injury to his shoulder, Watson is in search of a roommate as his pension from the Army isn’t much. Stamford suggests an acquaintance of his, Sherlock Holmes, as a suitable companion who is also on the lookout for a roommate. After meeting and admitting one another’s vices, Holmes and Watson agree to take lodgings at 221B Baker Street, London….a residence soon to be famous around the world after the first adventure, A Study in Scarlet, was published in the 1887 edition of Beeton's Christmas Annual.

Early on in their adventures, Watson falls in love with one of their clients, Mary Morstan, a poor governess, in The Sign of Four and marries her after the case has ended with her fortune no longer being an obstacle to their marriage. As Holmes put it, “The good Watson had at that time deserted me for a wife, the only selfish action which I can recall in our association.”

Their adventures, oddly enough, hardly ever have them leaving the comfort of England, but the tales of the victims or criminals span the globe from the wild lands of India to the western frontiers of Utah and California. The only vice to mar the adventures of these two men is Holmes’ addiction to 7% solution of cocaine and morphine, which he uses when there has been no cases to solve for a while and he is bored of the world.

Some of my favorite adventures were:

1. Valley of Fear = detailing a corrupt Masonic temple lodge in late 19th century California and the links to which a fellow detective from America will go to avoid death by the hands of its members.

2. A Scandal in Bohemia = detailing one of Sherlock Holmes’ ‘failures’ at the hand of a woman, Irene Adler. As Watson said, “To Sherlock Holmes she is always the woman. I have seldom heard him mention her under any other name. … It was not that he felt any emotion akin to love for Irene Adler. All emotions, and that one particularly, were abhorrent to his cold, precise but admirably balanced mind. … Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his own high-power lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his. And yet there was but one woman to him, and that woman was the late Irene Adler, of dubious and questionable memory.”

Ms. Adler was a former opera singer in Warsaw who had taken up lodgings in London after her lover, the King of Bohemia, breaks with her in order to marry the daughter of the King of Scandinavia. The king wishes Sherlock Holmes to retrieve a bundle of letters and a photograph that Irene is keeping from their liaison. She literally escapes under Holmes’ nose after greeting him at his doorstep in disguise.

3. An Adventure of the Three Garridebs = not so much for the plot, but for the fact that for once Sherlock Holmes displays a bit of feeling when his friend Dr. Watson is shot while apprehending the thief.

p. 1053 - In an instant he had whisked out a revolver from his breast and had fired two shots. I felt a sudden hot sear as if a red-hot iron had been pressed to my thigh. There a was a crash as Holmes’s pistol came down on the man’s head. I had a vision of him sprawling upon the floor with blood running down his face while Holmes rummaged him for weapons. Then my friend’s wiry arms were round me, and he was leading me to a chair.

“You’re not hurt, Watson? For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”

It was worth a wound – it was worth many wounds – to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay behind that cold mask. The clear, hard eyes were dimmed for a moment, and the firm lips were shaking. For the one and only time I caught a glimpse of a great heart as well as of a great brain. All my years of humble but single-minded service culminated in that moment of revelation.

“It’s nothing, Holmes. It’s a mere scratch.”

He had ripped up my trousers with his pocket-knife.

“You are right,” he cried with an immense sigh of relief. “It is quite superficial.” His face set like flint as he glared at our prisoner, who was sitting up with a dazed face. “By the Lord, it is as well for you. If you had killed Watson, you would not have got out of this room alive. Now, sir, what have you to say for yourself?”

Watching Sherlock Holmes in the theaters was an experience. I had to stop myself from laughing hysterically during several scenes in the movie that contained references to the books and/or were extremely funny to my geeky sensibilities. Overall, I thought it was a great film version of Doyle’s characters. However, I was a bit put off by the fact that Irene Adler was made into a ‘love’ interest of sorts for Holmes and that she knew Professor Moriarty and was working for him, which is utterly ridiculous.

Nevertheless, one of my favorite scenes in the movie has Holmes waiting at a restaurant for the arrival of Watson and his fiancĂ©e Mary Morstan. I loved the way the director captured Holmes’ agitation at being around so many people, driven mad by all the little details and conversations he was picking up in the room.

I have heard that a sequel will be in the works during the summer with hopefully (fingers crossed) all the main characters back to reprise their roles. The rumor mill has Brad Pitt playing Holmes’ archenemy Professor Moriarty, the ruthless mind behind London’s criminal underworld. After reading the entirety of Holmes’ stories and seeing how Professor Moriarty is portrayed, I can’t see Brad Pitt in that role. If he does take it, let’s hope he surprises the Holmes’ purists of the literary world.

Until next time ^_____^

P.S. Sherlock Holmes is due out to DVD later this month. If you haven’t seen it, I think you’ll like it, especially if you love period films. Visit your local library or video store to rent it if you aren’t sure about buying it for keeps ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In like a lion, out like a lamb!

Design: March - the Lion and the Lamb by Erica Michaels
Fabric: 28ct antique white linen M.C.G Textiles
Threads: DMC White, 310, 367, 562, 800, 3862, and 3864
Start/Finish: 3/3-4/2010

The design actually calls for Rainbow Gallery fibers, which I don't have and I'm sure my LNS doesn't carry so I just picked some colors. The greens are from the Good Luck Block design and I went through my stash of DMC threads and found some suitable for the lion and lamb ;)

I found this freebie by Erica Michaels a while ago and now seemed to be the perfect time to stitch it. Our weather on Monday (the first) was fierce like a lion, let's hope the month's weather leaves like a lamb.

I finished this design tonight while watching Hayao Miyazaki's Ponyo on DVD. I just purchased the DVD on Tuesday and it was skipping in parts. (sigh) So I'll have to make a run by the store this weekend to exchange it for another copy. With that in mind, I'll probably run by my local Hobby Lobby or Hancock's and look at seasonal fabrics!

Until next time ^___^

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Little Luck

Design: Good Luck Block by Helga Mandl
Fabric: 28ct antique white linen M.C.G Textiles
Threads: DMC 367, 562, 727, 3805
Start/Finish: 3/2/2010

Looking through old issues of GOS, I found this adorable design for St. Patrick's Day! Isn't it cute? The original design called for Aida fabric, but as I can't work on Aida to save my life, I used some linen in my stash. I also substituted the recommended metallic thread with DMC 727 as I can't work with metallics either!!

Until next time ^____^

Monday, March 1, 2010

Bloody Jack

Bloody Jack: Being An Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary 'Jacky' Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer is a fast-paced, coming-of-age story of Jacky, a girl who decides to don boy's clothes to escape the dangerous streets of early 18th century London. Gaining entrance on a Navy ship called the HMS Dolphin to seek adventure on the high seas.

I quite enjoyed the adventure that is 18th century London from the point of view of a lower/middle class girl who is forced into poverty and the underworld of London after her family dies from sickness. Barely making a living by dancing, singing, and begging on the streets, Mary's world is shaken by the death of her gang's leader, Charlie. She decides to leave London and pursue her dream of becoming a ship captain and sailing around the world.

Of course, deceiving hundreds of men on a Navy ship isn't easy, but Mary or Jacky, as she calls herself, manages to do so while making friends with the other ship's boys. With learning the ways of the ship and sailing around the world in pursuit of pirates, Jacky's greatest adventure is yet to come....falling in love with her fellow ship boy, James!

For those of you who want to read the book, I won't ruin the book for you ;) Thanks to Marissa for hosting The Young Bluestockings Book Club. I can't wait to discuss this one!

Until next time ^____^