Sunday, August 29, 2010

Holmes and fairy tales!

Hi, everyone! It's been raining for three days straight now and I'm longing for some sunshine. I've spent the weekend shopping for upcoming birthdays and lounging around watching The Complete Sherlock Holmes Collection on DVD starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.

I've also finished reading The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault. My favorite tales were Tufty Ricky and Bluebeard as I've never read them before. The morals for each story in the collection were interesting. Tufty Ricky's morals:

"This tale is not so very fanciful
For what's true is true forever;
Those we love are always beautiful,
Those we love are always clever."

"Though nature paints some people's features
In lovely tints beyond the reach of art,
Still there's something hidden in all creatures
For love to find, and melt the heart."

Bluebeard is a strange tale of a nobleman with a blue beard who marries several times, but no one knows where his wives are. He marries a young lady in the village with strict instructions that she can have everything and do anything, but she must never use his house key to open a forbidden room. He goes away for several weeks and the lady's curiosity gets the better of her. She opens the door to find the bodies of Bluebeard's previous wives hanging from the wall.

She tries to hide the fact that she has been in the room, but the key is her downfall. It is a magic key that stains with blood when the door is opened, the blood cannot be washed off. When her husband finds out that she has disobeyed him, he says that he must kill her. Luckily, her brothers come at the last moment and kill Bluebeard. She inherits his fortune and land. She uses her money to help her family and eventually marries a good man.

One moral of the story:

"Curiosity has its lure,
But all the same
It's a paltry kind of pleasure
And a risky game.
The thrill of peeping is soon over;
And then the cost is to discover."

It is quite an odd tale that doesn't explain the matter of his dead wives or his blue beard. Academics have theorized that the tale might be based on Gilles de Rais or Conomor the Accursed who were known for their cruelty.

Always a favorite with children, fairy tales were originally intended for adults while children were a secondary audience. Fairy tales began to be adapted for children in the 19th and 20th centuries.

An example of a tale that every child knows, but was intended for adults is Little Red Riding Hood. Based on earlier oral stories, Charles Perrault wrote a version of the story in 1697 to be included in his Tales of Mother Goose. His intended audience could have well been the court of Louis XIV, especially with the second part of his moral for the tale.

"And this warning take, I beg:
Not every wolf runs on four legs.
The smooth tongue of a smooth-skinned creature
May mask a rough and wolfish nature.
These quiet types, for all their charm,
Can be the cause of the worse harm."

I loved reading fairy tales as a child. My favorites were the 'Fairy Books' by Andrew Lang. Unfortunately, my local libraries only have two books from that series left in their holdings today, The Rainbow Book of Fairy Book and The Yellow Book of Fairy Book.

Re-reading fairy tales as an adult is just as enjoyable. The morals of the story take on a different meaning for you as an adult than they did as a child.

Take some time and have fun re-reading some fairy tales!

Until next time ^____^

August Recap

August Recap:


1. Emily of New Moon by Lucy Maud Montgomery
2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
3. Beauty From Ashes by Dorothy Clark
4. Emily Climbs by Lucy Maud Montgomery
5. Emily's Quest by Lucy Maud Montgomery
6. Fashion in the Time of Jane Austen by Sarah Jane Downing
7. Becoming Queen Victoria by Kate Williams
8. Wizard's First Rule by Terry Goodkind
9. The Complete Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault

1. Political Pin - Democrat donkey - Mill Hill kit
2. Fall freebie by Trail Creek Farm
3. Summer freebie by Trail Creek Farm
4. Spring freebie by Trail Creek Farm
5. Winter freebie by Trail Creek Farm
6. Fall Squared Snippet by Lizzie Kate
7. Autumn ABC's by Lizzie Kate

1. Flower pin made of pink/white buttons

My goals for next month are more Fall stitching and hopefully a lot more 'finishing'. I want to learn some more techniques to finishing my works. Like most stitchers, I have a lot of stitched designs in a stack that haven't been finished into anything O_o"

Until next time ^_____^

NZ Package Received!

Hi, everyone! I sent a package to a dear friend in New Zealand a couple of weeks ago! I was worried that it might have been lost along the high seas, but luckily my friend wrote yesterday to say that she received it ;)

I used a lovely pink gingham box from Hobby Lobby to send her some stationery, candy, cross stitch magazine and patterns, and some fun things from one of my local museums.

I also included three cross-stitched items. My Printemps pinkeep, Flower tin, and the Violet biscornu with my grandmother's vintage buttons.

I can't wait to think of some new ideas for another package in the Fall ;)

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Autumn ABC's

Design: Autumn ABC's Snippet by Lizzie Kate
Fabric: 28ct antique white linen M.C.G Textiles
Threads: Recommended DMC
Start/Finish: 8/24-25/2010

The weather was perfect for stitching this morning. Just a little hint of cooler temperatures, tempting us with the promise of Fall.

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Fall and a cute little crow

Design: Fall Squared Snippet by Lizzie Kate
Threads: Recommended DMC
Fabric: Unknown count & color
Start/Finish: 8/21/2010

Hi, everyone! As you can see, I've been quite busy today with some stitching. I loved this design and the little crow button from Just Another Button Company gives it such character.

I'm not sure what color and count this fabric is. I think it might be 28ct, but I can't remember. I bought this linen and some other darker brown fabrics earlier this year (maybe last year) for some Halloween designs. Of course, I never got around to those designs so I dug out this linen to use for Fall Squared.

Thanks to Brigitte for your lovely comments on my Trail Creek Farm designs. Yes, they are all in the same series. I couldn't resist finishing them all ^__^

I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend with your projects, etc.

Until next time ^____^

A hat for Winter

Design: Winter freebie by Trail Creek Farm
Threads: DMC 311, 334, and 3746
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Start/Finish: 8/21/2010

The last in Trail Creek Farm's freebie season series. A nice warm hat for the winter!

I think I might frame the series eventually in a horizontal matboard in the future. I wish I knew how to do my own framing ;)

Until next time ^____^

Friday, August 20, 2010

Flowery Spring

Design: Spring freebie by Trail Creek Farm
Threads: DMC 564, 760, 987, and 3078
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Start/Finish: 8/20/2010

I couldn't help myself! I had to continue with the seasons from Trail Creek Farm ;)

I hope you are having a great Friday and the start of your weekend. Happy reading/stitching/relaxing!

Until next time ^___^

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A lot of Summer

Design: Summer freebie by Trail Creek Farm
Threads: DMC 310, 564, 760, 899, and 987
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Start/Finish: 8/19/2010

A summer design sneaked into my plans for stitching Fall designs ;) But what a cutie! How can you say no to a few slices of watermelon in the summer?!

Until next time ^____^

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A little bit of Fall

Design: Fall freebie by Trail Creek Farm
Threads: DMC 702, 722, and 921
Fabric: 32ct cream Belfast Zweigart
Start/Finish: 8/18/2010

I felt the need to do some stitching this evening so I started and finished this little cutie!

I'm not sure how I'll 'finish' it, but I'll think of something!

Hope you're having a great week!

Until next time ^____^

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A package to CA

Hi, everyone! One of my packages has been delivered to a dear friend of mine in CA and as promised I have photos of what I sent in the package.

As my friend recently graduated with a degree from pharmacy school, this gift was partly in celebration of that occasion while I added several handmade cross-stitch gifts as extra goodies.

I found this lovely box at Michael's to hold all my friend's goodies!

Included in the package was the A Very Merry Spring pinkeep and Lovebirds tin. Two craft magazines, French embroidery needles, Covet by J.R. Ward, stationery items, bookmarks, a decorative bottle holding paper stars, a coaster, magnet, and a cute little windup bunny.

Since I took the picture of the contents before I sent the package, it has one mistake :) I did not include the Willy Wonka chocolate in the package! When I was putting everything in the box, I forgot it, but it was to my benefit though as it has been quite hot lately and I didn't want the chocolate to melt and accidently get on any of the gifts in the package.

My other package to New Zealand is currently on its way across the seas. I hope to share a photo of the contents when my friend gets it ;)

I hope you're having a great weekend! I've spent the day doing some housework and a small amount of stitching on my Salem's Witch House pattern. I'll have to take some photos and share them with you.

Until next time ^____^

Gone With The Wind

My family and I went to see Gone With The Wind at the Saenger Theatre downtown last Sunday as part of their summer film series.

With the showing of the movie, the Azalea Trail Maids were in attendance at the theatre in the lobbby area.

We had a great time seeing the movie! You can't go wrong with Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable!

Until next time ^____^

Monday, August 9, 2010


I can't wait for this new series from BBC! I'm usually not hip on modern retellings of the classics, but this looks great :) PBS has picked up the series to air during their PBS Mystery season this Fall!

Check out the trailer at PBS Mystery!

Friday, August 6, 2010

A cute little donkey!

Hi! I finished stitching my first perforated paper pattern today!

What do you think? Isn't he the cutest little donkey!!

Design: Mill Hill Political & Olympic Pin series Bead Kit - 1996
Threads: DMC with Mill Hill beads
Fabric: cream colored perforated paper
Start/Finish: 8/4-6/2010

All that's left is to put some iron-on interfacing on the back and attach the pin back! Too cute ;)

Until next time ^____^

Button brooch - pink flower!

Hi, everyone! I found a great tutorial link that The Sampler Girl put on her blog for some very cute brooches made of buttons!

I made this one last Sunday.

I put a quarter beside it for scale ;)

Of course, you can use whatever colors or types of buttons you have on hand. I took some of the buttons I have stashed away for cross stitch finishing to make my brooch.

Until next time ^____^

The Woman in White

I recently picked up copy of the 1997 PBS version of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman in White on DVD at my local library. After watching it, two things piqued my curiosity: what really happened to all the characters and how did Count Fosco meet his tragic end, as it was not included in the film version and only mentioned by the narrator at the end.

Of course, you know I was going to hunt down a copy of the book at my local library. In the end, I had to put a copy on hold as it was at another branch further in town. What I received was a tattered paperback copy of the book (one of only two copies in the whole city library system!) that looked like it had seen better days as I suspect it might have been on a school’s summer reading list at one point in its life.

While the movie was good in its own right, it differed quite a lot from the original storyline. The hidden last will and testament is non-existent in the novel as the only real reason Sir Percival Glyde wants Laura Fairlie, now his wife Lady Glyde, out of the way is because he thinks that she knows his secret, that he is not the heir to Blackwater Park, but a bastard who altered church registries to establish his ‘birthright.’ His debt has accumulated to such an extent that a marriage for money is his only object and by securing the ‘death’ of his wife, he has amply means to satisfy his creditors.

The protagonist of the story is not Marian Halcombe, Laura Fairlie’s half sister as the film makes her out to be. Walter Hartwright is the rightful hero of our story as he personally goes after Sir Percival and Count Fosco to restore Laura’s identity in society.

After reading the novel, I found a great article in the NY Times archives by a reporter who had interviewed Wilkie Collins in 1878 about his inspiration for the plot and how the title of the book came about. The author even goes on to say why he made Count Fosco an obese foreigner and how it made the perfect villain.

I found another article of interest written in 1902, thirteen years after the death of Wilkie Collins. The article quotes the opinions of Andrew Lang (writer, famous as a collector of fairy tales) after his reading of The Woman in White. Count Fosco and Sir Percival have been regulated to the status of similar villains in ‘six-penny fiction’ (ten-cent novels).

With Collins’ death in 1889 came an editorial in the NY Times, which ranked him amongst other writers of the time. “Notwithstanding his prolific pen, we must rank WILKIE COLLINS below CHARLES READE as an artist in novel writing, and in some respects, quiet humor for instance, hardly on the level of TROLLOPE.”

Now I must say, I’ve heard of Anthony Trollope with his Chronicles of Barsetshire and other novels, but I have never heard of Charles Reade. Apparently he is known for The Cloister and the Hearth written in 1861. Has anyone read it? It always amazes me to see what authors stand the test of time and which ones fall behind and are forgotten by all except Academia and the occasional curious bookworm.

Do I recommend The Woman in White? Absolutely, especially if you love mystery or detective novels and if nothing else, you’ll get a good case of the wiggins when you read about Count Fosco and his mice!

Until next time ^____^

Sunday, August 1, 2010

July Recap

July Recap


1. St. Elmo by Augusta Evans Wilson, 1984 reprint edition by Lightsource
2. The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
3. Honey Hunt Volume 1 manga by Miki Aihara
4. Alice in the Country of Hearts Volume 3 manga by Quinrose and Hoshino Soumei
5. A Speckled Bird by Augusta Evans Wilson, 1902 edition
6. Miracles by Judith McNaught in Simple Gifts story collection
7. Courting the Doctor's Daughter by Janet Dean

As you can see, no stitching last month!

My order of perforated paper is on backorder at SN, but I went by my LNS yesterday and they had some cream colored paper! Woohoo! Hopefully, I'll be able to finish my Democrat pin this week. I'll keep the paper I receive from SN for future projects!

My goals for the month of August are autumn-bound! The weather this week has the temperatures soaring in the 100s......and naturally my mind longs for cooler weather hence the urge to stitch Fall designs.

Please be safe on the Gulf Coast with these temps! Don't forget your outdoor pets too!

Until next time ^____^