Friday, November 16, 2007
Circle Obsession

As I sit here waiting for the benadryl to kick in, I wanted to share my latest stitching obsession. I WANT Cirque des Cercles. Want. Right now. However, it's a good thing I don't have it, because I can't decide what colors to use. They have some color ideas here, although none of them "wow" me, likely because they're just colored graphs, not actual stitching. There's a whole gallery here, however. Check out the third one down, the green one. It's BEADED. Someone is nuckin futz. :) From reading up on various forums, it's apparently much easier to stitch than it looks. See, unless you get really fancy, it's all one color of thread. You pick a variegated thread, get anywhere from 5 to 10 skeins of it, and just start stitching. It's big, but not complicated.  But, wow, does it look impressive.

I've got several ideas in my head. I'm liking greens on natural linen, blues (maybe shading to white) on black - although I don't know if I'll like working on black fabric, the original golds on black, I love that red to blue fiber on linen, etc. Maybe darker blues on a light, opalescent fabric? See what I mean? No pinks or purples, I think, unless I did it as a gift for someone who loved, still no. :) 

Also, I've seen at least two ideas for making partial use of the chart. One is to stitch a single circle as an ornament, and, incidentally, test a color combo. The other idea was a section done as a bookmark. See those 3 circles on the left side, in the middle? The bookmark started at the border and worked in, half a circle's width.  Each circle was a different color (red, orange, and yellow, iirc) and the edging was a fourth (gold, I believe). Very nifty.

So, yeah. I want. And I'd love to hear/see more color ideas.

Posted at 03:21 am by Allura

Thursday, November 15, 2007
Image Meme

Here's the idea behind this meme:  you type the answer to each question into a Google image search, and you pick an image from the first page of results.

1. Age at next birthday:

2. A place you'd like to travel:

3. Your favorite place:

4. Your favorite objects:

5. Your favorite food:

6. Your favorite animals:

7. Your favorite color:

8. Town where you were born:

9. Town where you live:

10. Name of a past pet:

11. First name of a past love:

12. Best friend's nickname:

13. Your screen/nickname:

14. Your first name:

15. Your middle name:

16. Your last name:

17. Bad habit of yours:

18. First job:

19. Grandmother's name:

20. College major:

Posted at 11:14 pm by Allura
Comments (2)  

Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Holiday Blues

Thanksgiving is next week. Nearly every year since we've been married, we go to DH's family's house for Thanksgiving. Since they're 4 hours away, it makes sense to go there for Thanksgiving, when he typically has a day or two after for vacation, and go to my family for Christmas, which often falls in the middle of the week. So, that's what we've been doing. The problem is that I miss my own family's traditions, and yesterday that hit me hard. I think the "trigger" was listening to my mom talk about her & my sister's plans for baking.  PMS doesn't help, either. *wry*

My issue is two-fold. The first is that as an English-only speaker, I am now largely outnumbered by the bilingual English/Spanish speakers. In particular, the ladies of my SMIL's family all prefer Spanish, which tends to leave me out of things. Last year, I tried speaking with the guys, who mostly have less command of Spanish, and sorta got the "why's she talking to us?" impression. Umm..guys? I'm a geek. Trust me, I have more in common with you. Oh, and half the family is busily trying to pretend they're NOT geeks. It's ok to be a geek! It'll give us all something to talk about! Sheesh.

The other aspect is food related. I'm used to Thanksgiving having a VERY fixed menu, and a much more formal affair than it is at DH's family's. We started with one of a few things: a flounder bisque, lasanga or another pasta, maybe another soup or cold antipasto. Dinner was turkey (of course), stuffing, mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes (with marshmellows!), green bean casserole (fresh grean beans, please), broccoli with cheese sauce, rolls, and usually some other random thing that Mom came up with. Dessert included apple crisp, apple pie, pecan pie, and coconut custard pie. Those are the basics. DH's family is more...flexible. Let me put it this way: I'm pleasantly surprised to see there's going to be turkey at all (I emailed SMIL & FIL this morning to find out). Actually, emailing them has settled my mind a bit. It sounds like it's going to be a bit more American-traditional. I know it's hypocritical of me to expect that when my own family often includes Italian accents. But, c'mon, there shouldn't be a question of whether there's going to be a turkey! Sure, if you have enough people that you need another main, too, I can understand that. But first choice is turkey, people. You know, the bird that lost the competition to represent our nation? Good thing, too; I'm guessing bald eagle isn't very tasty...

This year, we're going to stay with BIL & SIL, and on Friday, they're having Thanksgiving II. SIL & I both agreed that we want something a bit more traditional, plus she wants turkey leftovers. :) Of course, she's thinking traditional southern American and I'm thinking traditional Mid-Atlantic American...Also, I slept a bit better at their house. That's another issue: SMIL's family is large, and as the more distant relatives get first pick, we ended up on the futon last year, out in the family room. BIL & SIL have an air mattress that is a step up, plus their office has a DOOR on it. We have fun with them, so I'm glad we're staying there.

One way or the other, I'm going to try to get my green bean casserole, my canned cranberry sauce (I like fresh, but I need my canned), and pumpkin pie this year; I'll just have to bring it myself, I guess. I know it's not fair to expect my husband to go to my family for every holiday, and really, I don't want to do that to him. I want to go to both families, not skip one for the other. Still no time machine, though, so I'll just have to do my best to bring my memories with me.

Posted at 04:42 pm by Allura

Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Ooh...a post...

Yeah, I remember how to post. Really. Stop smirking.

So, what's been going on with me lately? A lot of editing work for Dark Quest Games, a lot of flare ups, some stitching, visiting with family and friends.

Neal gave me my first straight fiction assignments to work on. It's a bit different than editing RPG material. Particularly, I have to be more careful about preserving the author's "voice." Well, I don't have to, but then the author just change it back anyway. :)  I also have to be more careful not to get caught up in reading the story; I have to stay on track and analyze what I'm reading. It's easier to step back from RPG material, since there's rules and such to be looked analyzed, not just fiction.

I seem to have had a lot of CFS flare ups lately, although that might simply be that I'm relatively active lately and not resting as much as I should. Also, I haven't excercised in ages, which I regret. My allergies are also driving me bonkers, which either make me tired on their own or else the benadryl does that on its own. I really need to get to an allergist, but I've either been slammed with work or too tired to make calls. Or avoiding it, to be honest. I hate phones, I don't know why. Having to make phone calls frequently sends me to the edge of a panic attack.

I've been stitching a bit on both of my projects. I'm also very slowly updating my stitching website. It's now been moved to my own domain: . I have pictures of some recent finishes that I need to get up there, but I keep getting sidetracked into tweaking the design. This has led me to spend several days hunting the 'net for decent linkware web sets, preferably ones that are more recent styles. I've found a few, however, and might change to one of them at some point. As to the stitching itself, I'm still often cursing my stand when I work on The Dreamer, but I am making progress. I'm almost done with the scroll work at the top, which is good, since I'm so sick of brown. Big Girl Panties is starting to come along as well, although I want to take my red pen to the text. It's charted as, "Put your big girl panties on and deal with it." I want to change it to, "Put on your big girl panties and deal with it." It's a dialect issue, I suppose. I think I may play with the PC Stitch demo to see if I can shift the words around.

This past Saturday went from a small, casual visit with Kari & Neal to dinner and a crowd at my house after. I really enjoyed having everyone here. It's a bit tight to put 8 adults and a toddler in our living room, and the apartment is nowhere near kid-proof, but it was...cozy. Initially, just Kari & Neal were coming over and we were going to stitch and then go out. While they were on their way up here, I got a call from Manna asking if I wanted to go to the mall with her. I told her I already had plans, but they could join us for dinner later. Got off the phone with her and about 10 minutes later, Jevanyn called asking what we were doing. Next thing I know, they too are joiing us. At that point I IM'd Morte & Eric to see if THEY had suddenly materialized in NJ and were going to join us! It was getting a bit surreal. Actually, the surreal part is me realizing I have friends who want to share my company. That still boggles me sometimes. Tells you what it was like to be me growing up, I guess, huh? We stitched, we talked gaming, we all went to Cheeburger, Cheeburger, came back to our house, and stitched (crocheted in Manna's case) some more. There was a lot of geekery and the guys checked out a bunch of the Green Ronin books I have. Most of our friends are straight D&D players, so True20 and Mutants & Masterminds were new-ish to them. I kicked people out at 11:30; the guys seemed like they were going to keep getting sidetracked, but the women were drooping.

Sunday I went to the mall with Manna & Starhawk. We walked all of both floors of Jersey Gardens, and it is NOT a small mall. Also, it was insanely packed with people. I would have turned around after not finding a spot in the second or third lot, never mind the 5th or 6th it was when we finally did find a spot. It was a lot of walking, too much for me, honestly, although I did come home with 4 sweaters from Fashion to Figure: this one in red and "ocean blue," this one in black, and a red quasi-hoodie with a fake t-shirt insert because I can't dress myself. Ok, I can, but I hate the whole layering thing, although I like how it looks. So I'm in that minority that LIKES fake layers. I like this store because it's cheap and has different stuff, but sometimes the sizing is weird. It's always great to have another option in my size, though. Unfortunately, Manna struck out again. She's generously blessed in her chest and very few designers seem to want to accomodate her, especially in something structured like a suit jacket, which is what she was looking for. I left the mall utterly exhausted, although I managed to be able to walk back to the car, something I was in doubt of for a bit.

I took not one, but two naps today, which isn't much of a surprise to me. I didn't get much done in the way of, well, anything, actually. I finished one short story for DQG, though; second passes are a bit easier. I spent a lot of time just looking at web sets, since that was easy on my brain. Hopefully I'll be a bit more animated tomorrow.

Posted at 12:58 am by Allura

Saturday, November 10, 2007
Good or Bad?

cash advance

Posted at 04:17 pm by Allura

Happy Blog-a-versary to Me!

Ok, that's a really cheezy title, and the grammar is driving me mildly batty but, yeah...this blog is four years old today. I know I haven't posted much at all lately. For the past few months, I've either been really busy with work...or burnt out and sick. I'm going to try to make posts more of a priority, though, and post them as I think of them, not "later." Keep in mind, though, you might get more political stuff as the US primaries keep going. Either that, or I'll get sick of the whole mess (which I mostly am). Kinda like D&D 4e. I'll worry about it when it's done. So, yeah, Happy Blog Anniversary.

Posted at 01:36 pm by Allura

Books: Three from Kari

Kari loaned me a ton of books at one point, so I've been working my way through them. Her tastes & mine line up sometimes, but not always, and all three of these are not books I would have picked up on my own.

First, was Dragon Bones. I didn't even realize it was a duology. Anyway, it was a bit slow, although interesting. There's a lot of people and a lot of locations but it felt oddly paced, like it was both slower and faster than it could/should have been. I enjoyed it but something felt off kilter about it; I can't quite put my finger on it.

Next, was Resenting the Hero, which is nowhere near as cheesy as the cover makes it look. It was pretty good, but I prefer my main characters to be a bit stronger.  She sorta floats along until the end, but she also has no training to do anything but, so it makes sense. It feels like it's going to turn into a particularly sappy romance novel any minute, but it never does. The world is really interesting; it's a "fantasy" world in the sense that it's been forgotten by/has forgotten the original offworld settlers. Tech seems to have regressed awfully far for starting with that conceit. I think I would have preferred a "generic" fantasy world that just sprang up somewhere; I don't think the "we know we were settled in the distant past" adds anything to the story. Other than that, though, the idea of natural disaster controllers is interesting and unusual. I think there's a sequel to it, and would like to read it.

The last was Dhampir, which, honestly, I almost put down. It was SLOW. Maybe I just wasn't in the right mood for it, bc I picked it back up again a few days later and finished the second half rather quickly. They mixed a dark ages vampire story with a bit of fantasy (we've got some elves, a small bit of magic, etc). The problem is that the opponents were more sympathetic than the protaganists, I think. There's a bit too much in the way of coincidences, too. But, I did finish it, and it wasn't bad, just not my first pick.

Currently reading:
Dragon Bones (The Hurog Duology, Book 1)
By Patricia Briggs

Currently reading:
Resenting the Hero
By Moira J. Moore

Currently reading:
By Barb Hendee

Posted at 12:00 am by Allura

Friday, November 09, 2007
SBQ: Recycling

When you have to frog out stitches, do you reuse that thread or do you start over with a new strand?

It depends what it looks like. Often, the thread gets frayed or broken or knotted. But if it looks fine, I'll keep going with it, particularly if I didn't have to frog the entire thread.

Posted at 11:59 pm by Allura

SBQ: Designing

If you were a cross stitch designer, what would your design style be?

Ooh...That's a good one. I like bright, jewel colors in a traditional style. I like fantasy topics and a lot of the portrait style ones (ala Miarbilia or MLI). I'd probably do some home decor/useful item stuff, too. There's only so much wall space in most homes.

Posted at 04:03 pm by Allura

SBQ: Railroading

Do you railroad?

Nope. I'm not even exactly sure what it is. IIRC, it's a technique where you lay each stitch over a little cynlidrical tool, so the stitches lay perfectly and have even tension. I know folks who say it's just as fast once they get going, but I have enough coordination issues, thanks. :)

Posted at 12:57 pm by Allura

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The personal blog of a freelance RPG editor, former engineer, wife, mom to two cats, voracious reader, cross-stitcher, pianist, gamer, browncoat, etc.

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Current Stitching: The Dreamer and Big Girl Panties

Current Editing: Crown Tales for Dark Quest Games

Friends and Family Links
  • Cross Stitch News
  • DH's Blog
  • Tensen's RPG Company, Dark Quest Gaming, and his LiveJournal
  • Karistan's website, blog, and our shared yahoogroup, NJ Needleworkers
  • Morte's blog and website
  • Gyr's blog and his leather business, Potted Fox
  • Becky's blog
  • Gwynnath's blog
  • A list I own, for people following Flylady with a chronic illness such as fibro, lyme, or CFS: Flying With Fibro
  • George's LiveJournal
  • Heather's blog

    Books/Projects I've Edited:
    For DQG:
  • Teams: Hit Squad
  • NPG: Rangers
  • NPG Bards
  • Teams: SWAT
  • Grimoire: Enchantment>
  • Teams: SAS
  • Alien Races: Zizak
  • Alien Races: Kildarx
  • Temporality
  • Parry & Riposte
  • Lost Creatures
  • Alien Races: Grallick
  • Weapon Rack: Daggers
  • Fell Races: Goblins
  • City Guide: Nautical Necessities
  • Lost Prehistorica
  • Dwarves: Hammer of the Dwarven Lords
  • Huts, Hovels, & Homes
  • Lich
  • City Guide: City Watch
  • Dweomercraft: Alchemy
  • Bestiary: Underground Critters
  • Grimoire: Abjuration
  • NPG Clerics
  • Clothing Bts 1
  • Hoards

    For Green Ronin:
  • Crisis in Freeport
  • True20 Worlds of Adventure
  • True20 Adventure Roleplaying
  • Bleeding Edge #1: Mansion of Shadows
  • Hamunaptra: Exile
  • Murder at the Vulgar Unicorn
  • Blue Rose Fast Play
  • The Black Company Campaign Setting Web Enhancement: Thieves of the Silver Spike
  • Trojan War Web Enhancement: Greater Divine Offspring
  • Book of Fiends Web Enhancement #2: Foes of the Fiends
  • Bleeding Edge #3: Dirge of the Damned
  • Agents of Freedon

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