Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Bookshelf is coming along, in spite of myself. I had a mild case of
the frogs the other day, which set me back a wee bit. I was working on the
middle section with the author's names and realized that the top row of
names was several lines higher then the books on either side of that area.
Hmmm. Some checking soon revealed that I'd stitched the book spines too
short. So I had to pick out the blackish and the gold (ouch!!) threads down
to where I'd made the error, and work back from there. The repair has
been done, as can be seen in the above picture, and now I can continue
my stitching.
It seems most stitching bloggers always have at least a couple of projects
on the go at the same time. Some of them even have a different project for
each day of the week. Good grief!! Well, I was feeling a bit restless with
the muted colours of The Bookshelf, and felt in need of a break. I've been
itching to start one of the Little House Needlework's/Crescent Colours
packs, and Peaches is the one that I wanted most to start. So I did. My
first foray into hand dyed threads. Mmmmmmm. Pretty. I'm very
happy with this one

I ordered some books for a friend the other day, and added a few extra
from my wish list to round out the package. I ordered the latest Anne
Bishop, in the Ephemera series, which is called Belladonna. I also ordered
the first book in her Black Jewels trilogy. I blame Kerry for these two,
and for all the other Anne Bishop books that I'm going to have to get.

The third book that I ordered had just come out that week. Jacqueline
Carey's Kushiel's Justice. Oh, I love Jacqueline Carey's books!! This is
the finest, most exquisitely written, richly detailed series going. I can't
put them down when I'm reading them, and I'm devastated when I
finish them and face having to wait a year for the next. I am seriously
smitten by Imriel de la Courcel, the hero of this series. I can't
recommend these books enough.

I had a surprise package in the mail a week ago too. Back in January (!!)
I'd placed an order with The Cross Stitch Cupboard in Ottawa. I did
eventually received most of the items in my order, except for three Needles
Necessities threads which were on back order. I eventually forgot about
these, until they arrived, almost five months after I'd ordered them. Now
if only I could remember what project I was ordering them for....

It's the Canada Day (July 1st) long weekend here and it looks as though
it's going to be a beauty. Sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70's. Just
perfect weather for sitting on the deck and cross stitching. And barbecuing
too. Beef kabobs tonight, chicken breasts tomorrow, and probably ham
burgers on Monday. Perfect. Most of our neighbours appear to have gone
away for the holidays so it's very quiet and peaceful around here.

Nothing like a cup of tea and a good read. DH and Rupert enjoying their
leisure this morning at the kitchen table.

Karen asked me what the book Elantris was about. Quoting from the
blurb on Indigo book seller's sight:

"Elantris was the capital of Arelon: gigantic, beautiful, literally radiant, filled
with benevolent beings who used their powerful magical abilities for the
benefit of all. Yet each of these demigods was once an ordinary person until
touched by the mysterious transforming power of the Shaod. Ten years ago,
without warning, the magic failed. Elantrians became wizened, leper-like,
powerless creatures, and Elantris itself dark, filthy, and crumbling. Arelon''s
new capital, Kae, crouches in the shadow of Elantris. Princess Sarene of
Teod arrives for a marriage of state with Crown Prince Raoden, hoping --
based on their correspondence -- to also find love. She finds instead that
Raoden has died and she is considered his widow. Both Teod and Arelon
are under threat as the last remaining holdouts against the imperial
ambitions of the ruthless religious fanatics of Fjordell. So Sarene decides
to use her new status to counter the machinations of Hrathen, a Fjordell
high priest who has come to Kae to convert Arelon and claim it for his
emperor and his god. But neither Sarene nor Hrathen suspect the truth
about Prince Raoden. Stricken by the same curse that ruined Elantris,
Raoden was secretly exiled by his father to the dark city. His struggle
to help the wretches trapped there begins a series of events that will
bring hope to Arelon, and perhaps reveal the secret of Elantris itself.
A rare epic fantasy that doesn''t recycle the classics and that is a
complete and satisfying story in one volume, Elantrisis fleet and fun,
full of surprises and characters to care about. It''s also the
wonderful debut of a welcome new star in the constellation of fantasy."

Hope you can find this book where you live Karen. It's a wonderful read.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

A weeks progress on "The Bookshelf". It moves along fairly easily, with
just a few scattered stitches that require careful planning to make sure
that the threads don't show through the linen and spoil the effect. I find
it interesting how the designer has chosen to use somewhat plain, muted
colours, with just a touch of a brighter red thread used here and there.
The gold thread, which will be used mostly on the bindings of the books
stitched at the top of this piece, will add a subtle glint and remind us that
these books are as precious as fine gold.

I started reading "Elantris" by Brandon Sanderson this week and it's
fantastic. Kerry, you mentioned having this in your "to be read"
stack. You will love this story!! A wonderfully well written fantasy,
with a story told from the view point of three characters, in
alternating chapters. I thought this might be the first of a trilogy
but it now appears that it's a stand alone story. The author does
currently have two books out that are part of a trilogy but I don't
think those books have any connection to this one.

Shannon, I've always tried to read books in order of publication.
Even Kathy Reich's books, which I don't consider to be as heavily
into the main character's relationships as other writer's (such as
Elizabeth George) can be. Or at least her books aren't as detailed.
Still, reading a series in order you get to know the main character
in much the same way as you would a real person. Hope you enjoy
the books as much as I've done.

Work is still crazy busy, and that along with the long, sun filled
days allowing for evening time spent working in the garden and
just sitting outside on the deck, means less computer time. I'm
behind on reading and commenting on blogs. Life's just too busy.

Our local library had their yearly book sale today, and the
farmer's market opened as well. Since both events were in the
same area of Georgetown we attended both. Picked up a pile of
lovely books at the sale, including a beautiful National Geographic
book on China, and a couple of hard cover novels in excellent
condition. I also picked up two cross stitch books. One is of
Kate Greenaway's illustrations translated to cross stitch. The
other is a sampler motif book by Brenda Keyes.

At the market we picked up some lovely strawberries to enjoy
for desert tonight, and some meat from the local butcher for
the barbecue, assuming the weather holds. It's gotten quite
overcast this afternoon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The decision was made. The fabric was selected. The threads were
gathered. The stitching began. Introducing my next
Little House Needlework's "The Bookshelf". Combining my two main
obsessions, books and cross stitch. I'm using the recommended 28 count
light mocha linen, and the recommended threads, all DMC. This is about a
week and a half's work, with not a great deal getting done this week thanks
to work.

Work is why I've not been updating my blog as much as I would have liked.
First of the month is crazy at the best of times, but throw in being short
staffed due to holidays and illness, a new section of work being given to our
department to process, and one body to do it instead of the two bodies it
took in the department where it use to be done, and you've got chaos!
Many late nights meant coming home, eating dinner (a sandwich, glass of
milk and cookies) and going to bed. I've not even been on my computer
three nights out of five. Shocking!!! When I have been on line, I've been
reading blogs and using the images of other peoples stitching to sooth my
frazzled nerves, and to relax me. Although the sight of Becky's stitching
room certainly got my adrenaline pumping. Couldn't you just spend
several hours (days) in there gazing and drooling and sighing???

As of last weekend I finished planting all the pots for this summer, and I'm
quite pleased with the results. As usual I just bought stuff that appealed to
me at the garden centres, without bothering to concern myself with a colour
scheme, or theme or whatever. I like to mix the texture and style of the
leaves for contrast, and of course I have my favourites which I buy every
year. Things like variegated leaf Geraniums, Heliotrope, Lantana, carnation
and marigold. And the double petal Petunia's in various colours are really
lovely this year.

The rabbit hasn't been around lately (at least I haven't seen him/them) but
the poor plants in my garden are being trampled by territorial squirrels
chasing each other through the undergrowth without care or regard for my
delicate little plants. Meanwhile, the chipmunks have began showing up at
the back door, looking for handouts, much to the frustration of the cats. It's
a good thing that we have a sturdy back door.

I have gotten a good bit of reading done this week, during breaks
and on my way home from work. I started "Sebastian" on Monday
and finished it on Thursday. It was wonderful. My first Anne
Bishop book, and I loved it, and especially the character of
Sebastian. The author has a great sense of humour too, which is
always important to me. This is a fantasy novel, and will probably
be the first of a trilogy. I'm going to have to start collecting all of
her books now.
On Friday I began the Kathy Reichs book "Break No Bones" and I
finished it on Saturday. I've been collecting and reading Ms Reich's
books from the very beginning and I enjoy her very much. Again,
she has that dry sense of humour that I love, and I'm fascinated by
the descriptions of the forensic work featured in each books. These
are quick reads, although I will go back and reread some of the more
technical parts to make sure that I'm clear on what's happening.

DH spent yesterday working in the garden, digging, trimming,
tying things up, and cleaning up from the heavy rainstorm that
passed through Southern Ontario on Friday afternoon. No major
damage in our yard, although there were some large tree limbs down
in the area. Of course I left work Friday afternoon in the midst of
the storm, and just a five minute walk to my bus stop left me
soaking wet from the hips down (I had my umbrella keeping my
head and shoulders dry). Thank goodness I'd left my x-stitching home
that day because I knew the bad weather was coming, and I wasn't
going to have much stitching time that day at work anyways.

And finally, as always, a cat picture. Rupert helping to make the bed last
Sunday. He loves to get wrapped up in the sheets, and then tickled.

Cheers everyone. Thanks for dropping by.