Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Books 28, 29 and 30

Just three audio books from Librivox and Audio Library this week. 'The Invisible Man' by H G Wells which I totally loved, 'The Black Arrow' by Robert Louis Stevenson which I stuck with but was all a bit 'meh!' And finally revisiting a childhood favourite 'Heidi' by Johanna Spyri which was a case of some books you just grow out if.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Quilt top

This has been occupying my time the last couple of days. It's not the neatest I've ever made but considering that my attention has been distracted from patchwork and quilting for about the last 7 years or so it's not too bad. Very basic using a couple of charm packs but I enjoyed working out the colours, patterns, lights and darks.

I've basted the backing and wadding into place and now am hand quilting it - again very basic - but I do so love to hand quilt. I can do all the free hand machine stuff but there is something so satisfying in the actual stitching square by square- it's always been my favourite bit.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hello old friend.

 Been a long time since we spent much time together (so long in fact that I had a devils own job getting the upper thread threading right...then realised it was the tension that had been moved whilst in storage some how that was causing me grief) once I resolved the problem it was liking riding a bike (metaphorically of course) and me and my Bruv were back in harmony and working well together. I know it is now considered an old machine but I've had it from new and I love it. It does everything easily and well and sews beautifully and I love not having to use a foot pedal and having the speed control this machine gives.
 And why did I need my machine? Cos I am in a quilting bee and I had to machine sew a square for the person currently receiving squares from our bee. The read and pink quartered square is pretty simple and that is what was machined today. The other one, I got to do early as I was first person in the bee receiving list and I couldn't make my own square until I saw what I was getting (see photo below), is for the organiser and her remit was it had to be autumnal colours and contain hexagons. I paper pieced it and then applied it to an 8" backing square. Considering that I haven't touched patchwork in quite a long time I am pleased with both my efforts.
Here are the wonderful squares that I have received from the other Bee'ers so far - arent' they fab? I gave a loose definition of what I wanted - bright contrasts and traditional or crazy patchwork designs. I think they all fit the bill. Just got to decide how I will add to them and what they will become.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Finally...some sense.

(stolen from a post on the Border Terrier World forum)

Winner of Griffith University's annual competition for most appropriate definition of a contemporary term; this years term was 'political correctness';

"Political correctness is a doctrine -- fostered by a delusional, illogical minority and rapidly promoted by mainstream media --
which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."

Little things.

 It's been a brain phart kind a couple of weeks - I have started and ripped out more projects than I care to recall. My head has been all over the shop and my mojo left home in despair. Then on Wednesday a friend from knitting group gave me a birthday present. Six delightful little skeins of hand dyed yarn, she is a crocheter (as well as many other things) as well and knew I was hexagoning again in sock yarn and she thought these would be perfect and they are. (Am really sorry but I can't for the life of recall who she said dyed them - brain phart is still holding sway). I got them balled up as soon as I got in - cos I just couldn't resist them.
 Last night I crocheted up four of the colours and edged them. I think they will fit in really well. This project is the only one I have any really enthusiasm for at the moment.
It is growing, some are crocheted together and I have a whole pile ready to be added. I love the pick and put downess of this kind of project. These little colourful hexagons can fill a few minutes or hours depending on my suffering attention span.
These are some other little things than I managed to finish. A family member is going to have a little girl soon and luckily the Mum in waiting likes pretty and knitted things - so I could indulge myself a little. The cardi is in garter stitch but the shawl collar and lace edging (and the little ducky button) lift it from being plain and as for the socks - they are just too dinky for words (the hat to match them is on the needles).

My lack of motivation is still sapping my mojo though and I've yet to think of or to find a project that moves me in any way. ...........I've not even got any socks on the needles....that's how bad it is! I have a long term lace project that is secret so I can't post it and my long term cardigan (garment knitting is always slow when it's for me) and an easy take anywhere garter stitch shawlette/scarf type thing and that is it- no other knitting. I will spend today trying to find inspiration *sighs*.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Book 27

'Paper Towns' by John Green
Format - Kindle

Just finished this (it was one of the first books I got on my Kindle and I've been saving it to read) it is brilliant. It is moving, funny and insightful and it gets you thinking about how we perceive others. I couldn't put it down. I love the authors voice and his characterisation - clever wonderful book.

Paper Towns by John Green. It is worth the money to download it - I know that at first look it could appear to be a typical teenage lit novel but I promise you it isn't.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Books 23-26

'A Weekend with Mr Darcy' by Victoria Connelly.
Format - Kindle.

I liked this. Easy, kind of fluffy, lots of Austen references and a little obvious but that didn't detract from its readability. I've downloaded the next one in the series ready for an evening when I want to be entertained without taxing my noggin. It is a romance and I do have to be in the mood for romance but it was well written with a smidge of humour and the heroines weren't too wet - just a little damp around the edges.

'Dusk' by Alexia Jefferies & Amber Smith
Format - Kindle

The book gets two awards - 1) for the worst written book I've read in a long time and 2) for the most blatant plagiarism I think I've ever come across - the books subtitle should be 'Aka Vampire Diaries'. This is a first book in a series, I don't think the others are written yet (any maybe it should stay that way) but it throws you into a set of characters and then neglects to really explain anything about them - I went and checked that it wasn't a second book, it then does the same with new characters as if you should know them and some just appear out of nowhere with no explanation ever. The dialogue is dismal and the plot is worse. There are some many things from VD including an 'original' called Elijah  who is hunting a doppleganger who has a vampire sister called.....wait for it.......Katerina - cos no-one who likes Vampire stuff would even notice...would they?
I love Vampire lit but this is the worst I have ever encountered - I will not be reading anything by these authors.

'Snow Flower and the Secret Fan' by Lisa See

I had a little hiatus in the middle of this book (got distracted by Vampires) but none the less it is an interesting read and is well written. It isn't the best book but it is informative and has a good pace. It is quite an alien world too which makes it a page turner for a modern woman to read - the foot binding info isn't as shocking as 'The Binding Chair' but it still makes you wince. I did feel the latter half of the book had a better pace as the start seemed a little slow.

'The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde' by Robert Louis Stevenson
Format - Librivox Audio Book - read by Kristen Hughes.

Ok I love this. Never read it before and it is so much better than I thought it would be. I was engrossed and the narrator has a lovely reading voice - it almost made the book poetical - will listen to it again!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Light, colour and texture.

 Taken by M yesterday - from our lounge window - a single beam of light making a spotlight on the sea.
 Tonight's sunset - about 5.40pm - again from the lounge window (taken by me).
 Flowers from my Mum - she knows I love contrasting bright colours.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Beanbag budger

Every time I get comfy in the little beanbag I get squished out of it by the beanbag budger aka Fergus McNortybeard. It is so not fair. He sits above me and huffs and wriggles and budges until I have no space left. If he could read I'd a letter of complaint!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Books 20-22

'The Vampire's Warden', 'The Vampire's Curse' and 'The Vampire's Redemption'  by S.J Wright.
Format - Kindle.

Still hooked (again) on vampire fiction and apart from the above I haven't read much at all this week. I do have two other books on the go and one audio book but this week I needed easy, light reading and these fitted the bill. I have to say that books one and two I whizzed through but book three stalled me for a couple of days because, to be honest, it was a bit dismal. I spent most of the latter half of the book thinking 'FFS - just hurry up and end will you' not really a good attitude to have but that's is how it made me felt. I doubt I will bother any more that may come out in this series I found the main characters insipid and limp (apart from Michael) and the author just did make them come alive and the plot was jumpy.

Hopefully this week coming I will get a bit more reading time under my belt and I have gone back to the other books, though I do have a couple of trashy ones stashed on my Kindle in case I still am suffering from low attention threshold again.

Monday, February 06, 2012


 I was thinking the other day that I am making no progress in anything much. Then when I decided to sit down and get these socks off of the needles over the weekend I realised I was wrong. This is my third pair of completed socks since the new year, I finished them before the end of the first week in February - that isn't really bad going - is it? Three pairs of socks in six weeks.If that was all I'd done (craft wise) I'd be happy.

I have also crochet 60+ hexagons, designed and am knitting a new stole and have done at least 4 repeats of the 20 row pattern, have cast on and am half way down the leg of next pair of socks and have finished the back and one front of a long term cardigan project.

All that aside - the socks are V Junkie by Alice Yu from her books 'Socktopus' they were knit on 2 x 2.5mm circular needles in a sock yarn dyed by a friend and gifted as a birthday present a few years back. I did get a bit of 2nd sock syndrome but that was because I was trying to get Mum's socks of the needles in plenty of time for her birthday. It's an easy pattern with a really good short row heel. I had to fudge the sizing a bit as I needed a medium leg and a small foot but the pattern was well written enough that I could do it with ease.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Books 17, 18 and 19.

'Around the World in Eighty Days' by Jules Verne
Format - audio book - Librivox - read by Mark. F. Smith

Never read this, it never appealed but as I had decided to make a good percentage of my audio books this year to be books I'd never normally read, I thought I'd give it go. Glad I did. I loved it. It is a cross between a boys own adventure and a Victorian version of a Bill Bryson travel book. I got into to it straight away and did not get bored once. So much better than the film versions too.
The narrator did a really good job - I liked his kind of laconic drawl and it helped the portrayal of Fogg's character perfectly. I have saved the book on my iPod cos I think it is one I will listen to again!

'The Blood that Bonds' and 'Blood Hunt' by Christopher Buecheler
Format - Kindle.

I thought I was over my vampire literature obsession....obviously I was wrong. I read  the review of some one else, went to have a look on Amazon, saw the first book is free and off I went. Both books are good, but the second (which isn't free but is still a good price) was my favourite and has left me waiting for the third book eagerly. They are very much of the genre but they have a better balance of violence, sex and actual story than most. Both were page turners that I read with ease and speed and the author writes well and with a good pace. If I had to find a negativc it would be that one of the main characters, the one the second books starts with, then disappears almost completely, with a  few brief mentions by other characters here and there, a couple of paragraphs in the middle of the book and then back in the epilogue, this frustrated me a bit as the other characters carried on fully throughout the book and I kept waiting for this ones story line to kick back in. From the epilogue I assume her tale will resume in book three but was a bit annoying.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

WTF? (bought to you by the word F**k)

The title should warn you that this could (is) be one of my ranty posts, I don't do as many of them these you miss them? Thought not.

WTF is up with this obsession about snow - so what - it might snow and? People longing for snow, people panic buying because there is a remote possible it might snow, people talking about snow....why?

It is a weather phenomenon over which we as humans have no control, wishing for it or preparing for it will not make it happen or the reverse. It is frozen rain, what is the biggie? And in the UK unless you are in the North or Scottyland -  TBH it's not going to be that bad or last that long (normally), it is going to be slush in two days.

FFS people get a grip - it is snow, it is not going to feed the starving, cure cancer or change your life...other than you get the opportunity, willing or maybe not, to make a tit of yourself, dress like a demented yeti and either rejoice or moan.

On a personal level....I hate the fucking stuff. Where I live, in a little close on a steep slope off a quiet road in a suburb, two miles from the nearest decent shop - snow = disruption of no buses and using dried milk cos some dick will slew his car across the close so no other fucker can get out. Also if M is on call this can be fun and as his firm doesn't 'do' snow days it means loosing money or holiday allowance if some dick slews his car etc - you get the picture.

It also amazed me that on the BBC weather yesterday right after the 6 O'clock news the weatheridiot advised people to follow the forecasts.....again I ask why? What the fuck for? Those fuckers never get it right.....hurricane 1987....I rest my case. And the weather forecasters are such a lacklustre boring bunch of nonces these days, all the personality of a tin of rice pudding.

So I will not be following the forecasts, I don't really care if it snows but would prefer it if it didn't and will, from now, ignore all moronic comments, behaviours and wishes for snow. And if it doesn't happen I will piss my pants laughing at anyone who has the opposite opinion to me. And if does you can all snigger right back at me but I can guarantee I will not be making a tit of myself (on purpose) or dressing like a yeti, I will batten down the hatches until it is all gone!