Wednesday, 30 April 2014

A Regular Work-In-Progress You Are

Finally new photos of progress!! I have pictures of the Woodland Sampler - finally updated - as well as the newer piece I've been working on.


I began work on the October square - the one with the branch, beside the squirrel - this morning. I'm picking out colours for the owl right now, and hope to get him done before tomorrow evening, if I don't get distracted with other blocks! If all goes as planned and I keep working on this sampler, I should be finished before the end of May!


These are slippers that go with Hanbok. This piece will be full of traditional Korean images!

This one had some colours missing that I was replacing. Yesterday my Mother and I stopped by the local threads shop again at last (The Piddlin' Patch), and I picked up the last six colours I needed for this piece and its companion. I also got the most of the remaining colours I needed for the next few projects I want to get done this year. I'm cleaning up my list of projects and going through my patterns - I'll get plenty done the remainder of this year, I hope!

~x~

Friday, 25 April 2014

Beautiful Bag of Fabric!

 Look at all this fabric!!! It's a surprise gift from my Mother, from our favourite little threads shop. There is so much of it!! This is a whole load of fourteen count all bundled up, this one in mostly blues and various yellows. Cannot WAIT to get started on these!




 It came in one huge bag for $22, and bundled inside according to count. There's a lovely green in this set of 16 count.




 I think this is the 16 count. So many in so many colours!! The odd dark-grey/brown in the middle there is actually a very pretty purple, but that colour isn't coming across too well on the camera. It's exciting, having this many options available all of a sudden!


Tiny little bag of super-soft 22 count. I don't know what I'll ever use it for, but it's got a pretty dark blue and a soft beige in there.

I'll get to work on some of my UFOs asap so I can get to cracking on this batch of fabric! So many possibilities. . . . ~x~

UFO Landing

How long has it been since one of these posts?! Months and months, at least. O.O

Well, they are returning! Currently, all of my cross stitch counts as a UFO. I've started one further project since I last blogged about stitching, but even that has been a while in the bag. I haven't been very good at keeping up with this stuff. Back on a schedule for me I suppose!

One thing though is that I've hurt my wrist somewhat. Too much time on my computer, organizing pictures and playing old games, my right wrist has been overused, and is still on the way to getting better. What I've been doing instead is reading - lots. I've read 19 books since January 1st. I really want to correct only having read one or two books over the past few years, and fill in that A-Z list again! This month I completed 5 (the last one, Peony in Love by Lisa See was an absolute drag to get through and I really regretted picking it up at the last library sale), and I have about 4 in progress. What's weird is the number of books that fall in the L and M category, or the S and T category! There are so many that I've read or want to read that start with those letters that it's a little discouraging! I keep trying to fill in my alphabet list, and there are huge gaps for normal letters - C, D, G, & I for example - while the lower half of the alphabet has too many books written in to fit another!


I'm hoping to get more books finished before April is over, though probably only the shortest of the ones I'm working on, and then pick back up on stitching! I need to get the Woodland Sampler completed, which is still pretty much the same as the last I wrote of it, and the Halloween Carousel Horse. Those two are at the top of my list.

Here on out, Woodland Sampler and the Horse will be on Wednesdays for sure, with perhaps a single addition. The UFOs will likely be the Month Desserts (still haven't redone those) and the Welcome banner. What a sorry project - got started soon after moving in, and left it nearly finished for two and a half years!!

On the upside, I've redone the blog's appearance! I like the light colors on this design. I need to look over the freebies list and get it cleaned up a little, I think - rename and reorganize there, get it plainer where things are and remove old pages if there are any.

Until next time then!
~x~

Friday, 18 April 2014

Drama Roll - Nom Nom!

냠냠! Ready to dig into some more dramas with me? I pulled together a list of more or less all the dramas I've seen since I started watching dramas with Queen In Hyun's Man in 2012. I've arranged them in some form of organization: first are those I've watched all the way through; second are the ones I've watched nearly all the way through; and finally are those that I've only just begun or gave up on, and therefore only have seen a few episodes. Next to each drama, I've included their Korean or Chinese names, as well as how many episodes each one includes (just so you can better estimate how much time I've whiled away with them XD). Those in bold were my absolute favourites, ones which I would (in some cases have) watch again.

Watched all the way through: (bold meaning particular favourite/watched more than once)
  • Boys Over Flowers [25 episodes] (꽃 보다 남자)
  • Can You Hear My Heart? [30 episodes] (내 마음이 들리니?)
  • City Hunter [20 episodes] (시티 헌터)
  • Coffee Prince [17 episodes] (커피 프린스)
  • Flower Boy Ramyun Shop [16 episodes] (꽃미남 라면 가게)
  • Goong (aka Palace/Princess Hours) [24 episodes] (궁)
  • King 2 Hearts/The King 2 Hearts [20 episodes] (더 킹 투 하즈)
  • Lie to Me [18 episodes] (내게 거짓말을 해봐)
  • Moon Embracing the Sun [20 episodes] (해를 품은 달)
  • Nail Shop Paris [16 episodes] (네일 샵 파리스)
  • Innocent Man (aka Nice Man/Kind Man) [20 episodes] (착한 남자)
  • Playful/Mischievous Kiss [16 episodes + 7 YouTube special episodes] (장난스런 키스)
  • Queen In Hyun's Man [16 episodes] (인현왕후의 남자)
  • Secret Garden [20 episodes] (시크릿 가든)
  • Sungkyunkwan Scandal [20 episodes] (성균관 스캔들)
  • To the Beautiful You [16 episodes] (아름다운 그대에게)
  • You Who Came From the Stars [21 episodes] (별에서 온 그대)
  • You're Beautiful [16 episodes] (미남이시네요)
  • You've Fallen For Me/Heartstrings [15 episodes] (넌 내게 반했어)

I have reviewed You've Fallen For Me/Heartstrings and Moon Embracing the Sun HERE, and You Who Came From the Stars HERE.

King 2 Hearts (military/politics centred, focuses on an alternate reality with Lee Seung Gi acting as the King of South Korea and their relations with communist North Korea), Innocent Man (the story of a young, bright boy studying to be a doctor whose life gets screwed over by the girl he loves, goes to jail framed for murder, and what happens after), Nail Shop Paris (centred around a nail salon, mythical creatures known as Gumiho, and a lead character cross dressing to work at the all-male salon), as well as all the others in bold up there are all extreme favourites of mine, and I've watched more than a few of them two or three times! They all have excellent casts and plot lines, and I can whole-heartedly recommend them all to any who like dramas, or any who would like to start watching them on a good footing; though King 2 Hearts, Moon Embracing the Sun, and City Hunter have a couple of character deaths in them that are pretty darn sad. Just a warning.


The rest up there I like pretty well with the exceptions of Boys Over Flower and Secret Garden. I didn't like those at all, but watched them because every KDrama fan I met told me they were the best dramas in the world. You're Beautiful, Mischievous Kiss, Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, and to some extent Lie to Me were lackluster in my opinion, though with some funny scenes and sweet moments; just not anything I'm dying to watch again.


Watched nearly all the way through:
  • Big [8/16 episodes] (빅)
  • Faith [21/24 episodes] (신의)
  • Flower Boys Next Door [12/16 episodes] (이웃집 꽃미 남)
  • Gu Family Book [23/24 episodes] (구가의 서)

These were the dramas that were interesting to start with that at some point stopped being interesting.

Big I reviewed HERE in detail as to why it stopped being interesting so early.

Faith I'm still watching occasionally, dragging through to the end. One day it will be on my completed list! Every time I start watching, I get really into it, and watch several episodes at a time, but after I sit down and watch a few, I'm done and ready to do something else. I don't know what it is about that show. So I'm down to the last three, and eventually they will be watched!

Flower Boys Next Door I kept trying to watch, but I really can't get over Park Shin Hye's style of acting. She does well in the withdrawn character this show centres around, but the drama lacked anything of interest to me. Checking how many episodes I'd watched, I was surprised I had watched so far.

Gu Family Book did nothing wrong really, I was just ready for the show to close, rather than continue the same bad guy plots for so many episodes. I read the play-by-play on Dramabeans for the last episode and was thoroughly disgruntled at how it played out, and never watched the last episode. Dx


Dramas I gave up on:
  • Arang and the Magistrate [?/20 episodes] (아랑사또전)
  • Coffee House [6/18 episodes] (커피 하우스)
  • New Tales of Gisaeng [2/52 episodes] (신기생뎐)
  • Operation Proposal [6/16 episodes] (프로포즈 대작전)

I watched a few odd episodes of Arang and the Magistrate. I cannot recall how many, and don't have a record. Maybe four? At most four episodes. Though the ghost story was mildly interesting, giving a glimpse into another way of looking at death and the afterworld (in another culture), the story didn't catch me. I gave up on the drama, and looked up the ending several months later when I remembered it and wondered how they resolved the main relationship. I won't spoil you for it if any are watching/want to watch it, but reading about it, I was not happy and I'm rather glad I didn't watch the whole thing to get to that ending.

Coffee House was similarly unappealing, with funny moments but easily forgettable. I actually started watching with my sister, and both of us just drifted away from watching it very quickly. What's funny about this drama is that it stars Park Si Yeon, who acted in Innocent Man, Kang Ji Hwan, who starred in Lie to Me, and Jung Woong In, who is the evil baddie in my current drama I Hear Your Voice! Looking at the pictures to this drama now that I've seen those three others makes me laugh to see such a grouping. The main female lead is played by a member of Kpop girl group T-ARA, and she's the only one (of the main cast) that I haven't seen somewhere else!

New Tales of Gisaeng I started without knowing how many episodes there were; while it was typically slow and disjointed at the beginning as most dramas are when they just get started, it didn't really keep my interest though I was fascinated by the Gisaeng world, and I wasn't going to slog through 52 episodes for the gems. Sad but true.
 
Operation Proposal felt really dark and sort of scary to me; not in a 'I want to scream' sort of way, but in a sort of. . . . doomed way? Like nothing was going to turn out well. It had a dark feel to it, is all I can say. I've seen bits and pieces of later episodes and it looks like it turns out well; I just don't want to drag through the gloom to get there.


New Dramas!
  • I Hear Your Voice [4/18 episodes] (너의 목소리가 들려)
  • Secret Love Affair [6/20 episodes] (밀회)
Secret Love Affair (or Secret Dating) is actually a new drama, currently halfway through airing (up to episode 10 available on DramaFever as of this date), and I'm four episodes behind. I skipped through most of the first episode and the setting up of the pieces. I'm sure I'll pay for it later. >.<

So far, it's been really good, the actors top-notch, and the plot only a little slow. It's hard to get into the drama's problems outside of the main couple's (a married, middle aged woman and a 20 y/o piano prodigy); I find myself looking a little askance at the 'emergencies' (such as the piano scare, locking down the building and calling in security after an unrecognized person was seen playing a newly tuned piano just hours before a concert) and the squabbles between the different wealthies are a little tiring. I'm sure that's how the characters feel too, but I've been able to hold off skipping through subsequent episodes.

I've seen a few people raving about the lighting and sets in the comments sections, though I find the repeated use of panning around the characters through a lattice so there are constantly bars covering the screen and the characters are hidden from view to be irritating. I agree that the lighting is nice, gives an interesting feel to the show, and the characters so far seem to have nice fashion tastes (unlike the oddities that were pranced about in You who Came from the Stars!).

I Hear Your Voice aired last year, so it's recent, but not still airing. I have no idea where the drama is going, since I haven't read any reviews prior to watching (oh no, I'm probably in for it now), and I'm just along for the ride on this one. It's very different to what I usually watch - it's in the legal realm of South Korea, following prosecutors and lawyers and trials in the legal system. Lots of new vocabulary! I'm constantly clicking back and forth on Viki (as they have the full subtitles in English and Korean on this show so far) to see what words mean, like 'defendant' or 'perjury' or the many and varied law terms. The main characters are a high school senior - a teen who can read people's minds -  and a lawyer-turned-public-defender (the lawyer that minors, poor, etc. get to defend them in court if they cannot afford a lawyer of their own) that is several years older. I've only watched 4 episodes, but so far I've been utterly absorbed, and look forward to watching more episodes!





















In this list, I've seen around 29 Korean dramas at this time. I'm unsure whether I've left any out, considering my memory (I found a written list I'd made months ago that included dramas I had watched and very much liked but forgotten to include on the list I was making on my computer!), but 29 is a pretty good number!

Taiwanese Dramas!
  • Fall in Love with Me [30 episodes] (愛上兩個我)
  • Fondant Garden [16 episodes] (翻糖花園)
  • Just You/I Just Want You to Love Me [21 episodes] (就是要你愛上我 )
  • Love You/Drunken to Love You [18 episodes] (醉後決定愛上你)
  • Romantic Princess [13 episodes] (公主小妹)
  • Substitute Princess/Jin Da Hua's Magnificent Adventure [21 episodes] (金大花的華麗冒險 )
  • ToGetHer/Superstar Express [13 episodes] (愛就宅一起)

Romantic Princess was excellent. I loved it; though it started out with the main characters not liking each other very much, they quickly moved on into other fields, and let the relationship build. Taiwanese dramas can often be refreshing on this front, where Korean dramas seem to want to hold the successful relationship of the main characters over viewers' heads for as long as possible! Though it got a little slow at the end for my tastes, I watched it all the way through and was very happy with it. It's a fluffy, happy go lucky, princess/cinderella story that is really easy to watch.

Substitute Princess I reviewed midway through watching it. I really loved that drama and up until the last episode or two it was my all-time favourite Taiwanese drama, if not my top drama since In Hyun's Man. But the way they blew off the ending without her properly settling her relationship, with just a smile at the end so you're supposed to believe they get together, doesn't close any of the plot points they'd brought up as obstacles to their relationship. It was fantastic and different and utterly intriguing until that point. What made it worse was that my sister and I watched that drama together, staying up until 2 or 3 in the morning to get to the final episode, and to be utterly let down by it left us tired and grumpy for days. XD

Fall in Love with Me is currently airing, and I'm loving it. It's a funny, quirky sort that I like to take in small doses, so only having the first two episodes right now is perfect for me. As with Secret Love Affair, I'll watch as it airs. Just You and Fall in Love with Me both star Aaron Yan as the male lead, and I'm fast becoming a fan of his acting. I started Just You a while back, and am picking it back up again. With the addition of these two dramas, I've officially seen every member of Fahrenheit in a drama (Fahrenheit being a Taiwanese boy band, consisting originally of four members, two of which - Wu Chan and Calvin Chen - starred in Romantic Princess, Aaron Yan starring in the previously mentioned two dramas, and Jiro Wang in ToGetHer, as well as in the Taiwanese version of Mischievous Kiss [It Started with a Kiss]).


As far as Japanese dramas go, I've seen "Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge" (ヤマトナデシコ七変化 ), and the first season of Hana Yori Dango (Boys Over Flowers), as well as bits and pieces of both seasons of the Taiwanese version of Mischievous Kiss (惡作劇之吻). All together that's about 37 dramas! Phew! Hopefully next time I'll have a more blog-appropriate post: this place is turning into a drama review blog rather than staying a cross stitch blog. I kinda want to keep them together, since otherwise, when I'm not actively stitching or making a lot of progress I have literally nothing to post about; while with dramas I have something to fill the gaps with. I don't do a very good job posting regularly at any rate, but at least dramas are getting watched whether or not I'm stitching. I have opened a new Tumblr blog that I'll start posting my reviews on with more pictures, and perhaps write up extra reviews for other dramas I mentioned here that I won't post on this blog to keep it free-er from the drama stuff. Hmm. I'll have to think about it.

Anyway! There's that for a long post. Hopefully not too long till the next!

~x~