Thursday, 31 December 2015

Fairy Tale Detectives & Autumnal Progress

I shall be attempting to take a photo of my progress along with the book I am currently reading during this year. Wish me luck!

Reading: Once Upon a Crime, Book 4 of The Sisters Grimm series
She's starting to form! The tie to her blouse is nearly completed, and a few of the designs on the skirt have appeared! I'm not sure if I want to continue upward and stitch her face, or go down and fill out the skirt first.

Decisions, decisions.

And I've finished another book since my last post! I didn't think I'd get it done before the end of the year, but I did!

I did the same thing last year, reading a total of 74 (not 70) books, which never made it into the lineup. The additional four are the first four in the Fablehaven series, pictured above (which is getting a sequel series in autumn this upcoming year, called DragonWatch!!). And the additional one this year is Michael Buckley's "The Problem Child," third in the series The Sisters Grimm.

I'm thinking I may have to resolve to make resolutions this year. There's something about it that's harder this year. It's been more difficult to settle on a book plan, more difficult to come up with decent resolutions, more difficult just in general to think up things that I want to be doing, posting about in a year's time. I've come up with the sort-of idea that I want to post my current read with current progress, since I really liked doing that back when I was working on Winter Wonderland. But that's about it.



Monday, 28 December 2015

A Year of Books

Not as many as last year, but 52 isn't anything to sneeze at! I had fun trying to fit them all into the screen and trying out the panoramic function on my camera.

This year I didn't follow an A-Z challenge, but rather books I'd always been intending to read. I posted about the challenge back in December of last year, and I actually did manage to read more than 50! A good deal of them were books I'd wanted to re-read for quite a while - books from my childhood - rather than books already on my shelves.

All but four of them are books that are already around in the house; all but one of them is pictured!

18,877 pages read!  19,210 pages read!

Books in descriptions are presented in the order they were read. Books are counted in the month they are finished - if I read a book all of September, but finished it on the first of October, it's counted as an October book.

Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

Dragon Flight by Jessica Day George

Dragon Spear by Jessica Day George


Sun & Moon, Ice & Snow by Jessica Day George

Wolf Tower by Tanith Lee

Wolf Star by Tanith Lee


Wolf Queen by Tanith Lee

Wolf Wing by Tanith Lee

Faerie Path by Frewin Jones

The Lost Queen by Frewin Jones

The Sorcerer King by Frewin Jones (seen below, library books)

The Year of Impossible Goodbyes by Choi Sook Nyul

Eragon by Christopher Paolini


Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

The Shamer's Daughter by Lene Kaaberbøl


So Far from the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins

Inheritance by Christopher Paolini

Sender Unknown by Sallie Lowenstein


Year of Living Biblically by A. J. Jacobs (this one sucked)

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
(these last two were brilliant though!)


The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani

Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdoch

The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani


Bella At Midnight by Diane Stanley

The Shamer's Signet by Lene Kaaberbøl

The Serpent Gift by Lene Kaaberbøl

The Shamer's War by Lene Kaaberbøl

Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

In the Hand of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce


The Woman Who Rides like a Man by Tamora Pierce

Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

The Savage Damsel and the Dwarf by Gerald Morris


Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott (LOVED this book!)

First Test by Tamora Pierce

Page by Tamora Pierce


Squire by Tamora Pierce
Lady Knight by Tamora Pierce

Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale (not pictured; a library book)

The Legend of Holly Claus by Brittney Ryan  (finally!)

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor


Seeing Redd by Frank Beddor

The School of Fear by Gitty Daneshvari

Class is Not Dismissed by Gitty Daneshvari

The Final Exam by Gitty Daneshvari

A Tale of Two Castles by Gail Carson Levine

The Fairy Tale Detectives by Michael Buckley

The Unusual Suspects by Michael Buckley

Now I just have to come up with a new challenge for next year. Hrm. I've been looking about at a couple, but I'm not really sure. There are heaps of history books in my room I keep putting off reading because I want to read them in historical order and not get confused about the timing of things, but I was thinking now about putting up a timeline and making points along it to help me fit things together as I read in whatever order I please.

I definitely want to do a few re-reads, the Lord of the Rings and Ivanhoe among them, but I'm not sure if there's a challenge I can really pick. Maybe another TBR (to be read) challenge, like this year? All the books I was planning on reading anyway? Sounds about right.

I'll be kitting up the threads I want to use on the Fall girl to go beside the Winter Girl tonight, and updating the Cross Stitch Page at the top of the blog soon; I'm still reading - it's possible I'll get 53 books in yet! - and I've yet to nail down any resolutions I really want to do. Perhaps I'll get to that as well tonight.

I'll miss my list! I'll have to turn the page and write anew. It's always so lonely looking through the first few months of the year, especially as it's during school months now and I don't get to read as much.

Now to write some resolutions and sort some threads!


Sunday, 27 December 2015

1 Season down, 3 Seasons to go!

She's finished!!

I got her done early this morning (meaning, 3 am), and I can hardly believe it. I added the fur on the cap at the very last, and I was so glad to have gotten her done - I'm going to have to take a break from stitching for a few days just to give my arms a rest!

The Chinese Character for Winter

I wanted to share some pictures of people wearing the same pieces as she is to give you an idea of what is what. First is the 아얌 (ayahm) hat.

This last cap is actually a 조바위 (jobawi) since it covers the ears, but is overall quite similar to the hat in the stitched piece - the tassel & ornament, strand of beads, white fur edging. These are open at the top, not closed, which isn't obvious in the stitching.

She's carrying a 'coat,' which could be one of three things.

쓰치마 (sseuchima, Conspiracy in the Court drama)
장옷 (jangot, Moon Embracing the Sun drama)
두루마기 (durumagi)
The lack of sleeves visible on the coat draped over her arm leads me to think that it's likely the 쓰치마, the first of the pictures. The difference between the first two is that the first of the images is in design quite like the 치마 (chima) skirt, while the second is in design quite like a 조고리 (jeogori) blouse, though obviously with a much elongated form like 두루마기 (durumagi).

Both of the first two examples were used as ways to keep a maiden hidden from the public eye/men as she went about outside of her house. Veils were also employed.

The final picture also shows a form of 아얌 (ayahm), with the strand of pearls/beads, and the ornament with tassel at the front. The fur on the top is the top edge, where the crown of her head is exposed.

This is one of my favourite pictures. Here she's wearing a fur edged vest like the stitching. She's wearing a 풍차 (pungcha) here, which you can tell by the cheek flaps on it.

If anyone's interested in a post dedicated to the variances in Joseon-era headgear, male and female, please do check out this awesome post at the Talking Cupboard; I found a few of my pictures there and the info is really good.

Well, winter break is nearly over - the high schools and lower are nearly ready to get back into their regular schedules, and I'll be going back to college soon as well, though I have a bit more time. Hopefully I can get Fall started soon - somewhere to the left of the Winter Girl - and finish up another book or two before then. And I must come up with some New Year's Resolutions!!

Hope everyone's having a good & safe end to their December!


Friday, 25 December 2015

So Very Close + Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas! I hope everyone had a blessed, happy day today! We had a great day that started at four this morning. Got a beautiful rosy dawn, and then it rained for the rest of the day, very warm, very wet - unusual, but lovely just the same!

I got loads more stitching in again! I'm really surprised at how far I've come - there's really only a little bit left.

Everything but her mouth is finished, head down. All the backstitching is complete but for the bamboo on the side, and, of course, the ayam once stitched. And bonus points - the reds for her hair tie on the side by her coat are a perfect mix of reds: I'm going to go rip out that ugly disaster I created and redo it in these colours!

I wish I could keep stitching, but after a full day of it, I can't go any further without damaging something; I'll give my arms a rest and instead work on catching up with Miss Fisher!


Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Fur! + Happy Christmas Eve!

Christmas Adam has at last trickled past and Christmas Eve is upon us! One more night and it shall be Christmas Day - the best day of the year! (Yes, even surpassing Halloween.)

I've got a fair bit of progress! Her hands are finished (though not fully outlined), a load of outlining has happened, the skirt is nearly done, and her vest has fur!

I picked up a card of white 'Wisper Thread' back when my local cross stitch supply store was closing. Everything was marked down, and I decided to give the specialty thread a try. I had a mind to stitch it over my old Winter Mirabilia, but never got around to it. I remembered the thread midway through this project and knew I had to give it a try!

I had already stitched the vest and white trim in regular cross stitch thread as you can see in my last update. I stitched full cross stitches of the wisper thread with one thread (not two) over all of the vest trim, and I really like the fuller effect that had. It was a bit hard to get started with the thread, but once I got used to it was okay. And it's so soft!

The purples are looking okay in the skirt? I think sometimes that it might be wrong, but I'll come back to it after a break and think it looks okay. Fingers crossed for it looking good at the end!


Monday, 21 December 2015

Moonlit Progress

Happy Solstice everyone!

Got loads of progress made today! I had a lot of fuss to get the purples together for the skirt this evening; I really hope they turn out well since the last time I did one of these projects I completely botched it.

The coat, jacket, face, sleeves, and hair are all completely done, finished but for outlining. The greens on the durumagi turned out better than I hoped! I still love the bright, vibrant yellows in those sleeves, though.

And what about this moon, eh?? It was absolutely gorgeous last night!! It's pouring down rain right now - a fantastic start to winter - so I was lucky to catch a glimpse of our lovely cold moon this December.

Stay warm out there!


Sunday, 20 December 2015

In Cometh Winter - New Project!

Winter! I love winter. And I just found a brilliant pattern that combines my love of Hanbok and my love of the seasons - Soda Stitch's new design "4 Seasons Girl"

She's gorgeous in all seasons, but I am quite happily starting winter first. Winter Hanbok is a little bit different and quite pretty; it's a pity we don't see more of it!

There are little caps (this particular cap is called an 아얌 - ahyam) and vests (known as 배자 - baejah) that are sometimes trimmed in fur. Large coats, 두루마기 (durumagi) make their appearance. This little piece combines all three, with her coat draped over her arm, her cozy blue vest, and her beautifully embroidered cap.

The character written behind her is the Chinese character for "Winter" - all of the different seasons bear the character identifying their time of year. I can't wait to show you more progress!

More on caps and hairstyles (and Hanbok in nearly all its styles) in wonderful detail and art is available here by the wonderful artist Glimja on deviantART.

Friday, 18 December 2015

It's Christmas Time! (Finished Piece)

A new finish! I love this one.

Found this one a few days ago with a couple of other irresistible Christmas-themed pieces. Got it done in two days!

You can find this pattern on Etsy here. A better picture than available at Etsy, as shown below, is at the bottom of the post here.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Snowmen Making Snowmen!

The Snowman Maker! This guy is the last one that will fit on the piece of fabric I have, so I've finished off a great project this afternoon. Found a place for a pom-pom and all.

I was initially planning to make them all into separate ornaments, but seeing them like this makes me start thinking that a long decorative pillow wouldn't be bad either!

I have a few more Christmas-themed pieces that I want to get working on, and I can't wait to share them here either! See you again soon!

Our Snowman Maker is part of Carolyn Manning Design's Lil Flakes: Snowfall #6.


You can find this pattern on 123Stitch here.


Monday, 14 December 2015

Foggy Mornings + Thank You for 10,000 Views!

A couple of days ago, we got to wake up to a beautiful foggy morning!

I've been working with my photos on my computer, playing around with saturation, contrast, etc., so that the photos look more like the world did when I took the picture. It's been great fun figuring out what works best with different situations, bringing out the lovely hints of colour and highlighting the beautiful moments that made me love having my camera at hand.

Today's been rainy - it was as dark at noon as it would be at dusk, and the rain came crashing down! But fog is always gorgeous on a day in. Hoping for snow this winter! 

I'm nearly finished with the next (and final) snowman; there was so much white to stitch! There were a few more edits to work on and choose new colours for his hat. I can't wait to show you!

And thank you everyone! I came on yesterday morning to find out that my blog has passed 10,000 views! I can't thank you all enough for viewing my blog over all these years. Hopefully I can show you better content going forward!

Stay warm everyone!