Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mystery Crossword Puzzle

I did this crossword several years ago, and I may have posted it back then.  I'm pretty sure though, for some reason, I didn't post the answer.  Even if I did, it's all new today, right?

I'd love to do more crosswords, and I might, but I find they are really hard to compose, because you need a good, short clue written in a certain style, and an answer that will fit in a puzzle with other words.  I think I have enough pre-made clues to do another mystery puzzle.  If I can get back into the zone for creating these, more topics to come.

Answer on Thursday :)   Click to enlarge.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Embroidery Books: Charm and Inspiration

This year craft wise I'm all about embroidery.  Those tidy little stitches are such fun to work with and the results are so beautiful.   It is my habit to look at books for guidance while I'm learning anything new.

I've been gathering books on embroidery to inspire and help me along.

The book that started my current embroidery enthusiasm is Little Stitches: 100+ Sweet Embroidery Designs by Aneela Hoey   I love the whimsical little projects, which are very different from the samplers and other kits I was familiar with.

Another very inventive embroiderer is Delilah of What Delilah Did    

Her book What Delilah Did Presents: Storyland Cross Stitch  tells a story using a set of embroidered figures which she presents in various ways.

My favorite craft magazine right now is Mollie Makes.  It features many crafts from aspiring and talented young artists.  The two crafts that interest me most are crochet and embroidery.   It is almost impossible to find magazines covering hand embroidery, which seems to be having a resurgence in Europe that hasn't reached our shores.  Mollie Makes has compiled some of their articles in Mollie Makes Embroidery: Adorable Stitched Projects Plus Tips & Tricks.

I love the delicate little outlines of embroidery.  Perhaps the bright colors and sweet subjects remind me of old coloring books.   Floral Collection for Hand Embroidery: An Embroiderer's Garden by Maria Diaz  presents the loveliest flowers imaginable, which could be added to many projects.

Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching is filled with nature inspired embroidery applied to a wide variety of projects.

As a series, the Reader's Digest books on varying topics present wonderful clear how to illustrations.  The Reader's Digest Complete Book of Embroidery (Includes Crewelwork, Goldwork, Ribbon Embroidery and Embellishments) by Melinda Coss  shows how to stitch in embroidery, and is a great place to start.

Not strictly a book of embroidery, Sewn by Hand by Susan Wasinger  presents small projects that carry on the "slow crafts movement" and let you create with needle and thread in new ways.

I have always wanted to make a patchwork quilt, the old variety stitched together from your old clothes or blankets or fabric bits.  Unfortunately, most books, sites, and magazines use machine stitching for the quilt.   I have found directions for a handmade quilt (for a someday post).  Patchwork Loves Embroidery by Gail Pan isn't hand patchwork, but it does have many fun ideas for combining patchwork with embroidery.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Hoth Word Find

I'm in a puzzler mood.  2016 is a stinker. Must. Keep. Mind. Busy.    Here's a simple wordfind using words from The Empire Strikes Back: Hoth

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Mystery Bingo

Yay! I cleverly created a Mystery Bingo sheet over on my back-from-the-grave reading blog.  All you need to do is read, enjoy, reward yourself for every Bingo.  What's not to like?

Monday, January 4, 2016

Botanical Interests Elegant Downloadable Coloring Book

Seed company Botanical Interests has a free coloring book with the most strikingly beautiful flowers for you to draw.

The Drawings are finely detailed, but you can color with your implement of choice.  I've been using a selection of colored pencils.  I was surprised to find that Crayola Colored Pencils do just as nice a job of coloration as Prismatic and Blicks.  Enjoy!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Embroidery: Strawberry Mason Jar

I found some embroidery kits last month and they're more than just cross stitching.  After looking at a few tutorials, I've begun a set of mason jar towels for each day of the week.

Here are my first efforts with a stem stitch and a running stitch. Not too bad.

One Movie Trilogy To Rule Them All

I was up till 3 in the morning watching Return of The King.  My plan had been one of the films each night, but as soon as I finished the Two Towers, in went Return of the King.  I don't buy DVDs anymore, but how nice to be able to watch the movies anytime I wish, without additional cost or worry that they wouldn't be on the list of available films.

It has been several years since I watched them.  I saw Two Towers in the theater at least eleven times.  Yet there I was, watching the battle of Helm's Deep, fully engrossed and so nervous for the fates of the characters.

I used to be all smitten with Aragorn, but now he seemed a bit flawed.  The character who impressed me most was Samwise Gamgee, the unassuming little Hobbit who found bravery beyond measure and whose encouragement got Frodo to Mount Doom.

When the films were in release, I felt they gave too much air time to Gollum, particularly Return of the King, which in the theatrical release seemed to have little of the King.

Now, I felt sorry for the creature, and noticed how much the tiny gangly mad thing was beaten by just about everyone.  It just seemed awful.  His crazy little self really was a marvel.