attempting embroidery

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:18 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Somehow, I don't know how, I started following an embroidery blog, Mary Corbet's Needle 'n Thread. And I liked what I saw, but transferring designs seemed really tedious and also fraught with the possibility of error, and it's not like I don't have enough stitching projects on hand already.

. . . and then, of course, I found pre-printed "coloring book" fabric in a craft store, very cheap. So I decided to give it a try, using spare floss from my stash.

The fabric is "Zenbroidery", specifically the Garden print. The picture has suggested stitching, but, well, check out the big version: you could see the printing through the stitching, I just couldn't make myself do it. So I dug through the Needle 'n Thread archives for ideas, picked out some floss, popped the fabric on my Q-Snaps, and started out.

It was a lot of fun at first! Not having to look at a pattern makes things flow surprisingly quickly and enjoyably. And making the vines split off and curl around was very satisfying.

Here's as far as I got before I stopped:

picture )

(click to make huge, or view on Google Photos)

I'm stopping for several reasons: I don't like the colors I picked; it's too big (10" square); satin stitch with a single strand of DMC is incredibly tedious; and worst, the fabric is just awful: it's so thin you can see the brown desk underneath it, and every time I had to pick out stitches or try to set them close together, I was afraid I'd rip it.

So I'm going to put this aside and get some better-quality (and smaller) preprinted fabric from Etsy, as my travel project. Because I have also started gridding the Teresa Wentzler Celestial Dragon, nearly eight years after I was given the pattern, and that's not a travel project in the least. (I'm making myself a ruler for the gridding, and even with that I'm still so nervous about messing it up that I'm sure I'm going to recount all the blocks regardless, because I'm planning to do as she suggests and stitch the border first . . . )

Do you embroider? Do you have a favorite pattern source or type? (I think I might try crewel at some point, because the nice soft thick wool threads look very appealing.)

Guess the author!

Oct. 16th, 2017 10:07 am
james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
"Atwood lifted much of HANDMAID from Heinlein. Yet the world thinks she’s an original."

Dr. Frankenstein's Music Shop

Oct. 16th, 2017 07:23 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
The Museum für Musikinstrumente, part of the Grassi Museum in Leipzig, has some really strange instruments. Here are pictures of some of them, from my visit earlier this month.

Photos behind the cut )

It's back to school...

Oct. 16th, 2017 06:14 am
seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp

... and time to start another mystery in Chapter 25 of Princess Holy Aura

A long weekend...

Oct. 15th, 2017 09:23 pm
hrrunka: Attentive icon by Narumi (Default)
[personal profile] hrrunka
On Friday afternoon I collected my nephew from his course, taking the motorways there and back roads home as the M25 was being a car park along a stretch of the route home. In the evening I headed for Gravesend for gaming. Phil retired, but Lissa, A2 and I played a game of Diamant.

On Saturday I took my nephew down to Orpington so that he could show his ID to a bank. It is possible they may consider opening an account for him. Apart from a bit of shopping we didn't do much else. He watched TV. I spent half the afternoon asleep. In the evening we watched the second "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie. While I'd caught the general gist of the story while watching it in german, there was quite a bit more to it I clearly missed that time round.

This morning I caught the usual Sunday morning radio club Net, then went to the shops with my nephew, and then had a quiet afternoon. This evening I took him back to his lodgings, and this time the motorways were working well both ways, so the round trip only took about 90 minutes.

Done last week (20171008Su - 14Sa)

Oct. 15th, 2017 10:56 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

On the whole a pretty good week. (I was going to say, "not a bad week", but it may actually qualify for good this time. I'm really bad at evaluating subjective stuff like that.)

I got my taxes done. Probably still some things missing, but since I only owed $117 over what I estimated back in April I'm not going to complain. Much. I'm still in a world of trouble over the lack of withholding on some of the pensions. That's going to bite me. Well, I'll put in an estimated payment for the quarter; that will help.

Naomi came home Sunday with the scooters, and we got one of them out of the van. (G and I got the other out last night with the help of my folding ramp.) And yesterday on the way home from dinner out we stopped at the bike shop in Bayview and ordered Colleen a (purple, of course) helmet.

Meanwhile, I have reconfirmed my dislike for the Mac user interface (Windows would be worse). The main reason is the inconsistent bindings for control, meta, and super (the "logo" key). It's almost tolerable with a Thinkpad keyboard and x2vnc, but the key bindings in Emacs are wonky and cut-and-paste doesn't work between the two systems.

Also, of course, Raven's handling of its external monitor is broken, and the desk isn't wide enough for it plus the monitor anyway. (It is wide enough for Cygnus to the left of the monitor, so I may end up doing that.) I have Raven on a tray table to the right of the monitor, which isn't ideal because, oh, yeah: my newest Thinkpad keyboard has started dropping keystrokes. Basically unusable at this point, and it's only a year old. Lenovo's QC has really tanked -- I miss IBM. And I can't find the box with my other keyboards :P Unlike the drill and the router, I know that one is in the garage because I saw it there. I blame the cats.

The cats are all doing okay. Even Bronx, who remains a bit fragile and isn't eating all that well.

We are making progress toward making the room over the garage into a usable living space. By not making large structural changes, and not making it an official ADU, we can probably save a lot.

Notes & links, as usual )

Twelve Days More... (pt. 3a)

Oct. 14th, 2017 10:44 pm
hrrunka: My small wire-strung harp (harp)
[personal profile] hrrunka
It'll come as no surprise that music sometimes gets to places other things can't reach, and there were many songs at FilkContinental that helped, one way and another. A few particularly memorable ones were:

Hearing Phil's "Time for Parting" and "Precious Moments" with Marilisa on Friday evening. Both had me in tears.

Sam Baardman's "Solar Flare" and Stan Rogers' "Northwest Passage", both led by Dave Clement in the "Great Canadian White North" workshop. Songs to sing along with, both.

Deborah accompanying X singing "Flower Girls" in the Monday night circle. Straight to the heart.

The wonderfully spooky version of Jodi Krangle's "The Lady" sung in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Shivers down the spine.

There were also, of course, comic moments. Franklin's addition to Marilisa's "One Small Boat" (and her quip in response) was priceless...

In-cider information

Oct. 14th, 2017 07:18 am
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
Yesterday I ran out of milk, so I poured apple cider on my breakfast cereal. I've done that before, and it's quite good. In Germany, yogurt seems to be favored over milk.

International note: In the USA, "cider" generally means apple juice with a high pulp level. Unless it's called "hard cider," it doesn't normally have alcohol.

"If I didn't, I know that you would be a wreck, as
You'd never discover what I had for breakfast." — Brooke Abbey, "The LiveJournal Shanty"


Oct. 13th, 2017 09:29 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
[personal profile] kate_nepveu
Everything is terrible, but people living in the US, or US citizens abroad, take a minute for this?

Support the Restricting First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (S. 200, H.R. 669) to require a, you know, declaration of war by Congress before the President can launch a first nuclear strike.

rydra_wong has links and context, and rachelmanija has phone numbers and a script. (Don't, however, spend your time contacting members of Congress outside your districts; save your energy.)
madfilkentist: Photo of Carl (Default)
[personal profile] madfilkentist
I've made occasional progress on my book project Yesterday's Songs Transformed, and recently I've completed a good chunk on song transformations during the American colonial period. The Puritans in Boston liked to rewrite Psalms to ballad meter, which means you can sing them to "Banned from Argo." William Billings wrote "By the Rivers of Watertown."

I've posted an excerpt to my blog on "Yankee Doodle" in its various versions. You might find it interesting. The curious thing is that there really isn't any "patriotic" version of the lyrics. It was a song mocking the colonists, but the revolutionaries just adopted it whole.

They were telling Seika's parents...

Oct. 13th, 2017 06:43 am
seawasp: (Default)
[personal profile] seawasp
... and now they're to the REALLY hard part of the explanation, in Chapter 24 of Princess Holy Aura

...And No Rest...

Oct. 13th, 2017 11:01 am
hrrunka: A small radio transceiver (morse)
[personal profile] hrrunka
I had to wake up early on Sunday morning in order to go to Heathrow and meet my nephew off a flight from Nairobi. That done, I then headed off to Hayes to spend the day helping with an amateur radio Foundation course. Nine students turned up on day, and they all passed, one only just, and one with full marks. When I got home from that I had a quick supper, and then drove my nephew down to a B&B near Crawley where he's spending his weekdays for the next few weeks while he does some electrician's training. By the time I got home from that it felt like it had been a very long day.

I didn't get up in a hurry on Monday. Early in the afternoon I headed for Gants Hill to return Mich and Marilisa's instruments, and then on to Cambridge to return Deborah's tech kit. Those drives were uneventful. However, after I'd gone to the Cambridge Tesco's to fill up with fuel, my sat-nav decided that the quickest way for me to get home was to go through the centre of Cambridge. As soon as I realised what it was doing I took evasive action, but even so I ended up driving through parts of Cambridge I've not visited in forty years, and it took me longer than I'd have liked to extract myself from the situation, so I ended up taking a break at Birchanger Services on the way home, and got home a little later than I'd hoped. At least the motorway traffic was running smoothly.

On Tuesday morning I had a dental appointment to have a troublesome tooth extracted. I had been filled three times, each time deeper than the time before, and each time it had found new and interestingly painful ways to decay further. The extraction process went fairly smoothly, but I didn't feel up to much for the rest of the day. I did a little shopping to get food I could eat without causing the now-empty tooth socket too much trouble, though.

On Wednesday I tried to take things easy, though I did get out for a bit of a walk. In the evening there was a radio club committee meeting. It ran a little later than I'd have liked, but it was at least a calm and relaxed meeting.

On Thursday morning I was awake in time to catch the weekly GB2CW Morse practice broadcast, and didn't do too badly, considering. In the afternoon I headed for the bank on foot, taking in a bit of Ingress along the way. In the evening I went out for a short meeting with the leaders of one of the local scout troops to discuss details for a JOTA (Jamboree On The Air) station on of the local radio clubs is planning to help run. I got to bed rather late.

This morning I woke up a little earlier than I'd have liked, but I have managed to get some things done...

Somehow, through all of the last fortnight plus, I've managed to keep my Duolingo streak alive, and only had to burn one streak-freeze. I'm up to 389 days and 60% on the German-from-English course.

Twelve Days More... (pt. 4)

Oct. 13th, 2017 10:23 am
hrrunka: Attentive icon by Narumi (Default)
[personal profile] hrrunka
The drive to Bielefeld on Tuesday was uneventful. We stopped for lunch along the way, and got to our destination mid-afternoon. I dropped Deborah at Rika's and then went on to Senne. Dinner was pizza, wine and ice cream.

On Wednesday morning I went for a reconnaissance drive to identify a good starting point for a possible SOTA activation later in the week. As it turned out, Wednesday was the only day when the weather was good enough, so the activation never happened.

On Wednesday evening F wanted a quiet evening at home, but Alex, X and I went over to the Kinders for a house-filk. X got to sing some of the songs she'd not had a voice for at the Con, and we had a very enjoyable evening.

Thursday was a wet windy day, and we spent much of it indoors, though we did make one short expedition to the library, post office and shops. We spent the evening watching the second "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie.

On Friday afternoon we went over to Rika's to collect stuff that I was supposed to be taking back to England, and found ourselves in the midst of a "lost passport" drama. It did eventually resolve itself, with some changes in plan along the way. We spent the evening watching "Rogue One".

On Saturday morning I set about re-packing my car while Alex went to fetch Gwen and her luggage. Gwen and I set off for home at about 11am. There weren't any serious delays along the way, though the weather was pretty horrible in places. We stopped somewhere in Belgium south of Antwerp for lunch, and then at Cité de Europe for a break before the channel tunnel crossing. We got to Gwen's place at about 10pm (a bit over 12 hours after leaving Bielefeld), and I was home shortly after 10:30pm. I fell straight into bed.

Twelve Days More... (pt. 3)

Oct. 13th, 2017 09:40 am
hrrunka: My small wire-strung harp (harp)
[personal profile] hrrunka
Sunday morning's programme included the second half of the harmony workshop, and we managed to get the chosen piece into a reasonable performance. After lunch there was the traditional courtyard gathering for a photo, and then a short break before the afternoon sets. First up was Scott, with a hour-long concert that only needed a bit of front-of-house work at the start. I didn't catch the whole concert. The break was welcome, as the Auction and main concert followed Scott's set, and that's always quite a busy time for fron-of-house. It seemed to go well.

Sunday evening started with a spot by Katy and Ju, and that was followed by two guest-of-honour concerts, the first by Stone Dragons, and the second by Playing Rapunzel. The evening was wrapped up with a release party for Playing Rapunzel's new CD, Hanging by a Hair, a copy of which I received as a gift in thanks for transporting instruments. I've been enjoying listening to it.

Monday morning I went for a walk in the woods with Alex. We both needed a break. After lunch I went to the "Great Canadian White North" workshop, which was, more or less, a Canadian-themed circle, and very enjoyable. After that there was a break for coffee and donuts before the afternoon's spots. First up was Lissa, who pulled in various others for some enjoyable songs. Then Life, Light and Shadow (Rika the Kinders) followed her, and the afternoon was wrapped up by the request concert (including the harmony workshop performance) and closing ceremony.

Tear down and such went reasonably smoothly, though I could have done without the "snake in the lights" moment. The evening circles were a fine way to wind down.

Tuesday morning involved packing and goodbyes. Deborah and I headed off at about noon, by which time almost everyone had left.

Many thanks to all those who made the 20th FilkContinental a wonderful Con, and especially to the ConCom, Kirstin, Katy, Franklin, and Volker.