Thursday, March 22

More Framing, Pt 1

I thought I'd share some more framing (not all, I think I forgot to take pictures of Ferret Knot and Celtic Christmas, though I'll get there, too), because I have a lot of pictures, I'll break it up into a couple of posts...

First up is Tapestry by Ink Circles.   Nick actually framed it using two frames - the inner is like a mat, which is pretty cool!

Next up is Immaculate Heart by Ink Circles, which is probably one of my very favorite pieces of all time.   Because it feels so medieval to me, I wanted a really heavy frame, which is what I got!  It has that hand-scraped, irregular feel to it, which is absolutely perfect.

This first pic is a little washed out - it was hard taking pictures because it was pretty late/dark.

Next is a Commemorative Needleroll by Chatelaine Designs.
Martina came to visit Houston in 2005, and it was really interesting meeting her at Jo's (formerly of Dinky Dyes) house.   I finished this in 2005, but I redid the initials in 2014.   Right now it's my only finished Chatelaine, but I love it.

Tuesday, March 20

Plenty and Blessings by Brooke's Books

Today I have too many pictures of my Brooke's Books finishes - Plenty (fruit basket) and Blessings (fish).   These are both part of the Bride's Tree series.  I know Brooke's Books mostly from the 'dress up' series that are really pretty dresses from the Disney princesses.

Both of these were fun to stitch, Plenty was way faster/more fun than I thought it would be!

This is Plenty, this first picture is the best color-correct photo I managed.  The close ups seem to pull warmer, but that's OK.  I really, really like the addition of the champagne beads, they're fantastic.

The pattern calls for an overdye, but I did it with the equivalent DMC (which is listed in the pattern)

Wine! Pickles!   Plenty, by Brookes Books, finished 3-18-2018

And then there was Blessings.
I saw this finished as a sample in Stitcher's Paradise (in Las Vegas).  It is such a pretty fish, and I just loved stitching on it.

I couldn't find a place where I liked my signature, so I ended ups signing in the dirt (as it were).

So those are the ornaments - I think they're super adorable.   Hopefully I'll have more progress for WIPocalypse (since I skipped last month), now that I'm stitching again.

Monday, March 19


This weekend was IHSW - the International Hermit and Stitch weekend hosted by Joysze at her blog and on Facebook.  I worked on a couple of gift pieces while I watched the other half (re)play Last of Us.

These two little pieces were really fun to stitch!

Blessings, by Brooke's Books

Plenty, by Brooke's Books

And I really wanted to work on Boink or DecoSpirits, but I ended up picking up my MillHill Sugar Skull again.  Because of all of the beadwork, I think I'll rush to get this one done next.   I just kind of want it out of the way with all of those beads mingling in bags.

And finally, it's also time for TUSAL, the Totally Useful Stitch A Long hosted by Daffycat (also on Facebook), where we show off our orts.  These are the orts I've collected since the beginning of 2018.

If the rats' nest of threads I still have available from the Mill Hill kit doesn't take a big hit, I'll end up with a whole lotta threads for that container!

I'll have a more detailed post re: the finishes tomorrow; I wanted to get this up this morning, but didn't have time (danged meetings!)...

Thursday, March 15

Desert Sunrise, Sunrise II, and Sunset (a kind of TBT)

I didn't get a chance to show off my finished Desert Sunrise, because I finished it and handed it off for framing at Nick's.  I did get her back, and the sister pieces!

I bought the three Desert pieces from Fireside Originals at Ginger's Needlework in Austin when I lived there in the late 90s.   I finished the first one in 2001 on the recommended Feather Blue(?) 18 ct aida.  Years later I decided I wanted to do them on evenweave because I don't like the look of aida when it shows in the piece.   The problem is that I couldn't find a perfect match with the Feather Blue aida, and because I don't have an LNS, I ended up having a lot of different 36ct blueish greys - I stick to the 36ct because I really wanted all three pieces to be the same size. 

Nick is (of course) a genius and came up with this stunning framing combo.  I didn't even realize that mat cores came in some of these colors.  All of the black mats have different colored cores, and he matched as well as he could, and I think they came out great.  The rough country wood look to the frame is just perfect.  Even the OtherHalf really liked them.

I can't wait to figure out a place to hang all three of these beauties.   Arizona is one of the places I'd be happy to move back to.

This is Desert Sunrise, by Fireside Originals; Finished in 2001

Desert Sunrise II; Finished 2017

And my very favorite, finished this year; and part of the Year of WIPs :)
Desert Sunset; Finished 2018

So those are my three beauties.  I think I know where I'm going to hang them, but I'm still cogitating on whether I think it's a prominent enough spot, because I'm super proud of these.

Wednesday, March 14

First Paper Piecing

I totally forgot!  I also have my first attempt at (foundation) paper piecing.  I saw it in the Quiltville Facebook group and decided to give it a whirl with a fat quarter bundle of Halloween fabrics that have been hanging around in my stash.  I used the print out from Generations Quilt Patterns.

I can't wait to do more!  I'm thinking of doing a table runner with these fabrics.  Maybe I'll mix one of them up with more than three colors.

Oh, and just for giggles, I finally got my TV wall mounted.  It's on a articulating arm so that it can come straight out, or turn 180 in either direction (and tip down), but my favorite thing was installing an outlet behind it so I can hide the wiring.

Monday, March 12

Update! And sewing; and other reasons for not stitching.

It's been a bit since my last update, and part of that is because I haven't stitched.    Instead of stitching I've been mostly working on the house; though I did do a little sewing.

And this happened:

Her name is Freyja and she was found as a stray.  We think she's ~6mos, and she's the cutest thing.  Mona wasn't very appreciative of her at first, but they get along fine and Mona even jumps around and plays with her once in a while (particularly in the yard).  I swore I wouldn't get a puppy, but wanted an older dog, and she's reminding me why, but she's too cute to stay mad at for long.   It wasn't until I was taking some photos of her that I noticed she has heterochromia (different colored eyes), and, well, she doesn't really let me stitch much ;)   She seems to have rottie and lab in her, maybe some terrier, and I'm hoping to do one of those doggie-dna tests just for fun.

We also replaced all of the (external) doors in the house, and I didn't realize that it did not include painting, so any time the weather is remotely decent, I'm trying to get the interior/exterior painted.  Some day, I swear, I'll get back to stitching.  I'm hoping to IHSW this weekend - we'll see.

But!  I did get a bit of sewing done.  I had to put my sewing machine away for a puppy shower/gaming party, but I think I'm ready to get back to sewing so I can finish off my Hearts Across America banner.

Here's my Tiles Quilt all bound and done:

Folded and looking quite nice on the back of the couch.  I'm super pleased with the colors, but I'll still be using the same pattern for another layer cake I have sitting around (maybe, there's another pattern I'm eyeing as well).

The back of the quilt; I wanted to use one of the little rosebud prints, but I couldn't find it.  This is using the Boundless line - the house brand for Craftsy, I was pretty pleased with the fabric.

And I used the Compositions jelly roll I bought in Vegas to make a modified Jelly Roll Race quilt.  Instead of doing the plain jelly roll, I split every other fabric and lined the wide strip with the skinny strip and then jelly-roll-raced it, just for fun, and I think it came out pretty well, too.

I really liked the map/newsprint fabric in the roll, so I found some on clearance and ordered it for the backing.

I'm thinking of doing a Carpenter Star pattern for the Ruby Fleur fabric and the Two Step for the Space Otters (spirit animals by Tula Pink) that I got at the quilt show.  It looks like I might actually pull off the "less unused fabric by the end of the year" goal that I had!  Now I just need to get around to stitching, or at least training the pupper to let me stitch ;)

Oh, and fun fact - I had another one of those mystery spam posts, turns out that it's because I had the "post from email" turned on, and they used that.   Which is also why I didn't get an email about the blog post posting; it presumed I sent it.  I turned off the post-from-email, and that shouldn't happen again.  I'm just glad I wasn't actually hacked or anything.

Tuesday, January 30

Winter gaming 2018

Whose Turn is a local semi-invitation gaming con that happens every year in the winter (late January/early February)

As a warning - this post is image intense.

This year, I managed to play 24 total games and of those
  • 17 were unique
  • 11 were new to me
Games played were:
  • Sagrada (4 times)
  • Innovation (new)
  • Age of War (new)
  • Tyrants of the Underdark (new)
  • Azul (3 times)
  • Terra Mystica
  • King Domino (2 times)
  • Lanterns (new)
  • Codenames Duet (new, 2 times)
  • Century Spice Road
  • Whistle Stop (new)
  • Dimension
  • Queen Domino (new)
  • Cottage Garden (new)
  • 6Nimmt
  • NBMR9 (new)
  • Bunny Kingdom (new)
This year's con was held in the Durham convention center, which I admit, I had some major reservations about (even though I adore Durham), but I think it was a great success.  Being able to walk to my favorite restaurants for dinner and also having  plenty of elbow room was pretty sweet.   

So here are some pictures (with brief reviews, and I won't post multiples of the same game this time around ;) )

 We started off the game with Innovation.  I know some people who really like this game, and I've seen it on many, many shelves, but I've just never gotten around to playing/learning it.   The guy who was teaching was kind of cute in that he apparently has a hard time finding people to play with (his usual group isn't a fan?), but I thought it was really cute.   There is a lot of random involved, and the play/score can swing wildly, so I can see why "serious"/eurogamers wouldn't be a huge fan.   I ended up winning after being really behind because of a weird/fortuitous combo that I pulled out.   It was fun, though.  I quite liked it, but I don't know if I'd want to play it a whole lot or own it.

Age of War
 Easy dice/card/set collection game.   You can "steal" cards from other players and fight over sets.   It was alright.  I'd rather play other games.  The guy teaching seemed to really like it, though

Tyrants of the Underdark
 Deck building/area control Ameritrash Dungeons & Dragons themed game.  You play a faction/color and you collect/buy cards and defeat monsters to get their powers (cards).  You also spread around the board and are trying to control cities/territories for points and/or income.   You can kill other players (but not so easily that it becomes a drag on the game).   To be honest, I absolutely enjoyed this game and I'm contemplating purchasing it.   It's way fun, but not too terribly combative.

Azul (4 player game)

Azul (after 2 player game)
This is Azul, which is probably one of the most popular games at the con.  I don't think you could swing a cat without hitting a table playing this (well, this and Scythe).   It's currently sold out most places, but it looks like a reprint should be available in February or so.
It's a fun tile drafting/laying game (fun fact: they designed the game using starburst pieces, so that's the size of the tiles, haha), and I was really amazed at how different it was as a two player game than a four player game (I also played it as a three player).  I have to say, while I really enjoyed it with any number of players, my favorite was as a two player game.  I'm pretty sure I'll be purchasing this one.   I will also say that I liked it a lot better with four than three players.

Terra Mystica
Terra Mystica - probably one of my top favorite games of all time;  I was actually a little disappointed because this copy didn't have the expansion with it; and while I really don't like the additional races in the expansion, I do really like the extra map.

King Domino
King Domino is a fairly popular (and fun) tile laying game.   If you've played, you'll see that I draw a crap tile for the final round.   It is a very simple, very fun game.  I don't need to own it, but I quite like it and I would be happy to play it at any time.

Lanterns is an older tile laying/set collection game that my friends really wanted to play.  This was my first time playing it and someone suggested the app (when I get a tablet, I'd probably do that).  It was fun, I can see why people like it, though it's not my favorite set collection game.

I bought Sagrada right after the last con I went to in September, I really, really like it.  It's a fun, short game that's pretty easy to teach.    We actually went to a friend's Friday night to take care of Mona and we went back to their place and played Sagrada with them (well, we played Sagrada a lot, but these were the only non-gamers), and it was pretty easy to teach.   I checked my notes, and I actually played Sagrada every day of the con - haha!

Codenames: Duet
O.M.G.  I really like Codenames for a party game.    If you don't know it, you play on two teams.  Each team has a 'codemaster' who looks at a 5x5 grid of cards (they have names/words on them).   You have a mapped card that tells you the words your team has to guess.   It's a hilarious, difficult, and infuriating game.   You give a hint and then you listen to 2, 5, 8... however many people on your team try to figure out what your guess means and you have to keep a straight face.  Hilarious.

Codenames Duet is designed for two players where we each have a side of the map (you can see it above) and we try to make each other guess the correct words (we have different maps) until we have a collective 15 correct words.   I thought it was even more fun than I thought it would be, and even more fun than the "regular" Codenames game.  I'm totally buying this.  It was hilarious.   We lost every game we tried.

Century Spice Road
I bought this game after the September con as well and really like it.  Trading resources up to purchase cards to try to get the most points.  Sweet and simple, but with enough competition/strategy to be interesting.

Whistle Stop
I have a hate for train-themed games, but this one was alright ;)    It was a more euro-y game than most of the others we'd played.  Strategy, planning ahead, minimal player conflict/competition.  I thought it was a lot of fun, but I didn't feel the need to purchase it or anything.  I wouldn't mind playing it again.

Dimension is a game that I bought a while ago and always forget how fun it is to play.   It's a great filler game.

Queen Domino

Queen Domino - final board

Queen Domino is the next game to come after King Domino.   It is essentially King Domino with some extra stuff to add to the complexity of the game, which I appreciate.  I'm sure if you love King, you'll want more?  Maybe?  I like King Domino for what it is (which is not overly complex).  I'd rather play a better game for the amount of time that this one took.

Cottage Garden

Cottage Garden
Listen, I love me some Uwe Rosenberg.  And I really like Patchwork.    This game is just like Patchwork, but annoying.   I can't quite put my finger on it, but none of us enjoyed this game.    A friend came by the table and she was shocked, SHOCKED! that we didn't like it because it's one of her favorites.  So there's that.  It's not a bad game, per se, I just have better games to play.

This is a fun card game that gets broken out quite a bit at the con for filler, and I really need to buy a copy.  It's a fun, competitive card game that gets a little silly and out of control without being obnoxious.   I'm not sure what the official rules are, but you can just play as many rounds/games as you want and keep score (which is what we did).

NMBR9 is a fairly new game (I think it was one of the play-to-win games at the last con - game publishers send new games that people play for entries to win in a drawing).   You draw cards, and place the numbers - pretty simple!   It uses a single draw pile for everyone, so everyone gets the same numbers in the same order, and you place based on rules.  It's interesting to see how the towers/piles (and scores!) differ.

Bunny Kingdom

Bunnies of Bunny Kingdom
The very last game I played at the con was BunnyKingdom.  It wasn't on any of our "to play" lists that we'd come up with ahead of time, but I saw some people playing it and it looked so silly/cute that I spent a day just hunting a free copy.

It's a silly/cute theme pasted on an area control/placement/card drafting game.   I really liked it, but I'm not sure how much replayability there really is to it.   But it's so silly/cute that I just want to buy it any way (luckily, my to-buy list is long enough that I can manage to resist, I'm sure).

So that's all of the games of this particular con.  If you follow my IG, you've seen all of these already (I kind of keep track of what I'm playing with IG so I don't have to enter it into a spreadsheet/list right away), and some of them are repeat IG-offenders :)    Hopefully, we'll finish up the majority of the house things we wanted to get done (living room is almost complete!) and we can get to some local gaming soon.