Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Sad face :(

I've been sad now for a few days.  At the weekend, I saw the announcement that one of my favourite bands, Take Cover, is breaking up.

I know I wasn't the only one who saw their huge potential.  Last year I happily threw my money into a Kickstarter fund for their first full length album on the back of three amazing EPs and a couple of singles. To this day, I think it's the only band I've ever paid money to get every single song they made.

And so I'm unbearably, unbelievably sad, as I was certain they had so much more to offer if only more people would know they existed and the important record A&R people would sit up and take notice.  Because they are in the US, I never got to see them live. But their recorded tracks could give most of today's Pop Punk/Alternative bands a run for their money.  The lyrics never ever failed to impress me.  Some of them were downright bitchy but that made them all the more genius.  The music was catchy and fantastic and for me it was the perfect package.

However I'm old enough to realise that being happy is the most important thing, so I wish them all well for the future.  I just hope that they will all continue to make music and write lyrics and that somewhere down the line they will each surface again with new stuff to listen to.  When they do, I'll be sure to pass it on :)

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Biggest challenge so far

I've done it.  I've finally started my first HAED.  My new frame arrived today, I ripped it out of the package as soon as I got home and set it up.

I've chosen to do Moonlit Waters, a Julie Fain design... it's really pretty.  It's the first time I've tried 25 count, and I'm stitching on DMC gridded fabric, perhaps it's cheating but given that it's my first one, it just makes life a ton easier.  So far I've done almost 400 stitches and it covers this miniscule area of fabric... I think this one is gonna take a while.

Progress and photos to come periodically, I think probably about once a month.  Oh, I also need to get some new batteries for the light on my magnifier... I just wish summer would hurry up and get here so I can have nice long daylight hours!

Well, that's all for tonight, it's already past my bedtime.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Cheery art for a grey day

A couple of years ago, I discovered a love for street art.

I'd been pulled into the world of music again and was very into Green Day at the time.  They had commissioned an art show to go along with their new album release, where several artists had been sent the lyrics but not the music for the new songs and each was to produce a piece of work.  I went to see the art show and I was blown away by many of the works that were being shown.  I bought the booklet with info about the artists and I've followed some of them ever since.

Today, I wanted to share one of my favourites, a French artist known as C215.  I am subscribed to his feed over on Facebook, and most days I see a beautiful picture of his work posted up, a lot of the more recent ones with really bright colours.  I have seen his work painted on the streets of London and I was lucky enough to go and see his show a year or so ago.

Please go and have a look at his photostream here, and I hope it brightens up your day!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Autumn's Valentines giveaway

The lovely Autumn is having a giveaway of an adorable Valentine's chart...Stitchy people really are very generous.
Pop over to her blog here if you'd like to enter!

Good Luck :)

Monday, 23 January 2012

It's TUSAL time!

Well, here we go... my first TUSAL post (if you don't know what a TUSAL is, it's explained and you can signup here on Daffycat's blog).

This is how my little jar is looking, I thought I'd done pretty well and then I saw some photos of the other ones.

Till next time!

Sunday, 22 January 2012

And the giveaway winner is...

...Mary Ann!

The winner was chosen using the highly technical method of husband pulling the comment number from a hat!

I'll be sending the Iris pattern through and a couple of little extras, so I hope you enjoy them.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Cottage 2 finish :)

Hello everyone :)
I'm pretty happy today as I've just put the final stitches into cottage 2 *cue happy dance*

Here's what it looks like...

There were quite a lot of French knots in there at the end.  Apparently they are supposed to be grapes.

Now I'm not sure which project to start next.  I wanted to start on one of the HAED ones, however, I've just realised that the frame I usually use to stitch on is a bit on the small side.  So I might have to see if I have enough threads to start one of the smaller HAEDs and order a larger stitching frame in the meantime to do both of the largeish projects in my stash.

Please don't forget that the closing date for my giveaway is tomorrow at 8pm GMT, so if you'd like a lovely Iris chart and a few little extras, please follow this little blog, then go here: http://ricketyjo.blogspot.com/2012/01/100th-post-and-stitchy-giveaway.html and leave me a comment :)

Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Chickenfoot @ Brixton Academy

On Saturday evening I went to see Chickenfoot.  It's a supergroup.  An American Rock Supergroup.  My husband bought the tickets.

I almost played their music the day before on my little ipod thing just to get a feel for it.  But then I stopped myself and thought - what if I'm really disappointed and then I don't want to go to the gig.  So I left it.  It was to be a surprise and I wasn't going to have any preconceived ideas.  However, the evening before I also went out with a friend, S, who was singing the praises of Joe Satriani as though he was the best musician that ever lived, he was terribly excited about going to see this guy live.  So much for no ideas.

We walked in to an audience of mostly middle aged men and a few couples here and there, it was a lot like I'd imagined the audience of a rock supergroup to look.

After the warm up from Red, White and Blues (they were ok, a bit repetitive I found), Chickenfoot came on stage to a wild reaction from the audience.  They obviously all had years of history and experience on stages, they looked completely at ease in their sunglasses with their rock swagger.  As Sammy Hagar (Van Halen) belted out tune after tune, I was pleasantly surprised by their whole delivery, and how tight they played as a group.  One of the highlights for me was seeing this crowd of men raising their arms to do the kind of arm swaying normally undertaken by an audience of teenage girls at a boyband concert.

S was proved completely right, some of the guitar parts that Mr Satriani played were so fantastic that my eyes couldn't keep up with what his fingers were playing on those strings.

The set was complete with a few random rock screams, and they said they were just there to play the kind of music that they enjoyed without needing to prove anything to anyone or hit any sales record, and it was obvious they were having the time of their lives.  I know I was, and I'll definitely come back to see them live again if given the opportunity.  A stellar night out listening to some terrific pros.

Monday, 16 January 2012

100th Post and a stitchy giveaway

Hello there!
Wow, 100 posts.  (I missed my blogoversary... doh!).  This was never really meant to be purely a stitching blog, and so I'll get back to the other things at time to time like music and travel and such like.

However, for my 100th post, and to say hello to my new followers and thank you all for inspiring me with your stitchy posts, I thought I'd do a little giveaway of a chart that I very much enjoyed stitching, it was one of my favourites.  It is this, the Iris pattern with black border and it is a Jane Dewberry design, bought from her little stall in Buxton I think it was a long time ago!  The one that I stitched is now hanging in my Auntie's room and looks beautiful in a stylish black frame, but I will not be stitching it again, so I thought someone else might like the original chart.  (note: I'm not sure exactly how much of each colour was needed as it isn't specified in the pack, but there are 16 colours in the chart)

To enter to get the chart and maybe a couple of little extras, here are the rules:
1. You must be a follower of my blog.
2. Please leave a comment on this post if you would like to enter the giveaway.
3. If you post about the giveaway on your blog, you will get an extra entry into the draw (yes... I am also looking for new followers, I'm hoping this will be a good way to do it!) ... let me know in your comment if you have done this.

I will pick the winner on the evening of Sunday 22nd January, 8pm GMT.

Thanks for looking :) I'll be back with an update on Cottage 2 sometime during the week as it's almost finished!

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


Today has been a great day... I got two things in the post.  One I can't quite show yet as I won it in a facebook competition and it's going to be given away as a present to a lovely little boy I know.

The other post was the fabulous RAK sent to me by Marlene, which I'm going to show you here... The Halloween book (I think the bunting and the baking related things look fabulous, I'd like to try them), the Lizzie*Kate sampler, some beautiful Oatmeal 18ct fabric, some waste canvas (which I've never used so that'll be interesting!) and a lovely cotton bag to stitch on with it!  Thank you so so much Marlene, I'm going to have a lovely time and be kept very busy, I can see that now :)

Here's a little piccie!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Cottage 2 update

I have to say I am very happy with my progress on Cottage 2 over the last week or so.  

For quite a while I was a bit worried.  Because I inherited this project half completed by my grandma and with a massive bag of thread for the various projects she has worked on, I was kind of relying on her thread markups in relation to the pattern.  One in particular was worrying me because it was a really bright green, and I wasn't so sure that it fit with everything else.  Now I'm a bit further along I'm much happier with it.

I'm less happy about the instructions that came with it.  It's a chart that's about 15 years old.  The photo of the completed item is blurry, black and white and back to front, which isn't really helping.  The instructions for the backstitch are a little confusing, since I'm meant to identify cabbages and rhubarb leaves to stitch in particular colours and I'm assuming when they say left it's my right and vice versa because the photo is backwards.  So that is a little frustrating, but I'm getting close to the end of the cross stitch now, yippee!

Here's the progress over the last week (apologies for the blurryness, I just couldn't get one that wasn't blurry!):

Progress 3rd January 2012

Progress 9th January 2012
As always, thanks for taking a look!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Stretch Goals

My previous company was very fond of setting Stretch Goals when it came to appraisal time - that is goals that would challenge what you already knew and stretch you further out of your comfort zone.

With this in mind and having joined a number of new stitchy blogs over the past couple of days, here is a list of the goals I'd like to accomplish for this year, stitchy wise, in no particular order (and more than one objective can be covered by the same item):

1. Start and persevere with a HAED project.
2. Start and complete a project on evenweave or linen.
3. Stitch a beautiful sampler... I think the long, thin ones on light browny backgrounds look stunning.
4. Make something for halloween so that I have something to do up my flat with
5. Start a Lizzie*Kate design... they are so pretty and I have none in my stash!

I think 5 is enough for now.

Incidentally, I find that seeing everyone else's work on their blogs really spurs me on, so thank you!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Cat Above the Rest

Ove the Christmas period, on trains and whilst visiting family, I managed to complete Cat Above the Rest.  It is part of a pair, but I put the other one 'Somewhere Safe' and I have no idea where that might have been, so it might be a little while until I pick it up and start on the second one.  I think these were free with one of the magazine subscriptions that I started up at one of the stitching shows, so they must be at least 5 years old, probably more than that!

He needs a little bit of an iron but I couldn't wait to show him off. I'm not really much of a cat person, but I think he's pretty cute!

Sunday, 1 January 2012

TUSAL 2012

I'd seen this on a few of the Cross Stitching blogs I follow without really knowing what it was but just seeing jars full of brightly coloured threads. I finally found the source... Yay!  I guess it's not of much interest to anyone who doesn't stitch, but the TUSAL stands for Totally Useless Stitch-A-Long.  It is presided over by Daffycat and the full details are here:


But basically, it involves storing up my stitching thread offcuts in a little jar and then posting up a photo around the time of each new moon.  For 2012, these are:

January 23
February 21
March 22
April 21
May 20
June 19
July 19
August 17
September 16
October 15
November 13
December 13

There is no real point to it, but just for fun I've decided to join in this year.  I bought a little jar, which my husband then stole and filled with cashew nuts, so I'll be eating my way through those and then stealing it back! There are currently over 270 bloggers signed up for this, so I look forward to seeing everyone's brightly coloured jars and then thinking about how I can use the offcuts for something later on in the year :)

Happy New Year!

Well, we had a lovely and relaxing beginning to 2012 with our close friends, which I think is one of the nicest things to do.  Although we didn't get to see the fireworks spectacular by the Thames, I don't mind too much, I don't do that well in crowds, and we saw plenty of fireworks from our balcony and even one of those paper lanterns, so that was pretty sweet!

I hope that whatever you got up to you had a lovely evening and enjoyed yourself, and that the hangovers today aren't tooooo bad... wishing all my readers health, wealth and happiness for 2012 and thank you for continuing to nosey around my blog and listen to me ramble on.

Happy New Year!