Let’s Stitch: Words Are Fun 1

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I really don't like censorship, but I don't want a person to be fired seeing the image with a "swear" word. Gasp!

I really don’t like censorship, but I don’t want a person to be fired because they saw an image with a “swear” word. Gasp!

Warning, some may find the rest of this post offensive. I won’t apologize for it. You’ve been warned.

I recently finished a great book: Holy Sh*t: A Brief History of Swearing by Melissa Mohr. Mohr employs fantastic and hilarious word choice in relating the history of swearing, mostly in English, but chapters are dedicated to Latin and Biblical swearing as well. I have been obsessed with English my entire life and enjoy reading anything about etymology up to and including random words in the OED. So Mohr is after my heart when she locates the oldest written references to various so-called naughty words, what they truly meant at the time, and their evolution through time. I laughed my ass off reading this book, and learned quite a bit. Frankly, I was inspired.

According to the book, soldiers returning from World War I used the word fucking so much that it wasn’t really that profane. During the war the soldiers and their commanding officers had used it as an adjective to modify just about every noun relevant to a soldier’s life. Or in the exact words of John Brophy and Eric Partridge fucking came to mean, “warning that a noun is coming.”

Personally, I love that. Basically because I have been known to use it that way on occasion. Okay, often. And so do many other people.

So here for your stitching pleasure is a cross stitch celebrating that definition. It’s still a work in progress though. I am not married to the font or the arrangement of the stars and stripes. I’ll be editing and stitching another before I post the final design.

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Kingdom Hearts Symbol Cross Stitch

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Kingdom Hearts SymbolA Kingdom Hearts symbol cross stitch that I created. It utilizes 3/4 stitches around the edges. If you aren’t familiar with this stitch, don’t worry it is very easy. These directions can be followed in either order. It all depends on what works best for your stitching. However, when I was learning I always followed the order I will be sharing. Still do what is easiest for you. Also, complete all of the full cross-stitches before working on the other stitches.

1. This stitch is a combination of a quarter stitch and a half stitch. quarterstitchstart

2. It is easiest to start with the quarter-stitch. Check your chart to see which corner the quarter comes from. You will need to start at that corner. Bring your thread down in the center before the thread would reach the normal corner.

threequarterstep1

3. Next complete the half stitch. Again, check the chart so that your stitch is facing the correct direction. That’s all there is to it.

quarterstitchstep2The rest of the KH stitch is easy as well. You could finish in just a few hours. I recommend using a blue that you like the best or DMC variegated or variations floss. Happy stitching.

khgiraffe

The symbol with DMC delft blue variegated floss.

finishedkh

Spoonflower Drawing Challenge, Day 1

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I admit, I cannot draw well. My doodles are generally undecipherable to me. When I make a cross stitch design on paper, I use a combination of Photoshop to start, graphing paper to find my stitches, and cross stitching software to finish. Still, I have some ideas for reverse appliqué that will need somewhat more legible drawings. So when Spoonflower issued a challenge to draw everyday for 30 days I decided to give it a try. My skills can only get better, after all.

Day 1: Cactus

Ta-da!

cactuschallenge1#SpoonChallenge

My Obsession With Romeo and Juliet

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The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet: Frederic Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The Reconciliation of the Montagues and Capulets over the Dead Bodies of Romeo and Juliet: Frederic Leighton [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I have not always been a fan of Romeo and Juliet. I was an early overachiever and first read a version, not Shakespeare’s, of the tale when I was in the fourth grade. I voraciously read anything I could get my hands on, and I didn’t like everything I read including Romeo and Juliet. They seemed to me at the time as two people who had poor decision-making skills. And why would you throw your life away for something as silly as love?

In the ninth grade, because I think everyone has to read Shakespeare’s version around that age, we read the play in school. I was not excited. We had to memorize part of the play and perform it in front of class. I was not excited. But I dutifully memorized Juliet’s part in Act II, Scene I. I didn’t dislike it after that. I understood what she was experiencing more. Then, we watched Franco Zeffirelli’s movie version, and I enjoyed it. I still didn’t necessarily like Romeo or Juliet. They still displayed poor decision-making skills, after all.

The change came as a senior in high school when we were, not excitedly, forced to perform Act 3, Scene 5 – a play about a group of teenagers rehearsing Romeo and Juliet for a school production. The play breaks down act 3, scene 5, and Shakespeare’s work is performed in its entirety within the play. Doing that play, and against performing as Juliet, I finally fell in love with the source material. I still thought Romeo and Juliet could have done things differently and had their happy-ending, but I no longer loathed them as individuals.

That began my consumption of every Romeo and Juliet production I could find. I have seen the play many times. I have seen the movies multiple times. I informed my husband that I would be seeing Romeo and Juliet with Hailee Steinfeld in the theater a few years ago. He surprised by taking me and holding my hand as I cried when they (spoiler) died again.

I particularly enjoy derivative works of the story. So it is should come as no surprise that I love the anime Romeo x Juliet. It is a loose adaptation of the classic tale, so the story does not always unfold in an expected way. (Spoiler) Though it does still have a heartbreaking ending.

The image I have been toying with to make the perfect cross stitch.

The image I have been toying with to make the perfect cross stitch.

The past six months or so, I have had this idea that I want to do a Romeo x Juliet cross stitch.I made a few that weren’t quite right. I tweaked the image I wanted, played with color, and manipulated the design to near perfection. I even bought all fifty colors I would need for my design. I started working on it. It has been slow going because the center just happens to be Juliet’s cheek and lip. I made it a bit complicated and didn’t pay attention to where the center ended up. Sigh. So it has been very slow. I started mid-June and have given it maybe four hours. Then, one of the cats ruined my pattern sheet! And I don’t have a backup because of the hard drive crash. Now, I basically need to start over. Create a new pattern and match the colors I have already purchased to my new design. This is a down side to wanting to create stitched art. If I stuck with pixels or small projects, I could remake this easily like I did with some other designs of mine. Due to the large size and complicated color palate, redoing this is going to be murder. At this time, I am considering reducing the colors to 20. This will reduce the detail considerably, so I am torn.

What do you think I should do? Try to remake the 50 color design or simplify it so I can get back to work?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Legend of Korra Cross Stitch 1

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Before my computer died I was working on a detailed Korra cross stitch, but it was lost. And I hadn’t started working on another one yet. But I read this morning that Nickelodeon’s Legend of Korra has been taken off the air and moved to online only. I was initially disappointed, but the silver lining is now I can binge watch on my own time, so it’s all good. Still, I’ll miss Korra as part of Nickelodeon’s line up.

In honor of her, I created a fast cross stitch pattern this morning. It is not as elaborate as the designs I typically like. I used a Minecraft style base and was able to whip it up quickly. Enjoy, and feel free to change the colors to your favorites. I only did a DMC legend.

DMC Legend:

0: 310 Black
1: 3781 Dark Mocha Brown
2: 3031 Very Dark Mocha Brown
3: 3033 Very Light Mocha Brown
4: 3843 Electric Blue
5: Ecru

korrasprite