Wednesday, 29 February 2012

February Reads

My reading list for February is a bit feeble...actually, a lot feeble. I only managed to read one book this month but it's one that has been on my 'to read' list for about 17 years, so it was about time.

I've finally read 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' by Oscar Wilde. I studied drama at school and totally fell in love with Oscar Wilde's plays, and this book has been on my reading list ever since.

The book starts with Dorian as a young, beautiful and seemingly untainted man. He quickly becomes damaged by a combination of the adoration of the man who paints his portrait, Basil Hallward, and the cynicism of Lord Henry Wotton, whose take on the world seems to corrupt the young and impressionable Dorian (although I'd argue the corruption was already there, waiting to happen).

I think most people know the premise of the book...Dorian's vanity leads him to wish that he never ages physically - that the portrait painted by Hallward should bear the brunt of the passing years and all of his actions.

His wish comes true. As Dorian explores the darkest recesses of human nature and all the vices it has to offer, he remains as beautiful as ever, while his painting ages and grows ugly.

I won't say any more about the plot, apart from to say I found it much darker and harder to read than I'd expected. Wilde's work is often uncomfortable, with his witty observations cutting to the bone, and this is no exception.

If I'm honest, there were sections of this book that lost my interest slightly, where there seemed to be a lot of descriptive prose which didn't add much for me. That said, I'd definitely recommend it. It's certainly a classic, a fascinating concept and Wilde's writing is as elegant and witty as I'd expected.

I think I might try and find a lighter read for March though!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Motif Monday - The Regular Show Dig Champs

I've been watching quite a bit of Regular Show this weekend. Love it. Even if its randomness infects my brain and causes me to walk around Hamboning, while telling people to 'Step off'.

In honour of the most awesome Mordecai and Rigby, today's motifs are dedicated to one of their most favourite games...Dig Champs!!

I have a few ideas of how I want to use these motifs...but if you end up using them for anything let me know!

and here they are on a grid for your stitchy pleasure.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunday Best #6 - Getting down with my gnomies

I watched the film Gnomeo and Juliet last weekend and loved it waaaaay more than anyone should at my age. It was cute and funny...and re-awakened my sometimes dormat love for gnomes.

So lets celebrate those oh so happy guys with the pointy hats with a Sunday Best!

This melts me...that cute little nose!
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

This wins the award for the coolest pendant ever...I can't believe the true wonder of a gnome terrarium!
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

I need this dress. 'Kay? Thanks.
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

I love Badbird's art at the best of times...but include a grumpy gnome and it's perfection ;)
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

Little Dear's NOMs are always so beautiful...this little guy is one of my favourites.
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Stitching Saturday..The Flapper Girl

I love stitching hoops for other people...I haven't successfully managed a single hoop for myself yet! This week's stitching is no different.

Stitched for a craft swap a while back, here's my vintage lady...complete with vintage button.

I was really nervous stitching this for some reason...maybe because faces are a bit out of my comfort zone?!

For my Saturday posts from now on I'm also going to share a piece of stitching I've either received from someone, or have seen around the web, which I love.

This week it's the turn of an absolutely stunning hoop I received from ZidishaLuxe in a hoopla swap at

                                                                                Source: via Kat on Pinterest

My photo doesn't do this justice. It's so beautifully stitched and I love the design...we couldn't decide if the deer were being friendly or erm...not so friendly.

I'm trying to decide where to have a hoopla wall in my house at the moment...I have so many beautiful ones people have made for me that I need the perfect spot for them. I love the fact I now own my own house so multiple holes in walls are finally an option...hurrah!

Friday, 24 February 2012

TFI Friday

I find it really easy to fall into the pattern of dragging myself through Monday to Friday, willing myself to get as far as the weekend, only to blink and realise it's Monday morning again.

It's a pattern I truly have to break myself away from.

I've been working a lot more on focusing my thoughts in more positive places for the past month or so. It's not always easy, but I'm sticking with it. To help with this I'm going to use my Fridays to focus on what has been good about the week and put the stressful stuff to rest.

My favourite things about this week have been...

The fact that any time I get my photo tent out it takes precisely 2.5 seconds before Bob the cat has climbed inside and set up residence. This photo was from this week's 'photo tent sit-in strike', but I have a whole folder of them now...possibly a blog post waiting to happen!

                                                                       Source: via Kat on Pinterest

I finished crafting for The Hunger Games Swap over at Craftster. I posted the items today...I tried a couple of new crafty ideas for this swap and had so much fun with it. I'll post pics once my partner has received.

I've signed up to the '30 days of lists' for the first time. I'm so excited (I love lists)...I have a few list-based ideas floating around my head and think it should be so much fun!

Watching the new episode of Modern's fast becoming one of my favourite TV shows. I love every single person in it...although Cam, Mitchell and Gloria have special places in my heart

My King Charles love isn't dying any, and thanks to my lovely man I now have a collection of all of his singles/ EPs to play in my car (v. loudly on the way to work of course)

Sometimes it really is the small things that give the strength to survive the big ones.

Happy Weekend everyone!

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Wild Olive Stitch Swap

I'm really quite excited ... Wild Olive is one of my favourite sites for cute embroidery and amazing patterns and tips...and the blog creator Mollie has just announced the first Wild Olive Stitch Swap.

I've totally signed up already - I love swapping stitching waaaay more than I like stitching for myself (is that weird?!).

What are you waiting for? Go sign up now (and it's open for international swappers of course...woo!)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Motif Monday - Adventure Time

Following on from my Sunday Best for yesterday, here are a couple of little Adventure Time cross stitch designs for Finn and Lumpy Space Princess fans.

I'm planning on stitching these designs this week (at the same time as watching the cartoons of course). Here are the designs (no key this time...choose the LSP purple of your choice):

And don't's Adventure Tiiiiime :)

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday Best #5

I've just signed up for an Adventure Time swap over at I love Adventure's incredibly random and yet also incredibly sweet. The underlying sense that Finn and Jake live in a post-apocalyptic world also adds a whole level of awesome to the cartoon and some genuinely touching moments.

To get some inspiration for the swap I've been having a search for some crafty goodness around the web, and have been amazed by what I've seen. So for today's Sunday Bet, here are some truly algebraic Adventure Time items:

Oh my glob I need this scarf...

Source: via Kat on Pinterest

These guys are adorable...and I still haven't managed to get the hang of crochet!
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

Cake and Lord Monochromicorn cuteness

Amazing hoop with beautiful stitching, my hoop wall would love this addition
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

I love Princess Rainicorn..and who doesn't need a plushie rainbow unicorn in their lives?
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

And another plushie I couldn't resist...Tree Trunks!
Source: via Kat on Pinterest

I'm hoping to have a little Adventure Time related cross stitch motif to post tomorrow...mathematical!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Stitching Saturday - The Babosaurus

I have a little project to share first attempt at sewing on card. It was a cute and pretty easy project - I literally just drew the design on tracing paper and then used a pin to punch through the tracing paper and onto (and through) the card underneath to give me the guide for my stitches. The end result was the Babosaurus, one of the lesser known, but ever-so-romantic dinos.