Wednesday, February 28, 2007

March Releases from Character Creations

Birch Fairy - Carol Covey
Butterfly Fairy - Carol Covey
Mermaid Reflections - Carol Covey

As always, details on the news page.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sharing book covers again

The lovely new covers to Anne Bishop's Black Jewels Trilogy, which I started reading today, have inspired me to start putting up covers on my other blog - A Cover a Day - again.

I don't promise it will actually be a cover a day - it may be seven covers one day in a week, or just random covers at random intervals - but I am going to do better.

Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop

I started reading Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop today. This is the first in her Black Jewels Trilogy. I've had a number of people recommend it, but it always seemed like it might be a bit disturbing and dark, so I left it alone.

Late last year, [FantasyFavorites] read it and while I didn't, it was clear nearly everyone really enjoyed it. To the point the two sequels have been voted into the group's reading list - Heir to the Shadows for this month and Queen of the Darkness for May. Over Christmas the friend who fed my fantasy reading habit when I was a broke teenager also recommended them, so I decided to reserve the first one from the library.

I started it today and I'm already totally hooked, even if I've only been able to read around Marcus' demands for attention. (Aren't they supposed to need less time as they get older, rather than more?)

The dark themes are there, but so far it hasn't been graphic and nasty, which is what I don't like to read. I'm fine with that kind of thing if it is't show to me in gory detail. The best stories are the often the ones where the fight is against something that deserves to be fought against - if that makes sense.

Unfortunately, I'm not reading an edition with the lovely cover above. That isn't even going to be published until later this year. It's also a trade paperback so I'm going to be buying the 3-in-1 omnibus that is the best price, but I do love these new covers. Instead, I've got the kind of skanky US mass market paperback cover.

You can see all three pretty new covers for this series over on A Cover a Day... I'm intending to start putting up covers there again. I don't promise it will actually be a cover a day - it may be seven covers one day in a week, or just random covers at random intervals - but I am going to do better.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Ford Prefect

Ford Prefect
Originally uploaded by rocalisa.

I first read "The Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy" many, many years ago when the book first came out. I was always amused by Ford's choice of name, and when we visited a nearby car museum for my DS's birthday I actually saw my first Ford Prefect. I immediately knew I'd have to scrap it and here's the result. The quote reads "The information he had gathered had led him to choose Ford Prefect as being nicely inconspicuous".

Template by Teresa Ferguson; background paper, photo mat paper, yellow swirl paper and torn cardboard from "A Beautiful Mess" by Lisa Whitney; outer red circle paper from "Be My Valentine" by Lisa Whitney; all other papers from "Artsy Fartsy Volume 2" by Lisa Whitney; fonts are FG Lova, Data Control and Bogusflow.

Character Creations Stitch-A-Long

Some of the lovely ladies over on the Character Creations BB have set up a SAL for CC designs for the third weekend of the month.

So I have pulled out my Dawn Star and I'm currently working on the top of Mel's head.

I decided about 10 days ago to try yet another version of a rotation. I'm still to find something that works for me, but I guess each option I discard is something I don't have to try again.

Anyway, I decided that I would work on a focus project during the week. That project will be on the scroll frame and be an over-2 project. Right now it is Alpine Seasons and my goal is to keep that the focus until it is finished. After that I'll probably go to Mirabilia's Cinderella.

Much as I just love my over-1 art conversion WIPs (that's Defender of the Kingdom, Dawn Star and Aries), I've found that a couple of days at a time is a good amount for me to work on so I'm going to do those on the weekends. I've set up a schedule that keeps Dawn Star on the SAL weekend and overall gives me two weekends on Dawn Star, two on Defender and, if there's a fifth weekend any month, I'll work on Aries.

So I stopped work on Alpine last night (I've just begun with the first lot of trees in part 9) and pulled out Dawn Star this morning. However, I've found that the weekend doesn't necessarily provide a lot of stitching time since everyone is home. Given that NZ is in the first time zone in the world, I've decided to make my "weekend" be Sunday and Monday as that way I get one day on my over-1 projects where I have the house to myself. As long as I don't need to sleep for the day (something I often need to do on Mondays) it should work out well.

I'll aim to post a picture of the current status of Alpine and my weekend's progress on Dawn Star on Monday night or Tuesday morning.

Follow up on Pompeii Garden

My lovely Dave just proved he reads my blog (I knew he read my LJ, but didn't know he bothered with the "crafty" one) by buying a Lotto ticket to finance my purchase on Pompeii Garden. Of course, now we just have to win! I'm rather suspecting we won't and I'll just have to keep drooling, but I can still dream for another hour. :-)

Playing the blog game

I'm playing the From Our Blog to Yours game with Sweet Shoppe Designs again this week.

There were two questions posted over there for answering.

1. What are you doing this weekend?

My quick and cheeky response is "as little as possible". Being in New Zealand Saturday is almost over as I finally get organised enough to type this, but that's okay. We did have a pretty laid back day today.

I got my "Ford Prefect" layout done which was satisfying.

We took Marcus to the park in the hope there would be enough wind to fly a kite, but there wasn't. He played on the equipment at the park - he even had a swing which is a major, major achievement for a little boy who used to scream if put in a swing. We then went for a bit of a drive and once we came home Dave and Marcus went swimming. While they did that, I did a bit of stitching and watched the latest episode of "Bones".

There's cricket on tomorrow - the next NZ vs. Australia match being played here in Auckland. My goal is to laze around and watch it and do some more stitching, but of course, whether or not that happens will probably depend on Marcus.

2. What other hobbies do you have as well as scrapbooking?

Well, this is my craft blog (I have a livejournal as well and each one reaches a different audience, so I try to at least vaguely keep up with them both) and anyone who has read it for a while we know that scrapbooking is my latest obsession but it is most certainly not my only one.

I've been an obsessed cross stitcher since I was seventeen, and that's a long time ago now! For anyone who wants to go and look, I have a gallery page that has older finished projects and links to my current galleries on Flickr.

After getting a job in an embroidery and patchwork store, I learned patchwork and while it isn't an obsession, it's something I still enjoy and I make a quilt now and then - the latest being "Marcus' Very Quick Bed Quilt".

I'm an avid and obsessed reader as well - mostly SF/fantasy - and I have lots of good intentions about posting about the books I read here, but I'm afraid I don't necessarily keep it up and that's why I put the Library Thing widget in the sidebar, since I use that as my reading list.

I've tried my hand at a few other crafting things in my time, but these are the things that have "stuck". I'll actually be perfectly happy not to add anything else as I don't enough time or energy as it is these days.

Pompeii Garden

Oh wow, over on the Chatelaine BB, Margit has posted her current progress.

Go and look!

It is so beautiful. I really, really want this pattern, but it and the materials and just SOOOOOOO expensive.

I think I need to go out and buy a lotto ticket - and then win!

Oh well, I can drool instead, so long as I keep a safe distance from the keyboard.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

For the record

The exhaustion won. I went back to bed and slept until about 1.30pm, then rested for the rest of the afternoon until it was time to go and get Marcus from daycare.

I did finish my current book though, which was very satisfying.

Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs is an excellent sequel to Moon Called, her earlier novel about mechanic Mercedes Thompson, who has been raised by werewolves and finds herself caught up in the doings of not only the local werewolves, but the vampires as well. Add in the fact that Mercy is a coyote shapeshifter and Briggs has built a fascinating world that is peopled by fascinating characters.

I really enjoyed it and decided to be generous and give it a 10/10 rating.

On to The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason.

A Little Obsessive?

Do you ever feel like your so-called "hobby" has a got a bit obsessive?

I'm on a total scrapbooking kick right now. I'm having so much fun with the Sweet Shoppe Designs challenges - to the point I've done one twice! - and finding myself nicely challenged and having a great time.


I feel like things are a bit out of balance, especially since I'm supposed to be a good girl and get plenty of rest in order to stay functional. Instead I want to sit down at the computer and play with pretty pictures.

On top of that, I'm spending money on digi supplies. Not an absolutely fortune (in fact, not all that much compared to what some people seem to spend), but probably more than I really should.

I have other things I want to do - read some books, stitch on a heap of things, even - gasp, horror - try to keep the house tidy and do some work, and I only have a small and limited amount of energy. I should be spending it more wisely and probably on my family.


I'm having fun.

It's a dilemma.

Oh and by the way, last night I bought a bunch of photo clusters from Nancy Comelab.

This is one of her new clusters - aren't they just so cool. I've been drooling over them all for a while and now she's having a great deal where if you buy $10 worth, a 30% discount kicks in. She's also have a fantastic contest. Check out her blog for more details.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Defender of the Kingdom #008

Defender of the Kingdom #008
Originally uploaded by rocalisa.

This is my first two pages finished, and it now shoes some of Aeron's hair and the very top of her forehead.

I have the standard pattern and I've cut each page in have horizontally since that gives me a more comfortable amount of pattern to be working with at any time. So this is two of my pages, which would be the same as approximately 1 page of the actual pattern as I bought it.

Started Part 9 of Alpine Seasons

Alpine Seasons #013
Originally uploaded by rocalisa.

Here, finally, is my picture of the fnished part 8. I found I needed to take a break from stitching before doing any more, but started the next part tonight. I was hugely relieved to find that the inner border joined up properly when I got around the part that was already stitched.

I've got that inner border about half done, so I'm hoping I'll be able to finish that tomorrow and then be ready to start the next group of trees.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What kind of cookie...?

You Are a Jam Cookie

On the outside, you project a straight-laced, innocent vibe.
But on the inside, you're complex, exotic, and full of flavor.

This came from the Sweet Shoppe Designs blog, where they're playing a share it around kind of game. SSD is my new scrapping place on the net. They relaunched their site a couple of weeks ago and I love the new look, I love the designers, the whole thing. They're also holding some great challenges that I'm really enjoying doing.

When Scrapmommies folded, I didn't find another place I felt comfortable enough to really join in until now, so it's a lovely feeling to have found somewhere that I do.

I'm feeling very, ah, stretched by the latest challenge, I must say. I hope to have it done by the end of the weekend, so will post here once it is done.

I didn't have the energy to start part 9 of Alpine Seasons this week after all, so I'm planning to take a rest from stitching over the weekend and hopefully I'll be feeling ready to get going on part 9 by Monday.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

My House Really Looks Like

My House Really Looks Like
Originally uploaded by rocalisa.

For the SSD Not So Sweet Challenge #2 (take a photo of life around you "as is" without setting anything up). The scary thing is that the room got even WORSE after this. Oh yeah, I have a three year old.

(Edited to add - I just found the spelling mistake in the cat label and will fix it in the print version so please ignore it.)

Paint strokes from "Brush Strokes" by Kim Hill; alpha from "Fun" in the "A Mother's Love" collection by Amanda Rockwell; paper from "Sunshine" in the "Project 26" collection by Tracy Ann Robinson; tear action by Atomic Cupcake; font is KGD Kerry (aka MY FONT!!!).

Much Loved

Much Loved
Originally uploaded by rocalisa.

This much-loved and rather battered teddy bear sits on a chair in my mother's bedroom, dressed in his wooly vest. He's always been around and while I knew he was Mum's teddy when she was a girl, I never thought about it very much. Last October when I went to stay with my parents, I took our scanner so that Mum and I could scan some of her old photos to preserve them for the future. When she found this studio picture of a smiling little girl and her bear, she pulled it out of the suitcase and showed it to me with great delight. So here is teddy when he was still new and my mother as a child in a smocked dress and bonnet. All these years later she still has the same lovely smile and teddy remains as much loved as ever, as his place of honour in her bedroom proves.
7 Feb 2007

Paper and clock face from "Margo" by Eve Recinella; photo frame from "Vintage Photo Frames" by Andrea Burns; alpha is "Card Stock Alpha" from the "This Love" collection by Dani Mogstad; flower brush is from "Sunprint Stamps and Brushes" by Katie Pertiet; negative photo frame (recoloured) is from "A Little Something Fab" by Kim Christensen; "P" alpha tag is from "Backyard Explorer" by Lynn Grieveson; pin is from "Attachments" by Maryann Wise; torn cardboard from "Dishelved" by Shawna Clingerman; flower from "Lamington" in the "Project 26" collection by Tracy Ann Robinson; vintage paper is from "True Blue" in the "Project 26" collection by Tracy Ann Robinson; font is MA Simple Pleasures.

Seasoned Traveller

Seasoned Traveller
Originally uploaded by rocalisa.

Seasoned Traveller

Scraplift of Gina Miller's Naughty or Nice?

Seasoned traveller at 7 1/2 months - 12.8.04

Square paper from "Suddenly I See" in the "Everyday Inspiration" collection by Meredith Fenwick; other papers from "Secret Garden" in the "Everyday Inspiration" collection by Meredith Fenwick; scallop from "A Fresh Start" by Gina Miller and Vera Lim; lace from "Fun" in the "A Mother's Love" collection by Amanda Rockwell; words from "Joy" in the "A Mother's Love" collection by Amanda Rockwell; heart from "Everyday Romance" in the "This Love" collection by Dani Mogstad; alpha from "Wild Love" by The Shabby Princess; ripped notepaper from "Fremantle" in the "Project 26" collection by Tracy Ann Robinson; swirl from "Noosa" in the "Project 26" collection by Tracy Ann Robinson; font is Sara Elizabeth.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I did it!

Whoo-hoo! I've just put the last stitches in part 8 of Alpine Seasons. That makes me officially 2/3 of the way through, although the parts have been very different sizes, so that doesn't really mean anything.

I've been doing it while watching NZ play England at cricket, in what looks to be a pretty balanced match. I'd love to stay up and watch the whole thing, but I've still got a bit of a tummy bug (more details on my livejournal) and should probably be a good girl and go to bed.

All the same, I got caught up in that "just got to get this finished" state and kept on until I was done.

I'll try to take some photos to share tomorrow. Lying on the sofa watching cricket I might be up to, but that's about it.

I also did some work on "Defender of the Kingdom" at the weekend and have to take a picture of that as well. I've finished my second page (although I have cut all my pages in half to make them a size it suits me to work with) and have some of Aeron's hair and the very top of her forehead stitched, which is rather exciting.

Marcus' "Very Quick Bed Quilt"

Marcus' "Very Quick Bed Quilt"
Originally uploaded by rocalisa.

For the first time in a very long time, I've been doing some patchwork.

When we got home after Christmas and the weather began to heat up, I realised Marcus didn't have anything to sleep under that was cooler than his duvet and bigger than cot-sized.

So I went on a rampage and made a quilt (hence its name). It took me two weeks and I'm very pleased with how it turned out considering I haven't done patchwork in literally years and I didn't use a pattern.

Clicking on the photo while take you to its Flickr page, where there are a few details about making it.

If you go here you can see some more photos of the quilt, including a cute on of Marcus in bed under it.