Adventures in Amethyst Princess of Gemworld Cross Stitch

I’m still working on a larger cast of characters Amethyst Princess of Gemworld cross stitch, but I took some time out to make a DC Nation Amethyst and Topaz.

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I made it for Brianne! Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the proportions of the border I originally put around the picture would look odd once I put the piece in a frame, so the border came out. These superhero designs were modified from a pattern I bought from weelittlestitches on etsy.

If you can’t find the comic book merchandise you want, make it yourself!

Books Read, February, March, and April

I am doing such a poor job keeping track of my reading on this blog, but I have been better at updating Goodreads, so at least I have my reading lists saved somewhere:

On the YA front I’ve recently read:

Afterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman
Scarlet and Cress by Melissa Meyer
The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater


On the romance novel front I’ve read:

Bound by Flames by Jeanne Frost
Lady Windermere’s Lover, The Importance of Being Wicked, The Ruin of a Rogue, The Duke of Dark Desires by Miranda Neville
Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt
Staying at Daisies, Millie’s Fling, An Offer You Can’t Refuse By Jill Mansell
Truely by Ruthie Knox – this was one of the more memorable books I read, in that I can actually still remember the plot and characters! Midwestern girl meets emotionally distant New York Chef. It was a really good contemporary romance.
Cold Iron by D.L. McDermott
Wanted: Wife by Gwen Jones
It Started with a Scandal by Julie Anne Long
Royally Ever After by Loretta Chase
No Rest for the Wicked by Cresley Cole


Non-Fiction:

Using Open Refine by Ruben Verborgh

Comics and Graphic Novels (non-manga)

Saga Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Ms Marvel Volume 1: by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona
Captain Marvel Vol. 1: Pursuit of Flight by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Emma Rios

Jupiter Ascending

I saw Jupiter Ascending and I was entertained. Keep in mind, I often do not feel the need to watch a “good” movie in order to be amused. The movie as a whole is an incoherent Cinderella Story, where Channing Tatum as a half human/half wolf looks profoundly uncomfortable most of the time and sports a mangy-looking goatee. He does have very cool rocket boots though! Mila Kunis as Jupiter has awe inspiring eye makeup, and a habit of falling from high places repeatedly only to be rescued by Channing Tatum and his rocket boots. There were scenes of long exposition about alien economics and immortality that were a bit boring. There were some scattered moments of humor. If this movie had been about 15% more funny, it would have been much better. Also, Jupiter doesn’t show much agency after being kidnapped by aliens. She gets a few punches in at the end, but it would have been nicer if she had been a more active heroine. I’m sure this could have been managed if perhaps one rocket boot rescue had been replaced with a different type of scene.

  • Sean Bean is in the movie! He loves bees!
  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw is in the movie! She is wasted in her role as a sardonic bat maid.
  • Eddie Redmayne is absolutely committed to his role as an asthmatic alien prince with mommy issues. He was delightful.
  • The supporting cast (sadly not the main cast) was nicely diverse.
  • The rocket boot special effects actually gave me hope of what we might experience if the Jack Kirby character the Black Racer ever shows up in a movie.
  • The costumes were gorgeous.

Overall, this was an adequate matinee/dollar theater movie. I think it is better seen on the big screen so one can appreciate all the baroque spaceships. I wish the script had been better, it would be nice to have a non-comic book/franchise science fiction movie to truly appreciate.

Rocket boots!

Cowls and some things that are not cowls

I made another cowl! This was for my Stitch and Bitch group’s annual party and swap.

It is the Irisa Cowl, out of some Fleece Artist yarn I got from Margene when she was destashing!

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I was super lucky and got some grey mitts that Cheryl knit:

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I have been wanting to make some grey mitts for myself, and now I don’t have to! I only wish it was cold enough in Utah that I could actually wear them!

I finished the other cowl I was working on, which does look a little blobby since the yarn is so dark. It doesn’t photograph well.

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This is my third time making the Mira’s Cowl pattern, and I am probably ready to move on from it! It is super great tv knitting though! It is a very flexible simple pattern that also works well with different weights of yarn if you vary how many stitches you cast on accordingly.

I cast on for another Clockwork! Pictures soon.

Books Read, January 2015

I’m trying to do a better job of tracking my reading this year! This is what I read this month:

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater – For some reason it took me a couple attempts to get into this book, I think because during my first attempt I was a little bit distracted and Stiefvater’s prose and world building really deserve a reader’s full attention. But this was a wonderful book, and I’m only holding off on devouring the rest of the series because I want to savor the rest of it.

Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare – This was slightly less whimsical than the first book in this series, but it still has the combination of cleverness and humor that I tend to enjoy in historical romance novels.

With this Kiss and Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James- Eloisa James tends to be one of those authors I turn to when I am feeling a bit stressed. With this Kiss as a set of novellas was a little disjointed, but that can only be expected. Once Upon a Tower is one of several volumes in James’ fairytale series, focusing on Rapunzel of course.

Trade Me by Courtney Milan – A new Courtney Milan is always an automatic buy for me, and I was interested to check out her first contemporary book. Some of the plot resolutions involved a bit too much suspension of disbelief, but I thought she was tackling a variety of important issues in the book, and portraying characters that are often not the focus of a romance novel in an interesting way.

RIP Exceptionally Slothful Vacation

This is my first week back at work after an extremely restful two week vacation. I was talking about our vacation with my husband and we realized that it was basically the first time in eight years or so when we weren’t traveling or entertaining visitors. It is of course lovely to visit people and have people visit us, but I really appreciated having so much time to do nothing in my own house (in between taking care of sick kids). Some of my restful vacation activities included:

  • Watching most of the kdrama Pinocchio. It has been a long time since I’ve wanted to marathon a kdrama, but this one is very compelling. Pinocchio has a slightly odd premise in that a small number of people are unable to tell a lie. They immediately start hiccuping if they attempt to bend the truth. Of course, the Pinocchio heroine’s dream is to become a TV reporter! The hero of the story has a tragic past where his family was destroyed by the news media, specifically the heroine’s mother. This is good soapy fun, and is by the same writer who did I Hear Your Voice, which is one of my other recent favorite kdramas.
  • I watched How To Get Away With Murder. So frightened of wallpaper now! I’m still behind with Sleepy Hollow, but caught up to a few episodes. I sampled the new Librarian’s series and feel sort of meh about it except for Christian Kane, who is consistently amusing
  • I knit a ton! I finished another cowl and started on another project.
  • I had more time to read! I tore through several trashy novels on my kindle. I also finally read the new Ms Marvel first collection and enjoyed it a bunch
  • I had some mental space to plan out a few Amethyst Legion of Superheroes posts for this site. We will see if that happens!
  • I did some home organization type activities
  • I watched/rewatched a bunch of movies. Die Hard on Christmas Eve, but also the GI Joe live action movies, Locke, Imitation Game, and many others that I am forgetting in my post-vacation brain fog

Work has been mega-busy leading up to this past December and I haven’t had the luxury of a paid vacation very much in recent years, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Partial Year in Review for Reading

I was mega busy this year! So busy, I did a much poorer job of tracking my reading habits. I totally forgot to log anything in Goodreads until July. So I read 62 books, including a few scattered manga and graphic novels. I suspect that my total of non-comic books for the year would be more around the 80ish range if I was keeping better track. I also reread a ton of books that aren’t popping up in my Goodreads list, like a ton of the Dark Hunters series, the Vampire Academy series, the first two books in the Divergent series (I couldn’t remember what happened before starting the third), some Paul Zindel books, and the Alanna series.

Some of my favorite things I read this year (that I remember):

I finally read Rainbow Rowell, and enjoyed Eleanore and Park, Fangirl, and Attachments.

In terms of contemporary paranormal romance, the Charley Davidson series by Darynda Jones was a standout. It was both hilarious and suspenseful! I read most of this series when I was on summer vacation, and it is great vacation reading.

For non-romance genre fiction, I continue to wait really impatiently for the conclusion of the Passage trilogy, but I was happy to read the middle book in the series, The Twelve.

On the traditional fantasy side, I read the Lies of Locke Lamora. I really enjoyed the world building, but I haven’t read the other books in the series yet.

The greatest proportion of my reading tends to be historical romances. So this year I enjoyed reading newer books by Courtney Milan, Kristen Calihan, and Julie Ann Long. My favorite reads in this category include the Rules of Scoundrels series by Sarah MacLean and My Beautiful Enemy by Sherry Thomas.

The book I hated the most was Allegiant. I thought the first couple books in this series were slight, but at least somewhat diverting. As the series dragged on, all the logical problems with the world building and character development became more and more annoying. I think that this is one of those books where the movie adaptation is actually better than the source material.

Right now I’m reading The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater and rereading the Shadow of Night.

I hope to do a better job at keeping track of my reading in the coming year!

Recent Knitting Endeavors

I have been knitting! I have now made almost 3 versions of this simple but nice Mira’s Cowl Pattern. It is a perfect knitting project for watching tv, because it is so easy.

Here’s one version I made in Madelinetosh light:

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I have a second one I finished that is a gift, so I won’t post it yet! Here is the third one I am making for myself out of some old Jo Sharp Silkroad DK tweed that I reclaimed from my first (failed) sweater project.

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I got some yarn for the holidays from my husband! This is Rhichard Devrieze yarn in the Hot Flushes colorway:
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I spent today on a super secret cross stitch I will be posting about later :)

Fall TV Season!

Because I enjoy watching TV while knitting in an attempt to pretend I am doing something productive, this is what I’m watching:

Shows I like:

Revenge – Last season was pretty horrible. I was mainly watching only to see whatever Nolan happened to be wearing. However I feel like with the start of season four, Revenge is getting back to the loopy soap opera that I enjoy. I mean, someone breaks out of an insane asylum! Drug plants and arrests! Someone inexplicably becomes a cop! Mysterious people appear from the past! Nolan wears turquoise suits!

Scandal – Love this show and especially Olivia’s coats. Do people have wine and popcorn Scandal viewing parties? I feel like they should. Back in the day my friends and I had pie and donut Twin peaks viewing parties.

Selfie – I watched the pilot, I would happily watch John Cho in anything so I will keep on with this sitcom!

Mindy Project – This is a good era for romantic comedies on TV. This show is consistently hilarious.

K-Dramas

I’m watching It’s Ok, That’s Love right now and enjoying it a lot! I’m hoping Three Musketeers will be available in the US soon.

Shows I don’t like, but will possibly watch anyway:

Agents of Shield – Ugh. I watched the last bit of the previous season just because of the whole Winter Soldier tie-in, but I am not enjoying this much. Feel like I should be spending more time watching old school Sailor Moon instead.

Arrow – I sort of hate watch this show. My husband likes it! I will probably watch it more consistently now that I know Brandon Routh will be on it. I feel like the Flash will be more of the same, and I will watch it too!

Gotham – Also not so great. I keep hoping that Michael Raymond-James will show up and it will suddenly turn into Terriers.