September 2011 Archives

Friday Five

Been listening to and enjoying The Hurting, Tears For Fears' debut album, which got me thinking about other debut albums I love. I have a soft spot for debut albums, and not just because they might be the first album I heard from a band. A lot of the time debut albums are very different from what comes after. And there's something about that that I enjoy. So here are 5 debut albums that are better than everything that came after.

  1. Little Songs- David Usher
  2. Placebo- Placebo
  3. Definitely Maybe- Oasis
  4. Something About Airplanes- Death Cab for Cutie
  5. Songs for Polarbears- Snow Patrol

WIP Wednesday: Bookworm Edition

On a bit of a book binge right now. Yesterday I finally got a library card and now I can check books out on my Kindle, I'm totally happy (well, until I saw all the new fancy Kindles that were announced today, so now I want a new one). It's been so long since I've been to a library, I forgot how much I like them. When I was a kid, my mom and I would go all the time and I'd check out huge piles of books. I owned the summer reading programs (I'm a notoriously fast reader).


So I picked up a couple of books, and then checked one out for my Kindle- Black Swan Green by David Mitchell, which I actually own but is packed away.

I'm also in the planning stages for the birthday contest prize piece and the next Phat Quarter swap (theme: somebody told me). I've got ideas for both, but they are completely different, so my brain is all over the place. I bought a notebook specifically to use for my stitch ideas before the food swap, and it is definitely coming in handy right now.

Winner Winner!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Congrats to....


The correct answer was: 7:25 am

Expect an email from me soon Lynn!

Friday Five

In this weeks' musical rotation:
  1. Northern Gospel- Emm Gryner
  2. The Hurting- Tears for Fears
  3. Strange Mercy- St. Vincent
  4. The Rip Tide- Beirut
  5. Pinups- David Bowie (almost time for Diamond Dogs)

WIP Wednesday: 30th Edition

Photo by andy1807

Still between projects, although not for long with the contest (yay!). I have been working on a pattern I started before the food swap piece, but I'm struggling to finish it. I thought I wanted to add a border, but they kept reminding me of the fishy friends piece for some reason. I'm rethinking some things now. So much for this being an easy pattern to make!

I think I need to come up with a long term project that I can work on during times like this. I go a bit stir crazy when I'm not working on anything.

Birthday Contest!

It’s my birthday, and this just happens to be my 200th post, so I’m having a contest! Last year I gave away a mystery stitch to a great home. This year, I’m doing things a bit differently...

The prize:

One custom cross stitch made by me just for you. Basically, I’ll ask you a bunch of random questions, and use that info to design something especially for you.

How to play:

All you have to do is guess the time I was born (12:03 am, for example). Whoever is closest without going over (Bob Barker style) wins. If anyone guesses the exact time, I’ll throw in a bonus prize!

To enter, comment on this entry with your guess. Each person gets 1 guess. Don’t forget the AM/PM! Here’s a hint, I wasn’t born in the midnight or noon hours.

The contest ends on Sept 26th. I’ll announce the winner the next day.

If you have any questions, problems, or want to send me gifts, email me:  ponyinarope at

Good luck!

Stitch Story: Food Swap

The theme for the last Phat Quarter swap was food.  One of the things my partner mentioned was how she liked the art style of the Fallout games (50s) and Bioshock (art deco). I'm pretty familiar with both of those games, so my original idea was to stitch something from one of the games. Then I decided to do something a little more ambitious. The idea was to take one of my partner's favorite foods, Cadbury Mini Eggs and create a billboard ad that might fit into the Fallout world.


I searched for pictures of Cadbury's ads from the 50s (Mini Eggs didn't exist back then), as well as food ads from that same period to get an idea of their layout and content. I was craving Crunchie bars like crazy for a few days there.

Since I was basically creating a fake product, I had to give it some kind of name, so I used my partner's last name, which I thought was a good fit for a fake chocolate company and a nice way to personalize the piece. For the slogan, I thought since it's the 50s it should probably involve wordplay or a pun. And I think it fits in well with the products in the Fallout world. It was at this point I started to feel like some kind of bizarro Don Draper.

I knew I wanted to include a bunny and had a pretty good idea of what I thought it should look like. I got lucky and found a picture of a 50's/60's matchbox on Flickr that was almost exactly what I'd imagined. I tweaked it a bit, changing the ears and adding a bowtie.

Overall, I'm happy with the way it turned out.

Friday Five

The next 5 books on my reading list (in no particular order):
  1. A Visit From the Goon Squad- Jennifer Egan
  2. The Marriage Plot- Jeffery Eugenides (really excited for this one)
  3. In The Woods- Tana French
  4. Before I Go To Sleep- S.J. Watson
  5. Double Dexter- Jeff Lindsay
I have so many books that I haven't read yet and there's at least 3 coming out in October that I've been waiting for, so I think I'll be doing a lot of reading this fall.

WIP Wednesday: Website Edition

Now that the website redesign and my swap piece are finished, I'm inbetween projects and therefore have no purpose. There were all these things I'd planned to do once I finished the site, but now I've forgotten them.

Here's the completed Radiohead bear from last week. I stitched it for the patterns page, so I could have a better picture. The old one was pretty sad.


Next week is my birthday, and I'm planning something fun for that. Watch out!

Welcome to the New Site!

It’s finally here! After months of pretending to be a designer, the new and improved site is out in the wild. I’m so glad it’s finished, the old site was starting to look uglier and uglier the more I worked on the redesign.

Basically, the whole idea was to give the site a brand new look that was more minimalist and functional. I eliminated the clutter and updated just about everything else. As a bonus, it gave me the opportunity to work on my CSS and HTML skills. I read books and everything!

Here’s some fancy bullet points about what’s new and exciting:

Looking forward, my plan is to include more posts about things that aren't stitch or music related. I’m thinking fun posts about moving, decorating a new place, DIY projects, maybe even cooking. I have tons of ideas that are just waiting to be put to use once my life sorts itself out.

I probably broke 50 things after making the site live, so excuse me while I frantically fix them.

Concert: The National & Neko Case

First up, a correction- The last show I saw was Grizzly Bear and Beach House, which was a few weeks after the Thom Yorke show. I forgot about that show because I was sick and almost didn't go.

The view from our seats:
Hollywood Bowl

Apparently The National is a wine and cheese event. Did not get that memo. So much wine. Shame they didn't play "All the Wine", would've been perfect. I'll spare you from my griping about the people there cause, screw them, it's about the music.

Neko Case was awesome as I expected and pretty amusing with her banter, which I didn't really expect. I got to hear 4 of the songs from my wishlist, including 2 of my favorites ("That Teenage Feeling" and "Maybe Sparrow") at the very beginning. She didn't play anything from before Fox Confessor, but it wasn't a full set. She played a few new songs which were pretty good. Here's hoping for a new album next year.

Setlist (approximate order):

That Teenage Feeling
Maybe Sparrow
Margaret vs. Pauline
New Song
Magpie to the Morning
New Song
Song I Didn't Know
Vengeance is Sleeping
Hold On, Hold On
Don't Forget Me
Star Witness

The National are freaking amazing. When Matt started singing "Runaway", I was just amazed at how fantastic his voice sounded. Not that any of this is a surprise to me, since I've seen them before, but I think at this show I was more dialed in compared to the last one. They played 5 of the 6 songs from my wishlist with a "Cardinal Song" teaser at the end of "Avaliable" (god, I love that song). Not to mention that St. Vincent (!!!) played with them on "Afraid of Everyone", "Sorrow", "Thirsty" (yay old songs!), and "Terrible Love".


Anyone's Ghost
Bloodbuzz Ohio
Slow Show
Squalor Victoria
Afraid of Everyone
Conversation 16
Available/Cardinal Song
Fake Empire
Think You Can Wait
Mr. November
Terrible Love
About Today

Setlist Wishlist: The National & Neko Case

Shockingly, this will be the first show I've been to since Thom Yorke at the end of 2009. I'll blame a lack of good shows and money for that. And really, at this point I've seen almost every band I've really wanted to see at least once. So it takes a lot for me to get excited about a show.

Anywho, I saw The National back in 09, but I didn't make a wishlist for that show. So here goes..

  • Available (I've heard this one, but now I love the song even more)
  • Conversation 16
  • Afraid of Everyone
  • Runaway
  • Sorrow
  • Baby We'll Be Fine (heard this one too, but it's one of my favorites)

And songs I know I won't hear (a girl can hope):

  • Karen
  • 90 Mile Water Wall (there would be some serious freaking out if they played this)
  • Slipping Husband

Then there's Neko Case. I've never seen her live, so my wishlist is long.

  • Maybe Sparrow
  • That Teenage Feeling
  • The Needle Has Landed
  • Runnin' Out of Fools
  • Things That Scare Me
  • Pretty Girls
  • Deep Red Bells
  • This Tornado Loves You
  • Magpie to the Morning
  • Vengeance is Sleeping
  • I'm an Animal
  • Whip the Blankets
  • Twist the Knife

Should be a fun night.

Friday Five

Football started last night and the US Open is going on, so what better time to have a sports related Friday Five?

Favorite (Current) Athletes
  1. Roger Federer
  2. Kobe Bryant
  3. Peyton Manning
  4. Pau Gasol
  5. Tiger Woods

WIP Wednesday: Sample Edition

So, I finished my swap piece, now I just have to frame it and mail it off. My partner should have it next week and then I'll be able to show it off. In the meantime, I've started something new to tide me over for the next week or so.


Here's a hint, it's a Radiohead bear. I'm stitching it for the new site. Normally I don't like to stitch things more than once, but I really like this pattern. I've been considering making a King of Limbs one, maybe this will inspire me to actually do it.

After working with 28 count for a month, 22 count seems ridiculously big.

Friday Five

It's over! After too many months (6) and too many episodes, we made to the end of 90210. It was only half of the series all except for the first 2 seasons, but holy hell it was long. It's going to be a very very long time before I'll be able to watch again (if ever). I'd never seen the finale before, and I was suprised at how few of the old cast they brought back. I get that the show had seriously fallen off in popularity by the time it ended, but it was a big time show in its prime. I think if a show like that ended today, the finale would be all about bringing people back.

5 Ridiculous Things About the Finale

  1. How fast the wedding came together: Matt and Kelly were planning their wedding for longer than Donna and David were even engaged. No way in hell you pull a big wedding together that quickly. I think the audience is supposed to believe they used all the stuff Matt and Kelly had arranged, but the details were all different.
  2. The bachelor/bachelorette parties: Why would any parents be there? Even better question, why in the hell would your HIGH SCHOOL PRINICPAL be there? Give me a break.
  3. Brandon's absence: Total cop out.
  4. Kelly and Dylan thinking they belong together: They spent more time pining for each other than they did actually being together. And when they were together, they spent most of their time fighting. Soulmates right there.
  5. The end: Really? That's how it ends? Other than the group celebration at the very end, it was no different than a season finale. A little anticlimactic for a show that was all about drama.