Monday, January 27, 2014

A New Project: The Guardian

Yes, I'm aware I need a new project like I need a hole in my head.

But as you might imagine from all the travel in December that I have briefly mentioned but probably didn't really tell you about, by the time Christmas rolled around I really needed something I could sink my fingers into without thinking, that would keep me busy, and allow me to ignore anyone without seeming like an anti-social jerk. So I did this on Christmas-
This kit (Dimensions Gold Collection DIM35153 "The Guardian") got purchased at a Knitting & Stitching Show a couple of years ago, but it was just what the doctor ordered.

And its full of half stitches! Glory be and hallelujah!! This is like candy to me- fast progress, easy pattern. Oh beautiful, beautiful easy mode. Which is why I managed to get this done in the last two weeks-
I can't quite explain just how wonderful it is to have something where you can instantly see progress. Sorely tempted to do all cross stitches in half stitches in future too.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Blog Tour: Giveaway Wiener!!

When I thought "I'll just get them to give me a curse, it'll be fun," I really expected two or three relatively polite replies and then maybe one or two emails including something that I really didn't want to know my mother knew how to say. And then you did this:

Those spikes? That's ya'll. You, Bitchy Stitcher fans, are hilariously awesome!

I have to say I really enjoyed all the submissions. I'm impressed at how many ways people can avoid using curse words. I have to give a shout out to all of the foreign language uses- mad props ya'll, they're totally going in the rotation.

Hats off to Sarah for explaining the infix, which is one of my personal favorites. And "the prestidigitator" cracks me up every time.

Sadly, there can be Only One- I'd totally give everyone a book if I could. Without further ado-

The Wiener of the Great Insult Contest (and subsequently, the book) is Megan the Aussie who emailed me this gem: fuck-knuckle. I don't know why, but its the one that I kept giggling to myself about all week long, which I think means it wins. 

Congratulations Megan! I'll be touch about your book, and a big, big thank you to everyone else who participated, this was way too much fun.

If you're not Megan (the winning one), go get Megan's (the author one) book!! It will keep you as entertained as the comments here, I promise.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Blog Tour: Quilting Isn't Funny with Giveaway!

It's my very first blog tour post!

My loyal 8 followers will know that I am a huge fan of The Bitchy Stitcher, especially for educating me in the dangers of rat poop. When she asked me to be a part of her blog tour, I was honoured and shocked and really, really excited because it would mean I'd get to read more of the brilliant humor she writes. Once again, she has not disappointed.

Warning: Reading this book in public will result in concerned questions!

I had the idiotic brilliant idea of reading my copy while I flew across the globe. By the time I finished her "obligatory" How To Quilt intro chapter, I was laughing maniacally so hard the flight attendants were cautiously asking me if I needed any extra help, the lady next to me was trying to scooch as far from me as her mandated seat belt would allow, and we hadn't even taken off the runway yet.

The rest of the book continued to disturb my fellow flyers, which is high praise as far as I'm concerned. It also includes one of my favorite pieces- A Quilter's Survival Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse- which means I get to tell you the story of how I became friends with Megan and you'll have to suffer through it cause I'm a sap.

I first found The Bitchy Stitcher blog the day before my first FE1 Exam (which is the Irish equivalent of the bar and so terribly unfunny what with all that law crap). I might have been horrendously a tad stressed, and fell back on my trusty procrastination to make things worse better. Whatever the intention, her blog worked miracles. I spent the rest of the day curled up on the couch, reading the entire damn thing chronologically backwards (which works if you count hearing about recovery before the house catches the winter vomiting bug allowing you to skip the vomit working), giggling to the point my darling boyfriend asked concerned questions, and studiously avoiding doing anything law related. I passed somehow, and Megan had another faithful stalker.

Then there came a rainy grey day some months later (which lets face it, is not uncommon for Ireland). It was also a particularly horrible day in work for me (also not that uncommon). There may have been tears, I've blocked it out. ANYWAY, I was meeting my other half in Easons and while waiting for him to arrive I floated around, ending up with an edition of Quilter's Home in my hands.

This in and of itself was a miracle, as QH just didn't show up in Ireland- or if it did, I'd never seen it. I know, I'd looked. In it, Megan was talking about cutting zombies with rotary cutters, and by the time my boyfriend found me I was disturbing grannies and store staff by crying for realz with laughter. And in some miracle of serendipity, the clouds had parted outside and the sun was shining. I'm not even kidding.

So I broke the cardinal rule of stalking, emailed her, and thanked her for brightening my day. Megan will gleefully tell you about all the hate mail she gets from those who can't take a joke, so I'm sure my email, which was dreadfully serious and sappy, came as a shock.

And then she did something unthinkable. She replied to the crazy stalker. The end result, is that I found a wonderful, amazing woman to correspond with and eventually befriend. It was the first and only copy of QH that I bought, but I cherish it not for the info within, but the friend it brought me.

Now she's done this book- which like everything else she's ever written makes me laugh so hard I just about peed my pants (no fun on hour 2 of a 23 hour journey, Megan! Warning label maybe?). Since I couldn't get QH in Ireland, most of what is in the book was new to me, which did not mean that the stuff I had read didn't contribute to me nearly passing out from lack of oxygen at cruising altitude as I wheezed out my laughter through the tears.

This book is too good not to be bought and shared. You should buy this book for everyone you ever met who has even considered quilting. You should buy this book for all your quilty friends and as party favors at your next quilting circle (party favors? Does one do that at circles? I'd go if they did).

But really, you should buy this book for yourself. You should buy this book if you've ever held a needle and thread and tried to make something- quilty or not. When you get your copy, lock yourself in a room or a closet or somewhere your other half won't give you weird looks because I guarantee you when you try to explain why you're laughing uncontrollably the white shirts will be called in.

Made it through my sappiness? Well then, here's your chance to win one of these books. In honour of Megan's bold usage of expletives in a world populated by sensitive souls, to win one of these books I'd like to know what is the most creative expletive you've ever used/heard?

You can either leave a response below or email me at elistevo @ hotmail . com (although if you're too embarrassed to say your curse in public, this may not be the book for you). Give me a name you will respond to, a location (not address) and a way to contact you as well. I will accept multiple entries, but you'll have to have a new curse for each. This will run for a week, at which point I will choose the one that made me laugh the hardest to share with the class.

My personal favorite, which happens to be the only phrase I remember in French, is pardonnez vous, mais avez vous un porcupic entre le fes? which translates to roughly "pardon me, but do you have a porcupine up your ass?" So now you know the kind of standard you have to live up to.

Last day to enter is January 20th at midnight, but I will graciously allow it to be midnight US time, so pretty much get your entry in before I wake up on the 21st. I will announce the winner Tuesday, 21st of January.

And if you don't win this book through me, there's a couple of days left in the blog tour to try. And if that still doesn't get you a copy, just frickin buy it. It's worth it, I promise.

The rest of the tour:

Jan. 15 – Laura Lochore – Quokka Quilts

Jan. 16 – Elaine Wong Haselhuhn – Dashasel Sews

Jan. 17 – Kim – Persimon Dreams 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crafting On the Go

I travel a lot these days. My last trip reminded me, though, of how different crafting while traveling is.

It's not just that you have to manage to bring all the supplies, hide thread cutters from the TSA, and have something to do when you realise you've seen the entire selection of movies. The big difference, is the way people react to you.
Maybe its that people don't expect it from me, one of the younger generation. Maybe its because I'm never knitting, the go-to craft I see others do on their journeys. But what is certain, is that every flight attendant, who have undoubtedly seen it all, has to stop and ask what I'm up to.

In gifting my old iPhone, I finally found a good pattern to use on this plastic case. It was quite a good case, the piano motif delighted its recipient, and the entire pattern took me less than 8 hours. All in all, not a bad way to spend a day flying.

Safe travels!