Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Socks

I did knit some ...

I'm in love with those socks. The pattern is a simply snowflake pattern I've found in a magazine, the wool is Admiral ombre from Schoppel Wolle. It was my second attmept on a boomerang heel, and it also worked fine.

And knitted some more

I've had some of the Schoppel wool left and always wanted to try entralac, so I started this. No idea what to do with it, it's more of a swatch than anything else, but I think it works very well with this wool, and maybe I'll find something for it.

And I also stitched some

I was just looking for something simple I can carry around with me during the x-mas season, ad found this. I picked the pattern up at the Nadel & Faden in Osnabrück. Cute, easy (though I'm not looking forward to stitching the sky)

Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

There's a Dragon in the Greenery

Last week I've linked to the new issue of Knitty and the cute little dragon that I found there. Well, here's what I've made of it. Not quite the same as the original, but still somehow cute. He's about half the size he should be, and the legs and the back ridge is bigger than it should be. And the tail is almost not there ...
Well, it was a first try and I'm sure to make another one.

Besides, I've decided to show an update on the Northern Lights Sampler

I'm about 2/3 done, I'd say. Currently I'm working on row 21. I've skipped row 17 for now, as I'll do all the beads in the end.
It's more or less my focus piece for home, that is if I'm not working on anything else - which happens a lot.

Yeah, I'm finally done with some Thunderbirds fic. First part is here. All in all there are 15 parts and if all goes well, I'll post one part per day.

And, new Atlantis. I've watched it already three times today and yesterday. "Tao of McKay"
Happy sigh.

One quote (of many possibles ... but I don't want to spoil too much)

McKay: …now is Sheppard still bugging you to let him use the ancient device to turn himself into some kind of superhero?
Weir: Oh Yes.
McKay: …despite the fact that the ancient database states that its effects on people are wildly unpredictable, and that I’m just lucky I wasn’t, er, instantly melted down into a pool of protoplasm?
Weir: Yes.
McKay: Well maybe, you should let him…
Weir: I think not.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Christmas Calories

Well, I didn't really plan on making x-mas cookies this year. When you try loosing weight it's not the best thing to have around. But then my mom came with crystalized orange peels and the request to make her beloved orange sticks from them (basically, cut the orange peels in stripes, then dip them in chocolade)
And as I already was in the kitchen and I was in the mood, I didn't stop there ...

On the top are ginger bread rounds. Below of them are marzipane balls with chocolate (the balls have also some of the orange peel and pecan nuts in them). Left of those are burned almonds with more chocolade and last, but not least I've made some coconut clouds.

The ginger bread was an experiment, which I'm not so sure that it worked out. The marzipan balls are also an experiment, but they are actually pretty good (normally I make them with walnuts and tried apricots, but this version also works)

Yeah, a new knitty is out. Look at Noberta. Isn't she absolutely adorable? I've already bought some wool for her and start working on her asap.

Last Atlantis wasn't really that great (well, they can't really always hit the mark) - but the episode gets one bonus point for working in a reference to one of my favorite movies of all time: The Princess Pride....

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Now that the recipient got her birthday present, I finally can show my latest happy dance off.

The Storyteller by Teresa Wentzler. I didn't stitch the border that went with it, but I can't say I miss it. I think I like it better this way.
Took me a couple of months, but, as usual with my stitching, there've been a couple of other project cutting in.

I'm down to one mayor stitching project, so I need to start thinking about what to do next *big grin*

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Things I Do ...

... for Atlantis (that is the TV show)

Finally, a new episode shows up, but what does my darling DVD player decide to do? Yep, no picture, only sound. Not the way I want to admire my favorite gate travellers.
I guess it's been pure spite because I've extended my DVD shelf and now got more space for new DVDs
So, I've bought a new one - a Philips. It was the only one in the store which could do DivX and could be switched to codefree. I thought it was interesting that the second information was written by hand on the sign - looks like I'm not the only one interesting in code freeness.

On an another note, I've managed to write quite a bit this weekend and finally finished the first big story since in forever. The story's title is 'Walk on the Wild Side' and it's a Thunderbirds story I've started about two years ago. I thought it was fun how the story developed in the last couple of pages. In the beginnig I had this big plan. Then I decided that there needed to be some changes, so I could inclue a bit more whumping, so I built up the villain and pushed the plot in a certain direction. And in the end, there was much less whumping and everybody goes home happily (that is, except the bad guy, of course)
I'll start on editing it now, then push it to Mac and see what she thinks. And then I can start posting :)

On the knitting front I've finished the big shawl project. warm and cozy it is :)

Here it's draped more or less elegantly over my new office chair. It's a simple feather and fan pattern and the wool is called Zoom.
Knitting wise I've moved back to finish a pair of socks, and on the stitching front, I've picked up the 'Northern Lights Sampler' which I've negleted for so long.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Voyages at Sea

Yeah, 'Voyages at Sea' is done. Took me quite a while, but it was my travel project and there were interuptions, so it wasn't too bad. I really like how it came out. Really nice.
I've also finished the big secret, which needs to to be a secret a little bit longer, but then I can show it of.
Well, big question is what to do next. I've got a second design from the same guy who did 'Voyages' as a kit, so this is a possibility, though probably not right now.
Then there's a couple of Teresa Wentzlers, but most of them are not very good travel projects as they need so many colors, so maybe something else.
Good chances are that I go for something from Dragon Dreams. I've got one designe ('Not Forgotten') pretty much kitted up (missing only the DMCs), so this is a good canditate.
Well, I'm sure I can find something, if I try hard enough (some voice inside of me it giggling like crazy)

...and there's still some knitting to be done.

Sunday, November 05, 2006


Well, I've finshed all the cross stitch on the big secret and also all the cross stitch on Voyage on the Sea. Meaning I'm off to backstitch - and both projects have plenty of it. Oh happiness oh joy.

To get some fun stitching in, I've started with this fall alphabeth.

I adore how the smaller leaves come out, but the bigger leaves are a bit strippy. Still, it's fun.

I've also did a quick knit in between, the Narkisa headband from knitty (again ... meaning, I love the stuff they have in knitty). I've did it in red though to match a scarf I've already got. It's to keep my ears nice and warm after swimming ...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Return of the Muse

Today, just some rambling, no pics ...

Over the years I've written quite a bit of fanfiction. Certainly never as much as Mac (but then, who does?), but I've did my fair share. I've written for Stargate SG-1, Quantum Leap, Forever Knight, Thunderbirds and an assortment more (individually, and as crossovers, alone and with others).
My writting spouts are usually pretty sporatic - I write some and then, for a long time, I don't write anything, at least not on paper (or computer as it is nowadays)
My last big writting phase with any considerable output to my name was when 2004 the new Thunderbirds movie came out. The movie might not be what the fans had expected and it definitly focused too much on Alan (my least favorite TB character), but at least it rekindled my interest in the old Thunderbirds show and I got some writting done.
Then I went on vacation, and somehow misplaced my muse.
Well, she found her way back...
Since last week I've been back to writting Thunderbirds (very much to the dissapointment of my friend who rather would have me writting Stargate Atlantis) and I'm having a blast. I know I had some certain path in mind when I started writting the story, but funnily enough my characters seem to have other ideas. Well, I'll see where they lead me.

On the craft front I've started a new cross stitch project, an autumn alphabeth with Needle Necessities threads - not that I haven't got four other projects in the works ;)
Speaking on older project, I've finished the cross stithing on the big secret project and am pretty much on my way to there on the Sailing Ship I'm stitching.

Last week I've read two books I really loved:
- Notes from a Big Country by Bill Bryson
- The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

Both are favorite authors of mine and I even though there have some hit and misses in the past for both of them, I really enjoyed them both.
Right now I'm reading The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud. Started very good, but now in the last part it lost some of its drive and I have some difficulties ...

I've also got the DVD box set of another old favorite of mine The Champions, a British TV show from the 70s. Wonderfully dated and having the old actors do an audio commentary 40 years after the fact is also something worth listening too. I never realized that there was also a TV movie which was a compilation of some of the episodes about 15 years later after the show was cancelled (side note here, the show was actually cancelled before one minute of it was ever aired - and that after 30 episodes were made)
I definitely have a blast watching the show

Sunday, October 22, 2006


yeah, I've got my stitching mojo back - though there are still a few knitting projects on the go, I've picked up one of my older wips and already did some head way on it.
As it's a present for somebody, I can't really show it, but at least I can give a peek ;)

Here's the pattern I stitch from:

With this pattern I've gone and started to mark every stitch twice - once with yellow, so I know where I have to go next and once with orange when I'm done with the color. This really helpes to cut down on the searching time and to reduce the missed stitches (I'm not saying I've got none ...)

and here what I've stitched in that little corner of the pic:

I've got about 10 ~ 15% of the whole picture still to do, but that shouldn't be too tough.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

more socks

I found I did have a picture of the Scottish Snicket Socks after all. Though not of the full sock, but some detail shot of the heel

I'm pretty proud as how the pattern moves very subtle from the leg to the heel :)

Also here's a peek on my next sock project - one down, one more to go.

Cuff, heel and toes are larna laces rainbow - and I love it.
Pattern is another knitty: Cut your teeth socks

I also did a little bit of hardanger, finishing a placemat that will go to my parents at one point - though I guess the pic has to wait for another time, as the upload is taking forever. Sorry.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Lots to do

I'm on vacation still, so naturally, I've got no time :)

I'm trying to catch up on my tv watching. So far the new season hasn't really impressed me much. Returns are Supernatural, Numb3rs and Criminal Minds and of course the various CSIs.
Of the new stuff, I've checked out Heroes (saw only the pilot, but sort of like it), Kidnapped (didn't grab my attention really), Standoff (same as Kidnapped) and Vanished (which I like so far)

Working on my office at home - got a new desk. The old one was way too small (it was still from the old appartment and the only thing that had fit in there). Now I've got something custom made - a friend helped me to cut a new desk top fitted to the space I've got and then I finished it (or however it is called when you try to make the surface of wood smoother) and varnished it here at home. Yesterday a friend came and we mounted it to the wall. Perfect fit :)

And while I'm got the tools, I've also finished and painted the small shelved I've over my radiators - after the move I saw there were a lot of water spots so I got rid of them now and they look nice and pretty and almost new.

Then I've got various dentist appointments. The day after we came back from Scotland I've had a 3 1/2 hours session to prepare four teeth for crowns and inlays. Got them fitted yesterday. Nice and pretty now and they also feel pretty good. Slightly different than before but I think I can get used to it.

Got two new lamps, one for the hallway and the other for the guest bathroom (I'm still not over the fact that I have a guest bathroom now with the new appartment ;))
Still got to hang them up though - somethign for today afternoon.

Did some shopping.
Need to do more shopping. I need new shoes and there's also some other little things I need.
Need to see the hair dresser today.

Did some knitting - and forgot to take a picture of the finished Scottish Scnicket Socks before they got sent out to Canada for a friend.
Started on some hardanger for my parents.

And post some more pics of Scottland here:

Scone Palace (with the indoor curling ring)

Street signs:

and view over Loch Ness

My friend is writting a more detailed log of the trip in here life journal - mostly in German so, but there is some English there as well and the load of pics (most of which I took -- well, I had the camera and I was not afraid to use it ;))

Steffi's Life Journal

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Stitching Sudoku

I love stitching
I love Soduko
So, that said, I decided to try and combine these two and came up with the Stitching Sudoku:

Rules are the same as for a normal Sudoku, except that there are colors instead of numbers; you can not use the same color in a row, column and 3 by 3 block. And of course, you need to stitch your solution instead of simply writing it down with pen and paper.
These few blocks above is all the information you need to finish the pattern.

If you have the preparation finished, one can go and make a little kit with the threads used in the puzzle and give it to a friend to finish it. And, voily, you (or she) get a cool little something that can be finished into an ornament.
Here are the colors, but of course, you can choose any color you like - I just was in the mood for a rainbow.

Speaking of rainbows. We had a cool rainbow while we've been in Scottland, looking over the water from the Isle of Skye to the next island across the bay.

Friday, October 06, 2006

There and back again ... well almost

I've been away for a while, but now I'm back (and excuse me for borrowing the line from LotR)

Me and a friend of mine have gone to Scotland for nine days. Proof is here:

It has been fun, even though it has been tough to be away from the computer for so long (well, I missed my e-mail at least)

The next coupe of days, I plan on writing some more about the trip and a few more pics. I took about 500 pictures, but really, I'm only willing to impress about 10% of those to the puplic (and here, I will probably show less than 10 pictures ....)

Knitting wise I've got a almost finished pair of socks out of it. I've used Regia Africa color and this Snicket pattern - fiddly but fun. Here's what it looked like after the flight from Frankfurt to Edinburgh (I was pretty glad they allowed for the wooden needles on the plane - airport security went really crazy in London)

Seeya later ...

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Nadel und Faden

We (a couple of friends and I) went to the Nadel und Faden (Needle and Thread) yesterday.
It was too hot inside (oxygen is not just a good idea, really) and it was to full, but I still had a plast.
And a pretty good haul, too.
- six x-stitch pattern (one more is going to be send to me)
- four hanks of Needle Neccassity cotton thread
- one ball of Noro Kyoro, some Lana yarn
- a bag of beads
- a small band of linen for a bookmark
- a small band in blue for some bead work

I stayed within me budget and am quite happy with my loot

Back to knitting socks (did I mention that I got a package on Friday with Opal sock wool Hundertwasser edition? I'm going to try that across knitting of socks next *grin*)

Loved this week's Atlantis (Phantoms). The episode could have been a fanfic - though, I guess, I would notched up the danger for McKay ;)
No really good quotes though, so I have a quote from the last week, McKay and Mrs. Miller. and, yes, two McKays are better than one:

Sheppard: Well, I’ve got to admit, between you and me, you’re a lot different than our Rodney too.
Rod: How so?
Sheppard: It’s the little things. You like golf, you say “please” and “thank you,” you’re--what’s the opposite of “condescending”?

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Stitching Mojo

Can somebody loose his or her Stitching Mojo?

I think I misplaced mine somewhere.
- For the last three weeks I've been visiting my LYS four times, every time I've bought yarn to knit (okay, one time I also bought some pearl thread, but I haven't touched it since then)
- I've finished three pairs of socks in those three weeks.
- I'm working on pair number four (with the excuse that they are for a friend, so they don't really count)
- I've ordered online enough yarn for four more pair of socks
- While I was swimming this morning I was thinking about the different ways I could use some sock wool I have in my stash for some Fair Isle socks
- I've cast on not one, but two shawls.
- I unreaveled one of those shawls after I've knitted 6 inches and I decided that a dropped stitched pattern is not the way to go. I've done about 12 inches on the same wool with a feather and wave pattern.
- I've tried to stitch this afternoon on the Northern Lights Sampler and even though I got a little bit of progres, I was still thinking that knitting would be so much faster and I would see more for th TV program.

I know it's just a phase and after a few weeks I'll be sick and tired of knitting for a good year at least, but until then, I'm afraid I'm lost to the stitching world ...

Here's a pic on the first sock for my friends.

The wool is Lana Grossa Mega Boots Stretch, the pattern is the Yukon Leaves Patterns

Thursday, August 31, 2006

About Sharing

This week’s SBQ:

How do you share your finished pieces with others? Do you frame them, scan and/or photograph them, or do you have another method that you would like to share?

I've framed most of my larger pieces. Some I give/gave away, some I have at my home up on the walls.
I've took pictures of almost all of my finished pieces and usually can't resist HDing on one of the message boards. I've got a webside (shared with a friend), but this is very slow on the update as it's not me who's maintaining is. And since I've started blogging, I, of course, post the results here.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


I just finished my Pomatomus socks (those socks, that I had to unravel the first one at one point, because it just got too tight) They fit perfectly.
Wool was Regia 4-fold in color 1040

Last weekend I ended up in my yarn shop and come out with quite a bit of new wool *blush*
But at least I've already started with new shawl with dropped stitches. The wool is Zoom from Lang Yarns. It was new in the shop, but I guess it will sell fast - it feels very, very soft. It's a mix of Merion extra fine, cotton and Nylon. The blush yarn is for weaving along the dropped stitches at the end.

And the reason (ehr, excuse really) I went shopping was for some perle cotton for some placemats I plan to make in Hardanger

Finally, the Stargate Atlantis quote of the week (from 'Commen Ground').

Kolya: The truth is, I would've settled for Doctor McKay, but I don't imagine I would enjoy his constant wailing.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Being Creative

Yesterday, a friend of mine had her b-day party. As her TV set went kaputt a short while ago, she ask everybody for money instead of something else. Now, I could have gone and put a couple of bills into an envelope, but that would be booooring.
What do to?
A while back I found that some Lego Pirates of the Carribian stuff at Toys R' Us. I also found a flat bowl somewhere. So, working with some blue food coloring (I would have loved to work with blue Jello, but you can't find blue Jello in Germany for love or money), gelantine, some sand and glittery stuff and the Jack sparrow set I've created this:

The money is imbedded in the gelantine *big grin*

My first attempt was too dark, so this is actually version 2.

Another way to get creative is to paint your walls. I've bought an appartment half a year ago, and every room has something special - my guest room has the Stargate symbols in a band along the walls, my office had some golden stars at the walls and my living room got the map of Middle Earth on it. I've only now added the place names and here's how it looks:

I love it!!!

I thought I go and answer this weeks SBQ question.
What do you keep your WIPs and other stitching supplies in when traveling?

I do travel quite a bit (because of my job) and I used to carry my traveling project in a plastic sleeve with the material in a small floss storage box. For my birthday this year my sister (bless her soul) gave me a DMC travel bag in navy. I swabbed out the Sitchbow Wallet thingies and put in something to hold my bobbins. To make it my own I used a Stargate Altantis patch and sewed it over the SMC logo ;)
This bag is great and I absoluty adore it.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Berlin, Berlin

Back from Berlin. The exibition was quite interesting, actually, though I was sort of more interested in how they found the stuff they showed and preserved it, than in the stuff itself (though there were a couple really cool items)
Guess I'm still spoilt from the Tutankhamun exibition I saw a long (long!) time ago in Cologne. Back then they had a lot of items from the treasury and even the famous face mask. I don't think it can get much better than this.

A good thing I had an early start though, as for some strange reason I though the exibition was in the Egyptian Museem - sounded kind of logical to me *shrug*

At least I got a nice picture of the Old National Gallery ;)

I've found out about the place change after a while and headed for the Martin-Gropius-Bau by bus. I was not the only one. I got there just as the show opened and I got in fairly quickly (after queuing to get in, and queuing for the ticket, and queuing for an audio guide and queuing at the cloakroom). It was also pretty full and I was jostled more than once while trying the get to the displays.
When I got out, though, the queue outside was pretty long and it was raining (as you can see on all those little umbrellas) - at least two to three times as long as shown here.

After the exibition I walked around a bit, looked at some remains from the Berlin Wall (actually, the place I'm standing to take the picture above would have been on one side from where the wall used to be and the building would have been on the other side - 20 years ago it would not have been possible to cross the street)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

%&@§ socks

After working for three days on the Pomatomus socks, and getting not even to the middle of the foot on the first sock, I ripped everything up and decided to start all over.

It’s not that I don’t like the pattern. I love the patters. It looks absolutely cool and the blue wool I’ve picked for it (Regia 4pl. 1040) is a perfect blue/blue mix. It isn’t that the pattern is too difficult. Au contraire, it is actually fairly simple and if you have started it right no problem to figure out where you are and how to move on.

But … they are too tight. That’s a first for me. My socks are always too wide. Always!

When I saw the socks had a cast on of 72 stitches I was concerned. I normally cast on with 60 stitches. That’s like 20% more. Those socks were gonna be huge. So, instead of using 2.5mm needles for the cuff and 3mm needles for the rest, I decided on a 2mm / 2.5mm combination.

The first couple of rows after the cast on should have given me a clue. Knitting a purl / ktbl pattern, this cuff was going to be tight. But still I plowed on. This would sort itself out eventually, I was sure. I started with the pattern, and even though it seemed a bit tight, it looked pretty and who cares for anything else? Even though the pattern was fairly simple to follow, I made a few mistakes like missed castovers, but those I could sort out and slowly (very slowly) the sock took shape. I got to the heel flap and the turn and started with the foot and found out that (again) I’ve made a mistake somewhere. But where. And how to fix it. And why are those socks to narrow and tight. They will never fit me (and I know nobody with smaller feet than me who would want to wear them – even my nephews are now getting bigger feet than me)

I took a deep look into my soul (or should hat be my sole in this case ;)) and decided to end it here and now and rip everything up and start all over again.

Of course, I have no 3mm needles with me this week and stitching wasn’t working either because I’ve forgot to bring my stitching frame with me …

Instead I took a dive into the entrelac I’ve seen and did a swatch trying to figure out how this is working for me. I’m thinking out making a scarf in that pattern but I need some nice wool for it. Something in solid colors maybe. Or maybe using a verigate fiber.

Well, I need to visit the shop anyway as I need more wool for my shawl ….

Tonight I’m going to head for Berlin and I plan on visiting this exhibition there tomorrow.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Weekend progress (or lack thereof)

I've finished the bamboo socks
I've fixed a pair of socks that I've made for my mom last year, but turned out to be too long in the foot - they are shorter now, and if they are too short, well, they fit me now.
I've almost finished another ball of yarn on the shawl
And I undid the last two rows on Northern Lights Sampler, extented the 3rd row by two threads (to center them to the trees) and re-stitched row 4 shifted by one thread to the right. So I've actually got less on NLS than last week.

Don't try this at home, kids:
I've got the soundtrack to the new 'Superman Returns' movie last weekend. So I took it with me for my weekly trip to Dresden. The first track it the Superman Theme from the original movie with Christopher Reeves by John Williams - one of the most brilliant pieces he's ever writting IMNSHO.
Turned the volumn to LOUD
Founnd a straight stretch of autobahn without speed limit ahead of me and without too much traffic (contraire to some believes, we do have wide stretches of autobahn with speed limits - and normally I follow those speed limits)
... and put the petal to the metal
I didn't thought that my car could to more than 210kph, but it does ;)

Oops, almost forgot my Atlantis quote of the week. I sort of liked 'The Real World', but that was maybe because a long time ago, I've wrote a SG1 story that pretty much was based on the same idea.
Nonetheless, there's a fun McKay quote that had me smile:

Sheppard: How do you know what you look like when you have a brilliant idea?
McKay: Because it’s happened more than once in front of a mirror.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

rainbows and shawls

Yesterday we had our annular BBQ in the Hunsrück and even though it was sunny when we came and a clear sky when we left, we had a thunderstorm in the middle. After that rain I took that pic above. Isn't that just an amazing rainbow. It looks like the end of it was only a hundred meters away. I didn't go to check for that pot of gold though ;)

I also got some knitting done. Halfway on the foot of the second bamboo sock and I also started a blue shawl with a lace pattern for those cold winter days soon to come.

This is after only one skein (25g) - I have eight skeins, but I think I'm going to need a few more. As if this is no excuse to haunt my yarn shop again?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

knitting with bamboo

This sock (the second one is in the works right now) is not only knitted with bomboo needles (which I dearly love to knit with), but it actually contains bomboo fibers. The wool is Regia Bamboo Color and is a mix of 45% bamboo, 40% wool and 15% poloyamid. It feels wonderfully soft and is cooler on the feet than just wool or cotton. And that color is to dye for ;)

Yesterday, I went to my beloved local yarn shop in Arheiligen and got some more sock wool for Pomatomus socks. I've found that pattern last week while I was hunting for free sock patterns and fell in love with it. I can't wait to start (but of course, I'll need to finish the other bamboo sock first, and then I've started a lace pattern wrap in blue mohair, then I promised S. to make here a pair of socks and not to forget ....

my stitching:

This is my progress pic for Voyage at Sea, my travelling project (fitting, isn't it ;)). Got a good 70% of the cross stitch done.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

New Start: Northern Lights Sampler

I started yesterday with the Northern Lights Sampler by Jeanette Douglas
I fell in love with that pattern about two yers ago when I saw it in a LNS in Canada. But at this time the high price for the embellishment package kinda shocked me, and I didn't buy pattern nor pack.
But, as I was thinking about this for two years and still wanted to do it, I asked my friend Antje to pick it up for me and of course she did.
I finished row 1 to 5 today (exept the beading, which I will do at the end)

I didn't care too much about those trees and I know I have a counting error somewhere, but I decided to leave it for now. The colors are lovely

I also did a quicky - a dragon design I've found in some old magazine. I stitched it with DMC 4070 (one of those new color variation threads I picked up in France). And I made it into a coaster.

Liked the new atlantis Episode, but no new quote at the moment. I'll need to see it a second time, maybe I pick something up then.

So, instead something from one of my favorite episodes of season 2, The Hive. From this McKay was re-titled to Mr. Amazing (at least for me ;))

McKay: There’s no time, no time. The planet ... not Ford’s, the one the, uh, ship’s headed towards, we need to get there and we don’t have much time. (pacing) I was barely able to escape myself, but I managed to take out the guards. (McKay grins) Oh, you should have seen me! I was amazing! I wish we’d got it on camera because ... That’s not the point.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Look, white socks

A week or so ago, I read somewhere about knitting with beads. My first reaction was 'what a cool idea'. My second 'I have a lot of beads, I wanna do that too'
Somehow, one of the first ideas was to do a pair of white socks with beads on the cuff. But, how to get the beads (and all I have is seed beads) on the cuff? So, I turned to my trusted wool store and they duck up a thread with pre threaded beads. They must have had that stuff for a while already - the priece was still in Deutschmark.
Not what I envisioned originally, but good enough for me to want to try it.
Outcome is that pair of white socks:

Now, I got quite a bit of that thread left, I haven't used any of the beads I wanted to use originally, and it wasn't what I wanted to do at first.
Still, I love them ;)

Maybe one day ....

(oooookay, after editing this for some typos, the pic of the socks have disappeared - I'll see what I can do, but this might take a while)

Friday, August 11, 2006

The many people who are me

As the pic of the white socks I wanted to show of, don't actually show for some reason, I'll skip to something else.

Ever googled yourself?

I just did and, boy, I'm surprised about the things I do/did is my life ;)
... or at least somebody with the same name I have did ;)

- I published (together with others) a book on poetry which is available on
Freaky, because I actually did publish fanfic together with a friend - though I never touched poetry. I do suck at poetry.

- I'm teaching a class for step-aerobic
Yack, I'm not sporty in any sense of the word.

- I helped to set up a German fanfic side
True, that was me, but I really did only very, very little. At the side has been dead for several years.

- I wrote a dissertation (is that a disertation? Some sort of final paper you need to write in order to get your diploma. Whatyacallit? Degree disseration?) on some farming tool
I did write such a type of paper, but that was more than ten years ago and it was about the optimization of a vacuum sensor

- I'm manager is a vacation resort on the Algarve
Cool. I've nver been there, but this sounds cool

- I do study managment in Innsbruck
Hmmm, I seem to be interested in bettering my life. That's the second student I am

- I have art and fiction in several Ghostbuster fanzine
yep, that's me. I admit it

- I'm a fictional character in a tv movie
wow ... I just hope I'm not the dead body ;)

and the cream of the crop
- I do publish my own cross stitch designs. And pretty stuff, too *big grin*

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Long Distance Driving

Driving to and fro Dresden once a week has it's perks.

It has it's down sides, too. It's 480km one way and on Mondays I have to leave at 6 AM to be on the customer side at 11 AM (the weekly meeting is on Monday afternoon and of course I need to prepare). Also, there's temptation on the route – every 50 km or so one can drive off and take a break at either McD or Burger King. And if I manage to resist one or the other, there's always one more to tempt me off the road and towards burgers and fries and other not really healthy things.

At least I don't have to drive on Sundays any more – I used to do that and even if the time is counted as overtime (not that I need more of that, really) it sucks to have one's Sunday cut short.

But there are perks – I love listening to audibooks and driving long distances is just perfect for it. I've just finished (I think for the third time as audibook) Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban, and am looking forward to starting with Order of the Phoenix next. This will keep me busy for a couple of weeks, I'd say.

And there's the weather. I love watching clouds and sometimes when I go by the Wartburg or one of the other sights on the way, the view is just breathtaking. I've seen a couple of amazing rainbows, some great lightning and a couple of really lovely sunsets (or rises in some cases) in the last year.

If only I could stitch or knit while driving, it would be perfect.

Last week's episode of Atlantis was finally watchable again. I was not really thrilled with the first three of the new lot, even though I found that 'Irresistible' improved after watching it twice.

I didn't have high hopes for 'Seteda' (it being a Ronan centered story line) but I was actually pleasantly surprised. Finally some good interaction, and even the Ronan part was okay.

Two quotes, one typical oh-so optimistical McKay and the other a really nice Sheppard/Teyla exchange (though the Sheppard / Teyla bit is more fun when actually hearing it – the delivery is great).

Ronan: I have a bad feeling

McKay: I always feel like that. Like something horrible is about to happen.

Teyla: How to you live?

McKay: I get used to it. Thing is, when someone else also has that feeling, mine gets worse.

Sheppard: Look, Teyla, I'm not really good at ... actually, I'm terrible expressing ... I don't ... what ya call it

Teyla: Feelings

Sheppard: Yeah, sure, okay. Point is, I don't really have good...

Teyla: Social skills?

Sheppard: Well, that is why I enjoyed flying choppers in the most remote part of my world before all this craziness happened. But, you should know. I don't have ...

Teyla: Friends

Sheppard: No, I have friends. You, Elisabeth, Ronan, Carson, even Rodney, are the closest thing I have to ...

Teyla: A family?

Sheppard: I do anything, for anyone of you. If I had to give up my life, the way Ronan was going to ... I would.

Teyla: Thank you. For everything you ... meant to say.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy dancing galore

First day of this year, I started with a rather large stitching project: Midnight Hunting by Dracolair. Since I've discovered Dracolair's designs I've wanted to make at least one of those dragons - I love those shadings and the dragons are simply beautiful in my opinion. I did start small with the two bookmarks (Knotwork Dragon and Red Dragon Bookmark) though in both cased I did change the colors - Knotwork is blue on green and Red Dragon is actually a Green Dragon Bookmark.
After seeing somebody else's finish of Midnight Hunting on an hand dyed fabric, I decided to do it at well, only I've plunged in, and dyed the fabric myself in light shades of blue. Not very noticable, but I'm quite happy how it turned out.
As the dragon has a fairly limited color palette, I used for the first time pre-threaded needles for the blended colors and loved how this made stitching easier. Though I probably wouldn't want to do it with something like a Teresa Wentzler pattern - there are simply too many needles to handle in this case.
It has been really fun to stitch and sometime in the need future, I' plan on doing the other two dragons in the series (and the two unpublished ones if they are ever published)
And, finally, I'm done with my draggie.

The colors are not quite right - they are a bit on the greyish side. Dunno why.
But you get the idea.
A larger photo of Midnight Hunting will hopefully go up on our webpage today.
(here's the link: Midnight Hunting)

Here's some details of the face.

And here are two smaller finishes.
Dance of the Bumblebee from Bent Creek (which I don't twice now)
All colors are the rcommended GAST and Week Dye Works theads exept the green in the flower, that is one of the new DMC color variations.

And, I tried my needle for the first time ever on hardanger. This is a freebie from Victoria Samplers. I loved it and plan on doing more. I'll finish that one as an ornament, eventually. The fabric is a very pale green .... not that you can see that on the picture *shrug*

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hare Pictures

I have no idea, why the pics don't show up in the previous post. I've tried quite a few things, but it just didn't work. Finally, I managed to create a new post, with the pics, but when I went back to edit the old post the pics didn't show.
So, here are the pic to my Needlepoint hare:

And here's some detail to the hare's head

Friday, July 28, 2006

There's a hare on the wall

Mid 2005 my friend Bill was visiting friends in Australia. Susan his twin sister (not really, but might as well be) is breeding bunnies and showing them and winning prices. So Bill asked me if I knew of a good pattern of a bunny or a hare, preferably in a medieval setting. I browsed around a bit and discovered Beth Russell Needle Point. There I found a kit that is part of a tapestry by William Morris with a hare, which I liked.

I showed that to Bill and Susan and they really loved it and then they asked if they would pay for the kit, would I be willing to stitch it up as a seat cover for Susan.

I've never did needle point before (I'm a cross stitcher by heart), but I'm always willing to try something knew, so I said, sure, yeah, why not.

Little did I know what I was getting myself into…

The kit was ordered and received and I immediately went to work. As I said, never did any needle point and obviously had no proper frame to stitch it in. So I stitched it in hand, which proved to be easier said than done. Especially, in the later stages, there was quite a bit to hold in my one hand, while stitching wih the other. As it was to be used as a seat cover, I stitched it with the continental stitch (I know, I should have used the basketweave, but that's all part of live and learn). It took me a good 6 months to finish and shortly after x-mas I send the somewhat askwed hare (I tried to block it, but I didn't manage to get it straight) off to Australia.

Susan changed her mind, though, and instead of a seat cover, whe found somebody to frame it (and straighten is out) and now the finished hare is on her living room wall.

(I don't know if this is working - for four days now, I tried to upload that pic. I finally found out that I need to open up my pop-up blocker, but still, I don't see the pic in my 'compose' window)

Anyway, if this works, a second pic for some details:

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Flying High

Last night I went and saw Superman Returns.
Even though this movie was released in the US end of June, it won't be showing in Germany before the end of August. I don't know exactly why they wait so long. In the last couple of years, the release dates all over the world got closer and closer together in order to stop pirating. My best guess would be that this time they waited a bit in Germany, to prevent getting caught in the World Cup frenzy - but why then wait more than six weeks?
Anyway, France, luckily for me, is not that far behind (it started second week of July) and so I went to see it here (with French subtitles).
It is very noticable that half of France is on vacation. Usually, when I try to get from here (20km south of Paris) to Paris itself, I need at least 90min if not more, due to all that traffic. This time, though, I manged to get to the theater in less than an hour.
I got to the theater with plenty of time to spare and managed to dip into Loisirs & Création a craft shop a few steps away from the theater. I've bought two hanks of DMC color variation threads and a very small Lanarte kit.

The movie: I really liked it. It felt a lot like the old Superman movies, though of course the technology has been updated. It amazing how Brandon Routh looks like Christopher Reeves. He has an absolute charming smile and the acting was pretty good too.
I also liked Lois Lane - there were a couple of Superman versions where that woman only got on my nerves. It took me until five minutes before the end before I realized that the guy who played her finace was the same who played Cyclops in the X-Men movies - which obviously proves that the glasses/no-glassed routine that works so unbelievably well for Clark Kent/Superman is in fact working.
The FX were mostly very good (except for some cape action that didn't look too real for me) and the rescue of the Space Shuttle / airplane was very, very cool.
Buidling on the good old Superman theme music by John Williams was a very smart move - I have to see if I'm going to get the score eventually.
The story was true to the comic books - who cares about physics when he can have a superhero to play with? And only the old Lex Luther could have come up with the evil master plan for this installment.
So, all in all, I was very happy, and I will go and watch it again when it finally comes out in Germany.

A quote ... sure (taken from
Perry White: [Explaining to Lois Lane why she must write an article on the return of Superman, rather than a massive power outage] Three things sell this newspaper: Tragedy, sex, and Superman. These people have had enough tragedy, and we all know you can't write worth a damn about sex

Monday, July 24, 2006

Paris Charles de Gaules

If there's one airport I don't particularly like then it's Paris' Charles de Gaules airport.
Why, somebody explain to me, does it take less than an hour to fly from Frankfurt to Paris, but over two hours to get my luggage and the rental car?
First for some strange reason all the luggage from a flight from Munich got unlaoded, even though this flight landed after us, before our luggage even showed up. And even though I can accept that some people coming before me also want a rental car, but why needs the desk be manned with only one person? (I also don't particularly like standing in line when the line is perpendicular to a steady stream of people going from one place to another)
The cap was when the elevators (or is that lift?) I needed to take to get to the car park had some problem and a throng of people tried to get in. It looked to me like two out of the six elevators didn't work (at least their doors never opened while I was watching). If I had had a clue where the stairs were I would have taken them, but I couldn't find them. Of course, after I finally got inside a cab, some lady insisted on pushing her (almost empty) luggage cart in next to the one that was already crowding the place, making it almost impossible for me to leave the cab when my floor finally came.

On the upside, I now have a cute little Chevrolet Matiz. Very small - a normal US pickup would eat it for lunch and still have room left for desert. The first Chevy I'm driving ;)

In Frankfurt there must have been some sort of conference or meeting for the Jehowa Witnesses. There were hundred people with purple name batches with the slogan 'Deliverance is at Hand' in at least four different languages. The line for the US check in counters was the longest I've ever seen and I feel sorry for all 'normal' people who wanted to go to the USA this morning. Half of my flight was from the same group - most catching a connecting flight to the USA in Paris.

I watched the pilot of 'Eureka' last night. Hmmm, I'm not so sure so far. I liked the female deputy for some reason, though normally I can't stand the 'I'm tougher than any guy' types. I give it some more chances and see how it develops.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Stormbringer is done

Yeah, I finally finished Stormbringer (by DragonDreams)

Took me roughly three months, but as it was 'only' my travel project, it didn't get that much time devoted to it. I stitched it pretty much as designed with recommended threads and fabric. Only thing, I left out the beads in the corners. I'm not to crazy about beads to begin with and they don't add much to the design for me.
I found a good frame, but repainted it to match the color better. And I need to mount it properly - just need to find a good mounting board I can use.

I've started to stitch Dance of the Bumble Bee by Bent Creek as a quick take with me project yesterday, but going now to prepare anything for Voyage at Sea (a kit form the Petites Gold Collection by Dimensions) to take with me next week to my trip to France. I've never stitched on a 36ct linen (as I'm going to swap the aida in the kit for some Edinburgh linen) Have to see how it goes.

Saw the second Atlantis episode yesterday. Not enough character stuff and far too little McKay. So far the season hasn't blown me away, but I'll going to stutck with it (naturally)

Best McKay quote:

Shepard: You're a genius, Rodney.
Rodney: Yes, I know... but I didn't do anything.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Rainbows and Lightning

I've driven home last night from Dresden back to Frankfurt (got a dentist's appointment today). The last couple of days it got hotter and hotter. I left Dresden to 38degree Celsius!!! Thank God I've got AC in my car. At least the heat is dry - humitity would be the killer now.
Around Eisenach I saw lightning ahead. I do love lightning. During a thunderstorm I could sit at a window and just watch it. Now, with the new appartment, I've got a great place to do it. From my bedroom window in the fourth floor I can see all over Langen - only so far I didn't have the oppertunity.
The rain lastet only for 10 min or so, but it cooled the air by a good 20 degrees. That is until 50 km later, when it was back in the 30ies.
The coolest about a thunderstorm in the late afternoon/early evening is when the sun comes out again and you can see a rainbow. There was a pretty good one and when I stopped for a short potty break, I could see both ends of it, though not the full half circle. I tried to take a picture, but it didn't come out that great.
Anyway, a day when you see a rainbow, is not a lost day.

On another note. Stargate Atlantis is back on the air again *happy dance*
So, I'll try an include a McKay quote every week or so.

From No Man's Land:
McKay: Maybe... Earth'll probably mount some kind of defence... In which case I imagine death would be instantaneous. Unless we're trapped on a deck and on fire or something, then we'd be burned alive. Well, burned alive or suffocate. I wonder what'd be worse: being life-sucked by the Wraith or, or, burned alive. I honestly couldn't consider two worse options.

Isn't he just a ray of sunshine ...?

Thursday, July 20, 2006

What's in a Name

Sapphire's Stitching Stanza

I've have been pondering starting a blog for some time, mostly to show of my stitching as it goes, but only last Friday I really got the nerve to do it.
And then there I was, ready to go, but had no name for it.
'Sapphire' had to be in it, that much was sure. It has been my net and fanish name since I was on the net and in fandom. I've used that name when I and Mac published fanzines under the label of M&S productions (first it actually was S&M productions until somebody pointed out to us that this wouldn't be the smartest move - see how long ago that was ;))
Then, of course there had to be some reverence for my passion (some might call it addiction) for cross stitch.
So, what then: 'Sapphire's Stitching .... Something?'
Hmmm, I might be on to something there. SSS ... there might be a cute little alliteration in that.
After some pondering (I think roughtly 5 seconds) the word 'Stanza' came to my mind. Hm, Stanza. Has something to do with poetry, I think.
Wikipedia says: "In poetry, a stanza is a unit within a larger poem. (The term means "room" in Italian.) In modern poetry, the term is often equivalent with strophe; in popular vocal music, a stanza is typically referred to as a "verse" (as distinct from the refrain, or "chorus")."

Well, this doesn't sound too bad and I hope you like it.

Reading: ”Stargate Atlantis: The Chosen" by Sonny Whitelaw

Stitching: “Stormbringer” by DragonDreams

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Stormbringer close to finish

I took Stormbringer with me on the road this week. I'm almost done - I'm on the membrane of the last wing (just filling it with Waterlilie 'Stormclouds') and actually did some backstitching on the lower part of the dragon already. If I push on, I think I might be able to finish it this weekend.

Of course now I need to get a good frame and a mat for framing. There is a pretty good place in Dresden for the mat cutting (with a computer controlled mat cutting table that has me seriously drooling), so I probably will have the mat cut there. Just to find a nice frame.
And decide on a place to hang it. I think I'm going to keep that one for myself and I do have the space, but still ... where?

And then, yeah, I can pick another project for travel *big grin*
Of course, now is decision time. There are several candidats.
For one there's Not Forgotten from Dragon Dreams. I've already did the kit up for all the specialty threads and also got the fabric, but I don't really need to do another Dragon Dream right now.
Besides, I have about a dozend kits at home that I want to finish and they are really good for travelling projects as they already have everything in it.
I've got two kits I'm thinking about especially, Mariner's Light and Voyage at Sea, both from the Petites Gold Collection by Dimensions. The fabric is aida, but I've bought some 36ct Edinburgh Linen I plan on swapping. I've done a couple of those Petites Golds already (Beautiful Bird and Eagles) and like the detail they show. Mariner's Light I bought twice already, giving the first kit away as a gift for a friend.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Listening on the Road

After driving to Dresden this morning for a meeting here, I'm going to head out to Frankfurt/Oder in half an hour or so because I need support some work there tomorrow. Too much driving, but with the current audiobook of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Askaban it won't be too bad (I hope) - it's about 2 1/2 hours drive, but I need to be careful not to miss my exits as I haven't done this route before.
I do love audiobooks, and I've listened to all six of the Harry Potter books and Lord of the Rings (unabridged of course) at one time or another. They are great for stitching and for driving long distances.
Yesterday I was listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone while sitting on the balcony and stitching on Midnight Hunting. I'm almost done with the border - maybe one more hour plus some straight stitches. I almost finished yesterday, but I was so tired, I couldn't quite focus anymore and as I had to go up early today, I decided to finish the border next weekend.
For this week, I took Stormbringer from Dragon Dreams with me. It's been my travel project for the last couple of months and is about 85 to 90% done. With Midnight Hunting also fairly close to the end, there will be some happy dances soon.

And then on to the next couple of project ;)

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Saturday's Icecream Frenzy

Hmmmm, we had our monthly Trekdinner (which was named after Star Trek at one point, but has practially nothing to do with that show anymore) in an Icecafe in Nackenheim (close to Mainz). The Dolce Vita has about 200 different ice cream creations and have special menues for Spaghetti Icecream (that is not that the icecream contains pasta, but that it's pressed through some kinda machine and it looks like spaghetti), Icecreams with Strawberries, Icecream with Yoghurt, with Chocolate and what not.
I started as a good girl with a Yoghurt Cup with exotic fruits and no whipped cream (though, I have to admit, it didn't look too different from the one Gisela had, the Yoghurt Cup with normal fruit) But later I just couldn't resist ordering a second cup with Chocolate. *shrug* what can I say? It was goooooood.
Good thing I don't do this too often - my scales wouldn't be too happy with me.

I think this was one of the things I sort of missed while I was living in Dallas. The ice cream in the US is just not the incredible good icecream you can find here in Germany (or in Italy ... after all, most of the ice cafes here ar run by Italian). An don't have me started on frozen joghurt. There are world between that and some creamy, sweet, fruity ice cream. In the US they put stuff in ice cream that has no right to be there (like cookies) and far too much artifical flavors.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Learning English

Hi all.
What a wonderful morning it is. First time in some time the temps dip below 20 degrees, so finally everything cooled down a bit. I'm not against sun and sumer, but when it's too warm to sleep there the fun stops. I slept well last night, and except for a small headache I feel fine. Praise the dentist. I might be scared of them, but they do make the pain go away.

So, now to the promised (or theatened) part where I talk a little bit more about myself.
If you have noticed that my English is sometimes a little bit bumpy, and I use strange phrases or spellings (let alone the punctuation) I let you in into something. I'm not English, or American or any have other country affiliation were I would learn English from birth. I'm German - born here, grew up here, and basically plan on dying here someday in the far future with a book in one hand and my cross stitch stuff in the other. And, I also wasn't too fond of English in school. I scraped by, but that was about it. This all changed when I decided to go to evening school after I started working and get my high school diploma (or whatever the equivilant really is - here it's called 'Fachhochschulreife') I a) got an exellent teacher there and b) joined a group of back then Star Trek fans. I'm still in that group, but Star Trek hasn't been a topic in a looooooong time. By joining the group I started to realize that there a lot of interesting things out there in English and that this language could be FUN. I started reading, writing and watching all things English and today you find far more DVDs or videos or books in my home that are English than German. That I work in a company that is very international with the only common language being English certainly helps.

Stitching: I've decided to put my big project that I'm doing for a friend's birthday and that I can't really talk about aside and go back to Midnight Hunting by Draoclair. I'm stitching the lower right corner and think I might have a shot at finishing the border this weekend.

Friday, July 14, 2006

not such a good day

Last night when I got home the toothache I've had for a day or so got worse than ever. I slept maybe 2 hours tonight. So, first thing this morning was to head for my dentist. I've been there just two weeks ago, and everything was find - well, more or less fine, as we decided to schedule some dental work I've been pushing out for the last year or so. But that was on the left side, and it was the right side that was hurting.
I thought my dentist would open at 8:00 AM, but actually he opens at 8:30, so I was waiting outside for half an hour for him to show up. And show up he did - only in his car, heading out. He had some seminar today and wasn't seeing any patients. He sent me through to his back up and after about an hour waiting I got my first shot against the pain and a trip to the x-ray.
The doc confirmed what I already suspected - inflamation of the root canal. I had pretty much the same thing about a year ago on the other side (this is part of why I went to see my dentist two weeks ago - in order to put a crown on the work from back then)
Another shot to numb the teeth further and the drilling started. A few minutes later the nerve was pulled, the hole was closed and the pain was still there in the background.
With the prescription in my pocket I headed back to work.
The pain is better now (four hours later) and I managed to eat something at lunch, so it's not all bad, but I really could have done without all that fun ...


Okay, now to the more fun bit (or maybe not).
I've started a blog. Yep, this is my very first post and certainly not really the way I wanted to start this.
A few words to myself: I'm 40 years old, single and happily so. I work as an engineer in the semiconductor industry (where those computer chips are built, you know) I travel a lot for my company, mostly in Europe, but I've had a couple of trips to Japan (were my company's headquarter is) and the US. I still like to travel and been as far as New Zeeland (probably one of the most beautiful places I've every been) and Alaska (a friend of mine is living there). Else I love to read (mostly fantasy, but a good thriller now and then is okay, too) and I am additcted to cross stitching. I mean, really addicted. I do stitch a lot and hate it when I don't have to time to do so.
More about me later.
I plan on blogging about this and that and maybe also a little bit of this as well.