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  11:59:00 pm, by Airycat   , 327 words  
Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction

Everything by Kevin Canty

Everything by Kevin Canty

I didn't as much read this story as drift through it. I was caught up in the lives of RL, June, Layla, and to a lesser extent Betsy and Edgar, much the way we get caught up in the lives of people around us, particularly in a small town. It was an easy book to put down when I had other things to do, but also very easy to get back into it when I picked it up again.

This is what I call a quiet novel. There isn't a lot of exciting action. It's not that nothing happens, but none of it is remarkable. It's pretty normal, routine, even. Instead we are put into the heads of the main characters through their somewhat mundane lives. It was as if I were observing them. Their crises are also the normal every day kind that most people face. This is, in part, what made it so appealing to me. I found myself thinking about what was happening in their lives and thinking about my own life. I also found myself telling them to wake up or pay attention when I thought they weren't acting as they should or were missing something that I thought was obvious. While none of these characters was someone I totally identified with, they all nonetheless became people I cared about. They were real to me.

Even though there isn't much action, there is a definite turning point, an apex to the plotline. It's more than simply a set period of time in their lives. It has the requisite change that makes it a novel rather than an overlong vingette.

At first Canty's lack of quotation marks for his dialog bothered me, even tripped me up occasionally. But as I got into the story I didn't really notice it any more. Over all, his writing style is smooth, literate without being snooty or highbrow. I enjoyed this novel.

‎Monday, ‎November ‎08, ‎2010

Everything by Kevin Canty


  05:11:00 pm, by Airycat   , 219 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery

Final Project

This is for the last week of Sharon's Personal Library of Stitches class. For some reason I am thinking of it as a "Final Project" such as one would have for a credit course in school. It's not like that, of course. I certainly hope it is the beginning of many more similar type projects. I felt kind of stumped and decided today that I'd just jump in with it, just stitch without really thinking. HA! My brain doesn't seem to work that way. It's good for me just to "jump in," but my brain simply won't not think about it. First there were colors to choose. A good palette seems even more necessary if you don't know what you're doing. I started with a purple and green palette, but somehow it morphed to reds, browns, oranges... Well, here's the final selection

Am I going to use all of these threads? Probably not, but I like to have a choice. Picking these colors, my brain started to gear up. Now, I have several ideas. Some are definite, some not so much so, but if I do go with one of them, I will be adding more colors! The theme of the class is texture, so I will keep that in my and just jump in and see what evolves.


  05:46:00 pm, by Airycat   , 678 words  
Categories: Needlework, Hand Embroidery

A Bit of Catching Up

From the looks of this blog, it would seem like I haven't done much needlework in a long time. Not so! I've just been so busy at it that I haven't had time to blog about it. Most of my stitching has been for Sharon B's class Personal Library of Stitches. I am so loving that class! I'm learning quite a bit, especially learning to explore stitches. It seems to me like is should be obvious, but it wasn't. I's much clearer now. And I'm very much enjoying stitching! When I used to do cross stitch, I liked it, but I would get tired of it. This isn't happening with embroidery. I think it's the freedom to do what I want. I like the complicated cross stitch, but I have to follow directions (the pattern) or it won't look good. I haven't had any patterns for the embroidery, so far. And when I do use patterns, I'll be able to choose how I will stitch it. Unless I really lose sight of what I want, it should look good no matter what I do. See the pictures of what I've done for the class, so far. (Very long, with lots of photos)

Full story »


  08:14:00 pm, by Airycat   , 451 words  
Categories: Chitchat

I'm so tired of Spam comments!

I get anywhere from 1 to 6 comments a day on my blogs here. Unfortunately 99.9% are just spam comments. They are comments, usually, not just a link. The link is in the info part. But I know they are spam for a few reasons.

  1. The e-mail always comes back with permanent errors. If you are a genuine commenter, I should be able to write to you privately at your e-mail address.
  2. The comments make no sense. OK, if a non English speaker comments, it may not quite make sense, particularly if they used a translator like Babel Fish or Google Translate. But telling me about all the good points I made that you need to think about, tells me that you have no idea that you commented on a recipe, or me saying what a bad day I've had.
  3. Tell me the ad links at the top of my page contain malware. In the first place I have no ads on my website. If I did or ever do, you can be sure I will have used them myself and they will be fine. (An exception would be only if the site linked to had been hacked recently.)
  4. I get 2-5 comments in a week with the same url, and sometimes e-mail, although the sender's name is always different. Often the comments are exactly the same, even with different urls.

If you are a genuine commenter,

  1. use an e-mail address I can contact you with. This is especially important if you ask a question because unless it's something I think I should have included in the post, I prefer not to answer in comments, and even if I do, you might not remember to look again.
  2. use your blog address for your url. I might actually stop by and visit, at least once. If you don't have a blog, OK, use what you want, but you won't likely generate any business through my blog.
  3. comment on topic!! If you're responding to a comment I made at your blog, that's one thing, but I don't need random quotes or anything irrelevant to what I wrote about. I have never cared for blind compliments, either. Things like "Great job!" or "Wonderful post!" mean nothing. I love real compliments, but they will be specific and indicate to me that you actually read what I wrote. And they aren't necessary. Any honest comment that indicates you actually read what I wrote, even negative, is a good comment.

Spammers! You are wasting your time as well as mine. I don't have that many genuine readers. I also put your e-mail and/or website on spam block. Keep spamming and eventually you won't be able to comment on any b2evolution blog.


  04:05:00 am, by Airycat   , 670 words  
Categories: Needlework, Quilting, Hand Embroidery, Stitches

Beginning the Embroidery Class

I don't know why this is taking me so long. Oh, well. I have almost completed one row of the top border. I wanted to do something different, so I decided to do the corners in tapestry stitch. Three of them went well enough, but the fourth (actually it was the second) took hours to do. Next time I'll use a different thread or less strands. I used my bamboo yarn. I de-plyed it so I was stitching with 4 single ply rather than 1 4-ply. It would have been great on my aida (for cross stitch), which is a bit larger. (BTW, my store didn't have 25 or 26 count, so I ended up with 28 count linen). I also forgot to pull threads, so I hope the other two corners match up. The top two did, miraculously.

Anyway, despite the difficulty, I think the stitches came out OK. On the negative side, the corners aren't exactly the same size. That doesn't disappoint me too much, but the color does. My yarn looks like this:

I think it's lovely with the mix of beige (or creme), green, pink and lavender. All I got in the corners was the beige and lavender and it looks dull. I may outline them in one or two of the brighter colors. These are closeups of the corners:

Top right: Milanese Stitch Except, my book does this on the diagonal and I did it straight (and sideways). I also added one stitch, so it would be the same width as the right side. (I was not paying attention because it was supposed to be the height and not sideways!) I did 4. Bottom right: Triangle Stitch. This was easy. I did one.

Top left: Double Leviathan Stitch This is just a big star. I did 4.

Bottom left: Herringbone Gone Wrong Stitch It's very close rows of herringbone stitch done left to right, then right to left, instead of all going left to right. I like the basket weave effect it creates. This is the one that was hard to do. The reason is that the top stitches were tucked under the row above and, even though this is thin yarn, it's a lot on 28 count! I don't know how many rows I did. I just tried to match it to the right side.

The other disappointment was that I thought I had chosen some pinks in the watercolor threads, but after spending time looking, I checked my receipt and nope. It was the pearl thread. Since I used pearl thread (8) for the three running stitches, I decided to use ribbon for the weaving through them. I'm very happy with that part.

I still have to do the line stitch ... and the three other sides! I think they will go faster, though. I have to work on some quilts this week. One is just a single block for a block-a-month group. If I finish each month's block by the next meeting, I get the material for the next one free. (Not a bad deal for a fabric shop to do!!)

The other quilt will be machine embroidered. It's for my granddaughter, and I'd like her to get it before she's 12. (She's 7 months now.&amp;#58;&amp;#68;) I'd also like her to have it by the time the cold weather gets here, this year. Anyway, that's a case of being able to do two things at once, since the machine does the work, I can work on my sampler at the same time with only thread change breaks.

Other than that and the regular chores and errands, I hope to spend my time on this. Right now, I'm going to reread the lesson, because I think I got only about half of it. I know the color info didn't sink in. I usually just use my gut for color and according to my mom, sometimes it's a bit ... off. Well, I like red and yellow together! I think a lot of my "offness" is just that she and I like very different colors and styles.

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