Thursday, May 19, 2005

SBQ

How many strands of floss to you prefer to stitch with? Why?

I usually stitch with two strands of floss. I like the coverage on 28 and 32ct and using a loop start makes the back neater. Even if the design uses variegated thread, it's always easier to find a way to weave it in.
I'm not very fond of 3 strands, because of anchoring the thread and also railroading. I usually only railroad on the upper thread, but I like them to lie neatly. I also find 3 strands too bulky, unless it's a light colour on dark background (which I try to avoid anyway).

On 32 and 36ct I also like stitching with only one strand. I find it looks very pretty, very delicate and slightly ancient. I am going to stitch Long Dog's The Token with one strand on 32 or 36 ct and I've been eyeing Needle's Conetent Spanish Samplers (flower and geometric) that I would like to stitch with one strand of Vikki Clayton silk on 32 ct. I'm sure they will look very pretty.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Being tagged

I have been tagged by several people (thank you very much!), but had to think about it a little bit. I have no idea who I should tag, because everyone seems to have already answered. So even though I won't tag anyone, I wanted to let you know that I really liked reading about your dreams, wishes, ideas...

If I Could ...


I have to choose 5 and then complete the sentence, then I get to tag 3 people:

If I could be a scientist . . .
If I could be a farmer . . .
If I could be a musician . . .
If I could be a doctor . . .
If I could be a painter . . .
If I could be a gardener . . .
If I could be a missionary . . .
If I could be a chef . . .
If I could be an architect . . .
If I could be a linguist . . .
If I could be a psychologist . . .
If I could be a librarian . . .
If I could be an athlete . . .
If I could be a lawyer . . .
If I could be an inn-keeper . . .
If I could be a professor . . .
If I could be a writer . . .
If I could be a llama-rider . . .
If I could be a bonnie pirate . . .
If I could be an astronaut . . .
If I could be a world famous blogger . . .
If I could be a justice on any one court in the world . . .
If I could be married to any current famous political figure . . .

If I could be a scientist, I would be reasearching artificial intelligence. I am fascinated by this field of science and I can see the influence it is going to have in the future. Think about the nano-robots that can be injected into the body, who can track and destroy cancer without doing any harm to the patient. Think about systems that can "watch" the environment and send pre-processed waves into the brain of people who cannot see. Think about intelligent cars, that drive all alone and avoid crashes.

If I could be a psychologist I would specialize in Reactive Attachement Disorder. It's a very scary disorder, usually only affecting abused or adopted children. There's very little known about it in Europe, even though almost all post-communist countries experince the effects of it, due to a large number of children raised in institutional care. And no one even tries to help them...

If I could be an inn-keeper, I would have a small inn, in a distant, lonely place. I would offer a possibility to stay there to under-priviledged children. The majority of my guests would look for solitude and contact with the nature.

If I could be a librarian, I would run a nice collection of books previously owned by some very old aristocratic family. The collection would have a special history, full of strange, bizzare and half-mysterious facts (like books and people disappearing suddenly, books given as presents to some out of the wedlock children of kings, etc). The atmosphere could be formly breathed in and there would always be a possibility to find long lost letters, poems, signs of the time...

If I could be a writer, I could describe the worlds that live in my head in such a way that everyone would see them immediately. My books would be full of passion and understanding. Nothing would be as it seems and nothing would end as it's supposed to...

Monday, May 16, 2005

On holiday

I'm in Poland, visiting my parents, so my schedule is somewhat chaotic at the moment. The journey was fine, even though a bit stressful, because so short before o holiday, the train was full. At least DD had lots of fun with two other toddlers in our compartment LOL. She usually is on her best behaviour with strangers and this time was no different so she was really aahed and oohed for being sweet and well-behaved. If only they knew... LOL

I haven't been stitching in the last days, but as now everyone is at work I have a bit more free time. Not that I should really spend it on stitching, there are only 3 weeks left till my exams, etc. But surely I am going to start Perennial Border, which I'll be doing as a SAL with Karen :) who was so wonderful and sent me the spacialtz threads needed for it as a birthday present. Thank you so much, I really can't wait to start :) and I'm very happy to be able to do a SAL with you :)

I don't know why, but I"m not very find of Martina's Spring Roses. Somehow I don't really like the colours of the middle part, so I'm not sure yet, what to do with it. I have three things (all new starts) with me, Perennial Border, Pacific Rim Sampler (re-start on new fabric) and Above the Clouds. So there"s a nice variety to choose from :)

THANK YOU everyone for tagging me, I am going to answer the questions soon :) I just need a spare minute to sit down and think about the answers :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

SBQs

I haven't answered any SBQs for three weeks now, so here comes a package. I think I have four insiprations to write about now :)

Given the option, would you rather buy a chart and get the material and floss together yourself, or buy a pre-packed kit?
I like buzing charts and kitting them up myself better. But I must admit that I like thread&bead packs offered optionally by some designers (Victoria Sampler, Janette Douglas, etc.), because they are usually a cheaper alternative to buying whole skeins of pricey threads. I am OK with kits as well, but I swap the fabric, which makes the kits significantly more expensive. I think there should always be an option to buy kits with eavenweave.

What is your opinion of Internet "freebies?"
I love them! They are a wonderful possibility to try out different designers, fibers, etc. Some are a bit simplicistic and I'm not very likely to stitch them, but some are simply splendid. Teresa Wentzler freebies are nicely medium-sized, Chatelaine also offers some that are quite big (90x90 stitches!) and very pretty. I think those are my two favorite freebie designers, but of course there are many more that I enjoy.

Do you finish all your finished pieces? (pillow, frame, etc,) If so, how do you finish the pieces? If not what do you do with them?
I have already answered the question, and nothing changed actually. Some of my finished pieces are still waiting for framing and I stitch very few smaller designers, so I haven"t really tried any fanc finishing, except for ornaments. But I'm going to try!

Do you set stitching goals?
Yes, I usually do. I not always stick to them (especially recently, because of the hicckups in my life), but I set them. I do not post them here, they are on Rotation board. Maybe I'll start posting them here when the percentage of achieved goals stops being so depressing LOL

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Culture

Cathy asked those great question a couple of days ago and I thought it would be great to answer them. I'm going to do it twice, once for Poland and once for Germany. Renée has answered them for Germany already, but Munich and Berlin are like two different planets in universe, so I'm going to do it again :) I hope you don't mind reading kilometeres (or miles ;) ) of answers.

POLAND
What is (roughly) your daily schedule? What time does work begin? What time does it end? How about meal times? Does your country go in for the afternoon rest time?
I usually got up at 6.50 am, washed and ate breakfast. School usually starts at 8 am and univeristy classes are scattered throughout the whole day. Work begins between 8 and 9 and ends at 4-6 pm. There are three major meals in Poland - breakfast which usually consists of bread, ham, cheese, tea or coffee, etc. Then most people take second breakfast to work or school and usually it's a snadwich or a fruit. Lunch/dinner, eaten at around 3 pm is the main meal and traditionally consists of soup and main course (meat, potatoes, vegetable). Supper is between 6-8 pm and is a very light meal, sometimes warm, if people only eat soup for dinner. I like Polish way of eating and despite living in Germany for 6 years my inner clock has never switched to eating my main meal at 6 pm. There's no afternoon rest time in Poland.

What is the predominate language spoken in your country? Are many people bi-lingual?
People speak Polish and it's the mother tongue of 99% of the population. There are some small areas, where other languages are also spoken, but they are insignificant. Younger people speak at least some English and some German near German border. The older learnt Russian at school (including meLOL) but they remember almost nothing. Learning languages is an important part of curriculum and most children start in second grade and add one more language later. Quite a number get afternoon lessons in languages, usually twice a week. Secondary schools with extended second language are very popular (part of the classes is held in another language).

What sports are popular in your country?
Soccer :) It's predominant really.

Are there supermarkets where you live?
Of course :) The nice thing about Poland is that major chains from many countries came there after 1989, so there's really a nice choice, British Tesco, German Real, French Géant or L'Eclerc, you have the choice. My fave is L'Eclerc, for the prices and quality. There are also smaller discount supermarkets, but they are not as popular as in Germany. A number of smaller shops survived and I like them, because they offer better quality of food than supermarkets. Vegetable markets are still existent and well loved :)

Who are the real-life heros in your country?
John Paul II. I can't think of anyone even barely as popular. Sport stars like Adam Malysz, people doing humanitarian work like Janina Ochojska or Jerzy Owsiak. Abroad Lech Walesa, he's not very popular in Poland any more.

Is there a day you celebrate your country? What is the celebration like?
Independence day at November 11th. During XIXth century Poland was disappeared from the maps of Europe for 123 years (divided in three parts among Prussia, Austria and Russia)* and we celebrate regaining the independence. But the celebrations are rather limited, no special traditions as far as I can remember. Of course, there are celebrations at school one day before, also in the TV, etc.

*Shall anyone be interested to read about the mad Polish hisotry I recommend "Gods' Playground" by Norman Davies. It reads like a novel and is quite objective, even though it's not uncontroversial. I think there's also a shortened version of it available :)

GERMANY
What is (roughly) your daily schedule? What time does work begin? What time does it end? How about meal times? Does your country go in for the afternoon rest time?
When I worked I would get up at 6.30 am. I didn't eat breakfast at home, but bought a sandwich at the bakery on the way. I would eat at 8 am while checking e-mail, logging to the system, updating the code on my machine, chatting with co-workers (no cubicles here, yay!). At my job people are allowed to arrive between 8 and 10 am, which they do indeed. We have to work 8.5 hours, 30 minute lunch break between noon and 1 pm included. Usually I would either eat a sandwich or salad or go to a real lunch with co-workers if money wasn't tight. After hours are a norm at my job, so I would usually leave between 4.30 and 8.30 pm. We used to eat dinner together at 6 pm or later, but as mentioned it's too late for me (I gained 50 pounds since moving to Germany). When I'm back at work, I will probabely eat more proper lunch (DD will get fed at daycare) and will eat only very light supper at home. Noon is a bit too early for my liking, but maybe it will work better. No afternnon rest time and quiet time is not observed that strictly.

What is the predominate language spoken in your country? Are many people bi-lingual?
Like Renée mentioned, not many people are biligual. That said, Berlin is an exception. With almost 100,000 Polish people, many more Turkish and countless other nations, many people got bilingual or were born in multi-language families. We restricted our family to two languages - Polish and German, but my friend for example speak Polish with her DD, the father speaks German with DD and she and her DH speak English with each other.

What sports are popular in your country?
Soccer again and Formula 1. Also other sports, like basketball, ice hockey, etc.

Are there supermarkets where you live?
Both supermarkets and disounters. I usually buy at Kaufland which is quite popular in eastern Germany (I live in western part of Berlin now), some things I get at disounters and vegetable at vegetable market, if I remember that it's the day to go vegetable shopping. I am not very fond of fruit and vegetables in supermarket quality and I really try to remember market days (sometimes it's difficult though, as I go to school on Saturdays).

Who are the real-life heros in your country?
I can't say. I dislike Joschka Fischer from the deepest of my soul, I'm very neutral towards the new Pope and really cannot name anyone whom I would see as a hero. Of course other people see it differently, but I cannot comment on that really.

Is there a day you celebrate your country? What is the celebration like?
October 3rd, the day of reuniting of western and eastern parts of Germany. It's quite low key again, mainly celevrated in the TV, schools, etc. Because of the past, it's fairly difficult to be proud to be German and celebrate it.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

State of Stitching

I think I'm already emerging from my whining phase for good. Things are as they are, and I think it's time to go back to blogging about more positive things.

So here's my Chatelaine Watergarden WIP. I haven't actually stitched on it almost at all in April, but got some nice progress in March and wanted to show you. Aren't the colours just wonderful?

I don't know what I am going to stitch on in May, I don't want to make any definite plans, as it's been very difficult to stick to any recently, but I most probabely won't touch it this month. I have the new Martina's freebie almost kitted up and I'm going to start it soon (there's a SAL for the freebie this month).

Underneath are my two most recent finishes. Venice Palace got done in March and Tempest blue-green conversion (by Maria - Bragnane) in April.

I guess I don't need to write much about Michael Powell's art, because it's so colourful and so much fun to stitch. I have some other pieces by him waiting to get started. I think Spanish Hill Town is going to be next. I also felt deeply in love with his new release - Handmade Houses. Sooner or later, I'm going to give it a go.

Tempest has been a blast as well. I have never suspected that a TW with all those fractionals and blends can be so much fun. Now I just need to decide which TW piece I am going to start next. English Garden Sampler, Above the Clouds or Byzantine Ornaments. I have all three kitted up (I found a piece of fabric big enough for EGS fortunately) and I would love to start all three at once LOL.

My rotation has been blown up anyway, so I see no reason not to start something if I feel like. I usually do not enjoy having too many WIPs at a time, but I will worry about it later on, at the moment: allowed is what makes fun :)

I find I've had a nice number of finishes this year anyway and even if I don't finish anything at all any more, it would still be OK. Of course I would like to have a couple more and surely I will have, but I won't stress overly over it. I have a number of other pieces I would like to start (or re-start) soon and my rotation will be thrown even more out of balance, but I guess I just declare myself a screamer for the time being and do whatever I fancy ;)



Watergarden

Tempest in The Teacup

Venice Palace