Cross stitch


So, I have been reading The Hunger Games.

This is why I never get anything done, you know? I’d decided that I was going to bide my time on the blackwork, really study for it and plan it and make it the best it could be.

And then I read the first book of The Hunger Games, and, for some reason, I thought “Oh wow, the best way to get out this new fannish excitement is clearly to immortalise it in cross stitch.”


So I did.

And I still am.

And I probably will be for the foreseeable.

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Home Sweet Home

My second cross stitch project has been in the works for a while, pretty much since I started patterning The Hazards of Love and realised that my god! I can make cross stitch designs out of ANYTHING! I have the power!

Everyone has to have a “Home Sweet Home” style sampler or whatever, right?


But just saying “Home Sweet Home” seemed kind of bland to me. I’m a big fan of Subversive Cross Stitch, but unfortunately am too chicken to actually make them and put them on my wall (my mam might see, or even my grandma, and they still think I’m innocent and lovely!). So, what’s a girl to do?

I revisited the world of poetry to inspire me. Have you ever heard of William Topaz McGonagall? If not, then the short version is that he’s the worst poet in the English language. Everyone told him so, and you can’t even blame them. Seriously, try reading any of his poems and not saying “Holy shit, this is terrible.” McGonagall didn’t care, though. So what if he wasn’t allowed to perform in front of the Queen, or if his poetry, frequently describing tragedies and disasters he read about in the paper, was horrible? He was a poet, and poets write poetry, so that’s what he did.

This is why McGonagall was awesome. He chased his dreams, and now we fondly remember him and his terrible poetry and the way he chased his dreams, giving the middle finger to scansion, metre and the poets who love them all the way.

Do you want incontrovertible, objective proof that William Topaz McGonagall is awesome? He wrote a poem about an angel burning down all the pubs in Dundee. Beat that, Milton.

And what does this have to do with homey cross stitch, you ask?

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These Hazards of Cross Stitch

One of the big reasons I keep Spuggy around is that he introduced me to the Decemberists. He thinks I’m joking.

Anyway, it was somewhere in the first half of 2011 when I first heard my favourite album of theirs (and indeed, of any band ever). I was working a call centre job at the time, and unfortunately, the fabulousness of my colleagues and supervisor were not enough to counteract the anger of a lot of the customers. It’s not a period of my life I look back on with warm nostalgia, generally. Suffice it to say, I cried a lot and drank tea like it was whisky (often wishing that this was the case).

One day, I stood at the bus stop at the end of the road, dreading the angry customers and the inept company liaison who did her level best to fuck up our lives as much as she could, and I hit “Play” on Track 1 of The Hazards of Love.

Track 17 finished just as I was getting off the number 1 bus, within view of work. I swallowed the lump in my throat, blinked away my tears, and went to work.

My love for this album above all others is unending. There are no words to describe how perfect I think it is, or how jealous I am that I didn’t think of it first.

I’m not the kind of person who can let things I love go without making my own little mark on them. It’s like working through the obsession. I focus all my energy on some creative endeavour, and when that’s done it’s like closure. I can breathe a sigh of relief and move on.

I started my Hazards of Love project in August 2011. It was interrupted by the move to Frankfurt, during which I forgot all my threads and the pattern, but on Boxing Day I finally finished it. Continue reading