Blog, Sweet Blog

Posts Tagged ‘cross stitch

Mood: 10% wistful, 50% ebullient, 22% other
Music: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs-Heads Will Roll

Continued from here.

Let’s just get right to it, shall we?  Here’s a picture of the scarf I completed right around the beginning of the new year…

Anna with scarf #1 FTW!

…and another look…

Who's a pretty scarfy scarf?

It’s my first real knitting project and I’m quite happy with how it turned out.  I used 17 gauge bamboo knitting needles and one skein of lovely, variegated, chunky alpaca (I think) wool.  The color is a weird, almost ugly combination of orange, magenta, purple and grey.

Mom bought me the yarn, some Addi turbo lace needles, and a copy of Debbie Stoller’s Stitch ‘n Bitch for my birthday when she and my aunt came out to visit.  My aunt taught me to knit when she was here, but it took me a couple of weeks of practice making swatches on cheap acrylic yarn before I felt ready to move to the more expensive yarn.  I didn’t follow a pattern, I just made a garter stitch (knit every row) and played with the width until it felt right.

It’s about 8″ wide, which is pretty wide for a scarf, and around 7′ long, which seems crazy, Dr. Who long.  Regardless, I love it.  We’ve had some really cold days here this year and it’s nice to have a soft woolen scarf to wrap around your head and neck like five times if need be.

Next up is my first foray into embroidery and cross stitch since I was a teeny tot.

untitled (lol) by Anna Hell

I apologize for the crap photos.  I’ve had to resort to using my webcam until I buy another, big girl’s camera.  Anyway, I started this project almost a year ago! I awoke from a feverish dream (or something) with the basics of this pattern in mind and I felt compelled to finish it…very slowly.  It’s approximately 5×7 inches and it felt like it took me a google-illion hours to finish.  The truth is prolly closer to 50 or 75 hours, but there are a lot of stitches in it.  I’m pretty happy with it, but I feel like it’s more of a sketch/practice piece than anything real.

This is the doodle I started the other day…

pop heart sketch by Anna Hell

I have an idea for how I might use this later, but it really just started off as a fun diversion after I finished the bohemiath above.  I know it sounds weird to take a break from needle work by doing some more needle work, but regular embroidery is way faster than cross stitch and it was nice to be able to sketch out something so fast.  Like I said, this might be incorporated into a larger piece (8×11 or pillow size?), but I just started this…

Grace Lace Beret

Elizabeth's Grace Lace Beret

…and I should really finish it before I get distracted with five other projects, as is my nature.  I’d also like to do a Blog, Sweet Blog title card and experiment with some “topographic” embroidery.

So, I’m happy to have finally finished a couple of projects, but only the heart thing and beret will count towards my viva la resolutions art things if I finish them this year.  Wish me luck!

What projects are you guys in the middle of/planning to start?

Mood: Get down with the sickness
Music: some episode of The L Word

O hai Englandz! We'z gonna need to have deez castlz and landz, kthxbai!

If this seems out of order,  it’s because I started this the other day when I was home sick…and why I made reference to it here and showed some here. Let’s just pretend like this is a Blog, Sweet Blog time machine ride to the not-so-distant past!

O hai Interntubes!

So, I’m sick today, but I couldn’t help but share some of the cross stitch/embroidery and knitting work I’ve completed recently.   I also want to show you some of the super wonderful Innerwebz stitch art I’ve seen over the past couple of months.

I’m not sure if the other people’s stitch art thing will become a regular feature or not.  There are plenty of great websites that do this all the time, e.g. feeling stitchy, mr. x stitch, and  Also, I tend to think every.single.project I see on those sights is lovely and amazing.  I would just be re-posting every item I see and that’s hardly the sort of top-drawer, Blog, Sweet Blog curating you’ve come to expect.  I think I’ll just let the pros handle craft blogging and I’ll just add some of my new besty craft sites to the right-hand blog roll.

Let’s start with the some of the online projects I’ve really loved…


Max by mimilove, click the photo for her page!

The piece above made me do a weird combination of gasp and squeee the first time I saw it.  It combines many of the elements of life I love…Hello Kitty, actual kitty, watercolor, an interesting color palette, and weird, delicate embroidery.  Mimi’s site is a treasure of similar wonderment.

So…have you ever been up in your own head, working on a certain project and you start thinking…

Wow, that is some good stuff right there.  I am soooo good at art!  I think I might even be sell-the-cat-move-to-Portland-and-join-an-art-collective good.

…and then you stumble onto something from Tod Hensley and it makes you feel like you just graduated from Baby’s First Art Class?  Well, that totally happened to me when I saw his work.  It’s a hurtful experience, but I highly recommend looking at super-talented artist’s work when you need to go back to keeping it real.


Untitled by Tod Hensley

The subject matter isn’t exactly something you’d show your mother (unless you’re me), but the stitching and design are expressionistic, tribal, folky, and sickeningly complex.  I think I like this one more…

excerpt from a larger, untitled piece by Tod Hensley

The last of the other’s work is an off-the-cuff, yet totally mind-blowing relaxation sampler by Mrs. Kitty.


Playing with color and texture by Mrs. Kitty

It’s so good, it makes me a little bit angry and full of the awe.  I think a lot of the old-timey samplers are interesting to look at, but would have been dreadfully boring to actually work.  Mrs. Kitty’s piece looks like the most fun way to learn every stitch and also work with color and design.

This is getting long, so I’m going to cut it up into two posts.  Click here for a look at what I’ve been up to lately, craft-wise.

Mood: Mostly awesome
Music: Blur-Stereotypes

I was hiding in my office…


Hi Internets!

It’s me, Anna.  I used to write in this blog back when I had something to write about.  Remember?  I had the angst and the stories and the whatnot.  I just wanted to check in and let you know that I’m incredibly happy, in love, wealthy, and have recently acquired the secret to immortality.  Ok, only one of those is kind of true (it’s the immortality) but, y’know, things are good and a lot better than last week.  There isn’t a lot of major/breaking news (I know, you can’t wait to read this) so let’s have a look at the old bulleted/hyphenated/whathaveyou list with the indentation for emphasis.

-I had my one year hormone-iversary on June 6th.  I guess I’ll count that as a new birthday of sorts since that was when I started working on my transition in earnest.  I don’t have much to say about the anniversary other than it’s shocking how much has changed since then.

-I made some super sexy vaca plans for the 4th of July, but I’m not ready to disclose them just yet.  I’ll give you some teasers tho…hot Midwestern nights…awkward,yet touching reunions…bowel quaking, ULF, rock music…yeah!  I’ll be posting the details when I feel like posting the details.

-I won at cleaning the house, relaxing, not going crazy, and crafting this past weekend!  I should post a picture of my cross stitch project (’cause that’s what the kids seem to go for these days), but I think it looks cool so far.  And I’m pretty sure it’s going to cause the local (meaning, in my house) arts community  (meaning, my cat (what? she took art history)) to burst into explosive, green flames or something equally great.  Here’s what I’ve learned so far:  cross-stitch is deceptively simple and takes FOR EVER.  I’ve been working on it since Saturday night, and I have like seven, four-inch rows so far.  But it’s going to be great, you’ll see.

-Season 3 of Battlestar Galactica has been my constant cross-stitch companion.  Even though I have it on DVD and was prolly in the room when it originally aired, I have almost no idea how they got to Season 4.  I know this because I bought the fourth season and, while watching it, proclaimed, “I have almost no idea how they got here, to Season 4.” And you know what, y’all?  Battlestar Galactica is a really good show…which is probably news to no one.  Timely?  Check!

-I took the title from one of this girl’s photos on flickr.  She has a cool “what I wore” kinda blog, but I really liked the title.  I often find myself struck by odd and interesting phrasing on the Internet, and I try to file it away for future use whenever I can.

-Uh oh, I accidentally listened to an entire Jethro Tull song.  Idon’t hate JT, but I’d rather keep it to myself, y’know?

-I patronized the public transportation system again today!  I would have just said, “rode the bus”, but I also ride a train and “patronizing the public transportation system” sounds way hotter.  So, that makes it, what?  Two times in…five weeks?  Go go go!  Me me me! What?  Not so great, you say?  Shut up, I say.  I was having a hard time getting up these last few weeks.  I think I have a pretty bright future in pub transpo patron’ing from now on.

-I got my her did on Monday and the fabulous result is the reason for my new found happiness and vigor.  If someone ever tells you that having nice-looking hair is not important, you have my permission to politely correct their error.

-I have concluded Internet Dating Sesh 1.0 and the results were fail.  I’m still ready for love and all, but I’m going to have to think of a new plan. Gigantic Internet Dating exposé to be posted at some point in the murky future.

-I called a gay man out (nicely) online for using the word “tranny.”  I think it’s a hateful word and I don’t approve of its use outside (and barely inside) of the trans community.  Gigantic The State of GLB vs. T Relations expose to be posted n days after the gigantic Internet dating exposé in the murky future.

-At work, we participated in…Operation Hott Eagle?  No.  …Operation Event Horizon?  Mmm, no.  I don’t know…Operation Enduring Lunch Hour/Hott Lunch 2009 or something…today and it was a great success.  Good job America!

K, that was a little more than I thought.  If you’re worried about Thursday, maybe this will help…

huge-metal-fan.gif image by puppychickens

Me three!

Mood: Like someone who is having a bad day
Music: Der Blutharsch-III

I was hiding in my office…

am I done yet?…ugh…i hate how i look…i’m going to stay in here all day…i’m miserable…i look like hell…my hair is stupid…i chose incorrectly this morning…is it too late to set the building on fire?…what about an artist’s commune?…why me?…i hope no one comes up here…double ugh…why doesn’t anyone come up here?…i feel like hell…i am in hell…music isn’t helping…annihilatrix…la la la…there’s a cocteau twins festival?…is it wrong that i’m not hungry by now?…just wait until everyone leaves…i hate coding…why isn’t there a picture of the singles box set bonus disc?…fucking fuck…has anyone done any performance art with a jet engine and raw meat?…i should do performance art…i’m going to cross stitch the hell out of something tomorrow…i wish i had something to blog…

Your attention please.  This is an emergency.  Proceed immediately to the nearest assembly area and await further instructions.

omg, really?…hello today’s worst nightmare…fucking motherfucking fuck fuck

So yeah, I was feeling like hell-slathered dogshit doughnuts dipped in a lovely batter of misery and woe with a pinch of human suffering sprinkles and they had to pick today to have a building evacuation.  I made awkward small talk with my coworkers for oh, about 45 eternities while we waited for the alarm to be cleared.

You know what though?  Compared to the rest of the world, work feels comfortable.  Like, I can mess up and look horrid and people are still going to talk to me.  I hate to, all-of-a-sudden, find a bright spot in these last two dreadful days, but there it is.  So far, this is a safe place and it’s really nice to be myself here.  But I’m not  joking about the raw meat/ jet engine performance art.  That’ll show those stuffed shirts!

Anyway, feel like hell, not going into the details, but I need to do something about it.  I think I’ll clean up the house a little before and after electrolysis (have I told you about how I’m sick of that?) then go crazy nuts on some art makin’ and playing outside for the rest of the weekend.  Suck it, ennui!

Oh, and per my recent, hilarious rant about untitled songs…

“The reason for not giving any tracknames is a different one; tracknames are labels for they reduce a piece of music and lyric to a small useful word. Along with the word comes the imagination to the listener. This is easy to remark in looking at the catchy titles of many songs. Once the title is there it diverts the imagination of the listener and thus deprives him from letting his mind flow around the music and get his own – uninfluenced – impressions.”

“Tracknames are labels and therefore they diminish the experience of the listener and support their tendency for consumption”

I think both of these are from Albin Julius (co-founder of both TMLHBAC and Der Blutharsch).  Ugh, whatever, Albin…if that’s your real name.  I can respect his opinion on the matter and I sort of see his point, but how much fun is that?  I like peppering my blog with knee-jerk, poorly-reasoned diatribes that keep a good distance away from “truth” and “fact.”

Then again, I don’t agree that track names unduly influence a listener.  Unless the song is called, “This is a song about that time that I fell in love and my dog died and I was really sad”, I think there is still a lot of room for listener interpretation.  I guess he’s pretty serious about not naming his songs though, sorry y’all.

an introduction

Hi, I'm Anna and I love cheese!

This blog is a chronicle of my life and a catalog of happy ephemera. The About page has a little bit more information, but, remember, none of this is really's just a supplement, a thumbnail sketch, a mostly anonymous Intarwebs placeholder. I'm way better/less wordy in person. :-)

Oh, and if I wrote something about you and you thought it was mean or hurtful, I'm sorry. It's how I felt at the time, but probably isn't how I feel now. Chances are, I love you and I think you're awesome.


All content on Blog, Sweet Blog is copyrighted by me, Anna Hell. Unless otherwise noted, all photos, words, and content on this site are mine, created by me, and should not be used without my permission (or at least attributed and linked back). I try to embed links or quote original source material if I use another person's work.

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January 2022