Thursday, February 25, 2010

It Came From An Email

- with love from the H.O.P.S.F.

And yes...I'm a smart, nerdy fangirl.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

iStitch - Getting Started

Now, as a teenager I didn't stitch that much, after all it was hardly 'cool.' But once high school ended I found myself drifting a little aimlessly. My first semester of college was really rather miserable, the only bright spots being my two new friends, a pair of bubbly and outgoing blonds named Shannon and Karen (who would eventually come to be know as the H.O.P.S.F.).

Now, I met Shannon first. We hit it off on our first day of a 1000 level History class and became instant compatriots. Shannon was funny, friendly, helpful and she cross stitched! She also had a boyfriend, a member of our on campus cadet program, who also happened to cross stitch. As I spent time with Shannon and her significant other the cross stitch itch turned up. I found myself picking up simple little 'throw away' projects at the local Wally so that I could sit around stitching with my friends.

But, since freshmen year was far from sunshine and flowers, I tended to find myself wandering the halls of the dorm for hours on end, restlessly pacing in what I now recognize as frustrating homesickness. On one of these rambles, as I shuffled past an open dorm room door, I heard a quiet voice call out after me.

"Would you like to watch a movie with me?"

I peered into the dim depths of a dorm room and encountered a petite blond, sitting on her upper bunk and staring at me pointedly.

"Umm...sure." (Brilliant reply on my part, don't you think?)

So I spent the next hour or so sitting on a lower bunk, silently watching a movie with a girl who would one day be one of my greatest friends, though I had no way of knowing it at the time. No, at that point I figured that she was just taking pity on someone who looked miserable and lonely. (Oh, and I found out years later that she was pretty miserable and lonely maybe it was fate that we ran into each other...)

Now, what does all of this have to do with cross stitching? Well...nothing. But there is a point to this story and the point is this: it was during my freshmen year that I actually starting stitching as a hobby. It was a much needed outlet and one of the things that actually helped me make it through that miserable hell of a year.

This is The Neighborhood. I did not stitch this freshmen year...if fact most of what I stitched during college has either been given away or lost or who the heck knows! Mostly, I just don't have it anymore. This I stitched in 2001, and it was my first big project. What attracted me to this particular project is the houses. Every stitcher I've encountered tends to like specific subjects or designers or themes. I happen to like houses, doors, windows, and gates. I'm not sure what that says about me, but there it is.

This particular piece has a companion or sister piece called Golden Gate Avenue. Which I own...but have not yet stitched.

iStitch - The Beginning

As you may or may not know, and frankly if you've been reading this blog for any length of time you really should know by now, my favorite hobby is cross stitching. I was introduced to this hobby as a very young child by my mother, who is also a cross stitcher. There are pictures somewhere, inside a dusty picture album, of a young HistoryDiva gleefully guiding a gigantic plastic needle and length of colorful yarn through a hunk of plastic canvas (a.k.a. training tools).

As I got older I was given scraps of Aida cloth and left over skeins of DMC to play with. For quite some time they simply sat in boxes or bags in the corners of my bedroom or closet. But eventually, as I'm sure my mother always knew it would, the bug caught up with me. So now, I stitch. I find peace in my hobby. I find patience and calm and simple joy. And as I grew to love this art I shared it with others (I'm looking at you, H.O.P.S.F. and LibraryDiva), in some small way doing my part to help keep this form of hand crafting from disappearing.

Now, as an adult, I can safely say that I'm quite accomplished as a stitcher. My mother, who taught me this craft, has even been known to say that I'm a far better stitcher than she is...though I tend to humbly disagree.

But everyone has to start somewhere.'s where I started.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you The Sad Turtle.

Ah, Sad Turtle. My first 'real' cross stitch project. I was nine years old when I designed and stitched this little guy. He was made out of scraps of thread on a piece of plain white Aida...looks to be 14 count but I'd have to actually get up from my chair and wander over that way to check and honestly...I'm just too lazy for that.

Now, I had forgotten all about this endearing little reptile until I was getting ready to move out of my parent's house. During the packing process he appeared from a shadowy corner of my mother's stitching stash and was presented to me, framed and ready to hang.

So Sad Turtle hangs around in DivaStan these days, gracing my world with his green, block-like presence. He quietly reminds me, as I work on much more ambitious projects, of where I started.

Found One!

A Little Random Wednesday

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Well That Was Unexpected

Do you see that? That lovely spring time floral arrangement which is gracing the dining table here at DivaStan? That, boys and girls, is a gift for me from TiaDiva. She ventured out into the cold and the snow and came home with a little ray of sunshine...just for me! I was taken completely by surprise...heck, I'm still kinda surprised!

So, actually using my camera for something other than pictures of the cat, I promptly chronicled this grand event for you, my fabulous Blissfully Unaware readers.

Aww, nothing makes me feel quite so warm and fuzzy as some sincere, heartfelt sentiment...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Lesson Learned?

This is TiaDiva, the DivaStan roommate. (As I'm sure you know.) TiaDiva is of the opinion that I take a few too many pictures of my cat. (Possibly she is correct, but shut up!)

Several days ago we ran into each other in the kitchen, where she again mentioned that I not only take too many pictures of my cat but that I put far too many pictures of my cat on my blog. (Again, she may be correct in this, but it's my blog so SHUT IT!)

"Okay, fine," I said. "How about I take YOUR picture instead?"

So I did.

And then I took a picture of the cat. (Surprise, surprise.)

And as I was taking this picture of the cat I happened to mention that I hardly ever manage to get a picture of the cat's face when he's awake because he's all 'ninja-cat' and gets away from me.

So TiaDiva picked him up and offered to hold him for a photo.

Or two.

Or twelve...
(again...SHUT IT!)

And there was some 'frantic kitten' and some giggling.

Hey...that's actually a pretty decent pic of you, TiaDiva!

And a poor attempt to hide behind the cat...

And the result is that I have a bunch of pictures featuring TiaDiva in her favorite NIGHTGOWN to post on my blog.

So I guess the moral of our little story is that you shouldn't taunt the girl with the camera. Not only will you lose...but the world will get to see you in your pjs!