Liebster Award

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A little while back, Nat nominated me for this Liebster award. Nat posts about social anxiety, how she copes with it, and her very relatable (at least for me!) feelings that go along with it. Feeling very touched by the nomination is an understatement, so thank you Nat! It’s quite nice to know that people visit my blog and that some of you like what you read, haha.

Ahhh! As I was going through the blogs I follow to make my list of nominations, I discovered that Emz nominated me (I was going to nominate you too!). She posts super cute and pretty posts on cross-stitch projects she’s working on. Thanks Emz!

The nominations don’t end here as it seems that the goal of this award is to give recognition to, and to allow to discover other bloggers too. 🙂

Rules for Receiving this Award

  • Create a post to accept the award! Thank the person who nominated you and link back to his/her blog (it would help if you included a little information about it).
  • Display the award on your blog. You can save the image and upload it to your blog post and/or add it as a widget on your blog.
  • List 10 random facts about yourself.
  • Nominate 5-10 blogs you admire that have less than 200 followers.
  • Post your answers to the questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • List these rules in your post.
  • Ask your nominees 10 questions after tagging them in the post.

10 Facts About Me

  1. I love the color purple.
  2. I’m pretty bad with words. I wish I spent much less time trying to figure out the “right” way to express what I want to say.
  3. I think corgis, bunnies, and penguins are the cutest things ever; corgis are like potatoes with legs, bunnies have those irresistible little nose wiggles, and penguins look like they’re wearing tuxes and are often quite chubby.
  4. I had a super big K-pop obsessive phase from 2007ish to 2013.
  5. I have eczema. I even have another blog about it! I had a pretty big flareup in 2014 and the hyperpigmentation and scars it left are just now almost completely cleared up.
  6. For those who are familiar with the MBTI, I’m an INTP.
  7. I love making lists. Doing things on said lists is very different though 🙂
  8. I like to use a lot of emojis :D.
  9. I don’t understand these contradictions (maybe they’re not contradictions?) about myself. I consider myself adventurous and thrill seeking (traveling, trying new foods, roller coasters, tried skydiving, scary movies), yet I’m pretty shy and I enjoy routine.
  10. Dad jokes still make me laugh. (To be fair, I laugh at the most random shit)

Nat’s Q & A

  • What was your childhood dream, and why?

Hm, from what I can remember, I wanted to be a teacher. Thinking now, props to those of you in the profession. I have no idea how I thought that I could be one because I don’t think I could handle a large group of students and keep them behaved, lol.

  • What is one thing you cannot live without?

The internet sadly, haha.

  • If you had a million dollars, what would you spend it on? 

Clothes, a cellphone upgrade, a laptop upgrade. I’d leave a big sum for my father, and probably save the rest. No noble causes I’d spend the rest of it on that I can think of though. 😦

  • Name one piece of advice you might give to your younger self.

You’re more than capable of than what you believe.

  • What is one skill or lesson you learned this year?

I used to think I often didn’t make empty promises, but work has proved that sooo wrong, lol. Let’s just say nowadays, I add a disclaimer that I’ll try my best, say I can’t promise anything, or say I’ll see a couple of other patients first, when a patient asks me when I’ll be back for their care or to fulfill a request.

  • How do you celebrate your own birthday?

I don’t really celebrate. I mainly spend it as another quiet day that I look forward to just with cake :).

  • Describe one person you either know, have met or interacted with who has influenced you in a positive way. 

As cheesy as it sounds, my boyfriend has helped me become more confident and social. Because he’s more of an extrovert, his social plans “force” me out of my comfort zone. I find it funny that I thought that I needed advice from him to be more confident and for him to monitor my progress in order to improve, but I’ve come to see that my confidence has gone up just from him taking a backseat approach and him being there to always listen (to my neverending venting, lol). I appreciate it so much that he gives me a shoulder to lean on.

  • Where is your favorite place to hang out?

Clematis Street which is part of the downtown area near where I live. There’s so much to do in the area and it’s such a warm atmosphere. During select months, there’s a farmer’s market with great food and bottomless mimosas. There are nightclubs (I’m starting to get too old for those late nights D: ), and an awesome selection of restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. As someone who isn’t very social, there’s something about the places on Clematis Street that I can’t describe which makes it feel so welcoming :).

  • What color makes you feel calm?

Blue

[4/27/17 EDIT (Seems like I missed copy and pasting this question when I originally posted this]:

  • Tell me about at least two things (or people) you are grateful to have in your life.

I’m grateful for my health and my life experiences. I’ve had a lot of fond memories and learned a lot of great lessons from said experiences.

Emz’s Q & A

*some repeated questions from above have been removed

  • What is your favourite type of music?

This is pretty tough. Probably downtempo/chillstep electronic music.

  • Why did you start blogging?

I wanted to write about cross-stitch advice/tips and ask people about theirs as well. It was also a way for me to keep a log and keep myself accountable for the projects and kits I work on, lol.

  • If you could be in any TV show or film what would it be and why?

Hm, this is a tough one. Maybe Ouran High School Host Club. There’s a lot of pretty boys and I’d be laughing at the hilarity that would ensue among them.

  • Where’s the most exciting place you visited?

Bremen, Germany. It was one of the first times I saw snow up close. It was what I envisioned what a winter wonderland would be like: cobblestones, freezing my ass off, beautiful shops.

  • What’s your favourite food?

Lol, what isn’t my favorite? If I could only choose one, it’d be chocolate.

  • If you could change places with anyone for the day who would it be and why?

This is a tough one. Does my family dog count? [4/27/17 EDIT (I missed the why part! I swear I might have some form of ADD)]: I’d be curious what it’d be like to live as a dog. Are their minds as excitable as their behaviors seem to show? 😀

  • What’s your dream job?

I don’t have one really, but one that would cover my living expenses and could fund my hobbies which isn’t different than what I have currently. I don’t think I could do anything I REALLY liked as a job because I might end up hating it.

  • Can you speak more than one language?

A little Cantonese, and even less Mandarin.

  • Whats the one skill you wish you could master?

How to appear confident even when I don’t know wtf I’m doing.

  • What’s your spirit animal?

A koala :). I like to sleep and eat.

My Nominations

  • Flossandfibro – Blog about fibromyalgia and coping through a variety of crafts
  • littleblackdogsa – Lots of posts of pretty cross-stitches and other crafts 🙂
  • quiltscatsandme – Cross-stitch and a lovely travel blog
  • domnakis – Gorgeous cakes 😀
  • yhandmade – Blog with beautiful floral embroidery

10 Questions For My Nominees

1. Do you prefer sweet or savory foods?
2. What can’t you leave your house without?
3. What did you enjoy most about today?
4. Are you an early riser or a night owl?
5. What’s your favorite hobby?
6. What are three foods you can’t go without?
7. What are you looking forward to?
8. What websites do you frequent?
9. Name one of your current goals.
10. What’s your favorite type of cuisine?

Faster Cross-stitching?

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The bear looks kinda creepy without the eyes stitched in, welp..

Been making lots of progress with the Past, Present, Forever and the Flowers and Lace patterns. I’ll leave it up to you guys, my readers, to take that as sarcasm or not :D. I spent the last few days stitching those two patterns more than I normally would, and I suppose in the process, I got sick of them and started a new one. The new pattern’s called Teddy Bear Gathering, and it’s another from the Dimensions Gold Collection :).

I’m in love with the railroading technique. For those whom this is the first time seeing this term, it’s a stitching technique that helps make two strands in a stitch lie parallel to each other. I don’t think I’ve ever had my stitches lie so flatly and neatly before, and I feel like it’s reduced the times the threads have gotten tangled (knock on wood!). Thank you so much, Nat, for introducing me to the term! Please check out her beautiful stitching here and here. She also writes heartful, and at times, raw posts about her personal dealings with social anxiety.

I’ve been lately hoping to stitch faster, and stumbled upon the term “the sewing method“. I’ve seen the method used before in other videos, but didn’t have a chance to place a name with it until now. I do hope to use the method soon although I probably won’t be able to with the constant color changes I have in the patterns currently. I’ll have to wait until I finish most of those sections, and get to the background since backgrounds have generally large sections of one color.

Another thing I’ve seen a lot of stitchers do in videos that I wish I mastered is poking the needle in the right place from the back of the cloth/pattern to the front without having to flip to look at the back of the cloth. For those of you who stitch like that comfortably, HOW THE HELL DO YOU DO THAT? I always have trouble pushing the needle through the right place and end up poking EVERYWHERE but the right one. It looks like stitching would go sooo much faster if I could do that properly!

Do you ladies have tips and tricks to stitch faster or any other general tricks you like to use? I’d love to hear from you! I have a few cross-stitch tips and tricks videos in my YouTube watchlist and wouldn’t mind adding more :).

StitchBows and Other Organization Woes

While (again) going through flossandfibro’s, formerly myknitsandpearls, blog, I found some great cross-stitching organization ideas of hers. Might I say I should give her a big thanks for the help I’ve gotten from her posts about grime guards, needle minders, and now organizing?! [7/11/16 UPDATE: She made a more recent post on craft organization here!]

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I’ve been using this ratty looking (tote) bag to store my Past, Present, Forever kit materials. Since it’s a one compartment bag, I have had to constantly dig through the bag to get what I wanted. I would say the bag itself is a decent size. As you can see though, there’s not quite enough space for the charts and aida cloth.

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To be fair, I probably would have an easier time finding things if I cleared out the items that I didn’t need. I kept some of the smaller items stored in what was left of the original plastic casing of the Past, Present, Forever kit. I haven’t removed the extra markers and colored pencils because I didn’t know which was the best to use to highlight the boxes I completed for the charts. Thankfully, I can get rid of them now.

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For the two other projects I’ve put off to the side, I use an old JanSport backpack and a plastic bag. These projects require a smaller amount of materials especially floss, so I don’t feel as tasked to change how I store them.

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Love, love, love JanSport backpacks! I always love their stitched in pencil/pen holders.

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I might put this bag to good use. It seems like a good size for projects, and it has lots of pockets :). I’ll probably end up throwing the blue tote bag out and use this bag instead from now on.

I’m considering getting a DMC StitchBow travel bag after reading about it in flossandfibro/myknitsandpearls’ blog, but I can’t justify getting one with the bags I have shown above. The system I use isn’t “broken”, the travel bag would just “enhance” how I store things, and I don’t like the blue and yellow color combination (blegh!) on the bag sold on Amazon particularly!

Oh, in the middle of clearing out the tote bag, I found this:

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I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve had cut these strips to thread my needles :). What a throwback! I figure I had that random, old note card in the bag too to make more strips.

Fellow cross-stitchers of WordPress, how do you store your cross-stitch materials? For those of whom have used the StitchBow travel bag, would you recommend it?

Why I Love to Cross-stitch

Recently, I’ve come across several posts from people about why they like to cross-stitch, and I’ve decided to make a post of my own.

I made a short version of why in the form of a comment here, and I’d like to expand upon it. Turns out, confessionsofamessycrafter shares a very similar sentiment as I do. 🙂

I find that cross-stitching is a lot like coloring, but with thread! It’s like filling fabric with 8-bit art in the form of stitches. The stitches and the various knots, like lazy daisies and french knots to name a few, add a bit of dimension and texture to the art. As much as I do complain sometimes about how much work the knots can be, they produce a beautiful result (and I will admit they’re sometimes fun to do)!

Cross-stitching is incredibly therapeutic and I love being able to gradually see the stitches come together to form a pattern. I kinda get a rush from the sense of instant gratification, haha. What’s great is that not only do I feel the accomplishment in finishing a piece, but I feel the accomplishment in general throughout the whole process of making the stitches.

I enjoy how cross-stitching is what I consider relatively “low-maintenance”. Cross-stitching doesn’t require my mind to be constantly focused on cross-stitching itself. While I like to read novels and play piano too (lemme shamelessly link you to my YouTube account :P), my mind has to be active for those activities. With books, I have to actively keep track of the plot, characters, themes, etc.; with the piano, I have to pay attention to how I play the notes. When I’m cross-stitching, what I love is being able to stitch while doing another activity, like watch a movie or listen to music.

Learning to cross-stitch in the early stages was simple to grasp, and is one of those things you learn and never forget (aside from the more complex knots). I say this because for playing the piano, I would have to practice every day to be able to keep my skill level tip top, or I would forget how and be unable to play as well as I could or should be able to, like I do to this day. 😦

Well..that about covers everything about why I like to cross-stitch. As an afterthought, I hope to someday be inspired to cross-stitch an original piece I’d be able to come up with. It’d be a big feat since I don’t have a creative bone in my body (that I know of)! 🙂

Why do you like to cross-stitch? Feel free to comment below!

On a Roll

I’ve gotten back into the groove!

2015-11-14 00.18.16Here’s a list of stitches/symbols that required tweeding that helped me get back into the rhythm. I started with the symbols with the smaller amount of stitches and worked my way through the list. There’s something so satisfying about striking things out as you complete them :).

2015-11-14 00.19.23I drew boxes next to the ones I’ll get to soon…and made another list of the colors I’ll have to put aside too. In the meantime, I’ll be stitching in some gaps I left in the pattern (I’ll be leaving Mickey and Walt Disney for near the end :D)

Nov. 14, 2015

I’m guessing my next picture updates for this pattern will be when:

  • all the tweeding is finished
  • all the full cross stitches and half cross stitches are done
  • all the details are added in and EVERYTHING is done

I’m quite happy that it’s moving along again! How do you girls keep focused on a cross stitch project? Or what inspires you to pick up a project again after a long time period?

Hey Girlies, Quick Question!

I don’t know how many of you read my posts, but I’m hoping most of you will come across this one post specifically and give me your answers 🙂

I’ve noticed how some of you like to do your stitches in one color at a time in “blobs” and some of you like to do your stitches in rows with multiple colors at the same time by “parking” your floss in the cloth. After reading up on both methods, here are the pros and cons I got from each.

“Blob” method – PRO: stitching process is faster, back of cloth looks neater. CON: inserting a single stitch in an area with surrounding stitches can be difficult without overlapping a previous stitch or splitting a thread.

“Parking” method – PRO: stitching ultimately looks neater. CON: lots of floss will be parked in the front and may get tangled.

My questions is which method (blob or parking) do you prefer and why?