vanillamagick: (Innocent)
No, it’s not a new crime show, it is my latest crochet project.

monk-with-lotus-1

The pattern is Little Monk and His Lotus Flower by Melbangle (available for £3.80 from both Ravelry and etsy.) The yarn is mostly Bernat Satin in several different colours, and also some Mary Maxim Starlette.

monk-with-lotus-2

The pattern is well written, and it was enjoyable to make. But I was so concerned about doing a good job that I let it just sit for so long. I actually started on May 9, 2015. I finally finished him up on May 10, 2016, which is far, far too long to have taken. But, I’m glad I took my time, because I am really pleased with the results.

I have a couple more Melbangle projects to do: a little Buddhist nun and a Venus of Willendorf.
vanillamagick: (Piano Kitty)
It is so hard to think of Christmas when the weather is so hot. But, if I want to get Santa’s Journey Stocking done for Christmas this year, then I have to keep at it.

santas-journey-wip-may-9

So much brown. I’m nearly done the trim on the coat, though. Then I get to move on to very exciting… beige! Wheee! Ah, but it will look nice when it is done.
vanillamagick: (Piano Kitty)
I’ve recently started a rewatch of the new series of Doctor Who, introducing Caden Bryce to the show. The new series. I loved the old series, it scared the hell out of me as a little girl but I'm not sure it would hold Caden Bryce the way the new series does. Maybe we'll try it if he's interested- any excuse to go back and rewatch! So far we're up to the specials at the end of season 4 and I'm dreading losing the 10th Doctor - even though I know I love the 11th! After watching Partners in Crime back at the beginning of Season 4, I knew I needed to make myself an Adipose baby.

adipose

The pattern is available for free on Ravelery. I had to search through notes from projects other people had finished to figure out how to do the hands since the pattern is a bit... um, light on the details. But, I still think he turned out really cute.

Not a Doctor Who fan, but still wondering what an Apidose is? Check out this video, narrated by John Barrowman.
vanillamagick: (Beads)
Finally, about two years after I started it, Lizzie*Kate’s Peace, Love and a Cure is finally done!

peace-love-cure

I stitched it on white 28 count linen of some sort. (I’m really bad about labelling things, or taking good notes.) I decided to use the DMC conversion for it since, let’s be honest, I can be cheap. And, I am really pleased with the outcome.

pink-fabric

It will most likely be sewn into a shopping bag using the fabrics above. If you have the pattern, you may have noticed that the fabric on the left is the same one shown on the cover. I looked everywhere for it, and ended up finding it somewhere nearby.

Somehow, finishing this gives me a bit more peace. While I worked on it a friend’s sister died of breast cancer and, as I mentioned before, a family member dealt with and overcame another type of cancer. It is silly, I know, but I feel like there is a bit more closure now.
vanillamagick: (Phone Box)
As I was putting away the Easter decorations, I realized I forgot to take a picture of this little cutie



The pattern is Dwarf Bunny by PlanetJune, and the yarn is Bernat Satin in Antique Rose. I’m not sure I like the colour choice, but I still think he is kinda cute. 😉

I also wanted to share one more thing with you. I've just finished reading a book called Passionate Mom, and I have to tell you that I really, really enjoyed it. It talks about how to be a good mum using ten points that are taken from the biblical store of Nehemiah.

Now, I’m sure a lot of you know that I’m not exactly Christian (I was brought up Christian but am definitely firmly living in the Pagan camp and have done so for many many years. My wife, however, is a Christian) but I still found that this book really spoke to me. The framework might be a biblical story, but the advice is firmly based in the real world. The ten points (Perception, Pondering, Passion, Prayer, Patience, Preparation, Purpose, Planning, Problem Solving, and Perseverance) speak to any mom, regardless of her religious beliefs (or lack there of, really).
vanillamagick: (Chucks)
I love to stitch, and I love Mill Hill kits. So, of course I had to stitch this:



I like the design, and it was interesting stitching with Sullivan’s floss. But, I’m pretty sure now that I wouldn’t go out of my way to stitch with Sullivan’s again. Will I avoid Mill Hill kits because of it? No, I don’t think so.

I think my main issue with Sullivan’s is that is very sewing thread-like. By that I mean it is tightly twisted and doesn’t feel as soft as DMC. It also seems to tangle and twist more easily, but because it is so tightly twisted to begin with, it is a bit easier to unknot it. Ultimately, my experience just confirms that DMC is my cotton floss of choice.
vanillamagick: (Chucks)
Whew! I knit a pair of sort-of-complicated socks in just over three days!

Flying-Dutchman
The pattern is Flying Dutchman. The sailboat motif is achieved through a technique called intarsa in the round, which is fairly complicated and requires a lot of turning and purling back and then turning and knitting forward, etc. I’m so pleased that the socks turned out so well, which is mostly thanks to a very well written pattern. (I had taken a class on intarsa in the round back in September 2011 and it just didn’t click. But now I get it!)

sailboat

The yarn is Berroco Comfort sock in colourways Pearl (white) and Hari Hari. (The blue was supposed to be patterned, but my skein really wasn’t. Check the link to see what it should have looked like.)

I think I need to rest my hands a little bit. I just wish we had a bit more sun here so I could do something like sit outside or go for walks to otherwise entertain myself.

I have brought just a little bit of spring inside though, since Mother Nature seems to be taking a bit of a rest outdoors.

mini-daffodils

tulips-and-violets

I hope spring is making an appearance in your part of the world. (Or autumn, if you happen to on the opposite side of the globe.) Part of the reason I love living where I do is because we have four very different seasons, but I just wish they would change a bit quicker this year. 😉
vanillamagick: (Shiny & New)
I hope the Easter Bunny was good to you! Caden Bryce, Regan, Erin and I were all very spoiled.

Although because of Caden Bryce's peanut allergy, the Easter Bunny goes very light on the chocolate for him, and a bit heavy on the Lego and books. 😉

Regan, Erin and I also received books (and some alcohol - naughty Easter Bunny!), but we definitely got our fair share of chocolate too!
vanillamagick: (Beads)
I looked at the topic for today and thought 'oh, that should be quite easy' but then... well how do I narrow down my likes to 10? And I don't like thinking of things I don't like so boo!

Likes
Green Day - they've been my favourite band since I was a teenager. I feel in love with Basket Case the first time I ever heard it and... just love!
Enya - My parents used to foster children and they had a girl who was mad about Enya. I heard her music when I was young and love the places it took me. Still do. Even if Regan calls it 'plinky plonky crap' LOL
Sex - oh, don't look at me like that. Sex is great!
Cross-stitch - The ability to take a blank canvas and some thread and make a picture never fails to make me feel amazing. I'm literally making something out of nothing!
Reading - I am a voracious reader and if I'm not cross-stitching, chances are I've got my nose in a book. My favourite genres are fantasy, horror and sci-fi but I'll read pretty much anything.
Tarot - I've been reading tarot since my late teens - 20 or so years now - and I love it's ability to help me focus and use my subconscious to solve problems that I don't know I'm working through.
Ancient Egypt - I have no idea what it is about Ancient Egypt and the mythology but it absolutely fascinates me.
Starbucks - I'm a coffee fiend and Starbucks is my supplier of my addiction.
Dolphins - Beautiful, intelligent, amazing animals. Basically.
Corsets - I love how they look, both on me and on other women, very sexy. And I love how powerful and sexy they make me feel when wearing them. It's a very shallow enjoyment and I'm perfectly happy to admit it.

Dislikes
Inequality - At the most base level, all people are people and should have the same rights. Simple as.
Hypersexualisation of pop music - yes, I know that 'sex sells', and yes music has ALWAYS been sex & drugs & rock 'n roll and yes, it was like it when I was younger. But it was more... it was nowhere near as in your face
Photoshopping of models - When she was 9, Regan asked to go on a diet because she didn't look like the pictures in magazines. She was NINE. It angers me that media has this insistence that women look a certain way when in reality... we don't!
Misunderstanding of BDSM - It's nothing like certain books/films would have you believe and its not abuse! It's control and trust and pleasure and pain and consensual and fun
The smell of cabbage cooking *wrinkles nose* blech
Mushrooms They're just gross, sorry. Horrible texture, nasty taste and they look weird!
Grey pubes TMI maybe, and I know it's my age - I'm getting a few grey hairs which in general don't both me but my pubic hair going grey is just horrible!
Chelsea FC losing a match I support Chelsea, it makes me sad
The tory government. Don't get me started!
Having to rip out stitches You've been knitting/stitching along merrily only to realise you've screwed up somewhere along the way and have to undo hours of work :(
vanillamagick: (Romantic)
Also known as 'Jade Rachel starts that 30 day meme that's doing the rounds' because it looks interesting, and who doesn't like talking about themselves?
haha

I've also added a few people from a recent friending meme and this seems like a good way to introduce them to me, my life and my journal



Some basic things about myself?

My name is Jade Rachel, I'm 37, I'm Welsh and I live in London with my wife [personal profile] imagineireann and my children [personal profile] reganoutloud and Caden Bryce.

If I throw out a bunch of random adjectives: Scorpio, snake, black-haired, green-eyed, tattooed, pierced, mother, daughter, sister, aunt, wife, widow, lesbian, wiccan, hippy, geek, goth, ravenclaw.

I love life. I love sex. I'm a Dominant and have a submissive named c - although, I don't talk about her a lot.

My favourite music is Green Day, Enigma, Enya.
My favourite movies are Dirty Dancing, Top Gun and Lord Of The Rings

I'm quite crafty and enjoy cross-stitch and knitting. I love to draw and take photos. I'm an avid reader of fantasy, horror and science-fiction. I read tarot. I'm fascinated by Ancient Egypt.

Sadly, I also cannot promise that I blog about a lot - or any - of this. But it gives you a quick overview of who I am and what I like :)
vanillamagick: (Legs)
My beautiful wife whisked me away on a surprise 10 day holiday to Italy for an early anniversary present. We had an amazing time and there are no words that express how grateful I am to have Erin in my life

I am now beginning the process of catching up on everything - both on and offline. So tell me, friends, what have I missed? What have you been up to over the last week?

Santa Face

Mar. 3rd, 2016 08:01 pm
vanillamagick: (Shiny & New)
So, according to my doctor and an ultrasound, there is nothing at all wrong with my arm/elbow/shoulder. Imagine a giant eye roll here. I have the worst luck with medical tests. I could be bleeding out of my eye balls and the bleeding-out-of-your-eye-balls test would still come back negative. It is enough to make me want to give up on doctors completely!

Anyway, no more ranting. 😉 I’m happy, healthy-ish, and stitching. I don’t need much more in life to make me happy. And speaking of stitching, I’ve made some progress on Santa’s Journey.

Santas-Jounrey-WIP-March-3

He looks so much better now that I’ve back stitched his face. I do have a love/hate relationship with the back stitching in Dimensions’ designs, but the finished result generally does look good. (I changed his eyes to green because there isn’t enough of us green-eyed people in the world!)
vanillamagick: (Beads)
I've noticed a few people posting this one over the last day or so, and decided to be a complete sheep and join in. It's been fun seeing other peoples answers so it only seems right to share mine.

What do I always have in my bag?

Makeup Eyeliner, lipgloss, handcream and moisturiser at a minimum. Sometimes mascara, foundation, eyeshadow. It all depends on the look of the day

Plasters Or band aids, as Americans call them. I have a five year old, they're pretty essential. Also for those moments when your shoes rub your heel or you break a nail

Portable phone charger An Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger, if you really want to know

Mints Bad breath isn't welcome in any situation, so I've always got either gum or mints

Tissues I mentioned a five year old... And, well, you never want to be without a tissue when you can feel a sneeze coming on!

I didn't really want to mention wallet, oyster card, keys, phone etc because they're all very obvious
vanillamagick: (Default)
February just seems to drag on and on, doesn’t it? Have you ever thought that it would be a nice idea to switch Valentine’s Day and Christmas? Wouldn’t a nice turkey dinner, some gifts, time with family, and a pretty Christmas tree be just the perfect things to perk up dreary February?

Speaking of Christmas, I’ve started a new project. Yeah, I know that I shouldn’t, but this one was planned for this year and isn’t an impulse start (seriously). It is Santa’s Journey from Dimensions, designed by Peggy Abrams. (If my mam is reading this right now, she just got really excited.)


I decided to stick with the aida that came in the kit. The last time I stitched a Dimensions stocking I did switch out the fabric for linen. But, my too-large fabric stash is actually really lacking in plain white linen. Hopefully I won’t regret my decision. 😉

I have two more Dimensions stocking kits to stitch after this one - one for Erin and one for my dad. I would like to get a fifth one for me, but nothing has caught my eye. Well, I would love to get my hands on the discontinued Windswept Santa kit but it is selling for a silly amount of money on eBay. I really don’t like it when things sell for so much more than their original price when they really aren’t special. :(
vanillamagick: (Starry)
As I’m sure most of you are aware, I tend to get a little bit behind. I mean well, really. But, once in a while I do actually get things done ahead of time.



This is Lucky Day, a Mill Hill kit from the 2010 Spring Bouquet collection. It is stitched as per the pattern, except I attached all the beads with half cross stitches instead of using full stitches for the petite beads. (Yes, I am that lazy.)

The original plan was to finish it as a pin for Caden Bryce to wear to school on St. Patrick’s Day. Unfortunately, it turns out to be a bit too big for his little chest. It does come with a magnet, but my new stainless steel fridge isn’t magnet! lol! I think I might just put it away to use as an ornament when I finally get around to creating a year long ornament tree.
vanillamagick: (Phone Box)
No, there isn’t another baby coming here. (The thought makes me want to faint!) I’ve knit another Baby Surprise Jacket, the classic pattern by knitting genius Elizabeth Zimmermann.

Here it is off the needles:
offtheneedlesA big blob of a thing

And after a fold and seaming the shoulders, here is the finished jacket:
Baby-Surprise-JacketA sweet little baby sweater

Amazing, isn’t it? The style might not be to everyone’s taste, but the pattern is such genius. I honestly think that every knitter should make at least one, just to experience the crazy things you can do with knitting.

The yarn is Araucania Ulmo Multi in the enchantingly named colourway 709. It took about 320 yards, and I figure it is about a 6-9 month size, possibly bigger. I did the increases as yo,k1,yo just to be different. And the buttons are “Counting Sheep” from Dress It Up.

bsj-closeup Buttons, garter stitch, and yarn over holes.

The pattern itself is available in several places. You can order the ABC Surprise Jacket (adult, baby, child) pattern directly from Schoolhouse Press for US$12+shipping (in my opinion this is the best version of the pattern since it has line by line directions rather than the “pithy” directions in the other sources). The pattern for just the baby version can be found in the books Opinionated Knitter and The Knitter’s Almanac, among other places.

Now that I’ve knit the Baby Surprise Jacket twice, I’m not sure I would knit it again. It is really cool to turn a knitted blob into a little sweater, but the miles of garter stitch are just plain boring! 😉
vanillamagick: (Starry)
Well, goodness, I didn’t mean to disappear quite as much as I did. The cold that has been lurking around our house for the past couple of weeks really knocked me out, and I’ve spent a few days trying to sleep it off. I’ve just finally started feeling more like myself. I still have a nasty cough, but at least I am able to function again. 😉

I have just a few bits of news and whatnot to share today. First, thanks for all the comments on my posts. I’m sorry that I haven’t been keeping up with replies. Blame it on the cold, resting my arm, and being a bit lazy. But, the arm is good again and I’m working on being less lazy. 😀 Hopefully starting with getting some replies in

More pictures of new projects and ramblings about tarot will be coming soon! But for now I’m back off to bed with my book.
vanillamagick: (Legs)
It seems to me that there are many people who would like to get involved with Tarot, either by giving or receiving readings, but they are unsure of how Tarot works. They suspect that there is some sort of contact with God, the Devil, spirits, or the like. These fears (or hopes) often lead these people to avoid using this valuable tool. But the mechanics of Tarot are much simpler and far deeper.

Tarot cards are nothing more than coloured ink on sheets of laminated cardboard. There is no magic present in the cards, and no spirit or divinity attached to them. Everything that is “magical” about the Tarot comes from the Reader and the Seeker. And by that I don’t mean that these two people cast a spell or call upon a god, rather that it is their intuition and observations that make the Tarot work.

The Reader is in control of the Tarot at all times. The Reader has bought the deck, chosen to use it in this particular reading (or given it as a choice for the Seeker to pick), and shuffled the cards (or directed the Seeker to do so). Every step is directed, all the way down to choosing the spread and placing the cards in the correct positions. The correct cards show up because the Reader has encouraged them to do so by believing that she or her Seeker can make this so.

This, of course, begs the question of how we can direct the correct cards to show up. It would be easy to dismiss it as magic. Rather, there is a theory that our minds are aware of everything that goes on, at a subconscious level. So it is likely that our mind is actually aware of each card as it passes through our hands while we shuffle. It is when the cards are laid down that our subconscious has a great deal of influence. It knows what issues that are bothering us just as well, or perhaps better, then our conscious mind. And it is able to help us interpret the cards before us in a way that will help us to solve our problems (or those of the Seeker, because, remember, our subconscious mind knows everything that is happening). The more we are in touch with our feelings and dreams, through our subconscious, the more accurate our Tarot readings will be.

There is another theory, which says that time is not linear and that our subconscious is aware of this. It is thought that our subconscious is able to understand the patterns of the future, if not outright predict it. Our subconscious then uses the images of the Tarot to help us by giving advice to direct our actions to maximize the possibility of a happy future.

Personally, I see the Tarot as a focus. I don’t know if my subconscious directs the cards or not. But I do know that I am often able to see something of my life in the images before me. They tend to remind me of events that I had forgotten about, or point to things that I didn’t realize were influencing the situation. I do believe that the subconscious has a role to play in readings, by reminding me of these events and connecting the archetypes of the Tarot to my life. I think that it is important to believe that the Tarot works through whatever method you are comfortable with, otherwise you will spend too much time doubting yourself and not enough time focusing on the message of the cards–the message from yourself to yourself.
vanillamagick: (I Give My Heart To You)
It seems I have developed epicondylitis in my left elbow, and I need to rest my arm. I'm not allowed to knit until at least the end of the month - thankfully stitching doesn't hurt!

And just what is lateral epicondylitis? Well, between you and me, it's more commonly known as tennis elbow and it often occurs after strenuous overuse of the muscles and tendons of the forearm, near the elbow joint.

The elbow joint is surrounded by muscles that move your elbow, wrist and fingers. The tendons in your elbow join the bones and muscles together, and control the muscles of your forearm.

Tennis elbow is usually caused by overusing the muscles attached to your elbow and used to straighten your wrist. If the muscles and tendons are strained, tiny tears and inflammation can develop near the bony lump (the lateral epicondyle) on the outside of your elbow.

As the name suggests, tennis elbow is sometimes caused by playing tennis. However, it is often caused by other activities that place repeated stress on the elbow joint

Thankfully, it should heal by itself without treatment, it just takes time because tendons heal slowly. I just have to rest my injured arm and stop doing anything that causes pain. Other than that, it's a cold compress and OTC painkillers.

Sick

Feb. 8th, 2016 10:56 am
vanillamagick: (Love Will Tear Us Apart)
Caden Bryce and I have spent the last couple of days home sick. He is just about back to his old self, and should be off to school this afternoon. I, on the other hand, am looking forward to a long nap.

I rarely stitch or knit or anything when I’m sick. Instead I read, watch a bit of TV, and sleep as much as I can. Mostly I sleep. 😉

Miss Jade

jade rachel. 37. october 29 1978. scorpio. snake. welsh. lives in london. black hair. green eyes. tattooed. pierced. mother. daughter. sister. aunt. widow. wife. lesbian. wiccan. hippy. geek. goth. ravenclaw

May 2016

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