Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Z - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

We've done it! The final day of the A to Z Challenge!

At least my "Z" choice was a chosen choice versus a needed filler like the last two. Even though the Lion King fits in the second gen of Disney movies, I was excited to see it because of the cast, none more so than the actor that voiced my "Z". I've made no qualms about how much I love British television and I've been a Mr. Bean and Blackadder fan just as long as I have a Doctor Who fan. When my favorite actors end up voicing Disney characters, it makes them that much more memorable to me. I was a bit disappointed when Rowan didn't actually voice Zazu in Disney World's Enchanted Tiki Room, Under New Management, but I tried to ignore it as much as possible and just focus on the character (although, for many years, the audioanimatronic had an eye that would get stuck and it looked like he was stoned all the time...I still miss that little bugger!).

Here he is at Disney's Art Of Animation Resort (and doesn't he even look like Rowan?):

And here he is as my final character for my Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch from CloudsFactory!

Thanks again to CloudsFactory for providing me with an amazing chart! I'm so very sorry I modified it so much, but I hope it did it justice enough.

And that's it! All done! It really has been nice to get back to "normal" stitching. I wish I hadn't accidentally deleted the non-framed project picture. The grid lines are just temporary and iron right off, but it did kind of make the project look a bit majestic. I went with beading for the 'i' dots because I'm lazy (and I really hate french knots). I also decided not to mat it, partly because I HATE cutting mats and partly because the frame I had didn't really support a mat. I had some major issues with how my signature turned out, so I unmounted it, stitched it properly, and then remounted it again.

As promised, here is the piece in its whole (seems rather uneventful now that it's all over with, but I usually feel that way at the finish of a project):

Oh yeah, and the really neat thing I mentioned with redoing the letters is (and of course it's not that visible on the picture) when you kind of squint at it, the ABC's stand out against the words and add to the alphabet motif!

Great challenge everyone and thank the heavens it's over with! Now I've got to come up with an even better theme for next year (although, you can probably guess it will be Disney related).

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Y - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

Another character of convenience, my "Y" choice doesn't really appeal to me either. She reminds me a bit too much of Cruella DeVille (who I've never really cared for...puppy killing is where I draw the line). But, like "X", she fit the bill and CloudsFactory already had her in their other Disney Alphabet, so there you go.

"Y" is for Yzma:

I do have a bit of a confession...I finished the last of the characters this weekend. I wanted to make sure I had time enough to wash it, iron it, mount it and frame it. Unfortunately, in my typical, uber-efficient way, I managed to get it cleaned and ironed yesterday and mounted and framed tonight since it fit in a standard-sized frame. So, technically, I'm done with the challenge! I'm still gonna wait and post accordingly and, since I managed to accidently delete the pre-framed full photo, I guess I'll be showing the finished project in its completed framed glory. I also goofed and forgot to sign the stupid thing and didn't realize it until I had it mounted and taped down. I somehow managed to stitch my signature and date it without taking it apart. I never thought I'd be so excited to get back to stitching Pea's mattress layers!

Monday, April 28, 2014

X - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

We're in the final week! I've really pushed my limits and I don't think I've ever been so happy to see the backside of a challenge as I have this one! But we still have a few more letters to finish my Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch from CloudsFactory.

"X" was definitely a character of convenience. The only good thing about Mulan to me was Mushu (but there is another one of those pesky "M" characters I had to forgo). I know that the Disney version named this character Shan Yu, but I've seen it spelled both ways (and it helped that CloudsFactory listed it as Xian Yu). So there is no need for me to wax poetic about this character, he's just here to fill my "X" quota.

X - Xian Yu:

On a side note, I gotta rant a bit...I live in tornado alley. All of us around here know when tornado season starts, we know when storms are expected (we've been anticipating this one for days), we've dealt with it our entire lives and all the warnings have been drilled into our heads practically since birth. It's also not something that causes widespread panic for those same reasons. We know what is happening via multiple media outlets, apps, weather gadgets, and even the good 'ole grapevine and know, one way or the other, what is happening and where the storms are through every second of the process. I'm used to it to the point where, even though I live in a mobile home, I rarely ever leave when it's storming (even though I probably should).

When they interrupt regularly scheduled television (aka Once Upon A Time) to track the storms that are occurring (I can't say that word without thinking of Nessa - Google it if you don't get it), it just walks all over me! Our local station covers a HUGE area and what was happening at 7-8 pm didn't start affecting my area until 10 pm. It ought to be a choice for a viewer whether or not you watch the local-yocal meteorologists or you watch your show. Once Upon A Time is over with and I only got the first 20 minutes of it before they cut in, so, with the final couple of episodes of this season, I am now missing vital information (and my stupid cable company isn't on the ABC "ok" list, so I can't watch it online either). But how nice it would be to have a button that would switch you from local ABC to national and thus bypassing our local dumb and dumber weather guys until you NEED them and want to watch it (which does eventually happen and did...but not until 2 am).

Saturday, April 26, 2014

W - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

First off, I'm so far behind on comments, it's not even funny, so I'm just gonna do a big "THANK YOU" to everyone and hope you'll understand! We're almost done!

My last Princess of the bunch is also the first Disney Princess ever. She's the third part of my "Disney Trinity" and is the Princess that embodies all things Disney to most little girls of all ages and all generations. She is also my absolute favorite character on Once Upon A Time (and perfectly cast, although I've been a Ginny Goodwin fan for years). In CloudsFactory's original Disney Alphabet stitch chart, she was under "S", but I had to have my Stitch, so I used the "W" instead because she just has to be on this!

So "W" is for Snow White:

Friday, April 25, 2014

V - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

My "V" choice was part letter necessity and part like of the character. I wasn't a Wreck-It-Ralph fan overall, but the movie had it's strong points and she was one of them. I can relate to the outcast that gets ostracized by the popular crowd and never seems to do anything right (a bit too much actually).

From a stitching point of view, I had to flip her ponytail to the other side because of Phillip's name being too low. I also really wanted to change the "V" because it looks weird to me, but I did decide to go ahead and keep it like it was charted because I've changed enough (please forgive me CloudsFactory!). But at least I didn't have to move her down a row (which I thought I was going to have to do). Now, the final row should be easy because it is exactly as charted!

"V" is for Vanellope

Thursday, April 24, 2014

U - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch/Needle Club

I hope CloudsFactory isn't too angry with me for all the changes, but I've stuck to the pattern for this one. "U" is another one of those characters that singlehandedly made a movie for me. She's big, she's bold, she's brassy, she's purple, she's everything (well, other than her evil streak) that I'd like to be! I've made my feelings quite clear about the second gen Disney movies, and The Little Mermaid I put off watching until many years after it was out. But her scenes were the few moments that I was able to put aside my CG animation prejudices and just enjoy the movie.

My sister praising her majesty at Disney's Art of Animation Resort in 2012:

And me praising her in stitch - "U" is for Ursula:

I almost forgot to add my Needle Club post. I didn't get much work done (because a certain co-worker, who I have to cover for, decided to fake a sick day). But I least I didn't have to work on anything pink!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

T - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

"T" wasn't a difficult choice for me, but as I mentioned back in "P", he came with strings that, at the time of my charts creation, I wasn't willing to cut. I absolutely love Timon, but you can't have Timon without Pumbaa,like Pain and Panic or Bert and Ernie. But I decided that Prince Phillip was more important and replaced Pumbaa with him for my "P". But I still had Pumbaa's chart and decided the best way to keep the duo together was just to stitch them together! This has been the hardest modification to the chart because, not only did I have to combine the two characters just right, but all the others will have to be moved over to make room. Then, that's gonna cause one character to be moved to the row below (which means another row of characters has to be shifted over). I also had to reverse Timon's tail so it wasn't on top of Pumbaa. Only time will tell, but I think it should all turn out OK in the end! So here he is, the master of ceremonies at the Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom, the meerkat extraordinaire...

"T" is for Timon

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

S - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

This was another no brainer addition to my chart from CloudsFactory. There is only one Disney character that is in league with Donald in my eyes, and that character is my "S" choice. I have almost as much of his memorabilia as I do Donald's (thanks to the Chinese and Japanese love for him) and it is possible that I'm the only person on the planet that absolutely loves Stitch's Great Escape at Disney World. I even watched the TV show regularly (and had them all recorded for a long time, then the VHS tape died...why doesn't Disney release full seasons of their television shows? That's been a complaint with me for YEARS).

"S" is for Stitch, aka Experiment 626...tookie bah wahba!

On a side note, I still haven't gotten ahead stitching because I had this:
garnering for my attention! Poor baby Bammers, he just gets NO love at all! I tried to get a picture of Zach, but he just wasn't having it!

Monday, April 21, 2014

R - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch/IHSW

Are we getting close to done yet? How much further Papa Smurf? This has been the hardest challenge I've ever done...hope it turns out good in the end because I have caught up with myself and there is no advanced stitching done from here (unless I have a good week at work...yeah, and pigs fly).

But enough of this chit chat, yak yak, and flim flam (anyone get the Country Bears reference there?)...lets get on with the show!

"R" was another one of my "must haves". I've mentioned Disney movie generations before, but I think I need to give a bit of clarity. I call the originals, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, the first gens. Second gens include the first CGI animation like Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast (although the characters were still mostly hand-drawn, they were still computer painted and the backgrounds were all computer generated - some of the finest artwork in Disney animation history is the background cells for Sleeping Beauty...but I'll try not to go off on that subject again). Third gen is the post Pixar acquisition (I don't count the pre-Pixar purchase Pixars as Disney movies, because technically they are Pixar movies even if they partially funded them). Once Disney absorbed Pixar, they also started using a lot of Pixar's animation techniques on their own projects. This batch would include Tangled and The Wild (which may have bombed, but I really do like it - a heck of a lot more than Madagascar).

I am a Mandy Moore fan (there, I said it and I can honestly own it). It had been a long time since I had actually seen a Disney animated movie in the theater, but I knew that I wanted to see Tangled because she was in it and I was just going to have to force myself to get over the CGI animation. I fell in love with that movie instantly! They made a very visible effort to make the CG look hand-drawn and it showed. Instead of getting distracted from the CG and loosing the story, I ended up "tangled" in both. The story was amazing, the music is still some of my absolute favorite, and I found myself admiring the CG for the first time ever! It has become my ultimate #2 Disney movie and, even in Blu-Ray format, I love watching it (because the Blu-Ray really shows the crappy CG on older movies).

Granted, not every effort since has been good (The Princess and the Frog could have been excellent, but they focused too much on the wrong things which ended up taking away from the movie) and Brave (yes, I know it's technically a Pixar) had me grimacing more at the shotty backgrounds than paying attention to the movie...the first time I get a Scottish princess and they screwed it up!! I've seen Frozen and I like it, but I don't love's still trying to grow on me and I still believe that Tangled is a far better movie.

I mentioned the problems I had with "P", and adding Flynn as my "F" choice gave me Pascal in chart form as well. I still planned to do Prince Phillip, but I wanted to find a way to fit Pascal in as well. I debated putting him on Flynn's head (where he would have fit nicely), but, in the end, I knew he belonged either on or beside my "R" choice. So I once again modified the chart, moving characters over, to make room for:

"R" is for Rapunzel (accompanied by her best friend Pascal - who I also had to reverse from the original pattern...I've turned into a pattern-altering diva!):

It was also the International And Hermit Stitch Weekend and I brought home my Needle Club project to try to get through the pink. I came close (at least for the first row).
So here's where I left off:

There is nothing for Friday because I had to frog out the entire pink section at the end. When I started the color on the left, it was the symbol '(' and I didn't notice that where I was stitching on the right was the symbol ')'. That's sometimes an issue when you have a project with so many colors, there are only so many symbols and you have to be careful what you're looking at. I only noticed it because the color seemed off to me, especially in the darkness of my house versus the bright lights of work.

I also discovered that, instead of the Monaco fabric I thought I was using, it is definitely lugana. It took me four hours to frog out that section and the entire time, because of the fragility of the fabric (which is why I prefer Monaco), I debated on just trashing it and starting all over. Lugana was not meant for errors. I'm just glad the restitching covered the fuzzed up fabric (there was no way I could have removed every single fragment of thread and the process did a number on the fabric itself). Oh well, I stuck with it, got it all out and started fresh on Saturday.

But anyway, here is Saturday's work:

And Sunday's:

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

It's time for "Q" in my Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch by CloudsFactory. I had to adjust this one a bit to fit under "Q" instead of "E". When I was a kid, she wasn't my favorite villain (obviously that was Maleficent), in fact, I never actually thought of her as a villain. She didn't scare me at all because she wasn't bad just for the sake of being bad, but because she was just overly jealous and envious of Snow.

Like Belle and Jafar, I didn't start respecting this character until Once Upon A Time (can you tell I like the show just a bit?). I love the way her character has progressed and, unlike most of the fan community, I have no issues with her "being good" because I never thought she was bad (and I LOVE the backstory reasons why she became bad on Once...if I would have thought too hard on it as a child, I probably would have come to the same conclusions).

So, here she is, Regina as was, "Q" - The Evil Queen from Snow White:

Friday, April 18, 2014

P - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

Back on Flynn Rider, I mentioned my "P" dilemma with my chart from CloudsFactory. "P" was charted for Pumbaa, but I knew from the get-go I had made a mistake and should have picked this guy. I've also mentioned (more than once) my love for Sleeping Beauty, so this shouldn't be a big surprise. He was my first crush (well, him and Shaun Cassidy).

"P" is for Prince Phillip

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch/Needle Club-Week 7

This is a character that I had CloudsFactory specifically design just for me. There was no way I was going to leave this character off my list of favorites. It's really nice to see he's finally getting his due, afterall, he is the original Mickey and it technically all started with a rabbit, not a mouse!

"O" is for Oswald the Lucky Rabbit

Another Needle Club down as well. I think that I'm gonna take this home Friday night and work on it for this weekend's International Hermit and Stitch Weekend. I've got to get out of this pink!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A to Z Intermission - Mad World

Today's A to Z post is below, but I felt the need to interject another post because I finally received my pre-ordered copy of:
I have been anticipating this book for a long time and not just because of my Duranie status, it's just really nice to see New Wave music finally getting the recognition it deserves. New Wave music was and is MY music, even though I still absolutely adore Take That and Darren Hayes (much later discoveries). New Wave is what lies in the very depths of my heart and I always manage to find my way back to it eventually.

Picture, if you will, a very tiny town in the heart of Northeast Arkansas filled with pure d'ole rednecks. Now, add in an overweight, brace-face, glasses wearing girl who was obsessed with all things New Wave and British. Yeah...I was a complete and utter outcast (and that's not even including the mental issues). I was the only person in my school (or entire town for that matter) who knew who Duran Duran was in 1981, let alone worshipped them like gods! I listened to The Cure before Robert Smith teased his hair to oblivion and smeared red lipstick all over his mouth. I bounced around to the Vince Clarke-led Depeche Mode long before I fell under the spell of the morose Martin C. Gore Depeche era. Roland Orzabal and Morrissey wrote lyrics that mirrored the pain I imagined myself drowning in, while every single New Order song was my theme song. The ballads of Spandau Ballet and The Thompson Twins gave me hope that love was real and I would one day find my prince charming (who I imagined looked and dressed exactly like Adam Ant). I stood alone in a sea of ballad-rock stooged school fellows and I was perfectly fine with that as long as I had Simon Le Bon on my side (and I was thoroughly convinced I did).

Duran became huge in the mid 80's and people finally knew what I had been going on about for years (but they still weren't "hip" in my school). It eventually became cool to like The Cure and Depeche during my college years (even though they were almost completely different bands from their early 80's incarnations). Duran's second wave came about in the mid 90's and a whole new generation of Duranies was born, most of whom didn't know they had been around for so long. They have never stopped working, although it takes them several years to put out a new album. Some of my other bands are still around today making new music or keeping alive the old (and some aren't, luckily, not a lot of them are dead), but I'm still by their side as much now as I was then, just without the heartbreaking obsession clouding the way. I can accept the fact that Simon is married (and has been for 30 years). As a kid I probably would have tried to kill myself, no joke (especially if he would have married Claire Stansfield). Most of my guys are all in their 50's and 60's now (which is still hard for me to fathom) and, despite the wrinkles, balding, and bloating, they all still look pretty damn good to me! But I've waxed reminiscent long enough, on to the book.

I was trying to kill time in the last few minutes of work yesterday, so I thought I'd at least read the foreword (written by Nick Rhodes). An hour later, I was forcing myself to put it down long enough to at least drive home, where I promptly finished the entire book. Yep, it was that good! Each chapter deals with a specific song by a specific band with interviews and commentary from the artists themselves as well as updates of where they are now. Because each chapter focuses on the commentary of the band in question, they bring to life the song in ways I never knew (or had forgotten) and I often found myself re-reading sections just because it was so damned profound (yes, Ian McCulloch, you are still my Buddha). A band's most popular song wasn't always their best song, and, as any true New Wave fan will tell you, a-Ha and OMD were NOT one-hit wonders (and, their one hit was often not their best). This book reiterates that point for those that don't know otherwise and might possibly turn you on to your new favorite song! It also shows that, even though Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook obviously still hate each other and Morrissey still apparently hates everybody, there is a lot of love between other bands and artists that you wouldn't think would be there (as well as some surprising disses).

Granted, there were some notable exclusions (where were The Cure, Split Enz, Squeeze, XTC, Roxy Music, etc?), and I disagreed with some of the author's choices for songs, but even the utter useless Flock of Seagulls had something interesting to say (and trust me, my first impression was to skip right over their chapter). I disagreed that Girls On Film was Duran's defining song (not that Hungry Like The Wolf would have been any more defining), but the song (and video) had a major influence on the authors and I get it (even if I don't agree with it). But I did notice the dedication to the husband of one of the authors (as any diehard Duranie would, because only a diehard Duranie would own Big Thing).

The book ends with a chapter about Band-Aid and "Do They Know It's Christmas" as well highlights from Live Aid and its influence on other charity songs to come. Everyone who participated in it were favorite band members of mine (well, except for Bono and U2). I can remember when the video came out and I had to explain to other classmates who Bob Geldof and Midge Ure were (believe it or not, Bob Geldof used to be in a's surprising how many people don't know that). For a brief moment in time, my new wave knowledge was useful when classmates wanted to know who so-and-so was, and who was the "cute" one. I was cool for five minutes, then dropped back into my quiet life of obscurity (where I preferred to be anyway). That song is still played every year at Christmas time, and I still roll down the windows, crank up the volume, and sing at the top of my lungs like I was a 14 year old girl.

The book is a definite celebration of the music that, not only defined a generation, but continues to influence the music of today. You can't turn on a modern radio station without hearing samplings of, or just out-and-out copies of, 80's songs. And, as much as that really pisses me off, it just goes to show that New Wave music managed to cement its place in history a heck of a lot more than the playlists of my school mates (although we wouldn't have known what a playlist was back then). A big thank you to the authors (Lori Majewski and Jonathan Bernstein) for giving me yet another reason to keep listening to my music and even seeing some of it in a new light. Long live New Wave! Here's hoping there is a book 2 (and hopefully a more defining Duran song than Girls On Film).

N - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

I mentioned that I did have some issues with certain letters of the alphabet and I had to compromise on some. This is one of them. Given the choice, this character would not be my pick as a favorite from this movie, but no one can come between me and my duck, so Dory was out of luck. This is one of the few Pixar movies I do actually like (mainly because of Dory), but considering the lack of "N" choices, it made sense to give the movie its tribute in some way, so "N" is Nemo.
Although CloudsFactory did an amazing job creating this chart for me, Nemo is another character that got Keeble-ized. He was charted with a mouth and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. C'est la vie!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

M - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

There has been a lot of mentions of "M" throughout my posts of my CloudsFactory chart so far and it's almost time to find out why. I'm not going to make this one a wind up, she deserves her acknowledgement from the get go. I've said that Sleeping Beauty is my favorite movie, Aurora is my favorite Princess, so it makes perfect sense that my favorite villain is Maleficent. There are so many reasons why I love her as a character, but none more so than the fact that she was designed by my beloved Marc Davis, Disney animator extraordinaire. He was the biggest art influence on me as a kid and the reason why I wanted to be an artist in the first place (even if I never got there...I may not have drawn in 20 years, but I was born an artist and will die is how I will always see myself).

I mentioned on Lady Tremaine that there were similarities between her and Maleficent. Not only were they both designed by Marc, but they were both voiced (and modeled after) Eleanor Audley (who, for Disney World alums, we know as the voice of Madame Leota in the Haunted Mansion - although not the face, that was the face of Leota Toombs, another great Disney Imagineer, but I digress). The mannerisms between Lady Tremaine and Maleficent are remarkably similar, but the two characters couldn't be more opposite.

I have to admit, I am terrified with what Angelina Jolie is going to do to the character (because I really don't like her), but I will be there on opening weekend to see it anyway. And as a huge Once Upon A Time fan, I was as disappointed with their Maleficent choice as well as their Aurora and Phillip choice. I really wanted more of a Maleficent presence in Once (even though she has appeared in other forms a couple of other times). And there is NO WAY that the Evil Queen would EVER best Maleficent in a fight, so don't get me started on that whole Once episode!

Eleanor Audley will always be my Maleficent, so it's time to reveal her stitch:

Monday, April 14, 2014

L - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

It's week three already! How did that happen? I don't think I need a personal explanation of my "L" choice, simply because I covered my feelings about her in "C-Cinderella". But there are other reasons why I love her (yep, I love's a character defect on my part). Problem is, I think I'm gonna wait until "M" (I keep saying "M" is a biggie) to explain those reasons because the two are intertwined in more ways than one. Bout the only thing I can tell you about "L" is that had to get CloudsFactory to manipulate her name differently than she appears on their other charts because "T" was needed for another character.

So, without all the pomp and circumstance of the others (besides, you can read all about her in "C" and tomorrow's "M") -

"L" is for Lady Tremaine:

Some of you may have also noticed that there are no dots on my i's this time. I can't do french knots. I was using "cheat" knots (basically knotting the end of the thread and feeding it in backwards), but they weren't holding. I then switch it to beads, but they were too big. I'm still trying to decide what to do about the i's, but until then, I have dotless i's.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

K - Disney Cross Stitch Alphabet

Before I get to today's challenge, just a quick note...this is my 500th post! I can't believe that I've actually ranted, shared, exposed, whined, and just generally been social 500 times! For a reclusive Asper like me, that's a pretty big feat and it's way more social than I have ever been in my in my entire life. I'm also pretty surprised I haven't gotten bored with this whole blogging thing yet...I usually have a very short attention span. But, anyhoo, congratulations to me and let's get on with 500, shall we?

"K" is a bit of a departure from your typical Disney character. I am a child of the 70's and 80's and this character was at his strongest in those days (even though they weren't owned by the Disney company until later). I'm glad to see the Muppets making a comeback (to us Disney World alums, Muppet Vision 3D is still a big must see at Disney's Hollywood Studios). Granted, "K" isn't my favorite Muppet...that distinction is retained for Gonzo (who sadly couldn't make the list). And when I was choosing characters for CloudsFactory to make my custom chart, my first "K" choice was King Stephan from Sleeping Beauty. But scouring through her other charts to see what characters were available (I didn't want to make it too difficult and tried to pick characters she'd already created...although I failed on two), I ran across this one and knew he had to make the list.

Yep, you guessed it! My "K" is Kermit!

Friday, April 11, 2014

J - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch

I have to admit, I'm already exhausted. I'm trying hard to keep up with other people's blogs and I have found some really amazing posts and themes in this year's challenge! Between reading through the blogs of others and trying to keep up with my own stitching and posting, I haven't been very good with responding to comments, but I am trying. There may come a time when something will have to give. But I thank everyone for your kind words even if I haven't emailed you back. This definitely isn't close to the most complicated or advanced stitch I have ever done, but it is testing my abilities in other ways.

Since I've restarted this chart from CloudsFactory, all rules have pretty much gone out the window. There was an issue with Hades that bothered me enough to move the entire first row up a line, but, while I was at it, another character replacement has been gnawing at me. I had partially stitched the characters through "P" before I decided to start over, so I had a pretty good indication about what I liked and what I didn't with the characters so far and I didn't like my "J" choice (which was Jasmine, by the way). There were way too many Princesses even for me and the Southern prude in me was having issues with her bikini top (a bikini on a weeble is just wrong in more ways than one!). Don't get me wrong, I love Jasmine, but there was another one beginning with "J" that I like better (thanks to Once Upon A Time In Wonderland - who knew Agrabah and Wonderland could meld so well together!).

Thanks to the restart, I was able to move row two down two more lines which gave me the space to fit the new character in, and his height mixed with Hades looks pretty cool (especially with Iago in the middle). So, without further ado,

"J" is for Jafar:

As an aside, as much as I don't like people noticing my weight loss, I am proud of myself for doing it in the first place. It's been really hard (and still continues to be). I'm still not sure what my motivation point is (I'm healthy as an ox, well, besides the brain tumor, headaches, and keratoconus, and don't get me started on the mental issues), and I still like being fat better because I get less attention, but I'm still sticking with it. I reached a milestone yesterday that I haven't done since I was 16 years old...I have managed to finally get below 200 lbs. Even at 16, I wasn't below it for very long, but I haven't even been close since. My goal Disney weight has always been about 230 (which I've pretty much been able to meet for most trips). Only the powers that be know why I'm on this journey, so let's hope I can keep from sabotaging myself (well, anymore than I already have). I still have another 40 or so pounds to go and then the real fun begins when I have to keep it off.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch / Needle Club-Week 6

"I" has typically been a hard letter to do in the challenge (or at least it has been for my challenges), but I had no trouble picking an "I" for my Disney Alphabet cross stitch chart from CloudsFactory. Despite it not being cool to like Gilbert Gottfried anymore because of his public antics, I still do because of this character. Disney villain sidekicks really hadn't been their own entities until the second gen movies came along, they were just minions to the villains. Iago changed all that. He had his own agenda and has managed to instill himself in the Disney-verse without Jafar. Even this Disney purist has to admit that I preferred The Enchanted Tiki Room with Iago and my "Z" choice better than the original. Granted, my all time favorite sidekicks were Pain and Panic from Hercules, but Iago is pretty darn close!

"I" is for Iago.

It was also Needle Club this week. I ended up staying later because I goofed and ended a column short. I had to frog an area, fill in an area, and extend an area so I was there an extra hour and a half (and I'm still buried in bloody pink!). But I did manage to get it fixed and got extra time by myself to do it in.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

H - Disney Alphabet Cross Stitch/Wednesday Hodgepodge

First off, I think I must have two pups who aren't getting the attention they deserve because this is the look I've been getting from both of them all night long:
I'm gonna cut it short tonight and spend some time with my pups, but before I do, we need to get to today's character.

There was no question what my "H" choice on my custom chart from CloudsFactory would be. My dislike for the new generation of Disney movies ended with this character's film. At the time, I thought that Disney movies were finally back on the right track. There was a modicum of return to hand-drawn animation in this film, the music (the only area where the new gens stayed strong) was the best of them all, and this was the best villain to come out of the Disney camp since my big "M" (and still stays second only to "M"). His wit, dry humor, and temper I can relate to almost as much and my little duck man. I was never a James Woods fan, but no one but him could pull off the scorned brother of Zeus. It's almost a game to watch the movie close enough to see James' mannerisms in the character's features. This is yet another Disney character that really doesn't get the respect he deserves because he truly is one of the greats!

"H" is for Hades!

And I almost forgot all about Wednesday Hodgepodge, so I'd better pull double duty and get it taken care of!

1. April showers bring May flowers, or so the saying goes. When did you last 'shower' attention on someone or have attention 'showered' on you? Did you love it, or did all that attention make you squirm?
I don't shower attention on anyone. That's not how I'm built. But it's even worse to have attention showered on me. Unfortunately, with my current weight loss, I seem to be attracting a lot of attention and I don't like it. I will typically not respond when someone is really complimentary about it or just smile and walk's kind of creepy to me. The other day the teenage daughter of a co-worker was here, she smiled at me, I smiled back at her and went about my own business (one of the first stitch projects I did for someone else was her birth announcement stitch so I've known her forever). Later on, her Mother told me that the daughter was really shocked at how much weight I had lost and how good I looked (that's hard even to type). The Mother told me she explained to her daughter that she should have said something to me and paid me the compliment. I answered her back with "I'm glad she didn't, it makes me extremely uncomfortable when people do say something". The Mother just said, "yeah, that sounds like you".

2. Share a favorite 'spring break' memory. Not talking about just the 'college spring break' thing, but any favorite spring break memory you'd like to share. Keep it family friendly please!
I never really did anything on spring break. It was a chance to stay home from school for a week. All I ever did was sit in my room anyway.

3. It's National Pecan Month...are you a fan? If so, what's your favorite dish that calls for pecans?
Absolutely can't stand them! My step-grandmother had a pecan tree in her yard and I spent the better part of my youth having to shell the darn things! I'm not big on nuts of any type other than almonds or cashews and I never want to see them in their shell.

4. 'Put all your eggs in one basket', 'egg on your face', 'rotten egg', 'walk on eggshells', or 'a good egg'...which egg-spression could most recently be applied to your own life?
I do all of them every single day. I stay focused on one thing at a time, I feel like I'm constantly screwing up, life sucks everyday, I'm scared to step on anyone's toes with my big mouth, but deep down I'm a pretty good egg once you get to know me.

5. In my experience___________________________________.
It's better to appear "normal" than to be "normal". I won't explain's an Asper thing.

6. What's a favorite song with the word rain in its title or lyrics?
That's really easy! Hold Back The Rain - Duran Duran

This is the most recent, non-fan recorded live version I could starts at 3:15:

7. What does the word hope mean to you?
There is always a chance that life won't suck forever.

8. Insert your own random thought here.
I'm already wishing the A to Z Challenge was over! I'm tired!