Thursday, April 30, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "Z" x 2

Thank goodness it is finally over! This has been my most exhausting challenge ever and the hardest one I've ever done. I think next year will take me on an entirely different path (although, I'm pretty sure it will be Disney related). I think my little break in between actually made matters worse because I wanted to do nothing but stitch on Alice and the B's after that (but trust me, definitely my action plan for tonight!). Without further ado, our ending letter...Z.

Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat26"Z" is for Zelena/Wicked Witch of the West. I don't think it was too much of a stretch for the Once crew to venture into Oz, after all, Walt Disney has owned the rights to the Oz books for decades. I was not a Wizard of Oz fan as a kid though and the Wicked Witch from the movie still scares the crap out of me to this very day. Zelena's version is a lot less scary (but I think twice as Wicked) and I absolutely got a kick out of the whole Zelena/Regina twister. This is a bit of a spoiler, but Regina is not Cora's only child...she had a daughter out of wedlock with King Leopold's gardener and abandoned it after birth. It got picked up by a twister, and we all know where people who get picked up by twisters end up. Her jealousy over Regina is what turned her skin green (because her magic mentor Rumple preferred Regina to her and because Cora kept Regina). The whole Oz story line did play on a bit too long though and got boring quickly and, despite liking the evilness of Regina, I was glad to see the backside of her (but I was pleasantly surprised by her return a couple of weeks ago...let's just hope she doesn't stick around though, I think it must be the actress, but she gets old quickly).

So, for the final time, Zelena is the daughter of Cora and half-sister to Regina. She's Rumple's protege (and her secret crush) and she's currently body-snatching with another Once character (and I won't spoil that for those that haven't seen it). That makes her the step-aunt to Snow which means she's the step great-aunt to Emma and baby Neal, and step great-great aunt/adoptive aunt to Henry.

From a stitching side, she's been my favorite character to stitch because of her green skin because you know instantly who the character is!

Project #2: Veronica Mars
vm26"Z" is for Piz. I have a love/hate relationship with Piz. He's really the perfect guy, just not for Veronica (that distinction is all Logan's). Poor Piz never really had a chance up against Logan and I often felt sorry for him because he really did love Veronica. But he also knew when to walk away which makes him even more special and perfect (again, just not for Veronica). It also didn't hurt that he was absolutely gorgeous!

I'll save any final comments for the reflections post, but congrats everyone, we made it to the end! I think I'll also wait until the Reflections post to show each project in their entirety. I doubt I'll have either framed before then (and probably not even mounted), but I can at least show the finished product, minus grid-lines.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "Y" x 2


ouat25Project #1:  Once Upon A Time
"Y" is for Jiminy Cricket/Dr. Archie Hopper.  Granted, it must be very difficult to turn a creature character into a human being, but at least they got lucky with Jiminy.  He's, not only a classic Disney character, but he is the lifelong Disney fan's collective conscience.  I was never a Pinocchio fan, but I've always been a Jiminy fan (even though he is a bug).  I knew who the actor who plays Archie was (I am, after all, a child of the 70's and 80's and I always loved the movie My Science Project) and again, the creators of the show know their stuff because he was perfect to play Jiminy.  We don't see Archie/Jiminy that much on screen, but I'm always glad when he's there (although, if I'm really honest, one of the most boring episodes was Jiminy's backstory).  Storybrooke Archie is best friends with Marco/Geppetto and has a dalmatian named Pongo (who he is hopefully keeping well away from Cruella!).

Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"Y" is for You're a marshmallow Veronica Mars"...something that Wallace says once to Veronica, but it becomes the mantra for an entire legion of Veronica Mars fans forever.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "X" x 2

"X" is always a hard one. Ironically though, both of my X's are the same name, both died tragically, and both followed their leaders unquestionably, they are very much different characters overall.

ouat24Project #1:  Once Upon A Time
"X" is for Felix, the head "lost boy".  On Once Felix is Pan's right hand.  A bit on the older side for a Lost Boy, he would do anything for Pan, which is what leads to his downfall.

Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"X" is for Felix Toombs, the PCH'er that Logan gets accused of murdering at the end of season 1 (but is ultimately exonerated, although the racial tensions in the show very much mirror our current society and it seemed to be a bit of a commentary on it).  I didn't realize how much I did actually like Felix until he died.  It would have been nice if his relationship with Molly Fitzpatrick would have played out.

Monday, April 27, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "W" x 2

We've made it to the final week of the challenge (thank goodness!). Congrats to all those that made it and well done to all those that tried but couldn't quite get there. There have been some great challenge topics this year, especially in the cross stitch and Disney-verse.

After a horrid week at work, I not only managed to get caught up again, but got my carpets cleaned along with most of the house and had time to stitch on Alice and the B's (but more on them later).

Project #1:  Once Upon A Time
ouat23"W" is for Snow White aka Mary Margaret Blanchard.  I have always liked Gennifer Goodwin and I don't think they could have cast Snow better!  I love that they made Snow such a badass (even if Mary Margaret, pre-first curse breakage, was a massive mouse) and I absolutely adore the chemistry between her and Charming (aka, her real life husband, Josh Dallas).  We don't get to see as much of the Snow/Charming romance post-baby as we did before, but I'm hoping to see it return.

Although I have hashed her family tree numerous times with other characters, let's do it just one more time for final week's sake!  Snow White is the daughter of Queen Eva and King Leopold, the wife to Prince Charming, mother to Emma and baby Neal (named after Baelfire/Neal), grandmother to Henry, step-daughter to Regina/Evil Queen and grand step-daughter to Cora.  She's best friends with Ruby/Red and is also friends with Ariel, Ella/Ashley (I do tend to call her Cindy a lot, but she was more referred to as Ella in the show), Belle/Lacey, and probably more we've yet to encounter (everyone loves Snow).  Of course, she has her dwarfs, but it's pretty obvious that Grumpy/Leroy is her favorite.  Unlike Charming, I don't think she's as hesitant about Emma's relationship with Hook/Killian, probably because Snow does tend to see the good in everyone (including Regina).  She's had numerous run-ins with Rumple/Mr. Gold but, in the overall context of hers and Charming's relationship, Rumple has actually helped them more than hurt them (of course, he needed them to be together to create Emma to break his dark curse, but why focus on the negative?).  Snow has killed Medusa, wielded Excalibur (or so she thought), had her marriage officiated by Lancelot (who initially poisoned her for King George so that she could never have children, but later helped her to fix it), she's battled Trolls, fought with Mulan and Aurora, and numerous other great deeds.

Mary Margaret, on the other hand, despite being a mouse, has been the other woman in the David/Kathryn marriage (which got her branded the town slut) and slept with Dr. Whale/Frankenstein (which technically means she cheated on Charming, although she didn't know she was married to him at the time, so I think we'll let her slide on this one more than cheating with David, although technically David and Kathryn weren't technically married...confused yet?).  She even darkened her heart just a bit when she kills Cora.

But I do have to say, one of the reasons why I love the Snow/Charming dynamic so much is the whole true-love thing (yes, I'm mushy at heart).  I have to admit, I bawled like a baby during the events of the creation of the second curse (or was it the third?) when she enacted it and had to destroy the person she loved the most, only to end up saving him by sharing her heart with him (hope I didn't give too much away there).  They are truly two halves of the same heart and hopefully the writer's never see fit to tear them apart (and I do hope they beat the Hollywood curse and manage to stay married forever in real life too).

vm23Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"W" is for Wallace Fennel, Veronica Mars BFF.  She cuts him down from a flagpole where he's duct taped naked in episode 1 of season 1, and they've been friends ever since (despite his obvious bad choice in girlfriends).

On to Alice and the Bouguereau Princesses...if you'll remember, I left off here:

And made it here tonight:
Where Rapunzel looks like a ghost, Aurora is starting to look like she's got the stomach flu or something, she's positively green! But, in taking tonight's picture, I did notice there were an extra set of eyes looking at me:
Zach NEVER comes in range of me when I have a camera in my hands. I usually have to stalk him or bribe him to take pictures!  I take pictures every single night I stitch (which is most nights), but I'm really surprised he seems to be finally getting used to it after all these years.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "V" x 2


Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat22"V" is for Victor Frankenstein aka Dr. Whale. This is another one of those characters that has to "grow" on you. Granted, it took me a while to figure out who Dr. Whale was (and it wasn't revealed in the show until season 2, I don't think). I, like most, was looking for a fairytale counterpart for Whale instead of a literary one even though the Whale-Frankenstein link did occur to me (James Whale was famous for directing the original Frankenstein movie...a bit of trivia I knew simply because I used to play Trivial Pursuit a lot as a kid). I did actually spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out who he was, especially around the time he "hooked up" with Mary Margaret, but I eventually gave up. Boy was I kicking myself when they did reveal him because I did actually know all along. Just goes to show, you should always trust your judgement but you should never underestimate the writers of Once because they always have something up their sleeve!

Project #2: Veronica Mars
"V" is for Vinnie Van Lowe, Keith Mars' competitor in the PI game. Poor Vinnie has an opposite moral compass to Keith, but I do like him for some reason. He's sleazy, but he has a heart when it's important.

Friday, April 24, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "U" x 2


Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat21"U" is for Ursula.  Ursula is rather new to the Once family (although she was in an earlier episode and was impersonated by Regina to trick Ariel, but that's a different story).  She's one of the Queens of Darkness, comprised of Maleficent and Cruella (I would have loved to have seen Maleficent on this chart, but alas, there was just no room for her).  The way they changed up her beginnings actually didn't bother me as much as the others (her back story is a heck of a lot more along the lines of Ariel than anything with loosing her singing voice and all) and adding Poseidon as her father was also an interesting twist.  Again, Hook has a hand in her back story as well (I swear that pirate really gets around).  I don't want to give too many spoilers for those that haven't seen this season yet, but I'm a bit confused about her...if villains aren't supposed to get their happy endings, how has she seemingly managed her way around that?  Hopefully we'll find out before Season 4 is all said and done (and maybe she hasn't after all).

Project #2: Veronica Mars
"U" is for Undercover Surveillance...something Veronica often engages in with her trusty camera equipment.  She often enlists her friends to help her in her task.  I'm really getting the feeling that it's about time to start watching the DVD's again!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

April A To Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "T" x 2

You have no idea how grateful I am that there are several single characters in this final row of Project #1!  As much as I love the duality of the characters, stitching two characters can sometimes be too much after a 12 hour work day.  I just have to keep thinking about how great these will look when they are finished.

Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat20"T" is for Tinker Bell, aka Tink.  Although she is now in Storybrooke, because she came after the curse, she is herself and no Storybrooke name is necessary.  Although I'm not actually a huge Tink fan in general (I lean more towards Vidia), I'm glad to see how well they've humanized her in Once, maybe more so than any of the other characters.  She's really not at all like the Tink we all know...I always saw her as a spoiled little brat susceptible to temper tantrums when she didn't get her way.  But in the Once version, she was punished by the Blue Fairy and got her wings taken away (because she used Pixie Dust to help Regina after she was told not to), and she ends up quite bitter over it.  I don't remember it ever being explained how she ended up in Neverland, but she's definitely no friend of Evil Pan (as I like to call him) and her history with Hook is also a bit of a mystery (but it obviously wasn't very good).  Now that things have settled a bit in Storybrooke, it's nice to see her fitting in with everyone and I love how Emma has such trouble saying "Tinker Bell". Guess it would be difficult to refer to anyone human by that name.  Hopefully we will see more of Tink in the future.  I think it's time for her to have a love interest!

Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"T" is for Teams Piz vs Logan.  There were popular shirts at the time that either read Team Piz or Team Logan (obviously I am Team Logan), the two rivals for Veronica's affections.  More on Piz later, but you can still buy these shirts on Etsy (and I have been tempted more than once).

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "S" x 2 & TUSAL


Project #1: Once Upon A Time
"S" is for the Genie/Magic Mirror/Sidney Glass (and he even pulls duty as the Troll Mirror from The Snow Queen fable).  Sidney is one of those characters that has multiple monikers throughout the series. Snow's father finds a Genie's bottle and releases him, but because the King is so content with his life, he uses one of his wishes to free the Genie and gives the other to the Genie to use as he sees fit.  Well, as per usual, magic corrupts and the Genie ends up falling in love with Regina who tricks him into killing the King.  Once the Genie discovers she had no intention of being with him, he uses his wish to "be with her always", but "magic always comes with a price" and he ends up trapped in her mirrors for all eternity.  Storybrooke Sidney, although out of his glass (but ironically that's his surname), still does Regina's every bidding, even though she burns him more than once.  He ends up locked up in her private asylum for a time (which is located beneath the Storybrooke hospital) until she needs him again (although it's once again behind the glass of a mirror), but he does finally get her back by switching sides and attempting to help the Snow Queen (hence his Troll Mirror status).

Project #2: Veronica Mars
vm19"S" is for Sheriff Lamb, of which there are from the show (who meets his untimely end) and his even more corrupt brother who takes over for him in the movie.  But we'll go with Don from the TV show for this square.  Despite his backbiting and dirty politics, I actually liked that Sheriff Lamb!  His banter with both Keith and Veronica were some of the best quips in the show!  I really don't think he was necessarily bad, he did take up for Veronica more than once (even if it was a bit on the down-low), but his brother was just a sleazy creep in the movie with no good qualities whatsoever.

And, as per my usual lately, I completely forgot about April's TUSAL, so here is my ORT jar pic for the month, buried in a sea of ducks:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "R" x 2

I'm not sure about you guys, but I'm getting really tired.  But we're getting close to the end, so hopefully we can all hang on just a bit longer.  I'm stitching like mad to get caught back up after my weekend "escape", so here's hoping I have a Once post to show tomorrow!

Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat18"R" is for Red Riding Hood/Ruby.  I have to admit that I wasn't a fan of Red or Ruby for a while, but she did eventually grow on me (even though she's been absent for about a season and a half).  Red was a bit too "sweet" with her squeaky voice and Ruby was just a bit too slutty with her extremely short-shorts and crop tops.  I think when she stood up for Snow to her wolf family is what turned me around about her because I too believe that blood isn't always thicker than water and family takes on all forms.  Maybe someday Red/Ruby will be back because it would be nice to see her find her true love (since she killed her first and was accused of killing little Gus Gus - yes, even Cindy's mice appear as humans in Storybrooke and they get love interests...what could be better than that!).

Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"R" is for Rob Thomas, the creator of the show (but not the Rob Thomas from Matchbox Twenty - although that has been the subject of several jokes on the show).  Rob is currently heading up the CW show iZombie, and although I do watch it, it's pretty much a Zombie version of Veronica Mars and not nearly as good. But also on this panel is the infamous school bus (pre-crash), the central theme of season 2.

Monday, April 20, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "Q" x 2


Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat17"Q" is for the Evil Queen, aka Regina Mills.  I never watched Lost so I didn't know who Lana Parilla was, but I swear she was born to play the Evil Queen!  Regina is the caster of the first curse (the dark curse) in an attempt to remove all the happy endings in the Enchanted Forest (which would subsequently allow her to have her happy ending, or so she thinks).  She enjoyed the overall miserableness in Storybrooke for a while, but she eventually decides she's lonely and needs a child.  After trying to steal one and failing miserably (which comes back to bite her in the end), she enlists the help of Rumple to acquire a baby to adopt (which just happens to be Henry, the savior's son).  Was it fate or Rumple's intervention that picked Henry?  It was never said, so we might never know how Rumple came across Henry, but he didn't know that Henry was Baelfire's son (although he may have known he was the Savior's son).  Regina has undergone the biggest transformation of all the characters and is now trying to be a hero for Henry's sake, even though she still has darkness in her heart and her villainous cohorts are trying their darnedest to keep her that way.

There have been moments where I disagreed with their interpretation of the Evil Queen, most notably in the beginning when she bests Maleficent (which would NEVER happen...Maleficent is far more powerful).  I'm also not a fan of her growing friendship with Emma, it seems too forced.  I do like the relationship between her and Robin Hood though and I hope they work out in the end and I like seeing her and Snow becoming friends.  I may be in the minority, but I kind of like Regina on the hero side (like Hook).  If I'm honest, there are times that I wish Rumple would find his way to the hero side (he's had his moments). But it's Regina's wardrobe that throws her into a higher class...those Evil Queen dresses are amazing!  At at least we know why Marian is such an annoying character now, but I'll keep that spoiler for those that haven't seen the last few episodes yet.

Project #2: Veronica Mars
"Q" is for Questions and Answers, those things that get asked and given throughout each episode.

As an aside, I was exhausted with stitching these projects, so I decided to risk getting really far behind (which I ended up doing) and take a break for the weekend. But I don't know how to not spend every free waking moment stitching, so I ended up picking Alice and the Bouguereau's up for the weekend and I enjoyed every second of it! I left off here before the challenge:

And I got to here this weekend:
It's nice to see Aurora making an appearance. Rapunzel is still quite ghost-like, but if there is one thing I've learned from HAED's, it's that it may not make sense at first, but it always looks amazing in the end. I am SOOO ready to get back to normal stitching!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "P" x 2


Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat16"P" is for Peter Pan/Malcolm aka Rumple's father.  They hinted that Rumple spent some time in Neverland as a boy and it was obvious he was scared of Pan (and Rumple isn't scared of anybody).  Malcolm, a selfish waster of a father, forsakes his son to regain his youth, thus becoming Pan.  I do have to admit, it was a twist I didn't see coming at all!  But, like all magic, it comes with a price and Pan can't stay young forever.  He needs the heart of the truest believer (aka Henry) to rejuvenate the magic of Neverland, but more importantly, himself.  Although the Pan premise was quite intriguing, that entire half season was probably the most boring of them all simply because a lot of the scenes were basically the Charmings, Regina, and Hook wandering around the jungles of Neverland looking for Henry and fighting amongst themselves.  Granted, it did set up some important backstories and provided the framework for the whole Emma/Hook relationship, but it still was pretty boring overall.  If you get that far in the series, just hang on, it only lasts half a season!

Project #2: Veronica Mars
"P" is for P.C.H. aka the Pacific Coast Highway area which is where Veronica Mars lives.  It's also for the PCH Bike Club (Weevil's old gang) and the PCH Gun Club where Mr. Cassablancas likes to get his shoot on.  As a side note, what's worse than a french knot?  Three french knots!

Friday, April 17, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "O" x 2


Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat15"O" is for Pinocchio/August Booth.  Granted, it's a bit of a stretch with the "O", but "P" was needed for another character (and you can't have a Once alphabet without August!).  I wasn't a fan of August at first and, like most, I initially thought he was Baelfire grown up, but I eventually figured out who he was before it was revealed (and I'm glad, because I thought my powers of perception were slipping).  Pinocchio was charged with protecting baby Emma when she came though the magical tree into our world (long story involving a very deceptive and selfish Geppetto), but it didn't take long for his curious, often self-destructive, ways to interfere and he left her alone and abandoned in an orphanage.  Once adult Emma arrived in Storybrooke though, his past catches up with him and he starts turning to wood again (because he didn't follow the Blue Fairy's advice) which sets him on a quest to get Emma to believe.  Although he fails (Henry was the one that got Emma to believe), he does eventually do the right thing at his own cost.  In an effort to save him, the Blue Fairy (aka Mother Superior) is able to return him to a human state, but only as a boy, which was kind of a bummer since I was getting used to adult August.  But thankfully, he has reappeared grown up this season and it's nice to see him back...long nose and all!

Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"O" is for Be Cool Soda Pop - a popular Veronica Mars quote.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "N" x 2


ouat14Project #1: Once Upon A Time
"N" is for Neal Cassidy, aka Baelfire.  Baelfire is the son of Rumple, the father of Henry, and ex-boyfriend to Emma. He was under Hook's care for a while in Neverland and even spent a bit of time living with Wendy and the Darlings.  Neal was a pretty tragic character and, despite my love of the Emma/Hook relationship, I kind of secretly wished she would have ended up with Neal, but alas, it wasn't meant to be.  Whether or not he will be back is debatable, but there is always a chance he could come back (death never seems to be final on Once).

vm14Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"N" is for Eli "Weevil" Navarro was head of the PCH Bike Club (for a while).  Veronica could pretty much make her career on doing nothing but getting Eli out of trouble, but he always has her back when she needs it.  They are friends, although it's a strange friendship without a lot of trust (at least on her side).

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "M" x 2


ouat13Project #1: Once Upon A Time
"M" is for Henry Mills. Since Robin Hood hogged the "H", then Henry gets "M" for his adoptive surname. Little Henry started it all after being given a fairy tale book by his teacher Mary Margaret. He quickly realized who his adoptive mother actually was and went on a quest to find his birth mother, Emma. So, that makes Henry the son of Emma and Neal, adoptive son of Regina, biological grand-child of Snow, Charming, and Rumple, and adoptive grand-child to Henry (his namesake) and Cora. He would also be the biological great-grandson to Peter Pan. By association, he's the step-grandson of Belle and possible soon step-son to Hook (which would also be his almost step-grandfather since he ran off with Rumple's first wife, Milah who was Neal's mother), which I guess also means he's the possible soon adoptive step-son of Robin Hood. Henry has the most interwoven family tree of them all! He was under the psychological care of Dr. Hopper (aka Jiminy Cricket), who has a dog named Pongo (a dalmatian...hint, hint) and is best friends with Marco/Gepetto. The big question for this season and the upcoming season is whether or not Henry is actually the sorcerer's apprentice (guess we'll just have to wait and see).

Project #2: Veronica Mars
"M" is for Cindy "Mac" Mackenzie, Veronica's best girlfriend after Lily.  Mac is the techie one, raised in a household that is her complete opposite (thanks to a switched-at-birth incident with Veronica's nemesis, Madison).  I tend to relate a bit more to Mac than any of the other characters...well, except for that whole "first boyfriend was a psychopath" thing and the whole "switched at birth" thing (although I sometimes question if I wasn't switched at birth).

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

April A to Z Challenge - Cross Stitch "L" x 2


Project #1: Once Upon A Time
ouat12"L" is for Grumpy/Leroy.  I don't think they could have done a better casting job if they tried...Lee Arenberg was perfect!  Grumpy wasn't always Grumpy, he was initially named Dreamy.  He fell in love with a bumbling fairy named Nova (Sister Astrid in Storybrooke), but peer pressure and Dreamy's insecurities split them up and he subsequently lost all hope in love and became Grumpy.  He has always been a strong supporter of Snow and even, on occasion, gave Belle that little extra oomph to go and follow her dreams (so maybe the Dreamy inside him isn't lost after all).  Leroy isn't that far of a stretch from Grumpy (well, except for the rampant alcoholism).

Project #2:  Veronica Mars
"L" is for Lily Kane, best (dead) friend to Veronica in series 1, sister to Duncan, first love of Logan (and I use the term loosely because I think he was more obsessed with her than in love with her and I question his feelings towards her), and the main reason why Veronica and Keith are in the private investigative business in the first place.