Saturday, 16 July 2016

Sunday Post 38, It's Monday What are you reading? 25

The Sunday Post is a chance to catch up and have a chat about what's been going on in your world and is hosted by Kimba here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? Is now hosted by Kathryn over here:

Let's see..... I actually managed to get a couple of blog posts up last week - one of short reviews, and another about the Dragon Age cross-stitch I declared finished. So I've at least done that much - lol.

Work is ... work. I'm in the last couple of weeks now, and while I'm very trepidatious about what's next (for some reason I'm convinced we'll end up living in the car and having to give away all the cats) I'm definitely ready for this contract to be done so I can put it behind me and move on.

I've been thinking about some sort of studying - where I live, the polytech runs a Zero Fees scheme, and there are courses I could do from home, but I don't know how much of a student allowance I'd be entitled to, and while that sounds a bit mercenary ... following your dreams is nice, but I still have to pay rent and feed the family. So.

So I'm applying for jobs and looking up the criteria for the job seekers' allowance that Winz administers and I'm. Thinking, I guess.

As for what I'm reading, I finished The Fireman last week, so that review should be up this week hopefully. I have a few books on the go, like always, but I want something a bit more lighthearted right now, I think. Or I'll just re-read Station Eleven, which I've been thinking of doing anyway.

What about you?

What's going on in your world?

What are you reading?

Monday, 11 July 2016

Grey Wardens motto - the finished product

I started playing Dragon Age in December 2014. It took me a bit to warm up to the series - not because of the games themselves, but because at the time I had to share a gaming computer with spawn, which wasn't ideal.

However, J - who is handy at that sort of thing - made me up my very own computer, and I splashed out on a fancy gaming rig, and I was all set. (I play on PC. Consoles and I don't get on.) Anyway.

Once I fell, I fell hard, and started looking for fanworks. Fic, art, some meta although I'm not a big meta person as such ... you get the idea.

Then I had the notion of doing a Dragon Age-related cross-stitch and started hunting for something. There are some nice ones out there, but not what I wanted. I decided to stitch up the Grey Wardens motto, which you see above. In some versions, the first two phrases are reversed, but I like this version better. I dug up a piece of fabric - 28ct evenweave - I believe the colour is Purple Haze. I know it's from

So then it was a matter of choosing the colours. In-game, the Wardens' armor is blue and grey. Here is a terrible screenshot to give you the idea. So I knew I wanted blue and grey for some of the words, and some kind of red for the rest, representing blood.

To become a Grey Warden, in game, you drink the blood of the darkspawn, taking on their taint, making you the only people in Thedas capable of slaying an archdemon. (That's a terrible explanation but I don't want this post to get too long.)

Initially, the red I chose was brighter than I wanted, and J suggested blending it with a darker red, so the red words are a blend of DMC's 347 and 3777. I think it represents the intertwining of the Grey Wardens' destiny with the darkspawn pretty well. The blue of the "I" and the first letter of the word in the other lines is  336, and the grey is 425. The other colours are pretty minor.

I wanted, at first, for the "I" something like a letter from an old illuminated manuscript, but I couldn't find one I really liked. Then I went to the annual Rotary Book Sale, and found 500 Alphabets in Cross Stitch by Julie Hasler, which I basically picked up for nothing. I went to the sale in the last hour and it was fill a bag for $5. It was great.

So both alphabets I used are from that book. I chose the "I" because it had the height I wanted, plus a certain degree of decoration without being too fancy. And the other alphabet gives me a medieval vibe, which I also wanted.

I was going to do a simple border, but in the end decided against it. Partly out of laziness, and partly because I think it looks fine without - although "vigilance" could be nudged over a bit more. It's rolled  up and put away for now, as I want to get it professionally framed and don't have the $ for it at the moment.

Started on September 11 2015, and finished on July 9, 2016.

Cross-posted to

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Short reviews

Ed feels like he's doing okay after the neck injury that benched his semi-pro football career. He's got a job with decent insurance, and he vounteers at a local community centre.

Laurie is trying to move on from a very public humiliation. He teaches aerobics at the same community centre, and spends a lot of time dodging his overbearing mother.

Laurie and Ed clash at first, but when Ed asks Laurie for dance lessons, sparks fly.

Laurie and Ed are set on a rocky road, between Ed's depression and his on-going injury, and the shadow hanging over Laurie's dancing, but they fight on.

There was a lot to like here - Ed and Laurie were very well rounded characters, and I enjoyed the development of their relationship. But I finished the book wanting more ...depth? I think? Also the weird voyeur scene near the end where Ed and Laurie get it on in Laurie's godfather's tub in front of the godfather and his husband is a bit ... much.

Good and readable overall, though.

The Closer You Get is the second book in The Distance Between Us series, following on from  Rhett and Ethan's story in the first book.

In this one, self-described manwhore Kieran is understandably wary when he meets virginal just-out-of-the-closet Alex who has moved away from his homophobic family to finally start living his life on his own terms.

It's not long before chemistry strikes, and Kieran has to decide if he wants to get closer to Alex, or whether he can bear to give him up.

Kieran and Alex are great together, and I really enjoyed this entry into the series. It's a quick, fun read.

Book three in The Distance Between Us follows Ethan and Rhett's friend Dale, as he re-connects with Adam - the one who got away not once, but twice.

Dale's understandably wary, and he has to decide whether Adam's worth going through heartbreak again for.

I didn't enjoy this one as much as The Closer You Get - it felt like Dale was doing all of the emotional heavy lifting, which is a problem of the first-person narrative I think. This one would have benefited from a few chapters from Adam's point of view to see what was going on inside his head. Fun, but not like, FUN fun.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Sunday post 37; It's Monday, What are you reading? 24

The Sunday Post is  a chance for a chat and a catch-up with other bloggers, and is hosted by Kimba, over here: and It's Monday! What are you reading? is now hosted by Kathryn, here:

Let's see ... mostly just work and stuff round these parts, as per usual. A couple of the cats have decided that me working from home is a great thing and I spent large parts of the week moving one of them from either smack in front of my work laptop, or from my neck. Good times, good times.

I've also been chipping away at a bit of cross-stitching and I'm still on track to finish my Grey Wardens pattern this year. Once it's done I'll do a blog post about it.

The lovely Care over at is hosting a readalong of Joe Hill's new novel, The Fireman. Hit up twitter for the hashtag #firemanalong and join in the fun. :) I started the book yesterday and for a doorstopper, it's a pretty fast read. I'm not terribly far in, but so far so good.

It feels, at the moment, like I have way too many books on the go, so I think I need to winnow that list down a bit this week. I did finish a couple of fast-read ebooks - Dance With Me by Heidi Cullinan and The Closer You Get by L A Witt, both of which were pretty fun reads, and I'll hopefully do a review post this week some time.

I actually did write a review for The Library at Mount Char, which was a minor miracle in itself.

I have four weeks to go on this temporary contract with work, so job-hunting starts again tomorrow.

Other than that, I'm watching season 2 of Brooklyn 99 on Netflix, stitching and chipping away at The Fireman.

How about you?

How's your week?

What are you reading?