A cross stitch design and a “geeky” website

Remember when I told you my favourite pen pal had decided to stop writing to me? Well, not long after that I went searching for a new pen pal site, since the one I used to use (run by the German post office) had closed down. I wanted one that seemed serious and safe, i.e. wouldn’t publish my home address anywhere! I quickly came across something called the International Geek Girl Pen Pal Club, and despite not being sure whether I actually count as a “geek”, I decided that most people who label themselves as such were unlikely to be judgemental and decided to sign up.The site only actually matches official pen pals once a month (among those who sign up for a new pal), but there are also forums where you can meet people. Everyone who joins the site is also sorted into a “house”, which is a special forum that only members of that house can view. These are sorted by age, and believe me there are many people around my age there! Despite the name, this is not a site just for young girls! (There are even a few males on there).


Each month, my house hosts a themed swap, which basically means you are assigned a person who entered similar interests in a form and you each send the other person a package containing things relating to the theme. September’s theme was “Back to (Fictional) School and I was matched with a lovely French girl. One of the questions I asked when I wrote to her was which fictional school she would most like to attend, and her answer was Sunnydale High because she would like to hang out with Buffy and the gang. She also told me she’s a librarian (which, by the way, sounds like an awesome job – although sadly she revealed that she doesn’t really get to read the books they have there). So I decided that an appropriate addition to her package would be a bookmark. You read books at school, right? So it fit right in with the theme. Of course, it couldn’t be just any bookmark – I wanted to cross stitch it, and I also decided to design it myself. Step one was to trawl the Internet for some Buffy quotes – which just goes to show it’s been far too long since I last watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer! Then I charted the writing, designed some “books” for decoration (okay, they’re rectangles… but thy look bookish!) then began stitching. Once it was done, I thought it looked a bit bare, so I added a border before mounting it on white card and adding a border with some other card. Here’s the end result:

Buffy cross stitchSo, what do you all think of my cross stitch designing skills? Be gentle, I know it’s quite simple but I was proud of it! 😉

The anti-Christmas card

My dad is known as the Scrooge in our family. He’s not really a Scrooge – he makes Christmas dinner every year (and even made me one in August once), buys thoughtful gifts and will happily play silly games after Christmas tea. But since my step-mum died on Christmas Eve, it’s understandably not his favourite holiday. For years, we didn’t even put the tree up, although now that my little brother is old enough to understand Christmas the house gets decorated again. So when I decided to cross stitch all my cards this year, I knew my dad’s couldn’t feature any of your run-of-the-mill festive designs. Instead, I designed and then stitched the picture below, and even though it’s pretty simple I have to admit I’m really proud of it!

Bah humbug

Now all I have to do is actually make it into a card.