Friday, 6 December 2019

2019 Online Advent Calendar

Here is our Online Advent Calendar, it will be updated every day. 
Scroll down to see the latest picture and a link to the poster's blog.

This year I have asked each participant what their favourite Christmas film is.
It could be a traditional Christmas story, a modern tale or just a film they love to watch every year during the festive season.

Sunday 1st December
Favourite Film - Love Actually

Monday 2nd December
Favourite Film - National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Tuesday 3rd December
Favourite Film - Christmas Carol (Disney Version)

Wednesday 4th December
Favourite Film - It's a Wonderful Life

Thursday 5th December
Favourite Film - The Bells of St. Mary's

Friday 6th December
Favourite Film - Elf

Saturday 7th December


I hope you will enjoy visiting each person and finding out more about them and their favourite films.  If you are not taking part this year, please leave a comment with your favourite film and I'll add them to the list!

Saturday, 30 November 2019

November Stitch From Stash and Pie

Back to the usual colour scheme for the Pie this month:

You can see I really focused on the Discworld Mappe this month!  A whole three weeks to make up for none in Dark October.

So here is where I was at the end of September:

Close-up of the land-mass:

And now:

The whole design so far:

The plan with the page numbers on:

The figures on either side are going to take some time as will the full coverage page underneath page 18.  I'm adding all the longitude and latitude lines at the very end.  I'm doing one long straight stitch and then couching them in place.

After the expenses of last month, the only thing I paid out for was my Cross Stitcher magazine subscription:

Cross Stitcher sub £8.72
Total £8.72


Finally, the Advent Calendar will be appearing first thing tomorrow morning with all the links for the daily blogs.  As each person posts I will be copying their photo over to the main post so we can have the joy of a new picture each day.

Friday, 29 November 2019

November Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

The Smalls SAL post is always the last Friday of the month and was quite early in October so I hadn't quite finished all my smalls!

I hadn't even beaded my tree for the October Christmas Ornament and now I have it fully finished:

Sue Hillis Designs - Victorian Christmas Tree

I then started and finished the November Christmas Ornament which was to be chosen from the 2004 issue of Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Special.  I chose my fourth Dragon Dreams design of the year.  This one "Never Too Big":

stitched on 28 count green linen

The berries are all French Knots and there is a lovely green metallic thread in his tail and head crest.

Here are all four Dragon Dreams designs together:

Hopefully I will get them all scrapbooked before the FFO Gallery post on the 10th December.

My next small is the current Word by Jessica Savage published in Cross Stitcher magazine each month.  I finished Imagine and Create:

Here are all four so far:

stitched over one on 25 count blue evenweave

The next issue arrived today - the word is "Embrace".

I have nearly finished the Mirabilia 25th Anniversary Cameo so I'll show the photo from the WIPocalypse post.  I finished the frame and the top half of the vines, just the bottom half and the beads to go now.

stitched on 28 count evenweave


Finally, I have sent out the emails for the Advent Calendar Blog Hop.  If you asked to join in and have NOT received an email with your date, please get in touch and I'll double check my list.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

November TUSAL

My TUSAL jar is filling up nicely now we are in the penultimate month of the year.

You can see it resting on two current projects.  The one of the right will be instantly recognisable to anyone who has read this blog this year - my continuing progress on the Discworld Mappe.

Here is the piece I have been working on today:

Look at that adorable tiny castle! 

Überwald is a huge mountainous region of wintry climate that is the Disc's answer to (fictional) Transylvania, as in, a land populated almost entirely by horror tropes. It was once a part of the Evil Empire (along with smaller states Borogravia, Zlobenia and Mouldavia). The ruling nobility of the land is composed of feudal werewolf and vampire families. Lately, the dwarfs have also come into power. There are many trolls in the distant mountains, warring against the dwarfs, but in cities such as Bonk, trolls are considered semi-sentient slaves. Humans are still mostly in the roles of "townspeople" or "exploited citizens". Most Igors come from Überwald, where they traditionally serve those on the far side of sanity, using the excellent local lightning for their experiments. Überwaldean is said to be a good cursing language. The principal town/capital in Überwald is the twin cities of Bonk-Schmaltzberg.

As stated by Otto Chriek, Überwalds' scenery is psychotropic: If you say something portentus like "zer dark eyes of zer mind", there would be a sudden crash of thunder, and if you point at a castle on a towering crag and say "Yonder is ... zer castle", a wolf would howl mournfully...

Source: L-Space

A couple of people have commented about "being close to a finish" but I'm afraid not!  I should be at 60% complete by the end of the month which means there is still nearly half the chart to go!  But I am getting through the full coverage section and the millions of mountains so it's all good progress.

The other design on the left of the TUSAL jar is a new start.  Totally unplanned but the Stitchonomy FB page decided to host a small Winter SAL as everyone enjoyed the Hallowe'en one so much.  This will be 27 snowflakes in a circular design when we finish.  Each one is tiny, less than an hour's stitching.  So to make it harder - why not stitch it entirely in beads on dark sparkly linen?

stitched on opalescent blue 28 count linen

The fabric is a random piece of linen from an eBay grab bag.  The white and crystal beads are Mill Hill and the blue ones I bought from a local craft shop a while back.  I got a large bag of four different coloured blues so there will be plenty for this design.

You can find the Facebook group here -

It's a public group so you'll be able to see all the loveliness without joining.  The design was free if you signed up before a certain date but will be available from her Etsy shop at the end of the SAL.

She also has a Patreon account where you can sign up and get early access to the SALs plus a free daily small chart -


Finally, it's time to sign up for the Advent Calendar Blog Hop!  For this hop, each participant is allocated a day in December to make their post on.  They will show something they have stitched on a Christmas theme and answer the topic question I set.  I then copy their photo onto my blog post in the style of an Advent Calendar.

So if you'd like to join in, please leave a comment or send me an email.   Let me know if there is a date you would particularly like or one you'd like to avoid.  I will be in touch towards the end of the month!

Here is a link to last year's so you can see how it works:

Sunday, 24 November 2019

November WIPocalypse New Stitches or Techniques

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.  

Since 2011 I have chosen a number of projects to focus on that year, starting with my "11 in '11" and increasing to "19 in '19" for this year.  You can find the full list here.

Since my last WIPocalypse post I stitched on five of my list and had two finishes:

1. Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

2. Raven by Nora Corbett - a finish at the end of October

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Nebula by Crafty Kitten

3. 25th Anniversary Cameo by Mirabilia

stitched on random 28 count hand-dyed evenweave

4. Victorian Christmas Tree by Sue Hillis Designs - finish

stitched on 28 count green evenweave

5. Never Too Big by Dragon Dreams (sneak peek as it's close to a finish)

stitched on 28 count green evenweave

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

November - What new stitches or techniques did you learn this year?

Drawing a bit of a blank with this one!  I can't think of anything new I have tried this year, mostly because when you've been stitching for over 25 years you've tried most things you want to do.  I've done a lot of speciality stitches over the years but maybe there was a new one in my Chatelaine?

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Cotton Clouds by Crafty Kitten

Gardens of London has been neglected this year because I've been focusing on my Discworld Mappe.  If I reach my goal on that this month I will have completed approximately 60% of the design which puts me on target to complete it by the end of 2020.  It would be nice to get another corner garden done on Gardens of London but not if it mean missing my Discworld finish.


Finally, it's time to sign up for the Advent Calendar Blog Hop!  For this hop, each participant is allocated a day in December to make their post on.   They will show something they have stitched on a Christmas theme and answer the topic question I set.  I then copy their photo onto my blog post in the style of an Advent Calendar.

So if you'd like to join in, please leave a comment or send me an email.  Let me know if there is a date you would particularly like or one you'd like to avoid.  I will be in touch towards the end of the month!

Here is a link to last year's so you can see how it works:

Monday, 18 November 2019

November IHSW

IHSW or International Hermit and Stitch Weekend always starts on the third Friday of the month.  It's a chance to lock yourself away and focus on your stitching for the weekend.  You can take part on your blog or via the Facebook page.  Links at the bottom of this post.

This month I focused on the Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs.  Here's where I was on Friday:

And here's where I am now:

Genua is a country across the main continent from Ankh-Morpork, past the Ramtops and Überwald. Genua as a country makes its money by taxing the Vieux River traffic in a manner that cannot be called piracy, because it's the government doing it.

At some point the royal family of Genua died out due to inbreeding over the generations, which had become so bad that the last male heir kept trying to breed with himself. With the line extinct Genua requested that Ankh-Morpork nominate a suitable new king. They rewarded their most successful general Tacticus, making him a duke and sending him to Genua. As the new king of Genua his first act after assuming the throne was to declare war on the biggest rival: Ankh-Morpork. This led to the downfall of the Empire of Ankh-Morpork.

In more recent times the city was ruled by Baron Saturday regarded by some as a wicked ruler, but able to get away with it due to his good looks and charming smile. Chaotic though his rule may have been, most people remember it with fondness when the Baron was overthrown and replaced by the Duc and the fairy godmother Lilith. Under the tyranny of Lilith Genua became a fairy tale city, clean, tidy and full of happy people (if they wanted to stay alive that is). As Nanny Ogg put it "why do they need all these guards all over the place when everyone is so quiet and well behaved?". Theft was punished by decapitation, but so was the crime of 'not fitting it' as toy makers were locked up for not singing while they worked and innkeepers were imprisoned for not being fat enough.

Genua is a country of cooks and carnivals. It is said that in Genua there is not much to cook, so the cooks learn to turn anything and everything into a gourmet meal. Ingredients that might make an Ankh-Morporkian or a Lancrastian feel ill include: whiskery things, tentacled things, snake's head (animal product, not name of a plant), dead leaves, things dredged out of mud. The annual carnival is called Fat Lunchtime, where there is costumed dancing and drinking on the streets on the night of Samedi Nuit Mort.

Source: L-Space

As you can see from the little paddle steamer, Genua draws many characteristics from New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A, and is also partly based on Disney's Magic Kingdom.  In addition it is the German name of the Italian town of Genoa.
Here is the whole piece now, to give you an idea of where I am, the mountain with the cloud round it named Cori Celesti is the centre of the world and the design.

stitched on 32 count custom-dyed Murano from Sparklies

I completed another one of the Words from Jessica Savage in Cross Stitcher magazine.  This one is Create:

stitched over one on 25 count blue evenweave

We have four so far:

A few people have said that they don't do Facebook and asked if I could host a link-up for them, so here it is! Just add your name and the link to your actual IHSW post, not just your blog home page.



Finally, the next IHSW will be 20th - 21st December so make sure you note the date in your diary or come and join us in the Facebook Group - IHSW on Facebook. If you don't do Facebook then you can check in here.  I appreciate this is the weekend before Christmas so I think the challenge will be to get ANY stitching done at all!  I am working on the Saturday, but not the Sunday.  At least I get a lunchbreak for stitching at work!