Friday, 31 October 2014

Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2014


Welcome to the spooky hallowe’en mystery phrase blog hop!

All you need to do is visit each of the following blogs in order, jot down the letter displayed with their Hallowe'en stitched picture then return here and leave a comment telling me the Mystery Phrase.

It'd be nice if you left a comment on their blog too, especially if it's new to you.

I've enabled "moderate comments before publishing" for the next week so no-one can copy anyone else!

There will be a small prize for one person picked at random from the guessers.  People who posted a picture  will get one chance for that and another chance if they make a guess too.

So without further ado,
start the blog hop – enter if you dare…

A Patchwork of Crafts
All XXs
The Alchymyst's Study
Crafty Weasel
Cross Stitch Fantasy
Ishkabibble
Jocondine
Justine's Cross Stitch
Kitten Stitching
My Journey
My Little Corner of Cyberspace
Needles Pins and Dragonflies
Needleworker's Samplings
Stitch Bitch
Stitch Witch Hazel's Stitchy Musings
Today I Found
Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog

and then finally back here for this letter:

S

and this design:

Blackbird Designs - Spell of the Moon

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen using DMC
The moon is stitched n DMC 4090

Don't forget, some of us are on different time zones so if you visit a blog and can't find a letter or picture yet, pop back later in the day.  The competition is open for one week closing 00.01 hours 7th November GMT.


happy hunting!


        
all from Hyraea


Finally, Theme-a-licious and the Just Nan Updates will follow on All Saints' Day tomorrow.





Wednesday, 29 October 2014

October Smalls SAL

SmallsSAL2014
The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

I chose three different monthly themes to follow this year:

Hallowe'en Ornie SAL - 12 different themes
Little Stitcher Fairy Tale 12 Days of Christmas - one per month
Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown - one per week starting 31st January


The Hallowe'en SAL theme this month was Trick or Treat so I am saving that one for my Hallowe'en Blog Hop this Friday.  All the "letters" have been emailed out to the participants so if you signed up to take part and haven't heard from me, then please contact me ASAP.

The Little Stitcher 12 Days of Christmas I am using to illustrate my TUSAL posts, so here is a repeat of the latest Day, the Day of Tea:

 

I asked people whether they preferred tea or coffee and the tea drinkers came out in front with eight to three coffee fans!

Of course, the stitching is now finished on my Spooky Countdown and each little piece has been mounted on a tombstone and attached to the tree.  Here is today's:


As I finished the Blog Hop stitch yesterday I decided there was time for a new start before the end of the month.  Yes, I know I could have continued with the Hallowe'en Town Mystery, On the Beach sampler or even resurrected Thine is the Trick and the Treat but I felt like a new start!  This one is a chart I received for my Birthday and I am stitching it on some fabric I was also gifted:

Just Nan - Haunted Pumpkins Tree - gift from Mouse
Fabric - Crafty Kitten Chocolate Orange - gift from Shebafudge
(unfortunately the fabric does not smell like a chocolate orange)

Finally I would like to promote a newish blogger who has been following me for a couple of months but as yet does not have many followers herself.  Caitlin blogs at Musings of a Crafter and has just finished a lovely Christmas Angel.  So why not pop over and say Hi? 



Sunday, 26 October 2014

Round Robin Wrapped Up

As you know, I am a big fan of Round Robin stitching, especially the band sampler we do each year.  I joined all my RRs on the Yuku Board The Worldwide Round Robins.

We have just finished our sampler for this year.  I chose a traditional "Band and Spot" Sampler using the bands and motifs from my Brenda Keyes sampler book.  Some people did add bands from other designers if they thought they fitted in with the general feel of the piece.  Following on from a jokey comment by Karen I also asked each person to add a bunny!

Here is the full piece:


Close up of the bands: 
From top to bottom:
Measi
Rachel
Karen
Rahenna
Linda
Kathy
Me

Close up of the spot motifs: 

As I said, everyone added a little bunny.  Except for one person, Karen added this little cutie as well!
Squirrel!

And here are the six pieces I stitched for everyone else this year:

Measi

Rachel

Karen


Rahenna

Linda

Kathy

I have just noticed that I signed my name in a different way almost every time!

This weekend I have been concentrating on my cousin's baby's birth sampler.  The design is called On the Beach by Madame Chantilly and as they have a nautical themed nursery it is very suitable.  Here is the current photo:

Fabric is Kynance by Sparklies.
It is a difficult piece to photograph, the white does show up more in real life.

Finally, I should be showing you a Happy Dance for Noel Blanc, but after finishing the final snowflake two evenings ago I decided that the greens in the top wreath did not show up well enough on the blue fabric.  The original was stitched on a natural fabric.  I was unsure from the time I finished the wreath and having changed the mistletoe to lighter shades I decided to do the same with the wreath.  So each evening I am now frogging. which is a slow task because there are three shades of green all tucked under the red ribbon which is staying.  But as I discovered before, it will be worth in the end!



Thursday, 23 October 2014

TUSAL of Tea

It's TUSAL time again!  For those of you new to blogging, the TUSAL is a project run by Daffycat, click on the button on the right hand bar for more details.

This year I am intending to stitch The Little Stitcher's Twelve Days of Christmas as a monthly project.  Laura has designed twelve charts with a different theme for each one to represent the days of Christmas.  She has invented the different themes herself using her lovely imagination!

This week I have stitched The Day of Tea.  Here it is as part of my TUSAL photo:


And on its own:


It's a lovely little tableau featuring a woman with an oversized cup about to have a nice gallon of tea!  I suspect there are many of my friends who would drink that much tea but probably spaced over the course of a whole day.  Despite being English I am not a tea drinker.  I drink instant coffee or cappucino if I am out.  But not the little biscuits that come with a cappucino because one of the children usually want it!

My Dad is not a tea drinker either, he likes a cup of sugar with a spoonful of coffee!  My Mum and my Brother however are avid tea drinkers.  They only have a small kitchen but one entire cupboard is devoted to teas of all types for different times of the day and the year.

So how about you?  Tea, coffee or something else?

For fans of The Little Stitcher there is a lovely Christmas design in this month's Just Cross Stitch magazine:



Here is the other project I have been stitching this week, Madame Chantilly On the Beach.  This will be a birth sampler for my cousin's baby.

Stitched on 32 count Kynance from Sparklies

In the last post I said I wasn't happy with the blue stripes charted in DMC 926 so I switched them for 799 which looks much better.  I exchanged the light blue for 800 and will also change the darkest blue for 798 when I get to it.  I think this is going to be a nice quick design and I promise to take some better photos!  This was taken in artificial light on a dull evening and doesn't show the fabric to its best but the scanned version just whites it all out!

The Spooky Countdown is continuing, here are the collages for days 9-16 and 17-23:

Days Nine to Sixteen

Days Seventeen to Twenty-Three
   
Finally, one last call for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop sign-up.  Just leave a comment (making sure I can contact you via email - Hazel D please contact me) and then a few days before the 31st October I will contact you with a letter to display on your blog on the 31st along with some Hallowe'en stitching of your own.  I will list all the blogs in order and people will hop around collecting the letters to SPELL out the Mystery Phrase.

To see how it all works, check out last year's Blog Hop here 



Monday, 20 October 2014

Stitch from Stash October Update

Stitch From Stash 2014
Stitch from Stash is hosted by Mel from Epic Stitching

Essentially the idea behind Stitch from Stash is that we are limited to spending US$25 (or £15) per month. There are various exemptions (Birthday money, existing mag subs, clubs etc) but the idea is not to try and pervert the rules and to stitch some of that stash!  I will be posting on or around the 20th of each month because that is when I get paid!

Money from Christmas 2013
£ 40.00
January Budget
£ 15.00
January Spend
£ 25.84-
February Budget
£ 15.00
February Spend
£ 18.99-
March Budget
£ 15.00
March Spend
£   8.42-
April Budget
£ 15.00
April Spend
£ 16.19-
May Budget
£ 15.00
May Spend
£   0.00
June Budget
£ 15.00
June Spend
£ 51.00-
June Bonus
£ 30.00
July Budget
£ 15.00
July Spend
£ 17.00-
August Budget
£ 15.00
August Spend
£ 29.72-
September Budget
£ 15.00
September Spend
£ 29.08-
Birthday Money
£ 80.00
Balance
£ 88.76

Crafty Kitten 4 x fabrics
£ 37.89
JBW Rocking Horse chart
£   4.28
Glendon Place Fall chart
£   4.63


Balance
£ 41.96
October Budget
£ 15.00
Birthday Voucher for CK
£ 25.00
Available to carry forward to October
£ 81.96
Allowed purchases:
Jodyri Threads of Month Club : £ 5.54

As you can see from the above list, my Birthday continued for the rest of September!  The very stunning Alicia the Crafty Princess sent me a voucher to spend at Crafty Kitten which has in theory left me quite alot of Birthday money still to spend.  I say "in theory" because it doesn't actually exist any more!  I seem to have spent it on the Large Boy's Birthday.  Hmmm, perils of being a parent!

Anyway, here are my Crafty Kitten fabrics:

Top left - Moondust 32 Murano (Dragon Dreams Dragon of Winter Sun
Top right - Love in the Mist 32 Murano (Nora Corbett J and E letters)
Bottom left - Blue Hydrangea 32 Murano Opal (Nora Corbett Little Snowy Cottages)
Bottom right - Moonlit Water 32 Murano (Madame Chantilly Hallowe'en Town)

New Starts from Stash: No new starts from stash
WIPs and UFOs worked on: A Mon Ami Pierre Noel Blanc, Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown (finished!), The Little Stitcher 12 Days of Christmas

A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc
I am so excited about this one!  You can see how close I am to the end.  I have to finish that C and then there is one snowflake which fills the corner and I am done!

Primitive Hare - Spooky Countdown Day Twenty on my tree.
I spent today making a coffin to keep all the tombstones in.
Photos to follow.

This one is not listed under New Starts from Stash because it is a new chart which I bought last month.  I have been waiting patiently for the special fabric from Sparklies to make a start on it.

The chart is Madame Chantilly On the Beach and the fabric is called Kynance and is half blue/half yellow.  If you contact Kate she will let you choose whether to have the split portrait or landscape and if you want the dividing line to be higher or lower than the halfway point which makes it a very versatile choice.  I went for landscape and about an inch below the centre.  Only a small part is visible in this photo.

I have only stitched one stripe of the centre hut and I am unsure about the colour.  It is DMC 926 which is a grey blue but the picture shows a nice baby blue.  Since this is for my cousin's new baby I am thinking of changing it before I do too much more!

Finally, it's time to sign up for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  Just leave a comment (making sure I can contact you via email - Hazel D that means you!!!) and then a few days before the 31st October I will contact you with a letter to display on your blog on the 31st along with some Hallowe'en stitching of your own.  I will list all the blogs in order and people will hop around collecting the letters to SPELL out the Mystery Phrase.

To see how it all works, check out last year's Blog Hop here 





Monday, 13 October 2014

Spooky Counting Down

I've been counting down to Hallowe'en with my Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown tree this year.  Here are a few photos of the tree so far:

All the ingredients laid out ready to start

The scrapbook paper I used to make the markers from


First Eight Days

Days Nine to Thirteen

Regular readers may recognise that tree from last year's Advent Calendar!

I have been stitching away in black the rest of the time, on the Blackbird Designs Spell of the Moon which Kaye sent me recently.  I finished the black this afternoon during a Game of Thrones marathon TV catch-up session for my husband's birthday!


There is some grey and a yellow moon to add as yet.  It's a nice fun design although quite large on 32count.  Too big for an ornie really.  I bought a little canvas and easel during the week which I can stretch the fabric round and display it like that.  I like the way the border varies, it's not all the same zig-zags all the way round.  Much  more interesting to stitch,

Finally, it's time to sign up for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  Just leave a comment on this post (making sure I can contact you via email) and then a few days before the 31st October I will contact you with a letter to display on your blog on the 31st along with some Hallowe'en stitching of your own.  I will list all the blogs in order and people will hop around collecting the letters to SPELL out the Mystery Phrase.

To see how it all works, check out last year's Blog Hop here  









Wednesday, 8 October 2014

October WIPocalypse Hallowe'en or Christmas Stitching?

WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi of Measi's Musings.

The main focus of my WIPocalypse this year is my "14 in '14" a list of 14 projects I wanted to complete in 2014.  In the last month I have worked on three of the list.  Here is the current stitching status of each one:

6. Primitive Hare - Spooky Countdown


7. The Little Stitcher - 12 Days of Christmas

12. A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc

Look at that progress on Noel Blanc!  In just 7 days I have stitched the rest of Decembre, all of B and most of L!

Measi also gives us a topic to discuss:
October
Are you a Hallowe'en or Christmas stitcher?

Well, I think most of my followers could answer that one on my behalf!  I love Hallowe'en stitching.  It is a festival not much celebrated in the UK until recently when Fireworks Night has become less popular and the supermarkets have realised they can make more money out of Hallowe'en!  Even so, my local craft shop stocks very little Hallowe'en merchandise, the odd scrapbook page or embellishment.  Unlike Scrapping the Magic online who has an amazing range!

And just to prove my love of Hallowe'en, here is another picture of my Spooky Countdown Tree:

Days 1 to 8

Finally, to further prove my love for Hallowe'en and to give you the chance to show your appreciation for all things spooky, it is time to launch sign-ups for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Mystery Phrase Blog Hop!  Just leave a comment on this post (making sure I can contact you via email) and then a few days before the 31st October I will contact you with a letter to display on your blog on the 31st along with some Hallowe'en stitching of your own.  I will list all the blogs in order and people will hop around collecting the letters to SPELL out the Mystery Phrase.

To see how it all works, check out last year's Blog Hop here  


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

500 Followers Mini-Blog Hop

I acquired my 500th follower recently and decided to host a mini blog hop instead of a giveaway.  So we all give some love and receive some comments and new followers!

Several people signed up and over the weekend I emailed them all the name of a fellow blogger to research and dedicate a post to today.  The posts should be appearing over the next 24 hours depending on where you are and whether people remembered to post!  Here is the full list of participants so you can pop over and see who they have dedicated their post to:


Don't forget to leave a comment on their blogs!

I had a lovely weekend in London with the Large Boy, we decided to visit The Art of the Brick exhibition in Brick Lane of all appropriate places!  The exhibition features the work of artist Nathan Sawaya who works in Lego.  All his artworks are made entirely with standard Lego bricks.  It was a fascinating exhibition, it started with some reproductions of famous works of art recreated and reinterpreted in Lego such as the Mona Lisa:



and The Scream:

This one really made use of the 3D nature of the bricks.

The other part of the exhibition was Nathan's own concepts, often expressing how he felt trapped in his career as a corporate lawyer such as this piece which shows the Lego builder escaping from his shell:

You could reproduce this in cross stitch with the stitching bursting out of the everyday you.

This one is a classic piece already as it has been used in the publicity for the exhibition:

I've got about 80 photos of all the pieces so if you want to see more, let me know!!

We also visited the Science Museum and had a quick look round the Natural History Museum too.

The Science Museum had an exhibition on Materials which was very interesting and included this massive sculpture:




The back of the feature: 

I am envisioning something similar using all the shades of DMC now!!

Finally, I suppose there ought to be some stitching in this post.  So here is the piece I worked on during the train journeys to and from London:

Blackbird Designs - Spell of the Moon
stitched on 32 count Cognac linen
(which is less orange in real life)

Day 7 on my Hallowe'en Tree


edit to add - As well as 500 followers, I blew through the 200,000 page views mark today!!  yay!!