Translate

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

January Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post



Welcome to the January Gifted Gorgeousness link-up,the first one of 2020.  The link-up date continues to be the 15th and I will keep the link-up open until the end of each month so you have plenty of time if you are late posting.

The format remains exactly the same, there is a list of rules on the main sign-up page if you want to check what is required but basically anything connected to the word "gift" is allowed, whether it was a gift TO you or is a gift FROM you.

We do have a nice new logo and a new sign-up page - remember to add your blog here as well as at the bottom of this post for your January post.  If you have the link in your sidebar on your own blog, don't forget to update it to the new sign-up page.


My main project for Gifted Gorgeousness has been my Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs, which will be a gift for my son.  This is where it was at the end of November:


And this is the portion I have been working on in January:


And the whole piece at the moment:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

This is a Just Nan design called Christmas Friends, the chart was a gift from Mouse.  I've been using this as a travel and work lunchbreak project.  I am very close to a finish so here is the corner:


The final gifted project for this month is the 12 Days of Christmas by JBW.  Two of my friends bought two charts each for my Christmas present.  I started one design per day for the 12 Days of Stitchmas and completed the First Day: 

stitched on 40 count white linen, 1 over 2

Now it is your turn to show us your Gifted Gorgeousness for the month.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field and NOT the words "January Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.  And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.

*


*

Finally, I am taking sign-ups for the Valentine's Day Blog Hop.  The previous post contains all the information you need.  If you'd like to take part, please leave a comment.  If you are a "no-reply" blogger because you have not chosen to share your email on your profile, please email me direct or include your email in the comment.





Monday, 13 January 2020

Dark Stitching for the 13th

I promised to dedicate an entire post to this design once we got into the New Year, so here it is!

The chart is called Enchanted Alphabet designed by Marilyn Leavitt-Imblum under the Lavender & Lace label in 1991.  Here is the original cover photo:


I have always liked the alphabet but was not keen on The World's Frilliest Child and her Bunny on a Leash.  Then one day, I hit on the idea of a Spooky Conversion!  I had a large piece of orange hand-dyed fabric from Sparklies which was wide enough if I removed the child and moved the letters closer together.  I decided on a simple conversion of:

every colour = 310


I started the project in July 2016 as part of a SAL to stitch one letter of an alphabet each month.  I kept up with the schedule and completed Z in August 2018.  And that's when the fun started!

Since then I have been adding little motifs from other charts to add to the spookiness.  Here are some close-ups.

The pumpkins, ghosts and cats are all Just Nan designs from her various Hallowe'en charts.


The raven is from a sampler featured in Cross Stitcher magazine.  
To make it fit, I stitched it over one.


The owl is from the same sampler in Cross Stitcher magazine




The white dove from the original design was stitched in black and grey.
The gate is from the Hallowe'en Night design by Jardin Prive I stitched in 2018
I added a little over one owl on top of one of the gateposts


The moon was a photo of the actual moon which I ran through Pic2Pat.
The bats on the left come from a freebie design
and the one on the right comes from the Cross Stitcher Sampler.


The little frogs are Just Nan too.


This is the cover of the Cross Stitcher magazine issue 349 with the sampler by Maria Diaz on the front cover:


And now - the whole piece!

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tigerlily by Sparklies

I'm really looking forward to getting this one framed ready for Hallowe'en this year.  It measures 20 inches wide by 8 inches tall so it's unlikely I'll be able to get an off-the-shelf frame.


Finally, I will be running the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop on Valentine's Day.

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop


It's really very simple, all you have to do is email me a picture of something you have stitched which is suitable for a stitching friend on Valentine's Day.  It could be a heart, or a pair of cute creatures, or the word "love" or anything which warms your heart.  Really anything you think a fellow stitcher would like to receive in her email Inbox.    It can be something you've stitched in the past or something you've made especially for this year.  It could also be quilted or sewn this year as I know some of my followers do other crafts too.

Send me the email by 10th February.

When I have all the emails I will randomise them and send one to each participant on 13th February. Then on 14th February you must post the picture you receive onto your blog under the heading
 Secret Stitching Sweetheart

There will be a list on my blog of everyone joining in, so check out all the blogs and find out who got your picture and identify yourself in their comments as their

 Secret Stitching Sweetheart


Does that make sense to everyone? I hope so!


If you'd like to be involved then leave a comment or send me an email if you are "no-reply". I'll be putting little reminders up from time to time and will email on 9th February to make sure you send the pic in time.







Friday, 10 January 2020

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for January

Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This SAL is designed to motivate us all to do something with that box of Finished pieces instead of just storing them under the bed.  We will all be linking up on Rachel's blog on or after the 10th of each month (10 Hour Stitcher - 10th of the month).

Let's start the year off as we don't mean to go on - doing nothing all month and realising on the 9th that you have one day to FFO something, anything to show on the 10th.

Luckily I have a folder of unfinished items and many of them simply need scrapbooking.  So here are two Blasts from the Past:


The owl was stitched in December 2014.  This freebie design comes from Jacquie and is available from her blog My Journey.  I stitched it on 28 count black evenweave using a GAST thread appropriately called Harvest Moon.
The other design which was already on the page is by Lizzie*Kate as discussed in The People's Choice this month.  I added a witch silhouette that my friend cut for me using her special machine:



This one is from February 2015 and is Cuore di Hallowe'en by Savoir faire Vailly
Stitched over one on 32count Cognac evenweave using DMC B5200, 310 and 740.


I used double sided tape to fix the stitching to the purple square and then trimmed it using some purple lace-patterned tape.


So that's it for this month.  Maybe I'll spend some time this Sunday finishing an ornments so I won't be rushing around at the last minute in February!


Finally, I will be running the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop on Valentine's Day.

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop


It's really very simple, all you have to do is email me a picture of something you have stitched which is suitable for a stitching friend on Valentine's Day.  It could be a heart, or a pair of cute creatures, or the word "love" or anything which warms your heart.  Really anything you think a fellow stitcher would like to receive in her email Inbox.    It can be something you've stitched in the past or something you've made especially for this year.  It could also be quilted or sewn this year as I know some of my followers do other crafts too.

Send me the email by 10th February.

When I have all the emails I will randomise them and send one to each participant on 13th February. Then on 14th February you must post the picture you receive onto your blog under the heading
 Secret Stitching Sweetheart

There will be a list on my blog of everyone joining in, so check out all the blogs and find out who got your picture and identify yourself in their comments as their

 Secret Stitching Sweetheart


Does that make sense to everyone? I hope so!


If you'd like to be involved then leave a comment on this post or send me an email if you are "no-reply". I'll be putting little reminders up from time to time and will email on 9th February to make sure you send the pic in time.





Sunday, 5 January 2020

January WIPocalypse Introduction

WIPocalypse
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.  Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

January - Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year

Since 2011 I have chosen a number of projects to focus on that year, starting with my "11 in '11" and increasing to "20 in '20" for this year.  For 2020 the list includes my Discworld BAP project which will be my Focus Piece each month, some WIPs I really want to see finished,  new starts and four Christmas Ornaments.  Here are the first 8, all WIPs:


Project List:
  1. Ernie Bishop - NOEL Letters
  2. Joan Elliott - Faces 1 Block
  3. Brooke's Books - Stitcher's Alphabet
  4. Chatelaine Designs - Gardens of London
  5. Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map
  6. Nora Corbett - Gathering Eggs
  7. Mrs Peggotty - Queen of Hearts
  8. Just Nan - Christmas Friends
  9. JBW - 12 Days of Christmas Book 1
  10. JBW - 12 Days of Christmas Book 2
  11. JBW - 12 Days of Christmas Book 3
  12. JBW - 12 Days of Christmas Book 4
  13. Hands on Designs - Scary Apothecary 1
  14. Hands on Designs - Scary Apothecary 2
  15. Hands on Designs - Scary Apothecary 3
  16. Just Nan - Winter in the Square
  17. Amanda Butler - Alice in Wonderland
  18. Just Nan - Autumn Mouse Needleroll
  19. Just Nan - a Sampler for the Summer Holiday (TBA)
  20. Country Cottage Needlework - Main Street 1 Chart

The first three are older WIPs I really want to see some progress on.  The NOEL Letters are my oldest project, dating back to the 1990s.  The Joan Elliott Faces SAL stalled so I am setting a low target of one block.  If I'd done one block per year since I started it then I would have finished it by now!  Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet is technically finished but I want to add a title block and actually finish it so I have put it on the list to motivate myself.


These are the new projects I have started for this year:

JBW - 12 Days of Christmas (started on Boxing Day)
(Projects 9 -12)

Hands on Design - Bat Balm
(Projects 13 - 15)

Just Nan - Winter in the Square
(Project 16)

Amanda Butler - Alice in Wonderland SAL in Cross Stitcher magazine
(Project 17)


The list is then completed by a Just Nan design for Dark October, a Just Nan Sampler for my Summer Holidays and the start of my conversion for Country Cottage Needlework's Main Street.


The planned rotation this year will be:

20-a-Day - stitch 20 stitches every day on one project, first thing in the morning.
Just Nan smalls -  stitch a few stitches each day.  Aim to complete one per month.  Will also be travel and work projects.
Evening stitching - Mrs Peggotty's Queen of Hearts or the Alice SAL.

Complete one JBW Christmas Ornament per month
Complete one HoD Scary Apothecary design every four months
Stitch one Alice block per month
Stitch Discworld Mappe to average one page per month
Focus on one other project per month, possible using the Tiny Decisions app.

The exceptions will be May when I will stitch one length on a different Just Nan small each day (the ones previously started for Maynia) and Dark October when I will focus on Just Nan's Mouse and Needleroll.


The WIPocalypse posts are the last Sunday of each month

My other SALs are

The People's Choice - posts on the first Saturday of each month - theme in sidebar
Fully Finished Gallery - post anything fully finished on the 10th of each month
Gifted Gorgeousness - post anything gifted on the 15th
Hallowe'en Ornie Blog - a different spooky theme each month
Christmas Ornie Blog - a different festive theme each month
Smalls SAL - last Friday of each month

The TUSAL - post on the New Moon each month


Finally, I will be continuing with the ever popular Blog Hops this year.  We will have Valentine's, Easter, the Summer Postcard, Hallowe'en and the Advent Calendar.  All at the appropriate time of the year.  I will be posting about the Secret Stitching Sweethearts for Valentine's Day very soon so watch this space.





Saturday, 4 January 2020

The People Chose Lizzie*Kate


This SAL is all about what you want to see on the blog.  Each month I ask for suggestions for themes and then put them up to the members of the IHSW Group on FB to vote for their choice.  This is what they have chosen:

January - Lizzie*Kate
February - Penguins
March - Coffee

I put the poll up to decide the February theme and Penguins and Coffee were vying for first place.  On decision-day Penguins was in the lead so I made that the choice, but then Coffee fought back so I decided that would be the choice for March and save me from doing a poll over Christmas!

But back to January and Lizzie*Kate.  

"Who is this elusive Lizzie*Kate? Lizzie*Kate is a cross stitch design business that began in 1996. The creator, Linda, was bored with her job and looking for a new creative outlet. She decided to combine her favorite hobby of stitchery with her past job experience (pre-children) in graphic design. Linda was 40 years old (yikes!) and ripe for a new challenge! In about 6 months, she drew 20 designs, stitched and finished them. As she was readying to exhibit at the annual Charlotte Market in August, she had to pull together all the details to start a new business.

One important job was naming her new company! On a whim, she decided to combine the nicknames for her daughters' middle names - Sarah Elizabeth "Lizzie" and Alison Kathleen "Kate" - and Lizzie*Kate was born! She did a rough sketch of how the logo might look, and never had time to revise it. Thanks to kind stitchers around the world, the Lizzie*Kate logo is now well known!"

From the Lizzie*Kate website

I was aware of Lizzie*Kate designs but they didn't really appeal to me when I started stitching.  In fact I don't think I ever actually "bought" one of her charts.  The first time I laid hands on one was a Travelling Chart back in the early days of my blog.

Travelling Charts were very popular back then, each person stitched it and passed it on to the next person in line.  Maybe I should start one again?

This one came from Cucki in South Africa and I wanted a quirky look to it, so I coloured the aida with fabric pens and swapped all the colours:


The second design was another Travelling Pattern, from Kate's Floss Box this time:


A nice simple design until I changed the border to satin stitch and had problems counting!

The next three were all gifts:



For these two seasonal designs I decided I did not want to stitch the hills so used my trusty felt-tipped pens to colour the fabric in again.


I did buy the other two seasons but haven't stitched them yet!


Two of the Samplings
(prizes again)



and finally this one which was a gift again!


In my stash I have the Holly & Hearts Sampler (a gift again) and the other two seasonal houses.


So from my original feelings of "meh" about these designs you can see I actually rather like them and enjoy stitching them!  Thanks to all the bloggers who kept sending them my way.  As Lizzie*Kate herself would say "Life is better with stitching friends".


Now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Lizzie*Kate, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog. Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog. I look forward to seeing what you all post.


*


*

Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll. Any thing, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll. Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Cats, or Blue, or Holidays, or Warmth etc. Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.


Looking forward to reading them all!







Tuesday, 31 December 2019

December Pie and Stitch from Stash

It's Old Year's Night and time for a look back at the past 365 days of stitching.

First of all, here is the Pie for December:


Two weeks on the Discworld Mappe which went from here:


to here:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom dyed by Sparklies

Not so much progress this month, I didn't even finish my owl.  But here is where it was last year so you can see just how much 166 days of stitching is:



8 days to complete the 12th Christmas Ornament of the year.  I started all 12 as part of last year's 12 Days of Stitchmas and completed one per month this year.  This is the fourth design from The Sweetheart Tree called Merry Christmas Bellpull.  I will be fully finishing it like the Noel and Joy Bellpulls.

stitched on 32 count linen

For this year's 12 Days of Stitchmas I am stitching the JBW designs.  Here are Days 5 and 6:


stitched on 40 count white linen

In my WIPocalypse post I showed you my 13 finishes from my "19 in '19" list and now here are the rest of my finishes for the year:


Plus this one I forgot to include in the Collage!


Let's have a look at the Annual Pie Chart now:


The top four individual projects were:

The Discworld Mappe - 163 days
Marie Suarez My Lovely Sewing Tools - 31 days
Lavender & Lace Enchanted Alphabet - 23 days
Chatelaine Gardens of London - 21 days

I also stitched on a number of Just Nan projects, totalling 39 days when I only stitched those projects.  More often they were part of a daily stitch project.

I have actually finished the Enchanted Alphabet and I do intend to dedicate a post to my conversion, but here's a picture to be going on with:

stitched on 32 count Tiger Lily Murano from Sparklies

I came into the year with 20 WIPs and started 31 projects over the course of the year of which all except three have been finished.  I also completed 2 projects started prior to 2017 and 6 started in 2017/18.  My current WIPs are:

Prior 2017 9
2017 3
2018 0
2019 3
Total 15

Yes, just 15 WIPs.  I plan to complete another 2 of those older ones this year and gradually whittle the total down.  Leaving me space to make more starts!



How did the spending go last month?  My magazine subscription came out and that was it.

December
CS sub£8.72
Total£8.72

I also tallied up the spend for the whole year:

Magazines£76.49
Charts£145.22
Fabric£35.95
Threads£0.95
Other£39.12
Total£297.73

That figure is about the same as last year.  Once again, I spent more on charts and less on fabric and threads.  Literally 95p on one skein of DMC the entire year!  The money spent on charts was nearly all Christmas and Birthday money so that's OK.

As well as getting the JBW 12 Days of Christmas charts, I also got these charts from my family:


Yes, another BAP!  The plan is to start that one when I complete the Discworld Mappe.

This is a series I have had my eye on for a while.  I am considering stitching them as sets of six cubes.



Finally,

Have a very Happy Old Year's Night

and a very Peaceful New Year's Day