Friday, 18 April 2014

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2014

Welcome to the 2014 Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop
Just Nan - Dewdrop Bunny

All you have to do is visit each of these blogs in order, note down the letter above the Easter / Spring themed pic and remember the short phrase they make up.  Come back here for the last letter and leave a comment saying what the phrase is.  I will select one person at random to win a small stitched prize.  I will also randomly select one of the Picture Posters to win a stitched prize too.

The trail starts with:

and then back here for this letter:


La Contesse - Easter Eggs

Comment moderation has been turned on for the duration of this competition which closes on the 27th April, 2014.

San Man Easter photo DSC03602SanManEaster_zps7d560c61.jpg
San Man Originals - Easter

Finally , don't forget there is another Treasure Hunt going on at the Scarlet Letter Gallery.  

This Easter Bunny is hiding on 22 different Scarlet Letter samplers on our Gallery.  If you find him you can claim a 25% discount from that sampler.  Click on the bunny to find the full details.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

April WIPocalypse Stash Organisation


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 seven of the list.  Here is the current stitching status of each one:

Prairie Moon - Thine is the Trick and the Treat

Friends' Wedding Sampler

Primitive Hare - Spooky Countdown

Little Stitcher - 12 Days of Christmas

Just Nan - Winter Typography

A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc

Jannlynn - Gathering Honey

Measi is also setting us a topic to discuss each month:

April 15     How do you keep your stash organized?

I don't have a dedicated craft room unfortunately, it's only a three bedroom house so there isn't a spare one for me to use.  I do have a large cupboard in the utility room which I have recently commandeered for storage.  I keep all my completed samplers in there while they are waiting for their turn on the walls, I like to rotate my displays.

My fabric is kept in bags, one for 28, one for 32 and one for "everything else".  I have a large bag full of all the charts people have sent me along with the extra little bits and the letters.  I always keep letters and cards as I love to re-read them and think of the person who gifted me the chart.

My DMC threads are kept in Floss-away bags on rings in numerical order.  I love these bags, you can fit several skeins of the same colour in each one, you can add the leftover lengths easily and you can see when you are running low of a colour.  When I stitch a large project I remove the bags and put them on a separate project ring.  For smaller projects I tend to leave them on the larger ring and just keep the whole bag near me.

My beads are partly in those stacking containers and partly in a little drawer unit I inherited last year.  I prefer the drawer unit so I will put all my new ones in there and not buy anymore containers.

My Kreinik are all in a box, as are my ribbons and cords, my backing fabrics are in another as are my buttons and charms.  These boxes are just random boxes I have collected, not co-ordinating at all!

My charts are in a wooden box except for my Just Nans which are all in one big envelope together.  My freebie printouts are in plastic wallets in one large folder.

That's about it!  I favour a "keep it close" method, if I use something alot I want it near me.  I don't want to go rummaging around for things in another room.  For this reason I keep most of my notes on paper and pen rather than the computer.  It's a shared computer in another part of the house so it's easier just to look in the notebook or diary next to my chair.  World of Cross Stitching magazine gives a diary as the cover gift each year so I use that as my stitching diary, all the SAL posting dates go in the back and I jot down which projects I stitch on each day and if I finish one what number it is.  Then I can keep my blog up to date.

I had a great response to my Blogaversary Giveaway.  I wrote all the ideas down on a piece of paper (without the commenter's name) and then showed it to the Large Boy.  We discussed the practicalities of each idea and which ones appealed to him the most.  In the end he wrote down three and I wrote down three, two were the same ones so we picked one of those as being the one most open to something weird and wonderful!  The winner is Miss Lilly from Back on the Wall who will be getting a Cheshire Cat themed finish at some point in the future.  It will be a little while because I have to do some shopping for it!  I have been browsing my favourite online shops already.

Thank you to everyone who entered and everyone who wished me a Happy Blogaversary.  It's been a fun three years and I fully intend to keep going for at least three more, or until the cute photos of me run out LOL.

Finally , I sent out the emails today for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop which will be this Friday.  If you can't wait until then, there is another Treasure Hunt going on at the Scarlet Letter Gallery.  The Gallery is a project I worked on for a full six month, adding each of the Scarlet Letter samplers to the blog in alphabetical and categorised according to age and country etc.  I am currently adding difficulty ratings to each one.  This is a beautiful blog to visit and browse through.  We have versions of many of the SL stitched by the challenge group over the last year and some of Marsha's model samplers too.  Well worth a look if you love antique and reproduction samplers.

This Easter Bunny is hiding on 22 different Scarlet Letter samplers on our Gallery.  If you find him you can claim a 25% discount from that sampler.  Click on the bunny to find the full details.

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Blogaversary Number Three!

Happy 3rd Blogaversary to me!

I'm about 3 and half in this picture, but my parents were really bad at writing on the backs of the photos so there are quite a few where I'm not sure if I'm three or four.  This tree was my "treehouse" when I was three, my sister and I used to have tea parties underneath it.  The pinafore I am wearing had the story of Little Red Riding Hood told in pictures, each panel had a different picture.  I don't know if you bought them like that or if they came as a kit that you made up. 

Also, Happy Birthday to Calamity Jr and Susan Yellow Flower Meadow too.

Some Blogaversary stats:
3 years,
325 posts,
151,967 page views

Last year I was mainly stitching on Round Robins and monthly challenges.  The same is true for this year!  I have had a lot less finishes this year though.  This is deliberate because I am trying to focus on some of my bigger pieces rather than so many smalls as in the previous two years.

So what did I do on Sunday?  That's right, I stitched a totally random small project which doesn't fit in with any challenges, themes or targets at all.  So the only way to justify stitching it is to make it the prize for the blogaversary!  Sneaky, huh?

Here is the finished stitching:

Stitched on 19 count Ariosa Antique Rose
using Jodyri Threads ChaChaCha and DMC B5200

This is a freebie available on The Little Stitcher's FB page to promote her new Alice in Wonderland chart which is now on my wishlist!!  

I can't decide how to finish this small piece, it's only 70 stitches by 35 stitches.  So this is where the competition comes in - 

What weird and wonderful way should I finish my stitching?

The winner will get the weird and wonderful finished piece!!  The winner will be chosen by me based on how much I love the idea and how feasible it is.  I will also show the suggestions to the Large Boy first and see which ones he likes (he will unbiased as he doesn't know who anyone is!).  In fact I will probably write them down as they come in without anyone's name on so I forget who said what.

Back on track on Monday I stitched Block 10 of the Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown:

Finally, the School Easter Holidays started this week so we must be approaching Easter!  Which means, not long left to sign up for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  Click on the bunny to the right for more details.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

A Busy Week = Not Much Stitching

Exactly what the title says!  Between work, meetings, Easter Raffles (running two and attending a third) and general Small Boy duties there has been very little progress on anything this week.

Noel Blanc is supposed to be worked on each evening while the Small Boy is in the bath, but I lost three sessions this week so I have only managed a leg since last showing:

The Round Robin has seen a little more progress.  I have finished the larger band from Sweet Rememberance and a Fantail band from Cynthia's Sampler underneath it:

But I did manage to complete the bookmark for a friend (so no photo until she receives it) and an entire heart on a new stitch today:

Attentive followers may remember this heart from last August when I stitched the entire design for my cousin.  This time I am stitching over 2 on 32 count.  I have been looking for a suitable design since my friend announced her wedding and came up with nothing "quite right".  I was browsing a shop called QD in town, it's a sort of homeware discount shop which sells some nice frames from time to time.  I found the perfect frame that day!  It is a white heart frame with several small apertures for photos.  Or cross stitching.  So I have been sourcing charts to fit the gaps and have made a start today.  Just as well really, the wedding is in three weeks!

The boys are off on their Easter Holidays for two weeks now so hopefully there will be some stitching time.  Movie afternoon has been postponed to Monday because of the Grand Prix tomorrow so that will give me a couple of hours at least!  Any recommendations for good movies, maximum 12 certificate or very mild 15s?  We've seen most of the well-known ones and are working our way through my brother's collection now.

Finally, alot of people have been having problems with Blogger turning their photos on the side.  The lovely Denise from Count it *all* Joy has found the solution to your woes!  Click on the link for her very clear and precise instructions on how to solve this problem.  Well done to Denise - the Saviour of the Blogging World! 

Monday, 31 March 2014

Theme-a-licious March Update

Theme-a-licious is hosted by Heather of It's Geek to Me

Each month Heather thinks up a theme for us to stitch to, or in my case, a theme to somehow shoe-horn my existing stitching into, no matter how tenuous the link! 

March Madness
Work on something different every's madness...of the funnest possible kind.

Regular followers will know that I don't do the daily rotations some people love but I do try to stitch a variety of designs in March.  Back in 2012 I stitched 12 different designers, last year I managed 13 so this year I thought - let's go for 14 different projects.  I didn't want to do 14 different designers because that would mess up the Just Nan SAL!

Here are the 14 in the order started:

1. Measi's RR, Bands from Just Nan Needlestory

2. Somebunny to Love - Bathtime Bunny

3. A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc

4. Primitive Hare - Spooky Countdown, Block 5,6,7,8 and 9

5. Brooke's Books Belinda the Bat Witch/Vampire now mounted in an Italian scene from an old calendar

6. Snowflower Diaries - Spring Witch, also mounted in a calendar page.

7. Secret Project for a friend

8. Just Nan - Winter Typography

9. Another secret project!

10. Twisted Thread - Easter Bunny
(left over project from last year!)

11. The Little Stitcher - 12 Days of Christmas, Day of Warmth

12. Rachel's RR, Bands from Just Nan Cynthia's Sampler and Sweet Rememberance

13. Jannlynn - Gathering Honey
(project for a friend, stitched most of the green)

14. Prairie Moon - Thine is the Trick and the Treat
(I stitched those two little hands in the bottom right)

Phew!  That's a lot of stitching!  Next month will be tricker, SoCal Debbie suggested the theme April Showers so we have to think of designs with water in them.  Or maybe a nice Anti-theme piece with a desert!

Finally, I am still taking sign-ups for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  Click on the bunny on the right-hand side for more information.  He's a Just Nan design, Dewdrop Bunny.  Please feel free to borrow him and use as a link to promote the Blog Hop.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

TUSAL of Warmth

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 weekend I have stitched The Day of Warmth.  Here it is as part of my TUSAL photo:

You can just spot the ORTS jar nestled amidst the Spring flowers in the warmth of our garden.

And here it is in close-up, a shepherdess and her sheep:

This is what Laura says about The Day of Warmth:

"On this day, take some time for you.  Let the world go on without you, take care of yourself, relax wrapped in a soft wool blanket and make yourself a nice gift, one of those which warms the heart."

This seems most appropriate today, as it is Mothering Sunday here in England so most of us Mothers will have been at least attempting to take it easy or be a little more relaxed than usual.

Finally, I am still taking sign-ups for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  Click on the bunny on the right-hand side for more information.  He's a Just Nan design, Dewdrop Bunny.  Please feel free to borrow him and use as a link to promote the Blog Hop.

Friday, 28 March 2014

March Just Nan SAL

Just Nan SAL
Just Nan SAL is hosted by Zeb of Keep Calm and Cross Stitch

Since the last Just Nan SAL post I have finished the rows on Measi's Band Sampler and sent it off to Kathy.  Here is my part of the sampler:

Bands from Needlestory
My colour conversion using threads provided by Measi

As part of March Madness (for Theme-a-licious) I started a new Just Nan, the second in the Typography collection; Winter Typography.  Here is my progress:

I love all the different fonts on this one and the sweet little over 1 bird too.

The final Just Nan I am stitching is another instalment on the Band Sampler Round Robin.  Rachel has also given us free rein as long as it co-ordinates with her bands.  I have chosen two JNs, narrow bands will come from Cynthia's Sampler and deeper bands from Sweet Rememberance.  Here is my progress so far:

Finally, I am still taking sign-ups for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  Click on the bunny on the right-hand side for more information.  He's a Just Nan design too, Dewdrop Bunny.  Please feel free to borrow him and use as a link to promote the Blog Hop.

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Smalls SAL March Update

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

I was nice and early this month with the Hallowe'en ornie, thanks to my train trip to London:

Spring Witch by The Snowflower Diaries

The Little Stitcher will make her appearance with my TUSAL post next week.

The Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown is now in its eighth week so here is Block 8:

Oops, missed six stitches off the top of the biggest book.

I am stitching alongside Giovanna, who is stitching these on one piece of fabric starting in the middle.  We are now stitching the same row which is nice.  At the end of this set of six she will be stitching the first six I have already done and vice versa!

Other smalls I have stitched this week include this design:

I can't tell you anything about it except that it is a gift for a follower.  It went off in the post today so hopefully I will be able to share a photo within the next week to ten days (clue to the location of the follower!).  This next one is also a gift:

Yep, that's the reverse of the bookmark mount!

Finally, that old chestnut - Copyright theft.  As you know I have been stitching away on an A Mon Ami Pierre design all year (Noel Blanc).  I have just learned that the designer is quitting because of copyright theft.  From the old enemies of designers the Russian and Chinese "Repainting" Forums and a new boy on the Piratical Seas - Pinterest.

If you look at virtually any Pinterest Board you will see images of charts.  Actual charts, not links to charts or images of the finished item but the actual chart.  "But they are free designs" the Pinner says.  Yes, but the designer gives them for free so you will visit his/her site and hopefully buy something else or at least enter into a dialogue with him/her - "Thank you for this lovely freebie" won't kill anyone, even the shyest stitcher!  People are not going to visit if they can download direct from your Pin Board!  

"I didn't realise" is the other excuse "Copyright is so complicated".  No, it isn't.  Ask yourself - Did I design this chart myself?  If the answer is Yes, then Pin away happily.  If the answer is No, then don't do it.  Find the designer and put a Pin to her website or her blog, spread the news that there is a fabulous designer out there waiting to talk to her fans.

Lecture over.

Until next time one of my favourite designers quits. 

Edit to add - when I said "Virtually any Pinterest Board" I did not mean Ziggyeor's Kermit Flail Board.  This is officially amazing!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Stitch from Stash March 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
£ 25.17

Just Nan Jasmine Mix
£   4.49
Mill Hill Beads
£   2.54
DMC Metallic
£   1.39

£ 16.75
March Budget
£ 15.00
Available to carry forward to March
£ 31.75

Allowed purchases:
Jodyri Threads of Month Club : £ 5.54
Just Cross Stitch mag sub for seven issues : £ 12.35

New Starts from Stash: Somebunny Card, Snowflower Diary Spring Witch for Hallowe'en Ornie SAL, Just Nan Winter Typography
WIPs and UFOs worked on: A Mon Ami Pierre Noel Blanc, Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown, The Little Stitcher 12 Days of Christmas.

Somebunny to Love - Bathtime Bunny
(cover kit from WOCS 213)

Just Nan - Winter Typography
There was a little frogging action on this one, when I came to add the bird I realised that I had stitched the large Winter one row too low so the mittens and the corner motif came out and were re-stitched)

A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc
I have been alternating between the long straight rows of deer and the floral border to the left of him.

Primitive Hare - Spooky Countdown
Giovanna and I have stitched the same motif this week and will do for the next five weeks!

Finally, I am taking sign-ups for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop, click on the Bunny on the right hand side bar for more details.