Wednesday, 25 November 2015

November WIPocalypse Favourite Designer

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

The focus of my WIPocalypse will be my "15 in '15"which are 15 charts I want to stitch in 2015 (following on from my "11 in '11", "12 in '12", "13 in '13" and "14 in '14" - imaginative, eh?)
Over the last month I haven't actually stitched any of my 15!  Bit of an epic fail there then.  Just looked through the diary to what I did stitch and it's mostly the Blue Ribbon design and the Plum Street 12 Days charts.   I have finished 10 out of the 15 so I suppose the other 5 will form the basis of next year's WIPocalypse.

I have now stitched 7 of the Blue Ribbon blocks and have made a very small start on Part 2 of this project, a teeny tiny over 1 ghostie:

stitched over 1 on 32 count blue linen

Fortunately Measi always set us a topic to discuss or this would be a very short post indeed!

November - Which designer has inspired you to stitch the greatest number of designs and why do you think that is?  

Now this is where my Happy Dance blog comes in useful!  I simply looked down the sidebar and saw that I'd stitched 27 projects by Joan Elliott and 29 by Just Nan!

Quite a few of the designs were for Round Robins so that partially answers the question.  If you take part in a Joan Elliott RR you will be stitching a few of her designs!

Here is a collage of the pieces I stitched for that RR with the larger picture being the one that was stitched for me:

I think that collage illustrates why I like Joan Elliott so much, there is such variety in her work.  From the lovely fairies to the oriental designs and the fantasy creautures.  If you add in her cute animals then there is something for almost every taste.

Just Nan is another favourite because of the variety of her designs.  Regular followers will know I stitch a lot of her Hallowe'en designs and her band samplers too.  But this was the very first JN I completed:

DSC02117BlueTilefloral.jpg Blue Tile Floral
stitched on raspberry evenweave in 1999

Just Nan does a lot of little spooky stitches in sets which I love.  She tends to use the same colour scheme for her spookies which means they look great as a set too.

If you want to see all of my JE and JN finishes click on these links:

Finally, still time to sign up for the Advent Calendar Blog Hop, just a couple of spaces left.  It doesn't have to be a new design, it could be a Golden Oldie.  We all love to see the older designs refeatured.  Leave a comment if you'd like to be in the Hop.

November Smalls SAL

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL
The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather from Stitching Lotus

This year I am going to have two monthly challenges:

1. The Primitive Hare Hallowe'en Cubes SAL
2. The Hallowe'en Ornie SAL themed blog.
and a third one added from August:
3. The Christmas Ornie SAL themed blog

Obviously the Hallowe'en Cubes are all done now.  The theme for November on the Hallowe'en Blog was Creepy Trees and I stitched this little tiny from Blue Ribbon Designs in this year's JCS Hallowe'en Special:

Then I carried on with the rest of the series:

stitched on 32 count blue linen
the fabric colour is somewhere between these two photos!

Because I've been stitching all of these I haven't started an ornie for the Christmas blog but I have been making progress on Plum Street Sampler's 12 Days of Christmas:

Fifth and Sixth Days

Seventh Day

I am stitching these over on on 25 count linen.  I am using a red Splendor silk and a different accent colour for each day.  Fifth was gold, Sixth was goose grey and Seventh will be light blue (for the water). 

Finally, we are getting closer to the start of Advent and the launch of the Advent Calendar Blog Hop.  If you would like to take part this year, just leave a comment here.  I will allocate you a day and on that day you post a photo of something seasonal you have stitched which I copy onto the main blog post.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

500th Post!

That's a real cause for celebration!  I have been blogging for over four years and seven months now and love every minute of it.  I've made some great friends and stitched an enormous amount of little x's.

Here's a look back at some milestones posts:

100th post - 8th March 2012
WIPocalypse catch-up and a rant about "touchers"

The Dark Alphabet letter T

200th post - 15th February 2013
Theme-a-licious progress

Joan Elliott Cherub

(finished some time later, I frogged the heart as I didn't like the colour contrast)

300th post - 20th January 2014
Stitch From Stash SAL

Just Nan Lady Scarlet's Christmas

400th post - 24th December 2014
Advent Calendar Blog Hop

Well, isn't that just the most serendipitous co-incidence?  I really had no idea that was my 400th post until I just looked!  Of course I am now taking sign-ups for this year's Advent Calendar.  I really do need more people this year.  Last year we had so many we did double-up Sundays, this year we are a little short!  So please sign up now.

So much for past stitching, what about the current projects?  I have just spent the weekend with Elizabeth Shephard from Scarlet Letter.  Here she is now:

stitched on 30 count linen

I've been working on that floral motif to the left hand side this week.

I'll save my Plum Street Samplers for the Smalls SAL this Wednesday and show you two pieces which I've had to keep secret up until now.  The first is an ornie for Clare AKA Aimetu:

Earlier this year Clare told us she is decorating a tree for her church's Christmas Tree Festival and her theme is Joy to the World.  She invited us to send in Joy ornies.  The little Jeanette Douglas design came from JCS back in 2010 and has now been received by Clare.  I changed the colours to make it a little brighter.

I made a beaded hanger for it.
I am rather pleased with it and will do that again.

The second donated stitch is for my dear friend Mouse who will be celebrating a zero themed Birthday at the start of next year.  She has decided to make a quilt using squares stitched by all her friends.  Well honestly, I changed my mind four times on what to stitch!  The obvious thing is a little mouse but then I thought "everyone will do mice" so I thought of a monogram and downloaded a few.  Then I found my Michael Powell book and a lovely cake (who doesn't love cake on a Birthday?).  But then Glendon Place went and released this SAL design and I really wanted to stitch it.  There wasn't time to stitch this AND a square for Mouse so I thought "I will stitch this FOR Mouse, it has the perfect title too!"  More serendipity, you can see why I named my blog, can't you?

Friendship Compass by Glendon Place

I only stitched the centre because I felt the whole square might overpower the quilt a little plus it looks more compass-like.  I added my initials to the East point because I live in the most easterly point in the country.  I also subbed the beads for eyelets in bright pink. 

So, a big Thank You to everyone who follows and reads my blog; if you haven't already clicked the Followers Button on the right, please do.  It's how I track my followers and find their blogs too.

Finally I am also celebrating a big zero Birthday next year (the same one as Mouse, it was a good year!).  Any suggestions for a project I/we could do to celebrate?  I have a few ideas but they are very much in the draft phase at the moment! 

Friday, 20 November 2015

November Stitch From Stash

Month: October
Spent:   £ 10.17
Earned: £ 0.00

Stitch from Stash was hosted by Mel from Epic Stitching

Essentially the idea behind Stitch from Stash was that we were limited to spending US$25 (or £15) per month. There were various exemptions (Birthday money, existing mag subs, clubs etc) but the idea was not to try and pervert the rules and to stitch some of that stash!

I'm using the past tense because sadly Mel has decided not to continue with Stitch from Stash.  However, I'm not one to let a little thing like the organiser dropping out of a SAL to stop me completing the year!  Especially with only 2 posts to go.

So, here is my spend this month, all Thanks to Trixie The Hallowe'en Witch.

July Budget
£ 15.00
July spend
£   7.75
August Budget
£ 15.00
August spend
£ 14.57
September Budget
£ 15.00
September spend
£   0.00
October Budget
£ 15.00
October spend
£   0.00
November Budget
£ 15.00
November spend
£ 10.17
Current Balance
£ 42.51
What did I spend that on?  
Petite Treasure Braid Black - £ 3.56
Kreinik #4 Black - £ 3.25
Perforated Paper Brown - £ 3.36

And here they are being used for Trixie:

from Brooke's Books

I wanted to try the PTB but it was too thin for her hair.  Two strands were perfect for the broom though and I will use it again.  It costs a little bit more than Kreinik and you get twice as much but if you have to stitch with two strands then Kreinik is more cost-effective.

What else have I been stitching?  I've been alternating between two projects; one Hallowe'en and one Christmas.  The Hallowe'en is by Blue Ribbon Designs from the recent JCS Ornie Special:

The block with the tree, moon and bats was for the Hallowe'en Ornie Blog's theme of the month - Creepy Trees.  I decided to continue with the rest of the blocks and make something out of them.  I'm using a random 32 count blue linen which came from my old LNS which makes it at least 7 years old because that's when it shut down!

We have now chosen the themes for next year for the Hallowe'en Blog so why not pop over and see if you like the look of any of them.  We also welcome new stitchers.

The other project is Plum Street Samplers' 12 Days of Christmas.  I knew Sixth Day would slow me down.  That's a big fat goose to stitch!

stitched over one on 25 count linen

I'm using a different accent colour for each block and changing the accent parts from the charted design too.  For Fifth Day I had to use Gold.  Because there wouldn't have been much gold with just the rings I decided to have a whole gold tree.  Seventh Day has been released so I am still only one day behind.  Not too bad!

Finally, it's time to sign up for the final blog hop of the year - The Advent Calendar.  Same format as last year - sign up and be allocated a date.  Post a stitched Christmas picture on your date plus a comment about the festive season.  You can email me now if you like stating if you have a preference for an early date or later in the month or any dates you can't do.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness November Link-Up Post

  Gifted Gorgeousness

For newbies, this is my first year long SAL.  Click on the picture above for the full details.

We will be posting and linking up on the 15th of each month, because it is 2015.  Should be easy to remember.

Elizabeth Shephard by Scarlet Letter - a gift from Nicola:

stitched on 30 count linen

Mail Art based on Primitive Hare's Hallowe'en Town
stitched over 1 on 32 count Cognac linen

Book of Spells
stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer gifted fabric

Gifts received this month included an RAK of this awesome piece of fabric from Rachel.  I tried photographing it and it's just impossible to get the colours right, so I'm using the stock photo from Crafty Kitten's website:

Autumnal Woodland
32 count Belfast

My plan is to stitch at least one of the Ink Circles' Hallowe'en Mandalas on it.  The Ghosts will look great stitched in white.

My other gift was a Thank You from Lisa for sending her the issue of Cross Stitch Collection she appeared in:

I am using the project bag to house my Plum Street Samplers 12 Days of Christmas.
So far the frogs have stayed on the outside of the bag!

And now over to you - Here is the place for you to link up so we can see what Gifted Gorgeousness you have been stitching so far this year.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field NOT the words "November Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.  
And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  People are still getting this wrong!  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.
Thank you.  I can amend links if you make a boo-boo though.



Finally, it's time to sign up for the final blog hop of the year - The Advent Calendar.  Same format as last year - sign up and be allocated a date.  Post a stitched Christmas picture on your date plus a comment about the festive season.  You can email me now if you like stating if you have a preference for an early date or later in the month or any dates you can't do. 

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

November TUSAL


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.

Here is my ORTS jar posing with the current stitching projects:

On the left we have Brooke's Book's Stitcher's Alphabet and on the right we have Plum Street Sampler's 12 Days of Christmas.

Here's a close-up of the Stitcher's Alphabet, D is for Darning.  Something I never do!

stitched on 28 count afghan

Next up is a Happy Witchy Dance for another Brooke's Book's project - Trixie the Hallowe'en Witch:

stitched on 28 count tan evenweave, accessories on perforated paper.

Don't you love the tasselled broom?  I was very pleased with the way that turned out.  Less so with the little bows I was supposed to attach to her hat and skirt, so I left them off.

I've mounted her for my scrapbook in a wonderful spooky paper, from Scrapping The Magic's Twilight collection.

If I'd have planned it from the beginning I'd have stitched Trixie on grey fabric rather than tan.  But I didn't!

Still in a spooky frame of mind, it's time to announce the solution to the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  Thanks to everyone who took part and correctly guessed the answer


(Inspired by my latest Just Nan finish Ghoulies and Ghosties)

the winner, drawn by the Large Boy from a deck of cards is

She wins the chart for Witchy Brew you can see here which will be winging its way to her once I can get to the Post Office.

I did manage to get to the framer's this week and collect a very patient Noel Blanc by A Mon Ami Pierre.  I finished this one last year (looking back to check and discovering it was exactly a year ago!) and got vouchers for Christmas but just hadn't got as far as the shop to spend them!  We chose a simple wide white wooden frame which is a little bit more rustic than it appears in this photo.  If you click the photo you can see it a bit more clearly.  This will stay up on the wall until at least 6th January, or longer if I forget to take it down!

Finally, that's got me in the mood for thinking about the festive season and the final blog hop of the year, the Big One - The Advent Calendar.  Same format as last year - sign up and be allocated a date.  Post a stitched Christmas picture on your date plus a comment about the festive season.  You can email me now if you like stating if you have a preference for an early date or later in the month or any dates you can't do. 

Saturday, 7 November 2015

The Delightful and Decorative Alphabet Display

It's the first Saturday of the month, so it's time for detention!

"They only met online, but it changed their lives forever"

I think most of you know the lovely enigmatic Chiara who blogs at The Grey Tail?  We were chatting via email a while back and between us came up with the idea of an A-Z language challenge.  We batted some ideas around and are calling it the The Alphabet Club.  Chiara has the full details on that link but basically she will post a link-up post on the first Saturday of each month (Saturday being detention day in the film) reminding us of the month's letter and we will all link up with themed things, from stitching to designers and local customs.

D is for Delightful and Decorative which all our stitching is and also for the Devil represented by a Spinning Monkey in Dutch mythology.  The monkey comes from the Dark Alphabet by A Note of Friendship.  

D is for Darning and (not quite) Done as you can see from this month's block of the Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books:

D is for one of my favourite subjects to stitch - Dragons!

A great many of those Dragons have been Designed by Dragon Dreams who do a lovely range of cute dragons as well as some more grown-up looking ones.  

I have one D WIP which comes from Dragon Dreams, this is Dragon of the Winter Moon:

Another favourite D designer is Drawn Thread who do some lovely Delicate designs, including these two freebies:

All You Need is Love

DrawnThreadTreeDSC02481.jpg Drawn Thread First Snow
First Snow

Going through my Blog Roll for D blogs I realised quite a few of them don't blog as much as they used to - Doll's Musings, Dani the Black Belt Stitcher and Dragon Stitching with Astrid.  At least Daffycat is back with a lovely new reindeer design, so she kicks off the Ds:

(not a Star Wars themed blog!)

(with some adorable dragons)

Seems like there aren't that many active D blogs!  Of course the saddest entry in my Reader is this one, Debbie's Cross Stitch.  Our dear friend Debbie who passed away very suddenly in 2014 and has inspired the DUCJC - Debbie's Ultimate Crazy Januray Challenge where you stitch a different project every day in January.  I have finished 15 of mine and made substantial progress on 3 more, which isn't too bad.  You can see the whole list here - WIPocalypse, 15-in-15 and DUCJC.

Finally, thanks to everyone who entered the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop, I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.  The winner will be announced in my next post as will the launch of the Advent Calendar 2015.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

October D.E.S.I.G.N. SAL


The idea of this Blog Hop is to choose a different designer each month and do a post focusing on a piece of their work you have stitched on during the month.  The hosts of D.E.S.I.G.N ask us to answer a few questions on our chosen designer.

1. What designer are you talking about this month?

The one that everyone seems to be talking about - Plum Street Samplers!  Paulette is the master of the SAL which makes everyone drop their needles and start her design instead.  Two years ago it was Mary's Sampler and this year it is the 12 Days of Christmas.

First Day

2. Have you stitched a project by this designer before?

Yes, back in 2013 Anna the Stitch Bitch had a competition and I entered a mash-up of a Plum Street freebie and a modern tattoo style design to show both sides of my personality:

3. Would you buy/stitch a design by this designer again?  Why/Why not?

Well, there's another 8 in the 12 Days to go!  I would really like to complete these by the end of this year, which is perfectly possible if I don't get distracted by something else.

Second Day

4. What made you choose this particular design/designer?

I do love a series and 12 Days is one of my favourite themes.  I liked the First Day when I saw it in JCS way back when and was disappointed she had only done the first two days.  When she said she was releasing the whole set I knew I had to keep up or they would never get done.

Third and Fourth Day

5. Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others?

Plum Street are a very traditional design company.  They used traditional motifs, often including an alphabet, a motto or a quote.  There is sometimes gentle humour, the little sausage dogs which appear in several designs are Halloweenies!  The colours tend to be muted, no neons here!  The fabrics are traditional linens, often on higher counts such as 36 which seems to be a favourite.  Paulette often uses Gentle Arts or Classic Colorworks threads although she always give a DMC conversion.

The 12 Days are charted using one red, one green and a dash of black and gold.  I decided to use a red Splendor silk for the main part of each design and a different accent colour for each Day.  Third Day has DMC 434 brown for the hens and tree branch.  Fourth Day will be black for the colly birds.

Finally, we have a pie chart for October, you can see what has taken up most of the month!