Monday, 31 August 2015

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

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?

Jamie Kile of Knotted Tree NeedleArt.

Santa's Hat Sampler
from JCS Christmas Ornie Special 2012

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

Yes, I have now completed three different designs, two Hallowe'en and one Christmas.  Two are mini alphabet samplers.

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

Yes, there is at least one more Hallowe'en alphabet sampler and various other ornies in the JCS magazines.

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

Regular followers will know how much I love an alphabet design and I knew I wanted to stitch this one as soon as I saw it:

Little Owl Sampler
from JCS Hallowe'en Ornie Special 2012


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

I have to say, KTN don't seem to have a "signature" look, apart from the alphabet samplers.  I would not have known this house was by the same designer if it hadn't have said.  In some ways that is a good thing because you are drawn to the individual design rather than the hype around a particular name.  You know, where everyone rushes to buy the latest release and then realises that it's not that different to ten other charts they already own!

Little Hallowe'en House
from JCS Hallowe'en Ornie Special 2013

The designs themselves are simple, full stitches only often charted using hand-dyed threads but always with a good DMC conversion.  They lend themselves well to adaptation.  I blended threads on two and changed some colours on all three.  I also added some speciality stitches to the border on the house design.

**********************************************************************

Finally, a pie chart for August.  More projects stitched for just a day or two this month.  The days were longer than usual because of the Summer holidays.  It's been a productive month indeed.


Saturday, 29 August 2015

August WIPocalypse Stitching Journey

WIPocalypse
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 have stitched on 3 of my 15 designs and completed one.

Here is the finish which I showed last post:

JBW - Hobby Horse
stitched on 32 count Antique White linen with DMC 115

Another one you've seen before is the ongoing Hallowe'en Cube project by Primitive Hare:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen.

The third project from my 15 is this adorable little cottage from The Nutmeg Company.  The lovely Susan from Yellow Flower Meadow sent me the charts and leftover threads for three of these cottages.  The link goes to the page on her blog where this one is finished.

This is the Sugared Almond Cottage.  I started it back in January for the DUCJC and managed a good chunk of very boring white snow on the roof.  Well in just two days I have finished the roof (including beading), outlined the four walls and stitched everything except the fiddly little diamond almonds and the gold thread.  Mind you, they were two very long days with not much else happening!


Close up of roof and beading: 

The roof is stitched on 28 count pink evenweave and the walls are stitched on 36 count white evenweave.  The beads are all Mill Hill gold petites.  I have even ordered a special curved needle for sewing up the walls because everyone says it makes life so much easier.

Measi always sets us a topic for discussion and this month we have:

August – Pick one of the WIP pieces you’ve stitched on this month, and tell us about your stitching journey with the piece.

Those three are all quite small so there's not really much of a journey so instead I will show my journey on a larger piece which is always very popular; Goode Huswif's Book of Spells:

January, April and May:

 June, July, August:

And today:

I do hope to finish this piece by the end of the year.  Several people have asked me how I intend to finish it.  The chart suggests making it into a book cover but I would be concerned about wear and tear.  Then I had the idea of printing off a photograph of it and using that as a book cover!  If it gets worn or ripped, just print off another one.  Brilliant!  So that's my new plan.

Finally, we are approaching the end of the Summer Postcard Blog Hop, there are only a couple more cards to be sent:

First postcard from Cheryl goes to Noni at Fireflies and Cats in the Garden
Second postcard from Vickie goes to Katie at Jeremiah's Mom
Third postcard from Noni goes to Julie at Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal
Fourth postcard from Katie goes to Anna at Stitch Bitch
Fifth postcard from Julie goes to Bea at Thoughts and Musings
Sixth card from Narita goes to Kaye at Kitten Stitching
Seventh card from Anna goes to Vickie at A Stitcher's Story
Eighth card from Kaye goes to Jocondine at Jocondine
Ninth card from Jocondine goes to Cheryl at Today I Found (sent today)





Wednesday, 26 August 2015

August 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

This is the first E from Hallowe'en:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

The theme for the Hallowe'en Ornie Blog is Black Cats.  I have so many charts with black cats it was hard to pick one.  In the end I decided to start a larger piece and just stitch the part with the cats then continue it later on.  This is part of Just Nan's Ghoulies and Ghosties.  You can see the whole design here - JN180 Ghoulies and Ghosties

stitched on 32 count tan evenweave.

And now for a new monthly challenge - the Christmas Ornie SAL Blog hosted by Kaye.  She has chosen themes for the rest of this year and August's was Mr and/or Mrs Santa. 

I've had my eye on this design for some time (2012 in fact!) and this was the perfect chance to stitch it.  It's from the JCS Christmas Ornie Special 2012 and is by Knotted Tree NeedleArt.  I used the DMC conversion on green linen making a couple of changes.  The parcel is a brighter green as are the yellow stitches in the border.  I alternated them with the bright red from the hat (817) to make it look more festive.


This isn't really a small but there was only a small piece left to stitch!  I started it back in January for the DUCJC and haven't picked it up since.  All I had to do was chart and stitch the name which I finally did this morning.  It's for my cousin's baby daughter.  Her first Birthday is at the beginning of September so it will arrive in perfect time.

The design is by JBW and is called Hobby Horse which is puzzling because it is clearly a Rocking Horse.  I stitched it using my favourite DMC 115 variegated red on 32 count Antique White linen and framed it in the perfect frame from my frame stash box.



And here is Tuesday's Satsuma Street progress on Pretty Little London.  I finished Buckingham Palace on the left and thought I'd start on the long boring grey arches underneath the whole piece.  If I leave them until last I will get dispirited I'm sure!

stitched on 32 count Antique White linen.

Finally, we are approaching the end of the Summer Postcard Blog Hop, if you haven't already been to Jocondine's blog you must visit to see her delightful cartoon drawing of our hop.  She is a very talented cartoonist.

First postcard from Cheryl goes to Noni at Fireflies and Cats in the Garden
Second postcard from Vickie goes to Katie at Jeremiah's Mom
Third postcard from Noni goes to Julie at Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal
Fourth postcard from Katie goes to Anna at Stitch Bitch
Fifth postcard from Julie goes to Bea at Thoughts and Musings
Sixth card from Narita goes to Kaye at Kitten Stitching
Seventh card from Anna goes to Vickie at A Stitcher's Story
Eighth card from Kaye goes to Jocondine at Jocondine


Thursday, 20 August 2015

August Stitch from Stash

Month: August
Spent:   £ 14.57
Earned: £ 0.00


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!

July Budget
£ 15.00
July spend
£   7.75
August Budget
£ 15.00
SewandSo beads
£   5.17
Across Town threads and beads
£   9.40
Current Balance
£   7.68

I needed the beads for the Brooke's Books charts I am stitching, both the Alphabet and Trixie.  While I was paying postage I thought I'd order a few skeins of DMC too.  I was a little peeved to discover that not all websites use the words "out of stock" to indicate they don't actually have the item you require.  Instead they have the words "£1.30 on order or special order" which to me means they cost the same regardless of how you order, not "we have ordered more of these but don't currently have them".

Oh well, Trixie will just have to wait a little longer for her bling!  I have continued on the bling-free Hallowe'en Cubes by Primitive Hare and have completed the first E:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen.

Quite alot of stitching in this block, the word SPELLS down the side of the book shows up in real life much better.  

Slow progress on Book of Spells, I don't seem to get much time in the evenings at the moment:

stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer linen

I mentioned last post that I had taken part in an exchange with Mini.  Her parcel arrived earlier this week and what a treat it was!  Here are all the goodies:


And a close-up of the pillow, a really cute Autumn themed design.  Autumn is my favourite season because my Birthday is in September!


Amazingly the Just Nan chart is one of the few smalls that I don't already have, and take look at this beautiful fabric:


It was folded so I could only see the back and at first I thought "a nice piece of cotton for backing ornies, pretty colour."  In her note Mini mentioned a Warli painting and I thought "I didn't see a painting, maybe it was wrapped in the pretty fabric?"  So I opened it out and there it was, painted ON to the fabric!  Warli art is a traditional form of painting from India, I found an interesting website explaining more about it with some lovely pictures here.

Doesn't the little musician in the bottom left look a bit like the Kokopelli I stitched for Anne a while back?  Kokopelli's are Native American and have smaller instruments!


Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop:

First postcard from Cheryl goes to Noni at Fireflies and Cats in the Garden
Second postcard from Vickie goes to Katie at Jeremiah's Mom
Third postcard from Noni goes to Julie at Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal
Fourth postcard from Katie goes to Anna at Stitch Bitch
Fifth postcard from Julie goes to Bea at Thoughts and Musings
Sixth card from Narita goes to Kaye at Kitten Stitching
Seventh card from Anna goes to Vickie at A Stitcher's Story
Eighth card from Kaye goes to Jocondine at Jocondine

There a couple of people who indicated they would like to be part of the Blog Hop but they have not as yet sent a photo to me.  If you'd still like to take part, you have ten days left!  All photos to be with me by 30th August please.

Saturday, 15 August 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness August 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.

First up is Elizabeth Shephard who was a gift from Nicola:

stitched on 30 count linen

Then some progress on Book of Spells which is stitched on gifted fabric:



I also finished Hope by Joan Elliott and presented it to the teacher at my son's school:


And now a quick look at the piece I stitched for an exchange with the lovely Mini from Miniz Diary:

February Violets and Primroses by Sheena Rogers

M is for Mini

Mini and I swapped hints and ideas for our exchange and I could tell quite a lot from her blog too.  She is stitching the EMS Flowers of the Month and likes designs where the stitching is the focus rather than too many beads, metallics and fancification!  This is one of a series of 12 designs which Cross Stitch Collection magazine featured recently.  Mini's Birthday is in February and this is such a pretty design.  I had to cut it down a little to fit in the coaster I had which is why I decided to add a design to the reverse and use the border for that.  (Can you see my tiny initials?)  The big M is from a book of alphabets I have which fitted perfectly.  I put some other goodies in the parcel which you will be able to see when she makes her post!  Sheena Rogers does the most lovely little cushions on all sorts of themes, you really should check out her website.  She does kits and PDFs too.


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 "August 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!
Thank you.  I can amend links if you make a boo-boo though.

*


*

Finally, last month we had a giveaway sponsored by the lovely Kay from Stitching in the Country of a Dimensions kit called Potting Shed.  I used the randomness of Pick a Card and the lovely Linda of Stitching With My Furbabies came out as the winner!  I have Linda's address already so with her permission I will pass it on to Kay and the kit can wing it's way to Linda's house.  No giveaway this month but there will be one next month to celebrate my Birthday which is two days after GG itself. 

Friday, 14 August 2015

August TUSAL

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 project:


And this is the part I worked on this week:


This is Pretty Little London from Satsuma Street my Tuesday SAL with Linda and Kate.  Or, for this week, my USAL (Un Stitch A Long).  You can possibly see the holes in the area between the two red columns?  That is this week's reverse stitching.  The problem was that when I started the project I was missing one colour.  So I decided to substitute it for another which looked fine in the first area I used it.  I duly noted the new number on the chart and continued.  However when I used it for the Gherkin it looked awful, totally wrong for that area.  So I bit the bullet and paid out 95p for the proper colour.

However, when it came to the latest building (Buckingham Palace) I inadvertently used the substituted colour.  Which looked OK until I added the red columns and then it looked awful.  So I'm restitching in the correct colour which you can see attached to the needle in the photo!

The rest of this week was taken up finishing my exchange piece which has been parcelled up and sent off to my partner.  It may even have arrived by now!

Short post today.  I've been at work all day and sat down to read a few blogs and noticed the TUSAL posts.  Darn!  Hadn't realised it was today!  So a quick post to make sure I'm on time.

Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop:

First postcard from Cheryl goes to Noni at Fireflies and Cats in the Garden
Second postcard from Vickie goes to Katie at Jeremiah's Mom
Third postcard from Noni goes to Julie at Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal
Fourth postcard from Katie goes to Anna at Stitch Bitch
Fifth postcard from Julie goes to Bea at Thoughts and Musings
Sixth card from Bea goes to Narita at The Twilight Thread (not up yet)
Seventh card from Narita goes to Kaye at Kitten Stitching
Eighth card from Anna goes to Vickie at A Stitcher's Story (sent today)

Monday, 10 August 2015

The Things I Do For You Lot!

I usually think about my blog posts in advance, planning what to say and show photos of, posting around the various SAL dates which I write in my stitching diary.  I try to always have a nice progress picture to show you as well as something interesting to read.

Then you have those weeks where you haven't got anything you can show because you've been working on an exchange piece which hasn't been mailed yet.  So yesterday I had no choice but to find something else to stitch just so I had something to show you all!

Brooke's Books - Trixie the Hallowe'en Witch


The top photo was how Trixie looked after one day in January for the DUCJC.

And how she looks now:


There are a lot of gaps because there is so much metallic thread used.  Possibly a little too much for me, so I may substitute some of it for DMC.

I finished the front page (or left hand side) of the Book of Spells:


There is a little tiny bit of colour to be added to the ring of circles but I will do that when I use the colours on the back page.  For now there is some long boring border and then some interesting border!

I also started planning for next year's WIPocalypse!  I am thinking of having the theme "16 Series in '16" so have been writing done all the series of designs I have started/own.  Nothing like planning early!

As you all know, I am a cross stitcher.  If you didn't know that then I have to ask - how did you get here and why are you here? LOL.  But I also appreciate many other crafts.  I have a nice little group of quilters following me and I enjoy their blogs, also quite a few free-form embroiderers and some knit-wits and crochet-queens!  So you may enjoy this blog which was brought to my attention recently.  Hawthorne and Heaney are an embroidery company based in London who specialise in commercial embroidery for customers as varied as the fashion industry to the military.  There is some beautiful work on their website and they are keen to link up with crafty bloggers too.

Their most recent post was all about adding some quite heavy goldwork to men's clothing for a fashion show - Application of traditional goldwork.  They've also done recent projects with H&M and New Look (both affordable High Street shops in the UK).  And some nice ideas for those special times in your life - Hawthorne and Heaney does Anniversaries.

So why not pop over and see for yourself the beautiful work they are doing.

Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop:

First postcard from Cheryl goes to Noni at Fireflies and Cats in the Garden
Second postcard from Vickie goes to Katie at Jeremiah's Mom
Third postcard from Noni goes to Julie at Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal
Fourth postcard from Katie goes to Anna at Stitch Bitch
Fifth postcard from Julie goes to Bea at Thoughts and Musings
Sixth card from Bea goes to Narita at The Twilight Thread (not up yet)
Seventh card from Narita goes to Kaye at Kitten Stitching


Thursday, 6 August 2015

The Summer Holidays Continue

As does the stitching!   I complete the A from Brooke's Book Alphabet, all except the petite beads which I don't have.  I thought about using the standard size which are used in some areas but having added those, I can see they would overpower the piece so I will wait.  Of course, you can't just order one packet of beads, you must make it worth the postage as I've made a list of the beads needed for the next couple of letters and will check which DMC I am running low on.

Then it was Tuesday which is Pretty Little City Day, a series of designs from Satsuma Street.  Here is where I am on Pretty Little London:

stitched on 32 count Antique White linen
(not that you can tell from the dreadful photo!)

I finished the London Eye and started on Buckingham Palace.  I also stitched the pale blue in the Embankment Arches along the bottom.

I've also been making steady progress on Book of Spells by the Goode Huswif:

stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer linen

I've completed all the border for the front cover of the book and just have the coloured parts to fill in, then I can start on the back cover.  Woohoo, over halfway completed now!   I have been working on this one since April so it could be a finish by the end of the year.

I've been doing some secret stitching which I can't show yet because it's for an exchange.  It was fun going through my friend's blog to try find something she hasn't stitched for herself yet but would like.

Gracie has been organising a lovely card exchange all year.  Each month we sign up and send cards to some of the other people on the list.  It means you get some nice post each month, not just bills!  Here are the three I have received so far this month.  Usually I get about six and I've been keeping them all in an album along with their stamps.  It's so nice to look back through the year.


Which brings us rather nicely to my Finally for today:

Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop:

First postcard from Cheryl goes to Noni at Fireflies and Cats in the Garden
Second postcard from Vickie goes to Katie at Jeremiah's Mom
Third postcard from Noni goes to Julie at Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal
Fourth postcard from Katie goes to Anna at Stitch Bitch
Fifth postcard from Julie goes to Bea at Thoughts and Musings
Sixth card from Bea goes to Narita at The Twilight Thread (not up yet)
Seventh card from Narita goes to Kaye at Kitten Stitching (sent today)

Saturday, 1 August 2015

The Amazing and Awesome Alphabet Assembly

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) starting with the letter A and we will all link up with A themed things, from stitching to designers and local customs.

A Dark Alphabet - A Note of Friendship 

So it kick things off we have Amazing and Awesome (Chiara and me, obviously!).  We also have Angels:


And Autumn:


I don't have a current WIP for A but I do have a shameful UFO, this is Around the World in 80 Stitches by Papillon which ground to a halt back in 2012.

DSC0330631Aug2012.jpg Parts 3 and 4 31/08/12

It was a beautiful mystery sampler in about 20 parts but I stopped in Part 4.  I started the Speciality Stitches version but found it very "bitty", too many colour changes and too much stopping and starting.  It looks stunning when it is finished so maybe I will resurrect it one day.

My next A relates nicely to above project because this person did actually complete it, well done Minnie from All XXs.  That link goes direct to the post which shows her amazing and awesome Around the World finish.

Other blogs I enjoy beginning with A include:





And designers I have stitched include Acorn House Designs, Drac-in-a-Box:


And designers I love but have never stitched include Alessandra Adelaide.  How can I not have stitched one of these lovely swirly monochrome designs?  I have some from the magazines and some freebies too.  So that must be put right in next year's targets.

I have also started a new project just for this SAL.  Yesterday's D.E.S.I.G.N choice was Brooke Nolan from Brooke's Books.  She designed a lovely stitching alphabet which is still available on her blog.  So I started with A for this SAL and plan to stitch one letter per month to illustrate each Alphabet Club post.  I haven't quite finished A is for Arran but you can see how much I have done so far:



I'm using the afghan fabric (another A) which was a sale bargain from Willow Fabrics.  I cut a long strip off one side, the full seven blocks long plus a half block at either end.  Each block will be divided into four and a letter stitched in each.  When I eventually finish (in 26 months time!) I will make a book out of the strip by folding it in a zig-zag fashion (for Z) and stitching it together.  The two half blocks will be sewn together to form the back cover.



Finally, nothing to do with Alphabet but it is quite amazing - the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.

First postcard from Cheryl goes to Noni at Fireflies and Cats in the Garden
Second postcard from Vickie goes to Katie at Jeremiah's Mom
Third postcard from Noni goes to Julie at Julie's Stitchyknitter Journal
Fourth postcard from Katie goes to Anna at Stitch Bitch
Fifth postcard from Julie goes to Bea at Thoughts and Musings
Sixth card from Bea goes to Narita at The Twilight Thread