Tuesday, 15 January 2019

January Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post

2019 GG

Welcome to the first Gifted Gorgeousness link-up of 2019! The link-up date will continue 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.

Last year we had 30 people sign up and only one didn't manage to post while 8 people linked up every single month.  Both of which were improvements on the previous year.  In total there were 221 posts linked up via my blog.

So I put 221 into the random number generator and post number 119 came up.  This was the June post from

Congratulations to Beth.  You win the chart which is our logo for 2019 and some random stuff I will put together for you.  I'll also need an address to send it to.  Beth in IL is probably not enough info for the postman!

Since our last update in December I have worked on three gifted projects.  The first was our new logo.  This was a gift from Heather for taking part in last year's Smalls SAL:

stitched over one on Wichelt Linen

The next project was Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs which was a gift from Carol:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

Unfortunately, not too much progress as there was an attack of the frogs!

Then I spent the 12 Days of Stitchmas on Christmas Ornaments followed by a couple of days on my Hallowe'en project.  My first Focus Project this year was a week on my Chatelaine, Gardens of London.  This was a gift for my Birthday in 2016, several of the speciality threads and most of the DMC were gifts from my blogging friends and the chart and fabric were gifts from my family.

Here's where it was last time I stitched on it in 2018:

Here's where I am now:

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Belfast linen from Crafty Kitten
(it only looks wonky because I stitch in hand and haven't stretched it out for the photo)

Close-up of Garden 1:

Close-up of Garden 2:

Garden 1 is complete except for the beads and the speciality stitches in the border.  I have decided to do the borders for both gardens at the same time.

I am using a mixture of the charted threads and my own conversion of DMC or Jodyri which is working out rather nicely.  I am particularly pleased with the pink Queen's Stitches.  They were charted for a very variegated silk which I wasn't keen on so I substituted DMC 3688 which is more subdued and I prefer it.

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 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.  

Friday, 11 January 2019

A Finish and an Incentive to FFO

I got my second finish of the year today.  A small project but one which took me all of last year to stitch.  Because I could only stitch one tiny motif per day.  Yes, the Temperature SAL designed by Hetti is finished.  I had to wait until after the end of 2018 to get the final temperature and then it took me a couple of days to complete the border.  Each side of the border represents the last four days of the year.  I also decided to add the location details to mine.

For those of you unfamiliar with this design, each temperature was allocated a DMC colour with purple being below zero Celsius, blue and greens for the cooler days of Winter moving into yellows and oranges for Summer with the red being a mini heatwave we had, then back through yellow and green for the close of the year.  You "read" the design from the centre spiralling outwards.

The little white beads represent days when we had snow.

This was a free design from Hetti's blog which you can find here - Creative Workshops from Hetti

What is the incentive to FFO this piece and turn it into a Fully Finished Object?  The lovely Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher noticed a gap in the SAL schedule.  There are plenty of Starting SALs and WIP SALs and Encouraging to Finish SALs but that is where they stop.  You finish a piece and all too often it goes to live in a box or drawer.  So Rachel is hosting a Fully Finished SAL on the 10th of each month starting on 10th February, 2019.

More details can be found here - Ten Hour Stitcher - New SAL coming soon

I am definitely in for this one.  Just one question - she refers to bloggers who encouraged her - now who would do an enabling thing like that?  Hmmm...

Earlier in the week I complete a motif on my Lavender & Lace Enchanted Alphabet conversion.  I stitched all the letters over the course of the last couple of years and now I am adding embellishments with a view to completing this design by Hallowe'en 2019.  This month I added a gate from the Jardin Prive Happy Hallowe'en Night design.  I will add some pumpkins next to it next month and in various other places on the chart.

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tiger Lily from Sparklies

Finally, thanks to everyone who joined in with The People's Choice last Saturday, there were some great posts on the theme of New Starts.  Don't forget to leave your suggestions for themes for people to vote on for the next month.

Sunday, 6 January 2019

January WIPocalypse Introduction

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 "19 in '19" for this year.  For 2019 the list includes my two BAP projects which will be my Focus Pieces each month, some WIPs I really want to see finished, 6 new starts and four of my Christmas Ornaments.  Here are the first 9, all WIPs:

Project List:
  1. Lavender & Lace - Enchanted Alphabet 
  2. Chatelaine Designs - Gardens of London
  3. Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map
  4. Nora Corbett - Gathering Eggs
  5. Mrs Peggotty - Alice and Flamingo
  6. Just Nan - Summer Typography
  7. Nora Corbett - Raven
  8. Satsuma Street - Nest Egg
  9. Marie Suarez - My Lovely Sewing Tools
  10. Cottage Garden Samplings - Hallowe'en Alphabet
  11. Primitive Needle - Mystic Sampler
  12. Just Nan - Wee Witchy Mice
  13. Mirabilia - 25th Anniversary Cameo
  14. Just Nan - Summer Night
  15. Mill Hill - Easter Egg
  16. The Sweetheart Tree - Merry Christmas Bell Pull
  17. Dragon Dreams - Never Too Big
  18. Sue Hillis - Victorian Christmas Tree
  19. Ink Circles - Poinsettia 

These are the new starts I have planned:

The list is then completed by four of these 12 Christmas Ornaments.  I hope to stitch all 12, one done so far.

The planned rotation this year will be:

10-a-Day - stitch 10 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 Alice and the Flamingo.

Complete one Christmas Ornament per month
Stitch Gardens of London for seven days
Stitch Discworld Mappe for fourteen days
Stitch Enchanted Alphabet for one or two days
Choose one design for the rest of the month

The exceptions will be May when I will stitch one length on a different Just Nan small each day (the ones started last Maynia) and Dark October when I will focus on Raven, Just Nan's Mouse and the two Hallowe'en Samplers.

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
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

plus one more to be announced!  A new SAL which I think you will all enjoy but I can't say any more just yet.  Plans have to be fully finished before more details can be shared.

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, 5 January 2019

The People Chose New Starts (and TUSAL too)

Regular followers will be aware that for over 3 years now I have run a themed SAL on the first Saturday of each month.  First we spent 26 months doing The Alphabet Club and then 12 months of the Zodiac.  Now I have decided to listen to the People and post about your choice of theme.  Last year I asked for suggestions on the blog and then made a poll in the IHSW Facebook Group from those suggestions.

The top three choices were:

Hallowe'en - posted in October
Birthstones - posted in November
Dragons - posted in December

Since then we've been voting each month for three months ahead.

Upcoming choices:
January - New Starts
February - Hearts
March - Freebies

The People do have very good timing, I have just completed 12 starts for the 12 Days of Stitchmas!  You have seen up to Day Seven already, so here's the rest of the series:

On Day Eight I stitched The Sweetheart Tree's Holly & Hardanger from 2005 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

On Day Nine I stitched Dragon Dreams' You Are My Gift from 2010 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

On Day Ten I stitched Sue Hillis Designs' Victorian Christmas Tree from 2003 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

The Festive Christmas Tree was a finish, my first for 2019.  I stitched this over one on 32 count Blue Hydrangea opalescent from Crafty Kitten using my own choices of DMC in the 790s - 800s plus B5200.  There are more single white stitches than show in the photo.

On Day Eleven I stitched Dragon Dreams' Never Too Big from 2004:

On Day Twelve I stitched The Sweetheart Tree's Merry Christmas Bellpull from 2004:

And all 12 together:

I'm trying to keep New Starts to a minimum with the aim of not starting any BAPs until I complete my Discworld Mappe and/or my Chatelaine Gardens of London.  I'm putting together my "19 in '19" and have six new starts scheduled.  Three are Hallowe'en themed, one is for the Easter Blog Hop and another two just because I want to.  When I complete my 10-a-Day project I'll start Winter in the Square as the next 10-a-Day. 

Now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of New Starts, 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.



Mustn't forget the TUSAL part of the post:

The pot on the left is my main ORTs tin and the one of the right is my Evening ORTs tin.  That's usually quite empty but I've been frogging Alice's skirt thanks to a dyelot difference so there's more fluff than usual!

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 Spring, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.  Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Looking forward to reading them all!

Monday, 31 December 2018

December Pie and Stitch From Stash

It's Old Year's Night and time for a reckonin' as they say!

My previous post showed my finishes for the year - 27 - the lowest total since I started this blog.  But I did spend quite a lot of time on 2 BAPs which will be my focus for 2019.  The Discworld Mappe and my Chatelaine Gardens of London.

First of all, here is the Pie for December:

Far too much time on the 12 Days of Christmas for such a small project but I was working several of those days and there are a load of colour changes.  This is the reason why it took 44 days in total to complete on top of the 4 days I spent on it last year.

The Rosewood Manor Festive Quaker Tree is this year's 12 Days of Stitchmas project.  Each day I start a new ornament from the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Specials 2001 to 2010.  I put one length in the new start and then spend the rest of the day on my Festive Quaker Tree.

On Day Five I stitched Dragon Dreams' Peace on Earth from 2001 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

On Day Six I stitched Just Nan's A Little Joy from 2002 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

On Day Seven I stitched The Sweetheart Tree's Christmas Joy Bellpull from 2006 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

I am confident that I can complete the Festive Quaker Tree within the 12 days.

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

A little difficult to see but the top four projects were:

The Discworld Mappe - 44 days
Just Nan 12 Days of Christmas - 44 days
Gardens of London - 36 days
Mrs Peggotty's Alice - 31 days

I stitched Alice every day last year but she only features on the pie if I don't stitch anything else that day.

If I'd done the pie by designers then Just Nan would have been top with 89 days and Donna Kooler second with 50 days spread over the Zodiac and Leonore's Wedding Ornaments.

How did the spending go last month?  Very well, thank you.  Another zero spend month!

nothing £0.00
Total £0.00

I also tallied up the spend for the whole year:

Magazines £66.32
Charts £111.25
Fabric £56.45
Threads £18.03
Other £26.98
Total £279.03

That figure is £50 down on last year and is pretty much saving on magazines.  I cancelled two subscriptions last year.  I spent more on charts and less on fabric and threads.  Hopefully next year will be even lower.  I have everything I need for my two BAPs except the beads for the Chatelaine and it's going to be a long while before I need them!


Have a very Happy Old Year's Night

and a very Peaceful New Year's Day

Sunday, 30 December 2018

December WIPocalypse Annual Review


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.

The focus of my WIPocalypse will be my "18 in '18"which are 18 charts I want to stitch in 2018 (following on from my "11 in '11", "12 in '12" etc etc)

  1. Dessins DHC - Bande des Dragons - Finish
  2. Lavender & Lace - Enchanted Alphabet  - WIP
  3. Chatelaine Designs - Gardens of London  - WIP
  4. Nora Corbett - Gathering Eggs  - WIP
  5. Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map  - WIP
  6. Just Nan - Summer in the Square - Finish
  7. Joan Elliott - Reading Fairy - Finish
  8. Donna Kooler - Zodiac - Finish
  9. Just Nan - Autumn Mouse in a House - Finish
  10. Jardin Prive - Happy Hallowe'en Night - Finish
  11. Dam Good Crafts - Dracula Book Cover - Finish
  12. Just Nan - 12 Days of Christmas - Finish
  13. Satsuma Street - Libra - Finish
  14. Satsuma Street - Aquarius
  15. Mrs Peggotty - Alice and Flamingo  - WIP
  16. Bothy Threads - Alice in Wonderland
  17. Just Nan - Summer Typography - WIP
  18. Just Nan - Diamond Bouquet - Finish
This year I managed ten finishes from the list, worked on another six projects and only had two unstarted.  

Here's the ten finishes:

I started 2018 with 27 WIPs and completed 12 of them.  Over the course of the year I started 20 new projects and completed 15 of them.  So that leaves me with a final total of 27 finishes and 20 WIPs going into 2019

Here are the ten Just Nan smalls shown on Friday:

And the other seven finishes, including a Just Nan small I left off that top photo!

I'm still working on my 2019 list and will be showing that on the first WIPocalypse update due on the 6th January, 2019.

side-note - this is my 90th WIPocalypse post!  We seem to be doing a good job at holding off the end of the world.

Finally, a number of people have been asking about the Smalls SAL run by Stitching Lotus.  Heather has been in touch with me to say she has someone interested in running the SAL in 2019 as she currently does not have the time to do so.  No, the someone is NOT me, I have enough SALs already LOL.  An announcement will be made shortly as to what is happening.  So, keep stitching those Smalls!

Friday, 28 December 2018

December Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

My main Small project has been my 12 Days of Christmas by Just Nan which I completed earlier this month.  I started it for 12 Days of Stitchmas last December and then completed one block per month throughout the year.  Here it is all finished:

When I completed the final block I had a new start, a gifted piece from Heather of Stitching Lotus, a Lizzie*Kate design called Life is Better:

stitched over 1 on 32 count Lambswool linen

The adorable buttons were a gift from Ariadne, I just laid them on the fabric for the photo but will sew them on when I fully finish the piece.

When that one was finished I had four days free to stitch anything I wanted, unfortunately the frog came to visit!

Then it was 12 Days of Stitchmas again!  This year I decided to make a start on the 12 Ornaments I will be stitching for the Christmas Ornament Blog run by Kaye.  There are three themes in 2019 and I have decided to go for the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special 2001 - 2010.  I have chosen my 12 designs from the magazines and started four so far.  Today is the Fourth Day of Christmas.

On Day One I stitched Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree from 2009:

On Day Two I stitched Ink Circle's Poinsettia from 2008 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

On Day Three I stitched The Sweetheart Tree's Noel Christmas Bellpull from 2007 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree:

I debated whether to stitch design 2 as well but thought that as the Quaker Tree is quite large, I'd rather focus on that each day.  I will thank myself once we get further on and I'm not trying to fit 10 designs into one day!

On Day Four I stitched Dragon Dreams' Peace on Earth from 2002 and Rosewood Manor's Festive Quaker Tree from 2009:

I am choosing my own colours on the Festive Quaker Tree and didn't get much done today as the paler colours blend into the fabric too much.  I frogged and will restitch with a medium blue and B5200.

Throughout the year I was stitching 30-a-Day on my Just Nan Smalls.  That ground to a halt in September when I switched to Leonore's Wedding present.

I did manage to complete 10 Just Nan Smalls and here they all are:

And here are Leonore and Felix's wedding presents:

Finally, there is housekeeping to be done on the blog, the "19 in '19" list to be finalised, the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL to set up for next year and the Happy Dance list and blog to be updated.  Plus rather a lot of emails to answer.  Good thing I have some time off work!

Monday, 24 December 2018

2018 Online Advent Calendar

Here is our Online Advent Calendar, it will be updated every day. 
Scroll down to see the latest picture and a link to the poster's blog.

This year I have asked each participant what their favourite Christmas song is.
It could be a traditional carol, a hymn or a more modern song.

Pop over to each blog to sing-a-long with our stitch-a-long!

Saturday 1st December
♬ O Little Town of Bethlehem ♫

Sunday 2nd December
♬ Must Be Santa  ♫


♬ O Holy Night  ♫

Monday 3rd December
♬ The Little Drummer Boy ♫

Tuesday 4th December
♬ Jingle Bells ♫

Wednesday 5th December
♬ O Holy Night  ♫
(with added Hawaiian lyrics)

Thursday 6th December
♬ Move Me Closer (A Shepherd's Prayer) ♫

Friday 7th December
♬ Fairytale of New York ♫

Saturday 8th December
♬ Carol of the Bells ♫

Sunday 9th December
♬ The Little Drummer Boy (Peace on Earth) ♫

Tiffstitches a Blog
♬ The 12 Days of Christmas (Muppets and John Denver version) ♫

Monday 10th December
♬ Every Day is Christmas ♫

Tuesday 11th December
♬ Emanuel ♫

Wednesday 12th December
♬ I'll be Home for Christmas ♫


♬ The Christmas Song ♫

Together RJ and Mary are:

Thursday 13th December
♬ Mary, Did You Know? ♫

Friday 14th December
♬ I'll be Home for Christmas ♫

Saturday 15th December
♬ White Christmas ♫


♬ What Child is This? ♫

Sunday 16th December
♬ The Christmas Shoes ♫

♬ So this is Christmas ♫

Monday 17th December
♬ Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas ♫

Tuesday 18th December
♬ Last Christmas ♫

Wednesday 19th December
♬ Gaudete ♫

Thursday 20th December
♬ If Every Day Was Like Christmas ♫

Friday 21st December
♬ Hark the Herald Angels Sing ♫

Saturday 22nd December
♬ Sans Day Carol ♫


♬ God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen ♫

Sunday 23rd December
♬ Silver Bells ♫


♬ It Feels Like Christmas ♫

Friday 24th December
♬ December Song ♫

Hope you enjoyed the Advent Calendar this year! Remember to leave comments on each day to let people know you have visited too.

I have to say, the idea of asking for Christmas Songs was a genius idea, though I say so myself!  It's been so much fun listening to all the songs everyone has shared while I read and comment.  I shouldn't pick a favourite really but I did love the video of the Silent Monks performing the Hallelujah Chorus that Deborah shared on her post.  Here it is again: