Monday, 24 September 2018

September IHSW

I don't know where this last week has gone but I meant to blog mid-week with a post-Birthday update and then suddenly it's IHSW and it's over and time to blog about what I did then!

Came down with a stinking cold mostly.

But there was some FFO'ing and some stitching too so it wasn't a totally lost weekend.

I have spent a lot of time stitching the Donna Kooler Tinies for a project a friend is organising.  Here's what one of the finished ones looks like:

Once she has decided what she is doing with them and reveals her plan, I will be able to show the fronts to you!

Once they were all completed I was able to return to my 12 Days of Christmas by Just Nan.  I'm hoping to complete Blocks 9 and 10 this month so I don't have to do one in October and can focus fully on Dark October stitching!

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

I've also been pottering along on Alice & the Flamingo by Mrs Peggotty, a little bit each evening.  Here's where she was last IHSW:

And here's where she is now:

stitched on over 1 on 25 count blue evenweave

A few people have said that they don't do Facebook and asked if I could host a link-up for them, so here it is!  Just add your name and the link to your actual IHSW post, not just your blog home page.



Finally, the next IHSW will be 19th - 22nd October so make sure you note the date in your diary or come and join us in the Facebook Group - IHSW on Facebook.  If you don't do Facebook then you can check in here.

Saturday, 15 September 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness September Link-up Post

Welcome to the September Gifted Gorgeousness link-up.  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.

In the past month I have only stitched one piece that fits the "Gifted" category, my Donna Kooler Tinies.  These are for a project a friend of mine is organising.

Here are the latest ones to be finished/started:-

stitched on 22 count Hardanger

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 "September 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.



I suppose I should show more than one stitching picture in a post, so here is the latest photo of my Temperature SAL, a project designed by Hetti on her blog.  We've had a couple of weeks of paler Yellows (17-22 degrees Centrigrade)

stitched on 22 count Hardanger

Finally, the planning for the new Saturday SAL is well underway.  I asked people to leave a comment with suggestions for a theme for a blog post and then I listed all the suggestions on the IHSW Facebook Group and they are voting for their favourite there.  Whatever they choose, will be what I write a post about.

If you'd like to vote then the link for the IHSW Group is here - IHSW Facebook

If you left a comment after the Poll went up, then I will add your suggestions to next month's list.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

September Tiny TUSAL


It's TUSAL time, the Totally Useless SAL where we all show our ORTS and link-up on Daffycat's blog.

Here is my TUSAL jar with two projects:

On the right is the latest set of Tinies from the Donna Kooler book 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs.  All stitched on 22 count Hardanger fabric.

On the left is the latest Just Nan design, Jump for Joy:

stitched on 32 count Antique White linen

That's about all the stitching progress there has been this week!  The tinies actually take two days each because there's a surprising amount of detail in each one.

I have painted some more rocks!  I wanted to put a batch out for the local Primary School on their first day back, which is Monday.  I used all the best flatter rocks for the book themed designs so here's a selection of weird shaped and lumpy rocks:

Finally, don't forget to visit all the Summer Postcard participants and leave a comment on THIS POST if you want to be included in the Five Peaks Blog Hop Challenge this year.

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Why I Love Train Journeys

Hours of uninterrupted stitching!  We had two train journeys this week to nearby cities (Norwich and Cambridge) which combined to give me 6 hours of stitching time with. no. interrruptions.  This is the important part.  6 hours of stitching at home is probably about 3 hours if you remove all the requests for snacks and attention.

This is what I stitched:

Is there room on the broom for a cat like me?

The final word

The whole piece so far:

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

September's goal was to complete the witch with Happy scheduled for October.  But now I think I will be able to get this completed before the end of October.

After that I completed 2 more of the Donna Kooler Tinies:

stitched on 22 count Hardanger

And at coffee morning on Friday I finished a Just Nan small - Happy Bluebird:

stitched on 32 count White evenweave

I just need to decide on a charm for the centre and then I can scrapbook it.

As well as stitching on the train we did some sightseeing and some shopping.  Here's a selection of photos from the two days out.

Norwich has the Hare Trail this year.  In previous years they have had elephants (2008), gorillas (2013),  dragons (2015)  and now hares.

Each one is sponsored by a local business and decorated by a local artist.  There are also smaller hares decorated by local schools.

At the end of the summer they are auctioned off for charity.  You can find more information here:

Cambridge had fudge!  The Fudge Kitchen is a franchise business across the UK who like to give out free samples!

This is a book sculpture in the Cambridge Waterstones.  They also have a Book Igloo which is big enough to get into and hide away with a book.

This is a bizarre and very expensive clock!  Quite a nightmarish cricket-like insect moves the wheel round and the lights tell the time.  It's 5.15 pm here.

In Norfolk we found a Suffolk Rock!

Which we hid in Cambridgeshire:

I wonder where it will go next?  We hid it in a niche in a stone pillar at the top of a church tower reached by climbing 123 narrow spiral stairs.  Wonderful views of Cambridge from the top.  Once you got your breath back!

Finally, don't forget to visit all the Summer Postcard participants and leave a comment on THIS POST if you want to be included in the Five Peaks Blog Hop Challenge this year.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Zodiac SAL - Virgo

Welcome to the final post of the Zodiac SAL.  As ever, there is a linky for anyone who wants to join in.  The linky will stay open until the end of the month.

Last month we had two people link up with me, please do visit them now if you missed their posts before:

Virgo, the Maiden, is an Earth sign ruled by Mercury and covers those born between 23rd August and 22nd September.

The constellation Virgo has multiple different origins depending on which mythology is being studied. Most myths generally view Virgo as a virgin/maiden with heavy association with wheat. In Greek and Roman mythology they relate the constellation to Demeter, mother of Persephone, or Proserpina in Roman, the goddess of the harvest. However, some tell tales of the Greek story of Parthenos, which means virgin in Greek, which explains how the actual constellation Virgo came to be.

In this story Parthenos is the daughter of Staphylus and Chrysothemis, and sister to Rhoio and Molpadia. Rhoio had been impregnated by the Greek god Apollo, once her father had found out that she was pregnant he assumed it was from some random suitor and was greatly ashamed. As punishment her father locked her in a box and threw her in a river. After the terrible fate of their sister, Parthenos and Molpadia were very nervous to anger their father in fear of his terrible wrath. On one evening, Staphylus left his two daughters in charge of a bottle of wine, back in that time a very valuable item indeed. When they both accidentally fell asleep one of their swine broke in and broke the bottle. Fearing their fathers wrath, the two sisters fled to a nearby cliff and threw themselves off. Because of Apollo's previous relations with their sister Rhoio, Apollo saved the two from the cliff and delivered them to the safety of nearby cities in Cherronseos. Molpadia ended up in Castabus where she changed her name to Hemithea and was worshipped as a local goddess for many years. Parthenos ended up in Bubastus where she was also worshipped as a local goddess. According to another story, Parthenos was a daughter of Apollo who died at a very young age and after her death Apollo made the constellation after her.
In the Babylonian MUL.APIN (c. 10th century BC), part of this constellation was known as "The Furrow", representing the goddess Shala and her ear of grain. One star in this constellation, Spica, retains this tradition as it is Latin for "ear of grain", one of the major products of the Mesopotamian furrow. For this reason the constellation became associated with fertility. The constellation of Virgo in Hipparchus corresponds to two Babylonian constellations: the "Furrow" in the eastern sector of Virgo and the "Frond of Erua" in the western sector. The Frond of Erua was depicted as a goddess holding a palm-frond – a motif that still occasionally appears in much later depictions of Virgo.

Early Greek astronomy associated the Babylonian constellation with their goddess of wheat and agriculture, Demeter. The Romans associated it with their goddess Ceres. Alternatively, the constellation was sometimes identified as the virgin goddess Iustitia or Astraea, holding the scales of justice in her hand (that now are separated as the constellation Libra). Another Greek myth from later, Classical times, identifies Virgo as Erigone, the daughter of Icarius of Athens. Icarius, who had been favoured by Dionysus and was killed by his shepherds while they were intoxicated after which Erigone hanged herself in grief; in versions of this myth, Dionysus is said to have placed the father and daughter in the stars as Boötes and Virgo respectively.

Source: Wikipedia - Virgo (Constellation)

Virgo People: What They Are Like:
From work ethic to wardrobe, impeccable Virgos are the epitome of #flawless. They can pull off the “I Woke Up Like This” look—even if they’d rather spend a couple of hours primping and putting themselves together in the mirror. Because Virgos can get stressed from micromanaging their lives (and other people’s!), downtime is crucial for them. They cherish their solitude and can spend indulgent hours reading, writing, planning, decluttering or dreaming up creative projects. But they’ll always spring into action for a friend in need. Because observant Virgos can quickly spot the flaws in everything, they can come across as critical or judgmental. They’re only trying to help! But when they lapse into preachy mode, they may need a reminder that they don’t have to “fix” the world. As hard as Virgos may be on loved ones, they’re even harder on themselves. This giving sign needs to learn the art of receiving—a lifelong struggle for many.

Source: Astrostyle - Virgo

Famous Virgo People:
Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Richard Gere, Lea Michele, Zendaya, Nick Jonas, Bernie Sanders, Cameron Diaz, Niall Horan, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Walker, Kobe Bryant, Jimmy Fallon, Flo Rida, Blake Lively, Adam Sandler, Wiz Khalifa, Pink, Shania Twain, Sean Connery, Harry Connick Jr., Lilly Tomlin, Amy Poehler, William Howard Taft, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mary Shelley, Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld

Here's a quote from one of Mary Shelley's best known books:

Here's one I stitched on The Monster and The Bride:

For the stitching part of the SAL I have chosen a series of designs from the Donna Kooler book 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs. I am stitching them all on one piece of 32 count Millenium Blue fabric. Here is Virgo:

I did a dark hair conversion for her

And here is the whole piece, not finally framed yet as I didn't have a piece of mountboard big enough.  But you can get an idea of what it will look like:

Now, I am a Virgo myself and I have to say that the description is spot on, except for the first line about appearance.  I am not interested in spending two hours getting ready in the morning!

I have stitched numerous pieces over the years just for me with special meanings to me but for this post the Satsuma Street Virgo is the perfect piece to show again:

As with the Donna Kooler Zodiac, I did a dark hair conversion.

So, let's hand over to you! This is the place for you to link up if you want to join in, please link to the actual blog post, not your blog homepage and include your name so we can see who has joined in.



Finally, this is the final month of the Zodiac SAL.  I hope you have enjoyed each month and learned a little bit about each star sign.  Some of them were very accurate and some were completely unrecognisable according to the comments left.  So what comes next?  We did the Alphabet Club for 26 months and the Zodiac for 12 so now it's your turn to choose:

My favourite part of each post has always been choosing the designs to fit a theme.  So I thought I would let my followers choose the monthly theme and I would do my best to find something I have stitched already, a current WIP, something on my wishlist or something stunning I have seen elsewhere.  Hopefully there will be inspiration, enabling, encouragement and a liberal use of the shoehorn!

You may all join in, there will be a Linky on the first Saturday of each month.  Dip in and out as you want.

Your first task is to nominate the themes the people will be voting on.  Nominations are to be left on my blog, the voting will take part in the IHSW Facebook group as it's easy to do a Poll there.  I will announce the next month's theme when I do my "I Like Pie" post at the end of the preceding month.

Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Dragons, or 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!

Friday, 31 August 2018

August Pie and Stitch from Stash

August was a much more successful stitching month than July thanks to the school holidays and me taking some time off work.  My Toddler Group only meet in termtime so that gave me some extra time too.  What did affect my plans was a friend's idea for a project which I couldn't resist joining in with.  The Donna Kooler Tinies are part of this project so they became my focus piece for the month.

The pie will show you what else I worked on:

That big old house on Happy Hallowe'en Night took up a few extra days this month.  There were also 7 days when I either worked or we had days out so the only thing I stitched was my Just Nan Small or Mrs Peggotty's Alice at bathtime.

Here are the Tinies so far:

All stitched on 22 count hardanger

I totalled up my Stitch from Stash spending this morning and it was a bit of an Oops what happened there moment?!
JCS Hallowe'en mag £8.50
Mira Cameo chart £2.20
CGS Chart £9.00
CCN 2 Charts £11.00
Fabric offcuts £20.00
Total £50.70

The JCS magazine and the Mirabilia Cameo were all I planned to spend this month.  The Cameo comes in a special celebration booklet for the Mirabilia 25th Anniversary.  Nora Corbett has been designing as Mirabilia for the exact length of time I have been stitching.  This is a small chart and will look lovely on a piece of hand-dyed fabric I have in my stash.

So far, so good.  Then I saw that Cottage Garden Samplings have re-released a chart which was on my Wishlist until it went OOP.  Of course I had to snap it up!

And the rule is No Chart Must Travel Alone, so these two came as well.  I have a conversion in mind for the series.

So I had blown the budget for the month (£20) so why not well and truly blow it?  Emily from Lyndisfarne Designs announced that she had a box of fabric offcuts for bargain prices.  So I spent £20 on this little lot.  There is a LOT of 28 count white which will be ideal for dyeing and experimenting with for smalls

Good job it's my Birthday next month so that will be a zero spend.  Hopefully I can then resist buying anything for two months and then December's spending is covered by Christmas!

I have sent out all the Summer Postcards.  Here is the full list of participants which will be updated as each person posts their card:

Ariadne from Greece

Butterfly Wings

Jeremiah's Mom

Mein Allerlei Hobby

The Alchymyst's Study

Tickled Pink in Stitches

A Stitcher's Story

Stitching Friends Forever

Kitten Stitching

Dragon Stitches and Stuff with Astrid

Needle, Pen & Sword


Remember my Five Peaks Blog Hop Challenge?  You have to either participate or comment in all five of my Blog Hops this year to win your Medal in the Five Peaks Challenge!  Obviously the 12 people listed above have already conquered a Peak this Summer but now it's the turn of the commenters.  To have this Blog Hop count as one of your Five Peaks you must comment here using the words "Summer Postcard" in whatever sentence you like.

August Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

This year I am showing my Just Nan 12 Days of Christmas blocks for the Smalls SAL and also my 30-a-day projects.  All smalls also by Just Nan.  It's a Nan-a-thon year!

Here is Block 8 on the 12 Days of Christmas:

I know I still have a couple of white stitches to do in the 8 but it didn't seem worth threading a needle for them, I'll add them when I do block 9.

Here's the whole piece so far.

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

My current Just Nan small is almost finished, this is Happy Bluebird although it may get a rename depending on which charm I attach in the centre:

stitched on 32 count white evenweave

The Large Boy is in favour of me finding a chicken charm and calling it Happy Mrs Chicken (Peppa Pig in-joke there).

Here is the previous finish, Just Nan's Butterfly Bouquet:

stitched on 32 count Pink linen

I also stitched 2 more tinies from the Donna Kooler 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs book:

stitched on 22 count hardanger

Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop is well underway.  Five cards have gone out, and will be shown on the recipient's blogs soon:

Ariadne from Greece

Butterfly Wings

Jeremiah's Mom

Mein Allerlei Hobby

The Alchymyst's Study

Hop over and leave a nice comment.  Stay tuned for the rest of the cards!