Monday, 21 September 2020

September IHSW


IHSW or International Hermit and Stitch Weekend always starts on the third Friday of the month.  It's a chance to lock yourself away and focus on your stitching for the weekend.  You can take part on your blog or via the Facebook page - IHSW on Facebook.

I worked on Friday so my weekend got off to a late start, bath-time to be exact!  I have started a new bath-time stitch, another one of the designs from this year's Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Ornament Special.

This is a designer I am not familiar with - Twisted Willow Designs - but I loved the 1970s colour scheme!  I have a piece of 32 count Platinum linen I have been using for a number of Hallowe'en smalls and had one piece left.  I looked through the magazine and chose the design which would fit best and look good on Platinum!  The title is Mosaic Halloween.

stitched on 32 count Platinum linen

Once I got into Saturday, the serious stitching started and I focused on my Chatelaine; Gardens of London.  Here's where I was at the start:

And here is that lower right Garden now.  All done except for a few lime green Algerian Stitches and the backstitch:

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Cotton Clouds by Crafty Kitten

I start work on the lower left Garden tomorrow.

I completed another band on my Just Nan Hallowe'en Sampler - Beware:

stitched on 32 count tea-dyed linen

I also continued with the Bubbles of Happiness, a freebie from Lin Pulsion's blog:

stitched over one on 25 count white evenweave

Finally, the next IHSW will be 16th-18th 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 by leaving a comment on my post.

Thursday, 17 September 2020

September TUSAL


It's TUSAL time!

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

And here is the Garden I have been working on this week.  Yes, there are a lot of Queen Stitches to do.  All the way around in pink and then all the way around in blue.

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Cotton Clouds by Crafty Kitten

Did you spot something else in that top photo?  The adorable scissor holder!  Remember the friend who I gave the Hallowe'en Countdown box to for her Birthday?  She has a 10 year old daughter who wanted to make me something for my Birthday.  I really needed a scissor holder as mine currently live in the plastic case they came in which is split and held together with tape.  She used the fabric that her Dad made a project bag from to make me a matching scissor holder.  Look how well she cut the fabric so the fairy looks like she is holding the scissors!  I love it.

I will take photos of the bag when I get a chance but I wanted to get this post up before the weekend.

I have got photos of another finish to share:

stitched on 28 count linen in Radioactive from Chromatic Alchemy

This is the third in the Scary Apothecary series by Hands On Design - Broomstick Fuel.  My goal for this year was the first three and I have achieved that which is great news.  Three more next year and the final three in 2022.

I used the DMC conversion provided and DMC Metallics too, apart from the black which is Weeks Dye Works Kohl.

I used a blend of two DMC for the pink around the word "Fuel" rather than the charted variegated:

Finally, a little spooky finish from this year's Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Ornament Special:

stitched on 32 count Platinum Linen

This cute little one is called Downdraft designed by Turquoise Graphics & Designs.  I used a Jodyri variegated thread for the smoke and some random beads for the sparkle.  This was a very quick stitch - 2 bath time sessions and an hour to bead.

Tuesday, 15 September 2020

September Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post

Welcome to the September Gifted Gorgeousness link-up.  The link-up date continues 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.

My main project for Gifted Gorgeousness has been my Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs, which will be a gift for my son.  Now finally finished and ready for framing:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

I finished that piece at the end of August, so once I had completed my SAL stitching for September I decided to focus on my Chatelaine, Gardens of London.  Here's where I was at the start of the month:

Here's that lower right Garden now:

Look at that lovely sparkle.

Here's the whole piece:

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Belfast from Crafty Kitten

We are only halfway through the month so I can easily finish this garden (some Algerian eyelets, rice stitches and loads of Queen Stitches) and make a good start on the lower left Garden.

This was a gift for my special Birthday in 2016, a lot of my friends sent skeins of threads which I have labelled with their name so I think of them as I stitch.

My next gifted item is tiny in comparision.  This is for Clare's Flower themed Christmas Tree for her church display this year.  I chose an Amaryllis by Moss Creek Designs from the 2013 Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Special.

stitched over 1 on 28 count white evenweave

The final gifted project for this month is the 12 Days of Christmas by JBW.  Two of my friends bought two charts each for my Christmas present.  I started one design per day for the 12 Days of Stitchmas and have completed the Ninth Day: 

stitched on 40 count white linen, 1 over 2

and bead the 7th, 8th and 9th Days:

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.



Finally, having finished the Just Nan Summer Sampler SAL, I started my Just Nan Hallowe'en Sampler SAL.  The popular vote went to Beware so I set myself a 9 week schedule stitching 1 or 2 bands per week.  Here we are after 2 bands:

stitched on 32 count tea-dyed linen

The centre is a bit bumpy because of the pulled stitches but it will flatten out once I do the next band.  There will also be a bat charm hiding it!

Thursday, 10 September 2020

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for September

FFG SAL - 10th of each month
Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This SAL is designed to motivate us all to do something with that box of Finished pieces instead of just storing them under the bed.  We will all be linking up on Rachel's blog on or after the 10th of each month (10 Hour Stitcher - 10th of the month).

Grab a coffee, it's going to be a busy post!

I started off scrapbooking some Just Nan smalls:

Jump for Joy and Floral Sunshine:

Thanks a Bunch and Happy Bluebird:

Potpourri and Fairy Roses:

Then I did some papercraft.  At the beginning of the year I stitched a series of inspirational words by Jessica Savage.  There were only 6 in the series and I was a little unsure how to finish them.  Then I saw a nice folding book idea.

I got some stickers from Etsy to fill in the blank spaces.  On the reverse, I used the snarky sayings from our work calendar from a few years back!  I saved the back page that had small versions of each month because they were too funny to throw out!  Here they all are:

The book folds up like a concertina and I added ribbons so I can tie it up and stop it unfolding:

Here's a video clip of the book being unfolded:

This was an easy finish and one I will definitely do again.

I scrapbooked my lovely Alice freebie:

Love the sparkly ribbon, I bought a lot of it so can use it some more.  It is perfect Disney Cheshire Cat colours!

And this very old finish which was also a freebie, this time from The Little Stitcher:

I plan to stitch some more small Alice themed designs and add them to that page.

Finally, I finished my Judith Stanley for Needlepoise sampler - Bramble Harvest and framed that!

stitched on 28 count Annabelle evenweave

There are so many pretty details in this sampler

Satin stitch used to great effect

different weights of thread to create texture

A simple frame from a charity shop.  By luck, the mount was the perfect size!

Saturday, 5 September 2020

The People Choose Geometric

This SAL is all about what you want to see on the blog.  Each month I ask for suggestions for themes and then put them up to the members of the IHSW Group on FB to vote for their choice.  This is what they have chosen:

September - Geometric
October - Wizards
November - Magic

Looking at my projects and other people's blogs it does seem that Geometric is more associated with patchwork or needlepoint than with cross stitch.  I do have a couple of projects which come under the category.

The first one is a little old, according to the receipt I bought it in March, 2000 and the kit cost CAN$56 or £25.00.  (I just checked the RoEx and that would now be £32 so I got a bargain!  This design is called Southwest Garden by Karen E. Dudzinski of Textured Treasures.  I bought the kit at the Olympia Stitching Show and I have a feeling it was Karen who served us.  I stitched it straight away.

stitched on 28 count Carnation Pink evenweave

Close-up of one corner:

It's stitched in a mixture of DMC, Flower Threads, Needle Necessities Fibres, and Rainbow Gallery fibres plus some Perle cotton and a silver metallic.

The cover picture has a rather fancy mat around it which means I have never gotten it framed because I couldn't find anyone to fussy cut a triple mat for a reasonable price.  I should just get a square frame and get it up on the wall!

I have a couple of freebies from Gazette94 which come under the geometric banner:

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



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

Looking forward to reading them all!

Thursday, 3 September 2020

All Around the Discworld

"In a distant and second-hand set of dimensions, in an astral plane that was never meant to fly, the curling star-mists waver and part ...
See ..
Great A'Tuin the turtle comes, swimming slowly through the interstellar gulf, hydrogen frost on his ponderous limbs, his huge and ancient shell pocked with meteor craters. Through sea-sized eyes that are crusted with rheum and asteroid dust He stares fixedly at the Destination."

I started this one back in June 2017 with this photo:

The fabric is a custom-dyed 32 count Murano from Sparklies.  I explained to Kate what I needed and very exact dimensions for the paler blue circle.  I started stitching in the middle and worked to the top so I could make sure the edge of the Disc would match up with the circle on the fabric.  Fortunately, it did!

Here are some photos of my favourite parts:

The very centre of the Disc, Cori Celesti is the Home of the Gods:

The whole Mappe:

I do know how many days I stitched on this piece, anyone want to make a guess?

I recently discovered how to make Slideshows of my photos!

This first one shows the progress from June 2017 to December 2019:

This one shows the progress throughout 2020:

Finally, the story of my love of the Discworld.  The first book in the series was published in 1983 when I was still at school.  I think my Uncle introduced us to the books as he had with The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy some years before.  My edition is a 3rd reprint from 1985 which is the year I started work so I probably bought it to read on the train.  It cost £1.75, about an hour's wages for me.  The standard paperback still costs an hour's wages at about £7.99 which is interesting when so many other things have seen rampant inflation.

I collected each book after that, getting the signed ones when my brother went to Uni and attended all the signings at The Forbidden Planet bookshop.  Then I stopped collecting about the time I started cross stitching on the train.  It was hard to read anyway as there were a good group of us who used to chat every day and socialise together off the train!

Fast forward to my son being born and being read to each evening.  We were given The Bromeliad as a present which he loved.  In April 2014 we started reading the entire series from the beginning.  This took us three whole years.  I started collecting the new hardbacks at this time too.  Then when we finished reading the series, topped off with the Science of Discworld books, I started stitching the Mappe.  Now to get it framed.

Thanks for being part of this journey with me, especially those who were tempted into reading the books themselves.  De Chelonian Mobile - The Turtle Moves.

GNU Sir Terry Pratchett