Sunday, 25 July 2021

July WIPocalypse Retreats


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.  Since 2011 I have chosen a number of projects to focus on that year, starting with my "11 in '11" and increasing to "21 in '21" for this year.  This month I stitched on 5 of them, completed 1 and met 2 WIPGO Goals.  

5. Nora Corbett Gathering Eggs

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha Linen

10. Stoney Creek 12 Days of Christmas

stitched on 32 count Lime Green Linen

11. Carriage House Samplings Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

15. Hands on Design Scary Apothecary Cauldron Cleaner

stitched on 28 count Radioactive Linen from Chromatic Alchemy

17. Just Nan Follow the Needle

stitched on 28 count Lilac Brittney evenweave

The full list can be seen here - WIPocalypse and 21 in 21

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too:

July – Have you ever attended a stitching retreat? If so, tell us about your experiences.

I have been on two quite different retreats.  The first was a Re-Treat with the emphasis on the treat.  Two sisters owned a converted barn where they held the retreats for only 6 other ladies at a time.  One sister taught the stitching and the other sister did the cooking and also the pampering in the evenings.   I had a wonderful time!  We spent three days just stitching, chatting, eating, having our nails done and shopping in the pop-up shop they had there.

This is the Jane Greenoff class project I completed some years later!

The second was more formal, based in London at the Imperial College in Kensington,  I signed up for a goldwork course.  This was fascinating but sadly I never finished the project.   Eventually I sent it to Dima as she has more chance of completing it than I do.

So my ideal retreat would be a combination of the two; time to chat and a class to learn a new technique or a special class project with a designer I admire.  I would love to get together with more stitchers, especially my blogging friends but that just isn't possible at the moment.  But if anyone is passing this way do get in touch and come round for coffee and stitching!

Finally, I'm going to be taking sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop on the same theme as last year - Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count. Have a look at this post for last year and let me know if you'd like to take part this year.

Friday, 23 July 2021

July WIPGO Update


Q: What is WIPGO?

A: It's like Bingo for your WIPs.

The idea is to make a board with 25 squares, add a goal to each square, each month the Admin call 2 numbers and you try reach those two goals.

When you complete a row or column, you can reward yourself with something nice.  A new start?  A new chart?  An uninterrupted afternoon of stitching?  Your choice.

This was my board at the start of the month:

Since then I have completed Number 1 - Hands on Design Scary Apothecary. This is my fifth design in that series, the goal is three per year.  Here is Cauldron Cleaner:

stitched on 28 count Radioactive Linen from Chromatic Alchemy

I was asked about the linen colour in my TUSAL photos as it looked so different!  These two photos are much more true to the actual bright green colour.

I used the DMC conversion, except for the orange background which is a blend of 3853 and 3854 instead of using a variegated.

I had almost finished Number 10 in June so decided to keep going and completed it this month.  This is Block 6 on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings:

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

Blocks 6 and 7 form a double block in the centre of the design.  Next time I will work upwards to Block 2 which goes on top of the left hand side of this part.

Number 12 is Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett which is still being worked on.  I completed the white lilies so now it's back to the dark background:

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

Number 17 Scream House by Just Nan won't come out again until Dark October and Number 24 is the Just Nan Summer Sampler SAL.  We have chosen Follow the Needle for this and here's my current progress:

stitched on 28 count Lilac Brittney evenweave

Not a brilliant photo, the colours look a little washed out.  I just use my iPad for progress photos rather than taking my time with my nice camera!

I'm really enjoying the WIPGO experience this year.  I like the way it works with my rotation while helping choose which of my WIPs should be the focus for the month.  I'm already planning next year's Board!  I hope to focus on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow so will have that feature for several numbers, possibly as many as 12.  My other two spooky projects (Scary Apothecary and CCN Halloween Village) will get 3 numbers each.  That leaves 6 numbers for my other three BAPs and the centre square for my Longest Day Marathon.  But that could all change between now and January!

It's the planning that is half the fun.

Finally, I'm going to be taking sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop on the same theme as last year - Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count. Have a look at this post for last year and let me know if you'd like to take part this year.

Monday, 19 July 2021



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.

Friday was a work day again so I didn't get much done, just a couple of lengths of background on my focus project which is Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett.

Here's where she was when I picked up her up on Tuesday:

Here she is at the start of Saturday:

And here she is now:

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

That was a LOT of fill-in, quite mindless but done now.  I'm currently stitching the large lilies on the right and some more fill-in.  Then I can start the lovely border.

My evening project has been another one of The Primitive Hare celebration freebies.  This one is Lammas which is the first Harvest Festival celebrated on 1st August.  I am early for this one!

stitched on 36 count Cream Linen

Finally the next IHSW will be 20th - 22nd August 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, 15 July 2021

Gifted Gorgeousness July Link-up Post


Welcome to the July 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.

Deb sent me the charts for the Stoney Creek 2019 Ornaments which were my Stitchmas project this year. I started all 12, one per day and will be completing one per month.  July is for Swans a'Swimming:

stitched on 32 count Lime Green evenweave

I continued with Scream House by Just Nan but didn't finish the wall I was working on:

stitched on 28 count grey linen

I really cracked on with Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow, which was a Christmas present and completed Block 6:

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

stitched in DMC except the pumpkin which is a Jodyri thread

My current focus piece is Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett, the chart was a gift from a friend.  This is where she was for the Longest Day Marathon:

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha Linen

Since then, I have stitched all the white cloud.  The background is full coverage so takes quite a while, even stitching with just one strand.

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 "July 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'm going to be taking sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop on the same theme as last year - Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count. Have a look at this post for last year and let me know if you'd like to take part this year.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

July TUSAL and my Stitching Library


It's TUSAL time!

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

Here's what it looked like last TUSAL!

This is the fifth Scary Apothecary from Hands on Design.  This one is Cauldron Cleaner and is stitched on the same 28 count Radioactive linen from Chromatic Alchemy as the rest of the series.  The plan is to finish it this month as tick another box off on my WIPGO Board.

What's on my Shelf?

This is a new feature I'm going to include on my TUSAL post until I run out of books! I started a Page on my Happy Dance blog for my Stitching Library and realised what a huge task it was so decided to break it down to one book per month. For the next four years...

I chose this month's book to go with The People's Choice of Houses.

Title: Home Sweet Home Cross Stitch
Author: Helen Philipps
Publisher: David & Charles
ISBN: 9780715332900

Helen Philipps has a very distinctive style.  Simple designs with a pastel palette, no fractionals or speciality stitches.  They can all be stitched on Aida which makes this the ideal book for a beginner or someone who wants some nice uncomplicated stitching after a long tiring day!

The cover design, above, is probably my favourite from the book.  I would consider doing all the houses in a long line to make them look more like the terraced houses where I grew up.

The other designs are mostly sampler based with some nice touches like the 3D heart added to this design:

Or this giant cushion stitched over 2 on 18 count evenweave - which equates to 9 count aida but you get a nice smoother finish.

This is a lovely redwork sampler with buttons added as embellishments:

Two more sampler style designs featuring little country cottages and button embellishments:

The models are beautifully photographed in a variety of settings around the home so you can imagine what they would look like in your house.  Helen also uses small extracts from the designs to make other finishes such as gift-tags, cards and scissor fobs.

A beautiful book and very inspiring for a beginner stitcher.  Helen also has a rather lovely blog with more beautiful photos - Helen Philipps

Finally, I'm going to be taking sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop on the same theme as last year - Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count. Have a look at this post for last year and let me know if you'd like to take part this year.

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for July

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).

Not much FFO'ing this month, just two small framed pieces.  The first one is the freebie from The Primitive Hare for Litha, the Summer Solstice.  Framed the same as Ostara in the same multi-frame.  The goal is to have all eight done by the end of this year.

The second one is my Just Nan small - Pansy Basket.  A couple of people asked about this one.  It's part of the Filagree Fancies series and I got the kit with the little basket charm.  I painted a cheap wooden box frame and it's done now and on display.

Finally, I'm going to be taking sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop on the same theme as last year - Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count.  Have a look at this post for last year and let me know if you'd like to take part this year.

Saturday, 3 July 2021

The People Chose Houses


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:

July - Houses
August - Books
September - Sewing

Houses and Homes are the mainstay of many samplers, but opinion is divided.  Some people love nothing more than a Big Old House in the middle of a sampler with rows of bricks to stitch.  Other people find them a huge slab of one colour and would rather stick to smaller motifs.

One of my first stitches was a sampler for my grandparents who moved into sheltered housing.  I inherited this back when they passed away:

Big Sampler, Small House

That same year I stitched the sweet little Christmas House where all I had to stitch was the rooms inside, the clever frame provided the house:

Kit of unknown origin

A rather larger example where I also had to stitch the walls and roof is this gorgeous Victorian House:

I cunningly hid our initials in the path

This was a nice little Travelling Pattern from Shakespeare's Peddlar which started off with Daffycat and went from house to house:

Astrid showed all the photos from the participants on her blog post here - Travelling-pattern-winner

When you think of stitched houses, the mind goes to the sweet little house designed by people such as Lizzie*Kate and CCN or LHN:

Poinsettia Place by Country Cottage Needleworks

Lizzie*Kate Spring and Autumn

But it wouldn't be my blog without something spookier - Haunted Houses!

Knotted Tree NeedleArt - A Little Hallowe'en House

Blue Ribbon Designs - Boo Mansion

And to finish up - a couple of 3D Houses, first of all Sugar Almond House from the Nutmeg Company:

and then an Autumn Mouse in a Haunted House:

Just Nan

My current WIPs include a whole village of Haunted Houses from various designers:

And another Just Nan - Scream House.  I am hoping to complete the external walls this year:

Now it's over to you. All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Houses, 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 Green, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.  Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.