Monday, 12 November 2018

Happy Dance for a Mousie in a Housie

Just Nan brought out the Haunted Autumn Mouse in a House in 2017 and I just had to have one.  These kits are very limited edition and once they are gone, they are gone.

I started stitching for Dark October last year and completed the mouse, both floor parts and the outline of one wall:

Mouse stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

Carpet Square stitched on 32 count Antique Ivory linen

Base of the House stitched on 32 count Antique Ivory linen

Apart from 30 minutes for the Longest Day SAL in July, that was it until this October.  The project came up several times in the Tiny Decisions app and by WIPocalypse looked like this:

Once Dark October was over I decided to make this my first Focus for a Finish piece and stitched on it every day.  I finished the stitching on 10th November and spent the 11th and 12th fully finishing it.  First I used iron-on interfacing on the backs of all the house pieces and then sewed the two floor pieces together with a card square inbetween to give them stiffness.  After that I cut out and sewed triangles of felt to the back of each of the walls.  The ribbon was sandwiched between and sewed in at the top.  

By the end of Sunday 11th this is what I had:

Each of those triangles had to be stitched to the floor piece using the whip stitch to hold them in place.  Once the four walls are attached you tie the ribbons into bows to hold the whole piece together:

When you untie the ribbons, the walls flatten and you can see the little mousie in the housie!

Close-up of Mouse:

I made a little video film of the whole thing just to show you how it all works, and how tiny the mouse is!  Unfortunately it was too long to upload so we had to break it into two pieces.  The first video shows the house and the second shows the mouse ending with it balanced on my finger so you can see the scale.


Finally, it's time to sign up for the Advent Calendar  Blog Hop!  For this hop, each participant is allocated a day in December to make their post on.  They will show something they have stitched on a Christmas theme and answer the topic question I set.  I then copy their photo onto my blog post in the style of an Advent Calendar.

So if you'd like to join in, please leave a comment or send me an email.  Let me know if there is a date you would particularly like or one you'd like to avoid.  I will be in touch towards the end of the month!

Here is a link to last year's so you can see how it works:

Thursday, 8 November 2018

November 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:

Jar filling up nicely as we approach the end of the year

 On the left, I have my focus for a finish piece; Just Nan's Autumn House:

stitched on 32 count Antique Ivory linen

I have nearly done all four walls for the house now.  I need to get some iron-on interfacing and set about putting the dwelling together.

The piece on the right is my new Ten-a-Day choice; another Just Nan - Summer Typography:

stitched on 32 count Pink linen

Regular followers will know that I have been stitching the Seasons in the Square series over the past two years and have just completed Autumn in the Square.  Logically I should have started Winter in the Square BUT Summer Typography is on my "18 in '18" list so I started this one instead.  It's a little bigger than the Squares but I am sure I can finish it within 12 months and start Winter in the Square after that.  Summer Typography is the final Typography design I have to stitch so that will be another series completed.

Here is Autumn in the Square (minus the button for the centre which I need to find!)

Now, the news you have all been waiting for - the answer to the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Mystery Phrase Blog Hop.  Thanks to all the participants; the picture posters and the commenters who hopped around, collected the letters and left nice comments.

I thought the phrase was a little easier this year but apparently some of you need to Brush up your Shakespeare - the quote comes from The Scottish Play AKA Macbeth and is spoken by the witches as part of the ingredients for their Double Double Toil and Trouble spell.

Fillet of a fenny snake

The word "fenny" meaning "of the Fens, swamplike, marshy or boggy".  Anyway, everyone managed to find all the letters and Google the meaning if they didn't already know it.

I used the random number generator to pick a winner.  Each picture poster got one entry and each commenter got one entry, so if you did both, then you got two entries.  The winner is:

Please send me an email with your address and I will put a little parcel together along with the chart for Smiling Jack-O-Lanterns from JBW.

Finally, I am so pleased that everyone is enjoying the new Saturday SAL - The People's Choice.  Don't forget to leave suggestions for the next Poll in the comments on that post.

Saturday, 3 November 2018

The People Chose Birthstones

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.  In September 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

So this month's post will be all about Birthstones.  Birthstones are the gemstones allocated to each month of the year according to tradition.  Some people believe they originated with the twelve stones in Aaron's breastplate (signifying the tribes of Israel, as described in the Book of Exodus) while other cultures attributed stones based on astrology.

In the 20th Century the lists were standardised by various associations - In 1912, the (American) National Association of Jewelers (now called Jewelers of America) met in Kansas and officially adopted a list and in 1937 Britain's National Association of Goldsmiths created their own standardized list of birthstones.

January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine / Bloodstone
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Pearl
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire
October - Opal
November - Topaz
December - Turquoise

This website has an article for each month and a rather charming poem for each gemstone.  Mine is for September:

"A maiden born when autumn leaves

Are rustling in September's breeze,

A sapphire on her brow should bind;
To bring her joy and peace of mind."

The most well-known series of Birthstones is the Fairies from Mirabilia.  Nora has not done the whole series yet and for some reason assigned July the Amethyst instead of the Ruby.











 I have stitched July's Fairy but in my pre-blog days and did not keep a photo of her unfortunately.

Another series I had my eye on was the Birthstone Dragons from Ingleside Imaginarium, released as a Mystery SAL and now available from the Etsy shop.

Dragon Dreams also did a series of Birthstone Dragons but that seems to be OOP now.

If I did full-coverage CGI designs I would absolutely stitch this September Sapphire from Mystic Stitches:

Nicole from Northern Expressions Needlework has a series of samplers with various speciality stitches.  Here is her version of September Sapphire:

That's my Wishlist complete, now it's over to you!  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Birthstones, 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.



Last month everyone voted on the choice for January.  It was a close run thing between Snow and New Starts but New Starts pipped Snow and will be the theme for January.  I have updated the sidebar to show this.

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 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!

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

October Pie and Stitch from Stash

It's the end of Dark October and time for a quick resume of what I actually stitched.  A very successful month as it turned out.

I'll show the Pie first and then go through the various designs.

I used the Tiny Decisions app to choose which piece I was going to work on each day.  Nora Corbett's Raven got a lot of love.

Here's where she was at the start of the month:

And here's where she is now:

stitched on 32 count Nebula by Crafty Kitten

A similar success story for Just Nan's Autumn Mouse House.  From here:

To here:

Plum Street Sampler's Brew Ha Ha became a finish:

stitched over 1 on 32 count Platinum linen

As did JBW's Smiling Jack-O-Lanterns:

stitched on 32 count Platinum linen

AND Jardin Prive's Happy Hallowe'en Night:

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

I even managed to get half a gate stitched on my Lavender & Lace conversion of Enchanted Alphabet.  Can you tell where the gate came from?

I have a lot to report for my Stitch from Stash update too.  Fortunately, it all comes under the heading of Birthday Money.  I made a delayed trip to a needlecraft shop in Great Yarmouth with a friend who works in a school.  So it had to be during half term!  I use this needlecraft shop to order the Just Nan charts but this was the first time I'd actually visited.  We were there so long, the owner made us a cup of coffee each!  Here's my haul:

a nice offcut from a piece of Polstitches fabric

2 charts, both seasonal.

All 4 Indigo Rose Seasonal Samplers.  
I stitched part of the Autumn one for a Round Robin a few years back

The Just Nans from last month!

And here's the spending total.

Cross Stitcher sub£8.72
Kingsland chart£2.65
JABCO Autumn£6.99
Indigo Rose x 4 seasons£23.96
Polstitches fabric£7.50

Finally, I shot a little video of some of my Hallowe'en display.  Hope you are able to upload and view it OK.

Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2018

Some of my spooky stitching on display

Welcome to the spooky hallowe’en mystery phrase blog hop!

All you need to do is visit each of the following blogs in order, jot down the letter displayed with their Hallowe'en stitched picture then return here and leave a comment telling me the Mystery Phrase.

It'd be nice if you left a comment on their blog too, especially if it's new to you.

I have "moderate comments before publishing" enabled so no-one can copy anyone else!

So without further ado,
start the blog hop – enter if you dare…

Ariadne From Greece (extra giveaway here)

The prize this year will be the chart for JBW's Smiling Jack-O-Lantern and some spooky goodies I put together.  

stitched on 32 count Platinum linen

People who posted a picture will get one entry for that and another chance for their guess too.  Everyone who comments get an entry into the Five Hops Challenge I'm running this year as well.

Don't forget, some of us are on different time zones so if you visit a blog and can't find a letter or picture yet, pop back later in the day.  
The competition is open for one week closing 00.01 hours 7th November GMT.

happy hunting!

all from Hyraea