Monday, 12 April 2021

April TUSAL and my Stitching Library


It's TUSAL time!

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

We've just had a WIPGO Weekend and my Bothy Threads 12 Days of Christmas was my chosen project.  I got quite a lot of progress from here:

to the point where I have stitched almost all the gold in the number 1.  Next I have to couch the white perle to form the outline.  This is quite an unusual project in that you backstitch very little.  Instead you couch long lines of the perle to form curving outlines.

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...

This month's book goes well with the 12 Days design and the medieval manuscript look to the piece.

Title: Celtic Cross Stitch
Author: Gail Lawther
Publisher: David and Charles
ISBN: 9780715302729

This is one of my favourite designs inside, a stylised alphabet:

I stitched this Celtic Cross and added some words for a friend's spiritual church back in 1995.  Unfortunately I did not take a photo before giving it to her.

The book itself is divided into three section; Knot and Patterns, Animals and People, Lettering and then a final Pattern Library so you can make your own designs.  There is a little bit of information about Celtic designs at the start of each chapter but mostly it is the projects themselves.

I used one of the alphabets to adapt this design into a Birthday card for my friend Kathy:

If you like a bit of Celtic knotwork but get in a tangle designing your own, then this is a good book for you!

Finally, the Easter Treasure Hunt is still ongoing.  You have until the 15th April and my GG post to try and guess the Mystery Phrase.  Don't forget to leave comments on the blogs as you hop around.

Saturday, 10 April 2021

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for April


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).

It's a very good thing I started early with my FFO'ing because there has been zero done in April so far, thanks to the school holiday.  Never mind, I've been able to stitch instead.

What I did do was completed in March when I dragged my box of frames out of the cupboard and matched a few up with some completed pieces I had.

First up was Alice and the Flamingo by Mrs Peggotty.  I finished this in February 2019 and the original intention was to frame her with the Queen of Hearts by the same designer.  But the poor Queen is languishing in the UFO pile and Alice deserves to be on display.

The frame was bought many years ago (pre-Large Boy) and had four small apertures so the plan was to stitch a series of four seasons of an appropriate size.  Didn't happen.  But it looks wonderful for Alice.

Next up was my Autumn Tree.  Completed in January 2019, just needed the right sized frame.  This was a charity shop find and just the right size.  The glass was glued in so I had to try photograph it without reflections!  The fabric is actually a nice green colour which doesn't photograph well.

This was a freebie design from an old Yahoo group.  They gave you the speciality stitches and you chose your own colours.  I added a few charms to suit the season.  A crow (or maybe a raven?):

A cheery tombstone!   RIP Yahoo Groups

And a happy little pumpkin:

The last one is a more recent finish, February of this year!  I have two of these frame so I will add Mrs Claus next to Santa as soon as she is completed.

Autumn Lane Stitchery - Santa Claus

I did intend to finish my Mischief of Mice but I have fiddly bits like the whiskers to do so they will wait until Monday and the return to education!

I did paint a frame blue to suit another finish but again, that was put to one side.  At least I will have stuff for May's post.

Finally, the Easter Treasure Hunt is still ongoing.  You have until the 15th April and my GG post to try and guess the Mystery Phrase.  Don't forget to leave comments on the blogs as you hop around.  A few people have problems with email notifications but they assure me they do read all the comments and love getting them.  As do I!

Thursday, 8 April 2021

Ten Things for a Tenth Blogaversary

It's my Tenth Blogaversary!  How the time flies.  Unfortunately I couldn't find a photo of me aged 10.  I was still in Primary School and had a very nice teacher but apparently we didn't do any Summer trips.  Or if we did, there is no photographic evidence.  So we have a Happy Frog instead.  He is a Lord a'Leaping from Just Nan's 12 Days of Christmas sampler.

So, here are the stats:

10 years
1082 posts
1,326,785 pageviews

I thought it would be fun to do a Ten Things Tag for my Tenth Blogaversary.  I'll type the list out at the end and include a Mr. Linky if you want to join in on your Blog.

1.    The tenth project you completed:

Flowers by Sue Cook.
From Cross Stitch Collection June 1994
Stitched on 14 count aida.

This was a series of four designed by Sue Cook.  I stitched all four of them and display them together in Spring or Summer.

2.    The tenth blog post you made - Dark Alphabet Progress

Dark Alphabet by A Note of Friendship
stitched over 1 on 28 count evenweave

I was working on my Dark Alphabet, which I did complete and display every Halloween.

3.    The tenth blog in your blog roll (or your reader or however you follow blogs)

The tenth blog in my sidebar is currently The Spinster Stitcher.  Dear Coni, never fails to make me smile although I miss little Stewie and his smoking jacket.  Warning - the blog can be quite hard-hitting as she waits for her kidney transplant.
The tenth blog is my Feedly Reader is currently Life Outside the Washing Basket.  Roni (hey that rhymes with Coni!) is a newer blog for me but I'm enjoying her Lockdown SAL and her entries for my various SALs and Hops.

4.    A designer you have stitched more than ten designs

I was hoping to find one that I had stitched exactly ten designs from and I did.  If you include Round Robin excerpts.  I do like the style of this designer, it's quite distinctive and they make beautiful ornaments.  One day I will stitch an entire sampler from The Sweetheart Tree!

5.    A project that took/is taking more than ten years to complete

I've been gradually adding my older WIPs to my WIPocalypse list and this year it's the turn of my Ernie Bishop NOEL letters.  I only have the hardanger to do now.  These are actually over 20 years in the making - 2 x 10

6.    A design on the theme of "ten"

JBW - Ten Lords A-Leaping
12 Days of Christmas

It has to be the Tenth Day of Christmas from my favourite Christmas theme - the 12 Days of Christmas

7.    The tenth colour on your current project.  Do you use this colour a lot?

My current project is Bothy Thread's 12 Days of Christmas (told you that I enjoy that theme!) and the tenth colour on my shade card is White.  Yes, I use White quite a lot, almost every project has some white in it.  Black is probably the only colour I have used more than White.  In my People's Choice post for April, you can see a project which is almost completely stitched in White.

Here's my Bothy Thread's design at the moment:

stitched on 32 count blue-grey linen

The plan is to finish that block this month as it was called for WIPGO.

8.    Your tenth WIP for WIPocalypse, WIPGO or whatever list you make

My tenth WIPcalypse project is the Stoney Creek 12 Days of Christmas designs.  I am stitching one per month.

My tenth WIPGO project is Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow, I completed one block last month and have another to do at some point this year.  I would love to have three or four blocks stitched by the end of the year.

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose from Chromatic Alchemy

9.    Your tenth finish this year (or last year if you haven't finished ten so far this year)

Miss Witchy Mouse was my tenth finish, she is on the left with the bat motif on her side.

10.    How has your stitching style changed in the last ten years?

Looking back to 2011, I completed 77 things!  Many of them smalls.  I made a lot of cards and small gifts for other people.  Now I tend to stitch for myself and focus on much larger projects.  My big finish for 2011 was this one:

Mirabilia - Bluebeard's Mermaid

And I'm currently stitching a Mirabilia, so I guess my tastes haven't changed that much at all!

Fairy Idyll - stitched on 32 count Vineyard Murano from Crafty Kitten

Here are the questions so you can copy and paste if you want to join in:

1.    The tenth project you completed
2.    The tenth blog post you made
3.    The tenth blog in your blog roll (or your reader or however you follow blogs)
4.    A designer you have stitched more than ten designs
5.    A project that took/is taking more than ten years to complete
6.    A design on the theme of "ten"
7.    The tenth colour on your current project.  Do you use this colour a lot?
8.    Your tenth WIP for WIPocalypse, WIPGO or whatever list you make
9.    Your tenth finish this year (or last year if you haven't finished ten so far this year)
10.    How has your stitching style changed in the last ten years?

And here is the Linky so we can all come and visit:



Finally, a very Happy Birthday to my Blogaversary Twin - Susan Yellow Flower Meadow!  Hope you had a happy, stitchy day.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

The People Chose the Colour Blue


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:

April - Blue
May - Traditional Samplers
June - Butterflies

I love blue.  When I was very young my favourite colour was red but then when I was 7 we had Houses at school and I was in Hillary which was blue so that became my new favourite colour.  I wasn't allowed to use it much at home (my sister preferred pink and green) so when I bought my first house my bedroom was blue and gold with a starry border around the walls and deep blue velvet curtains.  Even now, my duvets are always blue and Sleeping Beauty has pride of place on the wall of the master bedroom:

Mirabilia - Sleeping Beauty

Side note - if we had those Houses at school today, I bet we would be Tenzing and not Hillary.  The Sherpas did all the hard work!

Here's a more recent finish, Winter Blues by Just Nan:

Another Mirabilia - Bluebeard's Mermaid.  Stitched on a beautiful Crafty Kitten Murano called Waterfall:

You can use blue thread, this one was a sampler started by my Mum and finished by me:

And this is a sweet little mini alphabet from a magazine:

Or you can use blue fabric.  This is Noel Blanc sur le Bleu!

And this is a Donna Kooler Zodiac series:

Even Christmas can be blue:


And so can designers, Blue Ribbon Designs:

And dragons!


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

Friday, 2 April 2021

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2021

Spring Sampler from The Samplermaker motifs

Welcome to the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop for 2021.  I am sure you all know how it works now - hop around the list of blogs and collect the letter each one has for you.  They spell out a message which you can leave in a comment here for me.  I have moderated comments so no-one will see them until 15th April.  Just to give everyone a chance to play along.

This year we are starting with:

and back to me for this letter:

and this mystery new start:

stitched on 35 count cream linen

Finally, don't forget to leave a comment as you visit each blog - Happy Hopping!!

Just Nan - Small Delights Spring!

Wednesday, 31 March 2021

March Pie and Stitch from Stash

 It's the final day of March and time for a round-up of the month.  We'll start with Pie:

The original plan was to stitch on Fairy Idyll for 7 days but I got on a roll and just kept going!  She was a new start this month, thanks to the Tiny Decisions App and went from nothing to here:

stitched on 32 count Vineyard Murano from Crafty Kitten

That is a LOT of skirt!  Here's the cover photo so you can see how far I have to go and how much better this fabric is for her!

The plan for next time is to finish the palest yellow and then stitch that pink flouncy frill at the end of the skirt, with a view to working up the left hand side of the arch.

The Witchy Mice were stitched each weekend as part of my March of the Mischievious Mice.  Leonore said "How cute these mice are! I am all for making a whole...what do you call a group of mice?"   So I googled it and discovered the collective noun for mice is - a mischief!   How serendipitous!

A Mischief of Mice

Hawk Run Hollow, Main Street and Stoney Creek were all shown on my WIPocalypse post so that just leaves Just Nan Winter Blues.  This has been our Band Sampler SAL in the Just Nan FB group since 1st January.  Leonore gave me a shortlist and everyone voted for their favourite.  I finished it this week and it's just stunning.  I went for a 28 count white Jobelan because the lettering is over one and I wanted the details to really show.  

Our next Sampler SAL is for the design Nan's Garden.  I stitched a portion of this for a Round Robin back in 2014 so I'm looking forward to stitching the whole piece this time.  We're doing Follow the Needle in the Summer if anyone wants to join in.

Stitch from Stash has a Just Nan feel to it too.  I snagged two charts on eBay this month for every reasonable prices.  I set an upper limit of £5 for charts without embellishment packs.

The ALS is Autumn Lane Stitchery and here's my progress on Mrs Claus:

stitched on 28 count tea-dyed evenweave

Finally, my Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop starts on Good Friday 2nd April and I'll make sure my post goes up at breakfast time in the UK so you can start hopping bright and early!