Wednesday 31 October 2012

Hallowe'en Mystery Phrase Blog Hop

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've enabled "moderate comments before publishing" for the next week so no-one can copy anyone else!

There will be a small prize for one person picked at random from the guessers.  People who posted a picture  will get one chance for that and another chance if they make a guess too.

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

Fittingly the first blog is The Alychmyst's Study

Then onto This and That

and finally (just so it isn't thirteen) back to me:


This is an old piece, stitched sometime in the 1990s.
The ABC and border came from a book by Better Homes and Gardens called "Cross Stitcher's Big Book of Alphabets and Borders".  And yes, it does exactly what it says on the tin!!  I have used this book alot.
I centralised the alphabet and changed the shape behind the L to another skull rather than a beige paper bag with a white thing sticking out the top.  The finished framed piece now lives in the Large Boy's room.

Finally, 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. - Competition now closed!

happy hunting!

all from Hyraea

Monday 29 October 2012

October WIPocalypse and early Theme-a-licious Looking Backward and Forward X

Here's the round-up for the progress since the last Full Moon.

Part 1 - My 12 in '12

12. Prairie Moon, Thine is the Trick and the Treat:

Great progress on this one.

I've reached the top right hand corner, there's a big old Jack O'Lantern next and I've nearly done two pages.  There are 6 pages in total.  I'm going to stitch until the 31st then put it into my New Year rotation.

Part 2 - Just Nan-a-thon

Yay, I stitched another Just Nan design at last.  This is my progress on Frightful:

I have a neat trick for the black coverage.  Stitch the lines of crosses as usual.  If you can see too much fabric between them then run a thread underneath the whole line just coming up at one end and going down at the other.  If you enlarge the photo you'll see the bottom left box is just crosses (and some half crosses I'm about to complete) and the top two boxes have the extra thread under the black crosses.  The bat and pumpkin details are stitched with three strands which I'll use for the rest of the motifs

Part 3 - Theme-a-licious

October is Obligation October.  I stitched a number of cards and two Round Robins for this theme.  You've seen them all before but here they are again:

Stephanie's Joan Elliott Round Robin

 Autumn for Cat's Seasons Round Robin

Chiara's Birthday card

Shirlee's Birthday card

Zombie Kitty 1 made into a card

Zombie Kitty 2 made into a card

November's Theme is Nail It NovemberWhat's lying around that's so close to being finished you can't stand it anymore? Get to it and finish it!

This is a not such a good one for me!  I'm not going to finish any of my four main WIPS as I have Round Robins which must take precedence over all other projects.  I also have my own project to start for the Large Mira RR starting in 2013.  I could always do some "finishing" finishing and sew up an ornie or two I suppose.  I could also "nail" my list for my "13 in '13".

Finally, the emails have been sent to the participants of the Hallowe'en Blog Hop, if you signed up and haven't got one then let me know.  Everyone else can enter the Mystery Phrase Competition starting the 31st October.  I'm putting a little prize together, it will feature a skein of Glow-in-the-Dark thread and other stuff!


Saturday 27 October 2012

Keeping the Postman Busy

That's what's been going on round here lately!  As well as RRs flying around and a lovely giveaway prize (which I haven't photographed yet) there were the Birthdays.

I stitched two cards for two lovely Birthday bloggers.  The first one went to Chiara the Grey Tail (actually the grey tail is her cat!) in Italy.  The card grew wings and flew there in only two days.

When Chiara saw my card for Kell, "We're not old, we're Retro" she laughed and commented that "my best friends says we won't get old, we'll get vintage.. ;)"  Strangely enough I'd been planning that as my next card so I offered to send it to Chiara for her birthday "providing it's not in the next ten days as it won't get there in time".  Turns out Chiara's birthday was actually twelve days later!!  But she didn't mind me being fashionably late.

I stitched this in my usual backstitch and felt pens technique.  But this time I did the backstitch, then the background colouring, then stitched the floral motifs in the letters.  It makes a nice 3D effect.  The lace ribbon is a sticker which came with a box intended for my Toddler Group craft table but I decided it was too nice delicate for 2 year olds and kept it!

The second card is the next one in the WOCS Flower of the Year series, October Marigold.  This went to the hilarious Shirlee the Easily Influenced Stitcher.  Shirlee is in my Top Two Funniest Bloggers list along with Stewie from the Spinster Stitcher.  I won't say who is Numero Uno as the other might be offended LOL.

I've nabbed Shirlee's photo because mine came out blurry (camera on the wrong setting?).

I made another new Hallowe'en start this week, Just Nan Frightful.

This is stitched on 28count lilac Britney evenweave using the recommended DMC except for the black.  I thought I'd try the Sullivans using 2 over 2.  It covers quite nicely in the border and didn't knot as much as using 1 over 1.  But when I stitched the bat motif it was no better than DMC for coverage so it'll be three strands for the motifs then.

I must share the new blog Faith Hope and Charity I found today while looking at another new blog (Hello Sewphie!).  This is not a pure stitching blog  but she does do craft, she also does sarcasm and satire on a grand scale!  Check out this linked post about Hallowe'en fancy dress then go to the Ebay tab.  I challenge you not to laugh out loud and fall off your chair!

Finally, the Hallowe'en Blog Hops sign up is closed, I'm emailing the participants next then you'll have to wait until the 31st to join in with the Mystery Phrase Blog Hop Hunt.

Tuesday 23 October 2012


That's International Hermit and Stitch Weekend or as Kate calls it, NDSW - Numb Derriere Syndrome Weekend

Here's what gave me a numb bum this weekend.  First of all Cat's lovely Four Seasons Round Robin.  She stitched four boxes with a central diagonal band across each then we could choose a section to complete.  I chose Autumn because I'm an Autumn baby and I loved the colours.

What I did not love is the frog that hid under the leaves!  I really like satin stitch as a rule but this was a PITA.  First of all I stitched one segment using the charted 3 strands.  That was lumpy, bumpy and not smooth.  So I frogged it.  Then I used 2 strands which was smooth and lovely to behold.  Until I'd stitched all five segments and found they didn't reach the top.  When I looked again and counted and double checked I realised that  you need seven stitches to cover six threads on the fabric, the seventh stitch being the outside edge of the block (make sense?).  So out it all came again!  I re-stitched and now it looks lovely again.

The frog has been unceremoniously dumped outside the back door before I mailed the parcel to Sophia a day early.  This is worth noting as this RR has been dogged by delays, both postal and personal to the contributors!

Next up was my day time project, the cutest little thing you ever saw:

Yes, it's Glow-in-the-Dark Ghostie Kitty!  Stitched with Kreinik Glow-in-the-Dark thread.  I tried to get the much cheaper DMC version but it was sold out.  What a surprise, why didn't I think of buying it not in October?  ps do you know how hard it is to photograph in darkness?  Answer - very, then you have to photoshop to see the pic at all!

Here is Kitty in the light:

I stitched Ghostie Kitty for my son because I'd already stitched these two for someone else and didn't want to stitch a third one.

Aren't they just amazing?  They have glow-in-the-dark eyes too.

Carolyn has charted them from another person's little animation thingies and she's done a great job.  Here's a link to her blog, the previous Freaky Freebie post gave the link to her Deviant Art page where you can also find the charts.

Finally, there's still time to sign up for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop.  Click on the tab at the top that says "Hallowe'en Blog Hop" not surprisingly!  Sign-ups close this Friday.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Hallowe'en Freaky Freebie Links

Click pic to join blog hop

For those of you still deciding whether to join us for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop here's a list of freebie designs I love!

Bits of Floss blog - Hallowe'en Biscornu and Surfing Witch - 74 different Hallowe'en designs, love the Barbara Ana ones

It's Daffycat - Frightful Cat

Gazette 94 - Pumpkin in witch's hat plus other Hallowe'en/Autumn

Les Grilles de Maryse - Hallowe'en House

Jaunty Fox - Fence Cat

Joie de Vivre blog - Froth and Bubble

Kit & Bixby - Hallowe'en House (I know you shouldn't link to the pdf but I can't find the link anywhere, everyone is linking to the pdf!!)

La Comtesse de le Point de Croix - several Hallowe'en designs

Lizzie*Kate - Spooky Time

Passione Ricamo - several designs

Primitive Hare - Kitchen is the Witch's Lab

Ravenelle Blog - Autumn House

San Man - Quaker 31

Silver Cute Dwarf - Cat and Spooky Tree, Widey-eyed Cat and Pumpkin

Stickeule Blog - Lots of Hallowe'en and Autumn designs

Sullivans - Best Witches and Witch Hat

and finally, the cutest of them all Carand 88

all from Hyraea

Monday 15 October 2012

TUSAL and Theme-a-licious October updates

First of all, the TUSAL shot:

Posing here with my three-pages-a-week calendar and my latest WIP.  Several people have named it now, it is Prairie Moon Thine is the Trick and the Treat.  I'm stitching on some hand-dyed 40count Newcastle linen the lovely Karen sent me.  It's an enjoyable stitch because there's a variety of techniques, from the solid black of the shapes, the repetitive borders and the more interesting letters.  I can switch from one to the others as I get bored of one type of stitching.

Several people have admired the calendar each time I've featured it.  It came from a mail order firm called RU Craft and has three charts a week usually on the same theme.  Currently Autumn!  I haven't seen one for 2013 yet although they are advertising Quilting and Knitting versions.

Next is Theme-a-licous:

Obligation October

"Wow, the holidays are only a couple months away! Avoid that last-minute crunch and work on some gifts now"  I decided to go for pieces I am obliged to work on due to mailing dates; cards and round robins. 

I finished one Round Robin this month and have two more to stitch on.  Here's my leaf for Stephanie's Fairies in the Garden piece:

I have also stitched two Birthday cards for October ladies which I can't show because they haven't received them yet.  So instead, I'll show another Birthday card I stitched way back in August for a lovely blogging friend you all know.  Unfortunately the card seems to be flying south very slowly and it hasn't arrived
:-(  I gave it a good 6 weeks and emailed it instead.  We are both keeping our fingers crossed it will arrive one day, maybe in time for Christmas!

I'm still looking for a November Birthday to stitch the November flower for if there's anyone out there celebrating next month?

Finally, don't forget my Hallowe'en Blog Hop.  Click on the Primitive Needle pic below for more information.

Saturday 13 October 2012

Stitching up a Hallowe'en Storm

Lots of finishes added to my special finishes blog this week.  If you just like to drool over lots of pics and little chat then pop over and Come Happy Dance with Me.

And for those you like alot of chat, here are the latest two plus a mystery WIP.

First up is the completed Spooky Hallowe'en from Puntini Puntini (sadly no longer available).  I love this design and you can finally see the part that made me fall in love with it - the little witchy boots!

I stitched this over 1 on 28 count Burnt Orange evenweave (jazlyn or jobelan) using Sullivans black and GAST Harvest Moon.  It took exactly a fortnight!  There are so many cute details besides the little boots - the owl eyes, the spider and it's web.  I'm going to finish it tomorrow, maybe as a flat ornie using the bat fabric Sarah sent me and adding a Hallowe'en charm.

Next up is a very quick finish from JCS Hallowe'en Special 2012, the JBW Cat:

We had a very intense and long-awaited-for 90 minute paediatrician's appointment on Thursday and I was so drained afterwards I needed to chill out so I started and finished this little cat in one afternoon flat!

Stitched on the same 28 count again over 1.  I changed the "meow" to 2012.  I know this was in the Hallowe'en issue but TBH it would be lovely for any season, in green and red for Christmas, pink for Valentine's etc.  So don't be surprised to see him again!

Here's the WIP, any ideas now?  Giovanna knows because she has it in her stash and Evalina knows because she's stitching it too!

Stitched using 2 strands of 310 over 2 on 40 count linen.  Nice dense finish!

Finally, I really need some more people for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop on the 31st or the mystery phrase will be "Boo" and not much of a hop!  If you're concerned about your ability to post on the 31st because you'll be out on your broomstick then remember you can schedule a post to be published anytime.  Just ask how!

Click on the picture below to see how to sign up and what you have to do (post a picture basically!).

Sunday 7 October 2012

This is why I Stalk my Postman...

He brings me such lovely goodies!

The first parcel came from the Mouse House as a belated Birthday present.  TBH Mouse can be as belated as she likes if this is the result!

It took me several attempts to get a decent photo as the purple fabric kept coming out as blue.  It was the Purple Parcel of Peril, not the Blue Bundle of Bliss!  The fabrics are all hand-dyed and the bottom one is particularly lovely and fairy-like.  I have a fairy planned but not until the New Year I fear.

The next parcel was "payment" for two magazines I sent to a stitcher on FB.  She was asking about the three City Ladies by Joan Elliott.  I bought all three mags intending to send them to the first person who wanted them, so I said "make me an offer".  Here's what she sent me:

The pinky/green hand-dyed fabric is Polstitches and smells like Angel Cake!  There's also some 28 count cream linen and the Zweigart (18count I think).  The threads are amazing, they are very silky and slippery but the colours are unbelievable.  The 2nd from right is a black/grey/white variegated.  I'm using all my thinking power to decided what to stitch with it.  I'm leaning towards an Ink Circles design, maybe on red fabric?

Finally I won Sarah Crafty Moo's Giveaway.  Frankly I was destined to win this as the draw date was my Birthday!  Like Nic's draw last year when I won LHN HOAN.  Anyone planning a giveaway next September?  Save the effort and just send the prize to me LOL.

This is the Hallowe'en selection of fabric, threads, ribbon and a chart.  That middle thread is purple not blue.

Plus this amazing fabric!

This is the "Rest of the Year" selection; Alessandra Adelaide Christmas Tree, L*K Spring and Summer (plus Peace Love & a Cure for October), Christmas backing fabric and some gorgeous Silkweavers hand-dyed in  Spring-like colours.

There seems to be a conspiracy going on between Mouse and Sarah to get me to make some ornies as both sent me such lovely backing fabrics.  Although I cannot bear the thought of cutting into the Haunted House fabric at all.  I'll just have to make a mega cushion out of it!!

Time for some stitching pics.  I finally finished Stephanie's Joan Elliott Round Robin, only 4 days late which was the exact number of evenings I lost due to the Small Boy's erratic sleeping patterns.  Stephanie took the design Fairies in the Garden and recharted it into several leaf shaped extracts which we could all choose from.  I'm the penultimate stitcher on this one so it's looking really amazing!  Here's my leaf:

And here's the whole design:

I chose the turquoise pixie because he looks like the Small Boy examining a flower or leaf in our garden. One of his cuter habits is returning fallen leaves to the bush they came from!

As I finished this RR before the Band Sampler had arrived I decided to make a new start for Hallowe'en.  Can you guess what it is?

I'm stitching it on the 40 count linen Karen sent me because her eyes are even worse than mine!  It's more orange in real life.  I'm using 2 strands of DMC 310 which covers nicely but is a little tricky on the denser areas.

Finally, I will be hosting a Hallowe'en blog hop on the 31st October.  It'll be similar to the Easter Treasure Hunt with people signing up to post a picture and a letter on the 31st and also a chance for people to just try find the mystery phrase on the day if they can't commit to posting a picture.  Obviously the picture must be stitched and Hallowe'en themed.  If you're interested in signing up to post a picture please drop me an email and I'll add you to my list.