Thursday 31 January 2013

Theme-a-licious Looking Back and Forward I

Theme-a-licious is hosted by Heather of It's Geek to Me
Each month Heather thinks up a theme for us to stitch to, or in my case, a theme to somehow shoe-horn my existing stitching into, no matter how tenuous the link!

This month it is

Jardin Janvier
The holidays were a little stressful...let's relax in a nice garden. Work on any piece with flowers or gardens.

Green Goddess was the main project for this theme.  Here she is at the start of the month:

And here she is now:

Not quite as much as I'd hoped but I've had a stinking cold and have gone to bed early all this week!  I'd hoped to complete both olive leaves at the bottom this month.

The other Jardin themed piece is my Joan Elliott Round Robin based on her Flower Fairies.  Here's another picture, this time taken during the day so the colours are a little better than the previous one.

Looking forward to next month:

Figural February
Who are the people in your neighbourhood...your WIP neighbourhood, that is? Give your people-populated projects some face time this month.

Lots of scope there!  I have the Large Mirabilia RR to start, I received Julie's piece "In the Arms of an Angel" last week and I'm really looking forward to stitching on this one.
Of course GG is a person, and the JE Diary February design is a chubby cherub so that count's too.

Talking of Julie, she has a new blog called the Red Couch Stitcher so pop over there and say "Hi from Jo"

Finally, the now obligatory mention of my Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop.  You really have no excuse for not knowing about this event!  Click on the Heart on my side bar for the post with all the details.  Open to all, the more the merrier.  Spread some Love!

Wednesday 30 January 2013

Ornament SAL January update

This is the Ornament SAL hosted by Stitching Lotus.

I have three different ornament challenges running this year, the JBW Alphabet Cat stitched in a different colour scheme each month and the Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas, a FB exclusive.

Here is January's cat in chilly blue and white with a snowflake charm:

And here is the First Day of Christmas, a Dragonlet in a Pear Tree:

And the Pumpkin Kitty from Silver Cute Dwarf for the Hallowe'en SAL:

I know you've seen those all before, but here's something you haven't:

I stitched an ornie for a dear friend of mine for her Birthday.  Last Christmas I saw this ornie chart on Leftsox blog and wanted to stitch it but didn't have any green evenweave.  Luckily Mouse had a piece and sent it to me.  I literally needed less than 3 inches square!  In return I promised to make her one.  Fast forward to a year later, "I really must make that ornie for Mouse" I thought.  "Good job it's her Birthday in January because it won't be done by Christmas."

I also stitched the little snowdrop card for her.  This was a cover kit from an old issue of Cross Stitcher and just right for a Winter Birthday. 

This is not really an ornament, not at all in fact but it is part of my monthly challenges so I'll include it on this post.  My progress on Joan Elliott's January design from the 2013 Diary.

All I've got left is the pale grey and white of the snow and the backstitch and she's finished.  These designs take a while to stitch as there's alot of detail so I've rethought my plans.  Originally I intended to stitch all 12 but I think I'll skip the three pixie themed ones as they're not really my taste.  That leaves 9 designs of approximately 3 weeks stitching time so 27 weeks, about half of each month's daytime stitching will be spent on these.  That leaves the rest of the month for the cats, the dragonlets, the NH challenge and any cards.  hmmmm.  we'll see!!

Finally, I've received a few pictures for my Valentine Blog Hop already.  You have until the 10th to email me your photo to confirm your sign-up.  Giovanna has been helping me find some lovely freebie Heart designs so I'll do a little round-up of those soon.  To read about how to join in, click on the Heart at the top of my right hand side-bar.  Blog Hop is open to all, old and new followers alike.

Monday 28 January 2013

Happy Dance for my Joan Elliott Round Robin

Way back in August 2011 I put a post up on the Yuku Board, "anyone interested in doing a Joan Elliott Round Robin in 2012?"

Several people were and seven of us made the committment and spend last year stitching away on our pieces.  You can see the round-up of the designs I stitched on everyone else's on this post here.

Now it's time to show my completed piece!  Mine took a little time to come back as one stitcher had a family illness to contend with so she was allowed extra stitching time.  I completed the centrepiece last night and added the title plus my name.

Here's the whole thing in all it's glory:

not the best photo but I'll try get a better one for my Happy Dance blog.
The fabric is actually pale green!

And close-ups of each block:

Poppy by Debbie

Rose by Michelle

Lily by Karen

Chysanthemum by Melva

Iris by Jacqui

Daffodil by Stephanie

My centrepiece

There is going to be a 2013 Joan Elliott RR, but I'm not taking part this year due to other stitching commitments.  So if you'd like to sign up then you'd better be quick about it!!

Finally, don't forget to sign up for the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop.  Click to heart to go to the sign-up post.

Saturday 26 January 2013

January WIPocalypse

Welcome to the first WIPocalypse post of the New Year courtesy of Measi's Musings.

Once again my WIPocalypse has three parts; my 13 in '13, the Monthly Challenges and the Theme-a-licious challenge.  As Theme-a-licious is due to be posted on the 31st I'll concentrate on Parts 1 and 2 for this post.

Part 1 - 13 in '13 (13 projects I'd like to finish in 2013)

  1. Papillon - Around the World in 80 Stitches
  2. Joan Elliott - Green Goddess
  3. Marie Suarez - My Lovely Sewing Tools
  4. Prairie Moon - Thine is the Trick and the Treat
  5. Nora Corbett Cottages - choose one out of three
  6. Lizzie*Kate Seasons - (from Sarah)
  7. With my Needle - April Word Play (from Jenny )
  8. Andree Langhorn - Fairy (fabric from Mouse)
  9. Stitchers' Hideaway - Hear the Sea Call (from Riona)
10. Snapdragon (from Lesley)
11. Beehive Needleworks - Sunflower and Acorns (from Linda)
12. Double Double (from Gracie)
13. A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc (from Kathy)

I've worked on one of them this month - Joan Elliott's Green Goddess and here is my progress picture:

I'm just stitching the plain DMC at the moment.  I'll go back and complete the Kreinik once that's all done.

Part 2 consists of my Monthly Challenges

Dragon Dreams - 12 Dragon Days of Christmas
JBW Cat from JCS - one a month in themed colours
Joan Elliott 2013 Diary SAL - 12 designs from the diary which came with WOCS magazine issue 198
Hallowe'en Ornie SAL - 12 different themes

Very successful here.  I have completed three out of the four and have made good progress on the Joan Elliott January picture.  Here are the three finished pieces:

Isn't Pumpkin Kitty super-adorable?  It's a freebie from Silver Cute Dwarf's blog.  It's actually quite big and wasn't an easy stitch, there are lots of vertical and horizontal stitches rather than 3/4 fractionals which made counting tricky.  There's alot of stitching hours in this one!

Finally, I'm taking sign-ups for the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop on Valentines Day.  Very simple - just email me a stitched picture suitable as a Valentine for a stitching friend and I'll do the rest!  You'll receive an email picture just before the 14th that you must post on your blog.  Then we all hop around to find out who got our picture!  Click on the heart below for more details and to sign up.

Thursday 24 January 2013

Needlecraft Haven 2012 Freebie Challenge Round Up

Regular followers will have seen the various projects I've stitched for the Needlecraft Haven Monthly Freebie Challenge.  Each month Christine chooses a different freebie for us to stitch by the end of the month.  we keep it secret until the Big Reveal Day on the last Sunday of each month.

I thought I'd do a little round-up of 2012 for you all to see.  There are 10 designs, as there were 2 months where Christine gave us a break to catch up!

January - Russian Doll 

March - Chez Elisa 

April - Sub Rosa Happy Day 

May - Patricks Woods Rabbit 

June - Marie-Therese Pansy 

July - Amnesty

August - Samplers and Santas 

September - Little Stitcher Guardians of the Sea 

October - Balades et Broderie 

November - Primitive Hare Xmas Time 

December - catch up month

If you'd like to come join us this year please do.  There's no pressure to stitch every month or even to finish in the month.  But it is a great way to stitch with friends and find some new freebies.  Christine has superb taste, I really love her choices each month.  Even the ones I've thought "hmmmm?" on first inspection I've loved once I got stitching.

Finally, don't forget to spread some Valentine Love, click on the Heart below to sign up for the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop.

Saturday 19 January 2013

Grow your Blog Party

Welcome to the Party!!

I'm Jo, your hostess for the day.  I comment as "Jo who can't think of a Clever Nickname" because when I started blogstalking I was very impressed by the neat nicknames people had but couldn't think of one for myself so I thought I'd make a virtue of my lack of imagination!

I started blogging nearly 2 years ago, for two main reasons.  One was that I didn't like "hijacking" other people's blogs and forum threads by going off on tangents triggering by random comments within the posts.  The other was that I really really wanted to join in with Daffycat's TUSAL!

So here I am, 2 years later with a great group of blogging friends and followers and loving every minute of it.  The name of the blog is explained in my header and comes from my love of words.  So many times things have just worked out perfectly (in my stitching life at least!) and I get such a buzz from that.

My two main stitching interests are Fantasy and Samplers.  You can see from the labels down my sidebar which designers I stitch the most.  Joan Elliott is up there with 29 posts!  So here is my latest Joan piece:

She's the January lady from the Diary which was the cover gift from World of Cross Stitching mag issue 198.  I'm in a FB SAL to stitch each of the designs this year.  Joan has joined us too!!  I'm stitching her on 28count evenweave with a silve sparkle woven into it.

Here's another FB project, Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas:

This is a Partridge (and a Dragonlet) in a Pear Tree.  Again the plan is to stitch one a month until next Christmas then I'll make them into some sort of apres-Christmas "advent" calendar for my son who loves dragons.

The final project to share with you is my evening project.  I always have 2 projects on the go, a small one for daytime and a larger more complex one for the evening once the boys are in bed.  At the moment it's my Mirabilia Round Robin.  The blocks are twice as large as the usual 50 x 50 so there are only 4 people per group and the posting date is Monday so I don't think I'll be finishing my block by then!

No prizes for guessing which design this is!!  The other three will be August, July and June's Birth Stone Fairies to accompany my September Fairy.

As well as stitching and blogging I do like to organise Blog Hops of my own.  the next one is the Secret Stitching Sweetheart, all details found in this post - Secret Stitching Sweetheart.  If you'd like to join in then leave me a comment, make sure your email is attached to your profile so I can contact you!  All the details for the other Blog Hops I do are found on the special page in my top tabs - blog-hops-throughout-year.  For most of them you need a blog but for Easter and Hallowe'en non-bloggers can enter the competitons too.

Finally, it wouldn't be a party without a party bag.  Sorry I can't give you all a balloon and a piece of cake but I can offer some nice presents, three cover gifts from the magazines I subscribe to:

Prize 1 - giant floral chart

Prize 2 - chart, aida, threads and a card to mount it in

 Prize 3 - booklet of  35 Rustic style charts

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post ONLY telling me which prize you would like.  
I'll choose the winners on the 1st February.

Bye for now, safe journey home!!  
Please call round again soon

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Theme-a-licious January Update

Theme-a-licious is hosted by Heather of It's Geek to Me
Each month Heather thinks up a theme for us to stitch to, or in my case, a theme to somehow shoe-horn my existing stitching into, no matter how tenuous the link!

This month it is

Jardin Janvier
The holidays were a little stressful...let's relax in a nice garden. Work on any piece with flowers or gardens.

So out of hibernation came Green Goddess!!  Embarrassingly I haven't stitched on her since last Jardin Janvier!  Here is the picture from that last update:

And here is today's photo for comparison:

And here is the second piece that fits into the Jar din theme, the first in the series from Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas, Partridge in a Pear Tree.  They are only available through their Facebook page.  This is tiny, only 2 by 1 inch stitched over 2.  I'm stitching the 12 designs one a month over this year as part of Silver Lotus's ornie challenge.  The Large Boy has requested they be finished individually so they can be added to our display board one at a time next Christmas.

So that's it for Jardin-ing.  In other news, I received a batch of threads from Kathy as payment for a magazine I sent her.  I now have every single plain DMC colour, even the ones added randomly in the middle of a run (777 bought last week).  So now I can stitch this:

Isn't it amazing?  To find out more click on Hardcore Stitch Corp blog.  I saw this on Mr. X-Stitch's blog and just loved it.

Finally it's less than a month to Valentine's Day so it must be time to launch the 
Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop
It's really very simple, all you have to do is email me a picture of something you have stitched which is suitable for a stitching friend on Valentine's Day.  It could be a heart, or a pair of cute creatures, or the word "love" or anything which warms your heart. Really anything you think a fellow stitcher would like to receive in her email Inbox.   It can be something you've stitched in the past or something you've made especially for this year.  It could also be quilted or sewn this year as I know some of my followers do other crafts too.

Send me the email by 10th February.

When I have all the emails I will randomise them and send one to each participant on 13th February.  Then on 14th February you must post the picture you receive onto your blog under the heading
 Secret Stitching Sweetheart. 
There will be a list on my blog of everyone joining in, so check out all the blogs and find out who got your picture and identify yourself  in their comments as their
Secret Stitching Sweetheart. 

Does that make sense to everyone?  I hope so!

If you'd like to be involved then leave a comment on this post, I'll be putting little reminders up from time to time and will email on 9th February to make sure you send the pic in time.