Thursday 28 February 2013

Theme-a-licious Looking Back and Forward II

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

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

Unfortunately I did not stitch alot of figures this February.  I intended to stitch an angel for Julie's Mira RR but first I fell ill then I had a more urgent RR to stitch.

Just about the only thing that qualifies is the Joan Elliott 2013 Diary February design:

You can just see the little cherub starting to emerge.

This is the Birth Sampler I'm stitching for my friend's Grand-daughter:

I finished the bear yesterday and stitched the little creature at Preschool this morning.  There is going to be a tall thin rabbit holding the little bear soon.  Then some hearts and stars, maybe stitched, maybe buttons.

I settled down to stitch this morning and my friend admired my stitching.  Then she said "I'm now wondering if they're spelling it with two n's".  So I told her it was too late.  I asked if they'd registered the baby yet and she said they are doing it today.  So I suggested she ring them and say "You can only have one n because Jo's not frogging that backstitch for anyone"!  Anyway she checked on her phone and all the messages say one n so it's staying.

Here are the pictures from the Mamas and Papas website I'm using to chart the little characters:

Next month is - 

March Madness
Work on something different every's madness...of the funnest possible kind.

This really isn't me at all but I'll do my best!  This is how I did last year - March Madness 2012.  I managed to stitch on 12 different projects in March 2012.  Maybe I should aim for 13 this year?  Three ornies, one Needlecraft Haven, one Joan Elliott, two RRs, one Birth Sampler, one Easter thing - that's 9 already.
Right, that's the plan!  Thinking on my fingers here, I came up with that as I typed!

Finally the National Letter Writing Month went brilliantly!  I wrote a letter or postcard every posting date in February, 24 in total.  Once all the recipients have got their mail I'll do a little round-up.  It was great fun and not at all difficult.  I'm thinking of doing a weekly postcard from now on.  I have lots of stitchers' addresses in my little book I could start surprising people straight away!  Details to follow in the NLWM post!

Wednesday 27 February 2013

Ornament SAL February Update

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL
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, the Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas, a FB exclusive and the Hallowe'en SAL blog.

Here is my February cat, stitched on fruit tea dyed evenweave with a little heart charm added:

This is the Second Dragonlet ofChristmas with his two Turtle Doves, literally, little turtles with wings!

And for the Hallowe'en SAL I stitched Fence Cat, a freebie from Jaunty Fox Designs.  To save stitching the background I used my favourite orange jazlyn, 1 over 1 on 28 count.  The black is Anchor as I was experimenting trying to find a better covering black.  Anchor is no worse than DMC for coverage but not a whole lot better either!

Finally, I've been stitching Joan Elliott's February design for the 2013 Diary SAL but I'm saving that for tomorrow's Theme-a-licious update or there'll be nothing to see.  Yes, it's been a Theme-a-lessous month rather than Theme-a-licious (hahaha).

Tuesday 26 February 2013

Easter and Spring Freebie Links

Just to help you find the perfect chart for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop I have searched out some of my favourite Spring and Easter freebies:

Of course no list is complete without mentioning-

If you know of any more please send the link and I'll add them to the list.

To be part of the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop all you need to do is email me or leave a comment to sign up.  I'll allocate everyone a letter of the alphabet which will spell out the Mystery Phrase.  You must post a stitched picture on a Spring or Easter theme along with your letter on Easter Sunday.  I'll have a list of all the participants on my blog so everyone can hop around like a bunny and guess the Mystery Phrase.

Finally, I ought to show some stitching.  There is slow progress on the Celtic Band Sampler but the Birth Sampler is progressing well.  I'm pleased with my colour choices and here is a teddy bear head:

Monday 25 February 2013

February WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi of Measi's Musings.

The main focus of my WIPocalypse this year will be my "13 in '13" a list of 13 projects I want to complete in 2013, click on top tab for the list.

Unfortunately February has been the month of illness and obligation!  I stitched a couple of days of Green Goddess at the beginning of the month then intended to stitch Julie's Large Mira RR but caught a cold which resulted in 3 days of illness and 2 weeks of early stitch-free nights.  Then I stitched on my Scarlet Letter project because it's just outlining and relatively simple for a convalescent.

Then Sophia's Band Sampler arrived with only 1 week until posting date so I figured I ought to stitch that instead.

So all that and the only thing from my 13 is a couple of days on Joan Elliott's Green Goddess!  Here she is:

Finally, it's edging closer to Spring and Easter, so I've launched my Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  A few people have signed up already so we'll have a longer Mystery Phrase than "egg" at least!  All you have to do is post a picture with a Spring/Easter/Seasonal theme, no matter how tenuous, on Easter Sunday along with the letter of the alphabet I will allocate you after you've signed up.

I'm putting together a list of Spring and Easter freebies to help you along so there's no excuses!  Just email me or leave a comment if you're interested. 

Thursday 21 February 2013

Some New Starts

I think I have Startitis!  The first start this week was for the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog.  This is a Jaunty Fox freebie called Fence Cat.  Actually it's just a fence so far!!

Then my friend told me that her daughter-in-law had given birth and decided on the baby's name so I could start her Birth Sampler.  I downloaded the characters from the Nursery theme they are using and charted them and also found a nice font to convert to cross stitch for the name.  It's Slavic.  They are English and have no connection but liked the name and the meaning.  I liked the meaning too so I had to include it.  I think it's nice when a name has a special meaning.  Started stitching this week too.

 Then Sophia's Round Robin finally arrived!  She's designed a beautiful Celtic themed Rainbow for us to stitch.  I'm the last one so I have 2 shades of yellow.  This is one evening's stitching, it's really important to carefully count the first couple of pieces because if you make a mistake here and copy it through the whole thing goes to pot:

Not a start, but a progress picture on my Scarlet Letter Sampler for Nicola's Scarlet Letter Year Challenge. I'm stitching an English Transitional Sampler on 35count linen using AVAS for the first time.  I thought the coverage was lovely but the thread wasn't lasting very well.  Then I re-read the instructions - "on 35count use 2 strands" (so far so good) "of cotton".   oops.  Last sentence "use one strand of silk throughout".

Luckily this is all the outline for the band.  I've stitched those little circles in one strand to see how they look.  There will be other little circles in different colours then lots of satin stitch and stem stitch to fill in.

But I do have a finish to show you:

Another Red Letter, this time a freebie from this French website Broderie.  They offer 2 charts a week free then they can be purchased for 1Euro.  It's worth checking the site once a week to grab the freebies.  I have the whole alphabet, a lovely calendar and a set of 12 Zodiac Signs.  The N is stitched over 1 on 32 count evenweave.  I sent Nicola a little parcel of redness!  Various red things including some cute scissors and a JBW Monogram chart, all wrapped in some red fabric with a red ribbon.

Finally, I'll be hosting an Easter Treasure Hunt again this year.  For this Blog Hop you need to sign up and agree to post a Spring or Easter themed picture on your blog on Easter Sunday along with the letter of the alphabet I will give you.  The letters will spell out a seasonal phrase.  So if you'd like to be a Picture Poster then please leave a comment or email me if you're a "no-reply" person. 

Friday 15 February 2013

Theme-a-licous February Update

I hope you all enjoyed the Valentine's Day Blog Hop yesterday.  All the links now go direct to the relevant post on each blog so it's easy to find them in the future.

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:

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

I haven't yet started on my Mirabilia Round Robin figure, thanks to my cold but there's still 2 weeks to go.

I have been stitching on my Joan Elliot February Diary piece.  There will be a chubby cherub soon.  So far it's just a heart and some ribbons:

I'm not so keen on the lighter red in the heart.  It's too pink.  So that might be coming out and restitched.  The fabric is a piece of 28 count I dyed with fruit tea.  You can still smell it a little bit but it's starting to fade.

Here's Joan's January piece all mounted for my scrapbook:

And here's the Hallowe'en Kitty stitched for January's SAL piece, also mounted for my scrapbook:

It's quite hard to get Hallowe'en themed papers and embellishments in our craft shop, there was a choice of 2 basically!

I'm sure there's something else I wanted to blog about but I can't remember it!  Stitchitandie has finished her block on my Round Robin already so you can hop over to the Yuku Board to see it there.  She's stitched the August Peridot Fairy who looks amazing.

Finally, there's only 6 weeks to Easter and the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  I'll get some details and a sign up pic up soon but in the mean time be thinking of all the Spring/Easter/Happy things you have stitched or you could stitch to take part.  Twist the meaning as far as you can go!

Thursday 14 February 2013

Secret Stitching Sweethearts Revealed

Happy Valentine's Day to you all!  I hope that those of you in relationships got well treated today.

Over the last few weeks my email inbox had been receiving Hearts and Love in preparation for the Secret Stitching Sweetheart activity.  I have a lovely spreadsheet and each person has now been emailed a picture from a random participant.

At some point today they will post the picture they receive on their blog and wait for their Secret Stitching Sweetheart to reveal her identity by leaving a comment.

We were lucky enough to have 14 bloggers taking part again this year, a different 14 to last year but still perfect for February the 14th!  They are:

visit Vickie's blog first, read a few entries, then as you go round the other blogs try guess which is Vickie's Valentine!  I bet you can do it.

Then onto the others:

This is a "just-for-fun" Blog Hop, there are no prizes.  But the Easter one is fast approaching and there will be a prize (or prizes) for that one, so keep your eyes peeled for rules and sign-ups.

Stitching-wise I have finished two ornies but I'm saving them for a round-up post.  I've done a little on the Scarlet Letter sampler and I collected Joyous Noel from the framers:

The frame isn't as ornate as I'd have liked due to the lack of choice round here!  The carved frames only came in fixed dimensions and the proportions were wrong, too wide for the design.  As ever she made a great choice of mount (she chooses, I stand there and nod in agreement!) and a terrific job of stretching and framing.  The satin stitches had pulled the linen quite skewiff so it needed a good stretching.

Hubby has asked who this Noel fellow is and why we have his name up but I'm just not waiting another 10 months to display this piece of gorgeousness!  The chart came from Shirlee in the USA and is now going back to the States to Susan who admired it so much when I first showed the finished picture.

Finally, I seem to have finally shaken off the germs!  Thanks for all your good wishes.  I've been going to bed very early after about 30 minutes stitching and no blog-reading.  As a result I have 915 entries in my Reader!!!  Please forgive me if I do not read and comment on every single one.  
Your stitching is lovely, your finishing is so neat, your children/grandchildren adorable, your cats/dogs the cutest, sorry you've had ill health/bad luck, congratulations on that lovely thing that happened to you.  
Please copy and paste as appropriate to your post LOL.

ps this is my 200th post!!  Congratulations to me!

Sunday 10 February 2013

February TUSAL

Here is February's TUSAL.  Posing with my Scarlet Letter Sampler and my February page from my scrapbook.

There's alot of red in the ORTS this month.  I had an attack of the frogs on the Joan Elliott February Diary design, SL is all red and so is another piece I've been stitching and can't show yet.

The designs featured in the box frame as freebies from Barbara Ana and Happiness is Cross Stitching.   Giovanna has been helping me find some lovely links for Valentine's designs too.  Here are a selection of my favourites:

And of course we must never forget the Patron Saint of Free design - Gazette 94!

(there are 21 designs labelled Couer or Heart).

I do have more designs in my freebie folder but no time to add them all here today!  I'll try add the rest another day.

Finally I'm doing well with my National Letter Writing Month Challenge.  Here's the total so far:

Fri 1 - giveaway winner 1 - received
Sat 2 - giveaway winner 2 - sent
Mon 4 - giveaway winner 3 - sent
Tue 5 - book for friend - sent
Wed 6 - postcard - written
Thu 7 - postcard - written
Fri 8 - postcard - written
Sat 9 - postcard - written
Mon 11 - postcard - bought

Here's a photo of the five postcards together.  They'll be posted tomorrow after I've written the final one.  Then it's Thank You Letters for the Small Boy and then I start thinking about who else to write to!

who will be getting one of these?

Tuesday 5 February 2013

Winners, Commenters and a Little Stitching

First of all, thank you for the good wishes for my health.  I seem to have recovered from the cold part but ache all over and have been getting really early nights instead.  So no evening stitching!!!

As part of the Grow Your Blog Party I held a Giveaway for three different cover gifts from various magazines.  There were three winners chosen -

Kathy H (no blog)

I have all the addresses now so the charts will be in the post soon.  I also had a Secret Giveaway for my 3000th commenter.  I like to keep an eye on my comments and noticed that 3000 was looming.  The lucky person was Linda from Stitchin with my Furbabies for her comment on the January WIPocalypse post.  So there'll be a little something in the post to Linda too.

It's good to have some post to send out because I'm taking part in this -
All you have to do is write a letter every postal day of February (so not on Sundays) and mail it.  Respond to anyone who writes to you.  So I've started the month with four letters to the four winners.  Tomorrow I have to think of someone else to write to.  It's the Small Boy's Birthday at the weekend so that's next week taken up with Thank You letters.  A couple of Birthdays and a random trawl through my address book and I think I can do this challenge!  I saw this Challenge on Anna's Stitch Bitch blog where all the good ideas come from!

Stitching-wise I had one finish last week, the Joan Elliott January design from the 2013 Diary:

I already had this nice page for my scrapbook and bought some snowflake trim yesterday to finish it off.  I stitched this on 28 count sparkly evenweave over 2.  I used the recommended colours except for the robins' breasts.  There were a few little transcription errors made by the magazine and Joan herself has been helping put them right on the FB group.  They used the incorrect red and not enough of it for the robins!  I also changed the green in the trees to one strand rather than 2 like the rest of the design.

This is a January finish for the Needlecraft Haven Freebie Challenge.  Peace by Happiness is Cross Stitching blog.  I stitched it over 1 on the same 28 count sparkly evenweave.  It's framed using a Christmas card I kept for this purpose.  I keep lots of cards that look like frames because I like to horde, and sometimes they come in useful.

I also stitched the next JBW cat for February's ornie.  I dyed some fabric using fruit teas, 2 bags of blackcurrant tea make a lovely strong pink.  Here is the cat on the backing fabric I bought yesterday:

Finally, don't forget to send me your Secret Stitching Sweetheart photos before the 10th February (that's this Sunday!) if you want to join in with the Blog Hop.  Click on the Heart on the right hand sidebar for all the information.