Sunday 30 June 2013

Theme-a-licious Looking Backward and Forward VI

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!

Jumanji June 
Is it a jungle out there in your stash? Give some love to the projects with animals or birds.

This theme was a piece of cake!  Absolutely no shoe-horning required this month.

I started with the JB Alphabet Kitty for June in patriotic red, white and blue for our Queen's Official Birthday and Coronation Diamond Anniversary.  I also finished the May Kitty using the gingham the majority of people liked.  Here they both are:

I used a vintage cotton thread to sew up the little ornie.  I understand those wooden reels are quite sought after now.

Next animals are the Dragon and the Goose, not a lesser-known Fairy Tale but the sixth in the Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas series.

The third living creature is the fishies on my Hear the Sea Call sampler.  I sourced some little mother-of-pearl fishes from an Ebay shop, the shells came from some old trim in the craft box and the abalone type stones came from the local craft shop.  I framed it in a simple raw wood box frame. 

I decided to use this for my FB profile photo and to my surprise I got a comment from the designer Sue Donnelly of the Stitcher's Hideaway.  She was very interested to see my finish and told me she is putting the kit together very soon so you can all buy it for yourselves.  She also showed us a lovely Autumn design on orange fabric which would make a great companion piece.

In the evenings I've also been stitching a type of fish, a mermaid is a half-fish isn't she?  There was a very interesting chat on FB about mermaids and how they have little mer-babies.  Obviously they can breastfeed so presumably they have live young rather than lay fisheggs!!  Maybe they find them under sea-cabbages. Nora Corbett also told us she's had complaints in some States of America about the lack of clothing on her mermaids.  whatever next!

Anyway, my mermaid is Shimmering Mermaid for Karen's Round Robin.   She is beautiful with her lovely free-flowing hair.  Karen stitched the shells and seaweed first then specified which parts of the mermaids to stitch so they are not confined to boxes but float on the sea of her fabric.

And here is the full piece, only one block to go.  This is a Large Mirabilia RR, each block is 5,000 stitches rather than the usual 2,500 so we have been given longer to stitch each round and there are three groups of four stitchers.  Imagine if all of us were stitching on one piece each with 12 blocks!!  It would be massive and take about 3 years to come back to you!

In the past months I have also stitched an "anti-theme" piece and this month was no exception.  So what's the opposite of animals, living creatures?  Easy, undead creatures!  So here is Mummy Kitty once again:

Jubilee July
It's time to celebrate! What are you celebrating this year? Stitch on your holiday-related projects, OR find some WIPs you know you'll never finish and set them free . 

Not sure what format this will take.  I have some end-of-term present stitching to do, that's a holiday and a celebration.  Also a couple of birthday cards/presents to stitch.  And a wedding sampler.  I think that takes care of the theme for now.

Finally, it's July tomorrow so I'll be starting the Summer Blog Hop very soon.  One lucky participant will be receiving the first emailed postcard to show on their blog.  There's still plenty of time to join in, just click on the link to the top right to find out how.

Wednesday 26 June 2013

Ornament SAL June 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 Ornie SAL blog.

This month's Alphabet Kitty is a patriotic Union Jack kitty stitched on pale blue evenweave which will be backed with some Union Jack Ribbon and a nice Union Jack button as the charm.

Now the Thread Pickerz Heartz SAL is over I get my Sundays back for ornie finishing.  For some reason Sunday feels like a finishing day.

The Sixth Dragonlet is next up, featuring a rather startled goose who has somehow hatched a dragonlet as well as her little gosling:

This is stitched on the same green evenweave as the rest of the series, I used some DMC Light Effects thread for the eggshells.

For the Hallowe'en Ornie Sal, the theme was Mummies and Tombs so I adapted one of Carand88's kitties into Mummy Kitty:

Now, because you've seen all of those before I'd better show you something you haven't seen completed.  This is another FB exclusive, the Heartz SAL from Threadpickerz.  They released two hearts every Sunday for eight weeks.  I stitched them on 32 count plain white evenweave using a rainbow artificial silk from De Havilland threads which has been in my stash for over 15 years!  Just waiting for the perfect design.  I've framed the hearts in a simple raw wood box frame:

The first heart was charted as a solid heart to show off the variegated threads people were using.  I changed it to show our initials, mine, hubby's and the boys'.

Finally, the photos are coming in for my Summer Blog Hop.  All I need is a photo of something you've stitched on a Home theme.  Click on the "There's No Place Like Home" picture to the right of the blog for more details.  Once we get into July I will start sending the photos out to the participants.  The Blog Hop will run all Summer so don't worry if you've not signed up yet, there's plenty of time.

Sunday 23 June 2013

June 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.

The only one of the 13 I stitched this month was this design Hear the Sea Call from Stitcher's Hideaway:

The chart was a prize from Riona of Oubliette, the fabric is Summer Sky by Crafty Kitten and the hand-dyed thread is from Jodyri Designs, a new company I found through FB.  They have a monthly thread subscription.  You can pay for either 5 or 10 skeins a months and after 120 skeins you will own the whole collection.  Unless she keeps dyeing more colours in which case it's a lifetime subscription!

I would have finished it but I ordered some little mother-of-pearl fishes from an Ebay shop and they took a week to get here.  I am too used to SewandSo's next day delivery!

I could have finished it yesterday but instead I made a wedding dress and a top hat and tails for a very lucky couple.  Here they are:

My cousin is getting married in August and she posted a photo on FB recently of a chocolate Gruffalo and said how much she loved him.  The toys are sold in our bookshop so I bought them and made up the little outfits on Saturday after I discovered the girls would be popping in today to see us.  The bride's outfit is made from curtain fabric samples and the groom's is some nice black felt.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Gruffalo, he is a character from a children's book by Julia Donaldson and extremely popular with young children (and soon-to-be wed women too).  Here is the Gruffalo website.
For those of you who are familiar with the Gruffalo please ignore the fact that the Bride is actually The Gruffalo's Child.  There is no mention of a Mrs Gruffalo in the books, maybe she was eaten by the Big Bad Mouse?  No-one knows but Mr. Gruffalo does his best as a Lone Parent to bring up his little girl with a healthy respect for the danger of the Deep Dark Woods, which of course she ignores as in all the best stories.

Finally, don't forget the Summer Blog Hop on the theme of "There's No Place Like Home".  Just click on the picture on the top right of the blog for more details of how to join in.

Thursday 20 June 2013

If I said I'd stitched a Mummy Kitty what would you think of?

would it be anything like this?

This is for the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL blog June choice, mummies or tombs.  I couldnt find a design that really appealed to me so I adapted one of the kitties from Carand88 into Mummified Kitty.

I stitched him on 28 count black evenweave using threads from my scraps bag so I'm sorry I don't have DMC numbers for them.  I stitched the outline exactly as charted for Frankenkitty then stitched the grey lines in an elongated stitch one thread high, two threads wide then just filled in with two shades of cream.  I used two because I didn't have enough of either to stitch the whole kitty!

He'll be framed along with these two I stitched last year and probably Zombie Kitty in the other space:

Evening stitching has been focused on my mermaid for the Large Mira Round Robin.  I have very nearly finished all the plain stitching.  The metallic is next, then the backstitch and finally the bling:

I can't decide what the pale piece in the centre is, it looks like a wing but she's a mermaid!  Looking at this picture it seems more like a big bow.  You can see how much bling there is going to be by the amount of blank areas.

Finally, don't forget the Summer Blog Hop on the theme of "There's No Place Like Home".  Just click on the picture on the top right of the blog for more details of how to join in.

Saturday 15 June 2013

Theme-a-licious June 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 is the theme for June:

Jumanji June 
Is it a jungle out there in your stash? Give some love to the projects with animals or birds.

I've made a good start to this theme, first up is the JBW Alphabet kitty.  June's kitty is a patriotic red, white and blue kitty to celebrate the Queen's Official Birthday and also the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation.  The Queen's Diamond Jubilee was last year as she ascended to the throne in 1952 but it took a year to plan her coronation.

Kitty is stitched on some pale blue 28 count evenweave.  I drew an Union Jack pattern on graph paper using pencil then carefully inked in the letters in red, blue and yellow (so it would show up).  Then just stitched as usual.  The white isn't very clear and the alphabettiness isn't as obvious on this kitty but as part of the set it will look good.  I've just realised I haven't put June underneath him yet.  I have some Union Jack ribbon to back him with.

The second animal themed piece is the Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas.  Alongside our dragon we have a very puzzled Goose for Six Geese a'Laying.  Who is this little cuckoo in the goose's nest?  I used a DMC light effects thread for the egg to give it a nice eggshell sheen.

The Dragonlets are only available through Dragon Dreams' page on Facebook.

My third piece is only just started, the Hallowe'en SAL ornie so photos will have to wait.

Finally, the photos are coming in for my Summer Blog Hop.  All I need is a photo of something you've stitched on a Home theme.  Click on the "There's No Place Like Home" picture to the right of the blog for more details.

Monday 10 June 2013

Message for Meggie from Cross Stitch Cottage

I saw the post you made earlier about the giveaway but can't comment on it because you have set your comments so only Team Members can post on your blog.  You might be wondering why no one has commented lately...

You left a nice comment here earlier but you are a "no reply" blogger so I can't contact you that way either.

If you'd like some help, please drop me an email and I'll do my best!

Thank you!

Saturday 8 June 2013


It's TUSAL time again!  For those of you new to blogging, the TUSAL is a project run by Daffycat, click on the button on the right hand bar for more details.

This month is an outdoor TUSAL, Joan Elliott's Wizard posing with Brooke's Books June cake.  The plan is to stitch all 12 of those monthly cake designs.  I’ve managed two!

The postman was busy again last month and has delivered all four of the parcels I sent out for my Easter Treasure Hunt and Blogaversary Giveaways.  Here is the Prize Pile before they went out:

Each person got a stitched item, some cotton fabric, some ribbon, some buttons and some fruit tea bags to drink or use to hand dye fabric.  I put some chocolate in the pouches and a Pooh bear chart for Emma who likes Disney.  Here is each stitched item on its own:

Margaret Sherry Cat in a Teacup card (from Cross Stitch Crazy mag)

Margaret Sherry Mice in a Teacup card (from Cross Stitch Crazy mag)

Quaker Bunny mini bag from Palko-Lap Blog 

Quaker Bunny mini bag from Palko-Lap Blog

This week I have been focused on the Mirabilia Shimmering Mermaid for the Round Robin in the evenings. For myself I have been stitching the monthly Alphabet Kitty, the Dragon Dreams design and Joan's June Wizard.  Pictures saved for another day!

Finally I have launched the sign-ups for my Summer Blog Hop.  This year the theme is "There's No Place Like".  All I need from you is a stitched picture on the Home theme.  Click on the nice bright green Home design on the top right of the blog for full details.

Tuesday 4 June 2013

I Think We Need a Bigger Sampler

To celebrate my 400th Follower I showed a picture of my Millennium Sampler personalised with people I felt needed to be remembered for their contribution to life in the previous Millennium.  I decided to ask everyone who they would have included on their own version.  I was bowled over from the choices!  No-one had the top answer - me, but I guess my contribution to global happiness (ie this blog) only started in the 21st Century so was not eligible hahaha.

As promised, here is the full list of nominees plus links for those of you who'd like to learn more about them. There are certainly a few I had not heard of.  The English education system is quite neglectful of famous American civil rights activists.  Frankly we're not taught much beyond "You broke away from us and went downhill from there".

King Richard III - much maligned and misunderstood King of England
Diana, Princess of Wales - First wife of Prince Charles, keen charity promoter, Memorial Fund - now closed
Queen Alexandra - married to Edward VII, keen charity promoter, Alexandra Rose Day
Queen Elizabeth I - The Virgin Queen, reigned for 45 years, brought peace to England
Queen Elizabeth II - our current Queen, has reigned for over 60 years.

Harriet Tubman - African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War
Rosa Parks - African-American civil rights activist
Martin Luther King Jr - African-American civil rights activist
Elizabeth Cady StantonAmerican social activist, abolitionist, and women's rights movement
Caroline Chisholm - helped young women in colonial times with housing and jobs, thus saving them from destitution
Helen Keller -  American author, political activist, and lecturer. She was the first deafblind person to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree 

Sir Keith Park -  New Zealand soldier, First World War flying ace and Second World War Royal Air Force commander. 
Nancy Wake - "The Grey Mouse" - an New Zealand woman who bravely worked with the French resistance during WWII
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Lutheran theologian who died fighting the Nazi regime

Albert EinsteinGerman-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity
Ada Lovelace - English mathematician - see her day - Ada Lovelace Day
Nikola TeslaSerbian-American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist
Lady Mary Wortley Montagu - English Aristocrat and campaigner for inoculation against smallpox
Lord Ernest RutherfordZealand-born physicist and chemist, known as the father of nuclear physics
Isaac NewtonEnglish physicist and mathematician 
Jane GoodallBritish primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace
Alexander Graham Bell - Scottish scientist, inventor, engineer, credited with inventing the first practical telephone
John Logie BairdScottish engineer and inventor of the world's first practical, publicly demonstrated television system

Florence Nightingale - English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing
Fred Hollows - eye doctor who volunteered in 3rd world countries to save people's eyesight
Victor Chang  - pioneer heart surgeon who was tragically murdered in 1991
Frederick Banting - Canadian medical scientist, doctor, painter and Nobel laureate noted as the primary discoverer of insulin

JRR Tolkien -  English writer and poet, best known as the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
Barbara Walters - American broadcaster and journalist
Deanna Durbin - Canadian Singer and Actor
Margot Fonteyn - English Ballerina
Charles Dickens - Victorian English writer and social critic
Elvis Presley - American Singer and Actor
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa New Zealand/Māori soprano, her charitible foundation
Leonardo da Vinci -  Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. (etc etc etc)
Maria Callas - American-born Greek soprano
The Beatles - English rock band formed in Liverpool, in 1960
Edith HamiltonGerman-American educator and author 
Leo TolstoyRussian writer who primarily wrote novels and short stories.
Frédéric ChopinPolish composer and virtuoso pianist
Jane Austen - English Novelist 
Coco ChanelFrench fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand
Paulo CoelhoBrazilian lyricist and novelist
Mark Rothko - American painter of Latvian Jewish descent.

Captain CookBritish explorer, navigator, cartographer, and captain in the Royal Navy
Sir Edmund HillaryNew Zealand mountaineer, explorer and philanthropist
Neil ArmstrongAmerican astronaut and the first person to walk on the Moon.

George Washington -  First President of the United States
Thomas Jefferson - Third President of the United States
Dame Enid Lyons - the first Australian woman to sit in Parliament
John and Elizabeth Macarthur - early squatters who began the merino wool industry in Australia which helped create the nation's wealth in the 19th century
Betsy Ross - creator of the first American flag

Gary Hall, Jr.- swimmer and diabetic
Kris Freeman - cross-country skier and diabetic, see this story

Martin Luther - 16th Century German monk
Dalai Lama - the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, the 14th Dalai Lama is Tenzin Gyatso
Mother Teresa - Roman Catholic Nun and Nobel Peace Prize winner

And finally, two men who would not have made the short list at the turn of the century, most of us would not have heard of them back then, but without them it is highly unlikely you would be reading this today.  Shows how much the world can change in a decade: 

Steve Jobs American entrepreneur and inventor, best known as the co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Apple Inc
Tim Berners-Lee - British computer scientist, best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web.

Phew!!  I don't know about you but I'm exhausted and I did that list in two shifts!

So Finally, the part you've been waiting for; the winner of the 400 Followers Giveaway.  Drum Roll.

The winner is - 

Sir Frederick Banting
Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRS, FRSC was a Canadian medical scientist, doctor, painter and Nobel laureate noted as the primary discoverer of insulin. In 1923 Banting and John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Unfortunately Sir Frederick could not be with us this evening so I'd like to ask Shebafudge to step forward and receive the prize on his behalf.  Sharon had a personal reason for choosing Sir Frederick, without his discovery of insulin her daughter would not be with us today.  Congratulations to Sharon, a little something will be in the mail to you some time this year!

Finally, finally, a huge Thank You to everyone who left a comment and nominated a person/persons for inclusion on our sampler.  I had a great time finding out all about the different people and I hope you did too.  Next week, there will be a short exam on what you have learned this week.

Sunday 2 June 2013

There's No Place Like Home..

Home is where the Heart is, Home Sweet Home etc.

There are so many Home-themed mottoes and they are the theme for this year's Summer Blog Hop.  Hurray!

Last year I asked for holiday postcard stitched pictures to be sent via me to various bloggers.  See the full list and links here.  This year we're having a "staycation" and I would like you to send me a photo of something you've stitched on the Home theme.  It can be a piece you already have in your collection or one you stitch especially for the blog hop.

It could be a traditional sampler, it could be a country cottage you'd love to live in, it might be a Michael Powell house that he is so well-known for.  Or maybe a view of your home town or something from your homeland, especially if they have a style of stitching associated with them.

Here are a couple of my home-themed stitches to give you some ideas:

Once you've chosen your piece just email it to me (my email is in my profile) along with a little message on the home-theme, maybe why you love your home or (if you're Shirlee) why you'd love to live anywhere other than the Devil's Playground.  Over the Summer I will send the pictures and messages to the other participants to display on their blog.  So keep your eyes open for your piece over the next three months.

You've got until the end of August to email me but please start sending them sooner if you have something already stitched.  Once I have a few I will start the Hop!!  Leave a comment if you think you'd like to join in so I can get a rough idea of numbers.

Finally I have decided to use Feedly for my blog following.  Anne recommended it as being very similar to Google Reader so I gave it a try.  The computer version is different to the iPad app version but both are very easy to use.  They work in tandem with Reader (while it exists) so if I read a blog in one it is marked as read in the other.  Useful for the changeover.  I just couldn't cope with the missing G from Bloglovin, not without an apostrophe at least!  I kept reading it as Blog Glove In.