Monday 30 September 2013

Theme-a-licious Looking Backward and Forward IX

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 was the theme for September:

Sampler September

Whether you're stitching the alphabet over and over (and over), starting your own band (sampler), or marking some spots, this is your month!

This most definitely was my month!  I love samplers.  First of all I stitched the September Alphabet Kitty in autumnal colours:

Then I spent the majority of the month stitching a new start, Just Nan's Autumn Typography:

This is stitched on 32 count Tobacco linen using a DMC conversion from the charted GAST.  I also changed the squirrels to red squirrels and stitched them over 1 to match the crows.  And I substituted the word Awesome for one of the Autumns, just because Autumn is Awesome!  The picture below is actually a better representation of the fabric colour but the threads are better on the top photo!

I then felt in the mood for Trick and Treat by Prairie Moon.  I only intended to stitch for a couple of evenings while I waited for the Mirabilia chart to arrive.  But I ended up doing a full fortnight I just loved it so much!  here is how it looked prior to this month:

And here it is now:

See what you can achieve when you OAAT?  I have stitched the whole height of the piece now.

During the day I have been stitching two challenge pieces; one is a secret for Anna the Stitch Bitch and the other is for the Needlecraft Haven.  I hope to have them both finished soon.

And onto the next month which is

Opulent October
It's time to don your tiaras and bring the bling! Stitch on projects with sparkly fibers, beads or charms.

The Mirabilia RR definitely comes into that category.  Not really sure what else does though.  Neither of the challenge pieces have bling, or any of the ornies I have lined up.  So maybe it will just be Mirabilia Month!

Finally I'm starting to think about next year's targets and challenges.  My "14 in '14" mainly.  Should I add the monthly challenges into that?  I chose smaller projects this year hoping to finish a few more but once again Round Robins and other obligation stitching took up more time than I'd allowed for.  Oh well, most of the fun is in making the list not working through it LOL.

Sunday 29 September 2013

Happy Birthday Karen!

I was going to do this post tomorrow which is Karen's actual Birthday.  But since she has already opened her gift and posted it all over Facebook, I'll do it today so you can all go wish her a Very Happy Birthday for the 30th.

A long while ago when we were planning the first Joan Elliott Round Robin, Karen mentioned that Joan's designs often had lovely feet.  We joked that we should do a Foot Fetish Round Robin!

This made me play around with the idea of stitching some of the hands as a collage.  When the second Joan RR started up this year I felt I did not have the time to join in as I was already committed to the Large Mirabilia RR as well as finishing the Band Sampler RR.

Karen was so disappointed not to be stitching with me again we decided to do a small Birthday card exchange of one of Joan's designs.  Our Birthdays are only a couple of weeks apart.  This was when the idea of resurrecting my Hands collage came to my mind.  I decided on the Four Seasons as being the designs which went together the best.  The piece needed to work as a whole composition not just four random hands on a piece of fabric.

I spent some time with pencil and paper then started stitching.  The fabric is a piece of 28 count from a Crafty Kitten grab bag.  Here is the final design:

And here are some close-ups:





I attempted to make a flat-fold but it was a disaster!!  So I simply mounted the design on a piece of scrapbooking paper and sent it to Karen to frame as a picture.  Now despite saying "just a card" Karen had put some lovely goodies into my package so I had to reciprocate!!

Here is the package she sent me:

plus a lovely stitching project bag.

Finally, I got my copy of Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Special yesterday.  Love the Dragon Dreams design this year.  One of my targets for next year is to stitch a Dragon Dreams design each month.  The Large Boy does the most perfect impression of this little wide-eyed dragonlet!!

Wednesday 25 September 2013

Ornament SAL September 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.

Here is my little Autumn Leaves Alphabet Kitty for September, complete with acorn pin courtesy of Shirlee:

And here is a Little Dragonlet Dancing for Number 9:

I have realised that I haven't stitched the red 9 yet but I was rushing to go out this afternoon and thought I'd finished!

I haven't yet stitched a Hallowe'en ornie although I did chose one which is a start!!  I have also just started the Needlework Haven Challenge piece today too.  Most of this month has been taken up with a lovely Autumn Typography.

Talking of which, I had a little fun competition when I showed my finish.   What was the change I made? (apart from the squirrels I told you about).  Not the easiest thing to spot but four of you did notice it.  It wasn't the charm (that was included) or the beads (they were included too).  Look closely at this photo and see if you can tell now:

Do you see it now?  The vertical word in the middle of the photo says "Awesome" instead of "Autumn".

I allocated playing cards to each of the four eagle-eyed spotters and the Large Boy picked a card.  Congratulations to

If you send me your address there will be a little something in the post sometime.  I am hideously behind with my mailing which I do intend to catch up with very soon.  Or you will all get caught up in the Christmas post!! 

Finally I'm starting to think about the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop so you should be too.  For newbies, here is the link to last year's Hop so you can see how it all works.  I'll do a sign up post very soon.  I just wanted everyone to be on the look out for suitable designs.

Saturday 21 September 2013

Birthday Review

Thank you all so much for the Birthday wishes, some on here, some on the Scarlet Letter, some on Facebook and even some in the traditional method of putting pen to paper and sending a card!  Whatever method you chose I really appreciated the wishes.

I thought I'd show some prezzie photos to show the kindness and generosity of my fellow stitchers.

This little collection came from the Mouse House and includes some goodies from the Harrogate show  and some Hot Chocolate to consume while reading Tales of a Stitching Mouse.  The fabric is a Sparklies FOM limited edition.  Hard to decide which is more yummy, the chocolate or the fabric and threads!

This parcel is from Shirlee, The Easily Influenced Stitcher.  Back in August she displayed a lovely pillow finish for the January Word Play she had stitched earlier in the year.  The ever-gracious Shirlee said:
"I'd rather have my blood sucked out by leeches,
Shove an ice pick under a toenail or two.
I'd rather clean all the bathrooms
in Grand Central Station with my tongue..."
Than spend one more minute ever stitching another WTN&T Word Play design again!"
So she offered it as a giveaway to one of her masochistic followers!!  Just to prove she does actually like me she also sent a lovely Just Nan chart, hoping it was not one of the many I already had.  She chose well!

Another Just Nan gift, this time from Sharon Shebafudge.  She saw that I'd finished my Autumn Typography and wanted to stitch the whole set, so just to help me on the way she sent me Winter.  Plus the only GAST used in this design.  We both noticed that Nan had used many different GAST for Autumn (which I converted to DMC) but this follow-up uses only one and DMC for the rest.  Do you think she got alot of complaints about the cost?

This is stash chosen by me and bought with my Birthday money.  There is a Mirabilia lurking at the back which I won't show because it's for Rachel's Round Robin and I want you all to play "Guess the Mira" along with her as I stitch it!  The Firewing is from my son and will probably be for him too.  The JBW features the kitten I already have plus the Mummy cat.  I plan to stitch the Mummy cat as a header for my alphabet kitties then do a giveaway for the chart.  Words just cannot describe the CD.  American stitchers will probably not understand just how exciting it is to be confronted with a 250 page document containing the Contents pages of ten years worth of a magazine which is hard to obtain here! 250 pages to browse before I even opened a magazine!!  Every Christmas ornie for the last ten years!!  I was quite breathless with excitement!!

Last year I instigated the first Joan Elliott RR with a lovely group of stitchers on the Yuku Board.  It was such a success they decided to do another.  However I already had the Large Mira RR and a Band Sampler so I declined.  Karen Stitchy Woman was so upset to be only stitching with me on two RRs we decided on a Birthday card exchange on a JE theme.  Note - a Birthday card.  Apparently this is what passes as only a Birthday card for some people, an entire parcel of goodies!!

A chart, a stitched bookmark, some fabric, a hand-made card, smelly soaps.

Plus this lovely hand-made project bag:

Here is a close-up of the bookmark.  Karen wracked her brains thinking of what to stitch and remembered how much I love dragons.  This one is from the Oriental Odyssey book by Joan Elliott which I don't actually have in my collection so there's no chance I could stitch it for myself.

 And here is the chart.  I have wanted this limited edition chart ever since I first learned of its existence.  Earlier this year I learned that a shop in America had acquired a number of the chart and were selling them (like hotcakes it has to be said!).  I mentioned it to Karen and asked if she would be able to try to get one for me.

I knew it was rare and limited so I wasn't surprised to see it had a number, but just look at what is under the number (9/1000 incidentally)
Yes, it is the signature of the actual Teresa Wentzler herself!!  Stitching Royalty!!

I really hope Karen wore those silk gloves they have in museums when they are handling rare and precious artefacts...

Oh yes, there was one more present, from Nicola.  But as I'm doing the extra draw she organised for my Birthday this month I'll leave the photos of that until I post on the Scarlet Letter Blog.

Finally, there has been stitching going on.  Notably on Trick and Treat and also a Challenge piece for Anna the Stitch Bitch's bi-annual challenge.  But I'm not sure of the rules about sharing photos before the competition so I won't until I hear from Anna.

Thursday 19 September 2013

September WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi of Measi's Musings.

The main focus of my WIPocalypse this year is my "13 in '13" a list of 13 projects I want to complete in 2013, click on top tab for the list.  And I am pleased to announce I actually stitched on one of them this month!!

Here is Prairie Moon's Thine is the Trick and the Treat:

That is two days' progress.

And here is the whole thing so far:

I have now reached the bottom right corner so you can see the full height of the piece.  I'm stitching over 2 on 40count linen using DMC 310.  Because I'm using two strands I'm getting great coverage but I'm missing off all the quarter stitches.  They just look lumpy.

I was able to pick this one up again because I finished Just Nan's Autumn Typography!  Happy Dance time!!  Here are some photos:

Close-up of the over 1 animals:

 And the moon in the corner:

And one with a flash to show the fabric colour better:

So, time for a little competition.  I made a couple of changes, most notably making the squirrels red and stitching them over 1 having recharted them myself.  And I changed one of the pumpkin's colours too.  But there is one larger change I made.  Can anyone spot what it is?
Clue - it's not a colour change and you don't need to look at the original design to be able to guess at my personalisation.

I'll make comments so they have to be approved before posting and do a little draw next Thursday if anyone gets it right.

I celebrated my Birthday this week and received some lovely cards and presents from family and friends alike.  I'll save the photos for the next blog post but here is a picture of my cards all hung from the ceiling beams as it's the only place the Small Boy can't reach them!

Finally, you may have spotted that I don't post photos of myself or the boys on this blog.  It's open to the world at large and I choose not too share our family photos.  But here is what I would look like if I were a Lego Mini-figure, as created by my brother as my Birthday card:

Those of you that have seen photos of me will be able to confirm it is a very good likeness.  Apart from the pleated skirt.  I don't think I've ever worn a pleated skirt!

Sunday 15 September 2013

Theme-a-licious September 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 September:
Sampler September
Whether you're stitching the alphabet over and over (and over), starting your own band (sampler), or marking some spots, this is your month!

This is a nice easy one for me, no shoe-horns required this month.  The first piece I finished was the September Alphabet Kitty:

Apart from Andie's Mirabilia RR the only other thing I've worked on this month so far is Just Nan's Autumn Typography.  This is so close to being finished, there is probably only one evening's work left.  So rather than spoil the finished result I thought I'd make a nice jigsaw for you all to do.

Simply print off, cut out and rearrange!!

 That was a rather short and sweet update so I thought I'd share some of my winnings with you.

The first to arrive was a giveaway from Drea Dear for her 6th Blogaversary.  Yes, 6th!  Appropriately enough she found my blog through the Theme-a-licious.  She has designed and stitched this lovely Irish Blessing sampler herself and even hand-dyed the fabric herself too:

The original draft of the sampler can be found here, you can see the changes she made!

Andrea also included a new chart she has designed and personalised with my name, plus the DMC threads to stitch it and this gorgeous piece of fabric she hand-dyed.  Apparently both pieces are dyed using leftover wine which is very different.  This one is a little bit more purple in real life, sort of a bruised plum colour.  I love it.

The next Giveaway was from Stitcher Anon to celebrate a Creative Crafting Blog Hop.  Gaynor offered a number of different prizes for the different crafts and I won the Cross Stitching prize!  This is her photo of the prize because I haven't taken one myself/

As well as these goodies I also received two of her brand new series of  "Little Maids in a Row".  The first two are Pretty in Pink and Boo-tiful in Black.  Ms Black is perfect for me!  Many years ago I attended a "Colouring Workshop" where they look at your skin tone, hair colour, eyes etc and decide what season you are.  I am a Winter which means one of the best colours for me is black.  My friends did laugh when they heard that.

Radient in Red and Graceful in Green are coming soon.  To keep up with all the new releases you need to look on the website Stitcher Anon or the FB page.

Finally Nicola and I are in discussions about the Scarlet Letter Year blogs.  Everyone wants them to continue, me most of all because I will never finish my sampler before 20th Feb 2014!  We've been talking about a Gallery after someone mentioned samplers they had stitched prior to the start of the blog.  It will also give us more time to interview some of the leading lights of the Reproduction Sampler World.  Here is the list so far if you want to learn more about these stitchers and most importantly of all - Is Nicola the only person that forgets her glasses are on the top of her head?!!

 (conducted by Nicola and edited by Deb)

Barbara Hutson
Margaret Chess
Ellen Chester
Carol Sims
Fran of C Street Samplers
Deb Thread Gatherer

Friday 13 September 2013

Sleepy September

Here is the piece that gives today's post its title, Andie's Mirabilia Round Robin with Dreamers as the theme:

And some close-ups so you can see the bling:

And one of the whole piece so far:

The top space is empty for Andie to stitch Sleeping Beauty, then it's followed by The Dreamer stitched by Orchid Julie and Sleeping Princess stitched by Karen Stitchy Woman and finally my Lilly of the Woods.

I posted this piece off to New Zealand last Friday expecting it to take a week-ten days to arrive.  I got an email from Andie on the Tuesday saying it was there!!  Less than 3 working days to cross the world!!  Amazing.

Also for September I had the JBW Alphabet Kitty for September:

The charm for this month is a lovely acorn pin I received from Shirlee some time ago.  The fabric is a tan 28 count evenweave and the thread is a Stef Francis variegated.  I was going for an Autumn Leaves effect.

And talking of Autumn, here is my latest progress on Just Nan's Autumn Typography:

Not too sure about that bright orange in the row of leaves under the large Autumn.  They look a little like Chinese words rather than leaves.  I'll see how it looks at the end.  I have a boring border to stitch and the squirrels plus another crow then it's all done.  I like it alot!

Finally, as more people move to Google Plus, I wonder if they are aware that their email does not necessarily follow them there.  I've had comments from people that used to have emails attached to their profile but now appear as "No-Reply".  So if you've moved recently and haven't had an email response from a comment you've left me then that is why.