Wednesday, 29 April 2015

April Smalls and D.E.S.I.G.N. SALs

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL
The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather from Stitching Lotus

This year I am going to have two monthly challenges:

1. The Primitive Hare Hallowe'en Cubes SAL
2. The Hallowe'en Ornie SAL themed blog.

I skipped to the end of the word for this month's cube.  The reason being it would count as the ornie for the Hallowe'en Ornie blog featuring a tombstone - a twoferone is always good.

Stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

Because the Smalls Post was so early last month, I hadn't even started my Ornie for March so here they are now:

Gasper Ghost

Beulah Witch

Jockey Jack

Not one, but THREE Crowjackers by Just Nan.  I stitched them on the same 32 count lavender evenweave I used for the Moonriders last year.  The plan is to make them all into ornies for this Hallowe'en.  I wonder if that plan will come to fruition?

I also completed two other smalls which I started as part of the DUCJC this year.  They were Lizzie*Kate's Autumn and The Sweetheart Tree Tudor Rose:




The idea of this Blog Hop is to choose a different designer each month and do a post focusing on a piece of their work you have stitched on during the month.  The hosts of D.E.S.I.G.N ask us to answer a few questions on our chosen designer.

1. What designer are you talking about this month?

Isabella from Primitive Hare, another Italian designer.  I do seem drawn to the Italians this year!

2. Have you stitched a project by this designer before?

Yes, the first was this cute little freebie which Christine chose for the Needlecraft Haven Challenge back in 2012.  This was my introduction to Primitive Hare's designs:

DSC03463PrimHareXmasTime.jpg Primitive Hare Xmas Time
stitched over one on 28 count Platinum linen

The second piece was much larger and I stitched it over the course of a year doing one block per week to make this in time for the Hallowe'en Countdown:

You can see more photos of the entire design on my post Spooky Countdown.

And this year I am stitching the Hallowe'en Cubes, one per month:

They are all stitched on the same Vintage Grain linen, it's just the light when I photographed them!

3. Would you buy/stitch a design by this designer again?  Why/Why not?

Yes!  I have the Christmas Cubes in my stash and also Dear Santa.  When I have stitched both sets of cubes I will treat myself to the Love Cubes too.  Isabella does some lovely freebies on her blog.  There is a set of eight based on the Pagan Festivals which I'd like to stitch.  She also has two monthly SAL running at the moment - a Hallowe'en one and a Christmas one.  Strangely, I am more drawn to the Christmas one because it focuses on the traditional 12 Days of Christmas as celebrated in Europe (rather than the Partridge in a Pear Tree rhyme).  Stitch from Stash restrictions mean I will have to wait until my Birthday for that one though!


4. What made you choose this particular design/designer?

The subject matter is definitely a big attraction for me.  I love Hallowe'en (as you already know!) and I love the old traditions.  In particular I like the way the early Christians used these traditions to help spread the religion without alienating the populace.  In the 21st Century it is so interesting to see how we celebrate festivals with a mixture of the ancient and modern traditions, Pagan and Christian ideas joined together along with features from other cultures.

The current craze for Mindfulness is a good example of this.  It may seem like a Buddhist idea but it is also a key point in Pagan and Christian rituals.  I am fascinated by labyrinths and how they are used for meditation.  The most ancient labyrinths are thousands of years old but can also be found in many cathedrals (including my closest in Norwich).  Here is an interesting link on How to Meditate in a Labyrinth if you want to find out more.

Of course, needlework is a great way to meditate too.  Medieval ladies would often have someone reading aloud from the Bible as they stitched and now for me it is a chance to slow down and just let the thoughts come to me.  Isabella's designs are ideal for this as they use a simple palette of colours with just full stitches and minimal backstitch

5. Did you notice anything that distinguished this designer from others?

Isabella has a wide range of designs from Hallowe'en to Christmas, Fairy Tales to Classic Literature via Folklore and Traditions.  She uses predominantly blacks and greys with a splash of bright red or white.  While her Literature series is quite mainstream, her Fairytales are definitely not.  I love the way they show the darker side of the stories.  She also has her own fabric, 30 count Salem Linen available from her Etsy shop.  This is a very distressed and aged fabric perfect for her primitive style designs.  Then there are her thread keepers, solid wooden shapes (my witch is a good 7mm thick) with holes for you to tie your thread through.  And the Hornbooks!

I have this Ghost as well as the Witch!

Finally, here is my monthly Pie Chart, my time was spread more equally across several designs this month.


Dani - tkdchick said...

Wow you have been SUPER productive with smalls this last month! They all look fantastic! In recent months I've stitched quite a few of the Primitive Hare's Christmas freebies and I've really enjoyed them.

rosey175 said...

Those crow legs are like candy corn, how cute! Jockey Jack is my favorite of the bunch so far. :D

Witch tea thyme made me smile, that's a cute freebie. It's been fun learning about the different designers and adding more patterns to the unachievable Freebie Folder. :b

Daniela Bencúrová said...

It was a good month - many beautiful cross stitch!

Sarah in Stitches said...

Congrats on the beautiful finishes! Your house is going to look amazing this Halloween :D And thanks for the profile on Primitive Hare! So nice to learn about new designers.

Linda said...

Congrats on all the great finishes Jo. I haven't finish my small yet for today or worked on my challenge pieces. I have until midnight.


Michelle said...

Wow you have been busy my friend xx

Bea said...

Yep, you are definitely making me rethink Hallowe'en stitching. I'm REALLY liking these designs of yours - well done on your finishes. After all, I'm so short of themes I already like . . . .

Elle said...

I love your crowjackers and can't wait to see your next completed Primitive Hare Halloween cube. Thanks for the profile on Isabella - more charts for me to go off and investigate!

Barb said...

Thanks for all the information on that designer. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Love the Halloween finishes!

gominam said...

Your Just Nan finishes are so cute. Nice stash too:)

Marexstitch said...

Love all of your Halloween finishes. I was tempted to join the primitive hare's SAL but I have so many charts to stitch that I just could not rationalize it at this time. Love those Just Nan ornies too.

Pamela said...

Nice work!

Deb said...

Well done on your finushes! Very pretty stitching!

Anonymous said...

oh my, I haven't stitched on a Hallowe'en piece in such a long time! ARGH!
your Just Nan finishes are the sweetest, great job on TST too, that must be stunning in person!

Justine said...

What a great month's stitching! I love your Halloween designs.

Lili said...

Nice progress on the cubes SAL.
Lovely profile about The Primitive Hare.


Leonore Winterer said...

I love all your smalls finishes, and the DESIGN part as well :) Those Valentine's Cubes are really cute!

Mii Stitch said...

Love all your Halloween designs! I hope you can finish them all on time, your house would look fantastic with all these decorations :)

Christine said...

Great stitching Jo. I didn't realise Primitive Hare did fabric too, I'll have to check it out

Mrs Milkybar Kid said...

Love all your smalls finishes Jo, you have been productive! I love Isabella's designs too, especially her Fairy Tales series. I need to add the latest two to my collection, but think I need to start/finish Sleeping Beauty first............!

Giovanna said...

Oh wow, I hadn't realised you were this far on the Halloween Cubes! They're lovely. Must get my act together on them too. Love the JN ornies too.

jocondine said...

Primitive Hare designs are really smart. Love all your Halloween ornies. xxx ;)

Brigitte said...

I have just laughed out loud when resding the word on the tombstone. "Vacancy" on a tombstone, that's really a hoot. Nice finishes here.
I also have some of Isabella's designs in my stash, maybe I should start at least one of them.