Sunday 31 May 2015

May D.E.S.I.G.N. SAL


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?

Belinda from Blue Ribbon Designs.  This month I completed Owls by Moonlight from JCS magazine:

I stitched it on 32 count Twilight Blue linen and changed some of the thread colours.  I made the trees dark brown rather than black, I tweeded the owls and used a variegated DMC for the moon.

Here it is mounted ready to go into my scrapbook:

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

Yes, back in 2012 I stitched Woodsy Winter from the JCS Christmas Preview issue:

Stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue linen.

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

Definitely yes.  There are three co-ordinating designs to go with Woodsy Winter and also some Hallowe'en pieces all available in JCS magazines which I own already.  Then there are the designs for sale on her website.  I really like several of the Hallowe'en designs.  Does that surprise anyone?

This is Mischief at Midnight, a particular favourite:

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

I want to stitch all the series of ornies that she has done and this seemed like a good excuse to do one!

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

Belinda's designs are very simple with only full stitches, no fractionals or backstitch.  She does use variegated or hand-dyed threads but always provides a DMC conversion.  She has some lovely ornie sets on her website and also a number of samplers made up from several smaller motifs which could be restitched separately to make scissor fobs or ornies too.

One of the things I like about her website is that she includes details of all the magazines her designs have appeared in.  This is a great time-saver when you want to stitch a series like I do or you need to remember which magazine the design you loved was actually in.

As well as cross stitch, Belinda does a lot of quilting so my followers who are also quilters may be interested in that side of things too.

Oh yes, and there's a range of lace snowflakes too!  And some Hallowe'en themed lace bits as well.

And here is the Pie Chart for May:

Finally, I have launched the annual Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  The theme this year is Pets.  All you need to do is email me a photo of something you have stitched on this theme plus a little message about what pets mean to you.  Once I have a few I will start emailing them to the participants who will display them on their blogs.  The Blog Hop lasts all Summer so don't worry if you don't have anything suitable stitched yet.  I'm going to be finding some freebies online to inspire you.  Today I have been on a Bunny Hunt!  There are already links to Easter themed Bunnies on my freebie page but I found this Rabbit on Gazette 94's blog, more of a gardening rabbit than a pet.

Wednesday 27 May 2015

May Smalls SAL

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.

Here is my L block:

Stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

Everyone commented on what a jolly ghost he is when I first posted him.  Not at all spooky!

The theme for the Hallowe'en Ornie Blog for May is Pumpkins and here is my little Just Nan finish:

Poor Jack stitched on 32 count Lavender

I started another design with a pumpkin this week, this is a Blue Ribbon Design called Owls in Moonlight:

Stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue linen.

I don't have much left to do, the border and the big yellow moon.  Typically for a small, simple design I made two counting errors!  This involved some fudging of the right hand tree and the moon may have to be adjusted too.  Why can we do the most complex designs but make counting errors in the simple ones?  Anyway, no-one would know if we didn't mention it!

So that's it for Smalls this month.  Yesterday was Tuesday which is my Satsuma Street SAL with Linda and Kate.  Now, Linda has been complaining I am stitching too fast and concentrating on the one design instead of the 246 WIPs she has LOL.  So, in the interests of letting her catch up I have decided to continue with London - Pretty Mini London!  This was one of three Cityscapes in Cross Stitch Crazy Issue 202 designed to be stitched on black rather than white.  The black really makes the colours pop.  To be kind to myself, I am using 28 count rather than 32 count like the larger City.

So Linda and Kate - you have until I complete this Mini to catch up, haha.

Finally, I have launched the annual Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  The theme this year is Pets.  All you need to do is email me a photo of something you have stitched on this theme plus a little message about what pets mean to you.  Once I have a few I will start emailing them to the participants who will display them on their blogs.  The Blog Hop lasts all Summer so don't worry if you don't have anything suitable stitched yet.  I'm going to be finding some freebies online to inspire you.  Today I have been searching for dogs and puppies.  I found this great website of freebies.  She has five pages of dogs and lots of other animals too! 

Jessica Tromp - Dogs

Monday 25 May 2015

Bank Holiday Weekend Stitching

(Follow the link to find out more!)

It's been a three day weekend here in England and I've been at home with the boys while Hubby has been working hard in a field somewhere.  We've been watching films, doing quizzes on the internet and I've been stitching too.

The main focus for the weekend was the next block in the Primitive Hare Hallowe'en Cubes.  This is the second L:

Stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain Linen

I'm stitching one of these per month, but jumped to the end of the word for last month because it fitted in with the theme on the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL (tombstones).

Here's another Hallowe'en piece:

Stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue Linen

This is a Blue Ribbon Design called Owls in Moonlight from the October 2014 issue of Just Cross Stitch,  I am using the same blue linen I used for the Christmas design Woodsy Winter I stitched back in 2012.  There are four Christmas Woods designs and this Hallowe'en one.  I have enough blue linen to stitch them all on the same fabric.

Here is my progress on The Book of Spells by The Goode Huswife:

Stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer linen.

I've been working on the cat in the moon this week.  I have a great variegated DMC to fill the moon in too.  I'm using my own conversion for the DMC because the ones given don't always look like the cover photo.

I think most of you know the lovely enigmatic Chiara who blogs at The Grey Tail?  We were chatting via email this weekend and between us came up with the idea of an A-Z language challenge.  We batted some ideas around and are calling it the The Alphabet Club.  Chiara has the full details on that link but basically she will post a link-up post on the first Saturday of each month (Saturday being detention day in the film) starting with the letter A and we will all link up with A themed things, from stitching to designers and local customs.

"They only met online, but it changed their lives forever"

Finally, I have launched the annual Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  The theme this year is Pets.  All you need to do is email me a photo of something you have stitched on this theme plus a little message about what pets mean to you.  Once I have a few I will start emailing them to the participants who will display them on their blogs.  The Blog Hop lasts all Summer so don't worry if you don't have anything suitable stitched yet.  I'm going to be finding some freebies online to inspire you.  Starting with these monthly cats from Happiness is Cross Stitching:

Super Mom No Cape Monday Stitchery Link Party #7

Wednesday 20 May 2015

May Stitch from Stash

Month: May
Spent: £ 14.67
Earned: £ 0.00

Stitch From Stash 2015
Stitch from Stash is hosted by Mel from Epic Stitching

Essentially the idea behind Stitch from Stash is that we are limited to spending US$25 (or £15) per month. There are various exemptions (Birthday money, existing mag subs, clubs etc) but the idea is not to try and pervert the rules and to stitch some of that stash!  I will be posting on or around the 20th of each month because that is when I get paid!

January Budget
£ 15.00
January Spend
£   0.00
February Budget
£ 15.00
February Spend
£   5.50-
March Budget
£ 15.00
March Spend
£ 32.46-
April Budget
£ 15.00
April Spend
£   4.99-
May Budget
£ 15.00
Just Nan Spring Typography/Scream Girls
£ 13.72-
£   0.95-
Current Balance
£ 17.38
The Just Nan Spring Typography chart was a reward for finishing Winter Typography and the Scream Girls chart was just because there was a 10% off everything and it was only a couple of quid anyway.  The DMC is because when I added all my DMC to my new X-Stitch Inventory app I discovered there were two new colours added into the middle of the other numbers since I made my original list back in the 1990s.  Anyway the Pretty Little London chart needed 967 which I didn't have.  So in the interests of attempting to have a complete set again, I bought a skein at the huge price of 95p from the department store.

And here is Pretty Little London:

Stitched on 32 count Antique White linen

I haven't stitched much at all this week.  Unfortunaly the first three days of this week have been rather busy with work and school.  So all I managed on this was finishing the pink in the Gherkin and adding some of the little pods on the London Eye.  Never mind, it will give Linda a chance to catch up!

Next week is Half Term here in England so I should be getting some more stitching time with no work scheduled until the second weekend.

Finally, I have been nominated by a few people now for the 

I am very appreciative of all the people who have nominated me for this award and have directed everyone to this post where I answered the 7 Things question:

Monday 18 May 2015

May TUSAL Post


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.

Here is my ORTS jar posing with the current stitching project:

This month my jar is seen from above, posing with Elizabeth Shephard.  I stitched most of the rose motif this weekend including the lovely splashes of red.
I also added some turquoise to the Kingfisher who was in my previous post:
This is stitched on blue evenweave but it seems to be difficult to get a good colour match in a photo.
I was invited to link up this post with the Super Mom No Cape's Monday-stitchery-link-party-#6.  So that's what I am doing.  Super Mom hosts this link up every Monday so if you want to see what everyone else is stitching it's a great place for newbies to blogging.
I mentioned the Summer Postcard Blog Hop last post.  Some of you have taken part in Blog Hops before but quite a few people haven't.  So for those of you who haven't done a Summer Hop before, here are some guidelines:
The theme this year is Pets (either one you own or would like to own)
You find a piece that you have stitched on the theme of Pets and take a photo of it (it could be an old piece or one you make specially for the blog hop)
You email me the photo along with a message about what your pet means to you (or would if you had one)
I collect them all and then start emailing them to other participants.  They will post the photo on their blog along with a link to your blog and hopefully we all make new friends!
Obviously I need some photos as soon as possible to start the hop.
It will take place over the whole Summer with one photo going out each week.
The deadline for photos is the middle of August.
If you'd like to join in, leave a comment.  If you have any questions, leave a comment.  If you have a suitable photo already, then email me now!
Finally, the 8000th comment on my blog was left by Gominam of Stitch Niche.  Unfortunately, she is a "no-reply" blogger so I have left a comment on her blog asking her to contact me.  If I don't hear from her I will randomly choose one person from comments 7900 to 8000 to receive a little something.  I always do this every 1000 comments but somehow forgot to send something to the 6000th commenter which was Kim. Thankfully we have pdf charts which can be sent in a twinkling of an eye.  Before I could say "Paypal" the pdf of Pretty Little London was winging its way across the ether from Satsuma Street to Kim.  Phew, conscience saved! 

Friday 15 May 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness May Link Up Post

  Gifted Gorgeousness

For newbies, this is my first year long SAL.  Click on the picture above for the full details.

We will be posting and linking up on the 15th of each month, because it is 2015.  Should be easy to remember.

Looking back at April's post I seem to have achieved alot in the last month!  Most of which you have already seen so I will focus on the pieces I haven't shown so much.

First up is Elizabeth Shepherd by Scarlet Letter, she was a gift from Nicola:

Stitched on 30 count linen

I have scheduled Elizabeth for each IHSW hosted by Joysze from Random Ramblings.  IHSW is the third weekend of every month; this weekend!  So I will be picking her up again tomorrow.

My most recent piece is a Kingfisher by Anchor.  This will be an end-of-year gift for the Small Boy's teacher.  Each class is named for a different aquatic bird and the Reception class are Kingfishers.  (The Nursery Unit are ducklings which is so cute!  The oldest Year group have blossomed into Swans).

Stitched on 28 count blue evenweave

The other gifted pieces you have already seen are Trick and Treat, Tudor Rose, Winter Typography, Haunted Pumpkins and Marley was Dead:



And now over to you - Here is the place for you to link up so we can see what Gifted Gorgeousness you have been stitching so far this year.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field NOT the words "May Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.  
And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  
Thank you.  I can amend links if you make a boo-boo though.



We have another Giveaway this month, thanks to the lovely Stitching Noni.  She is donating this Shepherd's Bush chart:

All you have to do is leave a comment after you have linked up and say something clear like "Yes please include me in the draw"

Finally, since it is May it seems like the perfect time to launch the Summer Blog Hop.  I started this one in 2012 when the theme was a Holiday Postcard, see this post for the list of participants and links to their posts.

The next year I decided we'd have a Staycation and asked people for pictures on the theme of Home:

2013 Summer Postcard Blog Hop

2014 saw pictures on the theme of Gardens being posted:

This year the theme will be those valuable members of our family - our pets.  All I need is a photo of a stitched picture featuring a bird or animal or other lifeform that you may keep as a pet.  Plus a little message about why you have chosen this particular picture.  It could be an animal you actually own (so Vickie will send me a lovely poodle picture from her large collection) or it might be a animal you would have if only your partner wasn't allergic to fur!  Once I have a few photos I will start emailing them to the participants who will then show them on their blogs.

Tuesday 12 May 2015

A Fistful of Finishes

One advantage of the DUCJC was that I now have rather a lot of started projects which don't take much to finish them off!  So although January was a washout for actual finishes, they have been coming thick and fast in the last month or so.

So fast in fact that I haven't blogged about them all here!  All three of these have appeared on the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL blog so some of you may have seen them already.

First up is a design I received in a Giveaway from Gaynor of Stitchers Anon.  She gave me a free choice from her website and this was my favourite because I love the book:

Stitched over one on 28 count Platinum linen.
Shown with my scissors for scale.

This was a nice quick stitch, even over one.  It only uses a couple of colours so is ideal as a travelling project, I did most of the border in a lunch break at work.

The next design was even quicker, just one day!  This is for the May theme for the Ornie SAL which is Pumpkins:

Stitched on 32 count Lavender evenweave

This was a Just Nan freebie, I think I downloaded it from JCS's website but I can't remember.  It's been sat in my files for ages anyway.  I love those little top hats the spiders are wearing.

And now, the Big Finish:

Stitched on 28 count Chocolate Orange evenweave from Crafty Kitten

This is Just Nan's design Haunted Pumpkin Tree, the chart was a gift from Mouse and the fabric from Shebafudge, both for my Birthday last year.  I started it in October, did one day for the DUCJC and then picked it up again this month to complete.

The pumpkins took so long, there are five different shades of orange in them and each one is slightly different so you need to pay close attention to the chart.  Once they were done the colours went really quickly.  The black backstitch was the most fun because it made each character come alive.

The heart charm came with the chart.  There are four of these designs in a series called Charmed Heart Trees.  This is most definitely my favourite.  I may or may not buy any of the others,  I am undecided and there are more Just Nans higher up my list!

Here are some close-ups:

Just to prove it's not all finishes around here, I've been working on two WIPs:

Anchor Kingfisher, the fabric is blue evenweave

The Goode Huswife Book of Spells
on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer

Finally, the next post will be the Gifted Gorgeousness Link Up on the 15th.  We will be having another Giveaway, this time a chart donated by the lovely Stitching Noni.  So sort out your GG projects to be in with a chance.

Friday 8 May 2015

Winners Galore!

It's exactly a month since my Fourth Blogaversary so I guess I ought to announce the winners of the Grand Giveaway?  To enter you needed to leave a comment on the Blogaversary post telling me your top three of the seven charts I was offering.  If you had entered the Easter Treasure Hunt your name got put in twice, if you had been a Picture Poster for the Easter Treasure Hunt you got another entry and if you linked up for April's Gifted Gorgeousness SAL then you also got another entry.  So that made a maximum of four entries in the draw!  And a rather complicated spreadsheet too.

But the Random Number Generator did its duty and the following people were chosen to receive the following charts:
A - Lizzie*Kate Friends are Angels
plus Peace, Love and a Cure (not shown)

B - Christmas Number 1

C - Christmas Number 2

D - Christmas Number 3

E - Told in a Garden - The Courting

F - Told in a Garden - Piecemakers I

G - Told in a Garden - Voice of the Shepherd

I have addresses for some of you, but not all, so if you are reading this then please email me your address.  If you are not reading this, then don't worry because I will email you!

So, apart from organising spreadsheets and draws, what have I been doing this week (and apart from my civic duty yesterday too)?  Stitching of course!  Tuesday was the day for Pretty Little London to have another building constructed:

Week 10
Added a bus and a guardsman

Week 11
Added The Shard on the left

I have also been diligently stitching on The Book of Spells each evening.  This one isn't just black, there are areas of grey and brown too!  The original is charted in GAST and WDW but she provides a DMC conversion.  I am using her conversion for some colours and my own for others.

Stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer linen.

The fabric is very wrinkled but I rather like that because it makes it look more leathery, like the cover of an old book.

I've also been doing a little framing and scrapbooking:

Lizzie*Kate - Friends are Like Angels.
I really wanted the page with that famous painting with the two cherubs looking up at the sky but they didn't have it anymore so I got this cloud paper and some cherub stickers.

Just Nan - Winter Typography.
Raw wood frame painted with a test pot and a couple of snowflake stickers added.

Finally, thanks to the D.E.S.I.G.N. SAL I discovered yet another new-to-me designer - Elli Jenks.  She does a range of cross stitch rugs for dolls' houses and a 3D village called Brightsea.  Of course this design just called out to me:


She has an Etsy shop found here and there is free postage if you order over US$15.  So now I just have to wait to save up enough SFS budget to able to treat myself.  I have promised that when I finished the Nutmeg Cottage design I can have one of these.  So there's an incentive!