Thursday 31 March 2016

March Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather from Stitching Lotus

This year I have two Small Challenges:

For the Hallowe'en Blog I have done something a little different this year, I've chosen a band sampler by Just Nan called Counting Bats and each band corresponds to the monthly themes on the blog.  March's theme was Pumpkins and I stitched this band:

And here is the whole thing so far:

I have chosen another series for the Christmas Ornie Blog; The Primitive Hare's Christmas Cubes.   This month the theme was Santa and his Helpers.  I am having to stitch the letters out of order to fit the themes so here is S and a pair of jolly Elf shoes and stripy socks:

And the three finished letters so far:

They are all stitched on the same 35 count Country Mocha fabric, it's just the photography that makes them look different!

I stitched another Small For Syria:

This is for the Concern Stitching for Syria project.  The charity is running a Women's Centre in Lebanon and wants to make a hanging for the walls to show the women that the international stitching community is aware of their difficulties.

And I also completed a Lizzie*Kate small, Sampling Easter.  I will be giving the chart away as the prize in my Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop, so don't forget to state clearly if you are interested in winning.  I'd like it to go to someone who will stitch it sooner rather than stashing it for later!

stitched on 14 count yellow aida

Finally, the March Pie Chart.  Once again the largest proportion of the month went to Nora Corbett's Alphabet Fairies.  If you take the time to add up the days, they actually come to 36!  Because some days I stitched more than one project I counted both projects on those days.

Tuesday 29 March 2016

The Weekend's Stitching

First of all, thanks to everyone who took part in the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop and guessed the Mystery Phrase.  There were some gorgeous Spring and Easter themed photos shown on the participating blogs and some inventive ways of displaying the letter needed too.  The Hunt is open until the 6th April so you have plenty of time to hop round if you were busy over the Easter weekend.  Originally I allowed until the 8th which is my Blogaversary but then I realised it was going to be a VERY long post so I'm going to do a special post dedicated to the Treasure Hunt prior to that day.

I made some great progress on Nora Corbett's J Fairy and she is now ready for her bling!  The Kreinik will be next (the veins in the wings and some swirls) and then the beads.  Lots of beads!

stitched on 32 count Murano Love-in-the-Mist from Crafty Kitten

Close-up of the fairy: 

You can see from the gaps how much beading there is to be done!

She is taking a little break this week while I stitch the next letter for Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet ready for The Alphabet Club detention on Saturday.

I managed to stitch another motif for the Stitch for Syria project.  You may recall I stitched one in variegated red/pink on white evenweave and now I have one in yellow/orange on black evenweave.  I love this one!

28 count black Jobelan using DMC 90

28 count white Jobelan using DMC 107 on the left.

These two squares have been sent off to Concern's headquarters in London to be made into a hanging for their centre in Lebanon where many Syrian refugees and poor Lebanese women find a safe place to learn a craft and a way to make a living.  I also popped some spare threads in the envelope which should come in useful.  If you live in the UK there is probably still time to stitch one of these squares and get it to them by the end of the month.  If you are further afield I would advise emailing them to check.  Or send money, there is no time limit on money!

You can read more about the project here - Concern - Stitch for Syria

I have got a train trip later this week so I needed to plan my travel stitching.  I allocated a number to each of the designs in my list of series I want to stitch this year and chose one at random.  Just Nan's Spring Typography came up.  I've already stitched Awesome Autumn and Wonderous Winter so this must be Special or Splendid Spring, or maybe Spiffy Spring!  While I was hunting for suitable adjectives I came across this website - Adjectives with ...  Essential reading for anyone wishing to broaden their vocabulary.

That photo is from Just Nan's website and here are my versions of Autumn and Winter:

Finally, Crafty Sasha is having a giveaway on her blog.  She doesn't have a lot of followers yet but does have some nice charts!  So pop over and say Hi and offer to take some off her hands!  You can find her here - Crafty Sasha.  She is also stitching this - Qing Ming

Friday 25 March 2016

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2016

Welcome to the 2016 Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop
Just Nan - Dewdrop Bunny

All you have to do is visit each of these blogs in order, note down the letter above the Easter / Spring themed pic and remember the short phrase they make up.  Come back here for the last letter and leave a comment saying what the phrase is.  I am offering the chart for Lizzie*Kate's Sampling Easter as a prize this year so if you are a no-reply commenter, please make sure I can contact you somehow.

All the picture posters will get an extra entry into the draw if they are interested in the chart too.  Please make it clear if you want to be in the draw!

The trail starts with me this year:


and then goes on to the following blogs in order:

and back to me, hopefully with the answer!

This design is Sampling Easter by Lizzie*Kate which I won in Justine's recent giveaway.  I stitched it on 14 count yellow aida using a lovely Jodyri thread called Crystal Seas.  I added a little charm of a bunny from my stash (probably from Ang's Attic).

I don't have much Easter themed stitching so I am looking forward to seeing what everyone shows this year to inspire me!

San Man Easter photo DSC03602SanManEaster_zps7d560c61.jpg
San Man Designs


DSC03128EasterCards.jpg Easter Cards La Comtesse

Sheepish Designs

Twisted Threads

Finally, Comment Moderation is enabled and all correct comments will be withheld until the 6th April which is the closing date for this part of the competition.

Wednesday 23 March 2016

March WIPocalypse Hoops, Stands or Hands

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.

The focus of my WIPocalypse will be my "16 in '16" which are 16 projects I particularly wanted to concentrate on in 2016.   The full list can be found on my WIPocalypse page where you can also find my secondary list "16 Series in '16".

My main goal is to keep to my rotation of one small every Friday and the rest of the month working on my focus piece until it is finished.  I also have a number of SALs I want to keep up with:

The Alphabet Club - a different letter on the first Saturday of each month
Gifted Gorgeousness - post anything gifted on the 15th
Hallowe'en Ornie Blog - a different spooky theme each month
Christmas Ornie Blog - a different festive theme each month
Smalls SAL - last Thursday of each month


And now for the progress report:

I have worked on a mammoth 7 out of 16 projects since my last WIPocalypse, plus 4 from my series list.

7. Strawberry Sampler by The Sampler House - Finish

10. Mulberry Sampler by Shepherd's Bush - Finish


11. Elizabeth Shephard by The Scarlet Letter - WIP

I stitched the Token of Love motif and added some red in other places.

12. J by Nora Corbett - WIP

14. E by Nora Corbett - Finish

15. S by Nora Corbett - Finish

16. Counting Bats by Just Nan - WIP

And the series:

1. Christmas Cubes by The Primitive Hare - WIP

I am stitching these out of order to fit in with the themes on the Christmas Ornie blog

6. The Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books - WIP

11. Mini Samplers by Shepherd's Bush - see above.

15. Alphabet Fairies by Nora Corbett - see above.


Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too:

March - Do you use hoops, stretcher bars, lap stands or Q snap frames and why? (via CathieJ)

None of the above!  I am a strict "in hand" stitcher.  When I first started stitching I tried hoops and didn't like them, they got in the way and were cumbersome.  My method is to roll the fabric with the stitched side inside so my hands are only touching the back of the fabric.  I start in the centre and work upwards then the bottom right and finally the bottom left (as you can see on Elizabeth Shephard).  That way the part that is handled the most is the last part to be stitched so I minimise the amount of handling those stitches will get.

I used to stitch on my daily commute to work and any kind of frame just isn't practical on a train.  I also worry about hoop marks and squashing the stitches.  At the moment I stitch at the kitchen table so a large frame wouldn't work there.  And of course, with multiple WIPS I don't have to have multiple frames or keep swapping them around.  With a limited budget I tend to view accessories as something to waste valuable stash money on!

Finally, the emails went out for the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop this afternoon so watch out for Bunnies Galore on Good Friday!  I will post the links in the morning my time zone but some of the Australians will be up already and some of the Americans won't post until later in their day.  The phrase is a doozy I must say!  

Sunday 20 March 2016

Official IHSW

Many years ago (2011!)  Joysze of Random Ramblings coined the phrase Hermit and Stitch Weekend where you spend as much of the weekend as possible stitching.  This became very popular and also International.  Hence IHSW.  It always commences the Third Friday of every month and there is a sign-up post on Joysze's blog.  Or there was for the first few years!  Recently she has been a tad busy with one of those job things people insist on getting.  Presumably to pay for her Chatelaine habit?

Anyway, Kaye and I kicked her out of hibernation and got her to hermit instead!  So now we can see who else is hermitting each month and not feel alone, even though hermits usually are alone, it's nice to have company while you're being alone.

Here are the guidelines for IHSW and here is March's sign-up page.  You can also copy Hermie the crab onto your blog to show everyone you have joined in.

Enough (Random) Ramblings, what did I stitch this weekend?  The focus of all my IHSWs this year has been Elizabeth Shephard by The Scarlet Letter.  This is a long term project started back on Day 14 of the DUCJC 2015 and worked on each month since then.  She is a Quaker so you get a mini Happy Dance with each complete motif.

This is the motif I focused on this weekend:

I also added quite a few of the red parts elsewhere in the sampler:

stitched on 30count linen using AVAS silks.

There is one more large motif and then five half motifs.  At the current rate of stitching she could be completed by the Autumn.

I squeezed in a little more progress on Nora Corbett's J is for Me:

Stitched on 32 count Love-in-the-Mist by Crafty Kitten

And I did some scrapbooking!  That side of the craft has been neglected while I have been working on the first three Alphabet Fairies to meet the deadline.  I finally got this piece mounted on a suitable page:

January Wordplay by With Thy Needle & Thread

Here is the post where I talked about the designer and the project

I also took some inspiration from Anna the Stitch Bitch and attempted an Exploding Book.  This is a kind of origami "book" rather than an gunpowder plot.  I made a little dummy version first and was pleased I did because there are two ways of doing the folded-in parts and one works better than the other.  Then I made a proper version using black card.  Then I realised I did not have any scrapbook papers suitable to decorate it so I had to spend an hour on the internet searching for some!  Luckily my favourite online scrapbook company had an entire book for half price!

And I stitched some more of the L*K Sampling Easter and The Primitive Hare Christmas Cube which you can see over on the Christmas Ornie SAL Blog or wait until the Smalls SAL post at the end of the month!

Finally, the Easter Blog Hop is almost upon us.  I have collected a lovely long list of names this year but there is still a day or two left if you want to be a picture poster.  Drop me a line before Wednesday which is when I will be emailing further instructions to those already signed up.

Tuesday 15 March 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness March Link-Up Post

Welcome to the Gifted Gorgeousness link-up post!  The link-up date will continue to be the 15th of each month but I will keep the linky open until the end of each month so you have plenty of time to join in.

The format remains EXACTLY the same as last year so I'm sure you are all aware of what can be included - gifts to and from you; charts, fabric or threads; shoe-horns welcome!

It's currently 9am in England and I'm helping out at school this morning then trying to finish the beading on Nora Corbett's E Fairy so I'm just posting the link-up part now and will come back this evening and edit it, hopefully with lots of blingy photos of Ms E!

7pm - Welcome back!  It has been a most productive day and the third Alphabet Fairy is completed.  Here she is with her sisters:

And here is her solo:

Stitched on 32 count Love-in-the-Mist Murano from Crafty Kitten

I used the flash to take the photo, so although the bottom is a little blurry you can really see all her sparkling bling!  The beading took two sessions for her as opposed to one each for her sisters.

Here are some close-ups:

I stitched her pretty much as charted with all the recommended CC threads.  Once again I changed the backstitch to 356 for her skin and also 3371 for the swirls.  The original chart has an extra border around three sides but, as with C, I decided she didn't need that extra border.

What do you do when you have been stitching fairly OAAT on Fairies for the last three months?  Pick up another one!

The actual fairy was stitched in January last year for the DUCJC2015 and the swirls at the bottom were stitched this afternoon.   There is maybe two hours stitching or a little less from today.  This is going to be J for Me.  Hence the lack of urgency.

The first three fairies qualify for GG because they are gifts for my Godmother's Grandaughters, the chart for E was a gift from Kaye, the charts and fabric for C and S were paid for by Alicia.  J qualifies because the chart was a gift from Justine.

Other GG stitching in the last month included this little motif for Stitching for Syria (a gift of support for the women out there):

Elizabeth Shepherd (a gift from Nicola):

The Strawberry Sampler you can see further down (a gift from Lee Under The Mountain).

Mulberry by Shepherd's Bush (a gift from either Heather or Laura!  Both of them sent me a selection of the SB mini-samplers and I'm not sure who sent which now):

Counting Bats by Just Nan (a gift from Epic Mel) and Sampling Easter by Lizzie*Kate (a gift from Justine (again!))

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 "March Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.
And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.
Thank you.  I can amend links if you make a boo-boo though.



I am also hosting a GGG this month, the chart for the lovely Strawberry Sampler seen here:

There are a mixture of cross stitches and speciality stitches in this one but the chart includes instructions and diagrams so it is suitable for a beginner to this type of stitching.  To go in the draw, simply link-up and then leave a comment making it clear you would like to be in the draw.

Katie AKA Jeremiah's Mom is also hosting a GGG this month, so follow her link-up and take part there.

Last month Gillie The Generous had a GGG, a lovely Jardin Prive design of the letter S.  This was won by Lovely Linda whose surname starts with S and is a Serial Starter too!

Finally, we'll finish with a collage of the E Fairy's journey to completion: