Sunday 31 December 2017

December WIPocalypse Annual Review

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings
Also linking up with 17 in '17

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.  At the beginning of the year I chose my "17 in '17" which were the 17 projects I want to focus on this year.  Here is how I did:

  1. Chatelaine Designs - Gardens of London - WIP (Feb focus piece)
  2. Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map - WIP (Jun focus piece)
  3. Imaginating - Hallowe'en Happiness - Finished
  4. Oberlin - Witches  - Finished
  5. Joan Elliott - 12 Days of Christmas - Finished
  6. Brooke's Books - Stitcher's Alphabet   - Finished
  7. Lavender & Lace - Enchanted Alphabet   - WIP - SAL
  8. Nora Corbett - Letter M Fairy - Finished
  9. Teresa Wentzler - Byzantine Ornaments x 3
  10. Jannlynn - Gathering Honey  - Finished
  11. Kustom Krafts - Snap Dragon
  12. Dragon Dreams - Dragon of the Winter Moon - Finished
  13. Joan Elliott - Mermaid - Finished
  14. Drawn Thread - Spots of Seasons - 2 finished
  15. The Workbasket - Fox Forest - Finished
  16. Just Nan - Spring in the Square - Finished
  17. Dam Good Crafts - Dracula Book Cover - WIP
A total of 10.5 Finishes, plus 4 more active WIPs.  2.5 projects not worked on this year.  A much better result than many previous years.

I started 2017 with 19 WIPs and completed 6 of them.  I then started 36 new projects over the course of the year and completed 22 of them (there were a LOT of smalls!).  So that leaves me with a final total of 28 finishes and 27 WIPs.

So let's have a look at those finishes!

January to August

September to December 

Just Nan Smalls

I couldn't quite squeeze the last Just Nan ornie in today as I was stitching 12 Days of Stitchmas.  It will be the First Finish of 2018 instead.

Here's my Pie for the month:

A month of focusing on just a few projects.

Here's how the year looked:

It was definitely Joan Elliott's year (94 days) with Just Nan and Brooke's Books on almost the same number of days (29 and 30 respectively).

Stitch from Stash wise we have reached the end of the accounting period.   Here is this month's expenditure:

JN Peacock £10.00
Black Jobelan £13.60
Mill Hill beads £2.20
Satsuma St £4.13
Total £29.93
I need the black Jobelan for the next Satsuma Street chart and the Just Nan was on half price sale at SewandSo.  Nan is discontinuing a lot of her sampler charts as the charms are no longer easily available so when I see a bargain, I buy one.

I totted up my expenditure for the whole year.  Magazines are my weak point with subscriptions to 4 different publications - Just Cross Stitch, Cross Stitcher, Cross Stitch Crazy and Inspirations.  I'm going to drop Crazy next year.  I spent an equal amount on charts and fabric.  I bought the tin of the new DMC colours but other than that I only spent £12.30 on Kreinik, Crescent Colours and Waterlilies for Mary.

Magazines £129.99
Charts £79.37
Fabric £73.60
Threads £36.80
Other £11.77
Total £331.53

Which seems like a lot but there is my Birthday and Christmas money in there too.

I mentioned the 12 Days of Stitchmas earlier, and here is Day 7:

Just Nan - 12 Days of Christmas
stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

Measi has asked us to do an introductory post at the beginning of January so I will save my "18 in '18" plans until then.

I have got the new Gifted Gorgeousness Sign-up Page done, so you can click on the tab at the top or the new photo on the side to access that.  If you have the linky on your blog, don't forget to update it as the 2017 link will no longer work.


Have a very Happy Old Year's Night
and a very Peaceful New Year's Day

Friday 29 December 2017

December Smalls SAL

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

I completed three large part-work pieces for the Smalls SAL this year plus a number of actual smalls.  I decided to start the series of Just Nan small free designs as part of Kerry's Theme-tas-Stitch March Madness and then stitch 30 stitches per day to see how many I could finish.

Here's where the first 13 were in March:

And in the same positions so you can see which one is which, here are the ten I have finished:

The eleventh one is very close to a finish too!  While I was putting this collage together I realised that I hadn't even shown you the tenth finish - Holiday in Ice.

stitched on 32 count Ocean's Kiss Permin linen

This is a beautiful design and I loved the colours but it was plagued by frogs!  Back in March I stitched the centre and one of the flower petals.  When I picked it back up in November I used a different skein of the red and there was a dyelot issue.  So the first flower had to be frogged.  Then I noticed that the third flower was in the wrong position so that got frogged.  Then there were more issues getting the white and green in the right position.

Heather has confirmed that she will be running the Smalls SAL once again next year, for the sixth year, I believe.  Click on the photo below to find out more:

Finally, I received a belated Christmas gift thanks to the Post Office who decided to hang on to it over Christmas.  A lovely hand-made card, a wooden tree ornament and a mysterious bottle not labelled "Drink Me".

I opened the bottle and this was what spilled out:

Inside that sweet bundle was this gorgeous dragon pendant:

If you squint at the ribbon you can see who sent this to me.  Thanks Jocondine!   I always love your hand-made cards and everyone knows dragons are my favourite creatures.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Boxing Day Renamed "Stitching Day"

As the Advent Calendar revealed that some countries do not celebrate Boxing Day and others simply have Second Christmas (like festive hobbits) I have decided that 26th December will  henceforth be International Stitching Day.  Just sit in your stitching spot nibbling on leftover turkey and chocolates while stitching to your heart's content.

We will start with a piece that I actually stitched just before Christmas.  I finished Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas on 15th December so technically I had 9 stitching days before Christmas Day but I knew I was working on 4 of them and would be pretty busy on the other 5 so I decided to stitch a very small design.  Kerry the Biscornu Addict showed what she would be stitching on in the run-up to Christmas which inspired me to stitch one of the same designs:

Merry Christmas by Stitchrovia
Stitched on 28 count Colonial Blue evenweave

This was the cover kit with Cross Stitch Crazy issue 237 and came with this red hoop but I will probably scrapbook it instead.

My Christmas Day start is another 12 Days of Christmas design (No, Stephanie, I cannot get enough of these designs!).  I'm doing 12 Days of Stitchmas as I did last year.  So on Day 1, I stitched Block 1:

On Day 2, I stitched on Block 2 and Block 1:

On Day 3 I will stitch a little of each of the first 3 blocks and so on.  The plan is to stitch the black border on the new day so I can get the placement right for the next day.  Then one length on each of the preceding blocks.  Chosen to avoid changing colour too much!

At the end of the Twelfth Day of Christmas I should have Block 1 completed and then I will stitch one block a month for the rest of the year.

Today being the 26th I should have stitched my spooky conversion of the Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace.  But guess where that it?  In the chest hidden behind the Christmas tree!  So that will have to wait until Epiphany when the tree comes down.

Instead I picked up the next project in the rotation; my Zodiac SAL by Donna Kooler:

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen

I'd already done my 10-a-day and 30-a-day projects in the morning:

Just Nan - Summer in the Square

Just Nan Butterfly Rose

There's still one more project to come today, the bathtime stitching which is Dracula's Book Cover by Dam Good Crafts.  Here's where I finished last night having just started the moon:

stitched on 32 count Amortentia Belfast by Chromatic Alchemy

So that's five pieces in one day!  Same again tomorrow and the rest of the month until I go back to work on 1st January.  For one day.  Then another week off.  I do love part-time working, especially when you do lieu hours in December and get to take them in January.

I do hope you all had a lovely Christmas and got everything you wanted.  My favourite presents were stitching and book related, of course.  I also got these really cute earrings:

She does quite a range of books and will do custom designs too!  I wonder if I ordered our Book of the Month each month if I could put them through petty cash?

I NEED the Alice in Wonderland ones next, then some Discworld covers, the Dragonriders of Pern, The Power (Naomi Alderman) and then every book Chris Riddell has ever done a cover for...

Finally, we are approaching the end of the year so I will be putting up the Sign-Up page for Gifted Gorgeousness soon and preparing my special recipe End of Year Pie for all you Statistic lovers.  But before that we have the final Smalls post on Friday!

Sunday 24 December 2017

2017 Online Advent Calendar

Here is our Online Advent Calendar, it will be updated every day. 
Scroll down to see the latest picture and a link to the poster's blog.

Pop over to each blog to see how they celebrate.
This year I have asked bloggers about their plans and traditions for Boxing Day.

Having sent out the emails to all the participants I then learned that not every country has Boxing Day traditions!  So I thought I would start this post by sharing a little of the history of this day.

Boxing Day is 26th December, the day after Christmas Day and it was the day that "post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box".   This is usually a cash gift and nowadays may be given to paper deliverers, milkmen and refuse collecters as a little thank you for turning out every day in all weathers to provide us with essential services.   It is a dying tradition however.

You can read more about Boxing Day here - Wikipedia - Boxing Day

There are three more usual ways to spend the day in the 21st Century:

1. with the side of the family you didn't see on Christmas Day
2. going mad in the Boxing Day sales or being forced to work to serve those mad folk
3. sitting on the sofa watching TV and having a diet of leftover turkey and Quality Street sweets.

Of course, for us stitchers, it's more likely to be playing with our stash and maybe a new start?  I'll be doing the 12 Days of Christmas SAL again.  Starting Just Nan's 12 Days of Christmas on Christmas Day, stitching Day 1 on Day 1, Days 2 and 1 on Day 2, Days 3, 2 and 1 on Day 3 and so on.

So follow the Advent Calendar Blog Hop and learn more about what our international friends will be doing on that day.

Friday 1st December
Kitten Stitching

Saturday 2nd December

Sunday 3rd December

Monday 4th December

Tuesday 5th December

Wednesday 6th December

Thursday 7th December

Friday 8th December


Saturday 9th December

Sunday 10th December

Monday 11th December

Tuesday 12th December

Wednesday 13th December

Thursday 14th December

Friday 15th December

Saturday 16th December

Sunday 17th December - Double Delight Door


Monday 18th December

Tuesday 19th December

Wednesday 20th December

Thursday 21st December

Friday 22nd December - Double Delight Door


Saturday 23rd December - Double Delight Door


Sunday 24th December

Hope you enjoyed the Advent Calendar this year! Remember to leave comments on each day to let people know you have visited too.