Wednesday 31 May 2017

Money Pie

Not really a lot of stitching to show you as I've been focusing on the Brooke's Books' Stitchers Alphabet for this Saturday's Alphabet Club.  But I do have some pie and some stash to share.

First the stitching.  I have been taking part in a Ten-a-Day challenge this year and yesterday we reached 1,500 stitches!  So here is a photo of 1,510 stitches:

Just Nan - Spring in the Square

As well as the Ten-a-Day I am doing a Thirty-a-Day using a series of Just Nan freebies which I started as part of Kerry's March Madness this year.  Yesterday I completed the beading on Christmas Hearts:

stitched on 32 count antique white evenweave

I love the Rhodes Heart in the middle and will try get a better photo of it when I fully-finish this piece at the weekend.

And because I finished one - I start another one!  This is Victorian Rose, started on 12th March and restarted 31st May.  The first photo is the first 30 stitches from March:

And this is where we are today, with a much better idea of the colour of the fabric:

stitched on 32 count green linen from Sarah in Stitches

Tomorrow it's back to Hallowe'en and some spooky stitching!

This month's pie reflects the time I spent on Gathering Honey, not quite half the month.  12 Days got a lot of attention as I worked quite a few full days and that's what I take in as my lunchtime project.

Finally, the money part of the title is my Stitch from Stash round-up.

Cross Stitch Crazy £4.99
Stitchrovia £1.99
JN Summer Typo £13.19
JN 12 Days £0.00
Total £20.17

I spent a little bit more than usual this month but still within budget.  Cross Stitch Crazy had a great Emma Congdon Circus ABC, a mini version of the Emily Peacock design I stitched for my cousin ages ago.  The cover gift was two lovely Margaret Sherry hedgehog cards too.  There were also some mini mandala designs which would look good in beads.

I bought the second part of the Stitchrovia MIND SAL because I was trying to work out how to send it to the winner of my last competition.  Stitchrovia are silent in their response to my emails so far.

I also needed to buy a chart from SewandSo for another competition winner and I discovered that they were doing 3 for 2 on all charts!  So I bought one for myself and a freebie too.  Here are the two I got for myself:

The fourth one in the series.  I have stitched the other three.

Because I need another 12 Days for next year...

Sunday 28 May 2017

May's Intimidating Designers WIPocalypse

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.  I have chosen my "17 in '17" which are the 17 projects I want to focus on this year.  You can see the full list on this page here.

This month I only worked on six of my projects BUT I did get a big Happy Dance for one of them so that's a bonus.

1. My spooky conversion of Lavender & Lace's Enchanted Alphabet:

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tigerlily by Sparklies

2. Oberlin Sampler's Witches:

3. Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas:

4. Just Nan's Spring in the Square:

5. Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet.  I actually stitched V last month but I'm not showing W until next Saturday so here's V:

6. Jannlynn Designs' Gathering Honey was my Happy Dance:

Measi always gives us a discussion topic.

May - Which designer's projects do you absolutely love, but are too intimidated to try?

Short answer - no-one!

Long answer.  I had a good think about this one and at the end of the day, all designs are basically putting the needle into the fabric and pulling a thread along with it.  Purely and simply.  A large or complex design may look daunting but it is still one stitch after another.  

Some charts make it harder to stitch a project (see the backstitch guide on Gathering Honey!)  but you just work your way through the instructions, one sentence at a time.    If you look back at my Happy Dance blog you'll see my 3rd project was on black aida, my 4th had metallics, my 5th was this one:

And then I moved on to Teresa Wentzler.  Who probably shares the crown for complex designs with Martina from Chatelaine.  The only reason I hadn't stitched a Chatelaine until this year was price and too much choice!

Then I thought about the bigger picture - what does intimidate me?  Not much really!  I have reached the point in life where I know what I can and can't do.  If I know I can't do something I'm not going to waste time trying and failing.  I'll find an alternative.  I can remember the last time I was really nervous about something - presenting an assembly on Road Safety to 250 Primary School children.  That gave me butterflies, children are very open if they are bored by what you are saying!  The funny thing was that the previous week I'd spoken at a meeting about cuts to public library funding to a similar amount of adults with no nerves at all.

I think there's a lot of truth in the phrase "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger" (Nietsche).  I went to a state comprehensive where people attempted to bully me for the twin sins of being poor and clever.  You were allowed to be one or the other, but not both.  Free meals kids were not supposed to be in the top set, according to certain wealthier, less intelligent students!  Note I say "attempted to bully me", they soon learned I wasn't an easy target and wandered off to pick on someone else.  There were a lot of people came out of our school with very low self esteem.  But for the lucky ones, we feel we are just as good as anyone from a better school or background and we do have that certain bolshie attitude!

NB I am not convinced this was a good thing, I would rather we had all come out feeling confident because we'd been nurtured and well taught!

Anyway, back to the stitching and Chatelaines.  Martina is celebrating her 200th design and 20th Anniversary with this beauty:

Finally, it's a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, rain is probably forecast for tomorrow so there'll be plenty of time for stitching instead!

Friday 26 May 2017

May Smalls SAL

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

This year I will be showing both my Hallowe'en and Christmas SAL partworks as well as any actual smalls I stitch.

Happy Hallowe'en by Imaginating gained a black cat:

And Witches by Oberlin Samplers gained a non-black cat:

Five Goooooolllllllllddddddddddd Rings for 12 Days of Christmas!

Here's the whole piece at the moment:

And this is literally how little metallic I have left to stitch:

I've been making steady progress on my Ten-a-Day project, Just Nan's Spring in the Square:

Day 147 - 1,470 stitches

As well as the humorously titled Ten-a-Day I am also doing a Thirty-a-Day for Linda's So Many Stitches.  I am stitching a series of the Just Nan freebies as ornaments for this challenge.  Here is the third one so far; Christmas Hearts:

Day 14 - stitched on 32 count antique white evenweave

The iPad takes rubbish photos and you have the light coming in from the left changing the fabric colour, but it's quicker and easier than getting the camera out every morning!

I have been very disciplined and finally-finished both of the ornies as I went.  Here's number 2; Christmas Star:

stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue linen

backed with plain blue felt


I changed the metallic and beads to silver and crystal for this project instead of the charted gold.  I think they look more elegant on the blue fabric.  The fabric is the very stiff Wichelt linen which isn't so nice to stitch on but does make it really easy to ornamentify.  You just fold it along a thread and it stays folded!

Finally, I posted another Blogger of the Week, a newer-to-me stitcher this week.  Remember, the blog isn't just for me and my Old Pals network - if you're new to stitching or blogging please do ask to be featured.  I love meeting new friends.

Thursday 25 May 2017

The Sweetest TUSAL of Them All

is a Happy Dance TUSAL!


It's TUSAL time, the Totally Useless SAL where we all show our ORTS and link-up on Daffycat's blog.

Here is my TUSAL with the current project:

You see all the yellow on top?  That came from these:

You really can't stitch down to the last mm with French Knots, can you?  So if I'm stitching French Knots that can only mean one thing - 

A Happy Waggle Dance for Gathering Honey by Jannlynn Designs!  This kit was a gift to me from a friend who used to cross stitch.  When she stopped stitching she passed me some of her stash and asked me to stitch this for her in exchange.

I started back in August 2013 - Every-bee-that-ever-wuz

Continued in March 2014 - Theme-licious-march-update

Took it on holiday during August 2014 - RIP-socal-debbie

It fell fallow until August 2016 when I did an entire 2 weeks on it - Summer-pie-and-round-up-of-month

Then it became my focus piece for April 2017 - Aprils-tusal-is-brought-to-you-by-letter

And for May too!

This was not an easy project to stitch, the fabric had a very canvas-like feel to it and was a very open weave.  I will have to go round and trim all the visible ends before framing.  The threads were great, DMC numbers given so hopefully I can use the leftovers.  Of which there are a LOT.  Except for two colours which I ran out of.

The backstitch instructions were not easy to follow.  They insisted on referring to the flowers by name not place on the chart.  The honeycomb was my favourite part, so quick to stitch and so effective!  The crazy paving was fun too.

I finished the French Knots this afternoon and thought I'd stitch something light and easy as a palate cleanser before continuing with my rotation.

stitched on 32 count pink linen

This is Just Nan's Memories which was a gift from Vickie, hence the pink linen!  I stitched the pink flowers today.  Aren't they pretty?  And easy and simple and fun!  This is going to be a long, thin piece with 12 bands so I planned to stitch one band per month but I think it will be done much quicker than that somehow!

Finally, I have nearly reached the end of the metallic on Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas!  I feel like I have been stitching metallic border for months and months.  According the photographic evidence - since January 2017!  So yes literally for months!  I have about 2-3 lengths of metallic left by my reckoning so you'll see it glitter when I show June's block.

Sunday 21 May 2017

Serendipitous Jo and Her Amazing Technicoloured Theme-tas-Stitch Post

Theme-tas-stitch is hosted by Kerry

Each month Kerry gives us a theme to stitch to and we show our progress on the 21st of every month.

Monochrome May - Choose a colour and stitch on your projects that contain that one colour.

As you can probably tell from the title, I failed happily at this theme!  I don't have a single monochrome project to stitch right now.  We almost have a rainbow - we have Red, Gold, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet and Pink (instead of Indigo!)

I stitched on pink on Vickie's gift, Just Nan's Memories:

Some lovely blue eggs in Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs:

Variegated Violet in Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet:

Red and Gooooooollllllllldddddddddddddd in Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas:

And plenty of green and yellow for Gathering Honey by Jannlynn Designs:

I completed the whole of the bottom left hand corner and the words, top and bottom.

Despite my best efforts I couldn't quite finish the whole piece.  I have some extra bits to do around the lettering and some stalks to add to those floating strawberries.  And a tonne of French Knots on those two plants that currently look like thistles, plus the centre of the strawberry flowers and the blue periwinkle flowers.

Because it's a very loose weave fabric I will be going round the back and trimming all the visible threads, you can clearly see one behind that bee and there are plenty of others.  That will be the last job I do before framing.

So that's my unmonochrome May.  Thankfully, next month is garden themed so this will be perfect.  Except I will have finished it by then!  So it's a good thing I will still have this project on the go:

Day 141 of my Ten-a-Day project.  Just Nan's Spring in the Square:

Finally, in one month's time we will have reached The Longest Day and the nights will start drawing in!  Time for a stitching marathon.  Last year I stitched on every single one of my WIPs during the longest day, swapping projects every 20-30 minutes.  I stitched on a total of 21 projects that day.  This year I plan to beat that as I currently have 23 WIPs (excluding Gathering Honey which will be completed by then).  I have my work rota for June and I'm not working on Tuesday or Wednesday so Tuesday will be prep day and Wednesday will be Marathon Day!  Anyone care to join in?  If Wednesday isn't convenient, pick any other day that week!

Monday 15 May 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness May Link-Up Post

2017 GG

Welcome to the May link-up for Gifted Gorgeousness.  The linky will stay open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time to join in.

I made good progress on Oberlin Samplers' Witches, a gift from Barb:

Steady progress on Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas, a gift from my MIL:

A new start with a chart I won from Carol of Stitching Dreams.  This is Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs:
stitched on 35 count Country Mocha linen

Another new start, another giveaway, this time from Vickie of A Stitcher's Story, Just Nan's Memories band sampler:

stitched on 32 count pink linen (what else for Vickie?)

My focus piece for the month is Gathering Honey by Jannlynn Designs once again.  This was a gift from a friend and the finished piece will be gifted back to her.

I've been focusing on the final corner, the bottom right this week, it seems much quicker than the top left corner was.

I owe a couple of people gifts, people who won giveaways.  Once I get paid this week I will sort those out.  Stitch from Stash is very much a necessity here this year!

I did receive some gifts myself.  The lovely Nora Corbett chart from Carol, a chart from DJ which I had admired on her blog and a great RAK from Angela, all the way from Singapore.

And now it's over to you.  This is where you link up your post for this month.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field and 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.  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.



Finally, I do hope that you are remembering to visit the Blogger of the Week blog each Friday to see who our featured stitcher of the week is.  Clue for this week - Pink Poodles!