Thursday 31 August 2017

End of the Summer Pie

We've reached the end of August and only a few more days of the Summer holidays left so I took a day trip to London to "geek out" on two major exhibitions - The Art of the Brick: DC Superheroes and Star Wars: Identities.

Both were awesome!  A great day out for me and the Large Boy.  You can learn more about both exhibitions by clicking on our favourites photos below:

And this is the identity I created for myself:

A train trip means one thing - train stitching!  Nearly five hours of stitching time saw me add quite a bit to Just Nan's Memories band sampler.  I took this because it's small, doesn't use many colours and is an easy pattern for travelling, the repetition makes it easier to follow:

I stitched everything below the line with "memory" in it.

As it is the end of the month, it's time to assess the stitching.  I didn't get quite so much time on my focus piece because the 12 Days block was more time consuming that in previous months.  However I managed 11 solid days and there will be more next month as I have decided to continue with my Dragon in September.

Start of the month:

End of the month:
stitched on 32 count Moondust by Crafty Kitten

The first photo is more accurate for colour.

How does this look on the pie?

Spending-wise it was an OK month.  I had a quarterly magazine subscription come out and I got some fabric on Stash Unload UK.  She had some gorgeous colours of hand-dyed very reasonably priced but I was good and only bought two pieces.  The first piece was a Colour Cascade opal Belfast in Sorcerer.  As ever, it's much prettier in real life, more blue than grey and will either be good for the Dragon of the Summer Sun or one of Nora's Bewitching Pixies:

The second piece was labelled by the manufacturer as "35 count white linen 19 x 23 inches".  Only some of that information was correct!  As soon as I saw it I knew it wasn't 35count, so I measured and it turned out to be 30count.  Which is OK, it's a nice big piece anyway so maybe I can tea dye it.  It was only £5 would have been an absolute bargain for 35 count and not bad for 30 count!

So here is the spending for the month:

CS Crazy sub £25.44
2 x fabric £11.00
Total £36.44

Finally, the competition on the Blogger of the Week blog is still open and we have a new interview to read too.  So pop over and have a look at both.

Sunday 27 August 2017

August's Stitching Drought WIPocalypse

Don't worry, the title definitely does not refer to me!  It's the topic for this month's 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.

I've worked on 7 of my 17 and had a finish too.

1. Happy Hallowe'en by Imaginating:

2. Witches by Oberlin Samplers:

3. 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott:

4. Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books:

5. Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace:

Added a pumpkin to the O

6. Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams:

7. Spring in the Square by Just Nan:

I didn't have the charm for the centre but I found this nice little button to use instead.

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss, and as the title suggest this month we have:

August - How do you get yourself out of a stitching drought?

I have no idea!  Probably cut back on doing other things which take up your stitching time.  The only times I have had droughts have been due to circumstances beyond my stitching control!  Here's a chart of my finishes from the year I started stitching to the year before I started my blog:

Can you guess what happened in the least productive years? 2001 I was doing a lot of overtime, 2002 my first son was born, 2006 I was dating my husband and moving house, 2007 we got married, 2009 my second son was born.  Life events stop you stitching!

Obviously this is quite raw data as it doesn't show the size of the projects I was working on.  For example 2006 was the year of Mirabilia's Sleeping Beauty so although I only had 2 finishes, one of them was massive!  I also didn't stitch so many smalls in those days which is why I have stopped the graph at 2010 when my stitching style changed from OAAT to rotation.

For people who find themselves in a slump, I recommend the Ten-a-Day method which has worked so well for Spring and Summer in the Square.  Just do ten small stitches each day and put the project away.  Looking through your stash works for some people, for others it can be overwhelming.  Fully-finish some old pieces, even if all you do is iron them and stick them into a scrapbook you can see them to inspire you.

Finally, read some blogs and leave lots of encouraging comments for other people.  Why not enter a competition like the one we are having on the Blogger of the Week blog?  Click below to see what it is all about!

Friday 25 August 2017

August Smalls SAL

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

This year I will be showing my Hallowe'en and Christmas SAL partworks and any other Smalls I may stitch.

I reached the first letter of Hallowe'en with some creepy trees:

And the 8th Day of Christmas:

I finished another Just Nan ornie, much quicker than the previous one:

This is Snow Forest, stitched on 32 count green linen which does not look green in any of the photos.

Finished as an ornie:

Five finished ornies so far this year, Royal Blossoms was not really very Christmassy so that one will be scrapbooked instead.

And started the next one in the series:

Lacy Diamond by Just Nan
Stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue linen

Finally, I'm hosting a competition on the Blogger of the Week blog instead of an interview this week.   Just pop over and identify the person who stitched each of the chosen photos.

Wednesday 23 August 2017

Belated TUSAL

Somehow I managed to forget to include the TUSAL post with my Theme-tas-Stitch post on Monday, so here it is now, only a little bit late.


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:

I have a lot of ORTs this month as you see from the close-up of the ORTS tin before it was put into the main jar:

The project is Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano by Crafty Kitten.  I'm currently stitching Kreinik which is slower than cotton but we're getting there.

I'm also stitching a little bit here and there on Joan Elliott's Reading Fairy which I started for the Guess What SAL.  I just do one length if I have time in the morning after my 10 and 30 a day projects.

stitched on 28 count Aurora Jazlyn by Crafty Kitten

Finally, Tiff and I are both stitching dragons for Theme-tas-Stitch Animalia August and it got me thinking about whether there was a group just for stitching dragons.  I've had a look on FB and couldn't find one.  I wondered if this is something people would be interested in.  There are groups for all the different designers who do dragons and for themes like Hallowe'en and Christmas but not for Dragons of any origin.  Let me know and I'll think about setting one up!

Monday 21 August 2017

Theme-tas-Stitch Animalia August

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.

Animalia August - Give some love to those projects with our furry or feathered friends.

Or indeed, the scaly ones!  Tiff and I decided that this was a great chance to focus on our dragon projects.  I have two on my WIP list but I was enjoying this one so much I decided to keep going and make it the focus for the month.

Here's where Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams was last November:

And here's where we are now:

Stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano by Crafty Kitten

Close-up of the head.  I love the contrast between the white rayon and the Waterlilies silk which is the variegated blue/cream colour.  The spines are sparkly Kreinik.

I also stitched half a cow for the 8th Day of Christmas:

A cat in a Martini Glass Y for Stitcher's Alphabet:

A black bird for the Enchanted Alphabet:

And two spiders for the Witches:

I will be carrying on with my dragon until the 26th when it's time for Enchanted Alphabet to re-enter the rotation.  For more Dragony goodness, check out Tiff's blog where she is having a little competition.  Guess which projects she will work on this month!

🐉  🐉  🐉  🐉  🐉  🐉  🐉

Finally, we just featured our 26th Blogger of the Week so do pop over and learn more about them.  As a treat to celebrate the six month point and also the Bank Holiday Weekend I will be having a little competition this Friday instead of featuring a Blogger.  So make sure you get over there on Friday and join in the fun!  Here's the link to this week's Blogger:

Tuesday 15 August 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness August Link-Up Post

2017 GG

Welcome to the August link-up for Gifted Gorgeousness. The linky will stay open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time to link up and join in.
I've been making some nice progress on my gifted projects again this month.  I reached the top of the design for Just Nan's Memories, a gift from Vickie:

stitched on 32 count pink linen

Another block on 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott - a gift from my MIL:


Another witch on Witches by Oberlin Samplers - a gift from Barb:

My focus piece for this month is Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams - a gift from Riona.

Here is where I left the dragon last November:

And here is where we are now:

stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano by Crafty Kitten

Close-up of the Kreinik spines:

So now I hand 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 "August 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, we had a Tenuous Shoehorn Linky Party on 8th August, the linky is still live if you'd like to join in any time this month.  I love reading the different posts and it would be nice to see more! Don't forget to check and see if new links have been added since you last looked.

Sunday 13 August 2017

Frankly, I think I prefer birds.

What am I supposed to do with eight milkmaids - AND their cows?  Is this some kind of joke?  If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.

12 Days of Christmas (Correspondence) - John Julius Norwich

Emily obviously feels the same way about cows as my Nana did!  This block took quite a long time to stitch compared to the previous blocks.   I think it's the amout of colour changes and small details.  Once again I did the background with just one thread.

In the evenings I have continued with the header.  I have completed both angels and the two Christmas Roses now:

Here's where I finished last month:

And here is where I am now:

I have also stitched on both my Hallowe'en pieces this month, the theme on the blog was Creepy Trees which fit perfectly for Happy Hallowe'en (see this post) but not for Witches by Oberlin Samplers.  However I wanted to get both pieces ready for September's theme which is Spooky Woods.  So here is another Witch:

And the whole piece so far.  Like Happy Hallowe'en it could be complete but has words above and below the figures:

One of the SALs for Cross Stitch Finish Line this month was called Guess What? and each day we had to post first our fabric, then our thread, then 25 stitches per day until Reveal Day on Day 7.  Here are my 7 photos, see if you can guess before the Reveal:

Day 1 - 28 count Jazlyn in Aurora by Crafty Kitten

Day 2 - Threads, mostly purple and yellow

Day 3 - 25 stitches

Day 4 - 50 stitches

Day 5 - 75 stitches

Day 6 - 100 stitches

Any ideas yet?  Two people had got very close guessing the designer straightaway and narrowing it down to one of her Fairy designs.  Shame there are so many to choose from!

Here's a close-up of the part I was stitching:

And here's the Reveal - Joan Elliott's Fairy Dreams AKA Little Reading Fairy AKA September Fairy from the 2013 Diary AKA Year of Magical Stitching:

I've carried on stitching a little bit each day and here's where she is now:

Finally, we had a Tenuous Shoehorn Linky Party on 8th August, the linky is still live if you'd like to join in any time this month.  I love reading the different posts and it would be nice to see more!