Saturday 30 September 2017

Summing up the Birthday Pie

It's the end of September and my thoughts are turning away from my Birthday and towards Dark October culminating in the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  My annual spookfest around my friends' blogs to collect not candy but letters which will spell out a mystery phrase and win you a prize!

Here is a link to last year's Hallowe'en Hop so you can see how it all works:

If you'd like to be a picture poster please leave a comment or send me an email and I'll add you to the list.  We have a great group last year and a nice long phrase!

You've seen most of this month's stitching already but not my Just Nan band sampler Memories since the GG post on the 15th:

I finished the purple swags and went on to stitch the turquoise band:

There are extra bits to fill in, some satin stitch and some beads.

I did another letter on the Enchanted Alphabet Spooky Conversion:

I must confess to cheating.  I stitched O last month so it was P this month.  But because I am not stitching the flouncy girl in the middle I have to move P, Q and R to the right.  You can see the bottom of Q at the top, and that is R underneath with P charted at the bottom.  I have no idea why Marilyn charted the letters like that but rather than count all the way to P and risk getting it wrong I decided to stitch R as a P this month, stitch Q next month and then stitch P and finish R the following month.  Make sense?

stitched on 32 count Tiger Lily Murano by Crafty Kitten

I've also kept up with the Ten-a-Day project which is another Just Nan Summer in the Square.  I am up to Day 92 so this is 920 stitches:

I have been stitching the dark green border since Day 49, the 18th of August and have so nearly finished it!

So what else did I work on in September?  Here's some pie:

It's also time to tally up the spending for the month:

X-Stitch mag £6.00
Crafty Kitten fabric £13.00
JCS Hallowe'en issue £8.50
Waterlilies £5.25
JN Autumn Mouse £21.00
Kreinik £2.99
Satsuma St £4.18
Total £60.92

That looks like a lot, thankfully nearly all of it was Birthday money.

Finally, it's time to decide what to stitch for Dark October.  I have so many choices!

JBW Sweet Nothings and Shepherd's Bush Spooky Night
(gifts from blogging friends)

Nora Corbett's Raven on Crafty Kitten Nebula
(gift from a blogging friend)

Jardin Prive Happy Hallowe'en Night
(potential part work for the blog next year)

Stacy Nash Cast Your Spells
(gift from a blogging friend)

Just Nan's Autumn Mouse in a House
(Birthday present)

and the Dracula book cover

You have until tomorrow morning to decide what I should stitch first!

Friday 29 September 2017

September Small 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.

Regular followers will know that I completed the design I have been stitching all year for the Hallowe'en SAL and here it is framed:

Hallowe'en Happiness by Sandra Cozzolino for Imaginating

I stitched another block on 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott:

I completed another Just Nan small for the 30-a-day challenge:

Lacy Diamond

And have finished the cross stitching for another, Holly Knot.  Just some beads to add and then the finishing:

The fabric is lavender not grey.

I completed a small design for the new Zodiac SAL but I won't be showing that until the first Zodiac Club post on Saturday 7th October.  Instead I will show you my progress on the second Zodiac themed project I have:

stitched on 28 count black evenweave

This is Virgo by Satsuma Street.  I am starting with Virgo because (a) it's my star sign and (b) she hasn't released Libra next!   The plan is to stitch Virgo (me), Libra (Hubby and the Large Boy) and Aquarius (the Small Boy) over the course of the year.  After that I will probably go for Scorpio, Pisces, Taurus and Leo (Mum, MIL, my brother, my sister) and then the rest of them.

Her skin is pale blue, not white and she will have hair!  I'm converting it to dark brown instead of blonde.  I'm going to stitch on her for one more day and then start on the Hallowe'en excitement!

Finally, if you're wondering what the Zodiac Club is, it's the replacement for The Alphabet Club.  You can choose a design like I have with small versions of each sign, or a larger design with all the signs or just the individual signs for you and your family.  But here's the really good part - you don't even need to stitch a Zodiac design to join in.

I'll be starting with Libra for my first post; Libra is an Air sign represented by the Scales.  So you could share something related to Air, or balance, justice, weight, anything that says "scales" to you.  You could even shoe-horn a mermaid or fish in there!  You can look up the birthstone or flower for Libra and show that.  You can show a current piece, a WIP or an older finish.  If you have a Libran in your family you could show something that relates to them.

I'll be posting the first Linky on Saturday 7th October, which serendipitously is my Grandad's Birthday!  The first in a long line of Librans in my family.  Please join in, it's always more fun stitching with friends!  You don't have to post on the 7th, but that is where you'll find the Linky for the whole month.

Monday 25 September 2017

September WIPocalypse Favourite Threads

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 have worked on 4 of my 17 including another finish.

The finish is Hallowe'en Happiness by Sandra Cozzolino for Imaginating:

Z from The Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books:

I completed 9 Ladies Dancing from 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott:

And continued to work on the right hand border:

I also focused on Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams and came very near to a finish:

I ran out of Pearl Krienik so moved on to the castle.  I still have the moon to stitch and the beads to add.  As well as finishing the Pearl.

Measi always sets us a discussion topic:

September - which floss (or colour of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?

For me, that would be DMC 310 or black!  I have so many projects with black in them that I bought an entire cone a while back:

January 2015 to be exact.

I also love DMC 115, a variegated dark red which I used in this lovely JBW Rocking Horse for my little cousin:

I usually use DMC for everything as the speciality threads can be so expensive here.  I did splurge on a Waterlilies for the Dragon above, and I bought several of the Crescent Colours for the Nora Corbett Alphabet Fairies, each of the five designs I stitched used several of the same colours so that was good value.

I will be treating myself to the new tin of DMC which is available on pre-order from both SewandSo and Lakeside Needlecraft, got to keep the collection complete!

Finally, I'll be opening up sign-ups for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop very soon so keep your spooky eyes peeled for that!

Thursday 21 September 2017

September Theme-tas-Stitch Smalls

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.

September - What is the smallest stitch in your stash?  Show us your smalls!

I'm currently stitching two smallish projects, both Just Nans for the 10-a-day and 30-a-day challenges.

Here is Day 83 of Summer in the Square:

And here is Day 9 of Holly Knot:

Earlier in the month I completed Lacy Diamond for the 30-a-day:

Kerry asked for the smallest item in our stash.  I have a couple of the Just Nan Witchy Mice and the Autumn Mouse in a House on order.

I have stitched a few tiny things in the past:

Mr X-Stitch Mona Lisa - over one on 28 count evenweave

My own design Tiny Mice - over one on 40 count

Christmas Card from WOCS - over one on 40 count

Finally, if you like tiny stitching, check out Janet Granger's website, she currently has 10% off all her dollhouse needlepoint kits - Janet Granger and also look at this tiny cardigan from Althea Crome:

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Swamp Troll 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 a recent finish:

The lovely lady sitting next to the TUSAL jar is Heather the Swamp Troll.   Remember I mentioned that I'd bought myself an early Birthday present a couple of months back?  Swamp Trolls are made by a local crafter, each one has their own name on a label and each is unique.  I assumed she bought the faces, hands and feet and just made the soft bodies, but no, they are all made using some kind of modelling resin.  Doesn't she have a lovely face?  She has green finger and toe nails and a little spider tattoo on her foot as well as a tiny broomstick.  I don't think she's going to fly far on that! 

Here is Hallowe'en Happiness all framed and ready for Hallowe'en:

 I decided to continue to work on Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams, I really want to finish this one.  I have stitched lots of backstitch and Kreinik this week, as well as finishing those gorgeous wings:

stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano by Crafty Kitten

Close-up of the Kreinik ice the dragon is lying on:

There's more backstitch, more Kreinik, a crescent moon and a small castle to stitch, plus some beads so it might not be finished this month either.

Finally, thank you to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday last weekend, it was a lot quieter than last year's celebrations!  No Big Blog Hop this year.  But there was cake, cards and presents.  I have another present coming in the mail from Just Nan and a Birthday Discount from Crafty Kitten once I decide which fabric I need.

Friday 15 September 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness September Link-Up Post

2017 GG

Welcome to the September 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.

The stitching hours have dropped off a little bit over the last week since the boys went back to school and I had a couple of extra days at work (annual stocktake, although I didn't have to do the actual evening shift stocktake).  I am also very far behind on answering emails!  But I will catch up.

These are the gifted pieces I did manage to work on since the August Link-Up post.

Two whole bands on Memories by Just Nan - a gift from Vickie:

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

Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams - a gift from Riona.

Lots of progress on my focus piece, here's where I was for August's GG post:

And here is where I am today:

stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano by Crafty Kitten

Close-up of the gorgeous Caron Waterlilies in the wing, well worth spending £5.25 on one skein!

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 "September 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 was able to announce the winner of the Blogger of the Week competition, congratulations to Faith from Faithfully Stitching who has already decided what she wants to spend her voucher on!  I'd also like to say Thank You to Irene from Ricamire who said:

If I win, I do not want a voucher, but I would like you make an offer for this initiative for people who suffer in my country. 

I think this is a great idea, it's a very worthy charity and I will definitely be doing so.   They have a selection of PDF designs from a wide variety of designers, all raising money for rebuilding after the Italian earthquake.  Thanks to Irene for that suggestion.  I recommend that you all visit the website and maybe buy a pattern to help the fund.  They have nearly raised EUR 15,000 so far!