Friday 31 August 2018

August Pie and Stitch from Stash

August was a much more successful stitching month than July thanks to the school holidays and me taking some time off work.  My Toddler Group only meet in termtime so that gave me some extra time too.  What did affect my plans was a friend's idea for a project which I couldn't resist joining in with.  The Donna Kooler Tinies are part of this project so they became my focus piece for the month.

The pie will show you what else I worked on:

That big old house on Happy Hallowe'en Night took up a few extra days this month.  There were also 7 days when I either worked or we had days out so the only thing I stitched was my Just Nan Small or Mrs Peggotty's Alice at bathtime.

Here are the Tinies so far:

All stitched on 22 count hardanger

I totalled up my Stitch from Stash spending this morning and it was a bit of an Oops what happened there moment?!
JCS Hallowe'en mag £8.50
Mira Cameo chart £2.20
CGS Chart £9.00
CCN 2 Charts £11.00
Fabric offcuts £20.00
Total £50.70

The JCS magazine and the Mirabilia Cameo were all I planned to spend this month.  The Cameo comes in a special celebration booklet for the Mirabilia 25th Anniversary.  Nora Corbett has been designing as Mirabilia for the exact length of time I have been stitching.  This is a small chart and will look lovely on a piece of hand-dyed fabric I have in my stash.

So far, so good.  Then I saw that Cottage Garden Samplings have re-released a chart which was on my Wishlist until it went OOP.  Of course I had to snap it up!

And the rule is No Chart Must Travel Alone, so these two came as well.  I have a conversion in mind for the series.

So I had blown the budget for the month (£20) so why not well and truly blow it?  Emily from Lyndisfarne Designs announced that she had a box of fabric offcuts for bargain prices.  So I spent £20 on this little lot.  There is a LOT of 28 count white which will be ideal for dyeing and experimenting with for smalls

Good job it's my Birthday next month so that will be a zero spend.  Hopefully I can then resist buying anything for two months and then December's spending is covered by Christmas!

I have sent out all the Summer Postcards.  Here is the full list of participants which will be updated as each person posts their card:

Ariadne from Greece

Butterfly Wings

Jeremiah's Mom

Mein Allerlei Hobby

The Alchymyst's Study

Tickled Pink in Stitches

A Stitcher's Story

Stitching Friends Forever

Kitten Stitching

Dragon Stitches and Stuff with Astrid

Needle, Pen & Sword


Remember my Five Peaks Blog Hop Challenge?  You have to either participate or comment in all five of my Blog Hops this year to win your Medal in the Five Peaks Challenge!  Obviously the 12 people listed above have already conquered a Peak this Summer but now it's the turn of the commenters.  To have this Blog Hop count as one of your Five Peaks you must comment here using the words "Summer Postcard" in whatever sentence you like.

August Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

This year I am showing my Just Nan 12 Days of Christmas blocks for the Smalls SAL and also my 30-a-day projects.  All smalls also by Just Nan.  It's a Nan-a-thon year!

Here is Block 8 on the 12 Days of Christmas:

I know I still have a couple of white stitches to do in the 8 but it didn't seem worth threading a needle for them, I'll add them when I do block 9.

Here's the whole piece so far.

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

My current Just Nan small is almost finished, this is Happy Bluebird although it may get a rename depending on which charm I attach in the centre:

stitched on 32 count white evenweave

The Large Boy is in favour of me finding a chicken charm and calling it Happy Mrs Chicken (Peppa Pig in-joke there).

Here is the previous finish, Just Nan's Butterfly Bouquet:

stitched on 32 count Pink linen

I also stitched 2 more tinies from the Donna Kooler 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs book:

stitched on 22 count hardanger

Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop is well underway.  Five cards have gone out, and will be shown on the recipient's blogs soon:

Ariadne from Greece

Butterfly Wings

Jeremiah's Mom

Mein Allerlei Hobby

The Alchymyst's Study

Hop over and leave a nice comment.  Stay tuned for the rest of the cards!

Wednesday 29 August 2018

Spooky Stitching

I've shown both these pieces as part of my SAL updates but I thought I'd do a little focus on them and some of my other spooky WIPs.

The first piece is Jardin Prive's Happy Hallowe'en Night which I am stitching for the Hallowe'en Ornie Blog SAL.  This month the theme was Haunted Houses and I stitched a rather palatial residence for our witch:

Here's the whole piece before I move on to the witch herself.  I love how those little pops of yellow really stand out.

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

My second large Spooky WIP is my conversion of the Lavender & Lace design Enchanted Alphabet.  This month I reached the end of the alphabet with Z:

Now I'm ready to get creative with some spooky additions.  There are already two pumpkins, some spiders and a bat.

stitched on 32 count Tiger Lily Murano by Sparklies

The rest of my spooky WIPs were all stitched on for the Longest Day Marathon.  First up was Just Nan's Autumn Mouse:

I'd really like to finish this one for Dark October this year. 

This little freebie from Plum Street Sampler was next - Brew Ha Ha:

The letters won't take long but I am not sure how much more there is to stitch!  There are coffee mugs to one side.

This one definitely won't take long to finish.  Just the border on JBW's Smiling Jack O'Lanterns:

My final spooky WIP is a larger one - Nora Corbett's Bewitching Pixie; Raven:

Dreadful photo of the fabric from my iPad, it's much darker in real life.  There's a lot to go in this one.  

I think my plan for Dark October will be to stitch one motif on the Jardin Prive design, finish the JBW and the Plum Street Sampler and then divide the rest of the days between Just Nan and Nora Corbett to work on both pieces equally.  Or maybe not.  Maybe I'll do something different!  We shall see.

Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop is well underway.  Five cards have gone out, and will be shown on the recipient's blogs soon:

Ariadne from Greece

Butterfly Wings

Jeremiah's Mom

Mein Allerlei Hobby

The Alchymyst's Study

Hop over and leave a nice comment.  The remaining cards will all be sent out tomorrow and the list shown on my blog on Friday.

Sunday 26 August 2018

August WIPocalypse Process or Product

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.  For me, this will be my "18 in '18".  Many of them are part of SALs so I will be working on them each month.

This month I worked on 5 of my 18 projects:

1. Lavender & Lace - Enchanted Alphabet Spooky Conversion:

stitched on 32 count Tiger Lily Murano by Sparklies

That is the Z, the final letter of the alphabet and now I am ready to add all the spooky extras over the next few month.  The aim is to finish this one by Hallowe'en 2019 as it will be my monthly Hallowe'en project when I finish the Jardin Prive design.

People who are familiar with the design will notice that I removed the Frilliest Child in the World.  This was partly because she wasn't spooky but mostly so the project would fit on this piece of fabric from my stash!

2. Donna Kooler - Zodiac Signs:

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen

3. Jardin Prive - Happy Hallowe'en Night:

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

4. Just Nan - 12 Days of Christmas

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

5. Mrs Peggotty - Alice & The Flamingo

stitched over 1 on 25 count Blue Evenweave

Measi always sets us a discussion topic each month:

August – Which is more satisfying to you and why – the process of stitching a piece, or the finish?

Now, obviously the process of stitching is incredibly satisfying or I wouldn't do it!  And if the finish was the most satifying thing then I'd just buy pre-stitched pieces from eBay or charity shops.  But for me, the aim is to start and finish a project within a foreseeable amount of time.  I like to have an end goal.  Even if that end goal is 3 or 4 years down the line.

The Enchanted Alphabet is a good example.  I started that 26 months ago, stitching one letter per year and now I'm planning to keep going for another year adding little bit each month.  By the end of that time it may have had 50-60 days stitching altogether.   I could have completed the piece in 2 months if I was a OAAT stitcher.

Both my Chatelaine and my Discworld Mappe are long term projects.  The Discworld has a target of September 2020 (my son's 18th Birthday) with a stretch target of August 2021 (my son's A level results).  The Chatelaine will take however long it takes!

But those are the exceptions.  All the other active projects on my list have the goal of finishing within a year of starting them.  My aim is to reduce the number of older WIPs each year and minimise starts.

I started the year with 26 WIPs.  Excluding the Just Nan smalls I have made 6 new starts in 2018 and completed 5 projects with another 6 due to be completed by the end of the year.  Leaving me with 21 WIPs.  

Finally, the Summer Postcard Blog Hop is well underway.  Five cards have gone out, and will be shown on the recipient's blogs soon:

Ariadne from Greece

Butterfly Wings

Jeremiah's Mom

Mein Allerlei Hobby

The Alychmyst's Study

Hop over and see whether the cards have been shown yet.

Monday 20 August 2018

August IHSW

It was a great progress-filled IHSW this month so I am very happy.

Saturday morning started off with my three daily projects being worked on:

Just Nan - Autumn in the Square
Just Nan - Happy Bluebird
Hetti - Temperature SAL

Then I continued with my Hallowe'en project which is Jardin Prive's Happy Hallowe'en Night.  Stitching one motif per month to tie in with the Hallowe'en Ornie Blog SAL.  This month was Haunted Houses and it was a big one!

Here is the whole piece and a better colour match for the fabric too:

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

On Sunday I switched to my Donna Kooler Tinies:

stitched on 22 count Hardanger

That might look like a pumpkin, but it's actually a Christmas Teapot!

Next project to share is Alice and the Flamingo by Mrs Peggotty.  Here is what she looked like last IHSW:

And here is where she is now, lots of Flamingo head and neck and beak:

stitched over 1 on 25 count blue evenweave

A few people have said that they don't do Facebook and asked if I could host a link-up for them, so here it is!  Just add your name and the link to your actual IHSW post, not just your blog home page.



Finally, the next IHSW will be 21st - 23rd September so make sure you note the date in your diary or come and join us in the Facebook Group - IHSW on Facebook.  If you don't do Facebook then you can check in here.

Friday 17 August 2018

Rocking the Town on IHSW

It's the third weekend of the month which means it's International Hermit and Stitch Weekend!  I kicked off the weekend stitching with my fellow Hermit Sarah and her daughter, catching up with my Temperature SAL and some more stitches on my latest Just Nan small.

stitched on 22 count hardanger

You can find the details of the Temperature SAL on Hetti's blog - Stitches in Blue

I also found time to do some more scrapbooking of previous Just Nan finishes.

Floral Sunshine

Dragonfly Summer AKA Butterfly Summer

Butterfly Rose

It's so much fun finding the right papers and cards for the mounting.  I think the last one needs some ribbon or lace added.

There's a clue in the title of this post as to what else I have been up to - rock painting!  This is this year's Loom Bands but so much better and more fun.  Basically - get some rocks, paint or draw on them, hide them and wait for someone to find them and post them on the local Facebook group.  Fun for adults and children alike.

The shop where I work has to put on Summer Activities to attract families into the shop but it's difficult when you only have 2 staff on duty each day.  So we hit on the idea of me painting some rocks and hiding them around the shop for children to find.  We also hosted an afternoon of rock painting which was a great success.  Here is my tray of rocks:

The rocks come from a DIY shop (it's illegal to take them off the beach) and as they are white cobbles I was able to draw straight on to them using Sharpies.  Apparently Posco pens are the tool of choice for the elite rock painter but Sharpies are the next best.  Coat of varnish and they are good to go.

Here's a few close-ups, obviously all book characters:

Can you identify them all?  Which one is your favourite?

These have all been hidden in the shop, found by children and taken home to re-hide or keep.  I have a feeling they will be kept judging by the way the children were clutching them!

If you want to learn more or join in, here's a link to the national page - Love on the Rocks UK

Or you just type your town/county/state in the search bar on FB and add the word "rocks" and find out if there is a rocking scene near you!

Finally, I was asked about the Blogger of the Week blog this week.  I've taken a short break from posting there.  I have three interviews ready to go but I need to chase a few requests up and invite a few more people to be interviewed.  So don't worry, it will return!