Sunday 30 September 2018

September Pie and Stitch from Stash

The Tinies project and planning for Dark October totally changed the face of my stitching in September as the Pie will show.  I focused on the Tinies and then moved onto 12 Days of Christmas to clear the decks for Dark October.

So here's the Pie:

Exactly half the month on those Tinies which have now been mailed off to my friend.  Maybe a sneak peek of one of them won't hurt?

Oh, there's two of them there!  You'll see the rest pretty soon.

Stitch from Stash was much healthier this month too, after last month's splurge.  I only bought two things, both from Just Nan.  You'll see them on my Birthday Round-up post when I do that.

JN Mouse £11.99
JN Cube £12.99
Total £24.98

Finally, it's nearly time for the spookiest Hop on the Blog - the annual Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  For this one, you send me an email or leave a comment saying you would like to take part.  A few days before the end of October I will send you an email with a letter of the alphabet.  On the 31st you must make a blog post featuring something spooky you have stitched (or crafted) and your letter.

I will list all the participants on my blog and we all hop around collecting the letters to form the spooky phrase - report back to my blog and leave a comment to win a prize!

September WIPocalypse Stash Organisation

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 4 of my 18 projects:

1. Donna Kooler - Zodiac - Finish!

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen

2. Jardin Prive - Happy Hallowe'en Night:

stitched on 32 count Cognac Linen

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

4. Mrs Peggotty - Alice & The Flamingo:

stitched over 1 on 25 count blue evenweave

Measi always sets us a discussion topic each month:

September – How do you keep your stitching stash organized? 

Organised chaos would be more like it!  The problem is that I don't have a room of my own to store everything in one place.  Instead I have a cupboard in the Utility Room, some units in the corner of the bedroom, a box next to my stitching table in the kitchen and a large chest in the Living Room.

So basically:

Utility Room - fabric, charts, finished smaller pieces

Bedroom - WIPs not currently in the rotation, finishing materials, scrapbooking supplies

large framed pieces in the wardrobe

Living Room - charts, kits, beads, speciality threads, older items in my stash, magazines stored in boxes.

Kitchen - DMC, current projects in my rotation, book collection.

This bag holds the entire range of DMC in Floss-away bags

Finally, it's nearly time for the spookiest Hop on the Blog - the annual Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  For this one, you send me an email saying you would like to take part.  A few days before the end of October I will send you an email with a letter of the alphabet.  On the 31st you must make a blog post featuring something spooky you have stitched (or crafted) and your letter.

I will list all the participants on my blog and we all hop around collecting the letters to form the spooky phrase - report back to my blog and leave a comment to win a prize!

Saturday 29 September 2018

The People Have Spoken!

Following over three years of themed posts on the first Saturday of each month, we have now come to the end of the Zodiac culminating in Virgo on 1st September.  I was keen to continue with a themed post but couldn't think of something as good as The Alphabet or The Zodiac.  So I thought "It's time to let the people decide"!

On the 1st September post I asked all my followers to suggest themes for the first month of the new SAL.  Then on 14th September I asked the members of the IHSW group on Facebook to vote for their favourites from those suggestions.

Here are the results of that poll:

Hopefully you can see that Hallowe'en was a runaway winner.  Most serendipitous for October!  So the first theme for The People's Choice SAL on Saturday 6th October will be Hallowe'en.

You can show any finished piece you have, any WIPs, any projects in your stash or anything on your wishlist.  As always, the theme is very open to interpretation.  It's the taking part that counts, not rigid adherence to any imaginary rules!

My original plan was to choose a new theme once a month, so we would vote for November's theme in October.  But people have asked to have a little bit more notice so they can join in and plan their posts/stitching.  So here is the schedule for the rest of the year:

October - Hallowe'en (18 votes)
November - Birthstones (8 votes)
December - Dragons (7 votes)

Next Saturday I will ask for suggestions for January's theme and we will continue on a rolling three month schedule from then onwards.

Finally, we need a photo of some stitching!  So here's a sneak peek of a current Hallowe'en WIP:

Jardin Prive - Happy Hallowe'en Night
stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

Friday 28 September 2018

September 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 9 of the 12 Days of Christmas:

And here is the full piece.  You can see that I have stitched a good chunk of Block 10 too.  I want to complete 10 in September so I can dedicate October to Hallowe'en stitching.

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

I finished Happy Bluebird at the beginning of the month, just need to get a charm and scrapbook it:

stitched on 32 count White evenweave

The next Small in line is Jump For Joy, which is now nearly finished too:

stitched on 32 count Antique White linen

The Donna Kooler Tinies have all been FFO'd and once my friend gives me permission I can show them on here.  Should be viewable for next month's Smalls Post.

My final Small is my new app - Tiny Decisons.  This is a free app where you type in a question and then give a selection of answers.  The app creates a wheel which you can spin to help you decide on a option.  For Dark October this year I am also doing Arbitary October where the wheel makes a random selection from your WIPs.  I have 5 Hallowe'en WIPs so I put each one in six times and then added Enchanted Alphabet once.  Each time a project comes up I will stitch on it for the day and then remove the option so they each get stitched on during the month.  If I complete a WIP then I remove all the remaining entries for it to give something else a chance.  Here's the wheel all set up ready to go:

Finally, Blogger has a new glitsch to delight and entertain us all.  Specially selected commenters can no longer comment on blogs where the comment field is embedded.  They can only comment on blogs where the comment field is a pop-up.

So if you like to get comments - go into your Dashboard and change your comment field to a Pop-up.  Chatter is restored!  Thanks to Brigitte for alerting me to this latest vagary of Blogger.

Monday 24 September 2018

September IHSW

I don't know where this last week has gone but I meant to blog mid-week with a post-Birthday update and then suddenly it's IHSW and it's over and time to blog about what I did then!

Came down with a stinking cold mostly.

But there was some FFO'ing and some stitching too so it wasn't a totally lost weekend.

I have spent a lot of time stitching the Donna Kooler Tinies for a project a friend is organising.  Here's what one of the finished ones looks like:

Once she has decided what she is doing with them and reveals her plan, I will be able to show the fronts to you!

Once they were all completed I was able to return to my 12 Days of Christmas by Just Nan.  I'm hoping to complete Blocks 9 and 10 this month so I don't have to do one in October and can focus fully on Dark October stitching!

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

I've also been pottering along on Alice & the Flamingo by Mrs Peggotty, a little bit each evening.  Here's where she was last IHSW:

And here's where she is now:

stitched on 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 19th - 22nd October 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.

Saturday 15 September 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness September Link-up Post

Welcome to the September Gifted Gorgeousness link-up.  The link-up date will continue to be the 15th and I will keep the link-up open until the end of each month so you have plenty of time if you are late posting.

The format remains exactly the same, there is a list of rules on the main sign-up page if you want to check what is required but basically anything connected to the word "gift" is allowed, whether it was a gift TO you or is a gift FROM you.

In the past month I have only stitched one piece that fits the "Gifted" category, my Donna Kooler Tinies.  These are for a project a friend of mine is organising.

Here are the latest ones to be finished/started:-

stitched on 22 count Hardanger

Now it is your turn to show us your Gifted Gorgeousness for the 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.



I suppose I should show more than one stitching picture in a post, so here is the latest photo of my Temperature SAL, a project designed by Hetti on her blog.  We've had a couple of weeks of paler Yellows (17-22 degrees Centrigrade)

stitched on 22 count Hardanger

Finally, the planning for the new Saturday SAL is well underway.  I asked people to leave a comment with suggestions for a theme for a blog post and then I listed all the suggestions on the IHSW Facebook Group and they are voting for their favourite there.  Whatever they choose, will be what I write a post about.

If you'd like to vote then the link for the IHSW Group is here - IHSW Facebook

If you left a comment after the Poll went up, then I will add your suggestions to next month's list.

Sunday 9 September 2018

September Tiny 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 jar with two projects:

On the right is the latest set of Tinies from the Donna Kooler book 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs.  All stitched on 22 count Hardanger fabric.

On the left is the latest Just Nan design, Jump for Joy:

stitched on 32 count Antique White linen

That's about all the stitching progress there has been this week!  The tinies actually take two days each because there's a surprising amount of detail in each one.

I have painted some more rocks!  I wanted to put a batch out for the local Primary School on their first day back, which is Monday.  I used all the best flatter rocks for the book themed designs so here's a selection of weird shaped and lumpy rocks:

Finally, don't forget to visit all the Summer Postcard participants and leave a comment on THIS POST if you want to be included in the Five Peaks Blog Hop Challenge this year.

Saturday 8 September 2018

Why I Love Train Journeys

Hours of uninterrupted stitching!  We had two train journeys this week to nearby cities (Norwich and Cambridge) which combined to give me 6 hours of stitching time with. no. interrruptions.  This is the important part.  6 hours of stitching at home is probably about 3 hours if you remove all the requests for snacks and attention.

This is what I stitched:

Is there room on the broom for a cat like me?

The final word

The whole piece so far:

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

September's goal was to complete the witch with Happy scheduled for October.  But now I think I will be able to get this completed before the end of October.

After that I completed 2 more of the Donna Kooler Tinies:

stitched on 22 count Hardanger

And at coffee morning on Friday I finished a Just Nan small - Happy Bluebird:

stitched on 32 count White evenweave

I just need to decide on a charm for the centre and then I can scrapbook it.

As well as stitching on the train we did some sightseeing and some shopping.  Here's a selection of photos from the two days out.

Norwich has the Hare Trail this year.  In previous years they have had elephants (2008), gorillas (2013),  dragons (2015)  and now hares.

Each one is sponsored by a local business and decorated by a local artist.  There are also smaller hares decorated by local schools.

At the end of the summer they are auctioned off for charity.  You can find more information here:

Cambridge had fudge!  The Fudge Kitchen is a franchise business across the UK who like to give out free samples!

This is a book sculpture in the Cambridge Waterstones.  They also have a Book Igloo which is big enough to get into and hide away with a book.

This is a bizarre and very expensive clock!  Quite a nightmarish cricket-like insect moves the wheel round and the lights tell the time.  It's 5.15 pm here.

In Norfolk we found a Suffolk Rock!

Which we hid in Cambridgeshire:

I wonder where it will go next?  We hid it in a niche in a stone pillar at the top of a church tower reached by climbing 123 narrow spiral stairs.  Wonderful views of Cambridge from the top.  Once you got your breath back!

Finally, don't forget to visit all the Summer Postcard participants and leave a comment on THIS POST if you want to be included in the Five Peaks Blog Hop Challenge this year.

Saturday 1 September 2018

Zodiac SAL - Virgo

Welcome to the final post of the Zodiac SAL.  As ever, there is a linky for anyone who wants to join in.  The linky will stay open until the end of the month.

Last month we had two people link up with me, please do visit them now if you missed their posts before:

Virgo, the Maiden, is an Earth sign ruled by Mercury and covers those born between 23rd August and 22nd September.

The constellation Virgo has multiple different origins depending on which mythology is being studied. Most myths generally view Virgo as a virgin/maiden with heavy association with wheat. In Greek and Roman mythology they relate the constellation to Demeter, mother of Persephone, or Proserpina in Roman, the goddess of the harvest. However, some tell tales of the Greek story of Parthenos, which means virgin in Greek, which explains how the actual constellation Virgo came to be.

In this story Parthenos is the daughter of Staphylus and Chrysothemis, and sister to Rhoio and Molpadia. Rhoio had been impregnated by the Greek god Apollo, once her father had found out that she was pregnant he assumed it was from some random suitor and was greatly ashamed. As punishment her father locked her in a box and threw her in a river. After the terrible fate of their sister, Parthenos and Molpadia were very nervous to anger their father in fear of his terrible wrath. On one evening, Staphylus left his two daughters in charge of a bottle of wine, back in that time a very valuable item indeed. When they both accidentally fell asleep one of their swine broke in and broke the bottle. Fearing their fathers wrath, the two sisters fled to a nearby cliff and threw themselves off. Because of Apollo's previous relations with their sister Rhoio, Apollo saved the two from the cliff and delivered them to the safety of nearby cities in Cherronseos. Molpadia ended up in Castabus where she changed her name to Hemithea and was worshipped as a local goddess for many years. Parthenos ended up in Bubastus where she was also worshipped as a local goddess. According to another story, Parthenos was a daughter of Apollo who died at a very young age and after her death Apollo made the constellation after her.
In the Babylonian MUL.APIN (c. 10th century BC), part of this constellation was known as "The Furrow", representing the goddess Shala and her ear of grain. One star in this constellation, Spica, retains this tradition as it is Latin for "ear of grain", one of the major products of the Mesopotamian furrow. For this reason the constellation became associated with fertility. The constellation of Virgo in Hipparchus corresponds to two Babylonian constellations: the "Furrow" in the eastern sector of Virgo and the "Frond of Erua" in the western sector. The Frond of Erua was depicted as a goddess holding a palm-frond – a motif that still occasionally appears in much later depictions of Virgo.

Early Greek astronomy associated the Babylonian constellation with their goddess of wheat and agriculture, Demeter. The Romans associated it with their goddess Ceres. Alternatively, the constellation was sometimes identified as the virgin goddess Iustitia or Astraea, holding the scales of justice in her hand (that now are separated as the constellation Libra). Another Greek myth from later, Classical times, identifies Virgo as Erigone, the daughter of Icarius of Athens. Icarius, who had been favoured by Dionysus and was killed by his shepherds while they were intoxicated after which Erigone hanged herself in grief; in versions of this myth, Dionysus is said to have placed the father and daughter in the stars as Boötes and Virgo respectively.

Source: Wikipedia - Virgo (Constellation)

Virgo People: What They Are Like:
From work ethic to wardrobe, impeccable Virgos are the epitome of #flawless. They can pull off the “I Woke Up Like This” look—even if they’d rather spend a couple of hours primping and putting themselves together in the mirror. Because Virgos can get stressed from micromanaging their lives (and other people’s!), downtime is crucial for them. They cherish their solitude and can spend indulgent hours reading, writing, planning, decluttering or dreaming up creative projects. But they’ll always spring into action for a friend in need. Because observant Virgos can quickly spot the flaws in everything, they can come across as critical or judgmental. They’re only trying to help! But when they lapse into preachy mode, they may need a reminder that they don’t have to “fix” the world. As hard as Virgos may be on loved ones, they’re even harder on themselves. This giving sign needs to learn the art of receiving—a lifelong struggle for many.

Source: Astrostyle - Virgo

Famous Virgo People:
Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Richard Gere, Lea Michele, Zendaya, Nick Jonas, Bernie Sanders, Cameron Diaz, Niall Horan, Quvenzhane Wallis, Paul Walker, Kobe Bryant, Jimmy Fallon, Flo Rida, Blake Lively, Adam Sandler, Wiz Khalifa, Pink, Shania Twain, Sean Connery, Harry Connick Jr., Lilly Tomlin, Amy Poehler, William Howard Taft, Lyndon B. Johnson, Mary Shelley, Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie, Stephen King, Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld

Here's a quote from one of Mary Shelley's best known books:

Here's one I stitched on The Monster and The Bride:

For the stitching part of the SAL I have chosen a series of designs from the Donna Kooler book 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs. I am stitching them all on one piece of 32 count Millenium Blue fabric. Here is Virgo:

I did a dark hair conversion for her

And here is the whole piece, not finally framed yet as I didn't have a piece of mountboard big enough.  But you can get an idea of what it will look like:

Now, I am a Virgo myself and I have to say that the description is spot on, except for the first line about appearance.  I am not interested in spending two hours getting ready in the morning!

I have stitched numerous pieces over the years just for me with special meanings to me but for this post the Satsuma Street Virgo is the perfect piece to show again:

As with the Donna Kooler Zodiac, I did a dark hair conversion.

So, let's hand over to you! This is the place for you to link up if you want to join in, please link to the actual blog post, not your blog homepage and include your name so we can see who has joined in.



Finally, this is the final month of the Zodiac SAL.  I hope you have enjoyed each month and learned a little bit about each star sign.  Some of them were very accurate and some were completely unrecognisable according to the comments left.  So what comes next?  We did the Alphabet Club for 26 months and the Zodiac for 12 so now it's your turn to choose:

My favourite part of each post has always been choosing the designs to fit a theme.  So I thought I would let my followers choose the monthly theme and I would do my best to find something I have stitched already, a current WIP, something on my wishlist or something stunning I have seen elsewhere.  Hopefully there will be inspiration, enabling, encouragement and a liberal use of the shoehorn!

You may all join in, there will be a Linky on the first Saturday of each month.  Dip in and out as you want.

Your first task is to nominate the themes the people will be voting on.  Nominations are to be left on my blog, the voting will take part in the IHSW Facebook group as it's easy to do a Poll there.  I will announce the next month's theme when I do my "I Like Pie" post at the end of the preceding month.

Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Dragons, or Cats, or Blue, or Spring, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.  Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.

Looking forward to reading them all!