Tuesday 30 April 2019

April Stitch from Stash and Pie

Another very good stitchy month for me.  A large percentage of the month was taken up with the Easter Holidays so between holiday and lieu time I only worked two full days and one 5 hour day.  Add in two train journeys for uninterrupted stitching time and it was a good month.

Here's the pie for the month:

As you can see I got my full fortnight on the Discworld Mappe and saw a lot of progress particularly in the backstitch.  Here's where it was at the start of the month:

And here's where I am now:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

First of all I worked on the Widdershins hand and banner as well as the red/white border.  Then I placed the leaping fish:

After that I moved inland and filled in the Agatean Empire followed by a whole lot of backstitched coastline

Next month I am going to start with the turtle flipper on the left hand side and work my way across the landmass to the right of the page.

I managed to get my full fortnight in with two days to spare so I decided to stitch some more on Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett.  I got a LOT of turquoise skirt stitched:

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

So that's the stitching.  What about the spending?  Well, most of my money went on train tickets so it was a low-spend month.  The only thing I spent money on was my Just Cross Stitch subscription which was US$ 22 plus US$ 10 postage which converts to £ 24.39

JCS sub 24.39
Total £24.39

Finally, I did find something I was tempted by, this is a design by Stone Street Stitch based on a Neil Gaiman quote and featuring open books makes the leaves of the tree.  Maybe next month

Sunday 28 April 2019

April WIPocalypse Oldest WIPs

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.  

Since 2011 I have chosen a number of projects to focus on that year, starting with my "11 in '11" and increasing to "19 in '19" for this year.  You can find the full list here.

This month I stitched on six of my list, including two finishes:

1. Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tiger Lily from Sparklies

2. Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

3. Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha Linen

4. Summer Typography by Just Nan

stitched on 32 count Pink Linen

5. Nest Egg by Satsuma Street

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Marie's Daffodil by Chromatic Alchemy

6. Daffodil Egg by Mill Hill

stitched on 16 count aida

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

April – Talk to us about your longest-running WIP or UFO.

That's an easy one - my oldest UFO is from the 1990s - Ernie Bishop's Noel Banner:

Since I took that photo I have stitched a little bit more on the O for my Longest Day Marathons:

Close-up of the L:

Last time I got them out I realised I had used the wrong Perle for the hardanger on the E so that's all got to come out too.  These will be added to my WIPocalypse one year.  I have 9 projects started pre-2016 and will add one per year to my list.

Here's the full list if you are interested:

DesignerTitle    Start Date

Ernie BishopNoel Letters01/12/98
Craft CollectionArt Nouveau Head14/04/11
Marie SuarezMy Lovely Sewing Tools14/10/11
SamplermakersSpring Sampler01/03/12
Yiota's XstitchCoffee Fairy24/04/12
PapillonAround the World27/04/12
Scarlet LetterEnglish Transitional Sampler11/12/12
Joan ElliottFaces SAL05/06/14
Kustom KraftsLittle Snapdragon01/01/15

My Lovely Sewing Tools is in bold because that's on the list for this year.  It's my favourite out of them all which is why it made the cut. 
My oldest WIP (as in a project currently being worked on) is the Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace started on 2016.  But this was intended to be a long term project stitching one letter per month and then adding the embellishments a little each month.  Hopefully this will be declared finished this Hallowe'en.

Finally, there is still time to enter the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  All the links now go direct to the relevant post so you don't have to search.  Happy Hunting!

Friday 26 April 2019

April Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

For this SAL I am showing the monthly project for the Christmas Ornie Blog.  I am choosing from the back issues of the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Specials.  This month we could chose any ornament from the 2002 issue.  I am a big fan of Dragon Dreams so I went for this cute little design of a baby dragon cuddled up to a sparkly Christmas Bauble.  This is Not a Creature Was Stirring:

stitched on 32 count green linen
added metallic threads to the bauble 

I have just realised that April was supposed to be the 2002 design and this was the design from 2001.  ooops!  Never mind, 2002 is also a Dragon Dreams design so maybe no-one will notice!

I also added some stitches to my Spooky Conversion of the Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace.  This month I chose some bats from here Brigitte Dadaux:

stitched on 32 count Murano in Tiger Lily by Sparklies

I started a new Just Nan Small and have almost finished it.  The white is the perfect thing to stitch on my Crafty Coffee Mornings.

Just Nan -Butterfly Lace
stitched on 32 count Lavender Evenweave

The Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop was the perfect time to squeeze in another small.  This was a beaded Mill Hill kit which was passed on to me as just the chart.  So I stitched the DMC conversion on 16 count yellow aida:

Finally, thank you to everyone who took part in the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop and everyone who has hopped around to visit the blog and guess the mystery phrase. All the links go direct to the posts now so you have plenty of time to try and guess the phrase. Happy Hopping!

Monday 22 April 2019

April IHSW

IHSW or International Hermit and Stitch Weekend always starts on the third Friday of the month.  It's a chance to lock yourself away and focus on your stitching for the weekend.  You can take part on your blog or via the Facebook page.  Links at the bottom of this post.

It's great when IHSW co-incides with a double Bank Holiday Weekend AND you don't have to work at all.  So I got plenty done on all four days this month.

My main focus was my Discworld Mappe.  Here is where I started on Friday:

No photo description available. 

I had already stitched a length of brown when I realised I hadn't taken a starting photo.

Here's where I finished today:

We now have a fish and the whole of the Counterweight Continent done except for the backstitch.

The Counterweight Continent - according to L-Space

The entire continent is governed by the Agatean Empire, whose capital city is Hunghung.

Geographers and philosophers had long inferred the existence of such a continent, as in order to make the Discworld "work" , it was taken as given that there must be a more-or-less equal weight on the shoulders of all four elephants. Otherwise things would get distinctly unbalanced and the floor might start to tilt underfoot, with unforeseeable and possibly dire consequences. (This prospect also engages the minds of the Balancing Monks, who travel around the Discworld leaving judiciously located small weights behind them wherever they travel, so as to keep things in balance).

Source: L-Space

Great excitement as I also had a new start this weekend.  Last year I was stitching-along with Linda on Mrs Peggotty's Alice and the Flamingo.  Linda was very keen to stitch another design this year and we chose The Queen of Hearts.  She will be my "bath-time" project for the rest of the year.  For new followers, this is NOT a project I stitch in the bath, but one I stitch while my son is in the bath and I watch him to ensure neither he nor the bathroom drown.

When I printed out the chart for the Queen, it became obvious she is smaller than Alice.  Which seems strange.  So, in order for them to appear more similar I have chosen to stitch her on 22 count hardanger rather than 25 count evenweave.

Here is my progress so far:

stitched on 22 count hardanger

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.



The next IHSW will be 17th - 19th May 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.

Finally, thank you to everyone who took part in the Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop and everyone who has hopped around to visit the blog and guess the mystery phrase.  All the links go direct to the posts now so you have plenty of time to try and guess the phrase.  Happy Hopping!

Friday 19 April 2019

Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop 2019

Welcome to this year's Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop; the bounciest, springiest Hop of them all!

First new finish - Mill Hill Daffodil Egg

The original kit was fully beaded on perforated paper but as the chart for this was passed on to me without the supplies I used a piece of 16 count yellow aida and the DMC equivalents to stitch this.  I needed a small project for my train journey last week and this was perfect.

Now on to the Hop.

As usual, I have a list of bloggers, each one was allocated a letter which will spell out the mystery phrase when you hop round in the order below.  A little clue this year - you may be confused to start with as the letters may not seem to spell out anything you can understand but persevere and all will become clear!

The first little bunny is:


and finally back to me for this letter:

Hopefully you have a phrase now!  Don't forget that some people will post later than others because of time zones.  Leave a comment telling me what you think the mystery phrase is.  I have enabled comment moderation so the answers will not appear for two weeks.  Closing date is Friday 3rd May, 2019.

My second finish was a new start last Easter so it is very fitting that it was finished for this Easter.  A lovely bright Springy design from Satsuma Street officially called Nest Egg but also referred to as "Goose in a Bonnet" as a nod to the 80s when I did not stitch those sorts of designs!

stitched on 32 count Marie's Daffodil by Chromatic Alchemy

Because the fabric was paler than the recommended fabric, I decided to backstitch the goose, the basket and the eggs to make them stand out a little but more.  For a lovely version on the recommended fabric - have a look at June's blog here - Butterfly Wings

This is how I have finished the piece for my Easter display:

I bought a felt basket from The Works and cut it apart to get a nice long line of "grass" which I stuck to the edge of the frame.  Then I "planted" the Mill Hill Egg in the grass!  Because the frame is a box frame, the trim doesn't obscure the stitching.

Finally, it is IHSW - International Hop & Stitch Weekend - or Hermit, whichever you prefer!  Enjoy the Blog Hop and make time for stitching inbetween the egg hunting!  Have a wonderful weekend.  Except for Alicia, the Crafty Princess who is working all weekend.  Hope it's a quiet and peaceful weekend instead!

Monday 15 April 2019

April Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post

2019 GG

Welcome to the April Gifted Gorgeousness link-up.  The link-up date continues 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.

My main project for Gifted Gorgeousness has been my Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs, which will be a gift for my son.  This is where I left off last GG post:

This is where it was at the end of March:

And this is the piece I have stitched so far this month:

That will be a banner and a pointing hand once it has been backstitched.

I stitched for two days on Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett, a gift from Carol:

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

Nest Egg by Satsuma Street is almost complete so I will be able to show this for the Easter Blog Hop this Friday.  The fabric was a gift from Tiffany:

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Marie's Daffodil by Chromatic Alchemy

I also worked on this small, which once again I am saving for the Blog Hop.  This Mill Hill Daffodil Egg was a gift from Riona.

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 "April 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 hope everyone who wants to take part in the Easter Blog Hop has now sent me an email and received confirmation that I have added them to the list.  I will be sending the emails out on Wednesday with your letter from the Mystery Phrase and further instructions.  The Hop itself will take place on Good Friday 19th April which is also the first day of International Hermit & Stitch Weekend.  Perfect timing!

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Finally Fully-Finishing Fun for April

Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This new SAL is designed to motivate us all to do something with that box of Finishes pieces instead of just storing them under the bed.  We will all be linking up on Rachel's blog on or after the 10th of each month (10 Hour Stitcher - 10th of the month).

Not such a flurry of fully finished objects this month I'm afraid.  I planned to do a batch on Sunday afternoon (my favourite time to fully-finish) and then a local group invited us to a gym party.  Two hours FREE gym for my son when it usually costs £5 for one hour?  Yes please!  But I did manage to finish my March Christmas Ornament into a little bell-pull style finish.

This is The Sweetheart Tree Christmas Noel Bellpull from the Just Cross Stitch Christmas Ornament Special 2007.  I cut some batting to shape, laced the back of the linen and then whip stitched a piece of dark green felt to the back.  Added a tassel made from co-ordinating thread and a little hanger from a piece of ribbon in my stash.  I have remembered to save some of the ribbon for the other two in this series which I will be stitching later this year.

That was the only thing I FFO'd this month.  So here are a couple of other designs finished in a similar way.

Joy by Jeanette Douglas
from Just Cross Stitch 2010 

Snow Forest by Just Nan

Christmas Hearts by Just Nan

Christmas Star by Just Nan

Don't forget to hop over to Rachel's blog and see what everyone else has Fully Finished this month.

Finally, I will be hosting my Annual Easter Treasure Hunt on Good Friday the 19th April. If you would like to take part this year, just leave a comment here. The week before Easter I will send you a letter of the alphabet which will form part of the mystery phrase. On Good Friday you will post that letter along with a photo of something seasonal that you have stitched (could be Easter or Spring or just something cheerful and sunny or floral). We all hop around like little bunnies to find the Mystery Phrase!

Monday 8 April 2019

8th Blogaversary on the 8th

It's my 8th Blogaversary today!  Where has the time gone?

That's me when I was 8.  Once again you can just see my little brother to my right wearing pink and green.  That was a very fetching mustard and green knitted tanktop,  My little sister was at the other end wearing a brown/orange toned dress with a blue ribbon trim.  In the 1970s it was All The Colours For All The Children.  None of this pink/blue nonsense we have now.

We'd had a fairly stable homelife that year.  I moved into the Juniors at School and Mrs Butler's class.  I actually saw her earlier this year and recognised her so it was nice to let her know what an influence she had been.  I read my first Charles Dicken's story in her class - A Christmas Carol.

How has the blog done over the past year?   Readership has held steady, my pageviews have increased but comments have decreased.  I suspect that this is connected to the way people read blogs now.  It's much harder to comment using a mobile device.  If you are a regular silent follower, why not make this post your first comment?  It would be amazing to push those comments to 20,000 by this time next year!

Here are my blog stats:
8 years
865 posts
1,000,909 pageviews

Yes, I burst through the 1,000,000 mark this week!

I'd also like to wish my Blog-Twins Susan and Calamity Jr a very Happy Birthday too!

What have I been working on recently?  I had a quick look back at last year's Blogaversary post and all the pieces there have been finished which is encouraging.

So far this month I have worked on my Hallowe'en and Christmas pieces.  The Christmas piece is very close to a finish but here's a photo when I had just started:

This is a Dragon Dreams design and the fabric is actually Reed Green not grey.

I added some bats to my spooky conversion of The Enchanted Alphabet by Lavender & Lace.  They were a freebie found at this blog - Brigitte Dadaux

I took this little Just Nan Butterfly Lace along to my Crafty Coffee Morning last week and got the purple finished and all this white border too:

stitched on 32 count lavender linen

Having worked on my Christmas and Hallowe'en pieces for 3 days each, this is where I would usually pick up my Chatelaine but I decided to do something different this month and work on another of my "19 in '19" choices. As we are close to Easter I chose Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett.   The first picture is with my TUSAL jar so I can link up with Daffycat for this month.

I worked hard on her hair and face for two days.  The frog had attacked her last year so it was nice to get this part finished.  Lots of different colours and blended threads too.

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha

Hasn't she got a sweet face?

Last year I asked you all what was your favourite blogging or stitching moment of the last year so it seems like a good idea to revisit that question this year.  Leave a comment and let me know.

A new blogging year also seems like a good opportunity to launch a new blog.  I've been showing my painted rocks recently and everyone seems to enjoy seeing them so I thought I would start a specific rock blog -  Serendipity Rocks UK.  It's still a work in progress, I'll be adding posts over the next two weeks so make sure you follow using a Reader so you see them all, or just pop back from time to time.  I decided on a blog rather than Instagram or Facebook because I can add Labels to the posts and find specific themes if I want to.

Finally, I will be hosting my Annual Easter Treasure Hunt on Good Friday the 19th April. If you would like to take part this year, just leave a comment here. The week before Easter I will send you a letter of the alphabet which will form part of the mystery phrase. On Good Friday you will post that letter along with a photo of something seasonal that you have stitched (could be Easter or Spring or just something cheerful and sunny or floral). We all hop around like little bunnies to find the Mystery Phrase!