Monday 31 August 2020

August Stitch from Stash and Pie

Well, August turned out to be a very productive month, with no fewer than 5 finishes!

Here is the Pie:

Yes, those couched lines on the Discworld Mappe took nearly 2 weeks to stitch.  To be fair, some of those days were very short because it was sometimes difficult to get the enthusiasm to start on them.  I also stitched the lovely silver stars around the edge of the Mappe.  I intend to do a full post this week dedicated to the Mappe, so I will show lots of photos then.  In the meantime, here's another full picture of it:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

Holly Noel by Just Nan was the first finish at the start of the month and then it took 20 days to get another finish.  This is the Alice freebie from Passion Creative:

stitched on 28 count linen from a Crafty Kitten grab bag

The original is charted in two shades of grey but I knew I wanted blue for Alice.  Originally I planned to use the dark blue for all the darker stitching but having done her eyes I realised it was just too dark.  So I used the intended lighter blue for the rest of the dark stitching and chose a new light blue.  I love the way this turned out and hope to scrapbook it very soon.

The next finish up was my Summer Sampler SAL with Leonore.  We have both been stitching Just Nan's Morning Meadow over the last eight weeks.  Here's my finish:

stitched on 32 count pale green linen (matches DMC 772)

I didn't have all the charted threads or beads so I substituted blended DMC for the Caron Waterlilies, standard DMC for the Perle and beads which I did have in my stash.

I also made those bunnies darker so they would show up better

This is a very early Just Nan - JN013 copyright 1993, the year I started stitching.  She uses some absolutely wonderful speciality stitches in this sampler.  Some I was familiar with and some that were new to me.  The butterfly stitches are fantastic and I like the satin stitch flowers too.  She uses Mosiac Stitch to great effect, there's so much texture in this piece.  I do wish she would do more band samplers but I have several in my collection so I can't complain too much!

Another Just Nan was the final finish for the month.  This is Jasmine Mix, 49 x 49 stitches but 17 colours and 1 kind of bead:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

I absolutely love this one.  The way the B5200 just pops off the fabric and those gorgeous dark pinks, the splashes of yellow.  Great little design.

I did purchase a little treat this month.  I saw a former shopowner selling off some Just Nan exclusive kits from when she owned a shop, for a bargain price and had to snatch one up!  Then the Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Special came out so that's an essential purchase.  It is very good this year, now I just have to figure out how to fit a couple of the designs into the rotation!

Just Nan Regency Roses £8.50
JCS Halloween mag £7.50
Total £16.00

Finally, with only 2 days left in the month after completing Discworld I decided to pick up a very old project.  So old, it's not even on my WIP list as I didn't discover it until I was stash-diving for old finished pieces to FFO.  This is Bramble Harvest from Needlepoise charted by Judith Stanley in the days of hand-written charts.  This is just the cover, I literally have some blackberries and a row of Fly Stitches and it's a finish!

look at that price tag - £7.50 for an entire kit!

Sunday 30 August 2020

August WIPocalypse Mystery SALs

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 "20 in '20" for this year.  This month I stitched on 6 of them.  2 finishes and 1 goal met this month.

Joan Elliott - Faces
(Project 2)

Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map
(Project 5)

JBW - 12 Days of Christmas
(Project 11 - Book 3)

Hands on Design - Broomstick Fuel
(Project 15)

Amanda Butler - Alice in Wonderland SAL in Cross Stitcher magazine
(Project 17)

Just Nan - Morning Meadow
(Project 19)

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss:

August – Have you participated in any of the mystery SALs on Facebook (or other social media)? What do you think makes a successful mystery SAL?

I have taken part in a few Mystery SALs but I am much more cautious about committing myself these days!  The current one is a good example of why.

My usual guidelines would be:

Do I like the designer?
Do I like the theme?
Is there a sneak peek?
Can I keep up?

The Joan Elliott Faces SAL scored highly in all categories.  I love Joan Elliott.  The frame was so pretty and the first face was gorgeous.  Then she released the second block.  A cat's face.  I like cats.  I would have liked a witch's cat.  But this was a moggie and just didn't appeal to me to stitch it.  So the entire SAL stalled!  And we all know that once you fall behind, you stay behind.

I am determined to complete this because every Longest Day Marathon I get it out and love stitching on it.  So the plan is to substitute an owl from one of the fantasy designs for the cat and stitch a block or two each year until it is done.

Other SALs which have also fallen by the wayside include Around the World in 80 Stitches by Papillon.

Reason - it's so fiddly!  I chose to do the speciality stitches version and I am just not loving all the stopping and starting.  I think I prefer my speciality stitches in a band sampler.  I have done loads of those and love them!

The plan for this one is to stitch all the dark green outlines.  Then all the light green foliage.  Then set small goals and see how that goes.

Finally, a successful SAL to finish with!  The Stitchonomy Snowflake SAL from last December.  One snowflake per day.  Of course I decided to be extra and do them all in beads but still completed it by the end of the month.

The Hallowe'en SAL starts soon.  Will I start it?  Will I keep up with it?  We shall see!

Friday 28 August 2020

August Smalls

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

This year my Smalls will be my JBW 12 Days of Christmas ornaments which I started on Boxing Day 2019 for the 12 Days of Stitchmas.  I completed the Eighth Day in August: 

stitched on 40 count White linen, 1 over 2
(Beads will be added at the end of the set of three

I am slowly ticking along on my current Just Nan, Jasmine Mix:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha

I even started a new small project.  This is a weekly SAL from the Lin Pulsion blog entitled Bulles de Bonheur or Bubbles of Happiness.  I have been saving all the charts while I decided how I wanted to stitch them.  In the end, I decided over 1 on 25 count and using rainbow colours:

stitched over one on 25 count white evenweave

My final small will be for Aimetu Clare's Christmas Tree.  Her theme this year is "Flowers".  Can anyone guess which flower this will be?

stitched over one on 28 count white evenweave

I'll tell you when I finish it!

Finally, my Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Special arrived today!  So I will keep this brief as I want to peruse and make lists this evening.


Monday 24 August 2020

August 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 - IHSW on Facebook.

I have been focusing on my Discworld Mappe this weekend, adding the Longitude and Latitude line which is extremely tedious and leads to much procraftination - doing anything to avoid stitching those lines!

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

So what was I procraftinating with?  I did some FFO'ing which I will show on the 10th for Rachel's FFO Gallery.  I also did some tidying-up on my Happy Dance blog, added a few photos there.  And started writing my "21 in '21" list too!

This one is my current Just Nan small, Jasmine Mix.  There are 17 different colours in this piece just 49 x 49 stitches!  I still have to add two shades of yellow, some pink and quite a lot of white.  And beads!

stitched on 32 count Vintage Country Mocha

I reached the final row of Just Nan's Morning Meadow, my Summer Sampler SAL with Leonore.  This is a pretty motif and once it is done I only have to add beads.

stitched on 32 count pale green linen

I'm doing very well with my bath-time stitching so I will only show this portion of her face.  It's amazing how a few stitches in just three colours can be so effective.

stitched on 28 count linen from a Crafty Kitten grab bag.

Finally, the next IHSW will be 18th-20th 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 by leaving a comment on my post.

Wednesday 19 August 2020

August TUSAL

It's TUSAL time!

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

You would not believe how long those lines take!  Rather than stitch them in backstitch I decided to do one long stitch and then couch it down with the same colour.

I started off using the same length of thread for both laying down the line and then couching it but that was so difficult to get the tension right and the lines were wobbly.

So then I threaded two needles, one for laying down the line and the other for couching it down.  That works much better but is time consuming.  Added to the fact that this area of the chart covers about 10 pages so you are constantly flipping from one to the other.

But we are getting there!

In the evenings I have been working on the Alice freebie as my bath-time stitching:

stitched on 28 count linen from a Crafty Kitten grab bag

I have completed all the medium blue and have started on the lighter blue.  This is a fun stitch and grows quite quickly.  

Another Alice design - the Amanda Butler SAL from Cross Stitcher magazine.

This month's block is the Duchess:

She didn't take long at all so I spent the third day working on the vines:

stitched on 32 count yellow linen

I backstitched the watch in gold too:

Finally, it's going to be International Hermit & Stitch this weekend.  We have an influx of new members thanks to a shoutout from a FlossTuber so I am going to return the favour.  Check out Tranquil Stitches.  She had over 100 videos so I won't be watching all of them to catch-up but she does Dark October Hallowe'en stitching so that is a must-watch at least.

Saturday 15 August 2020

August Gifted Gorgeousness Link-up Post

Welcome to the August 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.  I completed all the cross stitch in July and started some of the longitude and latitude lines today:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

I changed technique for the lower four lines and they look much better.  It's really hard to keep the lines taut.  This is one time where a frame might be useful!

I finished my Just Nan design, Holly Noel, which was a gift from Brenda:

stitched on 28 count Beige evenweave

And FFO'd it too!

At the end of July I worked on my Joan Elliott Faces SAL piece, the fabric for this was a gift from Dawn of Crafty Kitten.  I did a few days this month because I really wanted this block DONE.  The skin took sooooo long but was worth it in the end:

I used 00557 for the beads within the figure and 40557 (the petite version) for the background.

Close-up of her lovely over one skin:

The whole piece so far:

stitched on 28 count Jazlyn in Snapdragon by Crafty Kitten

The final gifted project for this month is the 12 Days of Christmas by JBW.  Two of my friends bought two charts each for my Christmas present.  I started one design per day for the 12 Days of Stitchmas and have almost completed the Eighth Day: 

stitched on 40 count white linen, 1 over 2

Last month I showed a photo of the Birthday Countdown Box I had made for a friend.  She loved every day and took a photo of everything on the final day:

The gifts are a mixture of things I have bought (e.g. some GAST threads), things from my stash (e.g. charms) and things I have made (e.g. scissor fob) as well as some hand painted aida.  I discovered that diluted acrylic paint is great for painting aida.  If it's too bright - just give it a tea bath!

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 "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, I have been stitching away on my Summer Sampler SAL with Leonore.  I completed another two bands last week and this is where we are now on Just Nan's Morning Meadow:

stitched on 32 count pale green linen

Monday 10 August 2020

Fully Finishing Fun for August

FFG SAL - 10th of each month
Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This SAL is designed to motivate us all to do something with that box of Finished 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).

I haven't got anything as fancy as last month's finish but there are more FFO'd items this month.  It's been really hot here so obviously the perfect time to FFO some Christmas designs.

The first up was a finish this month too.  I completed the stitching in July but only got a chance to add the beads and charm this month.  This is Just Nan's Holly Noel:

stitched on 28 count beige evenweave

I didn't have the holly charm so I used a little candy cane instead

and scrapbooked it:

It's a biggish piece so it got a page to itself.

Next up were three Dragon Dreams designs all completed last year for the Christmas Ornament SAL:

Never Too Big To Believe
from the 2004 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special
stitched on 32 count green linen

scrapbooked with Not a Creature Was Stirring from the 2001 issue:

Peace on Earth
from the 2002 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special
stitched on 32 count dark green linen

You are my Gift
from the 2010 Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special
stitched on 32 count dark green linen

scrapbooked together:

I decided to mount You Are My Gift as a gift tag style with a nice piece of ribbon.  You may have noticed I changed the words on Peace on Earth to Peace & Harmony.  Anyone whose child likes Peppa Pig will recognise the song those words come from!

I would have had a framed piece as well but I didn't have the right frame in my stash so that will have to wait.

Finally, we had the Summer Blog Hop at the weekend.  Thanks to everyone who took part and to all those who hopped around and discovered the Stitching Friends.  It worked really well and I will definitely be doing it again next Summer.