Friday 30 April 2021

April Smalls, Stitch From Stash and Pie


The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

This year my Smalls will be the Stoney Creek 12 Days of Christmas 2019 Ornament series which I started on Boxing Day 2020 for the 12 Days of Stitchmas.

April was Four Calling Mallards Birds:

stitched on 32 count Lime Green evenweave

I added April to my Tiny Modernist Calendar

stitched on 32 count Summer Sky Belfast linen from Silkweavers

I completed Mrs Claus from Autumn Lane Stitchery.  I even framed her but that will wait until the FFO Gallery!

stitched on 28 count tea-dyed evenweave

I didn't stitch another Christmas Ornament because I used the time to stitch another seasonal design for my Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  This is Ostara from The Primitive Hare:

stitched with one strand on 35 count cream linen

At the tail end of April I completed my fourth Just Nan Mischievious Mouse.  This is Pumpkin Mouse:

stitched on 28 count Burnt Orange evenweave

On to the Pie, which looks like this for April:

You can see I spent half the month stitching on my Chatelaine, Gardens of London.  Some of those days were quite short but I achieved my goal of completing one telephone box and one guardsman.  The final two days I spent outlining some of the smaller gardens with metallic thread.  There is a LOT of backstitch to complete.

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Belfast from Crafty Kitten

Gardens of London came up in the WIPGO call for May so I will get another week on it in May.

You've already seen the Bothy Threads 12 Days project where I have completed the first day.  It took a total of 14 days for that block which is a good indicator of how long I can expect the project to take!

Country Cottage Needlework's Main Street was just three days to finish the second shop in my Spooky Conversion.  I changed the Coffee Shop to a Broom Shop.

From this:

to this:

I kept the basic colour scheme of peach and green but changed it to a more orange shade and a limey-green  The window and door frames are dark brown and the fence went black. While the tree became an autumnal tree using DMC 4130, a variegated red/orange/brown.   Tiny changes to the shape of the roof and chimney pots.

I also added brooms in the window, a broom vertical door handle and a broom-stand instead of one of the fences.  Inbetween the two shops I added a little street light.

Here's the whole thing so far:

stitched on 32 count Murano in Charcoal Slate from Sparklies

This one has also come up for May's WIPGO so I will be starting another shop in May.

Stitch from Stash was fine, I bid on a piece of Crafty Kitten fabric in her sale and scored some bargain Just Nan charts on eBay (again).  The magazine sub and Mr. Linky sub are exempt from SFS so that's OK.

Finally, the final Stitch Maynia starts tomorrow!  As in previous years I will be completing my Just Nan-a-thon where I stitch on one Just Nan small per evening.  The list currently stands at 16 started in 2018 and 7 started in 2020 which leaves 8 new starts for this year.

Here's where I left off last year, 8 of these have been completed since then:

Sunday 25 April 2021

April WIPocalypse Pandemic Stitching


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 "21 in '21" for this year.  This month I stitched on 5 of them and met 1 WIPGO Goal.  

4. Chatelaine Gardens of London

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Belfast from Crafty Kitten

10. Stoney Creek 12 Days of Christmas

stitched on 32 count Lime Green Linen

12. Mirabilia Fairy Idyll

stitched on 32 count Vineyard Murano from Crafty Kitten

13. Bothy Threads 12 Days of Christmas

stitched on 32 count grey-blue linen

19. Country Cottage Needleworks Main Street

stitched on 32 count Murano in Charcoal Slate from Sparklies

The full list can be seen here - WIPocalypse and 21 in 21

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

April - Have you found yourself to be more or less productive in your stitching during the Covid-19 pandemic?

I would say my productivity has been about the same but the times and places that I stitch have changed slightly.  Because the boys have both been at home a lot more, I have had to adapt my daily routine.  Then when the Small Boy is at school I have to use the small amount of time more wisely rather than just stitching for several hours.  There are some things like beading or fully finishing I simply can't do when he is at home.  Then you have to factor in the long walks to replace school activities and you find your time diminishing again.

However, I was furloughed for a total of 7 months of which the Small Boy was in full time school for 6 weeks, hence the recent FFO spree!  Bath-time stitching has continued so I have kept up with my smalls.

Really the only project which has suffered from neglect is my Chatelaine as that needs time and focus.  It also requires me to be sitting at my computer to check the colour chart and the instructions as well as the printed black and white version I actually stitch from.  But as you can see above, I am pressing on with the first telephone box and guardsman.  Hope to finish them this month.

Finally, Owlforest Embroidery have a new Alice in Wonderland themed SAL.  It's a free download from their website and started on Friday with one part released every two weeks until next February.  I have no room in my rotation for another large project and I can't decide whether to go for the colourful version or the reduced palette anyway.  So for now I am just downloading and saving the parts!

You can find it here - Owlforest Embroidery Free Charts

Monday 19 April 2021

April IHSW and F.N.S.I


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.

The third Friday is also the Friday Night Sew In or F.N.S.I. which Kaye introduced me to.  You can find out more about it here - Sugarlane Designs

Friday was my first day back at work since Christmas Eve so that curtailed the stitching time dramatically!  I did put a few stitches in on my current Just Nan Band Sampler.  This is Nan's Garden:

stitched on 28 count green linen
(I must try get a better photo of the fabric!)

At bath-time I managed to complete my second Autumn Lane Stitchery design.  This is Mrs "Large Hat" Claus!  

stitched on 28 count tea-dyed evenweave

The rest of the weekend was a little bit more productive.  I focused on my Chatelaine Gardens of London and completed a phone box.  One down, three to go!  In true Martina style, there are four different shades of red, and three different colours to make the windows.

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds from Crafty Kitten

The next IHSW will be 21st - 23rd 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 by leaving a comment on my post.

Finally, it's time to reveal the Mystery Phrase from my Easter Treasure Hunt Blog Hop.  I wanted a phrase which would include the word in the project I was stitching which was this one:

stitched with one strand on 35 count cream linen

This is Ostara by The Primitive Hare, one of a series of 8 Celtic Celebrations, all found here - Primitive Hare Freebies

Now, "celebration" was too long a word so I used "solstice" instead.  I sent out all the emails with the letter and laying in bed that evening suddenly thought "it's not a Spring solstice, it's a Spring Equinox".  Whoops, too late to change now. 

Everyone did indeed find the phrase

"Spring Solstice of Ostara"

You can learn more about Ostara here.

I plan to stitch all eight of these and frame them together which is why I chose 35 count linen, so they will fit in a frame I already have.  Frugal framing!

Thursday 15 April 2021

Gifted Gorgeousness April Link-up Post


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.

Deb sent me the charts for the Stoney Creek 2019 Ornaments which were my Stitchmas project this year. I started all 12, one per day and will be completing one per month.  April was Four Calling Birds.  I think this rather looks like a mallard duck!  Quack!

stitched on 32 count Lime Green evenweave

I still have to add the beads for this one!

From the Gift of Stitching by Nancy Pederson, called First Day of Christmas:

stitched on 28 count black evenweave using DMC 742

CCN's Main Street, this is my spooky conversion.  The charts were gifts and the fabric was a giveaway prize:

stitched on 32 count Murano in Charcoal Slate by Sparklies
(I have stitched more than that but not quite finished the block)

Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow, the chart was a Christmas present:

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

Mirabilia Fairy Idyll was a new start, this was a gift from a friend:

stitched on 32 count Vineyard Murano from Crafty Kitten

The kit for Bothy Threads 12 Days of Christmas was a Christmas present.  I completed the first block:

stitched on 32 count grey-blue linen

My Chatelaine came out for two days, this was a gift for my Big Birthday in 2016 and many of the threads were gifts from stitchy friends.  It's a great way to kit up a Chatelaine with the silks, ask people to donate one skein as a Birthday gift,

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Belfast by Crafty Kitten

I think that is instantly recognisable as a telephone box!  I hope to finish the box and the guardsman next to it this month.

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, it's IHSW this weekend.  I'll have a late start as I'm working all day Friday.  First day back since Christmas Eve!  Looking forward to seeing what everyone else stitches.

Monday 12 April 2021

April TUSAL and my Stitching Library


It's TUSAL time!

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

We've just had a WIPGO Weekend and my Bothy Threads 12 Days of Christmas was my chosen project.  I got quite a lot of progress from here:

to the point where I have stitched almost all the gold in the number 1.  Next I have to couch the white perle to form the outline.  This is quite an unusual project in that you backstitch very little.  Instead you couch long lines of the perle to form curving outlines.

What's on my Shelf?

This is a new feature I'm going to include on my TUSAL post until I run out of books! I started a Page on my Happy Dance blog for my Stitching Library and realised what a huge task it was so decided to break it down to one book per month. For the next four years...

This month's book goes well with the 12 Days design and the medieval manuscript look to the piece.

Title: Celtic Cross Stitch
Author: Gail Lawther
Publisher: David and Charles
ISBN: 9780715302729

This is one of my favourite designs inside, a stylised alphabet:

I stitched this Celtic Cross and added some words for a friend's spiritual church back in 1995.  Unfortunately I did not take a photo before giving it to her.

The book itself is divided into three section; Knot and Patterns, Animals and People, Lettering and then a final Pattern Library so you can make your own designs.  There is a little bit of information about Celtic designs at the start of each chapter but mostly it is the projects themselves.

I used one of the alphabets to adapt this design into a Birthday card for my friend Kathy:

If you like a bit of Celtic knotwork but get in a tangle designing your own, then this is a good book for you!

Finally, the Easter Treasure Hunt is still ongoing.  You have until the 15th April and my GG post to try and guess the Mystery Phrase.  Don't forget to leave comments on the blogs as you hop around.

Saturday 10 April 2021

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for April


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).

It's a very good thing I started early with my FFO'ing because there has been zero done in April so far, thanks to the school holiday.  Never mind, I've been able to stitch instead.

What I did do was completed in March when I dragged my box of frames out of the cupboard and matched a few up with some completed pieces I had.

First up was Alice and the Flamingo by Mrs Peggotty.  I finished this in February 2019 and the original intention was to frame her with the Queen of Hearts by the same designer.  But the poor Queen is languishing in the UFO pile and Alice deserves to be on display.

The frame was bought many years ago (pre-Large Boy) and had four small apertures so the plan was to stitch a series of four seasons of an appropriate size.  Didn't happen.  But it looks wonderful for Alice.

Next up was my Autumn Tree.  Completed in January 2019, just needed the right sized frame.  This was a charity shop find and just the right size.  The glass was glued in so I had to try photograph it without reflections!  The fabric is actually a nice green colour which doesn't photograph well.

This was a freebie design from an old Yahoo group.  They gave you the speciality stitches and you chose your own colours.  I added a few charms to suit the season.  A crow (or maybe a raven?):

A cheery tombstone!   RIP Yahoo Groups

And a happy little pumpkin:

The last one is a more recent finish, February of this year!  I have two of these frame so I will add Mrs Claus next to Santa as soon as she is completed.

Autumn Lane Stitchery - Santa Claus

I did intend to finish my Mischief of Mice but I have fiddly bits like the whiskers to do so they will wait until Monday and the return to education!

I did paint a frame blue to suit another finish but again, that was put to one side.  At least I will have stuff for May's post.

Finally, the Easter Treasure Hunt is still ongoing.  You have until the 15th April and my GG post to try and guess the Mystery Phrase.  Don't forget to leave comments on the blogs as you hop around.  A few people have problems with email notifications but they assure me they do read all the comments and love getting them.  As do I!