Tuesday 31 May 2022

May Stitch from Stash and Pie

 It's time for some end of the month Pie!

Continuing to hit my 14 days goal on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow.  This month I only stitched on Block 1 which went from here:

to here:

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

I'll continue with Block 1 in June and then drop down to Block 5 underneath it which is another very full coverage block.  I can see this one taking at least 3 weeks.

So far the number of days is:

Block 7 - 13 days
Block 6 - 16 days
Block 2 - 19 days
Block 3 - 20 days
Block 4 - 15 days
Block 1 - 14 days and counting

After my 14 days on Hawk Run Hollow I turned to a new start, the next Scary Apothecary from Hands On Design.  I stitched on Skeleton Polish until I finished it after 7 days.

stitched on 28 count Radioactive line from Chromatic Alchemy

Then to my long term BAP, my Chatelaine.  I love this design so much but it's pretty intense stitching.  I really have to read and reread the chart and instructions each time I pick it up.  Not helped because I have substituted some of the silks.  But I keep good notes, thankfully.

The time around I stitched a second guardsman:

 and the pretty rose border:

This is where I am now:

stitched on 32 count Belfast in Cotton Clouds by Crafty Kitten

It's on my WIPGO Board once more for this year so I might continue with those rose borders around the other three gardens and start the next row of border which is quite a simple one of cross stitch and eyelets.  Also complete the gold backstitch in all of the smaller gardens.

I haven't done an Evening Pie because it was all my Just Nan-athon.  A different Just Nan Small each evening.  Stitched on the anniversary of when each one was started.  Here's the complete range:

And best of all - I got a finish!  Day 29 was the Tiny Toile Heart and it really is tiny.  I stitched it over 1 on 32 count.  Here it is with my scissors for scale:

I just did a little red doodad or bead to fill the little gap and then FFO it somehow.

Finally, on to Stitch from Stash:

I have an eBay alert on for Just Nan charts and managed to hook a Class Project - Star of Light for just £6.99 which was a bargain.  Chart only but the prices are starting to rise.  It's not unusual to see them asking £10-15 for one of the samplers now.  The other chart was an Ornamental Treasure small that I didn't have.

Year in the Woods is the Carriage House Sampling series I signed up for the auto-ship from Sparklies.  Quite unusual for me but I liked the first two so thought I'd take a punt on the series.  Mr. Linky is so we can all continue to enjoy my Linky SALs each month, so that's a gift for you all!

Monday 30 May 2022

May TUSAL and My Stitching Library


It's TUSAL time!  

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project:

I completed the second guardsman this afternoon and will now work on the border for one day.

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...

Title: The Best of Teresa Wentzler Fantasy Collection Volume 2
Author: Teresa Wenztler
Publisher: Leisure Arts 
ISBN: 9781574865974

I only have Volume 2 and I think both this and number 1 are rather hard to get .  To be honest, they are the original hand-drawn charts in a softback book so if you love the designs - buy the charts instead as they will be much easier to stitch from!

The front cover shows The Guardian, a Watch Dragon:

These two are The Storyteller (based on a picture by Maxfield Parrish which Teresa loved as a young child) and The Enchanter, a young mage learning his craft:

These four are Petite designs, on the left - Peacock Majesty and Gentle Creature.  On the right - Castle Ridge and Above the Clouds:

I stitched Above the Clouds in 2005

These two are Celestial Dragon and the Fantasy Triptych

And two aquatic themed pieces - Mermaid and Tradewinds

To see a good picture of Mermaid, check out Leonore's blog

This is a beautiful book with some lovely projects.  Teresa introduces each design and talks about her childhood and love of fantasy, especially the dragons.  It makes it even harder to understand why she has been turned away from these gorgeous animals.  I hope she comes back to us one day so more people can buy the designs and stitch them for themselves.

Finally, I'm planning my Summer Blog Hop so I'll be talking about that in the next month.

Sunday 29 May 2022

May WIPocalypse Retreats and Seminars


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 "22 in '22" for this year.  Since my last post I stitched on 5 of them and had 1 "nearly finish", I just need to add some spiders to Skeleton Polish.  

2. Kustom Krafts Little Snapdragon
stitched on 32 count Murano in Evening Sky from Crafty Kitten

3. Chatelaine Gardens of London

stitched on 32 count Cotton Clouds Belfast from Crafty Kitten

5. Carriage House Samplings Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow

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

11. Hands On Design Scary Apothecary Skeleton Polish

stitched on 28 count Radioactive Linen from Chromatic Alchemy

17. Jardin Prive 12 Days of Christmas

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen

The full list can be seen here - WIPocalypse and 22 in 22

Finally, Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

May – Retreats and seminars – have you ever been to any stitching events? If so, tell us about them!

I have been on two quite different retreats.  The first was a Re-Treat with the emphasis on the treat.  Two sisters owned a converted barn where they held the retreats for only 6 other ladies at a time.  One sister taught the stitching and the other sister did the cooking and also the pampering in the evenings.   I had a wonderful time!  We spent three days just stitching, chatting, eating, having our nails done and shopping in the pop-up shop they had there.

This is the Jane Greenoff class project I completed some years later!

The second was more formal, based in London at the Imperial College in Kensington,  I signed up for a goldwork course.  This was fascinating but sadly I never finished the project.   Eventually I sent it to Dima as she has more chance of completing it than I do.

So my ideal retreat would be a combination of the two; time to chat and a class to learn a new technique or a special class project with a designer I admire.  I would love to get together with more stitchers, especially my blogging friends so if anyone is passing this way do get in touch and come round for coffee and stitching!

Friday 27 May 2022

May Smalls


The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

This year my Smalls will be the Jardin Prive 12 Days of Christmas which I started on Boxing Day 2021 for the 12 Days of Stitchmas.

Altogether now - Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooold Rings!

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue Linen

Because this year is going to be a Year of Focus, I won't really have a lot of Smalls to share so some are a little bigger, such as Just Nan's Tea with Honey.  When constructed it makes a little tea table and you can purchase a miniature teaset to make into pins to stick on top.   

stitched on 28 count Dusky Pink linen

Finally, it's time for my annual Just Nan-athon!  I used this to take part in Maynia in previous years.  I stitch on a different JN Small each evening.  Here are the first 16:


Monday 23 May 2022



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.

This weekend I've been working on Hands On Design's Scary Apothecary Skeleton Polish.  Here is where I started:

stitched on 28 count Radioactive linen from Chromatic Alchemy

Here's my finish point for the weekend:

I'm using the DMC conversion as usual.  The colours aren't such a good match as in previous designs in this series.  The top lilac (3042) looks more grey so I changed to 3041 for the rest of the design which does now look more purple than grey.   The green is much darker than the charted green but it looks fine so it's staying!

I didn't quite finish it this weekend but there's probably only one more day to go on it.

I also continued with my current Just Nan design; Tea with Honey.  I completed another shade of pink:

stitched on 28 count dusky pink linen.

Please excuse the funky colour of the fabric, the picture was taken using my iPad in natural light rather than my camera in artificial light which gives a more accurate colour match.

The next IHSW will be 17th - 19th June 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, just a couple of days after the June IHSW I will be attempting my annual Longest Day Marathon.  For new followers, this is obviously a stitching marathon and not a running one!  On this day I attempt to stitch on each of my WIPs for 20-30 minutes.  The last couple of years I have had to spread the marathon over two days because of other commitments but I am hoping to get it all done in one day this year.  We shall see!  If anyone want to join me, you'd be very welcome.  Just post on your blog or in the IHSW group.

Here's last year's post so you can see how I got on: Longest Day Marathon 2021


Friday 20 May 2022

The Start of IHSW and some WIPGO Updates


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.

Each month this year my plan is to focus on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow for 14 days and then see what my WIPGO Board throws up.

I made great progress on Block 1 this month but didn't quite finish it.  There are some bats, spiders and webs still to be added as well as the rest of the moon.  At the moment it's just a floating face!

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

The whole piece so far:

This month WIPGO called out 2 different projects, both for the first time this year.  First up is Hands On Design and the next in the Scary Apothecary series - Skeleton Polish

stitched on 28 count Radioactive linen from Chromatic Alchemy

I'm using the DMC conversion as usual.  The colours aren't such a good match as in previous designs in this series.  The top lilac (3042) looks more grey so I changed to 3041 for the rest of the design which does now look more purple than grey.   The green is much darker than the charted green but it looks fine so it's staying!

The other project WIPGO called is my Chatelaine.  I'm hoping to finish Skeleton Polish and get just a couple of days on Gardens of London at the end of the month.

Finally, come back on Monday to see how I got on this weekend! 

Sunday 15 May 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness May Link-up Post


Welcome to the May 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 gifted project is my Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow which is my focus project for the year.  Last GG I had finished Block 4 and was about to start Block 1.  That is taking slightly longer as it's more densely covered than Block 4.

Here's the whole thing so far:

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

My current Just Nan was a gift as it's a Travelling Pattern.  This is Tea with Honey:

stitched on 28 count dusky pink linen

Little Snapdragon was also a gift from a blogging friend several years ago:

stitched on 32 count Evening Sky Murano from Crafty Kitten

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 "May 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, my Just Nan-athon is continuing thoughout May but I'm saving the photos for the Smalls post!

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for May


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).

After last month's amazing finish I'm back to being a bit basic!

This is Just Nan Spring in the Square which I finished in a plain wood box frame.  I didn't have the charm to go in the centre so that's a nice button instead.   I have the other three seasons stitched so that could be three more FFO's this year!

Here's my 5th Day of Christmas from Jardin Prive:

stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen

The white and yellow don't contrast much in real life so I backstitched round the butterflies.

Finally I am making good progress with my Just Nan Super Summer SAL.  This is Tea with Honey.  I have stitched all the greens and the purples on the top:

Saturday 7 May 2022

The People Chose Witches


This SAL is all about what you want to see on the blog. Each month I ask for suggestions for themes and then put them up to the members of the IHSW Group on FB to vote for their choice. This is what they have chosen:

May - Witches
June - Beads
July - Pets

Did anyone guess that this would be a favourite theme for me?

Here's a nice collage I put together in 2017 for W on The Alphabet Club (the predecesssor to The People's Choice):

Here's my Mischief of Mice including The Witchy Sisters

This is the amazing Raven from Nora Corbett's Bewitching Pixies series:

My finished Oberlin Samplers Witches:

The central blocks from Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow:

And now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Series of Witches, mention The People's Choice SAL (you can copy the picture I used at the top of this post and in my side bar) and my blog. Please link up using the URL of the actual blog post, not the home page of your blog.   I look forward to seeing what you all post.



Finally, I need your suggestions for the next poll.  Anything, no matter how obscure, weird or random will go into the poll.  Keep the theme suggestions to a single word or two - so you could have Cats, or Green, or Holidays, or Warmth etc.   Really anything which could be illustrated in cross stitch.