Sunday 30 April 2023

April WIPocalypse, Stitch from Stash and Pie


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 "23 in '23" for this year.  This month I stitched on 7 of them and had 1 finish.

2. Kustom Krafts Little Snapdragon

5. Carriage House Samplings Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow

13. Mani di Donna Halloween Stitching Basket

17. Stitch it Picasso Temperature SAL

18. Circle Cross Blackwork Tarot

21. Amanda Butler Belfast Houses - Finish

22. Amanda Butler Cardiff House - Finish

The full list can be seen here - WIPocalypse and "23 in '23"

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

April– Give us five projects in your stash right now that you’d really love to start – and why you haven’t yet.

This is a great question!  First of all, why haven't I stitched whatever my five are going to be?  Very simple - I've been focusing on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow for the past two years in order to get that done in a timely fashion.  I was going to continue with a focus project for next year but noticed it will be "24 in '24" so have decided to pick 24 different new projects from my stash - 12 medium and 12 small - to be worked on 2 per month as decided by the WIPGO Board.

I went through my stash and added all the designs I really really wanted to prioritise and then sorted them by size.  This list will change over 2023 but will be finalised by the end of December.  At the moment the Top Five are as follows:

Stitchy Princess Alice in Wonderland

Life in Stitches Aslan

Maria Bravko Life in the Shire

Primitive Hare Hocus Pocus Cabinet

Cottage Garden Samplings Halloween Sampler

None of them are very big and all should be doable in a month if I focus on one project.  There are also at least another 24 projects on the reserve list!

Now it's time for Pie:

I stitched my full fortnight on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow again.  Here's where I started the month:

Here's the progress on Block 11:

And here's the whole piece:

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose from Chromatic Alchemy

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 - 19 days
Block 5 - 25 days
Block 8 - 15 days
Block 9 - 27 days
Block 10 - 31 days
Block 11 - 15 days and counting

I moved on to Little Snapdragon after that and have completed all the green in the top half of the chart and the three darkest greens in the bottom half.  Next time I will finish the greens, there are 6 or 7 medium and light shades, and then blues and purples for the flowers.  A finish could be in sight!

Here's my Evening Pie, showing a quick finish for the Cardiff House and the rest of the month on my Temperature SAL.
Finally, Stitch from Stash and a lovely Zero spend!  All my money is going on papercraft at the moment...

Friday 28 April 2023

April Smalls


The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

Because I am focusing on my BAPs again, I won't have so many smalls this year but I do have a couple of series with small components so I will share them this month.

The first is the Blackwork Tarot by Circle Cross.  I have finished Fire:

stitched on 28 count sky blue evenweave from Silkweavers

My next collection of tiny items is the Potion Bottle Temperature SAL from Stitch It Picasso.  

stitched over 1 on 25 count tea-dyed evenweave

I am so far behind with this, I've not even finished March and April is almost over.  All those unfinished bottles except one will be Lime so hopefully they will be quicker to stitch.

The next series is from Amanda Butler in Cross Stitcher magazine.  I started and finished the Cardiff House in April:

stitched on 28 pale grey evenweave

Finally, it's nearly 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 day.

Here are last year's projects:

Monday 24 April 2023

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 - IHSW on Facebook.

As usual, I worked on Friday so the only thing that got stitched that day was my Amanda Butler Cardiff House project, with evening stitching it now looks like this:

stitched on 28 count grey evenweave

Yes, that's a finish!  Much quicker than the previous two designs.

On Saturday I decided to focus all day on the Fire Element from Circle Cross:

stitched on 28 count sky blue evenweave from Silkweaver

Yes, another finish!  This one took a lot longer than Earth as it is much more densely filled and less logical than the Earth design.  Here are both of them together:

Air is next and should be much quicker to stitch.

I'd already done my days on Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow so I decided to focus on Little Snapdragon for the rest of the month.  The green is quite tedious with all the different but very similar shades but this is where I am now:

stitched on 32 count Evening Sky Murano from Crafty Kitten

Finally the next IHSW will be 19th - 21st 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.

Thursday 20 April 2023

April TUSAL and Stitching Library


It's TUSAL time!  

Here is my TUSAL jar with my current project, Kustom Krafts Little Snapdragon:

Here's the full design showing the part I am working on which is the greenery on the top row of pages.  I am going colour-by-colour for this part.
stitched on 32 count Evening Sky Murano from Crafty Kitten

What's on my Shelf?

This is a 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: Love Kills Slowly Cross Stitch
Author: Ed Hardy
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
ISBN: 9780740797613

So, the premise of this book is to produce cross stitch which has "no cutesy babies, gingerbread houses or jack o'lanterns".  They offer a "modern twist to cross stitch".  Which is quite amusing as the designs here are thoroughly "old school" in tattoo terms!

There are 30 different designs featuring skulls, roses, swallows, hearts, banners, butterflies, animals, more skulls, more roses etc.  All very much the style you would see on the flash wall of an old-school tattoo studio.

You can imagine a sailor having any of these on his biceps!

I find it ironic in that trying to avoid "your grandma's cross stitch" he actually produces "your grandad's tattoos"!

The designs are fun, I even bought some denim blue fabric to stitch them on.  But there's a good reason why I didn't.  Have a peek at this chart:

The book recommends using 2 strands of thread for the colours and SIX for the backstitch.  6 strands will give the designs that heavy handed black outline so many tattooist used to use but there is NO need to replicate that on the actual chart.  You really can't see the symbols under those thick black lines at all.

Just for comparison, here's a tattoo recently completed by my friend's daughter:

photo copyright - Honey of Curious Crow Tattoos

Such lovely fine lines and beautiful shading too.

Finally, it's IHSW coming up this weekend.  Here's what I will be starting with:

Fire by Circle Cross Designs

Saturday 15 April 2023

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.

Once again, for the first fortnight my focus has been Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow.  The plan is to stitch this for two weeks each month until it is finished.

"Steaming" along nicely with Block 11!  I decided to stitch the outlines of the blocks and shapes so it's a case of filling in or colouring in the gaps next time.

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

I am continuing with my Dark 13 project which is Mani di Donna's Halloween Sewing Basket.  The plan for this one is to stitch it on the 13th of every month.

stitched on 32 count grey linen

At the end of last month I stitched a little bit on the Bothy Threads 12 Days of Christmas which was a Christmas present:

stitched on 32 count grey-blue linen

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 had a couple of questions asked in the comments by people who are "no-reply" so I couldn't email them to respond.

Stitchin Rose asked about hanging pictures on my bare brick wall as apparently she has one too.  
"How do you hang pictures on the brick?"

Answer - the same as any other wall which has been plastered or wallpapered - bang a nail in!  The bricks are just ordinary house bricks not those super hard masonry bricks.  You can also drill a hole, put a rawl plug in and use a screw instead of a nail.  In my older house I used a lot of picture hooks with very thin pins but the house was so old you could literally press a drawing pin into the wall with your bare hands!  This house is a little bit more solid so hammer and nails it is.

Beth asked "What is SAL?"

Answer - a Stitch a Long.  Anything where a group of stitchers are stitching together.  It could be on the same project or it could be on a theme.  My February WIPocalypse post explains a bit more.

I love answering questions, but please leave an email so I can get back to you and make sure you see the answer!

Monday 10 April 2023

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).

Once again I only have one FFO for this month but my goodness, you are all going to be very impressed with it!

Back in December 2019 I started the JBW 12 Days of Christmas designs on Boxing Day and completed one per month throughout 2020.  The plan was to make four small banners with them.  But then I bought some 12 Days scrapbook paper and thought I would make a scrapbook instead.

Here's the photos of the finished item:

On the back of the album I have a little tag with the details of the stitching.

These albums are so much fun to make!  They do use a lot of paper, tape and glue and take about an hour per double page.  There are loads of tutorials online and once you've made a couple of albums you can watch the "walkthroughs" and work out how to do layouts for yourself.  The pages for this one were entirely based on the papers I owned, I didn't follow a tutorial at all.

Finally, here are some of my favourite YouTube channels for scrapbook albums:

and today's new find: