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Saturday, 15 January 2022

Gifted Gorgeousness January Link-up Post


Our new logo for the year is a portion of Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs design.  It was a gift from Carol of Stitching Dreams.

Please remember to change your badge and the link to the new page as the old link no longer works.  Don't forget to link up on the main sign-up page with your blog address.

Welcome to the January 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 last year.  I finished the final three days in December:

stitched on 32 count Lime Green Linen


Also in December I finished the Third Day of my Bothy Threads 12 Days of Christmas, the kit was a Christmas present:

stitched on 32 count blue-grey linen


The word for 2022 is FOCUS with one project being allocated two weeks of stitching each month.  That still leaves two weeks for other WIPs and this week's design chosen by the WIPGO Board is Mirabilia's Fairy Idyll.  The chart and special threads were a gift from a blogging friend.  Here's where I was at the start of the year:


And this is my starting point for the WIPGO Weekend:

stitched on 32 count Vinyard Murano from Crafty Kitten
(top photo is more accurate for colour matching)


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 "January 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.

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Finally, I will be running the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop on Valentine's Day.

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

It's really very simple, all you have to do is email me a picture of something you have stitched which is suitable for a stitching friend on Valentine's Day. It could be a heart, or a pair of cute creatures, or the word "love" or anything which warms your heart. Really anything you think a fellow stitcher would like to receive in her email Inbox. It can be something you've stitched in the past or something you've made especially for this year. It could also be quilted or sewn this year as I know some of my followers do other crafts too.

Send me the email by 10th February.

When I have all the emails I will randomise them and send one to each participant on 13th February. Then on 14th February you must post the picture you receive onto your blog under the heading

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

There will be a list on my blog of everyone joining in, so check out all the blogs and find out who got your picture and identify yourself in their comments as their

Secret Stitching Sweetheart


Does that make sense to everyone? I hope so!

If you'd like to be involved then leave a comment on this post or send me an email if you are "no-reply". I'll be putting little reminders up from time to time and will email on 9th February to make sure you send the pic in time.



Monday, 10 January 2022

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for January

 

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).

This is what I typed on my January post in 2020, which I copied into my January 2021 post:

Let's start the year off as we don't mean to go on - doing nothing all month and realising on the 9th that you have one day to FFO something, anything to show on the 10th.

Guess what?  Same thing this year!

So yesterday morning I sat down to find out where I had hidden everything over Christmas and found the circle badges that DJ sent me to use for FFO'ing round ornaments.

Basically you get two plastic circles, one domed and one flat.  Lace the stitching around the domed one, lace the backing fabric around the flat one and whip stitch together adding a hanger or trim as you please.


I padded the front with some wadding which made it a little bit bigger than the back


But no-one is looking at the back!


 I secured a long piece of sewing cotton to the back and then threaded on loads of beads.  I took a second needle and secured the cotton with a tiny stitch between beads.  It's not perfect and there are some gaps but it won't be noticeable when it's on my garland next year.

The design is Poinsettia by Punochka from the Just Cross Stitch Ornament Special 2020.  Stitched on 32 count mid-green linen.

You can buy a set of six ornaments direct from her Etsy shop now - Punochka Christmas Ornaments




Finally, I will be running the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop on Valentine's Day.


Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

It's really very simple, all you have to do is email me a picture of something you have stitched which is suitable for a stitching friend on Valentine's Day.  It could be a heart, or a pair of cute creatures, or the word "love" or anything which warms your heart.  Really anything you think a fellow stitcher would like to receive in her email Inbox.  It can be something you've stitched in the past or something you've made especially for this year.  It could also be quilted or sewn this year as I know some of my followers do other crafts too.

Send me the email by 10th February.

When I have all the emails I will randomise them and send one to each participant on 13th February. Then on 14th February you must post the picture you receive onto your blog under the heading

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

There will be a list on my blog of everyone joining in, so check out all the blogs and find out who got your picture and identify yourself in their comments as their

Secret Stitching Sweetheart

Does that make sense to everyone? I hope so!

If you'd like to be involved then leave a comment on this post or send me an email if you are "no-reply". I'll be putting little reminders up from time to time and will email on 9th February to make sure you send the pic in time.





Monday, 3 January 2022

January WIPocalypse Introduction

  WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings
(Blog currently offline)


Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World. Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.


January - Introduce yourself, your projects, and any goals you have for the year


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.  For 2022 the list includes some older WIPs, some BAPs and some partworks as well as seasonal stitching.

Here are the WIPs:



This is the full list of 22:
  1. Joan Elliott Faces SAL (1 large block)
  2. Kustom Krafts Little Snapdragon
  3. Chatelaine Gardens of London
  4. Bothy Threads 12 Days of Christmas
  5. Carriage House Samplings Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow
  6. Mirabilia Fairy Idyll
  7. Amanda Butler Alice in Wonderland
  8. Just Nan Christmas Elegance
  9. Just Nan Summer Sampler
  10. A Dark October Halloween project
  11. Hands on Designs Scary Apothecary 7
  12. Hands on Designs Scary Apothecary 8
  13. Hands on Designs Scary Apothecary 9
  14. CCN Halloween Village 5
  15. CCN Halloween Village 6
  16. CCN Halloween Village 7
  17. Jardin Prive 12 Days of Christmas
  18. Nora Corbett Virgo
  19. Stitch It Picasso Dragon
  20. Stitch It Picasso Dragon
  21. Stitch It Picasso Dragon
  22. Stitch It Picasso Dragon
(Do you think I ran out of ideas by the end LOL?)

And this is the New Starts collage, which actually represents 7 of the list:


Then there are two which are TBA - the Just Nan Summer SAL Sampler and my Dark October focus piece.  I have a few ideas for that slot and don't want to lock it down until nearer the time.



I am also taking part in WIPGO again.  This is a FB Bingo group.  You choose 25 goals for the year and each month the Admin pick two numbers to focus on.  When you have met your goal, you tick off that block.  You can give yourself rewards for completing a row or a column.

Here's my WIPGO board:



For January the numbers 2 and 19 have been called.  You can see that Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow is on there many times!  I want to really focus on that design this year.  Hoping to get 22 week in '22.

The planned rotation this year will be:


Week 1 - Either a CCN shop or the HoD Scary Apothecary design

Week 2 - stitch a WIPGO number

Week 3 - stitch Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow

Week 4 - stitch Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow

Any work days or extra days at the end of the month will go to projects not on the WIPGO board such as my Just Nan samplers.

The WIPocalypse posts are the last Sunday of each month

My other SALs are

The People's Choice - posts on the first Saturday of each month - theme in sidebar
Fully Finished Gallery - post anything fully finished on the 10th of each month
Gifted Gorgeousness - post anything gifted on the 15th
Smalls SAL - last Friday of each month


The TUSAL - post on the New Moon each month


Finally, I will be continuing with the ever popular Blog Hops this year. We will have Valentine's, Easter, the Summer Postcard, Hallowe'en and the Advent Calendar.  All at the appropriate time of the year.  I will be posting about the Secret Stitching Sweethearts for Valentine's Day very soon so watch this space.



Sunday, 2 January 2022

January TUSAL

      


It's TUSAL time!

Here is my TUSAL jar with two of my current projects:


I'll empty all the ORTs out now and put them in a bag intending to stuff an ornie with them.  In reality they will live in a bag for ever more!

On the left is my Just Nan Sampler - Christmas Elegance.  I am behind on the schedule and currently working on Band 7 which is the word "Christmas" stitched over one:

stitched on 28 count off-white evenweave

The project on the right is my 12 Days of Stitchmas design from Jardin Prive:


stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen



I've decided not to show a book from my Stitching Library this month but to write about my Christmas tree and decorations as I didn't include it in my Advent Calendar post.  The pre-Christmas run-up was a little too busy for blogging much!

The question everyone was answering this year was - tell us about your tree.  Do you have a real one or an artificial one?  When do you put it up?  Do you use the same ornaments each year or change the colour scheme?  Cross stitch or glass ornaments?  Star or Angel on top?  Do the children help?  (if you have any!).  Any stories about your trees over the years?




Apart from the years we lived in the Far East, we always had a real tree when I was a child.  Dad's job was to find one for sale and bring it home balanced on the handlebars and seat of his bike.  Mum then decorated it with an eclectic range of baubles and ornaments, some from her childhood, some from the early days of their marriage and some new each year.  Our job was to watch and guess which bauble she would choose from the box to be carefully placed in the perfect spot on the tree.

We always had angels on top, a tiny red feather angel and a larger china doll angel which was Mum's as a child.

Once we left home, Mum started to choose a colour theme for her tree - maybe pink and silver or blue and gold, just to have a different look.

When I got my own house I was working full-time so I had an artificial tree for ease.  I collected ornaments over the years, buying a pair of special ones from John Lewis each Christmas.  My little treat to myself.  I have kept the same colour scheme every year too - red, metallic and crystal only.  Metallic includes silver, gold and brass.

When my husband and I bought our house together, we had a real tree for the first year and every year since then.  I've added to the ornament collection over the years but always in the same colours.




My articifial tree went to my parents' house as they no longer want the mess of a real one.  Plus Dad doesn't ride a bike any more!

At the very top I have a huge crystal star.




My older son does help, usually by unwrapping the ornaments and choosing which one will go on next.  My younger son helps by keeping his distance and not removing the ornaments from the tree!  I try to keep the more delicate ones higher up or around the side where they are not so tempting!


Of course, the tree isn't the only Christmas decorating I do.  I have all my Christmas stitching and my garlands too.
















(in the hallway)

(in the kitchen next to my computer seat)


I also made a little slideshow of our trees from 2008 to the current year!



Finally, a little blog housekeeping is going on.  I have a new page for my WIPocalypse choices and one for the sign-ups for Gifted Gorgeousness for the year.  We have a new logo this year so if you use it in your sidebar remember to change the logo and link to the new page.







Saturday, 1 January 2022

The People Chose Designers for 2022


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:

January - Designer for 2022
(a designer you are keen to stitch in the coming year)
February - Snow
March - Quilts

This is the time of year when all my plans have been made, my lists have been written up, goals set and projects ready to go.  It's also a time when someone releases a new design that wants to boot several other off the list and make those plans go awry before we even start the year!  But that's another story...


2020 was my Year of Focus when I spent 111 days working on my Discworld Mapp project to see a Happy Dance before the end of the year.  2021, in contrast, was the Year of Rotation because I had some BAPs I wanted to start and some projects which were feeling neglected.  Another successful year with several designers sharing the spotlight.  This year I am back to a Year of Focus.

I have one particular designer I have followed for a while, admiring their large works but never buying one because I couldn't choose just one.  I always said "If they release a Halloween design, I will get that one".  Lo and behold, they did and I did.  I started it last year and completed the centre blocks.

Have you guess who it is yet?

Carriage House Sampling and their Hawk Run Hollow series!   CHS are sisters Kathy and Marty, their designs tend to the prim style with traditional images of animals, farmhouses, tombstones and of course the village of Hawk Run Hollow!

You can learn more on their website - Carriage House Samplings



Halloween at HRH is a large design divided up into 12 blocks although the centre two form one vignette.  I decided to stitch the piece on 25 count over 1 to keep it to a manageable size!  I started in the centre and the first two blocks took 29 days in total.  The first half took 12 days and the second half took 17 days as my stitching days were longer at the start of the year when we were in lockdown.

So I figured if I can spend 22 weeks of 2022 on this piece I have a good chance of stitching most of the piece.  Some of the blocks are close to full coverage so they will take longer.  I will be happy if I get 8 blocks done and leave 2 for next year to be honest.

Here's the centre two blocks and my starting point for this month:

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose from Chromatic Alchemy

I only own one other Kathy Barrick design, which I won in a Giveaway - Good Intentions.  I have good intentions to stitch this after I finish Halloween at HRH!




Now it's over to you.  All you have to do is make a post on the theme of Designer for 2022, 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.

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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.




Friday, 31 December 2021

December Stitch from Stash and Pie

 It's Old Year's Night and time for a look back at the past 365 days of stitching.


First of all, here is the Pie for December:

Definitely a 12 Days month!  You've seen the Stoney Creek in previous posts and the Bothy Threads almost finished.  Here's my French Hen all couched:

stitched on 32 count grey-blue linen

There is a small gap in the metallic border but that will be filled when I stitch Day 6!

Here are the first three days all completed:



For this year's 12 Days of Stitchmas I am stitching the Jardin Prive designs.  Here are Days 1 to 6, all stitched on 32 count Millenium Blue linen:


I'm using Anchor threads for this, nice bright colours, and I've added white to the top of each roof to look like snow!  You can see which days I was busiest doing other things.  There are large margins because I am going to finish these individually once they are stitched.

My final finish for the year was the Bubbles of Happiness from Lin Pulsion.  This was originally free but you can purchase it now.  I chose a rainbow theme for my piece:

stitched over 1 on 25 count white evenweave


In my WIPocalypse post I showed you my 12 finishes from my "21 in '21" list and now here are the rest of my finishes for the year:




Let's have a look at the Annual Pie Chart now:



The top three individual projects were:

Bothy Threads 12 Days - 54 days
Stoney Creek 12 Days - 44 days
Just Nan Scream House - 32 days

Then another seven projects with between 21 and 29 days on them.  This was very much The Year of the Rotation. 

I also stitched on a number of Just Nan projects, totalling 64 days when I only stitched those projects. 

Here's my current progress on my Christmas Elegance sampler:

stitched on 28 count white evenweave

I am a couple of weeks behind schedule but I might catch up in January.  Or I might just extend my stitching time on this one. 


I came into the year with 18 WIPs and started 35 projects over the course of the year of which 7 are still WIPs.  I also completed 3 projects started prior to 2018.  My current WIPs are:

Prior 20197
20191
2020
2021
Total
3
7
18




How did the spending go last month?  My magazine subscription came out and I bought another three of the Nora Corbett Zodiac Girls charts.



I also tallied up the spend for the whole year:











That figure is about £40 up on last year.  Once again, I spent more on charts and less on fabric and threads.  Those Zodiac Girls were my downfall!  I bought 9 of them for £9 each plus the fabric to stitch 1 on them in 2022.  I also bought more DMC than the previous year but still only 34 skeins which isn't a lot when you consider how much stitching I did!


Finally,

Have a very Happy Old Year's Night

and a very Peaceful New Year's Day