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Sunday, 19 November 2017

A Memorable TUSAL

Tusal





It's TUSAL time, the Totally Useless SAL where we all show our ORTS and link-up on Daffycat's blog.



I am actually a day late with the TUSAL which almost never happens but I was so ill yesterday!  I came down with the bug that has kept the Small Boy off school all week.  I spent all of yesterday either asleep or being sick in the bathroom.  I managed my 10-a-Day, skipped the 30 as it was beads, put five little stalks into Just Nan's Memories to say I'd worked on it and 2 little stitches on 12 Days of Christmas for the same reason.

(Now on Facebook, click to link)


Fortunately I feel better today, delicate but able to finish two projects!  It was really slow going, I have never made so many errors; threading the wrong colour, frogging the satin stitch and even losing the needle at one point.  At least I didn't spill the beads!

The first completed project was Memories by Just Nan, this was a gift from the lovely Vickie of A Stitcher's Story.  I chose a fabric in her favourite colour - Pink, and added one more personal detail, can you spot it?

stitched on 32 count Pink linen

Here are some close-ups of the bands:





The chart didn't come with the bead pack so I substituted what I already had - 00479, 00553 and 18828.

The second finish was my 30-a-Day project - Have a Heart by Just Nan:

stitched on 32 count white evenweave

This was a nice quick stitch, only 17 days.  I will turn this into an ornie when I have the energy!  Short and sweet today, I am in need of a lie-down now.


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Finally, it's time to sign up for the Advent Calendar  Blog Hop!  For this hop, each participant is allocated a day in December to make their post on.  They will show something they have stitched on a Christmas theme and answer the topic question I set.  I then copy their photo onto my blog post in the style of an Advent Calendar.

So if you'd like to join in, please leave a comment or send me an email.  Let me know if there is a date you would particularly like or one you'd like to avoid.  I will be in touch towards the end of the month!

Here is a link to last year's so you can see how it works:







Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness November Link-Up

2017 GG

Welcome to the November link-up for Gifted Gorgeousness. The linky will stay open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time to link up and join in.


Another great month for Giftedness.  As well as stitching on gifted pieces I also gave three away as prizes in the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.

Part of my Dark October stitching was Raven by Nora Corbett, the chart was a gift from Tiff:

stitched on 32 count Nebula by Crafty Kitten

Spooky Night from Shepherd's Bush was a gift from Vickie and another finish:

stitched on 32 count Platinum linen

Progress continued on Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas, a gift from my MIL:


My big finish for the month was Dragon Dreams Dragon of the Winter Moon, a gift from Riona:

stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano from Crafty Kitten
see previous post for more photos

I'm currently stitching Memories by Just Nan, a gift from Vickie:

stitched on 32 count Pink Linen

So now I hand over to you. This is where you link up your post for this month. Please use your name or your blog name in the field and NOT the words "November 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, it's time to sign up for the Advent Calendar  Blog Hop!  For this hop, each participant is allocated a day in December to make their post on.  They will show something they have stitched on a Christmas theme and answer the topic question I set.  I then copy their photo onto my blog post in the style of an Advent Calendar.

So if you'd like to join in, please leave a comment or send me an email.  Let me know if there is a date you would particularly like or one you'd like to avoid.  I will be in touch towards the end of the month!

Here is a link to last year's so you can see how it works:




Monday, 13 November 2017

Dances With Dragons

Happy Dancing here!  When I put Dragon of the Winter Moon away at the end of September I knew it wasn't far from a finish and I was right.  I returned to the project last week and in just four days I was Happy Dancing With a Dragon.

Here's a few photos:


Who lives in the castle? 


Gorgeous Caron Waterlilies in the wings: 

Sparkling Kreinik tail: 



stitched on 32 count Murano in Moondust by Crafty Kitten

I received this chart as a gift from Riona along with the threads and beads.  I started it on Day 26 of the DUCJC in 2015 but didn't really work on it again until November 2016.  The project was then added to my "17 in '17"and was the focus for Animalia August.  I loved stitching it so much I kept it as the focus for September and only stopped for Dark October.  Four more days in November and it's time to look for a frame!

I have the companion piece to this  - Dragon of the Summer Sky, also a gift from Riona, so I'd like to get them both stitched and hung together.

As I finished stitching on Sunday I decided to do a little framing.  This was a finish in 2015 and has been waiting for the right frame.  I found three in a charity shop for just 50p each.  This is Ghoulies and Ghosties by Just Nan:


This morning it was decision time - what to stitch next?  Another 17 in '17 piece or a design close to a finish?  This piece won the competition!  A gift from Vickie earlier this year I want to finish it so I can start another gifted Just Nan piece in 2018 as a SAL with Brenda.

Memories by Just Nan
stitched on 32 count Pink linen looking a little grey on here!

That is the final band you can see, it's a long thin piece.  I have some white Perle to add, some satin stitching and some beads.  I definitely see a finish over the next few days, by the end of the weekend at the latest.

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Finally, it's time to sign up for the Advent Calendar  Blog Hop!  For this hop, each participant is allocated a day in December to make their post on.  They will show something they have stitched on a Christmas theme and answer the topic question I set.  I then copy their photo onto my blog post in the style of an Advent Calendar.

So if you'd like to join in, please leave a comment or send me an email.  Let me know if there is a date you would particularly like or one you'd like to avoid.  I will be in touch towards the end of the month!  If you asked to take part before the previous post could you remind me.  I am not sure if someone mentioned it during the Hallowe'en Hop.  I'd rather have two comments from you than miss an email!

Here is a link to last year's so you can see how it works:


Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Spreading Some Hallowe'en Happiness

I hope you all enjoyed the Spooky Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop this year and found the mystery phrase.  I made it quite tricky this year so no-one would guess half-way through.  The correct answer was not Honeysuckle & Hollyhocks as Rosey suggested but


Hemlock Root & Henbane


which Christine thought sounded like a Heston Blumenthal soup.  They are both used in spells to steal a witch's power.  And poison her too!

I asked everyone to pick their favourite chart from the three on offer and put all the names on a spreadsheet.  If you were a picture poster you got an extra chance in the draw.

The most popular chart was Hallowe'en Happiness by Imaginating and the winner of this one is:


Ariadne said "As Halloween is not celebrated here I haven't got any stitched pieces. I only show some Halloween things (pumpkin, carving tools, a little witch and stickers) to my pupils and we draw a haunted house. Well who knows till next year I might have my own stitched piece and might take part in the blog hop you will organize next year too!"
So I am holding her to that, next October I shall expect to see a start at the very least!

The second most popular chart was Shepherd's Bush Spooky Night and the winner is:


The final chart was Stacy Nash's Cast Your Spell and the winner is:


A lot of people did not specify a chart so I put all the names back in and drew one more.  I already have this person's address so they will get a small surprise some time before Christmas!  I don't have addresses for the other three winners, so please email them to me.

Since Dark October finished I have returned to my usual rotation, starting with the Zodiac stitching for the SAL.  I am so pleased that everyone is enjoying this SAL so far and we've had a couple of people link up too.  I was enjoying the Satsuma Street Virgo so much that I decided to do a few more days on her and try complete the top half of the chart.

stitched on 28 count black evenweave

I did better than that, the half way point is the bottom of her left arm so the zigzag coming down and the end of the sheaf is all the second part of the chart.  I just love those colours although they are hard to photograph while still getting the fabric to look black.

I put her down yesterday and today picked up Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams which is so close to a finish.  I have been stitching sparkle this afternoon:

stitched on 32 count Moondust evenweave by Crafty Kitten

There is a bit more Pearl Kreinik, a crescent moon in Kreinik and then some beads and we will have a finish this month!  

I am undecided what to stitch after that, it should really be something from my WIPocalypse list or maybe a smaller design to try get another finish?  We shall see.


Regular followers will know what that door means - it's time to sign up for the Advent Calendar  Blog Hop!  For this hop, each participant is allocated a day in December to make their post on.  They will show something they have stitched on a Christmas theme and answer the topic question I set.  I then copy their photo onto my blog post in the style of an Advent Calendar.

So if you'd like to join in, please leave a comment or send me an email.  Let me know if there is a date you would particularly like or one you'd like to avoid.  I will be in touch towards the end of the month!

Here is a link to last year's so you can see how it works:


Finally, I track my comments and I recently received my 15,000th comment from MsOhSewCrafty!  No, she didn't make all 15,000, that's the cumulative total from you all.  Thank you so much for commenting on each post.  I try to reply to all even those tricky no-reply people!  I do appreciate that you take the time to visit, read and comment.  Thank you.








Saturday, 4 November 2017

Zodiac SAL - Scorpio



Welcome to the  Zodiac SAL.  I will be posting on the first Saturday of each month with information about that month's sign and a linky for anyone who wants to join in.  The linky will stay open until the end of the month.

Last month we had three people link up with me, please do visit them now if you missed their posts before:


This month's sign is Scorpio the scorpion, a water sign ruled by Mars and Pluto.  Scorpions are born between 23rd October and 21st November.


In Greek mythology, the myths associated with Scorpio almost invariably also contain a reference to Orion. According to one of these myths it is written that Orion boasted to goddess Artemis and her mother, Leto, that he would kill every animal on the Earth. Although Artemis was known to be a hunter herself she offered protection to all creatures. Artemis and her mother Leto sent a scorpion to deal with Orion. The pair battled and the scorpion killed Orion. However, the contest was apparently a lively one that caught the attention of the king of the gods Zeus, who later raised the scorpion to heaven and afterwards, at the request of Artemis, did the same for Orion to serve as a reminder for mortals to curb their excessive pride. There is also a version that Orion was better than the goddess Artemis but said that Artemis was better than he and so Artemis took a liking to Orion. The god Apollo, Artemis's twin brother, grew angry and sent a scorpion to attack Orion. After Orion was killed, Artemis asked Zeus to put Orion up in the sky. So every winter Orion hunts in the sky, but every summer he flees as the constellation of the scorpion comes.


Scorpio People: What They're Like

Scorpio people can be tricky to spot. With their reserved personas, they seldom starts a conversation or expresses interest in others openly—unless they feel out the situation first. Once you get them to open up, however, you’ll feel their scorching passion for whatever topics fascinate them. Be warned: Scorpios can focus on one subject to an extreme, so you may be in for a deeper dive than you expect—or want! But their natural charisma can quickly pique your interest in the topic, too. Many Scorpios are cutting-edge trendsetters with cultlike followings! Another way to spot them? Look for the piercing Scorpionic gaze, which is hawklike, narrowing in on its “prey” with hypnotic and piercing eyes. If you happen to be the object of that look, watch out! You could feel read as easily as a children’s book, as Scorpio seems to just KNOW all your secrets, soft spots and fears. Their focused attention can be addictive, and even painful when it’s pulled away. Be careful how quickly you fall down that Scorpio rabbit hole—it’s not as easy to crawl back up. When you befriend a Scorpio, you form a power couple or formidable alliance. While they don’t give up their loyalty and trust easily, once they do, they’ll stick with you through thick and thin. Don’t even think about double-crossing a Scorpio, though, because they WILL unleash their fury on you, divulging all of your secrets and airing your dirty laundry. Revenge is their favorite dish to serve…ice cold! On a positive note, Scorpios are the perfect people to help you explore your darker emotions or sexuality, guiding you through fifty-plus shades of irresistible and soul-communing experiences. Although this sign may crave complete and utter control over everything, Scorpios secretly yearn for the very thing they fear: true intimacy with others. It takes a lot for Scorpio to reveal their vulnerability, so guard that privilege with the utmost care. As Scorpios open up and learns to show their shadow side, they can heal in ways that are truly profound.



Famous Scorpio People & Celebrities:
Hillary Clinton, Drake, Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bill Gates, Willow Smith, Kris Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Kendall Jenner, Tyga, Lamar Odom, Puff Daddy, Calvin Klein, Shailene Woodley, Lorde, Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, Ryan Reynolds, Julia Roberts, John Adams, James K. Polk, James A. Garfield, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Sylvia Plath, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Robert Louis Stevenson, Voltaire, Stefano Gabbana, Roberto Cavalli.


For the stitching part of the SAL I have chosen a series of designs from the Donna Kooler book 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs.  I am stitching them all on one piece of 32 count Millenium Blue fabric.  Here is Scorpio:


Here are the two signs stitched so far:


I am also stitching some of Satsuma Street's larger Zodiac designs starting with Virgo (my sign).  I am stitching her over two on 28 count black evenweave.  I didn't get much added to her this month as Scorpio took longer than Libra.  I'll keep going on her for a day or two more.


Now for the themed stitching.  Scorpio is a water sign so there are plenty of designs to show for that.  How about a mermaid?

Bluebeard's Mermaid by Mirabilia

Guardians of the Sea by The Little Stitcher


Hear the Sea Call by Stitcher's Hideaway

Or a piece for the Scorpion in your life?  My Mum is a Scorpio and I stitched this piece for her a while back:

Green Goddess by Joan Elliott


This is the place for you to link up if you want to join in, please link to the actual blog post, not your blog homepage and include your name so we can see who has joined in.

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Finally, the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop is open until Tuesday 7th November so you still have time to hop over there this weekend and find the Mystery Phrase for yourself.


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Pumpkin Pie on All Souls' Day

Hope that you are all enjoying the Hallowe'en Blog Hop which is open until 7th November.  There are some gorgeous spooky designs on display and lots of enabling too!

I did something new for October this year; Dark October Stitching with a different Hallowe'en design every 3-4 days.  So the Pie looks rather different to usual:



Here's a little recap of each project:

Project 1 Just Nan's Haunted Autumn Mouse in a House was also my 30-a-Day project for the month.  I very nearly but not quite completed the carpet square on the 31st so I finished it off doing more than 30 stitches that day.

Mouse stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

Carpet Square stitched on 32 count Antique Ivory linen

Base of the House stitched on 32 count Antique Ivory linen

One Wall stitched on 32 count Antique Ivory linen


Project 2 was Jardin Prive's Happy Hallowe'en Night

stitched on 32 Cognac linen

Project 3 was JBW's Smiling Jack-O-Lantern

stitched on 32 count Platinum linen

Project 4 was Stacy Nash's Cast Your Spell

stitched over 1 on 32 count Platinum linen

Project 5 was Dam Good Craft's Dracula Book Cover

stitched on 32 count Amortentia by Chromatic Alchemy

Project 6 was Nora Corbett's Bewitching Pixie Raven

stitched on 32 count Nebula Belfast by Crafty Kitten

Project 7 was Shepherd's Bush Spooky Night which I finished in the four days.  I just need to add a little bat charm above the P.

stitched on 32 count Platinum linen

Project 8 was my conversion of Lavender & Lace's Enchanted Alphabet, I have reached Q.


stitched on 32 count Tiger Lily Murano by Sparklies


Project 9 to round off the month was a freebie from Plum Street Samplers called Brew Ha Ha.  I stitched this as part of a SAL to celebrate Tracy P's Birthday.  Tracy doesn't have a blog but she does have a FlossTube channel and set up a group on Facebook too.  This is as far as I got in 3 days.

stitched over 1 on 32 count Platinum linen

Finally I need to look at my spending last month!  I was doing well until DMC decided to release the new range of colours in a limited edition tin which Kate from Lakeside Needlecraft had on special offer.  She also had some offcuts of fabric very cheap so I added them to get free postage!  The spend for the month now looks like this:

October
Crazy sub £25.99
New DMC tin £24.50
Lakeside fabric £5.15
Gold Petite 28 Needles £5.30
Total £60.94


See how pretty they are.
The Large Boy was disappointed that the Golden Skein was not included with them!