Monday, 25 September 2017

September WIPocalypse Favourite Threads

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings
Also linking up with 17 in '17

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.  I have chosen my "17 in '17" which are the 17 projects I want to focus on this year.  You can see the full list on this page here.

This month I have worked on 4 of my 17 including another finish.

The finish is Hallowe'en Happiness by Sandra Cozzolino for Imaginating:

Z from The Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books:

I completed 9 Ladies Dancing from 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott:

And continued to work on the right hand border:

I also focused on Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams and came very near to a finish:

I ran out of Pearl Krienik so moved on to the castle.  I still have the moon to stitch and the beads to add.  As well as finishing the Pearl.

Measi always sets us a discussion topic:

September - which floss (or colour of floss) do you absolutely adore and want to stash constantly?

For me, that would be DMC 310 or black!  I have so many projects with black in them that I bought an entire cone a while back:

January 2015 to be exact.

I also love DMC 115, a variegated dark red which I used in this lovely JBW Rocking Horse for my little cousin:

I usually use DMC for everything as the speciality threads can be so expensive here.  I did splurge on a Waterlilies for the Dragon above, and I bought several of the Crescent Colours for the Nora Corbett Alphabet Fairies, each of the five designs I stitched used several of the same colours so that was good value.

I will be treating myself to the new tin of DMC which is available on pre-order from both SewandSo and Lakeside Needlecraft, got to keep the collection complete!

Finally, I'll be opening up sign-ups for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop very soon so keep your spooky eyes peeled for that!

Thursday, 21 September 2017

September Theme-tas-Stitch Smalls

Theme-tas-stitch is hosted by Kerry

Each month Kerry gives us a theme to stitch to and we show our progress on the 21st of every month.

September - What is the smallest stitch in your stash?  Show us your smalls!

I'm currently stitching two smallish projects, both Just Nans for the 10-a-day and 30-a-day challenges.

Here is Day 83 of Summer in the Square:

And here is Day 9 of Holly Knot:

Earlier in the month I completed Lacy Diamond for the 30-a-day:

Kerry asked for the smallest item in our stash.  I have a couple of the Just Nan Witchy Mice and the Autumn Mouse in a House on order.

I have stitched a few tiny things in the past:

Mr X-Stitch Mona Lisa - over one on 28 count evenweave

My own design Tiny Mice - over one on 40 count

Christmas Card from WOCS - over one on 40 count

Finally, if you like tiny stitching, check out Janet Granger's website, she currently has 10% off all her dollhouse needlepoint kits - Janet Granger and also look at this tiny cardigan from Althea Crome:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Swamp Troll TUSAL


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

Here is my TUSAL with a recent finish:

The lovely lady sitting next to the TUSAL jar is Heather the Swamp Troll.   Remember I mentioned that I'd bought myself an early Birthday present a couple of months back?  Swamp Trolls are made by a local crafter, each one has their own name on a label and each is unique.  I assumed she bought the faces, hands and feet and just made the soft bodies, but no, they are all made using some kind of modelling resin.  Doesn't she have a lovely face?  She has green finger and toe nails and a little spider tattoo on her foot as well as a tiny broomstick.  I don't think she's going to fly far on that! 

Here is Hallowe'en Happiness all framed and ready for Hallowe'en:

 I decided to continue to work on Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams, I really want to finish this one.  I have stitched lots of backstitch and Kreinik this week, as well as finishing those gorgeous wings:

stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano by Crafty Kitten

Close-up of the Kreinik ice the dragon is lying on:

There's more backstitch, more Kreinik, a crescent moon and a small castle to stitch, plus some beads so it might not be finished this month either.

Finally, thank you to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday last weekend, it was a lot quieter than last year's celebrations!  No Big Blog Hop this year.  But there was cake, cards and presents.  I have another present coming in the mail from Just Nan and a Birthday Discount from Crafty Kitten once I decide which fabric I need.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness September Link-Up Post

2017 GG

Welcome to the September 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.

The stitching hours have dropped off a little bit over the last week since the boys went back to school and I had a couple of extra days at work (annual stocktake, although I didn't have to do the actual evening shift stocktake).  I am also very far behind on answering emails!  But I will catch up.

These are the gifted pieces I did manage to work on since the August Link-Up post.

Two whole bands on Memories by Just Nan - a gift from Vickie:

The ninth block on the 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott - a gift from my MIL:

Dragon of the Winter Moon by Dragon Dreams - a gift from Riona.

Lots of progress on my focus piece, here's where I was for August's GG post:

And here is where I am today:

stitched on 32 count Moondust Murano by Crafty Kitten

Close-up of the gorgeous Caron Waterlilies in the wing, well worth spending £5.25 on one skein!

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 "September 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 was able to announce the winner of the Blogger of the Week competition, congratulations to Faith from Faithfully Stitching who has already decided what she wants to spend her voucher on!  I'd also like to say Thank You to Irene from Ricamire who said:

If I win, I do not want a voucher, but I would like you make an offer for this initiative for people who suffer in my country. 

I think this is a great idea, it's a very worthy charity and I will definitely be doing so.   They have a selection of PDF designs from a wide variety of designers, all raising money for rebuilding after the Italian earthquake.  Thanks to Irene for that suggestion.  I recommend that you all visit the website and maybe buy a pattern to help the fund.  They have nearly raised EUR 15,000 so far!

Monday, 11 September 2017

Look here, Edward

This has gone far enough.  You say you're sending me nine ladies dancing; all I can say is that judging from the way they dance, they're certainly not ladies.  The village just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless hussies with nothing on but their lipstick cavorting round the green - and it's Mummy and I who get blamed.  If you value our friendship - which I do less and less - kindly stop this ridiculous behaviour at once.


12 Days of Christmas (Correspondence) - John Julius Norwich

The picture that accompanies this chapter is wonderful.  I do recommend that you buy the book (ISBN 9780385410281) for the illustrations.   Thankfully Joan Elliott's Lady Dancing is rather more sedate than Quentin Blake's drawings.

The gaps are for beads to be added at the end.  In the evenings I've been working on the lettering at the top:

Here is where the piece was last month:

And here we are now:

I have completed another Just Nan ornie as part of my 30-a-day stitching challenge.  This was a quick one, a mere 18 days for the stitching.  I will finish it as an ornie next weekend:

Just Nan - Lacy Diamond
stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue linen

Of course, a finish means picking up the next ornie in turn.  This one is called Holly Knot and is stitched on 32 count lavender evenweave:

I stitched 60 stitches on it when I started it back in March so I have a head start with 90 stitches already on Day 2.  It's a pretty one, all in greens and pinks.

Finally, the competition on the Blogger of the Week is finished and I have published all the comments.  I will announce the winner on Friday.  So stay tuned for that!

Friday, 8 September 2017

Happy Dance for Hallowe'en Happiness

This year for the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog I have been stitching Hallowe'en Happiness by Sandra Cozzolino for Imaginating.  By luck, each part of the design fit perfectly into the theme for the month.  Not really surprising when you consider who chose those themes!

The collage shows the piece I stitched for each month and here are some more photos for September's theme of Spooky Words:

Here is the whole piece, ready to be framed:

Our local Wilkinsons do a frame for three photos which is the perfect size if I remove the triple mount.  And only costs £6!  So this one will be up and ready for Hallowe'en.  Now I just have to finish the Oberlin Sampler's Witches as a companion.

I stitched this on 32 count Lime Green Murano using the recommended DMC.  The chart will be a prize in the Hallowe'en Blog Hop this year, so make a note in your diary if you'd like to win it.  People who post pictures in the Blog Hop get an extra chance in the draw too.

Speaking of prizes, you have less than 5 hours to enter the competition on the Blogger of the Week blog.  That ends at midnight tonight, so hurry over and have a go if you haven't done so already.  And while you are there, check out this week's featured Blogger:

Finally, I am pleased that people are excited about the replacement for The Alphabet Club - the Zodiac SAL.  Satsuma Street have now released MY star sign so I will be buying and downloading that very soon:

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Zenith of the Zany and Zealous Alphabet Zoo

It's the first Saturday of the month so it's time for detention!

"They only met online, but it changed their lives forever"

This is it, the final Alphabet Club post for me!  The idea for the Alphabet Club first came about when Chiara and I were chatting over two years ago.  We have been joined by various bloggers each month, although Chiara herself is taking a little break from blogging.  Because of this, I've added the linky for the final month here.  Whatever letter you are doing in September, please link up here so people can come and check out your progress.


As usual the first piece I will show is from A Dark Alphabet by A Note of Friendship.  This was a partwork mystery sampler which Julie (the designer) and I raced each other to finish!  We have Zombees for Z.  Julie explains why in this post - A Note of Friendship

For those of you who would like to see the entire piece in more detail, you can check out my Danse Macabre post.

The next project I always show is my Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books.  This month we have a brightly coloured Z for Zigzag:

Here's the final page:

and here is the whole piece laid out on the floor!

The plan is to stitch a title in the gap on page one, next to A and then sew the tops and bottoms of each page together to make a soft book.  I'll make sure I post photos when it's completed.

Z is for also for Zebra, here's a tiny one from an Alphabet Sampler I stitched:

And a pair from Joan Elliott's Noah's Ark:

Z is also for Zombie, as well as Zombees!  Here is a cute Zombie Kitty designed by Carand88.  I stitched two of these for friends who were organising a Horror Festival.

I don't have anything from a designer beginning with Z but there is one big name in the stitching world - Zweigart!   The people who make the fabric, as ubiquitous as DMC in the stitching world.  Zweigart are celebrating their 140th anniversary this year.  They are popular because of the range of fabrics they produce, in a rainbow of colours, the quality of the products and their famous "orange" line trademark in the selvage.  If it isn't orange, it isn't Zweigart!  They also produce chart books and have a blog with some great ideas for how to use their products.
Both the website and the blog have a Translate button on the rop right if you don't speak German.

It's a good thing that Zweigart have a blog, because there are no other Z blogs in my Reader at all.

Which brings us to the final topic, an answer to the question everyone has been asking as we approached the end of the Alphabet -

Q: What are you going to do next?

A: It begins with Z and here are some examples:

Joan Elliott

Three from Maria Diaz:

From SewandSo:

Lesley Teare


Soda Stitch 1 and 2

My personal favourite from Satsuma Street, being released one per month:

But this is the design I am going to be starting this month while I wait for Satsuma Street to release Virgo and Libra!  

They come from this book which I picked up very cheaply from Waterstones Marketplace.  A really good place to find older, out of print books at very low prices.

So there you have it, the plan for the next 12 months is to Stitch the Zodiac.  I will continue to post the first Saturday of each month and add a Linky which will last all month for you to join in.

You can choose a design like I have with small versions of each sign, or a larger design like the Joan Elliott and Lesley Teare, or just the individual signs for you and your family.  But here's the really good part - you don't even need to stitch a Zodiac design to join in.

I'll be starting with Libra for my first post; Libra is an Air sign represented by the Scales.  So you could share something related to Air, or balance, justice, weight, anything that says "scales" to you.  You could even shoe-horn a mermaid or fish in there!  You can look up the birthstone or flower for Libra and show that.  You can show a current piece, a WIP or an older finish.  If you have a Libran in your family you could show something that relates to them.

Finally, I'll be posting the first Linky on Saturday 7th October, which serendipitously is my Grandad's Birthday!  The first in a long line of Librans in my family.  Please join in, it's always more fun stitching with friends!  You don't have to post on the 7th, but that is where you'll find the Linky for the whole month.