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Saturday, 31 May 2014

Theme-a-licious May Update

Theme-a-licious is hosted by Heather of It's Geek to Me

Each month Heather thinks up a theme for us to stitch to, or in my case, a theme to somehow shoe-horn my existing stitching into, no matter how tenuous the link!

Menagerie May
Is it a zoo in your stack of WIPs? How many projects can you find that include animals or birds? 

Relatively easy this month.  Lots of my projects contain animals or birds in one shape or another.  Let's start at the beginning of the month:

A bird:
The Little Owl Sampler by Knotted Tree Needleart 
from the Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Ornie Special 2012.

One re-animated animal:

Franken-Kitty from Carand88

One arachnid and one animal:

Spooky Countdown by Primitive Hare

Three birds:

Twelve Days of Christmas by The Little Stitcher

Edit to add this little animal!!

Squirrel!!


One amphibian:

Noel Blanc by A Mon Ami Pierre

What do you mean, you can't see the amphibian?  There's one huge great frog sitting in the middle of the piece!!

After stitched the border to the left of the reindeer I moved onto this border and reached the bottom of the left hand piece (I started from the same level as the right hand part to give you an idea of how much I stitched).  When I reached the bottom I was about to turn left when I noticed the bottom motif was the wrong size.  Oops, unpick.  Then I noticed that the five times it occurs (ringed in red) it is charted in different sizes!!  Four stitches wide at the top and bottom and five stitches wide for the other three.  Whereas mine were 4,4,4,5,5 which resulted in being one stitch too short at the end.  Unfortunately the corner design at the bottom echoes the corner design at the top so there was no way I could rechart or somehow fudge it.  And believe me, I tried!


So, an hour of frogging and we've got a few evenings of restitching to do.  Bearing in mind I only manage one or two lengths on this an evening it's very frustrating to say the least!  Maybe I'll do it tomorrow afternoon while we're watching our Sunday film.  I really ought to give those little birdies their beaks too.

Finally, don't forget the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  This year's theme is Gardens, click on the picture of the garden to the top right of the blog for more details.

May Just Nan SAL

Just Nan SAL
Just Nan SAL is hosted by Zeb of Keep Calm and Cross Stitch

This month I stitched some more of the not-very-seasonal Winter Typography.  Lots of lovely B5200 white snowflakes.

Here is the piece last time I showed you:



And here it is today:


Not huge amounts of progress, but another snowflake completed is one less to stitch!

I've spent quite alot of time this months stitching on things for other people once again, most of which I can't show until they get them.  Oh well, it will give me lots to show next month!

Finally, don't forget the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  This year's theme is Gardens, click on the picture of the garden to the top right of the blog for more details.



Wednesday, 28 May 2014

TUSAL of Birds and Little Animals and Smalls SAL May Update

It's TUSAL time again!  For those of you new to blogging, the TUSAL is a project run by Daffycat, click on the button on the right hand bar for more details.

This year I am intending to stitch The Little Stitcher's Twelve Days of Christmas as a monthly project.  Laura has designed twelve charts with a different theme for each one to represent the days of Christmas.  She has invented the different themes herself using her lovely imagination!

This weekend I have stitched The Day of Birds and Little Animals.  Here it is as part of my TUSAL photo:



I realise that cows and sheep are not really "little" animals but my son made them at school last week so I thought they should be in the picture.  NB the Small Boy made them, not the 11 year old!

Here is the design close-up:


And to keep in the theme, here are some birds and little animals that come and visit our garden:

Muntjac Deer

Pleasant Pheasant


Owl (of some description!)

We also have the usual range of pigeons, blackbirds, magpies, robins, sparrows etc but they are not so unusual so don't get their photos taken.  Neither do the moles who are the bane of my husband's existence!

Today is also the day to post my Smalls SAL update:

SmallsSAL2014
The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

I chose three different monthly themes to follow this year:

Hallowe'en Ornie SAL - 12 different themes
Little Stitcher Fairy Tale 12 Days of Christmas - one per month
Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown - one per week starting 31st January

The theme for Hallowe'en was Monsters so I stitched Frankenstein's Kitty from Carand88:


The Little Stitcher Day 5 you can see above and here is the latest on the Spooky Countdown again:



Finally, I will be running the Summer Postcard Blog Hop again this year.  The theme will be Gardens.  Click on the picture of the stitching in the garden on the right for more details.  This Blog Hop lasts for the whole of the Summer so it doesn't matter if you are away on holiday for a week or two, you won't miss it!







Sunday, 25 May 2014

There's a Rat in ma Stitchin', What am I Gonna Do?

There's a title for the UB40 fans!

And the rat features in block 17 of The Spooky Countdown by Primitive Hare:


I am stitching-a-long with Giovanna on the one, she started in the middle and worked upwards.  Here's her latest progress - Giovanna's Stitches

I am working each block individually and the plan is to mount them on tombstone templates to fix to my Advent Calendar Tree as a countdown to Hallowe'en this year.  When Isabella of Primitive Hare saw me mention this on FB she kindly sent me a link to some free downloadable templates.  How cool is that?

The other piece I have been working on is the Band Sampler Round Robin for Karen:


I have this row to finish, a couple more to add and then the beading.  Karen chose Spring and Summer as the subjects for her first two round robins with us in 2011 and 2012 so this one is Autumn.

Here are the previous two:

Spring 2011

Summer 2012

Finally, I will be running the Summer Postcard Blog Hop again this year.  The theme will be Gardens.  Click on the picture of the stitching in the garden on the right for more details.  This Blog Hop lasts for the whole of the Summer so it doesn't matter if you are away on holiday for a week or two, you won't miss it!







Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Stitch from Stash May Update

Stitch From Stash 2014
Stitch from Stash is hosted by Mel from Epic Stitching

Essentially the idea behind Stitch from Stash is that we are limited to spending US$25 (or £15) per month.  There are various exemptions (Birthday money, existing mag subs, clubs etc) but the idea is not to try and pervert the rules and to stitch some of that stash!  I will be posting on or around the 20th of each month because that is when I get paid!

Money from Christmas 2013
£ 40.00
January Budget
£ 15.00
January Spend
£ 25.84-
February Budget
£ 15.00
February Spend
£ 18.99-
March Budget
£ 15.00
March Spend
£   8.42-
April Budget
£ 15.00
April Spend
£ 16.19-
Balance
£ 30.56

Nothing
£   0.00
Nada
£   0.00
Zip!
£   0.00

Balance
£ 30.56
May Budget
£ 15.00
Available to carry forward to June
£ 45.56



Allowed purchases:
Jodyri Threads of Month Club : £ 5.54

New Starts from Stash: Nothing!
WIPs and UFOs worked on: A Mon Ami Pierre Noel Blanc, Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown, The Little Stitcher 12 Days of Christmas.

Wow, what an uneventful month!  In the interests of total transparency (after all, I am a stitcher not a politician) I have to confess I did spend some money on scrapbooking supplies which is my other hobby.  Because I am new to scrapbooking I decided not to "Scrap from Stash" this year.  Maybe next year I might do my own personal challenge.

So here are the progress pictures for the first two projects:

A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc

Since last month I have stitched the pretty scrolling border to the left and under the reindeer.  I have a choice to make now.  Do I stitch the square motif which will fill in the gap on the left side, finish the long border you can't see on the right hand side or reward myself with the alphabet I have just started to the right of the scrolling border?  Decisions, decisions!


Primitive Hare Spooky Countdown Days 13 - 16

I just love that creepy hand holding the spider between its fingers!

Finally, I have opened up the sign-ups for the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  All you have to do is send me a photo of something you have stitched on this year's theme which is Gardens.  I will then send you a photo from another participant which you must display on your blog.  Please include a message with your photo, about why your garden is important to you, or what you love about your garden, or why you don't have one but what you would like in your ideal garden.  Anything with the word "garden" in it really!

The first photo is in, the sender sent me a photo of a beautiful design I really want to stitch now and a photo of her own garden.  So if you want to do the same, please do.  The garden photo is optional though, the stitched picture is not!!



Friday, 16 May 2014

A Monster Mash-up

Remember this little outline?


Here is the finished piece:

Stitched on 32 count lavender evenweave using recommended DMC
I love the bright green - 907 for information.

Christine made a great guess, she said Mummy Kitty which is one I designed last year based on the outline of this one.  I love these little Spooky Kitties and have stitched five different ones so far.  Here's my collage:


Frankenstein's Kitty is one of a series of spooky kitties designed by Carand88 based on the microkitties animations designed by Hyraea.

This weekend's stitching will include the Round Robin piece I have and also the next instalment in the Spooky Countdown.

While we're on the subject of Spooky things, have you seen the new Nora Corbett Pixies?




Aren't they totally lush?  And best of all, because they are Nora's Pixies there should be six of them altogether!!  My favourite is the blue one, Gigi.

Finally, I have opened up the sign-ups for the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  All you have to do is send me a photo of something you have stitched on this year's theme which is Gardens.  I will then send you a photo from another participant which you must display on your blog.  Please include a message with your photo, about why your garden is important to you, or what you love about your garden, or why you don't have one but what you would like in your ideal garden.  Anything with the word "garden" in it really!

The first photo is in, the sender sent me a photo of a beautiful design I really want to stitch now and a photo of her own garden.  So if you want to do the same, please do.  The garden photo is optional though, the stitched picture is not!!


Wednesday, 14 May 2014

May WIPocalypse Stitching Wishlist

WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi of Measi's Musings.

The main focus of my WIPocalypse this year is my "14 in '14" a list of 14 projects I wanted to complete in 2014.  In the last month I have worked on five of the list.  Here is the current stitching status of each one:

Friends' Wedding Sampler - finished!

Primitive Hare - Spooky Countdown

The Little Stitcher - 12 Days of Christmas

Just Nan - Winter Typography
(added a lot of white in the bottom half)

A Mon Ami Pierre - Noel Blanc
(stitched more of the border below the reindeer's derriere.

I also made a new start today which is part of the Monthly Challenges, this is for the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog.  Can you tell what it is going to be?

Carand88 - ?????

Measi is also setting us a topic to discuss each month.
May 14      
What designs or themes do you really wish you could find?  What do you think is missing among stitching designs?

I am going to be very interested in the answers to this one.  I imagine alot of our designer friends are too.  Don't be surprised if one of your suggestions suddenly appears on the New Releases page of your favourite designer!

Most of the things I like to stitch are readily available online; fantasy and samplers.  There are fantasy designs from dragons to fairies via various spooky topics too.  I have my favourite designers who produce the kind of traditional designs I could stitch forever and there are the newer, quirkier designers producing things I would never have thought of stitching before (Ink Circles Little Alien Schoolgirl Sampler being just one example).

So this is a tricky one for me.  I think if I had to choose just one thing it would be one of the computer generated pictures charted as a traditional chart.  You know the sort of thing, there are several different companies turning gorgeous fantasy artwork into cross stitch charts but because they are computer generated they are full of random confetti stitching over 96 pages!!  I would love to see someone with the skill level of Joan Elliott or Nora Corbett chart one of these pictures so I could enjoy stitching it.  The thing I really love about Joan and Nora's work is the flow of the colours in the fabrics they chart for their designs.  I don't want 50 needles loaded with 50 different colours picking out two stitches at a time to make a skirt!  I want the feeling of "flow" that you get when the fabric drapes come alive under your needle.

I am so curious as to what everyone else will choose for this question!

Incidentally, my current Wishlist is on a page tabbed at the top in case you are wondering what I would buy if I wasn't Stitching from Stash this year.

Finally, I have opened up the sign-ups for the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  All you have to do is send me a photo of something you have stitched on this year's theme which is Gardens.  I will then send you a photo from another participant which you must display on your blog.  Please include a message with your photo, about why your garden is important to you, or what you love about your garden, or why you don't have one but what you would like in your ideal garden.  Anything with the word "garden" in it really!

The first photo is in, the sender sent me a photo of a beautiful design I really want to stitch now and a photo of her own garden.  So if you want to do the same, please do.  The garden photo is optional though, the stitched picture is not!!



Saturday, 10 May 2014

A Belated April Finish

The problem with running blogs is that you really have to make the effort to do the stitching too!

I agree to take over running the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog this year because I love Hallowe'en stitching and last year I flaked out half way through the year on the themed stitching.  This year I am doing much better.

I have a good excuse for April being late; I didn't like the recommended conversion colour for the alphabet.  So having stitched the whole thing I then had to frog and re-stitch which led to it being put aside for a while.


This is The Little Owl Sampler by Knotted Tree Needleart from the Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Ornie Special 2012.

I used the recommended DMC conversion, subbed 930 for 327 and used a blend of 930 and 931 for the border.  The fabric is 32 count Twilight Blue Linen.  I intend to scrapbook this one along with the companion piece which features a pumpkin.

I have been making slow progress on Noel Blanc by A Mon Ami Pierre.  I stitch this while the Small Boy is in the bath and apparently short baths are the order of the day at the moment.  Never mind, every stitch is another stitch closer to the end.


Since I last posted I have stitched all that vertical border to the left of the reindeer's butt.

Finally, I have opened up the sign-ups for the Summer Postcard Blog Hop.  All you have to do is send me a photo of something you have stitched on this year's theme which is Gardens.  I will then send you a photo from another participant which you must display on your blog.  Please include a message with your photo, about why your garden is important to you, or what you love about your garden, or why you don't have one but what you would like in your ideal garden.  Anything with the word "garden" in it really!


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Sign up for the Summer Postcard Blog Hop

Happy Star Wars Day, May the Fourth be with you!

Diorama by The Large Boy

And since it is May it seems like the perfect time to launch the Summer Blog Hop.  I started this one in 2012 when the theme was a Holiday Postcard, see this post for the list of participants and links to their posts.


The next year I decided we'd have a Staycation and asked people for pictures on the theme of Home:


After Home the logical progression would seem to be Gardens.  So the theme for this year's Blog Hop will be Gardens.  All you have to do is send me a photo of a stitched picture on the theme Garden and a little message about why your garden is important to you, or what you love about your garden, or why you don't have one but what you would like in your ideal garden.  As usual, the joining-in is the important thing, you're not being judged on the quality of your essay LOL.

Once I have a few photos I will start sending them off to the other participants to post on their blogs.  If you think you'd like to take part please leave a comment here.  You can send your photo in anytime between now and the end of August.

edit - if you want to send a photo of your actual garden too, please do.  But not compulsory, the stitched picture is the essential bit!

I do enjoy stitching for other people but the onlydrawback is that you can't show progress photos until after the person has received their gift.  So really the only thing I have to show this post is my continuing progress on Spooky Countdown:


I followed Giovanna's lead on block 14 and used the lighter 3072 for the ghost rather than the charted 645.  Next week I will be half-way through the blocks and right on target too.

Finally, I thought I'd share the collage I made of the seven Snowflower Diaries' witches we all stitched over on the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog, pop over there to find out who stitched which witch!