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Wednesday, 17 January 2018

January TUSAL

Tusal


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

Here are my current projects with the first ORT jar of the year. There are ORTs in there, right at the very bottom of the jar!


The little tin is where I keep my bathroom ORTs and here is the current bathroom project; Dracula by Dam Good Crafts:

stitched on 32 count Amortentia Belfast by Chromatic Alchemy

For those of you new to this blog, my bathtime project is the project I stitch on while supervising the Small Boy in the bath.  Not for stitching during my own bath!  I usually choose a monochrome or simple colours like this so I can thread the needle and stitch until it is done.  I can usually get 2-3 lengths per night and have completed several large projects in this way.

This is the other project in the photo; my focus piece for January - The Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs:

stitched on 32 count Murano custom-dyed by Sparklies

I backstitched an island and started the turtle's foot.


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. 
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, 15 January 2018

Gifted Gorgeousness January Link-Up Post


Welcome to the first Gifted Gorgeousness link-up of 2018!  The link-up date will continue 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.

Last year we had 37 people sign up for the SAL, a couple didn't link up at all but seven people linked up every single month!  I used the random number generator to choose a winner from those seven and


is our first winner!  I have your address already so there will be something nice on it's way to you soon.

Then I looked at all the entries, 249 in total and the random number generator chose entry 220 which was the November post for


At this point I got deja-vu as DJ won last year as well.  That's what you get when you take part regularly, you increase your chances of winning!


Since my last post I have worked on a few GG pieces.

I complete my big 2017 GG piece, 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott - gift from my MIL:



Dracula by Dam Good Crafts - stitched on gifted fabric:


Diamond Bouquet by Just Nan - gift from Brenda:


12 Days of Christmas by Just Nan - Christmas present:


Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs:

fabric custom-dyed Murano by Sparklies

The very centre of the chart is the right hand stitch on the bottom row and the top of the chart is about four rows above the turtle foot I have just started stitching.

This picture shows what I stitched over the last four days.  The fish took the entire length of The Two Towers extended DVD on Sunday afternoon! 


This piece is going to be a gift from my son's 18th Birthday.  Or his 21st.  Or maybe his 30th...

I received a gift too:


A lovely knitted Goth Bunny from Julie!  Isn't she lovely?  I called her Goth Bunny to start with but then I popped her on the shelf with my badges (my Secret Santa at work bought them for me) and thought maybe she's a Suffragette Bunny?

I love her and if Julie links up here she will get double GG points for sending and me receiving a gift!

Which brings us nicely to the link-up part of the post.  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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Make sure you visit the linked-up blogs this month, especially Katie Jeremiah's Mom, she is having a Gifted Gorgeousness Giveaway this month.  Pop over and see what you could win.


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. 
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.  



Saturday, 13 January 2018

New Year, New Starts

Don't you love a New Year?  The chance to make a fresh start with your goals and projects?  Make resolutions and keep them for a whole week!  To say "I haven't spent anything on stash this year" and mean it.

And most of all; guilt-free new starts!  Last post I showed my Mrs Peggotty's Alice which I am hoping to work on regularly with an aim of 700 stitches per week.  Or maybe not.  I took her to the coffee morning at the local craft shop and got 200 stitches in 1.5 hours.  Here's where she is now:

stitched over one on 25 count blue evenweave

I'll do a bit more tomorrow and take her into work during the week for my lunchbreaks.

The plan is for her to replace Dracula at bath-time when I complete that design.  Here's the current position:

stitched on 32 count Amortentia Belfast by Chromatic Alchemy

The moon is taking FOR EVER but once I reach the top of the U I can put in the words "Bram Stoker's" and then the white fits round the outside of that.  Then it's an R and D and some boring border!

Here's another new start from the WIPocalypse list.  This was a gift from Brenda and she will be stitching along with me this year.

stitched on 28 count lilac evenweave

The design is Just Nan's Diamond Bouquet and will eventually look like this:


It's not very big and I'm aiming for two bands per month with a July finish.


As promised 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. 
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.  


Finally, a Public Service Announcement - Blogger no longer sends email notifications for comments from "no reply" bloggers.  If you moderate comments like I do, all the "no-reply" people are loitering in your "Awaiting Moderation" section along with the Yahoo people that Blogger also doesn't like.  I really do advise people to attach an email to their profile, preferably a Gmail, so we can see your comments easily and respond to them.




Sunday, 7 January 2018

January WIPocalypse Introduction

WIPocalypse
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.  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 "18 in '18" for this year.  For 2018 the list includes a number of SAL pieces which will be stitched each month for various SALs, some WIPs I really want to see finished, 6 new starts and two BAP long-term projects which will be my focus for the year.  Here are the first 12, all WIPs:


Project List:
  1. Dessins DHC - Bande des Dragons
  2. Lavender & Lace - Enchanted Alphabet
  3. Chatelaine Designs - Gardens of London
  4. Nora Corbett - Gathering Eggs
  5. Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map 
  6. Just Nan - Summer in the Square
  7. Joan Elliott - Reading Fairy
  8. Donna Kooler - Zodiac
  9. Just Nan - Autumn Mouse in a House
  10. Jardin Prive - Happy Hallowe'en Night
  11. Dam Good Crafts - Dracula Book Cover
  12. Just Nan - 12 Days of Christmas
  13. Satsuma Street - Libra
  14. Satsuma Street - Aquarius
  15. Mrs Peggotty - Alice and Flamingo
  16. Bothy Threads - Alice in Wonderland
  17. Just Nan - Summer Typography
  18. Just Nan - Diamond Bouquet

New Starts for 2018:


So far this year I have been focused on Just Nan's 12 Days of Christmas which was my 12 Days of Stitchmas project.  Here is how it looked on Day 12:


I even completed Block 1 on the 12th Day:


The next day I dedicated to Hallowe'en stitching.  The theme for January on the blog is Winged Creatures and there are only a couple of very small ones on the design I'm stitching:


So I stitched the word "Night" too:


This is Jardin Prive's Happy Hallowe'en Night stitched on 32 count Cognac linen.

Today I had the first new start of the year, Mrs Peggotty's Alice & Flamingo.  This will be a SAL with Linda Stitching with my Furbabies who has already completed The Mad Hatter in this series.  It should be possible if I average 100 a day or 700 per week.  Here's what I have so far:

stitched on 25 count blue evenweave

I have already had to make some changes as the piece is charted over several pages and having got into a nice rhythm of stitching the brown zigzags I continued without the chart.  When I got to the right hand corner I realised that it was different to the left.  When I examined the chart I noticed that random bumps have an extra stitch which means that when you reach the far end, it isn't symmetrical.  I'm changing that so the design is symmetrical.  It's the same down the sides, the right and left are different and there are random wide bumps added in.  I will probably keep them as it affects the height of the piece but both sides will match.

There are approximately 500 stitches there.  I think I am going to struggle to do 700 a week but we shall see.


Finally, I will be continuing with the ever popular Blog Hops this year.  We will have Valentine's, Easter, the return of 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.





Saturday, 6 January 2018

Zodiac SAL - Capricorn



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 two people link up with me, please do visit them now if you missed their posts before:


This month's sign is Capricorn the goat-fish hybrid.  Capricorn is an Earth sign ruled by Saturn and covers people born between 22nd December and 19th January.



The symbol is based on the Sumerians' primordial god of wisdom and waters, Enki, with the head and upper body of a goat and the lower body and tail of a fish.  Later known as Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian mythology, Enki was the god of intelligence (gestú, literally "ear"), creation, crafts; magic; water, seawater and lakewater.

The goat part of the symbol depicts ambition, resolute, intelligence, curiosity, but also steadiness, and ability to thrive in inhospitable environments while the fish represents passion, spirituality, intuition, and connection with the soul.





Capricorn People: What They’re Like
Busy busy! You can find Capricorns enjoying quality time with family, working obsessively on a large-scale project, or running for a prestigious role.  Capricorn people like to mix business with pleasure.  They often develop tight bonds with people they meet on the job or through a team project. They are the “popular people” of the zodiac, so friends who can help increase their status are valuable assets.  Capricorns were born with their eyes on the prize.  Once they’ve set their sights on something, they begin to climb slowly and steadily toward that goal.  Often they become so focused on reaching the finish line that they fail to pay attention to the journey, looking neither to the right nor the left.  They believe that if they just keep pushing ahead, eventually they’ll get what they want. Capricorns need to learn flexibility and to listen a little more to their heart than their heads at times if they want to feel fulfilled inside and out.  Ambitious as they may be, not all Capricorns have relentless drive.  When they slip into lounge mode, they can relax with the best of ’em, becoming practically immobile!  Work hard, play hard is the M.O. of this sign.  Other times, they overwhelm themselves by setting such impossible goals that they get discouraged, giving up before they’ve even left the starting gate.  Capricorns do best when they break their grand plans into measurable action steps.  Their friends need to remind Capricorns to celebrate their victories—not jus the huge ones but the small triumphs and milestones along the way.



Famous Capricorn People & Celebrities:
David Bowie, Muhammad Ali, Kate Middleton, Martin Luther King Jr., Michelle Obama, Zayn Malik, Denzel Washington, Nicolas Cage, Meghan Trainor, LeBron James, Elvis Presley, Lewis Hamilton, Gabby Douglas, Pitbull, Liam Hemsworth, Ellie Goulding, Cody Simpson, Jared Leto, Howard Stern, Betty White, Psy, Calvin Harris, Millard Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Richard M. Nixon, David Sedaris, Nicolas Sparks, J.D. Salinger, J.R.R. Tolkien, Edgar Allen Poe, Kate Spade, Alexander Wang, Diane von Fürstenburg, Christian Louboutin



I added the runes myself, I used to be able to read and write runes (I was that kind of child)
but I had to look these up to make sure I got it right.


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 Capricorn:


Here is the whole piece so far:


I am also stitching some of the larger Satsuma Street Zodiac signs, starting with the ones personal to my family.  Last month I completed Virgo and framed her:


My Godmother's newest Grand-daughter is a Capricorn, she is a bundle of mischief even at only one year old apparently!  I stitched her Nora Corbett's M is for Mary last year:



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, it's a New Year, new SALs, new challenges, new lists and so on.  I love seeing all the planning posts and recap posts and all the resolutions we are making.  I've added the new Gifted Gorgeousness Sign-Up Page and will be launching the first Blog Hop of the year very soon.  I am also on the look-out for new interviewees for the Blogger of the Week.  So if you follow anyone who has not yet been featured, please let me know.  Apparently I do not know everyone in the blogosphere.  Yet.












Sunday, 31 December 2017

December WIPocalypse Annual Review

WIPocalypse
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.  At the beginning of the year I chose my "17 in '17" which were the 17 projects I want to focus on this year.  Here is how I did:

  1. Chatelaine Designs - Gardens of London - WIP (Feb focus piece)
  2. Lyndisfarne - Discworld Map - WIP (Jun focus piece)
  3. Imaginating - Hallowe'en Happiness - Finished
  4. Oberlin - Witches  - Finished
  5. Joan Elliott - 12 Days of Christmas - Finished
  6. Brooke's Books - Stitcher's Alphabet   - Finished
  7. Lavender & Lace - Enchanted Alphabet   - WIP - SAL
  8. Nora Corbett - Letter M Fairy - Finished
  9. Teresa Wentzler - Byzantine Ornaments x 3
  10. Jannlynn - Gathering Honey  - Finished
  11. Kustom Krafts - Snap Dragon
  12. Dragon Dreams - Dragon of the Winter Moon - Finished
  13. Joan Elliott - Mermaid - Finished
  14. Drawn Thread - Spots of Seasons - 2 finished
  15. The Workbasket - Fox Forest - Finished
  16. Just Nan - Spring in the Square - Finished
  17. Dam Good Crafts - Dracula Book Cover - WIP
A total of 10.5 Finishes, plus 4 more active WIPs.  2.5 projects not worked on this year.  A much better result than many previous years.

I started 2017 with 19 WIPs and completed 6 of them.  I then started 36 new projects over the course of the year and completed 22 of them (there were a LOT of smalls!).  So that leaves me with a final total of 28 finishes and 27 WIPs.

So let's have a look at those finishes!

January to August

September to December 

Just Nan Smalls

I couldn't quite squeeze the last Just Nan ornie in today as I was stitching 12 Days of Stitchmas.  It will be the First Finish of 2018 instead.

Here's my Pie for the month:

A month of focusing on just a few projects.


Here's how the year looked:

It was definitely Joan Elliott's year (94 days) with Just Nan and Brooke's Books on almost the same number of days (29 and 30 respectively).

Stitch from Stash wise we have reached the end of the accounting period.   Here is this month's expenditure:

December
JN Peacock £10.00
Black Jobelan £13.60
Mill Hill beads £2.20
Satsuma St £4.13
Total £29.93
I need the black Jobelan for the next Satsuma Street chart and the Just Nan was on half price sale at SewandSo.  Nan is discontinuing a lot of her sampler charts as the charms are no longer easily available so when I see a bargain, I buy one.

I totted up my expenditure for the whole year.  Magazines are my weak point with subscriptions to 4 different publications - Just Cross Stitch, Cross Stitcher, Cross Stitch Crazy and Inspirations.  I'm going to drop Crazy next year.  I spent an equal amount on charts and fabric.  I bought the tin of the new DMC colours but other than that I only spent £12.30 on Kreinik, Crescent Colours and Waterlilies for Mary.

Magazines £129.99
Charts £79.37
Fabric £73.60
Threads £36.80
Other £11.77
Total £331.53

Which seems like a lot but there is my Birthday and Christmas money in there too.

I mentioned the 12 Days of Stitchmas earlier, and here is Day 7:

Just Nan - 12 Days of Christmas
stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

Measi has asked us to do an introductory post at the beginning of January so I will save my "18 in '18" plans until then.

I have got the new Gifted Gorgeousness Sign-up Page done, so you can click on the tab at the top or the new photo on the side to access that.  If you have the linky on your blog, don't forget to update it as the 2017 link will no longer work.



Finally, 

Have a very Happy Old Year's Night
and a very Peaceful New Year's Day

Friday, 29 December 2017

December Smalls SAL

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

I completed three large part-work pieces for the Smalls SAL this year plus a number of actual smalls.  I decided to start the series of Just Nan small free designs as part of Kerry's Theme-tas-Stitch March Madness and then stitch 30 stitches per day to see how many I could finish.

Here's where the first 13 were in March:


And in the same positions so you can see which one is which, here are the ten I have finished:


The eleventh one is very close to a finish too!  While I was putting this collage together I realised that I hadn't even shown you the tenth finish - Holiday in Ice.

stitched on 32 count Ocean's Kiss Permin linen


This is a beautiful design and I loved the colours but it was plagued by frogs!  Back in March I stitched the centre and one of the flower petals.  When I picked it back up in November I used a different skein of the red and there was a dyelot issue.  So the first flower had to be frogged.  Then I noticed that the third flower was in the wrong position so that got frogged.  Then there were more issues getting the white and green in the right position.


Heather has confirmed that she will be running the Smalls SAL once again next year, for the sixth year, I believe.  Click on the photo below to find out more:


Finally, I received a belated Christmas gift thanks to the Post Office who decided to hang on to it over Christmas.  A lovely hand-made card, a wooden tree ornament and a mysterious bottle not labelled "Drink Me".


I opened the bottle and this was what spilled out:


Inside that sweet bundle was this gorgeous dragon pendant:


If you squint at the ribbon you can see who sent this to me.  Thanks Jocondine!   I always love your hand-made cards and everyone knows dragons are my favourite creatures.