A blog trying to focus on all the nice things in life, those moments when everything turns out right. Finding the perfect fabric for that chart you love, the ideal sampler quote, just the right picture in all the 1000s of magazines you own. Meeting people who share your interests and obsessions and totally understand why you NEED that chart when you already have enough to last until you're 104
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 only worked on six of my projects BUT I did get a big Happy Dance for one of them so that's a bonus.
1. My spooky conversion of Lavender & Lace's Enchanted Alphabet:
stitched on 32 count Murano in Tigerlily by Sparklies
2. Oberlin Sampler's Witches:
3. Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas:
4. Just Nan's Spring in the Square:
5. Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet. I actually stitched V last month but I'm not showing W until next Saturday so here's V:
6. Jannlynn Designs' Gathering Honey was my Happy Dance:
Measi always gives us a discussion topic.
May - Which designer's projects do you absolutely love, but are too intimidated to try?
Short answer - no-one!
Long answer. I had a good think about this one and at the end of the day, all designs are basically putting the needle into the fabric and pulling a thread along with it. Purely and simply. A large or complex design may look daunting but it is still one stitch after another.
Some charts make it harder to stitch a project (see the backstitch guide on Gathering Honey!) but you just work your way through the instructions, one sentence at a time. If you look back at my Happy Dance blog you'll see my 3rd project was on black aida, my 4th had metallics, my 5th was this one:
And then I moved on to Teresa Wentzler. Who probably shares the crown for complex designs with Martina from Chatelaine. The only reason I hadn't stitched a Chatelaine until this year was price and too much choice!
Then I thought about the bigger picture - what does intimidate me? Not much really! I have reached the point in life where I know what I can and can't do. If I know I can't do something I'm not going to waste time trying and failing. I'll find an alternative. I can remember the last time I was really nervous about something - presenting an assembly on Road Safety to 250 Primary School children. That gave me butterflies, children are very open if they are bored by what you are saying! The funny thing was that the previous week I'd spoken at a meeting about cuts to public library funding to a similar amount of adults with no nerves at all.
I think there's a lot of truth in the phrase "that which does not kill us, makes us stronger" (Nietsche). I went to a state comprehensive where people attempted to bully me for the twin sins of being poor and clever. You were allowed to be one or the other, but not both. Free meals kids were not supposed to be in the top set, according to certain wealthier, less intelligent students! Note I say "attempted to bully me", they soon learned I wasn't an easy target and wandered off to pick on someone else. There were a lot of people came out of our school with very low self esteem. But for the lucky ones, we feel we are just as good as anyone from a better school or background and we do have that certain bolshie attitude!
NB I am not convinced this was a good thing, I would rather we had all come out feeling confident because we'd been nurtured and well taught!
Anyway, back to the stitching and Chatelaines. Martina is celebrating her 200th design and 20th Anniversary with this beauty:
Finally, it's a Bank Holiday weekend here in the UK, rain is probably forecast for tomorrow so there'll be plenty of time for stitching instead!
This year I will be showing both my Hallowe'en and Christmas SAL partworks as well as any actual smalls I stitch.
Happy Hallowe'en by Imaginating gained a black cat:
And Witches by Oberlin Samplers gained a non-black cat:
Five Goooooolllllllllddddddddddd Rings for 12 Days of Christmas!
Here's the whole piece at the moment:
And this is literally how little metallic I have left to stitch:
I've been making steady progress on my Ten-a-Day project, Just Nan's Spring in the Square:
Day 147 - 1,470 stitches
As well as the humorously titled Ten-a-Day I am also doing a Thirty-a-Day for Linda's So Many Stitches. I am stitching a series of the Just Nan freebies as ornaments for this challenge. Here is the third one so far; Christmas Hearts:
Day 14 - stitched on 32 count antique white evenweave
The iPad takes rubbish photos and you have the light coming in from the left changing the fabric colour, but it's quicker and easier than getting the camera out every morning!
I have been very disciplined and finally-finished both of the ornies as I went. Here's number 2; Christmas Star:
stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue linen
backed with plain blue felt
I changed the metallic and beads to silver and crystal for this project instead of the charted gold. I think they look more elegant on the blue fabric. The fabric is the very stiff Wichelt linen which isn't so nice to stitch on but does make it really easy to ornamentify. You just fold it along a thread and it stays folded!
Finally, I posted another Blogger of the Week, a newer-to-me stitcher this week. Remember, the blog isn't just for me and my Old Pals network - if you're new to stitching or blogging please do ask to be featured. I love meeting new friends.
A Happy Waggle Dance for Gathering Honey by Jannlynn Designs! This kit was a gift to me from a friend who used to cross stitch. When she stopped stitching she passed me some of her stash and asked me to stitch this for her in exchange.
This was not an easy project to stitch, the fabric had a very canvas-like feel to it and was a very open weave. I will have to go round and trim all the visible ends before framing. The threads were great, DMC numbers given so hopefully I can use the leftovers. Of which there are a LOT. Except for two colours which I ran out of.
The backstitch instructions were not easy to follow. They insisted on referring to the flowers by name not place on the chart. The honeycomb was my favourite part, so quick to stitch and so effective! The crazy paving was fun too.
I finished the French Knots this afternoon and thought I'd stitch something light and easy as a palate cleanser before continuing with my rotation.
stitched on 32 count pink linen
This is Just Nan's Memories which was a gift from Vickie, hence the pink linen! I stitched the pink flowers today. Aren't they pretty? And easy and simple and fun! This is going to be a long, thin piece with 12 bands so I planned to stitch one band per month but I think it will be done much quicker than that somehow!
Finally, I have nearly reached the end of the metallic on Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas! I feel like I have been stitching metallic border for months and months. According the photographic evidence - since January 2017! So yes literally for months! I have about 2-3 lengths of metallic left by my reckoning so you'll see it glitter when I show June's block.
Each month Kerry gives us a theme to stitch to and we show our progress on the 21st of every month.
Monochrome May - Choose a colour and stitch on your projects that contain that one colour.
As you can probably tell from the title, I failed happily at this theme! I don't have a single monochrome project to stitch right now. We almost have a rainbow - we have Red, Gold, Yellow, Green, Blue, Violet and Pink (instead of Indigo!)
I stitched on pink on Vickie's gift, Just Nan's Memories:
Some lovely blue eggs in Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs:
Variegated Violet in Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet:
Red and Gooooooollllllllldddddddddddddd in Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas:
And plenty of green and yellow for Gathering Honey by Jannlynn Designs:
I completed the whole of the bottom left hand corner and the words, top and bottom.
Despite my best efforts I couldn't quite finish the whole piece. I have some extra bits to do around the lettering and some stalks to add to those floating strawberries. And a tonne of French Knots on those two plants that currently look like thistles, plus the centre of the strawberry flowers and the blue periwinkle flowers.
Because it's a very loose weave fabric I will be going round the back and trimming all the visible threads, you can clearly see one behind that bee and there are plenty of others. That will be the last job I do before framing.
So that's my unmonochrome May. Thankfully, next month is garden themed so this will be perfect. Except I will have finished it by then! So it's a good thing I will still have this project on the go:
Day 141 of my Ten-a-Day project. Just Nan's Spring in the Square:
Finally, in one month's time we will have reached The Longest Day and the nights will start drawing in! Time for a stitching marathon. Last year I stitched on every single one of my WIPs during the longest day, swapping projects every 20-30 minutes. I stitched on a total of 21 projects that day. This year I plan to beat that as I currently have 23 WIPs (excluding Gathering Honey which will be completed by then). I have my work rota for June and I'm not working on Tuesday or Wednesday so Tuesday will be prep day and Wednesday will be Marathon Day! Anyone care to join in? If Wednesday isn't convenient, pick any other day that week!
Welcome to the May link-up for Gifted Gorgeousness. The linky will stay open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time to join in.
I made good progress on Oberlin Samplers' Witches, a gift from Barb:
Steady progress on Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas, a gift from my MIL:
A new start with a chart I won from Carol of Stitching Dreams. This is Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs:
stitched on 35 count Country Mocha linen
Another new start, another giveaway, this time from Vickie of A Stitcher's Story, Just Nan's Memories band sampler:
stitched on 32 count pink linen (what else for Vickie?)
My focus piece for the month is Gathering Honey by Jannlynn Designs once again. This was a gift from a friend and the finished piece will be gifted back to her.
I've been focusing on the final corner, the bottom right this week, it seems much quicker than the top left corner was.
I owe a couple of people gifts, people who won giveaways. Once I get paid this week I will sort those out. Stitch from Stash is very much a necessity here this year!
I did receive some gifts myself. The lovely Nora Corbett chart from Carol, a chart from DJ which I had admired on her blog and a great RAK from Angela, all the way from Singapore.
And now it's 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 "May 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 do hope that you are remembering to visit the Blogger of the Week blog each Friday to see who our featured stitcher of the week is. Clue for this week - Pink Poodles!
That's a quote for a children's cartoon we like and which my son says every time I get out the next project!
I've been stitching this piece for quite some time now and aim to finish it this Summer. I was given the kit by a friend who had stopped stitching. She passed me her stash and only requested that I stitch this piece for her.
By the end of 2016 I had completed all the centre and this top left corner:
As someone commented, it's not really obvious why it's called Gathering Honey. It's more of An English Garden Sampler.
But now the piece looks like this:
The missing ingredient was bees!
I just loved stitching the honeycomb. It is in 3 strands of cotton rather than 2 so it really stands out.
So far in May I have finished backstitching the bottom left corner bees and started on the leaves in the bottom right. This corner will be as complex as the top left was. Lots of backstitch too.
I also have to finish those two bushes in the centre section, there are about 100 French Knots to make the little flowers.
The large empty spaces will have words backstitched which won't take long.
After I finished my SALs this month I decided to support a friend and join her for a new start for Maynia. CraftyCreativeClare is a FlossTuber who is also a FB friend. When she showed her list of projects for Maynia I saw that she had a chart which I had just won in a Giveaway. So the serendipity meant I just had to start that one with her!
It's funny because we didn't consult with each other apart from to say we'd start on Friday, but we both started in the middle although she went up and I went down! I wanted to have a definite part of it completed. Also, I used 35 count Country Mocha linen and she used 18 count aida so they will be almost the same small size.
Can you identify the chart? It should be easy for Nora Corbett fans.
It's Gathering Eggs which I won from Carol of Stitching Dreams. The title goes rather well with Gathering Honey too.
I've been making progress on my Ten-a-Day project. This is another FB group where we each chose a project approximately 60x60 stitches which we could complete in a year doing just ten stitches each day.
Here is Just Nan's Spring in the Square, Day 131:
stitched on 32 count Light Mocha linen
I am currently stitching the dark purple in each of the corner pansies. The fabric looks like a weird colour because I take a quick picture with my iPad each day and the light is coming through the window on the left. I'm not going to get my camera out and mess around with the settings every single day of this project!
I am also stitching 30-a-Day as an advance start on Linda's So Many Stitches project for next year. Back in March I started a bunch of Just Nan freebies for March Madness. Now I am working my way through them, stitching 30 stitches per day with the goal of completing one per month.
Here's a much better photo:
stitched on 32 count Twilight Blue linen
The chart says add some gold eyelets and gold beads next but I think silver would look so much better so that's what I am going with. One day for the eyelets, one day for beading and one day to finish as an ornie. Once I get to the end of the cross stitching I drop the 30 a day and just do what needs doing to finish it.
Finally, I do intend to have a Blog Hop this Summer. I'm thinking of doing another Friendship Hop where each participant is given the name of another participant and they have to make a blog post featuring something that they think the other person would like to see. So if you got me, then you might show a dragon or something Hallowe'en themed! So stay tuned for the sign-up post.