Saturday, 31 October 2015

Hallowe'en Trick Or Treat Blog Hop 2015

Knotted Tree NeedleArt

Welcome to the spooky hallowe’en mystery phrase blog hop!

All you need to do is visit each of the following blogs in order, jot down the letter displayed with their Hallowe'en stitched picture then return here and leave a comment telling me the Mystery Phrase.

It'd be nice if you left a comment on their blog too, especially if it's new to you.

I've enabled "moderate comments before publishing" so no-one can copy anyone else!

There will be a small prize for one person picked at random from the guessers.  People who posted a picture  will get one chance for that and another chance if they make a guess too.

So without further ado,
start the blog hop – enter if you dare…

Justine's Cross Stitch
Jeremiah's Mom
My Little Corner of Cyberspace
Fantasy Cross Stitch
Fireflies & Cats in the Garden
Needle, Pen & Sword
Needleworker's Samplings
Sewing After Seven
Mii Stitch
A Patchwork of Crafts
Kitten Stitching
Needles, Pins and Dragonflies
Today I Found...
Guava Gems

and then finally back here for this letter:


and this design:

Just Nan Ghoulies and Ghosties

and an unfinished Witch!

Brooke's Books Trixie The Hallowe'en Witch

I've completed all the cross stitch, metallics and beading.  There are a lot of fiddly details like bows and brooms to do.  None of which work well with a Small Boy who wants you to read Peppa Pig every five minutes.  So I'll leave the finishing until he's back at school.

Don't forget, some of us are on different time zones so if you visit a blog and can't find a letter or picture yet, pop back later in the day.  
The competition is open for one week closing 00.01 hours 7th November GMT.

happy hunting!

all from Hyraea

Finally, the D.E.S.I.G.N. post will appear tomorrow.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

October Smalls SAL

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL
The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather from Stitching Lotus

This year I am going to have two monthly challenges:

1. The Primitive Hare Hallowe'en Cubes SAL
2. The Hallowe'en Ornie SAL themed blog.
and a third one added from August:
3. The Christmas Ornie SAL themed blog

You may have seen my previous post where I showed the completed Hallowe'en Cubes?  Here is a close-up of the final letter E:

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

I stitched them out of order because I needed the N for a theme on the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog.  Now all I have to do is make up nine cubes.

Here is the design I stitched for the theme of Ghosts for the Ornie SAL:

Just Nan Ghoulies and Ghosties
stitched on 28 count tan evenweave

I didn't make a Christmas Angel for the Christmas Ornie SAL but I did show a montage of some of my previous angel designs.  You can see them here.

I have been stitching Christmas smalls though, the Plum Street Sampler 12 Days SAL.  Here are my first two and half days!

Apologies for the poor photos, the light isn't good for the fabric.  I've chosen to stitch them over one on a 25 count linen.  It's a very loose weave as you can see.  For the red I'm using a Splendor silk and then a different accent colour for each design.  First Day is DMC 3045 Pear, Second Day is a blue Splendor silk and Third Day is going to be brown.  Probably DMC 434, we'll see how it looks.

If I can manage to stitch Fourth Day before Sunday I will be all caught up and can do one per week for a Christmas finish.  We shall see.

Finally, the next post will be the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop on the 31st.  Picture Posters, watch out for your email coming very soon.  Blog Hoppers, watch out for the Hop!

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

October WIPocalypse Nervous Over Materials?

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

The focus of my WIPocalypse will be my "15 in '15"which are 15 charts I want to stitch in 2015 (following on from my "11 in '11", "12 in '12", "13 in '13" and "14 in '14" - imaginative, eh?)
Over the last month I have only stitched 1 of my 15 designs but I did finish it!  Same as last month.

That brings the total of finished WIPocalypse projects to 10 out of the 15.  Hopefully I can manage one more, the others are all pretty big so they will be carried over to next year.

And here is the finished project, stitching-finished anyway, not finish-finished!

Primitive Hare - Hallowe'en Cubes

stitched on 32 count Vintage Grain linen

The plan is to make them into cubes using either polystyrene cubes or maybe that flower arranging foam.  Whatever is cheaper!

I plan to stitch the Christmas Cubes for next year.  Maybe I could make double-faced cubes with Hallowe'en on one side and Christmas on the other?

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss:

October - Are there any fibers or materials used in stitching that you’re nervous to try?

I'm not really "nervous" of anything, there are some things I will avoid - French Knots with Kreinik.  Joan Elliott what are you thinking when you chart those?  But I will try most fibres and threads at least once.  As you know, I'm stitching Trixie the Hallowe'en Witch and substituting DMC for the charted Kreiniks (for cost reasons).  The black does not cover well so I've ordered the Kreinik and on recommendation of the lovely Alicia The Crafty Princess I have ordered the Rainbow Gallery Petite Treasure Braid too.  It's slightly more expensive than Kreinik but you get twice as much!  I shall keep you posted how it works.

I like adding beads and charms to my work as well as metallics.  I often substitute beads for the aforementioned French Knots too!

Fabric-wise I am an evenweave and linen fan.  Like most people I started off on aida as that was what was supplied with kits in the 1980s.  Since discovering evenweave my tastes have totally changed and I will always substitute an evenweave for aida.  I tend to use evenweave for pictorial pieces, particularly those with faces, and linen for samplers or more primitive pieces like the Hallowe'en Cubes. 

I suppose the thing which has made me most nervous in recent years isn't a fabric or thread, it's stitching for other stitchers.  I had often made things for non-stitchers and they loved them but the first time I had to stitch for someone who knew what they were looking at was very nerve-wracking.  Especially because it was a Round Robin (so several people were going to see it) and it was a Teresa Wenztler piece!  No added pressure there LOL.   Read more here  

Which brings me nicely onto my Mail Art which arrived safely in France.  I was partnered with Veronique who does beautiful stitching which only made me a little bit nervous!  I noticed from her blog that she had a link to The Primitive Hare so we had a mutal love of Isabella's designs.  I had already decided I wanted houses for my envelope and the theme "from my haunted house to your's"

I adapted the Hallowe'en Town design which featured in JCS magazine and is now available as a chart.  Here is the whole piece:

stitched on 32 count Cognac linen

Obviously to make an envelope you have to be mindful of which way up the various parts of the design have to be stitched!

This is the back (washed out colour).  I enlisted the help of Jocondine to make sure my French grammar was correct!

And this is the inside lining:

Here are the goodies I sent with the envelope, including a Just Nan chart and a hand-made card:

And here is the front of the envelope with the address obscured:
That wonderful stamp was in Cross Stitch Collection recently.  How serendipitous!

This was a great exchange organised by Mii.  I am wondering who got Veronique's envelope and I hope Mii does a round-up post so we can admire everyone's stitching.

Finally, I will be working on the Mystery Phrase for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop and all the participants will receive an email over the next couple of days letting them know what their letter is for the hop in preparation for Saturday.  Woooohoooooooo!

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Friday Frolics and Other Days Too

Friday Frolics is a reference to one of Kaye's new blogs; Kitten Stitching and the Friday Frolics, where we each pull out a WIP or UFO and have a little frolic with it on a Friday, or into the weekend if you so desire.

My current Friday Frolic is Trixie the Hallowe'en Witch from Brooke's Books.  I had an issue with the metallic black DMC last week.  It just didn't cover well at all.  Then I saw the same design on FB where the stitcher had used Kreinik and the coverage looked great.  So this week I used the other two DMC metallics I had planned to discover how they covered.  They both look fine so I only need to buy one spool of Kreinik and some perforated paper for the accessories.  I frogged the black metallic in preparation for next week and here she is:

Stitched on 28 count tan evenweave

Don't her metallic purple boots look great?

I've been continuing with the current "Must Stitch" SAL which has grabbed the stitching world by the needles and demanded they drop everything to stitch this - Plum Street Sampler's 12 Days of Christmas.  Paulette is releasing one chart per week from tomorrow to follow on from the three she released last week.

I have decided to stitch them individually and scrapbook them in two pages of six.  But how to distinguish them from everyone else's versions?  I had decided to use a lovely red Splendor silk which was gifted to me from Ruth a while back.  The other charted colour was a yellowy green colour.  But I wanted a real pear colour for Day One and found it in DMC 3045.  However this wouldn't work for the other designs so well.  Then inspiration struck - use a different accent colour for each design!  Some will be obvious choices, others may need a little shoe horn but I have worked them all out now.  Second Day was easy, Turtle Doves are traditionally blue.  This is another Splendor silk from Ruth.  I've changed the parts which are stitched in the accent so the birds and the flowers will be blue and the rest will be red:

stitched over 1 on 25 count linen

The next project is also a Jumping on the Bandwagon SAL!  Funny how the best laid plans are often led astray by seeing what other people are stitching.  This one was a FB freebie called Friendship Compass released by Glendon Place to celebrate the large number of "likes" they had.  I'm using purples as you can see:

stitched on 28 count white evenweave

I am a subscriber to Cross Stitch Collection magazine and one of the enjoyable features is the Blogger of the Month column where they interview one of my friends each month and showcase her stitching.  I don't actually think being my friend is the reason they choose the person but it does seem that way!  It is rare I don't know the person LOL.  Recently it was the turn of Lisa The Inspired Stitcher.

As soon as I saw the article, I emailed her to let her know it was printed.  Unfortunately CSC is hard to get in the States so I offered to send her a copy.  In exchange she said she'd send me some threads as they are so expensive here!  And look what arrived!  A lovely frog covered project bag hand made by Lisa's own fair hands.  Hopefully all the frogs will stay firmly attached to the material and not infest my stitching!  She also included not one, but two packs of the DMC 4000 series of variegated threads, my very favourites.  They come in a card pack with a free chart too which is nice.

I am already using the bag to keep my Plum Street project in!

Finally, Hallowe'en is fast approaching which means it's nearly time for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  Regular followers will know the format.  Leave a comment here saying you would like to take part in the hop as a Picture Poster.  When I have everyone signed up I will choose a Mystery Phrase and allocate each Picture Poster a letter of the alphabet.  On 31st October they must make a blog post showing their letter and a photo of something they have stitched on a Hallowe'en theme.  On my blog there will be a list of all the contributors so people can hop around and collect the letters to work out the Mystery Phrase.  You don't have to be a Picture Poster to collect the letters and join in with the competition but all Picture Posters do get an extra entry in the competition.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

October Stitch From Stash

Month: October
Spent:   £ 0.00
Earned: £ 0.00

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!

July Budget
£ 15.00
July spend
£   7.75
August Budget
£ 15.00
August spend
£ 14.57
September Budget
£ 15.00
September spend
£   0.00
October Budget
£ 15.00
October spend
£   0.00
Current Balance
£ 37.68

Once again, a zero spend.  This being broke business is great for Stitch From Stash.

So that's the financial side of things, how about the stitching?  Poor, good and good!  I picked up Brooke's Book's Trixie the Hallowe'en Witch for my Friday Frolic and didn't do too well.  I've done all the DMC and now have the Kreinik.  I didn't have any of the charted Kreinik so I took the time to convert them to DMC metallics which I have quite a collection.  The Fuchsia looks great in her eye mask but then I started on the black in her hair.  It just doesn't cover well or look sparkly at all.  So I guess I have to bite the bullet and buy the Kreinik.  I will probably try the other colours first in case I need to order those too.

stitched on 28 count tan evenweave

I was much more successful with Elizabeth Shephard from Scarlet Letter for the IHSW:

The top photo shows the two motifs I worked on this weekend and the bottom one shows the whole piece so far.  I've got three complete motifs and six half-motifs to complete on this one.

stitched on 30 count linen

I was making such good progress by Sunday lunchtime I decided I deserved a new start!  Paulette from Plum Street Samplers recently posted about two ornies she designed for JCS back in 2011 and 2012 based on the First Two Days of Christmas.  People regularly ask about the other ten so she has decided they will be her SAL this year!  I have the two magazines with the originals in but even if you don't, you can still join in because she is giving them away for free on her blog. 

I've using a 25 count linen and stitching over 1 to keep them small.  The thread is a lovely silk from Splendor which Ruth was kind enough to send me.  She sent a selection of reds and blues and this was my favourite.  It's S826 if that means anything to anyone!  I'm planning on stitching these individually and scrap booking them unless a better idea comes to me.

Finally, Hallowe'en is fast approaching which means it's nearly time for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop.  Regular followers will know the format.  Leave a comment here saying you would like to take part in the hop as a Picture Poster.  When I have everyone signed up I will choose a Mystery Phrase and allocate each Picture Poster a letter of the alphabet.  On 31st October they must make a blog post showing their letter and a photo of something they have stitched on a Hallowe'en theme.  On my blog there will be a list of all the contributors so people can hop around and collect the letters to work out the Mystery Phrase.  You don't have to be a Picture Poster to collect the letters and join in with the competition but all Picture Posters do get an extra entry in the competition.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Gifted Gorgeousness October Link-Up Post

  Gifted Gorgeousness

For newbies, this is my first year long SAL.  Click on the picture above for the full details.

We will be posting and linking up on the 15th of each month, because it is 2015.  Should be easy to remember.

Elizabeth Shephard by Scarlet Letter - a gift from Nicola:

stitched on 30 count linen

Mail Art piece I can't show yet!

stitched over 1 on 32 count Cognac linen

Book of Spells by The Goode Huswif - stitched on gifted fabric:

stitched on 40 count Jewel Butterbeer linen.

I have made huge amounts of progress on this one, mostly due to the Small Boy deciding he likes baths again!  I stitch on this one while he is in the bath and all Summer he has decided he does not like baths because they make his fingers go wrinkly.  So he refused to sit down or get his hands wet!  Careful building up using wet wipes and damp towels got us to the point where I could pour water over his body and suddenly one evening he sat down!  Totally out of the blue!  And now he likes a long bath so I get lots of stitching done again.  I love that tree, the effect of the paler grey is gorgeous in real life.  Now I'm adding lots of splashes of orange and there is another gravestone and a spooky house to do.

I also received some lovely gifts this month.  First of all, I won a runner-up prize in Wee Stitchy Steph's Giveaway and here is what she sent me:

That's a super fragranced candle on the left!  Lots of buttons and charms.

Close-up of the jingly piggy scissor fob: 

Snowflower Diaries pillow, stitched over 1: 

With a beaded edge: 

I know what you are thinking - if that was the runner-up prize, whatever did the winner get?  Someone was a lucky stitcher!

I have also received my part of the Hallowe'en Mail Art Exchange.  Once again I struck lucky and got Mii herself as my sender!  Here's the awesome Faby Reilly purse full of goodies she sent me:

Isn't that clever?  The flap lifts up and a mouse appears!

The reverse of the purse: 

Footprints all over the purse including the bottom: 

And here is one of the culprits, on the gusset: 

And here's his partner-in-crime on the other side! 

And the contents; beads and threads in Hallowe'en colours (glow-in-the-dark white), chocolate discs, pumpkin eraser and a Lego Mini-Figure, one we didn't already have!  Plus a great Lizzie*Kate chart.

Thanks Mii, it was a wonderful exchange and I can't wait to send mine off to my partner and see what she thinks of it.

And now over to you - Here is the place for you to link up so we can see what Gifted Gorgeousness you have been stitching so far this year.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field NOT the words "October Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.  
And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  People are still getting this wrong!  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.
Thank you.  I can amend links if you make a boo-boo though.



Finally, I had two charts up for grabs last month, the Tea Cozys and Sampler plus the Ribbon Alphabet.  These were won by Elfie and Stitching Noni.  Congratulations to you both and please drop me an email with your addresses so I can get them out in the post to you.  No giveaway this month, but there will be a small prize offered for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop on the 31st so make sure you all sign up for that one soon.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

October TUSAL


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.

Here is my ORTS jar posing with the current stitching project:

The design is Glendon Place's Friendship Compass, a FB exclusive freebie.  You can download the chart and choose your own colours.  I have gone for purples in the blue spectrum just to make it really difficult to photograph!

This is a scan of the design which is much more true to colour.  The pinkier purple on the right is 3042.

stitched on 32 count white evenweave.

And a Happy Dance too!  This next design was started in August for the Black Cats theme on the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL blog and then continued in September for Kaye's Friday Frolics.  This is Just Nan's Ghoulies and Ghosties, stitched using the recommended DMC on 28 count tan evenweave:

I do love Nan's Hallowe'en designs, they use the same basic colours so they all look good together and feature her cute spiders and ghosts.

And speaking of ghosts, I am now taking sign-ups for my Hallowe'en Trick and Treat Blog Hop.  Everyone enjoys this hop and we need some more people to make a nice long one or the mystery word will be CAT.  (Just so Christine can guess BAT or CAW depending on who has posted).  So why not drop me an email and sign up.  There's a list of spooky freebies on my freebie page and even if you don't finish by the 31st you will have a WIP to show!

Finally, most of you know the lovely Jacquie and her equally lovely daughter Hannah (and her just as lovely hubby Jon but he's not relevant to this bit).  Han has designed some cushions to enter into a competition.  You have share your favourite on FB or Twitter and she gets votes!  Click here to read all about it.