Sunday, 16 October 2016

October WIPocalypse Social Media

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.

The focus of my WIPocalypse will be my "16 in '16" which are 16 projects I particularly wanted to concentrate on in 2016.   The full list can be found on my WIPocalypse page where you can also find my secondary list "16 Series in '16".

My main goal is to keep to my rotation of one small every Friday and the rest of the month working on my focus piece until it is finished.  I also have a number of SALs I want to keep up with:

The Alphabet Club - a different letter on the first Saturday of each month
Gifted Gorgeousness - post anything gifted on the 15th
Hallowe'en Ornie Blog - a different spooky theme each month
Christmas Ornie Blog - a different festive theme each month
Smalls SAL - last Thursday of each month


I have worked on 1 out of 16 projects since my last WIPocalypse, plus 3 from my series list.

9. She Tends by Shepherd's Bush

stitched on 32 count Light Mocha linen

And from the series:

1. Christmas Cubes by Primitive Hare

stitched on 35 count Country Mocha linen

6. Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books

stitched on 28 count afghan

16. Byzantine Ornaments by Teresa Wentzler

stitched on 28 count Burgundy linen
(not a good colour likeness)

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss:

October - what online stitching communities do you enjoy?

In the beginning there were bulletin board and forums.  I discovered cross stitch forums back in 2010 and enjoyed the chat on the Yuku boards for Mirabilia, San Man and Needlecraft Haven.  I also joined the Round Robin board and took part in several of those projects.  I noticed that many stitchers had links to their "blogs" in their signatures and started following a few of those.  In 2011 I took the plunge and started a blog of my own.

I had discovered that I liked to "hijack" threads, someone would say something and it would send me off at a tangent.  Well, this is my tangent, I can discuss whatever I want!

I had joined Facebook when I was pregnant with the Small Boy along with a number of women from a parenting forum.  From there I discovered the stitching groups.  My favourites are the Designer-specific groups where you can actually talk to the designer!  How amazing is that?  I also enjoy groups which organise themed SALs and I'm currently quite active on Stitch Maynia and Cross Stitch Finish Line.

The new kid on the block is FlossTube or FlaaaaaaaaasTube as the Large Boy calls it!  This is the collective name for stitching videos found on YouTube.  I do enjoy listening to a stitcher chat about her projects and showing her stash (or his projects and stash in Coffee Stitcher's case!).

For me, the drawbacks with both FB and FT are that you can't look back and find things easily.  What was that lovely Hallowe'en project I saw?  On a blog you use the labels or the search bar and there it is.   

I haven't really explored Instagram.  I like the chat and the written word in addition to the photos.  I like to know more about the stitcher and what s/he was thinking when they stitched the piece.

People keep moaning that "blogs aren't as active as they were" and I did clear a load off my blog roll recently.  But I also added a good few.  If blogs aren't so active, why have I got 82 posts to read in my "New Followers" category alone?  You have to find new people to follow, joining my blog hop is a great way to do that.

Finally, did you see what I did there, led nicely into a plug for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop!  This will take place on the 31st October, of course, and all you have to do is post a picture of some spooky stitching along with a letter of the alphabet I will allocate you.  To join in, just leave a comment and I'll add you to the list.  We have a great group signed up already but the more the spookier!

Hallowe'en Blog Hop

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness October Link-Up Post

Welcome to the Gifted Gorgeousness link-up post!  The link-up date will continue to be the 15th of each month but I will keep the linky open until the end of each month so you have plenty of time to join in.

The format remains EXACTLY the same as last year so I'm sure you are all aware of what can be included - gifts to and from you; charts, fabric or threads; shoe-horns welcome!

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

Ghostly Mandala by Ink Circles - fabric was a gift from Rachel:

stitched on 32 count Autumnal Woodland by Crafty Kitten

Senor and Senorita Sugar Skull by Brooke's Books - a gift for my niece and her fiance:

stitched on perforated paper and finished as fridge magnets

She Tends by Shepherd's Bush - a gift from Kati

stitched on 32 count Light Mocha Linen

Hallowe'en Town by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - a gift from Sharon:

stitched on 28 count Moondust by Crafty Kitten

This is about half the design but I am stopping here and calling it a finish for various reasons!  My favourite part is the house, I blended two shades to make a nice mottled effect.

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.  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.



We have a special GGGG this month or a Gorgeous Guest Gifted Giveaway.  Hosted by the lovely Rosey from Ishkabibble:

So hop over to Ishkabibble to find out how to enter the GGGG.

Finally, the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop:

Hallowe'en Blog Hop

Click on the picture to find out how to join in!  I will be sending confirmation emails to everyone who has left a comment so far.  It's been a busy week!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Sign up for a Spooky Blog Hop!

Yes, it is that time of year again, we are counting down to the Spookiest Hop on the Blog.  All you have to do is leave a comment here saying you would like to take part.  I will assign each person a letter of the alphabet.  On 31st October you make a post featuring your letter and a stitched piece relating to Hallowe'en.  The stitched piece does NOT have to begin with your letter.  I will post the blogs in order and we hop around visiting them, collecting the letters which will spell out a Mystery Phrase.  Return to my blog and leave a comment with the Phrase to be in with a chance to win a prize!

Quite a few people signing up already but always room for more, we just have a longer mystery phrase!

If Hallowe'en is not your thing, the one after will be the Advent Calendar Blog Hop.  Everyone gets a "door" to open and posts on their day.  I've been Christmas stitching this weekend, the next cube from The Primitive Hare's Christmas Cubes and wow, is this one taking it's time?  There are big blocks of colour in this which is not very interesting stitching but will look lovely when it's done.

stitched on 35 count Country Mocha linen

I've also been persevering with the Hallowe'en Town from Frosted Pumpkins:

stitched on 28 count Moondust from Crafty Kitten

Only three colours left; green for the pumpkin stalk, yellow for the birds' beaks and feet and then some black.  It's about half the whole design and will make a nice little scene as it is.

I never showed you the awesome dolls from the crafty fayre I went to on my Big Birthday, here are just a selection of my favourites:

remind you of anyone?

I am sure she was called The Crafty Aardvark but I can't find her online at all which is a shame.

We also saw this picture in an Art Gallery in the city:

The canvas is 3D so the beach huts come out from the main frame and as you walk past it they appear to move.  Very clever.  And a price tag to match!

Finally, back to the subject of Hallowe'en; I will be asking for suggestions for themes for next year's Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog soon.  So get your thinking caps on.  You can see the current choices on the blog here

Saturday, 8 October 2016

On With October

With the Obligation (Alphabet Club is contagious) of the Sugar Skulls Over I am now free to return to my WIPs list.  I have done so well with that this year, finishing more of the WIPocalypse list than ever before.  Out of the remaining four projects, three are BAPs.  I have done quite a bit on two of them (Gathering Honey and Little Snapdragon) already this year and very little on the other two.  So this month I am focusing on the smallest WIP because I know I can get this one finished.



And another one too: 
stitched on 32 count Light Mocha linen

The design is She Tends by Shepherd's Bush and there are four smaller designs which can be stitched individually or as one long piece.  I have gone for individual.  There are four charms specifically designed to go in the gaps but I haven't got them and doubt you can get them here.  I do have some nice little flowers and can get some sheep so they will fit nicely.

I got my rotation in a muddle last week.  Because the First Saturday was the 1st I had it in my head that it was Hallowe'en stitching weekend and started Ghastly, Ghostly Ghouls by Just Nan.

stitched on 28 count lilac linen

However, when I came to do my entry on the Friday Frolics blog I realised Friday 30th had actually been a Fifth Friday and I could have started another Teresa Wentzler Byzantine Ornament.  Never mind, we'll have an extra Friday this month instead!

My evening stitching is a WIP I last worked on for the Longest Day SAL.  I said at the time it wasn't appealing to me and it still isn't.  So the plan is to finish this part and make it into a small.  I loved the house but the rest of the colours are sludgy and dull.  I also don't like the coverage on the 28 count evenweave.  It's a lovely soft fabric but better suited for over one stitching I think.

stitched on 28 count Moondust from Crafty Kitten

Meanwhile, the Birthday gifts keep coming in!  Two more packages for me this week:

Dragon Dreams Dragon from Kerry the Rambling Biscornu Addict

The dragon sits atop a tiny jar full of button soup

Button and charm soup spilled: 
Those spooky charms will be going on my Enchanted Alphabet sampler, they are perfect!

 From Heather of Fantasy Cross Stitch
Stacy Nash chart and some 32 count Belfast linen (a favourite fabric of mine)

Doing the Stacy Nash (to the tune of the Monster Mash) leads me nicely onto the next topic - The Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop!

Yes, it is that time of year again, we are counting down to the Spookiest Hop on the Blog.  All you have to do is leave a comment here saying you would like to take part.  I will assign each person a letter of the alphabet.  On 31st October you make a post featuring your letter and a stitched piece relating to Hallowe'en.  The stitched piece does NOT have to begin with your letter.  I will post the blogs in order and we hop around visiting them, collecting the letters which will spell out a Mystery Phrase.  Return here and leave a comment with the Phrase to be in with a chance to win a prize!

Hoppit to the Hop!

Finally, my niece and her fiance loved her Sugar Skulls when I gave them to her last week and they are gracing her fridge already.  We had a lovely afternoon tea with her and the female members of both families, playing games such as "How Well Do You Know Helen?" and Consequences making stories about her and her soon-to-be husband.  The official Hen Night will be Pub Golf with costumes.  I'm quite glad to have gone to the afternon tea instead LOL.

Saturday, 1 October 2016

The Outstandingly Opulent Alphabet Organistion and Added TUSAL ORTs

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

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

I think most of you know the lovely enigmatic Chiara who blogs at The Grey Tail?  We were chatting via email a while back and between us came up with the idea of an A-Z language challenge.  We batted some ideas around and are calling it the The Alphabet Club.  Chiara has the full details on that link but basically she will post a link-up post on the first Saturday of each month (Saturday being detention day in the film) reminding us of the month's letter and we will all link up with themed things, from stitching to designers and local customs.

O is for Occult from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.  Those are Octagon stitches there.  I will be covering the Occult side of the Alphabet Club for the Hallowe'en Ornie entry.

O is also for Over-dyed thread as shown in the Brooke's Book's Stitcher's Alphabet piece I am stitching for the Alphabet Club SAL:

I am stitching this on a 28 count afghan fabric in blocks of four to make a little soft book at the end.  Here's the latest page finish:

I do use over-dyed threads but I tend to call them "variegated" threads so I'll save that one for "V".

O is for Owls, here are some cute ones and one BAP:

Left - Cross Stitcher magazine, Blackberry Lane, Jacquie,
Centre - June Rose
Right - Knotted Tree NeedleArt, Blue Ribbon Designs, Blackbird Designs

O is for Orange, a great colour for a fabric, especially for Hallowe'en designs:

I don't have anything for designers beginning with O but I do have one in my stash from "Xs and Ohs" in collaboration with Dragon Dreams so I'm counting that one.

There are a few SALs with Ornament in the title:

(this started out as the Ornament SAL so that's how I label it to keep all the posts together)

On to the Blog Roll:

(which is one of my favourite words as well as blogs!)

Finally that last blog brings me nicely to another O and another SAL or TU-SAL to be correct!  It's time to show your ORTs to Daffycat!

New start - Ghastly, Ghostly Ghouls by Just Nan

Friday, 30 September 2016

Solo September, Pie and Spends

Justine has hosted a series of OAAT months this year and we have just finished Solo September.  This was quite a success for me.  I spend exactly half the month stitching my Focus for a Finish project plus two days of finish-finishing.

Here they are:

The lovely couple are Brooke's Books Senor and Senorita Skull.  I stitched them on black perforated paper with the flowers on white perforated paper.  I simplified the finishing a little.  There are ribbons and things stuck out of his hat which I felt were unnecessary.  Her flower has three layers which I stitched but they looked bulky and top heavy so I only used two layers to make the flower.  The middle layer covered up most of the stitching on the bottom layer anyway.

When I finished stitching them, I attached the moustache and cheeks to the skulls by stitching them on.  Then I backed them with black felt which I attached by stitching all the way around the outline of the skulls.  Then I stitched the flower and the hat onto the skulls through the felt.  Finally I glued them onto two large square magnets I had from an old notebook which used to be attached to the fridge.  The magnets are slightly larger than the skulls which is why I have left the corners of the perforated paper attached, to cover the magnet.

Here they are on my fridge as they may look in my niece's home, assuming she has fridge magnets and likes to spell out her name and that of her fiance!

Last night I had another small finish; the top portion of the Cherished Stitches design from this year's JCS Hallowe'en Ornie Special:

stitched on 28 count Moondust from Crafty Kitten

The 26th of September was the Now I Know my ABCs SAL in the Cross Stitch Finish Line FB group and we have reached D.  I am stitching my spooky conversion of Lavender & Lace's Enchanted Alphabet:

Stitched on 32 count Tiger Lily Murano from Sparklies

I have continued to monitor my spending:

50 x DMC £20.50
CSC Subs £8.72
Backing Fabric £3.00
Chatelaine fabric £31.68
Chatelaine threads £35.83
Total £99.73

 That's a high total, but £50 of that was Birthday money from my MIL and £15 was a voucher from Leonore.  So I actually spent £35.  Remember the Stitch from Stash SAL which started all the monitoring?  Well, Stephanie has resurrected it on FB!  Similar rules where you set your budget and try to stick to it, existing subscriptions are exempt, as is postage.  She is also doing the "earn budget with your finishes" which I don't bother doing.  I want to save real money not spend imaginery LOL

My spending appears to be higher this year because I've been including all my subscriptions and finishing materials which will be exempt, so I am sure I can stick to £20 a month.  I will have my Christmas money to kickstart the year and my Chatelaine already kitted up too.

Finally, time for Pie!

Thursday, 29 September 2016

September Smalls SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Heather from Stitching Lotus

This year I have two Small Challenges:

For the Hallowe'en Blog we had Bad Fairies which was a very tricky subject to find!  In the end I converted a Lucie Heaton fairy to be a Bad Bat Fairy:

Here's the original design so you can see the changes:

I used the silks from Counting Bats for her dress, tights, shoes, hair and hat.  DMC for her bat wings and Kreinik for her wand.  I sketched her on graph paper to get the wings right.

For the Christmas blog we had Festive Food for the theme, lots of yummy stitching going on there.  I am stitching the Primitive Hare Cubes for this blog and here is "I":

This is exactly as charted apart from the substitution of B5200 for Blanc.

Here are all seven so far:

stitched on 35 count Country Mocha from Willow Fabrics

You can tell "I" was photographed at a different time to the rest!

My other Smalls are two Sugar Skulls by Brookes Books which may be small in size but certainly take a lot of stitching!  Here they are nearly completed:

That photo was taken on Monday, I have actually finished all the stitching now but forget to take a photo before I started cutting them up.  So you'll have to wait until I have finished-finished them to see what they look like!

This is my current evening project; an extract of Potions and Brews by Cherished Stitches from the JCS Hallowe'en Ornie special 2016:

I'm stitching it on a 28 count evenweave which is far too big for a small!  If/when I stitch the whole thing I will definitely go for a 36 as recommended.  This is what I had in my stash and I wanted to stitch the top part right away.  It's called Moondust from Crafty Kitten.

Finally, I received another Birthday present which I will show you soon AND I ordered my fabric and threads for my Chatelaine taking advantage of the Birthday discount Crafty Kitten gives you.  I have some of the special threads as gifts, I have ordered the Rainbow Gallery and one Waterlily which didn't convert to DMC.  The rest will be the DMC conversion or a Jodyri thread substitute as some of those threads might be more suitable.  Exciting times ahead!