Saturday, 22 October 2016

It is Your Civil Duty to Vote

No, this is not a political post!  Don't panic!  This is me blowing my own trumpet and urging you to vote for the best nominee - me!

I got an email from Immediate Media earlier this week telling me that I have been nominated in their Best Blog Category.   I was blown away and had to log on to see the other nominees.  I am in good company, there's a couple of designer blogs, one with 3 times the followers I have, a group blog and a couple of other bloggers who have really nice blogs, although one seems to be having a little break right now.  None of the blogs have my USP which is you lot!  I honestly do believe that Immediate Media have chosen my blog because of the community activities I run and take part in.  So really, this nomination is for all of us.  So go and vote for yourselves LOL

This is the website where you can vote - British Craft Awards.  There are several categories to vote in and have your say.  The first question asks if you live in the UK but that is only to assess your eligibility to be included in the prize draw.  Non UK residents can still vote, so please do!

Voting is open until 20th December but why wait?  Go and vote when you've finished reading this post!

It's been a bit of a slow week for stitching thanks to work.  The school I've been working with has placed another large order following a meeting with them on Monday so I've been looking up books and making a list and checking it twice.

So here's my day time project:

stitched on 28 count burgundy linen

This is the third in the Byzantine Ornaments series by Teresa Wentzler.  I am using the same fabric and threads as the previous two.  The yellows are as charted but the accent colour is DMC 321 for all the ornaments.  I have just started the gold backstitch for this one.   Hopefully a finish for tomorrow.

Here is my evening project:

stitched on 28count lilac linen

This one is Ghastly, Ghostly Ghouls by Just Nan.  I'm using the DMC conversion and I'm not sure about that red at the bottom.  It should be more dark orange to me.  I'm not using it for the pumpkins anyway, I need the better dark orange that she has used in some of her other designs.

Hallowe'en Blog Hop

I've had a good response to the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop which will take place on the 31st October.  This is your last chance to sign up.  Just leave a comment to say you'd like to take part.

Does this collection of counting pins and a scissor charm look familiar to anyone?  I feel sure I have seen the scissor charm on a blog somewhere but the name escapes me for now...

Finally, don't forget to Vote For Jo!  Remember - a Vote For Jo is a Vote for Blog Hops and SALs and all of you too.  Click this rosette to cast your vote:

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