Monday, 22 August 2016

August WIPocalypse Olympic Round-up

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 3 out of 16 projects since my last WIPocalypse, plus 4 from my series list.  I also set myself some goals and took part in the Stitch Maynia Olympic Challenge on FB.

Challenge 1 - The Pentathlon (5 events).  This will be my four weekend projects plus the evening stitching project (currently Ghostly Mandala)
Medals - I will award myself a Gold Medal for each completed project in the Pentathlon, a Silver for any WIPs and a Bronze for any additional projects started in that category (if I finish the Ghostly Mandala for example)

The Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books:

Gold Medal!

Counting Bats by Just Nan:

Gold Medal!

Christmas Cubes by The Primitive Hare:

Silver Medal

IHSW: Trumpet by Mill Hill:

Silver Medal

Ghostly Mandala by Ink Circles:

Silver Medal

Challenge 1 Medal Haul - 2 Gold and 3 Silver

Challenge 2 - The Marathon.  This will be my focus piece.  Which will either be Gathering Honey or Little Snap Dragon, depending on how I feel!
Medals - I will award myself a Gold Medal for any completed piece, a Silver Medal for 8 days of stitching (Mon-Thur for the Olympic weeks) and a Bronze Medal for any additional projects started in this category (if I finish the first one)

Gathering Honey by Jannlynn:

Challenge 2 Medal Haul - 1 Silver

Challenge 3 - The Olympic Rings - Blue, Yellow, Black, Green and Red.  I'll showcase those colours as and when they appear in my stitching
Medals - I will award myself a Gold Medal for five colours, a Silver Medal for four colours and a Bronze Medal for three colours.  They must form a substantial part of the focus area, not just two stitches in the corner!

Blue - Little Snap Dragon by Kustom Krafts

Yellow - Gathering Honey by Jannlynn (see above)

Black - Counting Bats by Just Nan (see above)

Green - Gathering Honey by Jannlynn (see above)

Red - Christmas Cubes by The Primitive Hare (see above)

Challenge 3 Medal Haul - 1 Gold

Total Medal Haul

3 Gold Medals

(Byzantine Ornament 2 by Teresa Wentzler)

4 Silver Medals

(1862 Snowflake by Forget-Me-Not in Stitches)

According to the Olympic Medal table that makes me closest to Switzerland, who got 3 Golds, 2 Silvers and 2 Bronzes.  Here is our flag:

And our National Anthem:

Only there seems to be some debate about that.  Apparently people quite liked the tune but didn't like the words so they had a competition to write a new national anthem based on the old music.  More details can be found here.


Finally, the Art Challenge continues:

Day 20 - Colours

Day 21 - Shoes

Day 22 - Animals


Friday, 19 August 2016

IHSW Started Here

The weekend starts here!  And since it's the third Friday in the month, it's an International Hermit & Stitch Weekend.  Hosted by Joysze of Random Ramblings, this is your chance to stay at home and stitch to your heart's content.

Since I am working on Sunday, my weekend will be Friday and Saturday.  I am still taking part in the Stitching Olympics and today was a Silver day.  I had no WIPS with silver in them so a new start was in order.  I got out my collection of the JCS Christmas Ornament Specials (2010-2015) and discovered this one from 2010:

stitched on 28 count Colonial Blue evenweave

The design is by Forget-Me-Nots in Stitches and is called 1862 Snowflake after an antique beadwork pattern they had.  The charts suggest using all beads but I have substituted silver for the crystal beads to fit the Olympic theme.

Another small was started for the Music Day:

stitched on 14 count Christmas Green aida

I didn't have anything for Music, so it was most serendipitous that Kim sent me this little Mill Hill chart just in time!  I'm not a fan of three strands on perforated paper so I switched it for this green aida.  Now I remember why I'm not a fan of aida either!  But it's a nice little project and will look good scrapbooked with these three:

I've made quite a lot of progress on Gathering Honey which has been my focus piece for the Marathon:

Plenty of backstitch in this section!

I had a finish for the Gold Medal day, I saved the gold from my Fifth Friday project in July:

stitched on 28 count burgundy evenweave

This is the second Byzantine Ornament by Teresa Wentzler, using the same fabric and threads as Number 1.

Two more ghosts have been added to Ghostly Mandala by Ink Circles:

stitched on 32 count Autumnal Woodland by Crafty Kitten


I've also been keeping up with my daily art themes.  Here are Days 13-19:

Day 13 - Sails

Day 14 - Buildings

Day 15 - Movement

Day 16 - Light

Day 17 - Trains

Day 18 - Summer

Day 19 - Hands

Finally, it is four weeks tomorrow until my Birthday!  There are still a very few places left in the Days of Jo's Life Blog Hop.  If you'd like to join in with this very special blog hop on the 17th September please email or leave a comment and I'll tell you all about it.  In the meantime I will leave you with this image:

Wooden Thread Organiser from Tangerine 8 on Etsy.
I just love wooden thread organisers.  Just saying.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Gifted Gorgeousness August 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:

Elizabeth Shephard by The Scarlet Letter - a gift from Nicola:

I finished this one on the 16th July and added a little personalisation to show it was a gift from NP (Nicola) to JP (me):

Counting Bats by Just Nan - a gift from Epic Mel:

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

stitched on 32 count Autumnal Woodland from Crafty Kitten

Gathering Honey by Jannlynn - a gift from and to my friend Sam:

Little Snap Dragon by Kustom Krafts - a gift from Lesley:

stitched on 32 count Murano Evening Sky by Crafty Kitten

I also received a lovely surprise gift myself.  Remember Kim's 60 RAKs for her 60th Birthday?  Seems like her record-keeping isn't quite as good as her stitching and painting because I got a second gift!

A Mill Hill kit, some DMC, gorgeous fabric and a pencil tray


Kim says this porcelain tray is painted in the 18th Century style using 24K gold!

It is just so exquisite, as all Kim's painted pieces are.

We'll do a little GGG this month.  I ordered some Tibetan Silver charms for a couple of projects.  These come in bags of 10 charms all the same.  It is rare I need ten charms so I will pop one of each into a bag and send it to one lucky participant.  All you have to do is link up below and tell me how charming you are!  Or just indicate you'd like to be in the draw.

Just some of the charms I got!

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 "August 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.



Finally, The Days of Jo's Life Big Birthday Blog Hop was been launched and is taking sign-ups.  The Hop will be on the 17th September.  To take part all you have to do is leave a comment or email me.  Nearer the date I will allocate you a Year of My Life and on the 17th September you do a blog post about that year or that life event in your life or what you were doing at that age (assuming you are that old!).  Also, post something you have stitched which you think I will like.  Lots of people have already signed up but there are still some spaces left if you'd like to be involved.

Friday, 12 August 2016

It's Been a Challenging Week

But in a good way!  First I've been continuing with my Daily Art Challenge and then on the 5th the Olympic Challenges for the WIPocalypse and Stitch Maynia started.

I'll show all the Olympic stitching in my WIPocalypse Update later this month but for now, here's the daily art themes:

Day 7 - Pattern

Southwest Garden by Karen E. Dudzinski

Day 8 - Trees/Flowers

DSC02117BlueTilefloral.jpg Blue Tile Floral
Bluebell Wood from Cross Stitch Collection

Day 9 - Reflection

Love by The Stitcherhood

Day 10 - In My Wardrobe

LLCelticChristmasDSC02362.jpg Lavender & Lace Celtic Christmas
Celtic Christmas by Lavender & Lace

Day 11 - Red

Bande de Dragons by Dessins DHC

Day 12 - Water

Stitcher's Hideaway Hear the Sea Call photo DSC03708HeartheSeaCall_zpse60ef6b2.jpg
Hear the Sea Call by The Stitcher's Hideaway

My main focus for the Marathon part of the WIPocalypse Olympics has been Gathering Honey by Jannlynn.  I have finally finished all the fiddly green leaves in the top left corner and now only have more fiddly leaves in the bottom right corner to face!

There are some purple flowers and some red flowers to be added to this corner and theee rows of plain border, which I've made a start on.  I will also backstitch all of this corner before I move on to the bottom corner.

Here's the whole thing, you can see I did a little bit more of the backstitch in the bottom left garden, there are still a hundred French Knots to be added in that area.

stitched on 28 count evenweave

I've also been working away on Ghostly Mandala by Ink Circles and I'm well over halfway now:

stitched on 32 count Autumnal Woodland by Crafty Kitten


And now - a chat about blogging!  Most of us use Blogger because it's easy and it's free.  We have the little Followers button on our blogs so we can connect with the people who read our blog.  Since Blogger disabled their Reader people now use a variety of Readers to follow blogs (I personally use Feedly) which means they don't always click the Followers button.  I get notifications from Bloglovin that I have new followers there but they don't show on my blog counter.  So please, if you follow via Feedly, Bloglovin' or any other Reader - click to be a Follower too.  I have a little giveaway every time it ticks over a century so it's in your best interests LOL

Next - commenting.  We love comments, it's such a great way to connect with people and discover what people enjoy on your blog.  I personally try to reply to every comment via email.  But we have a couple of little problems here.  Number one is the "no-reply" commenter.  This may be a person who hasn't added an email to their profile or it may be a person who has gone over to Google Plus and their email hasn't linked.  If you are a "no-reply" person, email me so I can answer you.

Number two is political!  Blogger, Blogspot and Gmail are owned by Google.  Google want to take over the world and ensure we all use their products.  So certain email accounts (Yahoo and AOL) aren't accepted and while the comment appears on the blog the commenter may get a "failure" email and the blog author won't get an email notification.  One solution is for the commenter to email the blog author with the text of their comment, another is for the blog author to enable "moderate comments" so ones without email notifications are left unpublished until you go and look.  Then you can copy and paste the text and reply that way.  This is what I do.  Of course, the commenter can also use their Gmail account for blogging, which again is what I do.  I have AOL for boring real life stuff and Gmail for stitching stuff.

Number three - replying to comments.  I visit up to 50 blogs some evenings, leaving comments on many of them.  I do not have time to go back and visit again on the off chance the author has responded to my comment.  Neither do I want click the "send notifications" button and be drowned with several hundred emails telling me that Tom, Dick and Harry have also commented on that post.  If you are going to respond to my comment - email me! Or if it was a question other people might be interested in hearing the answer - respond in your next post.  Please.

Any questions on any of the above issues - please leave a comment or email me.

Glad to be of service!

Finally, thanks to everyone who has taken part in the Summer Linky Party so far.  You still have the weekend to join in if you wish.

Monday, 8 August 2016

In The Summertime Doopy Doopy Doo

It's time for the very first Linky Party brought to you by the Tenuous Shoehorn, drum roll..................

The Tenuous Shoe-Horn Party

Little bit of history here.  I have always done Blog Hops where I get people to sign up in advance and plan what we are going to post.  With the Summer Postcard Blog Hop I receive and email photos each week to the participants keeping track of who has sent a card and received one.  This year I am celebrating a Big Birthday with a Big Birthday Blog Hop so I decided to save myself the work and not have a Summer one.

But it seems strange not hopping around so I thought a Linky Party would be a good idea.  Kind of like an Open House rather than a formal Dinner Party!   Bring your own food and who cares if we get 20 desserts and no sausage rolls?

So where does this shoehorn come in?   Ever since joining in with various themed activities I have tried to get my stitching to fit the theme rather than vice versa.  Occasionally I have needed a shoehorn to wedge it in there somehow!  So the shoehorn has become an in-joke among us for any project which is a little off-the-wall for a theme.

The theme is Summer.  Probably the season we stitch the least.  We have Hallowe'en, Christmas and Easter for the other three seasons.  But Summer?  Nothing!  Poor Summer.  At least the weather is usually nice.

(NB I am talking Northern Hemisphere here, I appreciate the Southern Hemisphere is having Winter right now)

The first three Summer pieces I have are all parts of seasonal series.  First is Just Nan's A Summers Day:

DSC03207JustNanSummer.jpg Just Nan Summer's Day

Then Summer Sampler from Cross Stitcher magazine (1998):

DSC02086Spring.jpg Seasons Spring

And a pretty Summer Heart freebie from Gazette94:

DSC03296SummerHeart.jpg Gazette 94 Summer
If you want Summer freebies, Gazette94 is the place to go!

Time for cake!  Brooke's Book's cake to be precise:

DSC03204BrookesBooksJunecake.jpg Brookes Books Cake June
June Cake

DSC03321AugustCake.jpg Brooke's Books August Cake
August Cake

These are the only two I have stitched so far.  I should at least do July to have a run through.

I did stitch all the months for the JBW Alphabet Kitties series and here are the three Summer months:

And a very small piece of Joan Elliott's Summer Fairy:

Joan Elliott Summer photo DSC04062JESpring_zps6b44c914.jpg
I stitched her as part of a Birthday Card for a RR friend.

This is what I've been stitching on this week, the flowers and leaves on Gathering Honey by Jannlynn:

That seems to be it for me, I could shoe-horn in some more random floral stitching but I think I'll hand over to you all and see what you have to show.

Please link-up here with the actual blog post, not the generic blog address to help people find the right post.  The link-up will stay open for one week.  Please hop round and visit the other participants too.  This Link-up is open to anyone who has a blog, you don't have to be a regular commenter or follower, just a stitcher!



Finally, there will be a small prize for one lucky guest, so get your thinking caps on and get posting!