Saturday, 15 July 2017

Gifted Gorgeousness July Link-Up Post

2017 GG

Welcome to the June link-up for Gifted Gorgeousness.  The linky will stay open until the end of the month so you have plenty of time to link up and join in.

It's pretty much the usual suspects this month for me, trying to get some solid progress on my 17 in '17 projects.

I stitched for a day on Gathering Eggs by Nora Corbett - a gift from Carol:

And a day on Memories by Just Nan - a gift from Vickie:

And daily stitching on 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott - a gift from my MIL:

And that's it for the month!  So now I hand 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 "July 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.



That was a short and sweet post from me for a change.  Hopefully it will give you all more time to hop around and visit the GG participants this month.

Finally, talking of hopping brings me to the subject of a Summer Blog Hop.  Would anyone be interested in having a themed Linky Party sometime in August?  I give you a theme and you can link up here if you want to post that day?  Easier to organise than a full blog hop with people going off on their holidays in the summer.  If you are interested, mention it in the comments below.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Blogger of the Week

A new post for the latest Blogger of the Week is now up.  Pop over to see who is featured today:

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That

My rotation for the year goes as follows:

26th of the month - Lavender & Lace Enchanted Alphabet
Then Brooke's Books' Stitcher's Alphabet
Then Happy Hallowe'en with an option on Witches
Then a block of 12 Days of Christmas and one day of the header
Then one day of Gathering Eggs and one day of Memories
Rest of the month - Focus Piece for the month.

In my last post I had completed the 7 Swans-a-Swimming block for 12 Days so it was followed by a few days of daily swapping.

First I stitched quite a lot on the Herald Angel from 12 Days:

I am currently filling in the pale blue and then I'll backstitch her.

I worked all day Saturday so I took 12 Days in to stitch on my lunchbreak and then spent all of Sunday on Nora Corbett's Gathering Eggs:

The shawl turned out beautifully. 

On Monday I went to a coffee morning at a local craft shop which has just opened in town.  The owner makes various things herself and also rents shelves out in the shop to local crafters.  I did buy myself an early birthday present but that's gone away until September so no peeking!

I took Just Nan's Memories with me as it's a nice easy one to stitch and chat at the same time:

Today saw the start of my focus piece for the rest of this month.  Kerry is doing Just One July and there's a new Joan Elliott July group too so it made sense to stitch Joan's Mermaid from July in the Magical Year of Stitching.   I started her last Summer for the Olympic challenges and very unusually did not note down the fabric.  It's either Sparklies or Crafty Kitten, most probably the latter and it's beautiful!

Finally, the Blogger of the Week blog is going really well.  I am so pleased with all the comments everyone is leaving and being able to introduce people to new-to-them bloggers.  I'd love to have more people I didn't previously know featured so please mention the blog on your blog!  I've also decided we should have a little competition when we reach six months so pay careful attention and watch the blog for more information!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Edward -

I thought I said no more birds; but this morning I woke up to find no less than seven swans all trying to get into our tiny goldfish pond.  I'd rather not think about what happened to the goldfish.  The whole house seems to be full of birds - to say nothing of what they leave behind them.
Please, please STOP.
Your Emily

12 Days of Christmas (Correspondence) - John Julius Norwich

Swans are beautiful to look at but can be very vicious.  Plus, they mate for life so where does the odd number come from?  Poor left out swan.

I stitched the swan using two strands and the background using one.  I really like this effect as the swan stands out much more.

Here's where I was last month:

And here's where I am now:

I've done a lot more of the left hand angel and almost completed the left-hand border too.  Just a few more green leaves and the tiny holly berries.

I stitched one of my Hallowe'en pieces this month, Happy Hallowe'en by Imaginating:

We have a little Ghostie and a leafy L too.

I'm in such complete control with my Ten-a-Day project that I decided to start another one!  Reaching the half-way point of the year on Spring in the Square I could see that I should finish it well before the end of the year.  So what better time to start Summer in the Square?

Here is Spring in the Square at 187 days:

Summer in the Square at 6 days:

And the current 30-a-day Royal Blossoms at 19 days:

Finally, thanks for the sympathy over Photobucket!  I am even having problems downloading my own photos from the site.  I had to resort to photographing the screen for one or two photos!
I am slowly working my way though 2012 at the moment.  All my finishes are on my desktop but some of my WIPs are not, usually ones where I used the scanner instead of the camera.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The eXciting and eXhilarating Alphabet Xerlo

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.

I am so impressed with my title this month!  Although I have a feeling that "xerlo" may actually be a made-up word.  I found it here - Word Central


  1. Function: noun
    Definition: a person's place or their things that they keep at their place
    Example Sentence: My xerlo is filled with my favorite things."

Anyway, here's what X stands for in the Dark Alphabet:

Xaphan is a fallen angel who fans the fires of hell!  You can find out more about him on The Note of Friendship blog.

X is also for the most obvious one of all - X stitching:

This is from Brooke's Book's Stitcher's Alphabet.  A close-up of the stitcher's crown, I substituted beads for plain stitching in the crown:

Not surprisingly I don't have a whole lot of themes or designs beginning with an actual X but I do have a design by Mr. X-Stitch:

The lovely Mona Lisa stitched over 1 on 28 count evenweave
1.75 x 2.25 inches in size - Xtra small

I stitched a Xylophone for an alphabet sampler:

I also have a chart by Xs and Ohs in my stash:

And I have this wonderful app:

There is a small charge for the app, I'm not sure how much because I've had it for years now.  There is a section for threads with so many different brands, a section for fabrics and a section for charts.  Almost every designer you can think of is in there and if they aren't, just email the app designer and he will add them at the next update!   Once you have added your charts you can export them to the Journal and mark them as Kitted, Started or Finished.  You can add as many notes as you want.  There's also a Wishlist and a Shopping List.

Just a really useful app and very simple to use too.

Blog roll time and I found just three blogs with a X or 2 in the title:

Finally, X is Xasperated.  Which is what I am with Photobucket.  I used them when I first started using the Yuku Boards before I had my blog as they were a nice photo hosting system, you could make folders and label your photos.  When I started my blog I continued to use them although I did realise that it was easier to load photos direct from your desktop.  Until Blogger had a hissy fit for a few months then I had to revert to Photobucket.  So you can imagine my horror when I saw this all over my earlier posts:

Yes, Photobucket have decided WITH NO NOTICE WHATSOEVER to start charging for 3rd party hosting and are holding all my photos to ransom unless I upgrade my account with them.  So now I have to go through 6 years of blog posts and my entire Happy Dance blog to find out which entries need to have the photos re-added from my desktop.  Thank the Stitching Goddess that I saved everything on there too!

Thanks Photo*ucket.

Friday, 30 June 2017

June Smalls SAL

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Stitching Lotus

This year I will be showing my Hallowe'en and Christmas SAL partworks and any other Smalls I may stitch.

Happy Hallowe'en by Imaginating gained a green frog and a green lizard for Something Green:

Witches by Oberlin Sampler became Itches:

A Goose was a-laying in Joan Elliott's 12 Days of Christmas:

And I completed, not one, but TWO Just Nan ornies.  Here are Christmas Hearts and Victorian Rose:

  Just Nan Victorian Rose

Here's where I am on Day 13 of the next Just Nan, Royal Blossoms:

And Day 181 of Spring in the Square, also by Just Nan:

I also made a card for a friend's wedding, the design is by Stitchrovia:

I also made some "small" progress on each of my WIPs and UFOs for The Longest Day Marathon:

That would actually make a good competition - spot the design!

Over to Pie; this month my focus piece was the Discworld Mappe with ten days of stitching.  It would have been a full fortnight but I fitted in my marathon and the wedding card.

Spending-wise, it's been a good month for Stitch from Stash.  

CS Sub £8.72
Crazy sub £3.00
John Lewis £20.00
Total £31.72

But magazine subscriptions are exempt and I used gift vouchers to buy the fabric so a zero SFS spend.  The first part of SFS has finished now and I have plenty of credit which is nice.  In "real" temrs I have spent £ 116.80 over six months which is just under £20 a month.  That does include gift money and magazine subscriptions.

Finally, we have a new Blogger of the Week, so don't forget to pop over and leave a comment.  This is our 19th Blogger of the Week and once we reach the half year mark (26) I will be doing a giveaway which will involve you having paid attention to the 26 featured bloggers.  You have been warned!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

June's Stitching Spot WIPocalypse

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings
Also linking up with 17 in '17

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 worked on ALL my outstanding WIPocalypse projects, thanks to the Longest Day Marathon.  You can see them all on that post but I will show the ones I worked on for more than 30 minutes here as well.

1. The Stitcher's Alphabet by Brooke's Books:

2. 12 Days of Christmas by Joan Elliott:

3. Witches by Oberlin Samplers:

4. Happy Hallowe'en by Imaginating:

5. Spring in the Square by Just Nan:

6. The Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs:

Custom-dyed 32 count evenweave by Sparklies

I just love stitching on this project but today is the last day of the rotation and it's on to Enchanted Alphabet for the 26th tomorrow.

Following feedback from the Longest Day Marathon I have decided to put The Autumn Tree into the bathtime stitching slot and get it finished.  I am making excellent progress with the border on 12 Days of Christmas which was in that slot and I have no doubts about finishing it before the end of the year so a little rest won't hurt.

Measi always gives us a discussion topic:

June - Show is your stitching space!  Where do you sit, and what is going on around you while you stitch (TV, audiobooks, etc)?

So here is my stitching spot, at the kitchen table.  You can see the laptop with a rather familiar blog open.  The round red tin is my ORTS tin with a needle minder on top which is where I put my needle when I'm changing threads.  Next to that is the bag for my current project, then my stitching diary (with the cat's face), in front of that is the chart and my scissors.  And of course, the project!  You can see that I stitch in hand with the fabric rolled so the stitching is inside the roll and not being touched by my hands.

To the left is my bag of threads, this is a large brownpaper bag holding the five rings of Floss-away bags which contain the full set of DMC:

What is going on around me depends on who is there.  If hubby is at home then it will be Planet Rock on the radio as he's not keen on FlossTube!  If the boys are at home then it might be a YouTube channel called Good Mythical Morning or it might be carefully selected FlossTube videos.  The Large Boy likes Pepe, Jimmy FlossTube, Garrett, and Denkai's husband Mike.   He also likes Stitcherista and Tracy P and anyone with a cat.  He will quite often be playing on his iPad while I'm watching something.

Finally, feedback from the Longest Day Marathon also indicates a desire to have a Shortest Day SAL too!  So I have created an event on FB for 21st December the Shortest Day in the Northern Hemisphere.  It will be four days before Christmas, we'll all be working our socks off, up to our ears in mincepies and present wrapping so who has got time to stitch?  Find some time in your lunchbreak at work, the queue at the supermarket, while the mincepies cook, the Christmas Carol Concert or the part of the Nativity Play that YOUR child isn't actually in.  The challenge is to manage any stitching at all! 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Turtle TUSAL

Although there isn't actually a Turtle on here yet.  There will be eventually.


It's TUSAL time, the Totally Useless SAL where we all show our ORTS and link-up on Daffycat's blog.

Here is my TUSAL with the current project:


Here's a close-up of the main project which is this month's focus piece, the Discworld Mappe by Lyndisfarne Designs:

Discworld Mappe

And here's the cover photo with a circle around the area I've been stitching:

You may also have spotted a fully-finished object in that photo too.  It's the fourth of my Just Nan Ornaments, Victorian Rose, stitched on 32 count green linen which looks more blue in the photos!

Just Nan Victorian Rose

Just Nan Victorian Rose

The reverse

I couldn't find a suitable backing fabric at all so I simply finger-pressed the edges and folded them over.  Whip-stitched the folds top and bottom and then whip-stitched the central seam together with some small bugle beads I had in my stash.

Just Nan Victorian Rose

Here are all four together:

Just Nan Ornaments

 L-R: Christmas Rose, Christmas Star, Christmas Hearts and Victorian Rose

Finally, I got some very exciting news this afternoon.  One of the local artists who supplies our shop with cards, fridge magnets, prints and bookmarks is branching out into cross stitch!  She has a deal with Bothy Threads to convert four of her designs into cross stitch to be released at the beginning of next year.  Here are the four they have chosen:

and here is a link to her website where you can already purchase the cards, prints and other merchandise - Love Country UK.  I am so excited for her and can't wait to see the finished pieces.