Friday, 31 October 2014

Mega Mini Month Madness Post 5 - picture heavy


MMMM is over for October and I count nine finishes!  Unfortunately I can only show you eight as my camera is not playing tonight, but I can assure you that this now says Merry Christmas!


Here are my other finishes...










Thanks to Pull the Other Thread for a fun SAL!

Earlier in the month I asked if she would consider continuing into November and she suggested that I take over for a month, and then the SAL organising could be passed on to another stitcher in December.  I thought hard about this as I've never organised a SAL before but all the hard work has been done.  So I'm pleased to say MMMM will carry on into November, with me hosting.  I was a bit last minute organising so will accept sign-ups until November 5th.  If you want to join us, the rules and linky widget thing are in my last post here.

Hope you've all had a Halloween filled with treats not tricks!

Justine

Halloween Exchange 2014

I recently participated in the first annual Halloween Exchange organised by Kim of Wisdom with Needle and Thread.  My goodies arrived a couple of weeks ago and I've been dying to share with you what I sent!

My parcel came all the way from Donna in Tennessee, USA.  Please check out Donna's blog here, she's very talented and you won't be disappointed.

This is what was in my parcel...


A gorgeous Pine Mountain Designs ornament finished with pretty ricrac trim and some lovely Halloween fabric which I have already found a use for!  Donna also included three cute Halloween charts which I haven't seen before.

And this beautiful card which she must have made herself...

Thank you Donna, I loved everything you sent and as always with exchanges I've been blown away with your generosity!

I sent my exchange parcel to Melanie over at The Patchwork Robin.  This is what I sent to her...


JBW designs Halloween pinkeep, Lizzie*Kate Halloween Quick-it chart, some Halloween fabric and threads and some chocolate with chilli.  I'm happy to say Melanie liked everything and has already stitched up the LK chart!

This exchange was so much fun and not least because I discovered some great new-to-me blogs.

Thanks Kim for organising this, I look forward to next year's exchange!

Justine
Thursday, 30 October 2014

Mega Mini Month Madness - November sign-up

erm, well hosted by me actually!

Well, Mega Mini Month Madness for October is coming to an end.  I've really enjoyed stitching on minis and have got some great little finishes under my belt this month.

The SAL was hosted by Pull the Other Thread, who has very kindly agreed that I can pick up the baton and run this SAL again in November!  If there is enough interest, then we would be happy to pass this on for someone else to host in December etc etc until no one has any minis left in their stash.

I'm a bit late organising myself to post this, so the deadline for sign-ups is a short one.  I'll be closing this on 5th November.  Some of you have already expressed an interest but many are no-reply bloggers so I hope you see this and sign up below if you're still interested.

Here are the rules as a reminder:
1. You must post on your mini progress once a week in the month of November. It doesn't matter what day so long as you have 5 posts by the end of the month.
2. They can be any mini projects you like, no themes attached but please do keep them to mini projects, as in ornament/card sized projects.
3. Those without a blog are free to join in, you can email me the pictures of your progress and I will post them on your behalf but please be aware that the 5 post rule will also apply.
4. For those who join in and post their mini progress each week I will do a drawing at the start of November for a €25 voucher (or equivalent in your local currency) for an online store of your choice so long as they do e-vouchers.

As before, you MUST post each week to be in with a chance of winning the voucher.  Your first post can just be a show and tell of which minis you plan to stitch on.

I hope this linky thing works OK as this is a first for me!  I'm very excited to be hosting this SAL and hope you will join me.

Sign up here:



Trick or Treat! Halloween Blog Hop

The lovely Jo from Serendipitous Stitching has organised this fun blog hop.  All you need to do is follow the blog links collecting letters as you do, which should spell out a spooky phrase which you need to send to Jo.

Before I give you the letter, here's my latest spooky stitch...

Halloween SAL by Stitchers Anon

And here's your Halloween letter...


Now off you go for your next letter to Kitten Stitching!

Happy Halloween everyone!
Monday, 27 October 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hi everyone

Two lovely stitchers, Sally of Stitchyangel's Treasures and Thoeria of My Little Corner of Cyberspace both asked if I would take part in the Around the World Blog Hop, so how could I refuse?  The mandatory questions don't really work for me so I thought I would just tell you a bit about how I became a stitcher and what I like to work on.

Summer 1987, age 15, the day after finishing my O-level exams, I was bored and had a bit of post-exam blues.  My mum gave me a needlepoint picture of some squirrels that she had been given as a gift but never opened, and suggested I tried it.  I think I ranted at her for a while about how boring it looked (isn't that what all teenagers do?) and then probably very sulkily decided to give it a go.

Over the next couple of years I completed two or three more needlepoint pieces.  I can vividly remember one with a cottage and some mountains.  I have no idea what happened to any of them (including the squirrel).

Then I discovered boys, and put the stitching aside until...

Valentine's Day 1990, I saw a picture of a cross-stitch kit of a Valentine's Day card in a magazine.  I went out and bought a similar kit and had to stay up into the wee small hours to finish it in time.  The boyfriend and I only lasted a few months after that, but I had a new hobby/obsession!

I have no idea how many pieces I've stitched since.  Cross stitching took a backseat throughout university but I can't think of a time since when I haven't had something on the go.  However, once I discovered the evil world of cross-stitch blogs in Summer 2013 I really became obsessed with stitching and blogging.

I love to stitch on lots of different types of projects, using various different fabrics and threads.  I rarely change the recommended threads though as I don't consider myself to be a creative person.

I currently have 14 WIPs (or Works in Progress) which can be seen on the WIP tab at the top of my blog.  Sometimes the number of projects I have on the go makes me feel a bit overwhelmed, but then I like changing projects for a bit of variety.

This week I plan on finishing this piece...
Decorating the Tree by Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe

and working on some minis as part of the Mega Mini Monthly Madness SAL hosted by Pull the Other Thread that I am taking part in, including this gorgeous dragon bookmark which will be a Christmas present for younger son (age 5).
Red Dragon bookmark by Dracolair Creations

Sadly I haven't been able to find anyone who would like to take up the baton and continue the blog hop.  If anyone is interested, please leave a comment below and I will email the details on.  If not, there are worse places for the blog to stop hopping!

Until next time

Justine

Mega Mini Monthly Madness post 4

I can't believe October is almost over!  It doesn't seem long since I signed up for the MMMM SAL challenge - to stitch on mini projects throughout October and post 5 times in the month.  I planned to post every Friday but was ill so am a bit late posting.  Nothing serious but it kept me away from my needle and my laptop for a couple of days!

Anyway, I have a couple of minis to share...

Bookworm bookmark kit by Vervaco
Stitched on included 14 count white aida with DMC threads

This was a lovely fun stitch.  I tend not to stitch on 14 count aida any more but it was nice and I think gives a clean, sharp finish.  I am putting this away for a Christmas gift to be included with books for my elder son (aged 6).

I have almost finished this...
Decorating the Tree by Victorian Motto Sampler Shoppe
Using VMSS hand-dyed threads and a mystery piece of evenweave

This was one of my Crazy January Challenge 2014 pieces and I hadn't picked it up since the day I put the first few stitches in.  For some reason I didn't like it, I think I just had new start fatigue as it was project 13 of 15.  However, I have worked on this for a couple of evenings now and really love it.  The threads are a dream to work with, sliding easily through the fabric and giving great coverage.  Though I don't tend to stitch much in the primitive style, I am looking forward to completing this tonight and then finishing as suggested in the kit into a small hanger for Christmas.

My big finish this week was this...
Halloween Mystery SAL 2014 by stitchersanon
Stitched on Polstitches stormy skies 28 count evenweave
in DMC 310, 3 over 2.

I was so proud of myself for keeping up with this SAL!  It was a weekly SAL in 12 parts and I just loved every stitch.  It was relaxing to do as I chose to stitch as recommended in DMC 310 throughout.  I had a few issues at first as I decided to stitch landscape on my fabric instead of portrait (didn't read the instructions properly) and then after frogging quite a lot of the header and restarting, I decided the coverage of 2 over 2 wasn't good enough so frogged again and restitched 3 over 2.  But I am thrilled with it, I love the fabric and the design, especially the cute spider and ghost!

If anyone has any good suggestions for how I can finish it simply and quickly so I can display it on Friday, I'm all ears!

Well, I'd better get back to my minis, only 4 more days to go!

Before I do go, would there be any interest in continuing the Mega Mini Monthly Madness into November?  I've been discussing this with the current host over at Pull the Other Thread.  She isn't able to continue hosting into November due to other stitching commitments, but she has suggested that I continue into next month and that if there is enough interest we keep passing it along each month!  If you would be interested in joining me next month, please leave a comment below, and if there is enough interest then I will set up a proper grown-up linky thing on my blog so that we can continue seamlessly into November!

Hope your needles are flying this week, mine certainly are!

Justine
Friday, 17 October 2014

Mega Mini Monthly Madness Post 3

Hello again!  MMMM is a fun SAL hosted by Pull The Other Thread.  Do hop over there and check out everyone's progress.

This week I have two little finishes and one almost finish.
Floral circle
Cover kit from WOCS magazine

Then my subscription issue of Cross Stitcher popped through the letterbox, and I had to stitch this straight away before it fell into the stash bag!

Snowman brooch
Cover kit from Cross Stitcher

And finally I have almost finished this fun Vervaco kit.  I am going to give this to elder son with some books for Christmas.  He loves reading and I call him my little bookworm, so this seemed appropriate for him.

I am going to stitch a dragon bookmark for younger son for Christmas.

See you tomorrow for the Halloween Exchange Linky Party!

Justine
Friday, 10 October 2014

Mega Mini Monthly Madness Post 2

I'm enjoying Mega Mini Monthly Madness!  This is a really fun SAL organised by Pull The Other Thread in which we work on minis all month and post our progress each week.

My own personal challenge was to reduce some of my stash of magazine cover kits.

So, here's my progress for the week...


Margaret Sherry Christmas Mice
from World of Cross Stitching magazine

Emily Peacock bookmark
from Cross Stitcher magazine

And I also found these cute reindeer in my stash which just needed finishing into cards!

I was quite disappointed with the Emily Peacock bookmark.  The piece of aida included in the kit wasn't big enough to stitch all of the design, and the cardboard bookmark backing included wasn't long enough either.  I love the colours and enjoyed stitching it but this made it a disappointing project over all.

Next out of the bag is another World of Cross Stitching one from earlier in the year.  I don't think I am going to get them all finished as I'd hoped, as I had 18 kits (now 16) but I am enjoying these quick stitches.

I also caved in and signed up for autoship of the CCN Classic Ornaments Collection, and finished my first one last week.


I haven't finish finished it yet.  As always this was a lovely stitch.

In another news I am keeping up with the Halloween SAL arranged by Stitchers Anon.  There are 21 of us in this SAL.  I will share a photo in my next post but in the meantime if you can, head over to Stitchers Anon and enter her fantastic raffle in aid of breast cancer research.  There are some wonderful prizes, some of which have been handmade by fantastic stitchers.

Hope you are all well and getting lots of stitchy time!

Justine
Friday, 3 October 2014

Mega Mini Month Madness Post 1

Hi everyone

It's nice to be back!  My laptop has been on a little holiday recuperating after a virus at the computer spa.  Thankfully it's all good now and I can finally blog again!

As if I needed another SAL, I've signed up for Mega Mini Monthly Madness which is being organised by Pull The Other Thread.  Throughout October we have to stitch minis and post our progress once a week, and there is a prize at the end for one lucky blogger.

This is actually a good SAL for me because of this....



These are all free kits that came with magazines over the years, and I feel really guilty every time I stuff another kit into it!  So my own personal challenge is to stitch on as many of these as I can, and be realistic about which ones I will ever stitch and which I should get rid of.  I'm hoping the bag will be gone by the end of the month, one way or another!

To get me in the mini mood, and to practise for the Christmas Biscornu Exchange being organised by Mii Stitch, I've stitched two biscornu recently.  I love making these as they are quite quick and simple to do but look stunning.

Here was my first attempt...


Halloween Biscornu
by Tiny Modernist
Stitched on 14 count white aida
with DMC threads and JABCO button

And my second...



Biscornu #635
The Floss Box
Stitched on 14 count ecru aida
with DMC threads
Button by Nathy Creations

Here's my next mini start, it's a Margaret Sherry Christmas mouse which was a free kit recently in World of Cross Stitching magazine.



In other news, I have successfully exchanged and received in Kim's first Halloween Ornament Exchange, but I am saving my post for a Linky Party that Kim is organising on October 18th.  I will just say here that I was thrilled with the ornament I received, and the lovely goodies my swap partner included, and that my gifts have been well received too.  Hopefully the postal system hasn't let anyone down and it's been a successful exchange for everyone!

I'll be back tomorrow with YOTA!

Until then

Justine