Thursday, 31 October 2013

Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop 2013

2013 Hallowe'en Blog Hop

Welcome to the spooky hallowe’en mystery phrase blog hop!

All you need to do is visit each of the following blogs in order, jot down the letter displayed with their Hallowe'en stitched picture then return here and leave a comment telling me the Mystery Phrase.

It'd be nice if you left a comment on their blog too, especially if it's new to you.

I've enabled "moderate comments before publishing" for the next week so no-one can copy anyone else!

There will be a small prize for one person picked at random from the guessers.  People who posted a picture  will get one chance for that and another chance if they make a guess too.

So without further ado,
start the blog hop – enter if you dare…

and then back to me for this letter:


This is Fang, a Hallowe'en special from Dragon Dreams

Don't forget, some of us are on different time zones so if you visit a blog and can't find a letter or picture yet, pop back later in the day.  The competition is open for one week closing 00.01 hours 7th November GMT.

happy hunting!

all from Hyraea

Finally, Theme-a-licious Looking Backward and Forward X will follow on All Saints' Day tomorrow.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Ornament SAL October Update

Stitching Lotus Ornament SAL

This is the Ornament SAL hosted by Stitching Lotus

I have three different ornament challenges running this year, the JBW Alphabet Cat stitched in a different colour scheme each month, the Dragon Dreams 12 Dragonlets of Christmas, a FB exclusive and the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL blog.

I spent nearly all of this month working away on Drac-in-a-Box (see previous post) but thank to the Half Term Holiday here I have managed to finish not one, but four ornies in as many days!!

The first is my Alphabet Kitty for October, stitched in the classic black on orange for a Hallowe'en feel:

I'll make him into an actual ornie this weekend I think, along with a spooky charm.

The second piece is the Dragon Dreams Tenth Dragonlet of Christmas, a cute Dragonlet a'leaping:

These dragons are a Facebook exclusive from Dragon Dreams.  One or two people have stitched all twelve onto one piece of fabric and are displaying them on the FB page.

The third and fourth pieces I am saving for tomorrow for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop and Theme-a-lious updates respectively.  I did stitch a Hallowe'en ornie this month but it's not actually relating to the chosen theme of owls.  I do have an owl one for next month instead of candy corn because we don't really have that in this country.  We do have Cadbury's Screme Eggs though and I had one yesterday.  Yummy!

Finally, thank you all so much for your comments on the Drac-in-a-Box post.  I do like to follow my stats and usually about 10% of the page views lead to a comment.  In this case it was nearly 50%!!!  I do find myself that I am most likely to comment on a Happy Dance blog post and it's obviously true for other people too.  Thank you all again, it means alot to me.

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Happy Jump Up for Drac-in-a-Box

Rather than a Happy Dance, we'll have a Happy Jump Up!

Here are the pieces as I finished stitching them:

And here is the body made up as a headless finger puppet:

The body is not quite as designed because JCS decided not to publish the useful diagram Susan sent them which showed exactly how to sew up his body.  You can find the diagram on this blog post she made.

Here is the box starting to take shape:

Correct side

Reverse side

Basically you mount each square on a piece of card then whip stitch them together.  I used double sided tape on the reverse to hold, the fabric in place and masking tape to hold the corners down.  I used thicker card than recommended which meant my box didn't need stuffing as it stands up on it's own.

Where's Draccy?


oops, I've fallen over and you can see my bottom!

Designs Details:

Designed by : Susan Myers of Acorn House Designs
Available: in Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Ornie Special 2013
Fabric: 32 count Permin Linen, colour Star Sapphire plus black evenweave for body and arms
Threads: DMC as recommended
Beads:  Mill Hill
Bat Charm: Sewandso courtesy of Sharon Shebafudge (thanks Sharon!)
Difficulty: Stitching, easy.  Making up - Box, fiddly but easy, Figure - tricky!  Especially the arms.

Finally, I have sent out the details to all the participants for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop this afternoon.  If you are taking part and haven't had an email please let me know.  Stitch By Rachel, please get in touch with me using an email address as soon as possible please!

Tuesday, 22 October 2013


or Numb-Bum Weekend as it's also known!!

I nearly always sign up for IHSW but usually forget to blog about it!  So here is a blog post just for a change.

Over the weekend I worked on just two projects, Drac and Titania.  I have now finished all the cross stitching on Drac and I have rather alot of sewing to be done.  Here are the four pieces of fabric which need cutting up and finishing:

Six box sides

Two lid pieces

On the right, Drac's face and my start on the body.  I managed this small amount of black before I got bored and decided to cheat!  Instead of stitching all that black I just used some black evenweave and stitched the coloured parts.  I have to add some little beads to the waistcoat and his eyes then I'm set for the making-up.  Watch this space!

And here is the latest photo of Titania, Queen of the Fairies for the Mirabilia Round Robin:

I finally got to work on something other than pink or flesh.  Some of those lines on her arms will be for beads.

Finally, this will be the last call for people to sign up for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop.  Just click on Mr Boo on the right hand side bar for details of what you have to do.  Incidentally, Mr Boo is designed by Val from Val's Stuff.  You can get her designs from 123stitch online and probably other places too!  This one came from Just Cross Stitch magazine last year's Hallowe'en ornie special.

Friday, 18 October 2013

October WIPocalypse and some Freaky Friday Freebies

WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi of Measi's Musings.

The main focus of my WIPocalypse this year is my "13 in '13" a list of 13 projects I want to complete in 2013, click on top tab for the list.  Since the last WIPocalypse post I made some more progress on Prairie Moon Thine is the Trick and the Treat.  Here it is as  I left it to start work on the Mira RR:

The second part of my WIPocalypse are the monthly challenges.  Usually I have at least two finishes to show for this part, but not this month because I have been focused on Drac-in-a-Box for my daytime stitching.  I have finished the six sides and this week have been working on the double sided lid.  There is quite alot of stitching in the lid because there is a double row of whole and fractional stitches in those octagons which require careful counting, then the Moon and Bat motifs fill virtually all the space inside:

Now I must start on the little fellow himself.  There are alot of rows of plain black crosses in his body.  More careful counting!  Well I suppose he is Count Dracula LOL

Although she isn't part of the WIPocalypse, here is the progress on Titania, Queen of the Fairies for the Large Mirabilia Round Robin:

I managed to stitch something other than pink - pale flesh!!
Most of tonight will be pale flesh too.

Finally for those of you still deciding whether to join us for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop here's a list of freebie designs I love!

Angi Creative - Look What's Brewin'

Bits of Floss  - Hallowe'en Biscornu and Surfing Witch

Craft Town - Pumpkin and Witch's Hat - 77 different Hallowe'en designs, love the Barbara Ana ones

It's Daffycat - Frightful Cat

DMC Blog - Links to some more freebies

Gazette 94 - Pumpkin in witch's hat plus other Hallowe'en/Autumn

Les Grilles de Maryse - Hallowe'en House and another one too

Happiness is Cross Stitching - Hallowe'en Cat Scissor Fob

Jaunty Fox - Fence Cat

Joie de Vivre blog - Froth and Bubble

Kit & Bixby - Hallowe'en House (I know you shouldn't link to the pdf but I can't find the link anywhere, everyone is linking to the pdf!!)

La Comtesse de le Point de Croix - several Hallowe'en designs

Lizzie*Kate - Spooky Time

Passione Ricamo - several designs

Primitive Hare - Kitchen is the Witch's Lab

Ravenelle Blog - Autumn House

San Man - Quaker 31

Silver Cute Dwarf - Cat and Spooky Tree, Widey-eyed Cat and Pumpkin

Snowflower Diaries - Seasonal Witches and a forthcoming Pumpkins for Cathey design

Stickeule Blog - Lots of Hallowe'en and Autumn designs

Stitcheree - Creepy Hollow, Owls of Autumn and One Good Witch

Stitchers Anon - Cauldron Bubble

Sub Rosa - Witch and Haunted House

Sullivans - Best Witches and Witch Hat

and finally, the cutest of them all Carand 88

Plus some Just Autumnal ones for those of you not into Hallowe'en stitching:

Cross Stitch Happy - Swirly Autumn

Simply Necessaries  - Autumn House and pumpkins, click on Grilles Gratuites in side bar on left

If you have seen any other lovely Hallowe'en freebies around this year, please leave a link in the comments and I will add them to the list.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Theme-a-licious October Update

Theme-a-licious is hosted by Heather of It's Geek to Me

Each month Heather thinks up a theme for us to stitch to, or in my case, a theme to somehow shoe-horn my existing stitching into, no matter how tenuous the link!

Opulent October

It's time to don your tiaras and bring the bling! Stitch on projects with sparkly fibers, beads or charms.

The only thing I have which fits the theme so far is my Mirabilia, Titania, Queen of the Fairies.  Unfortunately I have not yet reached the bling stage on her!  Just alot of pink of various shades.  So here is a photo of where the bling will be when I get there:

The fabric is sparkly, does that count?

Here is the full piece so far:

I have been making excellent progress on Drac-in-the-Box.  I have finished the six sides of the box and made a tiny start on the lid piece.  Here are the sides:

It's orientated like that on purpose because I stitched them whichever way up was easier to hold the fabric.

Have you seen this new design yet?  It's from Northern Expressions Needlework and is called Twisted Band Sampler:

A while back I won the back catalogue from Nicole and they are absolutely gorgeous designs.  The instructions are really good too.  Nicole has a nice friendly style of writing so it feels like a friend explaining how to do the stitches rather than a textbook.

Finally, there are still places available for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop on the 31st October.  Simply click on Mr. Boo on the right hand side bar for more details. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Progress Reports

I've finished one of the pieces I couldn't show and mailed it off.  The other piece was the Needlecraft Haven September Challenge by Kissy Cross.  I stitched this on some nice green evenweave over 1 as it was a rather large design for an ornie stitched over 2.  I haven't decided whether to make it into an ornie or to scrapbook it so I just Photo-shopped it onto a piece of backing paper:

It's quite interesting looking at the original blog photo to see which parts they stitched in which colour.  The chart didn't come with a key and they used the same symbol for every stitch so you wouldn't be bound by their choices.  I like my version.  The whites do pop more in real life.

I have not been in the mood for Christmas stitching as yet, it's not even Hallowe'en so I have made a good start on my Drac-in-the-Box.  I want to get this done by the 31st if only because everyone keeps saying "Let me know how you get on with the finishing"!  I posted a picture on FB of the first steps I'd done and the designer left a comment saying how pleased she was someone was going to stitch it.  So not much pressure there to make a good job of it!

Here are two photos to show the two completed blocks the right way up:

Headstone - top left

Fangs and Bat - Left and middle

I changed the orientation of the blocks simply because I found it easier to hold the fabric this way.  It's a very stiff Permin linen and I don't want to crumple it too much.

Here is my evening project, Titania, Queen of the Fairies for Rachel's Mirabilia Round Robin:

Not a great picture, it's a scan and the purples in the sash are not showing up well.  They are actually the Teresa Purples (3041 and 3042) so called because Teresa Wentzler seems to use them in every design she does!  You can really see the shape of her arms appearing.  There's alot of flesh to do next, then her hair and finishing with the wings.

Finally, the sign up for the Hallowe'en Blog Hop is open.  Click on Mr. Boo the Ghost on the right side bar for more details.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

October TUSAL

It's TUSAL time again!  For those of you new to blogging, the TUSAL is a project run by Daffycat, click on the button on the right hand bar for more details.

October's ORTS are pictured with my Haunted Castle from La Contesse and my current project Drac in the Box.  I have stitched one box side.  It took me most of one day because I kept popping onto the computer to converse with my good friend Shirlee.  Do you like the lovely photo of her to the right of my blog?  Did you know she is a cheerleader?

We don't really have cheerleaders in this country (apart from some inner city areas I understand), we tend to the well-covered animal mascots which invariably get drunk at some point and disgrace their team!!  Anyway, I digress, if we did have cheerleaders, this is what mine would look like:

Needs another M for MUM!

I've also been progressing well on the Mirabilia Round Robin.  Here is the latest photo:

In case you can't tell, it's Titania Queen of the Fairies.  Love all these shades of pink in her dress.

Finally, sign-ups for the Hallowe'en Trick or Treat Blog Hop are now open.  I have a great group so far, more than last year already!  But more are welcome. the more, the merrier.  Or the more, the spookier!
All you have to do to join in is email me to sign up.  Then on 31st October post a photo of something you have stitched on a Hallowe'en theme alongside a letter of the alphabet which I will allocate you.  The letters will spell out the mystery phrase.

Lesley-Ann and Stitch by Rachel, please could you contact me by email as you are both "no-reply" commenters.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Sign up for the Trick or Treat Blog Hop

It's October and time to sign for the annual Trick or Treat Hallowe'en Blog Hop which will take place on the 31st October.  No surprise there for the date!

Those of you with long memories may remember last year's Blog Hop, found here.

If you'd like to host a Haunted House all you have to do is email me to let me know you want to take part.  I will allocate each person a letter of the alphabet.  On 31st October you must post your letter plus a photo of an design you have stitched on a Hallowe'en theme.

I will list all the blogs taking part in order and the Trick or Treaters can hop around collecting the letters and working out the hidden phrase.  Leave a comment back on my blog and one lucky person wins a small prize.  Woo-hoo!

You can be both a Host and a Trick or Treater too.

Still on a Hallowe'en theme, I made a small start on the Drac in a Box from this year's JCS Hallowe'en Special.  Here is how he may look once he is finished:

And here is my progress so far:

Impressive?  Shebafudge did warn me the amount of fabric they list is completely over-the-top.  For example, these side pieces are 2.25 inches square.  They recommend a 6 x 6 inch piece of fabric for each one, so a piece 18 x 12 inches.  Mine is 13.5 x 9 so roughly half the size of their's.  What a waste!  To make the box up they say cut each square with a 1/4 inch margin, so why stitch with more than a 1 inch margin?

Anyway, the boring bit is done and now I can get on with the motifs.  BTW it's a 32 count Permin linen called Star Sapphire.

Finally, could you identify the design I'm stitching for Rachel's large Mirabilia Round Robin from this photo?

This is the result of two evening's stitching which I posted on the Mirabilia Minions FB page.  Incredibly some people guessed the design from this small amount!  They are true Minions.  Just for fun I will leave revealing the answer until next time to see if any of my followers can claim to be Mira Minions too.