I don't have fireflies in my garden - which is a shame... only cats, bees, a dog and the odd dragonfly!! So please settle down with a cuppa, put your feet up and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

February 2014 IHSW Update

We all need empty hours in our lives
or we will have no time to create or dream
~ Robert Coles ~

Woo Hoo!  There's a happy dance happening... for the first time in months I have managed to remember to sign up for the IHSW!  That's not to say that every weekend I don't park my behind on the couch and stitch - because I most certainly do!  It's just that on the IHSW 3 day weekend I have an official reason (excuse) to do so!!!

And even more surprisingly I have actually managed to get onto my Blog and post some pics.... Things must be looking up!

So what did I stitch on from Friday to Sunday?

Well, on Friday I finally started stitching my Hallowe'en Ornie SAL 2014 choice for February (I know it's halfway through the month again and I have only just started it!!) and most of the weekend was spent stitching on my Count Dracula.
"Count Me In" as at Sunday 23rd Feb 2014
Designed by Nancy Greenberg (Pickle Barrel Designs)
My February choice is "Count Me In".  This cute little fellow was designed by Nancy Greenberg of Pickle Barrel Designs and he can be found in the Just Cross Stitch Halloween 2013 Special Edition magazine. Think I will be stitching a few more designs out of this magazine as the year progresses!

I did also manage a little bit of time stitching on my next Chatelaine - Mini Mandala II "C" - over the weekend as well.  I actually started stitching on this earlier last week, however I have now put it away as I am trying to concentrate on Count Dracula over the next week or so.

Chatelaine Mini Mandala II - C
as at Sunday 23rd Feb 2014
That's it for my first IHSW report for the year!  The next one will occur on the third full weekend of March (21st - 23rd March).  If you want to sign up for these fantastic stitching weekends, all you need to do is check in over on Joyce's blog and then stitch, post and read all the stitching news on Monday or Tuesday after the weekend.  It's all good fun!!

Now before I sign off, I would like to say a big Thank You to everyone for all your lovely comments on my last post and for the good wishes and congratulations to my Mum and Dad on their 50th Wedding Anniversary... it was lovely to read your comments and I will pass on all the messages to my parents.  I have tried to reply to everyone that comments... however there were a couple of "no-reply" bloggers...

Til next time, lots of happy stitching hugs
Stitching Noni xx

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Secret Stitching Revealed

Chains do not hold a marriage together.
It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years
~ Simone Signoret ~

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Mum & Dad

After many hints on previous posts about the secret stitching that I was doing, I can finally show you what I stitched for my Mum and Dad's 50th Wedding Anniversary.

50 years of marriage is quite a significant milestone and I wanted to find something nice to stitch for them to mark this milestone.  I looked at many designs, rejected more than I put in the stitching pile but I still wasn't happy with the designs I had found!  You know how it is sometimes when you just can't find the exact design that you want to stitch...  To be honest I don't think I really knew what I wanted to stitch.... but I did know that I wanted something simple but exquisite - something meaningful.... 

And then all of a sudden I found it!  A Joan Elliott Sampler from The World of Cross Stitching Magazine (issue 129).  In the magazine it was stitched for a 25th Anniversary, but as the design included an alphabet and numbers it was very easy to adjust it to suit a 50th Anniversary.

So without further ado.... I present the 50th Wedding Anniversary Sampler I stitched as a gift for my parents to celebrate their marriage milestone.....

"Anniversary Sampler" designed by Joan Elliott
World of Cross Stitching, issue 129

In the original design there was a stitched heart above the swans heads, however I decided that I would add a beautiful Swarovski crystal heart instead.

The fabric that I used to make the wall hanging is a Robert Kaufman fabric - The Culture Club "A Passage to India".  The colours in this fabric are just beautiful - such a bright mix of blues and golds and purples.  All the colours in that were in the sampler.

Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary Mum and Dad - may you have many more to celebrate! xx

On that note, I will say goodbye....  as it is IHSW this weekend, I am now going back to park my butt on the couch with my stitching and start watching Hercule Poirot in the hope that I will have something to show you after the weekend.

Til next time, happy stitching!
Stitching Noni xx

Sunday, February 16, 2014

1 plus 1 equals 2!

She watched and taught the girls that sang at their embroidery frames while the great silk flowers grew from their needles.
~Louise Jordan Miln, The Feast of Lanterns ~


I am doing a bit of a happy dance this weekend..... I have three finishes to declare.... eventually, but in this post I have only two to show you.  The third one will be posted when the finished product reaches its final destination next week.

Finish #1
Hallowe'en Ornament SAL 2014
January finish - "Where's Spooky?"
Started 28th January 2014; Finished 7th February 2014

"Where's Spooky?" - January ornie choice
"Where's Spooky?" is designed by Eileen Gurak of Handblessings Patterns.  This design was published in the Just Cross Stitch 2013 Halloween Special Edition magazine.  This magazine has some brilliant designs and I suspect I will be stitching one or two more from it yet!

You can see my post on the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL 2014 blog and while you're there you can see some of the other lovely stitching from some of the other bloggers following this SAL.

Finish #2
Chatelaine - Mini Mandala II - chart B
Started June/July 2013; Finished 14th February 2014

Mini Mandala II - B
This picture is a bit wonky but the stitched piece is straight... I promise!

Close up of "pond" and "gazebo" area
I loved stitching this Mandala - the blue of the pond is such a gorgeous colour.  I am amazed how different the finished piece is compared to the photo included with the chart pack.  There isn't a lot of speciality stitches or beading in this one, but it is just as pretty as the first one of the series.  I have now started the third and final one in the series, so hopefully it won't be long before I have another update for you.

Finish #3
Still to be revealed!!

That's it for now... I'll be back in a few days to show you my secret stitching which is of course Finish #3!

Happy Stitching,
Stitching Noni

Friday, February 7, 2014

A World of Give-Aways

Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find.
~ William Wordsworth, 1806 ~

I have spent the last couple of days catching up on my blog reading.... when did I get so far behind?  I just love reading all these wonderful posts and catching up on the news and drooling over some of the most beautiful stitching.

So anyway, while catching up on my blog reading today, I was also going through and cleaning out some of the old and unloved blogs from my reader feed.  This was prompted by some very strange posts that came through during the week from a couple of unloved blogs!  It was quite surprising just how many blogs in my reader feed no longer have regular postings on them or have actually been deleted completely.  While it is sad to see these blogs disappear into the ether it does now mean that I have more space to add some new blogs for my reading pleasure!

The other good thing that came out of my blog reading today is all these lovely giveaways.  I have entered them all and thought I'd list them here for you all to follow in my footsteps!  Or course you may have already found them if you are more up to date than me with your blog reading, but if not... then good luck!

Giveaway # 1 - Judith from Busy Lizzie is celebrating her birthday with a giveaway.  Giveaway closes 15th February 2014

Giveaway # 2 - Linda from Stitching with my Furbabies is celebrating her third blogaversay with a giveaway.  Giveaway closes on 15th February 2014

Giveaway # 3 - Nancy from Victoria Motto Sampler Shoppe is having a Valentine's Giveaway.  Giveaway closes on Valentine's Day! (14th February 2014).  If you discovered Nancy's giveaway through me, please let Nancy know as I will then get another entry chance! Thank you :o)

Giveaway # 4 - Kim from Wisdom with Needle and Thread is celebrating her first Blogaversary with some lovely giveaways.  Giveaways close on 16th February 2014.  If you enter Kim's giveaways after reading about them here, please let her know as she will then give me another entry! Thank you :o)

Giveaway # 5 - Debbie from Debbie's Cross Stitch is having a giveaway to celebrate the "Grow Your Blog Party" event.  Giveaway closes on 15th February 2014.

Now how about a lovely picture to finish off this quick post....

Oscar & Mitzi
my stitching companions
This is what happens when I walk away from my stitching!  Mitzi jumps in the chair and Oscar makes himself comfortable on the table!  Luckily this time I had already moved my stitching to the cupboard before Oscar made himself comfortable.

If you have eagle eyes you might be able to spy the almost finished secret stitching (as it was then) in the background of the picture.  Tomorrow Hubby and I are off to go material shopping so that I can finish the sampler and send it off to my Mum & Dad for their 50th Wedding Anniversary.

Well that's it for this post.  Hopefully I will be back by the end of the weekend to show you my finished Halloween ornament for January and the finished Sampler.

Til next time happy stitching!

Be Happy
Noni xx

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stitch-A-Longs (SAL's)

Coming together is a beginning.  Keeping together is progress. 
Working together is success.
 ~ Henry Ford ~

Stitch-A-Longs or SAL's for short.  A group of like minded people all working on the same thing with the same goal in mind - stitching and finishing the same design!  Such fun!!

Now we all love the odd stitch-a-long, and sometimes we even manage to finish what we started.... Now while I have so far managed to finish all the SAL's that I signed up for over the last couple of years, I do wonder if this year I may have bitten off more than I can chew or in this case - more than I can stitch!!

I have signed up for 5 SAL's - yep, I did say 5!  But I don't think it is really quite as frightening as it might sound.  Let me enlighten you on my SAL plans for 2014.

MS Lover's Blog SAL's

This year over on the MS Lover's Blog we have ended up with three SAL's running for 2014 (SAL's #5, 6 & 7), and I have signed up for all three.

SAL #5 is "Spring Bouquet" from Cross Stitch Crazy issue 174.

SAL #6 is "Sunday Snooze" from Cross Stitch Crazy issue 180.

SAL #7 is "Bags of Fun" from Cross Stitch Crazy issue 185.

The other 2!

Now while those three designs alone will be more than enough to keep me busy throughout the year, that's not all I have signed up to stitch in 2014.  I have also signed up for a Halloween ornament stitching year long SAL that Jo from Serendipitous Stitching has organised.  I followed the original Halloween Ornie blog from last year but this year there is a new blog and a new year of ornament stitching...  If you would like to join in the fun, pop over to the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL 2014 blog and sign up or say hello.  I haven't finished January's ornament yet... so not a good start so far!

My final SAL sign up for the year is a Chatelaine WIP SAL.... now that is right up my street!  I have one on the go already and two more waiting in the wings for 2014!  This SAL is the brain child of Joyce (from Random Ramblings) and her stitching sisters and I love the name of the SAL - "Stitching Bandits' Chatelaine Challenge".  Joyce and the girls are still working out the final details, but if you like Chatelaines and want to stitch one, why not join in the fun and start stitching!

So now all I need is for someone to start a Mira SAL and then all my stitching goals will be covered for the year!!

So wish me luck and stay tuned for my (hopefully) regular stitching updates!

Til next time, happy stitching

Be happy

Stitching Noni xx

Sunday, February 2, 2014

TUSAL - is it January or February??

Aim for the moon. If you miss, you may hit a star.
~ W. Clement Stone  ~

We have all heard of a "Blue Moon" which is what they call the second Full Moon in a calendar month, but do you know what we call the second new moon in a calendar month?  Apparently it is called a Dark Moon or a Black Moon.  Another little fact I discovered is that the two New Moons in January 2014 are also Supermoons.  The January new moons are perigee new moons which "means a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth".

It's amazing what you can find out on the interweb!

Anyway, enough of that Astronomy stuff, let's have a look at the ORT's jar and see what is lurking in there from my stitching over the last month.

TUSAL - January part 2  - the supermoon
Second new moon of 2014
I know it probably looks like there is a lot of ORT's in the jar at the moment which might mean I have been doing lots of stitching.... well, I guess that is sort of correct, but some of the ORT's are just very long gold ORT's from my secret stitching.  I love the look of metallic thread, but sometimes it can be so frustrating stitching with it, and I do often find that I end up with longer ORT's than normal as the thread just frays a bit too much for further stitching.  Which means my ORT's jar looks a lot fuller than it probably should do at this stage of the year!!

Photos of the secret stitching will be revealed next week.  It is all stitched but I now need to go fabric hunting for just the right colour fabric to finish it into a hanging.  I thought that I had the perfect one until I went to put it all together today and now that fabric just doesn't look right.  Am I the only one who changes their mind on what fabric to finish with?  Somehow I think not!

There are also some black ORT's in the jar from my latest start... but I will tell you more about that in my next post.

That's it for this ORT report.  If you would like to sign up and join in the fun this year, then pop on over to Daffycat's blog and leave a comment saying that you're in and start collecting your ORT's!

The next 2014 ORT report will be ready for publication on or around 1st March 2014.

New Moons - 2014
1st March
30th March
28th April
28th May
27th June
26th July
25th August
23rd September
23rd October
22nd November
21st December

Til next time happy stitching!

Be Happy
Noni xx