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!

Monday, July 25, 2016

Christmas in July Swap

Today is the 25th July... and around the world a lot of people are celebrating Christmas in July. For those of us living below the Equator we celebrate the real Christmas during the heat of Summer, so when July comes around and it's the middle of winter... why not celebrate Christmas and be freezing while you're doing it! And of course, the next logical step would be to participate in a Christmas in July swap!!  If you want to read more about the swap rules follow this link and read on...  there is also a separate blog for the swap which can be found here.

First up I will reveal the gorgeous gifts that I received from my swap partner - Illene from Ret Dairy Queen.
Christmas Tree

Reindeer Bag

Santa, Reindeer, Christmas Tree and Snowmen table runner

Gifts galore...
Thank you Illene, I love all these gorgeous handmade gifts... and thank you for the Mill Hill designs - Mill Hill kits are fast becoming my latest obsession (I keep seeing other stitchers progress.. and I so want to stitch them) and I am very happy to receive these lovely ornie charts!  I must apologise the light was terrible when I took these photos so these gorgeous pieces are not showing up as well as I would like...

Below are pics of what I sent to Illene... I had a day of finishing a couple weeks ago and transformed all of my recent Christmas stitching into finished pieces for the swap.

Margaret Sherry Xmas Mice
Joyful Santa
Tartan Stocking ornie & stocking scissor fob
Penguin Christmas card
A box full of extras....
I also used the needlepoint card that I stitched recently as a box topper and included bon bons full of Christmas buttons, multi coloured beads, Christmas pegs, handmade Christmas angel for phone or scissors, pearl pins and a Christmas notebook.

I had fun putting this Christmas package together and it was great fun to actually "finish" off some of my stitching for once!  I really should do more of it!!!

So that's it for today.... see you all again later in the week for the Smalls update.

Til next time, happy stitching
hugs xx

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Whipping those WIP's to the finish line!

WIP update
Isn't it a great feeling to get those long time WIPs (not going to say UFO's!) out and start showing them some more love?  If you saw my last post then you would have seen that I stitched on a 2015 WIP recently.

The other long lost WIP that I have been stitching on recently is Nora Corbett's "Christmas Eve Couriers - Comet".

The last time I showed you "Comet" was way back in June 2015... I have just re-read that post where I rabbited on about a stitching rotation... no, that never really happens in my stitching life no matter how much I try to do it!!!

June 2015....
Comet now looks like this:

July 2016
Over the last couple of evenings I have managed to finish the antlers of "Comet" and I am starting on his head.  As he is still on the q-snaps I might stitch on him again today...

New starts:
I can't believe it... I forgot to show you 2 other new starts that I had in June....

First up is another of those old kits that I had languishing in the bottom drawer of the craft room.  I have no idea when I bought this but it would have been in the late 1980's or early 1990's.  I pulled it out last month to start stitching it for the Vintage SAL on one of the FB groups.  This is as far as I got....

This one is called "Honey Do" and is stitched on 14ct vinyl.... very strange medium to stitch on but, I do like the design so I will get back to it again very soon and get it finished.  The kit came with the magnetic notebook accessories to put it all together.  Once done it will be a nice little addition to the fridge or even a nice little gift for someone... :o)

The other new start that I had in June was the "June" design for the Snowflower Diaries "Joyful World SAL".  I don't have some of the threads for this so I started with what I have got... It is stitched on a pale blue 28ct linen from my stash.

So that's new starts and WIP's covered....onto finishes! :o)

Finishes Update:
First up on the finishes list is a mini finish....

Most of my stitching time over the last week or so was dedicated to the new Durene Jones / Lakeside Needlecraft Fantasy SAL.  When I last showed you the border stitching it looked like this:

5 July 2016
Well, surprise, surprise, I have finished all the circles...

11 July 2016
... and I have now put it away until the first character is released in August.  Depending on how much stitching is involved in each character I may start/stitch the border each month when a character is released or I may leave the border til the end.... who knows!

The fabric I am using for this one is "Silver Springs" 32ct Jobelan from Colour Cascades Fabrics using a variegated thread from Cottage Garden Threads called "Heliotrope".

Finish #26
"Stitching Witch"
Designer: Maria Warmke (The Stitcherhood)
Started: 7 July 2016
Finished: 8 July 2016
Fabric: Name unknown (cardmakers pack) - Colour Cascade Fabrics
Thread: Nevermore - Jodyri Designs

This design is called "Stitching Witch" and is designed by Maria Warmke from The Stitcherhood.  How perfect is this design for my Halloween Ornie Blog July post?  This month's theme was "witches accessories" and this design has a hat and a cauldron - tick... and then needle and scissors!!  It was published in the October 2014 issue of the Just Cross Stitch magazine.

I stitched this on a piece of fabric from Colour Cascades Fabric - no name as it was in a cardmakers pack - just love the colours!  The thread I used was "Nevermore" from Jodyri Designs.  The design called for all black thread but I decided to try something different for a change!!

I think I am now up to date on all my WIP stitching... it's time to sign off now and get back on the couch with my stitching in front of the fire (we have rain with storms forecast today... oh well it is winter!).

Til next time, happy stitching
Hugs xx

Gifted Gorgeousness SAL 2016 - Update #7

July has arrived and is half way through which can only mean it is time to post my GG stitching... and surprise, surprise I actually have some to show you!

Moutons de Saisons "Printemps et Été" - Collection Tralala
Gift from Kaye from Kitten Stitching.  The original post of when Kaye gave me these charts is here.

Tralala Collection - Mouton de Saisons
I finally pulled "Été" out of the WIP basket and gave it some love this month as it was feeling very neglected!  Plus, I so needed something summery to stitch to help me get through this very cold winter we are currently having here in Perth!
(I know it's not really cold compared to where some of you dear readers live... but for me (and most of the Perth-ites) it is like the Antarctic has moved north and is blowing raspberries at us!!  We even had hail last weekend...)

Anyway I digress!!  The last time I stitched on "Été" was way back in May 2015! Over a year ago... oh my goodness.. I had not even realised that it was so long ago until I checked back on my blog just then!!!  This is what "Été" looked like when I last showed you a WIP photo....

Été - May 2015
and this is what "Été" looks like now:

I have left this one in the stitching drawer near my stitching chair in the hope that it will scream at me again soon and it might end up being a finish before the end of the year!! (Notice I am not setting my hopes too high!)

I am stitching this design using all DMC threads and the fabric is from Stitches and Spice - 28ct Cashel Linen Fairy Forest.  It is the same fabric that I stitched "Printemps" on but there is more pink in this piece so it is actually showing up better in the picture.

Next month I will be able to show you some gift stitching that I sent as part of a "Christmas in July Swap"... so stay tuned for that one!!

Before I go, thank you for all the lovely get well wishes :o) I survived my first week back at work this week.... it was tough but I got through it - just!  Lots of rest and stitching for the weekend so that I will be up and at 'em again on Monday morning!

Enjoy the weekend... I think it might actually be IHSW so I best get over to Joyze's blog and sign up!

Til next time, happy stitching

Jo from Serendipitous Stitching hosts the Gifted Gorgeousness SAL.  The GG SAL is about stitching charts/kits or using fabrics & threads that we have received as gifts, won in giveaways or anything that is intended be a gift or giveaway prize... or anything else that you can loosely use the word "gift" for!!  If you wish to sign up for this SAL, click on the button below or the button on my sidebar and you will be re-directed to Jo's blog.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

TUSAL... and WIP's

It's TUSAL time again.....

The suitcase on the left is my ORTs collection so far this year... and the ones on the right are for the last month.  Can you see that gorgeous pile of purple ORTs on top?  Aren't they adorable?

Here they are stitched up.....

I am using this gorgeous variegated thread for the new Lakeside Needlecraft / Durene Jones Fantasy SAL.  The colour is called "Heliotrope" and it is a blend of blue, purple and pink - just stunning and perfect for this design!  The thread is from an Australian hand-dyed thread company called Cottage Garden Threads.  I bought a few of these threads when I went to the craft show recently - I have seen them a couple of times at the craft show but this year was the first time that I actually managed to remember to go and buy some.  Serendipity!

I started this new SAL on Saturday afternoon and I have almost finished 6 of the 12 circles.  My plan is to stitch all the circles in "Heliotrope" and then I will decide what I am going to do with the twiddly bits around the edge of the circles... I just want to make sure I have enough thread to completely stitch the main part of the circles before doing anything else!!

The fabric I am using is "Silver Springs" 32ct Jobelan from Colour Cascades Fabrics.  I should have ironed this before taking a pic... oops!  The colour of the fabric doesn't show up too well in the photo...  Hopefully when it's finished I will be able to get a good photo of it all.

That's me done for now.... I am going back to the couch and stitching!  I am still recuperating from my gallbladder removal operation last Monday.

This was me last Monday night (27/6) trying to stitch.... I had 2 cannula's in my left hand and I couldn't move very much but I did manage to get some stitches into that piece.  And as you know it is now finished... I tried to return to work yesterday, but after being in the office for an hour or so it became very obvious that it wasn't sustainable for me to sit at work all day... so I went home at lunchtime.  Today and tomorrow I plan to stay home and do some work from home and then I will see how I am tracking for Thursday and Friday.

I am way behind on my blog reading and email answering.... I will try and catch up on everything over the next week or so - but no promises!  Thank you all for your lovely comments on all my posts.  Take care... talk soon!

Til next time, happy stitching
Hugs xx

What is a TUSAL and an ORT Report??
Essentially TUSAL posts are all about stitching and saving our ORT's (Old Raggety Threads) and every New Moon those of us participating in the TUSAL post a picture of our ORT's, and then leave little msgs for Daffycat on her blog to show that we have been stitching and have posted our wonderful pics. 
Next New Moon - 3 August 2016

The Alphabet Club - Detention for Letter "L"

"They only met online, but it changed their lives forever"
It's time for "The Alphabet Club" (TAC)

Lair/Lairy: a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour, to dress up in flashy clothes, to renovate or dress up something in bad taste (it's a bit lairy!)
Larrikin: a bloke who is always enjoying himself, harmless prankster
Lend of, to have a: to take advantage of somebody's gullibility, to have someone on ("he's having a lend of you") 
Lingo: language
Lizard drinking, flat out like a: flat out, busy
Lob, lob in: drop in to see someone ("the rellies have lobbed") 
Local rag: local newspaper
Lollies: sweets, candy
Longneck: 750ml bottle of beer in South Australia
Lucky Country, The: Australia, where else?

Now there is only one food that springs to mind when you think of Aussie foods beginning with "L" - Lamingtons!!!

These scrummy cakes are pieces of sponge cake dipped in chocolate and rolled in coconut... plain and simple!  Although these days they are being changed to be red, green or yellow instead of chocolate and sometimes are cut in half and filled with jam and cream.  Nothing beats the classic plain lamington though.

There is some confusion about exactly how it was discovered but most of the stories tend to agree it was named for Lord Lamington (Governor of Queensland) and that it was invented either by accident, or design, by his chef or maidservant in the late 1890's/early 1900's.  It doesn't really matter... they taste just the same now matter how they came about!!

So that's it for my very late post of the Alphabet Club!

Hooroo for now!  Happy Stitching!
Hugs xx

If you would like to join in the fun of "The Alphabet Club", pop over to Chiara's blog (The Grey Tail) to see what all the fun is about and link up your post for the Letter "L".  Posting is generally the first Saturday of the month.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Whine and WIP's update

June is done and dusted... July has begun so it's time for me to show you the rest of the WIPs that I worked on during June for the Stitch Maynia "Whine and WIPs" SAL.

My last WIP update post was on 18th June where I showed you my "Witch and Friends" finish as well as an update on "Jingles" and "Prancer.  My Smalls post that I posted on Friday showed you the 4 x June starts and finishes, but there were also lots of other stitching going on as well during June.

So here goes....

Nora Corbett's Christmas Eve Couriers - Prancer
as at 17 June 2016

as at 26 June 2016

Prancer is now ready for beading.... and then he will be finished!

The Little Stitcher - Red Christmas Deer
as at 21 April 2015

as at 19 June 2016

I am using waste canvas on an Ikea tea towel for this one....

Faces of Joan Elliott - Holly Fairy
as at 6 June 2016

as at 23 June 2016

Managed to stitch a little bit more of her hair,,,,

Mirabilia / Nora Corbett - Queen of Peace
as at 31 May 2016

as at 24 June 2016
"Queen of Peace" was my "Pretty In Pink" piece for the colour-a-day SAL on 24th June and I managed to get quite a bit of the pink in the bouquet stitched.  I have stitched some more of her ribbon but forgot to take a photo....

Nora Corbett "Queen Anne's Lace"
as at 9th April 2016

as at 30th June 2016

So that's it for my WIP update.  I do have another 2 starts for June to show but I will leave them for another post.

Til next time... happy stitching
Hugs xx

Friday, July 1, 2016

June SAL Updates.... July Stitching Goals....

web image
Hello! Another month has flown by and now we are into July, so it's time to do a SAL update post.

June SAL Update:

**JCS SAL (FB Group)"Joyful Santa" (Designer: Homespun Elegance)  

**Christmas Ornie SAL Blog Theme: Christmas Animals/Pets - Penguin Christmas Card (free gift)  

**Halloween Ornie SAL Blog Theme: Free Choice - "Witch and Friends" (Designer: Donna Giampa/Vermillion Stitching)  

**Lainey's Christmas Ornie SAL: posted 
**Smalls SAL: posted 

**Stitch Maynia (FB group)
Monthly SAL's:
Monthly SAL: "Whine & WIPs" - work on those pieces that make us whine!:  
Stitched on multiple WIPs - even managed to get a finish!

Colour-A-Day SAL (24th of month) "Pretty in Pink"   
Stitched on Nora Corbett's Queen of Peace - pink flowers in the bouquet

Year Long SAL's:
Year of Starts! (at least 1 start/finish each month): 
I had 4 starts and finishes in June

Brooke's Books Year Long SAL: no progress on the Advent Animals....
2016 Chatelaine Shenanigans SAL: stitched on Mini Mandala II (C)  

**Cross Stitch Finish Line (FB group) 
"Vintage SAL" - started 4 vintage/old designs - finished 3!
"Summer Solstice" (June to Sept) - started "June" Joyful World SAL - Snowflower Diaries
"Now I know my ABC's" (A) - using ABC Chats as my design choice for this one - "A" already stitched
"June Monthly "Month" SAL" - started "June" Joyful World SAL - Snowflower Diaries

**Debbie's Ultimate Crazy January Challenge 2016 (DUCJC2016):
Modified to 31 starts & finishes 2016: as at the end of June I have 25 finishes for 2016 of which 20 are new starts for 2016 

**Miribilia, Nora Corbett Designs SAL: (Nora Corbett Passions FB group) - stitching on Queen Anne's Lace and Queen of Peace where they fit in with each weekly SAL theme.

July SAL Plans:

**JCS SAL (FB Group): "Pure Love" (Designer: Snowflower Diaries)

**Christmas Ornie SAL Blog July Theme: Free choice
**Halloween Ornie SAL Blog July Theme: Witches Accessories

**Stitch Maynia (FB group) 
"It's a Sunshine Day (month long) - stitch on any piece that has a summery, sunshine, or tropical theme)
"Colour-A-Day SAL" - "Back in Black" - work only on the black sections of a design on 24th July
"Winter Holidays in July" - celebrate Holidays/Christmas in July - 25th July

**Cross Stitch, it's Fun (FB group) 
"July Monthly SAL - stitch 100 stitches per week on your most challenging piece
"Around the World" SAL - stitch on any design relating to where you live or where you would like to visit

**Cross Stitch Finish Line (FB group) 
"Monthly "Month" SAL - July " - stitch on something with July in it and/or something that has to do with July
"Mill Hill SAL" - stitch on any Mill Hill kit/design
"Christmas in July" - get a head start on Christmas cards and/or ornies
"Now I know my ABC's" 26th July - "B"
"Summer Solstice" - (June to Sept): stitch any summer piece you want through to Autumn Solstice (Northern Hemisphere Solstice)

**Miribilia, Nora Corbett Designs SAL: (Nora Corbett Passions FB group) 

**Remember to post for:
Lainey's Christmas Ornie SAL
Smalls SAL

**Lakeside Needlecraft / Durene Jones Fantasy SAL
I have also joined another monthly SAL.... this one is being hosted by Lakeside Needlecraft in the UK and is designed by Durene Jones.  It is a monthly fantasy SAL starting in July with the border release.  I had to join it as the border colours are gorgeous and I do love Durene's designs... so what's a girl to do!!

So that's it... another good month of ticks on my monthly goals....

Til next time...

Take care and happy stitching
Hugs xx

Smalls SAL June 2016

Hosted by Stitching Lotus
And before we know it.... another month has gone by!  June's Smalls posting day was 30th June but as you can see I am a little bit late posting (it is probably still 30th June somewhere in the world though!)

I have quite a few smalls this month to show you... much better than last month's effort!!

Earlier this month I showed you my finishes #17 & #18.  I finished these 2 after posting May's Smalls penguin card update... so here's a recap of them:
Finish #17: Mosey n Me - Christmas Test Drive
Finished 27 May 2016
Finish #18: Penguin Christmas Card (freebie)
Finished 29 May 2016
Now onto June's Smalls...  these are all June starts and finishes :o)

Finish #22
Tartan Stocking Decoration
Free gift - UK Cross Stitcher magazine December 1995 issue
Started 26 June 2016
Finished 26 June 2016
Finish #23
Punched Needlepoint Christmas Card
Free gift - UK Needlecraft magazine December 1992
Started 26 June 2016
Finished 26 June 2016
Finish #24
Noel Decoration
Free gift - UK Cross Stitcher magazine Christmas 1996
Started 26 June 2016
Finished 28 June 2016
Finish #25
"Joyful Santa" - Homespun Elegance
Just Cross Stitch - Christmas 2015 issue
"Joyful Santa" - Designer: Homespun Elegance
Started 19 June 2016
Finished 29 June 2016
Stitched on Sugar Cane Crunch (Stitches & Spice) 28ct linen using the called for DMC threads.  I am hoping to finish this one off as flat fold in the next few days.

So that's it for my June Smalls update... not a bad effort even if I do say so myself :o)

I have a number of WIP updates to show you so I will be back soon with an update post.

Til then, happy Smalls stitching...
Hugs xx