Friday 28 August 2020

August - Smalls SAL

I love Mary's great blog sharing idea, this is my first year taking part and as the months have progressed so have I.

The SAL is all about small stitching, any little project you have stitched, it doesn't have to be fully finished. Here's the full details about Small SAL 2020 - thank you Mary.

This last month I have not been in blogland very much, apologises to all my friends. I now have my chemotherapy weekly and life seems to be in a bit of a haze. Last week my blood count was low so I have a week of rest and no treatment, it's so nice to feel a bit normal. I'm hoping to catch up on everyone's news soon. 

I have been stitching a lot more as my arm is now useable. I have been discharged from the fracture doctor as my bones have healed but I have lots of physio to do as I cannot yet lift it above the horizontal, good job stitching is a lap activity hee hee. 

I have caught up with my Lizzie Kate Monthly Flip Its, in fact I have finished September too. 

I have also managed to catch up with the Stitching the Night Away SAL with the lovely members of Needlecraft Haven. They have been a lifeline over recent times, a very special group of ladies.

I've been looking through my craft boxes and trying to use up a few bits. I have already made a couple of Christmas gifts and have ideas for a few more as well as thank you / birthday gifts. They are all smalls so I'll have plenty to share in future SAL posts although of course not until they have been given. 

I have received some beautiful flowers for my bouquet, thank you Jane, DJ and Nadine your flowers are lovely. I'll be sharing them in next month's Gifted Gorgeousness and once finished I'll post in Rachel's Fully Finished Gallery. 

Thank you for visiting today, I'll call by your blogs later when it's coffee time. 

Saturday 15 August 2020

Gifted Gorgeousness in August

It's Gifted Gorgeousness time, a time when we post about :-
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item received as a gift
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item won in a giveaway or competition 
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item purchased using a voucher received as a gift or won in a giveaway or competition 
  • any chart, kit, thread, fabric or finishing item you have gifted to someone else

This super blogging idea, which happens on the 15th of each month, is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching - thank you Jo 😘

Since my chemotherapy restarted at the end of July I have not been stitching much, reading any books or visiting blogland. I really enjoyed Jo's Summer Blog Hop but I just can't concentrate to do much at all. 

My GG is small but special. This flower is for my bouquet and was sent by my lovely friend Cathy who lives in Ohio. We've been friends for over 20 years regularly exchanging emails but it wasn't until lockdown that we actually spoke in person using video calls. 

Cathy has sent a get well, keep smiling or thinking of you every few weeks since my diagnosis last December and in her latest card was this lovely thistle - thank you do much Cathy.
I will try to visit everyone's Gifted Gorgeousness posts but please accept my apologises if I'm a little late or don't make it at all. 

Saturday 8 August 2020

Summer Blog Hop

This year Jo's Summer Blog Hop is all about Stitching Friends are Friends Who Count. 

Jo, of Serendipitous Stitching, has given us all a fellow blogger to visit and write about. We need to introduce our blogger and suggest something she may like. To keep everyone guessing the name of our blogger is revealed at the end of the post .....

..... so who is my Stitching Friend? 

She is a very talented crafter doing many hobbies including knitting, crocheting and cross stitch. She is often stitching gifts for friends and enjoys stitching along with IHSW. I know she has travelled quite a bt too.

She started her blog in 2014 but I don't think I became a follower until a few years later. One project I have enjoyed watching grow is her Ink Circle 99 - all those beer bottles! Her gift, Lady Justice, for her mum's 60th birthday is beautiful. She likes large projects and at the moment she is stitching Dark Forces and The Loneliness of Autumn.

My Stitching Friend is also a great knitter and crocheter making many beautiful gifts for her friends, I love her crocheted gloves.

She is often saying she is late in posting and reading but it's amazing how much she achieves when you see her pie charts each month, I don't record how much I stitch, I do record my finishes  ... when I remember

Have you guessed yet, maybe my choice of designs will help.

She has crocheted shawls and gloves but maybe she would like a summer item ... this lovely beach bag from Crazy Patterns

I'm not sure if she already knows this designer - Durene Jones has a great Facebook page with announcements of her latest designs and some free charts. I noticed my Stitching Friend likes square designs and cats I thought she would like this Durene Jones free chart. 

(The key and chart can be found on Durene's Facebook page - please visit and join before using this chart)
Have you guessed yet? 
My Stitching Friend can be found here.

My Stitching Friend - I have really enjoyed reading your blog, looking back at when you started in 2014, there was so much to choose from to include  - thank you for being my Stitching Friend. 

Tuesday 4 August 2020

August - Let the People Choose

This SAL is hosted by Jo at Serendipitous Stitching, each month she asks for suggestions for themes. These themes are voted on by members of the IHSW Group on Facebook, we all then post about our stitching relating to it. 

This month is Freedom and I was stumped until I read a few other blogs. It's ironic that this is the month Blogger has changed ..... I hope it hasn't restricted my blogging freedom.

Freedom is being free to do what you want .... in 2009 I was asked to teach hardanger to a group of stitchers in Wales who met each Saturday. I loved the idea and decided to design three bookmarks: beginners, intermediate and advanced. It was great fun having the freedom to not only design the charts but to write the instructions. It was a great day, everyone loved the designs and managed to make a bookmark, taking the other designs home to progress - giving them the freedom to explore this new hobby. 

A few of my online stitching friends also bought the charts - I donated the money to charity. I think the charts are on an old disc somewhere, although I don't know if I still have the program to open them .... something to look into as my shielding continues. 

The photos show the bookmarks stitched on different fabric counts, although 22count is traditional hardanger some people prefer 28count to give a denser background.

Beginners Bookmark

Intermediate Bookmark

Advanced Bookmark

When I changed jobs from teaching at college to teaching school, and later when I retired from teaching altogether I gave my colleagues a stitched gift each. I had great fun making small ornaments, keyrings, bookcovers, coasters and bookmarks for individual people, trying to think what would suit them. 

I also wanted to leave a message for everyone. This was hung in the staffroom above the door leading back out to the classroom ..... freedom is mental and emotional and important for us all.

My final piece for this month's Let the People Choose is a freedom I give to everyone. I loved stitching this design by Sue Hillis. I hang it up every Christmas with a knowing smile and take down each New Year with a rye grin. 

Thanks Jo for hosting another great SAL, apologies I'm a little late. 

Next month is Geometric and October is Wizards.