Saturday, March 31, 2012

Piracy, A new blog, Exchanges and a technical question!

Well, time for an update.  What has been happening in the barn?  Well, not much, except that the weather gods have decided that March is the perfect month to introduce summer, the weather has been gorgeous, cloudless blue skies, blossom, daffodils and people smiling!  Of course, with typical British pessimism we are all saying:

"It won't last, you know, it'll be a dreadful summer, just the same last year"!

Well fingers crossed it continues for a couple of weeks over the Easter school holidays so the little pets can become exhausted in the fresh air and sleep well!

First bit of news is sad - The Gift of Stitching online magazine is to cease publication with the next issue at the beginning of May.  Kirsten has admitted defeat, a lack of subscribers and even worse, PIRACY OF DESIGNS.  Yes, that means all of us (myself included) that have accepted a photocopy, working copy of a design, call it what you will....... just this once, it isn't hurting anybody.  Well, it IS, a lot of designers are struggling. 

So, I decided to start another blog.  What was that?  You can't keep up with the one you've got?  Mmm, true, but this one will have invited authors so if I fall behind no-one will notice!  The idea is that we will post photographs of any and all of our finished pieces from the last six years of the magazine and any that we stitch in the future.  Have a look, it is called The Stitching Gift and if you were a subscriber to the magazine come and join us, my email is in my profile!  Welcome to all those who have joined, here's to some wonderful photographs!

The WT is off travelling, first to NH on a course then to Wyoming to meet wee Duncan.  Very proud of myself, could not get Skype to work and really wanted to chat with them all so took Skype off and loaded it again and glory be, it worked!  The video wasn't brilliant, do you suppose it is a cunning plan to get us all to upgrade to the premium level?

As usual, I have dithered and dawdled over actually publishing the post and the weather has gone chilly again with the sky a gloomy 3072!

So onto some pictures...... new camera as the last one took a turn for the worse and refused to oblige me by focusing.  So be patient, I'll be there in a minute.......

Okay, got it!

Dawn of Spring Band Sampler Part 1
designed by Mouse
Friendly Stitchers SAL
Gloriana Bellagio on 36 ct fabric
one over two
Once I could make up my mind as to the fabric and threads this was a lovely stitch though I drew the line at the cushion stitch on the last line!  Since I am using a higher count fabric than the one suggested I just thought that band looked too heavy.  I was chatting to Mouse on the phone this afternoon and she is fine with it!  I am looking forward, as we all are, to the next installment on 10th April, the second treasure's birthday, as it happens!

Designed by Brightneedle
The above was stitched by me for Christine as part of Needlecraft Haven's Spring Exchange.  I can't lay my hands on the chart right now so not sure of the name of the piece.  Reveal Day was today and Christine was kind enough to say she liked it.  Dreadful photograph, if she takes a better one I will steal it, lol!

Needlecraft Haven Spring Exchange
Designer unknown

The above came from dear Barb, and will be much treasured since it is my first needle roll to receive and I have never stitched one.  Thank you, Barb, I do appreciate it especially since stitching is not the best thing for you to be doing right now. 

Now, onto some technical stuff.....  a question for you!  The first is, you will notice I am making a separate blog list of lovely people I have actually met in person (be patient, I will get to all of you!)  Well, I want to rename each one and put the first name followed by the blog name.  Will Blogger let me do it?  All together now....... no, it won't!  Abso blooming lutely nothing happens when I replace the words and hit save.  Any ideas?  Answers in the comments section or email me ..........please?

I think I have told you that most days of the week I go Nordic walking in the Delamere Forest?  Well, I became a Community Instructor in January and yesterday I led my first walk.  We took the proper amount of time AND I didn't get us lost, pretty good, don't you agree?  Apart from a  couple of flying days I have kept to my resolution of walking every day, all ninety plus of them in 2012.

I have just realised that I haven't properly accepted the Liebster award from dear DJ, that will have to wait until next time, I need to think about to whom I want to send it.  However, if you have a minute hop over to DJ's blog to read her latest entry and leave her a comment, please?

Well, back to the stitching saltmine, a long post, thank you for reading this far and also, a big thankyou to my new followers, I need to be brave and email you to say how much I appreciate you!

Until recently, I have never followed any blogs, I have just relied on the list in my sidebar, but quite often, I realise, with GREAT irritation, that I have missed an important post from someone, so I am beginning to pop up here and there!

Love to you all, keep smiling and please leave a comment!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Well, you might not hear from me for ages but when you do......not one finish, but TWO!  I got back from my whistle stop tour of three US states on 8th February and seem to have had my head down stitching ever since!

A Mouse in the Barn -eek!
A definite note of encouragement on the stitching front when we discovered a Mouse in the barn!  Dear Mouse came for a couple of nights and we had a very good time as always with (are you listening, Ally and Maureen?) LOTS of stitching from both of us - in fact, Mouse got a finish in!  I was working on The Sampler Girl's At Home with Jane Austen and finally completed it this week.  The nun's stitch round the edge nearly drove me to drink, as I kept miscounting.  Ginnie Thompson in her very handy "Linen Stitches" (still available second hand on Amazon UK) suggests doing each stitch twice for a stronger edge and also withdrawing the next thread so cutting is not so scary. So, my first Crazy finish, only fourteen more to go, ha!

At Home with Jane Austen
The Sampler Girl
The Gift of Stitching March 2007
I decided not to use the threads Tanya suggested, Crescent Colours, but dived into my stash of DMC instead for the alternatives.  As soon I had taken the photograph I realised that I had forgotten my initials so just visualise gnk to the right of the house!  Also, please don't look at the top and bottom of the sampler - they don't match!  I should have taken the time to find the middle of the chart and realign the border under the house - it is centred in the photograph but not on the chart. So, my first Crazy finish at the end of February, not bad!

The other finish could almost qualify as a UFO - Olga by Plum Street Samplers and I love her, baleful look and all!

Plum Street Samplers
40 count fabric
Crescent Colours threads
Since I began this one (back in Michigan, enabled by Bobbi and Caroline at the much missed by me Wednesday evenings at Stitching Bits and Bobs) Paulette has designed a whole slew more!

Goodness, as usual this post has been sitting in my drafts for days and it is now the middle of March!  Not much more to report except for a small finish for an exchange but can't show you that until the end of the month.  It was another of those "....over a month to stitch, no problem" exchanges and then Muggins goes and crams it all into the last week!  Not only that I forgot the post office shuts up shop here in the UK at noon so I missed the deadline, hanging head in shame!  Well, it is on its way now to a beautiful part of the UK so I hope my partner receives AND likes it!

Time for some more photographs....

February challenge on Needlecraft Haven
I used a heart button from my collection
The link is here
Beautiful ornament received from
Carol at Stitching Dreams

Friendly Stitchers Band Sampler SAL
I am just about to start a SAL from Friendly Stitchers, designed by Mouse, a beautiful band sampler.  We have a goodly number of peeps signed up for it.... let's see how we all keep up, including yours truly!

Random Question
Here's a random question - for those of you that belong to online stitching groups ....... in your opinion what makes a good group, one where the moderators keep a tight hold on everything, ask for (in my opinion) far too many personal details before they will let you into the group and insist that you post a specified number of times a month?  Or one where everyone is friendly, some people post regularly, other peeps only pop up occasionally, yet others only join in the exchanges and post then disappear again but all are welcome regardless.  I know which one I would choose!

Sewing Machine
Oh, did I tell you that absolutely against my wishes, lol, the WT plugged in my beautiful USA wired Bernina with a transformer and.......... it didn't explode, whew!  He managed to blow up, um, render unusable a couple of items that we brought over when we moved so, naturally, I was cautious!  I kept trying to persuade him that I needed a British model and he kept telling me it would be fine.  Huh!  On past performance by him I was not inclined to trust him!

Well, got to get stitching, see you all soon!  Don't steal away without leaving a comment, will you?  I do love them!

Have a wonderful week and stitching and may the frogs stay in that pond far, far away!