Friday, 26 August 2016

Another one

Last night I finished up a wip that would work for this month (if only it was an ornament) and thought y'all would like to see it.  It's Wicked Witch by La D Da.

(Sorry for the crooked picture.)

Monday, 22 August 2016

Rita's August 2016 Spooky Words

Despite being absent from here for a while, I haven't fallen off the surface of the earth.  I have, however, been doing a lot of traveling lately.  Since our first grandbaby was born in mid-March, I've been to CA 3 times to visit and help with her (staying about 2 weeks each time), San Diego once with DH on a work trip, HI (to visit with my brother's and sister's families and help out with summer day care for my niece and nephew) for almost 3 weeks, and a quick trip with my DS (who was visiting from Denmark) to OH to visit with my parents.  It's been a lot of fun but it's good to be home.

While gone I either didn't have the time, energy, or good lighting to do much stitching so I've been making up for lost time since coming home.  I've been working on a big sampler and also started and finished my August ornament this weekend while watching the Olympics.

Here's Trick or Treat by Plum Pudding NeedleArt that can be found in the 2013 JCS Halloween Collector's Issue.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Jo's August Finish - Spooky Words

This year I have been stitching a Just Nan band sampler called Counting Bats for our blog.  I have reached the penultimate band this month.  It's much bigger than the previous bands and now there is just a bottom border to stitch.

This band completes the rhyme I have been stitching and also features a strange outhouse with a monster inside?  Any guesses?

And the whole piece so far:

stitched on 32 count lilac linen

Sunday, 7 August 2016

M is for Mummy, Monster and Moonlight

When we first started this blog I made a series of posts beginning with each letter of the alphabet starting with A.  Unfortunately, they ground to a halt after L.  So in honour of The Alphabet Club hosted by Chiara I have decided to continue the posts and link up each month with the rest of the Alphabet Club posters.  To learn more about this SAL follow the Alphabet Club link to Chiara's blog.

M is for Mummy from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.

Mummification is the method the Ancient Egyptians used to preserve their ancestors, removing their internal body parts, placing them into jars and embalming the bodies then wrapping them in bandages to keep them safe during their journey to the next world.  The British Museum has some interesting facts and information about Egypt and mummies here.

Mummies were allowed to rest in peace in their sarcophagi until the 19th Century when Egypt became the fashionable fad of the Victorians.  Following the publication of a book simply called The Mummy in 1821 the stage was set for the mummy to become the newest monster.  Even Louisa May Alcott of Little Women fame got in on the act with a book about a mummy's curse.  More information on mummies in the Hallowe'en story can be found here on Things in the Basement, a great website for all kinds of spooky things.

Of course that JABC design features our second M - Monster.  We showcased a whole lot of Monster designs back in May for this post May Monster Madness Ball including several Frankenstein's Monster.

So here's a rather cuter set of monsters:

And this one is probably my favourite, you can stitch it in full colour or in silhouette:

Our final M features in many designs in the background, after all most spookiness happens after dark under the light of the moon.

The moon is connected with many strange forms of behaviours from werewolves to lunatics (the word even comes from Lunar or Moon).  On parenting forums it is a question asked in all seriousness "do your child's behavioural problems get worse at full moon?"  This article looks at some of the more common myths and tries to find the science behind them - Live Science - Moon Myths

I have this next one in my stash and love it.

Just to finish off, here's an older finish of mine.  Not really Hallowe'en themed but very Moonlight!

Bucilla - Max's Moon

Friday, 29 July 2016

July Ornament

My July Ornament is a witch's cauldron. 

The Cauldron
Embellishing Bits

My winged creature (Jan's theme) is a bat. 
Creepy Crawly
Scissor Keep Front
Blue Ribbon Designs

Monday, 18 July 2016

Lili's July ornament

My little ornie for this month!

Design: Barbara Ana Designs - Halloween, The Moon Laughs (small part of the design)
Fabric / Threads: 36 count Flax Linen / DMC

Thanks for looking!
Happy Summer!

(my Blog: Stitching Basket)

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Stitching Witch - July 2016

Witches' Accessories.... what a great theme idea! So many designs to choose from - hats, broomsticks, cauldrons to say the least!  I did however spot a design that I just had to stitch the instance I saw it in the Just Cross Stitch magazine!

The design is called "Stitching Witch" and is designed by Maria Warmke from The Stitcherhood.  How perfect is this design... hat, 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!!

Hope you like it as much as I do!  See you next month!
Hugs xx

Friday, 15 July 2016

Rita's Update

Sorry I've been awol for a while.  I've had a great time traveling a lot more than I've ever done starting in March when our first grandchild was born.  I've gone to visit her in CA twice already, Ohio to visit my parents with my son who was visiting from Denmark, to San Diego with DH while he was there for a conference, and I just returned from almost 3 weeks in HI visiting my sister, brother, and their families and helping my sister with some summer day care for her 7 and 11 year olds.  I've got another trip coming up soon (helping DD with day care when she goes back to work before her day care slot opens up) and maybe another with DH before my wings will be clipped for a while.

Needless to say, my stitching time has been much diminished (although I did teach my niece how to stitch) and I'm very behind on my ornament stitching.  I came home to a new model to stitch but hope to get back to ornament stitching as soon as I finish that and stay home long enough.

I've enjoyed seeing everyone's ornaments here.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Jo's July Finish - Witches' Accessories

This year I have been stitching a band a month on a Just Nan design called Counting Bats.  July's theme is Witches' Accessories so my band features something every good witch should have in her cottage - a bubbling cauldron:

You can also see a Dancing Skeleton charm.  The original kit would have come with the charm but as mine was a gift from someone who'd already stitched it she'd used the charm.  This silver one is something I had in my stash.  I'll attach him at the very end of the stitching.

Here is the whole piece so far, getting quite long now!

stitched on 32 count lilac linen

Thursday, 7 July 2016

May and July Ornaments

I am afraid I am a bit behind on my ornament SALs, but I finally have a few finishes to share...
(The patterns for both ornaments were designed by Durene Jones for The World of Cross Stitching magazine.)

May's Ornament...
(theme spiders/bugs)
 A tiny, purple spider!

July's Ornament...
(theme witches' accessories)
A cute and colorful witches' hat!

Now, to figure out what to do for my "free choice" from June...
Hope everyone has a week full of stitching!

My late June Ornie.....

Well, I have to say, getting my ornie stitched for June this time around proved a little problematic, to say the least.

For some unknown reason, my planned stitching project, another band of 'Counting Bats' by Just Nan (our dear Jo kindly let me piggyback on her stitching idea) somehow disappeared into the black hole that is my Girl's Nest! I searched high and low for days and days but to no avail, although, Jo, you will be happy to know that I finally found it late last night.  Phew!

So,  change of plans and here we finally have my June ornament!

"Crow on a Pumpkin"
Samplers Not Forgotten
JCS Halloween 2015 magazine
Using a mixture of my own choice of GAST, CC and WDW floss

I love the fact that the pumpkin is not orange!  And I am thrilled with my use of CC Queen Bee for the border on the right instead of GAST Gold Leaf - it looks quite unusual.

Happy, Happy Happy!

Off on a little holiday to the back of beyond in Queensland next Saturday, so getting all my stitching planned as there is going to be a lot of downtime on flights and long car trips.  

I have two little pieces I want to stitch for this month's themes of Witches' Accessories, both should not take too long, so hopefully, when I get back I will have my July update ready to show you.

hugs, Kaye

Monday, 4 July 2016

Loretta's June Ornie

Here is what I chose for June:

Witchy Owl by Breanne Jackson from the 2014 JCS Halloween Issue

I think he is so cute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks for looking!!!


Saturday, 2 July 2016

L is for Lightning Bird, Lantern and Leaves - Revisited

When we first started this blog I made a series of posts beginning with each letter of the alphabet starting with A.  Unfortunately, they ground to a halt after L.  So in honour of The Alphabet Club hosted by Chiara I have decided to resurrect the original posts and link up each month with the rest of the Alphabet Club posters.  To learn more about this SAL follow the Alphabet Club link to Chiara's blog.

L is for Lightning Bird from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.

A mythological creature in South Africa the Lightning Bird is the size of a human, black and white in colouring and it summons thunder and lightning with its wings and talons.  It is associated with witchcraft and has quite an appetite for blood.  Sometimes it takes on the image of a young man to seduce women. 

Another name for this bird is the hamerkop.  This bird is known to decorate its nest with anything from handkerchiefs to bicycle tires!  In the Zulu culture someone who spends much time in front of a mirror is called thekwane, their name for the hamerkop, because they are like the bird that is found to spend hours beside the water's edge looking at their reflection. 

I couldn't find any other cross stitch designs of a lightning bird but I did find these sweet little buttons which are available in a book:

L is also for Lantern which we make from pumpkins on Hallowe'en.  We had some of these designs for J for Jack O'Lantern and here are some more!

(laughing being another L word)

I've been using one particular sampler to help me find the words for this alphabet, the Lizzie*Kate Hallowe'en ABC

And now I have another one!

I'm taking the final L for Lizzie*Kate's ABC which gives us Leaf.  Of course leaves are more of an Autumn thing than specific to Hallowe'en but they do make lovely cross stitches.

(one of a series of four)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Noni's June Finish

Free choice time.... perfect chance for me to bring out a much neglected WIP and get it finished!

Last time you saw this WIP was a wee while ago.... way back in October 2014

October 2014
I have now at long last finished "Witch and Friends"...

This one could almost be shoe-horned into next month's update... but I couldn't wait to show her off!  So back to the drawing board for the witches accessories stitching!! :o)

Til next time... happy stitching
Hugs xx

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Jo's June Finish - Free Choice

I like to include a free choice half way through the year because there are always those designs which don't really fit into one particular category or are for a theme we haven't chosen this year but you still want to stitch.  Or maybe you had two choices for a previous theme and want to stitch both of them.  Or maybe you missed a month and are playing catch-up.

You can see from my band this month that it would have fitted into several themes - spiders, bats, crows and pumpkins.  So it fits nicely into the Free Choice bracket.

Here is my progress on the whole piece, growing nicely:

stitched on 32 count lilac linen

Saturday, 4 June 2016

K is for Kelpie, Knucker and Kahaku - Revisited

When we first started this blog I made a series of posts beginning with each letter of the alphabet starting with A.  Unfortunately, they ground to a halt after L.  So in honour of The Alphabet Club hosted by Chiara I have decided to resurrect the original posts and link up each month with the rest of the Alphabet Club posters.  To learn more about this SAL follow the Alphabet Club link to Chiara's blog.

K is for Kelpie from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.

The Kelpie is a mythological shape-shifting water demon in the shape of a horse from Scottish Celtic history that lures people, especially children, onto its back then takes them out into the water, where it kills and eats them.  It was believed that if you owned the Kelpie's bridle you could control it.  But who wants to get close enough to find out?

edit to add this link to some amazing sculptures of kelpies - The Kelpies

Funnily enough I couldn't find many cross stitch charts of kelpies, but I find some rather nicer Water Spirits.  
But there was this one in Etsy:

 Still on the subject of Water Creatures, we have the Knucker; a kind of Water Dragon found in the county of Sussex in England.  There are references to them in the epic poem Beowulf and also in the church in Lyminster where you can see the gravestone of the knight who slayed the great beast.  You can find out more about this story here Dragons and Serpents in Sussex

Dragon Dreams also have a freebie Water Dragon along with Fire, Air, Earth and Spirit

I got completely stuck on a final K so did a little Googling and found this interesting list of "Legendary Creatures beginning with K".  Many of them seem to be Japanese, so here are a few I liked the sound of:

(I like how specific that last one is!)

 And here is a nice Japanese cross stitch to finish with:

He does at least look like he could battle monsters for us!


Saturday, 28 May 2016

May Monster Madness Ball

Welcome to the Hallowe'en Ornie SAL Blog's contribution to the May Monster Madness Blog Party hosted this year by Little Gothic Horrors!

For our visitors from the other blogs, we are a group of Cross Stitching Hallowe'en fans who choose a different theme for our stitching each month and show our finished pieces.  For the completely uninitiated, cross stitching is a form of needlework where different coloured threads/flosses and fabric form a picture or pattern made up from tiny crosses on the fabric.

Hallowe'en is pretty big in the Cross Stitch World, not as big as the C event which takes place a few weeks later but still very popular.  The designs range from the cutesy cartoon to the primitive style.  Witches are probably the most popular design to stitch but you can see from our themes there are many other subjects which can be rendered in cross stitch.

Cross stitch is very simple to start, you need some fabric and some thread (or floss as it is called in the USA) and a needle.  On the chart there will be a selection of symbols on a grid.  Each symbol will relate to a different coloured thread.  For copyright reasons we are not allowed to show actual charts online but I have cropped a tiny section to illustrate the process:

You can see there are three different symbols and some straight lines.  You stitch all the symbols first (the large dots represent black thread and will form a witch's hat) and then stitch the straight lines (known as backstitch) on top of the stitches.  The grid lines are not stitched!

Most people start stitching using a fabric called aida which has large, easy to see blocks:

The number of blocks in each inch is referred to as "the count" with the standard size being "14 blocks to the inch" or "14 count".  Other popular sizes are 16 count and 18 count.

Many stitchers prefer evenweave fabrics for a variety of reasons, mostly to do with appearance.  The evenweaves are much finer and the blocks less obvious.  If there are areas left unstitched it can look more attractive than aida.  It is slightly more difficult to stitch on at first because there are more threads to the inch and you have to stitch "over two" threads so make sure you count carefully!  Here's a little diagram showing how to stitch on evenweave:

The standard count of evenweave is 28 count which is equivalent to 14 count in size.  Other popular counts are 32, 36 and 40.  40 count is very fine, there will be 20 stitches in every inch so they are much smaller than those on 28 count.   If you really like small then you can stitch "over one" on any count.  I myself love over one stitching on 28 count where you get 28 tiny stitches to every inch.  I have even stitched over one on 40 count.  Tiny stitching is adorable!

The final type of popular fabric is linen.  This is a natural fabric and has uneven fibres in it.  It looks great for primitive designs, for samplers or any design where you want a nice natural look.  The only thing I wouldn't use it for is a realistic face or person because there can be lumps or slubs and the last thing you want is a slub in the middle of your face!

All of the above fabrics are available in a huge range of colours and effects.  Over the last ten years the hand-dyed market has mushroomed and we have some amazing hand-dyers across the globe.

For threads/flosses there are two main brands - DMC is the market leader with Anchor being very popular too (and a bleeped-out word on DMC's Forums!!).   There are also the smaller thread producers of hand-dyed or variegated threads.  Gentle Arts, Weeks Dye Works, Nina's Threads, Crescent Colours etc etc.  But most charts will give the DMC reference numbers which you can convert yourself.  Embellishments such as metallic threads, beads, buttons and charms are also used to great effect.

Hope you found that interesting!  Now on to the finished stitching - 

First a selection of designs based on the most famous Monster of all - Frankenstein's Monster.  Now, as a warning, many designers actually call the Monster Frankie or Frankenstein instead of Monster.  Not my fault - that's the name of the design!

Frank in Stitches by Mosey 'n' Me
stitched by Loretta

Frank N Stein by Pickle Barrel Designs
stitched by Marcy

"Frank" by Trilogy
stitched by Rita

Frankenstein's Kitty and Bride by Carand88
stitched by Jo

From Behind The Gate by Blue Ribbon Designs
stitched by Gwen

Frank-N-Stein by Raise the Roof
stitched by Debbie

Freebie from Ravelry
stitched by Ana Cristina

Monster by Durene Jones
stitched by Carrie

And now some random Monsterous Creatures:

Monster Blue by Mosey 'n' Me
stitched by Theresa M

Trick or Treat by Prairie Moon
stitched by Lili 

My Monster by Cheryl A Smith
stitched by Cheryl

Pumpkin Man by Prairie Schooler
stitched by Noni

The final category I've chosen is my personal favourite - The Vampire!  I have always loved vampire stories and films from Anne Rice to The Lost Boys and the weird David Bowie one.  So here's a round-up of some of our stitched vampires:

Drac-in-a-Box by Acorn House Designs
stitched by Jo
(cross stitch can be 3D too!)

Count Dracula by The Floss Box
stitched by Lili

Smiley Face Dracula by Stoney Creek Designs
stitched by Debbie

Behind the Gate by Blue Ribbon Designs
stitched by Cathi

Fang by Dragon Dreams
stitched by Jo

Heads Up by Prairie Schooler
stitched by April

Vampires Suck by Kell Smurthwaite
stitched by Theresa M

And where do all these delightful creatures live?  Where else but Hallowe'en Town!

Hallowe'en Town by Frosted Pumpkins Stitchery
stitched by Chiara

To wind up our party I would like to thank you all for attending, I hope you learned something about cross stitching and enjoyed the various pieces we have made over the last couple of years.  If you are inspired to start stitching yourself, please leave a comment and ask any questions you like.  I'll do my best to answer them.

I leave you in the capable arms/wings of Belinda the Italian Vampire!

Belinda by Brooke's Books
stitched by Jo