Sunday, 27 December 2015

Cheryl's December Ornament

Itsy Bitsy
by Charlette Dockens

I chose this chart to stitch for December as it is just so darn cute!  I stitched it on 14 count plastic canvas and backed it with felt.  A quick and easy finish to end the year.

"Itsy Bitsy" by Charlette Dockens of Charlette's Collectibles is featured in the 2015 Just Cross Stitch Halloween Issue.

Monday, 21 December 2015

November & December Done and Dusted!!

This is a real shoe-horn post.... I have finished off November's creepy tree finally... and added December's free choice and combined them to be a big hurdle finish on this design - "Dancing in the Moonlight" by Praiseworthy Stitches.

So here we are.... the creepy tree finished.... along with the raven, cat and resident ghosts!

"Dancing in the Moonlight" - Praiseworthy Stitches
I still need to add beads and a bit of back stitch but that will be done at the end when everything else is stitched.

Did you notice my lovely new needle minder?  Just perfect for Halloween stitching - a spider in his silvery blingy web!

So that's me done for 2015.... now I just need to start planning for my 2016 stitching!

Before I go though, I just want to say thank you to Jo for hosting such an awesome blog for all of us that love to stitch Halloween...  It has been great fun seeing all the great stitching over the year as well!

Til we meet again in 2016, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!  See you all again soon!

Friday, 11 December 2015

Jo's December Ornament

Remember the Blue Ribbon Design's Creepy Tree from November?  Well, I liked it so much I stitched all eight blocks and added another BRD to make a Box of Treats:


Here are the side views:





You can read all about it on my blog post here - Serendipitous Stitching

Saturday, 5 December 2015

E is for Eek, Eisoptrophobia, Ectoplasm and Enchantment - 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.


E is for Eek from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.   There are lots of things in this picture to make you go "EEK!" from spiders to ghosts and bats.

One friend of mine was told that to keep spiders away you should place a conker in each corner of the room.  So every time we visited in the Autumn there were little piles of conkers all over the floor as the children wanted to play with them.

Spider Banner - Cross Stitch Pattern

I found a great list of Hallowe'en related phobias while searching for Things That Make You Go EEK including this one:

Eisoptrophobia - fear of mirrors, or seeing oneself in a mirror 

E is also for Ectoplasm -  a supernatural viscous substance that supposedly exudes from the body of a medium during a spiritualistic trance and forms the material for the manifestation of spirits.

Ghost Dance - Cross Stitch Kit

And when you have ghosts, who're you gonna call? 

Pixel People - Ghostbusters - PDF Cross Stitch Pattern - INSTANT DOWNLOAD
GHOSTBUSTERS!!

The final E is for Enchantment, the act of putting someone (or something under a spell).  Sometimes used as a curse (Sleeping Beauty's Enchanted Castle) or as a Love Spell, we also use the word to describe something which captivates our attention - "your stitching is enchanting!"

Teresa Wentzler has to be the Mistress of enchanting designs and here is one fittingly called The Enchanter:

Preview Image

Teresa has this to say about the design on her website:
This piece was designed in response to numerous requests for a "wizard". Since I am an avid reader of fantasy, inspiration for this project was certainly not lacking! The challenge, of course, was to come up with something original: ideally something that was a synthesis of my favorite impressions from all that I'd read and/or seen. I chose to show a young wizard (mage), perhaps an apprentice, studying and practicing his art. Exactly why I decided to show this aspect instead of a grander portrait of a wizard in full regalia doing something appropriately fantastical I'm not sure. Perhaps it's because I feel the process of "becoming" (growing in knowledge) is a journey that never truly ends....


And here is another Enchanted design -


Which designer enchants you most with their creations?






Tuesday, 1 December 2015

November-Creepy Tree

I didn't finish the ornament I intended to have for this month but, I quickly stitched this tree. After seeing Jo's entry I remembered and added another ornament to my Behind the Gate project.
Behind the Gate
Blue Ribbon Designs 

Gwen

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Cheryl's November Creepy Tree Ornament

"Little Owl Sampler"
by Knotted Tree NeedleArt
Pattern was featured in the 2012 Just Cross Stitch Halloween Special Issue. Stitched on a scrap of 14 count "something or other" with leftover bits of floss.  Just for fun, I used a lighter shade of purple for the letters that appear in my name.
 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Themes for 2016

Thank you so much for all your comments on the post about Plans for Next Year.  I am so pleased that so many of us want to continue and you're enjoying the blog.

We had some great suggestions for new themes for 2016 and as ever it was quite hard to choose.  The favourites from this year are Black Cats, Pumpkins and Ghosts so they will all feature next year.  I also amalgamated some categories into one (Bats and Owls have become Winged Creatures).  I have included two free months so you can stitch your choice even if it didn't make the list this year.

So here are the themes for 2016:

January - Winged Creatures
(Bats, Owls, Crows and Ravens etc)

February - Mummies and Monsters

March - Pumpkins

April - Ghosts

May - Spiders and Bugs

June - Free Choice

July - Witches' Accessories
(things like brooms, hats, boots, cauldrons etc)

August - Spooky Words

September - Bad Fairies and Wicked Queens

October - Black Cats

November - Skeletons and Skulls
(including Sugar Skulls and Day of the Dead themes)

December - Free Choice



You can be imaginative with your choices, the theme doesn't have to be the main feature of the ornie as long as it is in there somewhere!

I also have a larger piece which features many of the themes so I'll be showing that too.

Lisa had a great idea of theming the months according to the alphabet.  We thought this would fit in very well with The Alphabet Club posts.  I have done A-D so far and December's will be E.  So if you have any spooky stitching which fits in with the letter E please email me a picture before the 1st December.  It could be a designer beginning with E or a design title beginning with E or an E feautured in the design (Spooky Elephant anyone?).

Just to finish off a wordy post, here is Trixie The Hallowe'en Witch from Brooke's Books looking very elegant:



Friday, 13 November 2015

Jo's November Ornament

It's a little one but I have big plans for it!  This Creepy Tree is by Blue Ribbon Designs from the latest Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en magazine.

There is a series of 8 small designs, each one only 27x27 stitches.  I'm planning to stitch all of them on this piece of random 32 count blue linen and make them into something.  Watch this space!


Some of the other designs:


Thanks for all your suggestions for themes for next year.  I'll be going through the emails and comments and making the final list soon.

Sunday, 8 November 2015

Plans for 2016

Thanks to everyone who replied to the email with your suggestions for themes for next year.  Here's another chance to have a think.  Also for those people who follow the blog but haven't signed up to contribute yet - you can leave a suggestion too.

As a little reminder, the SAL has been running for three years now.  The first year was at a different address then it moved here in 2014.  Here's a recap of the themes for those years:

2013

JANUARY - PUMPKINS
FEBRUARY - BLACK CATS
MARCH - HAUNTED HOUSE
APRIL - OWN CHOICE
MAY - GHOSTS
JUNE - MUMMY/TOMBS
JULY - SPIDERS/BATS
AUGUST - OWN CHOICE
SEPTEMBER - HALLOWEEN WORDS
OCTOBER - OWLS
NOVEMBER - CANDY CORN
DECEMBER - OWN CHOICE

2014

January - Free Choice
February - Vampire
March - Witches
April - Owl
May - Monster
June - Freebie Patterns
July - Pumpkins
August - Ghosts
September - Black Cats
October - Trick or Treat
November - Bugs, Insects or Spiders
December - Free Choice

2015

January - Witches
February - Skeletons
March - Owls and Birds
April - Tombstones
May - Pumpkins
June - Free Choice
July - Haunted Houses
August - Black Cats
September - Spooky Words
October - Ghosts
November - Creepy Trees
December - Free Choice

You can see that some of those categories feature every year and some only make the occasional appearance.  There will always be a couple of Free Choice months too so you can stitch the designs which simply don't fit into a category.

And just to include a picture to brighten up the post, here's Trixie the Hallowe'en Witch from Brooke's Books ready to be assembled this week:

Saturday, 7 November 2015

D is for Devil, Death and Dressing Up - 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.


D is for Devil from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.  So you might be wondering why there is a monkey in this picture?  In Dutch samplers the stitchers would often use a Spinning Monkey to represent the Devil rather than tempt bad luck by stitching Old Nick himself.  The monkey stood for folly, laziness, lechery and vanity and his punishment was to be turned into thread.

I wonder if we get a bit of "monkey thread" sometimes, you know where it knots and twists and won't lay neatly no matter what you do?

If you like your devils on the cute side, Ellen Maurer-Stroh has a series of stitching devils, this one has a bobbin (ready to tangle?) and there is one with a pincushion and a sweet pair playing with a sewing machine.
Stitching Devil winding Bobbins

Onto Death, that's a gloomy subject for stitching?  

Black Grim Cross Stitch

So here's a more cheerful Death, from Terry Prachett's Discworld series:



So where do we get these images of Death from?  In England, Death is often called The Grim Reaper and from the 15th Century onwards is shown as a skeletal figure cloaked in hooded black  and carrying a large scythe.  In the Bible there is also a reference to "The Angel of Death" who reaps the firstborn sons of the people of Eygpt.

Probably the most common image for Death in cross stitching is the gravestone (but I'm saving those for G!) or some of the verses stitched on antique samplers.  For example this piece by Amy Ball which includes the couplet "When I am dead and in my Grave, my Friend's in Hand my work may have":

Amy Ball

These samplers were often stitched by very young girls and it makes you realise how close to death people were in those days.  Many women would have given birth to several children only to see three or four survive into adulthood.

And onto something more modern and cheerful!!  Dressing-up.  Why do we dress up for Hallowe'en?  This tradition goes back to Celtic times when people believed that evil spirits walked the land on Hallowe'en.  The best way to fool these spirits was to disguise yourself as someone else.  In early 20th Century America Trick or Treating was referred to as "guising" before the actual term Trick or Treat came into use.

Here's a cute pair dressed up ready to go Trick or Treating:
cross stitch pattern Trick or Treat Kids

So what's your favourite dressing up costume?  Do you enjoy dressing up or do the words "Fancy Dress Party" strike dread into your heart?  Being rock fans has always made dressing up for Hallowe'en easy for me and my friends.  We already have wardrobes full of black velvet and lace, long wild hair and leather coats.  Just add a white hair streak, some extra eyeliner to the black lipstick, nail varnish and the jet jewellery and you have the perfect Vampire.  In fact, at one party in our local pub, my friend brought his new girlfriend to meet us all for the first time.  I admired her outfit and hair only to be told she hadn't realised it was Fancy-Dress and that was how she dressed all the time!



This would definitely make a great Fancy Dress outfit!






Thursday, 5 November 2015

Patty's June Ornament



The September 2014 chart by Nicole Dostal of Northern Expressions Needlework for Pumpkin Seed Stitchers.

Patty's May Ornament

I'm a bit behind, but here is my May 2015 ornament:
Design by Jamie Kile of Knotted Tree Needlearts. Pattern on page 42 of Just Cross Stitch, September/October 2009.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Ghostly Halloween

Happy Halloween everyone!!

I actually finished my Ghost stitching earlier this month but I decided to wait until Halloween to post.... seems so much more like Halloween to post on the day!!

My "Ghost" is actually another square on The Trilogy's Halloween Sneak Peek that I have been been stitching for quite some time now...

Here he is all in his ghostly glory:


The whole piece looks like this at the moment:


I have one more square to stitch once I have finished the pumpkin and then it will just be the black border left to do!

Before I go I have one more pic to show you.... Jo asked us to show pics of any Halloween decorating that we do.  I generally don't decorate for Halloween but this year I did do something....

I decorated my Meerkats (this is an on-going Meerkat competition that I have going with a friend at work - we have started to decorate our Meerkats for various events and sharing the pics)


However you celebrate Halloween, have a great time.... and don't forget Jo's Halloween Blog Hop... my post is up showing my letter of the mystery phrase.


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

September and October Ornies....

Hi fellow Spooktacular Stitchers,

I actually have two Hallowe'en finishes for you today.  The first is my September "Ornie"  for "Words" and I use the term "ornie" carefully as it is probably too big to actually be an ornie but when I saw this design stitched on someone else's blog, I knew I just had to stitch it!





Moon and Cider Apple Cider
Needlework Press
28 ct overdyed fabric
Floss: as per designer

My October ornie for "Ghosts" is from this years JCS Hallowe'en Ornie Mag.  Again, when I saw this cute row of tipsy houses, I just knew that I had to stitch this one, too!





Bump in the Night
Tempting Tangles Designs
JCS Hallowe'en Ornie Mag 2015
28 ct overdyed blue fabric
Floss: I chose my own overdyed threads from my stash

I must admit that I am thrilled with both of these finished pieces - each have their own special brand of spookiness.


Now, Jo, I have a confession to make, despite having some lovely Hallowe'en pieces finished now, I have not decorated for Hallowe'en!   Aaagghh!

Why, you may ask?  Well, I have been super busy both at work and at home.  Work has been crazy busy with me having two prepare and present TWO full Business Cases for new projects in Eight weeks (you normally have about three months to prepare one!) and then my social life has been super busy because of my birthday this month - lots of fun outings and weeekends away and we are going away this coming (Hallowe'en) weekend, too - lovely!

So, there you have it, Jo, and everyone, my confession!  If I get a chance tonight I will try to pull out my Hallowe'en ornies and take a pic for you all.

Off to work now, 

love to you all, 

Kaye

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Cheryl's October Ghost Ornament

OoooOoooOooo!  Look out!  I might put a spell on you!

This cute little ghost witch was stitched on 14 ct plastic canvas, backed with felt and embellished with a paper flower and polka dot button.

Freebie chart found here:  http://www.jessica-tromp.nl

I'm saving photos of my Halloween display for Jo's Halloween Blog Hop (there's still time to sign up).

Monday, 19 October 2015

Making lemonade out of lemons

It was a gorgeous weekend but the ragweed pollen was so high that I was stuck indoors.  I took advantage of my misfortune by stitching these 2 PS's Halloween pieces.  The batty one is from the Bump in the Night leaflet and the other is from Trick or Treat.

They don't fit our sal themes but I'd been wanting to stitch these:



Sunday, 18 October 2015

Halloween Month is Here!

Here's my stitch for October.  This is also an ornament I've been wanting to stitch for a while, and if you look closely, there's actually a wee ghost hanging off the hat!  It's from the JCS Halloween Collection book.  Stitched on 28ct flash linen, DMC, purchased trim and beads.




And here's my Halloween tree.  I'm going to have to get a revolving stand to enjoy all the ornaments!


Friday, 16 October 2015

August Black Cat

Sorry to be the weakest link on this blog :(

Things have been busy.. but I'm happy to complete a small this month (although I believe it is supposed to be in August checked in). Oops :x

here it is:

(Mill Hill ~Autumn Harvest 1991, counted glass beads ornament kit)
Stitched in perforated paper

And for my Halloween corner.. 

Decorated with crocheted and stitching items.
Ghoul Tidings to you.