Tuesday 29 September 2020

The Loneliness Of Autumn - 90 hours

Hi all!

We're now at month number nine of The Loneliness Of Autumn, a SAL I'm stitching with Leonore, and what an exciting month it was, because I completed my third colour dead on the 90 hour mark!

I'm about 10 hours ahead of where I expected to be at the end of the third colour, but then I have had lots of blocks so far, so I'm assuming it will even out in the coming months as the confetti increases.

Anyway, on to the pictures. Here are the end of second and third colour comparisons. This is now 12,952/66,600 stitches or 19.45% complete:

And the 80 and 90 hour comparisons:

All right, so it's difficult to spot the differences, but I know they're there!

Next month, there will be actual colour in the form of 817 red. Yippee!

Leonore's link for September will be added soon.

A couple of extra things:

Dark October
With the exception of my monarch and this piece, October will dedicated to Halloween stitching as I join in with Dark October. There should be a couple of finishes if I'm lucky...

Naughty November Mini New Start Binge
This will still be going ahead as planned with the idea of starting a new project each full weekend (7th/8th, 14th/15th, 21st/22nd and 28th/29th) during the month. I will be stitching on each one of mine for only the weekend in question, but if you want to carry on working on them that's fine; it might be a good time to get those little Christmas pieces stitched. There's no sign-up or anything, it's just a bit of fun, especially for those of us seemingly not satisfied with already having a million WIPs! See you there?

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 25 September 2020

Smalls SAL - September 2020

Hello all!

It's the last Friday of the month so time for the Smalls SAL. Thank you, Mary, for continuing to host this fun little SAL. Pop over to Mary's Blog to see what other participants have been stitching in the way of Smalls this month.

Each month I stitch a small project specifically for this SAL which doesn't appear elsewhere on my blog.

For September I chose a Patchwork Hootie, this time in pink

Pink Patchwork Hootie by Pinoy Stitch (etsy)
Stitch Count 41 wide by 41 high
Stitched on 16ct Sorbet over-dyed aida
Started - 22nd September 2020
Finished - 25th September 2020
Total stitching time - 8 hours 45 minutes

I've now stitched three of these Patchwork Hooties; once I've this one I'll show them all together.

In this Smalls SAL I'm also re-showing other qualifying small projects I've stitched during the month. This month's it's just my monarch, the tyrannical Henry VIII:

October's Small SAL will be another Hootie, but this time a Spooky Hootie in preparation for Halloween.

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Hogwarts In A Bottle - 190 hours

Hi there!

So I've put in another 10 hours in on Hogwarts this month. I caught up with the backstitching first - over 7 hours of it - which meant there wasn't a lot of time left to put in many x's. At least I filled that gap near the bottom right which has been bugging me for a couple of months!

After 180 hours:

And now at 190 hours:

Now that the bridge arches, clouds of steam and train itself have been defined, there's not a lot of backstitching left, so it's onwards with the stitching. It won't get completed in the next 10 hours, but it won't be far off. I'm getting excited now!

Take care,
Rachel x

Friday 18 September 2020

A Monarch A Month - Henry VIII

Hello all!

So, if you're reading this, you will notice it has been back-posted - I'd scheduled it for the 18th - but the 18th of October. What a silly billy!

We've now reached Monarch number 20 on Bothy Threads' Kings And Queens which, you will definitely know by now, I am stitching at the pace of one monarch per month.

And what a way to celebrate number 20 and almost the halfway mark with none other than probably the most famous monarch in British History, Henry VIII, who, I think, is actually looking more friendly than he should!

Henry VIII from Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
Started - 1st September 2020
Finished - 6th September 2020
Total stitching time - 6 hours 5 minutes

And here comes my biggest test so far.... how on earth to summarise Henry and his reign (and his wives!) into 300 words! Well, it was going to be impossible, so I've doubled up, writing 300 on his life and reign and 300 on his 6 marriages because, afterall, that's probably what he's most famous for. Obviously a lot has been left out; I've just cherry-picked my favourite parts!

Preceded by Henry VII (father)
Succeeded by Edward VI (son)
Lived - 1491-1547
Reigned - 1509-1547
Married - 6 times
Fathered - 3 sons, 4 daughters and 1 acknowledged illegitimate son

Henry VIII became King following the death of his father.

He inherited a stable country and vast personal fortune, although spent heavily on an extravagant lifestyle and new ships for his navy.

He suffered leg wounds in a jousting accident in 1536, which worsened over the years as his weight increased. It is about this time that his personality became more paranoid, moody and tyrannical.

Henry made various alliances with France, Spain, and Rome only to break them when it suited him. He eyed the French crown but failed to achieve anything significant there.

He broke from the Catholic Church and ordered the Dissolution of the Monasteries; the land and wealth acquired from this helping to replenish the treasury.

He liked having titles:
- Defender Of The Faith - 1521 for decrying Protestantism and defending Catholicism (a title he kept when he swapped faiths!)
- Supreme Head of the Church of England - 1534 Acts of Supremacy
- King of Ireland - 1542 Crown of Ireland Act

He also believed in the Divine Rights of Kings, claiming monarchs were God On Earth and therefore answerable to no-one.

He had no problem executing those who opposed him, or got in his way, often on trumped-up charges of treason, including two wives, two chief ministers and numerous nobles.

His daughters, Mary and Elizabeth, were separately barred from succeeding to the throne but Henry reconciled with and restored them to the line of succession before his death.

Henry died in 1547 from general ill health, leaving the crown to his 9 year old son. He is buried in St George's Chapel Windsor.

Henry VIII and his wives: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived.

1509 - married his brother's widow Catherine of Aragon (allowed with Pope's approval)

- fathered 3 daughters and 3 sons, although only Mary survived
- became fed up of Catherine not producing a male heir
- became enamoured with Anne Boleyn
- wanted a divorce based on it being wrong to marry his brother's widow
- broke from Catholicism in order to do so
- divorced Catherine 1533

1533 - married the feisty and intelligent Anne Boleyn

- fathered one daughter, Elizabeth, after which Anne had many (male?) miscarriages
- became fed up of Anne not producing a male heir
- became enamoured with Jane Seymour
- started believing Anne had bewitched him into marriage
- listened to (probably trumped-up rumours) she had had affairs, including with her brother
- divorced in 1536
- executed for treason two days later

1536 - married the quiet and demur Jane Seymour

- fathered one son, Edward
- died soon after childbirth 1537
- Henry was distraught; he had loved her deeply
- recommended he remarry for a Protestant alliance

1540 - married Anne Of Cleves

- found her dull and ugly
- marriage never consummated
- divorced Anne 1540
- because Anne had agreed to a divorce she was spared the axe
- she was given property and money and was thereafter known as The King's Sister

1540 - married the young Catherine Howard

- her youthful spirit made Henry feel young again
- discovered to be having an affair with Henry's page, Thomas Culpepper
- accused of having an affair with Francis Dereham, to whom she had been previously engaged
- divorced 1541
- executed for treason 1542

1543 - married the mature Catherine Parr

- she nursed him and tended to his wounds
- still married at time of death

So next month, the young Edward VI.

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday 10 September 2020

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - September 2020

Hello all!

It's the 10th of the month so time for another Fully Finished Gallery SAL, the place to show your FFOing achievements since your last link-up.

The link-up for this SAL opens on the 10th of each month and stays open for 10 days so, even if you have nothing FFOd today, or tomorrow, or the day after that, you still have plenty of time to join in.

This month I have finished six small ornies:

Snuffles In Aqua was last month's Small SAL piece and finished with coordinating backing fabric and beads:

And five Advent Calendar pieces, the heart, doves, garland, house and sleigh, finished with coordinating felt and barley twist cord hanging loop:

And that's it for me this month. Now it's over to you to show what you have finished.

Please link-up using the URL of your FFG SAL post and not the home page of your blog, adding a thumbnail of a finish and either your name or your blog name as the caption. The link-up will remain open for 10 days, closing at 6am UK time on 20th September.

Mister Linky's Magical Widgets -- Thumb-Linky widget will appear right here!
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And please don't forget to follow other links and see what fellow fully-finishers have been up to; you never know, other projects may give you an idea for your next finish!

Next month's post will go live on 10th October at 6am UK time. Hope to see you there!

Take care,
Rachel x

PS I'm way behind in blog reading and replying to comments again. Bear with me... in my infamous words, I'll catch up again... one day.

Saturday 5 September 2020

People's Choice SAL - Geometric

Hello all!

It's the first Saturday of the month so time for the People's Choice SAL run by Jo from Serendipitous Stitching. Continued thanks to Jo for hosting this unique SAL which has a different theme each month.

This month's theme is geometric.

Geometric cross stitches, to me, would be designs which include regular shapes or patterns, and probably (but not necessarily) be symmetrical.

As far as I can recall, I haven't stitched anything like that; I tend to stitch pictures rather than patterns. And I don't really have anything in my stash either except for a couple of huge fractal designs which will probably never see the light of day:

Fractal 53 counted cross stitch pattern | Cross Stitch Collectibles
Fractal 053 by Cross Stitch Collectibles

Fractal 354 Counted Cross Stitch Chart by Cross Stitch Collectibles | eBay
Fractal 354 by Cross Stitch Collectibles

But the internet (i.e. etsy!) is absolutely awash with geometric designs.

There are shapes within shapes:

Rainbow Hearts Cross Stitch Pattern PDF  Instant Download  image 0
Rainbow Hearts by CinnamonStitching (etsy)

Animals Cross Stitch Printable pdf Pattern Set 3 in 1 image 0
Geometric Elephant, Lion and Tiger by AnimalsCrossStitch (etsy)

Mandalas, which are usually symmetrical, and sometimes geometric:

Baroque by Ink Circles - geometric designs within a geometric design - win-win!
(I've never stitched an Ink Circles designs, but this has caught my eye!)

Namaste "I bow to you" by Ink Circles

And I couldn't resist putting in this:

Cross Stitch Pattern of Impossible Shapes Penrose Triangle  image 1
The Penrose/Impossible Triangle by EmbroideryPatternPDF (etsy)

But it's not just about the stitching. How about making finishes into something geometrical?


Ripples On Water Series biscornu Pattern image 0
Ripples On Water Biscornu by SpiritOfBelarus (etsy)

Only this and nothing more biscornu  Cross stitch PDF pattern image 0
Only This And Nothing More Biscornu by cloudsfactory (etsy)

... or balls...

The Alphabet Cross Stitch Ball with Buttons pdf pattern image 5
The Alphabet Cross Stitch Ball by Cherry Parker Designs (etsy)

Patchwork Pincushion Ornament  Ball image 0
Patchwork Pincushion Ornament Ball by Bouquetdefleurs (etsy)

... or cubes...

DIY Needlepoint keychain kit Cross Stitch toys kit image 0
Keychain Cubes by StitcheryDotShop (etsy)

... or other geometrical shapes by our host's favourite designer:

Just Nan - JN273 Miss Kitty's Pin Cube • Counted Thread Cross Stitch  Designs from Just Nan

Just Nan - JN281 • Perpetual Pentagon • Counted Thread Cross Stitch Designs  from Just Nan
Perpetual Pentagon by Just Nan

Just Nan - JN260 8 Point Star Garden • Counted Thread Cross Stitch Designs  from Just Nan
Point Star Garden by Just Nan

So there's certainly no end of geometric designs to satisfy every sort of stitcher! Maybe there's something there for you? Who know, I may even try something like this myself... one day!

Next month's theme is Wizards and the following month Magic. Now, how to separate the two?

Take care,
Rachel x