Friday 30 October 2020

Smalls SAL - October 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 October I chose a Spookie Hootie, something which, I think, will become a regularity each October:

Witchy Hootie by Pinoy Stitch (etsy)
Stitch Count 29 wide by 41 high
Stitched on 16ct Wolf over-dyed aida
Started - 9th October 2020
Finished - 12th October 2020
Total stitching time - 5 hours 35 minutes

Isn't it sweet?!

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 child monarchs, Edward VI and lady Jane Grey:

November's Smalls SAL piece will be he third in a set of six Christmas card designs by Durene Jones.

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 28 October 2020

The Loneliness Of Autumn - 100 hours

Hi all!

So, another month, another ten hours. But something more exciting to show this time - we have some colour! I've completed the red, 871, on 6/16 pages so far, and doesn't it make a difference? An actual autumnal colour in an autumnal project (plus a more accurate photo of the cream fabric!)

Here are the 90 and 100 hour comparisons; unlike the last couple of months, I think you'll agree it's easy to see the difference this time around!

Next month, more red as I continue to work my way down.

Leonore is still beavering away through her second colour but is still roughly the same distance into the project as me. Her link for October is here.

Naughty November
There are a few who are hoping to join in with this mini new start binge, some using the time wisely to stitch Christmas ornies instead of just adding four more WIPs to their already almost toppling-over pile *hangs head in shame but still has big smirk on face*. The official dates are 7th/8th, 14th/15th, 21st/22nd and 28th/29th November, but can be adjusted to suit.

If you are participating, are you and your goodies ready to go?

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 26 October 2020

A Little Witch Of The Night - finished!

Hi all!

During Dark October I wanted to work on Halloween projects where possible. This has resulted in me already finishing one of my WIPs!

My finish was A Little Witch Of The Night by Soda Stitch, the final one of my seven Summer Of New Start pieces from 2019 to be completed. She's very high up on the cutesy scale, so I appreciate she will not appeal to many, but at least I've finished her at the right time of year.

Here's where I last left her:

After the stitching but before the backstitching:

And finished after almost three hours of backstitching:

A Little Witch Of The Night by Soda Stitch
Stitched on 16ct Dusky Sky over-dyed aida
Stitch Count 60 wide by 55 high
Started - 17th August 2019
Finished - 24th October 2020
Total stitching time - 17 hours 20 minutes

She will be FFOd in the same way as my other Soda Stitch designs (a mini pillow edged with gathered ribbon) which I know will be very time consuming so may not happen for quite a while.

I now have a week left to work on something else Dark October related, and I know just the one!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 24 October 2020

A Monarch A Month - Edward VI and Lady Jane Grey

Hi all!

This month it's two monarchs for the price of one in my attempt to stitch Bothy Threads' Kings and Queens one monarch at a time over the course of four years.

The reason for two monarchs this month is twofold. Firstly, Lady Jane Grey is not usually classed as being a 'monarch' and secondly, stitching LJG gave me the opportunity to catch up on the month I missed back in February.

First up is Edward VI who, I believe, is sucking his thumb?

Edward VI from Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
Started - 1st October 2020
Finished - 3rd October 2020
Total stitching time - 3 hours 40 minutes

Preceded by Henry VIII (father)
Succeeded by Lady Jane Grey (first cousin once removed)
Lived - 1537-1553
Reigned - 1547-1553
No marriage, no children

Edward VI became King at the age of nine when his father died. His mother was Henry's third and favourite wife, Jane Seymour.

As Henry's only son and heir, no expense was spared on Edward's comfort, education and upbringing. He was the model heir - studious, academic and fully aware of his duty to the crown, church and country.

But Edward was King only in name; until he turned 18, Henry had stipulated a Regency Council consisting of sixteen nobles would rule on his behalf.

In reality, however, the Council (possibly through bribery) voted first Edward Seymour and then John Dudley as Protector, in effect giving them the power of a king.

Both were power-hungry schemers, but whereas Seymour abused his position and the trust placed in him, Dudley sought approval from his peers and made it clear he worked in the name of the King.

Edward can be credited for implementing sweeping and long-lasting Protestant reforms to the Church Of England, including introducing The Book of Common Prayer, which is still used today.

He also founded Christ's Hospital, a charity school educating boys from poorer backgrounds. 500 years later the school thrives with the same ethos, and pupils still wear the original Tudor uniform.

[side note - my hubby and his brother both went to Christ's Hospital and we often attend the annual open day reunions, so I am fairly familiar with the school and its history. For anybody who has ever seen the annual Lord Mayor's Parade in London, the school band always lead it.]

When Edward discovered he was terminally ill, he proposed the crown go to Lady Jane Grey, the Protestant granddaughter of his father's youngest sister. His own half-sisters, Mary and Elizabeth, were excluded for having been proclaimed illegitimate, and Mary for also being Catholic.
Edward was only 15 when he died in 1553, probably from tuberculosis. He is buried in Westminster Abbey, his tomb marked by a stone laid by Christ's Hospital.

So next up, Lady Jane Grey, where not everything went according to plan...

And here's Lady Jane Grey, an innocent pawn in her manipulative relatives' game of power, and moments before her execution, looking understandably terrified:

Lady Jane Grey from Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
Started - 4th October 2020
Finished - 5th October 2020
Total stitching time - 3 hours 20 minutes

Preceded by Edward VI (first cousin once removed)
Succeeded by Mary I (first cousin once removed)
Lived - 1536/7-1554
Reigned - officially 10th-19th July 1553 (unofficially 9th-23rd July)
Married - Lord Guildford Dudley, no children

Sixteen year old Lady Jane Grey had been named by Edward as his heir due to being the first suitable Protestant in the line of succession.

It is likely that Edward's decision had been influenced by his Protector, Dudley, since Jane had married Dudley's son, Guildford, early in 1553, and he was aware of the power and influence he would gain with his daughter-in-law as Queen and son as King.

She was proclaimed Queen by the Privy Council on 10th July 1553, and reluctantly accepted. But she had little support.

In contrast, Edward's half sister, Mary, had support not only from Catholics wanting England returned to Catholicism, but also from some Protestants who regarded as her as Edward's true heir.

In order to keep Jane on the throne, Dudley planned to capture Mary. But whilst en route, most of the Privy Council changed their allegiance and now proclaimed Mary rightful Queen.

Jane willingly conceded to Mary and, alongside Guildford and Dudley, was arrested and imprisoned.

Dudley was executed in August 1553 but Jane and Guildford, despite being found guilty of treason in November 1553, were allowed to live since Mary considered them to be of little threat.

In January 1554 Jane's father, and two of his brother, joined Wyatt's Rebellion to protest about Mary marrying the Catholic King Phillip II of Spain. Jane's father was executed and, recognising Jane still had support, Mary now ordered Jane's and Guildford's executions.

They were beheaded on 12th February 1554 and are buried together in the Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula on Tower Green.

So next month, 'Bloody' Mary, the second of Henry VIII's children to become monarch.

Take care,
Rachel x

Thursday 15 October 2020

Hogwarts In A Bottle - FINISHED!!!

Hi there!

Yes, you read the title correctly... Hogwarts In A Bottle is FINISHED!!! Oh Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Happy Dance!

I'll waste no time and go straight to the pictures...

At 190 hours:

And now FINISHED... ta-da...

Hogwarts In A Bottle by CutePatternByMaria (etsy)
Stitched on 16ct Lazurite hand-dyed aida by Chromatic Alchemy
Stitch count 119 wide by 233 high
Started - 7th January 2019
Finished - 9th October 2020
Total Stitching Time - 199 hours 5 minutes

I'm sooooo excited to have this finished, and will definitely miss it - even the backstitching! Despite its size (and if I didn't have anything else to do!) I would not hesitate to stitch it again, that's how much I thoroughly enjoyed every single one of the 25,000 or so stitches.

The only change I made was using 3799 for the backstitching instead of the suggested 310. Black can be quite harsh sometimes and I thought this needed something a bit more subtle. But that's just personal taste.

Talking of backstitching, I didn't keep a record of how long it all took but am guessing maybe around 30 hours. There's a lot of fine detail around the castle windows, bridge arches and train, some using one strand, some using two but, as with all backstitching, what a difference!

I've already ordered a frame so, assuming I frame it within the next couple of weeks (which I'm sure I will) the completely fully-finished Hogwarts In A Bottle will be ready for the big reveal in November's FFG SAL.

So what to do now that I've finished one of my bigger WIPs? Well, I am sorely tempted to start another Harry Potter themed design to replace this one but have (sensibly) decided against it for the time being; I have plenty of WIPs to be getting on with, and four more new starts planned for Naughty November, so really can't justify starting another one this year. Next year, however... well, that's a different story! ;)

Finally, here are all the progress pictures together so you can see how the picture grew with each 10 hours of work. I've tried to be all technical and make a simple slideshow. I don't know if it will work, so if it doesn't, or you don't want to watch it, I've added the pictures as well. The music is Ravel's String Quartet In F Major (automatically adjusted to fit the length of he slideshow) and was the closest Harry Potter type background music available with the program. Enjoy!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 10 October 2020

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - October 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 only fully finished off the five advent calendar days I posted earlier this week. They are all FFOd to match the others, with felt backing and barley twist cord hanging loops.

Short and simple 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 October.

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 November at 6am UK time. Hope to see you there!

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 7 October 2020

JBW Advent Calendar - Days 15, 17, 12, 14 and 18 finished!

Hello all!

This year I am hoping to stitch all of the 24 designs which make up JBW Designs' Advent Calendar.

On my previous Advent Calendar post, I'd finished 18 of the 24 designs. Now I've finished another five, making 23 in total. I ran out of time at the end of September to finish the final one so it will have to wait until November, since I want to dedicate October to as much Halloween-related stitching as possible.

Here are the five newest finishes:

Day 15 - bunny:

Started - 12th August 2020
Finished - 26th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 35 minutes

Day 17 - houses:

Started - 12th August 2020
Finished - 27th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 50 minutes

Day 12 - church:

Started - 13th August 2020
Finished - 29th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 2 hours 10 minutes

Day 14 - rocking horse:

Started - 13th August 2020
Finished - 30th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 25 minutes

Day 18 - sheep:

Started - 14th August 2020
Finished - 30th September 2020
Total Stitching time - 1 hour 50 minutes

I made a couple of changes in that I didn't stitch the stripes behind the rocking horse (none of the other days have stripes) and the sheep is a very pale blue instead of the suggested white which wouldn't have shown up on the fabric. Well, there's a pink bunny so why not a blue sheep?!

I'm so looking forward to finishing the final one, and the additional one for Christmas Day itself, as soon as November appears.

Take care,
Rachel x