Monday 29 November 2021

Naughty November New Start #4 - Moonrise Ornament 4

Hi all!

So this was the final weekend of Naughty November and the four-weekend mini new start binge. Each weekend I have been starting a Whispered By The Wind Halloween ornie...

... and this weekend was the last one:

Moonrise Ornament 4 'Memorial' by Whispered By The Wind
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Dark Grey Murano 2 over 2
Stitching time to date - 4 hours

For this one I changed the colours of the memorial from those charted to those I used for In The Gloaming. So, from darkest to lightest, 840, 841, 842 and 3866 became 167, 738, 3823 and 3865 respectively. Maybe they're a bit too bright for a spooky effect, and maybe they would look better in greys? That's a good excuse as any to stitch it again, don't you think? But not yet!

Here's the linky widget thingy if you want to link up for Naughty November week 4:

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I have no doubt that Tiff will also be stitching this ornie, but have no idea what Faith has chosen, having so far varied between geometric, Easter and Christmas. Mary also joined in last week with three starts on projects which will be stitched in 2022. I hope there's a fourth this week.

I also hope you've enjoyed our mini new start binge; now all I have to do is finish them before the end of the year.

If you fancy having a small new start binge, Mischievous March will return next year. ;)

[You may think I have a lot of new start binges (and you'd be right!) but, Olympic ones aside, they're a way for me to control the number and size of new starts I have - better to have the satisfaction of four fairly small, and quick-to-finish, new starts together than numerous ad hoc new starts during the year which just remain WIPs, right?]

Take care
Rachel x

Friday 26 November 2021

Smalls SAL - November 2021

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.

This month is the fifth Christmas ornie from a set of six by Durene Jones. I stitched two in 2019, two last year, and am on my final two this year:

Noel by Durene Jones (etsy)
Stitch Count 45 wide by 45 high
Stitched on 16ct White Silver Lurex aida 2 over 2
Started - 1st November 2021
Finished - 8th November 2021
Total stitching time - 10 hours 10 minutes

As usual I replaced the french knots with beads, but that's the only change I made.

And since my monarchs are also back, they get a second outing too!

So December will not only be the final Christmas ornie from this set, but also the last Smalls SAL of the year - again!

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 22 November 2021

Naughty November New Start #3 - Moonrise Ornament 3

Good morning everybody!

Naughty November continues, with weekend number three and new start number three from this lovely Halloween-themed set:

And here's how far I got with my mansion over the weekend:

Moonrise Ornament 3 'Mansion' by Whispered By The Wind
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Dark Grey Murano 2 over 2
Stitching time to date - 6 hours 55 minutes

The windows were stitched using one strand of DMC and one of Etoile, as were the roofs, although that was unintentional as I automatically threaded the needle with one strand of each when I saw the colour. They look OK though and, even though the moon's behind them, I'll pretend they're reflecting its light.

Now, here's the linky widget thingy if you also took part in week 3 of Naughty November and want to link up:

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Last week Tiff and I started the same Halloween ornie, whereas Faith decided to jump forwards to Easter with a really sweet hippity hoppity chart. I think Tiff will be stitching the same ornie as me this week, but wonder where Faith's needles have taken her??

Back next week for the final start of Naughty November 2021.

Take care
Rachel x

Friday 19 November 2021

A Monarch A Month - William III and Mary II

Hi all!

The monarchs are back!!!

It's been six months since I last posted a monarch, but hopefully they're back now. I'm not going to try to catch up, just pick up and carry on from where I left off.

This month we have William III and Mary II, Monarchs 29 and 30, generally considered as ruling together as simply William and Mary. I have no idea why William is upside down; he doesn't seem to have been mad (by royal standards!) or full of whacky ideas, so it's a mystery.

William III and Mary II from Kings and Queens by Bothy Threads
Started - 7th May 2021
Finished - 21st May 2021
Total stitching time - 11 hours 55 minutes

And since these are also at the end of a row, here's the whole project so far:

Because there are two monarchs this month, I'm allowing myself a 450 instead of my usual 300 word limit; it's only fair (although I have sort of cheated by adding lots of waffly footnotes!)

Preceded by James II (brother-in-law and brother)
Succeeded by Anne (sister-in-law and sister)
Lived - William 1650-1702, Mary 1662-1694
Reigned - William 1689-1702, Mary 1689-1694
Married - 1677
Children - none

William III and Mary II became King and Queen following the deposition of James II in 1688.

They were cousins (Mary's father and William's mother were siblings) and had married in 1677 when Mary was second and William fourth in line to the throne (note 1).

England and the English nobles were restless with James II and his promotion of Catholicism, so wanted the devoutly Protestant Mary to take the crown (note 2).

So, with an invitation to invade, and lots of English support, William and Mary easily deposed James II in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Two of their first tasks were to clarify the role of the monarch and confirm the Protestant line of succession.

The Declaration Of Right agreed the monarch could no longer use their Royal Prerogative to do things without parliamentary consent (thereby reneging the Divine Right Of Kings) whilst the Bill Of Rights stated that no heir who was Catholic or who married a Catholic could ascend the throne (which made sense as the monarch was head of the Church Of England so shouldn't be Catholic anyway) (note 3).

But ousted James II and his son, Prince James, still had support from Catholic France and from some people who were Catholic or believed in the Divine Right Of Kings.

These supporters - known as Jacobites - made various attempts to restore James to the throne but all were easily quashed, including the defeat of James by William in the 1690 Battle Of The Boyne.

France finally withdrew its support for James and Prince James in 1697 and formally recognised William as King.

William and Mary were popular monarchs, accepting the role of Parliament, instigating religious tolerance, and improving the country's economy with the formation of the (still going today) Bank of England in 1694.

But, despite being recognised as particularly competent when she took over from William when he was away, Mary's poor relationship with her sister and her inability to bear children often made her unhappy.

Mary died in 1694 from smallpox and is buried in Westminster Abbey.

William was devastated but sympathy, along with his popularity, soon waned as Jacobite propaganda that William preferred the company of his favourite men (nothing was proven) took hold.

In 1701, with neither him nor his heir, Anne, having children and the end of the Protestant Stuart dynasty in sight, The Act Of Settlement was drawn up to ensure Protestant succession (note 4).

William died in 1702 from pneumonia and is buried alongside his wife.

note 1
The succession after James II should have been:
 - his son James (and then his children)
 - his daughter Mary
 - his daughter Anne
 - his nephew William
By William marrying Mary and becoming King he leap-frogged over Anne (which did not go down well with her!) and they both leap-frogged over James (who was Catholic).

note 2
Being higher in the line of succession, Mary should have been sole monarch. However, she was not really interested in being Queen, nor in having political power, whereas William was, as he did not simply want to be the 'Queen's Consort'. Since Mary agreed to defer to him, the English nobles came to a compromise where William and Mary would reign as joint monarchs (the only time this has happened).

note 3
The 1698 Bill Of Rights and 1701 Act Of Settlement remained unchanged for over 300 years until the 2015 Perth Agreement in which it became law that those who married Catholics would no longer be excluded from the line of succession (although Catholics still would be) meaning that, for example, Prince Michael Of Kent, who had forfeited his place in order to marry a Roman Catholic, has now been restored to the line of succession (although he is so far down the line - 52nd - it doesn't make a significant difference).

note 4
Between the Bill Of Rights and The Act Of Settlement, the line of succession after William and Mary was established as:
 - William and Mary's children (there were none)
 - Anne (Mary's sister)
 - Anne's children (there were no surviving children after 1700)
 - any children William should have from a second marriage (Mary had already died but it was unlikely William would remarry and have children)
 - Sophia, Electress of Hanover *
 - Sophia's Protestant children (which is how we ended up with George I)

* Princess Sophia, Electress of Hanover, was (depending on sources) somewhere between 50th and 56th in line to the throne at the time of the 1701 Act of Settlement. She was, however the the first qualifying Protestant and had a distant claim, being a granddaughter of James I and Anne's first cousin once removed. Unfortunately for her, she died three month before William so never became Queen. The succession therefore passed to her eldest son, George, who became George I after the death of William's successor, Queen Anne.

Confused??? Sorry, but I find this much over-looked part of British history absolutely fascinating!

So next month, William's sister-in-law and cousin, Anne (and I promise it will be much shorter!)

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 15 November 2021

Naughty November New Start #2 - Moonrise Ornament 2

Good morning all!

And welcome to the second week of Naughty November 2021!

This week I am starting the second ornament, which I have called 'Fence', from this Moonrise set. Bet you can't guess from the title which one it is!

Here's my progress over the weekend:

Moonrise Ornament 2 'Fence' by Whispered By The Wind
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Dark Grey Murano 2 over 2
Stitching time to date - 3 hours 40 minutes

Not quite as good a start as last week, but that was mainly due to having stitched some of it when I was over-tired and then having to frog it because it was really untidy! Serves me right!

Here's the linky widget thingy if you took part in Naughty November week 2 and want to link up. Hopefully you were more focused than me!

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Last week Tiff and I both started the same ornie and Faith started a large geometric design in the most sumptuous browns and golds. Tiff 's now finished her ornie but I have a feeling Faith's may take slightly longer! Wonder what you've started this week... 

Take care,
Rachel x

Wednesday 10 November 2021

Link-up For Fully Finished Gallery SAL - November 2021

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 you can join in whenever you're ready.

Yet again, I've only managed one FFO this month. This is Dark October's Smalls SAL piece, Spooky Hootie 9. He's been FFOd like the Spooky Hooties from previous years, in a cardboard frame covered with sparkly black felt and trimmed with a length of ric-rac. Here he is:

And with his companions:

Next month I'll definitely have more FFOs as I've ordered four frames for four finishes. I just hope they are suitable. We'll find out in December!

Now it's your turn.

Please link-up using the URL of your FFG SAL post, 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 November.

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And please don't forget to follow other links and see what fellow fully-finishers have been up to; you might even get an idea or two.

Next month's FFG SAL post - the final one of 2021 - will go live on 10th December at 6am UK time. Let's see if we can push for more finishes in the last month of the year.

Take care,
Rachel x

Monday 8 November 2021

Naughty November New Start #1 - Moonrise Ornament 1

Morning all!

And welcome to Naughty November!

If you don't know by now, Naughty November is a means of slipping in four cheeky new starts before the end of the year. It really worked for me last year so I am running it again this year, and will likely continue running it in the future, even if it's only me taking part!

My startner-in-crime, Tiff, and I both had lots of new starts back in the summer for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics (and Tiff even more during the year for Maynia) but that hasn't stopped us looking forward to Naughty November!! We do, however, appreciate that these new start binges do not appeal to many, so invite you instead to laugh along at our madness! 

My four new starts are all going to be from a set called Moonrise by Whispered By The Wind, the same company who designed my recently-finished In The Gloaming. You'll easily see the resemblance, especially since I have also used the same fabric.

The four designs don't have names, so this first one (the third from left) I have called Gravestone:

And here's my rather fantastic start over the weekend:

Moonrise Ornament 1 'Gravestone' by Whispered By The Wind
Stitched on 32ct Vintage Dark Grey Murano
Stitching time to date - 6 hours 30 minutes

I've just the moon, the inside of the gravestone and a bit of backstitching left to do, so this shouldn't take too long to finish. In fact, all of them are relatively small so should be finished before the end of the year.

If you are joining in with Naughty November (and I believe there are only two?) and want to link up, here's the linky-widget thingy which will be open for 2 weeks. I look forward to seeing your new starts!

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Back next Monday with new start number 2!

Take care,
Rachel x

Saturday 6 November 2021

People's Choice SAL - Funny

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 Funny.

Humour is a very personal thing in that what one person finds funny, another might not even crack a smile at.

If I manage to smile or huff a giggle then I consider something funny so, based on that, let's see what I can find in the way of cross stitches.

Back in 2016 (and I believe it still runs) there was an April A-Z Challenge to post something to do with a letter of the alphabet each Monday-Saturday during the month. I stitched this Humerous Alphabet. This is more clever or groan-worthy than funny, but since it's called Humerous Alphabet it counts as 'funny'! My posts are all tagged on the left under A-Z Challenge 2016 if you're interested.

The late great Margaret Sherry was known for her cute animal designs, some of which also have that giggle factor. I've stitched a couple of her Cattitudes. These are Cantankerous and Contentious (and the other ten are on my to-do list!):

However, I think this one - Cat On Washing Line - is much funnier!

This next chart always makes me smile, even though it's a sad reminder of the selfishness of some people at the beginning of the pandemic. It's called The King Of Toilet Paper by PatternsBySAStitch on etsy. Like me, do you still feel guilty when buying a big packet of toilet paper, even though the shelves are plentifully stocked? I feel like the dragon is saying, "It's mine, all MINE! Mwah-ha-ha!"

And this one always makes me giggle. I first saw it when Katie stitched it a few years ago. It's by Heritage Crafts and called Think Big! Now, who hasn't seen at least one dog try something similar?

Talking of Katie, her posts could usually be guaranteed to raise a smile, be they about her life adventures, joining in with another SAL, having another bunch of new starts, or buying a stash of charts which Santa will just 'happen' to give her for Christmas! She always brought more to a post than her stitching. I'm sure I'm not the only one who misses Katie, wishes her well and hopes everything's OK.

And that's it! Next month's theme is Fancy Finishes.

Take care,
Rachel x

Tuesday 2 November 2021

In The Gloaming - finished!

Afternoon all!

Dark October has ended for another year, and what better way to celebrate than by joining Tiff with her In The Gloaming happy dance?

In The Gloaming was the first (and my favourite) of the 17 pieces I started for the Spring Into Summer New Start Binge 2020 and is now the seventh to be finished... literally scraped in on the final day of Dark October!

Here's a reminder of the 50 hour progress picture:

And now finished!

In The Gloaming by Whispered By The Wind
Stitched on 32ct Grey Murano
Stitch count 112 wide by 121 high
Started - 4th April 2020
Finished - 31st October 2021
Total stitching time - 59 hours

I swapped out the colours of the monument from those charted (which looked nothing like the cover picture) to 167, 738, 3823 and 3865, and include Etoile in the moon and railings for a little bit of bling. The moon looks a little lost against the fabric, but I don't think the design really needs it so am happy with it being subtle. And no, I didn't backstitch the railings - 'twas a silly idea!!!

My only regret is that, despite looking at the cover picture numerous times, I didn't notice how the top of the middle railing is not curved like the others. The straight bit between the two birds looks really weird. It's a bit annoying, but not enough for me to want to frog and restitch that section!!!

So now Dark October's finished it's time to move on to November and that means the Naughty November SAL and four (more!) new starts - one during each weekend of the month. My chosen projects are by the same company as In The Gloaming and I've been looking forward to starting them for ages, so am glad Naughty November's finally arrived!

Each Monday I shall post my progress along with a linky-widget thing, so if you fancy being naughty and joining in please feel free. Note - they don't have to be weekend starts, and you don't have to do all four weekends, just start and join in as and when suits you best. Maybe see you there?

Take care,
Rachel x