Friday, 28 February 2014

February Piece

I had a really hard time finding a vampire in my stash to stitch for this month.  So I settled on this little monster from Prairie Schooler.  My son says is a vampire, my DH says the devil.  I went with my son and say it is a vampire.  It can be found in her Heads Up! Leaflet.

The Count

Hi Everyone, Thanks Jo for the invite. I saw Cathi's January post and thought this would be a good forum to help me work on one of my UFOs., Behind the Gate. With some good stitching mojo and inspiration from the group hopefully I will have at least 9 stitched by 31 Oct..

This month I worked on The Count.:
Behind the Gate, Blue Ribbon Designs
40ct Sugared Ginger
(This is not a good representation of the fabric it is a much sweeter orange.)

TheresaM I hope you don't mind if I CASE your finish, the blood drop is a very clever idea.

In Stitches,

Thursday, 27 February 2014

Debbie's February ornament finish!

I found this cute little guy in the October 2008 issue of Stoney Creek Collection magazine.

"Smiley Face Dracula"
Stoney Creek Collection magazine, October 2008
14 ct gold-dusted Stardust Aida
Started 2/24/2014, Finished 2/26/2014

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

I Vant to Drink Your . . .

I hope my February vampire interpretation isn't too crude, but every Halloween tree has to have a little humor, right?! This is a freebie by Kelli Smurthwaite stitched on 16ct black aida with DMC 321.  Finished in the shape of a blood drop and embellished with three more.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Vampires´s Valentine


Where's Spooky?

Well, here we are half way through February and I am finally showing you my January finish!!

After lots of searching and discussions with me, myself and I.... I finally decided to stitch "Where's Spooky?" designed by Eileen Gurak of Handblessings Patterns.

I found this delightful design in the Just Cross Stitch 2013 Halloween Special Edition.
"Where's Spooky"
designed by Eileen Gurak
JCS 2013 Halloween Edition
I just love this little design.  He was reasonably quick to stitch. I did actually manage to start stitching him in January (28th Jan) but unfortunately I didn't get him finished until 7th Feb.  I still need to turn him into an flatfold ornament... but at least he is stitched!

Now I just have to get sorted out and pick my Feb design and get stitching on that one before the end of February arrives!

Happy Stitching

Saturday, 15 February 2014

B is for Brimstone, Bats and Brooms

And B is for Bargello Brimstone from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.

Bargello has a variety of names; Irish Stitch, Flame Stitch and Florentine to name but three more.  Careful counting is required when using this stitch!

Onto bats.  So why are bats associated with Hallowe'en?  

"Bats have long been associated with Halloween but the connection is by far less ominous than some would suspect. In Halloween's ancient origins people would gather together around giant bonfires to ward off evil spirits. Attracted to the warmth and bright light of these fires were many small flying insects; natural food for hungry bats.  People saw the bats flickering in and out of the firelight during the festivals and they became a feature of Halloween lore.

The link between the bat and Halloween became strengthened with the discovery of the Vampire Bat in the 17th century.  Tales of bats that drank blood had circulated throughout Europe for centuries before but it wasn't till the Spanish exploration of Central and South America that there was physical proof.  It was a natural association for a dark holiday, a creature that lapse the life blood of its prey in the dark of night."

There are some great batty designs around, here a couple I found online:

Tribal Bat

And moving swiftly onto Brooms or Besoms.  Why are brooms so closely connected to witches?  I suppose a broom is something everyone had in their home, on its own it wouldn't attract attention or suspicion.  It is also an easy piece of evidence for the Witchfinder to use against the local wisewoman.

Besom is another word for a traditionally made broom with a bundle of twigs attached to a sturdy pole, as a result the besom is round rather than flat.  The besom is often used in Wiccan and other Pagan traditions as it represents both genders.  The pole is male and the twigs are female.  You often find brooms used in marriages ceremonies, either in addition to a religious or legal ceremony or in place of when the two people could not marry legally.

In parts of Wales, a broom could be placed at an angle across a doorway.  The groom would jump over followed by his bride.  If the broom stayed where it was the marriage was on, if it fell down the marriage was then called off!  You may have heard the term "living over the brush" meaning living together without being married.  This is where it come from.

Halloween (The Moon Laughs) - Cross Stitch Pattern

Drive A Stick

And to finish, here is an image which popped up on Google when I asked Why do witches ride brooms - 

Monday, 10 February 2014

January's ornament -- a little late

I've had this done for awhile now but due to computer problems haven't been able to post it.  My January ornament is Not Forgotted from Plum Street Samplers.  It's from one of the Halloween issues of JCS Magazine.

I have my February ornie almost stitched and with luck I won't be so late getting it posted.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Cathi - finish of my February ornament

This time, I am quite quick with my February ornie, so here it is:

It is a calendar day of a chart by Blue Ribbon Designs: the vampire from "Behind The Gate" (calendar piece 28). For the back side, I just stitched "Boo" on it... :o)

Happy Stitching


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

My Feb Sal

This is a pattern I got off the net I don't remember where. It's done on 18 ct Adia Cloth with Dmc floss, black and red.

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Gypsy's February Finish

February's Theme was vampires.
I couldn't find a vampire freebie I liked so I chose a quote from NBC's Dracula.
I stitched this on 18 ct aida using a blue variegated thread.
I bordered it in black.

The Quote

"When it comes to dreams, one may falter, but, the only way to fail is to abandon them.
-Alexander Grayson (Dracula)

Monday, 3 February 2014

Debbie's February ornament choice

My ornament choice for the February Vampire ornament is a free Vampire design by Ann Logan on I hope I post it on time this month!

Debbie's January ornament finish!

Ooops!  I'm late for my very first Hallowe'en ornament post!  I just folded the fabric behind.  It's not sewn into an ornament yet.

Sheena Rogers Designs
October 2012 newsletter
14 ct black Aida with DMC floss

Sunday, 2 February 2014

A is for All Hallows' Eve, Autumn and Apples

I thought I'd work my way through the Hallowe'en Alphabet this year starting with A being for All Hallows' Eve as I mentioned in my post about the origins of Hallowe'en.

A is also for Autumn the season when Hallowe'en occurs (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway).  Here is a cute Autumn design I stitched by Erica Michaels on the Rainbow Gallery website

DSC03304AutumnExchange.jpg Erica Michaels Autumn Exchange

And A is for Apple as the design at the top of this post shows.  This is one block from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.

Apples are believed to be associated with Hallowe'en via the Roman Fertility Goddess Pomona whose festival was held in November.  When the Romans came to Britain they discovered the Celts' belief that the pentagram was a fertility symbol.  When an apple is sliced in half horizontally rather than vertically, the seeds form a pentagram-like shape, and it is thought that the manifestation of such a symbol meant that the apple could be used to determine marriages during this time of year. From this belief comes the game bobbing for apples.  During the annual celebration, young unmarried people try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string; the first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to be allowed to marry.

Another superstition involves peeling the apple in one long strand and throwing it over your shoulder, the peel will form the initial of your future husband's name.  This actually worked for me as my hubby's name begins with S and my peel invariably fell in an S shape.  What do you mean, it always falls in an S?

Of course the Christians saw the apple as the downfall of humanity when the Serpent tempted Eve with one in the Garden of Eden, so it is hardly surprising the humble fruit has become associated with the Dark Celebrations of Hallowe'en!

I looked around for some Hallowe'en Apple themed stitching, most of them feature pumpkins rather than apples but I found this one:

Moon and Spider, Apple Cider by Needle Work Press

And this lovely Caramel Apple from Mill Hill:

So how do you like your apples?  Bobbed, baked, cooked in a crumble, covered in toffee or caramel?  Or maybe pressed into cider?

Happy Munching!

Saturday, 1 February 2014

My February Pick

After hours and hours on Pinterest, I couldn't find a Vampire pattern that I wanted to stitch.
I chose a quote from NBC's Dracula to stitch as my February!
Can't wait to show you!