Monday, 31 March 2014

Lili's March Ornament

My March Ornament! 
Model from The Snowflower Diaries - Theodora
Stitched on 40 count Pearl Grey Linen with DMC floss.
It is made as a mattress pincushion.

Thanks for looking!
My Blog here.
Happy Stitching,

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Hello, I have just joined...

As I am new I thought it a great idea to introduce myself...

My name is Jacquie and I am 43 this year... eeek I dont feel that old!  I am married to Jon, a wonderful person who I love dearly.  I also have a daughter, she will be 19 this year..time flies.

Here is a photo of my daughter and I ..

I love to cross stitch, this year I challenged myself to learn to stitch on linen as I had never tried before.  I love it and now cannot stitch enough on it!  I love trying new things and experimenting too.  I pretty much dabble in any type of craft,... I will try anything once!

I have a lot of time to myself now as I had to give up work to care for my husband, after he had a works accident.  So filling my time doing stitching or making things keeps me out of trouble! 

I am a happy person and will do anything for anyone... that is just me!  I decided to join this group as I have never really stitched any Halloween designs.  I know how bad is that!  So I thought join this group and get stitching some!  Come Halloween I will have plenty to show then!

This is me..

You are more than welcome to come say hello on my blog.. HERE... and see what I get up to! 

Thank you for allowing me to join in your merriment and hope to get to know some of you too :)

Smiles to you all :)

Jacquie xx

Witchy Woman

I enjoyed making this month's "witch" ornie.  This is Hagatha's Hat by Just Nan.  It's stitched on 30ct carrot linen by Weeks Dye Works with DMC.  The hat is stitched in two parts, the brim and the cone, then assembled.  I love these little Just Nan kits because I enjoy the finishing process as much as the stitching.


Thursday, 27 March 2014

Debbie's March ornament finish!

This cute little witch was a freebie from Cyberstitchers.

"Best Witches"
Designed by Barbara Ana
14 ct hand-dyed orange Aida
Started 3/26/2014, Finished 3/27/2014

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

A witch's hat for March

As soon as I saw this pattern, I stopped looking for my March witch.  It's Witch's Hat by The Stitchworks.  I love the glitz of it.

D is for Devil, Death and Dressing Up

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:

Death Cross Stitch

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 HAED would definitely make a great Fancy Dress outift for me!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Noni's February Ornie

Better late than never, but here I am finally showing you my finished February stitching.

My February design was "Count Me In" by Nancy Greenburg of Pickle Barrel Designs.  This design was published in the Just Cross Stitch Halloween Collection 2013 issue.  Such a fantastic source for Halloween designs.

I haven't started March's ornie yet... I am so disorganised lately!  Oh well, we are only half way through the month still so plenty of time to start stitching my witch!!

Til next month's post, happy stitching

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Spring Witch

I chose to stitch the spring witch from The Snowflower Diaries.
 It is stitched on 18 CT. White Aida.
I completely changed up the DMC floss.
I will take a better picture to replace this one! 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Jo's March Ornament

As well as having my own blog and running this one, I also do the admin for The Scarlet Letter Years Blogs.  This is a challenge set up to celebrate my friend Nicola's 50th Birthday in 2013.  This week we had our first meet-up in London.  You can read all about it here.  It was a very long day for me, I left home at 7am and returned back just before 10pm.  The upside to spending six hours on a train though is the amount of stitching done!  I nearly completed the entire March design!  I chose the Spring Witch by The Snowflower Diaries and finished her off yesterday:

I stitched her on a piece of random 28 count linen I had using the recommended DMC.  The only change I made was to give the witch green eyes and I used satin stitch for the broom.  I just love the effect I got using that stitch.  There are three more seasonal witches and I will definitely stitch them all this year.  Here is the full picture mounted:

This is not a scrapbook page, it's a page from a National Geographic calendar.  Your local Waterstones may still have these for only £2.49 (they might be in the stockroom so you'll have to ask!).  There are twelve different designs all of various landscapes and perfect for mounting stitching.  I just cut a circle in the paper and mounted the fabric behind it with double-sided tape.


Designed by Mary McLenon - Turley of M Designs


Sunday, 9 March 2014

Jo's February Ornament

Which only took a few days longer than I planned!

I saw this design in the Just Cross Stitch Hallowe'en Special 2013 and I knew I wanted to stitch her as soon as I saw her.  So when I was planning the themes for this blog I thought "if I choose Vampires I can stitch that 1920s Vampire Lady".  Perfect.

Then, along comes February, I dig out the magazine and realise that Brooke Nolan had designed her as a Bat Witch!  I decided to leave off the witchy accessories (broom, hat and bat) and add some little fangs so she looks like the Vampire I envisioned.  Here she is:

I stitched her on 32 count lilac evenweave using the recommended DMC and Mill Hill beads.  I subbed the Kreinik for DMC Metallic because they are a fraction of the price and go much further being a stranded thread.

I am now looking for a nice stone doorway for her to pose in so I can make a scrapbook page for her.

I promise my Witch will be ready actually in her month!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

C is for Coven, Cauldron and Cats

C is for Coven from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.

A coven is a group of witches of any number from three to thirteen.  Once the coven grows larger than thirteen it will split into two smaller covens to keep the number manageable.  One of the most famous covens is the trio of witches that Macbeth encounters on the heath who give him the prophesies that ultimately lead to his downfall.

There is a lovely cross stitch on this blog I found called Ghostly Garden but as it is a personal blog I can't copy it!  Click on Coven to see it for yourself.

And what does a coven of witches need to cast their spell?  A cauldron, of course!  A cauldron is simply a cast iron pot found in many homes in the past, used for cooking or maybe boiling up herbs and potions.  Like the broom and the cat a cauldron could be used as "evidence" by the Witch Finders that an innocent old woman was in fact a Witch!

I found lots of lovely cauldron patterns online:

My Cauldron - Cross Stitch Pattern

And onto cats, our third C.  Black cats obviously as it is Hallowe'en!  In England black cats are seen as lucky animals as they are in Japan too.  However other areas are not so enlightened and view them as very bad luck.  To the extent that they are often left in cat shelters long after their multi-coloured friends have been adopted.  I have owned a black cat myself, named Spook who was very timid and shy.  We also adopted a stray for a while until she wandered away.  Here she is in a pot!

Many superstitious people believe that black cats can turn into other animals or even that the witch can take the place of her cat to spy on her neighbours.  Often, just owning a black cat would be grounds for accusing a woman of witchcraft.  So it is not surprising to find many designs featuring black cats (with or without accompanying witches!)
Jaunty Fox Fence Cat
Fence Cat by Jaunty Fox Designs

SpookyHalloween.jpg Puntini Spooky Hallowe'en
JBW Hallowe'en Cat from JCS Hallowe'en Special 2012

And another:

Tricky Treat Cats - Cross Stitch Pattern

So now it's over to you.  When you comment on this post please could you include a link to your favourite Black Cat cross stitch design so we can all find some inspiration for September when the theme is Black Cats.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Lili's February Ornament

Sorry for take so long, but this ornament took me some time to stitch.

Model: The Floss Box: Count Dracula.
Stitched on 35 count Cocoa Weeks Dye Works Linen.
DMC threads.

Thanks for looking!
Happy stitching,

Sunday, 2 March 2014

My Vampire . . . Bat

I couldn't find a vampire in human form that I liked so picked one in it's bat form instead and added a border for fun.

I love this green fabric -- it's perfect for Halloween.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

My March Witch

I am using a witch design that I just recently got done. It's a freebie from Primitive Hare blog. I love this woman's designs.

This is called Froth And Bubble. I did it on 18 Aidia cloth with Dmc floss of black, yellow, orange, off white for the face and neck of the witchs. It took me a couple of days to complete because I couldn't stay on it constantly.