a thousand blue bubbles

a quick appendix to my Once Upon a Time Sampler, as requested by some of you on various social media. :)

  • cool theme song for the second block! is there one for the first one you forgot to mention? there is, actually, and silly me forgot to add it! it’s an Italian classic by the great Mina, and it’s the only song I can think of whenever I see swirls of blue soap bubbles. here it is, Le mille bolle blu (literally, a thousand blue bubbles) in her 1961 performace.

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (block 1)

  • your Evangeline star looks so good, is there a specific stitch you used to create it? yep, and again I forgot to mention this. I used the Star Stitch tutorial our adorable Mary Corbet made for it in her little needlework bible, Needle ‘N Thread. you can find the tutorial here.

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - The Frog Prince (block 2)

the thing about this star is, it’s very tridimensional, I can’t stress enough the VERY. this means I’ll probably have to frog it when it’s time to roll up this portion of the sampler and stitch it again when I’m done – Evangeline, I’m afraid, falls under the same category as beads and charms, dulcis in fundo (smart talk for last comes the treat). ;)

- – -

I want to thank everyone for the nice words you had about my recent pieces, I’m so glad you share with me the thrill of making a project my own, challenging myself with new ideas, spending a lot of time adding this and that (and even more erasing this and that) on my working copy with pencils and coloured pens, trying to capture in squared bits what my mind has clearly (yet so elusively) under its eyes. hopefully this will lead to my own designing in a not so distant future – who knows, there’s A LOT of technical stuff involved into designing once it turns into a business so I have to think this through very carefully (but there is one very cool idea I had that is super secret, and if it really turns out as terrific as I envisioned it to be, you’ve got yourself a designer, guys! :P ).

well, that’s it for now. enjoy the beautiful sunny Sunday – the world is such a sad, frightening place these days, scarred by old and new tragedies, I just want to take a look at the sunny sky and let it take my mind off all the rest for a few minutes, picturing a thousand blue bubbles dancing in the air.

it’s a smoochy happy dance

first of all, let me tell you the nitrogen thing was impressive, that tank was taller than a 12 year old kid, and WAY heavier. hopefully the mad scientist take on these little evils has knocked them all out for good.

now onto more happy news, Taras is doing much better. the watering eye and nasty looking bogies are gone but we have to follow the therapy until next week to make sure he gets a complete recovery. 🍀🍀🍀

BaBa 9/14

BaBa 9/14

then, yours truly finally put the last stitch on that elusive frog prince this morning. WOOHOO! dance with me! :D💃🎉

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - The Frog Prince (block 2)

according to how my mind works this little block comes with a theme-song, make sure you travel back to the ’90s by listening to this track ;) ❤️

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - The Frog Prince (block 2)

of course I had to frog on a frog, right?! :D

so this is how my Once Upon a Time Sampler looks as of today:

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - Once Upon a Time Sampler

you can find see and read more about this project in my previous post, just scroll down.

now onto the rest of the border on the top right – and the third block, The Three Little Pigs! :)

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - OUAT March

the third block as charted by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, I LOVE that wolf! 😍

- – -

welcome to all the new followers and thank you all for the lovely comments and emails,

I wish you a wonderful weekend! ciao! :)


liquid nitrogen is the answer (it has to be)

so, guess what happened exactly 7 days ago this morning? I spilled milk on my laptop. what a creative way to ruin my day, don’t you agree?

the fun facts are: a. I rarely drink milk, especially in the morning; b. I even more rarely drink warm milk with honey in the morning next to my laptop; c. despite being a real klutz sometimes, I really never spill stuff, never in a million years next to my laptop. well, I guess I beat all odds last week didn’t I? [that's what I thought too, but there's more - keep on reading]

well, I’m typing you from, as the bill recites, a brand new “Housing, Top Case with Keyboard” (basically the lower portion of the laptop, the one that holds keys, trackpad, ports on the left and right, etc.) and two new 4GB memory slots, which (THANK GOODNESS!) were still under guarantee. this time I actually got lucky, who would have thought!

now, my forced absence from the web was limited to all my phone couldn’t do, and thanks to the great skies and heavens above us it was properly synced with pretty much everything so I really lost nothing. all the data, infos, etc. were back here and even if they had to restore the entire thing from the start – I do have a backup thingie called Time Machine (I’ll let you figure out what it does) with a 2TB Time Capsule taking automatic backups for me every darn hour so *that* was never an issue.

what became an issue yesterday afternoon is the comeback of those darn weevils. now, you guys gave the little bastards the right name: putting evil in it really gives you the picture of what you’re going to deal with. and you know what they say about the devil, it’s in the details, well these things are not even 0.5 mm long, they are so tiny I don’t even know what Imperial Unit I should use for something THAT small.

and they’re this beige/white colour you can’t spot them unless you put the dustpan with the dust you just collected under direct sunlight. then *IF* they move, you might see them. but guess what? the things pretend to be dead. YES. they FEIGN DEATH! and they seem to be reproducing out of thin air, as there is NO (repeat NO) grain or plant in my room whatsoever. I have called experts back at the beginning of June and they took care of them with a special product that leaves a residue for 28 days, plus dry vapour machinery that actually sanitised the entire room (and it smelled of laundry shop *and* freshly cleaned hospital room at the same time). now they’ll be back tomorrow. same guy who fell in love with Taras by the way. and they’re bringing liquid nitrogen. now if this baby doesn’t do the trick I really don’t know what will. fire I guess, an exorcist was another suggestion I got last night. I actually wanted to discuss the entire thing with an entomologist, I mean, they must have started feeding on something else. and what if that something else is wood? I have wooden floors for fracks sake!

and what about keratin? what if they learnt to feed on human dead cells, hair, brainwaves, I’m inclined to believe everything at this point. even that they know someone is coming tomorrow to take them down, so they’re hiding, those little bastards.

well, here’s a lesson for you people, FREEZE your seeds. even if you’ve already frozen them a hundred times. even if you’ve cooked them in the oven a thousand times. KEEP THEM WHERE LIFE CANNOT GET THEM. that’s the only wise thing you’ll get out of me these days.

now, you might be wondering what was I doing with seeds in my wardrobe in the first place. well, that was my bad. I forgot a box with my sachet of oat seeds there because I was going to use them, them something happened, I put it there and “I’ll get to it later”. well, that later got delayed, some clothes hangers hid the box and here we are.

I have used that sachet a million times, really. it has been in the freezer for weeks, in the oven at high temps, I’ve had it for years and nothing happened. this winter something happened. I’m saying winter as a possibility (cause there’s no way I can get the 1st Miss Weevil’s pregnancy test) but it might have happened even before, even later –  who knows. I had  no clue the sachet was there in the first place, I had completely forgot about it.

oh but it came back to my mind, it surely did. big time. I slept two hours last night, thinking of those things minding their own business all around me was too frustrating. plus I could stop thinking “where did they came from?” “what are they eating?” “will I ever get rid of them?” “how much more is it going to cost me?” “why the hell does this have happen to me AGAIN??”

well, as a result of this technologic embargo + sleeplessness I’m almost done with Rhyme’s first book. I’m re-reading the first Jeffery Daever’s novels and then I’ll dig into the ones I’ve never read. you know I actually met the man last month? he was super nice and knew so many things. we actually sat next to each other for a little while. he might have an idea as to how to dispose of the we-the-evils. I guess I should ask him.

- – -

next time I’ll tell you about the conjunctivitis that is driving Taras nuts, you thought that was that? ha! you don’t know me, when I do bad luck I do it really BAD.

now a few snaps to lift you from all the pest rant. sorry about it.

BaBa 8/14

where are they? I’ll find them!

BaBa 8/14

can’t we hid from them, Chiara? I think it would be much easier, you know.

JD books

first Jeffery Deaver novels that arrived with the mail.

stash 8/14

a few fabrics I got back in July, or was it August?

JD books

The Skin Collector is signed by the author, I got it at the library event in Bassano last month.


“purifying blend” – I sure need some purification here!

BaBa 8/14

“see nobody here!” “I told you, Taras, they’re small. reeeaaaally small.”

food 8/14

rigatoni with EVO oil and Mediterranean tofu (green olives and basil).

BaBa 9/14

my left eye hurts, *and* you’re vacuuming. will you be done with that darn contraption anytime soon?

food 8/14

same Grano Cappelli rigatoni ad before, this time with soya ragù sauce. so yummy you can’t even explain it.

food 9/14

broccoli and potatoes with rice stracchino (soft cheese). this was new to me, and boy is it good.

BaBa 9/14


JD books

finally the *first* novels arrived, let the overdose begin! :D

BaBa 9/14

you tell me who did it, I’ll take a nap.

stash 8/14

more fabbies from the same mysterious date.

BaBa 9/14

Taras likes aerosols so much he actually doesn’t leave the basket, even after we’re done. and no, they’re not the kind of vapours you’re thinking. it’s just F10 disinfectant. :P

BaBa 9/14

I turn it on! I can do it!

BaBa 9/14

“ops.. it’s broken.” “no, it’s just unplugged. were done for another 12 hours, thank goodness!”

BaBa 9/14

“so? who did it?!” “no spoilers in this blog, you know that, BaBa!”

last but not least, the night at Libreria Palazzo Roberti in Bassano. make sure you check the link, you bookworms.

Libreria Palazzo Roberti summer '14Libreria Palazzo Roberti summer '14Libreria Palazzo Roberti summer '14Libreria Palazzo Roberti summer '14Jeffery Deaver autograph

a summer garden galore

it was way before this hell of a summer started that I told Jo I would participate in her Summer Garden Blog Hop. of course life had to get in the way, with my entire stitching supplies being on lockdown taking turns in the freezer, then in boxes that went inside other boxes that went inside other boxes, etc. – which meant I lost track of all I was working on.

this led to a month of no stitching whatsoever (supported by the total lack of time and energy, both drained by all the housework and the daily cleaning); then I slowly got back to it but was forced to pick up only what I could find at the moment, with this and that constantly missing somewhere – so my plan to finish this for Jo’s SGBH went to the dogs.

Couleurs au point de Croix - Summer Garden

this is a piece I’m stitching using various motifs taken from the Couleurs au point de Croix booklet series published by Mango Pratique. I cut the linen very long so I can add things as I go. it’s on 40ct. using a threads from stash (the purple in the outer border is silk), all hand dyed by Nina.

since I had to pick up something I could find the threads for, I ended up picking up an old WIP that required DMC threads, starting two small charts (one of them is finished, the other has to go on the dowels because I got hand cramps from using the hoop) and a new exciting project.

there are a few reasons why I can squeeze them all in the summer garden theme, and I shall illustrate them as I go.

let’s start with:

for obvious reasons this piece is the ideal entry for Jo’s Blog Hop. I stitched this on 40ct. linen with my own choice of threads (all handy dyed by Nina).

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Summer Sparkler Party

once I finally finish-finish this, the pink balloon will end up somewhere.

this little project (only 43W x 42H) went under a thorough re-adaptation mainly due tot he fact that it was originally 4th of July themed. being Italian, most things (although super cute) didn’t have the same appeal to me, so I changed and moves stuff around, used summery colours, personalised here and there (for example, I don’t like watermelons so I changed them into pink grapefruits) and enjoyed stitching a mini-me!* :)

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Summer Sparkler Party

I added the previous picture for colour truthfulness purposes ;) there is a mini-Taras charted above mini-me (I used the cat from the Bremen musicians in block 8 of OUAT. if you don’t know what OUAT means, you’ll find clarity at the end of this post).

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Summer Sparkler Party

* see the clothes replica I stitched after my one “summer garden” outfit? ;)

you can see this project in its original look (which is adorable, and very “team USA!”) here – it’s a limited edition pattern, so if you like it, go check it out right now because today is the last day it’s available.

  • the second small I started is part of the same series of mini charts by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, All Hallows’ Eve (9/8 – 11/8)

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - All Hallows Eve

again my own choice of Nina’s Threads and 40ct. linen, lots of colour changes and a few witty Straight Stitches in the broom (I just love how everything pops up on this dark blue fabric!), a link for this pattern is here. there are many other (limited and not) small charts I have already kitted up and can’t wait to get done but a certain big project ended up on the dowels and took over (see last point).

this one isn’t exactly summer-themed but I’m pretty sure this little witch spent many afternoons working on herbs and fungi in her glasshouse, so it rightfully goes in the garden rather than the summer theme. to me, of course. ;)

  • I resumed working on the 1st stitch enigma piece, Santa Bunny by Alma Lynne (11/8 – 13/8), and would have finished the darn thing (darn because the golden thread is The Enemy, especially if you have to tie bows and attach them to your stitching, 3 times) if I hadn’t realised the colours I chose for the Bunny are completely off. I will pick it up again as soon as I get my DMC folder back, and find a better brown trio.
WIP – Alma Lynne Designs’ Santa Bunny

this is an old picture, I actually have reached the top of the left border and stitched the entire hand/sleeve on the left. I got to the Bunny and gosh! those browns are so wrong!

although this is a Christmas piece there are pine trees everywhere (surely garden all the way, don’t you agree? ;) )

  • and last but not least the project I’m having the most fun with these days, another The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, I should have started back when I received a few new threads for it.

it’s Once Upon a Time Sampler that has just seen its latest block released, the adorable Rapunzel up in her tower, surrounded by birds and trees [check it out here].

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves (block 1)

my 1st block in the OUAT Sampler, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. (19/8 – 26/8)

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - OUAT January

this is the original version as charted by the lovely Amanda & Ashleigh (the Frosted Pumpkins), aren’t they a witty duo? :)

I should get the second block, February/The Frog Prince, done in a couple of days. check it out! it’s my tribute to The Princess and the Frog, with Princess Tiana, Ray and Evangeline.

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - The Frog Prince (block 2)

Ray and Evangeline, one the best couples I’ve seen on a Disney animated film in a long while.

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Once Upon a Time - The Frog Prince (block 2)

again an old snap, the outer motifs are all done. I just need a good few hours to stitch the Frog Prince!

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - OUAT February

this is the block as charted by the Pumpkin duo. I LOVE the frog!

this is definitely summer/garden related, with Snow White’s tale taking place in spring (“Some day when spring is here /
We’ll find our love anew” so presumably by the time the Prince wakes her up it’s summer ;) ), and then The Princess and the Frog (ok, Mardi Gras is in February, not summer at all – but plenty of gardens, right? even a bayou! :D ).

- – -

and finally, here is the postcard I received from Heather. isn’t is gorgeous?  :)

Heather collage

her message reads:

Hello fellow Summer stitcher!  This picture is of a garden I stitched years ago!  There are five in the series (it’s by Moss Creek Designs), and sadly, I have only finished one other.  I am working on a third, however.  I adore gardens and will go on any garden tour that’s offered.  I love big gardens, small gardens, flower gardens, vegetable gardens, kitchen gardens–you name it!  Unfortunately, since I live in a downtown area, I am limited to container gardening right now.  The tomatoes always love all the sun they get up on our deck (it’s three stories in the air!)  The good news is that the Atlanta Botanical Garden is very close to us and I visit often…sometimes once a week.  And I take plenty of pictures, which you can find on my blog here: http://lottloft.blogspot.com/search/label/horticultural

- – -

if you’re wondering what is Jo‘s Summer Garden Blog Hop, you can read all about it here. check the others postcards as well, they’re all very interesting reads!

- – -

Taras and I wish you a wonderful start of the week, of the month and a great Labour Day to all you Yankees! :D

big hugs!



the other winner

while in the midst of renovations, an oat weevil infestation and vet appointments (it has to pour, right?) I managed to keep track with the stitch enigma that has now come to an end. :( it was so much fun following your guesses and scenarios! after all the good and so clever answers you gave – I now hope the solution didn’t let you down! :)

I asked my sister to pick a name out of the bowl of destiny last night and..

- imaginary drum roll please -

stitch enigma draw

stitch enigma winner

..the winner is Karen from On Beads and Needles! :D

- – -

now I better get back to all my cleaning, fun eh? this has already hit the top 3 in the Worst Summer Ever Rank.. I wonder what the next two months will bring.. argh!

BaBa 6/14

– we’ll get our bedroom back eventually, right? – yes, and it’ll be so much better.. there’ll be a bed upgrade as well, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the difference :D

BaBa 6/14

Cheshire Cat impression, well done, BaBa! :)

have a nice day, I hope I can get back to blogging (and stitching) VERY soon! ♥


an enigmatic round-up

hey hey! so you’ve been following the clues and guessed your way through this years’ enigma! :) some of you already know, some of you don’t.. well, the solution to the enigma was..

Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

- – -

I want to take the time to thank everyone who posted comments, guessed, read, and followed the game in general. I’ve been looking at your activity from here and was so so pleased to see you around. thank you so much!

I got the feeling you found this enigma kind of challenging.. ;) well, that was the plan! :D I’ll sum up the names of those who guessed correctly (which, apart from Heather, get +4 extra entries in the final drawing I’ll take later on today), if you want you can trace their comments – which have now been published in the respective posts. I’ve decided to explain every clue as well, many of you got misdirected by some (something I set up myself, although Heather didn’t fall into my trap :D ) and I thought you would like the answer to “what was she thinking when she wrote THAT??!“. this way you’ll read my mind more easily the next time! ;)

who solved this years’ enigma: well, we had a total of 20 commenters and 6 people who guessed correctly. of course Heather (who guessed first, and has already received her prize) is not in the draw so there’ll be 19 names in the bowl of destiny, some of them 5 times because they solved the enigma too. let’s see who they are. :)

  1. Heather from It’s geek to me - guessed after the 1st clue
  2. Irene from Ricamire – guessed after the 12th clue
  3. Joanne from Serendipitous Stitching - guessed after the 13th clue
  4. Jocondine from Jocondine - guessed after the 13th clue
  5. Brenda from Time to Xstitch – guessed after the 15th clue
  6. Anu from Le petit monde d’Anu – guessed after the 15th clue

congratulations, ladies! :)

- – -

now onto the explanation to the clues, I’m sure many of you are waiting for this ;)

  • 1st clue: the enigma piece.. could depict a scene from a successful animated film. - well, being this a forest that has been covered with snow and ice it could depict a scene from Frozen ;)
  • 2nd clue: the enigma piece.. I’m stitching has tones that are not exactly the called for, so when you see it you might not recognise it at first glance, but not to worry – one thing always looks the same. - what always looks the same no matter what thread you’re using for it? snow! snow is always white! :) and this design is insanely covered with snow!
  • 3rd clue: the enigma piece.. shows many sides, but the place is the same. - of course the forest is the same, but it’s divided into scenes that show many sides of it, and squares that also have many sides.. ;)
  • 4th clue: the enigma piece.. has many French-knotted eyes. - ’cause in the Forest there are woodland creatures and snowpeople, all looking at us
  • 5th clue: picture of a blank, greyish linen. ok, not very helpful, I agree ;)
  • 6th clue: the enigma piece.. will make me really happy, hanging on my wall – but not all year round. - by this we get it’s seasonal stitching, but which season? ;)
  • 7th clue: the enigma piece.. is fairly good measured, especially on a higher count. - now, this was meant to add to the “many sides” and suggest you we’re not talking about a small/ornament. it’s something you want to stitch on a higher count in order to save wall-space (Frosty Forest’s total stitch count is 199 x 199)
  • 8th clue: the enigma piece.. is in a way an enigma to us all. - now, this is when we hit big stuff! “is an enigma to us all” suggests it’s a mystery design that is currently being released – how many seasonal pieces are going on right now that have one distinctive colour? ;)
  • 9th clue: this close up of FF’s second part, Snowy Deers

stitch enigma '14 - 9th clue

stitch enigma '14 - 9th clue revealed

  • 10th clue: the enigma piece.. repeats itself twice or more, depends on what you look at. – another big clue in my mind: FF repeats itself in many ways; there are two similar cottages and two cabins, 5 scenes showing woodland creatures/scenarios, all in all 9 squares with the same, repetitive stitch count and border ;) also, by reading the single chart’s names you get the feeling of pairs (“repeats itself twice”): Snowman’s Cottage and Snowgirl’s Cottage, Snowy Deer and Snowy Reindeer, Raccoon Cabin and Bluebird Cabin, Snowy Friends and Snowy Foxes.
  • 11th clue: the enigma piece.. was designed by what Italians call “figlio d’arte”. - this required a bit of googling but it was pretty easy to learn that “son/daughter of art” is someone who works in the same area as one of their parents, in this case Country Cottage Needleworks’ designer Nikki is the daughter of Diane of Little House Needleworks :)
  • 12th clue: this close up of FF’s third part, Snowman’s Cottage

stitch enigma '14 - 12th clue

stitch enigma '14 - 12th clue revealed

  • 13th clue: the enigma piece.. has been here the entire time. - well, this is supposed to hit you really hard once you notice it! :) in order to keep track of all my WIPs and SALs I decided to put icons on the right side of my blog, so that every time I feel like joining a new one I get a reminder of how many I still have going on. Frosty Forest is right there on the right, and “has been there the entire time” hahahaha!! :D
  • 14th clue: another close up of FF’s third part, Snowman’s Cottage

stitch enigma '14 - 14th clue

stitch enigma '14 - 14th clue revealed

  • 15th clue: this close up of FF’s first part, Raccoon Cabin showing a raccoon, and a cabin! ;)

stitch enigma '14 - 15th clue

Frosty Forest part 1, Raccoon Cabin

Frosty Forest part 1, Raccoon Cabin

- – -

I really hope you enjoyed the game, I promise I won’t raise the bar the next time (ok, Jo! :D )I had a great time reading all your comments, I’ll have my sis pick a name from the bowl of destiny t0day and announce the winner of the other prize pack. good luck everybody! :)

BaBa 6/14

you had troubles guessing the enigma piece? why didn’t you ask me?! :D

have a nice day and many happy xxx,

chiara & BaBa

stitch enigma: the fifteenth and last clue

a list of all the rules, deadlinesprizes and questions can be found in this post, please read it through if you haven’t already. now onto the next clue, good luck everybody! :)

- – -

15th clue:

stitch enigma '14 - 15th clue

- – -

for the previous clues, just scroll down and read the previous posts.  :)

remember: you can write your guess after every clue (i.e. in every post), but in order to participate in the final drawing for the second winner you need to add a comment in THE FIRST POST ONLY. you don’t have to hazard a guess if you don’t want to, just write me something and I’ll enter your name in the bowl of destiny once the last clue gets posted. the first one who solved the enigma guessing correctly the name of the design I’m working on, and its designer, is our geeky friend Heather over at It’s geek to me, well done! :D

- – -

I really hope you had fun and enjoyed this longer, maybe trickier game. :)

have a nice day,