under maintenance

After many years using the same blog theme, and with a special reoccurrence getting nearer and nearer 🎂 I thought I ought to take the chance to do a bit of spring sweeping and change up things here and there.

In the meantime you’ll see widgets move around a little, colour changes, clicks and links that might not work, .. that kind of stuff. Bear with me as I cannot spend too many hours to deal with this in one go, but I would say it’s presentable already. 😉

Sorry for any inconvenience, ciao!

Chiara

THE ALPHABET CLUB link-up post – I –

Hello! Hello! Welcome back to THE ALPHABET CLUB!

– – –

The Alphabet Club

this is an automatic link-up post: here you can add your link to this month’s post for letter I (or whatever your alphabet inspired you to feature) and keep up with everyone joining the Club. remember to paste the link to the actual post, not to the generic homepage of your blog.

how do I add my link? in order to add your link you need to use the blue the link-up  button you find just after this paragraph. it’s the only free way I found that would work on WordPress, but it does work quite nicely once you learn how to use it: simply click on it once, you’ll be redirected to the link-up page provided by inlinkz that I created for this month’s letter/detention.

I just added my entry for this month’s detention successfully (YAY!), what do I do now? you can leave a comment here saying you did so, I’ll definitely check from time to time to keep up with everyone’s contributions, but I’m sure other people would like to stay up to date, and leaving a comment is a good way to let them know new stuff came in😉

where do I find other people’s links so that I can read their posts? just click on the blue link-up button. the link-up page provided by inlinkz that I created for this month’s letter/detention will list all the entries as they are added by the respective writer.

how much time do I have before the link-up expires? because this is a free tool, I cannot keep entries open indefinitely. this link-up page will stop working in 33 days from now, just before a new one opens for the following letter. this is how it will work for as long as TAC lasts. this doesn’t mean that next month nobody will be able to find our links and read our blog posts  it only means that nobody will be able to ADD their own links to a previous detention once a new detention starts.

I discovered TAC later on and would like to add a post for previous letters but their link-up expired, can I still do that? of course! that is so cool! thank you! 😊 just add each link to the current detention link-up post naming them after the letter; or simply write everything down in one blog post and link that up saying it’s a “catch-up post” 😉

you’ll see this post automatically repeat itself every month but the blue button will take you to the new link-up page 😊

you will also find these link-up posts listed in TAC’s main page together with all the info about it.

of course should you have any problems with inlinkz, just let me know using the contact form you find in my blog: write me all the info and I’ll try to fix it for you.

– – – 

Thank you so much for joining TAC and posting such wonderful entries!

I’ll be with you soon, ciao!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Chiara

2nd rundown post (bimonthly update on finishes)

We’ve reached the end of the month and with that I ought to deliver my bi-monthly report on stitching. Needless to say I got close to no stitching time, so all remained in the wishful-thinking department; that being said, I did get three finishes and an unexpected restart on an ancient WIP some of you might remember.

I worked on my Hallowe’en Town and almost got to the end of it, then the bad weather/poor indoor light played a nasty trick on me in terms of colour choices and I felt the urgency to put this guy aside for a while. All my brain could think of was: “I’ve got 5-10 minutes to stitch per day, and all I’m doing is pick up colours, start, then frog everything the following day because I couldn’t make out 💩 .. basically I’m wasting those few precious moments instead of focusing on a project that envolves brainless stitching” 😉 ! Don’t get me wrong, no stitching is truly brainless, but we must agree on following the chart pedissequently to be a much more straightforward approach to a WIP.

So I picked up the one WIP I had for which I didn’t have to make colour choices, and had a whale of a time! 😅

Ladies and gentlemen, here is Chubby Taras! 😀💐😺

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

The plethora of backstitching was surprisingly quick, I think one good afternoon of work sufficed, and I’m awfully pleased with the level of detail even on such a high count – I was afraid that my choice of 40ct. would mean a very busy look for this design, but to me it turned out just fine. 😍

After this finish I felt the need to stick to this kind of needlework for a little longer, so I browsed my WIP/KUPorn list and found the only DMC project in there that I was going to stitch according to instructions. In fact I had already started it way way back in 2011 on the prescribed Aida, but since 2-ply stitching and Aida are n0 longer an option in this house, I bought a piece of regular Zweigart linen and had a pretty good start (or should I say re-start). 😝

WIP - Joan Elliott - Tree of life

I’m stitching this on 40ct. cream linen (code 222) using all the called for DMC 1 over 2. The design is called Tree of Life by Joan Elliott, it was released in Cross Stitch Gold #76 – easily the very first UK magazine I ever bought (especially for this project) – but since then Joan told me she emailed it as a PDF to many happy customers contacting her through her website. After I wrote her about it she put it up in the chartpack form as well, so if you’re interested in it, that’s a very easy way to find it.

I’m happy to report that those patterns (PDFs or printed charts from Joan’s) won’t have the same inconsistencies I spotted in the chart published by CSG, the main reason why I contacted her, even though they are quite minor details – and that’s the beauty of repetitive borders, one doesn’t have to take you by the hand through the entire thing because they are 😜 repetitive.

This is an updated shot of its current state; it’s a thrilling piece, with lots of small items and characters that can be finished as you go (perfect for instant gratification) and the colour palette suits all the animals perfectly without requiring a world of threads.

WIP - Joan Elliott - Tree of life

Last but not least, I said I would keep up with Abi‘s Season SAL from the Stitch Specialist Yahoo group and I (almost) did. 😊 With part 2 she added the words, butterflies, bees, blubells, .. I haven’t had the time to add the bluebells but I wanted to get this post out today (and there’s still a bit of time before the actual end of the month 😉 )

WIP - Bee's Needleworks - Seasons Sampler - part 2

I’m stitching this on 36ct. linen with my own choice of threads (both cotton and silk) all hand dyed by Nina. I’m working on the palette as I go, and I’m fairly sure I’ll change most of the colours as seasons go by, but for now I’m happy to work on a spring-themed design in spring. 😝

Early in March I was in the mood for hoop stitching, so picked up this little monogram I started one afternoon last year and gave it the few hours it deserved to finish. Again, all Nina’s Threads (cotton and silk) on one of her 40ct. linens; the monogram is taken from this INSANELY GIGANTIC sampler by Gigi R. & Carinne called Marquoir Abc ancien bleu & rouge “BRODER ENSEMBLE”, it’s a free pattern they released a few years ago and such a masterpiece of French delightfulness!

"C" monogram

Also while in hoop-stitching mode I finished another stamp in the Pen Pals series:

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Pen Pals

– – –

Here’s the recp of the projects I planned to work on from March through April:

  • finish Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • frame 11, Little Women 📖
    • frame 12, A Christmas Carol 👻🎄
    • bonus frame 13, The Great Gatsby 💰
  • fully finish the following smalls by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • All Hallows’ Eve
    • The Bee Keeper
    • Legendary Friends
    • Cozy Gingerbread Snow Globe
  • finish The Mysterious Hallowe’en Town by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  • fully finish the following projects by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • A Very Merry Christmas Town ☃
    • Christmas on Gingerbread Lane 🎅🏻
    • The Mysterious Hallowe’en Town 🎃
  • finish Holly & Hearts by Lizzie*Kate ❤️
  • finish Cute Kitty by Margaret Sherry 🐱 ☑️
  • work on Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks
  • work on Once Upon a Time by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  • work on the Pen Pals series by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ☑️
  • start and finish part 1 and 2 of the Seasons Sampler SAL by Abi Gurden/Bee’s Needleworks 🌺 ☑️

extras:

  • “C” monogram from Manquoir Complet by GiGi R. & Carinne ☑️ (a WIPorn piece I got to finish because I was in the mood for hoop stitching)
  • Tree of Life by Joan Elliott (had a good re-start on this WIPorn oldie)

– – –

If I’m lucky enough between May and June I’ll only manage to finish the tree and perhaps one of my FPS pieces .. we’ll see! 😁

I hope life is treating you well, I’ve been having the crappiest time recently, with more tooth drama (EXTRACXTIONS! 😱), so I for one can’t wait to see the end fo this slippery slope and finally cheer up in the sunlit days. Take care! Ciao! 

Chiara

watching chubby Taras grow

So far this year I’ve been busy working on many Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery projects (no change from 2015 here 😀), but after months and months of selecting colours, waiting for good daylight to do so, using the right length & variegation, etc. I felt the need to transition to some easy breezy solid stitching for a while.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love had dyed needlework madly, but one can have too much even of the best things (read too much chocolate during the Easter holidays) 😜.

It wasn’t hard to choose a project involving solid DMCs from my list (after all, that’s the upside of having a WIP/KUP for every kind of stitching/season/etc. 😉), so I put Cute Kitty back on my frame and had a real good time with it.

A little recap for those of you who were not around a year ago when I started this, or for those who forgot (and that’s only fair considering how much I have going on at all times!).

I started this piece last May after spotting it finished by another stitcher, Carla Eldridge, who posted a picture of her finish during one of Jo‘s blog hops. It reminded me immediately of my cat, Taras, but with a much wider waistline 😜, so I renamed the project Chubby Taras but its actually name is Cute Kitty and it was designed by Margaret Sherry for the magazine The World of Cross Stitching issue #188.

Once I saw Carla’s stitching I hunted it down straight away and I was lucky enough to find a local shop that still had this issue in stock, so I grabbed it together with the two DMC threads I was missing (there’s always that odd skein one has to buy no matter how giant the stash, uh?), a piece of plain Zweigart linen – and off I was! 😀

I worked on it as far as completing the cat and started on the flower bunch (a miserable length of green, nothing more really), and then I got distracted by some other piece and let  this darling one linger on the dowels for almost a year.

Well, enough is enough, so with further ado here is a collection of work in progress shots I kept after each day of stitching so that you can watch it grow 😊; it seems rather silly now that I’m almost done with it to show the entire progress series, but let’s be honest, for some crazy reason stitchers love watching progress shots! 😀

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

This last one was taken yesterday, with any luck I’ll be done with the actual stitching by tomorrow (a bunch of daisies and white on white ahead, but I have series 5 of Downton Abbey to keep me company!) and then I’ll finally be able to start on the backstitching, which as anyone familiar with Margaret Sherry designs knows, is A LOT. That being said, I should be able to cross this one off the list by the end of the week, just in time for a WIPorn re-start that has been sitting there for about 6 years, imagine that! 😀

I forgot to mention in the recap, this is Cute Kitty exactly as Margaret Sherry charted it: same DMC colours, same fabric colour, no change in stitch types, placements, etc. – the only liberty I took was to use a high count of linen (40ct., as usual) instead of the big holes they usually go for in magazines. I find it looks even cuter and much more detailed this way; once I took the magazine out to check on a few things, I noticed that the picture on the cover wasn’t even half as cute as the WIP I had in front of me – but then again that’s another weird thing about needlework: the model on the cover hardly ever does justice to the actual stitching. 😱

– – –

I hope you had a lovely Easter weekend! See you soon!

Lots of love and happy xxx,

Chiara

THE ALPHABET CLUB link-up post – H –

Spring’s here! Welcome back to THE ALPHABET CLUB!

– – –

The Alphabet Club

this is an automatic link-up post: here you can add your link to this month’s post for letter H (or whatever your alphabet inspired you to feature) and keep up with everyone joining the Club. remember to paste the link to the actual post, not to the generic homepage of your blog.

how do I add my link? in order to add your link you need to use the blue the link-up  button you find just after this paragraph. it’s the only free way I found that would work on WordPress, but it does work quite nicely once you learn how to use it: simply click on it once, you’ll be redirected to the link-up page provided by inlinkz that I created for this month’s letter/detention.

I just added my entry for this month’s detention successfully (YAY!), what do I do now? you can leave a comment here saying you did so, I’ll definitely check from time to time to keep up with everyone’s contributions, but I’m sure other people would like to stay up to date, and leaving a comment is a good way to let them know new stuff came in😉

where do I find other people’s links so that I can read their posts? just click on the blue link-up button. the link-up page provided by inlinkz that I created for this month’s letter/detention will list all the entries as they are added by the respective writer.

how much time do I have before the link-up expires? because this is a free tool, I cannot keep entries open indefinitely. this link-up page will stop working in 33 days from now, just before a new one opens for the following letter. this is how it will work for as long as TAC lasts. this doesn’t mean that next month nobody will be able to find our links and read our blog posts  it only means that nobody will be able to ADD their own links to a previous detention once a new detention starts.

I discovered TAC later on and would like to add a post for previous letters but their link-up expired, can I still do that? of course! that is so cool! thank you! 😊 just add each link to the current detention link-up post naming them after the letter; or simply write everything down in one blog post and link that up saying it’s a “catch-up post” 😉

you’ll see this post automatically repeat itself every month but the blue button will take you to the new link-up page 😊

you will also find these link-up posts listed in TAC’s main page together with all the info about it.

of course should you have any problems with inlinkz, just let me know using the contact form you find in my blog: write me all the info and I’ll try to fix it for you.

– – – 

I’m very sorry for the delay, I was about to schedule this post the other day, right after updating the blog, at which point I must have thought I had actually scheduled it because I crossed it off the list when in fact I hadn’t. Forgive me, I feel like I’m nowhere these days!

Thank you so much for joining TAC and posting such wonderful entries!

I’ll be with you soon, ciao!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Chiara

1st rundown post (bimonthly update on -no- finishes)

 

In order to work on these rundown posts bit by bit, as the months go by, I am starting this post at the beginning of January and updating the draft until the end of February – this way I don’t have to wait for an hour of quiet time (HA! a mirage!) to write things properly.

– – –

The projects I decided to work on during January and February were:

  • finish Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • frame 11, Little Women 📖
    • frame 12, A Christmas Carol 👻🎄
    • bonus frame 13, The Great Gatsby 💰
  • fully finish the following smalls by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • All Hallows’ Eve
    • The Bee Keeper
    • Legendary Friends
    • Cozy Gingerbread Snow Globe
  • start and finish The Mysterious Hallowe’en Town by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  • stitch clue 4 of A Very Merry Christmas Town by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ☑️ YES! 🎉👻 finished on January 8th
  • stitch part 4 of Christmas on Gingerbread Lane by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery ☑️ YES! 🎉👻 finished on January 3rd
  • fully finish the following projects by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • A Very Merry Christmas Town
    • Christmas on Gingerbread Lane
    • The Mysterious Hallowe’en Town
  • work on the Cindermice Stitch Along by What Delilah Did
  • finish Holly & Hearts by Lizzie*Kate
  • finish Cute Kitty by Margaret Sherry
  • work on Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks
  • work on ’14 and ’15 Advent Band Sampler by iStitch Designs

– – –

Anyone guessed what happened after the first week of January? ZERO stitching time!! BOOO!! I think I stitched a total of 3 hours in two months after that week so seriously, I’m just going to pretend my stitching year starts today..! 😬

I did have a KUPorn start back in January because it was already on the same dowels I used for my other two finishes, so it made no sense to take it off, fully finish the two, then put it back on, stitch, take it off, and fully finish it (especially if you consider they’re all matching projects with the same theme, same measurements, same finish plan).

Anyway, if my newfound stitching mojo holds on I might have it finished by the end of the week, in the meantime here’s the recap for my March/April goals:

  • finish Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • frame 11, Little Women 📖
    • frame 12, A Christmas Carol 👻🎄
    • bonus frame 13, The Great Gatsby 💰
  • fully finish the following smalls by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • All Hallows’ Eve
    • The Bee Keeper
    • Legendary Friends
    • Cozy Gingerbread Snow Globe
  • finish The Mysterious Hallowe’en Town by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  • fully finish the following projects by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery:
    • A Very Merry Christmas Town ☃
    • Christmas on Gingerbread Lane 🎅🏻
    • The Mysterious Hallowe’en Town 🎃
  • finish Holly & Hearts by Lizzie*Kate ❤️
  • finish Cute Kitty by Margaret Sherry 🐱
  • work on Frosty Forest by Country Cottage Needleworks
  • work on Once Upon a Time by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  • work on the Pen Pals series by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery
  • start and finish part 1 of the Seasons Sampler SAL by Abi Gurden/Bee’s Needleworks 🌺

– – –

This one is a new start I didn’t mean to add to the bunch but I REALLY miss Speciality Stitches, I feel like I haven’t done any in more than a year (GOODNESS!) and this little thing happens to be the tiniest sampler featuring said stitches that I could get my hands in a jiffy: it measures only 9 cm in its width and 40 cm in its height, I had all I needed in my stash and a free set of small dowels – plus it’s a SAL with truly small parts, so I ought to be able to get a quick Speciality Stitch fix every month for about a day or two and then (hopefully) power through all the regular crosses I still have to tackle before I can enjoy a proper KUPorn Start. Makes perfect sense to me! 😀

[edit at 15:12 – part 1 of Spring was even faster than I expected, once I saw it and happened to have an hour to steal before lunch I decided to give it a go and BANG! finished! 😀 see you in April, lil’ one!]

Bee's Needleworks - Seasons Sampler - part 1

– – –

So here it is, a quick dull recap of what I have (-n’t) been up to 😳

I hope you’re doing well and that you’re stitching for me too! 😂

ciao!

Chiara

TAC: letter G

Now we all know I’ve been ghastly at this, and because time-wise the situation is not showing any sign of improvement, I’ve decided to do this as simply as I can and hopefully expand and catch up on bygone months as soon as my schedule allows me to. When life gives you lemons.. you write shitty TAC posts.

– – –

The letter G in Italian has two possible sounds:

  1. a sweet sound expressed by the phonetic sign [ʤ]
  2. and a hard sound, [g]

it is then used in combination with other letters to form digraphs and trigraphs such as “ghi“, “gi“, “gli” ([ʎ]), “gn” ([ɲ]), etc. Boring? Not so much really, because now you see why there’s no J in the Italian language: there’s no need for it as the same sound is being covered by combinations of other letters.

A few examples to make this stiffness much more useful in real life:

  1. la giacca –> the jacket; una giacca –> a jacket
  2. il gatto –> the cat; un gatto –> a cat

I added definite (il, la) & indefinite (un, una) articles because EVERY word in Italian comes with a gender and a number – we don’t go as far as inflecting the casus as they do in Germany, but you can’t escape the feminine or masculine? one or many? dilemma. 😜

Simply put, this means that the word “gatto” already tells you that I’m talking about one cat (it’s singular) and that the cat in question is a male (the word ends with -o). So you see, on one hand it seems like a lot to learn, but on the other there’s less room for misunderstanding and the anonymisation of pets and things. 😀

Had the cat in question been a she, “gatta“. Had they been more than 1 female, “gatte“. Males or a mixed group, “gatti“.

This applies to most words, so now you already know that when you order ONE it’s un panino, when you want >1 it’s panini. If it’s one it’s una zucchina, and when it’s more it’s zucchine. Una pizza, more pizze. 🙌🏻

ì++++++++  <– and this is what Mr. T. had to say on the subject – very poignant. 😀

– – –

Do you have some stitching to go with this pro-grammatic lesson of yours? We start to miss your absence of TAC posts..

I sure do!

🤓 This is a very old snap of a gatto:

WIP - Margaret Sherry - Cute Kitty

and here is a much more recent gufo:

TAC: G, gufo

from the insanely adorable animal, comes the verb gufare which means to bring bad luck to someone by saying stuff like “oh you’re going to win that match with our eyes closed!” “it’s too easy to miss!” “even a baby in his sleep could do that, come on! we’ve got victory in our pockets!” or the opposite “you’re never going to make it” “that is so out of your league, you should have given up yesterday“, etc.

Wait, I’ve got a shot of a (minuscule) giacca too!

TAC: G, giacca

Appendix: other interesting words starting with G:

  • il/un giovanotto –> youngster
  • girotondo –> Ring a Ring o’Roses, which is a dash less cruent in Italian (no hints at death and plagues and flowers on your grave) 😛
  • giro –> turn, spin, etc. for example “andiamo a fare un giro” –> let’s go for a ride
  • and something that is rotondo had a round shape
  • girasole –> sunflower
  • ghiro –> dormouse
  • ghiaccio –> ice
  • giullare –> jester
  • giallo –> yellow
  • grigio –> grey
  • la/una ghirlanda –> wreath
  • Giulietta –> Juliet. This name drives from the name Giulia + the suffix –etta, which turns whatever you stick it to into an endearment, e.g. a bunny is a coniglio; a sweet little bunny is a coniglietto 

– – –

So that’s it for this month, I’m sorry I’ve been a bit of a ghost lately but between everything and the dentista.. yes. Lots of that happened! 😟 🤕

Lots of love and happy stitching!

Chiara