ALTROVE – TAC: letter A – part 1

yes, there will be parts, folks. that’s how much stuff I have in store for you. 😄 like I already said, this is very likely going to be the richest post I’ll ever write: too much attesa (await) and anticipazione (anticipation), too many ideas, very little time.

– – –

this introduction is going to be lots of fun: it’s a word (altrove) and title for a song – and a beautiful one too. the kind of sad, moving, heartfelt songwriter’s song that has you all teared up for no reason after just a few notes.

Morgan - Altrove

you can listen to it here from Morgan’s official YouTube account (where you’ll be able to watch the video they filmed in Milano) or look it up on Apple Music. and now i miei abbondanti appunti autografati (my abundant, autographed notes) on the lyrics for ALTROVE with Italian, Latin, Ancient Greek bits here and there. enjoy. 😊

Altrove page 1

Altrove page 2

sometimes you’ll find that what I wrote under the lyrics’ lines isn’t always the entire sentence translated in a pleasant or correct form: I reckon it’s much more useful to give you the closest translation to each word so that you know what each word means, and then you can put two and two together in your head, and find a nice and proper way to translate what the song says in your own language.

– – –

see you soon for the rest of my TAC post for letter A, there’ll be A LOT more, I promise! 😄

chiara

THE ALPHABET CLUB link-up post – A –

hello hello! and welcome!!

THE ALPHABET CLUB has finally started!

– – –

The Alphabet Club

this is an automatic link-up post: here you can add your link to this month’s post for letter A (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 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.

– – –

unfortunately I cannot post my own entry today – I know, I know.. she’s late for her own party.. but I assure you there’s a perfectly acceptable reason, hold on for just a little longer 😊 we’re talking finishes here, plural! 😜

I can’t wait to read your posts! thank you so much for joining THE ALPHABET CLUB! enjoy the weekend!

chiara

GiGi, TUSAL, IHSW, 3 finishes, happy mail, a year with the Pumpkins [sit down: a lot of updates]

first of all I would like to thank you all for the sweet and understanding words regarding my previous post; despite the usual exceptions, I am sure the majority of my readers do care about me and my point of view. I wish there was an easy fix to this, but for the time being, I can’t think of anything more effective than no good shots of my needlework that isn’t stitched as charted. it sucks but I couldn’t figure out a better way to send the “not cool” message.

– – –

speaking of updates I’ll try to keep this short and concise as there’re A LOT. sit down and relax. :)

  • first of all, I have my TUSAL update to show you, it’s still benefitting from the recycled Super Mario yoghurt vases ;)

TUSAL 7/15

some DMC and a lot of hand dyed galore from Nina I used on what you’ll half-see later on.

  • GiGi SAL update (just like TUSAL, if you don’t know what these are there are handy links and widgets on the right sidebar of this blog, just scroll down until you spot the HAVING FUN WITH section) :)

now, did I ever tell you why I type GiGi instead of GG? it’s due to the typing shortcuts I created on my devices. every time I want to tell someone I’ll be right there I just type “BRT”: it immediately translates the acronym into the sentence, and it also adds the handy note if I’m not there in 5 minutes, read this again. :D

same goes for WTF, the 🖖 Vulcan salute emoji you should be able to see between “the” and “Vulcan”, and lastly GG – which becomes “GOODNESS GRACIOUS!” with just a tap on the space bar. so you see, if I was to type GG, add a space and always have to delete/edit/etc. I would lose my mind. the moment I first typed GG SAL and realised the overlap, I renamed it GiGi in my mind ;)

now, what to feature for GiGi this month? of dear, there is just too much. take a look:

gifts from Jo

very happy mail day last week!

our Jo who can’t think of a clever nickname did think of a pretty clever gift for me, I am still head over heels about it ❤️

there was a beautiful “A Very Merry Unbirthday” card that doubles as a bookmark with Tenniel’s artwork from Alice in Wonderland, a super funny butterfly that jumped and flew out of the card (you should have seen my face and my HA! when that happened) and this:

gifts from Jo

it’s an alphabetical journal where you can take notes of things in your life starting from A to Z. Jo added super duper notes to certain pages and I’ll show you some of mine during TAC. it’s so perfect I can’t even speak about it.

gifts from Jo

guess which page I randomly opened it at the first time? right, LEGOs! :D

that very day I also got these in the mail: the first two instalments of A Bucolic Dream, L’Atelier Perdu Stitch Me Club for 2015:

L'Atelier Perdu - Stitch Me Club '15

I still don’t know when I’ll start it because I lacked mind clarity during the weekend and hence haven’t decided on which linen to use. decisions, decisions.. :)

stash 7/15

another scrumptious package was Attic Needlework’s order, which got here that same week: lots of Blackbird Designs & Shepherd’s Bush. what a Christmas in July! :D

wait, did you just say hey, but this is stuff you bought, not gifts? yeah, technically you’re right. I just thought of squeezing in all the happy mail here, let me move on with the GiGi update ;)

remember I usually celebrate my blogaversary by gifting myself a new pair of scissors? ;) well, this year I hadn’t bough one yet, so I took that chance with my latest Frosted Pumpkin purchase (which also coincided with my very first snail mail order from them) and bought a new pair of Bohin scissors. now, if you thought I wouldn’t make two kawaii scissor fobs for both the pair of scissors I gifted myself and the one I received as a gift from my dear FMIL Terry last Christmas, you were wrong. you were so very wrong. :D

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Strawberry Froyo Party

finishing my fobs made even more fun thanks to some great music ;)

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Strawberry Froyo Party

you’ll have to squint your eyes, but see those small fobs still in the making? they fit a DMC floss storage box cell perfectly. that’s how tiny they are :)

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Strawberry Froyo Party

another reason why these babies fit into GiGi? oh, I used DMC thread for the finishing, and that’s thread my grandmother gifted me years ago :)

I also added MY OWN signature at the bottom of each, and a date. July 2015. it’s not just the date I finished these two, it’s also the anniversary of my very first finish on a Frosted Pumpkin project :D 🎉🎃🎉🎃

that’s right, exactly one year ago I started (& finished) my very first TFPS piece (not the first one I bought; the first one I actually started :D ), and on this very same linen I used for the Strawberry Froyo Party fobs. long time readers might remember what I’m talking about. I reckon I could try and squeeze a finish-finish on that one before the end of the month to celebrate a year with the Pumpkins, it all depends on this African heat weave we’re having. it’s driving me mad.

now why don’t we add happy mail to TFPS and get what happened this morning? :D

stash 7/15 The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

remember I said I ordered those Bohin scissors from California? well, they arrived! :D and together with them was a lovely wooden needle minder by A Needle Runs Through It featuring the Pumpkin’s trademark: Sugarloaf & Jack, a thread card Ashleigh designed especially for the new Club (A Very Merry Christmas Town), and the super duper notion case Chicken Boots USA made with Pumpkin fabric, which went sold out only mere minutes after going on sale. [got to love being one of those organised stitchers with their handy dandy tech gadgets that let them get their stuff in time :D ]

stash 7/15 The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

now there’s one more update on the FP front, it’s my progress on Story Time Sampler with this month’s frame: The Lady of Shallot. can you see her? can you see which colours I used for her? what Speciality Stitches? no? good.

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Story Time Sampler

what you can see are some of the English LIT books I studied on: The Golden String comes from my high school days, I checked it and the cursed lady wasn’t in it :( on the right is Andrew Sander‘s volume I got when taking English LIT at the university.

I know, very craptastic shots. let me make it up to you with some Taras gorgeousness: these are kitty pictures :D

Taras

look at those faces! :D

and this is last week :D

Taras 7/15

– – –

last but not least, there’s one more gift I want to mention for GiGi: it’s Chase’s first freebie in his new designing adventure called Stitchory.

it’s stitch + history = every pattern is an experience through history and needlework, and the first one is a delightful square based on the Aztecs‘ love for precious gems and the colour turquoise. you can find it in the Files section of the Facebook Group he opened called “Stitchory” :)

I’ll gather my supplies and hopefully start it during August, it’s a great piece for TAC too: Aztecs, August, Ancient, .. :)

– – –

I’m afraid my hermitting report is not worthy of a snap: between my snap, the heat and the time it took me to get back to stitching with pleasure I didn’t get much done. I think with TAC starting next week we’ll see each other then.. and get ready. it’s going to be an INSANE first post. :D

thank you for following the tail ❤️

happy xxx,

chiara

sharing and caring

this is a long post, and one I didn’t feel like writing today because I am not in the best mood to be at the same time objective and polite about it, but since it’s kind of ruining the happy hermitting I was having, here it is.

I have to let it out. I have to vent about it. I hope you understand I’m not trying to be rude: just honest and upfront, and crystal clear on a matter I have discussed many times before, apparently with no success. that’s why I am so very angry about it today and it’s going to get quite bitchy. you have been warned.

– – –

  • compliments: the greatest tribute one could pay to my stitching. 

I do love them and they fill my heart immensely. I compliment myself with everyone about anything when I see gorgeous work and ideas into action. I admire them greatly and think it’s wonderful we have a handy way to appreciate other people’s work through the internet and various social media.

I never took any compliment I received for granted, and they have always put a huge smile on my face. I thank you all so very much for reading my blog and looking at my updates on various media, I met such wonderful people and made such good friends through the online needlework world, I could never give up on it. it did burn me on several occasions lately, and that’s why you might want to stick to the end of this post to read the hard resolution I just made.

  • read and ask before you do: it’s great, kind, it brings us together, and it saves us all a whole lot of frustration.

whenever I see something (a thread, a fabric, a technique, an idea, a modification, etc.) I always try and track it down to its source. usually it’s all already written down right there, you just need to know where to look and take the time to read & investigate it.

if it’s a technique: a book or tutorial or post is usually already mentioned, what I do is I follow said links and should the need arise, perhaps contact the writer to ask for tips.

if it’s a project that I would like to add to my wishlist but there’s not an explanation, name & designer mentioned, I ask the person directly, it might be an original he/she is designing, it might be a mash up of several designs, it might be all sorts of things. everything creativity sparkles is allowed but I perfectly understand if someone doesn’t want their original work replicated and since I am in the position of not knowing what he/she’s working on I always like to ask before I upset someone.

if I see a thread I like and nothing about it is mentioned, again, I ask, but never in a million years I would dream of replicating an exact colour choice someone picked for a personal project without asking.

I put myself in their shoes: I do come up with colour choices for what I stitch, it takes time and care, and money and sweat, and trials and errors, I am fine with it. I like it. 

but to see someone recreate an exact copy of my project using the same colours in the same way or looking up the closest colour to my choice to make a clone? and not ask if it’s ok with me? no. I don’t like it.

I used to be fine with it but I changed my mind over time because of several events that occurred, including seeing my colour choices being used & sold by designers. I am stitching for my own pleasure and nobody should profit from it, not me, not anyone else. I don’t like it and I said it many times before on several occasions.

if I used a thread you like a lot, great, buy it. it’s there, it’s a great thread, I’m over the moon I made you come across something you might like as much as I do.

I’m not calling dibs on any thread brand or combination. what I am saying is: you like the way I used something? you like my idea? respect it. ask me. don’t sell it. don’t copy it to the T. use it to fuel YOUR OWN creativity into something else, there are millions of projects, do you really feel the need to recreate one that is a clone to mine? why don’t you make it YOUR OWN? it’ll be so much more rewarding, you just have to try it. perhaps with time you’ll find out you think the same way I do about what you came up with all by yourself.

same goes for a fabric, a modification, an idea. let me explain myself a bit better:

  • modifications. 

I have always modified to a certain degree what I stitch, sometimes intensely, sometimes I just put French knots instead of cross stitches. what can I say? I like French knots. shoot me.

am I alright in seeing that other people had the same idea I had? sure! that is great and a lot of times needleworkers’ minds happen to think alike, it’s fantastic when it happens!

do I hunt for ideas online for a piece I’m working on? I have browsed WIP updates for fabric choices, it’s good to know what happens to a Chatelaine if you start it on black fabric BEFORE actually starting it.

have I looked for Speciality Stitches and modifications for my WIPs? no. those are moments and lightbulbs that light up on their own while I’m stitching. I am very jealous of the things I conjure up in those moments and I always said I preferred them to remain my own to anyone who asked.

again, there are several reasons for this, today the “I came up with this” issue is bothering me so much I’m focusing on it alone, but there are many other technical aspects involved in this, and they cannot be solved.

I don’t design. I don’t sell what I do. I just alter a few bits here and there and make the project I’m working my own. and that’s what it is: MY OWN PROJECT. I don’t like seeing a clone of it, I really don’t. it’s my own personal opinion on the matter and I reckon it should be respected. 

there are many other ideas out there from people who don’t mind, look for those and leave mine to me. I’ll say it again, I’m not trying to be rude. I really am not. the thing is it happened: after I asked several times not to, and never posted HQ close ups that might induce people into thinking I wanted them to grab what I did, it did happen.

I found online the handwriting I charted all my myself, for my own personal use, taken and stitched bit after bit in someone else’s project.

people kindly asked me to use it, and I was very flattered but said no: it’s my handwriting. it belongs to me. it’s personal. it’s a part of me that says with me.

people kindly asked me to buy it, and I was very flattered but said no: it’s my handwriting. it belongs to me. it’s personal. it’s a part of me that says with me. if I’ll ever venture into designing I will decide whether to use it and sell it or not, but for the time being it’s mine and nobody should use photographs to re-chart it, it’s obviously without my consent and I am not happy with it. at all.

there is a degree and (not so fine) line between inspiration and cloning. I like the first, not the second. let me see if I can be more clear about this.

I came up with stitching my February’s month for Once Upon A Time according to Disney’s The Princess and the Frog. I stitched a kawaii Tiana and Ray. I watched the film, put it on hold, drew all I needed by hand onto graph paper, and turned it into a pattern. I stitched it and while I was doing it I altered it to make it look better. I never charted alterations and changes made in the stitching phase: I don’t need to. it’s on my project now, I don’t plan on using it again. it’s there and it’s done. I would have thrown the graph paper away if it wasn’t the exact same working copy I am using for my OUAT: it’s on my actual copy of the chart. I couldn’t share it in any way, shape or form even if I wanted to.

then I searched for a stitch that looked like a star to make Evangeline. did I call dibs on that? never. I even mentioned & linked where I learnt it from!

do I put dibs on stitching a Ray or a Tiana? no, but THAT SPECIFIC Ray and THAT SPECIFIC Tiana is mine and I’m not sharing the pattern I made for them.

same goes for the Cheshire Cat in my Story Time Sampler, it took me days to get that one the way I wanted – I said it. it was a long process, I loved it, it’s on my piece, I want it there alone. I am not calling dibs on all modified Cheshire Cats on every STS: I am calling dibs on the way I stitched mine. did I see someone have a better idea than I had? sure! how about a vanishing Cheshire Cat? isn’t that even more genius? of course! did I frog mine to make mine look like that? NO! I like mine as it is because it’s mine. you see what I mean?

I know I might be coming across as a rude, bitchy stitcher but I am sorry, certain events happened and made me the way I am today. I had all sorts of things happen to what I do: I politely asked for credit, to have my name mentioned when something came from me, to have my own handwriting staying mine.. it all happened anyways. and this is why a kind, friendly stitcher that was always happy to help others turned into a big ball of anger. do you understand why I’m having a hard time not coming across as madly angry? it’s because I am now.

another example: A long time ago in the top banner for my Story Time Sampler. I don’t know of anyone who did that before I did, and I’m not calling dibs on it either. it’s a classic opening for all stories, anyone could have thought of using it. same goes for the end beneath: I added that because I needed a small banner to fix the monster slug I came across and so successfully fixed thanks to the suggestions of other stitchers here in my blog. did I plan on adding it anyways? yes. was I planning on doing the same for my Once Upon A Time instead of a name/date? yes. is other people rightfully free to do the same? OF COURSE!

this feels like spelling, it’s almost frustrating. I am not calling dibs on anything of the sort. I am calling dibs ON MY OWN HANDWRITING. am I being clear enough now?

stitch whatever you like on your banners, I even said it before: it’s a great idea if you ask me; if you like it, it’s also very easy to achieve, but USE YOUR OWN HANDWRITING. or the font that pattern came with. or the other 3486314657304034903 fonts out there!

why taking my own handwriting when I asked you not to? is that so hard to figure out I wasn’t going to be happy-go-lightly about it?

  • personal stuff: if I say the words “my own“ I usually mean I want something to stay my own. 

the colour palettes I come up with, the modifications, the stuff I chart for myself: I want them on my projects. am I that kind of snooty, arrogant, annoying stitcher to you? fine. I genuinely don’t care at this point. I am sorry my opinions on my own stuff don’t match with yours but that’s how it is.

I took the classes, I learnt the techniques from designers, I am not going to give them away for free now. since all I learnt is not super secret (they come with charts and everything, no big genius here; I didn’t crack the ENIGMA code: I made alterations to my needlework projects, folks!) I always quote and link to the source. do you want to learn that technique? be my guest, actually, be the designer/teacher’s guest. you’re going to have a great time with it and you’ll feel so happy when you succeed. I truly couldn’t be happier for you!

will I teach you the technique? no. I don’t have the skills, the experience, the knowledge, the time, the technical equipment to teach anything. I like to do my thing and if other people like it, wonderful! but I am not putting out stuff so that people can take it and use, for profit or not.

first of all once its out there you ever know if it’ll end up in the hands of someone who wants to profit from it (again, I’m speaking from experience so toss all the paranoia talk where it goes); secondly I don’t like to see clones of my projects. when years ago I used to give out thread choices and lists of modifications for stuff like Mary’s Sampler, it was for the sole purpose of documenting what I did on them: you have to remember this is MY OWN PRIVATE BLOG, and up until a few months ago I had only very close friends reading it and looking at what I do. never once before I saw something I had worked on taken by any of them. not even a designer that liked an idea/colour palette I had come up with actually used it. she told me she liked it even more than the original she designed, but she never changed it accordingly.

I don’t like my projects being stitched in the same way I did: I did show & tell friends I trusted what I was going to do on what I was working on, but that’s it. I never meant for my own creative drops to fall on anyone else’s WIP.

  • improper use of pictures.

I stopped uploading good shots of my WIPs some time ago. it makes it harder for infringers to use them to re-chart stuff they really ought to buy. apparently I wasn’t careful enough because if my own handwriting is on someone’s STS now, and I never shared it with anyone, or allowed anyone to take it and re-chart it from pictures.. well, let me be even more crystal clear on the topic: it is wrong to take something like this. I will not follow this up as I don’t have the time and means to do it, and honestly I reckon it’d be a gigantic waste of time I don0t have anyways, but one thing remains: it is wrong. and it caused a consequential choice that I found very hard to take, but apparently it is time to.

  • no more.

no more needlework updates on social media. no more IG and FB reports and updates. no more close up shots and montages. anything past an overall look at my progress from which nobody will be able to tell a thing apart from a Where’s Waldo “oh she stitched on that area there!”

I know it’s drastic, I know it’s something some of you will find extreme and mad. again, I don’t give one single fuck what you think about me. I have been crossed, I have a potty mouth, I am acting accordingly.

I did say it. I did write it. my blog address is on EVERY picture I post: it was very easy to go back to it, read a few posts and either contact me or get the feeling that with me it was better to ask before improperly using a picture and re-chart something from it.

it happened with someone that contacted me on social media several times before, she knew how to find me and she should have known it was better to ask first.

I am not going to name names, I did write personally and privately to this person and she didn’t answer me back. was it intended or not? I don’t know. and to be honest: now it’s out there. it happened, I don’t have the time and patience to see if anyone that saw it and liked it decided to take it as well.

you understand why this bothers me so much? there’s no way to stop it. once someone she knows sees it and wants it too, they’re going to have it even more easily: she can share the chart that she made using my picture, and anyone stitch it. it’s already out there. why nobody bothered to see if it was indeed a font from a book or MY OWN HANDWRITING? why didn’t they think of asking before liking and stitching?

it might be just a one-time-thing, she might read my message, read this post, understand, apologise and change it. but it might not. and even so, it is out there now. I don’t have any power on this anymore.

wait, did I hear a oh but if you didn’t want anyone to use what you did to your chart you shouldn’t have posted pictures online. once it’s out there, it’s free for the world to use and see!

let me stop you right there.

it is online ON MY OWN PERSONAL PROFILE/BLOG FOR PEOPLE WHO FOLLOW ME TO SEE IT, LIKE IT OR NOT LIKE IT. IT IS NOT OUT THERE FOR PEOPLE TO GRAB IT AND DO WHATEVER THEY WANT WITH IT.

again, something very similar happened already with a designer: I don’t want the stuff I come up with to be sold. I don’t want it anywhere else but on my pieces. I make it for my own pleasure. if I share a shot about it I do it to stay connected with other people working on the same project, this is proper use of content on social media. to stay connected and have merry stitch a longs!

I have seen a zillion of projects and updates on stuff I liked, stuff I wished I had thought of stitching in the same way, threads I wish I had known about because they would have been perfect for that one thing I worked on last year. did I go and change my projects to mimic someone else’s? NO.

and even when I recently used someone else’s modifications, I happened to change them back to something that was mine because they looked out of place. it’s their style, not mine. I love it, it was a great idea, but it looked out of place next to my own because it wasn’t mine. you see what I mean? making a project your own is a personal experience and a journey through who you are, what you like and how you like to do it.

if someone is not happy to share the results of that journey, it’s their right not to have it taken; and they don’t have to hide under a rock to prevent it. 

as a matter of fact there’ll still be shots of stuff I’m stitching. all I’m working on per-chart, the stuff I have that came as a kit, patterns I am stitching using the called for materials, etc. they are all going to stay.

however there won’t be pretty pictures & close ups of my Frosted Pumpkins projects, current or future. I am sorry but I see no other way to avoid this very unfortunate mess from happening ever again.

I am sorry I came out very angry and frustrated. it’s because I am very angry and frustrated. I do appreciate so much every single one that liked and asked and understood, and waited. I really didn’t mean to address this now or in this way, but I simply cannot go back to my stitching without venting about this first.

– – –

enjoy the hermitting, see you on Monday with a pretty dense update.

I happen to have gorgeous friends that made my fucking day with a bunch of insanely perfect gifts – and I have 3 finishes. one of which you won’t see.

have a good one,

chiara

not your classic home-alone summer adventure of the week

I just thought of breaking my hiatus for a quick update on something terrible and shocking that happened yesterday in the area where I live, the Riviera del Brenta.

Italy is not exactly a tornado-friendly country, but with the climate change (especially in the past few years) these extreme, one of a kind tragedies are piling up summer after summer, getting more and more dangerous, most of all because our homes are not built to blow up easily and harmlessly.

we have stone-hard brick walls, shingle rooftops, glass windows that shatter, very old trees right next to the house, gazebos, .. when these houses were built the plan was not hey, if a tornado comes we’ll pick up what’s left and get a new pre-made home installed – and nobody I know has a safe room underground to go hide and wait it out. these are things we used to see only in films, or watch on the telly when they sadly happen in the States.

well, yesterday afternoon I had just come home from the local chemist’s to pick up BaBa’s flea treatment, and I saw the sky had turned dark and violet, quite unusual at 4PM.

I checked the weather app and nothing stroke me as insanely ominous: just rain and high winds. well, in about 90 minutes it started hailing out of nowhere, no rain, no clouds: just balls of ice falling from the sky, scattered all around the garden.

summer '15

I closed all the windows and double glazing, rushed out to check on Pablita and put the vase I didn’t have time to wash in a safer corner of the house; I picked up the few plants I hadn’t had time to sow outdoors in the morning and took them in under the rain and the hail. I stopped under the gazebo where I spotted Pablita to take a look at the sky: the clouds were chasing each other like in fast forward, the air was ice cold and the winds were blowing fiercely, pushing and pulling me in one direction or the other.

my sis and I found a downstairs window from which we could watch what was happening with BaBa on the kitchen table behind us, ears pulled to the back in fear. luckily nothing more than than happened: hail and strong winds. when the worse had passed, Pablita came out to drink the rain that was flowing like small rivers and we called it our home-alone summer adventure of the week.

summer '15

hours later the news spread that ville 5 to 10 minutes from here had been torn down to the ground, ancient stone all over the main street; houses with no rooftop as if a giant had picked it up to peep at what was going on inside, cars thrown in the canal, trees uprooted and concrete broken where there used be its roots. many people injured, some very badly, one or two fatalities, .. so much damage they immediately classified it as a calamity, a natural disaster between the F3, F4 category.

here’s a couple of links that show the entity of the damages in the towns nearby, they’re in Italian but even without the text pictures are already pretty effective:

I am very much afraid this bend of the canal doesn’t look like this anymore.

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

– – –

I’m still shocked and terrified, and thankful, above all thankful that we managed to dodge this one. I heard of relatives that won’t forget yesterday afternoon: some lost the house, some hopefully just the roof and the gazebo, some lost their dog, sucked out of the house by the vortex.

I’m quite speechless and shellshocked but I thought you might want to know how I was doing.

take care,

chiara

blow me to Bermuda!

today I had quite an upsetting encounter in the Real Stitchers Don’t Steal FB Group, and I felt even closer to Merlin than I ever felt before.

– And I thought [some of] you were going to amount to something. I thought [some of] you had a few brains! Great socials. Ha! Just stooges for those big trolls and time wasters. Congratulations, fools! – Oh! Of all the idiotic… Blow me to Bermuda!

– Where did she go?

– To Bermuda, I suppose.

– Where’s that?

– Oh, an island way off somewhere that hasn’t been discovered yet.

– Will she ever come back?

– Who knows? Who knows anything?

– – –

of course I’m not referring to everyone on social media, especially here, but I thought it would be wise to officially announce my hiatus from all social media, which starts today. now. I have had enough of time wasters.  see you all when I come back from my own personal Bermuda, wearing shades, Converse shoes and a flower print shirt. :D in the meantime drool over the beautiful post Jo made for the first Saturday of July in anticipation of the official start of THE ALPHABET CLUB on August 1st.

– – –

have a fabulous time while I’m away, big hugs and happy xxx to you all

Chiara & Taras

rainbow icon

P.S. Jo, this is a link-up test for you to try ;) to everyone else participating in TAC: check it out and get familiar with the way it looks and works :)

it’s not the most comfortable link-up to work with, but it’s the only one that I managed to find after a solid hour and 1/2 of reading and googling and more reading and more googling ;) I cannot use anything prettier unless I upgrade my WordPress status from free blog to Pro (and that involves paying a fee every year, and between that and the option to remove ads, of which I’m not at all happy about but they’re beyond my control unless I upgrade, I would have to invest a considerable amount of $$$ on this, and I really prefer spending them on stash/needlework supplies. I’m sure you’ll agree with me :D )

monthly goals, happy mail and a break

my monthly goals for June were:

  • stitch the 6th part of Story Time Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery (Peter Pan—> ☑️ YES!!   :D despite not being able to print the chart because at the beginning of June my laptop visited the 🍎🏥  :D (Apple Hospital) for a week, and my phone disconnected from the WiFi network (needed to print via AirPrint because of a scheduled power outage I remembered about, yet I connected one second too soon and they disconnected, and I’m sure you’re familiar with Murphy’s law: obviously I couldn’t find any trace of the multiple notes we made with our WiFi password; and just so you’re warned: you can’t copy and paste if from another Apple device already connected to the same network, epic fail!! I know!!), well despite all this I managed to stitch my Peter Pan immediately and therefore stayed all caught up – wonder how? iPhone, pencils and graph paper. you know I have to rearrange things in this row of frames because they’re all two stitches higher than charted.. boo boo! :D
  • resume working on Christmas Celebration Sampler by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery and finish it (I left it on the letter T). –> ☑️🔘 YES and NO: I did resume working on this and finished the T block (remember the Toys, Trains and Teddy Bears for GG!?), stitched the M block too, started A and left it halfway through.
  • stitch Once Upon A Time by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery block 4 Goldilocks, 5 Jack and the Beanstalk and 6 Princess and the Pea and pretend I’m all caught up one year later. –> 🔘 NO :(
  • work on Chubby Taras and get as much of the flowers done to allow me to work all the backstitching on the cat. –> 🔘 NO :(
  • stitch & finish a couple of gifts (no further mention of these until they reach their new home). –> 🔘 NO :(
  • should I feel the need to have a quick new start, get my fix by picking one of the itsy bitsy smalls in my wicker basket (the ones I didn’t even bother to mention in my May’s goals). –> 🔘 NO :( instead I started a big, fat, giant project, Cloudsfactory’s Harry Potter Sampler as soon as my, fat, giant order from Nina arrived, ha! :D

– – –

my goal list for July is going to be fairly short and it might involve (another!) new start, we shall see ;)

  • fix some minor changes in some of my older Story Time Sampler frames (Mary, Peter and Oz) and stitch the 7th part: The Lady of Shalott managing to stay all caught up.
  • resume working on block A from Christmas Celebration Sampler and finish the entire project before the new TFPS Christmas Club comes out (A Very Merry Christmas Town, starting July 22nd).
  • resume working on Chubby Taras and try to have it all finished for Jo’s Summer Blog Hop whose theme is pets! :D
  • If I succeed in finishing all this by July 22, see if I decide to start the new Christmas Club – naughty new start – or be nice and do what I ought to do: resume working on Once Upon A Time and stitch as many blocks as I can (from 4 to 7, and I really should do some of the outer border & frames as well).

– – –

I got some very very happy news and mail in the last 24 hours, I can’t share the news as it’s friends’ private stuff but it’s GOOD :D 🎉 – but I can show you what the postman so kindly delivered :D 🙆🏻🎉📬👮🏻

stash 6/15

back issues from Immediate Media (distributor of these publications in EU)

sakuralala

HI Tec coleto pens

my kawaii purchase from sakuralala, in Hawaii

in the bits of spare time I have updated my Book of Days with the latest events and new schedules, and I also managed to ship Amanda‘s enigma prize (this was Monday morning, after shipping hours for the day, so I guess it’ll reach the UK by next week).

Book of Days 6/15

stitch enigma '15

I also printed out La donna di Scalotta and hope to start stitching her tomorrow; between this and that, and despite my best intentions and plans I haven’t done a single stitch since last Friday! OUTRAGEOUS!! 😱

and on this topic, I’ll be taking a well deserved break from connections, log-ins and such – I’ve been piling up stuff to take care of since I spent a week without laptop at the beginning of the month and it took me the rest of the month to sort it out almost completely and fix the bugs and hiccups and tantrums that my email accounts started throwing one after the other. gosh!

I still have a few posts drafted (especially the last ones in the How To series) that I might schedule to go live during the hiatus, I’m not sure, and I might check on FB and IG from time to time, but the aim is to sign off and take a break for a week or two. I’ll definitely make it back for GiGi and, ça va sans dire, for THE ALPHABET CLUB! :D

– – –

thank you for following the tail wherever it goes,

many many happy xxx!

chiara

– oh, Taras & garden updates, of course! :D

Taras 6/15

I missed the cricket!

Taras 6/15

again!

summer 6/15

Pablita 6/15

garden 6/15

garden 6/15

garden 6/15