Advent TAC – day 1

🎄 Hello! Welcome to the first day of my needlework Advent Calendar! 😊

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Christmas Celebration Sampler

Today’s entry is a WIP shot I took back in July 2015, look at that gorgeous summer daylight, ahh! The projects are Christmas Celebration Sampler and Strawberry Froyo Party by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery; I used the usual 40ct. and threads of my choosing, all hand dyed by Nina.

TAC: My word for today is obviously

  • avvento = advent

but also

  • fragola = strawberry
  • pupazzo di neve = snowman In Italian we don’t call it a man made of snow, but rather a puppet (pupazzo) made of snow (di neve).

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Thank you for all the suggestions for my Passport stitching, you were unbelievable!!

I hope your December is starting well, see you tomorrow!

Chiara

Let’s go on an adventure! + help request + advent announcement

I was thinking about this year’s advent and realised I could use it as an excuse to blog more, and also implement my poor TAC efforts this year, so I came up with an idea I hope you’ll like. 😊

one post, one picture, one word every day for 24 days starting on December 1st

+ one extra post on Christmas day with (hopefully) a few monthly finishes

I will feature shots of current Christmas stitching or pieces I’ve stitched in the past, together with an Italian word every day, not much else (but I’ll throw in a few words if I manage to find the time 😉).

I already have a list of pieces, some I’ve been working on in November, some throughout the year, many will get fully crossed off the WIPorn list during the advent – but I won’t spill all the beans just yet. 😊

Now onto the adventure part of the post, and the matter that requires your input and help. 😊

My other plan is to start the Frosted Pumpkin Passport Club in December and have it finished before the end of the year or before the end of the holidays (it would male this my first finish of 2017! 😀). It was launched in January this year so most of it is available now (with the last bit coming out in just a couple of days); quite a bit, I know, but they are really tiny – this time the Pumpkin girls packed SO much cuteness in very little space! ❤️ My favourite bit so far is the kawaii koala, which happened to be released in October, my birth month. 😍

While I stitch I usually listen to music or an audiobook, or watch a film I’ve already seen so I don’t get too distracted (read too interested in the film rather than the needlework and make regrettable mistakes, ouch!). The obvious choice for Passport was Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne. 😀 I got the audiobook read by Patrick Tull and the 1956 film, which I’ve never seen – shocking, considering I fell in love with David Niven when I was a kid.

But as I was planning all of this I realised I might need something more to keep me company, and my dear friend Amanda had a brilliant idea: I could watch a movie set in each country; or as an extension to this: an audiobook by an author born in that country or set in that country, or watch a film based on said books, etc. 😉 so I thought I would ask you to recommend me something – I would love to get tips from all around the world! 😉

Here is the list of destinations, if anything comes to mind just let me know! 😊

  1. London, United Kingdom
  2. Paris, France
  3. The Netherlands
  4. Switzerland
  5. Greece
  6. Moscow, Russia
  7. Giza, Egypt
  8. Agra, India
  9. Japan
  10. Sydney, Australia
  11. Lima, Peru
  12. ?

Now I simply must get back to my stitching or I won’t have time for any of these plans! 😜

See you in just a few days! Ciao!

Chiara

Time to wrap it up!

I promised you a weekly update, but guess what? I just got a finish, so.. 😉


This is the bonus design to Trick-or-Treat Costume Party Club by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I stitched it almost entirely as charted, but I had to do my thing with colours (that orange and purple look so good, I had to use them again!).

I could have waited, in fact I expect quite a few finishes this week because these Hallowe’en patterns are pretty small (and with the election day coming up I’ll be up stitching the night through as the BBC delivers the news – that will be one LONG stitching session!), but isn’t this skeleton trick-or-treater the funniest?! 😀

I’m determined to get my Hallowe’en stitching done as quickly as possible, I don’t want to drag it all through December, plus despite the insanely warm weather, I got slightly in the mood for Christmas stitching and holiday wrapping when I received a few Christmas gifts the other day.. I see some happy wrapping on the horizon! 😀

Speaking on wrapping and gifts, this summer my friend Sarah and I finally shipped our sheep exchange packages we had been working on for .. I forgot how long, let’s just say A LOT! 😀 A few years ago we both realised how much into sheep we are, so we planned an entirely sheep themed exchange between Venezia and Dubai.

Sarah was unbelievable, she got me some hand painted wooden ladles, yarn 💜, a beautiful stitched cushion and a plethora of other sheep treats you can see here (she even used sheep washi tape to seal the envelope!!):


The tea is all gone (I loved the mint and cardamom especially ❤️) and I cannot wait to display my new sheep decorations this spring! 😊 ❤️

I had a whale of a time wrapping up Sarah’s gifts, no wonder with wrapping being one of my favourite things to do 😉 and for the occasion I stitched us twin scissor fobs using bits taken from a FPS design called Wool Ewe Be My Neighbour?



If you are wondering what else I wrapped inside those packages, here is all the sheep-themed fun I gathered in a couple of years:




I got us the Jardin Prive‘s History of Sheep series and kitted it up for Sarah using Nina’s Threads & linen (I’ll be using the same from stash), heaven knows when we will find the time to actually stitch this, but it’s definitely something to look forward to!

I don’t know if you noticed it, but beneath Sarah’s gifts was a sewing themed sewing mat 😉 I made myself this summer, in fact I’ve been sewing quite a lot in the past few months. 😊 Here is a desk mat I’ve been using almost every day:

desk mat

The sewing mat you’ve seen before:

sewing mat

And a lunch mat I made using scraps from that Summer Beach Day finish I’ve shown you a couple of posts ago:

lunch mat

Wait, what did you say? No sewing for BaBa? Au contraire! 😜 If you go back a couple of posts you’ll see I did indeed sew him a beddy he’s been enjoying ever since. 😀 Needless to say I’ll eventually end up with seasonal mats and beddies, and holiday mats and beddies, but that’s for another time (and likely another year! 😀).

– – –

Have a nice week, take care!

Chiara

THE ALPHABET CLUB link-up post – P –

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 P (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!

Have a good day and happy stitching!

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Chiara

trying something different

I had a sort of epiphany this morning, what if instead of dragging on a long draft that always needs to be edited into something intelligible, I wrote a quick post every week showcasing my progress and throw in a couple of sentences, just for the sake of it? It would be pretty manageable time-wise, as quite frankly that’s my one, everlasting problem with blogging: I can never save time for it!

So let’s give this one a try; I apologise for the briefness (and the sheer lack of content other than a picture) but that’s all the time I have today for this – though it’s better than months of cobwebs and dust, right? 😉


This is the backside to Trick-Or-Treat Couple by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery I put together myself using elements from A&A’s designs; I honestly couldn’t stop adding stuff around this little chap, it was so much fun! Thank goodness it’s only about 40 x 40 stitches or I’d still be playing with it! 😀 As per tradition I used my own choice of colours and fabric, a mix of cottons and silks on 40ct. linen, all hand dyed by Nina.

– – –

I hope you had a lovely Hallowe’en, thank you so much for all the comments to my Blog Hop post, Taras and I truly appreciated them. 😊

Take care! And see you soon!

Chiara

Trick-or-Treat Party

Happy Hallowe’en everybody!!

🎃👻💀👹

Sadly time wasn’t on my side this October 😔 I didn’t get all the Hallowe’en extravaganza ready in time – but I’m determined to work my needles off this week! 😀

What I can show you is the main designs in Trick-or-Treat Costume Party Club by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery, I finished this one weeks ago and now I’m working my way through all the other trick-or-treat kawaii smalls – check out the tiny ghost! 👻

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Trick-or-Treat Costume Party Club

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Trick-or-Treat Costume Party Club

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Trick-or-Treat Costume Party Club

As usual I changed colours to Nina’s Threads and fabric, the traditional 1 over 2 on 40ct. (did I mention I started using a magnifyier this summer and it made ALL the difference 😍😍 longer stitching hours, better sitting position, zero eye strain, .. 🤓).

Here’s where I was yesterday with Trick-or-Treat Couple, the first of 5 Hallowe’en designs by TFPS I plan on turning into teeny tiny spooktacular cushions:

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Trick-or-Treat Couple
Because I was after I wouldn’t have much to show, I saved this other finish I got this summer, which by the way granted me a free copy of the new 2017 year-long Club by TFPS gals and a pretty nifty discount. 🎉🙆🏻🎰

They run a contest this summer, if you joined this club and fully finished your piece before a certain date, you were automatically entered in a draw for those prizes and I was one of the lucky three! 😆🙆🏻🎉

So without further ado, here is my Summer Beach Day all finished up:

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Summer Beach Day Club

I was so glad I had this fabric in stash, such a good match!

Now, going back to Hallowe’en, you might be here because of Jo’s Blog Hop, wondering when I’ll finally drop my letter 😉 – I kind of did already 😜 if you scroll up you might notice I highlighted it in bold four times, and I showed shots of it twice.. 😉🔎 — but WAIT! There’s one more thing I can show you! These shots taken 4 years ago (!!), when baby Taras was only 44 days old (!!!) next to a Jack O’Lantern (!!!!) 😆

So now you have it, my letter is T 😆 obviously! 😜

This is the link you need to hop over to the next blog, happy hunting!

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Thank you so much for stopping by this Hallowe’en, I hope you have a great time eating all the candy! 😜 Ciao!

Chiara

it’s an LP – Halloween edition

Hello! Hello!

Sorry for the long absence, it has been a LONG time, I know, but I couldn’t let Halloween pass with all the seasonal stitching I’ve been doing and not show you something! 😊 👻

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First off let me start by telling you this is another of those big TAC catching-up posts, and because it will cover letters L through P of the alphabet, you get the title. 😉

I actually had to check when I last wrote an actual post for the blog, and it was back in June.. eek!! scary, uh? It was a draft I never got around to publish and at that time I had just finished the last frame of Story Time Sampler and next in line was the Mysterious Hallowe’en Town Club, again by The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery gals Amanda & Ashleigh (see? found a perfect spot for it now anyway 😉).

Speaking of the Story Time Club for a moment, The Great Gatsby (you’ll see the relevance later on) was one of my favourite frames to work on, perhaps because it’s such a bittersweet, sad story where everything looks so good from the outside but when you look closely at the characters you start seeing the cracks, the tears, the unhappiness, .. I don’t know, but I find it odd that people today look at this novel as the golden age of anything good and prosperous – if Gatsby tells you anything, it’s precisely the opposite, but let’s not start a bookclub debate now (or should we? it doesn’t sound like a terrible idea come to think of it! 😜)

Going back to the needlework piece in question, I don’t think you’ve seen a proper Hallowe’en Town update, so here are part 1 and 2 all stitched up:

WIP - The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - The Mysterious Hallowe'en Town

I took some liberty with the colour palette and added a few Speciality Stitches here and there; in some cases I chose silks and used the variegation of Nina’s Threads as smart stitchers do making the most of those beautiful shades. To nobody’s surprise I’m stitching 1 over 2 on 40ct. hand dyed linen. 🤓

— part of draft I didn’t have the heart to delete, take it as a sort of diary entry from a few months ago —

 As it happens, I have to exercise all the self-control I dispose of today, because just this morning those charts that mysteriously disappeared a few weeks ago decided to show up – just like that! 😀 👻 🎉 So now in theory I would have all I need to start Patches of Life by L’Atelier Perdu.. 😬 The truth is, if I start a new project today I’ll find myself with a million things on the way again, a bedlam of threads, key rings, working copies, notes, dowels, baskets, and all that goes with it and I just can’t handle it at the moment.

Not to mention, I do have two small starts planned for later on this month, when the new Pumpkin club starts, it’s called Summer Beach Day and since the theme was announced I knew I had the perfect fabric for it in my stash so how could I say no to this one?! 😜 plus it came with all sorts of coordinated accessories and you know how very little restraint I have when it comes to coordinating needlework bits.. 😉

Fast forwarding a few days and I had The Mysterious Hallowe’en Town Club all stitched up – scary how much I can finish off when I pick up projects I left 3/4 of the way done..! 😀  This is part of a series of designs showing village scenes, and because they’re all similar in size I decided I’ll finish them all as matching pillows:

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - The Mysterious Hallowe'en Town

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Towns

Here is a close up of those insanely cute pumpkins:

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - The Mysterious Hallowe'en Town

— end of draft —

entry for letter L – and easy one would be lampione, the lamppost you see on the far right of the design. Some other great ones from this piece would be: corvi (crows), spaventapasseri (scarecrow), zucche (pumpkins), gufi (owls) and pipistrelli (bats).

As you noticed, in Italian crow is not part of the word for scarecrow, apparently the main bird to keep away from fields here is the common sparrow (passero), though the feminine for passero (passera) is another word for.. did you hear that Trump bus chat? yeah, it’s another word for that (!) – so in a way you could say Trump is a giant spaventapassere, but I really shouldn’t start with Trump jokes or this post will never see its end!!

Next in line was another FPS Club, the one I hold dearest, Once Upon A Time Sampler ❤️❤️❤️❤️

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Once Upon A Time Sampler

Needless to say I did my own thing to this one, modifying each block, adding this and that, changing colours, charting special bits especially for this piece, I even added my own initial to my birth month block because it made so much sense – C, Cinderella! 😀

Sadly I have to upload all the shots about this project in the poorest quality, but I promise you, it’s the prettiest in the lot – I cannot wait to have it up and framed, just look at those colours! 😃 instant cheering up! 😆

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Once Upon A Time Sampler

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery - Once Upon A Time Sampler

entry for letter M – magnete (magnet) although another word for it is calamita (accent goes on the i)- not to be confused with calamità (calamity), accents makes all the difference! – and here are some kawaii magneti 😉

The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery needle minders

And finally here we are, the Halloween extravaganza as I like to call it. 😉 All month I’ve been working on Halloween pieces to turn into 6 sided ornaments: I designed backsides and sides for each of them, I took the chance and gave the same treatment to that Gatsby extra frame for STS I mentioned earlier, and I would have finished it all if I hadn’t succumbed to the call of crochet..! This happened a few weeks ago when I saw these unbelievable patterns by lalylala, they are crocheted kawaii cuteness also known as amigurumi, which I had never tried before (in all honesty I wouldn’t say I was much of a crocheter either before giving these a go) but the instructions looked so clear, and despite all my plans I was having a hard time keeping up my stitching mojo anyway so I closed my eyes, swiped the card, ordered yarns and for the first time in my life BLACK GLASS EYES..! You would be surprised to hear how elusive can 5mm eyes be, in fact if you decide to source materials for these guys and want to shop within EU just drop me a line, I came across some incredibly helpful shops during this quest. 😀

At this point I should show you Summer Beach Day I mentioned in my “diary” paragraph and all the Halloween stitching I’ve been working on this month, but I’ve decided to save those for Jo’s Halloween Blog Hop post that is coming up shortly anyway, in the meantime here is a kawaii Frank and start to a second one:

lalylala 4 seasons - Halloween

The one standing is still missing arms and bolts, but I want to make those in “batches” and attach them at the same time, so a few more days needed — they might be ready for Jo’s post, who knows! 😊 Also in this series, a one-eyed zombie with exposed brain aptly named Brian and Diego, a Dia de los Muertos fellow wearing a skull mask and a hat — I cannot wait to crochet a BRAIN and an embroidered SKULL MASK!! 😂😍😂😍

entry for letter N – absolutely nothing comes to mind with N! 😱 perhaps niente (nothing) is the word I should feature..

entry for letter Oocchi (eyes)

entry for letter Pprincipesse (princesses) there were a lot of those in OUAT, pino (pine tree), pisello (pea) which in Italian is another word for the male counterpart to passera (!!) – and if you think this couldn’t get any weirder and less appropriate for a bedtime story, picture this: the title “The Princess and the Pea” in Italian is literally “The Princess on the Pea” (La Principessa sul Pisello) ..I mean!! Who would approve these titles nowadays?! 😂😂😂😂😂😂

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That’s all for now, people! Thank you for sticking around during these long hiatuses, I’m sorry I don’t have time to write more here. Stay tuned for part 2 of the Halloween extravaganza when Jo’s posts go live and make sure to hop over the other blogs, they always feature so much goodness!

And if you want to stay more up-to-date with the local shenanigans you can follow me on Flickr or Instagram (@thegreytail).

See you soon!

Chiara