from A to J – the TAC catch up game

It’s here! It’s here! The giant catch up post for TAC is here!

Last week the blog reached its 4th anniversary 🎂🎂🎂🎂 and although celebrations this year are slightly 😱 (sense the irony here) toned down, I felt there were a few things I truly owed you and it was high time I put things right.

It’s going to be a long post, packed with pictures and close-ups, so fetch a cup of tea, a snack, whatever you fancy really ’cause you’re staying here for a while. 😀 

– – –

The idea of a giant catch-up post using only one project came to me when I realised my current WIP offered a lot of bits and things that would have worked perfectly for The Alphabet Club – I just had to sum them up in a list that went from A to J! 😀 Surprised it didn’t hit me sooner? Me too! 😳 Enjoy!

  • A is for.. (A is the letter I found more inspiration for, I wish D and E shared the same luck but.. 😬 you’ll see!)

albero = tree

arancia = orange (fruit)

arancione = orange (name of colour)

azzurro = light blue

animali = animals

acero = maple tree (the tree I’m stitching has lots of different leaves, no actual maple leaves but I thought I ought to mention is since maple syrup is only my favourite thing on earth! 😜🙌🏻🇨🇦 <– just so you know in my WP editor this appears as the Canadian flag

ape = bee

alveare = beehive

ali = wings

acini d’uva = grapes (we call uva the whole cluster or grapes, and acini or chicchi the single ball-shaped fruits)

If you look at the pictures I posted you will spot all the items I mentioned except two that require a bit more work on my part in order to show up! 🔍😉

WIP - Joan Elliott - Tree of life

  • B is for..

bordo = border, margin, decoration on the outside of something

bianco = white (the name of a colour I used very little so far)

blu = blue

bacche = berries and more in general, all fruits that are small and round-shaped

WIP - Joan Elliott - Tree of life

  • C is for..

cornice = frame

coccinelle = ladybugs

WIP - Joan Elliott - Tree of life

  • D is for..

disegno = drawing

disegnare = to draw

disegnatore (m) disegnatrice (f) = illustrator

drago = dragon (usually Joan’s cup of tea but this time she didn’t go for a fantasy Tree of Life, should we pitch it to Joan, Jo? 😉)

  • E is for..

erba = grass

  • F is for..

foglie = leaves

frutti = fruits

fiori = flowers

formiche = ants (there won’t be actual ants in this design but I’m pretty sure we can assume a tree of life would have minuscule ants crawling over it 😀)

farfalle = butterflies (no reference to butter in the Italian name, what a shame)

WIP - Joan Elliott - Tree of life

  • G is for..

ghiande = acorns

giallo = yellow

giardino = garden

WIP - Joan Elliott - Tree of life

  • H is for..

Although H is a letter in the Italian alphabet, no Italian word starts with H. Weird, uh? I know! You can see for yourself by looking at the slimness of the H section from an Italian dictionary:

H dictionary

How can this be? In Italian we use letters like C and G before H in order to form other sounds the English express with K and J (letters completely missing from our alphabet for this very reason), so when you see a word like chiesa = church, that trigram chi sounds exactly like the word key. Same thing for my name, Chiara: key + ara as in arabesque but you have to roll your R like the Spanish do 😀).

So what are you going to do for H? I’ll play my trump card (which Italians call jolly, imagine that! 😀), I’ll show you something for another letter entirely:

tucano = toucan

✽ pappagallo = parrot

ramo = branch

mela = apple (at first I saw apples when I looked at the red fruits, now I see pomegranates so I mentioned both! 😀)

melograno = pomegranate

libellula = dragonfly (again, another missed chance of having a bit of a magic in a name..!! 🙄)

verde = green

viola = purple

  • I is for..

insetti = bugs (there are ladybugs, bees, dragonflies, butterflies – only spiders are missing! 😂)

  • J is for..

Joan Elliott, of course! 😀

Can you guess what is going to appear next?

– – –

So here it is, I hope you enjoyed the big list from A to J – I promise it won’t be like this long next time 😀 although I’m quite worried about finding something with K for next month.. there aren’t koalas in this design!! 😮

Thank you so much for waiting patiently for this one, see you next month! ❤️

Chiara

P.S. just for fun, here are a couple more pieces I stitched recently, they are both kits from Crossstitcher issues, you can look at the 2016 finishes page to read all the details. 😊

WIP - Crossstitcher kit - Easter Bunny

Crossstitcher kit - Easter Bunny

Crossstitcher kit - Blue Bird

THE ALPHABET CLUB link-up post – J –

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 J (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

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

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

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