Joan Elliott · Stitch enigmae · The Alphabet Club · The Grey Tail · WIPs


hear! hear! fresh an exciting news await the readers of this post!

– – –

with only a few days left before celebrating the end of this year’s stitch enigma, yours truly and her faithful geeky pal, Jo, had a most excellent and productive brainstorming session and founded.. THE ALPHABET CLUB!

what is THE ALPHABET CLUB I hear you ask, well.. the idea behind it is to get to know more about native languages, dialects, local terms etc. through our stitching, creativity and jokes. let me explain.. 🙂

a couple of days ago I was pondering the beauty of how international my stitchy friends are, and how much potential this had in terms of learning more about their way of speaking. for instance, I could have been studying English for an entire lifetime and never know that ladybugs are also called Bushy Barnabies round where Jo lives. you see what I mean? it’s only the input of a friend telling you random fun facts that can teach you this sort of things.

summer '13
look! that’s Barney! or Barnaby! or Barn-Boy! or Bushy! or BuBarn! or ..

or Nadine‘s travels through France that she’s hosting these days, which already taught me a whole lotta things, including the fact that lion in French is spelled lion, not lyon as I erroneously thought.

Taras 3/15
lion, cat.. it’s a feline, right? 😛

long story short (if that’s even possible with me), I thought what about a stitchers’ ABCs appointment where we could show something stitched starting with a certain letter and teach our friends a new word in our native language, or a fun fact, or a joke, something that happened to you while travelling to that country and their word for it, .. whatever! I told this to Jo as an idea for one of her year-long wonderful SALs and she was thrilled about it and pushed me towards making it happen here over at the grey tail. we exchanged emails, thoughts, one idea led to another, and now here we are, presenting you THE ALPHABET CLUB!! [play me]

The Alphabet Club

  • how does THE ALPHABET CLUB work?

first of all you need to have a way to show us the piece and word you intend to participate with for that month. it can be a blog, a YouTube or Instagram account, etc. but we need to have a way to read/hear and see what you’re talking about. filming (either on IG or YT) would be great especially for the pronunciation, while a written post would provide the correct spelling.. each media has its upsides. through IG and Facebook you could also follow the official hashtag for this Club, #thealphabetclub, and check out what others members are contributing with. like I said, there would be 1 letter a month, I don’t think we can squeeze more than that with everything that is already going on + the life factor, which means this Club is going to run for A LONG TIME!! 😀

  • what is in and what is out?

you should report every month on the FIRST SATURDAY OF THE MONTH (Saturday was detention day in THE BREAKFAST CLUB) explaining why you picked that project and that word for that letter. of course we accept latecomers to a certain extent without adding a bad mark to your grades, we understand life and how that gets in the way of awesome plans like this one 😉 your native language is MORE than welcome, other languages you learnt or that your spouse/family members speak work too, grammar talk, dialects, fantasy idiomas, Klingon, runes, jokes, stretched entries, .. it’s all good material for THE ALPHABET CLUB. we all love to have a good laugh and learn new things, possibly in a super-duper funny combo. 😀

  • how do I follow and get to know the other members?

I would publish a link-up post here at the grey tail every month where all the participants for that month would link their own post/report for that month/word (not your main homepage, the specific post/report on that month’s letter/word) so that we can get straight to the point and then drool over the ravioli recipe you shared the day before yesterday 😉

food 8/14
ok, not ravioli but still yummy enough, right? I’m so hungry now by the way.. 😋😋😋

the other way to keep track of members & entries is the official hashtag #thealphabetclub which will work on both Instagram and Facebook. I would recommend using both the link-up and the # because some of us are old-school and still prefer to go the link-up way ❤️ which by the way is going to stay throughout our entire journey, while # posts can easily go unnoticed or are a royal PITA to dig up after weeks have passed.

  • is there something I can do to make THE ALPHABET CLUB more popular or even known?

you certainly can! you can already send out the word to your friends/readers/followers/subscribers/whatever by adding this handy handy widget I created, which is the official poster/icon of THE ALPHABET CLUB.

The Alphabet Club widget
Jo provided the tag line I couldn’t fit into the film poster “THEY ONLY MET ONLINE, BUT IT CHANGED THEIR LIVES FOREVER.”
  • I’m in! when do we start?

here’s where you come into play, pals! we can start as early as July with letter A or wait till August for, well, reasons 😛 you can post about a current WIP, and old stitching, a fully finished piece, an unfinished project, a stitched animal starting with that letter, a thing, a thread which name starts with that letter, a sampler with an alphabet and matching item for that letter, .. as long as you explain us the connection between the letter and the picture you showed, it’s fine for us! and because 1 letter for each month equals 26 monthly reports 😉 this means that the detention will last from summer 2015 till autumn 2017! 😬 😂 so what do you think? should we start with letter A in August or Anticipate our Anfang (beginning in German) to July? express your vote here! 😀

  • which alphabet do we follow? my language is not a Latin based one, can I still participate?

now, we’re using the Latin Alphabet for practical reasons, but should you be able to use a different one, please feel free to do so. in fact, should this be the case, you would immediately qualify as a super duper cool member which will be able to post swearwords, filthy language and dirty jokes (provided you explain them to us, though 😛 ), and did I mention you wouldn’t have to follow the Latin alphabet either? 😀 you have freedom to post about whatever letter you want every month, the only NO-NO is hurting the feelings of other members of THE ALPHABET CLUB 😉 apart from that, everything’s allowed.

  • I have way too many ideas already, can I post more than 1 entry per month? is there something extra I can do in my reports?

like I said, the picture can be of a stitched piece specifically for THE ALPHABET CLUB or not, old or new, fully finished or not, WIP or not, and in your post you can show us as many entries/words per letter as you want! you can introduce us to a designer/design that starts with that letter, or designed something featuring the subject of your stitching, has it in his/her designer’s name, etc. the possibilities are endless! you can go as bonkers as you like, in the spirit of THE BREAKFAST CLUB we will accept pretty much everything and anything without judging. 🙂 and of course if you can’t post every month it’s alright, come back to detention day when your schedule clears up, no problemo! no need to go verbose either, you can just drop a line under the snap like this:

WIP - Joan Elliott The Tree of Life
A is for ALBERO (tree in Italian) – Joan Elliott’s Tree of Life

hey, this is my entry for this month’s letter A: an ALBERO (tree in Italian) I started years ago. the design is Joan Elliott‘s Tree of Life from the magazine Cross Stitch Gold issue #76 released in 2010. I’m stitching it with the prescribed DMC 2 over 2 on the prescribed Aida. you can see it finished in Joan’s post she wrote about it here. that’s it 🙂 remember to add the details of your stitching so that other stitchers, should they like it, can investigate it, buy it or buy something else by that designer 🙂

– – –

well, I hope you like this idea and decide to join Jo and I in THE ALPHABET CLUB! if you have questions ask away in the comments, I will prepare a handy PDF file with all the info I wrote here and your input once we have an official date for our start. you can download the PDF to your device and keep it at hand, cross checking on which letter we’re at from time to time so that you can figure out what to post about that month.

remember to support the Club by sporting the poster/icon and write/talk about us to your stitchy/crafty friends! thank you!

see you soon! ciao!


– – –

P.S. the last snap for the second game of the enigma is..

stitch enigma '15 clue 8
I would encourage you to caption this.. 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂😂


if you don’t know about the enigma, you’re still in time! read all about it here and the following posts 🙂

you could win a fantastic set of hand dyed cotton & silk threads and linens hand dyed by Nina!! ❤️

37 thoughts on “introducing THE ALPHABET CLUB

  1. Fortunately I was on my bed reading this post! Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! I’m in! I’ll have to re-read this post a few times but already a wave of enthusiasm is lifting me. Hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The Alphabet Club sounds great although I am unable to follow right now. I have too many things to do!And I don’t stitch that much either! Bytheway I know the second game should I tell you or should I keep it all to the end? That’s not the stitched piece for the enigma right?
    Bytheway the time you write for the stitch enigma is at 7 in the morning your time right?


    1. oh, don’t worry. you can join at any time if your schedule clears up between the start and the end of the alphabet, OR you could just write us a word in Greek for that month’s letter.. I would love to expand my Greek! 🙂
      you can save the answer of the second game for the last clue, you will have to use those letters together with all the others you saved up so far 🙂
      yes, the game posts always went live at 7:00 AM here, which is GMT+1 so you can calculate when that happens for you 🙂


  3. That’s an awesome idea! I’m in, and I shall tell my stiching sister immediatly, because as I know them they will be excited to join too 😀


  4. I am so IN!!!! I’ll be following along with FB and Instagram and I might even revive my long ago dormant blog to keep track of links and things. I vote for August for selfish reasons…giving my arm more time to heal. But I’m good either way. PS: that lion…. Is a chat! French for cat. If I remember my French well enough. LOL!


    1. yeah.. I was demonstrating the stretching possibilities.. you’re still in the feline category so.. 😜
      thumbs up for ye olde blog resuscitations!! I voted for August too by the way 😆


  5. Oh, man, I wish I could join. I’ve got so much coming up in the second half of this year (some of it a surprise, so I get to keep it secret for a little while still! :D) This is definitely intriguing, so I’ll have a think and decide if I can do it…


    1. sure 🙂 there’s so much time, you can always join later on or just give us a letter a month with no stitching. you own the super duper cool member club card, you decide! 😀


    1. that’s great, Kaye!!
      and remember you can be as local as you like, whenever they come to mind you can tell us terms only Aussies use or even a dialect.. you can show us Vegemite for V.. 😂😂
      just have fun with it!!


    1. oh, it was on Instagram I think.. not entirely sure. 🙂
      that’s FANTASTIC! I’m preparing a handy dandy sheet for members to put their random thoughts every month, with suggestions, etc. just in case one needs inspiration 😉


  6. Hey Chiara, Hopping in from Jo’s blog…I love the whole idea of the Alphabet club and would be happy to participate. However I may not have something related to stitching for each alphabet. Can it be other generic things like food/travel? Also I would like to post using alphabets of my mother tongue(with corresponding English equivalent of course) ,the script for which is different. Please let me know if you are okay with these. I would like the club to start asap.


    1. ciao Mini! that’s great! and welcome to the alphabet club!! 🙌🏻
      this is exactly how you can us! use your mother tongue, corresponding letters or not, and post about anything starting with that letter (not just stitching related).
      I have a huge problem with my laptop right now but ASAP I’ll post more info and a list of topics that you can look at should you need inspiration 😊


  7. I’m in too!! Have no idea yet what I am going to post about so I am going to vote for August to start…. A for agony of getting the brain in gear….. :0)
    Fantastic idea from both yourself and Jo!
    Hugs xx


  8. Ooo… this is going to be so much fun! I am relatively new to your blog but already a firm fan! As an Indian expat living in the UAE I can think of atleast 6 languages that I have immediate access to 😀 So excited to start! 🙂


    1. no way!! NO WAY!! 🎉🎈🎉💖🎉🎊🎉💗🎉❤️🎉💫🎉💙🎉✨🎉💚🎉💛🎉💜🎉🎊🎈 DING DING DING DING DING!! 6 languages!! JACKPOT!! 😆❤️❤️❤️
      yes, please join us with whatever you feel like, if and when you find the time to.. that is so exciting!! 😍🙌🏻
      and thank you for your sweet words, firm fans of this blog become good friends too ❤️❤️ I warn you though, I’ll be pestering you with cooking directions regarding curry dosage. I like it so much I always end up having curry with a bit of rice. 😬😆💛💛💛

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Loving your enthusiasm! 😀 Will definitely make sure to include 6 languages (and maybe more!) in my posts 🙂 As for the danger to firm fans of the blog, it’s a risk I’m willing (and happy!) to take 😉

        Lol… I’m afraid I’m not much of a cook (just destroyed the stereotype that an Indian girl MUST cook! :D). But if you ever find yourself in the UAE I can promise you loads and loads of home made goodies 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. oh wow.. thank you!
        just the idea of 6 languages in one go is overwhelming! thank you!! and please, take it as easily as you like. don’t stress about this in any way! I’ll write it as soon as I get my laptop back: it’s not meant to be a challenge or a duty, just something fun to get to know us better, and if you have a super lazy month – go all in 😆 if you’re busy or life takes time out of your stitching/blogging, don’t sacrifice it for the club: just give us a word and an explanation, that’s all we need 😊💛
        women who must know how to cook.. tell me about it! that stereotype has been demolished here in Italy long ago (and I don’t mean it in a good way). these days being a good cook means putting the cake mix in the oven.. 😬😱😂 don’t get me wrong I eat frozen stuff etc. from time to time ..but I don’t call that cooking! 😜😃

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Hehe… I won’t be doing all 6 languages at once but thinking I might mix and match a bit. Would love to introduce everyone to snippets of all the languages I come into contact with on a regular basis 🙂 Waiting for rules/instructions before I decide anything. Hope all your laptop issues get sorted soon!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. me too!! 🍀🍀🍀🍀🍀
        and yes, doing a mix is precisely why I cried JACKPOT!! with you 😜🙌🏻❤️
        there’s pretty much everything covered in this post apart from the date to start (have you voted yet? 😉) and the inspirational sheet 😊❤️


  9. I’m in and looking forward to sharing my dialect Viennese German with you. I bet not many of you are familiar with it. This sure is going to be fun!


Leave a reply..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s