About me

the grey tail


1995 – 2012

I miss you old pal

– – –

if you’re looking for detailed info about my stitching, check out this FAQ post I wrote in 2014, otherwise keep on reading the introduction I wrote when I first started this blog back in May 2012. 🙂

– – –

After wasting (read joyfully spending) many many years on the net, and the last few reading other people’s blogs, I felt like it was time to start my own.

I still need to get the grip on this, so I’m asking for a little indulgence on everything that might call “newbie!!” from a long distance..

in the meantime, have fun.. see you around,


– – –

The tale of how I came across stitches

Back in the days, when I was a kid I’ve had flu pretty much every winter, and during those days away from school (tissues and fun, that’s what they were all about) I sometimes got bored of reading or watching movies.. so I asked my mom for an alternative.

She came home with a little half stitch kit, telling me that I wouldn’t be able to do it anyways, since all I do is start things, not finishing them.. (and the subject she chose, really made the thing hard to look at, let alone complete it..).

Anyways, the “I’ll show you” attitude I pull up granted me another kit (this time one I could actually choose) and I went for a Forever Friends subject, a lovely smiling bear on a swing, thank goodness! No stupid girls with old fashioned hats picking up flowers for nothing, in a “that’s so 60’s” colour palette.. nightmare.

With this little second piece of mess I stitched, I learnt not to cross out already stitched areas in pen (on the original chart..), I found out that knots are definitely not allowed to secure threads on the back, all upper stitches should go in the same direction, stitches must be tight, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they should open rabbit holes in the fabric, .. pretty much the ABC.

Well, this was it for a very long time.. I had to stick to the magazines published in this country (where cross stitching is as much praised as that sport with disks and brooms played on ice.. was that a sport anyways?!*), where all projects would have suited the taste of an aging armchair, not a kid.. gee I found myself stitching the worst things in my life! dreadfully looking projects that still dwell forgotten in some drawers.. I don’t even want to think about them!

Still, there were some upsides as well; I got to practice a lot.. and a lot.. and a lot more.. and I got to collect a fine amount of DMC threads, which still come out useful from time to time..

The light turned on when I discovered online shops, or local needlework shops (LNS) which took orders via email and sent their wonderful goodies to Italy!

I’ve been really lucky in the past few years.. I’ve found many of these shops – and their respective owners, so kind  and caring they cope with my crazy requests for a discontinued chart, charm, thread pack, linen shade, .. I can be horribly picky when I set my eyes on something.. I rely mostly on American Needlework Shops, buying in US$ is always a pleasure (as long as euros last, and we won’t end up paying in shells and coloured beads..)

Enough of this nonsense.

Since moms have the tendency to guess it when it comes to their kids (even tough they should learn not to point it out with flashing lights for the relationship’s sake – something kids do learn very soon, anyways), I’ve collected a few UFOs.

The main goal of this blog is to get to finish them all, and start new ones that goes without saying.. but still, seeing those ghosts finally make it to the walls, get rid of those hoop chains, no more guide-line running through the fabric gridding** the picture apart, .. well, you got it.

* CURLING!! that’s what it was!! (take no offense you curling lovers out there.. we both enjoy weird ways of spending our free time)

** yes, this is a word in my own dictionary. don’t care what the dusty Collins has to say on the subject.

– – –

so.. this is the part where I list them, and I’ll try to remember the year I started each project (without lying):

there’ll be fireworks (or something very close) for every finish..

  • Christmas Morning Pets by Dimensions (started in 2010), this needs only the dog and a part of the hat to be finished..
  • Tree of Life by Joan Elliott (2011), lovely project which gives so many little finishes/satisfactions
  • Merry Little Bird by Lizzie Kate (2011), loads of frogging & grunting on this one for I need to align the written part and make it look like the bird’s wings (now they stand so close to the head there’s barely space to attach the eyes, and get a silly looking bird anyways..)
  • Kitty Litter by Dimensions (2008), this is the ghost king in my UFOs.. a project I still love, but when it comes to stick to it..
  • Patisserie Shopping Bag by DMC (2008), now this one gets me hungry every time I see it.. unluckily it has to be stitched upside-down, with your hands inside the bag (which is prefinished) ..something not really practical, nor cooling when summer gets in the way!
  • Skating Santa by Rico Designs (2010), this one needs only the gold thread parts to be completed, and I’m guessing the new DMC Diamant will get involved this time
  • a pillow case from an Italian magazine (??), this will be the hardest.. I already stitched this project once.. and when it comes to stitch something identical twice I need that kind of motivation my mind cannot supply, or so it seems..
  • two white towels with bands in Aida (Aida is the leitmotiv of most of the UFOs you saw listed so far: I simply cannot bear the sight of Aida anymore – yeah, I know.. picky stitcher!)
  • Beatrix Potter Afghan by Anchor (2011), what I call a monster project because of all the fabric you have around when you stitch on an afghan
  • Plaid to embroider Chambord – Black Ribbon by Sajou (2012), this is supposed to be the prize for all the unfinished business up here (but I couldn’t resist, and stitched two blocks during the easter holidays – hey! just two!)
  • Quaker Sampler by The Workbasket (2012), it was meant to be one of the samplers for The Sampler of Your Life contest ..before time got in the way (only a couple of motifs are complete, and I’m still not sure about the colour palette)

– – –

a few stills from home

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo

Riviera del Brenta - Dolo


11 thoughts on “About me

  1. Well, I haven’t done more than skim-read this page but… … BOY IS YOUR ENGLISH GOOD, CHIARA !!!! When did you have time to improve so much? I think you even beat Eva who’s living in London!! Incredible! I’m amazed! Tell me how you did it! A real talent!! I’ll have to look at the rest of your blog asap! Meanwhile carry on stitching… Susan


    1. thank you Susan.. you were kind of my litmus test.. 😀
      basically I’ve never stopped, from Sesame Street with you till now, 26 years later.. a never ending overdose of English culture, from books to telly.. 😀
      (still find Craig Ferguson a little tricky sometimes though.. :D)


  2. Just found your blog and I know I’m going to love it! I think that you will have to work on your works in progress list though….much to short. Yes yes I know your mom would dissaprove, but I have tons of works started and yet I manage to finish many things also and the thrill of starting something new is to hard to deny.


  3. Yes I agree your English is great. Believe me as an English teacher, I know! I loved your About me and laughed so much with your childhood memories!AriadnefromGreece!


  4. heehee.. love how you describe about making sure our projects are to be finished.. I think as a kid.. I’ve tons of unfinished projects.. and like you, I’m keeping a record of my projects too.. 😉 hope we can inspire each other..


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