Friday, January 31, 2014

A twofer post

I decided that a twofer would be in order for this post, I'm already a day late with my TUSAL, Just Nan is due today and tomorrow is my second YOTA post of the year!  Suppose I could wait and do all three but I feel like I am short changing the individual SALs when I get too many in a post.

Before I get to photos, thank you all for the wonderful and encouraging comments.  The Hubs is really good about saying "That looks nice dear" but half the time he's not even looking at what I am showing him...

I believe we may finally be in a warm-up here in central Virginia as it is currently 46F pull out the shorts and tee shirts!!!  We had another "cold snap" earlier in the week and the temperature when I got up yesterday was 3F.  Yes, I know those of you further north are wishing for 3F as your high but our average temperature in the winter is in the 40s so this was wicked cold for us.  We even had 3"of snow the other day- I think that matches what we had all of last winter!  I suppose the upside to all the cold weather is that it will make stitching from stash easier as the heating bill is going to be a monster!

Just got notice that we should be back in our offices on Tuesday.  After 20 years it was decided that maybe they needed painting and new carpet, so I have been working from home since the 16th!!  It has been amazingly wonderful to not have to deal with 5 hours of commuting each day.  Not only have I caught up on my sleep (getting up at 7 AM instead of 4 AM is incredible!) but I have even had time in the evenings to cook, clean up and stitch.  Normally I get home around 7:30, have a bowl of cereal, get things around for the next day and am in bed between 8:30 and 9:00.  I am not looking forward to being back on that schedule but needs must.

So, on to stitching....

2014 TUSAL
First up is my second TUSAL of the year.  The button should take you to the information page, but basically - all those bits of fiber that trimmed off or that last inch that you couldn't stretch to finish a stitch?  Those are ORTS! Don't throw them away, put them in a pretty jar, take a picture and post it each new moon.  Couldn't get much easier could it?  I had to change my jar from the one I started with as the Mason jar was filling up too fast and I didn't want to have to pack the threads down too much of course now that I will be back on normal, ridiculous schedule I won't be accumulating ORTS as quickly .  My new jar is an repurposed Yankee Candle jar.  In the past I just threw them away when the wicks burned down but I always felt a bit guilty as they are very nice jars.  I knew there had to be some way to get that last bit of wax out of them but a solution completely eluded me.  I was a bit more determined to figure it out this time and a quick search found that the consensus of folks on the internet was - put them in the freezer for a few hours and the wax would pop right out.  I'm sure this isn't news to most of you, but it was a huge lightbulb moment for me!  Breaking the circle of wax up so that you can get it through the mouth of the jar was a little trickier and getting all the glue from the label off wasn't fun, but I now have a very nice storage jar seen here posing in front of "Three Tulips" from With Thy Needle and Thread.
Next up is the Just Nan SAL 2014 being hosted by Zeb at Keep Calm and Cross Stitch.  A fun SAL to promote the beautiful patterns of Just Nan.  I was able to finish one long-time Just Nan WIP and start a smaller piece this month.  The finish was Enchanted Swans.  This was a class piece that I started years ago 1999 or thereabouts as an on-line class through Tapestry of Dreams in Rhode Island.  I had finished the upper left diamond before putting it away for some unremembered reason.  I like the entire piece but the last band is really a favorite. Some day I am going to make a sampler of all my favorite Just Nan bands about the time pigs fly and an eternally warm place becomes a haven for ice skaters...
After finishing this one, I started on Tall Flowers and have gotten to here so far not quite as jelly fish looking anymore:
I plan on working on this the rest of today and maybe Sunday morning so I should have a finish to show in next month's post.  Strawberry Summer is going to fill the slot Enchanted Swans had in my rotation so it will be going on the frame Sunday.  I am really glad I signed up for this SAL as it is reminding me how much I like Just Nan's designs.


Catherine said...

Love the candle tip! Your stitches are looking great!

xsfav14 - Chele said...

Wow Enchanted Swans is gorgeous when it is done! I got all my class pieces of Tapestry of Dreams too! I miss all those old fun times. And Strawberry Summer is my starting piece (I missed January)for the SAL. I came out here 2 hours ago to start on it. But then I remembered I wanted to check on who else posted updates to the SAL. I am still busy clicking and commenting on all the beautiful projects!


Jo who can't think of a clever nickname said...

Ooo, thanks for the candle tip, I have some nice candles in jars that would work for too.

I love your Swans piece, especially on the blue fabric. It really is very delicate and a signature Nan look!