Friday, December 19, 2014

Just Nan SAL check-in and other stuff

I have been remiss in welcoming and thanking my new followers. I am going to try to post an entry a week in 2015, so there should be something for everyone to read - whether it is interesting is a whole 'nother story...

I am still not in the whole holiday spirit but am coming to terms with it and trying not to stress over it too much. I did pull out the stockings and tree today.  I even put a few ornaments on the tree but this year, "done is good enough".  I will be doing some more baking as The Hubs was upset that everything was mailed off to DSon and I did promise the in-laws a sampling of the holiday cookies.

A little more Christmas stitchery to add to what I showed on my Advent entry:

The stockings are part of the series of six or seven that Cross Stitch and Country Crafts published years ago.  I have stitched fourteen of them for family and friends. The cottages are from The Nutmeg Company and look, in my opinion, very cute hanging on the tree.  In case you can't tell, I have just figured out collages.  I am using PicMonkey and having a great time playing with it.  They do have a pay-for version with lots of additional features, but the free version seems to do everything I need.

So, on to stitching or the lack thereof.  About this time last year Zeb at Keep Calm and Cross Stitch posted about the Just Nan SAL and I jumped to join. I was a bit of an obsessive collector of Just Nans for years and have a lot in my stash.  Unfortunately, the SAL seems to have fallen by the wayside, but I have kept up with my Just Nan stitching and managed to finish three pieces this year.
Enchanted Swans, Tall Flowers, Strawberry Summer
I also started a fourth piece Spring in the Air and got this far:

I don't have any stitching progress to show. Except for a small, which I will hold for the final Smalls SAL check-in, I have not stitched on anything for the last few weeks. I have been keeping myself busy with stitching related things though - I gridded two small HAED pieces and have marked the fabric for Shakespearean Fantasy's gridding:

It is hard to see on my screen but if you click on the picture you'll get a clear view. My gridding technique starts with glass head sewing pins. I put a green one at the upper left corner and then take my handy dandy counting ruler from EZ Manufacturing (it is a ruler that has markings on it for 11-. 14-, 18- and 22-count fabric) and put a yellow pin every ten threads and repeat that until I get to the end which is marked with a red pin. I then do the same thing down the side. Once the dimensions are marked, it is very easy to do the count for the pages (I mark those with a blue pin). Once all that is done, I start gridding with the Sulky Sliver thread. I am finding the whole process very relaxing.

The other stitching related thing I am doing is bobbinating my floss box. I have the majority of my DMC stored very nice and neat, but when Wal-Mart stopped carrying DMC and was selling it for $.10 a skein and again when my local Joann's store moved and reduced the price to $.12 a skein, I bought a LOT of floss - no I don't know exactly how much, but I haven't had to buy more than a skein or two for a project in years. I originally organized it by putting it in plastic bags by number family and putting it in this very nice box (it has a pretty Tuscan countryside design on it) but that was it. Over the years floss from finished or dekitted projects was thrown in added and now it is a hot mess of DMC and other fibers and I can't find anything:

 So I decided it was finally time to do something about it. I have been planning this for years a while and have had six new floss boxes and 1,000 (yes 1,000) bobbins in my craft closet just waiting for me to get motivated.  Now seems to be the time. I am off work the next two weeks and hope to have all the DMC sorted and put away and the other threads at least separated and stored in their own bags by the time I go back to work. So I am off to find The Hubs's drill and see if the battery is charged. Drill you ask? I saw a blog post (and can't remember where) where an electric drill was used to help with the bobbin winding process and I want to try.


Sasha said...

Oh, you should let us know how the drill method goes! I am very interested to see if it works and how easy it may be.

Linda said...

I love those stitched houses on your tree Susan. I too have a zillion skeins of floss to wind on bobbins. Good luck.


Olna Jenn Smith said...

Oh, your gridding method is BRILLIANT!! I must convince myself this does NOT mean I get to place another stitching order for a ruler like that and whatever else happens to fall into my basket, but I can get PINS in town!

My friend and I have been stalling on getting started on our SAL of Widow Black's B&B because we've never worked that large and it scared us. This should help lots.

Justine said...

Beautiful Christmas stitching. I have been tempted by the Nutmeg houses a few times! Good luck with the bobbinating. I hate doing it but it's very satisfying when it's done. I'll be interested to hear how the drill method works.

Caitlin D said...

I love your gridding method, and I am VERY curious to see how the drill works. Sounds rather intriguing.

Leonore Winterer said...

Sometimes, preperation work can be even more exciting than actual stitching ^_^

Good job at keeping up with the Just Nan SAL this year; I might have to get a few of her patterns myself someday...and good luck with sorting through your floss!

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

Thanks for the link to the collage maker, I love making photo collages!
Congratulations on completing the Just Nan SAL and finishing three pieces too.
I'm going to do my final round up later in the month, I stitched all Nan smalls this year or parts of Round Robins. I did buy rather a lot of her charts though...

Gillie said...

Very impressed by the collage will check out Pic Monkey. Love the Just Nan start, shame about the SAL.