Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I'm in Vegas!!!

I’ve been with my friend Janet and her family in Vallejo, CA since Friday evening when they picked me up from San Francisco Airport. We spent part of Saturday in Sacramento watching her daughter in the Christmas parade. No, Arnie did not show. Sacramento is the capitol of CA, but it sure wasn’t all that busy for being a capitol city in a huge state. In fact, it seemed like more of a small city, even smaller than Indy, much to my surprise.

I’ve done precious little tatting. I worked one night on a T.A.T. project that involves making a flower motif without the twisted picot at the joining. I normally do not have a problem with that, but I only got it right once out of 4 tries the other night. Maybe it was the distraction…being with people who know nothing about tatting…or jet lag….

Sunday, Janet & I went to see Alexander the Great - a movie I’ve been waiting on for over a month. I dunno….it lacked something. The actor who plays him is a sweetie, but not my impression of Alexander.

I ate too much stuff I don’t normally eat there, but I think it will work out. This morning I took a shuttle bus to the airport and flew to Las Vegas, and I’m currently housed in Caesar’s Palace. I started out at 8:30 this morning on the bus and finally arrived here about 5:30 p.m. My 1st flight didn’t leave until 12:45 and then we went to Los Angeles and changed flights……then a shuttle from the Las Vegas airport to here.

I think I’m settled in now. I’ll explore tomorrow as time allows, but the conference registration opens at 7:30 a.m.

Maybe I’ll tat some tomorrow.

That was yesterday's post but I didn't get it pasted in here. Once I get off here tonight, I will tat! I'm not a gambler so there isn't much for me to do here at night. I have a couple of free hours tomorrow during the day so I'll be out and checking the strip then. The laptop isn't quite as convenient to manipulate so guess that's it for tonight.

:-) Really, I just wanted to make one last entry before the month ended!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Last Minute!

We had a nice gathering today. Got overstuffed and am just now feeling normal.

I've been driving myself crazy hunting for a clover cutter that someone sent me in an exchange once. It's great for the plane, though I've yet to use it. I still can't find it and I'm out of time now.

I've packed and repacked. Kept it down to 2 pieces of luggage and a light carry-on and a laptop. I'm just now thinking of sticking a priority mail box (still flat) in my suitcase in case I have to send something home to make room for purchases.

While I was hunting for the clover cutter, I found a necklace I bought at a garage sale ages and ages ago. It has several rhinestones missing but what just occured to me was how much it resembles tatting.

Well, I'm off in the morning. will check in from time to time. I suppose everyone will be out shopping tomorrow - could be tatting, you know.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Time Flies!

I'm starting to feel a little tatting withdrawal pang!

I set Wild Woolly, The Bison, aside for awhile. I started another project just for fun, and I'm thinking of what I want to take with me on my flight and trip next week. I fly out Friday to San Francisco and will stay with a close friend until Monday when I fly to Las Vegas for a conference. I probably won't get a lot of tatting done at her house, but I did offer to teach her daughter, so I'm assured of a little bit of tatting time that way!

Tonight I meet with a fellow lacer to help her with her tatting and she'll help me with my French. That reminds me, I need to go find an easy practice pattern for her. She probably has her own, but sometimes it helps to have someone else structure it for awhile.

EEEEEkkkkk! Just remembered, my lace group has their Xmas gathering shortly after I return and I need something for the exchange. Isn't it enough to figure out what I have to cook over the next few days? LOL! I have a list of 8 things to do here beside me and I know it's only a partial list.

I joined Curves over the weekend and had the 1st workout last night. I guess there are facilties in Las Vegas too, which makes up for the delightful meal I will indulge in on Thursday! Plus I'm eating our office carry-in leftovers today (never mind the feast itself yesterday).

I pulled out my reindeer that has been 2 years in the making.....err.....sitting....a few weeks ago and while I probably won't get to it beforehand, it is definitely an airplane project.

There is some nice Christmas tattng by Sheila Stewart.

Georgia linked us to this great cluny butterfly!

It's late now.....tatted with Chris, learned some French, talked with 2 friends online....and I really need to hit the sack.

Vacation 1

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Not much tatting done


But I did attend all 3 online tatting classes and it was fun to watch different people's reaction to doing the "false plait". It will be even more fun to see what kinds of projects will result from it.

Oh yes, I kept forgetting to mention in the classes that Jane Eborall has used this technique in some of her projects too.....sigh.....even after I reminded myself to do that.

Saturday my lace group met, an informal meeting, no business though I did try to get volunteer time nailed down. Dagmar went through the Bison pattern with me and we more or less got it figured out. She had trouble understanding the abbreviations too but it appears I was following along pretty close.

We also had a surprise visit from member Carolyn Regnier who is usually too busy with her dogs to come. At one point I showed her some of the false plait cord samples and asked if she had seen tatting done like that before. Wow, did she! She said she was in York in 1993 at gathering with tatters and they were informally discussing various techniques. One of the techniques was this "false plait", which didn't have a name that she knew of then, and they talked about different things to do with it. My impression was that they weren't manipulated together yet - that was one of the suggestions, I think from Carolyn. Carolyn said on the flight home, she played around with it, using 4 shuttles and 4 colors. In her email to me later after I had asked for more information, she looked for her samples from then and "found 2 red/green/white/gold wreaths with gold beads, one wreath in the 4 colors; and a candy cane in red and white." So it sounds like at least she and Jean played with the technique after their gathering and each came up with their own unique versions. I'd love to see Carolyn's samples. Maybe I'll get a chance one of these days. In the meantime, I think it's a hoot that one of the early players in this technique lives in my hometown!

I spent a frustrated hour last night looking for some directions I had printed off the web. Finally, I found another project that I knew was from the same site and used the name of it to find the site again. I had not bookmarked it at home. While searching through everything, I pulled out a few of the Italian tatting magazines to look at before I went to bed. I was reminded that I still want to make some tatted motifs as inserts on clothing or small window curtains. My time vanishes like a night's sleep.

I found this page by Tammy Rodgers for a paperclip picot gauge from one of the links on Bellaonline. This is nice if you want to make very small uniform picots. I usually just eyeball them but sometimes you need a tool like this.

And last but not least, here's the bison so far. I cut the picots at the side and bottom of the face, but I won't cut the others or trim them until I am done.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Blast From the Past!

Cleaning out my email folders, from June, 1999…..

I have a folder titled Bridge Festival. Investigating it, I see I had conversations with Mark (Tatman), Petal1, Kelly & Jill Krone, Rebecca, and Patski1102 about meeting at the Covered Bridge Festival that year. For some reason, I couldn't pull it together and we never met.

Five years later………I am so happy to have tatters close by to meet with. I'm so happy to have met at least Mark from the above group. I don't think I've met anyone else unless I didn't put a real name with a screen name.

When I met Tami at the weekend at the craft fair, I knew exactly how she felt about finding a tatter to talk to. LOL! She kept saying now she didn't feel crazy for loving this craft so much.

The internet has its blessings and the computer, in spite of the headaches it causes, is a wonderful tool of communication. I really wonder sometimes if it wasn't a key factor in bringing tatting back from the brink of death? How many of us struggled with learning the craft because there was no one around to teach us? How many examples of tatting did we have in front of us to inspire us? I think we are truly a unique group, to not only take up the art of tatting, but to continue with it and promote and develop new techniques and creations at a now mind-boggling pace.

Once, I used to pour through my collection of Workbaskets which I had originally for other crafts, mostly knitting and crochet, to find that one or two-pattern-per-month of tatting. There were one or two books on the market that were highly recommended, Rebecca Jones' for one, and even those had to be ordered for me to read. I didn't know about the I.O.L.I. library. I was just starting to use the internet. I don't think the local library even had a book only about tatting. Tatting was included in other needlecrafts, but not as a single book.

I was a single parent in a clerical job and still had 2 kids to support. Tatting was a cheap craft. A shuttle, which I'd had for years, and a ball of thread. I had tons of crochet thread. Of course, it didn't take long for me to find out the difference between GOOD tatting thread and common cotton crochet thread. And I hated the Boye metal shuttle I had so when I heard about David Reed Smith's shuttles, I scraped up the $17 or so that it cost me and ordered a small wooden one. I ordered some Cebelia from a Herrschner's catalog. I found a tortoise shuttle at the local St. Vincent DePaul's. I found online groups, Tat-chat and E-tatters, though E-tatters wasn't called that at first. I found online patterns. I started searching every 2nd hand shop and garage sale for old books and patterns. I discovered ebay and started "collecting" from there. My, how that cheap hobby grew!

A quick surfing check found some fairly new items:

Needle Tatting Two, an MSN group, has some great ideas on how to turn medallions into ornament covers as well as ideas on how to use other motifs and pieces to decorate for the Christmas holidays. There is a nice block tatted wreath there too.

Oh, just found this, a pineapple heart designed by Sherry Matthews! Wouldn't that make a lovely Christmas heart???? backed with a green Ice Crystals doily?....well, that might be too much tatting which takes away from each piece instead of making them stand out but something green would work. I know! Green beads! And then use the same pattern in February.

I worked on the bison last night, finally giving up on the translation and simply guessing at the diagram. So far, so good. I hope to find out Saturday what I was actually supposed to do.

My sister gave me a shuttle that she found in her sewing machine cabinet drawer tonight. LOL! It has pink variegated thread on it. A french ivory shuttle with little metal rivets. I think it is bigger than any of my other french ivory shuttles.

I forgot to tell my daughter Happy Veteran's Day. She served in the military - the Army.

Happy Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Missed my bed!

I slept so good last night! The Hilton in Ft. Wayne is nice but the pillows were too firm and I couldn't scrunch them up right. I woke in the middle of the first night with a sore neck. I switched pillows. Didn't help. The second night I got the extra blanket out of the closet and used it as a pillow. Much better but still not like my own. I usually don't have that problem.

I wasn't going to take a lot of tatting with me because I never use everything I take and it's a waste of time and energy. I took 2 canvas tote bags full. (cringe) Plus I had a few books stashed in my carry-all, including my T.A.T. binder. Unfortunately, in keeping with my "not gonna take all that stuff", I didn't have the thread I need for the T.A.T. projects. In fact, I had very little thread, but I did have lots and lots of floss holders full of thread, so I spent a good part of my 2 evenings away tatting flowers and butterflies from leftover threads. I didn't have a beading needle with me either, so it was insanity that I brought a whole container of beads, but some last-minute packing moments are like that. I did find a picot-beader in the stuff I took and I painstakingly used that to load some beads and make some trailers for fantasy flowers. About ONE actually. LOL! But I made one of the larger motifs to go with it too.

I realized this morning that I'd had a "blonde" moment last night. I couldn't get my trunk to open with the button inside the car or the electronic opener on my keychain, so I opened one of the back seats and pulled my luggage through that way.

...big sigh.....

This morning I realized all I had to do was stick the key in the lock. The electronic part still doesn't work but the key does. DUH!!! I just spent 2 days in a workshop focused on creative thinking. I musta used it all up by the time I got home. LOL!

Abby should get her boo-boo exchange today! I'm so excited!

Yesterday I came home to a sewing machine I won on ebay, which was a cheap alternative to getting the one I have fixed. I will still get it fixed but now I can sew until I'm ready to take it in, probably after the first of the year. I also came home to 4 issues of Tatting Times, a newsletter by Karey Solomon. I was a late-in-the-year subscriber so I got all the goodies at once. LOL! You can subscribe by sending payment to Karey. I think it is $14/year but you might email her first to check. I saw a few things in there I want to try and they are small enough that they'll be a nice break from the bigger projects, like the bison.....

Speaking of bison, Abby sent me a pic

which will help me decide what to do with the horns.

I also came home to DSL on my computer so now it loads FAST! The only problem is when I'm entering things here, it will be difficult for me to know how it loads for those on dial-up now. I know it takes time. I try to keep the pics small. If I limited the view to the latest entry, that might help too. I love having the DSL though. Now I can get phone calls while on the computer, my kids' biggest complaint, even though I have a cell phone.....I used to be really bad about turning the cell phone on so they couldn't reach me either way, but I've been good about leaving it on for a year now. They just don't call me anymore....sniff, sniff.....

That was a joke, btw. They do call. Eventually.


She got it!

I had such fun making this monkey. I always think of my grandma when I make one. I love the way they take on a personality as you shape them. Those eyes watch you every stitch of the way.

Monkey 2

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Another tatter in town!

I went to a little craft bazaar this morning, only because my niece had a booth in there. Turns out there was a tatter right next to her. And not anyone I know. or knew.

We talked for quite a bit and I was so excited to have someone to SHOW things to and how to do NEW stuff! She had tons of bookmarks for sale and heart motifs, etc. She had a copy of A Gathering of Angels and asked me about the SCMR on one of the angels so I showed her how to do that. I just realized how much fun it was to show someone who is so enthused about learning.

Then I went to Cellular Express, at the advice of my sister, and got a different phone, one that works and at a lower rate, but with all the perks of the old one. That was doubly exciting, believe it or not. I've had so much aggravation with my cell phone that I was ready to throw it out the window on a very fast moving freeway with lots of semis to crush it to death.
Too Funny

I finished up my exchange for Abby - I just need to figure out how I'm going to get it sent out. Tomorrow I leave for Ft. Wayne for some training Monday and Tuesday. Perhaps the hotel will direct me to someplace to mail it from.

I've been trying to tat a bison for a friend.

It's been a struggle. It's in German and while I do have some terms translated into English and have picked up others from some translation sites, there are still unclear terms and abbreviations. And the diagram isn't all that great either. I kind of trace it out with my finger while reading the numbers on the instructions and try to guess if it sounds like a logical number for the length of the direction I'm going. sigh........ I think the horns look like ears but I've done it over 3 times and I'm NOT doing it again. Instead, I believe I'll add some white or light tan horns later, made similarly to the elephant's tusks. I'll be framing it so I can sew them on.

Speaking of German text, I have that Lacis publication Tatted Lace Patterns of Emmy Liebert that I just love but can't read. There is an English translation of German terms in the front - and I just found one word on my bison instructions that I missed before: anschl=adding. Now one problem with the text in this book is the font. It's the old form which is incredibly difficult to make out, let alone translate. It's such a nice book and if they were going to the trouble to reprint it, why didn't they also translate it?

I still haven't gotten a modem for my laptop so I'm not likely to be in touch for the next few days. That just makes it more fun when I come back and discover what everyone is up to.

Bye Bye

Friday, November 05, 2004

Wired Buttons! I wasn't as impressed with these after I saw them because their use is limited - mostly to denim and leather fabrics that won't be inclined to snag. For those however, it would be a unique fastener or decor.

Tulle Treasures This is similar to a gift bag I bought in Ireland which gave me the idea to make my own using tatted motifs in the blocks. I was going to use it in some exchange way back then and had a problem getting the sewing part down right. These instructions would have been helpful then. I still have the partly finished bag. It would have been stunning....but I already cut open one of the blocks to retrieve a motif for something else. I might be able to salvage it by some fancy embroidery but I haven't been motivated to try that so far.

Sheer Appliques. Now here is spin-off idea from the above. Just applique sheer shapes onto a blouse or t-shirt and tuck a tatted motif inside before finishing off the last stitching of the sheer fabric patch. This could be quite elegant....consider a tatted rose or floral motif, maybe Ruth's celtic rose...black on white or white on black....the dragonflies and butterflies are good motifs too, as plain or fancy as you like. In fact, depending on the sheerness of the fabric, you could put little curtains at the sides like you're looking in a window. Oh, tatted hearts would be nice too, with a delicate tatted edging on the outside of the sheer patch. Maybe the dimpled ring heart edging? Similar to this one I just found on Tat-man's site when I did a google for it. LOL! Hey, that's nice Mark - I hadn't seen this one before.

Making Medieval Clothes and Items which includes a bobbinlace pillow. This is part of a costume ring. I might have to check out some of the other links. Some nice info for those who do re-enactments.

I just won a Singer sewing machine on ebay. Yay! It's like one I used to have, but brand new, still in the box, at way less and probably not any more than it will costs to have the one I'm using now looked at and tuned up and whatever. (smile) Today has been a good day. Got a lot done, though there is always more to do. Found out about a fix for my cell phone which has been a pain for like forever and ever. Good news from a friend. So now I'm trying to get my exchange thing done for Abby. Sewing on tatting takes longer than the tatting sometimes. LOL!

Thursday, November 04, 2004


Calling all budding designers!

Get ready to think "pink!" Unleash your creativity and enter the Crafter's Choice/Vogue Knitting Designer Scarf Contest. All you have to do is create a knitted, crocheted, or mixed medium (both knitted and crochet) scarf from your own previously unpublished design. Feel free to experiment with stitches, patterns, or motifs-but be sure to incorporate the color pink in some way.

Entry must be postmarked by April 15, 2005. (TAX day - so that's easy to remember!) Get creative, win prizes, and help fight breast cancer!

I forget about these kinds of contests. You don't see them widely advertised so I'll try to post them when I see them.

Here is an online competition for our friends across the pond to win Hobbycraft gift vouchers. Just find the gift parcels hidden throughout the site. Deadline is November 22 for £50 worth.

Clotilde's Sewing Savvy offers a grand prize of a Bernina Sewing Machine and also a monthly prize of an autographed copy of Clotilde's Sew Smart book! Plus a bonus Clotilde tote bag. Hey, they offer "tatting" as a category of interest!

Oh here's a fun one! The Third Annual Ugly Necklace Contest.

Fire Mountain Gems just had a huge contest but the deadline was October 31, so maybe keep an eye open for next year's contest.

Paradise Fibers has a quarterly contest and since the last deadline was Nov. 1, a new one should be starting up anytime.

And once again, I've muddled past my bedtime.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Mental Health Day

Stayed home and took a mental health day - which means I was not physically ill, but my mind was fatigued and needed a break.

So...I spent most of the day doing things that made me feel good.

The latest Anna issue arrived today!

There was also a star doily, with 3 fabric diamonds and 3 tatted diamonds.

Last night I was sewing a fabric doll that I decided to make from the 1978 issue of Stitch 'n' Sew. I once made a doll with a bread dough head and fabric body, painted the head and glued on hair. I gave it to my mother who was a doll lover and I have it back now. The face is cracked a little because all the moisture did not bake out of the dough.

I got the idea for her from a Decorating and Crafts magazine back in the 70's. The dress pattern came from that magazine too. I'm almost in awe looking at the tiny bead "buttons", the miniature cuffs, and the pleated bodice. When did I have time to do stuff like that? If I'd known how to tat back then, you can bet she would've had some different lace on that dress! Anyway.....I want to make another without a cracked face. Maybe this time I'll use that sculpy stuff....but there's something nostalgic about using bread-dough.

The doll I'm working on now has bust darts so she looks more filled out up there. I haven't made the clothes yet. I used rayon floss for the hair which made it silky with a sheen. It's a pretty basic doll...no fingers, pointy toes which will be covered by shoes. The magazine had her in a bridal gown but I'm going to put something else on her. What I did like was the bloomer/corset garment and I'll use that under whatever dress I make for her.

Found out DSL is now available so it will be installed next week. That means I can get phone calls while I'm online and that things will load much faster.

I also worked on another sewing project today but that one will have to wait. I'm going to go work on it some more for now.
Sewing Needle And Thread

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Voted early!

It was a relief to be done with voting. I felt good about it, but I'm glad it's done now.

One of my lists had some links which led me to further links.

is a hen and chicks tablerunner which could be edged, most appropriately, with a tatted hen and chicks edging!

Templates for cards & envelopes. Not the usual card and envelope either!

What a unique use of bowling balls!

Here is a way to use some old unmatched sets to make a teacup birdfeeder.

Eyeglass holders!

All that crafty stuff got me in the mood to sew tonight. I'm at a point where I need to do the hand-stitching part so I'm going to go see how the election is coming along.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Boo-Boo Pooh

My Boo-Boo Exchange partner Abby sent me Pooh bear all decked out in tatting! Abby says the edging around the neck is one of her favorites. The celtic rose on one foot is from Ruth (aka Rozella Linden) Perry's celtic patterns. The turtle (nicely beaded and bug-eyed) is from Handy Hands online free pattern. There is a snowflake on top and a heart on the side of the head. There is a "part of a bookmark" on the other side and Woo's rose on the back of the head. The (brown) bluebird of happiness with a teensy heart in it's beak is on Pooh's backside. And of course, the little flutter on his nose! My oh my! I better get busy if I'm going to get Abby's sent out by next Monday! I love this little fella - thank you Abby!

Here's the vintage crocheted bag I got at the antique store in Greenfield over a week ago. I soaked it in Oxyclean and got most of the yellowing out. I see one stray thread there and started to pull on it - only to find it is the crocheted edging, so I'll have to crochet it back in and tie it off. The bobbles at the bottom are what I saw at Camp Wannatat, only the tatted version, and while I got a basic idea of how to go about it, I still haven't done it yet.

Once again, it's past my bedtime.



I just got the June 1978 issue of Stitch n Sew on ebay! From a seller in Bloomington, IN! I emailed and asked if she happened to have the July & Sept. issues too.

I also just found another source for this magazine, but it's more than I'm willing to pay. The only issue from this series is the one I just got off ebay anyway, but I'll keep an eye open here.

I got the magazine Saturday and finally had a chance to look through it this morning. The pages I was wanting were missing! The seller didn't realize it and is willing to work with me. But from this issue, I learned it actually started in May, with 2 patterns and the quilt instructions then, and this issue has 2 patterns. Or did have at one time.

Today, after catching up on some household chores and working up a nice sweat, I decided to work on the TAT project. I had started the first project Friday evening and misunderstood the part about front-side tatting. I knew as soon as I was done that I had done more than I was supposed to. So I used that as a practice piece and then today, I made another one, this one as it's supposed to be. Then I did the second project, but I think I'll do that one over again too. Part of the 1st project is to drop the shuttle through the ring before closing in a certain segment. I did that. Then in another part of the project, you show samples of the ring done each way and explain the theory. LOL! I had to make up a second sample and label them right away because I can't tell the difference or couldn't at first. I do see the threads hang down straighter, but that also creates a bit of a gap that I don't have otherwise so I'm still not getting what the supposed advantage is. My rings lay flat anyway. Fortunately, I don't have to do that for my own work. Nor is it emphasized in the project - it's simply another method to be aware of.

Missed the online class tonight as I needed to take my son to the grocery and then to work. Met my daughter in Walmart. LOL! This is a strange sort of event that keeps repeating. No matter what day or time of day, we seem to meet in Walmart, sometimes nearly colliding carts.

Speaking of collicions, staff were pulling dollies full of new items to stock on the aisles on either side of me as I looked at some cordless phones on display. All of a sudden my cart was rammed into my ribs and the little gal toting the dollie says "sorry" as she blissfully trots on by. The overhang on her load had caught my cart and pushed it into me.

Whoops....past my bedtime.

Alarm Clock