Sunday, October 23, 2005

Well.....only a week here and I've purchased probably 20 balls of thread and several packages of beads, a few fine crochet hooks, and a few shuttles.

I've been gone quite a bit but I do tat in the evenings to relax after a long day of visiting and sightseeing. Today is a quiet day - laundry, errands, groceries. I've also been tatting the mignonette bag from Phase 2 of T.A.T. I felt I would need the practice after the other one I had done. The first attempt was too late at night and I realized after the second round that I'd made a fatal I started again the next morning while waiting for my friend to show up. I'm about halfway done now and it's going nicely. After reading the directions more thoroughly, I think the design trim will be easy enough so I feel more comfortable about it now. This was only going to be a practice piece, but it may well be my finished item for the segment.

I bought some silver bangles here in Brisbane my 2nd day here....immediately tatted a clover "edging" into a circle to fit. There are 50 bangles to the package - and I bought some gold ones a few days later!

Well, off to finish my errands!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Just a quickie!

Yesterday I went with Maureen to a fabulous HUGE quilt and craft show. I bought some thread - size 16 Finca in 10 colors. Also got beads at another booth....and LOTSA other stuff! Tomorrow we meet again, this time with Brenda Rewhorn and another person and will go to another THREAD store!

I've been to the museum and several restuarants. Ate in Chinatown last night with my friend Garryck. Will go to the Botanical Gardens tonight if it isn't raining.

Now....I'm off to do a little grocery shopping and do my laundry.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The safety geek in me cringes at the idea of fabric being near a heat source like this, but the tatting is lovely and it's a beautiful effect. It's very possible it's not truly fabric or that it is treated in a way to resist flammability.

I've had more than one person ask me about the pattern source for the Christmas trees. Those are from Susan Fuller's A Potpourri of Tatted Patterns which is currently out of print. Last I heard, she was going to reprint it, but so far I haven't seen it. So if you are lucky enough to come across a copy somewhere, grab it up!

I've been busy at work and at home, packing and repacking. I just repacked my clothes, getting just short of ruthless! I had told myself I would only take a few days' worth of clothes, either buying new or washing what I brought, so I wouldn't have so much luggage ....and end up with room to bring home what I buy. I probably took out about half of what I originally packed. NOW - if I can do the same with my tatting!

I don't think I'll be seeing as many tatters as I thought so no need to bring show and tell stuff. Part of the fun is buying new supplies in a new place, so that's another reason to severely limit what I take. I have 2, maybe 3 projects lined up to take with me. One will be on the plane and I'm sure I'll be sick of it by the time I get there. One is a design I'm working on and one is an edging I want to make as a gift. Should be simple enough to pack, right? Besides, I'm visiting with friends also...if I'm going to hole up tatting, I might as well stay home.

Everything gets incredibly busy when you don't want it to be. My boss is in the process of hiring a new secretary...and he interviewed several last week - this week, in fact in the next 3 days, he is doing 2nd interviews and we are invited to participate. ARRGGGGGhhhhh....I want to, but I don't have time. Spent the afternoon at a farm inspection - came back smelling like a hog. Phew! I'm leaving early on Thursday, to meet with a friend briefly and then take care of last minute money. LOL! I'm taking one cat to one son's house tomorrow night and another cat to another son Thursday night. Plus their still keeps showing up here.

Got everyone's Secret Santa partner out.....already everyone is getting excited about what to make/give.

Oh...I forgot....I got a new Tatting Goddess tshirt! This one is short sleeved and in a dark teal color. Yep, taking it with me Down Under. This is the one with the shuttle embroidered on it. And that reminds me.....I've been meaning to ask my son-in-law if he knows how to digitize a graphic for sewing machine embroidery. I think the Goddess needs to expand. LOL!

Did you know they have a Target and a Kmart store in the city I'm going to? LOL! I've already googled them and got addresses. No hairdryer where I'm staying and I'm not going to take mine plus a converter. Easier to buy a cheapie there and leave it with my friend. Who shaves his head. LOL! But his housemates will use it or he can give it away.

I don't know if I'll have time to write here again before I leave - probably - but if I don't, I know I'll hit the internet cafe at least once in Brisbane.

In the meantime, tat on!

Monday, October 10, 2005

I love making these little trees. The sequin stars are only for effect in this case. I don't have them attached, though if I could figure out how to tat them in, I would. There is a tatted star that goes with these trees but I haven't gotten to that yet.

I guess I was pretty productive today, in spite of an all-day lingering headache. I hemmed a pair of slacks and 2 tee shirts. Considering I rarely sew these days, that is a major accomplishment in itself!

I also packed most of my clothes, probably all of them. All I need to do now is figure out what tatting and books to take. I know of 2 projects I'm taking. One is an edging for something I'm making for my daughter & daughter-in-law. The other is a design I'm working on. I'm debating on whether to take another one I'm working on or not. I may change my mind by Friday. LOL!

I need to get to bed. I took a nap in the afternoon to combat my headache and now I'm wide awake - and a job to go to in the morning!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Along the theme of using motifs as Christmas ornaments, I decided to tat this triangular motif from Tatting Patterns and Designs, Gun Blomqvist and Elwy Persson. I hoped to get it done before our lace meeting this morning but once I got into it, I realized there was a length of thread that I wasn't sure how to deal with. I always have trouble reading the instructions in this book but it looked simple enough at first and I loaded beads for the inner and outer picots. Right off the bat I put too many beads on the first ring and by the time I got to the funky length of thread, I decided to give it up on the bead trim and just tat the piece as a sample in progress. I do love the effect of scrollwork. About the only way to camouflage the bits of bare thread is to use beads. When I look really close (nose up to page) I can see where she twisted the thread, but that's not what it says to do. This is the 3rd motif on page 49 if you have the book. For one thing, I would close that gap in the clover by joining to the base of the first ring before taking a length of thread back to the original starting point. You could also chain up to the clover and then back down but that might be a bit clunky For ornaments however, the addition of beads would be perfect in that space.

The second ornament is the D12 snowflake on page 60 of Tatting Collage by Lindsay Rogers. I did have that one completed. I just wanted to show that any small motif with an opening in the center is a potential ornament cover.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

The Shuttle Shop has rennovated their site. Their shuttle locket is as unique as their shuttles. I'd like to get one eventually.

Here's my rendition of Ruth Perry's Celtic Pumpkin, which looks suspiciously like an orange strawberry. LOL! I couldn't get it woven right with the leaf already attached, so I made the chain and wove it and then tatted the leaves onto it. It turned out waaaaaaaaaaaaay smaller than I expected. The scan is BIGGER than lifesize.

So anyway, if you are looking for some Autumn related ideas, besides Halloween stuff, You might also try Heidi Sunday's pumpkin vine edging. I've put this on a tea towel - very nice.

I'm surprised no one has designed a pilgrim yet. There are a few turkeys out there. Autumn leaves. An Autumn Bookmark by Sherry Townsend. A needle tatted pumpkin by Sherry Matthews. Squirrels and acorns are in some pattern books. I've never been a big Halloween fan but if you want Halloween patterns, just google "tatted halloween". Gillian Buchanan at BellaOnline has a whole list of links to online patterns for the season.

Well....I'm off to finish something before it gets too late!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

We decided to go with this simple trefoil from Rebecca Jones Complete Book of Tatting, page 47, figure 119. Except we've done numerous variations on it, using beads and changing the stitch count. It fits a small 1" ball. You can buy a used copy of the book at

We'll also offer the zigzag one for those who already tat and then for the REALLY ambitious, we'll send them to Terry the Tatter's webpage.

The details are done for my trip. All I have to do now is pack. It's a little late for give-aways, but I might manage something. Tomorrow night after work I'm meeting someone to help them with their tatting. She is new to it and wants to make a snowflake for someone by Christmas. So I'm off to find an easy snowflake.

I know Rebecca Jones' book is considered the Bible of tatters but I've used it very little. Yep, looking through it now I see very little I've tatted from the book. But what I realize is that I buy books for the patterns, not the techniques. All the techniques I've learned have been from the online class or at workshops or Georgia's book Tatting Talk,Book Six of the Ribbonwinner Series.

And all the other great ones....sorry, I look for the patterns. Can't say I've read anything else. Maybe I'm missing something?

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Time to quit. I can't count.

I've been trying to come up with a VERY simple rings only design for small glass ball ornaments since I heard Bette's exasperated voice on my answering machine this evening. We already have one very simple one, but she was having trouble with it flip-flopping around on her hand. Plus I had new beads to try out.

I finished this one up earlier but the size 50 thread was too small for this, even though it is only a 1" ball, which made the rings a tad too small to go over the top of the ball without forcing it. I also didn't like the clear beads.

So I got out my metallic thread that I don't like to tat with but it seemed a good match for the gold beads and I gotta use that thread up somehow! I meant to leave 10 beads between elements and I started off doing just that but when I got to the second point, I forgot and put 12 beads for each length - though I did notice as soon as I tatted the top ring that my second length was longer.....Okay....I'll just alternate them, 10 beads, 12 beads, 10 beads, 12 beads.....

I count 10 beads for the next element, and another 3 for the ring. I slide the beads and snug them up, tat the ring, and suddenly realize the 3rd element is way longer than it should be. No wonder - it has FIFTEEN beads. I refuse to retrotat because the metallic will break. I either get creative or dump it. In the meantime, I'm quitting for the night. I think what I can do is start going back the other direction - 12 beads, then 10 beads, then repeat the pattern. That will bring it down to a wide point on either side. I'm not sure I have enough beads strung now though. I already started over once. Hmmmm.....this way, I need 266 beads. I only had 200 on there and already cut off about 25 from my prior mistake. If I have enough thread, I can simply take it off the shuttle and thread the additional beads from the other end.

I spent most of my morning googling websites in Brisbane having to do with needlecraft supplies. I had an offer back on one of my inquiries for accommodations so as soon as they respond with directions about booking - I'll have the last piece in place. Almost. LOL! I got the ETA yesterday. I also want to check out international calling on my cell phone. I know it can be done - I just have to make the arrangements....and I want to see if I can do it temporarily rather than be committed to it for a whole year.

This afternoon I mowed, probably for the last time, and then I went to town. Stopped in at Big Lots and immediately spied the small glass balls Bette and I were looking for yesterday. We ended up with bigger ones which didn't match the ornament covers we were planning to make, so I picked up the smaller ones. And some Xmas tablecloths and towels and gift tags and a little tree to hang the ornaments on and another thing or two or three. Then I tanned, got groceries and gas and came home.

Tomorrow I will do laundry, write out my bills, and go into the office to do something with the display window. I'll try to finish up this current ornament cover too. And take my son his mail.

...sigh.....good night....