Sunday, January 29, 2006

These are variations on the motif found in Mrs. Beeton's Book of Needlework. I started working on it one day during my lunch hour and found it a quick tat once I figured out what the antique terms meant. So that evening and the next, I added variations, using rings instead of all chains and adding picots and beads and using 2 colors. It's being featured in the online class Sunday and Monday. Wally Sosa has some additional variations that are equally fascinating. I posted the bookmark I made from this motif earlier this month. For more information about the online class, visit Georgia's site.

The newest issue of The Tatting Times arrived yesterday. I'd like to say when I get those that I sit down and tat from cover to cover.....but I don't. LOL! I do look through it but the tatting has to wait. Today I decided to go ahead and try the lovely heart in the very front. It's called The Flame in the Heart and I liked the look of what seemed to me to be flowering vines. I had a little trouble following the various turns and had to start over - so when I did, I made a few adaptations that worked for me and I also added some beads which created an additional variation, so it's not exactly as Karey published it. But I think it's pretty cool anyway. You can subscribe to Tatting Times by contacting Karey Solomon at P.O. Box 9, Hector, NY 14841.

You didn't think I'd quit tatting after the heart, did you? Actually, it took that to get me psyched up enough to tackle the brooch again. When I put it down last, I knew I was running out of shuttle thread and I dreaded moving all those beads so that I could add more thread. I didn't want it to become an infamous UFO (aackk!) so I got it out again this afternoon and diligently transferred most of the beads to another thread. That left me just enough thread to finger tat the last ring.....barely. Then I decided I didn't really need many beads on the shuttle after all so that made the reloading much easier. I guess it's okay for a first effort. It's not as symmetrical as I would like and I realized that as I was tatting but couldn't think of a fix that didn't involve starting all over. I made the mistake of using clear beads along with white and silver. Do you know how hard it is to see clear beads in that combination? And I was using 2 threads, white and silver. My eyes were not happy with me at all! I have a pin back drying on it now. This was inspired by the brooch I received from Sue Hanson at Christmas. I suspect next time she is in the states, we'll make her teach us how to do that. Trust me, hers is MUCH neater than mine.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

My Ring of Tatters pin arrived yesterday! I can't wait to get the book. No word on when to expect it though. I'm glad I am in the position this year to support Ring of Tatters. Their competition this year is a tatted hanky edging and corner motif. I'm not sure I will have time to pursue that before the April 30 deadline, but you never know!

Earlier this week I made a stop in at Trinity Mission and found this wooden necklace for fifty cents. I was intrigued wih the way the beads were drilled for stringing and I also like the shapes and wondered what I could do with them? I would like to wear it in the summer once or twice before I take it apart however.

This evening we met at my sister's house with her, my daughter and my granddaughter. We're starting our Thursday night gathering again. Tonight I worked on my brooch a la Sue Hanson method. I think. It looked like the easiest one to tackle. I'm sort of winging it as I go and I'm not sure if I like it yet or not.

We decided to take turns picking projects. Usually we just bring whatever we are working on but my sister and I agreed we have way too much "stuff" and in order to justify buying more "stuff", we need to use up some of the "stuff" we already have. Next week I'm going to show them how to needle tat. I think they can all handle it. Then I'll feel better about having some tatting supplies I rarely use - like 3 tatting needles!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Saturday morning I got to do something I've been wanting to do for a long time. My coworker, Lila, invited me to come to her house to make a basket along with a few other people. Lila sells her baskets in town at a craft shop. I have a few small ones she gave me as a gift and one big one that Fran gave me because she wasn't happy with it. Works great for me! Fran is another coworker. This shot wasn't too long before we broke for lunch. Lunch was baked spaghetti with a 7 layer salad and a fresh fruit plate that I brought. Yummy!

Here's Fran. I have no idea what the conversation was at that point but we were having a good time. Another woman, Patty, was also present but she managed to elude my camera focus somehow without even trying!

And here's Lila, who not only helped each and every one of us through each step but managed to make a basket herself.

And here is the final product. I suddenly see something poking out that shouldn't be, but that's okay. It's still hanging in my basement, drying from the staining process. I couldn't believe 6 hours had passed since I got there.

Friday, January 20, 2006

YeeHaw! Ever get that bug in the ear to experiment ....with cooking? I wanted a little something extra beyond the salad I had earlier and decided some honey bran muffins sounded spot-on. Besides, I'm pretty sure the mix has been in my cabinet a good year or more so I really need to make it, you know? Not only that, it's the perfect opportunity to try out a couple of silicone miniature bundt pans similar to the photo on the left. I got them on clearance at Big Lots once for $1 each. Now these kinds of cooking containers are normally very pricy. Here's one video clip about them.

Now first of all, the mix is OLD. It's supposed to make 6 muffins but of course, these little pans look good size and the batter doesn't amount to a whole lot so I divide it between the 2 pans and stick them (cringing) into a 450º oven. I expect a rubbery puddle to result and I'm glad I'm not too hungry. Popcorn is my plan B. The recommended length of baking time is 11-15 minutes. I have the timer set for 11 minutes because my oven tends to be on the hot side....but these are a little bigger than your average muffin cups so I figure it might take 15. The phone rings. I talk, catch the timer before it goes off and pull them out. There's a black spot on one where the batter was on the edge. I finish talking and decide to do the toothpick test. Actually, I can tell just by moving them that they aren't done so back in they go. I keep checking but eventually I think the tops are getting too dark so out they come again. They seem pretty dense and heavy. I don't think they rose at all. I can see through the bottoms and it looks like that part was getting too dark too. Must be done, right?

No, not quite. I turned one out of its silicone glove and pop the other in the microwave for 30 seconds. The one I've turned out is a little bit doughy in the middle and a tad bit hard on the edges, but edible. I slather some cinnamon butter on it and eat it - chunk by doughy chunk. LOL! So I still don't know how well they work. I'll have to blame this one on old mix and wrong size containers.

This one is to tantalize my Secret Valentine. These are parts for hearts. I definitely made a heart from this collection. Is it for my Valentine or someone else? What kind of heart? How do YOU think I put it together?

You'll have to wait until Valentine's Day so that my Secret Valentine is surprised!

Georgia Seitz is so funny. I ordered this Etatter shuttle from her and she sends it in a plastic food storage container. LOL! She's done it before and actually, you have to admit it's very clever! It's probably cheaper than an envelope and not easily crushed and it's REUSABLE.

Now, all that aside, isn't the shuttle pretty? I really like the blue flowers but I haven't decided exactly what kind they are.

Here are my attempts at bobbinlacing! The blue and gold one was the very first and completed...errrr...cut off the pillow last year. Between Wednesday night and Thursday night, I made the red and white one and then the multi-colored one. I've done considerably better on the last compared to the other two, but wow - that stuff is hard on the neck! I had the pillow propped, but I was peering so intently into it.

I stopped in Michael's Crafts tonight, hoping they had some Clover shuttles in, but no such luck. No matter, I bought ________ and _______for my Special Valentine and I used my 40% off coupon on a gadget that lets you make stickers. Stay tuned for that upcoming experiment!

When I got home tonight, there was a package in the mail. Dear Jeanne from Ft. Wayne sent me some Nexcare for my fingertips that are prone to cracking this time of year. Now there's a sweetheart! Thank you Jeanne! BTW, I'm going to make my first basket tomorrow. Another experiment to tune in for! Let's hope it works out better than the muffins.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

I've been tatting hearts mostly, and the project for my Hector class. A heart or two that I tatted goes to my secret valentine so I don't want to give the secret away. I have one small binder filled with heart patterns. I have lots of favorites! I like Witt's teensy heart basket. I like the Workbasket Daisy heart. I like Susan Fuller's Heart's Desire. I like Bev Dillon's Paisely Heart. I like Betsy Evans' heart in her Rainbow Heart bookmark. I like Irene Woo's Heart of the Butterfly. I like Iris Neibach's heart on her website. I like Ruth Perry's celtic heart. I like Mary Konior's Queen of Hearts. There is a heart in one of the older tatting booklets that has needle weaving in its center and daisies all around. Haven't made that one yet, but I will eventually.

I can show this heart bookmark I tatted. I think Georgia will be using it for an online class before too long. I've enjoyed looking at hearts I've tatted in the past. I don't have many of them for myself. I tatted the daisy heart last August and it's framed and hanging from my antique brass room divider. I have the heart on the china heart hanging on a calendar. You can find examples of those here on this blog by putting key words into the search engine.

Well, back to tatting for my secret valentine. Perhaps she is reading this and wondering if hers will be one of the above mentioned hearts?

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Nancy Tracy's Pretty Kitty

I got this pattern today in my email about a sale at I was going to my son's apartment for dinner and had about a half hour to kill so I decided to start on the kitty because it looked pretty easy and it's SO cute!

I had it tatted, ends hidden and on the blocking board in less than a half hour. This one is super quick! I added a tiny ring at the end of the tail because I thought it might be easier to hide the ends so that it appeared tapered. I'm not sure I like it any better. I probably won't on the next one. And I think it would be easy to have different colored whiskers too. Nancy has made it so you have only the tail ends to hide and you could easily put a drop of glue on the tail tip instead. I think he is a Fat Cat. I want to make more! This one is tatted in size 20 thread - I think Coats but the label is missing.

I'm glad we have an extra day this weekend. I need to put the last of the Christmas stuff away. I had some things from my display window at work plus what I've purchased on clearance lately. Time to stash it away.

I'm also in process of cleaning out my kitchen drawers and cabinets. It's very slow. I got the 2 big drawers last weekend and plan to do the 3 little ones this weekend. Maybe start the cabinets next weekend.

I'm working on two tatted projects...and then there's my secret valentine. I know what I'm making. I just need to sit still long enough to make it.

My lace group met this morning. Bette gave a very motivating presentation on to increase your perceptions and look at things creatively and transform them into a design that shouts YOU! I think they enjoyed considering the possibilities although nearly every one of them denies being a designer. I think that's interesting. You don't have to make your living at it to be a designer. Everyone designs to a certain extent. I did like seeing them get a little excited about it though.

I stopped at the library after lunch and found some books on creativity. Inspired me too. I didn't go in there looking for those - I was looking for a different book. LOL! Like I don't already have enough inspiration!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

For those who have asked me where the capelet pattern came from.....I said McCall's Needlework & Crafts but that's wrong! It is Ladie's Home Journal Needle & Craft, Spring/Summer 1978. The cover is missing from my copy and I just assumed it was McCall's because it's the same size and I have an extensive collection.
I am not a shopper. You won't find me out the day after Thanksgiving or the day after Christmas scrounging for bargains. Not on purpose anyway. I do not like crowds. I like people but not large crowds of people packing the aisles and standing in your way so you can't get to anything. But I always manage to get some bargains before it's all over. Tonight I stopped at KMart to return a stove drip pan that didn't fit my stove and thought I would look for the stuff for my fingers. After picking up what I meant to get and a few more things (BIG SIGH) I meandered over to the shelves of Christmas goods that had big signs saying 75% OFF! Now, I've already got plenty of "stuff" so it takes a lot to keep me interested, but I remembered that I wished I had a tree topper of some kind instead of the bows I've been using, so I looked around to see what they had. I did find a gold fabric star that is lit inside - can't wait to see it on my tree next year!

I also got this fantastic lace panel (yeah, cheap lace) of a tree with 12 miniature hand-painted ornaments. I was thinking I could put it in the display window at work next year but I couldn't find a price on it. It must've been around $10 because I only paid $2.42 for it. Looking at it now, I'm having thoughts of attaching my tatted Christmas motifs I received in a round robin and from others through the years. It's quite long so I can get a lot on there! Now that I think about it, I think it's too long for the display window. That window is only about 60" tall and the panel is 84".

I also bought a container of matte silver finish jingle bells for $1. I don't know what it is about jingle bells! I keep buying the damn things and haven't done a thing with them yet. I might paint on these.

I bought a different version of the liquid bandage. This one attracted me because it said it didn't sting or smell. You have to add a liquid to the sponge end of an applicator which has something that activates it and then paint it on your cracked spot. Well, it didn't sting and it didn't smell and it covered it as good as any other I've used - maybe a bit better....but already, just from typing, I can tell it's not going to be effective in the long run. This is the one that healed up and split again this afternoon. There are only 10 applications in the container. I'll put another coat on but I suspect I'll still have to resort to a bandaid.

It's been a very busy week. This is the only day I didn't have appointments outside of the office all day - only in the morning - and it was GORGEOUS today. Sunshiny and warmer temperatures than you ever expect to see in January in Indiana. I tat or do I crochet? Maybe both? I didn't finish the row I was crocheting at lunch. I should do that first.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

I won a little wicker basket with sewing stuff in it recently and when it arrived, I finally got to see the contents which had been hidden in picture and described as a mystery. It was kind of a fun bid and didn't go high so I was hoping for a special a shuttle. LOL! Nope, no shuttles, but there was a little pouch that contained two thimbles - one so corroded I almost threw it away. Obviously, I didn't. I took a scrubber to it and it shined up nicely - this lovely antique brass thimble is the result. I still haven't gotten the inside cleaned out. I'm going to get some brass cleaner and see if that will make it easier.

Our new secretary at work is Russian so I brought in my Russian tatting books and showed them to her. She offered to help translate anything I needed help with (not the whole book!) so the other night I was going through the one pictured below, looking for a few special patterns I might ask for help with.

I had found the diagrams totally comfusing and wasn't sure I wanted to do anything at all in the book. Near the end, I found this motif....and as I examined it and the symbols and Russian text below it, I suddenly got the meaning. It was telling me elements 1, 3 and 5 were all the same kind of rings - 5 picots divided by 3 stitches. Then element 2 was a chain of 4 picots separated by 3 ds and element 4 was a chain with 5 pictos. Element 6 was a chain with 3 picots and then....and this part confused me because it looked like it was saying to make the clover with chains. I understood how many picots in each part, but I could not find the symbol for a ring anywhere within it. So I made it a clover with rings anyway. LOL!

This is the capelet I'm crocheting. Not my favorite color but the gauge worked out and I think I have enough.....I can always give it away when I'm done! I was looking at the instructions again today. I had skimmed the end before and Rows 24 and 25 are at the end and in BOLD BLACK PRINT so I figured it had 25 rows. I've just finished row 9 and as I logically computed this in my was sure going to be a shortie! LOL! When I read the rest of the repeats until row 42! So I'm only about 1/5 done. Going to try to get a row in before I go to bed.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

This is the capelet I've been wanting to make for years. I looked around in Hobby Lobby for yarn the other night but the one I really liked was quite expensive and it occured to me that it might be better to wait for a sale. In the meantime, I do have some yarn to do a test run with so I've started that today.

My fingertips tend to split open in the dry winter weather so I've got a bandaid on my index finger which makes tatting awkward. I strung some beads for a project tonight but decided to hold off on the tatting part.

I was surfing ebay last night for tatting - all the good ones were in Australia. Not that I don't have enough to do here anyway! I got an unusual shuttle in a tin last week. Not too unsual, but a little different from anything I have. Oh...scan it!

The points are sprung even though it doesn't look used. I've not seen one with the little dome like that. It's on both sides. I'm not sure if I'll try to fix the ends or not.

Friday, January 06, 2006

I had some wonderful surprises in the mail the other day. Estefania also sent me a Secret Santa package which was slow in arriving due to the postal system between here and there. There were all kinds of beads, some size 6 variegated thread - I've never used a size 6 before! A craft magazine with all sorts of projects in it. The beads came in the lovely green silk gift bag.

I love the tiny shell striver to the far left. There's an aero shuttle with an extra bobbin. And that tree ornament is one that caught my eye earlier in the season and I considered making but didn't have time. There was also a copy of pattern which I haven't shown here. Thank you so much Estefania!

Now I don't know how I got so lucky, but I was also blessed with a copy of Karey Solomon's new book, Shuttleworth Cottage! The book is a courting spoof in a Victorian setting. Along the way, you have the opportunity to tat the cottage the book is named for! I have to admit,I didn't even pick up a shuttle - I just read it through from beginning to end. It's available for $15.00 from Karey Solomon at P.O. Box 9, Hector, NY 14841 and is also available from Handy Hands and The Lacemaker.

I was surfing the other day and found this group in Tucson which has some interesting patterns on their webpage. I also stumbled across another one I haven't been to for a long time, Sheila's Webpage.

Tonight I'm going to stop at Hobby Lobby and possibly spend some of my gift certificate there. I'm looking for yarn for that capelet thing I want to make.