Friday, July 31, 2009

Here are the latest motifs from Sharon's book. I have one more on the blocking board. I couldn't believe that I didn't catch that oopsie! until I scanned it! I made a similar mistake on the one blocking but I did see it 2 rings later. I was too tired to un-tat it and it's just a sample so I left it....then cut the picot and joined in the right place with needle and thread so it would look right in the scan.

I've been really tired this week...maybe because I've been really busy. I bought a new scanner tonight. Actually a scanner/printer all in one. I checked Consumer Report first and noticed the top three recommended were all Canon brand and the one considered the best buy for the money was also Canon. The places I checked did not have the exact model number of that one but it was one up so I'm pretty sure it is an upgraded version from the time CR made up the study. Right now my printer and scanner are separate and ready to bite the dust. The scanner is really old and the printer was a real cheepie. I've been planning to do this for awhile. I haven't hooked it up though. I have a wireless modem coming and I hope it shows up tomorrow so I can just unplug and replug everything at once. My son will be able to use his wireless laptop with this too. He has been having trouble finding existing printers of friends that are compatible with Vista but this one is. I also got it on SALE!!!!

I noticed TVs are on sale too...but I still have some house things to take care of first. My septic tank was last week. The electric company came out and replaced a breaker this week (FREE) after my water heater kept popping the circuit. It's fairly new and they came out last year and changed out both elements and said then that if it continued, it was probably the breaker. That's something else I would like to upgrade soon. My house was built in the 50's - not really anticipating today's electronic age. When I bought it in '77, I added some wiring in 2 bedrooms as there was only ONE outlet in each room! Also put in overhead lights....but it needs a major overhaul, IMO.

This weekend I plan to get lots done in the basement. My son is tired of sleeping in the little room, crowded with his stuff and I'm tired of the living room piled high with boxes. When he sits on the sofa and I sit in my chair tatting, we can both see the TV but our conversations are faceless. LOL!

Sunday we have our annual family summer birthday get together so I have to find something to make for it too! I wanted to make some gifts, but I just do not have the time or energy right now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I usually keep this little hedgehog on some wall folders but he fell off one day and I just set him on the desk and then eventually in the little caddy next to the computer by my teacup notepaper. He's even got a little tatted posy on him!

Over the past few nights I tatted the next motif in Sharon's book. She shows them as earrings and they have beads so I decided to go ahead and put beads on. When I got done, I decided it made the perfect motif for our charity tree that my lace guild is donating to auction off. So I made 2 more because we do the ornaments in sets of 3.

Then I decided to make another set in a bigger thread. The first set was in Finca size 16. Then Cebelia size 30. So then I was intrigued by the difference in size and decided to make a full dozen, using Cebelia size 20 and Cebelia size 10 just to illustrate the difference in size that the thread makes. By the time I was done, I had figured out it took 25 turns to load the shuttle for the motif rings (in size 10) and 15 beads. The biggest one is about the size of a quarter and the smallest is about the size of a dime.

I still have to finish the ends and block them but looks like I've got my part for the tree done!

While I was tatting, I was watching 2nd season DVDs of Simon and Simon. I love their theme song and the hunks themselves are easy on the eyes. LOL! It's kind of odd to watch a show back when a 19" screen was a big deal and the only electronic device I've seen is the answering machine on their phone. No computers or cell phones or ipods. LOL! There was one reference to PacMan. Rick thought the neighbor's pacman was interfering with his radio controlled toy????

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Okay, there I was, going through box after box, watching Simon & Simon, 2nd season, on DVD and the last episode on the DVD ended. I felt a need to take a break and check email. When I got to the computer, I checked the time.....5:54 PM! Whew - just in the nick of time! I checked for any last comments, published and then checked the resulting total which is 17 comments. Then I went to the Random Number Generator and set my parameters for 1 - 17 and clicked it five times.

Five times? Yep......I had three more kits that I'd been holding onto - trying to decide if I will ever make them. I decided today that I would not. So...there are three more lucky winners!

The FIRST winner is #14, Celtic Dream Weaver - Sherry Townsend
Second winner is #1, Wickedtats
Those 2 get a decorated spool doll and a Penny Pony kit each.

Third winner is #12, Art by Joy Mac
Fourth winner is #6, Christine
Fifth winner is #3, Lady Shuttlemaker
The last three will get one of these kits, which I'll choose randomly. Thanks to everyone for playing! (Wickedtats & Christine, please email me with your mailing address. I cannot access your profile to get any contact info. My email link is right by my photo on the blog.)

Here's the last insertion from Sharon's book, Transitions in Tatting, From Flat to Floral. This has a row of center motifs with edgings attached on each side. I'm just doing samples as I move through the book so this is as far as I went. I tatted around the end instead of starting a fresh edge but in the book, Sharon did not do that. I just didn't want to cut and tie and then rejoin my threads together.

Now we're into motifs. The simple 4 ring motif on the left is also the one that I used in the center of the insertion above except I went from motif to motif with split rings. The stitch count is the same in each segment between picots. In the second motif, the stitch count is different in each segment, decorative picots are used and there are six petals. Sharon has a small coaster in the book with a center motif of the six sided one, called a daisy, in one color and then surrounded by the same daisy motif in another color. It wasn't diagrammed or anything, just a photo to show what you could do with the motif, so I chose not to make it. The next segment in the book features several things made from single motifs and multiple motifs. Earrings are next, in fact, and there are beads in the photo, but not in the directions. This book is more about design concepts, or transitions, rather than technique, which will likely work out nicely since I signed up for the next design class Sharon is hosting.

We had tatting guild in Greenfield yesterday morning. Kaye tested her beaver pattern on us that she is teaching in Canada in September, along with some paisleys. You can get registration details here. I'll also be teaching 2 classes, Bead Journey & Bringing Vintage into the Present. Lots of other exciting classes too, so come to Cambridge Ontario and join us! You should also view the class descriptions. Looks like there are some cool places to go to that aren't too far away!

I tatted the beaver much better in class than at home! For one thing, I didn't have the hex beads for the teeth, only rice beads. LOL! I don't think I got my picots long enough for the tail part either. Lots of fun techniques in this class - onion rings, pearl tatting, measured picots, beads, and woven picots.

Since it's at the end of the month and I'm only paid once a month (almost payday!) I didn't have the money for Kaye's newest book but here is a quick clip on it. Kaye was asked to tat centers for a special quilt and these are the patterns, an excellent book for the beginner. You can order the book ($15.00) from

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Millie & Tillie Giveaway!

Last weekend as I pawed through a storage container, I found lots of "stuff" that I'd bought at one time or another with something clearly in mind at the time. Hmmm....well, I'm not even sure which decade these spool dolls were popular in but I never made a single one. I just wanted to! I think it was in the 80's?

So when I found this package with the supplies to make two little dolls - well, I opened it right then and there and put them together.

Ta-Da! A naked Millie & Tillie who don't even have faces yet! This part was just way too easy. And really...I wondered, what am I going to do with them now?

I know...I'll have a giveaway, I thought. I'll put cute little dresses on them and give them faces and hair (since the curls were also in the box I was going through) and I'll give them away!

I'll spare you the details of clothing these lovely ladies, but it took three tries before I found something that sort of fit. The tatting part was the easiest bit of that too.

The faces were quick...a permanent ink pen and a bit of highlighter for the lips and eyes.

Now the hair....nearly had me pulling out my own! First of all, I've not used this hair stuff much at all. I put a curly beard on a Santa one time and that was pretty much it. Secondly, these babes had knots coming out of the top of their heads! Have you ever tried to disguise a knotty head? You can't cut those curls too long. They fall off before they dry. And when you have glue-ey fingers and you're trying to position a tender wisp of curl....FORGET IT!

Trust me on that one. sweeten the deal, the winners will each also get a Penny Pony to put together themselves!

Whoo Hoo! So just comment between now and 6:00 p.m. Sunday night (Eastern DST) and two random numbers will be picked to win a spool dolly and a candle cup pony kit! Make sure I have a way to contact you! I will not track you down - if there is not an email or google account to contact you with, I will go to the next random number.

Okay - two more insertions from Sharon's book. This is the clover insertion, made by tatting two clover edgings facing each other. Someone asked about this thread size which I used in an insertion in the last post. It's size 30.

And HERE we have a vine insertion! Do you see a pattern forming here? The edgings that I tatted before are being expanded or combined to make an insertion. I have one more to tat before moving on to motifs.

Monday, July 20, 2009

I had a productive and busy weekend! Having Friday off gave me that extra time I need to recover my energy. I need a four day work-week! Normally, by the time the weekend comes, I need most of Saturday just to catch up on my sleep, errands, and whatever committments I've already made. Sometimes the whole day is already taken with something social which only leaves me Sunday to mow, do laundry. clean...and play. It's generally mid afternoon before I can start any kind of project and I avoid big projects because I know I won't get back to them until the next weekend and sometimes many weeks later. Any time I can do most of my catching up on Friday is a bonus.

I didn't really do much - went to some garage sales in the afternoon mostly to find some wool or fleece for the bobbin lace pillow I was determined to make at the weekend. I did find a nice fleece blanket, black, which I then didn't want to cut up. LOL!
I also got a metal stand for 75¢ and a shirt and some magazines. I started painting the metal stand yesterday. It will make a holder for blankets and throws I tend to keep on the sofa and chairs in the living room. It looks a lot like this except there are more bars across the top and there is a wire shelf at the bottom. It won't hold anything too heavy but it's great for the throws I have. It was white and had some spots - hence the 75¢ price, but my first coat of rust-buster black is makin' it look pretty darned good.

(FROM THIS) I got my bobbinlace pillow pretty much done. I had purchased two wool suits at a second hand store as the cheapest source of 100% wool that I could find. Turns out only the skirts had fabric wide enough to use. I pieced a few strips togther but it still made a very shallow layer. Then I remembered a bag of wool someone gave me for pincushions! I will never make that many pincushions so I used it. I still have wool left over too.

(TO THIS!) All I have left to do is make a final cover for it. There are several kinds of instructions on the web now - more than when I looked just a few months ago. If I can find some ethafoam, I'll use it for the second bulletin board disk I have. Some of this is in preparation for a program for my lace group. It's about making your own lace tools. Two of the members will be guiding us through making paper bobbins and dowel rod bobbins.

When I went to JoAnn Fabrics to find a good sturdy cloth to cover my pillow with....they had buttons on clearance. 25¢ and 50¢ each for selected buttons. And I also found some beads in the back row on clearance, for the same prices. Ooooohhhhh sweet mama! I LUV it when that happens!

Saturday night I went to the baptism of the baby of some friends. I didn't go to the dinner after, but it was so nice to be around them and share this special moment. They are such a happy family!

Sunday morning I was primed. Wide awake and full of energy! My goal was to get through all my boxes of Christmas storage. I need that corner of the basement for other storage and I knew I was ready to part with a lot of holiday decorations. In less than two hours, I had emptied 7 boxes. There were 4 boxes packed to go to charity, an overflowing wastebasket, and what I wanted to keep was in many fewer containers, mostly plastic to protect from water seepage. Actually I emptied more than 7 boxes but there were 7 empty boxes when I was done - maybe more. The 4 packed for charity had been emptied and refilled (and dropped off today!) so that actually means there are 11 fewer boxes!!!! I've also got a big walnut blanket chest emptied - just need to vacuum and wipe down - which is going to my neice. As soon as I get back from farm inspections later this week, I'll list my big chest freezer and that will open up a big space too. I want to get a little freezer. The refrigerator freezer is not quite big enough but I don't need this big one anymore either. I LUV it when space opens up!

Last night I tatted 2 more insertions from Sharon's book, but this is only the first one. It was just called "insertion". I only make small samples and used the yarn needle threader for sizing. The next one is a clover leaf insertion but I'm not finished with it yet. Next post......

Saturday I also went through a few non-holiday storage bins from the basement. There is another box in the living room for charity now but I need to document it. These are mostly craft things I'm going through now. Harder to part with. LOL! In fact, the next post will be a give-away but I want to wait until I'm back in town before I offer it so be sure to check back in a few days. In the meantime, you have this hint....

Friday, July 17, 2009

Hi Y'All! Remember me? I can't believe it's been nearly a week since I posted!

Life has been chaotic, some good, some not so good, but ultimately it will all be good. I've really had very little time to tat - or rather, didn't have tatting with me when I did find myself waiting somewhere. It's probably just as well. I wondered this morning why I'm going through Sharon's book when I could be finishing up my T.A.T. Artisan phase, but I know why. I have to really focus on what I'm doing with T.A.T. while with this, it's just in bits and pieces and not something I'm turning in for evaluation.

Here's the week's accomplishment. Darned little, huh? I didn't even have time to get my stuff into the fair or go to Frankfort and see Carol Amich's stuff. I love to see her fair entries, not just the tatting but the photography and rock painting. Carol is a highly talented lady!

This first motif is actually supposed to be an edging, a cloverleaf edging, which is part of Sharon's progression from rings and chains into simple motif bookmarks and now edgings. I left off with edgings in my last post about this and this is the next step.

Why is it not an edging? LOL!

Well, I could have blocked it into an edging and that was my intention but I didn't like the way it stretched the chains out - and this is also a record for me, when I tat things from this book again. This is an example of how different people's tension has an impact on the pattern. In the photograph in the book the chains ARE stretched out a bit, but when I tried to do that, it ruffled my clovers. I may have tatted too tight or I may have snugged up my chains too much. At any rate, if I use this pattern for an edging, I'll know to add more ds's to my chain segment.

This one is called the vine edging. Sharon talks about using one color or two colors. I opted for two colors because I like the contrast of rings against chains and felt the flow of the pattern would show up more with two colors instead of one. She also talks about using two shuttles with this pattern or creating the same effect with a shuttle and ball (one color).

I didn't start this intending to make it a book review, but if you're seeing elements that you think you'd like to try, contact Sharon for a copy of the book. One thing I'm seeing is that Sharon uses icons to stand for the abbreviations we often see in other books. For instance, a shuttle shape indicates "shuttle" - that's easy, right? But if more than one shuttle is needed, she has that number of shuttles. There are varying smiley faces to tell you how difficult you can expect the pattern to be and a glossary near the front defining those icons.

Okay, back to the tatting part. In case you haven't picked up on it by now, so far we've covered a lot of the basic elements of ring and chain combinations. You'll find these same patterns or very similar ones in all the old publications. Sharon's stitch count is her own, of course, but if you look back at old patterns, you should be able to recognize many of these same basics. The vine edging, for instance, is the basis of some beautiful bookmarks. Well, pooh - I was trying to find one in particular but the search feature doesn't seem to be working well today and a manual search had me sidetracked looking at old stuff in my blog. I have to admit I love looking through my own blog. It's so easy to forget all the stuff you've tatted!

This one is called a chain link edging. You tat the rings and one side of the chains in one segment and then come around and tat the chains along the opposite side. I don't remember where I bought this thread - it was online and not one of our known suppliers of hand-dyed thread. The dying is well done but it's a 3 cord thread and broke on me once, has a tendency to fuzz, and I've found very small slubs a time or two. I'd have to try some other threads by this person before I would recommend it.

This is where I stopped this morning. I've moved from edgings now into insertions and this is a simple ring insertion. You tat one side of an "edging" and then tat the same thing on the opposite side. I made an error in the first side by forgetting to join the small rings together in pairs. When I tatted the opposite side, I just joined in two rings at once and that fixed it. This also makes a pretty bookmark. You could run a ribbon through the center. Would make a lovely embellishment on the front placket of a blouse or on a cuff.

I'm home today. I'd arranged for someone to come out and pump out my septic tank (one of the glories of living in the country) and also asked them to install a riser so we don't have to dig to uncover the unit. "We" meaning my sons. They are very grateful to me right now. LOL! The septic pumpers showed up early and are all done, so I'll use the rest of my day to try to get some cleaning and sorting done.

My son is still in the small bedroom and his stuff in the living room, as well as the stuff I took OUT of the small bedroom. We had picked up a door to replace the one in the basement but we were off on measurements and had to take it back last night. Additionally, the door will have to be special-ordered, or we can cut off a regular door. There was much discussion about this last night. I was tired and weary of thinking so I'll figure out what I want to do this weekend - very likely going back to get the same door if I know we can do the modifications ourselves. It looks like it....but there are no guarantees. It's much less expensive than a special order though.

We still have to check out the sump pump, paint the basement, paint the outside of the house and make a repair at the north end of the overhang, hopefully get some gravel for the lane, and if I have any money left over - I'm getting a new countertop for my kitchen. Are you tired yet????

Oh, and btw, TattingChic is celebrating a milestone of 50,000 visitors by hosting a giveway. Go!

I'm hungry.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

I finally got it done last night. Since it's done in peach and white, you really don't see much contrast in the threads. I didn't trust the knots to hold so cut the threads long and then hid them with sewing. I don't think it would look too good with very fine threads as that's a LOT of thread to hide. I'll never complain about hiding ends in tatting. This seemed to take much longer and felt much more tedious than a comparable butterfly in tatting would be. Even so, I'll keep playing with bobbin lace when I can.

I blocked it the same way I do tatting - wet it down and pinned it to the board.

We had lace guild this morning - sit and stitch. Lots of conversation for a change. I ended up making 2 ornaments for our charity tree. Somehow I seem to have lost one between there and home. This is the first one I made and the second one is the same except I used beads at the joins instead of at the base of the rings. It's a pattern from Patti Duff's Minitats, tatted in size 16 finca, with silver seed beads. It comes out to about an inch square.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Missed Tatting Tea Tuesday
I have an ugly brown teapot from years ago that I could make something like this with but I wouldn't dream of doing that to one of my pretty ones. It's cute though.

I'm very busy right now. Only Wednesday and it feels like it should be Friday! I skipped the gym the last two nights because I've been so tired and have other things to do.

I restarted the bobbinlace butterfly from Lace Day last night. I don't have a proper pillow and it's frustrating. I'm using the "plastic" kit you can buy but I also have a pillow I've borrowed from my lace guild. It's a roller pillow though and doesn't work well for this. I put the board on top of it since the pins go all the way through when I push them down and I really don't want to be a pincushion! Tonight I finished the first half and started the second half. THEN I rummaged and found my puller....and later my pusher....and just now found my pricker though I didn't need it for this pattern since I've already used it.

As soon as I'm done with this, I'll make a cookie pillow using Mark Myers' directions. I found a cork disc on clearance at Walmart to use. It's smaller than your typical cookie pillow, only 18" I think, but it will work for smaller projects. It's not likely I'll ever do a project calling for dozens of bobbins, but if I do, I have a piece of wood that I can get a bigger circle cut from.

So far I think I'm doing okay. Now this is odd....I'm getting ready to do sewings of the 2nd half to the body of the 1st half and it seems like that is the very last thing I did on the other one. I must be wrong. I haven't cut my ends off either either from the first half - I left about 8". I tied the knot but since that is where my last one came loose a bit, I decided to wait until I'm done - maybe even use a real needle to sew the final ends in. It's late and I'm tired so I only took one shot of the flutter. It looked clear in the preview. I'll make sure it's a sharp pic when it's done.

I've added very little to the edging I showed in my last post. As I said....BUSY! Tomorrow night we're picking up a door for the basement so that means this weekend that the real work begins again. I dropped off 2 boxes at Goodwill on my way home today. When I have time to go through more stuff, I'm sure I'll be making more trips.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Friday I went to the Children's Museum in Indianapolis to see the King Tut exhibit that I had purchased tickets for with another friend. Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to take photos in this exhibit but I could take photos anywhere else. Forgot then, of course! I do have this one of the outside of the museum that I just love - the dinosaurs peeking in! There is another view on the other side of the building that I didn't get a pic of with a dinasaur "crashing through to the outside". Inside is a ship model up on blocks from the Stars Wars Clones movie. There is a glass tower by Dale Chihuly in a prominent location and the big water clock right in the center, but we kept missing the half-hour and hourly water deluge.

There were lots of cool things in the King Tut exhibit but I was disappointed that there was not a single part of the actual mummy tomb, such as one of the Sarcophagus'. I guess for some reason I thought we'd see the actual mummy but not even the face mask was in the exhibit. There was a bed used by Tut and a chair - he must have been a small man judging from the sizes of both. One of the jars that held his organs was there. There are 4 jars, one holding the liver, the stomach, the intestines, and the lungs. The heart was left in the body. Jewelry on the body was shown, including some gold sandals. We had a great time there and looking at other exhibits.

My son moved in this weekend so I've been pretty busy going through things and trying to organize. I spent some time looking at exterior doors today as I need to replace the one in the basement where he will eventually end up. Right now I have to get everything out of that room and then wash and paint. Even so, I've tatted a bit. This is the continuing of edgings in Sharon's book. She shows a simple ring and chain edging first. I was trying to empty shuttles so I started a second one and decided to join it so that it made a circle motif.

This is the next edging, a flower edging, which requires 2 shuttles. There are actually supposed to be six rings in the bigger flower but I was having trouble fitting five so I just left it at that. I haven't blocked it yet and in fact, I'm still tatting on it. We just had some babies born in the family recently and one was a girl. I'm thinking of making the hanky bonnet and using this for the trim. It's so pretty!

Well, almost midnight so I best be getting to bed!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Look what I did!

Can you tell?

This is how it used to look. What is different?

Look close!

Spiral binding! A friend of mine takes her books to the copy place all the time and has this done. I really didn't give it much thought until I opened the book and the pages started falling out. This is one of my earlier purchases and well used. I took it there yesterday. He said it would take a day or two and cost $1.50. He called me that afternoon and said it was done! I love it. I can open the book out flat now. I can open it anywhere and fold the right half and the left half together so only one side is showing. The spiral binding is heavy duty and isn't going to pop out of the holes. I love it! I'm thinking of doing this to all of my bigger soft cover books.

Here's the rings only edging or insert again, this time in Manuela variegated yellow size 20. I'm not overly fond of this color either but when I repaint my bedroom, I want it to be in white with touches of yellow so I thought I'd go ahead and use up some yellow!

And here it is with the hen and chicks added on. It fits perfectly around my wrist so it would make a nice cuff trim, but I plan to put it on some kind of little pillow I think. You'll often see the rings only insert used on sheets or pillowcases and then the edging with the hen and chicks on the same sheets and pillowcases along the edge. It's very elegant looking but it's a piece of lace that can be tatted quickly in comparison to many other patterns. I filled my shuttle full for the insert and it tatted up into about 6 1/2" of length. Then I filled my shuttle again for the hen and chicks and while I added it to the entire length of tatting, I still have a fair amount of thread on my shuttle. The hen and chicks clearly doesn't eat thread as quickly as the insert does!