Sunday, November 29, 2009

I was very busy yesterday with actual cleaning and preparations for my family get together but I finally got out to the mailbox in the afternoon. There was only ONE thing in there - this package! I'm expecting a few things but this one came before the others. This isn't a very good picture but when I opened the envelope, there was all this coppery glitter facing me! BLING! What a lovely preparation for what is inside!

Inside were these two little containers, about the size of a US quarter. Ha! I knew what was supposed to be inside but all I could see were these rhinestone daisies!

I barely lasted long enough to take the photos. I ordered a pair of earrings from Penniwig's this week. The earrings on her blog have been enticing me for some time so I went to her Etsy store and drooled over several pairs before settling on ONE.

Much to my surprise, she was offering a bonus pair with each order so I got to pick another pair!!!!!! Early Christmas! And NO SHIIPPING extra!

I love both of these so much. Exactly my style. I may have to order more when I get paid on Monday! Thank you Old Dame Penniwig!!!

I was actually very good to myself this week. Not only did I order those gorgeous earrings, I bought a portable Ott light Thanksgiving morning from JoAnn's Fabrics. They were on sale for $29.99 (regularly $89.99) and free shipping, online only. I'd seen them while in Canada at the Fringe Element event. They were on sale there locally at the time but somebodies went and bought the stores out before I knew of them! LOL! Those somebodies know who they are. (grin)

I've been tatting a lot but will only show this snowflake that I didn't make a mistake on this time! I used a different color of beads though. For some reason, I'm not enjoying this snowflake as much as I have in the past. Not sure why yet.

I've been tatting some others though and enjoying them. Eventually I'll have more to show.

Well....could not sleep so got up and decided to post this but I really need to be getting to bed and sleeping.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I trust that everyone is enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and pets. My get-together won't be until Sunday but I've been grateful for having a day of rest before I have to do anything. My daughter is having it at her house so it's not like it's a chore for me, but I also want to get everything organized in my own home for Christmas decorating.

Last night I was intent on getting Tatman's (Mark Myer) Autumn Pumpkin tatted. I didn't even get half of the outline done before I gave up in disgust. My fingers are trained to CLOSE the ring, not leave it partially opened! I lost track of where I was and ended up curving it the wrong way. It was late. I cut it off and went to bed. LOL!

So this afternoon I decided to brave it again - beings I had all that thread still on my shuttle.... I continued lettering all the rings on the pattern so that I could keep track of where I was and then marked on yet another paper each half ring I completed. It was slow going but I had fewer mistakes to correct. I heeded his tips about making the joining picots longer on the outer rings and smaller on the inner rings. I also closed the inner rings a bit more than the outer ones. I had a little trouble at the bottom. In spite of all my record keeping, I got off track on the last few rings and had repeated them so I had to back-tat. Then I realized the second side wasn't quite as big as the first side and had to back-tat two rings there at the end. So then I wished I had numbered the rings instead of lettering them. Finally I got to the big blossom, finished it and decided to take a break. I may get the other inside bits done tonight but I don't think I'll get the stem or leaf done. I thought I might make one of these for each of the women in my get-together on Sunday but I have concluded that this will be an "only piece." LOL! Mark might be used to tatting all those half-rings but I find them a pain!'s such a lovely pattern and everyone enjoys a challenge now and then, right?

And I really do appreciate that he has made this pattern available to us. I dearly appreciate ALL the tatters who bless us with their talents and creativity.

This morning I sewed the other bird I had cut out so now we have a pair. I don't know if there will ever be a flock of birdies, but so far, this has been fun.

I had used the heavy duty upholstery thread in my sewing machine for the last one since the color matched but for this one, I switched to a regular weight navy blue. I think it stitched up much nicer. I used my little scissors to clip the seams and when I turned it inside out, I stopped at the head and stuffed it before I completely turned the body out. That helped a lot! It's amazing what you learn to do better after a trial run.

I also finished the tail a little differently. The instructions are only the most basic. They don't tell you to clip seams or how to turn it or how to stuff it. I wanted the tail to be flatter so once I had the bulk of the bird stuffed, I stitched across where the tail began. I added a little stuffing but not a lot and stitched the tail closed. Then I machine stitched lines vertically down the tail.

I still haven't decided how I will embellish them. Will I add wings? (tatted of course) How will I deal with the eyes? I was considering some embroidery but since there is so much of a pattern on the print, I won't. I might make another one out of solid fabric and add stitched embellishments to that one.

As I was sewing this morning, I was thinking about how things have changed in terms of sewing since I was a child. I really don't remember exactly how old I was when I learned to sew. We had a Singer treadle sewing machine and I remember the belt would periodically get too loose and would have to be tightened. When I started sewing in home ec at school, we had electric machines where you pressed a paddle with your thigh to get it running. I loved that! But the majority of my sewing until I was an adult and married was on the treadle machine. It didn't have a zigzag stitch or a buttonhole maker. I taught myself to make bound buttonholes because I was so bad at hand stitching them. I finished the seams of my garments because we didn't have pinking shears sharp enough to help avoid fraying.

It's incredible what a sewing machine will do today. I currently have a cheapie Singer model that I bought on ebay. It does zigzag, but that's about it. I don't make clothing anymore and have hardly sewn for a long time. I have a serger I haven't even used. I could have sewn these birds on that treadle machine without needing any fancy stuff though.

I'm really grateful that I do know how to do a lot of needlework without the fancy equipment, but I'm equally grateful for all the advanced technology because it allows us to do more in less time and to use our imagination and creativity even more!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh No! OH NO!!!!

You know those boxes of Queen Anne's chocolate covered cherries that are one of the earliest signs of the holidays? The box you can buy for around a buck? The box that has two layers of mmmmmmmmm chocolate-covered-cherries, now in milk chocolate AND dark chocolate?

Well, guess what? They've downsized! Count 'em! Only FIVE cherries per layer! Used to be SIX! You could evenly share them with a friend. Not any more! could each take ONE layer I guess. I was so bummed out when I saw it that I had to eat three of them right away and make sure they still had something in the center! They did, but......

I am so disappointed!

I bought two boxes for our carry-in at work, one of each type. Most of them are of the dark chocolate pursuasion which means all the more milk chocolate for me. Heheheheh!
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In case you haven't noticed, and it's not likely you have, I have a new search engine in my sidebar. Actually, it's not new. I used to have it on here and then took it off when I noticed Blogger had one of their own. Blogger's used to work pretty good...but not anymore. I can't find things that I KNOW are on here and then I have to resort to month by month manual skimming. So then I noticed that Blogger has one in the "gadget" box. I downloaded it and tried a few searches. It only showed recent references, nothing more than two or three years back. So then I added my old search engine from Free Find again, since they have been continually indexing my site all this time, and tried a few searches there. One search turned up 216 references, going all the way back to 2003 when I started my blog. So you know what I did, don't you? I removed the Blogger search box and left Free Find.

It has an index too. I've barely looked at it but it must show every word I've ever written here in alphabetical order. Not only the words I've written but words from those of you who comment, including typos! It's kind of fun to follow up on, but it can sure eat up time too so don't let yourself get too carried away!

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If you enjoy embroidery, hop on over to The Raspberry Rabbits where they are featuring a free pattern every day over 12 days starting November 27th, for the 12 Days of Christmas. I think you'll be seeing lots of freebies and giveaways going on through the holidays. (like we will have time to surf!)

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I cut out and sewed this bird last night. I got the pattern from You can see their examples here and here! He didn't take any time at all to cut out and sew, but stuffing that fiberfill through that tiny opening in his butt 'bout wore me out! I think I'll probably embellish this fella a bit but I stopped last night and tatted instead, starting another snowflake rose.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday 11/24/09

My sister and I visited a gift shop during our trip to Bloomington. We stepped into LadyBugs Gifts & Decor innocently, oblivious to the enchantment contained within.

The door is located on the right side of the store and I guess you just habitually wander in the same direction that you arrive. Very quickly my sister spotted Hallmark ornaments on sale 50% off. I didn't think there were any she didn't have, but obviously there are a few. As she pawed her way through the basket, I meandered around, glancing here and there, seeing some lovely bric-a-brac that I knew I didn't have room for. I was making my way around the room and was now facing the wall on our left.

OMIGAWD! And I really didn't see that this entire wall was teapots and teacups at first.

I was looking downward and my eyes settled on this lovely set on the left, with the two cups on a single oblong plate. Oh, I was admiring the different cups and saucers but it really took awhile for it all to sink in. And then I started getting really excited!

As my eyes traveled upward and I fumbled to get my camera ready, I saw there were several paintings, prints really, of tea-themed scenarios. I started snapping photos quickly, hoping the cashier wouldn't come over and order me OUT. Some places don't allow you to take photographs.

If you go back to the very first photo, in the upper left hand corner, you can see the sign that says their English and French pieces are shipped to them through an antique dealer. I didn't see that either until I downloaded the photos onto my computer. I might not have been picking things up so gingerly if I had! I'd already passed up some tea-for-ones in another store, deciding they really weren't quite unique enough for me to buy. I can't display what I have so I've gotten really picky.

Well, just about this time, my sister made her way over to where I was. That's when I saw the display of teas and tea accessories. many things I DO NOT HAVE! I was good though, I think, given the temptation. I bought this teapin, something I've never seen before.

It comes with several empty bags which you fill with the tea of your choice, thread the teapin through the holes, and then pour your steaming hot water over as it rests on the teacup. I haven't tried it yet. I'll save that for another tatting tea Tuesday!

I also bought some loose tea, this bag of ginger-lemon flavored tea. There were samples in jars and I opened them all and sniffed them. This one smelled best to me. There was a Christmas Spice one I thought about but it didn't smell as good as I thought Christmas Spice should smell. LOL!

I also bought a tea magazine and 2 tea-themed cards and a little ornament. It was such a delightful surprise! I'll go back. And in between all this, we saw the most gorgeous stained glass window ornaments! pics there. My hands were full of tea stuff by then.

After my spending spree on Saturday, I stayed home Sunday and eventually cut up apples given to me by a coworker who has been making apple cider, apple butter, and probably a few other apple thingies. I think she is getting tired of it as she was quite eager to give me some apples when I mentioned I had just opened my very last jar of apple butter. We won't say how old it is.

First I had to go buy some jars since it appears I gave away all my small ones. I was sure I'd kept a dozen pint jars but they are no where to be seen. When I got back, I prepared the apples and put them in the crockpot, letting them cook until Monday morning. Monday night I finished the preps and ended up with 11 half-pints! Yummy and just in time for Thanksgiving. I hope to make some spiced pumpkin butter before the week is over too.

I had to take a pic of some last minute blooms. It's unbelievable that some flowers are still blooming this late in November!

I don't remember what this bluish purple flower is but I had to zoom in on the center.

I don't know if these will open up. They are hibiscus buds from the bush coworkers gave me for my birthday last summer. I figured it was worth a try. This one sure is trying hard.

I'm posting this before I go to work so I can't say if I'm tatting at all today but I expect to this evening. Tat and drink ginger-lemon tea and nibble on some chocolate, I will!

Monday, November 23, 2009

There's a wonderful giveaway going on over at Brynwood Needleworks if you like embroidery and other needleworks. I actually got there from another site that I'd been sent to about an embroidery idea I have but can't post about just now. You know...secrets, santa, all that stuff!

My sister & I planned to go to the Bloomington Handmade Market in Bloomington, Indiana for weeks and made it there Saturday. It was held at the John Waldron Arts Center downtown and our handy dandy gps system took us right there. The first thing we noticed when we went in were the Christmas decorations! I saw on Facebook where some people were complaining about how soon decorations were going up. I wonder if they realize that Christmas is barely 4 weeks away???? This Santa was huge, probably 8 feet tall!

We loved this cozy spot too.

My sister next to this very creative tree.

I loved the teddy bear pulling down the tip of this tree! My sister liked the Santa mailbox.

I bought some organic healing salve and lip balm at the market. My sister got some adorable miniature handbound book pendants and a few other things. We both got lots of ideas! We then toured the art galleries in the building, had lunch and visited a few other stores. I'll post about one of them for Tatting Tea Tuesday.

I got to sew a bit this past week. The back on this chair had ripped to the point of no repair and I debated on whether to just get rid of it or redo it. I realized I had a piece of canvas that would work perfectly so I decided to keep it. This is the new back. I have the seat done now too but forgot to take photos! The fabric only cost me $1.00!!!

This was a crochet pattern I wanted to try out and needed to do something mindlessly the other night. It was the same pattern every row so it was easy. It still didn't turn out the way I expected and appears to be newborn or preemie size. I thought that was what the fine yarn was for. I thought this one would be bigger. Oh son gave it to a friend with a 3 or 4 month old baby.

I couldn't believe that I got to the VERY END before I knew that I had started out with too many picots in the center! What can you do? it was that very first ring....

I wasn't about to pitch it, so I chained a loop and added a metal split ring. I can stiffen it for a pendant or ornament or even a gift tag. The pattern is from Denise Munoz, a book of snowflakes with rosette centers. It is tatted in Aida size 20 and I used size 11 seed beads.

If you have a chance, go see what Chris over at has done with one of the ricrac motifs in my pattern gallery. You can see it started HERE! Chris translated this one into French. She has added beads and used some gold, black and red so far. I love seeing how different people interpret a pattern differently!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday 11-17-09

A little tea humor....

Go to Calm-a-Sutra to see the runners-up.

I'm glad I had this in drafts. I completely forgot it was TTT. Too much on my mind in other areas.

I'm drinking iced tea with some added orange spice tea. It's cold and rainy and drizzly out so this would probably be better hot, but I'm fine with cold. I have not tatted at all, but since I'm going to the gym tonight, I won't feel like doing anything when I get home so I will probably tat something!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

BIG Tatted Butterfly!

Can you believe this?

I took this photo from Vintage Fashions, February 1992. It was in an article about Floral Waters (scented water) by Catherine Baker-Anderson. No mention was made of the mat the waters are displayed on. Is that not the biggest tatted butterfly you've ever seen????

I've made crochet ones almost that big and I have some fairly large tatted butterflies that measure about 6" - 8" across but I'd say this one is at least 12" from wingtip to wingtip. The thread looks pretty big too.

I'd love to know more about this pattern! If anyone recognizes it, please contact me.

Shuttle Endings

This looks pretty puny for all those shuttles, doesn't it? You can see it better if you click on the scan and enlarge it. I had already put them in a baggie before I edited the photo and thought the purple background a bit too dark. I thought I had a backup white background photo but my scanner broke that image up into pieces and it wasn't usable after all. I still have six shuttles left to empty. I did use some of the thread to practice some T.A.T. techniques but I was still surprised to see how little came of it all. If there are two colors involved, it also used up two shuttles so when I count all the separate colors, I come up with 18. That's the number of shuttles in the pile I posted but I found several more after that.

You can tell on the purple and green edging that one thread ran into another...I had attached a second thread to the shuttle at some point, probably not wanting to take the time to empty a shuttle when I needed one. I think someone mentioned that in the comments of the last post - about finding another thread underneath the one you think is on the shuttle!

I used edgings from one of Mary Konior's books, some motifs from Tatting Collage, and the bottom center flowers on a stem came from a Japanese book.

I was getting a little frantic this morning as I hunted for my tatting box. It's a purple pencil box that I've been using for some time but lately I haven't needed anything in it so hadn't kept track of it. I also couldn't find my containers of beads. There are probably 8 or 10 of them with 20 or so vials of beads in each. I know I had all this when I went to Canada. Where have I put them?

I finally found all of it in a box I had checked before, but the box has some folders and magazines on top hiding the bead containers and my tatting box. What a relief! Don't you hate it when you can't find something you know you have?

I only have two projects left for my T.A.T. course. I will probably do them this weekend but I also want to get started on my Secret Santa gift. I also plan to take several samples to my lace guild at the December meeting to get some input on what the members want for programs next year. That means I need to get busy! Some birthdays are coming up. I also plan to empty the living room this weekend so that I can put up the tree in a few weeks. I took two boxes to charity this week. Box by box I'm opening up space!

Tomorrow I'm going to a granddaughter's musical at school. I have a long list of things I think I'm going to get done this weekend. HA! I may have to go take a nap first. I'm just back from lace guild only about an hour and already worn out!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I've Hit the Wall

I had a realization last night. It had been creeping up on me but I ignored it, not wanting to admit what I perceived as "defeat". I've hit a wall when it comes to the design-tat class. I can't seem to make myself get back to it.

We started learning the graphics part of it just when my work plunged into some intense annual inspections along with other first semester surges. I felt overwhelmed and tired and then I got sick too. No problem...I'll catch up later. I will too, but for now, I just can't seem to get my head pointed that way.

I guess the good news is that I'm back to working on T.A.T. I expect to finish the tatting part of it this coming week and then I'll prepare the documentation and packaging so it can sit until I send it out in January. LOL! When the projects are patterns that are already online, I show them but we're really not supposed to - which makes no sense to me. People like to know what they're getting into before they invest time and money. The patterns are clearly copyrighted. Most of what I'm working on now is not seen elsewhere so I won't post it.

I've also hit a wall about lining that bag. It sits there, in plain sight, to remind me. I try not to feel bad about what I'm behind on. It just means I'm not ready to finish it and I learned a long time ago that if I push myself in the wrong way, I ruin it. So I'll wait til the time is right, but it is mildly frustrating to me.

So I have no tatting to show but I do have some inspiration here. I think I picked up these wooden shapes (12 to a package) in the scrapbooking section someplace, but don't really remember for sure. It says on the label "swaps" so I'm guessing they are popular for another use, but of course, my first thought can I embellish this with tatting? The hole is predrilled so it could be an ornament, a pendant, a gift tag....maybe even more. Each package also has the same number of safety pins in it. Maybe you pin them together? It also says on the label "decorate and trade with your friends". Hmmm...well, maybe the recipient of my Secret Santa exchange will find out what I come up with.

I felt a slight panic last night as I realized Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away and Christmas slides up so fast behind Thanksgiving that it's here before you know it! I still have boxes piled up in my living room from when my son moved in, even though he is down in the basement now. A few boxes are for charity, that's ongoing. A few things are there for repair or rennovation and a few things just need to find a home elsewhere in the house. I'm making good progress but it seems neverending! I really want it all cleared out within the next few weeks so I can get my tree up. I didn't get a tree up last year - first time ever for me - and I WILL get it up this year!

Wishing you lots of tatting inspiration today!

OH - and Happy Veteran's Day to all our Service Men & Women! Bless you for your service and contribution to our great country!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday 11/10/09

Last week I was following links related to my interest in embroidery. I know I've mentioned a few times that I was itchin' to sew or to embroider. I'm not sure why as I'm not particularly skilled at embroidery but I SO want to be!

I had followed a link on Needlework News at Craft Gossip to Mimi Kirchner's doll blog. She featured a post about Salley Mavor and her stitched illustrations which are beautifully done. What led me to explore more on Mimi's blog was that I just happened to catch sight of her "tiny worlds", miniature landscapes in a teacup!

Wouldn't it be fun to think up tatted embellishments for a teacup landscape? I can imagine Martha's little tatted teaset fitting on this perfectly, can't you?

Aren't they adorable? You can see more of her work in her Etsy shop which is here!

I forgot I bought this cup & saucer with a gold spoon a few weeks ago! I'd just posted a TTT post and thought I would save it for the following week and then I forgot! Yep, it's a thrift shop find and I got 15% off to boot because I'm a "senior". LOL! I never remember to ask for a discount but the lady before me did so I asked how old you have to be to get it. She said she thought it was 57 and before she even said the number I told her I was 60. Her eyes got big and she said, "You look good!" Well, that certainly perked up my day! I don't generally talk much about age because I think we condition ourselves to believe in aging in detrimental ways so I just avoid the conversations.

Well, time to find some scones and sit back and tat!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Tatter's Nightmare

What is a tatter's biggest nightmare (other than not having any shuttles, needles, thread or patterns)? Can you guess? Have you been there yourself?


I've been working on T.A.T. this weekend and finished 4 of the remaining 7 projects I had left. I said I had 9 left in my last entry but it's only 7 and now only 3. The one I was working on today required several different threads and that's usually not a problem since I try to only put enough thread on the shuttle so that there isn't much to take off. Imagine my chagrin when I needed a second shuttle today and every single one I picked up had thread on it. I checked one of my containers and found more shuttles - all wound with thread to one degree or another. I checked the bag I usually carry them in and finally found an empty one. So I threw all of the shuttles that needed to be emptied in a pile and took this photo. There are EIGHTEEN shuttles there! On top of that, I found yet another little bag on my table that had 4 more shuttles, also with thread, in it!

This always happens. I recognized the projects I had been working on. Some were in progress when I went to Ohio to kidnap Jane with Gail. Some were from my trip to Canada, where I had emptied 8 or 10 shuttles to take with me and they somehow magically filled up again. Some were from tat guild in Greenfield. Some....this is almost irrational to me....were from my trip to Hector TWO years ago.

I don't mind pulling off the thread of one or two but eighteen? No way...I'll forget about the thread and it will be wasted. So I guess I'll sit down and do some serious shuttle emptying!

(postscript ~ I emptied FIVE so far!)

Saturday, November 07, 2009

This is my last attempt at this snowflake. It's closer to the original, but it shouldn't have been this hard to achieve a duplicate!

LOL! I just realized - usually, I purposely make a change along the way to suit my tastes more but this time I wanted it to look exactly like the picture!

The only thing I changed this time was the way the inner chains were made. The directions call for the tiny picots to have two ds between each picot. I changed it to only one stitch and I made the picot itself almost negligible, a bare bump in the road, so to speak. I did pull the center ring of the clover out a bit when blocking but I pin from the inside of the ring, not the picot. In the designer's version, it's clear the pinning was done in the center picot of the center ring. That would definitely give it a pointier look. My center laid flat because I left a little space between rings. The thread is size 20 Lizbeth.

My next snowflake will be either Jane's newest one, the Snowsettia, or one from Jan Stawasz. There are 3 or 4 in his book that I love and they turn out the same!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Look how close I was to running out of thread before I was done! I had another shuttle wound but I really didn't want to have to add a new thread in at the very end. I was very happy to make it to the end without doing that, but I admit I did some fancy shuttle switching from time to time.

I've already hidden the ends. I haven't found anything for the lining yet but haven't looked either. I needed a break. I'll try to find something this weekend and wrap it up though. I'd like to take it to the guild meeting next week and see if it might be considered for the exhibit.

Here's a close up of the front tab closure. I have some rhinestone buttons that might fit in with this theme of shiny silver beads. It might depend on what I use for the lining too.

You might remember that while I was sick earlier this week, I had my good moments. This was one of them. I've lived in my house since 1977. Actually it was in November when I closed on it, so it's exactly 32 years ago that I moved in, a 28 year old widow with an 8 year old daughter and a 6 year old son. This 70's style contact paper was already on the floor of the cabinet. I always hated it but it was the least of my house issues over the years and since it was mostly covered up, I forgot about it. On Monday I was feeling really good later in the morning and I took everything out of the cabinet for the sole purpose of pulling up that horrid contact paper! It was so full I was too embarrassed to take a photo then, so I waited until I had everything out.

Do you know how hard it is to get 30+ year old contact paper up? It's like chipping away at stone. And then....I got the brainy idea of using my hairdryer to warm it up. I thought it would make the adhesive more pliable and it did! I think I had the whole thing stripped of contact paper within 10 minutes!

Then came the hard part - what to put back in? This is a bottom cabinet, quite spacious, but it really needs pull out bins. Some lucky homeowner will no doubt do that in the future, but I'll make do with what I have. I got most of my skillets and pans off of the stove now and I have two boxes in the living full of goodies to go to charity. I bought a 3-drawer crate to put the tools in - I keep a minimum in the house but it seemed like we could never find the right screwdriver so hopefully this will solve that. I have a storage tub in the pantry full of baking pans and cookie cutters. I only use them once a year usually so there's no point in stuffing them in the cabinets. My next goal is to clean out the upper cabinets and say goodbye to some dishes. My house is too small for family gatherings so I might as well dispose of the extra china. Maybe....some things are hard to let go of.

Sometimes I am amazed that I raised four kids in this little house! One year my cousin, who is my daughter's age, also lived with us and a couple of my sons had friends who lived with us from time to time when things got rough. I may not have had much in the way of material goods, but it was a lively and good life. I wouldn't trade those years for anything!

Last night while I looked for snowflake patterns to measure up against yesterday's frustration, I pulled out my phase TWO T.A.T. binder and decided I will finish that up now too. I have lots to do this weekend but I want to work on my diagramming for the design-tat class and get back to work on this segment of T.A.T. I got stuck at the part where you attach edgings, not because it is hard to do, but it is time-consuming and I didn't want to rush through it. I have nine projects left. Most are very easy so it's time to get it done. There is another tat proficiency program I want to complete too....all I need to do is gather my documentation and email it. I hear it will be nice out this weekend so I also plan to paint the primer on the basement exterior door and the replaced overhang to the roof. Nothing like doing it at the last minute before winter sets in!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Do you ever feel frustrated when a pattern does not work out the way you thought it would?

This snowflake design by Luella Rossow is shown here in a
Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications, Christmas Ideas, magazine from around 1992, I think. I love the way it looks.

And here are MY attempts at the same pattern! Can you see the difference? The centers are almost completely filled in with the first two. I tatted the third one differently.

The directions say to use size 20 thread. There was a ball of white thread on the table next to me without a label but I thought it was size 20. When I saw how closely the chains came to the center, my first thought was that I must have a ball of size 10 thread instead. So I tatted it again, this time in size 30 thread which is the middle motif in the second scan. Same result.

See the negative space in this one, a cropped motif from the original photo, where the center is separated from the outer round chains? I happen to really like that bit of negative space and I want it in the one I tat for me.

I started another one making the chains differently and with the outer rings of the clover one stitch bigger on each side. I was using the thread left on the shuttle and only got through three repeats but I could tell the effect was not what I wanted.

So I tried this one with fewer picots on the clovers and also fewer picots on the chains with more stitches between picots. It did lay flatter before blocking than the other two, and there is a bit more negative space, but it doesn't look like the original. I'm not sure that adding back the extra picots at the clovers will make a difference. I think the problem is actually with the chains but I can't figure out what to do. The original had 3 tiny picots with 2 stitches between. For this one, I made 2 tiny picots with 3 stitches between. I'm going to try one more, maybe 3 tiny picots with only 1 stitch between. That will shorten the chains and possibly open up more negative space.

What do you think????

And yes, I know a snowflake has 6 points. This one is described in the instructions as a snowflake, even though it has 7 points. I don't really care about the technical definition. I just want it to look the way I expected!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday 11/3/09

I've been up and down for a several days with whatever flu virus is going around. It's sneaky - you don't even really know you've got it for a few days and then when you do, you might feel really good for a whole morning before it hits you again. I felt good most of yesterday until evening so I've stayed home one more day just to be sure. At the weekend I was berating myself for being so lazy and not getting anything done but sleeping! Today, feeling far more energetic than I have in days, I realize it was because I was sick. Pay attention to your body! It's trying to take care of you. If you feel tired, there's a reason!

So I don't have much to show for Tatting Tea Tuesday. Actually, this is the post I started last week before I found the ranchy rap song. I don't even like rap, but it was hilarious to me to find it. Anyway, the links below are some of my favorite tea sites. The feature I mention is what was going on that day. I haven't checked today to see what all has changed, but I'm sure you'll enjoy them.

I'm almost done with the tatting on the beaded bag. I'm at the tab and have only three more clovers to go! I decided not to add another row because I would actually have to add two more rows to have the right edge for the tab and then it would come down to nearly the bottom of the bag closed and that just didn't seem right. All I have to do (after the 3 clovers & hiding ends!) is make the lining. Linings can be tricky, especially in a smooth slick fabric. I'll take my time with this and get it right. It would be a shame after all this tatting to get sloppy with the lining.

Rosemary's Sampler featuring oven roasted garlic

Tea With Friends featuring a book about Tea Planting Pioneers

Tea & Talk featuring slow cooking chocolate pudding and an upcycled sweater tea cozy

Tea at Primrose Hill featuring slow cooked cider

Friendship Tea featuring tea parties

If I had more patience today, I'd send you to Mark's blog to check out his pumpkin pattern and to Elizabeth's blog to get in on her pumpkin earring givaway and to Sherry Pence's blog to send her healing wishes for her wrists and to.....well, gosh, that's why I have that blogroll over at the side! Check them out!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Unfortunately, I'm wide awake. Must be all those naps I took today. I haven't felt up to par, sapped of energy, aches, queasy, can't seem to warm up and have a headache. Finally figured out that I must be sick! I don't generally get deathly ill when I'm sick and I'm not now, but I was chiding myself for being so lazy and wanting to sleep all the time. Then my 3:00 lunch stayed in touch with my tummy til nearly midnight. So I sat and tatted when I couldn't sleep any longer.

You know how you get bored with a project that is long and monotonous? Well, this beaded bag is simply clover and chain, clover and chain, in the same color, for what seems like infinity, but I finally found the directions and realized it really was only for eight rows.

So that's where I am now, getting ready to tat the flap. Sharon had mentioned if she were to do it again, she would make the flap longer so that's what I'm going to do. It'll be the equivalent of two more rounds. Since I put my beads on differently, I have to give that some thought too. It's not blocked here and won't be until I have all the tatting done. I'll probably add an RPL cord for a handle. I wonder if I can make that with beads? Might be something to try.

Just to break the boredom, I used my editing program to frame this part. I've actually been playing with my scanner. This is the first time I've tried scanning in "photo" mode and I wasn't happy with it. It crops way too close for this venue. No edges to play with. I like a little space around my scans to frame the item.

I also haven't decided exactly what I will use to line the bag. I have white and ivory but I'm not sure I have blue in my stash. Probably, but I'm not up to searching for it right now.

These are some threads I bought at The Needle's Point in Rensselaer. Mettler threads with a silk finish. I expect I will have to double them up to use them and I have no idea what I'll try them on.

I bought these threads at the same place but I'll use them for embroidery. The gold is actually a cord that I thought would look so pretty couched down with the other thread.

I had all the threads on the scanner at once, which I often do when they are small items and then crop them out separately. When I scanned in "photo" mode, the scanner automatically separated them, but the resolution was not all that good. I don't like the depth resolution on this scanner either. It was super on the HP one I had. The item had to be an inch thick for it to start to blur. Not so with these.

Well, I'm starting to yawn so will go to bed after all. The time changes tonight which I hate. I hate time changes anyway, but especially since we are on Eastern Time when we should be on Central Time. It seems like it is dark when I get up 9 months out of the year. If we were on Central, it would be light in the morning for more months. Okay, enough about that!