Saturday, April 30, 2011

Back in the Day....

I'm going through my last barrel of fabric stash. Oh...what a trip down Memory Lane. I found the little white corduroy coat that was my dad's when he was a baby. A pink crocheted sweater my mother-in-law made for her own daughter. To this day, I don't know why she gave it to me. It was too little for my daughter at the time. My mom's white eyelet wedding dress - a simple summer dress that she bought especially to get married in. Geesh, she was tiny around! My prom dress and my wedding dress, which I need to take to the cleaners in spite of it being in a "protected bag". Fabric remnants from so many projects.

So I thought I would share a few highlights with you and end up with a giveaway.

I love, love, love this lace! It was on a full length black slip that I picked up at a garage sale or something...for the lace. I've kept it all these years, unwilling to cut the lace from the fabric. It just seemed a shame if someone could wear it, but you know what? Who wears slips these days? Not a whole lot of people. So off it came! There are 60" of lace. I will make something for myself with it.

This soft blue fabric print is the kind of fabric used in granny dresses and tops of the 70's. Really - it wasn't all tie-dye. This was my favorite style back then. I really didn't like much else. This came from a top, I think. It could have been a dress, now that I think about it. I think it was my sister's and I sort of remember seeing photos of her in it. It was a dress, yes. SHORT - as in mini-dress. LOL!

Like this one and yes, she did wear them that short! This is a modern version. I was quite disappointed in my Internet search for 70's granny dresses. Today's interpretations are not the way it was then. Even the tie-dye was different.

I did find this vintage pattern image on Sewing Happy Place, which is closer to what you saw. Most were empire-waisted, with lace and ribbons and ruffles. Depending on the season, the neck could be scooped or square. The sleeves were usually full, whether short or long.

One thing I'm not showing is the purple velvet flare pants. They weren't mine - I bought them at a garage sale for the fabric but it's funny to look at them and see the flare because the copycat "bell bottoms" and "flare" pants today are not like that. These are WIDE. I really hated flared pants but it got to a point where you could not buy anything else. I'm short. They're very unflattering to short people, making them even shorter. The pants were always too long. Ever try to re-hem a pair of pants with shaped legs? It's a bitch. By the time I got the hang of it, they were going out of style.

Remember Magnum P.I.? This was a popular fabric in the 80's. I didn't realize he was the one who made it popular until I watched some DVD's from the series awhile back. So then I googled him and the shirt and found out it really was a result of him wearing shirts like that on the show. I made shirts for my boys back then. Remember those pants the rappers wore? HUGE, like balloons! Yeah, I made one pair for one son. The prints were wild then too and I have a lot of them. I made them summer shirts and shorts quite a bit.

I have no idea how I got this fabric but it is true GARISH 70's. It's a light fabric, maybe nylon or a nylon/polyester blend. There are 2 yards, 44" wide. As much as I dislike it, I know there is someone out there who LOVES IT!

SO - I'm giving it away to the first commenter who says they want it. You can comment and not say you want it but if you want it, you better say so and hurry!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

I suppose I should just give up and put it in a book. Is there really any good way to display these kinds of bookmarks online? It did turn out very pretty. The thread is Lizbeth size 20 and I think the color is Carribbean.

It looks better against a solid background but for some reason, the only plain background I could come up with was a dirty lime green. It just wasn't very appealing even though it showed the bookmark off nicely. I keep thinking this could be some kind of necklace but I'd want a bead or cabochon in the center of the butterfly. Maybe next time!

So..this evening I couldn't make up my mind what to do next but then I remembered I had already started something a few weeks ago to empty shuttles and didn't get far before I was sidetracked. I wasn't actually going to make the whole thing, just a bit, a segment, but there was still LOTS of thread on the shuttles so I decided to continue. Can you guess what pattern it is? I'm not telling. You'll have to wait and see how it looks when it is done and then I'll tell. If you tatted it before, you might recognize it. I will say the instructions say there are rings on rings but it doesn't tell you how to achieve that. ('s a SCMR - self closing mock ring) I got further than this tonight but you might guess too easily if I show you now.

And I'm off to bed!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I'm almost done with the Konior triad bookmark for my great-niece. I think I only have 4 or 5 more split rings and the last marble before I'm done with the tatting and then I'll block it.

Here's an image with the camera. The other one is scanned. I'm finding it a challenge to get a good image of this one. Adding the marbles creates a 3D segment which is hard to scan and I don't really have time right now to stage a good camera shot. Maybe when I'm really done with it.

I have the next part of the Dillmont book started too. I had that part started when we had our lace day but it's still in the bag I took it there in! It's a little hectic right now on a lot of different fronts. I absolutely have to get my mower started this coming weekend if the rain ever stops! Right now I have water standing in my yard and I heard the sump pump start up this morning.

For now, I better get ready for work!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Silk Dyed Eggs

I did manage to work up four eggs. I emptied their contents (breakfast this morning) and wrapped the dried eggshells in silk squares from ties. You put the right side up against the egg. I had a hard time getting them as smooth as I wanted. That's how you get the best transfer. Next time I might actually sew sections together so there isn't so much overlap.

I have to admit I have no clue why you then put them in another bag unless it's to keep the colors from bleeding onto one another. Or maybe it offers a bit more of a buffer as they bang into each other. I used an enameled wire cage to hold these down once they were in the pot of water. Then I had to add a few more heavy glass pieces to hold that down. Some grease or something caught fire underneath the burner and I had to deal with that. I asked my son today if he spilled anything out of the skillet when he was cooking yesterday and he said no. I'll take his word for it this time. (smile)

I made a quick trip into Goodwill last night, mostly looking for some kind of small colander that I could use, but I checked out the ties while I was there and got 3 more, plus I found these wonderful egg cups! This is one of a pair I bought. I don't typically use egg cups but these were the perfect find!

The bags have simmered the required amount of time and poured the water out and let them drain in the same blue basket that was holding them down. I could see a little color came through a few of the bags but not too strongly. I wonder if I had enough vinegar?

Finally I take them out of the bags and the silk coverings. Here's a closeup of the first view.

Aren't they pretty in the egg cups? Wouldn't that be a lovely, if somewhat time-consuming, way to serve eggs?

And the other two. I still want to run ribbon through the holes for hanging and add some beads and lace to each end too.

Blogger had some issues and I think I only lost the last line of this post which was....

Happy Easter!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I got home last night to find a surprise in my mailbox! I had nearly forgotten that I entered and won a giveaway offered by Aileen over at Wickedtats. She offered some goody bombs in this post! Her variation of the custom of offering a cellophane wrapped goody on the giver's birthday was a delight. I had a Russian friend/coworker who used to bring in desserts on her birthday as was the custom from her home country.

I tried to get everything in one shot but you might need to enlarge it to really see the separate items. I loved how they went together. There is a shuttle that was in a sweet little black bag, a sample of pink varigated thread size 20, a needle in a wooden needle case, an easy-bob, a cute blue plastic thimble, some gold beads, and a magnet featuring Singapore (Lion City).

So, I can wind the thread on the easy bob and part of it on the shuttle and then tat a cute little blossom to sew (with the needle) on the little black bag. The thimble might come in handy then too. The beads will get left out of that project but I'm sure I'll use them later and the magnet will go on my refridgerator. How cool is that?

Most of the items were in this little gift bag which I love. Thank you Aileen!

I did go shopping for silk ties on Saturday. It was 50% off the green tag so I only looked for green tagged ties. I found four of them that I liked well enough to buy at $1 each. These two are floral oriented.

And these two are paisley. Will I have time to do anything with them???? I really don't know. I'm trying to wrap up some outdoor projects in terms of arrangements which will occupy a good portion of my time this summer. I wonder if this would work on a wooden bead? That would save me the egg blowing/drying/prep time. Sigh....

I'm still tatting another foldover Konior triad bookmark but haven't scanned any of it so far. Tonight is bobbin lace night unless something changes so it's unlikely I'll get any further.'s Tuesday already!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Egg Inspiration!

I haven't done any egg decorating in ages. All the grandkids except the baby and great-grandson are teens. We've just kind of gotten out of the habit. I was in the grocery last night and found some neon-color food coloring, on sale. I still wasn't planning to dye Easter eggs but I bought it anyway. And then this morning, while surfing the blogs in my sidebars, I found this really really COOL way to decorate eggs. I haven't been this excited about egg-coloring since I don't know when!

Actually, the initial post was about Puffed French Toast from Sugar Bee Crafts, a scrumptious recipe that had my mouth watering. The recipe was originally from Our Best Bites, a food blog. I keep food blogs bookmarked in my favorites but there is NO ROOM to put them on this blog. This was a new one to me so I went to the home page and THAT'S where I first saw the instructions to blow eggs out for dying.

I've blown out eggs before - you know - poke a hole at both ends and BLOW with your mouth. She did no such potentially explode-in-your-face act. She was smart! She uses those baby bulb syringes to force the air in and the egg contents out. She also gives a few tips about breaking up the egg inside so it will come out easier. Where have I been that I didn't know about this before?

But there was more! She showed how to thread a ribbon through to hang with and suggested even adding beads. Oh! A woman after my own heart! She also gave a link within her blog about dying eggs with silk fabric. Hmmmmmm....gotta check that out!

Aren't these absolutely gorgeous? From silk ties! You can find the intructions HERE! I couldn't believe how easy it looks! I haven't tried it yet, but it's definitely on my to-do list.

Now...I don't have to explain what this has to do with tatting do I? Really? Only if you haven't tatted around an egg yet. I know...most of you tat around a plastic egg, or styrofoam satin egg, or a wooden egg....but wouldn't this be an even more stunning egg with tatting on it? Hanging from a little Easter Egg tree? I can see a bit of tatted lace at each end where the ribbon comes out. If you don't have the time or patience to tat a whole egg, what a nice little touch!

Oh, and one more fabulous thing about the Our Best Bite site. There is an option to print the recipe. When you click on that, it pops up out of the web page context for printing and also offers a pdf version to save. How cool is that? I want to know how to do that. I guess it's because it is actually a website and not a blog that it can be done but I so wish I had that capability on my blog. It also applied to the eggs shown here. I clicked on "print recipe" and it popped up as a pdf file so I just saved it and will print it when I actually have time to try it.

ps...just remembered I made these Marbled Eggs or Tea Eggs a few years ago. That's why I love my blog. A great memory booster!

pps....Stephanie Lynn from Under the Table and Dreaming has listed the links and photos of 50 Ways to Decorate Easter Eggs!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

My newest granddaughter will be one year old next month. Unbelievable!

I was on a few months ago and saw this adorable bunny hat so I printed the pattern out and thought I might make it for Ellie as Easter neared. A few weeks ago, I realized I better get on it if I was going to make it this year. I was sort of in the middle of other projects so it got strung out a bit and once it was all crocheted, it sat still longer until I had time to put it together.

Somehow I couldn't make it without adding a big floppy flower so I crocheted that as soon as I put the ears on. This is a doll - an adorable doll, but it's almost creepy the way it resembles a real baby. The body is stuffed and has enough weight that it even feels like you are carrying a real baby around. I think she is a bit smaller than Ellie right now but she's the best model I've got for now. I turned the edge of the hat up but I don't think Ellie will need to do that.

This view shows you the flower better. I'm thinking you could pretend these are puppy dog ears too.

I know some people tat with yarn, but crocheting is so fast in comparison that I think for projects like this, I'll stick to crochet.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Cats Won!

I wasn't going to post about this. Believe it or not, I'm not really a cat person. I love dogs, but I hate mice and rats so cats have always been welcome in my home as "Green Pest Control". I only have two cats. Beautiful long-haired mongrel cats that were born a year apart to a kitty that was dumped in the area and found her way into our home. I had lots of kids hanging around back then and keeping the kitties fed and the litter box cleaned wasn't a big deal. It was good training for future pet owners (and they ALL have pets these days).

The kids left. The cats didn't.

My cats are now around 15 and 14 years old. They are pretty worthless when it comes to mouse control but since my son moved in with his two cats, mice are pretty scarce. One of his cats is also either 14 or 15 and the other is younger, maybe 9 years old. So we have four cats total. Two fat ones and two skinny or small cats, two female and two male, two long-haired and two short-haired. The one thing they all have in common is loving the outdoors. My kitties go out. My son's do not. He's never allowed them out since he lived in the city and is afraid they will run off or get hurt or something if he lets them out now. They sneak out now and then but we haul them back in pretty quick-like if we know it. I respect his wishes to keep them in.

So.....I have 2 windows in my computer/craft room. When I'm in there during the day, I open the blinds and during the beautiful weekend, I opened the windows a bit. My son's cats are sooooooo wanting to see what's out there that they jump up in the windowsill of the one window. I have storage towers under the other window full of thread and other embellishments. I had "stuff" on top, of course. It just naturally lands there. One of my son's cats recently developed a habit of jumping up there and knocking things off in the process. I was highly irritated one day to find a BUNCH of stuff on the floor, including a container of beads and tatted motifs scattered hither and yon. Even so, I didn't clean off the towers. I did make it easier for them to get to the one window but I wasn't going to give them TWO windows.

One of my son's cats is oddly impervious to warnings. He was the one jumping on my towers and kicking things off. Every time he jumped up, I put him down. He gets right in your face and literally dares you to do something about it. He was really putting a crimp in my computer browsing. So I thought, okay, it's a beautiful day, I'll just put all this stuff in a box for now and they can each have a window to gaze out of. I plan to clean and paint this room in the summer anyway.

As you can see, it didn't take long for at least one of them to claim squatter's rights.

This one is mine and she seems to be taking it all in and wishing she could be up there too. But then I let her out and she probably blew raspberries at them from the yard!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm back to tatting!

I downloaded a copy of the Finnish publication Fox mentioned on her blog. Diagrams are at the end. I had to highlight and enlarge it enough to see to see the numbers and this is my first sample. I meant to climb out of the first round with a split ring but I started in the wrong place so that meant I ended in the wrong place to use a split ring productively.

So then I made a second one in two colors and with beads. Ooooooh....sounds rich, doesn't it? But the thread that I tatted the rings with kept breaking on me which was frustrating on its own. Then I realized that though I started in the right place, I couldn't make a split ring with the two colors and beads. I refreshed my memory about the SSSR but I couldn't see that working with beads and I needed the other color to come out in the same place too. In the end, I didn't like it so you shan't see it. I know, I usually show all my mistakes but not this time. I have PLENTY of other eye candy for you! Later, I will show you another one in one color and beads so you can see how it looks and I'll even tell you where to make the split ring.

I wanted to wrap up the Lace Day posts by showing the goodies that went home with me.
I've mentioned before that I'm doing bobbin lace now. I still meet with my lace friend Sally on most Tuesdays and plug away at it. I post those on my lace blog which also includes embroidery and other forms of lace. I found this pricker at Debbie Beever's booth (Lace & Such). You put your own needle in, whatever size you want and if it breaks, you can replace it easily. My other pricker already has a nice curve in it from all my poking! (it's NOT supposed to curve!)

I bought one bobbin lace book, one of the less expensive ones, largely because it looked similar to the bookmarks I've been making so how hard can this be????? Ha! I say that because I've been struggling with the same bookmark for...oh...3 weeks now. But I'm almost there!

I love these old vintage magazines. I have some other years but these are both 1916. Both have some tatting in them too.

Now for the lovely gifties from others.

When you registered at the front of the church, you could also pick up a whimsical pin like this. Carolyn Regnier provided a huge variety to pick from plus there were little magnet hats as freebies. I think that's where you picked up a pre-ordered commemorative shuttle or bobbin or could buy some extra's if you didn't preorder and wanted one. At first I thought this was a bird, but I think it's really a kooky fish!

Way back last year I met up with Millie Moody at Starbucks. She was visiting relatives in Lafayette but she is from Northern Indiana. She told me she was planning to come to Lace Day but I was so surprised to receive this sweet card from her with a tatted leaf inside. Thank you Millie!

Many of you know I collect Tea-for-One's but I have stopped buying them except on rare occasions because I've run out of places to put them. I'm going to do something with my kitchen cabinets in the summer that I hope will give me more room to display them. Quite unexpectedly, I was gifted with this one from Charlotte Nottingham, another guild member. Thank you so much Charlotte for thinking of me! I love it!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Displays, WIP, and New Tools!

Here's the Ghostbuster Display tatted by Carol Amich. I think she posted it on her blog back when she made it but it's always an even better treat in person.

Here are her 3 bats hanging on their perch. She's shown these too but you really can't see the detail like you can in person. All those pink beads on the white one, for instance and all the black beads on the black one. And then there's the wondering how did she ever manage to tat the correct dimensions without a slide rule? Carol has an excellent eye for proportion and details. It would be nice if there was such a thing as a guaranteed safe RR journey like Fox's & Martha's books that are making the rounds. The books are not the only existing copies though and tatted displays like this are one of a kind, irreplaceable.

Both Diane and Carol showed quite a bit of the display table items. Some I've shown before during the exhibit last Fall, I think, so I stuck to what I remember as new to you. This is a display by Carolyn Regnier and shows mostly tatting, thread and wire, but there is a knitted corsage up in the corner too.

I really like this collection of tools. I think the page reference is to a book about antique needlework tools.

When I saw this shawl or blanket on Kelli's blog, I strongly hinted she should bring it and she did!

This really isn't a very good photo since you can't see the works in progress but there are at least 3 knitted projects here. Sheila Caplinger is making a beautiful knitted shawl and I don't know what the other two projects are, but they seem to be coming along just fine.

Remember I said I got a new blinged shuttle from Diane? It's the one on the left. The center shuttle is one of two commemorative shuttles offered for this event and the bobbin is also commemorating 30 years of Lafayette Lacers. The bobbin was done by John Aebi, whom I mentioned yesterday and the shuttle is a LaCossette shuttle from the UK. We had a choice of 2 designs. I ordered this one first and then changed my mind before the order went in but this is the one I got and I'm fine with that!

I thought you might like to see the finished name tag. I actually used fabric glue for these. I was a little nervous wondering if the glue would hold or would everything fall off the next morning but it did hold. I don't usually use glue with tatting but it was the best choice in this case.

I'll probably show what I bought in another post somewhere along the line but it's not like I got anything you'll drool over so I'm not promising tomorrow or anything.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

People & Vendors

Today is People and Vendors. More tomorrow.

Maureen was selling the tickets for the drawing. I have photos of the drawing items but I think I'll forfeit showing them. The photos weren't that specific but it was lots of good stuff, publications and tools - none of which I was lucky enough to win! The fellow is Stephen Bowman, Blue Tatting Man, who lives in Southern Indiana and took over my yahoo Teacher's group when I was ready to leave. Stephen is very active in his part of Indiana demonstrating tatting and bobbinlace and other needlearts. He also teaches. He had a different sort of bobbinlace pillow with him and I didn't get a photo of it. My battery died and I did remember to bring the charger but by the time the battery was recharged, I was running down.

I'm sure many of you will recognize our Lace-Lovin' Librarian Diane. And yes, I got another blinged shuttle which I will show tomorrow. One of many interesting happenings - one of the vendors was talking with some people who were Asian and asked to anyone within earshot if anyone was currently tatting. As it turned out, Diane had her handkerchief edging in process with luscious watermelon thread and gave an impromptu demonstration to this very interested group. Sadly, I didn't pick up my shuttle once all day.

Many of you probably recognize Carol Amich on the right. She brought her bats and the ghostbuster display which I'll also show tomorrow. The happy lady on the left is Diane's friend Denise, whom she mentions from time to time as the Blinged Shuttle Enabler (my title, not hers!).

I wish I'd gotten photos of all the tatters who came. Mary Harris from Avon, MaryAnna, I think from OH along with a few others. I remember seeing Dorcas Newkirk though I don't think I had a chance to talk with her and she usually comes with a few of her group's members. Laura Bobay and several members of her Columbia City, IN group. The locals, of course. Someone from the L.A.C.E. group in Downer's Grove, IL whose name escapes me. Millie from up around Ft. Wayne.

Vendors! Vendors are one of the biggest attractions of any lace day event. It's an opportunity to see and touch and really investigate what you're thinking of buying. We had five vendors this year.

Kathy Kirchner with her husband. I believe she is teaching a class today but I have other plans and couldn't go to any of the classes. I bought a set of 12 square bobbins that I like to work with, the only thread I bought (two balls) and a book on Torchon amulet bags. Most bobbin lace books are far beyond my range, both financially and in terms of skill. I looked but didn't find anything except the one I bought. I bought one ball of Venus in size 40 in a green I don't think I have, and a ball of Valdani in a rich brown/gold variegated that I think is around size 40 too. I couldn't find the size on it. You can tell by the length of the space involved that they brought lots of goodies.

The Tatting Corner brought their little corner to us. I think they carry more Lizbeth thread than anyone else I've seen except for maybe Handy Hands. They also have DMC in many many sizes, Omega, Coats and some others that I don't remember seeing yesterday but I know are in the store. I already have almost every tatting book there is so I didn't buy any but I looked, just to make sure. They are also teaching a class today.

This was a new vendor, Fredworks-the Fredericksons from IL, selling mostly bobbin lace pillows that looked beautiful, but again, out of my price range. The fellow there was spinning most of the time but I didn't take the opportunity to talk to him.

Debbie Beever of Lace & Such, from Oklahoma, was also vending and I bought some vintage Home Needle Arts from her. I love looking in those books. I also got a new pricker that I think will be sturdier than my current one and a video by Sylvia M. about Romanian Point Lace. It was used, VHS, and marked down so the price was good and I know it will come in handy in teaching. I was asked by someone again about crocheting the cord - it's hard for people to pick up, even when they see it done. Like anything else, you have to keep doing it to remember how. Debbie is also teaching a class today.

John Aebi and his wife were also there, selling bobbins and bobbinlace tools. He made the commemorative bobbins for our event and I'll show mine tomorrow too. He has beautiful fansticks, if anyone is interested in making lace for a fan. The story came out about how he got started turning bobbins. A LL member, many years ago, took one of her bobbins to him and asked if he could make one. I guess the first one was a bit rough, but they kept encouraging him and now...30 years later....he is a major supplier. If you have any of his work, you know it is exquisite.

No beads! I didn't take part in the organizing this year but I remember last time that we thought about asking Von's if they would be interested in vending some beads for this one or maybe even the lampworked beads from Inspired Fire but I think that idea got lost in the intervening years. Maybe next time.

Tomorrow I'll show what I bought, the few things I managed to photograph that people are working on, and some of the display table.

In the meantime, I've started another foldover-Konior triad-butterfly bookmark. My sister came with her granddaughter. Laina, who is 8, saw my bookmark and made it very clear that she wanted one and the colors she preferred. I also have a birthday cookout to attend for my youngest grandson today and will attempt to make the basement presentable for the plumber's visit tomorrow.