Friday, December 31, 2004

Another year gone already?

Weren't we anxiously ushering in the new millennium just yesterday? Is it possible it's FIVE years later?

A sampling of what I was tatting those years before the blog.

I almost got burned out on travel this year. Next year will be slower and less hectic.
The One Writing The Message Is Smirking

Okay.....three weeks in Australia might make up for it. Plus I do plan to go to Palmettos. But that's it. Really! For certain!

This new year I plan to finish all those wanna tats listed to the right. I would also like to go through some of my tatting books from beginning to end. I'm notorious about skipping around and landing on this or that.

I finished the last tatted project in T.A.T. today. Now for the documentation. And I still have to make a series of split rings to demonstrate how to open. I might need to read that again. I open split rings the same way I do a regular ring. Find a picot or if no picot, spread the stitches enough to grab the core thread and pull it up. Ah well. This bookmark was kinda tricky. The movement of the pattern is not quite right/left, up/ varies depending on where you are so I had to keep a close eye on the second half especially. Did some retro-tatting and in fact, I cut out a part on the second half because I knew it was going to look ratty after I retrotatted as much as I needed to. You know....the error in joining was 3 rings and chains back. So, I've got hidden threads in more than one place on the second half. I blocked the 1st half when it was done....not sure how to do the second half, since they are together. I guess I'll just wet it and pin it down as a double layer. The unblocked side is a bit poufy so I definitely have to block it.

I always thought the corner bookmarks looked super! But now, with this one done, I'm not sure I would use it. I wonder how easily it will slide off the page?

I've been debating on whether to make the snowflake in the latest online tatting class. I think I'll have to because I don't understand why it is being made so complicated. What is the advantage? Clearly, I'm missing something.

One project I want to tackle in the new year is the ripple design in Mary Maynard's 4 Square Ring book. It's the whole reason I bought it. LOL! hmmmmmm.....I'm seeing the Silhouette tatting developed by Pat Stevens in the back....intriguing.

I want to do something more with tatting this year than motifs. For instance, I still want to make motifs and use them as an insertion in ....something.

I just tried a search on tatting see more.

Found myself listed at Inaminuteago - Textile Blogs, Globe of Blogs, Bite My Blog.

I see I'm still fairly unique in the blogshares industry. It's a little disappointing - I had hoped to see a few new ones.

Here is an excellent site for those who love to crochet thread snowflakes. I think many of tips might be helpful in tatting, as in adding blending filments, glitter, designing, etc.


Happy New Year

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Crochet Me! The online crochet answer to Knitty. Both are great resources!

While looking at online quilt patterns I found this intriguing needlebook which has a tatted motif on the first needlebook. I also really like the scissors case inside.

Look at this fabric woven grapevine wreath and basket!

Last night I watched the last movie I had rented before Christmas because they were due by midnight :-( and I asn't about to take them back without watching every single one! LOL! While I watched Matchstick Men with Nicholoas Cage ;-0
I also started on my corner bookmark for T.A.T. I gotta pay close attention to make sure I have the sequence in order. This one also focuses on tension. Tension is something I'm much better at than I used to be but I can still tell that I am not always consistent. In crocheting, and knitting too as far as that goes, I once read that when you return to a project after an absence, a bigger project than a little motif I would think, that you should knit/crochet a bit and then tear it out and do it over, because by then, your tension or rhythm of working will have returned. Now tearing out knitting is not fun - or rather, picking up the stitches again is not fun if you do it the fast way. Retro-crocheting is a breeze....but retro-tatting - NO. Absolutely not. One way I see around this is to tat something else small, like a butterfly or very small motif.....just enough to get back into the groove of it, and then go to the bigger project.

Yee-haw! In less than 1/2 hour, I'm off for FOUR days! Maybe I'll take my tree down and maybe I won't, but I'm definitely going to play. I'd kinda like to organize my craft room since I've just been haulin' stuff in there ..........and there's no rhyme nor reason about where it sits. This might get dangerous.

Monday, December 27, 2004


This one worked out much better. I'm off to block it now.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Back to normal

With the exception of unwrapped gifts under the tree and decorations still up, today was exceptionally normal. I caught up on laundry, dishes and.....heheheheh....tatting.

While I was in Vegas, I worked on the T.A.T. proficiency program. One particular bookmark by Pam Palmer required 2 shades of a color I didn't have with me so I only tatted the blossoms and butterfly and waited til now to get back to it. It took me 3 tries this morning to get going on it right....and I have 2 mistakes. So, I'm doing it over, have the blossoms done in blue this time, and an apricot butterfly. Will probably do the green tomorrow. I prefer to do that all in one shot so the tension stays even. In the one above, I forgot to join rings to the chain in a few spots. The blossoms and butterfly are all supposed to be attached so the same side is up, whether you do traditional or front side/back side tatting. Somehow, I got the last one upside down. If I hadn't forgotten to attach a the chains, I would just snip and redo the blossom, but it's too much to redo with the chains. So I'll just save this one and give it away sometime. I truly think my blossoms look better with my second try though.

The directions are on one side of the sheet and the photo and diagram are on the other side. I try to use both because it wasn't as clear to me where to join on the chain with the diagram, and in fact, that's why I forgot in 2 places.

I have only the corner bookmark left after this. I blocked the other pieces last night. Then I have some explanatory stuff to write up and will need to organize it all in a folder/binder and it will be ready to send off. The projects don't seem hard to me, but this is the apprentice one. The patterns are not as clear as I would like for this type of project, but I've been able to figure it out so far and noted when something wasn't working out.

I wonder what the next 2 phases entail?

Sue tells me the shuttle is to be used, not set aside. LOL! It is a clover which I prefer to use, so use it I will! In fact, I took it with me yesterday knowing I might get to the bookmark then and I needed 2 empty shuttles and only had one....but I didn't get to it until today.

I think that bookmark would make a lovely edging. The butterfly is a nice touch here and there. Can't you see it edging the bottom of little summer cropped top? Or a longer top? If someone were VERY ambitious, it would look nice at the bottom of a skirt or along a tablecloth. Don't look at me! LOL!

Here's the filet crochet mat I'm working on now.

I really enjoyed using the Snowman one I made last year. It was on top of a red plaid tablecover so it really stood out.

Well, tomorrow's back to work though it will nice and quiet and hopefully, I'll get my office more organized!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

My Secret Santa

I had a delightful time reaching in and pulling out 11 tiny double-wrapped gifts from a lovely purple velvet bag. The purple bag and the mailing label showing it was from the UK were BIG hints as to who my Secret Santa was, but it was still a surprise, because Secret Santa had the name of the person who was supposed to trade my name with someone else and if she traded, then the other person would have her own name. I haven't found out yet how they pulled that off!

Each little packet was first wrapped in tissue paper, sometimes with little green metallic confetti trees, and then wrapped again in a decorative foil paper and tied with a ribbon bow. My sister will love hearing about that part. How many times have I dropped in some metallic confetti shapes in cards.... to be inadvertantly spilled all over? Nice touch Sue!

There was a nice variety of the requisite chocolates. A ball of vintage Coats ecru thread, size 60; a skein of what appears to be a vintage floss - very smooth and silky; 2 button hairclips; a teddy bear reflector which is great for a night-walker like me; a glass jar of lovely beads which also has a tatted flower on the lid, some gorgeous earrings tatted from a turkish metallic thread of which there is also a generous sample of said thread (flowers based on Mary Maynards flowers); a little bag of vintage buttons to tat on, some intriguing beads on wire which also looks quite vintage; a little pink satin bag containing a "unique Sue original" shuttle; and a set of what looks like round white buttons with a tree shape in the center.

Thank You!

Now I can't tell you who I was Secret Santa for yet and show it. I don't know if she has the package, but I can show you something I tatted for it. LOL! I didn't know Hen & Chicks edging could go so fast. I tatted something like 48" in just 2 1/2 days, mostly in evenings. It really is so festive in red. I wanted to put it everywhere! When it was all done, I found an I didn't think you could make and not notice. LOL! I left it, but I wonder if the recipient will find it? I can't find it in the scan but I know it's there. The way the lace is overlapped makes it hard to see.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


I'm really enjoying this not having any last minute stuff to do. I do have a few gifts to wrap, nothing major and they don't even have to be done by tomorrow. No food to prepare.

I went to the grocery store today to make sure I had enough for the weekend. I ended up buying a pumpkin pie and a pecan pie. I'll spend a little time at my daughter's on Saturday and possibly at my oldest son's house too. We're all gathering tomorrow, but I'll make the individual trips too.

I'll be up fairly early tomorrow - meeting a friend in the morning before I meet with family later in the day.

I rented some movies today - another way to encourage me to do nothing periodically but sit and relax. LOL! I sat for awhile tonight, crocheting the "Cookies for Santa" mat. The way the graph is blocked off, there are 5 sections, each section being 10 rows. I'm done with the first section. This mat appears to be a little smaller than the snowman I made last year.

My son is wrapping his gifts right now. He put batteries in one for my great-neice. It's a baby kitten that mews and purrs and opens its eyes when you pet it. It's kind of spooky really. LOL!

I got our cats a hooded cat bed, but they've basically ignored it, even with a tease of catnip in it. My son pointed out that I needed to get rid of the bed they are using - a big ol' cardboard box I brought home in case I needed to wrap something big. Skunk has been sitting in it every time I'm in the living room...but I filled it up with the gifts I'm transporting tomorrow so he just might go check out the other one now.

I can't find an official snowfall amount but it looks like 6-8 inches. I first thought it was 4-6 inches but once I was out there shoveling, it was deeper than that. The lane is a little iffy, but between me and my son and going in and out, we have some paths to drive through. The chilling cold is what I don't like. It's currently 6ºF.

Shiver Freezing Freezing Cold

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


Hey, want a quick tat for a last minute gift? Check out these paperclip bookmarks!

We talked about it in my lace group but I haven't mentioned it here. There is a Lacemaker's Census that I encourage everyone to contribute to. More information is at the link in MSN groups. You should be able to view it without joining, but there's lots of good tatting information there, especially for beginners.

I still haven't found the pattern I misplaced. I don't have a clue where to look either. Okay, I made one last very thorough unhurried search. I'm convinced the fairies of the universe are telling me NOT to make this pig this year.

Watch me stumble over it tomorrow.

Someone sent me a Christmas card with this image several years ago. I loved it so much I kept it and it is currently hanging in my craft/computer room. At one time I looked up the painting's name and the artist but I've forgotten it.

on the back of the card: Rest On The Flight Into Egypt, 1879, Luc Olivier Merson, French, 1846-1920. Oil on canvas 28 1/4 x 50 1/2 in. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Sunday, December 19, 2004

A Relaxed Sunday!

From Not Martha, I learned about sugar bubble figures.

LOL! Yes, Lacemaker, I checked your blog out today (12-17-04) and I see the tatting and those precious teensy teddys.

Tatman has provided the next online class lesson about inverted picots. sigh....I think I have projects lined up for the next 6 months.


My friends who have put up with me whining about how busy I've been will be relieved to know that I took it easy today. LOL!

Yesterday I cleaned house, rearranged furniture, emptied the dishwasher finally and then reloaded it, did laundry, flipped the mattress on my bed when I washed the sheets, put up the tree but didn't decorate it, went shopping and spent hours wrapping gifts. My body was not happy with me by the time I went to bed.

Today, I unloaded the dishwasher again, decorated the tree, and wrapped more gifts. Then Lord of the Rings came on I decided to watch it since I didn't get through it when we rented it. My son was home and popped some cheddar cheese popcorn to share with me as he sat down to watch it too.
Sharing Popcorn

I enjoyed doing nothing so much I decided to skip shopping tonight. It can wait. I did start crocheting another filet crochet mat - this one says "cookies for Santa" on it and is another I've wanted to make for a long time. (blush) I found the directions while cleaning the living room yesterday. I have one gift I want to sew, but I've somehow misplaced the pattern so rather than stress myself today, I'll wait til tomorrow. It'll come to me where I put it by then maybe.

I came to the computer thinking I might join the online tatting class but I got sidetracked answering a post on another list. Maybe I'll be there tomorrow, unless I'm shopping.

I found these potholders while getting out Christmas decorations. When I first started tatting and found out what "good" thread was, I decided to use up a lot of my cotton crochet thread by making potholders from vintage patterns......sigh....another good intention by the wayside. LOL! I made a few, I think 2 others besides these, before tatting completely took over. These really are festive hanging up. If Santa brings me more time at Christmas, I might be inspired to use up more of my thread.

Candy Cane 1

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Child's French Wire Tatting Shuttle Holder and Thread What the devil is this? Perhaps some of our European tatters know about this thing and how it's used.

It was bitterly cold this morning. Even now it is only 18ºF. Fortunately, most of my outside appointments were completed today. I have a few more through the week, but most of the time I will be inside my own building.

I went to my son's house tonight and took photos of them for their Christmas cards. They used their camera too and got some of me with them.

I had hoped to finish my Secret Santa project tonight but it looks like I'll have to take care of details tomorrow. Eventually I hope to get my tree up too!

Christmas Tree

For now, I'm going to try to get to bed before too late.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Better not cry, Better not pout!

I'm feverishly working on finishing up my Secret Santa Goodie Bag still. I think even with working on it all evening, it will not be done until tomorrow and will go out in the mail by super-sonic airmail if they have it!

I missed the online tatting class last night but hopefully my 'puter will let me pop in tonight. I can sit there and tat while everyone is talking. I printed out last night's log but I like to see what different viewpoints bring up. Ruth Perry has come up with some intriguing uses with her interpretation of the false plait technique. The class is about a candy cane, but I do like the other things shown on the lesson page,epecially the candle and the chevron effect. If you aren't already in the class, contact Georgia from her webpage. I believe next weekend is the last class until after the holidays.

My grandkids were at home for the weekend, decorating cookies and ornmaments and cards and watching movies. My granddaughter picked up a shuttle I had on a nearby table and played with the remaining thread in it. She said she remembered the stitch and practiced at home sometimes. I didn't have the chance to check but I suspect she may need some fine-tuning since I didn't find any evidence of tatting.

Today has been fruitful at work......hope to carry on at home now.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Running Ragged Almost

Some time ago, a long time ago, I signed up for an online craft newsletter, PattieWack Craft Newsletter, and sometimes I read it and sometimes I don't. I skimmed this one and followed the link to her tassel-maker. I like the idea of it, the way it's made, but I think I'll hold off on getting it for now. She has a nice gallery of idea/designs there too.

Some things aren't even in my hands for 24 hours. I finished tatting the 3D snowflake Monday night but the stiffening was still in progress Tuesday morning. I was fearful that it wouldn't turn out so during my lunch hour, I tatted the red hat from one of Gina Butler's patterns. When I got home, I found the inner part of the folded sections of the snowflake still not quite dry. I got out the blow dryer and tried to dry it that way and then used a ribbon to tie them together instead of gluing like the instructions say. Then I stiffened the hat and used the hairdryer on it too, adding a red ribbon with teensy jingle bells and a red mettalic safety pin. Then I stuffed them in a little bright Xmas bag. Needless to say, by the time the recipient got it, the snowflake was looking a little limp.


Here's mine from Bette. We take the gifts wrapped but no names on them. They are placed in a box outside the door as we enter so no one should be able to see who brings what package. Then we each take a number and going in order, we pick which gift we want. It can be one of the remaining gifts still not chosen, or we can take someone else's pick.

We went through this 3 times. It's always best to be the last number as you are ensured you will get the package you want.
Bad Gift

I would love to be done with my Secret Santa exchange so I could send it out, but I'm getting nowhere fast. The dryer repairman came today and the part needed won't be in until tomorrow....well I haven't done laundry since I left the day after Thanksgiving so I washed a few loads and went into to town to dry them. That kind of blew tonight. It's just not a good week for getting things done. My grandkids will be here at the weekend and I'm far from prepared. I skipped the Curves plan tonight.....not enough time.

But next week should be much better.........but that will make my exchange possibly late arriving. Maybe I can get a RUSH on it.

Santa's Sleigh

and....ahem.....I've not even started shopping.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Still Tired

I did manage to sort a lot of stuff on my desk and clear out my email, but it still feels like I didn't get much accomplished.

After I was on the plane for my flights home, I realized I had forgotten to put my tatting in my carry-on. I thought for sure that I put one particular project in there the night before, but it wasn't to be found. When I finally arrived home, it was packed away in my checked luggage. At least I had a book to read.

This is one of the T.A.T. projects. It was pretty easy as far as technique goes, but the directions weren't clear. Maybe you were expected to know how to follow the diagram, which I did use for reference on the ends where it wasn't too clear on how to proceed. I would not normally combine these colors but it was all I had within the guidelines. I still need to hide the ends and block it.

This is another project from the binder. I have one more row to finish it. A lot of split rings but nothing else that is unusual. It's wanting to pouf a little. I can fix that with the blocking if it doesn't get any worse.

This is the watch kit I brought with me in case I got bored. It was the first thing I did instead of tatting. Didn't really take long at all.

I'm amazed I found something affordable at Caesar's. I wanted something that said "Goddess" on it. I had pink, white, black and maybe gray to pick from. I chose the black and plan to tat some lace edging for it.

I gotta go change clothes here in a little bit and head for Curves. Then I have some heavy duty tatting to do tonight. That's for my lace group. I also have my exchange project waiting on me. I've gathered everything - just need to put it together. This is such a busy week. Tomorrow night is the lace group meeting. Wednesday I think I'm taking the xmas photo of my son and DIL and grandson. Thursday - dryer repair man coming. My grandkids will come Saturday afternoon for an overnighter..............

I have a feeling tonight will be an early night.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004


I worked on the bookmark project in T.A.T. but had to stop. I need two shades of green and only have one in the correct thread size, so I’m stuck until I get home. Last night I also put together a watch with a beaded bracelet band that I’ve had for months. I brought it with me on the chance that I might get bored enough to do it. It didn’t take long at all. I’ll scan it when I get home. Tonight I might work on something I’m test tatting for a friend….or I might work on my reindeer, but I’ll probably wait until tomorrow for the reindeer. I’m really tired tonight. I woke up at 4:00 a.m. here and couldn’t get back to sleep. That’s only 7:00 a.m. at home, but I don’t think that had anything to do with it.

I started a snowflake from Susan Fuller’s Potpourri of Patterns while at the airport. I could work on that some more too. I need to email Susan and find out if she reprinted the book.

Hmmmm….checking the project book, there are 3 other projects I could be doing that only require 2 colors and I have that.

I feel like I’m missing out on so much while I’m here. I’m not a gambler……I was out and about today but it occurred to me that I’ve not been attracted to movie stars or the lavish life of stars for many years now. The stores here feature clothes, perfume, art, and clothes, perfume, art, and home décor, and clothes, perfume……yeah……oh, jewelry…all hugely overpriced. The paintings I saw tonight….priced between $1,500 and $33,000+. I saw a brocade runner with reindeer on it, festive looking – for a pricey
$500. YIKES!

Frankly, I’m bored to tears. It would be fun if I had someone to bum around with, but everyone I’ve met so far is already with coworkers or friends. Plus, we go to different sessions and there really hasn’t been much of an opportunity to talk. The atmosphere is not as conducive to networking as at other conventions I’ve gone to. No food or snacks. There is coffee and hot tea. I’m not a coffee drinker and prefer iced tea to hot tea. The sessions have been pretty intense so far. I’m pretty much wiped out by the time we are done. There is an hour-long networking thing by the vendors today and tomorrow. I did go for awhile, looking specifically at a chair and some mouses and mats. I’ll go again tomorrow. Tonight I went shopping….looking really….though I did find the poker chips my son wanted so got that. Found a tea-for-one, on sale, but it’s ugly as sin so I didn’t get it. Maybe I’ll find one at the airport that I like.

I have to take my camera with me tomorrow and snap that giant statue of a naked Caesar with a Santa cap on. LOL! There is some magnificent statue work here, I’ll say that.