Sunday, November 27, 2005

My tree is up! I put it up yesterday but I still need to put the final bows and streamers on it. And put out about 4 boxes of holiday decorations. LOL! I even added ornaments I found to the small tree in my craft/sewing/computer room.

Even though we had our Thanksgiving dinner today, I still managed to get in some painting tonight and tatting. I finished one of my Secret Santa items. I also finished painting some thread winders but since they are gifts....that's right - can't show 'em!

I've been having fun sewing - got lots more planned to do too. These are the kind of Christmas's I like, when I have time to make a lot of my gifts. That reminds me, I have to track down a pattern that I put in an easily accessible spot - one I'd be sure to remember - won't be able to miss it. Yeah, right. there anything I've tatted that I can show? Nope.

Well, that means I have to show other people's tatting then. Here is Tatted Webs, one tatter's business of tatting. Well...... nothing new. But I have something new to show soon!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Here's one of 3 projects I was working on today. Poor fellow is cross-eyed. I got his eyes going in opposite directions! I've never painted on shoes before either....they're a little fuzzy. I might have to touch those up somehow. First time I used that curly hair stuff too.

I did some gift wrapping this afternoon. I hope to get my tree up sometime this weekend but at the rate I'm going, it may not happen. I can't find a way to move my junk around, which is insane. I had 2 closets built into my living room so that I could hide that stuff away and I'm STILL out of room! I made a LOT of space yesterday but I stil have some stuff that I don't know where to put. I could put it in the spare room but I've got it cluttered with gift wrap and gifts right now.

Wish I could show the other 2 things I'm working on. I hope to have one ready tomorrow but I better tat faster if that's the case! When you see it, visions of sugarplums will dance through your head. LOL!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Much of what I'm making right now is for Christmas so I can't show it yet. I do have one thing I'll show when I'm done...but it's not tatted. I've fired up my sewing machine and had it chugging most days. Took me awhile to find where I stashed all my holiday prints....and I still haven't found all of the ribbon, but I did find what I needed.

I've been working on a holiday design too.

And working, working, working. Everyone in my section is on vacation this week!

I spent a good part of Sunday planting 50 purple tulips. I do hope they get a chance to grow before the critters take off with them. Also mowed my leaves which chopped them into mulch and made it easier to get into the grass catcher. The piles are lined up alongside the hill. It made the yard look so nice and tidy - til the next big wind comes and finishes all the leaves off. I am completely surrounded by trees, which I love, so there's not much point in spending much time raking. If I wait long enough, it all blows over the hill anyway.

So...I'm really looking forward to this long holiday weekend so I can finish some stuff up. The thing about inspiration is that it makes you want to drop everything and pursue it....but I have inspirations to finish first!

Here are some online Christmas patterns linked from Bella Online. Follow the links there to even more! bed.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Eye Candy

Chiacchierino di Maria

Oh my....I started this on the 13th.......I can't believe I haven't written since then.
Today I went to the Ft. Wayne Tatter's Guild - a Holiday Workshop featuring Kaye Judt - with fellow lacers Bette and Cathy. We had a great time meeting the Ft. Wayne group and tatting Kaye's holly and berries. There was a gift exchange ( I didn't take part in this ) and we got goodie bags and the opportunity to spend $$$$ on tatting supplies. There were 2 kinds of goodie bags - I picked the peppermint stick looking one. Jeanne also made the 3 of us strivers ( wasn't that cool of her? ) and this is the one I picked! The project was fun and challenging. Kaye made the holly berries in a technique I've not heard of before which is very simple - just a way of stacking rings. The holly involved purl tatting and we ended up with that very Christmasy looking holly leaf. The purl chain could be continued and then tied off, making a nice little holiday bookmark. Or it can be a package tie-on. Or attached to a pin for a holiday brooch. It can go on a card or an invitation or announcement. I'm also thinking that with WHITE berries, it could pass for mistletoe. VBG! I seem to remember a poinsettia flower someplace that would go very well with this as a coat decoration. Napking placemats......we're limited by imagination only here!

Laura also gifted us with tons of clear plastic containers which are great for beads and some flexible little "doughnuts" that used to hold solder but will now hold thread. Thank you, Ft. Wayne, for sharing with us!

I've been blocking a lot of red and green tatting which I can't show at the moment, but here's a few flowers that were also on my blocking board. I tried making a black rose today while I emptied a shuttle but there was not really enough thread so it looked lopsided. It will probably actually be pitched. sigh.....yeah, I can almost do that now without going into major mourning.

I'll get back to further adventures in Australia soon. I got Toni Storer's book on Orchids this week and ALSO Karen Lindsay's Tatting Samplers. In the meantime, I swear Georgia sends out daily announcements of online class lessons or homework. I'm having a hard time keeping up with her!

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Where was I?

Everyone seems to think I still have jet lag. It's not that - it's being gone for nearly three weeks and then trying to catch up....and we're approaching the holidays......which is always hectic. I feel somewhat close to overwhelm-nant part of the time, so I'm making an effort to cut out a few things. Computer time is one, though I still seem to be on it far longer than the average person.

Okay, picking up not exactly where I left off....I'm skipping over most of the other stuff and just focusing here on tatting or lace. I will mention here that my primary reason for going to Brisbane was to meet long-time friend Garryck and while he made some efforts to help me find craft and thread stores, I left that up to Maureen for the most part. Here's a pic of my dear friend..

He's single ladies,mid-40's and looking. LOL! He'll kill me for doing this.

Okay, back to tatting. It's a good thing I kept a journal, even if it wasn't very detailed.

My next excursion with Maureen was on Friday. She and husband John picked me up and 9:00 a.m. and we drove to Judith Connors' house to pick up Brenda Rewhorn who was visiting from the UK. Brenda is a member of Ring of Tatters and you can see her work at the website. We headed out to Crochet Australia, owned by Vicki and Ray Moodie, in Wamuran, Queensland. While her focus is on crochet, she carries tons of books and thread for tatting also. And shuttles and fine crochet hooks. I met Betty Franks while there and she signed my newly purchased Hairpin Crochet Made Easy copy. I really hadn't planned to buy much thread here - thinking there wouldn't be anything new - maybe some Coates that we can't buy in the States but I'm a long way from using what I already have! But then I spied the Aida thread! Jennifer in Melbourne gave me two balls of it when I met her in Dublin and I love it! I wish it came in a smaller thread size instead of 20, but it really is a nice thread so I got.....several balls of it. I'm already using some of it in my T.A.T. projects though. I was given a nice cup of tea while I was browsing and the other ladies had coffee.

We parted company (and fair amount of money) and headed to Storeybrook Cottage. Maureen had booked lunch there and I can't tell you how enchanted I was with it!

We're doing a bit of show and tell here. And there were goodies too! I gave them each one of those cute little storage cubes from Walmart with assorted goodies inside, including a tatted Christmas tree ornament. Maureen gave us these lovely Lanza containers which are wonderful for transporting thread. I put the big Aida balls in it so I couldn't roll it up but Maureen had smaller balls and supplies in hers so it rolled up quite nicely. There is a loop on the end for hanging too. Brenda gave us a Ring of Tatters shuttle and a bookmark from the group. The best things from a trip are what you get from others, both in company and the momentos to remember them by.

Oh my.....that was a LONG day. I may have to continue tomorrow. Yeah, I'll finish up tomorrow.

Today was my lace group's monthly meeting. We spent nearly the entire time working on a bobbinlace ornament from a 1991 Anna magazine. I didn't get done so I brought it home. sigh.....the bobbins got tangled and yes I know there is a way to prevent that. I thought I had them secured, but I didn't. I sorted the mess out - only 9 bobbins and tried to proceed. I had already made some wrong twists somewhere but I thought I'd finish it anyway, only now I really messed up somehow so I cut it free. LOL! I'm not going to torture the poor thing (or me). I'll try it again on another day, probably after the holidays.

And then I painted a shuttle I've been working on. I love the way it looks but it's not good for tatting. I put a bit of thread in it and tried...concerned about the bumps from the star centers. Yeah.....the thread gets caught on those bumps while tatting rings....unless you have long fingers that cover them. LOL! I don't. The shuttle is as long as my middle finger, even a tad bit longer. Oh well....a pretty!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Wanna See What I Bought?

I wanted to show 2 of my tea-for-ones but my digital camera is not cooperatng. It's only gotten contrary since I got home. Fortunately. Maybe it will work before the evening is over. I actually took 2 pics but it didn't transfer and now it won't work...says "system error," whatever that means. Maybe it means "go buy a new camera." LOL! I really wanted to buy one of those small webcams that would also take still photos but I couldn't justify it. My camera is fine - just already outmoded. I bought it right before I went to Hopie's two years ago. I've never been completely happy with it...but I'm gonna be pissed if it dies now when it could have died before I went to Oz and I woulda had my justification to buy a new one! Actually, now that I think about it - it didn't work right while I was there. There were several photos taken at the Lone Pine Sanctuary that did not show up in the download. I had a wonderful one of Garryck petting kangaroos and I know he snapped one of me doing the same. There were several of the emus....not one was evidently, the camera was malfunctioning. It's hard to tell when it clicks in broad daylight, but I could have sworn I checked the one of Garryck petting the kangaroo and I commented on how good it was so I was VERY disappointed when it wasn't there.

It's working I guess it just needs to rest periodically. LOL!

First I'll show you some of my new tea infusers that I bought at the The Tea Centre. I first noticed a duck on someone's blog and I emailed and asked where she got it. So when I found out it was in Brisbane, I was sure I would go there. I managed to get the duck from another source by mailorder but I couldn't remember, once I got there, if I had actually bought it, so I bought another one. I also got the lovely butterfly and sweet bunny and a teapot shaped that I didn't already have....and one that I did have. The tea-for-one that I bought there is at work and I didn't get a photo of it yet - but it has the same shape as these, but with a Bird scene on it. There were so many there - including some collector's items way above my budget - and I had trouble picking! The two shown here were purchased elsewhere. This particular shape/style seems to be popular there. I got the bigger one at The Lace Place in the Queen Street Mall. I noticed The Lace Place was at the Fair too (now that I look at the brochure closer) and that's WHY some gifts I bought at the fair were also in this shop. LOL! I got the little tea-for-one at a fabulous shop while I was with Maureen just a few days before I left. I'll probably cover that more later but in the meantime, for Aussies....this is Shirley Hagens' Classy Crafts and she has 2 locations, Sandgate Arcade on 2nd Avenue and at 37 Hall Street, Chermside. That's where I got my orange Coates thread too. She had several of these miniature tea-for-ones...and my luggage was already stuffed to the gills...but I couldn't resist. I didn't have any quite this small.

Oh, now this is interesting....a flyer in my bag from Shirley's advertises a Christmas Craft Fair sponsored by the Hendra Nundah Ladies Bowls Club at the Club's Function Room at 25 Lethern St, Hendra. It's THIS weekend folks, November 13, 2005 from 9 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and includes over 20 craft stalls ( I bet Shirley is one of them) AND it says it includes a Devonshire Tea AND "a clairvoyant will be available for readings during the day."

I'm not having any luck electronically today. When I tried using the auto download on this, where it allows text to roll around the won't work. So I have to do the manual html thing again.

Well, I won't show EVERYTHING I bought today, but I am showing the stuff I got at the Fair in addition to the tea-for-ones. I also bought a tea book and a tea spoon at the Tea Centre and I was going to go back and get some tea...but I didn't make it there again.

Here are the beads I bought at the fair. The bugle beads came from somewhere else.
And the thread from the fair. I'll show the AIDA later. The pincushion is for me. I would have liked it in different colors but this was the only one there.

Okay, that's it about Australia for tonight. More later. I have photos to I'm doing them as I go and the next batch will be numerous. I won't show them all here, of course. In the past few days, I've been working on a project sponsored by Karey Solomon in her latest Tatting Times Publication, which was waiting for me when I got home. This is the Heirloom Replacement Project/Katrina Ornament. Karey gave us the instruction for a one round beaded ornament which will be distributed by another group to those who lost all of their possessions - including holiday decorations. This cute and informative tatting booklet comes out quarterly and is only $14.00 per year. This was the last one for the quarter. If you would like to get next years', send subscription mail info and payment to: Tatting Times, P.O. Box 9, Hector, NY, 14841. I would love to do this myself, but I don't think I could come up with enough ideas even for one quarterly issue. I suppose I could do a representation of this blog on a quarterly basis - the best of the blog. LOL!

Saturday, November 05, 2005

3 days later

Thread Slumming with Maureen

Okay, that's slightly strong verbage...we went to very nice places so "slumming" isn't really appropriate but that's the word that came to mind. LOL!

I called Maureen fairly early in the week to see what the plans were. I knew Brenda Rewhorn was visiting from the UK and would be there the upcoming weekend. Things had changed a bit from the potential plan she emailed me right before I left. Actually that worked out well - otherwise I was going to have 2 events on Saturday and I didn't think it would work out.

Maureen is fairly new to tatting - at it for less than 2 years but she's as much an addict as any of us. She is an exceptionally pleasant woman who went out of her way to accommodate me. I hold great appreciation for her!

On Wednesday, the 19th, she picked me up and we went to the Queensland Craft and Quilt Fair at the Brisbane Exhibition Centre. The fair goes on for FIVE days! It is HUGE!

Maureen kept mentioning the workshops but the few I'd noticed required a fee. Dummy me - only a few required a fee. Most were absolutely free! Not that I really had time for that. LOL! I can't find my map with the floor plan but in the "what's new" section of the fair brochure, there are 42 different vendors named. On the down side of that, Maureen mentioned some of her favorites weren't there because the table fees have become exorbitant. Oh...did I mention quilts? Half of this fair was a quilt show. The exhibition center is over a mile long. Now there was an Enterology convention going on too, so the fair didn't take up the entire space, but I'm sure it had to be half the buidling. Most of it was other crafts, most notably quilting and sewing crafts, scrapbooking and knitting. There were no tatting booths, per se, but a couple did carry tatting books (where I picked up Judith Connors' book) and some had thread and tatting supplies. I bought several balls of Finca size 16 at one booth. The size 16 is very similar to most perle cotton size 12. I have some Regina thread size 16 but it's closer to size 20. So much for standard thread sizing.

I also bought some gifts already made and I can't say what they are because the recipients do read this thing from time to time, when they want to know what I'm up to. And I bought a bunch of buttons - hmmmmm...yep, I just forgot where I laid them down. I got several Nikki Tervo buttons which are quite expensive. Though not as expensive as some I saw in Lincraft. More about that on another day.

Then there was another booth where I bought some lovely wooden buttons, including one that was fish shaped with lines etched just like one of my shuttles. At that booth, I had to spend a little more money to use my credit card (minimum purchase thing) and so I got 2 bobbins. ooooh...just realized these take spangles. I get to decorate some bobbins! I can't show all the buttons because some are for a special project ...yeah...they might see it here and they would know IMMEDIATELY it was for them.

Gee...sure seems like I had a lot more buttons...but when some are $3-$4 a doesn't take long to add up.

The quilts were fabulous! There was one where you were supposed to look for the spider - there were all kinds of things to look for - fairies and dragonflies and flowers and such. It was a beautiful quilt and fun to look at too! There was one display of quilted postcards. The sign said "All the Way from Alaska". I never did figure out exactly what that meant as some of them were clearly local, but Maureen spotted one from Indiana. I asked if I could take a pic and the lady said yes...but it seems I really wasn't supposed to. shhhhhhhhhhh.............

So...that's it for the Fair. I'll have to cover the rest on another day.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Home again, Home again, Ziggity Zag!

I'll bet you're wondering what I was tatting while I was gone! I just HAD to try out the new threads and beads I bought as well as the patterns in Judith Connors' book. The black and blue choker on the left is from Judith's book, Creative Tatting with Beads, Shuttle and Needle. Actually, I didn't make it long enough for a choker. I don't wear them and anyone I thought of making it for wasn't around for me to measure their neck - not that I had a tape measure with me anyway- so I decided belatedly that I would make a bracelet out of it. LOL! Ever hear of a thigh bracelet? It's way too big for my I will probably put velvet ribbon at the ends and my granddaughter can use it for a headband....or a choker. I was anxious to try the bead treatment with the block tatting between motifs. It still hasn't been blocked, which would shape the scallops on the outer edge. The thread was black Aida, size 20, one of several balls I purchased at Crochet Australia. I don't really use size 20 a lot these days but I really like the Aida brand and much of my T.A.T. phase 2 tatting requires size 20.

The 3 triangle beaded ornaments are leftovers from my lace group class. I had a few shuttles wound with beads if anyone needed them so I tatted those up to empty the shuttles.

The red edging sample below those are tatted in red varigated Coates quilt thread that I bought recently. The pattern edging is from Rita Cochrane of Threads Plus. It was on the back of her business card. No website to refer to but if you would like to support Canadian business, contact me and I'll put you in touch with her. I didn't particularly like the way the color played out with this thread but I'll try a few other motifs which may change the way the pattern repeats and if I still don't like it....then somebody will get it. LOL! I think I bought it at Walmart on a whim so I'm not overly attached to it. Looks pretty on the spool.

Next to the edging are the Mary Konior roses that I like to empty shuttles with.

In the upper right is the first Judith Connors motif I made. This is from two off-brand threads that I bought in the Brunswick St. mall in a little "dollar" like store. The yellow is "Sullivan's", made in Hungary. The peach is also "Sullivan's" but has no other label. This is called an interlace medallion. Some would call it celtic. It was fun to do, though you had to pay attention. It's about coaster size. It would also fit into the bangles I bought very nicely - making a lovely suncatcher with the right beads.

The green motif below was also from Judith's book. It's a motif from her Marguerite, A bouquet of daisies doily. I tatted it in the Aida size 20 and it was just a teensy bit large for the bangle though it would fit if I were a tighter tatter or used a slightly smaller thread. You might have noticed I like the block tatting effect.

And lastly, Heidi Sunday's pumpkin vine edging. I'm tatting it for a holiday towel edging. This one is done in size 16 Finca, which I bought at the Craft Fair in Brisbane that I attended with Maureen. It will go nicely with the towel I'm putting it on, but I have another one that really is a stronger orange. Well, whaddya know....Maureen and I were out and about on Monday at even more stores and I found a Coates bright orange! Size 20, so it will be a bit bigger than this edging but it's the perfect color!

These sweet trees were started before I left for Brisbane and then a few more were tatted on the flight and during my 1st few nights, adding the gold stars last. I tatted them for giveaways...and they are now GONE, except for one. LOL!

Tomorrow (I hope) I will tell about the places I went to with Maureen and the lovely ladies I met. I'm slowly getting my nights and days turned back around and right now, I'm beat.