Thursday, December 28, 2006

My tree went up and down in less than a week! I put it away this morning. I really love having my tree up but I need the space for some cleaning I want to do before I go back to work .....I shoulda got it up sooner. There's always next year though.

And while I was taking my tree down, my youngest son was changing out my ceiling fan. The old one had been hanging by the wiring for ages. No bare wires or anything but I worried about it. Lowe's sent out an ad right before Christmas with $10 off any $25 purchase. The fan was more than that, but it was a good deal anyway. On sale, and then $10 more off. Plus it's bigger and more heavy duty than the last one. I leave it on all summer long.

Another SS exchange has gone down in history! I opened mine at midnight! Lots of Oren Bayan thread and some Altin Basak thread too! A musical card. Some wonderful smelling cleanser for fine washables, a glass angel ornament, 2 clover shuttles (my favorite), a red glass ball ornament with tatting covering it, and a twig wreath embellished with a tatted beaded wrap and a tatted trefoil in the middle with tiny jingle bells! A big THANK YOU!!! to Rita Cochrane of Ontario, Canada!

Part of the fun of the secret santa exchange is keeping your partner in the dark. Mine had me fooled and I helped a few others get fooled too. Just about got the tables turned on us though. Sue Hanson sent me her partner's goodies for me to send on. They barely got was WEDNESDAY and I couldn't take them to post office for a resend until THURSDAY. To Washington State. It got there...on Saturday. Big sigh of relief all around! Sue also sent me these earrings she made. Wow - so beautifully packaged Sue! I didn't want to take them out but it's a good thing I did since you wrote to me on the back of the card! And these are the only hankies I have with any of my initials on them!

Now what I haven't mentioned yet is that I came down with the flu on Friday, missed the family get-together at my sister's on Saturday, and slept through most of Sunday. Monday I was doing okay but must of overdid it because Tuesday had me sleeping most of the day again. I finally got bored with sleeping and tried some tatting - one of bookmarks from Dianna Stevens' Tatted Zoo. I've come to the conclusion that I should never go more than 2 days without tatting. I could not get this fella right! I quit making his belly out of rings and switched to chains. I couldn't get his tail right. This is a size 40 Venus thread that I bought at Hector last spring. I bought Autumn colors and never got around to tatting with them. It's really too light for this, but I'm glad I used some anyway. I put it away in my samples album.

And here is what I've been struggling with the past few days. Remember the fairy baby of our Russian secretary that I knit the duck booties and cap for? I've been asked to the Godmother. (Big Big Head here!) So I was thinking of tatting a bonnet. Different from what I've done before. Again...I couldn't get it right. I started on 2 different ones. Several times. I won't tell you how many attempts .....and they are still not right. I'm using Cordonnet Special size 60 abd I absolutely hate it. It feels icky. This is supposed to be one of the best threads but I hate how it tats and I hate how it feels and I hate how it looks. I think I'll wet these and block them and see how it responds. Maybe I'll try yet a different pattern. This baby has such beautiful dark hair. She was born with a headful and never lost it. It thinned a little but not noticeably. I really want to make something to show her beautiful hair off.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

This was an easy snowflake! It's from Tatting for Tomorrow by Vida Sunderman, on page 48, ornament #7. I didn't find a source online but the address inside is: Cro-Tat Publication, 501 S. 12th St, Norfolk, Nebraska 68701

It was published in 1992 and appears to be self-published. Anyway, Vida had a cut & tie between the 2 rounds and I climbed out with a split chain instead. She listed 2 yards on the shuttle for the center and then 7 1/2 yards for the remainder, CTM. I wound about 9-10 yards on each shuttle and was able to tat 2 snowflakes from size 30 thread.
Vida said to make 1/2" picots for the long picots but I just used my crochet hook handle as a picot gauge which makes them perfectly shaped. I'm dying to make one and cut the long picots and fray them but not tonight. This glittery one is the 2nd one I tatted - and it had a mistake so I didn't feel bad about covering it in glitter. LOL! Hides the flaws nicely - in fact, it hides the tatting almost completely. I was going to just tip the long picot ends but got carried away when I realized I had a big mistake in it.

This is my ornament from Cathy Kozlowski that I got from our lace group exchange. Hopefully I will have my tree up tomorrow night and can hang it then. The weather turned beautiful today and is expected to be every bit as warm on Sunday.

Oh, by the way, I got both mittens done.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

I scanned the cuff because I didn't think I would get this done today. The yarn is a Christmasy red/green with a gold thread. It fits me perfectly. Can I get a 2nd one done?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Remember these tin can crocheted hats from the 70's when crochet was the IN thing to do along with recycling and all mother earth-type stuff? I have no desire to make one, thanks, but it's a fun blast from the past.

Finally I can show something I've been working on! My lace group had their Christmas luncheon today - my sister graciously permitted us to invade her beautiful house - and we had our usual anonymous gift exchange. I put a bar of Lily of the Valley soap in the Irish crocheted bag. This is like the other one I made but from size 20 thread instead of size 30. The instructions call for size 10 but I found size 20 feeling big to me. I can't quite get the hang of the fringe knotting. It's not the knot, it's the spacing that I find tricky. It slips on me. Cathy Kozlowski ended up with it. And I ended up with the gift she made only it's not finished yet...I actually got an IOU and a peek at it on the pillow. It's a bobbinlace motif in red and white. I'm looking forward to getting it!

Here's the other Irish Crochet bag I'm working on. This one may go to the office exchange. I don't think anyone who is involved reads this so I'm not concerned about letting the secret out.

This one is done in size 30 thread. Maybe it was size 50, now that I think about it. The bigger leaves look wrong at the bottom. I thought sure I had done each round but they look smaller, The leaves to the side are smaller. I still need to put a ribbon through the beading. I believe I have some soaps I can put in this one too.

So....I guess I better get back to working on other Christmas gifts. I'm really not sure what to do. I was teaching a new student tatting on Thursday and she was wearing those gloves that have the fingers open but there is a mitten flap that folds over....she bought them but said she could have knit them so that got me to looking on the web. There is a pair of Broad Street Mittens at by Janis Cortese. (photo) Then there is another free online pattern at Canadian Living. This one has a smaller adult size and I have smaller hands - plus I'm thinking about trying to make these for my grandsons who don't have really big hands yet. I dunno...that might be more than I should tackle right before a holiday!

I still don't have my tree up but to be honest, I would rather clean and organize than put it up right now. I'm feeling restless this holiday season and find it hard to focus on anything for very long.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The problem with tatting for the holidays is that they are generally gifts and you can't show them because the recipient might see it and it won't be a surprise!

My Secret Santa project is complete ...except for the chocolate! I don't like dark chocolate (oh my! a CLUE!) so I have to go shopping for it. One of my coworkers offered (insisted actually) that I try some chocolate out of a big tin from Trader Joe's yesterday and my hand was already on a piece before I realized it was the dark stuff. I can eat dark chocolate, I'm not gonna spit it out or anything, but it's not my choice of chocolate. I will have to say it was a very creamy dark chocolate! I'm good for the year now. LOL!

Candy Bar 3 Chocolate
We demonstrated lacemaking at Cathy's Chocolates on Saturday but none of it was packaged or wrapped, that I could see, which would travel and hold well for a few weeks so I didn't get it there. I might hike myself up to the Cookie Factory in the Village to see what they have to offer. Hmmmm...where else can I check out the inventory....don't want to make a hasty choice for this special person!

I switched to the blogger beta version this morning. I won't be playing around with the template though until after the holidays. It seems to be inevitable that I will need to switch and this was the first time they offered so I took it.
Lately I've been crocheting more than tatting. I have an inter-office exchange coming up next week and wanted to get that one done. One of my sons may come and help rearrange furniture at the weekend so I can put the tree that I have furniture, it changes the configuration since I've also created closets on the sides of the fireplace since the last time I had furniture.

Here is why people get confused about tatting. Most of it is tatting but the tape lace certainly is not ...unless that is tatting in the open spaces. I would guess it is crochet or needlelace instead.

I went on an Ebay seller rampage a few weeks ago when I was awake in the middle of the night and trying to make myself sleepy again....when I find something that is not tatting, I let them know what it is if I do know, and that it is not tatting.

hmmmmm...just sent an inquiry. I ordered Jan Stawasz's book at the end of October and still have not received it. was mailed Nov. anytime, it will show up.

Maybe I will have pics to show next time! Flowers & Butterfly

Monday, November 27, 2006

Nope, I didn't get dropped off at the turkey farm and left for good. Sure has been busy lately though, getting ready for Thanksgiving. I barely got any tatting time in until Friday night! I remembered I had promised a relative that I would tat something she could give to her mother for Christmas. I tatted some of the rose snowflakes from Denise Munoz's book and then odds and ends from other places, mostly Lindsay Rogers' Tatting Collage. The flowers were my shuttle endings. I'll let her figure out how she wants to present them. The colors were picked according to the wall colors in her house.

I found these vintage crocheted bags on Ebay but I didn't bid on them. The one on the right is very similar to the one I just recently made. Mine has a fringe and an edging at the top but the center design is very similar. The vintage one also has the "baubles". I have a real life one with baubles...meant to offer it for our library display but couldn't find it at the time. I've found it since.

Ebay isn't the only place to find tatting for sale. Try Etsy and put "tatting" or "tatted" in the search box. Lots of unusual stuff there.

See the beautiful tatted shawl at Tatted Webs. I really like the heart in the glass at the very top. Very elegant.

Look at this gorgseous tatted book spine by Nina Libin. You can contact her at the link for a price. Can you imagine your whole library studded with these?

And don't forget when shopping. Here's one for Wintertat. I also have 2 shops, one with the Tatting Goddess logo and another with my tatted gingerbread boy. Yes, a shameless advertizement! LOL!

Monday, November 20, 2006

The bathroom is coming together slowly. I painted the walls on Sunday and put the curtain up today. The ceiling, vanity and door will have to wait. I like it though.

Saturday my son came over and was a big help in cleaning. Mostly what I needed was someone to move boxes downstairs and help me move furniture. I still have stuff to do, but the bulk is done. Sunday was the paint day although I did not decide to paint for sure until just after noon. Gotta take advantage of motivation when it strikes me!

Last night I started tatting Presentfor my SS elf I Have A Secret

And then tonight, I found the perfect touch for the Gift 2 I made her. I still haven't shopped for Candy. This is FUN!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Well, there you are....I am just so pleased with myself that I probably can't get my head through the door! I decided to try left-handed tatting yesterday. I'm right-handed. I can write well enough to read the writing with my left hand but it is slow and cumbersome - so I only do it when I'm bored in meetings. (shhhh....don't tell!)

Anyway, someone who would like to learn to tat is left-handed and figured I wouldn't be able to teach her because someone tried a long time ago but her left-handedness seemed impossible to deal with at the time.

I had some knots initially, yes, but I was amazed at how easily my left hand knew the motion. My second attempt tonight (the green rings) went exceptionally well and it seemed like the knots flipped themselves. And I could swear the tension looks better than my right-handed tatting! It is still slow and I had a load of trouble joining the rings together. My fingers did not want to cooperate with that, but the actual tatting part is easy enough that I can show a leftie how to do the stitch and that's what I was going after. Well...haven't tried chains yet and that might be a different story. I did find I had to wind my shuttle the opposite direction because the thread comes over my shuttle hand in the opposite direction.

And here is my not-so-mellow yellow bag! I'm working on the drawstring now, crocheting a braid and will put tassels on the ends, I think. I still need to make the how does hot pink measure up with black? LOL!
My granddaughter thought purple might be good...or was it green? She's 13 and likes those funky color schemes.

I don't have a victim....errr....recipient picked out for it yet. That bright yellow really limits my choices. Maybe I should just raffle it off - oh, there's an idea - I could put it in our Lace Day Raffle!

Oh...just realized a CD would fit in there perfectly if it weren't for the narrow top. I used a size 20 thread instead of the size 10 called for...and I could change the beading at the then it would make a nifty CD gift bag! I'll have to keep that in mind if I tat it again.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

LaLa-LaLa LaLa-Lala....

I can't say who but someone's Secret Santa is doing some embroidery________and ooooh, that was such a pretty_______on ______. Many thanks to _______ for showing it to me!

Here is the Treasure Pouch I started in Lace Guild this morning. Bette's sample was exquisite. Mine leaves much to be desired but I'll work on it. It's from an old Piecework and is done with a needle. I wish I could find a suitable thread besides waxed linen. I don't like the feel of it on my hands, but it's better than something dry and coarse.

The motifs are drying on the blocking board. It was only after I scanned that I noticed the centers really did not look as good as I thought they did - as far as blocking. They will shift around quite a bit as I tat around the edges and add a lining though.

While I was gone from home, I'd forgotten how much I needed to do! I have less than 2 weeks to get ready for Thanksgiving. I cajoled one son into coming out and helping me clean next weekend. In the meantime, I would really like to get the bathroom painted. I still don't have my bedroom put back together!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Shuttle Ponderings

I started collecting shuttles shortly after I learned to tat in 1997. I hated the metal shuttles, which were the only ones available to me in my city. I read about David Reed Smith's shuttles from an online list I was newly subscribed to (new to the internet too!) and I ordered a small wooden shuttle, thinking the smaller size as well as the wooden surface might fit my hand better. It did. Then I stumbled on a tortoiseshell shuttle in a second hand store and I LOVED the feel of it in my hands. I ordered another shuttle or two from David. I found an ivory shuttle in an antique store. I ordered another shuttle from David. Clover produced its multicolored shuttle and sold them in packs of 5. I ordered online as that was the only way I could find them. Then I discovered a little place called The Heirloom Corner in Pendleton, IN and my sister and I traveled there one weekend, taking the scenic route (wink)but falling in love with the town when we got there. It was the first of many, many such trips. It was also my first meeting with other tatters! There were books and shuttles and threads in every nook and cranny. I know at least half of my tatting library came from there. And I discovered Ebay......and more shuttles.

I really don't know how many shuttles I have. I have a wooden case that holds 50 or so but many, many more are scattered all over the house. I probably have 50 of the colored clovers alone if I were to detach them from all of their projects.

Something I have learned over time is that the ones that were gifted to me are the most precious of all. I've purchased some very unusual shuttles, but the ones that mean something to me are the ones that were given to me.

I saw this unusual shuttle on Ebay the other afternoon. The metal heart one from Rosita. She certainly does have a lot of unusual shuttles. I finally won a few of them but I had come to the conclusion that it would be easier for me to go to Barbados and find my own! So I was looking at this shuttle that was already $41 (it finished at $102.50). It looks like copper, etched copper. Not really too difficult to make. I could probably have a sheet metal worker make one for me. In fact, I know a superb sheet metal worker. I decided I would rather get one made if I am to have one at all. Painting and decorating my own shuttles has been far more satisfying to me than buying the others. If I could make my own, that would be even better!

So I'm not likely to be bidding on shuttles these days. I have more than enough and if I get anymore, I want them to be meaningful, you know?

Here's the Irish Crochet Bag I've been working on. I finished it the other night. It still needs a good soaking in Oxyclean and blocking but it was easy and turned out nicely. I'm currently working on the 2nd half of the yellow tatted bag.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Well....I forgot to change the date on that last post. I started it on Friday but finished it on Sunday!
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Are you a Susan Branch fan? I love her cards and books, although I have none of her books, I might just have to put them on my Christmas list. I found her website by following one of the links from a link from a link from one of those links over to the side...I think it started with Turkey Feathers - oh, yes, her Oct. 20 entry. Before I got to that entry, I had already gone to her stuffed mini-pumpkins and her PatternBee vintage embroidery transfer site (got sidetracked there mightily!) and then back to where I found the link to Susan Branch. I found a needlecase on Turkey's site that gave me a fantastic idea! Like I need any more ideas!

I LOVE following the links of crafty blog persons! Here's Molly Chicken, who reminds me of a doll I made for my daughter years and years ago. I have no idea what happened to that doll. I made it from a pattern in Woman's Day - you know, the kind you have to make up a grid and transfer the pattern to the bigger grid. No Xerox machines that enlarged or decreased back in those days. I believe I still have the magazine instructions. Don't think I have the pattern I created from it though. It just made the sweetest little baby doll. I loved it! She has a tutorial for this raggy flower too that is quite intriguing!

And look at what I found at OhSewPretty on LiveJournal! A teensy crocheted monkey! I mean, really teensy!

From Kreative Kismet, there is a button bracelet tutorial - buttons made from polymer clay. And another idea explodes in my noggin! I have some very small leaf cookie cutters and they would make some delightful buttons like this...with perhaps a tatted border? ooooooohhhhhhh.....I need TIME!

You know, it's clearly a symptom of Murphy's Law...everytime I get really busy and have no time to spare (I am still not studying!) I get some of my best ideas.

There's a nice little tutorial on how to put a zipper into a pouch at Twelve 22. There's also a nifty kanzashi tutorial on Flickr by Spangly Spangle. The order in the slide show appears to be backwards but you get the idea. The video shows the petals much better.

Okay. Time to quite procrastinating. Think I'll go crochet. ROTFL!

Friday, November 03, 2006

I have a thing for buttons - absolutely adore them. This is only one of many unique buttons at Susan Clark Originals.

CQMagOnline is out - which is where I saw the button that led me to Susan Clark Originals. And see what Pat Winter did with a wooden cigar box! That reminds me that I bought one several entries ago. I don't think I want to cover up the wood though. Pat has a website to drool over, by the way. And she lives close enough I could make a road trip sometime and see her studio!

I had a delightful surprise in the mail the other night! Kaye's book is done! This is a book of techniques with small star motifs that will help a beginner or intermediate tatter bridge their skills to more advanced techniques without taking on a huge project. I really like this concept of praticing on small stuff. Amongst the techniques in the book are front side tatting, up and down joins, twisted joins, tatting in 2 colors, shuttle or lock joins, tatting with beads, rick-rack tatting, josephine rings, floating rings, overlapping tatting, Self-closing mock rings, double picots, measured picots, split rings and split chains, dimpled rings, block tatting, shoe lace trick, pearl tatting, roll tatting, clunies, and a few others. You've seen the samples in past entries. We had fun doing these and I think this would be a great book for a class or self-instruction. I had hoped to hear back from Kaye before I posted this because I don't see it listed yet at Zig-Zag Corner, and I don't know the cost, but I'll let you know as soon as I find out.

I started a tax course after it was already in progress this week so I've been busy catching up there and will spend the rest of the day studying for 2 make up quizes tomorrow night along with the regular homework. I'm also staying with my grandkids Monday through Friday while their parents are out of town so it's not likely I'll be posting much here - which is pretty much how it's been going lately. Time is at a premium. Anyway, I finally got to work some more on this Irish Crochet Bag, finishing the rose this morning. I still have 6 leaves to crochet and then sew them on the bag and finish the edges of the bag. As I'm moving along on this, I can see how to adapt it to tatting and I've challenged myself (when time allows) to make a tatted version.

And in spite of the busy busy week, I've been picking up a few Present for my secret elfin. I can't make up my mind what I'm going to tat though.....I made a decision late last night...apparently too late, because I'm not certain now what I decided. I see I have a collection of beads and thread sitting on a footstool so I guess it has something to do with that.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Ho Ho Ho
I know of a Secret Santa who is having fun with beads! I hear that ___________ is thinking about making something like this for ________!!
Who do you suppose the lucky recipient will be? Or the tatting beader?

Santa Shaking Gift

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Countdown!

I started another Irish Crochet bag,this one in white. It has a bigger rose and leaves,more like the traditional 3D but I don't think it really is. The 1st 26 rows are the same....they will go fast but it's not too engaging for the mind so I can watch TV or listen to a CD or something at the same time.

I'm still tatting the yellow bag. I don't think I can "soften" it but a strong contrast, like a black or dark brown liner, will create a different effect. I wish now I had added beads but what color? These bags are a good size for a bar of soap. They would also hold a cell phone, now that I think about it, or - gasp - a shuttle and a few small balls of thread! hmmmm.....that thought racheted up the brain waves......I need to check out my Secret partner's preferences.

The 25 Motif challenge is still going strong. I love looking at all the motifs! And the ideas - whoo whee! I made up a list of url's that still aren't on my blog...I don't know - there's a bunch of them. Not sure I have room for all of them. LOL!

I'm also thinking about what to add to the current mask I'm working on the RPL mask I plan to make too. The full face mask fits my eyes perfectly so that's the one I'll put the most effort into but the others are for playing and practicing and should be able to stand on their own as examples.

I started this days ago and then when I tried to upload photos, it wouldn't let me, so I left it for another day or two......old news now.

I started a tax course last night - 2 weeks after it started so this coming week will be a crunch while I catch up.