Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I've been doing some other tatting but it's for potential classes and a continuing in-process project. I'm trying to document this shell that I designed back in 2003. This is my 2nd attempt to recreate it. I do have the original but it's hard to count the stitches! I think the variegated threads work perfectly with this. This is 2 solid colored threads together...okay, but not striking visually. I want to tweak the top a bit more and then I'll write it up and donate it to the tatting calendar.

I'm still studying for my real estate state exam next week and I'm still catching up from being gone for so long and it's still insufferably hot, but is predicted to cool off from this point on. I'm ready!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

We didn't start at 9:30 a.m. sharp, but folks drifted in and settled and oohed and aahed over each other's "stuff". The set-up was beautifully and china teacups in our goody "bags". Additionally, the quilts hanging all around were pleasing...some definitely of Victorian flavor, others far more contemporary. It was a bit of a squeeze, space-wise, but we managed.

I was surrounded by Marys! Mary Anna from OH and Mary Harris from Avon, IN were on my right and Marie from Detroit, MI was on my left. Then Gail from OH and on up the table and around...names I'm not always clear on, but amongst them Jennifer (owner of Zig-Zag Corner, Nicole and her mom and at the other table were 5 or 6 more! We introduced ourselves, name and city and then a poem was read that ended with TATTING!

Kaye explained the project - a shuttle-shaped tote bag big enough for needle tatters to put their needles in. Kaye is always good about providing instructions and concepts for needle tatters. The tote has a tassle, a motif with needle weaving, a ribbon handle with tatted lace, and an antique button closure. Kaye provided real antique buttons for us to choose from and mine is in a safe place - so safe I can't find it to scan yet, but it's blue. LOL!

First, Kaye explained the process of "knotting" from the Victorian era. It's simply roll tatting....3 rolls and then close the ring...but I had to make 4 rolls since my thread was a bit smaller than the size 10 called for. I was in a rush trying to find everything in the morning. You make a strand of evenly spaced knots - and I think normally, those are cut apart and stiched down by the threads from each end of the knot but we are using 6" strands of knots in the tassle. Kaye explained the tassle ahead of time since she knew I had to leave early. It sort of looks like pearls in the tassle when it's all done.

Secondly, Kaye explained the wire contraption in our's a piece of wire (floral wire in this case) bent at each end and then wound with thread. The wire is used as a shuttle and fits through the picots for joining. You just thread the whole wire and thread through the picot and continue tatting. It was kind of tight at first but the more thread you used, the easier it went through. Obviously, your picots have to be a little bigger than what we now consider a joining picot to be and we had a picot gauge to ensure that we were making them all the same size. This is the motif I tatted with it and later, the thread that is still attached will be used to make a needle lace center, a spider web. Kaye also showed that before I left so I hope I don't forget the details! We were to put 3 yards on the wire shuttle and I kept saying I didn't think it was enough thread to make all 8 rings....well, it was plus there is thread still for the needleweaving. Kaye is pretty good about measuring how much thread you need too and I knew that but it sure didn't look like it was going to be enough! LOL!

You can see in the slide show the tatting brought for Show and Tell and the tatted gloves contest. I don't know who won but my guess would be Mary Anna's gloves. They are fingerless mitts done in black and with black elegant and so sexy. Whooo! Beautiful work - and the photo I took does not do them justice. It's hard to show detail and beads with a camera when the thread is black.

Lunch was very Victorian too....little crackers and breads and spreads plus desserts and candies. I didn't get to open my goody bag til this morning but there is a post-it dispenser and a tapestry needle on a hook and a stick of chocolate for your drink, a pencil, and candy. I was trying to see the designs on the cups through the cellophane because they were different - but they were all so pretty! I'm quite happy with what I got.

Kaye also covered the construction of the tote and I'm anxious to have a block of time to really go at it but I think it's going to be awhile yet.

I had to leave early for a class reunion so at 2:00 p.m., I bid adiu to everyone and headed back to Lafayette. Once home, I took another shower and changed clothes and headed to Wea Community Center where I would meet up with 16 other former high school classmates. It was a fun evening, lots of laughter and catching up and after 5 hours with a tatting group and 5 hours with classmates, I was exhausted!

Friday, August 24, 2007

What is a meme?

People often ask, "What is a Meme?" so here's a more than a little information on that. I pronounce it so it's rhymes with 'dream'; some pronounce it so it sounds like 'mem' (from mem-ory). First off, technically most of the sites here are not memes. The fact that most of these sites create new questions all the time removes the whole evolving viral concept of a meme. But most people call them that and I liked the word 'meme' so I used meme.

In the context of web logs / 'blogs / blogging and other kinds of personal web sites it's some kind of list of questions that you saw somewhere else and you decided to answer the questions. Then someone else sees them and does them and so on and so on. I generally consider these to be actual questions and not some multiple choice quizzes that determine some result at the end (what color you are most like, what cartoon character are you, what 80s movie are you).
(from The Daily Meme)

I've been noticing several blogs with meme's....and while I could see the questions and answers, I too wondered, what the hell is a meme? LOL! So now you know.

I got a mysterious postcard from Wally saying she'd be in Puerto Rico in a few weeks and had some thread samples to send me. Thank you Wally! Are you coming to Palmettos by any chance?

Here's the fabric I bought today for the Victorian Tat Day in Greenfield tomorrow. I only need 2 fabrics, the outside and the lining for the tote, but I wasn't sure which I wanted for the lining so I bought both. I love the floral print. I don't expect to have time to really make the tote tomorrow. I have to leave early for a class reunion so I'll focus on the tatting part instead. I also have to pick out thread......hope I've got thread to coordinate....oh my....if not....I'll be FORCED to buy some!

The glove is not done. I tatted two rows on the thumb last night but it was late and I was tired and I just gave up. I didn't know until last night that friends coming into town for the reunion would want to get together tonight. I'll take what I have and finish it later. hmmmm....the color of those gloves will go nicely with that fabric.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Apron from CraftSanity

hmmm...could start a new trend...with clever pocketing, it could replace those cumbersome purses we haul around. In my retail store days, I loved the apron smocks we wore with pockets - kept my keys, money and kleenex. Probably wouldn't go over for formal occasions but casual errand-running would work AND I could stick a tatting shuttle and thread in there too!

The glove is coming along. One glove...or fingerless's too small, but I won't be wearing them anyway. I've got the thumb and wrist trim yet to go. This is a pattern from Mary Konior in Tatting In Lace, page 84. She specifies size 40 thread but this is size 30 Cebelia and the glove is too small. It was fine til I got to the thumb part and somehow that made my hand scrunch up to fit in it. LOL! It will fit a child nicely though. I've used an elastic hair tie to cover for the wrist. If I were to make a pair for myself, I think I would add 10-15 mignonette rings.

Another salt & pepper tea-for-one! Isn't it adorable? This one is from my sister, a birthday gift along with a bisque angel with moveable wings and a teabag squeezer tongs! I got my new camera pretty much figured out..sorta...took 5 shots to get this one good one of the teapot S&P. LOL! I'm too tired to take photos of the other things now.

Someone was looking for shell patterns so I dug up my scans of the 2 shells I tatted in September of 2003, enlarged them and counted the stitches. I'm test tatting them for now, but will pass those on to Ruth for the Tat Calendar plus I'll have a link here for the pattern. There are simply not enough hours in the day!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Yes, I've been tatting....a little.

I'm trying to find small things to tat for a festival coming up in September. The Madonna and child and the black cross are from Ring Of Tatters Tatting 2000. I added picots to the cross. It just looked so bare! The other cross is from one of Mary Konior's books. The Madonna didn't really look exactly like the photo for some reason. I guess it depends on how you block it...and I haven't blocked it yet.

Getting ready to start on Gloves for the Greenfield Tat Day on the 25th. HA! Do you think I'll get one done?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Well...we learn from our mistakes, don't we? The hardanger turned out fine but my edging leaves a bit to be desired. The pattern is Camomile, Edgings with corners, from Mary Konior's Tatting Patterns. I needed 1 or 2 more repeats between corners but at the time, it seemed to fit nicely. I sew my edgings on so I can remove them intact, if need be, rather than tat them on. Since the corners are different, I couldn't just tat another inch or so at the end. I'll tat another one and replace it later.
I seem to be on a pincushion kick. There are 2 others that I'm working on, just to play with. It all started with the pincushion exchange hosted by Mary Donohue. As it happened, she was my partner! This beautiful pincushion was made for me by Mary. It's a vintage handkerchief monogramed with a "G" (how perfect was that?) with appliqued flowers and embroidery which Mary then embellished with a tatted edging and flowers and butterflies. It's truly unique. She also sent chocolate in a rectangular Whitman's Sampler Tin which I've already managed to store something in!

This is the pincushion I sent Mary. I took an old serving spoon from a local thrift store and bent the handle...which broke...but up high enough that I still had plenty of room for bending. It's not as easy as it's always looked. LOL! Actually, I think it made it more practical to use with the shorter handle. I tried making a beaded spider on the top (arachne!) and tatted an edging all around from Linda Davies' book From Petals to Pearls. I also tatted a tiny rosette that I glued on a white ribbon for the handle but the photo for that final version is on the camera I gave to my son. You can see it on Mary's website.

I finally got my new camera sorted out. Long story that I don't want to repeat.

I have a final exam tomorrow night...then schedule the state exam hopefully within 2 weeks and then I can kick back and TAT!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

These are some earrings I tatted to use up some thread and beads, at least the pair on the left was for that reason. On the right, I tried putting beads in a different place to see if the earrings would hold their shape any better. They're a little too "soft" for me. I used DMC metallic for the pink, 2 strands, and the gold pair were from 2 sulky threads...I think the ones I used for my mask. The pattern is by Iris Griffiths and is in Ring of Tatters Tatting 2000.
I checked out an antique store last week - saw some neighbors from when I was growing up in the process - and found these teacups. The glass one with the square saucer actually come from a second-hand store a week or so earlier. the linen under it, however, came from this antique store with the name, Leaping Leopard Antiques. I actually saw a shuttle there, the black bakelight kind which I already have a couple of.

I found this tea-for-one there too along with the linen towel under it. I try to avoid buying these so much anymore but I liked the cap, as you can see in the next photo. It was only $12.00...but tea-for-ones aren't that old yet. They are a fairly recent addition to the tea paraphenelia.

Now this is what I really liked more than anything! The diffuser is part of the pot! It's on a ball chain with a little black bead at the top that just fits down into the lid. It was $18...a little more than I like to spend but I've never seen one like this before. where am I going to put them? I've decided the next guy in my life needs to be a carpenter!

Friday, August 03, 2007

"I keep my end tables full of needlework so that I don't have to dust them."

-Author Unknown

Lazy Girl blog shows ways to use fabric yo-yos and has the tutorial for using Clover yo-yo templates. I never was too fond of fabric yo-yo's but I keep looking at them. LOL! Several weeks ago, I printed out a pattern for a heart fabric yo-yo. WHY? Trust me, I keep asking myself I really think I'm going to make something? I think I'm trying to find a way to make myself like yo-yo's.

For one thing, I can't imagine making one without a button or something in the middle. Anyway, the Lazy Girl designs are part of the Clover website. They have some videos and a project library. The heart and flower yo-yo templates do look intriguing.

Georgia Seitz has been recruiting book reviews from tatters. You can see about joining her online class here. I have to admit I haven't been tempted to offer a review myself. I reviewed books occasionally for I.O.L.I. and never felt I could really give an honest opinion. I played up the good points and played down or ignored the bad points...which is what I was asked to do, but I don't think that's a true review of a book. At any rate, I don't feel comfortable doing them any more. The best review for me is to have it in hand and look it over. What appeals to me might not appeal to someone else. And it doesn't seem to matter how tactfully I give constructive (IMO) criticism, it seems to hurt someone's feelings. That certainly isn't my intention so I've given it up. LOL!

Oh my! I have a collection of hankies that I have always intended for a quilt. There is a butterfly hanky I've been considering but not all hankies will work with that design...but then...I found this one! It's so perfect! I can add tatting and shadow embroidery as well...I really do love this one!

If you want to see some really close up photos of how to do embroidery stitches,vist Primrose Design blog and take your pick from the stitches listed to the right.

I do find tatting in the most unexpected places! I wasn't even looking for aprons either although that is another one of my vintage passions. day surfing....