Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year's Give-Away!!!!!

Yessirreeeee! To celebrate the dawn of 2010, I'm giving these tatted earrings away. They are tatted with 2 strands of Mettler silk-finish thread (made in Spain) and beads I received from my SS. The pattern is one of the fragments from Mary Konior's Visual Tatting. They sort of remind me of Mardi Gras.

Just leave a comment on this post and I will pick the winner with a random number generator at the stroke of midnight. IF I stay up til then! Otherwise it will be first thing when I get up on Friday. As much as I'd like to promise I'll make it to midnight, my body sometimes has other ideas. LOL!

I've been waiting to hear that my SS recipient got her package and opened it. Should have since it's in the states (sorry Jane, it's not me if you still haven't gotten yours) and I sent it in plenty of time and put my first name in the card. I'd also like to burn all my photo albums from the year on to a CD and start fresh like I usually do so that means I'd also like to post those photos before I put them away. So...we'll see what happens.

And for now...I'm off to tat a black and purple version of the 2 tone earrings I've been tatting - still for the friend in Vegas!


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday 12/29/09

Love and scandals are the best sweeteners of tea. ~ Henry Fielding

I almost forgot that today was Tatting Tea Tuesday and then I read Heather's blog post about it being the last one of 2009. Can't close the year without a tea post!

Today I've been alternating between water and iced tea, the iced tea flavored with vanilla chai tea. I added less sweetner than usual because my tea had been tasting too sweet and yet, this still tastes a little too sweet for me.

Someone asked me what I was going to do with the matching edging and needlelace center so I contemplated making a small tea cozy today and embellishing it with the edging and motif, but I had company and I've been tatting for a friend so I didn't get to it.

Here's the pair of earrings I've made for her. The brown and turquoise pair are for her granddaughter. I made a black and gold pair before but I used Altin Basak gold thread. This gold is the same Sparklers thread I used for the all-gold pair. She helps manage a spa for her son and the color theme is gold and black there so she wears/embellishes accordingly. (in Vegas Baby!)

In return, she made me some scented bath salts which arrived today! She took the scents I told her I really liked and came up with an essential oil mixture that is perfect for me. The bag on the left is Ginger-Lemon and the one on the right is Lavendar-Sandalwood. SOOOOO...I not only get to loll around drinking tea and tatting today, I get to take a wonderful scented bath! Except my drain stopper is broke and I have to use something else to plug up the water and I'm not sure the current plug works so I will test its ability to hold water before I dump precious bath salts in.

In the meantime, I'm luvin' this time off!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Tatting Again!

Sunday I pretty much slept and tatted. I'm not sure why I slept so much but I took TWO naps! I actually started this tatting the night before, but it was the edging below which I'll get to next. I was tatting from a 1994 issue of Old Time Crochet and the article was by Rebecca Hollenbaugh. Her patterns show up in a lot of places but I've never seen her on any of the cyber lists or met her at any tat day. She's sort of a mystery to me.

She posted these patterns as coming from a December 1917 Needlecraft. They are motifs and edgings and I kind of wonder if I didn't use one in my "mystery motifs" posts last year? I got confused because the first photographs showed motifs with centers and I started tatting #1 without reading the heading. (yeah, I'm kinda bad about that) Turned out it was an edging, not the motif. So I tatted the edging until I ran out of thread on the shuttles and then started the motif. By this time I could tell it was not the one in the photograph. So I turned the page. Ah - there it was! Only those motifs had needle woven centers!

So here is the matching edging to the square motif with an empty center. LOL! The pattern is ONLY for the empty center. What she explained, if I had read more closely to begin with, is that she added the needle lace centers on her own and the first two motifs I saw had tatted centers which she had also added on her own. She did NOT give directions for either of the tatted centers or how to do the needle lace.

I had to figure that out on my own. Now I've done a little needle lace but I still had to refresh my memory and I wasn't sure how to begin...where to hide my beginning thread. I ended up stitching through the bars of a completed ring and ending at a picot where I would be attaching the base threads to weave through. That worked out well for beginning and then for ending, I just used the needle to weave the thread through the now woven center. Unfortunately, my first weaving ended up smaller than the other three and since it was the beginning, I couldn't figure out how to do it over without messing everything else up. I do like the way it ended though, in spite of that one smaller wrapped segment.

I don't know what thread it is but it's finer than 20. I found a couple of shuttles wound with white thread that I'd started something with and made a mistake and abandoned. I cut it off and started this instead. I really do like it and will try some others eventually. At the moment, I have a few UFO's to finish and a few more exercises in T.A.T. to finish up before I can send it off in a few weeks.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Wrapping up Christmas!

I decided there were simply too many photos to post so I've put the goodiees I got from my Secret Santa (Linda Mageske from NM) into a slide show. I believe if you click on the slideshow, it will take you to the home site where you can click on the pix individually if you would like to see them better.

Linda is a great crazy quilter and made an adorable little purse that featured my tatting goddess logo on one side and my fondness for tea on the other side. There is some tiny tatting held by the goddess so it's well worth going to look at the photos close up! She also sent a tatted snowman, tatted initials, and a chili pepper needlebook (HER OWN DESIGN) which is trimmed in tatting. Actually, that will replace a piece of felt I've been using in my tatting box to hold needles. There is also tea, peanuts, sweets, and some goodies that were in the purse - thread, a cabone ring with a tassle, metallic paper clips to tat on, some little post-its, and a package of beads in colors I've never seen before. I'm anxious to come up with a way to use them! Oh, and I forgot to mention the clever way she used Martha Ess's little square teapot pattern. She tatted two of them together and put a marble in the center to make it 3D and a pearl on top for the lid. I just love seeing the way people add their own touch to much loved patterns.

Thank you Linda for all the beautiful work you've done for me. It's been a pleasure being your SS recipient!!!!

Now this is a collage of my Christmas holiday(s). There are a few pics from my lace guild exchange and then some of my kids when we met yesterday for our own exchange before meeting up at my sister's house for the family get-together. I had my camera but got so involved watching home videos of Christmas's past that I didn't take a single photo there!

You might see that I also put up a little tree. It doesn't have a lot of tatted ornaments on it yet. I probably have more than enough motifs for it, but it was a last minute thing at the end of the hall. I loved the way it lit up.

One of my kitties found it a cozy place to hide out too.

And look who is perched in the tree topper? It's solid tatted "sock monkey" I got from Carol Amich last year. What a perfect place for him.

Not one to miss a thing, I found Cormac sitting in the chimes on top of the entertainment center, watching me and my family as we chatted and ate and enjoyed a wonderful Christmas.

I didn't get my curtains done the way I wanted and I have one more bookcase to clean out but my livng room and kitchen are the cleanest they have been in years. Wish I could say the same for the bedrooms that are holding everything. LOL! I'm off now until next year and I intend to be going through even more "stuff". For instance ~ I found I used very little wrapping paper and ribbon. I used real ribbon for the few gifts I wrapped, so why do I have a whole tub of wrapping paper? Also, I bought several LARGE gift bags on clearance last year......didn't use a single one. I think I need to go to an "as needed" status when it comes to gifts. Some generic bags that I can trim according to the occasion and a bit of ribbon are all that I need.

I have a lot of Christmas trims that I didn't use. I had already gone through everything and gotten rid of what I knew I wouldn't use. Now is the perfect time to go through it again and eliminate even more. I don't buy as much for my kids and very often it is along the line of gift cards anyway. Whatever I would make would be small too. OOoooohhhh...maybe there IS a light at the end of the tunnel!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Isn't this a beautiful Christmas photo? It's from the creative commons section of The title link takes you to this particular photographer's work.

I finished up the other earring last night. I've used a needle to sew in the ends of these and it seemed to work well. It's usually easier for me to use my fine crochet hook but I was able to take the thread farther and less conspicuously with a needle this time.

I really hate to use stiffener, especially where beads are concerned. It tends to dull the beads and no matter how careful I am, I manage to get stiffener on them. This design appears to hold it's shape well and I suspect that is because of the beads which give it weight and make it less bendable. There is a matching necklace pattern but I'm thinking the gold would be too scratchy around tender neck skin. The other threads would be fine.

My family's Christmas will be Saturday instead of Friday. The bigger your family, the more schedules there are to work around. I have a son who works nights and has many mandatory weekends. Plus, one DIL works nights at a hospital and the days differ from week to week so she works some weekends AND they live about 45 minutes away. Then there's my sister's family and their schedules. Add to that, most of our kids are married and we're sensitive to them wanting to go to spousal family gatherings too. I well remember trying to go 6 places in the space of two days, with little kids and food and gifts, the throbbing headaches and the not being able to enjoy any of it because of the stress. I refuse to do that to my kids. That's not what Christmas should be. Back then I went to midnight mass too. When did I sleep???? LOL! Some things I miss, most I don't. This will be the first year in many years that my kids will all be at MY house. Because of all the scheduling, we just all meet up at wherever we are having Christmas and I try to get to each of their houses individually with their gifts. This year the gathering is at my sister's house but it's late enough in the day that the kids can come to my house for a few hours and we'll have our exchange then. I'm looking forward to it.

Well...except for the stress of cleaning! That's what I'm doing today, if I can ever get OFF of this computer!

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Guess what? I didn't go out last night. I just couldn't make myself venture out in the dark with icky rain. So I'll finish it all up tonight.

Instead, I finished up these earrings requested by a friend for her granddaughter. The pattern is from Free I love doing this pattern. It's easy, fast and a real eyecatcher. These are tatted in brown Flora size 20 and turquoise Altin Basak size 50. The beads are seed beads and either size 10 or 11. I think a more solid brown bead might have looked better but these were all I had.

So then I found this DMC Infusions Sparklers thread, actually meant for embroidery rather than tatting, but it's just SOOOOO pretty! I think I bought this in Ohio when I met up with Gail and Jane. You can find them online HERE. It's art.cisp09 - E131 Gold Blend, 5 yd/4.6 m, and $2.99 from the place I purchased it. Oh...maybe it was from The Needle's Point in Rensselaer now that I think about it.

Anyway, I tatted the entire earring in this thread instead of two colors and with gold beads. You should see the sparkle! I'll try to finish the other one up tonight. A pretty New Year's party earring, I think. The design is more striking with two colors but I think it still has appeal in a single color. I separated the thread so that I had 2 strands on each floss holder. Each strand was 2 ply. The pattern only takes about a yard of each color so that would be 2 yards of one color. That means I would get about 8 pairs of earrings out of this skein if I wanted to make that many pairs alike.

I always feel just a bit let-down at this time right before the holidays because I didn't get nearly as much done for gifting and food fun as I wanted. Actually, about nothing, zero, zilch this year, except for the two exchanges I was in. Time just gets away from me like water through a sieve. So many seemingly great ideas buried under other committments!

But I have the next 10 days off and I'm so looking forward to catching up at home. I really have made a lot of progress this year but haven't had much time to enjoy it.

I'll probably post again tomorrow, just because getting on the computer makes me take a break from other things, like gift-wrapping, that feels overwhelming sometimes unless I break it up into small segments. Actually, it's the cleaning part that I'm going to need breaks from. LOL! Yep.....last minute Lucy here!

Hmmm....I wonder how many of the last month's new designs I can tat over those 10 days? That would put me ahead for NEXT Christmas, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday 12/22/09

It's now after 8:00 p.m. when I officially go Christmas shopping. It's the only way to deal with crowds! I'm not sure how much I'll do. I was going to go and then not, but I believe the weather is to turn bad tomorrow so I better do all I can. At least get the baking supplies I need.

So...last week I stopped in a thrift store and what did I find????

A teapot with my name on it!!!! Actually, it appears to be a chalkboard and the little red shelf holds a piece of chalk but chances are I will do some painting on this piece. For $1.00, I couldn't NOT get it!

Still on the tea front, there is a printable for a teabag envelope here that you can print out to give the gift of a special teabag. It's from One Pretty Thing, a source of tons of fun and very appealing things to make.

Oh look! Walking an indoor labyrinth for the Winter Solstice at Heart's Delight, a tea blog. I really want to make my own labyrinth on my own property some day. There is a cool one in Tipton, Indiana that I just love.

No doubt this post will be a bit disjointed as I want to leave soon!

Here's another goodie I picked up at the thrift store. It's a set of pillowcases to embroider.

As you can see, the embroidery has been started but just barely. Not even the entire row of French Knots so it will be easy to take out if I want another color scheme. The hoop, needle and thread were all in the package. That reminds me....I have a set of pillowcases that I've nearly finished embroidering (around 2000) and have tatted an edging to attach....guess I better finish that one up first, huh?

Here's a close up of the way the embroidery will look. I don't like the cross stitch ones so I'm thrilled to find this one!

Now what do you suppose this is? A giant hinged wire heart - but for what? LOL! It's about as big as my bedroom window. I started to include the window in the photo but it looks bad at the moment. So, do you remember this post from August? Another metal wire thingie. This might make nice (if heavy) butterfly wings. Should I paint it, lace it, hang it? Or just look at it and let it inspire me???? to pick up gift certificates (maybe) and baking supplies (definitely).

Tea Wisdom: "While there's tea, there's hope." ~ Sir Arthur Pinero

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Finally my tree is decorated! I didn't get it up last year so it took me quite awhile, remembering where everything was.

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One of the great things about ornaments is the memories they bring back. Many of the handmade ornaments here go back to the 70's when I had very few ornaments to put on a tree. I'm amazed they have survived....the hobby horse, the crocheted stockings, the church mouse. Some were from friends and those too are special. I don't have all the tatted items from exchanges in one place. I really should display them all on their own.

So much to do still!

I love my new background!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I tried to post this last night and somehow locked up my keyboard and by the time I got it figured out, it was definitely time for me to go to sleep!

Some of you may know that Jeff Hamilton of Bridge City Tatting also makes jewelry and sells his work. I liked a pendant he made and asked if he would make it in brass and copper instead of the usual. Jeff is really nice and even though he had to get copper to make it with, he made it for me! I like metal so if you do too, go check out his Etsy shop!

For a lot of reasons, I haven't been tatting a lot and when I did tat, it was for my exchange. I sent out a package yesterday and one today. Also got a package from my own secret santa but I'm being good and leaving it alone....for now....

My tree still is not decorated. Thought I'd do it tonight but too much other stuff to catch up on (including sleep) and I just don't feel like it right now. I also bought a dryer on my lunch hour and my son will pick it up tomorrow and bring it home. The only other big thing I had on my agenda of things to do was to call a vet and schedule appointments for my cats. Today was one of those nonstop work days and by the time I remembered the cats, it was 5:00 p.m. So...if I can get myself up early enough, I'll try making a phone call in the morning.

Hopefully I will be posting tatting again soon!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

TTT 12/15/09

Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage. ~ Catherine Douzel

Wabash, Indiana is about an hour and a half from Lafayette and we timed it to have plenty of time to eat before the comedy show. There was a gift shop my sister and her friend especially liked but when my sister called earlier, they said they closed at 5:00 p.m. and we knew it would be a little after 5:00 before we got there. Since it is the holiday season, I encouraged her to call and see if they were possibly staying open later. Well....they still closed at 5:00 p.m. but someone was there and as long as they knew someone was on their way, they would stay open!

It's one of those delightful places with so much to oooh and aaaah over. The displays were exceptionally beautiful. The female half of the owners said she's been doing this for years and you can tell she has an eye for it. It's called The D Shoppe and is located at 2 West Market Street in Wabash. I have no idea what the "D" stands for.

Since I've already got more tea-for-ones than I have room for, I try to be very selective about buying new ones. I found 4 in this shop, 3 by Tracy Porter and one by someone in Ohio. Did you know they have designer tea-for-ones? LOL! The first Tracy Porter pot I got was when I visited a friend in Montreal in 2003 and he took me to an antique store. Back then I was buying a tea-for-one from every place I traveled to so when I spied one in the antique store, I had to have it. I had no clue who Tracy Porter was or that they were collectibles. I got it fairly cheap and didn't know what I had til I got home. She definitely has her own style. I don't like all of them and I wavered between this one and one that had fall leaves on it. The other one had a really funky thing on the lid, worse than this one so this one won out. LOL! It was a little less than the one from Ohio too and I didn't like the OH one as much either. Anyway, this is it!

It's always fun when there is something inside the cup too. Underneath it has Tracy Porter's signature, but of's made in China so it's only her design, not her handpainted pot.

I went to the pool tonight so I'm home late. I'm playing a dangerous game. I was putting the finishing touch on ___________ for my SS recipient and decided I had to tat something for it too. Ahhhh....I'm running out of time and instead of coming straight home and tatting, what did I do? I played in the pool. I meant to do that on my lunch hour but the temperatures took a sudden and severe dive this morning and I'd already been out twice before 11:00 a.m. I opted to stay warm and cozy til I had to go out in the afternoon! It's getting so dry again that my fingers are beginning to crack. One of the bad things about aging is that your skin gets thinner and it doesn't take diddly to split it open! Tiny little spots but they're only going to get bigger. So before they do that, turn into BIG cracks, I'm going to go tat as much as I can in the next hour and then sleep with vaseline and gloves on my hands!

Hope you've all enjoyed your tea and tatting ( or beverage of choice ).

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Done!

I swear this is the longest it has ever taken me to finish a relatively simple snowflake! I simply did not get back to it for days at a time. Last night when I blocked it, it looked like it had dirty places in it. I washed it with soap twice and it still looked like I'd touched it with tea-stained fingers. It's not showing up now so I don't know what that was all about.

I tatted this with thread that was on a shuttle from A. J. Smith. She had taped a tiny piece of paper on the shuttle that said #30 so I assumed that was the size of the thread. It seemed finer than that though. There's still more than half a shuttle left.

Got my tree up last night but no lights or ornaments on it yet. The weather is very mild right now so I'm considering going to 1/2 Price Books to get rid of a few boxes in my car tonight. That means I probably won't get any further with the tree. I really don't like driving that far at night during holiday season so maybe I'll just wait until the weekend. Better to look at dryers and lights instead. LOL!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Last night I had the incredible pleasure of attending a comedy show in Wabash, Indiana featuring Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood at the Honeywell Center. I laughed so hard and for so long that I almost couldn't get my breath for the next round of laughter. My sister & brother-in-law took me as well as another friend of hers as a gift. What a delight! Dinner beforehand too and we also went into a fabulous gift shop earlier where I ended up buying a tea-for-one. You'll have to wait until Tuesday to see that one!

Earlier in the day my lace guild held their December meeting which was also a carry-in and lace-related gift exchange. You never know which gift you'll end up with or who it's from until it's done and you open it.

We had three rounds of pick and take, sometimes taking a gift that appeals to you more than the one you initially picked, especially if you were last on the first round and didn't really have a choice. It's all fun. I ended up with a medium sized box with Christmas paper pulled up around it and tied at the top. When I opened it, I was told to go to the next package inside. So I did. There I was told to go to the next one. It lied. It said I was almost there, but I actually had THREE more openings to make before I got to clear round plastic container that held something flat inside some red tissue paper. Ah! Must be a bit of lace!

You'd think, huh? It was a note telling me to go back to the first box and check out the bottom of it! Sure enough, there was the envelope that really did hold the above tatted pieces! They were tatted by Carolyn Regnier. If you have some older tatting pattern books, you might have one by her, called Suncatchers & Snowflakes, I think. She pointed out to me that this is the same pattern done in multiples of 3, 4 and 5. They're already stiffened so will have to go my little tree. She really does exquisite tatting and I love having a sample of her work. She was one of the founders of our lace guild back in the 70's.

On another note regarding Lafayette Lacers, we donated a handmade lace trimmed tree to a local group for their fundraising auction. I don't have a photo yet but the tree brought in $300 and someone said it was the highest bidded item. I really don't know since I saw some other really nice donations when I checked it out, but even so, it's nice to know that handmade lace is appreciated.

This is a busy weekend. My dryer is on the fritz and I haven't had time to repair or replace it so today I'm washing all my laundry and hauling it to the laundromat to dry. Once I'm there, it will only take about an hour and a half. I think I'm going to have my son do the sweeping and vacuuming today. I just can't get everything done myself. I still need to finish up my SS gift and that's my tatting goal today. The tatting is done....just need to package it all!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I'm really tired lately. I think it's the numbing cold. It sucks the life right out of you. I had to leave the office a couple of times today and the wind was bitter cold...but the sun was shining.

I can't seem to get much tatting done. I started this snowflake last night, in a fine thread already on a shuttle that was given to me. It is the December 2nd flake from Lene Bjorn's book, 24 Julestjerner i Orkis. I've had to guess at how many stitches are in each ring and chain. I can almost see the photo well enough to count, but it is a small photo. It will be very delicate looking when it's done.

I really should be doing something more productive for Christmas but when you're tired, you're tired.

Seeing the hanger Kelly sent with the snowflake she made me reminded me that I bought several packages of these "things" a few years ago on clearance. I seem to remember they were to have something to do with wine charms, but I don't remember exactly what. I think they might end up hanging ornaments instead.

I have a busy weekend planned. My lace guild has a luncheon party on Saturday and then I'm going with my sister and her hubby and another friend to a show in northern Indiana. I can't get to my email to see what it is! Maintanence.

My son is having his car worked on so will need mine tomorrow to drive clients to doctor appointments and such. That means we both have to get up a little earlier than usual. That said....I should get to bed.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday 12/8/09

You know how one thought leads to another? I was thinking about the tea I got from Kelly (she included the hanger for the ornament btw, which I really liked too) and got to thinking about Christmas Tea. So I was googling for images of Christmas tea and remembered I'd bought ornaments last year on clearance from a company in Indiana that I've bought some nice tea gifts from the two years before. I hunted up the ornaments and realized I hadn't gotten any sales emails from them in .......gosh, I can't remember when. So I went looking through my emails, looking for the website, checking my favorites...can't find it. I think they went out of business. They had the best Christmas Tea last year. They had a sampler group and I'd purchased it, loved it and planned to buy more this year.

Damn this recession! I'm glad the economy is on the upswing but it took out a lot of good little businesses along the way!

So now...on to good news!

I get to be a grandma again next June! My youngest son and his wife are expecting their first. While I'm sort of hoping for a granddaughter to help even out the huge testosterone presence in our family, my eyes are peeled for all kinds of baby stuff. My next-to-youngest grandson turned 14 yesterday. As the mother of 3 boys myself, I can remember when the product to the left would have been a welcome gift - the Pee Pee Teepee! Find out how to make your own at Little Birdie Secrets!

Monday, December 07, 2009

Thank You Kelly!

I can't find an email for you so I have to do this publicly! I just had the Fringe Element folder the other day but after two days of intense sorting and moving about, I have no idea where it is!

So tonight I get home on the later side and find a card in my snail mailbox from Kelly at Tatfully Yours.

Not only did she send me a sweet little snowflake, there were Two bags of tea, spearmint tea! My favorite! I could smell them when I opened the card. I still don't have my tree up. We moved mountains at the weekend and I still have a little bit to do before I can put the tree up (like recharge my get up and go!) but I did have this little thrift tree out that I was opening up the branches on last night. It now has an official snowflake!!!!! Thank you Kelly! That was so sweet and totally unexpected!

No tatting at all from the weekend but I finished the cowl length. Still have to make the flower and button-ball. Tonight...will be an early night and very soon!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I got my shuttle tonight! It came from The Shuttle Shop, link is in my sidebar. I've wanted this shuttle for a long time but I was asked to go through the Southern Belles tatting guild. Unfortunately, no one responded to me a few years ago when I tried to make contact. This time someone did and let me know they were not the person to contact and referred me back to The Shuttle Shop. LOL! So now I've got it!

The rest of this post has been waiting in drafts. I had hoped to make a squash book and have the materials but haven't had time to make it yet. With the holiday so close, it may be awhile so thought I'd go ahead and publish it.

Fairytale Fashion with Diana Eng is hosting a series of videos leading to a fashion design. Input is expected from readers.

This is the second one. It sounds pretty technical at times and I chose to show this one because she explains the term "biomimetic". It's really just about the natural unfolding of an object.

So what does fashion have to do with tatting? One reason this intrigues me is because I'm in the design tat class which means I'm interested in design. A few years ago, we spent a lot of time in my lace guild trying to get members to think in design mode, to understand they DID have the capability to design to some degree and to get them to think outside the box (or ball or triangle or hexagon). It's amazing how resistant some people are to the idea.

Anyway, somewhere along the way, Bette Carson sent me photo of some lace displayed on a fold out book or fold out something - I really haven't quite figured it out yet. The closest I've come to it is a squashbook.

This one is about 10 minutes long but you can also go here to an already googled list of squashbook tutorials:

There's a pdf here that is helpful too.

I'm thinking this would be a delightful way to display those small motifs we all make and aren't we always looking for cool new ways to show off our tatting???

I don't know if anyone followed up my reference to the Raspberry Rabbit 12 Days of Christmas embroidery pattern giveaway. I've been disappointed so far. I've missed a day but I'm not impressed with the patterns anyway. I'll have to wait until the last day to see how they are embroidered. Maybe I'll be more impressed then. Apparently it is the same ornament each day with a new number. The design around the number is different but very plain, nothing to get excited about. If I do anything with it, all I'll do is use the basic shape which is just a round ball with a little rectangle at the top and bottom.

I'm still knitting the neck cowl. It's about half done in length. Maybe I'll take a picture of it next time. My scanner did a very poor job with the shuttle so I ended up using my camera. The picture turned out well but I'm never sure. I took a picture of something I'm working on for my SS person and it was really hard to get a good shot. I miss my HP scanner capabilities. The Canon sucks. Prints great but that's about all. Consumer Report recommended it so I'm disappointed. to bed!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Make a Snowflake!

The website is Better Homes and Gardens. See if you can find mine.

Tatting Tea Tuesday 12/1/09

Go here for free printable cupcake & teacup (or coffeecup) notes.

And get a getwell card featuring a teacup in another free printable!

These are the Snowrose snowflakes I made in 2003 in a surprise ornament shower for an online tatting friend. The pic in that entry was so tiny because it was the only way I knew how to make thumbnails then. LOL! They really were very pretty. I'm glad we can have bigger graphics now.

I've been tatting but they're gifts so I can't show them yet. I've also been busy looking for programs for my lace guild for the coming year. That's really fun but I also get way too inspired for what I have time for.

I'm trying a Christmasy background after seeing a post by Pat Winters about free backgrounds from I'm not sure I like it that much. I wanted something lighter rather than dark and so that limited my choices. We'll see.

I was knitting last night, a neck cowl, and dropped some stitches that were impossible for me to figure out how to pick up so I ripped it all out and started over. At this rate, I may get it done in time for next year!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I was very busy yesterday with actual cleaning and preparations for my family get together but I finally got out to the mailbox in the afternoon. There was only ONE thing in there - this package! I'm expecting a few things but this one came before the others. This isn't a very good picture but when I opened the envelope, there was all this coppery glitter facing me! BLING! What a lovely preparation for what is inside!

Inside were these two little containers, about the size of a US quarter. Ha! I knew what was supposed to be inside but all I could see were these rhinestone daisies!

I barely lasted long enough to take the photos. I ordered a pair of earrings from Penniwig's this week. The earrings on her blog have been enticing me for some time so I went to her Etsy store and drooled over several pairs before settling on ONE.

Much to my surprise, she was offering a bonus pair with each order so I got to pick another pair!!!!!! Early Christmas! And NO SHIIPPING extra!

I love both of these so much. Exactly my style. I may have to order more when I get paid on Monday! Thank you Old Dame Penniwig!!!

I was actually very good to myself this week. Not only did I order those gorgeous earrings, I bought a portable Ott light Thanksgiving morning from JoAnn's Fabrics. They were on sale for $29.99 (regularly $89.99) and free shipping, online only. I'd seen them while in Canada at the Fringe Element event. They were on sale there locally at the time but somebodies went and bought the stores out before I knew of them! LOL! Those somebodies know who they are. (grin)

I've been tatting a lot but will only show this snowflake that I didn't make a mistake on this time! I used a different color of beads though. For some reason, I'm not enjoying this snowflake as much as I have in the past. Not sure why yet.

I've been tatting some others though and enjoying them. Eventually I'll have more to show.

Well....could not sleep so got up and decided to post this but I really need to be getting to bed and sleeping.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I trust that everyone is enjoying a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends and pets. My get-together won't be until Sunday but I've been grateful for having a day of rest before I have to do anything. My daughter is having it at her house so it's not like it's a chore for me, but I also want to get everything organized in my own home for Christmas decorating.

Last night I was intent on getting Tatman's (Mark Myer) Autumn Pumpkin tatted. I didn't even get half of the outline done before I gave up in disgust. My fingers are trained to CLOSE the ring, not leave it partially opened! I lost track of where I was and ended up curving it the wrong way. It was late. I cut it off and went to bed. LOL!

So this afternoon I decided to brave it again - beings I had all that thread still on my shuttle.... I continued lettering all the rings on the pattern so that I could keep track of where I was and then marked on yet another paper each half ring I completed. It was slow going but I had fewer mistakes to correct. I heeded his tips about making the joining picots longer on the outer rings and smaller on the inner rings. I also closed the inner rings a bit more than the outer ones. I had a little trouble at the bottom. In spite of all my record keeping, I got off track on the last few rings and had repeated them so I had to back-tat. Then I realized the second side wasn't quite as big as the first side and had to back-tat two rings there at the end. So then I wished I had numbered the rings instead of lettering them. Finally I got to the big blossom, finished it and decided to take a break. I may get the other inside bits done tonight but I don't think I'll get the stem or leaf done. I thought I might make one of these for each of the women in my get-together on Sunday but I have concluded that this will be an "only piece." LOL! Mark might be used to tatting all those half-rings but I find them a pain!'s such a lovely pattern and everyone enjoys a challenge now and then, right?

And I really do appreciate that he has made this pattern available to us. I dearly appreciate ALL the tatters who bless us with their talents and creativity.

This morning I sewed the other bird I had cut out so now we have a pair. I don't know if there will ever be a flock of birdies, but so far, this has been fun.

I had used the heavy duty upholstery thread in my sewing machine for the last one since the color matched but for this one, I switched to a regular weight navy blue. I think it stitched up much nicer. I used my little scissors to clip the seams and when I turned it inside out, I stopped at the head and stuffed it before I completely turned the body out. That helped a lot! It's amazing what you learn to do better after a trial run.

I also finished the tail a little differently. The instructions are only the most basic. They don't tell you to clip seams or how to turn it or how to stuff it. I wanted the tail to be flatter so once I had the bulk of the bird stuffed, I stitched across where the tail began. I added a little stuffing but not a lot and stitched the tail closed. Then I machine stitched lines vertically down the tail.

I still haven't decided how I will embellish them. Will I add wings? (tatted of course) How will I deal with the eyes? I was considering some embroidery but since there is so much of a pattern on the print, I won't. I might make another one out of solid fabric and add stitched embellishments to that one.

As I was sewing this morning, I was thinking about how things have changed in terms of sewing since I was a child. I really don't remember exactly how old I was when I learned to sew. We had a Singer treadle sewing machine and I remember the belt would periodically get too loose and would have to be tightened. When I started sewing in home ec at school, we had electric machines where you pressed a paddle with your thigh to get it running. I loved that! But the majority of my sewing until I was an adult and married was on the treadle machine. It didn't have a zigzag stitch or a buttonhole maker. I taught myself to make bound buttonholes because I was so bad at hand stitching them. I finished the seams of my garments because we didn't have pinking shears sharp enough to help avoid fraying.

It's incredible what a sewing machine will do today. I currently have a cheapie Singer model that I bought on ebay. It does zigzag, but that's about it. I don't make clothing anymore and have hardly sewn for a long time. I have a serger I haven't even used. I could have sewn these birds on that treadle machine without needing any fancy stuff though.

I'm really grateful that I do know how to do a lot of needlework without the fancy equipment, but I'm equally grateful for all the advanced technology because it allows us to do more in less time and to use our imagination and creativity even more!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Oh No! OH NO!!!!

You know those boxes of Queen Anne's chocolate covered cherries that are one of the earliest signs of the holidays? The box you can buy for around a buck? The box that has two layers of mmmmmmmmm chocolate-covered-cherries, now in milk chocolate AND dark chocolate?

Well, guess what? They've downsized! Count 'em! Only FIVE cherries per layer! Used to be SIX! You could evenly share them with a friend. Not any more! could each take ONE layer I guess. I was so bummed out when I saw it that I had to eat three of them right away and make sure they still had something in the center! They did, but......

I am so disappointed!

I bought two boxes for our carry-in at work, one of each type. Most of them are of the dark chocolate pursuasion which means all the more milk chocolate for me. Heheheheh!
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In case you haven't noticed, and it's not likely you have, I have a new search engine in my sidebar. Actually, it's not new. I used to have it on here and then took it off when I noticed Blogger had one of their own. Blogger's used to work pretty good...but not anymore. I can't find things that I KNOW are on here and then I have to resort to month by month manual skimming. So then I noticed that Blogger has one in the "gadget" box. I downloaded it and tried a few searches. It only showed recent references, nothing more than two or three years back. So then I added my old search engine from Free Find again, since they have been continually indexing my site all this time, and tried a few searches there. One search turned up 216 references, going all the way back to 2003 when I started my blog. So you know what I did, don't you? I removed the Blogger search box and left Free Find.

It has an index too. I've barely looked at it but it must show every word I've ever written here in alphabetical order. Not only the words I've written but words from those of you who comment, including typos! It's kind of fun to follow up on, but it can sure eat up time too so don't let yourself get too carried away!

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If you enjoy embroidery, hop on over to The Raspberry Rabbits where they are featuring a free pattern every day over 12 days starting November 27th, for the 12 Days of Christmas. I think you'll be seeing lots of freebies and giveaways going on through the holidays. (like we will have time to surf!)

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I cut out and sewed this bird last night. I got the pattern from You can see their examples here and here! He didn't take any time at all to cut out and sew, but stuffing that fiberfill through that tiny opening in his butt 'bout wore me out! I think I'll probably embellish this fella a bit but I stopped last night and tatted instead, starting another snowflake rose.