Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I really do love these charm packs! I need to do something besides look at them but still...I couldn't resist entering the drawing for these and you can do the same at the website http://www.quiltqua.com/, not Jan's Musing. Jan has a great site but I'm sure she doesn't want all the email for this!

Here's the last bookmark in Sharon's book. It's a split ring cross. This is the Lizbeth thread that I said seemed to be only two colors when tatted up. LOL! Well, I'll be darned - it IS only two colors! On the ball, it looks like three. I don't remember the name of it but I was disappointed the first time I used it. Lovely shades, but I guess I need a more gradual shift in color or more colors. I really thought there was some blue in it.

Now we're moving on to edgings. This is your simplest ring edging. I just used what was left on the shuttle. The next one is also an oldie but a goodie and one of my favorites for a quick lacy looking edging, hen and chicks. I didn't have time to tat it last night but may try tonight. After that, she puts the two together to make a wider edging. That's why the book has "Transitions" in the title. She shows how to build from one element to another.

Monday, June 29, 2009

It was beautiful yesterday - I shut off the AC and opened the windows. It was a welcome relief from the 90º+ and high humidity we'd been experiencing. Today is the same and very windy.

I took my son and daughter-in-law out to eat yesterday to celebrate their birthdays which were both last week. It was the first day we could all get tegether. I haven't seen my youngest son and his wife for several weeks now. Life is just too busy sometimes.

I tatted the next two bookmarks in Sharon's book. I know...I'll bet you're wondering when I'm going to get to the good stuff, the flowers. It's going to be awhile. We have edgings coming up first. This is a heart bookmark and clover bookmark. Sharon does have tassels on her bookmarks but they take time to make and I'm doing good to find time just for this.

The heart bookmark is tatted from the Lizbeth thread, Carousel, again. It's interesting seeing how the colorway plays out in the tail. Just a bit of white between each segment. I have one ball of thread that ends up looking like only two colors when tatted...I wonder what it would look like if I made this spiral with it? I may tat the next bookmark with it just to find out!

One thing I wanted to mention about Sharon's book is that she gives long notation, then short notation, and a diagram for each pattern so far. This is very helpful for beginners to learn how to read all of them and seeing them all together helps you make the connection if you ever have to read one of the methods on your own from someone else's pattern.

One of the classes I'm teaching for Fringe Element Tatters in September is how to intrepret vintage patterns. I think it will be great fun to condense the old terms into short notation and then into a diagram. AND to figure out the shortcuts along the way!

Not sure how much tatting I'll get done this week. My middle son is moving in at the weekend and I've got to do some major decluttering and moving around. I wish I also had time to wash everything down and paint. Maybe he'll sleep in his car a week or two so that I can. LOL! He's helping but it's still a lot to do all at once.

And hey, guess what? I'm going to see the King Tut exhibit at the Children's Museum on Friday!

I'm going with a friend who lives in Greenfield. We've been planning this since the Museum first announced the exhibit was coming last year. I used to love Egyptian history but don't have time to pursue it much these days. I wanted to be an archeologist when I was a child.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

It started out with Laura Bobay wanting to learn how to do the lobster stitch braid that is used in Romanian Point Lace. I offered to teach her and her needle tatting friends along with some tatting to ...keep it tatting-related. LOL! We've actually been talking about this for months and finally we set a day, June 27th. It's a 2 1/2 hour drive to Columbia City and Laura offered a place for me to stay the night before to avoid an early morning departure from Lafayette, which I happily accepted!

In spite of our planning, the timing was difficult for a lot of reasons. She had to work. I had work issues that prevented me from preparing everything as early as I wanted so there was a lot of last minute scrambling but it all worked out. I arrived around 9:30 Friday night. Tom-Tom took me right there and it was still daylight. Sadly, though I took my camera, I did not get a SINGLE photo! I met Dewayne, Laura's husband and then brought in my stuff. I can't believe I finally managed to pack LIGHTLY for a change. I have a tendency to bring bags and bags of stuff that I don't need.

We gabbed about tatting and quilting and plans for the next day until midnight. Laura was fixing a delicious 7-layer salad for the lunch carry-in on Saturday. She gave me a bedroom with a beautiful blue quilt that I kept meaning to take a photo off and didn't. I got to see her gourd bird who is cute as a button! If you happened to be at our Lace Day in March, you got to see her gourd hedgehog. Laura is talented in many many areas.

She gave me this Mary Englebrite teacup trio of memo pad, calendar and magnets! It just so happens that the teacup memo pad currently on my refrigerator only has 2 sheets of paper left so this is the perfect time for this!

We showed up at Dee's house at 10:00 a.m. and several of the ladies were already there. A few came in just after us and after some chit-chat, we got started. There were 7 ladies there and I was pretty sure we wouldn't get much tatting done and I was right. We started with this lobster stitch cord. Once you get past the first few stitches, the cord is easy to crochet but it's starting out that is so tricky. Two of the ladies didn't crochet at all so they also had to learn how to hold the thread, tension, and crochet terms on top of the learning the cord. I showed them how to chain and sent them to practice that while I showed the others the cord. I was using size 3 thread and a larger alumninum hook to demonstrate. It's hard to see the stitches, even with size 10 thread, so by the end of our session, everyone was using the size 3 thread for awhile.

I think I'd sat with each person and they were starting to get it fairly well when we broke for lunch. That was yummy! When we started up again, I showed how to do the ruffled braid which is much much easier and the rest of the time was spent practicing the two braids, getting details down and tension even. We never did get to tatting but I showed them Kim Millar's patterns as an example of how the ruffled braid could be incorporated into tatting. Geocities is going away, so if you want her patterns, be sure to get them now!

This is the bookmark I designed to use with the braid. It can also be tatted on the ruffled braid, joining at every other point. I have a white sample, just a segment, but will also tat one with this thread to show both on different braids. I have the braid done but not the tatting. The center green is Aida size 20 and the tatted flower buds are Lizbeth thread, Springtime, in size 20. This is the only Lizbeth varigated that I've really liked so far. I just tatted another bookmark in a Lizbeth varigated which I'll show next!

So I had a great time in Columbia City and made it home by 5:30 p.m. After I brought things in the house and caught up on everything you have to catch up on when you're gone, I tatted.

This is the next bookmark, the daisy bookmark, from Sharon Briggs' book done in Carousel. I used a lockstitch chain for the tail instead of the set stitch and a ring at the end instead of a tassel, but the daisy is the same! I didn't have enough thread on the shuttle for the set stitch and didn't want to wind more. I like this colorway better than the others except for Springtime. That one is still my favorite. I had trouble with this particular ball of thread splitting when I had to pick a stitch undone or hide my ends. It made me wonder if it was one of the original less-than-excellent balls that so many were unhappy about?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

From Creature Comforts and for Tatting Tea Tuesday here are: Teabag wrappers and tags!

So...maybe you could actually make a little fabric bag to hold the teabag in and stitch a little tatted heart or other motif to it????

Just thinking.......

And hey, go look at this beaded cup of tea on Plays With Needles!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hamburger Dress???

I actually got wind of this from Rachel Choi's newsletter, Crochet Spot. The dress was designed by Joy Kampia in 2005.

It's kind of fun to pick out all the elements: sesame seed bun, lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, and cheese!

I just kind of wonder what kind of occasion you would wear this to? A bit too classy for Halloween. A carry-in?

It could be worse. There are iPhone Unlock Panties!

Here's something I'm playing around with. It's actually part of a requested class but it's got me inspired in so many directions that I'm spinning. Or maybe I'm just tired. LOL! This is only one draft. I have a second and third in the works. I have to have it figured out by Friday!

I stopped tatting because I could barely keep my eyes open...so I'm off to get some shut-eye!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Recognize this pattern?

I'm a little depressed today as I can't seem to get anything accomplished. I've gotten a little done, thought I would post here and then go to the gym. I think I need to get out and be physically active for a bit.

I've been cleaning off the area around where I sit and tat. I am just amazed at how I accumulate things there. I feel like I'm always putting something away, but judging by the 20 or so balls of thread and 3 casks of beads, apparently not as much as I thought. THIS is a UFO. I don't have a clue what pattern it is. Do you? I'm pretty sure it was something I started during the Secret Valentine exchange and it's probably a heart, but which one? It was going to be a big one, I think. I had so many ideas then that I abandoned and I really don't remember this one. I have another one in a ceremic jar that I do remember, but not this one. If it rings a bell with you, please let me know!

After I finished the paw print hearts, I was looking for something quick to tat the other night, something to empty a shuttle with and yet not take up too much time. At some point in recent months, I'd brought out Sharon Brigg's book, shown above, to tat from. I got it a long time ago and hadn't made a single thing from it. Initially, I thought I might do another 25 motif challenge and go through her book in the process, but the projects in the latter part of the book are quite involved, 3D, and big. Still, I thought using the 25 motif challenge would commit me to finishing it but the more I think of it, the more I think...no. Not right now. But I am going to continue tatting in it so you'll see the projects as I go along.

These are the first three bookmarks. The first two are the same but in one, the blue one, the center ring is actually a chain, while the second one is made with a ring. Sharon's book is meant to build on techniques so this was a good way to illustrate the way a ring and a chain can do the same thing in some cases. It's a very easy pattern. She has a tassel on the ends of hers but I didn't want to bother making them so they're finished a bit differently at the tail end but that's all. The 3rd pattern is the butterfly which I think turned out very nicely. I think there are three more bookmark patterns before I get into edgings and motifs.

I mentioned in the last post about going through some crochet magazines I got at a yard sale the weekend before - actually a Friday during my lunch hour! There were 6 boxes of crochet magazines and books selling at 10¢ each. I bought 70 of them and barely made a dent. I didn't have time to pick through much or I probably would have gotten more. My daughter Laurie also crochets so she will enjoy them.

I also got a Currier & Ives tin full of sewing supplies and buttons which I sorted out last night. Apparently the owner passed away. A man I took to be the husband told me several times that "she" loved to crochet and made beautiful stuff, and everywhere they went, she bought another magazine....and he smiled. I think he misses her. Anyway, I don't know why I felt a need to sort the buttons by color last night but I did and in the process, I found some 3-hole buttons! There are about 20 of them. Some time ago, there was a discussion on some of the groups about 3 hole buttons - we were thinking about tatting on them, but finding them is the hard part. There was a shirt manufacturer who used to use the 3 hole buttons but I believe they stopped using them. I did find a source online, but the cost was prohibitive for just wanting to play around with a few odd buttons. I've set these aside to play with though.

There were also about half a dozen BIG HOLE buttons. LOL! Maybe I should put my earrings on these!

Well, that's all for now. Maybe I'll feel refreshed enough from my workout to dig into something else here. I think my son may be moving back in to save up for Grad school so that will mean some big changes here soon.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Does that background kinda blind you? LOL! It caught my eye because it was so summery but I think I'll find something more like a gentle summer breeze than a hot blast of heat! BUT - tomorrow IS the first day of Summer so it will stay til Monday.

It's been a very very busy week. My coworker was on vacation so I was doing double duty and it seemed I never got home before 8:30 or 9:00 p.m. most nights just from other things. I did get home earlier on Wednesday and Thursday than I expected but I went to bed early too. Last weekend just about wiped me out before a busy week and I'm making up for it. I slept in til 9:00 this morning and then took a 2 hour nap this afternoon! Even so, I got through a stack of crochet magazines I bought at a garage sale last weekend. The majority will go to my daughter but I still have a healthy stack to work from. I also finished up the last paw heart this morning and all three are ready to go now.

The pattern is from Heather Johnston that you can purchase from her Esty shop which you can find on her blog, The Tarnished Tatter.

I almost feel like this is a bereavement post because everything I've tatted here has been in relation to a loss.

This cross is from Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns, the small cross on page 88. I've done this one before....I think as a donation for my lace group's sale items at the Feast. I tatted it the same as the one in the book, in size 40 DMC special cordonnet. It's really quite simple although you do have to tat it in 2 rounds, cutting and hiding the ends in each round.

One of my cousins passed away two weeks ago in another state. I haven't seen him since we were children but I can still see his headful of white hair and bright blue eyes. All of my cousins are younger than me as I'm the oldest on both sides of my family so it's always unexpected when I hear one has passed on. I guess we're all getting there day by day.

I attached the cross to a card with some organza ribbon. For some reason, when I bought the card, I thought the lettering was blue and that the cross would complement it. The lettering is green instead, but it still looks like it belongs there. The card went to my aunt & uncle in Oregon, who are his parents.

A few weeks ago, I ordered Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith and signed up with an online blog group to play with it.

I haven't felt a particular need for this but from what I hear, Jamie Ridler is a great online coach, helping you reach for your creative potential, and it sounded like fun.
I've only started since my book didn't arrive until this week and I don't feel nearly as aggressive as the instructions want you to be, but it is a good way to recognize boundaries you have set and release them. Would YOU want to destroy a book, even as plain and ordinary looking as this one? And yet, we often have to tear down what we have built to be able to move on. I love this part on the back where you tape the book shut and mail it to yourself.

As many of you know, I've owned a couple of yahoo groups for several years. The first one was associated with this blog, meant to be a mailing list, but I set it up wrong and next thing you know....I had an active list! The other list was for tatting teachers, meant to help new teachers learn from the more seasoned ones and to help set some standards. I've enjoyed both lists and derived a great deal of personal satisfaction from them, but it was a responsibility that I've felt a need to let go of for a few years now. I was prepared to delete them and walk away, but fortunately, a member from each group offered to take ownership. Stephen Bowman, aka bluetattingman, took the teachers group, and Erin Holloway, from The Buhlawg, took Threadsfromatattinggoddessupdates. (yeah, what a long name for a group!) My deepest appreciation to them both.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Friendship Puzzle Pieces!

I can't believe I haven't made time to post these yet! You can see all of them together, before Pat sent them out, HERE!

The piece on the left was made by Needled Mom, Mary Schuberg, from L.A. I love the embroidery she has done on this - the tiny tiny little staggered blocks in different colors and the braid that looks like it was wound over another thread and then somehow twisted - and then couched or woven with yet another solid thread. She's also got beads and tatting - can't go wrong there! LOL!

The piece on the right is made by Freda of Sew What's New, and she comes from Illinois. Wouldn't it be a hoot if she was at the Lace Day and I didn't know it? I love the gold hand mirror charm! I don't know how they do that misty fluffy stuff with the thread but it's soooooo pretty. On the back it is pink/gold fabric which might be hand dyed and with swirly gold lines painted on top of that.

You know, each of these pieces is a story in itself.

And guess where this one is from???? Do you remember seeing it? It's one from Umi & Tsuru! It was the first one she showed. The embroidery is beautiful - so even and neat, the colors a delight to the eye. I also got the little tatted fob she included with each piece. It just dawned on me as I emailed her to thank her, that she probably has not received her pieces yet since they had to go all the way to Singapore!

I've heard from one person who got one of mine but I don't know which one or who got the others. It will be fun to see where they all went. I know Pat has one.

She sent me this I.O.U. for her piece so I still have one surprise coming! That's how I like to celebrate birthdays too....spread it out over a week or two or ...three. LOL!

While I'm still a little challenged about finishing the edges, I expect to do this again in the fall. Actually...I've got two pieces I never did finish for this round and one of them looks very Autumn-ish to me. I should go ahead and make them now! (sigh....right after the next dozen projects!)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Downers Grove Lace Day 6/13/09

I finally got my pics downloaded last night, edited and uploaded into blogger but I was tired and it was late so I went to bed!

I know you've seen this on a few other blogs now. Diane, the Lace-Lovin' Librarian, Marilee, the Yarnplayer, Barb Gordon,me, and my sister Linda, who has come to a few lace events with me but still doesn't indulge. LOL! She did get try the bobbinlace though and got half the butterfly done before she had to leave for an anniversary celebration elsewhere. I think at some point I said Marilee and Steph would be there, but I meant Diane. I did email with Steph, who had originally planned to go but then forgot and made other plans!

Janice Blair was the bobbinlace instructor. You'll see some of her exquisite work below and you can learn more about her at her website.

The remainder of this post will be about the lace on display. I just grabbed some quick shots right before I left and then tried to crop out various segments so you could see them better. This is a christening set embellished with bobbinlace.

A close-up of the lace on the dress.

A close-up of the lace on the bonnet.

The mask by Janice Blair won the I.O.L.I. competition one year. Beautiful, isn't it?

A bookmark. Most lacemakers have made their share of bookmarks.

A celtic design in bobbinlace.

Interesting purse.

A lace heart.

Some lace motifs using clunies - or tallies, as they are often called too.

A flower - notice bobbinlacers like to use colors as well as white and ecru too.

Another heart! Almost all the lace was bobbinlace, but I do know they have a tatter in their group and one of the classes was on tatting.

This piece was probably 4 - 5 inches wide. It wasn't long enough to be a scarf but it could be a small runner or my guess was that it was meant to be an insertion on a pillowcase or something. Unfortunately, I spent literally every minute except lunch working on my butterfly so I didn't get to ask around about any of the pieces.

A nice mat.

There are several small pieces here. I think two of them are brooches, a sort of free-form design. Very pretty and I wish I'd learned more about them.

With this and a few other pieces, I got the impression that magic/mystery was a theme of some other event at some point.

And another flower!

Tracy Jackson of The Lacemaker taught a kumihumo class. It sounded fun from the other side of the partitian.

I had an ulterior motive, of couse, at which I failed miserably! My own lace guild used to be fairly active with this one and over time, there was less and less activity. One of my goals with my lace guild is to become more connected with other lace guilds in Indiana and surrounding states. We're duplicating our efforts in many cases, and with small groups, that's financially absurd, IMO. BUT...I don't have time to get all that involved either, so no, I'm not going to organize a Midwest Lacers Coalition or anything, but I do want us to communicate more and offer resources to one another. I'm teaching a group up north in a few weeks. I would love to spend more time teaching "locally" although I love to travel and I love meeting people I would only know online otherwise, but it gets expensive and right now, I think we are all tightening our money belts for awhile.

At any rate, I did get a peek into this group's activity and I plan to join as soon as I can get the paperwork filled out. I'm also a member of the Heartland Lace Guild and have not been able to contribute anything more than dues, but it helps me keep up on what others are doing. We're surrounded by Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois and I know there are tons of lacemakers and groups in all of those states!

I regret that I did not spend more time talking to Diane, Marilee and Barbara. I kept thinking I was almost done, almost done...and I thought I would have another hour after that, but they were closing up! LOL! Trust me, I won't make that mistake again!

Still, in the end, I learned a little more about bobbinlace. I've never done sewings before - and no, you will not see that piece until I get a chance to make another and do the sewings correctly!

Monday, June 15, 2009

I am so very tired tonight that I'm off to bed early and will only leave you with this lovely photo by a delightfully talented Japanese photographer who goes by Tanakawho. I often use her creative commons photos on my non-tatting blog, but I think if you go look at her photos, they will inspire your tatting designs.

I have not downloaded my camera from Lace Day yet but hopefully I will tomorrow. I tatted 2 of the Paws in my Heart hearts and found a very noticeable mistake in the 2nd one and cut it off to begin again. A similar mistake is in the first one but it has blocked out nicely. I probably will make a new one for the person I'm giving it to and just keep this one, but I'm disappointed that I don't have them done yet.

I also want to tat some earrings with Marilee's Rhubarb Pie thread for a niece whose birthday is coming up and which I think will compliment a tiny little Laura Ashley notebook I also got for her. Don't worry - she is too busy with 2 active little boys and getting ready for the 3rd one who is making his appearance any day now.

Oh, and I have my puzzle pieces from the exchange! So with all those promises of what is to come, I bid you all Good Night!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

It seems like almost every blog I go to (not necessarily tatting) has an Etsy shop. I've had a Cafepress shop for several years. I think there is $18 or $19 in it. My only profit. They don't transfer the money to you until it is $25 or more. I'd close it up except for that money. LOL! I guess I can spend it elsewhere, but that wasn't why I opened it to begin with. I didn't realize I could spend it until just lately, so I will do that anyway and then close it up. I really like the idea of not having any inventory to deal with.

I bought one of each product myself and was very happy with the quality. I'm still wearing the clothes and still using the trivets, cup, and bag. I think it was 5 or 6 years ago when I bought them. I mentioned them in my yahoo group once or twice because they were geared for that group - momentos, so to speak, of being a Tatting Goddess. I didn't market or anything. It wasn't meant to become my financial support.

The swirly gingerbread was just a whimsical use of the gingerbread boy pattern I designed. I guess I could buy one of those for myself, just to have it.

I have an interest in making jewelry too. Always have loved it, but didn't do much. At the moment, I have a lot of supplies collected and ideas and will play along that line when I have time. I sent a friend the black & white earrings I tatted recently. She love them and encouraged me to sell them on Etsy like another friend of ours does. The friend who sells doesn't tat but she makes some lovely earrings. I'm the proud owner of half a dozen pairs - exchanged for another service.

I really don't have any interest in selling on Etsy. There is nothing I can do better or more uniquely than anyone else at the moment. The kinds of things I would do wouldn't really be suitable for that format, in my mind. But maybe I haven't thought creatively enough. I just don't want to invest my energy there. If I ever make something marketable, I'll let someone else do that part, the marketing, and in that case, it better be good enough to make me and the other person enough money to make it worthwhile. LOL!

Back at work this week and I miss having time to do things. It's often 8:00 p.m. or later when I get home. Monday I was home earlier and very tired but I made myself pick up the remainder of the printouts I had and put them in binders. I still have about 3 piles in a box and no binders. I could easily purge many things in the binders now, but don't feel I have the time to really give it thought just now. I'll continute to purge and declutter as I have time.

Last night I sat down after 10:00 p.m. and started 3 of the Paws in My Heart pattern. I have 3 paws done now...will do the heart part later. They're all going to friends.

I have more I could post about but it will have to wait until tomorrow. I've had 2 people tell me I looked tired this evening, and I am, so I'm going to get to bed at least on time.

My car lease is up at the end of the month so I checked out my options in regards to that tonight. Tomorrow I pick up my new car...in the color I really wanted! I just might be willing to keep this one for a decade or so.

Lots of other goodies in the mail this week but they will have to wait until the next post.

And HEY! If you're going to the L.A.C.E. Lace Day in Downers Grove on Saturday, I'll be there! My sister too! I already know Marilee (Yarnplayer) and Steph (Steph Tats) will also be there. FUN!