Sunday, January 30, 2011

Thinking ahead...

The next few weeks will be very busy and exciting around here! Daughter Carol closes on her new home tomorrow. She'll be living about a half hour away, and we will miss having her around, but it's time for her to move on to a new phase in her life. Carol's busy directing the high school drama students in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, one of my favorites! I first saw it in Ireland in 1974. The second time was in Chicago with Donny Osmond. The third time was the Kankakee Valley Theater production.

I digress... the move will be gradual because of Carol's many commitments. The plan for next weekend is to remove wall paper and paint in the master bedroom, the only thing Carol really wants/needs to do before moving in. I believe her plan is to move non-essential-for-living-with-mom-and-dad items next, such as pots and pans, dishes, summer clothing, etc. The final phase will be everything else. Of course all this planning could go up in smoke once she has the house keys in her hand!

In anticipation of all this activity, I decided to complete my February challenges for The Tatting Forums this weekend. This is "Easy Bookmark" from Learn to Tat by Janette Baker. The shuttle is from Cindy at A Happy Bluebird. Thanks to Cindy, I have blinged several shuttles with decorative napkins!

My snowflake for February is "Star" from Tatting Patterns by Mary Konior. I love this pattern, and I think I'll make a few more of these beauties! The shuttles are from Chris Hinton at The Shuttle Shop. You can find Chris's shuttles for sale at The Tatting Forums.

Although I don't expect to have much time to tat, I'm still getting ready to load my shuttles. Stay tuned!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Tat a little. Chat a little. Pick! Pick! Pick!

That's what happened to me this week! I should have been able to finish this pretty little 6 1/2" doily by Tuesday, but I was tatting while chatting on the phone, and I think I actually spent more time retro-tatting than tatting!

Last Sunday, Carla posted Piccolo Centro on her blog. I really intended to start Jane's T.I.A.S., but this doily called to me, and I just had to start it! The thread is size 20 Lizbeth, color #107, Tropical Fruit. Isn't it mouth-watering?

Yes, I was inspired to bling two shuttles just for this doily. I was able to tat the first two rounds of the doily with these shuttles. The picture doesn't show how pretty they really are. The acrylic shuttle is from Australia, a wonderful eBay find! It's very smooth, and it holds lots of thread. I would have been able to complete the third round without adding thread if I had wound one more yard on the shuttle. I'll remember that for next time.

I think I'll watch The Music Man and tat this afternoon. ; )

Tribute to Myra in blue

Almost two years ago, I designed this Tribute to Myra Piper. I love her little book! Last summer, my sister asked for the original piece, which she had framed for her daughter-in-law, who loves purple and green. Since this is the only piece I've designed, I decided I should have one of my own... in blue!

This one looks fine, but there are a couple of things I would do differently. First, I think the design shows up much better when done in two solid colors. There's no definition between the center motif (Myra's pattern) and the edging (my pattern). I think my next one will be two shades of blue.

If I do make another one with variegated thread, I'll be sure to use one of the exact colors for my solid. The center of this one is Peacock Blues, #149. The Handy Hands catalog lists the colors in this thread as Electric Blue Dk and Med, Ocean Turquoise Lt, Deep Royal Blue. The color I had on hand was #662, Turquoise Lt. It doesn't really show up in the picture, but I think the Turquoise Lt looks dingy next to the vibrant colors in Peacock Blues. I know... picky, picky, picky!

Why three shuttles? I'm trying to justify my shuttle collection. So as I work on each piece this year, I'm going to leave a little thread on each shuttle that I use. That way I'll know if I've truly used each and every shuttle! Myra's motif is done with shuttle and ball. My edging is done with two shuttles. Three shuttles down, ??? to go!

Friday, January 21, 2011


I finally got my printer working again! I had a moment of brilliance this morning, and I googled the correct search phrase... don't ask me what it was, because I have no clue. I stumbled upon the solution... I needed to update my printer drivers!

Last night I had another moment of brilliance concerning Dave's iPad. He kept asking me questions for which I had no answers. I finally went to Amazon and ordered The Missing Manual... so much easier than wild guesses that don't work.

At last, I'll have some technology-question-free time! First order of business tonight will be to print off Jane's T.I.A.S. directions. I feel so far behind. I hope my little pea-brain can handle it! ; )

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brain freeze!

Suddenly, I can't seem to remember how to do anything with my computer! My printer is disconnected, and I can't get it going again. I can remember how to get a screen shot, but I can't remember how to combine images for a post. What next?

You'll just have to trust me on this... the Random Number Generator chose #9, Gina, as the winner of the January shuttle.

Congratulations, Gina! Please send me your mailing info so that I can get your shuttle on its way.

I'm sending out an extra big hug to all of you who posted a birthday wish for my mom. She's a wonderful lady, and I think she's the best mom in the whole world!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Celebrating January!

There's a lot to celebrate in January in our family. My "baby" brother's birthday is the 11th (49 years young). My niece Phoebe turned 30 on the 13th. I became a great-aunt for the first time on the 16th... welcome to the world Gavin Lawrence! Last, but certainly not least, my mom is celebrating her 79th birthday today! Happy birthday, Mom!

I think this is cause for celebration, don't you? About a week and a half ago, my friend Denise stopped by with some fabric and thread for me... we do that sort of stuff more often than we realize, I think. Denise thought this wintery fabric would be perfect on shuttles, and I think she is so right! So, one shuttle is for Denise. One shuttle is for me.

Whatever should I do with the third shuttle? How about a giveaway? I know... I'll have a drawing using the Random Number Generator. Leave a birthday wish for my mom on this post, and you could be a lucky winner!

I sure hope you read all the comments Mom! : )

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Am I blue?

No, but I LOVE blue! It's my favorite color! this week I worked on "Glass Mat Adapted by Kendra Goodnow from Semco Book," which can be found in the Winter 2011 issue of Helping Hands Newsletter from Handy Hands. Last weekend my friend Denise stopped by with a surprise for me... fabric for decoupaging shuttles and a ball of size 20 Lizbeth, color #149, Peacock Blues. Isn't it gorgeous? Denise ordered it for herself, but when she saw it she decided I just had to have it. Thank you, Denise!

I think the Handy Hands newsletter is a great value. It costs $5 per year. There's always a coupon included, and there are always wonderful patterns.

I'll be honest, though. This is actually the first pattern I've tatted from one of the newsletters. I think I just have too many patterns to choose from!

I think this 8" doily is perfect for the pretty little glass basket Dave and I received for Christmas from our friends Gus and Irene. Now to find the right table for displaying it!

P.S. ~ the shuttle is one of Chris Hinton's beautiful works of art!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Taking a break from cleaning...

I've been working on my New Year's Resolution... a place for everything and everything in its place. However, I have so much stuff I want to go through, I need to take a break every now and then so that I don't give up! Good news... I've found a home for my back issues of Knitters Magazine! And, as of lunch time today, there is now a clear path to my printer and to my tatting books. I've thrown out three bags of stuff that I'll never finish, don't know where the directions are, or can't stand the colors any more. Don't worry... I made sure it was all worthless before trashing it! By the end of the month, I'm hoping to have my stuff organized enough that I can invite people in to "shop" in my sewing room!

In between work, cooking, and cleaning this week, I managed to finish another Spinning Wheel glass mat in LadyShuttleMaker's Piccadilly, size 20. I wish I could get a good picture of this. The thread is so beautiful in pale green and pink!

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that my favorite pattern is the Spinning Wheel glass mat from Tatting With Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. The flat shuttle is from Grizzly Mountain Arts. The other wood shuttle is one I purchased on eBay about a year ago. I really like the size of it, and it holds quite a bit of thread. The beautiful purple background fabric was woven by my mom about three years ago.

Now it's decision time... do I work on organizing for a little bit longer, or should I sit down and tat? I'll fill you in on my decision later!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Starting the new year off right

I spent about an hour working on reorganizing my sewing room yesterday... what a mess! At the rate I'm going, I won't be finished until next January. I think I spend too much time reminiscing as I go through my stuff. Anyway, I was appalled at the number of works-in-progress that I have! (I think works-in-progress sounds more positive than UFOs.) So, last night I sat down and finished a WIP that's been sitting by my chair for a couple of weeks.

This is "Pretty Practical Tatted Bookmark" by Linda S Davies. I started this bookmark so that I could help answer a question at InTatters. I made a minor adjustment to suit my needs... I only tatted 15 rings on each side instead of 20. This is a very simple pattern, easy to follow, quick to tat. I used one of my decoupaged Sew Mate shuttles. If you're thinking of trying decoupage, I highly recommend using fabric... it doesn't wrinkle the way paper does, and the little bit of texture helps me hold on to my shuttle. Yes, I have been known to send my shuttles flying across the room! I've lost the tag to the thread. It's Lizbeth size 40, and I think it might be color #116. Luckily, my husband is 100% Italian, so I can tat with these colors year 'round and use the excuse that I'm thinking of his Italian heritage! ; )

Sunday, January 2, 2011

A place for everything...

and everything in its place... that's my New Year's Resolution! I'm terrible at resolutions, but I'm really going to try this year. After all, I have some wonderful inspiration. This is my Christmas present from my wonderful husband. I mentioned months ago that I was thinking of some sort of shadow box for displaying some of my shuttles. I thought Dave was busy building a bed in the basement, but instead, he was building this wonderful lighted display! As you can see, I've already put many of my blinged shuttles in the case. Some are in use right now, so I filled in with some "blank" shuttles.

We've had a very busy Christmas holiday. I'm not quite ready to go back to school tomorrow, but I really have no choice. We spent Christmas Eve at my sister-in-law's house eating homemade ravioli and playing Trivial Pursuit Christmas Edition. My family hates playing Trivial Pursuit with me. I make wild guesses that are often correct. They think I'm really smart... boy, do I have them fooled!

We spent Christmas Day at home, and then we headed to Minnesota the day after. We had a lovely visit with daughters Andrea and Joanne and their families, and then we headed home Wednesday. On Friday, daughter Alison and family arrived to spend New Year's Eve with us. We managed to stay up to watch the ball fall in New York City, and then we all crashed.

New Year's Day was pretty relaxed. We watched movies with the kids, ate lots of food, and just enjoyed each other's company.

When we returned from Minnesota, I went to the post office to pick up our mail. My exchange package from Trayna arrived! I wonder what Dave would say if I tried to tempt him with some Haggis? I'm really excited about the pattern book, and I love the tatted piece. Thank you for all the goodies, Trayna!

This was the first year I participated in Christmas exchanges, and I really enjoyed it. I love getting surprises in the mail.

I've spent five hours today working with computers. First I helped Dave put contacts in his Yahoo account so that he could use his email on his new iPad. Dave does not enjoy technology at all, but I'm slowly dragging him into the 21st century! He's now addicted to Angry Birds and Luxor. He even asked me to buy the full version of Angry Birds. What have I done?

Next, I tried figuring out what I did to my computer system... I can't print! Yesterday my son-in-law helped me set up my new router, and now I keep getting a communication error. I've had this problem before, but I can't remember how I solved it. My brain is tired, so I think I'll let it go for a while.

In the meantime, I want to get back to my old routine. I feel completely out of practice with both tatting and blogging! I feel like it's been f-o-r-e-v-e-r...