Thursday, February 27, 2014

Look at them go!

Has it really been since Monday that I posted? I guess I've let time get away from me.

My third graders have been tatting up a storm, and I'm sad to say that I have not remembered to take pictures of all of the progress made. I just can't keep up with them!

As I looked through these pictures, I realized that I can't remember whose tatting is whose!

I know this is Paige's ring and chain combination. I remember her saying that this is one of her bags of tatting!

I think this may also be Paige. I'm pretty sure she's chosen from the tin every day this week!

This must be Shelby... I recognize her shuttle! Rings and chains are the theme this week!

I have drawn a blank. I just can't remember whose tatting this is. When I find out, I'll let you know!

Shelby earned a second motif this week!

Owen is not the only boy tatting, but he is certainly the most determined. He wanted to earn this bumble bee, and there was no way he was going to let anyone beat him to it!

As for me, I finished my latest Spinning Wheel glass mat. This one is in size 20 Flora, a lovely thread that is no longer available.

I have a couple of ideas rolling around in my head... nothing original, just projects that interest me. I wonder which one will catch my fancy?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Bazooka or Double Bubble?

That's the question that ran through my mind all weekend as I worked on my latest Spinning Wheel. I'm a Bazooka girl, or at least I was. I can't imagine sticking a wad of that sticky sweet stuff in my mouth any more... my fillings might fall out of my teeth! I remember reading the comics while softening that pink chunk in my mouth. I never did care for the taste of Double Bubble, but there were times when any pink would do... except for that awful stuff that came with baseball cards!

So, enquiring minds want to know... which bubble gum do/did you prefer?

Or maybe as a tatter, you'd rather say which thread you prefer. This is size 20 Flora, #37. I haven't checked in a long time. Is Flora even available any more?

There was a lovely surprise in the mail on Saturday...

goodies for my tatting students from Tatting Marie! The kids were so excited! Thank you, Marie!

Paige chose this pretty snowflake as her reward for tatting a ring and chain pattern... two of them, in fact! Paige told me that she has tatted a whole ball of thread at home. It must be time to go shopping!

Grace has been practicing her chain and picot pattern. She chose an adorable tatted nativity.

Yesterday at church, a friend of mine whose oldest child is in second grade, asked me if her daughter would be learning to tat next year in third grade. I guess the word is spreading!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I give up!

I've spent the past hour trying to catch up on reading blogs, and I still have 136 to go. I can't do it, so I give up! I need to get back into my morning routine of reading blogs while I have my morning coffee. A little bit here, a little bit there, and soon I have caught up with all my friends in the blogosphere. Somehow, I've lost my routine and I must get it back! I've marked all posts as read, and I'm starting with a clean slate. Let's see how I do this week! ;-)

My little tatters are progressing nicely!

Paige has been using the thread and shuttles she purchased at Hobby Lobby to make bunches of rings. She's hoping to get more for her birthday... Diane the Enabler strikes again! ;-)

Shelby practiced her rings on one continuous thread. Isn't her little purse adorable? Several of the girls have these little bags for carrying their works-in-progress. They also have larger bags for holding their samples and prizes. I might have to go shopping for one of these little purses. They are so adorable!

Owen finished his six inches of Fancy Pants and claimed the tiny tatted bumble bee that he fell in love with. Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture. The four 5th grade girls have been practicing, but are not ready to show their progress yet. 

I'm making slow progress on my hanky edging...

and my Spinning Wheel. Why? To be honest, I've spent too much time playing games on my iPad. My grandson got me started on Hay Day, which he no longer plays. I am totally addicted to harvesting crops, producing and selling goods, and moving on to higher levels. One of the teacher aides at school finally got me to try Candy Crush... stay away! Danger! Danger! Why do I feel the need to earn a Sugar Crush? Maybe it's because after playing with all that candy, I have no desire to eat sweets. I think it's time to unplug!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It's amazing!

I now have four 5th grade girls learning to tat! Guess who's teaching them? If you guessed 3rd graders, you are right!

When do we get our work done? Before taking time for tatting, of course! The kids come in for about 10 minutes after lunch every day, and then if they finish all their required library/computer work, there's usually about 10 minutes at the end of class, time for reading, research, or tatting! I don't have time to help everyone with those time constraints, but I am able to teach a few at a time, and those few help their classmates. The kids are very good about helping each other. They're even learning to recognize their mistakes, and they're figuring out how to correct them. It's wonderful to see them all working together!

Kate has been practicing her picots, earning an adorable tatted spider!

Delaney has absolutely perfected Fancy Pants! I was very flattered that she chose a two layer flower that I tatted.

What have I been up to, you ask?

Why, I've started another Spinning Wheel, of course! That size 20 Flora was just crying to be made into a Spinning Wheel!

Trying something new

I'm trying out a new app on my iPad. Who knows? It might come in handy!

Oops! I guess I should tell you the name of the app... Blog Touch!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

An explanation...

I've had some people ask me to explain "Fancy Pants." It's quite simple really... I borrowed the term from Donna Edwards.

As you can see, it's the title of her book, which explains tatting very clearly. The step-by-step directions with accompanying photographs makes this a wonderful book for beginners. My favorite part of the whole book is...

Isn't it great?

On the third grade tatting front...

Paige practiced more picots, and she went shopping over the weekend to buy more shuttles and thread. She even bought a package of bobbins for an Aerlit shuttle. That makes three new shuttle and thread collectors (Paige, Dylan, and Peyton)! Paige asked to learn rings today, and I think she's going to do just fine.

Kate finished another length of chain and chose one of Denise's necklaces as her prize. Delaney did the same, and I thought I took her picture, but I can't find it. Sorry, Delaney!

Dylan finished five rings, and chose a tiny little butterfly. She's ready to move on to combining rings and chains.

I think this is Dylan's. Isn't it a great use of her tatting?

Over the weekend I played with some pink Flora, one of my favorite threads! The heart is a Handy Hands pattern. The piece on the right is "Hope" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. The bottom piece is a fragment of "Hope."

Yesterday I tatted "Posy" from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. There's a fragment of this pattern also. The fragments were practice pieces before tatting the motif. I kind of like using the bits left on shuttles to try out a new pattern!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Catching up

It's been a busy weekend! Friday, Dave and I celebrated Valentine's Day by taking our car in for its 25,000 mile check-up, and then we went out for dinner. It really was nice to spend time together without feeling like we needed to be working on chores around the house. By the time we arrived home, I was too tired to post about the kids' progress.

Saturday was chore day, and I simply did not think about a blog post. Sunday was spent with friends, so again, no time for blogging. Thank goodness we had today off!

The kids are going gang busters!

I forgot to take a picture of Paige's choice for her Thursday achievement... one of Stephanie's beaded beauties!

Paige loves making picots, as you can see. For this achievement, she chose Sarah's heart.

Grace chose the hummingbird for her second round of Fancy Pants.

Kate chose the sea horse for her long, long chain!

What do you do when a ball of thread escapes from you? Rewind it, of course!

Denise stopped by the school and dropped off butterflies and necklaces for the kids. They were so excited! Thank you, Denise!

There will be even more excitement tomorrow when I show them what Miranda sent! Thank you, Miranda!

Yes, I've been tatting as well. Maybe tomorrow I'll have time to blog about what I'm doing! ;-)

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Minitats #4

Do you ever feel the need to just finish something... anything? I do, especially when I have a big project going on.

So, tonight I opened up Minitats by Patti Duff and tatted motif #4. I've skipped #3 for now. After starting it and messing it up four times, I figured I should come back to it when I'm not watching t.v.!

The kids were thrilled with all the new beaded beauties today. One motif has already been adopted by a third grader. Alas, there is no picture... I left my camera at home!

Some fourth and fifth grade girls came into the library while third graders were tatting, and wondered what was going on. Two girls even asked if I would teach them to tat. Could this thing be snowballing? We'll just have to wait and see!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Beaded beauties

The kids are going to go wild over these pretty little motifs from Stephanie! I probably should have taken a picture before I bagged them, but now they're ready for third graders to ooh and ah over!

Thank you, Stephanie!

The third graders have been terrific about completing their library work and following directions, so each class earned a Library Day this week. When they earn a Library Day, they have the freedom to choose from a variety of activities, including tatting. They were very excited to earn some extra tatting time this week!

Paige wanted to practice her picots today.

Delaney finished her six inches of Fancy Pants and chose the airplane as her prize.

When Paige finished her pattern of chains and picots, she chose this adorable little dog.

Peyton is working really hard to get her six inches of Fancy Pants completed. Her grandma bought her a package of shuttles and a ball of thread from Hobby Lobby. It took Peyton a little longer to tat six inches, because she's working with size 20 thread, and everyone else is working with size 10.

When you think of everything the kids are learning... measurement, paying attention to details, following directions, etc. ...I think tatting should become a part of every elementary school curriculum!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Decisions, decisions!

I started looking for a hanky for my edging, and I found these two right away.

I really like the way the Purple Berry looks next to the embroidered white hanky,

but I think it matches this hanky beautifully!

Which one would you choose? 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Setting an example

My mistake brought a bit of good fortune to Shelby. As the kids were showing me their accomplishments on Thursday, we all got so excited about everyone's progress that I forgot to have Shelby choose a motif as a reward. Lucky Shelby... there was an angel among the motifs from Sarah!

I know that several of the kids were really looking forward to coming in to the library after lunch today, but there was a special activity planned by our building principal, so they'll have to wait until tomorrow.

In the meantime, I figured I needed to show the kids what can be accomplished. Yes, they know that I tat snowflakes and other adorable motifs, but I thought it would be good to show them that with a little extra effort, they can create something really special. Unfortunately, I gave away the doily I tatted before Christmas. ;-)

I've been meaning to tat from Mastering Tatting by Lindsay Rogers, but somehow my book just kept moving to the bottom of the to-do pile. The kids were asking me what an edging is, so I took the opportunity to start one.

I'm using size 20 Lizbeth Twirlz, #402 Purple Berry. This is a very pretty thread, but I have to admit that in certain light I find it hard to count my stitches because of the way the color "twirlz". There have been a couple of times when I thought I hadn't pulled the stitch up close enough, but upon further inspection saw that it was just fine, again, an effect of the twirl. 

Next up... choose a hanky for this pretty edging! 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

What a day!

... a great day! I made a special arrangement with the third grade teachers. On Wednesday, Mrs. S's class has library 20 minutes after their lunch time. On Thursday, Miss N's class has library. These two lovely teachers have agreed to allow the kids who are tatting to stay in the library for that extra 20 minutes. Isn't that great?

Paige has been working hard on Fancy Pants. Today I showed her how to make picots, and that's what she'll be working on tonight.

Dylan came up with her own pattern of chains and picots. Now she's ready for rings!

Spinning Wheel glass mat from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior

I finished Mom's dark green Spinning Wheel today. I'll try and remember to take it with me so that I can get it off in the mail tomorrow. I do love this pattern!

There was a wonderful surprise in the mail today, not for me, for the kids. Sarah read about my "Future Tatters of America" (her words), and decided to send along motifs for the kids to choose from. They will be so excited! Thank you, Sarah!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Turning chains into rings

I thought about posting last night, but I fell asleep in my chair instead!

Thanks to an email and pattern from Carollyn, I decided to show my third graders how to turn a chain into a ring. They'll be learning to tat real rings soon!


I am so pleased with the progress these kids are making!

We had our fifth snow day today, something that hasn't happened since the year before I started teaching. I chose to knit, and I managed to finish my Saroyan scarf. It needs to be blocked, but I'm very pleased with the way it turned out. I actually managed to follow the directions this time!

I like this pattern so much, I started another one soon after finishing this one!