Friday, September 30, 2016

This week's focus...


I had one mermaid tail afghan left to finish, and with the cooler weather I was determined to finish it this week!

I delivered it today. The recipient's birthday is in a few weeks, and her grandma is very excited to give it to her. I am excited that I finally finished it, even though it meant spending much less time on the computer and putting my tatting shuttles to rest for the week.

Once again, I am resolving not to do custom work! Once I take an order for something, I lose all interest in it. Instead, I will make what interests me. If someone want to purchase it, and I'm willing to part with it, I will strike a deal.

As for craft shows, I'm skipping the one next week. I've decided I'm just not interesting in sitting outside and having people critique my work. I think I'll just stock my gift closet and be prepared for gift giving!

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A sad day

For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, you may remember me mentioning my friend Denise. We met when our now 33-year-old daughters were in first grade. At that time we connected through a love of thread crochet and a desire to learn to tat.

Some of you may have met Denise through Georgia's Online Tatting Class (thank you for asking muskaan).

This morning my dear friend Denise lost her husband to cancer. Warren had been battling bone and prostate cancer for nearly five years. Their love and devotion to each other was truly inspirational. My heart aches for Denise and her daughter Nicole.

Rest in peace, Warren.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

String of flowers

Our Internet was out again last night, so I didn't get a chance to post. I didn't really have much to post, because yesterday was pretty busy with chores.

When I took a break, I decided to empty one of the shuttles next to my chair. Butterflies seemed to complicated for my tired brain, so I just tatted a string of flowers. I think I might use it for some crazy quilting that I have in mind!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Total bust

I spent yesterday getting ready for the craft fair, so I didn't accomplish enough in the realm of tatting worthy of taking a picture.

As for the craft fair... well, it was really a vendor fair with only Doris and me displaying hand-crafted items. The turnout was very poor. Only five people stopped by our table. One woman tried on two of my cowls, but chose to buy jewelry and candles instead. Another woman was interested in purchasing Doris's Singer Featherweight, which was not for sale. The other three smiled and said hello. Needless to say, it was not an uplifting experience.

Two positives did come out of the afternoon. Doris was able to do some research for setting up her Etsy shop, and I was able to start another Spinning Wheel. No, I haven't finished the blue one yet. I just happened to stick the wrong project bag in my basket.

Don't tell me you're one of those people who only has one work in progress! ;-)

Friday, September 23, 2016

Subbing in the high school

I had my second sub job today! It was a pre-arranged day, so the lesson plans were well defined, making it an easy day for me. Good thing, because I was subbing for upper level math classes and I am definitely NOT a math person!

Since I was not asked to grade papers, I had time to tat during the teacher's plan time. I know it's not much, but I am pleased with any progress! 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

No tatting today

No, there was no time for tatting, but there was time for sewing!

I found a tutorial for fabric boxes and decided I needed a couple, one for notions by my sewing machine, and one to keep on my ironing board. Naturally, I needed coordinating pin cushions!

I read that the boxes could be completed in a half hour, and the pin cushion tutorial is five minutes. I must be truly slow, because I started these yesterday, and I didn't finish them until this afternoon. I don't think I'll be whipping the boxes for craft sales!

I've had comments from friends who are interested in how my sewing students are doing. They're doing great! Bella comes to my house after school every day, so she has had plenty of opportunity to work on her sewing skills. The large polka dot pillow was Bella's project for today. She did a wonderful job and has decided she wants to make pillows for her family!

The little pillow is Bella's own design. She was playing with scraps I had on hand and decided to make a doll pillow.

Bella has now made three pin cushions and two thread catchers. I think she's having fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Starting another Spinning Wheel

I spent some time sewing today, and I ran errands. I really wonder how I accomplished anything when I was working full time!

Of course I took time to sit down and start another Spinning Wheel glass mat. I'm using size 80 Lizbeth #711, Bright Blue Dk. I thought it only appropriate that I use a blue shuttle!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Lovin' the Charcoal Med

I really like this shade of gray, or should I say charcoal?

My little girls finished their pin cushions today, and true to form, I forgot to take pictures. :-(

However, I did remember to take pictures of the pin cushions I completed today...

I have 18 completed, and I plan on taking them to a craft show this weekend. It's been years since I've tried selling at a craft show. I've never had much luck. If these pin cushions and my scarves don't sell, I think I may be all set for Christmas!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pin cushion passion

No, I haven't given up tatting. In fact, I was able to accomplish quite a bit today.

I would have finished, but my Internet was down for about seven hours, and I foolishly kept trying to fix the problem. About 7:30 tonight, it magically came back on. I guess I should have ignored the outage.

It was easier to work on pin cushions than tatting while fiddling with connections.

As a result, I've finished six more pin cushions. My little girls are coming for their sewing lesson tomorrow. I'll try to remember to take a picture of their pin cushions!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Inspired by gray

It does sound a bit silly to say I've been inspired by gray, but it's the truth!

This beautiful thread was in the bag that Jane Eborall won at Palmetto Tat Days. The photograph does it no justice. The thread is so shimmery and soft to the touch, and the color was absolutely gorgeous1

I didn't have any Mimosa thread in my stash, but I did have some size 80 Lizbeth #607, Charcoal Med. I do like the way it's turning out!

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Back to life

It's hard to believe that last week I was in Georgia having a wonderful time, and now I'm back in Illinois trying to organize all of my craft stuff without getting distracted. That's proving difficult!

I finished this Spinning Wheel while at Palmetto Tat Days. It's in size 80 Lizbeth #679, Lime Green. I do love working with size 80!

Of course I couldn't leave without starting another Spinning Wheel. This one is in size 20 Lizbeth #710, Bright Blue Light. This seems so big after working with the size 80!

As for the distractions... well, the first distraction is my collection of scrap material. I'm teaching my little girls to make pin cushions, and I got carried away cutting out 3 1/2" squares. So, now I'm making pin cushions! These are filled with crushed walnut shells and lavender, good for sharpening pins and needles and they smell nice.

I had ordered pin cushion fill from Amazon, and that was an expensive way to go. It cost $11 to fill three pin cushions (12 oz.), which I think is ridiculous. So, I did some research and found that I could get 25 quarts of crushed walnut shells at Petsmart for $30... much more economical!

Now I have three pin cushions finished with 15 more to go. What will I do with them all? I have no idea!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Palmetto Tat Days 5

This will be my last post referring exclusively to Palmetto Tat Days, although I'm sure I'll be referring to this wonderful tatting conference in the future!

I went prepared to spend money, and I did! I did come home with some change, but nearly as much as I told myself I would.

I told myself, no more foreign books. I don't speak any foreign languages, and I really do like to read information about the patterns in addition to looking at the diagrams. However, when I looked through this book, I knew I just had to have it!

I've been eagerly awaiting Martha Ess's new book, and it does not disappoint! The hardest part is going to be deciding which pattern to tat first.

Who can resist one of Georgia Seitz's books? I know I can't! There are so many wonderful patterns in here. If you have a chance to look at a copy, please do. It just might be exactly what you're looking for!

Linda Barnes found the little blue tin on the give-away table, and she decided it had to be mine. Thank you for thinking of me, Linda! All of these goodies fit in to the tin. There are Aero and Milward shuttles that Sue Hanson brought from England. A silver shuttle from Sherry Pence, wood shuttles from Jeff Erickson, bead soup from Erin Holloway Moseley, a tatted star from our banquet, scissors (because I can never find my scissors), crochet hooks for adding beads, a flash drive of patterns, and a heart shaped shuttle that came with a $50 purchase from Be-Stitched.

I purposely didn't bring thread and shuttles with me. I wanted to support the vendors. As you can see, I purchased two tubes of coordinating Lizbeth threads. I also purchased some size 80 thread in white, and Sue Hanson had some threads I wanted to try. Karen Solomon's table was loaded with goodies. I really wanted her doily book, and she offered a CD of the first 20 years of her Tatting Times newsletter.

Sharon Fawns brought along lotus bags that she made. I offered her a peacock pendant in exchange. Sherry Pence had some of her wonderful ceramic shuttles for sale. I chose the one on the bottom right the first night. I wanted someone else to have the opportunity to purchase the "Diane" shuttle in cobalt blue, but by lunchtime Saturday, no one else had purchased it. Yes, the "Diane" shuttles are named after me! (blush!)

I did get carried away at Rita Richmond's booth, Shuttle by Design. I adore her shuttles! They're so lightweight, and they hold a ton of thread.

I"m drawing a blank as to who created them, but one of the men (yes, one of the men) created a Cluny loom on a 3-D printer! I don't have Clunies down, although I understand the concept. Hopefully, the loom will help me get started. The beaded star kit came in a variety of colors, and I chose blue, of course! The tweezers looked like a must-have item for my tatting kit. I ordered the Starry Night bracelet kit, although I somehow failed to sign up for the class. I didn't have the new Celtic shuttles in blue, so I bought them. I wish I could remember who gave me the blue tatted piece.

Update: Thanks to Stephanie, the blue scissor fob has been identified as a gift from Marie. Thank you for helping me, Stephanie, and thanks to Marie for the scissor fob!

Another update: Thank you, Tim Kaylor for letting me know that you are the one who made the Cluny loom! Congratulations on winning the Best of Show! Seeing two of the Jan Stawasz doilies in color makes me wish I had dared to use color in mine instead of sticking with white.

Last, but not least, is the box of goodies in our Welcome Bags. It looks like I have a lot of tatting fun ahead!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Palmetto Tat Days 4 ~ Classes Part 2

The second class I took actually encompassed two sessions, and I know I needed both sessions to get started!

I have been fascinated with beaded tatting for ages, but I needed a jump start to get me going. Boy, did I jump in!

This gorgeous Interlaced Necklace kit was part of the class,

which was taught by the talented Nina Libin! Yes, the pattern takes concentration, but thanks to Nina, I think we all walked away realizing that it's really not difficult.

I don't know who this lady is wearing glasses. ;-)

During the second session, I sat with J.B. Locke (the lady in blue and NO glasses!), Karen Parent, and Sandra Eichelberger. There was a lot of storytelling and laughter, with Nina gently shushing us every now and then.

Mimi Dillman was helping Nina. I feel very lucky that I met so many famous tatters!

I had to take pictures of all my classmates.

However, I was not good about learning all their names,

and we were so busy, there really wasn't time to wander from table to table and get to know each other.

I took a picture of Sandra's progress in gold and black.

 Mine is in blue and clear/silver. I should have made much more progress, but when I went to join the silver ring to the first blue ring, I realized I had too many picots in the first ring. I'll bet you can guess what I did! After I closed the first silver ring, I realized that I had tangled the threads and my shuttles with blue beads were on the wrong side of the ring. Once again, you know what I did!

I know when I work on this, I will need to be sitting at the table. I don't want to wait too long. I want to keep going while I'm motivated!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Palmetto Tat Days 3 ~ Classes Part 1

Oh, my gosh! The classes I took were phenomenal! The teachers were knowledgable, patient, friendly, encouraging... how many positive adjectives can I list? I thought of taking less advanced classes so that I could spend my time visiting, but I decided that this was my golden opportunity to get help with techniques, so I nervously signed up for classes that seemed like advanced techniques to me.

My first class, Ankars Stacked Rings Tree, was with Erin Holloway Moseley. I have admired many Ankars pieces, but I couldn't quite understand the technique. I'm so happy I took this class! I know that it will take me a while to feel at ease with Ankars tatting, but I do like the look.

This was my table, with J.B. Lock and Wanda Salmans. We had a lot of fun sharing our progress and laughing at our mistakes!

I knew that J.B. was from Lower Alabama, or as my mom says, L.A. What I didn't know, is that she lives within an hour of Mom's retirement village! I hope to get together with here when I visit Mom again.

Sue Hanson was in our class as well. Although she wasn't feeling well, I did get a glimpse of her wicked sense of humor.

Erin is on the right. She's a very knowledgable and patient teacher.

I took pictures of every table so that I could prove I took the class!

Yes, this is a staged picture of J.B. and me comparing our progress. Thank you for taking the picture, Wanda!

I had my camera on the wrong setting, so I didn't get a clear picture of this beautiful piece. Many of the ladies in class managed to get this far, with two out of three sections completed.

Unfortunately, I did not get as far. I joined rings to the incorrect picot too many times! I understand the technique now, and I hope to finish this project soon. The shuttle on the left was one of my purchases from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design. Her new acrylic shuttles are a dream!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Palmetto Tat Days 2 ~ Friends Part 2

I found some more pictures of tatting friends I met this weekend! Again, if I mislabel anyone or have left one blank, please let me know. I'll get over the embarrassment!

Sue Hanson

Karey Solomon

Bruce and Nancy Tracy

Sherry Townsend

Debbie Arnold
I wish I had remembered to take more pictures of people. There were so many, and I got so caught up in all that was going on that I didn't always remember to take my camera with me. Even if I had my camera with me, I didn't always remember to get it out to take pictures. I think I need to get a phone with more memory so that I can just pull it out, just like the big kids do! ;-)