Thursday, June 29, 2017

And the thunder rolls!

I hear thunder, so I'm going to make this a quick post!

I'm really enjoying working with my rigid heddles from Stoorstalka. This one is a simple heddle with no pattern slots.

I wanted to use it with my new lap-sized loom from Hard Maple Looms. I was afraid the loom might be too small, but it's working just fine!

Today's Ice Drop is my Spring Garden pattern in size 20 Lizbeth, Spring Garden. Can you guess how I come up with my pattern names? ;-)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Another shopping day

I really don't enjoy shopping, but I forgot a few things the other day, so I met up with daughter Carol and we went shopping for everything from toothpaste to floor tiles. Of course shopping did not keep me from enjoying some time with my hobbies!

I'm pretty sure it's a given now that I will tat an Ice Drop a day. I have to... I have a lifetime supply of glass gems! This one is in size 20 Lizbeth #115, Springtime.

I'm very happy that I finally figured out how to convert an Inkle loom pattern to one that can be used with a rigid heddle. This pattern is exactly what I was trying to accomplish! Sometimes it takes me a while to understand how something works, and understanding a draft for an Inkle pattern really challenged me!

I'm back to working on my sister-in-law's runner. I do love this pattern, and I'm finding that even thought I haven't worked on it in quite a while, I haven't lost the rhythm of the pattern! In case you've forgotten, this pattern is Eightsome Reel from A Pattern Book of Tatting by Mary Konior.

I hope to stay home tomorrow. I have lots of catching up to do!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017


It took all day, but I finally finished off the ball of Rainbow Splash!

There are 40 here, but I gave three to a friend who is in the hospital giving me a total of 43 Ice Drops from one ball of Rainbow Splash!

I was really surprised that I had enough thread for four more Ice Drops.

I really thought there was only enough for two.

I've been picking the glass gems randomly, just sticking my hand in the bowl and pulling out the first one I touched.

When I'm finished, I look at my box of ribbons and decide which one I like best. I've learned a lot about choosing colors from granddaughter Sophia!

As you can see, 40 Ice Drops really fills my little tree. There are two on almost every branch.

I find that these little window tins are perfect for storage.

Now that I've completed this goal, I can return to some of my other tatting projects!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Shopping spree!

It sounds exciting, but it really wasn't. I was gone most of the day... grocery shopping, banking, searching for a few items Dave wanted. Daughter Carol invited me over for lunch, and we had the most delicious salsa and chips!

When I arrived home, I put away all my purchases and then sat down to tat.

I believe this is my 40th Ice Drop from my ball of Rainbow Splash, and I think I have enough for at least two more.

I had a wonderful surprise in the mail today, a birthday present from my mom! Mom hoped that it would arrive by my birthday, but this is a custom Sami shuttle all the way from Estonia. I think it's okay that it arrived a little bit late. The wood is as smooth as silk, and the cutouts are perfect!

Thank you, Mom!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Just another Saturday

Nothing special went on around here today, just housework, yard work, and a little relaxation.

Of course relaxation means time for a little tatting!

I also finished off the band I was weaving. I'm not real happy with this one. It just wasn't what I wanted. Still, I'm sure I'll find a use for it.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Takin' it easy

Yesterday was a pretty full day, so I decided to take it easy today. By that I mean that I did a lot of reading!

After a morning of reading and doing laundry, I decided it was time to tat an Ice Drop. I can't believe I'm still on the same ball of Rainbow Splash!

Part of my morning reading was to try and understand Inkle weaving patterns. I do have an Inkle loom, but I am determined to figure out how to make Inkle patterns work on a rigid heddle loom. I warped my Hard Maple card loom following the pattern, or so I thought. It didn't take me long to figure out that the pattern just wasn't going to work, so I took out what I had done and started weaving my own adaptation. It's not quite what I envisioned, but I figure this is all a learning process!

It was fun opening my mail today!

When Veronica posted these beauties in her Etsy shop, I just couldn't resist!

I love the artistry!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Garden walk

Today was my friend Denise's birthday, and to celebrate she invited me and two other friends to attend the Kankakee Kultivators Club garden walk. It was a wonderful day!

We met at Denise's house at 8:30 and headed out.

We saw so many beautiful gardens!

It was pretty warm today, but luckily there was a brisk breeze.

We picked up lots of gardening ideas.

I don't enjoy gardening myself, but I do enjoy the gardens that Dave creates in our yard.

And now I have ideas for him! ;-)

Before leaving this morning, I finished Sophia's pink, purple, and yellow band. Sophia wove the first 6" and did a beautiful job. I just have to mail it to her now. I know she'll be thrilled to have it.

My day wouldn't be complete without an Ice Drop!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer fun

One of the joys of summer is spending time outside. Another joy is spending time with friends and family with little or no notice. Today was one of those days!

Daughter Carol and I went and looked at cars, enjoyed lunch at one of our favorite little restaurants, and then went looking for bathroom fixtures and towels. We didn't buy much, but we had fun looking!

Before heading out, I finished a pink Ice Drop. Sophia would be pleased with this one!

I also worked on Sophia's band. Sophia actually wove the first six inches of this band all by herself... not bad for a four-year-old! We didn't finish it while she was here, but I did promise to mail it to her when it's done.

I was inspired to lay all of my bands out on the ironing board and take a picture. It looks like they need a good pressing. Each band is laid out to show both the front and back side. I'm amazed at how much my technique has improved in a fairly short time.

One final Ice Drop of the day... I do like the contrast between the pastel glass gem and ribbon and the bold colors of Rainbow Splash. I wonder if Sophia will approve of this one? 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Oops... I did it again!

I forgot to blog last night. No, it's not necessary for me to blog every day, but I do find that blogging helps keep me inspired to learn new things!

I spent a lot of time reading about card weaving yesterday. It's a fascinating subject!

I also spent several hours cleaning and organizing, looking for my stash of Yarnplayer threads. Mistene is looking for size 20 Sugar Maple to finish a doily she's working on. I'm sure I have some, but I haven't yet found the really safe place I stored it! If you have some, Mistene would love to either purchase it from you or make a trade. Do you know where your stash is?

When doing chores, I always give myself little craft breaks. Doesn't everyone? It doesn't look it on my monitor, but this Baltic band is a very pretty green and purple. The pattern is from The Weaver's Inkle Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon. I used perle cotton, which makes a beautiful band!

With all the cleaning and reading yesterday, I only managed to finish one Ice Drop. One is better than none!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

And the winner is...

Margie Crewse! Congratulations, Margie! You are the winner of my blogiversary give-away. Please pm your mailing info to me and I will get your surprise off to you this week.

I finished weaving another Baltic band pattern from The Weaver's Inkle Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon. Sophia loved the colors of this one!

Dave wanted to spend the day working on things he was interested in at his own pace. He spent quite a bit of time working in the yard, and while he worked outside, I sat on the front porch tatting. Dave likes having me sit on the porch while he's working in the yard, and I like sitting there!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What happened?

Sue Anna and I talked yesterday and decided to cancel our Tollway Tatters meeting. The weather forecast did not look good for the Illinois/Wisconsin border where Sue Anna lives. I haven't had the chance to check what it was like up by the border, but the weather was okay throughout the day where I live (50 miles south of Chicago). It was hot and humid throughout the day, and we are under a severe thunderstorm watch until 1 a.m. While I would have loved to get together with my tatting friends, I am not willing to take chances with nasty weather, and we all travel at least an hour to meet.

With our meeting canceled, I really thought I'd accomplish a great deal today. I was so wrong!

Joanne and family left at 6:30 this morning. I talked to Mom for about an hour. Eva, Aidan, Dave, and I had breakfast, and then we cleaned up and finished morning chores.

Dave headed out to get some work done. Eva, Aidan, and I went to the post office and the hardware store, and a few minutes after we returned home, Alison arrived. We chatted a little, had lunch, cleaned up, and then Alison and the kids headed home.

Dave arrived back home with his tuned up lawn mower, then loaded another mower into the van for repairs. We headed off to his friend Cal's for a quick fix on that lawn mower. It turned out not to be a quick fix, so we'll have to pick it up next week.

We headed home, and Dave took me out to dinner. We could not believe that it was 6:30 when we arrived home! What happened to our day?

As you may have guessed, there was no tatting today!

Friday, June 16, 2017

10 years!

That's right... 10 years ago today I started blogging! I think it's time to celebrate!

Leave a comment on this post, and I will use a random number generator to choose a winner for some tatting goodies.

Do you blog? How long have you been blogging? Do you have a favorite designer? Mine's Mary Konior. Do you have a favorite pattern? Mine's Mary Konior's Spinning Wheel glass mat from Tatting with Visual Patterns (my favorite book). Do you have a favorite tatting book? What's your favorite color?

I haven't done this in a long time, so I think it will be extra fun!

Today is my last full day of visiting with family. Joanne and the kids are heading home tomorrow, as are Eva and Aidan. I won't be lonely, though. Tollway Tatters will be meeting! Are you in the Chicago area this weekend? We meet at 10 a.m. at the Hinsdale Oasis on 294. We try to sit near Starbucks. We're easily identifiable. Just look for mounds of tatting supplies and tie-dyed t-shirts. We usually stay until 2 or 3 p.m., and we would love to have you join us!

It's hard to believe that Eva and Aidan are both teenagers now. Aidan turned 13 last Saturday, and Eva turned 15 on Tuesday. The have been a great help with the little ones. Yesterday they even watched Dora the Explorer with Sophia!

I made a big mistake yesterday. I finished an Ice Drop while Sophia was sleeping. She did not approve the glass gem or the ribbon, and she let me know that she did not really like this one. Kids can be so funny! I will try to do better today! 😇

I had a lovely birthday surprise in the mail yesterday. I had ordered one of Rita Richmond's red paisley shuttles. Red is my mom's favorite color and I adore paisley designs, so ordering this one was a no brainer! I was thrilled to see this beautiful card from Rita. Does she know that Mom loves cardinals? The best part was that Rita sent me a birthday present...

I love blue. I love peacocks. I love Rita's wooden shuttles... now I have everything I love in one beautiful piece of artwork!

It even has my name and the date on the back! Thank you for the wonderful birthday surprise, Rita! You've helped make my 65th birthday extra special!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Another hot day!

The air conditioning kicked in extra early this morning... 7:30! Luckily, thunderstorms rolled in late afternoon and it cooled of significantly.

I finished another Baltic band pattern last night. Part of the fun in weaving these bands is seeing what pattern emerges on the reverse side. I do love the red, white, and blue... perfect for Flag Day!

Sophia was very excited about this Ice Drop! She really liked the way the sparkly edge of the thread picked up the blue in the glass gem.

While the twins were napping this morning, Sophia helped me warp my loom. She loves drawing the thread down to the peg and slipping it in to place, and I love having her help!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cousin time

We had a full day yesterday!

Eva is saving up for a ukulele case.

Aidan is saving up for a new graphics card for his computer.

So, Grandpa gave them opportunities to earn a little cash this week!

Grandma rewarded their hard work with a popsicle!

When Joanne returned from Aunt Karen's, she and Eva headed off to the grocery store. Aidan entertained his cousins.

Dinner time was quite interesting. Kara loved her ravioli!

Eva and Aidan helped make chili for dinner.

Despite the heat of the day (we almost hit 100), the pot of chili disappeared!

Alas, no Ice Drops were completed today. 😔