Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Ruth Mary Jewellery

Photo used with permission from ruthmary.com

I love surfing the Internet to find out what others are doing to bring tatting into the public eye.

Recently, I connected with Ruth Mary in England, and she introduced me to her shop, ruthmary.com, and some videos about her lace jewelry.

Ruth Mary, like us, is fascinated by lace, and she used to spend time at antique fairs looking for the perfect piece of lace to add to her collection. Then... she discovered tatting!

Ruth Mary uses silk thread for her tatting, and then makes molds for beautiful jewelry in both silver and gold. My favorite is her rose gold paisley design, shown above. Or is it the silver? Maybe the gold. Oh, my... the choices are wonderful!

I love the names of her collections: Constellation Dream, Deco, Romantic Perfection, and The Classics.

Ruth Mary will even take your tatting and turn it into a beautiful piece of jewelry!

Hmmm... now I'm thinking about how I can take my tatting to a new level!

Monday, October 29, 2018

The day after

Today was a typical day after the last performance school day... lots of tired, but happy students! Dave and I have been busy doing our usual cleanup... washing tablecloths, coffee pots, and coffee cups. We must have a good routine down, because we're almost finished cleaning and putting away. It's a good feeling!

Today was a fabulous mail day! First, I received my newest shuttle from Grizzly Mountain Arts. I do love lighthouses, and I was thrilled to be able to purchase this one.

I also received several new shuttles from Emiko Suenaga of PaintatPlus. Emiko is celebrating two years of having an Etsy shop. There were several shuttles that I wanted, so I waited until I had enough set aside to purchase all I wanted at once. It was well worth the wait!

I love the "Forget me not" theme!

The shuttles are available in both large and small sizes.

They're also available as Clover bobbin shuttles, which I love!

I also couldn't resist this beautiful blue butterfly shuttle!

Emiko also sent along some beautiful resin disks with flowers from her own garden. I am thrilled to have these, and when they become Ice Drops, they will be ones I treasure for years to come! Thank you, Emiko!

Lily's afghan is growing quickly! I have high hopes for finishing it within the next week. Unfortunately, that will mean less tatting time. It can't be helped. Christmas will be here in no time, and I have two more to go after this one!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

One down, two to go!

The Lion King, Jr. was a great success! The kids were amazing, and the audience response was terrific!

This morning we set up for dinner theater, and now Madame Director is taking a well deserved nap. I'm really looking forward to tonight's performance!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Play week

It's play week, and that means lots of hustle and bustle around here. This week I've been repairing rental costumes, helping put together props and costumes made by those supporting the drama club, fetching meals for Madame Director, running off programs... anything and everything that is asked of me. My responsibilities have expanded with retirement!

We had a glorious sunrise this morning. I wish my phone camera could catch the true beauty. Maybe it can, and I just don't know enough about photography!

With the hope of achieving my goal of an afghan for each grandchild for Christmas, I started the Virus Blanket for Lily. I really like Fiber Spider's video tutorials. They're so clear and easy to follow. I now have this pattern down pat, so I'm carrying it with me and crocheting whenever I get the chance. This pattern works up much more quickly than the one I just finished for Ella. The yarn is Lion Brand Mandala that I found on clearance at Walmart last year. I love clearance sales!

Yes, my tatting still travels with me. This is destined to be a snowflake, but I need to take out the last ring I tatted. It wasn't time for a ring! I have an idea of what I want the next round to look like so that this looks like a snowflake. We'll see if I'm able to tat what I envision!

Monday, October 22, 2018

I didn't think I'd make it...

I was sure I'd run out of yarn. I even looked for another ball that would coordinate with Mandala "Pixie" in case I did run out. Somehow, luck was with me and I finished Ella's afghan with a little extra left over.

I know I don't have time to make three more afghans before Christmas, but I can finish just one more, all will be good!

Saturday, October 20, 2018

A flurry of fun!

Tollway Tatters met today, and we had a flurry of fun! It's true... there were flurries... lots of snow flurries... in fact, it was more like a snow squall. It didn't stick, because it was too warm. However, it did cause a little excitement!

Another bit of excitement was that a water pipe burst, so there were no washrooms available. Also, the burst pipe did something to the electric and the doors had to remain open. Yes, indeed... it was quite an exciting day!

Of course, the best part of the day was spending time with tatting friends!


Nancy and Glenda



Sue and Nancy



Sue Anna

We always have a wonderful time, and it's great to have friends who are willing to travel so far to spend time sharing ideas. We won't be meeting in November or December. Those two months are way too busy for all of us. We'll have to wait and see what winter is like and when it looks like it's good enough for everyone to travel, we will meet again!

Friday, October 19, 2018


Snowflakes, as you know, have six (or multiples of six) points. The Ice Drops I've been making with Liz Metallic can be ornaments, but they can't be snowflakes. Christmas will be here before long, and I need snowflakes!

After quite a bit of fiddling around, I finally figured out a stitch count that works for me. My rings are 5-4-5, and my chains are 5-5. With that stitch count as the basis for the first round, I can now move on and design snowflake Ice Drops!

Two Ice Drop Addicts have been very instrumental in influencing me to move beyond the basic Ice Drop pattern I started with about two years ago... Sarah Wood and Shelley Perreault.

Sarah posted instructions for a one pass Ice Drop in our Facebook group. I had tatted an Ice Drop the way she described, but I didn't like the look as much so I never posted any ideas. However, many tatters in the group did, so I started doing a little experimenting. The method still didn't grab me.

Soon Shelley posted her Peacock Coins pattern. I printed it out, but since it was a one pass Ice Drop I didn't try it out until Shelley asked me to test tat it for her. She wanted to make sure her instructions were clear. They were! Again, even though I liked the pattern, the idea of the one pass method just didn't do it for me.

Then I discovered bottle caps. Lisa Adams had some bottle cap needle minders at Tatting Corner Tat Days this summer. I bought one and decided to try making some for myself. What a mess! Magnets, glue, and bottle caps require a level of coordination that is beyond me. Of course I had purchased enough bottle caps to supply all of my tatting friends. I guess I heard the saying, "Go big or go home!" too many times. 😁

As you may know, I then became intrigued with flattening bottle caps with a tortilla press. Trust me... you don't want to get started doing this. It can become another addiction! The flattened bottle caps just had to be decorated with beautiful designs and tatting. Don't you agree? My basic Ice Drop pattern needed too much tweaking to work with bottle caps, so following Sarah's and Shelley's lead I started using the one pass method.

The nice thing about using the one pass method is that you can make adjustments as you go so that your cabochon fits snugly inside the tatting, no matter what size cabochon or thread you use. That doesn't work with my method. Now I think it's time for me to revisit Edda Guastalla's patterns and do some more experimenting!

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Such excitement!

It's Spirit Week at school, and there has been a great deal of excitement as the kids dress up for a different theme each day. I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the real reason for their excitement is the shortened school week. Parent/teacher conferences are this evening and tomorrow morning, meaning early dismissal today and no school tomorrow for students.

Pink Night is tomorrow night, and gift baskets for the raffle are flowing in to the school. Everything will be set up so that parents can view the baskets and buy raffle tickets during conferences. Isn't that clever? I'm eager to see what will be offered this year. Everyone is always so generous!

Subbing in p.e. wore me out on Tuesday. I was so tired, I didn't even pick up my tatting shuttle, let alone try to tat. Working 31 years as the district librarian did not prepare me for the energy and noise levels of p.e. classes!

The middle school performance of The Lion King, Jr. is next weekend. Madame Director (daughter Carol) asked me to supervise backstage during practice last night. The kids love their costumes, and I think the play is going to be a great success!

Although my tatting has been minimal so far this week, I did manage to do a little shuttle shopping! I don't really get in to Halloween. I didn't even care for it much when I was little. However, these shuttles from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design called to me. I absolutely adore the Crafty Spider!

Monday, October 15, 2018

All ready!

I took my Ice Drop tree to Flowers and Stones today, and Karen (the owner) made my tree extra pretty and ready for the raffle on Friday! I'm so pleased with the way this turned out.

As predicted, I had time to tat today. This may be my favorite bottle cap Ice Drop so far!

Tollway Tatters

Tollway Tatters will meet this Saturday, October 20, at 10 a.m. We meet at the Hinsdale Oasis on 294, and we usually stay until around 3 p.m. We're easy to spot... look for tie-dye t-shirts and lots of tatting supplies! If you're in the Chicago area, we would love to have you join us!

The weekend turned out to be very busy for us. Early Saturday morning, Dave and I headed to my sister's house to pick up a sectional sofa for Alison. Alison met us there. It's a good thing. My sister's husband was sick in bed, and Dave had hurt his back a few days before, so it was up to us girls to move the furniture. We did a pretty good job!

Luckily, Dave's back doesn't bother him when he's standing or walking. So, he worked on smoothing out spots on Eva's bedroom wall, and then did some painting. Alison and I did some organization in the basement, living room, and garage. We were able to accomplish quite a bit, and Dave and I were home by 7 p.m.

With helping Alison move and visiting Mom in Alabama, I hadn't done any shopping in weeks. So, yesterday ended up being a shopping day. Our coffee maker and toaster both decided to stop working. I love my morning coffee (as does Dave), and Dave always has toast on the weekends. We were also seriously low on food staples. Shopping really wears me out, so by the time I finished all the shopping chores, I was done.

I did crochet a little yesterday, but I didn't make enough progress to show pictures. I'll be subbing today and tomorrow. Today I'm subbing in language arts, and I know the teacher has work all laid out for the students. That means I should be able to get a little tatting time in. However, tomorrow I'm subbing in p.e. I will be spending my time avoiding flying tennis balls, so I'm pretty sure I won't be tatting!

Friday, October 12, 2018

More bottle caps

I didn't take time for tatting today, but I did take time to decorate bottle caps! The blue cabochons are my favorites, of course! I also love Russian nesting dolls, so I think I will enjoy turning these in to Christmas decorations. The ones with the light blue and green backgrounds are cutouts from maps. I used a 1" hole punch and looked for cities that are meaningful to me... places relatives or I have lived and/or visited. I had great fun looking over the maps.

When I arrived home from school today, there were seven chickens standing on the tree stumps Dave set up for the grandchildren. Four of them jumped down when I rolled down to take the picture... silly chickens!

Thursday, October 11, 2018


I needed one more pink... done!

I needed one more gold... done!

The tree is decorated with 12 Ice Drops... four green, four gold, four pink. Does it look full enough? Do I need to tat more?

Mean Green Goes Pink night is the 19th, so I do have time to tat more. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Green and gold

After getting some housework done this morning, I worked on Ice Drops for our school's Mean Green Goes Pink night, which is in a week and a half. I need one more in this color combination and one more in pink, then I'll be all ready for wrapping!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Yarn day

I got the house organized before Janet and I flew down to Alabama, so it was easier to become motivated to clean!

Today I tackled bathroom cabinets. How does everything get disorganized so quickly? I'm sure I just went through all this in the spring. It's nice to know the bathroom is now in good order, and I'm ready to move on to another room.

Today I focused on yarn. I signed up for Suzanne Bryan's knit-along, It Takes a Guild Cardigan. I've never been successful in trying to knit a sweater for myself, and I'm sure a big part of that is that I never knit a gauge swatch. This time I'm following the rules, and I've finished my gauge swatch! Now I need to get some help with my measurements. I'm hoping daughter Carol will be able to come over after school tomorrow and help me out. I'm eager to get started.

I'm still working on my granddaughter's afghan. It's coming along slowly. I'm enjoying the pattern and the yarn, so I don't mind that it's taking a while!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Weekend with Mom

Mom hasn't been feeling up to snuff for the past few weeks, so my sister Janet and I flew down to spend the weekend with her. We did a little shopping, a little dining out, and a little bit of helping out around Mom's apartment. We had a lovely time!

One of Mom's favorite places to go is Ed's. It's under new ownership, so some of the menu items have changed. What hasn't changed is the lovely view of Mobile Bay. There was a beautiful breeze, and we had a very nice meal.

Our waitress was very sweet and friendly, and she was kind enough to take a picture of us.

Mom's friend Sezer gave me a beautiful abalone tatting shuttle and a ball of size 70 thread. I look forward to making something special for her. Sezer is the lady who showed me her gorgeous Oye pieces at Christmas.

While I was gone, my newest shuttle from Middy Clark of The Knotted Vine arrived. I couldn't resist the blue butterfly! Although I've never met Middy Clark, I feel a special bond with her. I learned to tat from her grandmother Mildred Clark's video long ago.

I managed to tat more than I thought I would over the weekend.

I tatted on the plane, and I tatted while Mom napped, and while we watched movies.

Our high school volleyball team hosts Mean Green Goes Pink night every year to raise money for the Beverly K. Roberts Cancer Foundation. Bev worked at our local bank, taught Sunday School, and was a wonderful person. When she passed away, some of her co-workers started a foundation in her name. The money raised goes to helping out local families who have a loved one undergoing cancer treatment.

Our school colors are green and gold. I decided to tat green and gold Ice Drops as well as pink ones. They'll go on a tree. I'll have to figure out a way to wrap and display them so that the Ice Drops don't fall off. I hope they raise some money!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Denise noticed, too!

My friend Denise called yesterday to check up on me. She was concerned because I hadn't posted since last Thursday. Denise and my mom are the only people I know for sure check my blog every day. I guess I'd better keep posting so the two of them don't worry about me! 

I really felt the need to tat with cotton today. Working with metallic threads really slows me down, and I wanted to complete something today.

It felt so good to tat with cotton, I actually tatted two Ice Drops today! I had the urge to tat with school colors. I think they turned out nice.

Well, I've done my due diligence and blogged for the day, but you won't be seeing a post from me until Monday. My sister and I are flying down to visit Mom and celebrate Janet's 65th birthday, which is coming up soon. It will be the first time for just the three of us to spend a weekend together. Happy birthday, Janet!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Mom noticed

When I was talking with Mom this morning, she told me that she noticed I hadn't blogged since last Thursday. My goal was to blog this morning by 9. Oops! I'm about an hour late!

Daughter Alison started moving in to her new home this past weekend, so Friday after school Dave and I loaded up the van with things that have been stored at our house the past couple of years.

Saturday, we left bright and early to help with cleaning, painting, and setting up the kitchen. It was a long, tiring day, but we all felt a feeling of accomplishment by the time we finished. This weekend will be the big move... great excitement for Alison and the kids!

One of the hens laid an enormous egg on Friday!

I fried it up for Dave's breakfast on Sunday. The two yolks at the bottom came from that extra large egg. Dave and I were very impressed!

Dave's been busy harvesting butternut squash. Right after I took this picture, he pulled up with another wagon full of squash.

He said there was more in the field. It looks like we have enough to feed the whole village! I made butternut squash soup for dinner last night. One medium squash makes enough soup for two meals for us. I guess we could live on squash, potatoes, and onions this winter. It sounds a bit boring, but maybe I'll find some more tempting recipes.

I did some more experimenting with bottle caps. The bottle cap on the left is a used one, and the one on the right is a purchased, unused, unlined bottle cap. I wanted to see what would happen if I did not use pliers to pull out the sides as recommended in the YouTube video I watched. As you can see, the sides folded under and the top became a huge dimple.

Here's a view of the back side. I'm sure this could be used for something, but this is not the look I'm going for, so it will be trashed. As you can see, it ends up being much smaller than the other bottle cap, even though they started out as the same size.

I'll also have to remove the seal from the used bottle caps if I want to decorate them. I think it's much simpler to purchase unused bottle caps without the seals!

Since this bottle cap is decorated on both sides, there was no need to add a cabochon or any other decoration. It's very light weight, and I do like the look!

The pattern is my Silver Crowns, designed for Liz Metallic. I used size 20 Liz Metallic #324, Christmas Red. When working with metallic threads, I prefer using a bobbin shuttle. I do love my pretty shuttles from La Cossette!