Sunday, August 18, 2019

Stormy weather

We had a rude awakening about 2:45 yesterday morning. A severe thunderstorm blew through and woke us up. After about 10 minutes of watching and listening to the rain, wind, and hail, I went back to bed. Dave, however, couldn't get back to sleep.

As it started getting light, Sophia looked outside and said that a tree had fallen down. We couldn't believe it. It was right outside our bedroom window, and we didn't hear it fall!

It landed on our gazebo, but luckily it didn't do any damage.

As it got lighter out, we were able to see that a pine tree east of the tree house had fallen down. There wasn't anything I could do, so after breakfast I headed out for Tollway Tatters.

Sue Anna was all smiles, as usual!

She was working on one of Marilee's earring patterns. I think Sue Anna has tatted more of Marilee's patterns than anyone I know, except for Marilee!

Barbara was Sue Anna's travel companion for the day.

She was working on a heart pattern. Barbara is very particular about her work, and she would rather take the time to undo a couple of rings than have her project look less than perfect. I think I know a few tatters just like her!

Glenda traveled all the way from Iowa to be with us again! We love having her with us. It's hard to believe that she would drive six hours just to spend time with us!

Glenda like to make notes as she's tatting. I think that's a habit I should develop!

Thea and Gail met at a tatting class that Gail taught. I met Gail at Tatting Corner Tat Days last summer. These two ladies are a wonderful addition to our group!

Thea was working on Christmas ornaments. I should start thinking about Christmas ornaments also!

Gail was working on a pattern from a class she took at Tatting Corner Tat Days. The class was taught by Kaye Judt, and the two patterns Gail had from the classes she took with Kaye will be in Kaye's new book, which will be available soon.

I worked on an Ice Drop. It seems to be the only project I can do while talking!

By the time I returned home, Dave and our son-in-law Jan had taken care of the biggest tree. However, both chain saws died, so they stopped much sooner than they had planned. I took this picture today. I guess we'll be relocating hostas. I'm pretty sure they can't take that much sun.

Initially, we thought we had lost two or three trees. However, as Dave and Jan cleared away debris, it was clear that at least seven trees need to come down because of the damage done to them. As Dave and I were driving home from purchasing a new chain saw, we could see that although we had a lot of tree damage, there were others west of us who had been hit a lot harder. Luckily, we didn't see any damaged buildings, just downed trees and flattened crops.

Joanne and family headed back to Minnesota about 6:45 this morning. It's a good thing they left when they did. The rain came pouring down about five minutes after they left. It would not have been fun trying to get three kids into the car during a downpour. Joanne said it rained until they were well out of Illinois and into Wisconsin.

As soon as they left, I set a few goals for myself. The first was to finish the Ice Drop I had started at Tollway Tatters.

Nest, I finished an Eightsome Reel motif by Mary Konior. The thread is Marilee Rockley's Lantana Citrus. I'm hoping I have enough thread to tat a nine motif doily. I think I should be okay.

As I was cleaning up my tatting space (I don't know how it gets messy so quickly), I found a few Ice Drops that needed ribbons.

I usually am very good about attaching ribbons right away, but somehow these were left undecorated.

I'm starting to feel like my Ice Drop stash is growing again!

Friday, August 16, 2019

Friday already?

The week has flown by! Since Joanne and the kids decided to stay an extra week, we had to find time to go shopping for school supplies and school clothes, something I haven't done for years. Although it was a lot of fun, it was also exhausting!

We had great fun going and helping daughter Carol set up her classroom for the new school year. To brighten the classroom, Carol and Joanne stapled tablecloths to the folding wall. Carol also had posters made using pictures from her trip to Europe this summer. I almost wish I could take a class with her this year!

I finally finished Blue Jean Saturday today. Kara thought was beautiful and wanted to try it on.

I'll block it after everyone heads home. The pattern was so simple, but I let my mind wander a little too often and wound up making a ton of mistakes. I probably unknit and reknit a third of the shawlette. Now it's finished, except for the blocking, and I will have something pretty to wrap around my neck when the weather turns colder.

Tomorrow is Tollway Tatters, and I'm really looking forward to getting together with tatting friends. I already have my project for the day picked out. I hope I remember to take pictures!

Monday, August 12, 2019

Fumble fingers

Daughter Joanne and family had planned to return home on Saturday or Sunday, but they decided to stay for another week. Yay! I really enjoy having them around. I wish I could have all four of my daughters and all seven grandchildren here all summer long. Imagine the fun we could have!

My friend Margaret asked me to test tat her Taj Mahal Ice Drop pattern. I was eager to get started, and I did fine until the 4th round. I've done SCMRs before, and I've done split chains without any problem... until yesterday and today. I've lost count of how many times I've retro-tatted this segment. It took me at least five tries to get the SCMR right, and now I can't do a split chain for anything. It's not the directions; it's just me. My fingers and brain just aren't working together.

I decided that a change of pace must be in order. After all, a familiar pattern can be so relaxing. I decided to tat Eightsome Reel by Mary Koniorin Marilee Rockley's Lantana Citrus hand-dyed thread. You would think I had never read a pattern before. Honest to goodness, this little section took me a good hour to tat. I'm blaming the humidity!

My knitting is also moving along slowly. I am making progress with Blue Jean Saturday, but I've had to frog quite a few rows because of mistakes. Maybe I'm having trouble because we're in the dog days of summer. That seems to be as good an excuse as any!

Saturday, August 10, 2019

I was bad!

Joanne, the kids, and I went up to visit daughter Alison today. We went to lunch, to the park, and to a yarn shop!

Did I need any more yarn? No! However, I fell in love with each of these, and I was even able to purchase a beautiful pattern for the three balls on the right. Oh, I was bad!

We arrived home just in time to make dinner. Afterwards, I got right to knitting. I have to finish up my current projects in order to work with my new yarns!

Tomorrow I think I'll start my new plan for the upcoming school year. Tat an Ice Drop in the morning, and take a knitting or crocheting project with me for when I'm supervising students. I really need to work through my stash if I want to keep shopping!

Friday, August 9, 2019

School shopping

I accomplished nothing crafty today, but I did have fun!

Denise came over to visit this morning, and we had a great time talking and catching up with what we've each been doing. Then, we headed over to daughter Carol's house... sort of. We stopped and did some back to school shopping for Sophia, and then went to Carol's.

Carol made delicious salads for lunch and then we decided to go to Perry Farm for a hike. It's been a long time since I've been hiking, and I really enjoyed it!

By the time we arrived home, it was time to make dinner. Now I'm sitting at my computer with no pictures to share, no crafting done, and I'm bone weary. What a wonderful day we had!

Thursday, August 8, 2019

I thought I would tat all day...

...but I didn't. Instead, I spent most of the day reading Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan, a novel based on the true story of Italian Pino Lella at the end of World War II. Daughter Carol recommended the book, and I found it hard to put down!

I did finish a little over half of the next lace section of Blue Jean Saturday, and I managed to walk my 10,000 steps for the day.

I have some new threads to play with, but I just wasn't in the mood to wind shuttles today. Maybe I'll get granddaughter Sophia to help me tomorrow!

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Knitting mode

I haven't finished unpacking my tatting supplies since returning from the Twin Cities Tatters retreat. I'll get around to that today. In the meantime, beautiful yarns have been calling me!

I bought this gorgeous color in Minnesota. Kathryn caked it for me, and I got started on Reyna. I've finished one garter stitch and one mesh stitch section. I love this pattern!

Joanne and I did a lot of porch walking yesterday to try and walk off some of the luscious meals we had last week. We also went to school to help daughter Carol hang some things in her classroom. I just didn't have the energy to unpack, so I picked up Blue Jean Saturday since it was right next to my chair. I knit one row and had the wrong stitch count, or so I thought. I called Mom for some knitting advice and moved on, but something wasn't quite right.

I carefully unknit about six rows, and then I realized what was wrong. I was thinking that the stitch count increased by two every other row, so I should always have an odd number of stitches. Not so... the stitch count increases by one every other row. I took a few minutes to write down what the stitch count should be at the end of each increase row, and I was back on track in no time.

I now have two sections of garter stitch and two sections of lace finished. I've written the stitch count down for the next to sections, and I'm ready to go!

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Where do I begin?

The past ten days have been fabulous! I've had so much fun, I'm feeling a tad guilty... not much, just a tad.

Denise wasn't able to attend the Twin Cities Tatters retreat this year, and Dave didn't want me driving to Minnesota by myself. So, we headed north on Saturday morning. We were able to watch most of granddaughter Lily's last game. We were able to see her catch a fly ball for an out, and we saw her hit a double. It was very exciting! Unfortunately, Lily's team lost. We were not able to attend any of Ella's games. Ella's team wound up getting second place, and they were very happy!

Dave headed home early Sunday morning, and Joanne and I went to Stillwater with the kids. We visited an adorable yarn shop and came home with plenty of goodies!

Joanne drove me to Timberhaze Retreat on Monday morning.

One of the things we love about Timberhaze is the lovely work room. There's plenty of space to spread out all of our supplies; the lighting is fantastic; each work station has everything we could possible need. Of course we each have a couple of little tweaks we would make to perfect Timberhaze, but overall I can't imagine a better place to gather.

I thoroughly enjoy seeing what others are working on. It gets my creative juices flowing. Kathy also does bobbin lace. I love this little bird she's working on!

Kathryn was working on this beautiful bookmark. Her new David Reed Smith shuttle let to quite a discussion about the different shuttle makers we've purchased from over the years.

Katie worked on some beautiful bells. I love this one in blue!

Katie wanted to experiment with buttons and beads. I showed her the little bit that I know, and she went to town!

Michelle decided to try her hand at creating a sachet. She found some fiber fill which helps show off the lovely tatted edging.

Kathryn brought along some gorgeous yarns to wind into cakes. They all went well with Michelle's dress!

Heidi gave us each a piece of felt, which came in quite handy for photographing. I love the snowflake she's working on!

Cindy is the queen of containers! She always brings along beautiful bags that she has sewn, and this year she brought along a book box that she decorated with a decal from Shauna Wachs. She also tatted, but I apparently neglected to take a picture of her tatting!

My favorite activity at the retreat was decorating shuttles! Kathryn gave each of us a shuttle to decorate, and she brought along nail decals for us to use, as well as Mod Podge spray. I love the way they turned out. Katie brought along a pack of Clover shuttles that she couldn't make work for her, and I was the lucky recipient!

Here are all the shuttles we decorated. I kind of have the urge to do some more!

I did a lot of little tatting this trip. It had been a while since I'd tatted around buttons, and Katie was interested in giving buttons and beads a try. I didn't tat with beads, but I did give her an idea of how I tat around buttons. You can see our beautiful commemorative shuttle with a mother and baby loon, created by Frivole and hand-delivered by Michelle. The shuttle alone is worth the trip!

My friend Julie admires my tatting, and I decided to try and tat a motif that could be used as a motif in Liz Metallic. It's okay, but not exactly what I'm going for.

Here's another button motif with the first shuttle I decorated. I liked the way the shuttle turned out when I did it, but I think I may go back and add something to the center so that it looks a little more balanced. I can do that, because Kathryn gave us some extra stickers!

I also worked on a motif from Eva Antonucci, a pattern she shared on Just-Tatting on Facebook. I had three false starts with this pattern. It is not difficult to follow, but I was having too much fun visiting to pay attention to the pattern! The shuttles are two of my favorites from Rita Richmond of Shuttle by Design.

I think this is my favorite button. I love the plaid! The shuttle is one I blinged a few years ago with thin clay pieces and Mod Podge. After using the spray on Mod Podge, I can tell you that spray on is the way to go for me!

The main reason I tatted around so many buttons was that I was able to tat without thinking too much. That's very important for me when everyone is laughing, chatting, and tatting! The shuttle is one that I blinged with scrapbooking paper a few years ago.

Our greatest achievement as a group was putting together a collage of tatting to leave at Timberhaze. We've left our mark!

To say I had a wonderful time at the Twin Cities Tatters retreat is an understatement. I couldn't ask for a better group of ladies to spend time with, and the inspiration we get from each other is fantastic!

Daughter Andrea picked me up from Timberhaze on Thursday morning, and I stayed at her house until Friday evening when Joanne picked me up. Saturday was a down day for me, which I needed after so much excitement. Joanne, the kids, and I headed back to Illinois on Sunday. Monday was filled with grocery shopping, walking, and laundry as we tried to get back into a somewhat normal routine. Joanne and the kids will be visiting for about a week, and I plan on getting some crafting done!

Friday, July 26, 2019

Nine more

I managed to finish nine more pin cushions yesterday. I only have eleven to go!

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to get done today. I need to finish doing laundry and pack my clothes for my trip to the Twin Cities Tatters retreat. I'm eager to spend time tatting with my wonderful Minnesota friends, and the bonus is that I'll get to spend time with my two Minnesota daughters and their families!