Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Sticking with a theme

Since I have red, white, and blue thread, glass gems, and ribbon right next to my chair, it seemed only natural to stick with the theme!

I decided to stick with my Doodle Ice Drop pattern because it's easy, pretty, and fun!

Changing shuttles with each Ice Drop gives me a little variety.

Today was daughter Carol's last day in Rome. They'll be boarding their plane to head home in a few hours. I'm sure she'll be too tired to talk much about the trip tomorrow, but I have the rest of the summer to hear about it all!

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Too quiet

Joanne and the kids went to visit my sister-in-law for a couple of days, and it is way too quiet around here!

The photos keep coming from daughter Carol's European trip.

I know these pictures are from Florence and Rome, but I don't know where they are. It sure will be fun to find out!

I sure wish I had the stamina to participate in a trip like this. One day they walked over 12 miles. I'm worn out just thinking about walking that far!

I finished another red, white, and blue Ice Drop for my cousin Nancy.

This is the group of five that I mailed off to her today. I'm very pleased with the way they turned out!

I started another coral dishcloth this morning. I've already put the first one to use, and I really like this yarn for dishcloths.

I also started another shawl. Now that Kara has one, Sophia needs to have one, too!

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Red, white, and blue

My cousin Nancy visited my mom last weekend, and Mom shared some Ice Drops with her.

Nancy emailed me to thank me for sharing. I love sharing my Ice Drops!

I told Nancy I'd be happy to make some more for her, and she asked if I could do some with a red, white, and blue theme.

Nancy only asked for three, but I think I'll do some more. They look so bright and cheerful!

Joanne finished her shawl, and Sophia cheerfully modeled it for us.

I finished a mini shawl for Kara, and I've started one for Sophia. Doesn't every little girl need a shawl?

Some of my dishcloths were in pretty sad shape, so it was time to knit some new ones. I started the blue dishcloth quite a while ago, but I didn't feel any urgency to finish it until this week... after I finished to coral one!

The kids love playing games on Papa's iPad. I have the same games on my iPad, but when Papa's around, Grandma's iPad is not worth anything!

We get pictures from daughter Carol's trip on a regular basis. I'm not sure what everything is, but I'm sure I'll learn all about the trip when they return.

The group spent three days in London, three days in Paris, and then headed to Florence by train.

Carol loved the changing of the guard at Buckinham Palace, and she said they got to see Prince Charles and Camilla.

I'm not sure how long they'll be in Florence. They will head to Rome next, and then they'll be home on Thursday. It's been a whirlwind trip for them, and I'm sure it's been memorable as well!

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Just like Mom

Mom needed a carry-along project for when she volunteers answering phones, and she found this simple triangle shawl pattern on YouTube. Joanne and I liked the pattern so much, we decided to join in the fun!

Joanne is using Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk Aran that she found at a new yarn shop near us, Top Notch Knots & Pots. It's a bulky yarn that is working up very quickly!

I'm using Lalables yarn that I found through a Facebook ad when Joanne was visiting in April. This yarn is three separate strands, reminding me of Jane Eborall's hand-wound threads. I do like the yarn, but it took over a month to arrive. Luckily, I am not yarn deprived!

Joanne's twins resisted sleep after having so much fun with my sister's grandkids. When they did finally collapse, they took a good, long nap!

Daughter Carol's travel group is in London! I believe this is Trafalgar Square. Carol said they had about an hour of rain, and that the rest of the day was beautiful.

It's been a long time since we've had a Soup Club meeting. Here we are, three retired teachers enjoying the afternoon. We miss our friend Peggy, who passed away in December.

Peggy and I pursued our Master's Degrees together after seeing what our friend Edna (on the right) was able to accomplish. We would meet on Saturdays and take our lunch break at our little local restaurant, which serves the most delicious soups. After finishing our degrees, Edna, Peggy, and I decided to take some more classes together, and the Soup Club was born.

It didn't take long for us to ask Judy to join us. We typically would get together for Peggy's birthday in April, Judy's and my birthdays in June, Edna's birthday in September, and at Christmas time. If it worked out, we would meet other times as well.

We chose the Northwoods Saloon for our lunch yesterday, and then we took a little field trip to the Monee Reservoir. Judy and I had never been there before, even though it's only about a half hour away. I didn't even know it existed! We took a short walk there, and Edna and Judy investigated kayaking lessons. I will not join them in kayaking. I do not like water sports of any kind! It took me four tries to pass beginner swimming lessons, and I nearly drowned in high school. We agreed that I will sit on shore and call 911 if Judy and Edna tip over!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Staying busy

Where does the time go? Daughter Joanne has already been here a week, and it feels like the time is just zipping by!

Yesterday was filled with little chores, a little shopping, and a little bit of organizing before my sister Janet came down for another visit with her grandchildren. The kids all get along so great, and it's fun watching them play off of each other's imaginations!

Today we chose to relax.

The only thing I had to do today was go to school to see off daughter Carol and her group of students and adults. Today was the start of a ten day trip to Europe... London, Paris, Florence, and Rome. Carol took this same trip ten years ago, and she was very excited to be able to plan the trip for her students. Their flight left at 4 this afternoon (Central Time), and they will arrive in London about 9 a.m. tomorrow. It will be fun to follow their adventures as pictures are posted in the group page that Carol has set up. Keeping in touch through the Internet just wasn't the same ten years ago!

While the kids enjoyed playing outside in the beautiful weather, Janet, Joanne, and I relaxed, talked, and worked on crafts. Well, Joanne and I worked on crafts. Janet sews beautifully, but her favorite hobby is gardening. I'm in need of some new dishcloths, and I decided to use a new-to-me yarn, Red Heart Scrubby Smoothie. It's knits up very nicely!

I also worked on an afghan I plan on donating to our local Mean Green Goes Pink night to benefit the Beverly K. Roberts Foundation. The Mud Cloth Inspired Throw is a free pattern at I'm using the recommend yarn, just not the colors used in the original. I'm enjoying crocheting it, but I'm not very good at working on it while talking. I gave up after ripping out three different rows because of mistakes!

Janet headed home about an hour ago. Joanne and the kids are off to bed. All were very tired after a day of playing outdoors. Dave and I are just sitting here enjoying the sounds of the birds while the sun goes down. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

Sunday, June 16, 2019

12 years

With family visiting, it's harm to find time to blog. I had to make the time today, because it was 12 years ago today that I started my blog. Who would have ever thought that I'd have something to write about for 12 years? How do I keep track of the time? I first blogged on my 55th birthday. You can do the math!

We've had a very wet spring, and Dave really wanted to work in his vegetable garden this weekend. However, heavy showers yesterday made that impossible. He did spend some time working on weeding flower beds today, and the chickens seemed to follow him wherever he went.

A few weeks ago, someone posted about tatting with Serafil thread. I'm always interested in new threads, so I went on a search and found some on Etsy. These arrived from South Korea last week, and I fell in love with the colors immediately!

Daughter Joanne was attracted to the gold thread, and she asked me to tat an Ice Drop for her. The thread is super smooth, and I enjoyed working with it. It's very slightly thicker than size 20 Lizbeth. There's about 200 ft per spool, and the cost was $4 per spool. I really didn't need any more thread, but I sure am glad I tried this!

Joanne and I were surprised that our June pattern, Chrysanthemum, came out a few days early. We both started on our squares right away. There were two variations of this pattern, and I decided to try them both. The original pattern called for the white petals to be loose, as you can see on the two outside squares. The designer decided to recommend that those petals be pinned so that they couldn't poke through to the back of the afghan. After trying both ways, I decided I preferred the loose petals, so that's how I finished up my third square.

My June blocks are finished, so this project will be set aside until the July pattern is released. Joanne still has two squares to go, but we are both enjoying the Flora afghan from The Crochet Crowd!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Doodle Ice Drop day

Well, the Doodle Ice Drop necklace was a big hit! Granddaughter Kara claimed yesterday's pendant, so today was spent filling orders for the others.

This purple beauty was meant for granddaughter Sophia, but Sophia decided she wanted pink. My sister Janet quickly claimed it!

My great-nephew Gavin didn't want to be left out of the fun. His choice was his favorite color, and mine, blue!

My great-niece Abby chose her button and thread in her favorite color, pink.

Granddaughter Sophia decided that pink was the way to go! Unfortunately, hers was lost when the kids were playing outside. We looked everywhere the kids could remember playing with no luck. I guess I'll be tatting another pink Doodle Ice Drop.

Janet chose a different style button and grey thread for her daughter-in-law Yvette. She said the neutral tone is Yvette's style. I think it looks pretty nice!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

All keyed up

The family has arrived! Joanne and her three little ones arrived about 2:30 in the afternoon. My sister and her grandchildren arrived around 7:30. I really didn't think I'd have time to tat, but I did.

After my first successful key experience, I decided to try one with beads. The girls loved this one. How can you go wrong with pink and beads for little girls?

Janko wanted to see one in blue, his favorite color. Of course I complied!

The girls spent the evening playing dress-up with Abby's princess dresses. My goal is to finish a sparkly Ice Drop necklace for each of them before my sister heads home tomorrow. We'll see how the day goes!

Monday, June 10, 2019

What took me so long?

I have long admired Carollyn Brown's tatted keys. I've been collecting keys ever since she first blogged about them, but I never took the time to try one... until now!

After watching a few YouTube videos about tatting over cabone rings, I decided to give it a try. I snipped off my first attempt, because I didn't like the way it looked. My second try was much better, and I think I'm going to have a lot of fun!

Saturday, June 8, 2019

Tollway Tatters having fun!

 We had a nice sized group today!

Kathy, Carol, and Chris

Cathy worked on her cross stitch.

Carol always has the coolest things to show us. I just love her case for her travel tatting!

Chris was working on this beautiful piece.


I forgot to ask Nancy what color thread she was using. Isn't it pretty?


Marlene had a variety of projects to show us.

She spent time working on Mary Konior's Spinning Wheel glass mat, my all-time-favorite pattern! The green doily is one she started in perle cotton years ago. She came across it and decided to finish it. Her tatting is perfection!

Chris and Carol have their back to the camera. Thea and Marlene had a great time tatting and chatting!

I forgot to ask Thea about her book. There are so many conversations going on at our meetings, I forget my questions until I get home!

 Thea finished her first Ice Drop today! I love blue and white, so I quickly snapped a picture.

Sue Anna

Sue Anna is one of Marilee's biggest fans. She's tatted more of Marilee's patterns than anyone I know.

 Marilee and Barbara

Marilee was resting when I took this photo. I forgot to ask what she was working on today. Barbara recently had surgery on her hand, so she just enjoyed her time with us.

I managed to finish an Ice Drop in upholstery thread that I purchased at Hobby Lobby. I just wanted to see how it would work. I think the color is kind of dull in person. It shows up better in the picture. The thread is pretty smooth. I just had to watch for it fuzzing out when I went to pick out mistakes, which happened often! One thing I like about it is that when it did fuzz out, it went back to its shape once the thread was out of the stitch. It didn't get all kinky like cotton thread does.

We've set our next date for Saturday, July 20. I'm already looking forward to our next meeting!