Thursday, October 17, 2019

We’re just fine, thanks.

One of the joys of living in California is earthquakes. (Sarcasm intended!) Tuesday about Noon, I felt another one. Usually, I’m moving around when they hit, so I’m never sure and seldom feel them. This one I did feel the shakin’. 
Two jolts: as though someone smacked the house. No damage. The cats didn’t even stir off the chairs. Just lifted their heads, looked around, and stretched back asleep. If you’re curious, you can see the data on the USGS website, or any of the major schools in the area like Cal Poly or Berkeley. I’m sure some of my neighbors were reminded to look over their emergency supplies. That’s not a bad thing!
Giggly earrings

In all honesty, our house stands to be damaged more by wildfires than by earthquakes. And that’s only if there’s a really hot, fast moving fire that starts in the gulch the next block over. So, I and my shuttles and organ are pretty safe.

Here’s a picture of the jewelry I’ve been working on from Ninetta’s post.
I’ve been making careful notes, so I should be able to retat if asked…..should…. 🤭
Bracelet and Giggly earrings

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Have I got a surprise for you!

But, it’s not ready yet!

I have raised creative children. When they were small, Legos were a favorite toy. They would build lots of creative masterpieces. Sometimes the blocks went together following directions (verbal and written) and sometimes the ideas came solely from their own creativity. 
I would need to keep an eye on what they were doing. It only takes once for you to learn that napping on a pile of plastic blocks is not a good idea! When it would get quiet, I’d investigate. More than once, I was greeted with,

 “Don’t look now! I’m making a surprise for you!”

Well, dear readers.

Don’t look now, I’m making a surprise!

I’ll have pictures soon. Thank you Ninetta for sparking this burst of creativity!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

What's in a role?

I know I’m not the greatest speller. I usually was sitting down in the first few rounds of any spelling bee. But, I’ve got that right: role. I’m not thinking about jelly or chocolate, but about teamwork and projects. The skills I’ve been good at are not highly compensated in jobs. They’re usually transferable to other jobs. Like being creative in the kitchen and keeping up the dusting/vacuuming. Lately though, I’ve been filling chore time with planning how to tear things up and remodel a house. I’d rather play Bach from memory! I find these tasks quite stressful!

One project that is chugging right along is the organ repair. Maybe that’s because we set my Dad’s photograph on a stool so he could stare at the back of the organ where the electronics are. He was a talented electronics technician that could reengineer radios and stereo equipment, rewire a car or house, and generally fix just about anything by redesigning it. Of course the people around him weren’t always successful in learning this new system or how to use this prototype equipment. I’ve carried a healthy respect for instruction manuals into my adulthood because of that. (Yes, I read the Prius Owner’s Manual from cover to cover when we bought our first Prius.) I do think he's helped with the organ. We've figured out quite a bit, despite the incorrect drawings and lack of documentation.

So, you can understand where I am in the design process for my next tatting projects. I’m making all kinds of notes and analyzing everything! I should have pictures soon. I usually end up picking up shuttles and tatting to reduce my stress with little for the design folder. It’s also the season to get plants into the ground before the rains hit so they can establish over the winter. That may take up my “free” time. Gosh, the dusting upstairs just may not get done this week! I may get the earrings finished though.....

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Stitching Adventures

Along with the organ practicing, the housework, the performing and the tatting, I’m taking on a couple of stitching projects. One is a correspondence course and the other is a group project. I’m hoping that the group project will help me make connections to facilitate getting my tatting where things like that are marketed locally. I’ll find out more on the correspondence course next week. It could get a bit expensive, but will provide lots and lots of learning opportunities with those who have stitched for years and taught stitching at all levels.

The tatting is going well this week. All I have in thread is wound shuttles and scribbles on a piece of paper. More in a few days. I promise!

Friday, October 4, 2019


We’ve found the parts of the organ that still aren’t working. We’re taking a break before puzzling through that. You see….much like looking at a vintage tatting pattern the schematics are not 100% accurate. That means you can’t be 100% that a specific part is toast. And these were manufactured in the 80’s. So, yeah….lots of trial and error. 

Think of working a New York Times crossword puzzle originally published in the late 50’s where the numbering of the clues does not match up with the numbering in the puzzle. And did I mention you’re working with a soldering iron on a printed circuit board that was assembled in a specific order that doesn’t match the order in the schematics that makes removing one transistor quite difficult and tricky? Yeah…..lots of walks by the Bay.

In the meantime, I’m working on the earrings. I changed the thread I’m using for the curled rings. It’s much easier to execute the final join to curl, but I would like the rings to lay closer to the beads, so may need to cut and snip and re-tat. I plan on wearing these a lot, so it's worth the 2 hours to re-tat. We’ll see…..

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Back to....Success.....

The organ works again! I’m so relieved!! Replacing the organ was looking to be very, very expensive. A peek at Ebay last month gave me pause: Most of the organs of similar size were listed for several thousand dollars. I lost a bit of sleep over that, but resolved to do what I could to get my baby back working.

After a trip to an electronics parts shop, and several days of puzzling out the schematics, my repairman took a deep breath and plugged in the soldering iron. A few minutes late, things were sounding back to normal. There are still components that are not working, but success!!!!

I’ve also been having success getting back to the designing. No pictures as yet, but plenty to try out with the shuttles. Here’s what I can share:

These will replace the pair of earrings I’ve worn so much they are stained and looking rather sad!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Fair results

I am very lucky. I live in a beautiful place. I have great music opportunities on the organ here. I have a great group of tatters that meet weekly. I live a charmed life! I’ve been able to connect with tatters and organists around the world through the Internet and through Guilds. I am very lucky!

A friend, who doesn’t play organ or tat, asked me the other day how I liked participating in the County Fair. It’s a positive experience for me. Lots of people see lots of creative items. The friendly competition spurs my creativity. There are things that are not to my taste: the crowds, how it manages to be the hottest weather all summer, people reacting to my tatting in a negative way. But overall, it’s positive because it encourages people to try tatting. (Get the picture here? It’s all about tatting for me. J)

This year, for Monterey County Fair 2019, I filled out entry forms for 4 items….just 4. Not a lot, I know. When it came time to turn the items in for judging, I couldn’t find 2 of the tatted snowflakes. They are here in the house somewhere. I hope to find them for decorating in December. Since they are missing, I did not have anything judged in the Tatting Division. There were quite a few pieces entered in that Division. They were magnificent! 

The 2 items that I did turn in were entered in Household decorations. These Cuffs for Candelsticks and my version of Martha Ess Two Hearts as One. They won ribbons: 2nd place for both. I regret I wasn’t able to see the displays as I was wrapped up in Tat Days. I hope to find out exactly how many tatted pieces were judged and how many won ribbons. I call it another successful year for tatting at the Fair. 

What will be created for next year???