Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Earring challenge

Remember this challenge

Well, an earring a week was just a bit too much for my tat-load (workload of tatting projects). But, I’m thinking an earring a month will work. I decided that when I found a list of earring patterns I made a couple of years ago. There’s 9 on that list. Add to that the patterns I’ve discovered in the last year or so. And voila! An earring a month!

To motivate myself and convince myself I can actually meet this challenge, I’ve created this display.
(insert ribbon jpeg) Most of these entries were finished by the time summer began. Several were in the “because I can” stage when I registered to enter. Two entries weren’t finished in time. Two pieces I entered weren’t really finished either. I’ll be reorganizing my tatting display items next week.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Sighting in Carmel

Normally that phrase is followed by a description of some celebrity, rare automobile, or something haute…(couture, cuisine, etc.) that costs a bunch of cash.
 My sighting yesterday was free. I saw a pod of dolphins just off the shore while walking on Carmel Beach. There was a whale off the point also. This year, the sightings have become quite common. Whale watching in a boat is thrilling. Kayakers report close encounters all the time. 
Yesterday was the first time I personally have been in the right place at the right time. I knew better than to try to capture anything in a photograph with my phone. So, no picture here. You’ll just have to come for a visit. (grin!)

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Progress with crotat Carmel doily

Here’s my progress on figuring out this doily:

I’ve noticed some fundamental design differences between the two doilies I’ve attempted using Cro-tatting techniques:

The doily in pastels fills every chain with some crochet edging stitches. The doily in white/cream leaves the chains bare. I may have also misinterpreted the cream section. It’s just too difficult to tell. The tatter in me thinks this section may just be picots between every stitch then crochet into the picots to create the chain effect. 

Mmmmmmm must experiment some more. 

Anyone else game? A normal crochet hook can work, but the tool I'm using has a smaller hook section. Tatting thread is easier to draw through the stitches to close rings than crochet cotton. It’s a pleasant puzzle to work.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Comments from the Judge

My items from the Fair, both exhibits and display, are back home. Boyhuey was it hot out there today. Fortunately, the wind is off the Bay so the house is staying cooler. I don’t envy those packing up the carnival rides.

As I stowed all the little tatted pieces, I took some time to look over the comments from the judge on the Needlecraft and Fiberwork pieces. I didn’t have a comment sheet for the Bux2Bach piece I entered in the Fine Arts 3-D show. I’m happy with 2nd place. The piece that won 1st place is very nice. Good execution, design and craftsmanship. I have already decided I need to enter the juried division next year. And perhaps a jewelry piece.

Anyway, back to the comments. Most of the observations were spot on. For instance, the piece that won best of show (insert jpegs) earned all 100 points possible.
“Beautiful stitches. Wonderful use of color and beads. Excellent.” I’m very happy with that. Now to add the other 7 rows. What color to use next? And beads or no beads????

I plan to help with the Entry divisions and classes list for next year. I really hope more people enter some tatting. And maybe even some crotatting!

Friday, September 1, 2017

Fair 2017 time!

A busy few days! I’ve enjoyed sharing my love of fiber arts! It’s so much fun seeing people get excited about creating. So many people wandered in and left with a bounce to their steps. It’s just plain fun!

The marketing team for the Fair has focused on the anniversary of 1967 Summer of Love events that happened here in Monterey. I was not here. I lived in Oregon then. I was begging my Dad to take my training wheels off my bike. I was not participating in the newsworthy events here.

It’s been interesting to hear what people are focusing on. I’ve heard stories of teen escapades, family and friends exploring the World, and sad, horrible stories of tragedy. To those families, I extend support to move on and make the world a better place.

Personally, I have no wish to return to that era. I like living in the present. I have a hard time with Living History. Maybe it’s my life as a musician playing 7 centuries worth of music in one day on a regular basis.  I don’t like dressing in costumes and using modern tools to tat. If I really wanted to be true to technique, I would be limited to post 1970 era. That’s not to say that tatting hasn’t been around a long time, just that I use modern shuttles, modern thread, modern joins, modern colors, etc. The future invigorates me. I go crazy trying to recreate the past. I get crazy creating the future.

Today, I’ll be helping out with the Embroidery Guild table. They’re a great group of ladies and several men who love fiber. There are those who stitch who spend a lot of energy “doing it right” and there are those who create and learn and dream. I’ve enjoyed learning with them. Time to pack a tatting bag and a stitching bag!

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The real reason for finding out what’s on the shuttles

So I can start tatting this:
Tatted False Plait by Gina Brummet

I plan to use it for nametags. I am terrible at remembering people’s names. I can remember where they traveled last year on vacation. I remember where we met for coffee. I can remember what book they loaned me. Just don’t expect a name. I’ve decided some teacher cursed me with this hex because she didn’t appreciate my name. No, that’s just a bad joke. Anyway, nametags are a must for me. I can usually see well enough to catch the name, just can’t remember it.

The beads came from a bargain bin someplace. They were sewn onto netting to be used for collars. I happily snipped them off almost immediately. Tatting works much better than netting for decorating clothing!

The next post will be delayed a day. I’m helping out at the Fair on Thursday. I’ll catch everyone up Friday morning. See you then……

Thursday, August 24, 2017

productivity in what matters

It’s been a good week so far. I’ve found all 15 shuttles I typically use. Several live in a tin that serves as my Demonstration Box. A couple need some tlc work. Most are the Clover shuttles.
Nothin’ fancy, just good basic shuttles. I still need to gather all the patterns into a folder. And I’d like to wind shuttles for a lanyard to go with my tatted nametag. A couple shuttles are set up to tat another Joy bookmark. Several shuttles are dedicated to my design idea bag.
I’ve found it’s a good idea to set aside time each week for specific tasks. Designing falls into this category. Why? Because I could easily get lost in the task and spend way too much time. If I return to the task for short spurts each week, I am much, much more productive. Just how I work best. It’s important to go with your brain flow. Fighting yourself can leave bruises.

I also spent some time yesterday on the harpsichord. I came to the conclusion that I need to get proficient at replacing strings. Another string broke during the last week. I think because they are vintage strings, (no surprise there) and the wood is responding to the higher humidity here (no surprise there) by swelling. That pulls the strings tighter and week ones snap. I tuned it down almost a half-step yesterday. I figure after another week it may just stay at 415 or so. We’ll see.

I’m looking forward to practice today as I have time on the Dobson at St. Dunstan’s. It’s always a joy to play that organ. I’ll be dressing in layers as it will likely be quite a bit warmer there than at the house. That will be my short spurt for practice time today. I can no longer practice for hours each day. Especially if I’ve done cleaning chores or yard work. I’ve become much better at studying the score and thinking through the music. If I can “learn” the piece that way even a little, I can cut down on the repetition at the keyboard.