Tuesday, May 3, 2016

To hear music

I love music. I love tatting. I love life. I enjoy lots more too.

I enjoy reading a paper. I understand the importance of being cognizant of events around the world. I know that such awareness is important even though many days I do not come in contact with people outside of family or a few individuals. I seldom listen to news on the radio or watch news on the TV as I seldom seem to be on the same schedule that programming experts expect of me. I have picked up the habit of looking at a digital compilation of news. I use Flipboard mostly because that’s what the phone has loaded. Now, before you, dear reader, get all huffy and decry how I find my news, please hear out what I gravitate to reading. (I’m well aware that if my brother is still reading by this point, he’s likely shaking his head and bursting out with a lecture on how I’m NOT thinking for myself!)
When I read the paper or Flipboard, I browse the headlines/titles of the “events” section, pause to consider what of those headlines is negative or positive, and pray about it for a moment. Or two. If after that, I consider more in-depth knowledge relevant to my small corner of the world, I turn back and look at where the news is coming from, who wrote it, and then read the material. (Satisfied big brother?)
All this is a long intro to a post on Flipboard that caught my eye:

How Music Affects Your Productivity written by Gregory Ciotti 

I’ve found I really need to approach my music/tatting mashup as a calling/job/goal-driven activity. Otherwise, what I create stays in my brain or worse yet disappears without ever reaching the rest of the world. So, I try to focus my energy on being productive. 
How does music affect my productivity? How can I express that so other people will understand and come to value what I create? I read Mr. Ciotti’s post hoping to learn a bit more about the rest of the world so that I can contribute more to the world. It was good reading.

“Music has a strange temporal permanence; as art decorates space, so does music decorate time.”

Well, I’m trying to take what decorates my time (organ music) and turn it into something that can decorate my space (tatted lace). The half dozen points made in the post gave me insight into music in lives around me. Reading the post is quite valuable and interesting; thanks Gregory Ciotti. I probably won’t change what music I’m hearing as I tat, but I know more about the world I live in. The more I know about that, the better choices I can make as I design.

I’m still working on mastering curled rings. I know that technique will help to represent chordal music. I’m also dipping my toe into Ikuta picots. I have a lot to learn there also. I hope to have pictures later this week. I also hope to keep track of what I “hear” in my head as I’m working. That should aid understanding. Just as a painter can “see” a still life looking at a blank canvas, I find I “hear” a fugue in the silence while winding thread onto a shuttle. Maybe understanding all this will help creating. Maybe.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Let's curl those rings!

Sometimes it takes a few repetitions to get through my brain. Tatting has helped me learn how to “practice” away from the keyboard. I’m getting better at learning how to play from studying the score. I still need the kinesthetic and aural process. But, I’m learning smarter. I think…..unless that’s just my ego talkin’!

This week I’m learning to curl my tatted rings. I am deeply grateful to Ninetta and Muskaan for all their talent, generosity, and friendship. They live across the world, so shouting my praise for them is limited to my digital communications. For now at least.

I won’t amuse you with pictures of my first few attempts. I finally did get one earring motif done.
Jewelry Medallion by Muskaan
I always try out new techniques with larger, white thread or leftover bits in my “demo box” and on shuttles. So, a picture of this sample isn’t that pleasing to look at. But, I feel it’s an accomplishment. It's difficult to see in the white thread. I encourage you to check out the pattern: http://www.georgiaseitz.com/2015/musaancuredearrigs.pdf Perhaps my glob of white will give courage to other tatters to try out the technique.

I see this technique useful in my musical tatting. I think it will represent chordal structure and harmonies quite nicely. I’m off to try another pattern or another version of this one. With my performance and meeting schedule, that may not appear here for many days or weeks. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Time for a walk

Yesterday I spent a lovely half hour walking on the beach. It was a reward to myself for actually getting a large project mostly finished.

Progress has been slow on the large projects. There’s been a reason. There are several, count ‘em…..5, large projects in the works. A wise mentor many years ago wouldn’t let me report on project progress until I knew how many hours I’d spent on the projects AND how many hours I estimated would finish the project. Wise advice. 

You see, I will happily create new stuff rather than keep focused. I dislike filing and putting away. The ironing will pile up until it will literally take hours to get the clothes hanging in the closet ready to wear. I will shift around boxes from one space to another until the contents are so old it doesn’t matter anyway. I will also happily create on projects of lesser importance rather than keeping focused on larger impact projects. Don’t get me wrong, some of the best creativity happens when you’re just “puttering” with ideas. But, half-finished stuff doesn’t have much value. Half-baked ideas don’t keep one’s attention. It’s time to assess all those large projects and get things organized so that I can get the most important things done.

Right after a walk through the woods……

Thursday, April 14, 2016


Whenever I tat a larger project, I end up with several smaller projects along the way. I’ve been tatting a geometric pattern in a variegated thread. I’ve been pleasantly surprised with how consistent my stitches have been. The color change is occurring in pretty much the same point in the pattern as I work around the edge. You see, I so fail at knit and crochet because my tension is so erratic. A wise knitting teacher offered suggestions for how to develop a consistent physical motion. I’ve decided that unless I have an aural crutch of music running through my head, my body doesn’t repeat itself. But, with this project, I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

corners in herbal garden thread

These are the little corner motifs of the pattern. As the edge is worked, these will be joined to and worked into the overall pattern. I rather like the shape of these corners. I’m thinking of tatting another set and turning these into earrings. Unfortunately, the colors do nothing for me for clothes/jewelry, so I’ll probably change my mind or use different colors.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Widor project on to the next phase

You know how you get a song stuck in your head? Well, I have a registration stuck in my head. I attended the Angela Kraft Cross concert last weekend. I know one of the pieces she played well. It was required to learn if you were in the studio I was in during College. The tune isn’t that catchy; it’s just chords and not much else. What is stuck in my head is the registration. It wasn’t rocket science; the organ is not large. It just sounded so good! So French! So right!

Fortunately for the family, I don’t own the score anymore. They were spared me playing the section using different stops on the organ here at the house. Still, guess what I’ll be hearing as I tat. Hopefully it won’t distract me and cause errors to creep in. I’d like to finish the next section of the Frauberger triangle.

At any rate, I do wish the travelers a good journey to record in France.What a fun trip it will be!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Happy Birthday Stephanie

It is with great pleasure that I wish my daughter, Stephanie, a Happy Birthday. 
I am proud of what she has accomplished in her life. She is growing into a wonderful adult. Happy Birthday!

We’re working on another room in the house now. This one is a room we use daily, so we’ve moved those activities into another room. I haven’t been using the room to do my tatting or music activities, so I really have no excuse for not being able to find things. It’s time to just do some cleaning up, organizing, and all that boring stuff.

While I’m doing that, I’ll be thinking about how rings and chains that arc can be put together for squares and triangles. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The Celtic project

That sounds devilish doesn’t it?
I just wanted to tat a pattern using the Celtic Knot technique. 

Celtic Picot Mat by Jennifer Williams
This is what I came up with.

I know the scan is a bit hard to see detail, but that’s because I broke the software for the printer…..again! I just couldn’t manage to get it all sorted. Another task for another day.

I am pleased with the addition of the sequins to this pattern. And I do like the way the pattern flows. It was a bit wonky while working on it, but as the last few joins fell into place, it worked just fine! 

Who knew?

I can see uses for this in my designs. Maybe something on the Bach Trio Sonatas. Maybe something with ornamentation like Daquin.