Monday, May 28, 2012

back in the saddle again


I have been neglecting my blog. I had planned to post while on my trip, but I just couldn’t get sat down and post anything. Even though I had not been living “back home” for 30 years, there was a lot to think about and several people to reconnect with. And when I wasn’t visiting, I just didn’t have anything else to share. Now that we have returned from the trip, I have more of a sense of closure. The service was truly a celebration of my Mother’s life, the walk through the Rose Garden and visit with my God Mother gave me peace.

So, now on to tatting: While traveling, I finished another version of the squaresbookmark. This time I used the stitch count that makes a lot more sense. Thank you, Sue, for pushing me to reassess my pattern. It’s much better now!

Squares bookmark in pastel with white border
I also finished off a “chicks with beads”sampler. The gold beads began to lose their paint as I worked with them. I was so disappointed! But, in the tradition of teachers I’ve learned the most from, including my God Mother, I will use the sample as an example of what happens when you don’t use higher quality beads. I won’t post a picture as it really isn’t very nice looking.

I have my work cut out for me over the rest of the week. Preparing for my class on the earring pattern , finishing my ideas for the Palmettosfundraiser book, finishing my packet for the snowflake Idea at Jo-Ann (more on that exciting idea later), and generally getting organized for a busy summer.

Monday, May 21, 2012

organ factory tours and such


Well, my idea didn’t work too well. I just need to tweek it, but that won’t happen for a while. Other things to do.

Like visiting an organ factory.  Now, before you roll your eyes, let me say that I joined over 30 people on this tour! A bus was rented to get the group from South Bay to North Bay. That meant that on the way, we were treated to a DVD of a tour of another organ company’s factory, a short excerpt of a talk by a third organ builder, and plenty of time to chat with other organists and curious people. It was a wonderful day! I think the comment that I enjoyed the most was from a non-musician. And the commercial at the end of the DVD for the shows visiting other factories (over 300 have been taped) really “tickled me” as my Mom used to say. If you're in the Bay Area and love to see what people do working with their hands creating cool stuff, call and see if you can stop by. They don't always have an organ being put together, but they lots of cool parts.

Like tatting the earring pattern in Sulky “Piano Keys"
I need to finish another one to make a pair, but I can’t decide which one to match. I would like to wear the for the Memorial service this week. So, best get busy eh?







Like having fun at Exclamation Point demonstrating tatting and the different techniques used with different tools. I’ll be working on my supplies for that later.

Like cleaning house (ugh!) and paying bills (double ugh!) and maybe even completing another pattern in the TAT binder (I have to stay focused!). And there’s the list of errands…….

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Exclamation Point news

I have the pleasure of writing a column for an email newsletter. It was sent out to folks that visit a needlepoint shop close to me. Exclamation Point is a lovely little shop. I'm pleased to be asked to demonstrate tatting. Most of the threads and such sold here are for needlepoint and cross stitch, but they do carry a few tatting supplies. Some time ago, I used some blending fibers in a hummingbird picture that were plucked off the wall here. Since then, they have moved into new digs. The store is light, airy, and very special. I learned to needlepoint before I learned to tat. I still have a few of my early pieces. Maybe it’s time to…..no! I have too many design ideas and I really, really want to finish and send off the TAT Master binder set! I must stay focused!!!!!
You see, I have to be very firm with myself. I am pleased to write about my tatting. I’m pleased to come and demonstrate. I always have interesting and stimulating visits to the store. If you’re in the Bay Area, check it out!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

designing progress


Well, two steps forward and one step back. Sigh. I promise a pic when I have something to share. So far, the reject bin is getting pretty full!

I need to set this aside for a day or so. There are preparations for next week, a day trip to tour an organ factory, singing in the choir for a large Memorial service, and an Evensong I’ve been looking forward to for several weeks. There will be a mini concert afterward. I hope I can stay. I may need to be available to others for preparations for the next 10 days. It’s not like my input will be critical, but it will be appreciated and everyone is used to Mom being available. I’m gently trying to extract myself from that dynamic, but it is nice to be needed.

I think I just have time to test out a design idea that came to me as I was driving yesterday. If it works, I’ll get a sample up later today.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

From paper to thread


I made great progress tatting on paper yesterday. The brainstorming produced about a dozen ideas; I ended up with about a half-dozen possibilities that I want to try in thread. So, off to find a couple of empty shuttles……

 Which could take a while……

In the meantime, I need to restock my earring supply. I’m thrilled with the reaction to my simple ideas of tatting around findings. I’ll be using a couple of the ideas for classes soon. So, if you’re able to, watch for the announcement at the Jo-Ann store for time and place.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Tatting with paper


I’ve seen this phrase used several times now. I like it. If anyone knows who started using this phrase, please let me know. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like playing with thread and shuttle. I like just tatting and seeing where it takes me. I did that with the bead cap earring pattern. But, I also play with combinations on paper using Inkscape to see if it will remotely work before I pick up the shuttle. Sometimes it works. Other times, I come away with no more of an idea than when I sat down with the pencil or mouse. Sigh. So, that’s my challenge for this week: improve my tatting with paper.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pattern page is live


Last week was very productive. I conquered Beanile style tatting, made good progress on some original designs (more when they’re finished nicely), and learned how to add a page to my blog with links for folks to download the documents. Just click on the bar above my picture and it’ll take you there. Whew!

But, no time to sit back. I have a demonstration to do today and it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow. And since we ran away yesterday to Monterey in celebration of 27 years of marriage, the chores have really piled up…..literally. Now where is the shovel I use for laundry????

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Earring around bead cap pattern

So, quite a while ago, I was standing in my favorite bead shop, Natural Expressions, browsing at the beads seeing if anything struck my fancy. I wandered over to a set of bins with findings and connectors and such. And these struck me. Full in the face!

It took about 6 months of thinking and playing, but I like what I came up with for a simple earring.


The pattern for this is now on my new pattern pages. See the tab above.

I’ve already come up with several variations, but they’re not quite ready for prime time.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

sad news


I received sad news yesterday. My Mother passed away. She has been ill for many years, so I have prepared, but am still sad. Play music with the angels, now and rest in peace, Mom.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Beanile FL Heart earring

I finally have a sample finished.
FL Heart by Nina Libin
worked in DMC metallic thread
and size 15 beads.
I conquered a new technique for this. I’ve wanted to learn how to work with this thread and to use beads in this manner. Nina Libin calls her style Beanile Lace. The hardest part for me was getting the beads onto the thread. I fell in love with the color in the bead shop and wanted to use the recommended thread, a 3 ply metallic by DMC. Ugh. Hours and hours to string 89 beads on the shuttle thread and 41 beads on the ball thread. But, the result is quite nice. I think I will set this aside for a day. A fresh day will bring more realistic ideas of what to try next.

A new day did help. Here is my try at the Hector I pattern:
Earrings for Hector 1
by Nina Libin
I quite like this work. The possibilities are jumping out at me all over. More later.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Look what fell into my mailbox!
SweetHeart bookmark. Tatted by Andrea Deike.
Pattern by Birgit Phelps

Isn’t it a lovely gift? 

I participated in the InTatters exchange this Spring. My first with this group. I love surprises, and love sending off a bit of tatting as a gift. Imagine my smile as I opened this card from Andrea! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I plan to tat this as a bookmark for the Hospital Chaplain next. After I finish a Squares bookmark in pastels.

<still grinning!>

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

projects, projects, projects........


I’ve been busy….really!!

I named this business venture Picots n Keys because I saw how tatting is geometric and I love seeing patterns in music. One of my classes in college looked at Bach’s 2 part Inventions drawing parallels between the structure of the music and Bach’s philosophy. Now before you all fall asleep, which several students did regularly, let me say I won’t be repeating the material. Ok, maybe a bit here and there, but only as often as I share patterns. I’ve come up with several pattern ideas based on music already, but alas, my skills are not yet up to creating a viable pattern for others to follow. But, I’m working on that!

My efforts are focused with a great group of tatters led by Sue in the On LineTatting Class Chatzy room. Sue is leading us through the basics of design in art while Gina is helping us all learn how to beat Inkscape into submission to create diagrams of our ideas. The discussions are fun, stimulating, and always lead to very creative sessions with my shuttles. I have come up with ideas. Really….I just haven’t carved out the time to realize them into thread.

So, what have I been up to??? teaching at Jo-Ann, writing a newsletter article or two, making exchange gifts and birthday gifts, working on my TAT Master binder. Oh, and cleaning house, gardening, reading good books, celebrating birthdays. (links to all of these projects as they will be up as they come available.)So, I’m off to get the chores done and do some tatting before teaching this evening. Cheerio!