Wednesday, December 4, 2013

On to round 3

I’ve been forced to take a break from the Saint-Saens. I need to carve time to try out some ideas for Round 3. That will entail a trip to the bead shops. I could order on line, but I try to support local small businesses considering I’m a kindred soul.
There are just so many leaves to rake and moving back in to the fixed part of the house. I will get back to it.



Monday, December 2, 2013

And where did November go?????

First off….I’m OK. The area of USA that we live is prone to Earthquakes; but that’s not what disrupted our house. I can usually handle one or even two small disasters; and moving doesn’t normally phase me. I’ve handled remodels in the past without moving out or getting storage lockers. Well, this time, it has thrown me. I’m misplacing things, running out of energy in the afternoons, and getting overwhelmed far too quickly to manage the whole process. Good thing our daughter is moving back in. She will be able to handle a lot of her things on her own. So, now we get some termite damage fixed and then we’ll be set to get back to normal.

I completed a huge project last month: a prayer shawl. I knit with a Knitting Board loom. I’m very pleased with the way it all turned out. It took a day or so to get a decent photo. Scanning is so much easier the way I have the computer set up. Then, the photo disappeared. I can’t find it anywhere. Not on the cameras (yes, plural), not on my phones (yes, plural), not on the computers (yes, plural). I guess I just thought I had taken the picture. Anyway, the shawl turned out well. The yarn was fun to work with. It’s a very fast repeat of 6 different fall colors. That made it look rather heathery. I’m sure it will warm and brighten someone’s day.

Next project: Move back in and sort out. Then it’s on to Christmas. However, I may have to postpone some of the sorting until after the holidays. Gee, that will make me sad….hehehe.

Friday, November 1, 2013

October thoughts

As is my custom the first day of the month, I look over the last month and see what I accomplished. It’s my way of staying motivated. I try to stay focused on what I did right. I leave the examination of the mistakes for the second day of the month. I also set a timer to spend no more than 15 minutes each of those 2 days. Does that sound too structured? Well, I’ve found as a Mom who needs to have a personal life, I need that structured “me” time.

So, what did October 2013 have to reveal about me and how I spent my time and energy? Pleasant visits to family, an indulgence of attending an Organ Conference, see my canvas on a chair and in use, hosting a gathering in our back yard, and completing a large portion of a huge tatting project.

Not bad.

Now it’s on to more tatting and singing and attending organ recitals.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

hitting a milestone of Round 2 done

I think I’ve got things corrected. What a way to miss a deadline. I know folks have said the project shouldn’t get stressful. That’s the plan. But, mistakes like these do need to be corrected. Without the proper join, nothing would lay flat. The finished piece would look, well, awful. Here’s what my corrections came out like:

correction of added ring
correction of proper join
So, here’s Round 2 motifs finished and joined to Round 1.

Round 2 motifs connected to Round 1

The piece is not blocked yet, so there are places where things are squished and contorted. Blocking always helps that out. I want to wait until round 3 is finished before I block. Just in case the thread has sizing or something to keep it from picking up too much dirt. Hope, hope, hope....

Now there’s the question of what to mount it on in the frame. Any ideas???


Tuesday, October 29, 2013

And another oops

Remember that mistake I needed to correct. Well, there’s another one in need of creative spicing:

oops to correct
If you count the number of small rings connecting the outside section of rings and the picots from the motif, you see there should be 5. I forgot one. Yep, right there. Sigh.

If you spotted the mistakes, you should mahjong.


Off to try correcting at least one mistake….after a walk…….and maybe some chocolate mint ice cream.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Ever have one of those days????

This week has been one fly in the ointment after another. Thank heavens my mobility is continuing to improve. I’ve enjoyed wearing “pretty” shoes the past few days. Some may not think they’re much to write home about, but I’m not wearing the same athletic shoe each day/all day. (The crowd roars!!!) 

Here’s the latest on the Saint-Saens, with apologies for the quality of photo:
Joining mistake in Round 2
You see the threads that lead to nowhere? They are what’s left after cutting out 3 rings of the connecting round. I discovered I’d joined incorrectly. Why not just leave it? Because the competed tatting would not lay flat after Round 3 AND everyone would see the mistake. Not just tatters, everyone! I’m still trying to correct that mistake.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chapel chair in use

Time has flown by. I’ve been working steadily on the Saint-Saens. With the cooler weather, I’ve been able to work an extra hour or so. I did end up cutting out and changing how one of the motifs joined. That took 3 days work, but it’s worth it!

Last weekend saw a milestone:

The chapel chairs are back and now in use. Here’s my little contribution:

Thank you to Don and Penny for the photo and all your help. I hope everyone can see enough to appreciate how nice the chair looks. The design really does bring the stained glass windows into the interior of the church. In case you’re wondering (and even if you’re not curious) folks estimate 2 hours per square inch of stitching. Most of my stitching was done during the healing phase of my summer. It saved my sanity!

Now on to more Saint-Saens and may be some pineapple doily.

Friday, October 18, 2013

a note

Getting a surprise in your mail doesn’t happen often now-a-days. Fewer things arrive by post. Most of the surprises seem to show up in a phone call or email. I received a welcome card the other day:

Thank you post card from Sandy Hook PTA
It most definitely brought a smile to my face. The original event was horrific. The response of snowflakes was heartwarming. This thank you made my week. Which made me stop and think, who could I surprise with a thank you?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Round 2 B Motif with rings

Just when I thought I had a clear path to the next part of the design, I stubbed my toe on this motif:

Round 2 B motif with connecting rings
I also quite literally stubbed my toe. Not on the foot I broke, my “good” foot. It wasn’t bad. It didn’t hurt. It did remind me to slow down and be more conscious of how I’m walking. I’m still wearing the athletic shoes each day. I’m not brave enough to start using different shoes until after the trip; more on that when I’m back at my desk.

Anyway, back to Saint-Saens. This motif needed some care in edging. I understood the need for evening out the edges so it would look nice assembled. I didn’t want to detract from the asymmetry of the motif. I think I came up with a good compromise.

No, I’m not going to jump and click my heals. I’ll leave that to those not recovering from bone avulsions. (I say that to myself to remind myself to be more conscious.)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Snowflake for gifts

I’ve been distracted lately.             Again.

A few weeks ago, a tatter posted a question on a snowflake pattern on NSAN. In the ensuing exchange, we chatted about patterns in 24 Julestjerner i Orkis by Lene Bjorn. I have been drawn to the 16 December pattern for quite awhile, but never tried it out. So, I finally tatted it up.

I like it. Here’s the first itteration.

16 December by Lene Bjorn

I think this will be our mail out gifts to family/friends. I think I will add beads. Maybe some bling. Maybe not. No pictures of what folks will receive until after Christmas though. Don't want to spoil things now do we??????

Monday, October 7, 2013

And so I slowly get it done

Halfway through my second try at the connecting rings around this motif, I was in despair. What was I thinking??

I know I want to connect everything. Saint-Saens used different ideas in each section, but the movement has continuity.
I know I want to keep the themes of each section in bold so to speak. The smaller thread for the connecting rings work nicely for that.
I know I want to achieve a balance between the busyness of the connecting rings and the space created within each motif. Saint-Saens managed such balance.

Well, sometimes the only way to see if ideas work is to try them out. In tatting, that can waste a lot of thread. What was I thinking? Make it look good. I’m getting closer.

Round 2 A with connecting rings

Friday, October 4, 2013

A surprise in my mailbox

Something possessed me during my senior year of college to pledge to a music sorority . I know, I know, my SENIOR year! I had been a bit independent at my first college, and settling in after a transfer meant that I missed the boat my Junior year. I didn’t really think I’d pull off the degree in 4 years with the transfer and all, but I did. So, my Senior year saw me initiated as a SAI. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed flipping through the Pan Pipes. The philanthropy always inspires me. Not that I can even manage to get my personal act together, but it is inspiring. So, imagine my surprise when the Summer issue has not one, but two articles about organists! One announces Eileen Guenther’s appointment as Professor of Church Music at Wesley Theological Seminary. The other profiles a program that the Wichita Kansas group runs educating folk about the organ.  It sounds very cool!! Inspiring articles for li’l ole me.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Round 2 Motif C with connecting Rings

More progress on Saint-Saens:

 This small bit required 4 tries. I wasted thread, but I know now that I have what I want. I Don’t like to get out the scissors on a final tat, but it just didn’t work. This does.

Round 2C with connecting rings

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Round 2 F with connecting rings

Well, I have completed the connecting rings of one of the Round 2 motifs. It’s slow going. But, I’m making progress.

Round 2F with connecting rings
I think after blocking, it will lay nicely. I decided that I wanted to make sure all the motifs worked before working my way through the second motif of each section. So, on to Round 2C as that looks like it will be difficult to attach.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Foot recovery nearly there

One of the pleasant surprises from last month is that I have a good shot at 100 % recovery from the break in my foot. That was a surprise because I have had to settle for a lot less in recovery for my shoulders/arms/hands. On a good day it’s about 80%, on a bad day about 50%. ‘nough said. It has stopped me from committing to a regular job playing, but not playing on my own. I really think this has helped in my recovery. You see, organists have overdeveloped ankles and calves. Our thighs are generally toned and even though we sit a lot, our hips seem to be stronger and in better condition than many folk. So, getting muscles strength back after not walking for 7 weeks has been a bit easier. Not less painful; there’s only way to build muscle. I seemed to start with a bit of an advantage. So, off to work on those pedals.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

me, bonkers??? Why, yes!!

Jane E posed a question in a post: “why can’t I regulate myself? Why do I start a thing and HAVE to finish it?”
I like her answer: “because I’m bonkers!”
Well, I can’t claim to be bonkers in the same way, as I certainly have my share of unfinished projects, but I do feel like I don’t “regulate” myself well. I’ve taken to keeping track of how much time I spend doing what. It helps me to make a better to-do list. I’m more reasonable in how much I can accomplish and better at seeing what is most important. If that’s bonkers, I’ll gladly wear that label.

Now off to finish that project.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Connecting rings around Round 1

Here’s what Round 1 looks like in my final tat. Things are not blocked yet. I’ve decided not to block or get the thread damp until I’m done handling it. I’m trying to be very, very careful not to get any oils or dirt on it.
Round 1 with connecting rings
I’m pleased with the way it has come out so far. We’ll see what connecting all the Round 2 motifs looks like. It’s afternoon right now; the hot weather is breaking, but the humidity is up. So, I think I’ll read a book instead of risk getting the thread messy.

Sacred Threads Canvas done

With the summer heat, I’ve not been tatting much in the afternoons. So, I’ve chosen to spend more time stitching my chair canvas for Sacred Threads. In fact, the canvas is finished! Whew!!!!!

Now, it’s off to the upholsterers. Pictures will be posted after it gets back.

In case you’re wondering why the long silence on the blog, it’s been priorities. I am walking now. Exercises take up several hours a day. It’s uncomfortable to sit at a desk for long, and my laptop battery was showing its age. Plus, I had all the stuff we brought back from my Mom’s house to go through and find a place for in our house.

All that combined left little time for scanning and writing and posting. But, I should be back to normal now. All right, what passes for normal with me, hehehe

Monday, July 29, 2013

Connecting parts

Well, best laid plans…..
I have learned the past few months that my physical chores must take precedence. So, other activities fell off the calendar when the number of exercises increased. That’s good news. I’ve also learned that time is the most important facet of this rehabilitation. It takes time for tissue to heal, bone to grow, muscles to strengthen, and swelling to decrease. I don’t live on a Star Trek set. There are no Sonic Screwdrivers to point at my foot. And we all know what happens when you pray for patience…….
The good news is that I should be able to make more progress on the Saint Saens. I’ll be shifting my tatting time back to when it is cooler in the morning. So, off to wash my hands, wind some size 80 thread and figure out the circumference needed for the split ring connector pattern.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Section A motif developed

Each of the development sections is repeated. I chose to ignore slight differences in the repeats. I changed my mind about the next section after I finished a trial tat version. It just didn’t represent the repeat section well at all. So, after letting it sit for a bit, I came up with this:

Section A motif
Now, a bit about the melody used in this section. It is similar to themes used in previous movements of the symphony. You may even recognize a bit of Dies Irae. This chant used in services after death fascinated Saint-Saens. Like many of his time and place, what came after death was intriguing. Sound familiar? And we wonder where entertainment gets their ideas???

Because the organ is used in these 2 sections for accent, I limited the use of green beads to the center of the motif. It is an organ concerto after all. And that’s what I always focus on when I listen to this. I am an organist through and through!

Why the pink beads on only 2 of the rings? Well, the strings have the theme for only half of the section. Their part sets up the next few sections nicely; more about the end of the movement later. I’ll be working my way through connecting all these separate parts. Again, I let the music structure drive the design. All I’ll say for now is I felt compelled to use a thinner thread and repetition of the same stitch count.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Section F

Remember the turn? The little 3 note ornament that makes up the fugue theme?

Remember the key? After the delicious melody in the major key, we’re back to c minor.

Remember the rhythm? The 3 notes: da, da, dum?

Well, this all returns in the next section I named Section F.

The sense of urgency returns in this section. It propels us into a repeat of the melody from a previous section with a hint of brass reminding us of the Intro. And you thought this was just a bridge section!

So, how to represent this in DS? Well, again, I ignored the role of the brass. I didn’t work in any indication of the change of key center. But, I did try to work in the use of 3 notes. I did try to work in the dialogue Saint-Saens set up. The best way I could think of was to use the pearl tatting in the chains. I did try to work in the Intro melody and the increase in tension. I decided to use sets of split rings.
 This motif actually took the longest to complete. Maybe it was all those ends I had to hide……

Tomorrow, I look at a the final section in the development.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Maestoso Section C

Before I forget, yes, the foot is continuing to get better. The ankle and leg are getting stronger. I am slowly becoming more independent. I hope soon to finish the painful part of rehab.

Now, on to more lovely things.
Round 2 C

As soon as the organist lifts the hands after finishing the third phrase of the B theme, we hear a lovely melody in the woodwinds. It soars. The strings support it nicely, but don’t have much to say; just a murmur of thirds establishing a wash of key center. I struggled for weeks with whether I should represent this melody in beads or with something else. I decided that the simplicity of the melody should be represented in the simplest motif. So, no beads or fancy thread. Just the DS, Ma’am. 

I’ll confess to using the melody while exercising. It soars so nicely. If I complete the movement while singing it to myself, I go slowly….like I should. If I work through the entire section, I do just the right number of reps and even have the bridge section to change legs… I should. I still lose track of what number I’m on occasionally. Musicians count best to 4. Anything past 4 and we can get lost quickly.

Tomorrow we return a bit to the fugue….sort of.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Saint Saens Maestoso B section

At this point of the movement, Saint-Saens gets down to business. He gives the melody to the organ. Of course some of the orchestra is playing also, but the theme is all organ. We hear the syncopation hinted at in previous movements. There’s a strong sense of going somewhere harmonically as well as rhythmically. And before you know it, we’ve moved on into the next section. Whoosh!

B section motif without border

I had fun stringing beads to use in the rings. I wanted them to look strong and uneven. The first few samples didn’t work for me until I correlated stitch count to rhythm. Again, the visual fell into place as soon as I let the structure of the music drive the design. That brought a smile to my face.

Tomorrow, I will be looking at the pretty melody coming up in the next section.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Looking at the development

For the next round of the pattern, I decided to create motifs for each section. I found the piece easily fell into 8 sections that drew on 4 different ideas. This is very common in symphonies and the ideas or themes seemed to suggest 4 different motifs. As I mulled over this realization for several days, I came to the conclusion that just like nature exhibits complimentary color schemes, music exhibits complimentary rhythm and melody. Who’d a thunk…….

All this made such great sense, except I didn’t have a clue where to attach them all and how to arrange them and…..

So, I made some arbitrary decisions that are just my way of keeping things flowing visually: the 2 beads in the center ring will sit on the “horizon” of the design; the sections will be joined with tatting in a thinner thread that provide a background of sorts; even though the melodic ideas repeat in the sections, I made two of each of the 4 motifs thus making visual duplicates. I’m pleased with creating this little bit of balance. I pray the indulgence of all those musicians and tatters out there. Forcing this little bit of visual order onto the structure of the music and this little bit of chaos onto the structure of the tatting has led to interesting discoveries. Tomorrow begins our romp through the motifs.

Saturday, July 13, 2013


Today, I explain the chains in the First Round. (See picture below for Thursday)

Camille Saint-Saens, being an organist, was well acquainted with the fugue form. For this composition, he chose a simple subject. I chose to focus on how the subject has groups of three notes similar to a turn ornament. That back and forth arrangement of notes suggested a trio of decorative picots and because the strings state the fugue so well, I added a pink bead to the center picot of each group. Simple, but effective and a nice finish to the center motif.

Since this piece is in white thread, I'm only working on it when it's cool and there's little chance of my hands hands sweating. To fill the rest of the time while my foot heals, I've been doing the rehab exercises (30 minutes 3 times a day) and working on a bookmark in Rootbeer thread and the chair canvas. If I can get the camera to behave, I'll share a pic of the canvas soon.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Of feet and knees and melodies

The saga continues with the foot. Now, I’m more concerned about rehab of the knee. I’m learning far more about anatomy and how the human body is supposed to work and how my body has been accustomed to working than I ever wanted to know. I’d prefer to just get from point A to point B without thinking about it all. Sigh. The good news is, I’m making progress at the 3 steps forward, 1 step back rate.

Before I share pictures of the second round of my interpretation of the Saint Saens movement, I wanted to share a bit of how I have been thinking through my design.

There are elements of design that all artists deal with. Sometimes it drives the whole project, other times, things just fall into place. Changing facets of each element change the art. That’s all I’m qualified to say on that. I’ve only scratched the surface learning about all that. I don’t feel it’s necessary to spend a whole lot of time on deciding how I’m going to tat, but I am basing my art on the thought that it is important to spend time looking carefully at the music and assigning visual cues to what we hear.

If that’s clear as mud, don’t feel bad. I’m still striving for a way to express my process.

For this composition, I’ve decided to correlate the color of the beads to what section of the orchestra has the “melody” or whatever we recognize as a theme. Each element of tatting (ring, chain, etc) roughly correlates to phrases or sections. Finally, I’ve decided to use only 1 color thread. And I’ve decided a circular “doily” overall structure suits the composition.

If you glance up at yesterday picture, you see some green thread. That’s a metallic sewing thread added using the “daisy picot” technique to represent the piano part. There are 4 phrases to the melody lifted out for the movie. The strings and pianos play it first, then the organ and brass. I ignored the brass frequently in this version. I felt guilty until I really looked at how he composed the 2nd movement and then made that call for this movement. When I create something representing the 2nd movement, I’ll revisit that decision.

Tomorrow I’ll explain what I saw in the fugue subject.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Saint Saens motifs

What you have all been waiting for:

Pics of the final version of Symphony in C by C. Saint Saens interpretation in tatting:

Center and round 1
Here’s the Central Ring and First Round.

If you have never heard this work, please search out a performance. If you are lucky enough to find a live performance, please support your local artists. Chances are, even if you attend concerts regularly, this will be one of the few times you will hear the organ with orchestra. If you cannot find a live performance, I encourage you to look around for a recording. There are several available on Youtube and even more in your local library or available for purchase in new and used recording retailers. However you listen, please do.

The inspiration for the central ring is the Introduction. The final section of the Symphony begins with a chord on the organ answered by a phrase from the orchestra. Then, the lovely melody highjacked by the folks who gave us the movie Babe. Finally, Saint Saens gave us a fine example of the quintessential compositional form for organ, the fugue.

More on the next few sections of the movement over the next few days.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

200 posts and counting

I can’t believe I’ve had this much to say! Wow! I know I’m probably not as prolific as others, but I had not imagined I would still be writing this blog!

Perhaps a clue is in a blog I read frequently. Jane E posed the question in a recent post: “why can’t I regulate myself? Why do I start a thing and HAVE to finish it?”

I like her answer: “because I’m bonkers!”

Well, I can’t claim to be bonkers in the same way, as I certainly have my share of unfinished projects, but I do feel like I don’t “regulate” myself well. I’ve taken to keeping track of how much time I spend doing what. It helps me to make a better to-do list. I’m more reasonable in how much I can accomplish and better at seeing what is most important. If that’s bonkers, I’ll gladly wear that label.

I’m hoping it will all help me recover from the broken foot. Now off to finish that next part of the pattern.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

back to it

I realize I've not posted in awhile. Things have been...well....not pleasant. I am better now, but to catch you up, I'll just post what I wrote the last few weeks. Check back each day for the next part of the saga:

And just in case I forgot, with crutches (and scooter) I will…..


I’ve started the final tat of the Saint Saens. That should keep me busy! It’s in white thread, so I’ll be keeping my hands off my face and hair, washing them often, and tatting when it’s not really hot.

My second xray has revealed that the bone is not knitting together as well as my shawl. It’s a setback, but not insurmountable. My foot and ankle are really immobile now. Tape, more tape, Ace bandage, a second Ace bandage, and a big honkin’ Air cast. It’s not moving for man nor beast. All this bulk makes it harder to use my knee scooter I’m borrowing. Still preferable to crutches; I have my priorities: I can carry a half full cup of tea across the room with the scooter! Of course, the cats would probably prefer that I move a bit slower. I haven’t run them over…..yet.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Nor will I ……..

Shop till I drop

But I will celebrate finishing my trial pattern of the Saint Saens! Whew!!!! I’ve also been making progress on knitting my shawl and the chair seat canvas. Not much else I can do. I wonder how much weight I’ve gained? No, I don’t NEED to go there!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

and I will NOT……

log my 7000 steps on my pedometer

But I will continue to seek care. I think I’m healing well, but am unsure when to begin stretching or even putting some weight on my foot. So, off to a doctor I go…..with my tatting!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

With crutches I will NOT……


But I will….

Continue to tat. And work on the prayer shawl. And work on the canvas. I still haven’t unpacked from the trip, so no photos today. Unless I can figure out how to use the phone to get the photos here. Sigh. I think I’ll take a nap first. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Thursday, May 23, 2013

With crutches I will........


While on the return trip down the coast, I broke my foot.

Yes, broke it! I’ve been on crutches before, so it wasn’t a big adjustment for me. Since we were driving most of the way, we didn’t have to change our plans that much, but there were a few things we didn’t get to do. So, we’ll just have to take another trip later when I’m healed.

In the meantime…..

More Saint Saens progress.
Saint Saens progress
So, here’s what it looks like with the motifs in Round 2 attached. I like the idea. We’ll see if it executes well and sets me up for round 3. I’ve a few ideas. Now I need to try them out.

Friday, May 10, 2013

a rose is

I have a few roses in my back yard here. Nothing spectacular. Not like the test gardens in Portland. That’s another of my favorite places in the world. Walking around the beds and seeing the blooms always brings a smile to my face.

 Anyway, I have some carpet roses and a climber. I tried to keep it simple. Every spring, we get over-run with aphids. This year, I tried to watch really close. We have fruit trees in our yard, so I’m reluctant to spray too much. I just may have to this year. Looks like I need a third batch of lady bugs. They have helped, but not enough. I also have the Peace rose I’m trying to get established. I think it will survive and grow. I think…….

I think I’ll take my tatting out onto the bench and see if I can cheer on the lady bugs. Go eat ‘em!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

fixing Christmas

I’ve taken a break from the Saint-Saens to fix a Christmas ornament I gave a friend a few years ago. She was so sweet when asking me to repair. It gave me a chance to get feedback on bead choice. I was unhappy with the way the one metal bead has tarnished. Well, maybe not tarnished, but it’s definitely discolored. Nothing a bit of detail cleaning and then preserving couldn’t fix, but I was disappointed. Now everything is ready for the next Christmas tree!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

of birthdays and bucket lists

I recently celebrated a birthday. Not one of THOSE birthdays. I am over 50, which I’m proud to have celebrated. You see, when I was much, much younger, it was recommended I have a lump biopsy. Thus began my “benign” dance with life. Even though I have never had a diagnosis of cancer, a biopsy is still surgery. It can throw a wrench in your schedule! And bring your dreams and hopes and aspirations into sharp focus: “someday” becomes “next year” and “after I finish” becomes “whenever I can”. I’ve been very lucky. I finished school, got married, raised 2 children, worked in several career fields, and generally enjoyed life.

So, what’s in the bucket list? I emptied that a long, long time ago! I decided a bucket list is for those who have not been focused in their goals. I’ve been very happy with my goals, adjusted them often, and accomplished what was really important. I think. Well, I did lose that folder of papers last month. Perhaps I should find it today. I think it was under that stack……….wait a minute… this important?? Well, yes….sigh!

Saturday, April 27, 2013

continuing connections

I’m continuing on around with the connecting “chain” of rings/split-rings. There is much to do, but I’m thinking this really will work! Wahoooooo.
Round 2 B motif connected

Monday, April 22, 2013

connecting idea

detail of connection off Round 1 of Saint-Saens project
I’ve been playing with a way to connect the Saint-Saens motifs. This one has possibilities.

I’m really jazzed about this project. Normally, a huge project like this is difficult for me to finish. This one though, has some real traction to it. Lots of interested people who know music, lots who know tatting, and lots who just like to see me creating! Thank you all for your interest, support, critique, and guidance.

So, this last bit?.......... I think I will play with it some more, maybe around one of the motifs from round 2. Off to load my shuttles!

Friday, April 19, 2013

musings on music in thread

I had one of those surreal conversations lately. A while ago, I was chatting with an organist group. Of course my hands were busy with my shuttles, I can’t remember exactly what I was tatting, but I was using a variegated thread; probably the triangle in the post earlier this week. Anyway, I like that color combination and many have commented on it. My organist friend was impressed that the colors change so often and almost exactly the same distance apart on the thread. I explained that the thread I was using was machine dyed, HDT often isn’t that consistent. The response, “like vibrato” caught me by surprise. But, it’s correct…..sort of.
That got me thinking….I KNOW…..a dangerous occurrence!
What if I used variegated thread for certain types of music where vibrato is appropriate? I have already decided that I’m not inclined to use certain colors to represent certain music. It’s been done before, and I’m not that color savvy. I’ve decided to focus more on rhythm and the structure of melody/harmony. I am experimenting with color representing timbre of music (pink for strings, red for brass), but that is a slippery slope for my color sense. But vibrato…….or music of such ilk. Mmmmmmmmmmm

Thursday, April 18, 2013

brushed acrylic yarn

Here’s the yarn I’ll be making my next prayer shawl in…..

brushed acrylic yarn for prayer shawl on knitting board

Since I’m using the Knitting Board, it’ll be a double knit fabric. So, the colors will have just a few stitches visible before they change. I’ll be interested to see if any pooling occurs. From this sample, I doubt it.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

where I like to tat

I’ve just read over my last few posts. I apologize for sounding so cranky and frustrated. Life is good now. Spring is here. I’ve been taking my work out onto the patio in the back. It’s really lovely there. The wisteria is in full bloom, the roses are starting to bud, the fruit are starting to grow, the lavender is fragrant now; I could go on and on. Life is good. I have tried in the past to photograph all this, but alas, my skill with camera is not up to that task. You’ll just have to take my word for it…or visit the area.

Monday, April 15, 2013

so close.......

Scanning my tatting has led to catching mistakes. Today was no exception. I’ve been working on a triangle based on an antique pattern from a Frauberger book. I had to try several times to get the secondcorner worked correctly. I wasted quite a bit of thread, but figured I had enough to finish as I usually add 10 inches or so. Well, I ran out of thread. Like I was lacking 2 inches. Sigh.

Frauberger triangle almost done

After staring at it for a couple of days, I decided on a fix, took the tatting out to the spot I need to fix, and then set it aside so that I could scan it this morning. That’s when I saw this on the third side.
mistake joining the chains.
 Sigh. Well, more than sigh…….I actually woke the cat up with my wail!

Yaknow…..I think I’ll just start over…..later…….

Saturday, April 13, 2013

sacred thread danvas progress

It’s been awhile since I posted about my needlepoint canvas for the chair.
I have made progress, it just isn’t very impressive. There are 2 chairs already finished and sitting in the pools of light coming through the windows. I’ve asked permission to post pictures here, so look for those in about a week.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

research needed

I have another idea that needs some research: How to diagram a chain of pearl tatting with alternating sections on the core of 3 DS? After some browsing through my tatting books, I decided I really needed to use different colors; or at the very least, a zig-zag line. Both solutions are outside my original display parameters.

After some browsing on line, I see Mark (tatman) uses both color and zig-zag. But then he’s a graphic artist and much more talented than I.

A quick check of Jane Eborall’s site shows she also uses different colors for the two lines of stitches.

So, my next task is to practice making those zig-zag lines in the graphics program. But today, I’d rather tat.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

well....that didn't work......

Well, the connection idea didn’t work as I envisioned. I did a couple of samples, put them on the computer, played with it, and it is just too busy. It detracts from the major part of the design. So, it’s time to go back to my mentor and ask, “How does one work in a ‘background’ area with this type of design?” I’m sure within 10-15 minutes she will have given me several really good suggestions. This week is my week for appointments, meetings, and non-work errands. I’ll get back to it… week.

Monday, April 8, 2013

a connecting sample

I ran into a small problem: How to connect all the parts of a design? Here’s my solution:

Round 8 & 9 of Large Round Doily

This is on page 6 of Anne Orrs Classic Tatting Patterns (Dover). My sample will probably end up as a bookmark to buoy the spirits of a dear friend. Her job is stressful and she gives so much; she deserves something to remind her she is a treasure!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

I have met the computer, and the computer is mine!

I feel giddy! I spend a good part of the last few days working on a diagram for the Saint-Saens. Here’s what I have so far:
Round 1

I’m getting a bit better at remembering which order to do what so the computer doesn’t think it’s getting garbage and give me garbage. I hope to get back to the next portion of the diagram tomorrow.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Marie-Claire Alain 1926-2013

I received my TAO yesterday. I was saddened to read of the death of Marie-Claire Alain. I spent the next hour playing through some of her brother’s music and a few Bach pieces. I intend to dedicate a few of my designs to her memory. RIP

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

earring list

Recently in Sue’s Design class, I promised to share a couple of my favorite earring patterns. I like smaller earrings as I am rather short and of a fine boned build. So, I use small thread like size 80 or quilting thread; small beads like size 12 or 14; and simple, one-element patterns. On my pattern page, I’ve posted my pattern for around a bead cap. I saw this little doodad in the finding area of a local bead shop. I liked the filigree look and the outer spaces were easy to join to with a small crochet hook.

earring around bead cap
A variation on this uses celtic chains for interest around another bead cap.

celtic chain earrings
I was challenged last year to create a larger earring to celebrate the Fourth of July. Here’s what I came up with:
starworks earrings
They are worked in DMC metallic embroidery thread and perhaps my least favorite as they are large…..about 2 ½” with the wire. I’ve never gotten used to them brushing my collar. I do like the star shaped doodad. This one came from the spacers area of the bead store.

I hope this stokes your creativity and that you find a way to express yourself with tatting to wear.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

TIP and SS progress

Well, so much for putting posts in the timed published area. I still haven’t gotten the steps down correctly. Sigh.

So, here’s what I had prepared to be released yesterday:

Happy International Tat Day!

I’ll be TIP (tatting in public) today someplace on the Monterey peninsula. I’m not sure where I’ll be. Perhaps I’ll tat for a bit in Pacific Grove, then some in Monterey, then maybe even in Carmel. If you’re down there enjoying the ocean, perhaps we’ll meet!

And here’s what I have for today:

Saint-Saens progress.

Here’s a scan of what I did yesterday. I can see I would like to change a couple of things, but it’s almost there!

test of new central ring and round 1
By the way…..I did get sand in my tatting bag. I ended up tatting on the beach looking at Pebble Beach (well out of the range of golf balls). It was worth it!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Cluny conquered

Success with the cluny medallion! Wheeeeeeee

Now it’s on to a big doily based on a pineapple pattern. This will take a while to work. But, only 4 more to go in the binder! Whew!

Since I’ll be working on that for quite a bit of time, I’ll have to come up with other things to post about. I’ve begun a series of designs on the Bach 2 and 3 part inventions/sinfonias. Perhaps I’ll start posting about them.

In the meantime, Spring is here. In our house that not only means more time outside, but Easter. Whatever you find to nourish your soul, please nourish it. That is my Easter prayer. Passover is so powerful, Nowruz is fun, Spring Festival is delicious, etc. My humanity needs to be reminded frequently that I am who I am. All the precious gifts, all the ugly warts, all of me. So, find time to celebrate and feed your soul.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

setback and a buzzing

I had a setback on my cluny pattern. I was concentrating so hard on getting the cluny shapes consistent and keeping the color blips to a minimum that I neglected to keep the right side the right side and let the RODS creep in on the right side.
If that doesn’t make sense, it didn’t to me either for a bit. I picked up my sample after a good night’s sleep and saw something wasn’t quite right, but didn’t have a lot of time right then to really study it. After I completed the appointment, I studied it again and saw that I had executed a ring with an extra picot and not enough double stitches. So, I set it aside while I exercised, then picked it up again to decide what to do. That’s when I noticed that I had tatted 4 rings as though I had the wrong side facing up. AND I also noticed that I had badly twisted a picot in a chain. Sigh!!!
I decided to not just clip out the mistakes, but to begin again……Finnegan…….Michael…..grumble, grumble!
Maybe that’s what the hummingbird was trying to tell me that buzzed me on my walk. Ever had that happen? They are loud, fast, and very bold. It’s enough to make one duck, startle, and walk quickly on. Tee hee.
Who knows what will happen today with shuttle or on a walk. If something amusing happens I’ll try to share it.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Triangle corner conquered

I have finally worked through the triangle corner correctly…..I think. This represents the fourth try at tatting the corner separately and starting with new thread.
part of Frauberger triangle pattern
I like how it’s working up in this thread. Now, if I can just keep my concentration up so that I don’t make more mistakes! For those of you joining lately, here’s the pattern. Thank youJennifer Williams and Jane Eborall for the pattern rewrite. Thank you GeorgiaSeitz for giving us the opportunity to share with each other!