Tuesday, June 30, 2015

It all started with a snowman.....

Not the scary kind in Dr. Who. That was a creepy Christmas special that year! And since I rarely see snow unless I drive 4 hours to the mountains, the word snowman brings those images to mind.

No, this snowman was to be a tatted earring pattern. I came up with sketches; saw a few Open Houses for our house hunting; did a trial tat that got lost during those treks; redid the trial and amended the sketches; test tatted that thought; put the house on the market; packed up the household and unpacked the essentials; and then the duck came calling: 

I think the beads are too big, but these were just lying around. He’s kinda cute if I say so myself! Now to make this little guy into a snowman……..

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Just another day in ......

The morning started out wonderful.

The sunrise was spectacular. The hills across the bay were tinged with red, the water looked glassy, and the sky through the pine boughs was getting lighter by the minute. I love sunrise. My little point and click cameras, nor my cell phone, do not do justice to the scene. I won’t make you grimace by trying to capture it that way. You’ll just have to find a place to enjoy a real sunrise! There out there. You’ll just have to look for them.

I’ve also made good progress in the project of installing the organ. I know what I need to do to prep the room. I’m finding people to help and advise me. Today I need to figure out the schedule for it all. I think I’ll leave the figure out the budget until after the trip to the hardware store. That may mean a loan. I hope not. That would make keeping the focus of my energies more difficult.
I’m still revising the written part of the angel pattern. I’ve tatted the “sketch” of the snowman pattern. I hope to finish both today. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I bought the.....organ!

So, June was a crossroads? Yes.

July was to be painting time? Yes.

After last weekend, I get to add a very big project to that list: Moving my organ into the house. 

The studio will be the central room in the house. Right now, it still looks like a converted courtyard. So, we’ll add flooring to the July task list.

Oh, and I discovered a huge pattern oops in the angel. You know how you pick up and set things down a certain way until you are forced to do things differently? Well, I watched a friend pick up the angel and hold it. The way she was holding it turned a light bulb on in my mind. I’m sure she would have been surprised to see my face at that point. I’m sure I looked rather silly. I’m sure the pattern will be a better pattern now; so, back to part of the drawing board on that pattern.

Right now, I’m off to research what flooring will work best for the organ.....

Thursday, June 18, 2015

June is half over already!

The week has been a crossroads for me in a way. I had the pleasure of celebrating a college graduation, assisting a young couple in the first stage of relocating, and connecting with people I know will be a part of the rest of my life. Realizing all that has settled a bit of the chaos in my mind. It’s also made it easier to focus. I’m liking it!

I’ve added a couple of organ related blogs to my read list. These are by no means the only organ blogs out there. I would welcome any suggestions as to other blogs related to organ teaching I could follow. I still feel a bit breathless that I am working towards an organ studio in my home. I know it’s a good idea. Working towards that goal is fun. The commute is easier. It’s still hard to focus at times, but that’s getting easier. Perhaps it’s easier now because I have accomplished enough to be established. I know I will continue to learn, but I no longer feel like I need to establish myself. We’ll see how long that feeling lasts.

June seems to be speeding by. I have 2 more weeks to explore and unpack and plan the scope of work for the summer. Then July will dawn and I will be starting the real work. The paint brushes will get heavy use. I will even change this blog in a good way.  Better get busy with that list!

Please use the comment section to recommend other blogs related to organ music and the instrument for my list to read. Thank you for that help.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Maybe that's why I like tatting....

The neighborhood we moved into has some truly historic homes. Well, as far as the West is concerned, they’re old. Anything over 50 years can be considered for informal or even formal historic status. Now, before the comment section lights up with arguments, I know there are some who view asking for a Historic designation for your house like asking for a hole in the head. Personally, I love history. I love old. Maybe that’s why I tat. Ya thingkkkkk

Anyway, the houses are mostly older. “Nob and tube” wiring, chimneys that no longer vent fireplaces, single pane windows that maybe seal, lots of nooks and crannies for “extra” residents, layers and layers and layers of paint, and so on. Getting to know your neighbors here means trading stories of figuring out when and how the house was remodeled, trying to “modernize” the house without ruining the character, and furry creatures that don’t purr or bark. It seems the bigger the house, the bigger the spiders too. All that said, the adventure has been fun so far. I enjoy rolling up my sleeves, putting on the gloves to keep the hands cleaner, and finding what there is under all that….whatever. At the end of the remodel work sessions, it feels good to sit in the window bench with my shuttles. Mid-century Modern has nothin’ on this!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

it did rain....really!

A smidge more than a trace. That brings our season total here to just under 15". "Normal" total is more like 21" if there could be a normal total. So, the drought continues.

I’ve had a request for a pair of “snowman earrings” for a hard working volunteer. I agreed. I mean, how hard could it be? 

Well, I’ve been enjoying my bead cap earrings for several years now. One thing I’ve learned is that the tatting must be very secure. It also helps to keep things looking nice if the tatting has multiple joins to distribute the stress of handling while putting the earrings in ears and taking them out again. 

A quick browse of the books I have, the online tatting class, the antique pattern library, and several other favorite designer blogs/website gave me only 2 patterns to try. So, here’s the body and head of pattern number 1:

head of snowman

body of snowman
The pattern has the pieces tatted separately and then mounted on felt. That could work well, but the tatting just didn’t look enough like snow for my eye. So, on to pattern number 2.

Oh and that storm that blew in? Oh and that storm that blew in? It did bring enough wind to blow things around and enough moisture to wet things down. The walking group I’ve joined walks through a couple of parks each morning. One has a small campground for hiker/biker guests. Several parties looked a bit chilled and damp that morning. Oh, and no fires permitted since we are in such a bad fire danger season. Fortunately, it just a short walk to civilization and a hot cuppa or meal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Windy, windy day!

The angel is finally coming together. I’m finishing the write up of the wings today! Really!!
Right after I meet with people who will help us rejuvenate the garden. Right after I find the box with more checks for my checkbook. Right after……
I had planned to TIP today, but a mild summer storm is blowing in. Just windy. We hope for rain, but likely will see just wind.
Oh, what’s TIP? Tatting In Public. Since I need to try out a couple of patterns for a request, I thought I would change up where I try them out and find a chair in the library or someplace. Check back Thursday for a report on where I decide to TIP.

Friday, June 5, 2015

White deer visit

I seem to be discovering something in nature just about every day at the new house. One day, it was that 8 of the huge pots in the garden have a variety of orchid planted in them. They are severely crowded and need some love. I’m hesitant to touch them; I tend to kill plants I try to love.

from the garden
Yesterday I was taking a break from trying to figure out how to notate the pattern for the skirt of the angel. Right there, in the middle of the street, stood a white deer! I know that not all animals with white coats are true albinos. I had never seen a white deer. Just read about King Arthur chasing the white stag; the Kings and Queens chasing a white stag and ending up in a wardrobe; the Ghost Stag of some fairytale my son was reading; you get the picture. But, there…..just feet from my yard.

A white doe.
Neighbors I occasionally walk with confirmed I wasn’t imagining it. Seems it was born 3 seasons ago. It warmed my heart to think that it has thrived here in a rather urban setting. If you search the local tv station archive, you’ll find a couple of stories with good pictures. I have to wonder, as a mom, if she has raised any fauns and what color their coat is.
Ok. Enough distraction. I must finish this pattern. There are other tatters waiting to tat these angels for shawls. I also need to get started on Christmas presents

Thursday, June 4, 2015

What is that buzzing sound?

Closing day….a day to remember.

I remember the day we closed on our house. We were renters for the first time in years. (If the USAF counts as landlords) And then this happened:
bee swarm in white trumpet vine on trellis

Now, I don’t mind sharing our world with honeybees. They make sweet fruit and nuts and honey and lots of other yummies. I was just really not crazy about them camping out so close to our front door. Our guest had to leave by the back door and walk around the other side of the house to get to the bright yellow convertible she parked in the driveway. Fortunately, the swarm was more interested in checking out their chosen digs and such than in figuring out if the yellow was food.

Of course, bees swarming in a bush or tree have visited before at our house. It must be because we were close to a large county park. The difference this time is the bees decided to stay overnight. Two days later and several visits from a grateful bee keeper, we were grateful to not have that problem to solve. I’m sure the new queen and her workers are furiously building a new hive in a much more convenient location for all. We’re enjoying our new location also!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Happy June!

Well, May has come and gone. June is here. Happy June!

Thank you for coming along with me on the adventures I’ve talked about here. I like talking. I like listening more. Thank you to those who have commented. You know who you are.

I've learned a lot about myself writing for this blog. I've learned that while I enjoy working with thread; "hear" the patterns in music; and know that I have a good idea combining the two means of expression; I'm not a visual person per se. I express myself with sounds much better. Words come more difficulty for me. Pictures take even more of an effort. That doesn't mean I'm giving up on this whole Picotsnkeys venture. But realizing that has helped me fine-tune my efforts and redirect my energies.

So, what have I been doing the last few weeks?

Packing and unpacking
Saying goodbye
Saying hello

Fine tuning the angel pattern (sorry, no new scan)

I still need to purchase an organ to teach/play. I still need to finish unpacking. I still need to finish the angel pattern write up. I still need to do lots and lots of important tasks. Including writing down more of what is important.
Now, where is that to-do list.......