Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Now where was I.......

Ok….I got distracted. 
I blame it on “Back to School” sales and watching the kids in the neighborhood get back into their school routines.

I making progress on the bell cover, the stained glass idea is percolating, the Fair display is in the works, and my house is getting organized. To top it all off, the weather is turning and the fog/smoke is lifting. That means I enjoyed a sunrise this morning! Again, I won’t annoy you with pictures as my photography skills are not up to snuff. I enjoy good photographs and recognize the skill it takes to produce them. Skill I would have to work very hard to master. I get distracted by the beauty of what I’m trying to photograph too easily.

I think I’ll go distract myself with a quick romp through my practice list at the organ. Then, on to the shuttles!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Trial or Proof of Concept

This has been a fun project to work on! I love repurposing and upcycling things. So far, this project has more time invested than materials. And that time is usually walking and thinking, watching Olympic coverage and tatting, or the proverbial “aha” in the shower after a cup of coffee. 
Trial for bell cover
So this is how the trial design worked out. I think it will work. I may add another row of rings in the center; based on the painted flowers of course. It just seems to need some 3-D something. The beads help, but I would like more depth….and more color. hmmmmmmm

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

framing idea

Many moons ago my brain came up with one of those ideas that just won’t go away: Tat something that frames something else. Not a new idea. People have been tatting edgings for centuries. You know, like what embellishes handkerchiefs, pillows, sweatshirts, just about anything cloth. What about tatting around a photo or painted picture?
When I started working through a book of ornament covers written by Nadine Nunnelly, I was drawn to one design that seemed to be a window with the ball showing through.
Ball # 10 from Tatted Christmas Balls by Nadine Nunnelly
 Negative space in tatting always draws my eye. Perhaps that’s because tension usually doesn’t affect my pieces that much. Not like my feeble attempts at crochet or knitting. Nor like my selvages at the loom. How the thread is knotted is fun to examine, but how the lace is open can be fascinating.
After turning in my items at the Fair, I started to prepare for demonstrations coming up. You know, taking stock of what is on the shuttles, deciding if that design idea will ever amount to much, and gathering materials for small butterflies, flowers and doves. I came across a note for this idea of tatting a frame for a photo or painting or something.

That sent me to my stash of thread for design ideas. You know, the stuff you just really aren’t grabbed by that was so cheap you just had to take it home…. the vintage thread someone found in Aunt’s sewing basket….. I am having fun with this. Maybe I'll use a bell from that box I picked up at the Auction. I’ve several “sketches” worked out with loaded shuttles. As I work through them, I’ll take pictures on my phone. When those get sorted and prepped for the blog, I’ll happily share them.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Improvisation time

So, what DO you do when you’ve made a “mistake” during the design process?????


This is what I came up with for the DoubleWeave sample edging:

Complete picture after the Fair.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Getting to the edge

I figured out why the edging was going so nicely….I hadn’t discovered the oops.

No, seriously. When a project goes nicely without a hitch, it’s usually because the mistake hasn’t happened yet. Sigh.

It looks nice enough....and I will still enter the finished piece. I just have to decide whether to complete the project or change the final round. 

What’s that I hear? Give up???? Nah…….                                    

Thursday, August 11, 2016


The smoke is bad today. I’ve a headache from that and just the tension of thinking too much about it all. Sigh! Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful that I’m safe. I am thankful that the fire crews were able to get the fire 50% contained so far. The weather has been favorable for fighting the Sobranes fire; and favorable for those living in our neighborhood. Just today it’s bad.

Weave-It loom warped and ready to create with!
I had several “aha” moments yesterday. I realized that the Woods organ is likely missing the mechanical part of one of the stops. It’s relatively common and easily replaced. Just a bit disappointing.

I basted the edging on in preparation for sewing. I have a clearer idea how I want the piece to end up. Satisfied sigh!

I played with the Weave-It loom I was gifted. Some yarn from the stash that came with it has provided just the right weight to figure out a good technique. Not bad for a first try.

I also realized why I like some of the Vierne pieces. They are pretty as written on the page, but if you use the registration the composer asks for, they really shine. Kinda like using the size bead/thread combination the designer intends. Use a smashing color combination and you have created beauty. Play the piece on an organ voiced for the music and it’s just beautiful.


Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Have I really written THAT much????

I’m feeling old today. It’s damp and cool, so my foot is aching. I picked up some furniture yesterday, so I need a rest day. This is the 401st post for this blog. That’s a lot of nuthin’ much tuh say. I can’t believe I’ve stuck with this for 5 years now. A lot has happened in my life. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve designed a few things. I’ve enjoyed it all!!! But, the thought of it all leaves me feeling…..old.

My tatting time has been taken up with preparations for theFair. I don’t plan on showing what I entered until after the judging. I’m pretty sure the judges won’t be reading this blog, but I consider it poor form to post pictures prior to their assessment. After that day, I plan to post lots of pictures of what’s happening there.

I’ve begun practicing another of the Little Prelude and Fugue by JS Bach. It’s my custom to dust them off each summer. Most times I find some excuse to play them each year. Well, any excuse will work!
I’ve also decided it’s time to learn the Vierne Pieces en Style Libre. They’re distinctive and have lots packed into a few short bars. I have sketches of some of them already inspired by concerts I’ve attended.
bell from silent auction box

 I’ve also decided Christmas gifts this year will be tatted coverings for some of the bells I’ve picked up. Similar to the coverings I did for ornaments. If an idea comes to you, and you share them, who knows what may come your way????

Thursday, August 4, 2016

When patterns get adapted and organs need a new home

I’ve allowed my routine to slip. The result: not as many walking sessions, not as many blog posts, not as much practicing, nor as much tatting. Deadlines are looming! Time to get serious about that to-do list! First off, I need to finish the items I’ve entered in the Fair. Next, find a new home for a wonderful reed organ. On the way, I’ll use this:
lanyard for pin

I have found myself finishing this necklace repurpose. Remember that trip to Lacis? And the purling pin type hook I bought? And the necklace I started to have something to do while waiting in line? Well, it all came together. I’m pleased with the result. Thank you Nina Libin for the wonderful pattern! It was fun to play with the thread and beads. I finished most of it while listening to the lectures, Master classes, and rehearsals for Bach Festival.

Now I’m off to get the word out about the wonderful reed organ that has come available:

It's a very sweet parlor organ fully restored built by George Woods & Co. I wish it could follow me home. It was be so fun to sit down and play everyday. There's something very special about the way such an instrument plays. It is confusing to call them organs. Kind of like how different acoustic guitars are from electric guitars or even lutes.

But I'm rambling again! Off to the list. (Sounds better than Off with her head!)