Thursday, September 29, 2016

See what can happen when you're distracted?

Yes, I got distracted again. I decided to tat the second motif we discussed Monday inclass

I wanted to see if I liked it in 2 colors. I think I do. The next time I’ll make sure to have enough thread I won’t need to SLT to finish out the last chain. ;)
Then, I wanted to see how it would look in size 80:

The folks who come by for the Tatting Tuesday Study Group favor working with tiny thread. Mostly in size 80. I can’t say I gravitate towards it now, but they have pushed me to giving it a fair trial. Ever since I worked on the SaintSaens doily, I haven’t really enjoyed size 80. At the time I just thought it was because there are so many cool embroidery/quilting threads out there and what I had in my stash in size 80 looked so boring. Anyway, it’s closer to the size I like for earrings, but a bit too round for my tastes. Three more shuttles are empty now. I’ll have fun choosing what thread to use for the square motif.

Update on the fire is available on CalFire website. It sounds like most of the homes are escaping the inferno. It’s still a threat as the winds will be picking up today and could blow it out of control. Perhaps that will discourage the crews working with the jack hammer in the street. Either that or they will finish demolition. The walls are thick enough the sound isn’t excruciating, but the windows let enough in. No tatting on the front porch until the dust settles either. Maybe I’ll just have to walk down to the beach!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Another Monday

Monday this week was a “Monday” to the max. Several bright spots in the day:
Dainty Tatted Trim by Anna J Johnson

OnLine Tatting class started the 18th season of discussions and exploration of lace in thread. This is one of the patterns we discussed. I counted it for another motif for the 25 motif challenge.

Nothing more broke at the house. (When you live in an older home, no news is good news!)

So, what made it the proverbial Monday? Well, another fire broke out. Not near me, but near the area where friends live. The smoke will likely get blown into the valley, so it’ll not be a fun time for those who work in the South Bay.

The motif I worked on from the class was difficult to finish. Mostly because of the color choice. I was trying to use up thread and use 4 colors as that was the challenge. Yuck! The variegated was disappointing. The brown was rather dull. I do intend on incorporating the design into the bell cover idea. Just use better color choice I think!

It will be hot again today. We broke a heat record for our area yesterday. The upstairs got a bit warm, but the downstairs is still cool.

On to the next motif. I’m picking a square motif next. Edgings are fun, but I’m looking for something to turn into an earring. mmmmmmmmm

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Update on the organ:

Most of the big stuff is in place. The console has been moved to the side where it will live and work. Remember the picture from last week? The front view? This is the view of the back through the rail for the steps. 

The innards are surprisingly simple technology, but still packed in tight.
 This is the view from the back through the opening for the swell shoes. 
You can see portions of the pedal board. I can’t wait to hear what the big pipes sound like when one of those pedals is played!

I’m able to tat and weave while watching the installation crew work. Progress is steady but slow. I think it will be awhile before I have much to snap a pic of. We’ll see what I can accomplish!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Old idea made new

Many, many moons ago, BK and even before CA, I found myself wishing to create table linens that complimented the pattern on china. I thought it would be cool to pick up colors and patterns from the dishes. I really had no idea how. I was learning about weaving at the time. I knew how to embroider a bit and tat a bit, but had no real training in design. Fast forward to the day I bought all those bells.

I thought about tatting a cover for them that picked up the design and complimented the china. After playing with edgings for the Double weave square, I thought an edging for this bell would be nice. I like it. Now to get the rest settled…….

The organ at First Pres. continues to take shape. It'll be awhile before we'll get to hear it. Most of the pipes are in the pipe chamber. The console is placed. I can't wait to hear/see more progress!

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Lots is up in my life. No, I'm not moving again. And I'm making things up as I go. What I've been up about is all I've been able to do with what is right in front of me: create gifts with leftover yarn and thrift store buys, watch an organ going up (pipes lifted up to the pipe chamber), sun rising, etc.

I’ve decided I’m on an “upcycle” kick. It started several years ago. I was given some yarn and challenged to tat a shawl. Several months later, I finished the project. It was a success in some respects, and I’m glad I learned how, but I probably will never repeat the project!
It was successful enough that I have been gifted boxes and boxes of yarn and such. In those boxes have been real treasures. I’ve been able to pass on much material for others to use. I’ve made gifts for others from all the wonderful supplies. At one point, I had about 10 boxes of cast off stuff. Now, I’m down to 6….or 7…..or……
My most recent project has been pin loom weaving with the bits and pieces in those boxes. I’ve 3 boxes of yarn/thread to choose from. I’m having fun with it. Currently I’m trying out tapestry techniques. It’s nice and portable, I can set it down at any point in time, and I’m using up the “trash” stuff learning! If it’s photogenic enough I’ll share a picture here.

Where am I working on it you ask? While watching the organ being assembled! It’s great fun!!!! Pictures of that will be filtering in. Here’s the console minus the pedal board:
Off to find more yarn to play with!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

What a whirl wind of a weekend!

It all started Friday with my mini-concert at St. Paul’sSalinas. I chose to just start playing this time. No bowing between pieces. “The European Way” as a colleague of mine puts it. I do like playing this organ. So, I played on not knowing who was out there. I heard a stifled sneeze and a cough or two so I knew at least 1 person was listening besides me. At the end of the list, there was applause to acknowledge. I was pleased to see an old friend out there.

We caught up over lunch and then it was back to the task at hand: keep the big house going while working. We took a break Saturday and enjoyed the Italian Festa. It was great fun! Sunday was a full day at St. Dunstan's with services in the morning and hosting a concert in the afternoon. I was pleased with how it all went, but quite exhausted at the end of the day. Unfortunately, the barometer was climbing all day, so my walking-talking-barometer was suffering. That made for a bit of a tough evening. I chose to do the bare minimum and get to bed early. Good thing too! I was still kinda dragging Monday morning. And the hands are the worse for the wear. They’re getting better today. Another good night of sleep and I’ll be able to practice or pick up the shuttles again (but not both!).

In the meantime, I’m enjoying checking in on the organ installation at First Presbyterian in Monterey. Everything came off the truck Monday. Now starts the big push. Typically, the crews work 10 hours days just to get things off the pews so people can still use the space for worship…..small detail! 
a big one!
They’re approaching community use of the organ differently than St. Dunstan’s. I hope they do a recital series. If not, we’ll still get to enjoy it! 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Monterrey County Fair 2016

Well, the Fair was a resounding success for me this year. 

I entered 3 items in different divisions and classes. I won 3 ribbons: 
a 2nd place for the Double weave sample

a 1st place for the Frauberger triangle

and Best of Show for the heart basket. Who knew? 

In my opinion, almost all of the pieces I saw in each area were very well made. The judging must have been quite difficult! I did not consult the guidelines I’ve seen for judges, I tried to just do the best I could and be creative. Who knew? Oh, and here's the other side of the square: 

I was asked if there was enough interest for a tatting Division next year. I think so. The Study Group continues to grow. I need to do more networking to keep building on that success. You see, tatters usually come from the ranks of Embroidery and Lace artists. There is an Embroidery Guild here. I need to connect with them to do things properly.

Speaking of Study Groups, the Organ Study Group is doing well. I continue to open the studio from 11 AM to 2 PM on Wednesdays and there are people coming over to explore the organ and organ music. Again, more networking is needed. I have my work cut out for me there!

Lots to think about, lots to do, and lots to create!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

When an idea won't go away

Several years ago, I saw an idea for color use in tatted motifs.  The idea has really stuck in my mind. Just about every time I see windows where I practice. I have a collection of sketches. I have the thread. I finally started work on the idea. It didn’t go well. I needed to better understand stitch count and other design issues. So, over the (ahem) 6 years since this idea really started to gel, I’ve been taking a stab at it.

I’ve perused monster doily patterns hoping to learn about design parameters that work. I’ve photographed (poorly) many stained glass windows. I’ve studied color use in needlework. I’m getting closer, but still not very far.
Window Decoration II designed by Jan Stawasz

In an attempt to kick start the process, I loaded shuttles and worked a Window Decoration pattern from Jan Stawasz book Tatting Theory andPatterns. I feel I did justice to the pattern. Yet again, the black thread was thinner than the colors. That caused a bit of cupping and such. Normally, I wouldn’t like that in tatting, but for stained glass, I like that the black appears so different.

I must leave this idea now. It will be entered into my list of 25 Motifs for the challenge. Now it's time to focus on upcoming deadlines. 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

A sunrise....finally!

I got distracted yesterday….
By a sunrise….
The weather this summer has been more typical for Monterey area. The cool marine air begets fog just about every day. We’ve had a bit of sun every afternoon. With the fire in Big Sur area though, it’s been overcast more for the morning. Thus, there haven’t been as many sunrises for me to watch from my window. Yesterday was the exception, so I took the time to have an extra cuppa and enjoy the show. I’m glad I did.

The important stuff got done yesterday, just not the next tier down in the to-do list. So, I’ll get started on that in a few moments.

Question first: I’m getting a hankering to do a monster doily. Any favorites you would recommend?