Thursday, December 20, 2018

The next gift

I can’t decide!
I have worked some snowflakes from this book in the Metallic. I quite like how they look. They are stiff enough without starch to use on a tree or hanging in a window. I’ll share pictures after blocking. And making my decision…..

Originally, I thought I would use them around an ornament. I still may. Must decide….

Practice comes first for the next few days. Christmas is coming. Have you found all the gifts you’ve squirrelled away? And do you know where your metronome is?

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

My Pantone challenge

I finally get to share what I’ve been working on. At least this gift:

The challenge was to use the Pantone color that has been associated with your Secret Santa person. I used Candlewicking thread for the band and the tatting. Not ideal, but good colors. The darker color used in the snowflake was the target. As usual, there was a bit of learning curve with this project!

Tablet weaving is tough on my wrists, so I started and stopped a lot. That translates to mistakes. A lot. Didn’t hesitate to cut the band up and I found a nice fabric to compliment. Sewing it on didn’t work as well as I like, but I hope it will be used. It’s not meant to be an heirloom, but a frequently used item. I have a friend who dusts the house with her loom samples!

Snowflake 8 from Festive Snowflakes & Ornaments
The thread was not as tightly plied as I usually tat with. That required extra attention with every DS. To get the colors in the proper place on the snowflake, the pattern ended up needing quite a few SLT. The advantage of using such a soft thread is that those knots end of disappearing into the piece. I plan to use this pattern quite a bit. It looks good in thread! I wonder how it will look in the metallic thread???

On to the next gift……

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What's coming up in 2019

I’ve been trying to focus my energies for 2019. Unsuccessfully. I’ve got just too, too many ideas!
Here’s a few:
Teach more people about the organ with a workshop/class on the physics used in organ building.
Play the organ more in different locations.
Teach more people to tat.
Create documentation of original patterns.
Create pieces for display/sale in galleries.
Oh, and keep up the snail’s pace of remodeling/restoring the house and property.
That’ll keep me busy! What are you thinking of tackling in 2019?

Thursday, December 6, 2018


I had a heart to heart with myself again. It’s tempting just to express opinions while writing a blog. But, like all very personal communications, those posts don’t always represent what I intend. So, here’s my pledge: I promise to keep my posts helpful and positive as much as possible. Of course, that means I need to keep up posting, even when life is giving me lemons.

So, the topic for today: destructions

I laughed out loud when I read this post. That’s what we called the instructions/manuals that came with anything requiring assembly or a learning curve to use. My Dad was a gifted technician in all things electronic. He was a tech whisperer before the term was even thought up. He just re-engineered what didn’t work the way he thought it should. That left the rest of the household trying to figure out how to change the volume on the record player; unlocking the front door in a specific order of pulls, key rotations, pushes and key removal; and my personal favorite, Dad not using my brand new electronic typewriter because he wouldn’t read the instructions I unpacked. It also meant that we had a stack of computer programming cards to play with and construct our card houses out of; more money in the bank because Dad could fix or patch up anything; and conversations with people all over the world before chat rooms existed. In his view of the world, instruction manuals were for dummies.

So what have I been doing lately? Writing destructions for pattern ideas. That’s including learning a graphic program so that I can create diagrams to go along with the text. I find I execute a pattern better if I have both. I’ve given up creating good photographs. The brain just doesn’t see focus and light well enough and I spend way too much time taking and editing photos. That’s best left to those who have those skills.

I’m not nearly ready to share any of those destructions. In order to have a prayer of turning this idea of music as thread art into a reality, my designs are quite complicated and specific. If I do come up with something that I think others would enjoy tatting to use as gifts or enjoy creating their own riff, I’ll let you know here where you can find those destructions.

A long winded way to say, nothing to see here, pick up you needle or shuttle and tat. Well, and maybe find something to ammuse you and reduce your stress.

And oh by the way, the lemons are ripe. Anybody want to come pick some and help with the limoncello? You must be willing to taste test……

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

I created another design element

That’s how I’m looking at it. In the cold hard light of day, it’s a mistake:

Musicians who start playing a piece in one key with their brain still in the previous key can relate.

I’m working a snowflake while keeping at the insertion. The rings in the snowflake are R: 4 – 4 – 4 – 4 . The small rings in the insertion are R: 4 – 4 – 1 – 4 – 4 . I did manage to make all 4 picots the correct length, but I put 4 DS in the center section instead of 1 DS. Sigh. I’m too far along to take it out. I’m counting on the pass along the other edge pulling things enough into shape that when I sew the tatting onto the blouse, all will be adjusted. I hope….

So, instead of just I – IV – V – I , I’ll put that extra vi chord in.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Gift Giving

Thank you for the great suggestions as comments to the previous post. I’ve come up with a flat shuttle to wrap the completed tatting around as it grows. I’m about a quarter of the way finished, so I’ll be using it soon.

Probably the biggest challenge I’ve had making a hobby activity my business is getting friends and family to understand the time thing. History tells us Piecework is not a way to get rich quick. Especially after the Industrial Age. Clever engineers are always suggesting a machine could create it cheaper than paying someone to tat the lace. After hours of discussion, if they hang in there that long, the conclusion seems to be reached that tatting is complicated. I’ve even had an Engin-nerd suggest that perhaps tatting should die out. I just let that one hang in the air. Didn’t even dare to look up from the shuttles!

So, do I abandon my quest?  I know I have a good idea! My lace represents music. It isn’t just a pretty batch of knots. My pieces don’t make good gifts, they’re usually too complicated and take too long to create. I know there are people out there who appreciate it. Not just because the lady in the big house tatted it. But, because it is art. If painters can put paint on a canvas and make money, I should be able to find a way to fill the world with my art. Turning a hobby into a business can be done; you just have to learn to be successful. I’m ready to get started. But first, I’ll tat up a few presents! 

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Insertion Progress

Here’s the progress I’ve made on this:

Since all the beads for this pattern are loaded prior to beginning to tat, it is easy to take on the road. I added the picot gauge to the lanyard for my “picot pin” hook. It worked out very nicely in my travels. As the insertion grows in length, I find tucking the shuttle and ball into a pocket a bit counterproductive. Things just get too tangled up. Perhaps I need to follow the lead of a veteran tatter who comes to the Study Group and put the lace into its own bag.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Wiosna Round 10 progress

I decided to take this on a trip recently. I’d forgotten the folks I visited had seen the doily before I started with the lighter thread. Everyone was most appreciative of my efforts. I must say, I think it’s coming together. No cupping….yet…and I’ve added all these beads to the pattern! More beads to come in the next 2 rounds and then another thread color change. Whew!

I really like this pattern. I was so touched by the gift when I received it. Maybe I’ll finish this doily in time to join in if Renulek designs another in 2019.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Of beads and thread for insertions

Here’s my choice for thread and beads for the insertion to go on the shirt:

The thread is Herbal Garden Lizbeth in size 40 with 4 colors of size 15 glass beads. If I tat two strips for the full length of the panel, I’ll need 50 inches. That’s a lotta of thread (I’m estimating 25 yards on the shuttle alone with more needed for the ball.)and beads (I estimate 1000). But, I got enough!

That pattern from Monday class is still floating around in my brain. Wouldn’t it look great mounted to hang in a window as a sun catcher? Or maybe as a tree skirt in fun colors! Tamie seemed really taken with that idea. I plan to cheer her on! I’m sad to miss class the next 2 weeks. Tamie will be helping with the teaching as Georgia will be healing from getting a new knee. I’ll be thinking of you both!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Mlle Riego insertion sample

Recently, the Online Tatting Class discussed a pattern from a book credited to Mlle Riego (pub. 1866) available through the Antique PatternLibrary. I disciplined myself to not start on this as I have a monster doily in progress.

This article on the pattern collection shows 3 edgings that caught my eye. I worked the middle one in Lizbeth Summer Fun. Maybe the choice was influenced, just a teeny bit, by the glorious summery weather we’ve had the last few weeks. It’s not quite long enough to be a bracelet, but could be lengthened. I’ve never liked wearing anything on my wrists, so bracelets never tempt me. Even so, I’m tempted to tat one up for the class and maybe for Bookmark.

The interest in the insertion is entirely selfish. You see, I have a shirt in linen that has a decoration sewn on that is not linen, kinda tacky lookin’ if you ask me. It’s already starting to unravel and look even tackier. Nothing for it but to tat an insertion to replace it. With beads of course. Now to choose the thread and beads….

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Christmas earrings

Iris Neibach pattern

Here’s the earring pattern by Iris Neibach that gave me inspiration:

Anything that appears to have a grid as its structure always reminds me of tablature or notes on a staff. I definitely need to play with this some more.

Up next: bracelet design with 5 long lines of beads and something else for the other direction.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Another chord idea

I’ve discovered another possibility for expressing musical chords in thread. I don’t have anything worthy of pictures to post, but I will say thank you to Iris Neibach for the inspiration!

Tatting by its nature, is a rather rounded structure. It’s quite hard to express a straight line with just one tatting element. My brain seems to think more in a straight line than curved arcs. I’m getting better! Now to try some ideas out.......

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Ankle still healing with a bruise on the foot to boot

I’m wondering if I need to resurrect the boot I used when I broke my foot several years ago. Thing is, It’s not good for my knees and hips to walk in the boot. I’m still hoping things calm down enough and I can begin walking again. More than just trekking up and down the stairs that is.

I’ve been tidying the studio and study lately. I’ve finished off a couple of projects. Mostly mending and sorting and stowing things in a better way. I have several gifts almost ready, so the Holiday season will be less hectic. I know, I say that every year just about. I really think it’ll happen this year.

Next week I’ll be working on relearning Inkscape so that I can diagram the patterns I’ve done lately. Almost have enough for a collection. I will be releasing some of them as they aren’t strictly patterns from my core portfolio idea. Look for them in January.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Concert cancelled

Those are words I do not like to utter or type or even think. And yet, I must get the word out.
The concert featuring Svyati Duo at St. Dunstan’s Wed. Oct. 24, 2018 has been cancelled. They have had to return to England due to illness.

When I got the word I was in the midst of staying off my feet to encourage a sore ankle to heal. I must push the ankle today to get word to people I asked to post posters and messages that things will be quiet next Wednesday. I hope the illness is not career ending. I wish an uneventful trip home to the musicians and a speedy recovery from the illness.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

progress on Wiosna 2017

I’ve completed a few projects that came to light last week. Nothing very big. Nothing to show here. If you were in Pacific Grove last Sunday, you may have heard me play. Thanks, Laurie, for coming up to talk afterwards. I do plan to pursue the Pedals, Pipes, and Pizza. I’d like to expand the program to include adults, physics students, and other geeky musicians.

So, back to what’s on the shuttles. Another Candle Cuff is just a short chain away from being finished. I’ll use that chain to demonstrate hiding ends and blocking to the Study Group next week. This week we’re taking a break and I’m listening to a lecture about symphonic music given to non-musicians. I try to keep up with YouTube offerings, and have quite a bit of notes for myself. Today should be a great opportunity. More later.
I’ve begun Round 10 of my monster doily designed by Renulek:

I think things will pull together color/thread/bead with the next 2 rounds. This round is not as fiddly as the previous, but with a TOR and 3 BJ per repeat, it’ll take a while to complete all 24 repeats.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

What should.......

It’s that time of year again. Ever since my kids started school, the first few weeks of school are a time for me to dream up what I wanted to see happen, what I needed to see happen. Then, figure out what I could do to get there. Some people call it a fancy “Personal Vision Statement” or “Mission Statement” which seems to motivate them, but I’ve never been a “statement” person…..except in making lots of noise at the organ console. I just don’t see the point in sitting and watching soap operas and eating tubs of bon-bons. I’ve got too much to offer. So, as the kids get used to changes, I try to figure out what changes I should make.
In the past, that has led to job changes, new volunteer stints, saying goodbye to other volunteer jobs, taking on or passing on new projects. You get the idea. Sometimes that’s painful and hard and doesn’t make friends and influence people. Other times, it provides a calming influence on the chaos of too much to do, not enough time and money. Sometimes saying yes can be more problematic than saying no. Most of the time saying no gives others a chance to discover more about things.
This year is no exception. 2019 looks to be another year of changes for me. I’m glad. Now I just have to figure out what changes I’m going to make sure happen.
What will stay the same????
I’ll still live in this great area. I’ll still play the organ and tat. I’ll still encourage others to explore the organ and lace. I’ll still continue to cherish my family and care for the house. I’m excited. Don’t ask me if you can read my Statement. I haven’t slowed down enough to write it out!

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Learning as we age

I was raised to never stop learning. That can get tricky as your memory starts to get assailed. Remembering where the car is parked after working a 14 hour day with Inventory can be scary. So can remembering your locker combination after that awful test. And don’t get me started on making it through Bach by memory!

But, I continue to read and search out learning opportunities. What have I learned recently? Succulents like to be watered at a different time of day than roses. Systems to recirculate water have a lot of moving parts. People can misunderstand a phrase you grew up with.

I also have discovered a theory that makes sense to me: Multiple Intelligences

Developed in 1983 (why has it taken this long for me to discover it????) by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University (maybe because I’m not in education but the Arts???) to explain why people have different abilities. He proposed that eight abilities meet the criteria of specific modality (which I’m not sure I understand). These abilities are: Musical-rhythmic, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic.

This discovery has spawned exploration of a rabbit hole for how to recognize the abilities, assess the grasp of each one, and how to develop weak areas. It’s been fun! I understand more and it makes sense!!

The journey the last few days have confirmed that I’m an organist, even though I’m no longer able to play as I could; an artist, even though I create pieces many view as craft; and I can meld the two areas of my life, even though it’s difficult to balance and explain it all.

More later!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

A walk by the Bay

Yesterday was another one of those days where I got distracted. A storm rolled in. We had a bit of damage to an area on the roof. I think it was mostly because it hadn’t rained in so long. While driving back from a meeting, I drove through a squall. Of course there was a gorgeous double rainbow! There were lots of people pulling into parking areas to snap pictures. I gave thanks they pulled over and didn’t try to snap it while driving. I’m sure they ended up posted. Along with the story of breaching whales capsizing aboat and damaging another. Life by the Bay…….

I spent most of my work time organizing, filing, filling shuttles, pulling out Advent and Christmas music, and watching the computer get used to another monster update. Thank goodness the harpsichord is close to the computer.  Today I look forward to completing those tasks on the computer. Really, I do. Just hope I can keep the back happy!

I’ve set up Round 10 of Wiosna 2017. And the shuttles are loaded for Candle Cuff #5. And my practice list is chosen. Time to get busy…..after a walk!

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

More Candle Cuffs finished

I’m beginning to look at my pattern collection with an eye towards developing classes I could teach. I would have never thought I could do that without the experience and encouragement that I’ve had with the OnLineclass. Thank you for that opportunity!
I think this Candle Cuff pattern could work nicely. Like theIce Drop pattern or the Ornament covers, I see many, many variations. Gotta try some out……

Thursday, September 27, 2018

To read or not to read.....

Those of you who live around me know I love reading. I don’t mention it much in this blog because, well, reading is a hobby of mine that’s morphed into professional development lately. I have 4 magazines that come into my home on music and fiber arts each month. Articles in those send me to the internet regularly. I do read for fun some, but not as much as when I was younger.

I have been following the Great American Read program. It is fun to see what books made the list, what books they feature in the Fall shows, and what I am drawn to reread or finally get to reading. I’ll be looking into a way to read and tat just as you can tat while the TV is on, or your waiting for something to happen in an office or meeting. A good way to test out design ideas!

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

On designing

This week starts up another year of trying (desperately) to mesh my passion for the organ and the music written for the King of Instruments and my passion for tatted lace. I’ve been working my way through some material on visual art with an emphasis on design. I hope to sit in on the Design Class and take a stab at designing a bracelet. I’ve several sketches, but nothing I could call a pattern. Perhaps the class will influence that gap in my portfolio.

I know, I know…..

Only I am responsible for that and can influence me!

Must catch lunch before class begins.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Another Candle Cuff finished

It’s very satisfying to finish a project. Especially when it will be enjoyed by Friend or Family. I’m still playing with the concept and coming up with more patterns. So far, nothing has percolated to the “to tat” list. I’ll admit, most of my design time is being taken by seeing what could be created to commemorate the anniversary of the composing of Stille Nacht. Again, nothing that seems promising enough to put into thread.

The Online class series is starting up! I have shuttles ready to enjoy new patterns! Each week, Georgia et al. present patterns that just beg to be tat. It’s so much fun to see what others are creating. Susan and her team will be discussing design concepts with tips and tricks galore. And I get a kick out of cheering on the Beginners that Cyn works with. It will be a challenge to keep shuttles at the ready for those design ideas.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Saga of Wiosna 2017 continues.....

I have been tackling this doily. I was hoping to finish Round 9 this week. Well, I’ve spent hours, and I mean hours, adding thread to the shuttles to complete the round. Each repeat takes me about 20 minutes to tat. Adding thread slows me down a lot! I can’t wait to get to the next stage. I still haven’t decided on colors. Soon………

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Card Band Bookmark

One of the fun things about entering the Fair is getting the word out about workshops and encouraging each other to learn. The Tablet/cardweaving workshop was fun and sparked quite a bit of happy weaving time for me.

 I entered a sample from the warp finished as a bookmark. Not perfect obviously. The judge wrote some good comments. 

I’ve already tweaked the current tablet project in response. I like it better!
Next week some dreaming up new projects!

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ornament for the Fair

What do you do with tatted bits that can’t be used? Well, find a use for them!

Sonata for Bach Festival
Remember this? 

While tatting Sonata, I missed a crucial join in the next to last round. The result? Get out the scissors. I discovered this when I was very close to finishing the last round, so what to do with that tatting?

Experiment with covering an ornament ball.

Handy Hands sells these, and I picked up some glass ones during a sale. 

The black looked very nice against the redish metallic looking glass.
I had a shuttle with a bit of green left from the Candle Cuff, so get out some bling thread and put it all together.

The judge liked it too!

Moral: Don’t bin any tatting…….

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Comments are good!

Just an out-of-cycle post to let everyone know I love reading your comments!!!!

I haven't been replying or commenting much because I didn't get notification when you left comments. My bad!! I promise to check more often as the emails aren't coming through.

Thank you all for your thoughts, encouragement, and interest!

Cluny Loom Bookmark

Here’s a picture of my bookmark using the pattern included in the Ulitmate Cluny Loom package.
Unfortunately, there was a mix up in the registration (my fault), that lead to a mix up in what division the piece was judged. I used needle tatting techniques for my version, not cro-tatting. First place is good, though. I thought some other tatters in the area would enter needle tatted pieces. I guess they didn’t think their pieces would win over mine. I think they’re mistaken!

Oh, I used DMC Pearl Cotton for my lavender place-holder.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

The results are in!

The County Fair is always great fun! This year, my entries were well received. Except for one and more on that one next month.

2018 ribbons
The best of show is the Needlebook.

The other First Place awards are for the other tatted pieces, snowman earrings, bookmark using the cluny loom, and an ornament I decorated with "binned" bits. 

The Third Place is for a bookmark I made out of my sample band I wove at the workshop.
Now on to the next project…..

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Candle cuff ready

Here’s what I came up with for the candle cuff pattern. 

I like the colors and shape of the elements. I hope they work for the candelabra.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Break for watering

Well, the project list hasn’t sorted itself. So, I took a break to water the succulent strip. This blossom caused a thought to flit into my head….something like, “that’s unusual” or “huh!”

But, then I changed position to water the next plant and realized I hadn’t seen the plant it belongs to.
And then, I discovered the hidden beauty!

Ah yes, the break helped….more next week!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018


Fair items are turned in for judging. I was so focused on finishing and such that I forgot pictures. I’ve also had a bad cold. So, I’ll just have to get pictures after the Fair opens.

As is my custom after I meet a deadline, I spent some time looking at my list of possible projects. One of them will mesh nicely with my next substitute job. I would like to continue reviewing music frequently requested for weddings/funerals. I have pulled out my copy of Andre Campre’sRigaudon as arranged by Vigil Fox. Now, I understand this isn’t from one of Campre’s sacred works, it’s a dance in the middle of an opera about ancient Greeks and gods and such. But, it’s fun to play and people enjoy it. So, I like to have it under my fingers. Incidently, this organ was made by the same company as the organ I have in my home. 

I see lots of possibilities for tatting patterns as it has a strong rhythm, chords, and short phrases making up sections. There’s enough of a melody to make it an ear worm. My challenge will be to keep focused, and not get crazy with details or get distracted and end up at the keyboard playing away. With the harpsichord sitting in the middle of everything that’s a true challenge!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Fair is upon us for another year.

Actually, just the deadline to turn in items for judging. (2 days!)
Next, items for display need to be turned in (the 24th), enjoy the activities of Car Week (starting tomorrow), setting up the Weaving show that has a case for tatting samples (the 24th), and finally in a couple of weeks, enjoying the Fair (Aug 30 - sept 3)!

No pictures until after the Fair, but here’s the chain I tatted to go with the pendant:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Brussels Tat a Monument project installed

I received an email with the link to pictures of the Brussels Tat a Monument project. Seeing all those tatted squares from all over the world is humbling. This is why I tat. Not just to create beauty, not just to make a statement, but because I am connected to those around the world who create lace.

To see the album, go to either Cathy’s Facebook account or this Flicker album:

Here is the photo of my submission letter:

Thank you Cathy for this project. We are human. We all deserve to live with dignity and freedom. Please let us know where the tatting will go after the installation is complete.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Frustrated a bit......

The pattern for the candle cuff just isn’t coming together as I had hoped. No worries. 
The entries for the Fair are not all going to be done. No worries. 
What I’ve been spending time on is much more important!

I had the pleasure to help to produce, and enjoy, this:
Here’s more info:
The concert was wonderful and well received. If you were one of the few who didn't heard him play, he'll be back. But school comes first for a few months.

And to work out the frustration with the shuttles, I tried out this Benile pattern:

Dragonfly by Nina Libin

Dragonfly by Nina Libin
I love it! The top one is tatted in Crochet cotton size 10 with size 11 beads. The bottom one is tatted in Lizb Metalic Gem Stone. I do like working with this thread. I hope to see more sizes available soon.
It was a bit tricky to get the beads loaded so that they ended up at the proper place in the pattern, but I made notes and now it’s a fun thing to tat. Since all the beads are loaded prior to tatting, it’s a good one to do at the Fair!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Breathing is good!

I had to remind myself to breathe this morning. There is just so much goodness here. Yes, it’s an expensive place to live. My hard earned dollars would go farther elsewhere. There’s just so much to wonder at. I enjoy as much as I can.

Sometimes, I enjoy so much I don’t finish what I start. So, no pictures today. I really couldn’t do the sea justice, I couldn’t capture the mist/fog, nor could I convey the beauty of the music at the Mission. I woke up still breathless!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Week 2 of the Festival

Most of the concerts are repeats, so I’ve had a bit more space to breathe. While waiting, I watched this little one:

I could see the throat working hard, but alas, the singing wasn’t audible to my ear. Perhaps that what Beethoven felt?

On a tatting note, candle cuff version 3 is looking promising. Hopefully, a picture soon.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Magic at a Mission

Last night was another magical experience. The Carmel Mission never disappoints. Even though the organ is in an awkward position as installations go; Even though the benches get hard and uncomfortable if you’re not standing, kneeling, sitting or generally participating; Even though it’s so long and narrow that you feel as though you’re sitting at one end zone and all the action is at the other. It’s just magical. And built by people who probably didn’t know the theory behind the architecture, but knew to copy the masters. The music just envelopes you and you’re "magiced" away.

Last night, I made sure I was in place to listen to the Tower Music. The set was presented by three very talented and accomplished trumpeters. I’d heard the Britten before, and it is still intriguing. He melds three very different fanfares into a sometimes discordant, but always captivating piece. What I really wanted to hear was the 3 Part Invention. Bach Inventions are so intriguing to me. In this arrangement, the trumpets each play a line following the original score. So, one trumpet plays in the treble clef, one in the bass clef, and one jumps around in between. Sound complicated, yes! Those three melodic parts all mesh together to create chords and harmony. Why was I so focused on those few minutes of music?

Because I envision tatting designs of disparate elements all meshing together to create lace.

The music was wonderful. I’m sad to say that I’m not any closer to a design. I will need to hear this again next Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Festivals and such

Festivals are addicting.

You have the opportunity to immerse yourself. When I attend an AGO Convention, it’s often 4-5 concerts on a dozen different instruments in 4 days. Bach Festival is 2 or 3 mini, or full, concerts each day for a couple of weeks. And that doesn’t include the free events! I’ve yet to attend the Jazz Festival here. Maybe because my instrument doesn’t often end up outside, I’m not drawn to outdoor music. Music outside is fun, just not what I think of first. And then there’s the daily life that has to be fit between all those concerts.

On a tatting note….. I have two more ideas for candle cuffs. I’m hoping to try one out today…. Between hearing another concert or two.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Candle cuff

Recently, a good friend asked me to make her more of these:

 I wasn’t happy with the pattern the first time around, nor the second, and felt the third try was better, but still not right. Since she found a wonderful new candelabrum, I happily revisited the pattern. I still don’t like it.

 The Twirls is fun to work with. I’m not sure I really like the heathery effect for this pattern, but they don’t look half bad on my patina candlesticks.

The main issue I have is how the dangly chains twist. Some may like the effect, but I think it looks sloppy. I decided I needed to come up with a new pattern for her new candelabrum!

I have a few ideas. I’ll try out one this afternoon as I listen in on the Masterclass. If you see me tatting there, interrupt me (but not the singer or coach) to say hi. And if you take a swing through the Gallery, buy a ticket and stuff the box for Sonata!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

It’s Bach Festival time!

That means a lot of events for me to attend. Open Rehearsals are fun. The musicianship really impresses each time. And the music is explained by very knowledgeable people. And of course the concerts!

Last night was a wonderful experience at St. Dunstan’s. The organ didn’t disappoint. The trumpet was fabulous. The audience was attentive, appreciative, and very impressed. I can’t wait to hear what comments are shared. I still can’t get over Viole Celeste in Bruhns! As I was listening the word magical came to mind. That reminded me of the magic square pattern I discovered the other day. Thank you Muskaan for helping us all see the world in a better way! Which got me thinking…… It Could Work!

Tonight is the Art Raffle Reception. It will be fun to see how the other artists react to the pieces. There are some creative, inspired art on those walls. Even a bit of humor! I hope to refine some ideas later this week.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Ready to go.

It took me a few days longer. That’s because I got “guilted.” 

I know the difference between talent and success is hard work. Legacy is built not of thought, but of lasting results. Ideas remain just ideas until there is communication and documentation. It’s details! It’s stuff! It’s al’ dat mind-numbing, boring, tedious minutia! So, I’ve been spending time tending to the Administrative side of my creative endeavors. I have to say that it’s been worth the energy. I slept better last night knowing I will have a clearer path today through the many, many distractions I collect for myself. Still have quite a number of loops to close, but just like a ring that refuses to snug up, settings things aside to rest has made it easier; just like a passage your fingers refuse to execute, playing something else has made the mistake show itself. Better late than never here!!!

I can’t resist showing you detail of the big project for the Fair:

It’s lookin’ real nice!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Frame it!

Remember this bead?
 I happily began tatting the final version of the necklace, when it happened. I just didn’t like the way it was coming together. The perfectionist in me just wasn’t satisfied!

It was spinning in the ring as I tatted back up to the top. I could just see the lace getting snagged as the necklace was handled. I could just see the necklace looking shabby if the bead spun in the ring as it was worn. I could just see I didn’t like it!

So, thank you to the many, many tatters who encouraged me, challenged me, and supported me. I decided what the bead needed was a framework. Thank you, Diane Cademartori, for inspiring me with your Ice Drops. I don’t consider myself a true designer. I just try to improvise standing on the shoulders of other wonderful tatters.

Here’s what I came up with:

framed from front
framed from back

I hope to carve out time the rest of the week to finish.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Bach Festival Art turned in

I turned in my tatted piece for the Festival Art Auction yesterday. The volunteers are always so positive about my efforts. I know it would be much easier to display only one type of medium. I know that “art” means paintings to most people. But, I have something to say.

Anyway, the consensus is that my piece will intrigue people, provide something new to look at, and perhaps entice people to buy a raffle ticket. The opening is July 10, 2018 in the Gallery at the Sunset Center. If you’d like an invitation, please contact someone….including me. Although I think most of my invitations are spoken for.

Pictures of the piece after the opening! And come buy a ticket to support the efforts to bring more music to more people and teach more kids!

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Filigree bead

Look what I found in our local store.

 I’m so used to being disappointed with what I can buy locally; I seldom browse in our local craft store. But, I needed something to go with something I already had to make something. So, I hopped in the car (Not my typical mode of transportation lately with so much within walking distance.), promised myself a reward if I looked thoroughly (the pastry was yummy!), and braved the aisles. It came with a half dozen or so on a string, so I promptly played with some thread and beads to see what I liked.

I like it. More to come…..

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Card weaving band in candlewicking thread.

This is what I’ve produced using the tablets:

It’s just a simple band; nothing fancy. I used Candlewicking thread I’ve had for ages. The colors just looked nice and I was able to follow the warping directions easily.

Now to find a use for the sturdy strap.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018


I’ve been doing some interesting reading lately. Remember my idea to take the analysis of a composition and express it in thread? Well, I knew I wasn’t the first to come up with that idea. Particularly among those who weave. Seems there is quite a draw for the idea. Several publications have produced material about the idea. So, I’ve been reading and thinking. The good news is that I have a better grasp of music and design than I thought I did. The bad news is there are still not enough hours in the day to explore the ideas, work as an organist, and oh yeah, keep up the house and garden. Sigh.

Perhaps I'll have some pictures after the weekend.

Thursday, June 7, 2018

And another mistake

Well, I didn’t have enough thread. I used the shortcoming in my shuttle winding to demonstrate how I add in thread. There are quite a few ways, but I like to use a weaver’s knot at the base of a ring or chain and hide ends in the elements on either side. That leaves an extra bump and sometimes the stitches are a smidge fatter over the ends, but then I have less chance of the knot fiasco on round 2. My preference. Again, no pictures until after the Auction closes.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Back to Sonata

The final piece is coming along. I can’t say well.....just coming along. I find working in black size 80 thread is tough. The best part: it doesn’t show dirt and dust. Size 80. It's just tough for me to work with. I didn’t get a knot firmly tied in round 2 of the edging. That resulted in a chain coming loose. I think I have that corrected with some Fray-Check. Not my preference, but I’m running out of time! I realized while out on a walk Saturday that I did not correctly load the beads for round 4. Black thread is tough. One bead in each repeat (of the size 15 beads on the size 80 thread) should be a bead join, not a bead picot. Nothin’ for it but to take all those itty-bitty beads off and rethread them. Sigh! I think I’m ready to finish round 3 now. I hope I have enough thread on the shuttle…..

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

visit to a cactus garden

I have not picked up the shuttles in the past few days. I’ve been enjoying a wonderful Holiday Weekend. Memorial Day was always about Family as I grew up. My Mother was born at the end of May, so we always celebrated her birthday at the family gathering. We paused to remember those who served and did not come home, those who served and came home much changed, and those who were currently serving. Of the 6 people in my family who have served, I have had the opportunity to say Thank You to them in person. I know that is rare. 

This year, I enjoyed a wonderful visit to the NavalPostgraduate School. We were stationed there many, many years ago. It was the first time I had been back since orders took us to Georgia. Normally, there’s no reason for me to visit, but they were celebrating Memorial Day with a concert. The music was quite nice and walking around the old Hotel Del Monte grounds was fun. We spent some time in the Cactus Garden looking at how their plants are doing. It gave us some ideas for our own garden.

I can’t say the visit inspired me to work on new designs. But, that’s probably good considering how many I have in the works right now! Better get to work!!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Frilly Cross

I completed the Frill! Whew!!!!

Celtic Cross 2009 Ruth Perry
 and Charming Frills by Usha

I think my execution is not as neat as it could be. I still am fiddling with the steps. The last row was easier, but didn’t execute as well as I would like. I’ll be tatting the pattern again.

The cross will also go in my frequent patterns to use pile. I liked the simplicity of the chains. I used celtic shuttles, but didn’t really need to. The project reminded me why I dislike using flat shuttles. Even for weaving on a small loom. I’m a boat kinda gal. The next cross will probably have gobs more picots. Not very true to Celtic design traditions, but I know I will like it and it will wow some folks!

Thank you Ruth and Usha for wonderful patterns to tat.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Discoveries continue

The garden is still surprising us. Another volunteer foxglove:

Since these plants bloom on the second year of growth, and we’ve been caring for the garden 3 years, I think I can say that (given the drought) we’ve discovered all that’s growing in our yard. I think….. Incidentally, that’s a jade plant in the background. They have taken over parts of the yard. That’s a good thing in my mind.

I’ve also discovered my new favorite tassel for bookmarks: Usha’s Charming Frills pattern. 

I struggled with the LJ +(CWJ) combination. I still haven’t mastered it. I think I’ll need to tat this several times before I say I have the pattern down (aw shucks!) I got this far last night with the help of a couple of strong lamps. I kinda like the finish of this row, but I will be adding the final row today.

First though, I'll be test tatting her pattern at the bottom as requested. hmmmmm I'm thinking white with a bit of purple like the foxglove. To the thread stash!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2018


Yesterday I had several significant successes. 

3 years ago we started on the adventure of a Historic Home. We’ve done a bit of work. The punch list is still very, very long. 

One item on that list is lighting in the studio. The space is unusual: 
   The room is not square, but more trapezoidal; 
   there’s columns marking out a rectangle that isn’t brick but concrete; 
   the ceiling has recessed areas with skylights; and the walls are thick plaster with 3 outlets. 

Every so often I take a stab at visiting a store or shopping or browsing magazines. Nothing has come to me for good ideas. I’m not a natural decorator. I do “clutter and whatever happens.” Finally, yesterday I had some clarity. I now have some words to describe what I would like to see and so can shop more wisely. 

Now to get the electrician…..

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Here’s what I can share of pictures:


The ideas are taking shape, but nothing I can post here. So, enjoy what Mother Nature has been sharing.

The ones with the white background are the flax plants that are….blooming?! I have never liked these plants. They're poky and it’s hard to keep the weeds at bay around them. 

I can’t wait to see what things look like as the buds mature.

I hope to have something to share for all the ideas I've had. Just need to get on top of the house duties!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

card or tablet weaving progress

I have an idea….

Combine a tablet woven band and tatting to make a bookmark:

Here’s what I have so far. I’m using wooden toothpicks as picot gauges. They’re a bit rough, but the thread is thick and sturdy and it’s just a proof of concept trial. I’m definitely interested……

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Invitation to an organ concert

Nothing new to show. I did start the next round of the Sonata piece. Since it’s dark thread, I only work on it when it’s sunny so the room is bright. The pattern is simple enough I could do it watching tv, but that room never gets sun, so tatting in dark thread is an exercise in braille. Not good!

I’ll have more time after tomorrow. If you’re in Salinas tomorrow around Noon, drop by St. Paul on Pajaro. I’ll be playing for about 45 minutes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

experiments successful

Pictures of the garden haven’t been easy to catch. The weather has been blustery, dry, and cloudy. The area doesn’t look much different than it did here, so I won’t post until it does look different. That’s positive, really, as my track record with plants is not as good as with tatting or organ. I should stick to what I do best.

Adding a lot of beads to the Dazzling Debut design has been successful. I can’t share pictures here until after the whole project is finished and delivered. Sorry. Take the word of the other tatters that see them: Wow! Nice! They add to the design. I knew Marilee’s design would be a great foundation for this experiment. I have the book on my wish list. I don’t think the friend I borrowed it from to tat this pattern will let it go. I do hope Spring comes soon for Marilee soon. I really like her new colorway also. Check it out:

I don’t typically work in dark thread. And I like the beads to show up in contrast to the thread. But this pattern isn’t typical. The musical piece is a warm, gentle work. I like the way the beads and thread are gentle on the eyes. Now to add the outer edging.
After watering the new plants, blocking the earrings, and practicing for Friday. I’m playing at St. Paul’s again.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

I've been busy....

But nuthin ta show

I completed the second earring. Now to block and mount on wires.

I completed the eighth round of Wiosna 2017 by Renulek. But, it looks kinda funky without the next round. I’ve taken a picture, but it’s not worth sharing.

I’ve chosen which Sonata to use as the basis for the BachFestival piece. Now to decide what to pull out of the music and how to represent it all.

And I’ve set up another round of gardening. Hopefully, the work we’re doing now will cut down the tedious nature of gardening in the future. Pictures after the weekend. We have some more of the pretty Kalanchoe to plant. 

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Successful workshop. I learned so much!

And the ideas I have hatched! It’ll take awhile to get something finished enough to show here. And there’s the current projects on the shuttles: Bach Festival Art Raffle piece; the study of curled rings; and the pieces I’m thinking of entering in the County Fair.

Two thoughts about Tablet weaving:

Tradition has shaped the pieces we weave. The thread needs to be tightly spun, so there is more processing before weaving than for a shawl from handspun. Contrast is encouraged in the patterns so there are lots of vibrant colors. The equipment needed is fairly simple with just cards and two points needed for attaching…think backstrap or simple frame.

The weaving goes fast:

Tablet weaving can produce shoe laces or harness pieces. Hat bands can be personalized. The bands are narrower, but good and thick. There was even a wonderful dog collar sample at the workshop!

Where I may venture:

Bookmarks with tatted edging. Accessories for hikers and outdoor activities. Remember the workshop I went to last summer? Neutrals……with pops of color added.

Time to get busy!!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Tablet weaving

Well, the weather has been nicer. The seal pups are growing. The garden is growing. The tatting is growing. 
I’m also preparing for another workshop. This one I’m learning more about card weaving. Here’s a good link:

and some great examples:


Incidentally, scholars “argued spiritedly” about how an ancient Egyptian linen belt was woven. That’s what pricked my interest years ago. No, not the argument. Geesh. The use of linen in an example that has survived so many years. Linen as a fiber intrigues me. I tat mostly with cotton as that’s what is readily available. I do plan to explore tatting with linen.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

of hail and rainbows

Well, the weather is being very fickle! It hailed yesterday. So, all those succulents we planted? They’re shivering!!! Then the sun poked through just at sunset creating a double rainbow.

I found more Connectors, so the stars will go on the flag soon. And….

Another successful organ concert was enjoyed yesterday.
Life is good….

I have several huge projects on the shuttles. This means there’s not much to share here. I am taking time to visit and comment. Although I fear what I have to say really isn’t earth-shattering. If you like, let me know what you think I should comment on. Hint, Hint….

Now, to see what needs to be cleaned up from Mother Nature……

Thursday, April 12, 2018

More ideas than time....especially when the weather is nice!

Still playing with beads and curled rings. Several ideas worked. Two did not. So, forward progress overall. Keeping on task will be difficult. The weather is drop dead gorgeous, I was gifted a bag full of Workbasket magazines, and I have several more ideas to try out for Bach Festival and the earring design I’m working on.  It rained last night so the newly planted plants are happy. I’ve got more ideas than time, I’m happy!
Happy Tatting AND music making!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018


Still struggling with adding beads to designs with curled rings. I found some small crystal type beads yesterday. I’ll be trying those today. Hopefully pictures will soon follow.

A distraction lately has been relandscaping a strip in the garden. It was past time to redo. We decided on succulents. 50 feet can host a LOT of plants!!

In the meantime, I found some star-shaped “connectors” to use on the flag. Unfortunately, just one package. So, unless I find more, there will only be 20 states represented. Not.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Another stroll in the 'hood....

This time, I spotted this crab in the Bay:

The next day, we hiked Huckleberry Hill. I did not get any pictures, but take it from the entire hiking party. The poison oak is a bumper crop this year! Just a picture of a wildflower locals call Miner's Lettuce. I've seen it before.

I narrowly averted disaster when saw a hummingbird on the path. That was before I stepped on it. And the next in line didn’t bump into me. Whew! I couldn’t decide if it was a fledgling or a female, but it didn’t fly well and looked so scared. There was nothing for but stepping very slowly over and continuing down the path. I heard at least one hummer in the tree chattering away, so hopefully all will be well. It’s hard, very hard, but I try to let nature take its course.