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.