Monday, April 30, 2012

back to the drawing board

I’m back to a regular routine. The weather was so wonderful this past weekend, and since sunrise is so early now I rarely get to enjoy a cup of coffee as the sun peaks out. Sigh. But, it is nice to wake up to a light room. Makes it easier not to stumble over the kitty. This weekend, I played outside almost all the time.
After a wonderful birthday Saturday, which included a few hours demonstrating tatting and signing up students, I puttered around and generally enjoyed myself. Of course, I did make sure to write down the ideas I have for more patterns. Now I know I will never realize them all, but it is fun to brainstorm! I like those kinds of storms best! I do need to try to tat with paper more though....

Friday, April 27, 2012

of ideas and weather

I went shopping recently and picked up some earrings that look suspiciously like a set of findings I saw at the bead store. Yep, I was correct. So, now I have a large version, a small version and about a half dozen design ideas for a necklace/earring set. So, there may not be that many posts what with the ideas to try out and the wonderful weather this weekend. I tried to scan the metal, but it was too sunny, and my photography skills (or lack thereof) are not up to the task. That will just have to wait until it's all finished.

Oh, and I’m demonstrating again this Saturday; which means I must discipline myself to prep my supplies and samples. I like to set out small motifs in different sizes and colors for people to pick up and handle. They do get soiled and rumpled, so I need to sort through, clean up, re-block, and generally get ready.

Ooooo, just got another idea for the center of………. <grin>

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

progress on block snowflake

I indulged yesterday. I did some fun reading in a novel. I took a good long walk. And I worked on my block snowflake.
snowflake section from 24 Julestjerner i Orkis by Lene Bjorn

Now, this is a pattern that has intrigued me for quite a while.  The book is in Danish. And I don't speak Danish. But, I recently found a decent English version. I picked it up because I love doing Advent calendar things. 24 snowflakes rather than that ants!!
Anyway, I recognize that chains are difficult to keep looking exactly the same, and this pattern will show it! I wanted to use 2 different colors, but light, bright, and even Christmas colors just weren’t grabbing me. I tried it a long time ago with a variegated thread. That didn’t work. Well, it didn’t look interesting. It did help me work on my technique. I decided to try these two colors because my hands just kept picking them up together. Can you tell I try to listen to my inner kid?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

of discipline and dreaming

I’m doing my monthly exercise this week. It involves writing down what I do on a calendar as I go about my day. I find the only way I can keep on task with what is really important is to gather and analyze the data every once in a while. I tend to ignore working towards the bigger goals. I finish the tasks that have to be done each day, then I while away the time doing other things; but not always what I should do. Because I’m responsible for setting up money making opportunities for my business, I have to keep focused on those bigger goals. So, once a month, or so, I keep track of where I spend my time on what. Along with that, I have to make sure I set up a work schedule for myself that includes task lists. Now by nature, I’m not really inclined to keeping statistics. I’d rather just create. By nature, I’m not really inclined to weed out my belongings. I’d rather repurpose something. By nature, I’m not really inclined to finish a project with filing away my notes. I’d rather leave them out to stimulate other ideas. So, this exercise is important. Sigh. Really.

Monday, April 23, 2012

bookmark in progress and Maria's finished

Today is my second session on the squares bookmark.The pattern is now listed on the patterns page (see tab at top of blog).  The name of squares bookmark seems to be sticking with this one. Here's Maria's version of Monica Hahn's Bible Bookmark from Christmas Angels and Other Tatting Patterns and the variation I came up with:
Thank you for sharing with us, Maria!!!!!

And now here's a photo to help illustrated the path I use to work the inside rings with chains:
squares bookmark in progress to illustrate the path
If you're looking at the PDF posted on Georgia's class site: the end of the yellow chain next to the all-blue cloverleaf is the start point (the yellow dot in the diagram on page 1). I have stopped work after completing the first large ring in the 4th square. I'll work several more sides of the square, finish off a square to turn around and then work back up the side to end next to the first cloverleaf (the green dot in the diagram on page 3). Then it'll be time for the edging.

If you have any questions, please email me! Thank you for visiting.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

signed, sealed, and delivered

 It’s off!! I’ve mailed my exchange piece for the InTatters Spring Exchange. I hope she likes it. I had great fun picking out the colors and such; Great fun in coming up with a design to tat; Great fun in packaging it. And the gentlemen at the Post Office had great fun helping me get it off. I’m very fortunate in that there’s a post office about a mile or two from my house. It’s tucked away in a light industrial area and lots of small business people who work out of their home use it. So, there’s usually a friendly atmosphere with chatter going on and people greeting each other. Since the package is going overseas, I took everything there and simply asked, “How should this get to her?” Well, 30 minutes later, the package was on the way, I was out of business cards, and several people are signing up for classes at the store. There was even one gentleman who kept saying I should teach through the Parks and Rec department. When I admitted I hadn’t gotten very far in that inquiry, he called and told his contact there I would be in next week to talk to them. Yikes!

I’m off now to teach at the store. Then I’ll be polishing up my notes for Monday’s class. Then it time for chores. It’s hard not to post pictures of what I mailed, but I would like it to be a surprise.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

in search of.......

I have a small bead/quilt store in my town where I love to browse away the hours. The staff are friendly, knowledgeable, and aren’t afraid to admit they aren’t experts. I’ve taken design doodlings in and spent literally hours setting different combinations of beads/findings/thread colors out in hopes the muse will strike. I’m pleased to say that I’ve had quite a good number of “ah hah’s” happen there. Tuesday afternoon was another wonderful session of creative stimulation. Nothing is finished, but I will say that I have some wonderful bead caps to play with. I can't wait to share. But, kind readers, I'll be sharing with the shop first, then with you!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


The phone rang yesterday. I have two more classes with students scheduled at the Jo-Ann store. Wheeeeeee!!! I am really enjoying teaching at the store. The folks who teach and work there are wonderful people. I have yet to meet someone who has not gotten the flip at least once. I’m looking forward to continuing to expand the number of tatters in the local area.

The class yesterday on the bookmark (see post below) was a success also. I think several people will be splitting ring and chains instead of their hair. I am anxious to start another bookmark using spring colors. The weather has been so nice. My tatting bench in the back yard beckons.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Catching up

I’m a couple of days late with this. Sorry. I’ve had a virus for a few days and have felt like doing……nothing! So, I did……nothing! Those of you that know me well realize that doing nothing is not in my nature. But, all I did was sleep, read, and watch tv. I didn’t tat, didn’t do chores, didn’t keep up with the computer stuff, didn't even sing yesterday. Honest. I’m so far behind…….

1)    Picture of the squares bookmark finished:

Squares bookmark with edge
I need a catchy name for this.

2)    Write out my earring designs. That’s all I can say for now. I’ve promised a pair as a surprise for someone that reads this, so after they receive it, I’ll post a picture and the pattern. (I need a catchy name for this also.)

3)    Find the correct colors for my next project. That will entail a drive to Santa Clara, I think. Aw shucks……

More on all this later.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Duhhm , duhm,,,,,,,,,,,,

Well, I’ve got more music stuck on my brain: The Saint-Saens Symphonie avec orgue. A friend suggested I design something as an interpretation of the music and now it’s stuck in my head. Sigh. Good music to have rolling around your brain though! I see/hear 7 motifs in the music, we’ll see what pops out of the shuttle.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012 what????

I finished writing up a pattern yesterday. I’m not very happy with the diagram. I still feel awkward with the graphics stuff. It never seems to look as neat as other designers and seems to take forever! I’m going to let it sit a day or so to see what else I could do. Maybe I’ll be test tatting or asking for help there. At any rate, on with the list.............

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Well, after a couple of glorious days, it’s grey, damp, cold, and rainy today. Buh!

I’ll be working my way through writing down a pattern variation and hopefully finishing the sample. I’ve also got to get back to 3 other projects. Maybe if I jump back and forth today, I’ll work through them all in no time. Hope, hope!

Monday, April 9, 2012

A New Season

The holiday is over. We start a new Season. This year, the last few days was a three-for-one. Normally, Passover doesn’t impact my personal schedule, but with it occurring on the day it did this year, I found myself paying more attention to the traditions observed. This gave me so much to ponder, I hardly picked up my shuttle all day yesterday. The weather was also lovely. A true Spring day. Of course, I have more design ideas to explore now in my head. Now I just need to find the time to get them out of the grey cells into a form I'll be able to work with and pass on to someone else.So......

On to a busy week. I want to finish work on the squares bookmark pattern, prepare for April classes to teach new patterns and established techniques, write a couple of columns for newsletters explaining my interest in tatting to non-tatters, start the Intatters Spring Exchange project, and start a new pair of earrings for myself. Can’t promise pictures as I would like these earrings to be 3-D and my photography skills are not up to the same par as my music or tatting skills. Perhaps my daughter will help me out…..

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Easter is here!

Even though I’m rushing to get out the door, I wanted to take a moment to post an encouragement for folks to get out and enjoy the outdoors. I spent a wonderful day at the beach yesterday. A peruse through the resell shops didn’t yield any shuttles, but my daughter found a bunch of knitting supplies that included several treasures. The wind picked up in the afternoon, but we were exploring the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The place was crowded. But, there is so much more than fish there. I learned something new every time I turned around. Well, worth supporting their facility.
Off to teach and a demonstration. Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

On your mark, get set, ready??? well.......

I’m slow in getting around to the task list today. A gorgeous sunrise slowed me down. Aw shucks. Sigh. I really like living where I do.

But, today starts a very busy short burst of 4 days of singing, friends, family, teaching, demonstrating, singing, more family and friends, and more singing. I need to set aside the tatting designs and projects and focus on chores and preparations. BTW, I decided to add something around the edge of the squares bookmark. It’s not ready for prime time yet. Maybe next week.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It needs more

I’ve finished the current bookmark. I started this several weeks ago at the beginning of Lent. Now that this part is done, I’m thinking I need to add something around the edge. Since its Holy Week, it needs to be in white. But what??????mmmmmmm
"squares" bookmark

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

in anticipation

It’s fast approaching one of the most intense days in the Choir Loft. The Vigil. Easter is good. Easter is a lot of really big music. Easter is family home and feasts. But, the Vigil… It’s history, it’s ancient, it’s modern, it’s darkness, it’s light, it’s quiet, it’s noise, it’s when the light bulb goes on and you see the “I get it now” looks. There’s a chant we do at St. A’s at the beginning of the service. One of our female clergy who’s pleasant to listen to usually chants it without amplification. Haunting! Musical! Vibrant! Repeated over and over are the words “This is the night….” Every time I think of it, rings and chains dance in my head. Maybe this year they will begin to come together. It’s one of the times that I hear the answer: “This is what I gave you these gifts for! Now do something with them!” Now the ball is in my court. I hope the shuttle hits a home run.

Monday, April 2, 2012


You know how experienced tatters tell you to count the stitches as you go and then recount them before you close the ring? Well, I didn’t recount accurately.
Square bookmark inspired by a Bible Cross Pattern by Monica Hahn
The excuses: I was tired and I haven’t written out the pattern so that I can keep my place with a post-it AND I was watching a good show on TV. It was Great Expectations. You know, the Dicken’s novel they made a crackin’ good movie out of? Yeah, that one. I know, I know, the book is better. But the movie is a good introduction to the story line. And the sets…..well…… Catch it when you can and do read the book.