Saturday, December 22, 2007

PTG Tat Days 2008 - Tatting is in My Heart

The Palmetto Tatters Guild have announced time and place for their 2008 event. We are really excited as this will be our sixth annual event. There is a lot of information already posted on the website: http://www.palmettotatters.org/There are already important items posted with specific deadlines:

The Guild has decided NOT to have a juried competition this year but will have a lace display, so be sure to bring your items to share. Plans do include several prizes, based on popular vote, for displayed items so be sure to watch the website for official communication.

Hope to see you in Winnsboro, SC in September 2008.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Our newest fuzzy kid


Meet our new puppy ... Ronnie (DH) and Chris (DS#2) go to meet the breeder in the Biloxi, MS area tomorrow to pick him up.


We had a choice of two little males (their sister had already been spoken for). The larger one the breeder's grandchildren had named "Bear" as he was the biggest of the litter and a bit on the 'pudgey' side. He is also carrying the long-haired trait. So we decided on the other one since he's a short-hair. We sometimes get AWFUL infestions of ticks and they are easier to spot on a short-haired animal.


For now we are calling him "BJ" calling up memories of the old TV series "BJ & the Bear." Information from the breeder in Louisiana says "Now, Bear's brother (we have not named him) ... he is also very playful he likes to give lots of kisses and loves to be held if it was left to him he would glue himself to you. He also has a great personally. He nor Bear is shy."


I'm so grateful to Cheryl for letting me blubber over the phone. She has some really cute doxie pups and seems such a sweet lady.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Sad Day

All I've done today, it seems, is blubber. Our 12 YO daschund, Bouncin' Brownie, succumbed to congestive heart failure. I had dropped him by the vet's office this morning because his breathing was so labored.

Unfortunately, he was so weakened that he didn't respond well to treatment. At least he wasn't alone ... and the family was spared from coming in from working and finding Brownie.

I know he's not hurting anymore ... no arthritis, no tummy problems; he has joined our other pets other the Rainbow Bridge and awaits us when the good Lord decides to call us home too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time gets away!!

I can't believe how long it's been since I signed in and wrote. Once we got home from Montana in early July, it's as though the time decided to move to the end of September in the blink of an eye!

I finally finished all the tatting from my TAT Master's phase. Just need to block the pineapple piece and everything will be ready to send off.

Had a good but tiring time at Palmetto's 5th Annual Tat Days ... even took a class this year from Iris Niebach. She is such a lovely lady, patient with her students. Not only is her own tatting beautiful but her designs, while appearing very intricate, are simple enough when broken down to the elements.

I've picked up some knitting and been working on the Mystery Stole 3 Knit-along. This is a simply fantastic, asymmetrical stole that simply takes your breath away. Not only was this my first KAL, but the first time I've ever knitted with lace-weight and to top it off, added beads!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Montana Vacation

DH and I are vacationing again in Montana but took some time to explore around Yellowstone National Park. I was there last in 1968 with my parents and siblings.

We are now in Thompson Falls (southwestern Montana) about halfway between Missoula, MT and Coer d' Alaine, ID. Had a wonderful weekend with Bobbie Demmer with lessons from Gary and Randy Houtz (aka The Shuttle Brothers) of Colorado and Irene Morgan of Oklahoma. Great to see Heidi and Katrina from California again as well as Gwen, Patty, Diane, Donna and Tess. Planning to spend more time in the area until we fly home on the 3rd of July. DH is having a super time playing with all the big trout in the Thompson Falls river.

Doing quite a bit of tatting buy don't have any scans yet to add to my blog. Will try to get some digital pix soon.

Preparation well under way for Palmetto Tatters 2007 Tat Days, theme Flower Garden in September (see http://www.palmettotatters.org) and knowing Donna and Jeff, registration will be up and ready before DH and I get home!

Happy Tatting !! more later ...

Thursday, May 17, 2007

May 2007 Challenge - Daisy Mat


Wow, has it been nearly a whole month since I posted? I've been working on several things ... including a couple more of the tatted pieces for the TAT Master's program. I'll post pictures after everything is done and has been evaluated --just hope I won't have to re-tat much. I've finally gotten a 3D bee that looks presentable but I've got a half dozen (in various stages) that didn't suit what I wanted to accomplish.
I decided for a bit of a change to work on the May Challenge from eTatters (soon to be eCraftWorld) at http://www.etatters.com/showthread.php?t=3541.
I decided to call this a Daisy mat for want of a better name. All the daisy flowers consist of 8 rings (both true rings and split rings) and the buds are all split rings. The far left of the picture is part of my progress (instructions later!). This is worked frontside/backside with all split rings on the front side and split ring joins accomplished using the technique on the right side of the picture. All "normal" joins were treated as the first half of the next stitch with normal rings worked using Shuttle 2 as RODS. Since I'm still working on the piece, it hasn't yet been blocked.
The daisy flower rings are variations of 2 - 5 - 5 - 2 with the split rings being either 2 - 5 / 2 - 5 or 5 - 2 / 5 - 2 (written in working order). All the picots on the daisy flowers should appear as small or construction picots. The buds are all split rings with those in the "line of progression" being 2 -- 2 -- 2 -- 2 / 2 -- 2 -- 2 -- 2 (where -- is a longer picot). Buds at the ends of the rows are asymmetrical ... more complete instructions later.
The technique for split ring joins is one I came across in some of my stuff from Bobbie Demmer, courtesy of RoseMarie Peel of the United Kingdom ... aren't her diagrams WONDERFUL! This technique goes 'hand-in-glove' with the lesson taught at Palmetto Tatters at our April meeting.

Friday, April 20, 2007

One more - a Baker's Dozen

I was surfing earlier today and found instructions on Jane Eborall's pattern/technique website for a variation of block tatting. I had this cross nearly completely and decided to try Jane's method for the tassel. The method is really easy to do ... I just had to determine a method of tapering. See Jane's instructions at http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~nickeb/braid.htm. This cross-shaped bookmark will be turned in tomorrow at our Guild meeting (making 13 for me for this month) for the DOTN Purple & White project.

Using the technique, I used five stitches instead of 3 for twelve rows, then decreased the number by one stitch every twelve rows. I did use two stitches on the rows where I was decreasing before doing the very small picot. The final portion of the braid is actually a josephine chain (using the second half) and I added the thread tassel.

The cross pattern is one of my favorites (from either a Workbasket from the fifties or a McCall's craft magazine from the mid 70's). With the exception of the inner rings and chains on the inner corners, all rings are 3 ds (picot, 3ds)x5 and all chains are 3 ds, picot, 3 ds. The rings are joined at two picots.

To turn the corner, chain 3 ds, picot, 4 ds. Rings of 2 ds, join, 1 ds, join, 1 ds, picot, 1 ds, picot, 2 ds. Then chain 4 ds, picot, 3 ds. The chains at the ends of the cross arms consist of 5 ds. Modern day notation, starting at the top:
  • R: 3 (- 3)x3
  • *Ch: 3 - 3
  • R: 3 (+ 3)x2, 3 (-3)x3*

Repeat between asterisks for the desiered number of rings, continue to corner by

  • Ch: 3 - 4
  • R: 2 + 1 + 1 - 1 - 2
  • Ch: 4 - 3
  • R: 3 + 3 + 3 +(free ring of the previous large ring) 3 - 3 - 3
  • **Ch: 3 - 3
  • R: 3 (+3)x2, 3 (- 3)x3**

Repeat between double asterisks for the same number of rings as the top portion. Ch 5, then start back along the arm by:

  • R: 3 (- 3)x5
  • ***Ch: 3 + 3
  • R: 3 (+ 3)x2, 3 (- 3)x3***

Continue between triple asterisks to where the last chain begins, repeat the inner corner turn and continue down the base for the desired number of large rings as indicated in the instructions for the top. Then continue with the same ring and chain combination as before. All chains with join the the adjacent chain in the previous arm/base line with the exception of the arm/base ends which are Ch 5.

Several finishing techniques can be used. The original pattern used large picots on the chains that would accommodate the lacing of a 1/4" ribbon between the arms, with the ribbon on the top/base extending beyond the tatting to form a "tail."

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Strawberry Fields - Revisited



Here is a much clearer picture of the completed piece from the PTG March lesson by Mary Donohue. My older son took this one with his digital camera. As you can tell, he has a much better camera than mine. The sheen of the perle cotton in the pistils really shows itself in this picture.

Tatting Thoughts

I've been tatting for a long time and like anything requiring a skill, my work improves with every stitch I do or every project I accomplish. There are two specific things that have really helped me to improve my work and to be really, really embarrassed by some of my first efforts.

The first item was being drafted, at the last minute to train as an apprentice judge during the 2003 PTG Tat Day. This was the Guild's first event and one of the highlights was the Juried Competition. We had established a number of entry classes and Dianna Stephens from Washington came to the event as our Head Judge and one of our Premier instructors. The Juried competition was a means to evaluate each entry against criteria but was not judged against other entries in the class or competition. Dianna's clear and concise explanations have done far more to improve my own work than she could image. Her presentation is available online at http://www.domesticarts.com/Judging/judginglecture.htm.

The other event is actually a program I am still trying to complete. This is the Tat Across Time, Inc. Tatting Proficiency program (Additional details available at http://www.tattersacrosstime.org/. This is designed as a correspondence course consisting of three stages: Apprentice, Artisan and Master. Each phase has its own book of patterns and glossary of terms. I've completed both the Appretice and Artisan phases successfully and have completed about half of the projects in the Master's phase. Not only are the patterns, diagrams and techniques well done but once the evaluations are completed and returned, along with the evaluators' comments, my own work has really improved. I pay more attention to the small details like using picot gauges and tatting frontside/backside. My work, at least to my own eye, has become more attractive.

Most of the items I tat have been done as gifts or remembrances for friends, co-workers and family although I've started to keep more items for DH and me. I do know that my youngest sister has yet to give her step-daughters the snowflakes I tatted for them all several Christmas' back. She says, "I won't give the tatting to them until they can appreciate all the time and love that their Aunt Teresa puts into each one." ... My personal opinion, she wants to keep them for her own tree because she's afraid I won't do anymore.

Tatting is a good way for me to de-stress and has become more important in that function as I go a bit older. Tatting is very portable and the very rote of a single knot over and over is like a mantra of my hands.

Strawberry Fields



Mary Donohue gave the lesson for Palmetto Tatters' March meeting. Consisting of mignonette-tatted beaded strawberries, flowers and a small collection of leaves with the steams encapsulated from the threads of each element. This one is really a hodge-podge of threads. The strawberries of Altin Basik with Mill Hill seed beads in a pearlescent pale yellow.

The pistils are made with size 12 perle cotton in old gold and pale yellow. The flower petals are size 30 white Cebelia. The leaves and stemwork are done with Olympus 40.

Photographing this was a bit of a challenge. The red strawberries don't show well on my black display board. I placed the piece onto a manilla background but the flowers got lost. Finally, I used a CD case that is a gold color. This is the picture here and gives decent contrast.

Mom's Birthday Card




This is my first attempt at a hand-crafted card of any kind. Good thing my mom DOES NOT do the Internet. It goes in the mail to her Monday (needed to let the Glitter Glue dry). I chose a white linen card and used pastels to create the subtle shadings for the sky and grass.
A friend loaned me a stamp for the basket and the grass, leaves and stems are free-handed as is the lettering on the face of the card. The flowers are tat-bits from the DOTN Purple & White bookmark project, as is the butterfly and there is a dark purple snail making his way from the basket edge to a flowering plant.
Because my calligraphy skills are very rusty, I chose to print the inside greeting on lilac-colored paper stock. The corners have been cut out and embossed ... I then used a water color pen to actuate the embossing. I don't think its too bad for a first-ever effort.

Friday, April 13, 2007

April DOTN Purple & White - Part 2

  1. Tatted with Olympus 40, Color No. 67, this is pattern 31 (graph on page 72) of one of my Japanese books, Pretty Tatting Lace Articles. Unfortunately, I can't read the name of the lovely lady who put this book together but the photographs (page 16) along with the graphs make it simple to tat any one of the lovely pieces shown in the book.
  2. Pattern sourced from another Japanese book, Tatting by Yusai Shokoin ... photo on page 22, graph on page 73. This book has a little bit more English but any pattern is doable from the beautiful, clear photography and the graphs.
  3. A variation of one of Ms. Beeton's classic patterns and another example of two small threads wound together to create accents by heathering the colors. Solid color is a medium value lavendar would together with a white to deep purple ombre ... size 80 DMC.
  4. Tatted with Olympus 40, Color 67, this is a shortened version of the Midnight bookmark shown on page 22 of Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns.
  5. A pattern I found on the Internet (will have to look up the person later ... long story about a blind dacshund and Japanese shrimp sauce). It's a lovely pattern; two threads wound together (Vintage Star deep purple and white) and worked as a single thread. The designer is Nancy Price and was one of her first attempts at desigined (1997!). I think she did a great job.
  6. Another bookmark I found on the Internet ... more long story but another ribbon winner. Thread is Color 67 Olympus 40.

Haven't decided whether I'll do more bookmarks for the last opportunity, i.e. due date, at our May meeting. Will make that determination when a count is given next week at the Guild's April meeting.

April DOTN Purple & White - Part 1



As I'm always seemingly a day late and a dollar short, I finally scanned the bookmarks for our Guild's project for the Daughters of the Nile. I thought I'd share a bit more detail since each of this month's bookmarks are different patterns and even different threads.

Top to bottom:
  • An adaptation from Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns. The bookmark is based on the Small Cross on pages 88-89 with a cloverleaf at one end. The thread is Opera 50, Color # 67.
  • The second is an adaptation from Betsy Evan's "Rainbow Heart Bookmark" first published to the web in 2001. The colors are vintage Star threads in cream, lavendar and a very, very royal purple (It's a shame that it's so difficult to find truly deep colors like this today). There are all size 70.
  • The third is another pattern from Tatting with Visual Patterns; one of my very favorite patterns, Curds and Whey, featured on page 12. The tatting is two, size 80 threads wound together and worked as a single thread. The colors are a medium value lavendar wound with an ombre from white to deep lavendar. Usually I will weave a 1/4" ribbon through the large rings in the pattern but decided to create a braid ... I know I need to fix the BUKs at the ends. The braid was created using four threads and a lock-stitch chain. Three threads as the wrapping thread and a single thread as the core. I made three lengths and then simply braided them together and wove them through the large rings of the tatted piece.
  • The fourth is a pattern that I had printed from Kersti's website a number of years ago. I love how this one works up and will need to look up the actual pattern name. Threads are a solid white wound together with a white to deep purple ombre.
  • The fifth bookmark is yet another adaptation from Tatting with Visual Patterns. This time I used the first row of the Bridesmaids edging shown on page 34. I used two different Olympus 40 threads. The ombre used for the rings is #62 while the chains are a very light lilac. It was another one of those times when turning the corner 180 degrees was not planned but I just let the shuttle and thread tell me how ... not too bad, but this area would have looked better had I used variations of the larger rings with picots and not the smaller ones with only construction picots.
  • The last bookmark is another from Mary Konior's book (can you tell I LOVE this book!!??!!). This is the Anniversary edging shown on page 8 using Olympus 40, Color No. 67 ... did you notice I scanned this one upside down? That's what I get for being in a hurry!

I'll be posting up the other six bookmarks either later tonight or tomorrow. I have to get a card made for my Mother's birthday ... she'll be 78 on the 21st. She really has a cool birthdate; she shares the day with Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom -- pretty good company. Also, when she was growing up, the banks and state/local government offices were closed in recognition of San Jacinto Day to celebrate the independence of Texas by the defeat of General Santa Ana of Mexico in 1836. It was really neat for my Mom to tell my Dad's folks (after they were married) that her birthday was recognized by the State of Texas.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Bookmarks Sold!



I received an e-mail from one of my co-workers last week. She and I, along with ~30 other fellow employees, had worked together on our company's Arts & Science Council fundraising project. She had purchased one of the bookmarks I had tatted and presented it to her mother. Her mother wanted three more booksmarks to give to her sisters.

Over the long weekend, I was playing with some of my vintage threads and come up with the three bookmarks here. They were made by winding two different threads onto a shuttle and treating them as a single thread. All three bookmarks have a solid pink and a variegated (colorway) thread with green, pink and white. The variations in hue for the bookmarks overall is from the solid colored pink thread. The lightest shade is shown on the left (DMC) with mid-range in the center (Coats&Clark from Jodi) and the darkest pink on the right (Star from my stash). Each of the solid colors matches one of the pink hues in the colorway thread.

The color numbers are:
  • Colorway of Green and Pink - Coats & Clark #159 (Size 70)
  • Light value Pink - DMC Special Dentelles #776 (Size 80)
  • Medium value Pink - Coats & Clark #65 (Size 70)
  • Dark value Pink - Star Tatting Cotton # 108 (Size ~80)

These colors just looked like Spring flowers and I was really wanting some spring weather. It definitely wasn't spring temperatures with our highs Easter Sunday ~52F.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

More of the Purple/White bookmark notes

I'll have to get pictures tonight or tomorrow. I'm planning to turn in an additional dozen bookmarks at the next Guild meeting on the 21st. I decided that repetition was not going to be the theme for this month's task. Each of the bookmarks will be a different pattern and even perhaps different threads. So far, I have 10 ten and have used patterns I found on the Internet and used Mary Konior's Tatting with Visual Patterns as the inspiration for several others.

Some of the bookmarks are two small-sized threads wound together to create a marled or heathered appearance (new vocab words added after a search on Wikipedia for "variegated"). Several of the others are ombre in Olympus 40 ... gosh, that is a nice thread!! Pictures later.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Bouquets of Bookmarks


Here is a picture of the 18 Purple & White bookmarks I'll be turning in at our Guild meeting 17-Mar. These are in addition to the dozen I turned in last month. Our Guild is working on a project to complete 175 bookmarks by our May meeting. The results of our efforts are on behalf of the Daughters of the Nile. We've had such excellent response from our local members that I'm sure we'll be able to meet our goal.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

One of these days (Part Deux)

Well, that didn't work out very well so it's back to the drawing board. One of these days, I'll try to get the URL loaded into my profile but for now ... the photo in the previous post was one taken about 9 years ago. Hair is a little shorter (at the present time) and definitely thinner on top. Glasses are updated too. Maybe I should get someone to take a newer picture, huh?

One of these days ...


I might learn how to do some of this. Since I'm not sure yet about posting a picture that has to be hosted, I am trying to follow the instructions in the "help" section of blogspot. Now, as they say, the proof's in the pudding and we'll see if I've been successful.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

ASC Fund Raising


Every year, the company where I work conducts an annual fund raising campaign for the Arts & Sciences Council. This year I was asked to help conduct a silent auction. We had lots of stuff in the auction from a fox-trimmed leather coat to a gourmet, home-cooked French meal. A number of crafty things were entered and raised just over $1,300.00US. These two tri-color bookmarks (shown on the left) represent 2 of the 4 similar ones that I donated. I also donated 4 single-color bookmarks based on one of Mary Konior's crosses in her Tatting with Visual Patterns book.

Purple & White Bookmarks

Our guild is currently working on a project that will create 175 purple and white booksmarks for the Daughters of the Nile. We've had excellent response and I've even contributed some. These are the ones I turned in at our February meeting. These were done by winding 2 size 80 threads onto a shuttle and then working as a single thread. One of the threads is a solid color, i.e., white, lavendar, purple and the other is a variegated using the same color scheme ... white to a purple.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Variation from Sadie's book


Here is a much clearer picture of the variation from Sadie's book. Not sure what the little "speckled" line through the picture is but I'm sure learning as I go. This was a fun piece to make up. Sadie's book is a lot of fun to go through and inspires lots of things.
Sadie was actually inspired by a session of tatting with Rose Mary Peel of the UK; Rose Mary certainly does inspire lots along with Mary Konior. I have several of Rose Mary's Lacet Publications as well as a number of the patterns she's published on the Internet. Mary's books are excellent too; in fact, Tatting with Visual Patterns is one of my favorite books and stays in my travel stuff, along with Jan Stawasz's book. Someday ... too many patterns/thread SIGH too little time.

Instructions for inspired cabone-ring ornament


The picture on the left (of the first post) actually goes with the second paragraph. JaneE is wanting the pattern but it's really a no-brainer ... cause sometimes I have no brain! I'm going to have to have my digital camera fixed or (get a new one) as the pictures are TERRIBLE. Here is a scanned picture ... much clearer and the color is actually the thread color not the orange that my camera indicated.

I did 5 SCh stitches onto the ring, then used my shuttle to make a
R 5 - 5 - 2 -- 2 - 5 - 5
*SCh 5 (onto ring)
R 5 + (previous ring) 5 - 2 -- 2 - 5 - 5*
repeating between the asterisks around the ring to the last ring.
SR 5 + (previous ring) 5 - 2 / 5 + (first picot on first ring) 5 - 2.
The chain is a josephine chain using the "over" stitch of a double stitch. The length is just over the height of the ornament piece, then I just covered another, smaller ring, tied the thread ends and hid them.


Of course, instead of picots, beads could always be introduced. I think the easiest way would be to have the beads on a ball shuttle and use a false ring or self-closing mock ring (ala Shuttle Brothers) to move the beads into position.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cabone ornaments



Here are a couple of cabone ring ornaments I finished just last night. Done in Olympus 50 thread ... gosh, but that's a nice thread (just wish the balls were larger). One is taken from Sadie Allison's Tatting Over a Cabone Ring: A Different Look for an Old Art. Because Olympus is a smaller thread that the Manuela Sadie used in her samples, there are seven groups of long picot joined rings as opposed to six in Sadie's book. The picture isn't very clear so I'll try to get a better picture through scanning the piece.



The other ornament was inspired by a lesson we had at Palmetto Tatter's Guild a couple of weeks ago. Marie S. shared her method of doing split chains (over a cabone ring for practice) and Theresa O. asked about thrown-off rings. So Theresa and I sat there after Marie had demonstrated and just talked and this ornament is the result.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Decided to finally start my own blog. Will add files, photos etc. as I get 'round tuit. I seem to have files, thoughts and ideas spread around on 4 or 5 hard drives. Hope you enjoy and I appreciate comments and thoughts.