Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday's Mail Made My Day

The 'Tatting Press' by that up-and-coming designer Ann with a Plan was waiting for  me in the mailbox when I got home today.  Not only is it a great design, but so expertly and neatly crafted as well.  I am honored to receive this gift!

Ann also included this beautiful tatted snowflake:

and these pretty buttons and beads:

and some leftover fabric to match the press:

The bag-lady in me is pondering a matching bag . . . 

Thanks again, Ann!
I will love carrying my tatting in this stylish press!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

It's a Do-Over

I was feeling pretty smug about conquering those SCMRs. Once I got going on the Flowery SCMR Bookmark, I realized I had some brain sprains as I worked the pattern.  The joins don't look so good.  I'm also not sure how I twisted my chains in places.  Tension loosened up too.  And the OTT join on this particular bookmark had me baffled, so I have no idea what I did there.  Obviously, I have some other things to conquer. I got the SCMR alright, but the project is a Do-Over. It's that current 'second-time goes much better' post I've been relating to lately!

So, while I have learned a new technique, a few new things have surfaced that dash my confidence.  This is when I wish I had a local tatting group to turn to for a visual demonstration.  And then I think about starting my own local tatting group, but I would probably be the only member - LOL!   
* * * * * * * * * *
In Minnesota weather news, the leaves are beginning to turn their beautiful fall colors.  I am taking pictures of my back yard every day to be able to create a little slideshow to see how fast the view changes.  The color arrival, peak, and end all happens so fast, and before we know it, it's cold and bare out there and ready to . . . snow.   

Southern Minnesota and Wisconsin are experiencing unusual fall flooding, resulting in the Governor's declaration of a state of emergency.  See the PHOTOS and keep these areas in your thoughts and prayers.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

SCMR Success!

I FINALLY did it!  The Self-Closing Mock Ring. The elusive SCMR is now in my small cache of techniques.  With a little of my natural stubbornness, and this great invention called the internet, I've completed my first SCMR.  (OK, a lot of my natural stubbornness was necessary.)

Since I have a thing about bookmarks, I have been wanting to make Jane Eborall's Flowery SCMR Bookmark for a long time.  I kept setting this one aside to do once I learned that technique, and while looking for another bookmark pattern to make I finally decided to make myself sit down and learn this once and for all.

I have looked at the written instructions here by The Shuttle Brothers, but being such a visual learner, this video on YouTube by Anne B of Nuperelle made the technique really begin to click for me.

The biggest "Aha!" moment for me in this bookmark pattern was figuring out that the extra loop you make at the beginning of your SCMR is made from the thread coming from the shuttle, and you tat your chain stitches and the rings as usual until closing the SCMR.  I had to start over a couple of times when the ring wouldn't close, so it took a few tries to be able to see it.  At least this is true for this particular pattern - I think it will get easier to see as I continue with this bookmark.

I'm just excited to have another technique figured out so I can actually make some of the patterns I've been avoiding!  Now, to figure out those joins on split rings.  They don't look so hot.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend in Nature

I got half of a bookmark done over the weekend for the "One Bookmark a Month" challenge on the Tatting Forums.  There was too much to enjoy outside!  

It was a beautiful, perfect weekend in Minnesota - temperatures right about 70 degrees during the day, 50 degrees overnight.  It's the beginning of Fall - my favorite time of year.  We enjoyed the weekend in this little cabin in a State Park about 250 miles south of the Canadian border, and about 100 miles from the South Dakota border.  We were hiking and relaxing here:

Hope your weekend was as relaxing as mine!  

Sunday, September 5, 2010

State Fair

Warning - this is a post full of pictures from the state fair! 

I had to go and see my first-ever entry.  I entered this tatted doily in the state fair after receiving a blue AND a sweepstakes ribbon at the county fair. I received a second place ribbon at the state fair - pretty fun for the first time trying!

I wanted to see what the other entries were.  There are not many tatters in my area, but I know they are out there!  The entries were gorgeous, though few.  The categories in the Minnesota State Fair are 1) Tatting, clothing accessory; 2) Tatting, ornament; and 3) Tatting, other.  These categories are under Handcrafts - weaving, knotting, felting, and caning. The main thing I noticed here is that most entries were white or cream in color.

I have no idea why my doily took second place over that top one - it is as gorgeous as the first place one.

An edging took first place in the clothing accessory lot:

 and earrings took 2nd place:

First place ornament:

 And some other tatting I found was in the quilting.  These blocks appear to all be old hankies with tatted edges:

The other place to enter tatting is under Needlecrafts - lunch and dinner cloths and table runners and centerpieces, judged with crochet and knitting. This is where I originally saw the only place to enter tatting - but figured out where my entry belonged at the last minute. This is the only tatted piece I saw in this category - large and beautiful!

Most everything at the Minnesota State Fair revolves around FOOD!  I enjoyed apple cider from Minnesota grown apples, garlic fries, deep fried cheese curds, deep fried dill pickles, shrimp cocktail, and a mojito :)  Yum.  Enough grease to make my heart hurt from grease clogged arteries!

We have everything (not just food, but mostly food) "ON-A-STICK".  Some of it sounds weird, but most of it is funny, creative marketing.  Do other state fairs do this?  I had to take photos and make a collage - it was fun to take pictures of every sign of food "on-a-stick" I saw, and these are definitely not all of them!

Other things "on-a-stick" - a quilt on a stick competition with a theme each year:

and this cracked me up:

(OK, so I have a weird sense of humor.)
It was a great day for the fair!  It was sunny and unusually COOL.  Last Sunday, the high temperature was in the upper 90's and uncomfortably humid.  Yesterday, the high was only about 68!  Only in the midwest do we deal with these kind of temperature fluctuations - 30 degrees different within one week.  (Even within one day sometimes!) 

Edited to add:  Oh yeah - and check out this scarecrow contest at the fair!

The fair signals the END of summer in Minnesota.  Labor Day weekend is the last getaway to cabins, camping and family weekends before school starts on Tuesday.  I love this time of year and the cool weather it brings.  Not looking forward to snow yet, but cool, fall days are most welcome!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Some Sewing

I saw this cute lunchbag pattern HERE, and I knew I needed one.  How cute is that?  And a top that closes is perfect.

The pattern suggests some vinyl-coated fabric for the lining in case of food spills.  I didn't have that, but I did have a bit of iron-on (yes, iron-on!) vinyl, so I used that on the inside since it sounded like a good idea.

Cute and easy to whip up.  I really am a bag lady!  I just can't resist bag patterns :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

More Bookmarks and Comparisons

The "Stumpy" bookmark has shown up in several places online lately, so I had to have some for my stash.   I first used one of my favorite Lizbeth colors - "Carribean" in size 40.  That one looked a bit small, so I tried the Lizbeth "Jelly Bean" in size 20 next to see the difference.   

I used a size 10 cebelia from my bin of thread for the third one.  Quite a difference in size of the finished bookmark - I'm not sure that the size 40 Lizbeth makes a large enough one  for my taste with this particular pattern.    

Now I should probably go read so I can get my book back to the library on time!