Monday, October 25, 2010

A Snowflake, A Shuttle and A Fight

A Snowflake
I'm starting my 2nd 25-Motif Challenge with a snowflake  - just in time for our first forecasted snowfall on Wednesday.  I hate it when it snows in October!  I noticed I got a little carried away with the picots as I went  - I started out pretty reasonable, but apparently I was going for "fluffy" snow.  I did this in plain old white cebelia size 20.  I know colored threads are pretty, but snowflakes just seem like they should be white.

Motif #1
Snowflake #2 from Festive Snowflakes and Ornaments
edited by Barbara Foster

A Shuttle
The best part was that I got to try out my recent splurge.  I've been wanting a shuttle from the Shuttle Shop, and I finally broke down and got the latest design in tulipwood.  Is this beautiful or what?  I enjoyed testing it out - it's very smooth and nice to tat with.  My first custom shuttle, I'm afraid, could lead to an addiction.

A Fight
I finally got back to working on the bag to match my tatting press over the weekend.  The bag and I got into a little disagreement.  OK, a fight.  Twice.  Quite frustrating to sew the bag shut and not realize it until trying to turn it right side out.  And then sewing up the handles completely confused me and made me momentarily crazy.  But, the seam ripper came to the rescue and we ironed out our differences after I slowed down and thought about what I was doing.  I'm such a dough-head sometimes.  This is the Project Grab Bag pattern I found HERE.  I thought this was a great bag for various projects - the looped handle makes the bag close well enough to avoid dumping things out, yet has enough extra loop to hold onto or hang on a doorknob. Finally done and ready to fill with a project or two.  I may have to make another one of these.

Oh yeah - and as long as I have a press with a matching bag, it was only fitting to make a matching shuttle too.  Right? 

Monday, October 18, 2010

An Historic Weekend

While heading to a state park in western Minnesota this weekend, we stopped in a small town in search of a cafe to get some lunch.  Sometimes small towns only have one cafe, so we ended up in an antique store to look around, and also inquire about restaurants. When I asked about tatting shuttles and antique needlework, the owner pulled out a bag of shuttles he had just gotten and hadn't put out yet.  I spied this:

An antique sterling shuttle!  I have only seen these a couple of times in antique stores, and for about $100 or so.  The store owner wasn't too sure about how to price it, so I waited for him to decide what to charge.  

Let's just say I still can't contain myself.  It's mine :)  Oh yeah - we did get directions to a cafe for lunch too.

On to the state park.  Both of us have pretty much lived in Minnesota all our lives, but neither of us have been to this western part of the state.  Lac Qui Parle State Park is about 50 miles from the South Dakota border, and is more prairie and grassland than where we live.  We've never gone this direction because we thought the land would be boring, flat and just grass and cornfields.  Well, most of the way it is just that, but the park was a pleasant surprise with beautiful views like this:


Even though it was chilly, we enjoyed hiking around and learning a bit about the history of the area.  Lac Qui Parle Lake is actually part of the Minnesota River that is created by a dam built to control flooding.  This is an area full of Native American history as well.  This replica of the mission that was here was interesting to hike around and read about the attempts to teach the Dakota tribe English and convert them to Christianity.  While walking, we could just imagine the Native Americans and fur traders walking the same land.

 We hiked to "the" Cottonwood tree - the most massive tree I have ever seen.  Supposedly, this is the largest cottonwood in the state.  The picture doesn't really show the sheer magnitude of this tree!

The sunset and sunrise were beautiful, the stars and the milky way were awesome, the owl hooting and the geese squawking were pleasant sounds of nature.  Once again, we enjoyed a much needed relaxing, peaceful weekend.  And, once again, I took a million photos.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Need . . . more . . . hours . . .

Still working on a bag to go with my new tatting press:

Still decoupaging shuttles, this time with paper napkins:

Still practicing techniques:

But have finished not one thing to the end!  I still need to spray the sealer on those shuttles.  That's the way some weeks go.  Hhhhmmmpppphh.

The good news is, I have a new tatting friend.  A LOCAL one!  And she's just as interested in getting a tatting group started here in Minneapolis as I am.  We are working together to organize a group of tatters and set up a gathering of the shuttles.  Thanks Michelle! 

My original intention was to get a group together to share techniques, teach and learn with one another, and promote tatting in general.  Now that we have a few people interested, how do we proceed?  What to do first?  It's going to be fun to meet some other tatters and see what their expectations and ideas are.  Wish us luck!

The leaves are falling - soon the branches will be bare - and the cold weather will set in.  We Minnesotans know this routine!  On with enjoying our beautiful fall weather while it lasts.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blinged Shuttles

It's a new trend to "bling" your shuttles!  Umi-N-Tsuru had been showing her newly blinged shuttles, and put out an offer of an exchange to the first two commenters.  I was lucky enough to be in on that exchange, and received the pretty white blinged shuttle.  Ann at Nifty Needle was also sending me one of her fabulous new presses, so I thought it would be fun to have a little exchange with her as well. 

I decided to try decoupaging fabric onto shuttles, and since I am a self-proclaimed "bag" lady, I thought it would be fun to make matching bags for the shuttles as well.

I thought they turned out cute!  Decoromana has beautifully decoupaged shuttles, and has a tutorial HERE.  I would like to make some more and see how they are to actually tat with. 

I couldn't resist that bright green polka dot fabric for the green shuttle - it matched so well!  The fabric on the yellow shuttle is fabric by Arlene Linton.  She "paints" lace, and designed some fabric that just happened to be available at a Lace Society meeting I went to.  How appropriate for a shuttle and a bag to carry it in! 

I think this could be an addiction.  [Like I need another one.]

Saturday, October 2, 2010

To Minnesota Tatters

Since I'm always wishing I had a group nearby devoted to just tatting, I wonder if there are others in the northern Minneapolis/St. Paul area wishing the same?  Anyone out there?

I would love to get something started in the northern metro.  A group to learn, share and promote tatting.  If you're interested, email me at ahappybluebird (at)