Saturday, December 24, 2011

Bright and Beautiful

Have a beautiful,
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Thoughts of Poinsettias

OK, so it needs blocking.  Not my best tatting, but I had this idea and I had to try it.  A bug you-know-where.

When I saw Fox's post (HERE) with this motif and beads in the center, it just screamed "poinsettia" to me for some reason.  My tatting technique has not improved as hers has, but I had to try a poinsettia.

So, the beads are too large for this size 30 thread in the center, but I kind of like the way it looks - like a flower center.  A Christmas poinsettia!  Not sure what I will DO with it, but I like it.  Thanks for the inspiration, Fox!  Now I just need a shuttle that gives me those Houdini digits :)

 2nd 25-Motif Challenge Done!
Motif #25
Wheel of Nine Rings
Christmas Angels and Other Tatting Patterns
by Monica Hahn
Size 30 Red Cebelia thread

So now that my 25th motif of my 2nd 25-Motif Challenge is done, I am going to get back to my T.A.T. program for 2012.  Hopefully. I continue to procrastinate on that!

AND . . .

Remember when I brought home that old tin from a junking expedition?  (HERE)  Well, it's finally done.  A few clear coats to preserve that "chippy" chipping paint look and a frame on the back to square it up.  It's a new decoration in my living room, and goes well with the antique-y, vintage look I have going.  I love it.

I don't know why, but I just love old stuff.  Old stuff has character, and is unique.  Like me.  (Well, the unique part anyway!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Are YOU Enjoying the Season?

I love gathering with girlfriends to share decorating and crafting ideas.  I think I am the biggest crafter - I just want to make everything I see - from tatting to sewing to jewelry to home decor!  It's fun to be able to share with friends, yet appreciate all of our different tastes.  I am always the drip taking pictures - after asking permission of course - but my friends tolerate me :) 

It's a busy time of year, but it's so important to enjoy time with friends and family.  I really have to tell myself to quit worrying about what I "should" be doing, and enjoy the moments I can share with those people that are important in my life.

This week we shared a girl's evening of Christmas snacks and decorating talk  (I do more talking about it than actually decorating!)  and I thought I'd share a few pictures.  I love this look, but I know my home will never be this way.  I have too many projects going to get any specific "look", no matter how much I love it.

And that's just the front step so far . . .

I'm so doing this for our family Christmas gathering. 
 It's in the freezer now and I can't wait to see how it turns out!

I could sit here and read a good book or tat for hours.

Growing up visiting relatives on farms, I should be able
to get my hands on some chick feeders . . .

I love the neutrals in this living room.

And the antiques.

Happy Holidays!

I hope you are taking the time to slow down and cherish
every minute with family and friends.  I am!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Bead Intimidation

I was procrastinating trying to add beads - why, I don't know.  I guess I was just a little intimidated by adding another step.  Remembering how to join, where to join, which join to use, and how many picots confuses me enough sometimes :)

This is why it's so nice to have tatting friends to tat with in person, and try new techniques. Michelle and her daughter and I met yesterday to tat, and we worked on the Mary Konior "Posy" as a wreath.  I asked Michelle for some help on adding beads, and she brought some beads and her bead spinner and got me started.  (That bead spinner is a worthwhile little tool if you use beads - I think I need to get one!) Once I got the hang of where to place the beads for this particular project, it was a piece of cake. I finally finished this cute little wreath tonite:

I'm so over being intimidated by beads! 

Friday, December 2, 2011

Technology Rant

So, I have a blog.  I try to keep up with it and remember that I'm doing it mostly for me.  You know, to look back and see all the things I've done when I don't feel like I'm accomplishing anything.  And best of all, to make new friends with similar interests.  And I have many interests, so I can't concentrate on blogging about just one thing.  I'm all over the place :)

As far as the blogging goes, I've tried to put blogs that interest me in my sidebars since this is the way I've found many from other blogs.  Only then I began using Google Reader when I had so many blogs to follow that it was hard to keep up.  So now, I don't keep adding blogs to my sidebar, only to my Reader.  PLUS, there's that following thing.  So, now I publicly follow some, but have many more in my Reader.  How do you keep track of all that stuff?  Which features do you use and keep up with? 

Then there are the forums. InTatters and Tatting Forums. and Ravelry. I love to read them, but I can't keep up with interacting on them.  Oh, and Etsy.  I looove looking on Etsy.

I love Facebook and keeping up with friends and family, and seeing everyone's photos.  And NOW, we have  Do you do that too?  There are a million and one things to love on there - from recipes to repurposing ideas.  So, I started that too - it's a handy way to keep track of ideas and links.  There aren't enough hours in a day to soak up all the information and ideas that interest me.  Not to mention time to pursue any of those interesting ideas!

Oh, and I have a smartphone now too.  I believe it's smarter than me, but I'm learning.  Wow!  Calendar sync, apps, GPS, camera & photo tools - you name it.  And my NOOK for digital books and magazines.  I am loving all this technology, and I'm hoping that we may FINALLY be getting to the "paperless" age we've been talking about for 20 years :)

I think my goal for the new year is going to have to be to learn how to keep it all under control.  I still need time to read, sew, tat, garden, shop, bake, decorate and craft.  Laundry, housecleaning, family, friends, dogs . . .  

I never thought I'd be plugging in my laptop AND my phone AND my book.  (Especially funny for me - lover of antiques that I am.)

Follow me on Pinterest if you like - I'm putting that little button on my sidebar too.

That is all :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On with Christmas Preparations!

Now that Thanksgiving has past, deer hunting is done, and our boutique is over, I am ready to get on with Christmas!  Music, baking, shopping, etc.  I never enjoy any of the Christmas stuff until AFTER Thanksgiving.  The commercial-ness of it is irritating.

Mom and I held our "Brunch Boutique" this past Saturday. We decided early in the summer to try it this year, since Mom has many beautiful quilts, bags, table runners, etc. that she has made.  I make a lot of things for gifts for coworkers, and it snowballs from there.  I have many crafting interests, and the internet sucks me in with instructions to make anything and everything I could want!  In any case, the past few months have been spent working on various items for the boutique. 

We planned our boutique for the Saturday after Thanksgiving because Mom always comes to stay for the week.  Hubby goes with my Dad, brother, uncles, nephews, etc. for the week of Thanksgiving to deer hunt.  Most people think it's odd to spend Thanksgiving this way, but it's a family tradition.  We girls have fun shopping, eating out and crafting all week, while the guys are in the woods hunting.  We make a traditional turkey dinner, and the guys deep fry turkeys and make all the fixings in the woods.  I couldn't be more thankful for this tradition!

Ironically, our boutique ended up to be on "Support Small Business Saturday".  It was fun - here are a few pictures:

Wine bottle Tiki Torches, Cup & Saucer Garden Art

Table Runners, Centerpieces, Potholders, Casserole Carriers

Quilts, Bags, Greeting Cards and Tatted Bookmarks

 And brunch upstairs - it was fun!  The house was buzzing with visiting, coffee, mimosas, and egg bake upstairs, and shopping and chatting downstairs.  I never did get pictures of everything.

We were TIRED - and went out to eat afterward to relax.  A successful, fun try at having a boutique.  Should we do it again?  Pondering that while I think about what to do next right now.  Bake? Read? Sew? Tat?  So many choices, so little time. 

Another Oovoo tattogether tonite should give me some inspiration!  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Virtual Tatting

We had some fun this morning with our Twin Cities Tatters gathering.  Michelle had a great idea to invite some blogging/tatting friends to our gathering by Skype.  Teresa suggested using Oovoo, a free video chat software available.  (My contribution to this conversation was idle - I've only Skyped with my daughter in my own living room for practice.)  In any case, Michelle got us all organized, and we were able to meet for a couple of hours this morning for our first virtual tatting get-together.  We lost eachother a few times, heard voices without video, and lost battery power once.  BUT, we did it.  An entry for the Guinness Book of Records maybe? 

Michelle and I met at our usual Caribou Coffee meeting spot, and got logged in with Diane, Dena and Teresa.   We shared a lesson on the SSSR, and started on the split chain.  Teaching/learning is a challenge using video chat - it was fun though, and quite impressive for our first try at this.  Most definitely something we want to do again. 

We did have a few people at Caribou wondering what we were doing.  I suppose it was an odd sight - Michelle and I sitting facing a laptop and chattering away, but not looking at eachother.  At one point Teresa told us someone was behind us looking at her - the gal just waved and left, obviously curious as to what the heck was going on.  Ha!  Isn't the internet amazing?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wasting Time Again

Mittens are a NECESSITY in Minnesota.  So, when I saw this trendy idea last weekend, I got the bug to try it.  (Like I need another project right now.)  I saw these in three (3!) boutiques in one day.  What was I doing at 3 boutiques in one day, you ask?  Enjoying the day running around with friends when I should've been working on projects for my boutique.  Oh well. Sharing time with friends is so important.

Back to the mittens.  I saw barrels full of recycled sweater mittens lined with flannel.  Fabulous and comfortable and warm.   Perfect for the snow I know is coming our way soon.  They couldn't be that hard to make, could they?

I found a pattern somewhere on line (can't remember where) and got up bright and early this morning ready to try it on some scrap fabric.  I had to tweak the pattern a few times to feel comfortable trying it for real. 

Goodwill stores and thrift shops have old wool sweaters just perfect for this project.  These were all close to 100% wool.

After washing them in hot water and drying on high heat, they did shrink up.  I decided to use the red sweater first, as it seemed to be the tightest felted wool.  Seems a shame to cut up a pretty sweater, but I wouldn't wear it anyway.  And it was only $5 bucks.  Awesome.

So, by noon I was sewing mittens, realizing I'm only getting one pair of mittens out of this sweater.  And by 1 o'clock I was cleaning my sewing machine of lint.  By 1:30 I was fighting with the messed up tension on my sewing machine. 


I started panicking, wondering where I could take my machine to have it cleaned and tuned up and back within a week to sew more boutique items.  Yikes! 

By about 3:00, I had the tension corrected and everything was under control. Ugh.  Wasted time experimenting and fixing - again! I seem to do more of this than I'd like to admit.  BUT, I accomplished my task and completed a pair of mittens.  Hands will NOT get cold in these babies.  Not my neatest work, and not exactly the right size, but they will be warm.  

I love the mittens, and I love the fact that they are recycled.  The pattern is simple, but sewing on this thick wool is a bugger, and the pattern still needs a little tweaking.  I believe I will reconsider making an abundance of these for the boutique, and just make a few pairs with the sweaters I have.  Darn!  It was a good thought, but now I've wasted a day on a whim. I'm disappointed.  But whoever ends up wearing these will definitely not have cold hands :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Too fun!
(glad it's the neighbor's to take down and put away!) 

Happy Haunting . . . Muahahahahaha. . . .

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Celtic Tatting

. . . or Celtic Comedy? 

Michelle, her daughter and I met to tat yesterday, and we decided to work on the Tatted Celtic Knot Pumpkin.  Michelle has done some celtic tatting before - I have never tried it.  Looked waaaaay too hard.  But looking at this little pumpkin pattern, my gosh!  It's just a long chain with a little weaving.  How hard could that be?  I believe the words "whiz right through it" were mentioned :)

So, we got our orange and green threads all picked out and proceeded to tat that stem and long chain.  First, we found that the pattern for the stem is a little wonky.  Not hard to fix - it's just a clover.  I made my chain extra long, anticipating it would be easier to weave into that celtic knot.  And we spent a couple of hours TRYING to weave the dang pumpkin.  Michelle's daughter gave up after awhile and went back to her original tatting project.  I'm sure she thought her mom and I were crazy - both chattering away trying to figure out this 1.5 inch diameter knot.  Ha!  We left, deciding to study this knot more at home. 

It drove me bonkers.  Once I got home, I had to figure it out.  I watched some videos on the internet about celtic weaving, and realized that there really isn't "a way" to do it - you just have to weave whatever pattern you are working on.  Ugh. That didn't help.  So I looked at the pattern again, and did it with some larger cord.  Voila!

I think this is it!

Back to the pumpkin.  Originally, I was trying to hold the center ring of the knot at the stem where it should end up.  After using the cord, I realized that you have to weave both ends of your piece around, ending up back at the top center.  Which means that the stem end needs to be woven too - not held in place.  That changed everything.  Besides, the pattern directions state that the "green clover will weave through the knot with some care."  Duh.  It doesn't say hold the green clover in place and try to weave around it.

I am a very visual learner, so I took pictures of each step.  Mostly so I can do it again - but also to show anyone else interested in celtic tatting.  It isn't what I thought - but now I don't even know what I thought it was!

A Celtic Comedy.

I think I've got it now!  I wonder if I can make another one?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Orange Snowflakes

Weird, I know.  I had to try out this pattern - and orange just jumped out at me for a first draft.  All the Halloween talk and all :)

This is the Angels in the Snow pattern by Miranda (Tatting Fool) that I won on Lily's blog (The Eye Candy for Crafters) a couple of weeks ago. (Woo Hoo!)  I really liked the look of this pattern, and it tatted up very nicely.  I cringed a little bit when I realized it was SCMRs, but once I got started I realized what a great pattern this is to practice those buggers.  Now that I've tatted my practice snowflake, I can make a nice one in white.  Maybe even with beads :)  This is a wonderful pattern that I will make again - written nicely and easy to follow.  Thanks to Lily for the giveaway, and to Miranda for the pattern!

Some SCMR instructions can be found here: 

pdf by Jane Eborall
Video by Frivole

This is all the tatting I've managed to accomplish lately.  But I have oh, so many patterns on my list . . .

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Home-Ecky Becky

Yep.  I was recently dubbed Home-Ecky Becky.  With good reason, I guess :) 

I've only managed to eek out just this little bit of tatting.  Another "Flowers" bookmark from the Tatted Bookmarks book from Handy Hands. - one that I've tatted many times to keep on hand.

And it's still not finished - due to my Home-Eckiness. 

I've been trying to make items for a brunch-boutique my mom and I are planning for friends & family.  We'll have brunch and handmade items for sale, so I've been trying to come up with a few things I can make. 

I've made a few types of jam/jelly:

Am forever playing with photo programs and creating cards:

And have sewn a few towel-toppers.  Still finishing these:

Mom has been working on table toppers, aprons and bags.  I still have many things I want to do, but sometimes I just can't do it after work - my eyes will not cooperate.  (Or maybe it's my brain?)  Or maybe it's the visits from out-of-town friends, a wedding, an office move, and the usual laundry, cooking and cleaning that is slowing me down.   OK, maybe not the cleaning part so much . . .

And we stopped everything yesterday to go out for our 28th Wedding Anniversary dinner. Wow.  Doesn't seem like 28 years since that exciting day.  And we even still like eachother!

Back to my Home-Eckiness now.  Lasagna roll-ups for the whole gang this evening. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Favorite Season

Fall is my favorite time of year.  As the green turns to brown and the flowers die away, I love how the leaves change color and transition us into cooler weather before we actually get snow.  I happen to love cool weather - a sweatshirt and jeans suits me just fine. 

This past Friday night, Ted and I went to Duluth, Minnesota.  We love Duluth, and love to see Lake Superior, one of the Great Lakes.  A HUGE freshwater lake.  It's beautiful, yet terrifying depending on the weather.  We always visit the maritime museum, the lighthouse, and Canal Park.  We did some shopping and antiqueing, and then had lunch.

The lift bridge allows the large ships to come through - a popular sight for tourists with the shipping schedule posted on monitors to always know when the next ship will be passing through.

On Saturday, we headed way up to northern Minnesota to a State Park and another stay in a camper cabin.  We love the little cabins and the hiking in the parks.  Bear Head Lake State Park is about 120 miles from the Canadian border.  I love to pretend I'm a photographer and try for some good pictures.  Hubby is patient, but gets way ahead of me sometimes while I'm diddling around trying to get just the perfect shot.   No crafting, baking, sewing, or tatting.  Just the smell of fresh, fall air!  This is the rest of the weekend from my camera:

This glacial area makes for very rocky hiking!

The leaves are beginning to change

Tall Norway Pines

He thinks he's so funny . . .

These trees just intrigued me - orange, red and yellow all right together.
So beautiful.