Sunday, February 27, 2011

My Own Rules Don't Work!

For some reason, this lovely little heart made me crazy!  I started several times, making up my own rules as to when to reverse work.  That was dumb.  Do other tatters make up their own rules until they figure out how a pattern REALLY goes?  I'm not always sure I interpret patterns correctly, but I know I've read a lot of things about designers all writing a bit differently.  Problem is, this pattern doesn't have written instructions, just a diagram.  In most cases, that seems easier to me.  Apparently not this time! 

I finally realized that I was making it so much harder than it really was, and got into a rhythm that seemed to be going pretty well.  Until I got done and realized I missed a join or two.  Oops.  Dang, that makes me mad when I do that.  I know I can go back and stitch those missed joins, but I want to do it right the first time.  That's the perfectionist in me rearing its ugly head again.

I was determined to complete this heart - I've seen it many times on others' blogs, and I think it's so pretty.  I finally got it!  Not the best work I've ever done, but at least I quit trying to make it up as I went :)  A little beyond Valentine's Day, but it is still February.  I am going to count this as Motif #12 of my 2nd 25-Motif Challenge. Just one motif.  (Seems like it should count as about 4 after all that work!)

Motif #12
Mary Konior's Queen of Hearts
Tropical Punch Lizbeth, Size 20

Ta Da!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Drawing

 Thanks to everyone for the congrats on my 100 posts accomplishment!  On to another 100.

OK - so I typed up the names, put them in the appropriate bags and drew these:

~TATTIN' KAT wins the drawstring bag and an assortment of perle cotton~

~TAT19590 was drawn to trade something tatting related for the Dorset Bag~

Congrats to you both - quick - go & get lottery tickets!  Please email your info to me at ahappybluebird (at) gmail (dot) com, and I will get these in the mail to you :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

100 Posts to Celebrate

It's taken me almost 2 years to post 100 times. I started this blog thinking I would just write about my life and things I like to do, and I had something to write about 2 and 3 times a week. I had no idea I would meet so many kind, generous people out there!  I've slowed down to posting only once every two weeks or so - maybe it's that winter is getting OLD around here!  Once again, there is a winter storm warning that will dump 10-15" or so of new snow on us by tomorrow. Enough already.

I haven't been tatting much the past couple of weeks - a little here and there, but I ended up with mistakes and missed joins.  My heart just wasn't in it - too many other things going on.  Busy at work, and busy at home too.  I did have a chance to work on practicing the SCMR with this Very Small Butterfly, and the Gr8 Butterfly.

I am inspired again, though, after our tatting gathering yesterday! As great as it is to have tatting friends online, it's so good to have other tatters to talk to and bounce things off of in person also.

I thought I'd celebrate this 100th post in some way.  The tendency is to celebrate the blogging accomplishment with a giveaway of some kind, so I thought I'd give away this bag with an assortment of perle cotton thread.  Just leave a comment on this post (with the number 100) telling me what you like to read about on blogs (tatting or not!)   Here's the giveaway bag:
The drawstring bag has 8 interior pockets. (The ball of Lizbeth is only to show size.)


I thought I'd add a trade also - to celebrate all the talented tatters out there that have shared ideas, patterns and tips.  I would love to trade this bag for something (of course it's another bag - what did you expect from a bag lady?)  Let's trade anything tatting related - like HDT, shuttles, pattern books.  Just comment on this post with your favorite tip on storing your tatting supplies (and the word TRADE).  Here's the trade bag:

This bag is the Dorset Bag - a free pattern provided by a generous crafter.

I will draw both winners on Friday evening, February 25th and post them on Saturday morning.  Make sure there is a way for me to contact you.

It has been a pleasure meeting so many inspiring crafters, and reading everyone's blogs for instructions, patterns, tips and techniques.  Here's to 100 more posts :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My Tatting Story

After reading Tatting Fool's post about how she started tatting, and The Tatting Whisperer's story, I thought I'd share mine as well.  Mine's not nearly as interesting, but it's mine, nonetheless.

I tend to like things that are unique - things that no one else has or does.  I also love antiques and heirlooms and thinking about the women that crafted quilts and socks and doilies more out of necessity than for fun.  I suppose the doilies were considered fancy, but the quilts were definitely made to serve a purpose.  

Honestly, I don't even remember where I saw tatting to begin with, but it was probably the vintage magazines and pattern books given to me by an aunt that was aware of my interest in antique sewing and lacemaking.  She has given me many shuttles and balls of tatting thread from various treasures she has come across.  My aunt is very talented with sewing and crafting and quilting, but she says she never was able to learn to tat - it was just too hard.

At some point in the early 1990's, I saw a Community Ed 'Beginning Tatting' class offered.  I think I was one of about 4 women in the class, and learned to tat rings and chains in about 2 or 3 classes.  I made some small wreath Christmas ornaments after that, and began looking for groups or classes to learn more.  At the time, my daughters were about elementary school age and I was a daycare provider.  I ordered a couple of current pattern books, and admired the things in them.  There were no classes or stores or groups to learn more, so knowing not another soul that tatted, the craft was put aside.  Every so often I would look on the internet for tatting groups or information, but there wasn't much out there.

Fast forward about 10 years.  I thought I'd better work on remembering how to tat, or I would have to start all over.  I got the rings and chains down, but when I started looking at those pattern books to make something, they didn't make sense.  I didn't know how to read the patterns!  I could whip out crocheted doilies in a snap, but it irritated me that I couldn't make a beautiful tatted doily.  More internet searching led me to the InTatters forum.  Aha! A place to ask questions and learn from other tatters.  Then I found some tatting blogs.  Still no local tatters or groups, though - darn! - and I'm such a visual learner.

A couple more years went by as I read with interest the blogs and information out there.  Then, a friend of my mom's lost her mother who was a tatter/lacemaker, and didn't quite know what to do with all that tatting and lacemaking stuff. This is when I inherited a large amount of books, thread, shuttles and crochet hooks.  It was like Christmas for me!  Talk about inspiration - this made me determined to master the art of tatting.  I found the T.A.T. proficiency program, and promptly ordered Phase I.  It took me a couple of years to get it completed, but I did it after a little challenge was put out there on the InTatters forum.  Now I know how to read the patterns, and have been enjoying tatting and trying new techniques.

I've met tatters from all over the world through this blog and participating in exchanges and challenges through the InTatters forum, and more recently the Tatting Forums and Ravelry.  My search for tatters in Minnesota led me to the Minnesota Lace Society, and most currently getting a local tatting group started.

And here I am.  A tatter inspired not by a family tatter, but by an aunt and friend that don't tat and tatters I didn't even have the pleasure to know. I'm grateful that the non-tatters passed on the books and supplies.  I'm sure the original owners would be thrilled that their tatting supplies are being enjoyed and the art is being shared and passed on.  

I'm also the proud owner of a T.A.T. Phase II binder (but not proud of the fact that I haven't been working on it.)  Amazed, however, that I've come this far with the internet!  

That's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.  What's YOUR story?