Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Onion Rings

I've never really thought about tatting 'Onion Rings' before - I've just followed the pattern and they seemed to work out right.  However, when tatting this pattern I realized I was doing my own thing to get them to work and not actually reversing when the pattern said I should.  Hhhhhmmmm.

Eye Spy
by Julie Patterson
in Yarnplayer's HDT 'Lava' Size 40

I continued and finished this bookmark anyway, with numerous little snafus that I won't point out! But it has prompted me to start a little studying of onion rings.  I've only reviewed a couple of links so far, but I intend to look a little further.  At this point, it appears that there are actually several types of onion rings with as many methods. Any insight would be appreciated.

I love this "Lava" colorway!  I also wondered as I was tatting away, if an experienced tatter would recognize where the colors change and see that I didn't necessarily do it "right".  I wouldn't notice such a thing at my level of tatting, but do other tatters see it?  I think this is a 'perfectionist' type thought :)  Oh well!  A non-tatter will never know the difference.

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I've also been attacked by starving mosquitos while picking fresh strawberries.  I survived, and made strawberry rhubarb jam and some fresh bread.  Yum!


My flower "pot" is beautiful this year:

Unfortunately, the deer that pass through the yard have found petunias to be delicious!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hooray for NEW :)

I have NEW tatting patterns to enjoy and a NEW office to work in!  I love NEW.  Well, even USED but NEW to me is good.

I got three Julie Patterson e-books a couple of weeks ago, and spent a lot of time admiring the patterns and trying to decide what to tat.  I ended up choosing Petals from the Just Marking Tome book of bookmarks, and tatted it in some Tat-ilicious thread. 

I love this one.  I might have to keep it for ME.

Umintsuru tatted the variation of this pattern -also very pretty!  I see what she means about losing the flowers with variegated thread, but I think I like it better than a solid color. 

I've started on the Eye Spy bookmark now - another beauty from the book that Fox tatted also.  The other two Julie Patterson books are loaded with beautiful cross patterns - I haven't even begun to choose one of those yet.  I don't make too many crosses, but these patterns are just irresistible.

And FINALLY, our office renovation is done.  This week has been exhausting with the big move back - but hallelujah!  I no longer have to endure a cramped, inconvenient work space next to two conference rooms and a copier.  Not to mention right in the main path to the often visited bosses. 

I went from this for 9 months:

(notice how even though I have a window, it looks like I'm in a prison with that fence?)

to this:

. . . which has of course been outfitted with chairs and computer/scanner/printer equipment since this photo, and needs some further decorating.  No window, but the glass to the left of the door frame allows a little natural light in from the front window.  Hopefully I will be in this space for a long time.

AND, I am less than 30 days away from my first ever trip across the ocean.  I am heading to Finland to visit my high school exchange student friend .  We became very good friends back then, and have remained friends for . . . ahem . . . 30-some years.  I finally get to see her home, her workplace, meet her daughter and her parents, and experience the Finnish culture.  And maybe visit Estonia and Stockholm too.  A NEW adventure.  I am counting down the days!  I need to do a little research on any tatters or quilters that may be in Scandinavia. 


Sunday, June 10, 2012

Where is that Fairy Gardener?

Somehow, I ended up getting myself into much more gardening than I can handle.  I love to have perennial flowers in the yard, and see things come back year after year and multiply.  However . . . I do NOT enjoy weeding.  AT. ALL.  So it got away from me last year, and it's taken me until now to get it back under control. 

We've done a bit of new landscaping around the patio.  It was overgrown and looked like this a week ago, after we rebuilt the wall in back:

and now it's cleaned up to this, still in need of some finishing:

And there are now peonies on this side of the house instead of overgrown shrubs.  I hope they grow fast so we can enjoy some blooming soon.  (Miracle Gro, I need you.)

And this little flower bed took HOURS to get cleaned up.  A naughty little gopher came up in here and destroyed several perennials.  Between the gophers and the deer, maybe this garden is doomed. Now it looks in need of some new plants . . .

The vegetable garden has a clean start and a happy toilet.   It's still fairly early for the growing season here, so things are just getting started.  I can assure you, my family will be sick of the green beans and tomatoes that will come from this wimpy-looking garden!

And the daily inspection of clematis and hollyhock progress has begun.  I LOVE hollyhocks.

Along with inspection of trumpet vine, morning glories and sunflowers.  Hopefully my little obelisk will have some blooms to photograph later in the summer.

I just hate the weeding part.  (I need to buy stock in Preen!)

Yesterday it was 92F degrees in Minnesota, and today it will be the same.  Until the forecasted storms hit this evening to bring the temps back to reasonable 75-80's for the week, I will remain in the comfort of my air-conditioned home while the weeds grow again to laugh at me on my next inspection round.  I swear the weeds just like to hear me cuss.  I really do need a fairy gardener.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Lovin' Some HDT

Back in April, I bartered with Jess at Tat-ilicious for some of her HDT.  These are the beautiful threads she sent in exchange for a bag and some radiant pearls paints:

And check out her beautiful Blue Ridge and Aurora colorways - just gorgeous!

I needed a little break from that teeny-tiny sewing thread, so I thought I'd play with some of these pretty colors.  

First, the green.  This was a special HDT dyed by Livi herself -  a somewhat camouflage-ish green.  I started out by tatting Mary Konior's Curds & Whey to make a bookmark.  Even though the pattern is simple, I still missed joins and forgot picots.  Ugh - hate it when I do that!  I decided to be a little creative and add some butterflies with a pretty Lizbeth (#696) that I thought matched well.  I don't typically sway from a pattern, so this was unusual for me to start adding things :)

I thought it actually turned out cute!

Next I used the Peacock HDT - I love the color combination.  This time I used one of my old standby bookmark patterns - "Flowers" by Jill Hanna. 

 And that is all I've done ALL week.  Well, all I've tatted anyway since the machine thread tatting excitement.  I've been on vacation - which meant a little retail therapy, some gardening, some re-landscaping, some tatting,  some sewing, some cleaning out and dropping off of donations, and then some more retail therapy.  I always think I can get about a hundred more things done than are realistic :)  What color should I tat with next?  Actually, I should probably do some boring old housework before I go back to real life and a work schedule on Monday. (See me rushing?)