Tuesday, January 29, 2013


This burlap has been staring me in the face for quite awhile now, and the ideas keep floating through my brain.  (And that's about all they do - float on through!)  I've been planning to make a cover for the breadmaker and maybe a cover for the toaster with burlap, and adding matching fabric for the edges - but I haven't gotten to that yet.  I did have a request from both daughters for a burlap bag, however.  They know I'm a sucker for BAGS.   Soooo, I finally got one done.  

Messenger bag style, big enough for a laptop and file folders. I think I'm pretty smart to make up the pattern as I go and actually have it turn out pretty well.  Then I got to thinking (here we go again).  Aha!  Wouldn't a tatted motif with beads look GREAT on the flap of a bag?  Or at least as an embellishment somewhere.  Now I have a purpose for some of those motifs :)  Beads on the bags, beads on the breadmaker, beads on the toaster . . .

Sunday, January 27, 2013

TIAS Day 6 and JOINS

Day 6 of the TIAS 2013:

Day 6
What is this thing????  Ted says it's a grocery cart.  Maybe it's a baby buggy?  With 5 more days to complete the motif, I think we'll know SOON :)

Day 6 was good split ring practice, and had me fumbling with the correct way to join.  Duh.  Re-joined about 3 times on the first join, and then I realized I was making it waaaaaay too hard.  I think I've got it now . . .


Yesterday, Michelle and her daughters and I got together for some tatting at the coffee shop.  We practiced the Catherine Wheel Join (CWJ) that I could have used back on Day 4 (but didn't).  It's really quite easy, especially after watching Marilee's great video.  And since we were onto joins, we also tried the Lark's Head Join (LHJ) - and found Karen's video to be very helpful.  The question is, why would one use the LHJ vs. a regular join?  We also tried to get Jane's blipless join to work, but to no avail.  (I really need to master that one using these variegated threads!)  We then questioned whether or not the LHJ produced the same results as the blipless join?  When and where does one use these different joining techniques, and why?    More study necessary in the future. 

And it's snowing like crazy outside here . . . 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

TIAS Day 5

Tat It And See (TIAS) Day 5

I think I'm convinced that this is a flower basket.  Jane is clever with her TIAS, though, so we'll see where Day 6 goes!

Here is the progress through Day 5:

Day 5

Today's technique is a Lock Chain.  A lock chain is simply a chain made by flipping the first half-stitch, and not flipping the 2nd half-stitch.  The result is a bit of a braided look vs. clean double-stitches:

I did a little chain study back HERE as well, but when I don't use these techniques often I tend to forget them.  There are so many interesting chain techniques to try - I find them especially fun when making bookmark tails.

Check out the 2013 TIAS Blog and see everyone's progress and guesses as to what this year's project is!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

TIAS Day 4

I chose to make Day 4 pretty easy and went with lock joins vs. the Catherine Wheel Join (CWJ), which I haven't quite mastered yet.  I have done it, but it doesn't roll off my shuttles without a little study.

Here is Day 4 progress:

Day 4 - What is this?
I still have no idea what this could be.  Where is my imagination?  

This is a good project to get my brain going on some simple technique study.  Michelle and I have talked about how the various techniques are fun to study and master, but because most are not used on every piece one tats it's hard to remember how to do each one without a little refresher study.  Jane has some great technique instructions on her TIPS and TECHNIQUES page.   And specifically for the TIAS Day 4, here are links to her LOCK JOIN  and CATHERINE WHEEL JOIN instruction pages.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How Dare She?

I'm usually pretty successful at avoiding a DARE, but this time I couldn't resist.  She dared me.

Jane's TIAS (Tat-it-and-See) 2013 has begun, and I was pretty sure I couldn't make time for it.  And I said so. "It takes no time at all", she said. "You could get caught up in about 15 minutes!  It was so fun last year, I'm doing it again."  And then she said, "I DARE you."  Uff da.  So much for not making time.  Thanks alot, FOX :)  How DARE she DARE me?

So, I'm in.  I started in by printing the instructions and plunking myself down with my 4-legged kids.

They do make it somewhat difficult to find room to tat . . .
Well, first they had to move.  And then I got started on catching up on Day 1.  Easy enough!

8 rings separated by simple chains.  
Day 1 Done.

Moving right along on Day 2.  At ring #16 I realized I didn't have enough rings from Day 1.  What?  How did I do that?  Tatting Lesson Learned (for the 800th time) - follow directions.  Ugh.  Must fix.

OK.  Fixed. Hokey addition with variegated thread,
but Day 2 Done.

And Day 3 Done.
Caught up and ready for Day 4.
I DID NOT cut and tie!

Fox is right.  The small daily tats don't take long, so if you want to join in - just DO it.  


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Tatted Treasures

Motif #1 from the book Tatted Treasures.  This one really caught my eye with all those beads - I have such a collection of thread with matching beads!  I chose to do this one in the brown thread with multicolored brown and blue beads - I really like these colors together.

This was a fun, easy tat, but I'm not used to working with so many beads!  It was a little comical getting them onto my shuttles.  I think there might be more beads down here than I care to admit:

And, I HAD to tat the beautiful heart in the new Jan Stawasz book, too.  Of course it caught my eye -  based on  Mary Konior's Queen of Hearts - another of my favorite designers.    

Yarnplayer's Rhubarb Pie, Size 20 thread
I tried to follow the diagram with the size of the picots, but my skill is lacking in consistency. Dang.

Here's the comparison of the two hearts.  Mary Konior's Queen of Hearts on the left, Jan Stawasz Heart on the right.

Monday, January 7, 2013

"IT" has finally arrived!  

I've been anxiously waiting for this mail to be delivered . . .
(since before Christmas - seems like forever ago already)

Oh. My. Gosh.
If I can even complete just one doily from this book I will be in heaven.  Such beautiful, beautiful tatting.  What to do first?  I think I better stick with something small to start with . . .

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Bead Inspiration

Diane did it! (Don't you love a tattletail?) She inspired some bead use in my tatting with a little gift from her visit to Minnesota.  I was SO jealous to miss out on lunch with Diane and Michelle over Christmas break, but Diane left some goodies with Michelle to deliver to me. 

A beautiful little tin full of thread and matching beads.  PLUS, a little latch hook and some rings.  I think it was a hint that I needed more  beads in my life!  I was so excited to have beads to match the thread that I didn't know what to make first with such a fun gift. I decided on the December Snowflake pattern that Frivole so generously shared as her final creation of 2012 HERE.  This is a great snowflake pattern done in one pass, and good to practice with beads.  So wonderfully easy and relaxing to tat that I messed up the first one and didn't even realize it until I bragged some to myself that it was going very well.

Neither of my snowflakes lie nice and flat even after blocking, but I'm not exactly sure what I'm doing to create that problem.  Maybe I 'snug' a bit too tightly?  Anyway - thanks to Frivole for the pattern, and to Diane for the bead inspiration!  I'm thinking Valentine hearts with the pink combination . . .

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vote for Lace Mats!

The polling has begun for the Lace Mat Tat-Along many of us participated in - please vote here for your 5 favorites:  LACE MAT POLL

There are 35 Lace Mats - all beautiful!  It's amazing how different the same pattern looks when thread color is used differently.

Many thanks to Jon for putting together this fun Tat-Along, and for posting all of the completed mat photos.  I thoroughly enjoyed participating!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Remember the Dresser?

Remember the dresser I was ready to paint back HERE?  I finally got a somewhat decent picture of it finished.  It's hard to photograph because it has a glossy finish - so it flashes back at me :)  In any case, here's the before & after:
I am really happy with the way it turned out.  The wood was in bad shape, and would have taken more work to refinish than I am willing to do.  (Sorry Margaret - paint it was!)

It took some elbow grease to get that old paper out of the drawers, but once I got it sanded a bit and started painting, the project went pretty quickly.  Now I have a big heavy old dresser that is "new" and functional.  And it has a glass top that's a little beat up, but it will work just fine.   I was able to put some pretty tatted edged mats under the glass, so it has built-in doilies :)  Some pictures might find their way under the glass as well.

And since I was so happy with that one - we brought another old dresser home from the cabin to do the same with.  This dresser was my mother-in-law's, and has been at the cabin for 20+ years or so.  The wood on the drawers actually looked to be in really good shape, so I thought I'd just paint the dresser frame and hardware, and just clean the wood drawer fronts.  This one also turned out really nice, though I'm not too sure the wooden drawer fronts are my style.  I don't want to breathe any more paint fumes though, so if I decide to paint the drawers it will be in the spring.  In any case, I just love these old dressers - they are solid and built to last.  (And I'm too cheap to buy new ones.)

I have a few more days of vacation left to enjoy.  A book to finish, the tatted edging on that runner, and time with friends and family. 

Oh, and while I was playing with the dresser photos, I got sidetracked (imagine that) and added some text to this photo I took today:

Ruby.  We've decided that her full name is now Ruby Pearl Marilyn.  She cracks me up.