Saturday, April 27, 2013

No More Motifs!

Not really "no more" motifs, but I have been somewhat obsessed  lately :)  I finished another motif from Jon's Elegant Tatting Gems book, again adding beads.  The beads just give it a little sparkle, but you can't really see it in the pictures.

"Nilakandi" in Lizbeth Blue River Glades
I'm not sure what I'll add these motifs to - maybe a bag or two :)  What do you do with your motifs?  I am planning some covers for my bread maker, toaster and Keurig machine in the kitchen, but I think I would like to add motifs of matching thread color.  Not sure what I'll do there - but I need to make the covers first anyway.  AND, my sewing machine is in for a cleaning and tune-up, so all I can do is plan at this point.  Not like I need more project "plans" - ha ha!


I sent that heart monitor packing yesterday - gladly!  I had to wear it for 30 days to record my heart rhythm and make sure the meds are doing their job.  Next is a treadmill stress test on Tuesday, and then a visit with my cardiologist on Wednesday.  We'll see if I have to do anything more than just take the meds to keep my renegade heart under control.  I thought I was past being a renegade years ago!

Our Minnesota weather is FINALLY acting like it's spring.  Sunny and 74 F is the high for today, and similar again tomorrow.  I can get out in the yard on my hands and knees and look for any green signs of flowers sprouting :)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Yakut with Beads

 I am really enjoying tatting the motifs from Jon's book Elegant Tatting Gems.  Her patterns are both diagrammed and written out, which has turned out to be invaluable!  I thought I preferred working from diagrammed patterns only, but I have found out that I don't always know which way to turn or reverse my work to get to the desired spot to start the next element. [Is that just me?] When I go back and look at the written pattern, the "aha!" hits me in the forehead.

I decided to tat the Yakut motif with beads added, so I figured out how many beads I needed on each shuttle to place them correctly. (I think I am becoming obsessed with beads.) This would be comical to anyone watching me figure it out, and then a comedy act in itself as I thread the beads while one of the dogs decides to join me on the couch.  Mind you, one of the dogs is small but is old, deaf and blind with horrible depth perception for jumping onto the couch.  The other is a 65 lb. lap dog who plops her head on my lap regardless of what I might be doing (or holding.)

I placed the very first bead in the wrong picot, but didn't realize it until the next repeat.  Oops.  I didn't want to turn back, so I just ignored that little mistake and decided to count it as added 'character'.

I got ALL the way to the 5th spoke of 6, and then ran out of thread on shuttle #1.  I KNEW there was not enough thread on shuttle #2 to finish either.   I didn't think I would need to calculate how much thread I might need for one small motif if I just filled two shuttles.  Oops #2.  How can such a small motif give me this amount of grief?  Thank heavens for tatting friends who just happen to have some of the same thread.  Michelle was kind enough to mail me enough thread to finish the motif.  Whew!  I really didn't want to have to order more thread for just one spoke. 

Lizbeth Leaf Green Size 20 thread
with multi-colored beads.
I like it!  Now I just need to block it well and add it to my collection of motifs to add to sewing projects. 

Since we don't have beautiful spring weather to enjoy outside (ugh!)   it's been dreary here. Ruby showed us how to relax and wait for spring in the few rays of sun that appeared yesterday . . .

Patience.  Patience.  Patience. (In all things!)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

What's Wrong with this Picture?

And it doesn't appear to be slowing down!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Many times I've wondered what motifs are good for.  I tat them and stick them in a drawer, not knowing what to do with them.  But lately, I've been anxious to have a few motifs on hand to stitch on to things I might sew.  No plan really, but it would be nice to have a little accent on things I sew for a personal touch.  Otherwise, motifs end up being "practice" pieces.  Well, until I got Jon's book.  Elegant Tatting Gems is full of beautiful motif patterns that are easy to follow and a pleasure to tat.  The first one (of many!) I've completed is "Zamrud".  I know I will find plenty of things to use these motifs on.

Zamrud from Elegant Tatting Gems by Jon Yusoff
Size 20 Lizbeth 'Honey Drizzle'
I ordered Jon's book and some new thread - I needed some new thread that was a brighter color than our gloomy weather lately!  It's been overcast and SNOWY all month so far, when we are all ready for some sunshine, green growth and SPRING. (It's becoming a joke around here!) I got this Lizbeth "Honey Drizzle" and thought it was just perfect to tat a sunny motif.

The pattern book is wonderful - I can't wait to tat more motifs.  Just the quick, easy, relaxing tat I need sometimes.  Especially when we have a Winter Storm Warning in effect until Friday, April 19th. Yikes!  

Even the deer are preparing for another blizzard.  And I was hoping for the birds to return, darn it!  Silly me.  I live in Minnesota.

Larry, Curly and Moe looking for a snack.  No tulips to munch on yet :)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

How did I get HERE?

And how am I going to get out of this one?  This is Medallion II from  Jan Stawasz Tatted Treasures.  I'm at the very final ring, but I can't quite get my hand in the right spot to attach the ring to the previous ring (never mind that last folder over join!)  I'm not sure how I was supposed to do this part.  And how do I get out of this mess?  Maybe I have to finger-tat the rest?  I am open to lessons here :)

No wonder I get so frustrated at times - everything is going along quite smoothly, and then when I'm ready to finish I don't know what happened!


Ta Da!  The key was walking away for a few minutes.  The lesson here is PATIENCE.  I laid the ring out and looked at how it would connect to the others.  For some reason, something clicked.  Don't ask me how - I can't even explain it.  A few stitches, a join and a look.  Repeat :)  I took a good look before closing the ring - looked good - gritted my teeth and pulled that ring closed.  Whew!  A little blocking and I'm good to stitch this onto my next sewing project.

Medallion II from Jan Stawasz Tatted Treasures
Finca Thread from FOX
A sidenote about the thread.  Finca thread is pretty when tatted up - it's nice and soft and has a little shine to it.  HOWEVER, if you do much UN-tatting [like me], its softness is not a benefit :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Another BAG

I can't help it - I just love bags.  I keep thinking I'll make the perfect one to haul around.  [Ha!]  I bought this pattern so I could make a small bag to carry my important stuff like wallet, keys, etc., and just throw it in a larger bag with my Nook or my tatting or my bag for work. 

It's small - I forgot to put it next to something for size.  It's only about 7 inches tall.  It's the Tag Along Tote - perfect name for what I wanted it for.  I even put a little burlap on it.

I found that it also needed a little zipper pull, so I was experimenting with a tatted spiral chain and a charm.  I wanted to add some tatting somewhere, but the perfect spot for a motif didn't present itself.  I didn't want to force it and make it gaudy - it already has some color that I'm not sure I like.  The zipper pull will have to do for the tatted portion on this one.

Fox was kind enough to share some of her stash of beads with me, so I think I'll tat a motif with beads and THEN sew something to attach it to :)  

Long hours at work ahead for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and then the last of my classes on Thursday and Friday.  Thursday night I am anxious to see Boz Scaggs with my dearest high school friend and concert buddy.  She and I saw about every group possible in the mid-late 70's, and continue to enjoy music together when we can, only now in calmer venues :)   Hopefully spring will arrive in Minnesota sometime during this crazy week - it's taking its sweet old time this year!