Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First Day of Autumn

Happy Autumn!  I love this time of year - the trees are so beautiful and seem to change colors overnight.  And the color is different every year based on the weather conditions from spring throughout summer - an interesting piece of nature and science.  The days right now are sunny, upper 60's to low 70's F and chilly nights in the 50's.  Unfortunately, this is a short season, and those of us that live here know what is in store for us very soon! [The other 4-letter word - SNOW!]

This is the maple tree that overhangs my backyard deck.  Crazy - just one colorful leaf so far!

And way out in my backyard, the wild sumac turns red practically overnight.  The sumac is really pretty all along the roadsides.

On Sunday, I met a friend at a winery we both enjoy.  (Yes, we have vineyards and wineries here in Minnesota and Wisconsin - a LOT of them, in fact!) This particular one is in Wisconsin, near the border with Minnesota.  The colors were just beginning, so I couldn't resist a few photos.  It's really so much prettier in person.

The St. Croix River looking at Minnesota from Wisconsin

Chateau St. Croix Winery, modeled after a Chateau in France

Grapes growing in Wisconsin

This upcoming Saturday, I will be heading north again for some wedding planning fun with my daughters and my mom - and a certain wedding dress. The colors should be spectacular - and I hope to get a few more photos.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Josephine Rings

Josephine Ring Medallion - (pattern HERE)
Lizbeth #154 (Wildflower Garden) size 20 thread
I've realized that small tatting projects suit me well these days.  I have a doily I'd like to start when the snow flies and the evenings are longer, but some quick projects to satisfy the bug will suffice for now.  There are some quilting projects to work on too - but I better continue going to work until I win the lottery. 

I saw this on Pinterest over the weekend, and decided it was a perfect small project to remember how to make those Josephine rings.  The pattern page is great for choosing technique-specific patterns to practice.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Hydrangea Doily

Lizbeth #181 (Cranberry Bush) and an Ecru thread, size 20
From the book 'New Tatting' by Tomoko Morimoto
Yes, the pattern is called a doily.  A table topper, even - which I guess is pretty accurate - it does go on top of a table.  Actually, it's pretty small to be what I would call a 'doily'.  But it makes a very pretty coaster.  An easy tat, quick little one shuttle motifs attached together with a simple edge around.  Not my best tatting, but it won't be entered in any competitions!

A set of these to use with small wine glasses would be great, but even my coffee cup would hide it.  How would you use this dainty coaster?  I'm considering stitching it to fabric for a more practical, useful coaster, but I'm not sure I would put anything on top of it anyway - it's too pretty to cover up.

On another subject, our Twin Cities Tatters group met yesterday, and I think we had the biggest group ever!  Six of us adults plus a mom with two young girls eager to learn after seeing demonstrations at the state fair a few times. They even seemed to get that flip pretty readily.  Maybe tatting will be the new craze! OK, probably not, but it's fun to see that there really is more interest in tatting than I think sometimes, especially in the younger generation.  

Saturday, September 6, 2014


A relief! Though the cortisone injection hurt like a bugger, I am able to use my thumb again and get back to putzing around with the things I like to do.  (Not to mention perform my paid JOB a bit more comfortably as well!) It's amazing how much one can miss the thumb.

While I was unable to tat or sew or write, I read a few good books. I have been keeping track of the books I read on 'GoodReads', per Fox's suggestion. (Thanks, Fox!)  I do read more than I thought, so it's been a good way to keep track. I have also gotten a book club started with high school friends - lots of good book reviews and suggestions there as well.

I have never been much on audiobooks, but now that I can tat again, I've finished my first one.  A long drive to visit my folks prompted me to try again, and when I got home, I found that listening to a book while tatting was so productive!  The process to burn the required 8 CDs so I could listen in the car seemed like it took forever.  Then when I got home and had 5 more CDs to listen to, I chuckled about the fact that I had no CD player to listen to in the house, and moved the book to my phone so I could listen on the bluetooth speaker. Technology.  I have a book I'm reading from a cloud library on my iPad, and listened to an audiobook from my phone while tatting.  Crazy! But I just love technology and the things I can do with it.

So, I've FINALLY had a chance to try out a simple pattern in the 'New Tatting' book by Tomoko Morimoto - the book I've had since the end of July.   Three more little motifs and an edge, and this will be a coaster.  I like this simple, colorful little dive back into productivity :)