Friday, December 30, 2016

Thinking Summer?!

Twin Cities Tatters Retreat Summer 2017 is in the planning stages!

Tela Magistrae Michelle and I thought it was time for the Twin Cities Tatters to have a little summer retreat in July, so we are interested in finding out if anyone else might want to join us!  This would be a 2-night stay at a retreat center somewhere near the Twin Cities, Minnesota area, and just time set aside to tat and enjoy the company of other tatters.  No classes would be offered for this first retreat, but who knows what fun could evolve?!

If you are seriously interested, we would love to hear from you ASAP.  The link below will take you to a simple form to help us determine interest and decide what might work the best.  Space will be limited, and a deposit will be required - so the sooner we get planning, the better!

Click here to submit interest (no obligation at this time) >

Once the dates are set, the Retreat will be open for registration on a first-come / first-served basis, so watch for that information!

In the meantime, from the snowy, cold climate of Minnesota . . .

Best Wishes for a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Gingerbread Wonderland

I'm SOOOO loving some vacation during the holidays to enjoy some local events. I had seen something about this Gingerbread Wonderland contest late in 2015 and put it on my calendar to check into this year.  I asked my 2 aunts that live nearby if they'd be interested, and off we went. It was worth the trip to the Norway House in downtown Minneapolis, and fun to see the families with children exploring and discussing the city in gingerbread!

The gingerbread buildings were fabulous - and represented many landmarks in what is called the "Twin Cities" of Minnesota - Minneapolis and St. Paul.  There must be HOURS of work in these creations - much more time (and patience!) than I could ever come up with.

Minnesota State Capitol Building in St. Paul

St. Paul Cathedral

St. Paul Cathedral CLOSE UP - stunning!

[The late] Prince's Paisley Park - Chanhassen, Minnesota

Minneapolis City Hall

The Old Grain Belt Brewery sign and the Stone Arch Bridge - Icons of Minneapolis

First Avenue & 7th Street Entry (Current Live Bands play here)
First Avenue is a main band/dance area upstairs, and the 7th Street Entry is a smaller side bar.  Both host multiple concerts each year, from local to big name musicians.  Prince's "Purple Rain" was filmed here!  First Avenue used to be a disco called "Uncle Sam's" when I was in college, an 18+ venue that also had music and dancing for under 18 on Sunday nights.  I actually saw Tina Turner here in about 1981 or so - when she was making a sort of "comeback".

I'm getting pretty relaxed this week - a little Christmas clearance shopping, some car maintenance, cleaning out cupboards, etc. - feels great to be getting a start on organizing for the New Year!  I've decided that 2017 is going to be the year of getting rid of "stuff".  Donations and a garage sale are looming!  It's a great feeling to clean out closets, but man, have we accumulated a lot of "stuff"!!

Aside from all of that, I've been fighting with my iPad and my laptop.  Blogger doesn't want to work for me - it shuts down on the iPad, and does a crazy magnification on my laptop - both without warning.  Frustrating!  So, I've spent some time on trying to figure out those little annoyances.

Aaaaagh!  So many things to do - I DO NOT want to fight with technology this week! :)

Friday, December 23, 2016

Lefse (but no Lutefisk!)

Well, it's the night-before-the-night-before Christmas!  The lefse is ready to bring to the family Christmas Eve.  Every year when my girls and I make the lefse, I tell them again how my grandma made lefse on a wood stove.  We regulate the griddle easily - can you imagine regulating the temperature of a wood stove?  And, Grandma said they made the lefse on Christmas Eve Day along with the rest of the food.  Boy, we don't know how good we have it, do we?

In later years, my Grandma and her brother would get together on Christmas Day and make lutefisk and lefse.  Grandma's apartment STUNK, but they loved it.  I've tried it and can stand just a small portion of lutefisk, but I don't go out of my way to make it OR have it.  Lefse, on the other hand, is a MUST for Christmas Eve.  I butter and sugar it (white sugar is the tradition, but I prefer brown), and roll it up and cut into pieces for everyone to have.  I mostly prefer lefse warmed in the microwave wrapped around some ham!  

EDITED TO ADD:  It has been brought to my attention that not everyone knows what Lefse and Lutefisk are!  Ha - never thought about that.  Lefse is like a tortilla - but it's made with butter, mashed potatoes and flour, and rolled out to fry on a hot griddle.  Lutefisk is a whitefish soaked in lye, and has a gel-like texture to eat.  It was very smelly in the past, but that seems to have been improved and doesn't smell quite so bad these days.  In any case, that gel-like texture is what is such a turn-off for me - the flavor is very bland!

This year I did something fun, and mailed a package of lefse to my 2nd cousin.  (Twice removed or something like that.)  She is the granddaughter of my Grandma's brother that shared lutefisk and lefse with my Grandma.  We met one summer when we were about 14 or so, and have always stayed in touch as pen pals (she lives in another state), and now on Facebook.  She, too, remembers her grandpa and my grandma having lefse at Christmas.  It was fun to mail her a surprise package of homemade lefse, and she was excited to receive it.  I think our grandparents would be happy to know that we're still in touch!  

Our traditions keep changing, but making the lefse always gets done!  (Skip the lutefisk, thanks.)

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016


Well, at first thought this thread seemed to be a perfect match for this towel.

And now that I've finished the edging, I'm not so sure I like the color.  Dang it. At our last Twin Cities Tatters gathering, using a gray thread was suggested.  Dumb me, I never thought about GRAY - I only had SILVER in mind.  I'm not sure gray would be right either - it seems like it could be too light.  In any case, I think it will do - it's just not as good as I had envisioned :(

And looking at my Christmas tree, I see this tatted wreath ornament from when I first learned to tat.  It was one of the very first things I made, and I made many as gifts!  I still like it - so simple!  

On with this Christmas week.  For so many reasons, this Christmas season has me full of hope and wonder once again.  I'm so ready for some vacation and some planning for the New Year!