Sunday, August 27, 2017

Lucky Pennies and Magic Buttons

I’m still working on 2017 lucky pennies.  My most recent ones are for expected babies - one of unknown gender, and one expected girl.  

I like the Springtime Lizbeth – it has the perfect colors for any baby!  Not many leave the gender unknown anymore, but I like using variegated thread vs. a solid color.

And more button tatting.  I don’t have many buttons, but these are just cute little enjoyable pieces to tat.  I can only imagine tatting on an antique or heirloom type button – but I don’t plan on searching for more buttons! I did have this pretty button – and as I was tatting, I realized it just didn’t look as nice as I thought it should.  

Originally, I had taken a quick look at Fox’s button tatting, and saw that there were 4 beads on each of the outer picots.  I usually use 3 beads, but hers looked so nice, so I used 4. [Copycat skills!]  Now that I’ve made a few buttons, I noticed my button placement was not as nice.  I saw that there was one bead below the picot between the stitches, but being unsure about how to do that, I asked Fox. She was kind enough to point me to this little pattern, which explains the placement.  (More than likely, others have done this for a long time - but it's just like me to only notice it now!)

We had our Twin Cities Tatters gathering on Saturday, and my goal was to figure out that bead placement. Ta Da!  Got it.  I usually talk too much to get any tatting done, but at least I conquered the beads.

See the difference?  The "new" way is above and the "old" way below.  

The finished buttons look nice either way, and most people probably wouldn’t notice – but I like how it looks with the more precise placement.  And, there’s more opportunity for some creative color placement if one chooses.  Sometimes I feel like really planning ahead, and other times I just string the beads however they appear - ha!

These small projects are perfect to get a quick tatting fix!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Little Dare?

I’ve been admiring Fox’s button tatting lately, and knowing my obsession with Ice Drops, she proposed a little dare.  That I try a tatted button.  It’s only taken me about 2 weeks, but I finally got it!  I do see how these are addicting – but I don’t need to start collecting buttons now on top of fabric, beads, gems and charms.  Yikes!

I love this one, it’s one of my favorite color combinations – brown and turquoise.  I may have to make some more and play with other colors!

The first couple tries just gave me knots – not sure why, but I think I didn’t give myself enough thread.  Frustrating though – I knew it couldn’t be that hard! After a few knots, I decided to try one without beads.  Once I got on a bit of a roll, I attached to the wrong hole in the button.  Aaaaaagh!  Sheesh, I always learn the hard way first.

I’m still working on making lucky pennies for a few brides and babies too – and was having a hard time finding 2017 pennies.  A kind tatter on one of the Facebook group pages offered to send me some, as she had TWO WHOLE ROLLS of 2017 pennies!  I now have enough pennies for all those I want to make.  

This is the latest penny for a new bride:

Between all the sewing I’ve been doing and the tatting projects I have planned, there’s no time for work!  Just kidding – the job gets in the way of the hobbies!  

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tatting, Sewing and Thankful

It's been a busy week!  I finished another Ice Drop – this time with a faceted gem from Diane.  I love the royal blue, but I ended up running out for the rings to enclose the gem – a little darker blue worked just fine.  Which, of course, makes me start thinking about using a different color on purpose for those last 6 rings!  Thread color combinations are so enjoyable to me.  While I love blue, I think this needed a different color for beads and those enclosing rings.  It's OK - it's still pretty!

I also love putting together color combinations in fabrics. I’ve got a new obsession making these bags.  Well, OK, a bag making obsession is not NEW for me, but this pattern is!  I tend to like bags/pouches that I can zip closed, and these are perfect!

I’ve been making sets of 1 bag with 1 small pod to match, and extra pods as stand-alone items. It’s fun to dig out coordinating fabrics, and all the while I’m sewing I’m trying to think of all the things one could use these bags for.  The little pods would be perfect for throwing small tatting projects in my purse to have on hand. Something I don’t normally do, but found out at our tatting retreat that everyone else does!   I will most likely be using these for gifts, and maybe to sell as well. 

The end of July always brings Quilt Minnesota – fabrics by Minnesota designers featuring Minnesota!  I ALWAYS have to get some of this fabric – I just love it.  I love that it represents my home. This year’s purchase included these lovelies – birds, fish, dragonflies, agates, wild mushrooms and cute turtles. 

More bags?!!  Hehehehe.

It’s also been an emotional week here -  for the Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul as well as for my own family.  Indirectly, thank heavens, but it still affects one’s being.  We had the awful Minnehaha Academy explosion and collapse killing 2.  My tatting friends Michelle and Katie both teach there, so I was a little panicky and then thankful to know they were OK. Their sadness of losing coworkers and part of their workplace is a reminder of how fast life can change.

We also had a construction worker hit by a distracted teen driver.  The gal was flagging traffic, and was thrown 70 feet.  She has suffered both broken legs, a broken arm and pelvis, as well as a broken skull.   She was just doing her job.  You may not know this, but I work with road construction contracts and compliance.  I didn’t know her, but this was on one of our projects, and while I only visit project sites once or twice a month, my coworkers are on these sites daily.  My own neighborhood has been under construction all summer as well – by the same contractor.  My husband and daughter are also involved in traffic on the roads every day. The mood at work, at home and on my neighborhood streets was very heavy all week. Please drive safe in construction zones, no matter how irritating road construction can be.  These folks are just doing their job, and deal with angry AND distracted drivers every single day.

Other tragedies in the cities involved a murder of a woman, again, just doing her job. Random killing.  Another lovely person that was a friend of a friend.  

Today, I’m thankful just to be here.