Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Word of the Year: Wisdom


/ˈwɪzdəm/The quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgement; the quality of being wise.

I’ve thought about this word a lot during the past year, as our family has experienced the losses and additions of loved ones (including pets), as well as new experiences - job changes, successes and disappointments. All of our experiences give us the wisdom we need to live our best lives!

It’s interesting to see and read about how many differing opinions and perceptions there are about absolutely everything that can be pondered in life, and the more I take in, the more I think about the wisdom I’m gaining. Wisdom about life, death, careers, families, homes, traditions, education, politics, and the list goes on. My opinions and beliefs don’t change, but I often think about what experiences someone with differing opinions has had in life that has shaped their wisdom.  Experiences and knowledge, not just opinions, are what give us true wisdom.

Such things I think about!  In any case, as I reflect on 2018, I know I’ve gained more experiences and learned a little more about life - my wisdom is increasing.  I like that word. Wisdom.

Enjoy this one last day of 2018 - and reflect on the wisdom you’ve gained!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Look at this beautiful little bluebird I received from my Secret Santa:

Adorable, no?  And so perfectly tatted.  My gift included the pattern by Kaye Judt - my Santa.  I’m anxious to set aside some time to try this little cutie!  The Secret Santa fun was organized by Lisa at  the Tatting Corner - such fun!  

My gift also included one of the new bobbin organizers - I’ve been looking at these!  A great addition for carrying and organizing bobbins (they are currently all over the place 😬) Will 2019 be the year of organization?  

Happiest of Holidays to all!  
Don’t forget to enjoy the music, the lights and the decorations while nibbling on goodies 😉

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Memorial Ornament

I was gifted a pretty Japanese shuttle and some metallic Lizbeth thread when I lost my sweet Ruby. When our Twin Cities Tatters group met yesterday, I decided to work on a snowflake from Jon Yusoff’s snowflake patterns, and was wondering who the heck might want a “purple” snowflake!

As I was finishing the snowflake, I realized I was using the shuttle and thread gifted to me by my friend after losing my sweet sidekick, Ruby.  There was no better use for a purple snowflake than to remember my sweet Ruby!

Ruby loved the snow (which we are not celebrating at the moment!) and this was a perfect way to remember her with every stitch from this wonderful gift! 💜 This will be Ruby’s ornament on our tree  for years to come.

I like the addition of the bead and charm at the bottom - it helps the snowflake to hang straight.  While the Lizbeth metallic makes a nice, sturdy snowflake, the bead and charm just add some flair!  I will be adding similar decor to my other snowflakes - just simple, but a nice addition.

I think I may cut the ribbon tails a little shorter - what do you think?

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Snow means ... Christmas?

It’s WAY too early, but in the past couple of days we’ve gotten our first snow of the season, along with those traffic reports of many cars in the ditches, and “watch out for the plows!”  

Colder than usual temperatures, too! It’s so unfair - we never even really had fall, my favorite time of year!  It’s going to be a long winter, I’m afraid.

This can only mean it’s time to get going on more Christmas decorations!  I love the ice drops using  just white thread with red gems and beads - so that is what I’ll be working on along with my snowflakes.

Our TWIN CITIES TATTERS group has also recently become a TATTING CORNER AFFILIATE.  We would love it if you’d use our link at the top left of this page every time you order your tatting supplies, so we can continue to encourage the fine art of tatting!  

Friday, October 19, 2018

It’s October What?

Wow - here we are, more than halfway through October already.  Our weather in Minnesota has been unseasonably COLD!  Our average temps this time of year are about 60 F, and we’ve had 40’s. Brrrr!  There was even a little snow last weekend, but it melted quickly (thank heavens!)

I have been working on the “secret quilt”, so I haven’t been tatting.  I’ve also been working on a weekend duffel for ME!  Unfortunately, I’m at a bit of a standstill until I can re-cut my straps.  I can’t find the hardware required in the pattern, so I’ll have to do a bit of adjusting to the fabric I’ve already cut.  No problem, I just need to have a good block of time to think straight so I don’t make errors that I can’t correct.  Dang it, I hate when patterns need something that I can’t run to Joann’s and get with a coupon!

My sweet sidekick - Ruby - has crossed the Rainbow Bridge.  She was 12 years and 3 months old, which is pretty old for a boxer.  She was “losing her legs” and experiencing tipping and tripping, and I was terrified that she would fall down the stairs in our home while I was at work.  We’d been watching the progress all summer, and it started to deteriorate quickly.  My heart is broken and we miss her presence so much!  All the daily routines have changed.

Are you joining in on the Tatting Corner Secret Santa Exchange?  I am!  Email if you’re interested!  I haven’t participated in an exchange for several years, but it really is fun.  I’m looking forward to doing it again.

Last weekend, I attended a lecture by Kaffe Fassett, well known for vibrant, colorful fabric designs.  I love the Kaffe fabric collection, and can’t wait to get creative with some of his fabric.  So many ideas, so little time - as usual.  The lecture was great - so many good thoughts about where inspiration really comes from.  Everywhere!  Look at the color around you.  I love vibrant color, but my home is rather boring and “safe” with tan painted walls 😬.

What inspires you?

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Road Trip Photos

We are back into the swing of things at home and at work after our vacation road trip to Colorado. Driving from Minnesota through South Dakota and Nebraska is not the most exciting drive in the world, but we made the best of it!

We stopped at the Chamberlain, South Dakota Visitor and Information Center, which also commemorates the Lewis and Clark expedition. There’s a great view of the Missouri River from here.

This new sculpture named ‘Dignity’ is a 50’ tall stainless steel statue of an indigenous woman receiving a star quilt - a prized gift of the Northern Plains Indians.

The quilt has lights on it at night - visible from the highway.  Would’ve been fun to see it all lit up!

Once we reached Colorado, we did some horseback riding and hiking - and most of all, just thoroughly enjoyed the views!  What a beautiful area - I really do love the mountains. The temperatures were unseasonably warm in the upper 70’s and 80, and there were LOTS of people there doing the same thing we were, which we did not expect mid-September.

We stayed in Estes Park, Colorado - a tourist town near Rocky Mountain National Park.  We could walk to all of the shops and restaurants, so it was very convenient.  Our goal was to have mountain views and do some hiking - what a beautiful place!

Such an interesting place, rich with wildlife and history.  Not to mention those mountain views - pictures just don’t do it justice!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

FYI - Fabric Still Available

Want matching fabric for Frivole's motifs I showed a couple of posts ago?  Kathy has pointed out on my last post that some fabric is still available at Let's Sew Quilt Shop if anyone is interested!  

I'd love to see what others might do with this fabric - I just can't think of anything other than bags, HA!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

September Already?!

Wow - the summer has flown by!  And it’s been a HOT, HUMID one.  Or raining.  It seems like we’ve been inside a lot to avoid either rain or heat.  Some years are just like that.

Fall is my favorite time of year, though.  I like weather that I can wear t-shirt and jeans or a tank top and shorts, and be comfortable either way.  A sweatshirt in the evening as it cools down.  Not asking for much, am I?  Ha!  I love it warm and sunny during the day, but cool and crisp at night.  Fall doesn’t last nearly long enough for me.  

The back yard is beginning to show signs of fall - the tiniest tinge of red is out there.  It becomes red really fast, and is so pretty in the fall.

It’s the sumac - looks like this close-up:


I’ve been playing with ice drops and colors this week - matching ribbon and gems and thread.  Color matching is one of my favorite things to do - with both thread and fabric projects.

This one is Liz Metallic thread (Gemstone) with a clear gem that I’ve added glitter nail polish to the back side. Not such bright color, but a bit sparkly in a very subtle way.  This pattern is Diane’s Bloomin’ Ice Drop.  I really do like tatting with the Liz Metallic - rings are easier to open, tatting has a nice stability to it, and it has just a bit of sparkle.  It is comparable to size 20 thread, but works up just a bit larger.

This one has one of my favorite color gems - turquoise.  Lizbeth Island Breeze #130 thread goes perfectly with this gem. This one is Diane’s newest pattern “Frivolity”found with many more patterns on the Ice Drop Addicts Facebook page.90

I’ve also been working on the secret 30th birthday quilt - I can’t believe my baby will be 30!  Time goes so quickly, yet it seems like only yesterday we were running two little girls to piano lessons and volleyball and softball and school events. But it sure is fun to see those two little girls as wonderful, caring, productive adults!

Two more weeks until we have a vacation to Colorado planned - mountain views are in my future!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Square/Diamond Motif

Ta da!  I love this little motif just as much as the first one!  Now I have matching motifs for the fabric I used on my bags - how fun is that?  Love the fabric, and love the motifs.

Such a talent to be able to whip up these patterns so quickly, and then have a video tutorial as well.  The pattern for this square/diamond is on Frivole's blog HERE with a video to soon follow.  I can see the visual circle in this little motif as talked about on the pattern blog post. Such interesting tricks our eyes can play on us!  I have been wondering about trying this in a smaller thread, and attaching it to the zipper for an added zipper pull. Maybe stiffened?  Hhhmmmm.

In my non-tatting life, my bathroom remodel is FINALLY complete, including inspections.  We can finally move our "stuff" back in - trying to be neat about it and only bring back the items we really need in the new vanity.  Wonder how long that will last?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Pennies and a Bracelet

I finally obtained some 2018 pennies from one of the gals in our Twin Cities Tatters group a couple of months ago.  (She’s now my “Penny Dealer”!) Last year I made pennies for a couple of brides and a few babies.  This year, it’s all about the babies!  Every baby needs a birth year penny, right?

For my nephew’s identical twin girls

For a coworker’s new baby 

For a coworker’s twin granddaughters 

For a coworker’s new grandson

 And I have one more for one of my daughter’s friend’s new baby boy - but I forgot a picture! 
I just love making these and giving them away - they are a unique little gift, and usually loved by recipients.  

The other goal since our tatting retreat was to make a bracelet that we talked about.  It was on a Facebook post, and I was intrigued at how the beads were added onto the split rings.  I finally was able to sit down and try this today - what a quick and easy project!  (I see why Michelle made FOUR!)    

You can’t see the blue thread very well no matter how I photograph the bracelet. 

I like these quick, easy projects as a little diversion from a larger doily project.  I’m still plugging away at Renulek’s Spring Doily 2018.  I’ve just decided to enjoy tatting it, and not make myself crazy trying to finish it :) 

Thursday, August 16, 2018

One Shuttle Medallion

I finally finished a practice medallion from Frivole’s new pattern.  I need to work on the bare thread lengths, but I have the pattern down!

It took me a couple of re-starts and some running out of thread, but now I feel like I can make a “good” piece.  The directions are perfectly clear; it was my haste to complete this one that made the mistakes.  This is the part of tatting that I find so difficult - practicing a small piece over and over again to get the pattern right - I just want to make whatever it is I’m tatting and get it done!

One-Shuttle Medallion

It is so great that Frivole has the know-how and talent to create a pattern by just looking at this fabric.  I would have never even thought of that - I’m just happy to have a pattern to follow most of the time.  I’m no designer!

Here’s a link to Frivole’s blog post with the pattern.  She has added a link to her YouTube video as well to show how the medallion is worked with one shuttle. Her post also shows several medallions joined together - it’s amazing how the medallions take on a square shape when joined together.

I’m looking forward to doing a few more of these!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Quilt Bus Finds

I was finally organizing my quilt bus treasures last night - boy do I have a lot of “plans”!  Just thought I’d share a few of my purchases for planned projects. (And because Diane wanted to see 😉)  Plans that, of course, will probably get put on hold when something else catches my eye.  Ha!

There was an extra cute rug at one shop, so I had to peek at the pattern to see what all it might entail.  Had to get the pattern - I have PLENTY of fabric to try this!

I was also collecting some background fabric for another collage quilt project I hope to work on this winter to hang in my sewing/crafting cave/studio.  Isn’t this a cute collage for a sewing room?

Reds and florals will not be hard to gather from my stash, but I wanted to collect some plain background fabrics of words or newsprint on white/cream.  Hopefully I can put a layout of these together as a base to start adding the bright reds and pinks.  I’m not sure if these are too dark or not - but I won’t know until I start laying everything out.  Maybe I can be creative enough to keep the darker ones to the outside edges.

I was also collecting a specific color of fat quarters for work on the next 30th birthday quilt.  The one that needs to be a secret for a couple of months yet, but here’s the color scheme I was collecting:

The main reason for the quilt shop hop was the Minnesota fabric.  This is designed each year by a Minnesota designer, and is sold beginning the end of July until sold out.  There are no re-orders, so if you don’t get what you want before it sells out, you are out of luck unless it shows up on Etsy or something.  This year’s fabric didn’t intrigue me as much as past years, but I did get a yard of the most popular fabric - it was selling out quickly everywhere.  Each shop also gave out their own quilt block design pattern with a square from the 2018 line.  

I’m pretty sure I can find something to do with those red poppies - love that fabric!

And last, [but certainly not least!] I picked up a small kit of Kaffe Fasset fabric.  He is a fabulous artist known for his use of color in textiles and knitting.  I will be attending his color lecture here in October, and find it difficult to choose from all of his bright, beautiful fabrics.  This kit helps me have the fabric and eliminates the work of putting it together myself!  I’m sure there will be more of this fabric in my future - probably after the lecture.

Between fabric and thread and IDEAS, I’m set for awhile!  

Saturday, August 4, 2018

I Need a Vacation from my Vacation!

Wow - what a busy vacation week!  I always try to cram a little too much into my days off.

Monday to Wednesday - TATTING RETREAT!  We sure had a great time, we have found a wonderful place, and already have our reservation for 2019!

This is our magnificent 8 that have attended our first two retreats, and are signed up for the 3rd Annual retreat in 2019:

Frivole was wonderful to create our special commemorative shuttle again this year.  
These are my absolute favorite shuttles to work with.  Isn’t this lovely?  The Minnesota State Flower (the Pink Ladyslipper) is on the front, and our retreat dates along with the modified Quatrain on the back side.  What shall we do for our 2019 shuttle?

The retreat “house” is beautiful with a nice entry to greet us.  It was a little warm to sit outside, but there is a great area to sit, have a bonfire and even have a short hike.  

We even took a little side trip to a local winery - a beautiful day to enjoy some hors d’oeuvres and wine on the vineyard patio!

On Wednesday, I had a funeral to attend, and then made my way home.  Boy, was I tired!  So much inspiration in two-and-a-half short days, and then reliving memories was exhausting. 

Thursday I attended a baby shower for a coworker, and then in the evening I attended a GED graduation commencement ceremony.  My daughter is an Adult Basic Education instructor, and this was her first commencement ceremony with students that she has been working with.  To see them succeed in this one goal was wonderful, and to hear their anticipation for the future was undeniably gratifying. Most graduates were in their young 20’s, but one special graduate was 87 years old.  She had about 70 family members there to celebrate her accomplishment - something she had a passion to achieve.  The circumstances of these graduates, no matter their story, made it all worth attending.  I didn’t know one of them, but I was moved to see their proud event.  Even more proud to see their interaction and thanks to my daughter for helping them with this achievement!

On Friday, I went on an all day Quilt Shop Hop.  And I’m talking ALL DAY.  6:45 am to 7:00 pm.  Exhausting!  But so fun.  I chose to go alone on the bus this year, but you’re never really alone with fellow quilters. We visited 8 quilt shops during the 2018 “Quilt Minnesota” event.  The special fabric created by a Minnesota designer is featured, and I usually try to get some each year.  Because it is limited, it is a rush to get some!  But ALL. DAY. LONG. on a bus is tiring.  At the last shop, we were treated to a glass of wine.  

A great week in tatting AND in quilting!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Sewing for Tatting!

Well?  Haven’t been tatting, but I made myself some . . . wait for it . . . BAGS to cart around my tatting stuff.  Surprised?  Ha ha - I just love making bags, especially bags that zip closed.
This is some fun fabric with tatting on it - a rare find, so of course I hoarded it awhile until the perfect thing came to me.  This was perfect! 😊

Today is Ruby’s 12th birthday.  This is a significant day for her, as boxers usually have a life span of 9-12 years.  She’s an overachiever!  She is such a sweet dog - boxers are loyal, protective (sometimes too much) and hilarious comedians.  My 2 year old in fur - her expression is like a child, hanging on every word.

My daughter LOVES alpacas, and arranged for us to visit a local alpaca farm recently.  The couple that owns these beauties are so very nice, and told us all about showing them, and how each of them has different fiber quality for spinning into yarn.  They are very sweet!  The yarn is beautiful, but I’m really avoiding starting that collection!

This little one was orphaned at only about a month old, so she is extremely friendly after being bottle-fed and handled a lot. I was thinking about how nice it would be to sit in a stall with her cuddled up beside me while I read a book.  (Ha.  I don’t think they are really very cuddly, but it would be fun anyway.)

The answer is no.  I am not allowed to have any!