Monday, May 30, 2011

Today is May 30, and it's Memorial Day here in the US.  Technically, it's still Spring -- but no one seems to have explained that to the sun, as it's hot here.  As in Summertime temperatures.  As in HOT.

I've been tatting when I can find some cool (usually at work, at lunchtime), but don't have any show-and-tell just yet.  And now I have a new project - a new hankie to edge!  Lace-Lovin' Librarian had a hankie give-away recently - she put pictures of those to be given away on her blog, and the first one to ask for a particular hankie would receive it.  I asked for this one, and it came the other day in the mail -- what a wonderful piece of mail to find in the box when I got home!

Although I haven't decided yet on what pattern to use (there are so many!  And they're all so pretty!), I was thinking of using a green to complement the pink rose.  I had wound two shuttles a month (or two...or three) ago and hadn't tatted anything - they're still waiting - and the thread is a lovely, soft green.  I think it looks nice with the rose -- what do you think? 

In other news, I attended the "Country to the Bone" event in Ninety Six on Saturday.  The day started out heavily overcast and humid, but not blazing hot.  The crowd (including vendors) wasn't large - probably because Ware Shoals had their Catfish Feastival the same day.  The Feastival has been going on for well over 20 years, and this was the first time for the "Country" event, so I'm thinking that's the reason.  I took tatting to demo, but nobody seemed interested.  DH was crushed - he loves it when people come up to me and ask what I'm doing.  He had to cover the event for his newspaper, the Star-Beacon, and that's why we didn't get to go off this weekend - he had to work. 

And I guess it's just as well - the toilet threw up today and there's that to mop up, and the plumber to call in.  We're debating whether we can hold off and call the plumber tomorrow, when it's not a holiday, and the rate is back to its usual arm-and-a-half instead of today's holiday rate of arm-and-a-leg.  We do have the upstairs bathroom, so we'll probably wait.  My knees are not going to be happy about climbing the stairs, though!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

"Where is This Year's Angel?!" (Part 2)

Then…I found the angel!

As so often happens (at least to me), I ran across a PDF of the angel pattern while I was looking for something else.  I would have liked to have had the Word document, but, hey, I was grateful for the PDF!  At least I had something to work from!

I tatted one by the pattern I had written sometime last fall, and wrote out corrections on the hard copy as I went.  One thing I did remember to do was to use two different colors of thread in my test tat - a wonderful suggestion made to me by my friend (and yours), Jane Eborall.  By using different colors, you know at a glance which part of the pattern was made with which shuttle; this makes writing the pattern so much easier.

I left it up to the Guild - I can submit this next year or we can substitute it for one of the others.  The decision was made - it is official - the Snow Angel is in this year, and I'l submit the bracelet again next year. 

This year, here is what I'm teaching: the fob (shown here on one of my several pairs of scissors), the beaded star, the angel, and two snowflakes. 

The snowflakes are the same pattern with a difference of four double stitches; their placement, which the tatter decides, determines the finished look. 

The star is ring-and-chain, but tatting a split chain will keep you from having to hide the ends. 

The fob is a fun challenge - it uses the same technique as last year's dragonfly chatelaine pin, but with beads added. 

The angel (trust me, the picture does NOT do her justice) has a regular safety pin encapsulated - or you can leave it out for an ornament or applique.

I can't wait for Tat Days 2011 - Tatting in a Winter Wonderland!!!  Hope to see you there!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Where is This Year's Angel?!" (Part 1)

Angel From Abbeville,

For the last several years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be selected as one of the teachers at the Palmetto Tatters Guild yearly Tat Days.  I submitted an angel in 2008, and she was popular…

Friendship Angel,

...and another in 2009 and she was very popular. 


Guardian Angels, 2010

Last year, I taught three different versions of the same angel.  And then it was 2011, and time to submit new patterns with my application.

I couldn’t find the angel pattern I had created in the fall of 2010!  It was hiding somewhere in the files on the hard drive of my computer, and several deep searches netted me nothing.

I submitted a snowflake pattern…or two?  It’s essentially one pattern, but the tatter can make a decision on one certain split ring – just four double stitches – that will determine if the snowflake looks one way or the other.

My bracelet pattern didn’t get selected last year, so it went back in again this year.  Then Joanie asked if maybe I could do a “practice” piece for the bracelet, since it uses the pearl tatting with just two shuttles and no ball thread.  I said, “sure,” and after thinking about it, decided on a scissors fob.  It went in with the patterns.  I had done a butterfly for a friend out in the Midwest, and sent four winging their way to her in the winter when she really needed to see something that reminded her of spring.  That pattern went into the submission packet too.  And then a five-pointed star, to which I added beads.

I submitted these, and was accepted.  The teacher list went up on the Palmetto Tatters website, and I got some emails wanting to know what I was going to teach.  The usual response was, “WHAT?  No angel this year??” 

Then…I found the angel!  
To be continued…

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

I'm sending this out to everyone - because each of us has a mother.  I want to take a few minutes to honor mine, who's now living in Heaven with so many of our family.

Six Really Important Things I Learned From My Mom:
1.  Be careful with sharp knives (she got a bad cut one time).
2.  Long after you're dead and gone, the housework will STILL BE THERE.  You just won't have to think about it any more.
3.  Enjoy the life you've been given, and remember to thank God for it every day.
4.  You can disagree without being disagreeable.
5.  What goes around, comes around.
6.  People are way more important than things.

There are, of course lots of other things I learned from her - some of which didn't sink in too well (I'm still a really lousy poker player because I have a weakness for trying to draw to an inside straight), but I'm still working on them!  All things considered, I guess I'm not doing too bad.

Next post - back to tatting.  I have some stuff to show you!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

"Quick, Mr. Spock, It's a Phaser On Overload!"

Newly-emerged cicada getting his bearings
before trying out his wings, actually, it's not.  It's been about 13 years since the last time we saw them --- cicadas!  They've been emerging from their underground hideaways.  They've been leaving their outgrown exoskeletons all over the place, and singing their little hearts out!  The males, that is...trying to find true cicada love by serenading their ladies fair!  Unfortunately, most of those of us not of the cicada persuasion find the song to be rather annoying.  My daughter told me it's driving her crazy.  My granddaughter, age 5, got into my truck yesterday, looked at me, and said "Granny! What is that noise???"  I told her about cicadas; boy cicadas who sing songs of love that we can't understand, hoping to find a girl cicada who will love them and marry them.  She nodded knowingly and leaned toward me and said, "I'm going to get married someday and I'll have a wedding ring to wear!"  I showed her mine; she looked at her hand and shook her head.  "I don't have a wedding ring."  I told her, "Yet!  Someday you may!"  She grinned at me and off we went to Pizza Hut (by special request -- she had earned a free pizza certificate through the Book-It program at school). 

Back home later, I got out the camera and started looking for cicadas.  My son-in-law stopped by to pick up a gallon of strawberries I had gotten for them and said, "Isn't that the coolest sound? I love it! It sounds just like a phaser on overload!" I shared that with David, who said, "Yes! That's what I've been trying to think of! Remember I told you it sounded familiar?" (Obviously it's a guy thing.) 

I found cicada exoskeletons singly and in clumps - here is an interesting grouping.  I hope the "enlarge when you click it" works - it's amazingly 3D-like when it's enlarged.  I've got several other pictures, but this one is my favorite.  My daughter said, "It would be pretty if those things weren't hanging off the leaves.  They're creepy!"
Something rustled among the leaves in the bush and I saw this cute little guy!  He was patient with me for awhile and let me take a couple of pictures, then he was gone - I have a wonderful picture with just his tail as he zipped away!  At least he didn't stick around and try to sell me insurance.
Yes, I've also been tatting - nothing much to speak of, nothing to show you.  Hopefully I'll have something soon!