Saturday, September 29, 2012


Saturday!  Isn't that a lovely word?  For those of use who work the standard Monday through Friday work week, it's gold.  We breakfasted this morning at Emerald Baptist Church, as they were hosting the Annual Pancake Breakfast benefiting Meg's House (a non-profit, non-denominational shelter for victims of domestic abuse).  It was a very worthy cause, and the pancakes were delicious!

We had a short ride afterwords; most of our friends and family didn't appear to be up and stirring yet, so we headed over to Hobby Lobby as I hadn't been in over a month.  Eek! I think I was having withdrawal symptoms!  
Here are some of our interesting purchases - more about the antique bronze butterfly string and lobster-claw clasps later (much later); today I want to focus on the Bobino Cord Wrap.  The bright pink against the stark black-and-white attracted my attention - then David said, "Hey, I bet you could tat with that!"  So we bought it - and he is so right! 

Here it is off the card, then wound with about five yards of Aunt Lydia's Classic 10 thread; I don't usually buy Aunt Lydia's thread, and certainly not in size 10, but I love the antique tones in these colors, so I indulged my inner child ("Pretty!  Want it!").  Do notice the little knot above the Bobino, though - and please note that I didn't put it there.  It came from the factory like that.  

I clipped it off and I'll let it go for now, but if I find more than three in a single ball, regardless of the brand, I notify the manufacturer with the label information as well as the date purchased and where purchased.

I also had a brainstorm when I dropped it and it started unwinding.  I have a lot of binder clips in various sizes, and actually had this 15mm silver one on a chatelaine.  I clipped it on the thread, and how about that - it works like a charm!

It doesn't matter whether you clip it ON the thread or AROUND the thread - it's just too wide to go between the arms of the flat shuttle, so it stops it completely.
Here's the first little ring - I have since kept at it, and now have four, and will do the fifth (and possibly sixth) when I finish this post.

I'm happy with today's purchases!  I can tat with this, or use it as a thread winder, or I can always return it to its original purpose, and wind up some of the electronics cords that always seem to multiply around here!

Sunday, September 23, 2012


 Have you ever heard of a company named Thirty-One?  They sell bags – purses, totes, lunch bags, etc.  You can get them monogrammed (for a fee) or have a name or phrase instead of a monogram (again, for a fee), or plain.  They run a special every month, and it’s tough to say no when it’s such a good deal and …it’s a friend who’s selling them.  Yep, they have a catalog, just like Avon, only theirs is bigger and it doesn’t smell funny.

There's still enough room to slip in my camera case!
I have several Thirty-One bags – some purchased from the catalogs of friends, some from the secondary market (eBay), and one from a friend who was cleaning out her closet and being ruthless with her discards (bought her skirt purse for $15, and she included both skirts!).

A friend was having a catalog party – these are great if you don’t live close by – and we don’t; she’s in NC while I’m in SC.  I decided I really needed the All-In-One Organizer.  It was $20, which could come out of my savings for Tat Days, and it was something I could use and enjoy for several years.  I ordered it in the fabric “Best Tweets,” which, if you look closely, you can see is birds on branches.  Not much room for embellishing with tatting, but then I’m really busy with work just now, anyway.

The two balls of thread at the back are from Gina's thread
stash; I'm grateful to her family for sharing with us!
I have discovered that the Sterlite plastic pencil boxes sold at Big Lots fit nicely in this tote – five of them, in fact, and that will hold a lot of tatting supplies!  Here is one open; I’ve still got room for more thread in this one.   Oh, and the pencil boxes are a steal at 88¢; and they’re recyclable if/when they break.

Clusters of these tiny mushroom have sprouted in our
backyard - there's a fallen pecan for size comparison!
Autumn spiders have become bolder - this gigantic web
completely covers what used to be the entrance to the
garage!  It's amazing what beautiful webs they make!

Not much other news from here; it’s officially fall, so we have a break from the summer heat.  I’m looking forward to getting out sweaters and warm socks, making big pots of homemade soup, and baking biscuits.  Mmmmm.  Hopefully I’ll have some more time this fall – we are working on 

a software conversion at work, and overtime is now a way of life.  The extra money is very welcome (the upstairs water closet had to be rebuilt as it had developed a nasty leak which was becoming increasingly more expensive), but it leaves me with very little free time before and after work.  I can usually tat just a bit on my lunch break – about 25-30 minutes’ worth – but it’s better than no time to tat at all!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Palmetto Tatters Guild!

 Our regularly scheduled meeting was yesterday, with an extra-special attraction - Riet Surtel-Smeulders, Jane Eborall, and Sally Kerson (Jane's sister)!  Jane and Riet taught at Tat Days.  This was Sally's first trip to the US, and we all hope she'll come back again – soon!

Jane taught the lesson, which was her lovely new "Walled Garden Motif."  Her lesson featured a terrific new way to start a motif with a self-closing mock ring without tying the two shuttle threads together.  I didn't get mine finished, but several others did!  Here are some pictures from yesterday - enjoy!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


We were told, Friday evening towards the end of class, to please bring a ball of our favorite thread to the banquet.    A whole ball of thread??  I hadn’t brought any – just a few 10-yard samples of a few different colors in case I wanted to experiment or swap.  Oh well, I thought, I’ll swing into the Vending Room after class and buy a ball of thread.  This one called out to me – bright and cheerful, and I didn’t have it already at home.  I bought it, dropped it into my bag, and went on my way.

After the banquet, all I had to do with the thread was hold it up at the appropriate time – discussing the rainbow of tatting we create with our threads of various colors.  I still liked the color, though, and wasn’t sorry I’d bought it.   I added it to my stash when we got back to our room.

Later that evening, while chatting in the lobby with Connie Angeline, my cell phone rang (I always had service at the Conference Center) – it was The Crazy Mom, inviting us to their room (she was rooming with IsDihara) to sit and chat.  We all went up – and shortly after we got there, The Crazy Mom gifted me with this lovely origami bag.  I was thrilled to get it – I love bags, especially handmade ones – and happily took it with me when we left.

Saturday morning, I was up early (as usual) and after dressing and opening the blinds to let in the morning sun, I started going through my stash and noticed something interesting – look how beautifully the new thread matches the new bag!  The Crazy Mom wasn’t with me, nor even in the Vending Room when I bought the thread – so she didn’t know it would match the bag she’d brought for me.  How’s that for serendipity!

Monday, September 10, 2012

We Had a Blast (From the Past)!

And now we are home – most of us – from Palmetto Tat Days 2012.  What a wonderful experience!  So many friends of many years’ standing and almost as many new friends!

Attendees received a terrific “Welcome” bag, emblazoned with the Tat Days 2012 logo, and just chock-full of goodies!  Many hands contributed wonderful, useful, and thoughtful items – and I would like to mention just a few of them here:
  • The Southern Belles Tatting Society of Columbia, TN
    • The Belles spent countless hours this past year collecting all sorts of items for the welcome bags, and what they couldn't find, they made.  We found drawstring bags, needle books, tatting tools - treasures abounded!
Wow!  The only purchased item is the ball of coral thread!
The bag it's sitting on was a gift from The Crazy Mom!
The silver angel was given to me by Sally Kerson; the quilted
print bag below it by Beth Sims; the dental floss threaders
were from Lynne Gillies; the tatted name pin from
Kathy Hodge; the flower clip from Marie Smith.  Wow!!
  • Barbara Foster, owner/operator of Handy Hands
    • Miss Barbara is a long-time supporter of the art of tatting, as evidenced by her never-ending quest for newer and better tools and threads for tatters.  She has also been a long-time supporter of Palmetto Tat Days, donating threads and shuttles each year.  This year she really went the distance - each attendee found in her (or his) Welcome bag a ball of one of the new Lizbeth colorways, a Starlit shuttle, and - *gasp* - a sample of the new Aerlit shuttles to be available for retail this coming Fall!!
    Goodies from Barbara Foster - check out the NEW Aerlit
    shuttle,  front and center, along with a Starlit shuttle and thread!
  • Kathy Hodge
    • A long-time attendee and very giving person, Kathy also went "all-out" for the 10th anniversary of Palmetto Tat Days.  She compiled a commemorative booklet highlighting the first nine Tat Days!  She also included a wee little shuttle - and it does work!  We tatted with one in the Try-It  session!
    • Below the Clover shuttle is the fairy shuttle
      given by Kathy Hodge.  It really works!

 Teacher gifts were also numerous and mind-boggling - we received, courtesy of Miss Barbara, a Lizbeth ball holder with a ball of thread included; a skein of lovely HDT from Marilee Rockley; tatting tools; a hand-made tatting bag; hand cream; artisan soap; hand-made earrings; and so many other goodies, that my brain is hurting from trying to name them all after the marathon that is Tat Days!

Shuttles I purchased from the Vending Room - three Gr8
bobbin shuttles from Randy Houtz, and two post shuttles
from the one and only Georgia Seitz!

I only won one of the Silent Auctions this
time - but it's a dandy!  Here are four packs
of HDT by Tat-ilicious in a lovely tin!

I was up at 5.30 as usual this morning, but I actually got drowsy while I was online, and had to shut down and go back to sleep!  I may also have to have a nap this afternoon so I'll be ready for work tomorrow morning!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Coming Down to the Wire!

What to take to Toccoa…what to take…don’t want to over-pack, but what if I really need _______________ (fill in the blank) and discover I’ve left it at home?

But I really need all this stuff!!!
Plastic pencil boxes from Big Lots
hold so many items for safe travel!
Decisions, decisions!

OK, let’s step back and look at this rationally.  What do I absolutely, positively HAVE to take to Tat Days?

1.     The models I’ve tatted for the classes I’m teaching.  All the angels, butterflies, and keys go into a tin which goes into my satchel. 
      2.       Large shuttles with big thread for demonstrating.  OK, both you big shuttles wound with size-3 pearl cotton, you’re next.  Into my satchel you go!
      3.       The 156 red plastic bows for the Wreath drop-in lesson Saturday night.  Oh, yeah.  Don’t leave home without them!  They go into the boxes, too!
      4.       My tatting box with tools and equipment.  Already in the satchel, ready to go!
      5.       Portable battery-powered light and power cord.  Yep, they’re also in the satchel. 
      6.       Show-and-tell.  Some very special shuttles that several friends have asked to see in person.
      7.       Camera.  Definitely a must-have; I have a brand-new card for it and rechargeable batteries, too!
Believe me, this is as tidy as it gets!
8.   Battery charger for camera batteries.  Oh, yes, and since it also works with the batteries that are in the battery-powered light, it’s a must-have.
      9.       Money.  Hmm…that should actually be #1, probably.  Hmm…definitely need to visit the ATM sometime this week!

What do I NOT need to take to Tat Days?  

1.    40 bajillion shuttles.  I have a few in my tatting tool box, and that should be plenty… of course, Hope has been hard at work decorating shuttles for weeks, and it’s very unlikely (like impossible, even) she’d not have at least one that really appeals to me, so as long as I take some extra money  I’ll be OK.  
Tatted models for classes, plus my
blue goat from Jane's TIAS game!
2.    50 balls of thread.  Oh, please – there WILL be at least one vendor selling thread, right?!  Karey is coming – she always brings gorgeous hand-painted threads and they’re very reasonably priced.  Just need to remember to take some extra money.  
3.    Pattern books.  Uh, NO – this is Tat Days, remember?  There will be a wonderful pattern CD available as well as a vendor who most likely sells books.  Extra money is a must-have.

Well, heck – I really just need to take money!!