Sunday, December 30, 2012

I don’t have too much to show you today – I am working on a project that I hope to submit as a lesson for Palmetto Tat Days this coming September, but it’s not nearly ready.  Instead, here is a Merry Wreath I’ve started with a lovely Christmas-y thread (yes, it’s Lizbeth – color 116).  Hmm… now that I’m looking at it here, why didn’t I put beads on the thread before I started tatting??

 The cute little scissors are a gift from my honey – and they’re razor sharp, too!  They fit in almost any of my tins that I use for purse-size tatting kits, and that’s a huge plus.  I have a couple of those tiny nippers and they’re handy, but they don’t hold an edge like regular scissors, IMHO.  We did have a local scissors grinder who would set up shop at our local Hancock Fabrics several times a year and do a “scissors sharpening event” which was always well attended.  People brought in all kinds of blades to be sharpened – scissors, knives, cleavers – over the years, he’s sharpened all of my older scissors and even my pocket knife (it has a pair of scissors on it).  Sadly, he has retired now; I don’t think he does any sharpening anymore. 
Change of subject: the New Year is just around the corner!  Have you made your resolutions yet?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Down to the Wire!

...or maybe thread?
Maybe we could just set the
tree on top of the gifts!

With just two days to go until Christmas, I’ve decided that I’m semi-ready.  I’ve also decided that I’m not going to worry about it!  On the plus side:
  • Gifts for DH on order…may not be here until after Christmas, but they are going to get here…at some point.
  •  Money to DD to order DVD she’s wanted.
  • Money to DSIL to get whatever he wants (same amount as DD…got to stay fair, after all!).
  • Helmet, knee pads, and fingerless gloves to DGD (Santa Claus is bringing her a bicycle).

·        I’ll be out and about today and tomorrow and can get a few stocking stuffers to round things out. 

I might have been better prepared had I not been working quite so much this fall, but everyone at my office has had very little time for anything other than work since mid-September (so it’s not just me, y’all, we’re all in this together).  DH has grocery shopped, and we have a lovely ham for Christmas Day dinner plus some sweet potatoes and green beans. 

I didn’t get the office giveaways made – didn’t even get started!  Nobody was expecting them this year, though, as busy as we’ve all been, so nobody was disappointed.  I do have a few ideas to work on, for lessons to submit for Palmetto Tat Days, and there is a small window of opportunity to get them shaped up before the submission deadline – so I feel I can get that done on time.

I’m on vacation until New Year’s Eve!  Of course, there’s a “gotcha” – I’m on call, and if I’m needed, I’ll have to go in.  They’ve all said they will try really hard to not need me, though! 

Shuttles, bobbins, doodads - just add thread! 
Oh, the possibilities!
Today is play day – and I have a few new goodies to play with!  Kathy Niklewicz put me on to the location of the doodads at HobLob, and with the link to show the item itself (originally provided by God’s Kid, passed on to me by Kathy), I had no trouble finding them!  I also picked up a packet of little cogs and gears (maybe something a little…steampunk?).

So…on to tatting!  I’ve already been asked about an angel for this year, and I have a few ideas, so I’ll be working on how to get them from my head and into the thread.  I’ve also got an idea for a snowflake, and maybe can work in one of the doodads…or gears.  Then…who knows?  

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Perseverance pays off – tatting like mad during my lunch breaks and what few minutes I had when I finally got home from work in the dark of night, I completed three Christmas ornaments for the exchange at the December meeting of the Palmetto Tatters Guild!

I had said last week that I wanted to do a couple of wreaths, a snowflake, and maybe an angel – well, the “maybe an angel” didn’t get done, but the snowflake and wreaths did.  I had some fun with the wreaths – I used two different sizes of beads, and I really like the look!  I also put the bow at the top of one wreath and at the bottom of the other. 

Some tat stats:  the snowflake was tatted in size 20 Lizbeth “Blue Ice” and doesn’t have any beads, because when I wrote the pattern originally, I didn’t include beads and at this point, I was in too big a hurry to figure out how many and where they should go.  Both wreaths are the same, the only difference is the bow placement.  Altin-Basik thread size 50 (between a 20 and a 30 in Lizbeth), metallic green.  The filament is more of a light gold than a silver, and is very sparkly when tatted up.  Beads used were size 6 (8 of them) and size 10 (22 of them).

Now I have to consider whether I have time to do ornaments for my co-workers; with reorganization and transfers, there are seven now in my department.  I’m supposed to be on vacation starting this Friday, and at least one of my co-workers is taking vacation time earlier.  The question is: can I tat like mad again and finish by Wednesday morning to give them out?  Can I do it??

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A Work in Progress!

 …my blog pictures, that is!  Having learned that my free Picasa space was virtually used up and I couldn’t put any more pictures in my blog unless I (pick one)
·         Deleted pictures from the albums to free up some space (n-o-o-o-o-o-o!!)
·         Paid Picasa for more space (eeeeeeeeeeeeek!)
·         Wrote blog posts that were devoid of pictures (unthinkable!)

Jane Eborall to the rescue!  Jane kindly explained how to re-size the pictures already in the Picasa album so as to free up needed space.  She also posted her very easy instructions on her blog, in this post.  That has now become one of my hobbies – re-sizing pictures.  I don’t devote much time to it, as I don’t have much time for it, so it will be an ongoing venture.  I find that, since I wake up the sun every morning, it’s early enough to perform certain necessary tasks to get me ready for another day at work (read the funnies – on three different sites; read Dear Abby on yet another different site; check my email; check out friends’ blogs; have a look at Facebook; and play a game of Spider or Freecell), I can squeeze in re-sizing some pictures.  I've dropped it to nearly half of what it was, and I’m only about 1/3 of the way through all the pictures!

It’s been a rough fall – we’re through the software conversion, but there is still plenty of work to keep us very busy; I’m still getting 50-70 hours per week.  I’m hoping that after the end of the year, it will have leveled out to where we’re all keeping normal hours and having evenings and weekends for ourselves and families.  Then I can (hopefully!) get back on track with my tatting.

Lately, I have been able to:
It took some squeezing, but this is a lot of it!
(1)     Tidy up my big thread box (little thread boxes…just don’t ask).  No loose thread, no abandoned starts, no pieces with errors – just neatly arranged with a nice pair of scissors handy for when I wind a shuttle or bobbin.  The scissors are a Big Lots find - $2 and they’re a name brand (Fiskars), so I have high hopes of them staying nice and sharp!
Merry Wreath in progress.  How do you like
my new Sequoia Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle?
(2)    Work on ornaments for our yearly Ornament Exchange at the December PTG meeting.  Usually by now I have several done, in case we have one or more visitors who didn’t know about the exchange but would like to play (there are several of us who do this – not just me).  This is the first one, and it’s not finished yet.  It will be – it’s a grey, drizzly day here in sunny (?) South Carolina, so I’ll definitely be tatting this afternoon.
(3)    Think about patterns for submission for PTG Tat Days 2013, as I hope to teach again this year.  In a normal Fall, I’d have two or three finished and test-tatted already, but this has not been a normal Fall…at all.

Well, back to work on the first Merry Wreath.  My goal is to tat a couple of these, plus a snowflake, and maybe an angel.  That’s my hope, anyway!!