Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dropped off the earth...

Yes, I am MIA. Let's just say that the last couple of days included taking senior pictures for someone, visiting several banks and other locations to get the information I needed for a loan, brain surgery for the brother-in-law, watching little munchkins, and generally not much sleep.

Let's just also say that the next few days include more bank trips, filling out paperwork, more munchkins, visiting relatives in Canada, work trip in Las Vegas and many more sordid details.

I promise when these things settle down a little, I will share what's going on. I will also have lots of interesting details and pictures. So, hang in there with me while everything gets all shaken around. It could be pretty marvelous when it settles.

To those of you who are still showing tatting on your blogs daily, kudos to you. You are my inspiration. Thank you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bookmark/ motif challenge update

I went through my posts and figured out that the next motif I do will be #15. That's kind of exciting for me! I am not counting my bookmarks, because that is a lot of the same. I'm almost done with my first batch, just need to package, label, and finish a few ends. I managed about 2 per day instead of 3 like I wanted, but I still feel pretty good about that since life is a little on its end right now. Here are the successful bookmarks...
...and here are the ones that didn't make the cut.
 Of course, I might be able to save a few of these/ finish them/ redo the cat-eaten parts and gift them to family later. Maybe.
 I have to show pictures of my fabulous helpers, of course. Toffee is the best foot-warmer around (you'd think I wouldn't need a foot warmer in summer. So would I. We would both be wrong).
And Lily just needs to be close to Toffee and me, in case something exciting happens. She wouldn't want to miss out on a few chin rubs at the very least.

On to mundane but necessary tasks today! Hoping I have something more to show on Monday. Hope you all have a productive weekend, too!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Soooo Busy....

I've had a week and a half off with no kiddos around, and I cannot believe that I can't catch up! This is beyond annoying! I do two or three loads of laundry a day and there's still more (thanks to extra dog-washing and canning). I keep making food and yet I have food going bad on me. Just look at these poor strawberries! They will never forgive me... although my compost will love me.

I found this amazing tomato bisque recipe for my drawer full of tomatoes, too, and yet--there they sit.
Thankfully, they're a little more forgiving on time than the strawberries.We also shaved our dog yesterday (something neither one of us has done before). We suppose she is thankful. We're just tired.

Isn't she a skinny little thing? So cute. Oh! And we have a tree coming down in our yard and we're filling our shed with wood. Lots of wheelbarrow trips.
So, speaking of growing things, my violets need to be re-potted...
...and I still have some strawberries to save with jam making!
Tatting? What is that? Who has time for fun projects when all around me things are ticking down like a time bomb!? Wait, why am I still sitting here? I have people coming over soon... yikes!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Amazing old find!

The weekend was busy, like usual, full of friends and eating and relaxing, so I didn't make much progress on tatting at all. More bookmarks, but nothing new.

So instead, I thought I would share this amazing find! I picked it up at a local "antique mall" (which, for those of you who have never experienced this bizarre delight, is a place where locals try to get rid of all of the old crap they have laying around their homes from the last 200 years or so). It's a hit and miss experience, I assure you. However, if you like garage sales, you will probably love antique malls...

I got it for $5. Let me show you why I am geeking out about this:

Both sides of this clutch purse (drawstring bag thingy) are covered with exquisite detail. Yes, it's falling apart. But the inspiration! Oh my! Maybe one day I'll be able to do something like this. Until then, I can just gaze at it in admiration.

Anything new in your end of the world? Have a great Monday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Disaster! Oh, wait. Life.

So several of my bookmarks got eaten by the cats during the night. I expect hairballs to clean up during the day. I am not posting pictures of that. For this, we can all be grateful.

On a good note, I ran 4 miles at 5:30 this morning.

On a less encouraging note, I am solidly booked for this weekend starting... well, as soon as I get off the computer. Which means that I won't be completing any more bookmarks for a few days.

This may sound well-used, but I think I took 3 steps forward this week and 2 steps back. We'll see how next week begins! Until then, have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Ruined thread?

I brought a few projects along in my purse yesterday, just in case I had a couple minutes to spare between errands. I didn't.

However, my thread and projects got a little surprise! The water bottle in my purse leaked...
...and the green vintage thread made a nice spot on the white. Among other small bleeds.
Oooh, this picture does not show the pink at all. Let's try...
There. I think the pink is from various coupons I had in my purse that were expired...
Of course, I had to save the Ball canning coupons. I'm always using those.

But the thread! I don't have any other white besides vintage 80, so I'm a bit sad. Perhaps, though, I will try dying this thread (and bookmark) so that it isn't a total waste! Anika and Yarnplayer, please don't compare my efforts to your lovely thread... I'm sure mine will be a horrible waste of time. But I plan on having lots of fun!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Bookmarks, Teaching

A quick post before I run off to teach more tatting classes. Yay!

If you were wondering, I have been continuing to make bookmarks. However, none of them are a different pattern than the other few I've tried, so they're not very exciting. I'll post a pic to prove my progress, though.

Most of these were made last night at our local "knitting club" at a library. I love going there! So many older ladies, so many funny stories! I hope I am that interesting when I'm older :)

I like the questions about tatting, too. Although yesterday I was informed that there were tatting classes at a local craft shop and I should go there! I laughed and explained (for the next 5 minutes, since she was a little hard of hearing), that I was the tatting teacher at this shop. Too funny!

Happy Wednesday, and many fun tats to you all!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Baby bird, tatting exploration

Yesterday, for the 3rd day in a row, I put this baby bird back in its nest.
 Now, either I am doing a terrible job with putting it back inside, or the mama keeps kicking it out. I prefer to think I am the one who is responsible over the mama.
It's a sparrow. But just look at those little legs and wings! Wow. I even used gloves so that it wouldn't smell like me. Hopefully it stays inside the nest this time. Poor thing.

In tatting notes, I made a very simple edging and a motif to play around with for a couple different ideas.
 I only spent 2 hours on this edging and it's probably 20-30 inches. I like that kind of progress.
 And I chose the snowflake-like motif because it kind of repeated the patterns in the linen. Flounder the Fish (from the Little Mermaid) is supposed to be an antique button representation. Just an idea.
 I keep seeing all of these really nifty craft bag carriers and I wanted to do something like that, but maybe a little bit more versatile. The linen napkin is folded envelope-style so that when you open it...
 voila! Hot pad! No, not really. So when you open it there would be a padded firm square bottom where all of your project would lay flat while being transported. Maybe I can have some kind of spring clips on the side to secure it in place.
 I am still working on the details (obviously). This is more of a fun project than anything that's going to get me somewhere. But I'm on vacation, after all! I should be able to do something fun!
And just look at this gorgeous piece of linen. It would make a lovely throw pillow, too. Hmm. So many possibilities! So many things I do NOT need around my house.

But they are great ideas! Thanks to my fabulous friend Candy for her help in brainstorming and making these become a possibility!

A few more applications/resume revamps today, some errands, maybe a bit of tatting at the library, and a happy Tuesday to you all!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Vacation. Sort of.

No kiddos to watch this week, which means I'm technically on vacation. But, as with most vacations, this one includes a mile-long list of things I've been putting off for the last few months. First thing on the list?

Find a job. Doh. I thought I was done with that stage of my life.

Meanwhile, yesterday I met with a friend who helped me throw around a few tatting ideas and I am LOVING them. More to come on that. Lots of work involved, so there will be no pictures for a few days.

Bookmarks are still working. I've been trucking away, although that means there's nothing too creative.

My husband borrowed my camera yesterday and had fun with a butterfly in our yard. Happy Monday!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Short and Sweet

It was a long day yesterday. I got some tatting done. In fact, 3 bookmarks, like I wanted. However, I haven't blocked them, photographed them, or even thought about them for the last few hours... No. Instead, I stayed up talking with friends far too late and am now severely sleep deprived. It's so fabulous to have good friends.

I am so tired.

Maybe needless to say, I will be plodding today. I have some cleaning to do, a Turkey to watch, and hopefully a nap to take. I'm not sure if tatting fits in today.

So with that, I'll do what I can. I'll update you on my progress on Monday. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bookmark Blah. Already.

I have a lot of patience. But it's very difficult to devote many hours to something new and have it fall flat on its face because of stitch count. Or tension. Or any number of things that we all have to adjust when we're tatting... you know exactly what I'm talking about!

So yesterday, I only got 1 1/2 bookmarks done. Sharon generously suggested I try some bookmark patterns from her blog, and so I copied the diagrams (without actually reading the instructions, mind you) and went to work.

Four repeats into the Easter Cross my tatting curled so outrageously that I cut it off. It would probably be okay with blocking, but I would much rather it lay straight and flat on its own! So, off to modify some of the stitch counts for me. Does that happen often to you? I feel like I must be a delinquent tatter to have so many great patterns fall to pieces at my finger tips! Obviously Sharon knows what she's doing! So why doesn't her stitch count work for me? Bah.

I also tried her flower pattern (since I have been teaching lots of classes and new ideas are always wonderful!) and I was so pleased with how easy that one flew off my shuttle. It's very similar to the one I made yesterday, funny enough. Once again, I think I need to adjust the stitch count slightly, but this was much less drastic than the green Easter Cross. Does thread size matter in this case, too? I used 80 in the green and 20 in the white. I wouldn't think that would matter...?
Compared to yesterday's bookmark...
I think I like the neatness of the rings as opposed to the chains, but I can see new students of tatting being able to succeed with the chain bookmark, since a few actual knots in there wouldn't make much of a difference.

On to more bookmarks today! Hopefully I can make up for yesterday. If not, I'll just keep plugging away. My best to all of you! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bookmark Battle

I started my "bookmark challenge" yesterday. Here are my results. I tried being all creative and such, and didn't actually use patterns for any of these, just tried to do what I thought might work. And (perhaps because of that) there are obvious mistakes in each.
 I haven't bothered blocking these at all, because, what's that? Oh, yeah, see the last three differently-colored purple rings? I thought I was so lucky to find the same color when I ran short. Doh. Definitely not the same color. And a bit clunky.
 Then I thought, huh, it would be need to do an off-centered bookmark that's balanced. So I drew up a design and made it. I did NOT expect it to turn out like this. I mentally checked out before I finished this one, and there's a glaring missed join at the last flower/wheel thingy. This is not quite what I imagined when I wrote it. I think back to the drawing board. Oh, and there were way too many split rings to be able to do this too quickly. I think it actually took 3 hours or so. Blech.
I am much more pleased with this one, which was a quick, fun tat! I was browsing edgings per the suggestion of Sewicked, and I liked this flower idea but nothing else from a particular edging. So I thought, let's do some Victorian sets! And because all of these have something wrong with them, I miscounted on the sets and ended up curling some of it (but I blurred the photo there so it isn't as obvious!)

On to the next 3 today! And teaching a tatting class this morning at Ben Franklin crafts. Yippie!! Hope the Turkey can sit still for 2 hours :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Lights

While my little world crashed down the last couple of weeks, there was a fabulous bright spot. I have a friend who works at a bookstore and she brought one of my bookmarks in and asked her boss if they could sell them. Yes! The answer was yes! So now I have a wonderful problem: I need to buy a book of bookmarks since I don't want to sell the free ones posted online (and most of those would be copyright infringements if I did sell them).

What are your favorite bookmarks, and what book are they from? I'm loathe to spend money on any books right now because my income is grinding to a sure halt unless I can make these bookmarks a success in the next couple of weeks.

So here is my challenge to myself: 3 bookmarks a day over the next 2 weeks. I will count each different one as a numbered motif challenge, since I doubt I'll do much other tatting in addition to the bookmarks. And, with any luck and lots of prayer, I will start to see a small income! Starting with what I know...

These are the bookmarks I've been making since I was 7. My grandma taught me the pattern, so I really have no idea where it comes from. I'll keep making these and (hopefully) other simple, quick patterns. I'll report back with progress!

Happy tatting and crafting! And when life throws you a tangled mess, have your fabulous, logical husband untangle it for you and wind it into an orderly ball... Happy birthday, honey! Thanks for all you do!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Life gets in the way.

I planned on doing lots of tatting this past weekend, of course. And, of course, things happened. It seems life has cycled us back to that point where we really don't have down time. Our friends bought a house this weekend and we helped them paint and fix up. I ran. I moved my shop items out of the local store. They are now sitting in my living room crying for attention... Just like the sticky canning jars in my kitchen. I have these mental timers for everything and I just can't catch up! Meanwhile my yard is going to the weeds, our neighbors got married this weekend, and hubby has to go see the doctor for his heart again.

Oh, and the neighbors that got married Saturday? Someone broke into their house last night and took all their wedding money and her purse from their living room WHILE they were sleeping in the bedroom. Makes us all feel really nervous and less than happy. Any friends reading who have known us for more than one year will see the strange coincidences between their robbery and ours: Ours happened almost a year ago now and was a double-hit. First, they canvased the place (stole my purse) while we were in the basement watching a movie. Then, we left for Labor Day weekend and several hours later our neighbors called to say all of the lights were on in our house and the doors were left open... Who does that? I mean, how can you begin to justify stealing?? We would have been happy to GIVE them something if they had asked!!

Anyway, sorry for all the ranting. All this to say I don't have any great pictures to post. I will probably not get much in the way of tatting done for a few days, but hopefully I will put the house back together and think of some kind of gift for my poor newlywed neighbors... ideas? I don't exactly know what they need right now. Except maybe a gun...ha.

So, just for kicks, here is a pic of me running past my hubby on Saturday.
And, of course, there was a lot more to see. Like Elvis, of course.
Hey hey hey!

That's all for now, folks. Hope you are all having more even-keeled happenings in your life right now! :)