Friday, December 31, 2010

Ending the year with Etsy Boot Camp - Week 8

Today I decided to finish up the year with blocking my recent crochet & tatting. I'm planning on taking pictures tomorrow so I can start off the new year with some new items!

I also wanted to get back to working on the Etsy Boot Camp activities and finish them one of my New Year's Resolutions is to spend a little time working on this each day until it's done. Today I started where I left off with Week 7.

I was too busy at the time with the holiday rush to do the Boot Camp activities, but now I'm trying to catch up. Some of these things no longer apply because they are geared for the holidays which have just past, but I'm going to go through them anyway and try to pick up what useful information I can. So here's my check list for Week 7:

[ X ] Read this week's blog post (very valuable links to info on upcoming themes!)
[ X ] Plan for Cyber Monday
[ X ] Get Back on Track Here
[ ] Post in Week 8's forum thread (not going to do this one because I'm so out of date
[ X ] Add a Badge to Your Blog

Thanks it for now...back to working on my website update. Tomorrow is picture taking day (if the light is right). Have a great New Years Day!

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Dickens Christmas Treasury

I just found out that one of my tatted bookmarks is featured in an Etsy treasury - a Dickens Christmas.  I"m so thrilled...this is the first time that I know of that my tatting has been in a treasury!

Here's the link to it - A Dickens Christmas

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays 2010 !

The last few days I've been trying to get finished up on projects I had going.  I finished a few of them but haven't blocked them or taken photos yet, so they will be coming after Christmas.  Plus I had an idea for an adaptation of another person's design and I've been dabbling around with that, but so far haven't worked it all out yet.

My daughter baked some holiday cookies the other day.  They are delicious!  And tonight I will sit and watch It's a Wonderful Life.  I just wanted to take a quick moment out to wish you all

May the Magic of the Holidays be with You and Yours!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tatting Thread Inventory

Have I mentioned I love Lizbeth threads?  Well I do.  I don't have very many of them yet, but I want more and more.  I was looking at the ones I have the other day trying to decide which one I wanted to work with next and it struck me that it would be really nice to have some sort of list so I'd know which ones I have and which ones I don't...that way when I get more I won't accidentally get duplicates, or to know when I run out of a particular color, etc. Sooooo.....

Yesterday I spent some time making up a spreadsheet to inventory my tatting threads!  I have a page for DMC, a page for Lizbeth, a page for HDT (Hand Dyed Threads) and a page for Other.  On each page I have a place to check which size thread I have, the thread number, name, color and in the case of Lizbeth threads, which threads they coordinate with.

Once I got the spread sheet set up I inventoried my tatting threads and already the effort has proved beneficial.  I've been admiring a particular HDT in the maker's Etsy store and wanting to try it out.  Well, during my inventory I discovered that I already had that colorway from them!

LOL now let's hope I can keep it updated!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Snowflakes - Motifs 8 & 9

Yep, it's me again.  This daily posting thing is getting to be a habit lol.

A week or so ago I saw a pretty little snowflake and just had to try it.  I love the design, it's Miranda's Angels in the Snow, which is sold at a minimal cost to help raise funds for a very worthy cause.  Even though I love the design and it is called 'angels', for me it was a devil of a time to get it done.  It took me a bit of practicing to get the self closing mock ring (SCMR) down, but my biggest problem was that I always worked on this late at night when I was tired.  I would miscount and have to undo and redo, doing that caused me to un out of thread so I had multiple ends (where I had to cut and start again).

I had a picture in my head of some new threads done in this design so I used them but it didn't come out looking like what I'd imagined...not sure why, it just didn't.  All in all, frustration mounted and tired eyes/brain malfunctioned to the point of calling this the 'motif from hell'.  When I was done I didn't want to even look at it I set it aside for about a week before taking pictures.  Now I'm ok with it and still want to make more in this design.  I'm still not to sure about the color combo that I used (which I thought would look good together, but seeing it now I'm not so sure).  So here it is....

Motif # 8:

On a brighter note a friend told me about a snowflake design by Samantha Melnychuk with butterflies in it.  I tried it and it worked up really quickly and came out very nice.  I must have done something right because when I showed this one to my daughter she said "It looks like a snowflake"...she didn't notice the butterflies till I pointed them out to her though.

Motif # 9:

I'm not sure what I'll try for my next motif but I'll figure out something soon.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

25 Motif Challenge - Number 7 - The Learning Process

Sometimes even mistakes work out ok.  I wanted to try something different from what I'd been doing and to try something new.  So I pulled out my copy of Jon Yusoff's Tatting with Rings and started on the first design, named Melati.  The first mistake I made (but didn't notice until MUCH later) was that the center design calls for 6 rings.  I had done only 5.  And since I'd already decided to turn this into a pair of earrings, I did it (the mistake without noticing it was a mistake) a second time!

Then I set the two little centers aside and pulled out some beads.  Faithfully counting twice since these were going to be earrings I put 50 beads on the thread (2 extras in case I'd miscounted).  This sounds easy enough but it was a struggle for me because only about 1 out of 4 beads would let the needle pass through it so I really ended up having to go through about 200 or so beads just to get those 50.  Whew, beads on the thread. 

Next I started learning how to do the wrap stitch.  I followed the directions and diagrams carefully and no matter what I didn't work right.  The directions and diagrams were right, it was ME that wasn't working right.  I kept trying over and over and fiddled with it this way and that.  I could see in the diagrams how it was supposed to be, but the threads in my hands just didn't want to cooperate.  Finally something clicked...somehow the 'on' switch to my brain was flipped in the right position.  I got the first wrap stitch done!  YAY!  More fiddling, more checking the diagram, and I finally got a 2nd one done...I was on a roll lol!  I managed to get the first four of them done and by then I could see what I needed to do with my hands to make it work.

Time to add a ring...I know how to do those!  I was so happy I was grinning from ear to ear...I knew how to do the next part!  Hurray!  Oh wait we have to add the little center biggie, I can do that....done, ring done, more wrap stitches.  I was really on a roll now...another ring, yay....don't forget to attach to the it...ring done...more wraps....wait a moment...something was wrong.  I looked at it again and checked it against the diagram.  Crud!  I'm not supposed to attach to the center motif at EVERY ring, only the bigger ones!  Sigh...get scissors, snip snip...Let's start over.....

So starting again, I did the wraps (got them down by now!), the little ring with a bead, more wraps, next little ring, more wraps, big ring with beads (I did get nice tight tripple beads on the top picot if I do say so myself).  More wra....wait...that first bead doesn't sit's on one side of the ring not between the two rings.  What did I do wrong?  OHHH I see I put the bead on the wrong part of the thread when working the ring.  I can easily do that right going forward...but how do I fixt that first one...sigh...snip snip...

Let's start over (AGAIN!)...take deep breath....I've got the pattern memorized by this point - who needs a diagram?  This go round it works great!  Wraps are done, rings and beads in right places.  Crud, ran out of thread, slide beads off the tail of the thread, wind shuttle, put beads back on the thread...start in again.  Joins to center motif in right places, I've got this!  First one completed and looking good.  Start up the 2nd one.  Going just as well, got 4 sections completed, only one to go....glance at the diagram.  @#*%!  These are supposed to have the ** 6 ** ring center motif, not the 5 ring one....only one section to go on the 2nd one ...I'm NOT going to start these all over again.  The first one looked fine with only 5 points to I made the 2nd one with only 5 points as well. 

A matching pair!  They are technically wrong because they have 5 points instead of 6, but they are done.  I added the earring findings (yes one of the wires broke while doing that so I had to get another one).  Done!  Finished!  Complete!....need pictures.....pull out camera and this is what I ended up with.  All in all considering how the learning session went I think they came out well, don't you?

Motif 7:

It was a long crazy learning session, but I learned and won't forget how to do those wraps.  I learned to be careful where I put the beads so they end up in the right place.  I learned to double check the design...and I learned to COUNT the repeats/sections!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Love Needlework!

Today I while I was sitting and working on a little project a thought crossed my mind.  I love needlework.  I started out at the age of 7 learning to crochet, taught by my grandmother before she went senile and forgot how.  My mother taught me knitting, and crewel embroidery.  And her mother encouraged me to try other types of needlework, including bargello and cross stitch.

All my life my spare time has been retreating to some form of needlework.  Learning new things and techniques, practicing and fine tuning what I have learned until I'm personally satisfied with the quality of what I do.  Whenever I've been upset by turmoil in my life I've always been able to retreat into a realm of peace by sitting and stitching, and forgetting the rest of the world's troubles.

I've learned and done other things, other crafts, and I always come back to needlework in some form or another.  Throughout the years I've had people buying the items I made, or I made gifts for others that they could treasure and hand down as heirlooms to their families.  When I was layed off from my job a few years back I was able to turn to my needlework and not only find solice but an outlet for my inner need to create, as well as to turn it into a business to help meet expenses.

I can work with fine sewing thread or big bulky doesn't matter, as long as I'm working on needlework.  I can make a little 2 inch bear or a 4x6 foot afghan....either way I am content on the inside because I'm creating with some form of needle and thread.

I LOVE finally dawned on me in that moment of thought earlier today, that I really do love it!  It's not something to fill my time, it's not a hobby, it's not a phase nor a passing's something I love to do!  It's part of who I am....and I'm blessed to have been taught at such an early age so I could enjoy this love all my life.

Thank you Grandma Robinson, Thank you Mom, Thank you Grandma Mary and all the others throughout my life that have helped me learn and enjoy my passion.

To everyone else...share what you know, teach someone a skill, help someone just might turn out to be the passion of their life!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Motif Challenge - Number 5 & 6

I saw this design a while back and have wanted to try it, but never seemed to find the time.  Now that I have some dark green thread (thanks to that shipping error)...well the time was right for it last night.  So I made a Christmas Tree  then turned it into a bookmark!

The tree design is the Tatted Christmas Tree by Be-Stitched.  I added a tassel to the bottom of the 'trunk' to make it into a bookmark.  This is a very easy 1 shuttle design and works up quickly.  It would be good for a beginning tatter.

Motif # 5:

I've also been wanting to test out some of the patterns from Jon Yusoff's Tatted Snowflakes Collection.  I decided to do them in the order of their listing in the book.  First is Alladin.

Motif # 6:

I'm looking forward to working on the next one!  Tatting is so much fun once you get the basics of it down!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Dead Computer

Two days ago my computer hard drive died a quick but inglorious death. One moment it was working, I glanced away from the monitor, and when I looked back I had the infamous 'blue screen of death'. The hard drive was to be no more.

I keep most of my files on an external hard drive so I didn't really lose alot of information. I still have all my pattern and business files for example. However, my email was on the main (now dead) harddrive so I lost all my emails that I'd saved and all the sites that I'd added to my favorites list etc.

My daughter came to my rescue with her laptop. We were able to quickly search online and found a really good deal for a new computer (smile). She went and picked it up for me yesterday and ever since I've been in the process of getting things set back up. My email is working correctly and I'm back online again. YAY!

It's great having a new computer, even though it was an unexpected and unplanned for expense. Please be patient with me while I relocate all my favorite sites.

On the creative front, I've finished a new doily and need to block it, and I completed another Lacey White Bookmark like in my previous post. I'm working on another bookmark and hope to spend the rest of my evening tonight working on it.

Off to go find some of my favorite blogs again....

Thursday, December 9, 2010

25 Motif Challenge

I've decided to participate in the Tatting 25 Motif Challenge as a goal to encourage myself to do more tatting in 2011. The bookmarks I posted about are my start for this.

To keep track of them, I need to number them. So I've edited my previous post to add Motif #s. I don't think I'll have any problem getting to 25, but I want to be sure. I also don't believe the same design should count more than once so for me it's a 25 Different Motif Challenge!

I've already lined up a few designs that I want to work on next. They will have to wait until I've done another Lacey Tatted Bookmark in White (Motif # 3) though because the one I showed below has sold and I want to make a replacement for it for my website and Etsy shop.

Off to do a bit more tatting before I head to bed....

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Singing Songs of Christmas!

I heard the holiday song "Santa Baby" the other day and it inspired me to create a new little bear.

I also found an interesting American Sign Language You Tube of this song that I thought I'd share too:

Special Request

My daughter recently came to me telling me that she had a friend in the Army Reserves who was called to service in Afghanistan and she wanted to give him something special.  So we put our heads together and she helped me design this new little bear.  The bear wears the name of her friend and this is a surprise present for him so if any one seeing this knows him please do not tell him about it.  He will be receiving it when he comes home on leave at the end of December.  Allow me to introduce you to a very special bear, Sgt. Brandon Jones:

Good luck and Safe Journey as you serve our country in foriegn lands.

Tatting Frenzy

I recently ordered some Lizbeth threads and when they arrived I was inspired to do some tatting right away.  In fact I went into what you could say is a 'tatting frenzy'.  I love these threads and how well they work up.  Once I got started I couldn't seem to stop.  I think I made 8 bookmarks and a new motif.  Below are a few example pictures of some of the bookmarks.  The motif I loved but had alot of problems and ended up renaming it 'the motif from hell' I haven't taken any pictures of it yet...maybe I will some day.  I finished it and it looks great....I just don't care to look at it right

When my new threads were ordered I was accidentally shipped the wrong order. I was told to keep the one ball of thread and book (which turned out to be a tatting book with several designs in it I like!). The thread was a dark green and went perfectly with a deep red that I had ordered on my order. I got bold and pulled out some beads is my very first tatted bookmark with beads. The pattern is called Stumpy and was designed by Kersti Anear.

Motif # 1:

The next one is one I did is a braid design by Jane Eborall.  I think the varigated Lizbeth thread works up great with this design.  I did it in several colors but here are a few examples:

Motif # 2:

I also had a couple on hand that I hadn't taken pictures of.  I made them a while back and don't remember where I found the designs.

Motif # 3:

Motif # 4:

I will be doing more tatting in the future.  I've decided to sign up for the 25 Motif Challenge for 2011.  I'm looking forward to working on things for it.