Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Talk

So I've been giving this talk all week to patients as they come into my clinic with their shoulders up around their ears and hunched over like Mr. Burns. Its getting closer and closer to Christmas and many (including me) are frantically trying to finish gifts. Please don't end up like that. Here are the 2 essential things you need to have to minimize the damage:

lighting, lighting, lighting- if you are finding the you are squinting to see your work, bent over nose to the table, or you are holding your work up right in front of your nose then you don't have enough light. Its best to use natural light but most of us don't have that so OTT lights rock! (no affiliation)

Egg timer- not just for perfect soft boiled eggs anymore. Set the timer for 30 minutes. When it goes off the 1st time you need to look up from your work, roll your shoulders, stand up and basically squirm around a bit in your chair. Reset the timer to another 30 min.
The second time the timer goes off you know its been an hour so you have to take a break- 5 minutes minimum. I know, I know you are in the middle of something and you'll finish it any second but get up anyways. "Finishing in a second" can turn into hours. You need to get up and move around to get blood flow (which will make the cloudiness go away) and to give your muscles are rest. Its easy to let a lot of time to go by without a break.

Doing these 2 things are a big start in avoiding that cramped, pressed down feeling you get when you work for hours. A few moments of prevention go along way. On the other hand Chiropractors, Massage therapists and Physiotherapist all need to make money for Christmas so maybe just ignore me- you'll be done in a second anyways. (just kidding)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There's only so many places it can go

Don't you hate it when you clean up, tidy or declutter? I do. What's wrong with a little organization is what many of you maybe thinking but it tell you its evil, evil, evil!

For the last 2 weeks I've been trying to locate some beads I purchased. I know I bought them because there is half a necklace on my tray. I have no idea where those beads went. They couldn't have gone far- I work in the same area and store my stuff in the same spot. How can I so totally lose something in such a small area? Mmmm let me think...that's about the time I thought my mom and sister were coming for a visit. What did I do that day? Oh yes, ran around trying to pretend I'm not a slob by cleaning frantically.

To be honest, this is not the first time I've lost something by cleaning. The last time I organized/cleaned I lost my cell phone in one of the tubs of thread. It was only by fluke that I found it the next day because I SWEAR I LOOKED IN THAT TUB! I'm not that good at organizing my stash. I probably should just let it go and the beads will show up...but the necklace is taunting me. Bad necklace, I think it has some evil Mojo- I'll have to give it to someone I don't like.

On a happier note, I'm once again wowed by the effect packaging/presentation has on a product. I know that's not terribly eco-friendly but its true. I made some bookmarks, stuck them in a resealable bag and voila! Instant value upgrade. A friend is giving them to her son's teachers at the snotty private school he attends for Christmas.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Been sick...

For the last week I've had THE FLU. I've basically slept 5 out of the last 7 days. Its amazing how much getting the flu can take out of you. In between sleeping I did tat a bit (the first 2 days I was too sick to do anything but lay there). I'm making snowflake bookmarks for a friend. She's giving the bookmarks with a Chapters gift certificate to her son's teachers for Christmas. I have no pictures yet.
As I have been feeling better I've started decorating my house for Christmas. After Halloween I bought a black minature Christmas tree on sale which I've put in my kitchen. I was trying to figure out how to decorate it when I realised that I had a bunch of small motifs from Karey's book Tatting for the tree. The ones on the upper right were the perfect size for the tree. I used the snowflake on the left as the tree topper. Looking through my pictures just now I saw this white 1/2 ring braid. I think it will be really nice as a garland on the tree. I just need to find it.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Bandaid heart

I came up with this pattern with the intention of giving it to someone who had a car accident but they got better before I had the chance. (do good intentions count?) However, I thought it would be an easy get well soon gift for anyone who is sick or spending lots of time in hospitals. If you spend time in waiting rooms then you can always use a bookmark. This is my first time writing out a block tatting pattern, fortunately its a square but if there's any problem let me know.

Band-Aid Heart
By Vicki Clarke

vsp- very small picot
lj- lock join
slt- shoe lace trick
shuttle and ball thread wound CTM

Pattern starts with a block tatted square. Use a dead end start with a paperclip or safety pin to save a space for a vsp. You don’t have to use the same turning technique on the block tatting.

Ch1 8 slt turn
Ch2 vsp 8 lj (vsp created by paperclip) slt turn
Ch3 vsp 8 lj (to picot of prev ch) slt turn
Ch4 vsp 8 lj (to picot of prev ch) slt turn
Ch5 vsp 8 lj (to picot of prev ch) slt turn
Ch6 vsp 8 lj (to picot of prev ch) do not turn, now you start making the ends of the band aid.
Ch7 10 RW
R1 6 vsp 6 RW
Ch8 10 RW
R2 6 vsp 6 RW
Ch9 10 lj (to vsp on R2) 10 lj (to vsp on R1) 10 lj (to corner of block tatting) 10 lj (to other corner of block) 10 RW
R3 6 vsp 6 RW
Ch10 10 RW
R4 6 vsp 6 RW
Ch11 10 lj (to vsp on R4) 10 lj (to vsp on R3) 10 lj (to corner of block tatting) 10 lj (to other corner of block) tie and cut.

Heart- uses ½ stitch to make a dimpled heart.
HS- half stitch

R 6 3 1st HS 3 2nd HS 6 close ring and cut leaving a 6 inch tail. You can either glue to heart onto the bandage but I sewed it on by going under the stitches.

Instead of the heart:

You could stick one of Abby's smile makers on the center instead of the heart to give to children. Then it looks more like a child's bandaid. You can get the pattern for the smile makers at this link: I love the smile makers, they were such a smart idea, thanks for sharing them Abby