Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!!

This morning I'm hanging out with family, opening presents and eating waffles.  I wanted to take a moment and wish all of you a Merry Christmas.  I hope its a day filled with love, laughter and lots of food.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Christmas Stars

I got so many compliments on the stars I decided to share the pattern.  The only down side is that I don't know where you'll find the plastic crystals but any bead around the same size will do.  They work really well as Christmas Tree ornaments as well as sun catchers.

Christmas Stars by Vicki Clarke

Thread- size 10 red or green wound CTM with ball
2 paperclips
Crochet hook
Beads as used in picture-
Center- 15mm hexagon plastic crystal
15 4x4 Miyuki cubes
15 Size 10 seed beads added onto the ball thread
Comment:  This is a pretty forgiving pattern. You can change thread size or beads without much problem. For example, you can also use size 20 thread with a 13mm center and 6/0 Miyuki beads.  I have also added beads to some of the lock joins to add more bling.

Short Terms
Ls- lock stitch, 1st half unflipped 2nd half flipped
Lj- lock join, use shuttle thread to pull up loop and put shuttle through loop
3b- pull up three beads from the ball thread to make a beaded picot

Start: pull loop through crystal and hold using paperclip ls

Round 1
*Pull loop of shuttle thread through cube and hold with paperclip
Ch 8 lj to space held by paper clip* repeat 4X
Once you’ve added 5 beads then lj to space held by 1st paperclip (loop through crystal)
Repeat from * to * 5 X lj to space below 1st ls

Round 2
* Ch 8
pull loop of shuttle thread through cube and hold with paperclip
Ch 4 3b 4 lj to space held by paperclip
Ch 8 lj to space between 2nd and 3rd cubes on round 1* (make this lock join around both threads, not just the ball thread)
Repeat 4x, each joining to the space between every other cube i.e. 4&5, 6&7, 8 & 9, 10 & 1 to give you 5 points.  Tie and cut

Friday, December 10, 2010

Like a little Christmas elf

The last few weeks I've been working away like a little elf making Christmas themed sun catchers for my sister and mom to give their co-workers for Christmas. I'm done and that's off my plate. If I finish a couple of bookmarks then I've got tatting time to waste! I'm going to waste it with the gingerbread thread I ordered from Tatskool. No idea what to do. But I guess I'll be going with the theme of the thread!

 The last thread I ordered was from was from Krystledawn.  I have rarely used up a whole skein up hand dyed thread but I used up all of her love potion #9!  It was a fun mixture of greys and purples which became the center of a doily and butterflies...lots of butterflies.  You can't see in the picture but I used grey delica beads that match the grey in the thread.  I was really inspired by this thread and grey is my current favorite color. 
Love Potion # 9 thread by Krystledawne, pattern by me!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Chocolate mmmmm....

I almost missed the deadline for Ambitatterous's contest!  I thought that tomorrow was the last day of November Gasp!   Fortunately I realised that today was in fact the last day to enter.

In order to decorate a box of chocolates I had to think of a story.  I went through a few scenarios in my head but this is the one that stuck.The chocolates in this box are crafted in a secret laboratory somewhere in Belgium.  Special ingredients are compiled from mystical plantations deep in the Americas and carried under armed guard across the ocean.  Specially trained monks mix the chocolate in silence to create the richest chocolate in the world.  Rich and creamy chocolate deserves a rich exterior so these chocolates come sealed by a Sapphire pendant that protects the chocolates from contamination.  The pendant is embedded in a flower found only in the depths of the rain forest.   This flower helps to preserve the natural flavors of the chocolates and brings good luck to all that hold it.  No need for any labels because anyone who receives the box knows what's inside.
The Sapphire
One Last Look

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Its in the air

I can smell the turkey cooking from up here!  Just a quick note to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! 
 In case you've hit a roadblock on thankful things here's a 101 things to be thankful for
(list by Craig Jones and published on Ezine articles)
  1. A beautiful song
  2. A comfortable chair
  3. A cool breeze
  4. A drink of cool water
  5. A full moon
  6. A gentle rain
  7. A glass of cold milk
  8. A good book to read
  9. A good coat
  10. A good husband
  11. A good pillow
  12. A good wife
  13. A scenic drive
  14. Air conditioning
  15. Banana splits
  16. Beaches in the morning
  17. Beautiful women
  18. Birds singing
  19. Blue jeans
  20. Brothers
  21. Butterflies
  22. Butterfly kisses
  23. Ceiling fans
  24. Children laughing
  25. Christmas morning
  26. Clothes that fit well
  27. Comfortable shoes
  28. Compliments
  29. Computers that work
  30. Cooing Babies
  31. Cream Brule
  32. Dark Chocolate
  33. Dishwashers
  34. Diversity
  35. Dried pineapple slices
  36. Fairness
  37. Crackling fire in a fireplace
  38. Flowers
  39. Freedom of religion
  40. Freedom of speech
  41. Fresh ideas
  42. Friendly dogs
  43. Good conversation
  44. Good eyesight
  45. Good friends
  46. Good health
  47. Good movies
  48. Good teachers
  49. Good tires
  50. Grace
  51. Grandchildren
  52. Grandma
  53. Grandpa
  54. Hair spray
  55. High-speed Internet access
  56. Holding hands
  57. Homemade ice cream
  58. Honest people
  59. Hugs
  60. Ice cubes
  61. Indoor plumbing
  62. Kind men
  63. Kittens
  64. Laughter
  65. Live Christmas trees
  66. Morning coffee
  67. Parking spaces near the front
  68. Peanut butter
  69. Plenty of closet space
  70. Polyester
  71. Polite drivers
  72. Porch swings
  73. Pregnant women
  74. Puppies
  75. Quiet mornings
  76. Rainbows
  77. Remote Controls
  78. Roasted peanuts
  79. Shade trees
  80. Silk pajamas
  81. Sisters
  82. Smiles
  83. Snow covered mountains
  84. Snowflakes
  85. Soft toilet paper
  86. Sunrises
  87. Sunsets
  88. Thanksgiving dinner
  89. That I wasn't in the obituaries today
  90. The color of autumn leaves
  91. The ocean
  92. The smell of a Sunday roast cooking
  93. The smell of homemade bread
  94. The words "I love you"
  95. Tire swings
  96. True friends
  97. Uninterrupted dinners
  98. Warm kisses
  99. Warm showers
  100. Whipped cream
  101. White puffy clouds
  102. Wrinkle-free clothes
  103. Tatting

Saturday, November 20, 2010

In case you were wondering...

If you're wondering where all the angst about facebook has come from you can blame continuing education.   Last weekend I was at a conference and one of the speakers used a podcast from to explain social connectivity, leadership and social media (pretty smart guy named Seth Godin).  The idea was tribal cultures and how people of like interests connect through tools like the Internet.   How someone from England can connect to someone in Canada through social media to create tribes of people with similar interests.

So in the middle of this conference am I thinking of connecting to other Chiropractors?  No, I'm wondering who was the first tatter to trespass into this brave new world?  In 2001 or 2002 I had a monumental brain storm to search for tatting on the Internet.  At that time there was already a flourishing community of tatting websites based on tatting.   Georgia Seitz was already up and running with her online class.  Chat rooms had been running.   There were lots of free patterns available on the Internet and I spent lots of time printing off patterns and techniques I had never seen before.  Now there's even tatters twittering...

I was just curious if anyone remembers when they first started looking on the Internet and when it became a community (or a tribe as Seth would call it)?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the workings of facebook...

...are a mystery to me.  This may seem strange but I'm seriously afraid of facebook.  It just didn't seem that interesting until I realised that I could stalk  people!  And by stalk I mean look up old friends.   I have to confess that it was fun to look up someone and see what they are doing.  Since most people have closed pages I only got to peak at them.  What isn't closed is their friends and who they've been in contact with.   It reminded me of people I totally forgot or whose name I would never remember.  Its kinda like taking a walk at night and looking in your neighbor's window!  Oh yes, I do that!  I grew up in a small town where everyone new each other's business.  Its a defense mechanism.  You have to be prepared to blackmail the person threatening to tell all your secrets! lol!

I'm a little embarrassed that I only have one picture.  Most of my friends have lots.  For some reason I'm afraid that some crazy is going to see my picture on facebook then hunt me down and kill me.  Too much Criminal Minds and NCIS! lol!  Or it maybe my Mom that's given me these crazy thoughts.

I mean the gig is up.  I've been doing a blog for a couple years and it only takes 2 seconds to google me.  What comes up is not surprise- I'm a Chiropractor and I tat.  In fact, once someone looks me up they've got my whole life in front of them.   Maybe I should be working harder to control their first impression? 

This was brought to my attention the other day in a bar.  Salima and I went to Baton Rouge and the only seats were at the bar which is always fun.  A gentleman who took the seat next to us had an  iPhone and we asked a whole bunch of questions about the difference between and iPhone and a blackberry (he was hot and we were bored).  Well, in 5 minutes he had everything just from telling him our website address. 

So if everything about my life is floating in cyberspace some where why am I so nervous?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The people that keep us safe...

I went with friends and family to the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Manotick today.  My friend's son Ayan (almost 3yrs) asked his mom (Sal) what we were doing.  Sal told him that we are thanking all the people that keep us safe. That struck me as the perfect way to explain Remembrance day to an infant.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

tatting on Craft Gossip

Two Shuttles threatened to bring out her Christmas trees and that reminded me- I have a black Christmas Tree!   I still have time to pull it out before Halloween and ghost it up.  After Sunday I can redecorate it and leave it out until January!  If you make anything to give as presents you have to start so early that you need a little inspiration to get you going.  How early is to early?

I don't know if you've seen tatting on this site before but Craft Gossip showed Rozella Linden's Celtic pumpkin tatted by pieknits.  If you go to her site look through the older posts you'll see what Pieknit did with Martha Ess's skull pattern.  Heather's new 3 hole shuttles made it onto Craft gossip too.  Its always fun to see tatting somewhere you haven't seen it before. 

Ambitatterous  posted a NOT TO BE MISSED challenge last Friday.  It's taken me this long to say in a calm and kind manner- 
See?  Nice and calm....there's a lot I would do for 25 balls of thread.  A little smack talk and intimidation is nothing.  She's given us one month to come up with pressure...

I'd like to leave this post with an appropriate quote from a movie:

Forrest Gump: My momma always said, "Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Unbelievably crabby- Please see pattern page

Its a beautiful fall day- sun is shinning and the wind is reasonable. What's not reasonable is me! I'm unbelievably crabby!

This is me!
  Yep! I'm the one with the stink eye for everyone.   Really is it so hard just to get a regular tea at the damn starbucks?  You know the stuff that's in every restaurant in North America (why is everything so complicated?)   Do I want black tea or herbal tea?  There's Earl Grey (box was empty) and some other stupid concoction....I guess I'll just have to go home and yell at my cats. 

Oh, but I can't because I want to use the free Wi-Fi so I'll order the zillionth coffee of the day.  That's really going to help...
To make up for the vast amount of evil mental thoughts I'm sending out to the world today I'm sharing this very appropriate pattern that's pictured above.  It'll be on keep and share in a couple of days but right now I don't have the patience to handle it.  If there's any mistakes please let me know and watch out because there's a lot of turns in this pattern. (I guess that kinda matches my mood)
Please go see the pattern page for the updated pattern. cheers Vicki

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baby arrived

I though I posted this last week but here it is a week late:

Baby Olivia made an appearance yesterday morning at about 8lbs and 19inches.   In what is typical Jessica fashion she drove us nuts all through her pregnancy and then pops the baby out with minimal fuss.  Gets us all excited then boom its over.  Her water broke at 9pm, she went into labour at 1am, headed for the hospital at 5am, was fully dilated when she arrived and baby was out by the time they called me at 8am.  So that's pretty quick.  Baby and mom are doing fine.  Mom tried to bribe the midwife to tell Jessica it was a boy but the midwife declined.  (Jessica has already bought enough girl clothes for the next 2 years)

I get to see Olivia this weekend because its Thanksgiving here in Canada.   So its been a great week for our family! 
I had a great thanksgiving and Olivia is very cute.  She's been so calm and easy that my brother in law is now wondering what's the big deal?  He figures its pretty easy to take care of a baby.  Ever hear of the saying "don't tempt the fates?"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

A little distracted

So I've fallen behind with converting my files to Keep and Share.  I will get back to it soon but I've been a little busy.  Between me and the other Chiropractor in our clinic (Salima) we are covering another chiropractor in the city that hurt her wrist.  She works by herself and had no-one to help when she hurt her wrist.  Since this isn't a common injury we are all waiting to see what's going on.  That means I'm working an extra 18 hours a week.  That's not a whole lot in other professions but in mine that's straight physical labour!  So I'm exhausted!  Between falling out of bed and working the extra hours I'm a little sore.  So I haven't been doing much other than sleeping when I get home. 

I'm also waiting for my sister to go into labour.  She was due on September 30th but so far not signs of baby Olivia.  I guess she's going to take after my father and keep everyone waiting for her.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Friday Morning

Friday morning at 6am I fell out of bed.   Yep, wasn't doing anything fun just turning off my alarm clock.  You see I have an antique bed that takes a 3/4 mattress but I use a double mattress.  So the mattress hangs over the edge on each side when you've just placed it but shifts to the whatever side you get out of bed.  So when I rolled to turn off my alarm clock I slide right off the bed.   I have a huge bruise on my right arm where I hit my nightstand, my butt hurts and my wrist is achy.  I suspect it would have felt worse today except I got adjusted and had a 20 minute massage on Friday pm.  Both really helped but I can't wait until tomorrow when I'll repeat the treatment.  I'm also taking Traumeel which is a homeopathic anti-inflammatory. 
Bad timing since I'm helping another Chiropractor whose been injured.   She hurt her wrist so Salima (chiropractor I work with) and I are filling in while she heals.  This means I working twice as many hours as usual.  Being a Chiropractor is physical work and you often break a sweat.  So I'm already a little tired and sore already.
Apparently you can have a mattress custom made and its not too expensive.  I think that after this I'm going to be looking into getting a mattress that fits.  I don't want to slide out of bed again.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Finally found it!

Whenever I go into a bead or fabric store I always look for a brooch base.  Its easy to find them on-line but I never see them in stores. I finally found some at McNare Beads here in Ottawa and bought a bunch.  Basically you use glue to add stuff to the base.   I'm hoping that this style will sit better on a shirt.  I hate it when they tilt forward, the brooch looks like its trying to jump off your chest! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

I realised burlap was truely in when I saw it at Starbucks

You may not have noticed but burlap is pretty trendy right now. This was confirmed last week during a trip to Starbucks where I noticed that one of the wraps in the travel mugs was burlap. This was definitely a sign. It would be a great time to share how to make burlap angels but alas, a trip to Micheal's is needed for that particular craft. Sometime before Christmas I'll share it. My Mom and I made over 30 burlap angels 4 years ago for friends and coworkers at Christmas. We made another 20 the next year because my sister changed jobs and had new people to gift them to.

Instead I made a trip to Canadian Tire and purchased a pack of garden burlap. Some styrofoam balls and a few ribbons later I made this Potion Sac. I had to let it sit for a week before I decided to put on the felt label with the witch hat. It took me awhile to realise it needed more color, Burlap can be so dull. Tonight I'm making a bunch with different labels. One of the patterns I'm going to use is Ellen Lai's Owl and one of the skulls from Martha Ess's Halloween Bling Bracelet. The Styrofoam balls are white and can see through the burlap so I improvised using the black scoop poop bags I had from the dollar store!

This second idea didn't turn out quite as nice as I hoped. Last year I made a few of these ornament covers and put it on a clear ornament with spiders in the bottom. I hung the ornaments on an arrangement of dead branches. This year I thought that the burlap might show of the colors more so I wrapped another Styrofoam ball and slipped on the cover but I think its too bulky and drab. I guess I'll pull out the clear balls. You probably have already guessed that Yarnplayer inspired the ornament covers with her experiments to get a stained glass effect.

Big plans tonight finishing my fall decor. I try not to get too morbid too early so I'm using a lot of leaves. Lots of time for more grotesque stuff as Halloween gets closer.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I love this idea!

Once again I was following the link trail from blog to blog just wasting time. I do that from time to time to check out all the neat ideas out there. I came across this blog where she shows how to make envelopes using paper doilies. I thought this is a must have idea for anyone who makes lace. You can send all your creations in appropriately Lacy envelopes. Now where can you find paper doilies that come in a square? The ones I've seen are usually round.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not what I planned...

I had planed to post something different today but I didn't have the essential material needed to complete my mad inspiration. So a visit to Michael's is needed before I share my idea. This is unfortunate since I've already spent all my buttons on beads. Pretty, pretty beads that I thought I desperately needed...can't have too many Delicas can I?
Its okay but it spawned another idea that I can't complete since I don't have that material either. Fortunately, I think a visit to Canadian Tire may produce the burlap needed and the dollar store is a good source for Styrofoam balls.
It's all worked out because I realised that I didn't share something I had planned on sharing earlier. You know those flat, round shell disks that you often see in the dollar store? Well, I found a seasonal use for them- leaves (Leaf on a Shell Bead). You can substitute another bead or just skip the bead entirely by changing Ch1 to R 4-4-4-4-8-4-4-4-4 or a mock ring with the same count.

I also thought that the motif looks like a Chinese lantern (the plant).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Trial Run

I finally have discovered the magic of Keep and Share. This program allows me to create a link to my patterns online. This means that you get them in a nicer form- a word document. On the right hand side of the screen is a link to the Bear Heart Pattern. Just click to download the file. I will be gradually changing over all the patterns posted on the right hand side of this screen. Let me know how this works for you.

Last week I had a quick (20 minutes) tutorial from a 16 year old about everything I needed to know on my computer. Adil is not only a smart kid but he's able to communicate. A trait not often found in exceptionally smart people and one I value. So Adil set me straight on a bunch of things and hopefully I remember about 10% of the useful stuff.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Paw Prints

So now you've heard a bit about my sister. If you meet her feel free to introduce yourself as one of "my people". It'll be funny to see what she does.

Despite the "My People" teasing she has an appreciation for both craftiness and seniors (runs a retirement home). Jessica is also able to poke fun at herself. She's 9 months pregnant and in the last month Mom started crocheting baby stuff at an astronomical speed. Jessica is now referring to Mom as her " personal baby clothes sweat shop". A comment more aimed at making fun of Jessica's greed for baby clothes than my Mom.

Unfortunately Jessica had to put her dog down 2 weeks ago. She's very upset since Magic has been with our family for over 15 years. Magic showed up at our house one day and never left.

I've decided to make her something to put on her key chain and there's only one pattern that fits- Paw Prints on My Heart by Heather. So I went to Etsy and purchased the pattern. I found the pattern easy to follow and made a few paw prints the other night. Color isn't showing up very well in this picture but I used Lady Shuttlemaker's Middle Earth in silk. It looks yellow in the picture but is actually shades of brown. I'm sure she's going to love it! I think I'll make a few to sew onto a onsie (onesie?). Thanks Heather for the great pattern.

Friday, August 27, 2010


You can't know this but I often start posts about the quirks in my family and then never actually post them. Mostly because you may not find it as funny as I do or you may think that I'm being mean. But this time I sitting here in another office downtown giggling to myself and I've really got to share this story.

There's a certain amount of teasing and torture that goes on between family members- especially sisters. Also crafters in general have a certain reputation. When you mention being a crafter there's an image that immediately comes to people's mind that gets worse when you mention that you do lace.

Playing on this particular Stereotype my sister has starting referring to tatters as "My People". When I go to a seminar I'm visiting "My People", if someone is driving slow (usually a senior) on the way to these seminars then they are "One of My People". She has gone so far has to start picking out people on the street and referring them to as "One of Your(my) People".

Let me tell you that's she's not picking anyone that remotely resembles any tatter that I know and most look like they've escaped from the Royal Ottawa (Mental health Institute) or the local Nursing Home! Somehow she knows it hits that mark and I cringe silently inside each time she does it. Sisters just know these things.

So there you are- a story about sisters, stereotypes and a little benign torture on the family scale. That's whats making me laugh all by myself in this big office.

****Sisters have not been named in this post for their protection****

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still Whinning

Since I've spent most of the last couple posts whining I thought "why ruin the trend?" I have located my camera, camera cord and a tatting needle (under my deck) so what else could be going wrong?
I've lost my very important and special crochet hook that fits through seed beads. I broke my smallest crochet hook a couple of months ago and now I've lost the next size up! Once again I'm sure its in a very safe place but I'm be *#!* if I know where that is.
Most of the time I add beads as I go along using a crochet hook. Do you have any idea how tedious it is to add beads without a crochet hook? Very slow. So no beads on my tatting until I either find my beloved crochet hook OR purchase another. Lets not talk about the tatting I've lost along with the crochet hook.
I'm proof that organization doesn't always help!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thread size note about the bear heart

Just a quick note that I remade the bear heart with size 20 thread (a couple different brands) and everything worked out just fine. So you don't have to use the DMC thread. I've added size 20 thread as a possibility on the pattern. Also, Lady Picot was able to use a different bead and everything turned out just fine, so don't feel you need to use a bear bead just something similar in size.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

So sketchy...

My posting has been sketchy I admit it. I would like to blame someone else but its my fault. I keep leaving my stuff all over the place. Just as I realise that I have a slot for my photo card on my laptop and don't need my camera cord (lost but found) I misplace my camera. After 2 weeks of searching the house I finally find it at the clinic... in the last place I looked. You know how I feel about posts with no pictures so I've been immobilized too afraid to post without a picture!

So good news I have a picture and a pattern to post. Its a pattern based around a bead so you'll need to stick pretty close to the original thread size. I used DMC size 8 thread which is ridiculously easy to find and comes in a lot of colors (my sister bought a crap load at a bizarre). I'm thinking you can probably use size 20 tatting thread.

Bear Heart
Vicki Clarke 2010
(click on title for hyperlink to word document)


bear bead (you can buy this bead by the 100's at a dollar store)
DMC size 8 thread wound CTM with 1 yard on shuttle. Size 20 tatting thread will work as well
ls- lock stitch
lj- lock join
DNRW- do not reverse work

Start by pulling thread from top to bottom through bear bead and hold loop using a paperclip.

Ch1 ls 3-4-4-4 lj (to space held by paperclip) 4-4-4-4 lj (to beginning just under the lock stitch)

Round 2
Ch 8
R 3 + (to 1st p of Ch1) 3
Ch 12
R 3 + (to 2nd p of Ch1) 3
Ch 6
R 3 + (to 3rd p of Ch 1) 3 DNRW
Ch 8
R 3 - 3
R 3 + (to 4th p of Ch1) 3
Ch 6
R 3 + (to 5th p of Ch1) 3
Ch 12
R 3 + (to 6th p of Ch1) 3
Ch 8 join back to beginning, cut and tie

If you have any questions or feedback about the pattern please let me know at I'm working on making friends with Adobe so I can give you patterns in a better format but I'm computer dumb. It may take awhile.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I've been busy...

I lost the cord that allows me to download pictures from my camera to my computer. I've looked everywhere and I think its probably at my friend's house. That's where I last had it in my hands. Since I hate to post without photos I haven't had much to share in the last week.
Yesterday I realised that my computer has a slot for photo cards and I'm back in business! I've been working on things and I'm just waiting for a moment to write out a few patterns.
I've also been working on another project that involves spray paint and calligraphy pens. Here's a picture of all my red flowers which I'm pretending are mums. I've also written what I think are witty sayings on each of the flowers. Even if they aren't that witty everyone will have to humour me. I think I'm funny (in the HA HA way not the padded room way)

I used my cache of plastic crystal to make a leaf sun catcher that I'm sending down south to the Palmetto Tatdays for the silent auction table. This is one of the patterns I want to write out and share. If you flip it upside down it can double as a Christmas tree. I truly admire those who are able to write out patterns clearly. Half the time I don't even remember what I've done!

Mint has grown in abundance in my garden this year and I'm adding it to everything. My breath had better smell good! Ths cup has fresh mint tea but don't let the rest fool you. The strawberries and shortcakes are Christmas ornaments. I salivated over the shortcakes before Christmas dithered about buying them but found then dirt cheap after Christmas. I was really happy when I bought them for 90% off the original price. I'm not sure if you can see it but there's a beautiful green doily underneath the vase. It was a gift for the teachers at the Palmetto Tat Days last year. I'm sorry I can't remember off hand who made it but it is lovely. Her name will come to me later.
At the last Tat days Georgia Seitz started an ambitious project to create a crazy quilt with tatted embellishments. Each participant took a quilt block to decorate and when finished sends it in to be made into one large quilt. Today I opened my email to find the link to the finished quilt. Check out to see what they've done. An added bonus of visiting the site is that you can buy tickets on-line for the auction. Each ticket is $5 and the money goes to the Palmetto Tat Days Scholarship fund. Just think, for a lousy $5 you can have a one of a kind work of cool is that?

Friday, July 9, 2010

I've done something to my blogger acount...

Don't you hate it when you innocently brush something on the keyboard and the computer goes haywire? Somehow I've magnified my screen in blogger beyond what my computer keeps telling me is my optimal resolution. Since I have no idea how I did this amazing thing I have no idea how to fix it. As I'm typing the letters and spacing are distorted and its kinda giving me a headache.

On Sunday I started to teach my neighbor how to tat. It was a little difficult because she wanted to know all the details first like how to make a picot and do a join but I just wanted her to learn the knot. I figure if she gets the knot and flip the rest is easy. I sent her home with a shuttle, thread and the Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones. She's going to practice her knot. I have every confidence that she can pick it up because she HAND SEWS. Yep, no sewing machine in her house and she makes lovely dresses by hand. So if she can do that she can definitely tat.

When I tat I often use beads and make a lot of beaded joins so I am really interested in Jon's latest post. She shows a way to make the bead sit on top of a join. I think its really smart but it also made me that I should share the way that I added some of the beads on my sun catchers. I'll take some pictures tonight and post tomorrow. Stay Tuned.
(picture included so you'll read the post! lol!)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

It was a beautiful day here in Ottawa, and there's going to be a lot of citizens with sunburns tomorrow! This is a busy day in Ottawa and there's always a big crowd downtown at the Parliament Buildings. If you are ever in Ottawa for Canada Day you should spend some time downtown. This year even the Queen's in town!

I have finally gotten my act together to give you a few photos of my recent fun! This is my crazy quilt block that I decorated for the Palmetto tat days fundraiser. I actually finished it awhile ago but took forever to get it in the mail. I used Lady Shuttlemaker's hand dyed silk thread and did mostly chain work for the edgings. The one exception is a modification of Mary Konior's curds and whey. The butterfly is her pattern as well.

As mentioned in my last post I found plastic beads that look like crystals. They really reflect the light so I've been using them to make sun catchers. The ones to the left were made with size 10 Anchor Freccia thread. These did not need to be stiffened to hold their shape. The others that I made using DMC crochet cotton were a little more floppy but I'm not sure if that's the thread or the different design. The star shape is a little more chancy. I've done it in both DMC crochet cotton and Lizbeth thread which I find a stiffer thread. The stars hold their shape about the same so I think its the design. I haven't decided yet if I will stiffen the stars. When I first made the stars it for ornaments on my sister's pink and black themed Christmas tree. The butterfly is for the tree as well. The blue beads with brown Lizbeth thread is for my house.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Enforced quiet time

Although I have no pictures to share of my tatting I have been busy. In fact, over the weekend I managed to tat enough to have a burning feeling in my elbows. The source of the problem is in fact a small store called McBead Creations. Its a wonderful place full of lots of fun things. They have these wonderful and cheap plastic crystal beads similar to what they put on fake chandeliers. They look lovely and come in all colors. So I've been making lots and lots of stuff with them that can either be Christmas ornaments or sun catchers.

Despite trying to garden and do other stuff the call of the crystals has been too much for me to resist. I kept pulling out new colors. The burning in my elbows forced be to drastic action to stop tatting. I emptied my purse, organized my junk and still was drawn to the thread. So I was forced to do my nails! lol

I pulled out my french manicure kit and started polishing. If you've never done your own you don't know how easy it is. My big mistake is that I fuss too much and eventually there's a nail or 2 that gets overdone. You know what? It doesn't look that different from the experts and it lasts about the same time. Drying is the tricky part and I'm often too impatient to let each coat dry. Last night I let everything dry really well between coats. When you are really sure the polish is dry then rub your nails together and if they don't stick or feel gross they are dry. Do stuff before they are completely dry the polish will flake off the next day. So that's how I forced myself to stop. I definitely didn't want nail polish on the thread.
Most of the muscles that move your fingers and wrists come from your elbow. Which is why I got into trouble. Rest helped but I also used ice, truameel (inflammation modulator) and got adjusted. So I will be back at it shortly. If you ask me what I did wrong I could tell you easy- too much tatting too intensively and not enough breaks. Totally my fault and totally avoidable.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dropped out of sight

I feel like I've dropped out of sight the last few weeks. I haven't posted because I didn't have any photos to share. I don't read blogs with no pictures so I always try to include some sort of picture on mine. Yes, that means that if you don't post a picture I won't read what you post. I'm ashamed of my shallowness but what can you do? Instead of pictures I'm sharing a few thoughts worthy or not about what other people are posting.

Fox has posted a good idea and followed it up with some action over She's put together a way to exchange thread informally over the distance through this blog The beauty of this exchange is that you know who's making the exchange with you. If the thread doesn't arrive you can contact your exchange partner directly to resolve the issue. I've been doing exchanges long enough to get burned a few times. Its no fun to wait for a package that never arrives. I have great sympathy for those who are brave enough to organize an exchange. Herding a bunch of tatters is probably like herding a bunch of cats!

One of these days Totusmel ( is going to give me a kick in the head because I keep giving my 2 cents worth about her designs. I am amazed by the way she uses tatting. She's just finished a really neat flaming mask. So much different than what I could even imagine.

I've decided that cruelty must be a chief characteristic of test tatters (you know who you are). Why else do they flaunt patterns not yet published and taunt us with their blocky goodness? I've been seeing a lot of Martha Ess's newest block critters on different blogs. Her newest book is due out in August just in time for the Palmetto Tat Days.

Just so you all know I'm going to steal Jane's earrings the next chance I get...probably won't get the opportunity for a couple years. I'll post you when it happens. (so you can see pictures of the earrings)

I was going into withdrawls when Tatting Goddess stopped her regular posts. She's back at it if you haven't noticed. However, I didn't read her post today because there wasn't any pictures! (kidding)

Did I mention that Sherry ( http:/ is severely knocked up? So is my sister and they are due around the same time. A few other people I know are pregnant and due in the fall. I don't usually know so many fecund women... Even though there's a 1/12 chance of being due at the same time I've decided all these pregnant woman are a sign the stars are aligning. For what I don't know! By the way, I mean Sherry as in the shuttlemaker and not Sherry as in the celtic dreamweaver (
Finally I lied and found a few pictures I haven't shared. They are both Mary Konior's patterns and tatted in Sherry's hand dyed threads. I love single shuttle patterns!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

In Classes

I was in class over the weekend to earn Continuing Education credits. I always bring tatting to these things just to keep my hands busy. For some reason thrown off rings (TOR) was the name of the game on the weekend. I just kept going for as long as possible with this theme. I thought that I would end up with a doily but looking at a picture of it I realise that there's a heart in there too. I can now either mirror the bottom for a doily OR curve around the top to make a heart. If I make a heart then I have to retro tat to remove that big ring on the left (which would stupid on the heart but is my branching point to the next round on the doily). I'm likely to just go ahead and mirror the bottom. I feel some SCMR (which I almost never do) coming on to finish an outside round. Do you think that TOR are awkward on an outside round? Is it okay to have rings just sticking out there, hanging in space?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not sure how...

I'm not sure how I can have so much time and never get anything done. There's a saying that if you want something done ask a busy person. I believe that's true. I've got lots of time and I never get anything done.

I spent the last few weeks getting ready for a Sparks (girl guides) Mommy and Me camp. This takes more time then you realise and I tend to obsess over details. I was a little worried because this was my first camp with the Moms. Everyone was great and things went smoothly. The weather was wonderful! I was so wound up the days before the camp that I crashed afterwards and pretty much slept away Sunday and Monday.

Now I just have to get all the crap I pulled out for the camp put away! An added bonus is that this is the last week for Sparks until September. I'll miss the girls but this will give me time to catch up.

Once the camp crap is away then I can spend all my time tatting. Oh no! The weeds are getting out of control...I guess I have to finally cut the lawn!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Totally addicted

I have a confession to make....I'm totally addicted to tutorials! Tutorials on pretty much anything but they need to have lots and lots of pictures. Something about a good picture that makes things look so much more special than the reality. I love to know how to do things. So I thought I would share a few sites that I check out on a regular basis. Totally Tutorials One Pretty Thing The Crafty Crow Dollar Store Crafts

I'm not sure why I'm fixated on tutorials.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tax time

In Canada taxes are due at the end of April and I'm currently working on finishing up my taxes. So its tax time not tat time.

This year I'm left wondering where the money went. Not that I've made a lot but just that I made more than it felt like at the time. I'm a fairly frugal person, I don't have a drug or alcohol problem and I didn't consider my purchases excessive in 2009. I did a lot of work on my house and most of my purchases have been for household stuff... and I might have spent SOME money on tatting stuff (why isn't tatting a tax write off?). I feel like there should be more money at the end of the year. I guess my money tree didn't grow this year...this spring I'll plant another loonie (Canadian dollar coin) and see what happens.

Update: Good news/bad news...I didn't waste as much money as I thought, I just missed a line. Bad news is that this line changed my income dramatically and I made less money in 2009 than 2008 (not surprising considering the economy). I feel much better about the way I handle my money but not so good about my income.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Home again

I had a great time at the Hector Tat Days. The new location at the Lodi Fire Hall worked out really well. The lighting was much better, there was more space and the bathrooms had more than one toilet! As usual the food was great and so were the classes. I took Ginny's Shirley Angel Class. I'm ashamed to tell you that poor Shirley's head did not turn out... I managed to make it inside out. I lost some steam after that and didn't finish it but I'm going to take some time this weekend and try again. Every year its hard to decide what classes to take and this year there were great choices. I'm hoping to work through the booklet and make all the angels. I'm not very good at following directions, fortunately I have the option of only sharing successful attempts.

The speaker we had on Saturday night was very good and I enjoyed her talk. Unfortunately I can't remember her name but she was very gracious. While she was speaking Ginny and I goofed around drawing out a pattern for a sugar skull. Yes, Ginny I have something to send you. I'm actually very excited about my descent into morbid designing. Its been fun. I've been entertaining myself with names for the collection like Hallow'tats, Lace of the Living Dead or the Tatful Dead. There's a large doily in all this I just know it.

In case you are shocked by this dark line of tatting I'd like to point out that Martha started it with her Pearl Tatted Skeleton, Halloween Bling (skull bracelet) and the brains (links provided below). I sound like a 5 year old defending why she's drawing on the wall. All I can say is that Martha Started It!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

See you at Hector

Tomorrow I'm getting into my car and driving to the finger lakes area for the Hector Tatting Days. Hopefully the border guard will let me through and won't get confused about Tatting. Last year it took me awhile to convince him that I wasn't going to a tattoo convention. In fact, he was right suspicious of me and I thought that he might search my car.

Am I ready? Well, to tell the!
There's a whole lot of things that I meant to do but for the life of me I can't remember what they were. Isn't that annoying? I know I have to pack but what I'm not sure. The weather has been so changeable lately.

I also haven't spent anytime making a list of wants and needs in tatting supplies. I know I want Ginny's new book and definitely a few more from Karey. I would also like to pick up one of Iris Niebach's books. Although I have lots of clover shuttles I never seem to have an empty one so I will purchase another 5 pack. Lastly, I will be purchasing some thread probably in the Altin Basak. I have to figure out a way to keep track of what I've already purchased so I think that tonight will involve cutting thread samples so I don't get duplicate colors. I might get so Lizbeth thread just because the colors are so spectacular but I really don't need to start another collection of threads.

If you are coming pop over and say Hi.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Give away winner and pendant exchange

Its time to announce the winner of the necklace giveaway. I know I said Saturday but events conspired for it to be otherwise. This morning I got our massage therapist to draw a name from the pile and sewmuchfun4 won the draw. I've sent her an email and hopefully the package will be in the mail by the end of the week.

On a similar note I finished my exchange pendant for intatters about a week ago. Its had its highest level of approval- my sister liked it. Unfortunately time caught up with me and I didn't get it sent out before today. I never have a problem getting an exchange package ready but I seem to have an issue actually getting it in the mail. Today is the day and it's being sent out as we speak!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy International Tatting Day!

Its a beautiful day here in Ottawa to sit in the sun and tat. Unfortunately I'm stuck in the office but I hope to catch a few moments to tat later. As you may know the traditional activities for the day are the following:

1. Eat all the chocolate you desire.
2. Wear a little tatting and tell everyone you meet about it.
3. tat only for yourself, only what you want to tat
4. remember those that came before you and have contributed to the art.

Instead of showing what I'm tatting today I'm sharing a picture of the coasters I made last fall. The pattern is from Mary Konoir's book Tatting with Visual Patterns done in size 10 navy thread. I made 4 coasters but the 4th one is currently MIA. As you can tell, my sewing abilities are limited.
Just for fun and to honor International tatting day I'm doing a give-away. Its simple, just leave a comment and your name. I will do the draw on Saturday. The prize is this tatted necklace.
I wish everyone a great day!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Flowers Tic Tac Toe

I like those tic tac toe boards you sometimes see in boutiques where instead of x's and o's they have different playing pieces like flowers or frogs. I figure this is a great gift because everyone plays tic tac toe. This project is no-sew because I was too lazy to get out my sewing machine and well, sewing never turns out quite the way I expect. For anyone who is good with a sewing machine this would be a great 1 hour sew project to use up left over pieces (Ric rack would make great divider lines).

10 - flowers in 2 colors (5 of each color)
2 pieces felt- color of choice but I suggest something that contrasts with the flower colors

Step 1- make flowers and stiffen them (see previous post for pattern). I use modge podge that I water down in about a 2:1 ratio of water to glue. The stiffened flowers are the playing pieces for tic tac toe.

Step 2- Cut a piece of felt about 41/2 inches square. Felt is very forgiving so don't worry if its not exactly square.
Step 3- Cut strips of felt about 1/4 inch wide and 41/2 inches long. Glue strips to main piece of felt to in the tic tac toe grid pattern.
Step 4 Find an opponent and start playing.
That's basically the pattern and the idea. I was lazy last night so I didn't sew a little pocket to hold the flower playing pieces but that would be a good idea. I put the flowers and the board into a large organza bag from the dollar store. A simple tatted edging would be lovely around the outside of the board or as lines of the grid.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Flower Sachet/Pin Cushion

Some things are in the eye of the beholder and I realised as I wrote up this project that it could be done a different way. The idea here is that you can make the flowers at any old time and then assemble the rest of the project later. There are times when easy, repetitive and portable tatting is good and single shuttle projects fit the bill. The flowers also use up thread bits and you can make these flowers with just a little thread. So while it may seem like I've created more ends then necessary there's a method to my madness!Supplies
felt in color of choice
2- 6 ring flower (a pattern can be found here:
1 inch picot gauge
green thread
beads are optional (as on pink sample)
lavender if making a sachet and stuffing if making a pin cushion

Step 1: Make 2 flowers and hide ends.

Step 2: Using CTM wind a foot of green thread on shuttle.
lp= long picot
lj= lock join
Start by joining at any outside picot of the flower:
Ch 5 lp (use 1 inch picot gauge) 5 lj (next picot on flower) repeat around flower, cut and tie. Hide ends. You should end up with something like below. Make 2.
(On a side note this looks like a snowflake to me. A little stiffener and pinning of the picots would make a really simple snowflake.)

Step 3: Make the sachet/cushion.

Using a coffee cup as a template, trace a circle onto a piece of felt then cut it out. Make a running stitch around the outside edge and gather the material. As you gather up the felt it'll make a pouch that you can fill either lavender or stuffing.

Step 4
The outside round attaches the motifs by joining at the long picots. Halfway around the motif insert the felt sachet. If you want to have beads on your sachet then load 30 beads onto the ball thread before you start and everywhere you see p add a bead. (I put a few extra beads on the thread just in case) You may also want to put beads onto the long picots. You can use any size of bead but use a consistent number of beads on each of the long picots. I recommend that you use paperclips on a few of the picots to hold the sides together, especially if you are into front side/backside tatting. All joins on this round are lock joins made through a long picot from both motifs at once. So to be really clear you are making one join to 2 picots.

Wind 1 yard onto a shuttle CTM.

Start by making a single join through a long picot from each motif.

Ch 10p2p2p2p2p10 lj (through both long picots at once) 4 times
insert the sachet
Ch 10p2p2p2p2p10 lj (through both long picots at once) 2 times, the last time joining back to where you started. Cut and tie.
If you want a loop then load about 4 inches of beads and tie back to the base of the loop. Hide ends. The yellow sachet at the top has no beads and the pink one has beads so you can see the difference.

Voila! A sachet/pin cushion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

In the toilet...

No, I'm not referring to my life but to a funny thing that happened last night. I was at a Starbucks doing yesterday's post. As usual the coffee had an effect and I needed to visit the little girls room. Somehow in the course of the usual events my necklace came undone and ended up in the toilet. I really couldn't leave it behind so my soggy mess got rinsed, wrapped in a paper towel and shoved in my purse. The wonderful thing about tatting is that it can be washed and reshaped. The moral of this story is that when you use a ribbon to hold a pendant you really need to use a double knot.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Flower power bookmarks

Whenever I'm at Chapters (Barnes and Nobles for Americans) it really burns my britches to watch someone pay $6-20 for a bookmark that's mass manufactured.

This thought is what brought me to the next project. Almost everyone could use a bookmark and its a great gift. However, they may not appreciate the time and effort that goes into making a truly exceptional bookmark. Today's use of the 6 ring flower is perfect since its not going to take you hours to make but the result is lovely. I've had people overlook better pieces for this one. (I was a little insulted at the time)


Metal bookmark hook (picture right)
6 or 5 ring flower (see previous post for pattern)
3 mm or larger bead in color of choice
12-24 inches green thread wound on shuttle
seed beads are optional

Step 1. Using the green thread make the following ring with either large picots or beaded picots:
R 1-1-1-1-1 vsp 1-1-1-1-1 close ring

Step 2. So now you have a green ring and a flower (you can hide the ends on the flower I was just lazy when this picture was taken). Attach the green ring to the flower with the green thread by joining between rings on the flower and snugging up

Step 3. Unwind shuttle, add large bead onto thread and join to vsp on green ring. Pull green thread to the back which should put you between rings 3 and 4 on the flower. If it feels unsteady then you can also do a join to the thread between flower rings 3 & 4.

Step 4: Attach the flower to the crook. The way I do it is by going through the hole in the center of the crook then bringing the thread around the side of the crook and tying between the flower and crook. I do this a bunch of times on each side of the crook. I find that keeps the flower from being floppy. Glue doesn't hurt either

I used green and yellow thread in this case but when I want to be wintry I use white or blue thread with a crystal in the middle. I often put beads on the large picots of the center ring as in the red and white flower at the top. Feel free to fray the picots instead of adding beads. Finally, if you don't have or can't find a metal hook then sew the flower onto a ribbon or cord.