Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Midnight disaster

I woke up at midnight last night to my dog barking furiously.  Kneessa spent the next few minutes trying to convince me that the plant stand was a dangerous hazard.  That's why she had to kill it. I've cleaned up a little in the picture but there was bits of my poor plant all over the floor.  Apparently it was a viscous plant.  Its amazing the amount of damage a 5lb dog can do in a short time.
I should have made a bigger deal out of it but instead I went back to sleep.  I will regret it later.  She is convinced that everything in the house is for her chewing pleasure including thread.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

In process...

The earings in Nina Libin kit I won at the fringe weekend was also part of the online tatting class this week. I usually read the class notes because I can never manage to get to Class on my laptop. My iPhone on the other hand is a technological marvel and I made it with no issues. Not in time for the needle tatting class (what I was trying to sign on for) but once I finally got there I stuck around. So when they added Nina's pattern as a surprise I took it as a sign and ran to get the kit.
I forgot how tricky metallic thread can be. I have one earring done but it's a little lopsided. I made a mistake on how many beads are used in the first chain but didn't realize in time to fix it. It's tricky to retro tat metallic thread so I carried the mistake through the pattern. (after teasing Ginny Weathers for doing the same with my shoe pattern, sorry Ginny)
I don't think the extra beads made it lopsided. I think the swirl join is too tight so it pulls everything in the direction of the join or I might have made the other picots too big. I'm not sure. I'll see what happens with the second earring.
Thank God the kit comes with the beads already strung, there's About 400 beads on the earrings!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Weekend was over too fast!

I had a great time in Cambridge, Ontario this weekend with the Fringe Element Tatters.  I'm sorry that I have no pictures of the event to share with you but look at what I won at the live Auction!
I've been dying to buy this book!

The only thing that would have made this package
better would have been Nina herself.  So happy!

Thanks for all your congratulations and encouragement over my book.  I've sent 12 copies home with the gang from ZigZag Corner.   The patterns all use size 40 thread and I made all the samples with Lizbeth thread.  

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Now for something new...

I haven't been posting very much for the last year or 2.  Partly because of personal stuff and partly because I've been trying to learn the art of pattern writing.  Its harder than you think to make projects, write out the patterns and then proof those patterns.  I occasionally share pictures but then feel bad because I'm nowhere near publishing them.  I hate to be a tease! 

What I finally realised is that I need to start with something small.  So this summer I've worked on grouping a collection of pendants into a book. These patterns use semi-precious beads as the base for a tatted pendant.  The shapes and sizes of the stones vary and seeds beads are used in a few patterns.  The book contains diagrams and full color pictures of the pendants.  I've called it "Tatting the Stone" (I stole the title from Romancing the Stone.  Do you remember that movie? I love that movie.) 

The book will be available this weekend for the first time anywhere this weekend at the Fringe Element Tatting Weekend.  Tatting the Stone has 22 pages with 16 patterns. 

The cover of the book

A few of the pendants included in the book.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Change in Settings

because Jane said so....
My dog always growls at me when she wants me to do something.  So when Jane growled on her blog about comments and even provided instructions I listened.    The comment settings have been changed so you don't need to do the word verification.  Its kinda silly idea considering they distort the letters so you can barely read them.  I always get the word verification wrong the first and have to try again.  It lets you try indefinitely so how does that stop spam?
On another note, I watched the streamed video of the Palmetto tat off on Friday night.  I did it on my i-phone (small fortune but I was too lazy to go to Tim Horton's) so it didn't come through great but the giggling sure did.  I'm not sure I could tat with all that heckling and certainly not blind folded.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Making stuff...

I meant to post these pictures last weekend. I made a tulle skirt for my niece's Halloween costume. She's going to be a scarecrow. My sister got me to make a bunch of tulle skirts last year as Christmas gifts so she knew I had tulle. I've made a few extra, once you get on a roll you can't stop. They're very easy to make. They also make neat head pieces.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rainy day

After the last 2 amazing days we have a little rain. Don't worry, I've discovered the magic of pintrest and have lots of pretty things to keep me going. Let me know if you are pining.

My parents cottage isn't anywhere as exciting as Halliburton or muskoka. It's on the Trent river waterway. 30 years ago my father was still farming so he needed to milk cows 2x a day. A cottage needed to be within driving range. It's a little cozy and I wasn't so excited about a cottage as a teenager.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Gone fishing

I'm spending today at the cottage with the family. The weather is beautiful. It's nice to be tatting by the water.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

I'm recovering....

Thanks for everyone's sympathy concerning my recent scissor disaster.  Connie had an awesome suggestion.  She carries a large sequin with her and uses it when she cuts thread.  Connie pulls thread through the sequin and the rest of the tatting is protected.  This is an awesome idea!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


This morning I did the most annoying thing.  I hid the ends on a pendant I made and cut them off with scissors that were handy.  About 5 minutes later I saw some fuzz on the pendant and went to brush it off only to realise that I managed to cut the top of one double stitch when I cut the ends.  So its ruined.   I hate when you get to the end of a project and something as simple as cutting botches the whole thing.  I would show you a picture of the pendant but I'm still devastated. Sigh.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Maybe dogs shouldn't...

Maybe dogs shouldn't TAT!  Give back the shuttle

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Still tatting but someone's keeping me busy

I haven't been great at posting for the last couple months.  The blame for my lack of posting in the last month or so goes to this little girl.  Her name is Kneessaa because she looks like an Ewok.  I've learned a couple things about myself in the last 4 weeks.  One is that there's a reason I don't have children.  I'm just not capable to saying no or drawing lines.  My kids would have been the ones screaming in the store and running around like monkeys.  Its true and acknowledging it will make me a better person.  Fortunately, Kneesaa is a Shih-Tzu and I can just pick her up when she's bad.   She won't get very big.  I'd be screwed if she was a St Bernard.
I've also been working on writing out the patterns for my classes at the Fringe Element tat days this fall.  This is the shoe pattern I'll be teaching.  Everyone needs a tatted shoe!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

just an update

I'm not in jail or anything...

My camera is currently experiencing difficulties.  Its never where I need it to be.  I'm blaming the camera but its really my lack of foresight.  I haven't actually picked it up to take pictures so I can't share any with you. 

I'm not tatting this week because on Monday I may have done a little damage to my forearms after several hours of gardening.  I was pulling a few thousand insidious plants out of my garden.  Its amazing how fast some plants can spread.  When they start to take over the lawn its time to take action.   There was so much dirt under my fingernails that I couldn't even walk past a tatting shuttle without the thread whimpering in fear.

I'm also devastated that I didn't win totusmel's give-away.  I need a few moments....

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Trying to get to back in the swing of things

The last week of March we closed the clinic and went to the Dominican Republic.  The trip was lovely and yes the picture in the last post is from the trip.   The bad part was once I got home I was sick for Easter and really haven't been feeling great since.  It probably wasn't noticeable last weekend at the Finger Lakes seminar since I was bouncing around like a madwoman.   The excitement of the seminar temporarily overcame my fatigue but believe me when I say that I did not do nearly as much shopping as I normally manage.  I simply didn't have the energy to shop.  (still managed to buy a pair of shoes, lipstick and sunglasses)  Shopping doesn't include what I bought at the seminar.  I'll have pictures of that later.  I just unpacked the books and left the rest.

This week I'm a lumpy potato despite having Monday off to recuperate.  I even got a speeding ticket to prove how spacey I've been.  (almost ran over the police officer, thank God for the fluorescent jackets)  Next week I'll be all action! yep.
 This was the gift I gave out to people that mentioned my blog last weekend.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Off to the Finger Lakes

I'm taking off to the seminar tomorrow.  Along the way I'll be doing a little bit of shopping so it will take me a little longer than really necessary to drive to the Lodi Firehouse.  If you're coming to the seminar I'll be there with my copy of Sherry's new book Branching Encapsulation and I'm picking up a copy of Flare magazine so everyone can see Totusmel's lace in the magazine. I'm hoping that the issue with her pictures is out.   Please come and say Hi, tell me you read my blog and I'll have a treat for you! Remind me if I forget.  While your talking to me anyways please remind me to buy another needle for tatting.  I dropped mine under the deck last summer. 

In case you're wondering my project this weekend is the bracelet in the header.  For my class you need a shuttle, size 10 beads and size 20 thread.  I have clasps if you need one and I'll be giving you a mini lecture on clasps as part of the class.  For the raffle table last year I brought kits for a bunny bookmark.  It was the only draw where everyone won.  This year I'm bringing kits to make this Screen Door Heart.  I'm sure you've this kind of thing on a screen door before.  Basically you use to magnets to hang something decorative so no one walks through the screen door.  Sorry the picture is blurry in left corner because my camera is still traumatized by the beach.  I wasn't able to get a picture of the heart on the screen but here's the heart on the fridge, it makes a good refrigerator magnet too.  The kit includes a pattern, thread, 2 buttons, 2 magnets and beads.  

On another note I just realised that the wrong picture came up in one of my previous posts. Despite the right picture showing up on the draft I got a picture of another character instead of Professor Farnsworth from
Futurama. Professor Farnsworth was funnier.

ps in case you're wondering this is me

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

I forgot

I forgot what I was going to talk about in this post.  I'm sad to say I'm prematurely having a senior moment.  Couldn't have been that important!
My copy of Sherry Pence's Branching Encapsulation arrived in the mail today.  I'm taking it home to read tonight.  I'll bring it this weekend to the Finger Lakes Tatting Seminar so anyone thinking of purchasing it can take a look.  Sometimes it helps to see a pattern book before you decide to purchase it.   Sherry included lots of pictures and that always makes me happy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I'm back!

I came back early Sunday morning and was exhausted after a very long day.   The trip was great but I'm glad to be home.  There's only so much time you can spend at a beach.  I took some thread with me to work on but after the first day I didn't get much done. 

Victorian sets
Heather of tatted treasures left a comment in March asking about Victorian sets.  I didn't get a chance to respond before I left.  Victorian sets are when you do 4 first half stitches followed by 4 2nd half stitches.  It creates a chain that can be either straight or curved.  I use them a lot for tails on a bookmark.   Georgia Seitz has a better explanation with pictures and all the different names people use for this stitch.

In other news I'm very excited about the Finger Lakes Tatting Seminar next week.  I'm planning to buy books and replace my tatting needle that fell between the slats of my deck.   So far the books on my list are:

Iris Neibach's tatting fantasia
Karey Solomon's Wandering Wheels
Martha Ess's Playing with Picots
Ginny's New book (tittle not known)
Maybe:  the book with the Peacock that Frivole is tatting

I need to make sure to take the list of Lizbeth colors and mark the ones I need to replenish.  There's not alot of time between now and next Friday.  I'll be at my Mom's house most of this weekend so I won't have time this weekend to get things ready.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Heading somewhere hot!

I've got my bathing suit and tatting ready for the beach.  See you guys in April!   

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

On-line scavenger hunt

looks like a bird?
 So I'm still only at week one of the scavenger hunt. These are my shuttle face pictures.  I'm pretty up on the new techniques so instead I created a pattern using lock stitches and Victorian sets.

If the punisher was a tatter

Creating pattern with lockstitches and victorian sets.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Online Scavenger Hunt

Heather at tatted treasures is doing an online scavenger hunt.  This is her list for week 1:
Here are your first scavenger hunt challenges: (do as many as you like)
1.Photograph your shuttles making a face.

2.Find a reference to tatting in literature or a popular publication and quote or photograph it.

3.Tat a motif that uses a technique you’ve never tried before.

4.Photograph a coin dated the year you learned how to tat.

5.Poll 15 strangers and ask them if they have ever seen tatting before. Record the results.

I haven't done anything from her list yet but I think its pretty funny.  Tonight I'm going to make a face with my shuttles.  I know that Robin D. Owens makes a reference to tatting in one of her books.  I can't remember which one.
Unfortunately I've blocked my teenage years from my brain (its all one big boring blur) and cannot remember when I learned to tat. That makes number 4 impossible.   

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Onion rings

Front view of heart...can you tell the difference?
  I made a mistake by showing the wrong side of the heart in the last post.   You guys were correct in saying the onion ring join (ORJ) was on the right.   From the front it looks the same but from the back it looks different than a Catherine Wheel join.
 The ORJ isn't meant for chains, its really meant for patterns where the rings are concentric.  Basically you join the outside ring to the inner ring to hold it in place and ends up looking like a slice of onion.  Hence the name onion ring join.  It has its own little foibles so I leave it up to you whether or not to use it. 

Picture from
I found a couple links for anyone interested in the join.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Catherine Wheel terror?

 Fox over at tat-ology is currently working towards Catherine Wheel perfection.  I think she's just addicted to making this little heart by Frivole.  I can see why, its a very fun pattern.    To tell you the truth I don't do the Catherine Wheel often.  Instead I cheat and make an onion ring join.   One of the joins in the picture is an onion ring join and the others are Catherine wheel join.  From the front I don't think you can tell the difference. 
I intended to show more pictures but blogger isn't cooperating.  Since the last update I've found it harder to move the pictures around.  Also, I don't understand why they only give us a little window to see what we're writing?  That last part isn't new but it's always bothered me.
I was able to upload one more picture and not accidentally delete it.  I did a few more candy arrangements with my friend Sal.  She took them to Mosque to be auctioned after prayers.  The money raised goes to the Mosque.  We made 4 and they went for about $20 each.  Some of them were Ferrero Rocher arrangements where we stuck the chocolates on tooth picks or bamboo sticks.

ps  I forgot to mention that I added a bunny bookmark to the right side. 

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tatting Demonstration

I did a tatting demonstration/ class at Watson's Mill in Manotick on Monday.  Watson's Mill is a local historical site. I've never done a demonstration and Cam at Watson's Mill wasn't sure about what the turnout would be but we had 88 people come through the door!  There was an exhibit about Mr. Eaton (founded Eaton's Department Store) and different children's activities as well as some neat historical children's crafts.   I was surprised at how excited some people were to try to tat and one man actually thanked me for finding a new hobby for his wife!  I told him that if they had any questions to call/email me.  I made sure to tell them about all the awesome You-tube demos and websites on the Internet.  I have to confess that I sent a lot of people to Sharon Brigg's website.  I love her demos and the practice patterns she gives. 
I hadn't really prepared very much because Cam wasn't sure if anyone would come.  Next time I will have a sheet to hand out of tatting resources.  On Monday I was just scribbling names on scrap pieces of paper.

On a side note, the big box of nothing is now being used as a chalk board!

Obligatory photo:  This reminds me of an old lady with big thick rimmed glasses.
Sharon's website can be found at:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A big box of nothing...

It turns out that the major consumers of the bubble gum tree was adults.  The kids just wanted to look at it.  There's nothing funnier than someone's grandma trying to sneak the jube jube hearts out of the vase without anyone noticing.  
Ayan was very happy with his big box of nothing. His cousin Alim kept crawling inside which made it a big box of Alim.  Ayan was a little too wired to unwrap everything so he doesn't know that his Aunt Pat brought him a beautifully wrapped small box of nothing.  I can't wait to hear what he does when he unwraps it.

Birthday boy was playing with my camera and this is one of his pictures.  We spent a few minutes twisting the branches in different directions.  It was actually his uncle Rahim that started to take stuff off the tree.  Rahim's asked me to make a chocolate tree for his son Noah to get at Easter. 

Big box of nothing

more of nothing.  I was successful in the dumpster diving at startbucks and pulled out a really great box.  I told Ayan that I had to wrestle it from the dumpster troll.  

I used chalkboard paint last night to cover the outside.  Its supposed to cure for 24 hours but it was okay this morning when I wrote all over it.  You can't see but I wrote on the other side 100% something free.

Birthday boy taking pictures.  I have alot of really blurry photos but this one unfortunately turned out.

In the lower right corner is the candy theiving Grandma.  She came all the way from Toronto.  This is the first time she's been in Canada for Ayan's birthday.  It was a great day. 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Bubble Gum Tree and a Big Box of Nothing

Ayan (my friend's son) turned 4 on February 14th and his party is tomorrow. This kid has lots of everything so Ayan's mom (my friend Sal) told him to say nothing whenever anyone asked him what him wanted for his birthday. When asked Ayan did what his mom told him but figured he didn't need to be happy about it.

When I asked him last week what he wanted for his birthday he looked at his Mom for a second and then answered "nothing" in a very sad voice. 
So I asked "really all you want is nothing?"
Ayan looked at his mom again
then said "nothing" 
Clearly he didn't want nothing and I asked him again:
"You want nothing?  A big box of nothing?"
Ayan got really excited about the big box of nothing
"Yes I big box of nothing!"  and he laughed.
So that's what he wants....and a bubble gum tree.  You really have to watch out how literal kids are when you're talking to them.  Sarcasm really doesn't mean much when you're 4.

The big box of nothing is harder than you think.  In about 10 minutes I'm going dumpster diving at the Starbucks in Carleton Place (best servers/barista's always).  They warned me that there might be a man living in there but otherwise I'm welcome to try to find a box.

Ayan already has scripted out what he wants to happen when he opens the box. 

The bubble gum tree is another challenge.  I've managed to make one but can't get a good photo.  Here's pictures of the process.

I have a clear flower pot that I put jube-jube hearts in and a  wire tree frame.  Later I ended up cutting the base down a bit because the tree was tilting

I wrapped saran wrap around the tree to add bulk.  I'm not sure I needed to do this.  I then started to add the bark (Gummy Belts but I thing fruit roll ups would work too).  I used icing sugar and water as the glue to hold the ends and used a small piece of wrap to hold the gummy belt until the icing sugar and water mix dried.

Tree with most of the bark.  I also twisted the branches to make them more realistic

I twisted and tucked in the ends.  I put the gum into saran wrap and used fish line to tie them to the tree.  I also helped to hold the bark in place.

Finished tree.  It was hard to get a good picture.

Wrapping is really important since it makes it look special.   He's going to be one wired up kid...I'm not responsible for the sugar induced mayhem that may ensue.

Friday, February 17, 2012

In memory- Narcissus

Narcissus by Gina Brummett and published in Flowers of Lace put a Smile on Your Face.

  When my sister-in-law passed last February my brother had daffodils on her coffin.  Linda wasn't a roses kinda girl.  Since then this has been one of my favorite patterns.  The flower reminds me of Linda- now it is a reminder of Gina as well.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Lasting Impressions

Thank-you Gina for sharing your thoughts and mind. Since 2003 your insights into life and tatting have brighten my day and fed my thirst for tatting.   I will miss you.
Safe journey.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Thread arrived- so happy

I skipped across to Ogdensburg yesterday to pick up my package from handy hands.  It only took a few days for the package to arrive.  It was fun to track the order through UPS.   It only took a few minutes to pop across the border and get back so I was happy.   Of course, I had no time for extra shopping but that's okay.  I spent all my money on thread anyways.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What I did on the weekend

I couldn't get a good picture but this heart has the
most amazing mix of colors.

Since I was in town on Saturday (by town I mean Ottawa) I stopped by the Canadian Beading Supply  They have a huge selection of precious and semi-precious beads and they do a great job of displaying the beads.  So I love to go and just look.  Of course there's no just looking and I ended up making a few purchases and spent Saturday night making them into necklaces.  I finally got the opportunity to use some pearls that I bought there a few years ago and used up a few other left over beads.  

On Sunday I started to make a few of the heart patterns that I've collected over the years. This one is from Karey Solomon's Hearts were made for Tatting. The out line around the flower is fantastic. I'm not sure if I wasn't reading the pattern right or if there is a line missing but I had to improvise a section based on the picture. I used a variegated Lizbeth thread and really love the color combinations.  The depth of the colors really aren't showing up in the picture.  The thread is really much nicer than this picture.