Sunday, August 31, 2008

Dragons are Invading Canada!

Well, one dragon anyway (it's still an invasion!). I finally got to make one of Anne Bruvold's Flying Minor Norwegian Dragons. Here it is, done in, wait for it, blue thread (bet you didn't see that coming!):

This is my motif # 2 of my second 25 Motif Challenge. Anyone who has tatted Anne's dragon will see that I made one mistake. I forgot to join the second ring (or third, depending on how you look at it) on the left wing to the body. I didn't notice until I was attaching the second wing. Oh well. I am going to attach this dragon to the weird plastic aida cloth (yeah, I know I said I wasn't going to use it) that the mug came with. I'll join the ring to the body when sewing it on. No one will notice. No one! For this dragon, I used the Altin Basak thread that Sylvia gave me. The thread is colour number 344. I love this pattern. And I love the blue! Thank you Anne for sharing the pattern with us.

I haven't done much tatting lately. I've had a cold for the last few days. I still have it actually, but it's not as bad as it was. I'm also going to be going away for a few day starting Tuesday. So there is a lot of things that have to be done before I go. I also have to work tomorrow, but I'm not complaining. I am planning on getting Sony's ebook Reader, and should have enough by my next paycheck. Then, perhaps I can get some more tatting books and threads. TattingChic is showing off some of her birthday gifts to herself, and a few of the books she got look really interesting.

I recently purchased a ball of Omega thread from Handy Hands (it looked like one that Gina was using that I really liked, but it wasn't the same). I am going to make another dragon with it to go in the mug as well. I'll keep you updated. That's all for now.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Motifs For Tally-Ho Clunies or How I Finished the 25 Motif Challenge

I finished two motifs for the "Tally-Ho Clunies" event, which is for the HBT Tatting Olympics. Now, while neither one was difficult, I don't want them not to count towards the 25 Motif Challenge. So, I am going to count them. Here is motif # 25:

This is Mark's (aka Tatman) Hazel's Angel from his book "Tatted Gathering of Angels". It is done in DMC Cordonnet size 20 thread. While I'm not a very religious man, I really like the looks of Mark's angels in his book. I hope to make the 3D one for a few Christmas gifts this year.

Now, that I'm done the Challenge, I can start it again! Here is my first motif of my second 25 Motif Challenge:

This is Monica Hahn's Cluny Medallion from her book "Christmas Angels and Other Tatting Patterns". I used Flora thread in colour number 230, size 20. I have always wanted to make this motif. I am so glad I did, it is a really nice and fairly simple motif. The only thing I might do different is to try to jump from round to round instead of cutting and tying at the end of each round.

Now, I'm sure you're all asking "What about the doily"? I am going to finish it, and it will be one of my motifs for the second time. I can't do one large project at a time. Some days, I think I have the attention span of a four year old. I like chocolate. Um, what are we talking about? OK, I'm kidding, it's not that short, but still. I like to mix small motifs and other interests in between the large projects. I have many "wanna-tats" that I have been putting off so I could work on my doily. This way, I can get some wanna-tats tatted and work on my doily, and have everything count.

Finally, for the plant loving tatters (and visiting non-tatters), here is a picture of my new bonsai:

From what I can tell this is Ficus retusa, or the Banyan or Ginseng Fig. I really like this plant (not too fond of the pot colour, but there were no blue ones), and the fact that it can be grown indoors year round is a big plus. I bought a Juniper bonsai a few years ago, but found out that it needs a cold dormancy that I couldn't provide. It died. That's all for now.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Quick Update

First of all, thanks to everyone who gave their opinion about whether or not I should continue the doily with the variegated thread. Here is my interpretation of the results:

7 were definitely yes for the variegated thread
3 were definitely no for the variegated thread
3 were undecided or could learn to like the variegated thread

I am impressed with the variety of reasons why people liked/disliked the way the variegated thread was working out. I have been processing all the opinions for the last few day, and have come to a conclusion.

I have decided that I will continue on with the variegated thread. And, no, I'm not joining the yes group and ganging up on the nos. The doily keeps growing on me. I am glad that more people liked the way the doily was coming along. I hope that the doily will look even better once finished, and perhaps, a few of the nos will change their minds.

I will continue to work on the doily next week. I am currently working on the "Tatting Olympics", doing the "Tally Ho Clunies" event. I hope to post my entries either Sunday or Monday, but I won't promise anything. I also recently purchased a Ficus bonsai that I will post a picture of the next time I post. That's all for now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Need Your Opinion

I started working on the third (and final) round of the Lucky Clover doily (a Blomquist and Persson pattern). For this round, I am using Accent thread in colour 04, Mediterranean Blues. Except for the slightly lighter blue, I don't know where the name comes from. It has purple and what appears to be black along with the blue in the colourway. It looks alright to me, but I want your opinion. Here is the doily with 1/4 of the third round complete:

Please, give me your honest opinions. Love it, let me know. Don't like how the variegated thread looks, let me know as well. I can remove what I have done so far if you all think it doesn't look right. I know this pattern looks great when done completely with variegated thread. I would like to remake the doily in King Tut thread later on. Not for a while probably as I have waaaaaaaaay too many other things I want to make first. So, to recap, post your honest opinions about how the doily looks with the variegated thread. You, my fellow tatters, can make a difference. You can choose the fate of the final round. I will wait for a day or two to give time for you to get your opinions posted.

BTW, has anyone else noticed that the negative space between rounds one and two look kinda like the head of a teddy bear? Maybe it's just me. Bye for now.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Doily Update & An Obvious Decision

You know, I shouldn't say when I plan on posting. That way I won't be late. Anyway, I have finished the second round of Lucky Clover. Here it is:

It's looking very nice, if I do say so myself. For the third round, I have decided to use a variegated thread: it is called Mediterranean Blues. The solid is Mediterranean Blue (no 's'). It's not an exact match, but its fairly close. I'll do a couple points and post again in a few days (famous last words...). If you guys don't think it looks good, I can still remove the variegated section and continue with the solid colour.

Now, my decision. I have made the obvious decision of making this doily (once finished, of course) my final motif in the 25 Motif Challenge. This has nothing to do the fact that I can't find the completed parts of the motif that was going to be #25. Honest, it doesn't! Once they are found, I'll finish the item and post a picture of it. That's all for now.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Some Cool Things To Show You

Well, I guess I didn't post three days in a row after all. I had a migraine yesterday and didn't feel like posting. I'm better now. Now, as the title says, I have some cool things to show you. They are tatting related.

First up, is my new tatting bag and shuttle pouch, made by our own Jane Eborall:

Isn't it cool? I'm sure you've seen this pattern before. I really like both of them. The bag will be much better than my current tatting container, which is a plastic food storage container. The pouch is nice in that it not only holds two of my Aero's, but it also holds the shuttle I got from Sherry (AKA Ladyshuttlemaker):

Here you can see my Agateware "Sherry Shuttle", as Jane called it, peeking out of the pouch. It fits nicely, but since the pouch isn't padded, I'm not going to keep it in there. Maybe Jane can make padded ones specifically for "Sherry Shuttles". Maybe not. Jane is way too busy.

While I was shopping at Herrschners for thread (I've spoiled myself with 6-cord thread and had to get more), I came across a couple really cool things that should be useable with tatting. The first item is a mouse pad. Yeah, you heard me right.

The mouse pad is designed for use with cross stitch, hence the really weird plastic cloth sticking out. Its sticking out because your's truly can't get it back in. The pad consists of a clear acrylic (possibly vinyl) material with a whitish/grayish vinyl material joined on three side. You then insert your item inside. When I saw it, I was sure it could be used with tatting. I was right:

Here you can see my Lucky Clover doily inside the mouse pad. My well used, 5-button, wireless optical mouse is modeling with the pad. I can't wait to make something to go inside the pad. I'll keep you posted when I get around to working on this.

The last thing I wanted to show you is this:

This mug is also designed to have something cross stitched and put inside. I believe the mug is acrylic (the clear part is anyway). Again it comes with the same plastic mesh as the mouse pad. I don't intend on using the mesh in either items. Again, when I start working on this, I'll keep you posted. That's all for now. I'll try to post Sunday. Maybe.

Now playing: Saskatchewan Express - Saskatchewan: We Love This Place
via FoxyTunes

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gifts From The Tatting Goddess

I have finally photographed / scanned the things I received from Gina AKA The Tatting Goddess. I know what you're thinking (again). I finally found the time to do it. Anyway, here is a group shot of most of what I received.

As you can see, I got a nice selection of really cool things. Not pictured are some patterns Gina sent along. The patterns were of the fish she tatted for me, the bookmark, and the rickrack and tatting motifs she featured on her blog and on The Online Tatting Class website.

As you can see, Gina tatted me some fish. The patterns were created by Christel Weidmann and are really realistic. I tried to scan them, but every time I ended up with something red in the scan:

As it turns out, it was Big Red checking out his new fishy friends. I guess he really likes them. I think they are great. Gina sent the fish in a small photo album to keep them safe. Big Red moved in with them.

Gina sent some thread samples for me to try. A few of them I have tried, most are new to me.

I think it should be possible to see the names and sizes of the thread from the photo. I'm going to enjoy trying these. Gina also sent a package of rickrack for me to try the rickrack and tatting motifs.

You may have noticed the Harry Potter tin in the first photo. That is full of treasures. I'll show you:

In the tin was some really good mints (the container is good for storing a shuttle or two), some buttons, a little marker, some more bangles (again, something I have wanted), a little retractable crochet hook that can clip onto a shirt or what have you, some lip balm in a really neat little container, and a little leather and suede treasure pouch kit. I put together the pouch kit the day I got the package.

As you can see in the first photo, the little black box contains a blue painted shuttle.

Gina painted some of the blue on the shuttle, but Snoopy is a decal. It doesn't matter, it is still very pretty. Not sure if I will use it; it's too nice to.

Finally, I get to the bookmark Gina made me.

The bookmark is similar to one Gina got in an exchange. It is based off of an edging pattern. It is really cool. I'm going to have to try this one as well. Gina sent me a Workbasket magazine as well, but I won't scan it. It is my first one. Now I know why everyone who has them likes them so much.

Hopefully I got everything scanned or photographed. Thank you again Gina! I never expected to be a winner in your drawing.

That's it for tonight. Tomorrow, I have one more post to do. This is probably going to be a record for me - posting three days in a row. Later.
Now playing: Corb Lund - I Wanna Be In the Cavalry
via FoxyTunes

Christmas in July, Doily Update, and a Deformed Flower

Howdy all. As most of you on Here-Be-Tatters know, we opened our packages on July 31st. My partner was Sylvia Free from Wales. Here is a group shot of what I received.

As you can see, I received lots of really cool things. I'll insert close up pictures as needed. First up is a really nice tatted doily done in peach thread and beads. Also tatted, is a little candle frill done in red thread with clear beads.

Also included was a really neat copper shuttle winder made by Sylvia's husband. I think it should work well for some of the post shuttles I have. Not the wooden or ceramic ones however.

Sylvia also sent a bunch of beads, buttons, bells, and holographic sequins for me to play with. There was also a floss bobbin as well as a few hair clips to manage thread from a ball. Really handy.

And bangles. Sylvia also sent some bangles for me to attach tatting to. I am glad she did. I can't imagine myself going shopping for these. I feel awkward sometimes while wandering through the craft department at Wal*Mart as it is, let alone who knows where in order find them.

Sylvia sent me a ball of the most absolutely, most beautiful, everyone must have shade of blue thread that you have ever seen. Unfortunately, I can't capture the true colour of this blue.

As you can see, the thread is Altin Basak. Since I can't get the true colour of this thread, I'll let you seek out a better picture. It is colour number 344. I HAVE to buy more of this thread. Period. I will try scanning a completed item made with this thread when I get to using it. Sylvia mentioned that the thread colour is one that appeared in the Siamese Fighting Fish that her husband used to breed. So, the first project made with this thread has to be one of my bettas.

There was also a round coaster made of real slate from North Wales. It is really cool.

According to Sylvia, the coaster depicts one of the miners at Llechwedd Slate museum in North Wales splitting slate by hand.

Finally, Sylvia sent a package of some really nice hard candies called "Lossin Dant". The name loosely translates to "sweet tooth", and are made near where Sylvia lives. They are really good. Sylvia sent four postcards depicting her home of Penarth, the Welsh flag, and Cardiff (the capital of Wales). I'll scan and post them later.

Thank you again Sylvia. You're an awesome partner and an awesome tatter. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you! And thank you Sue for giving me such an awesome partner. Of course, judging from the pictures posted on HBT, there were many, many awesome partners.

Now, new business. I have been working on my doily. Here is a recent progress pic.

It's slowly coming. I am hoping to complete the second round in the next few days. I'll keep you posted.

Finally, my hibiscus recently quit flowering. The last flower it produced, however, was one, um, less than desirable. It was lighter in colour, and looks as if it was two flowers merged together. I think a picture will be good here.

You really can't see the twin flower here, but trust me, that is what it looked like. The plant aborted the flower a few days before it should have opened. I guess the plant knew something was wrong. Pretty weird anyway.

I should mention, that I intend to post tomorrow and Wednesday. I really mean it. I really do. I have a lot to post about. That's all for now.

Now playing: Great Big Sea - Concerning Charlie Horse
via FoxyTunes