Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tatting, Canning, Ebook Reader, and Orchid Photos

Well, the title says it all. This is going to be a long post. I've been meaning to post but just haven't had time (heck, I barely managed to update the Challenge page yesterday). I'll start with the tatting since that is what my blog is mainly about.

Motif number 5 for me is a pair of earrings for my mom's birthday.

These earrings are Yarnplayer's (Marilee) Carnival Earrings. Pattern available on her website. For the earrings, I used some of Yarnplayer Purple Punch HDT, a couple light purple crystals, and metallic purple size 8 (I think) seed beads. Gee, I wonder what colour my mom's favourite is? Actually, that may be too much purple for me. Getting weak.......must see blue ..........

That's better. As you can see, I am retatting my Male Betta (in the thread from Sylvia). This time trying to write out the instructions. I wrote out the pattern for the body shortly after posting the finished motif, but the fins have been rather daunting to write out. I'm not 100% sure how to write out block tatting, so it is going to take time. Knowing me, it'll be 6-8 months. OK, maybe not that much time. Hopefully I can get back to working on him soon. I've also been working on the Lucky Clover doily, but won't post an update picture until it is done. I have been working on TIAS4 too, but I haven't scanned it yet. One of these days.

Now, the main reason I haven't been tatting is because I have been doing some canning this year. Since several grocery stores have apples on sale right now I have been focusing on them right now. So far I have made half a dozen pints of Apple Butter (and will probably make some more), half a dozen half-pints of Apple Jelly (the recipe said it will make 3 half-pints & I only made one batch; go figure), and I hope to make some applesauce after work tomorrow. I'm not going to mention the Mint Jelly; something didn't work out, and think it was me! This jelly has a consistency somewhere between rubber cement and regular cement. From what I've read, I'm pretty sure I overcooked it. Maybe it was for the best, since my mint must have been too old and the jelly had no mint taste; the plant has been flowering/trying to flower for the past month or so. I hope to make some pickled carrots as well; I just have to find some dill.

Now, next on my list is my new ebook reader. As I mentioned previously, I was saving up for one of Sony's Portable Reader System (PRS-505) ebook readers and I finally got it. Diane mentioned that her mom got one of Amazon's Kindles, but since the Kindle isn't available in Canada (or anywhere else except the USA) it wasn't an option. Since many fellow tatters are offering their books in PDF format (and due to the fact that I tend to print web pages and the like to PDF files) an ebook reader was quite logical for me. Here is a photo of the device displaying one of my newest ebook purchases:

Hopefully Linda won't mind me showing the cover of her new book. The photo show the text as being a bit blurry, but in reality, it isn't. If anyone is interested, ebooks available from Toni Storer, Nina Libin, and Linda Davies are readable on the Sony PRS-505 after being formatted for the reader's screen size. Some of the large diagrams in Toni's books may difficult to read by some people. But that is what the computer and/or a printed copy is for.

Finally, I'll finish this post with three orchids photos from the three orchids I purchased over the last couple months. All three are NOID Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchids), but they are still very pretty.

Not really much to say about these. Not like I needed anymore orchids, but I couldn't resist. I haven't purchased any orchids since. If you don't count the two Phalaenopsis species seedlings that I got off eBay. No, we won't count them since they are still small and won't flower for a couple years. I guess I should finish the Betta pattern, and the Venus Fly Tat so I can work on the tatted Phalaenopsis I have drawn out. Well, kinda drawn out; I created outlines of each flower part and just have to fill in. Something tells me that they would be great block tatting candidates.

I have more plant photos, but I'll leave them for another day. Since my mom's birthday is coming up and the possibility that my workplace may go on strike (which may give me more time), I will probably have other tatted items to show within a week or so. Stay tuned. That's all for now.


  1. The earrings you made are really pretty. I love Yarnplayer's earring patterns. The thread and beads you chose made a perfect combo! The canning sounds nice and your flower is just beautiful! I've been waiting to hear about Linda's new book...I would like to get it someday.

  2. My goodness, you've been busy! The earrings are gorgeous, even if they are purple instead of blue. ; ) Your beta is beautiful... I had a cobalt blue one for a long time named... Cobalt!

    Congratulations on getting your e-book reader! It looks like it's about the same size as my mom's Kindle. Does it work on cell phone technology, or do you download books through your computer? I'm saving up for one, but with the way the economy is right now, I'm really focusing on getting my bills paid.

    The orchids are beautiful! I'm seriously thinking of buying some silk ones so that I have something lovely to look at that I can't kill. Dave has brought home some beauties over the years, but I just don't have the plant awareness needed for keeping any plant alive!

    Canning too?! I used to can and freeze before I started teaching. I just don't have the time or energy for it any more. It sure beat store bought! I hope you enjoy the fruits of your labors!

  3. that is one thing i didnt get to do this year is apples.
    Your earrings are just absolutely beautiful I LOVE THEM. I have a recipe for a really YUMMY apple cake if your interested :) If I feel up to it I may make one today for my crew.

  4. Hi Jeff, Yarnplayers earrings look great in the purple punch thread the the beads you used. I love that earring pattern and want to make it too. Do you have to stiffen the earring for it to hold its shape?

    I've been busy canning too, Raspberry Jam, Blueberry Jam, and Tomato Sauce. I've never done Apple Butter though.

    Have a great day!

  5. Jeff the earrings are beautiful and are sure to be a special gift. Now to make you jealous on the orchid front my partner and I went to a sale where a grower was going out of business and we purchased 16 mounted orchids for $5 each talk about your bonus deal.

  6. Thanks for the kind words everyone. It's always appreciated.

    Chiclet, Linda's new book is awesome. I think you'd like it. I'll have to talk about it later.

    I think my reader is about the same size as the Kindle, Diane. Apparently, they use the same size screen. No, the Sony reader doesn't have any wireless capability. You do have to use a computer to transfer files (ebooks, PDF, mp3, AAC files (iTunes Plus songs), and others).

    The cake sounds good Heather. Maybe you could post it on your blog?

    Carol, that earring pattern is one of my favourites to make. I do find they need to be stiffened; of course my mom wears them constantly, which may be the problem. But you may not need stiffen them.

    Clyde, that is an awesome find. I wish I could find a deal like that. Though 16 more orchids might be too many for even me. Are you planning on posting photos of the new acquisitions?

  7. Oh those earrings are awesome and your mother will just adore them, you did so well once more.
    Those orchids are so pretty, it is always so nice having something pretty to look at.
    And you are definitely a busy man doing all that canning besides your job. I am so impressed.

  8. Beautiful work on the earrings, the colour makes it looks stylish. Wonder if I can get the Sony reader in my place. And yes, I'm so impressed you are doing all those canning and gardening works. I don't have green fingers, can't grow anything!

  9. Thanks Dantatter and Ellen.

    I did most of the canning during my days off.

    I got my reader online from Sony Style; you may be able to find it on a similar local website, Ellen. If you have a Sony store in Singapore, they may have them.

  10. Lovely earrings, and the orchids are wonderful. You are very talented.

    This may be to little to late, but as of June 2010 the Kindle is available outside of the US. I have a friend in the UK that was able to get one in June. if it is not available in Canada, it should be soon.

    Keep up the good work!