Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Makings of a Monk and More

I just had to share this cuteness from Sapling. On Oct. 29, 2014, he gives a presentation in front of his class on a saint, St. Anthony of Padua (1195 - 1231).  (Remember, he's in 2nd grade.)

This photo was taken last evening after I had finished sewing his robe and hood. We are working on "accessorizing" his costume today instead of tatting.

Anyone wish to take a stab at a fractured song lyric with me?  I have the tune to the Disney song from Mulan, "I'll Make a Man Out of You," stuck in my head....how about: I'll  Make a Monk Out of You?

Maybe I should stick to Knot-Tea fun.

The Makings of a Monk

Can you believe I finally learned how to make Cluny leaves?  Hanging Clunies too.  This is just a snippet I tatted to empty shuttles in preparation for an experiment -- tatting Pumpkins on a Vine by Heidi Sunday with Clunies.  I hope to have something to show you next week.

Emptying shuttles and playing with Cluny leaves

Our new pet, a sweet little female hedgehog named Miss Elsa Prickles, is growing bigger and cuter by the day. Here she is exploring an empty lemonade container.

Look how cute she is, fresh from her bath.

A clean hedgie is a happy hedgie.

My naughty dog Ginger is contemplating jumping into the hedgehog playpen. She looks like a dangerous predator, either a fox or a jackal, to Elsa.

Naughty Ginger

Life is bustling at Silly Hat Central and I am not getting as much time to tat as I would like, but that's the good thing about tatting, you can pick it up for 5 minutes and put it down.

As for Tatting Tea Tuesday, I am sipping a lovely fig-infused cuppa while I type. I have had Fig-related things on my mind and even e-mailed Yarnplayer to ask if she could dye me a custom colorway. Oooh!  Let's hope she can. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

An Extraordinary Age

Carl Sagan once said, “We live in an extraordinary age."

Sunday morning as I was sipping my tea and skimming Facebook posts, I noticed a comment that made me stop and think about the extraordinary tatting age we live in.

The comment was this:
"Is there a tatter who is willing to teach a beginner? ...Sometimes it only takes a few visits and then they [beginning tatters] can go on their own. Do you know other tatters in your area? Do you attend any tatting conventions?"
Ponder these questions for a moment. In this tatting age it is commonplace to ask such questions. Who else thinks this is extraordinary?

I learned to tat in more primitive times. Pattern books were a rare commodity.  No classes were offered.  All there was to go on was one or two paragraphs in a Coats & Clark mini-booklet.

The Internet as we know it did not yet exist, It was in its infancy.

Those primitive times were the 1980's in a region known as the Pennsylvania Wilds. "The Wilds" were a cradle of sorts for tatting. Myrtle Hamilton lived there.  Georgia Seitz spoke of Myrtle Hamilton as a caretaker of tatting in her 2007 Tat Days banquet speech.  Please read it, the whole speech is lovely.

In the extraordinary age we live in, many tatting conventions are available to attend in North America. (This is not a complete list, just the events I was able to confirm before Tatting Tea Tuesday.)

  • Shuttlebirds Tatting Days began in 1997
  • Tatting Seminars in Hector, NY (now known as Tatting Seminars in the Fingerlakes) began in 1999
  • The Thread Corner began hosting a Tatting Day in 2000
  • Palmetto Tatting Guild hosted its first tatting convention in 2003
  • Fringe Element Tatters [EDIT] hosted its first Tat Day in 2005
  • Sunshine Tatters will host their first Tatting Day in 2015
  • [EDIT]  Contact Ruth Perry for more information about Sunshine Tatters.

    Take this extraordinary opportunity to learn, share and grow among fellow tatters,  Find one in your area and plan to attend in 2015.  You'll be glad you did.

    Tuesday, August 12, 2014

    Tatting Tea Tuesday - Lanyard Update

    DH brought me two tasty Teavana tea samples from a recent business trip to Texas, so today I sip a marvelous summertime cuppa Fig Rose herbal tea.  The second sample is Limeade Twist, a refreshing burst of summer citrus. These infusions are like sipping sweet or citrus-y sunshine.

    Can I get a high five?  I made it to 22 inches (55.88 cm) on my Beaded Lanyard project.
    Here are two photos taken when I was at the 18-inch mark.

    Beaded Lanyard © 2008 Patti Duff
    Tatting by Is'Dihara 
    Patti Duff designed this lovely pattern. More beautiful images of her design can be viewed by clicking on this link from the ShuttleBirds Spotlight, April 15, 2014 - Patti's Lanyard and More

    It is still a challenge to capture the colors of this lanyard properly and get a clear image of the stitches. The lanyard is prettier than the images show.

    Wishing you all blissful me time to create something beautiful. See you next Tuesday for more communi-tea!

    Monday, July 21, 2014

    Birth and Tat Days 2014

    Hellooooo!  Good golly, it has been a long time since I posted. What have I been up to?

    Movies at the drive in!

    Big Daddy, Sapling and I have taken in a few drive-in movies this summer.  How nice to know these iconic spots still exist.

    At Sapling's swimming lesson

    At-home, freelance work kept me busy for nearly four months. Isn't it funny how you start a project thinking it will be a one-off contract and it turns into more? (The same thing happened with my 2-month AOL editing contract. That one worked into a four year, full time job -- the most creative and satisfying one of my professional career.)

    First Stargazer Lily of the summer
    Other activities such as summer school lessons have kept me quite busy.  The early reader chapter books, the summer bridge workbook, the BrainQuest and the building/science projects are truly taking up the bulk of each week day.  These lessons take their toll on my patience but Sapling is doing well and will be hitting the school year running. It will be worth it.

    But now I'm back and blogging again. Thank you to all the visitors from within Tat Land and outside of it who are still visiting my blog even though I have not updated it for a long time.  I missed you all!

    Today is my 29th (for the 20th time) BIRTHDAY. A lovely gift arrived in the mail.

    Hand knit socks!

    Flat hand knit socks

    These socks arrived from a childhood pal and knitting/tatting buddy whose screen name will be Marlo. Marlo is a lovely person and I was completely and utterly surprised by her package.  (Had no idea what it could be when she texted me to expect a package from postie.)

    Marlo is a blogger and I encourage you to pop on over and send her some tatting love and encouragement -- she writes about her recent tatting "A-ha!" moment here:  A New Craft. Seriously.  It might have been triggered by a gift I bestowed upon her...

    And what did I find upon scrolling down Marlo's blog posts?  A photo of my birthday socks!  Oh, how sluggish, un-savvy and negligent I have become.  The evidence was there for me to find the whole time.

    Battling pernicious weeds, walking hounds and baking biscotti are other things that have occupied my off-blog hours.  The dreaded H-word...as needs must be done now and again.

    I kicked off my tatting again with this snippet of a lanyard for Tat Days 2014:

    Humble beginnings of a new lanyard for Tat Days
    I AM GOING TO TAT DAYS 2014!!!  I couldn't be more excited.  Squeeeeeeee!  Will I see you there?

    Monday, February 10, 2014

    Corina's Crown, Take Two

    Crown tatted by IsDihara, February 2014

    Can you believe the mistake with Corina's Crown was staring me in the face and I didn't see it?

    Crowns tatted by Corina van Krieken, April 2013

    Chalk it up to stitch count error, not a botched technique.  The hat band section of the diagram clearly shows three groups of four (4) stitches for rows one and two.  I tatted three groups of six (6) so of course I got a misshapen chapeau. Recalibrated stitch counts fixed the problem and the crown tatted up a treat.

    No idea why I thought Corina's perfectly written 4's were 6's.  I had an easy point of comparison in the sixes Corina wrote for the top of the crown. I make these mistakes so you don't have to!

    It was fun trying out the other methods of block tatting so I call this a win-win learning experience with a regal crown to show for my efforts.

    Tuesday, February 4, 2014

    Motif 3: Corina's Crown

    The first Tatting Tea Tuesday in February dawned with a desire to tat a golden crown.  So off I zoom through the pixels and bits of Pinterest to find Corina from the Nethlands' lovely design:  Tatting Crown - free pattern.

    Here is a photo of Corina's crowns.

    Crowns tatted by Corina van Krieken, April 2013

    Here is my first attempt.

    Crown tatted by IsDihara, February 2014

    Motif 3 - Corina's Crown
    Crown tatted using the Lock Stitch method of block tatting.  Thread choice is Lizbeth® 20 Gold #611.

    In recent years I have grown used to my results more closely matching the pattern photo, so this crown came as a bit of a surprise.

    Don't get me wrong. It is a very nice crown. But mine does not mirror the tight brow band or the regal height of Corina's crowns. The stitch count is exactly the same.

    This is precisely why I love tatting.  Two people can tat the same thing and get slightly different-looking results. Hmmm, what to do if I want more Corina-esque crowns?

    Martha Ess provides the answer for the base. Try a different method of block tatting.

    Martha's book "Holidays on the Block" describes four methods of block tatting and shares the advantages and disadvantages of each one. My first attempt uses the lock stitch method (The one with which I am most familiar.) As for the rest, I need to tat a few more crowns to get the exact look that I like.

    This crown is very pretty.  But the quibbler in me wants to sample techniques to see if I can get the same look as Corina did with her crowns.  Besides, this crown took no time at all to tat so why not tat a few more?

    I will update this post with attempts 2 and 3 as I squeeze them in around (the dreaded) household chores and Day 11 of TIAS.  Stay tuned or check back for progress!

    Wishing you all blissful me time to create something beautiful. See you next Tuesday for more communi-tea!

    Friday, January 31, 2014

    Tatted Peacock Bliss

    Have you seen this exquisite tatted peacock by Annie's Granny Design (Anita Schaeder)?  I am in L-O-V-E!