Saturday, October 29, 2011

Up for a Tea Shop Mystery?

Have you read any of the Tea Shop Mysteries by Laura Childs?

I only just discovered them a week or so ago when a copy of Scones & Bones was on display in the "Fortunate Find" section of my local library.

I grabbed it, thinking it would be a casual bit of fluff reading. Probably not something that would hold my interest. Was I wrong!

It is a lighthearted read, yet held my attention even though I usually guess the murderer early on in typical murder mysteries.

The story is set in Charleston, SC, and revolves around resident Indigo Tea Shop owner, Theodosia Browning. I won't say much more, except that this is the 12th installment of the series. Here are two reviews if you want to know more:

The scene of the 5th Tea Shop Mystery, Jasmine Moon Murder is set under an autumn moon, making it a fun read for this time of year.

Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is catering a Charleston benefit, a "Ghost Crawl" through Jasmine Cemetery, when the organizer drops dead—and it looks like foul play. Theodosia stirs things up with her own investigation, and gets into hot water up to her neck.
Renee over at Renee's Reads has a fun rating system for her book reviews and I love that she sets aside time on Thursday for Tea, much like I do for Tatting Tea Tuesday.

As I am on on chapter 5 I will have to give you my rating in a few days. In the meantime, why not try a Tea Shop Mystery and let us know what you think?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Where Have You Gone, October?

I seriously cannot believe that this is the last Thursday in October. Where did this month go?!? Weren't we all just mourning the loss of August? Speeding through September to get to Tat Days weekend? Then BOOM! Hello, November.

With a new month comes a new resolve -- to befriend beads!

OctoStarFlake © 2011 Jane Eborall

The pattern is on the Palmetto Tat Days 2011 Pattern CD. The thread used for this motif is Lizbeth® #135 Lollipop in size 20. The beads are size 11 Dyna-mites™ seed beads in blue/lilac. A few galvanized gold seed beads in size 11 found their way into the mix too, just for fun.

How many of you remember how OctoStarFlake started out?

As a magnetic brooch cum fridge magnet!

Donna Thompson, if you are reading, please accept my heartfelt thanks for all the patient attention you gave to me during this class at Tat Days. I will return your shuttles to you loaded in either the Lizbeth® or hand-dyed thread of your choice as a thank you!

Imagine how hopeless a student has to be for the teacher to hand her two pre-wound shuttles (from her personal stash) to start over? Folks, I don't make this stuff up.

(That's Julie Beagle, who thought it was a great time to beg for a treat while I was taking the picture.) Lord knows, I wanted to go to Tat Days in 2003 but I didn't make it there until 2009.

And Lord knows I wanted to sail through this class brilliantly. But arriving late, not starting with shuttles wound CTM. . . To make a long story short, I just couldn't get my brain in gear. The words I used at the time were "I can't get out of the driveway."

But some class learnin' must have sunk in, because I made it through the pattern at home with no trouble.

No doubt this was due to the many gracious tips and warm-hearted help from the ladies seated next to me. This is ON TOP OF the patient direction received from Donna Thompson. Thank you, Donna! Thank you, ladies! I couldn't have completed this motif without you.

Is anyone else as amazed as I am to see a motif with so many beads reel off my shuttles?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tatting Tea Tuesday - Scissors Fob

Slowly but surely I am whittling away at my Tat Days class projects. What do I have to show today? A darling scissor fob created with tatting and beads.

Motif 7 - Scissors Fob © 2011 Sharren Sarver Morgan

Tatted in Lizbeth 40 #638 Christmas Green with size 11 Dyna-mites™ seed beads in blue/lilac. The large bead reminded me of a Turkish "evil eye" bead (though it is not one) and 2 clear beads help keep the seed beads from slipping through the holes of the larger dangle bead.

Sharren Morgan taught this class and did a marvelous job working with students who got stuck. (Or like me, kept getting stuck again and again.)

I encourage you to take a class from Sharren Morgan. Full of Southern charm, laughter and patience, her inviting personality makes lessons approachable. Her command of the lessons and ability to problem-solve on the fly keep you going, righting stumbling blocks with ease. It wouldn't surprise me if she had a superhero alter ego. Sharren Super Tatter!

This class contained three new (to me) techniques:
  • how to use a bead spinner and a curved beading needle to string beads
  • Marie Smith's easy method of encapsulating a split ring (the metal ring used in jewelry making, not the tatted split ring)
  • pearl tatted chain with two shuttles

What a gratifying learning experience this was, and what a fun tat!

This in-progress photo actually shows the beads all lined up properly. The finished fob (first photo) is slightly askew after The Sprout had completed his expert examination and declared it "good."

Hindsight being what it is, a red-wrapped split ring would have been a nice touch to accentuate the spot on the large bead. No worries, just something to keep in mind for next time.

Tatting Tea Tuesday
As for tea, I have sadly put away my Sun Tea jar, switching over to stove-brewed tea. A delicious decaf Pumpkin Spice warms body and soul while I tat and listen to Pandora Internet radio.

Watching The Sprout dance and sing along with the Radio for Kids music feed makes Tatting Tea Tuesday even more special. Wish you could see it.

Want a sneak peek of the class project I am working on today?

Can you believe I added all those beads? Me?!?

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