Saturday, December 27, 2014

Motif 4: Christmas Berry Wreath

It is finished with 20 minutes to spare before the last day of school let out.  Talk about getting a gift in under the wire!

It started out like this, with weeks to spare (as it usually does).

And here is the finished wreath.

Christmas Berry Wreath © 1997 LaRae Mikulecky

Christmas Berry Wreath © 1997 LaRae Mikulecky   [Title is a click-able link.]
Remember that this pattern is only available through the wonderful Wayback Machine.  I encourage you to grab it, print it out and store it in your Tatting Pattern Library before it no longer can be recovered.

This will count as Motif #4 in my 25 Motif Challenge.  Hurray!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

FIG HDT by Yarn Player

Squeee!  Yarn Player dyed a custom colorway based upon paint chips I sent her.

Paint Chip Palette - Fig

"Fig" HDT by Yarnplayer
She did such a fabulous job. I am more excited than Sapling at Christmas (with a hedgehog)!

This colorway is not reserved exclusively for me. No, no!  Go get some and tat gorgeous, amazing things with it. And if you would be so kind, share your photo(s) with Yarnplayer and me?

I will be singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" as I await the figgy goodness to arrive via post.

♪ ♪...bring us some figgy pudding...and bring it right here...♪ ♪

Friday, November 28, 2014

Christmas Berry Wreath & RIP Bobbie Demmer

On this the day after Thanksgiving 2014, I have decided to do a little sewing, a little holiday decorating and a little holiday tatting.

But before I settle in, I have some sad news to share.

RIP Bobbie Demmer
Tatting mentor Roberta "Bobbie" Demmer, 88, of Thompson Falls, Montana, passed away on November 20, 2014.  This news was shared with me on Thanksgiving day via Facebook message.  I have been told that Bobbie Demmer used to write the Tatting editorial in the IOLI Bullentin, for all you IOLI members.

Debbie Arnold shared the following:  Bobbie's sister asked that her death not be announced publicly until this past Tuesday, November 25, so that she could have a bit of time and privacy.

TopTatCat said this about Bobbie Demmer:
"Tatters Across Time is Bobbie's Legacy. Her vision was to have a program that would encourage and allow individual tatters, wherever they were, to improve the looks of their tatting and increase their knowledge. Everyone participating on the TAT Team is committed to carrying on her dream."         
Bobbie Demmer
Teri "TATBiT" Dusenbury posted this image of Bobbie Demmer on her tatting blog, TATtle TALES Tatting Patterns, in a post memorializing Monica Hahn. You can read this post from August 2014 here:  A Knack for Tatting - Monica Hahn - A Christmas Angel

The October 2013 newsletter from M.E.O.W. [Machine Embroiderers of Oregon and Washington] noted that in September 2013 Bobbie Demmer had taught her 50th tatting workshop. Let's all give a posthumous round of applause for her wonderful achievement.

Bobbie was known for her "bauble" technique.  Here is a link to a PDF file that Jane Eborall shares on her free pattern pages:  Tatted Chain Bauble © 1996 Bobbie Demmer

Randy Houtz taught a class on the basics of Bobbie Demmer's "bauble-bobble" technique at the 2014 Palmetto Tat Days (of which I was in attendance) and I can say that this technique was very popular. Thank you, Randy, for carrying on this technique and adding your own personal touch to it!

Glad News - Giveaway Winner
On a happier note, I was the lucky winner of Umi & Tsuru's Organza Peacock Bag giveaway. Yippee!

Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway, Umi &Tsuru. The post simply cannot get here fast enough to contain my enthusiasm!

Christmas Berry Wreath © 1997 LaRae Mikulecky

Ready for a little holiday tatting?  Christmas Berry Wreath © 1997 LaRae Mikulecky.

This pattern is only available through the wonderful Wayback Machine.  For a while it was listed on but that link is currently broken. I encourage you to grab it, print it out and store it in your Tatting Pattern Library before it no longer can be recovered.

What happened with the Cluny Experiment?
For those who may be wondering what happened with the Cluny experiment, I am still muddling through with little progress.

Let me assure you that the tatting is not brain-straining or overly difficult.  Rather, I keep repeating the same mistake and starting over. This is (I presume) what happens when one doesn't write down their corrections after making a mistake. Easily correctable with the proper attidude -- *laughs*

But I carry on and will share when I have a sample of Pumpkins on a Vine by Heidi Sunday (with Clunies) to show.

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.

UPDATE: Sapling scored 76 out of 85 points on his Saint Anthony of Padua presentation. That's  89.4%.  His costume earned 5:5 points (pats on back for mom) and he earned 45:50 on his poster.  His oral presentation was rated 26:30.  Well done, Sapling!

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 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 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!

    Holy Smokes!

    This post is peppered with wacky, 1960s-era exclamations from the TV series Batman in response to a challenge from a Facebook friend. How many of Robin's campy quips do you remember?*

    Holy Encore, did I just win again?

    Joe the Egg and Shaky Bacon dressed-up as the Dynamic Duo
    Artist - Dan Goodsell
    A Watercolor Painting of two characters from "The Imaginary World" of a Cartoonist named Dan Goodsell. He has a comic strip called "Mr. Toast" and these are his two friends, JOE THE EGG and SHAKY BACON. Dan's artwork is a lot of fun. Click the caption to see more of his work.

    Holy Triple Feature Twirlz! I am a winner in the Lizbeth® Twirlz® brand thread-naming contest. Three of my color names were chosen.

    Please join me in congratulating all of the winners of Lizbeth® Twirlz® size 20 thread. Y'all rock!

    Here are the colorways I helped to name.

    (Holy) Candy Hearts! #401!
    Color winners Dale Ryman & Karen Beary Parent

    (Holy) Purpleberry! #402!
    Color winners Yolande Harrison & Karen Beary Parent

    (Holy) Mermaid Lagoon! #404!
    Color winners Carollyn Brown & Karen Beary Parent

    Holy Jackpot, Batman!

    "I won HOW many balls of free thread? ...No, seriously."

    That's what I said when I got the details. Seventy five balls of thread. Holy Give Away!

    I have chosen to gift CrazyMom with a dozen balls of free thread since all of her lovely stash, tools, beads, doodads, gifts and goodies burned in the fire that completely razed her home a week ago.

    Some is being donated to my local yarn shop so that tatters who "feel the desire but are light in the wallet" can pick from the free thread bin.

    I am donating some to the Piedmont Lace Guild of Virginia so that they can continue to teach beginning lace students.

    And lastly, I am keeping some for myself.

    *  More wacky catchphrases can be found at

    One last Batman and Robin bit, which I originally had seen on TattingChic's blog.

    Get it right, Robin.  LOL!

    Tuesday, January 14, 2014

    Motifs 1 & 2: Confirmation Bookmark

    Confirmation Bookmark 2013
    Q:  What do you get when when you cross a Dove and a Phone Box?
    A:  a Confirmation bookmark  
    (Click and drag mouse over answer to reveal.)

    Miss me?   (Not after that joke, I'll wager.)

    I wanted to offer up a fractured song lyric today but my brain is a-buzz with Sapling jokes (the variety found to be funny by first graders).  Let's try this one that Sapling told in this morning's carpool:

    Knock, knock
    Who's there?
    Doctor who?
    You know my name!

    25 Motif Challenge - A 3rd Go
    I resolve to begin a 3rd 25 Motif Challenge in 2014. The goal of this challenge will be to keep me tatting regularly. Oh, and finish in one calendar year if I can.

    Dove © Jane Eborall 2011
    Tatted by IsDihara 2013

    Motifs 1 & 2 - Bookmark for a Boy's Confirmation
    Jane Eborall's Dove will launch my first tat --  a Confirmation bookmark. Didn't it turn out nicely?

    Threads used are Lizbeth® 20 Christmas Red for the bookmark and Lizbeth® 20 601 Snow White for the dove. Patterns used for the two elements are Dove © Jane Eborall 2011 and T.A.R.D.I.S. bookmark © Anne Bruvold 2009.

    T.A.R.D.I.S. bookmark © Anne Bruvold 2009
    Tatted by IsDihara 2013 - 2014

    Doctor Who fans will giggle knowing that I chose a T.A.R.D.I.S. pattern for the body of the bookmark. (Doesn't the top half resemble a red T.A.R.D.I.S.?) The white dove is designed by Jane Eborall in the UK. Doves and the color red are symbolic of Confirmation so I am told.

    The connecting cord is braided, encapsulating the thread ends into "cobra" braid used in paracord survival bracelets. Cobra braid is basically a series of shoe-lace tricks tied around a core.

    OK, one last joke...  (Are you groaning?)

    Q:  What do you call a camel with no humps?
    A:  Humphrey
    (Click and drag mouse over answer to reveal.)

    Have a marvelous Tatting Tea Tuesday everyone. Wishing you all blissful me time to create something beautiful. See you next Tuesday for joke-free communi-tea!

    Monday, January 13, 2014

    Fergal & Miss Scarlet Found

    Great news!  Fergal and Miss Scarlet have been found safe and sound. Lace-lovin' Librarian Diane has been making them feel relaxed and comforted while they re-connect with Killian.

    Now we can all breath a sigh of relief.  Except for Maebh, who might have been secretly hoping for a surprise reunion.

    L&MBER ALERT - Fergal & Miss Scarlet

    A L&MBER alert has been issued in the case of missing leprechaun Fergal and his traveling companion Miss Scarlet. This is not a test.

    Fergal was last seen in the company of Miss Scarlet and Training Academy mate Killian at the home of Lace Lovin' Librarian Diane. If you have any information concerning the whereabouts of these two missing persons, please REPORT SIGHTING.