Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Two Snowmen

I had an idea for a snowman the other day.

Snowman doodle  Wanda Salmans 2014

He was a bit of a pain to make - he didn't want to hold still to put on his hat or scarf!  And I lost the beads on the floor several times before he was done.  He remains alone - at least for the time being.  He might get a friend to be worn as earrings someday.
We'll see.

It snowed last week, a wet, heavy snow, just perfect for snowmen and snowballs. We had a couple of the grandchildren staying that day and they could hardly wait to get out in it.  The first thing were snow angels and then a snowman.  A carrot for a nose, charcoal for eyes and buttons, twigs as mouth and arms.  Papa brought out a hat and Grandma donated her scarf.  Then we couldn't go in without a snowball fight. It was so much fun!  The snowman lasted a couple of days, slowly leaning over but kept it together until the kids left.  A few hours later he lost his head, then the rest of him gradually melted away.

Have you built a snowman yet this year?

Two Snowmen
One inside, one outside,
One little, one big.
One lives for ever - or until he gets lost.
One lives a few days when he just melts away.
Both were made in just a short time,
For the length of their stay
They bring smiles to us all.

Wanda Salmans 2014

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dressing up for the neighbors

Well, dressing up a gift for the neighbors.
One of my neighbors had a birthday this last week.  I wanted to gift her with something but not something that would just sit around the house and need dusting.  Both she and her husband have health issues so I didn't want to make or bake something that would be hazardous to their health, either.  Not saying I'm a bad cook or anything like that but I couldn't remember what things they need to stay away from - sugar, salt, fat, dairy, red meat - you get the picture.  After thinking about it for a bit I hit on a gift idea - simmering potpourri.  I did a search on Pinterest looking for a recipe or ideas that used things I had on hand and came across one that called for orange rind, apple peel, cloves and cinnamon sticks.

I just happened to have cloves and cinnamon sticks in my cupboard.  I don't always have apples and oranges sitting around but we had just picked up our order of apples and oranges from a local member of FFA (Future Farmers of America) who was selling them as a fund raiser (this is done yearly).  How about that, everything I needed. 

Now to package everything up nicely.  I have a package of lunch-sized brown paper bags that I thought would work - okay, not the whole package of bags, just one.  I didn't want it to be naked, so I dressed it up with a bit with burlap, lace, and buttons, then added a sprig of evergreen (it was fake but it looked nice) and a bow.  I added one of my snowflakes to it but in such a way as it can be taken off and put on their tree.

Instead of sending just orange rind and apple peels I put in a whole orange and a whole apple; dropped in a palm-full of cloves and several sticks of cinnamon.  I printed out the directions and put it in the bag also. 

I thought it came out nicely.  It smelled good just sitting in the bag.

My neighbor really liked the gift and the bag it came it.  I know they'll like how it will make their house smell because I made some up for me, too.  Can I say I helped dress up their house for the holidays, too?

"Remember, the greatest gift is not found in the store but in the hearts of true friends."

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Happy about the bookmarks!

 My customer was very happy with her bookmarks in school colors!

© Wanda Salmans 
Bookmark in Bethel College colors Maroon and Grey

© Wanda Salmans
Bookmark in Bethel College colors Maroon and Grey/ Bookmark in Oklahoma State University colors Orange and Black

Following the suggestions in the comments I did not offer solid color bookmarks just these, and the buyer was quite happy with them.  Both turned out well.

Now I can get on to projects.  Like more snowflakes and other Christmas things.

"May Peace be your gift at Christmas and your blessing all year through!
Author Unknown

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Special Order

Be careful of what you ask for, or what you agree to.

I had most of my bookmarks on a board for display at the craft show a few weeks ago.  A lady looked them over and requested two of the same pattern, one in Oklahoma State colors and one in Bethel College colors.  She wasn't in a big rush but would like them before Christmas.  I said "sure, no problem!"

Bethel College is a local college whose colors are maroon and grey.  I'm thinking that shouldn't be much of a problem.  I didn't have a clue what the colors are for Oklahoma State University until the buyer told me but I didn't think it should be that hard to find them.  For Bethel I planned on going to the school store and checking out the colors; for OSU I thought I'd check on-line or maybe a sports store.

On-line I found that OSU's colors are orange, light orange, silver and black.  No, that's OSU orange, OSU light orange, OSU silver and black.  On their website they tell you specifically the colors and how to achieve them when printing. Oh. My. 

Surprisingly, Lizbeth #695 Bright Orange comes pretty close to OSU orange - at least as far as my uneducated eye can see.  So I made one bookmark in Black and Bright Orange.  We'll find out if the buyer thinks it is close or not.

Bookmark in Fall Colors © Wanda Salmans 1999, 2014
The bookmark pattern is mine.  I originally called it "Bookmark in Fall Colors" because it was made in - wait for it - fall colors.  I didn't have anyone to share it with back then so the name was an identifier just for me.  I posted about it here and included a written out version of the pattern.  Someday I hope to diagram it and post it a little more formally.

I thought the maroon and grey of Bethel College would be easier to match but I was wrong.  I didn't have anything that really worked for maroon in my thread stash and I couldn't find any thread locally that would work, either.  I did find sewing thread in maroon - actually labeled 'maroon' - that was a match to the school colors but I did not want to work in thread that small!  

So I made an order to Handy Hands for several shades of thread that I didn't have that I thought might come close.  Such hardship to have to order thread but I forced myself .  I bought three new balls of thread, #672 Burgundy, #673 Terra Cotta and #674 Garnet Dk, all in size 20.

The Burgundy turned out to be the closest of the colors.  The hat is from the school store so it must be the accepted color, right?  The spool of thread is the maroon I found at the store, regular sewing thread, and the ball is the Burgundy.  It is still a little bright but as close as I'm going to find any time soon I think.  I have started the bookmark in Burgundy and silver - okay, it should be grey but I think it will work.

I took a special order without asking enough questions and agreed without knowing enough!  And now I'm worried that I should have done the bookmarks in one color instead of two - the one at the show was one color.  I guess I should call the buyer and ask.  Or maybe make one of each in two colors and one of each in a single color and let the buyer choose????

I sure hope they like them!

"The most successful people are those who are good at Plan B."
James Yorke

I am not affiliated with either OSU or Bethel, I was given no compensation for mentioning them or linking to them.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


Let it snow!

I've been doing a lot of snowflakes lately.  I did quite a few that I knew I was taking to the craft show a couple of weeks ago, but now the show is over I've started making them for family and friends.  

A few of the snowflakes I made for the craft show

Some of these are patterns from previous years but seven (?) were made up this year, usually while
watching TV. Sometimes there was a plan when I started tatting, other times the shuttle went where it wanted.  Some started out going one way but took off on a tangent and ended up differently than planned (the one with four points, lower left corner, as an example). There are some that are not, strictly speaking, snowflakes, as they do not have six points, but done in white and hanging from a tree they give the impression of snowflakes.  Or at least look pretty.  

Every year I try to make one snowflake that will go in the Christmas cards.  This year there are a couple of versions of the same basic pattern.

The original version of this year's snowflake, Sydney

The second version, with a slightly different pattern and different center

It's amazing how small changes can make such a difference, isn't it?
I've added the pattern for Sydney on my patterns page.

Snowflakes sold well at the craft show; I had quite a few and they were displayed well on the tree.  I didn't put out any of my tatted earrings.  I didn't have very many made up even though most are pretty simple patterns.  As there weren't many and I was running out of setup time I didn't worry about putting them out.  But I did wear a pair.  One lady was at our booth early without buying anything but came back later to talk tatting and other things.  She had noticed my earrings and asked if I had any for sale so I pulled out what I had and she found a pair she liked.  It's not often I sell something I don't even have out at a show!

Snowflakes and earrings: sometimes things unplanned turn out well

"I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." Jimmy Dean

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Craft show

The craft show was a success!
I was very happy with how the craft show turned out. A lot of people came to the show, many willing to spend money (at least at our booth!) I'm always happy when I sell enough to cover the cost of the booth at a show, and Saturday was much better :-)

My booth a little before the start of the show.  I did a little rearranging and straightening before it started.

I displayed snowflakes and spool ornaments on a small tree. It drew a lot of attention; the picture doesn't do it justice.

A view of the gym after things slowed down a bit.

Usually during a craft show I keep a small tatting project handy to work on during slow times, which also has a tendency to draw people over to see what you are doing.  This show I never had a chance to even get it out of my purse. I wasn't always selling something - I spoke to a lot of people about who they knew/know that tats and the possibility of them someday learning themselves, even a few that actually tat.  I lost track of how many business cards I handed out to prospective students. ***happy dance***

This Thursday is Thanksgiving here in the United States.  We'll be having family over to our house on Thursday when we'll be having roast beef, but we're cooking the turkey for another big family dinner on Saturday.  I'm looking forward to seeing family as well as all the food :-)

While going through some of my old tatting papers looking for patterns the other day I found a small photo album that I used to keep small samples of my tatting in many years ago.  I found this turkey doodle with a date of 1992.  It's cute, quick, and timely so I made a few for the holiday.  I think I'll put a pin back on these and give them to a few of my family.  Or maybe use them for table decorations as place markers or something.  They are made with size 20 Lizbeth thread and are less than an inch tall.

May you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

"Not what we say about our blessings but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving."
W.T. Purkiser

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wooden spools

I was at a thrift shop the other day and noticed in their notions area a handful of wooden spools with a variety of threads on them.  I love wooden spools - I like their look, they are fun to play with, and they remind me of time spent at my grandmothers house.  At 25 cents a spool, how could I not bring them home with me?

Usually when I do something like this the items end up in a drawer or box somewhere because, though I couldn't leave them at the store, I don't really have a use or place for them.  But not this time!  I had a sudden idea and ran with it.

I thought they would make cute Christmas tree decorations.  I added a bit of tatting that I already had, strung a string through the center and, presto! tree ornaments!

Yes, they are hanging on a Christmas tree.  No, I don't have my Christmas decorations up yet. I'm going to have this tree at the craft show this next weekend, using it as a display for my tatted snowflakes.

I've been tatting a lot recently to get ready for this craft show.  I don't feel like I have enough items for it, but I could be wrong. I've been getting everything together today so I can plan out the layout of the tables but ran into a snag when I found one of my tables was broken. My wonderful husband has done some repairs on it but I can't use it until tomorrow.  Then I'll find out just what I have and how I want it laid out for the show.  I'm hoping to have it pretty much together by tomorrow night.  Wouldn't that be a surprise?

"To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk."
Thomas A. Edison