Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teacups on the side

Happy Tatting Tea Tuesday! What kind of tea are you drinking today?  Maybe in a pretty cup?

Today I sipped coffee instead of tea and checked out a few blogs instead of actually tatting (but the day isn't quite over) but I did some planning on my projects - that counts, doesn't it?

A couple of weeks ago my mother asked if I would decorate two bags for her, like the ones I did at Christmas (here and here).  One was to be for an aunt of mine and one for herself (I did give Mom one for Christmas but she liked it enough she wants another one ☺),  I had several projects going already but how could I say no?

The bag body is about six inches square (without the handles).  The request was to do something with tea cups.

This is the first one I decorated.  I looked on-line for a teacup shape that I liked then made it a size I thought would work for the bag. Then what to do with it?
I thought something to show it was a tea cup instead of a coffee cup and maybe some flowers.

The second one I did mostly the same, just different colors and arranged things a little differently.

I tried something different for the material of the cup shape than I did before.  For the ones I did at Christmas I coated the back of the material with fabric glue and let it dry so I was able to work with it without it fraying while I cut it out.  This time I went looking in the sewing aisle, thinking I was going to get some kind of fusible webbing.  Then I saw this Peel n Stick fabric fuse.  As I don't expect the bags to be put into the washing machine I thought this would work well.  And it did.  I still have several sheets left so I can make more :-)

I had already been looking at these books for some ideas on other projects, which came in handy for coming up with flower ideas for the bags.

Now the requested mice are done and the bags are finished I can get back to my other projects - something about Easter eggs....

Did anyone stay up to see the Blood Moon last night? It was a pretty awesome sight! I went out just after 1:00 AM (local time) when it had just started and a few times from then until 3:00 AM, about the middle of the eclipse. I didn't get any pictures of it :-( but it was great to be able to see it.

The moon, the stars, and a cup of tea
Let's sit and sip and watch the night go by
Side by side, just you and me.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Not over the rainbow

Rainbow Splash thread that is.  I keep making things with it!

A couple of weeks ago, one of my grandsons asked for a 'rainbow mouse'.  I didn't think I had any thread  that quite fit the term 'rainbow' so I sent my daughter the email address of Handy Hands and asked them to choose a thread.  They thought #184, Rainbow Splash was just perfect. 
A small order to Handy Hands and I had a ball of the requested color.

"Morgan Mouse" © Wanda Salmans
#184 Lisbeth Rainbow Splash size 20

I'm somewhat picky about variegated threads. I think a lot look really great on the ball but then am unhappy with how they work up.  I also am not usually happy with threads that have a lot of different colors on them, preferring shades of similar colors instead - like all blues, or pinks, or whatever.  But I am very happy with Rainbow Splash!

I needed four mice, two going to each of my daughter's houses, so I had to make a couple a little different.  One of the mice (second from the right) has blue eyes, and the one on the right has Flora #207 size 20 for the rings. It wasn't an exact match but I don't think my granddaughter will object.  You'll also note that I used washers in the center instead of jewelry findings.

After finishing the mice I had still had thread on the shuttles.  Being spring with Easter on the way, what better way to use such bright, spring-y thread than Easter eggs?

 Simple ring and chain button Easter eggs in #184 Lizbeth Rainbow Splash size 20

I have a package of bright-colored buttons in colors that were right in line with the Rainbow Splash thread.  These button Easter eggs are so quick and easy I just couldn't stop making them. They are very nice little doodles to make while in the car. I added a pin back to several of them and gave one of them to my mother.  She really liked it. I actually have an idea to use these, we'll just see if I have time to put it together. Before Easter :-)

Today for Tatting Tea Tuesday I had just a drop of tea

The teacup is part of a doll-size tea set I found on Ebay. Isn't it cute? So dainty with such pretty flowers.
The shuttle is a decorated Boye shuttle.

Rainbows, Easter eggs and flowers - it must be spring!

"I've always taken 'The Wizard of Oz' very seriously, you know.  I believe in the idea of the rainbow.  And I've spent my entire life trying to get over it."
Judy Garland

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

TTT on International Tatting Day

Happy International Tatting Day!

Today for Tatting Tea Tuesday and International Tatting Day, I had Celestial Seasonings "Country Peach Passion" herbal tea steeped in the tea-for-one teapot my daughter gave me.  And a couple of pieces of chocolate.

The shuttles shown are four that I decorated yesterday.  They are cream colored Boye shuttles, the two on the left decorated with scrapbook paper, the two on the right with material.  They came out pretty well.

These are paperclip bookmarks I have made for International Tatting Day.  I'm hoping to pass out a few of these to people today.  I'll be going out a little later to hopefully do some TIPping (tatting in public). 
Some of the patterns I used are:
'Dove' by JoAnn Stearns
'Little Fishies' by Sharon Albers
'Bunny Face' by Wanda Salmans (me) on my Patterns page
'Basket Paperclip Doodle' by Wanda Salmans (me) on my Patterns page
'Butterfly' - unknown
A decorated button - a doodle
Flowers - a doodle

Basket Paperclip Doodle 
© Wanda Salmans 2014
I hadn't found Ellen Lai's cute Spring Basket so I made my own.  I don't think it's as cute as hers, but it worked up pretty quick.  I've added it to my Pattern page if you're interested.

So, what are you doing for International Tatting Day?  Are you going to try a little tatting in public? Maybe eat a little chocolate?

Whether in public or just at home, I hope you take a little time to tat just for yourself and enjoy the day!
Happy Tatting!

"Happiness doesn't depend on any external conditions, it is governed by our mental attitude."
Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Finishing small things

In the last month or so I've talked several times about using small threads and shown the beginnings of  my attempts with them.  I actually finished all three things I started with them.

I mentioned here about trying out a quilting thread. This is the completed piece.
Motif out of off-white quilting thread.
It is a pretty basic clover and chain pattern that I just doodled. 

In this post I talked about using Gütermann thread.
Motif in Gütermann silk quilting thread.
This motif was also made without referring to a pattern. 

In this same post I showed a shuttle that was given to me that was already loaded with a pink and white variegated thread, maybe size 70 or 80. I was wondering if I should make a small doily with it. 
Unknown thread size or brand.
This little three-round piece.was the hardest to make due to thread breakage.  I think it has to do with the age of the thread.  The first two rounds went well, with little trouble, but the thread started breaking on the last round.  In fact the thread broke as I connected the last chain to the base of the first ring so closely I glued it instead of hiding the ends.

Here are the three pieces together with a regular Clover shuttle to show the sizes of the finished pieces. 

It was quite the experience working with these small threads.  For whatever reason prior to this I was pretty leery of working with anything this small, but now I have some ideas for making several things in small thread - if I ever get to them. My to-do list keeps growing and growing.

"Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new."
Og Mandino

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Tatted Lion

Do you remember all those weddings I went to last year?  Surprise, surprise, now several babies are on the way.  Of course, I have to see if I can come up with something to tat for the new babies.

One of those new brides, our niece, was given a baby shower this last weekend.  I had two weeks to make something for her (the baby isn't due for another month or so).  They have decorated the baby's room with "The Lion King" so I started thinking, lion, meerkat, warthog, that type of thing.  I happen to come across Jennifer Williams' lion pattern and thought "this is it!"

© 2008 Jennifer Williams 
Tatted by Wanda Salmans March 2014

This is how it looked before I put the glass on.  I wanted to take the picture without a reflection.  Then, while I was getting it ready to wrap I looked again and thought I would change it just a bit - then forgot to take another picture.

© 2008 Jennifer Williams 
Tatted by Wanda Salmans March 2014

This is how it ended up. Can you see the difference?   Look at the head, I added one more strand of mane.

The lion pattern is actually pretty easy.  Except for the mane and tail it is entirely rings and chains. The hardest part was just keeping track of where I was at any time. The tail is made with Split Ring Braid which I had never tried before.  It's not really hard, either, but I kept pulling the wrong side through - again and again.  Jennifer has this technique on her page.  I did the mane a bit different than the pattern which are split ring stands; I added lots of picots then cut them open.  I also added a bit of fluff in front of the ear. 
I'm adding this as #12 of my current 25 Motif Challenge

The second picture is from the baby shower.  I'm hoping the parent's-to-be like it.  There was a lot going on and they didn't have a much time to look at it.  But I think it came out well.  

Now I have another couple of baby gifts to come up with.  And I just received a request for a decorated bag like I was making last fall.  And I have a couple of patterns that I'm trying to diagram for my pattern page.  And I've been having to work a lot of overtime.  And, and, and...!  I think I'm going to be busy for a while!

"I'm not busy... a woman with three children under the age of 10 wouldn't think my schedule looks so busy." 
Garrison Keillor

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

A change in plans

Last week I came to work with everything I needed to start a button bracelet during my lunch time.  Or so I thought.  I got everything out to start and realized I had forgotten the buttons!  When I started bemoaning the fact I couldn't start my project my husband started looking around my office and I asked him what he was 
looking for. "Washers" he replied.
Washers - why not?

Lizbeth black in size 20, silver beads, and 7/16" washers

I decided to use washers so I could start the bracelet instead of waiting.  I think they look pretty good in this bracelet.

I was re-making this bracelet to write up and diagram the pattern.  Using washers instead of 2-hole buttons changes the look as the rings are more spread out on the washers than they are on the buttons.  The beads also change the look a bit.  I'm thinking that the long chains need to be shorted to be the same length as the other chains if washers (or something other that 2-hole buttons) are used.  I'm not well pleased with my closure method, where a washer fits through a ring, so I need to come up with something else.

I wonder how well washers take paint? They would be easy to come by and then could be painted to color coordinate with different threads and beads.

I had meant to have the pattern ready for today, but it isn't quite.  Almost.  This bracelet was supposed to be the picture used in the pattern, but the pattern is diagrammed for a 2-hole button. I guess I'll just have to make another bracelet.

Today for Tatting Tea Tuesday I'm drinking TAZO Zen Green Tea out of a mug with snowflakes on it. No, we don't have snow today (at least not yet - the temperature is 70º F) but I like the shape.  The chance of real snowflakes outside?  It's supposed to get colder tonight, with a chance of snow in some places not too far away.  Whether we get any or not - we'll see.  

"Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer."
Denis Waitley