Every year my sister and I try to do one craft show together; she with sewing and hand embroidery and I (of course) with tatting. We get two booths together at the local Christmas craft show and spend a day seeing the cool things other people make, visiting and - hopefully - selling a few items. There are only a few booths that have electricity available and they cost a few dollars more, which we'd rather not pay, so I've been thinking of ways to bring light to our booths without the cords. We've done the battery powered Christmas lights the last several years, which is great, but there should be other, inexpensive ways to bring more light to the booths if we can just think of them.
A light bulb ☼ came on for me about a month ago - the battery powered lights that are advertised for closets and under counters might just work.
I bought a package of these push-on lights, and sure enough, they give off quite a bit of light even in a lighted room, especially if they are aimed at something not too far away.
Then I thought that it would be a little more aesthetic to have shades over the lights instead of them being bare, so I picked up enough little shades for the lights I'd purchased. The shades were very plain and had to be dressed up a bit - besides, people would be able to see these easily from a distance and be drawn over to our booth, right? Which was the point in the first place.
I made an edging long enough to go around the bottom of a shade in DMC ecru size 30 as I had two shuttles already wound with it. I put it on a shade (without glue) to see how it looked, then placed it over one of the puck lights.
Oops. The harp of the light shade hung down so low it hit the puck light, so the light shade sat crooked.
I had to come up with a way to hold the shade up high enough the harp was clear of the light. I thought and I thought, and I played and I fiddled until I finally came up with something that works. I'm sure there are better ways but craft sticks, buttons and beads are what I ended up with. These are for the display only, not for sale anyway, right? They just had to hold up the shade.
But the whole thing did sit kind of low on the table. Maybe I needed something to make them taller?
That's when I thought of the tin can. It had to be decorated, too, of course.
I sure am putting a lot of work into the display this year, especially as I'm not sure just how much light will be seen from these in a lighted room - but it's such a kick to decorate those lamp shades!
"In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present."
I finally got all the pigs done as well as a flower. The lady who asked for them was very vague about what she wanted exactly, I had nothing to go on except "flower" so I made one with threads I had on shuttles already. If nothing else she can tell me what she likes about it and what she doesn't.
I'm very pleased with all the pieces except the purple pig, which I think looks a little off. Maybe I should redo it.
For the last two days, instead of getting any tatting done at all, I was side tracked into putting together a themed basket for an auction.
In our community we have a retirement village that is in part sponsored by most of the area churches. All of these sponsoring churches were asked to donate a themed basket to be auctioned off at a yearly fundraiser that is later this week. This basket was brought up at our congregational meeting this last Sunday - and the basket has to be turned in today (Tuesday.) As no-one else was inclined to do it, I volunteered. So, for the last two days I've been hustling to find items for the basket and get it put together.
The theme: "Tea"
Yesterday I went shopping for the items I wanted in the basket. The church gave me a set amount of money to spend and I had to come up with enough tea related items to fill a large basket, enough to make it worth bidding on, within that budget. I am the only one that made the decisions on what would go in it *hehehehe*
I started out at Prairie Harvest, a local store that is a kind of a health food store but also carries loose teas. I also bought some of their homemade peppernuts and some colorful candies to put in. (I bought some wheat free peppernuts for me while I was there - yummy!) I went next door to Kitchen Corner for a tea infuser and tea bag rest. Then down the street to an antique and flea market to look for tea cups. I found a set of two cups and saucers with pink roses on them that I liked, as well as a hanky that I thought would look good in the basket. Then to a secondhand store where I found a basket I thought would work. Then to the Dollar Tree where I picked up the filler paper, flowers and cellophane to wrap the basket. Then to Wal-mart for a few more choices of cookies.
[I was not compensated in any way by any of these stores. I just went to the ones that I thought would have the items I needed]
Whew! That was a lot of shopping in just a couple of hours.
Then home to start trying to put it together.
This morning I made the tag with the church's name, theme and contents and finished putting everything in the basket. And, of course, it had be decorated a bit, too. And then it had to be delivered.
I did include a little bit of tatting. I found a bookmark I had made a while ago in Lizbeth Pink Cocoa that fit right in with the pink in the cups and hanky. I also put a tatted butterfly on the front of the tag and a couple of simple tatted flowers on the back.
This is the back before I added the flowers or included the bookmark to the list. I added a little tea bag to bring in the basket's theme to the tag.
The tea cups that I found.
The filled basket before I added the cellophane.
The completed, wrapped basket. I couldn't find a cellophane bag to put it in that didn't have all kinds of decorations on it so I had to buy a roll of cellophane instead. It was fun putting it around the basket - okay, not really.
I thought it came out well. I don't know that I will ever find out who will eventually get the winning bid on it, but that's okay. I had fun putting it together and it's for a good cause.
Now I need to get back on track with my tatting. Where did I lay those shuttles down??
"Even if you're on the right track you'll get run over if you just sit there."
So I went hunting for pig patterns. You know, I found there aren't that many pig patterns out there. But Jane E. has lots of animal patterns so the first stop was there and it's where I returned later.
The first little piggy was made in Lizbeth #617, Magenta Med is size 20. As you can see, it's not very big. My sister thought it was a cute baby pig.
I decided I would try one in size 10 thread to show her the difference, but I don't have any pink in size 10. I do, however, have a purple in Cébélia size 10. This little piggy was a little bit bigger than the other (of course) but still not three inches. I sent my sister a picture of both so her friend could see what I had.
The friend said she'd like both. And another small pink pig facing the other way. And a flower.
I don't know how big a flower, or if it should have a stem or leaves or anything, but I'll work on it. And the third pig.
You might have noticed the pattern name is "Flying Pig" but it doesn't have wings. I was going to make wings but the lady doesn't want flying pigs, just pigs.
If you've made Jane's pig before you might also notice that the center is not per the pattern. I tried multiple times to do the onion rings and every time I got all four done but couldn't close that last one without breaking the thread. Yes, I know, she has a pig pattern without the onion rings, but this is what I had printed out so it's what I had to work with. So I made three rings then changed to the chains. I was going to do the final pig a little differently - either do a better job on the onion rings or do the no onion ring version - but the lady likes them the way they are, so I'll do the third little piggy just like the first.
And now I have the nursery rhyme stuck in my head.
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed home
This little piggy had some roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this little piggy went "whee, whee, whee" all the way home.
I saw this cute idea over on Batty Tatter's blog and just had to make one myself. This one is made in Lizbeth #142 Turquoise Twist size 20 I think. I know it's Lizbeth size 20 but the color I'm not real sure about. I had two shuttles wound in it and thought the bookmark would look good in it, but I'm not sure where the ball is, so I'm guessing. Whatever the color, he turned out well, don't you think?
I've been tatting a bit and working on patterns a bit but nothing I'm ready to share quite yet. I'm trying to get motivated to start my Christmas tatting as I know time is getting short for making things for it, but I keep getting sidetracked. I was asked a couple of days ago if I could tat a pink pig, so it looks like I'll be tatting in pink for a little while instead of white.
While on vacation we saw a lot of live critters.
We saw this little chipmunk at the lookout just past Lake Irene in Rocky Mountain National Park
This big elk was watching over his harem in Estes Park City Park. Yes, he was only a few feet away from us.
We came upon this moose while on a pontoon boat on the Colorado River as it comes into Lake Granby. He was trying to catch up to a cow moose that didn't seem to interested.
While on vacation we enjoyed the easy pace of the days, not in any hurry to go anywhere or do anything. Now we're back in the 'real' world where we have to meet deadlines and constantly keep an eye on the clock. But while I tat life slows down just a bit, so I'll just have to enjoy my mini vacations as much as I can.
"Time, as is well known, sometimes flies like a bird and sometimes crawls like a worm, but human beings are generally particularly happy when they don't notice whether it's passing quickly or slowly." Ivan Turgenev www.brainyquote.com