Saturday, May 9, 2015

Perfect Match - Pendant and Vest


This is one of those happy occurrences when you don't plan something, but it works out perfectly!

I now have a 'matching' tatted pendant and new knitted vest, just by happenstance! 

The Lizbeth thread is one of my favorites,  Tropical Punch, size 20.
Yarn:  Michaels 'Impeccable Yarn' brand, variegated color 'Summerset'



The Unplanned Vest
It all started last month when I saw some variegated yarn  at Michaels that appealed to me.  I planned to knit a scarf, simply as a 'mindless' project to have while watching TV.   I knew it wasn't a 'striping' yarn (which I was looking for) but I liked the colors and wondered how it would knit up.   

As the 'scarf' progressed, I would hold it up in a mirror to see how the colors were evolving, and I kept thinking that the width of the scarf was just right for a left or right vest front, and I started thinking about making a vest instead.  

I didn't want to do any armhole shaping, and didn't see why it wouldn't be possible to make a vest with two rectangular pieces (fronts) and one larger 'square' for the back, keeping it simple.  

There is probably a pattern out there somewhere, but I just 'winged' it, and I was quite delighted that it worked out!  

And I had just enough yarn (2 skeins)!   Even buttoning it was easy!  The button at the waist is one of  those 'no sew' buttons that has a 'tie tack' in back. No buttonholes needed!    I now would like to make several more of these! 

The Pendant  
 
I wasn't even thinking about a pendant when I picked out the yarn. (Remember, I was making a scarf!)  

Only when the vest was finished did I look over my collection of pendants.   Then I realized I had the perfect one, and it's 'kind of' recent.  

The basic pendant isn't new (see below), but I added the rose a few months ago and I received lots of compliments when I wore it.     





 Interestingly, the pretty rose is made of paper(!) which comes in a packet of roses in the scrapbook/paper section craft stores. i'm sure card makers love them.  They are not self-adhesive, which surprised me, but it's easy enough to glue them down

I've often added flowers to my tatting (even snowflakes), but usually they are made of 'silk' or ribbon.

You may recognize the basic pendant, which I featured in my blog back in September of 2012.

This was my first 'doodad' pendant, thanks to Sue (God's Kid), who not only alerted us to these doodads at Hobby Lobby, but also generously gave us some snowflake patterns to make with them. (see link below).

However, instead of making a snowflake, I did the 1st round of one of Sue's designs, and added chains to the outer round. 


http://hiskid66.blogspot.com/2012/09/doodad-snowflake-patterns.html

*   *   *

We are finally having warm weather – almost too warm, as it got into the 80s with high humidity the other day.   I tried not to complain (I've waited so long for warm weather!), but I caved in and turned on the A/C!   I hope temps cool down a bit, as we have a lot of yardwork to do to get the lawn and landscaping back in shape!  There is always some damage after winter.   

Hope everyone has a nice Mother's Day in the U.S. tomorrow! 
 

 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter's On Its Way


Also, Maple Syrup Festival and Int'l Tatting Day

All my decorated  eggs with tatting on them are now among my Easter decorations at home, after being on display at the Maple Syrup Festival this past weekend (see below). 
 
The satin eggs (near the bunny) are larger than hens' eggs, and accommodated larger motifs on them.  They also are Styrofoam underneath, so I could easily use pins for attaching, as well as decoration.  I also used glue stick glue to hold the tatting in place, and they have remained in place for more than 20 years.   (Of course, they don't get handled too often.)    
 
I posted about the 'satin eggs' five years ago in my blog at the link below.
 
 However, I haven't shown the  'flocked' eggs before, which have a 'faux velvet' feel.   
They are the seven eggs in the front of the above photo.  I first found them in 1993 in – of all places – the Dollar stores!   They came packaged just like a 'carton of eggs', in white cardboard containers.  They are purely decorative and are the size of normal 'hens' eggs.  I bought several dozen of them to share with our tatting group.  I was surprised that they were still in the stores for a couple of years before 'disappearing'.     I have no idea how other customers used the plain eggs (they don't come apart for inserting candy), but they were perfect for adding tatting and other embellishments, and I get a lot of compliments on them.

They were fun to decorate and once I learned split-ring tatting (around 1995), I was able to incorporate the rings as a 'frame' in the center design or the divider between the front and back.  I was more 'ambitious' back then and I decorated the front and back the same    I enjoyed adding other elements for the decorations, such as flowers, ribbons and beads.

 
And here is a 'newer' display idea for my coffee table, but the eggs are also from the past.  These are all beaded eggs, which were only available one year (of course).    They are covered in tiny 'micro' beads (over a plastic egg) and fortunately are also hollow inside, which made it possible to use pins for decoration. 

The egg on top of the candle is smaller and is white, whereas the three eggs at the base are larger and have pastel colors with shading, which is very effective. 

 I made use of scrapbook supplies (adhesive gems, flowers, beaded tape)  to embellish the eggs and added fancy bows (using a bow maker).  

 
 
 
The 'newest' item for my display is a pin/pendant, attached to  the ribbon on the white candle.  As you can see, I added tatting to the pin (two triangles in Lizbeth size 20 thread).   The oval metal filigree piece has a pin on the back and also a hidden loop to attach a chain.  I love finding items like this at antique or thrift stores.  

I can add any color ribbon to the candle and customize it for any holiday. 

This idea could also be used for a wedding or shower decoration and given to the bride as a keepsake.  I simply used gold peel-offs for the 'corners'. 

 
 
And here is another way for the Easter bunny to 'deliver' eggs!
No 'hopping' necessary!  

This is a brand new addition to my Easter display. I found this cute 'bunny on a tricycle' at Michaels.

I added a tatted 'collar' from my stash, and hope to add tatting to her ears, probably in pink thread.  

Having 'wheels' makes it easier to make those deliveries, although she'll need a cart for lots more eggs! 

 



International Tatting Day 2015 
 This year, International Tatting Day fell on Wednesday, in between' our tatting group's event at the Maple Syrup Festival (Mar. 28-29), and Easter (April 5).    You might say we accomplished our requirement of 'tatting in public' a little early, except we could do very little tatting on Saturday. as the temperature never got above 30 degrees!  (We fortunately were in a large 'protected' pavilion which we share with the quilters and bobbin lacers, plus a gal who does intricate paper cutting.)  We were dressed warmly, but couldn't tat because our hands were too cold! 
 
Fortunately, it warmed up to a balmy 40 degrees on Sunday, and the day passed more pleasantly as we chatted with all the visitors!  As usual, there was a lot of interest in our tatting. 

 It was my 25th time at the Festival (can't quite grasp the passage of time), during which we have had all kinds of weather, from the 20s through the 80s!    We always enjoy the  pancakes as a 'perk' for demonstrating!    
 
I hope everyone has nice weather for Easter this year! 
 

 

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Saga of the 'Layered' Snowflake  

Here is the layered snowflake (from my prior post) in its brass holder, which displays it nicely. 

This layered snowflake 'evolved' very slowly, from 2011 to 2014!  It definitely wasn't planned!

Each of the four parts has its own history.  It even surprised me when all the parts all came together in such a pleasing way!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The Four Separate Elements

Snowflake pattern:  "Winter Star" by Susan Schwenke.   (see link below)

 I found the pattern back in 2011 and I tatted it right away, but then set it aside – for a couple of years!   I thought I'd just add my usual small gem to the center and a fancy bow on top.  But I'm now glad I waited until I got the 'layering' idea.

 The second element is a small brass filigree medallion, formerly an earring with a sparkly pink gem in the center.  I experimented with this earring in 2012 by tatting two rows of chains around it in Lizbeth Tropical Punch (size 20) and adding some gold beads.  I was going to make it into a pendant, but I didn't follow through, and just set it aside.

The 'spoked' beaded snowflake goes back to 2010 from an acquaintance at a craft show.  I hung it in a window during the winter months, as it caught the light nicely; but I thought I might eventually add tatting to it.  I remember at one time pairing it up with the pink snowflake to see if I could put the two together in some way.  But I abandoned that idea – for a while! 

 The big acrylic (tinted) snowflake ornament is from Hobby Lobby, purchased in December 2013. 
I simply liked its weight and size, and thought I might add some tatting to it.  It became the 'last piece' of the puzzle!

Bringing the elements together
The layering idea began around 2013 after I noticed that the thread colors in the medallion complemented the pink snowflake, and when I placed the medallion with the sparkly gem on top of the snowflake, they seemed perfect for each other!   But I again set them aside.  Then it took another while for me to realize that I could use the 'spoked' snowflake after all, by sandwiching it in between the other two elements.   Finally, I realized that big acrylic ornament seemed like a good way to give it some 'weight' and substance, and I wouldn't have to stiffen the snowflake.

 But then it took more time  to figure out how to hold the parts together, and the solution was a dime-size piece of Velcro to hold the tatted snowflake securely to the acrylic ornament; and strong double-sided foam tape to hold the other elements to each other securely.  The tape is not noticeable at all.   The acrylic piece not only gives the ornament 'weight' but also makes it easy to hang and store.    

 All of a sudden it became a glitzy ornament similar to those you see on those fancy 'designer' trees, and it certainly fits the Victorian theme.   In my younger days, I'd probably have created several similar ones by now, but I seem to have run out of the ambition and 'drive' I used to have! 

The ornament finally made its official debut in its present brass hanger at the Maple Festival in April 2014, and it's been to three more events since then.  It gets noticed right away!


Here is the link to the snowflake pattern by Susan Schwenke:


 I very much appreciated the diagram that is provided!   

 Even with the diagram, I found it a little 'tricky' to tat!  I don't often use two shuttles, and I had to go very slowly and make sure I was using the correct shuttle and going the right direction.  I remember also using color markers to highlight the diagram to help remember what shuttle to use!   It took longer to tat than I anticipated, and I had to really concentrate on it!   As I recall, I did it in sections over several days!

The middle of the lovely snowflake design is, unfortunately, 'hidden' by the medallion in the finished piece.  But at least I can show the whole snowflake here in my blog.

  Here we are at the New Year already, and I hope that 2015 will bring all you wish for.
 
* * *
Blog note:   For those of you who may have tried 'enlarging' the photo in my last post, I have fixed it so that it now enlarges properly.  I apologize to anyone who had a problem with it.  I'm still learning things about my new laptop, including how to add photos to posts, which is a different procedure from that of my older laptop.      

 

 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

A Holiday Wish for You






Plus a 'Layered' Tatted Snowflake

I am FINALLY updating my blog, and I want show off a gift I just received from my very talented sister-in-law, who has taken up the 'new' craft of lettering on a 'chalkboard' canvas.    At Thanksgiving, I immediately noticed an attractive, artistic black-and-white 'sign' she had hung on a wall in her dining room. I thought she had purchased it!  I had no idea she was dabbling in this 'new' art form!  And I certainly didn't know she was planning to make one for me! 

It's actually a throwback to the time in the Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries when fancy lettering and embellishment was the 'norm' on signs or in newspaper advertising as a way to draw customers' attention to a product or announcement.    Although I had been noticing more chalkboards in different shapes and sizes in the craft stores, and was aware that there are special chalk 'paints' to decorate them, I had no idea how popular this art form had become until I recently looked it up on the internet!  

For this sign, she painted a 12" x 12"  white canvas (pre-mounted over a 1" frame) with a special black 'chalkboard effect' paint, and did the beautiful lettering with a white paint pen.   I love it and very much appreciate the talent that went into creating it!  A very special keepsake gift, indeed!   

Layered snowflake
Of course, the canvas is meant to hang on a wall (and is very lightweight), but for the photo I laid it flat as a special background for showing one of my 'newer' snowflakes (tatted about a year ago!), which I 'built up' to a layered effect by adding several embellishments, including a center motif of a metal doodad with tatting around it.  The background snowflake (about 4" across) is done in size 20 pink Cebelia.   

I will explain more about this layered snowflake (which has its own brass ornament stand) and its evolution in my next post (which will be soon!). 

I wanted to get this post in today so that I could 'quickly' update my blog; and I especially wanted to wish you all
 
A very Merry Christmas and a pleasant Holiday Season! 




 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2014 Patriotic Pendant, plus Keepsake Paperweight


Both items have the same Small Motif pattern,  with doo-dad inserts.
 
Several months ago, I tatted two motifs based on Jane Eborall’s ‘Small Motif’ design, (see info below), but I substituted a doo-dad for Round One.  

 (These doo-dads - one silver and one gold - are plastic but are
nicely made and are smooth on both sides.) 

I then put the motifs aside after tatting them, and I finally found places to show them off!

Fancy Scarf!!
 
How is this for a dramatic presentation of a tatted pendant?

I will be wearing this scarf to my hometown's Parade on the Fourth!  It’s made of ‘yarn’ fibers with lots of sparkly silver beads, plus fringed ends!
 
When I saw the scarf at Hobby Lobby, I knew it was the perfect showcase for my new pendant on my silver slider.
 
 


Finding the Motif
Several months ago I was looking for a 'quick' motif to tat so that I could start using up some doo-dads that I have, and it seemed that Jane’s “Small Motif” pattern was a good match.   I loved the 'petal' shape, and it had six sides to match the holes in the doo-dad.
 
The thread is Lizbeth Christmas Red, size 20 .  Unfortunately the doo-dad seems no longer to be available at Hobby Lobby   L 

The doo-dad is substituted for the first round, but I had to figure out how to ‘encapsulate’ it (see figure below) and at the same time add six rings (mock rings in this case), ready for Jane’s second round


 As many of you know, you can find Jane’s fabulous patterns and her exceptional drawings at http://janeeborall.blogspot.com/  
  Then look on the left sidebar for her ‘patterns and techniques’ pages. 
 The ‘Small Motif’ is found under ‘Motifs, Snowflakes and Doilies.’

Encapsulating the doo-dad   
Substitute for first round)

This is generally what the tatting around the doo-dad looks like.

Using only a shuttle and ball (not much thread needed on the shuttle), I inserted the hook into a hole in the doo-dad, then rather than a normal ring, I thought it would be easier to add a 'mock ring', which I did with a 6 – 6 chain  (joining the first and last stitches of the chain).

Then I did a chain of 3 vsp 3 to get to the next hole, and inserted the hook into that hole, and did another ‘mock ring’, then continued around, joining the final chain at the base of the first ‘mock ring’. Then I ‘cut and tied’!   Turns out this was all quite easy to do!  The knot count on the chains can be adjusted according to your tension.  
Now I had the six 'rings' ready for the second round of Jane’s pattern !

The hooks on the Aerlit and Pop-A-Bobbin shuttles are just the right size for
getting through the hole in the doo-dad.
Of course, you can also use a very ‘fine’ crochet hook.

Second round
For the ‘flower petal’ round, two shuttles are required, and I simply followed Jane’s instructions, except I started by inserting the hook into the vsp between the mock rings and began with the long chain, rather than starting with a split ring.   (Jane’s pattern indicates climbing out from the first round; but of course, that wasn’t possible here.)

Second Motif - Keepsake Paperweight


The second motif, with a gold center, is designated as another keepsake for our ‘Winter Wedding’ anniversary. 

The motif, mounted on a white velvet paper disc, fits perfectly in this  paperweight without distortion, and is enhanced by gold accents. 

(I found the paperweight at a local craft outlet (Pat Catan’s  in Ohio and PA).  It’s made of very clear glass  with an indentation on the bottom that allows for the thickness of the thread and doo-dad.

  
 
 
Here is the motif removed from the paperweight, so you can see the detail of the embellishments which I added from my scrapbook stash, as follows:
 
Flat adhesive gold ‘studs’,
and gold foil ‘corners’ to give the white velvet disc some added texture. 
 
(The red circle is just the background for the photo.)
 
 
 
 
 Margaret will appreciate my use of the gold stickers (we both love to use gold stickers on our cards)!  As you know, Margaret not only does beautiful tatting and other needlework,  but she’s also a very talented card maker, and you can see her blog at  http://margaretsdesignercards.blogspot.com/   
She happens to be from England, and was born on the Fourth of July!!!
Happy Birthday, Margaret!  
 
 

 
It’s great that for the USA’s Independence Day, I’ll be wearing a motif designed by Jane Eborall,  a 'very English' gal! 
(I've learned that her sister, Sally, was also born on the 4th!)
Happily, the 'problems' of the 1700s
are long ago and far away!  Our ancestors would be astounded
at our modern conveniences, especially the internet,
which allows instant communications of ideas!
And wouldn't they marvel at airplane travel! 
 
I’m also part English, by the way!  My great-great grandfather
was married in a magnificent church in London in 1847.  (Interestingly, newspaper announcements of the time state two different churches, so we're not sure which one it was!)    His son, my great-grandfather, came to West Springfield, Massachusetts in the 1870s and had six daughters and one son (!), who  was my mother’s father!  Sadly, I never met my grandfather, who  died in 1929, many years before I was born.    .
 
I hope those of you in the USA have a
great Holiday weekend! 
 

 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Doily 'Under Glass'


A recent post by Karen Bovard  (http://www.theshuttlesmith.blogspot.com/ )  describes a very clever way to display and protect lace doilies when decorating for a luncheon or party.    She and her friend happened to be using clear plastic plates and realized that they could put  a lace doily on the bottom plate and then put the other clear plate on top, for serving goodies such as cookies. The doily is totally protected yet visible!   She showed a particularly pretty crocheted doily with colorful pansies around the edge.   

Her post reminded me that I hadn’t shown how I’ve been displaying my antique tatted doily for the past year or so!  Similar idea ! 

 
After being stored away and basically used as a backdrop for photographs on my blog, this sweet doily finally found its ‘home‘ on my coffee table, displayed under a glass dish on top of a gold charger,  topped by a tall hurricane lamp/candle.   
 
This doily (shown more clearly below) is about 8” across.
I felt fortunate to find it in a small local shop.   The owner was delighted that it went home with a tatter!

You can see the ‘layering’ for the display:   Gold charger (explained below), black velvet circle, tatted doily, clear glass dish, real candle (with a cut-out area on top for a battery-powered tea candle), and glass hurricane ‘cover’.     

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Another view, without the hurricane glass. 

‘Chargers’ have apparently been around for a long time (large plates used under formal place settings for decoration) but they became very popular in the late 1990s.  That's when I first noticed them in stores).
 
There are lots of ideas for using them if you search for ‘chargers under place settings' and click ‘Images’.  They even use this same idea of a clear glass dish to put photos under them!    Long ago in a galaxy far away, I used to have guests for ‘formal’ dinners in the dining room (6 people, is max for me!).  I always enjoyed decorating the table more than preparing the food (still do!)  and would have used the chargers if I had them.  I only bought a few in the ‘90s for decorations around the house during holidays.



 
 
The lovely lace edging, similar to designs I've seen in older magazines, fits perfectly around the linen center.   I can only guess that the tatting was done first, then the fabric was cut out and the raw edges over-stitched by hand with some fancy filler stitches.  And it looks like there’s a teeny, tiny crocheted chain catching the tatted stitches.  Fabric centers are very practical for many reasons, but they demand a skill level that would be difficult for me to accomplish, so I admire those who have that talent!    


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Of course, the clear dish protects the doily from the candle.  Even though the candle is wax and has a wick, I scooped out the center (several years ago) and put a battery-powered tea candle in there.  Much safer and easier to deal with - no wax drips, no oily smoke!    

When battery-powered tea candles first came on the market, I marveled at what an ingenious product they were - and are! .  Fortunately they came down in price, and I have many around my home and don’t have to worry about candle  flames.  These days some large ‘faux’ candles come with  battery already flames built in.  (The only disadvantage I see is that very young  children who ‘grow up’ with the battery candles in their homes may not distinguish them from a real flame on a real candle! )     

This candle display usually is the centerpiece of my coffee table, but now sits to the right of my anniversary display.  However, it fits right in, especially since the charger is gold!   


Friday, May 2, 2014

Special Anniversary 'Tatting' Display

... and a New 'Anniversary' Necklace


This is a new necklace (with a ‘repurposed’ tatted heart) that I recently put together as a personal Anniversary memento.   It’s about 2” in diameter.  I was pleased with the way this turned out! 

The heart was tatted in a gold cotton thread (size 12 DMC Pearl cotton) and was designed by Kim Goetz, in Victorian Hearts & Flowers magazine (Better Homes and Gardens – 1995). 


I tatted the motif many years ago and encased it in a paperweight.  But I decided to remove it from the paperweight and use it on a necklace as an anniversary memento.   I’ve already received several compliments on this necklace from salespeople who have waited on me in stores!    

 
Coffee Table Display
I always use my coffee table to display cards and holiday items throughout the year, and, of course, I take them down after the event.  However, this year I’m keeping my Anniversary display up for a while, especially since we get more visitors during the summer months!  It’s also a way to display my special tatted items here at home!     


The lovely plant is a gift  from our brother- and sister-in-law,
mentioned in the previous post

On the coffee table, along with the bell ‘tower’, are three favorite ‘heart’ items.   

First: Teri Dusenbury’s ‘Regal Heart’ (on the velvet heart box), which I’ve had for several years.  I believe it’s the only heart in Teri’s ‘Tatting Hearts’ book which does not have split rings!  That’s why I tatted it, because when I bought her groundbreaking book in the mid-‘90s, I had no idea how to do split rings!  I sewed the pearls on afterwards and attached the lace to the box with beaded pins.  Therefore the lace can easily be removed and washed if necessary.   

Second: Lyn Morton’s ‘Hearts and Flowers’ pattern, from her book “Tatting Patterns”.  The pattern was free on her website for a while, in 2010. The motif is displayed here between two pieces of clear glass - originally ‘large candle’ holders (different sizes) that happened to ‘nest’ together perfectly, encasing the tatting.

I was amazed to discover just now that Lyn Morton and her husband have recently retired, and there are new owners for their e-shop, ‘Tatting and Design’ (England).  The website is an excellent source for tatting items and books! http://www.tatting.co.uk/  

Third:  On the white candle is Frivole’s sweet ‘Happy Heart’, which she generously shares with us on her excellent Patterns page (see the tab at top of her blog) at http://leblogdefrivole.blogspot.co.uk/
 
 
Fashion statement from 1964

I am always pleased when I look at our 1964 wedding photos, as they don’t seem too ‘dated’ to me, except for my and my two attendants' hairstyles.  I had a medium-length 'flip', my Maid of Honor had a straight, slightly bouffant style, and my bridesmaid had her hair in a loose french twist, light teasing on top.  

The hairstyles of the ‘70s  featured mostly long and straight hair on the gals, who also sometimes wore floppy hats;  and the guys wore wide-lapel pastel tuxes, perhaps in bell-bottom style!  Also boys and men in the '70s were wearing their hair longer, and in some cases very long! 

Our best man and usher had short hair and wore classic black tuxes, which would look just fine today!
 
What is amazing to me is that we all were only 19 or 20 years old!
I loved the ‘Christmas red’ taffeta gowns my two attendants wore, although today I would choose burgundy velvet gowns (similar to the color of the bow and velvet box in the photo above).   

 
 The girls each carried a white fur muff and wore a small, white fur pillbox hat, with a small, silk red rose attached in front.  The muffs had a 'crescent' of fresh red carnations attached. 
 
I still love the style of my white satin gown, with a full skirt and short train.  My mid-waist-length veil was capped by a scalloped pillbox hat made of white sequins, which sparkled in the light.
Our gowns had bateau necklines and long tapering sleeves.  Strapless gowns were not allowed in churches back then! Our sleeves were form-fitting and didn't have the puffy look of the ‘90s, which does tend to ‘date’ those wedding gowns now – but I liked the Victorian / Renaissance look of some of those gowns.