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.     

 

 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Something Old, Something New


Golden Anniversary
 
Although the phrase “Something Old, Something New” is usually associated with weddings, it also describes my new Anniversary Keepsake that I recently put together after celebrating our milestone wedding anniversary this past January.    I have created keepsake bells for others but not as elaborate as this one!    I used various old and new items to assemble it.    I’m very pleased with the way this turned out
  


The finished display is about 12” high. 

I’ve had the brass stand for a few years, and knew it would be perfect for attaching the various items, using wire or ribbon.

The ‘new items’ are

-  Numerals ’50’, which were included in a beautiful plant we 
   received from our brother- and sister-in-law

- Two Metallic gold bells (2.5" high) that I purchased at a
   card store.   The 'flares' of the bells almost look like
   tatted rings!
  
- ‘Bow’ Pin (1.5" high) (explained in third photo below) 



The old’ item is, of course, the tatted bell, which I made in 1992, during the early years of my tatting (1990-94) when I was ‘on a roll’ with creating 3-D items,    

It was initially a ‘Christmas’ bell to hang on the tree, but it wasn’t long before I adopted it as my Anniversary bell, since the colors of my wedding were red and white.    It’s made with size 20 Cebelia

There is a gold filet ‘clapper’ inside the bell(not visible in this photo)
 



This is a close-up of my new sparkly bow pin (not attached to the
bell but only to the brass stand), which I wore to our anniversary dinner.   I can remove the pin from the stand  if I wish to wear it again.

I even sewed small gold bells onto the pin, which are from  “La Mode’ (buttons).  I thought they made a nice addition to it.
 

The gold filigree ‘clapper’ hangs on a chain inside the tatted bell and can be seen peeking through on this photograph
 





Celebration(s)
Below is the very elegant  restaurant we were taken to as a wonderful surprise by our brother- and sister-in-law  on our Special Day.   This restaurant  has quite a history, and it’s just as elegant inside!   As we had never been there before, it was a really special evening! 


And the weather also cooperated!   In fact, it was similar to the weather on our wedding day in 1964 - a little overcast, and temps in the mid-40s, with some snow leftover from a few days before.  Our anniversaries have ranged from a balmy 60 F. down to 10 F.  On our 30th in 1994, we had to dig out 10” of snow so that DH could get to work !  As I was shoveling snow that day, I was just grateful that we didn’t have that kind of snowstorm on our wedding day!  

This past November we had a low-key, informal celebration of our anniversary (exactly what we wanted) during the Thanksgiving weekend (hosted by the same brother- and sister-in-law), which was a planned get-together with family and several cousins whom we hadn’t seen for several years.   Our other sister-in-law (the one for whom I made the 25th anniversary ‘Mary Konior’ bell) surprised us with a beautiful 50th Anniversary sheet cake for dessert. 

I’m very grateful that we have achieved this magic number, but I’m somewhat stunned at the ‘reality’ of it.  As everyone discovers as they get older, Time somehow speeds up!    It was only  ‘yesterday’ that we celebrated our 25th in 1989the year I learned to tat and quilt, and made the Victorian fan tree skirt, with my first tatted pieces on it (hens and chicks, of course, plus a straight line of rings!.  I was very proud of those!      (That year, we were also movie extras (ballroom dancers) in a made-for-TV movie, which is a whole other story!)  

Then we buzzed past the 30th, 35th, 40th and 45th anniversaries, during which years I demonstrated tatting at many events (at least four a year).  (I started this blog between the 44th and 45th !)   And all of a sudden, our 50th was ‘around the corner’!     Lots of memories, mingled with all kinds of emotions!

The other reality is that it's been 40 years since we built our house, and somehow it has become all filled up with 'stuff', which we're now trying to deal with.  More memories and emotions!

 *  *  *  *  *
                                                
Computer Update
I guess I could consider my recently purchased laptop as an Anniversary Gift, of sorts!   It’s very powerful and has a big 15.6” screen.  And – it’s RED – my favorite color, which is the main reason I chose it among the gazillion  models at the store!   Plus the price was right!   I’m now learning about Windows 8 and finally have the full Office again, including Publisher.  I’m hoping I can start blogging more often now! 
This is my first post using it!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A Little Late . . .

Belated St. Patrick's Day Greetings!
  
 Here is a shamrock magnet (2" in diameter, smaller than a paperweight, but could be used as one), which I put together awhile ago, using a glass disc that I think is supposed to be used in a large vase, along with several discs that came in a pouch.  It was the perfect size to fit in a clear lid I had on hand, and I decorated it around the edge with metallic gold tape, plus scrapbook embellishments inside. I then stuck a magnet on the back.   It looks nice on the fridge and I enjoy looking at it every day! 


The pattern, of course, is Sharren's famous SCMR Shamrock, which is a nice size. 


  
   
And here is a grouping of some 'green' items, just for fun.  I haven't shown my 'other' Aran sweater before .  It's made with dark green yarn, and I knit it  way back in the '90s. I've always enjoyed doing cable patterns.   (Can't believe this sweater is  20+  years old already!)    

Also in the photo is my 'shamrock' plant (actually Oxalis, not native to Ireland, but should be, as it's so perfectly Irish-looking), which continues to survive in its planter and comes inside in winter,  I love seeing the white flowers year round.
'Paddy Bear' is sporting his green bowler hat and green tie and is showing off the shamrock magnet. 

The Celtic pendant is several years old now, and, of course, was designed by Rosemarie Peel.  The big pin shows my name in English and Gaelic Irish ("Catroine").   As I've often mentioned, I always salute my Irish ancestors  on St. Patrick's Day, and I was named for my maternal Grandmothe, Katherine Flanagan. 

Computer Problems
This is a miracle post for me, because for the past several months I haven't been able to get into my Dashboard using my 15" laptop.  (It's seven years old, has Vista (!) and IE9.   I know it's a 'dinosaur' but it's been a loyal friend and it's still plugging along! 

Therefore, I used my trusty little netbook for my prior post, and never investigated why the Dashboard wouldn't appear in the laptop.  But my sweet little netbook crashed last week, and it came as quite a shock (only 2 years old).  So when I went to use the laptop to post on Monday, I forgot I couldn't get into the Dashboard!.  I had to search all over the forums to find out if there was an answer.   

I was surprised (after spending a lot of time) that it apparently has something to do with the browser IE9,  which is not being supported anymore, not even by Microsoft!  (Apparrently IE11 is causing problems in blogger, too.)   However, a simple solution suggested by several helpful folks was to uncheck the 'Compatibility View' in IE9.  Of course, it took me awhile to learn how to do that (I'm not tuned into all these tricks of the trade), and I finally figured it out.  I was amazed and delighted when my Dashboard came back to life!  So it looks like I can do posts again (not that I post that often - something I hope to remedy in the future).    But I now have to look for another computer to replace my netbook, and I will be looking for one with strong graphics capabilities!   And I have to continue hold my breath using this laptop, purchased in 2006! 

Looking forward to Spring!  And the Maple Syrup Festival is coming up soon!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Tribute to Mary Konior

“Maids of  Honour” Bell, inspired by Mary Konior

This bell is my personal tribute to Mary and is displayed here, along with Mary’s  classic and very popular ‘Queen of Hearts’ motif, which I finally got around to tatting recently, using Lizbeth Vintage Harvest, size 20.  ( I had  some problems figuring out where to connect the picots on the heart pattern and had to really concentrate on where I was going, but I love the pattern.)

 The bell, however, is 15 years old!
 
 
 
It is a special bell that I gave as a 25th wedding anniversary gift to
my brother-in-law and his wife back in 1998.  (They celebrated their 40th anniversary several months ago!)
 
 

I recently asked my sister-in-law if she would mind sending the bell to me (they live 300 miles away), as I never photographed it properly, and I want to put together a photo gallery of all my different bells.  Fortunately,   it arrived safely in the mail last Saturday.  ( But I plan to return it to her in person!)
I was delighted to see it again, and it’s  in great condition! It’s good to know that the stiffener I use (Aleene’s Fabric Stiffener)  does not yellow over the years.   I had also sprinkled some fine silver glitter on it before the stiffener dried, and it still sparkles in the light!
 
I recall I used size 30 Cebelia thread.  I knew my SIL would take good care of it.  She appreciates all the things I’ve made for her, and she does excellent needlework herself.  She always displays the bell on her Christmas tree!  
 
I  know I could have tatted a bell for myself ( I still have my ‘chicken scratch’ notes), but for inexplicable reasons, I never did.    
History of Bell and Some Surprises!
When I bought Mary’s Visual Patterns book in 1994,  I fell in love with her ‘Maids of Honor’ edging, and I tatted up some samples.  But I  very much wanted to make a bell using her pattern.   Between 1991 and 1998 I created at least eight different bells using edging patterns that appealed to me, and I knew that Mary’s  ‘Maids of Honour’ design would make a beautiful  bell.   I believe I was successful on my  first try (I seemed to be lucky that way, with all my bell designs!)  and I even incorporated her  ‘Beauty Spots’ pattern into it.  However, I had some surprises in store when I studied the bell again. 
 
It seems I made things much more difficult for myself, as I tatted the 'Beauty Spots' pattern without the Josephine rings (beauty spots)!.  That's kind of important because the Josephine knots go inside the two bottom rings and cleverly hide a single bare thread which leads to the next motif and eliminates the need to cut and tie, as I did.  (The Beauty Spots pattern is on page 31 of the Visual Patterns book.)
 And I was also amazed that I individually tatted each simple  clover leaf motif above the ‘beauty spots’ motifs!   I didn’t know how to do split rings yet!
It was fortunate, however, that the six  repeats of the Maids of Honor pattern worked out perfectly to form the bottom of the bell, over the Styrofoam bell form.  
 
 
 
 I always put clappers in my bells,  usually a large acrylic bead .  I sometimes put a filigree  cap on the bead, but I didn’t do that here.  I probably couldn’t find a silver one ( in keeping with the Silver Anniversary theme).     I attached the bead to a silver chain (cut to the proper length with a wire cutter.  You could also use a ‘real’ jingle bell,   which  would ring!  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A glue gun always comes in handy for attaching flowers and other elements.  These days I would use a wired ribbon, so that it could be ‘curled’. 
I also gave the recipients of my bells a large, clear plastic cup with a lid,  to store the bell safely.
Mary Konior’s Legacy
It’s difficult to believe it’s been four years since Mary’s passing in January 2010.  However, it’s wonderful that tributes to Mary continue to be seen .  She was an exceptional lady, and I’m so glad for the technology of  today with the internet and blogging to remind us of her many achievements and the tremendous impact she had and will forever have on the art of tatting.  Her books were a spectacular achievement and are a fabulous legacy of her talent.  We are the lucky beneficiaries of her total dedication to tatting!   I particularly appreciated her decision to put diagrams in two colors in her Visual Patterns book.   Putting color into diagrams very much improves an understanding of tatting patterns - at least it does for me!