Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Paperweights - Part 2

OK- here’s Part 2 of the Paperweight post (see previous post). Actually this gives me a chance to expand a bit on the subject.

First, here are some of my other tatting motifs in the paperweights that come from the Dollar Tree store.

I also added a 'white braiding with gold cording' around the edge of the paperweight (see details below) to add a nice touch, but it’s optional.

I mounted the tatted piece onto a thin piece of velvet paper (usually found in scrapbook areas of craft stores). I have a really nice circle cutter (called a ‘Coluzzle’ - pronounced like ‘puzzle’) that makes it easy to cut circles. Of course, you can also use scissors, using the photo that comes with the paperweight as a template.

Also, I particularly like to use gold or silver stickers to add some glitz to the tatted design. Different kinds are found in different stores . In our area we have a craft store called Pat Catan’s which has some really nice ‘metallic' stickers at a good price. The scrapbookers and card makers (such as myself) love to use these to embellish cards and scrapbook pages. Also I add small rhinestones. Of course, Swarovskis are excellent quality and really sparkle. They can’t be too big, however, as far as thickness.

Six-sided cloverleaf pattern
(my own variation) with a gold snowflake sticker and center rhinestone.

The tatting is actually white thread (size 30) on a burgundy velvet background.

Seven--sided cloverleaf pattern with gold stickers and a sticker and green sequin in the center.

(green pearl cotton #8 on dark green background)

Here’s an interesting motif (from Mary Koniar, called “Patchwork” – which I’ll feature in a later post). It’s a bit too large for the paperweight but still looks interesting. The curve of the paperweight tends to magnify anything on the edge.

Gold stickers and sequin in center.

And, of course,
Mary McCarthy’s Butterfly!

Size 8 pearl cotton

Sticker in center

Although the paperweights are fine by themselves, the white braiding, edged in gold, around the perimeter is a nice touch. I used 1-quarter-inch double-stick tape to do this. The cording had to be cut precisely to fit around (use ‘fray check’ to keep cord from unraveling), and I ‘hid’ the seam by gluing a flat brass ‘stud’ over top.

Side of paperweight with white/gold braid (from fabric store)

Seam of braid, hidden by brass 'stud' - although it does not have prongs on it! I believe it's supposed to be ironed on(?), but I glued it using jeweler's glue. I used fray-check on the braid.

I looked up the subject of paperweights on the Web awhile back and found out that some folks don’t know what they were made for! In this 'air-conditioning' era (spanning many decades now), young folks don’t realize that windows had to be kept open in the summer, even in office buildings, and gusts of wind could cause chaos! Hence, the need for a ‘paper weight’!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ornaments and Paperweights

I have been having problems with this post (am I the only person who has trouble with 'spacing' on my posts?) so I'm going to do two separate posts. The first post features a sample of a pretty 'velvet' ornament being sold now at the Dollar Tree Stores and a sample of some tatting in an acrylic paperweight, also found at the Dollar Tree store.

The second post (to follow soon) will show more samples of tatting in the paperweights and will show the side of the paperweight to which I added a white braid with gold edge.


Ornament with Tatted Embellishment

Actually, an earring pattern!
This Workbasket pattern (June-July 1991)
is by Millie Wilcoxson. Original pattern has an open center, but I addedd a center chain on each side with picots attached to each other (not visible here) so that I could glue a rhinestone to the center of the earring. I'll show the earring in more detail on another post.

I always like to use DMC’s gold or silver thread from a spool

I’m showing only one ornament but they come in a variety of shapes and colors (gold, burgundy and white) and they have a ‘velvet’ texture. (Some have more areas for tatting than others.) They are very well made and would cost much more in other stores. The neat thing is that they are made over a soft base (not plastic) which means you can attach your tatting with pins (I especially like to use pins with gold bead heads! Very easy!) Of course, one has to always be concerned that children don’t play with them and pull the pins out.

I wanted to alert you about the ornaments, because they will be in limited supply, and many times these kinds of things never return again. Of course, I've bought several and may or may not get around to adding the tatting this year!

My favorite color, of course, is the burgundy, especially since gold tatting shows up beautifully on it. This particular ornament has four sections for tatted pieces, and so far I’ve tatted only one section so I could get this post in ASAP

I'm really excited about the acrylic paperweights I found at the Dollar Tree Stores, although I've discovered that not all the stores carry them! Naturally I've purchased quite a few to add to my 'craft stash' for future gifts. On the next post I'll show more samples of tatting in the ornaments.

The paperweights are made to come apart for inserting photographs (a really neat idea – think of all those great photos you take!) but for our purposes they are a nice showcase for small tatted motifs! Your heart and small butterfly designs would look fantastic in them! Considering the paperweights cost only $1, you have to allow for some imperfections in the acrylic plastic, but they have a nice ‘weight’ to them and the price is quite a bargain! I'll post one photo here so you can see a sample, and I'll show other samples in my next post. I seem to be having problems adding photos in Blogger today :-(

Acrylic Paperweight size: 2-1/2" diameter.

Paperweight with gold tatted thread design and tiny rhinestones in centers of rings. Gold sticker initials in center.

I’ve seen this pattern and variations in different books, such as Ann Orr’s Classic Tatting patterns.

I added a white braid with gold cord edging to the perimenter of the ornament for an added touch. I'll explain in the next post.

I'm going to end this post here so that you can decide if you want to hunt for these items as gifts for Christmas - or other occasions. Hope you don't have too much trouble finding them! They are only at the Dollar Tree chain stores.

Also at Dollar Tree, look for some lovely velvet boxes (green, red, burgundy) which are very well made. They are about 5" square and have removable lids and are perfect for gift presentations both for the ornaments and the paperweights, or anything else! Of course, if you were ambitious, you could embellish the boxes with tatting, too! I know I sound like a commercial here, but I'm very excited about these items!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Motif #6 - Doily Motif from Apron of Victorian Doll

I’m interrupting my tatting story again because I want to update my August 14 post.

I found the pattern for the apron on the Victorian Doll !
You may recall that I couldn’t come up with the pattern last August when I posted the story of the doll. However, when I recently found the pattern, I also discovered a few more surprises!


“Tatted Lattice Doily”
by Darlene Polachic –

shown here with alterations
I didn’t realize I had made!

Here’s the path to my discovery:

Briefly, Connie (Crafty Rainbow Rose) started me on an internet ‘browsing’ journey, which then resulted in my accidentally coming across a photo of my doily, which then prompted me to go back to my own tatting books.

Connie’s post on October 24 showed a photo of a crocheted doily that mimicked tatting. She mentioned Annie’s Attic as the source, under their “Free Pattern of the Day”. I was too late to see that pattern, but I’m still intrigued by it

When I checked out the Annie’s Attic site, I also found another site: .
At first glance it doesn’t look like a tatting site, but it’s a very cool site that has free daily patterns for knitting, sewing, etc. At the bottom of the page there is a Site Index – look under Crochet, click on Tatting, then Doilies.

While browsing the photos of the 12 tatted doilies at the above link, the very last pattern jumped out at me because it looked like my Victorian Doll’s apron! As soon as I saw the name of Darlene Polachic as the designer, I knew it had to be the pattern!

I recognized Darlene’s name, as she wrote “The Big Book of Tatting” and also contributed designs to Old Time Crochet magazine. This discovery led me right back to looking through my Old time Crochet magazines – one more time!!!. The pattern is free at the above link, but I was determined to find it in my own magazine!]

Sure enough, I found the doily in the Summer 1997 issue on page 15. It’s also featured on the Editor’s page inside the front cover! How did I miss this last August?!!


I discovered that I altered Darlene’s original pattern – and never realized it!

In the first round, I put only three picots on the chains instead of four, which led to three connecting rings on the second round , instead of Darlene’s four.

I can only assume I simply didn’t pay close enough attention to the first round. I must not have looked at the magazine photo, either, although it doesn’t have a ‘closeup’ of the motif – just the finished doily. I don’t recall ever thinking “Oops, I did this incorrectly!” Somehow it worked out fine, and I actually saved myself some work by having fewer rings and chains, and also having to connect only two picots between motifs. I managed to make 20 motifs, instead of the 16 pictured; but, of course, you can make as many as you want.

1997 Diary mysteriously silent!
Now that I had the 1997 date of the magazine, I went back to my 1997 diary. I discovered that I purchased the magazine on May 17 and wrote that it had a tatted alphabet in it (which it does), but didn’t mention the doily. However, I fully expected to find entries about deciding to tat the doily and actually making the doily. But to my disbelief, I never write about making the doily! I remember that I found it tricky to keep adding motifs, and having to contend with having to keep the already connected motifs out of the way. But it certainly isn’t a difficult pattern, and I was an ‘experienced’ tatter by then (or so I thought!). After 20 motifs I just laid it aside, not knowing where to use it.

Buying the Doll in December 1997. The other surprise was finding out that I bought the doll only two days before the Old Economy Christmas festival, when I normally am quite busy gathering all my items and displays together. I wasn’t ‘searching’ for a doll; I was shopping for other things on December 4 when I saw the doll and liked the colors on her dress. Then on December 5, I wrote that I ‘added tatting’ to the doll. What a blasé and non-descriptive entry!

II did write that the doll looked “amazing” but didn’t describe why! I remember working on it most of the day, coming up with different ideas using ‘scrap’ pieces, and was particularly pleased with the headdress. I really was quite excited about it, so these lackluster comments are quite mystifying!
guess I was too tired to write more about it, since I had spent the day also packing the car and getting my costume ready!

The disappointing diary entries can possibly be attributed to the fact that 1997 was a difficult year for us ( job situations, major house repairs ), and I must have been distracted, although I did mention knitting some items and tatting some small items, plus I attended 6 festivals that year!

My ‘tatting frenzy’ years actually were 1990-94, then I cut way back when I went back to work for two years. I was home full time starting in 1996, but I still wasn’t doing a lot of tatting and started concentrating on another passion – learning to play the piano. I also do calligraphy and often made my own Christmas cards. But tatting was still very important to me.

Another interesting discovery in the 1997 diary is my first tentative use of the Internet at our Library! However, I don’t believe I looked up tatting sites until early in 1999. And it wasn’t until 2007 (!) that I finally got internet service at home! And in July 2008 I started this blog – and would never have believed back then that there would be an easy way for ‘ordinary folks’ – not computer geniuses – to create their own ‘web log’ site!

Wow! Quite a trip down Memory Lane!