Friday, February 27, 2009

"Seeing Stars" on Ice - plus Motif #15 -Tatted Edging made into Star

Happy Birthday to another Niece!

Today (Feb. 27) is significant to me for two reasons.

First, one of my sweet nieces was born 18 years ago today (sister of the 21-year-old niece born on Valentine’s Day). Both girls have shown interest in the needle arts (one likes machine sewing, and the other learned to knit - from me, I’m proud to say – but she’s not tatting yet, although she wants to learn), but their school schedules keep them so busy, it’s difficult for them to find time. I gave each of them the small tatted red heart pendant (previous post) for Valentine's Day.

The second reason Feb. 27 is memorable is written a few paragraphs below!

Motif #15 – Tatted Edging formed into Star (ornament or sun catcher)

From Ann Orr’s Classic Tatting Patterns (Dover Needlework Series) Edging No. 12 (page.23)

This is the first ‘fancy’ edging pattern I tatted after I learned the chain. I discovered after making 5 points that I could form the ‘straight’ lace into a star

After making the star, I felt confident enough with it to try making my first long piece of tatting (about 30”) to embellish a black vest, which I wore as part of my first tatting costume (to be shown on a future post)

I use the stars both as Christmas ornaments and as window 'sun catchers' for all seasons.

I’ve been working on the continuation of my tatting story, but I want to get this particular post in today.

Also, I’ve never worked with beads to any great extent – I usually just added them to connect picots, or even sewed them on afterward (!) so I’ve been trying to understand how to plan ahead to load them onto the shuttle and work with them; therefore, I am doing some ‘active’ tatting these days.

But I have to share this next story today, as I know you’ll find it ‘interesting’ if not disconcerting

"Seeing Stars" on Ice - Feb. 27, 2002

"Happiness was" . . ice skating a few weeks 'before the fall', at a different rink.

Today is the 7-year anniversary of my ice-skating accident (at 58 years of age) when I broke both wrists in one fell swoop – so to speak – while trying to go into a backward turn during my usually joyful afternoon skating session at a new, beautiful indoor ice rink in our area. In a nano-second I went down. I won’t go into details, as it’s too painful for me to recall them. Believe me, I literally saw stars!! The year is easy to remember, however - two wrists, 2002

I was VERY, VERY FORTUNATE that I did not need surgery on either wrist, although the doctor said the left wrist would be a little crooked. (By the way, he was wonderful – great sense of humor that helped so much – and no ‘rolling of the eyes’ that I was skating at ‘my age’!!) The ‘crooked wrist’ verdict was okay with me, and it really isn’t that noticeable. In fact, it actually healed faster than the right wrist, which looks perfect (for which I’m also grateful).

I ‘attended’ the April Maple Festival (Brady’s Run) that year (just visiting the tatting group - the wrists were released from the casts two weeks later), and by August I was, happily, back with the group at historic Vicary House, although still a bit sore, and not tatting with great speed!

Needless to say I am GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL that it wasn’t worse. However, psychologically it was a bitter pill, because I LOVED to skate, and had roller skated or ice skated a good bit for many years, even through my early 40s. However, I did have a 15-year lull and was getting back into it because of the fabulous new ice rink, which was empty during the afternoon session when school kids were not there.

I was in ‘hog heaven’ having mostly the whole rink to myself. I have to say I was really getting into good skating form again, although a little shaky on the backwards stuff (literally my ‘downfall’!) . I loved hearing from young folks that I skated “pretty good for an older person” – one actually used the term ‘elderly’ (LOL ? ).

I have not returned to skating (although I very much wanted to) because I just can’t chance getting hurt again – there are knees, ankles and elbows also to consider! Not to mention my dear husband’s feelings, who had to do so many things ‘above and beyond’ during my recuperation. It really was not an easy time. (Did I mention that the casts prevented me from feeding myself?) Very sobering thoughts, and I had lots of time to think about it.

Sometimes you just have to let something go and realize that you have limitations – and accept your age!!!! (Still having trouble with that one!)

I can ‘celebrate’ the anniversary because the outcome was so positive and after six months I regained full use of both wrists. It was wonderful to drive again. And I no longer complain about doing housework (well, maybe just a little) – I’m just so grateful that I can do housework..

I was amazingly pain-free for four years, and again, was grateful, grateful, grateful. But in 2007 I started having some arthritis issues - at first quite painful and disconcerting, but fortunately within a few months the pain diminished (amazingly, on its own) and now I just have a ‘mild’ case, with many long stretches being pain-free, but still a bit stiff in the morning. Weather does seem to be a factor, but sometimes they will ache (either both or individually) for no apparent reason. I realize, however, that one can get arthritis without having had an injury, but injuries certainly increases the odds.

I have a great appreciation for the difficulty many have in opening things – especially with today’s packaging. I definitely need bottle opener gizmos! And I can highly recommend both a “Paper Pro” stapler and 3-hole punch (for all those internet tatting patterns!!) that are excellent products requiring minimal pressure. Therefore, I’m also indebted to the ‘gizmo’ makers.

The wrist issue is one of the reasons I’m not tatting or doing other needlework with ‘gusto’ anymore. I was doing some quilting one day, and the next day the wrists were very sore. Fortunately, tatting and knitting aren’t quite as much of a problem, but I try to limit my time. However, surfing the web is also a ‘risk’ factor (the mouse!) , and I try to watch my time there, too – although it’s difficult to stay away from the 'Net, and I do get ‘twinges’. (Did I mention I also love to play the piano – just for my own enjoyment, nothing fantastic. It’s just very important to me!)

I’m going to end this post here, and possibly go visit the rink, which I do occasionally, just for ‘old times’ sake. I love to watch the kids who are just learning, and especially the ones who are training to compete. How I envy them – their youth and agility!!!! But I’m still grateful, grateful, grateful that I can use my hands and enjoy all my other hobbies. (If I used the word 'grateful' often in this post, it's because I am just that!)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day! Motifs #12, 13 and 14

Happy Valentine’s Day to all !
And a Special Happy Birthday Greeting to my sweet niece, who is 21 years old today!

MOTIF #12: 3-D VICTORIAN HEART (made from two fans)

Here’s one of my 3-D ‘designs’ from around 1993, where I used a published ‘flat’ pattern and molded it into a 3-D shape. It is made from two fans (see below) with an added chain on each fan to make a ‘heart’ shape.

I used Alene’s fabric stiffener and draped each fan over a plastic 3-D heart form to 'puff' them out. Then I sewed the stiffened rounded shapes together with sewing thread, also incorporating pearls on the sides as I sewed along.

I hung a large pink ‘crystal’ bead on a chain in between the two halves, and also wove gold beads (the plastic ones that can be cut to desired length ) in and out on the sides (no sewing). Then I glued the flowers on top

This is a rather blurry ‘photo of a photo’ of the fan, as I no longer have the original fan ornament.

I have it pictured here upside down so you can see the ‘heart’ shape. Not shown here, of course, is the long chain (plus picots) between outer rings 4 and 6 to give the fan a ‘heart’ shape. (Hope I’m explaining this OK!)

I know I've seen this pattern while going through my books, but, of course, I can't find it at the moment to give credit to the designer.

I know I made many of these fans. If you want to stand on your head, you'll see that I added a little
crystal under the silk flower and bow!

Interestingly, I made only one of the 3-D hearts, partly because during my tatting frenzy years of 1990-1994 I was trying to make a lot of ‘quick’ items to sell, plus I was coming up with several different ideas for other 3-D items. The finishing for the 3-D heart was a bit labor intensive (for me), and I didn’t want to take time back then to make more of them. I always intended to make more, but haven't made any others so far!

with pearls sewn to the tatting afterwards

This heart may look familiar to you, as it was almost a year ago that Sharon so kindly posted a photo of it on her blog (along with other photos I sent her by mail) and introduced me to the 25-motif tatting group before had a blog. I never dreamed that I would actually start a blog – and it took six months for me to get up the ‘courage’! Thanks so much, Sharon! This is my E-Valentine greeting to you!

I pinned the heart to the padded top of my favorite burgundy velvet heart box (easy to remove), which I purchased at one of the craft stores several years ago. I think tatting and velvet go well together!
I have it displayed in the curio in my living room, where I keep anniversary keepsakes and gifts

This pattern is in Teri Dusenbury’s excellent book “Tatting Hearts” – a VERY IMPORTANT PUBLICATION because in it, Teri explained (and revived) the split-ring technique, and used it to great effect in many of her beautiful designs in that book, published by Dover Publications. It was amazing to see rings floating around with no chains between them.
However, her Regal Heart pattern above does not use split rings, which is why I chose to tat it, back when I bought the book around 1994. At the time I was intimidated by the split-ring idea and didn’t fully grasp it. Happily I am no longer intimidated by split rings, since I discovered they weren’t that difficult! The split ring certainly opened up new and unique design possibilities for all tatting designers. THANK YOU, TERI for reviving the split ring and for your many other contributions to the tatting world!


This admittedly is not the greatest photo, nor is it representative of my best tatting, but I enjoyed rediscovering this very cute little heart pattern, and I tatted up these samples quickly today to see how the pattern would look in both DMC’s perle cotton size 8 (color 498) and DMC’s gold thread on a spool, which makes a smaller heart. The red one is only an inch high.

The pattern is by Kim Goetz, which appeared in “Victorian Hearts and Flowers,” one of Better Homes and Gardens Special Interest magazines (1995). She made it with size 80 thread for use on note paper.
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I thought I'd add a weather note here, to record the fact that there is a dusting of snow on the lawn and trees, with temps in the mid-30s on this Valentine's Day 2009. Amazing to think that on Wednesday it was 65 degrees, but I knew it wouldn't last!