Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Card for You, a Bunny, and More Eggs !


I hope you have a pleasant Easter holiday with your families. It’s a time to reflect on all of our Blessings. and to look forward to a new spirit of personal growth, as we witness the miracle of rebirth all around us with the coming of Spring!

I wanted very much to tat with my new Lizbeth thread (color 661), and it definitely lives up to all your praise! I am very impressed with its crispness! I quickly tatted up a simple cross, then decided to put it on a card to share with you.

Easter Bunny drops by !

I was excited that a sweet bunny stopped by long enough to be photographed with some beaded eggs that I added tatting to last year, but then added sparkly gems to this year!

The eggs came from Michaels and are 3-1/2 inches high. They are not only covered nicely with microbeads, but also have a variation of color from light to dark. Of course I bought as many eggs as I could last year, anticipating that they would not appear again this year, and I was correct. I'm disappointed about that, as they are of such a high quality, and there seem to be very few microbead eggs available on the internet. They each came with a small bow, which I removed so that I could fashion a fancier bow, and added flowers and some gold wire ribbon.

Just a quick post on this very special Holiday. Although it will only be 53 degrees today, I’m delighted to see sunshine and blue skies!

You might want to look at some "pysanky" sites on the web for some wonderful egg designs done in the Ukrainian tradition! I dabbled in this art years ago and will show some of those eggs on a future post!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Festive Beaded Eggs with Tatting and "Bling"!

Also – some amazing finds during yesterday’s trip (April 9) to Hobby Lobby.

Plus THREE CHEERS to Janette Baker!!!

I’m doing a quick post to show two recent egg designs, which I came up with last week while experimenting with pretty adhesive gems found in the scrapbook section at Michaels. I was able to display the eggs at the Maple Festival last weekend, and they received many favorable comments.

The two eggs below (normal size) were part of a set of six ‘microbead’ eggs I found at Jo Ann Fabrics last year (but are not available this year, of course!). The gem embellishments are from the scrapbook section at Michaels – adhesive, one-piece gem stickers I found this year. The neat thing is that the gems come in ONE PIECE on a single sticker, which makes them super easy to attach.

This tatted motif, done with a cranberry perle cotton (size 8). consists of eight rings and chains that I made up to accommodate the gems, so that each green
gem sits under a chain, and keeps the tatted ring visible.

The package had a duplicate sticker, which I hope to attach to the reverse side, after I tat another motif!

An adhesive strip of rhinestones (also very convenient!) divides the egg vertically, and makes it sparkly from the side.

Four metallic ‘bell caps’ are pinned on to add to the design, and the tatting itself is held on with gold bead pins. This egg is sitting on my special brass egg holder.

I had an extra tatted green wreath in my ‘stash’ (I believe it’s Patti Duff’s), so I thought I’d see how it looked on the yellow beaded egg, and it worked out nicely. I used different color bead pins to give it a festive look, and, added a one-piece ‘gem’ sticker in the center.

The gold beads (also self-adhesive, on a strip) worked great to section off the egg

This egg is sitting on a plastic egg holder but also has a hanger. I can’t seem to find these egg holders anymore, but they’re probably on the internet.

I hope to show more eggs from past years (it will have to be after Easter), but I wanted to share with you my recent EXCITING FINDS at a Hobby Lobby in our area.

Shopping Trip to Hobby Lobby on Thursday, April 9.
I have been upset that Jo Ann’s seems to have NO tatting supplies anymore, although Michaels has at least a few shuttles and some basic thread, and possibly the Big Book of Tatting by Darlene Polachic (mentioned in my previous post). .

But yesterday (Thursday) when I went to Hobby Lobby in Boardman, Ohio, I was bowled over when I saw their EXCELLENT tatting section, containing rarely seen metal Boye shuttles with bobbins (plus extra bobbins in a separate package -also rarely seen), plus a couple of Aero shuttles with metal hooks, plus clover shuttles! They also had needle tatting supplies and books and a video on needle tatting.

But my BIGGEST SURPRISES were the two books staring at me:

- The new Learn to Tat book by Janette Baker, complete with “interactive DVD”.

At my local Barnes and Noble, you have to ORDER the book. I want them to DISPLAY IT so visitors to the store can SEE it, although I haven’t told them that - YET!! Therefore, I was amazed to see it prominently displayed at Hobby Lobby! I first learned about this book from Diane’s blog (Thanks, Diane!) and was excited when Diane mentioned that it had a DVD with it. I've been curious to see the DVD - a major step forward in the technology for our times! I believe this is the first commercial DVD.

I have so much more to say about this DVD, but will save it for another post. I can definitely tell you this: THIS IMPRESSIVE DVD IS A "MUST HAVE" FOR ALL NEW TATTERS !!!! Not to mention some of us 'intermediates'. She even goes into "right-side, wrong-side"! CONGRATULATIONS to JANETTE for an amazing DVD!!! I’m delighted that Hobby Lobby has the book prominently
displayed to catch the eye of passers-by. (How’s that for a rhyme? :- )

- Celtic Tatting Knots and Patterns by Rosella Linden (aka Ruth Perry).
It was also exciting to see this book ‘in person’. I finally discovered why Ruth has chosen “Rozella Linden” as her ‘pen name”. I love Ruth’s designs and am delighted to have this Celtic ‘tutorial’ in my library!.

My next shock:

- Lizbeth thread, which has been given high marks by so many of you. Hobby Lobby doesn’t have a full range of the colors, but enough of both solid and variegated to keep me busy!!! I’ll report back on my results with it! I assumed I would have to order it from the internet, so I couldn’t believe that I was seeing it ‘in person’!

The main thing for me is that NON-TATTERS will SEE all these items – especially the books – and then become INSPIRED to learn to tat. (Yoo-Hoo! Anyone at Jo Ann’s listening?!!) I told the clerk in the fabric department how THRILLED I am with their tatting display, and she appreciated my comments. I will be writing to the ‘Management’ to express my delight

I have so much more to write about - plus I have some things to share from the very successful Maple Festival this past weekend. We REALLY lucked out with the weather. It was sunny and warm both days (although a little windy and chilly on Saturday morning) and they again got HUGE crowds. Then on Tuesday it snowed here in Pittsburgh. Yikes – but, normal, I’m afraid.

However, I must close for now, as I want to get this post in today!


I have to admit that after my shopping trip yesterday , for me it feels more like Christmas!!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket . . ."

From a song by Irving Berlin, featured in the Astaire-Rogers 1936 movie, “Follow the Fleet.” I now have all ten Fred Astaire–Ginger Rogers movies in a DVD collection! My favorite dancers!)

Well, maybe not ALL my eggs – I have too many to put in just ONE basket!

I’ll be showing more eggs soon (before Easter), but below is a grouping of my first eggs – satin ones, to which I added simple motifs back around 1991.

Plus – the Maple Festival is coming up this weekend. More about that at the end of this post.

Also below, – I have a tatting story from a recent shopping trip to share with you.

Let’s see, I think I’m missing something - Oh, yes –


Satin Eggs - from the early 1990s
My Motif #18 is on the pink egg (see below)

You could find these satin eggs (non-shiny) in craft stores in the 1990s. . They’re a ‘larger’ egg, at 3-1/2” high.

They are ‘hollow’ inside and therefore allow pins to be used to either tack the motif down or to use as an embellishment.

The motifs are mostly simple ring-and- chain patterns, and I admit I put the motifs only on one side! On most of the eggs in this photo, I glued down cording as a design element.

Fortunately, there is a hole (unseen) on the one end of the egg, where I was able to ‘hide’ the ends of the cord.

The lovely doily is one I ‘rescued’ from an antique store years ago. We all feel a ‘connection’ to those who tatted these items! As with the doily shown below, it has a solid fabric center.

In the next photos, I’ve singled out two of the eggs.

Motif #18 – from book by Rebecca Jones

This satin egg (from 1991) is sitting on a doily that I wish I could take credit for, but it’s one that I purchased at a local boutique and felt lucky to have found. The shop owner was thrilled that it was going home with a tatter! It is made with a ‘fine’ thread and is so delicate. I’m also impressed by the skill involved in adding lace to a ‘solid’ center.

The motif on the egg is from Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones. I used a coral color DMC perle cotton, size 8.

I made several of this motif, especially to decorate small boxes.

I like to add embroidered flowers for a Victorian look; however these particular flowers, which were easily found in sewing stores back then, are now difficult to find – and are more expensive! I also used pins/ beads as a design element here. (Oops - I just noticed I’m missing a pin and bead on the left side! Wonder where it went?!!) Back then I simply used a straight pin through a gold bead (as in the above egg), but later I found gold beads already attached to pins. This egg sits on an special egg holder, and has a prominent spot in my china closet.

Right now I can’t find the designer of the motif on this egg, so I won’t count it here.
I see I’m also missing a rhinestone on the left side! This is what happens when transporting items to show after show. I’ll have to fix it!

This is the side view where I used hens and checks as another design element

More eggs to come in future posts.

In the meantime, here’s my recent shopping story, which I just HAD to share with you, especially on International Tatting Day!

I was in a Michaels store over the PA border in Ohio and, as usual, I checked out the status of tatting supplies, which, to my dismay, are becoming more scarce – if not entirely DISAPPEARING from the chain craft stores. (Most unsettling and a subject for a whole other post.)

I had scanned all the books in the different areas of Michaels, especially the knitting and crocheting books – and, as usual (sadly), saw nothing about tatting.

Then while still in the ‘yarn’ vicinity, I overheard one gal talking to another – “Oh, look – TATTING (as she picked up a book) – that’s a dying art.”

Naturally, THAT got my attention! Tatting Book??? (Turns out it was the Big Book of Tatting by Darlene Polachic, which, happily, can still be found in Michaels stores, although I somehow missed seeing it that day!)

But here’s the amazing part: The gal put the book down and was commenting to her friend,

“I remember when Mrs. ____ used to sit all day on her porch tatting away.”

[Of course, I’m eavesdropping with REALLY big ears at this point!]

“She used to have that big frame and she’d work away all day on it.”

Whoa! ‘Big Frame”???? Well, I just HAD to find out what that was about, so I piped up – “Oh, excuse me, I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. I just wanted you to know that tatting isn’t a dying art and many people around the world are tatting, and even making jewelry – there’s lots of information on the internet these days!”

She was very nice and didn’t seem annoyed with my ‘intrusion’, so she told me her story about the lady with the Big Frame and how she used it to tat ‘lots’ of things – especially table cloths! !!

I said, “Are you sure she was ‘tatting’? Because all you need is a small shuttle and don’t need any kind of frame.” But she said – “Oh, yes, I know it was tatting – she used to sit there all day. She would work for hours and hours working with that big frame,”

I decided not to argue the point, so I just said – “Oh, that’s pretty amazing. I hope whoever got them [the tablecloths? Wow!] appreciated them.” And she said, “Well, she had only sons, so I hope they appreciated them, too.” I wished her a ‘good day’ and thanked her for sharing her story.

It was one of those “Twilight Zone” moments, and I couldn’t help being amazed that I happened to be in that area of that store at that particular moment. Here’s the ONLY book in the store on tatting (which I missed seeing!), and this gal finds it within earshot of me and talks about tatting being a dying art - and then talks about this Big Frame!

OK - I’m open for suggestions! What in the world do you think 'Mrs. ___' was doing? Weaving? Needle netting?? Or somehow - tatting?

* * * *

The Maple Festival at Brady’s Run (near Beaver, PA) is this weekend (Apr 4-5), always a big event here in Western PA, which brings thousands of visitors. Our tatting group, the Beaver County Tatters (4 of us at the moment) will demonstrate tatting, which the group has particupated in for at least 20 years and possibly more! This will be my 18th Maple Festival - except I missed actually demo-ing in 2002 after the broken wrists (post of Feb. 27)!

Back in 1990 I had participated in my first 'demo' events at Old Economy, so 1991 was my first Maple Festival, and for the first time I had a few items to sell (two stars and three snowflakes), and was thrilled that they all sold that day! This marked the beginning of my tatting ‘frenzy’ when I tried to have inventory for each festival , plus I started thinking up 3-D ideas. Selling involves so much more than just the tatting – again, the subject of future posts!

Uh-oh – I’m having a sudden need to eat chocolate!

Happy Tatting Day!