Monday, December 26, 2011

'Tis the Season

We have officially arrived at the "Holidays" (by my definition, beginning about a week before Christmas and extending a few days into the New Year), and I'm hoping you are having pleasant gatherings with family and friends and are enjoying the festive decorations and lights, possibly in a more relaxed mood, now that the 'rush' is over!   Of course, I realize that the shopping centers are still hectic places, with all the returns and gift cards, and with the kids out of school!  I remember how much I enjoyed our Christmas breaks 'back when'.

I wanted to capture a photo of this lovely 'live roses' floral arrangement before we gave it to my MIL yesterday for her room at the assisted living facility.

The table runner (just the one end showing here) is one that I made several years ago (can't actually remember the date - I should make a label for it after I figure it out!).

It includes three lovely pre-printed panels (in my favorite colors!), which I embellished with some beads and hand quilting.  (My real 'challenge' was in mitering the 'points' on the border strips!)

I bought the kit at a local quilt store, which, sadly, is now gone, although it was around for many years.  The owner, now retired, unfortunately couldn't find a buyer for the store. It was always a 'bright and colorful' presence in the town.

I've always wanted to put some tatting in the empty 'circle' space on the printed design, and for this photo I remembered a motif from my stash (Lynn Morton's 'Hearts and Flowers' pattern - similar to a motif by Lene Bjorn) which does look pretty good just placed there, although the heart shapes kind of disappear unless you look closely.   Of course, I would have to tat a second one for the other end of the runner! 

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We will continue visiting family members this week, and look forward to seeing our niece's boys (ages 4 and 1) opening the gifts we're giving them.  The magic of Christmas is always brought back when being around the little ones!

DH and I enjoy going for drives during the evening to other neighborhoods to see all the residential lights and outdoor decorations; and we also appreciate the effort that goes into the lighting displays in the different towns.

I'm also happy it will be getting lighter in the evenings, although it's imperceptible right now.   I just like knowing that we passed over the 'line' on Dec. 21!   However, there are three months of official Winter ahead! 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas Events, New Product, and Posting Again

New Shaped Ornament to encase Tatting

Last December I posted about my placing Sharon’s ‘ Merry Christmas’ snowflake inside a spherical, clear plastic ornament that I got at Michaels, which worked out very well.

However, I want to bring your attention to a ‘different’ plastic ornament so that you can obtain one for your snowflakes or other motifs. I have seen them only at Michaels, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find them on the internet.

This ornament is round from the ‘front’ view. 

However . . . .

it is not a ‘sphere’, but an ‘ellipsoid’, as shown on the brass stand on the left, side view.  It's about 1.5" wide.

These ornaments come in two different diameters:

The ornament in the back is 4.5”; the one in the stand is 3.5”

They are even better than the round ‘sphere’ for displaying a  snowflake or other tatted motif, because the motif can more easily keep its shape in a more ‘confined’ (flattened) space.    The tatted motif can easily be ‘shaken’ back and forth after being ‘rolled up’ and placed in the ornament through the  
nice, large opening.

I quickly put this display together using one of the motifs in my stash, which I believe was to be a snowman. The motif is the perfect size for the 3.5” ornament.

Here is the full view of fancy brass hanger I’m using to display it. I have two of these hangers, which I found ‘somewhere’! They’re very nice for showcasing ornaments or bells or whatever.

I added a velvet bow and silk leaves/flower to the ornament with the use of sticky tape (not a glue gun). I used a small piece of the tape (near the bottom of the stand) to keep the ribbon in place around the side of the hangar.

The cost is about $1.29 for the 3.5” and $1.99 for the 4.5” . I was happy to find them when they were 50% off!   I sure hope they continue to sell these! I have so many plans for them!

Old Economy Village (This weekend – 2-day event)
Our group will be at Old Economy this weekend. I have many photos of the Village, and when I improve’ my blog to include ‘tabs’, I’m hoping to put galleries of my photos there.

Vicary Mansion (Last Saturday)
We were at the Vicary Mansion (Freedom, PA) last Saturday (Dec. 3), and had a great time. Unfortunately, Evelyn was not able to join us, due to a cold; but our newer member, Pam, was able to be there. So Peg, Pam and I enjoyed meeting all the visitors. Three visitors were gals who were in Pittsburgh for a job-related convention, and they saw an ad in the paper and chose to drop by. They were from (are you ready?) – Texas, Utah and Colorado!! They loved our tatting and were delighted with the beautiful Christmas decorations in the mansion. It put them in a ‘Christmas’ mood! The volunteers there always do a great job, and we are provided with wonderful homemade food – also prepared by the volunteers. There were a gazillion cookies, too, all free for the visitors!

The Mansion has never been more beautifully decorated (9 big rooms!) , and the music that evening was OUTSTANDING, performed by a trio of youngsters (a brother and 2 sisters – ages 16, 14, and 11) playing violins and cello. The 11-year-old sister played the cello, and it is as big as she is! If I had my eyes closed, I would have thought I was at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, listening to professional musicians! The sound they produced was incredible! I was overwhelmed with their performance and talked to their proud parents. It was SO uplifting! I got a great photo of them visiting our “Tatting” room. The girls loved the dollhouse and my ‘Cinderella’ slipper!

I also taught a visitor how to do the tatted knot! She is a crocheter, and by showing her the chain first (two colors of thread) , and explaining that she can use the ‘crochet hold’ with her left hand, she got the ‘flip’ in no time!

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My absence from posting is due mostly to computer and software issues, which are difficult to explain, so I will spare you that story. As you know, I love to follow the blogs and see all the incredible creativity out there! I HAVE been doing some tatting (not as much as I would like, however), and I hope to get back on track with the 25-Motif Challenge soon! Thanks, again, Sharon for your patience!