Friday, February 17, 2012

Sunshine for Gina

According to today's weather report for Lafayette, Indiana, the sun is shining , which is very appropriate on this otherwise very sad day as we say goodbye to our dear friend, Gina Brummett, who filled our lives with a great deal of sunshine and warmth.

I am still grappling with words to express how much Gina meant to me, and how much I admired her. I feel compelled at this time to write about how I first 'met' Gina - through her blog, which was just as amazing as her tatting and needlework skills.

Gina's Blog - "The Tatting Goddess"

One of the reasons I'm writing about Gina's blog, is that Feb. 13 was her 9th Blogaversary.   It absolutely took my breath away when I realized that she died on that very day.

When I first came across Gina's blog about three years ago, it didn't take long for me to discover that she was a very talented lady, and that her tatting skills were far above mine, even though she had been tatting only since 1997.    

In addition to being impressed with her tatting skills, I was also astounded to see that she had been 'blogging' since 2003 - one of the pioneers - so I was equally impressed that her computer skills were also far above mine.

Her blog has the most amazing amount of information about tatting in it, including her own tutorials and videos (so poignant, now, to watch), plus she somehow found and included in her Blog Roll just about every tatter out there in Tat Land.   And in the left-hand column, she included the blogs of many, many other crafters, whose blogs I otherwise would never have found on my own!    

And she also generously shared with us several of her own tatting designs, among which is her adorable Gingerbread Boy!

I then discovered that her blog rolls were 'time' sensitive, so that the most recent blog posts appeared just about the minute they were posted, usually with a thumbnail photo of the tatter's/crafter's latest project. Therefore, it became a daily routine for me for the past 3 years to check Gina's blog, to see what was happening 'up to the minute' in Tat Land.

It was always a bonus, of course, when Gina, herself, published a new post, which was just about every other day!   It was very difficult to keep up with her, and I was equally astounded to discover she had a full-time job.  Her blog posts were always cheerful and filled with wonderful examples of her tatting or other needlework, and artwork, too. She was one very talented lady.    And she was a frequent commenter on others' blogs, always offering words of praise and encouragement.

One of her most memorable blog posts, however, had nothing to do with tatting. She showed a photo of a giant tree that had smashed into the roof of a house!   It took me a few minutes to comprehend that it was HER house, and that somehow, no one was hurt!    She handled even that exceptionally  frightening experience with humor and an upbeat attitude.

Her 8th blogaversary last year was a very special one for ME, because I was one of 8 lucky recipients of a red cloth gift bag she made personally, as a special giveaway.    I intend to write about that special gift package, but it's more important that I mention something even more significant:

Last year, on her 8th Blogaversary post of Feb. 13, 2011, she wrote in detail about her own tatting history!    It is a wonderful story, which I know you will want to read.

I now must go outside on this cold but sunny day here in Pittsburgh, and take a long walk, to remember Gina, a very, very special person and dear 'friend', even though we never met in person.  It was a privilege, however, to get to know Gina, the amazing Tatting Goddess, through her incredible blog. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Day 2012

Frivole’s ‘Happy Heart’ Pattern

Frivole’s excellent pattern (see link below) came just in time to be tatted for Valentine’s Day!   It is so generous of her to offer it to us!   This is a quick tat, has a perfect shape, and I think it represents a ‘classic tatting’ look, in a small motif. (Tatted in size 20, Lizbeth Christmas red, the tatting is about an inch and a half across.)

I am delighted that the tatted heart fits perfectly into a metal heart pendant I’ve had for quite awhile (from one of the craft stores). The pendant is solid metal, with a center indentation.    

I cut a heart shape out of black velvet, sticky-backed paper and inserted it in the indented area, then added the tatted heart with glue stick. It really ‘pops’ against the black background.

I also added one of my adhesive scrapbook embellishments for 'bling'.
It covers the 'open space' of the heart, and hides only the center chain.

The feature of this clever pattern is the use of Catherine Wheel joins on the outside chains; however, I did not quite master those joins!    In Marilee’s excellent video (see link below), she uses different thread colors for the shuttle and ball, and very clearly shows how to do the CW join correctly!

Because I was using only red thread, I wasn’t quite sure which thread (shuttle or ball) I was pulling up into the loop.    (In my defense, I was also working on it late at night when I should have been asleep!)

I certainly plan to tat this heart again, in many colors.   Even without the metal ‘frame’,  it’s a perfect size for a pendant, just by itself.

Here is the beaded necklace to which I attached the pendant.   It is one of my ‘converted’ beaded eyeglass leashes (I added the two large red beads).   I am pleased with the way it turned out!

I put together a silk flower arrangement for Valentine’s Day, and under the vase is a lovely tatted doily, which I‘ve shown before in photos in my blog.

The doily was a lucky find at a local shop, and the shop owner was delighted that it was going home with a tatter.   She had found it at an antique store and has no idea of its history. The tatting is a wide lace attached to a linen circle and is perfectly executed. I believe the thread is size 70 or 80.

Here are the links: 

Frivole's Happy Heart pattern: 

Marilee’s 'Catherine Wheel Join' Video 

*   *   *
After a snowy, blowy weekend, with temps in the single digits, I am glad that Valentine’s Day tomorrow will be ‘warmer’ , in the high 30s, although we may again have some snow showers.   It is, after all, still winter.