Saturday, May 9, 2015

Perfect Match - Pendant and Vest

This is one of those happy occurrences when you don't plan something, but it works out perfectly!

I now have a 'matching' tatted pendant and new knitted vest, just by happenstance! 

The Lizbeth thread is one of my favorites,  Tropical Punch, size 20.
Yarn:  Michaels 'Impeccable Yarn' brand, variegated color 'Summerset'

The Unplanned Vest
It all started last month when I saw some variegated yarn  at Michaels that appealed to me.  I planned to knit a scarf, simply as a 'mindless' project to have while watching TV.   I knew it wasn't a 'striping' yarn (which I was looking for) but I liked the colors and wondered how it would knit up.   

As the 'scarf' progressed, I would hold it up in a mirror to see how the colors were evolving, and I kept thinking that the width of the scarf was just right for a left or right vest front, and I started thinking about making a vest instead.  

I didn't want to do any armhole shaping, and didn't see why it wouldn't be possible to make a vest with two rectangular pieces (fronts) and one larger 'square' for the back, keeping it simple.  

There is probably a pattern out there somewhere, but I just 'winged' it, and I was quite delighted that it worked out!  

And I had just enough yarn (2 skeins)!   Even buttoning it was easy!  The button at the waist is one of  those 'no sew' buttons that has a 'tie tack' in back. No buttonholes needed!    I now would like to make several more of these! 

The Pendant  

I wasn't even thinking about a pendant when I picked out the yarn. (Remember, I was making a scarf!)  

Only when the vest was finished did I look over my collection of pendants.   Then I realized I had the perfect one, and it's 'kind of' recent.  

The basic pendant isn't new (see below), but I added the rose a few months ago and I received lots of compliments when I wore it.     

 Interestingly, the pretty rose is made of paper(!) which comes in a packet of roses in the scrapbook/paper section craft stores. i'm sure card makers love them.  They are not self-adhesive, which surprised me, but it's easy enough to glue them down

I've often added flowers to my tatting (even snowflakes), but usually they are made of 'silk' or ribbon.

You may recognize the basic pendant, which I featured in my blog back in September of 2012.

This was my first 'doodad' pendant, thanks to Sue (God's Kid), who not only alerted us to these doodads at Hobby Lobby, but also generously gave us some snowflake patterns to make with them. (see link below).

However, instead of making a snowflake, I did the 1st round of one of Sue's designs, and added chains to the outer round.

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We are finally having warm weather – almost too warm, as it got into the 80s with high humidity the other day.   I tried not to complain (I've waited so long for warm weather!), but I caved in and turned on the A/C!   I hope temps cool down a bit, as we have a lot of yardwork to do to get the lawn and landscaping back in shape!  There is always some damage after winter.   

Hope everyone has a nice Mother's Day in the U.S. tomorrow! 


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Easter's On Its Way

Also, Maple Syrup Festival and Int'l Tatting Day

All my decorated  eggs with tatting on them are now among my Easter decorations at home, after being on display at the Maple Syrup Festival this past weekend (see below). 
The satin eggs (near the bunny) are larger than hens' eggs, and accommodated larger motifs on them.  They also are Styrofoam underneath, so I could easily use pins for attaching, as well as decoration.  I also used glue stick glue to hold the tatting in place, and they have remained in place for more than 20 years.   (Of course, they don't get handled too often.)    
I posted about the 'satin eggs' five years ago in my blog at the link below.
 However, I haven't shown the  'flocked' eggs before, which have a 'faux velvet' feel.   
They are the seven eggs in the front of the above photo.  I first found them in 1993 in – of all places – the Dollar stores!   They came packaged just like a 'carton of eggs', in white cardboard containers.  They are purely decorative and are the size of normal 'hens' eggs.  I bought several dozen of them to share with our tatting group.  I was surprised that they were still in the stores for a couple of years before 'disappearing'.     I have no idea how other customers used the plain eggs (they don't come apart for inserting candy), but they were perfect for adding tatting and other embellishments, and I get a lot of compliments on them.

They were fun to decorate and once I learned split-ring tatting (around 1995), I was able to incorporate the rings as a 'frame' in the center design or the divider between the front and back.  I was more 'ambitious' back then and I decorated the front and back the same    I enjoyed adding other elements for the decorations, such as flowers, ribbons and beads.

And here is a 'newer' display idea for my coffee table, but the eggs are also from the past.  These are all beaded eggs, which were only available one year (of course).    They are covered in tiny 'micro' beads (over a plastic egg) and fortunately are also hollow inside, which made it possible to use pins for decoration. 

The egg on top of the candle is smaller and is white, whereas the three eggs at the base are larger and have pastel colors with shading, which is very effective. 

 I made use of scrapbook supplies (adhesive gems, flowers, beaded tape)  to embellish the eggs and added fancy bows (using a bow maker).  

The 'newest' item for my display is a pin/pendant, attached to  the ribbon on the white candle.  As you can see, I added tatting to the pin (two triangles in Lizbeth size 20 thread).   The oval metal filigree piece has a pin on the back and also a hidden loop to attach a chain.  I love finding items like this at antique or thrift stores.  

I can add any color ribbon to the candle and customize it for any holiday. 

This idea could also be used for a wedding or shower decoration and given to the bride as a keepsake.  I simply used gold peel-offs for the 'corners'. 

And here is another way for the Easter bunny to 'deliver' eggs!
No 'hopping' necessary!  

This is a brand new addition to my Easter display. I found this cute 'bunny on a tricycle' at Michaels.

I added a tatted 'collar' from my stash, and hope to add tatting to her ears, probably in pink thread.  

Having 'wheels' makes it easier to make those deliveries, although she'll need a cart for lots more eggs! 


International Tatting Day 2015 
 This year, International Tatting Day fell on Wednesday, in between' our tatting group's event at the Maple Syrup Festival (Mar. 28-29), and Easter (April 5).    You might say we accomplished our requirement of 'tatting in public' a little early, except we could do very little tatting on Saturday. as the temperature never got above 30 degrees!  (We fortunately were in a large 'protected' pavilion which we share with the quilters and bobbin lacers, plus a gal who does intricate paper cutting.)  We were dressed warmly, but couldn't tat because our hands were too cold! 
Fortunately, it warmed up to a balmy 40 degrees on Sunday, and the day passed more pleasantly as we chatted with all the visitors!  As usual, there was a lot of interest in our tatting. 

 It was my 25th time at the Festival (can't quite grasp the passage of time), during which we have had all kinds of weather, from the 20s through the 80s!    We always enjoy the  pancakes as a 'perk' for demonstrating!    
I hope everyone has nice weather for Easter this year! 



Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015

Saga of the 'Layered' Snowflake  

Here is the layered snowflake (from my prior post) in its brass holder, which displays it nicely. 

This layered snowflake 'evolved' very slowly, from 2011 to 2014!  It definitely wasn't planned!

Each of the four parts has its own history.  It even surprised me when all the parts all came together in such a pleasing way!

The Four Separate Elements

Snowflake pattern:  "Winter Star" by Susan Schwenke.   (see link below)

 I found the pattern back in 2011 and I tatted it right away, but then set it aside – for a couple of years!   I thought I'd just add my usual small gem to the center and a fancy bow on top.  But I'm now glad I waited until I got the 'layering' idea.

 The second element is a small brass filigree medallion, formerly an earring with a sparkly pink gem in the center.  I experimented with this earring in 2012 by tatting two rows of chains around it in Lizbeth Tropical Punch (size 20) and adding some gold beads.  I was going to make it into a pendant, but I didn't follow through, and just set it aside.

The 'spoked' beaded snowflake goes back to 2010 from an acquaintance at a craft show.  I hung it in a window during the winter months, as it caught the light nicely; but I thought I might eventually add tatting to it.  I remember at one time pairing it up with the pink snowflake to see if I could put the two together in some way.  But I abandoned that idea – for a while! 

 The big acrylic (tinted) snowflake ornament is from Hobby Lobby, purchased in December 2013. 
I simply liked its weight and size, and thought I might add some tatting to it.  It became the 'last piece' of the puzzle!

Bringing the elements together
The layering idea began around 2013 after I noticed that the thread colors in the medallion complemented the pink snowflake, and when I placed the medallion with the sparkly gem on top of the snowflake, they seemed perfect for each other!   But I again set them aside.  Then it took another while for me to realize that I could use the 'spoked' snowflake after all, by sandwiching it in between the other two elements.   Finally, I realized that big acrylic ornament seemed like a good way to give it some 'weight' and substance, and I wouldn't have to stiffen the snowflake.

 But then it took more time  to figure out how to hold the parts together, and the solution was a dime-size piece of Velcro to hold the tatted snowflake securely to the acrylic ornament; and strong double-sided foam tape to hold the other elements to each other securely.  The tape is not noticeable at all.   The acrylic piece not only gives the ornament 'weight' but also makes it easy to hang and store.    

 All of a sudden it became a glitzy ornament similar to those you see on those fancy 'designer' trees, and it certainly fits the Victorian theme.   In my younger days, I'd probably have created several similar ones by now, but I seem to have run out of the ambition and 'drive' I used to have! 

The ornament finally made its official debut in its present brass hanger at the Maple Festival in April 2014, and it's been to three more events since then.  It gets noticed right away!

Here is the link to the snowflake pattern by Susan Schwenke:

 I very much appreciated the diagram that is provided!   

 Even with the diagram, I found it a little 'tricky' to tat!  I don't often use two shuttles, and I had to go very slowly and make sure I was using the correct shuttle and going the right direction.  I remember also using color markers to highlight the diagram to help remember what shuttle to use!   It took longer to tat than I anticipated, and I had to really concentrate on it!   As I recall, I did it in sections over several days!

The middle of the lovely snowflake design is, unfortunately, 'hidden' by the medallion in the finished piece.  But at least I can show the whole snowflake here in my blog.

  Here we are at the New Year already, and I hope that 2015 will bring all you wish for.
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Blog note:   For those of you who may have tried 'enlarging' the photo in my last post, I have fixed it so that it now enlarges properly.  I apologize to anyone who had a problem with it.  I'm still learning things about my new laptop, including how to add photos to posts, which is a different procedure from that of my older laptop.      

NOTE FROM Dec. 19, 2020:      Testing the new Blogger interface.  The world has also changed in a huge way.  I'm grateful we can have blogs that record our lives during all phases.  There are no craft shows this year, and Facebook has many new techniques from talented tatters around the world.