Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy Anniversary to Teapot Tuesday!

Love @Mothermark's charming one-year anniversary Teapot Tuesday post: http://ping.fm/JqwZD

Tatting Tea Tuesday

Thread: Handy Hands' Flora 20
White-to-Dark Purple variegated

It’s time for another Tatting Tea Tuesday!

Tatting hubris got the better of me this week. I imagined sitting down and working stitches quickly and effortlessly the first time through, regardless of the new techniques involved. (Go ahead. Laugh. I make these mistakes so you don’t have to.)

The false starts began with me not paying attention to which shuttle I was using. Then I jumped into the Self Closing Mock Ring (SCMR), forming the loop with knotting thread, not core thread. Sorry Shuttle Brothers! Your excellent instructions clearly state that it must be done with the core thread.

Following that I used the core thread shuttle to tat the center ring. Another big no-no. It only took me about an hour to painstakingly open up that center ring and pick out the stitches. I got lucky, the thread didn’t break and I was able to recover.

Tiny Round Teapot pattern is not difficult. I just kept making basic, careless mistakes. That said, I don’t have a finished teapot to scan in for you this week. But I have successfully mastered the SCMR.
It is time to step back and practice folded split rings before working the one in the teapot. So I’ve stopped for now at the folded split ring and switched to a set of practice shuttles.

It may not look like much, but the small snippet of lace above shows quite a bit of progress made this week.

Wishing you all blissful me time to create something beautiful.
See you next Tuesday for more communi-tea!

On a completely different thread, I saw an adorable tatted heart pattern for sale on Etsy called Paw Prints on my Heart.

I’m a dog lover so this heart is a perfect addition to my collection of tatted heart patterns.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Six Word Saturday

In honor of my neighbor Eva, whose candid simplicity says it all:

"You need to get out more."

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Ants Come Marching In, Day 2.

Mass genocide ensues after ants demoralize mommy.

Longtime friend and undercover war strategist Marty gave me some very good advice after yesterday's post:

Take the war to them!

So I did. Or more accurately, WE did...

My neighbor Eva suggested I mix up a batch of DIY ant-killer using 40:40:20 (or 2:2:1, same thing) ratio of water, alcohol and dish soap. She even came over to help. This stuff works great! It kills ants on contact and is safe for pets, kids and the environment.

What? You want a tale from the trenches? Well, okay.

While outside on backyard ant reconnaissance, Eva and I discovered a mondo-gi-normous infestation of ant larvae being tended to by a small army of what I can only describe as Nanny ants. Upon detection there was a mad scramble to save the babies, but we (Eva and I) eradicated the ants with the homemade spray. We were quite the pair of war mongers!

But one question remains...does anyone know if it will kill the larvae? I mean, it's not extermination if the eggs are allowed to hatch.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

#b Mood: disgusted
Rain, rain, falls all day. Ants stream in and overrun kitchen. Launching umpteenth ants-b-gone campaign. When will it end?

Happy International Sushi Day

Hilarious new Teapot Tuesday post from @Mothermark: http://ping.fm/49w3R

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday

It's time for another Tatting Tea Tuesday!

The Chantilly Border from last week is still in progress, but I couldn't wait to start a teapot from Tea is for Tatting by Martha Ess. Her collection of tatted teapots is a natural choice for lovers of tea and tatting.

Quite frankly, it was difficult to decide on a pattern because every single one is adorable. The Celtic and Maltese teapots are stand outs, but I could easily tat my way through this book cover to cover. In the end I decided to start small with Tiny Round Teapot.

The tiny round teapot pattern calls for two shuttles and one color thread. Martha Ess doesn't mention winding the shuttles continuously, but I did. Here is my spout:

Shuttle Love
My favorite rosewood shuttle (photo above) has a tiny embedded crochet hook. Years ago the wood cracked. I was devastated. Later that same year the tatting angels were watching over me. At the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival I found a vendor who sold small, hand-turned items. He only had three shuttles on his table. EUREKA! It was the same craftsman. Thank you, tatting angels!

(Does anyone else have "I'm a Little Teapot" stuck in their head? No?! Guess it's just me.)

Even though it is a small piece, Tiny Round Teapot presents
three new techniques for me: the
folded ring, the folded split ring and the self closing mock ring.

The folded ring worked out well on the first try. Now on to the
self closing mock ring (SCMR).

More photos are coming! And
I will post a finished teapot
as tatting time permits.

Wishing you all blissful me time to create something beautiful.
See you next Tuesday for more communi-tea!

For coffee-lovin' lacers, try this recipe for cold-brewed iced coffee.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Whoa, where did the week go? Summertime always rushes by so quickly, with festival outings, ice cream socials, barbecues, stayin' cool by the pool...

As much as I wish these days would last forever, without seasonal changes my psyche would suffer.

But back to six word Saturday.

Today's effort was going to be about the sunburn I got yesterday, but I only managed four words before wincing from the sting of moving my arms to type. Hee, hee! I'm such a sun weenie!

Then I remembered the bit of excitement in our neighborhood.

Without further adieu, I give you...

Carjacking teens evade police after wreck.
Derelict car recovered after teen carjacking.

A slew of squad cars patroled our neighborhood all day looking for two teen-aged carjackers. There was a brief high-speed chase that led to a collision with a truck. The teens abandoned the crashed car on foot, running into our neighborhood to evade police.

Seriously, when I was a teen-ager (back when rocks were soft and dirt was new, hee hee!) our stoopid antics maxed out at toilet-papering cars. But forcing a woman out of her car for a joy ride? What's the matter with kids today?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pay It Forward Giveaway

I won the Pay It Forward giveaway on Knot Enough's tatting blog. Yay me!

Thank you JB! It was especially nice of you, considering you had to track me down to award the prize.

Pay It Forward is such an empowering concept and I'm delighted to be doing my share. Now it is my turn to offer a giveaway!

Here are the rules: If you want to play along, be sure to comment on this post. You must have a blog in order to enter. If you win, you agree to "Pay It Forward" (i.e. keep it going) on your blog by displaying the PIF graphic and offer a giveaway. The handmade gift you make and send to the winner is entirely up to you. You may either reveal the gift at the beginning of the giveaway or not; it's your choice.

Want more chances to win? If you post about the giveaway on your blog, or mention it on Twitter or Facebook, you get an extra entry. That adds up to three more chances to win! Just be sure to come back and comment again on this post with the link to your blog, Twitter or Facebook update.

The prize?

Your choice of either the blue or the purple cotton hanky (please indicate your color preference in the comment) AND a 9-inch round linen doily. All lace is in the classic hen-n-chicks pattern.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tatting Tea Tuesday

It's Tatting Tea Tuesday!

I am so excited to start this communi-tea! I hope you all have fun.
Here are the rules:

  • Set aside some time on Tuesdays to tat.
  • Put the kettle on for tea.
  • Share your progress on your blog or your favorite tatting group list, with "Tatting Tea Tuesday" in the headline or email subject line.
(Adding the Communi-tea part is optional...I just like the pun.)

And don't forget to leave me a comment with a link to your post or message so I can come see.

This week I began tatting an edging called Chantilly Border.
Source: May/June 2009 issue of Piecework magazine, p. 41

The original pattern was written in longhand notation, which I find hard to follow. So I read through the instructions and re-wrote them in shorthand formula. I cannot post the pattern though, until I have been granted permission by the magazine.

What I can tell you is this: the pattern is gleaned from Weldon's Practical Needlework, Volume 4. And facsimile printings of Volume 4 are available to order from Interweave Press by visiting Interweave Store. Or purchase a copy of Piecework magazine.

Chantilly Border is a lovely edging pattern that tats up quickly and is easy to memorize. I am using a vintage Coats and Clarks varigated tatting cotton in size 70 so it tats up dainty and delicate. Click on the image to see a larger view.

Did you notice my two twisted joins in the large rings at picot #6? I didn't notice them until I saw the image full size. How would you work an awkward join without twisting it? Tips? Suggestions?

: Georgia Seitz has a great page of notes on joining above as well as below the normal line of progression: Thoughts on Joining - The Shuttle Join

Unfortunately The Sprout woke up early from his nap so I only managed 2 1/2 repeats before having to stop. Not that I'm complaining. Today's effort is the first tatting I have done since 2005. The shuttle felt so good in my hand. The tea delicious. Taking a few relaxing moments for myself? Priceless!

Wishing you all blissful me time to create something beautiful.
See you next Tuesday for more communi-tea!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Today's installment of Six Word Saturday describes a fun family outing. True, we got up way-too-darned early, but it was so worth it. Without further adieu, I give you...

trains + summer = supreme happiness

And in case the formulaic approach counts as cheating,
here is another one:

Sprout conks out after train festival.

It was a really good day. (Hey that was six and it rhymed!)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

R.I.P. David Carradine

My mom always says bad news comes in threes.

First, David Eddings. Now David Carradine. Is this some trippy coincidence or a macabre chain of events? I can't help but wonder if another "famous Dave" will turn up his toes for tagging.

The news of David Carradine's passing came as such a shock. The actor, 72, was found dead in his hotel room yesterday in Bangkok, Thailand, where he had been filming a movie called Stretch.

Elizabeth Snead (who writes The Dishrag for The LA Times Entertainment section) posted this several hours later: Director Adam Rifkin doesn't believe David Carradine killed himself
Mr. Carradine's obituary is linked at the bottom of the story.

The Associated Press offers up reaction to the iconic actor's death:
Friends, family react to David Carradine's death

However the story plays out, David Carradine's memory deserves to be treated with dignity.

Farewell, David Carradine, you will always be remembered for your candor, your brilliant, selfless demeanor and your role as virtuous warrior Kwai Chang Caine.

R.I.P. David Eddings

Sadly, one of my favorite Fantasy novelists has passed away. The Belgariad cemented many a friendship as well as got me through boring, small town doldrums. His vibrant characters are etched indelibly on me. I would not hesitate to say he shaped what I perceive to be "good" science fiction (leaning more toward fantasy than tech) and instilled in me a life-long love of great stories.

Heartfelt thanks, Mr. Eddings, for being brave enough to chuck the safety of university professorship and boldly step into the far less financially secure world of struggling novelist. You found your niche and influenced a generation. Not unlike J.R.R. Tolkein...

Fantasy Novelist David Eddings Has Died
David Eddings, the acclaimed fantasy novelist and author of such series as The Belgariad and the Malloreon, has died at the age of 77. David Eddings was predeceased by his wife and writing partner Leigh two years ago.

David Eddings passes away
Fantasy author David Eddings has sadly passed away, aged 77, last night. Best-selling and popular are often epithets that are applied to authors on writers' press releases, but in David's case, it was well deserved. His commercial success, says fantasy author Stephen Hunt, paved the way for a whole generation of doorstopper sized fantasy series.

Fantasy Great David Eddings Has Passed Away
Fantasy icon David Eddings, known and beloved by millions of readers for his Belgariad and Mallorean series, has passed away at the age of 77.

Randy Fanney said it best, but it is worth repeating.
"Farewell Mr. Eddings, you will be sorely, sorely missed."

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tatting and Belly Dancin' Teapot Tuesday

Today I discovered a lovely scrappin'/belly dancin'/tea pot post from Colorado stampin' mom Mothermark. It hits upon three things I love so I just had to share.

Mothermark says since we can't all get together for tea the next best thing is a Teapot Tuesday Challenge. Her blog, This is my Story, has a terrific slide show of amazing hand-made cards inspired from fun teapots. Go see all the lovely creations.

And lest you think I've forgotten, this concept lends itself well to a Tatting Communi-Tea. So I'm brazenly hijacking the idea for my own tatting purposes! Are you all on board my thought train?
Here's how it will work:

Set aside some time on Tuesdays to tat and put the kettle on for tea. Share your progress on your blog or your favorite tatting group list, with "Tatting Tea Tuesday" in the subject line.
(Adding the "Communi-" part is optional...I just like the pun.)

And don't forget to leave me a comment so I can come see. It will be fun!