Sunday, November 29, 2009

Off-Roading and Misquoting

With the flurry of tatted fall leaves which has been fluttering through cyberspace in recent weeks, I wanted to create one of my very own so I ordered a copy of "Tatting Turns Over a New Leaf" by Karey Solomon and set my cap for the Oak Leaf.

That was SOME TIME ago!  This is the first piece I have tatted which wasn't either an edging or a motif created in an orderly fashion around a central axis.  The pattern meanders a bit, IN FACT it felt like I left the pavement and went off-road tatting!  I got stuck a couple times and had to call in a new shuttle to pull me out, I spun my wheels unpicking mistakes and by the time I pulled back on the highway I was running on fumes.  It WAS a fun ride though, even if there were times I doubted I was headed in the right direction, and I'll take this pattern for another spin sometime.

It is no secret that I like collages.  So I had allot of fun poking around a website called Polyvore recently.  People go there and make a collage about pretty much anything.  Allot are about fashion or actresses but there are some about things such as sewing, quilting and crochet.  To search the site, click on the arrow to the right of "Search for Products" in the toolbar at the top of the page.  Select search by sets.  Then you can type in whatever interests you and see if anyone has made a collage of related items.  I even tried colors and found some fun inspiration!  I made my Garbo pun after seeing a version on this site, but I couldn't find it again when I went back to look for it.

A FINAL NOTE:  APPARENTLY Garbo never said, "Leaf me alone." or even, "LEAVE me alone."  She said, "I want to be let alone."  But I already knew she had been misquoted in some form or fashion because I attended Looney Tunes University as a child and it was there that I took an intense, fifteen second,  Garbo 101 course.  It was a TOUGH final.

Th-th-th-That's All Folks!  Cue the music...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grab a Tissue

Gift of the Amazon
by O. Hank

Ten more dollars to free shipping.  The husband stared at the Amazon cart.  How he needed that shaving cream!  His beard was unmanageable without it.  But the cost of the cream was ten dollars short of what was required for free shipping!  The fees would HAVE to be paid... UNLESS?

Perhaps there was another in the household who could HELP him reach his goal - perhaps his own dear WIFE?  He appealed to her, explaining his distress over the exorbitant fees looming.  How great his relief when she rushed to his side at the computer exclaiming, "There, there love, I will do what I can to help!"

In silent wonder the husband watched as his bride (oh, throw me a bone here) scanned the book listings, her tiny white fingers (gonna need another bone) tapping the computer keyboard.  At last she turned to him, her eyes glowing with triumph, "I will add tatting books to your order!  Two will cover the margin, but I will add a third so there is no question."

"You would do that for ME?" he cried.

"Yes, my darling and I would do it yet again, should you need me!"

Days later, when the order arrived, the (relatively) young couple sat in quiet companionship.  She enjoying her husband's smooth shaven jaw and he reveling in being able to flip channels with no utterance, save the flipping of the pages of some REALLY GOOD TATTING BOOKS.  And together they savored the sweet taste of FREE SHIPPING!

The End

Friday, November 20, 2009

Meet the Grandparents

May I introduce my grandma and grandpa?  My mom's parents.  When you're little you love them just because they are your grandparents.  When you grow up you see them as people.  My grandparents were such NICE people who gave me many good memories.  Too few of Grandma since she died when I was pretty young.  Even so she had a large role in shaping me.

This photograph was taken the year I was born and is how I remember Grandma.  When I look at this picture, I think of church because Grandma and Grandpa are wearing their Sunday best.  They sat together in the same pew every week at church.  Our family was one or two pews behind them usually.  I remember how worn my grandparents' Bible was...

According to Mom, when it came to crafts Grandma was a bit like Will Rogers.  She never met a craft she didn't like.  I remember her being a very INDUSTRIOUS person (although my brain had not met that word back then).  She was always busy with something - the house, the garden, the chickens, cooking, sewing, canning.  I'm sure the list could go on...

I remember eating fresh peas from Grandma's garden, the smell of the root cellar where she kept her canning, drinking well water from a blue speckled ladle (so cold and good!), playing with Grandma's button box when it held HER buttons, seeing stacks of her quilt blocks, making a shadow box together with a picture of a deer and straws, a basket she made of greeting cards crocheted together and HEAPING with family photos, and watching Grandma tat...

To me, Grandma's hands FLEW while she would tat and visit with Mom and as much as I would stare at  them, I could NEVER unravel the mystery of tatting... the lace just seemed to appear from nowhere.  Mom told me that Grandma learned to tat from a woman she worked for when she was young.  Mom had asked Grandma to teach HER to tat, but Grandma couldn't explain how with words... by then it was just something she did without thought.  So Mom said, "Well slow down so I can SEE what you are doing."  But try as she might, Grandma just COULDN'T slow down enough to show Mom without messing herself up!

I WISH I could have learned to tat from Grandma, or at LEAST have the memory of her TRYING to teach me!  Somewhere along the way, Mom gave me a couple of Grandma's shuttles, still wound with thread and a few of her pieces of tatting.  For YEARS I would look at these things and wonder...  It wasn't until the advent of the internet that I was able to find instructions and teach myself the basics of tatting.  It made my mom happy when I learned and she would be happy that I am working to expand my knowledge.  

And tatting makes ME happy because besides being an enjoyable pastime with BEAUTIFUL results when done well, it has provided me with a lasting connection to my grandmother.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Good Dr. Was Right

The good Dr. (Seuss) was right... UNslumping yourself is NOT easily done.

I've been in a bit of a tatting slump lately.  Things have been busy, I've been sleepy, and I've either MISread, MISinterpreted or MISapplied the instructions to the patterns I have chosen to try.  I've been doing alot of unpicking and/or SNIPPING.  For all my effort, I have nothing to show but this dot...

I made my dot because one of my FAVORITE kids' books is "The Dot" by Peter H. Reynolds.  The story begins at the end of a little girl's art class and finds her sitting at her desk staring at a blank piece of paper.  Her teacher encourages her to, "Just make a mark and see where it takes you."  Frustrated, she jabs her paper and makes a dot.  Her teacher then surprises her by saying simply, "Now sign it."  When she goes to her art class again and finds her framed dot hanging on the wall, she is inspired... and the story goes from there...  I REALLY enjoy that book!

So here is MY dot to remind ME to keep trying and see where it takes me... and I signed it.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Lovely Gift From A Kind Friend

Not long ago my blogging friend, Martha, mentioned in an email that she had found some things while reorgainizing her sewing room which I might like...  IMAGINE my surprise when I received her package in the mail and unwrapped this BEAUTIFUL, tatted, camisole yoke!!!  I had ACTUALLY been pondering how long it would take to make one of these lovelies since TATBiT posted a scan of 15 Tatted Yokes & Camisoles.  What a coincidence!  The yoke is in WONDERFUL shape and the tatting is VERY nice!

Martha enjoys buying vintage items such as patterns, fabrics, quilt blocks and edgings which she uses to create new masterpieces or complete the project envisioned by another.  She has an eye for possibilities and the patience to complete intricate work.  Her blog, Q is for Quilter, is one of my favorite places to visit.  I love looking at her vintage books and seeing what new project she is tackling!

So I plan to take a cue from Martha and use this yoke for a project when I find the right pattern and fabric.  It may take a while because I want it to be just right, but I plan to enjoy the journey.

But wait!  Martha's generosity didn't end there!  She looked through her stash of Work Basket leaflets and found several with tatting patterns which she sent to me - SO nice!  Looking through these WONDERFUL issues makes me want to take up new crafts!  However, the tatting patterns are REALLY nice and I think they will be fun to try so I will resist temptation... for now.

I especially like this doily,

and these edgings.

And of COURSE, I always LOVE to look at the ads.  This one caught my eye.

I don't know which I would enjoy more, my hobby bringing IN $20 each day or the extra 4 hours this ad seems to promise... would it be TERRIBLY greedy of me to want BOTH?

Thank you Martha!  You are VERY kind and I am enjoying planning how to put these gifts to use.  I am also ABSOLUTELY convinced that your sewing room must be a WONDERFUL place!