Thursday, July 23, 2009

I'm Mixing Up a Lovely Batch of Lemonade

You can just tell that Barbie feels ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS with her slender neck and shoulders DRAAAAAPED in jewels and lace! I mean, doesn't that radiant smile say it all?

Do you hear something... sounds kind of like crickets chirping...

Barbie's lovely necklace is an original design by Patti Duff from her book Minitats, 69 Petite Motifs. It is #23. I actually have a much coveted EARLY copy of this book which suggests a variation of #23, dedicated to every girl's friend, Barbie. MY COPY says that for this alternate design, you should pick rather LARGE beads - don't be afraid to go out on a limb - you WON'T regret it... much.

But the MOST IMPORTANT difference in the instructions for this motif in MY COPY is that it clearly states that the final picot join is ENTIRELY OPTIONAL and goes so far as to say, "Oh, don't worry your pretty little head about it!"

Yes, I'm SURE I hear crickets now...

Oh well, anyone for a glass of lemonade?

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Pieces are Falling Into Place

The pieces of this puzzle called tatting are beginning to come together for me. It's very exciting for me to be able to look at patterns and understand where they begin, where they are going and how each ring, chain and picot fit into the finished piece.

Although I am not a speedy tatter, I have been making fewer silly mistakes, am beginning to gain confidence, and am becoming willing to stretch my hand further out to pick up new pieces to fit into the puzzle.

No doubt it will take me quite some time, if ever, to get the full picture of tatting, but then that is part of its allure...

The Riddle we can guess
We speedily despise -
Not anything is stale so long
As Yesterday's surprise.
- Emily Dickinson

I am still enjoying working out of Patti Duff's book, Minitats 69 Petite Motifs. The blue motif is #8, yellow is #22, and pink is #55.

Credits: The Tigger mosaic puzzle was completed by my oldest lovely daughter. These puzzles come with a poster of the completed work which acts as a sort of map in piecing it together because the tiny pictures comprising the mosaic are used repeatedly. That she finished it and two others like it is a testament to her perseverance, patience and perhaps boredom...

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Tatting Has Bling

I have admired beads added to tatting by others for some time and thanks to LadyShuttleMaker's awesome tutorial I finally gave it a try myself. She explained it in a way that I understood easily and I was so happy when I closed my first ring with beads. I was VERY excited!

I'm almost half done with this little motif, but I thought I would adopt my husband's college football philosophy and post a picture before I complete it. He always says of his favorite college team at the beginning of each season, "I'm going to get excited now, because they may break my heart later." Sadly he's usually right. Hopefully things will go better for me and my sparkly little buddy...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sometimes My Mind Wanders...

When I'm sewing or quilting, sometimes my mind wanders... and that's usually no big deal. But when I'm tatting and my mind wanders off somewhere, it often results in snipping threads, rewinding shuttles (I get why tatters have so many now), and tucking a little snippet of rings and chains away because throwing it in the trash right then seems... mean. I'm just not competent enough yet at tatting to afford an idle brain.
My mind was wandering as I made this little heart because I had just finished listening to Austenland, an audio book by Shannon Hale. I enjoyed it because it made me laugh out loud a few times. That is unusual for me, I am a smiler or chuckler when I read, or in this case, "read". Not surprisingly, Austenland revolves around Jane Austen and her books. Which made me think of Pride and Prejudice, which made me think of BBC, which made me think of Colin Firth and then this poem which I liked as a teenager, LONG before Mr. Firth threw down any looks as Darcy...
The Look
Strephon kissed me in the spring,
Robin in the fall,
But Colin only looked at me
And never kissed at all.
Strephon's kiss was lost in jest,
Robin's lost in play,
But the kiss in Colin's eyes
Haunts me night and day.
- Sara Teasdale
Is it any wonder then that I had a few false starts in making this heart? But I found a way to compensate for my wandering mind and constant interruptions (OK, frequent interruptions). A magnetic board. Don't know why I didn't think of it before. I used one of these ALL the time during my 1980's cross stitching days!
I found it to be handy, not only for helping me keep my place in the pattern, but also for keeping my threads tidy when I have to lay my work down. I simply pinned the threads from each shuttle down with a magnet so they wouldn't twist. I could also pin unfinished rings down and pick up where I left off with no problem. Baby Doll is a climber so I have to jump up a lot!
Even with the false starts this was a fun heart to make. It is #69 from Minitats, 69 Petite Motifs by Patti Duff.