Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year to All!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas.  I was completely exhausted by the time it was over and took a couple days off to just rest and recuperate.  There were extra church services, extra bell choir practices, gifts to wrap,  last minute shopping to finish, extra cooking and baking.  It tires me out just thinking about all the extra work.  But it's always worth it and I spent a lovely holiday with family and friends.  I got all my holiday tatting done just in time, but I'm not ready to give up the Christmas patterns yet.  This is a WIP that I started just before Christmas, knowing that I wouldn't get it done in time for this Christmas, so I'll save it for next year.  It's a wreath with red seed beads.

It is round,  not oval, and the outer round is ruffling a bit, but I just fell in love with this pattern for it's simple elegance.  And Christmas green is a nice change of color after working in white and Ice Blue for snowflakes for the last month.  I found the pattern on here and tatted it in  Lizbeth Christmas Green size 40 with red seed beads.  I'm hoping that blocking will flatten out the ruffled outer round.

Thank you all for reading my blog in 2013 and leaving encouraging comments.  I hope to see you all in Blog-Land in 2014.  Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Bell

I finally  finished the Renulek bell in gold.  I will give it to our church hand bell choir director tomorrow.  It was really hard to get a good picture that shows off the beautiful gold filament in the thread.

 I used a gold bead cap at the top and a small gold jingle bell as the clapper, so it actually rings.
The idea was to make it look as much like an English hand bell as possible, which is brass but looks like gold.  That's why I chose gold thread.  This is what an English hand bell looks like.  I play hand bells at church and tomorrow is our big Christmas program.
The pattern is found here on Renulek's blog and the thread is Altin Basik metallic gold size 50.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Snowflakes everywhere

Since I've been tatting so many snowflakes lately, every snowflake I see in the store looks like a tatting pattern to me.  For example, I found this wrapping paper at Hobby Lobby today.

I have tatted at least two or three of these snowflake designs.  Here's a close-up.
And here are a couple of the snowflakes I've tatted recently.  I made very simple cards with the snowflake in the front and the string to hang it with pulled through a tiny pin hole to the back of the card.  The idea is for the recipient to un-tape the snowflake and hang it on the tree.
See, the tatted snowflakes look just like the wrapping paper.  How many of these designs have you tatted?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Celeste in the sleet

So far, this is my favorite Celeste thread/bead combination.  Ice Blue Lizbeth thread in size 40 and clear glass seed beads.  The clear glass looks like ice on the snowflake.

The white you see in the background is not snow, it's sleet that fell four days ago and we're still waiting for it to melt.  We got about 4 inches of sleet on top of 1/2 inch of freezing rain on Dec. 5 and 6.  But Texas doesn't usually get very much frozen precipitation in the winter, so there are very few snow plows or salt to clear the roads.  We have to wait for Mother Nature to get above freezing to melt the ice, and we are still waiting.  School has been cancelled since Dec. 6, and no guarantee that they will go back tomorrow because the ice keeps re-freezing over night.  So I'll just stay inside and keep tatting.

This pattern is by Frivole and you can purchase it at her Etsy site.  Here's another pic where you can really see the beads sparkle.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Lovely Celeste

I was very fortunate to be one of the winners of Frivole's pattern give away.  I won her Celeste snowflake pattern and I just love it.  I have made two so far and plan on making more.

The top one is made with Lizbeth Ice Blue in size 40 with blue seed beads.  The bottom one is made with Lizbeth white in size 20.  The biggest challenge for me was making the large picots.  The pattern calls for measured picots in centimeters.  Being from America, all my picot gauges are in inches. After digging up a ruler that had centimeters and measuring all my picot gauges, I found none of them were the required length. So I had to make two picot gauges out of light weight cardboard.  Problem solved.  Actually making these large picots and then joining to them without my thread twisting was a bit fiddly at first, but got easier with practice.  I love how light and airy the snowflake looks, and the beads really make it pop.  My next snowflake will be in Ice Blue thread with clear glass seed beads.  It will look like ice on a snowflake.  Frivole is selling the pattern on her Etsy site here.

Here's a close up of the Ice Blue snowflake with seed beads.

Motif # 3
Thank you Frivole for a great pattern!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Ice Storm in Dallas Fort Worth TX

I may get some extra tatting time this weekend due to Mother Nature.  We are in the midst of a huge ice storm.  We are not used to a lot of winter weather in this part of the country, so there was no school today and we'll probably be stuck at home all weekend.  The temperature is not expected to get above freezing until next week.  Here are some pictures of the ice/sleet from my neighborhood.  We haven't gotten any snow.  All the white stuff is sleet, i.e. little balls of ice.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Snowflake and Christmas Bell

I have thoroughly enjoyed having this week of Thanksgiving off.  It has given me more time to get some of my Christmas Tatting done.  This was my first attempt at a 3D Christmas bell.

25 motif challenge # 2, motif 1
The pattern is by Renulek and you can find it on her blog here.  Her blog is in Polish and you can use Google Translate to read it, but all you really need is to print the pictures that have the stitch count.  The pattern is easy to follow.  I used a crystal bead for the clapper and a bead cover at the top.  It's done in Lizabeth white size 20.  I'm really happy with the result and have started another one in white and gold metallic thread.

I also finished a snowflake by Renulek.  The pattern is here.

Motif # 2
Again done in Lizabeth white size 20.  I really like the little hanger it's on.  You can't see it well in the picture, but it's a silver metal hanger with crystal beads at the top.  I got a box of them at Hobby Lobby.  There are several different bead configurations to the hangers in one box.  I also got gold hangers with red beads, which I will show you when I finish my gold bell.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

In Memory of a Great Designer

I was saddened to hear that one of my favorite tatting designers, Jan Stawasz has passed away.  His designs were meticulous in their attention to detail, but not usually that hard to tat if you paid close attention.  There was certainly no sleeping at the wheel when I tatted his patterns.  Here are some of the beautiful designs I have tatted so far, but plan to tat many more.

He will be truly missed, but his legacy lives on in our work.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An Early Christmas Present

I opened my mailbox this week to find a lovely package from England!  It was from Sally at Tat's Heaven.  I won her giveaway and got all these wonderful goodies:

The bag is just the right size to carry a tatting project.  There are pockets inside and out to hold shuttles, beads, thread, etc.  Everything you need for your project.  The card inside says it was made by Sandy of  There was a surprise in every pocket, including a tatted button pendant which I can't wait to wear.  And front and center is a pop-a-bobbin shuttle made from Applewood from Sally's father's orchard.  It is a shuttle I will treasure.  Thank you so much, Sally for such a wonderful gift.  (Pop-a-bobbin shuttles are available at Jane Eborall's Etsy site here.  Get them while they are hot because they go fast.)

On the tatting front, I have finished a few more snowflakes, but have a lot more tatting to complete before Christmas.  This snowflake is a pattern by Renulek which you can find here.

Motif # 24
I love this pattern, but you can see the ginormous mistake I made at about 11:00 o'clock.  I put the large floating ring in the wrong spot and it throws off the entire design.  But that's okay.  I'll put it on my tree and make more as gifts.  You can't tell from the scan, but the thread is white with a metallic silver filament running through it.  It is really beautiful in real life.  The thread is Altin Basak white/silver metallic size 50.

This snowflake is from DMC's Festive Tatting and is also done in Altin Basak in white/silver metalic size 50.  No obvious mistakes in this one.

Motif # 25

Friday, November 15, 2013

Tatting Dulldrums

When I start a tatting project, I am usually very enthusiastic and try to spend every spare moment working on it.  But as time goes by, my enthusiasm wanes and I start looking for the next project to work on.  I don't actually start a new project because I don't like to have too many WIPs going at once.  Usually only two, maybe three WIPs at a time.  I finally finished this WIP after nearly six weeks of working on it.

Motifs # 20, 21, 22, 23
It's the Maltese Tea Set from Martha Ess' Tea is for Tatting. It's done in white and royal blue Lizbeth #20.  I made it for my next door neighbor who is British and collects tea pots.

While working on this project, I downloaded and printed numerous "future" projects, mostly snowflakes.  Even though I have several snowflake pattern books, including Jon Yussoff's Tatting Gems, there is something very satisfying about hunting down and then printing free patterns from the web.  My favorite recent downloads come from Ninette's blog and Renulek's blog.  In fact, my next project will be the 3D bell Renulek has posted right now.  At least when the projects are fairly small, there is less time for me to lose my enthusiasm.  I feel like a man with the remote control to the TV.  He doesn't want to see what's on, he wants to see what else is on.  I'm never happy with my current project, I'm always looking for the next project.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The sum is greater than its parts

I found this great snowflake pattern that is really genius.  You tat the outside points in one complete round, then you tat the inside of the snowflake in another round.  When you are done you have these two interesting but unimpressive pieces.

But when you put them together, i.e. pull the points from the left piece up through the chains of the right piece, it's like magic.

Motif # 19
You have a beautiful snowflake.  And the best part is you don't even have to do any joining or sewing or anything, just pull up the points.  I found this pattern here  on Jane Eborall's website, designed by the great Jane Eborall herself.  The pattern calls for a bunch of seed beads to be worked throughout the pattern, and the beads would look great.  But I detest tatting with beads, so I just put in a picot wherever it called for a bead.  I think it looks great with just the bead in the center.  You may not be able to tell from the picture, but the center bead is a clear crystal bead.  The thread is Lizbeth Ice Blue in size 40.  The blue tones are more subtle in real life than in this picture, so it gives the snowflake an icy quality.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Life got in the way

I haven't blogged for the last few weeks because life got in the way.  Each of my two kids has alternated between viruses, respiratory infections, asthma attacks.  One kid got sick one week and the other one got sick the next week, and so it went for most of the month of October.  I have gotten in some tatting, just not a lot of time for blogging.

I thoroughly enjoyed this Fall's TIAS with Sherry.  Here is my little Piccadilly Express:

Motif # 17
I'll finish off the rest of the cars after I get some of my WIPs done.

I have also done some Halloween tatting, though not as much as I wanted to.  Here's a really cute bat I found on Marty's blog here.

Motif # 18
I thought these would be cute to make a Halloween mobile out of, but I ran out of time.  Halloween is almost here.

And I made progress on the Anne Orr doily.  This last round was a bit tedious with all its small rings with just two ds between picots, but the effect is beautiful.  It looks like a string of pearls.

It is puckering a bit around the outside, but I'm hoping the next round will flatten it back out.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Making progress

I'm making progress on the Anne Orr doily.  Here's how it looks after 4 rounds.

I love the delicate look of it.  I still have  3 more rounds to go to make the small, 7 inch doily.  Right now it only measures about 3 inches across.  When you're using size 70 thread, your work doesn't grow very fast.

My TIAS is still a mystery.  This is my progress through day 7.
One person guessed that it looks like the head of a sheep.  I can see that.  But to me it looks like "Panic Pete," the squeeze toy whose eyes and ears pop out when you squeeze his body.

Can you see the resemblance?  I know it's a stretch, but that's all I see at this point in the project.  It sure is fun tatting something that you don't what it is.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Not a TIAS post

I know everyone has been blogging about the TIAS, as have I, but I have been doing other tatting besides the TIAS.  Over the last month or so I have been shopping on e-bay for vintage thread and pattern books.  As a result, I have been channeling my inner 20th century tatter and have been tatting vintage patterns with vintage thread and vintage shuttles.  It's like I'm in a tatting time warp, tatting back in the 1940's or 50's.  Then I look up at the HD TV, or check my smart phone and I realize I am in the 21st century.  Here is the first two rounds of an Anne Orr doily in vintage white Star tatting thread size 70.

I got the pattern from this book which was published in 1935 by the American Thread Company.

I also tatted this beautiful snowflake with vintage Star thread size 70 in "Shades of blue".
Motif # 16
The pattern is from a book called "Festive Tatting" published by DMC in 1982.  Now 1982 is not so vintage to me, since I had already graduated from high school by then, but it's pretty old by some standards.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

TIAS 2013

I am participating in the TIAS (Tat It And See) that Sherry Pence is hosting.  To participate, go to Sherry's blog for the pattern and the TIAS 2013 blog to post your progress or see others' progress.  Here is what I have so far:

Any ideas as to what it might be?  That's the fun of this challenge.  You have no idea what you are tatting until near the end of the pattern.  Guessing is half the fun.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


I've been tatting, just not blogging. And by tatting, I mean only tatting, not blocking or sewing in ends as you'll see below. I've been spending my computer time either searching e-bay for vintage thread and pattern books, or researching Teneriffe lace.  I just discovered its existence last week while looking on e-bay and now I'm intrigued.  I found some free downloadable instruction and pattern books and some templates to make my own loom.  If you know anything about Teneriffe lace, please leave me a comment with any helpful information or links.

On the e-bay front, I have scored several stashes of vintage thread and a few pattern books.  I've probably spent more than I should, but e-bay is so addictive.  You always feel like there's another great deal if you keep looking.  And of course, once you have your heart set on an item, you have to bid just a little higher in order to get it.  But I think I'm done with e-bay for now.  I  have more thread than I know what to do with and several pattern books to get my creative juices flowing.  Speaking of vintage thread, these beautiful dream catcher earrings (pattern from God's Kid) is made with vintage Star size 70 thread.  These will go to my mother-in-law.  I get more requests to make these earrings than any other thing.
Motif # 15

Another project for others, this tea pot and tea cup will be going to my next door neighbor after I complete the sugar bowl, creamer and second tea cup.  The patterns are from Martha Ess' Tea is for Tatting and they are done in Lizbeth size 20 Royal Blue and white.  This is the Maltese tea set.
Motifs # 16 and 17
I must say I love Martha's patterns because they are so easy to follow with both written and diagrammed instructions.  

Finally, I made this bookmark just for the fun of it.  I love the color combination.  It's Lizbeth size 40 Purple Medium and Lime Green.  I can't remember where I got the pattern.  I downloaded it off the web somewhere.  If you recognize it, let me know and I'll give the designer credit.  The designer is Regina Brummett - Tatting Goddess.  Thank you Umi&Tsuru for the name of the designer.
Motif # 18

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Busy, busy, busy

The kids went back to school a couple weeks ago and I thought I would have more free time to tat and blog.  But alas, that is not the case.  Between homework, bedtime routines, etc., I seem to have less time, or at least less energy to blog.  I have been tatting some.  I completed another pair of Dream Catcher earrings from God's Kid but gave them away before I had a chance to photograph them.  I also finished a Jane McClellen/Grace Tan cross, and this time I scanned it into the computer before giving it away.

Motif # 14
I love this pattern.  It's easy without being boring.  I tatted it with vintage Star size 70.  I love using vintage thread.  It seems to be saying "Thank you for taking me out of this box and making me into something beautiful."

Saturday, August 31, 2013

More tatting stuff!

Over the summer I decided that my thread stash and my shuttle collection were too small.  I'm not quite sure how I came to that realization since I've been tatting for about three years and have survived just fine.  Actually, I blame my stash-envy on blogging.  Seeing everybody's beautiful projects and getting new ideas with supplies I don't own has sent me on an e-bay shopping spree.  On several recent purchases, I bought these vintage shuttles and size 70 Star tatting thread, variegated pastels in the original box.

Two of the three shuttles work great with nice, tight ends.  The large ivory colored one on the top has loose ends and is really too big for my hand, so it will just go in the collection.  I must say buyer beware when shopping on e-bay.  Prices vary widely for the exact same product.  My advice is to just watch (in your watch list) items you are interested in for a week or two to see how much they sell for before bidding.  I'm watching two Tatsy pattern books, one has a starting bid of $1.49, the other starts at $5.49.  Needless to say, I'm bidding on the lower priced book.  

I also bought a nice stash of Perfect Quilter thread, thanks to Fox's suggestion.  Here are the colors I got:

And I want to thank God's Kid for sharing her dream catcher earring pattern and very helpful tutorial.  I made one this afternoon and here's how it turned out:
Motif # 13

My daughter selected blue to match her blue eyes.
They will look great when I finish the other earring.  Thank you God's Kid!!  Here's a close up of the dream catcher.  I think it turned out pretty well for my first attempt.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Back to school

I  haven't had a lot of time to tat this week because it's back-to-school time.  I've been busy buying clothes and school supplies, meeting teachers and filling out paperwork.  School starts on Aug. 27.  Although I love summer with a more laid back schedule, I am looking forward to having some time to myself while the munchkins are at school.  

Over the last couple weeks, I have purchased two new vintage shuttles and several spools of Perfect Quilter thread, so most of my tatting has been playing with my new toys.  I love how the PQ thread tats and whipped up this pair of earrings.

motif # 12
The pattern is "Mirror" from Jan Stawasz's Tatted Treasures. The picture of this pattern in the book looks much larger, but with such small thread, the motif is probably about 1 inch from top to bottom.  The color is called Easter Egg, and it's a variegated pink/purple, even thought the dark purple looks black in the photo.

I also attempted to make the "Tiny Square Teapot" from Martha Ess' Tea is for Tatting, but missed a join and then skipped a line in the pattern and decided to bail on the project and start all over.

The trefoil at the top is supposed to be centered over the motif, but is lopsided because of the missed join and incorrect count on the chain leading up to that trefoil.  It only took me about an hour to get that far, so it wasn't like I'd lost 2 or 3 days of work.  This is also in a Perfect Quilter thread, color "Denim."  It is a variegated blue, the darkest color being dark blue, not black as it appears here.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

New Thread

Almost my entire thread stash consists of Lizbeth threads, size 20 and 40.  I've only been tatting for 3 years and I started purchasing Lizbeth #20 at Hobby Lobby, not knowing what other threads I could use.   But about 6 months ago I decided to "graduate" to size 40, so I went to my trusted Handy Hands web site and purchased several spools of Lizbeth size 40.  I found this thread very hard to work with because it twists so easily.  I constantly have to dangle my shuttle to unwind the twist, but I thought that was just normal.  When I saw Fox's post on Perfect Quilter thread, I went out and purchased some.  What a difference from the Lizbeth #40.  Perfect Quilter thread is even smaller than size 40, but it doesn't twist up as much as the Lizbeth and is therefore MUCH easier to work with.  I love the colors and the feel of the thread, even though it is a little fuzzier than Lizbeth.  I was so excited about my new thread purchase that I had to tat up a few gems just for fun.
Motifs # 9, 10, and 11.
The lower left is a Flower Fragment from Mary Konnior's Tatting with Visual Patterns in PQ #82.(I don't remember the name and it's out of stock at so I couldn't look it up.  It may be Easter Egg.)
The lower right is PQ #72, (sorry, don't know the name), also a Flower Fragment.
The top two flowers are your basic daisy pattern in # 72.  The stems are in PQ #89, Olivia.

Love, love, love this Perfect Quilter thread for tatting.  Thank you Fox for recommending it!