Well. I've got a real cookie pillow now. It's your basic navy covered ethafoam job - does very well, too, I might add. I've been working my way through the exercises in the Torchon Lace Workbook by Bridget Cook. Here's Exercise 3. Exercises 1 and 2 were very tame half stitch things. Then she throws us this assymetrical whole stitch deal. I did okay until the wobbly looking diamonds came on the scene. I wasn't sure in a spot or two what was to go where. Then I referred to the working diagram (which is supposed to contain all the secret stuff). It only went through the first half of the piece. Gaa. I can be so lame. Still not using the #5 pearl cotton called for. This is done in #10 Cebelia. Like my groovy colors?
My blog is stale. Or at least that's what Sherry said.
I'll admit it's been a little while since I posted here. It seems like I either have time to work on a project or blog. I've elected to work on projects. I at least have some things to share, though.
I fashioned a bolster type pillow for bobbin lacing out of a coffee can and a crib-sized cotton quilt batting. I then covered the mess with a piece of gray wool flannel that took an entire half hour to apply as it fit oh, so very tightly. You want to have the stuffing very compressed as you don't want any lateral movement of your pins. This thing really works. And cheap, too. Just like me. I made my economy Lollibobbins out of plastic pony beads and good old Wilton lollipop sticks. They were already the appropriate size and everything. And they look like candy. Here's the bobbins:
Please don't look at the table in this next pic. It really isn't as bad as it seems. As you can see, there's lots of little projects going on. This is the pillow in action. I put the towel around it to help support the passives when not in use. Looks stupid, but helps me out a lot, I'm tellin' ya.
I've got a closeup of the work in progress. You wouldn't believe how long it has taken me to do this little, simple clothstitch border with 6 pairs of bobbins. Makes me feel as though I have eight thumbs. Gaa.
I finished the citrine project finally. Here it is all blocked and ready to go on its little trip to Chicago. I was fairly proud of how it turned out.
Here's the funny pic of the month. Guess which one is the sleeping cat.
So we had our fifth painting session finally (last week the model cancelled so we called off class). I could really tell the difference in taking a week off. Not that I can really paint to begin with. Here's the results. Warning. Visible nipple approaching. You may want to have children leave the room. They may turn into stone if they see this.
I finished Mattie's necklace, but haven't blocked yet. I'll block it with the citrine job and hopefully will be able to post BOTH ITEMS tomorrow. Woohoo. Tatting double-header!
Ah - the long awaited, promised tatting. I started this a few days ago. It's going to be for my mom. I'm going to finish similarly to the citrine project base chain. I'm trying to decide if I want to do it in just those pinkish beads, or if I want to add some of those dandy gold beads, too.
Decisions, decisions. I'm dismally behind in my holiday tatting. Dismally. Behind. Really.
Cousin Joey has left Iraq. He's going to be in Kuwait for the next month while they process the members of the 278th back home. I'm so glad he's one step further to home.
Okay! The doggie is a done deal (well, except for that final futzing about one must do). I'm going to send him to April (the perfect one) tomorrow afternoon! Whew! I'm glad that's done. He moves really funny, too. Please pay no heed to the mess in my house. Yes, those are shoes under that table. And Raymond's overnight duffel on the table. Gaa!
We won't even discuss the remnants of Raymond's "Wrench Manicure" (that's the reverse of a French Manicure - the dark part is under the nail while the nail stays pink) all over the front door facing.
Sunday we went to Kingsport to celebrate Raymond's mother's 90th birthday. 90 years. That's a long time. Of course, I forgot to get pics of the birthday girl and her bouncing baby boy (who just turned 60, by the way). This shot of the sunset on the way home will have to do.
While we were up there, we went to the EverGreen Garden center and I found the loveliest shrub rose. It's a hybrid named "Knock Out" - it was one of the AARS winners for 2000. The color is absolutely fluorescent and the blossoms have a moderate rosy aroma. The foliage is a lovely, dark green. Here's a snapshot I grabbed of our bush before it was loaded into the truck.
I also got a beautyberry. The berries were the most incredible lavender color. The hybrid name is "Passion Pink". What a hoot. I've seen white beautyberries and purple ones, but never this color. I really like the combination of the lavender with the eyepopping Knock Out roses.
Here's the head of the puppet I'm about to finish for my sister, April (the perfect one). It's Mother Hubbard's pet poodle, Toulouse (Too Loose, get it? [insert groaning here]). I'm in the process of stringing the pup(py/pet) up. I'll post more of him shortly. And tatting. I have tatting show and tell.
Well, I promised Sherry I would update the site. I have all manner of things to show and tell about, but no pics with me at present save this one. I started a figure painting class a couple of weeks ago. This is my first foray into the world of oils as well as painting the human figure. This is what I came up with last week. Tonight we do four poses in 2 hours. I hope I don't end up with folks with three arms or two heads. That would be very bad.
I'll update more later when I'm home and can post more pics. Meanwhile, this will just have to do. Heh! You can't see what my "victim" looked like, so there's no way to tell if it's any good or not. Heehee!
So I didn't like those rings flopping all about. I fixed that. I also finished, too. Well, I think it's finished. Except for working in the ends, then a little blocking is in order....I'm going to let it rest a day or two before I decide if it's done. In the meantime I have a little celtic type cross to design and make to complete the framed trio of motifs (the cross will accompany a butterfly and a heart - I'm putting them in a simple black frame that accomodates three 3 by 5 inch objects). Woohoo. Big weight off the old brain.
Then I must, must, must finish up the TAT apprentice phase. I feel dismally behind on that. Then there's the 15 Christmas ornaments to tat and some other surprises up my sleeve.
Oh, and that wedding stuff. Geesh. I better get busy.
Oh, and I have to make a poodle puppet for my sister. By Friday. Whoops.
So I did that last part over.... And I think I like it much better with the addition of the gold beads with the black on the chains.
Not much happening of late. It's hot, hot, hot, but mercifully not as humid as it could be. Figure painting class was supposed to start tonight, but the teacher had a death in his family and the class won't start until next Thursday. That gives me a little more time to gather another supply or two I don't have yet. I'm looking forward to the class - something I've never done.
I haven't written about the necklace in a while - well, to be honest, I haven't tatted in a while. Too hot, too depressing, too something. I hurt so terribly much for those whose lives have been shattered by Katrina. It's simply heartbreaking to see. My prayers are for all those folk.
Nevertheless, I have this commission to do. And I'm really wanting to get it done. Here's the big update. Row 1 of the front. Don't ask about row 2. It's still rolling about in my head. You may rest assured it will be attached somehow to row 1. And will have citrines. And crystals. And more of those little gold seed beads. It will tie in with the top part more.
I made so many booboos on the symphony doily I decided to call it an "ornament" after row 3 and stopped there. I'm going to try again. Tatting is very portable, but some patterns just aren't as portable as the tatting is. Did that make sense?
I've got to start mulling wedding tatting a bit, too. Got a niece and a nephew getting married next summer. Oh, and I have to do this:
IT'S LESS THAN 4 MONTHS UNTIL CHRISTMAS. DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR HOLIDAY TATTINGS ARE?
I have no tatting ready to display as of yet - I have started the citrine row on the necklace, but it's just not ready to show yet (still don't know if I'm quite happy with it). I did run across a couple of funny pics to share. These are from Erin's Archive of the Weird.
Raymond and I have some friends who live in a nearby little town named New Market. Don and Marsha are retired (Marsha is a needle tatter - yay, Marsha!). Marsha likes doing all manner of crafty things and one of her hobbies is ceramics. Don has built the most wonderful studio complete with huge shelves to accomodate her many molds and a great area for an enormous kiln. While we were over there one evening, we spied this little fellow and Marsha generously gave him to us.
I guess you're wondering why we had to have this little fellow. Well, let me introduce you to our neighbor, Calvin. Calvin lives across the street and does odd jobs for a living...sort of the neighborhood Boo Radley. (Please scroll down.)
The top band went much quicker than I had anticipated. I've now got to figure out exactly how I'm going to do the bottom part with the dangly stones and such. Here's a pic. I put the crystals and citrines on the scanner so you get an idea of the color and scale. I'm hoping this works out like I'm seeing it in my head. If it doesn't, well, it's only beads and thread. They can be cut apart and redone. Ah, the beauty of the flexibility of tatting. Ain't it grand?
The students are returning to school, too. Didn't Summer semester just start last week? How did it get to be August already?
In three days it will be four months until Christmas. Do you know where your projects are? I do. In bags. Waiting to be started. Yikes.
I've been working on the necklace and the Very Bright Doily (tm) this week. Here's where the necklace stands on day 9. So, like, I'm not going very fast with this, but I am happy with the way it's turning out thus far. I like the contrast between the black and the gold. Those gold beads are pretty cool, too. They're actually gold plated glass, so they're actually the right color.
The doily on the left is the symphony doily. I had to run one of Mattie's pals to the emergency room on Saturday (Mattie kept her company in the examining room while I tatted in the waiting room). Got quite a bit done. We decided since it goes with nothing in my decor to declare it a perfect neutral. As it goes with nothing it goes with everything. Made sense to me.
Well, not really. It was a wickedly hot and humid Monday. I was good and went for my daily "walk for health" in spite of it feeling like a Turkish bath outside. My hair was literally soaked in the back by the time I got back to work. I blistered my feet, too. Oh, well, that's why we have the Band-Aid.
Here's a post of my progress on the necklace thus far. As you can see, the rings are getting a little larger. I now plan on creating the mechanism by which I'll attach the subsequent rows of framed citrine briolets. The necklace will also have a straight band attached to the top. I'm varying a pattern by Nina Libin from her book, Tatted Lace of Beads the Techniques of Beanile Lace. You can find out all about it here on her website. Nina's such a neat lady. I've had the opportunity to take two classes with her. Raymond buried Chunky today. He's in the backyard next to Listerine. I need to get more plants to add around his grave. Thus far I've got pink bleeding hearts, white astilbe, a white hosta, some pink impatiens and a Lady in Red hydrangea planted next to Listerine. Lady in Red is a new hybrid lacecap. It hasn't bloomed this year. I'm anxious to see what the blooms look like up close and personal. Every time I mention Lady in Red I hear accordion music (rather than that dismal song from the 80s). Wonder why I keep thinking "Lady of Spain" instead of "Lady in Red"? Here's a funny one....when I used to play in a band in a past life we did that "Lady in Red" song. We changed the lyrics to "Grady and Fred..." instead of "The lady in red".
And for that I shall be leading the large weiner/marshmallow roast in Hell. Bring songbooks, girls!
I've been working on a couple of items this weekend. Firstly, I'm starting a necklace. The thread I'm using is Coats and Clark Bonded Nylon upholstery thread. The stuff is great for beadwork. Heavier than the Nymo I've seen around here. Here's the first little bit - I guess I've got about 30 minutes in it thus far.
And yes, those are my new tortoiseshell shuttles. I feel so elegant using them.
My other project I'm working on is a little doily from a pattern Sherryberry shared with me. I'm using Valdani thread in the "Gem Symphony" colorway that Sherry sent. It's pretty dreamy to tat with - and check out these colors! Is this going to be riotous or what?
The last pic I have to share is one Raymond found this last week. The black blob in the back is Chatty. On the left is Chunky, and the kitty on the right is Listerine. Listerine was the funniest little imp! Can't tell it here, though.
Happy Trails, Sweet Chunky Boy. Sometime in the spring of 1995 - August 9, 2005
I can't tell you how much it would touch my heart to see these two every evening as Chunk would hop up in Raymond's lap for his evening grooming and petting. Theirs was a rare mutual admiration society. Chunk you will be sorely missed.
Evidently sometime last night in his sleep Chunk passed away.
And if no one has reminded you lately, it's less than five months until Christmas. Fifteen ornaments to tat and not enough time. Yikes.
I was speaking with a coworker today about how time goes faster the older you get. My dad used to say, "Tempis fugits." And it does.
I'm having one of those bittersweet days today. A pal found out that he has Stage IV liver cancer yesterday. He's in his mid-fifties. That pretty much sucks. I was poking about on the internet and the general concensus seems to be a life-expectancy of 2-4 months. Of course, there are always exceptions to the rule. Anyway, it was a big fat reminder to live in the moment and be grateful for what I have today. I've been blessed in many ways.
Here's a boring picture of the ornaments I did last year. The little "wall tree" is one my dad made around 1963. It's a wooden triangle with nails that you wrap garland on. I find it a great place to hang the ornaments while I'm getting them together. I leave the tree up year round - sometimes in the middle of summer I'll plug it in. The ornaments, of course, go to family for Christmas. Oh, those are cheap plastic snowflakes. I have two tatted snowflakes I made for myself about 20 years ago. That's sad.
Oh, and today's stoopid cat picture...Chatty and Chunky (who act manly and hiss at each other and stuff when they're anywhere else):
And I have to share some more pics of kitties with you folk. Here's my tuxedo girl, Noxzema. She's pretty weird. She barks. She's also the overlord of my upstairs. In this particular photograph she's managing my pile of knitting.
Then we have my other kitty, Princess Stinky. She's a sweet little kitty, really. Very needy. Very kneady, too. Here we've just kicked in for a long winter's nap. We're two contented cats.
I'm giving this blog thing another try. I wonder how many blogs are out there with the first seven or eight entries totally inane pap as I am creating now? I'd say the overall number is pretty scary. Time for another cat pic. This is Chunkyboy. He's my other big boy. Heh. Raymond snapped this pic while he was napping. Don't you love that "I vahnt to be lehft ahloooonnnne" look?