Tatted Lace Confection

Tatted Lace Confection
Happy Tatter's Doily

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Storms

Most of us are over committed and under-motivated to change when it comes to the holidays, so what is sweeter than a heavy blanket of snow over a glaze of ice to stop us in our tracks, allowing us to take new paths, even neglected paths. The soles of our feet and the souls in our chests smooth out as a reprieve from our busy lives gives us moments to realize just how beautiful stillness, a cup of hot coffee, the woosh of snow gliding over a front porch and the sight of a bobcat meandering through the low woods behind our house can be. We were made to experience this simple awe. To have time to catch our breath and take our mates hand while a dog snuffles at our feet. At times like this I put my self on leave from production style projects and take up my tatting letting some simple pattern lull me into peacefulness. It doesn't matter if I finish it before the roads open again. I will remember how wonderful the fine cotton thread felt and how moving through the motions of lacemaking at a more leisurely pace enriched the experience. May you have a gentle day, snowed in by the fire, content, drowsy, full of nothing more than hot soup and beautiful memories.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tatted Note Cards

Design ideas can come from anywhere. Always keep a little idea notebook and pencil with you and a camera. What is thought to be an unforgettably wonderful idea will soon be overpowered by the bustle of the day or the week. One idea that delights me still is my new little birdie. I wanted a signature birdie for my cards. The bird came in the form of a deflated balloon. It was the perfect bird shape with shading provided by the back light of the waning sunlight in a local park on the 4th of July.
The finished card brings so many comments and sharing the story of my birdie makes people smile. So be an image hoarder this season. Take pictures of unusual shapes and subjects. Who knows maybe the spark of shine from a Christmas ornament will be the star in your next project. I love to take pictures of flowers and other brightly colored objects. I use crop to take out a swatch of color, move it into one of my photo programs and use some of the features to create a one of a kind background for my cards or for scrapbooking or other craft applications.

Have you heard of Sure Cuts Alot? It allows the user to cut out svg images without the need for buying a Cricut cartridge for your Cricut to cut it out. Fabulous! And if you choose to buy a file of svg images it is usually between $4 and $12 for the really nice ones. Much cheaper than Cricut cartridges. Makes me wish I'd bought the larger Expression Cricut because it allows the most access to the svg files. Cannot wait to get started with doing new cards with SCAL (Sure Cuts Alot).

Tatted Gift Bags. My new passion. I make the gift bags and tags adding tatted motifs to the front or make a tatted edging and add it to the upper edge of the bag. They are darling using all kinds of papers. I make a second gift bag template out of card stock and glue to the outside paper for the gift bag giving me instant classy interiors on all my bags. They take your gifts from Thank you to Oh my, what a gorgeous gift and they haven't even opened it yet. I also make two gift tags and leave one blank so that the recipient can use the bag again, using the new tag for that.

Happy Holidays, my tatting friends....

Let it snow!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tatted Corn Husk Angel Finished

Finally, she is finished, my first corn husk angel with tatted wings and halo. She was so much fun! I have another one in the works, learning how to stiffen the wings after some advice from my mother, and some small adjustments to that advice (learning by the seat of my pants). The best part is that it is season appropriate, usually I am tatting snowflakes in May and pansies in October. Don't ask me why ~ hee-hee. My husband wonders if I will come up for air after Thanksgiving but I am thinking of a Christmas variation. Sharing of that will happen if I get all the winds in my favor. Right now I fit tatting and doll making between preparing for my mother's 80th birthday party in November, sharing lunch with my father in law (who is a shut in) every day and determining if I can once again take care of picking up my sister in law after dialysis twice a week. Then there's my husbands business office work that I do and helping our church with an ongoing project everyday. I used to stay up late into the night playing with my thread and needle, making tatted greeting cards, snowflakes, hearts, artsy gardens and towel edgings but having diabetes means going to bed on time and getting good rest every night, so the window of opportunity shrinks to tat to my hearts content. And... at least an hour of exercise every day, which is not my favorite thing to do. One 'friend' is baseball playoffs and football games on TV. My husband doesn't mind if I tat the weekends and evenings away if he can be left to his games. That's why fall is my favorite time of the year! Hope you are finding a niche in your day to tat up something special. I know I will.Oh and if you want to make your own Tatted Corn Husk Angel, the pattern is available on http://www.etsy.com (TattingAngel store).

Tatted Corn Husk Angel Pattern

Monday, September 20, 2010

Tatting Friends

I know, tatting is rare and finding a friend who loves tatting as well is even harder. Oh, to have someone to share a new pattern with or to rejoice with when you learn a new technique or think you've found a unique way to make tatting easier. Maybe I should create an ad asking someone to be my tatting friend. I could offer free lessons to them, share my favorite tatting websites and stores and especially my favorite tatting books and DVDs. We could meet and tat through the cold winter and take day trips to craft fairs where we could have our own table or check out the work of other tatters and expand our circle of tatting friends. We could offer classes together in church basements, craft stores and maybe even visit some senior centers and teach some fine women how to tat. Maybe they would teach us to crochet in return. That would be a good idea ~ a needlework coop where talented needle women and men could meet and teach each other a new craft or give a demonstration to see if there is interest in learning one. Maybe finding a tatting friend won't be so hard after all. Thank the Lord for tatting. I can't imagine how many calories I haven't eaten because I didn't want to get anything on the tatting project that I am working on at the time. A new diet craze! ~ maybe.............

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Front and Back Side of Tatting & How To Tell The Difference

The front side of a double stitch is recognized by the bump at the top of the double stitch, including the base of each picot. The back side of tatting is recognized by the lack of the bump.

How can one make all the bumps show up on the front side of your work? An example: 2 ds p 2 ds cl rw. Since you have reversed your work you simply reverse the order of the double stitches and the bumps will come out on the front of your work.

Have you noticed that with needle tatting the tatting stitches are actually the same as knit and purl in knitting?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Starching & Care of Tatted Projects

Tat a lovely doily for that special friend or your own table. Now what? How do you starch it or store it when you are not using it. What is the recipient of the doily supposed to do when she needs to rewash and starch it again or store it? The answers are surprisingly easy. Cut a piece of cardboard of styrofoam that is a few inches larger than the doily or other tatted item. Between two clean and dry towels (large enough to hold the doily) lay the doily out, coaxing the chains and rings into shape. Steam press (no moving iron around, just press and lift to next section and press again) over the top layer of towel over the entire doily. Allow it and the doily to cool. Remove top layer of toweling. Gently lift the doily off the towel. Center doily on piece of styrofoam or cardboard (covered with plastic wrap that is taped onto the opposite side of the cardboard). Place rustproof sewing pins in center of chains and at the top of each ring and in picots. In a clean squirt bottle mix Even-flo Starch (liquid) 2/3rds starch 1/3rd water and shake vigorously several times. Over a sink or tub tilt plastic covered cardboard or styrofoam at an angle. Completely soak doily with starch. Allow to dry approximately 12 hours. Lay on clean, flat surface, remove pins. Clean tub or sink to remove starch. Use a pin to remove excess starch in picots, etc. To wrap as a gift: If you used cardboard wash off plastic with warm soap and water and dry or replace it with a clean piece. Place doily back onto cardboard or styrofoam replacing pins in the same holes made the first time, except push them until they almost push through the back of cardboard or styrofoam. Wrap with wrapping paper and add bow. Now when the recipient is ready to wash and restarch her doily all she has to do is wash it by hand with a Woolite type product, rinse, place back on the styrofoam or cardboard base and put the pins in their original holes, starching as before and let dry. After spraying starch on the doily remove sprayer and swish in warm soapy water, squirting the sprayer several times to remove starch residue which keeps it from being clogged when you are ready to use it again. No more calls asking you to wash and starch your gifts again. Also, storing the doily is easy. Just put it back on the base, cover with plastic wrap and place flat or upright where nothing can be piled on it or against it until it is time to enjoy it again. So that's the basics of caring for tatted lace. Next time we will discuss the front and back side of tatting and how to tell the difference and how to get all your double stitches with all the rings and chains facing upside right. So easy!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Angel in Progress

My angel is finished except her wings. She is a brand new endeavor working with some new  materials that I have had no experience using. The size and angle of each wing has to be just right. Oh, and the starching. Hmmmm. Then there is her height which can be adjusted if I want. It took me weeks to find just the right thread, Finally I found a lovely Red Lion creme #10 thread. One of the wing designs from another angel seems a good fit. Writing down the pattern as I go is tedious but the alternative is going back and doing it after I've forgotten the pattern which is harder. That's why it took me 5 years to finish Tatted Angels & More - 26 Tatting Patterns. I let the angels flow from my fingers as fast as they came. Not once did I write out the pattern as I went so........ I spent almost 3 years recreating each pattern, re-tatting each one without the benefit of the photos to see if the instructions were right. It's been a learning curve that both pleased and challenged me. I was doing all of this with grandsons surrounding me each day, being my husbands secretary for his business, co-chairing our church's prayer chain, creating enough tatted cards to keep up the inventory for a local gift and art store and to supply my needs for  a lovely craft show that I look forward to doing each fall. My granddaughter comes along (14 this year) and we have a great time sharing our crafts with the buyers and browsers. One of the favorite items at our display was the greeting cards with angels starched and sewn to the front of them, either all occasion or Christmas. I also had some cards with starched and tatted snowflakes sewn on card fronts in the same manner. They are a card and gift in one, perfect for loved ones that live far away and are on your gift list. For wedding showers I love to give a Christmas tin full of tatted snowflakes and angels, starched and ready to hang in windows, on wreaths or the tree. One of our pastor's wives asked me to make a chain for her angel so that she could wear it as jewelry. I love autumn with the lengthening evenings and chill in the air. After a long walk by the river, curling up with tatting in hand makes the end of a great day.
If you aren't a tatter, consider learning. One ball of thread, a tatting needle and some sharp scissors can save you lots of money spent on gifts. Pillowcases with tatted edges, lovely hand or kitchen towels beautifully finished with a pretty tatted fringe, a tatted heart framed for hanging or delightful little Christmas stockings topped with tatted lace. These are most likely the only tatted gifts a person will ever receive. Teach a few tatting classes and you'll be able to pay for your supplies for quite a while. Try needle tatting, which is easier to master than shuttle tatting and for those with arthritis or other disabilities is less trying on the joints. Next time I will give you tips for starching your tatting projects. Have a great autumn!.