Friday, November 27, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving or Black Friday!!


Happy Thanksgiving or should I say Happy Black Friday. I guess that isn’t even correct considering that Black Friday has been going on for weeks now as far as the stores go. We had a kind of last-minute Thanksgiving because our plans kept changing. We were supposed to have several friends over including one friend flying in from out of town for a weekend of food and music recording but we ended up doing the socially responsible thing and cancelling due to Covid numbers going up again. So we finally ended up doing a small Thanksgiving dinner on Friday with just me and my husband, his son and his girlfriend.

Once again I am ashamed to announce that my holiday cards got sent out late which is really stupid because I actually had them done fairly early. We try to put a personal note in every card so that can get a bit difficult to come up with those so that’s a part of the reason why we hesitated to get these finished and in the mail. Another big reason why I drug my feet is because I am not really happy with the way these turned out. Probably the biggest reason why I don’t like them is because these are my second attempt at creating my own pattern and I am super critical of myself no matter what I do.


I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to tweak this pattern to make it right because I tend to “slip down a rabbit hole" way too easily now days and it is a very slippery slope indeed, not to mention it’s also very long. Also, as I mentioned several times before, nothing ever tends to be good enough so, should I try to make myself happy I would never finish. I got the idea for the feathers while cruising around pintrest when I stumbled across a dragonfly pattern that you can find here. The body is just a pattern that I am sure is found in lots of places and in lots of patterns.


These are the first time I haven’t put a little beaded do dad with them partly because I am completely running out of ideas for thanksgiving and partly because I figured since I added beads to them already that would probably be enough.

 I used South Maid 100% acrylic fiber called fudge brown. This thread was a real pain in the butt to work with especially when it came to closing rings. In fact I broke this thread several times when I was doing the split rings for the head, although to be fair its partly due to the fact that I was pulling the  stitches pretty tightly trying to make them even. This is one pattern that I actually used a picot gauge on (just a big wood stick like doctors use for tongue depressors) because I have a hard time making really large picots. I actually made 18 of these because we anticipated having people here for the weekend but by the time I came to trying to get them in the mail I only sent out 13 of them. In fact some of them haven’t made it to the mail yet because we have been working on a project for Christmas and I was just going to send them all at once but the project is taking much long than anticipated and they are still not ready to get in the mail yet. They really should have all gone in the mail already because they are advent calendars for the grand kids so like everything else now days they are going to be late getting them.

 Anyway I hope everyone had a great thanksgiving, I know the last year has been extremely difficult for most people but I hope you all could find at least a little something to be thankful for!

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Happy Halloween!!


Well look at that, its actually Halloween and I am actually posting about my holiday dodads. Its been a while since I have been able to say that so I will count this as a win.

 I know I have already done a cat for a Halloween motif but I am running out of ideas, so I ended up doing another one. This is a pattern called Small Stretching Cat Down and it’s another one by Jane Eborall that you can find here. It is a pretty fun pattern to do because it has lots of split rings.

I first tried these in grey but when I went to look for a beaded doodad idea to attach with it I decided to do a witch hat so I went with purple Artiste #10 thread called wild berry (why did they call it berry I wonder?) to give it a bit more color. I also tried one without the eye but I didn’t much like that one so here is what I ended up deciding on…

 I ended up making 17 of these (not including the 2 samples) but I only sent 9 of them out. I kept hoping that we would be able to either have friends over for a Halloween dinner or that we would do our “normal” tradition of going to friend house to carve pumpkins and dinner but thanks to Covid that didn’t happen. So, I will just put all the extras together with the ones from previous years and maybe come up with another idea to give them out.

I have actually had these done for a while now but of course we waited till the last minute to send some of them out. I had spent the last couple months thinking “I am going to get these in the mail early” but thinking and doing are pretty much on the polar opposites for me right now. I think most of the ones I put in the mail at least made it on time. But the better news on this one is that my parents were actually here around the middle part of October so they were able to take most of them back home with them and deliver them for me. I also was able to send back some Halloween goodies for my kiddos and grand-kiddos since they probably won’t be able to go out trick or treating this year which is kind of a big bummer since it falls on a Saturday. But maybe good news because its also a full moon tonight which always seems to bring out more craziness!

The card idea was mine. I actually started out with it saying “ whats the scariest thing about 2020..Covid, being out of toilet paper or the thought of Trump winning the election” but only part of our family would think that was funny so I changed it to something a bit friendlier. I usually stay out of politics but this election is going to be extremely critical so I hope you will all remember to vote!

 I also hope everyone has a Happy Halloween and that everyone will do it safely!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Cruise dolphins


I don’t think I even want to bother counting the days I have been social distancing/self quarantining in fact I would be hard pressed to even guess what month we are in. I haven’t had much luck in finding a job. Most days I have my hands full just trying to convince myself things are going to be ok. I have been trying to keep my mind occupied with doing craft projects, but I have still been having massive problems trying to start new ones. I have been doing quite a bit of cross stitch, a bit of tatting but not a whole lot of beading and way way too much time on pintrest looking for patterns. I had done a cross stitch for one of my grand babies and had totally forgot about that until I ran across a picture of it. Since then we have had 2 new grand babies, so I figured I better get on the ball and get a couple more done for the rest of the grand kids. For a couple of them I just ordered a kit but some of them I found patterns on pintrest because hoarder me has a stash of fabric and thread. The problem with some patterns is that you have to pick your own colors and on some of them I had to change a couple things on the pattern, so I have spent hours and hours looking for patterns, colors and making changes.

I can’t post about the cross stitch stuff yet because they aren’t all done yet and I don’t want to spoil the surprise but I can post about my last tatting project that got handed out. Since it is such a long time until the next holiday I wanted to come up with another project to do to let people know that I am thinking about them.  Since nobody is able to take vacations it got me to thinking about the last vacation we had been on and that would the cruise that my parents treated our whole family on 3 years earlier in September.  I had run across a cute dolphin pattern that I figured would remind everyone of the days we spent together watching the dolphins that played around our ship.


The pattern is one by Jane Eborall and you can find it here.  She has some really fun patterns on her site, if you haven’t visited it yet you should check it out! This is a fun pattern to tat, it has lots of split rings which I have found to be fun to do. It also has a down facing picot that I had never even heard of. I sure wish I had know about these earlier because I know I have done several projects that would have looked better had I know about them. This pattern also has the option to do a split chain in a couple of spots but since I had not tackled those yet and on this particular pattern you have to also attach it to an anchor picot on a helper item I decided to leave those out.


I first tried these in gray but they were so small and the little ships looked huge  that I decided to try them with a little bit thicker thread. The grey one is artiste #10 called cloud and the blueish one is J&P Coats knit cro-sheen called aqua.


The best part of these little doodads is that I got to hand deliver several of them. I ended up making 9 complete ornaments  but actually only needed 6 of them. Me and the hubby got to take a trip back home and hand delivered them to the family members that still live there. This happened in September it has just taken me a bit to get these posted. With any amount of luck I will get the next holiday motifs out in time!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Happy 4th of July!!

Happy 4th of July, it sure doesn’t feel like I should call it Independence day since we are working on day 113th of quarantine. However, our county is finally moving into phase 2 so I hope we are moving toward better days.

I am pleased to announce that I am actually all caught up on posts so these are actually the doodads for today’s holiday. I am even more excited to say that these went out in time for everyone to receive them by today.  These are another holiday that I had completed last year but not sent out.
When I went to put these together I found a good reason why they probably didn’t get sent out last year...these poor stars are super sad and look terrible. I believe I must have gotten the idea for the star off of a picture on pintrest because I could find the actual pattern. I found a couple of trial stars that looks like I tried to figure out the pattern but clearly, I didn’t do such a great job. Looking at these today I know there must be a much better way to do these.

I used Aunt Lydias Metallic size 10 thread and I remember this thread was an absolute nightmare to work with. I used 2 rolls of this crochet thread and I only ended up making 10 of these. I would have liked to make more of them but the thread is awful to work with and it is quite expensive so I decided not to put myself through more torture by making more. I know I should use tatting thread instead of the thread I usually use (artitste) but it is much more expensive and I have to think ahead and order it online so I just use the stuff that is readily available at our nearest craft store which is a hobby lobby about 35 miles away. I also find rolls of this at our thrift store that is just down the road from us so I usually grab it when I find it. Yes, this does add to my massive hoard that I have in my craft room. In fact it takes up a pretty big space since there is not a really good way to store it all.  

These stars tended to curl up and were very fiddly. They seemed to press out ok and I probably could have blocked them and got them to behave a bit better but I wasn’t sure what would happen to the metallic filament if I put glue on them.  The little beaded uncle Sam came from a pattern I bought off of ThreadABead that can be found here.

The card idea was my husbands and I tend to think that it is very relevant for this years holiday. Our governor of the state has made it mandatory that we all wear masks. I hope that whether you are in the group that thinks that this is a good idea or the group that refuses to conform that we can just be kind to each other… NO MATTER WHAT!!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

St Patricks catch up

Next catch up holiday is Saint Patricks day so I hope you are all wearing green!

There are not a lot of ideas for Saint Patricks tatting motifs. I pretty much have just found variations on the four leaf clover. For this one I just used the pattern that I used in  2017 doodads and changed the stitch count and added picots. Its kind of fun using 2 different colors for each shuttle.

 This is another holiday that I had done last year, I even had the cards done but they just didn’t get sent out. This year, I am happy to announce that these actually went out in time, in fact I got to hand deliver them to the part of my family that lives in Idaho! I made 12 of these and in looking back it looks like that I forgot to send a couple of them out, probably partially due to the fact I was in Idaho over the holiday  and partially because I was still reeling from being fired and my brain was not on straight.

I believe this post catches me up to the holiday tatting I have sent out so far. The next holiday will be 4th of July. I know they need to be sent out immediately if they are to arrive anywhere near on time. Wish me luck because I am having a hard time getting motivated to get them out.

Monday, June 15, 2020

No tats, just plants!

At this point I don’t even want to count how many days we have been in quarantine, I guess I shouldn’t count days because it has been months. The company my hubby works for (a company that builds carbon fiber guitars) “officially” had to go back to work last Monday. Up until that week he has been working from home and pretty much everyone else has still been getting paid but they haven’t had to go into work.   The company is located in the next county that has decided to move to phase 1.5 and allow a few more businesses to open. His boss decided he could go ahead and keep working from home  since a lot of what he has to do can all be done from home, so for now he only has to go in when he needs to.

The county we live in is still in full on quarantine because we were one of the hardest hit as far as cases and deaths go so I haven’t been able to find a job yet. Unfortunately, I haven’t really gotten anything much done around the house either. About the only thing we have really accomplished was a bit of yard work. My hubby loves rhododendrons and we have been meaning to plant some in our yard since we moved in (yickes has it really been 6 years)  but we never could find the time (or really the money)  to do that since we have pretty much worked every summer on the weekends doing concerts and festivals. I ended up getting one at Walmart on clearance and then the next time I went to Walmart I happen to ask if they were going to be going down in price and they said they were just going to throw them away so they sold me 4 more for $8.00 each…SCORE!! They had already bloomed and they were not looking so great but they are pretty hardy plants so we are hoping they will be ok.  Our property is about 2 acres and for some reason this stretch of land has never had anything planted along it. We are hoping that its not because nothing will grow there or since we have a power pole in the middle of that yard that it isn’t illegal to plant there. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Valentine's Day

I am happy to post that the next holiday I am catching up on is Valentines day and I actually get to say that I sent them out. Unfortunately, there is some bad news as well. I didn’t send them out in a very timely manner which is a huge shame because I actually had these doodads done for last years holiday and just didn’t send them out. Part of the reason why they didn’t get sent out last year is because I didn’t love the way they turned out and partly because I couldn’t come up with a card and partly because of the shame of not sending out the Christmas cards.

This is the first time I have tried adding beads into the tatting project itself, it’s also the first time I had attempted split rings. I got the pattern here on Etsy.  I tried tatting the key a couple of different ways but because my picots are out of control since the last couple of projects I did I wanted big floppy picots and the thread I use doesn’t really allow for small picots to look good ( I used size 10 Artiste thread called cloud. ) I decided to omit the picots. I still didn’t love the way these turned out and adding the beads, especially the one that you have to add to the second half of a split ring, really was not fun so I only ended up making 12 of these.  Since I didn’t make enough of these and I wanted to give a few more people valentines I sent out a couple of the doodads that I had left over from previous years.

When I went to put these together I found that when I made the beaded hearts I didn’t account for a way to attach them to the tatting.  Usually I add extra beads or a bigger bead on top to attach them but for some reason I didn’t this time. The beads were so small that I couldn’t find a split ring with small enough wire to go through them, so I ended up making my own rings. They don’t look very good but at least I got them attached.

Here's to hoping that I will post again real soon!