Thursday, March 17, 2022

Happy St Patricks Day


Wow I can't believe that I am actually posting this on the exact day that it should be posted on!

Yeah me!!

I hope everyone remembered to wear green today!

If you have read my previous post you already know that my St Patricks doodads actually made it in the mail, but the not so good news is I am not sure if all of them made it on time. I have really enjoyed making the cards with my die cuts but the bad side is that the inside of the cards are completely blank. When I see a blank piece of paper I feel the need to fill it up so it is a bit overwhelming thinking we have to come up with so many words to do it, so we both had a hard time trying to get motivated to fill them all out. I have to admit my hubby is quite creative when he puts his mind to it but after he works all day his brain is tired so he doesn't want to think at night. We have been working at the casino doing bands almost every weekend including Thursday Friday and Saturday nights and we dont get home till 2am then hubby has to be up super early on Sunday to get to church to play on the worship team so we haven't gotten much done on the weekends either. The cards and doodads were actually done a couple weeks ago but it took us a bit to fill them out. I guess the important thing is that they at least made it in the mail even though they may be a bit late!

As I have mentioned before it is getting harder and harder to come up with new ideas for my holiday cards. I have done St Pats tatting cards 5 times now and I have run out of patterns and there are only so many different ways to do clovers. I was on the hunt to try to come up with a rainbow and wasn't able to find one so I decided to try to come up with a pattern of my own. After several tries I came up with one that actually seemed to look ok. I also had to make the pattern for the beaded  horseshoe. I really dont love the way they look but I hope they at least look somewhat identifiable. 

These tended to curve inward all on their own so I didn't starch them. I am not really sure how they are going to re-form once they have been flattened in the envelope and then abused by the mail system.  I am hoping they will be ok. I used Aunt Lydia’s thread called mexicana . The thread is what actually gave me the idea for trying to come up with a rainbow. This thread was great to work with so I may have to come up with another idea to use it again!  I made 12  of these doodads and cards but so far I have only sent 8 of them out. We were hoping to have friends over this week and give them in person but that didnt happen and we have to work the next several days at the casino.

Did I mention my hubby is silly and creative? I decided to share a couple of his cards with you so you can share in the awesomeness! 

So the good news for the next holiday (which is Easter) is that I have the doodads already done. The silly bad news is that they have been done for over 2 years. Looking back I have only made 2 Easter cards and I am not really sure why I have so few. I know part of the reason why these didnt get sent out in 2020 is because we were all in the beginning of covid lock down. And last year Easter was super early and came right on the heels of St Pats. Anyway, I have already started to work on die cutting the cards out so please keep your fingers crossed for us that we actually get them in the mail in a timely manner…nay, maybe even early!


Wednesday, March 16, 2022

Valentines Day

 So I am posting Valentines day almost just in time for St Patricks and for a reason I am very much ashamed of.  Actually there is good news and bad news about valentines cards. The good news is that most (and I use that word loosely)  of them actually made it in the mail in time . Unfortunately the ones that didn't make it in the mail were my close families. My parents were actually away from home for the holiday so I figured I had time to mail them later and then I kept putting those off and then I blinked and it was almost March.  The others didn't make it in the mail because I kept putting them off because I was trying to come up with some gifts to send with them. I got overwhelmed with my hoarding stuff  so I didn't get anything together to send.  I didn't want to post the cards until i got the rest of them in the mail and as I sent these out with the St Pats card I am going to go ahead and make this post.

The cute lil teddy bear for this holiday is from a pattern by Eliz Davis. The pattern actually has several  ideas for adding buttons to personalize them for holidays. I wasn't able to find any cute charms or buttons to fit so I actually found some stamping  blanks that were in my hoarded stash that  fit perfectly, so yeah me for using something from my stash instead of buying something more! I rarely do metal stamping and it definately takes practice to do. I dont love the way they turned out but it fit the spot really well.

I first tried using some purple thread because I wanted to use something other than pink or red but this thread was very difficult to work with. I am not sure what this thread is because the label was gone but the plys tended to split. Since this pattern is fairly large I went with a thread that I knew was easier to work with. I am pretty bummed that I didn't keep working with the purple thread because the finished product looks so much better but I knew I didn't want to have to struggle with the thread. This doodad has a weird join around the nose area which fought me on almost every time I had to do it so I didn't want to add more grief to making these.

 I ended up using the pink thread from artiste which is called dawn rose. I have used this particular thread several times but it is nice to work with so I rolled wit h it. I did end up having to press and starch the doodads. I wasn't able to make them stiffer by using glue because of the metal stamp blanks but I guess they turned out ok, just not as stiff as I would have preferred.  I made 14 of these tatted doodads and cards.

I am going to go ahead a punch the publish button and get this posted and hope I have enougth left in me to keep going so I can get something posted for St Pats since they have made it in the mail. Wish me luck!

Thursday, January 27, 2022

No thanksgiving and Christmas with elves

 It has been another crazy couple of months. I am sure the holiday season is pretty crazy for a lot of people but I am one of the people who really dislikes Christmas. It is such a commercialized holiday and there is such high stress about shopping and finding gifts for one day of the year, people running around all stressed and mean and ignorant that I would just as soon forget the whole thing! 

For thanksgiving this year we invited a friend over for a simple turkey dinner.  We don't have any family left that lives in our area and our friends' family also all lives out of town so it was great to spend the day with adopted family! 

As far as my holiday cards go I am super ashamed to admit that we didn't even get them sent out. I really had to stop and think as to the reason because I have the cards and the tatted dodads done. The simple explanation for not getting them in the mail is because I was working on getting a family activity/gift together and i had hoped to send them together so I could save on shipping. The postage for my tatted cards have gone up to $0.88 each so I was going to just ship the cards with the holiday project I was working on. I underestimated how long it would take to get the project together so by the time I got the project all ready to ship it was weeks past thanksgiving so we decided to just keep the thanksgiving doodads for next year.

The family project we were working on were elf on the shelf kits. We did elves for all our family members including several accessories for the elves and introduction letters to go with them. We have been missing family like crazy so we came up with the idea to send elves out and we set up a facebook page so that family members could post what their elf was up to. it was our small way to try to share in the holiday season even though we couldn't be together. I am hoping to set up another blog to share my othe craft ideas so keep an eye out for that blog to see the complete elf kit! Not only didn't the thanksgiving cards get sent out the elves were really late in getting in the mail because it took forever to round up the accessories i was looking for. The shelves are bare around here as far as food and craft items go so I had to hit several stores in a 30 mile radius to gather everything I needed. I know this is a very poor excuse but I wanted all the kits to be the same. 

For as crazy as the last couple of months have been, I am pleased to announce that most of my Christmas cards actually made it in the mail on time! Most of the cards for the family got put in the mail with the elves. I was still working on the tatted dodads for some of the cards so I am ashamed to admit that some of them didn't make it in the mail yet! I had been working on an Christmas gift for my kids that I have been working on for months that has been beating me up. Between trying to find the fabric and trim and being scared to finish them I am still trying to get them done. My plan was to send the cards with that project but they are still not done yet!

Part of the reason why they are not done yet is because of the craziness of the last couple of weeks! We had a bad snow storm come through our area that dumped 10-12 inches of snow in a matter of days and soon after that we had a terrible cold snap that froze our water pipes. We also ran out of propane in the middle of all that. We had called for a delivery well before we were completely empty but it took the propane company over 3 weeks to get us more propane which means we were completely out of propane for over a week and during the coldest week of the year so far! Propane is our only form of heat in our living area which is a fairly large area with vaulted ceilings so that part of the house never got over 55 degrees. 

We had also been working a ton at the casino mixing bands. We worked every single weekend (some of them even 3 days in a row) since the weeks before thanksgiving right up till a couple of days after New years day! The day after new years both my husband and I got super sick. We are not sure if it was Covid or not because we were unable to find a place to get tested and couldn't find an inexpensive test in the mail. I can tell you that I can't ever remember being that sick for that long. I literally spent the last couple of weeks either in bed or sitting on the couch not doing a single thing.  I didn't even feel well enough to read or do any tatting so that should tell you how bad it was! I also had a terrible UTI at the same time so between shoveling snow, dealing with no water, having no heat and being super sick  it has  been a super miserable last couple of weeks.  Needless to say, so far, 2022 has not been a great year!

Anyway, here are my Christmas cards for 2021. The cards took forever to put together because the die cut that I wanted to use didn't cut the construction paper out very well so I had to “weed out” every single hole of the doily/wreath and in some cases I had to aslo cut out some of the holes. 

The tatted wreath came from an idea I got from a picture I had saved from some site I ran across a long while ago. I think the picture said it was a snowflake but when I went to try to find the site again I couldn't find it. The picture wasn't really clear so I had to tweak the counts a couple times before it would lay flat. I decided to add beads to the piece because I knew I wouldn't have time to do beaded doddads with this one. I used artiste size 10 crochet thread called grass. I used almost the entire ball to make 16 of these but I only ended up sending 11 of them out.  It was a super easy pattern to remember and the thread was very easy to work with.  I probably broke a couple tatters cardinal rule and hot glued the ribbon on top. I have never used glue in tatting before so I have no idea if the ribbon is going to stay but I needed to get these done quickly because I needed to get them in the mail with the elves which were super late as it was.

On a little more positive note, I am well underway to having my Valentine tatting dodads done. I still need to come up with a card idea and get those done but hopefully I can get those done quickly and I will be able to get them in the mail in time for Valentines Day.  Wish me luck!

PS This post has actually been written for over a week I had just forgotten to hit the puplish button! What a stupey!!

Friday, November 12, 2021

Late Halloween and new obsession

 I guess it's not going to be a surprise that I am posting this late but it may be a surprise to learn that I actually sent my halloween dodads out for them to at least arrive on time! Considering all the crap that has been happening lately I will say both of these cancel each other out so I won't count either as a win or a loss.

As I have mentioned , several times in the past, I am having massive trouble finding tatting ideas for my holiday doodads. Therefore  I am very happy to announce that this tatting motif is my own creation!  I have done cats, bats, ghosts and spiders so the only thing left I could think of would be a witch. I did find one picture of a tatted witch on the internet but it didn't have a pattern with it so I used the picture as a general idea for mine. 

Here is my first try but I didn't like the hat so I decided to change it a bit. I don't absolutely love the way she turned out but I am not very good at changing counts to make it better so I just rolled with what I had.

I knew I wanted a dark purple to do my witch with but the only dark thread I had was Artiste thread called plum . This particular color thread is not great to work with as it tends to get fuzzy and you can't really get the stitches tight. I am not sure why this particular ball is so bad because normally I like Artiste so I wonder if this roll was mismarked because it also looks different than my other balls. Thankfully I was able to close the rings fairly easily and it wasn't as terrible to work with as I remembered but it just doesnt look as clean as some of my other projects. I did end up having to starch these because the skirt was a bit floppy. I had run out of glitter glue and I wanted to add a bit of pizzaz to my witch because the color was so dark so I tried adding regular glitter to gel glue.  It really didn't work out so well;  partly because the flakes are too big with regular glitter and I used dollar store glue but I just kept using my mixture because I just can't waste things and I have a hard enough time trying to finish up projects so I just kept carrying on so I could get them done and in the mail. I ended up making 13 of these but I only ended up sending out 9 of them. 

So this is also an introduction to my new obsession...die cutting! I kept seeing the original red sizzix machines in goodwill so I finally broke down and brought one home not realizing that was the beginning of my next hoarding issue! I actually just bought it because I needed to create felt numbers for a project I am working on for christmas and it was going to be cheaper to buy the machine and the dies I needed than it would have been to buy already cut ones or spending tons of time cutting them out by hand. Soon after I found the red machine I found a big shot that ended up following me home. It took me quite a while to even try out either machine, I had purchased tons of dies at goodwill before I even tried to use it. Let me tell you it was a bit of a challenge trying to get the dies to cut correctly so I ended up spending quite a bit on accessories ( I bought new)  for the machines just to get them to work ok. It makes me quite sick to my stomach thinking about how much I have spent on dies but I keep seeing them at goodwill and my hoarding nature takes over so I buy them. Not only are they expensive but the old dies take up lots of space. For the amount of money I have spent I am wishing I would have just bought a new cruicut. I am also finding that I may not ever use the dies I bought because the last couple of cards I made I ended up buying new dies to make the cards anyway. 

Below is my first die cut project I made. I did have to buy the die so I could get these done in a timely manner. I made these as thank yous for Mom Pat's funeral guests. You can't really see on either of the pictures of the cards but I used the decorative scissors on the outer edge of each card and colorful gel pens we got from Mom Pat to sign each one. The little tatted heart is the same pattern I used for my Valentines dodads in 2016 and you can find the pattern by onevirtuouswoman here. Pats favorite color was blue and she loved to read so I thought a blue bookmark in a heart shape (to let everyone know that she will always be in our hearts) would be appropriate. 

My second die cut project was the halloween cards. I just now ordered the die I will use for my Thanksgiving cards. I was hoping to find some dies that I really liked but I wasnt able to find any that I liked more than the one I found on Amazon so I just had to spend money on something that I really didnt love. Now wish me luck that my order will get here in a timely fashion and I will be able to get my doodads out in time!


Monday, August 16, 2021

4th of July that changed our world


Well, well, I guess its probably no surprise that I am late once again in posting my holiday doodad but this time I have a fairly legitimate reason! Once again I have good news about why and really, really bad news. The good news is that we got to hand deliver quite a few of them and some of them actually even made it in the mail on time. My husbands yearly company shut down happened right around the 4th of July again so we were able to plan a trip back home.  We were keeping our fingers crossed that Covid would allow us to finally get back home and thankfully everything aligned and we got to keep our plans. This year my sister and her husband were actually able to be there at the same time so I got to see my whole immediate family this trip! We actually got to spend a whole week. We could have spent a few days more but we had to get back because the casino that we used to mix bands for on almost every weekend before covid hit finally opened up their new building and were finally able to get bands back in. So the day after we got back we got to work a band in the new casino that, not only was the first time that we had worked since covid but it was the first time a band had been on the new stage!

The shows went fairly well considering it was the first time the new room had ever been used and also the sound system and the lighting rig was a new system that we had never used before so not only did we have to learn a new room we had to learn new equipment. We did learn that we are both completely out of shape and it was quite difficult to work 2 full days/nights but I am sure we will get back into the habit fairly quickly.

 Now for the really, really bad news…The day after all that, we got the horrific news that my mother-in-law had passed away that morning on the 4th of July. It was a complete shock because she was doing so well. We were very very thankful that we had just got to spend a couple of days with her a few weeks prior to that. It was the first time we had seen her since covid so it would have been even more difficult had we not been blessed with that time. Of all the people I send these holiday cards to I knew without a double that mom Pat appreciated them the most. She decorates for each holiday just like I do and she always made it a point to at least text me to thank me for them.

 I am absolutely crushed to be saying this out loud but unfortunately Pats card is one that I hadn’t gotten in the mail yet. While we were in Idaho we let the grandkids paint canvas bags and we had all the kids make one for Pat by each putting a painted hand on it and then printing their name next to it. None of the grand kids had actually been able to meet her in person but she had been sending holiday and birthday cards to each one of them.  I had planned to send the bag with the tatted card that next Monday so that means that Pat didn’t get to see the bag or the card.


I ended up making 14 of these cards but only 7 ended up getting sent out. I had the best of intentions to send them all out even though they would have been late but the horrific news really” took the wind out of my sails.” I found the idea for the flag from a picture I saw on Wandas knotty thoughts. I just kind of made up the counts for the flag and I just kept tweaking until I got it looking okay.  I don’t normally do holiday projects that take more than one round, but I am running out of ideas for these cards. It didn’t really take too long to make these and they were actually fairly easy to do. The blue is artiste thread called blueberry and the red and white are just a couple of balls I had gotten from Goodwill.

Obviously we are completely devastated and we are still trying to get back to at least a little bit of normal, or I guess I should say “the new normal for today” because I am quite certain that things are still changing due to Covid. Time seems to be just slipping by and it is crusing by faster and faster. I am quite certain that we will never be able to look at 4th of July the same again but we are trying to take each day as the true gift that it is and we need to try to live it as such!



Friday, April 2, 2021

Happy International tatting day...April Fools


So for international tatting day this year I decided to try tatting something I don’t normally do. I have been admiring and enjoying reading Lace-lovin Librarian Dianes blog for quite some time now and seeing all her lovely ice drops so I decided to try making one.  I used her pattern that she so graciously provided here but I did change the count on the outer chains. I also watched this youtube video. Warning..this video is really long and not very well done but it gave me enough of an idea to figure out how to do this.

 I had actually tried making one a couple years ago and since I usually use cheap artiste thread that is bigger than size 20, I couldn’t find a stone big enough to fill the center of the first one I made using Dianes pattern. I am not very good with adjusting stitch count, so I didn’t try to make another one until today. I remembered that I had some shuttles still wound with the size 20 thread I had bought to make St patricks doodads and didn’t end up using so I thought this would be a good way to use up the thread.

So this time I had a very difficult time trying to squeeze in the flat marbles I have. I learned that I tend to tat very tightly and I make little tiny joining picots. I have tons of flat stones and even using the smalles one I could find I still had to pull and tug to try to get the last ring to fit. In fact, I am totally testing the tensile strength of this thread and at this point I am sure hoping the thread holds and doesn’t snap loose cause someone could sure loose an eye!

The good news is these are pretty fun to make so I think I will be trying to make more of them. More good news is I have already sent out my Easter doodads in plenty of time for everyone to receive them on time…APRIL FOOLS!!! I still haven’t even made the cards for them yet . I am feeling really stupid about that be cause the doodads have been done for over 2 years now and they still aren’t in the mail yet. At this point there is no way that they will make them on time so I am not sure I will even bother sending them out again!

Sorry I didnt get this posted on the actual tatting day but we had a surprise guest show up yesteray. One of my husbands best friends was in town and he needed to borrow some guitars for a show he is getting to do in eastern Washington. It is always so awesome to get to hang out with him as he always has new music to share! So all in all it was a pretty good day and since those are very few and far between it makes them all the sweeter!  I hope you all enjoyed the  day as much as I did and heres to hoping more good days are to come!


Sunday, March 21, 2021

St Pats and new thread


Well it looks like here we have another late holiday motif post. Part of the reason why this is late getting posted is because we have had several house guests the past couple of days. My husband has been trying for several months to get together with several of his old high school friends that he was in bands with and do some recording. One of the friends is from out of state and his plans to make it here have been cancelled several times due to covid.  They finally decided to just go through with the plans because the recording studio has been booked and changed so many times and flights have been moved that it was getting pretty expensive to not do it.  I didn’t love the idea and it was quite weird to be with people after a year of not even seeing anyone. We all just tried to be extra careful and wash hands a lot and several of the guys had already had covid and most everyone has been vaccinated, so for now I will just keep my fingers crossed that all will be ok!

  For the last 4 St. Patricks doodads I have made shamrocks but there are only so many different ways to make them. For this year I decided to make kind of a frame to put a beaded doodad in. It was surprisingly difficult to find a triangle pattern to use and almost just as hard to find a “not green” thread to use since St Pats is all about the green. I came up with trying to find either gold thread or rainbow color thread which wasn’t so easy either. I did some poking around amazon and came up with a brand of thread that I have never heard about and decided to give it a try.

The brand name is golo and it comes in several sizes and colors but the only way to get the gold color was in size 20 which I was pretty sure was going to be too small but I decided to give it a try anyway.  I was hoping it would be a bit thicker than Lizbeth size 20 but alas it is pretty much the same size.  This thread is actually a pretty gold color and pretty nice to work with, its not too terribly expensive but on my budget its more expensive than what I would normally spend.

When I went to work the pattern I had found and put the beaded doodad (that I had already made 4 of) inside the triangle I found that the tatted triangle was way too small.  I then tried to make the triangle with a thicker size thread just to see if the pattern would work and I found out that with a bit of tweaking the knot count I could make the pattern work. So the basic pattern idea came from a motif by Ruth on the site 'tatted patterns calendar" that you can find here. The pattern has both written and picture directions so I was very thankful to have found it. I just changed the counts to make it a bit bigger. I cant remember where I got the pattern for the little beaded leprechaun but I changed it up a bit and added eyebrows and a 3D beard.


 I couldn’t find any rainbow thread either so in the end I just used an awesome green thread I had found at goodwill.  I had kind of been saving this thread for a doily but I couldn’t come up with any other thread. It is a vintage J&P Coats knit- cro- sheen. This stuff is great to work with and the photo really doesn’t do it justice to show the great colors in it. It bums me out that this thread isn’t available anymore so I continue to look in goodwills hoping to run across more.


I ended up making 12 of these doodads but would anyone care to make a bet on if they made it in the mail on time?  Well the answer to that would be NO! I have never been so good about gifts at Christmas time so a few years back I started sending out fun little things for St Pats. I have been meaning to start another blog for my other crafting to post the things on it so I don’t clutter this one with non tatting stuff but so far I haven’t gotten around to it yet. I should try to make it my mission to start another blog but as you can see I am not even so good at posting with this one on time so maybe I shouldn’t! I guess I will just have to wait and see if I get all ambitious.

  I did end up sending out some tshirts and little rainbow treats along with the cards to some of my family. With shipping so stinking expensive it is kind of hard to send it out to everybody I would like to.  St Pats is kind of a weird holiday for some people and I am pretty sure there are a lot of people that don’t even acknowledge it so I usually only send out the cards to my close family. Unfortunately the shirts didn’t make it in time but I guess the treats are good even though they were late. The cards were also late getting to people so that sucks! But hopefully "it is the thought that counts" and the love behind the making of them!