Tuesday, December 21, 2010
1 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon soft butter
I cup icing sugar
1/2 cup (scant) chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped pecans or filberts (filberts were used)
1/2 cup drained maraschino cherries chopped
Cream together the peanut butter, butter and icing
sugar and fruit and nuts and form into 1 inch balls.
Melt 4oz of semi sweet chocolate and drip over balls.
1 cup butter or margarine
1/2 cup powdered icing sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
Cream butter and sugar together then add flour until
thoroughly mixed and press into a 13x9 inch pan.
Bake at 350 F 20-25 minutes until just starting to
brown as it will be returned to the oven when the
topping is added.
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled), if using fresh
add the grated lemon zest for extra flavour.
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup all purpose flour
I do the topping in the blender adding the ingredients
one at a time as it's running, finishing with the lemon
juice as the blender starts to have difficulty working.
Return to the over for another 25 minutes or more
until the top is set. I time it for 25 minutes and start
watching until the centre is set and firm to the touch.
Sprinkle with icing sugar, cool and cut.
1 cup margarine
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
bottle of mincemeat
maraschino cherry pieces
Cream together butter and cheese. Beat in eggs and
vanilla. Combine flour and baking powder. Stir into
mixture. Form a stiff dough. cover and chill. Roll out
half of mixture into 1/8 thick rectangle. Cut into 3 inch
squares, slit from corners. Put a dollop of mincemeat
in centre, and fold down alternate corners and press
a cherry in centre. Return excess dough to
refrigerator. Repeat with second half.
Bake at 375 for 12-14 minutes.
Guaranteed to add on pounds, but it's a celebration and now and then, we're allowed to splurge. By the way, the holly in the corner of the placemat is a larger variation of the pattern for the skates done in size 10 thread.
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
I expect these to be worn, maybe on a coat and they may get wet, so I thought the usual paperclips that form the blade of the skates might rust. When I found these red plastic coated paperclips, I thought they were perfect. Making tiny blades for skates, lacing up tiny little boots, tatting minuscule holly leaves and sewing on the bar fastener took almost as much time as tatting the skates, but finally they were done. TA DA! Tatted ice skates.
I thought you might like to tat a pair of your own, so here is the pattern. The whole thing is mostly rings of 4-4 and chains of 2 except for the chains at the toe and heel on the first row, and at the toe on the second row; which are 3.
An experienced tatter probably doesn't need anything more than the diagram, but some people might find a little more instructions helpful especially with the shaping of a 3D object. The first 3 rings at the toe all join into the picot of the first ring and when you are finishing and inserting the paperclip blade, that's where the paperclip is inserted, so make sure the picot isn't too small I used all same size picots. The three rings at the heel are made the same way, so make sure that picot isn't tiny either. Then when you make the second side of the sole of the skate the rings are joined to the matching ring on the first side. End with a shuttle join, and split ring to climb into the second row.
On the second row join each ring into the base of the ring on the first row. End with a shuttle join and split ring to climb into the third row.
The third row shapes the top of the foot. After the split ring, (no chain) tat another ring joining it to the base of the ring at the tip of the toe, then tat a third ring joining it to the base of the next ring. Think of it like a clover leaf. Then tat a chain of 2 and one ring joined to the base of the ring on one side of the foot and switch shuttles to tat the ring on the other side of the foot. Chain 2 and tat the next pair of rings, one on the left and one on the right. Then chain 2 and continue tatting ring and chain around the top of the shoe finishing with chain 2 shuttle joined between the last pair of left and right rings.
Row 4 begins the boot with a split ring. This split ring marked with an asterisk is the new front of the boot. Chain 2 and tat the next ring joining it to the base of the ring along the side of the boot. continue working around the boot ending with chain 2 shuttle joined into the top of the front ring. You should have 10 rings and 10 chains.
Row 5 and 6 begin with a split ring and are just a repeat of rings joined to the base of the ring on the previous row and chains. Make sure that you have 10 rings and chains on both rows.
Finish by breaking off the excess part of the paper clip and insert the remaining overlapping section one end in front and one end in back. Then use a strand of contrasting thread and lace up the front of the boot and tie a tiny bow at the top. Repeat for the second boot and tat a chain of about 30 stitches to join the two skates together.
Just an additional note, these were tatted with size 20 thread and measure about 1.25 inches.
The holly leaves that were used as an excuse to hide the bar pin at back are just cloverleaves joined together. You tat the first cloverleaf and do a shoelace tie before doing the next ring or you end up with a wreath shape instead of holly. Tat the next 2 rings, one with each shuttle and the last ring as a split ring. If you want to add 3 beads between the leaves the beads need to be on the shuttle before you start. They're tiny leaves that take only a small amount of thread, so you could unwind the shuttle and add them on in the middle. Slide the beads into place and do another shoelace tie, then tat the split ring starting the second leaf and tat one ring with each shuttle, joining the 2 leaves together at the side, followed by another shoelace tie and a final cloverleaf joining the last ring to the first cloverleaf of the second leaf. This same design can be made larger just by increasing the stitch count to 3,4, 5, 6 etc. and it still seems to work.
Friday, November 26, 2010
Then I turned my attention back to the box. With the box covered in pink I had effectively cut down some of my options and since I didn't have a lot of ideas percolating in my head, I settled for plain old white since it would let me keep my other options open. I made a simple ring and chain band to go around the side, but it looked skimpy. So I turned my attention to the top and began to cover the lid with more ring and chain tatting adjusting for the corners. It wasn't too long before I realized that I might end up with something weird happening in the middle, so I switched to doing rows of split rings.
That gave me a very uninspired box covered in plain white lace. It needed something to finish off the outer edge so I added a border of gold chain which finished the edge nicely and then I though a matching gold ribbon would be just the thing the box needed. One band of gold looked off balance so I tatted a second to cross in the other direction. That gave me a plain white box with a gold ribbon, but that wasn't really what I had been imagining so I took a look online at Victorian chocolate boxes and when I saw the flowers I knew what I needed to do.
At least this was one challenge I didn't have to forgo entirely, but now that it's done I need to hurry up and get my Christmas card tatting done. I know my hubby, the first Christmas card he gets, he'll be wanting to send out ours. My niece has a habit of sending hers out in November, so we have this ongoing battle about when is the right time to send cards. I'd rather it were later to give me more tatting time. He'd rather it were sooner so that they don't arrive late. I'm off to tat snowflakes.
One more picture to show you a view of the gold border along the edge.
Friday, November 19, 2010
The Tsumami silk rose buds and two other buds were already done from when she used to do Tsumami which is the art of folding squares of silk. Each flower petal, buds, and leaves are separate squares going through 7 - 9 stages of folding. It dates back to the Edo Era of Japan about 1640.
She had a few stems already but had to do several more as she didn't have enough for the flowers. There are no wires in the stems - the stems are made by rolling the inside material with a glue/paste mixture and then rolling the outside material over that. The outside stem material has been dyed to the color needed and she still had some stamens made from years ago.
The arranging and tacking down took about four hours as she kept re-arranging the flowers. None of the tatting is glued down. She took a push-tack and push the tack into the mat board. Using a large needle with monofilament line, she took the needle from the back to the front catching a picot and going back down in the same hole.
The threads were DMC pearl 8 and Lizbeth thread but she doesn't remember the size. (I'd guess 20 as that seems to match the perle 8) She wanted to do a presentation bouquet that would lay on a table but then
remembered that people love to touch. She had two old frames an oval and a round one and decided that the round one was the one for the look that she wanted. What she liked the most was the different textures that were achieved from the two fiber arts.
I think Coletta created a wonderful work of art with her tatting It's the kind of thing anyone would be proud to hang on their wall and it just goes to show what can be done with tatting. I love seeing people push the envelope and do things with tatting besides making doilies.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Join together as a choker or necklace
Hang on tree, in door frame, IV pole, ceiling, in window
make bookmark with joined snowflakes
hanger for earrings
doily or mat
appliques on sweatshirts, coats, purses, Christmas tree skirts, quilts, scarfs, little girls dresses, cummerbund
zipper pulls or fobs
decorating quilts with snowflakes
tree covered only in snowflakes
decorate book cover
invitation for a winter wedding
border a skirt
line with fabric for a purse.
centerpiece when placed on satin balls and placed in a clear bowl or vase
scatter them randomly on your holiday table
use the smaller ones on your place cards at dinner
on lamps shades, ceiling fan pulls
in live or artificial plants
Arrange them in the shape of a tree on a wall above a table so that it looks like it is sitting on the table
clock face in place of the numbers
decoupage them on plates or tins and fill with cookies to use and give as gifts
decorating a holiday wreath for the front door
holiday place mats
edgings on pillows and on pockets
made 2 alike and put a bit of tulle with potpourri to put in lingerie drawer
tacked to the walls of cube at work
tatted snowflakes in the "V" on shirts
decorate a picture frame
There were so many great ideas, I think I may have to tat all of the designs over again in colour just to try out some of them. If I'm going to do a blitz of snowflakes, I think I may as well join the 25 Motif Challenge again just to keep track.
Add of course, the thing you are all waiting for..........the winner of today's draw. The names were all printed and put in a hat and hubby pulled out a name. The winner is:
Rose Anne B
Please contact me with your address so that I can mail your book out to you. If I don't get a response, another name will be chosen.
Friday, November 12, 2010
When it's flowers.
When it's a shooting star.
When it's a bookmark.
Do you have other ideas of where to use tatted snowflakes? Don't forget to add you comments to the entry below for your chance to win your copy of Tatted Flurries
I was asked earlier for pattern names on the pictures which I have provided on the initial posting below
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Friday, October 29, 2010
As a beginner, it frustrated me to see a pattern that I liked, but I couldn't do them because of the way it was written. All of the patterns use visual format with instructions for climbing from one row to the next, but I've also included the alternate written instructions on how to tat it one row at a time. So experienced tatters and beginners alike can make these designs.
I'm not satisfied that the pictures do the snowflakes justice, so the cover may get changed because even after several tries what looked good on screen didn't print the way it was supposed to. I expect it has something to do with the printing equipment darkening the background, so I may change print shops and see if different equipment makes it look better.
Hubby hasn't been feeling well, so it's taken quite a while to get things done. The page with the order form isn't up yet and I'm still thinking about whether to do an e-book. At the moment I can send you out a PayPal invoice if you want the book. The pricing in Canadian currency listed below includes shipping.
Setting up the web page for downloading an electronic book in PDF format has to wait for a day when hubby is feeling better, but the file has been created, so it will be available electronically soon, maybe even this weekend. It's been done and the E-book is now available.
PDF E-book $19.00
Anyone interested in ordering the book please email me and let me know if you want the printed book or the E-book. If ordering the printed book, please let me know the country as shipping is included in the price:
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
The 8 edgings were completed before I had the placemats and had to be shortened by one pattern repeat to fit. That required cutting off part of the last repeated and retro tatting enough of the design so that the ends were long enough to re-tat the edge and sew in. Tedious and time consuming. And after it was all done I forgot to take a picture!
Before I got distracted by that little episode I began a bookmark in 2 shades of pink but I cut off the shuttles because I was too lazy to run upstairs and get another one for the edging repair. Now so much time has passed that I can't remember what I was doing with the pattern and I'm too lazy to stop and count stitches to find out what it ought to be so I can tat the other side. Before you judge me on this, it's harder than you think. I was designing on the fly and started with what I thought would work, but I could tell that it probably wasn't going to sit straight even with blocking so I know that somewhere along the line I modified what I was doing. So now I have 2 ends that have been apparently cut off and without counting the stitches in the pattern repeats at both ends and comparing, I have not way to be sure where I was going with it. and I'd still have to do something more to it to make is wide enough to be a decent bookmark.
So I started over again in a solid and variegate blue. It too wasn't wide enough but I wanted to use more than just blue anyway, so this one has a band of yellow down the middle. I'm thinking of shipping this one off with a belated birthday card, or not. I haven't decided.
Most of August was shot trying to get things sorted out in the garage. It's one of those situations where things weren't what they should have been and things had to be redone so that you could safely work out there. Over the years my sweetie has repaired almost everything in the house, but that often means needing to take it out into the garage to work on it. 30 years ago he built a bench with 16 drawers in it to hold all the bits and pieces he uses. To fix some things we needed to get behind the desk, but it's too heavy to move full, so we had to empty things out, move the desk, work behind it and put it back. While it was out the drawers sat on the floor, so the car sat out in the driveway and we picked our way around the clutter within. It's amazing the number of jobs that you just can't complete without making a trip to Home Depot or Canadian Tire for a 50 cent part. It's especially amazing that you didn't know you'd need that 50 cent part the last time you were there.
August was a good month, health wise for my sweetie. The weather was good and he was good able to do things. So he did, while he could. September the weather got colder and he's back to feeling miserable. He's spent the last week hardly able to get out of bed. It's so frustrating for him to feel like being up and working one day and feeling barely able to stand the next and never knowing from one day to the next which it will be. So needing to do what could be done while we could, I took my usual place as a lamp stand or third hand. That of course meant that I was needed to tag along for every trip out for a 50 cent part and every few minutes I was needed to hold said 50 cent part while it was assembled into whatever it was.
Not a lot of tatting got done and I was too tired to concentrate much on getting this snowflake book going although I did manage to reformat it. Now I just need to get my nose to the grindstone and get it finished. I did manage to keep the 25 Motif Challenge page updated and the new Design-Tat course is up and running, so I guess I have been doing some things tatting related. Too bad this eating and sleeping stuff has to interfere so much ;-)
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Tuesday, August 03, 2010
My old web page used to be http://www.gagechek.com/slb but it's new address is:
Clicking on the link will take you to the new page which is exactly like the old one. If you haven't visited the page you might want to take a look through it. There are pictures of the tatting I did for my wedding veil, useful information in the tatting Tips including a page on How to Read a Pattern which you are free to use for teaching purposes, and of course there are a variety of how to demos. Even if you have seen the page before, clicking on the link will help to register the new address with the search engines so that new tatters can find the demos.
The new address also included the information on FilePick which is the software my sweet hubby wrote to help keep track of patterns and other things. I found that when I had created a lot of drawings, it became hard to find the one that I wanted. If you make one heart it's easy to find, but if you've made a dozen over the course of several years, it may be harder to locate the one you want and it sure is tedious opening up one pattern after another trying to locate the right one.
FilePick will let you list the pattern or the PDF file or the CAD file and link the name to a picture. It doesn't have to be a picture of the diagram, it can be a picture of the finished product. It sure is a lot easier to scroll through thumbnails of things to find just the right one.
If you have a minute, I'd appreciate it if you clicked on the 2 links above. It will help to establish the new addresses in the search engines so that people can find us again.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
I sat down with some black Opera size 20 and some size 20 Lizbeth Turquoise and tatted a row of edging adding in the tiny bells as I was going. I had an idea that tinkling little bells around the ankle might be kind of cute. After the first row I had intended on just making a chain across the top, but I could tell that would be too skinny so I thought of making a mirror row along the top and replaced the bells with tiny gold beads. I didn't like the space that left between the large rings top and bottom, so I added in some iridescent black dagger beads to fill the gap.
Overall, I like the effect and the bells do make a nice little jingle when you walk. I'm not the kind of person to wear ankle jewellery. Actually I don't wear much of any kind of bling. I have a diamond engagement ring, but I don't wear it. My ears were pierced and I used to occasionally wear earrings, but I'd gotten away from it for so long that the last time I tried to put them on I had to poke a new hole because it had grown over. I've decided though that I like this one. I think it might even make a nice choker.
That brings me to an interesting question. Do you wear one anklet or two? Earrings are generally worn in pairs, but you don't often wear bracelets on both wrists. So what about anklets? Ankle bracelets are usually only worn on one leg, but I've seen designs for ankle wear done in pairs and I've seen singles. Of course maybe I'm only seeing one displayed but there are actually two. Does it matter? Does it depend on the design? I was all ready to whip out a second anklet when I decided that I only want to wear one. What do you think?
Monday, July 26, 2010
I not only find the tatting wonderful, but also the creative way in which it was incorporated into the dress. It isn't embellishment, it's an integral part of the dress itself. I find myself wishing I could be creative like this.
Meme sent me this additional information. The bride asked her to do the tatting and she was provided with a mold of the area where the tatting was to go. She tatted motifs in the general shape of a diamond ending with 2 motifs where it joined to the neck. At the sides for the underarm the motifs were elongated to join up with the front of the dress and a silver edge was added. It was tatted in Mercer Crochet thread, light ecru color (like butter), No. 20.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I've hardly held a shuttle in weeks other than to re-do several snowflakes in colour and there's this little bit. I was intrigued by the anklets I've seem on several blogs and thought I'd do one of my own. I thought it would be a good way to showcase tatting, but once I had it finished I remembered that I mostly wear socks and running shoes so that for me it's kind of a waste of time. The 25 Motif Challenge is beginning to take more time than I want to spare. Quite a few of the new participants don't blog in English so it's added another step having to translate the blogs. The translations sometimes don't make sense on key words so it requires getting creative. The heat has zapped my creativity so that adds to my frustration.
We're missing the bird and strangely, hubby is missing her more than I. Of course I'm not missing the hours of cleaning cages and caring for her, so maybe that's part of it.
We've had the Wii for about 3 weeks and I've lost 6 pounds which is good. Of course working up a sweat and then sitting in a draft from the fans has resulted in back aches, So I go around the house turning off fans and hubby goes around turning them on because it's hot and I think that brings me back to where I started.
We're in the process of changing our domain name which will change all of our web site, email addresses, and PayPal set ups so this should be fun. I may suddenly look like I've dropped off the face of the earth, but trust me, I'll be back.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
Since the car accident I've gotten more and more out of shape. It took several months before I could walk again under my own steam and even when I could hubby didn't want me going anywhere unless he could come too. The problem is that he often can't leave the house because he's too dizzy. Consequently, I'm getting more and more flab and less and less muscle.
The other day I bought a Wii system with the balance board. Hubby thought I was joking when I said I wanted one. He insisted it was only for kids. Then we got it home and started using it. There's a lot of "anything you can do I can do better" going on right now, and all the while, we're both getting in better shape without having to leave the comfort of our own living room.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
She sits with me outside when I tat. She sits with hubby when he waters the lawn. She goes on bike rides with us. She sits with us at lunch time and plays with hubby.
However circumstances change and I know that I'm not giving her the care she ought to have. So, with great sadness the time has come to say good bye. The vet has found a client whose son is interested in having her. He's been over to see her with his Dad and a couple of days later he was here with his girlfriend and Mom. Saturday he's coming over so that my hubby can help him making a free standing play area for the bird. Something that she can climb on and off of from her cage like she does now climbing from her cage to the 6 foot swinging branch we have hung from the basement ceiling. Something that she can climb around, but not climb down from. Her cage is too small, but she isn't locked inside it, except to sleep. He's decided that it's better to make a stand than to buy a really big cage and have her locked up all day. I agree.
I've been on and off weepy for days knowing that she's going. I know it's the right thing to do. I can't give her the time and attention she needs. Hubby can't handle the sound of her screams when she doesn't get the attention. Meniere's can make him fall over if he hears loud noises and her screams ARE loud.
It's the best thing to do, but that doesn't mean I'm happy about this heart breaking change.
Friday, June 04, 2010
You may have noticed in the picture above my wonderful new Pop-A-Bobbin Shuttle. I love it! This is the first hand made wooden shuttle that I actually LIKE.
Just so you know hubby has all the tools to make these things in the garage. He has a background in quality control and when he builds something in wood, the pieces are so perfectly matched that they hold together without glue. He's a perfectionist and I'm used to things VERY
precisely and perfectly made. He doesn't make a lot these days just because his health won't permit it. So if you think any of my comments are overly critical you'll know why.
Years ago quite a few people on the tatting lists raved about the custom made David Reed Smith shuttles, so when I had some spare cash I ordered one. At the time, between the exchange rate and the shipping costs, it came to around $40 Canadian. I ordered a large shuttle because I figured it would be useful in tatting larger projects to have a shuttle that held a lot of thread. I think I've used this shuttle about 3 times. It's a post style shuttle and I hate it. That's no reflection on the maker, I just don't like post shuttles. As for workmanship, there are some edges that aren't as round as they should be and the wood finish is rather grainy like it needed a little more polishing. That may be due to the nature of the wood I selected. At any rate, the shuttle was a disappointment and after a trial run with a small motif it got stuck in a drawer. It's the top one in this picture.
The next shuttle is a double bobbin Silent Tatter. I needed a double bobbin shuttle and since I was going to be paying shipping costs anyway, I figured I'd order both single and double at the same time. The single is the 3rd one pictured above. The pair of them including overseas shipping from the UK were about $64.00 Canadian They're bobbin shuttles so I expected to like them. Unlike the post shuttle they are usable although just barely so. I have 2 complaints about them. First of all, there are all these little pieces. I often tat while sitting on the couch. When using an Aero shuttle, the bobbin comes out of the shuttle and gets stuck on the back for winding. When I need to put thread on the Silent Tatter I have to juggle 6 little bits which you can see on the left in the picture below. Actually it`s only 5, because the bobbin doesn't fit securely on the piece of dowel supplied, so it's just a useless bit of junk. The bobbin is secured inside the shuttle by a metal sleeve that fits over a tiny screw. In order to undo this screw to put thread on the shuttle you need a screwdriver, or this supplied T. So while you are trying to fill the bobbin there are a whole lot of pieces that can get lost down the side of the couch. Loose any one of those 5 little pieces and the shuttle is useless. They both appear to be reasonably well made although the finish on the single bobbin shuttle is a little grainy looking.
The other complaint that I have, is that unlike the Aero which has the same tension each time I load it, the Silent Tatter needs to have the tension minutely adjusted using the T. I find I load the shuttle adjust it to what I think will work and find that it's either too tight or too loose, but I have already put the T away so that I don't lose it and I end up using an improperly tensioned shuttle which frustrates me. So these shuttles too have been put in a drawer and I only pull out the double bobbin shuttle when I have too, because it is the only double bobbin shuttle I own. I don't know what woods either of these shuttles are because when I ordered them the wood I requested was unavailable and I told them to just send what they had, and they came without labels.The shuttle on the right in the picture above is the new Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle It's Purple heart and I know what it is, because that's what I ordered and, well, it's purple. This one cost me about $32 including overseas shipping. The Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle as you can see has 4 pieces. The popping tool has a tapered end at one side for popping the little cork out of the shuttle and one side which actually fits the bobbin. Unlike the Silent Tatter, the bobbin on this shuttle can be removed without using the special tool. I can pop the cork with my baby finger so I don't need to use the special tool. That means that while I'm winding the bobbin I only have to really pay attention to the little cork. That's one little piece instead of 3 to put the bobbin back in. Not only that, but once the bobbin is back in I can just start tatting. No fussing trying to screw together little pieces, no problems with tensioning, just delightfully smooth tatting.
I can't use the Silent Tatter without this screwdriver tool and even with it getting perfect tension is a stinker. The Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle really only needs the shuttle because even if my baby finger can't pop the cork, any small blunt object can be used. The workmanship on it is superb also and the finish is perfect, unlike the other 3. This one isn't going in the drawer. I've already tatted 3 motifs with it and if it weren't for the fact that the large 3D snowflake is in process with 2 fully loaded Aeros, it would be more.
The Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle gets 2 thumbs up. I hope "I'm in the garage" has a comfortable stool and a kettle for a hot cup of tea in the garage. I don't think tatters are going to let him come out of it any time soon.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
Monday, May 31, 2010
The something else happened when I was working on snowflakes for the book. Here's the original cluny flower snowflake.
If I can get my act in gear it will be in a book by the end of the week. If you haven't already guessed, the white tatting on navy blue backgrounds are all different snowflakes from the book. Nothing like teasing people with tantalizing bits of lace.
Saturday, May 29, 2010
I also want to do a couple of the snowflakes in size 80 so see how they do as bookmarks.
I have more projects on the go than hours in the day. I guess that explains why I haven't done a 25 Motif Challenge update in a while.