Friday, November 26, 2010

It must have been fate

When you "have your finger in too many pies", there comes a time when you really have to sit yourself down and give yourself a good talking to. There are just so many hours in a day and when you start avoiding things like sleeping, eating and carrying on normal conversations with your other half, it's time to realize that not EVERY challenge to tat something new and interesting has to result in a finished project. So when the Fringe Element, tatting exchange for something from The Place I Call Home I reluctantly realized that I just didn't have the time. Then there was an online challenge to make a set of earrings and pendant and again I closed down the web site and kept plodding along with the "jobs I had to do". I even resisted IsDihara's challenge to decorate your chocolate box with tatting, or I sort of resisted, until this happened.
I was pulling some coin rollers out of the top shelf of the closet and this fell on my head. I couldn't manage a full size box, but what harm would it do to make a little something for such a tiny box? So first I covered it in pink paper.
I had visions of doing something Victorian in deep red and yellow, but was prevented by my lack of yellow thread. I have some yellow, but not the deep dark yellow-y gold colour I was imagining. For that matter I didn't have the dark red in my pallet either. So knowing that I really didn't have enough spare time to play with possibilities I turned to the boxes contents and thought I might see if I could make some lace chocolates for my box. That's when I realized that brown is another colour I don't have. I turned to my embroidery threads, but splitting skeins of thread wasn't something I wanted to do for any but the tiniest of projects. So I almost gave up until I remembered that I had been given a mixed bag of size 10 crochet cotton which happened to include a ball of brown. A little brown cloth and a little bit of tatting and I had the contents taken care of.

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.
Delicate violets with yellow gold beads in the centres. A single leaf and matching stem and I had the topping that my little box needed. I removed it from the box so that you can see it better here, although neither shot shows the gold edge along the bottom.

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

I had to share

I received an email from Coletta when she ordered the Tatted Flurries book, and attached to it was a picture of her entry in the Great Gulfcoast Arts Festival. She's the only tatter and her work was judged against the other heritage artists and she took the 2nd top award. I wrote and asked permission to share the picture with you:

The basic pattern is the tulip pattern from Linda Davis which she had memorized after making two of the four petals. The other flowers were from the same tulip pattern. She made two flowers from the basic pattern and  set one inside the other at an angle. The top part was a simple ring with chain work going round and round with lots of double stitches and picots to make the fluffy center. One of the leaf patterns was from Linda Davis' page but she's not sure about the other.

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

And the winner is................................

There were 80 people who added their comments,with awesome ideas of what to do with snowflake patterns whether they are done in white or in colours. Several people reported problems with commenting, but I included them too. Since I thought everyone might like to see the ideas I put them in a list.

Join together as a choker or necklace
Hang on tree, in door frame, IV pole, ceiling, in window
make dreamcatcher
make bookmark with joined snowflakes
make flowers
hanger for earrings
doily or mat
make purse
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
gift tags
runner edging
border a skirt
Santa's hat
pill box
line with fabric for a purse.
ornament drape
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
hostess gift
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 is a snowflake, not a snowflake?

Answer: When it's an ornament cover.

Like this Peek-A-Boo Daisy done in size 20 thread over a 2.5 inch ball. You can do this with any snowflake just by tatting 2 of them and joining them at the tips of the points. You can measure for a snug fit - and it does need to be snug - just by tatting one snowflake and laying the tips along the seam of a plastic ornament or from the hanger to the navel on a satin ball. If the tips just touch along the seam or opposite points just reach top and bottom, them you have chances of a good fit. If the snowflake overlaps the seams or top and bottom points, look for a smaller snowflake or a larger ball.


When it's flowers.

Like Polly done in size 20 Lizbeth Violet Pink Dk #635 and Violet Pink Med #634; Inverted Heart done in Raspberry Pink Med #624; and Phaedra done in Raspberry Pink Lt #623. Each picot on the outer edges of the snowflake has been sewn down. I expect that fabric glue would work, but might not wash as well. The "stems" are green ribbon and the leaf is one from one of my earlier pattern books, but it could have been made with ribbon too. Another alternative would be to use fabric paint.


When it's a shooting star.

Like Starburst done in size 20 Lizbeth in Christmas Red #671 and Red Burst #147. Each picot on the outer edge is sewn down. Since I used 2 colours I had 2 starting ends and 2 finishing ends. I ran out of thread just at the last outer point and had to add more thread in, so I had some extra thread ends. I was trying out different things with the snowflakes and when I saw the way it looked with all the trailing ends I thought I'd just leave them. so a did a crocheted chain on each end and then sewed them down. The ribbon with the gold edges was added for some extra pizazz. You could just sew the ends in and use fabric paint for the trail.


When it's a bookmark.

Like Phantom Star done in size 80 DMC in green and red. A split ring tail was added and a tiny matching ring and chain motif at the end instead of a tassel.

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

Win your own copy of Tatted Flurries

This is a snowflake standing on it's tippy toes. Yes, it really is STANDING on the picots.

I don't usually stiffen snowflakes, I just wet block them and leave them to dry. If they get droopy I wet them and just roughly block them again. The picture is crappy because it was taken in late afternoon light and my camera battery was dying. The blob it the middle is a heart shaped crystal and the little copper section at the bottom is the edge of a penny that wasn't as close to the snowflake as I thought, which was put in for perspective, but only about half of the penny shows. This snowflake got blocked and kicked around a lot before I got around to taking it's mug shot and it wilted, so I had to block it again.

Blocking 3D snowflakes is a bit of a challenge and I didn't want to have to do it a third time. So this time around I wet the snowflake thoroughly and then took a bottle of white, washable school glue that has a pointed nozzle and went over the snowflake, mostly along the bottom side of the stiches so that I didn't get lumps of glue in the picots. I expected it to be stiff. I didn't expect it to be able to stand on it's own. It isn't something I'd recommend doing to lace and I have no idea if it will wash out or not. Considering that the reason I used it, was so that I wouldn't have to block this sucker again, it will probably be a long time before I find out whether it really is washable or not. :-) This is the Magnus snowflake from the book Tatted Flurries and it's 5 inches across from point to point.

This time of year I always end up tatting a lot of snowflakes and because it's winter and I have snow on my mind I tat them in white to hang on a Christmas tree or give them away. When the weather warms up I tend to tat the same designs in colour to put on T-shirts. There are lots of things you can do with snowflakes. What are some of the ideas you have for using snowflakes? Just to give you an incentive to think of ideas, I'm going to have a contest. Add your comments to this blog post for a chance to win your own copy of Tatted Flurries. The contest will run until November 15th when all of the names will go into a hat and hubby will pick a winner. (Note, if you have already purchased the book, I'll refund your money just to be fair.) Get your thinking caps on, What can you do with a snowflake motif?

Just some additional information. This is Harmony, Magnus's little brother. This snowflake can be tatted several ways. The blue version shows it tatted with a centre motif. The white version has the centre motif and an encapsulating round that holds the one inch rhinestone in place. Magnus doesn't use the centre motif or the rhinestone and it has some connecting rings that bive it more stability, even when it isn't stiffened.