Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New Doily Started

After sifting through the Valdani pearl cotton stash, I selected a color and began a new doily today.

I am using size 8 Valdani pearl cotton in color H 206 "Washed Orange- Heirloom" with a few 4mm "Copper Rose" Swarovski bicones.
To be honest, I didn't have any specific design in mind for this one.  I just started tatting.  Think I'll continue and see what I end up with.  By the way, what do you think would be a good name for this one?

Oh, yes!  I almost forgot...there was a goody in my mailbox this morning from a tatting friend.

Thank you, Heather, for the lovely vintage Star tatting thread and 2 shuttles!  I haven't done shuttle tatting in a while.  I may have to play some this evening.

It has finally stopped raining and Lily Fey is pestering me to take her out for a good run in the woods.  Guess I had better do that before she starts spinning at the front door & howling- she gets VERY excited about her outings in the woods.  Have a fantastic day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How To Clean Antique Buttons

My day has been filled with cleaning and organizing the latest button jar acquisition so I thought I would share how to clean and care for antique and vintage buttons.

Antique Shell Buttons
Most antique shell buttons are mother-of-pearl (MOP), abalone or brown lip shell.  You care for these in the same manner that you do pearls as the shells also have a layer of nacre.  Nacre is the luster or irridescent sheen on the buttons.
I take a shallow plastic collander and gently rinse the buttons in cool to luke warm water, then place them to the side on a paper towel.  I then prepare a cleaning solution of water with a very small dab of Ivory liquid hand soap in a small plastic bowl.  You may also place a bar of Ivory soap in the bottom of the plastic bowl & swirl it around for a second then remove it.   An old soft toothbrush is perfect for removing bits of dirt and grime.  Gently scrub the button, rinse in cool to luke warm water and lay on a soft towel to dry.  When dry, store the buttons.  For my fancy carved or pierced buttons, I carefully wrap them in tissue, put them in a small zip top bag or in a watchmaker's tin.

Vintage Plastic Buttons
Every now and then I will use plastic buttons as a foundation or base for my artwork, but I strongly prefer the shell buttons.  Clean these in the same manner as the shell buttons, but be extra careful when using the toothbrush to clean them as even the softest brush may scratch the surface- NOT something you'd wish to do if the top of the button will be seen in your work.  Oftentimes, a cotton swab is the best tool for cleaning dirty plastic buttons.  I have several plastic storage boxes (fishing bait organizers) I use for storing plastic buttons.  They are very inexpensive and are readily available on the sporting goods aisle of your local discount store or in the fishing section of any outdoor specialty shop.

Antique or Modern Art Glass Buttons
Use the same care with these as with shell buttons, but ONLY use a cotton swab to gently wipe away surface dirt & grime.  Extra care should be taken with the antique specimens as they can be exceedingly delicate- especially if gold or silver leafing is present.  I store these buttons either in watchmaker's tins or if I feel they are delicate, wrapped individually in acid free (archival quality) tissue paper and stored individually in zip top bags.

There are some lovely antique metal buttons out there, but I do not personally care for them or choose to use them in my work.  I am sure there are plenty of resources on the web if this is an area of interest to you, dear readers.

A brief word of caution-  do NOT cut the shanks off of buttons!  This greatly decreases the value of the button.
If you have a lovely button with a shank and want to use it with your tatting, I suggest using my preferred method- use a shell button for a base and then attach the shank button on top of it as an accent.  This keeps the button intact and adds dimension to your work.

Well, I still have more button cleaning to do and would also like to have a few minutes to get in some tatting.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Working on More Jewelry Foundations

I have spent the morning tatting up various foundations and components for some larger pieces.

The first image is the foundation for a larger pendant:

This Valdani pearl cotton in P6 "Rusted Orange" works up nicely.  I used Swarovski bicone accents in "Copper Rose" and "Crystal AB".

The other motif I tatted using 12 wt. Sulky Blendables.  I can't find the color number on the spool, but hope to find it later.

This is the first of  7 motifs I have to make for Jocelin's bracelet.  It is accented with a 5.5 mm freshwater pearl and size 15 rocailles in "Rust".

There are a few other foundations I've been playing with- and one that I may post later this week as a FREE pattern, so keep your eyes open for another goody.

Well, I am off to tat more of the mini-motifs for Jocie's bracelet.  Have a great day and until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

Finally!  Everything seems to be back to normal.  The ISP I use experienced a massive "event" and over 100,000 customers were without service for a while. 

On top of the connectivity issues I've had to deal with, we have had some VERY high winds.  The screen tent we use in the front yard has been shredded.  Guess Jim & I will be hunting for a new one to put up this weekend.

Even with all that has been going on, I have done a little bit of tatting.  Here is a brooch-in-progress:

I think I will go back and re-do the purple round as the counts seem to be a little off for the button base.

The other tatting I've done is just a bit of playing with the silk hand-dyed thread that LadyShuttleMaker so kindly sent.  It is a bit larger than the Valdani silk I usually use, but her dye job is so pretty!  If you get a chance, click on over to Etsy & check out her store.  She truly has a lovely selection of gorgeous threads!

This colorway is called "Witches Brew" but it reminds me of soft Easter colors.  Think I'll use this silk thread for some Easter egg accents.  Many thanks, Sherry (aka LadyShuttleMaker)!

Since the cyberworld stuff seems to be working now, I think I'll get back to tatting so I have more good things to share with you soon.  Have a wonderful day.  Until next time~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Network Outage

Just wanted y'all to know I'm having connectivity problems with my ISP. Will post when issues are resolved. I was told there is a massive outage here & to expect service to be restored later this evening.

UPDATE:  Still having some technical difficulties, may not be able to post tomorrow, but hope to have everything cleared up and back on track next week.  I'll post if I can.  Thanks for your understanding!
Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Mardi Gras in North Louisiana

Happy Mardi Gras, y'all!
I got busy this morning with the tatting needles and cranked out an original pendant:

This is "Rust Fancy" - a pendant tatted with Valdani size 8 pearl cotton in H201 "Rust" from their Heirloom Collection.  It is accented with an antique carved shell button and "Copper Rose" Swarovski bicones.  I believe this little creation will be placed in my upcoming online Atelier Shoppe.

It's "Fat Tuesday" and all of Louisiana is celebrating.  Of course, New Orleans is the hub of the carnival season, but up here in North Louisiana, we celebrate in our own way.  I have been busy gathering all I need for our special Mardi Gras supper.  The Jackson family will be dining on: lean pork loin roast, greens (collard & turnip), speckled butter beans, green onions & sliced tomatoes, cornbread, sweet tea and my own version of a king cake.

Here is how I make a king cake: 
Spray a bundt cake pan with non-stick cooking spray and layer two cans of unrolled cinnamon rolls in it, hiding the plastic baby within as you layer it (the person who finds the baby has to make the king cake next time).  Bake according to the directions on the can, keeping a careful eye on it- you may need to let it go longer, depending on the oven and how big the cake pan is.  After the cake is done, allow to cool, then ice with cream cheese icing and sprinkle with sugar glitter in Mardi Gras colors.

Jim is off work today and is busy in his woodworking shop.  Guess I had better get busy in the kitchen for the feast this evening.  Have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Girl's Day

Jocie and I had a wonderful "girl's day" today!  We popped over to Hobby Lobby, then visited one of the local quilt shops, & finally engaged in some bargain shopping at the dollar stores.  I treasure special one-on-one time with my teenaged daughter.  She will be grown and on her own before I know it.

After returning home, I discovered the package UPS left at the door- it was our Lee Valley order.  Jim had ordered some special drawer pulls for his woodcarving bench and I ordered some watchmaker tins for storing my Czech art glass buttons and Swarovskis.  Here is an image of the Czech buttons, neatly organized:

This is the way to store buttons!  These tins come in their own hinged-lid aluminum case.  If you'd like to order some, click on this link. 

I got a little bit of tatting done this weekend, but not much.  Pictured below is an image of a St. Pat's button brooch work-in-progress:

I've tatted more than what is imaged, but don't want to show too much of it as my Mom really loves this button and has hinted that a tatted goody made with one of these "green beauties" would be appreciated.  If it turns out nicely, she'll probably get her wish.

Well, Jocie and I are ready for our chick-flick & chocolate.  Have a wonderful day!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!


Saturday, February 18, 2012

Goodies From Stitcher's Workshop

The Piney Woods are drenched this Saturday!  The rain has settled over Louisiana and it isn't moving out fast enough to suit me.  Oh, well... at least it slacked up enough for me to dash into the woods & take a couple of shots of the threads I got at the Stitcher's Workshop yesterday.

Pictured above in an antique Bavarian tea pot is the selection of Caron Wildflowers thread I had to have along with a few of my favorite Czech art glass buttons.  The Coral Blush is especially pretty, although the image does not do it justice.

There is a special St. Patrick's day project bouncing around in my head where I envision using the DMC pearl cotton threads & Czech button imaged above.  Pat had just the colors I needed in stock!

The rain is pouring down again.  Days like this make me want to curl up with a big mug of hot cocoa and watch old movies. 
 Don't know if I'll get much tatting done, but at least I gave you a hint of the wonderful goodies I found yesterday. 
 Have a wonderful weekend doing whatever makes your soul sing. 
Until Monday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Stitcher's Workshop Visit

As Jocelin is out of school for a few days, she and I decided to pay a visit to our favorite thread shop.  About an hour's drive north of us is the Stitcher's Workshop.  Pat Dugan has the most fabulous stitching store in our area!  She has kindly put up with us for a number of years and always has spectacular threads and other needle art goodies.

Here is an image of the Caron Wildflowers thread that I adore tatting with.  Pat has a fabulous selection of the entire Caron thread line along with  MANY other threads and fibers.

This is a portion of the DMC line.  Believe me, the Stitcher's Workshop is a fiber freak's heaven!

Aside from the sumptuous fibers, Pat carries hand-painted needlepoint canvases, fine needle art fabric (linens & evenweaves); charts for cross-stitch, canvaswork, embroidery; beads, notions, and she even offers a framing service.  Classes are available, too- just check her website and/or blog for details.  Yes, she does have an online store & ships worldwide! 

One upcoming event Pat hosts that you may find of interest, dear readers, is a Needlework Hideaway.  This weekend event will be held at the Red Apple Inn on Eden Isle just outside of beautiful Heber Springs, Arkansas.  For more information, click on the above link or get in touch with Pat via her website.

Jocelin and I had a great time this morning.  Many thanks to Ms. Pat for her gracious hospitality and fabulous shop!  We are already anticipating our next visit.

I'll be posting images of the goodies I bought later this weekend.  Hope you have a wonderfully creative weekend-  I certainly will.
Until next time~
Happy Tatting!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Off Week

This has been one of those weeks that just feels "off".  For some reason, I can't get into a good tatting groove.  Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of ideas bouncing around in my head- maybe that's the problem...  too many ideas bouncing around and my fingers don't seem to be able to settle long enough to get the ideas from my head to needle & thread.

I do have one work-in-progress to show you.

This is a pendant in progress tatted with Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in color S 506 "Washed Cinnamon" & is accented with a small, antique brown lip shell button & a 4mm "Copper Rose" Swarovski bicone. 

While mulling over another idea today, I sifted through the button stash.  Here is a lovely little selection that is now by my tatting chair, waiting to be worked into various designs:

Tomorrow may or may not be productive, tattingwise, as the kid is on holiday from school until next Tuesday.  Who knows what we may do- fiber art at home, shopping, or even a trip to Norphlet, AR, to our favorite thread/needlework shop.  Or we may just curl up on the couch and watch chick flicks & eat chocolate all day.  So long as I have time with my girl, it's wonderful!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In Memory of Gina

The tatting community has lost a true treasure. Gina, who was known online as the "Tatting Goddess" has passed away and is now tatting with the angels.

Although I did not know her as well as some, she was unfailingly kind and very generous with her talent.  I will always treasure the kind comments and suggestions she shared with me.  If you get the chance, cllick over and view her blog.  She was a very talented tatter, fiber artist, painter, and all around great lady! 

My heartfelt condolences go out to Gina's family and loved ones.  Thank you for sharing Gina with us!
Grace & Peace

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today has been full of more errands, but I do have a new bit of tatting to show you.  NOT my best effort, but Valentine's Day themed, anyway.

This pitiful little heart pendant was tatted as I waited for an appointment.  It is embellished with 4mm Swarovskis and looks like it has the mumps.  Oh, well... at least I snuck in some tatting during a very full day!

What are your plans for Valentine's Day?  Jim is taking us out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant.  After that I plan to come home, take a long bubble bath, read for a bit, then crash. 

I really hope to do more with the lovely silk thread Sherry sent tomorrow, so maybe Wednesday's post will have more interesting eye candy!

Have a fantastic Valentine's Day!!!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Rainy Day in the Piney Woods

It has been a dreary, rainy day in the Piney Woods. 
But there was a wonderful surprise in the mailbox!!!
LadyShuttleMaker sent me a skein of her hand dyed silk thread to try and I can hardly wait to tat with it.

The thread is called "Witches Brew" and is just gorgeous!  Check out Sherry's Etsy shop for her wonderful selection of hand dyed threads, ceramic shuttles and beautiful tatting patterns.  Here is the link to her Etsy store.  Many thanks, Sherry, for the beautiful thread!  I anticipate a lovely evening playing with it.
The antique MOP shell buttons pictured with the silk thread are a couple I picked-up this weekend whilst antiquing with my husband.  They are a little larger and I feel they need to be the centers of a couple of elaborate doilies.  What do you think?

Well, the kettle is singing so I best go make my hot cocoa.  Have a marvelous day and until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Zip, Zero, Nada

Good afternoon, dear readers.  I am sorry to say that I have absolutely zip, zero, nada tatting to share with you today.  My day has been filled with taking care of an insurance claim concerning the accident yesterday where I was rear-ended.  It seems that you have to talk to multiple people about "everything", but I hope "everything" is now squared away and I can focus on having a quiet, relaxing yet productive weekend full of tatting adventures.

I am still waiting to hear from the "Be My Valentine" event winner number 1, SpareMomentsStitching.
  Please be so kind as to contact me no later than this weekend.  If I do not hear from winner number 1, then winner numbers 2 & 3 move up & a new winner number 3 will be drawn.  I'd like to get all the goodies sent out before Valentine's Day.

Well, I am off to make myself a bit more presentable.  Jim is taking me out for dinner this evening and I'd like to actually put on something nice and a little make-up for a change.  Have a wonderful weekend doing whatever makes your soul sing!  Until Monday~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Pendant In Progress

This morning started off great.  I got up and had some time to get a bit of tatting done before the daily household activities began.  Good thing, because as I was on my way home from taking the kid to school, I was rear-ended while stopped at a red light.  My Jeep seems to be okay, but I'm still VERY shook-up.  My tatting tension is ridiculous!!!  I think I'll leave the tatting needles alone today and try again tomorrow morning.
Well, here is what I started on earlier:

What do you think of this pendant-in-progress?  I'm using the same Valdani pearl cotton that I used on the "Awaiting Spring" pendant.  This colorway is becoming a favorite.

I'm going to take a couple more Advil and lay down for a bit before going to pick-up Jocie.  Sorry for the short post, but I'm having a stressful day.  Tomorrow is bound to be much better.  Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Awaiting Spring Pendant

My tatting needles were busy this morning in the Piney Woods.  After a nice cup of tea, I ambled off into the woods with the new Valdani pearl cotton and was inspired to tat this:

This pendant was tatted with size 8 Valdani pearl cotton in color O559.  They call this color "Watery Weed".  I think this color should be called "Awaiting Spring" as it is the colors one often sees in my Piney Woods just before all the plants start budding out for Spring.  The pendant is accented with Swarovski crystal bicones in "Grass Green" and a shuttle shaped antique MOP shell button.  I don't know if I will sell this little beauty or keep it for myself as I am awfully fond of the colors.

To tat this piece, I began with a foundation of 6 ICR (interlocking chain-rings) with counts of 15 - with 4mm Swarovski bicone 15 CL.

The next step was to use the ends to secure the button and a 6mm Swarovski bicone to the front of the base.  I then pulled the ends to the back to tie, cut & hide.
Next, I commenced with the additional chain work around the motif to form the finished pendant.

This afternoon I hope to find a couple of tiny buttons to use as bases for earrings to possibly make a demi-parure with this thread.
Who knows what I may find in my button stash.

What are you, dear readers, tatting?  Any special projects or undertakings?   I think I'll put up a new poll about this in a minute.

It's another beautiful day and the woods are calling me again.  I'm off to play for a bit before picking up the kid from school.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Be My Valentine Winners

Good morning, dear readers!  It's a gorgeous day in the Piney Woods and it's even better because I get to announce the winners in the "Be My Valentine" event:
Winner Number One:  SpareMomentsStitching
Wins first choice!
Winner Number Two:  CarolynK
Wins second choice!
Winner Number Three:  DaleMarie
Wins the last goody!

Congratulations to all!  Please contact me with your choice of prize and pertinent information.  Many, many thanks to ALL who commented.  I love sharing goodies with you all appreciate all the kind words.

I promised you some new eye candy yesterday and here it is:

These cute 18mm Czech art glass buttons are breathtaking!  I could not get an image to do them justice.  There are 6 of these little beauties waiting to be tatted into something marvelous.

These are the different colors of size 8 Valdani pearl cotton that arrived yesterday.  I LOVE peachy/rusty colors.  The light green is pretty as well, and I adore the "Mauve Orchid" color- it is one of my favorites.

These are the silks.  I love the Valdani silk thread!  It tats beautifully and the colors are gorgeous.

Well, I am off to play in the Piney Woods with my new thread & buttons.  Congratulations to our winners, again, and may you all have a fantastic day doing whatever it is that makes your soul sing!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Mailbox Surprise

After running lots of errands, I returned home to a very full mailbox.  Not only did my latest Valdani thread order arrive, so did some small Czech buttons.  But, there was another goody in my mailbox- a lovely surprise from a tatting friend.  Here is what was in the envelope:

Nicola tatted a lovely pair of earrings from a pattern called "Thara's Heart" (that can be found at the Bella Online site) in size 40 Lizbeth, color 671 "Christmas Red".  Aren't they gorgeous!?!?!  I will be wearing these on my Valentine's Day dinner date.
The little heart is a pattern by Rosemarie Peel that she tatted in vintage Star tatting thread, shade 164.
And the other goody I am drooling over is:

Nicola found this treasure at a yard sale this Summer.  It has a copyright year of 1915 and is filled with fantastic crochet patterns.  I will have many enjoyable hours of playing with the patterns and thumbing through it.  Many, many thanks to Nicola for the fabulous goodies!

Dear readers, please do not forget to leave a comment on last Tuesday's "Be My Valentine" post and/or the Facebook posts about the event for your chance to win one of the 3 prizes.  The winners will be notified via email tomorrow morning after I take the kid to school.  Good luck!

I guess I'll save images of the new thread & buttons for tomorrow.  Be sure to check tomorrow's post for gorgeous thread, buttons, and winner announcements!  Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Gathering Buttons

I have spent the day going through the antique button collection, sorting out which ones I want to use in my weekend tatting.
This is my selection:

Aren't these carved shell buttons beautiful?!?  They will be put on the inspiration tray along with various Swarovskis, seed beads, pearls and Valdani threads.  I use a velvet lined tray to keep my project materials arrayed for work.  It is pretty and keeps everything neat and organized. 

I have a number of works to finish this weekend and hope to make more progress on the purse project.  Perhaps I'll have something interesting to show you Monday!

Well, I am off to get the rest of what I need gathered up in the Atelier.  After that I plan to spend the evening tatting and watching a few episodes of Grimm on the DVR.  Have a wonderful "Superbowl" weekend and don't forget to leave comments on Tuesday's "Be My Valentine" event post and/or any of the Facebook postings I did on the event.  That way you have multiple chances of winning one of the 3 prizes!  Until next week~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Giveaway Addition

For some reason, it seems you folks really like the pendant in the "Be My Valentine" giveaway event.  With that in mind, I tatted another pendant of the same design for prize option number 3.  Yes, there will be 3 winners selected!!!  The first selected gets first choice, the second selected then chooses and the third gets the last prize option not claimed. 

So... here is prize option number 3:

This pendant was tatted with DMC pearl cotton in color #4025 and has an antique carved shell button as the center focal accent.
Hope you all like this one as much!
Just remember to comment on yesterday's blog post and/or the Facebook postings I did on this event.
Winners will be selected on Tuesday, February 7th, 2010.

I hope to get some more tatting design work done today, but am also cooking a few things for the upcoming "Superbowl Sunday".  What are you planning this Sunday?  Who are you rooting for?  To be honest, I really do not care as my beloved New Orleans Saints did not make it to the big show this year.  Still, that is no excuse not to cook up some goodies- according to my husband, anyway!
Have a wonderful day doing whatever makes your soul sing!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting! 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Be My Valentine Event

Announcing the Piney Woods "Be My Valentine" Event!

This time there will be 2 different prizes and 2 different winners.  The first winner (selected via random number generator) gets first pick.  Here is what's up for grabs this time:

Prize option number 1 is a small heart bowl with 3 balls of siz 8 Valdani pearl cotton (colors H204, O507 & O775), an assortment of vintage buttons and a variety of beads (seed beads, Czech fire polish & freshwater rice pearls).

Prize option number 2 is the DMC pendant I tatted.

To be eligible: leave a comment on this post and/or on the Facebook posts (which I will be putting up in a little bit).  The winners will be selected via random number generator on February 7th, 2012.  Good luck!

The DMC pendant is very similar to a pendant from my upcoming "Romance of the Piney Woods" collection, so I will wait until closer to the debut before I put them up on the blog- but don't worry, the counts will be up soon.

I've got to run- it just started to rain & I have towels on the clothesline!
Have a wonderful day.  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!