Monday, April 30, 2012

Weekend Creations

This weekend was a productive one.  I spent most of it on my front porch, tatting away and enjoying the gorgeous weather.
Here is a peek at a couple of my newest creations:

This pendant (which is in progress in the above image) is tatted with Valdani pearl cotton.  I tatted another round and added a jumpring.  Let's hope the wind lays down later today so I can take images of the finished pendants!  It is VERY gusty out today.

Here is the Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk pendant I did:

After looking at it for a while, I went back and took the tatted accent off of the beaded bezel.  Again, I'll try to get an image up a little later this week.

As you can see, I was on a green kick.  Sometimes I just cannot help myself- certain colors really appeal to me and that's all I want to tat with for a while!

What did you, dear readers, do this weekend?  What tatting projects are you currently making? 
I am working on another pendant today, but it is in a lovely bronze color.  Images of it will be forthcoming soon.

It has been a bit since I've done a special giveaway event.  According to the poll, folks would like a "goodies" giveaway.  Guess I had better go dig in the atelier and see what I come up with.  Be sure to watch the blog this week for the event announcement!  Have a great day, everyone!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting Set For The Weekend

As promised, here is an image of some of the foundations I tatted yesterday:

I used Valdani pearl cotton for all of these and did a few more in the Valdani silk.  You'll have to visit the blog next week to see the finished pieces! 

Today is going to be filled with more foundation tatting, accent gathering, and design sketching- all in preparation for a relaxing weekend of creating some (hopefully) great new pendants & brooches.

What are you, dear readers, doing?  Any special weekend plans?  You know what I'm doing.  Jim is gardening and woodworking. Jocelin is studying for her end of course testing.  Whatever you may be doing, I hope you enjoy it thoroughly.  Until next week~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tatting More Foundations

I have been busy this morning tatting more pendant/brooch foundations. 

The goal is to have a fair few of these done so I can focus on embellishing them over the weekend.
I have been uing various Valdani pearl cottons and silks with a wide assortment of vintage buttons in all sorts of shapes and sizes.

The pearls and Swarovskis in my Atelier are all neatly lined-up on the design table.  The Czech seed beads and art glass buttons have also been arranged in the watchmaker tins.  It takes more time than you would think to get all of the things I use for accents rounded up and laid out!

Many thanks to my dear readers who have offered name suggestions and kind words about the pendant featured in yesterday's post.  I am still contemplating a new name and will let you know soon!

Well, I had better get back to work tatting those foundations. I'll be sure to take an image of some of them to share with you tomorrow.
Oh- please vote on the poll as I am considering what the next Piney Woods Event will be!
Have a fantastic day doing whatever makes your soul sing!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Subtle Elegance Pendant

After posting the foundations yesterday, I added a bit more to the first one:

The center accent is a 6.5mm Akoya pearl surrounded by beige Czech seed beads.
A few extra rounds of overtatting and chain weaving were added for good measure.
All I need to do now is attach the jumpring finding and perhaps add a "bead dangle" to the bottom-  one of my sterling silver or pewter pine cones. 

Here is another view of the piece:

Doesn't seem so subtle, does it?  Care to suggest a new name for this pendant anyone?

I think I shall see what I can do with the other foundation.  It may be altered a bit before I start adding accents.  There are a couple of design ideas floating around in my head and I am debating adjusting my counts.  Hmmm... decisions, decisions.

The beads and pearls are waiting so I'd better get busy.  Have a great day!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Subtle Elegance Pendant Foundation

I began work this morning on a Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk pendant.  The color is S 49 "Subtle Elegance".   I rarely tat with any white as it just is not me, but I do love the slight color variations in this lovely silk.  The name certainly suits in this case.

Using a small 4-hole vintage button, the counts are as follows:
R5-5+ to button 5-5 CL RW
CH 9- (with seed bead, 3mm Swarovski, seed bead) 9 CL RW
R5+10-5 CL RW
Continue around button alternating R counts, joining every other R to button.  Final count is 8 Rs & CHs.
Tie & cut, hide ends.
This piece is now ready for further embellishment.  Additional rounds will be tatted and a center Akoya pearl accent will be attached.  I'll post the finished piece later in the week.

The above is the sort of foundation I use when adding more rounds and layers of tatting.  It provides more support and places for anchoring tatting.

Here is another option for a pendant using the same Valdani silk:

This uses an identical button and has the same number of Rs & CHs.  The counts for this option are:
R9+ to button 9 CL RW
CH 9- (with seed bead, 3mm Swarovski, seed bead) 9 CL RW
Continue around button, joining each R to button. 
Tie & cut, hide ends.

The second option is the foundation I use when adding lots of picot laden chains to form a fluffy center.

I hope you enjoy these foundations and add to them as it suits you.  Use your own creativity to produce something amazing and unique to you!  Everyone tats a bit differently from others and that is one of the things that makes it so beautiful and fascinating.

If you would like color suggestions, I really like this Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S 49 "Subtle Elegance", but also recommend the Valdani colorfast hand-dyed pearl cotton in O 538 "Cottage Smoke".  These two colors are the whites I use in my tatting.  Neither is actually white, but rather soft, neutral variegations.  For a full view of the Valdani threads and color selections, click over to their website.  You will find a wonderful array of threads and colors!

Guess I had better get back to the pendants.  The beads, Swarovskis and pearls are out and waiting to be added in additional rounds.  May you have a wonderful day doing something creative!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Spring Planting

We finally have done ALL of the Spring planting!  The vegetable garden is thriving and my little herb garden is planted, mulched and soaking up the sun.  Jim and I will need the rest of the week to recover from our weekend!

I tried to get some images of the herb garden, but the light was too strong on the light meter.  The images would have been way too bright.  I'll try to get a couple of shots this evening after the sun goes down.

We did have quite the flower show in the yard.  Here is a montage of some of my blooming beauties:

The lower right image is of the goodies I found Friday on the antiquing trip with my mom.  The Bavarian bread & butter plate is just beautiful, and I happened upon a selection of vintage florist cards.  I thought they would be great to use as earring cards.  There are a number of different cards with a variety of sentiments.

I did not do much tatting, but focused my energy on taking care of the gardening chores.  With all of those done, I hope to put much more effort into my tatting this week! 

 Well, I am off to the Atelier to dig through thread, beads and buttons.  What could I possibly come up with to share with you tomorrow?  Stay tuned for some tatting goodies and perhaps a surprise or two this week.
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Flowers, the Garden & A Day With Mom

Thought you'd like to see what we've been working on in the yard:

The upper left is the peach Gerbera daisies that have finally decided to bloom.  The upper right is the container of mini-petunia like flowers (I forgot exactly what they're called).  Lower center is my gorgeous bougainvilla.  The lower left is a shot of my "Contender" snap beans.  They are really taking off.  The lower right is an image of our "Jackson Wonder" speckled butter beans.  The corn, okra, purple hull peas, squash, turnips and tomatoes are all growing rapidly.  I hope our garden will be productive this year!

What are you doing today, dear readers?  I am getting ready for a special "girls day" with my mom!  It has been a while since we have had time together- just us.  We plan to go shopping at the nearby outlet mall and a few antique shops, then have an enjoyable lunch before picking Jocelin up from school.  With my mom along, you never know what goodies we'll find on our shopping excursion!  She loves antique/junque shops, too.

Mom will be expecting me soon, so I'd better hop in the Jeep & head that way.  May you all have a wonderful weekend doing whatever it is that makes your soul sing!
Until next week~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Playing With Leftovers

There was just a bit of pink and purple thread left at the bottom of my portable tatting box, so I decided to see what I could do with the leftovers.

The sunlight outside is so bright that I could not get a better image.  I'll try again a bit later- perhaps this afternoon.

Here is my challenge to you, dear readers:  find a way to creatively use that last little bit of thread you have left to tat something.  It's amazing what you can do with just a small amount of thread.

Well, I have played with the tatting today, so I'd better get to the yard work.  We are putting in the herb garden this weekend and I still have prep work to do before Jim can do his part.  Have a wonderful day!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Even though it was rainy and dreary yesterday, I managed to get in some tatting in between cleaning and cooking.

The blue pendant was completed and tweaked a bit along with the neutral variegated pendant.  More was done on the peach brandy pendant and I started another brooch foundation.

Here is a better view of the pendants.  Both are accented with Akoya pearls and Swarovskis.

The peach brandy is coming along nicely and I had to start another brooch foundation with this marvelous Valdani pearl cotton- LOVE this purple color!

The peach brandy pendant would not lay flat long enough to get a good shot.  It will look better once the round I'm working on is complete & the piece is blocked.

So, what are you working on, dear readers?  What is on your Spring tatting list?

Well, I have procrastinated long enough.  I've got laundry to hang out and more serious cleaning to get done before the weekend.  We are putting in my herb garden Saturday and I need to have all of my housework done.  I'm also cooking a bit extra along this week so all we have to do is heat something up.  Hope you have a marvelous day!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Rainy Weather

The rain has settled in for the day and it is dark and dreary out.  Still, the tatting must go on!
I fixed myself a cup of hot cocoa in a pretty mug and snuggled into my favorite tatting chair to finish the Valdani blue silk piece.  Here it is:

Sorry the image is not up to my usual standards, but I had to improvise with the weather.  The center accent is a 6.5mm Akoya pearl.  It turned out okay, but I think I will try a couple of the variations to the foundation that came to mind as I was completeing the outer rounds.

There are several other foundations that are waiting their turn next to my tatting chair, so I had best take advantage of the day and hop to it.  Have a wonderful day doing whatever makes your soul sing! 
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 16, 2012

What A Weekend!

We had a busy weekend!  Jim took the old latticework off the front porch and replaced it with new, sturdier picketing.  We finished getting the big garden ready for the growing season.  Everything is planted- finally! 

I managed to get in some tatting amongst the weekend chores.  The Valdani Luxury Pearl Silks were calling to me and I got a number of foundations done.  They will be fleshed-out, embellished and completed over the course of the week.  Here is a peek at a couple works-in-progress:

A lovely blue piece and-

a peach brandy delight!

Both feature a button center for support and for adding additional tatting and accents.  A few Swarovski crystal bicones were tatted in for good measure.

I'll have more images later in the week of the finished pieces and possibly a pattern.

We had a bit of a storm front move through late last night and the yard is full of downed limbs and debris.  Guess I had better get busy cleaning up the mess.  Have a wonderful day!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Trip Musings

Our vacation to Tishomingo was exactly what we all needed!!!
Jim actually got to rest and relax from the stress of work.  Jocelin read to her heart's delight on her Kindle while she was plugged into the iPod.  As for me... I received the gift of precious time with my beloved husband and daughter with a generous helping of artistic inspiration thrown in for good measure!

Each morning we had a beautiful display of the local moths on the back of the cabin.  Here is a collage of some of our visitors:

The wildflowers put on a marvelous display for us, too.

My sketchbook and notebooks are so full of ideas for tatting, crochet, beading and embroidery projects!

Our visits to the Apron Museum, the town of Iuka, and downtown Tishomingo were all fantastic.

We will most definitely be visiting TSP again.  The CCC cabins are a great value, the hiking trails are excellent, the natural surroundings are breathtaking, and the people up there were most welcoming and kind.

The Spring cleaning is slowly progressing, but I hope to get in some serious tatting this weekend.  May you all have a wonderfully creative weekend!
Until Monday~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Saddleback Ridge Hike

The Saddleback Ridge Trail is gorgeous!  It follows a ridgeline used by Chickasaw Indians to travel to the Freedom Hills in the Mississippi/Alabama area.  There are dramatic outcroppings, caves and rock formations all along the way.

I wish I could adequately describe the plethora of greens and browns that were prevalent along our hike!  If only I could have thread in these colorways...  I must admit, though, the Sulky Blendables in Moss Medley and Forest Floor are very close.  Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in Golden Moss is a close match, also. 

I took so many images!  The colors and textures were fabulous and greatly stimulated my creativity.  Rest assured, I took copious notes the entire trip!  After some serious Spring cleaning, I plan to be EXTREMELY busy tatting all sorts of goodies.

Speaking of Spring cleaning, I'd better get busy.  Have a wonderful day doing whatever makes your soul sing!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Apron Museum

There is a true diamond set in the beautiful town of Iuka, Mississippi- The Apron Museum !!!

Carolyn Terry, the owner/curator of the Pineslab Shop & Apron Museum, was an absolute joy to meet and visit with.  Her cute shop/museum is filled with oodles of goodies to make any fiberholic squeal with delight.

When you first walk in, the museum side is to the right.  Carolyn has just about every kind of apron imaginable on display.  There are gorgeous crocheted aprons, "naughty" and peek-a-boo aprons, dainty 1950's & 60's hostess aprons, chicken scratch (gingham with embroidery) aprons and many, many more.  I truly wish we'd had more time to visit with Carolyn and comb through her collection.  Jocelin and I were in heaven while Jim was the epitome of a Southern gentleman, patiently waiting for us to sift through treasures.

To the left is the antique store and "for sale" apron section.  There is a varied selection of vintage goodies one could purchase to embelish an apron or other fiber art piece.  Here are a few images of the crocheted doilies and what-nots available:

Beautiful blues, reds & yellows.

Love these fabulous reds!

Springy fresh greens.

For those of you who would like to know more, click on the museum link at the top of this post or check out the Apron Museum on facebook.  Ms. Carolyn will be glad to answer any questions you have and I can assure you, she would LOVE to hear any of your personal apron stories.

Antiquing and hunting for various vintage fiber arts are among my favorite activities.  Inspiration is always to be found in the needlework of previous generations, but I must admit- I am especially inspired to revisit my "tatting apron" design after viewing Carolyn's collection.  I hope to have something to share with you on that front soon.

Many thanks to Ms. Carolyn for her gracious hospitality!  We will be visiting again.

Well, I am off to dig through my fabric stash.  I feel the need to sew an apron.
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Outcroppings Hiking Trail

The hardest thing to do at Tishomingo State Park is deciding what hiking trail to take first!  There are 7 to choose from and each is scenic and just gorgeous.  We chose the "Outcroppings Trail" for our first hike.

This trail is a long loop that begins and ends at the swinging suspension bridge.  Jocelin was NOT a happy camper posing for the pic with Big Daddy as the bridge was moving!  After we got her across and embarked upon the trail, she was fine.  This was the most scenic of the trails, in my opinion, as there were loads of breathtaking rocky outcroppings covered in moss.  Several icy cold streams and creeks were sprinkled along the way- one was quite slippery.  My behind still hurts when I recall the slip I made when crossing that one!

The images above are from another area in the park, close to the pioneer cabin.  The moss covered stairs and fountain are so pretty!

Here is a montage of images taken around the pioneer cabin.
We had such a good time walking and exploring!  The scenery was gorgeous and the birds gave us a full concert the entire time.

I was particularly struck by the colors of the moss on the rocks.  So much artistic stimulation almost gives me sensory overload!
At least that was the excuse I gave Jim so he'd grill our supper!!!

Be sure to check out tomorrow's post as I have a special surprise for you.  I am still so excited about this one place we visited- I just know you will LOVE it!!!
Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 9, 2012

O' Tishomingo!

Dear readers, I have a confession- while I shared part of my activities with you last week, I did not mention that we were on our first family vacation in a number of years.  Where did we go?  Tishomingo, Mississippi!

If any of you have seen the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou, the "Soggy Bottom Boys" meet a lone guitar player at a crossroads who asks them, "Is this the way to Tishomingo?"  I asked my husband, who is from Mississippi, where Tishomingo was- he didn't know.  So, I took it upon myself to find out and discovered the hidden treasure of Tishomingo State Park in extreme northeastern Mississippi.

Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, just off the historic Natchez Trace Parkway, Tishomingo State Park was just what we were looking for in a family getaway!  The park has 6 cabins built in the 1930's by the CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps).  We rented one and had a blast! 

Artistic inspiration abounds in these mossy hills.  From our cabin, we could hear the rapids of Bear Creek.  It felt wonderful to sit outside, listen to nature & tat away!

If you want a truly relaxing getaway in a beautiful area, full of Southern grace & hospitality, then I highly recommend Tishomingo State Park.  Give Ms. Charlotte a call at the park office or go online to make your reservations.  Info on the park may be found here.

Check out the blog this week for more of our getaway adventures.  There are lots more images and surprises to come!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting! 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Good Friday!

I hope you all are well, dear readers, and to those who celebrate:
Happy Good Friday!

This morning I was struck by the display of my roses.  So... I dug out the digital camera and took some images to share with you:

Jim gives me a rose bush each year on Mother's Day.  As you can imagine, I have a number of bushes now!

The fragrance and colors of my roses never fail to artistically inspire me.

Love the shape and color on this bud!

And this one smells like licorice!

May you all have a blessed Easter weekend.  I am looking forward to spending the day with Jim and Jocie.  A picnic in the woods is planned for later, but for now, I think I'll go back to the rose garden and sit a while.
Until next week~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vintage Tin Find

Jocelin found a gorgeous tin for me on our last antiquing excursion!

The tin is in great shape.  No rust; the hinges are smooth and work well.  But there is one problem:
whoever owned this tin before used it to store crayons.  There are marks all inside and it smells of Crayola.  I do not mind the scent of crayons, but need to figure out how to clean the wax color residue left behind.  Any suggestions?

Well, I have got to run.  The dogs are demanding their walk in the woods.
Have a fantastic day!
Until Good Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Vintage Easter Postcards

Jocelin and I found some WONDERFUL goodies in the antique stores!
I love old postcards.  The are so pretty by themselves, but really look nice when accented with tatted motifs and edgings.
I enjoy framing enhanced postcards and giving them as gifts.

These are lovely.

The colors on this one are vivid.

This one needs a medallion frame around the image, don't you think?

And I just love the purples on this postcard!

Take a look around your area at the antique/junque shops.  You never know what goodies may be waiting for you to pick them up and give them a new purpose!

Jocelin is busy with her crochet.  Don't know what she is making, but her fingers sure are busy!

Have a great day!
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cute Easter Eggs

I just love to hit craft stores right before and after holidays!  You can find the neatest stuff for super cheap.

Here is an Easter egg ornament I picked-up at Hobby Lobby:

This could easily be enhanced with a tatted edging around the perimeter.
And this is the second egg I picked up:

Aren't these chicks cute?!?  A tatted accent would be just what this ornament needs.

If you notice, both images feature a luna moth carcass.  I found it underneath the outdoor light in the backyard.  Guess I'll be using it for a photo prop this week.  I love the green on its wings!

Well, Jocelin is ready for our gin rummy game and snacks.  Afterwhile, we plan to raid a few antique stores.  Who knows what I'll have to show you tomorrow! Have a wonderful day.
Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Star Flower Earring Pattern

This is another pattern from the Atelier website that I thought I'd share with you.  I originally designed these to be Poinsettia flower earrings at Christmas, but have adapted them to use year round by varying the thread and bead colors used.

Poinsettia/Star Flower Earrings
The above was tatted using size 16 Finca white perle cotton, lavender Delica seed beads are the accents. The earwires are sterling silver French hooks and can be purchased from Fire Mountain Gems.
Working off ball, thread needle. String 24 seed beads.
R6 long- (slide 6 seed beads onto long -) 6 CL RW
CH6- (slide 3 seed beads onto -)6 CL RW
R6 slide 1 seed bead over then + to long - 6 CL RW
Repeat these steps until you have a medallion of 6 Rings & 6 Chains, tie & cut.
Thread needle. Slide needle through any Ring & Chain junction from back to front.
CH8 CL + between 1st & 2nd seed bead.Ch 3 of 1st 1/2 ds, then 3 of 2nd 1/2, then 3 of 1st 1/2 CL + between 2nd & 3rd seed bead. CH8 CL + to next Ring & Chain junction. Continue around motif. Tie & cut.
Cut a length of thread and secure it to - thread of center of motif. Run needle through adjacent seed dead. Take 3 seed beads on needle and run through bead. Continue around. When complete, repeat the process using 5 seed beads. Tie & cut.
Using round nose pliers, open loop of French hook and lay point of motif over. Gently close the loop being careful to COMPLETELY close. Your motif can slip off if the finding is not closed completely. Sometimes I add a couple addintional seed beads: one in front of motif, one behind.

Have fun playing with the pattern- put a button or larger bead in the center, or a pearl.  Vary the beading you do in the center, tat it using 2 different thread colors.  I'd love to see what you come up with!

Well, I had better run.  It's time for my morning hike.
Until tomorrow~
Happy tatting!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy International Tatting Day!

To all my tatting friends:
Happy International Tatting Day!

Take some time and share your tatting knowledge with someone. 

I went to the Atelier website and decided to share a pattern I've used for years to introduce folks to interlocking chain rings:

Interlocking Chain Ring Celtic Butterfly~  Thread needle and begin, working off the ball. R9 then do 7 graduated picots, 9 cl.  Place the needle through the R you just made and ChR7 then do 5 graduated picots, 7 cl. Repeat the ChR you just did, placing the needle through the ChR. Then ChR 9, do 7 graduated picots 9, cl. Tie thread ends together and cut. Leave about an inch or so to pull through the picots of the first & last ChR to form the antennae if you wish.

For more detail on how to do Interlocking Chain Rings, please refer to the image tutorial I put up on the blog.

Enjoy your day!
Happy Tatting!