Monday, December 31, 2012

Pre-New Year Cleaning

Good morning, dear readers!
I have been dragging my feet today.  Not with the cleaning bit- I've done 3 loads of clothes and have been attacking the piles of design journals and notebooks next to my tatting chair and those in the Atelier.  With the New Year fast approaching I thought I'd better pick up & organize the mess before to moving forward with newer design works and ideas.  The blog almost slipped my mind as I was concentrating so hard on how to best catagorize my notes.
How do you plan to ring in the New Year?  I plan to be in the Piney Woods by a roaring campfire next to my husband.  He will be grilling for us later today- venison steaks, chicken breasts, and hot links.  I'll add to the meats he grills today for our New Year's Day dinner.  Cornbread, purple hull peas, collard greens, and a homemade poundcake are on my to-do list.  The other thing on my list is to finish the little design I'm working on for New Year's Day.  It may be a little later, but I WILL post on January 1st!
Well, I had better get back to the cleaning.  Have a wonderful New Year's Eve- stay safe and ring it in responsibly!  Until 2013~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, December 28, 2012


Good morning, dear readers!
Well, we FINALLY have our power back on.  It went out very early this morning during another thunderstorm.  The rain doesn't bother me, but I hate when the power goes out.  I did have some new tatting to show you, but have not had the chance to go outside to take images.  Guess I'll wait til the rain quits to do that. 
Thanks to those who have voted in the poll.  I am still contemplating several options and have something to run by you.  What about a monthly "theme" for the blog?  The FREE pattern will be something inspired by the theme.  Just an idea... let me know what you think.
Well, I had better get off my duff and cook some brunch for Jim & Jocie.  Have a great day & I'll take those images as soon as the weather permits.  Until later~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, December 27, 2012


Good morning, dear readers!
I was so busy planning projects, playing with potential website updates/upgrades and such that I almost forgot to do today's post.  It is my hope to get a bunch of patterns with links posted to the FREE pattern page on the blog before the New Year, and to update the Piney Woods Atelier website.  All of my one-of-a-kind pieces are now unavailable.  I plan to tat more OOAK pieces and expand my lines.  An Etsy store is in consideration, but I am not sure if that is the way for me.  I do like my exclusivity and worry about knock-offs.
Something else I just realized- 2013 will be my 20th year offering OOAK couture tatting!!!  WOW- have I really been at it this long?!?  Perhaps I shall offer something special later in the year to celebrate.  Something like a OOAK piece giveaway event... what do you think?  Would this idea be well received?  You know, I thought the same thing over 20 years ago when I did a special set of tatting for a bride- my first bit of true couture tatting.  Wish I had images I could share of it.  I did a large tatted motif embellished with pearls and crystals that was sewn onto the bodice of her wedding gown, along with veil accents and a keepsake motif for her bouquet.  It was very well received and started me off in the same direction as my grandmothers.
Many thanks to all who have voted in the poll!  Please be sure to do so if you've not already and let me know what sort of goodies you'd like to see on the blog.
Well, I am going back to my webserver and looking into more upgrades for the Atelier.  Hopefully, I'll get in a couple of hours of tatting time this afternoon.  There are several projects I'm preparing for 2013 that need some attention.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Help Requested

Good morning, dear readers!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas- we did. 
Yesterday afternoon, as I sat in my comfy chair reading, I pondered what I'd like to do on the blog in 2013. A idea began to percolate and I'd like YOUR input.  Each month, I would like to present a special pattern.  So, dear readers, what shall the theme for my special monthly FREE pattern be?  I have set up a poll to the right of the blog.  Please vote there and/or leave a comment on this post if you've another idea or just want to voice your opinion. 
Well, I need to get busy cleaning this morning.  Please think about what you'd like to see in a pattern series on the blog and let me know all about it.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Santa's Snowflake FREE Pattern

Good morning, dear readers!
As a special Christmas surprise, I present for your pleasure another FREE needle tatting pattern featuring the fabulous Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk (in S775)-
"Santa's Snowflake"
To tat this pattern you will need: a size 8 tatting needle, a spool of Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S775, 13 4mm red Swarovski bicones, 1 crystal AB Swarovski rondell, and 60 silver lined clear Czech seed beads.
To begin, string a series of seed beads and Swarovski bicones in the following order:  3 seed beads, bicone, 3 seed beads.  Do this for a total of six sets.  You are now ready to tat the foundation of 6 interlocking chain-rings (ICRs).
ICR counts are:  11 very small - 5 - (with 3 seed beads, bicone, 3 seed beads) 5 very small - 11 CL.
Pull both threads to front of motif and leave some length to later attach the center accents.
Next, you will string a series of seed beads & bicones in the following order:  2 seed beads, bicone, 2 seed beads, for a total of 6 sets.  Begin tatting this round by running needle through very small picot to the right of any previously tatted bead set as follows:
CH 2 very small - 2 CL
+ to next very small -
CH 7 CL + between seed beads & bicone
CH 5 very small - 3 - (with 2 seed beads, bicone, 2 seed beads) 3 very small - 5 CL
+ between bicone & seed beads
CH 7 CL + to next very small -
CH 2 very small - 2 CL
+ to next very small -
Continue around entire motif.  After joining last CH, tie ends, add a dot of jeweler's adhesive, then cut.
The last round is very simple.  Begin work by joining to very small picot of previously tatted CH 2 set.  Now you will continue around the motif by tatting:
CH 11 CL + to very small -
CH 21 CL + to next very small -
CH 11 CL + to next very small -
CH 11 CL + to next very small -
Continue on around.
See~ it's a very simple round.  After tatting the last CH, tie, place a dot of jeweler's adhesive & cut.
The finishing touch is to place the Swarovski rondell and bicone in the center.  Pull both thread ends through rondell and then pass each thread end through opposite ends of the bicone.  Using your tatting needle, poke each end through rondell and through to the back of the motif.  Tie and place a small dot of jeweler's adhesive before cutting.  Now all you have to do is add a jumpring for a pendant or a hook if you plan to use it as an ornament.
Enjoy the pattern & may you have a blessed & merry Christmas!
Until Boxing Day~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Spa Day!

Good morning, dear readers!
I am waiting for my sleeping beauty daughter to rouse from her slumber so our annual "Spa Day" can begin.  So far, there have been no sounds from her room- I may have to send in the dogs to bounce on her bed & lick her awake with the added bonus of a frenzy of wagging tails.  She has until I finish this blog post (insert a gleeful, yet evil laugh here)!
I have put a small bag with a travel tatting project in my purse & will tat whenever I get the chance today.  How much will I be able to get done in between a haircut, manicure, pedicure, facial & massage??? 
Are you ready for the holidays, dear readers?  I have finished with all of the cooking, gift wrapping & shopping that I plan to do this year- with the exception of our Christmas Day meal.  On the menu this year is:  a large venison roast with veggies, homemade rolls, collard greens, candied sweet potatoes, creamed corn, sweet tea & a chocolate pie (my grandmother's recipe).  After we gorge ourselves, we plan to go see The Hobbit.
Guess who just got up!  Yes, Jocelin finally made it into the livingroom and the dogs are in full "good morning, we haven't seen you in a year" frenzy.  Well, I had better bring this to a close so we can get on the road to our favorite gourmet coffee house for breakfast.  Jocelin loves the coffee; I love the tea.  The freshly made pastries are another favorite, too! 
I will be posting a special goody on Christmas Eve, so be sure to check out the blog!!!
Have a wonderful day & until Christmas Eve~
Blessings & Happy Tatting!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Not My Week

Good morning, dear readers!
We sure had some very strong winds last night.  Our yard is littered with fallen branches and tons of pine straw.  Early this morning, when I usually sit down to do my blog posts, I noticed that I did not have internet service.  Our phone lines were still working- but no internet.  I guess this is just not my week for blogging.  Today I will be cleaning up the fallen branches and getting ready for Christmas.  I still have housecleaning and cooking to do.  Tomorrow is our annual "Mama/Daughter Pre-Christmas Spa Date".  Jocelin and I will spend the day being pampered & getting pretty for the holiday.
Well, the downed limbs aren't going to magically pick themselves up and stack themselves on the burn pile.  Guess I'll get to it so maybe I can have some time this afternoon for tatting.  I hope your week is going better than mine!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh, dear...

Dear readers,
Late last night my blog was bombed with several spam postings in the comment sections.  I have spent the morning cleaning up and deleting these offensive postings.  Allow me to express my apologies for these occurances.  If this happens again, I will adjust my settings so that ALL comments must be approved prior to posting.  I really do not want to do this, as it impedes interaction with my readers.
To those who had the audacity to leave inappropriate links and suggestions on my blog- I WILL NOT TOLERATE IT!  My readers are precious to me and do not deserve to see such things on this blog.  Please move on to other venues where your so called "offerings" are welcomed- they most certainly are NOT welcome here.
Again, dear readers, my apologies for the delay in tatting goodness.  I have several works-in-progress to share with you soon.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bone Tired

Good morning, dear readers!
I am taking today to relax and recover from errands, cleaning and general busyness.  It feels as though I am fighting coming down with a cold or something.  I'm just going to sit in my recliner, take medicine, drink juice and watch chick flicks.  If I get a burst of energy or inspiration, I'll stumble into the Atelier for a bit of tatting, but don't hold your breath.  I'll get back on track soon, but have to take some time to recharge my batteries!  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, December 17, 2012

FREE Christmas Doodle Pattern

Good morning, dear readers!
It has been a long and very tiring weekend.  Jocelin had a fantastic time being on the Homecoming court for her school.  I am still worn out from it all!!!
I did take a moment to play with some Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk on Sunday & decided to share the pattern with you.  You can use it for a gift topper, pendant, brooch, ornament, etc.  It's another basic foundation.  I used S775 & S9 with a size 8 tatting needle with red & green Czech seed beads for accents.
To begin, string 18 seed beads onto S775 Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk and tat a series of 6 ICRs with the following counts:
9 very small - 3 - (with 3 seed beads) 3 very small - 9 CL
The next round is very simple & uses Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S9.  Run the tatting needle through a very small - to the left of the beads, pick up a seed bead with the needle & CH 7 very small - 7 CL.  Snug up the bead, using your finger to position it. Join to next very small -, pick up a seed bead with needle and CH 3 very small - 3 CL.  Continue around motif.  Use your fingers to shape it as you go.  Before you tie & cut the silk, place a small dot of jeweler's adhesive to the knot.
I will probably add more to this, but thought it would make an interesting quick project for you.  You can add a pearl, Swarovski, jingle bell, or even a button to the center to make the piece uniquely yours.  Hope you enjoy it!
Before I forget to add it, here is an image of Jocelin shortly after we arrived at the gym for her school's Homecoming game & court presentation-
Our girl is almost grown!
Well, I have loads of laundry and housework awaiting me today.  Let's hope I can get in some more tatting time so I can re-do that last round on the 2012 Snowflake design!  I was not pleased with my initial counts and think it will be better once I revise it.  I'll get that up as soon as I finish it.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Homecoming Frenzy

Dear readers, I am sorry, but the next posting of the 2012 Snowflake will have to wait until Monday.  We are in full homecoming frenzy at the Jackson house!  So much is going on and there is so little time for tatting and taking images.  Please be so kind as to check out Monday's post for more tatting goodness.  Have a great weekend and please pray for my sanity!  Until Monday~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

2012 Snowflake Center Accents

Good morning!
I was up late last night with a very stuffy nose and headache.  I didn't get up until almost 7 this morning!  I can't believe I slept in so late.
Anyway, here is what I've done with the center of the snowflake design-
The light in the Atelier was not the best for taking images, but I hope you can see the details well enough.
Here is a collage of how I did the center.
I took a needle and nymo thread and added more Czech seed beads and a Lotus freshwater pearl.  This is only a suggestion for what can be done to accent the center of the motif.  Exercise your own creativity and play with your bead stash.
I will be adding additional tatting this afternoon as soon as we get back from Jocelin's consultation at the salon for her Homecoming hairstyle.  She is so excited!  She is getting a manicure today and will confer with our hairdresser on possible up-dos for her big evening.  Tomorrow she will get the full salon treatment.
Well, I am off to pick up Jim's suit from the cleaners and to look at new stoves.  It may be less expensive to purchase a new stove than to repair my old one.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FREE 2012 Snowflake Pattern

Good morning, dear readers!
We had a wonderful time at Jim's office party last night.  The food and company were both excellent.
I thought I'd share a reworked pattern with you today.  This design was originally an eight point star/snowflake that I came up with for featuring some fabulous blister pearls I'd lucked up on.  I reduced it to a 5 point star/snowflake.  Additional beading, accents and tatting rows are easily added to this foundation.  I recently did a set in red for a Christmas gift. (Not saying who they were for though!)
To tat this pattern you will need: a spool of Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S49, a size 8 tatting needle, 5 3mm crystal AB Swarovski bicones and 40 antique beige Czech seed beads.
String the beads on the silk as follows: 3 seed beads, Swarovski, 3 seed beads, 5times.  Then string the final 10 seed beads. 
R 8 - (with 10 seed beads & leaving plenty of room for joining subsequent Rs) 8 CL RW
CH 10 very small - 5 CL R 6 - (with 3 seed beads, Swarovski, 3 seed beads) 6 CL CH 5 very small - 10 CL RW
R 8 slide 1 seed bead to base of first R + 8 CL RW
CH 3 followed by 5 small -s 3 CL RW
R 8 slide 1 seed bead to base of previously tatted R + 8 CL RW
Continue around motif until you have 10 Rs, 5 long CH with R combos, and 5 small CHs.
Tie & cut, hide ends.
It is always a good idea to place a small dot of jewelers adhesive on the knot before cutting.
If you would like, dear readers, I'll dress this bare bones foundation up in subsequent posts with additional rounds, beading and a lovely pearl focal center.  Be sure to leave a comment if you'd like to see how this one progresses!
Well, I have a couple of errands to run today before I get back to the Atelier.  My uncle needs some more yard eggs and I've got some last minute things to pick up for Jocelin's homecoming outfit.  I'm off to take Lily Fey on her morning run. Hope you have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Good morning!
I have a full day of cooking ahead of me.  Jim's office has it's Christmas party this evening.  It wouldn't be so bad, but the element in my oven went out last night.  Guess I'll have to call the appliance store when it opens to see if a replacement is in stock.  If not, at least I got the chocolate cake baked & iced already.
I still have to do the following- purple hull peas, homemade macaroni & cheese, mint iced tea, and tiger butter.  Tiger butter is very easy and even better- it's done in the microwave!  All you need is a block of plain almond bark, a block of chocolate almond bark and your favorite peanut butter.  Take a hammer and whack the ever lovin' snot out of the almond bark, place it in a bowl & pop in the microwave on a low defrost setting.  Keep an eye on it and check it often.  When it is good and thoroughly melted, add in peanut butter to your liking.  Stir and pour onto wax paper on a cookie sheet.  Allow to cool, then bust it up into bite size pieces.  You can add sliced almonds, pecans or other goodies that strike your fancy before it cools.  It is a quick and easy holiday treat we have enjoyed for many years.
Well, I am off to check on the chickens.  It is very cold this morning- only 29F.  Have a great day and be sure to check the blog tomorrow for a special tatting goody!  Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, December 10, 2012

A Walk In The Woods

Good morning, dear readers!
We had a wonderful weekend.  Jocelin took her ACT exam on Saturday, Jim whittled & carved and I spent the majority of the weekend in the Piney Woods.  I did get a fair amount of tatting done, but can not share images with you just yet- the pieces I made are Christmas presents.
Here are a few images from my Piney Woods-
There are little ferns are sprouting up everywhere along with lots of mushrooms and fungi.  Mosses of various colors and fuzziness abound and the huckleberry bushes are just now starting to get color & drop their leaves.  Ahhh...I LOVE my woods!
We have a very busy week ahead of us.  Jocelin is on the homecoming court at her school and will have the homecoming game with court presentation on Friday.  She is so excited as she will be wearing her first formal gown!  Jim is to escort her and will have to wear a suit.  Plus, we have Jim's office party and I have a special girls night Christmas party with a few of my best buddies.  Things just keep piling up!
I do plan to post a FREE pattern later this week, so please, be patient and tolerant of my holiday season craziness.
Well, Lily Fey is giving me the "look" so I'd better take her on a run.  Have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ho Hum Week

Good morning, dear readers!
This has been a ho-hum week.  Celebrating our anniversary was great, but my tatting mojo is not what it should be.  I guess with everything going on- Jocie's school activities (ACT testing, homecoming court, etc.), Christmas activities and parties, and not having enough time to really sit down and tat- I'm suffering a tatting mojo block.
Well..this will be remedied.  I'm going into the Woods today and will not come out until I feel better and have gotten in some serious tatting time.  There are a few snowflake inspired designs I've been working on, but I keep getting interrupted.  I'm in the process of packing my portable Atelier and plan to get these projects finished so I can share a FREE pattern or two with you next week.
This is the very beginning of one piece I'm playing with.  Let's hope that peace, artistic inspiration, and quiet are to be found in my Piney Woods today! 
What are you doing this weekend?  Jocie has her ACT test on Saturday and we have church on Sunday.  Other than those things, I plan to be in the Woods, in my tatting shanty, creating new artworks.
I'm off after packing a few more spools of silk.  May you have a wonderful weekend & until next week~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Dollar Store Christmas Bargains

Good morning!  My internet service was yet again unavailable this morning early- sorry about that.  I called my provider and they said that due to storm damage, internet access may be limited in the very early morning hours as they are in the process of repairing the problems.  I'll be glad when they are finished!
I am working on a FREE pattern to share with you later this week.  My intention was to have it ready to share today, but I need to go back and re-do the last round.  My counts were slightly off.
A visit to the local dollar stores has given me some new images to share with you.  I picked up some goodies yesterday-
I saw this snowman divided tray and thought it would not only be great for Christmas snacks, but also for holding a tatting project.  Thread on one side, beads & bells on the other.
Then I found this lovely poinsettia tin- perfect for button storage.
These round and square snack containers are great for a single ball of thread or bead storage.  You can even drill a small hole and ream/smooth it out and use the container for a working thread ball holder.
I also purchased a metallic poinsettia platter, but could not get a good image of it- the reflection caused a horrible glare.  All of my finds were just one dollar each.  Have any of you found some cheap tatting goodies?  I'd love to hear about your bargain finds!!!
Well, I am off to rip out that last round and give it another go.  I may or may not have it ready for posting tomorrow, but I will try.  Have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Technical Glitch

Good morning, dear readers!
We had a marvelous wedding anniversary dinner last night.  Unfortunately, our area also had a bad thunderstorm.  Early this morning, when I usually sit down with hot cocoa to do my blogpost, I noticed that I did not have internet service.  My ISP was down for a while.  This has really put a hitch in my usual routine.  Oh, well...
I'll get busy and try to get something fun and Christmas-y ready for tomorrow's post.  Sorry for the tatting goodness delay, but I am a creature of habit and I'm feeling way off today.  Tomorrow will be better.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Good morning, dear readers!
My hands are feeling better today.  Perhaps I'll actually sit down and tat this afternoon!
I spent most of yesterday cleaning out some boxes in the Atelier and came across a bag of seashells.
I have oodles of these little boogers.  They look like they would make excellent focal accents for pendants.  Think I'll get out the dremel tool and drill some of them to see if this will work.  I also have several bags of different types of seashells.  A few years ago, I happened up on a big box of seashells at an estate auction.  For $2.00 I figured it was a good deal.
Also found in the misc. boxes were:  a few boxes of vintage glass Christmas ornaments, a bag of vintage floral hankies, some bakelite beads & buttons and Jocie's first pair of ballet shoes.  
Today is special for another reason- it's our wedding anniversary.  Jim is so sweet for putting up with my tatting obsession and fiber art habit for all of these years.  We don't have any elaborate or fancy plans.  I just want to be taken out for supper- to the Huddle House!  Every now and then, I just love to have a breakfast supper.  I think my chance of getting Jim to agree to this is pretty good.
Well, I am off to take Lily Fey on her run.  Hope you have a wonderful day full of tatting fun.  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weekend Changes

Good morning, dear readers!
Well, I had planned a wonderful weekend full of hand embroidery and tatting, but things drastically changed.  Jim took his first deer this season and I have been busy processing the meat.  We cut up the backstraps, tenderloins, roasts and ground the rest.  Some of the ground meat was packaged and put in the freezer.  The remainder we made into sausage.  My hands are still exhausted!!!
I did not get nearly as much done as I had planned.  My restful, fiber art filled weekend turned into work.  Sunday evening I picked up the tatting needles after a long beauty bath.  I started on a button foundation, but didn't get too far before getting sleepy.  I did snap a shot of it-
So... how was your weekend???
Today will be busy.  I've got numerous errands to run this morning, but still hope to get a few things together to share with you tomorrow.  Guess I had better get myself in gear.  Have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!