Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One of Those Days

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers.
Yesterday, it was the stress and headache of home repairs and today is the dreaded recovery.  My tatting mojo has taken a vacation!  Each time I picked up my needle & thread things just did not work out.  I simply did some mindless foundation tatting to get through the day since designing was not in the cards.
Still, I hope to have something really neat to unveil later this week!  I'm working on a special project that is almost to the point where I can share.  There are just a couple more rounds to go before it's ready.
Jim will be home soon and I am looking forward to a quiet evening with my husband.  I plan to have something to tease you with on tomorrow's post!  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Home Repairs

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
You know its not going to be a good day when you wake-up to take the dog out & your feet squish on the carpet.  It turns out that the water line to the icemaker on my refridgerator had a pin hole in it.  Well, Jim fixed that then we discovered that the water valve on it was cracked.  A new valve is almost $200.  We shut off the water to the fridge and decided to save up for a new one rather than fork over the money to repair a 15 year-old appliance.
I am still steam cleaning the carpet as the leak had spread to the doorway of our bedroom and totally soaked the carpet.  Needless to say, I got ZERO tatting done today.  Bummer.
Here's hoping that tomorrow will be a much better day with no wet, squishy carpet or appliances to fix!  Hope your day has gone better than mine.  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Working Working

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
I have been busy working on a couple of design ideas today.  Rosie Fey has done her part by snoozing either in my lap or at my feet.  I do not have anything I am ready to show you yet, but am making progress.
We plan to have a quiet weekend at home.  Jim will be carving in his shop and I plan to tat away on several projects.  I also plan to take some images of a few recently finished pieces for your viewling pleasure next week.  We are supposed to have a chance of rain, but hey, this is Louisiana- you never know what the weather is going to do.  Let's hope I have nice enough weather for a photography session.
The timer just went off in the kitchen, so I had better go put together the chicken enchiladas for this evening's supper and put the pinto beans in the food processor.  I like my refried beans to be smooth!  The salsa is freshly made and so is the queso.  I'm getting hungry describing it all!
May you have a wonderful weekend full of creativity.  Until next week~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

More Silk Thread

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
The other silk threads arrived this morning and I have been playing with them.  There are several different sizes and I must say that so far, I am impressed.  They do not want to twist up whilst tatting and do not slip too bad when forming stitches.  Here are some images of my new play pretties:
I LOVE this turquoise silk!
This pink is nice, too.
Ecru and grey are always good basic colors to have on hand.
And here are some other samples in various sizes I've not yet gotten around to trying.
Playing with new threads is one of my favorite things to do.  Guess I'll be occupied this evening while watching Swamp People!
Jim will be home soon and I haven't even thought about supper yet.  I think it's time for me to mosey on into the kitchen and see what I can whip up so I can return to my thread playing.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Test Tatting with Silk Thread

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
It started out as a dreary, cold & rainy day here in the Piney Woods.  My morning was spent with a warm puppy in my lap whilst I read a Poirot mystery on the Kindle.  It was very relaxing.
I did do a bit of test tatting.  In the last pearl order, the company I deal with sent a complimentary spool of silk.  Quality pearls are always strung with silk, and since they know I work with silk thread, I was sent a spool to play with:
The thread is a lovely icy blue and tats up beautifully!  I have requested samples in various sizes and colors to see how I like the thread as a whole.
I've almost finished the Spring Blossom pendant, but still have a bit left to go.  Perhaps I'll get it finished this evening.
Well, the sun is finally out and Rosie Fey is really ready for a long walk in the woods.  Have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Spring Blossom In Progress

Pearls & Lace
Good morning, dear readers!
Since the design I was working on gave me such fits, I have decided to put it aside for a while.  The top drilled teardrop pearls are heavy and are causing the tatting to twist and contort in ways I do not like.  I need to rethink this design and tweak the foundation.  For the time being, it will reside in the "box of ideas", which is a lovely decoupaged box that I toss design ideas that don't quite work until I feel a solution is at hand.
BUT- my mojo has returned a little bit!  I am working on a pendant design based on the Winter Blossom foundation with rice pearls.  This is where it is at this morning:
I'm calling this Spring Blossom.  The cute little blue button will be added to the center with a rice pearl accent after I tat the last rounds.
This is how it started:
Very simple, but when working with cultured pearls, you must remember that they are heavy and require support.
This is the first round:
As you can see, I made a point to tat closely to the rice pearls for support. 
I hope to get this pendant finished today and begin another project that has been floating around in my head for a few days.  Rosie Fey is giving me her pitiful puppy look, wanting to go for her walk.  Guess I'd better take care of her then get back to it.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Playing Hooky

Pearls & Lace
Good evening, dear readers!
The counts for the next FREE pattern simply were not working out.  I decided I really needed to take a break.  It was so pretty today that I took the top off of the Jeep, secured Rosie Fey in her vehicle harness and went to the local park.  We went for a nice hike on the wooded trails through out the park, had a picnic lunch and drove around.  With such a lovely day to play hooky, I hope that my creative mojo has been recharged! 
Here is an image of some of the wildflowers at the edge of the pond in the park-
There were some other tiny pink flowers blooming, but I could not get a decent image of them.
There is another good thing about today- my pearls arrived!!!  I've been playing with them this evening, dreaming of how I will use them in designs.
Well, I am ready for a bubblebath, then I just want to curl up with Jim, Rosie Fey & my Kindle.  Have a wonderful evening and let's hope the mojo is flowing so I can get those counts right!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Errand Day Again

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
We had some nasty weather yesterday afternoon & evening, but were fortunate not to have any damage.
This is my errand day.  The thread I've culled in now in the mail on its way to new homes.  Many thanks to those who volunteered to take on my overflow of thread!
I have several projects in progress, but do not have them to a point where I'm ready to share.  I had intended to have another FREE pattern on the blog this week, but the counts still are not quite right.  I may post it this weekend or Monday at the latest.
Well, I still have to go to the grocery store, Tractor Supply and O'Reilly's.  Have a wonderful weekend and be sure to check out the FREE pattern coming very soon!  Until later~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cameos and Stash Organization

Pearls & Lace
Good morning, dear readers!
I decided that I had better get today's post done as we are supposed to have some scary, severe weather this afternoon & evening.  That also means I will have intermittent internet access.
I have been getting things gathered up and ready for serious tatting work in the Atelier.  The plan is to have all new original pieces available in May.  Here are some of the cameos I've acquired at auctions and estate sales:
It was hard to get good images due to the glare this morning, but you can get a general idea of what the "before" cameos look like.  The earrings are screw back, but I plan to cut off the backs, file down the rough and use them as pendants.
These two ladies need a good cleaning, but I expect they will dress-up quite nicely.
The intaglios and vintage brooches have been sorted, catches & mountings checked, and are neatly organized on my jeweler's bench in the Atelier.
Now, I am awaiting the cultured pearl order that was placed a couple of weeks ago.  Oh, yeah- I also need to order more Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk.  Lots to do to add to the Romance of the Piney Woods & Olde West Collections!  I'm off to inventory the Valdani threads.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Papaw and Duke

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
Whilst digging through the Atelier, I came upon a picture I had put up for safe keeping.
This is my grandfather, Truett Moore, and his faithful partner "Duke", a huge Catahoula Cur.  Papaw died many years ago, but left quite an impression upon me.  Not because of his size- Papaw was a mountain of a man with very large hands- but by the way he simply was himself.  Papaw was happiest sitting outside in the yard or in the woods, whittlin' a piece of wood with his Cur by his side.  He always had time for me, his "sugar doll", and showed by example how to live a quiet life and work with your hands.  I cannot read IThessalonians 4:11, and not think of him.  
I also love to work with my hands and require the companionship of a fine dog.  Papaw always said that there was something about Catahoulas and now I truly know what he meant.  Rosie Fey is my constant companion.  She goes everywhere with me and makes life most interesting.  She has learned that tatting thread is NOT a toy and that when I am tatting, she is not to bite at the thread or the needle- no matter how tempting.  Walks in the Piney Woods are so much better with Rosie Fey at my side.  Seeing her experience the woods is a pleasure.  I like to think Papaw would be pleased with how I choose to live my life.  I miss him immensely!
I am in the process of packaging all of the culled thread to send to it's recipients later this week and have been sorting through the multitude of button jars in the Atelier.  And... I have been working on another FREE pattern!  The counts are still giving me fits, but I will get them figured out.  I hope to get the pattern up this week, but may have to do it next week.  You never know how my tatting mojo will flow!
Rosie Fey is telling me it's time for our afternoon walk.  May you have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Praying for Boston

Pearls & Lace
Good evening, dear readers!
I have been busy today with cleaning out the Atelier and making lists for supply orders.  There are plenty of vintage goodies awaiting embellishment.  I just need to make sure I have plenty of silks, pearls, Swarovskis & beads on hand.  There are several gorgeous cameos that need dressing up along with a number of vintage brooches & bracelets.
I've also been praying for the victims of the bombing in Boston.  When things like this happen, it frustrates me because I truly wish there was some way I could help- even just a tiny bit.  To those of you who pray, please keep these folks in your prayers. 
Well, I am going to retreat to the quiet sanctuary of my Atelier.  I hope to have something pretty to share with you tomorrow.  Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Playing with Sulky Thread

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
We had a fantastic weekend celebrating Jim's birthday!  And Jocelin thinks she did well on the ACT exam.  Saturday & Sunday were full of fun family activities.  The weather co-operated and was just gorgeous.
I did manage to get the thread cabinets cleaned out and the culled thread now has new homes.  I will be mailing the thread to the recipients later this week- when I head into town.
One of the main threads I'm keeping is Sulky 12 wt. quilting cotton.  The Blendables shades are lovely variegateds that tat up well.  The solids have a nice sheen and tat up equally as well.  Here is a small chocolate colored Sulky motif I tatted this morning:
This little motif will be expanded and a tiny button pearl center accent added.  So, what do you think?  Have any of you out there found any other neat threads you'd recommend?  I love to try new threads, but tend to go back to my favorites- Valdani Luxury Pearl Silks, Valdani Pearl Cottons & Sulky 12 wt.  Caron Wildflowers is nice, too, along with the Dinky Dyes pearl cottons.
Well, I am off to the Atelier to play with the Sulky 12 wt. thread until Jim comes home from work.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Little Bit of Progress

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
I am busy preparing for our weekend.  Jocelin takes the ACT exam again tomorrow, which happens to be Jim's birthday.  I've had Jocie at home today doing practice tests while I've been in the kitchen cooking and baking.
I did get a couple of minutes after lunch to sit in the Atelier and tat for a bit.  Rosie Fey was very good- she napped in my lap as I played with a new design idea.  And so far, that new idea is coming along nicely.  So well that there may be another goody on the blog soon!  Keep your eyes open next week for a special surprise!!!
Well, Jim's cake is ready to be frosted & decorated so I'd better get to it before he arrives home from work.  Hope you have a marvelous weekend full of tatting goodness!  Until Monday~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Bleh Day

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
It has been one of those days.  I absolutely HATE to go to the doctor for so many reasons.  The wait is one thing.  If I were to treat clients with such a cavalier attitude, I would never sell the first bit of work.  Patient/customer service seems to be totally absent these days.  At least on the "business office" end.  My nurse practitioner is great, though.  The office staff that get the insurance coding wrong, make mistakes and blame you for their ineptitude tick me off in a major way.  Okay, my rant is over.  For now.
After spending the majority of the day at doctor offices, I came home to find my wisteria in an absolutely gorgeous, full-bloomed state.
Even with all of the rain today, the bloom clusters were just beautiful.  This makes me want to get out my lavender thread and tat for a few hours.  Hmmm... I may do just that this evening.
Tomorrow I plan to finish culling the thread cabinets and actually get more tatting done.  Perhaps I'll have something new & pretty to show you tomorrow afternoon.  Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vet Visit

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
We have had a very full day.  Rosie Fey had her appointment at the veterinarian's office this morning and received the last of her puppy shots and her rabies shot.  She will be spayed and microchipped in early May.  I'm so glad we are almost done with the vet visits.  And boy, did I get sticker shock at the price of heartworm/flea preventative!!!  She's worth it, though.  Just look at this face-
Yes, she did get a treat for being such a good girl!
Jocelin is busy preparing to take the ACT again.  She scored very well the first time, but wants to see if she can improve her overall score.  Please wish her luck this coming Saturday!!!
I still have one more thread cabinet to cull and hope to finish it Friday.  Tomorrow will be pretty much spent in doctor offices.  I have my annual check-up and an appointment with an allergy specialist since I'm having trouble this season.  Sorry for the lack of tatting content this week, but life happens.  I hope to have MUCH more in the way of new tatting creations to share with you next week.  If I have the time, I may have some new eye candy to share on Friday, but it all depends upon how much I can get done whilst waiting at the doctors.
Guess I'll try to get in a bit of tatting before starting supper.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Chore Day

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
With all the garden work we did this weekend, I was woefully behind on our laundry.  I have spent an exciting day washing, hanging out, ironing and putting up laundry.  At least I will have clean, fresh towels for my beauty bath this evening!
There are still a couple of thread cabinets left to be culled and I plan to work on them this afternoon.  Perhaps I will be able to sort through the culled thread, organize it by color and type & take some images for posting on FB.  I realize that there really is no such thing as too much tatting thread, but I have a small in-house Atelier and a tatting shanty- which means limited storage space.  I am loving tatting with Valdani Luxury Pearl Silks and plan to use it a lot.  Their pearl cotton is nice, too, but my favorite thread is the VLPS!  I need more room for my silks.
Jim is looking into making a nice set of handcarved and dovetailed thread cabinets with drawers customized for the silk spools.  I can't wait to see what he comes up with in his preliminary sketches.
Well, I have a couple more pairs of jeans to press over & put up before I tackle those last thread cabinets.  Have a great day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Garden & Porch Flowers

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
We had a very pleasurable, yet busy weekend.  Jim finally got the garden fully prepped for planting- which we will begin late this afternoon.  The delay in our prepping was due to the large amount of poison ivy that had grown down the back of the fence.  Jim is highly allergic, but I seem to be able to roll in it with no adverse effects.  Now, our 30' X 30' garden is ready for planting!
Jim gave me a few new pretty flowers for the front porch:
The petunias and dianthus are in cute hanging baskets, and the blue plumbago is going to the right of the steps.  The other image is of the dogwood outside our bedroom window.  It is in full bloom.
Here is an image of our little garden, well, most of it.  This was the best shot I had thanks to the glare.  Notice the recycled swingset frame in the back.  Jim puts a mesh on each side of it and it is perfect for our pole beans.  He is also building tomato towers and a trellis or two for gourds and cucumbers.  I hope we have a good growing season!
The other thing that had me busy this weekend was going through my MANY thread cabinets.  I am culling the thread and let me tell you- it's a job!  If I do not plan to use it, I'm giving it to my tatting buds.  I really need the room for a future Valdani order as I'm coming out with 3 more original design lines!  After I cull the thread, I plan to move onto the - GASP- button jars and bead boxes.  Yep, it's going to be a fun couple of weeks, so please be so kind as to bear with the crazy tatting lady!
Well, Rosie Fey is begging for her afternoon romp.  Have a wonderful day & until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, April 5, 2013

Feeling Better

Pearls & Lace
Good afternoon, dear readers!
I am feeling a bit better today.  This allergy season has been a rough one!  Plus, the weather down here doesn't help.  It will be nice, warm and sunny one day, then rainy and almost freezing the next.  It keeps swinging from one extreme to another.  Let's hope the worst is over.
It's been a while since I posted some tatting so, I'll show you a few of my many works-in-progress:
The motif on the lower left is the Easter pendant I started.  I am contemplating what to do next as my original idea did not work out to my satisfaction.  The motif on top is being made to go with a wonderful top I wear to church.  And the purple motif on the lower right is one of the pendant foundations I posted earlier in the week.  I've actually finished 7 pendants, but will post images of the pendants when I get at least 10 to 12 completed.  Who knows- I may have to do a special blog giveaway event.  What do you say???
Well, I need to get busy in the Atelier.  May you have a wonderful weekend full of creativity! Until Monday~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Allergy Season- Yuck

Pearls & Lace
Good morning, dear readers!
I am not myself today.  The oak trees are putting out their pollen noodles/blooms and it is making me miserable!  This is going to be one of those days when I curl up with my Kindle and go through an entire box of Kleenex.  Sorry, but I do not have anything interesting to share with you today.  Just know that as soon as I feel better, my tatting needles will be flying!
Well, I'm going back to my comfy recliner, Kindle and hot tea.  Hope your day is better than mine.  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sleepy Puppy

Pearls & Lace
Good morning, dear readers!
It is a rainy and dreary day in the Piney Woods.  Even Rosie Fey is dragging.  She will not let me tat.  She keeps putting her head on my right arm and hand.  Oh, well... I guess I'll bow to the wishes of my princess puppy for a while.
Several of you have asked about how I make the beaded circle foundations.  I use nymo beading thread or silk, string the pearls & beads, then run the needle through again, tie a knot- and this is the tricky part- but do not pull the beads too tightly. Then run the ends through a few pearls & beads, then cut.  You need a very small bit of space between for squeezing in your tatting thread . When you are working with cultured or natural pearls, it is important to remember that the nacre (the mollusk's secretion that makes pearls luminous) can be worn off if the pearls rub against each other.  Many years ago, I took the GIA course on pearls and learned how to properly string them.  If I am using a particularly fine set of pearls, I will use a small spacing knot in between, it all depends upon what exactly I'm working with.
Well, while Rosie is curled up in her puppy bed I think I'll put a roast in the crock pot and a load of clothes on to wash.  May you have a wonderful day & until tomoorw~
Happy Tatting!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Pearl and Bead Foundations

Pearls & Lace
Good morning, dear readers!  I hope you had an enjoyable International Tatting Day yesterday.  I worked on a special tatting project for my Mom at a local park whilst enjoying the Godiva chocolates Jim gave me.  Jocelin and I also took the top off the Jeep and went for a leisurely drive.  All in all, it was a marvelous day!
The evening was spent watching The Hobbit on demand and making these pearl & bead foundations:
Pearls are my favorite precious gem!  Even my engagement ring is a Mikimoto pearl surrounded by rubies and diamonds.  I thought it would be nice to have Pearls & Lace as the blog theme this month since those are my two favorite things.  Pictured above are a variety of foundation rings with natural, cultured and Swarovski pearls.  I typically do not use costume pearls, but Swarovskis are an exception.  Glass pearls are mostly substandard to what I require in the way of quality.  Swarovski pearls are the ONLY alternative I will use other than natural or cultured pearls.
Perhaps tomorrow I will have a few pendants tatted up to share with you.  The foundations are calling me back to the Atelier.  May you have a wonderful day and until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Emmaline FREE Pattern

Pearls & Lace
Happy International Tatting Day!!!
As a special gift from the Piney Woods, I present "Emmaline":
"Emmaline" is tatted with Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S93 and has rice pearl and Swarovski accents.
You may make this pattern for yourself or as gifts, but NOT to sell for profit as this is a design I am currently using in my own design lines.  As always, I expect credit as the original designer to be indicated.
To begin this pattern, bead a circle using 6 rice pearls and 6 4mm Swarovski bicones.
This is an easy way to start a pendant.  It can be built upon in many various ways, but this is how we begin for this pattern:
String 18 3mm Swarovski bicones onto silk.  Begin tatting between any Swarovski and pearl.
CH 5 very small - 4 - (with 3 Swarovskis) 4 very small - 5 CL
+ between pearl & Swarovski
CH 5 very small - 5 CL
+ between Swarovski & pearl
Continue around beaded ring, tat final CH, + to beginning, place a small dot of jeweler's adhesive to knot, tie & cut, hide ends.
The final round is tatted as follows:
Run needle through (+) to very small - to the left of any group of 3 Swarovskis, CH 9 CL
+ between 1st & 2nd Swarovski, CH 16 CL,
+ between 2nd & 3rd Swarovski, CH 9 CL,
+ to very small -, CH 3 CL,
+ to very small -, CH 3 CL,
+ to very small -, CH 9 CL,
+ between 1st and 2nd Swarovski, CH 3 followed by a series of 5 graduated picots 3 CL (NOTE- all of the CHs around the remaining Swarovski bead groups are tatted using these counts)
+ between 2nd & 3rd Swarovskis, CH 9 CL
Continue around motif and join at beginning.  Place a small dot of jeweler's adhesive on knot before hiding ends & cutting.  This prevents the silk from silpping from the knot.
We had a wonderful family "staycation".  Friday, we went to Texas and raided Marshall Pottery then visited the fantastic antique stores in Jefferson.  It was very late when we returned and I was in no mood for posting a blog.  We all slept very well that night!
Our Easter was blessed and quite enjoyable.  Hope your was, too!
Well, since this is International Tatting Day, I think I will head over to the park with my portable Atelier, Godiva chocolates and tea and tat for the remainder of the day.  Have a marvelous ITD and be sure to let me know what you are doing to celebrate!  Until tomorrow~
Happy Tatting!