Friday, November 22, 2013

Russian Snowflake (Motif #39)

Well, winter has officially arrived in Vladivostok!

So, since there is real snow on the ground (and in the air a couple days ago) I decided to make a снежинка (snowflake)...
Motif #39 (#6 on the way to 25 by the 25th)
 Pretty! This one's headed out to someone in the US...hope it doesn't melt on the way. ;)
It's more of the DMC size 80 thread... it's amazing how long that size 80 thread lasts on the shuttle!
 I actually had some very sad news from Iowa this last grandpa passed away today. So, I'll be leaving on a jet plane here in a few days...nothing new for this weary traveler! Silver lining? I will get to meet my newest niece, celebrate Thanksgiving with my family and my nephew's 3rd birthday! Still, it's never fun to go to a funeral, especially when it's for someone you love.

Oh well, it's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all...I think someone said sometime in the past. :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A New Shuttle and Motifs 36-38

So, a month or so back I participated in Wicked Nothings' Shuttle Exchange...and today I received my return package...and I am so excited and thankful!!!!! :)
Look at all this great stuff! :)
 Many thanks to Vicki for the beautiful wooden shuttle (my first-ever handmade shuttle!!) :)
How amazingly adorable is that! Vicki said it was made by Ontario local Norm's awesome! :) The thread is "Picking Raspberries" by Karey Solomon, and is really, really nice! I can't wait to tat something with it!
 Vicki also sent some examples of her own gorgeous work! It's hard to tell in this picture, but the motif on the left has gold glittery thread though both the black and mustard-colored thread, and the motif on the right is all sparkly! Lovely!
Vicki also included this sweet little blue travel box, some doodads, beads and some ready-made picot gauges ;)
Thanks again, Vicki!! :)

I have also been doing some holiday tatting in preparation for teaching my second tatting class this weekend...and somehow I've managed to make three motifs in three days!

This was my first one, and it was a pain to make!!!
Motif #36 (#3 on my way to 25 by the 25th) It's the "Little Ring Snowflake" from Vida Sunderman's "Tatted Snowflakes", tatted in size 80 DMC...this one makes me giggle because hopefully there are never 'yellow snow' flakes in the sky ;)
 You can kind of tell that the white thread in the middle is slightly discolored...there was a lot of tugging and pulling to make this one work out...not sure why, but there it is. Ick.

Last night I followed with another snowflake, this time all white:
Motif #37 (#4 on the way to 25 by the 25th) More DMC size 80...This is "Snowflake 5" from "Festive Snowflakes and Ornaments" edited by Barbara Foster. The weird discoloration on the "butterfly" at 2:00 is water from our broken iron... :)
 Finally, tonight I worked on this, a bell:
Motif #38 (#5 on the way to 25 by the 25th... 1/5th of the way there!!) This is Lizbeth Wedgewood Dk (#656) size 80...I have to admit, I am consistently amazed at the quality of Lizbeth thread. Needless to say, the issues I was having with the DMC earlier in the week were virtually nonexistent with this thread! The motif is "Cloverleaf Bell" from Monica Hahn's "Christmas Angels and Other Tatting Patterns."

 I actually added two chains to the pattern to avoid a cut-tie-hide (reducing the pattern from 4 rounds to three, a win in my book.) :)

So there you have it...back on the tatting wagon once again! I'm looking forward to teaching my second class this will be basically the same people attending, and we'll be working on holiday-themed motifs...we'll see how it goes! :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Three New Countries! Hooray! (+Motif 35)

Yikes! It has been WAY too long since I last does that to me, unfortunately :)

Anyway, as the title of this posts suggests, I've picked up three new countries (as reflected on the map to the right)...Germany, Austria and Slovakia! My first tatting inroads in Europe!

Sadly, while I practiced the craft here and there, I didn't complete much, just...
Motif 35 (#2 to 25 by the 25th) I can't seem to figure out where this motif is from, if you can ID it I'd appreciate it...its made from DMC size 80 thread
This is a perfect quilter edging (thanks again for the thread, Diane!) based off of the corner bookmark pattern that I so love. I have absolutely no plans for this edging, it was just something to keep my hands busy on the planes and trains of Europe.
 I had a wonderful time on my trip (you can read about it here and here), but I was quite disappointed that, no matter how many craft shops or bookstores I visited I never did run into anyone who knew a thing about tatting, occhi, or any other translation of the word (and I asked in English, German, Spanish and Russian)...

I tried to visit a textile museum in Heidelberg to see what I could see...
 But it was closed!!! Darn!
 I even struck out finding any thread until my LAST night in Vienna, when I found this...
I'm not 100% sure what this thread is made of (sign makes me think linen, but I don't speak German and Google translate isn't helping much)...I will be interested to see how it tats up. It seems to be similar to size 40 thread, but not soft at all...we'll see. It's a mystery!
 So, that's that. I'm glad to be back and hope to get back to tatting sooner rather than later...I've got a long way to go if I'm going to make 25 motifs by the 25th of December! :)