Sunday, November 7, 2010

What to do? What to do?

Having returned from the surgery-vacation, I'm stymied about blog emphasis for November.  I could put up numerous photos of the river excursion with my SILove, Richard, updated diagnoses as to health issues, grandson's antics, the family unit of four on the ridge ~ to be 5 in several months.  What to do?  What to do, indeed!  Most of this seems really mundane to me and you can see the River Excursion Photos on FB (if you are a friend) or my Album in the Shuttle Shop Blog.  If you want any answers to these, just ask.

I had hoped to tell you about my meeting with tatter (Rachel  xstitchntat)  in Phoenix; but, unfortunately the physical stress of the trip precluded my visiting anyone on the way home.  My loss entirely; but, life is what it is at this point.

Even poor Donnacha didn't get the attention he needed on his little vacation ~ hardly making an appearance at all (and BOY, is HE upset about that! I've reached the 'cold shoulder' stage with that leprechaun). He even had his new bike ready to be photographed!

I was asked if I did ANY tatting while I was gone (from what I reported it sounded like i was doing a lot of things; but, those 3 outings were spread over a day each in 3 weeks).  The bulk of my time was spent in my bedroom, or on a comfy chair with my legs up and bundled up my 'special' Giraffe brand blankie in the front room, or in the "man cave" watching their humongous Sharp TV which covers most of one wall,  from the comfort of their cushy huge sectional with chaise at each end ~ rooting for the Giants!  A taste of the 'good life' at the 5 star Bollinger hotel.

To answer the query ~ yes!  I did the finishing touches on the 29-inch wide by 52-inch long table runner (BB's table opens to 102" with leaves) as there were motifs that didn't meet my quality control; I began this when I first learned to tat!  It does need blocked, and I may have it mailed back to me to be blocked.  I mean, it is a huge job.  You can see and read about the TR in the right-hand column.

More important than what I tatted are the gifts that arrived in the post from Martha Ess, who tatted pieces from a book I gave her (because it just 'shouted, "Martha, Martha!" at me).  You can read about the book on her blog.  But this is what she sent to me; and I'm thrilled.

Page 14 Spiten-Jdeen by Susannne Schwenke, tatted by Martha Ess

PAGE 28  Spitzen- Jdeen, tatted by Martha Ess 2010

NOW you see why I am so thrilled and why Susanne's book just shouted, "Martha!"  See all those lovely little blocks?  Martha's work is so refined and lacy and, well ~ just perfection.

I'm framing the doily, and putting the snow flake on my special soft, denim (don't you just love the new softer, high end denims?) blouse that is to be decorated with all my tatted gifts motif from Jane, Martha, Marty, and exchange pieces suitable as appliques.  I thought a row of snowflakes on the back yoke, and hearts on my long sleeve (play on words?); and, a red headed angel~Marty, and Netherlands tulip-field colorful, happy angel~ Riet,  on pockets.  

Upon our return I had one of those 'periods' of tatting that have been reported on other blogs by people that I respect a great deal and who relieve me from feeling too bad ~ misery loves company.  All this angst over a bookmark of leaves from Nancy Tracy's, "Tat's Where I Stopped."  This begs the question, after all the years I told my students to read Option Guides and instructions before beginning a task; why did I not follow that dictum?  I failed totally to notice that each leaf was placed in a different direction and required a change in tatting.  hummm  if one tats FS/BS would that actually be necessary, could I not just turn it over (yes, I know it would then make a FS/BS leaf arrangement; but, would that really be a huge thing for a bookmark? . . . or am I just lazy in my old age?  Rhetorical question!)  At any rate, I'm now on my third attempt at tatting the FIRST leaf (seemed simple enough).  It is all those bare threads that form the center vein of the leaf.  I'm measuring 3/8" as instructed but my leaf is still cupping; therefore, on this third effort I'm making the last connecting picot a bit larger so there is an allowance for that 3/8" gap and the next join for the neighboring ring.  

WIP (works in progress) are, in order of 'have to finish" ~ ,, A Christmas-themed special item, Secret Santa (before Dec 1st); Rosary for Luz (Christmas gift);12-Days of Christmas Ornaments (Christmas); Sheep Doily (think 2011).  I think that is a large enough focus for me at this time.   OH and 7 embroidered pieces.

Embroidery.  I really enjoy free style embroidery and I'm only doing red-work style outlining on this project.  Asked youngest daughter what she wanted for Christmas and she said, "I want some of those old fashioned, big dish towels like you used at the ranch."  When BB said dishtowels (think T-towels International friends) I envisioned going to Nordstrom or Macy's and finding sophisticated potholders and dishtowels in her fall color scheme.  She wants plain, old flour sack dishtowels in her 5-star kitchen?  Nonplused, was I!  Speechless even.  However, a quick order produced 7 of these durable, practical items.  Except!  Isn't there always an exception nowadays?  These things are not cut to plumb! They are not squared up!  Although they are hemmed, they are off square by about 4" which means it is impossible to fold them to hang in an artistic manner so that the embroidered design shows to its best effect! 

NOW, if I were able to do the simplest of sewing, they could have been trimmed and re hemmed on one side and thus squared up.  But being handicapped by not knowing one whit about how to proceed with the actual sewing (don't all you sewers laugh at me, this is really a sad situational handicap from my point of view), daughter will be stuck with Pakistan's idea of American dishcloths.

 ~ I visualize rows of hard-working ladies all sitting in a sweat shop being paid below poverty level at piece rates and their interest is speed, not quality control. I expected better from my usual provider ('back in the day' they were cut square and folded neatly) and am disappointed because handwork is an investment in and of itself!    Rant over!  I hate shoddy.

Daughter is not 'kitchey' ~ she likes things just so, she is a perfectionist ~ she doesn't like gimmicks and 'too cute" (wonder where she got those qualities ~ hiding here).  Her dishtowels are decorated with a spice each ~ just outlined, but painted with thread.  So far I've done Garlic and Red Peppers and have begun Saffron.  I should be finished with this project in five more days as this is a really quick for me and can be done in an hour. I enjoy handwork, that's why I so wish Mom would have taught me hand sewing.  I'm planning the colors very carefully and true to the color range of the spice plant, muted.  I don't think BB expected them to be embroidered so that will be the surprise part.  I also found the "cutest" (did I just USE that word) Red Rooster head silicone pot holders for picking up dishes with lips; and professional pot holders to which I will attach a suitable small tatted motif. (a chick or a spice?  I have a chick pattern from Jane Eborall's TIAS!)  It seems that most women (not all, of course) do not renew their kitchen linens regularly ~ I know it isn't on the top of my shopping list.  I also forget to renew towels and bedding, which get used and used and used. In fact, just this year I replaced blankets and sheets bought in the 70's (but they were really GOOD blankets, the sort with satin bindings).  Sometimes the simplest of useful gifts are the best.  

Totally off subject: Does ANYONE made a decent manicure set any more ~ I mean pretty but practical in a nice case?  Anyone?  For under $50.00?????  I can find French made sets; but really astronomical prices. Sigh.

At present I'm terribly concerned about LadyShuttlemaker and her baby girl.  Please, if ANY ONE of you hears the birth news, please tell me.  I am very stressed about her situation. You'd think it was one of my very own daughters.  But we all love this young woman.  

Seen on a sign just before reaching Safford, Arizona:  

Safford's Finest, (name)  Mortuary, Call first!

For some reason that struck me as so funny ~ product of my far-side humor.  

Guests from Turtle Cove ~ The Pipstone Pottery ~  news to come!


new State Agency building in Sacramento (budget???)
 Sacramento's Golden Tower Bridge                       


Urtica said...

Ideal for Christmas patterns!

Jane Eborall said...

Martha's work is exquisite. Your list of things to do beats even mine!!! Good luck with all the projects.
I guess that 'no news is good news' when it comes to Sherry and her baby. Fingers crossed and I'm sure she'll let us all know as soon as she can.

Fox said...

Well... that was a fun read! I do like to hear you when you are in the mood to share your thoughts!

Martha's tatting is spectacular! No wonder you thought of her when you saw that book. Wow!

Ah, yes; the third time tatting is usually - well, almost usually - when the shuttle "takes," and you can get on with the pattern. Lately, I have not so much started over and over as I have had to un-tat. Never thought I would consider un-tatting a skill, but it most surely is, and one with which that I am unfortunately becoming most proficient!

I too have been thinking a lot about Sherry and Piccadily. We all are, I suppose, as they have become so dear to Tat-land. I am sure we will hear imminently...

♥ Fox

Fox said...

bj, that table runner is marvellous! Really beautiful. I am sure your daughter is very, very proud of her mama! I am too.
♥♥ and kisses , Fox : )

Tatskool said...

Great post, YOU ARE a work in progress!!
Martha's doiley is exquisite.