Friday, December 28, 2012

Snowflake #12

I still felt like tatting so I made another small snowflake to bring my Tree's total up to 12!  It's a little easy one, but I didn't do the whole pattern and had a little trouble keeping my chains even so blocking it was a bit of a task.  Imperfections and all it's a cute snowflake and honestly no one but me will probably ever know it has flaws.  LOL
I used The Tarnished Tatter's pattern for the Shimmer Snowflake, and only tatted rounds 1 & 2.  I didn't really care for the look of the 3rd round but liked it best after round 2 so that's what I did!

Oh by the way if anyone is wanting to learn tatting I found a great site when I was pattern surfing!  It's Tatted Treasure's Absolute Beginner Tatting Series!  I thought the videos were really clear for teaching.  She also has some Tatting Tips etc. on her blog that I found helpful too.  For example the idea of using your stitches as a guide for your picots! (Tatting Tip: Default Picot Length)  I wish it had been there when I was learning to tat!  But it's still nice to have a good learning site or sites (I've learned from several) that you can reference if you forget something you previously learned and need a refresher.  LOL

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Pretty Clover Snowflake

So I tatted another snowflake this one is a pattern by Sharon called Snowflake 2.  This makes snowflake #11 on my tree.  I always love clovers, and this one was so cute and easy.

Ever since seeing Diane's friend Marie's Christmas Tree covered in tatting I've been wanting to have more tatting on my tree!  Since I put up 2 trees, next year I want the smaller tree to be full of tatting!

So I had a great idea!

Operation Snowflake!  I am going to tat 1 snowflake a month over the next year which will add 12 more snowflakes to my tree.  And bonus if I end up tatting more than one then I'll have even more, but at the very least my goal is 1 a month.  Between this and the CQJP I will get a lot done this year!  I'm really happy about that!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Lace Finger "Shields"

I'm tatting another snowflake right now, but I wanted to share my little idea to protect my fingers from thread burn!  My pinky and middle fingers always get so sore when I do tatting and it gets unbearable if I do a lot at once.  I had a scrap of lace nearby and so one day as I was tatting I picked it up and pinned it around my pinky finger to shield it from the thread.  I kept using it over and over and it was working pretty well so today I decided to sew it, and one for my middle finger as well since the top of it gets sore from using it to pull the knots tight into place.
In the past I would use band-aids  but what I've found was that the thread usually slips from the more slick untextured band-aid right onto my skin where the edge of the band-aid about annoying!  I used a stretchy lace that is kind of thick but not too thick.  It's like elastic but in lace form so not as thick and stiff.  I simply sewed down the edge of the lace to the size that would fit my finger and then clipped the edges.  I left the seam in place, sticking out, because it helps add more protection as a thicker ridge.  Also because the lace is textured the thread doesn't slip around!
It's the perfect solution!  Now I can tat and not get sore fingers from the thread on my sensitive skin!  YAY
Now back to tatting so I can finish this snowflake!  LOL

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Tatting Snowflakes

Today I took some photos of my recent tatted snowflake additions!
I really loved this photo, I like how shiny "Joy" is and I love the twinkle lights shining out.

 Here's the Betsy Snowflake from my previous post.

I used the same Cebelia size 30 White Thread on all the snowflakes.

 This one I really loved the little thrown Josephine knots, they are so cute!  The pattern is the Knobby Bud Medallion from This'n'Tat.

This snowflake ornament I used a pattern for earrings that incorporates beads.  I used a silver lined clear seed bead and tatted one each from Gale's Pointed Petal Earrings.  Then I simply took clear thread and strung a Swarovski crystal and the two variations.
I love sparkle! LOL

Friday, December 21, 2012

Tatting: Betsy Snowflake

Well here is the Betsy Snowflake pattern all finished!  I've learned from the past snowflakes I've done, that I don't care for using the ends of the tatting thread to create the hanging string.  It's too "there" when you look at it on the tree.  So I started stringing them using invisible sewing thread.  That way all the focus is on the pretty form of the snowflake dangling happily from the tree.

I probably need to revisit the old ones that I used the tatting thread to hang them and put some of the invisible thread on them to string them too.  I have 7 hanging on the tree right now and 3 little ones need the thread changed to invisible!  So this one will make number 8!
All the really experienced tatters can probably pick out all my mistakes, those little chains that go around where really hard to keep perfectly even...and some of the little rings connected to them get a little pulled weird too.  But hey when you just glance at it and look not to critique but to just enjoy a tatted snowflake it's pretty!  I really love the shape of it and I have always loved clovers so the clover tips are really pretty to me!

Now it's time to transfer it to my Christmas tree, though I like the way it looks on this little crystal tree I have in my work space that I tied bows of lace to!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tea and Tatting

Sipping some Holiday Chai and tatting a snowflake!  Just in the mood to do some tatting!  I am doing this Betsy Snowflake pattern.  The photo from my phone makes it look cream but it's really white Cebelia size 30 thread.  I did the split ring variation and though I remember how to do a split ring I had to look up how to join from the second half of gave me trouble, but after seeing a diagram I did it easy with no problem and it was so simple I was mad at myself for not remembering! LOL  I guess I haven't done so many split ring things that every aspect became second nature.  Gotta love how you can just pick back up and tat at anytime and it's just like riding a bike, except for things you don't always use like that split ring join which I've probably only ever done twice!  OH I just saw my friend Diane posted about her friend Marie's Christmas tree all decked out in tatting!!! It's beautiful!!! Go take a peek!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Snowflake Ballerinas or Ballerina Snowflakes!

I just took some quick photos with my phone of these snowflake ballerina's I've been making!
Ever since I posted about the Nutcracker I've been obsessing just a little bit about the Ballet!  In fact I looked up The Nutcracker Ballet and found it and was able to get tickets to see it preformed by The Los Angelos Ballet!  AND I got orchestra seating and we go see it Sunday!  Woo!!!  I am so excited!  I've never seen a real professional ballet before!  Ever since I saw a great dance recital I've wanted to see one too!
 I had never seen The Nutcracker before either so I did research and found out the plot and watched a few versions on YouTube so when I go I can fully enjoy it all!
Ya gotta love the Dance of the Snowflakes!  And snow does look like it's dancing when it falls so pretty!  It doesn't take much imagination to think of little fluffy ballerinas floating about spinning and leaping!
And don't you think these paper snowflakes are the perfect ballerina skirt?!  Lovely serendipity!
 I had seen some snowflake ballerina ideas on Pinterest one of them was this one: Snowflake Ballerinas
I made them (didn't upload photos though) and then I loved them so much that I had to find other ballerina silhouettes and ideas for cut snowflakes and I made these.  They are a tiny bit smaller than the ones from the above link.  I added lace to all of them because I love lace and I think it just adds a perfect extra special touch to them!
I didn't have any poster board to use for the silhouettes so I traced them onto some heavy duty sketching paper I had and it is stiff enough for them to hold up.  And the snowflakes I just used regular ol' printing paper.
I liked this snowflake cutting patterns link.  I couldn't really follow any of them perfectly, it's really hard to cut through the paper all folded up.  So I just followed some them loosely, doing the best I could and they came out pretty I think!
I want to make a few more to hang on the sides of the wreaths in my windows from the curtains.
I also think a tiny version would look adorable to hang on the tree!  And I think making some out of special printed paper would be pretty too!  Too many ideas flittering about! ;D

Monday, December 10, 2012

Gifts for Friends

I've been having fun wrapping gifts for friends today, and then I had to take a photo of this cutie!  I got him at Ikea and then I bought a wired ribbon that is red velvet and silver sparkles and I created a perfect bow for him using my old-trusty-handy-dandy EZ Bowmaker (once I found it!!! LOL).  Now I need to package him up and get him sent off to my friend!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Christmas Ornaments: Elf Stocking

 Here is my results of making some Christmas ornaments for this year!!!  I just LOVE them!  I think I could make a whole set for my tree, but as it is it's one for me and the other two are for friends!  I really enjoyed using my vintage lace though!!! It's so yummy!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Favorite Things: Christmas and Ginger!

I so love decorating for Christmas, and because of that I've been doing it earlier each year!  And what's so cool is that I'm not the only one doing that either!  It seems to be gaining popularity to decorate earlier!  And why not?  I always feel sad when they come down and feel like it was never long kinda makes you understand why some people love to have Christmas decor all year round.  But I also love garden stuff so I wouldn't want Christmas all year, but during the months the garden is sleeping it's nice to have something pretty!  Since we got the Ektorp couches from Ikea I got the white covers to put on for Christmas time, and I got green velveteen pillow covers and I made bands of Christmas fabric to go over them so it's nice to be able to change the covers at my whim!  LOL  (and they are washable, a must for white!!!)
My Hubby saw our little dog Ginger sitting here all cute and since we had the camera on the tripod still from taking photos in the garden he thought it would be perfect to get a photo of her!  But he's forgotten how to use a SLR so deferred  to me to get the shot.  It's cool that we both enjoy photography.  It's been a long time since we've gotten to do any this way, the last time either of us used a SLR camera was back when you used film!!!  LOL  So I've had a time getting used to thinking about photos in Manual settings instead of the old point and shoot we've had for 10 years of digital cameras.  Back then it was way too expensive to get a digital SLR and it still can be if you get a fancy pansy professional one, but I got a good starter SLR (Nikon d5100) which is perfect and it's all about the lenses you use anyway than it is about the camera itself.  I'm really enjoying using a wide open aperture and getting some nice shallow depth of field photos (where only a small area is in focus and the rest blurs).  I think it's nice to look at this photo and see Ginger in focus and everything else not so much, which usually with point and shoot you get everything in focus and it can be a bit plain.  I like how it gives it good depth like you are looking in a window at her.  If you take your hand and focus your eyes on it and bring your hand closer or further than your face you will see that your eyes blur what's around you as you bring it closer to your face, and that is the effect of a wider aperture which I LOVE!!!  LOL It's fun to play around with it and practice, so I can capture the feeling I want in a photo!
Anyway isn't Ginger adorable?  And she loves to snuggle too!!!  So I guess this photo is really 3 favorite things in one!!!  Christmas, Ginger, and Photography!!! LOL
And this reminds me I need to make my annual Christmas Ornaments!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorite Things: Nutcrackers

I took this photo the other day experimenting with back lighting and depth of field.  I love nutcrackers!!! They are one of my favorite things!  Having been a military brat, I lived in Italy when I was a kid, and nutcrackers are everywhere!  I also have never seen The Nutcracker Ballet and would really love to someday!
Also with all his sequins I think he provides some good embroidery inspiration!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Caught a Hummingbird!

I really love this photo, isn't it so cute?  This little hummingbird found a little perch in my climbing rose that it kept coming back to, so I was able to set up the tripod and capture a photo!  One of my Favorite Things!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012


I've been debating whether I should share my photography photos on here or not, or if I should post them to my other blog Honey Bee's Fancy instead.  So I'm thinking for now I'll test things out, maybe post more over there and then only a very few of my absolute favorites here.  So here are a few that I really loved from a couple of sessions.

 My garden has always been inspiration to me!  I love this one of the light shining through honeysuckle vines.  Seeing this photo just makes me feel happy
 Then I just love this teeny tiny little butterfly, if you know how big the flowers (alyssum) it is sitting on then that gives you a good idea how tiny this butterfly is.  An interesting tidbit is that I used to use a stamp very often that was of this very butterfly and I had never seen one in person.  So when I saw it in my garden for the first time I was thrilled and had to get a photo of it!
Gotta love the sweet little violas!  I liked the idea of having one in focus and the others in the background blur.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Beads Added

 I've added beads to a few more areas and now I'm at the place where I need to sit on it a while to see if it's done.  I'm debating over adding some sparkle to the bits of lace I added recently, but nothing feels right so far.

 I added some golden bugle beads that are in a slanted pattern like this: / \ / \ / \

 In this area I added some gold beads to the center of the roses, and a slanted lightly tinted transparent bugle beads at the top.

And in the rings of the tatting I added some more of the golden bugle beads to give the hint of sparkle in a flower shape.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some Ornament Photos

 I'm venturing into photography, which has been on my back-burner for far too long now, but now is finally able to come to the front.  I'm learning all over again with a digital SLR so I thought I would share some of my beginner photos.  They say the secret to improving is to take tons of photos, so today I played around taking photos of my Christmas Tree.  I will probably do that a lot this month!  I didn't shoot any of the hand made ornaments yet, but since I need to practice I will get to them!  These are my favorite photos from today.  I had opened my front door and the light spilled in onto my tree and I couldn't resist playing with it!

 I really love this one, just something about the nutcracker, I'm not even fully aware of why I love this photo so much.  Partly the sharpness of his hair, the light hitting him.  It's hard to be just beginning, but everyone must start somewhere and I have to give myself permission to be a beginner! ;)
 I love the sparkles on this bird and the light hitting them.
 I liked this one because of the color, and I like the way the glitter looks.  I also like how the feathers are softer out of focus further back.  I really love the shallow depth of field photos out there and what's known as Bokeh which is basically background blur.  I also like the sparkle in the crystal drop.  You can see a handmade ornament in the background the Tree that Wendy made for me!
 This one loved right away, I love the shininess and the Bokeh of the lights in the background.  And you can see a little tatted snowflake in the background too.
 I liked this angle too focusing on his beak and the hanging ornament more to the side instead of coming out of his back like the one above.  I would have liked to try out a bit deeper depth of field on this one and get more of his body in focus and see what that would be like, so I will keep that in mind for next time.
 I like how the sparkles on this guy looks like Bokeh.
And this one I was playing with the exposure, I think the feathers are so wispy and soft looking!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Added Bugle Beads

Since I'm now adding finishing touches here and there, one of the things I decided was to add some light green bugle beads to the silkie frame.  They are treated like leaves.  I like the added color, fullness, and texture they give.

I just got a new camera!  It's a digital SLR!  I'm going to start learning and practicing how to take better photos, and even this DSLR in auto is an improvement over using my phone as I have been!  LOL
So my hope is that you will start to see improvement in my photos as I keep growing in this area too!
I'm totally excited and wish I could learn everything overnight and be able to take all the incredible photos I've been dreaming of for so long!  LOL  At least now I'm able to start this journey!

Friday, November 09, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Tons Accomplished

 I sat down to work a little more and ended up doing a ton of stuff!  I dyed a bit of lace and added it to several places, the silkie, the upper right and the upper left.  It seems that only a few finishing touches are left until this block is finished!

Since the center fabric print has just the faintest hint of a lavender color and I had added some tiny clear lavender flower beads to the silkie when I was embellishing it, I added those same lavender flower beads along the lace in the upper right then I took them and added them in the rose motif and used them to "point" and bring the eye around and back down to the silkie.  I also added a similar flower bead that is champagne colored and added it to the tatting in the lower left and alternating with the lavender ones in the upper right lace.

I also added a be in the lower left using a interesting bead that my friend Lillian gave me that when I saw it I instantly thought BEE!

 The bee is made using the amber and black bead for the body, some black seed beads for the eyes and   The wings are worked in the lazy daisy stitch using some Rachelette by Caron tubular thread that has a metallic thread running through it.  Then I used some metallic floss to give the wings some definition.

 In the upper right corner I added the dyed lace and a label that my friend Lillian also gave me.  I thought it looked perfect, from the word, to the rose, to the frayed ends!
I added some of the dyed lace to the bottom of the silkie to additionally frame it.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Tea Party: Applique Update

Wow it's been a crazy long time since I posted about this Tea Party CQ!  As you can see I have been working on it but it's only a little bit for how long it's been.  I have 5 of the 8 tea cups appliqued down only 3 left!  The teapot is crazy, and I found myself not wanting to work on it at all so I switched to the cups.  It's hard for me to only work on applique and not be doing the more creative stuff, but I have to finish the applique first so I can get to the fun stuff.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tarnished Gold: A Bird's Nest

 Today I watched one of Lilla's recent videos about how to create little Whimseys and in it she created a birds nest.  Well I guess it was just the perfect thing to inspire me!  I looked at the block and thought a birds nest would be really cute so I tried a few things and came up with one using a couple of yarns and a perle cotton thread.  Inside the nest I put 3 little eggs out of pearls and 2 are a darker color and I made 1 a lighter color.  I thought it would be cute to have a little variation in egg color since usually that's how it is in nature.

After making the nest I thought it would be great in the lower area but needed a way to let it sit so I grabbed a piece of lace that was a scrap laying around and twisted it and started pinning it in place.  I loved the look of it and who know a twisted piece of lace would resemble bark so well for a branch.

I cut out little leaves out of several different fabrics and played around till I got something I liked and then sewed it down by the middles so they would look like the veins.

 More and more this block seems to be taking on a theme of a Nature Walk and all the pretty things you might see while out.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Tarnished Gold: Adding to the Silkie Frame

Yesterday while searching through my stash for inspiration I came across these red metal roses my friend Lillian gave me.  I thought maybe they would look nice around the silkie and sure enough I loved the way it enhanced the frame, so I stitched them into place.
It makes me think that it is still unfinished, I've never felt quite satisfied with the way the frame is looking and with the addition of these roses I think it makes it closer to the feel I am wanting.  I might hold more bead tryouts and see if adding anything else enhances it as well!

Three bare spots left on this block and still no firm ideas.  I think I will concentrate on the frame a bit more to see what else it might need and keep the rest of the block on the back burner to percolate ideas.