He knows my name!

My life verse: "I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel." (Isaiah 45:3). For me, "the treasures of darkness" has been the medically-treated depression that I have suffered off and on with for years. More than anything else in my life, I think this has made me realize how much my Savior loves me and has deepened my relationship with God. The "hidden riches of secret places" are my wonderful family and this fabulous craft--tatting! I thank God for both!
I think it is awesome that God knows my name! Did you know that He knows yours?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Ring Pattern

Once again this could have been a Finger Lakes post.  This was in the kit I bought from Carolyn Groves--the one I was going to put off doing.  I was impressed with the ring that comes in the kit--it is nicely adjustable for different sizes!  My daughter-in-law challenged me not to procrastinate, but to go ahead and "do-it-now" even though, I have no idea what I am going to do with it.  So I started on it.   The kit came with some absolutely beautiful size 30--or I suspect size 40 hand-dyed thread in some lovely variegated dark shades of blues and other  dark colors of the color spectrum.  However, I quickly broke and shredded that poor, beautiful, thread beyond recognition.  I had to replace it with some plain, old, Lizbeth, size 40, color #649--Baby Blue.  I did stiffen the thread with my Api's Fabric Stiffener from Hobby Lobby used full strength when I was finished. 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Crystal Ring Ornament

:)   I could legally title this post Finger Lakes Post 10--Crystal Ring Ornament... but I said goodbye to Finger Lakes 2014 in my last post.  :)

I signed up for this class from Carolyn Groves at Finger Lakes, but unfortunately, it was full.  However, I did purchase the kit.  The kit was $10 and came stuffed with materials for two projects, this crystal ring ornament and a ring with gemstone chips.

My three thread choices for this ornament were the lighter pink, the magenta  and a rather interesting hand dyed thread that I believe came from Karey Solomon.  I fell in love with the sample of hand dyed thread even though there were only 9 yards, I just couldn't use them on this crystal ornament.  So I "borrowed" from the kit, and put them back to use on something else (I don't know what!).  I substituted Lizbeth, size 20, #672, Burgandy from my stash for the third round.  

This was a well written pattern.  It was fun to do.  I did make one mistake in the second round (one of the chains is too short.)  The pattern can be worked with any 20 mm ring, but the one that came with the kit sparkles absolutely brilliantly, although that doesn't show in the picture.  I put the ring kit back to do at a later time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 9--Split Ring Bookmark

Just like everyone in school has one "bird" or "easy" class on their high school schedule... I deliberately picked this class knowing I already knew how to do split rings.  Dani Rotach challenged us however, that if we already knew split rings-- to do the pattern in front side/ back side!  That is a technique that I'm not too proficient and definitely not comfortable in -- especially where split rings are involved.  When you end up doing a reversed ring, too many times, there are too many variables involved for my brain to get around... do you reverse the stitches this time, do you wrap the threads this time, does it go over the hand or under the hand this time?  It just makes my brain hurt!!!  But, I was determined to muddle through!! 

Dani had written the pattern as either a ring of 2-2-2-2-2-2 or as a ring of 3-3-3-3-3-3  but that was just to small for me, so I increased the size to 5-5-5-5-5-5.  I looked at the pattern and realized it was not very "sturdy" and made the decision that it would be stiffened when it was finished.  Because I knew that before I ever started, I chose to make all my picots and the  spaces between the rings the same size.  I think it adds to the design. 

I used Lizbeth, size 20, color # 137--Berry Burst.  After it was finished (8 1/2 inches long) I stiffened it with Api's Fabric Stiffener from Hobby Lobby (full strength). 

This was my last class at Finger Lakes this year.  It was so hard to pack up and head home.  I almost panicked--this was my remaining chance to get something from the vendors.  This was the final time to visit with all these lovely ladies that I wouldn't see again for another whole year--maybe not forever.  Thank you to all who  worked so tirelessly to make this weekend a success!  The classes were great!  I heard the food was wonderful!  The programs and the auctions/secret angels/raffles/challenges/etc were well organized.  I appreciate so much all that you all do to make the whole conference go so smoothly.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for my scholarship that enabled me to come this year and enjoy the weekend.  I'm looking forward to LAKE, SEA and SHORE Finger Lakes 2015!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 8 -- Bluebird of Happiness

Sunday morning class at Finger Lakes was the Bluebird of Happiness.  Kaye Judt developed this delightful bluebird pattern for people without migraines who walked into the Finger Lakes Tatting Conference and said, "I can handle it, Give me your worst!" Ha!Ha!  That's what I felt like at times...       When working this pattern, you actually drop one ball, (don't cut it!) Start another! and keep tatting... so you have all these threads to keep straight--actually 3 at once by the end...(the lady next to me jumbled hers all together and quit mid class.)   This on top of learning (relearning - it's been 6-7 years) pearl tatting.  Then trying to read a pattern with my migraine fogged mind.  Now... I have chronic migraines (3-5 a week, so that's pretty much my life... and the way I live at home... so figuring out the pattern here in Oklahoma wasn't any easier than at Finger Lakes.)  Actually I didn't need to "figure out the pattern"...I needed to figure out, whether, I had moved the sticky note before or after I had tatted that section of the pattern each time....   I kept confusing myself and losing my place in the pattern.  But, once I got him figured out---  Voila!!!  Ladies and Gentlemen, Presenting, the Bluebird of Happiness!  Isn't he so neat?  He has some birdseed spied out right across the room with his bright little eye!  I just absolutely love the two-dimensional look that the wing gives him! 

My Bluebird is made out of Lizbeth Thread, size 20.  Colors Cream, #610 :  Black, #604:
 Harvest Orange Med, #694:  and Ocean Teal Dark, # 665.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 7 -- Tatted Amigurumi Owl

According to Karey Solomon, Amigurumi--(I've never figured out how to pronounce that twice in a row the same way), are Japanese cartoonish animals...  They aren't supposed to look exactly like the animal, just sort of like the animal.  Any, this is my OWL,  and my grandson LOVES HIM!!  He is 1 3/4  inches tall.

 My whole project is a BOOBOO!!  I got one of his hands on upside-down.  I had to make some "pattern variations".... When I got down to putting on the bottom piece I discovered that I either made a BIG mistake on the TOP motif, and had two missing ribs all the way down the sides of the owl, or the pattern for the bottom piece was totally wrong--probably me, besides living on about 800 calories a day, I was migraining the whole weekend at Finger Lakes, and at times patterns just didn't make sense!  I also tat tighter than most people....    Anyway...    My little glass gem refused to fit in the bottom of my owl, so I had to increase the length and breadth of my owl, and redo the bottom to fit the glass gem.  But I love HIM!!  I think he will be a little "scarecrow" that will sit in the corner of my laptop keyboard...maybe he will scare my mistakes away...

This was REALLY fun little pattern to make, as you made it, you had cute little puppet sitting on your finger looking at you while you tatted.

He was made out of DMC Cebelia size 10 color 745.   

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 6--Sundae Pincushion

Underside of "Sundae Bowl"
"Top" of the bowl of Ice Cream!
Side view
Well, isn't it about time I started talking about tatting? My first class Saturday morning was this Sundae Pincushion taught by Vicki Clarke. I love her patterns, they are always so fun, original, and well explained.  She is also a very good, funny teacher.  It is done in size three thread, which was available through Vicki in a kit for $2. (So I don't know the official color of my "sundae").   Also in the kit, she provided you a circle of felt for the ice cream, and fiberfill to stuff the sundae. I didn't have quite enough thread in my kit to make the cherry on top of my sundae, so I used some thread in another color also size three given to me by a friend. 

Vicki warned us that if you do this pattern, make sure that you make your picots large (at least 1/2 inch) on the rosette on the bottom.  This was good advice!  She also joined between the second and third rows of the rosette to start the "upward" split chains and chains to avoid tying and cutting.  

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 5

Back at the condo on Saturday night, we sat around and tatted and talked.  But we also looked at Monica's beautiful shuttles.  She has an extensive personal collection as well as the several types that she and her husband make and sell.  Her husband had arrived, and he very graciously gave each of us a shuttle! Mine is mahogany!  It feels so good!  It just slips right through your hand!

Then Monica laid out a wonderful feast for your eyes !!  A bunch of cute decorated plastic shuttles--she told us to take as many as we pleased!  How do you like the two I picked out? 
I can't believe someone spends that much time being creative and then just gives it away!! ---- How nice!!!

Then I got to playing in Monica's thread stash--She makes beautiful hand-dyed thread.  She has such wonderful colors!  I bought these three (the blue sort of got unwound in my luggage on the way home.)

Thank you so much Monica and Sean!  Monica's Etsy Store is NagStudio

Friday, April 11, 2014

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 4--Secret Angel Gift Exchange

One of the unique things about Finger Lakes is their Secret Angel gift exchange.  This year they had a interesting rule about your gift.... it all had to fit into a quart size ziplock bag--perfect for traveling from Oklahoma!  I had a little purple handmade fabric bag which contained chocolates (of course), a magnifying pen, a small hand crank flashlight, and a really cute covered notepad of paper with pencil.  On the bag I put two pins that were tatting related.

This year the ladies at Finger Lakes organized the Secret Angel gift exchange differently.  When you signed up, you turned in your gift.  At the end of the day, you were given a gift.  This ensured that everyone who signed up, received a gift, something that has not happened in the past...unfortunately.  I think this was a GREAT idea!!

I was sitting next to Monica Braxton, and immediately I knew that she received my gift.  She got my gift last year--in the same purple bag!  She says that it is her favorite bag, so I hope she enjoy the second one!  What I didn't know was that in a few minutes, I would receive Monica's little quart size bag of joy!

WOW!! Packed inside this little package was a treasure trove!  There were SEVEN packages of beads--all of which I like, but one of which I've fallen absolutely in love with!! A package of needles, a folded measuring tape, a needle threader, and a box of (buttons, pins, and safety pins).  Here are the two fantastic items.... A skein of Monica's hand-dyed thread....in a gorgeous dark blue/black/green color-- and then Monica insisted that I chose one of her hand carved shuttles!  I got an oak one that felt just right in my hand!  I couldn't believe the way it glided!  Monica's Etsy store where she sells her thread and shuttles is NAGStudio

Thank you ladies at Finger Lake for organizing this exchange!  Thank you Monica!! 

Finger Lakes Post 3--"Goodie Bags"

Every year, I anticipate the "Goodie Bag" from Finger Lakes.  It is like a little Christmas present!  This year did not let me down at all!  Inside my lovely little turquoise bag--which will be a lovely tatting tote in the future was (let me take you on a clockwise tour.).  At 11:30, we have some wonderful 3X3 post-it-notes.    At 2:00, resting on an orange tulle bag, are a neat pair of hand-tatted earrings--what was really neat, was looking around, when everyone opened their goodie bags--everyone's earring's were different!  Down at 5:00 was a star eraser and a mini-altoid tin that held a striver (a striver is a place-holder for your tatting, if you didn't know.)  It also held two bread ties, these are great for using as emergency shuttles for teaching people to tat, or for winding bits of thread on.  It also had a beautiful beaded pin in it--once again, the strivers and beaded pins were different in everyone's boxes.  At 6:00 we got to chose from a basket that held little boxes of beads or little tiny statues of birds--I picked the beads.  Towards the left of the altoids tin is a strip of nylon cover for a ball of thread.  At about 7-8:00 came the part that will have me thinking for the next year--the challenge item.  It is gorgeous-- dk. to lt. green, gold, and  ecru thread, donated by Ginny Weathers, hand-dyed by Karey Solomon and a charm... with next year's theme: Lake Sea and Shore.  

Thank you so much to all who donated--to all who put organized and put it together-- I appreciate all you do to make this weekend special!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 2

We (Cynthia Stevenson and I) arrived in New York in time to go to Karey Solomon's Graceful Arts Fiber Studio.  We got to decorate some 50 cent shuttles with nail polish, stickers, and glitter.  I really like my magenta and turquoise ones, they are done with sparkly nail polish and stickers.  The green one is done with nail polish and glitter, and I'm afraid the glitter will make it too rough to be usable. It was a fun time of fellowship and swapping ideas around the craft table.  You actually had time to get to know some of the other ladies a little as they came in the store one by one. Karey also had tea and stew available for those who arrived hungry.

Later we went to the pot luck dinner at the community building/Fire house building in Lodi.  OOPS!  There was a big mix-up and there was a horse auction going on where our pot luck dinner was supposed to be being held!  We sat in the back of the horse auction for a little while.  I kept waiting for something to come up for sale that could be used for tatting--I mean, you never know where you are going to find something that you can use for a tatting tool!  Later, they cleared out a bay in the fire house next door, by moving out a fire truck-- and we held out pot luck in there!  Everything turned out great!  We had great conversation, I heard there was great food (I had my applesauce and ensure -- that I ate the whole trip) and I saw some wonderful tatting (lots of people were doing the Renulek doily.)  

During dinner was the first time I actually tatted since January.  While in the hospital, I had a nerve in my wrist hit putting in an IV (she was only doing her job), and my pinkie and ring fingers on my left hand have been "pins and needles" since then.   The dr. didn't listen to me, and said that I had been tatting too much and that I had carpel tunnel--but it suddenly appeared and not tatting hasn't made it go away.  It's been such a blessing to learn that I can still tat!!! I tatted all weekend and most of the way home!!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Finger Lakes 2014 Post 1--My Blessings!

I've had an interesting winter, spending 16 days in the hospital since January, and spending the first 3 months on a liquid diet.  That creates the basis for me saying I was in no way, in any way, capable physically or financially, to go to Finger Lakes this year.

Up stepped Cynthia Stevenson.  Cynthia talked to people behind the scenes and my husband, and urged me to fill out a scholarship application.  I was ecstatic when I found out that I got a scholarship to Finger Lakes!  

This is the fourth year that I've ridden from Oklahoma to New York with Cynthia Stevenson  and up till now I've always paid my fair share of the gas and tolls.  This year Doug and Cynthia Stevenson generously paid the whole trip.

The Stevenson's in-laws provided us hospitality in Ashtabula, Ohio, saving us hotel bills on the way to and from Finger Lakes.

Monica Braxton (one of the nicest people at Finger Lakes) had a time-share condo near Lodi for a week.  She very graciously allowed me to stay with her during the conference at no charge.  

Thank you to all of you!  You have enriched and blessed my life once again.