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?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Finger Lakes 2016 - Part 2

 How can a conference be different each year, and yet so much the same that it is comforting?  Registration was just like in the past years....Audrey checked us in, and gave us our nametags and goodie bags.  The goodie bags were made again this year by Sheila Boniface.  How she comes up with a different bag design each year is a wonder!  This year's bag has pockets all around the outside. Along with the bag we were allowed to choose a pouch.  This lovely pouch is just right for holding a pair of shuttles, or scissors.

Inside the bag was a group of baggies sewed together at the bottom with a strip of fabric (what a fantastic way to separate and organize).  In these was our challenge item for next year's "Everythings Coming Up Roses" theme--mine was a unhemmed, hanky-size piece of fabric with roses on it--What can I do with this that is creative and unusual for next year?   There was a lovely teddybear bead on a tatted motif. There was an empty plastic Easter egg (I had never thought of using them for storing things--neat idea!) with ponytail bands and tiny flip flops.  I had a beautiful crocheted coaster.  One of my pop bottle lid containers and a vinyl bag.  Wow.....such goodies!

The lovely gifts didn't end there!  I was a teacher this year!!  Sheila outdid herself, making lovely fabric boxes!!  Mine has a lot of purple in it, and I think the little paisley shapes look a lot like shuttles!  Then we got a fantastic journal (I think my picture looks a little "fierce" for a "teddy" bear--but....has anyone seen a picture of Teddy Roosevelt's bear that inspired the whole "teddy bear" idea?  He looks pretty "fierce"--so maybe mine is more "teddy bearish" than if he was cuddly!...Oh, I am rambling...)  We also got a lovely pair (look for the yellow handles in the picture) of scissors!  Just right for cutting out illustrations to add to your journaling!

One of the things that I just adore about the conference is the raffle and auction!  I like to buy my budgeted tickets, and go around and look at the sacks--then add my tickets to a sack that just has a few tickets inside.  That increases my ratio/chances of winning something!  This year I won this neat basket.  Inside were some needlepoint and cross-stitch kits, and a pattern for an outfit (unfortunately not my size!)  I was also gifted another basket by someone who won one, but only wanted the contents.  To bring back a phrase from jr. high-- "Neat-o frito, bandito!"

Once again this year, Karey Solomon prepared meals just for me--making sure that there was nothing in the food that might cause a fibromyalgia flare or migraine attack.  With everything she has "on her plate" at the conference--I just feel that this is definitely above and beyond.  I can't thank her enough! 

Oh, I love looking at the vendor's items!  Kathy Kirchner was there again this year (she always has such a wonderful assortment of everything from shuttles to thread to books!).  Marilee Rockley had some of her vibrant hand-dyed thread thread and books.  Monica Braxton had her shuttles and lovely hand-dyed thread (her threads, I think are more " softer pastels").  Sharon Fawns had a yarn swift and ball winder, and for a very nominal and reasonable fee, would wind your newly-bought hand-dyed thread for you so that it was immediately usable. Karey Solomon's tables are always fun to explore! (She also carries a wide variety of items--used in a wide variety of crafts!)

Thank you to everyone who makes this conference--different, and the same!!
Next post--Classes and Confessions!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Mother's Day Bracelet

My oldest son married my wonderful daughter-in-love nine years ago!  Crystal is amazing in so many ways!  She has single parented during two deployments.  She is one of those people who always seem to know the "right thing to say."  She loves unconditionally and without judgement.  She is goal oriented--demonstrated by her cooking (When we met her when she was in high school "she couldn't boil water.") and in the decoration of their home.  One of the things that just astounds me is that she is a super-fantastic mother.  I am so grateful that she has chosen to stay home (for the present at least) and takes wonderful care of my three grandsons. 

I ordered these charms several months ago--I was shocked when I saw how small they were (I should have been paying more attention to the written description.)  They each have a tiny diamond in them.  The diamonds are colored and I bought the colors that match the grandboy's birthstones. I found the large hearts at Walmart on clearance after Valentine's Day.  The thread is Karey Solomon's handpainted thread, named "Sunrise, Sunset" and is a size 20 Cordonnet.  I adapted a pattern by Jon Yusoff called "Dimpled Chain Edging" for the bracelet.  It is found on her blog here http://tatsaway.blogspot.com/2008/08/dimpled-chain-edging.html She developed the pattern as an all chains project, however, I enjoy doing dimpled rings, so I worked the pattern with rings.  I also eliminated all the picots that were not joining picots. I left off the "dimple" on most of the connecting chains so that I could add the small heart beads.  The dimple did come in useful in holding the three hearts.

clover vs. Debbie A
Top and side view of Debbie A
On a different note, I have not had a lot of luck with clover shuttles.  I prefer a hook, and the clovers seem to jump out of my hands.  I had heard of a Debbie A Comfi shuttle that had raised edges and thought that they might be my solution to the "kamikaze" clover shuttles that always seem to fall where my two cats can grab them and play with my thread.  I could never find any of the shuttles where I regularly shop online.  Last weekend on one of my many "I can't sleep at all" nights,  I went online shopping and found Snowgoose Lace!  They carry a limiited amount of tatting items when you compare them to a large online store like Handy Hands, but staring out at me from one of the pages were the shuttles! https://www.snowgooselace.com/product/debbie-a-comfi/  
 I had some trouble with online ordering and the next morning emailed the company;  Shelly responded so quickly and nicely and before I knew it, two Debbie A Comfi shuttles were on their way to my mailbox!  I can't wait to try them out!

On Wednesday, I received my last order from Tatting Corner.  :(    It arrived damaged and damp.  However the products inside were safe and dry due to their packaging.  Everything was contained in plastic bags.  I will miss Jennifer's smiling face at Palmettos and Finger Lakes.  I so appreciate the help she has given me when I have contacted her.  I certainly understand the need to spend time with growing children and aging parents.  I will miss Jennifer and I wish her the best in her "new" life.   

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Finger Lakes 2016 - Part 1


My husband in the weeks and days prior to our departure for Finger Lakes 2016, kept telling me “tell everyone to bring money for the bus, if she breaks down, just tell them to haul her to the scrap yard.”  What he was referring to was my little Blue Bunny (named by the CYIA’ers one year) which is a 1995 van with 307,000 miles.  With that inspiring statement ringing in our ears, On Wednesday, April 6, Cyn, Sue and I determined to have faith in our transportation and head off to New York from Oklahoma!  We knew the worst trouble we have ever had with her on our tatting trips has been an inability to shut the back window!

Cyn (Cynthia) as my readers know, and I have been tatting & traveling companions now for 6+ years.  Cyn is the teacher of the Beginners Online Tatting Class

It was so neat to see Sue again!  If I remember correctly, she taught the very first class I ever took at Finger Lakes!   I was so impressed at how “technically” she talked about tatting, explaining how certain types of stitches turned your work different directions.  You could tell at the time, that she had really had studied tatting as a “science” and “method” not just a hobby or a craft to fill her time.  Sue now shares her knowledge as she leads the Tuesday Online Tatting Designers Class.  Sue had the neatest gift for me, a lovely bag of beads—including a little bear bead in honor of the theme for Finger Lakes 2016-“The Teddy Bear’s Picnic.”

Do you ever absolutely cringe when you show up at someone’s house late—very late?  Tamie very generously opened her home in Kentucky as a free stopping place on our trip.  Well, we were supposed to arrive there “in the evening.”  Due to a very late start, evening turned into approximately 3:00 in the morning, accompanied by dragging her husband Dennis out into the (rainy!) night to pilot us through the city to their house.  Let’s face it!   Tatting people are for the most part—just good people!  We took a few minutes to talk.  Tamie had the neatest gifts for us.  I got a lovely coffee mug filled with Dove chocolates.  (The thread in the picture was given to me by Tamie on our return trip.)

Then she brought out a really neat 
wooden double shuttle with a celtic motif on the front--what a gift!!  (I have the "Tatting with the Double Bobbin Shuttle Made Easy" book by Sheron Goldin. But. I think this shuttle may take a different approach to use, since you can’t remove the bobbins -it is a post shuttle.)

How about this!  Tamie had a six-pack of Diet Dr. Pepper waiting for me—she remembered my drink from the year before!!  That is something that is just not in my personality to even think of!-- but it sure made me feel welcome!!  After sleeping late and lingering over breakfast, we got a glimpse at Tamie’s new craft area (they have moved since last year.)  What?  You recognize Tamie’s voice and craft table?  That is because Tamie is the teacher for the Online Video Series that goes along with the Beginner and the Ongoing (Advanced) Online Tatting Classes!

We loaded back up (always a game of tetris—which Cyn says she has never played, but if she did, she would be awesome at it!)  We started off again—only to return in less than a mile!  Sue had inadvertently mixed up phones with Tamie and found out that her “new” phone didn’t quite work!  (I’m so glad the switch was discovered early.)  It was, I think, our first big thing we could laugh about on the trip—and anytime anything went missing, we laughingly accused Sue of swiping it!  (I am so glad this lady has a lovely sense of humor!) 

Our next stop was at the Ohio home of Cyn’s in-laws.  They happened to be away, but had so kindly offered to let us stay there.  We stopped at a Kmart there in Ashtabula the next morning, to pick up a few items we were missing…and a short stop became a rather long—shop the sales.  Sue was able to pick up bargains galore in the clothing area.  I went in resolved to only pick up the necessities that were on the list, but was swayed by the BOGO bin of warm gloves and then I just couldn’t pass up three gorgeous scarves at $2.47 each!!  Sue and I also found some wonderful Easter eggs to put tatting onto sometime in the future.  (I also picked up some cute animal plastic eggs for the grandboys.)

We had hoped to make it to the “special event” for early arrivers--Karey Solomon opens her Fiber Arts Studio as a stopping place.  She usually has a warm stew and a variety of hot teas, plus an interesting craft for your eyes and hands to dive into.  We had all also, signed up for the pot-luck on Friday night….we had made it to the Finger Lakes area by this time—but were stopped at another store to pick up more “forgotten things.” 

At long last, before the food was put away (!) we got to Lodi.  Oh what a warm feeling I get when I see that little fire station/community building!  It is a special world for 48 hours, filled with almost a “family reunion” of people who are so loving, and sharing.Everyone has projects to share, and ooh and aah over!  There doesn’t seem to be any jealousy—just instruction and encouragement. Vendors are setting up and some of the guild members are doing last minute preparations for the conference--it is a wonderful time, just for fellowshipping with other tatters.

 Right away I got a hug from one of my favorite tatters Monica Braxton.  She also delivered  my commemorative 2016 Finger Lakes Shutttles which my husband ordered for me.  She did a special engraving on them for me!  A turtle on the backside of one of them....and the word "teacher" after my name!  Since this is the first time I will have ever taught tatting in more than a one-on-one situation, this year is special.  My tatting shuttle will remind me of this incredible experience every time I use it.  I am so grateful to Monica. 

Almost another ‘coming home’, was our hotel in Geneva—Cyn and I have stayed there two times before.  This little place has changed hands every time we have been there!  The ladies at the check-in desk must have thought we were moving in, we made so many trips back and forth to get things.  I have got to make a point to emphasize the “we” was really Cyn and Sue!  They protected me and my health every chance they possibly could this trip—from them moving all the luggage  (every time), to Sue taking the back seat so I would have more room for my legs in the front—all the way from Oklahoma to New York and back!  My gratitude is so great to these giving ladies!

*If you want to the end of the Blue Bunny story….She now has 311,000 miles, and made it to New York and back with only a few adjustments on the part of the drivers. Will she be able to make it to Palmettos Tat Days 2016?  (Class Teachers, Projects and Class Schedule are up now!  Registration will be in late May or early June.  Check out http://palmettotatters.org/index.shtml

CLICK HERE for more information about the Beginners Online Tatting Class, The Online (Advanced) Tatting Class, The Online Tatting Designers Class or the Online Video Series..

Watch for my next post about Finger Lakes memories!