Saturday, February 28, 2009

Birthday Presents, Bookmarks, Day 3 of TIAS

Jon organised a birthday exchange for the SnN group with 8 participants, each with just 1 partner. My birthday was the earliest of all on 23 Feb, and Paul started the ball rolling. Look what I received from him!
The floral fabric is SO sweet and pretty! A very cute touch to the Hallmark card too. Thank you, Paul, for all the Anchor threads, beads & heart confetti!

My 2 little girls are so creative, they whipped up a decently-looking present, all wrapped up and with bows. It looks so good that I really don't feel like opening up and spoiling the packaging! A "petite" bouquet of roses from DH, and not forgetting the 2 Celestial diamond rings he bought for me earlier.

Here are the 2 bookmarks I tatted from this Japanese book I bought recently. Both are tatted with Flora 20 threads, but with different tension, 1 came out larger than the other by quite a lot! And what differences when I work on different computers, the photos were edited on different computers, the first 2 were much darker than these last 2! Anyway, this is my Day 3 of the TIAS. I'm not any wiser what we are heading for.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Paper Clip of the Month / Motif No. 21 - Lucky 4-leaf Clover, TIAS Day 2

This is the 2nd paper clip pattern I did for Georgia's Online Tatting Class - Lucky Four Leaf Clover. You can also tat it as a 3-leaf shamrock or tat it as a bookmark. This is my favourite paper clip pattern at the moment! These will be my Motif No. 21 for the 25 Motif Challenge. Which version do you like better?

I have just finished Day 2 of Iris' TIAS and finishing a 2nd piece of bookmark. Since the start of this year, I found lesser time to do anything at all (much less to tat) with my 3 children now in primary school. No joke coaching all 3 together in their homework after a whole day at work, and all 3 yelling for your attention (yah, only me when DH is not back from work yet) to help them in their problems, plus the project works of my eldest boy in the Primary 6 gifted programme. Time to start thinking/worrying about selection of secondary school for my boy soon with all the stuff on direct admission system even before taking the PSLE. That's how stressing the education system in Singapore!

Friday, February 20, 2009

New TIAS, Sewing Gauge and Shrink Plastic Flat Shuttle

Iris started a new TIAS! Without any diagram or photo, Day 1 is truely tat it and see what comes out of it! Am I on the right track?

Also in the photo is one of my favourite picot gauges - a sewing gauge. They come in hard plastic and metal, I like them thin, handy, durable and fuss-free, and many sizes all in one and all the arms are annotated. I counted 20 picot sizes from the smallest 1/8" to the largest 4"!

Did you notice the transparent disc at the top left corner ? I made this flat shuttle from shrink plastic back in 2005. It's not easy to shrink a long piece down nicely and flatly, or perhaps I'm too much of a perfectionest or simply I'm not skillful enough. But well, this is the one and only one I tried, and have since only used it once to tat something very small.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Shuttle, Shuttles and More Shuttles, and Cute MicroDragons

My birthday is fast approaching. I decided to treat myself to a few new shuttles which I have been eyeing for a while.

The 1st one I bought off eBay is a handcrafted gourd tatting shuttle with roses created by Alexandra Beatty. It is sage green on top with warm amber beige in colour inside and on the sides and has an original illustration by the artist of pink, white, and yellow roses with leaves. Design is the same on both sides of the shuttle. Measures 3 1/16" in length by 1" in width, by 5/8th in thickness.
Next are a pair of tatting shuttles (pair at bottom of photo) handmade by Jan Stawasz, which I bought from Karen Glass at Etsy. Post-style, approximately two inches long, crafted from plexiglass, metallic silver and gold in colour. Very smooth and nice colours!

Couldn't resist these cuties (top 3 of photo) made by Noreen Crone Findlay: Blessed Bunny Tatting Shuttle, abt 2 inches long & 1 inch tall, Tattie Hedgehog, The Blue Bird of Happiness, abt 2 inches long & 1 inch tall. Very cute and smooth on the outside edge, though the holes have some wood splinters which may catch the thread.

I was offered a 2nd chance at eBay to buy this bobbin-shuttle (2nd shuttle on the right above the namecard) from Hungary. It isn't such a good deal after all. I doubt the shuttle can work - the screw is tight yet the bobbin is rolling freely. I wasn't impressed with the workmanship on the wood either. Well, I have put in one of my favourite working and smallest GR8 shuttles (immediately above Jan's namecard in the photo) as a comparison of the size of the various shuttles.

I'm working on more paper clips, but couldn't resist trying this microdragon by Anne Bruvold. The red dragon was tatted with Altin Basak Simli threads (not too bad a thread if your tension is loose enough to close the rings without snapping the metallic thread). The smaller blue one was done with Omega size 50 (#137 and #138). The colours of Omega threads appeal to me, but luckily I didn't buy more than these 2 balls. Perhaps I'm too used to Flora and Olmpus threads, I didn't like the texture of the Omega thread - I didn't have to retro-tat and it is fuzzy even as I use it straight from the ball!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Bag Exchange for Usha & Motif No. 20 - Hearts. Catch the Flowers and Latest Book!

I have wanted to make the dorset bag long time ago, but just couldn’t bring myself to sew it; hand-sew that is, as I don’t know how to use the sewing machine. So for this Bag Exchange, I think it was the perfect occasion to “force” myself to make it. Did some shopping before I found some beautiful thick napkins, the hems all done to save some sewing. Before I knew it, I had been sewing for weeks and I did poked the needle into my fingers a few times; I was so glad it was finally done. I also hand-stitched the pin cushion and attached a bought machine-tatted simple edging. All these went to Usha, hope she won't find my stitching too untidy.

The past week was Chinese New Year. Besides visiting relatives, we went to Sentosa for a flower exhibition. It was pretty crowded and hot, so we didn't walked too far, but these were some shots we took.
These sculptures were made up of fresh flowers!

Despite the holidays, I didn't get much tatting done, partly because I'm still trying more ideas for the paper clips. Actually, I'm only about halfway to the target, I hope I won't disappoint Georgia and participants in the Online Tatting Class. That aside, I finished up the thread on the shuttle and ended up with this tiny heart bookmark! I decided to count all the paperclips as part of my 25 Motif Challenge, so this and the other heart paperclips will be Motif No. 20.

And look, my 11th Japanese book! Author is Sumi Fujishige, I believe this is her latest tatting book printed a few months ago.

I haven't tried anything inside, only flipped through it, so here's just a summary of what's inside:

Simple 5-ring flowers are used to make up bouquets (like on the cover above) and wreath, and to decorate bags and linen coasters, and even to encase beads to turn them into accessories. There are more accessories in the form of flower brooches and Christmas wreath brooch in the book. There are also 4 bookmarks, a number of small motifs of vegetables, and motifs to decorate acrylic coasters, bag and pouch. As usual, there are doilies and edgings, including edgings to decorate linen doilies, sachet, tissue box cover, lampshade and also a stole. Although the set of ring-only numbers looks pretty hard to hold their shapes, mounting them would do the trick, especially on a clock! Typical of Japanese books, texts are in Japanese but with clear diagrams, and as usual, the book is filled with an assortment of patterns for everything, and with bright and colourful presentation of the finished works.