Monday, March 30, 2009

Still thinking of Spring

In this area where I'm living I see sheeps and goats often. So I decided to make a baby sheep. Cute, right? I think she will be a very good friend to Ayla, my mini-dragon. Ayla told me that she promise not to eat her. lol

The pattern is by Martha Ess and it's on Jane's site. I used an ivory color button that went perfect with the thread, which is DMC Petra #8.

My thinking of Spring I think will take me home (in PR). I need to make a short visit to NY for something personal and while I'm there I can take a small detour and visit my family in PR and also visit my doctors. I'm running low in medicines, so it's a great opportunity. I will stay only a few weeks. Not as long as before. Hubby is already crying because he'll miss me. :-( But this is for my own good and health, so he understands.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

An interesting challenge

A few weeks ago there was a discussion on In-Tatters about which one is faster shuttle or needle tatting. I do both but I prefer the shuttle tatting. So now that I don't have TV I took the chance to make the challenge. This is how I did it. I tatted the same motif with the needle and then with the shuttle. The motif is:

R: 3-(+)3-3-3.
CH: 5-5.

Repeating until 10 rings and chains were done.

It's a pattern so common that I know by heart. So here are the results.

With the needle it took me 21 minutes.
With the shuttle it took me 11 minutes.

The difference is 10 minutes! There are some things to take in consideration. First, with the needle I notice I spend more time pulling the long amount of thread (I used 2 yards). This slow me a lot, I think. Also the method I use to join to the picots could be a factor in the speed. I join to the picots in the same way I join with the shuttles. Some people join to picots, while needle tatting, just passing the needle through the picot or placing the picot on the needle and continue working. Something interesting I found was the finished size of the medallions. I was thinking that the shuttle motif was going to be smaller, but it was the contrary! I think the problem are the size of the picots. I was able to make smaller picots with the needle than with the shuttle. Very interesting... One thing I don't like of needle tatting is calculating the amount of thread needed to work from the needle. I do "real" rings when I needle tat, so this uses more thread than if you do the mock rings. So I always miscalculate the amount of thread, usually I'm left with a lot of thread. then with this tails I have to make butterflies or something.

It was a very interesting challenge none the less. Have anyone else done the challenge?

Is spring here yet?

Man it is strange here in Egypt. I remember that last year at this time is was warm already but the weather is like crazy. Yesterday was warm because of a sand storm and today I'm freezing! lol Completing the picture is no satellite service. I think the wind knock off the satellite on the roof, so I'll have to wait until hubby comes home in a couple of days so he can check it up. Hmm... Wondering if I can go up the roof to check myself. :-) Nah! That's hubby's job. My job is to tat pretty things.

Yesterday I wanted to take a break and tat something comforting. A pattern that I have made like a half dozen times and I still love. It's Mark's bunny. I think I'm thinking of spring. It needs it's sating ribbon on the neck which I'll sew later. I'll save this one until I get to PR and mom can use it to make a baby dress and sew it on it.

I cut the long picots on the tail and fluff them. Isn't it cute? Don't you want ot hug it? lol Okay, I'm been too silly. It's just a tatted bunny. I made a small mistake in the middle of the bunny. Didn't join the 2 medallions. I forgot to do it. Guess I don't know the pattern by memory as I was thinking. If you want to try it here is the pattern.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Homework and Marriage

Well, it looks like I haven't post in a few days. I have been so tire lately. I guess those sleepless night caught up with me. *sigh* But today I decided to tat for awhile.

These are the 2 versions of the motif I made for Lesson 3 of Design-Tat. On the left the 1st version I made and on the right the improved and beaded version. It lays much better than the one on the left, which ruffles a little. I made a diagram and I need to write the notation for Lesson 4. Probably will post it tomorrow morning.

This is my homework from last Monday's class. I will make the other motifs too, but I like this one so much that was the 1st I made. I added beads in every picot. :-)

This last photo is not tatting related (except for the edging in the scarf) but I wanted to share it with you. This was our wedding day. Sorry but this is the only one we have and almost got arrested for it! lol You see, you can't take photos inside the Ministry building or in the nearby. But we were so happy that we took this one. The police forgave us. When you marry here in Egypt in the Ministry, they make 5 copies of the paper. On each one they put a photo of the couple and we have to fingerprint each photo. After that you spent the happy day with your thumb stained blueish-purple. lol So here we are showing with pride our stained thumbs, symbol that at last we are married. :-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

OMG! I'm getting marry tomorrow!!!

Sounds weird but yes. Hubby and I are getting marry tomorrow. :-) We have been married only by Imam (Muslim minister) for 3 years and we could legalize the marriage until now for several problems. This morning hubby called me (he spent last night at work) and asked me how I was feeling and that tomorrow we were going out. It was suspicious because I know we don't have money to go out, so I asked and asked until he answered. "Habibti (darling in Arabic) we are marrying tomorrow". Yay!!! I woke up very ill this morning but just listening to these words resolved everything and felt better.

So I had to hurry and make the headscarf I bought for the "wedding" day. I was thinking to make it more adorned but just having a day to make it, I decided to make a simple edging, add beads and sequins and Voila!

Here is a snap shot of the scarf. It's a nice purple grape with silver threads woven. So I used another purple shade, clear seed beads and the silver big sequins I got a few weeks ago.

Here is a detail of the edging. I still need to make the pin to secure the scarf. But that will take only a few minutes. To make the decoration of the scarf (one side only) took me a little under 4 hours. Not bad, eh? Now I'll got to the Online Tatting Class.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

At last my Homework

I signed for the Design Course by Sharon Briggs and then got caught in some many things with my Spanish tatting group that I couldn't make my homework. At last this morning I sat down and I told myself that I was not going to stand up until I finish the homework. They're on the 3rd lesson now! I didn't made the 1st two homework because they're too basic for me, so I jumped to the 3rd one.

Here was my 1st try to the exercise. It didn't work out as planned. When I made the last join it cupped so bad that it was in no way to flatten. So I cut it from the center. But I saved this part because I like how it looks and I know it can becomes a nice motif. So I'll be working this as a new motif.

Here is the final result of the exercise. This one still needs a few tweaks. Just to diminish a ds here and there because it ruffles a little. But I like how it looks. Also I can see it with beads! May be a button in the center? Ideas, ideas!!! I still have a few more versions on the making. This is the kind of challenge that I love to do.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Too little time, too much to tat

On my Spanish-speaking tatting group where are making a challenge for this month to make a floral design doily. I chose this one by Jan Stawazs. Boy! I think I'm over my league!!! The center is pretty easy. And the rest of the doily looks too. But I complicated my life wanting to do it in different colors.

Here is the center of the doily. I wanted to give a brown center to look like the dirt. then a round with green to look like grass. Up to here was a "piece of cake".

Now comes the nightmare! If you're familiar with Jan's patterns, you know he has his own tatting method. It's a front/back look. I'm more of the "traditional" tatter and don't use this front/back tatting method a lot. Only in some projects that are simple enough. So I keep getting confuse with the ds counting on the pattern. Add to this that the doily have gazillion of picots! May be is that my brain is not in the "tatting zone" but I took like 4 hours just to make the stems and flower that you see in the photo. A lot of false starts and retro tat. *sigh* I think I'll finish the stem I'm working on and put the doily away and tat something comforting. :-) May be something pretty with beads, buttons or sequins. Or may be even to accomplish a homework for the Design-Tat group.

Haven't decide yet if I'll make the 18 flowers (yes, there are 18 flowers on the doily) all the same color or use several colors. I was thinking like a rainbow garden but I think I don't have enough colors to make a nice progression.


Last Monday on the Online tatting Class we discussed this lovely heart by Tina Neudorf. She is a needle tatter. I made it using my shuttles and didn't have any problem with it. I used 2 shuttles because I wanted to play with the colors, but if made in one color you can easily use shuttle and ball. The heart is made in one pass. I love the look of the last round. It looks like "daisy picot" technique but it's simply lock joins to the previous round's picots with a ds in between the joins. I'm thinking that may be this last round can be make with daisy picots or with a beading technique. It's a very nice pattern to do over and over again! :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Iris TIA version 2

I love this second version of Iris' TIA. I think will do a pretty brooch adding beads here and there. I didn't use a picot gauge for the long picots and that's why they are uneven. Also the block is not even, but this was because I was watching TV while tatting and wasn't looking where I was joining on the block. ;-p

Wonder how it will look when several are made. Hmm... May be making each motif a different color? So many possibilities, so little time.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Playing with big sequins

First I was playing with small sequins, then with beds now I returned to the sequin-mood bt this time big ones. These are part of my last loot from Cairo.

The center of these ones uses a technique by Jane Eborall that can be found in her web site. I made only 10 rings instead of the 12 that Jane made because these sequins are a little bit smaller. Then I tatted something simple round. On the center of the sequin I made a hole and added a smaller sequin with a bead in the center and tie it to the back. I'll be glueing these ones to a hair pin. Need to find first where I placed the hot glue gun. lol

Theb I mde this one. It's a very simple flower. The sequins are joined in the ring with picots between them and then tatted a chain forming petals. I like this one lot.

The inspiration came this morning as part of a headache! lol I'm not called NeedleDreams for nothing! Now I'll ply with chllenge that TotusMel placed on InTatters. See ya later!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Tatting: My Therapy

Even if I feel depress I try to tat even a small butterfly or a little project. The treatment of prednisone causes on me depression, add it to the fact that I'm Bipolar and an insomniac and you will have a not so pretty combination. So I try to keep myself busy and not think about anything else. thanks God for the wonderful husband that understand what I'm feeling and he helps me in the house and makes me smile.

So yesterday I spent the day making these adorable earrings by Jane Eborall. They work pretty fast and in 4 hours I had 2 pairs done and a pin too.

Aren't they adorable? I'll try to make the bracelet or an adaptation of the one made by Jane. I think I'll make a giveaway with a pair of them as gift. I'll see next week.

Now I'm just finishing making Sunday's Spanish tatting lesson and watching "Interview with a Vampire". The movie channel is having a mini-marathon of Vampires movies because is Friday the 13th. :-D

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Yep, I'm not perfect in everything...

Yesterday, after dinner I fall asleep and woke up after 11 pm. So I couldn't sleep any more. Watched a couple of good movies: For the children (about 2 ladies that made an orphanage and shelter for abused children, real story) and a tender movie called Blessings (with Mary Tyler Moore). Cried with both movies! :-) While watching the movies I tatted some samples for my upcoming book "Wings for Hope". But I started to feel bore and wanted to try the clunies. I haven't practiced them in awhile and one of my new patterns has hanging clunies. So I got out the book "Cluny Tatting Designs" by Joy Botchlet and made this little rose. Gosh! My clunies are hideous!!! I really need to practice them. I tried to use a pillow to help with them, but nope, they were looking all crooked. So I ended making them using the hand as the loom. I have somewhere a plastica canvas loom, but can't find it right now.

So yes... While most of my tatting looks impecable, definitively clunies are not my forte. So I'll have to practice, practice and practice. :-P But that will have to wait. It's 7:15 am and I need to try to sleep. I think I'll take half pill and sleep at least 6 hours. Nighty night!!! Or should I say good morning. lol

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Some new tatted earrings

These are my latest creations. I have been playing with the new coins and beads all morning. It feels like a brainstorm. lol I place them on Etsy. A few days ago I sold the orange collar and the Oval Doily. I'm very happy for the sales and I hope they can continue. Also I'm sharing some of my Egyptian coins. :-) Go and check them out!

Look what I got!!!

After my colorful breakfast yesterday I went out with hubby. I separated around 200 LE for my "tatting fix" this month. I deserved it after a month and a half of pain and crabbiness. So after convincing hubby to go to the Al Husseiny area (on Feb 22 there was an explosion in that area) we took the buses. I was feeling in a very good mood and even took my camera to snap some views from Cairo. Love to take photos of the old buildings and surrounding area. Hubby was thinking that may be the area was still closed but no, it was full of people! You see, this is the oldest market area in Egypt. A lot of building have over 100 years, even a few over 300 years!!! But the area I like to visit is the textile area. There are streets packed to the maximun with fabrics: silks, cottons, oraganza... You name it, they got it! Also threads and beads. There's a shop that we always visit to get the threads and most of the beads.

On the top photo you can see all the loot! lol I got a lot of seed beads, some heart beads, leaves beads, 2 hanks of rayon/cotton thread and little baggies. That was in a shop. Here is a bigger photo showing the hearts and leaf beads. Aren't they gorgeous?! I wanted to get hearts in a shade of green, but the money was almost gone and I wanted to look for "coins".

After we left with the huge bag of all the pretty beads I told hubby that one day I saw a smaller shop down the road with more threads and beads and I wanted to see. Just to see. Yeah, right! ;-) I found the coins I wanted plus more! OMG! It was beads heaven! lol

You can see in the photo that it's covered from floor to top with beads bags. Each bag is like 1/2 kilo and the price is very good. I only got the little coins and some large sequins to play and make earrings.

After that we return home. Not before falling in the street 2 times. I guess my legs were weak from resting in bed for too long. But I didn't care about the fall. I was happy with my loot. :-) And hubby was more happy because he saw me smile. Isn't he the sweetest guy?

Well, time for me to play! See ya around...

Before go, just a lovely photo of Al Ahzar mosque in the sunset...

Monday, March 9, 2009

My Colorful Breakfast and some updates...

Isn't it a colorful breakfast? lol I guess I'm in a better mood today. I'm even singing to some of my favorite songs on my iPod. The pain is less today, alhamdulillah (thanks God)!

Those up are my daily medicines. I take them all in the morning and then at night I take 2 more pills and 2 puff from the white inhaler. They keep my asthma controlled, and they treat the pains and other symptoms from the Lupus. There's no cure for Lupus, only things that relief the symptoms. There are some natural remedies that can help, but I'm very cautionary and only take them if the doctor says it's okay.

Well, this is not the only thing I eat at breakfast. I had a nice cup of Dunkin' Donuts Hazelnut coffee (a gift from ex-hubby) and a cheese sandwich. Now I'll finish some tatting and dress up to go out with hubby.

On another note... I will appreciate if you can pray (make duah) for my FIL. He felt again and this time broke his right hip and had stitches in his left eyebrow. He's 80 something years old and very stubborn. Don't want to ask for help and then is when he falls. Last year in a 2 months period he fall 6 times!!! And have been a little over 2 years when he had surgery
to mend a bad fracture in a leg. Alhamdulillah he has plenty of sons and daughters that will be taking care of him.

Also my hubby is going through a bad time too. He has been sick. After I nag and nag about doing labs and having a very strong pain in the stomach area he went to the doctor. They find several deficiencies but the most "serious" are stones in the left kidneys and a very enlarge liver. He's taking medicines for the stones and inshallah will not need surgery. But the liver is what is worrying us (including dr). At least is not Hepatitis. Those came negative.

Well, that has been a little update about us during this week. Oh!!! I didn't show what hubby got my for my BD. Yes, after almost 2 months he took a photo of me wearing the gift.

It's a "butterfly" shawl. One side is brown and the other side is ecru. I can use it either way. It was very windy that day. the first sandstorm of the season, though it wasn't as hard as the one 2 days ago. The flat is full of sand! Yuck!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Playing with buttons

What happens when you have a box of beads and a jar of buttons like this one?

Buttons with tatting!!! I have been following Jane's adventures with her MOP (mother of pearl) buttons and her "new" way to add tatting to buttons. I must say that is very, very cute and fun!!! I understand now it's a little tricky to write the pattern because it depends on the size of the button and thread.

This flower-button I made it using a 3/4" 4-hole button, frosted green bugles and glass seed beads. There's an "E" bead on the center of the button. The color of the button is a strange green, looks more like a dark blueish olive green. The thread is black cotton perle El Beida #8. I think I have to adjust the counting a little bit on the center's rings and the joining picots. But I really like this one. I was going to continue playing but the light bulb in the room went off and hubby is not at home to change it. The light in the room is a white fluorescent one but the rest of the house is the regular yellow light and I can't tat very well with that light. So I have to wait until the morning to make more buttons.

Thanks Jane for the inspiration!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Very crappy day

Today is really one of those days that is better to stay in bed. I have only slept 3 hours. A sandstorm star ted early night and now is very strong. So all the flat is closed, except the small window in the bath and kitchen (they're interior windows). That means that the apartment is getting hot. We don't have AC or fans yet. *mumble, mumble* Add to that that I can't find the TV remote and this kind of TV you MUST turn it on from the remote. Anyway, with this weather probably the satellite won't work. The pain on the hip is still there, like a pesky reminder that YES I have Lupus. At least last night fever is gone. I finished a choker/necklace that I started last night and my hands feel numb. So yes, it's a crappy day for me. >-P

I'll breakfast now, take my medicines and will try to sleep.

But to finish this post with a happy thought here is a motif I tatted a few days ago and didn't post it. It's from a Spanish tatting booklet called "Maravillas en Frivolite". It's not yet done completely. I need to make a beaded tassel for it but run low on silver beads.

Motif 9

You know I tat a lot!!! And sometimes I forget to take a photo and post it on the blog and then I have to post in bunches like now.

Anyway, this gorgeous butterfly is by Marty. She has several butterflies patterns and I keep putting them aside to make them. But I wanted to play with this one. I used DMC Cebelia #30 and purple El Beida #12. I love it!!! It doesn't have decorative picots, which I like a lot. I think I'll make this one again but playing some more with the color position. thanks Marty for the pattern!

More little doodles

Yesterday I was in a "BEAD" mood, not bad. lol Thanks God (and the Flexeril) they ciatic pain is lessening, the bone pain too. But if I walk, after a dozen of paces it returns. So I have to walk with the walker even inside the home. At least from the bed room to the living room a few times. When cooking I have to sit also and cook siting. *sigh* But hubby have been home a few nights straigth and he cooks and do everything in the home, so I just have to tat. *VBG*

Last night, while watching a marathon of "Back to the Future" (my fav is the 3rd one) I made these pins. I didn't follow any pattern. Just happen that I got out the red thread added some beads from the tray and VOILA! They are so fun to make. I will make a few more but to attach them to hairpins and then to the shop. I opened again my Etsy. Let see if I can sell something.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Can you guess my mood?

Yep, as you can see from the photos I'm in a bead-mood. I have been making small beaded motif from the left over thread from the TIA doily. All of these will be attached to eye-pins to be use as scarf pins or just a quick brooch. For the Muslim women that use headscarf these are the latest fashion and they call them dangles. I love them too and started a mini collection of them. But none of them as the pretty tatted ones. :-) I think I'll start a line of scarf pins and place them on my shop.

All the motifs are from a Russian book called "Frivolite". Don't know who is the writer.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Crowned Heart

I called "Crowned Heart" because that is what it looks to me. This is part of Iris' TIA. I wanted to see how the heart stand alone and I must say that it's so pretty! It's the perfect size for a pendant. I'll tat a cord and at it. May be I'll redo it and put some beads here and there. You can't have a pendant without beads! lol

Thanks Iris for such lovely pattern and inspiration!

Now is done!

I have to say that I'm in love with this doily!!! This was Iris' TIA. I keep doing it until I got the 8-points doily. The look in 2 color is so awesome. Love it, love it, love it! lol As soon as I can I think I'll make this one again but in others colors. I'm thinking in purple and pink or blue and pink. Why pink? I have no idea because I usually don't like pink.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

TIA's done?

This is the final result of the TIA. Isn't it lovely?! I really like how the heart looks in the center, between to shuttles. :-) But this doesn't need to be finished. Iris say that I can be made into an 8-point doily and that's exactly what I'm doing now. I have already half of it and I think that for tomorrow morning will have the complete doily.

Thanks Iris for such wonderful TIA!!!


Monday I couldn't sleep and woke up just in time for the online tatting class. I spent a few minutes in class. Long enough to stay through the discussion of this pattern. This is from an antique French book that is been translating by the online class. The class can be found here.

I changed the center motif a little. Instead of making a flower and then make a chain around it I did a ring and chain motif. Also added beads to every picot on the motif, This I'll use as a headscarf pin.

Monday, March 2, 2009

TIA Day 4

This morning after finishing the earrings I was able to make the 4th day of Iris TIA. I'm loving it each day more!!! I like how the heart is formed into the design with a "crown" over it. I think I'll tat this area alone to see how the heart looks alone.

New pendant and earrings

After a whole day of "bad" tatting I managed to make some things. And above all in black thread! I love the look of black lace. It makes it so elegant and mysterious.

This is inspired in a design by Aga from Poland. I wanted to give the outer round a more flowery look and came with this gradual bead placement. But these beads are a little too big for what I wanted. Anyway I think it looks nice. Will repeat it again with smaller beads. The beads are from a TOHO mix I got in Walmart before coming here to Egypt. Yes, I ransack the beads and floss from the Craft Area before traveling. lol

Then I made these earrings. Also inspired by Aga. I love the design! They are like 1.5 inches. the beads are the same I used on the pendant, copper and gold (the one on the center). I'm in a mood for beaded things so will refill the shuttle and make a necklace set.

Now I have a question for those that sell tatting. Do you make and have an inventory of already made items or you make the sample and tat the item when you receive an order for it? I'm curious to know what others do. Anyway I'll be tatting and "saving" these until I return to PR, because there I'll apply for a small space on the San Juan touristic area. Also I'll apply for the Puerto Rican Cultural Institute. Just to add "fame" to my Licensed Artisan status. :-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

New items on my shop

I added new items to my shop. This doily is one of them. It's 18" long and it's made in white cotton perle thread. Come and check it out!

When shuttles give you knots...

... make butterflies. :-) Since I finished yesterday the collar I have been looking what to tat next. But I guess I'm in one of those "twilight zones" and patterns are not cooperating with me. I managed to make a small snowflake from Jan Stawasz' book. I used DMC Cebelia #30 and it looks so different from the one in the book that is made with #10. It's too "picoty" for my taste. lol May be if I make the picots a little tinier...

Then I started a doily and was cupping and the stitches count was horribly off that I desisted in continuing with it. Then started another motif and also is cupping but I think I cn finish it. The thread finished from one of the shuttles. I guess is not a tatting day today. So I will rest for awhile from patterns. I'll dedicate the day to empty some shuttles and make butterflies with them. May be later I can tat something decent. :-)


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