Saturday, October 31, 2009

More Tatting!

Okay with various projects on the go, company down for a few days and then a quilting retreat along with the ASL project to complete my evenings have been occupied and my tatting etc has taken a back seat. Well last night I finally felt up to (head cold) trying some tatting and I can tell you not successfully!

Okay I finished off the Tatters' Round Robin for Beginners (assuming by Georgia Seitz) but there is something wrong in the large loops - will have to try another to see if I can figure it out.

Then did the GR-8 Butterfly by Gary and Randy Houtz and I can tell you that my first attempt was a total disaster because what I read I did not understand but went ahead and did what I thought it was - MISTAKE!!! The second attempt turned out great!

And just because I did the Butterfly Tatted with Chains by Riet Surtel-Smeulders and I used two shuttles which turned out okay the first time.

And to finish off Lesson #3 practice pieces I TRIED the German Snowflake by Cristel Wutzmer and I can tell you I hated this cutting and joining with every point so I only did the one point which is not right for some reason and won't be trying it again.

In the NSAN group (tatting online) we are doing 5 weeks of lessons and this is my second time around and I've still not finished with the group. I guess I'll be joining them again in December for Lesson #4 and #5 as I did not get much out of the chatting since I did not do the reading or lesson work ahead of time. Lesson #5 is tatting with beads and I can't wait to experiment with that as I've a snowflake pattern for this and really do want to do it! Oh well I have like a month to catch up!!! I still have LOTS of trouble reading patterns though - most leave out things they assume you know goes with certain steps - not fair for beginners.

OHHH and one of our male tatters said "that you can add various types of lace work - he adds in bobbin lace - to your tatted pieces and it's a perfect marriage of needlework"!!! Just a tidbit if you did not know this already.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ASL "Tree of Life" Presentation

I can tell you that I survived my ASL Tree of Life presentation (video clip is 7 min 17 sec) today, but just barely. Actually at one point I saw black dots in my eyes so I closed them and took a deep breath and slowly exhaled and heard in the background my Manager saying I was doing good just breath deeply! LOL! It seemed forever but on the video just seconds and then I finished off!!! A few co-workers were a might concerned as they thought I was going to have an attack or something. SHEESH!!!

After an intensive 12 week-3 hours/week of day-to-day-type sign language training we had a presentation to do basically our own "Tree of Life" - to sign - no talking. Well I prepared it and took my camera to work and asked Mike to video tape my presentation - it was great but talk about what a nervous person I was - even before it was my turn!!! In the end I'm glad I did it my way even if it was a might trying!


Left to right:
Lorne, our division's Assistant Deputy Minister, Sylvia our Instructor, John our deaf co-worker, and Margot our Director - after the Thank You speeches and flowers (made by co-worker Terri) were presented to Sylvia.

Okay this is my first time to upload a video clip and it didn't work!!! Why I don't know - maybe too large? Too bad as I was told by Sylvia and John that I did good! Maybe I'll get it uploaded another time.

Something Different!

Okay, this is work related but also very interesting (to me at least) and thought maybe some would be interested in it too. See our office has undergone a 12-week "on the job" ASL signing course geared to day-to-day communications with our deaf co-worker John G! At first I was very hesitant as I've heard it is very hard to learn and at this point in my life I was not sure if I wanted that challenge. BUT once in the class and seeing how it was set up I found it interesting and much easier to have a bit of conversation with John instead of writing things down or emailing for any chat or questions to be answered.

Anyways, for our last class we have to prepare our "Tree of Life" on a flip chart page and then "sign" it to the class and there will be graduation ceremonies too!!! WOW! So I've been working hard for a couple of weeks now planning, drafting, redrafting and then revising after my friend Susan (an interpreter) had noted changes and then finally gone over with John. Then tonight (or guess it was last night) I finally put together my flip chart using fabrics and actually printed off onto cardstock some of my pictures. It was fun but gosh talk about time consuming. Here it is!

Now I sure hope I don't mess up in my signing presentation!!! Mike even said he expected me to prepare a "quilted" Tree of Life - I doubt it!!!

NOW I'm not saying I know what, how or why pertaining to ASL but I do know enough to get by and I can fingerspell slowly and hope that John is willing to continue the 2X/week practice sessions indefinitely - I certainly will attend!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Pinawa Retreat Weekend

Well my sister Sylvia arrived Wednesday and we partook in the MPQ guild meeting that evening, then I had taken Thursday, Friday and Monday off as vacation leave to enjoy our various activities unhurried like. Friday we left early for Pinawa for a quilting retreat hosted by Oma' Quilt Shop (Grunthal, MB) at the Wilderness Edge Retreat and Conference Centre in the lovely Whiteshell on the Winnipeg River, but this year the wild deer were not as visible as last year but still entertained us some. We had a smaller representation from our Aurora Online Quilters group this time but still met up with many friends and new acquaintances from all over. There were many large quilt tops completed by a number of quilters too and can be seen in my Webshots album.

Some smaller Show n Tell projects.

The "bag" ladies - Oma's weekend group project.

Our Norma and another retreater showing off their recent Shop Hop projects.

And our own Jan's newly quilted piecemaker calendar quilt ready for binding.

As usual most of us took more quilting projects with us than time or efforts allowed for. And this year I did not allow for problems with my plans so projects had to be set aside until once again at home to sort it out. BUT I did, with Sylvia's help, finish off my "Parent's First Homestead" started at the Photo Landscape Workshop taken March 21, 2009 (YAHOOIE!!!) and then I added the label and binding to my Miniature Curves wall hanging started during my August vacation in Ontario - just forgot about the hanger so have to do that yet. As usual the food was in abundance and good home cooking like along with many desserts to finish off.

So yes it was a nice weekend that ended with Happy Birthday sung to my sister Sylvia and Adiena's Thelma. My sister and I had a LOVELY time but she left early this morning for home and accidentally LEFT behind her watch and her suitcase full of FABRICS/PROJECTS! Ohhhh is she gonna be kicking herself. It's a good thing she'll be back this way in a month's time. I still feel bad that my car was not here as I noticed as soon as I walked back in so could have caught up with her on HWY #1 sooner than later. LOL!

As for me my last day off started with making breakfast for us and then off to lunch with my retired co-workers Joan and Evelyn (just awesome and finally after just about a year since the last one) and then dressed for the McNally Robinson - Manitoba Craft Museum & Library fundraiser dinner tonight. Well I came home with the Silent Auction Christmas package of - glass coasters, peppermint candle/holder, handmade ornament and two hand towels. Then home to upload some pics and blog about it all. Yes so far a lovely day off!!!

Then it'll be nose to the grindstone and try and prepare my speach in ASL format like and prepare my visual Tree of Life. I cut out all the pics last night while chatting with Sylvia before going to bed early as we were both tired. Now just to put it all together before Wednesday's presentation! YIKES!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

More Shuttles!!!

YEAH I don't have to use my primitive CC made shuttles anymore (well until I run out that is)!!!

Yep, I now have two packages of Clover pointed shuttles (4) and a package of the coloured clear shuttles by Sew Mate (5) but on the package it shows there's a point on the end but there isn't on the shuttle - hmmm. And I even have #30 Christmas Red and Green balls of DMC Cebelia cotton that my co-worker picked up at Nordic Needle this past weekend for me. She did finally locate Hobby Lobby but by then funds were tight so I did not get the Lizbeth cotton I wanted but she did pick me up these two free leaflets to try out.

Who knows maybe next trip or maybe I'll even make the trip somehow. I can't wait to give these clear ones a try this weekend.

Checkup Time!

Okay, I had “good news” and some “not so good news” today from my Dr. after getting my checkup test results back.

First off my changed high blood pressure meds results look very good – lowest rate in years plus this medication is a “helper” in diabetes control, which is prevalent in our family. Also my good and bad cholesterol is very slightly elevated but of no consequence at this time.

Now some 20 years ago I underwent the 8 hour fasting glucose test (YUCK!!!!) and was diagnosed back then as hyperglycemic - basically ignored it. Then a few years ago my Dr. mentioned I was heading towards borderline diabetic and to watch my weight – I didn’t – my sister said there wasn’t such a thing, either you have it or you don’t. Well after checking with the Canadian Diabetes Association it also agrees with my Dr. on
prediabetes – there is such a thing and it’s a “warning” to change your lifestyle before it gets worse and some may develop diabetes needing meds to control it and other not at all. Yeah I know, I’ve been warned by co-workers and my sister many times, but I guess I’m more like my Mom than I thought I was – I just did the minimum and kept a blind eye to it happening to me and thinking it was way down the road yet.

Anyways, I got the warning today, that I have to take heed now and divert or delay the onslaught of Type 2 diabetes within me. So no more Pepsi for sure (which is gonna KILL me before diabetes does) and cut out the fast food stuff, dang that is gonna be a trial for sure. Hmmmm you think I can get "testy" now, wait till I'm in junk food withdrawal!!! Now I love to cook, but hate to take the time away from my hobbies or my computer to do such so eat on the run, even if it is on a periodic basis and frozen for future meals. Oh well, guess I’ve no choice now or deal with the consequences.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Busy Sunday!

Okay, I know I left this to the bitter end BUT you have to know I HATE taking time to clean and this place has gone to pots ever since I had taken on the part time job years ago. I just never seemed to get to doing anything about it since I'm back to only my main day job. Yeah my friends have tried to get me motivated but that just lasted a day or two - not enough to really make a DENT!!! See my sisters Florence and Sylvia have visited and not said much and those that have well they haven't been back!!! Well that kinda changed this weekend.

See Sylvia is coming in for a few days this time not just overnight and we've planned a "playing" session with some polymer clay - WELL - I need my table right??? So I can't believe it but I'm pooped, I just finished non-stop 2-3 hours cleaning up the fabric/crafts stuff off my kitchen table and chair and 90% is back where it belongs and the table wiped clean!!! There is my singer machine and a couple of craft containers on the end but Sylvia and I will be able to use the table and freezer to work on.

Then I had some of the left over lunch from yesterday and then head out to the laundry matt as I've decided I can do all 4-5 loads of towels and/or sheets/quilt top at once rather than 3-4 days of trying to get into my laundry room! Plus they are open Sundays, whereas we can't use the laundry Sundays so messes me up when my evenings are are busy. See I just basically did my clothes and now needed to do the stash building. And I would have been finished in 1.5 hours but dumbie here forgot about one load of towels until I was just about finished so had to wait for them to dry too! Now all are put away and ready for the company etc.

So I'm taking a breather and then will tackle the kitchen corner and clean that up and maybe if I've any energy left will sort out my stash from the couch!! Oh I even put away my various special threads and tatting supplies into those plastic shoe boxes I purchased on sale. So they stack up nice and neat and I can see exactly what is inside instead of dismantling every thing looking for that one item!!! And once I get more room in that sewing room I can stack them up one end of my pantry and VOILA - I LOVE these!

Oh yeah I need to put together my plastic tower and get all my beads put away too! Guess I've got my work cut out for me tonight!!! LOL!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Candy Cane Tatted

Yahooie those challenging patterns have not held me back. No Siree!!! I trudged ahead (maybe should have done some CQing though) and tried another pattern and boy am I glad as I was wondering if I had hit a mental block towards tatting this past couple of days.

Anyways, I made the Two-Color Candy Cane by Stephanie (aka "Winkerbill") and the first one turned out just lovely!!!

AND here's how I managed to tat it! I think that's a GREAT way of recycling my non-usable credit and debit cards while awaiting more of those smaller plastic shuttles to arrive. Thank you to Georgia Seitz for her example.

Yep I really do know why "tatters" have many, many, many shuttles at their fingertips. I've either got a project in the works but am stumped with something and until I figure it out that's sitting there; then a couple of shuttles with other types of thread and after my first unloading then uploading different thread I won't be doing that too often I can tell you; and the other shuttle I have no control of - so I guess I would have been sitting pretty till I buy more!!! Not the prettiest, nor as easy to use, but definitely when in a pinch make use of what is around!!!

Niece's Home!

Okay, it's been a while since I posted any updates on Pat & Randy's renovations to their home. I can't believe that it's finally coming together and a home is slowly emerging from that cavernous thing!!!

July 11, 2008 -------- > October 12, 2009

I was invited over Monday night for their first meal made on their new stove with their new pots and gosh that Chili was delicious - Thanks Randy!!!

As you can see the fridge and stove are in but the dishwasher (going opposite the stove next to the sink) needs some cabinet work just yet. Once it's installed then the countertops and the back splashes etc can be finished too. Soon, soon Pat you'll not be washing dishes in the new bathtub anymore!!! LOL!

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Yep I started this October 7th and have been struggling with it - many misjoins, then two tight knots to untangle - one broke, then ran out of thread (you can see the rough join mid ring - won't do that again) and finally finished the Communion Cloth extra exercise pattern.

Hmmm maybe there's a message here about trying to do the "extra" exercises??? Anyways I can now honestly say I'm finished Lesson #2 and now totally onto Lesson #3.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

This was a Struggle

Well I'm onto Lesson #3 in my Online Tatting Class and I can tell you the patterns are getting harder - at least for me. I'm still struggling with the Communion Cloth pattern but at least I'm halfway finished Round #2 so I'm getting there.

Rnd #1

Earlier today I attempted three times to start Rosemarie's Heart Pattern and finally on the fourth try got going - PHEW!!! It had a handle but after the work involved to get it finished I vetoed that since it was only going into my exercise book I figured I didn't need it.

Then I went back to stitching up my crazy patched blocks for the Christmas/Winter DYB RR that is starting next week in the CQI group so I'm just sneaking in under the wire with them. I'll get them posted tomorrow and hopefully will be received the following week.

For Snowmen, Angels, wreaths, ornaments etc pertaining to Winter or Christmas.

A Great Find!!!

See Canadian Tire had the 6-drawer white plastic towers on sale for $18+ and I was going to go get another as I want to add on a couple narrow and one deep shelves onto the beading one I have already. Well I went for another walk into Osborne Village to see what else Soul Expressions bead shop that is closing had brought out to sell. HUH my luck I say!!! There was a white tower with two narrow and two deep shelves and casters for $5 - now it was taped shut obviously in some moves so a bit of TLC needed but what a bargain. So I then picked up more beads at $0.95 for a small pill bottle.

I definitely could live with a few scratches on this purchase instead of a brand new one! LOL! Just my poor back from carting it home as I didn't dare leave it and go get the car - thankfully it was only 5 or 6 blocks home!

It actually is very nice outside except for the wind gusts off and on. It's naturally puddles everywhere but there is still snow on the grass and some trees. Wonder how long it will stay.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Fall or Winter???

Inukshuk, probably in it's glory at the back of the Legislative Bldg where leaves are still green and fall not even in full swing yet - maybe now at a dead stop!

Yep, that's what many are asking on the Prairies I am sure. I'd say we are only just starting to see our leaves changing colours (probably won't see the awesome fall foliage now) and the flowers are still blooming spry as can be - but yet once again Mother Nature has shown herself as unpredictable!!!

It started snowing after lunch and the winds picking up 2:00 ish like and in no time at all we were getting covered. Then the wind gusts would come along and shake it off the trees to start all over again. AND just up the street there was a three car pileup but I did not venture there at all. I feel for all the accident victims and the emergency workers and it seems every year with the first snow comes this very sad statistic - increased fatalities. I wish everyone would either stay home (like me instead of travelling to Dauphin this weekend) or be extra careful and not be rushing around even if you do have 4-wheel drive etc.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

More TAT Practicing

Okay, I'm not getting much else done around here with finally catching onto tatting and now trying to catch up with the lessons in the online classes. PHEW I thought I'd never get it - but I think I's finally got the hang of this TATTING!!!

Okay, I've practiced some more butterflies with some very nice crochet cotton from my friend Dianne (Thank you very much my dear!) who inherited the stash from her Mom - WOW!!! I don't see crochet cotton this nice anymore and made up some lovely creatures!!! Anyways I digress again!!!

So I've new pictures of three butterflies and I'm now trying to make them looser and/or larger.

AND my just finished Hens and Chicks practice pattern and talk about flukie!!! See I just struggled with the last chick and had a 6 inch thread tail fall off the shuttle - PHEW!!!

Now you're probably asking why is it called Hens and Chicks - don't worry I thought the same until I read Georgia's tutorial on it!!! See in the top centre is the Hen with three picots (loops) on her head and beside her she's got a hold of her two Chicks and beneath them are some Eggs in a row. Yeah I know you're probably saying HUH - but look closely and let your imagination loose and you'll see it.

Okay now onto the last practice piece before tomorrow evening's Chatzy class. I'm so relieved I've caught onto the basics and once I get these abbreviations/symbols down I'll even read a pattern faster and better!!! LOL!

And I'm trying to get some CQing done here too never mind gotta get this place tidied up before my sister arrives!!!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Tatting - onto Lesson #2 now!

Yep yesterday after my running around doing errands I came home to a TRIPLE HEADER hockey on TV - YAHOOIE - FINALLY!!! And with that as my background music etc I read my Lesson #2 notes for tatting and started into my practice pieces.

Reversing Work

Reversing Work with Picot joins - notice Cynthia these are done right this time?

It even included an actual finished project - WOW!!! BUT I still have to practice to LOOSEN my tension - you can even see the different sizes of rings at the ends which should be the same size!!! Gosh and this was done with #10 crochet cotton, can you imagine my invisible stitches with actual tatting sized cotton???

Awareness Ribbon pattern by Lenore English - this was done in pink and I'll still make one for my friend but my pink cotton was tied up in the previous practice piece. NOW I know why I need lots of shuttles!!! ROFLOL!

BUT I made a major boo-boo like half an inch from the end (forgot to make a join) and had tightened the ring. NOW I was told it is just about impossible to undo such but I can tell you I was not dumping this piece so close to the finish!!! NO SIREE!!! Well after a while (not sure cause I didn't time it) I undid the whole ring and did it properly with the join and finished off the piece!!!

So today I'll work on the Hens and Chicks pattern after I've done some CQd blocks for my Christmas/Winter DYB RR. Yep there'll be more to come but not sure if today.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

JMD Designs Give Away

Okay I love winning things and this is a WEEKLY GIVE AWAY for a chance to win at least one free Quilting or Needlework design/pattern from JMD Designs.

Give it a try you just might win!!!

Debbie Q's Faces DYB RR

Finally I've finished embellishing my ideas for Debbie's block - she wanted Christmas toys and I think I've accomplished that. What do you think?

The first is just Raggedy Ann and the second she has a Gingerbread doll with her, BUT I'm not sure how to anchor her in place so will just leave her loose in the gift bag and let someone else, probably Debbie, decide that. I think I just need to get this into the mail to Leslie.

Okay I started with stitching an upper doll body and then proceeded to dress her up as best I could. Then I had to anchor her into the 3-D stitched gift bag (love this fabric).

Then the fun and games began! See I knew how I wanted to do Raggedy Ann's hair but I didn't realize the chore it was going to be BUT I think it was well worth the stuck fingers and time!!! Basically I used the "stop" technique to anchor free standing strands of glass beads and I worked from the back frontwards and even forcing some bends so they laid on the face.

Then I proceeded to embellish the block around Raggedy Ann and think she is finally finished. I sure hope Debbie likes her! I know I enjoyed stitching her up! :>)))

Friday, October 02, 2009

Tatted Butterfly

Okay, I think I've got the drift of this pattern and will have to move onto Lesson #2 exercises soon!!! But shoot now that I changed to some appropriate coloured cotton I want to make more of these cuties!!!

Thursday, October 01, 2009


10:07 pm

WOW I can't believe it but when I'm on a roll, I guess I kept rolling!!!

Dove by JoAnn Stearn

Practice Exercise by Katia

Yes I've completed Lesson #1 exercises and now taking a rest and will work on Lesson #2 exercises over the weekend. I even used up the yucky PINK bobbin and this time wound on some nice DMC varigated purple/mauves and hopefully will make a butterfly or two for some motifs soon. I'm SURE I will not forget how to TAT after these last few days! Actually the flip is so easy NOW and I'm getting 3-4 stitches nice and even before I have to "rippit" - so I think I've got it now for sure!!!

Okay now back to some CQing on the Faces block - I've got to finish it off and into the mail.

12:30 - noonish

Okay after lunch I tried to do a variation of Butterflies are Forever Free similar to the one I was given by Maija on Sunday. And here is mine by itself and compared to our penny! I just love it.

12:07 a.m.

Okay, Wednesday evening was a mish mash of stitching etc. After work I came home and crocheted some hearts for an order, did some planning for the Faces DYB RR for tomorrows finishing off and then after a few errands out I came home and practiced some tatting again.


Okay I wasn't up to reading a new pattern and did not want PINK butterflies so I just did rings, DSs and picots thinking they would form a circle and I'd have maybe a flower. BUT I think I should have made the rings closer together so this could happen? Not sure! Maybe I should just stick to ready tested patterns!!! Apparently I didn't do the joins properly but might have started a new way??? LOL! Also I used the Aero shuttle and after perfecting my techniques with the smaller one this was a little easier to handle now too.

So anyone out there have ideas what I could use this as??? That is besides just a trim!