Planning the Trip Home

Next week it looks like it will warm up enough for us to head home to Florida to visit family.  It’s about time!  I have a bad case of cabin fever!

I’m working on a very pretty (simple) spring flower tatted motif that I hope to finish tonight.  I’ll be framing it as part of a wall decor arrangement.  Will post a photo when it’s done.  🙂

Japanese Tatting?

The only English word on the front of the package is "Clover."

I received my order of two packages of 5 Clover tatting shuttles, and I was really tickled to find the packaging AND instructions written only in Japanese.

The only English words anywhere in the literature were “Clover” and “Made in Japan.”

I guess that really does prove that tatting is an internationally understood art form.

It does say "Made in Japan" in English. 🙂

And that I am easily amused.  🙂

Instructions are only in Japanese. The back is blank.

Tatting is FUN Again!

Greeting card with tatted flowers and butterfly

For the past few weeks, tatting hasn’t been as much fun as it used to be.  I attributed it to burning myself out by rushing to get my tatted Christmas gifts done on time.

But for some reason it felt like I was fighting the tatting instead flowing with it.  I just wasn’t enjoying it very much anymore.

Then last evening I decided to pick up my neglected little Clover shuttles just because they looked so cute.  I started doing the tatted Briar Fragments from Mary Konoir’s Visual Patterns.

The old magic was back!  The tatting flowed with the soothing rhythm I remembered.  And it was FUN!

I had switched to Aero shuttles back in November because they seemed so practical.  They have removable bobbins, so I wouldn’t have to tie up a shuttle with unused thread from a previous project.  I could just wind a bobbin with the new color, pop it into the Aero and go.  Or I could pop in any bobbin that already had thread on it and start tatting.  The little hook was perfect for tight joins that I couldn’t do with the Clover’s pick.

So even though my hands felt awkward working with the Aeros, I stuck with them because they just made so much sense.  But their length was a continual irritation.

I ended up cutting the bobbin winders off two of the Aeros to make them shorter.  They worked a LOT better that way.  Comfortable tatting.  But still no magic.

My small collection of shuttles: Sew Mates, Clovers, modified Aeros, and Aeros. I've ordered 10 more Clovers.

So last night, as soon as I realized how perfect the Clovers are for my style of tatting, I ordered two more packs of 5.

I still have to keep an Aero handy when I use the Clovers so I can use the hook in tiny joining picots.  But considering the joy I feel working with the Clovers, it’s worth having to keep an extra tool in reach when I use them!

San Augustine, TX & Tatting Update

Our Aliner at an RV park operated by the City of San Augustine, TX

We left Gail’s house around 11:30 in a steady rain, which soon turned into a driving rain.  We were supposed to pick up US 96 in Beaumont, but missed our turn.  We continued on US 90 and I-10 which ran together.  The rain was so hard that Ron couldn’t see which lane he was supposed to be in, and visibility was very poor.

I made a quick call to Gail and asked her and Mike to pray for our safety.  Shortly afterwards, the rain lightened up.  I found an alternate route to 96, so it wasn’t a bad setback.

San Augustine RV park. There is a museum and other historical monuments in San Augustine.

I located an RV park in San Augustine on the net, and the reviews at rvparkreviews.com gave it a good rating.  So here we are.

The park is nice.  Very clean and very quiet.  There are a lot of oil workers staying here full time, but there were plenty of spots for overnighters.  The park operates on the honor system.  You pick your spot, then put a check for $24.00 in an envelope and put it into the drop box.

It took me several tries to get backed into our spot–not because it was difficult, but because I was pretty tired.  As soon as we were parked, we were greeted by the very friendly and welcoming camp host in the next site.  I was glad to see that they have wifi, because cell reception is very poor here.

It’s raining now with occasional lightning and thunder, but it feels safe and warm inside the camper.

We stayed hitched up so we can get an early start north tomorrow.  We plan to catch I-20 near Shreveport for the rest of the trip home.

By the way, it’s true what they say about people being friendly in Texas.  No matter where we went–malls, restaurants, fast food places, service stations — people were smiling and helpful.  I thought the era of people acting that way was a thing of the past.  What a pleasure to experience it in person!

Everyone loved their Christmas gifts.  Here’s a picture of a couple of the cross bookmarks I made for family members.  I’m working on a very pretty one with butterflies and flowers surrounded by very lacy “greenery.”

Cross bookmarks made for family members for Christmas

Beginner Shuttle Tatting Project

Beginner shuttle tatting on Christmas card

Beginner shuttle tatting on Christmas card

TA DAH!!!!!  My beginner shuttle tatted Christmas tree is completed.

I am so thrilled!  It’s far from perfect, but a few weeks ago I would have never dreamed that I would be able to shuttle tat at all!

I also got my order with Aero shuttles and bobbins and two SewMate shuttles to try today.  Needless to say, I am playing with my new toys tonight!

Oh, the red flowers are supposed to be poinsettias.  😀

Oops, I forgot to add that the Christmas tree pattern is a free pattern from be-stitched.com.

Perfect Day Today!

Today was one of those rare, absolutely perfect days.  The weather was sunny and warm — short sleeves warm — with just enough of a breeze to keep it from being hot.

We went to Mom’s church with her this morning.  It was their 91st homecoming.  They had a Southern Gospel group with okay music, and they presented a nice sermon, too.  It was especially good seeing Mom’s pastor again.  He has been there for 26 years.  So he has married, buried, dedicated babies, counseled, visited hospitals, and been an integral part of the congregation’s lives for a long time.

His wife died a while back.  He remarried a widow whose husband had been a pastor, and I was thrilled to see that they appear happy together.

I had a precious visit with my sister Hope this afternoon.  She had the windows open.  We could hear a neighbor using a chainsaw in the distance, and it was such a pleasant sound to us.  It reminded of other sounds that we love.  One of our favorites was Grandpa Mayo’s tractor during drowsy summer afternoon nap times  when we were kids.

Then this evening we watched The Sound of Music at Mom’s.  It had been so many years (decades) since I had seen it that I had forgotten a lot of it.  So it was almost like seeing it new again.

After that, I went back over to Hope’s and we watched TV together for a while.

I am feeling GREAT for the first time in a long time, so everything is fun again.

Tonight there is a beautiful full moon.   It couldn’t be a more perfect ending to a perfect day.

I have been working on my shuttle tatting.  I have started one project over three times, and finally have a good start on it.  But I am doing just as much retro-tatting (picking out mistakes) as I am constructing the piece!

Once in a while I ask myself if it is worth it, when needle tatting is so much faster and easier.  But the feel and quality of shuttle tatting is so much nicer.  So yes, I think it is worth it.  And I keep plodding away at it.

Veterans Memorial State Park Again

Looking toward a small part of Lake Blackshear

Our funny looking little Aliner is back at our regular stopover point on the way between home and Mom’s house — Veterans Memorial State Park near Cordele, GA.

After being sick, the trip really tired us out today.  As soon as we got the camper set up, I grilled hot dogs, opened a carton of potato salad and a bag of chips and called it dinner.  Then I crashed for a 3 hour nap.

Serene, quiet campground

I have never seen this campground so quiet!  There is a decent crowd here, but you would never know it.  The people are all so unobtrusive.  It feels almost like we have the campground to ourselves.

 

Ron and Sunny at the picnic table

Sunny zonked

Trying Shuttle Tatting

First shuttle tatting attempt

I have been needle tatting to date because I had so much trouble learning the shuttle.  But some of my needle tatted pieces are limp and floppy.  I knew that the work is much tighter and crisper with shuttle tatting, so I am giving it a go again.

The practice piece on the left has a LOT of mistakes, uneven picots, a picot joined in the wrong place — BUT I am finally getting my stitches close enough together that the core thread doesn’t show through.  I consider that GREAT progress!

It took longer for me to recover from the virus than expected.  And we have had non-stop rain for two days.  I couldn’t bear the idea of setting up in a muddy campground with a runny nose while sneezing, so we still haven’t left Georgia.

The sun is starting to come out now, I really do feel better today, so we are planning to leave tomorrow…. at last!

New Tatting Pattern Books

Awesome tatting pattern books!

These two AWESOME tatting pattern books arrived today.

I wasn’t too impressed with the cover of Mary Konior’s book, but when I opened it up, I couldn’t believe what a treasure it turned out to be.  The patterns are elegant, and as modern as tomorrow.

Tatting Artistry in Thread by Helma Siepmann has stunning flowers, blossoms, leaves, deciduous trees, evergreen trees….  the photos are gorgeous.  I have been dreaming of all the beautiful things I can create with them!

So they will definitely go with me on the trip to Florida.

 

Thread Color Combination Surprises & Trip Preparation

This color combination worked up a lot prettier and more vibrant than I expected.

This is the cross bookmark I’ve been tatting.  I decided not to add the josephine chain and ornaments to it because it looks busy enough done in this variegated thread.

From looking at the ball of thread, I expected the colors to be a lot more muted.  I was very surprised at how vividly they worked up.

I was also pleased with the way all four of the center rings worked up into the same color.  The bookmark is tatted around the sides with one center petal made at a time and joined later .  So they are from completely different areas of the thread ball, with no way to tell which color will be where in the pattern.

Jon's two by two tatted bookmark

The colors in this bookmark were even more brilliant than I expected.

On the other hand, I did expect the second bookmark to be very brightly colored.  But again, I was surprised as I worked it at how in-your-face the colors were.  It reminds me of carnival carousel colors!

This is the third time I’ve made this pattern.  It’s one of my favorites from Jon’s Thread Escapes.

We took Sunny to the groomer today, so he is all spiffed up for the trip home.

And I squeezed in a doctor’s appointment this afternoon.

 

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