Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Earlier this month I was dyeing threads like mad to take to South Carolina for the Palmetto Tat Days. What a wonderful breath of fresh tatting air, neat people, Southern hospitality. As always, the absolute best is the people. It was better planned than ever before - and these folks routinely put on one of the most thoughtfully-planned and fun-planned events in the world! - and I even had a chance to take a class. I was a student in Sharren Morgan's angel class, which was fun for me, both because the pattern she designed is lovely, and also because she's such a great teacher. Visiting with friends is the most fun, and it was wonderful to catch up with people I treasure and hadn't seen in a while... And then it was back home to real life and work, including another huge writing project. And also, finishing designs for the Fringe Element Tat Days this coming weekend. This is another marvelous event, just across the northern border in Canada. (Those who haven't gone have been missing a real treat, including some really great tatters who don't travel south as much as we wish they would!) These are what I’ll be teaching –

Angels – the issue was getting the wings to form a sort of extended halo over the angel’s head so it wouldn’t be floppy – I used the balanced double stitch for the halo/wings. These angels have attitude as well as feet; they're made with Art-girlz charms, which get tatted onto the way one does with buttons. (If you've seen me lately, you know I've really, really gotten into using charms with tatting.)

And baubles – I love baubles and I’ve done a lot of different patterns for these. They’re fun, colorful - always good - come in a bunch of sizes and shape and open to quite a lot of variety in how you use them. However, the bead counts can be really, really tricky - a size 10 bead can be totally different here from a size 11. I enjoyed getting into quite a nice split-chain rhythm while covering the bangle.

This past week’s other huge project was cleaning off and refinishing the dining table. Anyone who’s been in my house knows how huge this is. I don’t think we’d seen the top of the table since before Bill’s heart surgery in April. I did the refinishing part with Bill’s help, and he tended to dream a bit while holding the sander, so the results are mixed, shall we say? We do have a very clean table, it can now be wiped with a damp cloth without raising blisters in the finish. (Not that the finish is anything to write home about. Spar urethane is good, but it majorly drips!) I celebrated by sewing a fall table runner to adorn the newly-cleaned table. This morning we debated. Should we put a bowl of fruit on the table? No…. we’re agreed, we’re still enjoying it relatively clean.
Next project will be stacking wood. That check on the table? That’s for four cords of the good stuff, supposed to be delivered this Friday. Probably two weeks of stacking work ahead thereafter.