Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pottery Find

We went to Door County, Wisconsin for vacation earlier this month. It was very nice to get away!

One of the things I love about Door County, besides the great beaches and scenery, is that Door County is home to so many wonderful artists and galleries!

We visited several, including the historic Hardy Gallery which was in the final days of hosting its annual juried show of local talent.

On our last day there, DH and I ventured north along the shoreline of Lake Michigan from our rental to discover the Lily Bay Pottery, home to a wonderfully talented potter, Linda Sheard. My goodness, her pieces are so wonderful! I was fortunate to be able to bring home one of them.

It was just the inspiration/motivation I needed to update my mantel! (Also, I just got the two Willow Tree figurines at an auction last Saturday. They were part of a box with a bunch of stuff tossed together which we snagged for $4 total.) The runner underneath the pieces is a hand woven piece I picked up at Market On Central last summer. I think it all comes together quite nicely!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Broadening Horizons

I'm starting a seperate blog for all things about books! If you are interested, hop on over and take a look at Book Tardis.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Full Flake

The final flake! Still needs to be blocked and starched if it is to be used as an ornament.

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Snowing in June! (or a tatting update!)

I thought I should update you on the progress I'm making with the efforts to teach myself tatting.

I am still on LARGE thread. (It's best for beginners.) Here's what I'm working on:

It's a snowflake. I have a ways to go yet in learning to seamlessly connect chains and rings. Also, I need to keep practicing making sure my picots end up the same size. But I am fairly pleased with the progress I'm making!

I have made good progress figuring out how to hook picots together and thus join motifs. I even stopped this once and picked it up a week later and was able to find my place and keep going. I've had to switch to new thread on both shuttles as well. So I'm slowly picking up some skills.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

The Next Obsession

Little Free Library. That is my next obsession!! I must figure out a way to put one in my yard!

Don't know what a Little Free Library is? It's a movement founded by a guy in Wisconsin in 2009. He built a little one-room school house to hold books in honor of his mother who had passed away. She was a school teacher. He wanted to promote reading and improve neighborhood spirit. So he put it in his yard and invited people to take a book, leave a book. You should Google it! Here's a photo of one I swiped from the web:

If you Google images of little free libraries, you'll discover that they come in all different shapes and sizes! I'd love to see a few sprout up around town. Having worked in one of the elementary schools, I know that there are a LOT of kids in this town who have never been downtown to the public library. Wouldn't it be cool if a little library popped up right in their own neighborhood? Or in the park they go to? (Hint to the city. And Webster County DNR!!)

Also, I have plenty of books to get a few of these libraries up and running! We still have a plethora of children's books from our kids. I am getting free books/advance reader copies of new releases of adult fiction and non-fiction on occasion. I have plenty of tomes I've picked up at library book sales. Just saying . . .

It would be so great to share the books!!!

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Garage Sale Bonanza!

A nearby town was having its "city-wide" garage sales this morning. So, of course, we had to go! Guess what I scored at the very first stop we made?!

It felt like a tatting shuttle bonanza! I'm excited that there were several just like my MIL's shuttle. Now I will have several bobbins I can load and have ready for a larger project. Also, since I'm on lesson 4, I've discovered that most of the time you tat with two shuttles at once.

You will also note that I found a couple of doilies that were tatted. The sale had many, many more crocheted items, so I'm glad I was able to spot and grab a couple "inspirational" pieces to keep me motivated to learn.

I came home and loaded up a couple of the new shuttles to begin working on the homework piece. This combines rings and chains, along with learning how to hook things together via the picots. Here's what I've accomplished so far:

At a sale a bit later in the route, I did find some crochet thread for 25 cents. I am using crochet thread to begin with while I get the hang of things. Then I can "graduate" to the slightly finer tatting thread.

So far, so fun!

Have a great day!

Monday, May 06, 2013


Thanks to YouTube and a tatting instructor named Esther Leavitt, I am starting my tatting endeavor!

I spent a week learning to do the double stitch and making rings/loops.

This doesn't include several that I took out and did over! I finally thought that I was ready to move on to Lesson 2: Picots.

Here is what I got on my first attempts:

So far I am really enjoying tatting! It's fun to learn something new. I will be practicing picots for a while, learning to make different sizes and keep the sizes consistent. That is what will make for lovely larger pieces.

Have a great day!

Monday, March 04, 2013

Antique Discovery

We were out going to antique stores this weekend and I stumbled across an interesting piece in one of the bargain basements.

The piece is about 3" x 3" or so and quite heavy. I thought when I saw the doors perhaps it was going to be something with the commandments inside. I was surprised to find a crucifix and what I assume to be perhaps the four gospel writers.

I have no idea what this piece could be! Where is it from? (See the detail photos of the only writing/inscriptions.) What would it be used for? I wondered if it is Central or South American. I thought perhaps it is intended to be posted on the door to a dwelling or church. These are all speculation!

Anyone have any clues or ideas?

Monday, January 07, 2013

A Tale of Two Socks

Happy Monday! (I'm just going to throw that out there and trust that it's an actual possibility....a happy Monday.)

A long while ago, perhaps even over a year ago, I picked up some lovely Knit Picks sock yarn in a terrific fall oranges colorway. I started a pair of socks with it way back then, only to discover after nearly completing the darn thing that the sock was not going to fit anyone I knew.

So I frogged the sock. (For those of you unfamiliar with the knitting term "to frog"--it means that I had to "rip it, rip it" out. Frogging means to unravel all your knitting and take the piece back to the original yarn. It's different from "TINKing" a project. To TINK a project means you "un-knit" a few rows. TINK = "KNIT" backwards. All you lose when tinking is a small amount of time and effort.)

Every time I went into my stash room I passed by the lovely orange yarn. And then, a vision began to form in my mind.

What that color of yarn really needed to be is a pair of socks with a fall leaf motif up the outward facing side of each leg!

Last week I sat down and looked through my stitch dictionaries and found a vine/leaf pattern. Then I created a sock design to suit the yarn perfectly.

Here is the progress I made on it yesterday:

And here is a "close-up" of the leaf detail which will be running up the leg:

Since I'm using the Magic Loop method (did you notice my Signature needles? LOVE them!!), I can try the sock on as I go. And it's going to fit! Yeah!

I'll update you with a photo when the pair is complete!

Friday, January 04, 2013

Inspiration For the New Year

Hi folks! Many people start the new year with lots of ideas, plans, resolutions or goals for the days, weeks and months ahead. Just in case you are in need of some inspiration, here are a couple things I've found inspiration from in the last couple of weeks. Perhaps you'd enjoy them too!

I kind of lost my mojo for the Art Abandonment project as summer's heat zapped my energy and then school resumed. Want to know what/who has gotten me to clean off my creative space and make room for art again? It's Joanna Banana Design Originals right here on Blogspot! You MUST go check out her projects and great mixed media art!

I also think that I have failed to mention the inspiration I get from Star Gazer Creates. She has a lot of unique and varied projects going on. I think you might have a few creative ideas sparked by looking through her blog!

I am finally on Pintrest as well. You can find me HERE. I am always adding new boards. I have a Books Worth Reading board, a couple photography boards, a knitting projects board and several more (including Yummy Bites!)

If you haven't explored Pintrest yet, be forewarned: it's addicting!

In knitting news, I completed 5 scarves for co-workers for the holidays. I also did a brioche rib scarf which has turned out to be for me. And I'm working on a self-designed pair of socks in an autumn oranges varigated yarn that has begged to have embossed leaves running up the side of each leg. We'll see how they turn out. I am using my NEW Signatures needles which my DH gave me for Christmas. They are SO perfect! I love them!

Stay warm!