Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Enjoying retirement

Yes, I am enjoying retirement. I think the best part is that I can do things at a slower pace. I have very few deadlines, and that's just fine with me!

Today I went shopping, not because I needed anything, but because I could! I wasn't gone long, and I didn't buy much (just a few notions for my sewing students), but I loved the feeling that I could do whatever I wanted because I felt like it. I'm a homebody and I really don't enjoy shopping, but it was a nice change of pace!

I also watched a couple of old movies today, Monkey Business with Cary Grant and Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn. I could have accomplished a lot of tatting while watching these two oldies, but I only tatted for a little while. Instead, I worked on Sudoku puzzles.

Yes, indeed... I am enjoying retirement!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Just another manic Monday

I really don't know how the day got away from me so quickly, but I did manage to pack a lot into it.

I did manage to work a little on my Spinning Wheel glass mat in this gorgeous Japanese thread. Taking time to tat between laundry loads makes laundry day a lot more fun!

I also spent time on the mermaid tail afghan that I should have finished a month ago. Luckily, it's been too hot and humid for anyone to want to use an afghan!

The best part of my day was giving Bella a sewing lesson. Bella comes to my house every day after school, so we have plenty of time for lessons. Today she made her own little thread catcher. She did a great job, and she was very pleased with her finished project!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

All quiet on the tatting front

Boy is it quiet! Why? Because I've been working industriously on my sewing room. The level of disorganization is beyond belief, but it is coming together. I will post pictures when it starts to look like a sewing room again.

In the meantime, there has been no tatting, sewing, knitting, weaving, or crocheting to speak of since Thursday. However, once the reorganization is done... look out!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Another slow tatting day

I spent most of the day working on my sewing room, and I'm happy to have about half of it exactly the way I want it. However, I have a major problem. What do I do with all of the stuff I've cleared out of the room? I think I need to start some serious de-stashing!

Of course I took a couple of breaks, and during that time I did a little tatting. This butterfly is out of the organic cotton I used for my last Spinning Wheel. It's no bigger than my thumb nail!

My next Spinning Wheel is out of this wonderful Japanese thread in size 80. Thank you to Wendy for purchasing it for me and shipping it. I don't normally make requests for overseas friends to make purchases for me, but I just had to try this thread it. I don't remember the name of it, but I am happy that I have some to play with!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Teeny tiny

I finished my Sinning Wheel glass mat today! It's tatted with Scandal organic cotton sewing thread.

It's a mere 2 3/4" across.

Here it is next to the size 80 Lizbeth in blue.

And here it is next to the yellow size 20 Lizbeth.

It's only about the size of a small Clover tatting shuttle. Now that's teeny tiny!

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Sewing lessons

I gave sewing lessons to three little girls today... what fun! They brought their own sewing machines with them, which was a challenge for me. Each brand has its little quirks, and it took me a while to figure out how to wind the bobbins and thread the machines. Still, we had a lot of fun!

I did spend some time tatting today, but a good deal of my day was taken up with getting prepared for my lesson with the girls. It looks like I'll be able to finish this Spinning Wheel tomorrow!

Monday, August 22, 2016

I waved!

Today was the first day of school for the kids, so I made sure I was outside when the school bus passed by both morning and afternoon. It was fun to see the kids waving to me enthusiastically! And guess what? I was not at all sad that I wouldn't be joining them at school today!

I had a very busy day, so I didn't get much tatting done. I did manage to walk my 10,000 steps. In addition, I finished all the laundry, did the grocery shopping, took a nap, and I even baked cookies. I think I'm going to enjoy retirement!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Still emptying shuttles

I can't believe how much thread is left on some of my shuttles! I've managed to empty three, but I have 13 shuttles on my table waiting to be relieved of their burden so that they can be part of a new project.

No, I did not spend the day tatting butterflies, although it does look like it. I also spent time with my latest Spinning Wheel glass mat.

I'm not an orange person, but this orange is very pretty! This is organic cotton sewing thread that I found here on Etsy. I didn't think I was going to like tatting with it since it is so fine, but I like it a lot!

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Funky butterfly

We had another rainy day, so I spent lots of time tatting and walking. Luckily, we have a wrap-around porch, so I'm able to walk rain or shine.

I had fun trying to use up thread on shuttles today.

It's amazing how much can be accomplished with little bits of time.

Despite my best efforts, I only managed to empty one shuttle.

I guess I'm going to have lots of butterflies to share!

And here's the funky butterfly. I was trying to use the thread close at hand rather than winding new shuttles. As you can see, I ran out of the blue thread, so I finished off with red. I think he's kind of cute! The pattern is by Kendra Goodnow and can be found in the Fall 2016  Handy Hands newsletter.

When the rain let up late this afternoon, Dave went out and got the mail... one package... for me! I love my new Celtic shuttle from Grizzly Mountain Arts! I love Celtic designs...

...and I love anything nautical! You'd think this shuttle was made just for me! ;-)

I do feel a little guilty about being the proud owner of this beautiful copper shuttle, also by Dave Stanbrough. I knew that another tatter was interested in this shuttle, so I waited almost a half hour after the designated listing time. When I checked the Etsy shop, the shuttle was still there. I took it as a sign that it was meant to be mine.

I really am out of control when it comes to shuttles. Luckily, Dave just smiles when he sees me open a new package!

Friday, August 19, 2016


Well, I adjusted my morning routine this morning. I still started walking at 6 a.m., but this time I changed my goal. I set my timer for 15 minutes, but I didn't stop there.

We live on a state highway and we see a lot of semi traffic. Years ago, a friend of mine who lived about 4 miles south of us told me that he and his wife found that 100 semis per hour travel our road. That's a lot of semi traffic for a rural area!

So this morning I adjusted my goal... walk for 15 minutes or until 25 semis passed our house, whichever took longer. For my 6 o'clock walk, it took 23 minutes for 25 semis to pass. My 7 o'clock walk took 18 minutes. Traffic really picked up for my 8 o'clock walk... 43 semis passed our house in 15 minutes! My 9 o'clock walk lasted 15 minutes, with only 900 steps left for my goal of 10,000 steps, so I kept on walking. I was very pleased to have my 10,000 steps finished by 9:30!

Is this what my future holds, mornings of walking and counting semis? I think I'll need some more adjustments! ;-)

I finished my dishcloth early this morning. I love knit dishcloths!

The rest of the day, I spent every free minute tatting, because I wanted to finish this Spinning Wheel glass mat. I'm not sure this would really work as a glass mat since it's only 3 1/2" in diameter. The pattern is from Tatting with Visual Patterns by Mary Konior. The thread is Perfect Quilter #070, Denim. It's too bad this thread has been discontinued, because it is wonderful for tatting! There's one color left at Superior Threads, Cotton Candy. It was originally $8.99 per spool, but it's on sale for $2.00. What a steal!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

First day of retirement

Yes, you read it correctly! Since today was the day teachers in our district headed back to school, I feel like today is the first day of my retirement. I had a big smile on my face this morning!

Monday is the first day for the kids, so my plan is to take my morning walk so that I can wave to the kids on the school bus as it passes by. :-)

On Tuesday, I went for my physical and finger printing so that I can sign up for substitute teaching. I'll be babysitting the daughter of some friends after school. Most exciting of all, I'm going to be giving sewing lessons to two third grade girls after school, starting next week!

I tried breaking my day into segments to see what could be accomplished. Every hour at the top of the hour I went outside and walked our porch for 15 minutes. I managed to get in my 10,000 steps before lunch!

I set little goals for myself for the remaining 45 minutes of each hour: household chores, fixing and eating breakfast, tatting, knitting, crocheting, reading. I didn't accomplish a lot of anything before lunch, but at least I accomplished something.

After lunch I treated myself to a 45 minute nap, then I watched a movie on Netflix. Of course I tatted while watching the movie!

I'm not sure if I'll continue this routine, but I did find that switching activities frequently helped with my wrists. Tomorrow I may try something different, but I had fun trying this routine today!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Internet down... again

I don't know if it was because of the heavy rains on Monday, or if it was just a fluke, but our Internet was down for about 17 hours. It's funny how much the Internet has become a part of our lives!

I needed to exercise my wrist in a different way. Maybe I've been putting in too much time tatting at one sitting. So between yesterday and today, I only tatted one more butterfly.

This morning I went to school to help Kristine set up the computers for the coming school year. I hope she enjoys being the school librarian as much as I did!

In order to exercise my wrists differently, I started a new dishcloth. Mine are getting kind of old and grungy looking, except for one that daughter Alison made for me. I managed to hit a sale at Hobby Lobby, and I chose some fresh new colors for my kitchen!

Suz, is this the display case you had in mind?  ;-)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Rainy Monday

What do you do on a rainy Monday? I caught up on household chores, did some grocery shopping, canned some beets, and even managed a little tatting!

My baggie of butterflies is growing, and I've barely touched the odds and ends of thread I have left on shuttles. It will be interesting to see how many I manage to tat!

Yes, I started another Spinning Wheel glass mat. This one is in Perfect Quilter Denim. Did you notice the personalized shuttle? It's one of my favorites from La Cossette!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Emptying shuttles

With all the Spinning Wheels I've been tatting lately, I have a lot of shuttles with bits of thread left on them. I've been reading about others "spring cleaning" so that they could reload their shuttles, and I decided to join in the fun!

It's nice to have a little baggie of butterflies in my purse to give away. Since I have several appointments coming up that will most likely involve some time sitting in waiting rooms, it's a great time to stock up on bits of tatting.

Since some new shuttles arrived in the mail this week, I guess I really didn't have to use up bits of thread. Isn't this a beauty? It's a Celtic shuttle from Grizzly Mountain Arts. I love Dave Stanbrough's shuttles and needlework tools. I just happened to get lucky and see this one before anyone else did!

A day or two later, Dave listed another Celtic shuttle. I wanted it so badly, but I decided to wait a half hour to give someone else a chance at purchasing it, and it sold in less than half an hour. I'm not surprised!

I also purchased another Handi-Wind Shuttle. I really like these with size 80 thread. That little screw-in handle really helps.

Look at my new La Cossette shuttle! I love blue, and I love paisley, making this the perfect shuttle for me!

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Not in the mood

It took me way too long to finish this Spinning Wheel. You see, I allowed myself to be distracted today.

I spent a good hour and a half fixing a paper jam on my printer. It shouldn't have taken so long, but I couldn't figure out how to get the back of the printer open. I finally turned the printer a different way, and I immediately saw how to open it. Unbelievable!

I also spent a long time researching piecing with equilateral triangles. There are some wonderful YouTube videos on cutting and piecing equilateral triangles. Did I really need to watch them all?

Dave turned on the t.v. after lunch and there was a Fixer Upper marathon. I watched all afternoon!

Usually when I'm watching t.v. I tat, but not today. No, I laid down on the couch and snoozed on and off for most of the afternoon.

I finally sat down to tat in the late afternoon, and I managed to finish my Spinning Wheel a short time ago. I do love the color of this one. It's in size 80 Majestic #849, and it measures about 3 1/2" across.

I'm pretty tired from all the inactivity of the day! I guess I'd better start setting some goals for myself so that I don't fritter away all of my days!

Friday, August 12, 2016

An unexpected conversation

My friend Peggy is housebound right now, so I volunteered to run an important error for her. It involved some wait time, so I got some shopping in. I love buying end-of-the-season items at a greatly reduced price!

When I returned to pick up Peggy's device, there was still some wait time, so I pulled out my tatting. After about 10 minutes, one of the girls came out in to the reception area and asked if I was tatting. When I replied yes, she told me that Maria tatted. About 10 minutes later, Maria came out and we talked about tatting for about 15 minutes. Maria has been tatting for about 30 years, and she has even made her own shuttles. Needless to say, I was impressed! She told me that other than the elderly lady who taught her to tat, she had never met another tatter.

I might have finished my Spinning Wheel today, but somehow I tangled up my thread and I didn't notice until I had closed the ring. Size 80 rings are not easy to open, and working with a dark thread makes the task much more difficult. In hindsight, I probably should have just cut out the ring and rejoined the thread, but I can be stubborn. I wasn't going to let a little ring defeat me. I bet it took me close to two hours to open that little stinker!

The good news is, I made a new tatting friend and I will probably finish this piece tomorrow!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Minimal progress

Today was filled with running errands, so once again very little tatting was accomplished.

Tomorrow will be busy as well. I wonder how I accomplished anything when I was working?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Face lift

Daughter Carol's classroom needed a face lift, so guess what we've been doing the past two days?

The school was built in the '70s when mustard yellow and metal shelving was very popular. It just looks old and nasty now.

Carol made turquoise curtains to cover the shelving and a black curtain to cover the mustard yellow section.

Carol teaches geography, current world issues, civics, and economics at the high school level. She always decorates the folding wall between her classroom and the one next door, but she added some new posters this year and changed up the look.

One thing that really bothers her is that she has mismatched pieces in her room, including this storage cabinet. The black was fine, but she didn't like the faux wood look on the doors. Her original plan was to paint the cabinet, but then I told her about Mod Podge!

Carol went shopping for Mod Podge and found a pack of scrapbook paper that had a variety of maps. Now she has a colorful new cabinet in her room! See the file cabinet to the left? This morning it was an ugly gray. It's amazing what a little spray paint can do!

The work table in her room has seen better days. It's used for group work, but it really needed some work done.

Mod Podge to the rescue! Her classroom is now brighter, more colorful, and definitely more cheerful!

Five hours at school both yesterday and today didn't leave much time for tatting, but I didn't mind a bit. After all, I don't have to go back to work in two weeks! ;-)

My newest Spinning Wheel is in the gorgeous blue Majestic thread that I started to use on Renulek's Napkin Marta. It's size 80 #849. I do love tatting with the finer thread!