Thursday, October 25, 2007

Update on my Aunt

My Aunt who was diagnosed with breast cancer had her surgery on Monday. They did lumpectomies and removed at least one lymph node. Nothing was found in the initial check of the lymph node, and we are awaiting all the test results. She and my uncle were exhausted, but glad that part of the ordeal was over with. It was a one day procedure and she got to go home that night. While I know she was glad to be home, it seems to me that this revolving door medicine is going too far. There have been some horror stories in the news about women sent home after surgeries for breast cancer where they or their families were unable to perform the follow-up care that was needed.

Monday, October 22, 2007

No Piccies yet

Hi, I didn't get any scans made, but I got some Tatting done! I am rather excited about that, plus I have a general invite for tea and homemade cookies if I offer tatting lessons to my co-workers at my part time job. Over the weekend they were looking at my work and talking about the dying art. I assured them it wasn't dying. Then i got to thinking that that is the wrong response. I will now ask people if they would like to help keep it from dying, and thus try to recruit new tatters. Then once they are committed (yeah right) I can spring on them the plethora of web sights and blogs, all the wonderful vibrant and living people out there with their innovations and new creations that are breathing life into this far from dead art form.

But back to the piccies part. I finished the tat-along motif, it was number 2, and did a very amateur job of it, uneven tension twisted picots and who knows what else. I'll still starch it and turn in into a Christmas Tree ornament, I'll just put it at the back of the tree. I also made Mark's aka Tatman's Bat, and the little x from the Cecelia doily. Hopefully pictures tomorrow.

Cross Post with Zaijovan's This n That

Naming confusion?

I realized that I have a naming confusion going on here in my blogs. So I'm taking a moment to sort it out. My blog name is listed as Kelly, my tatting blog says it is Catherine's tatting attempts, the online Tarot community knows me as Catherine, at one job they call me Kelly at the other they call me Catherine, and no I don't have 2 personalities. At least I don't think so. My mom and my aunt both loved the name Kelly for girls. Whoever had the first girl got to name her Kelly. I was the first girl and so that is what my family calls me. My legal birth certificate name is Catherine Marie, after my grandmothers. I use the names almost interchangeably, and you all can too. But please use Catherine and not Cathy. Oh, and dear Peter in Oz, you and you alone are allowed to call me Cate. ;-) The only other person to do so was my Master Sergeant when I was in Junior ROTC in high school.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Odd Facts Meme

I've been tagged by Melissa to share 7 facts about myself!

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

EEK, I've been tagged.

7 odd facts uh?
  1. My car has radio buttons programmed for Classical, Country, and Rap stations.
  2. I'm addicted to Anime, but will only watch in the original Japanese.
  3. I am a tea snob - I almost exclusively drink imported British or Asian teas.
  4. My house and yard are both fixer uppers, one friend says she's waiting to see me interviewed on the evening news because bodies were found buried in the back yard. Luckily so far I've only found rusted out car parts.
  5. I love high heels. I'm about 5'8" tall, and love to wear heels. I don't very often since I gained so much weight it is too hard on my feet, but otherwise bring on those 3 and 4 inch heels. In fact in a church play, in my 4 inch heels I made a run for the stage, leapt onto the stage and got into a scuffle with another actor, it was lots of fun, and I never lost balance.
  6. I prefer to drive stick shifts. Once while driving my mom's car - an automatic - I got stuck at a stop sign because I couldn't find the clutch or stick shift. Please no blonde or women driver jokes, plus it was in a very rural area so I wasn't holding up traffic.
  7. My lolcat personality is the sad cookie cat. See my general blog under tests if you are curious.

I tag:
Golly, don't know a lot of people out there in the cyber fiber arts community yet. Most of my face to face friends don't have blogs. If you want me to tag you I will, or I may go see if any of my other cyber communities have members with blogs.

Asking Permission

Hi all,
I have started adding more to my blog. Specifically links to other blogs. I don't know all the netiquette on this, like is it proper to ask permission to have the links. To be on the safe side, I am asking for permission, after the fact, but I can remove links if the owners wish. I have been blessed to have a few of you come back on a regular basis, and so I am asking here for permission to link to your blogs. I will try to go to each individual to ask, but some of you I cannot leave comments for. Clyde P. yours is one I cannot leave a comment on, so if you read this and want me to remove your link from my page I will respect your wishes. If I do not hear from you I will assume it is okay to keep the link. Now, I am off to leave comments/permission requests on the blogs I have posted.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

False Starts and Finishes and Cats

Well, I was quite disjointed last night and feel like not a lot got done on anything. I did a bit of laundry, some dishes, heated up leftovers, tried to start practicing a few embroidery stitches, tried to finish a video game, and then tried to tat. I'm not sure if I'm going to rip out that last bit of tatting or not. My uneven tension came back, big time. I was just too tired to be doing anything right. When I get home from work I'll look at it with fresh eyes and see if it is as bad or worse than I currently think it is. At least the really bad part is where I stopped so there won't be a whole lot of lost time if I rip it out. Also, one of the joys of needle tatting over shuttle tatting, is that it is a lot easier to rip out mistakes, well if you catch them soon enough anyway. I still hate to loose the time spent, but at least the motif is not a waste like it is when I have a big goof in shuttle tatting.
Anyway, just because here are some pictures of my furbabies. This is Banichi at about 6 months old. He's 3 1/2 now. He has that wonderfully regal granting an audience look to him here.

This is Motoko and Leo when they were about 4 months old. This is from the weekend I adopted them a little over a year ago. Leo is the orange kitty, and Motoko is the Gray one. Isn't that a sweet expression on her face.

And these are my favorite pictures of Leo and Motoko. This was last Holloween. They had to stay inside while Banichi and I were on the porch handing out candy. As you can see, they were not pleased with that arrangement. I need to get new pictures of all three of them.

They are also great craft helpers, they make sure that the threads taste good, and that there are lots of knots and tangles to keep me busy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Meandering around tatting

My tatting mentor had a flare up of something. We had thought she had Raynauds Syndrome, but that isn't the case. She is sensitive to cold, and stress, and overwork, and it causes her a great deal of trouble with her hands and feet. So I did a little bit of tatting, and we talked. I left her with tatting needles and my how to needle tat book. Working with a shuttle is causing too much tension in her hands, so we are hoping that needle tatting won't be as hard on her muscles. Of course her goal is to get back to shuttle tatting, but she seems excited to be able to do any kind of tatting at this point.

I started a doily this weekend. The first round is to the left. It is from the BeStitched website. It appears to have come out in a series starting with a 10 pointed snowflake, then growing round by round in Nancy Tracy's monthly patterns until it reached the doily that can be found at the above website. I'm using DMC size 80. I had been trying to use some size 80 from Great Aunt Joyce's stash, but the thread kept breaking. I read on Sherry's blog that she was having the same problem, and the wonderful tatting community recommended that she try newer threads as thread can get brittle with age. Wow, the difference newer thread makes. It slides more smoothly and no breaking! I think my tension is getting a bit more consistent, and the picots a little more even. I do need to make myself some picot gauges though. Right now I must admit I'm just having too much fun to stop and make the gauges.

I have also started on a tat-along project. I'm using size 10 Cebelia for it and am actually trying to make some pattern changes. I wanted something easy to work on for a 30 minute break at my retail job and figured the larger thread would fit the bill. I hope to have both another round of the doily to show off, and the finished tat-along project as a motif later this week, but we'll have to see how all the housework and other obligations play out. I guess just one or the other would show progress.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Motif 3, and Thank You

Thank you to the thoughtful people who stopped in to the comment section to offer prayers and encouragement for my aunt and my family. It is very much appreciated. Unfortunately my Aunt lives in Seattle and I live in Omaha, so we don't see each other as much as we all would like. Despite that we keep in touch and the families are really very close in friendship, spirit, and love.

Anyway on to tatting. I got two of the awareness ribbons blocked and stiffened yesterday. After work I go to the craft store to look for small magnets and pin backs so that I can finish them off. The pattern is copyrighted by Lenore English and was very fun and easy to make.

These are the two ribbons that are going to my mom and aunt. I don't know the specifics on the thread because it was inherited from my great aunt, their aunt. Aunt Joyce was a British War Bride, and unfortunately I never got to meet her. After her death I did meet my Great Uncle Clyde, who is, well, a great uncle. His children and grandchildren didn't want much of Aunt Joyce's crafting supplies so he gave them to me. I believe the size of thread is a 10. The color is actually a dark rose color and is not variegated. I need some practice with that scanner. The small motif in the middle is also from Aunt Joyce's stash and it is done with six strands of embroidery floss. Once again I don't know the maker or color of the floss. However here is the pattern, and it is copyrighted to JoAnn Stearns.

All pieces are needle tatted as despite all the flaws, I am still better with the needle than with a shuttle. I'm counting the ribbons as motif 3. I'm not sure if the Dove counts as a motif or not, it is so tiny and doesn't doe the original pattern justice at all (not that my ribbons do either).

As I read back over the rules I noticed that we were asked to state a theme for our motifs. People have been very creative and some of you are doing all animals, or all snowflakes, or designing all of your motifs. If it is okay I would like for my theme to be general improvement in tatting ability. Or how about getting up the courage to learn newer and more complicated techniques. Then there is also the ever popular, just keep working at it and practice makes perfect. I'll settle for better and not embarrassing, and believe me the pieces posted are the better and least embarrassing ones. You should see the others. ;-) And tonight, I get to go tat with my tatting mentor! I'm hoping to learn some new shuttle techniques, and she is going to learn needle tatting. Very Basic needle tatting.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Maybe Today

No tatting last night. Got the book finished for book club though. It was "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan". I really enjoyed the book, but I hate forced reads. I must start reading next months book at least a week ahead of time instead of only 2 days.

We are having strange and bad smells where I work. They are renovating the library I work in, and well, there are just too many books to move out so that we can work elsewhere while noises and smells and bumps and shudderings go on. They put down concrete sealer yesterday. I think that was what it was anyway. It smells really bad though. I took vacation and left early yesterday and plan to do so again today. I'm working my public desk hour right now and the rest of my work is behind the scenes so I won't be missed if I'm out for a few days.

Anyway, I plan to put the vacation time to good use and Tat! Well, I'll tuck in the ends of the awareness ribbons and try to get them blocked and the stiffening stuff on them. I'll need to go find some small pins for the back, or magnets. I think they need to be refrigerator magnets because they are so big. My mom says it is okay for a pin.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Progress with a price tag

I finally got some tatting in, this is good progress for me. The reason though is unhappy. My aunt, a breast cancer survivor, was diagnosed with cancer in her other breast. She sees either the oncologist or the surgeon today (or is the oncologist the surgeon too?). She is jumping right on the problem, and the spots they found are small, but it is of course still upsetting. So I have been tatting awareness ribbons. The first one actually came out okay, not great, but okay. I'm going to keep it because the tension changed from start to finish. I've made 2 more and the tension is much better on them. These I will give to my mother and my aunt. I have to tuck the ends in and then block and stiffen them up, but that won't happen till this weekend at the earliest. Tonight I must finish my book club book, and tomorrow night is book club.

Anyway I have tons of pink thread in several sizes, so all of my family members may be getting a ribbon, as well as friends whom I've asked to pray for my aunt.

Hopefully Monday I will have a picture/scan to share, I'll look up the web page with the pattern and then I can add my 3rd motif to the challenge.