January 9, 2013

Adventures in Tat-land

Three days in a row of blogging! Woot! I may still be sucking at getting through my daily tasks as planned, but at least I'm doing *something* I said I would! ^_~

Yesterday, one patient turned into three! Hooray! Today, I only have 2 patients on the book, but one already rescheduled. C'est la vie. Getting my knee worked on today & doing a dance demo tonight, so yay for that! The knee is still healing. Tightened up a bit last night, but it's looking better every day. Yesterday, I managed to get the business account balanced & paid the office bills. I got the pre-made Paleo meal plans printed off, but I haven't looked at them yet to determine what groceries I need to get. Intended to clean out the fridge after work, but the sink is already full of dirty dishes because the dishwasher is full of clean dishes. Asked the hubster to empty the dishwasher for me so I can do the rest of the dish shuffle today. Yes, I'm lazy. But I don't ask him to do many chores beyond emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash & recycling, & sorting his dirty laundry for me. ^_~ Looking at yesterday's list, my predicted 75% completion was actually more like 25%. Boo on me.

Today will be spent working on the personal accounts, paying more bills, listening to business building audios (NOT my favorite task, but must be done), working on the marketing calendar (I REALLY need to do this one! C'mon, Vicky! Can't get new patients in the door if I have no plan or idea how I'm going to do it!), call to reschedule the two patients I meant to call yesterday, toss icky fridge things, look at the meal plans, & plot the grocery list.

**If you struggle w/ keeping straight the zillion things that need doing, check out www.rememberthemilk.com. I love that site! You can have multiple to-do lists, move items between lists, see ALL your tasks in one place, send tasks to others... Check it out.**

Now what was I up to yesterday that caused me to get so little of my tasks done? Well, partly looking at tatting patterns. Tatting is a form of lacemaking that was big in the 1800s. I discovered it & fell in love with it when I stumbled across the work of TotusMel. Check out her Etsy page here, then see what she's up to at her blog here. A couple summers ago, I learned how to tat with a tool called a shuttle. It's a bit slow for me, but I love it. Recently, I decided to try to learn to tat with a needle instead of a shuttle. I got some tatting needles for Christmas, & brought them along w/ me to play with while traveling to CO on the ski trip. Between a book on needle tatting & TotusMel's videos on Instructables, I picked it up pretty easily. Holy crap it's so much faster than shuttle tatting!!! I'm in love! I'll probably pick up the shuttles again if I'm working on a larger piece, since they can hold a lot of thread wound around them, & with needles you have to use a much shorter, cut length of thread, but I think I'll be a needle tatter 90% of the time now. Needle tatting is also way easier to learn & do than shuttle tatting. I'm a happy crafter. :)

As soon as I learned how to needle tat, I recieved inspiration to do a big tatting project. As I mentioned in a previous post, my Aunt passed away while I was on vacation. Through Facebook posts from family, I learned that in her final hours, she communicated to her daughters that she would visit them from the other side as a hummingbird. I was instantly compelled to make tatted hummingbirds for my family members to remember her by. One of my cousins asked on FB if anyone knew where to find hummingbird lapel pins she & her sisters could wear at their mom's funeral. I was already working on it. Fortunately, I had brought along some blue thread, my Aunt's favorite color. I spent an evening scouring the interwebs for a free tatted hummingbird pattern. Finding none, I found a few pictures of ones already made, which I stared at trying to figure out how to make them. I got close to figuring it out with one design, but it wasn't quite there, so I found a place to buy the pattern & did so. Unfortunately, it wasn't an immediate download, so I kept hunting while I waited for the emailed pattern. In that time, I found another pictured design I liked better, so I worked up a prototype of that one, referencing the pic to figure out how to make it. Eureka! Got it figured out after a 2nd prototype, & started cranking away on more.

Took me between 25 & 30 minutes to make one, start to finish. I posted on FB that I'd be happy to make one for anyone who asked. In the end, I had requests for 35. At the funeral, a few extra people wanted some, so I made about 4 more there. And I have three more to make for family that couldn't make it to the funeral. 42 hummingbirds in all. Everyone loved them.

I feel so blessed that I was able to make these for everyone. I wasn't very close to this Aunt, and her death at 58 was no surprise to me, as she's been in poor health for as long as I've known her & even worse health in recent years. I'm sad that she's gone, & my heart aches for my family who mourn her more heavily. I thank the devine intervention of God, Buddha, the Universe, whatever you'd like to call it, that made sure I had the skills & supplies at hand & the time needed to make these birds. It's nice to know that something you made helps heal a breaking heart.

The tatting continues with other projects! A couple days ago, a friend asked for submissions to a silent auction at an upcoming craft & artist show/fundraiser for her non-profit. I'm currently looking up tatted jewelry patterns. I'd love to make a necklace & earring set to put in the auction & help my friend raise some funds for her cause! I haven't found anything I like yet, but I'm hunting. I'm leaving my tatting books on my work desk as a carrot: finish something on my to-do list & I get to look at patterns for a few minutes! Now if only I can groom myself to have the self-control not to dig through patterns *before* I finish anything...

A final note: I need to make shorter posts! My idea of 20-30 minutes of blogging was more like an hour today. >_< Happy Wednesday, everybody!


  1. Do you sell the pattern or have it available somewhere?

  2. Hi Joy! You know, I don't think I ever posted the pattern I created. Whoops! I DID write it down though! Found it last night for you. :) Here's the pattern I created:

    Supplies: Size 10 crochet cotton, size 5 tatting needle.

    1. JK 20. RW. Knot.
    2. SR: 7-2/5. Close.
    3. Ch: 3 (R: 3+9, 11 long picots separated by 1 DS each beginning with longest first, 2, pull tight and close), 3.
    4. Retain loop of core thread for SCMR.
    5. Ch: 6 (R: 3---1-----1---3, pull tight and close), 6. Join to retained loop. Close SCMR.
    6. Ch: 9. Join to base of head. Finish off.

    Hope that helps! Happy tatting!