Monday, December 29, 2014

I just finished a beaded fir tree

I just finished a beaded fir tree. The pattern is by Julia Pretl. I will be taking a class of hers at the end of January at my local bead store - Bead Soup.

Here is a picture of the tree.
It was so fun to make.
The pattern I will be working in January is for 3 beaded turtle boxes. They are so cute.

This weekend I will be doing another loom class given by Erin Simonetti. This time we will have 3 snowmen patterns to choose from.

The new year will bring me a desire to finish all the quilts I have in various stages of completion. I think there may be 10 or 12 that I need to finish. Lets see how far I get with them.

I also want to make sure I get my web site pumped up. I need to make some money to assist my family and this is the best way to be able to do it. I am going to start selling my beaded jewelry again. I used to have a business making jewelry so it will be fun to get that going again. I have a ton of designs that I can sell. I'm excited about getting things made.

I think I will be quite busy in 2015.

Well, going to get my crafting areas cleaned and organized to start the new year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to stop by to say Merry Christmas. It's just a few minutes before midnight.

I haven't been in the Christmas spirit for several years now. Shawn's dad passed away 8 years ago on the 20th of December. My dad passed the following November. I haven't wanted to celebrate a whole lot since then. This year I am hoping the day is better. Nate and Naina will be here about 2pm and we will open gifts, then cook dinner. They will stay the whole weekend. Yea. We are going to see the God Daughters on Friday and go into DC on Saturday to check out the museums.

It will be a fun time. We are going to make this a happy time and not have any stress.

Well back to making Christmas gifts. My job is never done.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

I engraved some shuttles.

Spent the day engraving and listing some shuttles. I'm having fun with this new machine. I am really learning what it will do. I am also figuring out what type of pictures I can use to engrave and get the best results.

Here are a few of the shuttles I engraved today

I have learned what pictures definitely won't work. I have a ton of options to play with before I get the right ones.

Now I need to decide what else I can make with this machine. If only I could figure out how to cut with it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I joined the Baltimore Bead Society last night

I don't know if I'm crazy or not, but last night I went to my first meeting with the Baltimore Bead Society. There was a Bead Bingo night and I had a blast. There were several people that I know there. We laughed so hard and had great conversation while playing bingo. None of us won, but we didn't care.

So this organization is a group of people who love to bead, do some charity work, and have fun. Annually they sponsor a program called Bead It Forward. It's a program that makes beaded quilts out of 1.5 X 1.5 tiles and auctions them off to help a cancer center in Wisconsin.

So I got a few patterns to make some tiles. This years theme is Animals - Wild about finding a cure. What a cool theme. I am going to make some tiles of elephants, horses, whales, peacocks, and a few more.

So, not much else has been going on. I am still purging stuff out of the house.

Christmas is almost here and I am still making gifts. I'm having fun with the ideas I have going on for the gifts.

Not much else going on.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Getting ready for Christmas and having fun

We don't have much money for gifts this year so I am making most of them.

Today I made Shawn's mom a heating pad for her feet out of rice. I used several ingredients to make it smell really good. I took the idea from Pinterest but made it my own. I even got her favorite color fuzzy fabric. I know she will use it over and over again.

Now I want to make one for a few other people. I may even make one for me. I have one for my neck, but may make another one cuz the new scent is awesome.

I am making my son a beaded Christmas tree. I have the tree made. Now I have to make all the ornaments. That's the fun part. I am finding all kinds of unusual things to use as ornaments - old earrings, random beads, Swarovski crystals, and the list goes on. I need to tat some snowflakes for it also.

Not sure about Olivia and Naina. The inspiration for their gifts will come to me. I don't have a ton of time left so I hope to get inspiration soon.

I'm also going to use the laser engraver to make some gifts and our ornaments this year. Every year we put new ornaments on the tree showing something we did that year.

I also have a new tatting student. Our first lesson is this Sunday. I'm excited. She knows the basics so I can jump in and teach her all the fun stuff.  I've also agreed to teach tatting at my local bead store. I need to see if there is any interest first, then if there is, schedule a class. I don't know if people will understand that it takes a while to learn tatting. I guess I will have to make sure I include that info in the class description.

I want to put my Christmas tree up soon. I usually do it the day after Thanksgiving, but this year I'm a little slow in getting it up. I'm really picky about how it goes up so no one ever wants to help me. I like to have my ornaments put on just right and it drives them all crazy. I remember when I got every ornament and like to reminisce about each one.

Well, Peter Pan Live is on and I want to watch it.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Laser Engraver is working and I'm so happy

At long last.... I am happy to say that I have successfully used my laser engraver and sold some shuttles that I have engraved.

Now, I can only engrave words right now, and only have one font available...but soon that will change. I need to purchase a font program that I can upload into the engraving software and figure out how to do pictures, but I'm on my way.

I am so happy. It's been more than a year since I purchased my first machine that didn't work. I never did get my full refund on that crazy deal, but that's another story.

I got the new laser engraver in July and had too much to do getting ready for the wedding to be able to dedicate time to learning how to use it and getting it set up. Well, we set it up a few weeks ago and I started playing with it. I have successfully sold some shuttles that I engraved with it. I got an order from a really good customer and decided to send her a gift by engraving her name on an extra shuttle as a Thank You for being such a great customer. She got them yesterday and is very happy with them.

Here is a picture of the shuttles, courtesy of the buyer, Diane.

So now I am going to try and get a few programs with clipart and graphics and a font program so I can get moving on making shuttles. I'm so happy right now. I feel accomplished.

On a different note, I've been taking a lot of beading classes lately. Here are a few things that I've made.

This is a class I took with Diane Fitzgerald. She's an amazing designer and I had a blast taking this class. I really love this set. I need to get my bail put on the necklace and the earring wires on and I'll be able to wear this. I already got the clasp on the bracelet.
This is a French Beaded brooch I made yesterday. I took the class from Donna Dickt. I really love this. I was going to give it away, but once I got it finished, I decided to keep it.
Some day soon I will take a picture of all of the pieces that I have finished lately. I've been taking a LOT of classes. Most are free, but some I do pay for. I had forgotten how much I love to bead. I even ordered a beaded embroidery kit from online and will make a beaded picture. Can't wait for that one to get here.
I seem to have become a busy girl. I had to tell Shawn that I think all the classes I've paid for and beads I've bought are going to be my Christmas present. I can't justify asking for anything since I've spent so much money at Bead Soup lately. If he wants to give me something, he will have to make it. I don't want any more money spent on me this year. ... Now in January, I have like 4 classes scheduled, so I will have to sell a bunch of shuttles and thread to pay for them. I need to get working and sell, sell, sell.
Thanksgiving is coming this week and I need to get working preparing my house for the holiday.
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all of my friends in the United States. And to the rest of my friends, Happy Thursday, this week.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

I miss my dad

Sigh.... On this day 7 years ago, my father took his last breath on this earth.

I miss him a lot. He used to tell me some great pearls of wisdom. He was a joker and loved to laugh. Not everyone got to see that side of him, but I did. I guess you would say that I was his favorite, but he didn't have 'favorites'. He adored my kids. When Olivia was born, we couldn't go to Ohio right away to introduce her to the family. She was born at the beginning of November. I got a call that year on Thanksgiving day from him. He asked me where I was eating dinner and asked for the address. When I gave him Shawn's parents address, he said "I'll see you in about 7 hours. I want to meet my new granddaughter". I was shocked and thrilled. That story always puts a smile on my face. He drove all that way just to meet my baby girl. He sacrificed having dinner with the rest of the family to see me and my girl. He stayed for 5 days and we had a blast.

He was a crabby, cranky man who took no crap from anyone. He commanded respect wherever he went. I admired that about him. He would walk into a restaurant with me and ask any man in the restaurant to remove their hat because they were disrespecting me. And shockingly, the men would remove their hat.

I never looked at my dad as my hero. I looked at him as the person who molded my character and ethics. He would do anything for me. I can't speak for any other person in my family, just my experience.

My dad taught me how to work on a car. He called it his "powder puff" mechanic's course. I had to know what to do if my car ever broke down. He didn't want me to have to rely on a man if I was stranded.

As you can see, I really admire him and miss him a lot. I have so many memories flooding my brain right now. Most make me smile. A few make me sad.

When my father was dying, we rushed to Kentucky, where he lived, and to the hospital. I got their late and they weren't going to let us see him, but we pled to see him since I'd just drove 9 hours from Maryland. He was sedated and in a drug induced coma at the time. The nurse told me to be brief because they could not control his heart rate and it was up and down and all over the place. I walked into the room and his heart rate stabilized to 68 beats a min and stayed there. The nurse came in and said "I don't know what just happened, but his heart rate is stable. He must have been waiting for you to get here". WOW. The next day they woke him up because all of his vital signs had stabilized. I just knew that I would have a lot more time with him and didn't say all the things I wanted to, to him. I regret that every day.

He went home a week later because they were not able to put a pace maker into his chest because his arteries had all hardened from smoking. They told the family that he had between 1 week and 10 years to live.

We lost him 1 week later. So, I am very sad today. I am grateful that I have the memories I have.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Busy weekend I just had.

Boy, I'm happy that Monday is almost here and I can relax a little. I had a busy weekend.

Olivia came home on Thursday to celebrate her birthday with us. She turned 22. I had a beading class on Thursday, then we watched football. My team won and that made me very happy.

On Friday I had to get up early and get some stuff done around the house, then a meet and greet with Diane Fitzgerald on Friday. Diane is a beading designer who has written many bead books.

After that we went to the movies with Olivia for her birthday, then hung out little at home. Shawn had to go out and check on his employees so it was just the two girls at home. We went our separate ways so we could work on different projects.

Saturday we prepared food for the birthday party. We had about 12 people over and had a mountain of food. We talked and had a great time just hanging out.

Today I got up way too late to go to church, but did make it to my bobbin lace lesson. I got help getting through a really rough spot in my pattern.

Now I am sitting in my recliner with the cat on my lap. He has decided that I am not going anywhere and is sound asleep. He knows that I won't get up if he's sleeping so he made sure to fall asleep right on my leg. Funny cat.

The dogs are just relaxing on the floor in front of us and Shawn is in his recliner watching NASCAR.

Olivia had to go back to Ohio because she has school tomorrow. I miss her already. It stinks when your kids live so far away.

Sunday, November 2, 2014


A while ago I picked up a book on Zentangle. It's a form of organized doodling. I tried to do a couple designs but really haven't picked it up because I was too busy. I did a few in pencil and have been researching the different designs and patterns. Dabbling every now and then. I've seen that you should do it in pen and no erasers are used. Not what I was doing. I was using pencil and trying to make the pieces perfectly done.

So yesterday I decided to just jump right in and do a pen design. I made several mistakes and don't have all the tools or materials that are needed but I think I did a pretty good job.

The paper is actually a 6 inch by 6 inch square. The camera angle made it look wonky.

I had a good time making mistakes and figuring out how to correct them or cover them up. It was a lot more relaxing than I thought it would be. I'm pretty much a perfectionist when it comes to my arts and crafts. I believe that if you can do it perfectly, you should. I have been known to take out an entire afghan that was almost fully completed because I made a mistake in the 3rd row.

So, back to Zentangle. Shawn and both kids are pretty good artists, but I always say that I can't draw a straight line with a ruler. That's the beauty of this craft. You don't need straight lines. No rulers are used. You just go with the flow of the lines. What I did would be called ZIA or Zentangle Inspired Art because the designs I used aren't actually all official designs. I made some of the stuff up. I'm too new to this to really know if I did official designs or not. Either way, I like what I did and will pursue this further.

I think this is going to get a lot more popular because Rosie O'Donnell mentioned it on The View. Everyone will be doing this soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Been beading

I'm not ashamed to tell people that I suffer from a mental disorder. I don't like the stigma surrounding mental illness. People need to educate themselves before judging and talking about us.

I usually don't feel comfortable going out of the house alone because I suffer from Social Anxiety Disorder along with my Anxiety and Major Depressive Disorder. I usually wait for Shawn to be with me or only go places I know I won't have to talk to anyone and can get in and out. I need to feel comfortable enough to know that someone has my back before I can go out with them. By having my back, I mean, they will protect me if I'm verbally attacked or approached by strangers. There are very few people that I trust to go out with.

With that all being said, I truly love going to my local bead store. I feel very comfortable with the ladies and gents that go there and know that the store owner and employee will take care of anyone who bothers me. I take classes there. I go to beading groups and have loved getting back into this art form. I have been a self taught beader for over 20 years and am now learning new techniques and using different beads.

I was worried that Shawn would get upset because I go to the store at least once a week. I asked him about it and he said that he's rather me go to the bead store than sit around the house moping. I also have a few tatting groups that I attend also.  He is so generous with giving me time to do my art forms.

I'm so happy that I have a place to go where I feel comfortable and have a safe place to explore my outlet.

Friday, October 24, 2014

What's next?

Now that Nate and Naina are happily married, I have some time on my hands. I have three exchanges that I'm involved in. If you don't know what that is, it's a group of people decide that they will send something to another person and get something in exchange. There are requirements and deadlines that are to be met. You are assigned partners - someone you send to, but they may not be who will be sending to you. It's fun because you never know what you will receive.

The three I'm involved in right now are a Crafted Card Exchange where I have 3 partners. I make a card and then add a few extra gifts in the package and send it off by Nov 1st. I'm the organizer and host of that exchange.

Then there is a Secret Santa Exchange where we have to send 5 things to our person. We got a list of their favorite things and then go from there. That one needs to be mailed by Nov 15th. That one included a decorated tatting shuttle for Christmas.

The last one I'm in for the year is the Snowflake Exchange. We have to make two tatted snowflakes and send them out to your partner. That one needs to be mailed by Dec 1st.

I'm in the middle of making the cards for the Card Exchange right now. I'm doing something a little different with this one. Everyone expects me to tat my items because, well, that's what I do. But I'm going off the beaten path this time. Once my partners receive their packages, I will post pictures of what I made. I'm excited.

Besides the exchanges, I am working on a lot of unfinished projects. I want to clear my plate so I can start some new things. I also am making Christmas gifts. I need to fire up the laser engraver and get going with that.

I've also been taking some beading classes and attending some free events for beading. I have a ton of ideas for jewelry. I am going to put my own spin on a few patterns and see what I can come up with.

In Pittsburgh every year there is an event called Artfest. I am thinking about becoming a vendor for that event. Selling tatted jewelry, beaded jewelry, some wooden boxes and some other things that I can come up with. It think it will be fun. It's in May so I have plenty of time to get ready for it.

Tomorrow I'm off to the National Zoo in Washington DC with my God Daughters and their mom. Shawn is going to start building a shed in the back yard and Calvin will come over to help after he's out of class. Fun day ahead.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The wedding was amazing

My son married the love of his life yesterday. The ceremony was amazing and the reception was a blast. I cried several times. My hankie that I made for the ceremony came in handy. I think I should have made one for my son, tho. He cried when he saw his bride for the first time in her gown. He cried when she said her vows and more when he said his.

They wrote their own vows and both spoke from the heart. They also did something special. They put their vows in a box. Then this week they will write a love letter to each other and place them in the same box. In one year, they will reread their vows and read the letters. Then each year they will write another letter to each other. I think I would love for Shawn and I to start this tradition, and encourage all of the people we know to do the same thing.

I am so happy that the day was amazing. It took a lot of work and manpower to make the day perfect for them.

I went to Pittsburgh last Wednesday to help get the wedding prep done. We worked from Wednesday evening until Friday evening almost non stop to get all of the decorations, pictures, signs, seating cards, programs.....etc ready. We cut, glued, printed, folded, taped and organized our fingers off.

They did a full DIY wedding and it looked like they spent about $30,000 on it. I can't wait to have pictures to show. Everything was amazingly detailed and painstakingly detailed. Nate and Naina both put their hearts and souls into every detail.

Me, the mother of the groom, forgot to bring her camera to the wedding. I will be able to post pictures as soon as they get them back from the photographer. He took so many pictures.

I am sure there will be cell phone pictures popping up all over Facebook soon. I have seen a few already.

There is so much more to tell, but I am so full of emotion it's hard to say it all right now.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I just have to share

I just have to share. Today I was at a local yarn store for a tatting social and had lugged along some of my shuttles to share with a lady who has provided me with a ton of wood.

While she was looking at the shuttles, the store owner came over and peaked into the bag. She commented that she really liked the shuttles and said that she wants to sell them in her store. OMG. My shuttles are going to be sold in a store. How amazing is that?

I didn't discuss the details with her but will call her this week and talk details and then after my son's wedding, I will go back to the store and set up a deal with her.

I am very excited. At first I thought I had heard wrong, but one of my friends was right there and heard her say it also.

Happy dance coming.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wedding stuff

I have only one more thing to make for the kids wedding. I am so happy. It will only take me a few hours to make the last item.

Then I want to make myself a necklace to wear.

I am going to replace the green beads and the pearls with topaz Swarovski crystals and the with beads will be silver. The gold beads will stay. I am going to make some earrings also. I think this is so pretty.

I am getting excited. 8 more days. Woo Hoo.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The kids wedding date is almost here

I cannot believe that my son's wedding date is only 12 days away. I have most everything ready.

I have all of the bookmarks made but not all in my possession yet. I will have the last of them on Friday. I made the tatted portion of one of the brooches ready for Nita and I to put on our dresses.

Here are some pictures of them.
These really don't show the bling I put on them, but that's ok. I couldn't believe that I found two brooches that were the exact same.
I made them with silk thread, Swarovski crystals and crystal beads. I borrowed some elements from a Renulek pattern, but the entire design is mine.

I got my dress back from the tailor's office and it fits great. I am so pleased. The brooch will replace the really ugly rhinestones on the left hip of my dress. Nita has the same issue on her right hip. We will be matching to a point.

I am still making some surprise gifts for the bride and the bridesmaids. I should be done with everything done by Friday.

I also found the perfect pattern for a beaded necklace. I ordered some Swarovski crystals and have to wait for the order to come in to get the necklace done. It won't take me long to get it finished when I finally get the supplies.

Shawn finally got a job that has real potential. He will be running a security site here in Maryland for a company based in Richmond, VA. We are waiting right now for the boss to call him with all the details of the position. All we know is that his title is Security Operations Manager. I am getting anxious about this, but Shawn is in standby mode. He also has another job interview tomorrow. He's not going to stop hunting for a job until he is sure he has a solid job. I respect him so much for what he is doing and his commitment to our family.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Beading stuff and more.....

I have been beading a lot lately when I'm not tatting. I am really enjoying getting back to beading. I am finally using some of those beads I have. My problem is that while I am using some of my stash, I am finding that I need more beads to accomplish what I want to do. I am trying to keep costs down, so I have been shopping on eBay. That's a dangerous thing. I am finding a lot of things I want and can use. I am also finding things I just want. My imagination is going crazy. I can't wait for the things I bought to come in.

My local bead store has a wonderful bead artist that comes in to teach loom classes. She is an amazing designer and I am so inspired by her. Today was an advanced class that I am so not ready for, but I did pop over there to check out what everyone was doing. The designer encouraged me to take her next few classes. As a matter of fact, she told me that she WANTS me in the next few. They are quite pricy, but I can see so much potential from what she teaches. I bought a second loom from her today. It's a longer one and I can make necklaces with it. That's one of the reasons why I needed to go shopping on eBay for beads today.

I just need to write down my ideas while I am waiting for the beads to get here.

I can feel the creative juices flowing.

On another note, my son's wedding is only 3 weeks away. I can't believe it's almost here. I only have a few more things to make and then my part will be finished. My dress will be finished on Tuesday. Shawn has gotten fitted for his tux and we have our house sitters ready. I'm going up to PA on the Wednesday before the wedding so I can help get last minute things done. Shawn will come on Friday. The rehearsal will be on Saturday at 11 am and then a luncheon. After that the bridal party and family are going on a river cruise of Pittsburgh. Then we relax at the hotel until the wedding Sunday morning. Naina is getting my hair done just before the wedding. She wants me to color out the grey. I think I will get it cut as well. It's kind of long and I need at least a trim to freshen it up.

The more I think about it, the more excited I get. My son is marrying a wonderful person and we couldn't be happier.

So until then, I will keep myself busy getting things made and working on gifts.

Today is my birthday and I don't really feel up to celebrating. Shawn is working midnights and it kind of stinks that I am home alone and then he will sleep half the day tomorrow. I guess I should be grateful that he's working. It's been hit or miss lately. His company is reorganizing and he's not working regularly. It's a source of stress for me with all that is going on. But I trust that God will bring us through this just fine.

I am working on more shuttles and thread to sell. I also have a few pair of earrings that I want to put in my Etsy store when I get them tatted up. Also some beaded bracelets. I am going to have so much fun with all of the ideas I have.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Random stuff

So, I am just rambling today.

I got my dress for Nate's wedding this past weekend. I have to get it altered a little. It's a little large in a few areas and I want to add some sleeves to it. It's not exactly the color I anticipated getting, but I love it. It's a soft green color. I am going to remove the rhinestone thingy at the waist and tat a motif and add a brooch to mine and make the same one for Naina's mom, so our dresses kind of match.

Then today, I sent some HDT and shuttles to a friend in New York who will take them with her to Canada to sell at a tatting conference there. This is so nice of her to offer. I sent her a gift as a thank you.

Now, one of my favorite shows is on TV. The season premier of the Big Bang Theory is on.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My Etsy store and more...

I listed about 25 new skeins of size 20 hand dyed thread in my Etsy store today. I still have size 40 to list and more shuttles. Plus jewelry that a friend made. Here are a couple colors that I am very fond of.



I also listed some tote bags that I designed and sewed myself. There are 3 different sizes. The smallest one has a center section and 4 pockets.

The medium one has 2 sections and 8 pockets. They hold a lot of stuff.

And the large one has 3 sections and 12 pockets. I used one while at a tatting conference and held a LOT more than my supplies for 4 classes.

The bags aren't that large. They are about 5 inches tall, 5 inches wide and 2 inches per section. The one above is about 6 inches deep. They also have a really strong set of magnets holding the flap closed.

They are in my Etsy store:

I have been trying to decide what to make for Christmas presents and finally came up with an idea. I'm going to make rice heating pad bags. I just have to find the supplies for what I want to make. I don't want to just use cotton fabric. I want them to be a little more durable.

I have one that I use on my shoulders and I just love it. A few minutes in the microwave and I have relief for at least 2 hours. And the smell is wonderful.

So that's about it right now. Not much else going on.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Need to start thinking about what to make for Christmas

It's that time of year again. What to make for Christmas. I still have my son's wedding coming up and have some things to make for that, but Christmas won't wait.

I really need to plan and figure out what to make. Most of the people I make things for are women, so I have more possibilities than if it were mostly men. Women are easier to make for. Men are easier to buy for.

Jewelry is always a good one. I have a few ideas for jewelry, but that was something I gave last year. Scarves are always a good idea as well. I've taken a few classes this year so I could use some of the techniques I learned to make something. I also designed a tote bag that could work for practically any items, so that's an idea as well.

I will figure it all out.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Home from Palmetto part 2

Where did I leave off? Oh, I remember -

People started showing up at the venue about 1:45. We got to chat and visit for a while, then Linda and I set up my vending table.


Here are pictures of the table with all of the things I brought. I have a lot of things there. Maybe too much.
We got to go to our rooms and then the fun began.
Dinner and then an evening class with Jane Eborall. We made a key. What a fun night.
The rest of the weekend was tatting classes and meeting new people. I got to take a class from Jane and we had a wonderfully fun time. Jane told us stories of Tat Days past. Friday was a very long day. We had a banquet, an auction, and the quilt drawings. I won a tote bag with some tea bags.

There was another class on Friday evening but I didn't attend because I was too exhausted. We had such a great evening.

Saturday dawned and I was excited to get my day started. I overslept a little but got ready in a few minutes to run down to breakfast. Each meal, I tried to sit with a different person or group of people. I wanted to meet as many people as possible.

After breakfast I ran back to my room to grab my rollie cart, to the vending room to straighten my table and then to my class with Vicki Clarke. We made sun catchers but I haven't finished mine yet so no pix.

Lunch happened next and then off to my class with Nina Libin. I am blessed to have been able to attend the last class she plans on teaching. Her method of tatting is wonderful. If you don't know what she does, visit her web site

I packed up my vending table and got all of the items I didn't sell into my car. Phew. That was done.

After dinner we had our final events. We took an origami class where we made folded boxes. It was my first time doing it and did pretty well. I even helped the teacher assist others. I guess I'm a natural at it. HAHAHA

After the class, we did the white elephant exchange. Oh my what fun we had. Jane Eborall got a pair of slippers that looked like Sigmund Freud. I got a pair of napkin rings that were gawd awful ugly. Sumiko thought they were dentures. Well that got us going. We made all kinds of jokes and used them as teeth. We laughed so loud and jokes so much, we missed half of the exchange.

Even Freud got in on the teeth joke
Jane Anderson laughed so much that we thought she was going to wet her pants. Oh we laughed so much our sides hurt. I think the people around us wanted to jump into the conversation but we were having such a good time that they didn't want to interrupt.
Afterwards, we all went to bed and I packed my suitcase and gathered all of my belongings that I didn't need into my bags. I reluctantly went to bed with the dread that I was going to have to leave in the morning.
Sunday came way too fast. We loaded up the car and went to breakfast. Lots of conversation happened because we wanted to make sure we said everything we wanted to. I went around to every person I could find and said good bye. Some people cried when they parted with good friends they only see a few times a year.
Linda and I got into my car after hugs and kisses to everyone we could find.
Our ride home was great. More than 9 hours of talking with no lull in the conversation. We relived the events of Tat Days and talked about everything we could.
I have made some new friends and gotten to know some people a lot better.
I am already waiting for next year. 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Home from Palmetto Tat Days .... first part of the story

I am home from Palmetto Tat Days 2014.

I had such a wonderful time. Here is the adventure kind of play by play.

On Tuesday evening, I traveled to Northern Virginia to stay at my friend Linda's house so we could get a better start on Wednesday morning. We got up and started out about 7:30 am. OMG, I was up that early. ((Yawn)). We drove a good portion of the day and cleared 6+ hours off of our trip.  We didn't want to do the whole trip in one day.

Thurs morning, we got up and, after breakfast, hit the road again. 3 hours from our destination. The closer we got, the more excited we got. Finally we got there about noon. Much to our surprise, no one was there to greet us.

We finally found someone to tell us where we needed to be. We ran into Jennifer and Jerry Titus from ZigZag corner/Tatting corner. Since no one was around yet, we helped them unload their trailer and get their merchandise to the vending area. Bonus - we got to see the goodies first and spend time with them uninterrupted.

Finally about 1:45 some people started showing up. Hugs and chatting started. One of the first people I got to meet was Riet from the Netherlands. She is amazing. Telling stories and accounts of growing up there. I was captivated. I've "known" her online for many years and here she was - in front of me.

Others started showing up gradually.

I want to continue the story, but I'm exhausted and will continue tomorrow, complete with pix.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I lost my cousin yesterday.

I am very sad. Yesterday the man who was like a father to me passed away, my cousin Bobby. He had been ill for over a month. I found out that he was sick on Thursday evening. I was torn about rushing to Buffalo to see him. I am so busy getting ready for Palmetto Tat Days. Shawn encouraged me to go. I left on Friday morning and drove by myself up to Buffalo. I got there just in time to get to see him Friday night before the visiting hours were over. I stayed at the Double Tree Hotel right across the street from the hospital.

I was told to be prepared that he was confused and may not know who I was. Bobby recognized me right away and was happy that I came to see him. He even shed a few tears. I got lots of kisses from him and a big hug. He was very weak, but found the strength to hug me. That warmed my heart.

I spent time with his daughter Shelly on Saturday and then spent about 3 hours at the hospital with him. I was sitting in the room and tatting. He kept staring at me smiling. I reminded him of our grandmother and that brought a smile to his face.

I ran back to the hospital just before visiting hours on Saturday night to say good bye to him. We talked about me going to visit again for my birthday at the end of September. He said he'd be there waiting. I guess he couldn't hold on.

I came home on Sunday morning, making a pit stop at my son's house in Pittsburgh.

I was running errands on Monday afternoon when I got a text from my cousin Shelly saying he was gone. I felt like I had been gut punched. I just knew he was going to get better. What a shock. I am so happy that I felt the pull and went to Buffalo, even tho I had so much to do here in MD. I would be devastated if I passed up the opportunity to see him one more time. I have those memories for ever. I had just reconnected with him after many years apart.

In the short time we had together, I felt loved like I had never felt from a family member. I felt accepted and loved my every person in his family. He even confirmed my memories of how my mom treated me when I was growing up. I am going to cultivate and build the relationships with my dad's side of the family. We never got to see them growing up because we were always visiting my mother's family. I want to know my dad's people.

I am not able to attend the funeral. I need to stay home and take care of things here.

Well, I need to go to bed. It will be a busy day tomorrow. Lots to do to get ready for Palmetto. I pray my next post is happier than this one.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Palmetto is almost here

Palmetto is almost here and I am NOT ready. I will be working every day getting my items ready to sell. Every day I think of something else I want to sell on my vending table and have to make them. UGH. Why oh why do I do this to myself every time?

Why do I put myself thru this every time? I work and work to get things done and then get distracted and don't finish when I want to. I'd love to be able to sit back and relax knowing that all of the products I want to place on my vending table are finished, tagged, and packed up ready to go, but that's not reality. Reality is that I have about 50 more skeins of thread to dye, about 50 more shuttles in various stages of completion, other projects not ready and my display items are scattered all over the house.

I haven't even gotten my shuttles and thread ready for my classes yet. I have 15 days left until I leave. As always, I'll be ready, but I will work my rear end off to make it in time.

I'll be going to Virginia on Tuesday evening to stay at a friend's house so I don't have to deal with DC rush hour traffic or leave at 5 am to meet up with the people I'm caravanning down to GA with. One of the ladies I'm traveling with needs to stop every few hours for a break, so we are going to take our time. Taking two days to travel 600 miles will probably drive me bonkers, but it will be good. I like to get there ASAP, but if I did that, I'd miss the fellowship and company of some wonderful ladies. It will be worth it to take our time. I can wrap my thread onto my shuttles in the hotel room on Wednesday evening. One thing I don't have to do in the next 15 days.

I can't wait to get there. It is going to be so much fun.

I did take a break from the prep and take a beading class the past two Saturdays. It was so much fun. I make a loom bracelet called Tropical Fish Garden. Funny because the fish in the picture are all salt water fish and tropical fish are all fresh water. I love my bracelet. I only need to put the clasps on now. I am going to take several beading classes in the near future. Two before Palmetto.

All of the prep for Tat Days and the wedding prep was getting to me, so I needed a distraction. I went back to something I love - beading. I have always tatted with beads, but beading is a true passion of mine. I can share my time with them all. I know I can do it.

Well, off to bed so I can get up early and back to work. Progress report to come soon. No photo of what I'm selling yet. I'm not ready to say what I'm going to have on my table.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Depression and all that goes with it

It's so sad about Robin Williams and him losing the battle with depression, but in every tragedy, there is a blessing. People are now talking about depression and finding out that it is a real disease. It is not something to pray away or just get over and be happy. Maybe people will now understand that people who suffer from this monster of a disease really are sick. Keep the conversations going...

I sometimes tell people that I suffer from Major Depressive Disorder, PTSD, and Social Anxiety. It shocks some people because I don't "act" like I'm depressed. What people don't understand is that I won't go into a situation that I'm not comfortable in. So when they see me, I'm OK to be there and can get some sense of normalcy. I like to talk. It's just something that I like to do. What you don't know about me, is that I won't talk if I'm not comfortable. I have remained silent when I was home with guests in my home.

What people don't see is when I cry uncontrollably at home because I have to go to the grocery store alone. Or when I stand at the door with my hand on the doorknob sweating profusely trying to get the courage to go outside. Or when I sit on my couch all day long and don't move except to let the dogs out because they have been whining for 2 hours.

Depression is a very private illness. Most of us don't let others see the effects of it. We don't brag about being depressed or joke about it. When I hear someone who is sad say "I'm so depressed" I just cringe. If they only knew. We suffer in silence because no one wants to hear about the thoughts of suicide that flood our minds or the constant noise in our ears. I call it the static. I hear it ALL THE TIME. It drives me bonkers. I don't talk about it. No one wants to hear it, so I just put on a smile and pretend that everything is OK.

I can't stand a lot of repetitive sounds and a lot of different conversations going on all at the same time. I get overwhelmed and feel trapped. When I walk into a room, I look for the exits. No matter where I am. If I need to, I'm going to run. My husband is my "rock". If I am with him, I can go anywhere, as long as I have a line of vision to him.

I don't know when this depression started in me. I can't pinpoint a time in my life that I felt or didn't feel depressed. I have gotten snippets of memory of when I was younger wanting to end my own life. I don't know if all young people think this or not. I don't know what is normal or what is from the depression. I have never asked anyone else if they felt the same way. I really don't want to know. I just know that I have been diagnosed and take meds every day. They really don't help. Just take the edge off.

I'm not depressed all day, every day. I do have good times and good days. I can't explain it. I just know that with the death of Robin Williams, people are speaking about it and I'm grateful that they are.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Some pix of the deck

Here are a few pictures of the deck. I will take more tomorrow when no one is on it, so you can see the whole thing. It's so wonderful to have it finished and be able to sit outside in the wonderful fresh air.

I am going to be spending a LOT of time out there. The dogs love it on the deck. D'Artagnan didn't want to come inside today.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Our new deck

Our new deck is almost finished. We have worked for days to get things ready and done.

We bought all the wood on Saturday and had to haul and stack it in the back yard. It was exhausting. I have to give Shawn and Pat credit for carrying most of it. I did help carry but mostly moved the wood from the truck to the ground. We had to rent a moving truck to get it home.

On Monday we tore the old deck down. I am so happy that we decided to build a new deck because the old one was rotting and we didn't even know it. The wood crumbled at some points. It was a mess. I was trying to help bend nails down and stepped on one nail that went thru my left big toe, but not all the way. I called my doctor and they had me come in right away for a tetanus shot. It has been years since the last one. So we go the deck torn down, the joists put up and the support beams up. I made only one trip to the hardware store.

Today the guys started working at 8am. B y 8:30 I was on my first trip of the day to the hardware store. I had to exchange two boards that weren't the right size.

By the time I got back, I was ready to start laying the deck floor. My daughter and I laid the entire floor of the deck while the guys secured all the beams and make the structure safe and stable. It was fun to do the deck and I get to see the results of my hard work every time I walk out on my deck. So halfway thru laying the floor, I had to make trip two to the hardware store. Mind you. Olivia had literally just returned from Lowes when I ran out to Home Depot.
We got the entire floor done, the handrails up, and Olivia and I started putting the pickets into the frame. We didn't get the entire job done, but we will tomorrow. Our dogs are already loving the new, larger deck. D'Artagnan was ready to run out onto the deck even when the floor wasn't completed. Zura was a little more timid and wouldn't come out because she didn't feel safe without the pickets on. The cat was having nothing to do with the deck. All the noise and people in and out of the house really set him on edge.

I will take pictures of my new deck when I am finished tomorrow. It won't be stained yet, but it will still look good. I'm so proud of how it looks.

I haven't worked this hard physically in a really long time. I can't complain tho because those men worked their rear ends off. I was so proud of my husband, who got to help today. He really worked hard to have his deck done. I definitely got cardo and weight lifting done this past 4 days. Tomorrow will be another day of lifting and bending.

I hope all of this work shows on the scale this week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Thread, shuttles, and crazyness

I got more than 50 skeins of thread dyed yesterday. I had a bunch of help and it turned out great. It's all going with me to Palmetto Tat Days for my vending table. I know I was approved for the table because my check was cashed last week. Woo Hoo. I am ordering some really cool stands to display my threads. I'm not sure how big of a table I will get, so I need to be prepared with table coverings and decorations. I'm getting really excited about this event. Here is a photo of the thread I got done so far.

I have about 50 or 60 shuttle forms in various stages of completion for the event also. I want to bring a lot of stock even if I don't sell it all, I'll be ahead of the game for my Etsy store. I would also like to get into a store somewhere selling my products.

On Saturday I started a new FB page called Crafters Unite to Change the World. It's for crafters because we all get along on FB even tho we come from so many different countries, lifestyles, religions and personal beliefs. If we can all get along, why can't everyone in the world?

This this just happened. We just had a funny family moment. The dogs went out the back door to go to the bathroom and the door was closed. All of a sudden, there was a little banging on the door and no one knew who it was. The door was opened and my cat was standing there. He's an inside cat and doesn't like to go outside. Poor baby ran when he came back in. He's now hiding somewhere in the house.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Frustration abound


I was supposed to get my laser machine today. It didn't show up. I called Fed Ex to see where my package is. They transferred me to International Shipping. So the "wonderful" rep who I spoke with used the terms "I think" and "probably" too many times for my liking. Customer Service reps should never use those terms. I had to explain the tracking scans to her. She didn't even know how to read that the package cleared customs 5 days ago. Now my package is in Memphis TN and there is an N/A where the estimated delivery date is.

I know that I shouldn't be complaining and that it will be here, but I scheduled the entire day to have someone at my house so they could receive the package and I don't know when that will happen again. I have too much going on this week.

Deep breaths are definitely needed.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Making shuttles and dyeing thread again

I have begun to start getting ready for my vending table at Palmetto Tat Days.

I cut 50 shuttle blanks and have them marked for shaping already. I will begin my process of making shuttles in a few days. I also am getting ready to wrap thread for dyeing.

I figure there are already 90+ people registered for the event, so I will be bringing more product. I will also have a vending table so it will be easier for people to see my merchandise.

I am getting excited for this trip. There is so much to do to get ready. No matter how much I bring, it will be enough. I will make an order sheet available in case anyone wants to order something they don't see. I hope to be able to bring some engraved shuttles with me as well.

I'm jumping on that machine as soon as I get it. I want to be ready to go.

I also have so much to do for the wedding. Tatting and other things. I am going to put all of that off until after Palmetto. I can't be double minded right now, so I will concentrate on one thing at a time.

I also am taking a beading class in August. It will be a nice break from all the tatting I have been and will be doing. I also have some bobbin lace classes coming up with my teacher. I may have to postpone them because she hurt her knee and I don't want to have her over do it.

I have put my tatting book and my personal book on the shelf for a while. I think I need to put other things on the shelf and concentrate on them. We'll see. I don't have a time limit for the books.

Gee, when did my life get so complicated? I'm just this person who hates to leave my house and finds it really hard to step outside of my comfort zone. I am really pushing it. I hope that I don't crack from all the pressure I'm putting on myself. I need to take this stuff one day at a time and one project at a time.

Along with all of the stuff I am doing, I'm trying to lose weight. I am a stress eater and boy have I been tearing up the snacks. I need to slow down. If I keep my hands busy, I won't have time to snack.

Well, off to wrap some thread. No procrastinating allowed.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Laser Engraver is on the way

I am really excited. I just checked shipping and the laser engraver has passed thru customs and is enroute. It's in Cali right now. I will have it on Tuesday. I am going to see if I can get my friend Bryan to show me how to use it. I just hope I can get the hang of it fast. I know that this machine is going to open up a whole new level of sales for our Etsy store.

I am going to me so happy and busy at the same time.

I also got some really cool babinga wood that I am going to use to make shuttles. The post kind that click. I'm working on them now.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New machine is coming...........

Since I broke Shawn's Shopsmith, a friend of ours is going to take it to see if he can fix it for himself.

When I told Shawn that I needed to get a new lathe he said that I had to decide between the lathe and the laser engraver. No brainer their. I bought the laser engraver. I heard from the seller today that it will be here on Monday July 14th. I am so excited. I'm going to rip that box open and figure out how to work it right away.

If I get good at making shuttles, I will ask if I can make commemorative shuttles for Palmetto Tat Days. I'm giddy waiting for it. I am just praying it's not a disaster like the last machine I ordered.
Here is a picture of the machine I got.

It was a little more than I planned on paying but it's also a way better machine. I didn't want to get the cheap version. If I'm going to be using it, I want a good machine with some power.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Wonderful weekend

We had a wonderful weekend. Friday evening we just hung out at home, watched some movies and relaxed. I had a nice

Saturday we got up did some light house cleaning and waited for Olivia to get off of work. We then went on a motorcycle ride to West Virginia to an amazing little Mexican restaurant that we love. We had a nice late lunch/early dinner and rode home. The whole trip was about 140 miles round trip. It was a beautiful ride and a beautiful day.

I had a lot of time to think while on the bike. It's a great way to clear my mind and work out things that are bothering me. I did a lot of thinking about the upcoming Palmetto Tat Days. I'm getting pretty excited about the conference. I want to get my table full of shuttles and thread. I want to be able to not have to bring them home, but have a pocket full of money instead. Time will tell.....

Today, Shawn and I went to church and had a great sermon from our Pastor.
After church we went over to our friends house to help them pack up their son's belongings. They are in the Army and have been reassigned to Texas. Their son is moving to another city here in MD and needed help getting the house cleared out. We had a good time and worked hard.

Rosemary and Pat came over after the move to visit for a few hours. Today is Rosemary's birthday and we wanted to spend a little time with them. Pat and Shawn had a great conversation - as always.

Earlier this week, I was working on the Shopsmith and I broke it. Shawn wasn't upset at me, which I was shocked about. We decided to not fix the machine but to replace the two features we use on it. The table saw and the lathe. Before we do that, we are getting the laser engraver so we can make shuttles the way I want to. I am very excited and am doing a LOT of research to figure out what one to get.

Another friend of ours is going to take the Shopsmith and try to fix it. We told him he can have it as long as he comes and gets it. We can't transport it to him. He's ok with that so hopefully he can fix it and give it a good home.

Now Shawn and I are relaxing and winding down from this full but enjoyable weekend. Olivia is working until Midnight doing inventory at one of the stores she works at.

D'Artagnan gets his stitches out tomorrow. He's doing great with his recovery from ACL surgery. Crazy to have that done for a dog, but he's going to live for several more years and we couldn't see him walking around with a hurt knee.

I'm excited to go to Ohio this week to celebrate Grandma's 100th birthday. That's going to be a great trip. I wish Olivia would be coming but she has to work and is staying home. A few friends are coming over to house sit with her and watch the animals.  Shawn and I are riding the bikes.

We have a full week ahead of us and I can't wait.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Grandma is turning 100 soon

In a few days my husband's grandmother will turn 100 years old. I can't believe she is that old. She still lives in her own home by herself. (Shawn's mom and my daughter live directly across the street from her so she's not really alone).

This past Thanksgiving she took selfies with my little cousin Ryley. Grandma is a pretty hip lady.

Grandma just stopped driving 5 or 6 years ago. She is very independent. She loves to crochet and do word puzzles. She loves the Atlanta Braves and she loves to watch golf.

4 generations

Shawn and Grandma Dex
Her 98th birthday

We gave her the gift she loves to get, flowers

She is an amazing lady. She and I have a very unique relationship. She tells me things she remembers from her childhood. Whenever I go to Ohio to visit, I park my car at Mom's house and walk across the street to see Grandma first. I want her to know that I made the trip safely. I don't look at this woman as my husband's grandmother. She's my grandma. We share secrets and I always buy her tootsie rolls. She loves her tootsie rolls.

I fell so blessed to have this lady in my life. I can't wait to get to Ohio to see her and celebrate her 100th birthday.

I know that we won't have her for much longer and that breaks my heart. I have fond memories of her and our talks.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My dog had ACL surgery today.

My dog tore his ACL and had to have surgery. He had it today. He's home from the vets and is miserable. He's whiney and can't find a comfortable place to lay down. I just gave him pain meds an hour ago and hoping they put him to sleep. He needs to rest. He won't drink any water and won't even eat his favorite treats.

He has to go back to the vet 6 times in the next two weeks. I'll be running the highway back and forth with him. They are going to do some kind of laser treatment on his wound and muscles. The vet said that it helps the healing process.

Seeing him like this makes me wonder if we did the right thing by getting the operation for him. Was he in this much pain with the torn ACL? I just don't know. They said he will be almost 100% when he fully heals. I sure hope so. If we did all of this and he's not better, I will feel so bad.

He isn't allowed to go up or down the stairs for 6 weeks. Good thing we have a door to the outside from our family room, where he and I will be staying for the next 6 weeks.

I get to do his physical therapy also. I'd rather do it myself than trust someone else doing it.

Here is a picture of my poor boy.

Well, I'm going to lay on the floor with him so he doesn't feel alone. I just hope the pain meds kick in soon.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I'd like to take a moment to say Happy Father's Day to my hubby and all the father's who read my blog.

I wish I could tell my dad that one more time. I don't know where his soul is right now, but I hope he's in Heaven waiting for me. It's kind of sad not to know. I hate it when people just assume when you die you go to Heaven. At least I know Shawn's dad is there and will meet me at those Pearly Gates.

Shawn and I will be celebrating by going to Virginia tomorrow afternoon to pick up some pieces of wood that someone is gifting us for shuttle making. Some really nice species. I'm very excited.

We got a band saw today and I have been having fun cutting those thick pieces of wood into workable ones. I cut up a huge block of Paduk today. I can't wait to make a shuttle out of it. It's such a beautiful species of wood.

Time for bed and a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Palmetto Tat Days

I am so excited. I registered yesterday for the Palmetto Tat Days Tatting Conference in Georgia. It's in September. I can hardly wait. It was hard to pick the classes because the schedules are kind of strange. No rhyme or reason to which ones are 2 sessions and which ones are 1 session. I got it all worked out, although I didn't get a class by Martha Ess. She was one of the teachers I really wanted to get a class from. I did get one by Jane Eborall. That just thrills me to death. And one from Nina Liben. I also got one by Vicki Clarke and someone named Erin. This is going to be a great conference. I will get to meet more of my online friends. Some people I already know face to face will be there also. I'm kind of nervous because I'm driving 10 hours by myself and going by myself, but I think I will be OK.

I am also going to set up a table there to sell my tatting shuttles and hand dyed thread. I'm hopefully going to have a new shuttle design to unveil at the conference. I wanted to unveil it sooner, but I will wait until then.

I got to attend a tat a long in VA on Sunday with Linda Slater Barnes and Karen Beary Parent. It was a great day. I got some new tatting books that I have been wanting and some more thread colors that I've wanted.

I've been working on bookmarks for Nate and Naina's wedding. I asked last week if I could make some for table favors. Several people have offered to help me make them. I feel blessed. I have about 130 bookmarks to make. I'm using two simple patterns, one for the men and one for the women. Three colors of thread. That's about 22 bookmarks for each pattern and color. I've already gotten 6 done. Well on my way. LOL.

I have until October to get them done and I am confident that it will happen. So many people are helping that if I only did 2 a day for the next month, then the rest will be done by my friends.

I will post pictures when I get some from all three colors done.

Back to tatting bookmarks.