Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I won!

So I entered a Christmas Sock making contest...and won.  Most of the other entries were scrappy/ keepsake quilt style socks, but I designed these socks that look like a Baroque shoe and boot.  When I get them back I'll take a picture (I forgot before I turned them in).  But I was excited and had to share.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

November 25 - St Cathrine's Day - Patron Saint of Lacemakers & Single Women.

Spinning the Tale of St. Catherine - from Sister Mary Martha's blog

St. Catherine of Alexandria had nothing to do with making lace (although you are correct that she is listed as a patron saint of lacemakers....we'll get to that).  She was thought to be one of the most intelligent women of her time.  She was so well respected and her thoughts were heeded by so many, today she would be known as a trend setter and would no doubt have a blog and a web site.  This all proved to be her undoing.  Or doing, so to speak, since ultimately, martyrdom is a good thing.

When she converted to Christianity people followed.  So she was arrested.  But she was so well thought of and popular, no one really wanted to see her in jail.  It was as though someone threw Mother Teresa in jail.  So they sent people to go in there and talk her out of all this Christianity nonsense.  They all left converted.  This happened more than once.

She had to go. They brought in a wheel. The plan was to tie her to the wheel and just drive away with her until spinning on the wheel killed her. I guess. That or they would have had to hang the wheel on something and spin it like the wheel on "Wheel of Fortune" until she died. The statue of St. Catherine of Alexandria that we have in my childhood parish has spikes on the outside of it, so I always imagined that she would be tied to the outside of the wheel and stabbed and run over. But then you wouldn't really need to spikes to kill her, would you?

I finally found this explanation of the "wheel" that made some sense:
 She was placed in a machine, composed of four wheels, connected together and armed with sharp spikes, so that as they revolved the victim might be torn to pieces.

It doesn't matter anyhow, because as soon as they brought her over to the wheel (or the wheel machine, as it were) it miraculously smashed to pieces. So the wheel never did anything to her. She was then taken to the outskirts of town where she was beaten and beheaded.

But our lacemaking, cake making story does not end there.

St. Catherine's Day heralds the beginning of winter. On St. Catherine's day young girls and old maids pray for the intercession of St. Catherine to find a husband. The young ones say this:"Lord, give me a well-situated husband. Let him be gentle, rich, generous, and pleasant!"

If time marches on she prays:
"Lord, one who's bearable, or who can at least pass as bearable in the world!"

And finally, if the parade is really passing by:
"Send whatever you want, Lord; I'll take it!"

What does all of this have to do with lace? Deep breath and here we go. Catherine of Aragon was said to have burned all her lace so that the poor lace makers would have more work to do. Isn't that nice? And St. Cattern cakes are actually named for her. Somehow, St. Catherine of Aragon and St. Catherine of Alexandria's particulars got all stirred up together with cake and lace.

And wheels.  Wheels are used for spinning and products of spinners are used to make lace.

Which is why I would go with St. Clare, who actually did some tatting.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lots of tatting

I photographed a bunch of my tatting today.  None of it is starched, but it's all fun.

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Number of Projects

I have been working on a number of projects; not all of them pictured below.   The Pin Pillows and Beggars Bags are being made as gifts for a Lace Guild convention in 2013.  I've included the direction for the Pin Pillows and if you would like the instructions for the bags it is available at the ASLacers web page Here.

Pin Pillow

1. Sew 2 pieces of cotton fabric together in a 3 ¾ inch circle, leaving a small opening.
2. Trim and clip the edges
3. Turn right-side out. Mark the center of the circle.
4. Stuff with batting until full, but not tight. (carded wool is best, but any stuffing will do)
5. Hand sew the opening closed
6. Using 1.5 yards of cross-stitch floss (3 strands) or craft pearl cotton and a large needle form petals.
7. Bring the thread up through the center, wrap around the outside and back through the center. Repeat for a total of 8 petals.

If desired make a “spiders web” in the center or add a button. 

Beggar's Bags

Halloween Table Runner

Monday, August 15, 2011

long time no post

I have done a number of lace and book projects since my last post, however, I've not photographed a one of them.  This year has been quite the ... ugly.  So many things got put on back burners and then turned off and forgotten about.  This Blog is one of them.

Finally getting my membership in International Old Lacers was a step in the regrouping direction.  I am going to make an effort to document a number of my projects and even post a couple of patterns. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Curse Is Broken!

I have finally finished one of the Carol Berg books.  Here are photos of the tome I bound for my dear friend Stacy.  This is book one - Flesh and Spirit.  The covers are poplar with only a varnish, the beads are a Hungarian glass with red, green, and gold leaf.  The end papers are a hand made cotton with flecks of flower in them.  I really wanted a kind of natural feel for her copies.  I'm hoping now that I have one of them done the other 4 will not give me fits.

I also designed a tape lace bunny for Easter, but ran out of pins to keep working on it.  The pins got dumped down the air vent a week ago.  *sigh* Ah, well.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Keeping Busy

I have been working on a number of lace and book projects. I've got an Idrija lace mouse that's coming along well and a lot of tatting that I've yet to document and get up, but I've had a topsy-turvy week and hope that things will get back to "normal" soon.  Below are things I've been able to photograph and I hope they inspire you to get creative this spring.
 This is one of the Lighthouse books that I'm hand binding.  This is a French stitch over linen tapes.

Here is the same book after being rounded and covered in crush.

Here is attempt 2 at making the silk book cloth I want to cover the books with. The first one I have embroidered first and then ruined.  I'm hoping that making it paper backed first then doing the embroidery will work out.

On the lace front here is the finished couched threads for making my first Reticella needle lace piece.  I've filled in many of the motifs now, but haven't photographed it yet.  Reticella is the oldest form of true lace.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ode To a Table Saw

Great table with blades ablure
which severs wood from wood
and makes great boards into shrunken planks,
such a void is there in life without thee.

Projects, long put aside for want of thy blade,
pile up in dusty corners and along crowded walls;
thier voices cry out for completion
that only thy masterful mechinisum can provide.

The Jig and Scroll lack they acuracy,
and the mighty Miter is set skew
when thy glistening teeth are brought forth
Raised from within thy bowels.

Yes, predominant power tool,
immense is thy size and great is my need.
Oh, how plane and unproductive is my art without thee.
I await your coming, consument cutter.

And when you art come to my home
shouts of "finaily, I can finish this!"
Will ring through the air like
the peel of bells upon the New Years day.


I think I need to get out more.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Proficient at Unmaking

I have, out of necessity, become quite proficient at unmaking lace.  I spent almost and hour at Lace guild yesterday undoing the tatting I had done the first hour and then re-tatting in the 3rd hour back to where I had been when the mistake was made.  I think that in any artistic endeavor one learns as much or more by fixing mistakes then in any way else.  I'm just glad that it could be fixed; I've had to cut whole section off tatting because they couldn't be fixed.  The lesson learned is to pay better attention to the pattern.

Speaking of patterns; the wonderful Margie has invited me up to her house on Friday to riffle through her bobbin lace pattern stash!  It's good to have friends.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

5 Handmade Gifts Challange

I took up a challenge on facebook this week to make 5 people a hand made gift.  I have my best friend K, and old friend Lucy,  a mission companion - Mindy, and then 2 newish friends - Rachel and Lisa.  I have some ideas, but it comes down or lace!?  It's a tough choice.  Good thing I have a year to do this.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Reticella Lace


My book of Reticella lace making came.  Unfortunately the authors assume you know how to make all the stitches and know all the jargon *pout*  So, now I have to find another lace book that has the needle lace stitches and glossary of terms.  I may just try online, but I'll not hang all my hopes on that.

To give you and idea of the kind of lace I am aiming to make take a look at these lovely paintings.  The first is Reticella that is "floating" by itself, the second has the lace motifs set into linen.  Most lace in paintings from the 16th Century is a variation of this kind.  Fun fun!