"But, really, why does anyone create? You feel a... a restlessness inside, a need to make something new, something no one has ever seen before. You want to add to the beauty and the richness of the world with a gift, an offering that is uniquely yours. It's an act of selfishness and generosity, all rolled into one."

-- Bruce Coville,
The Last Hunt

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Going Buggy

Cold. Frosty. Frigid. Arctic. Gelid. With a wind chill of about minus a zillion, too. That's been the weather around here for the last week. We're now back to normal temperatures for the time of year, which are cold but not unbearably so. But because it's been so miserably cold all week, we have a statewide shortage of natural gas (NM produces natural gas, for heaven's sake!), so we've all been asked to conserve. I've turned down the thermostat and the water heater (except when I need to take a shower), and keep warm by drinking endless cups of tea, boiling the water in the microwave instead of on the gas stove.

It's funny how 60 degrees inside seems so much colder than 60 degrees outside. When it's 60 degrees outside, I debate whether to wear long or short sleeves. When it's 60 degrees inside, I feel the need for long underwear, heavy sweaters, and extra socks.

With the wind being so bitter, I haven't felt like leaving my apartment all week. This drives me nuts. I'm a person who needs a certain amount of sunshine in my life, and when I don't get it, I start feeling antsy. I've channeled my wish for spring into tatting a pair of ladybugs.

I'm going to turn them into a pair of earrings for a co-worker who is about to move to a different city. She has expressed admiration for my tatting, and ladybugs have a special meaning for her, so these will be perfect.

The pattern is by Jane Eborall. Done in size 80 thread with size 11 seed beads, they are about the size of a US quarter. Adding beads to the center of a ring has always been a challenge for me, and these certainly gave me a lot of practice. For the bodies, I used Jane's alternative method for adding the beads, because it's much easier to close the ring this way. My only gripe with this method is that if I put the bead on the shuttle thread as instructed, I can't get the ring flush with the previous chain. I got around this by putting the bead on the ball thread and pulling the loop behind the ring so it doesn't look funny. For a ring on top of a chain, putting the bead on the ball thread obviously doesn't work; so for the eyes I used the method given in the pattern, even though I couldn't quite close those rings all the way.

It also occurred to me that before the heads are made, the body makes a good start for a strawberry. You'd just have to add leaves instead of a head.

Don't worry, I haven't lost focus on the table runner. This was just a little break. Now that the wind has died down a bit, I'll take a walk to the nice warm coffee shop this afternoon to work on it.


  1. I looked at your picture of the ladybird and thought 'I wish I'd done that design' and then read further!!!!! Sad to say I can't even remember my own name some days!!!

  2. The ladybugs are adorable! Today, 60 degrees sounds downright balmy. It's all a matter of perspective I guess!

  3. Le coccinelle portano il profumo della primavera

  4. Jane, you've done so many designs I'd be surprised if you could remember them all!

    Diane, 60 degrees outdoors would be lovely! Alas, we are still having real winter temps, although admittedly our winter is not much like yours. I've done my time in the Midwest! I just wish it didn't have to be 60 in my apartment.

  5. Brrrr!

    Those are going to be a fantastic gift. Very snazzy!

    Fox : )

  6. Those ladybugs are sooooo cute!

  7. those bugs are really adorable! i'm going to look up jane's pattern site. gosh, what have i missed?!

  8. Val, Jane's site is a treasure trove!

  9. Ha ha ha! I just read Jane's comment and it just made my day! What a chuckle! Thanks for the laugh, Jane! :D
    ~TattingChic ♥

  10. Great pattern, Janes has lost her brain cell #3 I think it was Wanda who pinched it to find out what the tias was. I think made into earings thay will look wonderful and what a great gift.

  11. I just love this pattern and I think they will be so cute as earrings!!
    60deg inside, you betcha I'd have on long johns too. Keep warm!