"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

Monday, February 17, 2014

The Ship Has Sailed

Here's the completed TIAS. It could use a little bit of pressing, but overall it came out well.

If I were to make it again, I would probably find it easier to start with the mast and hull, and do the sails last. However, starting with the sails definitely made for a better TIAS, as it kept us all guessing what those little triangular bits were for. And I liked that this TIAS was longer, too. Jane was well able to hold my interest for the whole thing. Thank you as always, Jane!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

TIAS and More

Let me start by saying that transdermal prednisolone for cats is the greatest invention ever. It is by far the easiest way to administer a medication-- I can't quite convince him that I'm only trying to pet him, but he doesn't object too strongly, and it only takes a split second-- and it's actually working! Within about half an hour of giving it to him, I notice him stop licking and biting at himself, and it lasts almost until the next dose is due. His whole demeanor seems more relaxed and calm now that he's not itching so horribly. I'll show a beautiful photo of him after his hair grows back. In the meantime, I'm already planning what I might tat for the vet.

Here's day 15 of the TIAS, and it appears that all we're missing is the mast...

...unless it was a jester's cap all along.

Now, I took those two photos one right after the other, with the same camera settings, and made the same modifications on the computer. So how did they come out colored so differently?

And here's my meager progress on Annalisa.

Before I tatted this corner, I had foolishly forgotten to mark my place in the pattern, so I started that tatting session in completely the wrong place. I ultimately had to cut my core thread and rip out a whole section, pausing to untat the rings made with the second shuttle. I'm back on track now, though.

That navy fabric in the background is what I have decided to mount it on. I took the tatting to Jo-Ann's and tried it against many different background colors, and this one brought out the delicate colors of the Olympus thread the best (even though they don't show quite as well in the scan).

I did notice that on the second corner, I made the long side chains too short by one picot each. At least they match each other, and you never would have noticed if I hadn't said anything, would you? In any case, I'm certainly not cutting back all that way now. Every once in a while I do have to learn to accept some slight imperfection in my tatting.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Keeping up with the TIAS

I did actually tat days 13 and 14 when they were released, but haven't gotten around to posting them till now.

Presumably that row of split rings will straighten out after we turn the corner and join another row to them. It's still looking boat-like, but it must be a flat-bottomed one since there are no joining picots on the bottom row of split rings. Of course, there's still plenty of time for Jane to surprise us!

I haven't really done any other tatting this week. Too busy with work-- I had to go to a 4 hour staff meeting on my day "off". And maybe 30 minutes of that actually pertained to me. Still, it will be a nice paycheck.

Squijum's biopsy results came back yesterday. The vet's original diagnosis was correct. It is definitely allergies. Now it's just a matter of finding a treatment that he will respond to. We're going to try prednisolone next. It comes in a gel that is absorbed through the skin; you apply it to the inside of the ear where he can't lick it off. The pharmacy should have it ready today, and hopefully he won't mind it too much.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

On Two Completely Different Subjects...

If Squijum looks a bit dazed, it's because he's still slightly high from the drugs the vet gave him yesterday. His behavior is mostly normal; he's just a little more assertive than usual with his cuddles. He always gets like that after certain types of medication. The vet said he was very well-behaved and only needed a little bit of sedation for the procedure. Such a sweetheart. It does get a little harder to put him in his carrier every time, though.

The red spot is where the vet took a skin scraping to see if she could see anything with a simple microscopic examination. She didn't expect to, but still they have to try. Since that didn't show anything, she took additional samples for biopsy-- that's where the staples are, and another site on his belly. It looks unpleasant, but if we can figure out what's causing his itching, it will all be worth it. There could be various types of mites causing it-- they burrow so deep into the follicles that it usually takes a full biopsy to find them-- or it could really be allergies and we just haven't found the right treatment yet. The results will be back in a few days.

To tell the truth, I'm hoping for mites, although I have no idea how he could have picked them up, being an indoor cat with no contact with other animals. At least mites are curable. It just kills me to watch him bite at himself all the time.

On the upside, Squijum is very happy to hear that his buddy Gian is feeling better.

On a completely different subject: Sandra, aka Crazy Mom. I've been thinking a lot about her since the fire. It's such a helpless feeling when something so devastating happens, and you're too far away to do anything useful. Luckily, she seems to have really good insurance. But I know a lot of tatters would like to help her rebuild her stash. To that end, I've been talking with Barb from Handy Hands, and apparently so has Georgia. Barb will be accepting donations from anybody who wishes to give. Just go to PayPal and click on "Send Money". Enter barb@hhtatting.com as the recipient, and enter whatever amount is comfortable. Then send Barb an e-mail to let her know. On February 14, she will send Sandra an e-gift certificate for the amount raised, with the names of all who contributed. Thanks in advance to all who help out!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Pretty Colors

This is Mary Konior's "Carnival" motif, tatted in "Winter Jewels" HDT by Tat-ilicious. I love this colorway! The amethyst and jade tones, with just a touch of rose quartz, complement each other beautifully (could I write for a clothing catalog or what?). Just looking at these colors makes me feel festive, and brightens up the gloomy winter days we've been having lately. Granted, gloomy winter days never last long around here anyway; the sun is coming out already.

I tatted this just to empty my shuttles after tatting another piece in this thread, which I'm not showing you yet. Sorry.

And here's day 12 of the TIAS. It's definitely a sailboat now. Although I do have to admit, I liked the sketch of a butterfly somebody sent in.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Slow Progress

I'm now half finished with "Annalisa".

It's coming along rather slowly, as I still keep having to untat a lot. I WILL remember that join on the next repeat....

As you can see, it will need a fair amount of blocking when I'm done with it. And then there's the question of what to actually do with it. I'm not much of a doily person-- they just leave marks in the dust! The other option would be to mount and frame it. But then a square doily would look silly in a rectangular frame, and that's what all the "off-the-shelf" frames are; to get a square frame I'd have to have a custom job, and that's so expensive. Maybe I will just use it as a doily after all.

I think this is the best picture so far for capturing the true colors of the thread.

As for the TIAS, I'm back to thinking it's a sailboat, although I still haven't completely ruled out the Sydney Opera House. It all depends on how these triangles are supposed to be oriented.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

2 WIP's

The first work in progress is Annalisa, by Iris Niebach.

Sorry for the terrible photo, but my feline overlord just got on my lap, so I can't get up and get a better background object. On the other hand, this captures the colors of the beautiful Olympus thread much better than the previous scan did. It is getting easier to tat on the second repeat, even though I still had to untat a couple of times.

The second WIP, of course, is the TIAS. Here's day 10, and I think the person who suggested the Sydney Opera House must be correct.

I heard through the grapevine this morning that Crazy Mom's family will soon be moving into a rental house, so that's good news.