Tatting in Yellowstone

When we travel I try to document myself tatting at different locations.  I admit I didn’t tat much on our Wyoming vacation, but I did think to pull it out at a few places. My husband surprised me by taking a video this time.  We are at Norris Geyser Basin pretty early in the morning. The museum located on the site is not even open yet. It is also chilly, which makes it hard to see the pools and geysers.  The steam is much thicker than normal but you can still hear the heated water. Because of the cloud cover, the fog, and the steam, you can’t tell which pool we are standing by – I think it is Emerald Pool. I hope this comes out.

Advice from a Hot Spring                                                                                                       “Let your talents spring forth, Keep new ideas bubbling, Be warm and welcoming, Have deep reservoirs, Let off a little steam!”  YourTrueNature.com

St. Louis Vacation 2017

Wow! I hadn’t realized just how long it has been since I last posted! July has been extremely busy. Things just worked out to take place in July, one thing right after another. Obviously the long weekend of the 4th of July, then a family vacation to St. Louis, Missouri, then a concert, then a vacation with my husband to Wyoming. It has been fun but has taken up much of my time and energy.

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Every year we try to take a vacation with our daughters and their families. This year we went to St. Louis, Missouri, and had a few extras as well – our niece and one of our daughter’s mother-in-law and sister-in-law. All good! Everyone got along and had a great time. All 13 of us.

One of the first things we did was visit the Gateway Arch. I’d been to it before but never went to the top. This time we all went up.

Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri on wandasknottythoughts
Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.

There is construction going on around it and under it. Believe it or not, the Museum of Western Expansion is underground, right below the Arch. Right now much of the museum is off limits due to the construction, though there are some exhibits in the old courthouse close by.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the courthouse this trip.

View from the top of the Gateway Arch on wandasknottythoughts
View from the top of the Gateway Arch.

This is what we saw from one side of the viewing area at the top of the arch, which is 630 feet, or 192 meters, high. From the other side of the Arch, you see the Mississippi River. You go up in little enclosures that sit five people each and it takes several minutes. You don’t want to have a problem with tight or high places!

Items found in Gateway Arch gift store on wandasknottythoughts
Items found in Gateway Arch gift store.

Check out what I found in the Arch gift shop! They have toys, books, and other items that relate to the western expansion of North America. I guess they consider tatting an old craft practiced during the western movement. How cool is it to find tatting like this in the gift shop?

There is a lot available to do in St. Louis so we had to narrow down what we wanted to do. Prior to our trip, we had a lot of people tell us what a great place the City Museum is, so we chose to go there after the Arch. We all totally agree this is a great place! No, it’s a totally awesome place! You can be there all day and not see or experience the whole thing. I recommend it to anyone going to St. Louis. If you go, take along head lights (flash lights that you can wear around your head) and knee pads. This place is loaded with things to experience – slides, caves, climbs, and other things too many to mention.

City Museum in St. Louis from the parking lot on wandasknottythoughts
City Museum in St. Louis from the parking lot.

It was hot the day we visited, but it was a Saturday so it was open until midnight. We spent most of the afternoon there, then went out for supper and (most of us) went back until closing. You get wrist bands as your entry tickets which allow you to go in and out all day.

The roof of the City Museum in St. Louis on wandasknottythoughts
The roof of the City Museum in St. Louis.

This is a small portion of the roof of the museum. My husband is the highest person in that wire structure. It doesn’t go anywhere, it’s just a place to climb. The grandkids had a blast here! The parents had to stick with their kids. There are a lot of slides in the building, some spiraling through the dark, and it’s hard to know where or even which floor they end on. The caves are dark and may be scary to younger children but have amazing things hidden in them. There are trees and other things to climb all over the place. If you go, plan to spend a lot of time!

My goodies from our St. Louis vacation wandasknottythoughts
My goodies from our St. Louis vacation

I did pick up a few things from the Arch gift shop (yes, the tatting book, I didn’t have it yet) and the City Museum gift shop. I didn’t get much tatting done, but I didn’t expect to. The two buttons were all done on the drive there or back. Yes, there was time on the long drive there and back to have done more, but it didn’t happen.

This was a wonderful vacation. I am exceedingly pleased that it worked out so well and that everyone got along as well as they did. Well enough that we are already talking about where and what we want to do next year.

“Take vacations. Go as many places as you can. You can always make money. You can’t always make memories.”  positivelifetips.com

While on vacation in Buena Vista, Colorado, I stopped into a shop called Bev’s Stitchery. It has a lot of quilting things in it, but also threads and patterns and such for crochet, knitting and tatting (even a couple of colors of Lizbeth thread). She didn’t have a lot of tatting books, but she had this one, which I didn’t have (but do now) by Karen Lindsay. What really caught my eye was the witch. I’m not going to have time to try it this year, but Halloween comes every year so I’ll have another chance later. I don’t have any of her other books and haven’t tried any of these patterns yet. She has them diagrammed and written out. There are several cute patterns in here beside the witch that I would like to try and their seasons are coming. This find, as well as the shop I found it in, was a nice surprise.
Over at InTatters they have a challenge going on with the “Yes-U
-Can” doily. The challenge is to tat the doily that is stamped on a can lid with nothing else to go by. A nice challenge, and I’m sure that there will be as many different patterns tatted as their are people who try it, each person with their own vision of it. I decided to try – though I really don’t have time. Mine is done in brown #692 and gold #611 Lizbeth thread, size 20. I’ve made several miscalculations that I didn’t go back and fix, and it’s not as neat as I would like *blushes in embarrassment*. But I’m doing this instead of several other things that have a time limit (the challenge doesn’t) so it will be what it is. I can go back and do it again the right way another time.
This is day 7 (I think) and the first picture I’ve taken

of it. Once I got started it was kind of hard to put it down. This was blocked a little after the fourth round of individual motifs and then stuck in my bag as I took it with me everywhere. I think the count is close but after the final blocking I’ll look it over and evaluate it for that type of thing for when I want to make it again.
(I’m taking a page out of Diane’s book, using my computer as a background. I didn’t have anything else handy that showed it off very well.)
I’m drinking a cup of Refresh mint tea for this morning’s Tatting Tea Tuesday. As soon as I get a few minutes I’ll be back at the doily – though my mind will be working on some of my other projects:)
I’ll be having a giveaway for my blogaversary this month. If your interested check back next week to find out more about it.
“Chaotic action is preferable to orderly inaction.” Will Rogers

Vacation tatting

We had a little change in scenery last week – a whole week in the Colorado mountains. I took advantage of the beautiful weather to tat outside last Tatting Tea Tuesday. Here I’m enjoying a glass of grape/peach juice while tatting on the porch of the cabin we lived in for a week at Rainbow Lake Resort, a few miles west of Buena Vista, Colorado, on the road to Cottonwood Pass. The cabins over look a lake surrounded by mountains covered in pine and aspen. The trees were turning while we were there, every day bringing new fall color to our temporary home.
I was pretty busy enjoying the novelty of being in the mountains but still managed to tat a bit. The white piece was actually made while my husband drove us out here. It’s made with Lizbeth size 10 in 602 Natural (almost white) with red glass beads. It was just to be tatting as I was too busy thinking about where we were going to have much thought of what I was tatting. The other piece is Lizbeth size 20 in 122 Caribbean and 658 Ocean Turquoise Light with red glass beads. I was practicing looped tatted rings through the beads, which I think I have the hang of, at least for now.
But most of the time we were busy enjoying the change of scenery. This is my husband and I enjoying the view on our way up to Saint Elmo.
This is an easy part of Lost Canyon Road. We rented a Jeep to go up this road, which got a bit rougher higher up.
These beautiful trees are a short walk up the creek from our cabin. I took this about 7:00 AM on my morning walk while everyone else in the cabin was still sleeping.
Looking west over Rainbow Lake at sunset. We had a whole week of this.
Today for Tatting Tea Tuesday I’m enjoying a cup of Country Peach tea and looking over pictures from last week, trying to decide which pictures to share – there are so many! It was very hard to come home! The weather was great, and the company was better. We shared a cabin with some old friends of ours and had the most wonderful time. We’re all looking forward to another vacation together.
“If you come home as happy as you leave, you have had a good vacation.”

Branson Vacation

Yes, I was traveling again, this time to Branson, Missouri with my sister. My husband doesn’t have as many days of vacation as I do so he had to stay home, making this a girls only trip. We had so much fun! My sister had ordered tickets for several things ahead of time, which meant that on the Showboat we had front row seats and for the Scenic Railway we were some of the very first to board. The days we went to Silver Dollar City were very nice temperature wise – we went Friday and Saturday mornings, the next day was hot and muggy by 8:00 AM. We didn’t have time to do nearly everything we would have liked to do, but we did do almost all the things we talked of doing. The one thing we didn’t do was get a tin type photo. The one evening we had the best opportunity we were hot and sweaty and I didn’t feel like it at all. But we are talking of doing it again in a year or two, maybe making it a family trip with all the kids and grandkids, so maybe we’ll get our pictures then.

I made sure I did some tipping (tatting-in-public) while we were there – okay, I wanted some pictures, too: ) This picture is while we were on the Branson Scenic Railroad, taken while we waited for the train to load. I actually did quite a bit of tatting on the train on the way back to the station. I had some very interested people watching me, none of them having seen shuttle tatting done before. I was quite happy to talk to them about one of my most favorite subjects.

We also found a quiet spot to take this picture at Silver Dollar City, which is an attraction just outside of Branson. Though there are a lot of amusement rides there, my sister and I went for the handcraft demonstrations and items there. We were a bit disappointed how few artisans we actually found on-site. After talking to some of the shop people there we found that the only time there are a lot more crafters is during their National Harvest Festival. We’d like to try to go back for that, but it won’t be this year.
As I mentioned, I did get some tatting done. It’s about a six-hour drive from where I live to Branson, Mo. – that’s not counting any stops you might make. As we weren’t in a hurry we made a few stops at places that interested us, so it took us closer to seven hours. I started on a bookmark on the way down – I made it long enough to make a bracelet but I had taken out all the findings from my tatting bag – and finished shortly after we got home. I ran out of thread right at the end and couldn’t make both ends the same without adding some to the shuttles, which I didn’t want to do. So I played around with it, finally settling on a tail/tassel using macramé.

We had a great time the entire trip. There is a lot I’ll be sharing with you in the coming weeks. Today I downloaded all the pictures from my camera while sipping my iced tea, which was just green tea with little Mango Peach MIO. Sipping my tea and finishing my bookmark is the only tatting I’ll be getting done today for Tatting Tea Tuesday. I have a few more ideas that I would like to do, and maybe some of it will be done for next week.

“If you come home as happy as you leave, you have had a good vacation”

A Try at a Butterfly and other things

I see a lot of beautiful tatting done with beads as I surf through blogs. Now I don’t do much with beads for several reasons, the foremost being that it’s not very portable, at least for me. But a friend asked me to make a butterfly and an idea came to mind that would look pretty with beads. This is the result, what I had mentioned I was working on last week. This is made in Lizbeth size 20, black for the body and Caribbean for the wings, with 10/0 seed beads. I’m counting this as #11 of my second 25 Motif Challenge – it certainly was a challenge for me!

A mini vacation
My husband and I took a long weekend and went to Colorado this last week. Our timing was great as the aspens are in the midst of changing their colors for fall. It was gorgeous in the mountains! We stayed in a Bed and Breakfast called The Ice Palace. We had a wonderful stay there. I highly recommend it if you ever want to spent the night in Leadville.
Leadville’s elevation is recorded as being 10,152 feet, which took us a little while to get used to. We also went up to Independence Pass, which is a little bit higher : )

We enjoyed a guided horseback ride from Mega Mountain Magic that had some pretty magical views. We don’t ride much so at the end of our two and a half hour ride I was glad to be done, but sad at the same time. You know the views are wonderful when your guide stops to take pictures, too!
We drove up to Weston pass and stopped once in awhile to enjoy the colorful roadsides.

The road did get kind of rough. But it was worth every mile!

It was a wonderful, long weekend with just the two of us this time. Quite a difference from the trip we made to Washington, DC earlier in the year. Each trip was great in it’s own way and I’m fortunate to be able to have done both this year.

Rooibos was the tea for today. I sipped several cups this morning as I finished off a bookmark and went through vacation pictures. A wonderful start to the day even though I have to go back to work this afternoon.

May all of you have a wonderful week and enjoy a little tea and tatting if you can.

Tatting Tea Tuesday July 20, 2010

Welcome to Tatting Tea Tuesday. I started off the day with a cup of George’s Cherry Tree Tea, described as “China Tea Scented With Luscious Burgundy Cherries.” I picked it up on our vacation when we visited Mount Vernon, the home of our first president, George Washington. The cup belonged to my maternal grandmother; my mother gave to me a couple of years ago. This is the first time I’ve used it but it looked appropriate to use for this particular TTT. This tea has a definite scent and taste of cherries. I’m pretty hesitant to try new tastes sometimes, but today I took up my courage and tried it. It has a very nice taste. I am pleasantly surprised.

(Warning! I kept adding pictures!)

We visited Mount Vernon on July 5th. Talk about hot! This is a very busy time of year there – people were everywhere. There were long lines that snaked into other buildings before getting into the main house. They had people dressed in period costumes talking to the visitors in line, probably to keep them interested and entertained while they waited. The gentleman to the left was supposed to be George’s physician. The gentleman below was an upper-class servant. They were very interesting to talk to because they stayed very much in character. My daughter wasn’t quite sure how to be greeted in such a manner.

There are several rules you have to follow when you visit Mount Vernon: No chewing gum on the estate, no strollers in the main house, no pictures in the main house. The property is owned and run by The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association so they can have any rules they want and they do make sense when you think about them. They have done a wonderful job of furnishing the house with period pieces and returning the rooms to their original colors and uses (you wouldn’t believe some of the colors!). The property had deteriorated greatly after Washington’s death and before being sold to the Ladies’ Association. They’ve returned this to a working farm with animals and gardens and everything.

The building on the right of the main house is the kitchen. I took this picture standing in line waiting to tour the house. We had to go through a building that housed servants most of the time but sometimes guests (if they stayed for awhile) on our way to the main house. There was a line of people from us, through this small building, through the house and then exiting, with no gaps. We talked to people around us as well as the costumed characters. There was actually quite a few things to see before we reached this point. Then, before we entered the first building, we had to park the strollers to be picked up later. Un-costumed members of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association were along the route, explaining what each building and room were used for and which room belonged to which one of the family members.

Behind the buildings seen here (kitchen on the left, storehouse/clerks quarters on the right) there are a lot of other buildings – smokehouse, wash house, coach house, stables. Past those are the fruit garden and the nursery and then Washington’s tomb and the slave memorial.

After walking around looking at as many things as we could before the heat got to us we had lunch in the food court at the visitor’s center, then checked out the shops. They had some lovely things in the shops. It was hard to keep my money in my purse.

After we were fed, cooled off and wallets a little lighter, we were off to the distillery and gristmill, which are a couple of miles away. What amazed me about both the main grounds and this place is where they are located. They are located not very far out of Washington DC in the midst of residential areas. We drove the few miles over to where the gristmill and the distillery have been rebuilt in the locations they were originally. Neither are more than a few years old but built as close as possible to what they would have been in Washington’s time.

We started with the gristmill. Like the main house they have costumed characters here, but unlike at the house these people are the ones that describe what was done in here and how it was done. And unlike the house there are no restrictions about taking pictures. They actually started the water wheel and ground a little corn while we’re there.

In Washington’s time they made the corn meal for local use and very fine wheat flour that was shipped all over the world. There are lot of things I didn’t know about Washington that I learned here. Okay, there’s still a lot I don’t know.

My grandsons were fascinated with all the things going on. It was great to be able to let them touch things and let them down to walk once in awhile. Here are my daughters and their sons checking out where the corn hulls drop into a barrel after the corn has been ground. (A SIL is under the hat behind the kids.)

Then it was a short walk over to the distillery. The gristmill and the distillery share the mill race (a small stream) that once came from a mill pond. There is no longer a mill pond, houses being built up since Washington’s time, so it is a very small stream. Then this woman explained how whiskey used to be made here. It was a hot, hot job! They didn’t have anything brewing while we where there. They said they only made whiskey when it was cool as things just didn’t come out well when it was hot.

And there’s me, sitting on a grinding wheel outside the gristmill. We were so busy doing things I completely forgot to do this at the main house. I think I can still say that I have tatted at Mount Vernon.

There is actually tatting in this post as well, more than me doing a few stitches at Mount Vernon. I want to mention that the doily that I posted about last week did get a blue at the county fair(yea!). I don’t know what competition it had as it was not in a tatting category and mine was the only tatting entry, but it is still exciting. I’ll have to try to get something there next year as well.

This is what I’ve been working on since we got home from vacation. They aren’t showing up very well. These are glass tea candle holders that I have put tatting around. I’ve actually put beads on them! They look much better in person. I did have quite a time gluing the tatting down. It just looks like it’s on lopsided! I’ll have to work on that.

The shuttle in the picture is one I bought 10? 15? years ago. It is made of tulip wood by Dennis Hand. I’m not even sure if I picked this up in person or sent off for it. Strange how memory is. But it is a beautiful shuttle and it fit in with the theme of this post. The doily everything is sitting on was made by one of my neighbors as a gift. It makes a lovely backdrop.

I took a lot of pictures while we were on vacation. This is a warning that there will probably be more in the next few posts.

Until then, may all of you enjoy a little tea and a few minutes of tatting.

Tatting Tea Tuesday at home again

We are back home again after a wonderful vacation. I wouldn’t have minded if it had lasted a little longer! We had a great time with our family and look forward to doing something like this again.

As the picture from last week showed, I’ve been working on a new doily. It started with a doodle and just kept growing. It’s made in DMC Cebelia size 30 ecru with two shuttles. This is it so far; it’s six inches across from point to point. I’m not sure about the last round. Does it look like it’s finished? Does it need another round? Is this round how I want it to be?

The local county fair is at the end of the week. I was thinking about entering something but with our vacation I haven’t gotten anything ready. The fair book actually came in the mail the day we left! Not a lot of time to decide on what I could enter. There is only one tatting category – pillowcases – but there are a few other categories that I could enter tatting in. “Tea towels (set of 4 or more) – Miscellaneous”; “Doilies – Miscellaneous”; and “Household – Miscellaneous”. Well, obviously I don’t have time to make four tea towels or a pillowcase (sewing the tatting to the case would take me forever!). I have this doily that might (!) be done. And I might be able to come up with something for the household category (napkin rings? decorated candle holder?). Whatever I decide I have to make up my mind by Thursday afternoon. I’ll let you know what I decided next week.

And now for the vacation! Okay, one picture – or maybe two. Our first destination was Nashville, TN. Our SIL really wanted to stop here and all of us thought it would be fun. We spent the morning in the Country Music Hall of Fame. So this is me, with shuttles in hand, in the entry hall. This is after we went through the museum and, obviously, after we had gone to the souvenir shop ; )

Mostly my husband and I bought gifts for family but I did find a little something for myself. I did leave home with the glass case for carrying a working project in but I had couple of shuttles to use for my ‘documentary’ pictures. I didn’t want to mess up on a nice project just for pictures! So I thought this little change purse would work great with this in mind.

This worked great! There was nothing to fall out unexpectedly and I knew exactly what I’d get when I reached inside. And I have a little something to keep small take-along projects in that will always remind me of our 2010 family vacation.

There will be more vacation pictures next week. And the results of my decision of what, if anything, I take to the fair.

Tatting Tea Tuesday while on Vacation

I’m on vacation! Woo hoo!

But it’s hot! We were out sight-seeing in the sun and the heat – oh, man! We were so glad to be able to sit down in the cool when we got home!

As I don’t want to carry my regular tatting bag with me, but I do want to have a little something with me, I have had to come up with something else.

I just got a new pair of glasses and the case that came with them presented itself for a new job. I think it’s working well. It’s not exactly light, but carries just what I need, especially since the thread here is size 30. And the size 14 crochet hook won’t poke through ; )

This piece that I’m working on started as a doodle on another road trip about a week ago and has been growing ever since. When I have the chance – and when I think I’m done with it – I’ll share a picture with it laid out all nice and flat.

My tea today tasted suspiciously like coffee, but it was what was available. I did pick up an interesting tea that I’ll be trying next week and sharing with you.

Until then, everyone have a safe and fun summer. Try to stay cool.

I’m a grandma again!


My second grandson, Hunter, was born Wednesday afternoon at 2:44. Finally! He wasn’t late but he gave us several false alarms. My daughter was induced yesterday morning and had him a lot sooner than I expected. He was one of 38 babies delivered a the hospital on the 21st! My daughter’s nurse said this is the fullest she’s seen the nursery floor.

They are supposed to go home this evening yet. Good thing his daddy is going to be home for the first week or two. And I’m going to be available also, as she is only about an hour away from me. So I’m taking a week’s vacation so that I can be available if she needs some help, or just someone to talk to.

My other daughter came down from Omaha with her two month-old baby to be here for the birth and they have been staying with us. The cousins have been introduced to each other, though neither one seems to care much right now. It’s amazing to see how big the two month old looks compared to the newborn!

I have several pieces of tatting I’ll be posting in a day or two, but emailing baby pictures are a little more important right now!