On the road again, meeting new friends

Me and Kathy

I took another trip this week – back to Washington, DC to my daughter’s. Her husband has been stationed back to Omaha but there has been some issues with getting all the arrangements made for the move. My daughter got tired of all the run-around and decided to come back now instead of waiting on the movers. So I flew out on Saturday so she wouldn’t have to drive all the way back by herself. We started the drive back on Sunday, she and I and her almost two year old son. Our trip took us up into Pennsylvania then across to Kansas.

You remember that I had a drawing last week? Well, Kathy Niklewicz, the winner, lives up there! We made arrangements to meet in Washington, PA on our way through. I emailed her our plans and she checked into a place to meet. It was great – she even got online and checked out how easy it would be for us to get on and off the interstate. And then called the restaurant to make sure that was accurate!

Kathy with her prize (or part of it!)
We met at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant and ended up visiting for over two hours! It was so fun to be able to give Kathy her prize in person. The anticipation of the gift giving was as great as if it was Christmas! It was so much fun to see her get the Pumpkins on a Vine bookmark and all the other little things, too. Check out the pendant Kathy was wearing

Kathy and her husband were so nice. And she brought me a present, too! There was a small Steelers football for the boys to play with and a cute Steelers Christmas tree ornament (we were in Steelers country) and some cookies (these didn’t last too long!).

And the most special gift was a paperweight with a patriotic motif in it – Sue Hanson’s 5 point Celtic motif. It was the same motif that I had been inspired to make because I saw it on Kathy’s blog a year ago. It is so special to have this connection between us. Thank you, Kathy!

Not too far from Pittsburgh

If we had to make the drive we chose a great time to do it. The trees along the way were beautiful. We took our time and stopped for two nights along the way, getting out every couple of hours to stretch and eat or just walk around. I think that helped a lot, no one got fussy (much) and we could enjoy the ride.

I’ve been trying to post this for the last three days but I’m not used to a two year old running around everywhere: -)

Thank you Kathy for meeting us. It really was fun. We’ll have to do it again sometime.

DC Vacation Revisited

Welcome to the last Tatting Tea Tuesday of July. Can you believe that it’s almost August? In many ways this year has seemed to have gone very fast. Is this a sign that I’m getting old? (Don’t answer that.)

Today I’ll start with the little bit of tatting that I’ve gotten done. I’ve decorated another candle holder. I thought this variegated Lizbeth thread would look so good for this, and it does look okay, but I’m thinking solid colors would stand out against the glass better. I also plan on adding beads the next time. I had a bad time this morning trying to take a picture that showed the tatting to advantage. My husband finally helped me get this shot, one of many pictures but one of the few that came out well.

Okay, now I have pictures from our Washington, DC vacation. If you’re only here for the tatting that was it.

While we were in DC we took a Hop On, Hop Off tour. This is where you buy tickets for a day or two to ride buses that tour the city. They have a lot of stops and a lot of buses, so you can get on where you want and get off where you want and spend time at the stops you want. The tours start at Union Station. This had been let to rundown but has been redone beautifully. It’s a tourist stop in itself. It has a round-about in front of it that you do end up going round and round before you can get out.
We rode one of the double-decker buses from Union Station until the White House Visitor’s Center. This place has items in it from the White House and a lot of history about it. It is also very lovely inside. And like most of the sites here and elsewhere you have to go through a metal detector to get inside. If you visit here make sure you leave your pocket knife, no matter how small, at home. (Experience speaking.)

From there we walked to the front of the White House. We could have been a little closer – just across the street from where we were. There weren’t quite as many people on this side, though, which made picture taking a little easier. This is as close as I’ll probably ever get to tatting at the White House.

From there we headed, on foot, to the Washington Monument. That’s around the Ellipse, which is open ground, like a park, where there was a soccer game going on – they were using shoes to mark the goals. I don’t know how far it actually was, but it felt like a long way around. We were very hot by the time we crossed Constitution Ave. There are these fountains there that we took the time to let the grandsons play in. They had a lot of fun there and didn’t want to leave!

You can see the Monument in the background and how far we still had to go!

Then we walked from the monument to the National WWII Memorial. It is very beautiful with lovely fountains at the center. There is a lot of relief images on the walls going down to them. You can see past my husband to the fountains and then the Lincoln Memorial way in the distance.

That was our next destination. When walking in the heat it seems a very long way.

This is one of my daughters and her little boy looking toward the Lincoln Memorial with the Reflecting Pool behind her. And we had a lot of steps up to go before we reached Lincoln. TV and movies had not really given me the true impression of just how many steps you have to go up to get to Lincoln’s chair. It was very impressive and awe-inspiring. It was also very busy! Even in the heat there were a lot of people. One gentleman had the job of spraying a water hose into the air to let the water rain gently down on passers-by if they were interested. Most people were interested.

After we visited Lincoln we were all ready for a break. We bought frozen lemonades and took a rest in the shade. The grandsons weren’t quite sure they liked the lemonade at first, but as everyone else was having some they tried it and liked it. Here’s most of us cooling off. I took the chance to take out my shuttles so I can say I’ve tatted there. (Yes, I know it’s silly, but I did it anyway!)

To Lincoln’s left is the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial. Walking along that wall can be emotional. It was one place that the visitors were very quiet. Before getting to the Wall there is a new statue that isn’t quite done yet, but you can see it through the Plexiglas. These figures are larger than life and very detailed.

South of the Wall is the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Again, these figures are larger than life and very detailed. It is a very moving memorial to the women who served in Vietnam, mostly as nurses. The standing figure is named Hope, the praying figure is Faith and the one holding the solder is Charity.

To Lincoln’s right is the Korean War Memorial. I hadn’t realized there was such a memorial, though I should have. These figures look to be moving through wet weather as they are wearing capes/ponchos over their uniforms, and carrying their equipment. All are very distinct individuals. There is a quiet pool ahead of them. The granite wall to their right has images of a lot of people, watching them silently.

I was able to capture the reflection of the walking solders in the polished surface of the wall.

I was very moved by these memorials. There were a lot of others we didn’t have time to visit this time around. I guess we’ll have to go back again sometime.

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.

Home again, home again, jiggety jig – with butterflies and snow

We made it home at last, in time for Tatting Tea Tuesday. I say it that way because who doesn’t sleep better in their own bed? I had a wonderful time in Washington, DC and loved the visit with my daughter and her family. Though I didn’t get to see a lot of the sights of the area – at least up close and personal – it was an enjoyable vacation, too. But it is nice to be home again.

For the last two weeks the tatting I’ve gotten done has been in a limited number of colors because I didn’t take a large variety of thread. I really didn’t anticipate getting a lot done. Which I didn’t. What I did get done was simple patterns that I didn’t have to concentrate on too much. Between taking care of the grandson (ooh, so sweet!) and meeting new people (daughters’ in-laws), seeing the area, and then the long trip home, my mind wasn’t into thinking hard. So what has been posted and these few butterflies and the heart are the entire amount of tatting I’ve done in two weeks.

The heart is again Tracy’s Heart by Heather, done in Lizbeth thread size 20 black and Victorian Red. I used two shuttles and adjusted the pattern just a little so the bottom ring was in black instead of red.

The butterflies are based on a pattern by Monica Mancenido, aka soyloquesoy, found on Intatters. It’s a simple little butterfly with a simple little stitch count. I decided to make it, but wasn’t on-line and hadn’t really checked the stitch count. So what I got are the butterflies you see. The one top left is the closest to her original pattern – not quite, but close – and then the top right with a lot of picots on the outside. The two bottom ones I added the thrown off ring for a head as well as more picots. They are all done in Falling Leaves Lizbeth size 20. Another cute way to use the last of the thread on a shuttle.

I’m enjoying a nice cup of hot tea today (mint), much needed as the weather is pretty chilly. The thermometer says it’s 39 degrees F but it’s gray and cold-looking outside. The last few days in Washington were wet with the tail end of Ida causing lots of rain but they are now enjoying nice, sunny weather. We come home to snow flurries and rain. Ahh *sipping tea* but it is nice to be home, no matter the weather.

Tatting Tea Tuesday with IsDihara

I’m still here in Washington, DC, with my daughter and her family. Shortly after I got here I received an email from IsDihara. As she lives close by, she asked if I’d like to me her. !!! Of course! To meet another tatter and one who blogs as well – oh, yeah!

We didn’t meet right away because I was here to help my daughter after she had surgery. By this week she was feeling much better and ready to get out of the house. So I emailed IsDihara and we arranged to me at the Potomac Mills Mall. And on Tuesday, no less!

Here we are, IsDihara on the left, me on the right, having a cup of tea. As neither of us knew what the other looked like it was like, how will we know who the other is? As I knew we (my daughter, her baby and my husband) were there first I figured the easiest way to let her know that it was me was to pull out my shuttles. So there we sat, in the food court of the mall, me tatting away. She had no trouble finding me!

I was so glad we could meet! As my daughter said to me later, IsDihara and I could have spent all afternoon talking. And she brought me the prize I won from her Halloween giveaway! How fortuitous is that!
Isn’t this pretty? This isn’t the best picture – it’s wonderful in person. It has a tatted pumpkin edging around it and the front has a pumpkin. Check out her blog Ambitatterous, I think her picture is better.

It was a great afternoon, a wonderful Tatting Tea Tuesday!

I have gotten a little tatting done. As I’m away from home I only have a few colors to work with so I’ve been doing a lot in the Lizbeth Falling Leaves in size 20. These two butterflies are my pattern, with Lizbeth size 20 black as the body and the edging. The heart is Tracy’s Heart, by Heather from The Tarnished Tatter, in the same threads. This heart is easy to do and will come in handy for notes and letters and such.

This has been a great week here with my daughter and her family. And a little extra bonus meeting another tatting blogger! And I’ve even seen a little of Washington – more tomorrow, I hope!

Happy Tatting everyone!