Friday, April 1, 2022

I LOVE Karey Solomon's Hand-Painted Thread!

 I have had the pleasure of tatting with Karey Solomon's hand-painted threads recently.  When you see all her threads in one spot, the job of picking out only a few is difficult because each one is soooo beautiful and unique.  The colors change very fast (very different from LizBeth variegateds) and thus one regular-sized ring can have up to 5 colors in it.

The first photo is what I call 'Seaweed' color as Karey custom dyed it for a project in which I am creating tatted seaweed for my new book titled "Sea Things in Split Ring Tatting".  The only thing that makes tatting 'seaweed' fun is watching the colors develop from the thread.

The bottom 3 photos show thread that is earmarked to be tatted 'coral'.  

I'm sure that if you do get your hands on some of these handpainted threads you will love them too.

These thread can be purchased from Karey Solomon/Graceful Arts Fiber Studio


Wednesday, March 30, 2022

New (to me) tatting thread found in a quilt shop

After going on the first ever Tat Sea 2022 Tatting Cruise, I (and I think everyone else) was inspired by one of the cruise-goer's beautiful tatted/beaded necklaces and earrings.  I will have to profess that I hate working with beads (especially on my shuttle thread) but now really want some tatted, glizty jewelry.  

I think this thread is the one for me.  It tats up quite well.  You have to be a bit careful when making joins that you grab all of the thread and not just a portion to bring up through the picot join as it easily splits.  But even though I tat quite tightly (stitch & ring tension), the rings closed quite nicely for me.

I found this thread in a quilt shop in Grand Junction, CO.

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Found new blocking pins to save my finger from future ouches


I found these 'Magic Pins' in a quilt shop here in my new hometown of Grand Junction, Colorado.  I am very hopeful that they will help prevent the hurts my right hand, middle finger gets when pushing in regular pins to a cardboard base to block my tatting.  Last time I blocked about a dozen pieces and my finger hurt for over a week. My husband forbade me showing off my owwie to everyone.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Catch up post since retiring--Part 2

 After the two-week long motorcycle trip to LA I worked on the house and yard in Council Bluffs, Iowa, getting ready for 80th birthday party for Jerry's mom, Ruth. 

Late in July we went to our vacation home in Grand Junction, CO to see IF we could fix it and possibly move there permanently.  Turns out it was too costly to repair so on a whim we went house-hunting and found a house we liked.  Thus this purchase pushed up our move date.  We went home and the rest of the year (August through November) was spent getting rid of stuff at our IA house (we were moving into a house with less than half the square footage), going to Grand Junction (GJT) to get the new house ready for us to move in (paint, new carpet) and get the old house in IA ready for sale.  The IA house went up for sale just before Thanksgiving and we moved completely out to CO on December 28th, 2021.  

New house in Grand Junction, CO

During the same time frame I had the opportunity to ride my motorcycle to Tat Days hosted by Tatting Corner in Indiana.  Lisa let me have a table to 'Decorate Your Own Enameled Tatting Shuttle' and once again the results of everyone's creativity was outstanding.  I prepped and brought enameled shuttles with a plain color and then presented various ways to decorate ones's own shuttle.  Then I fired the shuttles to completed perfection.

I also had the opportunity to go to New York City (Manhatten) to hang out with an old college friend from Germany who was living there (but immenently going back to Germany) for a long weekend.  We walked all over and had a blast.

Adeline and Charlie in Central Park

Breakfasting on the roof of Adeline's apartment building in Manhatten.  It had quite a view including the Hudson River.
These are just some of the highlights of the last half of 2021 for me.  It was quite a year:
  • Retiring from my professional, full-time job of being an Electron Microscopy Technologist June 1st, 2021.
  • Motorcycle trip to Louisiana--first two weeks of June
  • Motorcycle trip to Indiana to Tat Days-June
  • Trip to Grand Junction, CO---bought a house
  • September--trip to NYC
  • Sold Iowa house and moved to GJT, CO Decemeber 28
  • Not to mention the numerous trips to/from IA/CO to renovate both the new and old house.

Catch up post since retiring--Part 1

I think that I have been posting some things to my FB The ShuttleSmith Tatting page but just realized that I have completely ignored this my main website since my retirement in June of 2021.

In a nutshell:

First 2 weeks of June my husband I took a two-week long motorcycle trip from NE/IA where we live, down the Mississippi River Valley, way south to Houma, Louisiana (about 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico).  We chose to go to Houma instead of New Orleans because we wanted to see 'real' LA and Houma is supposed to be the heart of Cajun and Bayou country.  It did not disappoint!  I ate every Cajun dish there was as well as every form of seafood (regular and unique) that I could get my lips around.  Jerry 'worked from home' in the motel room for a week and then we thundered home.

Had to stop to take this photo as I am from Wisner, NEBRASAKA--population ca 1200 people
One of my favorite restaurants to eat Cajun food.  Ate there several times.  Jerry and the motorcycles are in front.

Frog legs and a local beer.

Our first Cajun meal.  I ate most of this!!! including a boudin sausage (not pictured) that the owner brought us when he saw how much I was enjoying the meal.

Friday, June 18, 2021


 As of June 1st I am officially retired from my career as an Electron Microscopy Technologist (with side jobs as an Neuropathology Technologist). I started my career at Creighton University (Omaha, NE) and was there for 27 years until it was obvious that my job wouldn’t be viable for much longer. So I ‘jumped ship’ to Nebraska Medicine/Univ. of Nebraska Medical Center where I worked for almost 12 years. My wonderful husband suggested that I retire early. I was planning on retiring at the end of the year, but Jerry encouraged me to bump up the date. So for 2+ months I was feverishly training my successor. It appears that she is the perfect candidate for the job and is excited about making it a career for herself.

To celebrate my retirement, Jerry and I immediately left for a 2500+ mile trip on our new (to us in 2020) motorcycles. We traveled down the Mississippi River Valley from Iowa to Louisiana where we explored the bayou/cajun region. Jerry ‘worked-from-home’ there for one week. We enjoyed the swamps, marsh, bayous, and the food (Cajun and seafood). I choose Louisiana to travel to because it WAS the only state that I had not motorcycled in. Now I can say that I have ridden a motorcycle in all fifty states!

Me and a few of my co-workers–impromptu going-away/happy retirement party.
Andrea, my replacement is in the checkered shirt.
Some of my besties: Thanh (who I worked with in the Neuropathology Lab), Me, Lisa and Mike (long-time co-workers from our Creighton Univ. days)
Me working at my ultramicrotome–an instrument I spent a large amount of time at.
My tools for ultramicrotomy work: I make ultrathin slices (sections) of the black material (human kidney tissue) in the yellow cylinder (the block) and put the slices on the copper grids. One of my tools is an eyelash attached to a handle as well as the razor blade.
Me and my Transmission Electron Microscope.
This is the final product of my work…an image of a slice (section) of human tissue (in this case kidney). The images go to a pathologist (MD) who makes a diagnosis of disease type
My office was adorned in lace.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Tatting in a Sweater


This is my darling sister-in-law, Carol, who is sporting a sweater with tatting elements in it.