Monday, January 29, 2007

That's a Given

I definitely like this design. Having a flower bead in every 3rd ring looks nicer...not too little, not too much. I'm using a size #20 thread and I think these are #9 beads.

Working on designs for the center of the bracelet, this is the filigree idea and is crocheted...hmmm, needs work. I like the center glass bead (blue), but if this design is going to work with the band, I would need a metalic bead (maybe something celtic?) I basically wanted to experiment with having a center bead incorporated into the crochet. I can't imagine having to sew beads in my work...ew!!

The method I used for this center bead is the same I used for the eys in my Celtic Owl design. I'll continue to work on this filigree design to see what I come up with. I have an Irish crochet design in mind too, but this is the simpler of the two.
A trip to the bead shop tomorrow will trigger some ideas as well. I wonder what goodies are available? I'm in the mood for beads!!!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Size is everything!

I took the same concept I used with the red braclet and experimented with smaller beads and finer thread. The green arrow is pointing to the core thread which is basically my beading thread. Knots are not made with it, but rather on it with the knotting thread (blue arrow). The only part of the band that is 'tatted' is the first ring. After making the ring, I introduced the core thread into my work and began knotting and beading.
A couple of points: first, beads and thread size should be compatible with each other. These beads are clearly too large for this thread; second, to have a neat bracelet, evenly cut beads are essential!!
The red arrow is pointing to a mistake I made in knotting. I forgot 2 stitches before adding a bead onto the core thread...argh!!
I've already have ideas for the center of the bracelet which will be crocheted.

Brian's Palette

Brian's Work Apron
This is my brother's work apron. My mother had it framed for his wife in 2005 for Christmas. In it are the tools he used to paint murals. The cloth at the bottom is what he wiped his hands on. One could say a bit of each mural is on his apron. What a history!!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

It Starts with an Idea!

I like to make projects that I can complete in a day, or at least over a weekend. There is something gratifying about actually completing a project rather than being in the middle of one, or several, which is usually the case for me.

My daughters like to wear my designs, which usually spark conversation. I would like to design a bracelet before school starts next month. The two in the photo are developing ideas for the band. In fact, the one on the left is an idea that didn't work. This bracelet was meant for a little girl. I wanted her to be able to take it off without the use of a clasp, so I hand tatted over elastic. The problem was, what was I going to do with the elastic? It was going to be unsightly, to say the least. So, I put this piece in a drawer and forgot about it until today when I began playing with ideas of the red bracelet.

This is a concept in progress. As the picture shows, I began with a tatted ring. The flower beads have their holes facing toward the sides and not the down the center. As I worked, I found the design wasn't going as I had envisioned it would. Each new ring and flower bead went through design changes until the last seed bead. The final ring is just what I need. Now I have something I can work with and the ideas are flowing!!!

To be cont...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Thread sizes, dates, patterns...good grief!!!

Growing up, everything had its place in my home. My mother was so well-organized...and I love her for it. It's a pity it didn't rub off on me though :(. My bedroom door was always closed to hide the mess. I practically had to tie my closet door knobs shut to keep it from bursting open and all sorts of belongings oozed out from under my bed. Of course, I had my moments where even I couldn't take it. I would have a major 'damage control' day where I organized everything. I felt so much better afterwards...phew!...a breath of fresh air! Unfortunately, only 2 days later...Well, you get the picture.

Here's the thing. I have never been brain just doesn't work that way. Some people would call it 'lazy'...but not me. I call it 'organized mess'. Okay, I admit, I once heard the term on Oprah (good ole Oprah). It sounded good, so I adopted it as a description of myself. It gave me a sense of being unique. Yes, with egg on my head, now I admit I was wrong (at least until further notice).

Boy I am paying the price. How many times have I read from lacemakers to MARK YOUR WORK...why didn't I listen? I'm now struggling to remember thread sizes, dates, and books I've used. It is frustrating to say the least.

The good news has forced me to be more organized! Isn't that grand?! That's only one of the benefits...VBG.

First Tatted Project I Made (1998?)

I can't describe my jubilee when I accomplished 'the flip' for the first time. I was all over the house, room to room, celebrating that 'I did it!!' moment. Nevermind that no one was home but me.

Needless to say I was ready to take on my first project and here it is - a doily. Yes, I'm a glutten for punishment...always bite off more than I can chew...set sail in a ship that has the desert without water...that's me!

This doily is actually a combination of 2 designs. There is a center doily, a ring of cloth, and then a collar pattern that I knew would join nicely into a circle. I think I completed it in 1998, but my memory is not that don't quote me on it. I gave this doily to my mother. She is proud as am I :).

Thursday, January 25, 2007

On a Mission!!

I have been going through my CD's looking for completed projects that I have made over the past 5 years. I had no idea!! Some of it will be uploaded to my albums and some of it will be kept aside for future publications. It's daunting to see how I wandered through this and that in hopes of publishing a book. How on earth did I ever do it?!!!

I finally found the knot stitch I designed/made-up. It call it 'Zuhair's Knot'. I needed a unique band for my designs. This is what I came up with. It is a bit complex to make, but it is lovely. If you have a better name for it, please let me know :).

Front View

Back View

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Geocities Website Update

Visitors can no longer access my geocities website via the homepage. Instead, you will be redirected to this blog when you click on 'Enter'. I am still keeping pages of the website for several reasons, the first being that the pages are already designed and uploaded. Second, I am hoping this will help visitors access those pages of interest.
The picture at the right is a motif of Romanian Point Lace. I was experimenting with using beads. The design turned out to look like an owl when it was completed. Isn't he cute!!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Design Links

I have added albums with my designs to the blog. You'll find the links at the right side of the page under 'My Work'. I have not created an album with projects made of other designers. I hope to do that later.

There are so many things I have made over the years that either I don't have a scan of or that the picture didn't turn out clear enough to see detail. Of course, these were mostly gifts, so I don't have the privilege of taking photos of them now when I do have a digital camera.

I have yet to add the captions to each photo. Hopefully this week...Mindy

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My Geocities Website

One of the drawbacks of having a free website is that your space is limited and you are allowed only a certain amount of MB to be viewed each day. I can not tell you how frustrating it has been to see that my website has refused visitors. It irks me something fierce!!

I have enjoyed the simplicity of this blog, at least so far, and I am hoping to use it to my advantage. Stay tuned!

One of Those Computer Days!!

Yes, I know we have all had them. I'm no different...but when it happens, it feels like it only happens to you...gosh darn!!! Yes, those five letter words that no one wants to hear...CRASH and VIRUS...and when it sinks, it sinks like a ship!

So, tomorrow is clean up day...not for the house, but for the computer. Let's hope it won't take long because I would really like to get this blog underway!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Daisy Flower Purse

This image is unclear. I couldn't find the picture I took with the digital camera....argh!!

This is an Irish crochet purse with gold beads, and pearl teardrops. It closes with a drawstring. I have yet to line it...time!!

Originally, the design was meant for the bride, but how many brides walk down the isle with a purse...hmmmm. Then I thought, what better purse for the flower girl to carry than a flower purse!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

This is the way I tat my lace, tat my lace, tat my lace...

This is how I tat!! Not the traditional way, I know...but I'm sure others do it this way as well ;). I think it's easiest for me because I crochet. What else could that index finger be for but...tension!

My stitches are worked between my index finger and thumb. To form the beginning ring, I pinch the thread between my thumb and middle finger, over my inded, around my pinky and back to my starting point. A triangle is created in this early stage, but after the first stitch is completed, my pinky joins the rest of my fingers and then my index finger is left all by its lonesome to do its job!

Speaking of crochet...this is a flower motif I made in a crochet along with the irish crochet yahoo group. It is a vintage pattern, but I can't remember which book we used now....argh!!
It's beautiful worn as a least that is what my daughter tells me. I can be used many ways like on a hat. I just keep it in a little dish for display.
She was a pretty tough cookie to make so I doubt I will make another one anytime soon.
Well, I have less than 6 weeks before university begins. I had better get my creative time into gear!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bruges Crochet

One of my favorite crochet laces is Bruges crochet, an imitation of Bruges bobbin lace that originated in Belgium.

I made this bridal Juliet cap in 2005. There is still work to be done. It will be basted to a form, decorated with beads, and of course the veil will be added!

This is one of many projects I have designed for a bride.
At the moment, they are collecting in a box waiting for a home. I thought about publishing a book, but that takes all the joy out of designing.

I'd rather watch the box grow! Besides, I have two daughters ;)

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Newest Design!! is simple, but I found the simplest is often times the most fun to make.

Colorful too? Well, it's summer here in New Zealand, so it looks great on a white blazer.

See that yellow center? The infamous Clones knot...yikes! And there are 5 of them (the other 2 are hidden in the cup). Personally, I love that knot. I try to incorporate one in every design. Some brilliant mind thought of it and I'm determined to keep the stitch alive.
Worked in a #20 thread using Irish crochet techniques. It has some beading. The pin in back is worked into the pin so you don't have that unsightly base showing (don't you just hate those...grrr).
I plan for my next project to be something tatted...fingers crossed!!

Monday, January 8, 2007

This is exciting!!!

Welcome to my blog!

I really don't know where to I'll simply start with the name.

Why Crochet of Distinction? To family and friends, it is obvious but to visitors who don't know, I chose the name in memory of my brother who passed away in 2005 (I miss you Brian). His talent was and still is awe inspiring.

These are two photos of his last art work. Wasn't he talented! I absolutely love this mural. The pose is stunning. In fact, I think Brian captured himself in that pose. He was very athletic in his childhood. Was that his intention? I don't know. I do know that when I see this classical man, I see him. Now I think I understand the meaning of the art history term Prompto! Brian's company was called Artistry of Distinction. To view his website go to: