CQJP July Block

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Watercolour and Garden Shots

Several years ago, DD went to Zimbabwe for a university class credit. She brought home many treasures, some as gifts from the family with whom she was staying.
We had asked her to purchase some art for us from local artists, and she brought home several pieces which now hang in our home. One day I decided to paint some of the art and artifacts as a gift for her. I played with the scale of the items, and created
" Zimbabwe Memories."
This watercolour is 12" x 16". The painting depicts a likeness of 2 figures from the art purchased, a malachite egg, a carved wooden bust, a carved wooden sugar bowl with lid.

This clematis grows on some reclaimed supports from a fabric canopy. You can see part of my hand in the photo. That's one big clematis!  I love the pink in the purple!

  This huge hosta is ready to burst into bloom. I love hosta, and used to have over 100 in our former home's gardens. I'm gradually adding different varieties to my new gardens. oh, look at all those weeds poking out from  the stone! no! don't look! Guess I have some work to do.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


I was doing a swap with an online friend, and sent her this tatted starfish to keep the seahorses company.
I used a rick-rack stitch to make the arms, joined them near the ends, and some halfway along the length, then a picot at the centre point, and the last leg joined all the picots together in the centre.
I think it would be easy to make an octopus using the same basic idea for the legs.
Anyone want to try it?
Happy tatting.

Thanks for visiting.
Hugs from Suz

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Birthday Card and Flowers

A special lady I know is soon celebrating a birthday, and so I made her a card for her special day.
Sewn onto brown felt onto a watercolour-painted card, a small encaustic, multi-hued square echoes the shades of the background, and creates a little focal point. I then stamped the card lightly, allowing the encaustic square to sing. It's in the mail and on its way. Happy Birthday!

Roses from my garden scent the air.

Pink peonies.

Thanks for visiting. Hugs from Suz.

Spring Shots and a Tatted Seahorse

Here is a  spring pic of the bay on Bradley Lake. I love how the sunshine hits the bog grasses and makes them glow!

Tatted Seahorse #2 ©     by Susan Cuss

R= ring
OR= onion ring
d=1st half of double stitch
j= join
mp=medium picot
sp=small picot
s= 2nd half of double stitch

Head and Backbone

R1= 5-5 CL R

OR= 13-1+7-7 ( j to picot of R1) CL R

C= 2d-[(2d,2s)x7-] x9- (2d,2s)x3+ (j to last picot of chain) this curls the tail end slightly

Curl tail upwards, and j to next picot working up the backbone

Backbone Texture

C= 2d x 14+ (j to next picot up the backbone) Repeat 2 more times

C= d (sp 2d) x14+ (j to next picot) Repeat 2 more times

C= d (mp 2d) x14+ (j to next picot) Repeat once more

C= d (sp 2d) x14+ (j to next picot) Repeat once more. Knot and trim to match picot length or hide ends as usual.

Jaw and Nostrils

Join at the picot on the OR at the base of the head.

C= 18+ (j to the bare picot on the OR)

C=39d. Cut and tie with either ends left short, or hide ends as preferred.

The Stomach option 1

Make a join in the second picot down the backbone from where the head and neck join.

C= (2d,2s)x30+ (j along the backbone 3 picots further)

This creates an open stomach. Cut and tie. Hide ends.

The Stomach option 2

This option will create the ‘ribs.’

C= [5x(2d,2s) -]x5, (2d,2s)x5+ (j along the backbone 3 picots further)

Switching to a sewing needle, sew the thread ends up into the backbone, out at the level of each of the stomach picots, joining to each, and back into the backbone for all 5 picots. Cut, tie, hide ends. Shape the seahorse as desired

Seahorse Variations

Have fun tatting!
The first day of spring I took this shot of a Luna Moth. It was the first time I'd seen one, and was amazed at its size of approximately 3" long and with a 4" wingspan. It was resting on the mat at the back door in the sunshine. So beautiful!
Thanks for visiting. Hugs from Suz

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tatted Trees

Tomorrow, my good friend and painting partner Shirley is arriving for a too-short visit, so I won't be blogging for several days.  Maybe we'll paint, or stitch, but whatever we decide to do I know it's going to be fun!But here's something to tat while I'm spending time with my guest.

I designed a tatted tree pattern. It is dimensional, rather than flat, and I shared it with The Online Tatting Class. I thought I would share my pattern with you, too.

 Free-Form Tatted Tree    Created in Celebration of  2010 International Tatting Day

Tree #1
R = 3 - 3

R2 = 3 + 3

CH = 5 - 5

SR = 3 / 3

Set = C = 4d,4s where d = 1st half of ds, s = 2nd half ds

Ca= 1(-2d-2s)10

Since this pattern uses multiple repeats, I have attempted to use a short form rather than write out the patterns repeats individually.

Tree Leaves Canopy

Step 1)  R,(Ca,R) x6, Ca, SR folding picots together after each chain.
Note that the size of the picot determines the size of the 'leaves'. Varied sizes of picots would make for a less uniform look to the canopy.

Step 2)  SR, (Ca,R2) x6, Ca, SR where R2 joins to R row 1. Fold row 1 onto row 2.

Step 3)  C, R, C + (join between the attached, doubled rings of rows 1 and 2).

Repeat across the row. Tie. (Use ends to secure to surface if applicable. If not, hide ends.)

Tree Limbs and Trunk

1) Cut five lengths of thread, 48", fold one in half and thread the needle

2) Take the needle through the picot of ring 1 of the last row and begin to tat: 3 Sets-1 Set. Knot and leave ends. 

3) Proceed as above, but take the needle through the picot of the second ring of the last row. Tat 3 Sets + 2 Sets - 1 Set, (join to the picot in step 2)  Leave the ends.

4) On the sixth ring of the last row, using a double thread as before, take the needle through the picot and tat: 5 Sets - 1ds. Leave the ends.

5) On the seventh ring of the previous row, using a double thread as before, take the needle through the picot and tat : 5 Sets-2 Sets- 2 Sets. Leave ends.

6) Cut a 60" length of thread, fold it in half and thread the needle. Take the needle through the picots on rings 3, 4, and 5 of the previous row and tat : 5 Sets + 2 Sets ( join to first picot in steps four and five) + 2 Sets ( join to second picot step 5) Leave ends.

7) Take the thread ends of steps 2 and 3 and tat 1 Set, then add all thread ends from all steps and tat together as many Sets as desired to create the trunk base. Short threads may escape from the tatting. Knot when desired number of Sets are completed. Trim escaped short threads. Use the long thread ends to attach to an ATC or other surface, or hide.

Please note that Tree #2 was designed with 6 chains of canopy rather than the 7 chains of the original. The tree limbs and trunk were also somewhat altered, although the basic concept is the same. Tree #2 was tatted with Yarnplayer's "Leafy" in pearl cotton #12 for the canopy and "Tourmaline" size 50 for the limbs and trunk. Tree #1 was tatted with DMC Cebelia #30 in white. Tree #3 was tatted with Yarnplayer's " A Leaf Falls" in 3-cord cotton, size 10.

Tatted Tree #3

R = 3 - 3

C = 5 - 5

Set = 4d,4s where d = 1st half of ds and s = 2nd half of ds

Ca = 1 ( -2d - 2s) 10

SR = 3 / 3

Tree Canopy

Row 1= R (Ca,R) x 6, Ca, SR folding picots together after each chain

Row 2= SR (Ca,R) x 6, Ca, SR flip row 1 onto row 2

Row 3= C + across row, joining each finished chain to the picot of the corresponding ring of row 2

Tree Limbs and Trunk

1) Cut the remaining ball thread to a length of 20", and fold it back on itself to create a double thread of 10". Tat as follows: 2 Sets - 2ds and leave the thread ends.

2) Cut three 24" lengths from the ball thread and one 60" length.

3) Double one 24" length of thread, thread the needle, take the needle through the next chain picot of row 3 and tat as follows: 2 Sets + 1Set - 2ds (join to picot of first limb)

4) Double one 24" length of thread, thread the needle and going through the picot of the last chain in row 3, tat: 2 Sets - 1 Set - 1 ds

5) Repeat as above going through the next chain picot in row 3 and tat: 3 Sets + 1ds ( join to second picot of limb in step 4.

6) Double the 60" thread and thread the needle, then take the needle through the picots of the middle chains, tat: 3 Sets + (join to 2nd picot of limb in step 5 and 2nd picot in step 3) and gather all loose threads and tat as many sets as possible with the remaining thread, allowing shorter threads to fall to the side until desired length reached.

7) Shorter threads may be cut from the trunk. The remaining threads may be used to attach the tree to an ATC or other material as desired, or finished as usual.

Happy tatting!
Thanks for visiting. Hugs from Suz.

Monday, June 14, 2010

This Place

This Place

I wander down the track your feet have trod upon a thousand times

And feel your presence standing near, your shadow on my heart.

Did the quiet seep beneath your skin to set your pulse to pound

In fear, or did the silence sing to you a tranquil song?

Are your tears encased within the mortar set between the stones

You laid so lovingly by your own hand to mark your path?

I hear the echo of the hammer ring upon the time-worn beams

And smell your sweat hang heavy, still, as on those sultry days.

I hear your wordless whispers every way I turn and wonder

What you would have done within this place had time allowed,

Had choice been free, had you not gone ahead of me.

But do the stones, the beams, the mortar, hold yet your once-felt dreams?

The rain has mingled with my tears to drown my sorrows

As the spring floods, pushed through gulleys, make washed beds that spill downhill.

The torrent sweeps away the particles of my transgressions

Leaving emptiness, a hollow shell that once your love did fill.

I watch the journey of the sun from dawn ‘til dusk and feel you

Standing by my side to view again what once your eyes beheld.

I hold against my heart the knowledge that you haunt this place

That called you, held you, kept you from me. Your blood has fed the soil.
                                                                               Susan Cuss

After the Rain

We had a downpour Friday night, the rain thundering on the steel roof. It poured into the next day, the skies not clearing until after noon.
These iris were battered, the stems bent, the blooms touching the ground. Rescued, they added a nice shot of colour to the diningroom.


My pink peony was drooping, trying to hide away from the rain drops. How sad it looks!

One day later, the peony has lifted her head to the sunshine. Hope your day has sunshine in it.
Thanks for visiting. Hugs from Suz.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tat Days Quilt Square #2

Here is the second quilt square I embellished for the Tat Days Fundraiser:
The before shot shows a lot of bright colours that do not seem to go well together, and that created a challenge. The central motif, while perhaps allowing for a certain direction, became a hindrance, as many hours were spent in vain trying to find its meaning.
So I decided to embellish this square using the colours of the materials, and trying to blend them into one another.
This meant that the central motif had to disappear, and it was by luck that I had some colorful knitting ribbon in my stash that picked up most of the fabric colours.

It's pretty colourful and busy, isn't it?  I had attempted to blur the lines between the different fabrics, taking colors from one to the next to make the square more harmonious. I'm not sure I succeeded, but it was an exercise that I enjoyed, and a different focus since there was no theme to the square other than colour. I think that right now, I prefer to have some sort of direction for embellishing.
What about you? Do you prefer a theme, or do you like the freedom of working without one?
Thanks for visiting. Hugs from Suz.

Monday, June 7, 2010

2010 Tat Days Quilt Square

Do you CQ? I do!
My first CQ adventure began late last fall. I had joined Georgia Seitz's Online Tatting Class, and , wow, have I learned a lot beyond the simple rings and chains I'd known! Split chains, Josephine knots, victorian sets, and more......
But back to CQing. Tatters everywhere volunteered to embellish quilt squares for a fundraiser for Tat Days, and I joined the queue. I'd never done this before, so I searched online for info and examples, and learned a little along the way. Georgia is gathering up all the squares and most will be joined into a quilt, and some squares will be kept separate, all to be auctioned.
Now that the due date to return the finished squares has passed, I'd like to share my finished square with you.

Do you see the standing green and gold tatted spider guarding its web? That was so fun to do! I'm sorry I don't have a before pic to show you-- I was such a newbie at this, I didn't know enough to take one!                                                                    

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tatted ATC's

I 'met' some very nice people on CQ International, and arranged an exchange with two new friends. Sally sent me some of her stash-- a large box full of goodies.

Nicki sent me some of her gorgeous dyed laces, and I sent both ladies an assortment of my tattings. I've made them each an ATC and embellished it with some tatting and beads, just to say a little thank you. It's a surprise. And just in case they see this blog, they won't know just which is going to whom. I sure hope they like them.

 I thought you might like to see a pic. Sorry if the picture quality isn't the best...I'm still learning.

The background used to be my favourite scarf ! I knitted  it as a gift to myself a couple of years ago. Somehow, it ended up in the dryer. I wonder how that happened?

Oh, well, now it shall become little ATC's and part of some cards, perhaps, and I can share my fave scarf with other people!
Thanks for visiting.

The First Post

Well, it has begun. A new stage, a new page, and a new beginning: I'm blogging! Watch me as I stumble and fall, but please lend a hand as I pick myself up off the floor. I'm tech challenged to say the least, so I expect to have dust bunnies attached to my cheek regularly as I learn my way.

" If not now, then when?"

Welcome to my blog. I hope to share with you some of my rambling thoughts, and creative experiments, whether in tatting, CQing, or painting. I hope you enjoy the journey. Now, where's that map?
Here's a shot of my front yard taken last fall.

Thanks for visiting!