Saturday, November 23, 2013

nuntium centesimum quadrigesimum quartum (144th post) 25 by the 25th

We got a little snow outside but so puny it's not worth a picture.  On the other hand, it's colder today than it has been in 9 months with wind chill below 0.  If you are in a gentle clime, wind chill is where we calculate how it "feels" when you add the wind blowing on your face to the actual temperature.  Brr.  I'm staying in!

Here is my 3rd of 25 by the 25th.  It could happen!
motif #23 - not to "snowflake-y"

This is from Tatting for Today, another by Marion Leyds.  I'm not sure why I would think this was a snowflake.  Hmmm.

Now I've got my eye on Frivole's Céleste.  I bought it at once but ....beads.  What is my ridiculous laziness about beads?  I love them on tatting, I have a bead spinner that just loads those beads right up so what's the deal?  I think it's because so much of my tatting is stolen time.  I tat whenever and wherever but there isn't very much "just sit down in my chair" tatting.  I tat at the ortho, while in the car waiting for my daughter to get done with rehearsal, in meetings(!), in restaurants while waiting for food, anytime my husband drives us somewhere and it's not dark- quite a challenge these days when it's dark by 5:00, anywhere I can squeeze it in but there's not very much "hey, I think I'll go tat now."


Read on for a why-I-love-middle-schoolers story.
So, middle schoolers are the best people in the world.  They're funny, charming, growing, awkward, gawky, beautiful, happy, mad, goofy, sad, silly all in about a minute!  Every day I teach the kids ONE Latin word/phrase that exists in English but is actually Latin.  So this was the day for "etc.  - et cetera".  First there's surprise that this is Latin, and we go through that yes, English is a jumble of many other languages.  Then we talk about how the abbreviation is ETC, not ECT which so many people do, but I point out that the first word is ET which means "and" and the second is CETERA which means "the others" and since those two are the words behind the abbreviation, ECT just doesn't make sense, then we would mean "ec tetera"- haha.  Okay?  Okay.  Everyone dutifully writes this down.  We use the expression in a few sentences and everyone seems to understand.  We're ready to move to the next activity and one of the boys raises his hand.

"Mrs. Vitt, how do you say it in Latin?
"How do you say "et cetera" in Latin?
"Et cetera."
"What's the Latin for "et cetera" though?"
"That is the Latin, Name-Removed."
"No, what is the LATIN (said with some irritation)?"
"The Latin is "et cetera"."
At this point the other 6th graders are trying to help poor Name-Removed and me. They are chiming in on all sides.  Finally, I quiet them and say,
"Name-Removed, the whole point of these kinds of words is that they are BOTH Latin and English. So the Latin is "et cetera"."
He looks at me with a supremely patient expression.
"I knooooooooow.  But how do you SPELL the Latin?"
At this point, I burst into giggles and can't talk.
He shakes his head.

And that is why I love going to work every day and have for the last 25 years.  I've taught high school too and they are fun but nothing, like this.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

nuntium centesimum quadrigesimum tertium (143rd post) nix/snow

What do you think about the fact that word in Latin for snow is nix and that's the name for one of the get-rid-of-lice shampoos?

Makes me giggle.

Okay, Kristen, here's number 2!

BORING snowflake, definitely NOT my favorite, also from Festive Tatting? Lizbeth size 20
motif #22
What does say about me that I think the outer rings should have an odd number of picots so that I can put my wonderful-got-them-at-Michaels-on-clearance-last-year hooks in a picot instead of the ring itself?

Today was the 4th day with new 6th graders- they have to take one trimester of Latin in 6th grade. They are so fun!  I love middle schoolers, their enthusiasm is so contagious.  They told me they were sad that there's no Latin tomorrow (we have a rotating schedule so every fourth day there's no class).  Imagine, they're sad there's no class.  Tee hee.

nuntium centesimum quadrigesimum secundum (142nd post) snow in Minnesota

Well, hello there.

There's currently no snow in this part of Minnesota but the newspeople are giddy with the prospect of snow on Thursday- as if this doesn't happen every year, tee hee.  I like looking at snow.
It's so fun to read tatting blogs and see what everyone is doing, so many beautiful things, especially doilies, wow!  Someday when I retire, I'll be like the Queen of Romania and sit with so much tatting that it spills off of my lap!

Kristen has been given a challenge by her brother to tat 25 motifs by December 25.  She's invited people to join her so here I am, on the other side of the world, trying to do the same.  Won't you join us too?

Unfortunately tatting these days is squeezed in here and there so I can't remember where some of these snowflakes are from- please know that NONE of them are my own pattern and I have either found them in my books or on the internet.

Here's # 1:
It's Lizbeth white, size 20.  I think the pattern is from Festive Tatting.
#21 in the official 25 challenge

Anyone else want to join in?

Latin for today: squama = snowflake

Friday, August 16, 2013

nuntium centesimum quadragesimum primum (141st post) Quatrain halfway

If you've read this blog for a while, you know that I've been working on and off on a runner made of Frivole's beautiful Quatrain pattern for 2+ years.
Tatted with beautiful La Cossette shuttles.
I've made some headway this summer and recently have done quite a bit.  In fact, I'm over halfway!  (You might wonder why the widget on the right doesn't reflect this.  Well, it's been so long since I made any progress, I've forgotten the formula.  sigh.)
This is where it will eventually be.
The bad news is my tatting has improved since I started.   Of course, the good news is my tatting has improved since I started.  : )
Oh phew, there's a thread I missed!
I wonder if I can live with such an uneven piece when it's complete.

Yeah, probably.

Monday, August 12, 2013

nuntium centesimum quadragesimum (140th post) Wedding picture

When we got married, one of my mom's friends gave us a drawing she'd made.  I thought it was wonderful and have copied the idea numerous times over the years.  I've never shown them because it had the full names of the couple.  This time though, my husband asked for one with just the first names so I think I'm safe to show it.
I've never been there for the gift opening for one of these and I always wonder if the bride/groom like it or think it's ridiculously hokey.  I don't know why it appeals to me but it does.  This particular bride did call my husband (I was in England, dangerously close to Frivole) to find out who'd made it and said she loved it.  Whew.
Lest you think I've left tatting behind, it's not the case.  Here's a little cross which I spied on West Pine Creations and had to try.
motif #20  Lizbeth dark purple and white
What I've really been doing is working on the Quatrain.  I really love the pattern and I love my later work but I'm less thrilled with my earlier work.  Hard to imagine that I've gotten this much better in the last few years but I clearly have!  Maybe a picture tomorrow.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

nuntium centesimum undequadragesimum (139th post) Harissa

No tatting today.  (Well, of course I'm tatting but this is a food post).
For a bunch of plain Midwesterners, we eat strange food.  One of the family favorites is Moroccan couscous Royale.  My husband discovered this in France  and since I love to cook,  I figured I could make this.  Lots of research created a meal that takes me all day to make, my family about 20 minutes to eat and leftovers for a very happy week for my husband.  He takes it to school and warms it up there and has students trailing him around asking what that delightful smell is.
The key for my husband, the neighbor/college roommate of my husband and the brother-in-law is the harissa.  It's a kind of paste made from peppers, peppers and peppers.  You can buy it in some stores but that is usually a "hot" sauce/paste and instead of flavor, there is just burn.  Mine is a combination of several recipes and is a general crowd-pleaser although I don't eat it myself.  I'm told it doesn't burn but still packs a punch.  I've been asked for the recipe enough that I thought I'd do a picture version.  Don't laugh- I know one guy who will be making it soon. (Christopher!)
First you need 6oz of dried peppers.  I like to use ancho, guajillo and New Mexico.  If you look carefully, the packages are 3 oz each but it didn't seem to matter.

Rubber gloves make this more pleasant, especially later in the evening when you accidentally rub your eyes!
Boil enough water to cover the peppers with an inch of water above.  I just fill my teapot which makes plenty.
Cut open the peppers, remove seeds and ribs.
I cut them up into about 1-inch square don't worry if they're different shapes and sizes.
Pour the boiling water over and cover.

Rehydrate for 30 minutes or so.

You'll need cheesecloth.  You can buy it in fancy kitchen stores or your local hardware store in the paint section (much more cheaply).
Roast three red peppers.  (I get my husband to do this because I'm pathetic with the grill.)  After you blacken them all over, put in a paper bag, close and leave alone for 15 minutes.  I always put a plate under because the steam and juice will soak through and the red stains my white formica counter.

Remove black skin, seeds and ribs.

Chop into small pieces.  Place the red peppers on the cheesecloth.

Squeeze the daylights and juice out.

Now it's mush.  Place in food processor.

Grind up 2-3 cloves of garlic with 1/2 tsp salt.  (You'll notice more here because we're garlic freaks.)
Keep going.  It will almost look like mushy foam.
Now you need to grind up 2 tsp caraway seeds, 1 tsp salt and 2 tsp coriander.  You can buy them ground up but I think the flavor is better if you grind them yourself. 
You can use a clean pepper mill - or if you're like me and never use the coffee grinder,  just put them in it and grind in a minute.  Just don't plan to use it with coffee again.

Here are the finely ground herbs/spices.

Now take the cover off of the peppers in the hot water.  They smell wonderful.
I use a kitchen tongs to remove them from the still very hot water.

Place on previously used cheesecloth. (You don't need new stuff.)

Squeeze the rehydrated peppers- be careful, this is usually quite hot!
Place squeezed peppers and ground herbs/spice mixture in food processor with roasted red peppers.  Process while drizzling olive oil in.  (Approximate 1/4 cup)
This is what it should look like.
Before you put in your clean container...
coat interior with olive oil.

Even the sides.

Yum! (says my husband who always licks the spoon!)
Put a light layer of olive oil on the top before sealing container.  This will last several weeks in the refrigerator- unless it gets eaten first!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

nuntium centesimum duodequadragesimum (138th post) I am not a Dr Who fan

Despite the myriad TARDIS that show up on this blog, I am not a Dr. Who fan.  I don't dislike it but I don't seek it out either.  My daughters, on the other hand are Whovians.  My elder daughter even owns and wears a TARDIS dress!
For their birthdays in the spring, Cindy, our Happy Bluebird made lovely tatting pouches for them and I was going to tat Anne Bruvold's wonderful TARDIS pattern to put on the flap of each one.  But size 20 was too big and they each got a bookmark out of the deal.  See here.

It's really little!

Even her ipad case is a TARDIS

Cindy recently ordered thread and I got a ball too (we order together and share the shipping when possible).  Size 80, Lizbeth- royal blue which has been renamed in our house as TARDIS blue.
If you haven't tried this pattern, it's really a fun one with split rings and rings thrown off a split ring and even my new favorite, one puny little split chain!

Latin for day:  felix natalis tibi, amica mea = Happy birthday, my friend!  : )

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

nuntium centesimum tricesimum septimum (137th post) Triumph!

I have persevered and made the Frivole's Mille Fleurs again.  AND... I'm much happier with it.   Is it the different thread?  It's still Lizbeth, still size 20 but I think the result is much better!

still motif #19

I had to do two singles to start the petal-  maybe I tat too tightly-but now they have the lovely curves I wanted!

And here's my Marilee Rocklee Carnival necklace with my dress.  I can't get it to hang correctly but I wrangled the necklace here for the photo.

I don't have a "workshop" for tatting but in the summer, here is where I love to tat in the afternoon.
My daughter is hiding by the fountain.