Some of my patterns

30 September 2011

Royal Fail strikes AGAIN.

Well, they've done it again - Royal Fail.  This is what Sue Anna had to say.

Do you remember the last batch of shuttles I put in the Etsy shop on 22nd August?  Well, poor Sue Anna hasn't got hers yet.  She's SUCH a patient person but even I was getting worried last week.  So on Saturday morning I emailed her to ask if they'd arrived.  If she'd said no then I was going to refund her money and make sure she got replacements out of the next batch.  

Well it couldn't have been an hour later that the door bell rang.  There stood the postman with a very puzzled look on his face.  The packet to Sue Anna was there in his hand and he was so apologetic.  It looked 'travel worn' but hadn't been opened.

So I took it down to the Post Office and showed it to them.  They said it was properly labelled, properly priced etc, etc.  On the front as you'll see below - somebody has written CANADA and then scribbled it out.  There's also the cryptic NSP and RTS.  These stand for 'not small packet' and 'return to sender'.  OK they made a mistake at the sorting office as it IS a small packet.  

I would wonder why it took over a month to get RTS'd to me too.  Anyway a stroppy letter of complaint and a claim for my postage to be refunded and compensation is in the mail to them - provided THAT doesn't get lost.  I won't reveal what I actually said in the letter but - well, let's just say that the room filled with smoke. 


There's another small present that I sent to Sue Anna about a week after the shuttles and that hasn't arrived yet - wonder whether it'll come back to me next Saturday?  The package is on it's way again too.  

28 September 2011

Tidying the books

Did you miss me yesterday?  I've decided to cut down a bit on my blogging.  Not because I've got nothing to say - after all I am a woman!!!!  I was beginning to find my posts boring when I went to read them so I've decided to cut down a bit.

For ages now this has been on my 'to do' list.  Tidying up my tatting books.  But, guess what?  I kept putting it off.

Now when I do this (putting things off) it's usually because I'm not sure how to tackle the 'problem'.  The trouble with the books is that they're all different sizes and thicknesses so to find the small slim books amongst the larger ones became a fight!!!  Also I was constantly worried that they'd get damaged.  

Eventually I decided that probably magazine holders might be the answer.  See the big book in the magazine holder on it's own in a plastic folder?  That's my very, very precious Mrs Beeton's book. 

So over the past two weeks I've walked up to Staples twice and popped in and bought some magazine holders to help make my problem go away (some are old ones which I rescued from the loft).  This is the result below.  A nice tidy (but one wonders for how long!) shelf of tatting books.

Some of the books like the Mary Konior ones didn't need holders as they're very well behaved so they're standing in (roughly) alphabetical order on the shelf.  The brackets on the wall had to be considered when positioning them all but I think it'll work.

Oh, for the eagle eyed amongst you (Anitra, probably applies to you as you rescue eagles) you may spot Nick's store of wine below!!!  I often feel 'forced' to help him drink it, cough, cough, splutter, splutter!!!!  Next task will be the shelf below the books which also holds tatting leaflets, printouts, etc.


26 September 2011

For whom the bell tolls!

Well actually this one will never toll again for anybody!!!  Remember the Outside In Bell?  Well this is what happened to it the other day!!!  Cut down in his prime, vandalised and thrown in the bin!!!!

Why?  Well I decided that it wasn't a 'good' design.  It was OK but it wasn't good enough for me.  Naturally I had to 'rescue' the beads I'd used in it (well, not the tiny seed beads) so out came the scissors!!

When I make something it HAS to stand on it's own.  It should NOT need blocking or pulling into shape or fiddling with.  Once it's finished it should just 'be' without any further help (well, perhaps a light press with the iron).  That's the high standard I set myself and it doesn't matter if I have to tat the same thing over a dozen times I will do that to meet my own 'quality control' standards.

Well, the bell didn't.  I had to damp it and slightly tug it into shape and that WON'T DO so it hit the dust!!!  Don't worry - I've not given up yet and I WILL get an Outside In Bell that is a good design and not just an 'average' one.  So THERE!!!  I have spoken!!!!  Well, when have I ever been quiet, eh?

24 September 2011

Doodles 2

Here are the rest of the doodles for Erin. 

I'm still waiting for pictures of the shuttles but hope to have those for next week.  

Can you see the flowers on this selection?  They're to go with the hummingbirds, I think!!!!

23 September 2011

Launching butterfly 2


The page is up and ready to go - here's the link.  If you do ever get round to making it I'd love to see it.
Thank you to my valiant team of test tatters - without you I'd have given up the re-writing ages ago!!!  I've altered the text yet again to make it simpler, I hope!!!

Having always been a 'bright colours' person I'm trying to show here that I can do 'other' shades too!!!  The variegated pink is a Lizbeth one which I bought for making pigs!!  The brown is an ancient Coats.  As you probably know there is a new Lizbeth thread out in these colours - all on the same ball, though.  I can't wait to try it.


Well, upwards and onwards to the next project.  Should I return to the bell?  Probably!!!

22 September 2011

Doodles part 1

Some time ago I was in touch with Erin Hinton of Hinton's shuttles.  They're now making shuttles out of epoxy resin in which they embed tatting!!  

Isn't that just TOO clever?  Well I offered to do some doodles for these and here are some I'm working on.
Below you can see a squirrel, an acorn, a turtle, a butterfly, some elephants and giraffes, a tree, a mouse, a fish and a hummingbird.  I make them in pairs but they're such little stinkers to get on the scanner together or in pairs you'll just have to see them like this - in a muddle!!!  I'll get the rest done tomorrow and show you them then.

I'm waiting for a photo from Erin of a finished shuttle to show you.  When her husband has time to take one I'll post it too.

21 September 2011

Do I shimmer or what?

Last Thursday evening I'd finished this dragonfly and was dying to see what it looked like as a necklace/pendant.  I have a friend who sells the most amazing jewellery on the Friday street market (here's a link to her Facebook site) so I wanted to 'show this off' to her.

Easy - just needed the chain and clasps put on as I'd already 'worked in' the split rings in the wings.  So, bright and early on Friday morning (well a tad after nine o'clock) I set off to find the chain in my bulging tatting cupboard.  No way!!!  I searched and searched but couldn't find the one I wanted!!!!

So, off I went shopping and told Sarah about it.  When I got home I had to do the dreaded 'H' word so it was much later in the morning before I got back to looking.  I found the chain which, incidentally, I'd picked up at least once during the morning's search.  EUREKA. 

DOH, now, of course, I'd lost the dragonfly!!!!  Eventually they all came together and here they are.  I did show Sarah when I was on my way home after the daily afternoon walk.  


Now, question is - do I make more and will they sell in the Etsy shop?!?!?  Off to have a word with 'you know who'!!!  If you want the slightly amended stitch and bead count please drop me a line.

20 September 2011

Launching butterfly number 1

Finally I've got the pattern up and running for the plain butterfly - it's here.

I was hoping to get them both done at the same time but that elusive element (time) ran away from me again.  If I was younger I'd try keeping up with it but nowadays there doesn't seem to be much point!!!

I know you've seen this picture before and I do apologise.  

Off to sort out the fancy butterfly now - before I forget!!



19 September 2011

I'm RICH!!

Yes, I'm RICH.


I heard months ago from Barb at Handy Hands that they'd chosen my suggestion for a new colour combination in the Lizbeth threads and have been desperately trying to keep the aged mouth SHUT!!!!

It's like winning the lottery, having a baby, coming of age (that's nearly 68 for me!!!) and all the best things in life.  For my suggestion I get 25 balls of Lizbeth for FREEEEEE.  You can keep your lottery, you can keep your Premium Bonds, you can keep your scratch cards - I've won the tatter's lottery.  WHOOOPPPPEEEEEE - more thread!!!

The colour combination that I've been desperately seeking for years - pink to brown was chosen.    It's called Pink Cocoa and it's on Isdihara's blog which is here.

BUT the hard part is choosing the colours that Barb gives you.  25 balls of thread.  Thread heaven but what a hard time choosing!!!  Why?  Well, there are SO many gorgeous colours and Sue Anna has led me astray with her generosity in the past too!!! This is how I went about it on the floor in our back room and just outside 'Tat Cupboard'!!! 


In the bottom photo you can see my list which isn't complete at this stage.  I got all my other threads out (not all shown on the first picture) to either re-order old favourites like Rainbow Taffy and Autumn Spice or to see if I had any in the stash which would match up with new ones.  See the iPad - 'tuned' into the Handy Hands site?  SOOO useful.

17 September 2011

Fandango cross

Well having given the two blue crosses away I suddenly realised I hadn't got one for myself.  I like to keep one of each pattern in a box 'just in case'.  So I set about making another but this time in a size 80 thread.

The variegated thread is one that Zarina sent me and it's SO delicious.  I've been dying (yes, it's HDT) to try it since I received it.

16 September 2011

The very last butterfly

The page is up and ready to go - here's the link.  If you do ever get round to making it I'd love to see it.
Thank you to my valiant team of test tatters - without you I'd have given up the re-writing ages ago!!!  I've altered the text yet again to make it simpler, I hope!!!

Having always been a 'bright colours' person I'm trying to show here that I can do 'other' shades too!!!  The variegated pink is a Lizbeth one which I bought for pigs!!  The brown is an ancient Coats.  As you probably know there is a new Lizbeth thread out in these colours - all on the same ball, though.  I can't wait to try it.


Well, upwards and onwards to the next project.  Should I return to the bell?  Probably!!!

15 September 2011

First experiment in a ring

Still working with a size 40 thread I decided that this bell would probably look OK in a ring.


These rings are 2 1/2" in diameter and are often or usually sold as bracelets.  I used to call them 'Indian bracelets' but not sure what they're known as nowadays.  Hmmmm, perhaps I should google them!!!!

This one needs a bit of tidying up - a dab of glue on the ends (none need sewing in on this pattern), some careful 'snipping' of extra thread and the removal of a piece of hair/thread from the bottom right corner.

 Do you like the way I've added beads AFTER tying to the metal ring?  Not sure if I do but that's me - never sure of things!!!  Remember - this is JUST an experiment!!!!!

14 September 2011

Dragonfly pattern now ready

Here's the pattern and here are two more worked exactly as the pattern states - for once!!!

I'm a terror for changing my patterns as I go but this time I think I've got them just right!!!  

Anyway, if you do decide to work any up yourself you can change the amount of beads you put on both the long beaded picots and also where you do the joining of those picots!!!  That's what took the time - trying out different bead counts!!!

The two below are earrings - or will be when I get round to putting them on ear wires!!!  They're worked in a number 80 thread.

13 September 2011

Three butterflies

Here are three of the butterflies which my stalwart test tatters made.  Megga big thanks to them and all t'others.  

I'm almost ready to put both butterflies on the pattern site and will try and make time to do that later this week.
First in is from Stephanie who worked in these two colours.
Next is from Martha Ess who took time from her new book to test this for me.
Then there was Jane McLelland's which arrived a few days ago!!

12 September 2011

Outside in Bell

This next pattern is one I started on for sheer amusement!!  I'm getting bored with tatting and I needed to challenge myself in a new design.
Looks pretty darn simple, doesn't it?  Well it is.  BUT.

I wanted to try something which I could call a 'wrong way round' design and this is it.  Well, it's the first of 'this is its', I hope!!!  We'll see and time will tell!!!

Why is it a 'wrong way round' design?  Perhaps you can work it out!!!!  Answers on a postage stamp, please!!!!

I gave you a clue which can be found here.  That little STINKER Mark Myers worked out what it was from my stinky sister's comment!!!!  She knew what I was up to and thought she was being clever but Mark knew how our brains worked.  Next time I see you, Mark, I'm gonna give you a big hug - when Kim's not looking!!!!  That'll be your punishment!!!!  That's why this design already has a name - The Outside In Bell!!!!

Ooooh, I do make me laugh - sometimes!!

10 September 2011

Finished

This is my 'Travelling Wilbury' project!!!  I started it waaaay back and it's been in my handbag ever since.  I actually worked on it quite a lot when we were on our trip to the USA and back.  I also did some while on lifeguard duty too.  AFTER the diamond project, I might add.

On the way to bed last night I threw it under the iron but it really does need pressing properly.  Maybe I'll get it done later today!!!

It's only taken a week to get it sewn on as I did that in the odd moments during the afternoons.  Evenings are 'Strictly Come Tatting' times!!

9 September 2011

Dragonflies

Will somebody please send me a new brain cell?  I need one with more memory.  Pity you can't buy it and slot it in like you can on a computer!!!  What am I on about?  Well, this and these!!!

I decided that these were going to be 'best sellers' in my Etsy shop last winter but they weren't!!!! Not sure why as they are so pretty but they are a bit fiddly to make!!!  


Anyway I did write and draw the pattern out for my own benefit and then sort of forgot it!!!!  Here's a couple of pictures of the dragonfly and meantime I'll get the rest of the pattern sorted as when I looked at it again the other day I couldn't understand it myself!!!!  


Just to get you thinking and maybe drooling?


8 September 2011

Guessing game

OK, get out your brain cells - here's a question for you!!!  What am I working on now?

This is the only clue you're gonna get - a picture of work in progress!!!!  

Just a helpful hint - remember I have a perverted mind and this could turn into anything.  I'll tell you the answer in due course!!!!

7 September 2011

Fandango cross

Finally the Fandango cross is finished!!!  

Here are two of them which I made to double check (2, double - get it?) the pattern.  I hope I've written it in a way that is easily understood.  Geraldine did it perfectly and the only 'real' addition is the ring on chains which form the centre.  She'd got the stitch count right on that too.  The biggest 'hassle' was writing the 'ins' and 'outs' corners but I think it's OK now.

These two are worked in a number 40 thread and measure from top to bottom roughly 7" which makes them (in my opinion!) too large for bookmarks but just right for framing and displaying - if that's what you like to do!!!!  Well, here they are!

6 September 2011

Copyright and Butterflies - again!!!

This post was originally going to be the boring part about the butterfly below but I have been following this blog by Heather lately.  If you haven't noticed it then do add it to your list.  Why?  Because it's well written and interesting.  Wish the internet had been around when I learnt all those years ago when I was a wee lass.

The part that I particularly want to point out is today's post which has three patterns on there.  Simple ones that have been buzzing around books, the internet and people's brains (with small, very small variations on stitch count and number of picots) for many, many years.  Note that Heather DOES NOT claim these as her own OR put a copyright notice on them like so many others have done in the past.  She's a sound lass.  I wonder where she's going to take us next?

Now for the original butterfly post.  I just wanted to tell you that one of them actually got sewn onto a tshirt!!!  That's pretty amazing for me as they rarely get put in the intended place!!!

See the ancient neck there?  That's mine - not a tortoise!!!

I was using the mirror on the landing to take the picture.  Not sure blogger allows horror pictures on people's blogs so I cut out the face!!!  Well some of it is behind the camera as you can see!!!!

5 September 2011

Progress!!

Further progress has been made on the diamond mat!!  

Choosing a background fabric to mount it on was a problem.  I thought brown would be the right colour as it looked pretty good on our brown carpet.  Nick took one look and said 'no way' - it needs white.

I clambered upstairs to my fabric stash and found a lovely white piece of fabric which positively killed the whole thing dead!!!  

Next decision was to go to our local shop which sells fabric.  Great idea even if they don't have much in there and it is rather expensive!!!  BUT before I left I had a small brainwave.  Well, not me, really.  Brain cell 3 popped in for a few minutes!!!

Back upstairs again and I found a sheet which may have come from dad's or anywhere.  It was a newish one and when I brought it down, laid it on the floor and threw the diamond mat on top of it  we both said it was just right.  So, that's what I did - used that!!!  

The whole thing is done but it still needs hooks in the walls to hang it from.  That could take time knowing us two!!!!

3 September 2011

Mumbling about copyright!

I saw an interesting blog post the other day about this over here.

There have been many, many interesting discussions and arguments on this subject over the years and I always read them all with interest and sometimes a certain amount of 'grumpiness'!!!!  

If you've the time (or inclination!) then read on but if you haven't then don't bother - this is only my opinion!!!  

Over the years I've been doing this craft things have changed dramatically but I think the most dramatic change has come about with the internet.  This has given us access to many, many more patterns, techniques and friendships than anything else.  New tatters come along in droves (thank goodness) to try their hand at our craft.  After a few patterns have been made up they can then see 'improvements' and other ideas stemming from these.  Great - BUT.  Hang on, shouldn't we not only encourage this but also add a word of caution here?  

I read many, many blogs each day and get very bored with the same old, same old claims by people who have 'designed a new pattern' for us.  Great - if it is new.  But what if it isn't and mostly they aren't!!!!  They are what I call 'generic'.  A lot of the current - 'this is MY new pattern' claims are just these.  They ARE new to that person but NOT new to tat land.  I feel we should encourage these 'wannabe' designers to check, check, check to see that their 'designs' haven't been done before!!!  This is now SO easy through blogs, forums and groups and by just asking around!!  Also internet searches are a lot easier too.

I feel that through these simplistic generic 'new patterns' we are actually 'cheapening' our craft.  I think we need to stimulate new tatters by offering more interesting ideas.  Not those beyond their capabilities (I am so often guilty of that!) but by putting more thought into what we do.  Let's not criticise those who 'steal' these simple generic designs but rather point out that they must have been done before because they are so 'simple'.  Let's encourage more checking out of our work before publishing it as 'ours'.

Many years ago I came up with the medium seahorse which was commissioned by and published in a weekly magazine in the UK.  Imagine my HORROR when the Ring of Tatters published it a few years later in their Newsletter, very badly notated and altered and with somebody else's name on it as the designer and owner of the copyright.  Imagine PICOTS all over it and you get the idea.  To say I was unhappy is to put it mildly.  This was actually a case where the new publishers were MORE to blame than the person who had 'stolen' my copyrighted work simply because they HADN'T CHECKED.  The old lady who'd 'stolen' my work thought that as she'd paid a few pence for the magazine that the pattern was hers to do what she liked with.  Simple (to her!) alterations to something which took so many hours of my time.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings - I'm off to have a shower and my breakfast!!!!!

2 September 2011

Hidden gems - part 3

Oh, heck!!!  Yesterday I forgot to release this post (two small grandkids and lots of excitement for the last few days) and then today I nearly forgot too and am somewhat later than normal.  I always use the 'scheduled' button on blogger but for some reason it just won't work at the moment so I have to rely on my hit and miss memory.  Lately more miss than hit!!!!  Here we go finally!!!

In Eska's final book I see a small resemblance to some of Mary Konior's work in this design.

In this book there's a date of 1952 so she would have been ahead of Mary!!!!  I wonder if Mary ever saw Eska's work?  Even though I've been collecting books since around 1956 I've never seen this Dutch lady's work until recently.  I feel an urge to get to grips with translating some of these for myself and making one or two pieces.  Certainly all three books are little gems and my many, many thanks go to Riet for sending me the final two in the series.


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