Some of my patterns

31 October 2011

Prettying things up!

Well I thought my home page was boring!!!  I decided that weeks ago but didn't have the time to get to sorting it.

Last weekend I did have time and sat down to add some images to 'cheer it up'.  DUH, I'd forgotten how to do it!!!  I used to use an html editor on the PC to make web pages but a few years ago changed to doing the files in pdf AND changed to a mac.  BUT my home page is or has to be in html and I'd forgotten 'how to' add images!!

So this weekend I made time to have another go.  I sat down with a blank mind and started.  Well, you'd never guess what happened.  Brain cell 3 turned up straight away and I realised how stupidly thick I'd been and  how easy it was!!!  Time consuming, yes.  Easy, yes!!!  I now present you with my 'new looking' home page.  Ta, daaaaa!!!!


I'm slowly going to 'decorate' the other link pages too.  That's (of course) if I haven't forgotten 'how to' again!!!

29 October 2011

New earrings!

So in between other things I decided I really, really 'needed' more earrings!!!  


While I was doing a pair for myself (the bottom ones) I decided to make a pair for my friend.  She should really have been born a magpie as she loves anything that glitters.  I made hers slightly shorter as she doesn't 'suit' very long ones.  

They're made with a fine polyester sewing weight thread (doubled up) and then with a Madeira glittery one added too.  Neither scan does them justice!!!  The main beads are Swarovski crystals although the round ones on the top pair are glassy beads.

Oh, the pattern I used is this one from two years ago.



28 October 2011

Bright thread


So, here's what I made with the thread I 'accidentally' bought!!!  Well the first two trials.  There is more to come.

Both are using it doubled and I found it really easy to use.  It didn't cause any problems at all and didn't really feel like polyester at all.  


I was feeling really, really lazy when I did these and couldn't be bothered to get out of my cozy armchair to get some beads.  No idea what these will be used for - probably get lost up the hoover like so many of my odds and ends.  In fact I didn't even bother to press them when finished or damp and pull into shape (another of my bone idle tricks)!!!

I think the next experiment will be with three threads running together - maybe a pair of earwigs?  Watch this space!!!!


Oh, the two patterns I used are the 'Small Motif' which started me off on the doily and this heart.

25 October 2011

Rules are made to be broken?

When I went to the USA in July I made myself a promise - I was NOT going to buy more threads.  When I got to Cincinnati there was a packet waiting for me from Sue Anna which was full to the brim of Lizbeth threads so that made me even MORE determined!!!  NO MORE THREADS!!!

When I spent the day with Gina we went to Michaels and Hobby Lobby and were going to Joann's but the store we found was closed but I managed to spend lotsa money on beads and 'bits' in the other two stores but NO THREAD.  What a good girl (well, old git) I was.

One day when we were out with Karen she said she had to go to Joann's for some odds and ends.  Well it happened to be a HUGE store and we had plenty of time there.  Fatal.  I got more beads (I didn't tell myself 'no more beads') and then I spied this reel of thread.  I picked it up, put it down, picked it up and then it went into my basket.  I was very cross with myself but then - what the heck.  Rules are sometimes made to be broken!!!

Here is the reel of thread and in a few days I will show you what I made with it!!!




24 October 2011

Finished in blue colours

OR should that be 'finished in green?  

At the moment this is as far as the 'Once in a Lifetime' doily is going - BUT I could well return to it in a few weeks - one never knows when living with brain cell 3 when the 'muse' is going to strike again!!!  If I do add to this then I'll have to re-work the final round to provide joining places.  Hmmm, sounds as if I'm already contemplating it!!!  

Anyway, here's the link for now!!  Meantime I have other 'fish to fry'!!!

22 October 2011

Last part of the doily

Again there has to be a cut and tie after round 4 and before starting 5 and 6 but I think it's a small price to pay in the scheme of things!!

OK I know it looks as if I've gone totally stark staring bonkers but I did the same doily in lavender - just to check it out again!!!  Here are rounds 5 and 6 which is as far as I've got.  Actually I think this is the 'end of the line' for this 'Once in a Lifetime' doily.

I'll work on the pattern page over the weekend and hope to get the pattern up on the pattern page early next week.  I've got another one to show you which I think is the best version of all - I'll wait to see what you all think!!  In a size 20 thread it works out to be about 7 1/2" in diameter so I think it might be a smidgen small for a 'real' doily!!!



21 October 2011

Martha's book and a RESULT on the blog!

Huge celebrations yesterday afternoon.  I couldn't find how to take off the word verification - drove me bonkers!!!  My good mate Gina kept making fantastic suggestions and telling me places to go on my dashboard but the 'word verification' just wasn't there!!  In the end I ploughed through the forums and found the answer.  I had to go back to the old blogger interface.  Again I was stumped because there was no link on my new interface to take me back there!  In the end I found a message on the forums which said this:- 


I've been able to track down most things that seem to have moved on the new dashboard but I can't find this one. You may have to go to the old dashboard to do it. You can do that by logging in to www.blogger.com/home instead of www.draft.blogger.com/home . If it won't open the old dashboard for you, then you may have to clear your cache.


So, what I did was sign out, paste the url into the browser bar and then sign in.  First thing I got greeted with was my old interface - the rest was history!!!!!  Oh, I also found out later in the day that I could easily manage my 'following' list here too - can't do that in the new interface - yet!!



This is one of the motifs from Martha's new book.  I added beads 'here and there' for a bit of sparkle.  Can I just mention here that I really love the designs in this book.  The broomstick picots are SUCH fun to make.


20 October 2011

Next stage in the doily


So, upwards, onwards and outwards!!!  

After many struggles this turned out to be rounds three and four - worked continuously.  Sadly there has to be a cut and tie after rounds 2 and 4 - not up to my usual standards!!!!

I managed to do a couple more pages on the home page of my web site yesterday and today's task is to do some drawings for a friend and try to find out (via the forums) how to stop word verification on my blog.  I did look a few months ago but not very hard!!  I had a good long look yesterday with the help of Ladytats but again can't find 'how to' yet!!  The new blogger interface doesn't make my life easy even though I like it a lot.

19 October 2011

Starting the doily

Again before I start nattering on I must admit that I've been 'messing' with my web page again.  I think the front page now looks a lot tidier and I'm pleased that I don't have to keep scrolling down too far to find things.  I've also amalgamated one or two sections too to make life easier.  I think one or two more sections still need to be worked on and maybe the odd pictures added - if I can remember 'how to' in html!!!


Now to the new doily!!  Where to start when you don't even know what you're going to make!  Difficult but not impossible.

Actually this journey started with somebody (sorry, can't remember who) posting a picture of a pendant on their blog.  I looked and looked at it and thought it was pretty but sort of familiar!  After a few minutes I remembered where I'd seen a really bad picture of it.  Here on a web site.

Now, before the purists (are there any reading my twaddle?) start jumping up and down and think I'm being nasty about somebody I will admit I AM.  Don't worry, though.  It's me that I'm being unkind about.  It really IS a bad picture though.  

So, having seen the pendant I suddenly thought that it could be extended a bit.  So, the journey started.  I won't show you the original 'test tats' as they are pretty dreadful and anyway, I've LOST them!!!  

Here I'm showing you what I eventually did with the centre of the wotsit.  I used the motif but altered it somewhat.  Remember - there's no pre-planning on this and as usual as I just 'go with the flow'!!!

18 October 2011

Changes have occurred

I forced myself to do something I've been 'meaning to do' (how many times do I 'mean to do' something and fail!!) for ages yesterday.  I've changed my pattern pages slightly!!!

I got thoroughly fed up with having to scroll so far down the home page to find things that I want so I've decided to tidy it up slightly!!  No, it hasn't gone 'posh' cause I don't know how to do that!!!

Can you see that I've now put the 'tips and techniques' and 'animal' sections on new links (see below)?  If this works then I'll put a few of the other larger sections on other links too.  The whole front page thoroughly got on my nerves - yes, I do have some still!!!  

Do please let me know if you have any other ideas - as long as they're not too hard as I'm self taught and not willing to waste valuable tatting time learning new web page designing skills!!!  Brain cell 3 would probably have a seizure if I even tried.

17 October 2011

Another two bells

Before I start rambling today - is there anybody who can help a lady who wants to learn shuttle tatting and who lives in Upstate NY, just east of Syracuse (in Fremont)?  If there is, could you contact me - my email address is in my profile.  Thanks.


Here are two more - am I boring you, yet?  Well, to keep you interested I've put the pattern on my site.  It's here.  Remember it's name - The Outside In Bell!!!  Simply because it's worked from the outside to the inside - sort of!!!
I like to have several projects on the go at any one time even though I always swore I wouldn't!!!  I find that I need a project that I can pick up (like the bells) towards the end of an evening or even for a whole evening after a hard day.  That's a hard day of being retired and spending too much energy on avoiding  any form of housework!!!

I usually also have two design projects on the go too.  Why two?  Well if one is getting boring or I can't see the way forward then the other one might be a good idea!!!  Well, it works for me but does this sort of thing work for everybody?  I'd love to know if I'm 'odd' or 'normal'!!!

15 October 2011

Pictureless post!

Don't you just hate people who do a post without a picture?  Well you're gonna hate me now!!

I really wanted to just talk today about what I'm doing quietly in the background when I'm not making bells!!!  I'm actually doing a totally new pattern.  New to me.  

What is it we say?  I want to do 'so and so' before I die.  Well, that's what I'm working on at the moment!!!  

My 'before I die' project is a doily!!!  Gasp, shock, horror, I hear you say.  Jane?  Doily?  That just doesn't sound right!!!!  BUT that's honestly what's happening quietly and slowly in my corner of tat land!!!!  I doubt it'll be a large one, though as boredom will have set in before long!!


Next on my 'to do' list is another new design but I'm NOT telling you a thing about it as it will  (hopefully) become the new TIAS.  


Yes, I'm planning on another for January 2012.  That's if there's anybody in tat land who wants to take part!  For those  who haven't heard of a TIAS (that actually stands for Tat It And See) I release a pattern in bite sized 'bits' every few days for anybody who wants to to join in.  The 'twist' is that you don't know what you're making!!!  Guesses are encouraged and happen all the way through.  No money changes hands - my reward is being the only person who knows the 'answer'!!!


In fact I run a blog especially for that - it's here. The links are still there to last year's TIAS so you can go and look if you want to.  I try to 'pitch' the design so that it's possible for even relatively new tatters to take part.  I also add technique explanations and diagrams where needed too.

14 October 2011

What IS it?

What IS it about my dear friend Sue Anna that Royal Fail and USA Snail don't like?  She's generous, kind, harmless to man and beast and an all round thoroughly decent lass.

BUT Royal Fail and USA Snail just don't seem to like her!!!

Remember the saga of the shuttles?  Well about a week after I sent the shuttles first time round I sent her a wee gift.  Just a little something that 'fell' off my shuttles.  Well it didn't turn up either in her neck of the woods.

Yesterday it arrived BACK WITH ME again (around six/seven weeks later).  Well I was (to say the very least) CROSS.

After I got back home a bit later I looked again at the envelope (by this time I'd stuck a new label over the old one and hidden part of the clues).  Now, see the hand pointing downwards?  Well that's pointing to my return address and it says 'insufficient address' and somebody has then written UK under that.  OK, my mistake - they thought I needed to put that on to send out of the country.

Then I turned the envelope over to see the stamp on the back which said USPS.  Having googled both Antioch and Springfield I've found that the poor envelope got within 247 miles of it's destination!!!! The good news is that it's on it's way again.  Please keep your fingers crossed that both the shuttles and gift eventually arrive at their destination!


13 October 2011

Autumnal bells!!

Here are two more - these are autumnal.  Did you ever wonder why I do all my Christmas giveaways in 'un-Christmas' colours?  Well, it's cause I found out years ago that people liked to keep them up all year - as suncatchers too.  

I must also admit that I find Christmas colours confusing too!!!  I always think that red and green are the 'real' Christmas colours (boring) but each year when the shops bring their stock out (often in September!) the colours are varied which can cause a lot of confusion for an OG (old git) like me!

So, I've made it a sort of 'routine' that each year people get wacky coloured giveaways!!!  I usually give them to friends and those I don't see all year because they live too far away.  The furthest that one will travel is to Tasmania to a school friend of mine.  I know she loves the little dangle she gets each year.  The closest ones will go to friends across and down the road.  The problem is that I usually run out and rarely get one for our tree!!!

11 October 2011

Shuttle doodles

Having shown you the muddle of doodles for Chris and Erin's shuttles I thought it only fair to show them all paired up and ready to go!!!  They arrived a few weeks ago if memory serves me right!!!!  If often doesn't, though!!!

I lightly 'sew' them onto paper in their suggested pairs.  Here they are just before they flew to America.  Actually you can see where I folded the paper before remembering to scan the little stinkers!!!

Here are some photos of some of them already made up!!!  The giraffe and the tree, two hummingbirds and a seahorse.  Aren't they pretty?

If you want to make enquiries about them then Erin's email address is here.



10 October 2011

Now I know for sure

Now I know for sure why I won't ever produce a book of tatting patterns.

Yesterday my book arrived from Martha.  You can see the cover and read all about it here.

When I get something as well presented as this and with such appealing and tempting patterns I know I would never be able to get anywhere near this standard.  The illustrations are SO clear and the font is easy to read (very, very important for an OG like me) - I have a few pattern books which I can't read easily so I know I will never make anything from them!!!

I've been asked many, many times to produce a book but have always said 'no'.  I'm terrified of producing something that wouldn't be good value.  I've got bookshelves full of books and leaflets with patterns in but there are very, very few that I've used more than one pattern from.

The exceptions are Martha's, Mary Konior's, Rosemarie Peel's and a few others (names escape me).  I have loads of books from which I've never made anything.  I wouldn't want mine to be one of those!!!!

8 October 2011

Bell

A bell at last.  One that I like!!

There are two more underneath this one.  What a struggle this was to get it how I like it.  I now have something I'm happy to give to friends around Christmas time.  BUT I still have to finish off the pattern which will be a while as I've been 'torn away' to play with something else - a new adventure for me in tat land!!!  More another day about that!

Oh, the two at the bottom are made with the same two threads but t'other way round!!!  I suppose you could call those the Outside In Bell - Inside Out!!!  More sick jokes from the computer of 'yours truly'!!!!

PS the blue one on the right looks drunk - I'll have to pull and press that into shape sometime!!!!

6 October 2011

Thanks

Thanks to everybody who sent me birthday wishes yesterday.  

It was pure coincidence that the birthday thread was named that by Natalie and that it arrived with me the day before I became 68!!!!

The day passed quickly (partly due to a plumbing crisis which needed dealing with as an emergency!) and was ended with a rather large glass of the 'red stuff' which meant that not a lot of tatting was done!!!!

5 October 2011

My birthday thread arrived!

On Monday I ordered some thread from Natalie from her Etsy store.  I chose the one called 'birthday' because I just couldn't resist the colours in it!!!  

It arrived around lunchtime on Tuesday by Royal Mail (please note that on this occasion I'm NOT calling it Royal Fail).  That was fast!  So I got out an ez bob, wound it onto that and then grabbed two shuttles.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it!!!

Yes, it's one of the Outside In bells (note to self - MUST get the pattern finished!). 

Doesn't that just BEG you to tat?

Natalie says (by the way, we've only recently met online) that she's going to list more threads today so all you tatters - let's go shop!!!!  Let's face it - we've got to keep those dyers busy, haven't we?  Can't have them sitting twiddling their thumbs or boredom might set in!!!


Later Sally asked me how far the thread would go and it occurred to me that I'd never ever worked that out!!!  Yarnplayer's and most sellers do the size 20 (which is what I usually use) in 50 yard skeins.  The bell below took 6 yards but usually I would make them with a plain thread too which would cut that down to 3 yards.  So how many bells with a contrast thread could you make from one skein?  Roughly 16.  Now I reckon that's REALLY good value.

4 October 2011

Well, it wasn't a PROMISE!!

I didn't actually PROMISE I wasn't going to post every day - it was just a sort of 'suggestion' to myself and you guys!!!  So as it wasn't a 'promise' I can break it, can't I?

I do have a very, very good reason to break my 'promise'.  

After a discussion with Natalie at the Yarnyard (here in the UK) and via another lass I met online, she kindly sent me some silk HDT thread to tat with.  This was silk she'd hand dyed herself (she's an expert at this - been doing it for years) for the embroidery and knitting 'market'.  I loved the colours which were grey to black but it was just a bit 'fuzzy' for me and I suggested that probably a good six core thread may be better for tatters.  You can see a picture of my tryout down below - just a quick 8 ring motif that I did to try something for somebody else!!!  I didn't start the two shuttles tied together so that's why it looks a bit 'odd' after the SR!!!  Anyway, off Natalie trundled and got some Lizbeth to try.  

Meanwhile she opened up an Etsy shop for the silk threads and by yesterday had some HDT Lizbeth for sale.  Well, you know me - I was like a 'rat up a drainpipe' and was in that shop at the drop of a hat!!!!  Good job too as the one called 'birthday' quickly sold out - I got a skein of that!!

Natalie is learning to tat too and her blog is here.  Fancy learning to tat with HDT (OK, she says this one didn't pass her quality control but it would've passed mine!).  When I learned all we had available was white Coats.  If you scroll down her blog you'll see all the colours she's doing in threads and I'm sure she'd help if there's anything you want.

3 October 2011

Just can't WAIT

Well it was Saturday morning and another hot (yes I did say hot) day in my corner of tat land.  Not a lot had been planned for the day.
As soon as I'm awake each morning I have to check on what's happening in the rest of tat land so I grope for my specs, grab my iPad and go straight to emails.  Bearing in mind that except for a quick visit to the bathroom this is barely five minutes after my eyes open and I'm back in bed!  Next on my list is to read blog updates.  Goody, a post from Martha Ess.  

EVEN better is what I've been waiting for for weeks - the announcement that we can now order her new book.  Here's the link.  

Now if you've never bought any of Martha's books I suggest you think about it very, very seriously.  Hers are absolutely delightful (like Martha herself).  The critter books are my mainstay for making birthday cards - small motifs which are so different.  I LOVE her teapot book and when I got that I just had to make the tiny, tiny 3D set - 'just because' it was there.  There's a heart book too.  All her books are neatly presented and with clear diagrams and (VERY important to me) clear fonts.  

All I ask is for you NOT to buy yours until I'm sure mine is on it's way!!!!  Actually, don't worry as I got in there very early on Saturday morning to order mine!!!  Of course I had to tell Sally it was out too and she's ordered hers as well.  Thanks, Martha - can't wait to make things from the book.

Before I finish - do visit this link too as Martha has some free patterns here.  My favourite is the mermaid and the warning when you click on the link!!!!  I've made her several times and I think I'm going to do her again with some of my HDT.  

1 October 2011

More and better dragonflies

I went to see a friend the other day and she showed me her dragonfly necklace which was made entirely of beads - no tatting.

BUT this gave me a better idea for mine!!! Here they are in all their 'glory' on a leather thong and with that wonderful knot which allows you to adjust the length.  Job done.

I may make some for my Etsy shop but these are for myself and for the friend who gave me the idea!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
I beg your pardon? I didn't quite catch what you said.

Tatted Ring of Bloggers