5 October 2007

A grand idea

Joanie Culverhouse sent me this picture yesterday. Remember the stork carrying a baby in a sling? It's here.
Well she used the baby in the sling for an announcement card. Isn't this a grand idea? LOVE to see what people do with my ideas.
Thanks for sending this, Joanie.

4 October 2007

Back to the motif

I seem to have mislaid another two scraps that I did for the centre of the motif but I think the two below will show how I progressed with it the other evening. The larger of the two scraps (below left) shows how I decided to try a different centre and then promptly got into trouble with the colours and moving outwards!! The smaller of the two scraps is a result of an email from Marie Smith (she of the fast and easy split chain) who suggested that I tried the following.
Take a chain out from the centre, do a SLT and then make a SCH back from the previous round out again. The second scrap proves that this is the answer!!! I didn't use it on the large trial snowflake as the email didn't reach me until I was well out of the centre! Thanks, Marie for a great suggestion and the answer to another problem!
Oh, if you click on the motif you'll find that I've added beads too. They will be an integral part of the design as they help to hide places where there are two colours of threads used to progress from round to round!!!
More tomorrow when I hope to have the basics of the motif completed. For anybody who might be remotely interested in this design - I've done the drawings to go with it so it shouldn't be too long reaching my pattern pages!!!

3 October 2007

Treasures unearthed

For reasons tooooo boring to mention I've been having a HUGE tidying up session. I found the following photographs which are very interesting and which I'd forgotten I had!!!
These were supposedly taken in 1966 (at least that's what it says on the accompanying letter) and I think it was at a tatting event which took place in Leicester. Not really sure about that, though! Looking at me in the photographs (horrid idea, I know!) I'm sure that it was much later than that as I couldn't drive at the age of 23 and I know that my ex husband never took me to any tatting events!! I think the year should be 1996.
However, I digress as usual!!! In the first picture you can see me with Toshiko Takashima who was the lady that invented the
Takashima Bari Tatting hook/needles. I remember that Toshiko had come to the event with her daughter who did all the translation for her and that she was booked into my morning class. She then asked to come to the afternoon one as well. She was a lovely lady and we kept in touch (via her daughter) for some years.
I would LOVE to know what happened to them both.
The second photograph shows us in a group and you can see in both pictures some of my tatting in the background and part of Pam Palmer's dragon on the back of my jacket.
I met Pam that day too and she took photos of my back - much the best pictures ever taken of me!!! I will blog those another day!!!
Beneath the photographs is the letter I received some months later from Toshiko.

Dear Jane October 6, 1966
Thanks very much sending a bird patern and other paterns so fast. I will make it soon.

Thanks again for teaching a wonderful technique of biginning of tatting. It is marvelous idea, is there special way of technique at the ending?
We are glad that you are interesting in our Takashima-bari. I am sure you find it very easy and fast.
We heard that some member asked to have work shop of Takashima-bari. If possible, we want to have the work shop so that the person having Takashima-bari will fully master how to use and fully use utilize it.
We enclose herewith a picture taken on that day. It was really a exciting day for us to attend Tatting day, especially your work shop.
We are very much impressed that so many persons loving Tatting got together and exchange such a nice knowledge and fasten friendship.
We wish to attend a Tatting day next year again. Looking forward seeing you soon.
Yours sincerely Toshiko Takashima

First attempts

This is a report about what I did on Monday evening - I'm a day behind with blogging this!!
Now to all intents the following look like a good start to the project! I always use two shuttles with contrasting colours as this helps me 'plot' where I've been and what I've done - particularly if I'm 'on a roll' and can't be bothered to type out each step on the laptop.

The first attempt (below) and I realised that I'd got too many ds on the chains.
The second one shows something better BUT there's a horrid space in the centre.
The third picture shows me trying fewer ds on the chains but I could see immediately that this wasn't going to work.
Finally (and quite out of the blue!) this is what happened.
You may well think that this design is almost there and I actually like how it looks in the final picture - needs beads but that's all. The problem is (if you click on it and look closely) there is a SR which progresses out of the centre and which is in two colours and is butt ugly!!! To avoid this I spent the whole of yesterday evening trying out different approaches to the design. I'll show those putrid pieces tomorrow. I'm now at the 'throw it out of the window' stage!

2 October 2007

Starting another design

This is going to be my Christmas giveaway. Each year I send out very few Christmas cards as I don't believe in giving them to people I see every day. What is the point when you can wish them a happy Christmas anyway? Also the whole event has become so commercialised that I have now got to the stage in my life when I avoid the shops as much as I can. Another thing that worries me is that there is such a lot of wasted paper/card from them which is mostly not re-cycled.
Instead of sending cards to those friends who live far away I send a letter. This is a standard letter telling them about the past year (each person has that plus a personal bit too) and how it's been for me and mine. Inside the letter I tuck a little tatted piece. I started this idea some seven to ten years ago and it's become something that my friends look forward to. I make the pieces in all colours so that they can keep them 'hanging around' all year. Gives me great pleasure to see Roz's kitchen with them hanging on her cabinets when I visit!!
Yesterday afternoon I started off with some drawings on the computer. This was what I thought I might do!!!! This time I cheated by using another design I'd done a couple of years ago as a 'starting point'. Yes, I know the drawings don't look much like the original but that's how I started on this design. I never tackle a new idea the same way but always use the 'hit and miss' method!!!
In the evening I sat down to try them out but I'll show you what happened tomorrow!!!

1 October 2007

Final piece - a bracelet

This is the last of my 'catch up' pieces for an order that I received when I was in America. Good job the lady wasn't in a hurry!!! I love these colours together - they're SO rich.
Oh, it's the final piece that I needed to complete before starting on new designs. They're in the aged brain but I just know that neither will 'work out' straight away. One I will be sharing as I work it but the other you'll have to wait for - all will become clear one day!!!!

30 September 2007

Motifs by the hundreds!

About ten or twelve years ago I answered an appeal in the Ring of Tatters Newsletter for help needed with making small tatted motifs.
This came about at a very good time for me as I was struggling financially and sometimes working a day job followed by another three hour temp job too.
The motifs were for a lady who was setting up doing handmade tatted stationery for weddings. She paid me for doing them and still occasionally needs some help.
We've become very good friends and met up a few years ago at - wait for it - a Funeral Directors Trade Show/Exhibition!!!!!! (I didn't know til then that there could be so many styles of coffins and had never given any thought to all the other paraphernalia that undertakers need.)
Back in April/May she asked if I'd like to do 100 of each of her small and large snowflake designs while I was in America. Strange now to think that these were tatted in Cincinnati and Marblehead (up on Lake Erie) and in blistering heat!!! I ran out of thread before I completed the second 100 so finished them when she'd sent me further thread back here in the UK. I thought you might be interested in seeing a couple of 'bundles' of them - all ready to be mailed sometime this next week.
Now I've got all my 'autopilot' things completed I'm ready and raring to go on my next design. Oh, one more item to complete (hopefully today) before I start on my next adventure!!!

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Happy Beaks

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