31 December 2008

Happy New Year to all in tat land!

My wish for the New Year to you is that I hope your shuttles never get lost, broken or even just put down in a 'safe' place! That you have plenty of thread, beads and time. Here's to the continuation of our addiction!!!!

I have two new patterns for you to start the new year with should you wish.

First of all there's Sally's Angel. This was the pattern that Riet taught at Palmetto tat days. I've actually added a slightly smaller version too. The reason it's called Sally's Angel is because my sister (Sally) nagged me for years to make her an angel!!!

Next there's the dangly flower which I finally got sorted and put on the site!! I didn't like this at first but finally realised that it does offer a wonderful potential to play with beads 'as you go'.

30 December 2008

The start of a new idea!!

First of all I must tell you that I've reduced the prices of some of my Etsy shop pieces. There, that's got the boring bit out of the way!!!

Now I am proud to announce the return of brain cell # 3!!!

This is just the start of a new idea. I'm hoping this is going to be a pretty little doo dah!!!
Not sure what I'll call it. I'm hopeless at naming my pieces and usually stick to simple basics.

This one does rather remind me of a windmill at the moment. Hmmm, perhaps 'Windmill' as in 'Windmills of my Mind'.

Before the purists out there write - I do know that windmills have four sails but this still reminds me of one. Perhaps I should claim that all windmills in tat land have six sails!!! The lyrics on the first two lines seem quite approriate for what might happen next with this one!!!

"Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel ......."

28 December 2008

This is what I do 'for fun' when I'm not in 'design mode'!!!! I make things that I stash away for when I need a quickie gift!!!! The more I work this design the more I like it. I never like stuff when I've first done the patterns but have to 'mellow' to them!!!

What I'm working on at the moment is a new motif. I want/need to make a new celtic motif but whether it will get finished is another matter. I'll let you all know. I might have some pictures tomorrow - there again, I might not!!!!

I may well spend some time this afternoon working on two web pages. I need to finish off the dangly flower pattern and put another together. I'm just a tad lazy about making myself 'do' them lately!!!

27 December 2008

Christmas Day in my corner of tat land

Can you imagine what it's like to live in my little corner of tat land?

On Christmas Eve I finished off some earrings which I made using the beady flowers. To add the flower to the ear finding I used the Oren Bayan metallic thread which I bought off Lyn Morton of Tatting and Design. It's lovely to work with and just finishes these earwigs off a treat.

I used Marie's fast and easy way to make the split chain to cover the finding which sped things along well.

I spent part of the day doing some test tatting for a new book by Martha Ess. Below is a taster for you. Her next book is going to be a stonker. I've seen some of the designs and can't wait to try them all.

26 December 2008

Jealousy in tat land

I'm just about to be the cause of a lot of jealousy in tat land. I apologise in advance for bragging but I'm allowed to and whatever I say here will never be enough of a thank you to Carol.

The following pictures show what I received from my Secret Santa who is Carol Amich. There were so many goodies in the box it's hard to tell you all that was in there. Beads of all sizes and shapes, sweets, chocolates and a gorgeous bag.

BUT the two things which stood out most are the two Santa figures. I have seen them online but that NEVER prepares you when you get to see the real thing. There's a jingle Santa and another sweet little one who stands all on his own. These two guys are so tiny. I think that's what struck me most when I found them in the box. Tiny in their entirety but when you go looking for the stitches - they're impossible to see!!! Micro tatting, I think it should be called.

I can tell you all that these two guys are NOT going to be put away with the Christmas things EVER. They're going to live permanently in tat corner. I will find some way of hiding them from the dust and grime in our house but they're NOT going to go into hibernation!!! The leprechaun that Pamela sent me last year is still sitting in the same place as when he arrived. On the mantelpiece!!! I never put treasures like these away.

Thank you SO much Carol. Your talent amazes me along with your generosity.

24 December 2008

After a good night's sleep!!

The damage caused by our 'interesting' visitor of the night before last is not too bad. Damage has been done to the tiles on both parts of the roof and the guttering is hanging off. Just hope that if it rains the roof doesn't leak again. So as we may/will need to put in an insurance claim I rang to get the crime number from the police. Meanwhile we'd spotted an 'item of clothing' on a neighbour's roof and when two police arrived for my statement we told them about it and one of them got it down. Even he was surprised how high the roofs of our houses are!!!!

One thing I've learnt (although it's too late now!) and it's a piece of advice I will pass on to all in tat land is this. NEVER to swear at a guy on your roof!!! It's very odd having to sign a statement with your own bad language written down on it!!! So, hopefully tat's the end of tat!!! Wonder what excitement 2009 will bring!!!

I did do a little tatting yesterday afternoon. What I'm aiming for is to make earrings with the beady flowers. The pink one turned out WAY to big for the finding but the next one was fine, I think!!! I'm aiming to do another to match and then, by using the method of covering a cabon ring (Marie's fast and easy split chain method), cover the finding whilst attaching the flower at the same time. So much depends on the size of the beads. The pink ones are WAY too large although I did use 14 on the LBP whilst with the purple one I used 12. I think you can see the size difference on the scans!! The size of the beads and quantity are crucial if you want to make them fit in a ring!!!

23 December 2008

A birthday card

After a really bad night's sleep I'm not feeling too good today. Thank goodness it's a rare occurrence to wake in the night to a strange noise and then (when you've tracked it down to not being a break in in the house next door) find a man on your roof!!! What always surprises me in 'strange situations' is the way I react!!!

Having looked through the window and finding him there I knocked on the window to ask him what he was doing and how he'd got there!! He was obviously not trying to break in as he was making such a racket. My language was, shall I say, not very polite!! I rang the police and the guy disappeared after a further heated conversation through the window. We thought he'd fallen off the roof (our houses have high ceilings so you can imagine the drop!! Nick went to look in our yard to see while I went out the front and found his friends. The guy eventually got down (almost falling again) and ran off just before the police arrived. I didn't sleep after that incident which happened around four o'clock!!!

Anyway, here's a card I finished for my friend. I'm not very good at cards. I actually haven't got an 'eye' for them but I suppose I may improve!!!

21 December 2008

Talking to myself out loud!!

Tat land is a wonderful place. I love living here.

Yesterday (as usual) I went to check what was happening on my blog's dashboard where you can see the latest postings by those who you've chosen to 'follow'. I saw a rather nice Christmas candle there by Steph in Michigan. I thought to myself (sometimes I do think thoughts) that it looked familiar and trundled off to take a closer look.

Well, blow me down, it was one I'd done some years ago. It actually looks rather cool. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steph for pointing out that the pattern was 'short of 2 beads' in the notation!!! Which, coming to think about it, bears some semblance to the fact that I'm definitely short of a few brain cells.

Now this leads me on further to wonder if brain cells could be replaced by beads and how much the operation would cost?
Answers on a small delica bead please to lovetotat @ gmail.com!!!

Yesterday evening I sat and stared at a drawing that Mark Myers had sent me as a suggestion for another way of doing 'beady' things like the flowers and butterflies. Sadly, though, I was too tired to get the fingers and brain coordinated to make a start. So instead I've started on a card for a very special friend. I'll show you that when it's done!!!

20 December 2008

I hate this!

I hate it when I've done something new and I can't show it!!!

I finished Carter the Carterpillar and Millie the Millipede and they 'look well' together. They look as if they've been partners for years!! Not sure what their relationship is but we won't go into that in case of embarrassment!!!

Yesterday evening I finished Carter - once I'd tracked down his prototype and realised how I'd made the original!!! It took some time but I also managed to make his hat too and again that got the 'Nick seal of approval'.

Yesterday afternoon I managed to start drawing up Millie who is 'similar but not the same' as Carter. I'm just agonising over what to call a technique as I'm not sure if it's out in tat land. I must consult the experts - Georgia, Mark and anybody else I can think of. Actually if anybody who is reading this would like to offer an opinion then I'd very much welcome it. I can send descriptions of what I'm doing and/or drawings - depending on if I get to do them today!!!!

19 December 2008

I'm not sure!

I'm not sure whether to show you what I'm working on at the moment!!

I'm back to working on ideas to submit to Palmetto tatters for their Tat Days next year (which will soon be 'later this year'). I'm dying to show you but I suppose I'd better not!!!

I'll tell you a bit about this one. Remember Millie the Millipede? Well she's now completely 'sorted'. She now has a hat and the much revered and much needed 'approval of Nick'!!!

I've decided that the caterpillar will be called Carter the Carterpillar! (please note the spelling is deliberate!!). I got part way through him last night but gave up when my eyes started to close. When I've got his body sorted then he's going to need a hat too!!!

18 December 2008

From flowers to butterflies

Well it had to happen!!! The old git's on a roll and brain cell # 3 is sticking around for now!!!

Here are the butterflies that I've done. BUT I may well do more with more wings. There's no end to the fun that can be had with this technique. Well, I'm having fun but then it's better than real life when you live most of it in tat land!!!

Ah, the destructions on how to make these
are here.

17 December 2008

As promised - double beaded picots!

Something new but SO ridiculously easy it beggars belief!!! How does brain cell # 3 manage it, I ask myself?

I've added this page to my web site so you can 'have a go' yourselves. Let the imagination run riot!!! SO, SO easy I'm not sure that somebody hasn't done it before!! If they have then they must've borrowed brain cell # 3!!

I will show you the butterflies I've made using this same technique tomorrow. I'm again hoping to get a diagram up showing how the beads are added to make those too.

16 December 2008

A teaser!!

I've got something really exciting to show - but not today!! Sorry but I want to get the technique page 'up and running' before I show you.

Suffice to say - I'm quite pleased with this idea and dying to share. Why can't I ever keep secrets or ideas to myself?!?!?

I see lots of potential for this idea and want to try something else out before I 'launch' it.

Keep your eyes on this blog!!!!

15 December 2008

Just playing around

Late last night I made this little flower.
Nothing startling and just using what was lying around in tat corner. I see a lot of potential in this. I'm going to research another way of 'doing' the beads too.

14 December 2008

A small sense of achievement

Thank you, rain. Thank you, rain!!! Because it was too wet to go walking yesterday I spent time working on the new dangly flower pattern. It's not hard or complicated but it is proving a nightmare to draw!!! I think it would be impossible to work without drawings!!

Another small step for tat land was made yesterday too. I managed to get back working on one of the patterns I've been playing with as an idea for lessons. I'm reasonably pleased with the result although a little more work might be needed on the body of this critter.

13 December 2008

Brain cell # 3 returned!!!

Yup, he came home just as I reached the ATM!!!!! What a relief!!! Money extracted from said machine and parted with shortly after!!!

I managed to meet and greet the new garage door, signed papers, got home late afternoon and then crashed with a gin and tonic followed by a glass and a bit of red wine.

So, no tatting but the future's looking rosy for new ideas. I feel the sap rising!!!!

12 December 2008

Teasing time!

Yesterday one of the last of the problems I've had over the past few weeks was solved when I bought a garage door!!! The excitement was intense (I joke!!!). On the way back from this wonderful adventure I had to visit the ATM to get cash to pay the guy tomorrow. Have you ever had a major brain freeze? Well I did yesterday while standing in front of the ATM. I forgot my pin number. Yup, totally and utterly forgot it!!!! Went to another machine with another card and again forgot the number. That machine swallowed my card. Bummer.

I blame the stress of the last few weeks and the fact that brain cell # 3 has been on his annual vacation!!!

Well, having said all that, I'm now going to show you something I'm working on. I would like to ask what you what this shape reminds you of. Don't worry about the 3 'odd looking' picots on the outside. They are there for a reason. This is just part of a pattern I'm working on!!!!

10 December 2008

Look what a Leprechaun sent me!

Look what came in the post yesterday. WOWWEEEEE. That is some stonkingly pretty thread. Can't wait to play with it.

The card is actually much 'goldier' than the scan shows.
LOVE the snowflake too. Now that I've scanned it on the card (handmade too) I'm going to take it off and (hopefully, if we find it!) put it on the tree. Which begs a question - where is our tree?

Thank you, Pamela Myers, my favourite Irish Leprechaun. Now, could somebody please send me some playtime?

9 December 2008


I can't remember when I saw this blog page but it must have been a week or so ago. My brain (ALL of the cells) went into turmoil. Can you imagine the work that went into these?

Yesterday I didn't tat at all. No, I'm not ill. Well, not in the normal sense of the word. I'm just SO lacking in sleep. The hassles I've had the last five weeks are slowly being resolved but each day or two another new 'worry' becomes a 'hassle' that has to be dealt with. By the beginning of this week all should be resolved, I sincerely hope!!!

I then want to return to some patterns that I've been playing with to submit for the Palmetto tat days next year. Hopefully this 'silly season' I've been going through financially too will finish and I'll be able to save up to take the trip over the pond. Meanwhile once brain cell # 3 is fully rested I will continue with documenting and putting the page together for the dangly flower. I've nearly got the drawings done and the text is sound. Putting the page together doesn't take too long but there's always one thing I don't like doing - adding the abbreviations. Don't ask why - it's just one of those things I avoid every time!!!

8 December 2008

Whooops!! I forgot!

When life eventually gets back to normal (hopefully before Christmas) then I may be able to remember things again!! What I forgot to mention is that I gave the new animal jacket an 'airing' at the Lace Fair. I was worried that it wouldn't be comfortable - but it was!!

Below is another of the flowery SCMR bookmarks that I finished yesterday evening. I'm actually starting to like it!!! I think it's because of the colours I've used this time.

7 December 2008

Meeting tatting friends etc!!!

Yesterday I went to the Lace Day which is held about twenty miles away from me. Being a nervous driver and a real 'home bird' my attendance at these types of events is quite rare!!!! BUT I needed to go and meet friends and LOOK AT threads, beads etc. Hmmm, did I say 'look'? My purse is now empty!!!

The meeting with friends was great. I met up with Jennifer Williams - the new chairman of the
Ring of Tatters, (also an excellent designer who hides her light under a bushel) and other friends - including one who nearly didn't get there - need I mention your name Eileen? Story goes that Eileen was still sound asleep when Jennifer and Julia went to pick her up. Wish I was sleeping so well lately, Eileen - can you give me some tips?

I also saw Pam Palmer - a lady who I admire greatly. I did drop a hint that we'd all love another book from her but ......... Keep your fingers crossed everybody.

Lyn Morton of
Tatting and Design along with her DH was there with her supplies and I bought some silver thread to make some wings with. She told me that her new book would be out next year. Not telling you any more as I love to tease!!!!

Roseground Supplies was also there with lots of goodies including some of the Coats Artiste range although I was really looking forward to seeing the range what I did see was disappointing (colour wise) apart from the variegated lavender which is really pretty.

Mary Helen - another supplier was there too. She doesn't have a web site but I can thoroughly recommend her - look in the Ring of Tatters newsletters for her details.

I took my Teri Dusenbury turtles to show off and they were much admired. By the way, mentioning Teri, have you visited her blog lately? Well worth seeing what she's up to. Teri's recommended c-lon thread for tatting with and I found some at the Fair. Can't wait to try it out.

Yes, I did buy more thread and a few beads too. Well, a girl (translate that to old git!!!) has got to have fun, hasn't she?
When I finally got home (via picking up a lawnmower and meeting my sister) I was WAY too tired to tat. I hope to start sleeping again soon so that I can get back to finally uploading the 'dangly flower' pattern and other stuff!!!

6 December 2008

I apologise

I apologise for the break in blogging!! I love my blog as it's a way of keeping me 'on track'. As I've said before (I'm SO darn boring) life has been a bit hectic, expensive and worrying lately. Another week and that should be finished. I like to be in control of my life like most people, but I do hate being in the situation when I'm forced into making instant decisions, the consequences of which are somewhat unknown!

So, in order to relax (who am I kidding?) I've been making bookmarks as I love to have something useful to give away.

I'm off to the Lace Fair in a few minutes so I'll probably have lots to tell tomorrow!!!

4 December 2008

A playmate for Millie

This is Millie's playmate - a caterpillar!!

Now this poor soul hasn't been named yet but brain cell # 3 and Nick are both working hard trying to think of one for this wee chap. I think it's male. I would appreciate any help with this problem from anybody out there in tat land!

Two names that have come to mind are Cedric Caterpillar and Peter Pillar but neither are quite right. I think he needs a hat too so please keep watching to see if they get hats!!! I have written the text for these two patterns but still have to do the techniques to go with them and the drawings. Doubt if that will get done for a while as life is still pretty hectic. There is light at the end of the tunnel though and I hope the big hassle will finish on the 12th. I DO hope so!!!! Lack of sleep isn't doing me any favours either!!

3 December 2008

Let me introduce

Before I start the daily ramble and before I forget - I'd like to tell you that I've just reduced the prices of some of the items (Christmassy ones!) in my Etsy shop.

Now - allow me to introduce you to Millie. She's the latest arrival in my small corner of tat land. Millie the Millipede arrived yesterday evening. She asks you to excuse her dress sense as she didn't have the right colours on shuttles close to hand to show herself off at her best!!!! I actually think she needs a hat too. I've only posted a small picture as a 'teaser'. I'm adding her to my portfolio (doesn't that sound posh!) of patterns I'll be submitting for a teaching post at the Palmetto tatters tat days next year. She needs a friend so watch this space!!!

Seriously. I've been re-visiting some stuff I did in 2000. This was after a discussion with Joanie Culverhouse who reminded me about the celtic picot (or overlapping picot) butterfly and bug which I did back then. They were once on my site but have somehow got missed out during several re-incarnations of the pattern pages!!!

So, after a good night's sleep the night on Monday and another hectic day organising stuff I was able to settle down to play again yesterday evening. Millie is the result!!!!

2 December 2008

Well, I'm sorry

I've let everybody down by not having anything to report about what's happening in my little corner of tat land!!!!

Trouble is I've had so much happening in my 'ordinary' life and haven't been sleeping very well because of that! On Sunday and yesterday my main concerns were winning the 'battle of the large shrub'. Armed with secateurs on Sunday and two saws yesterday I'm pleased to report that the wretched thing has been tamed. Tamed almost to death. Why is it that plants seem to always grow in the wrong place and far too vigorously when you don't want them to and when you do they just shrivel up and die? Answers please in the comments section - perhaps we'll solve the problem together!

The only tatting related things I've done over the past few days are sewing the dinosaurs I made onto the dressing gown they were made for yesterday evening and getting in a total mess with an old pattern I decided to re-visit. I think this old pattern could prove a good teaching point for lessons but I've got to tame the silly thing first!!! I hope to have another 'bash' at it this evening - brain cell # 3 permitting, of course.

30 November 2008

How silly can you get?

I've always known the expression 'as silly as a sheep' and now I understand it all too well.

Baaaa, baaaa, baaaa. It's me - I'm as silly as a sheep!!!

The Christmas lights in town are all switched on which is a sure signal to me that the dreaded Christmas is almost here. Particularly dreaded this year as I've got so much else to be sorted and settled before then.

Anyway, I noticed the lights on Friday and said to myself (the only person who listens to me!) that I must get out my Christmas 'self' decorations - my Christmas tree earrings and matching brooch out and in use. WRONG. I realised that I hadn't got a set for myself so I spent Friday and Saturday evenings making a set!!! All the ones I've made are either in the Etsy shop or ready to give to people!!!

29 November 2008

Just thinking

I love playing. Mainly with shuttles and threads but I also love playing with the computer and the tricks you can do on it and with it.

Teri Dusenbury told me yesterday how she manages to get little hearts into her email signature. Thanks Teri - I was only being me - drop dead nosy!!!

It's the same with this blog. I love 'tinkering' with it - mind I do get 'shouted at' when I suddenly change the colours to VERY bright!!!!

When I found the 'followers' gadget of course, I had to play!! What's that saying about babies and playing? This IS my second childhood (who said 'only second'?) so I'm allowed to play. When I found it I added the 'followers' gismo to the blog. It's amazing to find that over 40 people now follow the ramblings of the 'old git in the UK'.

BUT what's really, really, REALLY good about this gadget is that you can follow other people. I find that this is an advantage as those I follow are easy to find on the dashboard. When they've updated their blogs it shows there straight away.

I use Mozilla Firefox or Opera as browsers as they have 'tabs' which you can leave open all the time. This way I can 'hop' from one tab to the other. In the first tab I've got my emails, the second is igoogle (customised to show all my favourites like the weather, the time, translator, currency convertor etc), the third tab has yahoo tatting groups, the forth my Etsy shop, the fifth has my blog (dashboard open!) and the other tabs are usually stuff I'm currently interested in.

This means I can just click on my blog tab and keep an eye on 'who's doing what' in tat land. It's a brilliant idea for a nosy tatter. Thanks, blogger.com. Thanks.

28 November 2008

The last lot!! I hope!!!

I think this is the last of the Christmas dangles. Well, it will be IF I stop giving them away to all and sundry!!!

I've decided to 'dump' three people off my giveaway list. Why? Well it seems to be one way traffic with them and I haven't heard from two of them (apart from a card) for several years. In fact the one person I haven't ever met and another not seen since I was forced into another stage of my life - and that's a loooong time ago.

I suddenly realised yesterday that I don't have a 'set' of Christmas trees for myself to wear this season. So that's my next task!! I've listed all the ones I've made in my Etsy shop - how daft is that? So I will make myself a couple of brooches and a pair of earwigs. I may make three more brooches for three women who have 'put up' with me popping into their office many times over the past few weeks and who thought I was so wrong to trust somebody else. I must add that my trust paid off!!!

26 November 2008

Change of direction

Why can't I ever stick to just one thing?

The story behind this owl is that I had a letter yesterday. Well, several and all in one envelope!! When I left school at the age of 18 (left as in 'almost' expelled for being a clown) the few of us that were left in the sixth form decided to start a round robin letter. This was almost fifty years ago now. We lost one or two during the years and one or two returned. We also picked up another who left school the year before us. One of the group dropped a BIG hint that she'd like a tatted owl so that's what I made for her yesterday. I'd forgotten how long they take to make so it almost didn't get finished yesterday evening!!! I had to get a move on with it as it's got a long journey ahead. Nita lives in Tasmania!!!

I forgot to mention too that last week I added some bits and bobs to my Etsy shop too.

25 November 2008

Christmas Sequins

OK so today I'm going to show you really, really ugly tatting.

The story behind this is that one of my son in laws LOVES my tatted Christmas ornaments so requested some for their tree. I've done lots of these sequin dangles for giveaways but he particularly wants red and gold for their tree. (I might add here that I'm not fond of Christmas colours at the best of times!!).

So I've revisited the pattern. The one on the left below is OK but the one on the right (with the green) is really, really ugly. I'm going to make a couple more just to get over the ugly one.

24 November 2008


As promised - pictures of the finished jacket.

First one is of me trying to get back into the house on halloween. Nick had locked me out!!!!

OK, that's the day's sillyness over with!!! Here it is - done and dusted!!! I think I might wear it when I meet up with other lacers in a couple of weeks time. It needs an outing!! At the moment it's drying out as I rinsed it yesterday to remove the washable pen marks. I use one of 'those' fabric pens when I'm sewing to mark things like buttonholes!!

23 November 2008

Back to the jacket!!

To Carol and anybody else who might be wondering what's happened to the animal jacket, let me assure you all that it's back in favour again!!!!

As is my normal way of working - I'd fallen out with it for a while!! I'm now working on some braiding for the cuffs!!! After some thought I decided (or rather, 'him wot must be obeyed') suggested that there shouldn't be animals on the sleeves. I agreed that it would be 'overdone' with them on there so have done some cuff trimmings. Jennifer suggested snakes for the cuffs and I may get two done for the sleeves. Not sure until the cuffs are finished if this will 'happen'!!!!

I'd like to add to Martha's comment on yesterday's post - and point out that giving blood is not only good for the community but also a regular health check for yourself!!

22 November 2008

71 done - 4 to go!

71 blood donations and 4 to go until I may 'retire'!!!!

On Thursday I lost the little tatted hearts I made to give to the nurses at blood donor. I'd taken them to the talk I gave last Saturday and when I unpacked after that I 'put them somewhere safe'. As you do!!! They were so safe they were totally lost!!!

After two hours of searching I pulled my chair forward in tat corner and there they were - lurking on the floor. The nurses were pleased with them.

BUT the bonus of this visit wasn't the hearts but the fact that I met up with a friend I hadn't seen for over 20 years. I see her husband occasionally as he's my doctor but she's always been at another GP practice. It was a lovely, lovely surprise to see her. We made our cup of tea last well beyond the usual 'rest' time and have made appointments together for our next session.

20 November 2008

I gave myself a treat yesterday

A treat to me is giving myself time to tat something really, really nice. I've had a major stressful time this last few weeks and it's not likely to end that soon. I even ended up taking an afternoon nap on Tuesday which only happens once every two years or so!!

Anyway, after the relief of sorting the pendant set out and sewing loads of animals onto the jacket I decided it was time to treat myself.

Due to some of the stuff going on at the moment I'm having a 'cautious' Christmas spend!!! One of the things I've bought is a dressing gown (in American that's 'robe') for one of the grandsons. I saw lots of jazzy ones with the usual 'themes' of Spiderman, Ben Ten, Batman etc but in the end saw a better quality plain one for a lot less money (M & S). So, I bought a plain grey one.

As soon as I saw it in the store I thought - ah, Martha Ess!!!! See, Martha, I do think of you in the oddest places!!! One of my favourite books is Martha's New Critters on the Block and I love the dinosaurs in there. I've made them for boy birthday cards in the past too. So, grandson's dressing gown will have two of these critters on it. Maybe more.

Another of my favourite patterns to tat is Martha's 'naughty' mermaid.

19 November 2008


Finally and after many, many 'tweaks' of the stitch count the pendant set is sorted. Yipppeeeee, I can now allow myself to do something else. Perhaps a good tidy up of tat corner should be a priority!!!

18 November 2008

Rest of pink 'set' and more

I finally got the pendant 'sorted' so that it can be worked entirely in a 20 thread. I showed the earrings a few days ago and now here is the matching pendant.

This set will be off to my friend's daughter in law who lives in Dublin.

The black and white earrings are also for my friend to give as Christmas presents. I just HOPE I don't 'mislay' (lose!!) them before I give them to her!!!!

17 November 2008

Well I'll be ........ jiggered!

I found this little purse that I made from my original Mrs Beeton's Book of Needlework. I would've tatted this some probably thirty/forty years ago!!

I found it when I was 'tidying up' Well, not really tidying - more rummaging through stuff, don't worry!

As you can see the thread has yellowed. I may, just may re-do this again one day as I remember that it was tatted with a Twilley's thread and I don't and never did like that thread. It was probably all I could get at that time.

The clasp is probably very old as my gran gave it to me and it was old then.

16 November 2008

Talking the tat!

Talking the talk. Walking the walk. Whatever!!!

My suitcase and I set out on the wander through the town to the venue of the Widow's Club.

A smashing bunch of people with an avid interest in everything. I arrived in plenty of time and got out my tatting. The talk went very well and I found it difficult to stop!! Now, now, who said 'what's new'!!!!! Well, my favourite subject is tatting as you've probably guessed!!!

More progress on the pendant in the evening so I'll be able to show you the results tomorrow - I hope!!!

15 November 2008

At last!!!

Finally I've got a good result on this earwig. I started back on tackling it late yesterday afternoon. My main 'problem' is that I'm trying to make it simple enough to do a lesson with it.

Now a lesson is totally different from a design that I put on my web site. I like to get most of the 'new' stuff in the first part of a lesson so that a student can go away with the item probably not complete but in a state that I know that they'll be able to complete the task. This makes for a lot of t
hought which isn't easy when you keep 'losing the plot' like I do!!!

Anyway, below are the earwigs finished - well, apart from the hooks!! Next will be the pendant.

When I last worked on that I used a number 40 thread for the centre and a 20 for the outer part. I later realised that this could be a problem for students and/or people who pick it up from the web. So I've got to tweak the stitch count on the centre and use 20 throughout.

This afternoon I'm doing a talk at the Widow's Club in town. I did a talk f
or them two years or so ago and they want me to do another! I said that I would only be talking about the same thing but they seemed keen to have me back! I think they're desperate for speakers!!! Mind I've got some new stuff to show and I have had a few adventures in tat land since then. Ooooh, I could tell them about brain cell # 3, couldn't I?

Actually I enjoy doing these talks. I do have a sort of 'agenda'/notes (which I usually manage to forget to take) but find that once I get started I have a job to stop!!!!
I bumped into one of the club members in town two days ago and she said she was looking forward to Saturday - should I send for the 'men in white coats'?

14 November 2008


I did some more sewing on the jacket yesterday afternoon. It rained most of the day so it was a good excuse (after the morning 'chores') to do something relatively useful.

In the evening I decided to re-visit one of the patterns I am working on. I have an order from a friend to make a pendant/earring set for her daughter in law and I'm intending to submit this as a lesson for 2009 so a good 'excuse' to test the pattern yet again!!!

What a wasted evening!!!! I decided that I could possibly make the start a little easier for the lesson idea so changed it. Well I spent the entire evening working with just one ring!! Yes, one ring!! Various ways of constructing a ring or a mock ring and also many combinations of beads - small seed ones and slightly larger ones. At the end of the evening I'd achieved two rings which I was marginally pleased with for the earring part but I was not totally happy with them. Why aren't I showing you the 'mistakes' or 'test' rings? Because I snipped the bigger beads out of them (they were 'special' ones) and threw the resulting mess away!!!

I'm hoping to get this sorted properly today with an idea which occurred to me in bed this morning. When/if this works I will show you all!!! Gives meaning to the saying of being 'tied up in knots' - the mind is as well now!!!

13 November 2008

TIAS 1 - Richard the Welsh hippo

The sewing on of the animals is going well. Occasionally I 'lose the plot' AND the invisible thread I'm using but that's just because my concentration goes!!!

I had to save the best until last. Not sure if it will be the last animal as I may do a lot of small crittery/buggy ones to fill up spaces. I'm not sure either how much longer my committment to this project will last!!!!

Anyway, here's the hippo!!

12 November 2008

Now for dolphins and another visit from # 3

OK, so I've started adding the animals to the jacket. My artistic adviser (aka Nick) is SO good when it comes to telling me that things 'don't work'. Not the words he uses but I've sworn not to swear on my blog!!!!
The thing is, it's difficult to hold these critters in place with pins AND sew them on at the same time. So, brain cell # 3 was sent for. Thankfully he'd not gone back to 'brainland'!!!
It occurred to me (with the help of # 3) that it might be an idea to 'stick' the animals on first of all so I thought of 'wonder web' which you can see here.
The problem with wonder web (I actually think it's fabulous for most enterprises) is that you need to dampen the work.
When we were at Ikea last Spring we bought some curtains. These came with a some iron on hemming tape a lot like wonder web. The main difference is that you have to use it 'dry'. Great stuff. So I have 'started sticking' the animals onto the jacket using this tape. Next I can sew them on by hand using invisible thread and they won't fall off and the pins won't 'jab' into me. EUREKA!!!

11 November 2008

I've been badgered

Not only that but 'seahorsed' too. You can tell that it rained all day yesterday and that I decided to sit down and tat in the afternoon as well as the evening (shock, horror - must be getting old!!).

Must pin these onto the jacket today and check if it needs more!!! Brain cell # 3 struck me in the middle of the night and I might be able to share a 'good idea' tomorrow. If it doesn't work out then it will be 'a bad idea'!!!! Keep all fingers crossed, pretty please!!

10 November 2008

I'm feeling decidedly crabby today

I made this one straight after the lobster for obvious reasons - those being that I was too idle to get out of the chair to source (that means rumble in my tatting cupboard!) other threads!!!

I also had a stroke of luck yesterday as I was sorting through my drawer. I found a whole load of penguins!!! I'd made them while I was working on the pattern so I'm not sure they're totally 'perfect' but they'll certainly 'do' for the jacket. In fact I've looked at them really closely and the reason they got put aside was because I'd used different beads for the eyes. How silly is that!!!

I've started pinning on the animals now - SO depressing as it just shows me how many MORE I need to make!!! So, back to the shuttle, eh?

9 November 2008

Brain cell number 3 has returned!!

I'm a little bit excited!! Number 3 has turned up again!!!

Two weeks ago we had our bedroom decorated and have downsized a tad on furniture. This means that the 'mess' I used to keep on my bedside table had to be downsized too!!! The mess (or should that be muddle!) consisted of containers of earrings. Yup, I DO love my earrings!! I'm not very good at putting them away at night so they remain in a huddle on the surface of my bedside drawers whilst also spilling out of the containers!!
Something HAD to be done about this.

I've thought about the storage of earwigs for years and years but suddenly brain cell number 3 arrived back home and I had the idea of making a wall hanging to put them on. Below is my first and very rough trial.

Improvements I need to make.
1. Space the lines out vertically a tad.
2. Choose prettier fabric!! I think I need plain colours.
3. Make a 'curtain' to fall down over them to keep the enormous amounts of dust (which we also collect in this house) off them!!
4. Add some sort of stiffening to the top.
5. Add a hanging loop.
I'll get a better one done later today and probably make a travelling one too. I wonder if anybody else would like one? I can see making these becoming addictive - like making roly poly tat bags!!!

SUCH excitement to have number 3 back again.

Later in the day!!!

Here's a completed hanger!!

8 November 2008

Thermidor anybody?

Another animal for the jacket. A lobster this time. I'm finding this a good way to check out my older patterns for little typos and for some improvements too. In fact I've added another way to make the lobster's feelers to the page.

I also want to show you this link. This is the way I feel that we should all treat each other in tat land. Wally sent me this link which was very kind of her.

I sit here in my little corner of tat land and make up new designs. Why do I do it? Not sure but it's mainly to amuse myself and I still find it a challenge - even after all these years.

What I love dearly about Wally and people like her is that she's taken the time to not only tat the pattern (which was originally for a flower fairy) but has changed the character of it to suit her ideas. BUT having done all that she has respected me according to my Creative Commons License - as the original designer. That makes me happy. It flatters me and (just as importantly) allows the craft to progress.

7 November 2008

A present

I simply MUST show you part of what came to me in the post two days ago. These fat quarters were part of a birthday present from Bev.
I'm showing you three of the pieces which were in the packet.

I love the delicate blue one with music on it. I don't actually like music myself but do appreciate that most people do!!! I'm a strange type of person!! This fabric piece is just so delicate. I will be making roly poly sets with these after Christmas but am happy to take orders beforehand if people particularly want them made from any of these three designs. The reason for not making the bags is because I have lots for sale in Etsy anyway and also (and the REAL reason) is because I'm too mean to heat the room (the conservatory) where I sew!!!

6 November 2008

Ta de dah!!!

I am pleased to announce the 'almost finished' jacket.

Hmmm, well, hmmmm. When I say almost finished it just needs the pockets sewn on. I've deliberately not done that as I want to add a critter to each of them first - you can see them roughly pinned into position, though. The pattern doesn't have pockets but I love pockets on and in my clothes.

I used the buttonhole attachment on the machine for the first time yesterday and it was BRILLIANT. I've never liked doing buttonholes before but now I'm addicted. Please send all your buttonhole requirements to me (with matching thread and button) and I'll do them for you!!!

Tatting? A few more hearts and then back to the animals!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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