30 December 2009

Houston we have problems!

Well, only a small one!!  Yesterday I managed to sort the TIAS finally during the day.  Lots of 'titivating' of drawings and text.

All I need to do now is to put each day up on the web site AND do the links!!  That'll take time!

Meanwhile a 'follow up' to the TIAS is almost sorted too - one more to go (or maybe two)!!  I'm thinking I may be ready by next week but will know more by tomorrow!!

The problem yesterday was putting Windows 7 onto my little laptop!!   Took/is taking longer than we thought but now it's on and all I have to do is install the 'other' software.  Shouldn't take long as I don't use a lot of fancy stuff on it as mostly I use it for internet access and writing down patterns 'on the hoof' in the evenings.  Beats watching the television any day!!!

So, yesterday evening I made two more butterfly bookmarks. 

29 December 2009

Talking to myself about the TIAS

Well after an 'interesting interlude' called Christmas things are getting back to normal in my corner of Tat Land.

I decided yesterday that I really should look again at the proposed TIAS (Tat It And See).  I left it alone about a month ago because I got confused with myself and 'it'.  So I sat down yesterday and got to about day 7 and was thoroughly 'lost'.

This (for those who are interested) is how I work.  I work on a design/project until I'm reasonably satisfied with it.  I then move on to something else and let the project 'fester' for a while.

A few weeks, days or even months later I return to it with a well scrubbed brain cell number 3.  This works for me.  Yesterday after number 3 was well rested and full of mince pies etc I got back to the TIAS.  

It was worse than I thought!!!  When I first started on this I'd done the drawings on the PC.  Fortunately not many but then had to learn the new software and re-do them.  Hopefully I'll get more time today to put the project 'to bed' (as 'they' say!).  Once that's done I'll be able to work out a date for the start of TIAS 2010!!!

28 December 2009

A leaf for the quilt square

Sometime over the last week or so I made this leaf for the quilt square.

I did write the pattern down sort of so I should be able to make another if I need to!!!!

26 December 2009

Butterflies galore!!!

This is a message and the work that Katie sent me just before Christmas.

"Hi, Jane,

Been tatting your butterfly bookmarks lately.  Cute and fun!  See attached.  Also some of Jennifer's beginner's snowflakes--easy and fast. "

What am I up to?  Dithering and not doing what I ought to be doing - a final testing of the TIAS!!!  I WILL get to it - I promise myself!!!

Katie also tackled this tree of mine (what a BRAVE lass) which I'd completely forgotten about.  Hang on, I'll go and find the link - perhaps!!!

Ah, here it is!!!  Too late for this Christmas but maybe next one!!!

24 December 2009

Same old but converted!!!

I used one of the hearts and converted it into a bookmark!!!  Here you go!!!!

What I really, really need to do is make a wee heart on t'other end but when I did this and got to the end I was too tired to bovver!!!

23 December 2009

I did it!!

I sorted out the 3 hearts pattern and have now replaced the original!!!!

There are a few tweaks on the stitch count (why on EARTH did I do it that way before?!?!).  

These three scans would've looked a lot better if only I'd blocked or even pressed them!!!  The iron is buried under a pile of 'stuff' so we're going to look even more wrinkled for the next week or two until it's located again!!!  

22 December 2009

Another day - another piece!!!

I've decided that doing this quilt square should give me the chance to re-visit some of my older designs to see if I can 'improve' them.  So, here's what I'm working on at the moment!!!

I realised that when I did this design which will be 'improved' and added to the web site as soon as I can, that I wasn't particular about right and wrong side tatting.  Actually, I'm not that bothered now but I do realise that with a few 'tweaks' I can make the whole thing look a jolly sight better.  

The story continues!!!

And now Mark's suggestion which I think is GREAT.

21 December 2009

Butterfly again!!!

Having seen Marty's butterfly with the butterfly at t'other end I decided that this was a definite improvement!!!  

I've added her wee tail to the bottom of the butterfly pattern which you can find here.  

I think I might even 'improve' on this tail by adding another split ring for the head of the butterfly.  I'm an odd tatter as I'm not very fond of four ring butterflies and prefer a 'head' on my body.  Now, if that applied to my own body and I'd got a decent 'head' on that too then I wouldn't keep losing brain cell number 3!!!!

Of course I had to 'test tat' it too!!!

19 December 2009

First entry for the quilt square

The first problem I've encountered is what colours should I use on the square!!!  I want it to look as if the tatting has 'grown out' of it and not just been 'plonked on'.

These are the first colours I've chosen!!!!  I think I'm going to use just my own patterns to make it really 'Janey, oh Janey' (to use Sherry's expression!!!!).  The lighter green on this motif is just SO pretty.  Really 'crisp'.

Oh, I found my 'spare' hook so all is back to normal here!!!

18 December 2009

Oh, dear - it's broken

Well that's the end of a wonderful relationship.  The end of this dear little hook has broken.  

Not only has it been a constant companion for over two years it's also holds many fond memories of Palmetto Tat Days the year before last.  That would be 2007.

I bought this off Georgia Seitz and it's been with me ever since.  

BUT all is not quite lost - I bought two 'just in case'.  Now after Christmas I'll order another from Georgia 'just in case' the other one dies.  Mind, I've yet to find it in my muddle!!!

I think I'll also treat myself to one of Sherry's pen hooks too - if they go as fine as this one.  I've had hooks break before - must be mental fatigue.  

Nope, not a typo - just living with me must drive them mental!!!

17 December 2009

A new challenge and a treat for ME!!

This is the quilt square that I picked out of Georgia's 'stash' at Palmetto.  I've never done one of these before so that's the challenge part of the title.

The idea is to put tatting on it and return it to her.  A quilt is then going to be made and sold in order to raise money for the scholarship fund which Palmetto distribute to tatters who could not otherwise afford to attend Tat Days.  

The treat part?  Allowing myself to do something for pleasure and not the pain of the design process!!!

I'll blog the pieces I make for this as I do them.  Now I'm dying to 'get started'!!!

16 December 2009

Jealousy will get you nowhere

Look what came in the post yesterday.

This gorgeous star necklace.  Now who was it who so kindly gave it to me?  Jennifer from this blog.

I'm just SO tempted by beading now.  Shall I give up tatting?  Hmmm, I'm seriously thinking about having a go at beading.  

My biggest problem is working with beads.  I use my laptop to notate patterns as I go along and sometimes the beads jump onto the keyboard and get under the keys.  

Then I have to wait for Nick to go out of the room so I can surreptitiously turn the  darn thing upside down and shake it. He's forever telling me NOT to work with beads but as you all know a 'tatters got to do what a tatters got to do'!!!!

15 December 2009

Another flew in!

Only one yesterday as I'm working on something else.

Nope, not telling!!!  It's MY secret for once!!!

Life has been a bit 'problematic' lately so not a lot of time for anything!!!

14 December 2009

A busy day - but!!

I spent most of yesterday working on the TIAS so have nothing to show you!!!!

When I do one of these I work up a pattern in the usual way doing the drawings, text, links etc.  Then when I decide to make it into a TIAS I have to work out where to split the pattern up. 

This ain't as easy as it sounds and is probably the hardest part!!  Once that's done then each 'day' or part has to be set up.

This means taking the original drawings and cutting those up too.  Mind you have to remember to not 'squish' the original drawings up so it's easier to open a new file and copy and paste. 

So, now I've spent many days on this project and nothing to show - YET!!!!!!

12 December 2009

To lock or not to lock - that is the question!!

Interesting question here!!!

I was reading this blog yesterday and it got the old brain cell out of hibernation!!!  Thanks, Rose Anne for permission to link, much appreciated (it woke up number 3)!!!

I looked at her little practice piece (that's the second picture down) after admiring her first designs.  First thing that I noticed was that she'd tied a knot to start.  Exactly what I'd have done in that situation because I'd be wanting to get to the real issue which was the false picot.  

I then (because of the knot and where brain cell number 3 was going) got to thinking about the magic thread trick and why I've never used it (well, I did once and the ends came straight out!).  So here is my 'how to' for starting off a ring without tying a knot or using the MTT (although actually the following is an MTT without the hassle of extra bits of thread or wire or flossers).

I tuck the small end round my core thread and TOTT (tat over the tail).  Here's what it looks like before the ring has been closed (left).  Hang on, I've got a drawing that I've done for the next TIAS.  I'll pop that in here too (that's the one on the right!).

Now, 'what if' (like Rose Anne) you have a split ring next with a 'false picot' in between the two.  There are several ways of dealing with this but this works best for me.

In the scan below I have started the ring exactly the same way as above by TOTT - but this time I have laid the second colour alongside and behind the original small tail leaving another end to tat over.  This doesn't make the ring noticeably thicker.  Well, I don't think it does!!!  

A handy 'hint' here if you're clumsy like me is to put a paperclip on the second end's tail to stop you accidentally pulling it back out!!!  How and why did I learn that trick?  Guess - I did pull the end out several times!!!

So the ring is worked over both tails and closed.  If you look at the scan below you'll be able to see the gold end 'peaking out' where it finished.  Normally I'd make sure the end was left at the back and it would stay there until I'd finished the whole piece.  I'd then give it an extra tug before snipping so that it would slacken off and wiggle back into the work.  Please note that I was using 'rat's tail cord' for this demonstration - not easy to work with!!!

Now, if you need to leave a false picot in between the ring and the next split ring it is currently being advised that folks should do a lock stitch (tie a knot).  I'm going to throw a spanner in the works here and say - please don't!!!  It will make an ugly place in the tatting.  All you need to do is leave a space of bare thread and start the first side of the split ring.  See next scan.

When the first side of the SR has been finished - leave another small space and make the second side of the split ring as normal!!!  Again take  a peak at the scan below (left).  Viola - no need to do a lock stitch!!!  

The scan on the right shows the same thing but with the lock stitch in between.  I rest my case and will put brain cell number 3 back into hibernation!!!!

Oh, before he goes I may show a way of avoiding the lock stitch if a chain is going to be worked after a ring or SR.  Does anybody want to see this?

11 December 2009

Yet again!

I saw Sally's post the other day with all her butterflies on and decided to try using my 'mixed up' beads too!!!

Here's just one butterfly worked with those.  Under that one is another using the Lizbeth Jellybean thread.

I really must settle down and do something new but time is racing by and I've a lot of other stuff going on at the moment which means I have to sort those out rather than the new TIAS!!!  When I get an hour or two I do settle down to that but finding the time is a real problem.

Anyway, enough wingeing from me - it ain't my style!!!  Can't stand hearing myself moan so I'm sure others can't either!!!


10 December 2009

More butterflies!!!!

Of course yesterday's pattern doesn't have to be used for a bookmark!!!  Even I've worked that out!!!

Here are a few made with some thread which has been in my stash for ages.  I've no idea what it is but it's worked out at about a size fifty, I guess. 

I've no idea what I'm going to do with these wee bugs but I'm sure they'll find themselves being used for something soon enough!!!

9 December 2009

A butterfly!

I know that everybody's thinking and tatting for the holiday season but you know me - I have to be a tad different!!!!  I have a problem.  A BIG problem.  A HUGE problem.  A MEGGA problem.  I'll tell you what it is!!!

When I have an idea and have fiddled and messed with it and it finally becomes a pattern I have NO patience.  I can't keep it for months or weeks or even days!!!  I HAVE to share it.  If I could keep it then I'd be able to launch things like this at the right time of the year but ...........

The reason for altering the Funny Face and making this little butterfly (into bookmarks) is for a reason which I'll share in late January.  A very good reason, I think!!!

I did share the pattern with Sally and (like me!) she can't stop making them so in order to stop us both from our addiction I've added the pattern to my site this morning.  

The picture below shows the pattern worked with a pearl tatted 'tail' instead of the lock chain on the written pattern.  I used this method (the lazy way!!) to make this.

8 December 2009

Another Snowsettia from 'foreign parts'

Now I've known Elizabeth who made this version of the Snowsettia for years. She pops into my inbox from time to time and always with a smile.

She sent me her version of the Snowsettia for me to share. Thanks Elizabeth from Mobile, Alabama.

7 December 2009

Reporting in!!!

Sorry I missed my blogging yesterday - put it down to a 'long lie in' in bed!!!  Saturday was great.  I got into the overflow car park just before it 'overflowed' itself.  I got there about half an hour after the fair opened.  YIKES.

The venue is lovely.  Modern, spacious etc.  All the usual UK suppliers were there with ample supplies and loadsa lovely threads and beads.

Now, for those who wanted to see what I bought - you're going to be dissapointed, I'm afraid.  I came home with - waaaaiiiit for it!!!!  Two balls of black number 80 thread (one for me and one for Sally), a number 40 in black for Sally, and a ball of Lizbeth variegated.  That's all, I'm afraid!!!!  I came home with so much 'stuff' from my trip to the USA that I really didn't need anything else!!!  

I saw my friends from the Ring of Tatters who had a splendid 'pitch' decorated with all their Christmas tatting.  BOY, were they busy.  I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting a lady who's sent me nearly (or more than) 1,000 motifs for the bookmarks over the years - that was a great experience.  

Most people who go to the event appear to be bobbin lacers but there was a terrific interest in tatting too.  I saw Jennifer, Jean, Lynne and Ruth (on the ROT pitch) sell loads of the DVD's which can also be found here.  HECK, you didn't expect to read a blog post without an advert for the ROT, did you?!?!?!?

Oh, I spotted Rosemarie Peel at one point when I was busy talking to somebody else but didn't bump into her to speak to - bummer.  I think Pam Palmer was there from what rumour said.  Again I didn't see her to speak to.  It was very busy there as usual!!!

Yesterday (most of the day) was spent chopping up the TIAS pattern into bits and starting in on the extra drawings and explanations.  Kept me quiet for hours!!!

5 December 2009

Off out for the day!

Today I'm going to the Lace Fair in Solihull.  The Ring of Tatters will be there and loads of suppliers.

I've been saving my pennies so I've got some 'spare' to shop for threads and beads.  I shouldn't - I know I shouldn't but a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do!!!

I wonder who I'll meet there?  I'll let you know when I get back!!! 

I'll probably have to spend Sunday out 'on the streets' with my begging bowl!!!!!  Wonder where my sleeping bag is - I could be homeless by the middle of next week!!!!

For those who don't know me - I'm JOKING!!!!

4 December 2009

Funny Face finished

I've finished the 'new' Funny Face bookmark and it's on my site.  I'm putting one on this blog post again to show you how it looks with a bead in it's mouth!!!!

You may notice that I've altered the home page again.  The reason was that all I'd ever done in the past is use either Front Page or Sharepoint and 'mess' with the first original page that I did.  Because of that the html was in a right mess so the only thing to do was 'bite the bullet' and start again with a clean sheet. Well,  almost.  I'm not going down the route of learning html - too much tatting to do!!!

I didn't have to put all the links in again because I was able to copy and paste them from the orginal but I did make up new tables, borders and rectify lots and lots of stupid formatting.  Do hope it looks a bit better now.  It'll never be perfect cause I just ain't that clever or dedicated to it!!!

My next project should also be ready soon.  Keep checking in!!!! 

Here's the finished bookmark - packed in a cellophane package ready to give away.  I think he's a handsome 'beast'!!!!

3 December 2009

What do you think?

I've got several things to give you but just been having a bit of a busy time in my 'other' life lately that they're not quite ready to go - the funny face and a.n.other!!!!

So, I've been thinking (yes, I can, you know!).

Do you remember - I did the first ever TIAS two years ago?  It seems such a long time ago but when I looked it up I found that it was only two years!!!

Well I was wondering if there's anybody out there in tat land who'd like to do another?  I've got a suitable pattern ready (well, almost!) so I'd like to play!!!  I'm thinking of starting it in early January when life needs cheering up for those of us who live in the Northern Hemisphere!!!!

This time I think that anybody who can do rings, chains and split rings will be able to tackle this TIAS.  I will be adding a few suggestions, tips and tricks as it goes along.  They'll be my personal tips and tricks but it would be good to have other people's input too.

What do you all think?

2 December 2009

Some earrings

I have been very impressed with Jane and her fantastic attempt at the Snowsettia design.

BUT what pleases me even more is how she's now gained courage from that to make these earrings.  This is the sort of thing which keeps me inspired to carry on making more 'daft ideas' come to life.  Thanks, Jane and all who 'sail with her'.

1 December 2009

Problem solved!!

This isn't totally about tatting today but for me it is 'related'.

I belong to quite a few yahoo groups which are tatting related.  I'm really nosey and like to know what's going on in 'tat land' but rarely have a lot to say, believe it or not!!!!

I also use the yahoo calendar which I've got set up to remind me 24 hours and 12 hours before an event that it is 'about to happen'.  I have reminders for when to return library books, collect 'pills and potions' from the vets (sorry, mean doctor), birthdays, appointments etc.  This is fine BUT there were also reminders from all the groups on my PERSONAL callendar which really annoyed me.  For several years and on many occasions I've tried to find out how to 'get rid of' these annoying 'other' reminders!!!  I nearly left one group because of them!!!

In the end after poking around and around the yahoo help files etc I emailed them for help.  I had a very quick reply (overnight, in fact) and they told me exactly what to do.  It was SO easy that I now feel a total plonker.  Here's their solution for anybody who may have had the same problem as me.

If you would like to disable the Group Time Guide, please follow the steps below in your Yahoo! Mail account:
1. Click the "Calendar Options" link in the lower right corner of the Calendar page.
2. Click on the "Time Guides" link.
3. Uncheck the three (3) boxes next to the Group that you do not want displayed.
4. Then click the "Save" button.

30 November 2009

Now for something different.

While you've all been looking at the snowsettia motif I've been quietly (well, no, not quietly - I never do anything quietly!) working on other 'stuff'!!!

Since changing over to the mac all I've wanted to do is play with the new drawing program.  So one of my priorities was to look again at this pattern which has caused people a few heartaches!!!!

This was originally done for the Palmetto Tat Days in 2004 and proved a steep learning curve for those taking part.  The main problem was that I tried to fit too many 'things' into the second SR.  Since then time has moved on and dear brain cell number 3 has moved in!!!!

So I've now re-written this pattern (for the better, I hope!) and will shortly upload it to replace the original.  IF there's anybody daft enough to want the original then I will warn you that it will be gone soon!!!!

This has also proved yet again how tatting has progressed even over the few years since I first did this pattern.  New techniques certainly help!!! 

27 November 2009

The Finale

Just messing around the other day and decided I wanted to see all the motifs in their full glory!!!!

Here they are - warts and all!!!  I just flung them on the scanner in no particular way.

Two more task nows - to add invisible hangers and give them away!!!!

26 November 2009

Last two

First of all thank you to Gina at the Tattinggoddess blog.  I've 'stolen' your suggestion for a search bar and I love it.

You'll be pleased to know that these are the last two!!!  I'm SO bored with these now.

This pair are for special people.  My son in law and daughter.  

I mention him first as he usually 'nags' for the tatted decorations - bless him.

Tomorrow there will be something special to celebrate the end of this phase of my tatting life!!!!!

25 November 2009

Now for yellow and white

I never realised how much easier life would become with the new mac!!!  Yesterday I decided to list some Christmassy things in my Etsy shop.  This is a 'chore' that I'm not fond of as I've no patience with myself and how long things take to do!!  I decided to list 'one or two' things but landed up putting loads up there.

All the things listed are what I've made 'in between' new designs.  I tend to tat what I want on those occasions with no particular goal in mind!!!  Thus the house fills up with pretties that eventually have to find their way out of the door.  Hopefully a few will make it out over the next few weeks!!!

Still on the lighter colours and I'm almost done with the Christmas dangles now.

Next thing on the list?  Ah, you wait and see!!!!!

24 November 2009

Something more 'ladylike'!!!

You're not going to believe these two. 

These are in 'ladylike' colours.  Considering my usual choices you may well be surprised!!!

I scanned the second one with the lid of the scanner up - a fabulous tip that Teri Dusenbury gave me some time ago. 

That gal rocks - not only a fantastic tatter and a tat land treasure but also very clever with the computer too.  Thank you, Teri.

23 November 2009

Who would ever have thought?

Well I wouldn't have!!!  Purple and orange together?  No WAY.

BUT I think it works!!!  Nope, I don't think it works.  I know it does!!!!  Positive thinking, OG, positive thinking in yer old age!!!!

21 November 2009

Aunty Nelly

I had an Aunty Nelly when I was little and I was her favourite goddaughter.  She married later in life and she and Uncle Earnest never had children.

I used to stay with her for a few days at a time in Coventry (just after the war) and remember things like seeing the bombed Cathedral etc.  I was born in 1943 so was very young.  I digress.
When I was a teenager I remember visiting her in a new skirt.  One which I adored.  My mother made it for me and it was blue with a green print on it.  Aunty Nelly was appalled and quoted 'blue and green should never be seen'.  
All my life since then I've wondered about colour combinations and this pair is just to prove Aunty Nelly wrong!!!!!

20 November 2009

Does my?

"Does my bum look big in this"?  Sorry, couldn't resist that!!!  It should read "does my BANNER look big in this"?  Thanks to all again for suggestions and taking the time to even look at the ramblings and struggling of this OG!!!  

Seriously I had poor old brain cell number 3 working on the banner for a while yesterday but am not sure if it's any better!!!

Two completely different dangles today.  Both made a few weeks ago (and lost and found!!).

The first one is done in my favourite combination of really outrageous colours - bright pink and bright orange!!

The second is green (obviously!) and a variegated thread called 'jelly bean' which is one of the Lizbeth number 20 range.

19 November 2009

Pink and Blue

Thank you to all those who told me my banner is oversized on the top of the blog!!!  I'm going to work on it today but that's a bit difficult when it looks fine to me on three browsers and two computers!!!  Tell you what, I'll dig out and polish off brain cell number 3 and get him to give me a hand!!!!

Now for two using pink and blue.

Another and new breed of poinsettia, do you think?!?!?

18 November 2009


Just messing around on my new toy the other day and this is what I came up with - a self portrait!!!

Just so as not to frighten people too much I left out my sticky out teeth!!!

Seriously - I'm really enjoying this new drawing software and can't leave it alone!!  I've got a new banner here on the blog and a new one on my Etsy store.  I know I should be drawing tatting diagrams but wanted to do something else and 'just for fun'.

More of my motifs coming sooooon.

17 November 2009

Another pair

Now I made these two a few weeks ago when I was still working on the pattern.

I really like this combo.  Least I do until the next pair I make!!!

Watch out tomorrow for a frightening post - something different!!

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