26 July 2021

I will be back

I’m gradually working through a few hiccups here in hot old England but I promise that once they’re over I’ll be back on track.
I recently spotted the light at the end of this very long tunnel so may soon be back boring you all to death. You have been warned!!!!

Meanwhile a picture I took when I managed to escape the hiccups for an hour or so!!!

19 July 2021

Moaning Monday

I know I’ve been absent from this blog for a week or two but it’s due to circumstances that need to be dealt with. I’m hoping to be back soon but it could be another week or more due to the extreme heat we’re suffering at the moment as well as the other hassles.
My Monday Moan?  Well it’s about losing things. Why oh why is it so easy to lose things that you’re actually using?  I sit in my chair tatting away and without moving a muscle my hook/bobbin/scissors are gone.  Vanished completely. I have to get up (putting down the iPad I’m working on and search the chair. These ‘things’ usually turn up pretty quickly but I still ask why, and how they go missing so quickly.

I took this picture yesterday as it tickled me that I could see my earrings!!!

9 July 2021

Well this is small progress

My crazy idea for the denim jacket is taking on a life of it's own.  Not necessarily a 'good' life but it's started.  Let's say it's at the 'just been born' stage!!!

You can see that I've just pinned the pieces together here.  I think the next stage will be tacking them roughly too.  The iron is being put through it's paces as well as I need to keep checking and checking.

Meanwhile evenings are for tatting and progress is being made on another new idea.  I think this one will make a good lesson so I need to start thinking about where I'm going to offer it!!!!  

7 July 2021

Yet another

This time I've used size 80 thread instead of two strands of sewing thread.  

I love these two colours together but was surprised to see how much smaller this pink brown one was compared to the previous motifs worked in two sewing threads wound together.  You live and you learn!!!

5 July 2021

I had an idea!

Well it's been percolating in my old brain for ages!!!  Do you remember my gecko jacket?  Here it is.  I also did another with animals all over it too.  This one.

I decided to look through my wardrobe the other day and found another plain denim jacket that's been hiding in there for years!!  I know why I've never worn it - the sleeves are too long and it's BORING!!!  So I'm off on another adventure - a patchwork one.  Not a 'planned' patchwork but one that evolves.  Whatever THAT is.  I honestly don't know about this project but it'll be fun playing and the scraps I'm using will only get thrown away one day.  Save the planet, says I.  

As usual I'm not quite sure how it's going to proceed or how I'm going to do it but it'll be fun trying and I do have a lot of scraps of fabric.  I'll keep you updated!!!!

1 July 2021

Another chicken wing coaster

I am working hard on a new design but I’ve no idea yet whether I’ll be sharing it anytime soon.  

I’m still debating whether it’ll be a good one for a lesson or whether to keep it for a probable TIAS.  So many decisions that it hurts my brain!!!  

I am also making these coasters when I need to ‘wind down’ - for no other reason than it’s relaxing to make something which needs little thought.

I also have another ‘good idea’ but goodness knows whether it will come to fruition!!!  Time will tell but I’m still here in my little corner of Tat Land!!

29 June 2021

Completely nothing to do with anything!!!

The reasons for my quiet blog are many at the moment but one of them is now behind me.  
Last Saturday we had our annual (except for last year!) street party.  It had to be arranged very carefully due to Covid restrictions and instead of using the inside of the house as we normally do, we kept it to the very beautiful garden only instead and social distancing well under control.  

The house (just along the road from me) is a charity which encourages holistic healing, counselling, lessons in Pilates etc.  Here's the link.

We have two gazebos which the guys put up in the morning although it was a bit breezy and they both managed to 'take off' resulting in the death of one!!!  There is a big permanent one already there so the loss of one wasn't too dramatic and the sun stayed behind the clouds.  

We had entertainment laid on with the Trinity Players, some drummers called In2Cultures (who are always very popular) and instead of an open mic session due to another small and unsolvable hiccup there was a quiz.  My team cheated disgracefully and won but we did own up and didn't get the prize!!!!  Must admit it was fun cheating!!!!

Here are a few pictures - it was seaside themed so there was a sandpit for the kids and an art section too.  
The last picture is of the two chickens who took themselves off to bed as soon as dusk fell!!!

25 June 2021

Just a little something

Just to pass the time until I really decide what I  want to do next.  I need a big project.  Something to keep me out of mischief.

This is the chicken wing coaster which I've done with two strands of sewing/quilting thread - just to make it more of a challenge!!!

I'm going to have to find time to go through all my bits and pieces soon and sort out those that I want to give away to friends.  Once we're back to the sewing/craft groups I'm going to take those things along and just let people take what they want.  I don't need all this 'stuff' around me.  Boxes full of tatting that's never been given a home.

23 June 2021

I've made a couple

I've made a couple of these Dreamlit bobbin holders because I've found my originals SOOOOO useful.  Now I'm wondering whether anybody will want them.  Please would you ask around or leave a comment if you would as I don't want to waste my time making more if they're just going to sit around the house!!!

I really find them so useful and I usually leave a 'tail' hanging out so I know which colour the bobbin holds.  Unlike the round bobbins, when you do this with the oval ones they don't come unravelled in these holders.  Picture just below along with the new ones.

21 June 2021

In the doldrums!!!

I think I need a kick up my butt.  Everything seems to be ‘too much trouble’ at the moment.
I have a new design that’s going quite well but really needs finishing.  

I have nothing to keep me out of mischief in the way of an ‘ongoing’ project like the poncho was.  

In fact ‘doldrums’ is exactly the right word for where I’m at at the moment.

I’m hoping that somebody will give me the kick I need but in the meantime I’m going to just make patterns that please me - if I can find them.

The picture is one taken on one of my walks and is just to cheer up this post.  I WILL be back!!

16 June 2021

Odds and ends

There are several new additions to my Etsy shop as the others still keep disappearing!!!  There seems to be a halt to the sale of roly poly bags but that saves me having to do another 'batch'!!!
I'm slowly working on a new idea which is keeping me very much puzzled with several re-starts!!!  BC3 just isn't what he used to be as I try hard to come up with something truly original.  Still it passes the time!!!

14 June 2021

A well deserved award

I'm good at keeping secrets that people tell me.

I think that it was almost two years ago that I was contacted by an Australian tatter and asked if I would fill in a form for the Australian Government as there was a recommendation going in for a certain lady to be put forward for the Order of Australia Medal to reward her for 'her service to the creative arts, particularly as a tatter and lace maker’.  It was an honour and a pleasure to be allowed onto the Australian Government web site to do this.  This is the wikipedia link about the Order of Australia Medal.

I'm going to keep you in suspense for a while before naming the person but I bet a lot of you have already guessed who it is.

I had the pleasure of meeting her in Canada a few years ago and was quite nervous as she's such an expert on tatting.  We're about the same age (another clue for you) and have been tatting for about the same length of time too.  We stayed with a lovely lady (yes you, Terry) and were fed copious cups of tea while chatting.  

To say that this person deserves the medal is to say the least for what she's done and researched on our craft.  Not only that but all her research has been written down and shared freely with everybody.  

Have you guessed yet?

When she found out that I knew and had been involved (and she had to keep it a secret too for a while) her comment was that she considered it to be even more of an honour as Norma Benporath had also received the medal in the past.  

Now for the big reveal - the person concerned is our one and only Judith Connors.

Hi, Jane. I have heard that you have been keeping from me the same secret that I have been keeping from you. :-) It would appear that my OAM may be considered for the Queen’s Birthday Honours Awards in June. There has been no official confirmation yet, but the wheels are turning….slowly. I heard from the Order of Australia Committee in mid-April, but have had to stay quiet for the moment. At QTs today I was told surreptitiously that this recommendation has been in the pipeline for over a year, and you have been party to it. How could you stay so quiet for so long? I consider this a great honour, especially to be coupled with Norma Benporath, whom I admire.

11 June 2021


This is Horace who has joined my 'zoo of many creatures'!!!!  

Next project will be - well you'll have to wait and see!!!!!

10 June 2021

They came and they went!!

Two of these little critters arrived in my shop yesterday and the elephant the day before.  BUT they flew away almost immediately!!!  There - the secret’s out - elephants fly too just like pigs!

I’m going to make them again as soon as I’ve finished the latest one I’m working on - which you may get to see tomorrow.  I love being kept busy as it means I don’t get into any trouble.  Well, in theory.  

My life seems to be strange in that I don’t honestly go seeking ‘trouble’ but it seems to find ME very easily.

8 June 2021

Maybe my next sewing project?

I made a few of these bobbin holders last year when I realised that the Dreamlit shuttle was here to stay in my life.  I really do like this shuttle as it holds LOADS of thread and works well.  Brings back memories of my teenage years as that was when I last used a post shuttle.  As you know the post shuttles came before the bobbin ones and they weren't in the shops until I was probably in my late teens/early twenties.

Again the age old 'problem' with bobbin shuttles is storing the 'not in use' bobbins without either losing them (which is what I'm SO good at) or without ends of threads tangling (I rarely leave excess thread on shuttles - I always wind those bits back onto the ball.  In the bottom photo you can see one bobbin with thread on and I usually leave a little of it sticking out when I close the holder - just cause I'm lazy and can readily see what colour is on the bobbin.  

Anyway I've shown you the bobbin holder I made for them back in May last year but now I'm thinking of making more.  What do you think?  Should I make more? They are fiddly to make and it's a pain sewing on the press studs but I think they work much better than velcro.  

7 June 2021

Well, well, well

The Etsy shop has been busy and I'm pleased to say that I've not got into any mischief for a week or three!!! Well nothing I’m admitting to!!

I'm busy re-stocking again at the moment and one lovely customer suggested that the elephant should have his trunk facing upwards because it was good luck. So as I’d never heard of this I had to ask Mr Google! Here's what I found.

"Predominate superstitions in Western cultures indicate that the trunk of an ornamental elephant should always be facing upwards and in Eastern cultures it should be facing downwards for it to bring good fortune on the house in which it resides."

As there was no real consensus of opinion I’ll go with ‘up, down, turn it all around’!!!

This is what I came up with and I must admit I ‘fiddled’ with the original pattern a little to get (I hope) a more handsome hephalump with his trunk facing upwards!!!

3 June 2021

Roly Poly Tat Bags

Are now live.  

There are 24 of them and they're all on here.  I'm thinking of another project which I hope to run by you tomorrow.  

More of the ones I have for sale.  

2 June 2021


Felt almost normal as we had our first meeting of Neighbours and Needles which we held in Lifeways garden.  A gloriously sunny morning with lovely neighbours.

We started this group a few years ago just so we could get together and have a chat over tea/coffee and biscuits.  Well that’s not the real reason.  

Bunting was the first thing we did and that was for a street party we were going to throw.  As we had such fun doing that the Tuesday morning meetings continued with all sorts of things being made for many charities.  

We set ourselves the task of helping out local groups with things that they might want or need.  It’s been great fun so getting back together today we had our first new task - leaves!!!

We made some before (probably two years ago) and they went to Anne Hathaways Cottage.  The lady who we’re doing them for is a well known local artist - Ros Ingram and a great person to help.  She does a lot with the community too.

Here’s what we achieved yesterday.

1 June 2021

Slowly, slowly catchee monkey!!!

Love that phrase although I’d never want to catch a monkey in the first place!!!
I’m talking about the Roly Poly Tat Bags today.  In spite of the washing machine and then some big gardening tasks - like removing rotting planters - I’ve managed to complete the 24 bags.

When I say complete - I mean I’ve finished sewing them.  After that I had to add the tags to them which you’ll see tomorrow when I show you.  

I’m stringing out listing them a while longer because I like to get the packages weighed and priced at the Post Office before listing so that I’m not over or under charging on postage.  The Post Office was closed yesterday as we had a Bank Holiday.  I’ll be going down this morning to mail another package and will check the price of mailing the bags then.

Meanwhile - here’s a ‘taster’ to whet your appetite!!!  

31 May 2021

Twirly doily finished

I’ve finished the twirly doily even though I kept getting distracted by life.

Boring things like the washing machine becoming terminal just when I’d got two loads to do and then when the new washer was delivered the electrics decided they just weren’t going to make the new washer feel at home.  

Wobbling on a pair of steps in a dark passageway isn’t my favourite place to be on a Friday evening but I got it sorted.

28 May 2021

DANGER. Woman at work!

Good progress was being made on the new batch of roly poly tat bags until I had some welcome interruptions.  Well the first wasn’t welcome but it was expected - the death of the washing machine!!!!  That took time to find and order a new one.  

Whoever knew that buying online could take almost as much time as physically going to a shop - remember those?

Then there was the friend who decided she definitely needed a mobile phone.  She’s been talking about one for years but now was the time.  I went with her to choose and help her spend her money on Tuesday (I like spending other people’s money!)and then we’ve spent time together while I set it up and taught her how to use it!!!! 

Here are some pictures of the ‘woman at work’ and the roly poly bags may even be in my Etsy shop by the end of next week - after I've caught up with the huge pile of washing waiting to be done!!

27 May 2021

Leaves for Nita

Now my friend in Tasmania mentioned she'd got a worn patch in her trousers (that's pants in American!) so I asked her if she'd like a 'tatty bit' to cover the worn place.  These two leaves are on the way to Tasmania as I blog!!!  

I used a suggestion from Judith Connors over making these (I didn't use beads, though) and that was to put  split rings down the centre and that works REALLY well.  Thanks, Judith.  

The original pattern is from a Ruth Scarf's book and she kindly allowed this blogger to share it back in 2012.  I was disgusted to see that a person on Etsy is SELLING this pattern.  That makes me MAD.

26 May 2021

Progress on my zoo!!!!

I keep making small critters for my Etsy shop and they keep wandering off!!!!  I must admit there's something about making things that are appreciated by others and bought by them, for whatever purpose, that keeps the aged hands tatting.
Many times I consider giving up on making things and then something like the shop happens and off I go again on a roll!!!!

I do have another reason to keep going and that's a good supply of thread and beads!!!!  I'm trying not to leave too much 'stuff' for my kids to sort out when I'm no longer around!!! 

Here are some of the critters that may still be in my shop by the time the blog post goes live or may not!!!

25 May 2021

Last t-shirt finished

I'm sorry about the poor picture here but with the dull and dreary weather we're still having it's been hard to take any photos.  

I'm really pleased with this t-shirt but now need the appropriate weather to wear it in!!!!

These are the two patterns I used.  The Fandango heart doily and this edging.  

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Happy Beaks

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