9 February 2007

Introduction to my Family

May I introduce you to my new family? They have recently arrived to live with me and I'd love you all to meet them.

First of all there's Mrs Tatbead - lady's first, of course!
Then Mr Tatbead - hates wearing suits and would rather be in his casual clothes.

Next I want to introduce Master Tatbead - note, he wears shorts and his hair needs brushing!
Then there's his sister with her multi-coloured skirt and her pigtails. Like most girls - she adores pink!
Next we have grandma Tatbead who needs a walking stick - gold of course!
She is followed by her husband - ooooh, dig his hairstyle! He uses a walking stick and looks as if he needs a zimmer instead!
Next there are the family pets. First the dog. Rover Tatbead.
Followed by the cat - Tilly Tatbead
Tilly Tatbead is a very good mouser and she's very fond of bringing her 'catches' home with her.
These are the family members who have arrived at the moment but I believe others will be following soon. Watch this space!!!

8 February 2007

More ramblings!

Yesterday evening I made good progress on my latest project after two abortive attempts at one of the pieces!
I wonder how many yards of thread I've thrown away during the past fifty years? That's an interesting thought!!! I remember that when I was in my teens the cost of a ball of Coats thread was two pound two shillings and sixpence (£2.25). At least I'm pretty darn sure it was that. As balls are still roughly that price it does seem that the cost of my addiction has remained roughly the same!!! In those days it took me a lot of agonising over spending my pocket money and then if I made a mistake I hated cutting out and throwing away. Nowadays I don't mind the waste.
Actually, no, I'm wrong in that previous statement about the cost of my addiction!!! It's soaring over the years. BUT only because I can now afford more threads, shuttles and beads!!!! Where will it ever end?
Just a quick side note. It's snowing here today. Three inches with a forcast of three more. Last time it was this deep in our area was roughly twenty years ago when I walked two miles through the countryside in blizzard conditions to school. I was the closest teacher to the school and when I got there the head had already arrived from eight miles away and closed it!!! It took most of the morning (me in the school hall telling stories to the kids) to contact the parents of those who had arrived to ask them to take them home! I then had to walk home!!

7 February 2007

Rambling thoughts on copyright and other stuff.

I've been listing on ebay again - more shuttles and some tatted pieces. Love doing ebay but it will shortly be coming to an end as the gardening and Spring arrive (hopefully).
I ordered a new cupboard for my stash of threads and beads on Sunday. The one I've been using has shrunk!!! YES, it has!!! It's the damp patch in the corner that's caused it. NO, I haven't been buying too much stuff!!!! That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
A design that I'm really excited about is nearing fruition. No, I'm not sharing pictures this time. It's been a long time getting finished and I so want this one to have the 'wow' factor!!!
Mind, after the 'discussions' on HBT I'm not sure I really want to share any more. Somebody says it's fine to take anybody's work, alter the way it's written and then publish under their name. This has been done to me and it SUCKS BIG TIME. It hurts like hell. The only reason for people doing this must be because they haven't an original thought in their head or they want to gain 'fame and fortune' off other folks's backs. What I cannot understand is that people think it's fine to do this and to buy a book to share the patterns with others. Just before Christmas I did look into doing a book of patterns and self publishing but if this is the 'way of the world' then I shan't bother.

3 February 2007


Another lot of tatting listed on ebay - oh, and three Aero shuttles. Finally sold the second item I'd listed at Etsy overnight. It's SUCH a pretty site I do wish it would become more popular. http://www.etsy.com/ Listing there is SO much cheaper too. This is only the second thing I've sold in nearly six months!! My only consolation is that other tatters haven't done very well there either. I've re-listed the earrings on ebay and again spent a loooonnnnggg time trying to get a good scan or photo of them. Sadly I cannot do them justice. They really are SO pretty. I love that pattern and my cream and brown ones which I made in 2004 and have worn regularly are still as fresh as when they 'came off the shuttle'.

31 January 2007

Another ring and a question

I made another ring last night - orange and yellow. The pattern is now tested and soon to come out of 'beta'!!!!!
Beneath is also a picture of the braid I've been playing with and my question is 'how would you suggest I make a flexible fastening for it?' I would like to make little 'signet rings' with it as it's so cute but am flumoxed by how to make a flexible fastening. You will see that in the one below I've kept the ends and put them through the starting ring and a bead - BUT this needs to be tightened and kept in place but easily released to take off. I thought of 'treasury tags' as an answer but they wouldn't be pretty enough so I'm stuck!!!!!
I would appreciate any input.

30 January 2007

Braid time again!

I paid a return visit to the braid last night after the butterflies. Well, I cheated a bit as I did one butterfly in the afternoon! So, this time I've started with a ring and then made the braid. I think I know what I want to use this for - but there again, maybe I don't!!! Time will tell!!!

29 January 2007

Back to Butterflies

Heck, I know I should be doing something with all my 'pending' patterns BUT I do so love making these butterflies. I'm one of those people who is compulsive about some things and this is one of the patterns I just LOVE making. I think it's the 'colour coordinated' rings that 'do' it for me. That and this beautiful variagated Flora thread. I really, really love it!! Ah, well, I'll get round to listing them on ebay one of these days when I get fed up with making them. Ebay's certainly helping out with some enormous bills I've had since the middle of December. Keeps me out of mischief during these dreary winter days too. Ah, where are those butterflies?

28 January 2007

I've got a new ring

I decided I needed a new ring and after a VERY expensive month or two I couldn't afford to buy one. So, out came the shuttles and beads. Now for a pattern. I 'borrowed' one and altered it slightly to come up with the flower. The central bead is an old Carnival bead. You'd never guess that this started out as a star!!! http://tinyurl.com/yozm6h Well, it needed a little bit of alteration but not a lot. The outer part is also based on the star. The band is the braid which I used for my bag.

20 January 2007

Busy, busy, busy!!!

My friend Pamela Myers has spent the last few weeks 'playing' with my flamingo. She's come up with an alternative position for him/her. I've added this amendment to the pattern site. I think he's fabulous and an improvement but she wouldn't let me say that!!!! Anyway, here's a taster.
I've also found a few minutes to list some more Aero shuttles on ebay and some more of my own tatting.

18 January 2007

Additions made to my pattern site

At last - I've done it. Finally got the patterns up for the heart in a ring and the zipper pulls. I finished another seahorse yesterday evening and this will be listed on ebay - when I next do a listing session. There will be seahorses, dolphins and (with a bit of luck) fishes!!!!

17 January 2007

The Final Heart

I took a few days to tat dolphins ready for my next session of ebaying! Then I went back and did a final tweaking of the heart in a ring. I'm finally pleased with it. All I have to do now is check the drawing and put the web page together along with another pattern which is finished and then I can upload both.
I think the most interesting aspect of this heart has been the way the SCMR6 bends at almost right angles between it's two elements but which keeps it's integrity. I resolve NEVER to design another heart!!!

11 January 2007

Swimming with Dolphins

I'm SO pleased with this that I'm going to have to make more!!!! I used my dolphin pattern with a variagated blue and plain blue no. 70 (or 80) threads wound onto the shuttles together. This works out as 'just about' the same as a no. 20. I've used a single thread for the sea/waves at the top and bottom and added beads to give the dolphin itself a bit of 'glitz' as if the water is glistening on his body. My big thanks to the ebay customer who asked for a dolping suncatcher. I shall list more of these as they get made.

10 January 2007

At Last

The heart is finished. Well, perhaps one less ds on each side between R8 & R9 on the one side and R12 & R13 on the other side but that's just about all that needs sorting. What a struggle this heart was. I've decided NOT to tat it onto the ring as I go because it would spoil the lovely clear line that the beads on the core thread of the chains make. I shall tie it in later with invisible thread and this will even out the 'lopsided' look to the two chains at the top. I haven't blocked and pressed it yet!! I just love the invisible thread that I bought from Walmart. I may even try to tat something with it - with beads on. Ah, earrings. There's an idea. Hmmmmmm. Next is a dolphin in a ring for a friend who's asked for one - I shall add beads to show water glistening off it's skin. I may do two and pop one up on ebay. That will be easy tatting today, I guess. Then the next project? Hmmm, a few patterns to tidy up and then a major one that I've been thinking about for six months.

9 January 2007

New Name for the Heart

Not quite so hateful heart!!! Well, it's getting better at last!!!!! I got rid of ALL the SR's at the side and 'tweaked' the ds counts all over. Still a bit 'bulgy' but I think I can rid it of that with another tryout this evening. It's the two chains between the lower side rings and the side SCMR's that need attention. I may even do away with the lower SCMR's and try an SR with a ring on the second side - OR just a ring there. Beginning to ALMOST like it now. I still like the beads on the core thread in the chains. Sort of outlines the edges well. Sorry about the thread but there were two shuttles with this variagated yellow on (Manuela) and red beads at the side of my chair. That's the last two shuttles full of that thread BUT the new Flora variagated one that I've not started yet is even prettier. Not sure what colours I shall use on the 'final' version of the heart.

I've just finished re-drawing the heart, altering the ds count and changing two SCMR's for two R's. The order in which it is worked has now been changed drastically too. Wonder if it'll work out to be better? Only time will tell!!! New drawing below.

8 January 2007

Back to the heart in a ring problem!

I'm now going to be very firm with myself and go back to the heart in a ring. As usual the chair where I sit and tat is surrounded with threads, beads and all the necessary paraphernalia needed to tat. Oh, including the laptop which I have on my lap while noting the text of the item I'm working on. So I've just been down there looking around for the heart which got put down somewhere in the middle of the 'mess'!!! The last version. Found it - not lost after all!!! Great!!! Now, where's the ring it was going into? Hmmmm, is that the one with the fish in it? Guess it is!!! Good I've found another ring - too large - BUT should I now make the heart larger to fit in this ring or smaller to fit in the original one (now being lived in by a fish)?
Back upstairs and I've scanned the heart with the rings placed on top of it. Hmmmm. This could JUST be another useful idea to use in the designing process. Right - off to use the one on the right with the smaller ring to see if it'll help me adjust the drawing and the text - back later ................

Now I've re-drawn and altered the text again and I hope this will be a bit nearer to what I'm looking to achieve (see below). I placed the second scan above in a lower layer of my drawing program and then traced over it and squeezed it in a little whilst doing this. The problem is that each small alteration (adding or taking away a couple of ds) throws so much out of place. It can shift the movement in the centre of the heart to make it become distorted. What I've done this time is again remove one of the side SR's (I tried this once before - http://tinyurl.com/wz8tt). I've also taken out ds on the SCMR's 6, 9, 7 and 18 to see if that will help. Two ds have also been taken out of each side of R14. All I have to do now is re-work it again!!!!!!!!!!
Tat's it - I'm out of butterflies. Bored with making them now and also itching to get back to the heart again. Well, tat's what I'm telling myself - we'll see what this evening brings!!!! Off to list these three on ebay. They really look a lot prettier in real life than in the pictures.

7 January 2007

Still in butterfly making mood. Three more yesterday afternoon/evening and hopefully some more this afternoon/evening. The weather is dire so I probably won't make my daily walk again today. HATE being stuck in all day. Anyway, here they are. I'm just going to list the five I've done on ebay along with some more Aero shuttles.

6 January 2007

I had an evening off worrying about the heart!!! Gave myself a treat and made these two little critters in rings. I'm just delighted with them. I shall make a few more in different colours and then go back to the heart.I had an evening off worrying about the heart!!! Gave myself a treat and made these two little critters in rings. I'm just delighted with them. I shall make a few more in different colours and then go back to the heart.

5 January 2007

I've just pressed the wretched heart and look - it doesn't look too bad!!!! Mind, it doesn't fit the ring I'm making it for so it's GOT to be sorted. Think I'll have to take out a SR on each side and do some tweaking on stitch counts. Anyway, I've abandonned it for a few days. Meanwhile, I'm playing with fishes in rings. I'm wondering whether the bubbles will work? Do I need more?

4 January 2007

Naming the Heart

I have a name for my heart - HATEFUL HEART. I hate it at the moment. Not sure if I'll continue with it. Look at it - have you ever seen ANYTHING so UGLY. Actually I usually get to this 'stage' in a design so I'm not going to worry too much about it. Think positive, Jane. Think positive. I LIKE the chains forming the outside. I LIKE the centre. I'm pretty sure of what I need to do next. I need to take out a SR at each side and re-tat again. Been a BAD day as my computer went terminal on me this morning and it's only thanks to a major 'kiss of life' from 'him wot must be obeyed' that it's now back and staggering along. I shan't even try to re-draw or re-tat this evening - I need joy in my life so I'll make something else!!!! Oh, woe is me!!!

3 January 2007

Progress and Lack of Progress!

I had a good session on the heart yesterday as I started in the afternoon. Naughty tatting in the afternoons but the weather was abysmal!!
So first of all below are various 'scraps' due to mishaps, restarts and plain lack of concentration!!!
The piece I've tatted below is the first one I tried based on the drawing (also below). You can see that the actual tatting looks nothing like the drawing. Yesterday I thought that the piece 'bulged' too much at the sides so decided to do away with one SR on each side but when I was tatting the new version up I realised that this wouldn't work. I will have to add the SR's back in to today's drawing. I've also joined two SCMR's to SR's to add stability to the middle. The first tryout below doesn't look too far off! The problems with any alteration is that the text has to be constantly changed and the numbering of the rings too. If I didn't draw and re-draw, text and re-text then I'd get VERY lost!! The final tryout on the right is probably going to be the final 'start point' for the heart (longer chains at the top and a bit more 'tweaking'). I shall now use a 'decent' colour and thread and try playing with beads. Also need to re-draw this one today.
If you look very closely at the final one you will see that it must have been late in the evening. I obviously can't read my own instructions and missed two joins. These I tied in afterwards but they may well throw the whole design out of shape and I might find myself starting again from scratch. It has been known to happen many times in the past!!!
Later in the day and I've drawn up the new diagram to go with the text based on the last tryout above.

2 January 2007

Next Stage

Yesterday I re-drew the heart in the ring - here it is.
I wasn't happy with the previous tryouts as the three SR's (8, 9 & 10) looked rather clumsy and forced me to use the split chain. You will see above that I have turned the SR6 into a SCMR to try and avoid this. All changed yet again when I started to tat this drawing! I made SR8 much smaller as shown in order to get a more defined 'dip' in the heart shape. After I'd worked the following chain out towards R9 I realised that this wasn't going to look very good so I undid that part and tried it again using a chain direct from the base SR5 and using a lock join to the two picots on SR6 & SR7. I carried on as it didn't look too bad!! Well, it didn't until I'd finished the whole thing!! I'm going to have to sort this bit out again tonight.
When I got to R10 I decided to try another SCMR instead of a ring. This has given me what I wanted - more 'bulk' at the top of the heart. By this time I decided it would be best to finiish off this tryout and take a look at it within the ring.

I put the heart in the ring tying it in the places I thought best. YIKES - horrid!! If you look carefully at the picture below you will see where I've tied it in AND tied 'suggested' additional joins to firm the whole thing up. Also you will see that the group of SR's (11, 12 & 13) and the chains before and after need to be 'sorted out'. I think I will probably have to 'get rid of' one of the SR's. So, what this means is that today I shall have to re-draw and alter the text accordingly to the whole pattern. Almost starting from scratch again.
Later the same day!!! I've now re-drawn the heart twice! If you take a look at the two drawings you'll see that I've removed two split rings down the sides and jiggled the top to add another two SCMR's. BUT having done the first one I realised that it would be a mess where the pattern meets in the dip. I tried to work the SR5 and then continue round the outside. When I got to the very end (back in the dip) I saw that it would be a mess!!! I then went back and re-drew this. Whilst drawing I always alter the text - using lots of question marks which remind me to check on the next tatting session!!! Next stage will be to test the last picture and the text together. I expect there will be other major alterations before this simple heart is finished.

1 January 2007

New Year - New Design

Happy New Year and I'm off to a stuttering start tatting wise!!!! I'm going to show this design in all it's 'glory' from the very, very start to (with a bit of luck!) it's finish. Below is how I'm teaching myself to start a new pattern. In the past I've started with the picture of what I'm hoping to achieve and just tatted it but over the past year or two I'm gradually changing over to 'drawing' it on the computer first. So, picture number one is the ring with a 'standard' heart in it which I put together and placed on 'layer 2' of my drawing program (SerifDraw Plus).

The next step was to 'draw in' what I think might work on layer one (a bit like tracing). Now, while I'm doing this I think of how it will be achieved and in this case (at the moment) it will have two split chains between SR9 and SR11.
The third step was to turn on the telly, power up the laptop, get two shuttles filled with thread (and in THIS case I know it will have lots of SR's but will have to be worked in one colour) and start with the text. I type in the text as I go then at the end of the evening email it to myself to pick up on the main computer in the morning. I usually use two colours in the first few tryouts so that I can clearly see where I'm going but sometimes I stick to just one. In the picture below you can see that this heart isn't going to work out quite big enough for the ring. I also don't like the arrangement at the top left hand part. In the second drawing I did you will notice that I was trying to achieve a deeper 'dip' in the heart. So many that I've done and seen in the past don't (to my way of thinking) have a very clear outline. This is one of the things I'm hoping to achieve. Later today I shall take what I've done and look at it carefully and re-draw it. I'll add this later.

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Happy Beaks

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