11 October 2007

Heart Picture

Finally I've got my new heart from Mark Myers framed (see below). Well it only took so long because the framing shop were lollygagging (that's my favourite American word)!! The picture will now go in my 'rogues gallery'. This is a place on the wall just in front of me when I'm sitting tatting in the evening. I've got a bell (again from Mark) and a flower which Gina (Brummett) gave me in the gallery too. I'm very proud of these little pieces.
Hanging from the lamp by the side of me are several bookmarks and other tatted pieces that I've been given in exchanges. Also a couple of little 'dangles' from the mad witch in London - love, light and peace!!! Well, we all know who THAT is!!! SueH!!!!! Ah, there's also a tiny witch hanging there too which she sent me - just as a reminder that she's forever watching me!!! Actually, she's more likely to be 'watching out' for me (as in looking after her aged tatting friend when I get myself into bother). She's the sort of mate that even if she thinks you're wrong she'll stick up for you through thick and thin.

Crochet hook

I'm popping a picture of this crochet hook that I bought at Tat Days. It's from Georgia Seitz's fair hands (or maybe Rich's)!!!! I bought two as I'm always losing things!!! It takes up to 7 seed beads at a time and will load them onto a picot worked in number 20 thread. The hook size is 0.4mm.

New Idea

Bad, bad, bad day yesterday with the new and 'top secret' (at the moment) idea. I'm ready to give up designing and tatting. BUT I've lived through these times before so I'll throw this second start at the wall, pick up the shuttles again another day and do what I always do - start again and again and again!!!!
I think the main problem this time is that I've tried to be too organised and have not used the tried and tested 'hit and miss' method. Because of what I'm going to do with it I'm also having to think very hard about the progression.

Oooooh, it's SO tempting to tell everybody about it - but I won't!!!
I may make some more giveaways for a few days until I've recovered from this latest frustration.

10 October 2007

Ta de dah! Trumpets blowing!!!

Finished. It needed some SLT's and that's made it work a treat. The only thing left to be done now is to re-organise the drawings, check it out again in a week or so's time and then put the web page together. Oh, forgot, I need to make loads and loads more for my Christmas giveaways!!! I shall do those on evenings when I'm not in the 'mood' for designing. I've made a grand start on a new design. This time I'm not sharing until it's done and then I'm going to do it a 'different' way. Not telling you what I'm up to this time but I can promise you it'll be new!!!!!!

7 October 2007

Progress and a final solution!

Yesterday I made time to stock up my Etsy store which you can find here. As well as some new tatted items I've added some Aero England shuttles. Now to sit and wait and see what happens!!!! I've sort of given up on Ebay at the moment just to see if I can make a 'go' of Etsy. I've got some earrings listed which are pretty cool and very sparkly. Also a couple of seahorses and a butterfly or two!!!!

Another look at the centre of this motif and I decided (not only to make it faster to work) to change it quite drastically. Instead of small SRs I changed them to larger ones and then left out the round of chains joining to them. This now means I can add beads to the centre which is always a good thing as far as I'm concerned. I'm really pleased with the way the 'odd' sort of split chain is working but I promise to write out the pattern for those who don't like split chains and who are happy with tying, cutting and hiding ends!!!
Don't look toooooo carefully at the scan as you will see that I haven't blocked it. I don't very often block things out relying on a 'perfect' (I know, there's no such thing!) design to make things lie flat in the first place. So I will block this later BUT I'll also look at the stitch count on the lock stitch chains too. Tat'll keep me out of mischief for a while!!! This is, by the way, at least the 5th whole test tat of this motif and I'm still not quite happy with it!!

The motif again!

OK, so this is a fine design as far as I'm concerned and is probably worth putting on the pattern pages. The two examples below are worked in a number 40 (on the left) and number 20 (on the right). The only 'concerns' I have over this being my Christmas giveaway is the amount of time it's taking me to do the centre. As I need to work between thirty and forty of these they have to be relatively fast to make. I am going to have to look at this again carefully. The part that slows it down for me is adding beads to the central SRs and performing a lock join at the same time. Perhaps it's a case of me needing more practise doing this. However I will see if I can simplify the pattern by replacing the chains round the SRs with larger SRs

5 October 2007

A grand idea

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

4 October 2007

Back to the motif

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

3 October 2007

Treasures unearthed

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

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

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

First attempts

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

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

2 October 2007

Starting another design

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

1 October 2007

Final piece - a bracelet

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

30 September 2007

Motifs by the hundreds!

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

27 September 2007

Split Chain again!

This is just SO funny. I didn't know that Mark (Tatman) Myers was also working on instructions for Marie's Fast and Easy Split Chain until yesterday evening when I read his message on HBT!!! I'd just settled down to tat for the evening when we got chatting on YM. Fatal when us two get talking - no tatting done yesterday evening!!!!
Anyway I've now added a link to
his version (which I think is a lot better than mine) on his site. Thanks, Mark.

26 September 2007

Fast and Easy Split Chain

When I was in SC Marie Smith showed me her way of doing a split chain. I offered to put it up on my site and this is the link.
BUT Mark is also doing his version too and he showed me his last night. Personally I'd wait and see his because his is much clearer than mine.
Thanks Marie for this really clever way of doing the split chain.

23 September 2007

Back to the Tatbeads!

I was in bed last night reading through the messages in a book given to me by Karey and which came from all the people that the family met on their travels. Thank you to all who wrote in the book - this will be treasured for ever.
I've finally found the time to divide them up and can now tell you who they all are!!!
Before I start I'll add the complete picture again here!!!

As I said a couple of days ago - Karey has the red hair and green crutches.
Next and to the top right of the picture is Dani 'The Geek' Rotach.
Ginny Weathers is at the bottom in the centre.

Kathy Robinson is also at the bottom but on the left.

Shirley Putzig is next and can be found to the right of Karey.

Tanya Walsh (who is a nurse) is standing to the right of the Finger Lakes.

Finally at the top (on the left) is Amy - though whoever wrote that it was her in the book wasn't quite sure that they'd got the right name! I do hope that if it's wrong somebody will let me know so that I can alter the post accordingly.
The lakes are where Karey lives and are called the Finger Lakes and you can see why on this link. In fact in the middle of this map and two thirds down you can see Hector. Karey tells me it's a beautiful place and from doing a Google search I can see that she's right.
Once again thanks to all who wrote messages in the book and I'm also relieved to hear that the Tatbeads behaved themselves so well. Perhaps they'd be better living in the USA!!! I do know that I miss being in America BIG time and can't wait to do another trip.

More tidying up of loose ends!

I think I've nearly got to the end of the unpacking!!
On Friday I found the part tatted designs with shuttles wound ready (should I need them) for the Tat Day lessons. I try and have projects 'part done' in stages and in anticipation of any problems during lessons. This means I travel with lots of shuttles!! I finished the frog on Friday evening and yesterday mounted him in a ring!!! This will be sent as a gift for somebody who collects frogs!!!

22 September 2007

Tatbeads and Palmetto!

Something else that I found when unpacking - a new branch of the Tatbead family!
A week or so before Palmetto Tat Days I remembered that my branch of the family was still with Karey Solomon and I decided that I'd better email her to remind her to bring them to SC. Well, as anybody who knows me will realise, my memory is poor (always has been) and I forgot!!!
Met Karey and had a good natter shortly after she arrived at the White Oaks Conference Centre and again forgot to ask after them!! Duh!!!!
Imagine my surprise when their arrival was announced at the banquet!!! Not only that but another branch had come with them - see below. The one at the top left with the green walking aids is Karey herself (love her hairdo!!). With them came a book signed by all the people they'd met up with in America. Each person on the picture is named in the book. To say I was overcome was to understate my feelings.
Thanks, Karey, for organising this and also for the pin and thimble also in the package.

21 September 2007

How can you ever?

How can you ever say a big enough thank you?
I'm spending the morning unpacking all my tatting treasures from the Palmetto Tat Days and remembering so fondly the fun of those days. Everybody, but everybody was so generous.
Below is a heart which Mark Myers gave me. It's incredibly beautiful. It measures three and a half inches across by two inches high.
Right, back to the dreaming and unpacking!!!

20 September 2007

Tatting a cartoon

The missing suitcases are in the U.K.!!! You can now track them online which is a great help. How things change in two years since the last time mine went AWOL. They should be delivered sometime today!
Right, back home and back to tatting seriously. I remembered yesterday that I'd never shared a 'design' that I did a few months ago.
When SueH was going through a rou
gh time with her flat renovations I decided to do something to cheer her up. I took Mark Myers cartoon of her on her soapbox which is on the front page of Here-Be-Tatters and decided to 'tat' it. Mark and a few others know about this. When it was all done I sent it to Sue as a surprise!!!
Here's the progression in pictures!! First of all I drew it on the computer.
I tatted this up but it really was a 'bad hat day' and the coat was way too big too. I wasn't happy with the colouring or the arms either.

Next a re-draw.

Followed by another 'tat'!!!!
Duh! Who forgot to change the hat? I did change the coat and this made the whole thing a lot better. I then decided that I'd have to change the colouring a bit for 'design purposes' (whatever THAT means!!).
Now that looks better and the hat's a great improvement too.

Finally the 'extras' which was the fun bit - decorations for the hat, hair, soapbox, shuttle and tatting. Next task was mounting it and framing it.
The final results are below.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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