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.

19 September 2007

Home - but!!!

Home and tired to face a load of mail (some of them bills too).
I'm home, Nick's home but my two suitcases are not!!! Nick's arrived on the carousel - his is bright pink with lurid spots on (don't ask)!!! Mine are somewhere between Newark and Birmingham. This has happened before but with another airline and another airport - my suitcase last time too!!! ALL my special things from Palmetto are in the one and I'm so hoping that they both turn up tomorrow. The certificates I won in the competition, my pattern CD (and one for the witch in London!!), the threads and other goodies I bought for myself (and the witch in London!), beads etc, etc and worst of all - the gifts I was given.
Hopefully tomorrow I'll be picking up a shuttle to start a new project.

17 September 2007

On the way home tomorrow

Well we're all packed and ready for the long haul across the pond tomorrow. We leave here at around lunchtime to go to the airport where we have a three hour check in. There's a forty five minute stopover in Newark which is a bit worrying as we'd originally booked with two hours to get from one hub to t'other. Still, we'll keep our fingers crossed that the first plane is on time.
It occurs to me (and I can't be bothered to go back and read it all) that in my Palmetto report I didn't mention the fact that the Palmetto 'gals' had run a competition to design the logo with the teachers being invited to submit ideas. I thought about doing a design but in the end 'threw' a wheelbarrow and some flowers on the scanner and sent that. I picked the 'bits' up a few days later and popped them in a plastic container and promptly forgot about the whole thing. Much to my delight - followed by consternation - I was told a month or two later that I'd won. The consternation came about as I realised that I'd no idea where the 'bits' of the logo were!! A frenzied hunt round the house found the plastic box in a corner under a table.
It was really great to see 'my' logo being worn by people at tat days. Thank you to all the Palmetto gals for the compliment.
Right, tat's it from the USA - back to blogging when I'm in the UK!!!

14 September 2007


Sunday and the last day.
After breakfast the Palmetto gals finished taking the bits and pieces to their cars. Lots more goodbyes and hugs too.
Afterwards the people at White Oaks told us that as long as the bedrooms were cleared early they weren't bothered how long we stayed on in the classrooms. As inveterate tatters and always wanting to learn new things a group of us 'drifted' together in the 'social' classroom. Here Mimi took on the role as teacher to show us how to put a bead into the centre of a split ring. Just as we were going into this impromptu lesson I realised that Tonya Smith was still around so she quickly got 'kidnapped' into the session too. Her instructions are here. This was a very good winding down to the event when those who were left really, really didn't want to go home!
Eventually Hope and I piled into Joanie's car and we went back to her house for lunch and to watch the hummingbirds again.
Now you may think that that's the end of the story - no, there's more to come!!
After lunch the three of us set off for the mall. This is where a group of the Palmetto girls and any others meet on a Sunday afternoon. They 'take over' part of a mall and move the tables and chairs to make a good place to tat and chat informally. This is great fun and also gave me time to chat to those I'd missed over the weekend like Pam and Jerry Freck, Babara Havener, Jane and others. We covered a few techniques and had a good natter.
On the way back to Joanie's we popped in to see Ricki who seems to live at his store!!!
Now for the things I'd forgotten to mention in my other posts!!!!
I must thank Jane who was my teacher assistant in the Fantasy Flower. Such a charming lass who said she hadn't managed to do the flower before class. Whatever she said she was an invaluable assistant and was much appreciated for handing out and collecting the teacher appraisals and giving out the certificates.
Forgot to mention that Mark was also presented with several Bat/Tatman items by Erin at the banquet. There was a 'sort of' bingo game held too which was great fun on Saturday evening.
Heck, I'll just add things as I think of them!!!!
If anybody wants a copy of the Palmetto Tat Days pattern CD then do get in touch with them. It's well worth the money and has all the patterns - plus Sid on it!


Another glorious day dawned at White Oaks and I knew that this was going to be a full day!!!
First part was a conference call with Mimi. This is a great opportunity for anybody who isn't in class to 'grab' a teacher for individual help or advice. Actually I've found that this is also a good opportunity for the teacher to learn too!!!
Next was my watering can/wheelbarrow class which I thought wouldn't be too hard to teach. I'd managed to hook up with one student a couple of times before class to teach her the SCMR so everything went swimmingly as far as I could tell! Poor Bonnie who was my assistant in this class didn't manage to come along as she was too busy (she's one of the Palmetto 'gals').
After lunch was the dreaded Red Eyed Tree Frog - double time of three hours. Now I say dreaded as this was the one pattern/lesson I was really worried about! It had taken a long time to design and there were several complications (as I thought) along the way!!!! There was a blackboard in the classroom (actually it was brown!) and chalk which proved useful for this lesson and I will be forever grateful to Katie Verna who was my assistant and who had made two frogs during the previous month or so to test the instructions. Now Katie's two previous attempts at home were great but somehow she 'lost the plot' which resulted in a frog with a front leg which bent downwards - limp wristed! Many giggles resulted from poor Katie's frog. I was extremely pleased to find that several people not only managed the pattern but also completed their frogs. Pheeewwwwwww.
Saturday evening after dinner a lot of us met up for more fun and games. This was huge fun with lots of giggles and some 'cheating' too. Well, I would think that as our team didn't win a thing!!!
There were a few farewells as people headed for home too.

13 September 2007


I forgot to mention yesterday that Sid the Scintillating Slug made his first appearance at dinner on Thursday evening. As the theme was flower gardens and there are always pests in gardens, it was interesting to see several slugs turning up in people's salads. How they managed to survive two flights and several weeks without food in my luggage is anybody's guess!!! Perhaps I'm now classed as a pest too! The pattern for Sid is on the Palmetto Tat Days CD.
Friday again dawned with beautiful weather. We went to breakfast - what a huge choice of things to eat including grits (not sure about those still!!). After breakfast I found out that unfortunately the vending room had opened - this was fatal for me as there were so many goodies on sale. I bought some threads and then found some fine crochet hooks on sale by Georgia (AKA) Seitz which had been shortened and had a hole and split ring through them. I'd been looking for hooks like this for ages so (as I invariably lose things) I bought two!!! I managed to get my mucky mitts on a CD with all the patterns on for my old mucker back in the UK - you know the one who rides around London on a broomstick!!!! All the teachers were given one so I'd already got mine!!
A fabulous talk was being given in one of the classrooms by Karey on how to dye threads. Unfortunately I missed the beginning as I was still letting the moths out of my purse in the vending room. Next was lunch followed by my first lesson - the Fantasy Flower.
I planned to teach the unbeaded version of this as the weaving of the picots is quite intricate but not complicated. I'd not realised that a lot of tatters didn't hide their ends in their start rings so this was added into the lesson. I think the lesson went quite well although it would be interesting to know the feedback on this.
During teacher orientation we were told we could 'sneak' into other teacher's lessons when we had free time. I took the opportunity to go into Mimi Dillman's class on the Cluny Tatted Kite. I'll admit freely that I've never really wanted/needed to learn the cluny but as a result of this excellently taught class I'm now very happy with the technique and can see it becoming part of future designs - once I can make them neatly. Thanks, Mimi, I really enjoyed this class. By the way I caught Mark having a 'private' session with Mimi on clunies too at some point during the latter part of the weekend!!!
After classes it was time for a change of clothes. Oh, forgot to mention that all teachers were given a blue tshirt to wear for classes with the logo on. I won the teacher's competition to design the logo for these and it was fantastic to see my work displayed on everybody's chests!!!
Now it was time for the banquet. The room was cosy and intimate but with plenty of room to move. The speeches were hilarious with Georgia also giving a very interesting talk about the history of tatting. Awards were given out for the competition pieces and I got a shuttle with 'my' logo on it. (I actually got all blue ribbons, except one, with two 99% and one 100% for my pieces!) which I was thrilled about. AKA also auctioned a very special shuttle with a fairy on for the Palmetto tatters and this raised a lot of money for their scholarship fund. Riet was given a family of sock monkeys, previous teachers received a bag of flour (don't ask!!!). All sorts of fun and frivolity went on throughout the dinner which was delicious.
Afterwards there was the tat off. I missed the start as I was showing somebody a technique but arrived when it was in progress. I won't tell you who won!!! Oh, OK, I will. It was Mark. His speed is fantastic and he just keeps his nose down and 'goes for broke'.
Later in the evening Riet led the 'night owls' lesson in which everybody was taught a Dutch song. I didn't spoil things by singing and ruining it - I don't 'do' singing and Nick would tell you why if you asked!!!
Bedtime and a few moments back in the room to make sure all my lessons for the next day were ready.

12 September 2007


OK I know it's Wednesday in 'real' time but I'm going to try and tell you about last Thursday at Palmetto. Well the parts that I can sort out from my brain!!!
The day dawned with glorious sunshine and hummingbirds galore on Joanie's feeder right by her kitchen window. That in itself was worth the air fare to see. Cardinals and other birds fed on the other feeders too but the hummingbirds were mesmerizing. After a leisurely start we set off to meet other participants at a restaurant called Hootz (very appropriate venue for a lot of laughing tatters!). We 'took over' the place almost and had a smashing lunch. This was my first (and thankfully not my last) meeting with Iris Niebach. Let me tell you a bit about her. She's everything I'd love to be. Young, slim and very pretty plus, as we all know, very talented as a designer. She was wearing some of her tatted jewellery which was beautiful. Iris speaks excellent English and every time I saw her over the weekend she was also wearing a humungous smile. All the 'usual suspects' were at lunch.
Afterwards we made our way to White Oaks where the tat days were to be held. A beautiful setting for the event. On our arrival the well oiled and honed Palmetto Tatters went straight into action. Wheelie trucks of all kinds were quickly put into use as we 'took over' our section of the conference centre. What a place. Clean, welcoming and - well, I'll tell you the rest as we go along.
After reception had been set up and the vending area plus competition area started too we all went into dinner. Oh, forgot, there was also 'teacher orientation' presented by Joanie and Mary too. The layout was so simple that it was almost impossible to get lost!!! Other information was given too which was very useful. Dinner was very good but the main and only dissapointment in the entire weekend was the - wait for it - lack of ice cream!!!! The ice cream machine had broken down!!! Dear Joanie tried to find some but sadly I had to manage the whole weekend without. I shall see the doctor on my return to the UK to see if my body will ever recover!!!!
After dinner etc we all sat around and talked - tatting!!! I was rooming with Hope Green which was a match made in heaven as we discovered we were both 'late to bed and late to rise' people!!!! Hope is just a hoot too and after a bit of chatting and giggling we finally (and late) got to sleep.

11 September 2007

Back in Cincinnati

OK so I'm home (second home) in Cincinnati after the Palmetto Tat Days. I'm going to take my time with telling about the weekend as it was such a super time and my brain is still fried from over 'input'!!!
I managed the trip down to Columbia ON MY OWN and it was really, really easy. (Many thanks to Sue Hanson and all the others who said that I could do it). It was really strange cause as soon as I knew I was 'on my own' and was walking through the terminal at Cincinnati I felt a weird sense of achievement and my shoulders went back and my head raised and it was as if I was sort of 'born again' inside myself.
Anyway I arrived in Columbia to find Joanie Culverhouse and Hope Green there to meet me and that was another load of worry off my aged brain. We had been invited to Bonnie Geiger's house for lunch (that was yummy, yummy) and a tat natter. You should see the crafts that Bonnie does aside from tatting - wonderful work in all of them. BTW her hubby just smiles and smiles and is a sweetie too.
Then we went to (now, was it Hobby Lobby or Michaels - or was that the next morning?!?!?) to buy 'stuff'! As you do when you're in America!!! After that we popped in to see Joanie's hubby (shame he woudn't fit in my suitcase) at his store and then onto a restaurant called Fatz for the yummiest dinner - with peach cobbler for desert (to die for). I loved the grits with cheese and have now changed my mind about grits. When we got to Joanie's house there were two humungous green 'things' on her counter which looked like melons. They were avocados that Hope had brought from Miami (off her own trees). We had one later in the weekend and it was delicious - so fresh and mmmmmmmmmmmmm. We met Tinkerbell (sometimes called Stinkerbell) which is Rick and Joanie's beautiful grey cat. Joanie's house is 'craft heaven' with all sorts of projects going on. What a talented lady. Would love to live near her to spend more time with her.
More tat natters and then time to hit the sack. More tomorrow or later today when/if I can get to the computer!!!! Pictures will have to wait til I get home (the one in the UK!!).

26 August 2007


I have had a few emails asking if I'm OK as my blog has been at a standstill for nearly a month. The answer is yes, thanks, I'm fine. I'm just a long, long way from home and my own computer!!! So this will be a boring post as I've no pictures to add. We've been in Cincinnati for nearly three weeks now are having a great time. The weather has been sunny except for one morning. Temperatures are from 90 - 100 + so we haven't been out much in the daytimes as 'old gits' are advised not to go out in this weather. I must say that there hasn't been much time and that the temptations of playing with five young kiddies (Karen minds three others and has two of her own) have allowed me the luxury of reverting to my 'true' age during the daytime.
The American economy is now picking up thanks to the price of clothes etc being so good and us getting a whole two pounds to the dollar - yippeeeeee.
It's been a round of parties since we arrived. Karen turned 40 and Athena 5. Who needs an excuse, though.
We spent a week up at Marblehead on Lake Erie soon after we arrived here and that was amazing too. Found some fantastic places to eat too.
Must say that I've not swum in about fifteen years and while here have hardly had a day out of the pool. Managed twenty widths or lengths (not sure which as they both looked the same to me) yesterday.
Another ten days or so and I leave for Palmetto. Nerves over flying have already set in. I'm fine if there are two of us but this time I'm 'going alone'. One of the fears I have in life is going places on my own. I have problems even in the UK over this. The one long term effect of my breakdown some fifteen years ago. Wonder if doing this trip on my own will finally cause my recovery?
Well, tat's about it for now.
Off to do some vacuuming upstairs and check to see if the ironing's piled up again.

31 July 2007

Daisy, daisy, give me your answer do!

I'm afraid there won't be much new on in the way of on-going designs here for a while - BUT there may be a some new ideas of what you can do with some of my old stuff!!! Below is the sunflower which you can find here. I've tried to make it into a daisy just by using different colours!!! I have changed the stem too and it's now a series of split rings.

Oh, to my friend Pamela (the gecko lady!) who complained bitterly over my colour choice on the blog yesterday - I offer my sincere apologies!!!! Well it got her attention anyway!!

28 July 2007

Three pairs of earrings

I was sorting through my earwigs the other day and trying to work out why I didn't wear some of them. There are several reasons but first I must admit to why I have so many pairs!!! This goes back to the teaching days when it was assumed that I would wear a different pair every day. Kids can be such hard task masters!!
As I endeavoured to 'grow up' after the age of sixty (something I've not yet achieved - I hope) I reverted to being a slob! By that I mean that as I was no longer 'in the workplace' then I didn't need to wear smart clothes like blouses, skirts, shoes with heels and tights. I could revert to 'norm'. Jeans, t-shirts and trainers/sandals. What a joy! BUT the earring habit didn't go away. To 'jolly' my days I 'needed' more earrings. I 'needed' a pair to go with every t-shirt, coat or jacket I owned. Fine - until I went to America on my first trip and discovered the joy of shopping. I came home with a suitcase full of - yes, t-shirts. They were of all colours and styles. More earrings 'needed' and made. Then after a while I found that I 'needed' a choice of styles so more excuses to make more earrings. Back to my sorting the other day. As I have far too many pairs now I decided to throw some of them out.
First out were the styles that 'didn't work'. These are designs that I never published because after they'd been worn/tested a few times they rapidly began to lose shape. Thus they stagnated in my jewelery box (cheap plastic Tupperware type box). They never got out into the public arena because they were, quite frankly, naff. Nothing I did would encourage them to hold their shape.
Next out were the pairs that didn't sparkle and had none of the 'wow' factor. Others that went were just plain 'old' (by that I mean five years or more). All the findings and a few 'special' beads were re-cycled, though so I don't feel so guilty. Below are three new pairs all using the doodle f pattern again but all slightly different. With the light purple/lavender pair I have taken a very large beaded picot from the first side ring and joined it to the third side ring. I think this may well be my favourite. Sadly again the scanner doesn't do them justice as they really, really sparkle.

More invisible earrrings!

Here are some more earrings made with the invisible thread. Not the easiest thread to work with but then I do like a challenge!!!
orange ones on the left are 3D and based on a flower idea.
The other pair are using the pattern which can be found as one of my
doodles (f). This time as more of a challenge to myself I added an extra long picot at the base and inside the main long one. I also used invisible (or nearly invisible) beads too!!! In 'real life' this pair are stunning.

One thing I've found with this thread is that it's very strong and however hard I tug on it it's never broken on me. Also it's remarkably easy to undo when you make a mistake - tat's if you can see it, of course!!!
PS I've just looked at the enlarged picture of the earrings on the right and I can see two ends that need 'snipping'!!! Wonder if I'll be able to find them when I get them out and have got my clippers? It's very, very hard to find the ends after you've completed a piece with this thread!!!

27 July 2007

Daisy, daisy give me your answer, do!!!!

I'm afraid there won't be much new on in the way of on-going designs here for a while - BUT there may be a some new ideas of what you can do with some of my old stuff!!! Below is the sunflower which you can find here. I've tried to make it into a daisy just by using different colours!!! I have changed the stem too and it's now a series of split rings.

Oh, to my friend Pamela (her of the geckos!) who complained bitterly over my colour choice on the blog yesterday - I offer my sincere apologies!!!! Well it got her attention anyway!!

26 July 2007


I've had these pretty buttons now for ages. Gina Brummett sent them to me (along with lots of others - she spoilt me rotten) in a button exchange that she ran on her tatting goddess list. They are the sort of thing that you get given and just don't want to use because they are just too pretty. I've been looking at them for ages as I realised that they were too fragile to use as a 'normal' button as the paintings on them would wear off eventually. I decided that they needed to become a brooch. They are transparent (or should that be invisible!!!!) but to work with invisible thread onto an invisible shank might be way beyond my patience! So, I chose a white thread and some pink beads and this is what happened. I've scanned them with two different backgrounds to try and show them at their best.
Two work them I joined two opposite inner rings to the shank and the other four are joined to their opposites through the shank.

25 July 2007

Mermaid card

I've just finished this card for a friend. I just can't resist the mermaid that Martha Ess designed. If you want the pattern click on the title as she's kindly shared it online. Thanks very much, Martha.
I've made at least six of these mermaids over the past year or so - just for the pleasure of making them - they also make me smile. I love the way she gives a warning on her web page about this design. You have to go look at it. (Whoops, just did a typo and put a 't' in front of the last word in the last sentence - good job I spotted it before posting)!!
This mermaid was tatted in a no. 80 thread. I didn't give her a navel ring as the ones I've got would've been too big and heavy for her and she would probably have drowned!!

23 July 2007

How I started designing

Talking to SueH on the phone the other day we both realised that I had never really told anybody how and why I started designing. Well, here is the story!!!
I would have been in my early forties and had been tatting for about twenty years when I fell into designing quite accidentally. I'd always 'jiggled' with patterns but never ever thought of making my own.
Over the years I'd also learnt other laces including knitted, crochet, bobbin, hairpin, netting and filet. There were no lessons available on any of these and so I had to find out 'how' from books. I also used to make clothes for myself, do patchwork, clothing repairs etc. All this combined with a full time teaching job. Really I was just so busy and it was relaxation to just sit and follow a tatting pattern in the evenings.
Anyway, I digress!!!!
One year when I had a particularly large and difficult class of reception children to settle into school I thought hard on how I could ease them into the classroom situation each morning. I decided to wear some funny earrings. After a while those who had previously been nervous and clingy with their mums would dash in to see what teacher was wearing in her ears each morning - success!! I started off with things like dog biscuits, sweets, tea bags, bath plugs, clothes pegs and anything and everything I could find round the house which were light enough to wear. My boss hated it. The County Council Infant Adviser loved it and wanted me to write an article for a national magazine about admitting children into school life. I now
have to remind myself why I didn't do this article. The reason was that I couldn't type and didn't have a typewriter.
At this time I had two teenage daughters, a home to run and a husband who was away on business a lot of the time. All on top of an ever changing and stressful job!! The earrings continued over the next few years with the children making me their own 'versions' out of paper, toilet roll middles, Lego etc. I wore each and every one with pride although it was very embarrassing when I forgot to take them out when I went into town shopping!!!!
It then occurred to me that this was all getting a bit 'silly' and expensive as I was also buying 'daft' earrings too. The boss was getting more and more 'unpleasant' about my various ear 'decorations' so I decided to tat my own - he could hardly object to that! I've still got the old notebook somewhere that I wrote the patterns in. I made things like cats, squirrels, giraffes, elephants, horses, traffic lights and eventually a few 'pretty' ones. The kids loved them too and the boss couldn't object!

A bit more time passed and my husband went off into the mist with my friend and I was left in a bit of a 'stew' with many very big problems to deal with. One of the many was redundancy so there I was at 48 with no job, a mortgage and very few skills to fall back on and to offer to the workplace. I decided to take a crash course in basic office skills - particularly typing as it was becoming clear at this point that computers were going to become the new office skill which would be needed.
I spent hours and hours in the middle of the night taking the basics that I'd learnt during the day and expanding on them.
One day, shortly after I'd finished teaching and while I was doing the courses, I cycled into town to look through the craft magazines in W H Smith. I couldn't afford to buy them so I squatted down on the floor behind the shelf and wrote down addresses on a scrap of paper. I started sending out some of the tatted earring patterns to magazines. They were all accepted and in due course published. I found a few problems with this. If you sell to a magazine they are often 'sponsored' by a thread company who then require you to sign over the copyright to them. I found that for a pattern they would pay around £60 - £70 which isn't a lot considering how much time went into a design and certainly wasn't going to be a good 'career shift'!! Certainly NOT enough to pay my new mortgage!
Some years later when life got better and I started designing for other magazines I refused payment so I could keep my own copyright. I still stick to this principle as it also helps keep the craft accessible to the magazine world as nobody has to find money to pay me!
I had already decided that office work might just pay the bills if I was very careful so I embarked on a career of temping!!!
The internet came into my life shortly after I moved in with Nick a few years later. Woweee, there were other tatters in the big wide world. I found that people suddenly wanted my patterns (one of the first I'd done was the Tattysaurus) but on dial up and emailing them to each individual this became expensive and time consuming!!! So I had to find out how to make a web site.
Fortunately I had a long term temping assignment (3 years!) at a software company where the young lads encouraged me, gave me hints etc to make my first web site.
The designing continues as it's now an integral part of my life.

The last for a while

This is the last one for a while. Next project is to make a birthday card and then nothing for a while, perhaps!! Really have a lot on for the next few weeks.
This is another alphabet bracelet with a braid which links it to the clasps. I can manage to put these on and off on my own with this type of clasp which is an advantage!
Guess what? It's raining again!

22 July 2007

Bracelet, tag, zipper pull?

The constant and very wet rain here in the UK has stopped gardening, housework (well, I'm it as an excuse!) and shopping but not tatting. In fact it's made more time for tatting!!!
When I first went to the USA a few years ago I was let loose in Hobby Lobby, Michaels and Walmart and picked up all sorts of odds and ends which could be used for tatting. Alphabet letters were amongst my purchases. I've diddled and daddled with them in the past but never come up with anything I was truly happy with. So, trapped by rain the following are what came about!!! The letters actually rest firmly in the tatting and I'm very pleased with the results. The pink and orange one is my first attempt and doesn't have beads. I only put one split ring on it so it will be a 'dangle' - unless, of course, I cut it up and make it into something else as there's a mistake in it!! The second one has split rings added at both ends so that when I meet up with Athena I'll be able to make it into a bracelet for her.

21 July 2007

Another Bracelet

This is the last one (for now). It's the one with the Whitby jet button. I love this jet which used to be a necklace and which came to me when mum died as nobody in the family wanted it. Such a shame. I used the other pieces to make bracelets for all the gals in the family and still have three or four left. I will make them into a necklace some day.
The larger cream ivory/bone button will have to wait for inspiration as I'm now working on another 'quickie' which I'll share later today or tomorrow.
As it's still raining and there are bad floods in the UK it seems as if there'll be plenty of time to tat!!!

20 July 2007

Does anybody remember?

Many years ago (at least seven, I guess) I made the bracelet below one evening. I just tatted it writing nothing down as I went. I posted a picture of it on the list or lists that I belonged to and thought nothing much about it. It caused quite a stir at the time and in the end I wrote down the pattern and it's still somewhere on my site. I'll look for it later but breakfast calls!
The little 'button' thing in the middle is ivory and came from a 'box of bits' that I found after my mother died. I wore the bracelet a few times but was never happy with the way it twisted on itself. Last night I decided to cut it up and make another bracelet. I may get round to that later as - guess what? Yes, it's raining again!!!!
A few hours later and a bit of cutting and starting again and here's the new bracelet. This has a snug feel to it and I'm very pleased with it. All I've done is used the braid that's on my site (click on title) but adding beads and using only 1ds B 1ds for the outer row. I use this type of fastening as I can manage to put and take off bracelets by myself with these and they don't easily come undone when you're wearing them!!

Below is another piece of ivory or bone which I found at the car boot market about a year ago. The holes on this are near the top and the bottom so this will require some more thought!!

Now the last one is a bracelet that I made yet again using the pattern on my site. This has a Whitby jet 'bead' in the centre and again I'm going to alter this to make it more wearable and put another clasp on it too. I shall use the braid idea again as it's so easy to get a good 'fit'.

Oh, it's still raining. It's rained solidly for over 12 hours now. I even felt obliged to do some housework as it's way too wet to go out shopping!!!

19 July 2007

Another pair

Here is another pair of earrings using the same pattern as yesterday with a different lower dangle! I've scanned on black and white to try and get a decent picture! This time I used the invisible thread and I'll admit they are stunning in 'real life'. The lack of colour inside the beads makes them shine even more. Just a pity that the scanner doesn't do them justice. I'll try a photograph later - if the sun keeps shining!
Each time I finish working with this thread I say 'never again'. Then I look at the results the next morning and am sorely tempted to get it out again. There are many 'snags' to tatting with it - mainly that you can't see it!!!!! Still, I suppose that's why it's called invisible!!!

18 July 2007

More Earrings

I made another pair of these earrings yesterday. Using a number 80 thread and size 11 beads (same size as delica ones). I keep making (and wearing) this style as they never 'bend' or change shape. If you use an 80 thread then the beads really do help it keep shape. Sometimes I double the thread but this time I didn't. However much you stiffen some 'fancier' styles they still tend to 'bend in the middle' after a few wearings. These stay as 'fresh as a daisy' forever. I'm still wearing some I made years ago. Oh, the pattern is the one on my site (click the title!). Next project is to try and work these with invisible thread. I do like a challenge!!!

17 July 2007

Taming beads - it works!!!

Well it works!! What a pleasant surprise and all for half an hour's work with scissors, pins and the sewing machine.

16 July 2007

Something to tame my beads!

Last Friday we bought some new throws for our chairs because our fleece throws were getting very old and grotty. Life changes do happen even here at Chez Eborall!!! The new ones are lovely too - cotton print.
Now, why am I telling you this? Well I settled down to tat in my chair with the lovely new throw and then found that my beads, hooks etc kept sliding off. Tragedy had struck at Chez Eborall.
Easy to put right and today I hope I've solved the problem. I made two 'antimacassars' out of one of the old fleeces. No, I've not lost the plot and am trying to save the new throws from wear and tear - not even I am that daft!!! These will stop things sliding off, I hope. Oh, unless they slide off themselves, of course!!!
I then had the bright idea (at least I hope it'll work) of making a 'bead container' also to sit on the arm of my chair. It's got 'floppy' sides which should allow me to be able to pick up beads easily but stop them falling off the arm of the chair where they sit.
I will report back in due course.
Here's the picture of my 'patented' bead container!!!

12 July 2007

Invisibility Rules, OK?

Now this was a real challenge!!! I decided to use a favourite pattern which is the starcatcher one on my site (click on title). First of all I knew from the sample piece that I did yesterday that I had to tat carefully and double the stitch count. I used the thread double as before and I've also some of the delica beads that Teri sent me a few weeks ago because they were just right and of the same quality as the thread. I also had to adjust the quantity of beads on the very long picots - halving the amount (roughly). So, double the ds's and half the beads!!!!
The motif measures just about 2" across. End result according to 'him what must be obeyed' - looks just like a snowflake. Loved working with this as a thread so I might do more in the future.
I've done two scans and two photographs - none of which really do the motif justice!!!

Enough about tatting with colour!

Yesterday I thought I'd give myself a bit of a challenge!!! As you can see from yesterday's post I was playing around yet again with colours and then I thought - what about no colour!!!! When I was last in America I bought two reels of invisible thread for sewing purposes only. Years ago I'd bought invisible threads in the UK and found them impossible to use for sewing as they were too 'stiff'. The ones I bought in the USA are fabulous and I use them for attaching motifs to rings, sewing motifs to clothes (as in the gecko jacket) etc, etc. So I decided to try tatting with them. It really is impossible to use it singly (unless you want to be climbing the walls!!) but doubled then this is what you get. I've scanned the little test piece twice with different backgrounds to try and get a decent scan. It's only very tiny - 1/2". I went on to add beads and am half way through making a motif which I'll hopefully add tomorrow. A challenge - you betcha!!!!

11 July 2007

Purple and Orange!

I didn't think that purple and orange would 'go' together so raided my threads yesterday to find out. Even though colours can look good together when you put the balls side by side, it doesn't always mean that they'll be OK when used in tatting. I think this deep purple and orange worked well. Oh, I also played with the beads too!!!
I remember as a young child that I once had a skirt which had a deep blue background and a green print abstract pattern on it. I loved this skirt and I wore it proudly to visit Aunty Nelly. She was my godmother as well as my grandmother's sister and I was her favourite child in the family. She took a look at the skirt and was disgusted. She quoted 'blue and green should never be seen'. This is my earliest memory of really looking at colours as I loved those two together in that skirt and couldn't see anything wrong with blue and green together.
Wonder if her remark 'coloured' the rest of my life?

10 July 2007

Bling A Ding Ding!!!

Still working on my preparations for the Palmetto tat days and using their theme of flower gardens - here is the same simple earring I made the other day using just rings. I still need to finish these off (cut a few ends, glue a few knots as I used invisible thread, etc) but couldn't wait to share!!!!
Oh, forgot to mention - there are a few beads used in this design too!!!!!!!

Long live the bling!!!!

7 July 2007

Rings and things!

Teri Dusenbury (http://theloversknot.blogspot.com/) sent me some thread and delica beads last week so the last two days I've at last had time to play!!! I made one of my finger rings and a pair of earwigs with it.
It's a lovely firm thread which displays each stitch well.
You can probably see that from the pictures below. The thread is made by Coats and is their Dual Duty Plus one The beads just sparkle and sparkle. Thanks, Teri, I really appreciate the opportunity to play with these.
Hey, Teri - I promise I won't kiss the frog!!!

5 July 2007

Watering can

Test tatted the watering can pattern last night and it's FINE!!! Love this one as it's a 'one hit' one!!! Roll on Palmetto Tat Days!!
I know the wheelbarrow's fine so will now get back to making some earrings to wear - obviously they've got to be flowery ones for Tat Days!!!

4 July 2007

Later in the day

As the weather here is still abysmal and as I was getting more and more worried about that wretched Palmetto Tree Frog, I decided to give myself the rare treat of tatting during the afternoon. As I said earlier - I was worried about the poor thing and thought I'd made a huge mistake in the pattern last night. First of all I must explain that I have had a love/hate relationship with this little frog from the very start.
Well I've finally decided he's the love of my life - the pattern's fine and probably one of my better attempts if I was able to fess up!!! The beads that Joanie sent me to try are perfect. They're on this little guy. He looks as if he's waving!!!

If I kiss him do you think he'll turn into a handsome young prince? Hmmmmm, not worth the risk I feel - I'm just not young enough to cope with a prince!!!

Another LAST gecko!!

Just when I thought I'd finished it was pointed out that the jacket really did need another gecko on the front!!! Here he is below.
I also started another Palmetto frog last evening to test the pattern again and to try some beads that Joanie had kindly sent me. This time I can't blame the red wine for failing to read the pattern!!!! I can only blame my own stupidity!!! So, back to the beginning (almost) today!!!!

2 July 2007

Preparation for Palmetto

The Palmetto tatters gave us a short 'spell' in which to submit lesson ideas back at the beginning of the year so it was a case of 'all systems go' and getting the brain working when it would really rather have been in hibernation!! The result was that I was very lucky to be chosen to teach.
Now, the downside is that it's given me more time to worry and mither about the patterns I've submitted!!! I know I'm a silly old git but tat's me!!! Every month or so I go through another major panic about whether the patterns will be 'understandable' so I try them again for myself.
On Friday I thought I'd try the Fantasy Flower once more. After doing the centre and first round I got hopelessly muddled. Panic really set in. Should I email them and tell them I'd made a major mistake? What should I do?
After half an hour and half a glass of red wine I suddenly realised where I'd gone wrong - I hadn't read my OWN instructions - I'd just assumed I knew how I'd done it. This is the result below. Why five? Well, because once I start making something I enjoy doing it and just get carried away!!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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