22 October 2007

Who said I was an old bag?

Yup, well known for it too!!! It's something that Nick and I have in common - a love of bags! Not posh bags, expensive bags, but downright useful bags!! Wherever we are we seem to be drawn to bags. We buy bags and then find that the 'new and REALLY useful' one that seemed like our dreams come true in the shop turns out to be flipping useless!!!
I also make bags - I have a 'thing' about making them too. The last one I made was a shopping bag, the one before that a tatting bag and the one before that was a 'quite useful' handbag. Most of them never really 'took off' except the shopping bag which I use all the time.
I honestly can't remember when I made the first bag but it was many, many years ago. I've made them from Laura Ashley patchwork pieces, I've made rolly polly bags and straight sided bags. My main love is denim as it 'goes' with anything.
Well the week before last we had a 'turning out' of bags. No more, we said to each other. This bag business has to stop. Duh! During the the painful operation of deciding which ones had to go I came across a favourite one which I'd put to one side as it was made of hard plastic. I liked the shape and size of this one but it sort of 'crinkled' and looked really nasty. Ah, I thought, I could make a bag like this but out of fabric and not hard, ugly plastic.
Out came the denim and the sewing machine. Making a bag is like a jigsaw puzzle. I start with a tape measure and pins. A ruler and pen are also useful. Usually I cut out the main pieces and then start putting them together as I think they should go. Seems to work. Here's the bag - fully lined and stiffened too!! Ta de dah!!! Far left is the front, then a side view followed by the back. What it needs now is some tatting on it. Tat's the next task!!!

PS - yes, I'm allowed a PS in a blog, I'm sure!! Before I put the sewing machine away I made two more little 'quickie' bags. Sad old woman!!!

21 October 2007

How wrong can you be?

Yesterday morning I emailed Georgia about tatting stuff and personal things. At the very end of the email I said the following.

"Well, time for a trip to the car boot market. Just for eggs - there's rarely anything interesting to find!!!"

The car boot market is held each Saturday on a bit of waste land at the end of our road. A car boot market is similar to garage sales or neighbourhood sales. People come along to a given place with a stack of stuff they don't want, open the boot (trunk) of their car, put out a table and the stuff from their boot goes onto the table. Good way to get rid of stuff you don't want!!!
I normally go up to the market for eggs and vegetables cause a man sells them from his small holding. Yesterday the local hospice had a 'pitch' too and I was dozing past there when I saw the two doilies at the end of this post. I started looking at them and the lady told me they were crochet. Sorry, says I, they're not crochet - they've been tatted. Out come my shuttles and thread, which I happened to have with me, and on a very cold morning and only half awake I showed the lady how the mats were made.
Well I couldn't leave them there. Unloved, unappreciated. I told her that I didn't want or need them but that they needed liberating. So, for the princely sum of a whole round pound they came home with me.

20 October 2007

Still in the Tat Doldrums

I rarely get these moods but I've got one at the moment!!! I have a project 'on the go' which I'm excited about but can't get past the hiccup bit!!!
In cases like this I abandon it for a while and go off on other projects. So I'm back to doing giveaways and making some Christmas tree earrings. The giveaway below is done in brownish and pink colours - don't look toooo closely at it yet as it hasn't been pressed. I do like those two colours together. I might do another later today using other 'duller' colours together. I find that colours that don't 'look good' when you put the balls together sometimes are stunning when tatted together. Strange. Also the duller colours when mixed brighten themselves up. Do you understand what I mean? I think I know what I mean!!!!!
Ah, another project which has been keeping me occupied is nearing completion. I'll blog it when it's done. Not tatting - sewing. Well, there may be tatting on it eventually!!!

18 October 2007

Off the subject!

During our tidying up session the other day I came across this. It's a Teneriffe wheel. It's made of brass and says 'Briggs patent' on it.
I have a book on how to do Teneriffe lace and actually saw an old lady making it half way up Mount Teide which is the highest mountain in Spain and on the island of Teneriffe. The old lady was sitting outside her house at the roadside and I was able to persuade the people I was with to stop so I could see how she was doing it. She appeared to be using a small, very old padded 'pillow', shaped like a mushroom.
When we got to the end of the road I walked to the top of Mount Teide - quite a struggle. The mountain is a volcano and this was many years ago - I was aged 46!!.
Question is - do I take up Teneriffe lace now and abandon tatting? Hmmm, I think not but I may have a dabble sometime now I've found this wheel.
I have many books on all types of lace which I collected during my working years. The reason for this was so that I'd be able to learn them when I retired!!! Now, where's the time I need to do this?!?!?

17 October 2007

Finally and at last!

Well I finally got the motif finished and uploaded onto my web site on Monday. It isn't difficult to make but proved a problem to notate. I managed to sort out all the final tweaks over the weekend. The only perceived problem for a new tatter with this pattern is that there is a split chain in it.
I was struggling to do the motif (now known as a snowflake!!) when Marie Smith emailed me and suggested a way of progressing out of the centre using a 'false split ring' which is, actually a split chain. Sounds hard but it's really easy. I'm hoping the diagrams I drew will help too. Gets easier the more you do it, of course!!!
I always agonise over using the 'harder' techniques as I feel that they may stop some people from doing patterns with them in. Then again I also think that if a person really, really likes a design then they'll either learn/use it OR find a way of tatting the piece another way!!!! Personally I like a challenge if I can see a reason for it!!! There's no better reason for using a new technique than it enabling you to avoid tying,
cutting and hiding ends!!!
I also finished the alphabet beads pattern which can be made into a bracelet. I've actually used this idea to put a name on my tatting bag. Just for fun, tat's all. I'm particularly pleased with this pattern as the beads lie really well within the framework. I think a lot of this has to do with the fact that they are placed between split rings which means finger tatting the centre. I may make another one of these for a 'zipper pull' as they are such fun and are fast to make.

15 October 2007

The one thing I HATE

The one thing in my life that I hate above anything else is wasting time! I don't mind waiting for doctor, dentist or any appointment even if they are very late. After all you can always be doing something like tatting or reading dreadful magazines. I don't mind time spent on a tatting idea that doesn't work - this is a normal part of the process.
BUT I do HATE what ha
ppened to me yesterday evening!!
I remembered the other day that I'd been playing with alphabet beads before I went to USA in August. I made several bracelets as presents for friends. On Friday I realised that I'd not put the pattern on my web page yet. Well, last night I finished the centre of the bracelet which I was making to test the pattern. I tied and cut the ends and then realised I'd missed out a chain. Not too bad as all I needed to do was cut back a bit, re-join and do that part again. Oh, no, wrong again!!! I cut the wrong bit!!! So I decided that was scrap and it would be better to start again from scratch!!!
That's the sort of thing I call a waste of time!
Below is the final motif which now confirms the pattern is ready to 'go'!!! When the bracelet is finished I'll launch them both together.

14 October 2007

Nearly sorted

Although I've been quiet on the blog for a couple of days that doesn't mean I haven't been tatting!!! I'm still working on the motif and I think it's 'as good as' finished. Although it is really easy to do it's proved quite difficult to notate. The problem is that I was determined to make it easy for those doing 'front side / back side' or whatever people like to call it without it being something you have to conciously think about while tatting. This has meant about 11 motifs made just to resolve a few SLT's and RW's!!! Dedication or what!!!! Actually I've nearly thrown it out of the pram several times. Anyway, here are a few of my 'trials and tribulations'!!!!

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.

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!!).

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Happy Beaks

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