31 August 2008

Normal service will be resumed!!!

After a hectic week I'm now back in 'tat mode'!!!!  Tat corner had to be cleared but it's now getting back to it's usual cluttered state!!  That's after just one evening!!!

I'm currently working through the text for the Spanish dancers and will start to do some drawings later today (with a bit of luck!).  I might get delayed by roly poly tat bags as I need to replenish stocks in the Etsy shop!  We'll see.

Today I've added the page I'd got ready before the invasion.  It's just how to make a ring on a split ring.  A friend asked for help with this so I was prompted to draw a page up.

28 August 2008

Latest project

I haven't had a lot of time to tat the last few days but did do this the other evening.  It's 3D and is going to be a flower (with a bit of luck!).  The centre ring is actually a small metal split ring (like those used for key rings) covered with ds.  The colours I've used are A1 grotty but were readily available in tat corner!!!

I'm now wondering if the green motif I showed on Monday might form another 'layer' to this fantasy flower - with added beads, of course!!!!  I can see this working with pretty threads and beads and with that 'improved' way of adding beads to long picots it's just so easy to play with colours as you go along.

27 August 2008

Tatting with a head in the way!!!

First of all the good news.  Remember me telling about the photo site where some of our well known designers work (as in books) had been uploaded and left open for all to see and download?  That post is here.  Good news.  Google has been told and has taken it down.  
Have you ever tried to tat with a head and a mop of curls in the way??? Not easy. We have two little grandboys here at the moment and the smallest (who looks just like a curly headed pixie) is here for his first stay away from home. I'd left some beads in a container (child proof, thankfully) and he found them. He found a couple of shuttles too with thread on so he wanted to know what they were for. Eventually I had to show him - he really does have a mind of his own - so we settled down in a chair with him on my lap. I wrapped the thread round my left hand and gave him the shuttle. He made the stitches and I flipped the flip!!! I've no doubt he'll never pick a shuttle up again but it was mildly amusing for twenty minutes to see him try!!! If only that head full of curls hadn't got in the way I could've seen what was going on a lot better!!!!!!!

25 August 2008

Next project

The next project I want to do will be for pure pleasure. At least I hope it will be!!!! I will blog this one in progress and will write the pattern down too. Not sure if it'll ever get onto my pattern site - I'll leave it to see if there's any interest.

A few weeks ago there was an exhibition in our Civic Hall. This time it was by local wood turners. The Civic Hall (not the Town Hall, by the way!) happens to be on my route into town so it was very tempting to wander in to have a look. I bought three small wooden vases. Now these are for presents eventually but need something to 'brighten them up'. I'm hoping to do a flower for each. Not a 'stand up' sort of flower but a 'droopy' fantasy sort!!! Well, I know what I mean!!! Hopefully it will work!!!!

I did this last night for a 'tester'.  It's nowhere near what I hope to eventually finish up with (this is some nasty coloured thread that I'm trying to 'use up') BUT it has lead me to think of something 'new' for an earring out of it.  Well, out of the first row or two.  I've squashed it on the scanner but  it actually is sort of 3D.  The first 'ring' is worked as in covering a cabone ring but this time I worked over one of those tiny split rings (like a jump ring but without the gap).  Fewer picots on this (2 fewer) will make it more 3D and nearer what I'm looking for.  

There may be a 'gap' in my blog this week as an invasion of grandboys is happening!!!

24 August 2008

Am I thick?

All answers on a postage stamp, please!! Actually I know the answer - YES!!!!

Dare I admit how long it's taken me to make a slideshow on this blog?
OK, yes, I'll confess. Weeks. Yes, weeks. First I tried to do it using Flickr, then I tried Photobucket (well, I'd got accounts with both of those!!!). No luck. In desperation I set up a Picassa account. Eureka - this worked first time (well, almost!!). I still don't know why the other two accounts wouldn't work but I think it might be because Picassa may be the default account to use with blogger. I'm no nerd by any means. Actually I'm more a dren (nerd spelt backwards!!!). Still, it's working so I can now add more pictures as and when I want or need to play!!!

Now, the lover!!!!  Here he is finally in all his 'glory'!!!!  What a dashing pair!!!

23 August 2008

Sorry, no progress!!

Yesterday I did nothing, well no tatting as I had too much other stuff to do and by the evening (and after a glass of the red) I was feeling toooooo lazy. Life gets complicated at times and I've been hurt by somebody who I used to consider a friend and who I've helped a lot over the past year or more. I'm at a complete loss as to why but shit happens and life goes on!
On a separate issue. A tatter in the UK sent me a url where a lot of my images from my patterns had been uploaded. Now this is an odd situation to be landed in. Let me explain.
I put patterns on the internet so that others (if they like) can download and use them. I expect no reward for this and no payment. When I find that my images have been taken and put on a photo web site then I wonder why. What would be the reason for doing this?
I have, over the years, put my images onto a couple of these photo hosting sites but I don't allow others to 'see' them without inviting them to. With Picassa, Photobucket, Flickr etc you can 'choose' who sees them.
OK, so this is no great deal for me (images being taken) although I wonder what they've been linked to. BUT when I see on this same site that my friends and others have had entire books scanned and uploaded for anybody to see/use then my blood boils. I'm not going to give the link as that would be acknowledging that this form of copyright theft is OK.
Many thanks to the friend who pointed this out to me. Already one of those affected will be taking action against this person through their publisher.

22 August 2008

The lover and his problems!!

Now working out a new design always has it's problems but in my case most of them suffer at one time or another from a lack of concentration or tiredness.  Oh, could that be old age too?!?!?  

Do take a peek at the Spanish dancer's lover.  I finished this one (apart from his hat) on Wednesday evening.  Poor chap.  I think he'll need a walking stick as his one leg is longer than the other.  Could he be the original 'Long haired lover from Liverpool' or perhaps just 'Daddy Longlegs'?!?!?!  All suggestions are very welcome!!!!  Please keep them clean, though!!

When you look at him carefully and count the rings there are the same number on each leg.  Something has 'gone wrong' in the crotch area.  I hope to explore this later today.  I worked up another 'lover' and got to the stage when I was down the first side of one leg.  That, I felt, was a good time to stop and wait for brain cell # 3 to arrive for his weekend break!!!

21 August 2008

The old bag lady strikes again!

Now while I was sitting in the waiting room awaiting my turn to see the nurse on Monday afternoon I was tatting as usual. For years now I've found that waiting rooms never have a bin for rubbish!! So, here I was with my bits of thread yet again and nowhere to put them.

Not only that but I've been using a small (and getting grubbier!!) plastic bag to put finished butterflies in. I thought, yet again, that I really have to take myself in hand over the way I work in these situations. I thought (don't forget that I only have 2 regular brain cells and thinking makes them hurt) - this needs a bag!!

So, on Tuesday I set out to try and make one to cover my 'needs'. You'll see what I've made below but I'm not happy with this design yet!!! (Sorry about the poor quality pictures). It's sort of a mini roly poly but with a drawstring top. I've put a small 'pocket' on the outside for 'bits' of thread to be pushed in until I get home from the vets (sorry, I mean doctors/hospitals) but I'm not happy with this yet. It's fully lined but it is a bit too small!!! I'll have to have a re-think on this one!!  It's got to be small enough to fit into the roly poly but not tooooo small.  I think it may just need to be a bit taller but with the same sized base?  Any suggestions would be welcome - even (and especially) funny ones!!!

20 August 2008

How do we close a self closing mock ring?

Now stand up all those who think this is a daft question!!!

How many years have we all been making these SCMR's popping the working shuttle through the loop and then closing it? I know the answer - toooooo many years!!! Imagine my surprise when Anitra wrote the other day with what she thought was a 'good idea' and another way to close this element in tatting. I tried it and it works. In fact there are two new ways to close the SCMR.

Now, one might ask, why do we 'need' or 'want' another way to close this element. Well, like me and probably many others Anitra was a bit dissapointed with the look of the regularly closed ones. She found that the bottom mock ring didn't always seem to 'sit' well on the previous element. Heck, I can't sit here trying to explain what she did. Best thing is for you to go and look here.

Oh, you can sit down now!!!!!

19 August 2008

For Georgia!!

I'm sure she won't mind me sharing as I've no idea why dear Georgia challenged me to this but she did!!!  A few months ago when I was deeeeeply into sequins and Christmas trees Georgia had seen a couple of rainbow patterns and decided they reminded her of a Spanish dancing lady's skirt.  

She asked me if it was possible!!!  Here's the lady so far.  

Georgia really wanted the rose to be held between her teeth but it looked a bit daft to me but that can easily be changed with a couple of stitches using invisible thread.   Next project?  Hmmmm, the lover to dance with her, I guess.  

Strange when I start these new projects I always think it won't be hard cause I can steal from my other patterns.  Rarely, if ever, does this work out!!  I did take the basic arms and head from the button family but even those had to be changed to get the arms in the 'right' position!!!!  

I managed to finish her yesterday evening after 'one of those days' chasing my tail.  It started on the run in the morning and continued like that all day but I did manage a walk without getting wet!!!  Still it's what keeps me young and beautiful (cough, cough, splutter, splutter), I suppose!!!

17 August 2008

What I really, really need!

I was out on my daily walk (between the inevitable showers) when I realised what I really, really want (or need) is a bag. Whoops, I know I've got bags galore but this would be a different sort of bag.
When I'm sitting in waiting rooms or such like and 'tat in public' I usually make small SCMR butterflies. I give away as I go but usually have a stock of them in a bag. Well, I say in a bag but this is usually a small self seal plastic bag. I would like a 'real' bag to put my little stock of butterflies in.
This bag needs to be small and easily opened and closed in a hurry. I'd also like it to open out flat so that people can choose which coloured critter they want. So, when I got home I had a quick 'play'. I've come up with a simple round shape with a draw cord right at the top.
I need to avoid a tie which needs knotting or tying in a bow. I think I've got the answer. I hope to show the first 'draft' tomorrow or Wednesday.
Tatting? Slow progress and little of it!!!

Another day another ?

Another day another lot of rain!!! I woke yesterday morning to an request for one of the two new blue bag sets (see yesterday's blog post) which I'd not even got into Etsy!!! Great, thought I and went and listed the purply/burgundy and the other blue set in the shop.

I cleared up after my sewing stint of the previous day and then went down the town to get bread etc.

By the time I got back the second blue one had sold!! This was my fastest sale so far!!  So, after lunch I went down town again and mailed that one. I have almost finished another red paisley set which will become part of my stock. I've got two pretty floral sets cut out and ready to sew.  Bag making will stop in the winter as it will be too cold to work in the conservatory!!!
Tatting?  The new project made reasonable progress last evening but I need a total re-tat of part two which means re-writing the text.  Not too much of a problem as I do it on the laptop 'as I go'.  I remember all those times when I used to jot everything down on paper and then not be able to understand what I meant the next day!!!  Those were the sad old days before brain cell number 2 arrived!!!

16 August 2008


I finished two new blue butterfly bags and pouches and another rather nice purple, green and mustard one that I started a couple of days ago. When I woke up this morning I found a comment on the blog from somebody who wants to buy one of the blue set so I will only be putting one blue and the purply one in the shop later today - with a bit of luck.
I'll probably be on the computer for quite a time after I've cleared up yesterday's mess as I've some drawings to do for another tatter.  Good excuse not to do too much housework!!!!

Yesterday I went to visit my new pupil in the antiques centre. She's doing really well and will soon be able to make a reasonable ring. Unlike most new shuttle tatters she's not tense and so has found the flip pretty easy.

In the evening I continued with the latest project. Quite good progress but need to undo some of what I did and 'try again'!!! So, what's new, I ask myself!!!! I did draw this part out yesterday afternoon which helped but as usual things are never the same when actually tatted up.

I've no pictures today so this will be a naked post but if you go to Gina's blog you'll see my version of her mystery motif!!!!!!

15 August 2008


Yesterday morning on my way back from town and posting roly poly bags I popped in to see my new student. She was busy with customers but did say that she'd been practicing but couldn't get the thread to pull up into a ring. I reassured her that she was perfectly normal and that most new tatters had that problem. I'll pop in later this morning and show her again.
When I went to see Aileen on Wednesday I told her about the purple fabric and the blue fabric selling so well as roly poly bags (she'd given me those two pieces too). She disappeared for a short while and came back with more of the blue!!! So, yesterday I started making two more bags with this. I did confess to having kept one of these sets for myself!!! Below is 'one I made earlier' to use Blue Peter speak!!! I hope to list these two and another very pretty one over the weekend.

Tatting?  Well I'm still working on the new idea but 'fell out' with it yesterday evening.  Now this is a reasonably good sign - along with a nudge from Georgia Seitz who orignally suggested the idea a few months ago!!!!  It means that I need to start the second half of this one again - maybe this evening!!!!

13 August 2008

Tatting lesson and Sharon's work

I went to see the lady in the antique centre and we got along fine.  She quickly got the hang of the 'flipping flip' so that was good.  I will pop in to see her when I wander down the town which will be later this morning as I have two Etsy sales to mail!!!  There is only 1 roly poly left now in the purple and I had to make an 'emergency' purple pouch half way through the day.  Sadly I have no more of that fabric left for another pouch.  Still, somebody might want 'just a bag' for their cosmetics or something!!!!

Below is Sharon's patchwork mat which she sent me a picture of yesterday.  It's SO rewarding to actually see that people can understand my patterns and make them up.  It's very strange nowadays as I rarely get to hear about them being used unless I see them on other people's blogs.  Gives the 'old git' a buzz every time I spot them, though.  Even brain cell # 3 comes out of hiding to take a bow!!!!

I wish I could analyze my 'need' to design and why I continue.  When I've finally finished a design and it's put on the web site it's like having delivered a baby.  That enormous sense of relief!!!  Very soon after, though, the need to make something 'new' comes over me!!!!  Suppose tat's life!!!

Lots to tell you!!

First of all there are two new bags in my Etsy shop. These are a stunning purple with a lovely contrasting turquiose lining. Again I'm tempted to keep a set but I can't justify it. This fabric was in the stash that Aileen gave me for helping her out.

I've also added more patterns to my web site. I've added the daisy earring, bracelet and necklace set, two of the sequin designs and finally the Christmas tree brooch and matching earrings. I was going to keep the Christmas trees for myself but am asking that people don't sell them online as I will be listing them in the Etsy shop eventually!!! Also there are two new 'how to' pages by Jennifer Williams and probably one or two that people haven't seen before of my own!!!

Here are the bags in the new purple fabric. They will be the only ones as this is all of this fabric that I've got.

12 August 2008

A new design - probably!!

At long last the muse has struck again!!! I'll blog this when I've made a bit of progress.

This morning I'm taking a big risk!! I'm going to the antiques centre in town. The risk is that somebody might want to buy me as an interesting piece of antiquity!!!

Seriously. I wandered in there on Saturday to see if there were any new stalls. There used to be a great little place selling a few beads and buttons but it closed down some six months ago. Anyway this time I found a lovely jewellery place and got talking to the lady who runs it. She'd got some very pretty necklaces but I was looking for loose beads which she doesn't 'do'. So we were talking and she noticed some of the tatting I was wearing. She asked how it was made and I said it was tatting. Eventually she asked how much I'd charge to teach her. Silly woman - as if I'd charge!! In the end she said she'd pay me 'in beads'!!! So, we'll see how things go this morning!!!

I got the purple zips yesterday morning so hope to make a start on the purple set of roly poly bags this afternoon - specially as it's raining again!!!!

11 August 2008

Some progress!

I had another look at trying to link up with flickr in order to add a slide show to this blog. I'm not stupid - well not THAT stupid but I've still not got it 'sorted'!!! Perhaps I should just give up!!!
I had a welcome interruption to the morning yesterday so nothing got started until later in the day. I've still got to check out the new web pages but that should only take half a day and then I can 'go public'!!
Bags and pouches are selling steadily in the Etsy shop so as soon as I get a moment I'll be making more!!!
I'm also feeling the urge to design something new coming over me!! Can't decide which idea to tackle first - will consult with brain cell # 3 - a reliable chap!!!
I finished the second seahorse yesterday and took Saturday's to pieces again. I just wasn't happy with the size of the poor wee thing in the bracelet. I found a slightly smaller bracelet and have made more seaweed and mounted it again. It looks so much better.  These little guys will be in the Etsy shop sometime this week!!!

10 August 2008

Nothing much happened!!!

Yesterday was one of those rare days.  I had the 'sillies' on me.  I decided to make roly poly bags out of the purple fabric but as the zips hadn't arrived that I ordered that stopped that game!!!  I then decided to make blue bags as I've got a lot of blue fabric and zips too!!  I wandered into the room where I sew, got the fabric out and wandered off again!!  I decided to check out the web pages that I've uploaded before announcing them but I didn't get back to the computer!!

Then I sat down to finish off a seahorse in a bangle that I'd started the evening before!!  So, having got the variagated number 80 (or thereabouts) out to do the seaweed I finally got going.  BUT that didn't work out either - the 80 thread broke and it just didn't 'look right' either.  Back to the thread stash and out with a 40 variagated green.  That worked out fine.

While I was doing this I was also trying to add a slide show to the blog.  What a performance!!!!  Two of us tried to work it out.  I got the Flickr account to link with the blog and vice versa but the darn thing still doesn't work.  I've binned it for now!!!  So, a day wasted.  I HATE wasting time (or food, or money, or anything!!).

In the morning I had this magazine from Tove in Sweden.  It's beautifully presented but it always gives me a bigger thrill to see my patterns in another language.  Sort of makes me feel famous in this small little pond in tat land!  So, below is the cover and one page of the magazine.  Also the seahorse which will go into my Etsy shop as soon as I have time!!!


9 August 2008


Oh, yesterday was SUCH a good day.  I managed to finally get all the web pages finished.  I just need an hour or so to check them out with brain cell # 3 on board and when I've heard from a friend about her pages I can launch them into public tat land!!  Whoooppeeeeee.

While I was taking a short break in the early evening I started to plan my next stint of sewing.  I found this wonderful piece of purple fabric in the stash that Aileen gave me.  Isn't it wonderful?  Am I going to be able to part with bags made of this?  I just need to buy some zips as I don't have any the right colour and then I'll make them up.  Meantime I will make more out of fabric which I DO have matching zips for!!!  That'll keep me quiet for a while today!!!  

Evenings - hmmmm.  Heading towards new designs but want to make some more tatting for the Etsy shop.  I made another dolphin to replace the one which swam to the USA the other day (now listed here) and have a 'half made' seahorse to finish today.  I may make another of each of these creatures and then perhaps it'll be off to see what's on my 'to do' list which continually grows and grows!!!


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Happy Beaks

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