5 February 2009

Two 'deaths' in a day!

This is sort of tatting related!!

First 'incident' was at the library when I handed over my ticket to check out three books. The lady said 'you've expired'.

Well, I said, I feel alright, nobody told me I was dead and I haven't been ill for a long time. Poor lass didn't understand at first!! I knew that she meant my ticket was out of date. They now have to be renewed every year.

The next 'death' in the family is my laptop! My link to the world in the late afternoons/evenings and the place where most of the designing is done. I write things down 'as I go' in a Word document. For two days it's been 'problematic' starting up so yesterday I started it while eating lunch. It was fine - although it did need two attempts. When I got downstairs to use it at four o'clock it had died!!! So, a mad panic to find the receipt because I couldn't remember exactly when I'd bought it. Ah, November 2007. Thankfully the shop I got it from does a two year extended warantee so we decided to take it back there this morning.

BUMMER. There's four inches of snow on the ground!!! Mind, it may well be gone by mid morning.


Meantime I will try and work on a very old laptop which is SOOOO slow it's like riding a tortoise!!

4 February 2009

Back to making bookmarks!

I have the honour of being 'chief sticker' for the Ring of Tatters!!!! What that means is that I'm allowed to pretend I'm back teaching school kids again BUT this time I get to play with the glue and NOT the kids!!!

I use the PVA 'school' glue that I had in the classroom all those years ago. My equipment for this job of making bookmarks for the Ring consists of the following. An old and not required again CD (to put the glue on!), a fine double ended knitting needle, the card bookmarks and small motifs.

Last time I spoke about this task I said that more supplies of motifs were 'on the way'. Little did I realise there were going to be SO many!!!! I'm pleased to say that most of them are 'without tails'. That's the most annoying thing when you're doing this job - having tails to cut off. I never remember them until my fingers are covered in glue!!!

In the picture below you'll see some of the new style bookmarks. There are two butterflies shown. One a four ring one (very hard to stick down and get looking 'right') and one five ring SCMR one (easy peasy).

I like to play with the very small doodles, putting several on a bookmark sometimes. See the large one at the bottom left? I can't remember the name of the lady who sends these in but she used to send in loads and loads. Wouldn't it be funny if somebody recognised their contribution?


3 February 2009

I've remembered!!!

Yesterday evening I actually remembered to go to the online tatting class which Georgia runs!!! I do often wander in there and then forget I'm there!!

I use Mozilla Firefox as my browser and always have certain tabs open so usually flip between them all!! Bit like my brain which has often been referred to as a 'butterfly brain' as it flits from one thing to another!!! Also never seems to settle long in one place!!!

Anyway, I've remembered that somebody asked for the picture of the flowers in a ring which I did back at the end of last year. I couldn't find them last night but here they are now!! Safely hiding on my main computer!!!

2 February 2009

Back and tatting!!!!

I think I told you about the party I went to on Saturday. I had the best time ever. Just the sort of party I love. Champagne, Wii, egg sandwiches and two small boys to play with!!!

It was Sebastian's 7th birthday and he wanted me (second choice babysitter - grandma's first!) and another lady there. No small friends required!! How flattering is that?

When I sit for the pair of them (the older brother is almost 9) I usually play Wii and read stories. We also have 'in depth' discussions about life too.
I gave them both a book token as I never can keep up with what they or my own grand kids are reading!!

Last night I made them a bookmark each which I'll take round later after school.
I used my funny face bookmark pattern but had a problem 'starting it'!!! Not unusual as brain cell #3 had had the week off tatting. I thought I'd do some more drawing for it later today but have just looked on the computer and found that I've already got one there!!! When I've done the 'chores' I'll add the drawing to the page so that next time I'LL be able to understand it!!!!


1 February 2009

Thinking aloud - with brain cell #3

Now the web pages are finished (well, I suppose they'll never really be 'finished') I can start playing again. Nearly a whole week without tatting - must be a record!!! Mind, when we travel to the USA I do tend to 'not tat' as there are so many more interesting things to do. Like visits to Wally World, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Joann Fabrics and all points in between!!!

Must admit unashamedly - I LOVE America and Americans.
When you think about it through my aged brain and eyes it goes something like this.

I was born in 1943 - towards the end of the war. American soldiers had arrived in the area to help us out around that time and they were very welcome - particularly by the young ladies of the time (I know that as a fact)!!!! Nylons, spam and other 'goodies' were 'available' at a price. Not telling what that was but it didn't always involve money!!!!

Some 16 or so years later (from what brain cell #3 can remember) the Americans were arriving again in droves to view the tourist attractions. NO, not me - I was a timid and not very attractive teenager!!!! They were loud and rich at that time although I guess the economy welcomed their money!!!


Some 18 or so years on from that date (I was a mother, teacher and all round idiot) I was demonstrating tatting occasionally at a local tourist attraction in the school holidays, I once again came across the American tourists. BOY, what a shock. Out of all the nationalities who passed through the venue and the many who stopped to speak to me, the Americans were the only 'nation' who not only knew what I was doing but were very interested.

Hats off to America and the Americans. Me? I'm not racist, sexist, anythingist but I am proud to be a human being (allegedly) and I LOVE my 'neck of the woods' and America!!

31 January 2009

Up and Running

Let me explain!!! I've always kept two web sites going in tandem 'just in case'!!!! I base the links on the one and then everything reverts back to that. I'm pleased to say that everything is working again.

WELL, I'll say that with my fingers crossed as I'm sure there are bound to be hiccups in the links or something. I'd be grateful for any reports being sent in!!!

My next task will be a re-vamp of the index (home) page. Any suggestions on that would be MORE than welcome!!! I'd like to make it more 'modern' and lighter looking. It'll have to be done in html as that's what the servers accept - I THINK. Again I'll use the tried and trying and often tested method of 'hit and miss'. The 'Jane' way of bumbling through life!!

I'm also going to add an extra page - a links page. On that I'm going to add tatting blogs and other urls. I'll need help with that so if anybody has a useful link then please send it to me!!! I would like a 'classification' with any links. Information like are they patterns only, techniques only or links with both (like my site would be)!!!!

30 January 2009

OUCH!!!

I hit my head on the end of the tunnel!!! Some silly 'person' switched off the light!!!

YES, I got there. Finished the main 'lot' yesterday evening.

I still have the 'guest designers' to do and about 8 pages to upload (after changing them to pdf's) but that's all. I now need to check what all the other files are that I've found sitting on the server!!! I know that I've often uploaded stuff for people to 'collect' and (me being me) then promptly forgotten that they were there!!!

So, there is just a 'little light dusting' to do after these last few files have been completed and then I can tackle the upload to the mirror site. When all that is done I'll change the front page. Not sure what I'm going to do with that - all suggestions welcome!!!

I will allow myself to pick up my shuttles again tomorrow evening. PHEWWWWWWW!

29 January 2009

There's light at the end!!!

There's light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Just a quick post today to thank all who have offered encouragement with my addiction to pdf ing!!!! I'm getting there slowly!!!

28 January 2009

So it continues!

I think I'm just about half way through the Spring cleaning. It's SO boring!!!

I've not done any tatting now for two days. Once I get a bee in my bonnet I have to continue!!!
I'm just hoping that all the links are working and will work!!!

Yesterday evening I prepared lots of pages ready to be pdf'd today and upload - IF I get time.

26 January 2009

More Spring Cleaning

I nearly went cross eyed yesterday with my Spring cleaning but it's well worth it.

I love the look of the new files on the web pages. I'm still being methodical about it and have now got several rows down into the 'animal' section. When I've done all the patterns I may take myself in hand and 'titivate' the front page too. Hey, steady up, Jane, that sounds a bit drastic!!!

Some of the patterns are taking a long time as they were done so many years ago. I have to put in colons to separate the element from the numbers needed to work the ring or chain etc. Also there are links to check. I'm also trying to condense some of the patterns so that there is less white space and so that it's more economical for people to print them.

The three sizes of fishes were a total nightmare and one still lacks a link but it can darn well stay like that!!!! Well, for now!!!
Actually, once you get into the rythm of it it's not hard - just time consuming. I even sat and worked at some more patterns in the evening instead of tatting. I'm very motivated when I get a bee in my bonnet!!!


I'm even going to move the Tattysaurus back onto the main site now that he's going to be much smaller in file size. It's with a certain amount of glee that I'm deleting as I go along too!!! The web site looks so much tidier. I just hope that I can keep it up.

25 January 2009

Spring Cleaning!!!

Spring Cleaning? NOT a favourite occupation of mine - particularly when it comes to the house!!!

So, I'll put you all at ease. Don't worry about me - I've not taken a turn for the worse. I'm not cleaning the house!!!

What I'm doing is converting all my web site (in theory) from html files to - wait for it - pdf files!!! I LOVE pdf files - they always look so clear to me and they have an added advantage of taking up far less room on the server!!!

I started yesterday - and in a logical place, the top of the list!!! Now, let me explain. I'm basically self taught and HATE reading up 'how to' instructions. Nick's forever saying RTFM - which you all know by now stands for Read The F"%&*^% Manual. I can't. I HAVE to work with a little knowledge and instinct!!

So far that's working BUT I've got to work out how to alter some of the links. I know how to do it the 'long way round' but need to do it the 'easy way'!!!!
This is going to work out a lot cheaper than buying a Nintendo DS with a brain training game. I HAD thought about that and a Wii but really, honestly don't know whether they'd ever be delivered to tat land and IF they were - would I have time for them?!?!?!?

24 January 2009

Bragging time!

I have a sister. I've had her for less years than I've been on planet earth so that makes her my 'little' sister. She tats too. Not probably as much as me as she's still working and doesn't get a lot of time.

Anyway, just after Christmas she was up in my little corner of tat land and showed me what she was intending to do with some tiny baubles she'd bought. These two pictures arrived yesterday and I have her permission to share. I'm SO impressed. Just HOPE I can force her to write the pattern down - the little stinker!!!


23 January 2009

Another new book

Now this is strange, verrrryyyy strange. Two days ago I received Rosemarie Peel's new book in the post. So, what's strange about that? Last week I had the Houtz book and the place I met Gary 'in the flesh' was at Rosemarie's house!!! There's a piece of totally useless information for you!!!!

Anyway, seriously. Here are my thoughts on Rosemarie's book. It's called 'Tatting - Basic Patterns'. Inside there is a free copy of her Learn Tatting leaflet which is the best I've ever seen for learning to shuttle tat. With the leaflet and the book it would be very easy to learn to tat. Simple instructions and excellent visuals are very much aimed at somebody who wants to know 'what do I do next?'!!!

The patterns (there are 16) are simple at first and develop the new tatter from very basic 'just rings' to using rings and chains. One pattern which I hope to have the excuse to make is Edna - a horseshoe. Although only rings and chains this is an elegant pattern in it's pure simplicity. BUT it also has a the 'wow' factor - I'm thinking of adding beads to this one!! As I haven't got the excuse (no weddings to look forward to!) to make the horseshoe I decided to make the pattern called 'Rachel'. I also decided to use my favourite colours. I'm not really that enamoured of variagated threads but do love to 'mix and match' fine threads. In the piece below I've used a variagated number 80 (or thereabouts!!) alongside a plain machine quilting thread. I just LOVE these combos and the results you get. I've added Rachel below and suggest you click on the picture for a closer look.

To sum up - this book would be ideal for starters although (as you can see) there is a heck of a lot of inspiration in it for the 'old' tatters like me.

22 January 2009

Just a very quick post

Retired? Hmmmm, then why is life always so darn busy!!!

I've got something REALLY good to show you tomorrow but this is what I've got today!!! The earrrings you saw the other day but the pendant to go with them is now completed.

21 January 2009

HOTP

Or, Hot Off The Press from Tat Land!!!

I have recently been asked to take back on the duties of 'bookmark maker' for the Ring of Tatters. Whilst sorting out this task during the past few days and trying (against all the odds!) to organise myself, I found a picture of the finished bookmarks from the last time I was 'glue sniffing'!!! See below.

Since my return to the glue pot the design has been slightly changed so they'll not be quite like the ones shown below!! Once I've got a few done I'll scan them and show you. At the moment I've got as far as getting the card (69 - A4 sheets) printed up and have cut it up (using the guillotine). I am happy to report that I missed my fingers!!! I'm SO pleased as they are SUCH useful digits to have!!!

I have a problem, though!!! No motifs to stick on!!! I'm awaiting some from the 'gals' at the Ring. An email yesterday evening told me that they will be heading my way on Thursday.

The bookmarks are given away at shows where the Ring demonstrate and do help us to promote and gain more members to the Ring!!!

20 January 2009

Now, what have I got to show today!

Sadly, not a lot!!! I'm back to working on Palmetto patterns. I HATE myself for the amount of work I put on my own back!!!

I cannot leave a pattern alone until I've got it right!! How many of these earwigs have I tatted now to make sure the pattern is correct? Hmmm, daredn't answer that one!!

Anyway, here's the final pair!! (Who am I kidding?). No findings on yet as they lie better on the scanner. I think this will be my longest lesson. Why? because there's a lot to teach and there's still the pendant to finish off this evening.


Why is the picture SO small, did I hear somebody ask? I'll tell you why - to tease everybody in tat land!!!!

18 January 2009

Lucky, lucky ME

Look what came in the post yesterday.

These are from my favourite (and only) son. Well, not really my 'proper' son but one I adopted some years ago. His name? Mark Myers!!!

With the earrings came a lovely letter from him and Kim (his wife).

He made these earrings using that beading technique that I made the butterflies and flowers with but Mark, being Mark, couldn't resist taking the idea one step further - the little STINKER!!!!!

Actually he'd already discussed this with me and I bet yer bottom dollar he already knew of the idea anyway. Hmmm, perhaps not as Mark doesn't 'do' beads - YET!!!!

Mind, why would he do beads in tatting when what he does do is so spectacular without? Mark has added another dimension by passing the single beaded picot through two or three other beaded picots to make the fuschia which is below.

Amazing and SO pretty. Thanks, SOJ. I LOVE them.

17 January 2009

More about the Shuttle Brother's book

As promised yesterday I am going to tell you more about this book but first you're going to have some 'history'!!!

Way back in the dark ages before the Internet was properly established I met up with Rosemarie Peel who lives about twenty miles away from me (just noticed - she's got a new book out!). I remember sitting having a picnic lunch with her in a local garden (I was working nearby) and talking tatting. She told me about a new book by Gary and Randy with a new technique called the Self Closing Mock Ring.

I quickly got hold of a copy (probably via an advertisement in the Ring of Tatters Newsletter) and I was gobsmacked. What a wonderful technique. Gary and Randy have always said that this technique wasn't 'theirs' but that they discovered it 'from history'. That makes them pioneers, I guess.

Now, after another ten years they've brought out this second SCMR book with promises of another in a few months.

OK. Let's talk about the new book. First of all it's in black and white with both visual and written instructions which are very clear. Actually the lack of colour makes this book clearer.

The first section of motifs in the book build on one basic pattern and thus take even the newest tatter from very basic rings and chains (motif number 1) building up to the final motif - number 10 in this section.

Edgings are included and again start with basic rings only, rings and chains and again building up to edgings with the SCMR.

Collars are also done in a similar way and I can see those as edgings on T-shirts, round table linens etc.

There is a section with bookmark patterns too - one just calls out for a woven ribbon down the centre!


Then there's a section on the split ring followed by the 'ring on ring on ring' which looks really good fun.

There is a pattern for a multiple SCMR 5 point motif and the pearl tatted SCMR is also explored. There are 41 patterns in this book which makes it excellent value and invaluable to both those who are new to the SCMR and even to those 'old gits' like me who have been twice round the block!!!!! If you look here then you'll see that Riet has been playing with the more advanced stuff and it DOES look good.

Tatting and Design here in the UK are currently awaiting stocks whilst the American market is covered by writing directly to Gary and Randy.

16 January 2009

The Houtz Brother's new book!

Today I'm going to brag, brag, BRAG!!! Unashamedly and with no guilt at all I'm going to BRAG.

I've got my copy of the book. THE book. THE LATEST book by Gary and Randy. Not only THAT but it's signed by BOTH the brothers.

Long story for those who are in the UK but I asked Karen in Cincinnati to send a $ check to the brothers so that they wouldn't be bothered by finding out international postage rates. They sent it to Karen and she
sent it on to me. Gary is still recovering from his 'dice with death' last year and I didn't want to put them to any trouble.

I will give you a full report on the book tomorrow - but I'll tell you now that it'll be excellent!!!

Meantime here's a 'taster' from it which I worked up yesterday evening.

15 January 2009

Update on progress

Well I've done two tests of the pattern I'm working on and the verdict? Utter and unmitigated PANTS. True. Honest.

The second version does look SLIGHTLY better than the first in places but in other parts it sucks BIG TIME and is worse than before.

I don't know what to do. I'm at that stage where it would be wise to forget the whole thing and bin it, but there again it does seem such a waste of time to have got this far and then give up! I know. I'll simplify it. Just shown the two trials to Nick and he agrees with what I said I might do. Well this evening I'll give it another try. Perhaps third time lucky? It won't be right even then but after the next attempt with the alterations made it might then be a matter of simple (who am I kidding?) tweaking of stitch counts. We'll see!!!

14 January 2009

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Yes, that's what I'm doing at the moment. I'm testing a pattern for Martha Ess. I think it'll be going into a new book that she's compiling. Either that or she's going to teach it somewhere. DO hope it's a new book as I love her work.

We all know Martha as the 'Queen of the Block' BUT there's no block tatting in this pattern. It's true celtic in the style of Rosemarie Peel and I'm LOVING it. There's one book by Rosemarie which has the first celtic pattern in that I ever saw in tat land and I still reckon it's the best. This book is well worth adding to anybody's collection. It's called Tatting for Pleasure.

I did really well last night but got a bit mathered towards bedtime so left it to finish today.


Totally off the tatting topic but I must tell you that the 'man on the roof' has been caught!! The police rang to say they might need another statement from me regarding the costs of repairs. Thank you to our local police. I'm not a wimp and don't scare easily but I have woken several times in the night 'hearing' noises.

13 January 2009

Playing with beads in centre of ring

OK, time to talk to myself again!!! This time I'm trying to decide what or which is the best or worst way to do this!!!

Last week I worked on my SCMR page here. Some of you may have seen this already but don't go away yet!! The reason I updated the page was because Bev had just got the 'hang' of doing the SCMR and it reminded me of something that somebody had mentioned ages ago. Least, I'm sure it's not my original idea. Heaven forbid that I should have that sort of inspiration.

Anyway, I digress. The problems I have found with the SCMR in the past is that they often tend to 'gape' at the base when closed. I wanted to stop this. Anitra came up with this way. My problem was that I always forgot to close this way so remembered (I think!) another way.

So, onto today's topic of conversation. I decided to find out whether doing the 'extra bit' to the base of a ring after adding a bead would make a difference. Below you will see the result.

The ring on the left was worked first in the normal way. Pulling the core thread down, adding the bead, putting the shuttle through the loop just formed and tightening.

The next two were done by the 'other way' like the link to my SCMR page. I added the bead, pulled a
LOOP through the loop, posted the shuttle through and tightened carefully. Confused? Really confused? Shall I draw this out and add it to the web site? Personally I'm not sure it matters a lot but it does (for me) give a neater result. I await the comments!!!

Oh, before I go. Must say that the reason that the chain thread on the sample is now back at the start of the piece is because I left a length of thread between the rings and then decided to do split chains back to the beginning so that the the sample would lie better under the scanner!!!



12 January 2009

I'm doing a happy dance!

I'm not very clever! In fact I'm drop dead stupid when it comes to some things.

I struggle with understanding some of the computer stuff and use the same method as I do with designing new patterns - the 'hit and miss' method!!!

Of course Nick always says RTFM to me which, translated into English, means Read The F%*king Manual. So in the end I do. Great. BUT then I find I need help with understanding the manual so I give up on that.

What I'm really trying to say is that I've finally got my blog back onto google reader!!! Huge, huge and merry happy dance.
I really need to understand what a feedburner is. Again I've RTFM'd it but have come out none the wiser at the end. Ah, well, I'll give up on that and just be thankful that I now appear on the google reader. Another extremely big surprise is how many people have written to me saying that they're pleased I've got this sorted.

I find it so interesting the way we all use the internet. I've now got into the habit of using a browser with tabs. I've set it up (without using the manual!) so that when I open my browser my blog dashboard is always open in one tab (4th along from the left!!). This let's me go there from time to time to refresh it and see who (in the list of people I follow) has updated their blogs. This is part of the reason I've not got back to getting my blog on google reader sooner!!! BUT another 'trick' I've used is to go to google reader and 'collect' tatting url's and then add them to my personal list of people I follow!

So now I think life is back to being relatively normal again!!!

11 January 2009

Tiny flowers for a friend

A friend of mine down the next road has been making herself a new dress. It's the first time she's done any sewing for years and it's looking really good.

The fabric is plain apricot. Very plain - not even a slub in the weave.

A couple of months ago I helped her with getting the collar put onto the dress and she said it needed 'something' to break up the apricot. She'd seen some flower motifs in our local shop and decided that they 'might' do. I came home with a sample of the fabric and came up with these little flowers below which I delivered yesterday.



10 January 2009

A day without tatting!

This is what I did yesterday evening. NOTHING!!!!

I fully intended to start on a new idea but I was drop dead tired by the evening. Problem is that I woke up very early in the morning.
Well, I say early but I should say 'early for an old git'!!!! I normally prise the aged eyes open at around eight ish but yesterday it was half past six.

Do you ever get that feeling that you want to 'get up and get on' with the day? Well I did!! But there again I didn't - well, only at a snail's pace!!!
By the time I sat down late in the afternoon I was ready to tat.

But after 3 or 4 phone calls (including one from a friend in the USA) it was time to eat. Then there was a glass of wine (white, this time) to take care of and then - well, tat was tat!!!

9 January 2009

More stuff on Etsy!!!

Yesterday I finally managed to put some more tatting in my Etsy store!!!

The probable escalation in costs of flight tickets later this year has forced my aged brain to get and do something useful and 'sellable' to pay for part of those!!!! We're hoping to do the 'hop across the pond' again!!

I also listed some roly poly bags and pouches last week too. I'm keeping the old fingers crossed!!!

8 January 2009

Last one done!!!

I'm a first class plonker!! Yes, it's true!!!

I posted as usual this morning and then in a fit of enthusiasm and a totally out of character quest to tidy up my blog, I deleted this morning's post!!!

Anyway, here it is again!!! I apologise to the people who commented and hope they won't desert me! I can only state that this is NOT an illness (tidyness) that is infectious.

What I did say was that this is the last of the wheels. I like it in the two colours but I'm totally fed up with it now!!! OK, let's see if I can post this now and NOT delete it again!!


7 January 2009

Another wheel

Here's another wheel. I don't like this one AT ALL!!! It's the colours I don't like but then that's me!!! I did this one for a reason but I'm NOT telling.

OK, I will tell - well, I'll give you a hint!!! I've submitted the pattern to a tatting newsletter. If it's accepted then I'll be well chuffed but if it's not then I'll not be unhappy either!!! I'll just go and work on something else and pop the pattern straight onto the web site!!!!


The poor old brain is still full of ideas and works even better when #3 is around!!!


Ah, another 'thing that happened' yesterday (NO not another man on our roof again!!!) is that Claire from the Secret Corridor caught up with me again . We'd chatted ages ago about her web site for all crafts and then (well, you know me!!) we'd lost touch. IF ONLY I'd ever had a decent memory then I'd have had a much fuller life!!! It's always been poor but I do wonder on looking back whether it's because it's always been mainly living in tat land!!!!


5 January 2009

Was called a windmill motif

I rarely attribute blame to people but in the case of this design I am going to.

I blame Pamela Myers. There - named and shamed!!!! If she hadn't sent me a skein of her HDT I wouldn't have made this des
ign. I'm not a great lover of variagated thread as I feel they 'hide' the beauty of a pattern. So for this very pretty thread I decided the thread should dictate the pattern.

I've used a bastardised version of one of my other celtic patterns for the centre round but then brain cell # 3 came into play. Thanks go to Pamela for getting this idea up and running.

Gina suggested it looked like a ship's wheel when I'd just got the centre motif done!!! I thought that was a wheely good idea!!! Tat's IT!!! It's going to be called a Celtic Wheel Motif. Or, in Jane language - a wheelie celtic motif!!!!

I think this could be called celtic as there are three elements but the second one is 'sort of' attached to the first using a crocodile join whilst the third i
s attached to the second which is also interlinked to the first in one or two places!!!! Sounds complicated but it isn't.

It was way back a million years ago when Rosemarie Peel came up with the celtic idea of two elements intertwined and then 'locked' into place by a third element. I will never achieve her standards and skill with celtic tatting.



4 January 2009

I am NOT a party animal!!!

Nope, I'm not!!! Especially on a very, very cold winter's evening. Getting dressed up? Hmm, that means looking in a mirror TWICE in one day - I have to gear myself up for THAT!!!

I went to my dear friend's 60th birthday yesterday evening. Remember the card I made? The card was for this friend.

I took a taxi to get there as the thought of de-icing the car was enough to make a wee soul like me wilt. When I got there the party was under way (I'm always terrified of being first at an event - love to sneak in quietly!!). I had a really, really good time and am SO happy that I was invited and was able to push myself out of the door.

Perhaps I am a party animal after all. Least once every ten years or so!!! Thank you, dear Ros for inviting me - I SO enjoyed it.

Oh, a PS to this post. Ros isn't a tatter and nobody there was either as far as I know!!! How's that for stepping out of my comfort zone!!!!!!

3 January 2009

Not going to share - yet!!

I may have the latest project finished by Monday.

My sister's going to be in town today and tomorrow and I'm out partying this evening so that'll give little time for finishing it off.

I'll post as soon as it's ready!!!! All I will say is that somebody in tat land is to blame for this one!!!! I'll say no more!!! No hints.

Just be prepared to be named and shamed!!!

2 January 2009

Well I never - 60!!

Before I forget!! I've added more bags to my Etsy shop!!!

I'm SUCH a happy tatter!!! I know it might sound a tad pathetic but I'm very happy to see that just before the end of 2008 60 people follow this blog by adding themselves as 'followers'!!! How cool is that?


I can't think it's my beauty (OK, who's that I can hear laughing!!!), my magnetic personality or my wit or talent. It must be because I'm good at talking to myself!!!


This blog is the best thing I've done (so far!!) since going online shortly after the birth of the Internet. It keeps me focused on the one hobby that keeps me sane!!! Tatting.


It might have been the 'second best' lace to me when I was 13 (I really, really, really wanted to learn bobbin lace) but it's given me a focus to my life.
Here are some of the things it's done for me.

Given me a cheap hobby when I only had a few shillings pocket money a week.

Stopped me from ever taking up smoking as my hands were always too busy holding a shuttle to hold a cigarette!!!

Given me a talking point throughout my schooling and whilst at Teacher Training College (also encouraged me to take a main course in Arts and Crafts).


When I was first married and very badly off it again gave me a cheap hobby (and the continuing incentive NOT to take up smoking when all around me were!!).

In my later years and, thanks to the Internet, tatting has given me the biggest boost. I am now able to share my ideas freely and without hassle. Well, only a little hassle!!!! Why does life get in the way so often?

I quickly found that I had to learn how to build a web site (OK, it's basic but it works!!) and then the total and unmitigated joy of meeting tatters via email and then groups.
Of course, the added bonus (icing on top) is then getting to meet many wonderful people 'in the flesh' at tatting meetings.

Thank you, blogger for the opportunity to share a bit of me and what I do.

1 January 2009

My new earwigs!!!

Remember the beady flowers and butterflies?

I've made some new earwigs with the butterflies now.

This idea of covering the finding and attaching the motif as you go has opened up a lot of ideas in the aged brain!!! I feel a few more earrings for my Etsy shop coming over me!!!


31 December 2008

Happy New Year to all in tat land!

My wish for the New Year to you is that I hope your shuttles never get lost, broken or even just put down in a 'safe' place! That you have plenty of thread, beads and time. Here's to the continuation of our addiction!!!!

I have two new patterns for you to start the new year with should you wish.

First of all there's Sally's Angel. This was the pattern that Riet taught at Palmetto tat days. I've actually added a slightly smaller version too. The reason it's called Sally's Angel is because my sister (Sally) nagged me for years to make her an angel!!!

Next there's the dangly flower which I finally got sorted and put on the site!! I didn't like this at first but finally realised that it does offer a wonderful potential to play with beads 'as you go'.

30 December 2008

The start of a new idea!!

First of all I must tell you that I've reduced the prices of some of my Etsy shop pieces. There, that's got the boring bit out of the way!!!

Now I am proud to announce the return of brain cell # 3!!!

This is just the start of a new idea. I'm hoping this is going to be a pretty little doo dah!!!
Not sure what I'll call it. I'm hopeless at naming my pieces and usually stick to simple basics.

This one does rather remind me of a windmill at the moment. Hmmm, perhaps 'Windmill' as in 'Windmills of my Mind'.

Before the purists out there write - I do know that windmills have four sails but this still reminds me of one. Perhaps I should claim that all windmills in tat land have six sails!!! The lyrics on the first two lines seem quite approriate for what might happen next with this one!!!


"Like a circle in a spiral, like a wheel within a wheel,
Never ending or beginning on an ever spinning reel ......."

28 December 2008

This is what I do 'for fun' when I'm not in 'design mode'!!!! I make things that I stash away for when I need a quickie gift!!!! The more I work this design the more I like it. I never like stuff when I've first done the patterns but have to 'mellow' to them!!!

What I'm working on at the moment is a new motif. I want/need to make a new celtic motif but whether it will get finished is another matter. I'll let you all know. I might have some pictures tomorrow - there again, I might not!!!!

I may well spend some time this afternoon working on two web pages. I need to finish off the dangly flower pattern and put another together. I'm just a tad lazy about making myself 'do' them lately!!!

27 December 2008

Christmas Day in my corner of tat land

Can you imagine what it's like to live in my little corner of tat land?

On Christmas Eve I finished off some earrings which I made using the beady flowers. To add the flower to the ear finding I used the Oren Bayan metallic thread which I bought off Lyn Morton of Tatting and Design. It's lovely to work with and just finishes these earwigs off a treat.

I used Marie's fast and easy way to make the split chain to cover the finding which sped things along well.


I spent part of the day doing some test tatting for a new book by Martha Ess. Below is a taster for you. Her next book is going to be a stonker. I've seen some of the designs and can't wait to try them all.



26 December 2008

Jealousy in tat land

I'm just about to be the cause of a lot of jealousy in tat land. I apologise in advance for bragging but I'm allowed to and whatever I say here will never be enough of a thank you to Carol.

The following pictures show what I received from my Secret Santa who is Carol Amich. There were so many goodies in the box it's hard to tell you all that was in there. Beads of all sizes and shapes, sweets, chocolates and a gorgeous bag.

BUT the two things which stood out most are the two Santa figures. I have seen them online but that NEVER prepares you when you get to see the real thing. There's a jingle Santa and another sweet little one who stands all on his own. These two guys are so tiny. I think that's what struck me most when I found them in the box. Tiny in their entirety but when you go looking for the stitches - they're impossible to see!!! Micro tatting, I think it should be called.

I can tell you all that these two guys are NOT going to be put away with the Christmas things EVER. They're going to live permanently in tat corner. I will find some way of hiding them from the dust and grime in our house but they're NOT going to go into hibernation!!! The leprechaun that Pamela sent me last year is still sitting in the same place as when he arrived. On the mantelpiece!!! I never put treasures like these away.

Thank you SO much Carol. Your talent amazes me along with your generosity.

24 December 2008

After a good night's sleep!!

The damage caused by our 'interesting' visitor of the night before last is not too bad. Damage has been done to the tiles on both parts of the roof and the guttering is hanging off. Just hope that if it rains the roof doesn't leak again. So as we may/will need to put in an insurance claim I rang to get the crime number from the police. Meanwhile we'd spotted an 'item of clothing' on a neighbour's roof and when two police arrived for my statement we told them about it and one of them got it down. Even he was surprised how high the roofs of our houses are!!!!

One thing I've learnt (although it's too late now!) and it's a piece of advice I will pass on to all in tat land is this. NEVER to swear at a guy on your roof!!! It's very odd having to sign a statement with your own bad language written down on it!!! So, hopefully tat's the end of tat!!! Wonder what excitement 2009 will bring!!!

I did do a little tatting yesterday afternoon. What I'm aiming for is to make earrings with the beady flowers. The pink one turned out WAY to big for the finding but the next one was fine, I think!!! I'm aiming to do another to match and then, by using the method of covering a cabon ring (Marie's fast and easy split chain method), cover the finding whilst attaching the flower at the same time. So much depends on the size of the beads. The pink ones are WAY too large although I did use 14 on the LBP whilst with the purple one I used 12. I think you can see the size difference on the scans!! The size of the beads and quantity are crucial if you want to make them fit in a ring!!!

23 December 2008

A birthday card

After a really bad night's sleep I'm not feeling too good today. Thank goodness it's a rare occurrence to wake in the night to a strange noise and then (when you've tracked it down to not being a break in in the house next door) find a man on your roof!!! What always surprises me in 'strange situations' is the way I react!!!

Having looked through the window and finding him there I knocked on the window to ask him what he was doing and how he'd got there!! He was obviously not trying to break in as he was making such a racket. My language was, shall I say, not very polite!! I rang the police and the guy disappeared after a further heated conversation through the window. We thought he'd fallen off the roof (our houses have high ceilings so you can imagine the drop!! Nick went to look in our yard to see while I went out the front and found his friends. The guy eventually got down (almost falling again) and ran off just before the police arrived. I didn't sleep after that incident which happened around four o'clock!!!

Anyway, here's a card I finished for my friend. I'm not very good at cards. I actually haven't got an 'eye' for them but I suppose I may improve!!!

21 December 2008

Talking to myself out loud!!

Tat land is a wonderful place. I love living here.

Yesterday (as usual) I went to check what was happening on my blog's dashboard where you can see the latest postings by those who you've chosen to 'follow'. I saw a rather nice Christmas candle there by Steph in Michigan. I thought to myself (sometimes I do think thoughts) that it looked familiar and trundled off to take a closer look.

Well, blow me down, it was one I'd done some years ago. It actually looks rather cool. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Steph for pointing out that the pattern was 'short of 2 beads' in the notation!!! Which, coming to think about it, bears some semblance to the fact that I'm definitely short of a few brain cells.

Now this leads me on further to wonder if brain cells could be replaced by beads and how much the operation would cost?
Answers on a small delica bead please to lovetotat @ gmail.com!!!

Yesterday evening I sat and stared at a drawing that Mark Myers had sent me as a suggestion for another way of doing 'beady' things like the flowers and butterflies. Sadly, though, I was too tired to get the fingers and brain coordinated to make a start. So instead I've started on a card for a very special friend. I'll show you that when it's done!!!

20 December 2008

I hate this!

I hate it when I've done something new and I can't show it!!!

I finished Carter the Carterpillar and Millie the Millipede and they 'look well' together. They look as if they've been partners for years!! Not sure what their relationship is but we won't go into that in case of embarrassment!!!

Yesterday evening I finished Carter - once I'd tracked down his prototype and realised how I'd made the original!!! It took some time but I also managed to make his hat too and again that got the 'Nick seal of approval'.

Yesterday afternoon I managed to start drawing up Millie who is 'similar but not the same' as Carter. I'm just agonising over what to call a technique as I'm not sure if it's out in tat land. I must consult the experts - Georgia, Mark and anybody else I can think of. Actually if anybody who is reading this would like to offer an opinion then I'd very much welcome it. I can send descriptions of what I'm doing and/or drawings - depending on if I get to do them today!!!!

19 December 2008

I'm not sure!

I'm not sure whether to show you what I'm working on at the moment!!

I'm back to working on ideas to submit to Palmetto tatters for their Tat Days next year (which will soon be 'later this year'). I'm dying to show you but I suppose I'd better not!!!


I'll tell you a bit about this one. Remember Millie the Millipede? Well she's now completely 'sorted'. She now has a hat and the much revered and much needed 'approval of Nick'!!!

I've decided that the caterpillar will be called Carter the Carterpillar! (please note the spelling is deliberate!!). I got part way through him last night but gave up when my eyes started to close. When I've got his body sorted then he's going to need a hat too!!!

18 December 2008

From flowers to butterflies

Well it had to happen!!! The old git's on a roll and brain cell # 3 is sticking around for now!!!

Here are the butterflies that I've done. BUT I may well do more with more wings. There's no end to the fun that can be had with this technique. Well, I'm having fun but then it's better than real life when you live most of it in tat land!!!

Ah, the destructions on how to make these
are here.

17 December 2008

As promised - double beaded picots!

Something new but SO ridiculously easy it beggars belief!!! How does brain cell # 3 manage it, I ask myself?

I've added this page to my web site so you can 'have a go' yourselves. Let the imagination run riot!!! SO, SO easy I'm not sure that somebody hasn't done it before!! If they have then they must've borrowed brain cell # 3!!

I will show you the butterflies I've made using this same technique tomorrow. I'm again hoping to get a diagram up showing how the beads are added to make those too.


16 December 2008

A teaser!!

I've got something really exciting to show - but not today!! Sorry but I want to get the technique page 'up and running' before I show you.

Suffice to say - I'm quite pleased with this idea and dying to share. Why can't I ever keep secrets or ideas to myself?!?!?

I see lots of potential for this idea and want to try something else out before I 'launch' it.


Keep your eyes on this blog!!!!

15 December 2008

Just playing around

Late last night I made this little flower.
Nothing startling and just using what was lying around in tat corner. I see a lot of potential in this. I'm going to research another way of 'doing' the beads too.

14 December 2008

A small sense of achievement

Thank you, rain. Thank you, rain!!! Because it was too wet to go walking yesterday I spent time working on the new dangly flower pattern. It's not hard or complicated but it is proving a nightmare to draw!!! I think it would be impossible to work without drawings!!

Another small step for tat land was made yesterday too. I managed to get back working on one of the patterns I've been playing with as an idea for lessons. I'm reasonably pleased with the result although a little more work might be needed on the body of this critter.

13 December 2008

Brain cell # 3 returned!!!

Yup, he came home just as I reached the ATM!!!!! What a relief!!! Money extracted from said machine and parted with shortly after!!!

I managed to meet and greet the new garage door, signed papers, got home late afternoon and then crashed with a gin and tonic followed by a glass and a bit of red wine.

So, no tatting but the future's looking rosy for new ideas. I feel the sap rising!!!!

12 December 2008

Teasing time!

Yesterday one of the last of the problems I've had over the past few weeks was solved when I bought a garage door!!! The excitement was intense (I joke!!!). On the way back from this wonderful adventure I had to visit the ATM to get cash to pay the guy tomorrow. Have you ever had a major brain freeze? Well I did yesterday while standing in front of the ATM. I forgot my pin number. Yup, totally and utterly forgot it!!!! Went to another machine with another card and again forgot the number. That machine swallowed my card. Bummer.

I blame the stress of the last few weeks and the fact that brain cell # 3 has been on his annual vacation!!!

Well, having said all that, I'm now going to show you something I'm working on. I would like to ask what you what this shape reminds you of. Don't worry about the 3 'odd looking' picots on the outside. They are there for a reason. This is just part of a pattern I'm working on!!!!

10 December 2008

Look what a Leprechaun sent me!

Look what came in the post yesterday. WOWWEEEEE. That is some stonkingly pretty thread. Can't wait to play with it.

The card is actually much 'goldier' than the scan shows.
LOVE the snowflake too. Now that I've scanned it on the card (handmade too) I'm going to take it off and (hopefully, if we find it!) put it on the tree. Which begs a question - where is our tree?

Thank you, Pamela Myers, my favourite Irish Leprechaun. Now, could somebody please send me some playtime?


9 December 2008

WOW

I can't remember when I saw this blog page but it must have been a week or so ago. My brain (ALL of the cells) went into turmoil. Can you imagine the work that went into these?

Yesterday I didn't tat at all. No, I'm not ill. Well, not in the normal sense of the word. I'm just SO lacking in sleep. The hassles I've had the last five weeks are slowly being resolved but each day or two another new 'worry' becomes a 'hassle' that has to be dealt with. By the beginning of this week all should be resolved, I sincerely hope!!!

I then want to return to some patterns that I've been playing with to submit for the Palmetto tat days next year. Hopefully this 'silly season' I've been going through financially too will finish and I'll be able to save up to take the trip over the pond. Meanwhile once brain cell # 3 is fully rested I will continue with documenting and putting the page together for the dangly flower. I've nearly got the drawings done and the text is sound. Putting the page together doesn't take too long but there's always one thing I don't like doing - adding the abbreviations. Don't ask why - it's just one of those things I avoid every time!!!

8 December 2008

Whooops!! I forgot!

When life eventually gets back to normal (hopefully before Christmas) then I may be able to remember things again!! What I forgot to mention is that I gave the new animal jacket an 'airing' at the Lace Fair. I was worried that it wouldn't be comfortable - but it was!!

Below is another of the flowery SCMR bookmarks that I finished yesterday evening. I'm actually starting to like it!!! I think it's because of the colours I've used this time.


7 December 2008

Meeting tatting friends etc!!!

Yesterday I went to the Lace Day which is held about twenty miles away from me. Being a nervous driver and a real 'home bird' my attendance at these types of events is quite rare!!!! BUT I needed to go and meet friends and LOOK AT threads, beads etc. Hmmm, did I say 'look'? My purse is now empty!!!

The meeting with friends was great. I met up with Jennifer Williams - the new chairman of the
Ring of Tatters, (also an excellent designer who hides her light under a bushel) and other friends - including one who nearly didn't get there - need I mention your name Eileen? Story goes that Eileen was still sound asleep when Jennifer and Julia went to pick her up. Wish I was sleeping so well lately, Eileen - can you give me some tips?

I also saw Pam Palmer - a lady who I admire greatly. I did drop a hint that we'd all love another book from her but ......... Keep your fingers crossed everybody.

Lyn Morton of
Tatting and Design along with her DH was there with her supplies and I bought some silver thread to make some wings with. She told me that her new book would be out next year. Not telling you any more as I love to tease!!!!

Roseground Supplies was also there with lots of goodies including some of the Coats Artiste range although I was really looking forward to seeing the range what I did see was disappointing (colour wise) apart from the variegated lavender which is really pretty.

Mary Helen - another supplier was there too. She doesn't have a web site but I can thoroughly recommend her - look in the Ring of Tatters newsletters for her details.


I took my Teri Dusenbury turtles to show off and they were much admired. By the way, mentioning Teri, have you visited her blog lately? Well worth seeing what she's up to. Teri's recommended c-lon thread for tatting with and I found some at the Fair. Can't wait to try it out.

Yes, I did buy more thread and a few beads too. Well, a girl (translate that to old git!!!) has got to have fun, hasn't she?
When I finally got home (via picking up a lawnmower and meeting my sister) I was WAY too tired to tat. I hope to start sleeping again soon so that I can get back to finally uploading the 'dangly flower' pattern and other stuff!!!

6 December 2008

I apologise

I apologise for the break in blogging!! I love my blog as it's a way of keeping me 'on track'. As I've said before (I'm SO darn boring) life has been a bit hectic, expensive and worrying lately. Another week and that should be finished. I like to be in control of my life like most people, but I do hate being in the situation when I'm forced into making instant decisions, the consequences of which are somewhat unknown!

So, in order to relax (who am I kidding?) I've been making bookmarks as I love to have something useful to give away.

I'm off to the Lace Fair in a few minutes so I'll probably have lots to tell tomorrow!!!

4 December 2008

A playmate for Millie

This is Millie's playmate - a caterpillar!!

Now this poor soul hasn't been named yet but brain cell # 3 and Nick are both working hard trying to think of one for this wee chap. I think it's male. I would appreciate any help with this problem from anybody out there in tat land!

Two names that have come to mind are Cedric Caterpillar and Peter Pillar but neither are quite right. I think he needs a hat too so please keep watching to see if they get hats!!! I have written the text for these two patterns but still have to do the techniques to go with them and the drawings. Doubt if that will get done for a while as life is still pretty hectic. There is light at the end of the tunnel though and I hope the big hassle will finish on the 12th. I DO hope so!!!! Lack of sleep isn't doing me any favours either!!

3 December 2008

Let me introduce

Before I start the daily ramble and before I forget - I'd like to tell you that I've just reduced the prices of some of the items (Christmassy ones!) in my Etsy shop.

Now - allow me to introduce you to Millie. She's the latest arrival in my small corner of tat land. Millie the Millipede arrived yesterday evening. She asks you to excuse her dress sense as she didn't have the right colours on shuttles close to hand to show herself off at her best!!!! I actually think she needs a hat too. I've only posted a small picture as a 'teaser'. I'm adding her to my portfolio (doesn't that sound posh!) of patterns I'll be submitting for a teaching post at the Palmetto tatters tat days next year. She needs a friend so watch this space!!!

Seriously. I've been re-visiting some stuff I did in 2000. This was after a discussion with Joanie Culverhouse who reminded me about the celtic picot (or overlapping picot) butterfly and bug which I did back then. They were once on my site but have somehow got missed out during several re-incarnations of the pattern pages!!!

So, after a good night's sleep the night on Monday and another hectic day organising stuff I was able to settle down to play again yesterday evening. Millie is the result!!!!

2 December 2008

Well, I'm sorry

I've let everybody down by not having anything to report about what's happening in my little corner of tat land!!!!

Trouble is I've had so much happening in my 'ordinary' life and haven't been sleeping very well because of that! On Sunday and yesterday my main concerns were winning the 'battle of the large shrub'. Armed with secateurs on Sunday and two saws yesterday I'm pleased to report that the wretched thing has been tamed. Tamed almost to death. Why is it that plants seem to always grow in the wrong place and far too vigorously when you don't want them to and when you do they just shrivel up and die? Answers please in the comments section - perhaps we'll solve the problem together!

The only tatting related things I've done over the past few days are sewing the dinosaurs I made onto the dressing gown they were made for yesterday evening and getting in a total mess with an old pattern I decided to re-visit. I think this old pattern could prove a good teaching point for lessons but I've got to tame the silly thing first!!! I hope to have another 'bash' at it this evening - brain cell # 3 permitting, of course.

30 November 2008

How silly can you get?

I've always known the expression 'as silly as a sheep' and now I understand it all too well.

Baaaa, baaaa, baaaa. It's me - I'm as silly as a sheep!!!

The Christmas lights in town are all switched on which is a sure signal to me that the dreaded Christmas is almost here. Particularly dreaded this year as I've got so much else to be sorted and settled before then.

Anyway, I noticed the lights on Friday and said to myself (the only person who listens to me!) that I must get out my Christmas 'self' decorations - my Christmas tree earrings and matching brooch out and in use. WRONG. I realised that I hadn't got a set for myself so I spent Friday and Saturday evenings making a set!!! All the ones I've made are either in the Etsy shop or ready to give to people!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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