27 April 2009

Two more bags

I dragged myself away from the computer yesterday for long enough to finish these two bags!! The print is of bobbins which is one that I love. I've only got enough for these two bags - I think. Must check that!!!

I started them on Thursday but time and tide waited for no man (nor me either!).

I'm getting more and more excited about the tatting design I'm working on at the moment but I'm NOT giving any clues - yet!!! I think I might be able to make a sort of challenge/game out of part of it too. That's the reason I was spending SO long on the computer yesterday - I want to make the drawings VERY clear so that most people can make it/them/whatever!!!

I HATE not sharing - just isn't in my nature!!!

26 April 2009


Yesterday I wore these earrings for the first time when I did something a little 'naughty'. I made them about two years ago and they've been in a box since so had never been worn before.

I did something VERY brave yesterday - I gatecrashed a 'do' which I thought I ought to have been invited to!!!

I was greeted with great big hugs and had a FINE time talking to people - some of whom I hadn't seen for forty years!! Everybody to whom I spoke thought I should have been invited.

Moral of the story? Don't exclude Jane from things as she'll turn up anyway!!!! The proverbial 'bad egg'!!!!!!

25 April 2009

More of the past

When I was looking through the ancient suitcase the other day I came across these two necklaces. I've never worn them and can't for the life of me think why I made them either!!!!

24 April 2009

The cat is out of the bag!!

First of all I can let the cat out of the bag!! I only knew last weekend but was sworn to secrecy. Something which I find difficult. I've always been able to keep other people's secrets (years of being a teacher saw to that) but NEVER my own!! Mine just don't seem important enough.

Now I can give you this link so you can see MY secret.

I've found out where
this motif came from which means I must've done it a looooong time ago as it's from the Penelope Book 3, page 4 bottom right!!! This is the book-:

I gave up using these leaflets many years ago when they started falling to bitsl!! I've now got them all scanned and saved onto the computer which means I don't have to get them out and if I want to make the odd pattern then I just print the page!!!

23 April 2009

Happy Birthday to you!

Happy Birthday? What a pointless wish when the person you're talking about has been dead for more than four hundred years!!! Still, happy birthday, Shakespeare and happy St. George's day to all my fellow Englishmen and women!!!

Right, that's got that out of the way! Back to business.

This the first proper finished bag and I'm VERY pleased with it. Thanks to a tip from my friend Aileen over the inside pockets, it's turned out very well. Below are the pictures.

I stiffened the base with some very thick vilene which is washable and dry cleanable. I stitched it onto the bottom of the base so that it won't 'shift' between that and the lining. The holes for the ribbons to run through are double buttonhole stitched too. Inside you can see the pockets. Those have worked brilliantly.

The first picture of the closed bag does contain the scissors which fit in just brilliantly. More (I might add) by good luck than by good judgement. I think my scissors are slightly longer than usual - I'll check that out later.
Now I need to work up a few more so that I can work out prices.

I've got some fabric with sewing notions on and (I think!) some with lace bobbins too. They'll be my next task. Once I've made a few then I'll know how long they take to make. If I charged according to the first one then I'd be overcharging as it takes hours of mithering to get the pilot one made!!!

22 April 2009

Times gone by!

The other day I found a suitcase I'd forgotten about!!! This is full to the brim with old tatted pieces of mine. It's not a huge suitcase and most of the stuff was made for exhibition purposes or just for fun.

I'm going to show you a few of the things I found while I wait for the finish of the first bag!! Actually, it's nearly finished but I had SO many interruptions yesterday it never 'quite' got there!!

Today I'm showing some coasters I made about 15 years ago. I tried to sell these in a local handicraft shop but they didn't sell. I think this was mainly because I asked a realistic price for them of probably around £1.00 an hour of my time!!! Nothing changes - handmade goods just don't get the prices they should do!!!

I've no idea where the pattern is from but the thread is number 20.

21 April 2009

I'm SO excited

What is the saying? Little things please little minds? That's me. A (not so little) thing with a little mind. I love it when inspiration hits me and makes me excited.

Remember I was going to make a new 'line' in bags? Well I looked and looked online for ideas but couldn't find any that I really, really liked. I thought of a Dorset bag and then cried off as they are bulky when finished and not all that suitable for popping in another bag. In the end I decided on a Dolly bag which would be something like this.

The first three pictures below show the first trial one. I like it a lot but don't love it - YET!!! It's just the right size but if you look at the third picture which is looking down onto the inside (incidentally it should show as navy blue) you can see I put a pocket right across the middle. This is fixed and could be useful but I DON'T like it!!!

In the last picture below that you can see the next idea in progress. The bag will look the same as the first one BUT this is going to be a sure winner, I think. The last picture is showing the lining and how I will put small 'pockets' on the inside of the bag.

If people have got time and inclination to let me know what else they carry in a tatting bag then I will incorporate it into the lining. I can go no further until brain cell # 3 makes the final decision.

Oh, I'll also be putting some stiffener into the base of the bag so that it stands firmly on it's butt!!!

Oh, before I go and get on with the day. Please go and visit my sister's new blog for more tatting.

19 April 2009

Crochet bag

Do you know - I forgot to show you this bag I made!!

Many, many years ago I inherted a wee shopping bag from either my gran or an aged aunt. It was a dear and useful little bag which I'm sure I've still got somewhere in this house of horrors!!! (Horrors because this house HIDES things when you start looking for them).

Anyway I noticed a pattern for making one on Talking Crochet (fabulous online magazine that I subscribe to) last year and so when I found time a few weeks ago I decided to make one. I think it's a dear little bag and I really enjoyed making it. Here are a few pictures.

The only problem I had with it was 'translating' it into English English as it was written in American English!!! I found a great conversion chart and used that. Wonder how it happened that we both got to differ on crochet terms? Interesting question but not one I'm willing to follow up!!! Here's one conversion chart but I can't find the original I used and it's time to go and have a shower!!!

17 April 2009

When WILL I learn?

When will I learn to keep my BIG MOUTH SHUT????

these small motifs that I made for my mate? Well now the sewing machine's out again and back being 'busy' I remembered that I'd offered to make the buttonholes for the dress she's made. No probs.

Jacqueline duly delivered the dress on Wednesday afternoon and we discussed where the buttonholes were going and how many. Four. Just four buttonholes. NO PROBLEM. Did I say 'no problem'?

Yesterday afternoon I decided that I'd do these four buttonholes before deciding on the testing of a new tat bag. Hmmmmm.
I carefully measured out where they were going and did the first top one. Stand back, Jane, take a look. Slightly but oh so slightly 'out'. Perhaps nobody else would've noticed but I did.

So I settled down to unpick. As I'd 'double stitched' it this took ages (why did Jacqueline get such a superbly matching sewing thread?!?!?!). Job done.

More measuring and off again. This time I wasn't happy with it as it appeared to have a 'slant' towards the top. BUMMER.
I decided to leave it for a while and do the other three.

They were absolutely NO problem at all so then I went back to number 1, unpicked it and finally (there's truth in the saying 'third time lucky') the buttonhole was up to standard.
Job done. Just shows that when brain cell # 3 decides to have an afternoon nap then nothing goes right!!!!

16 April 2009

I am pleased to announce

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

Goodness knows where he's been for his vacation but I think he got burnt out getting the Palmetto submission patterns done!!

Anyway, he's back and a tentative start has been made on a new design. NO, I'm not sharing as I go this time. You're gonna have to wait!!! There will not be a break in the blog (I hope!) as I'll try to have other things to share. This next one is going to be a 'biggie' in that it'll need lots of re-tats to get it drop dead right. Even then there are bound to be mistakes - I wouldn't be me if there weren't!!!

A clue? Hmmmmm, no, not yet.

15 April 2009

More bookmarks

Yesterday I found time to list some of the new poke proof pouches in my Etsy shop - the shuttle and pansy fabric ones.

Well it was SO funny. I finished listing (which takes me quite a time as I'm easily distracted) and went straight downstairs to make a cup of tea. When I got back upstairs again with the tea I found one of them had already sold!!! No, I didn't drop the tea but it was a close thing!!

These bookmarks are from my sister. She made them following Jane's pattern.
I asked what threads she'd used and she said they were old fine ones which she doubled up. Aren't they just SO pretty?

14 April 2009

Finished shirt

I actually sewed on the butterflies as well as the edging. I'm SO proud of myself.

I really had to do this before I lost the butterflies in tat corner!!!

I put one butterfly on the front of the shirt and the other on the sleeve!! How does that grab you?!?!?

13 April 2009


At last I've finished. What, you may ask! I bet nobody noticed except me. I'll explain.

A few weeks ago I had major problems with accessing one of the web sites I use to keep my pages on. For some reason I couldn't 'see' the files on the site when using an ftp. Eventually I started asking them questions about the problem and was told very early on that they had been working on it. I kept on asking over the following week but until five days had passed I had no answer and no connection.
Finally Nick decided that enough was enough and that he was going to 'ditch' that isp.

I then changed all the links on all pages to reflect this. THEN it was suggested by a.n.other tatter that it would be a grand idea to have larger pictures so I got brain cell # 3 out of the trash can and dusted him off. I worked out how to do this and thus started another two weeks of slowly changing the pages. I'm SO glad they're done now.
Most have large pictures of the finished pieces on links.

I've also added another page showing how to work the 'alternative' Josephine Ring.

By the way, this is the isp I'm now using. The other one will work for a while longer but hasn't the new enlarged pictures on it.

12 April 2009

Finished another shirt

Yesterday I finished another tshirt. I think it's been pimped enough!

I'll take a photo today but meanwhile here are two butterflies which will go onto it - when I remember!!!

There's a link to the pattern if you click the word 'butterflies'!!!! Nearly forgot to mention that!!!

11 April 2009

New pouches

I finally got two more pouches finished yesterday. Where does the time go?

These are made (as you can see!) in the lighter coloured fabric.

Now all I've got to do is find the bag sealer, print some inserts, pack them up, photograph them again and then list them in Etsly. Doesn't sound a lot but I keep letting myself get distracted!!!!

Next project will be some 'ornery' bags for which I've got some bobbin type fabric and a few more ideas brewing!!!


10 April 2009

Not a lot else!!!!

Before I say anything else and in answer to people's comments of yesterday I'd like to say that I rarely pre-wash a tshirt before adding the tatting!!! Downright laziness and also the fact that I usually buy Lands End clothes when I get to the USA. I rely on their excellent quality to allow me to not pre-shrink!!! That's my excuse!!!!

Now, rarely do I post anything not craft related but this I must share!!!

Youngest daughter and family came back from a holiday in Florida to find that their new cat, who adopted them two months ago, had caused concern while they were away!! She'd put on a lot of weight. I must add here that DD and SIL live right out in the sticks and the cat wasn't claimed by anyone despite extensive enquiries.

On her first day back at work my DD rang the vet to make arrangements for the cat to be spayed.

Following morning they awoke to find this in the cat's bed!!!!

Just heard that 36 hours later another kitty was born!!!

Here's another picture

9 April 2009

Another edging

I've started another edging for another t shirt!!

Again I've used a number 80 variegated thread with a plain yellow quilting one.

This time I've just 'adapted' the daisy necklace pattern. I'm sure I've seen something similar somewhere that others have done so unless I hear otherwise this won't get 'published' as a pattern.

I have a confession to make! I'm just too lazy to go and look for patterns either in any of my books or online!!! There, that's over with - I now have a clear conscience for a while!!!

8 April 2009


This is what I'm doing at the moment.

Customizing (I love the word 'pimping' but it has other connotations which may upset some people) my t shirts!!

I'm a boring sort of person in that I like plain clothes .....

Thread I've used? Hmmm number 80 or thereabouts (one orange/yellow, and the other green/green) both variegated and both run alongside a plain orange and green machine quilting thread. I love the effects you get from these combos.

The colours change so subtly which is something I'm not - subtle!!!!

7 April 2009

Two things to talk about today!

Yesterday my copy of Martha's new teapot book arrived. I've just GOT to make the 3D set. It shouted out 'make me' in a very loud voice the minute I opened the book.

Thank you, Martha, for the dedication in the front of the book. I must tell you guys that Martha has dedicated the book to me. She's a naughty lass as she knows darn well that we have both learnt a terrific lot of things off each other.

I noticed yesterday that I've got a new follower on this blog.
What is MOST amusing is that Ginny has used the crab that I designed as her image/photo/icon or whatever blogger calls it. I did have a giggle. Thanks for cheering me up, Ginny!

6 April 2009

I've started!

I've actually got started on the poke proof pouches!!!

2 down and ??? to go.

I think I've got enough fabric for 16 which is great.

Guess what? I'd forgotten how I'd made them. I have to do them in a certain 'order' or there would be stitching showing on the outside and that wouldn't be very good. Here are the first two. The next two will be made in the lighter fabric.

4 April 2009

Confession time!!

Just before Christmas I spent a whole load of money on something which I never got the benefit from. I mean several thousands of pounds!!

A couple of weeks ago we finally decided to make the trip over the pond. By this time I realised that I couldn't face carrying all my heavy electronic 'stuff' as carry on luguage so have 'invested' (no, treated!) myself to a new camera and Itouch. How's that? Confession made.

So, I needed a case for the Itouch (already have a decent camera case which will double up as an everything case when we're out and about) so this is what I made for my new 'toy'. I made another for Nick with a belt loop on the back but I prefer just a hook.

Wonder whether I should make any for the Etsy shop? I've used the same lining inside as the poke proof pouches so that the whole toy is well protected.

3 April 2009

What about?!?!?

What about poke proof pouches in this shuttle/pansy fabric?

I'm going to make some out of these two samples!!! This will be a 'limited edition'.


Well, simply because that's all the fabric I have!!! I may have enough for 12 at the moment and won't be getting/buying anymore (IF I can find anymore) unless those 12 sell. Not only a 'credit crunch' but a 'fabric crunch'!!!

2 April 2009

All is revealed

The name of the lady I showed two days ago is Jennifer Williams. Now to tell you a bit about her.

She lives in Wales.
Her main 'claim to fame' nowadays is that she's the Chairman of the Ring of Tatters.

Now to get personal. Jennifer is a slim lady with a surfeit of energy. Spend a short while in her company and you'll find out!!! She has a bubbly personality and she laughs a lot.

What you may not know about Jennifer is that she's a stonking good designer but she's one who tends to hide her light under a bushel. BUT I think we'll be seeing more of her patterns soon both in the Ring's Newsletter and other places too.

Jennifer trained as a teacher and nowadays does lots of workshops around the UK.

She has recently taught a weekend residential
course on tatting here. Hopefully this will lead to more at this venue and others. Although her main love is tatting this lass also does many, many other crafts too.

31 March 2009

Just playing!!!

Guesses are still coming in about who the lady is on yesterday's post so I'm going to keep that a secret until tomorrow!!!!

This is what I've been doing (on and off) for the past few days. It's NOT a necklace before anybody asks!!!! There's still more to do but time will tell if it gets finished!!!

This is one of my patterns but one which I've altered slightly.

The reason for the change is I wanted a more 'substantial' edge to it and also, because I've been working in two threads run parallel together on the shuttle, I found it hard to do the CTJ joins. Those vsp's just got too fiddly when 2 threads are involved!! Instead of this I put a chain in to carry me back to the side I needed to be on!!!

IF it's worth writing the alterations up then I'll do it sometime!!!!!

30 March 2009

Another 'guess who'

OK, I'm really, really going to make you work today. I'm just not going to tell who this is. Well, not for a day or so until everybody who wants to has had a chance to guess!!!

It's somebody I think you will have heard of.

Please don't add your guess to the comments but send directly to me at lovetotat @ gmail.com - just so I can find out who gets it right and so that nobody else can cheat!!!

Wonder who'll be first???!!! Once the cat's out of the bag I'll add more about this lady below the picture or on another post.
Meanwhile ............................

28 March 2009

Still thinking bags

Thanks for your comment, Maureen. I've been thinking about making 'ordinary' drawstring bags too. In fact somewhere I've got a couple of 'trials' I made towards the end of last summer. Must dig them out and have another look at them.

I'm going to make some poke proof pouches - 'stand alone' with no matching roly poly bags. The reason? I've got some fabric with a shuttle print on!!! What could be better, eh?

Meantime I am still tatting and crocheting but I'm not working on anything new at the moment. Just enjoying tatting for the sake of tatting!! I think I'm burnt out after working on Palmetto Tat Days submissions!!!

27 March 2009

Still talking bags!

This is a pretty bag.

I do love it and because I love it so much - with my heart - I decided to 'pimp my bag'!!!!

I used this pattern and here are the results!! First of all the two hearts I made. Finally the results of marrying the bag and the tatting.

To those who asked whether there were compartments in this bag the answer is no!! It's only a small bag and I felt that putting in divisions would limit what I wanted to pop in there! Of course the answer is to make a smaller bag or two to put in the bag!!!!

Time will tell whether this actually 'happens' or not!!

The 'white thing' at the bottom is a toggle thingy which lets you alter the length of the strap. Sometimes I carry a bag just on my shoulder, other times over my head too. I even carry them as a 'hand bag' on occasions. This toggle gives me the opportunity to change the length!! Clever, eh?

26 March 2009

The sewing machine is out!

Another Spring and out come the daffodils, tulips, flowers galore AND my sewing machine!!

I'm still thinking about bags!! I still have some roly poly tat bags in my Etsy store but want a new 'line'. This is one I'm thinking about. I've made this as a small bag to carry with me when I go on my afternoon walk around the river and back up through the town. Sometimes I need to pop into shops and get 'stuff' so need to have either a bit of cash or my credit card holder with me.

This is what I made this bag for but now I see many possibilities. Particularly for carrying tatting things.

IF anybody reading this post thinks it might be a useful addition to a craft worker's 'bag collection' I'd appreciate their comments. If not this could be the one and only one ever made!!!

25 March 2009

Well, well, well

Now I know what grabs Nick's attention!!! Not a lot does phase him but yesterday (thanks to Wally) he 'sat up and took interest' when he picked up the post from behind the front door!!!

Why was he suddenly so interested? Well it's not every day of the week that a package arrives from Egypt!!! That really, really foxed him!!!

What had Wally sent? Well here are just a few of the wonderful butterflies she sent for the Ring of Tatters bookmarks. Aren't they just sweet? I've seen them on her blog but they're even better in real life.

Wally also sent me some sequins to play with too. THANKS, Wally.

This got me thinking (brain cell # 3 returned for a short visit). I wonder where the bookmarks finally finish up? Most likely in households in the UK - but I wonder. Wouldn't it be interesting to know where the furthest one has finally go to?

Totally off topic here but I had to laugh when I saw this clip from YouTube. I sent the link to my Welsh friend! I guess there are people all over Wales laughing at this now!!!

24 March 2009

Another 'Guess Who'

I doubt anybody reading this blog will know who this is!! She's one of the Ring of Tatter's best kept secrets.

She and her hubby (Adrian) are the force behind the Ring's website which is here. Not often seen in public but I do have permission to blog her!!!!

Her name? Sally Magill.

This was one of the photos I took at the exhibition but I didn't post earlier until Sally had seen the photo. I think this sums her up really well. She's always smiling.

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Happy Beaks

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