30 September 2009

Palmetto pictures

I'm not going to show you many 'normal' pictures of tat days - mainly because I didn't take many 'normal' ones!!

Each time I'm lucky enough to go I make a pact with myself to take pictures of my students.  Trouble is I get so involved with the teaching that I forget!!  Always want to put too much into a short time.

Anyway, I digress as usual.

The first picture I want to show you is of my winnings after the corn hole game!!!  This is the link to that post.

Pam and Jerry Freck kindly presented me with the popcorn (DIY variety) and the lovely scarf.  I can't wait to get back over to play again.

Thanks must go to Joanie Culverhouse who actually put up with me at her house.  I'm not much of a guest as I'm so distracted by the hummingbirds and the other birds that she feeds.  Joanie - you're a star.

29 September 2009

One of my favourite tatting tools.

A few years ago I discovered this type of safety pin - a coilless (or, coil less!!) one.  It's about 2 1/4" long and doesn't have that 'bit at the end' where you always get the threads either caught or on the 'wrong side'!!!

I now cannot tat without them!!!  I'll show you  why and what I use them for.

Firstly I use them to hold bits and pieces!!!  These are the small centres of motifs, tiny butterflies and anything which might otherwise get lost down the side of the chair.

Secondly I use them to make a very small picot space.  It's not really a gauge but it's sometimes useful just to 'mark the place' of a vsp  (very small picot) which might otherwise lose itself!!  Sometimes they do that if you put a vsp at the base of a chain or even sometimes when working block tatting.

Thirdly I use it to 'hold' beads on a very long picot.  It leaves enough of a space at the end to enable a join (later) which is very useful.  In the 'To Bee or Not to Bee' pattern which I taught at Palmetto it not only held the beads at the end of the first very long picot in the tail - it also held all the others too.  This meant that I only needed one 'holder' for the entire tail - fewer safety pins/paperclips to get muddled up!!!

Finally I use it for this trick.  It's a neater way of making the first split ring after a ring (when CTM can't be ued) - OR of adding in a 3rd shuttle  like when making Millie and Carrrter which were two patterns I taught at Palmetto tat days!!

You add the second thread whilst working the first ring.  Just put the safety pin on the end of shuttle 2, hold both shuttles together and work a few doubles to cover both the ends.  (See below).  Now, of course, you can do this without the safety pin but I used to pull that short end out time after time by mistake.

When you're ready to start the second side of the following SR you can pull the shuttle up so that the safety pin lies next to the ring.  Don't take it off until you've worked the SR and then tug it before cutting and the end will hide itself in the ring. 

PS you can buy these in the USA - here's a link.  http://tinyurl.com/y8vpsy2 
I ordered mine online in the UK.

28 September 2009


Before I start my morning's ramble I must tell anybody who drops in that I've started listing the bags (and some tatting) in Etsy again.  

Just realised after my post yesterday that I'd actually not put that edging on my web page!!!  Thanks to Maureen too for checking!!!

Then I also remembered that a heart I did for a few special people hadn't been 'made public' either!!!  So, please take a look.  You may not be really interested but as I'd got nothing much else to say today then I'm sorry - tat's the end of tat!!!

Oh, here's a picture of the heart - good practice for the 'other' way of closing a SCMR!!!

27 September 2009

Handkerchief edging - finished AND sewn on!!

'They' say that miracles never happen.  Well, here in my small corner of tat land they sometimes do!!!

I not only finished the handkerchief edging but I also sewed it onto the cotton.  Actually I hand sewed the hanky itself a few months ago.  These 'blanks' were a batch I bought probably twenty years ago and they were machine sewn and not straight.  Well, not to my eye!!!

I cut off the excess round the woven section where the weft and warp were slightly whiter and hemmed them up along the outer 'line' of white.  I used white sewing thread for this. 

However to add the edging I used invisible thread - known by me as 'nightmare' thread!!!!!  Still, keeps an OG out of mischief!!!

I'll check later to see if the pattern is already on my pattern pages.  Not sure as it's been a long time since I last 'inspected' that area of my life!!

26 September 2009

All's well that ends!!!!

Finally finished sorting out the cupboard. Here are some pictures!!

First of all the top shelf.  Not a lot of interest here!!

Next shelf down.  This is the thread shelf and there are more behind the ones you can see.  I've stored them according to colour and mostly they're size 20.

Down one more.  Here are the number 80 threads and a lot of other odds and ends.

Now down one more to the bead section.  This is a close up of the back of the shelf so that you can see my neat labeling!!!

This is a view of the whole shelf with a container (that big one on the left) full of bangles and 'stuff').   Below that picture is a picture of the other beads returned in front of the labeled ones.  I know what's in these - a mixture of 11's in most colours.


Finally at the bottom you can see the sewing section.  

25 September 2009

About to find freedom!!!

Just another hour or so and the task of tidying up will be complete - today!!!  I'll be so glad to get it all done - I'm NOT tidy by nature - I'll take photos when it's all done.

Yesterday I spent part of the time unpacking the cupboard again.  Yup, that's right - unpacking!!!!  I took everything out again and labeled each container.  This meant several trips upstairs to the 'office' where the computer and printer is - to type and print labels for each box.  I put one label on the top and one on the side.

I also managed half an hour or so out in the sun cutting up two beaded belts.  Least I guess that's what they were in the first place.  My lovely neighbour gave them to me a few months ago and I've only just got round to 'sorting' them.  One was lilac and the other was brown.  Love re-cycling beads!!! 

I've also finished off (needs sewing on) a handkerchief edging which I 'sort of' worked on while we were away.  I need to have something to do but which doesn't involve beads when young kids are around.  The hanky was my 'task' this time.   Not sure if this one's on my web site or not - must check!!!!  It's another 'one pass' type of edging.

All my lessons are now 'un-done' and packed away - apart from one piece which I will finish.  I'll explain.

When I plan lessons I try to get the techniques and difficult parts over in the first half hour or so.  I work up the pieces to several different stages so that I'm prepared if a student gets 'stuck' anywhere.  This involves several shuttles and beads at 'odd' stages.  I rarely ever finish them off when I get home!!  I unwind (or use up) the odd amounts on shuttles and re-stash the beads.  Apart from one which I hope to finish off tonight!!!  I'll show you!!!

24 September 2009


Foolishly and rashly I promised myself a big tidy up of my tatting cupboard when I got back from the trip.  BOY, that was a foolish thing to do!!!  I've been trapped for two days!!!

I started two days ago.  I delved into the 'middle' room where the cupboard is and started.  I'd got lots and lots of tins and containers with beads and bits and 'stuff' in.  All these came out for 'sorting'.  It's a long way down to the floor and a long way up again when you need a cup of tea or a pee.

I think I've got it done now - nearly.  Next will be the drawer in tat corner and labels on each container!!!!  Hmm, it'll be another day or two until I escape!!

It's been several years since this sort of massive tidy up was last done.  So pleased with myself.  I'll take pictures when it's finished. 

23 September 2009

Something wonderful happened when I got to Tat Days.

You can imagine the preparation it takes to pack to leave home for six weeks.  Not only to spend time at the original destination but also to take 'side trips' to two others too!!!

Thus I arrived in the USA having left the most important thing behind.  No, not Nick, the passports or the presents but - brain cell number 3.

How on earth I did that beggars belief but I did!!!  I managed for the first few weeks but as Tat Days approached I began to get REALLY nervous and worried.  My life was passing by around me - rather like when you're drowning!!!

However, all was put right when Martha approached me on the Thursday evening with - yes, you've guessed - a brain cell.  Not ANY old brain cell but the MISSING one.   Thanks, Martha.  I'd never have got through tat days without him.

22 September 2009

Next out of the case!!!

Now you all know that I'm not exactly slim or young or small.  That's why you'll be surprised to see these wee socks.

These are shuttle holders knitted by Gail Owens - not for me to wear!!!!  She was the other kidnapper (along with Gina)!!!  There's no way I'm going to use these for my shuttles.   They're way too pretty to hide away.  I'm going to add them to my table lamp where all my treasures are hanging.

Next there are two scissor protectors.   These two came from Tat days and I've a sneaky feeling that they were made by Gina Butler!!!! I'm guessing at this as in my package from Bobbie Demmer there was a scissor holder. 

I'm a bit of a Sherlock Holmes and have put two and two together and made - twenty six!!  I can't add up either!!!

21 September 2009

First things out of the suitcase!!!!

These are the first things out of my suitcase!!!

The reason?  Well they were with my earrings that I wear regularly so were a priority to unpack!!!

Remember when I was kidnapped by Gina and Gail?  We not only swopped ideas and gossip we also exchanged gifts. 

This is a pair of earwigs that Gina gave me.  I'll get to the rest over the next few days, I hope!!!

20 September 2009

Back in the UK!!!

Just to let y'all know that I'm home and cheerfully settled in my weee corner of tat land!!! 

How could anybody escape to another country and leave tat corner so untidy?  Takes an expert like me to do that!!!

So, as from tomorrow it's back to consistent blogging.  Hope to get to unpack tomorrow so I can show you my goodies!!!

16 September 2009

The joys of travelling!

I'll post all about Tat Days when I get home to the UK - probably starting on Sunday or Monday.  Meanwhile I need to tell you about the Atlanta hub and my 'fun' yesterday!!!
Last time I flew from Cincinnati to Columbia I was able to get direct flights.  This time I got one direct and one with a change - in Atlanta. 
Anybody who knows me knows that I'm not a confident driver but as I leave all that to the pilot when flying I'm not too nervous about this form of travel.  
So, yesterday all was going well.  Joanie took Hope and I to the terminal in Columbia - this hub is more like a village bus stop than an airport.  Small friendly and we were in plenty of time.  Thanks Joanie.  My flight was on time too for take off.  We were pushed back and taxied out to the runway.  OK, this is when it got complicated!!!  The pilot announced that he was turning down the engines as there was a storm at Atlanta and we were going to be delayed by half an hour!  
We got to Atlanta (terminal C) with five minutes to spare for my turnaround.  IF we'd been on time I'd have had 50 minutes.  So I dashed (aka wobbled) my way via the train to A32 which was the furthest gate in A - to find the flight had gone!!!  Found a Delta desk and re-booked for another flight and was told to go to C something (another trip on the train).  Tried to phone Cincinatti and my mobile wouldn't connect!!!  When I got to the gate I found that they'd re-directed me back to Columbia and then onwards to Cincinnati!!!  I found a help desk where I could phone a Delta rep who put me on a flight late in the evening and also on standby for an earlier one - after I'd said no way was I going back to Columbia!!!!  Back to terminal A (train again!!) to await standby.
Best part was that I got a seat on the earlier flight.  There were at least 10 of us on standby and when I spoke to another 'standbyer' I found that the flight had been overbooked by 23!!!!
Finally got home to Cincinnati about 4 hours later than expected.  
One last remark about the experience.  Delta staff were incredibly helpful and Atlanta is drop dead easy to find your way around.  Has it put me off flying?  NO WAY!!!!  A cool adventure and great confidence builder for an OG like me!!!

14 September 2009


Just dropping in to say that there's more of the TIAS on the Palmetto site here!!! 
If you buy the CD from the 'gals' at Palmetto you'll be able to work the TIAS in parts as if you were really there.  Mind, it doesn't come with chocolate, laughter and all the vending items (how did the Lacemaker from Ohio get it all there?) that we had - but it would be great fun to work. 
I'm still in SC and having such a great time winding down from Tat Days.

When I finally get home to the UK I will be broke (please drop in and say thanks for all I've done to support the American economy!), tired but very happy.  I'm looking forward to getting back into my little corner of tat land only because brain cell number three (remind me to tell you about Martha Ess!!) is dying to get back to work.  I'm not - but he is!!!!

12 September 2009

A quick report from Palmetto Tat Days

I know this blog is all about tatting but on this rare occassion I'm going to break that rule and mention something that isn't tatting related!! Well, not really.

Here in South Carolina at Palmetto Tat Days (and after a busy day yesterday) I was wandering to bed and noticed a game going on in a corridor. I wanted to watch but soon got 'pulled into' the game. The game is called Corn Hole.
OK, this is a game where you stand and throw a wee bag of corn into a hole. We used to have similar bags for kids to play with called 'bean bags' in the UK.
Now this is not easy (throwing a bag from a distance into a hole which I'm convinced keeps moving) but it looked like fun!!! Karey Solomon was 'having a go' so I thought why not this OG!!!
Guess what? I won. I was dropped dead chuffed and afterwards went tottering off to bed.
Imagine my amazement the next morning when I was told that Jerry Freck (who was also playing) was a total and utter expert at this game. I've been tatting on cloud nine all day in the happy knowledge that I 'beat' Jerry Freck.
This afternoon we held three more 're-plays' and I can assure you he is drop dead good at this game and that it was pure winner's luck last night!!!!!

11 September 2009

TIAS live and LOVING IT!

Well, here in South Carolina we're tatting the live TIAS!!!
To follow progress - follow this link!!!
Must tell you - I've been given a new brain cell number 3 by Martha Ess.  Can't wait to take it on a test drive!!!

9 September 2009

Flying today

I'm flying down to Columbia today. To those accustomed to travel this might seem nothing - but to me it's quite an adventure!!!

I started getting my 'stuff' together about five days ago. I have a fear of driving outside my known area at home but I'm sorta OK with flying as the driver (aka pilot) surely knows where he or she is going.

My problem is airports. Busy places and very confusing. On our trip to the States this time we had the usual 'hassles' at our regular changeover stop. I will not 'name and shame' the hub!!!

Our hassles that time started with our baggage being delayed in coming onto the conveyor collection and we then had to check them in again after customs and security. Then we were asked if we wanted to be 'bumped' onto the next flight as we'd only got 15 minutes to get to another terminal. We said we'd run.

What funnier than two OG's 'running' (that should read wobbling) to the next terminal via a train which took us part the way. When we got there - more checks. We arrived at the gate just as the plane should've taken off. Ah, no, 'we've changed the gate, go over there'. Why, oh why do they insist on changing 'gates' all the time?

Another dash to find that the flight had actually been delayed by 15 minutes for 'maintenance'. Great sighs of relief. Finally 45 minutes later we took off. That should've been the end of it but no, we were then stacked for a further 20 minutes while a storm cleared over our destination. 15 hours later we were here.

Just hope today doesn't provide any further challenges although the return journey has been changed with a 35 minute stopover in Atlanta.

When I get back here again (next Tuesday) I have two days to unpack and re-pack and then we fly back home. Hopefully that trip will be uneventful although I HATE going home!!!

8 September 2009

What a pain in the proverbial!

That'll teach me to try to be organised!!!
On Sunday we went on a trip where I knew (been before) that I'd be in that wonderful situation where I would be able to 'people watch'!!!  What better when following this other hobby of mine than to take some 'autopilot' tatting with me!!!  Great idea. 
So, there I was at camp sitting on the deck doing just that - watching the world go by and tatting.  As I said in my previous post I'd started packing bags and tatting stuff ready for Palmetto and only had with me my roly poly bag with the 'essential' on the go tatting in it.  BUT what I'd left behind were the balls of thread!!  So when I ran out on one shuttle I had to stop!!!  Actually it wasn't too bad as the carnival started shortly after so we wandered over to take part and watch that!!!

6 September 2009

Bags and bags and bags!

The old bag lady (tat's me!  Also known as OG - old git) is packing for her trip to Palmetto!!
I've brought all my bags from the UK and hope to sell a few in the vending room.  They're all packed, priced and labeled.  There are roly poly ones, poke proof pouches and the latest small pocketed traveling bag. 
The latter has been well tested by the OG on her trip around the USA (well, we did spend time on the Canadian border!!!) and has the OG's full stamp of approval!!! 
The roly poly and poke proof have been well trialed in the past having spent most of their lives in my handbag when back home and only emerging in doctor/hospital waiting rooms!!!

4 September 2009

Matching bracelet

Just a quick post today to show you the bracelet I made to match the girl necklace!!!  
I'm very tempted to make myself one but then I looked in the mirror and decided that the face staring back with a bemused look on it was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too old and wrinkled!!!

2 September 2009

A new tatting blog

May I introduce you to a new blog?

Sandra is so funny (do read her profile first) and we could all do with a giggle!!! She's a tatter too so that's why I'm interested in following her blog.

Here's the addy.

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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