31 May 2010

A birthday card

I don't like doing cards!!!  Sorry, you know that already!!!  

This is one that I did last week for a family member who has two moggies!!!  Of course it's Martha Ess's little pattern and again you know I'm addicted to her work.

The 50 was done with one of Yarnplayer's colours - nectarine.  

The cats are done in tigereye again by the same dyer!!!  Both the 50 and the moggies are in a size 80.

29 May 2010

Of course this HAD to happen!!!!

Well an old git like me can't go out down the town half dressed in 'just earrings' so I HAD to make a matching bracelet, didn't I?  After all anybody who knows me would've thought I was bonkers going out 'there' into the big wide world of our small market town half naked!!!

These are SO easy and fast to make. - I LOVE this thread too (Mountain Breeze).  It's one of the Lizbeth that Sue Anna sent me in this package and I've fallen in love with the colourway.  

This one and a lovely pinkish/blueish one called Tropical Punch that was also amongst the 'wind offs' shown here.

28 May 2010

The travelling book!

Do you remember Fox's kind offer to share the Angelina Critchlow book?  Here's the link.

Well it arrived with me on Wednesday.  Now, on a Wednesday I teach in the local library all morning and this last Wednesday another volunteer and I were setting up new classes at the new home for the elderly (I actually qualify to live there!!) in the afternoon.  

So I speeded out of the library, home to grab lunch and then speedily out again.  BUT the book had arrived so I HAD to open it.  Well, I'll admit it - that's all I did.  I had a quick glance at it and then put the book and the jiffy bag it arrived in in the usual 'filing place' on the stairs.

I zipped off a fast email to Tatskool to say it had arrived and that was that!!!  

Thursday morning came and went with the usual 'dashing around' sorting other things out (plus grocery shopping) and again, home for lunch.  I checked my messages before leaving again to help a friend with her laptop and there was a message from Tatskool.  

It simply said 'Hope you found the little package in with the book and didn't throw it away!!'

YIKES!!!  I dashed to the book and package (still patiently waiting on the stairs) and lo and behold look what was inside?!?!?!?  I was gobsmacked.  Thank you SO much, Tatskool.  You wait til you see what I'm going to do with it!!!!

27 May 2010


After somebody asking what were the uses of the mini button flower (good point, there!!!) I decided to try them out as earwigs (well, they worked as a bracelet)!!!
I searched my stash for some smaller buttons and sourced some 80 thread thinking that that would be what was needed.  Then it occurred to me (well, actually at this stage brain cell # 3 wandered in) to try one of the button flowers I'd already done for 'size'.  Guess what?  They're fine as they are - so back to the same buttons and size 20 thread!!

This Lizbeth thread is just SO pretty  - I LOVE it.  It's one that Sue Anna sent me in this package and I've fallen in love with the colourway.  .   It's one of my favourites - that and another pinky one - and it works up so prettily.

All I did to the pattern was add a split ring finding to one chain (to hang from the ear findings) and made a long beaded picot on the opposite chain.  Drop dead easy peasy!!!  Job done!!!!

26 May 2010

Decoupage shuttle

Isn't this just SO pretty?  Joelle kindly sent me this Aero shuttle which she's 'decoupaged'. 

I'd never use it for fear of rubbing off the beautiful pattern.

Do you know the pattern even goes over the end of the shuttle and right up to the hook.  It's even overlapped to the inside.  What a lot of work and skill.

Thanks, Joelle.  It's going to be a very much loved member of my shuttle collection.

25 May 2010

Big Bug Hugs!

Look what arrived in the post.  A hug!!!  I'll show you if you hang on a minute!!!

First, though, let me tell you the story behind the hug!!!  When I go to Palmetto Tat Days Joanie very kindly puts up with me.  I know that should be 'puts me up' but believe me it really should be 'puts up with me' in my case.  

Throughout the years Joanie (known amongst a few of us who think she's totally smashing as 'Dear Joanie') and I have talked via email on endless occasions.  We chat about all the usual things like the weather (well, I AM English!!!!), family and (of course!) tatting!!!  Last year the theme for Tat Days was 'I've been bitten by the Tatting Bug' and I noticed, after a while, that Joanie had started putting BBH at the end of her emails.  

Well I wracked the aged brain but couldn't work it out so in the end I asked her what BBH stood for.  She said 'Big Bug Hugs'!!!  

So this is what we send each other BBH or (this year) it's BLH (Big Leaf Hugs - cause that's this year's theme!).  

Anyway, you know the story of the leaves (which I told you yesterday) - well imagine my surprise when a snail letter arrived yesterday from DJ (in case you've forgotten - that's Dear Joanie).  Inside were hugs.  Tatted hugs!!!  

The ugly old face there is mine which she'd 'stolen' off the internet and there's a hug round my neck and another one which I can take with me wherever I go.  Isn't that SO clever and SO thoughtful?

Incidentally as coincidences happen - the leaves arrived with DJ yesterday too?  Do you think we're psychic or is it just our tatting or postal services that are?!?!?

24 May 2010

Leaf earrings

My dear friend Joanie in SC asked me to make her a pattern for the leaves I submitted for the Palmetto logo competition this year.  She wanted a pattern small enough to make earrings.  

My first thought was YIKES - not possible but then I thought about it and decided to try the smallest of the three designs which are already living in SC!!!!  So as those were done in a 20 thread I wondered what would happen if a size 80 (ish) thread was used.  

Well IF I'd read my own pattern properly the first time they would've got done sooner.  

The problem I had was that I started on the smallest leaf pattern and THEN when I finished there was 'something wrong'.  Panic set in.  How COULD I have submitted a pattern with such a big mistake!  

Checking back on myself I realised that although I'd started with the SMALLEST size I'd deviated onto the middle sized one.  When WILL I ever learn to read my own patterns carefully?

I used Yarnplayer's thread - I can't remember what it's called and I'm upstairs and 'it's' downstairs!!!  I'll update the blog later!!!!

22 May 2010

The danger is over!

This is the finished bag.  
The first picture is of the 'naked' bag.  Nick took one look at it and asked what the loops were for above the front pockets (one to hold my mobile phone and t'other for this and that).  He might've known there'd be a rhyme and reason for them!!!!!

In the second picture you can see why I 'needed' a new bag!!!  I wanted to 'show off' my dangles - the ones I've decided to keep for myself!!!!  I've added special charms to these but there will eventually be more dangles.  

The brooch was made using the MOP pattern and I wore this on my winter coat for ages.   Think I'll make a few more of these!!!  I've learnt a lesson about adding tatting to bags - it works a treat for a while but then sewn or stuck on motifs get mucky!!!!  This way I can remove the bits and pieces for a 'freshening up' from time to time!!!  Well, that's the theory!!!!

I'll be adding more dingles, dangles, pins and stuff as I think of them!!!!!

21 May 2010


DANGER - woman at work!!!!
This is my sewing area - but strictly in the warmer weather.

As you know - I'm an 'old bag'.  I love making bags.  Not only the ones in my Etsy shop but also handbags.  I DO try to buy ready made bags but REFUSE to pay a fortune for them as I 'fall out' with them after a short while.  Then there's the problem of choosing a bag. Too much and not enough choice!!!

So, I usually end up making one for myself.

What pattern do I use?  Well again there's a problem.  I spend ages searching and searching the internet but can never find the 'right one' and even if I could I can never understand the directions on 'how to' make them.  

In the end I just 'start'!!!!  You can see the newspaper that I cut up to make the 'on the hoof' pattern and the denim that this bag is made of.  The rest will follow as I've been making it now for a week or so.  Many interruptions have caused it to be 'slow work'.  

20 May 2010

Suggestion for the button flower

Some people asked what was the use of the button flower!!  Well, they actually didn't put it like that - just a general question!!!!  Like - what would you use it for!!!!

So I had to call on that dear old brain cell for an idea or two.

Here's what he came up with as the only other thing I could think of was for a brooch/pin.

19 May 2010

The last four and the 3 patterns!

These are the last of the cabone ring dangles.  
I think I've tested these enough and have a reasonable number for the fair too!!!!

So, I've added the three patterns now to the site.  I've struggled against time to do this - time which seemed to run away from me daily!!!!  At long last here they are:-

First the small button flower which is here:-

Next is a re-write of a cabone ring (that's also known as a curtain ring - small) pattern that I did many moons ago in 2003.  This time I've added more beads and a large one in the centre which is fairly simple to 'add as you go':-

The final pattern of this 'session' is the Winsome Drop earring which can be found here:-

If anybody does make any of these I'd just LOVE to see them.  I can't stop making any of them and am almost at the stage of stopping people in the street to give them away!!!! 

18 May 2010

More cabone rings!

Hmmmm.  Another addiction hits this corner of tat land, eh?  

The patterns for this, the earrings and the button flower will be up soon.  Just need to be sure they're reasonable understandable!!!

17 May 2010

Two more of the cabone rings!

I really like this version!!!  I must write down (and draw) how I add the bead to the centre - it's NOT added in at the end.

I really have a passionate hate of beads and sequins added to tatting after the item's been made as I worry about them getting 'snagged' and then falling off.  I'd break a leg to get mine included within the work!!!!  Well, actually that's not quite true - what I do is work and work at a problem like this until I've solved it and THEN write it down and draw it.  What's that saying?  Where there's a will, there's a way!!!!

If a bead or sequin is included within  the making of the piece then it's 'there for life'.  Beads and sequins should be there forever and not lost in the laundry!!!  

Am I odd or just plain stubborn!!!!  Answers on a postage stamp, please and no rude ones either!!!!!

15 May 2010

Another form of play!!!!

Re-visiting another old pattern of mine to make things to sell I've come up with further ideas.  This is the original pattern here.

Interestingly in the 'olden days' I didn't used to put dates on my patterns so I spent a long time researching to find out when I first did this one.  I had to use the wayback machine to find out!!!  It was in 2003 that I first uploaded this pattern - that seems a LONG time ago! 

It's pretty simple but you'll see that there are now other options to the original.  I guess this could be a dangle to hang off a handbag or a phone.  It works really well with the variegated threads, I think.  The top two are my first 'attempts' at this and below are the second variations.

More to come, I promise!!

14 May 2010

Seahorses next!!!!!

I thought a few seahorses like this might be another thing I could 'make and take' to the medieval fair!!  I've got a few in my Etsy shop and they are pretty popular there.

This design always makes me smile.  Back in about 2001 (ish) I had a phone call from the crafts editor of a weekly magazine here in the UK.  I'd done one or two things for them before but this was 'urgent'.  Could I do a seahorse for them?  Could I do it within a few days?

Fortunately I'd done this seahorse a few years before so the 'mini' one sounded easy. 

I'll admit that my love for the mini one does somewhat stem from the fact that it did fall into place over the space of a few evenings!!!!  It was published in the magazine about eighteen months later - hmmmm, urgent, eh?  

I've been reading some interesting talk on the lists lately about copyright issues. I can tell you in all honesty that when a design is 'used and abused' by somebody else (the person added PICOTS and missed a ring out) AND it was then published in a tatting magazine it hurts.  

I'm not a worrier about this sort of thing usually but when I'd spent time working on something which I considered innovative then it's 'not on' that a person who'd bought the magazine off the shelves and made a few seahorses should think that they then owned the rights to reproduce it and call it theirs!!! 

OK, I understand that the lady who did this was elderly and didn't understand and it was all sorted out very amicably but there again I feel we should 'research' our new designs as far as we can to try and ensure we don't hurt anybody.  I'd HATE to hurt another tatter. 

OK, off the old soapbox and into the shower.  Looks like we may have warm weather here today!!!!!!

13 May 2010

Pigs galore!!!!

As I've mentioned before (I think!) I've been invited to participate in a medieval fair in the town next month.  

I've never been to one of these things before to demonstrate and certainly never to sell things.  The lady who contacted me said I could sell things and that they'd like a 10% contribution on sales to give to a charity.  Not sure which charity but I hope to find out in due course.  

This was the reason for designing the earrings (Winsome ones), the button flower AND a.n.other which I'll tell you about in a few days time.

The patterns for the button, earrings and mystery will soon be ready to put on the web page.  I work on drawings etc during the daytime but life here has been hectic just lately so I've not quite finished!
Anyway, I wanted a break from making the aforementioned and decided to make pigs!!!  These aren't the flying ones - just walking ones!!!!

12 May 2010

My most winsome yet!!!

Thanks to those who commented on the 'not netting' doilies yesterday.  All information very gratefully received.

Now back to the Winsome drop earrings.  

I think these two are the best yet.  

I haven't put the hooks on yet as I thought it might be easier to scan rather than photograph them.  BOY, do they sparkle.  

Sadly they sparkle SO much that it's difficult to get a good photo or scan!!!!  Hope these will 'do'!!!!!

I am working on three new (well, sort of new!) patterns at the moment and just need to check them out before I let them loose in tat land.  Keep with me, folks.  I'll get there in the end!!!

11 May 2010

Last Friday

Last Friday I went to a coffee morning along the road.  The friend (and I do count her as a friend although I don't know her very well) who hosts these regular events is a Macmillan nurse.  Now so far in my life I haven't needed to contact anybody within this charity but I've always thought that the work they do and the caring way in which they do it is amazing. 

So, there I was drinking my coffee, eating cake (well, you simply HAVE to as they're all homemade and delicious) and talking to other neighbours and friends when suddenly I spotted these two small doilies.

They are netted.  Now I've got netted doilies hanging in my side windows instead of net curtains.  I made them and mounted them in brass lampshade rings a few years ago.  I self taught myself how to do netting some thirty or more years ago and really love this craft.  Somewhere I've got some small earrings made using this technique.

Anyway, what caught my attention was the fact that these two sweet things were so small.  The top one measures only 5 1/4" across and the bottom one is 5 1/2".  Can you imagine the size of the meshes (and, therefore, the needles) needed?

10 May 2010

The doll's cot

This is the final word on the cot - I think!!!

We delivered it on Saturday.  Poor little lass had been poorly last week so this seemed a good idea to cheer her up.

When it was time for her afternoon nap she went to bed and told her mum she wanted the cot on the bed - hmmmmm, not very practical.  In the end a compromise was reached and here is a picture of her fast asleep with all the linen from the cot piled on top of her!!  Under her head is the tiny pillow.  

One happy new owner!!! I wonder if this cot will pass down to another generation?  

8 May 2010

More earrings but another version!

So, I'm back on the earwigs again!!!!  You must've realised I'd get bored with the buttons after a few days!!!

Here are two more pairs of the Winsome Drop earrings.  

You'll see that I've added two long beaded picots this time BUT these are not joined to the next SR.  

I've taken them and joined to the 'space between'.  This has taken a bit of 'working out' to make them sit right.  I'll work on the pattern over the next few days too.  Off to deliver the doll's cot today in spite of the miserable rainy weather!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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