30 October 2010

More eye candy

Gosh, here I am 'Americanised' again!!!!  I'd never heard of the expression 'eye candy' before the www came along!!!  

Just LOOK at the colours in the flowery bookmark.  This is another offering from Jane who says:-

"Hi Jane, I've just made your flowery scmr bookmark. I thought the 'tail' would work to attach to the heart. I thought you might like to see. I used three dimple rings instead of the flower at the end. The colours of the flowery bookmark are really brighter than show on the computer. Part of my latest dyeing efforts. I'm pleased with the results. Happy tats, Jane"

Well I had to use pink for her message, didn't I?!?!?!?!?

29 October 2010

Another Winsome brooch!

Here's another one - didn't take as long to do as the first!!!!  A shorter evening!!!

This one is going to be worn on my brown heavy duty winter coat.  When I find it!!!  The coat, I mean.  By the time I've found that I'll probably have lost the brooch!!!!

Don't you just LOVE that big bead on the middle section at the bottom?  I wish I could remember where it came from but it's been 'flaunting' itself under my nose now for years.  I've finally managed to find a way to showcase it.

28 October 2010

Back to the floating chain.

It's such fun to play with new ideas.  This is based on the floating chain idea which Terry brought to my attention.  There's been an ongoing discussion between Terry, Suzanne and I about improvements in working this technique but unfortunately I've not been able to give it my full attention.  I've had a touch of 'something or other' and haven't been too sparky for a few days.

Here's what happens when you've finally got a bit of time, though!!!  I can't think of another way you could get this effect but I'm sure somebody will think of an alternative!!!

Now to make something pretty out of this!!!!  You can't call the spider pretty, can you?

27 October 2010

Last week

Last week I had the following message from Elfriede in Germany:-

"Thanks for the description of the Snowflake Flurry.
Attached please find a picture of my Snowflake Flurry.One more question:I do voluntary work in the Deutscher Occhi-Ring and would like to publish my Snowflake Flurry with the instructions translated into German in our brochure "Shuttle Information" in the fall of 2011. I will use your name as a designer. I hope that you allow me this. Many thanks.

Kind regards 
Deutscher Occhi-Ring"

Now this is what I call long term planning.  So next autumn the Flurry Snowflake will appear in German.  I hope to start a section on my website for my own patterns in different languages.  I have a few already translated but haven't quite got round to sorting them out.  It's really flattering and rewarding to think that people are prepared to spend time doing this for others who can't understand English.  Thank you Elfriede - and even more important asking and letting me know.  Below is her Flurry Snowflake.

26 October 2010

Winsome brooch finished.

Here's the brooch finished!!  I've now sprayed it with fabric protector as it will be worn on a thick winter fleece.

I'm not very good at hanging clothes up - well, that's not strictly true.  I DO hang them up but usually on the floor!!!!  Also as this is going to be worn on a fleece - if that 'pills' then it might start to discolour the threads.
Well, Jane, does that really matter?  The whole thing can be 're-cycled' in an evening.  Hmmmm, a long evening!!!

I actually do re-cycle my beads if they're big ones like this.  Let me see.  The beads on this brooch all came from America!!!  I think some came from Sue Anna, some from Crazy Mom and there maybe one type there from Ridgewoman!!!  I love these beads - they really, really sparkle.  They should cheer up a dreary winter's day when I'm bumbling round the town.  Now, how about earrings to match?

25 October 2010

Another 'take' on the Winsome!!!

Before I start today - I must draw your attention to two links resulting from Saturday's post.  These are both from people who are more knowledgeable than me about beads!!!  The first is from Gina's blog where she gives a lot of very practical info on what beads to use and where.  I'm also putting this link to a post by Bree's Way.  I've also put a link (top left) on my page so you'll be able to find it easily in future.

There's something about some patterns that keep calling me back!!!!

I bought these safety pin things a few months ago with a brooch in mind.  I wanted something that would be bulky but 'light' in looks to wear on my winter jacket.  Anyway, this is the start of the 'effort'.  It really, really does sparkle!!!   I hope to finish it tomorrow so keep watching!!!!

23 October 2010

Bead talk!

An interesting question popped into my inbox a few days ago.  It was from Sandy who is a relatively new tatter. She asked me this:-

Hi Jane, long time no e-mail, I have been reading patterns and have noticed that with patterns that have beads  no one says what size of bead  or type to use of course the thread has to be considered but a little help with the beads would be nice. I can tell a seed bead I think but after that I am lost. Being new at tatting really new all the information would be nice.  I don't even know what the beads are or size to buy. Please help I am sure others have the same question but might feel it is to stupid to ask. Not me, if you could put it in your blog that would be great. I am only able to order from catalog's and I can tell you there are thousands of beads in all sizes. Please Help

Beads are something that I've always 'taken for granted'.  I started using them in tatting about thirty years ago.  Believe it or not I was making earrings back then with beads!!!!  Only a few and mainly for eyes but they were 'there'.  Since then I've learnt a lot about them!!!  

Seed beads are my main core purchases.  Size 11.  This is one of many links which help to explain a lot better than me about sizing them.  Also another here.
Perhaps this chart will help too.  Actually if you read the note under the seed bead chart you'll see why this becomes a difficult question to answer!!!

When it comes to 'other beads' of varying sizes I tend to buy and then later decide what to use them for.  One of my main sources is Ebay where anything and everything can be found.  This is another source for many very pretty beads!!!!  The shop that the Hospice runs at the local tip!!!  Sally and I always pay a visit there when she's in town!!!!

So, to sum up, Sandy, I think if you buy size 11 seed beads they will become your 'core' bead.  They sit nicely on most threads.

22 October 2010

A century apart (or more!)

A couple of days ago I saw this on a blog and it reminded me of the neck purse I'd made over thirty years ago!!!  They are so different yet both have have the same purpose in life, although I guess the value of the coins they are meant to hold has changed beyond measure too!!!    

Goodness knows where mine is now but it's lurking somewhere in this house!!!!  

I'd seen the pattern in the Mrs Beeton's Book of Needlework (I finally inherited an original gold edged pages copy from my gran which was published in 1869 or thereabouts) and wanted so desperately to make it.  From her 'odds and bobs' around the house I was given the clasp.  I wonder if she ever had it in mind to make it?

You can now find this pattern here - number 42.   I had to jiggle it a bit to make it fit the clasp and I also added beads a little differently from what I can remember!!!  As you do!!!

I lined the whole thing with a tiny piece of black silk fabric.  I intend one day to re-visit this clasp again (when I find it!!!) and replace the tatting.  Meantime I have a yen to make neck purses again and will (hopefully!!!) be re-visiting this pattern shortly to see if I can improve on it!!!!

After considerable thought and still being intrigued with this pattern I have now decided to try it again!!!!  I'm going to 'translate' the pattern into 'Jane' and will share it if it ever gets done!!!!

21 October 2010

A visit to the hospital

A few days ago I  offered to take a friend to the hospital for an outpatients operation.

The silly moo worried and worried that I'd be bored as it was going to be for several hours!!!  Silly girl.  During my wait I did a great deal of this edging.  It looks a bit odd at either end but I promise you those are true, square corners that will sit beautifully when they're pressed.

I found it here and did take a few 'liberties' with it and also added the corners. I do like something simple like this to do when I've got to wait around.  It drew a lot of attention so through that a few friends were made!!!!  Well, passing friends.

20 October 2010

Starting again!

Top news for those in the UK.  You might have missed the comment on my Ez Bob ramble about a supplier in the UK so I'm adding it here.   OK now back to today's post!!!!

Do you remember this pattern?  Here's the link. 

Well I daredn't think how many of these small diddly things I've made over the years since I first put the pattern on my site.  Whenever THAT was!!

So a few weeks ago I was desperately wanting to make this into an earring.  First of all let me say I don't like butterflies which are dangling from a feeler picot from an ear finding.  To me it looks as if they've been put there as an 'afterthought'!!!

That's just me, though so please don't get offended by that remark.

So, knowing that this was a cracking little pattern I set off trying to get the 'look' I wanted.  Here's what I came up with and here they are in my Etsy shop.

19 October 2010

Naughty, naughty Jane!

True, totally true.  I've been naughty again.  I got carried away with sparkles!!!

Now these aren't 'real' Swarovski crystals but I defy anybody to know that.  They were on sale just next to the 'real deal' but I couldn't tell the difference.

Wwwwweeelllll, that's not strictly true - the difference was in the price.  These were half the price for the same sparkle!!!  Now you know why I class myself as really megga naughty!!!!!


18 October 2010

Ez bob sizes

A week or two ago Sandy in the USA asked me a very valid question about sizes of Ez Bobs for putting HDT on!!  Actually this is what she said:-

"I've searched for hours to locate the EZ Bobs that so many speak of.  They are nonexistent in my area but I can find them on the internet.  I'm wanting to organize my HDT and have no idea what the bobbins are like.  Can you advise me on the proper size to purchase to accommodate Yarn players, Krystle Dawn's, etc. HDT threads?"

So I thought I'd show you how I've organised my HDT.  They are on two sizes of Ez Bobs.  Both those shown below have one full skein of number 20 thread on (order the larger sizes if you want to put two skeins on one 'bob').  The top one measures 1 3/4" in diameter and the bottom one is 2 1/2".  You will see that I've written a brief description telling me the size and the name of the thread.  I figured I could 'trace' the dyer from the thread's name!!!  I've written those with a Sharpie.  

This reminds me - I first met a Sharpie when I was given one by the Palmetto Tatters.  I guarded that wee treasure with my life - Nick had to apply in triplicate three days in advance if he wanted to use it!!!  Why?  Because at that time we didn't have them in the UK.  Now we do!!!!!

Ez bobs or Ez-bobs can be ordered from here in the UK.  

16 October 2010

I ♥ ♥s

I love it when people send me pictures of something they've made from my pattern pages.  VEry reassuring that I can be 'understood'!!!  

Always a risk when writing down patterns.  
So when I got this from Jane I was a very happy bunny!!!

So the Flurry Heartache is launched - well I consider it a success now that I know one other person in Tat Land (apart from me!!) can make it!!!!

15 October 2010

Playing with the floating chain

I know that Terry's playing with the floating chain too and we've discussed the  problem of 'how to' write it down.

We came up with this pattern which is just really experimental - well the way I've written it is!!  Any comments or suggestions are welcome as usual!!

Just in time for Halloween if anybody is tempted to explore this technique.  I think it's fun, fun, fun.

14 October 2010

Following on from yesterday!

So, now you've recovered from the Terry way of doing the split chain - here's a development from that which is a floating chain.

Again this has evolved from yesterday's single shuttle split chain and I think (personally) that this has a LOT of potential for designers.  In fact you'll have to wait til tomorrow to see a 'fast and easy' pattern using this method.

Dear old brain cell 3 also has several other ideas up his sleeve.  Oh, just realised - brains don't have sleeves, do they?

Another 'taster' for you!!!

13 October 2010

NEW - Single Shuttle Split CHAIN

A few weeks ago I had an email from Georgia who forwarded a message from Terry Nimmer.

Terry had been struggling with the usual ways of making the split chain and had come up with a really, really clever way of getting round his problem.   So, between the three of us (sorry, that should be four as brain cell 3 HAD to get in on the act!) we've come up with this page!!!

Now we have three ways of doing the split chain - the original way, Marie Smith's 'Fast and Easy' way and (ta de dah, roll of drums and trumpeteers trumpeting) we now have Terry Nimmer's way.   

Thanks, Terry for letting me get involved in this - I've really enjoyed the experience.  Here is one of the diagrams to 'get you interested'!!!!

Oh, don't miss tomorrow's blog post - something else that's new about to hit Tat Land!!!!

12 October 2010

Changed the blog!!!

I know I drive you mad but I've been playing with my blog and have now lost all the posts I'd set up for this week!!!  I've no idea what I was going to put on here today so you'll have to wait for brain cell 3 to wake up!!!!!

I'm still 'messing' with the blog so please don't get upset!!!!

11 October 2010

Introducing the pattern for the Flurry Heartache

I've finally got it done.  Here's the direct link for the Flurry Heartache.  

On Saturday, despite it being classified as a 'silly' day, (things went slightly haywire for a few hours) I did manage to list some new stuff in my Etsy shop.  No bags but a few new tatted things.  Then I fought the pattern once more and made two more pairs of the dragonfly earrings again in the evening.  They're now in the shop too!!!

I've got two new ideas here (butterfly and dragonfly) but the little dragonfly earring you can see below is my real favourite.  To make this is a major fiddle!!!!  I'm not sure it would be very easy to write/draw how I did it but I will try!!!  I just ADORE this little critter and he looks even better now I'm using delica beads.  

I got nearly a third of the way through on one of the red ones and pulled the wrong thread.  Guess what?  A number 80 thread doesn't like a lot of tugging!!!  Result - I had to start again!!!!

9 October 2010

Karey's HDT

As a MOG (miserable old git) who wouldn't give house room to HDT threads for ages I must admit I'm totally and utterly reformed and addicted - as you have probably gathered over the past year or so!!!!

When Sandra sent me her wonderful surprise t'other week there were three skeins of HDT in it.  Of course these HAD to be 'tried out'!!!  So (me being me) this selection of HDT also had to have a new pattern too. - thus the Flurry Heartache (see below).  These threads are from the dyer Karey Solomon.  Now, this lady is an expert at this craft - well both crafts tatting and dying (not to mention many, many others too).  I once dropped in at a lesson she was teaching about dying down at Palmetto Tat Days a few years ago - fascinating presentation and SO interesting.  I've asked her about her tatting threads and this is what she said.

"I’ve got any and every range possible.  I generally dye threads in dyelots of about 10 skeins each.  Unlike many dyers who dip-dye threads, which means regular, sometimes long repeats of very few colors with little to no blending, I hand-paint “prints” on the thread, so they’re more calico and more colors because they are intended to blend.  I’ve got a huge investment in dyes, for both wool and cotton – because they’re different dyes and very different dye processes! - more dyes for cotton, as it happens.  So I can produce quite a range.  You could, for example, request particular colors if you like, I’m always open to suggestions. I’m experimenting with limiting the blending by thickening some of the colors before applying them.
People can always email me for information, and I can send a current photo of what’s available.  Each dyelot is different.  And I’ll send them anywhere, the shipping cost is only the actual cost of mailing.  Please ask more questions!"

So, there you are.  What is Karey's email address, I hear you ask!  Here it is.

8 October 2010

The final results!!

Finally I got it sorted!! I think I've given this design a very apt name - the Flurry Heartache.  That's because it gave me a LOT of heartache and was based on the Flurry Snowflake!!!  Ooooh, I can be SO clever sometimes!!!

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the HDT thread that I used and show you one of these in the brass heart shape. 

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Happy Beaks

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