18 August 2010

A change of direction!!

Just for a day, I promise!!! 

Remember that HUGE parcel of fabric that Carolyn so kindly sent me?  Well amongst it was a piece that just shouted ABBI at me.  She's my VERY pink granddaughter.  Nothing counts except PINK!!!!  I think she'll be tickled pink  (dreadful pun!!!) with this cushion.  Here it is.  

So, having made her a cushion (daughter's suggestion!) I had to make big brother one too!!!  His is below and and may give him paws for thought - will it ever stop (the dreadful puns)?  

Think it's time I got showered and dressed before I spoil everybody's day with grotty jokes!!!!  I even heard myself groan at the second one!!!!!

17 August 2010

More roly poly bags.

After a dirth of picture yesterday you're going to get an overdose today!!!!

Slowly I'm getting last week's sewing 'stint' sorted and listed in Etsy.  Here are three sets that are now in the shop!!!!  My favourite of these fabrics is the baby one.  They really are just SO cute and it'll be the only set as there's no more of this fabric.  Maybe enough for another pouch but that's all.

Whoops, since I prepared this post yesterday the set at the bottom has sold!!!  I hope to list some more sets over the next few days - they're ready but I've been 'chasing my tail' again this week!!!!

16 August 2010


No tatting or sewing to show today as I've been busy, busy, busy doing other 'stuff'.

So what HAVE I been up to?  Well, a few months ago, I managed to mess up my home page and it became toooo wide for a lot of monitors.  My mate Gina told me about it and she helped me try to fix it but it didn't 'happen'.  For one thing I use the 'hit and miss' method for this sort of thing (just like designing tatting, really!) and another was other stuff happening in my life.

So, having got Jane's necklace finished and put up - here's the link - I made brain cell number 3 come out to play and CONCENTRATE on what he was doing!!!!  

Oh, I've also got two other pages sorted too.  The kiwi which is here and a 'how to' page here which sort of 'goes with it'.

So, tomorrow I'll hopefully have time to take photos of the roly poly bags I'll shortly be listing in Etsy!!!!

14 August 2010

Last one until the next time!!!

This will be the last seahorse until the 'urge' comes upon me again!!!!  

Actually this started out in my Etsy shop as 'just a seahorse' and when a friend bought it I asked if she wanted it in a ring - like the last one she bought.  She said yes and I was delighted and surprised to see how well the green seahorse looked with green seaweed.  

I'm still struggling with my new Christmas dangle idea.  I'm not happy with it yet.  As usual I'm trying to do something 'different' and things like that take time, time and more time and the rubbish bin gets fed regularly with rejects!!!  

Hopefully next week I'll be able to show some of the bags I've finished.  I listed one new set (and two pairs of earrings) in the shop yesterday.  Why only those?  Well we had to go to the tip with the rubbish out of the shed that Nick had cleared out.  

Once we'd done that a trip out for lunch seemed appropriate!!!  

13 August 2010

Thinking about Christmas!

Daft as it may seem I'm already thinking about Christmas!!!!  I don't 'do' much for Christmas as I'm not 'into' religion but I do love to give things so it's a good excuse to make and give stuff.

Currently I'm quietly working on a giveaway which goes to my friends with a letter but also between times thinking of stocking up my Etsy shop.

So, a few days ago I sat down and listed a robin.  Little stinker didn't stay long and is now winging his way across the pond to his new owner.   Back to making another one two evenings ago.  Here he is in his winter plumage.  

He's in the shop now and shortly to be joined by two more pairs of earrings!!!

12 August 2010


I have a grandson who is terrified of Dr Who!!!!  He's seven and doesn't like the programme at all.  So, what did he ask Nanny Stratford for?  A dalek!!!

Here's the dalek I've made for him.  

He also asked for a pink horse for his sister, Abbi which is below.  That little lad is so thoughtful - he always thinks of his sister.  The pattern is here (for the horse) if you want it.

11 August 2010

Roly Poly Tat Bags - part 2

Here are the other 3 bags I did as a thank you to Carolyn.

She said she's going to have a job to know which ones to keep and which to give away and I'm having a hard time parting with ANY of them.  I LOVE the middle floral one but the paisley calls me too.  

So, to take my mind off them I'm going to sew more!!!  I can (if pushed!!) get two 'sets' done in a day but it's an 'eyes down, fingers busy' situation for the WHOLE day until 'tat time'!!!!  

Not today, though.  Too many distractions going on which have to be sorted!!!!

I've got another set of chocolate fabric cut out for an order and the most amazingly sweet (not in sweet/candy sweet but in very appealing) set with little ...... all over.  NO, I'm not telling -  you'll have to wait a few days to see that set.  It'll go into my Etsy shop eventually unless  I get 'persuaded' otherwise!!!!

10 August 2010

Problems with badgers - again!!!

You might think I've got a 'thing' about badgers.  Well, yes I do!!!  I really like these creatures.

A few years ago I was contacted and asked to make two bookmarks for a new book coming out so I knuckled down and did a badger and a fox bookmark and submitted them.  Sadly the lass who was putting the book together went off (please take a deep breath before reading further) and has left tat land (hopefully temporarily) for another craft.  

So, when approached to offer something for another pattern book, I thought of my long lost badger and asked the original lass if I could 'have it back' so to speak.  Deal done!!!!

I've made the badger head SO many times as brooches for friends that I almost know it in my sleep!  Thus when it said IN THE NEW BOOK that 'the head of the badger is 3D' I thought I'd better make it AGAIN.  

No, it's NOT 3D - no way and never has been!  There - that's straight from the horse's mouth.  OR, should that be badger's designer?  I approached the editor and said that it wasn't 3D but she still insists it is!!!!  Perhaps whoever test tatted it did it wrong.  Who knows.

Here's yesterday's FLAT badger bookmark.  Remember.  It's FLAT.

9 August 2010

Roly Poly Tat Bags

I'm going to tell you a story - a true one.

A friend in the USA (Carolyn) told me she was going to send me some fabric to make her some bags and that anything left over I could have for myself.  VERY fair as to buy the sort of fabrics I've seen in the USA is impossible here in the UK unless you're very lucky to live near a good fabric shop.  Although we have a shop in the town it doesn't stock many fabrics and certainly not the sort of fun ones I'm forever looking for!!!

Anyway I got back from shopping the other day and there was this HUGE box in the hall waiting for me.  Inside was the most AMAZING selection of fabrics I've ever seen.  Talk about fabric heaven - I thought I'd died and gone there.

Anyway here are a few of the bags I've made for Carolyn.  Don't you just LOVE the top one covered in chocolate?  How very appropriate for tatters, eh?  (There's more of that print in the box too!!!).

The second one has shuttles all over it and the third - dog paw prints.  Hopefully I'll get the aged body to show you others of the huge selection over the next week or so.  There are some truly stonking great colours and patterns.

7 August 2010

More on the kiwi

Another evening (Thursday) on this little critter and progress was made.  See the top picture.

I often get to a stage when things go backwards on this type of pattern - I try to be tooooo clever and things go very wrong.  This time I think I'm still 'on track'.

I elongated the back slightly and (thanks to a video link left on Monday's comments) realised that they do have a small 'tail' so have added one.  

The critter is worked all in one 'hit' but there is a small idea which will have to be explained.  Not sure you'd call it a technique as such but - well, we'll see.

On Thursday a helpful comment was left saying that the neck should be a little shorter.  So yesterday evening (Friday) I re-jigged him again.  I've put the new shorter necked kiwi underneath.  Does this look better?

6 August 2010

A seahorse in a ring.

This is one of the things I love making - seahorses.

I've sold these dangles in Etsy in the past and t'other day a friend asked me to make one for her.  

Here it is!!!!

4 August 2010

I ♥ ♥ ♥ it.

This IS for me although there is enough fabric to make a few more if anybody wants a set!!!  

This fun piece of material came from Elizabeth and you've seen it here before.

Every time I look at it I smile.  I couldn't make up my mind for ages what to make with it and then t'other day I woke up and had a senior GREAT idea!!!  A roly poly set.  Well, why not?  My original one is in need of a good wash - that's MY excuse and I'm sticking with it.

In future and each time I go groping and fumbling in my handbag I'll see this roly poly bag and smile and think of Elizabeth.  

3 August 2010

Tuesday, Tuesday even!!!!

Well the sewing machine got a good belting yesterday!!!  

The chick fabric bag that you saw the other day was one of two sets that Maureen looked at a few months ago.  I made up a blue set and a 'chick' set.  In the end she decided to go with the blue set.  Well she's now decided to 'go' for the chick one as well!!!  

I've got a lovely one that I'm going to show you tomorrow but don't visit my blog if you don't want to be jealous cause it's for MEEEEEEE.

2 August 2010

Monday, Monday

If anybody out there thinks I have a method in my designing then think again!!!!  Well, perhaps I do - it's called madness!

I use lots of different approaches to a new pattern but I never design on paper or with math as my prop! I can't 'do' math anyway - watch me struggle with adding and subtracting when I'm shopping!!!

Probably the easiest way is to just 'tat it' and see what happens.  Sometimes nowadays I draw (on the computer) too.  

This kiwi had me flummoxed for ages.  I couldn't make a start.  I'd downloaded lots of pictures of kiwis and studied them until I thought I knew what your 'average' kiwi looked like.  I always do this when tackling an animal.  

Well in the end I decided to 'just start' (after doing a rough drawing on the computer) and see if I could break it down into sections.  One trick I've learnt is to use two shuttles and two colours so you can 'track' your progress.  This time and for the first time ever I 'did a bit' and tied and cut, did a bit more and tied and cut.  

In the first trial (the grotty coloured picture below) I did the body (see the knot at the top, right?) and then joined on above the legs to do the under neck.  Then I did the top of the neck and the whole thing didn't look too bad!!!  

Next to try and do it in 'one hit' with just the one tie and cut at the end.  The brown version underneath does just that.  BUT I'M NOT HAPPY with it yet.  NO WAY!!!

At the very bottom is the rough drawing I did.  I got 'lost' on the neck!!!!

31 July 2010

I'm back with energy!!!

I've energy, sewing machine and fabric to make bags!!!!

Below are two selections of the fabrics I have!

What I REALLY need to do is make up my mind (send for brain cell # 3) which design to make.  There are the roly poly ones, the dolly bag type (with internal pockets) or the latest ones which you can see below.  I'm not sure quite what to call these!!  Probably the 'flat bottomed tat bag'?  Any suggestions (as long as they're not rude!) would be welcome.  I'm pleased with this little bag as it's cute and 'sensible'.  Doesn't tip over!!!!  Here's the one I've got in my store already.  It's the first ever for sale!!!

Oh, nearly, nearly forgot to add that there's a lovely 'set' with tiny chicks on which is new in the shop - roly poly and poke proof.

Whoooooops, woke up to find that the above roly poly has sold so here's a link to the poke proof pouch so you can see the pretty fabric.  I've enough to make one more so will get to that over the next few days!

30 July 2010

Continuing on from yesterday!

There were many interesting comments after my 'musings' over split rings yesterday.

It appears that some people have this 'problem' and others don't!!!  I'm not sure of the 'why's and wherefores' of this but assume it's a 'fact of life' that some people 'do' and others 'don't'!!!!  It must be in the tension!!!

I honestly don't want a solution to the problem as I 'use' the curve I get to great advantage in my patterns!!!!!  Usually there's another element which attaches to the split rings and which either 'straightens them out' or utilises the 'curve'. 

The only thing I can say about split rings is - long may they live and breathe!!!!

Yesterday I actually managed to 'fiddle around with' my Etsy shop.  I listed some more bags (one new 'set' with chicks on which I love) and other stuff but then panicked as they didn't 'show up' in the shop!!!  I DO hope I haven't listed stuff I haven't made!!!!!  I'll check it all out later today - after shopping!!

29 July 2010

Just look at these

I'm a lucky lass.  I get to talk tatting with numerous people from all over the world.  A lot of my time each day is spent helping out with 'problems'.  

This is an idea I've been discussing with Jane from South Africa.   Just wish I'd thought of this!!!!  First is her original necklace and underneath are two stunners which I've simply GOT to try for myself.

This has led us to an interesting discussion and input from all would be very useful and interesting.  

The question is - when you make a 'string' of split rings with equal numbers of stitches on both sides does your 'string' curl?  Mine does.  WHY?  

The seahorses that I make all have equal sided split rings but their tails curl naturally (which is what I want).  They always curl towards the second side of the SR too.  Does this happen to everybody and if so how do you stop it if you want to?!?!?!  I hope that if I get lots of interesting comments AND the answer to the problem that I'll be able to find the 'reasons why' this happens!!!!

28 July 2010

Hmmmm, I've obviously 'lost the plot'

I've had a few distractions and a holiday recently and I have just remembered promising that I would add the Joseph motif (which I blogged about while I was away) to my web site.

At some point I did add it but totally forgot to tell tat land!!!!

Now onto another subject!!!  I've got my sewing machine out again and would like any suggestions you may have for what to make!!!  I'm SO tired lately that I haven't got a clue what to make but I'm dying to get started!!!!

Don't forget to check my Etsy store today for the shuttles and more bags!!!

27 July 2010

Coming soon!

Well tomorrow, actually!!!! 

More pop a bobbin shuttles AND a few post ones too!!!

Where to find them?  HERE

I will release them at the usual 'blogging time' of 8.45 tomorrow morning (GMT) - that's if I remember, of course!!!!

26 July 2010

Wonder how many of you guessed?

I wonder how many readers guessed what would appear next after Saturday's post?  

Well if you guessed that it was a bracelet to match the earrings, then you were right.  If you didn't guess then I guess you were lazy like I would be!!!!

I'm not sure if this idea (adding beads over a button) has been used before but it's hardly worth explaining as it's SO EASY.  

All you do is pull the thread up through the button's hole and add the beads to the picot/thread.  Actually I 'double anchored' it to the edge of the button before carrying on - just to be sure.  Like I did in the original pattern here.  

A tad fiddly to get the thread to snug against the side of the button - but well worth the bovver!!!!!  Actually I prefer this to the original flower for jewellery.  I'm an odd old duck!!!!

24 July 2010

New (ish) earrings!

I've got a whole new outfit.  A rare, very rare happening for me.  I HATE shopping for clothes - always have done.

I used to make all my own stuff but haven't for many years now so I find it extremely difficult to choose from rails of 'ready mades'!!!! 

BUT I love making accessories so I made these earwigs using this pattern (with adaptations, of course) to make these in the same colours as the outfit.  I'll add the findings later today but I couldn't wait to share.

I bought the trousers from the Isle of Wight, the tshirty top from Debenhams and the over jacket from the Friday street market and it looks fine as a whole 'set'.

I MAY make a matching pendant tomorrow - IF I have the time and the inclination!!!

23 July 2010

Just a small thing.

Not a lot going on in my corner of tat land.  I apologise to all those New Zealanders to whom I promised a new pattern.  I WILL get there.

Summer isn't a good time for designing as I never get settled to anything early enough in the day!!!  

I gave away about a dozen bookmarks on Monday as a very special thank you to a group of people so am now going to start 'stocking up' again.  Still it keeps  me out of mischief - or it's supposed to!!!

22 July 2010

To follow on

To follow on from yesterday!!!

If you follow my blog then you'll have read yesterday's post about the Palmetto quilt and will have seen the finished item.  

I've never ever done a square like this before and so agonised over it for ages and ages.  The first picture below is the 'naked' square and the second is my contribution.  

They are actually the same piece but the second one isn't 'true' colours.  Probably because of the 'bling' shining and the flash catching it.  Not sure as I don't understand photography - I'm a point, guess and press person!!!

Did you see Erin's square here?  Can you spot Georgia?  Having seen this square I'd love to have mine back and add more to it but it's tooooooo late!!!

21 July 2010

You've just GOT to see this.

I mean it - seriously, seriously SERIOUSLY.  
This is the ..........  

Well, I'm not telling you what it is you've just got to CLICK AND GO there!!!!

20 July 2010

A commission

My day at the Medieval Fayre was my first ever (as far as I can remember) attempt at selling tatting 'live' and was for me hugely successful.  Here's another link.

While I was demonstrating one elderly couple spotted this dangle which wasn't for sale but was on my display.  The lady insisted she wanted two similar ones made for her granddaughters and I took details of the colours she wanted (orange, red, yellow with a little blue and green).  She said they must be exactly the same or they'd argue!!!!  I'm sure we all understand that!!!
Now whoever designed this pattern is either totally and utterly certifiable or mildly bonkers - I go for the first option!!!  

It's not hard but it does need to be read carefully as it's worked.  I thought of re-writing it but in the end decided that IF I could follow it several years after designing it then it would stay as it is!!!  I'm the world's worst at following my own patterns!!!!

17 July 2010

A diversion!!!

Not tatting at all but a slight diversion!!!!  

I took this movie while on  holiday - yes, real live wild badgers.  I LOVE badgers. 

Here are a couple of photos too.  They came up to within a foot of my feet each evening.  The wet marks are made by their noses as they were eating the peanuts we put out for them.

Badgers don't have very good eyesight or hearing.  They do rely on their sense of smell and as I was sitting just inside the cottage they couldn't smell me.  In the short movie clip you can see and hear that we have lights on both inside and outside in the courtyard and the television can be heard too.  

SUCH a privilege to be 'up close and personal' to these animals who hurt nobody.  

15 July 2010


There are some people living in tat land who think I've got a good sense of colour.  I'm now going to prove them wrong!!!!

I took these threads on holiday with me - roses (an HDT that I was given) and a plain thread which is probably a Coats.  Both  are size 80.  I made this hanky edging which I FORCED myself to sew onto the hanky yesterday.  

I love the threads (particularly roses) but I'm not sure they show up this pattern very well.  The plain pink is lovely with the HDT but it's tooooo close in colour.  The pattern?  Well it's not on my site yet but may eventually get there!!!

I reckon I'm going to keep this hanky for myself.  The first one in 53 years of tatting that I've ever made and have kept.  

Hang on - I've got probably two in my exhibition stuff but wouldn't dream of using those or giving them away.  This is going to be my treat to ME!!!  Happy UN-birthday, old git!

14 July 2010

Still sorting out

Nothing to show but something to report!!!

I finished off the hanky edging I took on holiday with me.  Actually it didn't get touched until the last few days when my 'rest' from tatting became a 'need to tat' feeling!!!

I may get round to attaching it today but it's doubtful as it's a full day ahead.  

Two commissions to do next but I'll show those as they are done.

After that?  Who knows - certainly not me!!!!

13 July 2010

While I was away

Life is amazing sometimes.  There I was on this small island off our south coast, in a small seaside town with plenty of charity shops when I turned a corner and found a BEAD SHOP!!!!  What a wonderful surprise!  Not only that but it was a GREAT bead shop too!!!!  

Unfortunately we were parked on the street with only half an hour's free time.  I came away with this little 'stash' which (of course) I didn't really 'need', did I?  Anyway I asked the guy if he'd got an online shop and he gave me his card so I could find it easily - here's the url.

So, what have I got here?  There are two strands of 'beads' (well they have got holes through the middles!) which were 'cheap as chips' at £1.50 a strand.  There are some rings which are rubberised and which got my old brain cell # 3 woken up!!  Next are some clasps (top left) which could be very useful for hanging things onto my handbag - like keys etc and two more cell phone lanyards for putting dangles on!!!  

Finally there's a kilt pin with three loops (top) which will be used to make a brooch for my winter coat.  Not sure yet quite how this will work out but just 'watch this space'.  NO, not the space where my brain is - THIS one on my blog!!!!

12 July 2010

Did you miss me?

I've been on holiday for the past two weeks so wonder if you missed me?

I've done very little tatting during this time so you'll probably find that there are a few 'blank' days over the next week or two until I get back into the swing of things!!!

I managed to read and moderate the comments while I was away as I had about two hours internet access each week - in the local library.  This is where I was - on the Isle of Wight.  Here's another link too.

I've re-opened my Etsy store and hope to be adding more to it over the next few weeks - watch that space!!!

9 July 2010

Oh, I forgot!!!!

I forgot to tell you what I'd decided to call this motif.  Who was that who said 'typical'?

About halfway through I decided it was to be the 'Joseph Motif'.  I've nearly got the page done so should get it sorted by the end of next week.

7 July 2010

Having got THAT far

Well having got the six done I did complete that round of the 'goodness knows what this is' piece.  

In a very, very rash moment and, after receiving the last package from Sue Anna, I decided that perhaps this little experiment to show off HDT could go on a bit longer.  The original plan was to make a wearable piece like a tunic or something.  Who am I KIDDING!!!!  My eyes have always been bigger than my stomach - as the saying goes!!!!!!

After this round I'm calling it quits - my mind has wandered off onto other things which really, really need doing.  Like?  Well, you wait and see!!!

6 July 2010


Here's the final piece!!!  Seven altogether!!  

Good news is that I still like this pattern and the idea.  Wonder how long that will last!!!!

5 July 2010


Having got this far I was totally committed so here's day 6!!!

Now during this I'd been sliding off and doing other things - well, I'm easily distracted!!!

3 July 2010

Then there were five!!

This was a hard day - I did have to decide which was going to be the central motif and I went for the blue!!!  

2 July 2010

Now we have four!!!!

Next time I returned to this project I added a further motif.  

I'd still not decided how big this project was going to be OR which would be the central motif!!!  All those decisions are wearing on an old brain.

1 July 2010

Three little pigs!!!

No, not pigs but three of the motifs together.

This was the day I really, really did wonder if it would work!!!  Two's OK but three could've been a problem.

The negative space looks good too.  I think I can carry on to make a small mat of some sort.  Originally and secretly I plan to make something bigger but .....................

30 June 2010

They're driving me MAD!!

A small break in the saga of the motif!!!!  

The title for this post is referring to the dangles driving me mad - BUT one could ask whether I wasn't already mad anyway!!!!

I'm going to make more of these in the future.  

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Happy Beaks

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