27 August 2010

Spot the difference!!!

Bet you can't.  

If you look at the two snowflakes below I think you'll find they look the same.  NO, not talking about the colours or the beads.   I'm talking stitch count and look of the actual pattern etc.

The one at the top which has the 'mainly green' theme is the first of the pair and is like the ones I've shown you already.  The one below which has more orange is what I think of as a 'non wobbly' version.

One thing I really, really don't like about designs is when a tatter with looser tension ends up with a 'floppy' piece and then isn't happy with the results.  One of the things designers can do to help prevent this is to make sure that elements are 'anchored' to each other at crucial points.  OK, it may mean a tad more concentration from the worker and a considerable amount of extra work for the designer but I feel the trouble is well worth the end result.  

Can you see what I mean?  

A few extra very small picots placed strategically in certain places can help the design to become 100% more stable and need (hopefully) no blocking.  

That's, of course, before the horse has bolted.  Get it?  Stable, horse, bolted?!?!?  YIKES, sick joke time again.

26 August 2010

Time to play, play, play

I had my copy of Martha's More Critters on the Block last week and asked two of the grandkids what they wanted.  

I suggested the butterfly for Abbi as I REALLY wanted to make that BUT she wanted an elephant.  Not a grey elephant but a pink one.  It had to be pink.

Nathan wanted a lion so I returned to Martha's New Critters on the Block book to make that.

So, we  have the sweetest hephalump from Martha's new book and the lion from her first book.  Haven't decided yet whether to cut and fringe the lion's mane or not.  All these decisions - too, too much to bear!!!!

25 August 2010

More bags just listed!!

Don't go now!!!  Please read on!!!  I know it's more blooming bags but they are my passion and while I'm 'in the mood' I will sew!!!!  Here are the latest three sets!!!

All tatters love to EAT chocolate when they tat and now I can offer chocolates  you can put your tatting IN!!!!  I love this print.  

Also just listed is the fabulous 'purple paisley' set below and another purply floral one too.  For the first time I've got several purple prints for the 'purply people' amongst us!!!

So, later today I'm going to sew, sew, sew.  I've got a few fabrics pulled out of my lovely stash already to play with, including some more of the chocolate print.  

It's rather like tatting a new pattern - you're never quite sure what it'll look like when it's finished - least I'm never sure!!!

24 August 2010

New Lizbeth colours

I have such very kind friends who live over the pond and who keep me well supplied with every tatter's dreams - threads, beads etc.

Yesterday this package arrived from Sue Anna.  Inside were supplies of five of the new Lizbeth threads and a skein of Yarnplayer's rhubarb pie.  Also a lot of the Ez-bobs which are almost impossible to find in the UK.  

Now I have a HUGE problem - where and which to start with!!!  I know what I want to make but not sure which threads to use!!!  

All these life changing decisions, eh?  What AM I to do?

Answer - dive in and start!!!!

23 August 2010

Another set - listing today!!!!

Here's another which needs listing!!!  

Elizabeth sent me the fabric and I have a set of my own.  I tend to work with fabrics I love as that's what keeps me motivated!!!

There's enough left even after this one so I may make another set or I may make something else with it!!!  

I'll list this set in Etsy today.   

21 August 2010

Here it is!!!

This is my first 'decent' rendering of the snowflake which I showed you being constructed!!!

Well, I didn't know then that it would become a snowflake, did I?  This is really easy and is worked in one 'hit' as usual.

The only 'complicated' part is the SCMR and the fact that you do a bit of 'hanky panky' with the chains!!!  All will become clear when I've finished sorting it out

It may also change a bit as I get bored with it!!!  I can 'see' other possibilities!!! Perhaps the button will return - who knows?  Certainly not me!!!!!

20 August 2010

Roly poly again!!!

A few more that will be in my shop as soon as I can get them there!!  

I'm hoping to find time later today - IF I don't find too many people to gossip to when I'm down in the town shopping!!!!  

HOTP - managed to get two sets (purple and paws) uploaded before I posted this 'edition' of my blog!!!!!

19 August 2010

An insight into my mind!!!

Read no further if  you don't want to be shocked!!

OK, so you do want to spoil your day?  Here goes.

Below are some of the 'experiments' for the next idea of mine!!!  I cannot start with drawings or any form of logic sometimes as I never truly know where the start is going to end.  Bit like life, really!!!!

I do like to add something slightly new to each effort - just to make MY life more interesting.  

This is the start of what I THINK will be my Christmas giveaway.  I think I'll start with a button but then again I'm not totally sure as you can see in the last attempt!!!

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!!!!

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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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