23 April 2011

156 down - how many to go?

OK, this is where I got to on the original mat before 'calling it a day'.  There are now 156 diamonds here.
This time, however, I've decided to 'fill in the spaces' between the pointy bits so will be trudging along with those.  

Meantime here are two pictures of 'where we're at' so to speak!!!!

22 April 2011

The other ancient doily!!

This is the other doily I promised to show you.

Again worked in silk sewing thread simply because of my frustrations at not being able to find coloured number 20 threads back when dinosaurs roamed the earth!

Sadly I can't tell you the pattern source as it was so long ago and I've no idea where it came from except probably from a scrap of paper given to me waaaay back then.  But I can tell you that it measures 9" by almost 7".  Ah, maybe somebody will recognise it?  

Do you remember those days when to make a photocopy of something cost shed loads of money and was frowned on because of that?  I remember when we had the first ever photocopier in school and how guilty we were made to feel each time we used it!!!  To do worksheets for the tiddlers then was a costly procedure so most of us didn't bother!!!

Thanks so much for all your comments on yesterday's post - all were appreciated. I hope to show more progress on the diamonds tomorrow but we'll see if I remember to take a photo!!!

21 April 2011

I never ever realised.

This is nothing to do with tatting but worth reading, I hope.  

Yesterday I attended (accompanied by 'you know who') a special and lovely dinner and presentation.  I was given an award.  Something I'd been working towards, despite a few hiccups, since I was about thirty two ish.  Even though I'd been on this 'campaign' for all those years I didn't realise quite what I'd achieved!!!

You can see me in the picture BUT the bravest and most courageous people were standing either side of me.  They stood up and spoke about their children (one a teenager and the other in his early twenties) who had died tragically of leukemia.  I tell you it nearly made me cry to hear them speak and to hear how much help they'd needed to gain an extra few months (for one couple) and a year (for the other couple) of life for their children.  Sadly they both died.

Please, please PLEASE do help people like them as it's so easy to do.  All you need to do is donate a unit of blood regularly.  Not a lot to ask - it doesn't hurt and it's a good health check for yourself (that's a bonus and one which I was grateful for a few years ago).  If you know ANYBODY and particularly teenagers who are eligible then please encourage them to donate wherever you are in this world of ours.

Oh, I got a badge, a glass crystal plate, a big clap and the photo below as well as a stonking good meal and all I did was lie on a bed 75 times, bleed into a bag, scoff tea and biscuits and trot off home.  See how easy it is.  

Oh, by the way, here in the UK we do it for free too.  I believe that in America people are paid for their donations so even more of a reason to donate!!!

20 April 2011

A looong time ago!

Selling off the leaflets last week brought back memories.  When I was young the only booklets with patterns that were easily available were the Coats and Penelope ones.  I had little choice (like most of us 'back then') on what I could make.  I used to buy them with my pocket money as a teenager.  I did actually use some of the doilies I made but wouldn't ever put one out now as I'd have to find room for them (IF I still had any!!!) in all our 'clutter'!!

Penelope book 4 on page 11 was perhaps the only doily I ever 'took to' and I remember making it many times.  I certainly must've made it in size 20 white as that was all I had available but I do remember making it in a fine silk sewing thread too - for the sake of working in colour.  Do you want to see the pattern?  Here's the picture in the booklet.

A few days later and a miracle has occurred at Chez Eborall - I found the silk doily still backed onto a piece of manilla card!!!  It must've been done about 40 years ago at a guess (certainly a looooong, looooooooong time ago!).  Not bad for it's age, eh?  Remember that I'd never seen or heard of picot gauges or blocking in those days either.  

Now I also found another doily in silk but that'll have to wait for another day!!!

19 April 2011

Seven motifs second round

Well, not strictly true but seven and one 'bit' on the second round!!!!

As I said yesterday that photograph was taken at the Buzz last Friday.  I've made a bit of progress since then as you can see.  Back last Friday it was 3 motifs and two 'bits' of the next on round two.  I've also added a few infills too since then.  

Next time I take a photo it won't be on our grubby flagstones on the patio!!!  I'll find a cloth to put it on first.  

I think this should be a lesson to all those in tat land who don't sew in their ends as they go along!!!  Can you imagine how tedious it would be to sew in all of them on this project once you'd finished?  

I must add also that to start each diamond I use this method (scroll down the page) and this to get the closure (I use the way with the extra part where you get no blip).

18 April 2011

Further progress!!!

Well here we go again!!!!  More boredom for you all!  

This is where I'd got to when I was at the Buzz Cafe.  Since then I've done a bit more but haven't got round to taking a photo.

I'm going to revise my timing on this as I think I must be getting faster!!!  I reckon it's now down to 40 minutes per diamond.  On this picture I guess I'm almost a quarter done on this round and the end is still not in sight!!!  Still enjoying it, though, which is a bonus!!!!

I also drew up some idea of what this will look like when the round is finished.  I can now use this to count and keep track of where I've got to!!!!  This is only a very rough drawing!!!!!

16 April 2011

Buzzing along

First of all thanks to those who helped with my problems yesterday - I'm not telling Nick how long I've spent so far on the diamonds!!!  He MIGHT insist I do some of the 'H' word instead!!!!

Yesterday I did a 'stint' of demonstrating tatting at the Buzz Cafe which is in the centre of town - about five minutes walk from where I live.  This is a new venture and a brave and forward looking one too.  Here's a link for more information about what happens there.  I thought you'd like to see some pictures of the cafe so that when you visit the town you'll know exactly where it is and where to pop in for a stonking good sandwich, cake, cuppa tea or anything they've got on their menu.  

So, the first picture is the outside.  The second picture is taken from exactly the same spot but I turned round about 45 degrees and zoomed in slightly.  Can you see that old building over there to the right of the tree? Well, that's Shakespeare's Birthplace.  

The third picture and the fourth pictures were taken inside the Cafe. 

15 April 2011

Fretting about things!

Some people think I've got a good 'eye for colour' but it's not really true as I've never studied colour at all.  I use that good old fashioned thing called instinct!!!!

So, first today I'm going to ask you to look at the original diamond mat I made a few years ago.  See how the 'flowers' repeat in the rounds?  Now look at the one I'm working on this year.  I've repeated the flowers in this first round.

So here comes the BIG decision.  I've decided NOT to do the repeats in the next round.  No, no, NO!!!!  I'm just going to 'go with the flow'!!  The main reason is because I have so many drop dead gorgeous threads that I want to use and in some cases probably not enough to do 3 repeats.  Part of the reasoning for making this whole thing is to use the threads I've got and NOT order more (the temptation is always there, though)!!!!  

Now, can you see in the third picture where I've paired them up?  I've got a variegated for the centres and 'plains' for the outlines as usual.  I've also numbered the pairs so I know which should sit next to each other.  BOY, is this going to be fun?  I just need to finish the in fills of this round and then I'll be off on the next!!!  

When all the infills are done there will be 66 diamonds.  Each diamond takes roughly three quarters of an hour!!!  This means that I've already spent a long time over this - can anybody work it out for me?  Now the next 'round' of flowers will be made up of 90 diamonds but I'm not going to work anymore out as I'm hopeless at maths even at the best of times!!!  

I would love to know how many more days, hours etc this is going to take but there again perhaps it's best NOT to know!!!  

14 April 2011

Book sale part 3

These are the final three leaflets - these are £1.00 ($1.50) plus post and packing.

11.  Coats leaflet number 988
12.  Coats leaflet number 461

Finally there's a crochet leaflet again from Coats and numbered 1087

13 April 2011

Book sale part 2

All yesterday's leaflets are now spoken for - thanks, folks.

Following on from yesterday here are the rest of the booklets.  

Must quickly mention the Learn to Tat book (330) as it was from this (pages 6 & 7) that I re-learnt how to hold and manipulate the shuttle almost 20 years after I'd started tatting.  As I picked up the craft from my gran (she was learning too) the way of holding the shuttle was never mentioned!!!!  I'd lent my copy of 330 to somebody I was teaching and she pointed these pages out to me!!!!!

6.   Coats Tatting number 469

7.  Learn to Tat number 330
8.  Coats Time for Tatting number 813
9.  Coats Learn Tatting number 1088
10.  Coats Ten Tatting Designs number 1127
Tomorrow there will be three more leaflets which you may be interested in too - they will be £1.00 ($1.50).

12 April 2011

Book sale part 1

Last week I won around 20 tatting leaflets/books on Ebay.  From the pictures I could see that a lot were ones I'd already got - several times over.  Some of those I bought new in the fifties/sixties and I've long since replaced them with 'less battered' ones.  Amongst the books were these three which I'd not got so I'm keeping these for little MEEEEE.
So, what to do with the rest?  Let me tell you why I bid on these booklets.  The seller had tried to get rid of them the previous week but there were no bids at all.  Odd, I thought, so put them back in my watch list.  I realised (things take time with me!) why they weren't selling - they were listed as 'buyer collects' which limits the take up for any item.  So I wrote to her and said I was interested in all of them (they were in two 'lots') and what would she charge for posting them.  We struck a 'deal' and eventually I won them all.

Now, as I don't want the following ones and as I don't want to make money out of them (just to cover my costs) I'm going to sell them at £1.50 ($2.50) each plus packing and postage.  

So if you see any you want below then let me know (please send me your email address and I'll put your name on it.  I'll hold on until you've seen all of them over the next few days then work it out and let you know what it will cost to post.  You'll need a Paypal account too.  Does that all make sense?  OK here's what I've got!!!

1.  Coats Tatting number 919
2.  Penelope Tatting Designs number 380
3. Penelope Tatting book 5
4.  Penelope Tatting book 2

5.  Penelope Tatting book 3 (I have two copies of this)
There will be more tomorrow so please take a look at those too but by all means 'reserve' any that you want of today's straight away.

11 April 2011

Emilia's bookmark

A couple of weeks ago Emilia sent me a picture of these bookmarks.  They're made from my Friendship Bookmark pattern which is here.

Just realised that there isn't a date on the page but using the wayback machine I've found it was first put on the internet probably in 2001.  

SO, that makes it nearly ten years old.  Time to take another look at it, I guess!!!

9 April 2011

Another day another few diamonds!

Are you fed up with this yet?  I'm not!!!

I'm still plodding away with the mat and am dreading the next part which will be mainly 'fill ins' I think.  I may even change the colours on those too.  By fill ins I mean the ones which surround the central dark pink star.  The next ones will surround the blue and green ones.  Perhaps today I will play with diamonds on my drawing software to see what variations of designs I can come up with.

The colours are working well for me at the moment - do like the variegated ones in the centres surrounded by plain.  I'm glad I stuck with the original colours.

The next stage won't fit on the scanner so I'll have to take photos of it!!!!

8 April 2011

Spring/Summer means bags!!!

As soon as the weather gets warmer I get out the sewing machine and move into the conservatory to sew!!!!  Today I have more little bags to show you!!!  I actually made these last week!!!

Amongst a big lot (100 actually!) of zips that I bought  last year off Ebay were some really, really tiny ones  - 2 1/2" to be exact.  These have been sitting in my stash luring me into temptation since then!!!

The first one I'm showing today is one that I made with a teeny zip for my camera's spare battery and spare memory card.  There is a tiny pocket in the case which is held shut with velcro but several times I've nearly lost these two items when carrying them around in there so I made a new tiny bag which is 'just right' and which clips onto the handle.

Now in preparation for the trip later in the summer I've made another weeeeee bag for the 'necessary' tatting tools I may need - a fine crochet hook (I buy mine from Georgia), a pair of clippers (safer than scissors for cutting ends) and a self threading needle.

You'll see (if you look closely) that I've added a piece of fabric to the inside to put the needle on.  The whole thing is lined with my 'secret ingredient' (poke proof stuff) that I use for the poke proof pouches.

I still have a few more zips around 3" to 4" which I'm going to think about next  - all suggestions welcome!!!  

Hang on - if anybody suggests I use them to zip my mouth shut then I'll ban them from reading my blog!!!!!!!

7 April 2011

Winged 'things' and results!!!!

Before I start today I have a confession to make!!  I've found several new blogs to follow myself since I launched the giveaway yesterday.  Oh, quite a few people didn't add their email addresses to their comments but don't worry I'll hop on a plane and fly over to whatever country you are in (or take a bus, Jenny!) if I haven't got an email address.

OK, instead of waiting until I get back home later I've hung around until 8:45 this morning and have got my random generator on the Ipad up and ready to go.  A round figure of 80 dropped in and the winner is -  BONNIE PETERS.  Congratulations.  Can you send me your snail address, Bonnie and I'll pop it in the post tomorrow?  Off out for the day now!!!

Now for today and again looking at the subject 'winged things'.

Nope, not an aeroplane this time - I think I've seen the last of those for a while (quiet nudge for those still working on the TIAS)!!!

This is a fairy which flew in the other day from LeVert who made her from this pattern.  As she said it is a lot of work but worth it.  I've made it a few times since the pattern went onto my site and have also done it in a size 20 thread.  Guidelines for the head are available for a larger sized thread - do ask me if you want to make it.

Then a few days later she sent in a dove too.  I'm SO relieved to find somebody else can follow the dove pattern as I kept altering it every time I made one!!!  That's me, though, never have known when to leave things alone!!!!

Just wondering what the dove would look like in black - a vulture, maybe?  Hmmmmm.

6 April 2011

Giveaway, statistics and celebration

Now I hate anything to do with maths.  Adding, subtracting (specially from my bank account) etc!!!!  I do notice numbers though, even while trying actively to avoid them!!!

A few months ago I noticed a 'gadget' in blogger which said 'page views' and thought I'd pop that on the blog - right at the bottom and out of the way.  Occasionally I have looked at it and yesterday I noticed that it had just crept over 100,000 page views.  Not quite sure what that means but heck, it's a lot of people reading my 'inane ramblings'!!!!  After a bit of research I also found that this is my 1,291st post since May 8th 2006 when I started blogging.   Crikey, that's nearly 5 years ago and I STILL haven't run out of things to say or show!!!

I usually use the 'followers' number (288) as a sort of gauge as to whether I'm 'doing OK' or not but this is amazing.  So, to celebrate - here is what I'm giving away!!

First of all there is a tatting bag that I made.  It's the sort with compartments inside for shuttles, hooks etc.  Next there are two tatting leaflets by May.  Rare breeds these are!!!  Also an Aero (England) shuttle.  I'll add a magnetic brooch/fridge magnet too like those in my shop.  There maybe other odds and ends but I've only just thought of this when I saw the meter reading!!  Which reminds me - must go and read the gas and electric meters now!!!!

Oh, rules?  I nearly forgot those!!!  Just leave a comment saying you want to be put in the draw with some way I can contact you and that's all.  Closing date for comments?  Oh, let's say 7th April (that's two days) at 08:45 BST when I pay my first visit of the day to the computer!!!  I'll announce the winner later in the day after I get back home.

5 April 2011

Progression on the diamonds

Here's the next 'part' of this mat.

I'm never quite sure about colours - this next combination seems to have 'killed' the original star which is here.  I'm not giving in, though.  I've had this happen to me in the past - many times.

After an hour or two 'choosing' the colours I think may work together I then change my mind constantly!!!  They look stunning on the balls/skeins together but when worked up look - well, dreadful!!!  

Now I'm sticking with this at the moment as the next threads I've got out may well pull these back into 'a good choice'!!! We'll see!!  Stick with me on this project and we'll see how many times you change your minds like I do!!!

4 April 2011

You've NEVER seen anything like this before

We've all seen butterflies beautifully tatted but NEVER have I seen one this fine.  This was sent to me by Tattabug along with the zinging beads (wish you could see them LIVE) and the fabric (to keep an OG busy).

All I did was get something for her and mail it and this is how she repays me!!!  WAY and above and beyond the call of duty.  Specially as I totally goofed on the where to send the package to!!!!

All those admirers of brain cell number 3 (both of you!!!) you're to stop admiring!! 

If it wasn't for Kelly who saved my life the package would never have got to Tattabug!!!  Thank you, Kelly and thank you Tattabug.  The butterfly is actually lying on top of a card that came with it.  This is also going into my 'keep forever' stash.  The little hummingbird is SO cute.  I'm going to frame the butterfly and hang that in tat corner.

2 April 2011

Some things 'bypass' me!!

I can't remember how many years ago it was discussed on a list about setting a 'special' day for tatting.  The discussions went on until the 1st April was designated.

Now I'm all for promoting tatting as you've probably gathered but in my neck of the woods there isn't much opportunity.  So, on Thursday when the phone rang  and a lady asked about tatting I was gobsmacked.  It was from a lady who runs the Buzz Cafe. The cafe is a newly set up type of community venue  right in the centre of town (five minutes walk away from where I live).  The lady wanted to know whether I'd be interested in teaching tatting or just demonstrating it there.  I said yes and she gave me some probable dates and that was that.  I decided to pop in there to 'touch base' on the way home from a meeting and met her and the other lady.  It's going to be a very casual arrangement which is great.

Next stage was walking back from Morrisons on Friday morning (that's ITD) and a youngish woman suddenly came walking along beside me.  She stopped me and asked what that was hanging on my handbag.  Tatting, says I (my handbag is covered in motifs and dangles!!).  She said she'd like to learn and I gave her my name and said 'google' me.  I've found that's the best way to 'test' if people are really interested.  We walked along chatting for a while and she went off for her dental appointment and I went home.

Well, not an hour later I had an email from her so I've suggested that we meet at the Buzz Cafe when she gets back from New Zealand.  I'm hoping to give the Buzz more income and also spread the word on tatting.  The cafe is going to be a sort of 'drop in' meeting place for all ages and all sorts so it could become a useful place to start informal classes.  We'll see!!!   I'll keep you posted!!!

1 April 2011


The postie popped a package through our door t'other day and I was upstairs at the time.  Didn't give it a thought until Nick called that there was a package for me!!!  He gets loads but mine are rare!!!

I was half expecting one from Canada but he said this was from Malaysia!!!  That got me downstairs at a rare old rate of knots!!!  That's nautical knots not tatting knots!!!!

Here's what was in the package.

The bottom one is from Jon in Malasia who I was supposed to meet up with back in December when she was due to pass through my town.  Sadly 'snow stopped play' and we didn't get to meet.  I was SO disappointed.

The one just under this writing is from Zarina (also in Malaysia) who so kindly asked Jon to give this to me when we met.  Zarina has a shop here but she says she hasn't got much in the way of the variegated threads at the moment.  BUT I'm going to keep an eye on her now!!!!!  She's also got an Etsy shop and if you look here under her 'sold' section then you'll see what she does do when she's got time.

I was then 'forced' into buying some more ez bobs and have now found a SUPER supplier here in the UK.  These are as rare as hen's teeth here in the UK.  This is the link for the ez bobs that I bought.  Ez bobs are not only useful for winding HDT onto they're also great for storing thread when you want to go out and about.  I use them lots.  

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Happy Beaks

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