24 March 2011

A surprise visit and a NEW join!

Before I show you what I made two days ago I MUST show you this link if you haven't already seen it.  I think it's a fabulous idea - another avoiding the folded join to the alternative avoiding the folded join - if you can follow that!  It's from Teri Dusenbury who I SO admire.  This is an intriguing and very sensible way of achieving this join.  Better than the way I showed you.  In fact I managed it at my first attempt and just from watching her video a couple of times!!!  Here's my first try.
Now, I needed to make a couple of brooches (or, in American - pins) for gifts so mathered about 'what to make'!!!  They are for little girls so anything with a magnet on just isn't a good idea!!! Not only are they easy for kids to lose they are easy for even tinier kids to swallow!!!

Then I remembered the Tatbead Family and thought I'd do those.  Here they are - ready to 'go' with tiny pins on their backs!!!
 This is the back view.

23 March 2011

Pigs do fly!!!!!

I'm always happy to make up orders for people as it gives my tatting a more personal feel.  Actually it's really nice to sort of know where the 'whateveritis' is going to as you're making it.

A few days ago I was asked to make a flying pig!!!  Not on his own but as a bookmark.  Well, here's the little grunter just before he flew over the pond.  Well and truly assisted by Royal Mail!!!

I now designate the name Royal MAIL back to the company for having paid me for one of the three missing pre-Christmas packages.  There were three missing although one did finally show it's head nearly two and a half months later.  I'm hoping to get compensation for the second package but who knows!!!  I'll keep you posted (pun totally intended). 

I must say here that I am a bit of a skinflint and have always tried to avoid paying charges for things.  I have  always sort of resented paying Ebay and Etsy charges for some inane reason!!  I think because I don't like having to cover those charges in my asking price which I try to keep low because I'm not a 'business' - I'm a 'dabbler' trying to feed my thread and bead addiction!!! 

BUT having said that I have found the advantage with selling through these places because of the backup you get.  When claiming missing goodies it's easy to do as you have the Etsy (or Ebay) invoice, the proof of posting (my local Post Office always prints one off for me without even asking) and then you only have the form to fill in.  This was part of the reason that the Pop a Bobbin Shuttles started going through Etsy - easy to track!!!

22 March 2011

The folded join and how to avoid it!!!

Before I start - a new plane has just landed in the TIAS blog (number 83).

Well it's now 54 years since I learnt to tat and about time I made a confession!!!!

This is brought about by a tatter who asked the other day about joining the final join when you've got rings in a motif and they face outwards.  I'll admit it publicly - I DON'T KNOW how to do the 'folded join' and I've never understood it!!!!  I guess I've also never bothered as I've always done it without getting a twisted picot!!!!  

Today I'm going to try to explain something that I'm not sure I understand myself but it's the way I do it!!!  
When I get to the join all I do is hold the work as it should be with the first and last rings side by side but with the core thread below the picot it's going to join to.  I then pull this up through the first picot of the first ring and then take the shuttle through that.  

I've read and read about and studied this mysterious 'folded join' and spent yesterday afternoon studying it again before doing this blog post.  I'm still none the wiser as to how to do it the 'proper way' but as I seem to get by without it I think I'll stick to the age old, tried and tested 'Jane way'!!!!  I'm sure others must do it the same as me - don't you?!?!?

21 March 2011

Playing around!!!

Last year I treated myself to an ipad.  I must admit I don't go very far without it as it contains my 'life'!!  I have apps for just about everything!!

Recently I realised that to travel over the pond I'd need something to carry it in  - but what?  Oh, yes, there are lots and lots of 'things' you can buy but I like to make my life difficult (and I like sewing too!!).

In the pictures below are two neoprene holders which the ipad fitted into  (before my scissors got to them!) with a little bit of space round it.  Wonderful but not very 'substantial'.  Well, they did come from Poundland!!  So I took them apart and then re-constructed them so that the 'two became one'.  I suppose you could call it a 'marriage made in Jane's conservatory'.  Then I set about covering them - you can see two pictures of WIP and my rather 'scruffy' Ipad case!!!  

Well, you know me - I do like 'bright' so at the bottom is the finished cover - with integral carrying strap.  Isn't that the most amazing fabric?  I don't think I'll lose it very easily!!!  Now I'm ready to go. 

WHAT?  I've got a few months to wait?  Shame!

19 March 2011

How long DOES it take?

How long does it take me to get to doing something that 'needs' doing?  I tend to get 'diverted' into 'want to do's' instead of 'need to do's' so easily!!!

In this case the answer is ages!!!  Back in January (I think it was!) we went to Ikea and amongst other goodies bought some cushions - just the inner pads and not the posh whole things as there was nothing we could agree on!!

It's taken me this long to make these cushions.  The fabric was in a package that Ridgewoman sent me last year and I've been 'saving it up' for something special.  I suddenly thought the other day that it would be just the thing to 'lift' our brown throws.  

The throws that I knocked together the other week work a treat.  OK, they still slip down from time to time but it is SO much easier to put them back!!!

This picture was taken of the sofa as I couldn't fit both cushions onto a chair - for obvious reasons!!! 

As  you can probably guess - the sewing machine is out!!  I'm working on another 'self imposed' project at the moment which I hope to share with you next week - whether you like it or not!!!!

18 March 2011


After a week of walking past the shop gazing at the shoes (well sandals, actually) I finally went in and bought them.  This is a small record for me as I have been known to mather for weeks and weeks and weeks!!!  Of course I now have to get past the 'they're too nice to wear - I'll keep them for best' bit!!!  Another thing I have to come to terms with is slinging the old sandals!!  This is SO, SO hard to do for me!!!!  Is it cause I'm a war baby (born in 1943) or is it cause I'm just plain parsimonious?!?!?!?  Send for the men in white coats!!!!

Anyway I haven't got much to show you but I did get these two done last evening.  

The purply blue one has a tag on saying it belongs to 'Jane' and is made from a yarnplayer skein that was in the 'oh my gosh' package from Sue Anna.  I would be willing to make one like it if anybody wanted a similar.  The browny one (knitty gritty is the name of the thread, I think) will be the start of my 'travelling stash' of brooches to take with me over the pond. 

The purply one is also made from a yarnplayer skein that was in the oh my gosh package. 

17 March 2011

Part 2 of Oh my GOSH

Not only were there the spectacular Lizbeth threads but in the same package came the HDT down below.

Now I'm guessing that they are all Yarnplayer's HDT.  I'm sure my favourite is  Garden Afternoon but I change my mind every few minutes!!!  

What fascinates me about working with the HDT is the way it 'changes' as you wind it onto an Ezybob.  Then it morphs  again as you work with it.  Matching it to beads is another challenge but all are totally enjoyable.  

Down below are the last two I'm listing in the shop.  The next batch will be for family and friends and probably two for MEEEEEEE.  I'll show you as I make them so that if there is one that you want particularly I'll do another!!!  Yes, I test wore one of the white ones but haven't kept any of the really pretty ones yet for myself.  Why?  Well I'll admit that each one I've made has been for me but then I'd start on the next one and then change my mind!!!   

As in all aspects of my life I can be termed a 'ditherer'!!!  That's why I'm hopeless at buying things (currently dithering over a pair of shoes that I saw on Monday and keep walking past the shop looking at them!!).  I stand and dither and try to convince myself that I really, truly need something (I actually DO need the shoes too)!!!  Dear Sue Anna takes all the dithers out of my thread buying life as going into Yarnplayer's store just causes a major attack of the 'dithers and drool'.  Yes, I know there are other people doing HDT but these are the ones I get gifted!!!

16 March 2011

Oh my GOSH - part 1

You meet people online and get to know them pretty well over the years.  I want/need very little in life in the way of material things and sort of 'muddle' along pretty darn well with no particular ambitions - except what to tat next, of course.  The friends that I've made online are my 'real' friends cause we all talk the same language 'tatting'!!!

Among those friends are people like Sue Anna who works darn hard for a living but appears to spend ALL her earnings on spoiling people like me!!!!  For which, I might add, I'm extremely grateful and honoured.  

As you guys 'over the pond' probably realise - here in the UK we don't have the stores like Michaels, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann's etc.  Well, we do but they are few and far between and minute in size compared to 'over there'.  If we want to we can buy from the USA but there is the postage on top.  Do you remember that Sally and I put in an order from ZigZag Corner recently?  It arrived safely (fabulous vender, by the way) but unfortunately had been 'stopped and searched' by customs (the STINKERS) so our threads cost us a lot more than they should've!!!  That's why I'd already started a 'list' for when we go over to America later this year. 

I am now going to scrap that list!!!!  Here are the Lizbeth threads that Sue Anna kindly gifted me and which arrived yesterday.  See the brown variegated one?  I can feel critters coming on!!!!  What colours too.  BUT there's more to come tomorrow on this subject.

Oh, two new brooches in the shop today too!!!! 

15 March 2011

Are you bored yet?

I'll soon have had enough of making these brooches for a while although they're proving very popular.  I'm not really getting bored with making them - quite the opposite but as the blog is my reason to keep going I'm aware that anybody who reads this on a regular basis might fall off their chair as they fall asleep watching them float by!!!!

Anyway - here are two that are in my shop today.  I'm going to make what I think will be a spectacular one for tomorrow but then the 'best laid plans of mice, men and Jane' etc!!!

14 March 2011

More of them!!

It's been a good weekend for magnetic brooches cum fridge magnets!!!  I listed two yesterday and got up early to list two more this morning!!!!  Early?  Well that's just before 8 o'clock which is early for an OG like me!!!

This is the best 'excuse' I've had for ages for not doing the dreaded 'H' word!!!  What IS the point of endless dusting and vacuuming when as soon as it's done it comes straight back?!?!?  Honestly I despair of those tasks!!! 

Actually when I'm making things like these brooches I tend to have a 'choice' of threads and beads around me in 'tat corner'.  This (of course) leads to a total and shambolic mess.  Of course then doing the above is impossible (cough, cough, splutter, splutter).  I love this sort of mess, though!!!

12 March 2011

Answering yesterday's question!!!

Yes, I do feel I'm addicted!!!  This can only last so long, though as I have a limited supply of the metal thingymajigs!!!!!

I put the other two in Etsy yesterday and these have gone in today so then I will have to sit back and see what happens next!!!

I discovered (as you know it takes time with me!!!) that they make excellent fridge magnets too!!!  In fact if you've got any metal in the room where you 'dis-robe' at night (usually called a bedroom!!) then you can 'park' them on there!!!  Anything for an easy life, eh?

What is that song?  The one about chewing gum?  Ah, 'does your chewing gum lose it's flavour on the bedpost overnight'?   So, if you've got a magnetic brooch cum fridge magnet and you park it on your metallic bedpost then I wonder what would happen to it overnight?!?!?!?

OK, sorry, I've lost the plot again.  Off to crawl back under my stone!!!

11 March 2011

Do I feel an addiction coming on?

I think I do!!!!

I'm now into colour with the OctoStarFlake!!!  This might be a simple pattern (rings and chains with a Hmmmm in the middle!!!) but it's BEAD HUNGRY!!!  Fortunately most of them are on very long beaded picots so don't have to be added to either the ball or shuttle thread.  I SO love this way of adding beads.  Makes for little or no planning which suits me just fine!!!  I'm lazy!!!

So what I save in outlay on magnets (only one per brooch) I'm spending on beads (and the metal inners - aka late and now dead earrings)!!!  I LOVE shopping for beads so any excuse is one I'm glad to follow.
I wore one of the pale coloured flakes yesterday - under my coat and whilst shopping just to 'test it'.  It didn't move at all so I can now start listing these in my Etsy shop.  IF I can bear to part with them, of course!!!  More to come in due course!!!

Watch this space - no, not this one but the one between my ears where brain cell # 3 lives!!!

10 March 2011

Falling leaves!!!

I'm still tidying up.  This time it's the computer.  I'm really a dozy old moo as I forget that I'm doing things and go off and start something new!!!!

The other day I mentioned to a friend that I was wondering what to start on next - she kindly and very diplomatically asked where the cat was that I was working on!!!  You know - the one with the ears that 'weren't quite right'!!!!  Well, I'm pleased to report that I'm almost finished with it!!!   With NEW ears!!!!  I'll show you soon - IF I haven't forgotten again!!!

This led me onto looking through  my files etc.  Here I found the leaves that I made for the Palmetto logo - dare I admit that I won again and my leaves were chosen for last year's Tat Days!!!!

Anyway I thought that I'd better get them up on my pattern page so here they are.

9 March 2011

First idea!!

This is what I've used the earrings for (see below).  After a session with a couple of pairs of pliers - one in each hand!!!  I can be ambidextrous when I have to be!!!  This is only the first of probably several designs using these demolished earrings!!  Hopefully Sally will come up with new ideas too as I got her two pairs  from Asda and they should arrive at her place (via Royal Fail) sometime soon.

These are NOT my favourite colours to use as you probably realise!!!!  

I have a seahorse to make for an Etsy order next so after that's done I hope to either return to the cat OR re-do this design with COLOURS.  Big, bright, brash, gorgeous colours.  AND the VERY BEST news is that they will make magnetic brooches!!!  I can't wait to get to those so if there's anybody out there (except the seahorse lass) waiting for anything else - then you'll HAVE to wait - I'm going to be playing!!!

8 March 2011

When I was out!

First of all my apologies to those who may have looked in the Etsy shop for the new worm, butterfly (already spoken for) and the new owl.  Guess who is the silly old moo who forgot to 'activate' them yesterday morning!!!  DUH!!!  Still, two out of the three are there now - thanks IsDihara for the gentle reminder!!!  I need people like you around me.

When I was out the other day I 'happened' to pop into Asda (a subsidiary of Walmart but not half as huge or with half the 'stuff'!)  We don't have a 'food' Asda here so this type of shop is somewhere I rarely go unless there is something I think they may have.  I have noticed that sometimes the necklaces there have some scrummy beads on.  They are like a magnet to me!!!!

Anyway the temptation of a 50% off in the jewellery section was just tooooo tempting so up I  trotted to see what there was available.  This is what I bought.  A pair of earrings!!!  I'll show  you what happened to them 'in due course'!!!!

7 March 2011

All change!!!

Now I've been watching my Etsy shop!!!  Well, only to try and fathom what does and doesn't sell and I've not reached any astounding conclusions either!!!!  

I've watched these three bookmarks being totally ignored now for ages and I don't blame people.  I don't much like them myself!!!!  So I've replaced them with the following.  Let's see if I can get the 'before' pictures alongside the 'after' ones in this post!!!
 Next is the worm.  I've replaced that with a 'hatted' worm!!!!


Finally I replaced the butterfly with - another zinging one!!!

Also there are a few more 'odds and ends' there too.

5 March 2011

Fly to Palmetto tat days!!!

Update on the Queen's visit yesterday.  I went mowing grass instead as I doubted she'd have time for tatting.  Actually my closest to her was seeing her red helicopter fly past as we'd just finished up on the grass.  I doubt she missed me!!!!  I will get to teach her one day - or perhaps Kate!!!!  Thankfully she brought the most fabulous weather with her and the grass was finished.

A few days ago this picture came to me from Pam - one of the Palmetto 'gals'.  They were shown to her at one of their meetings recently and she took the photo below.  Pam thinks this is the order from left to right.  Wanda Tripp, Karen Lowrimore, Joanie Culverhouse, Katherine Buckner and Hope Bates.  Some of these are already on the TIAS blog but it's great to see them altogether.  Which reminds me - there's still room on the TIAS blog for more - currently it stands at around 80 landings!!!!

I love going to Palmetto Tat Days as it's such fun there and a fantastic place to learn new stuff - even and especially for an OG like me!!!  You'll have to look back through my blog to see how good it is.  Here's a link to their site.  OOOOOh, just seen what they're doing at their next meeting too.  Something that I gave them a while back. 

4 March 2011

New potential tatter?

I managed to list the magnetic brooches in Etsy yesterday afternoon and a lot of them have flown already.  Thanks, folks.

Today I have the chance to teach a potential tatter but need to ask you all how I go about it.

OK I've taught a few people in my life but not one like this.  There were people already in town yesterday taking precautions for her visit to my corner of tat land.  

You know those little holes in the pavement that they lift up to turn off localised  water supplies?  They measure roughly 9" square.  Well yesterday in preparation for this person (and her DH - who might also want to learn to tat) all of them at the bottom end of the town were being inspected.  There were roughly 20 men and women lifting each one!!!  There were the 'water men', security men and police all peering down each hole!!!  This was outside the ladies loo too which was a bit off putting as I really needed to go in there so instead I 'dashed' home!!!

So, the biggest problem is how do I get this person to sit down and learn.    Will she have time in her busy schedule?  Should I offer to hold her hands while we turn the knot?  Should I take one or two wound shuttles with me so she doesn't have to spend valuable time winding them?  
BUT the biggest problem of all is how to get close enough to even start on our lesson. Then, of course, do I curtsey or just pretend she's just an old mate? 

Who is it?  Who may want to learn to tat (in my dreams)?  Who is bringing her DH with her too?  Why, the Queen!!!!  They're both coming to re-open the theatre which has had a multi million pound re-vamp.  It's drop dead gorgeous too.  She'll also be watching a small part of Romeo and Juliet - the balcony scene.  This is being played by two actors Mariah Gale and Sam Troughton.  I can boast here - I taught Sam to read as I was his first teacher in primary school.  A great kid from a super family too.

Actually I'll probably go and mow grass instead!!!!!!!

3 March 2011

A few more!

It might seem that these are quick to make but I assure you they're not!!!  

They are fiddly and annoying when the magnets decide to 'play party time'!!!

Still these are a few more of what I HOPE to get into my Etsy store later today.  What is that saying?  'Time and tide wait for no man'?  Well nothing waits for me!!!  I seem to be forever chasing my tail lately.  Wonder why that is?

I'm afraid I'm going to have to put the prices up slightly.  I've noticed that since I started listing the bookmarks that the amount I'm actually getting (in order to feed the thread and bead addiction!!!) is dropping due to the dollar to pound conversion! 

It's a good job I don't have to use the car to go to the Post Office - here in the UK the price of petrol (aka gas) has now gone up to over £1.30 a litre.  Not sure what that is in gallons although I've tried to work it out.  Then again America uses different 'sorts' of gallons to us!!!  Ain't life complicated for a mathematically challenged old git?

2 March 2011

The hardest thing to do!

Now what's the hardest thing I have to do in tatting and the most dreaded? 

Well, at the moment it's scanning.  No, not your regular scanning.  I use the scanner a LOT particularly for the flat pieces of tatting.  BUT the worst thing of all is the pieces that include magnets!!!  

These are little STINKERS to scan as they move.  They sneakily move around the platten when you're not looking.  Honest, no word of a lie.  I sit here and carefully place them on the platten.  Then I gently lower the lid.  Fine.  I do the 'preview' part and there they are sitting smartly as they were placed.  GREAT, I think to myself.  Then I do the 'save as' and all the other plaver and press 'scan'.

So, what's wrong with that?  Well, somehow and for some reason (which many of you must know about, but I don't) the little stinkers then decide they're going to have a party and one of them ALWAYS moves!!!!!  I've now resorted to doing them two at a time which seems to work but it's a darn nuisance!!!

These brooches are ones I've just finished (evenings over the weekend have been spent making these).  Once I've done a few more I'll add them to the Etsy shop.  After that it'll probably be back to bookmarks as there are only a few left in there!!!  I may remove the few that are left as nobody seems to want them.  I can turn them into something 'better' I think!!!!!

1 March 2011

Will it work or won't it?

Throws!  Love 'em, hate 'em!  Why do we  have them and can we do without them?  

A few years ago we bought new armchairs - the sort that recline.  To keep them looking good we did the obvious thing - bought throws for them.  These are really a great idea BUT they migrate!!!  Getting them on is one problem and then keeping them from moving into the centre of the chairs is impossible.  They are, after all, one huge piece of fabric and when the aged butt hits them they are forced to move!!

Anyway I got thinking about this and decided to make new ones which aren't in one piece.  The first picture shows the back, seat and lower piece which are all stitched together.  The back goes over quite a way - like a regular throw.  The seat part is 'just enough' to tuck into the seat at the sides.  I then added another piece which goes over the foot part and protects the front of the seat.

The bottom picture shows a long rectangular piece which goes over an arm, down through the seat and back over the other arm.  This has a enough fabric in it to form a 'bead catching lip' at the back!!!!  This is one of the reasons I have to have a throw - to catch those errant beads!!!

Oh, don't look at the clutter round tat corner!!!  I keep tidying it up and it keeps creeping back!!! Perhaps that's one of the reasons I keep losing things too. 

Does anybody know if this type of throw has been tried before?  I'm hoping it works but if it doesn't then I'll stitch all the pieces into one large one and go back to struggling with 'arranging' it every day!

28 February 2011

How DO I do it?

I have a wonderful talent of which I am totally NOT proud.  What is it, you may well ask!!!

Well, it's a talent for losing things!!!  I can lose anything within two minutes of having been given it!!!  I lose tatting all the time.  So the other day I'd finished this little magnetic brooch and went off upstairs to scan it.  

Simples you may think and it certainly would be for anybody else.  I lost it for nearly 24 hours!!!!  Where was it found?  In a pocket which I'd checked several times.  I reckon there are gremlins with a wicked sense of humour living in this house!!! 

26 February 2011

Does my gecko look OK?

I made another magnetic brooch last evening and was going to show you today - but!!!!   Guess what?  I've lost it!!  Well, not so much lost as I had it before coming upstairs to bed but I can't find it now!!!  So today's post will be about something else!!

It's the smallest things that are often the hardest!!!!  Oh, that's life in general, though!!!!   Looking after the smallest people in our lives is hard too.  Here are some of mine!!!

Not sure if this really does look gecko ish enough yet so thought I'd show you!!!!  When you're working on tiddly bits it's SO hard to get the right shape and expressions into them.  Anyway, I leave you with this and this and this!!!  Oh, better explain!  There's a swan, an angel and a turtle!!!!

I think the next turtle will have to be a tad larger in the body but I really like him.  

OK, off to play 'hunt the brooch' now!!!

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