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.  

31 March 2011

Naming and Shaming of 2 tatters

Today I'm going to name and shame two tatters.

I've never done this before but I've been FORCED into a corner and I feel it HAS to be done.

First of all to be named is Sue Anna for giving me SO many threads and also because they're not always what I would've chosen for myself!!!  Because of this  my life has been enriched and enexcitened (I know that's not a real word!) and I've been tempted away from what I probably SHOULD be doing to go back to this pattern.  And why, might you ask (I'm asking brain cell 3 too!)?  Because I adore playing with colours.

The next to be named and shamed is Sherry Pence (Lady Shuttlemaker) for this post!  She's being named and shamed because she's part and parcel of my distraction.  I saw that post and thought what wonderful colours and  look at how many ways you can use this pattern that I hadn't thought of!!!

So, you two - you are NAMED AND SHAMED!!!!  Thank you, very, very much I might add!!!!

30 March 2011

More bags!!!!

Kids love bags almost as much as OG's like me!!!  

The wonderful doggy print ones (yes, there are two) are for a small chap I'll be visiting soon and the denim one is for his mum.  

I made a similar denim one for myself for carrying the 'bare essentials' when I go teaching.  I teach two mornings a week and the one session is in the local library.  I take a little money, a memory stick, my mobile phone and my volunteer's badge with me.  I won't take my regular handbag in case I wander off and it goes 'walkabout'.  I teach Silver Surfers so sometimes I need to leave my computer to get something organised with the library lasses.  It's SUCH a useful little bag and I have a long 'strap' which goes round shoulders and over the neck!!

29 March 2011

MORE shuttles!!!

Later today I will be 'activating' some more shuttles AND a new line - cuff links.  The items will go 'live' at around nine o'clock in the evening.  That's BST - British Summer Time.  
There will be 
3 post shuttles with bird or butterfly transfers on
3 further post shuttles in rosewood - plain and gorgeous
1 pop a bobbin in American Tulipwood - without a hook
2 cherry Pop a Bobbins with hooks
3 apple Pop a Bobbins with hooks too.
Also included are some cuff links.  Two have beads mounted in the wood and four are 'plain' wood.  I say 'plain' but they are gorgeous.  Samples below.

28 March 2011

At LAST - the dove is finished!

Before I start.  There will be a few more shuttles in the shop on Tuesday or Wednesday.  The day will depend on how much I get sorted today!!!  I'm going to 'activate' them at around nine o'clock in the evening - that's British Summer Time.  I'll let you know tomorrow which day it will be!!!
Another forgotten and re-found pattern!!!!!  I've fiddled around with this one long enough!!!

This is a pattern I was going to submit to teach at Palmetto this year but as we'll not be in the USA at the same time as Tat Days then that's flown out of the window - metaphorically speaking.  Well, not quite as it's now in cyberspace!!!

I've put the pattern on my web page at long last - please forgive me for the wait and Sally, please forgive me for further alterations to the pattern too!!!  This picture shows the dove without it's olive branch but the pattern does have one.  Very simple that part is too!!!!

26 March 2011

More gifts for kids!!!

Once more I needed more gifts for kiddies (and a grownup)!!  It was sorta suggested that they'd like magnetic bookmarks.  That's fine by me but I didn't think my usual ones were really suitable for kids as a few 'tugs' on the lock chains would soon become a disaster!!!  

So, back to my very first idea (when brain cell 3 was as fresh as a daisy!) which was to sit critters on the top of the book like these two are.  The worm one is for the boy and the butterfly for the girl.  Then there needed to be another for mum so she gets the one with the lock chain!!!

25 March 2011

Spot the difference!

Can you see the difference?  Easy question and easy answer!!!

I needed to make this little motif so that anybody could make it whether they could get the findings or not!!!  The motif itself would work with most findings but there again some don't have access to them so an new 'middle' was needed.

I still have to 'refine' this and I'll get round to it one day!!  The one on the left isn't what I'd call perfect yet  but then I'm never 100% happy with what I've done!!!  Tat's just me, though!!!!

The one thing I'm megga, megga fussy about is beads, findings and decorations in my work.  I could never ever consider glueing or stitching things on - I'd never consider it 'safe'!!!  The 'new' version (sans finding) is still worked in one 'hit' with a little jiggory pokery at the beginning!!!!

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.

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Happy Beaks

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