17 August 2011

Please look at this.  This is a wee duffle bag that Gina gave me when we had that lovely day together in Cincinnati.  Isn't it CUTE?

BUT look what was inside!!!

Two packets of beads and such yummy colours too.

Thanks again, Gina.  This is the front.

 This is the back - see the wee straps?
Now feast your eyes on the beads.  Are you jealous?

16 August 2011

New idea from Geraldine

This is a message I received from Geraldine while I was away.  I'm sure you'll love to hear what she said and see what she's done!!!

"While on holiday at Minehead the last two weeks I took your Fandango pattern to tat. Well as you know I like to play with patterns and I came up with these two book marks.(hope you don't mind). I used Lizbeth for the variegated and Altin Basak for the black and green. I did a SLT as you have done to get the black running up the middle and used your trick round the edge to stop the blips. On the green one i inverted the pattern and reduced the count from 4-4 to 2-2. I love them both. I'm now going to have a go at the pendant as i'm sure my sister will like it."

15 August 2011


OK, more about the second kidnap!!!!  

Remember Sue Anna had already sent me a box full of goodies for when I arrived in Cincinnati.  She also gave me another skein of HDT and also one for Sally (which I handed to her when I got back home).  BUT this lady is SO generous that she gave me a snake.  No, not a real live one but one she'd made herself in bobbin lace.  Here it is.  Isn't he gorgeous?  He's perfect too.  I risked life and limb to get him out of his bookmark sleeve to get a good scan of him and then struggled to persuade him back in later!!!

As I didn't know I was going to meet these intrepid travellers (Sue Anna drove six and a half HOURS each way) I didn't have anything to give them.  

BUT Diane gave me one of her new Dorset bags with a MATCHING blinged shuttle.  Also in the bag were two balls of Lizbeth - a gorgeous pink and another in brown.  I'll be telling you more about this colour combination later in the year but I'm keeping it a secret at the moment!!!  You'll have to wait!!!!

Can you also see next to the shuttle a small dangle thingy?  Well that's now dangling from the scissors she also gave me.  Interestingly Diane said that the reason for those are so that if you drop your scissors then the dangle hits the floor before the points of the scissors which could break.  What a cool idea.
In this next picture are the scissors (now in use and replacing my usual nail clippers!) and more 'toys'.  Can't wait to play with the daisy idea and the retractable leash is going to be SO useful too.  Many, many thanks, Diane.

13 August 2011

After the holiday in the holiday!

Well, back in Cincinnati and life got back to normal duties helping out with the little kids that Karen 'minds' during the day (oh, the joys of an iPad with Angry Birds on!) and lifeguard duties when required.
I'm now going to tell you about a second kidnap attempt!!!  This was with Sue Anna.  YES, woweeee, I finally got to meet her and MORE.  

Remember that Gina travelled a vast distance (well, by UK standards) to meet?  Well if Sue Anna had travelled the distance that she did in the UK she'd have fallen off the edge and drowned in the sea!!!!  

Not only did she drive a humungous way but she also picked up Diane (Lace-lovin' Librarian) on the way!!!!  WHAT a treat for me - two wonderful people in one 'hit'.

Now one of the things I find so different in America is the fact that here we were - 3 tatters with no place to go to natter.  Remember that part of the USA was suffering a major heatwave and we would've melted outside.  So we went to Panera Bread which is a food outlet chain which spreads all over America (I think!!!).  There we commandeered a corner for the entire afternoon.  Here's a picture of the three of us!!!
Now, if you ever get the chance to meet these two lasses - be warned.  Be VERY warned about them.  They laugh loads and talk lots (well, I guess I do too!!!!).  Both are beyond generous which I'll show you on Monday.

We were in our wee corner of the restaurant for about six hours just talking and tatting.  WHAT a joy.

12 August 2011

So, it's finished!

Well, here it is finished.  Did you think it was finished two days ago?  Sorry, forgot to mention that I wasn't happy with it like it was.
Well, it's not really totally finished as it still has to be mounted on fabric.  I will add a doweling rod to the top so that I can hang it up on a wall somewhere in the house.  Of course, this depends if it ever DOES get 'mounted' as it will probably (knowing me!!!) just get 'filed' in a drawer somewhere.

Statistics on this are.

Each diamond took roughly 3/4 hour to make.  

There are 354 diamonds (222 form the actual stars of which there are 37)

There are 18 triangles in the final round.

Then, of course there's the border and all in all the whole thing measures from side to side 27" and just over 31" from point to point!!!!

Quite a lot of work but something I would tackle again - or even more!!!!!

Oh, in case you didn't know - the patterns are here and here!!!

11 August 2011


There was one big disappointment during the trip and that was not being able to meet up with my hostess with the mostess from South Carolina.  

DJ (short for Dear Joanie) emailed me JUST before we were due to go on the 'holiday in the holiday' to say they were a 'few miles away' and could we meet up.  Unfortunately due to lifeguard duties in the yard, me not picking up the message in time and the family taking a united decision to leave for the ocean a day early this turned out to be impossible to achieve.  I was very sad about this as Joanie is such a dear friend who has given me a bed to sleep in and sustained me throughout two Palmetto Tat Days.  Which reminds me - don't forget that Tat Days registration is now open here.  Well worth a visit for fun, tatting, great company etc.

I mentioned that Joanie said they were 'not far away' and I still can't get over the size of America or the fact that people drive such HUGE distances to visit each other.

When Gina came to see me she drove nearly 180 miles and this makes me feel quite strange.  I'm going to tell you about another meeting in a few days - one which was just as extraordinary.

Oh, this picture is for Gina!!!!  Why?  Well, Buster is one of the family dogs and he totally and utterly fell in love with Gina.

10 August 2011

Found it!!

I knew I'd taken a photo about the diamond mat in progress and how much thread I took with me - just took a while to locate it on the camera's memory cards!!!   Oh, and in my memory cards too!!!

I took four ezybobs full of thread - 2 with the lighter green and 2 with the darker one.  Here's a picture of what I had left!!!  You'll see how and why I was getting worried in the last few days of tatting the final round!!!!  There was enough light green left for perhaps another 3 diamonds!!!
So, this is the 'mat' once I'd finished that round.

9 August 2011

Back to other things

I keep remembering bits and pieces but not in any particular order so please, please bear with me - signs of a disorganised brain.  Good news is that the jet lag has gone at last (I hope) - caught it really badly this time.  Must be a virus!!!

When I arrived in Cincinnati there was a package waiting for me from Sue Anna.  Well you know full well how that lass spoils me rotten and this was no exception at all.  

Look at what was in there this time - MORE Lizbeth, MORE Yarnplayer's HDT and also my favourite ezybobs to put the HDT onto too.  

As I was well prepared for this trip I'd taken what I needed for the border of the diamond mat.  BUT as soon as I saw this choice of threads that idea went right out of the window - along with the bath water but not the baby!!!!

Why not the baby?  Didn't have one with me at the time!!!

8 August 2011

Moving on to the next bit!

I guess you don't really want to hear about my fabulous holiday!!!  Nobody wants to hear about the July 4th celebrations (several), going blueberry picking or going to the Monster Jam and the Pit Party beforehand.  

Nobody wants to hear about the stupendous week on Hilton Head Island where the sea was as warm (if not warmer!) than a hot bath at home.  Where the sun shone every day and it was HOT, HOT, HOT.  Or about the beach which was miles and miles of glorious sand.  So, you're not going to!!!!  Well, maybe just one picture and that's it!!!  A picture of the small wooden bridge over the dunes to the beach which was 200 yards from the house we were staying in.  It was taken as the sun set.
What you really want to know about (I think) is what I was making and doing while I was there!!!  I can't sit and do nothing so there's no point in trying!!!  

I made progress on the diamond mat!!!  Here's the first picture!!!  I think I'd just started on this final round when I left you.  I took the two 'greens' to the USA with me with sufficient (so I thought!) wound off the large balls onto ezybobs.  I worked out that there was enough on each full shuttle bobbin to make four diamonds and the rest was 'guess work'!!!!  This is a picture taken on the 'holiday in the holiday' and  you can see (just) that I'm almost there!!!!  I'll tell you more in a few days!

6 August 2011

Part two of the kidnap!

Now this piece of work is astonishing.  This is Romanian Point Lace and Gina is certainly an extremely talented lady.  Here's the bell she made and then gave me.  I've scanned it from both sides as I really didn't know which was the 'right' and which was the 'wrong' side - both SO neat.  I don't honestly think there is one!!!!

This is the post she did with other variations too.  What a lot of patience she's got.

5 August 2011

The life of a kidnap victim

For all those who have been with me for at least two years you'll probably remember that last time I was in Cincinnati I was kidnapped by two friends - Gina and Gail.  Well this time another kidnap was arranged after we all got back from the ocean holiday (known as the 'holiday in a holiday').  Unfortunately due to a last minute work crisis Gail couldn't join us so poor Gina had to put up with me on her own.

Well we all know Gina as a kind and generous soul who is extremely generous with her gifts, her time and her knowledge.  Here's a lovely picture of her surrounded by sunflowers which I feel reflect her sunny nature.  Actually we talked our socks off and this is the only picture either of us got on the day and this was as she was leaving me!!!!
Here's her version of the day!  It was a wonderful time - she led me beautifully astray in Hobby Lobby and Michaels but unfortunately we couldn't get into Jo-Ann's as it was closed!!!  However Gina introduced me to her favourite book place too!!! 
This lass is extremely generous and she gave me this box full of goodies.  I'm only showing you a few as the rest are still awaiting photographing!!!!  First the box which came home full of treasures!!
Now just SOME of the 'goodies'!!!  Can you see the cushion there on the right?  The tatting on it is exquisite.  I've been looking for Gina's post about it but can't find it - jet lag hasn't left me yet and sleep hasn't returned to normal.  Think I need to tat in front of the telly tonight!!!!  That'll put me to sleep!!!!!
Tomorrow I'll show you the bell she gave me. 

4 August 2011

OK, here we gooooo

As I promised some bits about my trip!!!  
First of all did you know that I'm a trained and competent lifeguard?  Betcha didn't.  This is somebody who can swim in a haphazard fashion and looking like a drowning whale at the same time!!!

Here is a picture of me at work!!!   AND the kids I'm looking after!!!

Now who said 'where's her rescue tube (or even a noodle)'?  Who said 'where's her bikini' (what a horrifying thought)?  Who said (and I  DID hear you in your corner of Tat Land) 'what's she doing'?  

Yes, I am minding kids in the yard while tatting!!!!  Well, what else does an old git do when she's on vacation!!!!!

3 August 2011

Home again

Well the AB (Ancient Body) is home but BC#3 (Brain Cell Number 3) hasn't caught up yet!!!
Be assured - all will return to what counts as 'normal' in this wee corner of tat land as I give you MY version of the trip!!!  Well, the tatting version!!!!!

8 July 2011

Coming soon - not a lot!!!  Please bear with me for a few weeks while I'm away.  I've actually been on holiday for the past ten days and the recent posts were all scheduled!!  

Tomorrow we go adventuring again on a 'holiday in the holiday' so I won't be back during that time!!!

However, between shopping, child minding and acting as 'lifeguard' when the kids are in the pool I am managing to progress the diamond mat which I will try and show you before our return to 'normality' (call that boredom'!!!

6 July 2011


Yes, I really, really, REALLY mean it this time.

Just couldn't resist trying the Fandango in blended threads.  There are Swarovski crystals in the middle too.  

SO pleased with this one that I'm going out on a 'high'!!!!!

5 July 2011

Hmmmmm, another 2 Fandango pendants!!!

So I thinked and I thunked and I thought darn hard (well, not really!) and came up with a new look Fandango motif!!!!!
First of all I wanted to make the centre 'cross' a bit more prominent and so I found that all it needed was one SLT to do the trick!!!!  How easy is that?

Then I thought - why not MORE beads, as you do, so this is what happened - see below.  

Actually I used my favourite metallic threads.  I get them from Lyn Morton at Tatting and Design.  

4 July 2011

Happy Birthday

Happy birthday little sister!!!!  Hope you have a great one.  I won't mention your age but I wish I was 21 again like you!!!!!

In CASE anybody had missed my sister's blog - here's the link!!!!

2 July 2011

Final book chat!

Also amongst the books was this final small one which I'd not seen before - a Workbasket.  This is volume 14 and number 6.  It was published in March 1949 when I'd have been 5 and a bit years old.

Finally I'm showing you the handwritten notes that were in the package.  These SO reminded me of the ones that gran made and which I have somewhere in the house.  Little notes as reminders on working the patterns.  I really, really wonder who the person was who owned all these treasures.

1 July 2011

More about the books

Today I'm showing you the two most exciting finds in the collection.  Not exciting in looks but pretty darn good in content.

Both are Dutch.  For that reason I wrote to Riet to tell her about it and she said this:-
"There are three books about tatting from ESKA and also a bobbin lace book.  I have those books all 4 The first tatting book is the book I bought when I was 17 years old in that book is the oval dolly That I tatted for my Moeke (mum) for mothers day."

The second one is more of a leaflet and the front cover has been damaged.  Nonetheless the contents are good and there are some interesting netting patterns which I'm hoping to find time to do too.  Actually I'm not sure if this is Dutch or German so I'll have to ask Riet about that!!!!

30 June 2011

Interesting story about one of the books!

Now to show you the one book which does for me have a story.

When I was in my teens and my gran and I were 'heavily' into tatting we suffered a real dearth of books.  We had the Penelope and Coats books which came out very rarely but that was about all.  

Somehow gran heard about the 'Every Woman's Complete Guide to Tatting Illustrated'.  She asked about it in the local library and about six months later they'd found a copy in a library 'up north'.  Remember that in those days everything was done by letter and/or phone so it took time.

Well we were so excited when we were loaned a copy for a month or so.  BUT that wasn't the end of the story.

A few years later and at the age of 70 my gran took a round the world trip with the main intention of meeting her brother Harold whom she hadn't seen for 40 years.  So she landed up in Australia where this book was published and where Harold lived.  Whilst there she 'advertised' on the radio and television for this rare book and was offered a copy which she obviously bought and brought back home with her.  I now have this book.  I did make a few things from it back then.  

Below is the copy I won from the Ebay lady.  OK, the cover is 'tatty' but the 'innards' are excellent.  I think I'll probably sell this on Ebay later this year.  We'll see.  

Of course we now know that the book was by Norma Benporath and has since been re-printed.  I really wonder how this copy got to dear old England - was it like gran's and travelled back with another tatter when it was new?  If only books could speak.

29 June 2011

Dissecting the Ebay win!

OK, following up from my ebay win I'm going to show you slowly and surely what was in the packet. Now, where shall I start?
Let's start with the things I've already got and which I'll be 'letting go of' sometime later this year.  To good homes, only, I hope!!!

First of all will be La Frivolite - a book which I bought brand new many years ago.
Then there were two of these leaflets - Penelope 1338 and as you can see one is in better condition than the other so one will go into the bin or something!!!
Also in this category is a Penelope Book 4 with my all time favourite doily in - Snowflakes on page eleven!!!!

28 June 2011

More of the Fandango motif!!!

I know I promised you (well, I don't think I actually used the word 'promise') no more on the Fandango but I do have two or three or more posts about it - this is one of them!!!

I desperately wanted to see what would happen with more colours so this is what I did.  Of course half way through this little exercise I suddenly thought of something else - which I'll show you soon. My apologise for interrupting the flow of books AND for not ironing this very well either!!!!

27 June 2011

Do you know what?

Do you know what a favicon is?  Well I didn't until Saturday!!!
I think I told you that I woke up a week or two back to a 'new look' blogger which was a total shock to the aged mind!!!!  I do like it although I've found that if I 'schedule' a post and then go back to alter it later (which is something I do a lot) then the darn thing 'changes' and I occasionally hit the 'publish' button and find that the post has gone straight away.  Sorry to those who have suddenly found something and then it's disappeared.

Well t'other day I was reading help files and comments on blogger's own blog and spotted something about 'favicons'.  Well it was one of those mornings when I'd got nothing particularly planned (or, shall I be honest and admit I was avoiding the dreaded H word) so I settled down to play!!!  It wasn't that hard in the end - particularly if one READS the flipping words and doesn't 'skip to the next paragraph'!!!  That's me, though, butterfly brain.

So, I drew the image below and followed all the destructions (whooops, sorry, INstructions) and it worked.  Easy to add to the blog but a bit more 'problematic' when doing the web site.  

The favicon seems to appear in some browsers but not in others.  It should appear before the url. I was SO proud of myself even though when it was all done and dusted it really wasn't that hard!!!!

25 June 2011

Ebay treasures

Do you remember the leaflets I sold on through the blog a while back?  Well, to recap, these were part of a batch of tatting booklets sold on ebay.  The seller had listed them as 'buyer collects' and when they didn't sell first time she re-listed and then I wrote and asked if she'd mail them to me IF I won them.    

Well, we did a deal and eventually at the end of the time I won them fairly and squarely, I paid the extra for mailing them and tat was tat.

Just over two weeks ago I had an email through ebay from the same seller telling me she was listing more tatting leaflets so my ears pricked up big time.  I waited for them to appear.  

When they did there wasn't a picture and the listing was for '8 tatting manuals'.

Fast forward a few days and still no picture but a list saying just this appeared.
8 pieces
2 books
6 magazines
good condition
sent via royal mail or collection

I waited and waited (no pictures still) and so I asked her for further details and she mentioned the one book that I'd already got (another story about that another day!!!) and a few leaflets.  Eventually there was a bid on them and I thought I'd let it all go.  Then I took a gamble and put on a very high bid - after all in the last 'lot' there were one or two leaflets I'd not seen or heard of before and this might happen again.  A gamble from an OG who isn't a gambler by nature!!!!

Eventually I won - no, I'm not saying what I paid!!! 

More on Monday but here's a quick picture for you of the whole lot!!!!!

24 June 2011

Two more and the last!

Promise - these are the last two pairs of Winsome Drops - for now!!!!

If you look closely you'll see they are a little different.

I wondered what would happen if I made the long beaded picot start in a different place.  I can never leave things alone!!!  The top pair were made by putting the LBP (long beaded picot) near the start and end of the ring.  Gives it a sort of bulge but not a lot different to yesterday's.

Now, the red ones I LOVE.  The LBP is made just a bit before the finding is added and a bit after.  I used a heart shaped bead between the ring and split ring and then happily and accidentally found that  the LBP formed a heart shape too!!!

This is what I was aiming for and THOUGHT would happen in the pinkish pair.  I'm never sure at the outset what will happen in situations like this!!!

23 June 2011

Remember these?

Well they're DEAD.  They had a serious case of 'scissoritis' a few days ago.  
Why?  Well I just didn't like the way the lower SR didn't stay in line with the top ring.  It sort of swung to lie sorta sideways on.  So, it was death by scissors!!!!  BIG TIME.  The Swarovski crystals were put back in the crystal box and the findings were used again on these.  Here are the new pair.
All I did was add two very small beads below the joins to the very long beaded picots.  Simple solution to a worrying problem - I hope!!!!  

22 June 2011

One at each corner!!!

I THINK this will be the final version of the Fandango square.  This time with joining picots.

These were a pain in the wotsit to get in the right place but finally brain cell # 3 came to the rescue - long may he live!!!
I can still see more potential in this design but time's running out for me so I must abandon them for a few days!!!!  Can you see the four below and imagine them with beads?  I can!!!

So, having played with this over the past week I can now announce the birth of the 'new and amended' pattern which you can find here!!!!

Must point out that it's a shame I didn't just stick this under the iron before scanning it - I'm such a lazy moo at times.

21 June 2011

Another variation on the beaded Fandango

I'm stuck in a rut again but this time with the Fandango square!!!!

I'll still be working with this for a while - with side trips to do other things too!!

This will be another pendant with a plethora of Swarovski beads at the bottom!!!!  I'm hoping that Diane (Lace-lovin' Librarian) doesn't spot this as it's her favourite colour!!!

20 June 2011

A star by any other name!!!

Not really sure what you'd call this.  I call it a star even though it isn't really!!!  It's now a pendant as you can see!!!  

This is a variation on the star pattern that Donna will be teaching at Palmetto Tat Days in September.  If you take a trip down this page and on the left you'll see the original.  You'll have to wait until the CD comes out with the pattern on OR get yourselves down to SC in September!!!!   All I did was just added a bit more 'bling' in this version (also known as beads)!!!!

One or two people have asked me recently about adding beads to tatting and I think it's about time I put in a weeee plug for this invention.  I THINK it was mine and it's one I'm truly ashamed of.  Why?

Well, after over fifty years of tatting (and a good many of those with beads!) it hadn't occurred to me that there was a better way than adding them to the shuttle or chain thread until roughly 2007/2008 when a bit of thought and a good day for brain cell 3 happened and the long beaded picot was born!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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