17 December 2011

Another batch!

Well here's what's been keeping me busy the last few days!!!  Although sales in the shops have been slow they certainly haven't been via my big mouth!!!!

I've had a return customer who ordered the panda - she missed the one I had in Etsy earlier this month so bought a seahorse instead.  That arrived safely in the USofA and she then decided on a panda next.  It's always good to have a returning customer on something like this as it's reassuring to know your daft ideas actually work!!  Anyway, I digress.  The new seahorses and snowflake were ordered by a neighbour - after a 'good gossip' earlier in the week.

The sewing part of these is done in the conservatory which we don't heat.  Can you imagine me sitting there in the cold (but not tooooo cold) room sewing?  I've got it down to a 'fine art' now.  I do all the preparation in the warm and then dash out to sew.  

The other day I was halfway through when a couple of guys came to collect the garden rubbish that they'd left after a day's 'landscaping'.  There I was with two double doors open while wheelbarrows passed by me.  Needless to say I scarpered and came back to it later after they'd gone!!!

16 December 2011

Tatting in Chile

This is some work I've recently been shown by Irma in Chile.   She and her friends have found a supply of metal inserts rather like the ones I used here.
Here are the pictures she sent me.  At first I thought the purply one was mine!!

What a lot of lovely neat work.

15 December 2011

Christmas card

A few weeks ago Karen of Crafty Ideas here in the UK (click on the link!) popped into my inbox.  She's learning to tat.  She has a wealth of craft experience behind her so it's no wonder that she's taken to the shuttle like the proverbial 'duck to water'.  Quack, quack, quack.  Sorry, couldn't resist a bit of stupidity!

Anyway over the past few weeks and despite being probably the busiest woman I've ever spoken to, she's managed to make her own cards WITH this snowman on!!!  She sent me one and it's perfect.  I've been meaning to make some myself but - well I keep getting distracted!!!

Must admit to those who don't know me too well, that I'd forgotten this chap!!  He's lurking here (no danger of him melting at the moment as it's SO cold).  So if you live anywhere near East Sussex it looks as if you could be in for a treat if you visit Karen's shop.  Wish I lived close by - it looks like a treasure trove.

14 December 2011

The snowflake

It's done and dusted and floating in cyberspace in all it's 'glory'!!!!  Here's the link.

In the end I changed the orinal pattern slightly adding some very small picots to stabilise the points on the SCMR's.

Then I did two versions using two colours and a split chain and two SSSR's.  Sounds complicated but I'd rather it be seen as 'stimulating'!!!  Obviously you can avoid the  split chain and SSSR's if you really, really love cutting and hiding ends!!!  Is there anybody 'out there' who does?!??

Here's the final of the final of the very last one.  Least I think it will be but I keep wanting to make them so we'll see!!

I would love to contact Gina Shilitani but each time I reply to her email message it bounces.  Any help would be appreciated - I'd hate her to think I was ignoring her.

Finally my apologies to people to whom I haven't replied to messages on Facebook.  I heard the other day that some messages could be found in the 'other' box and darn me - so there were!!!  Some were SO old there were mushrooms growing on them!

13 December 2011

Anastasija's edging

You are NOT going to believe this.  Just the most beautiful eye candy I've ever seen.

Anastasija sent me this picture a few days ago.  Isn't it amazing?

12 December 2011

The final

First of all - does Gina S (@tampabay.rr.com) read this blog?  If so can you try emailing me on another address - every time I try to reply to your message it bounces on me!!!  I have the answers for you!!!

This is the last of these - I keep promising myself!!!

When I get a 'bee in my bonnet' I can't leave a design alone.  This one intrigued me as I wanted to use two colours in it but didn't want the 'fiddle' of cutting and tying.  So I decided to 'wing it' and this is what happened.

There's one split chain and two SSSR's with the second thread hidden in the first half.  Really, really not hard - I promise.  AND the best thing is - I've written the pattern down for myself!!  Do you think it's worth putting it on my web site?

10 December 2011

Something to do with pink!

While I've been working on the TIAS during the day I've been very pleased to have something relatively straightforward to play with in the evening.  

Again this is a modification of my Snowflake 2004 but this time I've worked it with two threads.  Plain and variegated.  Now for this to work you need to know how to do a split chain and a SSSR (hiding one thread in the first half).  There are two SSSR's and one split chain so it's not that bad.  Good practice too!!!

Can you see - I'm still playing with the new thread?

9 December 2011

Day 3 from Anastasija

Today I'm going to show you the explanation that Anastasija sent me.  Well you should've seen it yesterday but I forgot to schedule it as I was in a hurry to get out of the house!!!  

Can you see the progression?  Very interesting.

The thread she has used here looks very slippery to me and would be a challenge on it's own.  I'm hoping to try this myself this evening.

7 December 2011

Day 2 from Anastasija

Now the next subject we talked about (which I find VERY interesting) is the SSSR (single shuttle split ring).  Now when Anastasija sent me this conundrum I was deeply involved in the TIAS and I'm afraid I didn't look at it closely for a day or so.  When I did I just couldn't 'see' it.  Here's how she explained it.

"During designing I come to a question how to tat with one shuttle following the shape of SCMR? And tried to make half moon SSSR. I perform the 1st half of this ring as usual, then rotate already made knots upside down towards myself - so now they are looking down, and the other half perform also as usual. When tighting the half moon the knots have a tendency to make a ring, but they should be formed with fingers to the needed shape. Of course it's not ideal half moon, but you can see what was made. I have previousely noticed that if I tighten SSSR too hard, It's halves become unequal, so in half moon I did not make less knots in innere half. Only in the last one I made 1 knot less - and it looks like semicircle =)))
It is microfibra thread. I should try also with cotton."

It wasn't her explanation that was a problem - I think it was me just being plain thick!!!  Anyway, Anastasija then uploaded a youtube video which made it very, very clear.  Here's the link.

Please listen to her daughter talking in the background - I couldn't resist turning up the volume to hear her.  Here is a photo she sent me but there will be another tomorrow explaining it all.

6 December 2011

Let me introduce

Anastasija who lives in Russia.  

I had an email from Anastasija a week or more ago and she said (blush, blush) that she uses my tips and techniques section on the pattern pages a lot.  She wanted to ask permission to use them to teach other people in her town of St Petersburg.  Naturally I was very, very happy to say yes.  

Anastasija's English is excellent and she's a very pretty lady with a dear, dear little girl so talking to her is a lot of fun.  I am so impressed with how much she's learnt in the two and a half years she's been tatting.

This is what she's found out about pearl tatting in her own words:-

"2 days ago I looked through "Tips and techniques" on your site, noticed "Pearl tatting-the easy way" and thought, what it will look like if we make only half stitch with each shuttle? I also remember that something like this was in macrame technique, and found it in the book published in1986 (see photo1, the right side), it is called there "the double loop". I tatted a sample, it turned out to be more narrow in thickness than pearl tatting. I wanted immediately to design a pattern with this I do not know how to call it. It is very convenient to tat it holding shuttles like in pearl tatting. I hold the part that is already made firmely with thumb and 2nd finger, ball thread (in my pattern it is shuttle thread) is stretched, 3rd, 4th and 5th fingers stand together and do not move at all. Half stitches are performed round the stretched part of thread between 2nd and 3rd fingers. Sorry that thread is of the same colour - photo 2, 3 and 4.
So it is 3-shuttle edging, 2 shuttles are with white thread. 

Below is picture she sent.  More from Anastasija tomorrow.

5 December 2011

A busy weekend

My posts may dry up slightly for a while as I'm behind my self induced schedule for the TIAS (Tat It And See).  I'm also trying to keep up with bookmarks as they're slowly selling from both Etsy and Folksy.  In fact I've added two more here in Folksy over the weekend.

Oh, I have a very exciting introduction to make over the next few days.  A new delightful young lady and a technique of hers.  All will be revealed!

3 December 2011


Yesterday was birds - today it's bells!!!

I decided yesterday that I couldn't avoid Christmas any longer and had to get on with sorting it!!  So the grandkids presents got wrapped, cards and letters done and that meant I HAD to finish off the bells to put in the letters!!!  They just needed hangers but I needed to kick myself into doing them!  Now they're done, done, done.  Before I started 'hangering' them I tossed them on the scanner.  I did arrange them so that they were all facing the right way up, though.

Must say that I love this picture of them all - well those that managed to get onto the scanner!!!  I'm sure there are a few more somewhere in the muddle I call home!!

2 December 2011


Before I start - just a reminder that the book and leaflets here on Ebay are finishing tomorrow and that the WFM bookmarks are here!!!  I guess I should've mentioned that the Norma Benporath book is probably a 'collector's item'.  Still, that's what comes of having the brain of a nincompoop!!!  Sorry about the 'plug' on the bookmarks but I am SO excited about them!!!!!

Today I just HAD to show you these little birds that Sarah made from the robin pattern.  I couldn't resist them.  The top three pictures are how they came to me but I wanted to see what they'd look like all sitting in a line!!!
They remind me of birds sitting on the telephone lines here in the UK although we don't have many so beautifully coloured as these.  The red one even has a tuft on his head and looks just like a red cardinal.  I've always wanted to design one of those and now it looks as if I might've already done so!!!  Thanks, Sarah.

It always fascinates me when I go to the USA to see all the power lines overhead.  I always think that must be dangerous in high winds and/or freezing conditions.  Gives me the heeby jeebies just thinking about it.

30 November 2011

Sorry but more of the same!!!

Two reasons contributed to the first one on this post being made - first I'd forgotten to put the Pink Cocoa away (liar, liar, pants on fire).  Secondly I thought Ros might like one in the colourway that I suggested to Handy Hands.    But knowing me there may be more for me to decide to give to her as time goes on!!!  Ros is an avid reader so maybe I ought to give her two - now, where did I put those shuttles?

Over the past few days I've been VERY busy making more bookmarks which I've now added to the Etsy shop - no more in Folksy at the moment until I'm sure that people are visiting it.  Once I get bitten by an idea I can't easily let it go.  What does that say about me, eh?

I've added one or two of the new motifs below this one.  Mind, on second thoughts I've already listed Ros's cocoa so (what an excuse) I'll have to make another!!!

29 November 2011

The new bookmarks

Just a quickie today to let you know I've re-listed a tatting book and two leaflets on Ebay.  This is the link.  Also the answer to yesterday's puzzle was Snowflake 2 (used to be on a ring).

I'm obsessed with making these Wrap It, Flip It and Mark It bookmarks although they're proving to be sloooow taking off in both the Etsy shop and the new Folksy one.  Can't think why but ANY suggestions would be welcome!!!!

Here are some more motifs waiting to be finished - actually the colours are a lot better than the scanner is showing as I've a feeling that it's not feeling very well.  Once these are made up I'll take decent photos of them.  I'm not sure which one of these will be put in the shops but one will become my friend Ros's birthday present which is the week after Christmas.  She's SUCH a good friend she deserves a really pretty one.  Trouble is the more I make the more I think the latest one is the prettiest so none of these might be hers in the end!!

I love this new (ish) snowflake which is a variation of this one.  I didn't use a SCMR (and added a few vsp's too) as for this purpose it would've 'stuck out' too far and would've caught on the pages of the book - maybe, perhaps or possibly!  If you want the 'amended' text do shout.  I've not got any drawings with it - yet!!!!

28 November 2011

A bit of a puzzle for you!!

OK, now having opened the box and drooling over the contents I really, really had to try the Pink Cocoa, didn't I?

This is what I made from it.  Now the question is - who's design is this?  Do you recognise it?  I have changed it slightly.  I do like this little design but am curious to know if anybody knows where it's come from!!!

26 November 2011

Opening the box!!!!

OK, now the world will know what I chose (Sally's are in the photo too).  Isn't that THE most wonderful site you've ever seen?  Lizbeth has a strange effect on me.

Normally when I buy something new (clothes, shoes or whatever) I keep them 'for best'.  I often wear (say, a coat) for ages without taking the shop label off - just in case.  I can keep things for months waiting for it to be 'for best' time and then eventually the penny drops and I remember that we two OG's don't 'do' best ever!!!  We lead a very quiet life and don't go anywhere that requires 'best'.

The point of this is that in the past I used to get a thread and do the same.  Not with Lizbeth, though.  I love the fact that each ball is wrapped in it's own wee bag.  BUT I can never wait to rip it's 'clothes' off!!!  Is there something kinky about me in my declining years?!?!?

Next job?  Another tidying of the tatting cupboard so I can get them all in!!!!

Now which one will I use first - and what for?  The answer, my friends is blowing in the wind!!!!!

25 November 2011

They've arrived!

Not sure how many people reading this blog know that Handy Hands run a sort of competition and Barb offers 25 balls of free thread for a new colour idea.  Now I submitted the colourway idea I've always dreamed of having and happily won twenty five balls of thread.  Not only is it amazing to see what you've always wanted to own made up in the new Lizbeth threads but then to get to own a ball of it and 25 more of any colourway you want is a once in a lifetime thrill.  Like winning the lottery, I suppose.  No, better, actually as lottery is only money.
So, this is the thread idea I submitted (Pink Cocoa) and here's a picture of the parcel.  I had to pay the wretched customs on it as Sally ordered some thread too.  Darn the customs people - they know how to spoil an old git's fun!!!

Anyway I knew it was coming on Tuesday so was watching out for the Parcelforce van.  The driver's never been greeted with the front door wide open and a smile as big as mine before.  Thank you, Handy Hands - you've made an old git very, very happy.

Oh, do you want to see inside the box?  Well, you'll have to wait until tomorrow or whenever I get round to it!!!!!

23 November 2011

Another eureka moment!!

Yes, I announce the return of brain cell #3 in a truly creative mood!!!
I've just added six of these to my Etsy shop.  This is the 'Wrap It, Flip It, Mark It bookmark!!!

You're dying to know how it works, aren't you?  Well perhaps I ought to patent it or copyright it or some such thing but that sounds like a lot of effort for something that surely somebody has done before!!!

To use this you first need a book!!!  There's a sign of intelligence from me!!!

The way it works is this, you WRAP the tape round the back cover of the book and fasten near the spine with the velcro (keeping the fastening inside the cover).  I've made this adjustable to fit most paperback books and hardback ones too.  Then when you've got to the place where you've finished reading you FLIP the critter (or whatever) into the book to MARK the place.  So, you Wrap it, Flip it and Mark the place!! Cool, eh?  Now for some pictures before I go and launch them here in my Etsy shop!!!

22 November 2011

Catherine Wheel join

Another missing technique that I've sadly neglected for my 'tips and techniques' page is the Catherine Wheel Join.  To me it's always looked complicated.

Then while I was playing with the TIAS a week or two ago I thought I might need to use this join.  Since then plans have changed and it won't be needed!!!!  Life just gets simpler sometimes.
Well whilst I was fiddling around on the computer t'other day I decided that after all it might, just might be useful to be able to do.  Off went brain cell 3 to play.  First I had to learn how to do it myself.  YIKES.  Then I suddenly realised that although it's a slightly more fiddly join it is rather smart!!!

The main problem I've had with trying to do it before was that the explanations I'd found on the internet were a bit longer than my concentration span.  That lasts all of ten seconds, I might add.  So I decided to see if I could pare things down.  This is the result - with pictures, of course!!!  I must thank Georgia, Joelle, Adrian, Martha, Riet, Sally and Miranda for their input - all comments helped make this page.  I hope I haven't forgotten anybody but if I have please let brain cell 3 know and he'll pass the message on!!!!

Creative Commons Licence

Happy Beaks

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