21 October 2011

Martha's book and a RESULT on the blog!

Huge celebrations yesterday afternoon.  I couldn't find how to take off the word verification - drove me bonkers!!!  My good mate Gina kept making fantastic suggestions and telling me places to go on my dashboard but the 'word verification' just wasn't there!!  In the end I ploughed through the forums and found the answer.  I had to go back to the old blogger interface.  Again I was stumped because there was no link on my new interface to take me back there!  In the end I found a message on the forums which said this:- 


I've been able to track down most things that seem to have moved on the new dashboard but I can't find this one. You may have to go to the old dashboard to do it. You can do that by logging in to www.blogger.com/home instead of www.draft.blogger.com/home . If it won't open the old dashboard for you, then you may have to clear your cache.


So, what I did was sign out, paste the url into the browser bar and then sign in.  First thing I got greeted with was my old interface - the rest was history!!!!!  Oh, I also found out later in the day that I could easily manage my 'following' list here too - can't do that in the new interface - yet!!



This is one of the motifs from Martha's new book.  I added beads 'here and there' for a bit of sparkle.  Can I just mention here that I really love the designs in this book.  The broomstick picots are SUCH fun to make.


20 October 2011

Next stage in the doily


So, upwards, onwards and outwards!!!  

After many struggles this turned out to be rounds three and four - worked continuously.  Sadly there has to be a cut and tie after rounds 2 and 4 - not up to my usual standards!!!!

I managed to do a couple more pages on the home page of my web site yesterday and today's task is to do some drawings for a friend and try to find out (via the forums) how to stop word verification on my blog.  I did look a few months ago but not very hard!!  I had a good long look yesterday with the help of Ladytats but again can't find 'how to' yet!!  The new blogger interface doesn't make my life easy even though I like it a lot.

19 October 2011

Starting the doily

Again before I start nattering on I must admit that I've been 'messing' with my web page again.  I think the front page now looks a lot tidier and I'm pleased that I don't have to keep scrolling down too far to find things.  I've also amalgamated one or two sections too to make life easier.  I think one or two more sections still need to be worked on and maybe the odd pictures added - if I can remember 'how to' in html!!!


Now to the new doily!!  Where to start when you don't even know what you're going to make!  Difficult but not impossible.

Actually this journey started with somebody (sorry, can't remember who) posting a picture of a pendant on their blog.  I looked and looked at it and thought it was pretty but sort of familiar!  After a few minutes I remembered where I'd seen a really bad picture of it.  Here on a web site.

Now, before the purists (are there any reading my twaddle?) start jumping up and down and think I'm being nasty about somebody I will admit I AM.  Don't worry, though.  It's me that I'm being unkind about.  It really IS a bad picture though.  

So, having seen the pendant I suddenly thought that it could be extended a bit.  So, the journey started.  I won't show you the original 'test tats' as they are pretty dreadful and anyway, I've LOST them!!!  

Here I'm showing you what I eventually did with the centre of the wotsit.  I used the motif but altered it somewhat.  Remember - there's no pre-planning on this and as usual as I just 'go with the flow'!!!

18 October 2011

Changes have occurred

I forced myself to do something I've been 'meaning to do' (how many times do I 'mean to do' something and fail!!) for ages yesterday.  I've changed my pattern pages slightly!!!

I got thoroughly fed up with having to scroll so far down the home page to find things that I want so I've decided to tidy it up slightly!!  No, it hasn't gone 'posh' cause I don't know how to do that!!!

Can you see that I've now put the 'tips and techniques' and 'animal' sections on new links (see below)?  If this works then I'll put a few of the other larger sections on other links too.  The whole front page thoroughly got on my nerves - yes, I do have some still!!!  

Do please let me know if you have any other ideas - as long as they're not too hard as I'm self taught and not willing to waste valuable tatting time learning new web page designing skills!!!  Brain cell 3 would probably have a seizure if I even tried.

17 October 2011

Another two bells

Before I start rambling today - is there anybody who can help a lady who wants to learn shuttle tatting and who lives in Upstate NY, just east of Syracuse (in Fremont)?  If there is, could you contact me - my email address is in my profile.  Thanks.


Here are two more - am I boring you, yet?  Well, to keep you interested I've put the pattern on my site.  It's here.  Remember it's name - The Outside In Bell!!!  Simply because it's worked from the outside to the inside - sort of!!!
I like to have several projects on the go at any one time even though I always swore I wouldn't!!!  I find that I need a project that I can pick up (like the bells) towards the end of an evening or even for a whole evening after a hard day.  That's a hard day of being retired and spending too much energy on avoiding  any form of housework!!!

I usually also have two design projects on the go too.  Why two?  Well if one is getting boring or I can't see the way forward then the other one might be a good idea!!!  Well, it works for me but does this sort of thing work for everybody?  I'd love to know if I'm 'odd' or 'normal'!!!

15 October 2011

Pictureless post!

Don't you just hate people who do a post without a picture?  Well you're gonna hate me now!!

I really wanted to just talk today about what I'm doing quietly in the background when I'm not making bells!!!  I'm actually doing a totally new pattern.  New to me.  

What is it we say?  I want to do 'so and so' before I die.  Well, that's what I'm working on at the moment!!!  

My 'before I die' project is a doily!!!  Gasp, shock, horror, I hear you say.  Jane?  Doily?  That just doesn't sound right!!!!  BUT that's honestly what's happening quietly and slowly in my corner of tat land!!!!  I doubt it'll be a large one, though as boredom will have set in before long!!


Next on my 'to do' list is another new design but I'm NOT telling you a thing about it as it will  (hopefully) become the new TIAS.  


Yes, I'm planning on another for January 2012.  That's if there's anybody in tat land who wants to take part!  For those  who haven't heard of a TIAS (that actually stands for Tat It And See) I release a pattern in bite sized 'bits' every few days for anybody who wants to to join in.  The 'twist' is that you don't know what you're making!!!  Guesses are encouraged and happen all the way through.  No money changes hands - my reward is being the only person who knows the 'answer'!!!


In fact I run a blog especially for that - it's here. The links are still there to last year's TIAS so you can go and look if you want to.  I try to 'pitch' the design so that it's possible for even relatively new tatters to take part.  I also add technique explanations and diagrams where needed too.

14 October 2011

What IS it?

What IS it about my dear friend Sue Anna that Royal Fail and USA Snail don't like?  She's generous, kind, harmless to man and beast and an all round thoroughly decent lass.

BUT Royal Fail and USA Snail just don't seem to like her!!!

Remember the saga of the shuttles?  Well about a week after I sent the shuttles first time round I sent her a wee gift.  Just a little something that 'fell' off my shuttles.  Well it didn't turn up either in her neck of the woods.

Yesterday it arrived BACK WITH ME again (around six/seven weeks later).  Well I was (to say the very least) CROSS.

After I got back home a bit later I looked again at the envelope (by this time I'd stuck a new label over the old one and hidden part of the clues).  Now, see the hand pointing downwards?  Well that's pointing to my return address and it says 'insufficient address' and somebody has then written UK under that.  OK, my mistake - they thought I needed to put that on to send out of the country.

Then I turned the envelope over to see the stamp on the back which said USPS.  Having googled both Antioch and Springfield I've found that the poor envelope got within 247 miles of it's destination!!!! The good news is that it's on it's way again.  Please keep your fingers crossed that both the shuttles and gift eventually arrive at their destination!


13 October 2011

Autumnal bells!!

Here are two more - these are autumnal.  Did you ever wonder why I do all my Christmas giveaways in 'un-Christmas' colours?  Well, it's cause I found out years ago that people liked to keep them up all year - as suncatchers too.  

I must also admit that I find Christmas colours confusing too!!!  I always think that red and green are the 'real' Christmas colours (boring) but each year when the shops bring their stock out (often in September!) the colours are varied which can cause a lot of confusion for an OG (old git) like me!

So, I've made it a sort of 'routine' that each year people get wacky coloured giveaways!!!  I usually give them to friends and those I don't see all year because they live too far away.  The furthest that one will travel is to Tasmania to a school friend of mine.  I know she loves the little dangle she gets each year.  The closest ones will go to friends across and down the road.  The problem is that I usually run out and rarely get one for our tree!!!

11 October 2011

Shuttle doodles

Having shown you the muddle of doodles for Chris and Erin's shuttles I thought it only fair to show them all paired up and ready to go!!!  They arrived a few weeks ago if memory serves me right!!!!  If often doesn't, though!!!

I lightly 'sew' them onto paper in their suggested pairs.  Here they are just before they flew to America.  Actually you can see where I folded the paper before remembering to scan the little stinkers!!!

Here are some photos of some of them already made up!!!  The giraffe and the tree, two hummingbirds and a seahorse.  Aren't they pretty?

If you want to make enquiries about them then Erin's email address is here.



10 October 2011

Now I know for sure

Now I know for sure why I won't ever produce a book of tatting patterns.

Yesterday my book arrived from Martha.  You can see the cover and read all about it here.

When I get something as well presented as this and with such appealing and tempting patterns I know I would never be able to get anywhere near this standard.  The illustrations are SO clear and the font is easy to read (very, very important for an OG like me) - I have a few pattern books which I can't read easily so I know I will never make anything from them!!!

I've been asked many, many times to produce a book but have always said 'no'.  I'm terrified of producing something that wouldn't be good value.  I've got bookshelves full of books and leaflets with patterns in but there are very, very few that I've used more than one pattern from.

The exceptions are Martha's, Mary Konior's, Rosemarie Peel's and a few others (names escape me).  I have loads of books from which I've never made anything.  I wouldn't want mine to be one of those!!!!

8 October 2011

Bell

A bell at last.  One that I like!!

There are two more underneath this one.  What a struggle this was to get it how I like it.  I now have something I'm happy to give to friends around Christmas time.  BUT I still have to finish off the pattern which will be a while as I've been 'torn away' to play with something else - a new adventure for me in tat land!!!  More another day about that!

Oh, the two at the bottom are made with the same two threads but t'other way round!!!  I suppose you could call those the Outside In Bell - Inside Out!!!  More sick jokes from the computer of 'yours truly'!!!!

PS the blue one on the right looks drunk - I'll have to pull and press that into shape sometime!!!!

6 October 2011

Thanks

Thanks to everybody who sent me birthday wishes yesterday.  

It was pure coincidence that the birthday thread was named that by Natalie and that it arrived with me the day before I became 68!!!!

The day passed quickly (partly due to a plumbing crisis which needed dealing with as an emergency!) and was ended with a rather large glass of the 'red stuff' which meant that not a lot of tatting was done!!!!

5 October 2011

My birthday thread arrived!

On Monday I ordered some thread from Natalie from her Etsy store.  I chose the one called 'birthday' because I just couldn't resist the colours in it!!!  

It arrived around lunchtime on Tuesday by Royal Mail (please note that on this occasion I'm NOT calling it Royal Fail).  That was fast!  So I got out an ez bob, wound it onto that and then grabbed two shuttles.  I knew exactly what I wanted to make with it!!!

Yes, it's one of the Outside In bells (note to self - MUST get the pattern finished!). 

Doesn't that just BEG you to tat?

Natalie says (by the way, we've only recently met online) that she's going to list more threads today so all you tatters - let's go shop!!!!  Let's face it - we've got to keep those dyers busy, haven't we?  Can't have them sitting twiddling their thumbs or boredom might set in!!!


Later Sally asked me how far the thread would go and it occurred to me that I'd never ever worked that out!!!  Yarnplayer's and most sellers do the size 20 (which is what I usually use) in 50 yard skeins.  The bell below took 6 yards but usually I would make them with a plain thread too which would cut that down to 3 yards.  So how many bells with a contrast thread could you make from one skein?  Roughly 16.  Now I reckon that's REALLY good value.

4 October 2011

Well, it wasn't a PROMISE!!

I didn't actually PROMISE I wasn't going to post every day - it was just a sort of 'suggestion' to myself and you guys!!!  So as it wasn't a 'promise' I can break it, can't I?

I do have a very, very good reason to break my 'promise'.  

After a discussion with Natalie at the Yarnyard (here in the UK) and via another lass I met online, she kindly sent me some silk HDT thread to tat with.  This was silk she'd hand dyed herself (she's an expert at this - been doing it for years) for the embroidery and knitting 'market'.  I loved the colours which were grey to black but it was just a bit 'fuzzy' for me and I suggested that probably a good six core thread may be better for tatters.  You can see a picture of my tryout down below - just a quick 8 ring motif that I did to try something for somebody else!!!  I didn't start the two shuttles tied together so that's why it looks a bit 'odd' after the SR!!!  Anyway, off Natalie trundled and got some Lizbeth to try.  

Meanwhile she opened up an Etsy shop for the silk threads and by yesterday had some HDT Lizbeth for sale.  Well, you know me - I was like a 'rat up a drainpipe' and was in that shop at the drop of a hat!!!!  Good job too as the one called 'birthday' quickly sold out - I got a skein of that!!

Natalie is learning to tat too and her blog is here.  Fancy learning to tat with HDT (OK, she says this one didn't pass her quality control but it would've passed mine!).  When I learned all we had available was white Coats.  If you scroll down her blog you'll see all the colours she's doing in threads and I'm sure she'd help if there's anything you want.

3 October 2011

Just can't WAIT

Well it was Saturday morning and another hot (yes I did say hot) day in my corner of tat land.  Not a lot had been planned for the day.
As soon as I'm awake each morning I have to check on what's happening in the rest of tat land so I grope for my specs, grab my iPad and go straight to emails.  Bearing in mind that except for a quick visit to the bathroom this is barely five minutes after my eyes open and I'm back in bed!  Next on my list is to read blog updates.  Goody, a post from Martha Ess.  

EVEN better is what I've been waiting for for weeks - the announcement that we can now order her new book.  Here's the link.  

Now if you've never bought any of Martha's books I suggest you think about it very, very seriously.  Hers are absolutely delightful (like Martha herself).  The critter books are my mainstay for making birthday cards - small motifs which are so different.  I LOVE her teapot book and when I got that I just had to make the tiny, tiny 3D set - 'just because' it was there.  There's a heart book too.  All her books are neatly presented and with clear diagrams and (VERY important to me) clear fonts.  

All I ask is for you NOT to buy yours until I'm sure mine is on it's way!!!!  Actually, don't worry as I got in there very early on Saturday morning to order mine!!!  Of course I had to tell Sally it was out too and she's ordered hers as well.  Thanks, Martha - can't wait to make things from the book.

Before I finish - do visit this link too as Martha has some free patterns here.  My favourite is the mermaid and the warning when you click on the link!!!!  I've made her several times and I think I'm going to do her again with some of my HDT.  

1 October 2011

More and better dragonflies

I went to see a friend the other day and she showed me her dragonfly necklace which was made entirely of beads - no tatting.

BUT this gave me a better idea for mine!!! Here they are in all their 'glory' on a leather thong and with that wonderful knot which allows you to adjust the length.  Job done.

I may make some for my Etsy shop but these are for myself and for the friend who gave me the idea!!!

30 September 2011

Royal Fail strikes AGAIN.

Well, they've done it again - Royal Fail.  This is what Sue Anna had to say.

Do you remember the last batch of shuttles I put in the Etsy shop on 22nd August?  Well, poor Sue Anna hasn't got hers yet.  She's SUCH a patient person but even I was getting worried last week.  So on Saturday morning I emailed her to ask if they'd arrived.  If she'd said no then I was going to refund her money and make sure she got replacements out of the next batch.  

Well it couldn't have been an hour later that the door bell rang.  There stood the postman with a very puzzled look on his face.  The packet to Sue Anna was there in his hand and he was so apologetic.  It looked 'travel worn' but hadn't been opened.

So I took it down to the Post Office and showed it to them.  They said it was properly labelled, properly priced etc, etc.  On the front as you'll see below - somebody has written CANADA and then scribbled it out.  There's also the cryptic NSP and RTS.  These stand for 'not small packet' and 'return to sender'.  OK they made a mistake at the sorting office as it IS a small packet.  

I would wonder why it took over a month to get RTS'd to me too.  Anyway a stroppy letter of complaint and a claim for my postage to be refunded and compensation is in the mail to them - provided THAT doesn't get lost.  I won't reveal what I actually said in the letter but - well, let's just say that the room filled with smoke. 


There's another small present that I sent to Sue Anna about a week after the shuttles and that hasn't arrived yet - wonder whether it'll come back to me next Saturday?  The package is on it's way again too.  

28 September 2011

Tidying the books

Did you miss me yesterday?  I've decided to cut down a bit on my blogging.  Not because I've got nothing to say - after all I am a woman!!!!  I was beginning to find my posts boring when I went to read them so I've decided to cut down a bit.

For ages now this has been on my 'to do' list.  Tidying up my tatting books.  But, guess what?  I kept putting it off.

Now when I do this (putting things off) it's usually because I'm not sure how to tackle the 'problem'.  The trouble with the books is that they're all different sizes and thicknesses so to find the small slim books amongst the larger ones became a fight!!!  Also I was constantly worried that they'd get damaged.  

Eventually I decided that probably magazine holders might be the answer.  See the big book in the magazine holder on it's own in a plastic folder?  That's my very, very precious Mrs Beeton's book. 

So over the past two weeks I've walked up to Staples twice and popped in and bought some magazine holders to help make my problem go away (some are old ones which I rescued from the loft).  This is the result below.  A nice tidy (but one wonders for how long!) shelf of tatting books.

Some of the books like the Mary Konior ones didn't need holders as they're very well behaved so they're standing in (roughly) alphabetical order on the shelf.  The brackets on the wall had to be considered when positioning them all but I think it'll work.

Oh, for the eagle eyed amongst you (Anitra, probably applies to you as you rescue eagles) you may spot Nick's store of wine below!!!  I often feel 'forced' to help him drink it, cough, cough, splutter, splutter!!!!  Next task will be the shelf below the books which also holds tatting leaflets, printouts, etc.


26 September 2011

For whom the bell tolls!

Well actually this one will never toll again for anybody!!!  Remember the Outside In Bell?  Well this is what happened to it the other day!!!  Cut down in his prime, vandalised and thrown in the bin!!!!

Why?  Well I decided that it wasn't a 'good' design.  It was OK but it wasn't good enough for me.  Naturally I had to 'rescue' the beads I'd used in it (well, not the tiny seed beads) so out came the scissors!!

When I make something it HAS to stand on it's own.  It should NOT need blocking or pulling into shape or fiddling with.  Once it's finished it should just 'be' without any further help (well, perhaps a light press with the iron).  That's the high standard I set myself and it doesn't matter if I have to tat the same thing over a dozen times I will do that to meet my own 'quality control' standards.

Well, the bell didn't.  I had to damp it and slightly tug it into shape and that WON'T DO so it hit the dust!!!  Don't worry - I've not given up yet and I WILL get an Outside In Bell that is a good design and not just an 'average' one.  So THERE!!!  I have spoken!!!!  Well, when have I ever been quiet, eh?

24 September 2011

Doodles 2

Here are the rest of the doodles for Erin. 

I'm still waiting for pictures of the shuttles but hope to have those for next week.  

Can you see the flowers on this selection?  They're to go with the hummingbirds, I think!!!!

23 September 2011

Launching butterfly 2


The page is up and ready to go - here's the link.  If you do ever get round to making it I'd love to see it.
Thank you to my valiant team of test tatters - without you I'd have given up the re-writing ages ago!!!  I've altered the text yet again to make it simpler, I hope!!!

Having always been a 'bright colours' person I'm trying to show here that I can do 'other' shades too!!!  The variegated pink is a Lizbeth one which I bought for making pigs!!  The brown is an ancient Coats.  As you probably know there is a new Lizbeth thread out in these colours - all on the same ball, though.  I can't wait to try it.


Well, upwards and onwards to the next project.  Should I return to the bell?  Probably!!!

22 September 2011

Doodles part 1

Some time ago I was in touch with Erin Hinton of Hinton's shuttles.  They're now making shuttles out of epoxy resin in which they embed tatting!!  

Isn't that just TOO clever?  Well I offered to do some doodles for these and here are some I'm working on.
Below you can see a squirrel, an acorn, a turtle, a butterfly, some elephants and giraffes, a tree, a mouse, a fish and a hummingbird.  I make them in pairs but they're such little stinkers to get on the scanner together or in pairs you'll just have to see them like this - in a muddle!!!  I'll get the rest done tomorrow and show you them then.

I'm waiting for a photo from Erin of a finished shuttle to show you.  When her husband has time to take one I'll post it too.

21 September 2011

Do I shimmer or what?

Last Thursday evening I'd finished this dragonfly and was dying to see what it looked like as a necklace/pendant.  I have a friend who sells the most amazing jewellery on the Friday street market (here's a link to her Facebook site) so I wanted to 'show this off' to her.

Easy - just needed the chain and clasps put on as I'd already 'worked in' the split rings in the wings.  So, bright and early on Friday morning (well a tad after nine o'clock) I set off to find the chain in my bulging tatting cupboard.  No way!!!  I searched and searched but couldn't find the one I wanted!!!!

So, off I went shopping and told Sarah about it.  When I got home I had to do the dreaded 'H' word so it was much later in the morning before I got back to looking.  I found the chain which, incidentally, I'd picked up at least once during the morning's search.  EUREKA. 

DOH, now, of course, I'd lost the dragonfly!!!!  Eventually they all came together and here they are.  I did show Sarah when I was on my way home after the daily afternoon walk.  


Now, question is - do I make more and will they sell in the Etsy shop?!?!?  Off to have a word with 'you know who'!!!  If you want the slightly amended stitch and bead count please drop me a line.

20 September 2011

Launching butterfly number 1

Finally I've got the pattern up and running for the plain butterfly - it's here.

I was hoping to get them both done at the same time but that elusive element (time) ran away from me again.  If I was younger I'd try keeping up with it but nowadays there doesn't seem to be much point!!!

I know you've seen this picture before and I do apologise.  

Off to sort out the fancy butterfly now - before I forget!!



19 September 2011

I'm RICH!!

Yes, I'm RICH.


I heard months ago from Barb at Handy Hands that they'd chosen my suggestion for a new colour combination in the Lizbeth threads and have been desperately trying to keep the aged mouth SHUT!!!!

It's like winning the lottery, having a baby, coming of age (that's nearly 68 for me!!!) and all the best things in life.  For my suggestion I get 25 balls of Lizbeth for FREEEEEE.  You can keep your lottery, you can keep your Premium Bonds, you can keep your scratch cards - I've won the tatter's lottery.  WHOOOPPPPEEEEEE - more thread!!!

The colour combination that I've been desperately seeking for years - pink to brown was chosen.    It's called Pink Cocoa and it's on Isdihara's blog which is here.

BUT the hard part is choosing the colours that Barb gives you.  25 balls of thread.  Thread heaven but what a hard time choosing!!!  Why?  Well, there are SO many gorgeous colours and Sue Anna has led me astray with her generosity in the past too!!! This is how I went about it on the floor in our back room and just outside 'Tat Cupboard'!!! 


In the bottom photo you can see my list which isn't complete at this stage.  I got all my other threads out (not all shown on the first picture) to either re-order old favourites like Rainbow Taffy and Autumn Spice or to see if I had any in the stash which would match up with new ones.  See the iPad - 'tuned' into the Handy Hands site?  SOOO useful.

17 September 2011

Fandango cross

Well having given the two blue crosses away I suddenly realised I hadn't got one for myself.  I like to keep one of each pattern in a box 'just in case'.  So I set about making another but this time in a size 80 thread.

The variegated thread is one that Zarina sent me and it's SO delicious.  I've been dying (yes, it's HDT) to try it since I received it.

16 September 2011

The very last butterfly

The page is up and ready to go - here's the link.  If you do ever get round to making it I'd love to see it.
Thank you to my valiant team of test tatters - without you I'd have given up the re-writing ages ago!!!  I've altered the text yet again to make it simpler, I hope!!!

Having always been a 'bright colours' person I'm trying to show here that I can do 'other' shades too!!!  The variegated pink is a Lizbeth one which I bought for pigs!!  The brown is an ancient Coats.  As you probably know there is a new Lizbeth thread out in these colours - all on the same ball, though.  I can't wait to try it.


Well, upwards and onwards to the next project.  Should I return to the bell?  Probably!!!

15 September 2011

First experiment in a ring

Still working with a size 40 thread I decided that this bell would probably look OK in a ring.


These rings are 2 1/2" in diameter and are often or usually sold as bracelets.  I used to call them 'Indian bracelets' but not sure what they're known as nowadays.  Hmmmm, perhaps I should google them!!!!

This one needs a bit of tidying up - a dab of glue on the ends (none need sewing in on this pattern), some careful 'snipping' of extra thread and the removal of a piece of hair/thread from the bottom right corner.

 Do you like the way I've added beads AFTER tying to the metal ring?  Not sure if I do but that's me - never sure of things!!!  Remember - this is JUST an experiment!!!!!

14 September 2011

Dragonfly pattern now ready

Here's the pattern and here are two more worked exactly as the pattern states - for once!!!

I'm a terror for changing my patterns as I go but this time I think I've got them just right!!!  

Anyway, if you do decide to work any up yourself you can change the amount of beads you put on both the long beaded picots and also where you do the joining of those picots!!!  That's what took the time - trying out different bead counts!!!

The two below are earrings - or will be when I get round to putting them on ear wires!!!  They're worked in a number 80 thread.

13 September 2011

Three butterflies

Here are three of the butterflies which my stalwart test tatters made.  Megga big thanks to them and all t'others.  

I'm almost ready to put both butterflies on the pattern site and will try and make time to do that later this week.
First in is from Stephanie who worked in these two colours.
Next is from Martha Ess who took time from her new book to test this for me.
Then there was Jane McLelland's which arrived a few days ago!!

12 September 2011

Outside in Bell

This next pattern is one I started on for sheer amusement!!  I'm getting bored with tatting and I needed to challenge myself in a new design.
Looks pretty darn simple, doesn't it?  Well it is.  BUT.

I wanted to try something which I could call a 'wrong way round' design and this is it.  Well, it's the first of 'this is its', I hope!!!  We'll see and time will tell!!!

Why is it a 'wrong way round' design?  Perhaps you can work it out!!!!  Answers on a postage stamp, please!!!!

I gave you a clue which can be found here.  That little STINKER Mark Myers worked out what it was from my stinky sister's comment!!!!  She knew what I was up to and thought she was being clever but Mark knew how our brains worked.  Next time I see you, Mark, I'm gonna give you a big hug - when Kim's not looking!!!!  That'll be your punishment!!!!  That's why this design already has a name - The Outside In Bell!!!!

Ooooh, I do make me laugh - sometimes!!

10 September 2011

Finished

This is my 'Travelling Wilbury' project!!!  I started it waaaay back and it's been in my handbag ever since.  I actually worked on it quite a lot when we were on our trip to the USA and back.  I also did some while on lifeguard duty too.  AFTER the diamond project, I might add.

On the way to bed last night I threw it under the iron but it really does need pressing properly.  Maybe I'll get it done later today!!!

It's only taken a week to get it sewn on as I did that in the odd moments during the afternoons.  Evenings are 'Strictly Come Tatting' times!!

9 September 2011

Dragonflies

Will somebody please send me a new brain cell?  I need one with more memory.  Pity you can't buy it and slot it in like you can on a computer!!!  What am I on about?  Well, this and these!!!

I decided that these were going to be 'best sellers' in my Etsy shop last winter but they weren't!!!! Not sure why as they are so pretty but they are a bit fiddly to make!!!  


Anyway I did write and draw the pattern out for my own benefit and then sort of forgot it!!!!  Here's a couple of pictures of the dragonfly and meantime I'll get the rest of the pattern sorted as when I looked at it again the other day I couldn't understand it myself!!!!  


Just to get you thinking and maybe drooling?


8 September 2011

Guessing game

OK, get out your brain cells - here's a question for you!!!  What am I working on now?

This is the only clue you're gonna get - a picture of work in progress!!!!  

Just a helpful hint - remember I have a perverted mind and this could turn into anything.  I'll tell you the answer in due course!!!!

7 September 2011

Fandango cross

Finally the Fandango cross is finished!!!  

Here are two of them which I made to double check (2, double - get it?) the pattern.  I hope I've written it in a way that is easily understood.  Geraldine did it perfectly and the only 'real' addition is the ring on chains which form the centre.  She'd got the stitch count right on that too.  The biggest 'hassle' was writing the 'ins' and 'outs' corners but I think it's OK now.

These two are worked in a number 40 thread and measure from top to bottom roughly 7" which makes them (in my opinion!) too large for bookmarks but just right for framing and displaying - if that's what you like to do!!!!  Well, here they are!

6 September 2011

Copyright and Butterflies - again!!!

This post was originally going to be the boring part about the butterfly below but I have been following this blog by Heather lately.  If you haven't noticed it then do add it to your list.  Why?  Because it's well written and interesting.  Wish the internet had been around when I learnt all those years ago when I was a wee lass.

The part that I particularly want to point out is today's post which has three patterns on there.  Simple ones that have been buzzing around books, the internet and people's brains (with small, very small variations on stitch count and number of picots) for many, many years.  Note that Heather DOES NOT claim these as her own OR put a copyright notice on them like so many others have done in the past.  She's a sound lass.  I wonder where she's going to take us next?

Now for the original butterfly post.  I just wanted to tell you that one of them actually got sewn onto a tshirt!!!  That's pretty amazing for me as they rarely get put in the intended place!!!

See the ancient neck there?  That's mine - not a tortoise!!!

I was using the mirror on the landing to take the picture.  Not sure blogger allows horror pictures on people's blogs so I cut out the face!!!  Well some of it is behind the camera as you can see!!!!

5 September 2011

Progress!!

Further progress has been made on the diamond mat!!  

Choosing a background fabric to mount it on was a problem.  I thought brown would be the right colour as it looked pretty good on our brown carpet.  Nick took one look and said 'no way' - it needs white.

I clambered upstairs to my fabric stash and found a lovely white piece of fabric which positively killed the whole thing dead!!!  

Next decision was to go to our local shop which sells fabric.  Great idea even if they don't have much in there and it is rather expensive!!!  BUT before I left I had a small brainwave.  Well, not me, really.  Brain cell 3 popped in for a few minutes!!!

Back upstairs again and I found a sheet which may have come from dad's or anywhere.  It was a newish one and when I brought it down, laid it on the floor and threw the diamond mat on top of it  we both said it was just right.  So, that's what I did - used that!!!  

The whole thing is done but it still needs hooks in the walls to hang it from.  That could take time knowing us two!!!!

3 September 2011

Mumbling about copyright!

I saw an interesting blog post the other day about this over here.

There have been many, many interesting discussions and arguments on this subject over the years and I always read them all with interest and sometimes a certain amount of 'grumpiness'!!!!  

If you've the time (or inclination!) then read on but if you haven't then don't bother - this is only my opinion!!!  

Over the years I've been doing this craft things have changed dramatically but I think the most dramatic change has come about with the internet.  This has given us access to many, many more patterns, techniques and friendships than anything else.  New tatters come along in droves (thank goodness) to try their hand at our craft.  After a few patterns have been made up they can then see 'improvements' and other ideas stemming from these.  Great - BUT.  Hang on, shouldn't we not only encourage this but also add a word of caution here?  

I read many, many blogs each day and get very bored with the same old, same old claims by people who have 'designed a new pattern' for us.  Great - if it is new.  But what if it isn't and mostly they aren't!!!!  They are what I call 'generic'.  A lot of the current - 'this is MY new pattern' claims are just these.  They ARE new to that person but NOT new to tat land.  I feel we should encourage these 'wannabe' designers to check, check, check to see that their 'designs' haven't been done before!!!  This is now SO easy through blogs, forums and groups and by just asking around!!  Also internet searches are a lot easier too.

I feel that through these simplistic generic 'new patterns' we are actually 'cheapening' our craft.  I think we need to stimulate new tatters by offering more interesting ideas.  Not those beyond their capabilities (I am so often guilty of that!) but by putting more thought into what we do.  Let's not criticise those who 'steal' these simple generic designs but rather point out that they must have been done before because they are so 'simple'.  Let's encourage more checking out of our work before publishing it as 'ours'.

Many years ago I came up with the medium seahorse which was commissioned by and published in a weekly magazine in the UK.  Imagine my HORROR when the Ring of Tatters published it a few years later in their Newsletter, very badly notated and altered and with somebody else's name on it as the designer and owner of the copyright.  Imagine PICOTS all over it and you get the idea.  To say I was unhappy is to put it mildly.  This was actually a case where the new publishers were MORE to blame than the person who had 'stolen' my copyrighted work simply because they HADN'T CHECKED.  The old lady who'd 'stolen' my work thought that as she'd paid a few pence for the magazine that the pattern was hers to do what she liked with.  Simple (to her!) alterations to something which took so many hours of my time.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings - I'm off to have a shower and my breakfast!!!!!

2 September 2011

Hidden gems - part 3

Oh, heck!!!  Yesterday I forgot to release this post (two small grandkids and lots of excitement for the last few days) and then today I nearly forgot too and am somewhat later than normal.  I always use the 'scheduled' button on blogger but for some reason it just won't work at the moment so I have to rely on my hit and miss memory.  Lately more miss than hit!!!!  Here we go finally!!!

In Eska's final book I see a small resemblance to some of Mary Konior's work in this design.

In this book there's a date of 1952 so she would have been ahead of Mary!!!!  I wonder if Mary ever saw Eska's work?  Even though I've been collecting books since around 1956 I've never seen this Dutch lady's work until recently.  I feel an urge to get to grips with translating some of these for myself and making one or two pieces.  Certainly all three books are little gems and my many, many thanks go to Riet for sending me the final two in the series.


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Happy Beaks

Happy Beaks
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