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!!!!

21 November 2011

Another necklace!

The last one!!  Well until I get further supplies from the charity shops or elsewhere!!!  I do a troll through the shops in town at least once a week - just in case.  I rarely find anything, though!!!  Still, keeps me amused for an hour or so!!!

I've actually found some findings on Ebay which might 'do' to make more necklaces like this - so for the terrific price of £2.50 (free shipping) I've ordered those.  They're coming from China so will take a few weeks.  I've had some real bargains from the Chinese companies on Ebay in the past so am looking forward to seeing these when they arrive.  If they work out OK then I'll put the pattern together along with details on where to buy the 'bits'.

I might even wear this one.  I do love the purply one but I no longer own that!!!  It's gone, long gone!!

19 November 2011

Jane's Butterfly

Before I start - don't forget that my Ebay tatting book listings finish later today.  My user name is janeeborall.

Do you remember when Terry Nimmer came up with his idea of floating chains?

Well, Jane McLelland has been playing with the idea too.  

Here is the link for the pattern for the butterfly which is in my Guest Designer section on my pattern page.  I'm hoping she'll show us the pattern for the flower (right side, top picture) too in time.  Clever lass is that one.

18 November 2011

More fiddling with the web site.

Another session on the web pages!!!
This time a good sorting out of the links page which has now moved over to another server!!  Why?  Well cause I find it easier to use than the other one!!!  

So a lot of links have been removed because they were either redundant or just 'not there anymore'.  This means that I now have room for more.  If you have a blog or web site that you want added then do please shout!!!  Tell me the name you want it listed under (which might not be your 'real' name) and the url.  I guess I could go through my blog roll and do it but I'm easily confused and I might add people who don't want to be there.

Oh, here's the new url but it can be reached from my front page (near the bottom)

16 November 2011

Lock join

Again during all the 'refurbishment' of the web site I realised that several things were 'missing' and should be either replaced or sorted out first.
One of the things I suddenly realised 'wasn't there' is a technique page for the lock join.  Actually I was working on another join before I realised that the dear old lock join wasn't there!!!

I then thought about 'categorizing' all the tips and techniques on that page too so have tried to put all the joining ones together.  I may have to sub divide this page too!!!  Where does it all end, eh?

15 November 2011


Whilst doing the reorganisation of the web site I realised I need to re-visit a few of the patterns.  As you know this is an ongoing job because when I started in on this publishing my daft ideas - things were very different.  There was no real 'standard' of annotation so it was all a bit 'airy fairy'.  

Since being chosen to teach at Palmetto Tat Days I have been basing most of my annotation on their guidelines in the hope that this would become the 'standard'.  So from time to time I'm going back and doing the older patterns (well, my favourites, at least!) in a more understandable way. 

Here's the snowman in all his glory and re-done.

14 November 2011

Listed on Ebay

I have three tatting books listed on Ebay this week - in case you haven't found them!!!  My ebay ID is simple - just janeeborall!!!  Just go to the 'buy' section and 'advanced' and put in seller ID and you should find them.

I never believe in hiding behind another name - those who are chasing me would always find me cause I can't keep my mouth shut!!!!

Is there anybody 'out there' who's got ten minutes to spare to try something out for me?  Won't take long but I'd appreciate a few minutes.  It's an advanced technique which I'm trying to do for the web site but in simplifying it I may have made it more complicated!!!  That would be typical of me!!!

12 November 2011

More fun with the 'bits' of metal

Well here's what I did with more of those metal 'bits'.  I wish I could find another necklace or source for this type of finding cause I've really enjoyed making this.  Challenging and a few 'changes of mind' in the progression of it.  Actually since scanning this I've cut out the middle one on one side and re-made it!!! I suddenly realised that one side was two very, very tiny links in the chain longer than the other - I couldn't leave it like that!

I think I've JUST got enough 'bits' to make another - all of this for just 99 pence and a small amount of thread and a few beads.  Oh, and a bit of patience and time and a decent pair of scissors!!

Tat's tatupcycling for you!!!

10 November 2011

More motifs

Here are four more that I did last week.  There are four at the moment but I'm not sure they'll stay as they are!!!  I'm thinking of taking the scissors to one or two of them to re-do.  My favourite is the one at the bottom!!!

I really don't know what I'm going to do with all the things I make - it's beginning to bug me!!!  I've nobody to give them to and they don't sell and I'm also not very good at selling anyway!

Wait til you see the next one!!!  There's a teaser for you!

9 November 2011

Square centres

What is the name of this game?  Using old things and re-modelling them.  Is it re-modelling, re-cycling, up-cycling or what?

As I can't decide I'm going to call it re-up-tatting. 

The centre of this motif is part of this necklace (I think there were 16 of these in the whole thing) which I found in a charity shop in Cheltenham.  With the aid of a pair of pliers and some time I took it apart as I thought I'd be able to make something out of them.  Well, here it is - the first trial.  I'm not totally happy with this yet but I'm sure somebody will like them one day!!  Either that or they'll get cut up again and re-up-tatted!!!!

I couldn't decide which way round it should go!!!

8 November 2011

3D Snowflake

Now I made this snowflake some years ago and the earliest I can find it on the internet (via the wayback machine) is 2002 which is nearly ten years ago.

I was looking for a decent picture to put on the 'celebration' link on my pattern pages and couldn't find one anywhere.  Then I also realised that I've got this on the Jewellery page as I did make it into an earring too.  This led me to make it again (see below) and I then realised why there isn't a decent picture!!!  It's almost impossible to take a photo as it's tiny and 3D!!!

So, while I was working on it I did the 'usual' and re-vamped the page too.  I also doubled up on the stitch count to see if that would work too and - eureka - it did!!!  This makes it a bit larger and ideal for a Christmas tree ornament.  I've now got a link to it from the celebration pattern page too and it can be found here.  Oh, the larger one worked in a 20 thread works out to about 1 1/2".  

7 November 2011

Don't look if you're squeamish

I'm issuing a warning for those of you who may be squeamish!!!!  I'm going to show you something dead - VERY dead.

This once was a necklace.  Yup, believe it or not it was.  Sadly it ended up in a charity shop in Cheltenham and looked SO sad and neglected that I bought it and brought it home.  Now maybe YOU think there's a happy ending.  Well, no, not yet.

When I got home I got out my pliers and KILLED it properly DEAD!!!!  These are the mortal remains!  

The little brassy square 'bits' are really pretty with a sparkly stone (no, I assure you, it's not a diamond!) in the middle.  

Wait til you see what happened next!!!!

5 November 2011

They're ready, willing and able!

I'm talking about the new batch of Pop a Bobbin shuttles which are all waiting in the Etsy shop here.  They're willing to be bought and they'll be able to go on their voyage on Monday morning!!

All I've got to do is remember that at 6 o'clock GMT (18.00 hrs) today to set them free!!!  Etsy now lets you keep stuff as drafts whereas before this facility was added you had to list the item, then go and inactivate them straight away!!!  Nearly drove me bonkers!!!

Actually listing on a Saturday and at this time will mean that I'll have all Sunday to make sure they're packed and ready to go.  

If you happen to have overpaid on postage I always refund the excess back into the Paypal account used.  Forgot to mention that!!!

3 November 2011

Bright and cheerful pendant!

I'm still slowly working on my web pages.  They're doing OK but still need more work on the font sizes, I think.  The pictures are slowly being added and I've done the tips and techniques, animal, celebration and odds and ends pages too.  Takes ages to do but keeps me out of mischief!!!

I'd still got some thread on the shuttles when I'd finished the earrings so decided to make a pendant to match.
Normally I never leave thread on shuttles as I prefer to wind it back onto the balls - easy when using a bobbin shuttle and keeps the 'right colour' with the 'right ball'!!!  This time, though, as I'd got three strands on the bobbins I wasn't prepared to go to the trouble of winding back each strand separately.  Can you imagine trying to do that with a slightly 'lively' polyester thread?  So another plot had to be thought out.  I decided to make a pendant to match the earrings.

I'd still got some left after that so the little four double edging got made too.  No idea what I'm going to do with it but cannot bear to waste thread!!!

2 November 2011

MORE new earrings and shuttle news!!

OK, still playing with this bright thread I bought in the USA.  Here's what I made with them.  This is still double 'strength'!  Yet more new earrings.  I think I really ought to look into growing myself some more ears to dangle them from!!!

After a few comments about shuttles I've now decided that I'll list them at 6pm GMT on SATURDAY.

I also took time to re-stock my Etsy shop yesterday.  I've reduced the prices on almost everything.  

I'm still 'messing' with my web pages too and if you look at the Celebration page you'll see what I'm doing.  Takes time, though and I'll be working on the other links for the next few days so don't hold your breath!!!!  It's not good for your health to hold your breath - it can be fatal, you know!!!

1 November 2011

Shuttle talk

I have another batch of shuttles ready to list in my Etsy store.
I'm not sure when to put them in there, though.  I've tried different times on different days but still have no real idea on what suits people best!!!  I think the weekends - but would appreciate some suggestions.

If you visit Sally's blog you'll see that last Sunday the clocks changed back to GMT for us.  Don't forget - you'll need any suggestions to be made in GMT as I'll not be able to work out how to change yours to mine!!!  Brain cell 3 'doesn't do' time zones - poor old thing!!!!!

I have the following to sell and the prices are on the Pop a Bobbin shuttle page on the tab at the top of this blog.

Purple Heart 3 with hooks, 1 without
Ebony 1 with hooks
Mahonia 1 with hooks
Yew 2 with hooks
Apple 2 with hooks
Maple 2 with hooks
Afrimosa 2 with hooks
Walnut 1 with hooks
Oak 2 with hooks, 1 without
Cocobolo Rosewood 1 with hooks
Cherry 1 with hooks
Olivewood 2 with hooks
Holly 3 with hooks
American Tulipwood 2 with hooks

31 October 2011

Prettying things up!

Well I thought my home page was boring!!!  I decided that weeks ago but didn't have the time to get to sorting it.

Last weekend I did have time and sat down to add some images to 'cheer it up'.  DUH, I'd forgotten how to do it!!!  I used to use an html editor on the PC to make web pages but a few years ago changed to doing the files in pdf AND changed to a mac.  BUT my home page is or has to be in html and I'd forgotten 'how to' add images!!

So this weekend I made time to have another go.  I sat down with a blank mind and started.  Well, you'd never guess what happened.  Brain cell 3 turned up straight away and I realised how stupidly thick I'd been and  how easy it was!!!  Time consuming, yes.  Easy, yes!!!  I now present you with my 'new looking' home page.  Ta, daaaaa!!!!

I'm slowly going to 'decorate' the other link pages too.  That's (of course) if I haven't forgotten 'how to' again!!!

29 October 2011

New earrings!

So in between other things I decided I really, really 'needed' more earrings!!!  

While I was doing a pair for myself (the bottom ones) I decided to make a pair for my friend.  She should really have been born a magpie as she loves anything that glitters.  I made hers slightly shorter as she doesn't 'suit' very long ones.  

They're made with a fine polyester sewing weight thread (doubled up) and then with a Madeira glittery one added too.  Neither scan does them justice!!!  The main beads are Swarovski crystals although the round ones on the top pair are glassy beads.

Oh, the pattern I used is this one from two years ago.

28 October 2011

Bright thread

So, here's what I made with the thread I 'accidentally' bought!!!  Well the first two trials.  There is more to come.

Both are using it doubled and I found it really easy to use.  It didn't cause any problems at all and didn't really feel like polyester at all.  

I was feeling really, really lazy when I did these and couldn't be bothered to get out of my cozy armchair to get some beads.  No idea what these will be used for - probably get lost up the hoover like so many of my odds and ends.  In fact I didn't even bother to press them when finished or damp and pull into shape (another of my bone idle tricks)!!!

I think the next experiment will be with three threads running together - maybe a pair of earwigs?  Watch this space!!!!

Oh, the two patterns I used are the 'Small Motif' which started me off on the doily and this heart.

25 October 2011

Rules are made to be broken?

When I went to the USA in July I made myself a promise - I was NOT going to buy more threads.  When I got to Cincinnati there was a packet waiting for me from Sue Anna which was full to the brim of Lizbeth threads so that made me even MORE determined!!!  NO MORE THREADS!!!

When I spent the day with Gina we went to Michaels and Hobby Lobby and were going to Joann's but the store we found was closed but I managed to spend lotsa money on beads and 'bits' in the other two stores but NO THREAD.  What a good girl (well, old git) I was.

One day when we were out with Karen she said she had to go to Joann's for some odds and ends.  Well it happened to be a HUGE store and we had plenty of time there.  Fatal.  I got more beads (I didn't tell myself 'no more beads') and then I spied this reel of thread.  I picked it up, put it down, picked it up and then it went into my basket.  I was very cross with myself but then - what the heck.  Rules are sometimes made to be broken!!!

Here is the reel of thread and in a few days I will show you what I made with it!!!

24 October 2011

Finished in blue colours

OR should that be 'finished in green?  

At the moment this is as far as the 'Once in a Lifetime' doily is going - BUT I could well return to it in a few weeks - one never knows when living with brain cell 3 when the 'muse' is going to strike again!!!  If I do add to this then I'll have to re-work the final round to provide joining places.  Hmmm, sounds as if I'm already contemplating it!!!  

Anyway, here's the link for now!!  Meantime I have other 'fish to fry'!!!

22 October 2011

Last part of the doily

Again there has to be a cut and tie after round 4 and before starting 5 and 6 but I think it's a small price to pay in the scheme of things!!

OK I know it looks as if I've gone totally stark staring bonkers but I did the same doily in lavender - just to check it out again!!!  Here are rounds 5 and 6 which is as far as I've got.  Actually I think this is the 'end of the line' for this 'Once in a Lifetime' doily.

I'll work on the pattern page over the weekend and hope to get the pattern up on the pattern page early next week.  I've got another one to show you which I think is the best version of all - I'll wait to see what you all think!!  In a size 20 thread it works out to be about 7 1/2" in diameter so I think it might be a smidgen small for a 'real' doily!!!

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'!!!

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Happy Beaks

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