7 April 2012

Back at the Buzz

I was back at the Buzz cafe again yesterday.  A VERY quiet day - BUT look  what happened.

The lady who's hands you can see (she's wearing a white top) came in on Tuesday just to see what was happening.  When she saw me tatting she was thrilled as she'd inherited her grandma's shuttle.  She brought it back with her yesterday to learn.  BOY is she a fast learner too.  

The other lady is another demonstrator who came over to 'play'.  She didn't come til later on but picked up the principal of the 'flipping flip' very quickly too.  Tell you what - I THOROUGHLY enjoyed the morning.  I'm meeting the first lady (Julie) again on Monday to have another 'go'.

Watch out tat land - here she comes.

6 April 2012

Nearly done!!!

I don't like using my blog to advertise very often - it's not why I have it but this time I'm going to break my rule to tell you that I've got a load of stuff to go in the Etsy shop later today.

Now can you tell me if I'm bonkers or not?  I sit for hours and hours making all this 'stuff' and then I don't want to sell it!!!  I'm very reluctant to part with it and I don't want anybody to buy it for a while!!!  Is this normal or have I truly 'lost the plot'?

A few days after stocking the shop I then start fretting if nothing has sold!!!!  How weird is that?  NO, don't answer, please - I know I'm not normal!!!

Bit of a crisis going on here - the foot pedal on my sewing machine is playing up again.  Nick's sorted it twice but suggested I order another 'just in case' next time he can't fix it.  I think  he said there's a loose connection but, of course, he could've been referring to one in my head!!!

Now, trying to find something like this (a foot pedal) is like looking for hen's teeth.  In the end I found a new replacement on Fleabay.  Oooops, sorry, I mean Ebay!!! £60.00 or thereabouts it cost me but although I reeled at the price it's a small one to pay to keep me quiet and out of mischief!!!!  

Here is some of the stock going into the shop!

5 April 2012

More sewing!!!

What I want to show you is what I made for myself more than twenty years ago - long before the 'four bad years'!!!!  I still carry this rather scruffy looking object around in my roly poly bag which is in my handbag.  It's a bobbin holder - the top two pictures are my scruffy one!!!!  SO useful to have pre-wound bobbins to use when I'm 'out and about'.  These are easy to use as you just 'squeeze' the bobbin out from the bottom and you can easily see what colour thread you've got on each too.

So I decided to make a few for the Etsy shop (well, only three so far - all in the same fabric!).  They're not listed yet - I want to get all the sewing done and then they should all be in the shop tomorrow, I think. 

The ones that I'm going to list are below the scruffy one and also hold six bobbins.  I have put a piece of velcro just to keep them folded over.  Not sure that it's really needed but it added a little 'something' to the whole thing!!!!  I'm forever trying to improve things!!!

4 April 2012


OK, not very good pictures but least the OG tried!!!

We have a community cafe in town - right opposite Shakespeare's Birthplace and a mere three minutes walk from home.  This week and next they're running a community arts project and they asked me if I'd like to come and take part.  Well, any excuse to sit on my ample backside and tat DURING THE DAY is very welcome so off I trotted.

Last year it was cold and miserable there and nobody came near me to see what I was doing.  This year I set off rather unenthusiastically and expected the same.  BUT it was totally different.  For starters here are two pictures of ladies who were spinners/weavers and knitters etc (there was another lady but I didn't get her picture) and they were smashing - very friendly.  

Then there was the little nine year old girl who came in to learn to do anything 'crafty' and she really took to tatting.   She soon learnt the 'flip'.  Later there was another lady who'd got her grandma's tatting shuttles at home and she's coming back on Friday to learn to tat with me.  She'd got her husband with her yesterday so couldn't stop long.  So, all in all an excellent day - especially when I won a prize on the tombola - a BIG fluffy wabbit!!!! I know a little girl who'll love that!!!

Oh, there was a downside/upside to all this - as I left the hall the heaven's opened and we had RAIN.  LOTS of it.  We're desperate for rain round here and this was very welcome although we do need loads more.  I arrived home with a dry wabbit (he had his own plastic dustbin bag) and a very soggy body!!!!

3 April 2012

The end is nigh!!!!

Phewwwww, the end is really nigh!!!  The situation on Sunday was that the bags were finished.  Twenty 'sets' of Roly Poly Tat Bags with matching Poke Proof Pouches.  When I started making these some years ago I did wonder whether to sell them as sets or as individual items.  I'm glad I went with the latter as it gives a lot more choice.

Oddly it seems as if the pouches are more popular than the bags which I didn't expect.  I'm going to make a few more of the pouches over the next few days - after I've photographed, cropped the photos, re-sized and listed these.

Also I've bought some spanking new ziplock bags for each item and along with new inserts they'll make wonderful gifts.  I've NOT made the bobbin holders this time as they are SO fiddly and time consuming.  Also research showed that not many people wanted them.  BUT I am going to make some 'six' bobbin holders too.  I'm hoping to get all these things listed by the weekend - keep your fingers crossed that this actually happens!!!

I'm feeling 'sewn out' now - I've spent hours and hours making these and put such a lot of pressure on myself to get them finished.  Why?  Well I think it's cause I'm stark staring BONKERS!!

2 April 2012


First today I'd like to put out an appeal.  Jane of janemactats has the sort of problem we all dread.  Well, I know I do.  

She's not going to have enough thread to finish her project.  Here's her initial post about it.  Now here is the thread she's looking for - please leave her a comment if you can help.  Also do take a wander round her blog and have a look at her designs.  Stunning.

All I've got to show you is another motif!!!  A new variegated and yellow in the centre and the light green with the same variegated green that I've used on the other green ones on the outside.

Tomorrow something else - promise!!!!

31 March 2012

3rd motif added HWT

Upwards and onwards and another motif added.

This time I used a different plain green!!  This was a darker green and another variegated thread too.

I've also been sewing and doing some drawings for Georgia so I've not been up to any mischief whatsoever!!!  Mind, Nick's happy as it's keeping me quiet!!!

He should be so lucky!!!

29 March 2012

2 motifs in HWT

Continuing along the same 'theme' here are two of the motifs joined.  Again with the green I have used a size 70 or 80 and the same sort of sewing thread.  

You wouldn't believe but the centre of the new one is a variegated yellow, lavender and very pale tan coloured thread and the sewing one is a plain green!!!  It's strange the way it's worked out.  

Sewing is progressing slowly.  The reason for that is mainly cause I've been sidetracked by other things!!!  No, not the dreaded H word but other things!!!

Ah, I'll let you into the 'secret life' of an OG and one of the 'other things' which gets in my 'way' (happily).

Something that I believe passionately in is helping other old people like me get a life online.  I feel it's vital as they can then (hopefully) remain independent (ordering food, clothes etc) in their own homes for longer.  So on a Wednesday morning I teach 'Silver Surfers' (along with 4 other volunteers) in the local library.  I've been doing this for many, many years.

Naturally there are people who you befriend and then I find myself going into their homes to help them there!!!  Nowadays with WiFi in the library they tend to wander in with laptops which makes us able to help them even more.  I love my little 'job' and I love the people I meet.  Part of my approach to teaching them is to laugh a lot.  That's easy.

There you are - that's the 'not a lot else' bit from the title of my blog!!!!

28 March 2012

Playing again!!!

I can't seem to get back to designing at the moment - I wanna/need to play!!!  This is the start of my next 'game'.

Here I've used HWT made up of a size 70 or 80 variegated thread and a plain sewing weight one too.  I haven't pressed it so you're seeing it 'raw'!!!  So this time just the two threads.  I love the subtle changes using HWT.

My 'aim' is to try and get it into my thick head how the combinations of threads turn out size wise.   I don't believe you can do that with just the one motif so I'm aiming to join a few more to this to 'test it out'!!!!

27 March 2012

My Daytime Job

All shuttles and hooks were in the mail by half past ten yesterday morning.  Wonder where they are now?  Hopefully on a plane?

Heee, heeee, no I haven't gone back to work.  The word W O R K is a four letter word and should never ever be used in our house!!!!

These are two pictures of what I'm hoping to get cracking on over the next week or so.  That's after I've cleaned all the windows, the kitchen and other very boring H type word jobs.

What are they?  Well the top picture shows the backsides and the bottom picture shows the top sides of - roly poly bags and pouches!!!  I've got 20 sets cut out and ready to sew.  That took me about four hours to do.  Not my favourite part!!!

I bet a few people will recognise fabric they've sent to me in the past!!!  It's like going back and visiting friends when I get the fabric out.

26 March 2012

New tshirt

Well that was a hectic day yesterday!!!! I awoke to find all the shuttles and hooks had sold so set about sorting and packing them.  That took all morning so I only managed a bit of sewing in the afternoon!!!!  They'll all be on their way to their new homes this morning.  Interestingly they are posted at our main Post Office in town which is 100 yards away from Shakespeare's Birthplace and a five minute walk for me.  Well, you probably didn't need to know that but I do like to brag from time to time!!!!

A week or two ago I showed you a post about HWT which is here.  Well you probably wonder what I was going to do with it.  There again you probably thought the old git was just playing around!!
Well I wasn't!!  I was making another edging for another tshirt.  Here it is in all it's glory!!!!

Off to make the bling to go with it now!!!

24 March 2012

Help required, please

Don't forget - it's Pop A Bobbin Shuttle time and the new Hooks with Hats too.  Another page has been added to the top of the blog here with a few pictures and prices.

Just a quick question today to those who have ever bought the poke proof pouches from my Etsy shop. 

I've started cutting out some more of these (along with the roly poly tat bags) and wondered if anybody ever uses the tiny (and annoyingly fiddly to make!) small bobbin holders that I've been selling along with the pouches.  They come with the set and look like the one below.

The thing is that not only are they fiddly to make but I'm wondering if they're even useful.  If they are I will make more but if not then I'll not bother!!!

I know that personally I have a long holder which holds about 8 bobbins which is in my carry about bag and which I do use but these small ones - well . . . . . . . .   So, I might start a new line in long bobbin holders so how many bobbins would a bobbin holder need to hold?  Sounds like a riddle does that!!!!

All comments would be very welcome.

23 March 2012

More shuttles!

Just a quick post this morning.  
There will be another batch of Pop A Bobbin Shuttles in my Etsy shop on Saturday.  I'll list them at nine o'clock on Saturday evening.  That's 21.00 GMT.  

Also there will be a few of the new hooks - probably should be called 'Hooks with Hats' as that's just what they have!!  

Here's a list of what I've got and you'll see that there's only one of the double ended hooks.  The singles are 0.4mm and the double is the same but with a 0.6mm at the other end.

Here are a few pictures to whet your appetite!!!  For pictures of shuttles (and prices) please visit the tab on my blog here.

Ebony with hook 2
Zebrano no hook 2
Zebrono with hook 2
Cocobolo Rosewood - with hook 4
Purple Heart with hook 5
Purple Heart no hook 1
American Black Walnut with hook 1
American Black Walnut no hook 1
Apple with hook 3
Apple no hook 1
Afrimosa with hook 1
Teak with hook 1

Hooks with Hats
Zebrano (0.4)  2
Cocobola Rosewood (0.4)  2
Purple Heart (0.4)  3
Purple Heart (0.4 / 0.6) 1

22 March 2012

Pink earrings!

Do you remember this tshirt?  Well I HAD to have the accessories too, didn't I?!?!?  

You wouldn't believe what a slobby dresser I am really!! My style is so 'casual' it's almost horizontal!!!  I mainly wear tshirts and trousers in the winter and those vary from jeans to jeans to 'other' similar trousers!!!  In the summer my favourite is skirts and I have one that I've had SO long it's almost antique.  It's denim too!!!

But I DO love my bit of bling.  So to cheer up the tshirt I made earrings and a pendant to 'match'. Here they are!

21 March 2012

A field of goats!!!

Look what Riet sent in on Monday - a field of goats!!!
In spite of a very bad cold Riet went to her guild meeting last weekend and these all came along too.  Did you know that Riet translates the TIAS each year for the Dutch tatters?  She also gallantly picks up on all my mistakes too!!!

Thank you, Riet and also thank you to all her guild.

20 March 2012

Pendant and earwigs

The last of my submissions to the Tat Days team is this set of pendant and earrings.  

Now you'd never believe the things that can develop from a goat's body!!!  Well here's a pendant that did!!!

OK so it's a BIT like (well, a lot, really) other ones I did with the metal centres here.  This one is made without and I thought it would be a simple 'conversion' but no, of course it proved to be 'interesting'!!!

Why without the metal middle?  Well in the past when I've been lucky enough to be chosen to teach at Palmetto I've used specific 'things' which have then proven hard to get hold of.  Remember this journey started originally with this.  Then Irma so VERY kindly sent me these and they have kept me very busy.  Thanks again, Irma - I'm still working with these.

In past searches of craft shops in the UK (few and far between) and the USA we've drawn a blank  or have struggled to find specific findings so this time I decided to avoid that by a re-design.

Anyway this is what I eventually came up with - all done in one 'hit' too.

19 March 2012

Doodles GALORE!

This is the penultimate pattern - or, should that be patterns, that I've submitted for a teaching position at Palmetto Tat Days.

Doodles - lotsa, lotsa doodles.  There are a few old ones but most are brand new.  From marine life to the high life (angels)!!!  If there are old ones there then they've been 'modernised'.

In fact there are 28 doodles.  After that I ran out of steam.  There might be two lessons of doodles if that's what's required.  All skills and a bit of 'trickery' are involved in these.  Total fun.  Fun to design and fun to tat too.

17 March 2012

Ewe and Lamb

Back to the Palmetto patterns and today I've got another animal to show you.  NOT smelly at all - well, not as bad as a skunk!!
Spring in the air and armed with a dose of mint sauce I present a Ewe and her lamb!!!

16 March 2012

A bit of a change

I'll get back to showing you the Palmetto patterns I've submitted tomorrow but today I wanted just to say that I'm darn FED UP with my Etsy shop becoming stagnant.

I know that in situations like this people run sales and gift thingies and stuff like that.  Well, not me.  I can't be bothered!!  So instead I've reduced prices on the bookmarks and have added some pendants.  I need a fresh start in there.  Call it a Spring clean if you like - much more interesting than doing a house Spring clean, eh?

As it's getting warmer (well some days) and I'm thinking of making some more roly poly tat bags  and poke proof pouches - do you think that's a good idea?  Below is a reminder of what they are for those who haven't seen them before.  Do people who have had them before think the removable strap is a good idea or should I make them 'integrated' in the design.  I only ask because I've never taken my strap off - in fact I don't think I've ever used it!!!

Any and all help would be very gratefully received - even if it is simply 'you're a daft old bat'!!!

15 March 2012

Ribbons galore

OK, now here's another of the patterns I've submitted for Palmetto.  

This came vaguely from the Christmas tree idea that I did earlier this year and which would also be included in the lesson.

I decided to try my hand at a ribbon for a tree decoration and that's what the top picture is.  BUT then with brain cell 3 working overtime I decided to make a smaller version as an awareness ribbon and even smaller ones as earrings!!!

This lesson would be 'pitched' at relatively new tatters.

14 March 2012

I've done it!!!!

I've done it - submitted my ideas.  So, this week I'm going to show you what I have sent to the Palmetto Tatters as lesson plans.
Today I'm showing you the skunk I'm offering.  I know a skunk isn't everybody's favourite animal but this one is quite cute (well I think that's not quite true - he's very cute)!!  His name is Smelly.  I'm not 'showing' him as a large picture for one simple reason - so that he can't be copied!!!

I'm not being mean but I am finding more and more that people are 'copying' from pictures and really that's 'not on'.  'Not cricket, old chap, not cricket'.  As the English would say!!!

Not claiming copyright as such but it's only one step away, isn't it?  It's not happened to me, I don't think but I've seen it in other places.  Anyway, as these are for Tat Days I think it's fair too.   I suppose this could be called a 'teaser'!!!

This came about last November when I was just starting in on the TIAS and a lady emailed me and asked me to do a skunk!!!!!  So you'll have to say a big thank you to Shirley for that!!!!

13 March 2012

More about pendants

Now as I said yesterday I'm addicted to making these!!!  Here are a collection of ones which I really ought to give away or sell on Etsy.  

Do you know what?  I think I might try and find time to list them this week - at a nominal price just to cover costs so that hopefully they'll go to good homes and fast!!!
I'll never be a business woman - I haven't got the 'je ne sais quoi' to do it!!!!  Here are the ones I'm talking about.

Can you see there are two colours of chains?  I'm wondering if I should give a choice or just 'wing it'?  Any ideas?

12 March 2012

A small confesion!

Just a small one which will prove something to you.  Not quite sure what but it may throw some light on my personality!!!  

I love making pendants.  No, that's not the confession - well, just part of it.  

I make them by tatting onto a small split ring finding and then add another (which then, of course) lies at right angles.  Now I make sure that this second one is large enough to put the clasps on one of my favorite necklaces through.

This is a lovely gold necklace that I've had for many years.  So, my big confession is that I have many pendants with just one chain!!!!
Here's the necklace with one of my (so far) favourite pendants on it!!!

10 March 2012

Sewn on!

Just to prove I can finish things off completely here's the tshirt edging sewn onto the right tshirt!!!    Yes, I have been known to sew onto the wrong one in the past!!!

Now this tshirt was a really, really cheap one I got in America last year but the quality is really good.  I've bought this brand before on our trips 'over the pond'.  Thing is, this really cheap shirt now looks slightly smarter for it's bit of tatting.  Well, I think so!!!

I used my very favourite thread to sew it on.  Well, let me clarify that.  It's my favourite for looks when I've used it but not my favourite for using!!!  Not easy to use is the invisible thread.  Why?  Well cause you can't see it - it's really invisible!!!!  A good light, plenty of cussing words and a firm word with myself and I can do it!!!!

I've teven atted with this thread before a few years ago - here's a link.  Not one of my favourite things to tat with!!!

9 March 2012

After HDT comes HWT

Have you ever tried HWT.  No, no, no, not HDT but HWT?  Hand Wound Threads.

It's one of my favourite threads.  You take two or three sewing weight threads and wind them on to a shuttle together.  Needs a bit of concentration so that they go on equally but well worth it.

So this is what happens when you use the three spools shown below.  The plain blue is a machine quilting thread which I bought in a tiny store in Cincinnati.  The one in the middle is Perfect Quilter (which, incidentally, Gina gave me many years ago on one of our outings) and the one on the right is Valdani which I bought from a UK supplier.

Now not even I would think normally of putting three such different variagated threads together but I think it WORKS!!!  See the bottom picture.

I find that three sewing weight threads HWT work out to a size 20.

This is another tshirt edging.  I've started sewing the last one onto the shirt so should be able to show you soon.

Oh, another goat arrived yesterday - 105.  Thanks Brigitte.

8 March 2012

An edging for a tshirt

I started this just around Christmas time as a 'pick up, put down' project.  One of those 'what shall I do now' projects when you've been working on something most of the evening, finished it and you're feeling tired and just need something to keep yourself awake until bedtime!!!!  

I used the 'Oh SO simple' edging as I know this off by heart now!!!!  When we took the car to the garage last week I remembered it and took it with me as we knew we had a three quarter hour wait for whatever it had to have done to 'be done'.  Now it's finished the next big obstacle is getting it sewn on to the tshirt!!!

Of course you can guess what thread I used - Lizbeth Pink Cocoa!!!

7 March 2012

Down memory lane!!!

More of my favourite earrings that I mentioned last week.

When I found the bath plugs I found these too - two more of my favourite pairs.  Most of the earrings got thrown out with the bath water, marriage, job and the house I lost but these seem to stick to me like that stuff that sticks to shovels!!!

I obviously used to wear strange earrings wherever I went and my dentist greeted me on one visit with the pair directly below.

The other pair were given to me by a five year old pupil.  I seem to have mislaid one of the pair so I took two photos of the one to show what it's capabilities were.  I used to wear one with the seat up (gentlemen only) and one with the seat down.  This time I've left the lid down on the one photo.  Modesty prevailed as it hasn't been cleaned in years!!!!

6 March 2012

Just to prove

I'm not a liar, liar pants on fire!!!  Here are the earrings I was telling you about in this post here.

If you look hard at the left one you can see that it says 1 1/2" too!!!!  I still have a HUGE soft spot for this pair!!!  Not that I think I'd wear them nowadays as I don't go to any posh parties anymore!!!

By the way - thanks to a few more people we now have 104 goats in the herd here!!!

5 March 2012


A week or two ago I had an email from Sherry (Ladyshuttlemaker) asking me to test tat something for her for her new book.  Now being as I was towards the end of sorting out 'stuff' to submit for Palmetto I said yes.

Well she sent the files and my heart dropped!!!  NOT a technique I've ever really given much time to or ever wanted to!!  Certainly NOT one that I've ever tried.    I've done the odd drawing for Georgia along those lines but never wanted to try it.  I really, really wished I'd not offered!!!!!  But, as I'd promised I had to give it a whirl.

Now Sherry's book is mostly based on EXCELLENT pictures with not too much text.  As you know I'm a 'gobby' sort of person and talk a lot.  A real challenge was this test tat.  

The result?  I'm now HOOKED on this technique and really enjoyed what I did with it.  Sherry's pictures/instructions are fantastic and by the time I did the second piece I was wondering why the OG had never wanted to do it before.  Part of the fascination for ME was the use of colour.  Well done, Sherry, you've got an OG converted to this technique and those patterns.  Not sure when the book will be out but I'll be in the queue.

This is what Sherry sent me as a 'thank you'.  WOWEEE - don't you just love the colours.  Zing a ding, ding.  You can find more in her Etsy shop here.  These two are called 'Bell Peppers' (on the left) and 'Rose Petals'

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Happy Beaks

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