20 October 2012

TIAS 2013

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?  When that question is asked I always opt for the bad first as I like to get that over with and out of the way.  Actually Geraldine prompted this post with her comment yesterday so I thought I'd better update y'all (as they say in the southern states of America)!!!

The bad news is that I really, really struggled to get started on next January's TIAS.  Oh, in case you don't know a TIAS is a 'Tat It And See'.  It's a game a lot of people play with me in January each year.  Here's a link to the TIAS blog.  Last year's links are on the left side of the blog if you want to see how it works.  The introduction here will give you some idea of what you might expect.

Well the good news now - I've finally started on it.

Now what took so long?

You guys - you caused poor old brain cell 3 a lot of worry and angst!!!  You're getting too darn clever at guessing what the finished piece is going to be and I'm trying to make the guessing harder!!!!

I THINK this year's idea will work.  Do you want a clue?  Well here you are!!!

19 October 2012

What to do when you can't think of what to do!

My tatting life has been a bit in the doldrums lately.  I'm not sure why but it has.  I've been tempted away from what I ought to do by the wonderful variety of threads I've got.  

Anyway I thought I would settle down and do something a bit more than 'just something small' and decided to have another 'go' at the chicken wing doily.  

This time I've used my all time favourite Rainbow Taffy and another (can't remember which!) Lizbeth variegated for the centres of the 'wings'.  I love it and now it's done it's been put away in the cupboard!!!!  Having got that out of my system I wonder what will happen next in my corner of Tat Land!!!!

18 October 2012

My travel project

Now before I left for America I had to decide what to take with me to do in those 'odd moments'.

I never tat while in the departure lounges (too many people to watch) or on the plane (too easy to drop things and not be able to find them again) so that made it slightly easier to decide - or did it?  Not at all as making decisions is hard sometimes!!!

In the end I settled (as usual) for a hanky edging as it doesn't involve beads (who wants to rub their noses on beads on a hanky?!?!?) and does require a lot of mindless repetition!!  So I decided on using the 'Oh So Simple' edging which I happened upon last Christmas.

I've now finished it as I needed something to do when I got home because I wasn't in the right frame of mind to start something new!!  Life's like that sometimes!!!

17 October 2012

Finished the pattern!

Well that didn't take as long as I thought to finish off.  It was 'almost there'.  That's the problem with my hit and miss way of life - I start a thing months and months before I finish it and meantime (as you've probably realised) forget I've even done it!!!  

I worked up another pendant to run a final check on the pattern (not got the last metal split ring on yet) which will go well with two new tops I bought last week.  

Oh, here's the link and here's a final picture!!!

16 October 2012

Stephanie's doily

Stephanie gave some of us a doily at Tat Days and this is mine.  

Now I must admit that I'm not a 'doily person' or rather - not until now!!!  I never ever ever keep any of my work out on display unless Nick finds it and puts it out.  In fact the only thing that is on display is the big hanging I made last year (OR was it the year before?)!   

BUT this doily has to be seen to be believed.  It's worked in a size 80 (or maybe even less) and hasn't been put away since I got back home.  It sits on the cupboard next to 'tat corner' and smiles happily at me the whole time.

I have quite a few items that other people have made in tat corner but this one is the biggest even though it only measures six and a half inches.

It's just waaaaay too pretty to put away anywhere - thanks Stephanie.

15 October 2012


I've been following the wonderful excitement over the doodads which Diane started a few weeks ago.  I amend that last sentence - it was in August (doesn't time fly?).

It's been making me smile to myself as I've long had a 'thing' about doodads and started using them many years ago in a butterfly pattern.

In March last year I bought some earrings from Asda - here they are - and took them apart!!!!  This is one of the many, many things I made with them.

So, when it came to putting in my application to teach at Tat Days I wondered what to submit.  I'd recently been working on this pendant which has a doodad which Irma had sent me (another picture below - in coloured threads).  They're not easy to find here in the UK unless you get lucky as I did with the earrings!!!  So, should I submit this to teach and would I be able to point my students towards where to buy them?  A limited use pattern, I thought at the time.

So as I liked the pendant idea I had to go into 're-design' mode which is where the last picture on this page comes from - now on the Palmetto Tatter's CD.  This meant that nobody would have to go hunting for the doodads - good job!!!!

Since then and as people are finding doodads to use I can now add the pattern to my site.  Well, I will in a day or two's time as I've still got to finish off the page and check it out!!!

13 October 2012

Update of starting page

On Thursday I spent the whole day updating this page.  I wasn't happy with some of the pictures (done years ago on the PC) so decided to re-draw them and look at all the techniques again.  It kept me quiet and away from the dreaded housework!!!!

This was brought on by Phyllis who I watched starting a ring and chain at Tat Days in one of my classes - which all goes to prove yet again that teachers probably learn as much as their pupils (well I do) at Tat Days.

I asked her to show me how she was doing this and I thought this was a really exciting new idea (well, new to me but probably not for the rest of Tat Land!!!).  Phyllis did say where she'd got the idea from but I really can't remember and anyway techniques are aren't copyrightable.  Only the drawings and words I use in the technique section are and who'd want to copy those, I ask myself - and you too???!!!!!

I've added Phyllis's idea to the page too - it's the second method of starting a ring followed by a chain.  A thought did occur to me - if anybody ever wants to use parts of this page as a teaching aid (ie probably just one section) then please email me and I'll 'chop it up' and send as a word document.

Just to add a bit of 'cheer and colour' to this page I'll add the pictures here too - that should tempt you to take a peek at the destructions (whoooops, I mean instructions)!!!!

12 October 2012

A story about a bag!

Now this is a story about a bag which I saw at Crazymom's house when we stayed with her in Atlanta.  Hers was blue and it sat on a side table and just took my fancy.  It sat SO well and SO sturdily but when you grabbed a piece of the ribbon it closed over the contents and was ready to go.  On questioning (no thumb screws were used or any form of torture) Crazymom said it was in her goodie bag at Tat Days 2011.  Ah, that's where it came from!!!

So on to Tat Days - no time to find out anything about the new love of my life but back at Joanie's afterwards she said that the pattern belonged to Anne Bruvold and had been spotted here on her blog.  Another part of the mystery was getting solved.

Back home in the UK Joanie sent me a copy of the pattern and I wrote to Anne as I was STILL madly in love with the idea and asked if I could make one/some for friends.  

Here is my first attempt.  Are you in love now?  It's SUCH a clever idea and I must thank Anne SO MUCH for being so kind and letting me have a go at her pattern.  She said I could make some and sell in Etsy but that will have to wait until next Spring - IF brain cell 3 is in the right mood then.  

I actually made a few of these before putting the sewing machine away for the winter.

Oh, I did land up with a sore thumb when I was putting in one of the eyelets and 'missed'!!!!  I DO NOT LIKE eyelets - never have done and never will but the bag is worth all the pain and frustration of eyelets!!!

11 October 2012

Do you fancy a bit of slap and tickle?

Do you fancy a bit of slap and tickle?  I do and regularly.  I do it with/to my tatting!!  What DID you think I was going to say?

OK, I'll explain.  It's my latest way of stiffening small items.  Remember the accident I told you about here?  Well the reason I could put this right was probably (and I do say probably) due to the way I have taken to stiffening my tatting.  Here's how I do it.

First of all I dampen and iron the piece/pieces (under a cloth) so that they're how they should be when finished - see a pile of bits below.
Next I take some white school glue (PVA) - notice how cheap this is for such a huge bottle.
The next step is to put a splodge of the glue into the palm of your wrinkled old hand (if you don't have a wrinkled old hand I'll come and help you - please send money for air fair if appropriate).  Now add a little cold water (not sure you can see it - top left of picture).
Mix water and glue together (below) to get a really good mix.  Note how it hides some of the wrinkles too!!!!!
Finally - and this is where it gets to be fun - take the piece of tatting and put it on the glue.  Now you slap, tickle and squidge the glue mixture into the piece.  
My hands got too sticky to take a photo at this stage but the one above was taken just before I did the final 'dry' slap and tickle to get the excess glue off.  (You'll find you can slap the excess off if you wash and dry your hands when you've finished and if the rings and picots are not 'clear' of glue.)  Finally place on a flat surface and leave to dry.
Well, it works very well for me but there's no guarantee it'll work for you!!!

10 October 2012

Another post about our trip!

I think this will be the last post about our trip - I keep finding drafts in my blog and they've got out of order - they 'slipped' down the timeline there.

The day after the guild meeting we had another meeting at the Mall and then the following day Joanie kindly took us to the craft stores and the Dollar store too!!!  It's amazing what you can buy for a dollar (plus tax!).  Sally and I couldn't get our heads around the way tax is added at the register as tax in the UK is included and shown on the shelf.  I managed to squeeze a few more 'essentials' into my suitcase which proved to be well overfull by the time we had finished shopping that day!!

Joanie also gave me a few tubes of beads which I'm dying to get to use as they're different shapes.  I just need time - more time to tat.  Can we get an extension to each day?  24 hours just isn't long enough!

Today I'm adding some of the gifts I was given during our trip.  Sadly I've now lost track of who made them both but you can put that down to old age and stupidity!!!  Actually the name tag is very useful - it reminds me regularly of who I am!!!

9 October 2012

Have you EVER seen?

Have you ever seen ANYTHING as pretty as this?

A shuttle holder kindly given to me by Marie Smith.  

Marie came up to me while we were at the Palmetto guild meeting and showed me a wee box of shuttle holders she'd made and asked me to choose one for myself.  That was SUCH a hard decision but in the end this is the one I chose.  It's exquisitely made.  The thread is Wildflowers by Shirley Pence.  I am going to display this little beauty with my shuttles where I can see it (and them) each day.

On another point - the tatting cupboard is now tidy and the door is shut again.  It's taken me two/three weeks to unpack and put all the odds and ends away!!!

8 October 2012

Walled garden motif goes flourescent

I told you a while back about Gina's family bringing some of her threads to Tat Days.  Least I think I did but there again I may not!!!  Well during the regular guild meeting the following Saturday after Tat Days a bag was produced with her remaining threads in.  Well I decided that I was already heading towards a full suitcase and wouldn't look at all.

All good plans of mice and men suddenly came to a halt when I spotted some fluorescent sewing thread in the bag which was being rummaged in behind where I was sitting.  It was really weird as I'm sure Gina sent a lightening bolt to me to pick them out.  She always knew I had a strange 'take' on colours and it was almost as if she'd put them there to tempt me!!!  

Here is the Garden Motif that I taught that day worked up in them while I was sitting talking with Joanie and Sally during the following few days.  I made a huge boo boo on the one with yellow as I missed out some picots.  I decided to finish it though as I'm a stubborn old git!!!  I used the thread doubled but it wasn't that easy to tat with.  I'll certainly be playing with these threads again - you wait and see!!!!!

6 October 2012

How to find your beads

Do you ever find you keep losing your beads?  Do you wonder where you last left them?  Having trouble keeping them in one place together?  

Here is the answer - a bead bracelet!!!

This was kindly given to me by Joanie after a discussion with her husband and some really clever DIY work.  

Although this was given in jest I can see that having your beads round your wrist is a great idea.    Thanks, Joanie and Rick - the inventors of the year.

I wear this with pride and with no intention of opening it up to use the beads!!  Isn't that the silliest thing?!?!?!

5 October 2012

Hurt feelings

Before I toddle off to do household chores this morning I must tell you about a rather upsetting incident which happened a while ago.  This is the story.

I was booked to teach a tatting class.  A few weeks before the class a picture of the piece I was going to teach was put up on the group's web site.  I arrived at the venue to start and was very surprised to have one of the members of the group approach me straight away with the finished item telling me she'd already done it!!  To say I was gobsmacked was the very least.

When I asked how she'd got the pattern she said she'd worked it out from the picture on the web page.

My question is - how would you feel about this?  Why couldn't this person wait for the pattern - especially if they were intending to come to the class anyway?

I suppose it's inevitable that a design can be copied off the internet but surely it's bad manners to then flaunt it in front of the person who's taken the time and trouble to design it, annotate it, then draw it and finally turn up to TEACH it?  I felt really hurt that somebody would undervalue my time and effort in this way.

Is it coming to a place and time now when it's not worth writing down a pattern?  Think how much time I would save and how many more projects I'd get done if I didn't write everything down.  Should we now just make something and put a picture on a site so people can copy it?  Is this the beginning of the end of copyright laws, intellectual property and the demise of respect?  I wonder.

4 October 2012

3 October 2012

An accident report

Last week there was an accident in my house.  My own fault as I'd just finished reading a book and had just left the bookmark (one of my Wrap It, Flip It and Mark It ones) on the bed.  We both forgot or didn't notice it there when we stripped the sheets etc for washing.  While you're reading the book with one of these they can't get lost so this was entirely my fault.

That evening as I crawled into bed I looked for my bookmark but it was gone.  Gone to join the other bookmarks in the sky!!!  

A few days later Nick found it lurking inside the duvet cover which had been washed and left to dry out in the garden.  Look at the state it was in!!  Top picture!!!  

Now look at the picture below - I rescued it and put it back to work.  I use white glue (slightly diluted) to stiffen these bookmarks.  I wet the motif thoroughly before squidging the diluted glue into the item with my fingers.  This appears to be the answer to this type of accident as all I needed to do to restore it was to steam iron it back into shape, wet it again and squidge in more glue!!!!  I've been making more of these bookmarks for my Etsy shop - they really sell well when people realise that it's the answer to losing your place in a book or the bookmark itself.  Well, that's unless you're an OG with a dozy brain cell 3!!!

2 October 2012

Lizbeth now in size 3

What a surprise I had one day last week when I had a mailing from Barb of Handy Hands.  Inside there was a sample reel of the latest Lizbeth in size 3 along with her newsletter too.

Yes, you did read that right - size 3!!!  Now I looked at it and thought to myself why would anybody want to tat in size three!!!  So, of course, curiosity got the better of me and I had to find out 'why'!!!  Darn that brain cell 3 for distracting me!!!!

I made up this little hummingbird with the thread and then had an 'AHA' moment (or three!!!!!).  Now I can see the 'why' of this size.  It really makes a statement about the colours and the thread too.  This little chap works out to be a full 2 inches worked in this thread.

Follow up to this experiment is an email I sent to Barb showing her what I'd done.  She asked if she could have the pattern for the hummer and I've said she can put it on her site.  BUT if you want the rest of my zoo collection (here) from Tat Days you can buy the CD from the Palmetto Tatters here.  There's a flamingo, an ostrich, a lion, a gecko, an octopus and a peacock.  All doodle sized but I'm now thinking which one to make next in the size 3 thread!!!

OK - that's the end of today's BLATANT advertising for Handy Hands and Palmetto Tatters!!!!  Do I care?  No - I only advertise what I totally believe in!

1 October 2012

Kits from Tat Days

Now I came home with a few 'kits' from Tat Days.  Here are the results of two of them.  

I didn't bring an owl back as they flew back to Riet ready for the State Fair but they were really really cute and I will be making more.  My sister's addicted to them - see this link.  

I did make up the pendant which came in a goodie bag and which was kindly donated by Vicki Clarke of this blog.  I'm now wondering if this pattern is in the book she's posted about.  Very pretty and easy to make too.  Can't wait to see the rest of them.

Below that is a pretty pair of earrings but I can't remember when I was given that!!!  I do know that it's a clever little pattern by Barbara Hevener who can be contacted if you email me privately.  I'm sure she won't mind.  I thought the base of this little wreath was truly clever - thank you, Barbara.

29 September 2012

Gina's work at Tat Days

One of the most poignant moments of the Palmetto Tat Days was meeting Gina's daughter and sister.  Gina and I had talked about us meeting up at this event when we met last July.  I'd told her I was going to apply to become a teacher.  As you know last winter was dreadful living through her illness and to lose her was such a shock after her being told she was in remission.

Laurie and Linda very kindly came to Tat Days and brought a wonderful selection of her work.  The pictures below show some of the display although the items had to be seen to be appreciated fully.

The elephant in the third picture is amazing and no picture could ever do it justice.  It's Gina's version of Pam Palmer's elephant and the thought and skill that she brought to this piece raises it to a new height.

A huge thank you must go to them and the Palmetto tatters for putting on this wonderful display.

A selection of Gina's threads was brought by Linda and Laurie (both talented crafters too) and I'll tell you more about those next week.

28 September 2012

Guild meeting and last American post - almost

On the Saturday after Tat Days it was the regular Palmetto Tatters guild meeting and I had the privilege of teaching there.  I taught the motif which you can find here.  

The most interesting part of this day (for me) was the location of the meeting - at the Lexington County museum.  Now I always think of a museum as being a place that you see exhibits IN but this place was also where you could go INTO the exhibits too.  Here's a link and below some pictures of the buildings and the members of the guild.

I had to show you the picture of Marie and her grandson tatting a spider which he gave to me afterwards and which I've also added below.  What a dear young lad he is.  Do you know, I've never seen Marie without a smile on her face.  

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Happy Beaks

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