31 October 2012

The new cardigan

OK, between the TIAS, the Garden Snowflake, selling a load of 'stuff' on ebay for a neighbour and many other 'things' I've managed to complete the cardigan I showed you here.

I was really grateful for all the suggestions and wanted to go with the ones that Maureen and Susie's made but as I've told myself very firmly that I'm not allowed to buy more thread and as I hadn't either of those in my stash I had to think again.  

In the end I went for using fine sewing threads and making the butterfly which is here.  So I made about a dozen and then chose 8 to sew on to it.

Nick thought it looked great and as it's passed the 'Nick test' I'm happy with it too!!!!  The sleeves are a bit long but then that is cause I've got short arms!!!!  I can turn those up - the sleeves, I mean, not my arms!!

30 October 2012

SUCH excitement

This is NOT tatting related but is for some of my tatting friends.  Among those who might enjoy my excitement are Joanie, Pam, Riet and a few of the others in South Carolina!!!

Now you folks in America have dollar stores which sells things for - guess what - a DOLLAR!!!  In England we have the 'odd' place which is equivalent and in my town we have Poundland.  Now a pound is worth 62 cents at the moment so anything we buy is almost twice as expensive than buying in America.  

I'll confess here.  When I walk in the afternoons I usually go round in a certain direction so that I end up walking up through the town towards home.  I always pop into our Poundland - just in case they've got something new that I can't live without.  

Well, yesterday they did and here they are!!!  The latest craze while Sally and I were in America was the range of small solar powered novelty 'items' (for want of a better word).  I came home so excited with these two but have hidden them from Nick as they'll now form part of his birthday present.  He'll be thrilled as he asked me why I didn't come home with more once he'd seen the dancing daisies that Pam had given me.  Reasons why I didn't?  All the dollar stores we visited had sold out and I'd got no room in my suitcase!!!  The daisies had to travel in my carry on bag!!!

29 October 2012

WHAT a surprise

Well you know I fell in love not long ago with a bag.  I know - a bag is a bag is a bag but NOT when you're an old bag lady like I am!!  Who was that who said 'she's just an old bag and not a lady'?  I heard you!!!

Well on Friday I was sitting having lunch when the doorbell rang.  It was the postman with a packet for me.  Now this was MOST puzzling as I wasn't expecting anything.  Not a thing, zilch, nowt, nil, zero.  Well I just LOVE surprises and this one was wonderful.  It came from Geraldine (this is her blog) who also sent me the instructions to make more bags like it AND some fabric and interfacing too.  It's got 8 pockets.  Yes, EIGHT pockets.  I love pockets in bags as they keep me better organised.  I like the square bag I made cause that's got 4 pockets but this one has EIGHT!!!  

Can you see what was in the pockets?  There was chocolate (yummy, yummy), some HDT, another thread which Geraldine says is great for the magic thread trick (I really MUST try that now), beads (can you see that they're eyes?), buttons and a doodad too.  

Thank you SOOO much, Geraldine - that's made an old git VERY happy.

27 October 2012

A tin - just a tin!

Just what the title says - this is a tin!!  Nick likes the small mints that come in these tins and when he'd finished with one the other day he asked if it would be any use to me.  Well, what do YOU think I said?

The small black 'bit' fits just neatly on the top of the tin allowing the mints to be shaken out through the hole.  It's made of quite a tough plastic and is quite easy to get out as you can see.

I've got a few very nice crystal beads which will fit neatly inside and which will save me getting out too many at a time and (as is well known in most tatter's houses) getting spilled all over the place if I knock the tin over!!  I've been given two of these so I'll find other beads to put in the other one.  All I have to do now is stick a label on the top so I know what's in each tin.

Now hands up all those who think this is a stonking great idea!!!  

Well done brain cell 3 - long may you live!!!

26 October 2012

Don't get bored, please!

I know it's more of the same but I have to make a design over and over again until I'm happy with it.  Mainly it's small tweaks on the stitch count that really matter to me.  I had to get the centre right so that the seed beads filled the space and I think I'm happy with that part now.

I also like these colours a lot better too!!!!

Tomorrow I'll show you something new, I hope!!!!  Newish anyway!!!

25 October 2012

Garden snowflake again.

Here's another but I'm not happy with these two colours either!!  They are different to the other two but I'm still not totally happy.  The pattern is coming on well and I SHOULD get it finished soon.  Trouble is I'm dividing my time between this, two other small doodle projects and the TIAS - which I've fallen out with again for now!!!!  I'm hoping to get back to it this evening!!

I was being too lazy and just used what I'd got near the chair again this time.  The variegated thread is some of Karey's and I'm afraid I've just 'killed' it's beauty (and Karey's threads are beautiful) with the yellow.  Ah well, back to the drawing board!!!!

23 October 2012

Something slightly new

Whilst I ponder and work on the cardigan I'm also playing with this idea.

This is a new snowflake which I'm calling the 'Garden Snowflake'.  Yes it's already got a name which is very unusual for me.  The reason?  Well it's based on the Walled Garden motif.  It's not exactly the same as you'll see because I changed the centre quite a bit.

The pattern itself is well on the way to being finished too but I'd like to check it out a few more times before sharing.

I'm not sure I like this colour combination but it was what was on hand when I was sitting here a few days ago!!!

22 October 2012

Do you like?

Do you like my new jacket/cardigan?  I bought one similar to this last winter in black.  I lived in it all winter as it's very lightweight and I get awful hot in our central heating.  Nick feels the cold and I've got an inbuilt central heating boiler inside me so we tend to 'differ' on heating needs!!!

So, having looked at this new item I've decided it's just a tad too plain for me and needs some embellishment!!!  Obviously you know what I'm going to have to do - add tatting!!!  How or what is my next decision.  I don't want to 'tie' myself to any particular colour as I'd like to be able to wear it with anything in my vast wardrobe.  Hmmmm, that's a joke - my wardrobe just ain't vast at all!!!

So here is the item which is taking my attention (although briefly!) from the Tat It And See.

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!!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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