27 September 2012

The week after Tat Days

During the week after Tat Days Sally and I were taken by Joanie to visit Pam and Bonnie at their homes.

Riet stays with Pam who has home full of ladybirds (or ladybugs) and Katharine joined us too for a while.  We met several members of her family as they popped in and out to visit all day.  Another day of delightful tatting and chatting.  I've added a picture of Hope at the top of this post as she was at Pam's but sadly we had to take her to the airport the next morning so she could go home.  The picture of her was taken at Joanie's as I didn't get many taken at Pam's - too busy tatting and talking!!!  Ah, we also talked iPads too - Hope is holding hers!!  Sally and I both took ours on our travels and they proved very, very useful.

Bonnie makes the most WICKED ice cream (double yummy) and again a lot of tatting and chatting was done with visits from Pam, Riet, Karen, Gloria (+ her daughter) too.  Hope I haven't missed anybody out!!!  The second picture shows some of us admiring Bonnie's wonderful garden and the third picture shows just some of the amazing baskets she makes.  A VERY talented lass is Bonnie.

26 September 2012

Sunday and the end of Tat Days

Time to say goodbye to old friends and new and leave Toccoa and return to 'normality'.  You can see Hanna and Sara waving in this picture with other friends too.  

No, wait, it's Sunday and that MUST mean meeting up at the Mall!!!  Some of the Palmetto tatters meet up each Sunday (as and when they can) at a Mall.  They are regulars there and they move the furniture so they can tat and chat.  In the second picture you can see some of us.  Well, not me as I'm behind the camera, of course!!!

After that it was back to Joanie's for a well earned rest and more tatting talk!!!

Joanie spoils me rotten each time I go there as she feeds the hummingbirds which I LOVE to watch.  I've added a movie of one of the little chaps down below.  Least I think I have as this is my first attempt at adding a movie to blogger!!!

There are SO many things I haven't mentioned in my reports and that I keep remembering at odd moments.  Like the singing and the rhyming.  The giggles with friends.  The total commitment to tatting and all things related.

25 September 2012

Saturday at Tat Days

Before I start - I had time to re-open the Etsy shop yesterday with some new things and some new (lower) prices.  If you want to take a look then it's here.

Lessons went fine again, I think.  The top two pictures are of Martha Ess who was taking a picture of me whilst I was taking one of her and the other guy who I was privileged to meet is Randy Houtz of the Shuttle Brothers.  What a lovely man - I wanted to make him my 'toy boy' but I'm not sure his wife would approve!!!!

During a break in lessons I wandered down to the lake which I told you about.  So pretty and SO peaceful too.  The final lesson (the Squared Away pendant) went far too quickly too.  Was I really there?

In the evening we had an ice cream party.  For some reason the Palmetto Tatters seem to think I like ice cream!!!  Wonder why?  Oh, that was my second bowl of the yummy ice cream!!!  Can you see the M & M's?  I LOVE that candy.

24 September 2012

Tat Days - continued

My other class (you've seen the first one) for Stinky the skunk seemed to go well too although it's always hard to tell.  I forgot to take photos of the students during the class - bummer!!

On Friday evening there was the banquet.  A fantastic time was had by the OG!!! Georgia did her usual auctioning of the wonderful quilts that she and Erin had assembled.  Boy did I SOOOO want to win the cherry blossom one.  Sadly I didn't.  

Hanna played the violin beautifully during the banquet too.

The lovely wheelbarrow below is one of the table decorations at the banquet.  Isn't it pretty?  We were given a small packet of 'seeds' which turned out to be more gifts.   Ooops, sorry but I forgot to tell you about the goodie bags that were given to all participants AND a second one to the teachers. They were both full of wonderful items.  There was an Aerlit shuttle, a Starlit shuttle and a ball of thread in a holder which were kindly donated by Handy Hands.  Vicki Clarke had also donated a pendant kit too.  What a lovely idea.  The bags were put together by the Southern Belles who then kindly donated the money which was assigned to them by the Palmetto tatters back to the scholarship fund.  Sadly I didn't get round to talking to them all. Here's their Facebook link.  I believe they did some of the table decorations too but I may have 'lost the plot' there.

22 September 2012

Heading towards Tat Days

Thursday saw a leisurely start before starting out to Toccoa and the fun of Tat Days.  First we went to Mary Mac's for lunch before driving the two hours to the venue.  

Tat Days is held in a lovely place which you can see here with a beautiful lake 'down the hill' which can also be viewed from the dining room.  The food was great and plentiful too.

First of all was the teacher's meeting and I had to abandon Sally for that.  I was a bit worried as she knew nobody there but when I came out I had to go looking for her and found she'd already started making friends.  

The two of us then set about setting out the pob a bobbin shuttles and assorted roly poly bags in the vending room.  A room to be avoided if you didn't want to drool over threads, shuttles, books and assorted other items in there!!!  I spent lots of dollars in there!!!

Later we watched Martha demonstrate her home made bead loader in the gathering room.

Friday morning saw my first lesson in which I learnt something new from Phyllis and I will be telling you more about that later.  I was gifted with some lovely pressies too.  Thanks, Phyllis.  I was chuffed to bits.  The second and third pictures are some of my students - the dance was due to a successful split ring!!!!!  The fear of split rings was vanquished during the lesson!!!!

Oh, perhaps I should make it clear - I was supposed to be the teacher but I also learnt from my students as usual.

21 September 2012

Where DO I start?

Well, at the beginning, I suppose!!!  The first stop on our trip was at Frankfurt where we had to transfer planes to take us on to Atlanta (top picture).  Must say that Lufthansa and the experience at this German airport were really good.

In Atlanta we were lucky to be able to stay with Crazy mom (her house is the second picture) who isn't the least bit crazy at all.  OR maybe we're just as crazy as her?  We were lucky enough to intrude on Larry's birthday celebrations (one of her stooges) and had our first ever taste of Velvet cake.  Yummy.  So yummy I forgot to take a picture!!!  Sandra, the stooges and husband are all great to be with but we nearly kidnapped their new kitty called Lilly!!!  We were searched before leaving on Thursday!!!  Well, not really!!!

The following day we rested up as we'd had an extremely early start from the UK and were to say the least - tired!!!

On the Wednesday we met up with Hanna and Sara who were staying in Hotlanta before going to Tat Days (see third picture).  These two lasses (wonderfully fun people to be around) had come over from Sweden and I'll tell you more about them later (from left to right - Sara, Hanna, Sandra and my little sister, Sally).  A visit to the World of Coca Cola, The Varsity and other places all made for a great time in Hotlanta.

20 September 2012

Home again!

Sally and I got home to my house yesterday about noon.  All flights were on time and the trip was almost uneventful except for an 'incident' mid flight which was not much fun.

As I gradually unpack I will share my trip pictures and some of the Tat Days too although you may have seen and heard a lot from the others who were there.

11 September 2012

Just a bookmark

Just a simple Fandango bookmark I made just before our trip started.  I needed something to do to quell the excitement and to stop me worrying about whether I'd forgotten anything!!

I used a number 40 thread for this one which I'm beginning to prefer to my regular size 20 or 80.  Oh, for anybody who doesn't know me - the pattern is here.

10 September 2012


Yes this is a grrrrr post.  Why?  Well I'm finding it more and more difficult to make comments on blog posts because of the word verification thingy.

I am not quite sure why blogger put that option on there as even without it you can moderate comments.  I suppose it stops spam but as I rarely, rarely get spam (and I do blog a lot as you've probably noticed) I can't see why it's there. 

A week or so ago I tried 5 times to leave a comment on Jane's blog and when I finally got there I told her the problem.  I then researched the settings on my own blog (I got rid of the verification some time ago) and sent her this screen shot so she could change hers.  As you can see I've got mine set with 'comment moderation' always and 'show word verification' no!!!!

I hope this helps others who may want to do the same!!  If you go along these lines I'll be able to leave comments without throwing a brick at my computer!!!!

8 September 2012

I'm a fraud.

I don't think or consider myself a teacher.  I actually don't like the word 'teacher'.  I looked up the word in an online dictionary and it says:-

"[with object] give information about or instruction in (a subject or skill):"

You see I think I'm more of an 'enabler'.  I decided this when I used to have classes of four/five year olds to settle in every September.  It struck me very early on in my teaching career (which actually never really became a 'career'!) that I was never going to be able to 'give information and instruct' kids or anybody else for that matter.  

Each child arrived in my reception class with their own set of skills and it was really up to me to find out what they were and then build on them and enable them to grow and learn from what they already had.

I try to take this attitude to adult classes too so that's why you won't hear me 'sounding off' about 'you must do it this way' or 'this is the way to do it'.  I'm more likely to say 'this is the way I do it but I'm happy to learn off you if you have a another/better way'.  

So, basically I'm a fraud!!!  I don't consider myself a 'teacher' at all BUT I'm going to be labeled as one for Tat Days and I'm going to have FUN, FUN, FUN and hopefully enable a few people to do something they've not done before.  Let the fun continue.

7 September 2012


Today I'm going to show you lots of the same butterfly.  This is the new pattern that I put on my site here a few weeks ago.  Why lots of the same?  Well a month or so ago I got to think about the sizes of the threads I'd got around me and decided to try some combinations too of HWT (hand wound thread).

Top left is the largest and most 'un favourite' of all - a size 10.  They sort of get smaller as you go down the sheet.  Some (if you can see the tickets tied to them) are combinations of thread including 3 sewing threads, 2 sewing and 1.  There's also one made with 2 strands of invisible thread but, as you'd expect, that's hard to see!

There are two pictures here too.  One (top) taken with my small and wonderful Canon camera and the other (below) taken with my ipod touch.  I'm seriously thinking of treating myself to an iphone when I grow up so wanted to compare the quality of the photographs taken on the two items I already own.  The itouch is good but not as good as the camera but probably an iphone would be better - any comments on this would be very welcome!!!  I should've compared the ipad too but - being an OG of little brain - I forgot!!

Oh, these are with me at Tat Days too.  Just because!!!

6 September 2012

Final mat!

Well as you all know I'm not at home at the moment.  I'm in Atlanta with a dear friend who has been daft enough to put up with me (and Sally!) for a few days.  Later today we travel to Tat Days at Toccoa.

This is the final mat which is with me and I've been invited to teach this small motif at the Palmetto Tatters Guild meeting next week.  This simple motif does involve a couple of techniques which I want to show people so I'm delighted to have this opportunity.  So, the Garden Wall Motif finally will come into it's own and I bet you're all glad to see the back of it too!!!

5 September 2012

Another round finished

Here it is again.  Is it finished or is it finished?  Not sure yet!!!

Keeeeeep reading!!!!

4 September 2012

A name

Yet more and the mat is looking pretty good.  The motif has now got a name.  Yes, this is the OG speaking and you did read right.  A NAME.  I'm hopeless at naming things but this has a name - it's the 'Walled Garden Motif'.  Why?  Well on one of the very few summery days we've had this year I sat in the garden working on it and realised that the motif has a 'wall' round it like most of our garden!!!!

It's on it's way to Tat Days at this very moment!!!!!  Least that is if I've remembered to pack it!!!  

You're now reading scheduled posts as Sally and I are now with with Crazy Mom Tats in Atlanta before heading down (or up) to Tat Days.

3 September 2012

Hot off the press

Just seen this announcement on the Palmetto Tatter's site.

If you cannot make it to this year's Tat Days, join us LIVE for our Tat Off! competitions, Friday evening around 6:00 (EST)! Link to
CHAT with us on the channel or on Facebook at Palmetto Tatters Guild page.
NOTE: There will be ads, sorry. There is an iPhone app. Android App may be available soon.

I'll be on my way to Tat Days by the time you read this!!!!

1 September 2012

On a roll!

So on this round I've decided to do every other space with a new motif.  Lots of Yarnplayer's thread in there too - yummmmyyyyyy.

Can you see the forward planning here?  If you can then you're a mind reader cause there isn''t one!!!

31 August 2012

Another round started!

Well you can see that I finished the first seven motifs to form a small mat but then the fascination with the colours continued.

Top left and you can see that I've started another round.  The woman's MAD, isn't she?

Meanwhile I continue to pack and un-pack, re-pack time and time again trying to decide what to not take on our trip!!!

30 August 2012

3 and a bit motifs

I've got the 'bit between my teeth' now - can you tell?  

I love also playing with the threads I've got and this sort of motif is ideal for 'showing off' the HDT.  The first motif I did (that's the one at the top on the right in this picture) is some of Jessi's thread and will form the centre of this little cluster.  I like the way the spaces are forming between them all too.

29 August 2012

2 motifs

Having done one it seemed like a good idea to try for a pair.  

I really love outlining motifs with black.  I always think that it looks like the stained glass you get in church windows.  So, here I have two motifs.

Had a smashing day yesterday - I met Mark Myers mum and dad.  You know who I mean - the megga talented Tatman.  We had a lovely day looking round the town and I even managed to sneak them into the auditorium of one of our three theatres too!!!  

28 August 2012

More on yesterday's motif

After my start on this idea I did change the centre as you can see below.  I wanted this to be a design that could be useful for any teacher who wanted to teach a few advanced ideas.

I think you'll agree that it looks like two simple rounds.  Well, sorry, it isn't two rounds - well, it is sort of but it's worked in one 'hit'.

I've sort of 'stolen' the middle out of the roundabout motif (but changed it slightly) and used another idea from here to make this little motif.  OK, it needed a bit of fiddling around with to get it as I really wanted it but in the end I'm pleased with it.

27 August 2012

Start of a new motif

Look at this really simple looking motif.  Doesn't it look easy?  Two rounds only.

This is a wee motif that I started after the Roundabout motif.  Looks OK but I didn't like the 'bare midriff' in the middle so I've sorted that out (I think) - more over the next few days.

25 August 2012

Taffy pendant

I bet you've guessed what today's post will be!!!  I'm afraid I don't have a lot of imagination!! 

Yes it's a Rainbow Taffy pendant to go with yesterday's earrings!!!  Now I did have a pendant almost exactly like this but the scissors 'took it'.  Mainly because I couldn't find the same beads for the earrings that I'd used in the original pendant AND I didn't like the way I'd added the finding at the top.  Here's the original.  Well if you read that post you'll find that was the replacement for yet another 'original'!!!!  

Can you see how I've changed the way I've added the findings?  The original sort of tilted forward and was pulling that part out of sync.  This one will hang a lot better.  I must apologise for the picture - I scanned it before I slightly stiffened it.  I was in a hurry!!!

24 August 2012

Taffy earrings

I must first apologise if I haven't made sense over the past few days but I've had an invasion of small people who are totally delightful but tiring.  I'm hoping that 'normal blogging' will now be resumed after today when they go home!!!

Having made the last pendant to match the button earrings I decided to break out my all time Lizbeth thread - Rainbow Taffy.  I've no idea who thought that name up but it's as cheerful and bright as the thread itself.  I just love this one.  So, today I have a pair of button earrings to show you using Rainbow Taffy.  Don't they look fabulous?

23 August 2012


First of all today I'd like to show you this link which Margaret found yesterday.  Now we all know where to get these findings from.  Thanks, Margaret.

A looooooong time ago I made a pair of earrings and I've worn them no end of times.  I used that trick of putting beads over a button which I love doing.  You can see one of the pair at the bottom of this page.

Anyway, sorting out my 'ensemble' to take to America I realised I hadn't got a pendant to go with them.  So the other evening I made one.  Here it is.  Again I've used a (to quote Diane, Lace Lovin Librarian) doodad which was part of some earrings that I bought just over a year ago - see this link.  I do hope I haven't lost the other earring or I'll have to make another pair!!!  This is one of my favourite Lizbeth threads.  It's called Mountain Breeze.

If you look closely you'll see I've actually joined to a space within the doodad and not on the very edge.  I like this idea as it makes the tatting look as if it's 'growing out of' the doodad.

22 August 2012

Red for danger!

This is a new bracelet I've made to go with my reddish top that I bought to take with me on our trip.  

Originally it was like this and I wore it only twice.  Why?  Well it just kept annoying me.  The metal findings that I used were 'cupped' and although the bracelet was a good fit they still kept turning over which annoyed me intensely.  So the scissors were brought in and it was demolished.  

Here is the new version - below.  I had to put an extra split ring in to make it fit my wrist in spite of careful measuring and lots of muttering.  Still, once on nobody will notice - except me.  I HOPE I don't feel I have to cut this version up!!!

By the way - the clasps at each end are my very, very favourites for bracelets and I just can't find them anywhere.  If anybody knows of a supplier then please, pretty please with sugar on the top - would you tell me?

21 August 2012

Messing around on the river!

Well, no, not really but messing about with an old pattern again!!  Actually it's this one.

So, I decided (yet again!) to check this pattern out and see if it could be written any better.  This was a nightmare to annotate in the first place and I've a feeling that it might stay 'as is' - at any rate for now!!!  Below is the original pattern with the picots and then below that a modified version with more doubles in the body and no picots.  Least I think that's what I did!!!  

Oh, I also used the two colours to make lock chain antennae which look a lot snazzier than the originals  don't you think?

20 August 2012

Tested again and sorted!

After mumbling about 'ups and downs' here's another of these bracelets!!  It's a good job I've got a few victims to give them to when I get to Tat Days or we'd be over run with the darn things in the house!!!

I've finally sorted the pattern out and it's here and ready for anybody who wants to tackle it.  I'm hoping it's more understandable now.

18 August 2012

A visit is on the agenda

Tomorrow I have two grandkids coming to stay for a few days.  SUCH excitement.

Abbi is nearly five and loves to have my odds and ends of tatting so there's quite a collection on the end of my table where she 'finds' things!!!  Nathan aged nine has grown out of this so I'll find other things for him to 'find'.  Anyway I've added this ballerina to the collection - 'just because'.  If anybody wants the pattern then it's on my site somewhere.  Oh, hang on - here it is!!
Meantime I must get on with the day - we had to have a new central heating boiler and yesterday it was 'the' day it was installed.  Fabulous guys who didn't make any mess and were very pleasant.  Gallons of coffee were drunk and they worked tirelessly all day without a break. Now I have to sort the bedroom out where the boiler 'lives' and make some space for the kids!!!

17 August 2012

The horrors of writing patterns down.

I'm not sure if I'm the only person who spends so much time on the writing and illustrating of a pattern but if others do too then I'm normal.  If they don't then - well please send for the 'men in white coats' as I'm obviously NOT normal.  Then again you all know that already so what AM I blathering on about?

So having tested the second bracelet pattern I went off to do the drawings and put the page back together again.  

Horrors of horrors when I read the instructions for the first bracelet whilst doing this I was convinced they were wrong.  Back to making the first version again with a fresh brain cell and a tad more concentration.  

16 August 2012

Another bracelet

So I showed you the bracelet I was working on here but what I didn't mention was that there are actually two versions of this on my site - both on the same page.  I thought I'd better check version two while I was still in the right frame of mind and that's what I've done here.  

Well I thought it was all going very well until I'd finished this one and started putting the drawings back into the page.

DUH, was that join up, down or in between!!!  I've now got to check the first version once again.  I'll not be beaten by a few yards of thread and a few hours of work so it's 'back to the drawing board' again!!!

IF I win the lottery (fat chance of that as I never buy a ticket) then I'm going to invest in an extra brain cell.  What do you think?

14 August 2012

SSSR LCh bracelet

Going back to the lanyard and the bracelet I thought I'd make another type of bracelet but with a more 'flowery' look to it.  

If you look closely at this one you'll see that there's an extra chain going round the SSSR's too. I do like to see what brain cell 3 can come up with!!!  He needs a bit of stimulation from time to time just to keep him awake in the evening!!!

13 August 2012

Thank you

I'd like to say a big thank you for all who helped with suggestions on my 'avoiding the folded join' join page.  If you can follow that!!!  Particular thanks go to Suzanne who spent ages on the task.

It was reassuring to find that I wasn't the only one who just 'didn't get' the idea of folding the one bit over to make the join and also it was great that it might help one or two people to be able to tackle the 'problem' from a different perspective too.

As a result of the wonderful input (Saturday blog posts are normally very quiet when it comes to comments) I was kept busy all day nattering to friends all round the world - great excuse for another 'H' word free day!!!

This morning I have added the page to the 'tips and techniques' page and a direct link is here if you want to see what I've now done.  Of course I'm always willing and able to discuss this further and make other improvements/adjustments to the file!!!!  I'm a slave to tatting!!!

11 August 2012

A conundrum

Many many times during my life in Tat land I have tried to get my head round the 'folded join'.  This is the join used by so many when the final ring is joined to the first ring - see picture below.  This is a much needed technique when the chains are facing towards the centre of the motif.

Now i have a confession.  I've never understood this folded join and have never found the 'need' for it either.  I suppose I've never 'needed' it because the way I do it instinctively means I don't get a twisted picot anyway!!  This is the reason so many people want to learn the join - to avoid the twisted picot!!

Well I've been trying to put a page together to show how I avoid the 'painful experience' of the folded join.  Here it is.  This page is NOT on my site properly yet as I'm still working on it.  I'm appealing for help here and suggestions.

I THINK this only applies to the 'up' join but I'm not sure.  I've never used down joins very much except on rare occasions to avoid 'blips' of colour.  PLEEEEEESE, pretty please take time to look at this and tell me what isn't clear and what can be improved.  My email address is in my profile.

10 August 2012


As some of you will know - I'm never completely satisfied with what I've done and I'm always checking and re-checking my work.  

Over the years my notation has changed a bit and also the drawings.  Well the diagrams had to change when I converted from PC's to Apple.  Anyway, I digress.  I decided the other day that it was about time I re-visited this pattern again

When I first did this pattern (which turned into two versions) I used 4 primary plain colours.  This time I've used all Lizbeth threads - two variegated and two plain.  Believe me - this bracelet (needs finishing with clasps) really ZINGS.

9 August 2012

New shuttles

Look what arrived the day before yesterday - a complete set of the new Aerlit shuttles as a 'thank you' from Barb of Handy Hands for testing the black ones she sent me some time ago.  I've used the blacks (which weren't the 'final' ones) constantly since they arrived (the hooks weren't finished off) and found them really good.  Thank you Barb - it's a pleasure to help you at any time.  Such a generous lass is Barb.

These will be travelling with me to Tat Days and I'm hoping to get some of them wound with my lesson threads today.  I also plan on doing my visa online today too as that's becoming a 'nighttime worry'.  Why?  Goodness knows - it's not hard and doesn't take long but the silliest things seem to bother brain cell 3 in the middle of the night!!!!!

Oh, Barb did add that the shuttles would be shipping mid to late October so for all you Aero addicts 'out there' keep an eye on the Handy Hands site.

8 August 2012

The end of the tease!

Ta, de, da.  It's a Mug Mat.  A Jane Eborall style mug mat!

Miranda and God's Kid got it right yesterday but my sister was WAY off the mark!!!  

I started making these for us but then Nick found some more coasters in a drawer so we don't need them.  

They have a heatproof lining and are washable which makes them really useful.  I've got about ten made so I'll be taking them to Tat Days and putting them in the vending room.  If they don't sell there they'll make their way into the Etsy shop.  I must close the shop down over the next few days as the rest of the bags are going on the trip too - plus the bookmarks which have already left the shop.  

7 August 2012

Another teaser

OK, now I've finished the project.  BUT what is it?  Any further guesses?

This one looks a bit 'scruffy' in the picture but I assure you it's fine in 'real life'.  Notice - this is another colour combination again!!!

6 August 2012

Send for the paramedics!

After the car crash here I managed to send in the paramedics.  This is what they did.

So, what's going to happen next and why the very carefully pressed in creases?  More to follow in due course - OR when I remember!!

OK, you can see that this time I'm showing a different variegated thread.  Why?  Well because that just happened to be what was near me when I decided to scan another stage.  

When I was teaching 'smallies' I used to tell them a story (or, part of one) and always left it on a 'cliffhanger'.  This reminds me of one of those.  'What will happen next' times.  

I guess nowadays you'd say 'follow me on Facebook' to see the next instalment.  Which reminds me - I am starting to use that place more often as they haven't changed things for a while and confused me.  I'm sure that's what happens - the whole world is conspiring to confuse me.  Little does it realise how little it takes to do that!!!  I do have a page called 'Jane's Tatting Adventures' and I'm starting to put the odd thing on there.  Also I use facebook to catalogue my daily walks.  Why?  Purely to keep the OG interested!!!!  I'll never give up on my blog, though.  It's my very special own space!!

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Happy Beaks

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