13 December 2012

My sister is a pain!!!

No, not really.  Actually I don't know how she puts up with me so every so often when she asks for something I jump to and try to do it.
Having seen the box on a doodad Sally said that she hadn't got many doodads and would it be possible for me to do one on a button!!!!  Well there's a challenge I couldn't resist!!  Guess what?  The doodad pattern works for a half inch (or thereabouts) button too.  Yippeeeee.  Not a lot of work needed doing on this which was great.  Well, that's what I thought but using a button with beads on one side of it proved difficult to explain in the pattern.  Only so that you get the beads showing on the outside and not the inside!!! Still it kept me out of mischief for a few days!!

I'll get the pattern finished off today and then let y'all (going all southern here again!) have it tomorrow.  

12 December 2012

Another bookmark made

Now this was an order or rather something a neighbour asked for.  A bookmark.  They wanted another Fandango one but I think that it works up a tad too large in number 20 and I don't have much number 30 or 40 and certainly not in the colours required!!!

When they said they wanted it in black and white I thought 'how boring' but actually it was lovely to work.  I used a thread called Finca Bollilos which I bought off Pat at Roseground Supplies back in the dark ages.  Love this thread as it works up so easily and has a lovely finish.

I've only got black, white and (I think!) a sort of pale green colour but that's fine with me as it lasts forever.  Well, forever and a day.  

You'll notice that I allowed myself to 'play' with the tail and used SSSR's carrying the sedentary colour through the one I was working.

11 December 2012

A 'keep it tidy' tip

Do you have the same problem as I do?  Balls of thread that somehow come unwound in the box they're kept in?  See the top picture for the example!  I've found something which may help you as well as myself!!!!  I'm sure lots of you must know this already but it's taken me a mere 55 ish years to find the solution - well, an easy one that I now use.

First you'll need a dental floss threader like the blue one in the picture below.  The coilless safety pin is there ready to hook it back on to when I've finished as they tend to get lost.  I was given these in America but have found that you can get them online here in the UK too.  I'll check locally to see if the chemists and supermarkets sell them too but that will be later today.

So, following the direction that the thread is wound in (in this case from left to right in the picture), poke your floss threader through in the same direction and a little way down the ball.  See the picture below.  It's really easy to do as long as you don't try and go too deep into the ball.

Take the end of your thread and push it through the floss threader 'loop'.

Pull your end through and it will stay where it is until you want to use that ball of thread again!

Don't forget to add the floss threader back on the safety pin - just in case!!!

8 December 2012

The rest of the Fandango Button Snowflakes

Before I mention the snowflakes I must apologise that there was a missing chain between ring 3 and ring 4 on the new Doodad Box which I told you about yesterday.

I think this must have happened when I was setting the diagrams and text in the tables on the word document.  In fact it was Riet (bless her cotton socks) who told me about the missing chain and when I tried to put it right by copying another chain and pasting it in the darn thing wouldn't work.  Strange gremlins in this house at times!!  That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it - so THERE!!!!!  It's now fixed and I'd like to say a big thank you to Riet too.

So, here are some of the snowflakes all in one place.  Yawn, yawn, yawn!!!

7 December 2012

I blame several people for this!

First of all Irma who sent these.  Secondly Miranda who sent these.  Thirdly the lass who really got us all thinking about doodads again by challenging us - Diane.

I got to thinking about the doodads and wondered if anything else could be done with them that hasn't yet been thought about.  Well, actually, I sort of thought about this pattern that I did donkey's years ago.  I wondered if the same sort of thing could be made on a doodad.  Well, it can!!!  It's a whole new pattern but really, really easy as it's only rings and chains.  

Nick said 'very pretty, but why did you make it?'.  Good question - like Everest - it was 'there' (in my head!) so had to be conquered.  I know what he really meant was what on earth would you use it for!!! Well I think it would be a sweet little box for a gift for somebody.

As it measures only just over an inch in size a pretty ring or a yummy special chocolate would fit in it.  I haven't lined mine but it could be easily lined.  I leave you to decide if it's useless or if it's useful.  I'd love suggestions on what it could be used for, though!!!

Before I forget - the pattern's here!

6 December 2012

Last 3 button snowflakes

OK, now this is the last - I promise.  I may show you a couple of pictures with the whole lot together just so you can see how stupidly addicted I've been over the past few weeks.

I like the bottom one best but also the middle one in which I changed slightly how I've been working them.  For some reason I thought the best way to work the pattern was to use the plain thread on the outside as a sort of 'border'.  In the middle one I did it t'other way round and I think it looks better but maybe it's because I love that particular HDT!!!  

Who knows when you live with an entity like brain cell 3 who comes and goes with worrying regularity!!!!

5 December 2012

More of the same, sorry!

I'm afraid it's more of the same today but I'm hoping to shortly be able to share something I'm quite pleased with.   A new pattern which is very easy.  I do have a few more of the Fandango Button Snowflakes to show but I'll find something else for tomorrow - just to relieve the tedium!!!

I'm glad that yesterday's post helped a few people who may run across the problem of re-sizing photos.  Thank you for all the comments.

4 December 2012

More snowflakes and Information on Blogger photos.

Here are some more of the Fandango Button Snowflakes.  I must admit I'm still addicted to these but that is sort of beginning to wear off a bit!!!

Today I'm going to tell you how to reduce the size of photos (or scans) in your blog.  Blogger uses Picasa to store photos and there's a limit to how much storage you can have with them which is fair enough as it is, after all, free.    You can pay for more storage but for most of us in these lean times that's not something we want to do!!!  

Some people upload photos without re-sizing them which is part of blogging that a lot of people don't think about.  I've been lucky in that I've made web sites and know a bit about storage levels.  Anyway, the way to sort out the Picasa/Blogger problem with storage if you don't want to pay for more is like this.  Well, it's the way I found by 'poking around'.

First go to your Picasa album online and sign in, check your storage amount as in the first picture below - this shows the amount of storage I've got left after about six years of blogging and reducing my sizes along the way.  You can find this at the bottom of the home/first page in Picasa.
Now start the hunt for your over large photos.  You can see how big they are at the right -  picture below.  Now if it's larger than 500 pixels on either dimension I'd suggest re-sizing it.  For this you need to go to where it says 'actions' (top and slightly to left of this same picture) and pull down the drop down menu.  Choose 'edit in Creative Kit'.  

This will open up another feature in which you can see at the bottom left a link which says 'resize'. 
Now choose the size you want but don't forget to tick in 'keep proportions'.    I made mine 500 for the largest size.  Now use 'apply' and then go to the top right hand corner where it says 'Save to my album'.  Choose 'replace' and that's it!!!  Takes time to do it but will save you having to pay for more storage space OR giving up blogging!!!
Now for the boring snowflakes!!!!

3 December 2012

Oval earrings

Another shape of doodad - and another pair of earrings.  I made these a month or more ago but have only just remembered that I haven't 'blogged' them yet.

When I showed these to Sally she said 'oh, not sure about the orange and pink together'.  

It's more of a ruby colour in real life and I love the two together, sorry Sally!!!!

These are made on an oval doodad but I'm not sure if it's really worth finishing off the pattern properly as it will have limited appeal - what do you think?  Are these doodads easy to get hold of and if so does anybody want to make the earwigs?

Oh, another 'thing' while I'm thinking about it.  Some people seem to have reached their limit on pictures in blogger - this is cause a lot of their images are photographs and they take up a lot of space.  They're not allowed any more room in Picasa unless they pay.  Poor Sally was one of those who found out last week about her limit having been reached.  So after a bit of 'poking around' I found the solution.  It's not hard at all but is a bit time consuming and VERY addictive!!  If you want to know more email me - or I could do a blog post as well.  

1 December 2012

Threads, threads, threads

No guesses as to what's in the boxes you can see in the top picture!!!

Yes, I won two lots of thread again from Handy Hands.  Now it may seem easy to come up with thread suggestions but, believe me, it's getting harder and harder as there are SO many gorgeous threads in the Handy Hands shop already!!  One of my suggestions was brought about by desperation.  Yes, even I can do desperate!!!  I wanted a pure, plain cream colour to go with black.  I searched around the UK sites and there was nothing - well, only Cebelia and that was hard to get and it's a tad soft for me.  I bought one from an online shop in the end and it was OK.  Not the best - just OK.  I'd got the sort of off white that is in the Lizbeth range but it was true cream I needed so I wrote to Barb and suggested it.  The other balls were for coming up with a name for a new colourway.  

There's another plain shade I've been forced to suggest too as I'm almost out of the Manuela ball I've used for years.  It's one of my all time favourites and it goes with so many other colours that when it's gone I'll be very, very sad.  I hope it's considered as I'm sure you'll love it too.  We'll see, eh?

30 November 2012

Now a Fandango Snowflake on a doodad!!!

Just for a change I thought I'd try the Fandango Button Snowflake on a doodad!!!!  It works a treat and (of course) it's much faster to make as you don't have the beads to add over the button.  Well you could, of course using inner holes to join to but then you'd lose the prettiness of the doodad and the stitch count may have to be altered too.

The doodad has to be chosen quite carefully as it needs to be roughly half an inch in diameter and it also needs 12 'joining places'.  

I've got plenty of these in my stash and will be making more over the next few days - unless another idea that's been brewing in brain cell 3's part of my brain makes a takeover bid.

The new idea has to do with doodads too but not like you've seen them used before!!  Well, of course, that's if it works!!!  The best made plans of mice and men don't always work out!!!  As I use a good brain cell it does give me a slight advantage although number 3 has been somewhat overworked lately!!!

Oooops, just realised that the saying (best laid plans etc) is sexist - or should that be 'manist'?  Still it's not MY saying, is it?  Sorry, Mark and any other male tatters who waste their time reading my ramblings!

29 November 2012

Here it is!!!

Another three Fandango Button Snowflakes and now the pattern!!!

When will the addiction end?  I can't stop making them at the moment.  So many colours in my stash and so little time in my life.  I'm now dying to see if anybody else makes them and if so, what colours they use.  I know Sally's got the bug and I'm hoping others catch it too!!!!  

Right, after I've done the essential shopping etc for the day I'm going to make a few more and then I've got another idea I want to play with!!!!

28 November 2012

Shuttles galore

The Pop a Bobbin shuttles sold fast and furiously on Saturday and now there are none left!!  I have 2 post shuttles and 2 bobbin holders left here in my Etsy shop.

Look, look, look!!  Aren't they drop dead gorgeous?  I just LOVE these shuttles and can't thank Barb enough for sending them to me.

Barb at Handy Hands ran a sort of competition and asked for suggestions to name the colours of the shuttles and their bobbins.  It may sound easy but it gave even brain cell 3 a good airing until he managed it.

I must've mathered and mithered over several ideas for days but thankfully between the pair of us we managed to come up with two suggestions.  Now, what were they?  Hmmm, darned if I can remember now!!!

27 November 2012

Small buttons 2

Well here's the result of more beads!!!  AND it's even got a name too.  I've called it the Fandango Button Snowflake!!!  

I'm not the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree and it wasn't until I'd done at least four of these that I realised they were similar in construction to the Fandango series of bookmark, edging and pendant!!!  It does seem daft but that's the truth of it. 

So, I present the Fandango Button Snowflake.  I'll have the pattern ready in two days - I've just got to work out how much thread is needed and then it's done and dusted.  Please bear with me.

26 November 2012

Playing with small buttons now!

First of all today I have to apologise to Martha - see this link and the comment below.  Beware, dear Martha, things are going to get worse over the next few days and your spare time might just be zonked completely if you like what's coming next!!!

OK, first of all I found some half inch buttons with two holes.  After a bit of jiggling and wriggling this top button emerged.  No, not good enough. 

Another search of my tatting cupboard and I found the same size but with four holes.  Now things are moving along.  That's the second picture.

Still not festive enough and lacking grossly in beads I retired to consult dear brain cell # 3.  More tomorrow!!!

24 November 2012

All together now

Well, not quite!  One of them is missing.  No, for once not lost but 'in use'.  I've got it on my winter coat!!  It's one of the brown ones.

So, just a quick reminder that today is 'shuttle day' and that the shuttles and holders will be listed at 20.00hrs GMT.  Oh, here's the link to my shop.

This afternoon I'm meeting a group of crocheters at The Buzz cafe in town - they've shown an interest in learning to tat - I'll keep you updated on progress if there is any!!!  So, so often over the years I've gone along to these sessions in an enthusiastic mood only to find that people want instant gratification.

Still, we'll see and I'll be just as eager to get others addicted as usual.

23 November 2012

Last two buttons!

These are the last two of the large button brooches - BUT I've more buttons to show you soon.  I think they'll be ready to bore you next week.

Good news on the iMac - it arrived home yesterday and is now back in it's clean and tidy corner.  Wonder how long THAT will last - being clean and tidy, I mean!!!  

The company who did this for Apple (and me!) are called Amsys and were truly great.  You rarely get service like theirs nowadays so I think it's worth mentioning here as praise should be given where it's due.  Picked up Monday, returned Thursday with the new hard disc and all back as normal.  I did pay for my data to be restored on to the new disc and it was well worth not having the hassle of using backups to do it.

I spent all yesterday morning setting up the shuttle listings and adding a new page to the top of the blog with the post shuttles on and adding two new woods to the Pop a Bobbin page too.  Sadly they are not the best of pictures but that's mainly due to the really dull and VERY wet weather we've been having - floods all over the UK and my regular walk well under water.  I apologise for the bad photos and when and IF we see the sun before those shuttles leave the house I'll take more and replace them.

22 November 2012

Buttons, shuttles and other things

Another brown large button today but that's not really important.  What IS important is the list of shuttles that I'll be adding to the Etsy store on SATURDAY 24th November at 20.00 GMT.  Which is in English 8pm in the evening for me and a time I hope I remember!!!
Anyway, this is the list of shuttles that 'im in the garage has made and a picture of one of three bobbin holders that I have my 'mucky mitts' on too!!!

Post Shuttles
3 Ash with ladybird picture
1 Ash with sunflower picture
7 Holly with holly picture
3 Pear with pear picture

Pop-a-bobbin shuttles
5 Cherry with hooks
1 Cherry without hook
3 Laburnum with hooks
4 Sequoia with hooks
1 Sequoia without hook
1 Holly with hook
3 Eucalyptus with hooks
1 Eucalyptus without hook

Bobbin holders
3 bobbin holders (mahogany)

21 November 2012

More blue but with pink!

A slight change of colour.  Yesterday was blue and today is too but with overtones of pink too.  

Well I resolved the tidying up yesterday and moved a bit more dust over to it's new home - Nick's side of our 'office'!!!  Isn't that MEAN?!?!?  I also rang the company who have now got possession of my machine and the lass who answered the phone said that it takes five to seven working days BUT that they usually turn them round faster than that.  So, by the middle of next week my machine should be back home!!!

Now that the space is ready for it's return I'll be able to spend the next few days taking photographs and preparing another batch of shuttles etc for the Etsy shop - Sally brought them up at the weekend.  I'm THINKING of letting them go live this weekend.  Any preferences on timing?  I like Saturday as it then gives me all day Sunday to pack them etc but I'm open to suggestions!

20 November 2012

Blue is beautiful

Well I apologise but here's another of these buttons.  I'm now getting vibes from brain cell 3 who's pointed out to me that I DOOO have other things to do!!!

Well the imac went for it's new hard disc yesterday which has sadly forced me to tidy up the corner of the room where it normally lives.  WHAT a horrid task!  I'm not a house proud person - our house is a sort of a 'messy muddle' with a good layer of dust in some places which, when you think about it, serves as good insulation during these winter months.  Well, that's my excuse!!

I will be continuing with this clean up today too.  I've thrown away quite a bit of stuff but there's still more to tackle!!!

19 November 2012

Another of the button brooches

I'm on a roll with these buttons.  Can't seem to leave them alone at the moment!!! I've now got this one on my winter coat.  Admittedly I've stiffened it a bit so it doesn't get 'squashed' when I throw it down in a heap or occasionally remember to hang it up.

Isn't that what floors were made for?  To hang things on?  Please tell me if I'm wrong!

Now keeping my fingers crossed that 'they' will pick up my iMac for repair today.  It looks so sad that empty place on my work top where it usually sits.  Fortunately we found we'd still got the box it came in over two years ago - up in the loft.  Made packing it up a lot easier.

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Happy Beaks

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