24 August 2013

Once upon a time

Once upon a time somebody somewhere bought a long necklace consisting of brown stripy beads with tiny gold seed beads between each stripy one.  Now who it was is a complete mystery and where they bought the necklace is buried in the mists of time - BUT .........

One day an old git decided to wander round the charity shops in her town and visited one and spotted the aforementioned necklace.  No, she didn't buy it straight away because she told her BC3 that she had too many large beads still to play with.  A few days later she wandered back into the same shop to give them something that needed re-cycling and lo and behold, there was the same stripy necklace.  Temptation was too much and the beautiful necklace went home with her to be cleaned and cut!

Roll on a few months later and she was visiting a friend and enjoying a cup of tea in her kitchen when the friend said 'oh, what a pretty bracelet you're wearing'.  It was a blue Winsome Drop bracelet and the old git asked if she'd like one too.  Anyway, on returning home and diving into the tatting cupboard she remembered the stripy beads and this is what became of them.  

So, I give you a happy ending.  Well, not quite!!!!

23 August 2013

Second attempt at Abbi's bow!

So, back to the 'drawing board' over Abbi's bow!!!  I explored my stash of threads and found what I thought was the 'right' colour.  

Here's bow number 2 with slightly longer 'tails'.  Why longer tails?  Because I can't read or count.

I've put the other pink bow below the new one so you can see the difference.  SOOOO many 'pinks' it's no wonder I needed another attempt to get the right one!!!

22 August 2013

Why DO I do it?

I like to have an ongoing project during a designing phase that I can pick up and put down at any time (usually late evening) and which requires little to no thought.  This is one I've just finished which was started over a year ago to have something to do while I was in America last September.  Hmmmm, I hardly touched it as Sally and I were SOOO well looked after and entertained (plus the hummingbirds at Joanie's were a huge distraction) that I did very little on the travels.  So, the question is - WHY do I do it to myself?  

No, not the ongoing project bit but the fact that I choose to do so many hanky edgings.  

When I started tatting back in the fifties there was very little around that a budding teenager (crikey - I was one of those once!!) could make as patterns were few and far between.  All I really had available were the old Coats and Penelope leaflets.  A hanky edging was one of those things that was recommended as a starter's project as there weren't many motifs around.

Now, when you start tatting you're so slow that an edging like this must have put a lot of people off.  Yet here I am all those years later still doing them as a relaxing project!!!  How stupid is THAT?  Not only doing them but occasionally even designing them too!!!  This is the 'Oh, so Simple' one which you can find here.

Yes, I'm a lot faster now but I still get bored by them but can never leave a project unfinished so eventually rush to get them out of the way.

Now, what am I tempted to do for my next ongoing project?  You'll never guess but BC3 is already thinking of another hanky edging.  HELP!!!!  Where's the escape hatch?

20 August 2013

Abbi's bow

When I had the second spell of grandchildren I had Abbi who is five going on fifteen!!!  One of the requests I had from her was for a bow to put on her dress!!  She told me it had to be pink and have beads on it so I decided that this was what I'd do.  The pattern is an old one and can be found here.

Well stupidly I didn't check with my daughter on why Abbi wanted this bow but after they'd received it she said she THOUGHT Abbi wanted it for a special new dress she's got for a wedding they're going to and that that dress is a salmon colour!!  DUH.  Back to the 'drawing board'!!!

19 August 2013

More in the shop!

First of all - I've managed to put the rest of the Tatting Tidy pots into the Etsy shop over the weekend.

Apart from doing this (and numerous other odd jobs) I also had a new pram to put onto the Tat It And See blog too.  Here's the link to number 122!!

This blog may not be updated so often over the next few weeks as I struggle with the 2014 Tat It And See design.  Yes, there will be another in January!!!!  A little bird has told me that there may be another one before that but that's all I'm saying!!!  Actually I've already started one idea for 2014 but that's been scrapped as it may have proved too boring for everybody!!!!

Now, do I cut out more Tatting Tidy pots or retire from sewing for a while?  Decisions, decisions!!!

17 August 2013

More Tatting Tidy pots

Now I have five more pots to put in my Etsy shop.   Hmmmm, well I have to sort out the photographs first, crop, re-size etc before I list them.  I'll start that this morning and hope to get a few up today.

I make the pots in batches.  I cut out a set and and then do the preparation in three 'stages'.  

First I iron the vilene onto the pockets (it's sticky backed) and also make sure that all the other pieces are ironed too.

Part two consists of sewing the heavy duty stiffening onto the denim bottoms and measuring all the pockets, pinning and sewing them down.  

Part three is when I make the handles and add the circular bottoms to the pocketed part and the plain lining to the denim reinforced inner bottom.

Finally I assemble the whole thing.  This is (naturally) the part I like best!!!  

Oh, you see the slight 'bulge' at the top of the pockets?  That's there to make them easier to use and stop shuttles etc 'bulging' into the inside.  Well, I know what I mean!!  I do know that it makes it harder to assemble them but who said life should be easy?!?!?

15 August 2013

Jellyfish finished

Having got the test tat you saw yesterday done there were several more but  I'm not going to bore you with those.  None of them really satisfied me until I decided that MY jellyfish had to have eyes.  I know, I know that 'real' jellyfish don't have eyes but mine wanted them.  He told me so!!!  You see I'm a jellyfish whisperer!!!

Who am I kidding - I've never met a jellyfish and have no urge to do so.

The tentacles still eluded me for a while until suddenly brain cell 3 thought of a new idea.  Why not use beads in the lock chain?  So, here you have the 'final' jellyfish in Jane fashion with probably a new way to use lock chains and beads!!!  
The pattern?  Well, it's here.

14 August 2013

Meet a new critter

A few weeks ago I had a request from Ruth in Canada for a jellyfish pattern.  People ask for the strangest things, sometimes but this idea really appealed to me.  I must have a very strange mind too, I suppose!!!

Ruth wanted this to be a brooch so one of the main considerations was 'how to hide the pin' that every brooch requires.  I decided that the easiest way was to use block tatting for that part of the design.  

Then there was the problem of 'what does a jellyfish look like'.  Good old Google images helped (or rather hindered) that part of the design process.  If you've got the time I suggest you google 'jellyfish' too and you'll find out how many 'sorts' there are.  That's what caused a hinderance!!!

Making the body was relatively easy but then the problems started with the tentacles.  You can see the problems with my first test tat below.  How many and where should they be!!!

More tomorrow - along with the pattern!!!

13 August 2013

Last brooches

Bet you thought you'd seen the last of these!!!  Well, you haven't.  Well, you have NOW as these are the last two.  Still debating what to do with them all as I can't wear them all!!!

I'll keep one or two to put on my winter coats to 'cheer up' those dull, grey days which will be here all too soon and some I may put into Etsy along with the one that's already there.

All this will obviously depend on whether I can find them when I want/need them next!!  My filing system, as you know, consists of chucking things in a box!!!!

12 August 2013


Just for fun and done with size 10 thread which is a size I rarely use.  Here are two snakes I made for the second session of grandkids!!!

I used this idea and just played with it.  A very fast tat with lovely results, I think.  Anyway the two who got them thought so!!!!

10 August 2013

Pattern available

During the small space of a whole child free day I've managed to shop, do the dreaded H word, add the last (made BK - before kids) Tatting Tidy to Etsy and finished off the pattern for these brooches which one or two of you may be interested in.  They really are an easy and fast tat.  

The pattern is here and I hope you enjoy making them.

I've added a bit more clarity to the index/home page on my site after a discussion with another tatter.  While I happily give my patterns away I do like to limit the use of them so that they aren't being sold online anywhere.  This might sound a bit mean but it does allow me to fund my thread and bead addiction and pays for the web space!!!!

The patterns may be hosted on freeservers but I promise you it ain't free!!!!  

9 August 2013

Yet more brooch colours

Don't leave me - don't fall asleep but here are a few more!!!  

Hopefully these won't go through a washing machine!!!  I've now got loads of these brooches done (with a few more to show you) but have no idea why!!!!

One of the grandchildren asked me why I tat and make so many things.  The truth is simply because I like making things.  Everything I make is so different.  Whatever and however - I live to make.  Sometimes I admit it's mischief I make and not something to show but I doooooo love making.

I've also listed more Tatting Tidy pots too - the comments I'm getting from those who have bought them have been extremely encouraging as they finding them very useful in the battle to 'keep tidy'.  

8 August 2013

Button rescued!!!

A tragic accident has occurred.  I made the button brooches last week and immediately chose one to wear each day.  I did well for about three or four days but due to BC3 being too tired one evening I forgot to remove it from my tshirt at bedtime.  

So a few days later a very, very crumpled brooch was found after a trip through the washing machine still clinging determinedly to my tshirt.  It was dry, sad and very crumpled.  So what does an OG do?  I say 'never say die' so I took the poor thing into the bathroom, damped it, pulled it back into shape and used the white glue to re-stiffen it.  Here it is in all it's glory and a good advert for Jess's threads.  BUT not a good advert for the beads which were purple when they were included in the work - you can see the comparison on this link.

Still it looks just as good to me when I wear it so I'm not throwing it away!!!!

6 August 2013

Martha's teapot

Before I start - I'm just going to add two more Tatting Tidy pots to the Etsy shop here.  I managed to get the photos done in between the chaos!!!

I've got a sneaky suspicion that Martha Ess has some English in her!!  Why?  Well I think she's got an obsession with teapots!!!  I've got her book of teapots which I LOVE.  I particularly like the miniature tea set which I made ages ago.

I love the way Martha's patterns are laid out and when she asks me to test tat I'm always there to take anything on because I know it'll be pure pleasure.  So when she asked me to test tat another teapot - which is below I jumped at the chance.

Well the good news is that Martha has listed the pattern in her Etsy shop here.  This little celtic teapot is pure joy to tat.

Fortunately I had the right sized buttons at hand and off I went!!!

5 August 2013

Jess's colours part 2

Well I managed to make a few more Tatting Tidy containers on Saturday before the latest 'child invasion' occurred yesterday.  Now I will have to take the photos, crop, re-size and list - none of which are my favourite jobs!!!  I hope to get that done in 'odd moments' over this next week!!!  Children and weather permitting!!

The way I work with these projects is to clear the table of whatever we've both dumped there and then cut out all the parts of around six to ten items.  This takes quite a long time.  Then I tidy up that part and do the preparation - ironing each part, ironing on vilene, measuring and pinning the 'pockets' etc.  Then the real treat - I sit and sew.  

In the evenings it's 'tatting time' as you can see below.  More of Jess's colours.

3 August 2013

Now, do I 'do' bright?

Well I do and always have done.  From a deprived (and depraved) childhood of no coloured tatting threads I developed an all time yearning and lust for colour!!!

These two brooches are made from thread in Jess's Etsy store.  Don't they zing?

I was really, really pleased to see a great deal of activity shortly after I launched the Tatting Tidy idea in my Etsy shop.  I already had one request from a customer (I'll finish that today and list it) and sold one very quickly.  Even BETTER is the fact that I'm still using mine and find it's the answer to my losing my 'stuff' all the time!!

Instead of sitting here nattering I'd better get back to the sewing machine!!!

2 August 2013

Coming later today.

I have two and a half day's 'respite' between children so I will be listing the five Tatting Tidies later today.  It won't take too long as I've done the photos and cropped and re-sized them so it's just a matter of sitting down and putting them here in the Etsy shop.

I've got two of the top cherry patterned one.  I also added a sort of handle which means you could hang them from a hook or whatever.  Thought it looked nicer like that too!!!

Oh, Phyllis, I found some more of the fabric you were asking about so that will be the first of the next batch that I will make.  Not sure if I'll get it done before the end of my 'respite care' but I'll do my best!!

1 August 2013

Other colours I've tried

Once the first lot of grandkids go home I'll try and get the pattern up on my page for these.  Meanwhile you'll have to suffer with more pictures!!!  

In the top one today I've used a variegated green and a variegated red thread.  Interesting contrasts.  I like the way the beads on the inner and outer make a sort of star on the edge of the button.

The second brooch is done in Lizbeth nitty gritty - I think!!!!  Wish I could remember to write down what I've used!!!  Guess you'll never teach an old dog new tricks!!!

30 July 2013

More brooches

Here are two more Christmassy ones.  Why I've started making them in this colour is beyond me!!!!  Here's a person who doesn't do anything much at Christmas except eat and drink too much but I do like the break and I do try to 'go with the flow' as long as nobody expects me to do too much!!!

As things are a bit hectic here I may not be regular with posting until Friday or Saturday but I'll be watching you all!!!

29 July 2013

Next incarnation!!

The two pictures below show the table I sew on and it's looking pretty darn tidy when this picture was taken!!!  The reason was because I had just finished two of the Tatting Tidy holders and I was feeling really pleased.

This is the final version which stands beautifully even when empty.  Well, they all do, actually but I'm SUCH a fusspot over getting things right when I'm making something.

In the end I took people's comments and went with denim as the main fabric.  This weight doesn't need stiffening but it does need strong fingers to deal with it!!!

I'm not sure when these will get into my Etsy shop but I'm hoping it won't be too long.  Meanwhile I will cut out more ready to sew when I have time.  The next two weeks are going to be really busy for me - who'd be a grandma, eh?

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Happy Beaks

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