23 October 2015


I think this is one of the most useful ideas I gleaned on my Canadian trip. I've no idea who realised how useful these little net tubes could be for tatters. I've searched and searched online for a source to buy more but I've failed dismally. All I can tell you is that they are WONDERFUL for putting balls of thread in. 

My threads get tangled in the storage I use and that drives me MAD. These are the answer to those frustrations. Thank you Fringe Tatters for these useful little tubes.

21 October 2015

Beads and threads

Well if you remember (or not!!) I mentioned in a previous post that Karey Solomon had called me evil when she took one of my classes at the Fringe tat days!!! She was chuckling as she said it - several times - so I know she was teasing. Least that's what I keep telling myself!!!!

Now it's MY turn to call HER evil!!! Why? Well because I'd told myself (and Nick) that I wasn't going to buy ANY MORE THREADS. So, what did Karey do? She brought a load to the Fringe and had them there to SELL. I kept walking past them telling myself that I wasn't allowed to buy any but in the end I gave in. Well, who wouldn't? They're DELICIOUS. So, Karey - I'm calling you evil!!! This is a link to Karey's shop but not sure if she sells her threads online. 

Now to the beads. Not a very good picture but these were beads that Jane K gave me. They've got holes at the tops and Jane used them for her mouse family which you can see here. Don't those eyes look great? I can't wait to make more mice with those eyes.  Thank you, Jane - you're a star.

20 October 2015

Thread collector and a needle case

Now these little gems were in the goody bags we were given at the Fringe Tat days. There were LOADS of useful things in there and I'll show you more another day.

Do you like the little thread catcher at the top?  Isn't it GORGEOUS.  That's what it's meant for but mine has become the storage place for my shuttles, scissors and hook when I've finished tatting each evening.  I pop them in there and then don't have to go searching for them the next day.  Inspired or what?

The needle case (with dedicated tatting knot unpicking tools) has also been put to good use too.  I've stocked it with a few pins and some needles (sewing sort) and it's now in - well, I'll tell you.  

I've gone back to doing patchwork which I've not done for about forty years (or more).  I found my old templates and I've made a start.  Please don't ask me what I'm making cause I haven't a CLUE!!!!  So the needle case is in the bag with the patchwork things. 

Another of 'those little birds' told me that Ruth made all these - that's probably nearly or over a 100 for the Tat Days.  They're so very neatly made and a joy to own.  I'm sure she must've been seeing them in her sleep with that amount to make!  That's both thread catchers AND needle cases she made.  That woman has stamina as well as being a neat machinist too.

19 October 2015


This is a calendar with a HUGE difference. This one runs from October 2015 to December 2016. That's unusual but not too different.

The BIG difference is that it's also got a pattern (tatting, of course) for each month. Not wanting to brag but in it there's a wee mermaid that I gave to the group.

Now you're thinking I've lost the plot once more but this time you're wrong!!! I'm just about to tell you where you can get a copy. This calendar was available at the Fringe Element Tatting days last month and I know (cause a little bird told me) that they've got some left. I'd get in touch quickly if you want one (or two or three or more) for presents. The Fringe can be found here and there's an email address on this page too.

Also featured in this are patterns from really well known people too - Martha Ess, Kaye Judt, Kelly Dunn and - well, the old brain's given up again so you'll just have to look.

17 October 2015

Book sale

I'm on a one woman rescue mission!!  I rescue tatting books from the charity shops in town. Well, only the one charity shop ever seems to have them!!

These three were picked up for £2.50 each and I'm happy to part with them for that price - plus postage.  If you want one, two or even all three of them then please email me on itatlots @ gmail.com.  First come, first served although I'd rather send them all to one person if possible.  I'll take them to the Post Office and find out a price once a buyer is found and then they'll soon be on the way once they've been paid for!!!    If nobody wants them then I'll reach to a larger audience either through Etsy or Ebay.  The only markings in all three is a price. 

The condition of the three is excellent - in fact they've hardly been used. Unlike my originals which I bought as they were published - they're very dog eared!!!

16 October 2015

Another present

This is a lovely, lovely bag (zipped) that Ruth made for me. I LOVE pink!! Can you see that it's got my name on it? That bag stays permanently with me now and is really useful for when I forget my name - which I do regularly.  Actually it's just right for putting in my bag to take to Crafternoon.  See - it's already got a job.  Well, I'll be honest I'd already put it into good use when I was packing to come home.  

There were 'things inside' too but I've not got a picture of them as they've all been put away tidily - silly me. One of the items was a little arch file book with blank pages (and a packet of refill too) - that's in my handbag too.

15 October 2015

Changing the subject!

I've got lots of 'goodies' to show you from my trip and presents too.

First of all an apron.  Ginny gave me this - don't you LOVE the flying pigs?!?!? She also gave me extra fabric that she had left over too.

Now I don't cook!!! Nick told me twenty plus years ago when I moved in with him that 'women can't cook'!!!  Right, I'd been doing it for years and years but it was a chore and as he loved cooking I 'allowed' him to take over the kitchen!!!! So, what has this got to do with an apron?  Bet you thought I'd not wear it cause I don't cook!!

Well, you're very, very wrong.  I wear it all the time in the house.  Why?  Well it's the most USEFUL item I have ever found for carrying 'stuff' around.  I'm always putting things down (shuttles, thread, iPad, phone, apples, etc, etc) and losing them in the house.  NO MORE.  I put them in the pockets of the apron so they NEVER GET LOST. 

Personally I think this is one of the most useful tatting items I've ever owned and I'll be making another from the remaining fabric for when this one has to go in the wash.  Thank you, Ginny.  I've suggested that she may make more so it's up to all of us to 'nag' her after Christmas to make aprons for tatting.

14 October 2015

Another new place to stay

After my lovely stay with Terry and Jim we took Judith to meet her niece and then it was time to plonk myself on Ruth.  Poor woman.

Well again new adventures and trips to a fantastic quilt store right 'out in the sticks' and an antique fair where I picked up three shuttles (I'll post about them another day).

Ruth also very kindly took me to Niagara Falls. I really can't explain how incredible that was. Obviously we've all heard about them and seen them on television but actually being there and experiencing them was beyond belief. I think I can truly say I was gobsmacked and rather like a kid in a sweet shop. 

So below are just a few of my pictures and links to videos.  Oh, the first one is me 'earning my keep' and mowing Ruth's lawn!!!!  I swear that it was all uphill even when it looked downhill!!!!
First we visited Niagara on the Lake but I didn't take any pictures!!  What an idiot.  I think I was too overwhelmed by the prettiness of the town.  

Then onto the Whirlpool rapids.  Quite frightening to see even from above.  This is the cable car which goes over the rapids - here's a link to the 'about it' page.

Next we went to Niagara Falls itself. We took a tour of the tunnels behind the Falls which is where you get the real feel of the power of the water. Here are a few pictures and links to videos.

Now from behind the Falls and you can see the Maid of the Mist as it turns in front of the cascade.

Finally - just to prove I was really there - me.   Yes, it was a windy day!!!!

13 October 2015

After the tatting days

First of all - my Etsy shop is back up and running with new stock and old too!!!  Here's the link.

Well after the tatting days at the Fringe Terry drove Linda down to Niagara with Judith and I as passengers.  Then Judith Connors and myself had two (or was it three?) days  staying with her. 

It was a real rest after the weekend and much appreciated - thank you, Terry and Jim. Terry has the most amazing collection of teas I've ever seen. One I totally fell for - I'm a classified teaaholic!

Jim's garden was amazing. I've not seen tomatoes that size before!!

Spending time with a famous tatter like Judith was a REAL treat. She kept us both amused with her stories and adventures. Where does she get the energy?

12 October 2015

Fringe tatting weekend

Well that was a BLAST. It was strange meeting people I'd known about from the UK in a 'foreign country' although that's happened to me before. Two ladies I'd not met before - great meeting you, Linda and Heather. 

The venue was great - a Best Western Hotel. I LOVE those places as they have a DIY waffle maker which is a 'toy' I love to play with!!!  Breakfast was fun!

I took a Judith Connors class first of all and then I was teaching the rest of the time. LOVE Judith's sense of humour - more about her later.

I did worry a bit when Karey Solomon accused me of being 'evil' while she was in my class but she was laughing at the time! Karey - I'll take that as a compliment!!!  I told myself before leaving England that I wasn't going to buy anymore threads but I couldn't pass Karey's stall without getting more!!  I think SHE'S the evil one - putting temptation in my way!!!

Also at the event were three Danish ladies - one of whom was Lene Bjorn who I was so pleased to meet. Between you and me - she was showing us the patterns she's working on for a new book. That's going to be a 'must buy' I can tell you.

Georgia conducted an auction and in the few seconds before it started I agreed to be sold!!!  Well, me and the picture of the geese that I took to Canada even though the darn things are still residing in town!!!  I can't remember what they 'got' for me but I know I met a delightful lady who bought me for an hour.  Spent the time teaching her how to do the SCMR.  

I didn't get many pictures during the event as I was supposed to be teaching!!!   If anybody's thinking of going to the Fringe Element Tat Days next year then stop thinking and DO IT. Here's their web site so you can keep a look out.

The geese I took back to Canada!

A view of the room before things started - look at the raffle prizes and more to come the next day too!
 Making waffles!

10 October 2015

A Weapon of Tat Destruction

So, what is that? Read on, dear friends!!

The picture today is of Kelly who has been the butt of my teasing for many years - poor lass.  Although she does take revenge on me from time to time!!!! 

I tease Kelly unmercifully and she takes it all in good part and was even kind enough to put up with me staying with her for a few days at her home in Canada - a BRAVE woman. The weapon (IMHO) is a needle. Yes, Kelly is a needle tatter but I have strong hopes of her recovering in due course and becoming a shuttle tatter.   Actually, dare I admit it, she's a darn good needle tatter and her work is drop dead gorgeous.   Good luck with the show you're working towards, Kelly.  Here's the link for those living in or near Toronto so you can go and visit her and even buy some of her work.

Part of the reason for traveling over to Canada was to teach Kelly to tat in the original and traditional way - with a shuttle and NOT a weapon of tat destruction. 

So, with some extra strong rope and a determination to succeed I tied her firmly to a chair and forced (took all my strength) a shuttle into her hands. I did drug her too (can you see the cup of tea?) and I asked Hannah (the beagle in charge) to hypnotise her which also helped. 

Actually Kelly will make a super shuttle tatter and has lovely hands which she will be able to show off when holding a shuttle.

9 October 2015

Onwards and upwards and downwards!

First today - a few acres of solar panels.  Amazing.
Next to Peterborough to visit the worlds highest Lift Lock.  Here's a link for those who are interested.  

The guide - he has 8 kids and he's still breathing!!!!

The fountain in the middle of the lake which we crossed before entering the  Trent-Severn canal.

Opening the sluices on the first lock.  It's a regular lock - very deep, though.  Here's a video link to see this 'live'.

Onwards and past the swing bridge.

Approaching the Lift Lock.  Link to the video is here.

Going up video. 

View from the top.  We were level with the road before the lift.  After we'd reached the top we went further along the canal.  Here's us approaching the 'end of the world' or, rather, the lift lock going back.  Another video here.

8 October 2015

More mice

Fortunately not in our house - Tilly the cat doesn't 'do' mice anymore thankfully although I'd really welcome this little tribe.

These guys are from Jane who I had the very great pleasure to meet up with in Canada. What a great time I had with her and the other ladies.  More about that tomorrow.

I'm only showing you one of the pictures so that you're tempted to go here to see the rest!!! I'm also not going to tell you what she said either!!! Am I a tease? YES!!!  You will have to scroll down to see these guys but I promise you it's well worth it.

Can you see the eyes on these little guys? They're different and when I was telling Ruth how much I liked that sort of eye somehow Jane found out and gave me some. Can't wait to make eyes with those beads. 

7 October 2015

First few days

Some photos from the first few days with Kelly. The 'hostess with the mostest' and the cutest Beagle ever to live - Hannah.

Next a visit to a candle store - Kokimo Candles. The name is made up from the zip code - clever.  The lady is the candle maker and she allowed me to take her picture and showed me how and where she makes the candles.

Down by the lake and the dreaded geese!!!

Paddling in the lake!!  The water was pretty warm that day.

Kelly's bead store - of course I was tempted and succumbed to the temptation too.  An old git has to have beads!!

Pumpkins outside the Burnham Family Farm Market.  The guys were baking scones, bread etc.  

6 October 2015

Trouble's back!!!

Having spent the last two weeks annoying the Canadians I'm now back (although hungover with jet lag) in town and able to annoy YOU!!!!

Over the next few days I'll be giving you a glimpse at my wonderful adventure.

First of all the flights over were fine although this poor old soul had to get her skates on in Frankfurt to get her connection. Bit worrying when you find the first board on entering a terminal posting that your plane is now loading when you've no idea where you are!!! I managed to do a fairly fast walk only to be held up by security!!! The people queuing to go through the process kindly let myself and another young lass jump the queue to get through and complete another long walk to the plane!!

On arrival in Toronto it was a bit disconcerting to be told by passengers around me that 'there's no such place in Canada called Baltimore' (that's where Kelly lives)!!!! Didn't phase the OG, though as when I got off the plane Kelly and Ruth were going to meet me. How would I know them? Well, I'd seen photos of Kelly but had no idea about Ruth. I needn't have worried, though as this is what greeted me!!!! I knew that the next two weeks were going to be fun, fun, fun!!! BC3 (along with his probable owner) had landed!!!!!

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Happy Beaks

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