Saturday, 31 December 2011

A Partridge in a Pear Tree

As you will recognise the title of this post is actually part of a song called the "Twelve Days of Christmas" and today is either the 6th or 7th day depending on which tradition you are following but the days end at Epiphany, either the eve or actual day itself 6th January.  So may I present two post shuttles made from pear wood.

On the theme of trees here is a tree with birds in, although probably not partridges, the wood is cherry.   I'm in the garage made it many years ago.  The wood came from a tree near where we lived at that time in Germany, sadly it was chopped down and we missed it greatly as it produced some beautiful cherries. This tree is really a jigsaw and the birds can be displayed however you wish. It stands approximately 6 1/2 inches high and 5 inches wide.

I am aware that Pam Palmer has published a tatting book called the Twelve Days of Christmas, however I do not possess this myself but I know someone who has a copy, big sister!  It must be interesting to tat all the twelve days, has anyone done this?

The funniest take off of the song Twelve Days of Christmas was written by  John Julius Norwich  
It is written in the form of a correspondence. I have in the past used the words at an informal carol service here it is on youtube

I will be taking the pear shuttles and some post shuttles to Jane's (AKA big sister) home next week, so watch out for them appearing in her Etsy shop, unless of course she becomes too busy with her TIAS!

A very Happy New Year to everyone

Just go over to Lady Picots blog 
and see what Geraldine has done after tatting Pam Palmer's twelve days of Christmas. 
It is so impressive

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Christmas tatting

This year was good having Christmas Day on a Sunday, giving a clear week before the usual Sunday services begin again. Although of course next Sunday will fall on New Year's day and that means an early start.  At home though our Christmas was quiet, no family gatherings and everything pretty low key. In fact we have a small artificial Christmas tree which has in the past stood on a table and I was going to decorate it with my tatting but never actually managed to set it up, it is still in a plastic bag near the sofa.   This is the nearest I got to a decorated tree, taken from Martha Ess's new book. It is tatted in Lizbeth Christmas green, the thread is a new addition to my now ever increasing collection.

And I sat and tatted this snowflake on Christmas Day, it comes from Le Blog de Frivole and the pattern can be found here . Thank you Frivole this is the first time I attempted the snowflake and could have perhaps made it a little better but food and drink had taken over at this point!  Frivole has designed some really beautiful snowflakes, so pop along to her blog and have a look.

Yesterday we visited the Hobby Craft shop and I managed to pick up a few reduced items, including delica beads and acrylic paint, particularly as I have a few more boxes to paint and decorate. Will explain how I decorate the boxes in another post. I have also asked I'm in the garage to make post shuttles from pear wood, especially as he used his lathe to turn some lovely trinket boxes for Christmas presents from this wood, unfortunately though I forgot to take a photograph of them before they were given away.

I have also a basket full of pop-a-bobbin shuttles to test before being delivered to Jane next week.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Rings, Robins and Angels

It was a craze a few years ago, well it was for me, to buy wire bangles from shops as they were cheap and cheerful and were good for displaying tatting, especially at Christmas.  However, the fashion has changed and now they are not so common, well not here in the UK.  Fortunately I still have a very good supply and now and then use them for such a purpose, some tatting fits exactly whilst others, not quite.

I made three big sister angels (from Martha Ess's new book) to fit in rings using Lizbeth, Coats and Manuela thread and they all fitted quite differently.  The angel above is using Manuela

In my 'awaiting to finish' tatting pile were some robins, I had seriously got stuck with their eyes for some reason or another and they were abandoned for over a year.  The other evening I managed to finish that part of them. But then had trouble with the legs, you can just see where one was started, on the bottom robin and then it was chopped off!

They remind me of that song entitled 'When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob-Bob Bobbin Along' but
then I thought of pop-a-bobbin shuttles and bobbins were on my brain for the next 24 hours! So I sat 
down and started attaching their legs and aim to stop their 'bobbin' and to get them static in the rings.

Just three more pairs of legs to do now - the pattern can be found on Jane's blog here

But going back to pop-a-bobbin shuttles more are in  the process of being made and in the New Year there will be another delivery.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Tool and Tree

The trouble with using exotic woods for the pop-a-bobbin shuttles is that it is difficult to match the plug for the middle of them.   Him in the garage tried to make them with the tools he has available but it took a lot of time and effort.  So he looked on e.bay for a dowelling machine, these are now obsolete,  in other words they are not made anymore and are really collectors items.  Of course there are big machines that now do the job quicker and efficiently in factories and the wood is cut to shape in bulk.  A machine was found, in the USA, an offer was made for it and accepted and was duly purchased, it cost nearly £400, but this did include a cutter and the customs charges.   But he is so happy with his new toy, it is vintage probably made in the 1960/70s.  If you look closely you will see that it says Stanley USA on it. It works on the same principle as a pencil sharpener.

The plugs after coming out of the new tool but they still need to go into a grader and then sanded

The Vicar phoned a few days ago to say that a branch had fallen from a tree in one of the churchyards in the high winds, he asked if we wanted it?  Well of course we did but have only had a chance today to go and get it, armed with a saw.  It came from a  tree called  Sequoiadendron – Wellingtonia
The so called Mammoth Tree or Wellingtonia, the 'Big Tree' of California.

The light was failing when I took the photograph but it is a extremely tall tree

Now I know for many people in the world these trees are very common, but it is not often the tree itself but where it is actually growing.  This one stands opposite the cedar tree from which other shuttles have been made from and is growing in the churchyard where the father of the Revd Awdry (author of Thomas the Tank Engines stories) was once Vicar when Mr. Awdry was a boy.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Earrings and Eclipse

I have been designing and making earrings, although when I say designing, I just didn't follow a pattern, made them up myself, however there is sure to be a similar design somewhere.  I apologise if I have unintentionally used someone elses pattern.

Yesterday my son, who lives in Singapore, witnessed a lunar eclipse and posted these pictures on facebook.  Just felt the need to share them with you, I did ask his permission!

A total eclipse only happens during a full moon. It occurs when the moon passes through the earth's shadow. 

This eclipse was also seen in other parts of the world, from Alaska to Central Asia and Australia. So did anyone else see it?

It is a busy Sunday for me, the Hanging of the Greens service went extremely wel this morning, and thanks to the internet and the churches in America who gave me the idea.  This afternoon it is a Scout carol service and baby Jesus is in the boot of my car ready to take a journey into the nearest town, just hope that a Mary and Joseph can be found, with less than three hours to go, I have no idea if they will appear. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

One eyed Angels!

I made these angels about twenty years ago, the pattern is in a tatting book that was basically the only one I used at that time as it contained, what appeared to me,  such very modern designs. How life has changed in the tatting world.   The book is called The Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones.  The sad thing is that these angels will have to be thrown away, they have gone yellow, probably because I used sugared water to stiffen them, all I knew in those days, and they are a bit worse for wear.  Also I think they are having a 'bad hair day!' Not to mention the the loss of one eye.

I can't stop tatting Martha's snowflakes but think they do look better without beads.

Or may be not!

Had a really nasty cold last week so have a lot to catch up with, including finding some angels for a Scout Carol service (no not tatted angels or one eyed ones!) sorting out some carol singing and readings for Thursday evening in accommodation where some elderly people live. Also compiling a service for  Sunday morning entitled 'Hanging of the Greens" which I believe is more common in the USA, we have never done it in our church before.  On Saturday I am going to find some holly and other greenery and in the service encourage the congregation to make some decorations for the church - wish me luck it is going to be a busy week!