Wednesday 28 April 2010

The point about it is!

Here are some much better photographs of the post shuttles that are being made by my resident shuttle maker.

It was obvious that a design of some sort needed to be put on the shuttles to take away the plainness of them, although of course the wood is beautiful without embellishments, but tatters need to have distinctive shuttles. Not being that artistic and also not having the time to try painting on them, it was decided to use transfers as a way of decoration. The trouble is that proper transfers are not easy to find, we managed to locate a supplier but with limited designs that would fit the shuttles. So if anyone out there knows where we can purchase suitable transfers please let me know.

Now in the past I have done a little of decoupage but again to try this on a very small items requires precision and also the material has to be very thin and have no borders, that is where transfers are ideal. Thank you to Decoromana for suggesting napkins, that really frightened me! They are so thin and would, well if I tried, wrinkle and wrinkle badly!

When Krystle isn't "dancing around the room" at the thought of post shuttles, she showed me a picture of a shuttle with a point on and Tatskool also made a similar suggestion of a shuttle with a point. What is it with tatters, why are they so so different when it comes to the shuttles they like to use?!

So I locked "I'm in the garage" in the garage and said "don't come out until you have produced a shuttle with a point on!" And this is the result. Sorry about the quality of the pictures - but you should get the point!

I have never used a post shuttle with a point on like this so have no idea if this is the standard required, I need someone, not too far away to test it.
(the title of this post is a family joke - sorry!!)

Wednesday 21 April 2010

Post Shuttles

My first tatting shuttle was a post shuttle, I can remember it was blue, a pretty shade of blue but I have no idea what became of it. I learnt to tat as a young child so it probably got lost in one of my many moves. The next shuttle I owned was a Milward's shuttle which I still have, although minus the hook that originally came with it. So it was strange when I started to test tat these new additions which "I'm in the garage" has now added to his range of handmade wooden shuttles - there was a feeling of déjà vu!

We are planning on selling the post shuttles (via Jane) before you ask! There will be a "Shuttle management" meeting at the weekend to discuss prices and some better photographs will be taken. The two you see in the pictures are made out of cedar and then transfers were put on them, each picture shows one side of the shuttle. We have only managed to find transfers of birds and butterflies that will fit on the shuttles so far. Small transfers are difficult to find, nowadays it’s the peel off stickers which are popular but they are often too thick for this kind of work.
Krystle offered me some wood a few weeks back and was so kind to take the trouble and post this box to me, and she has also requested some shuttles to be made out of a piece. I am also sending her the first of the post shuttles, which includes a very special shuttle for her eldest daughter, I will let her show you it to you when it arrives. For the past week all the air mail has been held up due to the volcano dust from Iceland grounding the aircraft which were either due to take off or arrive in the UK, thankfully today the airports are now open and operating again but it has meant thousands of people have been stranded all over the world.

The "Pop-A-bobbin" shuttles are continuing to be made but we are awaiting a consignment of bobbins which have obviously been held up because of the volcanic dust.

Thursday 15 April 2010

Button Necklaces

Tomorrow will mark a year since my first post. I originally started this blog because my big sister Jane kept saying you must do it! I always listen to her so thought if I did she would shut up, but she hasn’t!

Seriously though, in the last year I have actually done more tatting than in all the previous five years put together. The reason for this is that seeing what everyone else is working on has encouraged me and also I’ve tried new things myself and shared them with others. The great thing is that with blogging you don’t feel so alone with your craft, there is always someone out there looking in. So thanks for all your encouraging and enabling comments, and I’m looking forward to my second year.

Of course the introduction of the “Pop-A-bobbin” shuttle has also been exciting and there is more excitement to come. In my next post I intend to show you the post shuttles which “I’m in the garage” has been making. We have also been able to overcome some of the problems with the shuttle making, for example the bobbins have now been sourced and a large order will soon be “bobbing” its way to this part of the world!

I have always wanted to make a necklace using buttons and beads so took the plunge and made these. Now I plan to make more, when time permits! Also I have friends who want them so it looks as though I am going to be kept busy for awhile.

They are made in Coats 20 cotton, the brown necklace was my first attempt. The turquoise necklace my second in which I used slightly larger buttons when I got to the middle.
When I eventually manage to purchase some Lizbeth multi-coloured cotton I intend to make one using different coloured buttons.

Friday 9 April 2010

Box and Packaging

A week today will mark my 1st blog-anniversary, nothing to shout about really, but I would just like to say that it has been great meeting (well not in the flesh!) the world wide tatting community. However, I don’t plan to have a “Giveaway” in celebration as I would rather save that until my 100th post which could be in a few months time, depending on how quick or slow I become in blogging!

In preparation for the event I decided to buy some boxes, paint them and decorate them, what they are going to contain is a secret at the moment. This pink box is my first attempt; it reminds me of an iced cake!

Following on from the various bits and pieces, seven in all, that make up the Pop-A-bobbin shuttle I would like to talk briefly about the

A member of our congregation, a retired printer, made the information card for me and unlike you and I he doesn’t collect thread he collects card! Unfortunately he hasn’t had a good year in many respects, his health hasn’t been good and his son died in February. But he is always cheerful and has been very helpful with the printing of these cards.
The first plastic sleeves I purchased from a car boot sale, not knowing at the time what to use them for. Since the cards were made for this size I needed to purchase some more and so went of course to e.bay and bought not 100 not 200 but 1,000! Well I figured that they would always come in useful!

THE LAST OF THE SEVEN is of course the SHUTTLE itself and what more can I say about them? Here are a few at the varnishing stage. Jane is due to get another consignment next week from "I'm in the Garage" The waiting list is growing and we have some more ebony arriving by post tomorrow.

Sunday 4 April 2010

Easter Sunday

Easter began in church with a service called the Easter Vigil when between the hours of sunset and sunrise the Easter Candle is lite and light is spread throughout the church, which at that time is in complete darkness.
I attended this service last night but there was also a service at 5.30 am this morning, for those who don't need so much sleep as I do!

I made these Easter Cards using Martha's button lamb pattern. I have used this pattern so many times and so if they were all put together there would be a flock of tatted sheep!

It is also a tradition in many churches to have an Easter Garden. This one was made with the help of the pre-school children who came into church last week and we had a little service together. The crosses are a little obscured by the foliage! But the children had so much fun in helping me make it.

Now for my Easter Egg given to me by the Vicar who is on a three months Study Leave or Sabbatical. I just thought it fitted so well with the title of my blog . Divine Milk Chocolate Egg
"Heavenly Chocolate with a heart"

I hope everyone is having a Very Happy Easter
and looking forward to Spring

Friday 2 April 2010

Good Friday

It is Good Friday and so it seems appropriate that there is a cross on today's post. This is a Celtic cross designed by Jane. Once again I combined two different coloured and size of threads to make it.

Continuing from my previous post to talk about the elements that make up the Pop-A-Bobbin shuttle. Today I will tell you about the...................

The little plug which is fitted in the centre of the bobbin and holds it in place through the shuttle, is made to match the wood of the shuttle and so a piece of wood is cut and then put through this clever little piece of equipment to make the right size. Can't tell you which of these holes it goes through without measuring it, but you can probably guess!

The popper tool (please look on the right of this blog, it is in the centre of my profile picture) is a piece of doweling rod shaped at one end so that the plug can be pushed out and it has a bead in the middle with the other end to wind the bobbin. This tool, along with the whole of the shuttle design was the invention of "I'm in the Garage". We had at tin of wooden beads from an old car seat, the ones that are supposed to help those who have back trouble. Someone gave us the beads many years ago and we have used quite a few on various projects but they came into their own again with the latest shuttle making. Of course we needed more as the weeks have gone by and have managed to buy packets of beads (not car seats!) off e.bay.

With regard to the bobbins, sadly my supplier is still trying to source them, so I may have to go back to America and buy some more and risk the customs duty! Because of this orders are not being fulfilled as quickly as we would like.

With regard to those who have been asking about post shuttles, well these are at the moment in the process of being made and I hope to show you one within the next week. Again they will need testing, so don't expect them too soon!