Friday 25 February 2011

Swanning Around!

It is often said that in England all the swans belong to the Queen, well this is not strictly true.  The crown retains the right to ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water but the Queen only exercises her right on stretches of the Thames and surrounding tributaries. The birds are marked according to ownership during "Swan Upping" in July.    I took this photograph on the same day as the branch was taken off the apple tree (in my last post) you may have noticed the water in the background?

The stretch of water is the river Avon  
in Stratford-upon-Avon

This is Mark Myers  (aka Tatman) Swan and below it has been given a make over, could not resist having a go at playing with the image, thank you Gina!  

Now for Jane's swan which you can find here.

And some famous English matches which have the royal warrant of appointment on them.

After the photo-call the swan turned his back on me and swam off!

Tuesday 22 February 2011

The Apple Tree

It is always good to be able to show you where some of the wood that is made into shuttles actually comes from.  So far wood has been taken from trees that are still growing near two of the churches that I take services in, cedar and yew.   I must add that permission to cut branches off these trees has to be granted and is usually done by professionals, we are just lucky enough to know it is happening! The holly was found in my late father's garden and now I am showing you the apple tree also in the same garden. In the photograph above is 'Im in the garage' with his chain saw cutting off a branch.   And the other photograph shows Jane hard at work tidying up the little branches that are left so there are just logs to take away.  This was a few weeks ago so the wood will not be ready yet.

Just to proof that she doesn't sit and tat all day! Oh and that she has not turned into a 'flying pig".
But notice she is wearing her tatting, perhaps she goes to bed in it?!

Here is a reminder of what an apple post shuttle looks like, the wood was also taken from this tree.

I heard that one of the tatting shuttles posted to America just before Christmas arrived two and a half months later!  Yet I posted some shuttles on Monday 14th February to America and they arrived on Friday, unbelievable!

Monday 14 February 2011

St. Valentine

I have just been reading big sister's blog and her tatting story (please follow her link to 2006). It reminded me, when looking at her passport photograph, that I always envied her long plaited hair. I was never allowed to have my hair long, just had a ribbon sticking out of the top of my head, well that is what it looked like! Although I think my hair was probably too fine as the ribbon spent a lot of time slipping down the side of my face!

The same Grandmother taught me to tat, but a few years after Jane. I do remember sitting in her garden with my tatting shuttle a  light blue plastic one, no idea where it went, sadly lost for ever.   I agree with Jane, as we all do, that the new techniques have made tatting so much more exciting and versatile and the new shuttles have also made the craft even more interesting - well I had to say that!   I am pleased that Jane 'nagged' to learn how to make lace, because if she had not 'nagged' we would have all missed  her designs and invaluable help with our tatting via the internet today.

So here is one of Jane's tatted hearts and wishing everyone a Happy St. Valentine's Day, especially as tatting is one of the loves of our lives!!!

Tuesday 8 February 2011

Olive Wood

I quickly made this dove this afternoon, that is why it is far from perfect!!  Actually it is my third attempt at the pattern, last year when Jane designed it I tried to tat it, but it went wrong and then last week another failed attempt, which I took to show her at the weekend, and now a fairly reasonable result.  She promises to put the pattern up soon.
The main reason for tatting it was that I wanted to show you one of the packets of wood that Sue Anna sent me and look where it comes from Bethlehem in the Holy Land, and also look at the little dove on the label with an olive branch in his mouth.

And now look at this fantastic pop-a-bobbin shuttle made from the same wood, the grain is beautiful.

More shuttles will be in Jane's shop very soon, just keep a watch out on her blog.

Thank you so much Sue Anna this shuttle is yours (when I get around to posting it) Enjoy.

Tuesday 1 February 2011

Flower Power

As part of a local Arts Festival fortnight in the Summer, one of our churches is holding an event called "Flowers and Fabrics" which basically means that yes there will be many flowers in the church but also quilts and a few other hand crafted items.  As one of the organisers I am obviously eager to make sure that tatting is also on display, but was a bit concerned because there is limited space, it is a very small church and there needed to be something that would be noticeable and yet in keeping.  So the idea is to make these button flowers and then attach them to some wide ribbon and hang them from the window sills.  It is only an idea at the moment though and in the meantime I need to find some fairly wide ribbon strong enough to hold the flowers so they do not flop about!

One of the major problems, at the moment, is that I keep giving them away because whenever I show a flower button to a friend they just want to own one!  The buttons are quite large 5/8 inch wide, so they do stand out very well.

The penguin and shuttle which Crysta won in this competition arrived safely in Canada and here is part of her e.mail to me.
"I have now realized that the first shuttle I found and love (a french ivory post shuttle found at a local consignment shop) is actually quite on the small side.  I love the shuttle from you it is larger and holds a lot more thread!! (Less ends to hide is always a good thing!). Thank you again for the opportunity to win one of your shuttles- I have so many things to create now!"

More shuttles are on their way to Jane this weekend I would have shown you a photograph of them but you are probably a bit bored with seeing them by now. However, there is one in particular which is the crème de la crème in this batch and needs a special mention in my next post.