Saturday 31 December 2016

Stars to end the Year

I just had to write this post before midnight as it will be the 60th one for this year according to the table at the side of my blog.  Consistently I have kept to around 60 posts each year since 2009 so did not want to fall below that number.

I have tatted three stars, not knowing what colour a star should be I went for white, yellow and a rusty combination.

What I should have done though was this technique of Jane's which you will find here  for the placement of the centre beads.   Learning new or different ways of doing things is never easy for me, I find it very frustrating having to stop and read instructions.  But will have a go at this technique over the next week as it should make the stars look much better.   

Also sorted the beads and now having a general tidy up of everything and causing a tremendous mess, but it will be worth the effort when it is finished.

Wishing you all a Happy New Year. 

Thursday 29 December 2016

Beads and Needles

I am taking a few days off work between Christmas and the New Year although there are numerous e.mails that need answering before then, unfortunately work never altogether stops.  My aim was to use this time to do some tidying, especially the tatting bits and pieces.  Today I sorted out my seed beads and found homes for some that were still in packets and added others to a bead soup which never seems to decrease!

Also some really kind people who know that I use beads, especially the seed ones, have given me some, which I am grateful for but they are often mixed up with other things, such as sequins or different sized beads.  My dilemma is whether it is worth sorted them out, bearing in mind the time and effort when you could just go out and buy them.  However, it seems a shame to do that so will have a quick go at sorting them tomorrow as they are taking up room and I know if I put them away now that will be it for another year.

Although I enjoy using beads in tatting, I loose so many beading needles, or drop them and find them bent and unusable.  I get through a few packets a year, so was pleased to discover a few of them stuck in a pin cushion which is supposed to keep them safe.

Just look how many pins, needles (some beading ones) that I discovered, by squeezing the cushion. Of course I did get pricked a few times trying to  retrieve them!   The cushion is now washed and drying, it will take quite a few days to do this, but not all the needles will be put back!

The threads need sorting next!

Saturday 24 December 2016

Christmas Decorations

This year I starting preparing for Christmas in February, well there is no way I can make the tatted decorations which I give away to friends in the weeks before Christmas.    Every year the amount I make increases, and people do seem to expect their annual tatted decoration, which causes quite a bit of pressure, especially when it comes to delivering or posting them!  I have one more to give away this afternoon.

They are Jane's Celtic snowflake which you can find here.  I like the way that she dates her patterns and can't believe that the years fly by so fast. 

This year I have made a few costumes for the crib service (nativity) which is going to be held at two churches this afternoon.  I enjoyed getting the sewing machine out again, it has not seen the light of day since the beginning of the Summer. 

What I really look forward to in the next few days is sitting and tatting in front of the television, have already decided what next years give away tatting will be!

Saturday 17 December 2016

Playing with Picots

Playing with Picots is the title of one of Martha Ess's books. I actually have her latest book 'Toys for Tatting' but need a little more time to sit down and make something from it, may be over Christmas.   Now that I have become a grandmother for the first time it certainly means that the book will be put into good use.

I am, of course, more familiar with 'Playing with Picots' and have tatted many patterns from it in the past. However, this was the first time I had attempted Chris' broomstick snowflake, the yellow one, not perfect and might look better in a different colour, but it is pretty.

The angel seems to be having a bit of a gig on the top, but have now stiffened it to stop the dancing around!

Saturday 10 December 2016

Something a little different

I just could not tat another snowflake from Lene Bjørn's book, so tired of doing them and trying to follow diagrams, I'm much better on the written word.   So for an absolute change I did these snowflakes using buttons, the pattern can be found here it is of course of one of Jane's patterns and they are so easy to understand. 

I tried to get a good photograph of them but after several attempts gave up, the light was wrong or the positioning was wrong etc.  Hopefully will get a better picture when and if I make some more.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Children's Craft Club

Okay so Wednesdays are usually super busy for me.   I get to work at 8.45 am and start with morning prayer.  Then if the Vicar is around we catch up on stuff that needs sorting out.  After that it is office work and popping in and out of the church whilst the computer club is on.  Lunch break and perhaps a little walk and then another session of Computer Club.   Straight after they leave at 3 pm the church is set up for the Children's Craft Club and half an hour later the little people arrive straight from school.  These of some of the things they make.

Obviously they are now making Christmas decorations

At this very moment I have some salt dough shapes in the oven cooking ready for the children to paint next week and then hang on Christmas trees.    So every week I have to sort out about three to four crafts and purchase the necessary items for them.  I get home on a Wednesday just before 6 pm exhausted and usually with a little paint on me, plus glue and at this time of the year plenty of glitter!

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Sixteenth Snowflake

This is the snowflake that I missed out by mistake and so include it now.

Tomorrow is the last day of November and I was hoping to do another blog post before December.  Who knows I  might succeed in doing that although Wednesdays are so hectic.

Saturday 26 November 2016

Fifteen and Seveneeth

I had to tat the fifteenth snowflake twice because in size 40 it was extremely tight and would not lie flat, but it seemed that tatting it in 20 was not much better.  I pulled, dampened and tried to shape it but failed to get it looking good, so gave up.

The sixteenth (correction the sixteenth is in fact the seventeenth) snowflake was relatively easy to tat but not particularly fond of it

Some more pop-a-bobbin shuttles. 'Im in the garage has been busy getting them ready for Christmas

Thursday 17 November 2016

Thirteen and Fourteen

It is strange but after tatting a couple of snowflakes that have gone well I then get enthused about continuing, however 13 and 14 have again lowered my spirits.  Not only that I am missing tatting something that is not so prescriptive.  

Thirteenth Snowflake

The thirteenth one just had a 'bad hair day' and I could not get it in order, it seemed to have a life of its own. The thread I was working with was awful too and apart from its general dishevelment is supposed to be a pale blue colour.

Fourteenth snowflake

This snowflake did not turn out well either, the design is not to my liking and the thread did not help either.

I am hoping to sell some pop-a-bobbin shuttles over the next week, if anyone is interested please comment.  I will only accept paypal as payment though, trying to make it as easy as possible when it comes to the transaction.  Here is one that is for sale made out of cedar of Lebanon wood.

There are many other woods waiting to fly away to foreign lands.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Eleventh and Twelfth Day

Time is racing on and I am very aware that if I don't speed up these snowflakes they will not be finished this side of Christmas.   Therefore, if possible, will now post two at a time.

These two were quite easy accept I could not get the Twelfth one to lie very well, anyway half way through the book.

Eleventh Day of December

Twelfth Day of December

I am going to take some of my tatting to a Christmas Market in the village on Saturday.  These sort of events get worse every year in terms of attendance and interest and so sell very little.   What is really annoying is that so much time is spent (in my case finding the items) sorting and packing them, setting up the table etc.  If there were crowds of people it would be well worth it, but there are not so I wonder why I bother.  The only consolation is that it gives me a chance to talk about tatting to those who are interested, which actually isn't many!  

Monday 31 October 2016

The Tenth Snowflake

I really enjoyed making this snowflake and will definitely be tatting it again, probably in white next time.  The end of another month and so I aim to speed up on these snowflakes otherwise they will not be finished before Christmas.

Today is Halloween and we celebrated in a churchyard filling it with light. We carved pumpkins in church, had apple bobbing outside, scary stories and drank hot chocolate. 

Hope you all enjoyed some Halloween fun

Friday 28 October 2016

The Ninth Snowflake

Many thanks for the encouraging comments with regard to the eighth snowflake, they came at a time that I was almost going to give up the challenge.  

Martha Ess the Queen of block tatting was a special encouragement and although I took her advice on trying to be a bit more careful with the pressing of this one, unfortunately was in too much of a hurry to get it on the blog!  

 Yes Bernice certainly giving me a lot of practice on techniques!

Jane McLellan thanks for saying that the good thing about a challenge is that you can go onto the next one without perfecting the current one, so true!  

This one is far from perfect as I did not get into the swing of the block tatting straight away as you can see,  but I am thinking about returning to this pattern at a later date. However, next time will use some kinder thread, this was some old and ropey stuff I found in the bottom of a box. It sort of reflected the mood I had got myself into with the challenge.

So as they say 'onwards and upwards' and feeling very convenient about the next few snowflakes. 

Last but not least to my sister who shouts "follow the arrows on the pattern"  will do!

Tuesday 25 October 2016

The Eighth Day

Must admit I am not pleased with how this snowflake came out, I had difficulty in getting the hang of tatting it and really need to practice block tatting techniques.  I definitely do not want to revisit this particular snowflake so will start the ninth one this evening

Pop-a-bobbin shuttle making has been almost non-existent over the past six months due to so many other things happening.  This picture shows that some are in the process of being made and in the garage.  We are now waiting for the next dispatch of crochet hooks from Japan, but as usual they are being held up at Customs.

Friday 21 October 2016

The Seventh Day

This snowflake was a real challenge to get started and because of that I had to call on Jane for some help. I'm just about to ask her to help with the next one too!   Actually I am struggling with these snowflakes not only actually tatting them but finding time to tat them. 

I help run a Children's after school craft club, when I say help, practically organise it by myself especially when it comes to thinking up the crafts every week.   Recently we used autumn leaves to make collages etc.  To prepare them I soaked them in glycerine and water for about four days.  As I had quite a few left over decided to try to make a flower as I saw the idea on the internet.  Had a very quick go late last night and this is the result.  It is not an activity the children will be able to do, but I plan to have another go when I am more awake and hopefully get a better result.

With the leaves having been soaked in a solution of glycerine and water they are not so brittle, although not sure they will keep their colour.  Have some yellow ones soaking in the solution at the moment.

Thursday 6 October 2016

The Sixth Day

Well it is quite appropriate that I should post this snowflake on the 6th October!  But really not tatting them very quickly as other things have taken over my life at the moment.   Hopefully though, I will at one point, be able to show two at a time, otherwise I will never finish this challenge before Christmas.

I spent an hour today picking sloes in order to make sloe gin, this evening they were put in the gin, another job done.

Thursday 29 September 2016

The Fifth Day

I enjoyed making this snowflake but not so sure I am going to actually complete this challenge.  I don't understand how some of the future ones are tatted so might have to send a few e.mails to Jane and shout for help!

Also I thought you might like to see the winning scarecrow that two children made it is The BFG.  It was 100 years this month that Roald Dahl was born and in this country we are celebrating this important centenary of a very famous British children's author.


Tuesday 27 September 2016

The Fourth Day

This snowflake is not very inspiring either to make or to look at, but then it had a hard act to follow after the third day!     It could have also done with a better press but was in a hurry.

So just to add a little more interest here is a picture of one of Saturday's scarecrows.  A lace maker, I did not take this photograph myself, too busy unfortunately.  If I had would have managed a closer picture of her lace making.   She was so cleverly made sitting in church calming creating her lace.

Now back to the snowflakes!

Thursday 22 September 2016

The Third Day

Now this is the only snowflake that I really wanted to make from the book, it was hugely popular at one time on blogs and I thought it would be really hard to tat, but it wasn't!

As you can see I have chosen to go for a little colour as it would be so boring for me if I tatted every snowflake in white.

The Scarecrow Festival is almost here and the weather looks fine for Saturday, no more snowflakes for a few days...........................

Tuesday 20 September 2016

The Second Day

The Second Day of December

So far the challenge is going well, although have to admit the 'First Day' took a bit of working out, forgot to mention that in my last blog post.  This one though made me have yet another go at a split chain.  I am not fond of split chains as they take so long to achieve, but my determination to crack on with this challenge seemed to work and I not only tatted one snowflake but two.  The first one was using 20 thread but I had difficulty in getting it to lie flat, pressing helped but not completely happy with the result, plus I seemed to get the count of picots on the last round a bit wrong.      So made it again in 40 and much happier with the result.

I am at the moment preparing for a Scarecrow Festival this weekend, this is what someone has kindly knitted for the day.  

She has actually made 40 of these miniature scarecrows, but here are just three hanging on the church door.  

Saturday 17 September 2016

My Challenge

I am a bit naughty when it comes to tatting new patterns, I prefer them to be easy to understand with perfect results every time.  A few years ago I bought Lene Bjørn's Snowflakes in Tatting but could not motivate myself to tat any of them, partly because I do prefer patterns to be written out and not visual.    But this last week I decided that I would tat every one of the snowflakes and make sure they were ready for Christmas.  Now it was going to be impossible to start on the first day of December as I know I would not have the time or discipline to achieve one every day, so have started early with the hope that by Christmas Day I will have completed 24.

So I present 'The First Day of December' in September!

I did mention that parts of our old kitchen were recycled to make furniture for the house. Here is an example. 

Just focus on the four drawer unit on the left of the picture and this is what it looks like now.

I am not completely happy with the drawer knobs but they were bought at least 12 years ago and at that time I thought they were really great, they are made out of glass.  I think my tastes have now changed and would prefer them to be in porcelain so may look out for another set.  But the transformation is rather clever especially as a lot of work was involved to get it to look so good.

Wednesday 31 August 2016

A Mary Konior Cross

I tatted a version of this cross a few years ago in size 20 and it came out large and quite ugly.  So this time I used 40 thread and much happier with the result.  The pattern comes from Mary's book Tatting with Visual patterns. 

I thought you might like to see some of the floral tributes that we have in my village graveyard at the moment, there have been some big funeral services

A gypsy caravan

A bird

A Landrover

Many thanks for the lovely comments about my kitchen, it is now fully operational complete with table and chairs and I am enjoying cooking and eating in it.  Hope to also tat in the kitchen too!

Saturday 27 August 2016

The Kitchen

For those of you interested in seeing other people's kitchens this is what mine now looks like, minus the table and chairs as they are having a bit of a make over by 'im in the garage.  
Two shelves have replaced a huge glass cabinet that held so much stuff, most of which has now gone to the charity shops.

The kitchen is bright, clean and fresh looking

Unusual for a kitchen there is a huge bay window which lets in light and gives the illusion of space, underneath the table will eventually be placed.

This is what the kitchen used to look like, including another cabinet full of stuff, I haven't managed to find a home for everything that was in it yet!

This kitchen was about 18 years old, what you cannot see in the picture is how badly the frames on the doors caught all the dirt and grease.    However, some  parts of the kitchen have been salvaged and on the far left of the picture you can just about see the end of a set of drawers, these are in the process of being made into a piece of bedroom furniture.   The top cabinet on the left of the picture is now in the garage where it holds all the cleaning equipment.    It is amazing how much can be re-cycled.

The kitchen fitter said, "I hope you don't mind me saying this to you, but I don't ever fit such a modern looking kitchen for someone of your age"  I am hoping it was sort of a compliment!  

Wednesday 24 August 2016

Fandango Square again

Thought I would copy the same post title as my sister  did today because I also wanted to show you my finished Fandango Square, although mine is not taking a trip anywhere!

I certainly do not have as much blue thread as I used to after finishing this doily.  It was a shade that I hardly used, but it is now beginning to grow on me after working with it so much!

My new kitchen is finished and it is such a luxury working in it.  I've also managed to get rid of a lot of crockery and odd things that were lying around in cupboards and never used.   It has been very liberating and now feel the whole house needs to be de-cluttered.  Must show you some pictures of the kitchen, may be next time. 

Sunday 21 August 2016

Small Motif

Well I have just finished the blue square doily and need to photograph it so that you can see what it looks like.  I have no idea what tatting project to start on next, if any. So in the meantime decided to do something quick and easy tatting especially after noticing this motif which Jane has recently posted on her blog.   

I altered the stitch count so they came out a little larger and wondered if they could pass as snowflakes?!  Anyway they will go in with my Christmas tatting because at the last minute I always seem to run out of something to give to people and these will just fit the bill!

Friday 12 August 2016

The Bride

I did not actually go to the wedding today, because I had to conduct a funeral service and could not be in two places at once.   But can show you a really lovely picture of the bride wearing the tatted necklace I made.

I am delighted that she wore it and it looks stunning on her.  

Sunday 31 July 2016

Mrs Tiggy Winkle

This week marks 150 years since the famous children's story writer Beatrice Potter was born on 28th July 1886 in London. If you want to know more about her then click on this link.  She was a remarkable woman and not only  wrote but illustrated her books in a most amazing way.    She is famous all over the world.  Everyone must have heard  of The Tale of Peter Rabbit, about that naughty bunny who ran into Mr. Mcgregor's garden and of course The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy Winkle

I made this tatted hedgehog for someone I know in the village where I live who feeds and looks after hedgehogs when they come into his garden at night. And here is the pattern I made the small hedgehog.

The Royal Mint has made these 50p coins to commemorate the life of Beatrice Potter

How many of you grew up with the books of Beatrice Potter?