Friday, 2 November 2012

taking up sewing

A few weeks ago I bought myself my first sewing machine after falling in love with this tatted dress drawer freshener which required a little bit of sewing.

I originally bought a really cheap thing from Hobby Craft (I guess it is the same thing as Hobby Lobby in the US) but the zig zag stitch didn't work and there was no speed control so I took it back for a refund and decided to splash out a bit and get me a Borther LX27NT

Now, knowing nothing about sewing machines and having not used on since I was about 14 in Home Economics class I really just went with the good reviews and the pretty pattern on the side but from the very first moment of taking it out the box i've loved it.

Of cource having spent the money to get myself what I consider a fancy bit of kit, I had to do more with it than simple sew up a tiny drawer cushion so I trawled the internet for some free patterns and have already made myself my first handbag.  I wont share the photos in this post as I only have camera phone photos which are rubbish so i'll wait till I get the photos off the DSLR camera.

Of cource with any shiny new hobby i've dived off the deep end and have ordered heaps of material and downloaded lots of patterns and have decided to make all the females I know handbags for xmas even though I have only made the one bag so far.

Unfortunatly I was about to head out to my local fabric shop when I got a phone call from the bank and it turns out someone has stolen my card details and has used my account to pay some short term loan company so I am signifcantly less well off that I though earlier this morning.  Luckily the loan company agrees its fraud so I should get my money back eventually but it meant my card has been cancelled and I have to wait till I get the money back.  It put a bit of a dampener on my day and I couldn't be bothered going out after being on the phone for 2 hours so i'll go in tomorrow insead.

My shopping list for tomorrow is to get stuff to make an ironing board and craft mat case. Since noticing when making my first handbag that I had no work space to iron my seams etc like I was supposed to (the house is being removated so there is no room to set up an ironing board).

Anyway, hopefully next time I post I will have photos of my bag, my iron mat and maybe even have my money back (fingers crossed).

Till next time...

Cat x

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Rally season has begun!

I took the dogs to the first race of the season at the weekend.  We were racing at Aviemore which is about 2 and a half hours away and sure enough just as I was about to set off it started snowing.... badly.

Now you would be forgiven for thinking, "surely snow is a good thing when you race sled dogs" but in fact unless it is deep and bedded in snow you cant really use a sled and its horrible driving country roads when you cant see more than 100ft in front of you.

Still, off we went and I wasn't too phased as I knew I would be staying at a camp site with electrical hook up so I could use my electric fan to keep me warm when sleeping in the van over night so off we went and arrived before it got dark.

When I arrived I proceeded to let the dogs stretch their legs and releave themselves then I got to setting up the van.  plugged in the electrical cable, then my fan... NOTHING!!  I'd come all the way to find out my heater wasn't working!! I got the maintenance guy to have a look and we tracking the problem back to the van so there was nothing much I could do about it.  I phoned my Husband to ask if he had unplugged anything when he was working on the car the previous week but he hadnt so I resigned myself to a very cold night.

I went round to a challet some friends were staying in around 9pm to blow up my mattress and get a hot water bottle then about an hour later I was back at the van....... to find my Husband in there with the fan working!! He had driven 2 1/2 hours in the snow at night just to fix my heater!  What a hero!!

So we both camped in the van over night then the next morning he went back home while I went off to the race venue and went on to have a great weekend without loosing any toes to frostbite!

Here is a photo of us approaching the finish line on Saturday.  They did really well, knocking over a minute of last years time.  Look how happy they look!

Monday, 1 October 2012

i'm back

Well I have been very naughty and not done any tatting for well over a month!!

I do, however, have a very good excuse.  I am just back from getting Married in Hawaii!!

I did have a pattern looked out, my thread selected, hook free shuttles bought and a reel of dental floss looked out but I didn't touch it the whole time I was away, not even on the flights!!  I did have the time of my life though

The pictures are too small to clearly but you can see the trim on my dress that I made from tatted lace and mother of pearl coin beads.

This was the view from the honeymoon cottage we were staying in at the Turtle Bay resort:

And this is why it is called Turtle Bay:

And here I am after sitting under the waterfalls, sporting my little sassy turtle I made in Teri Dussenbury's class.

Now i'm back and settling back into my routine I should get some tatting done though it is now cool enough to start training the dogs for their first race at the end of October.  Lots to do and so little time to do it all in!!

Till next time,

Cat. x

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

a try at design

While I'm waiting for my turtle supplies to arrive for my second turtle class I am trying my hand at designing.  I haven't designed anything of my own since I swapped my needles for shuttles (and what I did design in the past was rather mediocre)

I colleague at work is am amateur photographer and he was showing me his work and we got talking about themes.  He noted an interest is steam punk and neo-vicorian (if you don't know what that is, think of the movie "Wild Wild West") and I showed him some of the tatting I did that would suit that theme.

He really liked the Portait necklace and I showed him pictures of other accessories.  He was really interested in tatted masks so I offered to make one for a photo shoot.

I was going to make one from an available pattern but then I decided I wanted to design my own for this project.

This is what I have managed so far.  There is going to be an extra section added above the central motif and I am going to have to adjust the stitch count on the small rings above the right eye so the rings join at the same height as the adjacent chain.

At the moment it is made in size 20 cotton but i'm not sure if it might look better in size 10.  I will finish it how it is and make another couple with different stitch counts and a different thread size to see which I prefer best.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


I've been rather busy lately and with arrangements for going to Hawaii next month to get married and everything that entails.

I fair chunk of my free time over the last month has been taken up doing Teri Dusenbury's one-on-one class for making her sassy turtle.

I was given a list of supplies which I ordered basically as soon as I got the list but I was so impatient for the supplies to arrive that I started pracicing with what I had available and made my first turtle just before the real supplies showed up.

The pattern uses C-Lon micro cord which is hard to get in the UK and much thinner that what i'm used to.  Also being nylon it is different to work with in cotton. Once I got the hang of it, I loved it but you have to be very careful not to get ANY twisting in it or you can't close rings.

Anyway, to practice I used size 10 lizbeth cotton, size 9/o seed beads and 4mm beads and here is what my practice turtles looked like:

After my supplies arrived I had to start from scatch again to learn how to work with the C-LON thread. It was rather frustrating but after a fair bit of practice and being very systematic and constant with getting rid of twists I became quite good with working with it.

Here is a photo of my first real turtle.  Him and his buddies are coming with me to Hawaii (what better place for a sea turtle??)

Most people who know of Teri, know how protective she is of her designs but she gave me permission to share these photos and asked me to pass on her message that if anyone would like to learn how to make these lovely turtles themselves, to message her on facebook.

The classes are 1-on-1 and you must agree to buy the supplies and not share or modify the pattern and not to sell the finished pieces (you can give them away if you like).  If you join the class she adds you to her facebook page and gives you access to her tuorital videos which are very helpful support to the pattern.

So if you are interested, get in touch with her and have some turtle fun! :-D

'Till next time...

Cat. x

Monday, 9 July 2012

memory wire

I've been playing around with beads for the last week, making bracets for our up coming trip to Hawaii and in the spirit of Hawaii I decided to use really cute Plumeria clay beads to really set the mood.

In my last post I showed a couple of bracelets I made using elastic however I felt they were lacking something - more flowers!  So I decided to make a bigger bracelet with 3 rounds of pearls with a flower on each round.

To make the bracelet simple I decided to try using memory wire.  The stuff is great! all you need is wire snips and a pair of pliers and you can make lovely bracelets in less than 5 mintues.  Here is a couple of pictures of my first attempt.  (I have subsequenty made a second one with pink flowers for my mum but  forgot to take some pictures!)

I'm also quite excited about another new craft i'm going to be learning.  Teri Dusenbury is going to be teaching me how to make her lovely turtles.  I'm hoping to have completed at least my first turtle before I go to "TURTLE BAY" in Hawaii.  Wont that be cool!  Its going to be a one-on-one class and i've ordered all my supplies.  Now I just have to wait a week or two for the items from the US to arrive then we can get started. :-D

Until next time..

Cat x

Friday, 6 July 2012

The Christening

OK, so i've been very slack in updating the blog.  I've been at my new job now for a month and everything is starting to settle down to there are a LOT of things to do in preparation for our special trip to Hawai'i in September.

Eilidh was Christened in May and so was such a good baby, she slept through the whole thing and didn't even wake up when the water was poured on her head!

Here is a cute photo of her in her bonnet.  It was still too big for her but she was soo cute and lots of people complimented the bonnet so I was a happy bunny.

I have also dipped my toes into beaded jewellery with these simple bracelets for our trip to Hawai'i.  I've just bought some more beads and some memory wire to try and make something bigger after realising wearing two singles at the same time looked better than single bracelets.  More on that later.

Until next time...

Cat. x