Sunday, April 26, 2009


Welcome Friends,

I have finally finished my show doily, but cannot post a pic here just yet :)

This Lisbeth doily is also moving along well. The next round or 2 are quick ones so progress will seem fast. I took this pic on a yellow background so you can see the colour better. I love the shuttle too...feels great in the hand and is weighted perfectly :)
And it was a great week at school too. Here are the 2 bookmarks, completed by my senior students. They are delighted with the results of their hard work over the past few weeks and now looking forward to their next project. One of the juniors also finished his snake bookmark, but the pic I have includes the student and cannot be shared here.
All of this means I have more bobbins to wind and the list of students will get shorter for all of 3 minutes, until word gets around that there was an empty pillow!
Enjoy your week, hug someone close and stay safe :)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Hairbands, stands and L's

Greetings All,

Yesterday was the April Lace Day meeting for our little group. Unfortunately, I confess to not making 1 twist, crossing or knot :( I did enjoy looking at what other members were up to for a change. Besides, we had a couple of visitors from interstate - DH had some beautiful bobbins and both Ebonee and I helped to lighten the load for the homeward journey - and another visitor from the North West Tassie lace group. As well as helping Ebonee on with her little piece, the chat and friendship was, as usual, full of fun and laughter. Here is the work that Ebonee accomplished.
And up close, you can see the lovely candlelight white glittery thread teamed with a perle 8 verigated pink.
These are her decorated beginner bobbins. The 3 pair on the left are painted, then coated with a clear varnish. The next pair are simply coated with the clear varnish. 2nd from the right have small, torn tissue pieces glued on with the varnish, then a final coat over the top when dry. The right hand pair have the same pink verigated thread as her work wound around the smooth part of the handle, then also finished with a coat of varnish. The pillow, cover cloth, bobbins and spangle beads were part of her birthday present last year.
When she got up this morning, she put in another 6 pins or so. When she is finished, we are going to add a ribbon, a piece of elastic and she will have a pretty hairband to impress her friends with :)Here is the adjustable table DS made for me to make lace on. Well.... actually he made me a cross stitch stand, but when I began making lace, he made a new piece to put in the top so I could put my pillow on. When I want to cross stitch, I can take the table piece out, and put the old cross stitch frame holder back, using the 2 lengths that are folded down here. He even added some stenciled silver roses, coz he knows his mum loves them :) Isn't he a clever lad?!
This is what it looks like with the pillow on top. Everything is adjustable so you can fit it to (almost) any chair/working height and angle. Ok, ok! Yes I have also done a little :) Here is the beginnings of my L.A.C.E. letter L. I am using the leftover Oliver Twist thread from my hankie (isn't it a gorgeous colour) and the pattern is my first ever attempt at design. It is an adaption of a Rosemary Shepherd design from her Introduction to Bobbin Lace book. I needed to widen the insertion, add corners and cut and shut to fit a bubble frame. I added a cross stitch of LOML's 3 children and presented it to their Nanna for her birthday a couple of years ago. This time, I will just make a long and short leg - my L!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading :) I really do hope you enjoyed. Don't forget to have your say in the comments section - Ebonee read every single comment earlier - wow there have been lots of new friends made here :)
Have a wonderful day!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Welcome All,

The rain is beating on the tin roof (somewhat more gentle than yesterday morning's storm)...a very welcome sound, (even though I have bucket loads of washing to do :()

Here are a couple more Quanti snowflakes. I have chosen to make 25 of these in one year...actually I would need to aim for more like 40 for my Christmas cards this year, but we will see! I thought the gold on the left on was Butterfly metallic, but I now don't think it is. The blue in the centre is Candlelight metallic and the white is Coats crotchet cotton No 20. The other is Perle 8, the verigated is by Anchor (shade 1344) and the solid colour one is a DMC (shade 211). I have not blocked either - thought I would wait for a few more - so they look a bit off. They will be stored until close to Christmas, and it is important they look great then so I will take more pics of groups of snowflakes - blocked and ready to find new homes :) In the meantime, these count as 5 and 6 towards my challenge.

Just before Easter, Diane (Lace Lovin' Librarian) suggested a thread swap ... you know, foster world wide friendship through lace and blogging. As my access to nice threads is limited to mail order much of the time (we do have a great local shop who will source lots, but the time involved is 3 projects long at times) I decided to send her some tools for her new adventure in bobbin lace in exchange for the threads. This was mutually very pleasing! Here is the first 3 rounds of a doily using the gorgeous Lisbeth No 20 thread in shade 632. Those of you lucky enough to be familiar with this thread will know the colour has not been done a justice in this pic! My parcel also included Lisbeth shades 651 (a lovely pale blue) and 660 (a delicious olde world minty green), 3 reels of size 70/80 tatting thread (white, pale blue and verigated yellow) and a hank of Ladyshuttlemaker's hand dyed rain forest. 2 shuttles from Lacis (1 purple [in use for this little project] and a grassy green one) and the delightful book - Tatting by Myra Piper also tumbled out of this little treasure package. Now I really do need more hands!!

I have not forgotten the bobbin lace readers either! This morning I unpinned my Maltese Tape Lace A. This is the first time I have attempted this lace so although there are glaring mistakes, I am rather pleased with the result. The final leg has the Arches stitch, and although a pain to tension nicely I feel I would love to do some more. The basket weave has not shown up so well in the pic, but gives a neat texture to the straight leg and I simply love the ovals stitch in the cross bar.

I am off to join my Oliver Twists has been 'resting' for over a week now so should be ready to remove from the pillow. Tomorrow I am going bushwalking with my Joey Scouts (if the rain stops) so that will test the Physio I have endured this week :) Saturday at lace we have a mainland visitor coming along so that should be fun too!
Enough waffle on my part, but your comments are always welcome here :) Until next time, take lots of care, make lots of lace and as always - have lots and lots of fun :)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Bear Garden ATCs

Greetings All,

Hope you had a wonderful Easter and that you and yours are all safe and happy!

I have finally finished my wash painted teddy ATCs on calico, trimmed with a little tatting. Guzzie Sue...what do you think? If there is one from here or my last ATC post that you like, let me know so I can pop it in the post with the other 7 :)
If you have a favorite and would love to trade, please leave a comment. Better about that exchange :) Just let me know in the comments box please. I love having visitors who enjoy a chat!

Off to make a hovercraft skirt - yes, another one! This time for a much smaller 1 person craft so should be easier .................. I hope!! Then I may be able to focus on the next round of ATC ideas, a little more of the A or even sample a small piece of the macadamia nut chocolate bar awaiting my indulgence ...MMmmmmmmmmm

Hugs to all

Saturday, April 11, 2009

A few lace tools

Greetings All,
This little lady has ruled my home for the past 15 years. Her name is Sox, but we may call her "Your Highness"! We moved 6 months ago, and she still thinks she can boss all the cats in the neighbourhood around ... mostly still fairs well, however, she has come home on the receiving end several times recently :( This morning she veiwed her loyal subjects from atop this very shaky fence post as I denied her the pleasure of playing with my bobbins. The only time she will grace my lap with her company is when I am tatting... she loves to chase the shuttle!
O.K. Now some lace... here are the tools I could not do without... aside from pillows, pins, prickings and bobbins of course! Left to right - A nail punch, stolen from the shed for pushing pins into the pillow, some curve bladed scissors for threads - could be sharper, but I will eventually find a good quality pair :), a pricker - made from dowel with a needle pushed into the end, a lazy susan - made the same as the pricker, but point end in the handle (made from a broken bobbin) and a bend close to the eye, threaded ready for use, a pin puller - made by a local bobbin maker and a small crotchet hook - especially made for tatting by milward shuttles (no longer available).
To use the lazy susan to make a sewing - first remove the pin and push the needle through the pinhole. Pull the thread to make a loop.
Next, pass 1 bobbin of the pair to be sewn through the loop. It is easier to pass the bobbin spangle first if you are using spangled bobbins. Here, I am sewing 2 pair, so I have passed 2 bobbins through the loop.
Pulling on the handle AND the thread tails, gently ease the bobbin threads through the hole to form loops with the bobbin threads.

Pass one of the remaining bobbins through each loop. Gently ease the threads up to remove the unwanted loops and ensure that they sit neat with the hole where the sewing was made. If finishing off a piece, you can tie a reef knot before trimming the excess thread. Darning the ends may also be necessary. When making a sewing to join pieces of lace together (as here) replace the pin and continue on.
Here is my A with the first leg completed. I used basket weave stitch for this leg.
This afternoon I plan on completing some more ATCs so there should be another post soon. Are you interested in taking part in a round robin swap for ATCs? Please leave a comment!
From Sox and I...happy days :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

A little tape lace

Here is the beginning of my tape lace A. I am using Milanese style tape lace to construct this letter as part of my L.A.C.E. set. I am using a rather thick Finca 20 thread and following some instructions from The Lace Guild publication An Introduction to Milanese Lace. Although I have not completed any of the sample bands, I figure if I muck up totally, I can always re make the A and then keep this one for a sampler. For now it will have to do :) This stitch is called ovals and for a first up, Blind Freddie would be glad to see it :D Now for the basket weave straight leg...
Here is a peek at my only other attempt at a tape lace. This design is from 75 Quick and Easy Patterns by Veronica Sorenson - although this design was not that easy for this little beginner 15 months ago! The loopy tape was made first complete with an outside boarder. The ground was then filled in and a length made to make the frill, which is stitched on afterwards. It was fun to make although very challenging as I had only been making lace for 3 months or so at that point. I think I used No 80 tatting cotton...not really sure.
Here is the finished product! Needless to say the Bride was thrilled! I took it to her the day before the wedding and she later gave me some pics of her wearing it.
Please feel free to leave a comment...I love reading what you have to say :) Stay well and healthy and for those who do...have a great Easter Break.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

A little traveller.

Greetings one and all,

There is not a lot of lace I can show you, but I have been working hard :) I have 3 more centres made (2 rounds each) toward the 25 motif challenge...still awaiting thread for the outside. I only have 1 edge to go on the Oliver Twist hankie. Today I made the patterns for the A and the C for my L.A.C.E. letters...will show you once I get started on the lace. I am still working on the Porty Penguin lace...investigating an easy way out - who me?!?!? I made a pair of bobbins which are on their way to their new home as I type. There are 6 new ATCs drying in the porch - hand painting seems such a long time ago, but I think they will be passable. The tatting has included a gift for my secret pal - so of course I cannot share just yet, besides it is a W.I.P. still, some small bits for the ATCs and another motif or 2 on the doily....pheww...and I even managed a day at work and fitting in my lace students too on Friday. My seniors (14 year olds) are working on this bookmark and feeling a little lack of confidence....a classroom full of noisy 6 year olds and a furious thunderstorm just prior to class did not help!

Meanwhile I promised someone (Diane??) that I would post pics of my travel pillow, so here 'tis.
The roll is polystyrofoam cut to a diameter of 4" or 10 cm and 8" or 20 cm long. I have covered it with 1 layer of old blanket, then 1 layer of cotton drill. A 31 cm or 12 1/2" pricking will join up, but getting the pattern to match can be tricky to say the least...I was fortunate enough that this one did! Here is the box without the roll. First I made the outside box in seperate sections, each consisting of cardbaord from a TV box covered with a pocket made from the outside fabric (a rubber backed curtain) and the inside fabric (printed cotton). I made the 2 dividers and covered them in the inside fabric. This was all stitched together. To make the flaps, I cut the form from the TV box and made the pocket from an inside piece and an outside piece of fabric. Before I inserted the card, I used a repositionable spray glue to attach some quilting batting to the inside. This gives a padded surface to work on. After enclosing the card, these were stitched to the box section. I made a pin cusion from a hankie to put in one small section and spare bobbins, thread, rollers and tie down ribbons reside in the other small section. The box measures 35 cm or 14" end to end and 4 1/2" or 11 1/2 cm deep. It is 3" or 8 cm high. The flaps are 14" x 10" or 25 cm.
Rollers pined to the back flap keep the completed lace clean and out of the way. The ribbon on the front flap is used to secure the bobbins for travel. I thread it through the spangles and pin them close in, then fold the leftover ribbon across the bobbins and pin again. Not pretty, but it works well. Sometimes I put a piece of cloth against the completed lace to stop it being pulled by the pins in the pillow...not always necessary, it depends on the openess of the lace and the need to keep extra pins in.
Here you can see the ribbon that is glued to the outside, forming a loop on one flap and loose ends on the other. The loose ends can be tied around the loop piece to secure for travel. Here you can see the second one I made in action
These pillows are great for going to Lace Days - so why do I always seem to only have lace on my very large square or cookie pillows?? Lengths of lace are perfect because you just keep turning the roll. If your pattern does not join up perfectly, have 2 prickings and just pin the new one as the previous pricking runs out :)
Enough waffle and more than enough computer! Time to put my feet up.