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Thursday, February 24, 2011

More about the Gingerbread Boy!

I made the Gingerbread boy with my tat lassies...tho only two were brave enough to try him..after I had explained all the pitfalls...and hopefully jumped over them!
Today they came back!!!
Jackie had made hers in my Gingerbread in Lizbeth 40..
and he is DIVINE!

Remember that I said that this was the one that I had hope would be my 'piece de resistance', but that he didn't turn out well.
here is my one and Jackie's one side by side.

Look how much smaller he's amazing.

I was so sickened by my result that I had decided that my Gingerbread thread was best used in small doses, along with my other Spice threads as it just looked too busy......but in  the smaller size and done well!! it looks wonderful and not at all 'busy'.
The way that she has done the icing..similar to my last attempt looks so good.
He is so cute and shows the thread off to perfection.
he really does look good enough to eat...and he makes mine look even worse!
I almost have to tat him again!
The other Gingerbread man also came in with Carmel but he isn't finished yet.
we all thought that he was so cute that we almost said....

Don't change him, he is perfect as he is.

Doesn't he look different
very Teddy Bearish and furry.....and very surprised...maybe because she had discovered a discrepancy in the pattern....the instructions give 12 rings in the head and the photo shows only 11!
Jackie and I tatted 12 but Carmel went with 11 which makes his eyes closer together and I think makes him look more surprised,

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Gingerbread Boy!

I first saw Gina Brummett's Gingerbread Boy in 2005
there was nothing in my thread stash that would do it I archived it in my 'to do' list...which get longer every day.
A good selection of browns was urgent if I wanted to tat all the animals on my list.
it had to wait.
I finally got my act together and dyed the ChocoMango series of thread that I showed you before Christmas.
First as I always do I tried the pattern out using one of my 'boring' threads, just to see how do-able he was and of course how much thread he took(essential for me).

Gina's pattern is good but written in a rather long winded style and without a good diagram.
I know that she is going to update it when she gets time....but she needs encouragement as this is a good design.
I enlarged the small image to fill a sheet of paper in the hope that it would help.....and it did.
Sometimes it was hard to figure out what joined to where and I did make mistakes! as you will see.
I would love to see it re written with a series of diagrams and then it would be easy peasy.

My second attempt was to have been my dream Gingerbread boy,in my dream Gingerbread thread, but he had a bit of an accident in the oven..well that's my story and he came out a little disfigured! poor little chap..he will find it hard to run away!
In truth I just didn't join his legs in the right place.
So on to number 3, 
this time I used a solid cinnamon HDT for the body with the Gingerbread thread for the body outline.

He is a little beauty, thanks Gina for a great design, I just love the white icing, he is good enough to eat. This time tho' I maybe brought the icing in too tight under his chin, what do you think.
Thanks Gina!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

More about the Caribbean!

So glad that you found the last post interesting.
Expecting to see some tatting
ok then
had to tat something in Lizbeth Caribbean 20

Beautiful, I love this design looks good in any colour combo.....I have shown it before...many times....
here and here and here,and even here and here!
The Geckos are up and running along the beam...
...and there is room for MORE!
I couldn't resist a look at eBay last night and there are lots of Caribbean Geckos for sale and we were right..they are made from recycled oil drums...that's brilliant. Also found the Brown Wooden Gecko type that comes decorated with multicoloured dots Aborigional style. They are hand crafted in Bali.
It's great to be able to buy genuine handcrafted souvenirs.
While in Martinique we got to gorge ourselves on our favourite vegetable Taro, also called Dalo, we can get yams,cassava  and sweet potatoes here nowadays but have never seen taro outside the pacific islands so it was a joy to see it in the Caribbean....but we did buy ornamental taro plants last year in a garden center here .
We came across a vegetable we had never seen before...'Christophine'
Apparently used like courgettes, we had it' au gratin' and it was very pale green...and good.
Just found the recipe here.
Also came home with a packet of Columbo spice mix....a Caribbean Curry speciality.
More tatting soon, I promise.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Winter Sunshine!

I can't believe that it's the middle of February already.
My resolutions have all gone astray.
After all the bad weather of snow and ice,
(I have never seen Ireland look as pretty as on our drive to Galway for Christmas)

.........wind and rain,burst water pipes, the excitement of Christmas quickly turned into dreary, sunless January.
with the aid of 100,000 airmiles about to be lost....saved over what seems like several lifetimes,
we finally cashed them in and flew to Martinique for some winter sunshine.
Turned out to be a great choice...being French it is in the European Union and uses Euro..great!
Martinique conjours up so many names in my head, so many areas I have never been to..

The Caribbean
West Indies,
Windward Islands 

 I spotted a bracelet tatted by God's Kid in my Coral reef thread.
A lovely design by Dawn McLaughlin.
She calls it Wandering Blooms, but in my thread it looks so like tropical waves to me.
I LOVE to see what people make with my thread. 

Martinique is not too touristy, we stayed in a stunning spot overlooking the Atlantic side of the island.
Our room was huge furnished in French Creole style with and enormous 4 poster bed.The view from the balcony was splendid, a complete panorama of islands.

Highly recommended.
The main crops of Martinique are Vanilla mmm! Bananas....each bunch inside a blue plastic bag?
and Sugar Cane.
'Twas the sugar cane that was the most fascinating as it is used not for sugar production but for making RUM!
There are almost a dozen distilleries on the island and each can be visited!
We only got to see 4 but each one was so different.
Martinique rum is called 'Agricultural Rum' and is different from 'Industrial Rum' made elsewhere in that it is made from whole fresh sugar cane. Other rums are made from molasses left over from sugar production.
One distillery lies at the foot of a last erupted in 1902, you can read about it if you enlarge the display photo.
This one had a water wheel to drive the crushing machinery.
another had its own windmill.....
.....yet another showed a wonderful creole homestead...
Ahaa so this is similar to our bed in the Hotel
I was interested in the beautiful beadspread....
a tape lace.
Each distillery told the history of Rum Distillation from the transport of the sugar cane from the fields
weighing, crushing and after 24 hrs the fermentation and distillation begins.
Sorry I could go on about this all day....and then there was the tasting.....mmm, my favourite was a Orange Rum liquer called Shrubb.
needless to say our suitcase was a little heavy.

Back at the Hotel we had a tame Anolis lizard that came to share our biscuits.
He had to stay behind but we did come back with more Geckos! surprise surprise!
Well we had finally found a home for the Gecko that I brought back from Spain....isn't it wonderful when that happens and it's no longer classed as 'clutter'.
It found it's home on a beam in our upstairs lounge and now will be joined by...
...and our favourite...
The last two are 3D made of metal in Haiti, maybe of recycled cans.
They are all about a foot long.

Oh...did I tat while I was light was too poor at night...well that's my excuse....I took a break but am getting back into it now as I hopefully return to normal!
More tatting coming soon.