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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Overflowing with teapots!

teapots fell off my shuttles.
This is another favourite, it's very pretty.
Lilac tiny buttons,pink sparkly...anoth lilac sparkly would have looks better!
It does look a bit sickly sweet in the scan , much nicer in reality.
Threads are Raspberry Ripple with Vanilla and matching Ripple Pink and Parma Violet.
This one I think looks extra pretty  because I added some bling....some silver lined pale pink beads.
I scanned it the wrong way round by mistake so you get to see the back view.
Raspberry Ripple with Vanilla has become one of my favourite I had to dye some more to keep up my stocks. I even dyed matching Vanilla solids and an even lighter version. I find that it is essential for me to have matching solids especially when I work in anything thinner than 20. In 20 I will usually find something to match in my huge stash of Flora.

Spurred on by my addiction to next Teapot has transparent beads colour lined with white.

This one is very striking too in Flora 20 poppy red and white with tiny white buttons and a goirgeous metal button.
Another metal button for my final teapot....for now!
Another very different colour change.....

...a seascape, rather a rough sea this one, with dark blue tiny buttons, pitted metal button. the threads are my HDT in Coral reef and Wedding Teal with silver lined teal beads to add sparkle. White thread show the tips of the waves.
Martha is always delighted when I make her designs with my tat lassies and I usually send her photos of what they make.
They had never tatted with buttons before so it was a challenge, only two of them finished the teapot so far.
Jackie made two....

This very pretty Delft one dedicated to her homeland.....
....and one using green tiny buttons, from the selection that I gave them.
Marjorie tatted this lovely one in Lizbeth 20 with cream buttons.
There are more still to come in.
Remember my showing you my silver and crystal jewellery stand that I bought recently.
Well it has been turned into a Teapot Tree. can you see 3 different teapot designs...all by Martha Teapot Queen.

It usually stands in my hallway in front of a mirror so I see much more of the teapots all round....very hard to photograph.

One more different teapot to show you...but it isn't finished yet!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Teapots are topping!

This last bout of enthusiasm came about after I received a beautiful Christmas gift from my dear friend Martha was her brand spanking new design.....Celtic Button Teapot.
I had to have this pattern!
Fortunately is was to be published in Tatting Times the tatting periodical of Karey Solomon.
It was a good job that I am a subscriber. You should be too....this is a stunner.
My trial attempt was in Flora 20 in my special trial colour of burgundy with fawn, as the fawn matched some tiny buttons that I had in my stash. A super set of earthy toned buttons.
It's an easy pattern to tat once you get the hang of joining into the buttons.
the only problem that I had was where to join the last round to the inner sections.
Martha says the first join can be to any chain in round 1......but she wrote the pattern for a 4 hole center button and with a 2 hole one and  IT DID MATTER....well if you want the holes in the button to be horizontal...and I Martha did for my gift.
So it was back to the drawing board to figure out exactly which chain I should join to. That done and I was away to buy more tiny buttons.....and even some really nice buttons for the center(s)!
I found that 4 hole buttons were hard to find.
Thought on this teapot were that I would prefer to get more definition with a dark outer round.
What do you think?
Baby pink tiny buttons(not my favourite...but I couldn't get buttons with a hurry!)
Center button is Mother of Pearl. Thread colours are from my ChocoRaspberry series....raspberry Sorbet and the darker Raspberry and Chocolate Mousse with a pale pink Flora 20 (I think)....oops no it's actually white!
This one has to be my just sings!
Tiny matt chocolate buttons from my stash and a pretty red 4 hole button.
the threads used are my HDT's  Flame Lantana and Chocolate Sauce. 
My teapots are all in size 20 so far.
Just to show that I don't always get it right.....
this round had only 7 rings instead of 8!
This one was an alternative center...for another time!
Which do you prefer???
I think it fair to ask you not to try to work out the pattern for this teapot from my pictures. 
This is not the aim of this blog.
Martha put a lot of effort into designing this and her rights should be respected. Do go to the source of the pattern yourself.
One last teapot for today then I really must go and drink some to revive myself!!
Something different with pretty lilac buttons  and a gorgeous sparkly lilac center button. You really can't see how pretty it is.
Threads are my HDT Sweetshop with matching Parma Violet from the Sweetshop collection and a toning Flora for the outer round.
I will be back soon with more colour variations in this pattern...yes I did rather get carried away.....and even more tatted by my tat lassies....who drool over and buy...everything design that Martha produces.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day and Time for Tea!

I can't believe that it's over a year ago that I test tatted Martha Ess's Shamrock Teapot for her Book 'Tatted teapots' and showed you here.
Spring is really in the air, the weather has been glorious for the last few days,the most beautiful pink skies at night, daffodils in bloom.
So I re tatted the teapot to give to a friend, had to be exactly the same as I couldn't bear to part with the original.

Well of course if you know will realise that by this time I was thinking...
Maybe a different green..more real shamrocky and for the surrounding flowers...well  they had to be daffodils didn't they!
My Just Daffodils was just right!
I had lots of greens in Flora,Coats Mercer and Cebelia and even DMC in 20 to choose from...and picked one in Flora.
SO here is my
Greetings to you all.
I couldn't resist adding a few beads...I thought that the handle looked lovely...but the lid seemed a bit 'feeble'!
I am in 'Teapot' mode at the moment and decorated my new Art Deco silver and crystal tree with teapots.
These new ones are a little too big so methought to tat it again in a 40. Just Daffodils was there waiting for me in but darn I didn't have a solid green.
But I did have both in a Coats here goes...not quite finished yet but I added more beads to the lid...what do you think???
The two large Teapots...
....and the beaded teapots in 20 and 30.

My Daffodil Green is darker than the Flora that i chose and gives more definition..I think.
Yeah forgot to post this...and yo and behold I have finished my teapot.
It measures 5.5 in from handle to tip of spout in size 30 thread.
Mmm the beads on the lid give the lid a squarish that good or not?

I am in Teapot mode, lots more to show time.
have a happy day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

After the Zoo!

We continued up to the very North of Ireland to Derry, constant rain, freezing cold.
Stayed in a beautiful old Country House Hotel.....even President Clinton has stayed there!

It would have looked a whole lot prettier in the sunshine.
We were in a new annexe.....see the upper dormer room with the two windows open. A huge room with a six foot bed and sofas.
The first house was built in 1622,burned to the ground in 1638 during a rebellion, a second house built in 1661 was also burned to the ground by a retreating army.
Rebuilt again in 1739, this time they had more luck!
The house is packed full of history and character, round every turn there is something to enjoy including two splendid chess sets laid out to tempt you to move a piece.
The gardens must be lovely in the sunshine, It stopped raining just enough to get some photos.
There were Grey Squirrels running up and down the trees!

The funny thing about staying in these gorgeous Hotels in March is that we may be the only people staying there. Such is the recession.
We would have liked to have walked round the historic walled town of Derry but it was just too cold.
So it was a drive up into County Donegal (another first for us) to the most northerly point of Ireland to Malin Head.
As children we listened to the radio as we didn't have televisions. After the news came the shipping forecast, I can here the drone of the voice now as he reeled off the names of the most far flung coastal points of the British Isles. he would give the windspeed and direction and whether it was moderating in the near future.
The names were all so intriguing and now I have visited a few of the, Malin Head is one that I well remember.
The weather was atrocious, gales of sleet from the east sweeping across the road so that we could hardly see through the windscreen. Sleet piled up at the side of the road.

 The road up to the head was spectacular...
The weather changing every few minutes.
At the end of the road we drank a cup of coffee,it was too windy to even think of getting out of the wonder this spot was picked for the shipping forecast!
WE didn't even get a peep at what the view was beyond these information boards.
See the sleet at the side of the road.
To one side of us was the watch tower..
Hope you can read some of these details.
 Good bye watch tower!
Goodbye County Donegal.
Next day it was a long old drive from the almost the very top of Ireland to almost the very bottom.
The further south we went the warmer it got...but it was still raining.
I was glad to get home!
Now back to tatting!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Yup! More Time Out!

This will be the last trip for a while...maybe until MY birthday treat in September...maybe not!
We were on the road again this week...very tiring!
Way back in 2008 I wrote about my trip to Belfast Zoo, you can read it here if you would like to get the background details to this post.
Very briefly (much more fun to go back and read tat post tho'.....the house elf donned one of his other hats and transformed into Conservation Elf.....for the annual Research meeting at Belfast Zoo.
The roads are fantastic now, if very boring.....motorway...including 4 toll roads all the way to Belfast.

Compared to the beautiful dry spring like weather of last week, this drive was like going back into winter. It rained most of the time.
After an overnight stay in Belfast and a mornings shopping .....more beads of course....and a delightful find in my constant search for hangers to display my tatting.
A Silver and Crystal Jewellery Tree from Past Times......

Then it was off to the Zoo. It was bitterly cold and rainy so I didn't see much of the animals this year.....I never even got to write a post about our great trip north last year...what a would have enjoyed it.
There were a couple of new gigantic wood carvings.

 Ring tailed lemurs....
this fabulous Meercat......don't think he is a wood carving.
There were some interesting conservation presentation.  
The most interesting to me was about our native Red Squirrel. 
The Red Squirrel is  quite a bit smaller that the grey with a bushier tail and furry ear tufts.
You may not know this but the Grey Squirrel was introduced into Ireland from North America in 1911 at a wedding party in an estate in Co Longford! No doubt it was very appealing...
During the last 100 years they have been spreading all over Ireland.
Although the Grey Squirrel is a very pretty animal it is regarded as a pest in Ireland.
It is bigger, more adaptable, and more aggresive that the Red.
It can eat the tougher acorns and beech nuts.
But it can also eat the favourite food of the Red Squirrel...hazel nuts, when they are not ripe enough for the Red to eat.

Thus in every area that the Grey moves out competes the Red.
That together with constant reduction in the available hazel woodlands means that the Red is doomed!
Many conservation groups have been set up to help the little squirrel....particularly to provide food in the if the squirrel is not well fed it does not reproduce in the spring.
They set up cages with food inside and an entrance only large enough for the Red to enter.
the poor little Red also catches the squirrel pox virus that the Grey is often immune to.

The Grey Squirrel is only about 50 miles from our area and will no doubt arrive within the next 10 to 20 years.
The beautiful dainty, little Red Squirrels which have been in Ireland on and off since the Ice Age still inhabit our Wildlife Park.
Now that I am dyeing brown threads, I have no excuse not to dye one to tat a Red Squirrel...the beautiful Squirrel tatted by Tatman comes to mind.....well it never actually left my mind...was always on my 'to do' list. Anybody know any more Squirrel patterns....I have the one in Inga Madsen's Animal book.
Read all about the fate of the Red Squirrel here, this was the very area we were in last week and we saw the Greys.

More about the rest of my trip tomorrow.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Time out!

Yeah..I know..I am always taking time out....but I do take my tatting!
Don't always do any tho'!
Some of you like my history here goes....another one.

Three years ago we decided...the house elf and I that since birthdays were no longer something to look forward to, maybe we should do something about it.
So twice a year we go off for a couple of days on a special hotel offer somewhere in Ireland.
There are great offers for 2 nights B&B and a dinner!

What could be nicer than to wake up on your birthday in a lovely place, eat an enormous breakfast, open your pressies, have a leisurely day being a tourist, getting to know a bit more about where you live and finish off with a gourmet meal.
We almost close our eyes and stick a pin in the them, but if we did that, we would probably say ...nah...let's not go THERE.

So this was his third birthday treat and we chose the east coast and the beautiful vale where St Kevin founded a monastic settlement in the 6th century.
Arriving there in the March chill,our Hotel was only a stones throw from the famous round tower.

Round Towers are characteristic of these early settlements.
The story that I always knew was that the monks would keep a look out at the top of the tower where there were windows facing North,South East and West.

They were watching for an attack by the Vikings and would give the alarm for the treasures of the monastery to be brought into the round tower and the ladder to be pulled inside,as the entrance was about 12 feet off the ground.

Lots of monks would also hide inside the tower.....not a very wise thing to do if the tower went up in flames.

This is what it would have been like inside the tower...
...and at the very top in the cone was a bell. (sorry about the reflection ion the glass).
It's now thought that the Round Towers were simply bell towers. The four windows at the top were so that the sound could travel in all directions.
The towers were very tall so that they could act as a guide to find your way home.
The cone on the top of this tower was rebuilt in 1875.
The monastic cathedral is in ruins.
You can just see the tower at the right edge of the photo.
A very small church is still standing.
This is what the settlement might have looked like.
See the little church on the bottom right.

St Kevin chose the most beautiful place to settle. There are two lakes fed by a small river.
This is the lower lake...
....but it was in the hillside surrounding the upper lake that Kevin built his cell.
Wow, what a view to wake up to.

There are such a lot of other touristy things to see in this area.....haven't been there for years....
and the beautiful town where the famous TV series was set.....did any of you watch it?
......and the Church from the same series.

You can see how glorious the weather was.
A super birthday was had by all...and the food really was very good.