The Blocked and the Beautiful (and wise)!

I know,  I know- Jan’s Doily II was a pain to make- I whinged and whined over it for the last few months. So I feel a little embarrassed to now be so very very proud of it! After blocking it is STUNNING (if I do say so myself, but Wonderful Husband (WH) agrees, so does Little Tacker(LT)). Thinking about my PhD research into what motivates people- there is a lot written in the education world about having challenges just at the edge of our current abilities (Vygotsky’s Zone of Proximal Development ZPD) – that sweet spot where you know the task is a little harder than you expected, but you know if you persevere you can complete the task. As a teacher I feel pretty confident in finding that ‘sweet spot’ for my students and designing tasks that will support them to their next level. It is a good reminder that we all are constantly learning in life….however I wont be rushing to do another Jan Doily in a hurry…I’ll need to work up to the next one :) Blocked Jan Doily ii

My next “ZPD” challenge is in Crochet. A friend of mine gave me a ‘Star Wars amigurumi’ kit for my recent birthday-

2015-05-30 19.01.37So, of course, it has distracted me for the last week as I learned new crochet stitches and techniques to make this little ‘wise’ guy :)

yoda for blog

After making one Yoda (WH claimed him) I had friends (and LT) who wanted one too. As it is winter in Australia at the moment there is a lot of wool at craft shops- so it wasn’t too difficult to locate ‘yoda’ coloured wool (there was a larger than I expected range of Green coloured wool!). So, I started a ‘yoda production line’ which was fine, until I was up to the feet…they are the ‘new stitch’ and the point where they are stuffed and embroidered. Below are pictures of the ‘heads’ and ‘bodies’ ready for the next step. As it is a long weekend in Melbourne- I hope to finish all the feet today and get onto the arms and ears too…I will post when they are done. yoda heads

Bodies, they now have! Feet tomorrow, I will make!In keeping with the ZPD theme of this post, Kersti over at Craftree has started a ‘Mystery Doily Tat along’ which she has tailored patterns for both beginner and advanced tatters- needle and shuttle. It began last week and so I made a start on it yesterday. Round one is cupping (as expected from reading the discussion forum) and I hope to get the second round completed today. I urge you to join in- or at least come and join the fun in the discussion forums on Craftree :)  2015-06-07 09.54.33-1

I wonder- what craft has recently pushed you to work in your ZPD?

Until next time- Happy Crafting

Fiona T

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Tray cloth project

Another ebay find, this tray cloth had been embroidered and has a crochet lacey edge. In the ebay picture I want sure if it was tatted or not, and it turns out, it’s not!

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It has now been added to my ever lengthening list of projects. I will remove the crochet edge and replace it with a tatted edge….eventually :)
Until next time, happy tatting.
Fiona T

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An op shop find and a random ‘craft pack’ prize draw

A few weeks ago my sister and I stopped into an op shop on our way to play tennis. We looked through some great stuff, though their craft section was a bit disappointing. I found I couldn’t walk out of the shop without this little beaded pearl purse. I have no idea what I will do with it- but it is so nice. I’m sure I will use it one day :Dop shop beaded purse and gloves

Thanks to my lovely followers here and on facebook- now just over 800 likers, and nearly 900 with an rss link directly to the blog too :) To celebrate, I decided that I would have a random ‘craft pack’ prize draw. But, this time there is a difference- I have already drawn a winner. I decided to draw the prize from those who have commented on my blog the most since it began. It is my way of honouring those of you who have been on this journey with me for a long time, and who have supported me consistently with lovely comments. There are approx 10 regular commenters over the last 3 years….including Tatting Margaret, Barbara G, Notewords, Muskaan, Kristen, Berice, Marina, and Jenni. So- without any further ado- the winner is (brrrrr.. drum roll)  Barbara G. Your craft pack will include a book (I will give you a couple of choices), thread and some surprises :) Barbara- please contact me through facebook message, or craftree to organise which books and delivery :) Congratulations.

Thanks everyone for following, until next time, happy crafting :)

Fiona T

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Finished and blocked- Jan’s doily ll

Two days ago I completed Jan’s doily ll- from his book: Tatting theory and patterns. There have been a few questions about blocking on face book, so here is a picture of the doily that I have just sprayed with water and pinned out to dry- blocked!

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This doily was a challenge for me. The instructions were a bit different to the traditional patterns I have become used to. It took me far longer to remember the repeats than usual, and so progress was slow and there was a fair bit of retro tatting and cutting away. I do like the colours though, Altin basak blue (no. 343, size 50) and ecru. I doubt I will make this again, but am very glad to be finished it.
I an loking forward to making some smaller items, and perhaps taking part in a tat-along too.
I wonder, what project were you glad to finish?
Until next time, happy tatting
Fiona T

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Vintage Semco Pattern Books

I was excited to see these two vintage semco pattern books on ebay a couple of weeks ago. The green cover is book number 16, and the blue cover is number 19. The other book is a coats-mercer collection “tatting”. The books arrived a few days ago. I was able to recognize that the Semco books contain Norma Benporath patterns, and this was confirmed inside the cover :) I was a little disappointed that both books have only a few different patterns, with the majority of the patterns are replicated in each volume. I wonder if this is the same with any other books in the semco series?

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Until next time, happy tatting.
Fiona T

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Crochet fun: Mug cosies

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My sister has a set of beautiful “mud” mugs. Gorgeous colours, but no handles. On a recent trip to my local craft store I found a bamboo blend in colours I thought would match to the mugs- so began “project mug cosies”. I have been working on these on and off for a couple of months, and have made 14 that I delivered yesterday. My sister loves them :) Now, to finish some more UFOs this week :)
As always, happy crafting.
Fiona T

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New Thumb Shuttles have arrived!

Very excited about the mail that arrived today. Along with a new issue of “mollie makes” magazine, the wooden thumb shuttles I ordered from ebay arrived too. They look lovely, and I hope too wind them soon to make a motif or two. I’ll let you know how they go :)

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Hopefully you can see in the picture how small they are, very delicate.
Until next time, happy tatting.
Fiona T

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Wow … that few weeks went fast …

Fiona T:

This wonderful project will be presented to the public from today! I hope to see this fabulous project in Melbourne over the ANZAC weekend. I am so happy to have a small part in this community project- and commemorate the ANZACs. Lest we forget.

Originally posted on 5000 POPPIES:

Good morning poppy friends.

We are now into our final week of organisation before the big event next week.

11062341_900324396677548_6634209880454863734_nFor the past two years we have been collecting your beautiful poppies for what promises to be the most spectacular community event on the Anzac Centenary Calendar, and for the past eight weeks we have been working solidly on the physical display … it has taken every ounce of energy and every second of our time and the help of many hundreds of volunteers to get to where we are today… we have constructed 80 – 10 x 1 metre panels of poppies (800 square metres)  on nets and a further 14 panels  – 2 x 1 metre panels of non yarn poppies … They are absolutely beautiful … works of art and so imbued with our respect and gratitude for our servicemen and women and their families … It has…

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Secret project in progress.

I haven’t had much time to tat over the last couple of weeks. Work has been super busy, and my crafting time is very short. In the time I have had to craft I have been working on a super secret project for a family friend. It is a crochet project, and I am learning a lot as the pattern needed to be resized, and involved a few stitches I was not familiar with.

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Until next time, happy crafting
Fiona T

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Happy Easter 2015

Happy Easter from One Mad Tatter- we have had a lovely Easter day here with family.

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I made, what are becoming a tradition, bunny cup cakes. This year I made some little chicks too. Very cute and very yummy- all from Super Food Ideas magazine.

I also got another set of shuttles cleared of thread, and finally made a pattern from one of Jon Yusoff’s gorgeous books: Elegant tatting gems. I have had Jon’s books for a long time, so it was nice to se how easy the pattern was to work. This one is Nilam, made in Lizbeth Scottish Thistle, no 40. Was nice to work, and all in one pass too!

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I hope you have had a good weekend too.
Until next time, happy tatting.
Fiona T

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