Tuesday, January 27, 2015

If you do Pinterest

Well, I was going to talk about the "atom" that I'm tatting, but instead must try to educate people to thinking about what they pin on Pinterest.

Please, don't pin pattern pages from my books! Basically, if you post my pattern instructions that I'm trying to sell, you are taking my income. My books, patterns, and hand dyed thread are my main source of income and I depend on it.
Low resolution screenshot of a page from one of my books found on Pinterest. This is an example of copyright violation! Don't re-pin!

So, if you see pages of tatting instruction that don't look vintage (a clue is color photographs and modern designs) on Pinterest, check the source by clicking on the pin to see where it came from. If it's not from a blog or website where the pattern is offered by the original designer as a free pattern, don't re-pin! 

I hope this helps folks to understand. Even my good friends have re-pinned pages of my books without being aware of what they were doing.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Hot Pink 'n Lime

Inspired by Jane!
Here's a fresh new batch, all dry and listed in my Etsy shop.

Monday, January 19 (if the weather allows) will be a meeting of the Milwaukee Tatting Guild. It's a week later than our usual schedule, in order to take advantage of the school holiday. I really enjoy these tatting get-togethers with friends, and sometimes we get new people interested in tatting, too!

Craftsy is having a flash sale on many popular online classes (including mine!) this weekend. Use this link: http://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarileeRockley_holiday

Craftsy has just added 35 new classes recently. Sometimes I just wish there was more free time to explore all the interesting crafts!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Bead&Button and Shake Rag Alley tatting classes

Class project for Bead&Button

Class project for Shake Rag Alley
Bead&Button Show classes are open for registration! Here's the link to the class that I'm teaching on June 2, Shuttle Tatting Basics. Since the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee is the largest consumer bead show in the world, it's thrilling to have a beginner tatting class there! The beaded, tatted earrings class project may look very simple to those of you who already tat, but for beginners the process of learning the basic skills of shuttle tatting makes for an intense workshop day - with lots of fun, too.

Also, even earlier this spring, on May 2, I'll be teaching Beginning Shuttle Tatting at Shake Rag Alley, Mineral Point, Wisconsin. The class project is different for that workshop, a simple star motif, no beads. But students will learn all the basic shuttle tatting skills: double stitch, rings, chains, picots, and picot join.

Maybe you have a friend who lives some distance and is planning a vacation trip, looking for a fun workshop to take. If so, do talk up my classes to them, let them know what fun tatting is and how I'm a great teacher :) 

Of course, there's always the option of my Shuttle Tatting Class on Craftsy, no traveling needed!

Friday, January 2, 2015

Tollway Tatters Starting the New Year!

Diane in front, Sue Anna and Marilee standing, at the Hinsdale Oasis on the Illinois Tollway

Jane Eborall joined us via the Internet! We could see and hear each other using the FaceTime feature on Sue Anna's iPad. 

Barbara enjoying the visit with Jane, and Diane snapping a photo.

Sue Anna and Diane working on their tatting projects.

Barbara tatting a new snowflake.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

VAT, really?

According to the Etsy blog, the New European Union Rules on the Sale of Digital Items threatens to make small businesses like mine international law breakers starting January 1, 2015, unless we collect Value Added Tax (VAT) based on the VAT rates of the country where the customer is located, not on the rates of the country where the business is located. Etsy does not yet have a system in place for accomplishing this. All this hassle coming at a time when my family is really depending on my Etsy sales to put food on the table.

I may have to put my digital patterns "on vacation" starting January 1, until there is more guidance about this in terms that are practical enough to understand. I really don't know what to do about my digital patterns for sale on Craftsy, either.

I'm hoping all the "hoopla" will blow over soon. Meanwhile, I've started tatting around a cabochon, a very pretty blue Druzy. I'm sort of following CM-Handmade's instructions, but not exactly. I guess I'm already an International Law breaker as far as following tatting rules are concerned (grin). The tatting police will be coming for me! I already met one at a Tollway Tatters gathering earlier this year :) She was very, very nice!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Mixing it up

Music from "The Nutcracker" by Tchaikovsky kept echoing through my head whenever I found time to tat this past week. Well, one reason is because I actually played some of that music on my cello in 2 concerts with the community recreation department orchestra this month. The other is that I was attempting to study some of the secrets of the Russian Ankars style of tatting from Corina's blog. Corina explains it very well.

My goal in learning ideas and techniques is to have more options to explore creatively. The brown earrings in the photo above are loosely based on the simple "Giddy" pattern from my Tatted Jewelry book, but I added more beads on picots and on the core thread, and wire-wrapped a charm to dangle from the bottom. The thread is 4 strands of polyester machine embroidery thread. So, I am mixing it up! I like the result, but controlling multiple strands of slippery thread is very challenging. I like working with my own hand dyed cotton best.

This week I also finished the blue necklace that features the dichroic glass pendant. It's the "Newcastle" pattern, also found in Tatted Jewelry. I used my own hand dyed thread combined with Lizbeth Wedgewood Dark. 

Craftsy has their classes on sale through December 25, so you might want to have a look using this link.

Hope your holiday season is safe and happy!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bead&Button show, Stardate, Newcastle

 Still needing finishing, the blue necklace with dichroic glass pendant is tatted in my own hand dyed thread Blue Streak with Lizbeth Wedgewood Dk in the outer round. The pattern is my original "Newcastle" from my book "Tatted Jewelry". The dichroic glass pendant is one I purchased from a local glass artist. To add a finishing touch to the necklace chain, I happily used my new wire wrapping skill to form a matching beaded spiral dangle, thanks to 2 Craftsy courses I've watched recently: Wire-Wrapped Stones, Crystals, and Clusters by Aga Kruk, and Make Your Own Wirework Findings by Lisa Niven Kelly.
 Big item received in the mail this week is the Bead&Button Show class catalog, and guess who has a tatting class listed in it? Yep, that's my name under "Shuttle Tatting Basics"! My beading friends encouraged me this past summer to fill out an application and submit a class, so I did. My class got accepted! It's quite an honor since the Bead&Button Show is the largest consumer bead show in the world. Online registration opens January 6, 2015.

New hand dyed thread batch just added to my Etsy shop is "Stardate". People have asked how I came up with that name; well, the colors just don't resemble anything natural to planet Earth, and I'm a Star Trek fan, so there you are :)

Friday, November 28, 2014

About the heart bracelet

The Belle Armoire Jewelry winter 2015 issue shows my original tatted jewelry set including necklace, earrings, and bracelet, but since the bracelet is modeled the sides aren't shown. So here's a photo of the complete bracelet.

I've done some experimenting with clasps. I like toggle clasps because they're easy to close. I know that a lobster claw clasp allows for more adjusting, but personally I have a terrible time trying to fasten a lobster claw clasp on a bracelet. So, I look for easier solutions.

On the white bracelet I discovered that the t-bar fits perfectly into the lace. So, the bracelet can be snugged up tighter by pulling the t-bar through the toggle loop, then hooked into the lace.

By the way, the wire wrapped toggle clasp on the white bracelet I made myself! I'm enjoying learning some basic wire wrapping skills from 2 Craftsy classes that I signed up for:
"Wire-Wrapped Stones, Crystals, and Clusters" by Aga Kruk
"Make Your Own Wirework Findings" by Lisa Niven Kelly