Thursday, May 19, 2016

Lilac Sea and B&B

I finished a new batch of "Lilac Sea" hand dyed thread and added it to my Etsy shop. I also finished a pair of earrings from it, using my "Devotion" pattern. Amazing how combining different thread colors and bead colors can change the look of a design!

The Milwaukee Bead&Button Show is approaching quickly and I have to admit I'm feeling stressed over it, what with all the reminder emails coming from the organizers with lists and charts and times and places and rules and what-have-you. I still have to pack the kits, but will finish that shortly. B&B is much different than teaching at a tatting event, a local shop, or at a nice arts and crafts school like Shake Rag Alley. There is so much going on at the B&B show and it's so expensive that expectations run very high. Not really a relaxing event in which to learn a new skill, in my humble opinion. Oh well. Here's the photo of the pendant I'm teaching in the advanced class, done up in 2 different color ways:

I call this design Dazzling Debut. The pattern will be printed in a new book that is expected to come out later this year.

I'm also teaching a beginner class, Shuttle Tatting Basics. Every class at B&B requires a project, so here it is, though most likely beginners won't finish it in class:

They do get the kits, though, and learn the basic skills that will last them a lifetime, if they continue practicing at home! As the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink!"

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

More mixed media experiments

 Way out there, I know, but I enjoy the results so far. I do the tatting first, then wire wrap it onto the metal frame which I make myself. Those Craftsy wire wrapping teachers whose lessons I watched probably never expected somebody would use those skills to add structure onto tatting :)
 Actually, I like designing unique things that others aren't likely to do or copy. It frees me up from pattern writing and seems more like "real art" - one of a kind, original, and all that.

My tatting class schedule is getting really full now that spring/summer activities are gearing up. I enjoy teaching but the advanced tatting classes are especially a lot of work to prepare and we're expected to promote them on social media as well. Bead&Button Show and IOLI are coming up fast now, and I need to package kits and prepare in-progress samples. The patterns are all done and test-tatted, though.

I'm also teaching a beginners tatting class at Midwest Beads on May 14.

Wire wrapping the tatting onto the frame.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Silver tatted pendant and "Stonehill Wine" hand dyed thread

 For this pendant, I combined tatting with a metal frame that I made myself from argentium silver wire. I chose argentium silver because it is tarnish resistant, and I like how it looks with the blue colors in this free-form tatting of hand dyed thread. The tatting is simple: random Josephine rings and normal tatted rings, with the "stem" made using encapsulation technique. I wire wrapped the tatting and a few beads onto the frame after the tatting was done.

New batch of "Stonehill Wine" hand dyed thread is now listed in my Etsy shop!

Next class coming up: I'll be teaching more beginners how to tat at Shake Rag Alley on May 7. It's a pretty and relaxing place to visit! For planning ahead, at the same location I'll teach an Intermediate Tatting class later this year.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Tatting pattern "Fantasy Flower" now in my Etsy shop

 This is the pattern that I taught at Finger Lakes, but upgraded to 3 pages. At Finger Lakes it had only 2 pages with less photos. I realized while teaching, that more in-progress photos were needed to show the process, since people buying the pattern online wouldn't have me there to demonstrate how it was done.

The pattern is for sale in my Etsy shop, as well as my Craftsy pattern store.

It's a one shuttle and ball thread pattern. 3 colors of size 10 are what I used, but someone in my class at Finger Lakes used size 20 for a daintier flower. A needle tatter successfully followed the pattern there, too.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Wonderful trip to Finger Lakes tatting conference

Tatting classes in session! There were a lot of people there, and the hall was filled! I was thrilled to meet so many tatters. Some faces I recognized from other tatting events.

There were tatting vendors lining 3 walls with tatting treasures! This photo only shows some of the products displayed by one of them.

An entrepreneurial genius, Sharon, brought her swift and ball winder and offered a winding service for hand dyed thread. Several vendors, including me, sold our hand dyed in between classes.

The food was all home cooked, and absolutely delicious! We also had brownies and ice cream!

My classes were the largest I've ever taught, about 15 students each. The project of a 3D flower wasn't finished in class, but the photo above shows one partially done.

The Finger Lakes area has a lot of natural beauty. This is one of the breath-taking waterfalls.

After the Tatting Conference, my husband Jan and I visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. A fabulous vacation all around!

Jan in front of the Baseball Hall of Fame

Me at Mickey Mantle's locker.

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Preparing for Finger Lakes Tatting Conference

The Finger Lakes Tatting Conference is next week, and I'll be teaching there! The "Fantasy Flower" is the project that I'm teaching.

I'm currently preparing step-outs, or samples in various stages of completion, to help the participants understand the structure of how the flower shape develops. There's about 15 people in each class! Mostly all experienced tatters, so I've been told. Even so, a very large class for tatting.

I've been experimenting with the live video craze on Periscope, but with dismal (blurry, pixelated) results. I've tried better lighting, but that didn't help. So, I've come to the conclusion that the Internet speed available at my location just isn't fast enough for live broadcast. I'll continue to make regular (not live) videos instead.

Looking forward to meeting many tatters at the Finger Lakes Tatting Conference!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Tatting an Onion Ring from the back side

If doing a project using front side / back side tatting, sometimes an onion ring will need to be tatted from the back side. Tat the inner ring using reverse order double stitches (2nd half first, 1st half second).

Bring the shuttle thread behind the ring, then start tatting the outer ring, also with reverse order double stitches.

When doing the join, pull a loop of the thread from the working circle OVER the shuttle thread and through the picot.

Make sure that the loop isn't twisted, then put the shuttle through.

Tighten the join as you would any normal join. Then, continue tatting reverse order double stitches.

Close the outer ring, keeping it behind the inner ring.

The completed onion ring from the back side.

The completed onion ring from the front side.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Hand dyed "Leafy" and "Stardate"

The "Leafy" batch is subtly shaded medium leaf greens, which are always useful to compliment showier flower colors. "Stardate" is an out of this world amazingly vibrant combo.

I'm tatting and photographing new things like mad, but can't show any of that at present. A publisher offered me the opportunity to do a book, I've got classes coming up, so I'm busy busy! More details later.