Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Outside my comfort zone with wire-wrapping

 Wire is not something I ever thought I'd do anything with. 

As a child, I used to watch my uncle pull copper wire out of old electric motors (he ran an electric motor repair service) and it wasn't pretty :) 

But while watching Aga Kruk's class "Wire-Wrapped Stones, Crystals, and Clusters" on Craftsy I was inspired by her exquisitely beautiful jewelry and decided to try some of the basics, So here is my version of the chandelier earrings project from her class. Do take a look at the overview of Aga's class with my affiliate link: 
it'll give you a discount.
I'll admit that it took me ages to be able to wrap a "simple loop" with any success (the wire-wrapping equivalent to the shuttle tatting "flip") but after that I've moved on to making findings to finish my tatted jewelry.

Grace's bracelet - design inspired by the Celtic tatting of Rozella F. Linden
The bracelet that my friend Grace commissioned me to tat for her is finished now. I wire-wrapped a toggle clasp of gold filled wire to finish it. Looking forward to her reaction at our next get-together!
Showing the wire-wrapped clasp on the bracelet.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

She said, "Did you ever finish my green bracelet?"

 So, my response was, "Er, um, well... I lost the paper that I wrote your wrist measurement on, last year...or has it been 2 years? You wanted the Celtic in green with gold beads, didn't you!"

Awkward... my bad.

So, I measured her wrist with a paper napkin (we were at a restaurant) and I've started the bracelet, finally! It's for an extremely wonderful lady who does so much good for others, including collecting toys for children and driving the truck herself to an impoverished area to deliver them for Christmas. Yes, I do know a real Mrs. Santa Claus! Her first name is Grace.

I'm working on the bracelet now!
 A new batch of "Snowflake" hand dyed thread has been added to my shop on Etsy. Between that and the bracelet for Grace, I will keep out of mischief!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tigereye hand dyed

Inspired by the colors of a Tigereye gemstone and earthy autumn colors, I've dyed a batch of this thread. Some of got tatted into "Feather" earrings, and I like how the colors worked out in the pattern. I stiffened them a bit by brushing on some fabric stiffener onto the back only, to leave the natural sheen of the thread untouched on the front. Sometimes I stiffen my tatted jewelry in this way, sometimes I don't - it all depends on if the piece seems to need it or not. Since the "feathers" have a lot of picots and the top chains are not connected to anything, I thought it best to add some stiffening to help them stay in shape.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Loops, leaves, and heart

The loopy earrings above are a new experiment, my original, no pattern. I used a Celtic shuttle (such as the type sold on Handy Hands Tatting) to weave in the loops. I wire wrapped the earwires of niobium myself, a technique I learned in Lisa's Craftsy class.
Actually, the base of the pattern will be one of the classes that I'll teach at IOLI convention in 2016 as a beginner/intermediate pattern, but the fancy loop layer is not included. I think everyone should be encouraged to have their own creative time and the fun of discovering new possibilities. 

The leaf earrings are both patterns that are already in my Etsy shop and Craftsy pattern store. I think hand dyed thread is great in autumn leaves!

The Unfolding Heart pattern is also one that I've had available for quite a while. The pattern itself does not include anything about beads. I added the beads, lock charm, and brass filigree to make a unique necklace. So often people ask how they can make something to look exactly like the picture. But, it's better to take the ideas learned and change things up a bit to come up with something that's different, don't you think? No two leaves, snowflakes, flowers, anything in nature is an exact duplicate of another. Nature loves variety!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Eclectic mix

In this pair of tatted earrings, I added some wire wrapped dangles as well as forming the earwires myself. Skills I learned in Craftsy classes, such as Aga Kruk's beginner class and Lisa Niven Kelly's class. These are affiliate links, so I hope you'll check them out :)

The basic tatting pattern that I started with for this pair is my own "Giddy" pattern, found in my "Tatted Jewelry" book. Photo below of the pink earrings shows results tatted exactly according to the pattern. So, the blue-green ones are a fancified variation. It seems that I just can't stop myself from mixing things up :)

Hand dyed thread "Sugar Maple" is now in my Etsy shop! Next batch to come soon will be "Parakeet", which is what I used in the bluegreen earrings.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Coming and ongoing

Work in progress on a pattern I'll be teaching at the IOLI Convention in 2016
Feather pattern (from my book, Marilee's Beaded Tatting Finery) that I'll be teaching at the 15th Annual Tatting Days in November at The Tatting Corner, Indiana

Last week's launch of my new Craftsy class, Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting went even better than I had hoped! Already it has over 300 enrolled, a 5 star review, and amazing finished projects being posted! Here's a link for 50% off the price of the class:

Remember, the class includes downloadable PDF patterns for all the projects shown in the preview!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Friday, August 14, 2015

Tatting techniques taught in my new Craftsy class

Click on the following link before Monday, August 17, for a chance to win my new class for free!

More about my new class:
  • Patterns for the seven original class projects are included with the course as downloadable PDF files. These patterns are exclusive to this class.
  • Lesson 1 has a quick refresher of tatting basics. If you're brand new to shuttle tatting, you may want to see my other Craftsy class, "Shuttle Tatting", for more in-depth instruction on the basics of double stitch, rings, and chains. The projects in this new class, "Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting" are geared toward tatters who already feel comfortable with the basics. 
Lesson 1 continues with demonstration of tatting the "Shell" pendant (project shown upper right on the title card), which teaches the techniques of putting a bead inside a self-closing mock ring, floating rings, core beads, and the Catherine Wheel Join.
  • Lesson 2 demonstrates Daisy Picot techniques as well as lock joins and bead picots, used in the "Key" pendant, which can also be made into earrings.
  • Lesson 3 shows how to tat Maltese rings by making the "Echo" pendant.

  • Lesson 4 demonstrates putting a bead inside a ring and other ways of working with beads in tatting. The project is the "Glorious Blossom" pendant.

  • Lesson 5 covers pearl tatting with the "Meander" bracelet.
  • Lesson 6 is a study of encapsulation, plus several other techniques: folded rings, onion rings, Josephine rings, single shuttle split ring, and another way to work a mock ring, producing the "Garden" necklace (featured on the title card).
  • Lesson 7 teaches Celtic tatting techniques used in the "Celtic Triangle" pendant (lower right on the title card).
As with all Craftsy classes, you'll be able to ask questions and get answers! You can post pictures of your projects, comment on posted projects, and watch the videos at your own speed. Your classes are accessible at any time, access never expires, AND your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed!

I am so excited to see you and meet you in class!