Friday, February 27, 2015

Brilliant Sunset

 A new hand dyed thread batch, "Brilliant Sunset" has been added to my Etsy shop. These bright colors really cheer me up while I'm getting very tired of these dreary cold winter days. Usually about now I do my annual "Extremely Very Early Spring" giveaway, but since I've seen absolutely no sign of spring whatsoever around where I live, it'll have to wait a little longer.

Meanwhile I can't resist leaking just a hint of a few "spoilers" about what I've been quietly working on. I have a very big project in the works that involves designing and writing up several new patterns, so that's why I'm sort of quiet lately. Can't say what they're for yet and can't post photos until closer to summer...spoilers! ;)

The butterfly necklace in progress below is my own design (well, actually inspired by a vintage pattern but I added changes and the beads to it). If you would enjoy the challenge of tatting your own, the pattern is in my book Boutique Tatting. I will post another photo of the necklace when it is done, It's for a custom order. I don't do many custom orders, because hand dyeing thread for my shop takes so much of my time, but occasionally someone makes me an offer that I can't refuse. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New free original pattern! "Melt Into Spring" snowflake tatted with daisy picots

Click HERE to download the PDF of my "Melt Into Spring" snowflake pattern, it's a free gift for you!

This original design uses the techniques of ring, chain, join, lock join, picot, daisy picot, reversing chains, shoelace trick, and Josephine knots. 

I used a colorful thread and white because it seems to give the effect of spring colors breaking through the snow, but of course the design can be made in any colors. My sample in size 20 measures about 4 inches (10 cm) from tip to tip, and another in size 50 is 3.25 inches (8.2 cm).

I hope you'll enjoy the pattern! I worked very hard on it. Feel free to post photos of your finished snowflakes online, I'd love to see them! But to share the pattern itself, please link to this blog post. Thank you!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Longing for a "Garden Afternoon"

 Around here the winter season will last a long time yet. Brightly colored thread seems to make spring hurry along...or, is it just wishful thinking?

The project in progress is my original and has a center tatted from my new batch of "Garden Afternoon" hand dyed thread. The colorful center motif is actually only one tatted ring with Daisy Picots. Jane Eborall has a good tutorial for Daisy Picots on her website. I don't know if there is a single "inventor" of this technique, or if the names of the people credited on the instructions discovered it simultaneously, or if that information is lost in the mists of time. I like Daisy Picots because it seems that more of them can be packed together in a smaller space than normal chains, and they're fun to do! I plan to explore the technique more. 

First, though, I'll finish the may be sort of a snowflake, but a colorful one!

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:

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!