Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sugar Maple

Summer can stay as long as it likes, as far as I'm concerned. But, since I'll be traveling to Palmetto Tat Days this year, I wanted to have some of this autumn-inspired batch to take with me. I won't have a table in the vendor room, but am taking advantage of the offer of the guild to handle my sales for me. This means labeling each skein with my vendor number and price. The best way to do that, it seems, is to put each skein into a small clear plastic zip bag. I bought stickers to put on the bags, but discovered that won't work because the sticker doesn't stay stuck on the plastic. So, I guess I'll just have to put the pertinent information on a piece of paper inside the bag. The extra time required for all these display details are why I much prefer to sell via Etsy rather than live shows :)

Bobbin lace earrings from a pattern by Jean Leader

My second completed project in bobbin lace is these earrings, done in single strands of hand dyed embroidery floss, a metallic thread, and size 11/0 seed beads. I used the pattern for beaded earrings by Jean Leader from The Lace Guild website, except I only used one row of beads.
Bobbin lace is a challenge that I just couldn't resist trying. All those bobbins and pins look so fantastically intimidating! My finished earrings are holding their shape pretty well without adding any stiffening, but I might like to try a different fiber next time, and compare the results.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Still burnin' the Midnight Oil while enjoying a fresh Nectarine


This week I finished 2 smaller batches of "Nectarine" and "Midnight Oil" in sizes 10 and 20 only. They're now listed in my Etsy shop.

Also this week I was given the opportunity to see the progress on my next book of tatted jewelry patterns that will be published sometime this fall by Annie's Publishing. They're doing a beautiful job of making my designs look good! I'm getting excited to see it finished, and hoping I could do a "book signing" somewhere when the book comes out.

I'm happy to announce that I've added a new Instant Download PDF pattern on Etsy as well as my Craftsy pattern store, the Amoeba Triangle set! This asymmetrical pattern has literally been years in the making, and the pendant gives plenty of practice in Catherine Wheel joins. The earrings and bracelet don't use that type of join, but all of the items in the set do use 2 shuttles and floating rings. It's one of the designs that I taught at the IOLI Convention 2016, and I hope lots of tatters will have fun with it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

What Lola wants...

...Lola gets :) She ages gracefully, too! I haven't dyed this colorway for a very long time, and when I looked at the original recipe I decided it could be improved. I'm pleased with the results!

My plan is to dye several batches of sizes 10 and 20 only for a week or so to balance the stock in my Etsy shop. Don't worry, all the sizes that I have been doing will be included in future batches, For now I'm doing some catch up work.

Bobbin Lace pendant with faceted bezel link in center.

Bobbin lace pendant in progress.
 After several learning experiments I finally finished a bobbin lace project that I'm pleased with! The pattern is the Naely pendant from page 23 in the book, Bijoux En Dentelle by Colette Varet. I added my own touch to the center with wire and a faceted bezel link.

The cord used is 1 mm thick waxed cotton. To me it appears to be about the same thickness as Lizbeth size 3. The waxing gives a nice stiffness, so maybe pulling some hand dyed through a block of beeswax might be something worth trying.
The waxed cotton cord that I used for the pendant came from this package.

Bijoux En Dentelle by Colette Varet has bobbin lace jewelry patterns for thread and for wire.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Back from IOLI 2016 Convention

That's me wearing a vintage Tat Days shirt, showing a tatting technique in one of the classes I taught at IOLI convention 2016.

Koala from Australia
 When a lot of lacemakers get together, it's guaranteed to be an interesting week! In one of the tatting classes that I taught, I met a lovely lady from Australia who gave everyone in the class a soft toy koala! The cuddly critter can grab onto things, so in the photo at left he's clutching my scissors.

Sue Anna winding lace bobbins
Sue Anna provided the transportation for the 2 of us all the way to the convention in Indianapolis and back home again. She took a bobbin lace class in Bedfordshire lace. She had a lot of bobbins to wind, so shopped in the vendor area for a bobbin winder. She bought one that she liked, then happily wound the rest of her bobbins and was all prepared for class!


Sue Anna's tatted "Amoeba"
 Sue Anna also took my "Amoeba" tatting class. I really like the orange and purple contrasting colors that she chose for her motif. This design provides a lot of opportunity to practice Catherine Wheel Joins! Comments that students made during class gave me ideas on how to make the pattern a bit easier to understand, so I'll add those improvements before I put the pattern into my Etsy shop.

I wore my Planetary Society shirt one day, and boy, am I glad that I did! It attracted the attention of a woman who actually used to work with Carl Sagan! In case you haven't heard of Carl Sagan, he wrote and hosted the TV Series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. A short biography and video featuring his "Pale Blue Dot" quote can be seen at this link.
Me with Jules

Prize package with knitting by Lelia
 There were many raffle prizes given away. I was lucky to win this beautiful prize package containing a hand knit "bottle dress" including a bottle of dishwashing liquid, a hand knit dishcloth, a blue and white ceramic mug, and pretty notepaper.
The vendor room, stocked with lacemaking supplies!

 The dinners at the convention, as well as restaurants nearby, offered yummy choices! I only took one food photo, of the luscious chocolate cake dessert at one of the convention dinners. I wish I had taken a photo of the incredible rhubarb pie that I was served at Shapiro's Deli in the mall nearby. It was so good!

Being around so many people doing bobbin lace, I couldn't resist buying a beginner's bobbin lace kit and a book of bobbin lace jewelry patterns. I kept telling myself that I don't have time for yet another craft, but well, if you're a creative person you know we just have to find time to play with new toys :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Off to Indianapolis for International Organization of Lace Convention


Since I'm going to be in Indianapolis all next week, only digital patterns are in my Etsy shop. That's because I won't be home to ship anything.

I am teaching 3 classes at the International Organization of Lace Convention. You can see more about the convention on the I.O.L.I. website.

I'm going with Sue Anna, and she's doing the driving, bless her!

Behind the scenes: I am frantically trying to finish another "Cool Circles" necklace to show my class. I had to send the original to Annie's publishing because it's going to be in a book. And, wouldn't you know, I discovered that I had miscounted the seed beads in part of it. I hope the corrections will get into the book before it's printed! I'll have to hand write the corrections on the pattern sheets that I'm giving to the class at I.O.L.I.

I don't have a hat for Hat Day but I will wear a grouping of my tatted flower hair clips as a fascinator. Gotta go finish that necklace!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Tollway Tatters

Five of us were able to come to the Hinsdale Oasis on the Illinois Tollway for a day of visiting and tatting! From left to right, Sue Anna, Marilee, Diane, Sue, and Doris.

Lace-lovin' Librarian ~Diane showing off her impressive stack of doilies, all made this year! Most of them were the "Spinning Wheel" pattern by Mary Konior, but there were other patterns, too. Robin Perfetti designed the one that's on her hand in the picture.

Diane's colorful doilies, aka glass mats.

Beautiful handmade shuttles! The website where the artist sells them is shown on the cover of the box.

Sue is making so much progress on the Renulek Spring Doily for 2016! It's in size 80 thread, incredibly dainty.

Doris, a new tatter, successfully completed her first flowers!

Sue Anna finished test tatting my "Cool Circles" design in "Pansy" hand dyed thread. It's a new pattern that I'll be teaching at the I.O.L.I. convention later this month. Didn't she do a beautiful job?

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

New hand dyed thread "Raspberry Sorbet"


A new dye batch just added to my Etsy shop has bright raspberry and other red to pink shades in it. I wanted something almost as intense as some flowers I've noticed recently, such as these shrub roses. I like the results, and I think it's a keeper! 
Dye being hand painted onto the thread.

Dyed and cured thread in the rinse bath.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Being Different at the Bead&Button Show

 My favorite remark that someone said to me at the Bead&Button Show "Meet the Teachers" event was "I've been looking all around and seeing similar things over and over, but at your table I'm finally seeing something different! Marvelous!"
 Well, encouraging comments like that are what keep me going! Bead&Button Show is a very, VERY big gathering, and sometimes being someone who does something different from the mainstream can feel a bit lonely. The few other "fiber" people there voiced similar laments. But, hey, my tatted jewelry drew "oohs and ahhs", curious questions, and stories of long ago relatives. People did love the hand dyed thread and bought some even though they weren't sure what they would do with it :)


 Some people who bought my hand dyed thread last year stopped at my table to show what they had made with it! A bead crochet necklace using clear crystal beads that allowed the hand dyed colors to show through, and a bead crochet bracelet with some areas without beads to feature the thread.

 The show and classes take up the Wisconsin Center convention facility in downtown Milwaukee, as well as 2 hotels plus some classrooms at the Milwaukee Technical College. The event lasts 10 days.
One of the students in the tatting classes that I taught, proudly showing off her very first tatted earrings!

It's not done yet! Friday, June 10 I'm going back to do some shopping :)