Monday, December 28, 2015

How to become a Craftsy instructor

In this post I'm specifically trying to encourage more tatting teachers to think about teaching a course on Craftsy, but the information here will apply to any craft subject.

So, first of all, if you don't already have a Craftsy account, sign up at http://www.craftsy.com/
You'll need to watch some Craftsy classes to get an idea of how the course platform functions. Watch several classes to observe different teaching styles. Some mini-classes are free, so take advantage of the opportunity to learn from those, too.

So, if you're thinking, "I could teach a Craftsy class!", the next step would be to prepare a plan of what you would like to teach. At the time of this writing, Craftsy's standard class format is 7 lessons, with each lesson lasting about 20 minutes. You don't need 7 different projects, but should take photos of what each lesson will be covering.

Go to the "How to Become a Craftsy Instructor" page on Craftsy, and click on the course proposal form link. Fill out the form, and submit it!

Some of the facts Craftsy will want to know about you is whether you have a blog, Facebook page, website, email list, or anything that shows you have followers that like your work. They will want to see photos of things that you've made, using skills related to your course proposal. If you have experience teaching classes at live events, be sure to tell them that and provide photos if possible. If you've written books or had your work published in magazines, that's a plus. Basically, they need evidence that you've developed a high level of skill, that you have enthusiasm for teaching it to others, and that people will want to buy your class.

Not all proposals are accepted.
But hey! Supposing Craftsy likes your proposal and accepts it! What happens next?

You will receive emails from a Craftsy contact person, with a formal title like "acquisitions editor" or "content editor". They will set up a convenient time to telephone you, and will help you through the process of preparing your class for the 3 day video shoot at their studios in Denver, Colorado. You'll also be sent a contract to sign.


Craftsy pays for your flight to Denver plus hotel accommodations for the 3 day video shoot, They will help with the travel planning. They'll also pay for any supplies that you need to purchase for your projects that you'll be demonstrating in your class. You'll need to submit the receipts for the supplies to be reimbursed for them.

An important task is to prepare "step outs", or projects partially completed, up to each step in the lessons that you'll be teaching. The reason is so that valuable studio time isn't spent waiting while you finish something. Basically, if something takes you more than a few minutes to do, you'll need to prepare another step out to that part of the project.

You'll also need to prepare patterns for the class projects, as part of the downloadable course materials.

When you get to the Craftsy studios you'll be given star treatment! They even have a professional makeup artist to get you camera ready! It may seem like a ton of makeup, but it's just enough for the camera work. The makeup artist will style your hair, too.

Showtime! Don't worry that you have to do everything perfectly in one take. The camera crew are super-nice people and will work with you to get your class to look great!

After the video shoot is done, you go home happy, and wait for your class to be edited, which takes about 6 to 8 weeks. You'll be notified when your class goes live! After that, you need to answer any student questions that come up in your class. Instructors giving personalized responses to student questions is what makes Craftsy classes truly interactive.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The dove tree and "Beatrice" necklace


 At choir practice at church this week I saw that the peace dove tree was up.
See if you can find the tatted dove in the top photo! The tatting pattern is by Jane Eborall.

The photo at left shows the whole tree. I'm impressed with how big it is and the number of dove ornaments that people donated for it.


I tatted another dove for my own Christmas tree!


 The necklace that I had been designing in blue is now deep garnet red! 

Well, I just had so many failures trying to get the math to balance out evenly while designing I was getting discouraged. I figured if I changed colors it would seem like a new project and I could start fresh. It worked! I like it, and I'm calling the design "Beatrice" which means "bringer of joy".

I'll be listing the finished necklace for sale in my Etsy shop, but the pattern so far is only scribbled notes for myself. The techniques I used include pearl tatting, rings thrown off each side of pearl tatting, bead picots, and Catherine Wheel Joins. I used Lizbeth #674 Garnet Dark in size 10, Toho large hole seed beads size 11/0, and Swarovski crystal bicones size 6mm in Fire Opal.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Jane's Peace Dove


Jane Eborall has amazing patterns! I tatted her dove in size 10 thread to make it 4 inches across, using white size 8/0 seed beads and one black size 6/0 seed bead for the eye. The olive branch is from Miranda's instructions which are included on the pattern. See Jane Eborall's pattern website. 
Pattern note: make the picots large enough to carry a seed bead, unless "vsp" is indicated, because many of the picots joining rings have seed beads on them.

I made the dove pictured as a donation to a "peace" Christmas tree project at the church that I attend; they are decorating one of the trees entirely in peace dove ornaments, both purchased and handmade. It's a large tree and the size requirement for ornaments was at least 3 inches, so the dove tatted in size 10 thread fit the requirement. I painted on a fabric stiffener to make it stiff enough.

Sorry for the confusion on my previous post, but designing is at least 90% confusion! I was excited about a tiara idea briefly, but experimenting brought out various problems which I won't bore you with here. No tiara. But, I am making progress on the necklace. I think, possibly, it will be very lovely! No photos of it yet, I am still working out the math.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

At the designing board in blue

 This week a vague idea came to me from out of the blue. 
I started tatting it up, posted my work in progress on Facebook, and someone commented "tiara". The project of a tiara hadn't occurred to me, but while looking at what I had so far, I agreed, it could be. I still want to do the original necklace design I was going for, so I'll probably do both. I'll need to buy more Swarovski crystals and more large hole Toho beads! A trip to Midwest Beads, soon then. (My favorite bead store since they are scheduling a tatting class for me to teach there in February!)
The Bead&Button Show class catalog arrived in the mail, and guess who has 2 tatting classes listed!!! I've got an advanced class, and a beginner class both in the catalog. Yes, they're expensive, as are all the classes at this large, prestigious event. But hey, tatting deserved to be showcased, too.

For those who still don't know, I've got 2 classes on Craftsy now. Here are my affiliate links to preview them:
Shuttle Tatting www.craftsy.com/ext/MarileeRockley_89_H

Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting www.craftsy.com/ext/MarileeRockley_5188_H

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tatted Cotter Pin Links Tutorial


My tatted cotter pin link tutorial is available as a free PDF. Click HERE to download the 2 page file.

I hope you'll have fun with this technique! It's another idea to play with.

My report on wearing the bracelet for awhile:
  • Using a tatted ring as a toggle loop didn't work. The toggle bar fell out. So, I added a proper metal toggle clasp, which does work well.
  • The tatting tends to lengthen with wearing, so for a bracelet make it just a little bit shorter than needed. It will stretch to a comfortable size. 
  • The tatted links hold their shape surprisingly well, considering that they're only fiber!  
My bracelet after wearing, with the finished clasp.

Another tatted cotter pin bracelet.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Tatted Cotter Pin Bracelet


 Here's my first completed project in "Tatted Cotter Pin Links", a new idea which I am experimenting with. It was inspired by the wire wrapping technique "Cotter Pin Chain". I'm wearing the bracelet to see how well it holds up, and then I'll report my observations. I do plan on preparing a tutorial, soon.



Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Tatting Days and The Domes

15th Annual Tatting Days - that's me standing, teaching the tatted "feather" design

Another photo of the class in session

Ruth George holding her magnificent tatted mobile
 Tatting Days at the Tatting Corner was fantastic! I recognized many faces from last year, although I'm terrible at remembering names. Great food and lots of fun both days that I was there. But, I had to leave early to get back to Milwaukee in time to set up at Jewelry At The Domes!

Part of my display at my table in The Domes

Selfie at The Domes, wearing a tatted heart

Tatted necklaces displayed on my table
The Domes are always fun, and even though sales were very slow this year, I had many people show an interest in tatting! I handed out guild flyers, Craftsy cards, and was even approached by the owner of a local bead shop asking if I would teach tatting classes at her shop.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

While I'm at Tatting Days

Some of my Etsy shop listings have been deactivated for the rest of this week, since I'm taking the items with me. Orders placed at my Etsy shop from November 11 - 15 will be shipped November 16.

My tatted jewelry will be put on display for sale at Jewelry at the Domes in Milwaukee on November 14.

Busy week! Hope yours goes well. Stay calm and keep tatting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

"Forest" dye batch, tatted link chain, list of exciting events coming up!


New "Forest" hand dyed thread of shaded dark greens has been added to my Etsy shop

I used the Forest green for the bottom link of my tatted link chain in the photo above. Link chain is a new idea that dawned on me just this morning, and since I've only started experimenting with it, not much to report yet, but so far I'm having fun! It's inspired by a wire wrapping project, which, by the way, I'm still struggling with in wire (a recently acquired side hobby), but since I've been tatting for 40 years, sometimes things just look a lot like tatting so I need to find out, "What if?"

Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild meeting on Monday, November 9. If you're within driving distance of Milwaukee, I hope you'll come join us!

Later that same week I'll be teaching at the 15th annual Tatting Days at the Tatting Corner in Indiana!

Saturday, November 14 I have a table selling tatted jewelry at Jewelry at the Domes! Another reason to visit the great city of Milwaukee if you're able to.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Craftsy's sale and my schedule page

Craftsy is having a sale on all their online classes (900+) through November 1. Since I'm an affiliate, if you start browsing their site from my link http://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarileeRockley_holiday and then decide to sign up for any class at all (it doesn't have to be one of mine), I earn some money; not a lot, but it all helps.

My workshop schedule for 2016 is now listed on a separate page of my blog. Mostly I put it there to remind myself of where I'm going when! You can find it, and my other stand alone pages, by clicking on the tabs at the top of my blog. I'm not sure how that works on a mobile device, so for convenience, here's the link http://yarnplayertats.blogspot.com/p/workshop-scedule.html

In just 2 weeks I'll be teaching at Tatting Corner in Indiana!

I'm currently working on a pattern for teaching at Finger Lakes in April 2016, and will post that when it's decided upon.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

This tatted jewelry set is going to Wyoming


These new original pieces were in my Etsy shop less than 2 days and someone liked them enough to buy the set! I'm thrilled, you betcha!


Okay, about the techniques used to make them: 


The necklace pattern is the same one I used in the steampunk gears pendant in my previous post. By the way, I need a new pattern to teach at the Finger Lakes Tatting Convention next April. Should it be this one?

Accessorizing with mixed media seems to be the key to making a design really "pop" as jewelry. I added brass links, then ribbon, a disk bead, and "tatted beads" on the ribbon. Maybe I should include "tatted beads" in the class? I've only just started experimenting with this concept so I'm sure there is a lot more to explore.

The earrings are based on my "Giddy" pattern found in the book Tatted Jewelry. However, I fancied them up with more beads, a wire wrapped dangle at the bottom, and hand formed niobium earwires. (I learned basic wire-wrapping on Craftsy from classes like this one by Aga Kruk http://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarileeRockley_62_CP (it's my affiliate link giving a discount).

The thread is a new hand dyed experiment that will make it's way into my Etsy shop eventually, probably in a few weeks. It has shades of aquamarine, teal, light green, and ecru brown...I think I'll call the colorway "Pond".

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

If a tree falls and there's no one there...


..it does make a sound, but no one gets hurt!
This photo was taken on October 15 (a blustery day) just a few minutes after one of the boys looked outside and said, "Hey, did you see, there's a tree blown down in our yard." So then we all rushed out to see!

Luckily the tree fell in the one direction where it would cause the least damage, missing our garage and also missing any of the houses nearby. We lost telephone and Internet service for only a day, and the neighbors who owned the tree had it removed very quickly. So, we're all okay.
Whew!

In the meantime, I had taken up the challenge suggested by this picture from Design-Seeds someone posted on Facebook:
http://design-seeds.com/
 and interpreting it in hand dyed thread:
What I came up with, I call "Lilac Sea".

Another project that I played around with turned out to be a new original design:
I used "Adventurer" size 10 and Lizbeth Linen Medium #693. I added gears at the top edges to give a hint of steampunk styling, and incorporated size 11/0 Toho large hole seed beads, size 8/0 seed beads, 4 mm round beads, and an 8 mm brass saucer bead in the center. I like the way the hand dyed with the sold gives it sort of a patina. I've started another one in a different color, but need a different saucer bead. Off to the bead store!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

"Adventurer" new batch

Yes, camouflage colors. I was happy to find a container of "olive drab" dye and added some to my "Adventurer" recipe which before was basically shades of khaki. I think the new result is more interesting. Obviously they're muted, "blend into the background" type of colors, and sometimes that's needed in a design.

In case you haven't checked out Tatting Corner's site lately, do take a look! They have a show and tell tatting contest that you can enter! And, their 15th Annual Tatting Days event is coming up sooner than you think! I'll be teaching my tatted feather pattern at that one! Click here for more information.


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: 
http://www.craftsy.com/ext/MarileeRockley_62_CP 
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!