Friday, September 7, 2018

Earrings, Fall, and Orchestra

Finished 4 pairs this week! 

I decided to wire wrap earwires for each pair, including matching seed beads in the wire. I used natural niobium wire, a pure, precious metal that is very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in anyone. The pattern is One Shuttle Glamour, found in the book Boutique Tatting.

Next up, fall colors. Sometime next week fresh batches of hand dyed thread will begin to be added to my Etsy Shop. I'll probably do Sugar Maple first (shown on the leaf in the photo below) and follow with Pizazz (the leaf I just started).

Some blog followers also are interested in the fact that I am a serious amateur cellist. I play at church with the choir and I'm also a member of the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra. The orchestra rehearsals begin next week, and the date for the next concert has been set for December 14. Can you find me in the picture below?

Monday, September 3, 2018

One Shuttle Glamour in progress

Earrings in progress from my "One Shuttle Glamour" pattern in Boutique Tatting.
 Somehow this pattern begged to be tatted after lying dormant in my first book, Boutique Tatting, for 10 years! It still works! The title, "One Shuttle Glamour" implies easy, but actually it's a bit of a challenge with all the long beaded picots coming off a mock ring around a bead.

On the later earrings, I've begun trying a Lark's Head Picot Join (I learned from Karen Cabrera's video on YouTube) to join the tatted rings to the long beaded picots. Many thanks to Karen for her awesome videos!

So far I like this tweak - although most folks wouldn't notice the difference. I'm tatting the rings back side. I don't know if there's a video showing that Lark's Head join from the back side, but I figured out it's just the opposite of the front side directions: down through the picot instead of up, twist the opposite way each time. I decided to simply count the join as an extra double stitch. It changes the appearance of the earrings just slightly, but I think it's an improvement! Of course, they still work with the normal join, too!
In this earring, I used the normal join on the rings to the long beaded picots.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

More "Beach Cafe" hand dyed thread

Another batch of "Beach Cafe" is now listed in my Etsy shop.

By the way, my self published printed books are still listed at a sale price on Etsy for a while. To be honest, I'm just tired of boxes of books lining my hallway! I'll still print books when requested by the wholesale buyer "Handy Hands Tatting" but I don't want to store the books in my house anymore. I will continue to offer the digital PDF files for sale as usual.

I took one of my finished "pods" from my Milkweed Pod tatting pattern and finished it up as a necklace. I strung it onto a beading wire with some leaf beads and seed beads, putting a crimp bead on each end to hold the arrangement in place. I'm keeping this necklace for myself! ☺

Friday, August 24, 2018

Milkweed Pod tatting pattern

 My original design, inspired by nature: Milkweed Pod in tatting. 

This 3 dimensional pattern is a good challenge for experienced tatters who are not afraid of split rings! ☺

Of course I used artistic license and made my pods very colorful! I used a different color for each step in the pattern to make it easier to follow, but naturally the pod will be lovely in a single color as well.

The tatted "seeds with fluff" are at the stage where they are just beginning to emerge from the pod. Do feel free to use your imagination and use other items inside the pod!

I've been told that at an earlier stage in the pattern, the unfinished pod resembles a leaf.

The PDF pattern is listed for sale in my Etsy shop and also my Craftsy pattern store.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Three Pairs of Hearts

 Finished these using my own hand dyed thread, with different colors and beads for each pair. They're listed in my Etsy shop as well as the pattern, "Heart Aglow".

For two of these I substituted wire wrapped links for the chain suggested in the pattern. I like the results!

Each pair I finished by making the ear wires myself. I favor pure Niobium for ear wires because it's very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in anyone, but the pair with the gold beads and chain I matched up with gold filled wire. Of course, I can change that out for niobium upon request.

Since my time is limited, I only make tatted jewelry as I can and want to. I don't do any custom orders, and each piece of finished jewelry in my Etsy shop is one of a kind.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

A rivoli is...

 A rivoli is a crystal with a foil backing, making it very sparkly. There are no holes, so it's a cabochon, not a bead. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, for many creative possibilities.
 The foil backing needs to be protected from scratches and wearing off, because if that happens, the crystal will lose some sparkle. Before working with the rivoli, paint some clear nail polish on the foil back and let it dry.
I beaded a peyote bezel around my rivoli before adding tatting around it. Deborah Roberti of has written an excellent free tutorial for creating a peyote bezel, and that's what I followed. She has many more patterns for sale on her website. 

I used a 12mm Swarovski rivoli, size 11/0 Delicas and size 15/0 seed beads. My beading thread was 6 lb Fireline, which is a little thicker than the 4 lb Fireline recommended in the tutorial, but it worked well for me. I must point out that it's important to use a thread especially made for beading to do the peyote, because an ordinary sewing thread can easily break from the stress. 

The necklace I designed. The center is a beaded rivoli, with tatting added around it. I joined the tatting by inserting a tiny crochet hook under the beading thread between beads. Tatting techniques used included bead picots, beads on the core thread, Josephine rings, and split rings. I used size 20 thread in my own hand dyed "Lilac Sea" and "Forest", plus Lizbeth white.

I chose to finish the necklace with strung beads on a flexible beading wire.

Tatting the necklace in progress. I was surprised at the creamy color of the size 11/0 Toho Lt. Jonquil seed beads on the white thread, as compared to the darker color in the tube. I was very pleased with the results!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

“Berry Sundae” hand dyed

New hand dyed thread, "Berry Sundae" is now listed in my Etsy shop. The colors were inspired by a lovely berry sundae that I enjoyed recently.

If you've been waiting for my books to go on sale, the time is now. My self-published books (printed only) are currently on sale in my Etsy shop at a discounted price.

Another one of my wire + tatting experiments. I'm keeping this one!
The details: 
I used solid brass wire from Beadaholique in gauges 18, 20, and 28. The Sodalite stone I purchased from a local bead shop. The tatted "flowers" are a mix of my own hand dyed with white and some gray polyester thread. I basically used the same techniques as in this video, only this particular pendant got a little fancier.

For those wanting to learn more about wire weaving, I recommend Dawn Horner's Craftsy class Start Wire Weaving Cabochon Pendants (affiliate link).

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

June flew by

Tollway Tatters - June 23, 2018
 Tollway Tatters is always a good time with good friends. The Hinsdale Oasis on the Illinois Tollway is sort of a centrally located gathering place. Follow Lace-Lovin' Librarian's blog for up-to-date info about the next meeting. Tie-dyed t-shirts are optional! Everyone was working on impressive projects at this meeting, while I brought along a new pattern that I had purchased from JTatter on Etsy, the Tetrahedron earrings. I puzzled over it for the entire time there! Later, at home, I was able to understand it, and the finished earrings are shown at the end of this post.
My fresh paint and wallpaper home improvement project completed
 The stairway in my home had been the "gallery" of my children's drawings and school projects for many years. Since my "kids" have all been fully grown up for quite some time now, I finally decided it was time to take the faded, dusty, peeling papers down, paint the wall a new color, and bring a calming view to a windowless wall with a wallpaper frieze from Bradbury & Bradbury.
That's me trying the Lunar Module landing simulator at the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio
 The family vacation destinations included the Armstrong Air and Space Museum in Wapakoneta, Ohio (hometown of Neil Armstrong, first man on the moon). Lots to see, very educational and great fun!
View of Cincinnati, Ohio
 We then continued to Cincinnati, Ohio to see a lot of the sights there, including watching our own Milwaukee Brewers play baseball in the ballpark of the Cincinnati Reds.
A beautiful sundae! Maybe the inspiration for new hand dyed thread.
 This sundae from Dairy Queen looked so pretty I took a picture of it! I'm getting a color idea for more hand dyed thread. By the way, my Etsy shop is digital only mode (vacation mode for me) just a bit longer, then I will have new plans for it.
Tetrahedron earrings, tatted from JTatter's pattern.
 I've finished a pair of Tetrahedron earrings from JTatter's pattern! For these I used size 20 hand dyed thread (Solar Flare) with size 3mm Swarovski iridescent pearl beads in Light Blue, and wire wrapped the niobium ear wires myself. 
JTatter's tetrahedron pattern in my own hand dyed thread and hand formed ear wires.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Simple Filigree Heart pendant in tatting

Free pattern, folks! 

Tatting techniques used are ring, chain, join, and bead picots, with one shuttle and ball thread. Click HERE to download the pattern.

The story behind this pattern: 

I designed it in 2016 to teach at the Bead&Button Show. I intended to make it public after that, then "put it away" and forgot it.

I had finished a pink heart from this same pattern, but apparently never photographed it and I couldn't find the tatted necklace today. But obviously this little heart can be made in any color. The sample shown is in hand dyed "Stardate". The center is a metal filigree, and a link to where to buy that item is included on the pattern. If you don't want to add the metal piece, you could probably just tat a ring with 6 picots to use instead.

The story behind these colors:

I had used the same seed beads on another item and someone asked me this morning what brand and color they were. It took me most of the morning hunting through my "studio" to find that tube of beads, because, naturally, I had "put them away". You know how it is. I made it my goal of the day to find those beads :)

A lengthy search of the Internet showed that I indeed had a "rare" color of seed beads! I'm not sure but they are possibly Miyuki PF484 Winter Green Matte Galvanized. Apparently discontinued, it seems. I bought them at a local bead shop, and planning tomorrow to visit same bead shop to buy out the rest of their stock if they have any left :) Love that color!

I hope you have fun with the pattern in your favorite colors!

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Pattern diagramming is in progress

You probably remember this milkweed pod from last year. I've been working on writing up the pattern for a while now, and although it still isn't even far enough along for me to be able to tat more pods to show, I am making progress.

One of the challenges I have is presenting a 3 dimensional object as a flat diagram that people will be able to follow. What I have so far (which, naturally, I can't show yet!) will work well, I think.

I have accepted the fact that I must write it up for without beads, and with beads. If I left either version out, there'd undoubtedly be some disappointment.

Just so you know, there are a LOT of split rings. Be careful what you wish for!

This'll take a while.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Painted Parrot

Hand dyed thread "Painted Parrot"

The snowfall here last week really got to me. I'm sick of winter...literally, I got sick. It was only a cold, so I'm okay and feeling much better now.

I turned up the heat to tropical, and I'm calling this new colorway "Painted Parrot". Looking at it makes me happy!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Pictures from Finger Lakes

Here I'm teaching my "Atom" class!
Balls of yarn at Karey's shop, Graceful Arts Fiber Studio

Hand dyed yarns by Karey Solomon

Quilts and yarn in Karey's shop

Karey also has roving for handspinning and knitting tools in her shop

The food at the conference was delicious!

We were all well fed indeed!

The auction had many fantastic items, one of which was this treasure box brimming with booty! Many tatting people contributed to the contents. My offering was the blue tatted jewelry set ("Cool Circles").

The view from my vendor's table, where I sold hand dyed thread and books.

Sharon's thread winding service came in handy!

Tatting classes in progress

Pretty shuttles that I purchased from Rita Richmond. Check out her website: Shuttle By Design

While in the Finger Lakes area, I took time to enjoy the natural beauty! Here I'm standing by Rainbow Falls in Watkins Glen State Park.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, in spite of the April snowfall!