Saturday, December 26, 2009

"Night Wind"

The "Night Wind" blows where it will - some of the skeins turned out with a lighter shade of purple than others, even though they were all painted at the same time with the same dye. The blues are the same, just the purple is paler on some. So, I separated them out in my Etsy shop listings. The size 40, 50, and 80 all have the paler purple. I did my best to photograph the colors as they appear.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What came in the mail

It's the flier of class listings offered at the spring retreat for the Loose Bead Society...and that's my tatting on the cover! Such an honor :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Guest teaching Online Tatting Class

My first time as a guest instructor at Georgia's Online Tatting Class on Monday, December 14. I'll be talking about making the "Ruffled Orbit" earrings.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How it went at the Artisan Market

Whew! It was fun, but tiring.

Lots of people stopped to look at my tatted jewelry, and comments ranged from, "How intricate! Oh, so beautiful!" to "That looks so tedious. You'll go blind." Well, you know - it takes all sorts. I encouraged people to take my business card and check out my blog and the many other tatting blog links, so they could find out for themselves that tatting is NOT a "lost art", and that I am NOT the "last person on the planet" doing it!

I did make some sales, and better yet - so many people showed interest in taking a tatting class, that the organizer of the event (who also runs the gift shop) said she would contact me about scheduling tatting classes at Discovery World! I'll post more about this when I get more info.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Getting ready for the Holiday Artisan Market 2009

I'm tatting jewelry items like mad for the Holiday Artisan Market 2009, held at Milwaukee's Discovery World Museum on December 5 and 6. From past experience, I anticipate that the tatted jewelry will sell quite well. Hand dyed thread skeins don't go over so much in a general market. But the organizers have me on the vendor's list as selling both, so I'll bring along a few skeins anyway. Here's a photo of the way my booth looked last year.

The earrings in the top photo are tatted from Elizabeth's "Long Elegant Earrings" pattern, which she has for sale in her "Elizabeth's Lace" shop on Etsy. How nice that she has given permission to the purchasers of her pattern to sell the earrings we make from it - thanks, Elizabeth!

Since the readership of this blog is worldwide, probably not very many live close enough to actually attend this event, but just in case here is a link to the pdf flier about it.

I'll be wearing tatting and demonstrating tatting as well as selling.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Remembrance" tatted ring

A tatted ring - actually!
Okay, I know it's not much of a pun, LOL.

In a way, these are almost easy enough to be a "no-brainer" pattern. But wait - there are ends to hide! 4 ends for one color, or a whopping 8 ends for two colors.

I've been using Lily's Way to sew in the ends. Of course, with two colors the first ends can be tatted over, so that helps a bit.

If you would like a free pdf of my "Remembrance" ring pattern,
Click here.

Video added June 28, 2015.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Original bracelets in the "stained glass" effect

The large bracelet is tatted in size 10, the small in size 20.

I had several unsuccessful starts trying to come up with a bracelet design that would coordinate with the "Wondrous Window" pendants, but I like these. The large measures about 7.5 inches, the small about 6.5 inches.

I decided on using a toggle closure since that seemed easiest to close.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From messy to beautiful

Hand dyed thread, so special for tatting and other lace work, begins as plain white thread (of high quality) and messy dye (I use Fiber-Reactive dye).

I wear a protective face mask to avoid breathing in the dry dye powder until it has been mixed into liquid form.

The wet dye color looks much darker than the finished color will look on the thread.

The way I make hand dyed thread (HDT) is to lay out the skeins onto plastic wrap and paint the dye on with a brush. There are other methods too, but this is how I do it. For cotton thread, I just roll up the skeins into the plastic and let them "cure".

If I'm dyeing a yarn with a wool content, I add some vinegar to the dye, since wool fiber needs an low pH, as opposed to the high pH required by cotton. Then I give the plastic-wrapped wool a "steambath" for 45 minutes.

(I use a pot dedicated to dyeing purposes).

Then, the skeins are rinsed, rinsed, rinsed! Washed and rinsed some more, to make sure that the finished HDT is clean and will not "bleed" color when it is in use.

The straightened skeins are left to air dry, then twisted into attractive skeins to show.


Beautiful HDT!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Hot off the press" giveaway

Here's a photo of the page with my tatting featured in Belle Armoire magazine. Recognize those tatted pendants on the bottom right?

To celebrate, I'm having a GIVEAWAY!The prize is a copy of the magazine, plus 2 skeins of my hand dyed thread. One skein each of "Pizazz" and "A Leaf Falls", both size 20.

of these prize packages will be given away, regardless of how many enter. All you have to do to have a chance to win is to leave a comment on this post. You don't need to have a blog to enter, but you do need to leave some way for me contact you if you win.

Three winners will be selected at random on Friday, November 6. Good luck!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Colorful result of careful mixing, painting, curing, rinsing

Here is a photo of me hand painting thread with dye. The next picture shows the finished result, a lovely batch of "Garden Afternoon" hand dyed thread.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

"Keyed Up" earrings pattern

Obviously, this design could be varied endlessly by using different charms, findings, beads, thread colors, etc. It's quite simple. There are no split rings - but does require the use of 2 shuttles, and they are "switched". In other words, shuttle 1 trades places with shuttle 2 where indicated in the pattern, which is available as a pdf in my Etsy shop. BTW, there are many Etsy sellers who offer interesting charms and findings for sale. Of course, if you really want the same tiny keys I used, they are available at Bello Modo.

Even though this is so simple a pattern, it did take some experimentation time for me to figure out the stitch counts so that the tatting would take shape naturally without being forced. I think this finished design has major improvements over an earlier attempt.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Chemo Cap Project with tatting

This is the first time I decorated a cap for the Chemo Cap Project.

The tatted flower started out to be a different design, but I made a mistake, so... just kept going and made up a different flower. The center bead is surrounded by a self closing mock ring, and the motif just sort of grew out of that, using one shuttle and a ball thread.

I worked on this during the Fall Beading Retreat held by the Loose Bead Society. So, it was a "tatting in public" day for me, and a lot of fun! The event was also a convenient opportunity to learn some jewelry making tips from the excellent "crimp bead" demo that was given.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

"Lacy Treasure" pattern

For something that was intended to be a simple design, it sure seemed like a complicated thing to write up - golly!
There are a lot of different skills used in this little piece, which I originally came up with as a teaching pattern. So many people asked about it, that I have decided to offer it for sale in pdf format in my Etsy shop. I still plan on using it as a teaching pattern for introduction to beaded tatting.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I wonder which tatting design they chose?

Every time I get a notice that my tatting is going to be published in print - I get so excited and go sort of nuts!!! (Not that I'm not plenty nuts already, LOL.)

Okay, here's what I've been told so far: Belle Armoire (Art To Wear magazine not BA Jewelry) is publishing one of my tatted originals in their November/December 2009 issue. (Not the current issue for sale, the next one coming up.) And that is all I know; they didn't say which of my items they chose. It would have to be something that I've sent in.

So, is it the "Ruffled Orbit" tatted earrings? Or the simple "Lacy Treasure" pendant? Or, could it be the "Wondrous Window" pendant? We get to find out in November!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Historic costume jewelry display

These vintage jewelry pieces and fashions are on display at Mount Mary College. I am gathering ideas from these classics, that I may use in my tatted jewelry designs.

Of the vintage clothing that was on display, my personal favorites were the 1952 prom dress with the lacy, full skirt, and the coat inspired by an abstract painting.

I really enjoyed seeing this display, and I am so thrilled to have become an official, card carrying member of the Loose Bead Society of Greater Milwaukee! What a nice, friendly bunch of people interested in all sorts of ways to use beads!

Right away I got asked if I would teach a tatting class (they remembered me from my tatting demo in February).

Since we can bring our projects to work on at their Fall Retreat on October 10, I'll bring a beaded tatting project, and we'll see what happens. I am also looking forward to eventually learning other beading techniques from these talented folks, that I'll probably "morph" into tatting designs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Cool threads

"Snowflake" in very pale pastels. seems to evoke a cool feeling.
"A Leaf Falls" was just a small experiment with some of the same colors I used in my "Sugar Maple" batch, without the red. I thought it would be nice to add variety to the leaf colors, like nature does. I may need to make more of this!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Keyed up earrings

It bothers me when a design doesn't look like it is going to work, while the tatting is still in progress. I've had this happen on patterns from books, as well as when I'm working out my own.

On the photo to the left, it can be seen that the larger ring at the bottom doesn't look like it will be centered, and that the work won't lie flat. Surprisingly, the finished earring is okay - I think it's because the bottom ring stretches itself out to fit.

But, I'm not satisfied with my design yet, and think some adjustments need to be made.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

LadyShuttleMaker's giveaway, and my "escape"

is having a fabulous giveaway every week! Check it out on her blog!

I don't have anything else to share today, except that I'm making plans to escape my "isolation" a bit - LOL. I have made arrangements with a friend to attend the next meeting of the Loose Bead Society. I'm hoping this will be a good way to interact with other creative people in my local area. (As far as I know, the closest lace group is Lighthouse Lacers in Kenosha - quite a drive for me, so I don't get there much.) So, since I include beads in my tatting, I think the bead group will be a good fit for me. I did a tatting demo there once, and they seemed very interested in my work.

BTW, what do you think of the new 'Link Within" widget I installed at the bottom of posts? Does it make the pages load more slowly, is it distracting, or are there other problems? If it's causing trouble, I'll remove it. I'm not sure I like it, myself - it occasionally brings up posts that I didn't really want to be reminded of, LOL!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Saturday, August 29, 2009

5 petal beaded pendant, earrings, and weaving a runner

A very old tatting book showed a pretty motif with 5 "petals", and seeing it inspired me to design this black pendant. I may tweak the center a bit before writing up the pattern.
The earrings were also inspired by a vintage pattern. I like how they turned out, but I am thinking of variations that may improve on the design.
Here is another pendant started in HDT (same design as the first).
My weaving project has gotten to the actual weaving stage, yay! I decided to put some Brooks Bouquet (the part with the "holes") on either side of the patterned area. I think I will leave the center part of the cloth plain, with bands of patterning at the ends. So far I'm very happy with it! Yep, I'm thinking this table runner will be way too lovely to ever part with - but hey, I think I put on enough warp for two!

For those who have been patiently waiting for the "Sugar Maple" HDT - I'm sorry it's taking so long! Should have the new HDT added to my Etsy shop in a few days.