Friday, August 27, 2010

Polymer clay butterfly with tatting

It's done! This butterfly measures 6 inches (15 cm) across. The entire necklace weighs less than an ounce.

First, I made the polymer clay pieces, punching holes around the edges for attaching the tatting later. I baked the clay according to the manufacturer's directions.

Then I got out size 20 thread and a size 13 steel crochet hook. Most of the edging is just chains, attached through the holes with lock joins. Doing the body was a little trickier, and I experimented as I went along...well, you know...I just sort of "winged it" :-)

I discovered that I needed to finish both wings first, before attaching to the body in progress.

After completing the butterfly, I added the neck cord, improvising with Victorian Sets, split rings,
and rings with chains.

The closure is a toggle of polymer clay. It makes for an adjustable necklace by fitting into any of the spaces between the rings and chains.

Here's a neat trick to avoid extra cord length from sticking out around your neck: put the toggle through the last space first, then again through the desired space.

This necklace is one-of-a-kind, and I'll proudly wear it myself. But, who knows, now that I've got one figured out, I may get others finished to sell later.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2 whole pages

A surprise came in yesterday's mail - my tatting was published in another magazine! Here's a snapshot of the 2 page spread featuring my tatted items in the September/October issue of Belle Armoire, but you'll need to see the actual magazine (coming out next month) in order to get the full effect of this publication's glorious photography. All I did was submit the tatted jewelry through the mail. It got accepted, and their professional photographer took the photos. Wow! They sure do make it look good :-)

You may recognize this tatting from my Beguile Set, which I included in my Up and Tat 'Em book. But, you may ask, "Where is the pattern for the bracelet variation that the model is wearing?"

Well, here's what happened: I finished that particular bracelet quite a long while back, and forgot to take a photo of it before shipping it to the magazine. So, I didn't have the sample on hand while I was writing Up and Tat 'Em, and couldn't remember what I had done.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"Lavender's blue, dilly, dilly..."

Some blue, anyway - and some light purple, mixed together in this hand dyed Lavender thread. I only dyed a few sizes of Lavender, since I also dyed...

...A large batch of "Garden Afternoon".

Next week or so, I plan to start dyeing some autumn colorways, so nice for making tatted leaves!

Now I'll get back to finishing that butterfly project.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Plumbing disaster and catching the train

To make a long story hand dyed thread batches of "Garden Afternoon" and "Lavender" cured over 72 hours this week, unintentionally.

What happened was, just when I was all set to begin rinsing out the thread, the sink clogged - completely! I had standing water and leaking below the sink. On top of it all, I needed to catch a train in a few hours (to attend a funeral, at which I would see relatives from very far away that I may not have another opportunity to see). It does all have to happen at once, doesn't it?

Of course I tried the plunger, then the drain cleaner, and ended up with a horrible lethal mess that splattered white bleached spots on my colored clothing. I had to call the emergency service plumber. He arrived in half an hour, but was still working when I needed to leave for the train station. So, the hand dyed batch had to wait in its plastic wrapping until I got back, 3 days later.

I was concerned that the thread would get moldy or that strange things would happen to the colors, but fortunately it turned out just as pretty as usual.

It all worked out. The plumbing is fixed, the mess is cleaned up, I had a wonderful visit with my far away relatives, and I even demonstrated tatting to 2 very interested ladies on the train!

I just need a little rest, then I'll restock my shop on Etsy.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Butterfly not done yet

The polymer clay butterfly with tatting is still in progress. The photo shows the 2nd wing being attached to the butterfly body. The thread is pulled through the hole in the polymer clay with a crochet hook, in preparation for a join - a normal join at that particular place. Around the outer edges I've used only chains with lock joins.

What I've learned so far is that the 2 wings needed to be completed first, then the body worked, attaching wings to the final round of the body. I'm planning to tat antennae last...well, actually the last part will be the neck cord. I'll probably have to use a slightly different thread color since I'm running out of the hand dyed color I'm using. Isn't that always the way, running out of thread! This is definitely a one-of-a-kind project, and not for sale. Just to exhibit and keep.

I hope to finish it next week, and also dye more thread for my Etsy shop.