Thursday, December 29, 2011

Swords Into Plowshares

It's finished! This is what I was designing, a necklace inspired by the Biblical passage "They shall beat their swords into plowshares...." Micah 4:3 and Isaiah 2:4.

Anyway, I tried to capture in tatting the suggestion of a sword handle with the bottom part flattened into a plowshare, or at least a shovel. The center is colorful and floral-like, an attempt to convey growth and peace. The beads at the center add sparkle and also weight to try to keep the necklace centered.

This is probably too epic of a theme for my limited abilities, but the inspiration came to mind, so I had to try!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Still emerging...another sneak peek

The necklace design is progressing. I have a theme in mind, and am trying to come up with something that expresses that theme. Will do a grand reveal when it is finished...hopefully it will be grand, but if it turns out to be a flop, I'll show that too :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New necklace design emerging

Either an inspiration, or an obsession, I'm not sure which :)
I've got sort of an idea developing on a rather grandiose theme, to be revealed in the future! The photo is just a sneak peak at my best beginning so far. Now, back to the tatting and tweaking!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas from Milwaukee

Here are some photos that I took at the Milwaukee Domes recently. This is the best I have to show you at the moment. I'm one of those "last minute" people who gets nervous if I'm asked, "Are you ready for Christmas?" Basically, I tend to get thoughtful and am amazed that God didn't just throw out the whole unruly project (the human race, the universe, etc.) and sent His Son our wonderful Savior instead. Awesome!

The pictures show some "Santa" images from around the world. Enjoy!

Father Christmas


That's me with Weihnachtsmann!

Knecht Rubrecht

La Befana

Pere Noel

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tatting a Ring (video)

Here's a basic tatting video I made, about tatting a ring. It shows the way I tat, which is comfortable for me. I know that my way is not the most classic tatting method, but the video may still be helpful for someone who is learning to tat. There are many tatting videos on YouTube now, so if you're trying to learn to tat and one person's method seems awkward for you, try another video from someone else.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tatting at Discovery World's Artisan Market, and where to from here

Me at my booth

Part of the rest of the market

View of Lake Michigan from Discovery World
 Whew! What an exciting couple of days! The last art/craft show that I'm doing this year, and it was both exhilarating and tiring.

My tatted jewelry had loads of admirers. Remarks that I heard included, "So intricate" "Beautiful" "You must have good eyesight" "I wouldn't have the patience" "I've never seen anything like this" "What's this called?" "Do you teach?" Where do you get the supplies?" "What's that piece of  equipment called that you're holding?" "Is this crochet?" "Who taught you?" "Are you on Etsy?" "Can you show me?" "I tried once but couldn't do it" "You mean you dyed the thread, too?" "I've heard of Annie's Attic, congratulations!" "You must show your amazing work at the Herb Faire at the Boerner Botanical Gardens in May" "Please write the pattern for that necklace, and teach it in class here!"

"Elf" hand dyed thread
So, okay, I will be teaching more tatting classes at Discovery World, to be scheduled sometime in January or February, most likely on a Saturday. I'll announce the dates when I find out more from the contact person there.

Hot Pink & Lime
Sales were pretty good overall, but I brought most of my thread back home with me. It's now loaded into my Etsy shop. By the way, I don't have any "elves" helping me make hand dyed thread. I do it all myself, and consider it part of my art. My dear departed Mom (may God rest her soul) wanted me to be an artist, and I think I've pretty well achieved that goal, in my own way. But, I digress. Something I found curious at the art show is that people seemed to give the impression that they needed "permission" from someone to try tatting. Okay folks, if you need permission from someone to tat lace, I'm giving you my permission! There are loads of tutorials and videos about tatting online, and about a bezillion free patterns to try, not to mention patterns for sale on Etsy and elsewhere. If you want a good starter book that includes a how-to video try this one, How to Tat by Janette Baker. As I told people at the Artisan Market, learning to tat a double stitch is like learning to ride a bicycle, it seems hard until you "get it", then it just happens and you don't have to think about making it happen any more.

Off-topic, I do occasionally play video games - I've got 3 sons all teenaged to twenty-somethings, so I've had some exposure to video games. Every time you "die" you have to do that whole section of the game all over again...and again... and again........and you have nothing to show for all that effort. At least with tatting you have something to show, even if it is just a string of knots, it is something you can hold in your hand and see. Not knocking video games, just sayin' that doing something creative, like tatting, or drawing, or making music, or making anything, or reading a good story, is an adventure of exploring the many possibilities in the world around us, and of the world within.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Event coming up

This coming weekend I'll have a booth at the Discovery World Holiday Artisan Market, details on the flyer above.

I'm frantically working away at more tatted jewelry, such as these boomerang earrings in progress. I also have a couple of hand dyed thread batches in the works, and I'll be selling my books there, too.

If you're in the area at the time, do stop by. It's a fun event, and the Discovery World Museum is amazing to see!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Women of Influence

Sue Anna, Lace-lovin' Librarian Diane, Marilee

Diane, new tatting student Jean, Sue Anna

Diane showing Jean how to unwind a skein of hand dyed thread

Amazing gifts from Diane! Handmade bag, matching blinged shuttles, and Christmas thread.

Fabulous gifts from Sue Anna! Lizbeth thread and thread storage bobbins.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Tourmaline" on a cloudy November day

New hand dyed thread batch of "Tourmaline". Some of the dye colors that I used in the original batches I can no longer get, so I've had to substitute. The colors turned out pretty good, actually, but I had a hard time capturing them in photos because today was so cloudy and dark here. I used a fluorescent lamp as lighting for the Tourmaline photos.

Yesterday, I tatted the "Atom" in a bright peach color. It's some Flora brand thread I had laying around, and the color was so screamingly outrageous  I figured it would make a very cool atom! I paired it with Swarovski crystals in their "Hyacinth" orange and a peachy satin neck cord.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Bragging rights

Screen shot taken 10:30 am

A screen shot of the front page
Hey, this morning my Tatted Jewelry book got #1 spot in the beading and jewelry section of Annie's Attic!

By the way, did you know that Annie's Attic also offers the book as an instant download PDF.

Other sources of the printed book include Handy Hands Tatting, and Lacis. Both of these companies offer International shipping, which Annie's Attic doesn't.  It's also in my Etsy shop, and I'll sign it for you if you ask, otherwise I just slip a small notepaper in with my signature. Currently that's what I've been doing for all my books.

I think you would brag too, if it were your book (happy grin), so get your designs written up, it could be your book next!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Clean up, and on to the next show

 It was inspiring and fun to participate at the "Jewelry at the Domes" show, and the next art show that I'm in is already just 3 weeks away! The postcard above gives the details for that one, the Holiday Artisan Market at Discovery World.

Middle photo at left is of some unfinished pieces that I made while demonstrating. I also made a number of "one ring butterflies" to give away free to people who showed interest, but sometimes I got so excited talking to people that I forgot to give them one. 2 people in the Loose Bead Society now want to learn how to tat, and another woman said she would email me. I also have another new student already scheduled for a lesson on November 30.

I did have sales! Maybe I missed a few by not being able to process a credit card. I do have the "Square" app on my iPod touch, but there was no wi-fi in the building, so I couldn't use it. No, I can't afford a "smart phone" on my income as an artist.

I had to restrain myself from spending all my profits at the Domes show! I only made one purchase, and it's shown in the bottom photo. Aren't they beautiful? The lovely young woman who made these is one of the most inspiring people I've ever met. Notice the tag says, "Jewelry by Jaws" and yes, that is how they are made. You will find out why at her website, Take a look.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Tatted Jewelry at the Domes

Here I am with my display. I'll be there from 9am to 4pm again today. If you're in the area, please stop by! Lots of beautiful jewelry by many talented artists, plus you get to see the incredible trees, flowers, and plants of all sorts inside the domes.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Another show this coming weekend

I'll have more tatted jewelry in the first-ever Jewelry at the Domes show. Details are on the postcard scan above.

The necklace shown at left is one of my new items that will be there. Some tatted jewelry items have been disappearing from my Etsy shop, because of being sold at the previous show, or being sent to a magazine for a photo shoot and future article...I'll announce which magazine when the contract is signed...soon. It looks like another good opportunity to publicize tatting and I'll reveal more when all is settled.

I'll be dyeing more thread after the show, to restock the rapidly dwindling supply in my Etsy shop. I really need to concentrate on getting more jewelry made this week.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Tatted Jewelry at "Loominosity"

Me with my newly published book!

Jewelry displays at the "Loominosity" show

 These photos were all taken at the "Loominosity" Exhibit and Sale, a 4 day event showcasing the artwork of the members of 2 guilds, the Loose Bead Society and the Wisconsin Handweavers. Something tatted can be found in each of the photos.

I also had a new tatting student come for her first lesson. She was so enthusiastic about learning to tat, she gave me this beautiful felted bag that she made!
Gift from my new tatting student, and her very first tatted chain!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Ginkgo Leaf pattern is ready

The pattern for the Ginkgo Leaf is now finished, and I've listed it for sale in my Etsy Shop. The pattern has instructions for the leaf with or without beads, with many in-progress photos. I consider it an advanced level pattern, mostly because of the folded rings and the Catherine Wheel joins.

But, actually a folded ring isn't really that hard. I think if you can already tat a ring, you'll be able to learn the folded ring easily from the instructions in the pattern.

The Catherine Wheel join is a bit fiddly, but I made a video and a free PDF tutorial on that technique. I like that join for when I want a smooth, outlining curve in a design.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Show schedule and new book

My table at Discovery World last year.

In November and December, there will be 3 shows where I'll be displaying my tatted jewelry and demonstrating tatting. The first coming up is Loominosity November 3 - 6. This is a group effort, so although I will have things on display there all 4 days, I only plan to be demonstrating at that location (New Berlin, Wisconsin) on Thursday, November 3rd, until about 3:30 pm.

The following weekend, November 12 and 13, I will be at the Milwaukee Domes for the Jewelry in the Domes show. I will be at that event both days, sharing a table with the fabulous felt artist, Jan Falk.

Then, December 3 and 4, I expect to have my own booth at the Discovery World Holiday Artisan Market. So busy, busy!

My demo at Loominosity 2010
Some of my tatting in the gift shop.
And, to top it all off, my new book is coming out very soon! It's called  
Tatted Jewelry and you can see a preview at Annie's Attic. That is where you can buy the book (as soon as it's ready). I'm quite happy to have had a book published by a real publisher!
Update: Since Annie's Attic doesn't ship overseas, I'll see what I can do about getting some copies to sell from my blog or Etsy.