Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mixed Media Earrings: Tatting, Beads, and Wire Wrapped Dangle

Both of these pairs of tatted earrings are based on my own "Giddy" design (found in my book, "Tatted Jewelry"), but I embellished with added touches. I wire wrapped the beaded dangle at the bottom, and also made the earwires myself. 

The colorful pair is from my own hand dyed thread (colorway: "Summer Trail", size 20) and the brown solid is Lizbeth #691.

Tatting, of course, is something I've been doing for many years, but wire wrapping is new to me. I'm still in the "wasting lots of wire" stage, but making progress, I think. Classes on Craftsy that I enjoy include "Make Your Own Wirework Findings" and "Wire-Wrapped Stones, Crystals, and Clusters". (Disclosure: as a Craftsy associate, I earn a little bit of money when people sign up for Craftsy classes by following my links.)

The Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee has already started. The class that I'm teaching on June 2 is "Shuttle Tatting Basics" - sold out, but...

...another tatting class that I'll be teaching on August 1 at Shake Rag Alley has 3 seats remaining as of this morning. The formal classes at these prime venues can get pricey, but don't forget, the Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild meetings are a fun way to learn in person for free! 

Here's a photo of a version of the Bead&Button Show class project using a metal filigree center, in progress from my own hand dyed "Stardate" batch. This thread is currently in stock in my Etsy shop, but going fast!

Bead&Button Show tatted earrings in various colors

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Musings on Artistic Expression

The Bead&Button Show is fast approaching and I'm looking forward to teaching my class "Shuttle Tatting Basics" which is sold out. The photo above with tatted earring in progress is the project for which the students will receive supply kits, in various color choices. Naturally, new beginners will likely not be able to complete the project in class, and that was made very clear in the advertising.

To make my pattern listings more clearly stated in my Etsy shop, I've added the word "shuttle" to "tatting pattern" in the listing title. I had previously assumed that "tatting pattern" on its own was interpreted as "shuttle tatting pattern", and that the word "needle" was added to a pattern title that included needle specific instruction. Apparently that was clear only to me, so I've added the word "shuttle".

Some folks wish I'd re-write my patterns with needle tatting directions but that would make pattern writing twice as much work as it already is. I know how to do needle tatting but it's not my passion. Be aware that Ankars is not my passion, either. I admire the work of others in those fields, and have given each method at least a perfunctory try, but it's just not me.

So, I'll keep doing my own form of artistic expression. Hey, I have a college degree in art - a dusty old one, but still :-)

The large secret "project" that I can't show yet will get done the later part of June.  I'll feel a lot better when it's finished and then I can talk about it! (Spoiler hint - it involves airplane travel.)

Saturday, May 9, 2015


The colorful flower is in the picture to show that it's a color photo, not black and white. There's only shades of gray in this hand dyed thread. I'm sure you'll find lots of creative uses for it! Now available in my Etsy shop.

This being Mother's Day weekend, the plan with my family is to go together to see the new Avenger's movie. That and we will eat out somewhere, nothing fancy.

Monday, May 11 is scheduled for a meeting of the Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild. Attendance has been sparse these last few months, but should pick up now with the nicer weather.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Shake Rag Alley Tatting Class

2 students practicing double stitches, with me standing near

Here I'm showing another tatting student the basics

View through our window, showing the blacksmith workshop in progress

The "Potter's House" where our tatting class took place

Artistic hand painted picket fence on the grounds with birdhouse

Rustic gate

Selfie with the Coach House at Shake Rag Alley
The tatting class went well! The students were all eager to learn, and the springtime weather was gorgeous! Since Mineral Point is a good 2 hour drive from my house, I arrived the night before and stayed at the historic Coach House.on the grounds at Shake Rag Alley. It's really a lovely place to get away from it all - my cell phone had no service but there was WiFi in the building, so I could email my hubby that I got there safely. The buildings are very old but have been updated with modern conveniences like electric lights and heat, and my room at the Coach House was very comfortable with an antique iron frame bed but modern bathroom.

The area is known for it's historic sites and also for the many art and craft classes held there. At the same time as my tatting class was going on, the blacksmith workshop was happening nearby. The sounds of hammering metal were not distracting, I enjoyed it, along with the singing of the birds.

I have another tatting class scheduled there on August 1.