Monday, December 28, 2015

How to become a Craftsy instructor

In this post I'm specifically trying to encourage more tatting teachers to think about teaching a course on Craftsy, but the information here will apply to any craft subject.

So, first of all, if you don't already have a Craftsy account, sign up at
You'll need to watch some Craftsy classes to get an idea of how the course platform functions. Watch several classes to observe different teaching styles. 

So, if you're thinking, "I could teach a Craftsy class!", the next step would be to prepare a plan of what you would like to teach. At the time of this writing, Craftsy's standard class format is 7 lessons, with each lesson lasting about 20 minutes. You don't need 7 different projects, but should take photos of what each lesson will be covering.

Contact Craftsy with your proposal of a class.

Some of the facts Craftsy will want to know about you is whether you have a blog, Facebook page, website, email list, or anything that shows you have followers that like your work. They will want to see photos of things that you've made, using skills related to your course proposal. If you have experience teaching classes at live events, be sure to tell them that and provide photos if possible. If you've written books or had your work published in magazines, that's a plus. Basically, they need evidence that you've developed a high level of skill, that you have enthusiasm for teaching it to others, and that people will want to buy your class.

Not all proposals are accepted.
But hey! Supposing Craftsy likes your proposal and accepts it! What happens next?

You will receive emails from a Craftsy contact person, with a formal title like "acquisitions editor" or "content editor". They will set up a convenient time to telephone you, and will help you through the process of preparing your class for the 3 day video shoot at their studios. You'll also be sent a contract to sign.

Craftsy will help with the travel planning. They'll also pay for any supplies that you need to purchase for your projects that you'll be demonstrating in your class. You'll need to submit the receipts for the supplies to be reimbursed for them.

An important task is to prepare "step outs", or projects partially completed, up to each step in the lessons that you'll be teaching. The reason is so that valuable studio time isn't spent waiting while you finish something. Basically, if something takes you more than a few minutes to do, you'll need to prepare another step out to that part of the project.

You'll also need to prepare patterns for the class projects, as part of the downloadable course materials.

When you get to the Craftsy studios you'll be given star treatment! They even have a professional makeup artist to get you camera ready! It may seem like a ton of makeup, but it's just enough for the camera work. The makeup artist will style your hair, too.

Showtime! Don't worry that you have to do everything perfectly in one take. The camera crew are super-nice people and will work with you to get your class to look great!

After the video shoot is done, you go home happy, and wait for your class to be edited, which takes about 6 to 8 weeks. You'll be notified when your class goes live! After that, you need to answer any student questions that come up in your class. Instructors giving personalized responses to student questions is what makes Craftsy classes truly interactive.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The dove tree and "Beatrice" necklace

 At choir practice at church this week I saw that the peace dove tree was up.
See if you can find the tatted dove in the top photo! The tatting pattern is by Jane Eborall.

The photo at left shows the whole tree. I'm impressed with how big it is and the number of dove ornaments that people donated for it.

I tatted another dove for my own Christmas tree!

 The necklace that I had been designing in blue is now deep garnet red! 

Well, I just had so many failures trying to get the math to balance out evenly while designing I was getting discouraged. I figured if I changed colors it would seem like a new project and I could start fresh. It worked! I like it, and I'm calling the design "Beatrice" which means "bringer of joy".

I'll be listing the finished necklace for sale in my Etsy shop, but the pattern so far is only scribbled notes for myself. The techniques I used include pearl tatting, rings thrown off each side of pearl tatting, bead picots, and Catherine Wheel Joins. I used Lizbeth #674 Garnet Dark in size 10, Toho large hole seed beads size 11/0, and Swarovski crystal bicones size 6mm in Fire Opal.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Jane's Peace Dove

Jane Eborall has amazing patterns! I tatted her dove in size 10 thread to make it 4 inches across, using white size 8/0 seed beads and one black size 6/0 seed bead for the eye. The olive branch is from Miranda's instructions which are included on the pattern. See Jane Eborall's pattern website. 
Pattern note: make the picots large enough to carry a seed bead, unless "vsp" is indicated, because many of the picots joining rings have seed beads on them.

I made the dove pictured as a donation to a "peace" Christmas tree project at the church that I attend; they are decorating one of the trees entirely in peace dove ornaments, both purchased and handmade. It's a large tree and the size requirement for ornaments was at least 3 inches, so the dove tatted in size 10 thread fit the requirement. I painted on a fabric stiffener to make it stiff enough.

Sorry for the confusion on my previous post, but designing is at least 90% confusion! I was excited about a tiara idea briefly, but experimenting brought out various problems which I won't bore you with here. No tiara. But, I am making progress on the necklace. I think, possibly, it will be very lovely! No photos of it yet, I am still working out the math.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

At the designing board in blue

 This week a vague idea came to me from out of the blue. 
I started tatting it up, posted my work in progress on Facebook, and someone commented "tiara". The project of a tiara hadn't occurred to me, but while looking at what I had so far, I agreed, it could be. I still want to do the original necklace design I was going for, so I'll probably do both. I'll need to buy more Swarovski crystals and more large hole Toho beads! A trip to Midwest Beads, soon then. (My favorite bead store since they are scheduling a tatting class for me to teach there in February!)
The Bead&Button Show class catalog arrived in the mail, and guess who has 2 tatting classes listed!!! I've got an advanced class, and a beginner class both in the catalog. Yes, they're expensive, as are all the classes at this large, prestigious event. But hey, tatting deserved to be showcased, too.

For those who still don't know, I've got 2 classes on Craftsy now. Here are my affiliate links to preview them:
Shuttle Tatting

Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Tatted Cotter Pin Links Tutorial

My tatted cotter pin link tutorial is available as a free PDF. Click HERE to download the 2 page file.

I hope you'll have fun with this technique! It's another idea to play with.

My report on wearing the bracelet for awhile:
  • Using a tatted ring as a toggle loop didn't work. The toggle bar fell out. So, I added a proper metal toggle clasp, which does work well.
  • The tatting tends to lengthen with wearing, so for a bracelet make it just a little bit shorter than needed. It will stretch to a comfortable size. 
  • The tatted links hold their shape surprisingly well, considering that they're only fiber!  
My bracelet after wearing, with the finished clasp.

Another tatted cotter pin bracelet.