Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Only wire for today

These pictures show my results at trying Sarah Thompson's "Chalice" pendant design in wire weaving. I followed the instructions in her article in "Step by Step Wire Jewelry" magazine, Oct./Nov. 2016 issue. This project was quite challenging for me, but I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Christmas was filled with music for me this year, since I sang in the Choir and for some songs played cello in the instrumental ensemble. I loved it! Looking forward to more music in 2017!

Internet access went down here for a couple days, but today a new modem was installed and I'm "knocking on wood" that it'll keep working well now.

Still no tatting to show, but ideas are simmering. I think for 2017 I'll try to come up with some men's tatted jewelry designs. Some of my previous designs are quite suitable for the guys, such as the "Atom" pendant and the "Celtic Triangle", but I'll see if I can come up with more.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

New batch of "Snowflake" hand dyed thread

Just added to my Etsy shop, this colorway has pale blues with some light purples and pinks to give a frozen winter effect.

Here's a photo of the dyeing process in progress, so you can see that each skein of hand dyed will be unique, with subtle color variations:
The colors always look much darker when the dye is wet. After the thread is painted with the dye, I wrap it in plastic to let it cure. After it's cured (set), then I wash the skeins with a special detergent called Sorbitol to wash out any excess dye and rinse thoroughly, then lay them out to air dry.

I've no finished tatting to show today, but I hope you've enjoyed seeing this little peek at hand dyed thread being made!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Bead&Button Show class catalog

 In yesterday's mail I received the Bead&Button Show 2017 class catalog, and you betcha I eagerly paged through it to see how my own classes looked! :) No kidding, I'll be teaching 2 tatting classes at this prestigious event, which is quite an honor, seeing as how it's promoted as a gathering of, in their own words, "the best in the biz" of jewelry teachers. Well, as far as I know, I'm the only jewelry maker specializing in tatting who applied, therefore providing the only reason I'm promoted as "best" ;)

To wax philosophical, I believe that tatting should be showcased alongside other art and craft forms, otherwise how will more people become inspired to see its potential?  Oh yeah, and the show is in my town, so no travel expense for me :)

Also on the calendar for 2017 is teaching a beginning shuttle tatting workshop at Shake Rag Alley.

In my life outside of tatting, I'm playing my cello again and singing soprano in the choir. We are preparing a lot of Christmas music. It's nice to be part of a group effort. As tatters/crafters/designers, we spend a lot of time in solitary activity, don't we? Be sure to take time to get out for doing something meaningful with a group. We are all multi-gifted people, and we never know how many people we inspire by sharing our talents.
Steampunk Gear Tatted Earrings

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Winner!

The winner of the giveaway is JB! Congrats, JB, I've sent you an email.

Thank you so much to everyone who commented on my giveaway post. I enjoyed reading all those wonderful comments!

To answer Michelle's question about the handsome guy next to me in the photo on that post, it's Weihnachtsmann - a German "Father Christmas" or "Santa Claus". It was taken during a visit to the Mitchell Park "Domes" in Milwaukee in a previous year. There was a large display at that time of how cultures around the world pictured their symbol of Christmastime gift-giving.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Etsy Gift Card Giveaway

Comment below for a chance to win a $25 USD Etsy gift card, which can be spent at any Etsy shop that accepts Etsy gift cards! The winner will be chosen with a random number calculator on Friday, December 2. I need a way to contact you if you win. The gift card will be emailed.

If you need more information about Etsy gift cards, the legal details are all on the Etsy Terms of Use page.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Using Single Shuttle Split Ring to hide tails in final ring

I didn't invent this idea. I learned it from smarter tatters!

I like it for tatted earrings and pendants that end with a ring on top. No sewing in ends!

I used my smartphone to make this little video. Here's the finished earrings that I was working on:
Daisy Picot Key Earrings in hand dyed "Peace" and "Celery" size 20
My original pattern for these earrings is in my Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting Craftsy class (my affiliate link may give you a discount). The crystal in the center ring is my added embellishment that's not in the pattern, but a similar demo is shown in another project.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

"Grayscale" is back, some UFO's finished

 A new batch of hand dyed "Grayscale" thread has been added to my Etsy shop. I put brightly colored flowers in the picture to show that it's not a black and white photo.

This week I also managed to finish a few "UFO's" (unfinished objects) that I found stashed in bags! This "Cool Circles" necklace in hand dyed "Pond" thread with size 8/0 glass seed beads in aqua with Swarovski pearls is now done, and I'm pleased with the result.

Of course I don't have the pattern memorized :)  So I followed the directions in my book that Annie's published (Tatting With Beads Jewelry) but noticed that under "First Upper Side" although they put in "repeat from * to * " correctly, they didn't make the second * all that obvious to find. It's my own pattern, and even I had to look carefully to figure out where to stop! Ah well, just letting y'all know, the second * is found on the upper right of page 13, just after "LJ to vsp". Then, go back to where you were under "First Upper Side" to continue.
 I also finished a pair of earrings in size 20, same color thread, slightly different beads, although they do coordinate very nicely with the necklace should anyone want the set.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Some beads in my stash

Here's a comparison of some types of beads I often use. 

Bead size is written at the left, with 3 examples of that size in each row (round, faceted, and bicone shapes). 
Seed beads are between the lines at the bottom of the picture.

Size 20 thread and finer can fit through the hole of any of these beads. 

Size 10 Lizbeth thread is thicker, so the 3 mm beads and some 11/0 seed beads won't fit. I've taken to using Toho Takumi large hole beads when I want an 11/0 seed bead with size 10 thread, since they fit easily. Delicas (a brand of Japanese cylinder beads) will also fit on size 10 thread. They really are shaped like tiny cylinders.

Not on the list are a new arrival called "demi" seed beads. They're half the width of regular seed beads. I tried them on some dainty snowflake earrings in size 40 thread, and liked the delicate effect in the picots combined with a regular 11/0 seed bead on the core thread.
In hand dyed "Candy Mint" size 40.

Lizbeth size 40 in white.
The snowflake pattern is mine, "tweaked" and "upgraded" from a simpler original I blogged about in 2008, Quickie Snowflake Earrings.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Wired and tatted

 All mixed up!

This pendant is my latest experiment of combining wire-wrapping and tatting. I started with a wire weave that I learned in Aga Kruk's 2nd Craftsy Class, Wire-Wrapped Stones, Designer Techniques, and captured some random tatting into it as I wove the wire.
The woven bail technique I learned in a class by Dawn Horner, called Start Wire Weaving Cabochon Pendants.

Woven wire earrings from instructions in Aga's class.

Woven Cubes FLW wallpaper
 Bradbury & Bradbury
 Home improvement projects have taken up much of my time lately. The dining room area in my 1920s era house needed new wallpaper in the wood framed panels, so when I discovered that Frank Lloyd Wright wallpaper designs were available to order online, I jumped right on it! Several patterns are available from Bradbury & Bradbury Art Wallpapers. I chose Woven Cubes.

Leaving you with a pretty autumn view of Miller Park baseball stadium, which is not very far from my house in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The new book

 So now at last I have my own printed copy of the new book to hold in my hands! Tatting With Beads Jewelry is a beautiful, professionally published 28 page book containing patterns for 4 tatted jewelry sets, all designed by me. Indeed, it is gratifying to see my name on the cover :)

I've listed some in my Etsy Shop, so if you want the book signed by me, buy it there. If you want it as a PDF file, you need to buy that from the publisher Annie's. 

The "Beatrice" necklace is the most advanced pattern in the book. It uses the technique of pearl tatting. The easiest pattern in the book is "Beaded Path", which is only tatted chains. I've enjoyed designing all 4 sets, so I hope you'll have fun tatting them!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Free easy tatted star and snowflake pattern

Download the pattern as a PDF file by clicking HERE.

This is a very simple pattern that I've written up and used in teaching beginner tatting classes. Feel free to use it to teach others! Only the basic techniques of tatting are used: ring, chain, picot, join, and a little about sewing in ends.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Celtic Triangle

 This project is essentially the same as the Celtic Triangle that I teach in my Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting class on Craftsy. In this one I replaced some of the double stitches with beads on the core thread. The green is my own hand dyed "Leafy" and the brown is Lizbeth Fudge Dark, both size 10.

The pendant looks different on either side, so you can choose whichever side you're in the mood for to show. I finished the pendant with a wire bail that I formed myself, and a lovely silk ribbon from Quintess on Etsy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New hand dyed thread "Spooky" and Maker Faire photos

Black, purple, green, yellow, and orange were suggested to me as "Halloween" colors. They do remind me a little of fruity candy with black licorice :)

I demonstrated tatting at the Maker Faire Milwaukee this past Sunday afternoon, and had many people stop by to watch and ask questions about what I was doing. Several children watched me make one ring tatted butterflies that they could take home. One woman even sat down for a half hour lesson! Hopefully she'll be coming to future meetings of the local tatting guild.
That's me demonstrating tatting at the Maker Faire!

A one ring butterfly in progress

There were lots of inventive contraptions at the Maker Faire

Where we'd be now, if the Wright brothers hadn't been successful :)

Sighting of a Dalek at the Faire! I wonder where Doctor Who was?

Monday, September 19, 2016

New book coming soon!

Yes, that's my name and my tatting on the cover! 

Amazon is taking pre-orders for the book here. November 1 is the date that the book will be available.

This is my new book which is being published by Annie's. All of the patterns are tatted jewelry with beads, with in-progress shuttle tatting photos, diagrams, and written instructions in English.

The patterns are:

  • Cool Circles necklace, bracelet, earrings, shown on the cover
  • Beaded Path necklace, bracelet, earrings (easy)
  • Beatrice necklace and earrings (pearl tatting)
  • Dazzling Debut necklace and earrings (curled rings)
All of the patterns use size 10 Lizbeth cotton. Beads used include 6mm and 4mm round beads, 6mm bicone Swarovski crystal beads, size 11/0 Toho Takumi large hole seed beads, and size 8/0 seed beads.

I hope you'll enjoy these patterns! I'm looking forward to holding the finished book in my hand!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pictures from Palmetto Tat Days

That's me with Sue Anna, Jane Eborall, and Tamie.

I was so excited to meet Yorkie Sue from London! 

Shoppers browsing tatting supplies in the vendor room.

LadyShuttleMaker's handmade tatting shuttles!

Nancy Tracy's Be-stitched store display in the vending room.

Sharon with Karey from Graceful Arts Fiber Studio 

Shuttle Brothers GR-8 shuttles

What a thrill to finally meet Sherry (LadyShuttleMaker) in person!

Sue Hanson showing her beautiful coat embellished with tatting.

Sherry and Sue so happy to see each other again!

The building where classes were held and lodging was provided, behind the tall pines.

Picturesque walk to the dining hall.

Lining up for the buffet.

The dining hall during the Friday night banquet.

Dessert, tatting gauge and program booklet. The theme this year was "Tatting is Out of This World!"

Entertainment at the banquet included an impromptu "bell choir"! 

Lovely view of Lake Louise

Karey and Arlene

Holly growing outside. A spectacular plant that seems like a miracle to this Wisconsin girl :)

Patti Duff, Sue Hanson, Sue Anna, and Karey

R2-D2 in front of a quilt covered in tatting

A lovely red blossomed plant that grows in the southern states. I don't know what it's called, only that it doesn't grow in Wisconsin.

Jane Eborall, the Queen of Tatting, waving to her loyal subjects from her throne!

Breathtaking scenery

Classic car seen at a roadside fruit stand along the way home.