Friday, June 7, 2019

Hand dyed "Beach Cafe"

A freshly dyed batch of "Beach Cafe" has just been added to my Etsy Shop!

While looking at my Etsy shop you may notice a reserved listing. This is why:

Etsy has a "Design Awards" contest going, and they will announce the winners sometime in August or September. Since it didn't cost anything to enter, I filled out the form and entered my Ecru and Red Heart. The item has to stay in the shop for the duration of the contest, so that's why I set it as a "reserved" listing. Please don't buy it! I would be disqualified!
Ecru and Red Heart

Monday, May 27, 2019

Folded Join in Tatting

This is how I do a “folded join”, which prevents a twisted picot when joining the last ring to the first ring of a tatted motif.

Whenever all rings are facing outward from the center of a tatted motif, then that’s when a folded join is used. There’s other ways to do this kind of join, but this is what works easiest for me.

The video speed is faster than my actual tatting!

Through the magic of an app on my smartphone, I figured out how to flip the video to show the left-handed version as well!
Here's the left-handed view:

Friday, May 17, 2019

"Lake Effect" hand dyed

New colorway "Lake Effect" and I've saved the "recipe". 

Actually, what I was trying to do is reproduce the pastels of an old batch I did years ago which I never did write down. But, the result of my experiment has colors that are much more intense, and I like it! So, calling this batch "Lake Effect".

Tatted necklace and earring set from an older batch of hand dyed thread. The pattern is my own, which I'm calling "Loopy", but I don't have it written down! I only got as far as naming a folder for it on my computer.

By the way, the spring concert I played cello in was a shining success! The community orchestra that I play with is the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra (WIO), which has just been awarded a Creative Communities Grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board.

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Spring Corsage in 3D Tatted Flowers

 My spring corsage is done, just in time for Easter! I used the daffodils tatting pattern in Christel Weidmann’s book "Ostern" plus small tatted flowers I made up myself.

I really like how Christel's 3D daffodil design imitates the live flower so well. The book is written in German, with a list of the tatting abbreviations translated into English. There are about 15 designs in the book, including several animals and flowers, each with a diagram and stitch counts. The daffodils are the only 3D patterns in this book. The larger daffodil has more detailed instructions than the smaller narcissus, so I'd recommend trying the large daffodil first. (I started with the narcissus and had a bit of trouble, but eventually sorted it out!)

I used size 20 thread (Lizbeth, mostly) for finished flowers that measured about 2 inches (5 cm) across. After that I tatted small flowers (to suggest scilla and violets), finishing each with a tiny single shuttle split ring at the bottom so I wouldn't have to sew in ends. When all the flowers were done, I joined them together with lock stitch tatted chain. The joining was not an exact science - I just made it up while going along until I had an arrangement I liked.

I'll wear it using a corsage pin, just as if they were real flowers!

Connecting the flowers into an arrangement

Joining the cup of a tatted daffodil in progress

The book "Ostern" by Christel Weidmann

Friday, April 12, 2019

Lilac Sea

 "Lilac Sea" hand dyed thread is a combination of purple and aqua shades. I've just added it to my Etsy Shop.
Recently finished earrings made using the Lilac Sea hand dyed thread. The color gradation shows very nicely with repeated tatted chains!

More of my tatted jewelry projects that were put together using this color combo:

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Freshly dyed thread "Corsage" purple and orange

Hand dyeing in progress
The colors were inspired by a Cattleya orchid, which I think would make a stunning corsage for a special occasion, hence the name Corsage. Several sizes of cordonnet thread and embroidery floss now listed in my Etsy Shop.

I haven't had much time for tatting lately, since I've been very busy practicing music. I'll be playing my cello in a Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra concert on May 5 and still have lots to prepare! Also, I sing in the church choir + some cello there too, and Easter will be here soon.

I did make a start on tatting a daffodil from the book Ostern - Easter Motives by Christel Weidmann. The plan I have in mind is adding some leaves along with other tiny flowers to make a ... (you guessed it) ...corsage!
Tatting a daffodil in progress

The book Ostern - Easter Motives by Christel Weidmann.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Made room for the long bead

Based on my Unfolding Heart pattern, I tatted this heart from hand dyed size 10 thread featuring a long red glass drop bead in the center. The pattern as written isn't long enough to make room for the 7/8 inch (2.2 cm) drop bead, so I added an extra ring with corresponding chain stitches to each side of the heart. 

Earrings from Heart Aglow pattern, using the same 11/0 seed beads on size 20 thread, with a 4 mm Swarovski faceted round bead at the top and 11 mm Czech glass dagger bead at the bottom.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Tatting Using Left Hand Only

A left hand only tatting demo for people with limited or no use of their right hand, inspired by the book Tatting With One Hand - Tatting for the Physically Handicapped by Helen A. Chesno.

For the demo I used size 3 thread. Although it's easy to see and good for beginners to practice with, the downside of thick thread is that it constantly requires tension adjustments and the shuttle can't hold much. Once the process is understood, I recommend moving on to a thinner thread such as size 10 or 20. The larger the number, the finer [thinner] the thread.

The pillow in this demo is a 13 inch ethafoam cookie pillow made for bobbin lacemaking.

The pins and pillow do the work of the missing hand. All other shuttle tatting techniques are the same.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Yellow Atom, Spring Green Earrings

Atom in tatting always seems to make people smile. The pattern is in my Up and Tat 'Em book. It's definitely a challenge! The "nucleus" is an 8 mm bead, the "electrons" are 3 mm beads.

 A new experiment I'm trying with 8 mm beads is combining peyote stitch beading with tatting. I made a beaded bezel with Delicas beads and size 15/0 seed beads around the large bead. Then, tatted around it. I like the bright spring green color since it helps lift me out of the enormous piles of snow currently outside in Wisconsin! By the way, I finished these in between snow shoveling sessions. I think I'll keep the green pair for myself, but I've already started another colorful pair that may eventually make it into my Etsy shop. A tutorial may follow if there is enough interest.

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Original Design Finished! "Nexus of Joy" Necklace

 After several months of thinking, experimenting, searching for threads and beads, it's done! I'm actually quite pleased with the result. Just so you know, this art piece necklace is NOT for sale, but I do intend to enter it in exhibitions for display.
 The necklace was made using several tatting techniques, including Celtic tatting, bead picots, beads on the core thread, curled rings, bead inside a ring, bead inside self-closing mock ring, floating rings, and pearl tatting (double sided chain). I tatted with shuttles throughout, using Celtic shuttles for the overlapping chains around the stone near the neckline.
 Besides tatting, I used the beading technique of peyote stitch to make the beaded bezels around the 3 stones in the piece. Two of the stones are amethyst, and the small one in the center is a druzy. The pointy dangle at the bottom is wire wrapped, strung with drilled amethyst chips and glass beads.
 So now that this is accomplished, my next goal is to organize my crafting studio. It's quite a mess at the moment!

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Nearly There

Working from the back side
 My large challenging, yet untitled tatted necklace project has grown to the point where the finishing touches are beginning to be added. I've learned to accept some "imperfection" otherwise the project would not get finished within a human lifetime, ha! When finished I'll take good photos and come up with a title, then enter it in a competition such as Bead Dreams.
Snow in Milwaukee
Yes, that's the snow outside my front door. Pretty as it is, I'm not too thrilled when it's my turn to shovel!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Coming along fine

My challenging necklace project is coming along just fine. I still need to figure out how to connect everything together, but I'm trusting that a stunning finish will present itself soon.

Screenshot of my profile on Bluprint
So, Craftsy is now officially Bluprint. I looked at my Bluprint profile page (affiliate link) and everything is there. All is well.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Craftsy becoming Bluprint

Confused over Craftsy becoming Bluprint?

It's only a name change. 

Craftsy is changing its name to Bluprint on January 8, 2019. 

If you have purchased classes on Craftsy they are still yours on Bluprint.

You will login to Bluprint using your same username and password that you had on Craftsy.

You do NOT have to purchase a subscription! An account is not a subscription!

An ACCOUNT is simply what you login to.

A SUBSCRIPTION is like a purchase. You buy it only if you want it. (A subscription will allow you to watch any and all Bluprint classes, but only while the subscription is active.)

You still have the option to purchase individual classes to keep always. You'll always be able to access them whenever you're logged in to your account.


By the way, I did receive an email saying that Bluprint is reducing the number of patterns for sale on the site, but had this to say about my patterns:
"Good news: you’ve been identified as a top designer on Craftsy! We love your work and we are excited to continue to share it. We thank you."

This is all I know for now. I hope it helps.