Saturday, December 22, 2007

Motif Thirteen

Just for a switch I decided to post something other than jewelry - I don't get to make other kinds of tatted items very often. Here is an ornament I made for an exchange. It is made with one strand of DMC metallic floss in copper (same as the earrings in a previous post), and one strand of Anchor, size 80, in a similar copper color. The metallic floss is soooooo much easier to work with when combined with another thread. The pattern is from a small Japanese book that is not translated at all - so I have no idea of the title - but it looks like the author is T. Fujito and it is (c) 2001, in case that helps anyone locate the book/pattern.

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season. Enjoy the time with friends and family!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Motif Twelve

My life is way too busy. I need to take that "stop and smell the roses" saying more seriously. My life is passing me by and I have no time to enjoy it. Don't get me wrong - I love my life. My family is wonderful, I love both my jobs, most of the time I would be hard pressed to find something to whine about - but some days it seems like I am on the outside looking in and watching my life go by at the speed of light. How is it Christmas 2007 is only two weeks away? When did my kids get to be 15 and looking and acting more like men every day? When I tell customers I have been creating tatted jewelry for 14 years I think to myself - it seems like just yesterday I went to my first craft show and how could it possibly be 14 years ago?!

Well, enough rambling. Another original pattern here - but one I have been using for just about as long as I have been in business - a cross. Here are two versions, one with a rose and a beaded one.

The beaded version is relatively recent - I like placing the beads the way they are - dangling like that, but it is a pain in the neck and really doesn't work well because of the design of the cross to use that particular technique. I have to come up with something better. I would also like to do some beadweaving in the center of the cross but haven't had time to play with that yet - in January. (Of course, if you knew all the things I am going to get to "in January" you would realize I have way too large of an agenda for the alloted number of days in that month. Especially with tax season starting.)

It's been three weeks since I posted - I must do better at keeping up!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Sick but still tatting wildly...

I have been sick - yuck! Started out with a sore throat and maintained a low grade fever while moving through chest cough, runny nose and now sinus infection. Finally today I went to the doctor to get some antibiotics, but only because we are leaving tomorrow for Kentucky for Thanksgiving. I didn't want to get a serious sinus infection (and man have I had some doosies) while far away from home.

I have been tatting a lot. Sinus infections don't really interfere with tatting, except that I have to quit and take a nap now and again. I have been tatting so much that the base of my thumb on my left hand has started to hurt - this is not a good sign. I do have gloves I wear sometimes but they make my hands hot. With a fever and two cats sitting on my lap I'm warm enough already, so no gloves! I'll take another nap instead and give my thumb a rest.

I don't have any pictures of tatting to share at the moment, however, because I have been working mainly on orders and many of them are similar to patterns or pictures I have already posted. Hopefully when I get back in a week I'll do a massive scanning session of things I get done while in KY.

Instead, I'll share pictures of my kitties.

This is Sammy. He was my baby for 15 years until we had to have him put to sleep this past March. We got him at a garage sale. He was born with only one eye, but it didn't slow him down any. He was the most vocal cat I've ever known - he'd follow you around the house yelling all the time until you sat down. He was the first pet I ever had to put down, and it was just AWFUL. It took me months before I could even think about him without breaking down. But now it's mostly happy memories with just a few "I still miss you" tears.

This is one of my new pals, Dorito. You may think he looks like Sammy, but in real life he doesn't. He has these crazy big tufts on his ears and huge eyes and big lion-like paws. He also has a really pointy face, and I suspect he may have some wild cat - maybe Bengal - in his lineage somewhere. We rescued him from a shelter. He is a cuddle-bug, but also very skittish, so I think he also may have some abuse in his background. For instance, he will not go through the cat door to the basement where the litter boxes are because he thinks the door is hitting him, so we have to tape it open. Once he gets to know you though, he loves to put his paws around your neck, get up in your face and give you kisses.

Here is my other lap-buddy, Staten. Isn't he gorgeous? He is on the small side and loves to climb into things (my purse, plastic shopping bags, boxes, you name it, he's in it). We rescued him from the shelter as well. He yells at me when I'm in the shower - I really have not been able to figure out why. In the early mornings he climbs onto my pillow and combs his claws through my hair while purring loudly and drooling.

Both of them can fit in my lap but it makes it hard to tat so usually one is along side of me in my chair while the other is on my lap. We spend many happy hours like that!

(If I didn't have a husband I'd be one of those crazy cat ladies with 20 cats running around the house. Well, maybe not that many, but I could have easily brought home 4 or 5 that day at the shelter.)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Motif Eleven

Well, I found out it was fun to be tagged...and then I spent hours going around to all the other people who had been tagged to find out all the interesting stuff about them - I am feeling remorse at not getting any tatting done! Oh, the guilt - yeah, well - you can see I'm still in avoidance mode as I thought I would update my blog instead of tatting even now.

Does anyone else have that disease which manifests itself with the following major symptom: whenever there is a lot of something to do (in this case, tatting, because my inventory is so low and I have another show i a week and a half) you avoid it at all costs. Why do I do that? It it that I am overwhelmed at the thought of all that needs to be done that I don't know where to start? But isn't starting the only way it will get done? It's a disease all right, and I've got a full blown case of it. Procrastinationitis.

And here is motif number 10. Guess what? Yeah, it's still an old pattern of mine - nothing new yet. The two tatting pieces on each side of the bead were originally designed to look like a shuttle for the TatChat group back in the late 90's: the pattern is still on the web and available here. So I gave it a new twist in this necklace by putting a focal bead between the two "shuttles." Of course, most of my customers don't recognize the "shuttle" part of the design, but to me and hopefully other tatters, that makes the design a little extra special. Below is the same pattern in a pin.

Monday, October 22, 2007


I have been tagged by Yarnplayer

I never heard of this before - I'm pretty inexperienced when it comes to blogging - so I'll just cut and paste the rules and follow them to a T.

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 3 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them).
4. Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

7 facts about myself:

1. My favorite movie is A&E's five hour version of "Pride & Prejudice."
2. I edit for an online publishing company - Double-Edged Publishing.
3. I have fifteen-year-old twin boys.
4. I am addicted to the TV show "The Office." I live about 1 1/2 hours from the place where it supposedly takes place (Scranton, PA), and am seriously considering going to "The Office" convention they are holding there next weekend.
5. I am 6' tall.
6. I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
7. When I have some free time (which isn't too often) I love to play the online game Runescape.

Whew - that required some thought about what things to reveal about myself!

I am going to tag:


Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Motif Ten

This is another pattern of mine I call "graduated circle." I use it mainly for earrings, but here I used it in a pendant for a tatting exchange run by Mary Donahue. I understand she is going to be retiring soon after organizing so many successful exchanges. It has been a wonderful experience to share tatting with other tatters and how great to have someone willing to organize all of that work. A big "thank you" to Mary - we will miss her terribly!

So far, much of this blog has been my own patterns, but ones I have been using a long time. Again I bemoan the fact that I just have no time to sit down and try to design something new - it's all I can do to keep up with the tatting itself. There are some things floating around in my brain I would really like to work on too! Especially some abstract/asymmetrical/let the shuttle go where it will types of designs. I have some drawings but have not picked the shuttle up yet to try and adapt my ideas and visions into thread. Some day...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Motif Nine

Another simple earring pattern - with not so simple thread. This is my own pattern, one I have been using for a number of years, but the copper metallic thread is new. It is a pain in the tush though, as it likes to do things like shred and tear and break and make rings not close easily. I would only do something small with this thread or I'd be screaming and throwing shuttles out the window. It does, of course, have a very unique effect and look, so it is worth some patience. That's very easy for me to say, in theory - but at this moment those are the only item in my entire stock made with the metallic thread because it is such a pain - LOL. I end up avoiding it like the plague.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Motif Eight

I burned my thumbs on a cookie tray the other day and they have both blistered up. I was in a hurry and using a towel for a potholder and I didn't realize right away the towel was wet in spots - the heat came right through the wet towel. Yeeeeouch! I didn't realize how much I use the bottom of my right thumb for tatting until it hurt to do so. I am adjusting - I have three shows coming up and the tatting must go on!

I often come up with patterns when I am trying to match an element in another piece. The bottom of this earring is in an old edging pattern my grandmother had in her collection, and then I added the top because I wanted the earring to be a little bigger and hang a certain way.

The thread is Caron Wildflowers - a little soft for tatting, (according to my preferences, anyway) and that makes it difficult to tat with even tension. But the variegated colors are gorgeous.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Motif Seven

Well, this one is...different. Not a lot of tatting, but then, I guess I am a jewelry designer first, so sometimes I have to translate the tatting into what I think is a cool jewelry design. At least there are rings. The rest if it is what I call "twisted stitch," although I'm sure there are other names for it. It's achieved by just doing one half of the ds.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Motif Six

This is part of a doily from the book, "Tatting: theory and patterns" by Jan Stawasz. As I mentioned in the last post, it is fun and interesting to take something and make it into something else.

Doily ----> Necklace. Fun!

I love olive green and plum together. Colors are another interesting way to enhance designs, and in jewelry, they are a large part of the overall effect of the piece.

The beaded chain is actually just beads, even though it looks kind of like tatting from a distance. In a close up view, you can see the beads are woven to form what look like rings and chains, so it matches the style of the tatting and looks uniform in the piece.

Buy Handmade

Friday, May 25, 2007

Motifs Four and Five

Ooooh two motifs all at once - I might make it to 25 yet...

This is another flower I created (I'm fond of lace flowers, yes). Again, it's not a new design, it's one I've been using for a number of years. But the other day I was starting one of these flower in olive green and plum, and I completed the center of the flower, and then thought, "well maybe it look nice if I just strung three of just the middle of the flower pattern together and made a pendant out of it," and low and behold, there was motif number five. You could even string a bunch of them together and make a bookmark.
So, when designing, you don't always have to come up with brand new patterns each time; use parts of an existing pattern but arrange them together in a new way, or just use part of a large pattern like a doily for something else like a necklace - that's coming for motif number six, which I will try to post over the holiday weekend sometime.

Thursday, May 24, 2007


I made it through tax season. Whew. Now art & craft shows are gearing up and I'm tatting like mad. I am going to post another design a little later today, but right now I'm playing around on the web...

I'm having fun with How did I not know this site was around?? I've been cruising around looking at all the fabulous arts and crafts all morning. What a wonderful resource. I've already bought some hand dyed thread from yarnplayer (check out her shop, all you tatters!) and had to mop up the drool off of my keyboard at all the other fantastic stuff on that site. Go ahead and check it know you want to!

Buy Handmade

Friday, March 9, 2007

Third Motif

Here is a pattern of Mary Konior's. This is from her book, "Tatting with Visual Patterns." She has a great eye for design, and I find her things very different from so many other tatting patterns. I did adapt it *slightly* to add the leaves. Of course she has fantastic diagrams of the patterns as well, which I find so much easier to read that traditional written patterns. It is how I document most of my own patterns - it's rare that I would actually write the pattern out "long hand."

I work for a tax accountant as my "other" job. Sadly, my boss passed away about three weeks ago. This time of year, that has put even more of a time crunch on my already busy life. It has also been hard because he was a good friend, and I miss him.

I have a show next week though, so the tatting must go on...and, truth be told, I have always maintained that tatting is good therapy. I have found that to be no less true during this this difficult time.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Second Motif (well, a few motifs strung together I'm counting as just one)

I am having difficulty finding time to sit down and actually design a tatting pattern - the designing of the jewelry itself seems to take up so much time.

This is an adapted design from Jan Stawasz's book, "Tatting: theory and patterns." It is a lovely book, and Mr. Stawasz's tatting is impeccable. He is also a very talented designer. When I saw this flower, my mind immediately began to think of ways to use it in a necklace, and this was what I came up with. It is made with a variegated thread called "Silken Pearl" (the flower section) and DMC Cebelia (the stem and leaf section).

Sunday, January 21, 2007

My first motif done!

This is not my own original design, but I had to adapt it slightly to use it for this necklace. With all the beads in it, the stitch count needed to be adjusted (as happens often with patterns I add beads to).

The pattern came from the summer of 1993 "Treasures in Needlework" magazine (?). I assume it is from my grandmother's collection of stuff, I happened to find it while going through a bunch of my books, the two pages had been ripped from the magazine and tucked into another book. I don't know where else it would have come from. Although some of the other patterns in this issue of the magazine are credited to Mary McCarthy, this pattern does not name a designer. I recognize one of the other patterns there as one I have in an old book somewhere, so it's possible this pattern came from an older source, I'm not sure.

I was afraid it might look too much like a bib, but I tried it on yesterday and it looks just beautiful. Hopefully it will go home with a happy customer.