Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I ♥ My Mailman, #2

There are some tatters I am in absolute awe of, and Yarnplayer is one of them.  Not only does she create the most beautiful hand-dyed threads (of which I have many), but she creates lovely tatted jewelry AND she is a fantastic, and prolific, designer.  So far she has written numerous small patterns and TWO BOOKS!  Where does she find the time? I often wonder.  I have a hard time getting my original patterns written down anywhere, and I can't even imagine the descriptions, and the diagrams, and the tips & techniques, and the pictures (you know the problem I have with pictures) that would be necessary for a book.  

Oh, I imagine myself writing a book.  I have lots of ideas for a book.  Just not a lot of  time. Or motivation. Or a good camera for all those pictures.

Anyway, the second present my wonderful mailman brought me was Yarnplayer's new book "Up and Tat 'Em".  While my favorite pattern is her "Beguile Set," that particular pattern is going to require a little more concentration and time to make.  In fact, I need to obtain some nice rings to use in that pattern first anyway.  So instead, I started out with her "Five Petal Pendant."

 The piece on the right is tatted in a black DMC Cebelia, size 20, with round copper beads.  Can I say I LOVE her technique of adding a bead in the middle of a ring?  The book was worth it for that technique alone!  The piece on the left was tatted with Yarnplayer's own Watermelon Tourmaline thread (still probably my all-time favorite hand-dyed thread color), size 20, with her coordinating plum thread on the outer round.  Olive green Swarovski crystals compliment this thread beautifully.  This pattern was a pleasure to tat and I love the results.  I was having so much fun I decided to try "Belle" as well.

This one is tatted in size 20 olive green DMC Cebelia with navy blue/olive delicas, a Swarovski pearl in the center and crystal at the bottom.  Another lovely pattern with easy to follow instructions, great pictures, and a fabulous result. 

I highly recommend the book "Up and Tat 'Em", as I do all of Yarnplayer's patterns and threads.  Add this book to your tatting library - you will not be disappointed.

Thank you, Mr. Mailman (and Yarnplayer)! 

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I ♥ My Mailman

Today I start a series on why I love my mailman so much.  He brings me presents!  Over the last two weeks or so I have received some lovely things in the mail, which I will share with you over the next few blog posts.  I'll also share some of my favorite tatting vendors with you - some you are probably already familiar with, but perhaps some new?  And hopefully there are beginner tatters reading this blog who will be introduced to some great resources for all things tatting.

First up is a new vendor to me, Krystledawne.  She and her alter ego, Dr. Vonthreadmore (you can read all about the two of them on her blog), create some lovely hand-dyed threads.  As you may know, I am a hand-dyed thread addict.  I have more hand-dyed thread than one person should really be allowed, but when I saw her "Vineyard at Dusk" - well,  I just had to have some.  It is a wonderful combination of earthy tones and a lovely vibrant purple.  

I went looking for a pattern that would look like clusters of grapes to use with the thread and came across this pattern online, designed by Sparrow Kelley, called "Midnight Violets".  I thought it was a perfect fit for this thread, and the bracelet below is the result of the two in combination.

I made earrings to match, based on my long elegant earring pattern but adapted slightly to better match "Midnight Violets."

So, if you have a chance, visit Krystledawne in her etsy shop.  She is a little short on thread at the moment as she is also busy creating her tatted jewelry, but I know I will be keeping my watchful eye peeled for more of her beautiful thread creations.

Thanks, Mr. Mailman (and Krystledawne)!

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Pattern Available

I've managed to get another of my patterns written up and it's available for sale in my etsy shop.  This one teaches you how to do what I call "sewing" on a bead cluster with a focal bead (the sewing is done as you are making the lace with the tatting thread itself, so the bead work is still incorporated right into the lace).  It's one of my favorite ways to add beads, and while it is easier to do on small pieces, I will do it even when I've got a lot of thread to pull through the beads, because I really like the results.

I call this pattern "Flora" because it reminds me of a little flower. 

<-----------Look at this picture!  Another failed attempt at staging!  Why is it so yellow? you may ask.  Well, I told you I just can't seem to get the lighting right.  

Here's another example (below) of "sewing" on beads, but in the middle of a necklace.  As I mentioned, this method of beading on tatting can give you problems if your thread is really long, but the effect is well worth it, in my opinion.  A little bit of patience and steady hands will go a long way.

Anyway, if you're interested, pop on over to etsy and have a look.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why Must It Be So Difficult?

I am crazy for tatting, I love designing jewelry, and I the more I learn, the more I adore bead weaving - but I can't take good pictures of my work to save my life.  It's not just the taking of the pictures which I am bad at....I mean, they are really bad - blurry, too dark or too bright, not centered correctly, coloring is way off - you get the idea.  But I have serious problems with the staging of the item I'm trying to take a picture of.  By staging I mean creating a mood for a piece with props and lighting.  I have no eye or creative imagination whatsoever when it comes to that sort of thing.  Some people just seem to do that naturally - take a gander over at and you'll see what I mean - the front page is a plethora of staging at its finest.  

I've always had a problem with my display for art/craft shows as well...the other artists around me have displays that look like they belong in a museum and me...well, my display  just looks like it belongs in a flea market.  Sigh. 

I had a friend come over recently and take some pictures with his camera to see if maybe it was just my camera that was the problem - yeah, right - but these were the only two pictures  (and we took A LOT of pictures) that came out even halfway decent, and in the first one I just noticed that one of the earrings is flipped backwards on the ear wire, and of course it bugs me that the ear wires are not straight either.

As in most of my previous posts, I guess I will just continue to scan things on nice paper backgrounds.  At least that way they are clear and show the work well, even if I haven't managed to set any kind of a mood in which my work can really shine.

Thanks, by the way,  to all those who welcomed me back to blog-land - I'm glad to see there are some people who hung around! 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Well, hello!

It's been a long, long time since I posted - look at that last post - January!  Dear me. I'm fortunate to still have followers, I think.  Thanks for sticking with me, inconsistent as I am.  School, family, work, and life in general all conspire against poor ole Blogger. 

Although I am a busy person I still always find time for tatting.  Also, learning new bead-weaving techniques is one of my favorite things to do nowadays.  Here's a recent piece that combines both techniques.

Beaded leaves compliment this vintage pattern from "Lily Doilies & Edgings to Tat & Crochet" in Yarnplayer's gorgeous "Roses" thread. A picture of the entire necklace will reveal a problem however.

I've been wearing it myself (rather than offering it for sale) once I realized the mistake.  I will get around to fixing that wayward upside-down bead one of these days.  I do plan on remaking the necklace for sale and keeping this one, however, because while wearing it I fell in love with it.

In other news, the "Garden Afternoon" piece finally sold at my latest show - it looked so good on the lady who bought it that while I was a bit sad to see it go, I was comforted by the fact that it found a great home.  In my mind a piece is never really "finished" until you get to see someone wearing it.  All the work and time and creative energy and love you put into it is then - somehow - complete.

That's all for now, but hopefully I'll be a little more active in the days and weeks to come.  Thanks again for hanging around!