Saturday, February 7, 2015

Kick In The Pants

What a month!
So I managed to do a whole bunch of tatting, some crochet, and some knitting. I listed a good handful of items on Etsy and shipped out a few orders.

Then I got the flu.

Trying to count stitches when you have the flu is basically impossible I've found. Plus I even though I wash my work and block it, I was loathe to make anything that might be even remotely germy.

This week I finally feel like a human being again, so I'm starting the weekend off with remaking some items that I sold, and attempting to rework some vintage tatting into different designs. Those that have bought my work have given me great feedback, which is good. So often I look at work from other tatters and think "I'll never be that good..."
I needed to hear that I don't suck, and that people love my work.

I like it, but it needs more beads! I have done 2 other versions, and haven't quite made up my mind what I like best. 
I also worked up a set of Dr. Who themed gifts for a swap. Unsurprisingly I've done this exact set 3 times now for swaps, but have yet to make it for myself.
The TARDIS bookmark is Anne Bruvold's, with a bracelet using Jane's Bookmark pattern worked without picots, and simple ANKARS style flower earrings (if the earring pattern belongs to someone I'm unaware of it). All done with Lizbeth thread of course.
I really need to come up with a completely new TARDIS design, I have so many nerdy friends that would love to buy one!

Monday, January 12, 2015

The magic join in crochet

While working diligently on granny squares for a group blanket, a thought occurred to me.
How many know the super awesome magical join on the last row of crochet??
It isn't the most useful thing in the world for granny squares, but any point where you don't want to see where your bind off happened, this is the way to do it!

I decided to make a photo tute, my apologies for the super crappy photos, my camera is down and my phone leaves a bit to be desired in the quality department..

What I mean here is that you just keep pulling the loop until you have a free tail to work with.
It makes more sense once you do it, I swear!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

Too Long Gone

Hard to believe I haven't blogged here in over four years. With the decision to revamp and restart my Etsy shop I decided it was time to go back to writing about what I love.

I won't say that I stopped tatting, it is hard to stop doing something completely when you love the designing and the outcome, if not the actual making of the piece. I did stop showing my work online. I ran into far too many well intentioned tatters that were hell bent on making sure I knew I was doing it wrong. Because I was new and insecure in my abilities I went into tat-land and asked tons of questions. I came up with ideas and asked for advice on how to execute them. I posted images of my variations on other patterns.

I was shot down repeatedly.

It is extraordinarily hard to feel confident in a new craft when you are told that it what you want to do wont work, that it is wrong, and that you are a thief.
I grew up learning art by studying what others had done, and by recreating that art in my own way. Some say that is the best way to learn, for example, how a painter used light or layered color in their work. You don't sell these pieces, often you do a good whitewash on your canvas and start over; sometimes you will hang them up or give them away. I made the mistake of thinking that tatting had similarities. I wouldn't have been able to figure out or adapt techniques without looking at, or working off other tatters work. I won't say there weren't a lot of tatters that were super encouraging and helpful... but I'm sure you know that saying about One Bad Apple.

But that was then. Four years later I've grown and learned what it is about tatting and other crafts that I love. I've learned to take the parts that I love about those crafts, and combine them into pieces that I adore. I've learned to look at vintage patterns and see the pieces in a wider context, and I've lost that odd fear I had of doing things wrong.

My goal for the weekend is to list every single item that I have ready for sale on Etsy. I promise not to bombard this blog with everything I list, but expect quite a few updates in the next few weeks, and a lot more to come.

Monday, March 29, 2010


I still haven’t done the pendant. Shucks.
Did this instead:

zen ink 005

I’ll be printing up a couple of proofs today to make sure that its all set before listing on Etsy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


I’ve gotten all into pen and ink again. And guess what? I actually listed art on Etsy!!


Go look.

So this is something called Zentangle. Basically its a system of doodling within some sort of confinement. I like circles.. so.. there ya go. The idea is to let your mind wander and create patterns, within that confined space by breaking it up into smaller spaces. this is great in theory, but it didn’t quite work for me. I’m not a mind wanderer when I’m working on art. Fortunately I am also not one of those hunched over nitpicky people. I’m sort of somewhere in between.
At any rate this was done on a 6x6 piece of paper, and then I cut it down further. Pretty small for all that detail. And yes it did take about forever. So I have a bunch listed on Etsy, and a small stack to bring to North Of The Falls this week. Hopefully by then I will have some more art to scan in and print out, but for now I think this one card is a good start.
My goal is to have several images on cards, and then see what this printer can do with photo quality for some prints that way. The bonus to this is that because it is pen and ink it would be pretty hard to screw it up unless I scan it at too low of a quality.
I am also thinking about taking it to the copy machine so that I can do some experiments with transferring portions of the art onto poly-clay for pendants and earrings.

Only other news is that I’m seriously late in sending out my tatted pendant for a swap over at InTatters. Late late late. I wanted to have this sucker done two weeks ago. So that is the project for tomorrow. I’m thinking that I might borrow a pendant idea from one of my favorite needle tatters. I’ll post pics tomorrow.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


I haven’t posted in a while because I haven’t finished anything. I’m stuck in a bit of a rut you see. I have a ton of projects going on at the same time, and only last night did I finally finish any of them…

Part of it is that I am trying to learn a few things (shuttle tatting being one of them), and another is that my space is a wreck. I can never find anything, and it seems that as soon as I get everything organized, I have to pull everything out to find something that I need for whatever project I’m working on… and then have to pull everything back out for the next little piece of whatever. It’s getting frustrating to say the least.

The main reason that I haven’t actually posted is that I’m afraid that I will go on some kind of rant, which I am trying very hard to school myself not to do. There are some goings on in tat-land that bother me a lot… And that is all I will say on it.

Some good news though. I got a ton of thread, shuttles and a book from Handy Hands, and I also snagged what seems to be just about the last of the Midnight Oil from Yarnplayer on Etsy, so that is pretty fun. Also I managed to win a birthday giveaway from this awesome lady. I have no idea what is going to be in the package, but I’m super excited to find out.
One other cool, but dangerous for me, thing. Our neighbors are moving out, not that I dislike them… but… a woman who does HDY is moving in. I checked out her stuff, and I think one of my first missions will be to get her to do some lace-weight yarn for me. You can see her awesome yarn at Fiberphile and instantly you will know how dangerous this is for me.

So what project have I finished? Upcycled Steam-punk Fascinators. Basically mini top hats with tons of lace and feathers and watch parts. I have one done, and about 4 or 5 more halfway finished. I made a mistake on the first two by making the cardstock base, and then attempting to attach fabric to that. After the second one I realized that it is much easier to attach the fabric to the pieces, and then stitch and glue it all together at the end.  The best part is that I am able to finally use all those little odds and ends of fabric and ribbon that I have saved (read: hoarded) over the years, and it combines everything that I love. A bit of sewing, painting, lace, glue, feathers…
The project in the works that I cant seem to get quite right? Tatted pasties. Yeah. You read that right. I have a great love for all things burlesque, so I thought… why not go with it? And I think that this morning I finally figured out what my problem has been with them, and it seems to be a pretty basic structure flaw that should be easily fixable. Hopefully one little adjustment will fix it and I can have a set completed today.

You see the theme here right? Combinations of things that I love into making things that I love. Lets hope it starts working!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

whoops! and a quandary

I completely forgot to post photos of the tatting I did for x-mess!

I don’t have a really good shot of it, and wont until the aunt that I gave them to comes back from Mexico. But here it is:

tatting (2)

This was adapted from a pattern I saw online at
Forgive the wonkyness of it, I hadn’t stiffened it at this point, it was fresh of the needle.
This is one of those hard call pieces. Do I make more to sell, or is it too close to the original inspiration? At what point is a piece yours and not someone else's? I never looked at the pattern for this, I saw the image and made up my own version, is it mine, or is it still theirs? I have no idea how close the stitches are to the original, and I didn't use the multitude of beads that they did.. it my creation?
I just don’t know, and I need to decide soon because I have several requests for this exact set.
I haven’t had to worry about this much because until I started tatting all of my work was completely mine. But, with something like tatting, I needed to look at other patterns to figure out what the hell I was doing. Now I can see a piece and make my own version of it… pull out that ring, add another here, up the stitch count…
Lately my work is adaptations of vintage doily patterns. Pull out the center part, add a bit here and there, and voila! brand new piece. There isn’t really anyone that is going to call me out on that.. and in some ways there are only so many things you can tat, only so many ways to make rings and chains that eventually you are going to come up with an original creation that someone, somewhere, also came up with as an original creation.
Example, I came up with a wicked cool cross a few weeks ago while playing around with old thread. I had never looked up crosses because they just aren't my thing, but my thought was that lace crosses would be very sellable to the Goth market. My intention was to make a choker out of them that could be worn either inverted or not. 3 days later I found the exact same cross on a tatting site that I had never visited before. I blew up the image, and sure enough it was exactly the same. So back to the drawing board I went, because the last thing I want to do is rip someone off, intentionally or no. But yet… I did come up with it all on my onesies… and I have not yet seen a repeating cross choker.

So what is a tattered girl to do?

As a side note, and update to yesterdays cake… the cake was apparently dead on to Sister’s, the frosting was not. Apparently it had the exact same taste, but the complete wrong consistency. In theory by the time my Aunt J visits, or my awesome Colorado cousin gets her butt back to VT I'll have perfected it. Anyone want to help me eat the experiments?