Monday, March 20, 2017

Pictures from Tollway Tatters at the Hinsdale Oasis in Illinois

Rita and Denise tatting together! Did you know that Rita makes beautiful tatting shuttles? She sells them on Facebook at

Diane working on her doily project.

Photo montage showing Diane, Sue Anna, me, and Denise

Examples of shuttles that Rita has decorated.

Julie and Diane

More shuttles designed by Rita

Tatting in progress!

A collection of Diane's Ice Drops!

Diane taught me how to do an Ice Drop. She's a great teacher! These Ice Drops really are fun to make.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Tatting clunies on a snow day

 Around here we don't enjoy snow in mid-March. The Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild meeting that was scheduled for today was cancelled.
 So, there is time to tat clunies! I'm working out the details for an earring design I came up with a while back, but could never quite figure out how to do it again or explain what I did. I am determined to finish writing up the pattern! Fair warning, there will be a lot of technical details besides the challenge of the clunies!

Monday, March 6, 2017

The shamrock and green heart

I still need to follow the illustration of the Celtic knot from Celtic Tatting Knots and Patterns by Rozella F. Linden every time I tat one of these shamrocks! Actually, I do it backwards from the illustration, using the paper clip end to weave the knot so that a Celtic shuttle isn't required. 
This particular shamrock pattern is mine, and you can find it here.

These green heart earrings are based on the "Sweetheart" pattern in Boutique Tatting, but I altered it. I'm always experimenting! Instead of 2 shuttles, I used 1 shuttle and ball, and when I reached the bottom, I lock joined, tatted the ring, and lock joined again. At the top, I substituted lock stitches for the Josephine chain.

After the tatting was finished, I wire wrapped an emerald green Swarovski teardrop, connecting it to the bottom ring while wrapping. I also made the earwires.

Not much tatting lately, since I've been busy with my cello music. Often choir music contains parts for several instruments in the score, but seldom for cello. The choir director gave me a trombone part, but after hearing it we both agreed that the cello is definitely NOT a trombone ☺ 

So, what I'm doing is transposing the "C" instrument part (usually intended for flute or violin) down an octave into bass clef for cello. I have music software, which helps, but I still have to do it note by note. Naturally, I'm putting my name in as "arranger" underneath the composer's name on my printed sheet music (I'm the only one who'll ever see those pages, anyway).

Monday, February 20, 2017


In my life outside of tatting and hand dyeing, one of the other things I do is play the cello. I learned how by taking lessons as an adult student, and now I've been playing 23 years. I've played in a few different community orchestras. The current orchestra that I'm in is called Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra, or WIO for short. Spring concert will be June 2 at 7 pm, at 135 North 76th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53213.

Sometimes I also play cello to accompany the choir at church (St. Rita's in West Allis). I sing in the choir too, as best I can. It's challenging, but fun! 

The cello tapestry is something I designed many years ago, woven of handspun yarn. Some of you may remember her as my first "yarnplayer" logo!

Well, on to the tatting. Here's some photos of things I've finished lately:
The filigree centers are from Fire Mt. Gems.

Argentium silver wire wrapping with tatted cotton "flowers".

"Unfolding Heart", based on this pattern.

Blue "Sweetheart" earrings, based on a pattern from Boutique Tatting.

Current dye batch still in progress is "Spooky". It should be dry and listed in my Etsy shop sometime tomorrow.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Colette made a commercial for me!

Take a look! A good friend simply volunteered on her own to prepare a YouTube commercial for me. It's totally awesome! I love the music she put with it, too.

Thank you, Colette! ♥ ♥ ♥

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Another Tatting + Wire-wrapped Pendant

 Experimenting again! 
The basic procedure I've been using for my tatting + wire pendants does seem to always work, with random, asymmetrical, organic results. Generally, for these pendants here's what I do:

First, I form a frame of 18 gauge wire. Any shape seems to work, as long as it forms a base of at least 2 wires to attach the tatting to (so that the tatting stays securely in place and doesn't spin around the wire.)

3 colors of thread on shuttles. I like to use hand dyed thread of size 10 to 20, sometimes mixing the sizes.

Mostly I use Josephine rings for the flowers, but throw in normal rings and dimple rings for variety. Encapsulation technique for the chains (stems), wrapping over the unused colors with un-flipped stitches.

Then 28 gauge wire in basic wire-wrapping techniques to attach the tatting, beads, and cover the frame wires. I think the tatting is strong enough to stand up to the wire, as long as it's over double stitches, not over a single thread.

I have a YouTube video showing this type of work HERE.

I sell pendants like this and other original tatted jewelry in my Etsy shop.

The back side

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Discount links for Craftsy classes

 As an instructor on Craftsy, I get a little extra $ when people sign up for a class using one of my affiliate links. Some links sitting awhile on Facebook and elsewhere have expired, so here are current (at the time of this writing) links.

Discount link (up to 50% off) for Shuttle Tatting that shouldn't expire:

Coupon code for Shuttle Tatting that should give 50% discount until March 3, 2017: 

Discount link (up to 50% off) for Next Steps in Shuttle Tatting that shouldn't expire:

Coupon code for Next Steps in Shuttle Tatting that should give 50% discount until March 3, 2017: 

Even if you choose another of the over 1100 classes on Craftsy, if you begin your search by using one of my affiliate links, I'll get a little bit of $ for that. Thank you for your support! The commercial is over :-)

Monday, January 9, 2017

A bit more industrial, and "Peace"

Well, I tried all last week to come up with a new "manly" or "unisex" tatted accessory design, but got nothing but a mess of knots! Inspiration doesn't turn on like a faucet for me! The best I could do so far is this Celtic Triangle variation, which is based on the pattern in my Next Steps In Shuttle Tatting class. I put it on a 2mm round leather cord, and I like the "industrial" appearance. I need to buy more leather cord and metal beads!

For my Etsy Shop I also dyed a new batch of "Peace" thread, which is based on the colors in a Peace rose.

Greater Milwaukee Tatting Guild meeting today! To find out more, see the group blog.