Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Strawberry Heart with a Celtic Top by Birgit Phelps


Don't let this juicy gem fade into antiquity. It is getting harder and harder to find. Save the pattern. Tat one today!

Strawberry Heart with a Celtic Top by Birgit Phelps

Monday, September 5, 2022

Still Working on a Snowflake

"Silently, like thoughts that come and go, the snowflakes fall, each one a gem."  ~ William Hamilton Gibson.

I have been working on a mixed media snowflake for several months now.  Like a delicate snowflake, ideas for it have come and gone, melting before I can turn them into reality. I can only presume that other designers have a clarity of focus - or a process - that enables them to progress more steadily, but this has always been mine.

Mixed Media Heart

I began with an article from the Online Tatting Class (founded by Georgia Seitz) that I had shared in August 2003 called Mixed Media Heart. It was a heart my mother found at a flea market in Florida in 2002. My parents had only just begun their 19-season-long winter treks to sunny North Florida. This heart was found after rummaging through a box of crocheted lace doilies. Haven't we all enjoyed a good rummage through the doilies, looking for tatted treasure? 

Carolyn Groves wrote a pattern for the heart from the photos I sent to Georgia. Thank you  again Carolyn for your excellent work! 

Georgia's original post begins with "There is an old saying that needleworkers should not mix their media."  I believe that old saying is wrong. Throughout history artists have excelled at combining mediums as suited their vision. The 2003 heart mixed tatting with thread crochet. I wanted to reshape it into a snowflake with my own creative vision. With any luck it would be a gem.

Round one combines six tatted rings, chains with decorative picots, and a crocheted chain across the top of the picots to add texture and dimension. 

The decorative picots in round two mirror the technique in round one. A single shuttle split ring bridges the gap nicely, but I needed two threads to tat the next chain. See the problem? Several faltering attempts later (see photo below for the most hopeful of the discarded attempts) I changed the plan again. 

Here is an Instagram photo of a pretty snowflake combining tatting with Turkish needle lace. It is my inspiration for round three, if I can recreate the needle lace. Wish me luck!

"I wish I could press snowflakes in a book like flowers." ~ James Schuyler.

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Brownies in a Pie

 Brownie cravings are real. My sister gifted me this gorgeous, ceramic pie "plate" at Christmas. It is the deepest pie dish I have ever seen, which makes for X-treme crave-bustin' brownies.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Memorial Day Designing

Hellooooo!  May 30th is a holiday weekend in my little corner of Tat Land. A few years ago, I spent some time creatively and ended up with a tatting design doodle.

Let me say up front that designing does not come naturally to me.  I often look to nature or vector graphics or marketing labels or trash or anything I can find to get me started. (Even then I struggle, sweat, curse, cry and give up most of the time.)

Apps called Make-a-Flake and Snowflake Creator are two sources for inspiration. Here is an example of a snowflake I created with an app called Make-a-Flake:

The interesting part for me is whether to attempt tatting designs from the negative spaces or the positive ones? A question for all you accomplished tatting designers:  is it okay to switch back and forth between negative and positive space when you replicate a drawing?  Or should someone like me stick to one or the other?  I would love you hear your thoughts.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

DORIS is Ready for Her Debut

Three years after Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) was officially declared a pandemic and the world went on lockdown, me and mine choose to continue to wear masks and go about our daily routines as best we can.

 A model of coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2

Lockdown was a great time to dust off my old Tatters Across Time binder (2005) and begin improving my proficiency.  Alas, I continue to struggle with one assignment -- the old way of tatting dimpled rings -- and have put the project in "time out" until I tat a satisfactory sample.  This muddled mess is my latest attempt:

In January 2022, Jane Eborall resurrected her beloved T.I.A.S. (Tat It And See) and I joyously joined, albeit several weeks later than everyone else. If you have never taken part, the fun of T.I.A.S. is in not knowing what you are tatting. The pattern is split up into small bite-sized pieces and released every few days.

DORIS (the dragon formerly known as DURANTE)

You wind on some thread, tat a few rings/chains and wonder as the design emerges. This year's mystery did not disappoint. Right up until the end participants were uncertain what they were creating. Once I had gotten to the snout stage, I dubbed my "whatsit" a platagon (platypus-dragon) named Durante. Now I marvel at how close my guess actually was.  Isn't he darling?

For those who like to know, Durante is made with 20 Lizbeth® #716 Maple Syrup.