Monday, March 16, 2015

Tatting and mixed media

Even a terrible day of arting can give you a great feeling of satisfaction! :) I may not have had great success with my canvas but I did complete my first card made with tatting. I just love the colors.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Another Monday, Another Bracelet Design

I wrote up a quick pattern for this beaded bracelet that I thought would be fun to try.  The pattern is simple:

Add a dozen or so beads to shuttle and proceed with one shuttle as follows:

Slide bead down onto working thread, storing it at the back of hand.
R 4-8+(to lobster claw clasp)8-4, cl with bead at base of ring, dnrw
*Slide bead down onto working thread, storing it at the back of hand.
R 4+(to last picot of first ring)4-4-4, cl with bead at base of ring, dnrw.
Repeat from * until desired length.

R 4+8-4, attach ball thread to base of ring. Leave enough of a tail to sew in later or tat over the end as you begin as follows:
Ch 4+(to last picot of previous ring)4-4-4, lj to thread between rings
*Ch 4+(to last picot of previous chain)4-4-4, lj to thread between rings
Repeat from * until back at first ring, then instead of making the second picot, join to first picot of first ring, then continue with the remaining 4 stitches. LJ as previously, sew in ends into base of first ring, and the last part of the chain.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Today's Tatting Design Sesh: Bracelets

Having a heyday with some bracelets today. On Monday, I made up a drawing with some rings, beads, picots and chains and went for it!!  This looks nothing like the drawing I started with, which, if you can imagine it, was a series of rings in a straight line, beads in between.  Oh well! Happy accident!  I've posted the pattern below, if you would like to try it!

After adding a clasp and trying it on, I wasn't happy with how loose it was.  It felt unstable, since the two joins are so close to the same point.  So today I decided to add another round.  A series of chains, and a ring to stabilize the loose point between each ring and chain. I love how the variance in chain lengths wind up giving the lace a wavy edge. 

As I tatted it up, it gathered a very nice weight, and the lace began to feel rather like a fabric! It was so exciting to watch as it shaped into a beautiful band.  Of course, I couldn't wait to try it on!
Barb was present for my stream on Monday, when I was tatting this test bracelet, and she is the lucky winner of the drawing we had to celebrate my first tatting pattern for sale on Etsy (link here).  Pam also won a prize :)  They will both be getting some very happy mail in the near future!!!  YAY for tatting patterns!!!  If you would like to join me and the gang, I usually stream a bit of tatting and some painting on Monday evenings at 5pm Mountain Time (7pm EST)--just search "Starzart" in the searchbar over at  We'd love to have you. :)

Sea Wave Bracelet Pattern 
(this is my fifth pattern ever, so please let me know if there are any issues with it!)
I started by stringing 7 large beads onto #10 thread by DMC.  I don't know what they are called or how big they are exactly.  Then I wound my shuttle, always keeping the beads next to the ball while winding--once wound, I wrapped all but one bead a few turns back on the shuttle.  You could also use a second shuttle, since you will end up switching from the ball to the shuttle for the outer round.  You can use smaller thread, just be sure to use beads that are smaller so that the proportions end up ok--you will end up with more repeats than in the pattern below.  Please note that the pictures above are from my first test...they don't perfectly match the instructions below--I modified the instructions as I came up with improvements.  If you have questions, let me know, I'm here for you.

Center Rings
Before beginning each ring, slide one bead onto working thread and keep at back of hand
R 12, beaded picot (bp), 3-3-3-3 (3 picots), close (cl), do not reverse work (dnrw), do shoelace trick (SLT). (hint:  make 1st and last picots very small for joining--this stabilizes the work)
Ch 3-3-3-3-3-3 (5 picots), lock join (lj) with shuttle thread to left-hand side of bp, dnrw. (hint:  make 1st, 3rd, and 5th picots very small for joining)
*R 3-3-3-3, bp, 12, cl rw (hint: make sure 1st ds is snug against bead, hold with thumbnail until 2nd half is snug)
Ch 3-3-3-3-3-3, lock join to bp
Repeat from * 5 times, or desired # of repeats

Outer Round
At this point you are going to need to use a shuttle instead of the ball--this will be called shuttle 2.
Ch 3+ to last picot of last chain, 6-2
Drop shuttle 1 and using shuttle 2 (ball thread) make a thrown ring (TR) 2, join (+) (to picot you just made), 6 + to lobster claw clasp, 6-2, cl
Switch shuttles (pick up shuttle 1 again), Ch 2+ to picot of ring, 9, lj to 1st picot of last center ring

*Ch 5, rw
With same shuttle, R 3+3+3 to last and first picots, respectively, on center ring and chain, rw
Ch5, lj to 3rd picot of chain
Ch7, lj to last picot of chain
Ch9, lj to 1st picot of ring (over bead)
Repeat from * until you have lock-joined after last bead

Ch 7, lj to last picot of center ring
Ch 6-2 (hint: test the length of the bracelet at this point; the number of ds in the chains and TR can be adjusted to lengthen or shorten if needed)
Drop shuttle 1 and using shuttle 2. TR 2, join (+) (to picot you just made), 14-2, cl
Switch shuttles, Ch 2+ to picot of ring, 6, lj to 1st picot of center chain

Ch 7, lj to 3rd picot of chain
*Ch 5, rw
With shuttle 2, R 2+2+2 as previously, cl rw
Ch 5, lj to last picot of ring,
Ch 9, lj to 1st picot of chain
Ch 7, lj to 3rd picot of chain
Repeat from *, except on the last chain of 7, lj to the picot where you already have 2 chains joined.  Cut, tie and hide ends.

I hope you have as much fun with this pattern as I have had making it!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Nighttime Poetry

My niece loved this little 4x4 that I made one time thinking of my grandpa.  They were up for the weekend and we had an afternoon to spend with each other, so we decided to make some artwork together!
 We got our fingers dirty adding layers of paint, then I showed her some collage techniques, revealed word poetry, splatter and dry brush techniques, and we finished up by adding gold accents with gold leaf and some Lumiere paint.

 My revealed word poetry consists of a page from an old paperback that I painted with some dark blue paint to reveal the words,


Today I did another version on stream that I like almost as much.  It is much smaller painting, done on 5x7" canvas board.  I LOVE the collage that peeks out from beneath the shimmering of the Lumiere!  The gold leaf requires patience to make it adhere just so, but it is so worth it!  This piece also has a lovely layer of bubble-wrapped dots.

The revealed poetry reads,