Friday, December 13, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas
from the Piney Woods!!!
Good morning, dear readers!
 I am finally feeling much better.  Being sick around the holidays is no fun.  At least I'm over it and feeling back to my somewhat normal self.
This will be the last blog post until after the New Year.  Jocelin will be off at college next year so we decided to make the most of this year's holiday season.  I plan to take her shopping, antiquing/junquing, do some festive baking and crafting.  You know- special mama/daughter time.  Jim plans to give her more off-road driving lessons, target practice at the rifle range, and take her hunting.  We also plan to have a number of movie marathon days!
I am working on several OOAK pieces that will debut after the New Year on a revamped website.  The other thing I'm looking into is possibly moving the blog to my website host.  Lots of things are happening in the Piney Woods!
Here is an image of some button brooch/pendant foundations I'm working on.
And here is a special OOAK piece-in-progress:
Oh!  I almost forgot to tell you about our newest family member!  A few days ago, when it was rainy, icy & nasty, we had a male kitten wander onto our front porch.  He actually got on well with our dogs, wasn't hissy or anything like that.  He was almost starved.  You could see and feel all his little bones.  Since I didn't have any cat food, I scrambled him a couple of eggs until Jim could run to the store. Well, he just kept rubbing, loving and purring on all of us- including the dogs- so we "adopted" him. 
Dear readers, here is "Biscuit", the feline mascot of the Piney Woods:
Jocelin adores him and he certainly seems to love all of us.  This is the best image I have of him as he is always purring and rubbing.
Jocie and I will be heading out on an antiquing/junquing jaunt shortly, so...
May you all have a lovely Christmas filled with joy!
Until the New Year~
Happy Tatting!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Under The Weather

Good afternoon, dear readers! Sorry for the blogpost delay, but I am a bit under the weather. I will get a good tatting post up as soon as I'm able.

Until then-
Happy Tatting!

-Rachel Colvin Jackson, the Piney Woods Tatter

Friday, November 29, 2013

Piney Woods 2013 Wreath Pendant FREE Pattern

Blog theme for November~
Good morning, dear readers!  Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving.  Ours was blessed and full of good food and cheer.  Many folks are out hitting the "black Friday" sales, but I avoid them like the plague.  We are decorating for Christmas today.  Jim is putting the lights up on the exterior of the house and I am going through our ornaments and decorations.  There are lots of tatted tree ornaments that need to be blocked and freshened up a bit.
Well, I have a bit of Holiday cheer for you, dear readers- a FREE pattern!  Here is the Piney Woods 2013 Wreath Pendant Pattern:
It was tatted with a size 8 tatting needle using 3 different colors of Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk (S9, S39, S775) and an assortment of green silver lined Delica seed beads and cranberry Czech seed beads.  The following image is the foundation:
Using Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S9, string 60 seed beads onto needle in the order of green, red, green; then tat a foundation medallion of 10 Rs and CHs with the following counts:
R 5 - 5 - (with 3 seed beads) 5 - 5 CL RW 
CH 5 followed by 3 very small picots 3 - (with 3 seed beads) 3 followed by 3 very small picots 5 CL RW
After tatting final CH, join to motif body, tie & cut, hide ends.
Then next step will involve weaving chains using the groupings of 3 very small picots on each side of the beads on the CHs.
For the fluffy picot CHs on the left of the bead groupings, use the following counts:
Begin by running needle through the very first sm picot, pick up 1 green seed bead, then CH 3 followed by 11 medium picots 3 CL, + to the very first picot on the next CH previously tatted.  Continue around motif, join the last CH to the base of the first, tie & cut, hide ends.  Repeat these counts for the next two CH rounds on the left of the beads.  I used S39 for the first and third CHs and S9 for the second of this round.  As you tat the second and third CHs, weave them as you go.
For the CHs on the right side of the beads, I used zigzag tatting by using the first half of the ds for 10 counts, followed by the second half for the next 10 counts, alternating for a total count of 60, CL, then + to the corresponding picot on the next CH.  Continue around motif, join last CH to base of first, tie & cut, hide ends.   For the second and third CHs, weave as you go.  Don't forget to pick up 1 green seed bead with the needle after you join to the very small picots and before tatting the counts.  Again, I used S39 for the first and third CHs and S9 for the second of this grouping.
The last step is to go back to the center of the motif, using S775 (Turkey Red) string 30 seed beads onto the thread in the order of green, red, green.  Run needle through and picot joining the Rs, pick up 1 green seed bead and CH 6 - (with 3 seed beads) 6 CL + to next R.  Continue around motif, tie & cut, hide ends.  Now you have a nice pendant or ornament.  Hope you will enjoy the pattern! 
What Christmas tatting projects are you working on?  I am making a special heirloom piece for our daughter which I cannot describe in too much detail as she is online often and helps with the website and such.  Don't want her to know exactly what I'm doing! 
Well, I had better go- Rosie Fey is ready for her morning run.  She and Jim are waiting for me.  May you have a wonderful week full of tatting adventures.  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Turquoise and Pearl OOAK Piece

Blog theme for November~
Good morning, dear readers!
It is still rainy here in the Piney Woods.  We enjoy a pretty Autumn day or two, then we're back to rainy, grey days.  That's okay because I get more tatting time in the Shanty or Atelier with Rosie Fey at my feet and a mug of hot cocoa or tea on the side table when the weather is disagreeable.
Here is an image of a OOAK piece I tatted last weekend featuring original needle tatting done with Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S49 and size 8 Valdani Pearl Cotton in M49. The eternity circle foundation is comprised of turquoise beads and cultured pearls.
There are also antique sandy beige Czech seed bead accents on some of the tatting.  I beaded a necklace with various and sundry beads that were in my stash.
Well, I have some great news- Jocelin received a VERY high score on her ACT & is eligible for several scholarships at her chosen college.  We are so proud and thankful!
Are you working on Christmas projects yet, dear readers?  I am in the process of designing the next FREE pattern for your pleasure and hope you may find it useful for the holiday season.  Let's hope I have time to finish it this weekend so I can proof it during the coming week.  Thanksgiving is less than a week away and I have oodles of cooking to do!  Then, on the day after Thanksgiving, we put up the exterior Christmas decorations while everyone else is at the stores for "Black Friday" shopping. 
Rosie Fey is ready for her run in the woods and I need to take more Godiva cocoa to the Shanty.  May you all have a wonderful week and blessed Thanksgiving!  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, November 15, 2013

More Playing with Valdani

Blog theme for November~
Good morning, dear readers!
I have been busy in the Atelier making new OOAK pieces for the Atelier shoppe.  They will debut AFTER the new year.  We simply have too much going on with homeschool and family activities for me to be able to get the new lines ready for the holiday season.  Here is a little peek at the progress of a piece I've been playing with featuring Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk and Pearl Cotton with a Swarovski crystal chaton and champagne pearls:
Additional rounds have already been added, but it is hard to take images when my favorite places to lay work are wet with rain.  It has been very wet down here and I am ready for a dry spell! 
Jocelin and I are having a Mama/Daughter day today.  I plan to relax and take a break from the Atelier and tatting shanty.  Rosie Fey will be accompanying us as we shop for a doggy sweater/coat for her.  After we get Rosie Fey taken care of, we are headed to our favorite local Mexican restaurant for lunch, then the antique stores better be ready!  Jocie and I are on the hunt for vintage goodies!!! 
Well, I had better get some tatting done before we head out for the day.  May you have a marvelous week ahead.  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, November 8, 2013

November Musings

Blog theme for November~
Good morning, dear readers!
It is rather chilly in the Piney Woods this morning.  I must say that Autumn is my favorite season.  It has inspired me to make some long needed adjustments and tweaks to how my work is presented and made available for purchase.  As mentioned on the blog previously, I prefer to do OOAK pieces. My focus is currently on that aspect of my work along with deciding whether or not to stick with my current website host, and what is the best vehicle for selling my work online.  There are several options up for consideration at the moment and I am uncertain which direction is the right one for my artwork and creative temperament.  I will say that the wholesale offers I've received are absolutely ridiculous.  There is no way I will wholesale my OOAK pieces!  And I will not allow anyone to "convert" my original designs into patterns for embroidery sewing machines.  While I have nothing against those who use such machines, my work is totally handmade and I take GREAT offense to it being "converted" to a digital pattern for a machine to make.
Aside from these tatting issues, we've been busy enrolling our daughter in the next semester of online college classes.  Let me tell you, it is just as involved as registering for regular college courses!  At least we've got that done and are awaiting her class schedule.
Well, Rosie Fey is ready for our morning run.  After our run, I plan to spend the morning tatting away in the tatting shanty with a rich, steamy mug of gourmet hot cocoa.  I will post images of new OOAK pieces soon.  My favorite places for taking images are soaking wet from a recent rain and I do not dare put any of this work on it.  Maybe it will dry out enough this afternoon or at the latest, this weekend.  May you have a wonderful week full of tatting adventures.  Until the next time~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Haunting Elegance Winner

Haunting Elegance Winner
You are the lucky winner of the Haunting Elegance Pendant!
Miriam wrote:  "Your pendant is just beautiful! I hope I can learn to tat as well as you someday!"
Thank you for the kind compliment, Miriam. I'm sure you will be a fabulous tatter, if you are not already!  Please be so kind as to click the "contact me" button to the right on the blog and send me your particulars so I can get your pendant in the post.
Thanks to all who participated in my Halloween event.  Be sure to check out next Friday's post to find out the blog theme for November and see some new eye candy.  Until then~
Happy Tatting!  

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Haunting Elegance Treat

Blog theme for October~
"One Of A Kind"
Happy Halloween
from the
Piney Woods!!!
Here is a special treat for my dear readers:
The Haunting Elegance Give Away
To win this OOAK pendant, leave a comment on this blog post before the witching hour (midnight CST) tonight!
A winner will be selected via random number generator and announced on a blog post this Friday.  The winner will then have until Monday afternoon to contact me with their particulars or another entrant will be selected.  Good luck!!!
I have done a bit more on the cameos and other prototype, but am waiting on a bead and findings order to arrive.  It was scheduled for delivery yesterday, but was later listed as "delayed".  I'm going to be busy trying to track it down today and find out when exactly to expect the order.
Hope you all have a wonderful Halloween!  The winner will be announced tomorrow morning.  Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Wonderful Weekend

Blog theme for October~
"One Of A Kind"
Good morning, dear readers!
I had an absolutely wonderful weekend!  The tatting mojo was flowing and I got quite a bit of work done on many OOAK projects.  I guess we have my super-hubby, Jim, to thank for it.  He kept me happy with campfires, walks in the Piney Woods and fantastic grilled foods. 
Here are a few things I tatted on Sunday:
As you can see, two are antique cameos that are in the beginning stages of being "dressed".  Any names you'd care to suggest for the newest ladies, dear readers?  And the other is a design prototype I'm playing with using a Swarovski chaton, champagne pearls, Delica seed beads, and Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk and size 12 Valdani Pearl Cotton.
This is what it looked like when I placed it aside last night.  There is much more tatting to do on this one!  I will most likely add lots of beads and am contemplating some Swarovski bicone additions.  What do you think?
Today I plan to finish the "Haunting Elegance" piece and dress the cameo ladies.  What are your tatting plans?
Well, Rosie Fey is ready for our morning run.  Have a fantastic day and be sure to check out the blog on Halloween for a special "treat"!  Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Working On A Goody

Blog theme for October~
"One Of A Kind"
Good morning, dear readers!
Here is a little sneak peek at "Haunting Elegance"!
I have done quite a bit more to the piece, but this was the best early image I had of it.  There will be a lovely Swarovski chaton added along with more tatting and Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk.  The foundation was tatted with size 12 Valdani Pearl Cotton in 0 538 "Cottage Smoke".  Be sure to check out the blog on Halloween for the debut of the finished piece and a "surprise"!
We are finally enjoying very comfortable weather down here- and it has been very conducive to tatting and designing.  I had planned to post more OOAK pieces on the website and blog, but have had several custom pieces that have taken up MUCH more time than I had anticipated, so I will have to alter my schedule. 
The Piney Woods Atelier website is going to receive a facelift soon and I am contemplating waiting until after the new year before I debut new work.  With the holidays fast approaching, I have custom orders to complete along with family obligations, homeschooling, and lots of other things that demand my time and energy.  I will still blog once per week, but do not see how my schedule can accommodate everything I'd like to do.  BUT, I do have some wonderful new OOAK pieces that are coming along nicely, albeit slowly.
Well, dear readers, I am off to go on a run in the woods with Rosie Fey.  She has already brought me her leash and is patiently waiting at my feet as I type.  May you all have a marvelous weekend full of tatting goodness!  Until Halloween~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, October 18, 2013

My Personal Pendant

Blog theme for October~
"One Of A Kind"
Good morning, dear readers!
I have been busy working on a number of different OOAK pieces, but decided to share one I recently did for myself:

It is embellished with Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk in S 565, size 8 Valdani Pearl Cotton in O 538, several 4mm Swarovski bronze bicone crystal beads, and a bezel of champagne freshwater pearls.  I probably will add more silk tatting and Swarovskis, but plan to wear it around for a bit as is.
The pendant was purchased from Jenn, of the Etsy shop cellsdividing .  Jenn was kind enough to do a custom order for me with one of my favorite scriptures.  If any of you, dear readers, would like a special pendant you can accent with tatting, take a look at what she has in her shop or place a special order.  She was so nice to work with and was most expedient in creating my requested piece and shipping it right on out.  Thanks, Jenn, for the pendant!  I adore it.
The image above is the pendant before embellishment.
The special surprise is in the process of being created!  Our Halloween treat will be entitled "Haunting Elegance".  Be sure to check the blog next week for a peek and make double sure you see what I have in store for you on Halloween!!!
As there is much work for me to do, I had better get hopping.  May you have a wonderful week full of tatting joy.  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, October 11, 2013

New Threads and Design Elements

Blog theme for October~
"One Of A Kind"
Good morning, dear readers!
For those who won a button package in the give away event:  your buttons were sent out Wednesday and should reach you by this Saturday.  Hope y'all will enjoy them!
My latest Valdani thread order came in this week!  Yep, I am a happy tatter!!!  I love to get in thread, even if it is a color I work with a lot.  I spent Thursday organizing my Valdani Luxury Pearl Silks and Pearl Cottons.  Here is an image of one of the silk thread trays in my thread cabinet:
I also received the Swarovski order.  Here are images of some of my new design elements:
These rectangular chatons will be so much fun to incorporate into designs!
And these round chatons will look so nice as center accents for ICR motifs.
There are several works-in-progress in the Atelier, but as I was waiting for this Swarovski order, I have not been able to finish them.  I'll try to have some tatted eye candy for you next Friday!
Other than tatting and waiting for supplies, I have been busy airing out and cleaning our pop-up camper so we can head out on some Fall outdoor adventures soon.
We're going to Scotch Guard the exterior this weekend and hopefully have everything prepped for our next excursion.  Rosie Fey didn't know what to think of it at first, but has since learned to love "helping" Mama in it. 
As we are finally experiencing cooler temps down here, I am really ready to get in the woods.  (Where I do my best tatting!)  I need to repack the portable Atelier this weekend, too.
So, what are you working on, dear readers?  Any fantastic Fall themed projects being tatted out there?  I am working on a special goody just for y'all!  It will be featured on the Halloween post.  So, which "theme" would you prefer for the goody:  "Haunting Elegance" or "Harvest Pop" ?  Be sure to vote in the poll or leave a comment so I'll know what to focus my tatting energies on!
Well, Rosie Fey is staring at me and huffing impatiently.  Guess I had better stretch and take her for a run.  May you have a marvelous week and until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, October 4, 2013

How To Begin Designing

Blog theme for October~
"One Of A Kind"
Good morning, dear readers!
Our blog theme for October is:  "One Of A Kind"
This is my favorite type of work to do!  I love creating original, one-of-a-kind tatted pieces and plan to focus the majority of my tatting time on this sort of project.  I hope you will enjoy seeing the featured pieces over the next few posts.  Oh- I also have a special treat planned for y'all on Halloween!  Be on the lookout in future posts for "hints".
(Here is a lovely vintage Whiting and Davis topaz colored intaglio pendant dressed up with turquoise beads and Swarovski crystals that is ready to be enhanced with tatting then added to my Olde West Collection as a OOAK piece.  If I don't decide to keep her for myself!)
Recently, I have received several inquiries regarding how to begin designing.  While I have done a previous post about my personal creative method, I decided that I would write a post with general, common sense advise on this topic.  It seems to be especially appropriate given the blog theme this month.
1.  Perfect the basic skills and execution of your chosen method of tatting, then move on to learn more advanced techniques.  Play with patterns, threads and such.  Keep a journal/notebook to record what does and does not work for you.  It is a good idea to figure out a consistent count and pattern annotation that you are most comfortable with.  Some prefer to use schematics but this is not something I enjoy.  Anything that takes away from my tatting time is frustrating.  The computer does not always co-operate with me; therefore, I use a shorthand method and rough sketches in my design journals.
2. Identify what inspires you to create and helps said creativity flow.  For me, this is a complicated mixture of various elements.  Environment is very important.  I am most fortunate to have several dedicated workspaces and an Atelier to create my art.  Each is special in its own way.  Obviously, the woods around my home are a key inspiration.  I love nature- walking in the woods, off-roading in my Jeep, camping, etc. Having my Rosie Fey near is required for maximum flow of tatting mojo! I also love certain scents, tastes and sounds.  Gourmet hot cocoa, a nice sangria, dark chocolate bonbons, candles from the Chartreuse Pear, and my favorite tunes on the iPod all contribute to an atmosphere that allows the tatting to flow off the needles. But this is what works for me.  You may prefer a quiet environment, or a coffeehouse full of activity.  Simply find what stimulates and inspires you to create.  Bring this into your workspace and have at it. 
3.  Experiment- A LOT!!!  Find your own unique style.  This takes time, patience and oodles of practice. 
4.  Be sure to keep notes.  I know this was mentioned in step one, but it is so very important.  Notes are invaluable to your design process.  I keep copious notes and images of my pieces.  While I freely share patterns on this blog, I vigorously and aggressively protect the integrity and copyright of my OOAK artworks.  Protect yourself and your work.  Document your work for your own personal benefits and to protect your designs.  Consult a copyright attorney if you need help or clarification on your rights and what can be done if an infringement occurs.
5.  Above all- have fun!  Enjoy what you do.
I hope this is helpful to those who had questions about dipping their toes into designing.  An abundance of threads and accents are out there waiting for someone with a brilliant idea to incorporate them into something fabulous.  Have fun and play!  I do- every day.
(This is a OOAK Eternity pendant in progress.)
(And here are a couple of Eternity foundations awaiting their turn for embellishment, along with the current work-in-progress.)
The above images are what I am playing with today and this weekend.  What are you working on dear readers?  Any interesting projects being tatted out there?  I'd love to hear about your current works!
Well, Rosie Fey is really ready for our morning run in the woods.  She has brought me her leash and keeps nudging me with it.  Guess I'd better take the hint.  May you all have a wonderfully creative weekend!  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Button Event Winners

Blog theme for September~
Good morning, dear readers!
Here are the FOUR winners of the Button Give Away Event:
Stephanie W
who wrote:  In my pattern stash I have a pattern for a Celtic teapot that uses buttons (cute teapot, too), and a couple patterns for brooches (pins) that use one or more buttons. I would like to try...
Crazy Mom Tats!
who wrote:  Cool! Pick me!

Sharon D.
who wrote:  One can never have to many buttons. I never have the right size. Looks like there are a lot of different sizes in the bags. Love to hear about Rosie Fey she is so cute.
who wrote:  What a wonderful and generous thing to do Ms Rachel. I love buttons! I have been using buttons in a lot of my tatting. I use them for crosses...
To those who have won:
Please be so kind as to contact me via the button to the right of the blog with your particulars and I will get your buttons in the post next week.  If I do not hear from you by Wednesday, October 4th, another winner will be selected. 
Many thanks to all who commented and participated in the give away!
What are y'all working on, my dear readers?  This weekend I am putting the finishing touches on a FREE pattern to feature in October and plan to take images of some newly completed pieces.  We will also be cleaning up and prepping the pop-up camper for Autumn camping adventures.  Of course, we will be watching the Louisiana Tech football game and the New Orleans Saints.
Well, I had better get it in gear.  Rosie Fey is ready for our run in the woods.  May you have a fantastic weekend and congratulations to our winners!  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Button Sources

Blog theme for the month of September~
Good morning, dear readers!  I hope y'all are doing better than I am.  My allergies are giving me fits!  The goldenrod and ragweed are blooming, making the pollen count very high.  This happens each Fall and Spring.
I have had several emails asking about button sources.  The very best place to find buttons is in an antique/junque store or flea market.  I love old button jars!  You never know what you'll find inside.
Another good source is Etsy.  I've found numerous button jars and sewing notion boxes filled full of treasures listed on Etsy.
Some of you have inquired where I found the Czech art glass buttons.  I purchased most from a bead shop that has since closed, but have found some at the Fire Mountain Gems website.  You can click here to see what they have to offer.
Something else you may wish to consider is asking any of your relatives if they have your grandma's button stash box/jar.  I was fortunate enough to receive several containers filled with buttons previously owned by my great-grandmother and grandmother.  These are especially precious to me and I only use those buttons on projects for family members.
Well, since I've been under the weather this week, I think I will leave you with some images of works I've done with buttons to hopefully inspire you in your own work:

(Note:  ALL images and designs are my original work and are protected by copyright law!)
May you have a wonderful week full of tatting creativity & fun!  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Autumn Tatting with Buttons

Blog theme for September~
Good afternoon, dear readers!
I have been busy with so many tatting projects, it is difficult to know where to begin.  How about if I give you a peak at the wonderful Autumn colored Valdani threads I'm using in most of my current works.
Here is a lovely assortment of perle cottons.
And here are some of my favorite colors in Valdani Luxury Pearl Silk.
This is a bare bones pendant foundation I did Friday.
And this one is what I am working on now as I await the start of the New Orleans Saints' game against Tampa Bay.
If you would like some FREE patterns using button foundations, check out some of my previous blog posts here, and here.
Several of you have asked about my Rosie Fey.  Here are a few images of my growing girl:
On our run this morning at Lincoln Parish Park.  She LOVES to run on the wooded trails, splash in the creeks and chase the over abundance of squirrels.
Rosie Fey in profile as she sits pretty for a liver treat.
And finally, here is this image I snapped of her while I was tying my shoe.  She promises that she was only helping me by poking her nose in my face and giving me puppy sugars as I tried to get my darn laces untangled and retied.
Well, I have got to go ahead and post this so I can hot foot it into the kitchen and get snacks for the game ready.  May you all have a wonderful week full of tatting fun & don't forget to leave your comment on the September 6th post for a chance to win some great buttons!  Until Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Delay In Weekly Post

Due to the Thursday home game for LA Tech, my regular Friday post will be delayed until the weekend.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but there will be some nice eye candy put up soon.
Until then~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Button Give Away Event

Blog theme for September~
Good morning, dear readers!
Back in August, as I was cleaning out the Atelier, I came across multiple button stashes.  After culling what I plan to use in my own work, I thought a give away event of the remaining buttons would be fun. 
As you can see, the buttons are in four snack sized zip-loc bags.  They are mainly vintage plastic, MOP and a few shell buttons.  I have not cleaned them, but have tried to put a variety in each bag. 
Closer view 1.
Closer view 2.
So, how are we going to do this event?  Well, all you need to do is leave a comment on this blog post stating what you might use the buttons for.  There will be FOUR winners who will be selected via random number generator and announced on the September 27th blog post.
Since I've been playing with the buttons and having lots of fun with them, I decided that the September blog theme will be Buttons!  On the next blog post, I will have images of a few newly finished pieces you've seen the beginnings of and images of some of my button projects.
What are you working on, my dear readers?  What goodies are you tatting for Fall?  There are lots of works-in-progress in the Atelier, but I am also crocheting a wrap and a skinny scarf.  I've additionally been working on some sketches for hand embroidery designs.
Rosie Fey is spinning at the door, so I had better take her out and play for a bit. Otherwise, Rosie will not leave me alone to tat!  Be sure to leave a comment on this blog post for your chance to win one of the FOUR button goody bags!  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Lemons Into Lemonade

Good morning, dear readers!
We are still getting back into the homeschool groove.  Things are going well, but it is an adjustment for us all.  I did not get in nearly as much tatting time this past week as I'd hoped.  Jayne and the bracelet projects are on the back burners, but will be picked up again over the upcoming holiday weekend.
I did get out a ball of Valdani Pearl Cotton in M80 (Distant Grass) this week.  My intention was to tat an edging for the pockets on a pair of linen trousers.  Well... my counts were off, but I have an idea to turn the beginning of my oopsie into something else.  When life hands you lemons (or you mess up with the ds counts in your head) make lemonade.  I'll post the finished piece next Friday for you to see how it turns out, but here is an image of my oopsie:
I am also gathering goodies for another give away event, so be looking for the announcement for it next Friday, too!
Guess I had better take Rosie Fey out before she spins a hole in front of the door.  Have a great Labor Day long weekend & until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Working on Jayne

Good morning, dear readers!
We are gradually getting back into the swing of homeschooling and I am somehow managing to get in a little bit of tatting time each day.  Plain Jane is slowly being transformed into Lady Jayne, but I had to take a break from her.  There were a couple of design ideas bouncing around in my head that I had to play with.
Anyhow, here is a peek at the beginnings of  Lady Jayne:
This is the center motif with a few bead accents.
And this is the drop accent that will hang from the center motif.  I may add more beads, according to how the side pieces turn out.  They may be needed to provide more balance to the necklace.
The above image is of a bracelet prototype that I'm currently designing.  I really love this Valdani Pearl Cotton in color O538 "Cottage Smoke".  It looks great with the Delica beads I'm using and also the pearls I plan to add on another subsequent round.
And here is a little pendant motif I'm still playing with:
It began like this...
Then grew to this...
And this is where it is at now.  I sidetracked myself by starting the bracelet prototype!  The bracelet idea popped into my head as I was contemplating the next round for the pendant.  That O538 Valdani pearl cotton was sitting there just begging me to tat something with it, and the bracelet idea popped into my head.  I sketched it out roughly and began tatting.
I'm hoping to get back to Jayne this weekend, but it all depends upon how well the bracelet project goes.  For some reason, that is what my hands want to tat.
It is also time for another Piney Woods Event, isn't it?!?  I have oodles of vintage buttons and other miscellaneous goodies that may be put into the give away- or do y'all want me to put up a special OOAK piece?  Comment on this post to let me know which you'd prefer or if you think I should do both!
Well, Rosie Fey is ready for our morning run.  Guess I had better take care of her and the chickens before starting homeschool for the day.  May you have a wonderful week full of tatting goodness!  Until next Friday~
Happy Tatting!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Blog Changes

Good morning, dear readers!
For some time, I have been considering making some changes to this blog and how I share my work.  After consulting with my husband and our copyright attorney, I will implement the following changes:
Frequency of posting will now be reduced to once per week as I require more time for the home education of our daughter and for the tatting of OOAK art works.  The blog posts will usually occur on Fridays, unless a holiday or such interferes.
I will continue to post the occasional FREE pattern, which will remain free for my readers' use.
Much of what I will be posting in the future is OOAK work.  Please, do not ask for the patterns of these pieces.  And do not copy them!  I will most vigorously protect and defend my intellectual property.  I feel that I have shared plenty of patterns as it is, and will NOT share how to construct my larger One-Of-A-Kind works.  It is my goal to focus on creating new and innovative works of needle tatted couture pieces and jewelry. 
Special events and give aways will be featured on occasion as my schedule and disposition allow.
I will NOT teach needle, shuttle, finger, cro-tatting or Japanese hook tatting.  There are plenty of online resources for these techniques and I feel that each individual should choose the method that she/he is most attracted to and able to utilize.  No one method is better or more artistic than any other.  Tatting method snobbery will not be tolerated in any manner on my blog or website.  If you have snarky comments regarding these methods, keep your opinions to yourself.  I would not wish to discourage anyone who wishes to create with their hands!!!
Many thanks to all who have followed my blog.  I hope you continue to do so.  You have given me inspiration and encouragement that is truly appreciated.  I look forward to your future comments and input as I embark upon the next chapter in my creative endeavors.  The next blog post will be up a week from this Friday on August 23rd.  Please note that I plan to include more images on these blog posts, so you will have plenty of tatting eye candy.
Well, Jocelin and I are off on an antiquing/junquing trip.  Let's hope we find lots of vintage and antique goodies to feature in my creations!  Thank you for following the blog!  Until August 23rd~
Happy Tatting!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Meet Plain Jane

Good morning, dear readers!
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Plain Jane :
I have not permanently attached the pieces as I plan to further enhance Plain Jane and turn her into Lady Jayne.  If you wish to complete her as she is, simply attach the pieces with jump rings and add an adjustable chain length with a clasp of your choice to the side pieces.
To make things easier to find for those who did not participate in the tat-along, here are all of the steps:
Using a size 7 tatting needle and a ball of size 8 Valdani Pearl Cotton in M49 "Subtle Elegance", tat 6 ICRs with the following counts:
ICR 11 followed by 5 graduated picots (sm, med, lg, med, sm) 11 CL
ICR 13 very small - 13 CL
Tat 3 of each, alternating for a total of 6 ICRs. Tie, hide ends & cut.
(For a tutorial on needle tatting ICRs, click here.)
R 11 + (to very small - of previously tatted ICR) 11 CL RW
CH 3 very sm- 3 followed by 3 graduated picots (sm, med, sm) 3 very sm- 3 CL RW
R 11 + (to med - of previously tatted ICR) 11 CL RW
CH 3 very sm- 3 followed by 3 graduated picots (sm, med, sm) 3 very sm- 3 CL RW
R 7 + (to lg - of previously tatted ICR) 7 CL RW
CH 3 very sm- 3 followed by 3 graduated picots (sm, med, sm) 3 very sm- 3 CL RW
R 11 + (to med - of previously tatted ICR) 11 CL RW
CH 3 very sm- 3 followed by 3 graduated picots (sm, med, sm) 3 very sm- 3 CL RW
R 11 + (to very small - of previously tatted ICR) 11 CL RW
You will continue around the motif, joining the final CH to base of first R tatted.  Tie, hide ends & cut.

The above is what Plain Jane will look like after tatting the two interwoven chain rounds.  They both have a stitch count of 23.  Begin by running the needle through the very small picot to the left of the 3 graduated picots of any previously tatted CH.  CH 23 CL + to corresponding very small picot on next previously tatted CH.  Continue around the motif.  Join last CH to the base of the first, tie, hide ends & cut.  This is what it should look like:
To tat the second CHs to interweave, run needle through very small picot on the right of the graduated picot grouping of any previously tatted CH.  Cut off a long length of thread from ball as this is your working thread.  I use a second needle on this end to help weave my work.  CH 23 CL, pull work around previously tatted CH, + to corresponding very small picot to the right of the graduated picot grouping on the next chain.  Pull both threads through and continue around motif.  Join last CH at the base of the first CH.  Tie, hide ends & cut.
Tat 3 ICRs, all with the counts of :
ICR 13 followed by 3 very small picots 13 CL.
Tie, hide ends & cut.
The next step is to tat the 3 rounds of CHs around the ICR foundation.  ALL CHs are the same count.  Run needle through/join at 1st very small picot and CH 31 CL + to next corresponding very small picot. Repeat, tie hide ends and cut.  Do the same for the second and third CH rounds around the ICR foundation, weaving them as you go.
These ICRs will form a chain on each side of the focal point.  You will need 12 for each side.  Of course, each tatter may wish to adjust the number of ICRs to make a necklace to her/his preferred length.  The counts are:
ICR 11 very small- 11 CL
ICR 11 followed by 3 very small -s 11 CL
ICR 11 very small - 11 CL
ICR 11 followed by 3 very small -s 11 CL
Tie, hide ends & cut.
For the next ICR motif:
ICR 11 + 11 CL
ICR 11 followed by 3 very small -s 11 CL
ICR 11 very small - 11 CL
ICR 11 followed by 3 very small -s 11 CL
Tie, hide ends & cut.
For the last ICR motif:
ICR 11 + 11 CL
ICR 11 followed by 3 very small -s 11 CL
ICR 11 followed by 3 very small -s 11 CL
ICR 11 followed by 3 very small -s 11 CL
Tie, hide ends & cut.
Begin by running the needle through/joining at the first very small picot of the first ICR motif you tatted.
CH 25 CL + to first very small picot of the next ICR motif.  Continue until you reach the last ICR motif and CH 19 CL + to first very small picot on next R of last ICR motif, CH 19 CL + to first very small picot on the next R of same ICR, then revert back to the CH 25 CL + until you reach then end of the piece.
Now, you will repeat this 2 more times on each side piece, weaving the chains as you go.
Okay, I hope I covered all the steps.  If I missed something, sorry.  It was a long night and I'm still half asleep trying to get Jim off to work.  Be sure to check out Monday's post for info on the blog changes I'm making.  May you have a marvelous weekend full of creativity and tatting goodness!  Until Monday~
Happy Tatting!