Thursday, December 6, 2012

3-D Christmas Ball Ornaments

I’m finally getting around to showing my 3-D ball ornaments from the early ‘90s. All three are the same pattern, but the hanger is at a different spot on one of them (next ball), which makes it look different.

I prefer showing the ‘flower’ pattern as the focus, such as on this ball and another one.

It’s difficult to see, but there is a pearl bauble hanging in the center. If you enlarge the photo you’ll see it more clearly.

Here is the same ball pattern, but showing hens and chicks in the center.

This was done with a size 30 thread, and I have to be careful handling this one.  The other two are done in size 20, which makes them sturdier.

Here are all three together.

I also put glitter glue on the top one, after stiffening it, and it really sparkles on the tree. It also has a clear ‘crystal’ bauble in the center.

As with most things I make, there’s a long story involved with these, but I’m in between shows right now and don’t have time to explain. I know that’s frustrating for you, and it is for me, too. But I wanted to show you my now 20-year-old creations and that they CAN keep their shape after stiffening - although there are some tricks of the trade involved.   I'll eventually discuss these techniques!

Vicary Mansion

Window looking into the Gift Shop near the Visitors’ Entrance.
We had a great time at the Vicary Mansion last Saturday (2-8 pm).

The weather was perfect and there were a lot of visitors. There is always interest in our tatting, and we had more sales than usual!

The mansion was beautifully decorated. Admission is free (although donations are always welcome!) and the staff knocks
themselves out to provide free cookies and punch to the visitors! (It’s like going to a wedding, there were so many varieties of cookies!) Also, they provide a wonderful meal for us vendors and demonstrators, which is greatly appreciated!

They have a children’s craft area, and there are huge, live trees in most of the rooms, including ours, which was on the second floor. I don’t know how they get those tall trees up the big staircase!

I’m a little rushed right now because the big 2-day event is coming up this weekend (Sat. and Sun.) at Old Economy. I’m excited because we’re going to be in the large (huge, actually) Feast Hall with all the other vendors. The first time we were in that hall upstairs was for the 2006 Christmas event when they had a “Civil War Fair” and went all-out to create a mid-1860s feel to the room, complete with colorful banners hanging from the ceiling and a band playing music of the era. There were many Civil War enactors in costume (women and men), and it was a magical evening!

So far, the weather looks decent for the weekend.


Monday, November 26, 2012

3 Wreaths with Beads, Bows and Bells!

Also  - a Photostamp!

WREATH NO. 1 Back in 2007 I tatted this little Patti Duff motif (only 1.5 in. across), but did not add any beads.
The self-adhesive stars are from my scrapbook stash, added for this photo

But the bow pin (a tie-tack type) has been on the wreath for 5 years, together with the ‘ringing’ bell which is a button from La Mode. I found the pin at a thrift store, and was pleased it had a ‘loop’ for hanging the bell. I’ve been collecting bow pins ever since, but it’s difficult to find those that have that extra loop. Of course, I also bought several bell ‘buttons‘ at JoAnn’s.

I was so pleased with the wreath and bow that I decided to put a large photo of it on our 2007 Christmas card.
The red rhinestones were placed there for the photo back then.

My Photo Stamp 2007
(First tatting on a stamp? J )

I thought it would be really cool to have a ‘matching’ stamp for the envelope, using a then new service:
the personalized ‘photostamp’ ! 

I was so delighted (giddy, actually) with the way the photo looked on the stamp site’s order form that I confirmed the order without realizing how much the stamps actually cost! The stamp may say 41 cents, but the actual cost of each stamp was 80 cents!!!! Quite a price to pay for  an ego trip.  I possibly can claim that I am the first person to put tatting on a stamp(?).  Notice I I did NOT say it was the first tatting ever shown on an official US stamp   I'd have to say that not too many of my recipients even noticed my stamp (except my tatting buddies!)
I recently found this motif (in an unknown thread) sitting unadorned in my stash of tatted pieces   .  But when I recently added the one-piece ‘bow and bells’ pin that I found in my ‘Christmas pins’ box, it added just the right finishing touch!

I have no idea when when I tatted this motif and believe I made it up, and also was practicing adding beads.


Here’s another simple motif from my stash (I believe I also made this one up - just clovers and chains), and again I was playing with beads.
I found another amazing bow pin at the thrift store, which came with a jingle bell attached! I love it when I find these things!

So now I have three wreath pins to wear for the holidays!

Here are the comparative sizes of all three pins, all done with size 20 equivalent thread.  .  

I have a busy two weeks ahead, with two shows coming up this weekend and next (Vicary Mansion and Old Economy).


I’m also trying to ‘refresh’ my Christmas tree, as it has been looking a little 'tired' lately.   I recently found some tatted ornaments I had taken photos of but never put back on the tree!  (I wondered what had happened to them!)     Plus I’m trying to make some pendants to sell.    

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fall is in the Air !

- Pumpkin Pendant
- Fall Festival at Old Economy
‘Autumn Spice’ Pumpkin (size 20)
(MOTIF #10, Round 3)

Thanks to Frivole, I now have a cute ‘pumpkin’ to add to my collection of pendants.    Frivole used Mark Meyers’ Apple Pattern (her link below takes you to his PDF pattern) and by using Autumn Spice she made it into a pumpkin.    So I thought I’d give it a try, although I left off the outer picots and obviously, I didn’t do the leaf. That was too much for my brain to handle today!    I simply added a spiral chain and formed it into a stem.

Harvest Festival, Sept. 29-30, 2012

We had great weather for the Erntefest at Old Economy on Sept. 29-30. Fortunately the predicted rain held off on Sunday, and both days were sunny and a perfect temperature. Our tatting group has been participating in festivals at Old Economy for at least 25 years, and I’ve been attending for 22. Here’s a quick tour.
This is one of the 17 preserved historic buildings built between 1825-1830, of the Harmonist Society at their final home, named “Economy“ (now Ambridge, PA), north of Pittsburgh, PA, along the Ohio River

This building (known as the Mechanics Buildingis a sentimental favorite of our tatting group, because the representative “School Room”, located in the corner section, 1st floor (with the five windows shown here) was our ‘home’ for almost 20 years. and it was a perfect size room for our demonstrations and exhibits of our tatted lace. Around 2008 the school room was moved to another area, and ’our’ room was returned to its original purpose - the shoe shop. So we have had to move to other areas of the Village to set up our tables and displays. The original Harmonist printing press is also in this building and is a working press! Also of importance is the Wine Cellar, located in the basement. 

There are several long gravel paths in the Village. This one links the vegetable garden to the huge Feast Hall (only partly visible here), with flowers lining the path. I have no idea what these amazing red ‘snowball’ flowers are.

Looking to the left is another path leading to the stone structure in the circular Pavilion area, which contains a statue of the Greek Goddess Harmonia, holding a lyre. Five different paths radiate out from this pavilion area, and it is a popular spot for weddings.

This photo was taken down farther on the path in the area of the vegetable and herb gardens, again looking toward the Feast Hall, now far in the distance. The closer buildings (2 houses forming an “L” shape) contain 17 rooms, and are collectively called “The Great House”. They were the residences and offices for the leaders of the Harmonist Society for conducting business with the outside world. The Harmonists exported their wool, cotton, silk and wine to many countries. They also invested in the railroads, oil and real estate, and used steam to power their factories.

The 5-story Granary Building, (near the Feast Hall) with wood exterior, is where we were situated for this weekend's Festival. 

Evelyn and Peg (Carol Lawecki's mom) are in the background, at the large table.   Pam, our newest member (not shown here), joined us on Saturday.

The Erntefest is a quieter Festival, emphasizing the everyday lives of the Harmonists and is not a ’craft show’. We were flattered to be invited to participate, especially since there is no evidence that the Harmonists did any tatting. We have become popular with the visitors over the years, and we represent needlework of the Victorian Era, which is when the Village was active.

I hope you have a good weekend! 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Star Pendants

When Rachel Jackson (Pineywoods Tatter) generously posted her Pumpkin Pie pendant as a free pattern (see link below),  I was attracted to the star shape that is formed after Round 2 (of 3 rounds), which is worked over the basic 5 interlocking rings.

Star motif, designed by Rachel Jackson. 
Lizbeth size 20, Autumn Spice

(a new favorite!) 
Motif #8, Third Round

As I had a new ball of Lizbeth Size 20, Autumn Spice, I just HAD to make this star!

I was pleased to see that it made a nice size pendant (about 2“ across), which, as usual, I mounted on a black velvet paper circle. Then I sewed on the beads and pulled the threads to the back of the black velvet paper, which makes it very convenient to hide the threads!
 I then attached the velvet disc to a larger copper pendant. (I used a powerful double-stick tape to do that.)


This is one of my favorite Fall jackets. When combined with a black turtleneck, it shows off the pendant nicely.

SMALL STAR MOTIF  (Motif #9, Third Round)


And just to prove to you that I CAN actually tat beads into my motifs, here are two easy  'star' motifs that I made up, where all the beads (except the center ones) are tatted in. 

I had to refer to Jane Eborall's excellent method of adding beads onto decorative (not joining) picots as you go, rather than stringing them onto the thread, and it works perfectly.  

Lizbeth size 20, spring garden I remember experimenting with this method awhile ago, but I had to refresh my memory.

I did sew the motif down through the beads on the points to hold the pendant onto the black paper disc. 


I will be doing a separate post of our tatting event at Old Economy (Sept. 29-30), as Blogger doesn't like me to post too many photos at one time! 

Hope you're enjoying some nice October weather.


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Small Oval Pendants

I bought some small oval metal pendants (1-1/2” x 1”) at a craft store for the purpose of putting tatting in them, although I had to remove the oval gem in the center so I could insert my black velvet paper background.   (You can see the original pendant in the last photo below.)

Lizbeth Spring Garden, size 20
The doodad was sewn on afterwards and not tatted in.

This pendant was a total surprise, as it was not planned at all.  I was merely practicing the basics of making a ‘fluffy’ round rosette with picots (like those pretty ones Allison has been posting about recently at ‘Allison’s Tatting Blog’ ).

I stopped after the ‘picot round’ because  I ran out of thread on the ball. (I knew that would happen; I was just trying to see how the rosette is generally constructed, as I’ve never done one before.)   Also, the chain with the picots was not ‘tight’ enough,  so I would have stopped there anyway.

However, I thought that this little ‘scrap’ of tatting would fit nicely into the small pendant (although I had to stretch it a little to make it fit the oval shape), and it looked good  in these colors.  Then I thought I’d add some bling with a little ‘doodad’ which has convenient holes in it for sewing onto the tatting.  

This is what I love about tatting!  What might otherwise have been a scrap piece became something useful and attractive!
Lizbeth Turquoise, size 20
With simple tatted chain in the filigree ‘rim’
This pendant WAS planned and is a tribute to Rachel Jackson (The Piney Woods Tatter,  who inspired me to learn to do the interlocking rings.
In addition, Rachel seems to have perfected the concept of ‘layered tatting’, where she beautifully enhances a tatted motif (or even commercial jewelry),   with several rounds of overlapping and interwoven tatted chains.  She also artistically uses beads to  enhance her designs.   She has a way of visualizing how she will ‘construct’ this layered work, and creates one-of-a-kind pieces!  She especially loves to enhance exquisite brooches (such as cameos) that she finds at estate sales.  Her work is amazing!    

I obviously didn’t do any fancy ‘layered tatting’ on the metal rim of my pendant here - just one row of chains to ‘match’ the interlocking rings; but I’m fascinated by the concept and hope to try it sometime.   This would be the ‘foundation’ row.

Here is the original pendant.  I’m always on the lookout for pendants with pretty frames around them,  having empty or ‘removable’ centers so I can put my velvet paper inside as a backing to my tatting.
 I  prefer that the pendants come with bails attached, and appreciate the larger bails, so that a variety of necklaces  can fit through them.
Although I love Fall and am glad to see some cooler weather come in (maybe a little too cool?),  I’m not happy that it’s getting dark earlier in the evening.   It is difficult to believe we’re quickly approaching October!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pendants - All Kinds!


- First Doo-Dad
- Interlocking Rings
- Interwoven chains
- 2-Layered Flower

Here is my first doo-dad tatted item – a pendant -  and I give all the credit to Sue (“His Kid”)

I was amazed how quickly Sue designed three snowflake patterns using these round doo-dads, and then wrote up and generously shared her patterns with us!

However, I am in pendant mode at the moment, so I altered Sue’s snowflake pattern #1 by simply leaving off the thrown-off rings (therefore only one shuttle is needed).  Then I did a chain over the picots for a scalloped effect.  No cutting and tying is  necessary to start the second round.   

It was fun to tat around this doo-dad, and I had no problems.  Sue’s  knot counts fit around the doo-dad perfectly in Lizbeth size 20 thread.   And this motif fits perfectly onto my little black velvet discs!

Thank you, Sue, for all of your influence here, including helping me  find the doo-dads at Hobby Lobby.    I now have a new pendant pattern,  thanks to your hard work in designing the snowflake!   I love this and can’t wait to do it in  many colors!


Motif #5, Third Round 

Variations of chains tatted around interlocked rings
Tropical Punch and Vineyard Harvest
 These motifs show different chains added  to  the basic  interlocking rings, (depending on placement of picots) which  I first saw and admired on Rachel Jackson’s blog (the Piney Woods Tatter) :

Three of these motifs have interwoven chains (utilizing two shuttles) attached to the interlocking rings,  and the motif  in the upper left  has a simple chain going over the picots.  These are techniques that Rachel often uses in her work.
A special thanks again to Karen Cabrera, from whose video I learned how to do the interlocking rings using a shuttle.   ( )
The interlocking rings have been my ‘go to’ pattern for the past couple of months, (actually an obsession) as I practiced and practiced to perfect them.   I have MANY ‘sets’ of these basic rings, waiting for further enhancement, to be made into pendants. 

Motif #6, Third Round

This sweet motif (also in Tropical Punch) is a very easy pattern which creates two layers in one pass.  Jon Yusoff  links  to the pattern in her  August 9, 2012 blog post:   

We have a big tatting event coming up next weekend (Sept. 29-30) – the Erntefest at Old Economy.     Old Economy Village  has been weathering its financial crisis and  is now  being run by many dedicated volunteers who have stepped up to the plate after  the Commonwealth of PA cut funds to several historic sites in 2009.    It’s a picturesque and interesting place to visit, and a very pleasant site to demo tatting.   

Tatting Anniversary
The Erntefest (“Harvest Festival”) event will be my 22nd anniversary of my very first session tatting with our group in 1990.     

So much has happened in 22 years!    I never would have believed back then how tatting was going to take over my life, or that I’d have something called a blog, and that tatting would become popular again and go in amazing new directions! 

We’ll also be back at Vicary Mansion and Old Economy in December.  Therefore, I will have to go into ‘pendant production mode’ to build up my inventory!   I have many patterns now to choose from!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Success at Last!

Interlocking Rings!

Plus -  Vicary Mansion event coming up this weekend.

I FINALLY was able to join the first and last rings correctly on these interlocking rings!  

I was quite envious when Frivole (see link below) and others were successfully joining their first and last rings!   And, of course, Frivole went even farther in designing a couple of motifs using the rings.   So I was determined to finally conquer this technique, and now I have!  What you aren’t seeing are my MANY unsuccessful efforts at tatting this – not to mention my sore wrist

I used Lizbeth Spring Garden in size 20 and tatted 24 stitches in each ring.   That number of stitches seems to ‘stay put’ as I tat, although the final ring is still a little ‘fussy’ for me to do.   I should mention here that I did not finger tat the last ring; I rewound my shuttle, which is easy to do. 

I mounted this 8-ring motif on one of my black velvet discs, which is attached to one of the MANY pendants I have purchased at craft stores for the purpose of putting tatting on them. (Seriously, I could open a jewelry shop! I do try to buy them on sale!) This pendant (the only one I have of this kind) is a simple round plastic disk (but has some weight to it) which happened to have these silver (not pink) rhinestones affixed in a circle around the edge, and had an indented area which had a picture of a flower. I simply removed the picture and inserted my velvet disk.

I am as elated at accomplishing these rings as I was when I tatted my first ring 23 years ago (August 1989) and made my first 3-D items (early 1990s).    These are just simple rings, but interlocking them gives them a unique  look, and puts them into the ‘Celtic’ category.   I love all the techniques such as overlapped rings and interwoven Celtic chains and also motifs made in sections that are later ‘intertwined’.   They elevate tatting to another artistic level! 

Rachel Colvin Jackson  and  Karen Cabrera
I became aware of Rachel Jackson's blog (Piney Woods Tatter ) last December and I was SO fascinated with the amazing, unique jewelry she was making or adorning with these rings as a ‘base’.   However, she’s a needle tatter, and I wasn’t sure it was possible to do the rings easily with a shuttle. 

Then last month, Frivole ( )discovered Rachel’s work,  and then searched on the internet for a way to do the rings with a shuttle – and found  Karen Cabrera's video showing how to do these interlocking rings – using a single shuttle!  

You can find Karen’s video (#77) among her AMAZING list of over 100 videos(!) at ). ( By the way, Karen tats ‘reverse Riego’ style, so it may look a little different to those who do ‘slip and slide’, but, of course, she’s forming the same double stitch knot.) Karen’s blog can be found at   

This is my necklace display stand, topped by a miniature  hat (possibly from Hobby Lobby).  The lace collar is the one I’ve often shown (designed by Gloria Crowther), and was made back in 1990.  I wore it to my niece’s Christening, and she is now 21 and in college!  

The collar has decorated many things – either my costumes or my displays.

I have more to say about the interlocking rings, but unfortunately, I have a busy week and also have to get ready for our tatting group’s event atVicary Mansion in Beaver County, PAon Saturday, August. 11.So I will elaborate more in a future post


 If you click on the “Latest News” tab on the website, and scroll down a bit, you’ll see part of our tatting display from a couple of years ago.  The rooms in the mansion are much larger than they appear in the photos!   Other tabs will explain more about the history of the Mansion (finished in 1829) and all the events they hold there.