Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Gifts from my Tatting Friend

What a sweet surprise! Through this blog I have gained a long-distance tatting friend named Carollyn who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee. We've exchanged emails off and on, and recently I sent her a couple of the paper magnets with tatting that I've been making. Today a package from her arrived with lots of goodies. The key in the center is one that she has embellished with tatting and beads. She sent me four keys that I can try for myself. (As followers of this blog probably know, I like to tat on metal as well as more traditional materials.) The tatting shuttle is sterling silver and has a ring so I could attach it to a chatelaine if I had one.

I think it's fun to get materials from other crafters and challenge yourself to use things that you might not have chosen on your own. I used to participate in thread exchanges which was a good way to play with threads and colors that I might never have picked for myself. Years ago, a friend gave me a small bag of beads, and it was fun to incorporate them with others in my stash to create a necklace. I think such input from others can challenge your creativity and that's a very good thing to happen.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Paper Magnets -- 2016 Edition

Last year I made paper heart magnets with tatting for the 2015 North Carolina Regional Lacers Spring Lace Day goody bags. It was so much fun that I volunteered to do it again this year with a new design. This year I used a star shaped paper punch to punch out the shapes using Strathmore 300 Series Watercolor paper. Each star is 4 cm across or about 1.5 inches.

Since I had to make about 100 magnets, I tatted a very simple design:

  • Make a ring of 5 ds p 2ds p 2ds p 2ds p 2ds p 5ds 
  • Close ring
  • Don't turn the work
  • Repeat 2 times
I tatted the individual motifs in long strings and cut each one apart when I was ready to mount them on the paper. That way I didn't waste time starting and stopping the tatting, and the strings are easier to keep track of until I've finished making enough.

I used two different shades/brands of gold size 80 threads. The darker motifs are Lizbeth in color #699 "Harvest Gold." The lighter motifs are tatted with vintage J&P Coats tatting thread in color #43. 

The stars are painted with a coat of Mod Podge Extreme Glitter. After this coat dries, the tatted motifs are glued on with more Mod Podge. Later one final swipe is added to make sure all the thread is securely tacked down and all the surface has glitter. I cut pieces of peel and stick magnets into small squares and affix them to the back of each star to complete the project.

Here's an enlarged closeup of the final magnet. Came out pretty well, I think.

Fun with Mod Podge: Decoupaged Stool

This stool began life as a boring wooden oak stool which I later painted orange enamel because my kitchen has a lot of orange accents -- orange bowls, orange KitchenAid mixer --along with dark mustard walls and window valences. After a while I got tired of the color, and besides, it was looking a bit scratched and in need of a new coat of paint. 

This time I decided on shiny black enamel as a backdrop for a packet of flower stamps I bought many years (30? 40?) ago at a museum shop in DC for, according to the package, the big sum of $2. 

This is the result after many coats of Mod Podge Gloss and Outdoor Mod Podge. To add more protection and gloss, I've also finished with a couple of coats of Martha Stewart High Gloss Finish. Maybe all this is a bit of overkill, but I'm hoping that the final result is extremely durable so no future changes will be necessary.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

2016 Tatted New Years Card

This year I made New Year's cards by tatting around punched paper hearts. The paper is a dark green card stock. The punch is Martha Stewart's "Enchanted Heart" punch. I've used this punch a lot and am glad I bought it when it was readily available. It's now discontinued, and if you can find one for sale, it usually costs a ridiculous amount. I saw one source for this punch for sale at over $70! This seems to be typical for this brand's discontinued punches. However, you can cheaply buy quantities of the paper pieces sold by people who own the punches and who sell the shapes on eBay or Etsy.

The thread is DMC size 80 in bright red (#666). The pattern is just rings and chains of groups of 5 double stitches. I used dots of glue to attach the hearts to folded blank greeting card stock. I think the gluing was minimal enough that, if desired, the hearts can be detached and used as hanging ornaments.

I started this project in mid-December, but quickly got behind in my tatting. I wanted to make and send about 30 cards, but only had about half finished by the end of the year. So I finished the rest by printing one of the hearts on the white card stock I was using. When I folded the cards, the hanging thread continues over the back of the card...a design element that I hadn't planned on but do like.