Moving and Grooving

our new home awaits

We are in the process of moving back east, closer to where I am from. I grew up in northern PA and lived in Pittsburgh for most of my adult life. We found this adorable Cape Cod in WV and will be moving in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, my Etsy shop is in Vacation Mode as most of my tatting and jewelry supplies are packed. Although I am unable to create new work, the work that is available in this shop is already made and can be shipped promptly. Up until a week before we move, I will be able to sell and ship from here.

I also have new work listed for sale. You can find them in the categories on the left side of my page where you can shop. Here are photos of what is new: Flash earrings, Daisy Chain Bracelet, Decadence Cuff, Double Halo Bracelet, Flair Cuff, Shell Pendant, Innocence Choker, Tendril Necklace, Frilly Flourish two-tone Pendant

Feel free to shop to your heart’s delight here in Snappy Tatter-land! I will keep you posted when I move and my Etsy shop is up and running again. In the meantime…packing, packing, packing. Ugh!!!

Live, Love, Tat!

J

I work for you…custom and bridal work available.

Over the years I have frequently had custom requests and requests for bridal work. Here are some of the requests I have had.

One of my favorite customers has requested custom work many times from me. I am always happy to collaborate with her to get her very own unique jewelry. She really liked my Aster pendant and wanted a matching barrette. This is the pendant and what I made to match.

P1170370
Aster Pendant
Custom design Aster Barrette

This same customer often asks for full sets with multiple pairs of earrings, a 3″ barrette, necklace and/or pendant, and cocktail ring. This gray, black and white set is based on a necklace with a decorative pendant. I really enjoyed creating this body of work for her.

She also asked for a custom watch design, and I happily obliged.

A customer from Texas found me through my Etsy shop and asked if I might be able to design Apple watch bands. She works as a nurse and wanted bands that were more interesting than what was available that would match her scrubs. After creating the first design, she asked for two more. She supplied the apple watch connections and clasps for me and I tatted them into the lacework.

I created a Couture design called Full Bloom (sold), made of full size roses and deep green leaves. A customer contacted me wanting a small version of the design because she could not afford the original necklace. I keep my prices as low as I can so I rarely have room to discount my work, especially when it comes to my J Kohr Couture line that is so labor intensive. I happily created a small rose with leaves and my customer was very happy. It is the picture below the original, Full Bloom.

Petite Full Bloom

One of my other favorite Couture designs, Leaf Garland, was found by a customer who was the mother of the bride in her daughter’s upcoming wedding. She loved the design but needed the colors changed. I do not keep track of my Couture patterns because they are meant to be unique but I did recreate the design pretty closely in black and peach. It was stunning! First picture is Leaf Garland which is available for sale here in my shop. The second picture was my custom request.

Leaf Garland
Custom Leaf Garland design

Black jewelry for bridal parties seemed to be popular one year. I never know what kind of request I will get and I will spend hours talking to brides about what they want so I can get them the perfect colors, sizes, designs and beading. Both sets are based on the Dainty Flower Bracelet design. Beaded with clear, silver-lined, gunmetal seeds and hematite rounds, this one was very striking.

Another black set I created was beaded with blue seed beads and brilliant black crystals throughout. Not only did it include necklace, earrings and bracelet, but also a bobby pin for the bride’s hair.

For another bridal party, I created 5 of the same kind of bracelet, the Lacey design, in a lightly variegated off white thread. Beaded with glass pearls and clear fringe beads, these bracelets turned out beautiful.

One of the most labor intensive sets of bridal party jewelry was created in sunflower yellow and cream. Two necklaces and one bracelet, each of a different design and matched with a pair of earrings for 3 bridesmaids. It is one of my favorite requests.

Last year, I got married myself and designed my own jewelry. I created and amazing cuff that took forever to create. Every intersection in the cuff is beaded with silver-lined clear seed beads. I also made a head band to wrap around my braided bun. And I made myself earrings to match. I embellished the headband and earrings with Swarovski crystal pearls and Aurora Borealis Swarovski Crystals. I felt like a little princess!

Among other works that have been custom requested is this green Infinity Bracelet:

Also, a very petite version of the Summer Gala necklace with a simple flower, butterfly and leaves:

I created a new design all together, called Woven, for someone who sent me a picture of what she was looking for. Long tatted chains woven together create this lovely design:

A friend of mine wanted a design that would allow her to wear her father’s dogtag daily. I know her well and created a simple, bold, design that suited her beautifully edgy personality. I have been trying to recreate the design as a bracelet or maybe a watch band and boy am I struggling. I think I may have to just sit here at my computer and blow up one of the photos and count to figure out how this was made!

Lastly, a customer wanted matching butterfly barrettes for her granddaughters in green. This is what I designed:

I do create a lot of custom work and am always happy to collaborate. Business has been terribly slow but I am not surprised. With the pandemic and so many people struggling with money, buying tatted jewelry and artwork is on the back burner. I understand. But if you are looking for a great custom gift or wedding work, please feel free to contact me. I look forward to hearing from you.

Live, Love, Tat!
Jennifer

Getting over trauma. 7 ways to help yourself.

It has been nearly 6 months since my husband left the hospital where he stayed, critically ill, for 30 days. I wrote about it in this article: https://snappytatter.com/2020/03/10/a-painful-event-in-my-life/. Trauma is not an easy thing to go through or get over for me. I already have a CPTSD diagnosis since I was a child. Trauma lingers in my mind and effects me physically, mentally and spiritually. I know this happens to many of us so I wanted to write about it.

My husband is precious to me. We had only been married about 6 months when illness struck him down and my greatest support suddenly needed supported beyond my capabilities. Luckily, I suppose, it was right before Covid struck so I was able to be at his bedside in the hospital as much as possible. We had a terrible flu which laid me out for a week and became an extraordinarily complicated 30 day inpatient journey for Jay.

PTSD twists the lens you are looking through, causing emotional pain, fatigue, flashbacks and many other symptoms that manifest mentally and physically because of a traumatic event. For me, it meant I began to struggle with very high anxiety and I became hyper-vigilant when it came to my husbands recovery AFTER the hospitalization. I worried about him falling back into illness day and night. I watched him struggle with a lack of strength, imbalance, extreme fatigue, excessive sleep and his own heightened anxiety. My own PTSD symptoms began to mimic his recovery as I was fatigued and unsteady. And I not only have physical signs of anxiety, like suddenly trying to catch my breath, crying and panicking, I have mental symptoms of getting lost in random thoughts and flashbacks, and feeling lost, useless, and unfocused. This has effected my work life. I am disabled due to the extent of my PTSD, which is actually diagnosed as CPTSD, or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to multiple traumas during a long period of my life.

I have not been able to work outside the home except for a couple of easier periods in the last twenty years. Social Security Disability does allow you to work to a degree, while continuing the financial and medical help. I wish more people realized this and tried to work, even just a little. There is so much value and self-esteem tied to work. My work here at home has suffered lately, not only because of the lack of business because of Covid, but also because CPTSD is still aggravated from Jay’s hospitalization. I still struggle with a lack of motivation and it pains me.

Through the decades of my life I have had to learn how to pick myself back up and dust myself off many times. I have always said that I don’t break, I bounce. Sometimes it just takes longer to bounce back. That is the case right now. Here are my thoughts on how to get back on track for anyone that is or has gone through a trauma that has affected them.

  1. 1. Talk to someone. Talk to a therapist trained in helping people through trauma and help those, like me, that have lived with continuous PTSD, depression and anxiety for decades. And do not forget the power of talking to friends. Not only is social connection helpful and grounding, it gives you a chance to be helpful to others which takes your mind off of yourself for the moment. And don’t sweat the small stuff, for now. I can’t figure out how this paragraph is indented and I am okay with that. It still says the same thing that it would if it wasn’t.

2. Take care of your home. Cleaning your home from top to bottom is a seemingly daunting task that I could rarely get done. Lack of motivation to take care of yourself and your life are very real symptoms that hurt your self-esteem and can create growing chaos around you. Pick one to three things to do each day and you will find that your home stays tidy, which leads to a feeling of wellness.

3. Don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes I just can’t. I just can’t adult that day. And sometimes that feeling lasts for days and it is hard on me. I have to remember…I have a mental illness and a rare illness that causes spells of extreme pain. Trauma exacerbates those symptoms and I can be left feeling lifeless. Remember that you are human and ups and downs in life are natural for EVERYONE. “This, too, shall pass” is an excellent saying for when you “just can’t”.

4. Make it a group effort. Find a group of people that have been where you are. Whether it is grief, abuse, an accident, or drug or alcohol dependence, there is literally a group for everyone. You just have to look for it. Google local groups using the keyword of your issue and you may find a place to go have coffee with a group in person, which I recommend. And Facebook isn’t always a giant time-suck…it has literally thousands of groups that cover every issue you can think of. They are often closed or even secret so your privacy is a little protected. Being in a chat with others is helpful in getting perspective and feeling like you are part of the solution in your own life and other’s. You will realize that some always have it worse and other’s have it better but the effects can still be the same bringing us all into the same boat. And POOF…connection trumps isolation.

5. Find a non-human pal to care for. I have guinea pigs. I love them to death. They are fun, amusing, and docile. When I am particularly disassociated or struggling with mental pain, my husband will pick up a piggy and plop it in my lap and suddenly my mood will change. Get a fish to feed and watch. Or if you can make a bigger commitment go to a shelter and adopt a kitty or pup. Science shows that petting an animal lowers our blood pressure, depression and anxiety. This has been true for me. I have always had a pet. We have 2 cats, a very sensitive doggy that lets me sob on him, and two adorable guinea pigs.

6. Aside from finding a purpose in your day…find a hobby or interest you can sink into. Find something that requires attention and feels pleasurable that you can get lost in. There are literally so many different hobbies out there, I won’t bother to list them. My suggestion is either to scour the internet for a new interest, or take up something you used to enjoy, or embark on a new interest. Stick with the simple, though…so it does not get onto that list of things that suck the energy out of you. I played Mah Jong and solitaire online for years. It kept me from ruminating on my complex and difficult life at the time. It kept me preoccupied through mental anguish, which is the purpose because “this, too, shall pass”.

7. Now, Tomorrow, Whenever. It is important to declutter your brain when you are dealing with trauma. A simple way to do this is keep ongoing lists. One for Now that needs immediate attention, one for Tomorrow that can wait till the immediate is taken care of, and one for Whenever for things that have no real time limit to them. Just make sure that you keep an interest, a hobby, or something to relax you on Now’s list. Make a habit of doing something just for you each day and your mind will ease from the frays of stress. When you find something is running through your brain like a hamster in a wheel…put it on a list and LET IT GO. You have it written down so you do not have to ruminate on it.

Some days are easier than others. I think keeping things small and simple and taking it moment by moment is as helpful as it gets. When depression and anxiety don’t lift for you or they are getting in the way of your career, family or spiritual life, do not hesitate to seek a professional. I am not a professional except at lacemaking. There are many good medications out there that can help you stay on track and ease symptoms of mental disorder.

I do hope you have found this helpful and please share this post to anyone that is struggling. I would hope my thoughts can be helpful.


Live, Love, Tat!
J

Want to shop without a mask?

Don’t we all…but that is not the safe or practical thing to do for now. BUT…you can always shop with Snappy Tatter online, from the comfort of your home! I have added new photography to my PIXELS shop, updated listings in my Etsy shop and am working on new designs for this shop! Stop by and shop with me…no mask required.

http://www.jennifer-kohr.pixels.com
http://www.snappytatter.etsy.com
http://www.snappytatter.com

Live, Love, Tat!

J

New Photograpy on Pixels.com

Hello all! Come see my new photography listings on Pixels! There you can shop for everything from clothing to gifts and home decor with your favorite photos and paintings on them.

Stop by and shop online or just sneak a peek at these photos and other work I have been busy with. New tatting is coming soon. More chatting is coming too!

Live, Love, Tat!
J

New Photography on Pixels

I have had the wonderful luxury of living in places surrounded by mountains, national and state parks with some of the most beautiful scenery in the US. I have also documented where I have been and some of the glorious scenes I have found through photography. I enjoy closeup photography as much as beautiful large scenery. I have a new camera with the ability to take long panoramic photos as well as crisp macro photos. Hopefully we will be out soon and I can show you the beauty of Idaho. Seriously, Idaho is gorgeous. The photo above is from Utah from last year. Below I have a thistle, ice in a black barrel, the Columbia river, a scene from a logging site, our kitty contemplating the clouds from when we lived on the mountain, and a golden field of Canola flowers.

All are available and much more on my Pixels shop. At Pixels, you can order prints, not just to hang on the wall but for beach towels, phone covers, small bags and t-shirts. The possibilities are really extensive. Please stop by. I would love if you could comment on my works. Thank you in advance!

Live, Love, Tat, Photo!
J

Fall down 7 times, get up 8…

I am a work at home artist. A couple of decades ago I became “permanently disabled” by the government guidelines after years of working through crippling anxiety and a rare neurological disorder that causes extreme head and eye pain multiple times a day. At the time I felt like life was over for me and I became extraordinarily depressed and rarely left my apartment for the next 3 years. Fast forward a bit, time and less depression led me to taking my creativity to the next level. I had desire to contribute to society as well as take better care of myself, I had been working as an artist for as long as I can remember. I draw and paint and embroider and always have. I am largely self-taught although I did take art and design classes during my years at college when I was young but my degree is in Opticianry.

Not knowing what to do next but knowing I wanted to try to do something outside the home, I answered an ad in the paper to be a private caregiver for the elderly. I was able to work a few hours a week which helped my quality of life on every level. During this time I was learning to tat. I had had one lesson from a woman who belonged to a lace-makers guild and from there I took the basics and began to create my own designs…mostly snowflakes and simple pendant and bracelet patterns.

One night I saw the online platform for artists and the handmade movement, Etsy, as a blurb on the nightly news. I was curious, looked into it, opened a bare bones shop, and sold a bracelet. BOOM…Snappy Tatter was born. That was April 30th of 2009 and I have learned so much since that time. My work has now sold to every continent except Antarctica, of course. And if penguins wore pendants…I may sell there as well. Lol.

Later in 2009, I was in a gallery outside Pittsburgh, PA, and the curator noticed the dragonfly necklace I was wearing. My then husband piped up and told him I had created it. I soon became a best selling artist in the Blue Heron Art Gallery for the next two years. I worked hard to create new patterns from scratch for my Etsy shop and the gallery. I also coordinated the other artists in the gallery for the Director. We had a wonderful enterprise going on until the board that oversaw the gallery decided to disband us and use the building for other purposes.

I was heartbroken. I loved being around the other artists and the activities and fund raisers we had. I began to go to art festivals to sell my work. How I did this, I do not know. The preparation and actually working the festival was incredibly draining. Aside from the 3 days in bed I would spend after the festival was over, I did have heavy lifting help from my then husband. I did shows and festivals for a couple of years. But with divorce and my neurological condition overwhelming me, it has not been an option for me to work a festival for several years.

So what’s a Snappy Tatter to do…back the car up turn the wheel and go another direction! I moved to Northeastern Washington state to live rustically with my now husband in a 600 sq. ft. A-frame cabin on a mountain in the woods. We were surrounded by hundreds of acres of untouched Washington forest that was unbelievably beautiful. We had electricity, one satellite TV station from Canada and a 55 gallon homemade stove for the long, drafty, cold winters. Notice I did not mention running water. That would be because we did not technically have it. Although, Jay, my partner, did rig a garden hose and pump system in a 275 gallon holding tank outside the kitchen window. He drilled a hole in the wall, brought the hose through and voila….I had water that ran on an electric on/off switch for my lovely stainless steel double sink. The work it took to live in Washington where I had to haul fresh spring water daily made me slim down considerably. Life was simple, but it was hard. I got to bathe outside in the sushine in a large rubbermaid tub because I am just that small. Bathing and having to have Jay wash and rinse my hair was probably one of the most amusing things we had to do. My sense of what a “clean house” means had to change with living with a barrel stove. The house would get sooty and always smelled like smoke so no more tatting for me unless I created and finished it outside. Jay purchased digital software and a tablet for me to paint/draw digitally so that artistic part of my self was satisfied. Jay worked to keep wood cut, harvesting the trees on his 4 acres and I worked hard to keep the inside of the cabin clean and dinner ready. It was a very conventional relationship and we both were very happy except I was getting sicker by the day.

Eventually we had to do something. Every day I was going through this cycle of attacks that brought excruciating pain into my face, the back of my head and straight through one eye all on the right side of my head. I have a rare trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia which is fancy for “Cluster Headache”. But Cluster Headache does not give this condition the weight it deserves and that is why people call it “suicide headache”. People have and will kill themselves to escape the non-stop excruciating attacks that involve so much more than pain and feel more like an aneurysm with stroke like symtoms. It hurts worse than broken bones, burns or even childbirth and it’s only saving grace is that it stops before you die and comes back later. I was diagnosed the same year I became disabled after suffering seasonally for years and was put on basic treatment but did not follow up. I lived with CH until the attacks became daily and that was when I moved to Washington. We sought out a new specialist who confirmed my diagnosis and told me…I had changed to an Intractable CH patient. Intractable as in, does not stop. Attacks come all through the day at roughly the same times and are treated with heavy meds and 100% oxygen inhaled at a high rate. It was horrific and became my “new normal”. Lord knows I have adjusted to so much and this was the next thing.

We decided to move off the mountain after 2 years of very satisfying “living off the grid”. We moved back onto the grid here in Idaho where we have a nice half acre and a much larger A-frame home…with running water in the high desert surrounded by 2 mountain ranges with less than a thousand people in our “city”. Lol. By now we got used to the daily 3-4 attacks I would get and always traveled with oxygen and medications. And to get back to my lacework has been made possible because the air is clean and I have less hard work to do during the day.

I suppose I should wrap this up. I am up early this morning and just started writing…too much coffee, maybe, maybe not. I like to get to know the people I buy handmade from and was thinking that my patrons may feel the same. I am now married to Jay, living in sunny Idaho and the clusters are not a daily issue due to new treatments and nerve blocks that are injected around my eye and back of my head. My extreme anxiety doesn’t fail me, though, so I still work through that. One thing that counters my anxiety is my work. Whether I am drawing Mandalas, painting or lace-making…I am cool as a cucumber, so my work serves as a therapy for me. God works like that, I believe. Every bit of the life I have shared has been touched by something greater than me at work.

I may miss taking sunset “spa baths” outside in my Rubbermaid tub but running water in a real home can’t be beat. Me, my husband Jay, the dog, two cats and two little guinea piggies are right where we are supposed to be. I do hope you enjoyed the little snapshot into my life. I gotta get to work now…life is waiting. Bless all of you that took the time to read about my life.

Stay safe and Live, Love, Tat!
Jennifer

My PIXELS are getting bigger and bigger

Bloom

Hi all! Some of you may know I have an additional shop that I run along with Etsy and here where I sell my tatted works. I am also a traditional artist and sell my work on PIXELS.com. I mostly work in realism, recreating realistic subject matter from my own photography, but my surrealism/expressionism is popular and some of my favorite works.

“Baby” painted from the reference photo below
Photograph of our kitty kitty, Baby

The cool thing about shopping on PIXELS is the variety of items my work can be printed on. Here are a few options aside from traditional prints, stretched canvases, metal prints and fully framed items: pillow covers, phone cases, beach towels, tote bags, small pouches, greeting cards, coffee mugs and t shirts. I may have missed a few options but the sizes and options of prints and products is staggering.

I also sell my photography on PIXELS.com…here are a few of my faves:

My expressionism can be very raw at times. The work is often inspired by emotional pain and the physical pain of my neurological disorder. I am disabled and have been for a long time but I am an artist and my work gives me a love of life, even through the pain I have to endure. Here are a few of my surrealism and expressionism works:

Coloring has become popular as of late. People like to color and relax. I admit it is very relaxing. I started off by making the black line drawn blanks using software, thinking I really didn’t want to color them in. And then that all changed when I saw what happens when you add color when my little sister and her daughters filled some in for me. So I have blank black line drawings for sale and if you don’t want to color it yourself, I can sell you what I have colored in myself. You can use PIXELS to print what you want on many of the options I listed above. You can also visit the section “Printables to Color” in my Etsy shop and download and print the Mandala on paper (I recommend heavy cardstock) and color it in yourself. Many of them are so tedious in design, you can spend hours filling in all the spaces, like the one below.

At PIXELS.com you can find endless options when it comes to buying my artwork. If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook or Pinterest, you will find that I post from all three shops, this shop, Etsy and PIXELS. It’s a great way to see what I have and keep up with new works.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and take a moment to visit PIXELS to see the endless possibilities of how my work can be made into something just for you.

Live, Love, Tat, Photo, Draw!
J

Snappy Tatter gets her groove back!

I have finally been getting back into the groove of things around here. After Jay’s hospitalization, we were both finding we felt weak and tired. It was just a common reaction after such a long, stressful event. My husband is still struggling with his energy but we are both concerned that we will not be able to do the things we want to this summer, like hiking, if we don’t get used to moving our bodies more. So we are trying to take some walks and strengthen our muscles.

I have been working through the days adding new products to this shop and creating announcements that Snappy Tatter is moving to a second shopping website. My Etsy shop WILL remain open and all listings will be Made to Order (MTO). It is so much easier to choose variations for custom MTO work on Etsy that I am leaving those listings up and will be adding more. If an item is already made and ready to ship, you will find it here at http://www.snappytatter.com. If you order from Etsy, I will promptly create your order and ship it.

I have been with Etsy for 10 years now. I have seen so many changes and I have built up a nice customer base. I don’t want to lose that. The Etsy platform is easy to work with as well. I hope to expand my patrons and audience with this shop and my PIXEL.com shop where I sell paintings and drawings. I will talk about PIXELS later.

I want everyone to know that you can find all items a little less expensive here. Etsy has raised certain fees and changed their marketing structure (making it more expensive) forcing me to change my pricing on Etsy ONLY. There is free shipping if you order over $35 worth of items on Etsy though. Here the prices will be lower because of fewer fees and shipping is a flat rate of $4.50 for anywhere in the US.

These are changes that are happening but not completed. Now that I am feeling more rested and more pulled together, I am checking off my long list of things I have wanted to do for my work.

Here are a few of the latest listings that have been added to the category Motif necklaces and pendants and Fully tatted necklaces. There are more details, such as size and materials in the listings. Feel free to explore!

Live, Love, Tat!
J

Snow in the desert happens…a lot.

Hi Snappy Peeps! All finished, ready to ship, bracelets and cuffs are now listed in my shop here. The J Kohr Couture section is full and so are the earrings. I will be moving on to transferring pendants next.

The bracelets that remain on Etsy will all be Made To Order (MTO). There are so many options for MTO work, dozens of colors to choose from and beading is pretty much unlimited. You can order right in your size and collaborate with me through messenger right there.

I will not be closing the “Made to Order” part of my Etsy shop as it is so convenient. Everything that is ready made will be offered here and shipped promplty. I do not have the increasing fees of Etsy to deal with here so I can charge based on my time and materials (without 5% for this and 15% for that…and on and on). Also shipping is FLAT RATE here!!!

I am just so busy getting this all established right now but it is a satisfying busy-ness while I wait for the Arco desert where I live to thaw. The photo in this post is fresh powder from this morning clinging to every tree and shrub at the front of our property. [facepalm]

Live, Love, Tat!