You are never bored if you have a hobby.

I am naturally self-entertaining. I frequently work on new lace patterns or existing patterns that I know people like. I can work when I am not feeling well which is why being an artist is something that I not only was born to be but also never really feels like work. I even like the oodles of paperwork I have to keep so I know if my shops and sales are doing well. I also draw and paint. Now I work mostly digitally thanks to Corel software. That would be why I have 3 shops. One on Etsy where I sell Made to Order items, one on PIXELS where you can have any of my drawings, Mandalas or paintings put on just about anything from traditional canvas to a cell phone case or shower curtain. Then I have here where all the works you see listed under my category Snappy Tatter products for sale are ready made and ready to ship.What began as busy work so long ago brings me to a small shop owner 11 years later.

But what does a Snappy Tatter do when she is not creating something new? Why, she does her nails, of course! I LOVE to paint and decorate my nails. I have not kept a photo of every single design but do have photos of some of my favorites, starting with this wicked orange and gold combo. Orange is my favorite color, btw. All nails have the same base color of a warm yellow-orange. My ring fingers have a gradient of gold glitter fading from bottom to top and my pinkies, pointers and thumbs have a stamp that looks like a dandelion went to seed under gold glitter. My middle fingers have gold striping tape and a small round gold “dot” at the base. My nails were left really long, which I like, but makes typing a nightmare. So most of the time they are squared at the tip so I can type better.

Here I have…Purple, white and lavender nails. all nails are painted white on the tip and either purple or lavender diagonally across the nail. My pinkies and pointers have a lace stamp overlay. All nails have either silver or purple striping tape. My ring fingers and pinkies have small red crystals on them. This was a lot of work but it just looked fabulous so it was worth the time.

Next I fooled around with making pink and white tuxedo style French tips with small metal balls that graduated in size. This was a very fun design but the beads did not last long because they caught on things and I only sealed them with UV topcoat. I have since purchase a high strength glue to make metal and crystal and plastic pieces stick more permanently to the design. I like these…very chic, I think.

Next it was wicked green nails with a sparkling gradient at the base and little crystal flowers in the center of the sparkles. Simpler, adorable and the color is fantastic to me. Unfortunately, These did not last long because the little flowers got picked off one by one as I didn’t have my new glue yet.

Next I did a similar design but the gradient was from top to bottom, dark to light. This color was very complimentary to my skin and I like that. In the center at the bottom are purple/bronze crystals.

I tried something more bold and wasn’t very happy with the results. I French tipped long nails and then stamped a black floral pattern. I think it looked a bit obnoxious instead of glamorous so it did not last long before I created new designs and ditched this one.

This design was beautiful to me. I used four coordinating metallic colors on my nails, with my ring fingers in dark olive green. Then all nails except my ring fingers had striping tape on both sides of a row of crystals in gold and green colors. My ring fingers had a large, oval, dark green crystal surrounded by smaller gold and silver round crystals. This has been one of my favorite designs, so far. My nails were very long here so typing was not much of an option for awhile…lol.

Recently after watching many tutorials on YouTube, I decided to try hand painting flowers on my nails. It was surprisingly simple with the right brushes. I love the Spanish look of the flowers. I painted them nude first and then hand painted with a small paint brush each flower and the little leaves.

Here is another labor intensive design. It took time but was not that difficult. I have dried flowers so I decided to give that a whirl. My ring fingers have a large red flower and tiny orange and yellow flowers dried onto the nail and coated several times with a strong topcoat. The red blends into the orange base too much but at least I got the gist of how to work with them. All of the rest of my nails are the same, translucent orange paint, silver striping tape and a see through chrome rubbed onto the tips. I added little silver flowers with a dot on each side right below the tape. And i used the new glue I have so this lasted until I wanted to take it off. Love it!

And what I am currently wearing…silver leaf patterns over a gold iridescent paint. Tiny metallic stars embellish the joints of the leaves. This design inadvertently ended up looking like a computer chip to me. All the little stars are sticking and the design is wearing well. My cuticles needed cleaned up a little before I took the photo but you can see the design clearly and that was my intention.

So there you have it. This is one of my favorite things to do when I have time or need a break. I have some other designs in reds, blues and black but I did not take a photo of them so I am bummed. It is like art on my nails and feels like the equivalency of throwing out a nice drawing. I hope you enjoyed seeing what else is artistic in my life.

Live, Love, Tat!
J

A few of my favorite things…Threads!

One of my favorite things in my stash of supplies is my threads. I use the highest quality 100% Egyptian cotton tatting cordonnet in all of my work. My brand of choice is Lizbeth which has been expanded to include all of the sizes I use from 10 to 80 and comes in a crazy multitude of colors.

I also use Majestic and DMC for my size 80. For those of you that don’t know, the higher the number the finer the cordonnet. So size 80 is really close to the same size as sewing thread. The Lark’s Head knots are miniscule and almost undetectable without a sharp pair of eyes (or a microscope). I love to use cordonnet this fine because it creates the tiniest work but is still firm because of the quality.  A lot of my fiber art works have wee size 80 components. The Sophie butterfly on this garden box is made from two of my favorite shades of Lizbeth size 80 cordonnet, salmon pink and light orange. This little box is 3″ x 3″ and 2″ deep. You can find more fiber art creations in the galleries to the left and many for sale in my shop, Snappy Tatter, here.

Sophie's Garden

Sophie’s Garden

I also have Omega, Flora and Altin Basak which I use on a limited basis because it is softer and ends up creating lace this is not as firm as Lizbeth. When I began tatting I thought that I would start with a lower priced cordonnet not knowing that using the best cord makes a huge impact on your finished work. Now I work with the best so my designs retain their shape and need little care. Snowflakes are in Hakelgarn. It has outstanding body so Flakes are firm. Plus it comes in a larger ball to accommodate the many many Flakes I make each year!

My favorite colors are warm. Reds, gold, oranges and yellows are a treat for my eyes. I like the earthy colors too and warmer shades of blue in turquoise and teal. And salmon pink, peach and tangerine are just gorgeous to me as well as saturated royal colors like purple and cobalt. Here is a peek into my thread drawer which just keeps getting fuller and fuller.

P1110710

Size 10 is on the left and the wee balls of 70 and 80 are on the right. The variegated threads I use are mostly leafy or autumn colors because they make fantastic leaves. I do have a couple variegated blues for snowflakes and a black and white “zebra” variegated which is cool but rarely used. I prefer not to work in variegated colors much because I think the transitioning colors detract from design of the lace itself. This is just my feelings on the matter. Many people enjoy using variegated threads. It is fun to watch them transition as you stitch.

With the winter months comes my annual Snappy Tatter evaluation where I review all listings for content, photos, correct pricing and shipping information. Because Etsy now allows me to have listing variations so people can choose different sizes and colors, I have added many new options to my “made to order” (MTO) work. Below is the color cards I have created so buyers can select their color from my stash. It is all the Lizbeth , Majestic and DMC colors. I have numbered them so there is no question which color a person chooses. Size 10 are on top, then 20 and the bottom are my size 70-80 colors.

size10numberssize20numberssize 80numbers

The shades are a bit out of order because when I get a new color I have to add it where there is space. Below are all of my size 20 variegated colors. Yummy!

variegatednumbers

You can see how many of these shades can make fabulous leaves!

The soft white variegated makes beautiful jewelry designs. The bracelet below is a lovely example of what  happens when you tat with such a muted variegated. It has an antique feel to it.

MOD Cuff in creamy white with Czech glass and glass pearls

MOD Cuff in creamy white with Czech glass and glass pearls

I order my threads two or three times a year and keep adding to my stash as they keep developing more lovely colors. Much of my contemporary work is in neutrals like black and charcoal and ecru but a gorgeous array of colors are essential for my fiber art, Gala Couture and floral works.

I hope you have enjoyed my first issue of  “a few of my favorite things”. Which is your favorite color?

Have a great day!

Jennifer