Let me tell you, some of my favorite creations are in my Snappy Couture line of jewelry. One-of-a-kind, and very labor intensive, these designs allow me to let my creativity out to push the limits of lace-making. When I was a little girl I wanted to be an architect, interior designer or a clothing designer…or a zookeeper (until I found out you don’t get to just play with the animals). To me, creating wearable works of art satisfies both the artistic designer and the analytical engineer in me, effective use of both sides of my brain!
There are over 25 different pieces of Snappy Couture all over the world. And the collection is continuously being added to. One Snappy Tatter follower requested a smaller version of the Full Bloom bouquet necklace that was more affordable for her.
I worked within her budget and was able to design a smaller rose bouquet using the same colors, smaller flowers and tighter Aspen leaves instead of the Oak that are in the original. The leaves are tatted together for a super durable base. The flowers are hand sewn into the design. I love the 3-D pop up effect of my roses! At her request, I added ivory Swarovski pearls instead of gold ones and finished the necklace with Sterling Silver jewelry components and ivory ribbon. The beading is minimal. There are only a few matte green/bronze seeds down the center veins of the leaves. Petite Full bloom is one of those designs that only needs a little embellishment because the lacework is the showstopper!
One of the things I love most about being an artist is watching my concepts come to fruition through hours of designing and focused work. When we were on our October cabin vacation, I took the opportunity to design a three dimensional rose, an idea that had been in my mind for quite some time. I produced several styles while perfecting the shape eventually coming up with the roses that are in this design, adequately named Full Bloom.
Full Bloom has been an amazing project. These Victorian Red roses are continuously shuttle-tatted as 2 or 3 connected parts each with 2 or 3 rounds of long picots, short and long chains, rings and lock stitches. The leaves are my skinny Oak design in dark leaf green.
The highest quality 100% Egyptian cotton cordonnet was used for this work producing very firm components with rich color and beautiful sheen. The components are tatted together and hand sewn together discreetly through the back side.
A clear stiffener was added to the interior of the roses and back of the twisted stems of the leaves so the design is firm and stable. Matte gold Swarovski glass pearls are hand sewn into the centers. Shimmery organdy ribbon with gold jewelry components completes the necklace.
This is a one-of-a-kind Snappy Couture design. Snappy Couture is my high-end, high-fashion, line of fiber art jewelry. My most elaborate and glamorous designs are in this collection. All are one-of-a-kind.
In the future I would like to create more of this work. It is labor intensive and requires much of my time so new pieces only come out a couple of times a year. In the new year I plan to work on more framed and wearable fiber art. I am also going to learn a new form of lace-making which I hope to incorporate into my collections.
I loved making this design. It will debut at the show I am attending tomorrow and Wednesday and then will be listed in my Etsy shop. Like all of my Snappy Couture designs, it saddens me a little to see it go but makes me feel overjoyed when someone enjoys my work enough to bring it home.
Introducing my latest Snappy Couture design…Teeny Tat Chic.
I had an idea of tons of brilliant, beaded flowers in a long strand with random beading throughout. Something modern and delicate in appeal with multiple colors blending together to make one lovely strand. Little did I know how amazingly labor intensive this was going to be!
I began by choosing some of my favorite colors for the cordonnet; salmon, peach, Victorian red, grey, charcoal and black. As I went though my beads I found I had many coordinating colors and styles in my stash. The beading includes; 2 and 3mm Hematite rounds, red Mountain Jade, Czech pressed glass in garnet and AB coated pink, Celestial crystal rondelles in dark and bright red, glass fringe beads in black and AB coated amber, and wee seed beads in pewter, AB coated pink, orange-red, clear, dark berry and purple, plus silver-lined gunmetal, clear, bright red and gold. And I may have missed a couple!
some of the beads used in this design
I beaded each individual strand with over 100 beads wound on my shuttle for each of the six strands. As I worked, I unwound the shuttle, pulled up beads to my working hand and rewound the shuttle. I did this over and over, which is the main reason I had no idea it was going to take so long to make! I added large beads surrounded by seeds knotted in place between each tiny flower. The Teeny Tat flowers are all 8 picot rings with a shimmery seed bead in each picot. Every strand has 10-12 tiny flowers with beads knotted into the cord between. I hope all of that makes sense!
detail of Teeny Tat Chic
All strands are tatted together by large rings at the beginning so I was able to hang the work from a hook on my drafting table.
the strand hanging-the tail ends will be sewn in later
Next I wound the strands together two at a time and then loosely braided the three combined strands.
I took all six of the free ends and rewound them onto shuttles so I could tat connected rings on the end to make the braiding permanent.
I hand sewed all the loose tails back into the end rings.
Using smooth Sterling plated ribbon ends, chain and a lobster clasp I was able to turn this unique chain of Teeny Tat flowers and over 700 beads into an Opera length twisted necklace.
This Snappy Couture design was created over several days. It is a one-of-a-kind necklace that I couldn’t replicate exactly if I wanted to!
Me modeling Teeny Tat Chic in a little black dress with a plunge neckline
After all of the work, the beading, the tatting and the finishing, I am very happy with the result of a chic and feminine necklace that measures an elegant 24.5″ long.
You can find it in my Snappy Couture section of my online shop. My Couture line is some of my most labor intensive one-of-a-kind work. Some pieces are elegantly glamorous and some designs are tributes to nature with leaves, flowers and butterflies combined into wearable art.
The direct link to Teeny Tat Chic with more pics and specifications: here.
I am already thinking of another Teeny Tat Chic in shades of brown with turquoise and blue beading. Maybe in a shorter length.
But right now I am working on another Couture design that will have my new Rose pattern in it. Should be stunning!
(All Snappy Couture designs, Snappy Tatter original designs and their names are covered by copyright laws and are not available for reproduction. My blog posts are not intended to be a tutorial for reproduction of my work, just an inside look into the process of creating my work-thank you for understanding.)
I rarely have time to make myself my own jewelry. After years of designing, you would think I would have a mountain of work. Not so, my friends. I do have a few pieces that I wear constantly or on special occasions. I am never an excessive person by any means and the designs I have made for myself have been out of necessity or as a personal birthday gift.
So here’s my gallery of what I wear along with links to current listings that are similar in my Etsy shop:
One of the first designs I created was a dragonfly. This is my Majestic Dragonfly pendant in red with glass beading and Sterling:
I wear the first asymmetrical Simplicity necklace I ever made. Rings graduate to the center where a round silver pendant hangs and then stay the same smaller size around the other side. The asymmetrical necklaces I make now have a more extreme graduation and dramatic difference in the sides.
I have a black version of my Gerber Daisy with a large CZ in the center, silver-lined glass and twisted tube beads. I couldn’t resist keeping it when I made it! If I remake it I will use a slightly heavier cord next time.
And I had to make myself a Dandelion! This one has bright yellow beading through out its fluffy layers. People look closely at it and remark, “is that a…dandelion?”. The bail and chain were removed so I could clean it. That will be shown in a later post about tatted lace care.
The first Enchanted pattern I made was for myself for a special night out. With Hematite beading, shell discs and dangling Hematite tubes, I get so many compliments when I wear this.
I have an Enchanted Necklace available in the Snappy Couture collection of my Etsy shop that is in silver cord with tons of Sterling and pewter glass beading: https://www.etsy.com/listing/65462323
After making dozens of fancy Cocktail Rings, I bought adjustable bases and made myself one to go with a blouse that has turquoise in it. The matching earrings are a newer design that, like my Cocktail Rings, are simple in concept and time-consuming in the execution.
My Diana Butterfly goes everywhere with me. She rests on my blouses, coats and sweaters. And She gets so many compliments from people that don’t realize she is a handmade, tatted lace butterfly!
In my Etsy Shop I have a purple Diana Stickpin, a custom color Diana with wings that are fully beaded around the entire edge and many other styles of butterfly pins in this shop section: Tatted Butterfly Jewelry
For last year’s art show in May I wore a rusty orange top and wanted a fancier piece to show off. This design was inspired by my Flurry design which is multiple frilly Dainty Flakes tatted together and heavily beaded. In one of my favorite color combos of dark Terra Cotta, light copper, dark gold, ivory and gold, this design blends well with my warm skin tone. Everyone at my show that year loved this set.
And lastly, my favorite work, the double MOD cuff and matching earrings. Embellished with Hematite beads and gunmetal bead caps, I wear this daily with everything. It feels like a bold, strong statement and it’s right up my alley.
Like all children I had a extensive imagination of what I would be if I were not a little girl. A Mermaid?…to be friends with the sea animals, swim with the sharks, flip and turn through a coral reef as colorful and animated as a lush garden in the breeze? A Fairy with light as a snowflake gossamer wings, tiny, flitting and magical? Or my favorite, a Wood Nymph. A wee, sweet, mysterious woodland Goddess that sleeps in the crooks of trees, hides under colorful mushrooms, is rarely seen and protects all that is beautiful in the forest from the woodland creatures to every blooming flower and unfurling leaf. I wax poetic…
Channeling my Inner Wood Nymph, I have created a new Couture design called Garland. Made entirely of tatted leaves it is the most natural way to be glamorous. And the perfect accessory if you also happen to be a Wood Nymph. Like me.
This design was difficult to photograph. I needed to wear it to show how it really looked and since each leaf is completely different in design, beading and color, there needed to be many shots the whole way around. I hope that these pics really give the best representation of this work.
A look at how the Couture Leaf Garland was created
Nine original Snappy Tatter Leaf designs were shuttle tatted together using 100% Egyptian cotton tatting cordonnet in Leaf Green, Dark Leaf Green, Olive and Evergreen.
Beads were chosen in several shades of green to embellish the center veins of each leaf. Czech and Celestial crystal, Mill Hill glass and antique glass, and Czech glass seeds in a multitude of green hues. The large round cup near the lower right side contains lime green, copper-lined Czech glass beads that were sewn throughout for congruency and exceptional but tiny sparkle.
As the beads are sewn into the leaves, the leaves are attached to a shimmery green organdy ribbon that will serve to stabilize the design.
Wee gold Teeny Tat flowers are added for a little embellishment with gold glass bead centers. Then the ribbon is doubled back and attached to the garland. The work is measured and Sterling jewelry components added to create the right length. Finally, all the edges are tucked, pulled, pressed, straightened and slightly stiffened into place. This necklace makes a perfect choker. Especially if you are one who is blessed with a neck that is of the long, feminine variety. But for those who may be missing a vertebrae, like myself, it also looks lovely encircling the base of your neck.
This is the first of more Garlands to come as the wheels in my head were turning uncontrollably as I tatted and created this design. I plan to have floral Garlands and Butterfly Garlands as well. Because the work is so labor intensive and no pattern for the design was created, Garlands will be part of my one-of-a-kind Couture line.
Feedback is welcome and definitely encouraged, especially from all the Wood Nymph’s at heart out there!
(I am adding this because someone has asked: All Snappy Couture designs, Snappy Tatter original designs and their names are covered by copyright laws and are not available for reproduction. Blog posts are not intended to be a tutorial for reproduction of my work, just and inside look into the creation of my work-thank you for understanding.)
Today has been another busy day here in Snappy Tatter-land. Even with remnants of a migraine I have managed to have a full day from wake up till now. Mac tried to wake me this morning by standing on my husband’s dresser and yelling at me about a half hour before I wanted to get up. Simultaneously, BeBe circled my head and sniffed my face with her tiny wet nose. Grrrrrr. I don’t like to get up earlier than normal under any circumstances let alone by my cats with their slightly empty bellies. Nevertheless, after yelling at them I was awake anyways. While watching the morning shows, Kelly Ripa and Ellen, I sat under my lamps to get my antidepressant fake sunshine for a couple of hours and worked on updating my online shop. See post below.
Up here in my studio I caught up on a few things my migraine kept me from yesterday. I finished two custom pieces of jewelry, made a couple of Teeny Tat notecards to enclose in the orders, stiffened my Mother-in-law’s Faith cross and created a Pawprint necklace for a local Snappy Tatter friend.
This is a navy Debutante Choker that I finished hand sewing beads into this afternoon. It will be on its way to Canada tomorrow. Love those Canadians! This request began with a necklace to match the fancy Drip earrings in the first photo. After much collaboration, my friend in Canada decided upon the Debutante. One of my favorites, indeed. This particular version ended up being rather laborious as the beads were on the shuttle and drawn up one by one as I tied the knots. Basically the chains went like this….knot, knot, unwind shuttle, move 5 beads to the front, draw a bead up, rewind the shuttle a little, small picot, knot, unwind the shuttle, draw a bead up, rewind the shuttle a little, medium picot, knot, unwind the shuttle, draw a bead up, rewind the shuttle a little, long picot, knot, unwind the shuttle, draw a bead up, rewind the shuttle a little, medium picot, knot, unwind the shuttle, draw a bead up, rewind the shuttle a little, small picot, knot, knot. Ha! I kid you not. That would be one of the scallops in the chain. There are 26. And if you don’t get in a rhythm with this incredibly slow process, you will go bananas. So I have been working on it small portions at a time. The choker will be tied with matching ribbon at the back.
Later this afternoon, I worked on a Paw Print for a co-worker of my husband’s. A fresh, new Snappy Tatter design. I am toying with whether to put it in my online shop or not. I wouldn’t mind some feedback from everyone. The original prototype was done in black with tiny picots for claws. My customer preferred no picots. I was thinking I would stiffen them and make them pointy.
Later I stiffened the Faith cross below for my Mother-in-law. Made with the most delicate tatting cordonnet in cream with wee, brilliant rocaille beading, it is another original pattern of my own.
This cross also has a frilly Teeny Tat (my name for tiny one ring flowers) in the center. I made two Teeny Tat cards to enclose in each order. I try to keep up with these simple notecards so they are always available to ship with orders. I have a pile of little flowers right now that need to be added to cards. Something I am hoping to do tomorrow. I hand draw stems in various ways on single sided cardstock in pastel colors. I add my web address to the matching envelope flap and enclose the little card in a clear PPO sleeve. I hope that people are sending these all over the world. I would love for someone to come up to me and tell me they received one someday! I sell Teeny Tats in sets on Etsy. They should be back online soon. I will post here when they are back.
That’s it for my day. I am off to change and enjoy dinner at a friend’s house this evening.
My latest gallery of work that will be traveling to my show next week. I will be there Tuesday 12/6 and Friday 12/9. If you see something you like, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to purchase ahead of time. And I will deliver your purchase at my show.
Tatted Christmas Wreath Pendants with glass beading in various shades of evergreen.
Asymmetrical Flurry in variegated blue with CZ centers and glass beading, Flounce Choker with matte navy pearls on textured lace necklace and matching earrings, and Allure with wood and glass beading, wood focal disc and matching earrings.
Graduated Simplicity Bracelet that tapers on both ends and has Czech glass beading in the center (pics 1 & 2), Embrace Cuff in heavy cordonnet, with cut picot edging and gunmetal components.
And my favorite latest design, Princess…
Each graduated ring in this tatted collar is beaded with silver-lined clear glass for a lovely twinkle. Graduated glass pearls are hand sewn through the entire design. Princess is finished with a round, floral box clasp that is both beautiful and secure.
Want more information on any of this work? Feel free to leave me a message in the comment box below or send me an email. I always respond promptly, no matter how crazy it is around here ! 😉
It has been a soggy, gloomy, chilly last five days here in western Pennsylvania. I know I need to switch to making snowflakes for the upcoming holiday season but I can’t seem to get away from my delicious autumn colors. I have to get it together and get a business plan in place again. I have been accepted back into the December show I was in last year for two days instead of one. I’m going to need lots of work to show! Continue reading →
I am celebrating the lovely and so often rejected Dandelion in a way that will not lead anyone to spray their lawns with caustic substances, stab at it with sharp tools or yank on it with gloved fingers. A beautiful Gala for the sadly abhorred blossom. I worked on this over the 5 days we spent in a cabin in March for our birthdays and anniversary. I began with the nearly dozen layer golden flower and tatted the different leaves and flowers together as much as possible. The larger than life Dandelion is shuttle tatted with a variety of glass beading worked into the layers. The shimmer and sparkle is wonderful.
The flower alone took several hours to complete. Beads must be strung on the cordonnet in advance and pulled into the tatting as I work. So it is knot, loop, knot, bead, knot….and so on. The knots, loops, and beads of each layer are counted in advance and graphed on paper. A time consuming process but enjoyable and so worth the time.
The leaf design was made especially for this piece. I used the holly design that I have made before for other fiber art works as seen on this barrette. http://www.etsy.com/listing/68380804
I made the stem twist tighter, the beginning narrower and end wide and added lockstitches at the edges to make the stitiches turn in. I was trying to give the leaves the rounded but jagged look of true dandelion leaves. I used references from the internet to redesign the leaf pattern. Several attempts were made before I was happy with the effect.
I used two weights of leaf green cordonnet to make the leaves and changed the core thread to give more dimension. I wanted the larger leaf to stand out more and used a dark gold thread at the core which leaves little flecks of color through the leaf adding brightness and congruency. The two smaller leaves have an evergreen core thread making them recede a little and deepen in color slightly. Finally, when I worked the outside chain, it was reversed so the edges curl up. I like that effect. It feels fresh and natural to me.
This is a photo of my work station beside my chair in the cabin. It was so nice to have all of my stuff out for days and not have to worry about curious kitties dragging things off! You can see my thread balls, beads, tons of shuttles, needles, hooks, embroidery scissors and a few comfort things like chapstick and Udder Cream hand lotion which keeps my worn hands soft but does not stain threads and fabric. The blue cup is for snipped thread ends. I get very bothered by loose ends…imagine that!
After the main flower and leaves are tatted together I began to make ” Teeny Tats”, tiny one ring flowers that I named when I began making notecards. http://www.etsy.com/listing/71546370
I could have stopped with just the Dandelion and its leaves but I wanted purple to set off the gold and the Teeny Tats are an adorable way to add color without detracting from the design. I had to decide how many and where to position the Teenies. So, laying the motif flat I move the little flowers around. I placed the richer colors and heavier weight threads closer to the Dandelion and faded them out to the very finest and lightest Teenies at the edges. I took a photo of where they are to be placed so I can remove them while I work but still have a reference saving me time. In the end I did not use all of them and the remainder go into a small round box to be used on other projects. Each Teenie was hand sewn into the work using its own ends. A glass bead was sewn into each center for sparkle. For pricing, I add 3 minutes for each Teenie plus the amount of time it took to sew them into the design.
I was tickled pink with the way this work evolved. Originally I was making a Spring Gala but the Dandelion is so large and such a focal point that I thought it was appropriate that the Gala be just for this Dandelion. It’s own formal affair. I brought the motif home and added Sterling links and white organdy ribbon with a fantastic shimmer. A two inch chain extender is at the clasp so it can fit any size neck. the “V” shape of the design makes this statement necklace a natural fit.
The Dandelion Gala Statement necklace is now listed in my Etsy shop for sale. It is part of my Snappy Couture line, a glamorous collection of statement jewelry that is one of a kind.