Newest addition to the Garden Watch collection!

I recently bought several bold watch faces to work with. This is my newest one-of-a-kind design, Garden Watch VI. It began like this before everything was sewn together and finished into a professional J Kohr Couture design.

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I photo my work before and after. The before photo gives me a reference of where I want to put the components before they are permanently secured so I can avoid any Oops.

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For this watch I shuttle-tatted a simple double row of large rings in cream. I’ve learned that the base tatting does not need to be too ornate because it will be covered with flowers, leaves, vines and butterflies. I edge the tatting with a heavier cordonnet in olive and fudge brown working 3mm light copper colored Czech glass beads into the edge. The base tatting for this design is very firm and measures about 5.5″ long. I’ve learned to make my watches and bracelets shorter to accommodate small wrists because chain can be used for length but you cannot easily remove tatting to shorten it.

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I had a design in mind when I worked this lace and it developed perfectly. I wanted warm colors and earthy tones so I used cream, olive, fudge brown and dark Terra Cotta red. The beading is all Czech glass, a pressed glass with exceptional quality. I use Czech glass frequently for its consistency in size, shape and coloring. The large rounds and small round edge beads are Preciosa Czech glass in copper luster. The seeds and fringe beads are shades of dark gold, olive and pewter with a few that are emerald green or a little purple for interest.

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The leaves are a pattern I call Aspen. I name all of my leaf patterns by the shape of a real leaf that they mimic. Sometimes I have a leaf shape in mind before I design it as with Maple, Oak and Dandelion. And sometimes I look for the leaf name (with Google search) after the design has been made as in Birch and Aspen. The small leaves are simple one ring “Teeny Tats” with beads around the edges. The Teeny Tat flowers are both beaded and un-beaded and consist of one or two rings.

One large flower overlaps the watch face. It is a small, many-petaled flower that I have named Aster and is a new design. Edged in glass with a large round in its center, it is a firm design that was permanently adhered to the face.

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All of the tatting in this design except on small leaf is tacked down to prevent pop up. I wanted a clean and firm design. There is olive green organdy ribbon running through the band adding shimmer and contrast between the tatting and the cream grosgrain ribbon everything is mounted on. The tatting is handsewn to the ribbon and the ends are finished with metal ribbon ends that have a great olive color. I added a swivel clasp for ease when clasping the watch and a 2.5″ Sterling Silver chain so this watch will comfortably fit most wrists from 6.25″ to 8.5″.

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The steel plated Quartz face was lightly buffed to removed the shiny shininess and reveal a little of the warm copper underneath. The back is accessible to change the battery but I place a brand new battery in my watch faces so hopefully this will not be needed for a long time. The Garden Watch VI is available in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter, now.  My next watch is already in the works and the style is more of a modern cuff. This is the raw lace which took several hours to design and shuttle-tat.

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The face for this one is a bold rectangle design. Hopefully I will have it finished by the end of next week. We’ll see. It’s always so busy in Snappy Tatter-land!

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

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The story of Snappy Tatter Part I

I have been an artist all my life. At the right is a self-portrait I drew when I was 17.P1070190bw I’ve worked mostly in the realm of realism, surrealism and expressive works that meant more to me than they projected in skill. Charcoal, Prismacolor pencil, graphite and ink were my favorite mediums. I dabbled in many things through high school and early college including pottery, sculpture, designing and creating clothing and home decor, painting, etc. And then I began to stitch. Fiber, material, and threads have intrigued me ever since. A lot of life happened through the 90’s and early 2000’s as I went to college, worked several different jobs, moved to Pittsburgh, Pa, went to college again and then met my husband. Along the way I joined the local chapter of the Embroiderer’s Guild of America (EGA). It was through EGA that I became more proficient in and more aware of the many types of embroidery and the materials used. It is also where I learned to tat. Originally I learned needle tatting, which is a relatively easier way (imho) to create the knotted lace with a very long needle. My friend helped me learn to tat with a shuttle, the traditional way of tatting, and I was off and running!

Becoming skilled at tatting took sooooo much time. Several years passed as I tried to get the hang of it and learn to follow various kinds of patterns and work with different threads. In the beginning I was making Christmas gifts, mostly snowflakes for family, otherwise I was not doing very much as an artist. I was just dreaming of what I wanted to be doing. Then it happened. Five years ago, I started to fulfill a lifelong dream in a way I never thought I would…working as an artist professionally, and it all began with this bracelet. MOD.2009_0522EtsyI0003

I saw a news piece about Etsy.com one evening and began to wonder if the handmade venue would work for little ‘ole me. At first, I thought I would just dabble and explore. What would happen? I thought hard and came up with my signature name, Snappy Tatter, and set up an online shop through Etsy. I uploaded poor pictures of the above bracelet, wrote a brief simple description and priced it so cheaply that I practically gave it away and it sold. IT SOLD!!! Wow. And a very weird feeling came over me.

The MOD style is still sold in my shop. It is the only design that is not mine. It is a modification of an insertion pattern. I had looked at the design and thought, “that would be a pretty bracelet”. I made it in soft pearl cotton and hooked on simple rings and a clasp. There were no beads at first and my methods of tying in ends and finishing had not yet been perfected. But it sold. So I started to make more things, mostly butterflies and flowers for applique at first. I was offering them at dirt cheap prices and started to see them sell here and there. I started to create my own butterfly designs; PIXIES, Sara, Emma and Abagail were the first along with the Majestic Dragonfly which was originally much larger than it is today.

Then I expanded to some of my favorite designs, thinking and planning and tatting, tatting, tatting. I had worked so many shuttle-tatting patterns over the previous 7 years that creating my own was becoming elementary for me.  Below are the very first original Snappy Tatter creations designed in 2009. I discovered cordonnet and beads and professional jewelry components and my work began to evolve.

Four months later many of these little things sold quickly and I was making money. Oooooo. I was both excited and working myself to death at the same time. I realized this could work but I needed more time and a better business sense. I began to investigate my pricing and the time it takes to create the tatting and finishing it into jewelry. Packaging, seller fees and shipping were taken into consideration as I worked on a new way of pricing and got into a routine of working on my own. Paper work on Mondays, finishing on Tuesday or Wednesday, photography on Wednesday or Thursday and listing in my shop on Thursday and Friday. I generally still follow this plan but there are many many other tasks that have arisen as my business has expanded.

Then one of those life changing events popped into my life. I was in Volant, PA, exploring the boutiques and quaint country chic shops, tea house, winery, antique and Amish furniture stores when a man behind that counter asked me about my Dragonfly necklace, the Majestic Dragonfly in red. I still wear it. I smiled and was quiet but my very proud husband chirped, “She made that!”. That man he spoke to was Don Gold, the curator and manager of the Blue Heron Art Gallery and consignment. He invited me to present my work to the Blue Heron’s board for acceptance into the gallery. My work with tatted lace was something they had never seen. Crazy. My head was spinning, spinning, spinning. I wanted to leap and take a chance.

~My orginal Avatars and shop Banners~

Although I am a very excitable person at times, I am also inherently pragmatic. I looked at our household income and expenses and sat down with my husband. I could try this new idea, online selling and working with a gallery, or continue my emotionally draining career path. I remember his response was something to the effect that he wanted me to fulfill my life long dream and that if I did not make enough money he would let me know that I needed to toss in the towel and go back to a steady job. Love that man. We did not realize at that time that I was about to create a tiny empire of fiber art and lacework! Stay tuned for the second installment of Snappy Tatter’s history…

 

WIP Wednesday…Snappy Tatter Fiber Art

I often see my fellow artists and artisans posting photos on Facebook on Wednesdays for “WIP” or “Work in Progress” Wednesday. I thought I would give a peek into a piece I have been working on for the last year. My passion is my fiber art. Whether is is wearable Couture, framed or small box sculptures it is what makes my heart sing and brings satisfaction to my life. Here are 3 pics of work that is part way through. The embroidery is finished as far as I know but I have other elements I am in the process of adding. The next photos will hopefully be when this piece is finally finished. The face was drawn first and then I painted the design onto evenweave fabric with a large palette of colors in cotton, rayon and various metallic threads.

This is what a Snappy Tatter does when she is not tatting!

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This is unnamed for now. Thoughts of titles are floating around but I will wait until the final stitches are laid and more elements are added to make that commitment.

This is my WIP right now. There are other things…a new watch is in the works and a smaller embroidery needs framed and two Couture designs are being worked on. Hopefully I will have pics of those things very soon as well as this finished design.

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

A little bit of custom work…

I always enjoy collaborating with customers to get the colors, size and style they would like from my wearable work. This request was for a dainty little floral design with a teeny butterfly on board and matching butterfly earrings. My tiny PIXIE butterfly earrings are the simplest design with the cutest appeal. I created an even teenier version to rest on this boysenberry colored flower that is surrounded by a few simple leaves creating a nice asymmetrical design. The pearl centers are Swarovski crystal pearls. The cable necklace is handmade and the jewelry components are all Sterling silver and silver plated.

Thought you might like a peek into what I worked on today. Enjoy this one-of-a-kind Snappy Tatter creation!

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

Happy Birthday to me…a new watch for myself!

Sunday is the beginning of my 41st year on this planet! In keeping with Snappy Tatter tradition I made myself a gift, a new watch in a contemporary style. All of my watches have been a floral garden style so far. You can view all of them in the Garden Watch Gallery. Last year I made myself the very first Garden Watch for my birthday. I still wear it but wanted something for winter that was less floral. After hours of tatting, this is the design that emerged…

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I began with a base of thick black tatting that wrapped around the face on both sides. I always design my watches in a way that the back can be accessed to change the battery. I was able to tat in a way that made the center band flat around the wrist and turn 90 degrees around the face so it surrounds the watch. I even made sure that a tatted ring fit perfectly around the pin that sets the time.

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Next I worked with two shades of a charcoal color and created the wide band of rings that are intertwined in Celtic tatting fashion. The outer chains and rings connect the two inner rounds. The inner round is passed above and below the second round and secured with the last round. Everyone understand that? 🙂 Just trust me when I say it took planning and lots of time to work those rounds.

If you look closely, you might be able to see what I am talking about.

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Another important aspect of this design is the way I tapered at each end. I have tiny wrists so there is only about 2.25″ of tatting on each side of the watch. I did not want the band to be square on the ends. I wanted it to taper so it will lay flat and be a snug fit.

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After hours of tatting and a little Hematite  and silver-lined, Czech glass beading, I felt there was something missing. Of course! I just had to add small, glittery PIXIE butterflies to each side of the face!!! Still in shades of gray, the little buggers blend in until you look closely.

LOVE IT!!!

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The finishing is pretty intense. I recently purchased 20mm grosgrain ribbon in neutral colors with the specific intent of creating more watches. The reason I use the ribbon as a base is because tatting will inherently stretch and the ribbon will not. I want the tatting to stay stable, particularly if someone is going to buy the watch or like me, wear it everyday. The jewelry components are Sterling plated brass, a magnetic clasp and a short black plated aluminum chain for security.

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My finishing process is incredibly thorough. I try to go above and beyond with all of my work so the wear-ability is strengthened and the piece requires little care.  This is another reason for me to make things for myself on occasion. I can wear things day in and day out and then decide how durable it is and what I need to do to keep it looking as “just made” as possible. This watch would have been priced at $145 but it is mine…don’t worry peeps…there will always be more to come in Snappy Tatter-land. I have 10 new watch faces to play with. Rock on!

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

The Snappy Tatted Watch © 2014 Jennifer Kohr

(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 and not attempting to reproduce my designs.)

Updated Pendant Gallery!

I have been spending some time ignoring the winter blah’s by updating my galleries. The Pendant Gallery is now up to date. (I think)

New Additions:
Fleur
Guardian Angel
Simplicity Ring
Fans
Hope Cross
New Photos:
17+ Dainty pendants
Flair
Rosette w/PIXIE butterfly
Brilliance
Pitter Patter
Tagalong
Daisy
Maple Leaf
Majestic Dragonfly

Enjoy!

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

Garden Watch IV

My newest edition to my Garden Watch collection is now available in my Etsy Shop! Garden Watch IV is a study in modern colors and muted tones.

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The center of the tatted base is my Halo design in medium charcoal gray. The outer edge is similar to the interior of my Obsession design. Small Hematite rounds are tatted into the edge.

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I chose to tat the vine in silver instead of a shade of green to keep the design muted and modern. I added shades of green Czech glass along the vine with small olive leaves to match. I added more beading than I originally intended but sometimes I just can’t help myself. Once I start working…I just keep going until it feels complete!

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I tacked down the vine and leaves down so there is not as much “pop-up” in this band and it is more stream-lined.

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The Teeny Tat flowers are in a blush color and peach embellished with Hematite rounds. They are soft little additions that are barely noticeable once you spy the single lemon yellow PIXIE butterfly!

The entire band is hand sewn to silver satin ribbon. The way I create my watches makes it possible to access the back to change the battery. The Quartz watch face is simple and contemporary. The Jewelry components are Sterling Silver and Sterling plated.

The entire band plus the clasp measures 6.5″ long and 0.75″ wide. Before it is sold I will adjust the hardware at the ends for a perfect fit from 6.25″-7.5″. The listing has sizing instructions. The first three watches I have made can be viewed in my new “Garden Watch Gallery“.  Garden Watch IV can be found in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter. All Garden Watches are part of Snappy Couture, a one-of-a-kind fiber art collection of jewelry.

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

The Garden Watch © 2013 Jennifer Kohr

(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 and not attempting to reproduce my designs.)