New niece and new Snappy Couture!

First, I have to share a photo of the newest member of my family. Meet Lindi Faith, my youngest niece! Shown here with me only 9 days old. Such a tiny tiny baby and so perfect, the little one brought on that weepy delighted feeling you get when holding something so precious! lindi

Also new is my latest Snappy Couture design, Aspen Trio.  Although it is not as beautiful and precious as my niece, it deserves a shout out as well.

Aspen Trio is 3 small leaves tatted together to form a contemporary design. This is a new leaf design that I had not yet used in my work. The leaf is smaller, and more compact. I don’t like to monkey around with variegated threads much unless it is for leaves which always turn out very cool looking. I think variegation takes away from the design of tatted lace with little exception. So my multicolor threads are all in shades of greens and autumn colors. I picked up this color last year and this is my first time using it. It is called “herbal garden”. I love how all three leaves transition in almost the same manner. I added jewel tone Czech glass beading at all of the connections, overlapped the leaves and added hand sewn, olive, Swarovski Crystal pearls down the center veins. I love the end result and you can find the listing in my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/165355669

On one of our camping trips this summer, I spent some time re-designing my Maple leaf pattern. I think the result is more proportionally accurate. It is modeled after an actual leaf I plucked off a nearby tree. I came home, and once again using a variegated cordonnet, created this simple Maple leaf pendant with a wood disc back, Bordeaux Swarovski crystal pearl embellishment and chocolate brown ribbon necklace. A simple tribute to my favorite season. Autumn in western Pennsylvania is stunning!

Recently I did a little work for a charity providing a Pitter Patter necklace for a raffle for the Schnauzer Rescue of the Carolinas. I also made this necklace for the Butler county Humane Society fundraiser last year. Being an animal lover, I enjoy contributing to the fundraising efforts of rescue organizations.

I made the necklace in charcoal thinking it would attract more people than straight black or white. Plus, when I think of a Schnauzer, I think of the salt and pepper “old man” appearance of their coats.

You can find the Pitter Patter listing in my Etsy shop here: https://www.etsy.com/listing/130442097

There are several colors I can make it in and if you have something specific in mind, I may be able to accommodate you. Just drop me a line. I love to do custom work. In fact, most of my work from July this year till now has been custom or bridal! Hmmm.

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

🙂

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

Tat Fact #5 The Dirty Dainty…making your whites brighter!

Snappy Tatter lace-work comes in a variety of colors. I try to steer clear of white for everyday jewelry unless it is requested because whites will discolor from the oils and cells from your skin. I think white is fabulous for small work that can easily be cleaned like a Dainty Flake Pendant P1110479 or for earrings that are not close to your skin.P1110487 I enjoy using white and light colors in my Couture designs, like the Winter Gala shown here, because they are not meant to be worn frequently and with proper storage, stay clean for a long time.  wingala1

~

The Angel Couture is backed with sheer gold organdy for a shimmery natural effect and to protect the white lace from your skin.

P1110828
Snappy Couture “Angel”

~

Designs like Chardonnay, Princess and Chantilly are stunning in shades of white.

To me, keeping these gorgeous pieces of jewelry looking new should be simple. Spot cleaning is all that is usually necessary but there is a tip that can help prevent the need to clean:

Keep your hands and skin clean and dry!

Easy Peasy. Try to avoid moisturizers on skin that will be showcasing your glamorous jewelry. Moisture will make it easier for skin to stain the fiber. There are a couple of things I have tried and found success with when it comes to cleaning your whites and light colors. I will use the “dirty Dainty” as an example. I had made a little snowflake and found a dark fiber trapped in the knots so, to me, it was unusable. So I abused it. I put a little dusty dirt on my fingers and rubbed it on half and touched my oily, makeup-laden, face and rubbed that on part of the Dainty Flake as well. Then I let it sit around for months. Seriously. I forgot about it on purpose.

Here’s what the Dirty Dainty looked like before my attempts to clean it: P1110466

When I found the dirty Dainty a few months later, it looked filthy. Ew! Determined to bring this Flake back to it’s original non-color I first worked with Hydrogen Peroxide. Nothing special. The same stuff you get at the drugstore for a dollar that most everyone has in their medicine cabinet. Hydrogen Peroxide has gentle bleaching properties. I saturated a Q-tip (a cotton ball for larger areas) and gently rubbed the stains, moistening the area with the H2O2. I let it sit for a few minutes, repeated the gentle rubbing and rinsed well with cool water. A little stain remained but the Dainty had become mostly white. The top right ring was still dark and I knew that was where I had applied the skin oil/makeup from my face. So I chose Rubbing alcohol on a Q-tip rubbed into the fibers in the same manner as the Peroxide. P1140609

Voila! A crisp white Snowflake. No editing needed for this photo! The background was pretty dirty too, so I switched to a darker cloth that gives better contrast.  I think the Flake may be whiter than it was originally! And now I can’t find the dark fiber that was tangled in the knot.

I suggest Hydrogen Peroxide for most stains and dirt. Rubbing alcohol seemed to work well with the greasy stain. I would also use rubbing alcohol around metal jewelry components and beads because of its ability to evaporate quickly. That way your Sterling or gold is not exposed to moisture for a prolonged period which can cause it to oxidize.

These suggestions are only meant for my own handmade lace jewelry. Other tatters may have different suggestions for their tatting. I would contact the designer to find out what they recommend. I send simple information on TLC (tatted lace care) with every order from my Etsy shop. And I am always available to answer questions just send me a message!

I hope this is informative and helps ease the minds of my peeps who enjoy buying light-colored tatted jewelry.

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

The Garden Watch.

Well Happy Birthday to me! This past March 23rd marked the beginning of my 40th year on this earth and I thought I would make myself something special to commemorate the occasion. I have been wanting to work with watches for awhile. There are always so many ideas on my list. So I decided to treat myself to a functional piece of fiber art. I did not take photos as I worked like I do with some of my more expansive projects but I have loads of pics of the finished work. I will instead explain the steps it took to create my new watch while I show the photo galleries.

P1130108

This began with a silver grey base of tight, small, tatted rings that were connected across both the width and length. It is a split ring pattern I call Pulse. On both sides of the watch face are additional tatted rings that connect Sterling jumprings to the watch. The grey tatting stops at the face, splits to attach to the face and then continues under the watch to attach at the other side and continue on around the wrist. Sound tricky? Yeah, a wee bit. 🙂

I added a ruffle to the edge using half of my Daisy Chain pattern which is a continuous pattern of flower petals. Dark gold seed beads were tatted into medium charcoal cord. Already I was feeling something glamorous but organic developing. After I was finished with the first side, I decided to hold off on the second side until I worked more. Ultimately, I liked the ruffle around my wrist but did not want to detract from the floral vine too much so I left the other side straight. I am a huge fan of ruffles and lace, go figure.

Next I added the olive green vine. With heavier size 10 cordonnet, I used my vine pattern to create the design. I tatted connections into the gray bracelet pattern through the leaves and the turns of the vine. This watch base was becoming very sturdy and much of the stretch was reducing with added layers making it very important that it was the appropriate length from the beginning.

To further anchor the vine, I whip-stitched a light mocha cord around it and through the original bracelet base. I chose the light mocha to subdue the olive color a little making the work more earthy.

Next the sweet little size 80 Teeny Tat flowers are added. Each is individually hand sewn into the work with a brilliant Swarovski crystal sewn into the center. The colors are some of my most favorite, salmon, brick, peach and very light orange. These little delights cup up around the crystals. Love, love, love it!

Now that most of the fiber artwork is finished (and days have passed), I needed to create a base that was durable, firm, and easily cared for. I needed to finish the watch in a way that it could be worn for a very long time. I want it to wear like steel. I began by attaching the silver Pulse base to the back cover of the watch with permanent resin. I can actually pull the back free with the bracelet attached to change the battery if need be. Small green leaves were permanently secured to the watch face, further securing it. And leaves were added to the sides creating a cup around the entire watch. I was able to remove some of the Sterling jumprings so the remaining rings were more discreet.

P1130291

The final finishing was attaching the base ribbon and hardware. I used olive organdy ribbon to show some sparkle through the design. And under the the olive is a more substantial ribbon of shiny silver to make the tatted silver rings “pop”. The ribbons were discreetly stitched to the tatting. Sterling and gunmetal jewelry components completed the watch. I love my watch and I wear it all the time!

There you have it. My favorite new creation, the Garden Watch. It took many days to develop and finish and was well worth the time. I hope you have enjoyed my new work!

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 work.)

The making of a Couture necklace…Teeny Tat Chic

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!

crazy details!

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!

I hope you enjoyed a little peek into my process!

Cheers!

Jennifer

Teeny Tat Chic © 2012 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.)