Earrings for the festival!

The New Castle Riverwalk Arts Festival is coming quick! I spent the last few days finishing 30 pairs of earrings. It’s a very time-consuming and tedious but earrings are a huge seller at local shows so I like to have a large variety there. I don’t have time to chat…now I am on to pendants! Hopefully I will be able to post photos of them soon. Enjoy the gallery!

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And a quick FYI…my online shop, Snappy Tatter, is temporarily on vacation till the day before the show when Made to Order (MTO) listings will become available. I just needed more time!

Enjoy your day Peeps!

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

FYI… Upcoming Arts Festival Information

Hi Peeps. I have been getting questions regarding the upcoming Arts Festival, Arts on the Riverwalk. This is an annual juried arts festival, meaning artists and artisans are screened before they are accepted. I did not attend last year but was present the previous two years and it is an event that is worth traveling for. There are local artists and artisans from every field including photography, pottery, jewelry, clothing, painting and drawing and of course, fiber arts (that’s me) and many more categories. There is lots of food, activities for the children, street performers and music all day. The dates and times for the artist’s marketplace are July 11th, 4pm-8pm and 12th, 11am-8pm. The event is located in downtown New Castle at the Riverplex. The New Castle Artfest has been renamed and combined with the annual fireworks display this year so it will be loud and sparkly too. You can find more information on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ArtsOnTheRiverwalk

Visit my online shop, http://www.snappytatter.etsy.com to see what will be available at the festival. All work that is MTO (made to order) will remain available in my shop over the weekend. All ready made work listings will be deactivated and taken with me.

I hope to see you there!

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Keep and eye out here for galleries of work that will be going with me!

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

New work for the Arts on the Riverwalk Festival!

Hello Peeps. I will have to keep my chatting to a minimum because there is so much work waiting for me upstairs. I thought I would drop in and share a few new items that are going to the New Castle Arts on the Riverwalk Festival on July 11th and 12th. Everything that is ready made in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter, will be going with me as well. Here is a gallery of new items that are packed and ready to go!

~Infinity Cuff~

Always a fan fave, this version is made in dark charcoal cordonnet and embellished with turquoise colored glass, Sterling spacers and silver-lined gunmetal Czech pressed glass.

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~Midnight Rhapsody~

A new dramatic Couture collar that is embellished with Czech glass in shades of blue and black and has a medallion in cobalt blue and black. It is 18″ long and ruffles elegantly around your neck.

~Indulgence~

Originally made in navy and mocha for my mother, I re-visited the pattern creating all white lace this time. The beading is perfect Swarovski crystal pearls and silver-lined clear Czech glass. Sterling accents and picot edged ribbon add to the elegance of this design.

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~Pink Sweetie Mini Box~

I will come up with an adorable name for this small box that is a little less than 2″ across. The components are a Daisy, PIXIE butterfly and an Aspen leaf that are embellished with Mill Hill beads and Swarovski Crystal Pearls in silver and white. The garden is mounted on a softly colored damask upholstery fabric and trimmed with handmade cable with a metallic thread running through it. All of my small boxes are lined with matching felt. Everything but the metal box is handmade in these little fiber art designs.

~The Rosebud Blackwork Box~

A 3″x3″ metal box that is fully lined with deep red felt. The components are a Victorian Red Rosebud with a frilly center that surrounds a large Swarovski Crystal Pearl, evergreen Holly leaves and Blackwork embroidery of original design embellished with more pearls. Mounted on Damask Aida cloth that has a brilliant shine, this contemporary design is completely handmade, as well.

Hope you enjoyed the gallery. I’m off to finish more work which I will post soon.

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

A Snappy Tatter milestone!

I am so excited to announce I am now the proud owner of my own domain…snappytatter.com. Yay! It is a small and very cool achievement. It was time for me to make sure that I am more easily found in search results as well as protecting the precious name for my small business.

So, go ahead and click it!

www.snappytatter.com

In other news, I have added two pages to the jewelry menu at the left, Fearless Grace Cuff and Leaf Bracelets. I have added photos to Simplicity and it’s variations, Debutante and Halo, as well.

I am contemplating moving this blog to another theme. One that allows for larger photos and galleries and uses more of the full screen. I’m thinking about it. Has anyone out there changed their WordPress theme after they were established? Was the transition difficult? I would love to hear advice, ideas and experiences in this area. Drop me a line.

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

Upcoming ArtFest work!

The New Castle Arts festival is quickly approaching. On July 11th and 12th I will be displaying all of my work for 30,000+ people to see. The energy is always exciting but the work involved to prepare is intense. I am in the process of evaluating what I already have and what else I need to have to create a full display that showcases my abilities. As promised, I am displaying work here that will go to the festival and will not be listed in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter, unless it comes back with me. For newcomers that are exploring my website for the first time, all of my work is handmade, shuttle-tatted lace. I am a professional fiber artist and tatted lace designer. My patterns are original in design and embellishment.

Mark you calendars peeps and come see me! Here are a few of the designs you will see:

~NEW! The Fearless Grace Cuff~

This wide lace cuff was going to be a watch band but I fell in love with the look and decided to create a bracelet. Part of my new “Simply Lace” collection, there was no need for beads, crystals or pearls to make this design spectacular! Shuttle-tatted with black 100% Egyptian cotton cordonnet and finished with a Sterling toggle clasp, it measures 6.5″ long x 2.5″ wide.

~Pulse~

This is an older design revisited. The tatting is dense and tight. The lace is slightly raised and nearly opaque in charcoal gray. I will not be recreating this pattern in this manner again as it ended up more complicated than the original Pulse design. Because it is one-of-a-kind, it will become part of my J Kohr Couture collection. It is finished with patterned ribbon ends, a magnetic clasp and a short, gunmetal colored, security chain. It measures 7″ long x 0.75″ wide.

~Leaf Trio~

Two small Aspen leaves with a larger Birch leaf in between, this small bracelet was an experiment to see what a row of tatted leaves would look like as a bracelet. Shuttle-tatted in medium charcoal gray and embellished with pewter Czech Glass, this bracelet blends contemporary with organic design. The leaf designs are my own and were my first attempt to make realistic appearing leaves. Tweaked over time, the leaf patterns were finalized a couple of years ago. Measuring 5.75″ long and 1.25″ at its widest point, this bracelet will be perfect for a slender wrist. The jewelry components are gunmetal plated including the hook and eye clasp.

~The Debutante~

A fan favorite classic design, this version was tatted in cream cordonnet and finished with gold plated jewelry components. A single, matching, Swarovski crystal pearls drops from the center of this frilly design. Gold beads and beadcaps create an elegant look. Meant to be a choker, the Debutante measures 13″ long by 0.50″ wide and has a 2″ gold chain extension for a perfect fit. I always add a little bead at the end of the extension chain…I think it finishes the necklace perfectly. I did not take pictures of me modeling the next two necklaces…I am suffering through allergies and looked a little rough yesterday. And I am always my own model cause I work for peanuts. Ha ha!

~Halo~

One of my favorite combinations of colors is any shade of blue/green and brown. This simple necklace was tatted in fudge brown and hand-beaded in turquoise colored Howlite. Each bead has fluted or flower gunmetal beadcaps on each end and a large flat disc hangs from the center of crossed picots. I love the colors and the brown veins on the beads.

I hope you have enjoyed the gallery. I was able to spend a little more time chatting while I wait for my allergy meds to work so I can go garden on this nice day. I will be back soon with two new outstanding Couture pieces you won’t want to miss. Have a lovely day everyone!

Live, Love, Tat!

Jennifer

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

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…