Saturday, January 29, 2011

Shuttle mania

I got a good dose of shuttle mania lately, when someone at my Tatting Guild brought in some gorgeous handmade wooden shuttles she had purchased from Keld Oleson at
I took a card from her and looked at the website when I got home - I just adore nice needlework tools and I knew I had to have some of these. I enquired whether Keld could possibly make me a pair of 'mini shuttles' for my miniature work. He agreed to try for me, although I'm not sure what he thought when I told him I wanted to tat with them! Apparently he usually makes the small ones as earrings. They arrived recently, and I had such a fun time unwrapping them all, it was like Christmas. Lots of oohs and ahhs! The striped tools are different woods which have been laminated together before turning.
I have had time to 'test drive' most of the tools, and I'm really impressed. The quality of his workmanship is superb, and these tools feel so nice in the hand that it's hard to put them down - they are a real joy to work with. My favourite are the mini shuttles - they are so dinky and - well - just plain cute! The points are nicely closed and they 'click' just like a full size shuttle does.
The look and feel of the wood on the full size shuttles has me itching to do some work with them too.
Then there are all the tiny hooks - the first is a 0.6mm crochet hook, next is a tiny latch hook and last is a pair of lace hooks which would have to be the smallest I have ever seen. I have tried these out as subsitute crochet hooks for my miniature tatting, and they work beautifully!
Of course, I couldn't wait to try out the mini shuttles, and here is the beginning of 'Snowflake 1' by my friend Carol Lepard from

There's a US dime in the photo to show scale.
Thank-you Keld, for making me so many wonderful tools!

I'll show Carol's snowflake again when it's done, but in the meantime my next post will be some other miniature tatting I have been working on.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Are you ready to see more miniature doilies?

Hot off the shuttles tonight are two more 1/12th scale miniature doilies.

This was my very first miniature tatting design,"Starlight", tatted with 100 sewing thread. The original doily appears as my blog profile photo, but that was tatted in 50wt silk so this is the very first time this design has been tatted with the finer thread. These miniature doilies are roughly the diameter of an Australian 5 cent piece, a little smaller than an American dime. They are for a customer order and will be headed interstate shortly. Here's a close-up of one of them.

I'm counting these as number four in the 25 Motif Challenge.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Surprise Gift arrived!

Actually the gift arrived a little while ago, but I have only just got around to photographing it. This was from a very dear friend who is also a miniaturist, and she has excellent taste!

These are 1/12th scale dollhouse miniatures made from porcelain by Joyce Barmore Sterk. Her website is here and her Etsy shop is here. The llama vase is painted with a scene on both sides - here is what the reverse looks like.
I just love the green vase - I can't imagine how difficult it must have been to do the cut out work on such a tiny thin piece of clay - and I thought I was mad - I think I've just found someone else a bit madder! The shape of that vase is so unusual, it really is something special. The surprise addition of a hand sculpted llama statuette completes the set. The handmade flowers came with it, and the purple ones are so delicately shaded - just beautiful!

Now the friend who gave me this gift probably doesn't know it, but I have been interested in Peruvian and South American art for years, so this is just the perfect gift for me. I know she will read this, so thank-you good buddy!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

More Tiny Tatting

I promised I would show some more of my tiny tatting, so here it is.
This is a little dressing table set in a variegated 50wt thread, my original design, which I'm calling the Serenade Doily Set. Each tiny doily is tatted with a single thread, and I used split rings to transition between the rounds.
This is the same set worked in a white 100wt thread - it's a little smaller and finer.

I have just entered the 25 motif Challenge on this blog.


The idea is that you tat 25 motifs within a year. I'm going to start by tatting some more miniature doilies. I have three so far - that's the Serenade set, and Jon's Spring Blossom and Sweet Rose designs. I am working on number four at the moment so keep an eye out for it!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some more things I made recently - these combine my two newest obsessions - beading and tatting!

These little shuttle shaped keyfobs were beaded using square stitch. I designed and made them as small gifts for members of my tatting class at my local U3A (that's University of the 3rd Age). I made them about a month ago, but of course I couldn't show them until I was sure the recipients had unwrapped them at Christmas.
They were given with a little poem which I made up and printed on a card:

Gentle tatter, know you this
Tatting brings such peaceful bliss
So tat a little every day
It will help to keep the blues away
Attach this shuttle to bag or keys
To remind you to take your tatting - please!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Springtime Rose Bracelet

Here is a photo of the bracelet I designed and made to match my Springtime Rose necklace and earrings. It is made using the same sort of methods as the necklace, but as I don't like dangly things on my wrists I have made it to fit snugly.

This completes the jewellery set, and I will be moving on to some more mini tatting (or fairy tatting as I call it!) very soon.