Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Leather Tatting Shuttles Debut!!!!

The ShuttleSmith Leather Tatting Shuttle

The ShuttleSmith is living up to her pseudonym/name!!!  'Smith' is used to refer to someone who makes something.  In my case this means SHUTTLES. (Sorry, I'm not referring to my Sterling Silver Tatting Shuttles now.)              
My newest venture is making:  LEATHER TATTING SHUTTLES

They are Flat Tatting Shuttles.  Look closely in the picture to see the slits emanating from the cut-out holes, this is how the thread is wound on. 

Right now I have one style of flat, leather shuttles: a decorative/colored leather bonded onto a stiffer, backing leather.  (Another style/form is coming soon).

I currently have two sizes ranges: 
  • The basic shuttles are 3 to 3.24 inches long by 1 to 1 3/8 inches wide
  • The 'smaller' shuttles are 2.5 to 2.75 inches long by 1 to 1 1/8 inches wide
Price should be $15 with free shipping to US addresses, regardless of size.

I haven't figured out yet how to sell these yet on my website.  All the color and size choices make the system fairly complex. 
Ths photo shows the front and the back side of the leather shuttles. I have spent time bevelling the edges of the backing leather for a smooth tool.
These are the colors of Leather Tatting Shuttles that I have available now.  There is only one tan and one white shuttle at this time....but more white shuttles are possible

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Nightstand Lace--Nanduti


Robin asked 'what kind of lace was on my nightstand?'  so I will start here highlighting my 'pretties'.  It is Nandhuti (or Nanduti) Lace.  Made in Paraguay.  It is in the same lace family as Teneriffe or Sol Lace.  I consider it the PHD level of Teneriffe Lace.  Teneriffe lace is made with individual motifs (sols/circles/shapes) that are stitched together into one larger lace piece.  Nanduti is made as one piece, laying down the 'warp' threads onto a cloth base in which the design is drawn and linking the warp threads of the motif designs as they are stitched.  Nanduti can usually be distinquished by the 'palm shapes' on the border of the work (see the upper/first picture) and a filling (seen in the middle of both of my pieces) that is created similarly to drawn thread work in needlework techniques.

These two pieces are my favorite due to the color.   The warp threads are one color and then the weaving/stitching is done in contrasting colors.   In the top piece, the warp threads are yellow/orange, with many vibrants colors used to stitch the designs.  The bottom piece used white warp thread and then red and green to stitch the design.    The motifs in the top piece are varied designs and represent elements from the Paragauyans life (corn, lotus flower, ant hills, etc.)  I have several books on Nanduti Lace, many of which I can't read.  Not only are they in Spanish, but they use native language words of the indigenous peoples who still make this lace.

Monday, April 21, 2014

My Bedroom Dresser/Nightstand--Use of Lace


This is my bedroom dresser and nightstand and how I USE lace as decoration.  My husband and I bought this dark wook bedroom set and I realized that the wood top was so pretty that I didn't want to put anything on it.  So I came up with this idea to cover it with glass and then not have to worry about what goes on it.  I put some of my lace (collected and handmade) under it and now I have a work of art that I enjoy. I will highlight some of the pieces more in depth in future blog posts.

That is me with my kids in the picture on the nightstand

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What happened to The ShuttleSmith's silver shuttle business?

I have considered making them again.   I originally took a year off from making them and when I wanted to go back to the business I learned that the company that etched my celtic designs into the silver had quit.  They said that this service was too popular and they couldn't keep up with the demand...so they stopped. (Doesn't make any sense to me!).  I did look into finding another custom etching service but discovered that it was going to be a costly venture to get set up.  Since these were my most popular shuttles, I lost interest in making sterling silver shuttles altogher.  About a year ago, I got interested in making some shuttles again.  I still have some silver stock left over.  However, I soon realized that the cost of silver had gone up 3-4 times what I was paying.  When I ran out of my stockpile of silver, I would have to pay alot more for my basic supplies.  I put ALOT of time and craftsmanship into making these things, and thus I realized that I wasn't willing to take a loss on them.  I still think that financially, people still don't have as much expendible cash to buy such novelties/luxuries at the inflated price that I would need to ask.   So I just haven't gotten back to making them.  My idea is that when I do go back to the silver shuttle making business, the shuttles will be 'one of a kind' art pieces.

I am however, making different forms of tatting shuttles true to my company name.  I will be introducing one form here on this blog shortly!!!   STAY TUNED.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Lace Related Traveling again

I'm leaving tonight for another 5-day mini vacation.  This time to visit my daughter in Tacoma, WA.  Tomorrow I teaching a tatting workshop for the Lacemakers of Puget Sound.  Sunday through Tuesday my daughter and I are taking a discover NE Oregon trip to the Oregon coast, Portland, and the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.  I fly home on Wednesday, go to work on Thursday.  I should get some tatting done in the airport and on the planes.  Right now I working on split ring tatted alphabet letters and a frame for myself and to be featured in my next book:  SPLIT RING TATTED BLOCK ALPHABETS.  I should have updates about my trip when I get back.  I'll be having too much fun to stop and blog....sorry.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The ShuttleSmith Sterling Silver Tatting Shuttle


Here's a 'blast from the past'!  This is one of the sterling silver tatting shuttles that I USED to make.  It was how I chose my name:  The ShuttleSmith (The Silver Shuttle was taken back then).  I made sterling silver tatting shuttles for about 5 years. I quit in 2001 because it seemed like I had saturated the market and also because my full-time job was getting more demanding and the time needed to attend to the shuttle selling and marketing side of my business was getting to be a real drag. 
I had plain silver shuttles, and overall design versions, and then I had 6 celtic designs that I had custom etched into my silver.  I would custom make my shuttles with or without a point.  The plain & overall design shuttles came in your choice of sizes and shapes.  My shuttles were real works of art....they came without any scratches or even finger prints of any kind on the surfaces, front, back, edges.  Some 'copycat shuttles' came out a little after mine were in the mainstream and were not as finished.

This shuttle is one of my celtic designs.  I called it 'Hearts Entwined'.  I have a leather cord running around the center post so I can wear it like a necklace (got that idea from Betty Alderson of Snowgoose who bought and wore one of my shuttles).  This is not the best picture...I snapped it while it was hanging from my necklace holder on my bedroom wall.  The design is etched into the silver and then I blackened the recessed areas so that the design would pop out.  I then put a thin layer of lacquer on the surface to seal in the design and so that the silver would not tarnish.