Friday, April 28, 2006

Carol Amich's 3D Tatting

Knowing I'm not going to get a lot of tatting done for a few weeks, I thought it might be fun to interview a few tatters and feature their work instead of my own! My first victim...err...featured tatter is Carol Amich from Frankfort, Indiana who tats these lovely 3D critters in what is called "solid" tatting.

Me: What got you started on this type of 3D tatting to begin with?
Carol: On some site a few years ago, someone mentioned 3D tatting, and that you could possibly get the book by Angeline Crichlow from her daughter. (Angeline had passed away) I wrote to her and got it. It was a home-made type book, with ribbon binding. Many photos in the book were actual photos cut out and pasted on.

Me: Oh wow! An original. That has got to be a treasure! Is it about the technique only or does it have projects in it too?
Carol: It has the technique and a few "patterns". I remember the angel (though hers was bald!), Santa, pig, ball, and soldier.

Me: What inspired you to do the 3D Santa & Reindeer?
Carol: I love Christmas things, and had to have a 3d Santa. I had made one a few years ago, but it was one of the first things I did, so I thought I could do better. And, Santa must have a reindeer, so I made him a little pal..

Me: How long? How many versions?
Carol: It probably takes me 2-3 hours to do something fairly simple like the lizard. Because you are pretty much creating a tatted fabric. I think the elf I did took 3 weeks. The ones that are bigger, with color changes and embellishments, take longer. Trying to decide on the colors and add-ons is probably the hardest part. Each 3D creature is pretty much unique, because there is no set pattern, there is a technique, but no pattern. Each one is created as you go, almost like sculpting. I have even called this Sculptatting.

Me: Thread type and size?
Carol: I amost always use DMC 8. I like it because it doesn't twist or knot up, and it is the easiest for me to find.
Me: Plans for the future?

Carol: Oh, I am always planning something. I need to make a 3D version of my pet parakeet, maybe something mythological next. I also love Halloween, so I will need to make something like a spider or who knows? I am alway up for suggestions, too. Then, there is regular tatting. I always make orginal patterns for my exchanges, so I need to work on those too. Maybe make some other types of dinosaurs to go with my T-Rex. I have a little steno pad in which I write down ideas. I sort of draw it out, and then try to figure out how to tat it. This has always worked out for me.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Here's a quick post I started a few days ago.

Wonderful Tatted caps!

Here's the latest Romanian Point Lace project. After asking for input on CrochetLace, I learned that making the upper loops bigger would have helped. I followed the pattern dimensions and thought them small to begin with. I think it's more noticeable by using 2 colors too.

Now I feel like it needs ornaments! It's only about 3 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches though.

I'm currently working on my flower motif for the tin exchange. I got it done last night but what do I do now? Wire it or make it a wearable? I'll have to show it later. Somehow, I hope to make time tonight and tomorrow to tat 2 small doilies for the secretarys in my department.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Here's the little flutter designed by Kaye Judt that we tatted in tatting guild this morning. No simple little butterly! LOL! He's tatted using purl tatting and self-closing mock-rings. He's a bit off from the original too. I shall have to make him again.

After guild, I met a friend in Greenfield for lunch at Applebee's. Our waitress was named Regina and I mentioned that was my name too. She said she had never known another Regina. It was many years before I met one myself, but there are at least 2 others on campus now, and one also has the same last name as me. A chair vendor who came in to pick up a clipboard he left at a job was amazed to find that out (after he went to the wrong one to retrieve his clipboard). After lunch, Suzanne & I went to Riley's Emporium. I was sure the last time I was there that there was a sign saying they were moving to a new location...but they were in the same spot! I love this place. Right off the bat, I spotted this LARGE piece of teneriffe. It's heavily starched - I guess it was considered a doily all by itself. It was $2.00 and 20% off so I grabbed it to add to my lace group's lace collection. I'm not sure whether to try to reblock it or not. I think the way it is adds to its authenticity. I would also like to know how the maker knotted so close to the edge without concern for it sliding off the end? Interestingly, some of the diamond weaving involved 5 pairs of threads and some has 6 pairs of threads. I couldn't find a specific pattern to it so it must have been the maker's whim.

I love going through the laces and linens but didn't have time to really comb through them. I bought a few embroideries but this drawn-work piece is one I love and only fifty cents. It measures about 13" x 20". I bought a blue table cover and 4 napkins with beautiful drawn-work the last time I was there. There are bins full of crochet work. I seldom see any tatting and none jumped out at me today. I did see rings, done in large thread and coarsely, around an embroidered doily in another booth but felt the quality poor and left it.

I found this ruby ring in a locked case in a booth where everything was 25% off. It's 14 caret gold so I presume the rubies are real - thought not necessarily. And the diamond chips. It also fit me. GRIN! My fingers are on the small side and most rings found in places like this are too big. I saw a few other pieces of jewelry I liked but felt like I was splurging just buying this one so I left them for someone else. Besides, I continue to wear my Black Hills Gold rings and that doesn't leave me much room for any others.

I also bought some used magazines on painting. Upstairs there was a room with sewing and craft books/magazines but they haven't really put it in order and after sifting through 3 shelves, I was bored with it. There were several Workbaskets there but my collection is fairly complete until the last few years and I no longer am desperate for tatting patterns so I left those too for another lucky soul to buy.

After the Emporium, Suzanne & I went to the root beer stand and had an ice cream cone and then pulled into the nearby park where they were having an art show. It was almost over and many had already taken their work down but we still got to see many lovely paintings. It made me want to run home and paint .....but here I am, keying instead!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yes, I've been tatting! I'm working on this edging designed by a friend...and I wonder if she will recognize it? She passed it on to us a few years ago. I started it once and kept making mistakes so I gave it up for then. It's really very simple - I was just having a bad-tat day. Ever have one of those? LOL! The thread is a Sulky embroidery thread. It's about the size of 70/80 tatting cotton and nice and slick which makes it easy to un-tat or to open a ring. It will split if you prod it in the wrong place too, but I haven't had to mess with any one spot for so long that it frayed. I did accidently break it once and then when I attached the new thread, I cut the ball thread instead of the long end off so ended up winding a 2nd shuttle from the 1st to act as the ball thread and attached that to the 2 loose ends. Sounds like another bad-tat day, huh? I tatted another ring and chain and stopped at that point. I'll continue tomorrow.
Here's the upcoming project in the May Anna. I'm guessing that is a candle behind the paper. It looks like vellum. I'm wondering how they tatted the cord for the flower stems. They look pretty thick, don't they? And then, is the motif glued on or sewn on? Now wouldn't some beads add sparkle?

That reminds me.....I've been looking at some articles related to doing water color or acrylic painting for portions of scrapbooking. I saw a few clearance magazines at Hobby Lobby the other day but none of the projects in it looked interesting to me. I do want to use watercolors for some pages though. And why not add some tatting? THINK of the possibilities! Little tatted photo corners and frames. Blossoms and butterflies and critters and hearts and doilies and crosses and know. Everything.
Here's my next Romanian Point Lace project. I've had the cord done for awhile. Finally got around to putting the pattern on the muslin tonight. Once you get the pattern on the muslin, you can use it over and over. I don't have a collection built up yet so it takes some time to make it before I can do the fun part - the filling stitches. I think I'll use the gold thread this time for filling.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Saturday, my daughter & I drove to Commiskey, IN to Stream Cliff Herb Farm to do a nature walk and floral wire basket. My birthday gift to her was her choice of which class to take and this was what she chose. They have a lovely little garden there with small water features, a pink playhouse, and plants and statues all over. This little water feature had several real live frogs sunning themselves on the moss.

We registered and picked up our nametags and walked around for awhile. They also have an enchanting little gift shop full of herbal soaps and creams and such, as well as books on gardening and fairies and many many other gift items. I didn't buy anything this time but much of it was tempting!

Then we gathered together and host Betty Manning gave us some history of the farm which has been used for four generations. She read a poem and talked about flowers and how meaningful they are in our lifes.

Then we had a DELICIOUS lunch - a chicken salad croissant (large) along with some wonderful pasta salad that we failed to get the recipe of, some herbed crackers, cantalope with strawberries and another fruit that I don't recall, topped off with lemon bar dessert. We had a choice of lemonade or mint tea to drink and I got the mint tea. I was so full I didn't eat again that day except for an ice cream bar!

We then took a walk to a nearby property of theirs that bordered a creek and Mrs. Manning pointed out wildflowers and plants and told us bits and pieces about them. The bluebells were lush and plentiful. Here's my daughter at one of the waterfeatures.

Returning from our walk, we moved to the porch of one large outbuilding where the wire containers were lined up on a table. We each had a pot of begonias, ivy, pansies, and coleus to put in the container. That part took maybe 10 minutes TOPS. LOL! But we each have a lovely momento for the summer. She told us how to take care of them to get the best out of the plants. It was a great day for both of us!

We got some hail yesterday but I managed to bring it in before it got too beat up.

Last night I finished another Romanian Point Lace motif. Yes, I will get back to tatting soon, but I have to return the books to the I.O.L.I. library so I'm doing as much as I can from them.

Got this thread at Hobby Lobby on Friday night. I've already stated a RPL cord with the multicolored one. It's rayon and a tad smaller than size 10 thread but bigger than 20.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Somebody stop me from buying any more of these! I had some to begin with, bought 2 packages in Australia, and then bought these at a flea market a few weeks ago. They look so inviting to tat in but I certainly don't need 50 of them! They are silver and gold metal bracelets in case you can't tell.

I tackled my Romanian Point Lace again. There was an angel and a butterfly I really wanted to do but decided to go for the super ultra simple motif first. This time I put clear plastic over a paper pattern and basted them both on doubled over fabric. Then I couched down my cord and hid my ends. That was interesting. I can never tell if my thread is going to show on the back.

I used the fillings recommended in the book by Thompson and Waller for the outer petals but I sucked at that one so I cut them out and tried the netting here. Then I used a filling of my choice for the center petal but I didn't have room to fit in all the pairs of threads to weave through so I adapted. LOL!

The next step was the center, a spiral, a star, a wheel. It's called many things according to the needlecraft. And then the leaf fillings. I hadn't practriced fillings for any other shape besides oval so the feather stitch was a challenge. I looked in every book I had and still found it difficult to define exactly what the feather stitch was. I was looking for direcitons for the basic feather stitch. There were lots of variations but how was it supposed to go to begin with?

Here it is off the pattern. I didn't have high hopes but it looks better than I expected. Not perfect but not too bad for a beginning project!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Well here's the "people pics"! These two were during one of Mark's classes. I think it was the Saturday afternoon class since he seems to be everywhere. LOL! This was a rose motif inspired by and looking somewhat like bobbinlace. It's the one I had so much trouble getting started properly. I hope to try again in a few days when I'm more caught up with other stuff. It's really very delicate and pretty. I noticed Tanya (Wonk) has a picture on her blogsite but I can't remember if you can see it clearly or not.

And who do we have here? Looks like Erin who is intensely focused on her work! The second one is Erin and Georgia deep in conversation. For some reason, I didn't get around to spending much time with Georgia.

More people pics. This one had Rita Cochrane right in the center. Kaye Judt is standing there too. Sherry has her back to us at the left while shopping. I'm not sure who the others are. Deb Arnold in blue is standing at her vendor table in the bottom pic.

Here's the Silent Auction items. I wanted the basket with the purple wine glasses and a bottle of wine but didn't pursue it very far. I always thought bids at silent auctions were hidden until the end. Knowing I was immediately outbid kinda took the fun out of it for me.

I managed to purchase a copy of Mark Myer's new book before I left. We'll see if it's helpful for the newbies I've been teaching.

I missed out on Ginny's first printing of her coaster patterns, but she brought in one additional pattern the 2nd day and I got that one!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My sister and I had a leisurely drive to Hector. We started off early afternoon on Thursday and stopped at an Amish restaurant in Ohio where we proceeded to waste a couple of hours between eating and exploring their two floors of fantastic gift items. As I drove by the Xenia, OH exit, I wished we could stop by and pick up Gail. We stopped somewhere in Medina County that night and drove the remainder the next day, arriving mid afternoon. That night we went to the firehouse, bringing a few goodies from the Amish resturant as well as a cheese/meat tray from Walmart. Familiar faces slowly trickled in and my sister and I spent some time discussing the ins and outs of dying hair purple with someone I thought my sister said was named Amy but I do not find an Amy in the booklet we got so apparently that is wrong! The tie-dyed goody bag came with registration in the morning.

We had plenty of time to kill before starting. Mark's plane had been late and Sherry picked him and Erin Holloway up from the same airport. I didn't know Erin was coming until I saw my roster of students and Erin was on there. Talk about confusion! LOL! I thought surely there was a mistake since Erin never peeped a whisper about coming, but arrive she did and with these wonderfully painted bobbins to boot! That girl is always full of surprises!

While waiting for the last to arrive, I talked....and shopped. The 2 Easter Eggs were freebies given to us to hold our thread. The bunny holds a good size ball of thread.

I bought the Hector Hat shuttle from Georgia and the handpainted shuttle from the Lacemaker. I got some threads there too but they were bland colors, purposely bought to help bridge other threads together.

I still don't have everything sorted and put away. Here are 2 of the 3 threads I bought from Rita Cochrane as well as a spool of neon thread from Walmart. Also got these sew on glitters from Walmart - I'd been meaning to check them out for a long time. You can see I did get my hook through the holes to attach my thread. A fun thing to tat later on when I ....HA! have time. The black bag is emery dust I got from Georgia Seitz in case I ever get to make a strawberry for a pincushion!

My first class with Mark hasn't gotten too far off the ground yet. I kept making mistakes and decided to wait for another day. The next day wasn't the day, though I did give it a try. LOL! Sunday I had Sherry with her 3D dragon....I got the 1st motif done...hope I remember everything she told us to keep in mind as we finished the other parts. After lunch, I had Mark again, this time with hairpin lace as a base for a motif and I've done hairpin lace before so that went a little easier, except I had my pins too far apart. I can still do something with it but I wanted the smaller ones so I made another one. Later that night I finished the first motif. This is repeated 3 times along with a center and all are joined together to go over a fabric bag. Mark's was very pretty. I re-tatted my center a bit differently. The 1st one looked ratty and I cut it out. The new one is joined somewhat differently. Mark's has a lot of free loops but I joined all of mine.

Photos of people will have to wait. They were on my other camera because the digital one didn't work when I first got it out. I took the other film in to be processed today.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Yee-Haw! I'll be home tomorrow with pics and scans! Last night I finished a motif from Mark's class....not the project but a section of it. Lots of goodies to share!