Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Meeting Elizabeth Again!

Holiday preparations, family events, and traveling have kept me from posting! First of all, thanks so much for your kind comments on the ornament and paperweights. I hope you all have success with them!

I must get this post in now, before it gets lost in the holiday rush! It seems as though Thanksgiving was a long time ago, and our weekend trip to Washington, DC (Nov. 21-23) was one week before Thanksgiving!

I love to go to Washington D.C. anytime, and since I knew Elizabeth Zipay was going to be there again at another craft fair, I was only too happy to go and 'surprise' her again, the way I did back in May, before I started this blog in July.

Elizabeth Zipay and Kathy Niklewicz
at Montgomery Fairgrounds in
Gaithersburg, Maryland, 20 miles north
of Washington, DC.
It was unseasonably COLD that day,
but sunny. Even Elizabeth didn't know she would
be in an outdoor shelter (thankfully covered for
this event but still cold!). That's why we look
like we're in Alaska!
Elizabeth and I first met in July 1998 at Victorian Days in Mercer, PA. (It is only an hour from my home near Pittsburgh, but six hours from hers near Philadelphia!) It was my second time in Mercer (first time was in 1993) and I had a ‘demonstration-only’ table again, and she had a large tent with her beautiful and unique jewelry. I was overwhelmed when I saw her work! I believe it was her first and only time there, as it is a long way for her to travel. I haven't returned as a demonstrator since then, either. It’s a unique festival as it has a Victorian theme, and features a Victorian ‘Ball’ and and old-fashioned bandstand music concert. But the craft area has become much smaller over the years, and I just go to visit.

A special feature of Elizabeth's jewelry early on (and which continues today) is that she makes tiny bread-dough roses – and tiny leaves - to enhance many of her pins and pendants, giving them a lovely Victorian look. She also mounts many of her pieces on gold filet metal backings, which adds another unique dimension. The past few years she’s been designing fabulous beadwork necklaces and bracelets and also works with the beautiful hand-dyed threads. Just gorgeous!
Of course, I know many of you are aware of her exquisite work from both her website and her blog. (You can link to her website from there.)

After our initial meeting in Mercer in 1998, we didn’t see each other again for ten years, when I surprised her at her booth in Chantilly, Virginia, last May, also in the Washington, DC area. (Her show schedule is listed on her website.) I was so flattered that she remembered me from so long ago!
Elizabeth very much encouraged me to start this blog (which I finally did in July – with lots of help from Sharon Briggs!), and I wanted to thank her in person for her encouragement and to catch up on what she’s been doing since she started her full time job! It was fun to see her reaction when I walked into her booth again!

Of course her exquisite jewelry elicits “oohs and ahhs” from the visitors, and, happily, while I was there, Elizabeth made several sales. One fellow even ‘sneaked’ back to buy an item his wife had admired so he could surprise her with it for Christmas!! I’m hoping the rest of the weekend went as well for Elizabeth.

The visitors who are familiar in some way with tatting are astounded that it is still being done, and that it now is being adapted to make such beautiful and unique tatted and beaded jewelry Elizabeth’s work, of course, is perfection. She is a fantastic ‘ambassador’ for tatted lace!

Happily she likes her full-time job but admits it is quite an adjustment, and she’s tatting ‘less’ but is managing to keep her show commitments for this year. (Her tatting ‘less’ would be a tatting ‘frenzy’ for me!). Understandably, her blog has taken a back seat for awhile.
My husband and I are amazed at how vast an area Washington has become over the past 45 years, since we spent our honeymoon there (Jan. 1964 !). Believe it or not, our motel room back then at a very nice place in Falls Church cost - would you believe - $10 a night!!!! Our motel this time (in a very trendy new shopping mall area with a 'lake' cost $100 a night, which actually was 'reasonable' compared to others in the area! It's great to have the internet to compare prices! We ventured over to historic Alexandria - one of our favorite towns, with Colonial architecture and cobblestone streets, and lots of cute shops and neat restaurants. I'm a history buff, so I love the atmosphere of Washington!
Also, just this past weekend we Beaver County Tatters ( Evelyn, Peg, Pam and I ) had a nice time at Vicary Mansion (Freedom, PA) last Saturday, December 6. It was beautifully decorated and we enjoyed meeting the folks who ventured out that day, especially since it was one of those blustery, snowy days when the visitors could have stayed home! There is always an interest in our tatting!


TattingChic said...

Oh, what fun, when two tatters unite! How exciting for both of you! :)

LadyShuttleMaker aka MadMadPotter said...

What a neat post! I remember reading Elizabeth's post about you last fun!
I'm so glad you have remained friends and that you share the love of tatting.
I am an admirer of Elizabeth's work too!
Thank you for sharing this lovely post!
...Oh and welcome to Blogland!

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

I, too, am a great admirer of Elizabeth's work. I own one of her brooches, and it is a treasured piece! I'm so glad the two of you were able to meet again, and I am very glad that with Elizabeth's and Sharon's encouragement, you started to blog!

I've only been able to find one paper weight since your post! They were selling them at Santa's Secret Shop at school this week, but the kids bought them all! I guess I'll have to look around for next year's Christmas gifts!

TattingChic said...

Just stopped by to say
You won an award on my blog today!