Wednesday, April 1, 2009

"I'm Putting All My Eggs in One Basket . . ."

From a song by Irving Berlin, featured in the Astaire-Rogers 1936 movie, “Follow the Fleet.” I now have all ten Fred Astaire–Ginger Rogers movies in a DVD collection! My favorite dancers!)

Well, maybe not ALL my eggs – I have too many to put in just ONE basket!

I’ll be showing more eggs soon (before Easter), but below is a grouping of my first eggs – satin ones, to which I added simple motifs back around 1991.

Plus – the Maple Festival is coming up this weekend. More about that at the end of this post.

Also below, – I have a tatting story from a recent shopping trip to share with you.

Let’s see, I think I’m missing something - Oh, yes –


Satin Eggs - from the early 1990s
My Motif #18 is on the pink egg (see below)

You could find these satin eggs (non-shiny) in craft stores in the 1990s. . They’re a ‘larger’ egg, at 3-1/2” high.

They are ‘hollow’ inside and therefore allow pins to be used to either tack the motif down or to use as an embellishment.

The motifs are mostly simple ring-and- chain patterns, and I admit I put the motifs only on one side! On most of the eggs in this photo, I glued down cording as a design element.

Fortunately, there is a hole (unseen) on the one end of the egg, where I was able to ‘hide’ the ends of the cord.

The lovely doily is one I ‘rescued’ from an antique store years ago. We all feel a ‘connection’ to those who tatted these items! As with the doily shown below, it has a solid fabric center.

In the next photos, I’ve singled out two of the eggs.

Motif #18 – from book by Rebecca Jones

This satin egg (from 1991) is sitting on a doily that I wish I could take credit for, but it’s one that I purchased at a local boutique and felt lucky to have found. The shop owner was thrilled that it was going home with a tatter! It is made with a ‘fine’ thread and is so delicate. I’m also impressed by the skill involved in adding lace to a ‘solid’ center.

The motif on the egg is from Complete Book of Tatting by Rebecca Jones. I used a coral color DMC perle cotton, size 8.

I made several of this motif, especially to decorate small boxes.

I like to add embroidered flowers for a Victorian look; however these particular flowers, which were easily found in sewing stores back then, are now difficult to find – and are more expensive! I also used pins/ beads as a design element here. (Oops - I just noticed I’m missing a pin and bead on the left side! Wonder where it went?!!) Back then I simply used a straight pin through a gold bead (as in the above egg), but later I found gold beads already attached to pins. This egg sits on an special egg holder, and has a prominent spot in my china closet.

Right now I can’t find the designer of the motif on this egg, so I won’t count it here.
I see I’m also missing a rhinestone on the left side! This is what happens when transporting items to show after show. I’ll have to fix it!

This is the side view where I used hens and checks as another design element

More eggs to come in future posts.

In the meantime, here’s my recent shopping story, which I just HAD to share with you, especially on International Tatting Day!

I was in a Michaels store over the PA border in Ohio and, as usual, I checked out the status of tatting supplies, which, to my dismay, are becoming more scarce – if not entirely DISAPPEARING from the chain craft stores. (Most unsettling and a subject for a whole other post.)

I had scanned all the books in the different areas of Michaels, especially the knitting and crocheting books – and, as usual (sadly), saw nothing about tatting.

Then while still in the ‘yarn’ vicinity, I overheard one gal talking to another – “Oh, look – TATTING (as she picked up a book) – that’s a dying art.”

Naturally, THAT got my attention! Tatting Book??? (Turns out it was the Big Book of Tatting by Darlene Polachic, which, happily, can still be found in Michaels stores, although I somehow missed seeing it that day!)

But here’s the amazing part: The gal put the book down and was commenting to her friend,

“I remember when Mrs. ____ used to sit all day on her porch tatting away.”

[Of course, I’m eavesdropping with REALLY big ears at this point!]

“She used to have that big frame and she’d work away all day on it.”

Whoa! ‘Big Frame”???? Well, I just HAD to find out what that was about, so I piped up – “Oh, excuse me, I couldn’t help overhearing your conversation. I just wanted you to know that tatting isn’t a dying art and many people around the world are tatting, and even making jewelry – there’s lots of information on the internet these days!”

She was very nice and didn’t seem annoyed with my ‘intrusion’, so she told me her story about the lady with the Big Frame and how she used it to tat ‘lots’ of things – especially table cloths! !!

I said, “Are you sure she was ‘tatting’? Because all you need is a small shuttle and don’t need any kind of frame.” But she said – “Oh, yes, I know it was tatting – she used to sit there all day. She would work for hours and hours working with that big frame,”

I decided not to argue the point, so I just said – “Oh, that’s pretty amazing. I hope whoever got them [the tablecloths? Wow!] appreciated them.” And she said, “Well, she had only sons, so I hope they appreciated them, too.” I wished her a ‘good day’ and thanked her for sharing her story.

It was one of those “Twilight Zone” moments, and I couldn’t help being amazed that I happened to be in that area of that store at that particular moment. Here’s the ONLY book in the store on tatting (which I missed seeing!), and this gal finds it within earshot of me and talks about tatting being a dying art - and then talks about this Big Frame!

OK - I’m open for suggestions! What in the world do you think 'Mrs. ___' was doing? Weaving? Needle netting?? Or somehow - tatting?

* * * *

The Maple Festival at Brady’s Run (near Beaver, PA) is this weekend (Apr 4-5), always a big event here in Western PA, which brings thousands of visitors. Our tatting group, the Beaver County Tatters (4 of us at the moment) will demonstrate tatting, which the group has particupated in for at least 20 years and possibly more! This will be my 18th Maple Festival - except I missed actually demo-ing in 2002 after the broken wrists (post of Feb. 27)!

Back in 1990 I had participated in my first 'demo' events at Old Economy, so 1991 was my first Maple Festival, and for the first time I had a few items to sell (two stars and three snowflakes), and was thrilled that they all sold that day! This marked the beginning of my tatting ‘frenzy’ when I tried to have inventory for each festival , plus I started thinking up 3-D ideas. Selling involves so much more than just the tatting – again, the subject of future posts!

Uh-oh – I’m having a sudden need to eat chocolate!

Happy Tatting Day!


Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

All of your eggs are beautiful! That's a funny tatting story! I've had a woman tell me that I'm wrong... tatting is not done with a shuttle. She couldn't remember what the tool was called, but she knew it wasn't a shuttle. I guess I don't know as much as I thought I did! Happy Tatting Day!

TattingChic said...

OMGosh! Kathy, all your eggs are just beautiful!!! I am at work on a lunch break right now, but I do want to come back and read this later when I have more time! I enjoyed everyone of your pictures! Your work is exquisite! You are such a talented lady! :)

***Jon**** said...

OMG, I'm speechless! The eggs are so pretty. I can see the amount of work that you have put into each one of them.

Kathy Niklewicz said...

Diane – I really did ‘Laugh Out Loud’ at your story!!!! It’s amazing what folks come up with! Thanks for the comments and for stopping by!

TattingChic – I’m amazed that you even MADE IT to work on April 1 after your big giveaway and blogaversary! Thanks for being so supportive of my tatting and my blog!

Hi Jon: - Wonderful to hear from you! Thanks for the kind words.

To all: It’s nice to reminisce about my early days of tatting and to have an appreciative ‘new’ audience for some of my ideas from so many years ago! I’ve noticed that these eggs can still be purchased on the internet.