Friday, July 31, 2009

Celebrating 1st Blogaversary and 20 Years of Tatting !

Also - Completing First Round of 25-Motif Challenge !
Motifs 22, 23, 24 and 25

2009 is an important Tatting ‘Milestone Year’ for me: 20 years of tatting, and 1 year of blogging – both beginning in July!

Today is my FIRST BLOGAVERSARY (yay!) , and I want to bring my motif total up to 25. Below are four motifs (#22 through #25) that I tatted back in the 1990s.

On my next round of the 25, I’ll be getting more into my 3-D tatting and my experiences in attempting to get my designs published. And I’ll definitely (for SURE !) tell the story of exactly how I actually learned to tat 20 years ago (after waiting about 33 years, from 1956 (age 12) to 1989 (age 45), then started demonstrating in 1990 with the Beaver County Tatters (Carol Lawecki's mom is a member). I also hope to do more 'current' tatting, with new variegated and hand-dyed threads and beads.

Motif #22 – a 1st Blogaversary Candle!

This candle (which I lit for the first time for this special occasion!) shows a tatted motif by a talented designer, Gloria Crowther and is from her soft-cover publication, “Gloria’s Tatting.” In fact, she displayed it on a candle, which gave me the idea. (See a clearer photo of this candle below. Of course, you can click all photos to enlarge.)

Her book was the first one I saw which printed each ring and chain on separate lines (which I prefer) and she also used the then somewhat ‘new’ number-dash system, which I also prefer!

She used two different color threads on several of her designs. which are very appealing, However, I used only white thread here, in size 50.

I’d like to know more about Gloria. There doesn’t seem to be much information about her on the Web. I believe she lives in Idaho. I’m curious how she managed to get her designs published. Publishing is a fascinating subject to me.

I painted the flowers/leaves with acrylic paint (very easy) and added gold tape under the tatting. I always include this candle as part of my display at the fairs.

Decorative Candles make lovely gifts and nicely show off tatted motifs

Motif #23 - Mary Konior’s clever flower motif is very popular, and has a very unique look to it. I’ve seen it done in many different variations, and with all sizes of thread. Here I used DMC size 30.

I was thrilled with Mary Konior’s book, “Tatting With Visual Patterns”, as it was the first time I saw a publication using the idea of drawing the patterns AND using different colors in the drawings to represent rings, chains or rounds It made it so much easier to see how the pattern evolved

Of course, Mary’s patterns have become classics, and her book is a “MUST HAVE” for tatters.

Motif #24 – This ‘pictogram’ (in a stand-up frame) was made with a scrap piece of tatting. Right now I can’t find the source of the ‘basket’ part of the pattern. I believe I added the ‘handle’, using a common ring and chain pattern.

This is similar to the piece of tatting I used on the back of my Victorian Doll.

Here is how I display the above items at home on top of a bookcase.

The battery-powered clock is one I can rely on when the power goes out!

Motif #25 - ( TA DA !!! ) Earrings from the Workbasket –June/July 1991 – by Millie Wilcoxson. This is the first (and so far, only) earring pattern I’ve ever made, which state of affairs will be changing shortly as I venture into making more jewelry. I especially want to impress upon my young nieces (and others) that tatting is HIP AND COOL. I’m sure they’ll be interested when they see designs using the commercial variegated threads - and, of course BEADS!, and especially the beautiful hand-dyed threads – by so many of our talented fellow tatters!

For these earrings, rather than using the thread suggested, I found DMC’s metallic gold/silver thread on a spool to work perfectly. The white pair is size 30 thread. The original pattern was open in the center, and I decided to add gems or pearls. (You know how I like to add ‘bling’!)

Sometimes I even eliminate the picots, which gives a different look. I wear these earrings with my costumes (a subject for upcoming posts). I also used this motif on the Christmas ornament in my Nov. 18 post.

I intend to tat up a new pair – in one of my new Lizbeth variegated threads – as a gift to myself for completing the FIRST ROUND of the Challenge.

Of course, I’m continuing on with the Challenge! I’ve really only just begun – there’s so much more to share with you, and I look forward to doing so.

You knew I couldn’t just end the post here, as I have a few more ‘tributes’

The ‘Blog” thing !

I remember feeling very tentative last year about starting this blog, and I also remember how excited I was to actually see it appear on the internet the first time. (Actually I’m still amazed by it!)

Sharon Briggs and a few other very dedicated tatters started the 25-Motif Challenge a few years ago, and it is responsible for generating a lot of interest in tatting. It has certainly revived my interest, as I was in danger of getting away from actively tatting, even though I was still demonstrating. However, even the festivals that we Beaver County tatters attend are cutting back their festival dates (going from full weekends to just one day), and some of the craft stores are not promoting tatting in any way - so it’s important that tatting be as visible as possible on the internet.

I certainly will never forget how Sharon Briggs (after my sending a snail-mail letter to her) featured my tatting in her blog post of Feb. 21, 2008 - and then encouraged me to give ‘blogging’ a try, as did fellow Pennsylvania tatters, Carol Lawecki and Elizabeth Zipay.

I finally jumped in on July 31. I am so indebted to Sharon for patiently taking time out of her busy life last July to guide me via e-mails through the ‘techno’ stuff. THANK YOU, SHARON !

And I’m definitely grateful to Blogger for making it possible for a ‘non-computer programmer’ like me to create a simple web page, without knowing anything about HTML code or any other computer language. However, I’m very curious to know how so many of you learned HTML! I know it would be helpful to know HTML in order to eliminate my 'excess spacing’ problems. I have to admit I’m not exactly enthusiastic about learning HTML, though! (Some day I may bore you to tears with my ‘computer history’, staring in 1981!
[Teaser: I had an ink-jet printer at the office in 1981 that was the size of a washer/dryer combo! And it had all of three typestyles available! Cost: $20,000]

Also in the future, I’ll be seeking advice on how to learn some of the finer points about blogging! I’d like to do other things on my blog, like add more photos (slideshow?) to my sidebar. I’m so afraid I’ll somehow ‘lose’ the blog if I don’t know what I’m doing. I still have some anxiety when I do my posts and fear pushing a wrong button! And I'll figure out how to do links w/o showing the entire URL! I also intend to finally write up a 'profile' !

Thanks for dropping by and sharing my 1st Blogaversary !


ツ Heather ツ said...

congrats on all 3! WOW!!! Your tatting is beautiful I LOVE LOVE LOVE those earrings they are magnificent!!
Happy Blog-a-versary too

Lace-lovin' Librarian - Diane said...

Happy blogaversary! Also, congratulations on completing your first round of the 25 Motif Challenge! Where does the time go?

tattrldy said...

Congratulations several times over - for 1 year of blogging and completing your first 25 Motif Challenge! I love the candle and the framed motif. I have both those books and like both those patterns but have never done them. They look great! The earings do to.

TattingChic said...


and many moooooooorrrrrre! :)

I remember seeing your beautiful tatting featured on someone's blog before you had on and I sure hoped you'd start a blog! I'm so glad you did! :)

Bonnie said...

Happy Blogaversary to you !

battatter said...

Happy Blog-iversary... and I also love the earrings, and am afraid for the tatting on the candle. Don't forget to blow it out! I also really love the shoes featured on the sidebar. Are those your pattern? My Mom would love those, as she collects glass shoes.

Kathy Niklewicz said...

TO ALL: Thanks so much for the lovely sentiments on my Blogaversary! Because of all the other tatting blogs out there, my DH now realizes I'm not the only 'obsessed' tatter on the planet! (Actually, he used to say I was 'possessed'!)

Heather, I appreciate so much that you are helping Sharon with the updates, and you're doing a great job! (I have enough trouble just doing my own posts!) The nice thing about these earrings is that they're so easy to do!

Diane, Possibly time goes so fast for you because you have SO MANY things going on at once! You are amazing! And, happily, your wrist hasn't slowed you down one bit! Actually, I also can't believe it's been a year!

Wanda, So nice to hear from you! I like to decorate items around the house, even though - believe it or not - my house is not Victorian!

TattingChic, GREAT SONG RENDITION! I COULD HEAR IT ALL THE WAY FROM CA!! LOL! Thanks so much! Sharon very kindly featured my tatting on the 25-Motif in Feb. 2008! Of course, it was a THRILL and it spurred me on to start the blog. Wish I knew the finer points of blogging, though. I'm still somewhat intimidated.

Bonnie, Thanks so much for dropping by!

Battatter (Carol), Thanks also for the kind words. Don't worry, the candle was extingished immediately!

Yes, the slippers are my own design. They were designed around a 'bridal favor' plastic shoe. I am very interested in 3-D tatting, as I know you are, and I came up with a few Victorian items back in the 1990s, which I intend to show in future posts. (One of my bells is shown in my post of Jan 1, and my 3-D heart is pictured on Feb. 14

Carol Lawecki said...

Hi Kathy, Happy Blogaversary!! I'm so glad you joined in on the fun and made your blog so you could show your tatting from the past 20 years. You have some amazing pieces and we have enjoyed seeing.

I have the Gloria book, it was one of my first back when I learned to tat in 1989. There are some very pretty pieces in there, like the one you did on the candle. I always liked that pattern.

It's too bad Old Economy has cut back on the historical days that they let the tatters and bobbin lacers attend. I just hope they keep Old Economy up and running.

I know I owe you an e-mail, but we have a new computer and your e-mail is on our old computer. It's about to die.

Take Care!

laura_rose said...

Hi Kathy, What a treat!! Congratulations on your 1st Blogiversary! Your tatting is gorgeous! To have a competiotion for the rings in my doily would mean I have to count them!!! OMG- it could lead to a give away ...will keep it in mind when it is finished! Thanks for visiting.