Saturday, September 25, 2010

Paper Clip People - Read On!

As I swap more fabric ATCs, I still hardly find people embellishing their ATCs with tatted motifs. It is either people who tat don't dabble in ATCs, or they find it too time-consuming to use tatting on ATCs; or else, there are really not a lot of people who tat. Anyway, I find myself embellishing my ATCs with more tatting. It is really a nice platform to show off all the small tatted motifs.
This rose bud fragment pattern of Mary Konior is a favourite pattern among tatters - a timeless classic. It is so pretty whether it is tatted with a solid coloured or variegated coloured thread. Here I have used variegated pearl cotton threads in size 5. To further highlight the beauty and colours of the pearl cotton threads, I have set them on black felt, with further play with metallic threads and black sequins. One piece will be going to Trillian in Germany.

Chocolate is the theme for these doll ATCs. The background is cut from chocolate boxes(Chocolate Research Facility manufactured in Singapore), the dolls are dressed in Merci Petits chocolate wrappers, the brown hair and golden shoes cut from Ferrero Rocher wrappers, the red hair from Hershey's Special Dark, and so on. A set will be flying to Margie Diamante in the US.

Tatted birds, critter pattern of Martha Ess, all ready for the next alphabet ATCs.

2 more leaf ATCs received from Ann Seidel and Annette Jeavons from UK. Annette has machine embroidered the leaf onto soluble fabric. And still waiting for another 3 leaves to fly in.

Goodies that arrived - an August Goodie Bag from Satu in Finland. Lots of fabric swatch and some felt pieces, laces, ribbons, buttons and polymer clay faces she have made. And look at all the vegetable postage stamps on the envelope, real cute stamps! Thank you, Satu! Now, what can I do with the clay faces ?? Maybe some button fairies on fabric ATC.

I shall end off with this photo of paperclips Kristine arranged - it's a family of paperclip people :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

A is For Alligators!

Remember the alligators I tatted from Martha's latest critter book? Here's how I used them - for a new Alphabet series of fabric ATCs. This is A, and I'm so pleased with them! I'm planning to tat animals as far as I can for all the alphabets, with the word sewn on hand-cut felt alphabets, and painted calico for the background.

And I'm back to tatting names for colleagues who are quitting.

Now to show what the post brought in this week - exciting lots! First of all, these are the collage doll ATCs from Joyce Cumiskey. These are her first doll ATCs. Truly a lot of stuff formed the dresses!

More leaves were blown in by the breeze (borrowing Annette's words) after the initial two!
Going from top left in clockwise direction: 1) A crayon and watercolour leaf from Aynsley McKay, 2) a very colourful quilted piece from Kimberly Young, 3) a lace and metal charm piece from Hetty van Boven and 4) from Debbi Baker. Debbi described her work in detail: woven cloth as the background, painted with diluted acrylics, Adirondack Color Washes and Glitz Spritz for some sparkle. A leaf was stamped on the background in black ink though not very visible. The main leaf was cut from a sheet of painted and sprayed lutradur. Debbi used a woodburning tool to melt the edges and score lines and holes in the leaf, and with some extra gold paint for more zing. Really an interesting collection of leaves, so many different techniques!

I have also received another leaf from Ann Seidel, but I will show it in the next post, hopefully with the rest of the leaves I'm expecting.

These are the "A"s I received - from Ann Seidel "A is for apple" and Carolyn "A is for acorn".

And finally, a rose piece from Winsome Evans.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

ATC Session and Fried Rice Paradise

Collage is something which I hardly do. That was the main reason why I signed up for this swap - to make myself try it. I didn't know what I want to do and spent quite a lot of time trying to find bits and pieces to put together, and finally, I managed to fix these up. This is the first time I made the dolls sliding - they slide left and right! These pair of ATC dolls went to Gayle Clancy in USA.

Well, after the first try, I feel I can handle collage better now, so I spent another few days going through the scrap pieces of junk mails, brochures, etc. and finally made up another pair of collage dolls. I see an improvement!

This month ATC session at Bishan Library, Moses showed us how to construct a 3d-looking book and box from a piece of paper. Everyone love the idea, and with Sandy's contribution of some scrapbooking papers and embellishments from KCK, everyone came up with such great ATCs within 20 min or so.

Here's mine.
my girl, Joey's (11 years old),
and Kristine's (8 years old).
The theme for this month was Birds of a Feather, so I sewed up some birds in felt, and glued on some junk mail flyers for the background.

These are the paper ATCs I received: Joey's 3D collage piece named "Fabric" (the inside of the folded card is below), Joey's pencil sketch of her toys, Kristine's Evil House in colour pencils and Moses' pen and ink bird "Immovable" - according to Moses in his blog "That look of determination silently screams: I ain't moving. "

For the leaf ATC swap, these are the first 2 pieces I received: Lisa Ahmad's Leaf on the top and Carol Jamieson's Autumn Leaf (hand-painted leaf with machine embroidery) at the bottom.

This afternoon, I brought my boy to the musical, Fried Rice Paradise, written by Dick Lee with a brand new story centring around a girl named Bee Lian, who lived in a shophouse at Jalan Calamansi, located next to a community centre, and had great plans to transform her father’s noodle coffeeshop and attract more customers by selling her mother’s famous fried rice recipe, going on a soul searching journey with her good friends Johan, Girly Danker, and Devi.
Specially produced in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the People’s Association, and with elements of early Singapore nostalgia (1979 to be exact), racial harmony, friendship, neighbourliness, romance, and thrilling drama with several twists, Fried Rice Paradise delivered its promises to be a true blue Singaporean musical that connected emotionally with the audience. With a cast that included the first Singapore Idol - Taufik Batisah, Sebastian Tan ("The Queen" in W!LD RICE's pantomime Snow White) and many more, the 2-and-half hours passed magically fast. I just love musicals! (Speaking of musicals, have you bought the tickets for musical pantomime, CINDEREL-LAH! , a W!LD RICE 10th Anniversary production ? I have!!!) What's more, we had SM Goh Chok Tong with us in the audience - that's the 2nd time I watched the same performance with our Senior Minister, the 1st time was Tsai Chin 2009 The New Endless Love” tour!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

A Wonderful Lot of Leaves!

Earlier in June, there were some news reports in which parents complained that the mid-year school holidays were not holidays at all, but filled with extra lessons, lots of assignments and homework, so much so that planned trips had to be cancelled or they had to bring the laptop along to work on the assignments. It's true, I will testify, especially for students in top schools here in Singapore.

My Secondary-1 boy, in his school's school-based gifted plus education programme, didn't even want to follow his sisters to the movies, but rushed home to his school work immediately after a meal out. This being the situation during school holidays, it is even worst during school terms. Waking up at about 6 am to prepare to go to school, staying till late afternoon in school, and working all the way till 11 plus at night, Mon to Fri. Even on Sat and Sun when the family watches movies on TV, he will stay in the room to work.

But alright, he is highly motivated and does all the optional independent studies and researches, attempts all the extra bonus questions in his tests, and participates in competitions and events encouraged by the school. Teachers are all full of praises of him, and his test grades show marked improvements across. Just that we are worried that he may be stressed out, though I don't make them go for tuition or do any assessment books other than their school homework. Parents out there, any other tips or advice ?

Enough said about the school system. Well, my boy would hand-make the Teachers' Day gifts himself in the past years, together with the girls. To lighten his load, I helped to prepare his gifts this year - tatted bookmarks, and I just finished them in the wee hours in the morning just in time for him to bring to school (I even had to use the hair dryer to speed up the blocking process!)

No doubt ATCs are small in size and quick to finish up, but for someone like me who don't know how to use the sewing machine and have to hand-stitch all my fabric pieces, doing 10 in 1 go is a bit overwhelming. Still feeling sheepish for signing up for something without realising it, I thought it was 1 fabric piece, my jaw almost dropped when it was 11 pieces. Luckily, it was any medium as long as we spent time on composition, so I went back to card and paper. I tatted all the leaves in fall colours, rolled out the tree and leaves with my QuicKutz dies, and embossed more leaves on the coloured parchment papers. Finally, I stitched around the embossed leaves with metallic threads. Loved the colours and layering effects!

Hetty, another participant, showed all the leaf ATCs she done on her blog. Wonder which piece will be in my letterbox? Love surprises in the mail, don't you!

These are the surprises I received this week, from Amelia Ruscoe of New Zealand - artifical pansies, free-machined over, to stimulate orchids in the piece "Generic Orchid" and square pattern in bobbin lace, twisted to make a most interesting trellis for the ribbon roses in the piece on the right "Rose Trellis" and the bottom laminated paper piece"Cat". Thank you, Amelia, they are wonderful!

These are what I sent Amelia - "Pots of Love" with bullion knot roses and mother-of-pearl bottoms, "Growing Along The River Banks" - painted calico with hand-embroidery, and a paper ATC "Playing In The Garden" with a movable cat playing with a tatted ribbon butterfly.

I had an enjoyable day yesterday going out with my girl, Joey. We had a good Chinese lunch in Lao Beijing, caught the show "Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore", did some shopping in Spotlight, and had a surprise in the scrapbooking shop, Made With Love - they had a walk-in hands-on session with Sizzix. We had to queue up for at least half an hour, but here's the cards we made (top is mine, bottom one is Joey's), all done in 15 mins! We ended the day with a tasty satay and aglio olio seafood dinner.