Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bonearina! Knowing B, C and D; and Treats from Brisbane

Introducing Bonearina!
She is the lovely creation of Cindy Whiddon in USA. The template was drawn by a friend of Cindy. Very neat, and pretty rose stamps on the dress.

The alphabet ATCs are coming in! On the left are B is for blue button/blue border and C is for Cat, both from Ann Seidel (Germany). The top right piece is B is for Braille from Norma Mason (USA) and bottom right is C is for Cat from Mari Strydorn (South Africa).

Still short of 1 A and 1 C cards, but the B cards are complete and here they are, including my own piece:
Now my completed D is for Dog! As per what I committed myself to, I painted the background calico with water-soluble crayons, hand cut the felt alphabets and embroidered the words with metallic thread. The dogs are, of course, tatted from Martha Ess' pattern. Can't wait to complete the alphabet series, but I have only done 5; still a long, long way. More goodies, this time from Maureen L in Australia. She asked for a small favour and in return, sent this very lovely selection of gifts to me! Her tatting is very neat and what sweet lacy bookmark she tatted especially for me! An angel tatting pattern booklet which I have been eyeing, and the Brisbane book makes me want to visit Brisbane again. Although I have been to Brisbane some 10 plus years ago (before I learn to tat), I didn't really go round much as it was only a transit stop. And, last but not least, all the stamps and frog chocolate are a real treat! I didn't really do that much to deserve so many gifts , but THANK YOU, Maureen!

And thank you, my partners for all the swaps!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dolls and Frakira's Gveaway

Couldn't quite decide what thread to use for the tatted cat, do the bigger ones (with size 10 thread) look like a tiger?

Paper dolls are another fun and addicitive thing to do besides ATCs, I almost couldn't stop myself making more of these skeletal dolls. They are going for a Halloween party in their sexy transluant outfits! And Yellow Petal (on the left) is going to Cindy Whiddon's in the USA.

The last 2nd leave ATC came in from Corlis, a painted one on black fabric. And an early R is for Ribbon Rose from Sharon Scothern in UK. Can't help noticing the black and white contrast of the 2 pieces when I put them together for photographing!

And a very lovely first dotee doll trade from Lisa Hunter (USA) - see her pretty wink and mischievous grin :)

Frakira in Czech Republic has an autumn giveaway earlier and I won it!!!

This is a small collection of Czechoslovakia stamps (above photo) I have all these years, and I love them. I initially thought Frakira is in Czechoslovakia, but not so. Here's a bit of history lesson

1918–1920: Republic of Czechoslovakia
1920–1938: Czechoslovak Republic
1938–1939: Czecho-Slovak Republic
1945–1960: Czechoslovak Republic
1960–1990: Czechoslovak Socialist Republic
April 1990: Czechoslovak Federative Republic (Czech version) and Czecho-Slovak Federative Republic (Slovak version).
The country subsequently became the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic

In gist, Czechoslovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992 with the dissolution of Czechoslovakia on 31 Dec 1992. On 1 Jan 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Back to Frakira's giveaway that came. First and foremost is a big ball of Madame Tricote's Maxi thread - 100% mercerized cotton, 565 m, made in Turkey. Although it's a crochet thread around size 10 (Frakira mentioned she don't quite like the thread, but some czech tatters love it), I must say I adore the variegated autumn-looking colours. Although I don't tat much with size 10 previously, I find it a good size to use for tatting motifs on ATCs, especially the animal alphabet series I doing now.

A heart pendant, an Inox faux tortoiseshell shutte, a packet of faux perals in different sizes and shades. As I requested, Frakira also included a handful of Ceska Republika and Slovensko cancelled stamps (I have already placed them nicely in the stamp holder!!). And a most beautiful snowflake Frakira tatted with Jan Stawasz's design using a czech thread Snehurka. Well, Frakira, your tatting is beautiful :)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Most Rewarding Week!

The past week had been rather a busy one, and a very different and unforgetable one. I taught basic tatting over 2 days to 2 classes of students, all 17-year old girls. 9 pax per class, each class was 5 hours long, excluding the lunch break. I had worked hard to instruct, to go round to everyone to check their progress, to point out and correct their mistakes, almost non-stop. The students had worked hard too to master how to flip the knot and to attempt a simple pattern. It had been quite a while since I taught in big groups; very tiring but equally rewarding to see some finished their first pattern! At the end of the classes, I realised I had not not taken a single photo, simply no time to do or think about it!

Not much time for my projects this week, only completed the "R" ATCs. I jumped in on a swap in another group which has been running the alphabet swaps for a while and they are at R now. Martha Ess' racoon pattern looks so real, right?

These chocolate doll ATCs from Martha Cruthfield were delightful - so cute and colourful! Love them!

And these are 2 ATCs from Vicki, who joined our local trading sessions not long ago. The first piece is 2 chameleons on a thin wood backing, and the second piece is a porcupine arranged with about a hundred of triangular spikes! Ingenious!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My First Dotee Dolls

Since I received my first dotee doll from Lisa Ahmad a few months back, I have wanted to sew one too. For those who are unfamiliar with dotee dolls, these are the creation of Dorothy Christian (Dot), and are named after her. Dotees are small handmade dolls that usually measure between 4 to 6 inches tall and have a loop on the top of the head for hanging. They also have a tail hanging from the bottom of the doll. The tail is usually made of beads. These dolls are embellished with beads, embroidery floss, buttons or anything else the artist chooses to use. People make and swap these dolls like ATCs.

Well, I finally took the plunge and here's my first hand-stitched dotee dolls to the theme "Pretty in Pink", embellished with tatted rose. One is going to Lisa Hunter in USA.

Snail mail has been slow this past week, expected a few things to come in, but they didn't. Anyway, here's another leaf received from Maria Davis - leave sketched out of tyvek, painted & heated, then stitched to fabric. And "B is for Bee" ATC from Carolyn Mathis.

This CD doll just came in from Barb Glasier.

Thank you, gals!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CD Dolls and B is for Bird

I started creating paper dolls this year. I usually spend quite a bit of time racking my brain to come up with a concept, and after that, to think of how to execute it. Along the way, I will need to think of modifications when things don't work out. The process has been getting easier after making 5 different paper dolls in the last 8 months, but I still take up to a week to come up with a satisfactory idea, and another week to actually work and finish the doll. So, every doll is painstakingly created and created with lots of love and thoughts, and naturally, immense satisfaction each brings!

For this latest pair of CD dolls, I started with these mini CD-Rom which I have kept for 10 years (not that I value the content, in fact, I never read them at all, but for the cute size). By chance, I found the doll heads, which were actually labels from bought pouches which my girls threw away. Next, I started thinking hard what to do for the limbs and on the CD-Rom surface. I knotted up all my thread ends from my tatting projects, and tatted simple ring flowers - not that simple after all because of all the knots hindering the closing of the rings, but I managed!! These went on the body. Using my QuicKutz dies for the glasses, skirt, palm, and boots, I finally assembled them! You guess it - the legs are movable, hinged by the brad in the middle of the CD-Rom. Oh, another proud creation!! One has gone postal to Sherry Collier in the USA.

The B's of the Alphabet ATC series are done - B is for Bird. The painted blue sky looked a bit plain after I stitched on the bird and word, but well, I tried a variation of the blanket stitch - the half-crossed blanket stitch - I do think it made the background stood out better. They are also on the way to Ann Seidel, Carolyn Mathis and Norma Mason.

Some tatting in between creating dolls and ATCs - names for my colleagues.

I'm excited to show this link to Sue's blog - she has tatted 70 of my hearts paperclips in a variety of threads for the ladies in a weekend retreat this month! Although the pattern is quick to tat up, it's still a lot to tat for a person. Kudos to Sue!