Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tatted Bookmarks and Clip

I have been tatting the whole week for 2 colleagues who resigned this month. Although there are already a lot of floral bookmark designs out there, but I just love flowers so I came up with another one. I'm calling this "Floral Bliss".

Another flower - this one is a beaded version on a hairclip. Hope Cass likes these 2 gifts!

Faith would love cross, so I tatted Lene Bjorn's "Maria" cross-shaped bookmark in Flora 50 thread. There's still time to tat another small cross for her. More tatting to come!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tatting Classes!

This was the 2nd year I conducted tatting classes in Hwa Chong Institution, with 2 classes of 10 JC1 students in all. This time, it was an especially memorable experience for me - 2 male students in each of the 2 classes! Can you believe it?

All the girls did quite well generally, some learnt much faster and of course, some struggled harder. A bit disappointed that the boys in the 1st class didn't try too hard and gave up towards the end. The other 2 boys in the 2nd class won my admiration though - 1 managed to tat even better than most of the girls, while the other did struggle a bit to do the double stitch, but he never gave up and really sat through the hours seriously and improved his grip and movement!

Whether it was feedback out of courtesy or for real, most of them found the 5 hours an interesting and enriching experience. The 2 days were real tiring, but a great joy and break! I'm over the moon receiving feedback like "brilliant course", "really awesome skill to learn", "very knowledgeable and talented instructor", "passionate about her tatting", "helpful and extremely patience in guiding us"!

A great theme was set for the October ATC session in the Bishan Library last Thu - "Trivial Pursuit". Do you know this is also a board game? Read about it in Wikipedia here. I did my ATCs based on 2 facts - one regarding snowflake, and the other on hummingbird.

These were what I traded for - all different medium and theme!

T is for Turtle done! Following the same idea on the border as my previous alphabet ATC, I sewed a "t" border :) This is my last design for the alphabet series. I did it - I have finished A to Z with all tatted critters, and some alphabets even with 2 designs! I must take a photo of all the different alphabets together one of these days, they really look awesome together!

For 2 Sunday mornings, I accompanied Kristine to a national Chinese calligraphy competition and the prize-giving ceremony. Her school came in as overall champion yet again.

Kristine didn't bag the top awards, but good enough for me who can't even write with a brush! Her piece of writing is on the extreme right of the middle row.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kongming Lantern

Kongming Lantern (孔明燈) - it was said to be invented by the Chinese sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang. During the period of Three Kingdoms (220~280), Zhuge Liang was trapped in Pingyang (a city in ancient China) and he could not go out for help. However, Zhuge Liang, who was good at measuring wind direction, made a floating paper lantern to send out a message for help. Before long, he was saved by the army who received his lantern. Later, people call it kongming lantern as Kongming was the reverent term of address (i.e. Chinese style name) of Zhuge Liang.

I have only seen them in movies. Last month Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations at Kristine's school, we actually saw 2 been released. It would be a good guess that it was a first experience for most of us! See all the cameras and camera-phones snapping away!

Kongming lantern is constructed with a bamboo frame, covered with oiled rice paper and with a small candle inside the lantern. When the candle is lit, the air inside the lantern heat up rapidly. The density of the air inside reduces and the lantern rises into the air.

In ancient China, kongming lantern was usually used in wars. Nowadays, it is used for expressing good wishes (by writing well wishes on the surface of the lanterns), especially on Mid-Autumn and Lantern Festival. Kongming lantern is regarded as a symbol of “harvest success” or “well-being year after year”.
They really floated up and far, and soon out of sight even in the dark sky!

I love tatting bumble bees, especially this critter by Martha Ess, they are cute and fast to tat up. Here are all my bee inchies for the September Mingle!

Finally, I got my Y fabric ATCs done and mailed together with the Z ATCs to Sharon Scothern (UK) and Lyn Strauch (USA). They are a few months late, but they are better late than never. I was pondering on what to sew for the border, it suddenly struck me I could easily sew a "y" border. Just perfect for the alphabet!

And similarly, a long-awaited "Z is for Zinnea" from Merle (Australia).
My patchwork quilt is done up to the border - the result of 4 weeks of continuous hand-sewing. Next will be hand-quilting, more late nights!

See Valerie's quilt in her blog too. No prize for guessing - we're in the same class! It helps to have someone with you doing the same thing, movitating each other, having someone to listen and understand your frustrations and complaints.