Friday, September 11, 2009

Where Does Inspiration Come From?

Image Source: Dan Blake's Blog

Where does inspiration come from when an artist picks up a shuttle?

It is everywhere and can come from anywhere. Would this fabric sample make a lovely lace pattern? Seven Islands Floral Note: There are two screen prints to choose from.

How about this blog showing how one creative bride turned an image of a glorious Arizona sunset into a breathtaking Autumn table top: Fall Table Inspiration

For a completely different example of design inspiration, CraftStylish (one of my favorite creative blogs) has this answer: Our Higher Nature

As unbelievable as it sounds, I have found inspiration in a potted plant sitting in my neighbor's living room. And we all know my fondness for teapots. I often find inspiration there. But I have also found tatting inspiration in architecture, nature and an unusual door knocker!

Do you have a tale of design inspiration? Please share it. I'd love to hear.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Coffee, Tea or ...Diet Coke n' Chocolate?

Late night blog crawling on a Wednesday night found me at the lovely Krystal Dawn Tats page. Where I saw her early August post about Tatting Coffee Thursday.

Oh, ha, ha, ha! I love all the comments about tatting with a different drink of choice for each day of the week! You guys rock!

Whether it's coffee Thursdays, Diet Coke n' Chocolate Saturdays or whatever else trips your fancy, it's all good!

If you do another tatting coffee Thursday, Krystle, please let me know so I can join in. That goes for Diet Coke n' Chocolate Saturdays too, TattingChic! Although I'd have to make mine a caffeine-free Diet Coke and add a splash of lime.

See, we all put our personal spins on things. And Ladytats, you are absolutely right about one thing -- as long as you include some chocolate, no one cares if it is tea or coffee or Irish coffee or Irish hot chocolate or Diet Coke or . . . martinis?

Image reprinted with permission
Copyright © 2009 Karen Sloan

Anyone up for Tatting Martini Mondays? (See it there, on the end table, next to that comfy chair?)

Why yes, there is a story that goes along with this wild and crazy idea.

Last October a bunch o' the gals got together to decorate haunted gingerbread houses and we broke out the martini glasses. Hoo-boy! Did we ever get silly! And sweet mercy, the hangover I had the next day. Ouch! I would have suggested chocolate martinis, but we don't have a day of the week with a CH sound in it. More's the pity.

Since I have strayed into Halloween-ish territory with my martini tangent, I wanted to leave you with battatter's fiendishly clever 3D haunted house. But I can't seem to find a link to a photo anywhere online. Blarg and bother! I know I have seen it.

UPDATE: Thank you, batatter, for sending over the image.

FYI--for anyone who is still reading, if you want to see more photos of this awesome 3D tatted haunted house, go to batatter's blog and type either "haunted house" or "boo" in the search field.

As for Martini Mondays, even I have to admit martinis are a bit hardcore. Just imagine all the wonky knots that would result from a "3-martini tat!"

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sweet Enough to Eat —
Raspberry Ripple with Real Vanilla HDT

Ooh, this motif looks so scrumptious in Tatskool's HDT. The creamy vanilla...the warm raspberry looks sweet enough to eat.

Tatting with this thread is an irresistible treat. Rings hold their shape and chains don't go all floppy like three-plies sometimes can. This is a six-cord thread and yessirree, is it ever smmooooooth.

But it is a bit hard to see on a light-colored background, so here it on some purple silk.

Isn't it just lovely stuff? Tatting with it gives me the sweetest taboo. (Apologies to Sade Adu for using her song title.)

Now on to more murky technique analysis. If you're not in the mood, you may want to stop reading now.

From the start I suspected this round might not lie flat. Sure enough, the final repeat is 316 -inch too narrow to complete the pattern. So close! Would blocking fix it? Dunno, really.

A few days ago I received the instructor's critique on this motif. It was a thorough and thoughtful review, and I'm grateful for her suggestions. It's just that my design wasn't constructed very well. It was pretty and a nice design effort, but unstable.

Here is what I have learned: chains are a good means of traveling up and out, but they need built-in structure to avoid "wet spaghetti syndrome." Rings are great stabilizers, but can devour precious negative space.

Another thing I learned is that retrofitting stability into a motif is like forcing a square peg into a round hole.

Looks like I have a long way to go to whip this doily-size wet noodle into shape. It makes my heart ache because I pored my creative soul into the lesson. But the class isn't even half done, so there are many, many more things to learn and lots of room to grow.

Witness the genesis of a design. Who knows? Maybe even a designer.

That wince? It's nothing. Just shrugging off a growing pain and getting down to business.