Monday, December 5, 2011

Tatting at Discovery World's Artisan Market, and where to from here

Me at my booth

Part of the rest of the market

View of Lake Michigan from Discovery World
 Whew! What an exciting couple of days! The last art/craft show that I'm doing this year, and it was both exhilarating and tiring.

My tatted jewelry had loads of admirers. Remarks that I heard included, "So intricate" "Beautiful" "You must have good eyesight" "I wouldn't have the patience" "I've never seen anything like this" "What's this called?" "Do you teach?" Where do you get the supplies?" "What's that piece of  equipment called that you're holding?" "Is this crochet?" "Who taught you?" "Are you on Etsy?" "Can you show me?" "I tried once but couldn't do it" "You mean you dyed the thread, too?" "I've heard of Annie's Attic, congratulations!" "You must show your amazing work at the Herb Faire at the Boerner Botanical Gardens in May" "Please write the pattern for that necklace, and teach it in class here!"

"Elf" hand dyed thread
So, okay, I will be teaching more tatting classes at Discovery World, to be scheduled sometime in January or February, most likely on a Saturday. I'll announce the dates when I find out more from the contact person there.

Hot Pink & Lime
Sales were pretty good overall, but I brought most of my thread back home with me. It's now loaded into my Etsy shop. By the way, I don't have any "elves" helping me make hand dyed thread. I do it all myself, and consider it part of my art. My dear departed Mom (may God rest her soul) wanted me to be an artist, and I think I've pretty well achieved that goal, in my own way. But, I digress. Something I found curious at the art show is that people seemed to give the impression that they needed "permission" from someone to try tatting. Okay folks, if you need permission from someone to tat lace, I'm giving you my permission! There are loads of tutorials and videos about tatting online, and about a bezillion free patterns to try, not to mention patterns for sale on Etsy and elsewhere. If you want a good starter book that includes a how-to video try this one, How to Tat by Janette Baker. As I told people at the Artisan Market, learning to tat a double stitch is like learning to ride a bicycle, it seems hard until you "get it", then it just happens and you don't have to think about making it happen any more.

Off-topic, I do occasionally play video games - I've got 3 sons all teenaged to twenty-somethings, so I've had some exposure to video games. Every time you "die" you have to do that whole section of the game all over again...and again... and again........and you have nothing to show for all that effort. At least with tatting you have something to show, even if it is just a string of knots, it is something you can hold in your hand and see. Not knocking video games, just sayin' that doing something creative, like tatting, or drawing, or making music, or making anything, or reading a good story, is an adventure of exploring the many possibilities in the world around us, and of the world within.


teresa said...

I can not wait for the dates. I hope some are when I can make it up there. Do you ever come 'south of the boarder' to teach in northern IL?

Marilee Rockley said...

Teresa, you've got wonderful Sue Anna in northern IL and Lace-lovin' Librarian Diane a little farther south :)
Maybe you would like to come to a "Tatting Day at the Oasis" sometime!

TAT19540 said...

I did not get to see you as I was at the Kenosha international holiday festivial demo tatting with the rest of our guild. Had a lot of those same comments about tatting. Needle lace and bobbin lace also demo!
Will have to check out your shop :)

Kathy Niklewicz said...

I admire your energy for doing all these shows! That's MY kind of location, overlooking the water!!! I'm glad you mentioned Janette's DVD. I feel VERY strongly about teching the chain first, using two colors of thread; and her DVD shows that very clearly. If only I was shown that back in 1956 - or even 1989!

Our group (3 of us) was at Vicary Mansion this past Saturday, and it was a wonderful day and festive atmosphere! I thought of you, because part of the entertainment was a trio of string players - a brother and 2 sisters, ages 16, 14, and 11. The 11-year-old girl was playing the CELLO, which was almost bigger than she! If only you could have heard the rich sound and the fabulous music! I was speechless! I spoke with their proud parents, and learned they are studying with the best teachers!

We're off to Old Economy next weekend, (2 days), which gets a lot of visitors. I know I'll be 'talking' a lot!

Marilee Rockley said...

Teresa, please email me at yarnplayer (at) (replace (at) with @, no spaces) and then we can get something set up with Sue Anna.

Sue Anna, sounds like you had a great time at the Kenosha Holiday Festival. If I hadn't already had this other event scheduled I would have loved to have joined you and the rest of the guild.

Kathy N., yes, that's what I do too, I teach the chain first.
Sounds like you were at a fun event, too! Wow, a family of young musicians. That makes a huge difference if there is someone else to make music with, since one instrument all by its lonesome is pretty lonely, indeed. Also nice to have an appreciative audience, as obviously you are!

Miranda said...

I like those new colorways!

Suztats said...

Delicious thread colors!
Glad you had a good show.

Stephanie Grace said...

I absolutely must agree with the last paragraph of this entry! I honestly believe that the reason I kept tatting past all of the follies and mistakes is that, with tatting, even the mistakes look pretty! Right from the get-go, I couldn't part with even one ring that I'd messed up --Even the smallest bits of 'oopsies' can make beautiful decor for an ATC or CQ (the next thing I want to try), scrapbooking, etc... The possibilities are endless and, with that in mind, even the mistakes in tatting become incredibly rewarding! :-)

Stephanie Grace