Monday, February 16, 2015

What will they think?

This is the question that probably runs through every designer's mind at least once. What will the client think of the finished product?

This can be quite gruelling when you are just starting out in the handmade business, making a couple of things here and there, most as presents, because then you know for sure they will not easily refuse or criticise your work. It is a time of great doubt, when your confidence is below sea level and when you find a hundred little flaws in everything you make.

I have felt this every time, especially since I had been keeping my little craft more or less a secret from my family and friends. This is another issue. Making things by hand and especially making lace is mostly viewed as quaint at best and a ridiculous waste of time at worst. "Why don't you do this other thing if you want to make money? It would be more profitable." Well, I am mostly doing this because I enjoy it. Money comes second and I definitely will not quit my day job for this, or I will be broke.

So when someone does decide to ask for a piece made by you, you will try to make sure it is perfect, or else you wouldn't be able to live with yourself, even if the client might never show again in your life.

It is very difficult to shake all this doubt off and put on the "client-vision" glasses. You will often find flaw in your own work, although the flaws are almost invisible. Try to see things from the point of view of your client and see that you made something exceptional and the flaws disappear or even become part of the design and give it "that little something".

Indeed, what will they think?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Love is in the air

It is still very cold here and it seems that winter doesn't want to step aside just yet.
However, rather than snowflakes, it's time for hearts (and kisses and huggies :D) for the upcoming Valentine's Day and Dragobete, which is a Romanian holiday that takes place 10 days after, on the 24th of February.

One of the old customs was that young people went in groups to the woods to look for spring flowers and then sit and talk. Around midday, the girls would run back home chased by boys that liked them. If the boy was fast enough and caught the girl he liked and she liked him back, they would kiss in front of everybody.

Such lovely traditions our country has!

In keeping with the spirit of the season, where you see red and pink hearts all over the place, I took the time and tatted a small red heart myself:

I named this "The ember within"
The pattern is one that I really like, by Mary Konior, from the book "Tatting with visual patterns".

I actually made this heart when I was just learning to tat, as one of my first attempts at a more elaborate pattern (i.e. more than just one dozen rings and chains together). I learned by watching a lot of tutorial videos and I followed this one, by 24atp.

Back then I had a much thicker needle for such thin thread, so the heart ended up quite big compared to the one above.

I was very proud of it nonetheless and blocked it and put it aside in a box, wondering what I could stitch it to so it would look nice.

This was also very close to our wedding and my godmother and my mother-in-law were busy redecorating the little wooden house for the big event. You see, in Romania, it is customary to have a box shaped like a house that the people attending can put their gift in for the newlyweds (this was considered money for their first house together, hence the shape of the box).

My mother-in-law was telling me about the decorations and I told her I had a little purple lace heart that I wanted to add there. When I arrived there, the house was almost ready. To my surprise, she had used some store-bought lace that had a similar motif and color to the heart. It fit perfectly on top of the house:

The little heart I made is on top
I was very happy with the result and of course had to brag about it to everyone who would listen, heh.

I hope everyone has a love-filled week... month... make that a love-filled life!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Snowflakes, lots of snowflakes

What does a tatter make for the winter holidays? Lots of snowflakes, of course.

And that is also what I have been doing, in lots of sizes and colors, but just one design, this one, by Jennifer at Cariad Tatting. It is sturdy and very pretty as well.

You might have seen my set of snowflakes with beads in my Jewelry page. I called it the "Snow for Christmas" set, since we all like a little bit of snow for the holidays.

"Snow for Christmas"

As you can see, the one on the right is a bit crooked (I know, shame on me) and I had been debating keeping it or cutting it up to recover the beads. After so much work on it (I had some issues with knots in the thread and also the thread breaking), I really didn't want to cut it up. I'm sure a lot of people can relate to that.

So, I thought that on its own it would look less crooked and also that it might be cute in my mother-in-law's Christmas tree. And it quite does. My husband and I tried to take the best photo of it. Here is just one of them:

Our newest Christmas decoration.

After that, I decided to make a white one and to stitch it to the back of our doggie's coat. Here she is, looking pretty in red and white:

Our doggie, Aschiuta. Read more about her adventures here.

I also had some new variegrated crochet thread and made my first variegrated piece. It is bigger and rougher to the touch than my other lace made with coton perle, but it looks pretty nice, I think

Snowflake pendant in nice strawberries and cream colours.

I guess I have been making this snowflake so many times, I learned the pattern by heart, heh. Now, on to other designs.