I do not know what has been in the air for my husband and I lately. From a beloved family member passing to a sick cat, then sick dog, then our major source of heat failing with high Idaho desert winter bearing down on us…car issues, traveling issues…what on earth is going on? Is something in retrograde? Aside from all of this stress I have been drawing and tatting. I have more work finished that will go into the galleries for sale here on this website, to be found nowhere else! I also have been steadily tatting orders for Christmas. I will be adding the new work to the left gallery for sale tomorrow. Tonight, I will relax, but here are some photos of what my next talk will be about!
I have added missing pictures of previous Couture designs to the J Kohr Couture gallery. There are more that were personal requests and as I find them I will add them as well. This gives you an opportunity to see what is on sale as well as what I am capable of and have created in the past. I welcome custom requests and love to do wedding work, too.
Actually, I was married to Jay Rickert on June 18th of this year but a bunch of things interrupted my ability to tell all of you until now. I figure, it’s never too late to share that I got married!!!
I married the most wonderful man. I have always felt an almost magical connection to Jay, a joyful and deeply intimate connection. When we first were together I drew the portrait behind his head from a photo he had sent to me. We were still 2300 miles apart and our romance was budding long distance although we had both flown to meet each other by the time I had drawn this. I have never felt so close to someone as when I drew this portrait. That I did not expect. Jay looks a little weepy, a joyous weepy. This photo was taken the day he married me.
So, about the wedding…
We actually were married for less that $200, which is a feat in itself and deserves talking about. My little sister and her family came from Kansas to help us pull everything together a couple of days before the wedding. Mia, my sister, and my nieces, Marissa and Vanessa, helped me get dressed and Larry, my brother-in-law, help Jay get our modest venue prepared.
The Dreamer embroidery framing is finally finished. Goodness gracious that was a process. I tried a couple different frames, different styles of matting, glass and acrylic glazing…I finally came up with this simple silver frame that has enough depth it could be used in a shadowbox manner. I found fantastic 8-ply heavyweight archival matting that is perfect. So no matter how hard I try…I cannot seem to get my Dreamer fiber painting to have a crisp photo for Etsy. The detail photos are all crisp, the color perfect, and I am happy with them but the framed one will not translate to a crisp photo. The actual photo in my computer is perfect and needed little editing. So I am posting the photo here for a reference for potential patrons. Click on the photo to be taken to the actual Snappy Tatter listing. Enjoy!
I happy to introduce one of my latest fiber art designs, Dreamer. The original thought in my mind was different than the outcome, which frequently happens in my work as it evolves. The conception changes as I work with the colors and texture. I change my decisions as to where it is going based on what I am feeling and seeing. My palette of colors was chosen and the linen pressed and stretched to a frame creating a canvas for me to work on. The colors were grouped in families; warm grays, browns, mauve, grapes, reds, oranges, and a family of contrasts in chartreuse. I used what is available here from my huge stock of threads, mostly cotton floss but also pearl cotton, rayon and metallic threads. All the thread was cut into usable lengths and tied to cards for organization. All the skeins of thread were kept in small packages that were secured to a large ring. The organization it takes to start any of my projects usually takes a couple of hours itself.
This embroidery began with a drawing of the face in graphite. The face I drew was shortened as I stitched and the expression slightly altered to convey more contentment and appear more realistic.
I started to take progress photos of the stitching of the “hair” after the face was completed. I worked on this for an hour or two at a time. Every time I stepped away I saw how the colors needed worked and re-worked to create a blended effect. There are approximately 34 colors in this work. I have to use my threads to blend much as a painter blends their paint. Shades, tones and tints. The process was interesting for me. I have never created something like this before. It was neat to continually add more color, more depth to the design. The slide show below shows some of the progression of stitching. The colors are off because I took the photos under various lighting with my camera or phone.
The result of my stitching and stitching was heavy layers of the cotton floss and the design became raised from the linen. Incredible texture was created due to the process I was using to paint the linen; Add a new color, work it into the previous layer, add low lights, work the previous layer into the new one and add highlights, repeat. Hours went by. The images in the slide show below show the depth and texture of Dreamer.
After the hair was completed…or more accurately, I stopped nitpicking and reworking the design, I added the chartreuse to the spaces between the curls making my choice of colors “pop” even more vibrantly. In the final hours of work, I added pearl cotton, rayon and metallic threads for spark throughout the hair. But the icing on the cake was the brilliant Swarovski crystals that were added and the tiny little pop-up PIXIE butterflies that flutter about the curls. The PIXIEs are shuttle tatted with the finest cordonnet and wee silver-lined glass beads are tatted into the wings. The are hand sewn in and stiffened to remain 3-D. I created a swirl of shimmer radiating from the face to the tips of the flaming hair. In the next set of detail pics you can see the raised butterflies, Swarovski crystals and the chartreuse that peeks through the curls.
I framed the work myself. I chose a simple silver metal frame and double mat in white and an ivory that matches the linen.
Dreamer is now available for sale in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter. You can find the listing and full description here. I am also joining another venue called fineartamerica to sell prints of this and other embroideries. When I have my account up and running, I will post here so you can stop by and tell me what you think! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about what a Snappy Tatter does when she is not tatting! Comments are encouraged!
There have been changes here at home where we welcome late spring weather, graciously. Jay has been avidly gardening a large 30′ x 30′ plot on our half acre. I have been working on a smaller flower garden and have plans to prune the overgrown honeysuckle and lilac. It is amazing how different everything looks compared to when we purchased this house and land last year around this time! The lawn is actually a green lawn! We spend a lot of times in the mountains and have purchased a small camper so we can make overnight stays comfortable.
Adorable, right? This photo is from Mosquito Flat Reservoir.
Another change in Snappy Tatter-land was the re-working of one of my Couture designs. As you know, my Couture work is one-of-a-kind, wearable, fiber art that takes hours and days to design and create. Sometimes, something I have created just doesn’t sit right with me. That is true of Flyaway Butterfly Gala. I did not like the way the center butterfly sat. It didn’t look attractive to me and I felt I could do better. So I dismantled it some time ago with the intention of reworking that center piece. FINALLY, I got to it with everything that has been going on in the last couple of years. Yes, it can take me that long to get to something now. Between moving, living, my neurological condition, and the things that make up daily life, it took me time to get back to Flyaway. But, I am grateful I did. I love what developed so much more than what it was. By now I have more butterfly patterns under my wing (so to speak) so I chose Gloria to take up the space of the butterfly I did not prefer. She is 3-D, which I love, and is a magnificent crescendo in this modern display of natural delights.
The previous version of Flyaway
The new version of Flyaway Butterfly Gala
I love this so much more!!! In the new version of Flyaway, a Vivien Butterfly tags along at the bottom giving the bib necklace a better “plunge” look and the extra PIXIE butterfly was added at the top to attach around the neck, mirroring the other side. Instead of stabilizing the work with trimmed and sealed organza on the backside, I added flesh tone rings where stability was needed. The butterflies are more transparent and look bolder. Flyaway is available in my Etsy shop in the J Kohr Couture for sale section! I would love to hear what you have to say about the Flyaway transformation. Please feel free to comment below!
Thanks everyone for stopping into Snappy Tatter-land. Feel free to use coupon code “LOVELACE” for free domestic shipping…it’s still active for a limited time!
All of you know it takes a lot to draw me away from what makes me…me. A life of lace-making, designing, drawing and exploring the natural world. I found out what it takes to do that last year. I have always shared small details of my personal life so you can get to know me beyond being an artist. It almost feels like an obligation, albeit minor, to explain where I went, why I haven’t been here and why I am back. I think mostly because from here on I want to share my new life with you and my new life is very different now. Without a simple explanation it may actually seem like I was abducted by aliens and plopped back down on the planet a year later in a different life altogether. That is not a distant analogy.
Here is the short and simple answer for my absence…I was divorced at the beginning of the year. At the end of the year, I moved my fur babies and Snappy Tatter 2300 miles away to a cabin on a mountaintop in Washington to live with my sweetheart. So life seemed to be stagnant, move forward extremely fast, screeched to a halt, take an about-face and fly the other direction until it just started to cruise along comfortably again. And here I am.
I have still worked, I have still drawn and done some minor things to keep busy. I have taken lots of photographs to fill my beloved “inspiration” folder on my computer. I have kept my eyes open and my mind ready. But in order to keep my internal scales balanced I had to move some things around. Snappy Tatter as a business stopped in time. I had to be okay with that. My business is not what makes me thrive…my art makes me thrive. And that stays with me in the workings of my mind even when it is not being expressed.
Snappy Tatter is back. I am back. As all the repercussions of my relatively simple divorce fell into place I realized for the first time in my years…I can go ANYWHERE.
There is a meme online that says something like…she thought she could, so she did. That was my life last year. The man I fell in love with was miles from me in an opposite kind of life that I was in. I was in the greater Pittsburgh area…very metropolitan, full of culture and easy access to everything you can think of from every ethnic restaurant to healthcare. He was on a small mountain on the border of Canada in northeast Washington living a simplified, rustic life that required hard work and was about a half hour from the smallest of towns. Our connection was, you guessed it, the internet, the phone, Skype, texting.
When we couldn’t bear to be apart any longer, he came to be with me in PA while I searched for a new home in the countryside. I kept coming up empty with options as time was ticking away inside a house I had up for sale. SHE THOUGHT SHE COULD, SO SHE DID. I moved. Away from the state I grew up in to here…a place I could only dream of being.
My Life 2.0
Snappy Tatter is open again. I have a small area to work in with my drafting table and desk. I am still sorting through alllllll of my threads, findings, beads, paperwork, boxes, photos, pencils, tablets…it goes on and on. Much of my “things” are stored in a room above the porch that is uninsulated so we have enough room in this A-frame cabin with our two cats, dog, and the guinea pig. Yes, I have a dog now. My life is unbelievable now. So incredibly different. I am different. I wanted you to know…I had to unravel everything a bit to knit my life back stronger and better for me.
So there will be new work galleries coming soon of what I have done over last year for a handful of faithful customers (thank you for your patience, Heidi). There will be photos of my new work space, maybe a few of the lazy furbabies, this wee cabin, a couple of my Love including a drawing of his handsome face, and many of the vast acres upon acres of God’s land I am now blessed to live in. Life has changed…so will Snappy Tatter. That is truly what it means to be an artist…as life changes…so does the work. And how you feel about it. Welcome everyone, into my new life.
As winter comes to a close, I start to think about spring blooms and blossoms. I look for the Daffodil shoots, Forsythia buds and tiny crocuses that are always the first to bloom. But I still am making snow for customers all year long. I just enjoy it more when it is 70 and sunny out. Ha ha. Here are some of the satin ornaments that are for sale and ready to ship in my Etsy shop, Snappy Tatter:
It’s that time of year folks. There is snow flurrying outside my western Pennsylvania home as I write this! I have 10 Ornament styles that are custom made in my shop now. I plan to have more soon. The following Snappy Tatter designs can be made in two different sizes and several colors. Click each flake picture to be taken to my Etsy shop listing with more pictures and full descriptions including available sizes and colors.
All of these designs are listed with a quantity of 3 most of the time. Larger quantities can be made but will take additional time, just ask. New ideas are popping up in my head all the time so hopefully I will have some new designs listed soon. I thought, since snow is falling outside my window today, I would take the time to showcase all of the Flakes I have available for custom tatting. I also have a couple of Ice Crystals and Snowballs available too. Visit this shop section, Tatted Ornaments, to find both the made to order and read to ship ornaments that are currently ready for this season.