Have you ever felt like you just don't fit in? Like the world around you doesn't make sense and you're the only one who sees that? Well, I always have. And I feel like the answer is that .......
I was just born 100 years too late!

12 May, 2010

I have been a part of the Etsy family for about a year now, and it never ceases to amaze me the plethora of unique, talented artists who have set up shop there. Having found some special favorites, I wanted to show them off on my blog and so have created "Fancy Work Wednesday"!

My debut Featured Artist is Jessica of Snapdragon Lace

I first met her in an Etsy Virtual Lab and was immediately smitten with her shop. I have long been enchanted by tatting, but never took the plunge into learning how to do it. Jessica was such an inspiration and wealth of information that I quickly ran out and purchased my first tatting shuttle and an instructional book. I'm ashamed to admit, I still haven't started learning this beautiful lace technique, but she recently told me about a way to combine crochet and tatting, which I have begun to dabble in (and am loving!).

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Snapdragon Lace - interview with Jessica:

Q. Tell me a little about you.
A. Hi, I'm Jessica and I'm 29 years old. I grew up in San Diego, but I'm never sure where to call my current home. I work in Los Angeles for a public radio station (KJazz 88.1) where I have a crazy 2-month-on 2-month-off schedule based around their fundraisers. It's a fantastic schedule. For almost the last 3 years I've lived in my car (no, really) and get to take off traveling for about 4-5 months out of the year. Colorado, Washington, New Mexico, Northern California, Utah... The road trips have been fantastic and I've also been able to leave the lower 48 for some 1-2 month trips as well. I haven't posted on my website about living in my car (a prius named Edna Lee) for quite a while, but you can find out more about why I love it so much (even without the traveling it's pretty cool) at AYearInACar.com.

Q. How long have you been tatting? Where/from whom did you learn it?
A. I've been tatting for about 8 years now. My grandmother tatted so I knew what it was growing up, but was never able to figure it out. My great-aunt taught me how to crochet when I was little, and in college and friend and I decided to learn how to tat. Unfortunately, we had to teach ourselves from books. It took a couple weeks, but finally we figured out how to do the "flip" of the tatting knot and we were on our way. I've been addicted ever since and haven't touched a crochet hook in years.

Q. How did you get started on Etsy? What made you decide to open your shop?
A. I opened my Etsy shop last year, but didn't start doing much with it until recently. I've been selling my tatting for years and finally decided it was time to set up an online shop. With all the traveling I do, I thought online might be easier to do than a regular farmer's market type gig.

Q. Where do you find your inspiration?
A. I like adapting patterns for new uses. Turning motif patterns into edgings or edgings into bracelets. That sort of thing. I have a tendency to take a pattern and totally take it apart and create every possible variation I can think of before moving on to the next. I've been really excited to see the tatting community on the internet grow and getting inspired by what other people are doing. People always say that tatting is a "lost" or "dying" art, but really that's not true at all. It's still just incredibly young. The basic techniques of tatting weren't invented until the 1820s and many of the patterns today use techniques that are under 100 or even 50 years old. It's really fascinating to be involved in a community so small that I can go to the Spokane Tatting Guild's yearly tatting workshop (shameless plug for them: shuttlebirds.com) and be able to teach next to the people who are literally inventing the future of the craft.

Q. Do you sell anywhere other than Etsy?
A. Just in person as I find people who are interested in what I'm doing. Hoping to do more craft fairs in the next year or so.

Q. What kinds of things do you like to shop for on Etsy?
A. Lately I've focused on finding business-y stuff on Etsy. Business cards, beading supplies (I've been adding more beads to my tatting lately), hand-dyed tatting thread, (LadyShuttleMaker and YarnPlayer create some really beautiful threads)... Non-Snapdragon Lace related, I've been looking around for a nice purse and plan on getting some handmade soap for some presents. I've been giving everyone I know tatting as gifts for the last 8 years. Thought it was time to mix it up a bit. :)

Q. What is your vision for the future of Snapdragon Lace?
A. This is such an interesting question, and I've really been in the middle of trying to decide for myself where I want it to go. I haven't been on Etsy for long so I plan on focusing on that for the rest of the year. I would love to find some shops that are interested in wholesaling my work, and I think that will be my next big step. In the very long term I'd like to spend more of my time doing bigger projects. If I found out tomorrow that'd I'd never be able to sell another piece I'd still be tatting, but I'd be tatting bigger things. :) I've done a (coffee table) tablecloth and am working on two shawls. I have an idea for a skirt and can't wait till I get back to the millenary shop in downtown Los Angeles to pick up a enormous sunhat frame to decorate with lace. I would love to do wedding veils and other ridiculously fancy projects.

Q. Please add links to any blogs, FB, Twitter, etc. accounts for Snapdragon Lace.
A. snapdragonlace.etsy.com
I currently have a facebook give away going on now. When I get to 200 fans (sigh, "likes") I'll be picking a random fan ("liker?") to receive a pair of cuffs of their choice of colors. Additionally, whoever recommended them to Snapdragon Lace ALSO gets a pair of cuffs. And again, my long-neglected website about living in a car is at http://www.ayearinacar.com/
For the month of May, readers of AmiKami's blog get a 25% discount on anything in the store. Just let me know you're a fan of AmiKami in the note to sellers when paying through paypal and I'll refund 25%

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Thank you so much, Jessica, for this wonderful interview and all your support in my tatting endeavours. And extra special appreciation for your promotion of my shop blog (^:^)/ - you are very sweet!

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