Today I am pleased to welcome to Steamed! Pamela Quevedo the amazing artist behind TotusMel! She makes tatting look cool with her love of brightly colored hair and the amazing creations she designs. She is also going to be giving away a gorgeous cameo pendant!
So before you, I will be honest, I had no idea that tatting even existed! How did you get started with this lovely art form?
TotusMel: I was an avid knitter, I enjoyed crochet and a wide variety of arts, but I was bored. I wanted to do something different, something I’d not seen elsewhere. I began a search for that something and ran across tatting. I bought some shuttles and gave it a go, failed miserably, then discovered needle tatting. The results were the same, but I took to it like a fish to water. That was about five years ago now.
LE: Your masks are amazing! Do you create all the designs yourself? And truthfully, do you ever just wear one around while you are doing the dishes, because they are so freakin awesome?
TM: Thanks and yes, the masks are definitely from my own brain. I had a customer ask for a lace mask, so I took a single antique motif added to it some eye shaped wires and just started tatting. The customer did not want the mask in the end, but that one request spawned them all. I’m afraid I have not just worn the masks around doing chores, but I do put them on occasionally, just because.
TM: Do I like Labyrinth? Why, yes I do. It was the masquerade dream scene that inspired the first naming, after that it seemed only right to name all the masks after lyrics. I think I’m running out of lyrics at this point though.
LE: Well who doesn’t like David Bowie in those tights? Maybe you can pick another movie to take lyrics from? May I suggest the “Rocky Horror Picture Show”? 🙂
Can I take a moment to gush over how fabulous those steampunkish spats you made the other day were? I so want some! Your stuff would work well for so many different styles, aka. steampunk, goth, neo-victorian and many others. Do you have a favorite personal style? Or do you like to blend them all together?
TM: Aw, thank you. I do like blending the styles together in my work. My personal style leans much more toward stay at home mom comfortable, but mostly black sort of grown up goth. I suppose I live vicariously though my work and I try to create pieces I would love to wear were I given the occasion
LE: I am also a HUGE fan of your website the TotusMel’s Wunderkammer. You find the most enchanting things there and it has inspired me greatly, more than once! Do you run it as a service to us with more alternative tastes or because you like window-shopping on Etsy? Or both maybe? 😉
TM: I started the blog simply because there wasn’t one like it yet. I love the Haute Macabre blog and thought I could do something like that only etsy centric and combining my love of goth, steampunk, neovictorian and just plain off center. I used to make treasuries on etsy, now I just do the find things for the Wunderkammer. I definitely do it for those of us with alternative tastes and I am so glad that people like it.
LE: I am so glad you started it, it is fab!
I will be honest I envy your ability to cram so much into your day! I get exhausted just following your twitter updates? Do you have a secret for those of us that have a hard time staying on task? hehe
TM: Honestly, I don’t know how I cram so much into one day either. I guess I just need to keep busy. I keep my laptop right next to me nearly all day long and as a creature of habit, I simply schedule my day, not down to the minute or anything, but my blog gets written first thing in the morning, I home school after that. . I tat while I spend time online and I get out during lunchtime to take my photo of the day The Wunderkammer gets done during the kids nap. Oh and in between all that I clean, take care of the kids and try to create…I guess that is a lot of stuff.
LE: I know you have your shop on Etsy filled with many amazing pieces, but you also do custom pieces as well. Have you ever gotten a request for a custom piece that was so odd, there was no way to make it?
TM: The oddest requests have ended up some of my favorite pieces like the masks, but things I have had to say no to are a bra top, a harem veil and opera length gloves. It’s not that they aren’t possible, just not within the confines of a custom order. Like I am working on those gloves and I might have them worked out by the next decade, but there was no way I was getting them done on a timeline.
LE: Damn it, I was so going to ask you to make me a bra top! lol Ok, no bra tops, got it! 😉
Ok, last question! Any new exciting steampunk projects in the works?
TM: Hmmm, well I don’t ever plan too far in the future and I never know which direction my work will go in. I do still have a pair of goggles sitting on my desk that were destined for a tatted overlay and I’m thinking about some slave bracelets to match the new spats. I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.
LE: So coy! But those goggles sound fab! Can’t wait to see!
Thank you so much for joining us! I can’t wait to see what tatting creation you come up with next!! ~Elizabeth
Now to business! A winner for the lovely cameo pendant will be chosen on Friday the 16th. You will get one entry for simply commenting. To garner more entries, become a fan of TotusMel on FB, Join our Steamed! FB group, Post this interview up on FB or Twitter! One entry per activity 🙂 Put in your post what you have done and good luck! ~Elizabeth