Thursday, June 30, 2011

Oh Blogger....

Maybe it was just me, yesterday, my dashboard wasn't working for the longest time. Not like the post needed to be up right away or anything, but when you want to blog, that's annoying!

Anyway, since everyone has been posting pictures of the lovely scenery that surrounds them in the summer, I thought I'd share some pictures of the lush rainforest that surrounds me here. This is a regular drive that we take, and not even out of the way of people. 

I'll try to capture more of the essence of the desert, these didn't quite do the trick. Imagine lots of sand, spiky bushes, lizards, tarantulas (the disgusting bony kind, not the furry ones), scorpions (The poisonous ones), and 115 degree weather.

My grampa once said "The devil came here to create a personal paradise. He filled it with dangerous and hideous creatures, bone dry land, and weather as hot as could be. He stood back and looked at what he did and said 'This is too much, I'm going home'"

All that aside, it is nice here, don't get me wrong, but only in the winter.

So, the post got deleted, but I had to do another giveaway for the shuttles. It's really lame, I know! I accidentally deleted all the comments from about 15 blog posts and that was one. It was a devastating moment. To make up for that, I'm going to do a 4th of July giveaway. I'm going to be giving away two hanks of this.

Patriotic thread! I wanted some, so decided to do it myself. Of course, you can't just dye one skein, so I dyed three. They're size 20, about 50 yards. It'll be random choice I guess. So, if I've never sent you anything, make sure to comment!

My mom said the blue isn't right, but I like it, I don't know. I got a lot of new dye and am using a new thread base, it's reallyyyy nice. SO, more is a'coming!

It for today,
thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh no!!!

This is something I meant to post a little while ago. A week or two back, I was horrified to find an envelope in our P.O. box that had been sent back to me. I participated in the bookmark exchange a few months back and had three partners. One of the partners, Maria, lives in Portugal, and I posted the lovely things she sent me here. I guess I didn't address the envelope correctly, because it had been drifting around for about two months despite having reached her town within a week of shipping. This was especially troubling because I had assumed that it was there, and when it came back to me after so long, I was struck with the feeling of flakiness. All is well now though, I messaged Maria and apologized, also asking her to resend the address line by line, which I will have a postmaster write out, as apparently that isn't a strong point of mine. The envelope had quite a collection of stamps and stickers on the front and back, so a new envelope is in order!

There is but one thing a'tatted today. And it isn't complete because I didn't judge my thread usage correctly. In the last post I showed a metallic thread. I decided to try it out, and being a girly girl (ony in preferences), used it with pink. The two thread together tatted more like size #10, I shoulda figured! I think it looks really nice, so perhaps a project will be done with it shortly!

I'll leave you with a video of the sheared poodle, Bunny. She refused to sit still for a photo, so I took out the video camera!


Her cut is terrible, I know. I did it myself since the groomers were busy and we really just wanted her shaved. I haven't gotten around to her legs yet, since she HATES the clippers. (:

Monday, June 27, 2011

DISGUSTING! Motif #48, 49, and 50!

Sign me up for Round Three!

It's Monday! Hurrah. The start of the consecutive week! Isn't that just so absolutely fun?..... Hmm, not really.

I'm kinda over my tatting slump, but only for little things. This motif is so cute! Thread choice could be better though. For the IR (inner ring), in older patterns they'll often say 5x5 (tie threads for last picot), I've never quite understood how that can be done gracefully. So, instead, I'll do 3-5-5-5-5-2. That way all of the picots are real and the first and last DS's add up to a nice 5.
I hate to waste thread. Usually I'll make little "flowers" that I glue all over things. But, for a BIG waste of thread, flowers won't cut it. So I came up with these little crosses.

Forgot to rotate the first one. These would be to just glue to something I guess, since they take so little time. If you're interested, the first one is easily interpreted. The small rings are 6-6 and the big rings are 5x4. The second one is a little hard to explain. The big rings are the same as the first. The itty bitty rings are 1x4. The middle rings, going counter-clockwise from the bottom right are 3-3-6, 3+3--6, 6+6, 6+6, 6+3-3, 6+3+3. And, of course, between those are the big rings. They're not the cutest, but, like I said, they're to use up thread.

These I've seen before. I can't recall from where. I just wanted to make little hearts (another using-up-thread) project. I forgot to rotate this one too!!! ARGH!! Since I did this off the top of my head and the original is probably a ton better, I'll share my version. R13-4+(join to picot just made and turn the last 4 DS down)13 close ring. Voila!

Today, I got MORE stuff. I can't resist! It's a disease I'm sure.

Everything is pretty much justified except the yarn....

That's just a small amount of what lives in my closet.... I must keep reminding myself "YOU DO NOT KNIT OR CROCHET!!!!"... But then, something in my head goes "Well..... sometimes I do...." The yarn was on sale and is reallyyyy soft. EH!

I have something to show that will either disgust or intrigue you.

That is.... BUNNY HAIR! Poodle hair. From a dog named Bunny. It's washed and everything and I really want to do something with it. I was thinking, a felted version of Bunny? I tried to card it or something to make yarn, but it didn't work. Felting is the next plan. It might just end up thrown away. Either way, Bunny is really liking her summer cut! ;D

And there you go! That's all for today.
Thanks for stopping by! (:

Weirdo, Motif #47!

That's what I am. Not in the way my grandma uses it. That's how she refers to door-to-door salesmen/ creepers. I'm a weirdo in that it is SO hard for me to understand things that are foreign to me. More comprehend than understand. Some things are ridiculously easy, and others not so much. One thing that continues to awe me is how I picture bloggers. It's like this, you read these blogs almost every day, you get a little bit of who this person is, their personality, how they communicate, and, somewhere deep inside your brain, you develop a composite of how this person should look. Then, one day, a blogger posts a picture of them self and you absolutely cannot attach the picture to the mental profile. Not for any particular reason, just that that is not who you imagined. That has happened to me a multitude of times and, being the freak that I am, I ponder over it for an abnormal amount of time. Maybe it's just me. The same thing happens with podcasts and radio shows. It makes me wonder how people think I look. I do have a picture of my profile, and in this one post. If you think that I don't look as nerdy as you imagined, I DO wear glasses and retainers... Very strange way to drift off.. Sorry. I have tatting!

It's a cross (obviously) in size 20, spring I think, and I used pretty beads that are DEFINITELY too big. I hate how it turned out. Note how my rings aren't even. I haven't tatted in too long. Getting back in the groove though. I wanted to make something mandatory, that I HAD to finish. That usually works, and it did! This was made for my mom's boyfriend. He's off visiting his brother in the hospital (liver cancer), and he enjoys the sentiments. Had I known before he left, I would have made something for the brother.

UMMMM sad. Sorry.

My mom brought me something interesting! It's just a billion year old box.. With these inside..

A bunch of Rit dye! My grandpa, a very fabulous man whom I credit the integrity of my existence, was an excessive hoarder....ahem---collector. Garage sales were his favorite and he could not pass up a good deal. Being an artist, he had gotten many of these types of things. The big box says 10 cents each, so, I'm guessing he bought all of them. Something tells me these are quite old.

Tomorrow or maybe the next day... or never, I'll try them out to see if they're still good. Since they are in powder form, I have a feeling they will be just fine. We'll see!

I've been informed that my last post was extraordinarily boring, I apologize! I do try to keep everything short and sweet, but, oh how I can ramble on so....


Friday, June 24, 2011

Dye-ing to Tat

See? It's punny. I could have written "dying", but that wouldn't have been funny at all. As is most likely obvious, I've been a little hesitant about tatting lately. I have two "big projects" that I'm refusing to look at for a little while. But, I HAVE started tatting something little that I can finish within approximately one corny and not-mainstream-for-a-reason Hulu movie. My favorite movie in the world I did discover on Hulu, but still! Anyway, that tatting strike is almost over, and the other day I was craving work on one of the big doilies... But...didn't have my thread with me.... UGH.

Without tatting to keep me occupied, I've been dying thread. It's enjoyable, tatting-related, and almost instantly gratifying. Also, it's inexpensive and definitely rewarding. So, without much to show for myself, I'm going to share my dying process. I've come to the conclusion that once something is monetized, I lose complete interest, so I probably won't be a thread dyer (is that how it's spelled? eh!) on Etsy any time soon. The thread that I've gotten from the people who DO dye on Etsy has been wonderful, as they do most likely have years of practice, more complex processes, and expensive dye. That's my little disclaimer, as I don't completely know what I'm doing. Bear with me!

The thread I use is along these lines. It's not as smooth as Lizbeth, and is quite a bit more porous, which makes for easy dying. I haven't had a problem tatting with the dyed thread, the difference in texture isn't too noticeable. They're kinda like off-brands.

The niddy noddies are super cheap. At Home Depot, they sell 1/2" PVC pipe in 2 foot long pieces for about a dollar. Three pipes can make two niddy noddies. Someone at the hardware store will cut it for you if you only have a couple, but if you have 30 pipes (me), probably best to get one of the pipe cutters. There were some little ones for $10, and I got mine (a super fancy one) for 30ish, because it is not fun, I tell you what! One of the pipes is cut into half (2 12" pipes), and the other two are cut into four each (eight 6" pipes). Then, using a joint thing on each end, it's all connected as such. I did some measurements, and it's about 2 yards for a complete go-around. So it would be 25 go-arounds for a 50 yard skein.

Wrapping up the niddy noddy with thread is boring, but goes by quickly. There are a TON of videos on youtube.
This is a good one It talks about wrapping the niddy noddy and making a hank, which you do after the thread is dry. The PVC is slippery, so I wrap the ends where the thread will be with rubber bands (the hair kind or office kind) so it can grip.

After your thread is on. (I recommend about 20-25 yards at first), its dye time. This is the dye I've been using, simply because I really like it, it's permanent, relatively inexpensive, easily attainable, and lasts forever.
This is a hard part for pictures, so I'll explain as best I can. Don't mind the instructions on the back of the dye (do heed the warnings though), we're doing something entirely different than what they expect. What you'll need for the dying process is:
1. dye
2. sponge paintbrush (these are great and cost around a dollar for a bunch!)
3. bowl and cup, plus paper plate
4. water
5. salt
6. a surface that won't be dyed or you don't mind dying (garbage bag, mat, etc.)
7. gloves (optional: I don't mind having dyed hands for a couple days, but you might!)
8. clothes that can get messy

It's all easy to get, really. You most likely have everything except for the dye ($4 for a decent sized packet by the way).

Now, the bowl is filled with about a cup of water, or however much you'll need. A pinch of salt is thrown in. Now, start with a teaspoon of dye (around there, no need to take out the baking supplies) and mixed it up with a sponge brush, if it looks watery it might come out weak. Paint a little streak on the paper plate. Add more, less, or a different color if you want it a little different. Go easy on the added color though, it can change from light blue to black in an instant. Now that you have it right, we can get a'painting.

Let's just say that you want one color that fades into the white. The part where the color will be deposited is in the four areas that are in the middle of the ends. Ya know? Haha... Holding the niddy noddy on your lap or wherever is easiest, take a liberal amount of the dye onto the brush and paint on a 2-3" inch strip right in the middle, and do it again on the back, right where it is on the front. Without wasting time, dip the brush into a cup of water lightly and start fading out the sides. Remember to do it on the front and back. I usually only fade it a little the first time, and then do another dip and second fade. It's okay to dip more than one time. Make sure to pat the brush on a paper towel before starting the next stripe, because it may be diluted.

If you are fading it into another color, do the darker one first and then do the lighter in the same way.

When you are happy with your thread (or not happy, hey, it's the first time!), let it dry. LEAVE IT ALONE. I know you want to touch it, but don't! When it is 100% dry, you can touch it. They say you should leave it for 24 hours to let it cure, but once it's dry, it's dry. It's like charging a phone for 100 years, once it's charged, it's charged, and the extra time isn't going to make it an everlasting phone. The blow drier can speed up the process.

To tie it off, cut the end of the thread (assuming you tied it) and unwind it twice. Starting about 5 inches from the other end, start tying the thread so that it won't go stray. The only thing I can think this is like it a blanket stitch about 5 inches from each other. Or, OR OR the second half of a double knot! YES Tatting reference. You see? When you get right before the other end, cut that end (the part you tied to the niddy noddy when you started) and tie it them together tightly, now, trim. If you aren't going to be washing them right away, go ahead and make them into hanks. It is very hard to tat with thread that is full of dye, so do resist.

To wash, turn the sink up to a super hot temperature (as hot as your hands can stand... wear gloves!) and fill a big bowl with hot hot hot water. Take your first skein (loose and tied, not in the hank) and carefully fold it so that it can fit in your fist. Rinse it out gently by squeezing and getting the water in good, you mustn't tangle it! Put that thread in the bowl while you do the others and then, go in order, give every one a nice rinse until you are sure it is clean and then squeeze the water out. There might be some kinks, so stretch it out and then lay it down on a towel. When that is completely dry, or not, depending on your patience, you can make them into hanks. And, there you go.

I think most serious tatters have gotten HDT, but if you don't have a method of tatting from them, you can either wind it onto a bobbin, or just keep it in hank form. I just keep it in the hank and undo it to tat from it, then redo the hank. It looks neat. I can see though how that might be a problem, so, its up to you!

I hope that wasn't too boring! (:

Just some more pictures, I went to the craft store today... YEEEEE!
Everyone is always doing their wonderful bead tatting, so I thought I'd join in. Hopefully there will be something to show next time!

Ummmmm thank you! ^_^
Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Mixed Media and an Overly Dramatic Musician

I don't know what's up right now. Things are...trivial. Not really, that's what I use as an excuse for when I finally talk to someone after not wanting to talk to them for ages. There are quite a few stress factors going on right now in the my world that ARE legitimate excuses for not wanting to do, well, anything.

1. The Shuttles
I feel defeated! In my striving for perfection, I've acquired a complex. Plus, there were 5 or 6 people that I promised a shuttle. They WILL be finished (how many times have I said that?), I just don't know when. The process has been refined and everything, but after committing myself for so many hours in such a little time frame, I'm burnt out. To those people, I didn't flake out! I swear!

2. Comments and Followers
Am I supposed to respond to comments? EH?! What is blog etiquette? The comments that I get are appreciated soooo much. After I post, I usually check my email pretty often for a couple days. It feels rude of me to not respond, but I don't know....

How in the world have so many blogs gotten well over 100 followers? I had 34 forever, and then, finally one more person followed me and I'm at an even 35. Whenever I find a new tatting blog, I follow it, which has made the Motif Challenge particularly enjoyable because of the people featured, but, I find that I am following almost everyone featured! There must be some brick wall that I need to get over.

There were going to be more things on this list, but I'll spare you. Don't get me wrong, I'm completely positive about everything (yeah right). Let's just consider it "End of High School" panic.

There have been some cool non-tatting things going on. I've been working on some tutorials for an internet collaboration aimed at girls that are maybe 11 to 15. They're mostly re-purposing right now. Young girls love to ruin their clothes, so I figure those kinds of tutorials would be appreciated. Here are some pictures (The videos aren't up yet). Excuse the green screen, I decided to take pictures for this after the sun went down and had to use the studio lights.

That's a quilt-type pillow made out of the legs of some jeans, so that out-dated jeans can be turned into shorts and hardly ever scraps are left over. Very eco... ha

This is a more whimsical pillow to match the more fashionable quilted one. It's just a sealed up pair of shorts that were way too short and I wouldn't want anyone else wearing (Their momma wouldn't either!).

I just cut the waist band off of a TERRIBLE pair of jeans and it looks pretty cute. I thought it matched the lumberjack shirt that my grandma insists looks fabulous on me. It's kind of a no-brainer thing, but the idea is there.

I don't know about this one. I was going for something really couture, looks more stupid-ture. Maybe it'll grow on me.

Lastly, to make up for my negativity and absence. Here is a song that I wrote. It's just put to some random pictures, because I couldn't think of anything better. (:

Thank you so much for being awesome! (:


Thursday, June 16, 2011

More of the Same, Motif #46

Back! I haven't blogged in so long, I think I forgot how. We'll see! So, this past week, I've been trapped at my aunts house without thread, patterns, or anything really, since I didn't know I would be there that long. I DID, however, bring this.

It's a tool case type thing that I got at Joann on sale. It just has all of my findings for jewelry and stuff, along with needles, scissors, and the usual, also, for some lucky reason the thread that I had dyed. Bored out of my mind, I did make a good amount of stuff. Most isn't finished, but here's some. I've been experimenting with rings on their own.

Yup! There's all that. With the pink and purple, I kinda designed a little motif.

It's just a cute little star to test out irresistible thread. There's probably a pattern kinda like it somewhere. The one above isn't blocked, so do excuse it.

R5x4 Reverse Work C5 Do Not Reverse Work R6--6 Do Not Reverse Work C5
Repeat 4 more times for total of 5 big rings

There may not be too many posts for a while. It's studying time!

Oh, and a violin recital.... A classical DUET! First of all, my area of expertise (not exactly an expert, but still) is Cajun, and I tend to ignore the metronome and just play how I want. A big no-no for both classical and duets. So, that definitely needs some polishing up. *sigh*

The shuttles are STILL not finished, but I hope to conquer them within the next few days.