Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Ouch!

As I write this, there is a gray wildcat pulling my hair. And there is nothing I can do about it. It was cute for about 10 seconds, but ow! She's very persistent. I want to cut my hair SO BADLY! Summer in the desert is not kind. That's why the Snow Birds flock down here in the winter to marvel at its mildness and then go home to their own mild summer when it is no longer safe to leave lipstick in the car, about April. Oh how I envy them! Most people have an accessible pool here, but at some point, usually late summer, the water itself is too hot. There's my rant for the day.

Shuttle 2.5 is officially in the making and will be debuted tomorrow! I hope it goes well. I'm happy with the materials so far. For graduation, I got a new computer (I'd been using my aunts for months) and FINALLY was able to transfer the files from my tired, old Acer Aspire. It was a nerdy mess, I tell ya!

But, now, I have my Beatles back, as well as some old music of my own that I forgot even existed. How strange....

Since I am taking absolutely AGES on the handkerchief edging, I figure I'll show you what the edging looks like, since I'm awfully proud of it.

This is something that I had intended on doing months ago. I had cut up an old t-shirt and saved the collar and dyed it blue. This is a rather landmark project because 1. I'm using #10 for the first time since I started using #20 and up, 2. It will be dyed after, and 3. It's for myself, as nothing has ever been, really.

It will all be a dark shade of blue, or the collar will blue and the lace green. I'm not sure, but I think it will be cool!

I showed a picture of this a few blogs ago. I recently got Modge Podge. I had heard great things about it and REALLY wanted some. If you've seen the other things I've done, you'll know that I really like personalizing things. My guitar is very plain. Before, I had put decals on it and stickers on the frets, but after working with the Modge Podge a little, the guitar was in mind. The paper is from Joann and cost only a couple dollars. I keep missing the sun for good pictures, but it looks like this all around and the edges are pretty perfect, if I may say so! The finish is still very smooth, and I'm awfully proud of it.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Committed

I am sticking to this project and that is THAT! I keep reminding myself. The seriousness of this plight has made the fun go down a few notches. Shuttle, Phase 2.5 is in the making. It's not Phase Three because I'm using pretty much the same materials and design and it's not a major improvement. In the last post I said I would give away the Phase Two shuttles, but they are just REALLY displeasing. The 2.5 are already much prettier and are going to be stronger and more functional. So, to the people who wanted them, I'd much rather send you a 2.5! They'll probably be finished within a couple days, and I am making a TON.

I got all of these vinyl tiles and they are sooo pretty. Much prettier than the others. I cant wait to post them!

Last week, we got back the county fair pieces. I never actually went. The fair was very VERY short and I had a lot going on. I DID take home 7 ribbons though.

They're kind of all clumped together for travel, but they were on separate things. They depressing thing is that I don't actually know what they were on since I didn't go.
The ribbons are for:
Junior Best of Show
First Place
Second Place (different thing)
Third Place
Best of Division
Best of Class
and Judges award

The prettiest one got bent during travel! The big lime green one. I'm pretty proud of the ribbons. They really do make it all worth while.

Some tatting HAS gotten done, believe it or not. This is a doily I'm working on. I'm on Round 2. It's a super old pattern so it doesn't particularly lay right. But, it's looking pretty!

And this is a motif that I tatted during Art in the Park. I just found it. There were two shuttles that had pretty thread on them, so I found a motif that called for two shuttles.

This is something that makes me happy. A doily that I designed myself over the fireplace. *sigh* Oh the little accomplishments.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Re: Shuttle, Phase Two

Last night, I was working on everything until around 6 in the morning, when I figured I'd better get in bed. I didn't actually get to sleep until nearly 10, due to the fact that I kept obsessing over the shuttles. Considering every bit of the dynamics and how I could make them better. When I DID get to sleep, I dreamed of them as well. How strange is that? And, after almost 4 hours of sleep, I got up to get back to work. The Phase Two shuttles have been tested (not the long ones yet). The plastic epoxy did a great job. The shuttles can tat and everything, but there were some big things that really don't make me happy.

As on the list, they are WAY too heavy. I really like the medium though. I feel that if the shuttles were thinner, the weight might not matter.

Secondly, they are too wide, up and down that is. I had this idea of the shuttle fitting comfortably in the palm of your hand, but it's just too clunky. The shuttle is constantly working, and, as I see now, needs to be slender and agile, like a ballerina.

Thirdly, I am SO disappointed in myself for not realizing this before. After all of my observations. The hanger takes about a billion clicks to shorten and lengthen the thread for chains and rings. That might not be such a problem for someone using a large thread, but for someone using 80, it would get tiresome. I'm going to be doing research today on a better post, that is a LOT wider.

Fourthly, NO HOOK OR POINT! AGHHHH! It's miserable. I gather that there are tatters who don't ever use a point, but, for people like me who have to get things done fast, the hook or point is simply practical. This worries me, because I might need to find yet ANOTHER medium.

This plight won't stop until I have a shuttle that I would really enjoy working with, and I'm a tough cookie! Phase Three will take a few days, but I think we're getting close.

Oh, and if you're really okay with heavy shuttles, lack of point, and a skinny post, comment and tell me you want one. I've got four that passed my tests at the top of the game, and one that CAN tat but is more cool to look at. So, first five comments that want one, make sure to tell me how to contact you, and which one you want (wood-looking or that one stone-looking). I'm eager to get these out of my sight. Of course, I am keeping one for my records (don't worry, it's an ugly one), but it's extraordinarily depressing.


Those bands were just used to keep them in shape while hardening. The fifth isn't pictured in this post, but is in the last.

I apologize if this post sounds a bit strange, 3 hours of sleep, you know!

Anyway, thank you for bearing with the process!
(:

Shuttle, Phase Two

Today was strange. Got up late, of course, and embarked on a mission. That mission, if you read yesterday's blog, you would know, was to work on another round of shuttles. I went to the hardware store and got some vinyl tiles to play around with, since I had had only one vinyl record on hand and couldn't readily get another. I also got a special plastic epoxy that supposedly can stand up to 30,000 lbs or something. We'll see about that. The tiles were an absolute joy to work with compared to the record. I did burn myself quite a bit more, but, in the end, I decided gloves would help. The posts still did pose a problem, so I resolved to stick with the hanger plastic. The problem had been that the area where the shells and post met was too small and easily gave way under rough handling. I haven't gotten to try these out yet, as the epoxy takes 24 hours to cure. There is still no point, since the medium is too thick. In my next attempt, I'll be trying acrylic, so maybe a point will come with that. Well, here they are. What do you think?

I made 10 shuttles total, which far outdoes the 4 of Phase One. I hope they work! The material seems about right. They are a lovely weight and feel, and have acceptable flexibility for a shuttle. The mold had a far greater circumference, so they are more ergonomic, but still have that organic feel I'm looking for. And, yes, that was a long shuttle! I think it looks pretty cool.

My lack of tatting is due to a little mental refusal that I get towards tatting once in a while. Every so often, I just have to work on some instantly gratifying things. Like drawing, sewing, decoupaging, music, blablabla, or the shuttles. But that only lasts a several days and then I'm back to lace. I did finish a little motif, despite the big projects I should be working on. I just HAD to see how the new thread looked. And it IS quite exquisite!

Now, I am off to catch up on my own followings!
(:

Friday, May 27, 2011

Shuttle, Phase One

I did it! Something I've wanted to do for a long, long time. Certain things and ways of thought have prevented it before, but now, I've built a shuttle!

It's made out of a vinyl record and a clothes hanger. The process was quite torturous, but interesting nonetheless. I made a template for the sides and marked them with a white pencil on the record. Used an iron at a cotton setting to soften it and cut the shapes out. Put them all in the oven at 170 F for about 7 minutes and shaped them over a bottle, then fitted them with little segments of a plastic hanger. This was more of a trial run to see how the vinyl works, and I've learned quite a lot about how I can manipulate it in the future.

The hangers won't be used again as there isn't a hole to anchor the thread and the plastic does not mesh well the vinyl. I'm pretty proud of how these came out. In future phases, I'd like them to be more narrow and have a point. This will require a trip to the hardware store. Definitely not opposed to that! The next batch will come soon. This one is very tat-ible, but the size is a little clunky and the lack of point/hook is lame.

Tomorrow, as that is when the sun is out, I'll have more pictures. Not much tatting has been going on, but here's a sneak peak of what has been.

Now, it's 4:30 AM! So, good night (:

Saturday, May 21, 2011

So tiny!

For the first time, I have successfully finished something in size 80 thread. I had played around with some a little bit in the past, as there was a little spool/ball/thing that Michelle had sent with the handkerchief. I was unsure of the size, but just knew that it was SUPER THIN. A little motif was attempted, but it proved unsuccessful. Then, at Michaels, my loyalty to Joann wavered. They had this.

Not "crochet, tatting, and knitting", not "great for tatting". Tatting. How cool! I got ecru and red. Here's the red, and the multi-colored from Michelle.

The colors were limited, about 5. I'm going to go back and get the others, as they were only 2.50-ish! YAY! Thread excites me.... So, being the determined person I am, a project just HAD to be attempted. Since I just graduated, it it only appropriate that I give my teacher (yes, I just had one!) something to show my appreciation. He once said that bookmarks make him want to read, and I've tatted him things before, but in size 10. I decided on a size 80 (yikes!) bookmark. The pattern is modified from an edging. I've found that bookmark patterns are far and few. It only took me a couple days, and I got through it!


The other day, I went on a hunt. A hunt for handkerchiefs. I called up half a dozen antique shops near me and set out, dragging my little brother with me. I sat on the floor in several shops, searching through dozens of tattered and stained handkerchiefs, stacking them in three piles- "yes", "no", and "maybe", while ignoring the obnoxious stomping at the other end of the store and the angry glares in my direction. Most were $2, some were $3, and a couple were $4. Pretty good, I think. I carefully washed and sanitized them all, oxi-cleaned the white ones, let them dry, and gently ironed them on a low setting until they were perfect. Of course, Bunny, being the finicky poodle she is, stomped all over them and walked away. That explains the wrinkly condition. *sigh*



This one ^ is actually a napkin, but I thought it was cute.



This one ^ isn't particularly functional as a handkerchief (good thing too), but I thought it'd look cool with black lace around the edge.




I don't know if all of these will have edgings, we'll see.

A couple questions regarding technique:

1. Does it look like you're flipping people off while you tat, or is it just me? I always feel a little awkward tatting in public. Haha...

2. Do you have to do that thing where, after every couple rings or chains you have to let the shuttle kinda hang and spin out? That one seems a little preventable, but I don't know..

That's all! (:

Thursday, May 19, 2011

So good!

I got up early. Went to school. Went to piano and violin. Typical Wednesday? No way, Jose! I received QUITE a special envelope in the mail! It was from the very talented Krystle Dawne. For so long, I've been staring at pictures of wonderful thread for sale on Etsy. I think I've been doing that for months at least twice a week. But, alas, I had no paypal. I finally got one a little while ago and made my first Etsy/thread purchase EVER. I browsed zillions of pages and listings, making note of ones I liked. My decision was very easy though, despite all that. Krystle's thread is just so striking and bold, just my type. I purchased her "Of Berries and Fairies" thread in size 40. It's so pretty! I need to think of something special to do with it. There will definitely be more purchases in the future.





This is a size 20 sample of Vineyard at Dusk, I think. One I had been looking at, and my second favorite!

Another note, my mom (Crystal Eve) had a friend when she was a kid named Crystal Dawn, of course, spelling was never really clarified. So, who knows?


Hmm no news other than that. OH WAIT! YES there is. I am officially a High School Graduate. Today was my last day of school. It feels strange that..well... it doesn't feel strange. My schooling isn't over, and I don't feel quite as old as I thought I would at this point. The fun of grading up each summer has worn off, so it's not a big deal that that isn't present. I'm taking a gap year, if you wish to know. I will not disclose the plans for the future as I don't want to jinx them, but a lot will be happening this year! Thirteen years of schooling over. Eight to go. *sigh*

That's all for today!
Thank you (:

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gettin' Stuff Done

This is a late post, as I should have put this up a while ago. FINALLY, here are the pictures of the handkerchief Michelle sent me from her giveaway! I don't recall ever seeing a handkerchief this size. It's a very nice, sturdy fabric. Cotton, I think. And the design is so pretty!

Isn't that wonderful? It's pretty exciting to me, because it means I can do an elaborate edging without dying of boredom! YEEEE

Of course, the color choice for thread is going to be green! This thread color is my absolute favorite.

I have edging all picked out and have started, but that will be a surprise! I recon it will take maybe twice as long as one of the bigger handkerchiefs, but definitely worth it. ^_^


And now, something that has been waiting to be blocked for so very long. The purple handkerchief! It took me so little time, but time has been scarce for a few weeks. It feels nice to have it completed. It was blocked last night and I attached it this morning.


I always fear that when I put scissors near something like tatting or anything that can't be replaced, they'll magically start chopping things, leaving me devastated. But then again, I'm also afraid of my skin falling off. Strange fears, you know.

Another landmark for the day. TWO bobbins are empty. How did that even happen? I don't sew very often. But it's very rewarding, in a way. I can go to the store now and get some thread knowing that I NEED it, and am not just getting it because it's pretty.

What to do with the bobbins! I need to hoard, I mean, mark the occasion.

Now for something VERYYYY exciting. Lots of pictures today, I suppose. I got two special letters in the mail yesterday! Bookmarks from the exchange! AGHHHHH exciting. This one is from Marie. She doesn't have a blog (yet) because she's working on a book. I'm assuming it's a tatting book, which is also exciting!


And the other is from Marty. This is tatted in size 80! That's ridiculous.


Maybe I'm too sentimental, but I love this kind of thing. When you do your own work, it's your time. Usually when I finish something, the amount that I care for it drops way below how much I did while it was in the making. My own tatting means so little to me. It's more about improving technique, adding to the repertoire, and spending time doing something productive (it's how I justify watching tv on those rare occasions). But, to receive the work of someone else. You know and can see the labor involved, and can appreciate it long-term. These bookmarks I received are probably not going to be used as bookmarks. More likely, they'll be framed with labels. I'll use my own tatting because I'm fine with it getting roughed up some! ;D

Finally, a little whimsicality. While I was taking pictures, I turned and saw this.

and then this

It seems as thought the naughty Bunny Bella decided to crumple up the handkerchiefs and, soon after, figured she might get in trouble. So, here, she is giving me a guilty look. Usually, when she hears the click, she turns her head. But, in her seriousness, she let her shame be captured. *sigh* I guess those handkerchiefs are going back to the press. After a good wipe down, of course!

That's all I have for today. Now that I'm home, things are picking up again! Yay! And, since the giveaway(s) will going out on Friday (finals at school urghh), and I've gotten several new followers, if you haven't already, you should go back and comment on that post! (:

Thank you for actually getting through all of that!
Have a nice day <3

Friday, May 13, 2011

Deckin Out the Kicks

Apparently, that means shoes. I like it! Tomorrow is my violin recital, which I predict will go terribly, so maybe it will exceed my expectations. My mom packed my outfit for it, because, for some reason, I absolutely cannot pack clothes. My idea of packing is throwing a bunch of shorts into a bag and forgetting about everything else. So, anyway, she picked everything out and, somehow, the shoes got mauled on the car ride over to my aunts. I was left with a torn up pair of Nine West heels. This kicked my mind into creative mode and I decided to deck them out. I used what I had on hand and covered the toe part and heel with a pretty pretty pink nail polish that is also on my nails.

Tatting absolutely HAD to be involved, so I went through my binder and found what I thought would be a fast pattern.

I originally wanted to do 12 to cover a lot of the top part, but only ended up doing 4, as they took around 30 min each, not counting the time where I would get distracted by the tv. So then, if I was only doing 4, display was a problem, how to cover the scrapes and make them shnazzy. You must admit, sharpie never fails at anything.

Ta-Da!


What do you think? I'm pretty happy with the results!

On a different note, I now have 19 followers! Heck yeah! Not a big deal to the bigger tatters who have hundreds, but I'm liking the increase. I really appreciate the people who actually care about this kind of stuff (tatting, blogs, tatting blogs!).

That's all for now. Edgings to come soon!

(:

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yo Momma

There I go again. C-c-c-combo breaker! That's actually my favorite comeback, jokingly of course. It's Mother's Day! Hurrah! I won't see my mom today, as I'm going home on Wednesday. That's fine with me, I still need to write out everyone's cards (mom, aunt, and grandma). Mother's Day is so.. hmm.... EASY! For tatters I mean. Moms love tatting. So, I'm going to give my aunt and mom tatted earrings. My grandma, because she is such a rebel, doesn't wear any jewelry ever. I've made her countless pieces of jewelry over the years, and she's never actually worn it unless I put it on her. So, instead, I will write her a poem. She keeps all of those in a plastic bag in her purse. Why so late? I didn't actually know Mother's Day was coming up until late last week, and then I was busy with Art in the Park.

Today was... good? I think? I got up at 6 and left at 7, got to the park and no one was there. It seems that the artists only get there early to set up on the first day because everything is left over night. So I went to Starbucks and went on the internet, and spilled peppermint hot chocolate down my sweatshirt. That's what kind of day it was. AWESOME. I find that an unfortunate "day-ruining" event in the morning makes for a good day in the long run, maybe because of lowered expectations after the occurrence. After that, I went back to the show and everything went pretty well. A lot of people took my flier, which talks about me and has all of my contact info and links. I sold a necklace for $15. An older woman came early in the morning and said "Oh my daughter would love this. She likes those colors. I'll have to bring her by later" Usually, people who say that they'll come back never do, but she did, surprisingly. Her daughter never came, so she just went ahead and got it.

I don't know what I was thinking. There are a lot of things like this that I made. Little, weird things that turned out kinda cool. It was just so boring! Here's another necklace.

And here are little earrings that I made from rings. The purple pair is from the rings Michelle sent, they're a little bigger than the rings used for the green.



People really like the ring earrings. But no one buys... Which is fine with me, because I kinda want to keep them!

I'm so glad Art in the Park is over. It was a lot of fun, but I'm tired. I met a bobbin lace group today! I'm going to go visit them, and maybe I'll try to learn hmmmm.. Not much else to say. I guess I shall take my leave and go to sleep! *yawn*

Make sure to comment on the last post for the giveaway! You have a week!

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!
(:
<3