Thursday, October 18, 2018

The results

How was the fair? Well one one hand everything I entered got a ribbon. On the other hand, most of the pieces were damaged when they were turned in as it was literally at the last minute that I was able to turn them in. My little helper had started playing with the pieces she was holding while I was driving there.

The Jan Monster doily only was half finished. I cut off the entire row I was working because there was no way I would've finished, real world life cut too deeply into my time the last couple of weeks. The ladies were still impressed oohing and awwing and immediately commented on the tatting. Now I can continue finishing the rest of the pattern as my leisure.

The beaded doily got crumpled up into a ball during transport. It looked horrible. The fact that it even got a ribbon surprised me.

The first contest submission, the rainbow, received an honorary mention.
 Here is the close up of the water lily's I created for this piece.
The butterfly contest piece lost almost all the butterflies I made for it. Only these which were glued down with superglue verses hot glue, survived the fair. Originally the steam was full of different sized butterflies. I'm thinking of just refilling them and putting it for display in my living room next to my Mother's ashes.

The flowers lost half their pieces during the fair time as well. In the center, it had a large ribbon tatted water lily as well as several other 3d flowers.
The ribbon water lily came out looking so delicate. I really liked it. I'm also glad I had the sense to take WIP photos of most of the pieces because they came back looking very different from what they were sent as.

The one piece that I was sure would get a blue ribbon, I dropped when I left to deliver my submissions.  The Ice Drop didnt make it in. I was so upset about this because it was the best looking piece I could have turned it.

After all of this drama, I just put the shuttles away for a while. I did some shuttle shopping online and received four sets of these transparent shuttles off Ebay.

 They are actually pretty sturdy and good quality. I got them with the intention of decorating them. I have to wait for the UV resin to arrive. Using regular resin puts too much strain on the shuttles and the blades come apart. Like it did on this shuttle I was doing for the purpose of a tutorial.
For some that little gap is no big deal. For others, who use finer threads like myself, I find my shuttle unwinding when I drop it. It's a real headache. I don't know if this can be fixed or if it will just go into the "collection" box.
I admired this shuttle for so long, ever since I first saw it on Pintrest, as part of someone's pins. I even tried thinking how I could make one myself. Metalwork is not something that I think I can do. While I have no problem using a rotary tool, the sparks and other heat related tools put me off. So when it posted on Facebooks Shuttle Addicts page that the artist was selling them again, I ran over to the Etsy shop and got one! I should have ordered the tool to adjust it as well because the tips do not touch. I have some nylon pliers that I could probably use to close the points. For now, it's in the shuttle box.

Some sad news with mixed blessings has happened to me recently. Like earlier this week recently, my work will be closing it's doors permanently, at the end of this year.  I never talk about my work life(other than complain when it cuts into my crafting), but I am an employee at Sears. I have mixed feelings about this as I have spent the vast majority of my adult life working for them. The silver lining is that I will be able to spend a few months taking a make shift vacation of sorts where I can just craft ( and sleep in for a change).

Monday, August 27, 2018

Fair tatting

It's that time! Six projects to be entered into the fair this year. Two in the Tatting Category, two in the contests, and two in random categories that I could squeeze tatting into it. Let's see how they rate this year. 
  1. The first piece, Jan's Monster Doily.
Here is where I left off last time. I was really annoyed by the fact that the picots were getting twisted up. I know with blocking it will make it better, but it just annoyed me at this point. I was so bothered by it that I started over without any picots but joining picots.

I like this version much better. It feels cleaner. I didn't switch the shuttles to get the tree shape on the third round. I actually forgot to do that and was going to redo that round but I had already joined four of the next rounds motifs before it registered. I just kept going, I can do that on a further round, since it does repeat later. These motifs are tatting up quicker without having to worry about not having enough picots on each ring.

         2.The second in the Tatting category is just a bunch of 3D flowers. I was working on some ribbon roses at that time and just settled on it since it was somewhat unique looking. It wasn't something you would typically think of when you think of tatting lace. Besides the ribbon roses I can make other flowers with wire and regular thread. There are a bunch of 3D flower patterns out there so I can make different species.

         3.The first general category was "beaded lace". I'm not very original here and am using the El Dorado doily.

I really should be hiding ends as I go. As I go further along those tails get caught up in the element I'm working. I still haven't gone to replace my big eyed beading needles yet, so I've been putting it off. I tried doing the magic thread trick but even using the 32 guage wire (really fine) and it still leaves the double stitches looking stretched out of shape. The larger center motifs that go in each quarter had typos in the directions. I've redone it several times without joining it to the main piece, and I'm glad I did. They do not fit. Six is the magic number on this piece, meaning that most sections on the motifs are counts of six. Unfortunately doing that makes them way too big. I did a couple with three then four double stitches and the four count seems to work better. The most time consuming part is stringing up the beads on the connecting chains. I only did one corner before deciding to do that last, next to the hiding ends part.

          4.Christmas Articles was the next one. I chose to make a Ice Drop. I made the Birthday one.
I could not believe this was finished in a little over an hour. For the center, I just filed a resin cabochon failure until it fit withing the center. The tiny flower sat just right so you can see it through the rings. I probably should have used silver or lavender beads to compliment the flower better. I might just redo it like that. Especially since it didn't take much time to tat up.

         5. The first contest is Butterflies. How fitting is it for tatting? I'm brainstorming on how to display these so they look their best. I can't have them flat, I want them to look like they are in flight.
I unloaded a shuttle with these. Of all the different tatting being done, this project has to be the fastest and funnest one to work up. Who doesn't like making butterflies? I made about a dozen in white using the downtime at work, but they flew away with coworkers who just "adored" them. I finally have a purpose for some of the fine pastel threads that are just hanging out in the thread box. I think a larger (size 20 thread) should be a focal point with all the rest of the butterflies( sizes 40/80/100) flying around it. Dramatic, that's what I want.

          6. The final contest is Rainbow theme. I just listed my piece as tatting lace rainbow. This will give me leeway as to what to create. I didn't have an actual plan for this. I just wanted an excuse to use up more of the colored thread so I can make room for new thread. One idea is to pick a heart motif that can be easily repeated in the various colors of the rainbow. They can be joined together for stability.

There's a month to complete and turns them all end. Let's get that speed tatting on the way! Sometimes I find that I tat my best pieces when I'm on a deadline rather then a leisurely tatting pace.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Let's start working

Up went two of the smaller shuttle cases. The top has a few of the different colored Clovers, the bottom has resin shuttles that I have made over the years. You can see how aged they are by how yellow they tinted, as they were made with a cheap resin class back when I was learning how to work with the medium. I hung up two more cases on the wall, but they need to be painted and the shelves added....yeah a definite work in progress.

Since the shadow boxes are lightweight, I'm using 3m Velcro strips to hold up the boxes. They're rated to hold up to 10 pounds, I doubt the shuttles weigh that much. (haha). The only motivator for this is my dog Butters. This little fluff ball has learned how to open the drawers to my toolbox and picks out random items to chew on. I have to put my tools up on the walls now, so annoying.

This is a 100 Yen shuttle from Japan, that I painted in UV resin. I was trying to figure out if the resin will bond to these plastic shuttles or if it would flake off. This was a prompt from the facebook group Tatting shuttle Addicts, where a member wanted to know on how to seal shuttles they paint themselves. As you can see, my painting skills are very crude and basic. I like the background more than the actual focal point. This is five layers of painting with resin on it. It's pretty thin, I like how it doesn't add much to the width of the actual shuttle. I tried to 'pick' the resin off, and it did come off the side edges but none came off the flat top. I really tried to pick it off too, since I wanted to repaint something else on this. It's going to need some sandpaper to get it off. Now I know, at least on these type of shuttles, that the resin is a really good sealer. Now to try this on some Moonlight shuttles. I have some I purchased where the shell is starting to lift off the shuttle. I don't know how these were sealed, but if the UV resin bonds similarly, I can repair them.
I tried using super glue on the blue shuttle but it just made a nasty glob on the end and lifted after some light tatting work with it. Before I attempt to repair the bottom green one, I'm going to try sealing some stickers on another pair of Moonlights I have. I really don't want to ruin the shell layer on it. If I can't fix them, into the collection box they go. They're Moonlights, I can easily pick up a few pairs at Hobby Lobby here locally.

Now for the actually tatting updates:

It's time for some fair tatting! I can't add any of the pieces I finished last year prior to my Mother passing away, I get too emotional when I handle them. Just thinking about them gets me teary eyed. Shake it off girlie, let's keep moving. I finally read the categories for the entries. There's a 2 per class limit, so two tatting items. To qualify for best of show there has to be 3 or more separate entries. I have a strong suspicion, there won't be a best of show for the "tatting" section. There was no tatting entered last year according to friends who attended.
This is one of the famous UFO's on my blog, the El Dorado Doily. It likes to visit in different colors and thread sizes but never finishes the story.

This pattern that has been working up faster as I do all of an element instead of a section. The very center will be the last I work. I haven't hid any of the tails as I worked. I was having a blah crafty day and decided to sew them in. I broke 3 beading needles and only managed to work in four elements. Today I was supposed to go pick up some more, but the air quality is very harmful to us asthmatics, so inside I stay. I clearly tat too tight. At least I know the finish piece will last for years. This one is going to be listed as miscellaneous lacework with beads. 

One of the sweepstakes entries is Butterflies! How can I not tat them up? These were worked up last night before I got too tired. I'm going to do them up in multiple colors. I think I'll use Ruth Perry's Celtic Butterfly as the center piece and lay these around it. I'm still planning out the display of them.

There's one more for a "Rainbow" category. I think I'm going to do some "tatted balloons", or something along those lines. I have another week to pay the fees and a month before it all needs to be turned it. I think 5 projects in total will be a good amount to do without me getting overwhelmed.