Friday, December 14, 2018

Shuttle talk and binders

The newest addition to my working collection:

This was in commemoration of Diane's Ice Drops group on Facebook. Now I have one to match my Tatting Shuttle Addicts. I like how the "ice drop" is raised to create a grip on the shuttle.

Both of these lovely's were created by Rita from Shuttle by Design. I just adore her shuttles and I have more than a few of I also dipped my hands into shuttle designing or rather decoration. I attempted to create a video tutorial for other craft orientated people to decorate their own shuttles. I have recorded three different sessions and have lots of footage. I don't like editing at all. I thought to record it straight without having to edit anything and simply add captions and upload to Youtube.
I finally have the steps down and worked it out to ten minutes. I just ran out of shuttles to actually decorate. That's not correct, I ran out of transparent shuttles to decorate, so I ordered a few more pairs off ebay and am now waiting for their arrival. The reason for a one pass attempt is that I don't like the large unusable side blocks that show up on the video after it's done processing. I miss the days of Windows Video Maker, it was the best..sigh. Here are some of the decorated shuttles:

Whenever you craft with resin, you have a rather large mess of a work area. There's so many smaller containers of things like stickers, glitters, small metal pieces, random nail art items that I add to the project not to mention the actual bottles of resin and different UV lamps that I use to cure the fast setting UV resin. Accidents happen, especially with glitter. It's sometimes hard to go back to it when you see how much clean up time is involved afterwards. One thing it is great for is to motivate me to get organized!

I began simple, tatting patterns purchased off Etsy, primarily.
Found this cute little 6X8 inch binder with dividers at Walmart for about $3. I picked up a few packages of paper protectors and some cardstock to get started. The card stock was 8.5X11 inches and when cut in half, fit nicely into the protectors. I have about 60 protectors in there but it looks like it can hold 100 easily. I got this smaller sized one because I wanted to be able to tote it around in my bag. I have a ton of patterns on my smartphone but sometimes you don't want to give your eyes a workout while you tat. Having to refocus from a phone screen to my project almost had me poking my eyes out trying to see. I will admit, I have hit myself in the face a time or two bringing the tatting closer to me.
This is a nicer option, and I can tuck a finished sample into the protector when I'm done. I used a chip bag resealer to close the top off so the pages don't get damaged or fall out. Laminating the pages would have been another option, but this was a cheap easy alternative to that.

I have roughly a month left before my store closes it's doors for the final time. I'm sad to see it go since I spent so many years there. However, I am looking forward to taking some time off for "ME". Right now I'm too busy to feel melancholy and I'm stressing trying to get my annual snowflakes done for my coworkers. It's only a dozen or so to make and some Ice Drops I can tat up in an hour, but whenever I catch a moment to tat, distractions come knocking. Even on my breaks at work something breaks my attention away and my shuttles stay forgotten in their case.

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.