Friday, July 7, 2017

Let's talk shuttles

During another less than exciting day at work I found myself browsing Ebay. I place a bid on a pair of knock off's of Clovers. Turns out I won the bid...for 32 cents! They arrived in about two weeks. The blade tips don't meet, but I wasn't completely surprised by it, I was expecting it. I'm going to try and get them to meet using hot water to soften the plastic.

I also bought some Japanese shuttles made for the Daiso store in Japan. Daiso is like their version of our dollar stores here in the U.S. I know I overpaid for them( you can get them for $2) but I didn't want to have to place a bulk order for them if I didn't like them. I guess you can say these are clover knockoffs too. They are obviously styled after the clovers. After tatting with two of them, I have to say I actually like them. The little extra roundness on one end feels good in my hand when I tat. I don't like the point, but that can be easily handled with a file.

I made progress on a new shuttle. This was short lived since I woke to find it broken, with only half of one side of a blade left. Like the bones left discarded after the vultures have had their fill. Okay I'm being a little dramatic but that's how I felt when I saw the damage. However two things I discovered. One: it can be done! Two: Now I have to find little inclusions to put in there. The second one may be harder to do than the first. The problem lies in too many ideas, not enough time to test them out.
I think that to make a mold, I will have to make the base pieces in the fast drying acrylic. Mostly because it's instant and I can make any necessary changes immediately by simply filing off the mistake and adding more acrylic. The down side to this process is well, it stinks. When you resin cast, yes there is an odor. I use resin that has low VOC's aka gas/smell. Working with the nail acrylic, oh my, it almost knocked me out. I had to have 2 fans blowing to even began. The gel type of acrylic was easier on my poor nose, but still had a strong "presence".

Monday, June 26, 2017

A few weeks of randomness

 While at JoAnn's Fabric Store, I picked up two packages of Gutterman spools. They were made of recycled plastic. I wanted to test how they tatted up, so doubling the thread up I made this motif. It goes to a larger project but I didn't feel the need to go further. I like the crispness of it, but it is a bit harsh on my hands. I only picked up the thread for the novelty of it being made of recycled plastic bottles. It rates up in "fiddle-ness" as tatting with rayon thread when closing rings.
 I need to start getting the little project bags to put my many WIPs in. I don't remember who the designer is, or what the project was. This will most likely end up going into the trash in a week if I can't remember what I'm working here.

I was intrigued by a magic square that Robin from Tatting by the Bay was blogging about. A few days ago, the pattern was shared. I squeed like a little girl when I saw this. I began this is size 50 DMC thread. I want to make four delicate looking ones to serve as placemats and one larger in size 10 thread as a tablecloth for my dining table. The pattern is almost memorized, the only part that is stumping me is to remember the rings that go in the corner.
I went back to Clayworking. The intention was to make a new type of shuttle but I quickly got discouraged. I turned to YouTube and found an artist who made miniature fairies and such that went into small bottles. This was the fruits of my labor. I love the fact her dress glows in the dark! The first run was smooshed by my youngest daughter. This is the second run, and I prefer it over the first. I cannot believe how much time I spent working in miniature. It really made me appreciate and understand better why artists charge the prices they do for smaller/finer work.

The newest member of our family...Butter! I honestly hope we can get him to respond to another name, but so far he only listens when we call him by that. He was adopted from our local animal shelter, and I was under the impression he was a year and six months. I was mistaken. He is six months old, a puppy! Who is still teething and trying to chew everything and everyone up. My Tenchi tolerates him as long as he doesn't get into 'play mode'. Which is ironic since Tenchi wanted someone to play with.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Roses are blooming

I finally finished editing the video tutorial for the Ribbon Roses! Yay! Good news right? Bad news is that the video is long. Almost 40 minutes. It had me perplexed, since I can at this point, tat one up in like ten minutes. I must have recorded myself a dozen times making these in different colored and sized ribbon. I was literally down to my last spool of gauzy ribbon when I was able to get a good recording of the process. No kids interrupting every five minutes, no losing my lighting and my camera going all wonky because of it. I will admit I recorded with my cellphone's camera because my regular camera went elsewhere and didn't leave a note.

I was all excited as I transferred the files to my laptop. As I began to open Windows Movie Maker to do the actual editing, it was gone. The icon's still there but when I click on it, I get the "program is not found please reinstall" message. Come to find out, it was phased out in January of this year. WTF? I can't re-download it to use it. Now I have another program on my computer for video editing, but it is the most basic. I can't trim clips or add subtitles (FYI's and other random titbits that I wanted to add instead of voicing over). I wasn't about to drop $70 for video editing software either. I went back to the cellphone and found a program that was similar to W.M.M. in the Playstore. I do have to add that I don't care for the background that auto-generated in the video when it was finalized. I love that it allowed me the freedom to edit and change everything else that I wanted.

I was able to finish editing everything in half a day. I was trying to find ways to decrease the play time without cutting out information. I think if I would not have done a slowed down version of how I normally tat, I could have made this a 15 minute tutorial. Then I thought that I couldn't really call it a tutorial if I didn't show the entire process. I did not create a catalyst for the rose, it is just how to make and shape it. I also added a couple of pictures at the end to show how the same technique can be applied to make other flowers like this water lily:

The wonderful thing about this technique is that there is no actual stitch counts. What?! Why is this good? Well it allows to you join wherever you need to, to be able to create each petal. This gives you creative freedom to literally make any flower you can imagine. Now there are some minor limitations to this. The width of the ribbon used determines the size of the flowers final size & shape. Also the wire can be a pain to keep out of the way when you first begin. I was reminded of my early days of tatting, when I began with a needle, and had to fight the the tail of thread. Why not just load the wire on a shuttle? You can't. You need constant access to the other end of the working wire for joining,.