Monday, November 3, 2014

More Snow and another day closer

I have completed days 10 through 14 of the "24 Snowflakes in Tatting" book. Yes, if you are counting 7 through 9 are not yet done. Well, after the frustration I had over day 6, I decided that I would go on to some simpler things before going back to other techniques. I just have to get my head back around the switching shuttles to switch directions in the  previous 3 snowflakes before going on. Below are the images of the completed snowflakes. Again, they are done but ends need to be hidden and the flake preped for the coloring process. I will have to do a couple of super simple patterns to test out what it will take to achieve the effect that I really want.

Day Ten from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting
Day Eleven from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting
Day Twelve from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting
Day Thirteen from 24 Snowflakes in Tatting

I am now in the planning stage for travel to Indiana this Wednesday. It is the: what do I take, do I have all of my meds packed, threads are lined up and electronics lined out and packed away. The timing of everything is important so that I do not miss a step and end up leaving here late to meet up with my ride in St. Louis on Wednesday.

I have my calendar for the next year ready. The dates will be filled out by the month and postings will be planned. It is a pocket calendar to take with me everywhere so I can plan out what I will be doing in my blogs next year. I hope to be planning out projects to get done on a weekly basis so that I can put out a more regular update to the blog.

So in the next year, I hope to finally get around to cleaning out and fixing up my "office" so that I have a place to keep my crafting confined except what I allow out into the living room when I watch tv with hubby. There will be discussions of how to sort things, where to store them and what should be included in the room as it comes together. As do we all, there are multiple crafts that will find their way into the room. There is one aspect of my hobbies, however, that will not be there: Dying. Though some of the untencils will be kept in my office, they will be used in the kitchen due to the messy nature of this aspect of what I want to do. I don't want to contaminate my regular prep tools with the chemicals of the dying process. It is hard enough keeping things separate for my normal cooking routines so that hubby can have his cake and I can have the gluten free too. I just don't want the hastle of another set of things in the kitchen for dying. So even though they will be used in the kitchen, they will be kept out of the way in the office when not in use.

So here is to new changes in the coming year. What changes will you be making? Do you have a dream room in your home for all your crafts? What do you wish that you had that would make the room better?  I look forward to hearing what you do with your crafting room.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Monday, October 27, 2014

More snowflakes done

I have days 3 - 6 now done from the book "24 Snowflakes in Tatting". These images show that I still need to hide ends and flatten the flakes. 

Day Three of December
Day Four of December
Day Five of December
Did you ever start a pattern only to swear you are never going to do it again? Day 6 was nearly that pattern that I almost cut loose and refuse to pick up ever again. The center was the easy part of this pattern. What really caused the issue was all the switches on the second round. That's right this is just a two round snowflake but you switch back and forth between shuttles to get the directions right. That really caused me to stop and take a second look at what I had committed myself to.

Day Six of December

The next three days are not much better. I wish that I could just not do them but since I set the goal for myself to do all 24 days then I will just have to bite the bullet and get them done. However, I do have a choice in the order in which I do them. I will most likely choose much easier patterns to tat and then insert one difficult pattern in between. That way I don't end up feeling just too overwhelmed like I did today with this one. 

Yeah, one of the joys of my hypothyroid condition, I tend to have some extremes in feelings. Just back away from the chocolate and hot tea and I will be okay. Helps to put on mood calming music as well. :D

So when these flakes are done I will stick to the simple ones for a while or just continue to expand my ball ornament collection. I will also do some more of my very simple lace-cicles all in the effort to turn my tree into something very Victorian. The only thing that will not be Victorian is the lights as they are already attached to my tree. I really do love doing the ornaments for the tree each year and am always in search of different laces that will add to that collection. I am still planning out a few different ornaments using various tape laces or medallions in combinations that create something unique.

Well that is all for now.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Friday, October 24, 2014

Snowflakes , Odds & Ends

I am currently working on the book "24 Snowflakes in Tatting". At this point I have only gotten a couple of them tatted. The pictures below are the first stage of the process. I will tat one or two extra to test out how to do the watercolor dying and how much or how little color to use to tint the threads. I will need to figure out just how to set the color so that I can starch it while also adding glitter. I am thinking of a light pastel coloring because this is snow afterall and I just don't want strong color in the flakes. I will post later as to how I accomplish the color wash to make it look just how I want. I am thinking that by dying after I tat the flakes I can do some sort of gradient going from white fading into a light color. This would be different from dying the thread before because I can block the color on the piece rather than having random color from the thread interaction. My mind works in funny ways to think things through. If this works then I might just do something similar to tatted ball ornaments in future years.

Day One of December (24 Snowflakes in Tatting)
Day Two of December (24 Snowflakes in Tatting)

I may also play around in the future with "spray" dying as is done on t-shirts and other cotton objects. It will be interesting to see if I actually do follow through with the ideas that are flowing from my brain. I tend to go about light speed in thinking up things while actually doing is only a small portion of the ideas that I come up with if at all.

I think that I should also plan on working on a "Blog Calendar" for next year. I need to remember to create and publish new blogs to keep myself more organized with my tatting adventures. I hope to have some interesting pictures and experiences from my trip to Tatting Days in Greenfield for the the next blog post. 

Guess that this is all for today's post, time for supper as no one else will cook it but me. 

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Monday, October 20, 2014

Holiday Tatting?

With Elaine having to put her latest books on hold (not cool to switch app content on her app developers), I have decided to work on my holiday tatting earlier than planned.  I have ordered the requisite balls of tatting threads pictured here:
DMC Cordonnet Special Size 30 Ecru
DMC Cordonnet Special Size 30 Ecru

I hope to work through "24 Snowflakes in Tatting" this year to add to my tree. I have been toying with the idea that I might try some watercolor type dying this year. The colors are to be softly muted and more along the pastel side to be applied to the snowflake once it is done. I also hope to put a light layer of "glitter" while stiffening the ornaments to get the sparkly look of snow. I know now that there will be NO WAY for me to get a decent picture of the finished product where the glitter shines.  With that said I will just have to try. I already finished up about a dozen of my new icicle pattern to hang all over my tree. I am trying to get more lace on my tree this year to get a more Victorian feel.

I want to go to the second hand shops here in town or even the dollar store to find some bits and bobs that I can encorporate into my tatted tree pieces. There is a vision of how I would like things to look in my head but I don't know if I will totally achieve that vision. I hope to come close.

I am please to announce that I will make it to the 14th Annual Tatting Days in Greenfield Indiana. This is the only major conference that I have made it to. I am excited to learn how to do more of the latest techniques from the great line up of teachers there. I have my ride lined up, my roommate is assigned and registration fee has been paid for all three days. I am so excited that hubby found the extra money that will let me attend this year. (It also helps that the kids are now just about out of the house and living on their own.) I have plenty of time to make some arrangements to take care of my health needs while I am out of town. Being that this is my first official conference, I am not sure what I need to take with me. Leave any comments below as to what someone who has gone would take with them.

My mind is racing again as I look over the books that I don't have and what I would like to pick up. After playing with Kaye's Blue Bird pattern, I would like to pick up books on flowers such as "Exotic Range of Tatted Flowers" (yet I am not sure that this particular book is available any more but then there is always the CD) and the Houtz's brothers book "Baubles, Bugs and Blossoms". This would definitely add to my range of things I can tat. I am also looking at many of the new jewelry items coming out in some of the latest books. I really admire the Japanese publications as they have simple yet eligant designs. The closes I have come to tatting in 3d is the simple rose pattern that is available "here".

Guess I had better get on with looking for the patterns to use on my tree and get this blog published.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tatting Adventures

Test tatting

Since fall has started and hubby is now back at work, this means that I have quite a bit of time again to myself. I have been volunteering to test tat many patterns for various designers. The most recent designs have been for Elaine Phyllis Gan for her first two books: Tatting Patterns and Tatting Patterns 2 for sale on Craftsy. 

She has graciously let me share a few of the images from the patterns I have tested so far:

From Book 1

Book 1 - Hanging Garden Coaster
Book 1 - Lantana Pendant

From Book 2:
Book 2 - Dome Pendant
Book 2 - Marie Pendant

Book 2 - Deep Purple Butterfly Pendant

There will be more patterns to test as she is already working on books 3 and 4. I really do look forward to testing out more of her patterns.

Tatting Travels

I was privileged to attend a tatters get together on October 8th. It was an event that was sponsored by Tatting Corner & Zig-Zag Corner Quilts and Baskets. It was a fun event and the classes were very educational.  I was in the advanced level classes taught by Kaye Judt. The patterns she taught were "Bluebird of Happiness" and "When the Frost is on the Pumpkin". Both of these patterns contain unique elements that make the pattern fun to do.

Bluebird Of Paradise w/o wing

When Frost is on the Pumpkin

I have been invited to another event in November sponsored by Tatting Corner & Zig-Zag Corner Quilts and Baskets in Indiana. I will have to see if I am able to go and hope that it is not too late to get into the classes that I want.  I am looking forward to meeting more people that I connect with on the internet through some of the groups and Facebook. There are also new techniques to be learned as well. At this posting, I am still working out the details to get to go. 

That is all for now

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tatting Faerie

Friday, October 10, 2014

Busy summer, flights, and testing

This post will not be an apology for not writing recently. I was out living life, readjusting to new realities in life and testing new patterns for friends.

Coral Reef Display at Okinawa World
As far as re-adjusting to new realities, I have been officially diagnosed with Hashimotos Thyroditus. This means that my body is slowly killing off my thyroid with antibodies. This required me to really rethink everything that I was doing right and wrong. I did find a wonderful doctor who actually encouraged me that I was going down the right path with my new eating patterns, health suppliments and gaining information on my disease. It is really refreshing to be told that it is not all in my mind and I should just get over it. I have come to accept that this is a way of life and will effect how I go out into life from now on. Yes, I have to be more picky about what I eat and how often I rest. This is all a part of managing and reducing stress in my life. I am still working on my diet and adding more exercise to reduce my weight. Some days I win and some I don't. So if I disappear, don't worry, I'm de-stressing. :D

My granddaughter with pure joy in the fountain
Hubby taking pics of the rocks in the bay.
Some may already know who follow me on Facebook that I took a two week trip with my husband to Japan. Specifically going to Okinawa to visit with my son and his family. We had a lot of fun but the flights to get there and back were long. I tried to prepare myself before the flights to make sure that I had enough rest and plenty of hydration to make it through without getting major setbacks with my health. I was able to find plenty of good food to eat while there. I found I really love "Teppanyaki" cooking because of the way it allows me to control the amount of sauces I use on the meats. We had a very exciting journey as we visited with our son and family. There was a trip taken to Ocean World, Okinawa village and just shopping around the city. The most exciting aspect of this trip was being required to shelter in place while a typhoon came within 125 nautical miles of the island to the west. Of course this did cancel part of our plans but we coped and I got extra tatting time while watching movies.

Sunset Beach American City Okinawa
When we did get out, we went to a 5 story hobby store near by. It was fun going from floor to floor to see all the things they like to do there in Japan. I came back with 4 new books, half a dozen shuttles, a new hook, and several balls of thread. It was interesting to try to think in another currency when paying for these items.  It really is something that we rarely ever think of until we do go somewhere and immerse ourselves into another culture.

The clouds over the US at 35000 feet
The trip home was uneventful, but that was when everything caught up to me in a big way. I spent the next few weeks recovering from extreem stress and exhaustion. Fortunately it was still summer and I could take the time I needed to recover. I was very careful with my diet and got plenty of extra rest because I was totally wiped out energy wise. I was hoping that I would really have escaped going through the trouble I went through after getting back home. Bless my husband who really put up with this major energy drain. It took a couple more weeks just to get to a point where I could somewhat function and then continue to make progress back to health.

A funny little custard in an egg container.
Container is now a thread holder. :D
These are the items I bought in Okinawa.

Thread I got while there. Various sizes
of Olympia threads
And I can't forget my new pattern books.
All in Japanese but great illustrations.

I have plans for more but this is all for today. Next post will highlight some testing that I have been doing along with a recent trip to St. Louis.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Image Design

Setting up the images for the new shuttles takes on a life of it's own. I wanted to do something unusual and different. So I settled with incorporating three different programs into the process. The first is called "Apophysis". To explain it simply, a program that creates art using mathematics. The second is Poser, a program that uses 3d meshes and images to create unique figures. The final program is "Photoshop". This program puts the finishing touches on the images or puts composite files together.

Below are the first images that I have put together before resizing to fit on the shuttles themselves. 

I have enjoyed the process once again. It has been too long since my artwork has been able to come out this free. I believe that my new health and healing process has brought me back to a position where the creative juices are flowing once again.

If you want to leave feed back and tell me what you think, it would be appreciated.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Interesting Day Ending

The day started out like any other normal day. I spent much of my day playing around with my Silhouette Cameo that hubby got me for Christmas. Since going Gluten-free, I have gained several canisters of different types of flour. So a little vinyl and my cutter, I now have things labeled for easier use. I also discovered that I need a few more containers.

The mail car comes by dropping off the package I have been expecting for about a week. In opening up the package, inside I find the twenty shuttles that I had ordered. 10 Prym shuttles and 10 Metalicized Plastic with point shuttles. Below is the picture of the shuttles laid out on my desk before I unpacked them to work on.

I posted this picture both on my timeline and Tatting Shuttle Addicts on Facebook. Response to the post was quite overwhelming. I have not even decorated any of the shuttles and several people have expressed interest in purchasing them. I plan on decorating them in pairs with the pairs getting their own bag to be sent with them. 

Today will be be very busy, so I don't know if I will get to play with decorating them. I will just have to take today as it comes and see where I end up. The images that I will be using will be of my own design just so I don't have to deal with someone else's copyright issues. I am planning on making a one of a kind pair with the Doctor Who logo and one of the Doctors. I am not sure which one I will do yet but we shall see.

Well, that is all for today. I need to get my day started.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

Friday, February 7, 2014

Life Changes, New Beginnings

I warn you now that the beginning of this post is not tatting related. Jump to the pictures if you don't want to read it.

What can I say for my blogging absence for so long?  I really find myself apologizing to those who read me for the absence. I have been busy, though, making some life altering changes. No, I have not had any medical emergencies come up in my life. But I did find myself going down a path that needed to be researched carefully. About 3 years ago I was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism. I received what my doctor thought to be sufficient treatment for this of synthetic thyroid hormone. However, this really did nothing but stop the weight gain and some of the hair falling out for me. I still felt tired and had good days and bad days with no real explanation for the issues I was facing. About a year ago when I went to the doctor, he ordered me to do the 1300 calorie diet thing, which I knew would not work. You see, I was already eating next to nothing and not losing a pound. I started then looking at books like "The Thyroid Solution" and "The Thyroid Diet". When I asked him about following this diet, his parting words to me were "I wish you wouldn't." Tell me this is real encouragement from my doctor. According to him, much of my exhaustion and other feelings of poor health were all in my head.

Last November, I started on a new journey looking for another doctor who would not just write off all of the other symptoms of poorly treated thyroid as "all in my head". I have finally found a couple of doctors who are willing to treat me as a whole person. I have also added to my health by changing the way that I eat. It has not been an easy journey but I have had to go to gluten-free cooking. I am so happy to have the support of my wonderful husband. We had to face the fact that cooking and living this way was going to be more expensive. My wonderment was actually increased when I found that my aches and pains actually diminished when I started eating this way. I began my journey of losing weight. I have not lost a lot because I am still dealing with imbalances in my hormones and unknown vitamin levels. I do have an appointment with a doctor at the end of this month with whom I hope to explore this further. I want to be fully diagnosed and fully treated to gain my health back.

There are some days when I struggle with making it through the day without a nap. I had brain fog where I would start something and then forget where I am going with it. Or I just don't have enough energy to complete the thought.

Enough of this rant. I will now get down to what I know you came here for: the tatting.

My tatting unfortunately has not been as prolific as I would have hoped for the Christmas season. But I did manage to complete two new ornaments for my tree.

I was trying to copy a pattern from a picture that I saw on Facebook which was this one.

I made several attempts to get the top part going right but later figured out that this was a larger ornament that what I was using. The picture below was one of the first or second attempt of the first few rounds to get the top part right.

The next picture is the side view of the one attempt that finally ended up on the ornament.

I also am including a bottom view of how I ended up fastening down the cover.

I have realized that the last picture I showed on my blog of the glass mat I had worked on was actually incomplete. So I show you now the completed mat, pressed and finished.

The bad thing about being in a fog with your health is that from time to time inspiration dries up and I just don't feel like tatting. I have struggled with trying to get back into tatting and designing. Guess that is all for the post now. Thanks for letting me rant and attempt to offer some tatting examples. I will still be working on my health and hope that I will be back to exploring new things in tatting soon.

Happy Tatting

Arial - The Tattered Faerie

PS. Since I first uploaded this draft, I have seen a very good doctor who is willing to work with me. I am looking forward to a new beginning this year with my health. It really is amazing when you find a doctor who is willing to listen to all that you have to say and help you look for a specific solution. I hope to have more tatting in future blogs for you to see. :D